thanksgiving week.

Back at work after a great 4-day weekend over the Thanksgiving holiday. Mom and Mark drove out to Nashville and we had a lot of fun. Mom brought me a lot of old family photos and some genealogy documents like funeral programs and obituaries. I need to sit down and scan all the photos, but here's one of my grandma, Flora "Bettie" Elizabeth McClain Richwine and her sister, Willa Irene McClain. My mom told me that my grandma had wet her pants in this photo! Haha. They grew up in Garden City, Kansas. I have a lot of photos of these two together.

Grandma Richwine and her sister Irene
Mark, me, and Mom hiking the Warner Woods loop
Thanksgiving day was beautiful! Like around 70 degrees. Around 10 a.m., we drove out to Percy Warner Park and hiked the Warner Woods loop (2.5 miles). The trees weren't as pretty as a couple of weeks ago, but it was still nice. I got hot and hiked in shorts! Loved this day. The following few days dropped into the 40s.

Nate took a panorama with his iPhone. As soon as he got past me the first time, I jumped into the last part of the photo. :) Twins!

Thanksgiving lunch/dinner
We were understandably hungry after hiking, so we came home for showers and football (watching, not playing!). I had started the ham in the slow cooker at 6:30 a.m. The ham we bought was too big, so we could only cook half. I also made candied yams, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, Hawaiian rolls, and we had corn and cranberry sauce. Yum.

Nate and me at Opryland hotel
Friday Nate had to work so Mom, Mark, and I went to Lynchburg, TN, for a distillery tour. It was really neat and interesting. Long drive down there (1.5 hours) but it was worth it. On Saturday, we went to Opry Mills and saw Lincoln. He's my favorite president, and not just because we share a birthday. Then we walked over to the Gaylord Opryland hotel and walked around. Nate had to go to work Saturday evening.

Sunday we went to church and then came home and put up the Christmas tree. Nate and I didn't put it up last year since we were in Kansas for Christmas. We'll be back in Kansas again this year, but I like the tree. Otis and Miles like it too. I mean they like eating it. And batting the little bells and knocking off bulbs. Then it was back to work Monday morning. Working hard for the next three weeks until Christmas vacation!


warner woods.

Nate's sister, Caitlin, and her husband, Andy, drove down from St. Louis last Friday evening to spend a weekend with us in Nashville. It was so much fun! The temps were in the 70s Saturday and Sunday. It was perfect. We started off our Saturday morning with turkey bacon, breakfast quesadillas, OJ, and coffee/tea. Then we drove out to Percy Warner Park and hiked our favorite 2.5-mile loop, Warner Woods Trail.

I can't stop staring at this photo. Isn't it great? Nate vs. wild. No filters or editing done, just the pure beauty of a fall forest captured by Andy's iPhone 5 and the rough ruggedness of my bearded husband.

I captured this out of the sunroof of Nate's car. We assumed most of the leaves would be off the trees by now, but the scenic drive through the woods was stunning. We saw a deer and lots of squirrels and chipmunks.

Starting up the trail. Andy took this photo.

Another view on the scenic drive.

Caitlin and Andy got here Friday around 9 p.m. We made a fire in our fire pit in the backyard and made s'mores. We collected sticks and branches from the yard and bought two 4-hour logs at Walmart. We started the first log and went inside and came back out, and the second log was gone! Completely disappeared. We looked everywhere and couldn't find it. I think our neighbor's wolf-dog snuck over and carried it off. Boo. I love the fire pit. We don't use it as much as we should.

We packed so much into Saturday including walking down Bransford Avenue where the Berry Hill community was having a little Christmas fair. We watched a Home Depot demonstration and each scored a free 2-pack of compact fluorescent bulbs. We took Andy and Caitlin to the Cat Shoppe, and then we went to The Smiling Elephant for dinner and enjoyed Nashville's best Thai food. Then we went to the movies and saw Argo. I fell asleep during part of the movie but I got most of it and it was good. I can't wait until Lincoln comes out next week! (Mom, if you're reading this, don't watch it and we can go see it when you're in town.)

The rain moved in last night and so did the colder temps. We're still hanging in the 50s but the temperatures are dropping and we'll welcome in winter with the rest of the country. I am thankful for electric blankets! 



I haven't blogged in a few days and I thought, What has happened it the last few days? So I turned to my photo stream/Instagram/Facebook, and all I found are pictures of cats. :) I've been working hard at work so I can relax during my holiday vacations. I've been cleaning the house. Nate's sister and her husband are coming to visit this weekend. Here are some photos from the past week.

Looks like someone had an afternoon snack. I got down on the floor to take this photo, and both cats came over to check out what I was doing. Otis stood right there and made this photo so much better.

This is not posed! Ah, I almost melt at the cuteness when this happens. I was working on the couch when Otis got up and laid down next to Miles, snuggled up to him, and Miles didn't mind. Cuuute!

Uh, no. Not a third cat. But our neighbors across the street has about 14 cats. Outdoor cats. They hang out in their driveway. Looks like a whole litter or two … totally irresponsible if you ask me. They seem to be fed. Most of them run away from me when I walk toward them, but last night I went out to change the bulb on the porch light, and this little guy begged me to pet him. I did, and he purred and purred and purred.

No way are we going to get a third cat in this little house, but I was tempted to catnap him and get him neutered. He eventually went off down the sidewalk which I was glad because if he had just sat on our porch all night it would have put my cat-loving, sympathetic heart in a tough spot.

When I came in, Miles and Otis reminded me, "Mom, we're cute! We don't need a third cat! We're already more cute than you can handle."


grande non-fat awake tea latte with sugar-free vanilla syrup and no foam.

Last night we got together at the home of a couple from our church. They have a beautiful property south of Nashville in the country. Five acres and a nice house with a wrap-around porch. They host the middle school and high school groups often, and they are excellent hosts. We got together with the college community group for a fall party.

They had decided costumes would be mandatory. I googled "last minute costumes" and decided I would tape some lines on a black shirt with a fork and be a "fork in the road." But when I went to the hall closet to look for masking tape, I saw Nate's hat and apron. Brilliant! I'll be Nate!

I went to the attic to find some construction paper to make a beard, and I found a sheet of brown foam, my fancy-cut scissors, and some brown string. So I fashioned myself a Nate-beard. I already have glasses that are kind of like his, so I put on my khakis, his work shirt, apron, and hat, and wah-lah!

Don't we look alike? Okay, you kind of have to blur your eyes … Nate was at work until 6:30 so he showed up to the party late, but he liked my costume. :) I wore the beard all night because it was warm and we were outside at the fire pit. Except when I would talk with the college kids, they all kept looking at me funny. They said they couldn't take me seriously with a beard.
© All rights reserved.