Everyday is an Adventure. Embrace it

Posts tagged ‘fun’

Second attempt – Arrowhead wonders

Over the weekend, my husband and I thought we would go out and look for a tilled up field to look through for arrow heads. Thinking we would try north, we drove around field spotting for a few hours. We found a lot of field, but none had been turned. We discovered that practically no one will is home on a Sunday afternoon anyway to give permission to walk their field.

Lesson learned. It was actually a good trip. We shared time together and checked out the landscape that we didn’t otherwise know.

After a couple of fields, Nick said “I just know we’ll find arrowheads or artifacts here!  Just look at what I found!” ….
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After a good laugh, we were on to the next field 🙂

The only thing we actually did find was a shaft straightener,
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a few tiny pieces of flint, and several farm properties that are for sale.

I’ve always liked just leisurely driving around though, so I loved it!
It was a good day 🙂

Below are some we found on other days.

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Arrowhead Hunting Adventure

On a lazy Sunday my husband recently said, “Want to go arrowhead hunting?”
“Yes” was my reply. We loaded up 2 of the boys and struck out on a new adventure. In my twisted humorous mind I kept thinking how odd is the phrase “arrowhead hunting”?
How does that play out exactly:  (daydream sequence begins)
We stealthily maneuver through the corn field, crouching low and moving methodically. Senses heightened as we listen to every sound around us and use our eyes as though they were scanning devices. Sudden movements are forbidden. The children must communicate through hand gestures. After we cover some distance…

“Shh! I hear one”, he spurts out in a deep breathy tone while waving his hand to motion down, crouch lower.  Then I see it. The desired prey in its natural habitat. He extends his arm  slowly, quietly, and with precision to capture the great trophy. Just as his fingers are within millimeters of it – one of the kids violently sneeze! …and it is lost forever 😦 Darn allergies!

LOL 🙂

Ok, seriously now, it was actually a lot of fun. We walked several fields hunting arrowheads. I found flint that had been worked, but not a full arrowhead. We had a blast and we all got a little much-needed exercise. It was a time of meditation of sorts also.  Hypnotically walking with your head down looking at the ground is soothing, clears your mind and can bring some very interesting conversion about. I would recommend wearing the worst pair of shoes in one’s collection though. We came out of there caked in mud. Evidently the best time to look is right after a nice rain.
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We found a cool old stone well and I, personally, had a chance to connect with the place where my father grew up around the quarry. It was also nice to see where I came from before I was adopted. I think I should like to go “hunt” these inanimate objects again in the future 🙂

He said, “Follow Me”

We had a great adventurous weekend!

Nick, the boys and I had a weekend with our new friends Shawn and Kimbra. Shawn being a long lost relative of the great outdoors, he offered to merge some outdoor time into our weekend. Nick booked hotel rooms for us at Harrah’s Cherokee and we were off!

We packed Friday night and encouraged the kids to go to bed early. We got up early and were still late leaving out to meet up with our Road trip tour guides Shawn & Kimbra. 😦 Oops!

So…it started! We started off on Interstate 40 going East and our first pull off was in Hartford Tennessee.       He said, “Follow me.”      Hartford had a post office, an outdoor adventure place, and a stream for white water rafting. That’s pretty much it 🙂 We checked out the tiny little place and then we were back on the interstate again.      He said, “Follow me.”

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Another pull off  adventure popped up, so off we went on a back road towards the beautiful country side.
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We saw a cool let-in place where Shawn said he lets in his rafts, boats, canoes, or other floating types devices for white water rafting.
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(I would love to do that sometime!) Shawn mentions a park up ahead and says, “Follow me.”
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We saw beautiful mountain streams, creeks, and found some cool rocks. At one point, we found ourselves at a tiny little zoo type establishment along side the road. image

There were llamas, a donkey, and I think I saw a pig – but I’m not sure really 🙂   There was also a cute little out building shack that posed an awesome photo opp.

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We took in a bit of local history (read signs) and hoped back in the vehicles and were on to the next sight.

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As we were leaving Shawn says, “Follow me.”

I think at some point we were given the option of getting back on the interstate or going the back roads. We chose back roads, and let me tell ya, they didn’t get much more “back roads” than this! 🙂
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Cosby highway went from  normal state highway size (2 car- painted lines) with guard rails and edges of shoulders, all the way down to almost less than 1 car with no painted lines without guard rails mid-mountain height, to gravel with giant pot holes and drop-offs, to plain ole dirt roads hugging the edge of the mountain as it curled all the way to the top.
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Signs posted “No Passing”, “One lane road”, “Beware of Drop offs” (2400ft elevation).  We drove about 10 miles on the top of the mountain through twists and turns where the tree roots were the only traction under our tires and if a bird landed on our car, we’d have just tilted and plunged down the mountain.
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After about 15 miles, we were all feeling a bit sickly in our stomachs. We did however, pick up an inside joke that the kids will probably discuss the rest of their lives. On our way to the top of the mountain, we encountered a cyclist trying to make it up the 2350 ft elevation of the mountain. He peddled his little heart out and could not grasp the concept that our big truck needed around him and he peddled at a 10th of a mile an hour with a banana sticking out of the back of his pants. We couldn’t pass him and he wasn’t letting us around him. We eventually had to ask the cyclist with the banana to stop and move over so we could pass. If we hadn’t…we would still be on that mountain right now! It wasn’t the biggest mountain we’ve ever driven, but it definitely was extremely fun!
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Once we reached a decently elevation, we got back on the Interstate and made our way into Maggie Valley, North Carolina. We’d been here before, but we stopped a few times so our friends could snap some pictures and then we were off to Cherokee as they said, “Follow me!”
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We grabbed a bite to eat, checked into our rooms at Harrah’s, then left again to go out toward the Smokey Mountains National Park.
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After a bit of exploring, we had dinner and went back to the hotel. We finished the night in the casino .

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The boys explored the large hotel, pool, exercise rooms, arcade, etc while we played. Kimbra had a brilliant spa idea, but when we checked with them, they were booked solid 😦

We did much more than this on the trip and had many great memorable moments 🙂

I think Shawn and Kimbra were fun to follow. As Shawn said most of the trip: “Follow me.”

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Boomsday 2012

While I’ve been looking for my outlook to change back to an adventurous one, my family and I had an adventure without realizing it 🙂

On September 2nd, we decided to brave the crowd and venture into downtown Knoxville for the annual Boomsday event. This was the 25th anniversary of the huge 30 minute long firework display put on by the city of Knoxville. The developers of this event expected about 400,000 people to attend the largest firework display in the nation. If I had to guess, I’d say that over 400,000 people were there despite the bad weather forecast!

We started off the day in Market Square, grabbing sub sandwiches from Subway. Bellies full, we went to the middle of the square where a street performer was makes balloon animals. Our teenage kids (16, 15, 15, and 14yrs old) participated in a band session with this guy. He played a flute while the kids drummed on his instruments. Several passer-bys stopped to watch such local entertainment. 🙂 They drew a pretty good sized crowd too 🙂
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Next, My oldest son’s girlfriend stood by as the nice man made 2 balloon animals for her. Receiving her balloons, she said, “Even though I said I wasn’t going to have fun today, this is cool.”…as she smiled 🙂
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We then walked to the East TN Museum of History and the kids took in some local History.  The Museum had the 3rd floor open! The kids got to see the old library that is not normally open to the public 🙂
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Last, we walked across downtown to Volunteer Landing on Neyland Drive. The roads were blocked off to motorist by local law enforcement so it was safe to walk. 3 radio stations were broadcasting, there were many vendors selling everything fried you could possibly think  of, and there was Live Entertainment from several stages. Boats leisurely floated along the Tennessee River and the atmosphere was wonderful! It felt like the fair. It took us about an hour to totally relax, leave work & worries behind, and …lose the kids 🙂  Okay, not really lose them in a panic – we lost them to their own excitement as they went their separate ways to meet up with friends, play games, win prizes, and act stupid without adult supervision 🙂
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It was absolutely what I needed to pull out of my stubbornness & give my mindset a 180 turn-about. Nick told the kids to meet us at different intervals at a HUGE yellow rubber ducky 🙂
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We spent the whole day downtown, even when it rained 🙂 It was nice!
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 At 9:30pm the firework display started. About 15 minutes into the show, the sky broke open & rain began to come down in buckets! No sprinkle warnings! Hundreds of people ran for cover and we found solstice under a bridge for about 5 minutes.  Everyone fit under the bridge except my youngest son and I. My oldest son would have fit, but he was trying to be his girl friend’s umbrella. Finally, we made a run for it… through a crowd of people, all 6 of us attempted to stay together as we ran through the rain for cover. We were drenched! Soaking wet. Nick was trying to save the pizza we had bought earlier as he ran ahead, but ended up almost busting his rear-end wide open when he slipped and lost a box of soaking wet pizza on the ground. hahahahahahaha      He wasn’t hurt and didn’t fall. We eventually made it to the truck and all piled in. Wet, soppy soaked, we sat on the top of a parking garage parked in line to exit for an hour before we were able to leave.

It was the BEST Boomsday ever!!! I haven’t had this much fun in a looooong time!  🙂

 

I think I may be back 🙂

I swear, we are not inbred!

Well, it appears as though my grand baby has been playing on my phone and possibly erased the largest part of this post. Excuse me a moment while I re-type it…

I swear, we are not inbred. Don’t listen to that kid!

Yesterday for Easter, the boys & I went to visit family. My oldest son wanted to introduce his girlfriend to his sisters, so we took her along with us. On the long trip, I heard him explaining to her several of the people she’d meet. This is how we became inbred in one very short conversation, hosted by a 15 yr old boy!

Just to set the genealogy straight, the boys have 4 sisters. 2 of which they are very close to & 2 that they do not see very much. On Easter we went to visit the 2 youngest girls (Audrey and Ashley) at their mom’s house (Vick – but the boys call her Bebe). Bebe has another daughter (Sheri – called She-she).

Sister Audrey’s Family: Audrey, Justin (boy friend) , Eli, Anikan, Mara

Sister Ashley’s Family: Ashley, Emmie, and Miles

Loving Friend Sheri’s Family: Sheri, Justin (boy friend), Triston

Dad’s Ex-wife Vicki’s Family: Vicki, David, Audrey, Ashley, Sheri

Loving Friend Deb (who is Vicki’s sister) Family: Deb and Allie

Now that this is laid out about as simple as I can, here is what my 15 yr old son told his girl friend. I placed a star next to the incorrect statements:

You’re gonna meet all 3 of my sisters. There’s Audrey, Ashley, and *She-she. Audrey lives with my *brother in law* Justin and they have a lot of kids. They have Eli, Mara, and Anny. Then there’s Ashley. She has Miles and Emmie. My other sister, *She-she is married to *my cousin Justin and *their kid is Triston. Their mom is my *aunt Bebe and she is married to my cousin David. Then there’s my *aunt Deb and her daughter Allie, *my cousin. Oh yeah, we are *part black, so if you’re racist, that’s not good.

And you don’t want to mess with me cause they all love me and would be very mad at you.

No one will see the humor in this that our family did, I am sure. But we laughed and laughed over this dissertation of our genealogy.

Memories of Nikki Lea

My Nikki Lea

My Nikki Lea cute & pregnant in 2010

Even though I whacked my head hard enough to remove several thousand brain cells back in July (see previous posts about PCS), I have regained most of my memories of Nikki Lea. I think these memories came back to me vividly because she and I have stayed in contact with each other and she was such a cute little kid!

When she was just a baby, not more than 15 months, my parents began keeping her regularly on the weekends at first. Then they progressed to keeping her through the week. My parents had raised Nikki Lea’s mother also. (Just to give a bit of back ground info: my parents adopted the brother I grew up with when he was 6 months old, then adopted me when I was 2 1/2 months old. They could not have children of their own, so they adopted us and were always raising someone’s children from time to time.)

Back to little miss priss…Nikki Lea was the cutest baby in the world. She had the deepest and most beautiful dimples in her cheeks and a smile that would make a person’s heart melt. She spoke well and properly (speaking proper was all my mother would tolerate), and she was a little princess. She didn’t watch TV, instead she always wanted to play…in MY room :-\

Sometimes I would get aggravated with her always following me around, but most of the time I loved her to pieces. I dressed her up in odd outfits and punked out her hair in the proper 80’s fashion (she was like 2 yrs old at that point). I applied make-up to her cute little doll face and pretty much treated her like a doll. I never had a Barbie, but I had a Nikki Lea 🙂

One day, I had been outside playing with the neighborhood boys and came in for a drink and a rest. Mom was supposed to be watching Nikki Lea, but I found her in my room…eating my Estee Lauder lipstick!! I didn’t wear make-up myself, but my mom gave that lipstick to me because I begged her for it. It was the only thing I could have from her cosmetics, so I cherished it as a child. It  must have tasted as good as it looked on a pair of lips, cause she ate the entire tube! I was devastated 😐  My poor-pitiful-me devastation lasted about 5 minutes…then I didn’t care any more. Afterall I was anxious to go back outside and play, I had M80s to use on some hot wheel cars with the guys.

This little girl stole so many hearts as a child. My dad was her “Poppy” and she called my mom “Mummy”. I was Chissy and my brother was Cot when she spoke.

Every Saturday evening, Nikki Lea slept in my room with me. When we woke up on Sunday morning, I got to dress her for church. I picked frilly little dresses with crinoline underneath, ruffled undies, and tights. By the time that poor child was dressed, I’m surprised she could walk!!! I put her in high heels once. That didn’t work out so well. She fell and bumped her elbow.

When she was older, maybe 6 yrs old, I gave her a helium balloon and told her to suck the air out of it. She sounded like her baby voice all over again. Of course, my parents were not very happy about that, so I was grounded for a week 😦  Come on! Who hasn’t sucked helium out of a balloon as a child?

Nikki Lea went back to stay with her mom around 5-6 yrs old. Her mom finished nursing school and had a great job. She was a strong woman! She raised 3 girls alone, worked full-time, and put herself through nursing school. So, it would be a while before I connected with little miss dimples again.

Then, on Jan 20th, 1996 when Nick and I took our wedding vows and became husband and wife…Nikki Lea was my little ring bearer. She was so precious! Her hair was curled in Shirley Temple like curls and she had on one of those frilly little dresses again 🙂 She would come and stay with Nick and I, on and off, from time to time after we were married…and then she grew up. She didn’t come stay with us again until 2002. She was a full-blown teenager at that point…15 or so and ruled the world. Okay, not really. She actually always had a very level head on her shoulders and was much wiser than other kids her age. She matured fast because of her environment.

After 2003, it would be a while before I saw Nikki Lea again. But I think that time we spent together and apart was good for us. I know it certainly made me appreciate her much more when I did see her! We connected when she was working at a local university and had a few discussions when she was deciding on going into the military. I was stoked!!  I tried to encourage her as much as possible to do the bravest thing – serve our country. I would have if 3 branches of the military hadn’t turned me away when I was much younger. She did it!! She made it through Cadet school (or what ever it’s called) and she has been in the service several years now.

I got to travel to Virginia to see her in September 2010 when she gave birth to her baby boy. And now, she is ready to pop open once more. This time she’ll be delivering a girl though. Nikki Lea is a wonderful mother, wife, sister, woman, and friend.

Nikki Lea… I am so proud of you little mechanic Naval momma!!

July 4th…the rest of the story

The boys, a friend, & I went to the Great Smokey Mountains National Park today. We were meeting up with some great co-workers for an outting.

It was absolutely beautiful in the mountains today. We had discussed hiking up to the waterfall (which is an item on my bucket list), but rain began to come down in buckets. The only waterfall we saw was the heavy rain sliding off the side of the pavillion we were at. We all had a great time & I very much enjoyed myself 🙂

On our way home, we saw a M60 tank near the side of the road outside of Cosby. We turned the car around, went back & took some pictures. I was so excited!!  My second tank!!!!  I admired the chasis and the suspension differences in this field machine & the other one I had seen. There were obvious differences.

After we arrived home, it was nice & quiet in the neighborhood until around 10pm. That’s when my neighbors started popping off their fireworks again.

I am happy to report that after last night’s fiasco, their shooting proximity was remarkably better. Not one of their fireworks came toward my yard, house or car 🙂

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Easy items to complete – Bucket List

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Item #13 was to Ride a Train. Not a fancy box car set up, just a plain ole train.  Did it at Dollywood.  It wasn’t as thrilling as I’d hoped, so next I’ll opt for the box car type 🙂

Item # 56 was to touch a tank.
This was fun!!

I heard from a friend that there was a

tank just

sitting out in the open, on display, for the public to enjoy

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The boys & I hopped in the car & headed to The American Legion Post #2. There we found a M60A3 tank. I was amazed by its size.

Seeing one on TV, in a magazine, or otherwise doesn’t do these beautiful vehicles justice.
So we all touched it, felt its cold metal under our hands, marvelled at the craftsmanship, climbed on top of it,

SET OFF AN ALARM, then snapped some pictures and fled. Photo Opp!!

  This model was produced in the 1960’s and was used more during

Dessert Storm. It probably never saw any action in Nam.

I’m still on the prowl for an M7 priest cause I just

know

there has to be one around here I can touch also!!

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