Monthly Archives: October 2011

Drifting further into Autumn

We went to Gatlinburg and saw the elephant, as they used to say.  I don’t know the history (etymology?) of that expression, but it was much in vogue during America’s western migration.  Some pioneers, when asked why they were gambling everything by taking the journey to the distant western lands, replied, “I’m going to see the elephant!”  Some pioneers gave up, went home, explaining that they had ‘seen the elephant’ and it wasn’t what they expected at all.  See  how I ramble?  Maybe *now* you see why this is named Ramblejim’s blog!

We drove down to Gatlinburg without incident, took us about 6 hours actual driving time, extra for the usual stops.  It did rain on us all the way, but it really didn’t slow us up.  Alan and Janice were nice enough to provide the transportation, and it was a good thing – I’m not sure all of us would have been all that comfortable in our little Ford Focus.  Plus, we’d have had to leave half of the luggage here!  Our cabin turned out to be very nice – the outside was Tennessee Traditional and the inside was Martha Stewart Knotty Pine.  Very spacious, very comfortable!

We had not mapped out what we wanted to do on our trip so we just winged it.  I was sort of expecting to get to explore the wonders of Dollywood and also the Dixie Stampede, but after we talked it over it was decided that we didn’t really want to spend 50-plus dollars each to attend these tourist traps.  So, we concentrated on exploring the area and enjoying the fall foliage.  We saw lots of curio/craft stores, and for the most part they were somewhat ‘true’ to the area, not imported Chinese stuff.  We drove through the Great Smokey Mountains National Park, got a LOT of good photos!  We took over 450 photos, and I’m sure Alan and Janice took a goodly number, also.

In summary, the trip was great, we visited right at the PEAK of the fall colors – great autumn getaway!  I’ll add a few pictures here at the end so you can see – this is only a sampling, we got some very nice shots!  Kate has a great eye for photography, I’ve included several of hers here.

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Time Stumbles On

This year’s “Corydon’s Unsavory Past” has come and gone for another year – I got to be the “Divorcin’ Judge”, as I mentioned last time.  It was a lot of fun and I got to renew some friendships from the performance last year.  Kate was not able to participate – her work schedule turned out to be inflexible for that time period.  Anyway, she got to buy a ticket and go the rounds with one of the tour groups, so she was able to see what I was up to, “Unsavory Past”-wise.  She told me about some of the other ‘stations’ along the tour route, each location had its own group of players who put on a skit about Corydon’s past.  Come see next October, ok?  You’ll like it!

I made mention of our upcoming trip to Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg – well, we leave tomorrow for that.  It’s supposed to be about a 5-6 hour drive, but with this wet blustery cold front coming through it could take a little longer.  We don’t really know what to expect, but we’ll take it all in.  We’re traveling with Kate’s brother Alan and his wife Janice.  I think we’ll have a great time – we’re going to be sharing a 2-bedroom cabin near Gatlinburg.

Kate getting ready for our trip. She reminds me of *somebody*!

Kate wants to go to Dollywood – I’ve heard of it, that’s all I know about it.  I suppose we’ll be forced to consume some festival food, maybe stroll through some curio shops and possibly see some local folks continuing the mountain craft tradition.  I’m thinking it might be like Silver Dollar City at Branson, MO.  I’ll let ya know.

And, we are adding one more to our household.  One of Kate’s co-workers at Jewish Hospital rescued an abandoned German shepherd puppy and (long story short) we’ll be taking possession of the little fellow after we return from our trip.  They named the little guy Bear, but I wanted to go with something a little more ‘Teutonic’, so I chose “Klaus” as his name.  Sounds kinda ferocious, doesn’t it?  Might have to get him a helmet and a Luger.  Kate says, “It’s going to be YOUR dog!”  I’m not that much of a dog person, as I’ve mentioned before, but I’m looking forward to bringing him home.  Yes, I know all the downsides of raising a puppy, but we’ll get past it all somehow.  He is currently staying with a veterinary tech until we can pick him up, probably on Monday.  The tech, Patty, said that the little guy is doing ok, already has his shots, and is getting by pretty well in his crate, and is kinda almost housebroken.  She said he’ll go to the door when he needs to go out to take care of business, so that’s a great start.  I went out to the garage today and scared up some odds and ends to make him a crate – looks kinda primitive, but I’m thinking it’s WAY cheaper than running over to Petsmart, credit card in hand.  One potentially BIG problem – we already have a dog, as you know, and Millie (aka KD) really doesn’t work and play well with others, especially DOGS!  But, here’s the plan, Millie – “Like it or lump it!”  We’ll see how that goes.  Maybe Millie can put the scare into a puppy, but that puppy’s gonna be catching up in size REALLY FAST.

That’s about it for now.  I think all the family here are doing pretty well.  Kate’s mom Frances is hangin’ in there – it ain’t easy being 91, but she is carrying on with grace and vigor.   She’s frail (who wouldn’t be) but still sharp, as we all hope to be if we reach that age.  We average going to see her about once a week, oftentimes to take her to her Friday morning hair appointment and then maybe to Wal-Mart for her household needs.  I won a trip to the dentist today – one of those ‘eve of trip’ toothaches.  First thing they did was X-Ray my wallet to make sure I could afford the visit.  Anyway, I get to schedule a visit with an oral surgeon when we get back – apparently I have one too many teeth.  So, I’ll get my wallet lightened there and surrender a tooth.  At least it’s not a root canal, those really scare me – I’ve had some horror-story root canals in the past!  I won’t go into details.

So,  “Adios, Tostados!”  We’ll see ya next time, ok?