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» Monday, November 18, 2013Slowly We Move
I think we actually might have had a fair night's sleep last night, despite waking at 3 a.m. with dual coughing fits. It's just annoying: we so often either have a bad mattress or a bad set of pillows, and now we have good both and we can't sleep.
At least we have a place to sleep, unlike the folks in Washington, Illinois, and Kokomo, Indiana, and other places in the path of last night's horrendous weather. We got some rain drumming on the roof, that's all.
However, the stuffed noses and annoying coughs were just obstacles this morning. Willow started barking frantically, and I rushed to get dressed and take her out. She still hasn't figured the whole thing out, especially the open stairway. We call to her from the loft and she wanders around downstairs, bewildered.
We thought about taking the trolley into Gatlinburg today, and having breakfast there, but by the time we left the cabin, we were both starving. So we ate breakfast at Trish's Place again, and then headed into town. We figured that the different trolleys would cost us pretty much the same as the $5/day parking behind the stores, so we just parked behind one of the Chinese restaurants and then walked around for a while. We checked out a "hobby shop," but it was just radio control stuff, no real models. We stopped at Smoky Mountain Candies and I bought a quarter of a pound of dark-chocolate covered orange creams as a treat (note: there are nine). James said there was a newspaper clipping at the front of the store telling how the store was once invaded by a bear; they caught him in the act eating the candy! We avoided the drummer who kept asking if we were married or if we were happy. We stopped at the kitchen store, but mostly what they had to taste were spicy items. The Vidalia onion/cucumber salad dressing was good, though. We walked all the way down to The Village, which is a little collection of old-world-looking shops, including a sock shop, a doggie boutique, etc. We bought Willow some cookies (we forgot hers) and strolled around the Thomas Kincade gallery, which was featuring Thomas Kincade-ish artists. The Disney stuff leaves me a bit cold, but the nature paintings and nostalgia ones are quite pretty. As always, our last stop is the Celtic store where we first heard Gaelic Storm. I was looking for Christmas albums, but all the ones I would have wanted I already have.
Before heading on, we sat on a bench in the little park just outside the store and each had an orange cream. Excellent! Almost as good as Sweenor's.
On the return trip we stopped at one of my favorite stores, The Maple's Tree, but they've changed their stock and no longer carry the primitive items I used to like. They did have a nice selection of Jim Shore Christmas items, though.
We were feeling a bit peckish, since it was almost 2 p.m., so we had lunch at North China, which we have eaten at previously. The wonton soup hit the spot, and the small lunch entrees didn't make us feel guilty about leftovers. When we finished there, we were going past an "adventure golf" place that was inside; fine with me because, although it was not hot, the sun was quite bright and James was turning scarlet. So we played through: James won. He says it's the first time he's ever won a miniature golf game from me. LOL. Well, I did have a handicap: I was carrying the camera and a shopping bag! Naw, he did two Holes in One and I messed up really badly at one hole where the cup was on top of a cone.
By then we were thirsty, so we had a drink at McDonald's before heading back to the car.
We were pretty much on idle the rest of the afternoon. We stopped at Dixie Darlin, the cross-stitch store in The Old Mill section of Pigeon Forge, where I bought three sale patterns, two packs of apeture cards (I can't find them anywhere in Atlanta), and a little pattern of a winter sheep. Next we went to the Book Warehouse and Moon Pie Market (yeah, strange combination, I know). The books are remainders, and I found one book I'd been wanting: Bully!, a history of Theodore Roosevelt in drawings and editorial cartoons. I also found a book about Italians and their cooking.
Finally, we stopped at the combination Christmas store/china shop to wander about. This is where I got the cute resin Christmas trees, one Scottish, one Italian, that I put up in our room every year. They seem to have cut down on that type of thing, although you can find some unique ornaments to make theme trees: a Delft tree, and a cowboy tree, and a wildlife tree, and a Sesame Street tree, etc. They now have lots of the beautiful glass ornaments from the Olde World ornament people, and, in looking through them, found a gorgeous dragon ornament that I bought for James, plus a small book about the history of Santa Claus as seen in postcards over the years.
It was just sunset as we started back, and finally dark by the time we returned to the cabin. Now, it was in the high fifties when we left this morning, so I didn't even take my jacket, just my pashmina, which kept me nice and warm, and I could carry it when it got warm, and in the 60s this afternoon, and very warm in the sun. It wasn't even that cold when we left Pigeon Forge, but by the time we turned into the driveway, it was in the mid-forties. I was glad for the pashmina when I got through the door...and found Willow on the sofa. She can't figure out where the voices are coming from upstairs, but by God, she can escape. (I did try showing her "upstairs." The fact that the stairs are open really confuse her; she had no trouble coming down on her own.
James did something neat for supper: he took some of the chicken soup we had for supper on Friday and mixed it with some chicken gravy. He then took most of the remains of the rotisserie chicken and chopped it up and warmed it up in the soupy gravy. We had the two biscuits leftover from Cracker Barrel yesterday, and he grilled them over the stove, and then we poured the chicken and gravy over it. It was excellent, except the biscuits were burnt on the corners because the stove is electric (ugh!) and the pan he used thin. I'm with James; I despise electric stoves. Gas is so much more controllable to cook with. Apple pie was the dessert du jour.
We have been watching this extraordinary show called Extreme Cheapskates all night. If you thought the Doomsday Preppers and the Extreme Couponing people were strange, these folks take the cake. I thought Amy Dacyshyn was cheap! I thought we had an inexpensive wedding with Anne making my wedding dress, James just wearing a suit, Charles and Amy donating the venue (their apartment rec center) as a wedding gift, James' uncle the minister performing the service for free, me making the flowers, and Alex doing a bang-up job decorating a standup trellis with artificial vines and white Christmas lights. This lady bought her daughter's wedding dress at a pawn shop and got it at a discount because it had rat pee on it. They had cheese sandwiches for finger food. The mother had her ten-year-old son's birthday party in a seniors' home. (Why not just have it in the back yard? Strange!) I admire some of the frugality, but the woman dumpster diving her prenatal vitamins and painting the baby's room with paint samples she inveigled for free from hardware store owners because she said she'd be coming back to buy paint was a bit much.
Time for Castle.