Smoky Mountain High

We just returned home from a long weekend in the mountains where we took a couple of days with Luke’s parents and sister’s family to spend a little time together and unwind from all the busy.  The kids’ Christmas break was entirely too short (we don’t even get a full two weeks in our county..grr!!)  and basketball season has about been the death of us.  Between my two that are playing elementary and high school it takes us somewhere every blessed night of the week.  I love watching my kids play sports but really, I’m done now.

So the respite was just what we needed.  My mom-in-law’s love language is food which is normally a good thing except Luke and I have been playing around with Weight Watchers.  We’ve been starving since January 2nd and so we ate food glorious food and chewed the legs off the tables for dessert.  It was much more tasty than the oranges we’ve been eating every day because they are Point Free.   I don’t see how any food can be free if you eat twelve a day but if nothing else, there is enough Vitamin C in our collective systems to ward off a cold for the next seven years.  We might be chubby, but our noses are clear.  We are not weighing until next week when hopefully we’ll have shed what we gained in those three days.   Can I just say here that it makes me so mad that I get 25 points a day and Luke gets 44?  It’s also been a little difficult explaining to him that he can’t save 30 points until 9 pm and then eat a huge bowl of ice cream.  “That’s stupid! I still have points left!  This diet doesn’t work!”  Yes, it does.  Just ask Jennifer Hudson and her team of chefs and personal trainers.  At the rate we are going,  I think we belong on Team Jessica. (On a side note, if you are on a health kick too then check out Skinny Taste. I’ve tried several recipes, loved them, and they all have WW point values.)

Not only can my MIL cook but she’s the queen of discount dinner tickets.  She scored ridiculously cheap seats to the Dukes of Hazard at the Smith Brother Theater.  Y’all go to Les Mis on Broadway, we go see Bo, Luke, and Daisy in Gatlinburg.   If you can overlook the hideous wig Bo was wearing and not one, but many girls wearing pantyhose with shorts, then I would say the production was delightful.  Boss Hogg and Roscoe were well-played.  At one point “Charlie Daniels” played the fiddle at the Boar’s Nest and gave a rousing monologue on the Bible and the 2nd Amendment.  By the end I wanted to say the Pledge of Allegiance and shoot a firearm that held more than 7 rounds.  And grow my own garden.  And build a bunker.  Sawyer texted me at this point and said, “All you have to do to get a room full of rednecks riled up is talk about God and Guns.”  My kid is fantastically intuitive.

No trip to the mountains would be complete without the go-kart track.  I opted to take a few pictures rather than ride which was the wise choice considering Luke is still limping from being spun out and t-boned by his loving children.  These are a few of my favorites:


Syd in the lead.  It could be they were lapping her but we’ll stick with Story #1.



Cousin Matthew.  You can’t curb his enthusiasm.


Sam.  He has the eye of the tiger.



Luke still smiling before his injuries.


Elijah.  Just waiting.  Patiently.  Verrrry patiently.


Papa showing the grandsons who’s boss.



The colors in this picture make me happy.  The people aren’t bad either.


We traveled home on Monday which was a wonderful diversion from the Inauguration on every channel.   On our way we stopped and ate at The Apple Barn (If you’ve never eaten one of their fritters, I will pray for you) and was proven wrong for every time I’ve said my kids can’t shock me anymore.  The waitress was rounding the table and reached my son 15 year-old son Elijah to take his order. To give you some context, he is not full of mischief.  He is not one who likes attention.  He’s calm, dry-humored, and steady on.  It was this boy who looked at the waitress with a perfectly straight face and said, “I would like the beef livers with a side of bartle doo“.  “With a side of what?” she asked.  “Bartle doo”, he calmly replied.  “Bartle..what is that?!” she asked.  “It’s okay, I don’t guess y’all have it here”, he said all while we couldn’t decide whether we were going to fall out of our chairs in shock or from laughing like maniacs. I felt so sorry for the poor waitress but she was such a great sport.  We told her about Ed Bassmaster and explained the uproar as best we could and left a healthy tip.  And then we re-introduced ourselves to our son because obviously we’ve never known him before now.  And maybe you are thinking the same thing about me now that you know we are secret Ed Bassmaster fans.  Only the moms of teenage boys will understand.

And now here we are back in the groove of life as we know it.  We got home just in time Monday night to make a 7 pm basketball practice which thrilled me to the uttermost.  I’m missing my leisurely mornings in the pj’s but having a few days away made it easier to face the work week in pants that button and shoes that aren’t lined with fur.

To which my coworkers are saying, ‘Thank You’.