Aloha, Nashville!

I’m off to Nashville in a couple days, for a weekend of fun and relaxation with my guy.  I’m compiling a list of “To Do’s,” or rather “To Go-to’s” or maybe “To-EATS,” and have started with this:

“Window” shopping at Two Old Hippies!  LOVE this place.  They have the BEST selection of fabulous clothing, jewelry, art, guitars, funny and eclectic books, etc.  If this sounds like a strange combination, trust me – it IS, on paper.  But when you walk into this place, it just WORKS.  And to top it off, they also have a stage in the place, with ongoing entertainment and open mic sessions for the seriously talented musical people who happen to pass through Nashville.  Anyway, I feel some good Christmas shopping coming on.

Rolf & Daughters is a new restaurant that just opened – they are “buzzing” about it HERE.  Has anyone out there tried it yet?

Since the weather looks like it will cooperate, it isn’t a complete visit to Nashville without a walk through Warner Park.  The paths through the park are lined with amazing – and very OLD – stone walls from the Civil War era, I find myself wishing they could talk and share stories from lives and experiences past.

A visit to Pucketts Restaurant and Grocery for (more!) great music, and of course for the fabulous Shrimp and Grits is definitely on the agenda!

Do we have our Sunday breakfast at The Pancake Pantry, or make the drive out to Loveless Cafe?  Either will involve a long wait, since they are both legendary for the amazing food that the South is known for.

What else needs to be on the list??  Do share!  I’ll be updating, and also checking for your suggestions!

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Start HERE.

“Start where you are….”

My friend Michelle Latimer posted this as her facebook status, and it really hit home with me.  As we enter into the week of Thanksgiving, I found myself this morning feeling overwhelmed, and honestly, a bit grouchy because I was pulled in several directions at once (I know, can you IMAGINE??).  You know, kids home for the holiday (need I say more?); me, making sure the menus and food are planned and purchased perfectly so I can go into the Day of the Steaming Pans “stress free” (Yeah, riiiiiggght), and – oh – dogs barking wildly AT the kids while my husband (who works from home when he isn’t traveling) is invariably on a conference call, and needs the house to be quiet.  GAAAHHHH!!!  And, it’s only Monday.

But Michelle’s words, Start Where You Are, resonated with me.

I googled it, and discovered it’s a book; well actually, a few different authors have written books by this title.  Wise and inspiring words, for sure.  But the one I went to was by Pema Chodron, “Start Where You Are:  A Guide to Compassionate Living.”  

It’s on my To Read List now.

I’m reminded by these words that I’m just doing the best that I can, each day.  Those who I come in contact with, whether family, friends, total strangers, are just doing the best that THEY can.  But I’m inspired by these words:  “embracing rather than denying the painful aspects of our lives.”  Hey, let’s CELEBRATE them!  Be thankful, and learn.

Thanks, @jigtvlady.  I needed to see that today!

Day of the Steaming Pans

Thanksgiving oven

One of my favorite Thanksgiving traditions is The Day of the Steaming Pans.

“Excuse me??”

Yep, Day of the Steaming Pans.

I grew up in a small town in Montana.  Every Thanksgiving, my grandparents would come to the Wild Wild West from “Back East” to visit, and spend Thanksgiving with us.  As if it weren’t exciting enough to have them come to stay, we would then have literally DAYS of preparation leading up to Thanksgiving.

I mean DAYS.

In my family, the day before – Wednesday – is known to this day as The Day of the Steaming Pans.  Our preparation would be at a crescendo on this particular day.  My grandmother and my mom would be up early, cooking, cutting, preparing, flying around the kitchen.  On every burner of the stove, there would be a pot steaming…. Full of boiling potatoes.  Creamed onions.  Green Beans.  Yams.  And on and on, all day….one pot would come off, another would go on.  I loved watching them, laughing, talking, tasting, and occasionally we’d get to try something.  Mmm, and the delicious smells coming from the kitchen were enough to make your tummy growl….

I’m busy this week planning and preparing for my Day of the Steaming Pans.  I wonder if this were a national holiday, if the stores would be closed??

What are your favorite memories of Thanksgiving?