Two Reasons...


Courtesy Dirty Coast.com

I love Dirty Coast.


Courtesy Dirty Coast.com

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An Investment..


that yields returns. Last night I purchsed the minimule Camelbak pictured above to use while surveying this summer. It works like a dream. In addition to the bladder compartment, it has another for miscellaneous essentials. I love it and can't believe it took me so long to buy one. Hooray for Camelbaks!

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The Envy of Every Woman...

passed away today. So long Edith Shain.
Your memory immoratlized by a single photo will continue to elicit sighs from romantics around the world never to be forgotten. I hope your heaven is filled with moments like this.

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An Evening Well Spent


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Simply the Best


Nobody has to tell me what I already know. I am one lucky gal. Happy Father's Day! I wish I could have been with you today but I have to work. The time we spent together last month was so fun. I will treasure the memories we made forever.Thanks for being my Father, my confident, and my friend. I love you, Dad!



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Happy Birthday Hugh!

Sunday, June 13th Hugh McAloon celebrated his 42nd birthday. To celebrate, we had lunch today at the Buttercup where Hugh's "girlfriend" surprised him with a yummy chocolate cupcake covered in frosting. Hugh being the generous man he is, shared with all the girls. Amanda gave Hugh his "This man likes Ta-Tas" t-shirt which we hope he will wear during the Susan G. Komen walk he is participating in later this year.
Tomorrow I will be giving Hugh my present which I hope he will enjoy as well.
Best wishes to Hugh for a year full of pleasant surprises which will bring him lifelong joy.

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Cruisin' the Coast

Last Thursday, upon arriving in Biloxi I was issued a Chrysler 300 (almost identical to the one pictured above) as a rental car for June-July. Thanks to Enterprise I'm cruisin' the coast in style.

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Pretzel M&Ms...

had to be a woman's idea because they're a great way to satisfy the sweet/salty cravings many women experience while PMSing. I like the result but wonder why it took Mars so long to come up with the idea.

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Mammouth Caves

Last Saturday, I traveled to Cave City, Kentucky to tour Mammouth Caves the largest cave system in the world, thus earning its name; Mammouth. Although we had planned to take the 'Snowball' tour we ended up waiting around the park, there's not much to do above ground, for the 1:15PM 'Historic' tour because park personnel refused to make room for one more person on the 9:30AM 'Snowball' tour. I understand, believe me, I do. I should have reserved tickets in advance but I have to admit, at the time, I was really disappointed and a little pissed.
The 'Historic' tour was great. In fact, if my Aunt Linda had not recommended the 'Snowball' tour I would have selected the 'Historic' tour anyway because we all know, I love history.
Mr. Ty, our park ranger and native Kentuckian, was fantastic! He was not only informative but very enthusiastic. His excitement was contagious. I exited the caves with an increased sense of state pride.
Kentucky, home of the largest cave system in the world, can be added to the long list of what makes Kentucky a great place to live. Home of Bluegrass music, Loretta Lynn, Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln, The Judds, Adolph Rupp, Henry Clay, Dwight Yokum, Maker's Mark, Derby Pie, the Hot Brown, the Kentucky Derby, Ale-8, and the list goes on and on. Oh wait! Kentucky, home of the Cat Farm. I knew I was forgetting something. I digress.
I have been wanting to see the caves since I was a child. Although the caves weren't exactly what I was expecting, I don't regret the trip. If you haven't had the opportunity to tour the caves and you are in the neighborhood; DO IT! And while you're there, if you happen to run into Ranger Ty, tell him I said, "hello."

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Our Day at Dollywood

We spent our last full day in Pigeon Forge at Dollywood which, according to the sign, is celebrating its twenty-fifth year. We had a wonderful time making memories we will, no doubt, share countless times in the upcoming years.
This was the first time my father and his brothers and sisters have ever taken a vacation together. Each mentioned they regretted waiting so long to do so. It was interesting observing my relatives apart from the environment I am accustomed to interacting with them in, i.e. my Grandma's house.
They were like teenagers. I wanted to crash at 11PM but they stayed up until 3AM playing pool, Scrabble and talking about anything and everything. Instead of sleeping in they were up again with the sun, rising around 6AM. They love spending time together and they all get along so well. It's truly incredible.
This was not my first trip to Pigeon Forge or Dollywood. Dad took Josh and I shortly after the park opened almost twenty years ago. All of my relatives, with the exception of my Aunt Lois, have also been to Pigeon Forge. It was especially exciting watching her experience an amusement park for the first time in all her sixty-three years.
Instead of watching shows, we decided to spend our afternoon riding rides. Beginning with Raging Rapids we persuaded my Aunt Lois to "trust us" and ride everything from water rides to roller coasters with us. She was so brave and she knew it too. Her reactions, which included exclamations like, "Lord Jesus save me!!" and "David, get me off this thing!!" were more entertaining than the rides. Despite everything she stayed with us, even riding the Tennessee Tornado and Mystery Mine rides.
We concluded the day with a train ride around Dollywood on an engine named Cinderella. At the beginning of the train ride, each passenger is encouraged to wave and yell "How-dee" to everyone they see as the train travels throughout the park, a custom I had forgotten since my last visit.
Although twenty years separated my two Dollywood excursions, it appears another trip is in my future. My cousin Latosha is getting married in nearby Gatlinburg on October 9th, an event that will reunite the family in the Smokey Mountains for the second time this year. From now until October I will be planning my next Tennessee adventure which I hope will include Cade's Cove and lunch at the Pizza Palace in Knoxville. If anyone has suggestions of other interesting attractions to see in and around Pigeon Forge I would love to hear about them.

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Farmer Brown

Last Monday I drove to Pigeon Forge where I spent the week with my Dad, his brothers and sisters and their spouses at a 7 bedroom/7.5 bathroom cabin. So nice. I even had my own room with a full bath.
Typical of Pigeon Forge tourists we saw shows, hit the Tanger outlet mall, and spent a day at Dollywood, which I will blog about later.
After seeing a show at the Comedy Barn, Dad decided to sport his overalls, glasses and fishing hat assuming the personae of "Farmer Brown," which three-year old Brody loved. Most of our downtime was spent rocking on the upper deck where we watched Brody blow bubbles as we "chewed the fat." I couldn't resist getting a photo with Dad, or should I say, Farmer Brown as he whittled his cedar block; a memory I will cherish forever.


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Choices...

are generally something I like to have when on vacation, deciding where to dine, or to shop and especially where to use the restroom. If this home were on the market I would have a choice to make but it's not, perhaps saving me from making a decision I might regret.
However, I love it! It's located within minutes from the Cat Farm on Red House Road which intersects with the bypass and runs straight into downtown Richmond. The house sets back from the road on a gentle incline. There is a nice in-law cottage located in the back, perfect for guests. I love the small gambrel projection, the tapered columns and the three gable dormers. It's an unusual house but it has character and if it were on the market I would be tempted to snag it. Like Dad says, "Everyone needs a home base," and I think this little Craftsman hybrid would be perfect for me. The choice, for now, is not mine to make but someday...

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