My friend Jane and her husband Hugh had reserved two rooms during the show and had asked me to join them along with a guest of my choice. She had told me about this when we were on our way to the airport soon after DJ's passing, so about 6 weeks ahead of time. I asked our friend Marilyn if she would like to go and share a room.
Off we went last Wednesday, arriving at the hotel about mid afternoon. I think it is about a 4 hour drive or so up there from here. We went out to eat at the Wood Grill Buffet that evening and then to a show at the Comedy Barn. Jane and Hugh had been before but they change the show up and there was a new animal act with cats! How in the world Tony and Alena were able to train housecats, nine of them, to do little tricks is beyond me when mine hardly comes when called! LOL They also had trained macaws that night and of course, music, comedy and other acts often bringing in folks from the audience to participate. I swear, when I hear the Willie Nelson-Julio Iglesias song "To All The Girls I Loved Before" duet I am going to visualize the fellow sitting right ahead of us hamming it up in the ventriloquist act. with that set of braids and some sort of mask.
Thursday we did the quilt show which had free admission---that is almost unheard of but I guess that is because it is hosted by the city (or department of tourism) more than an guild?? There were two area guilds hosting it but that was as white glove ladies, raffle table, etc. The frames and drapes looked like a professionally hung show so I don't know that they had to recruit as many husbands and ladders as say, Friendship Quilters did recently. The event was held in the LeConte Center which was a gorgeous venue for this. Spacious room which allowed for groupings of the different categories. The quilts showed well against the black draping material too. Plenty of room to get pictures and not be banging into someone's purse, totebag or stroller at every turn. There were also areas with small tables for people to sit and rest or in our case, the husband to wait for us! I did take a bunch of pictures and will share some of them with you, just not right now.
The vendors were off in the room adjacent to the show, partitioned off by draping material. A little more crowded in the booths as you might expect. I found a few goodies, LOL. Mostly stuff that I thought I might use in my niece's baby quilt(s) as I plan on a small wallhanging to decorate the nursing and of course, something for Baby R to drag around too. A few quilt toys from Deb Tucker. Also Becky Boline was there with 5 yard quilt packets and other goodies, Quilts from Indian Creek. Someone from home in Illinois and my old HAAQG days. Seemed funny to be standing in Pigeon Forge, TN overhearing the husband talking about Central Catholic in Bloomington, IL! I think Hands All Around's Quilt show is coming up this weekend or soon anyway as it used to be in early April every year. Maybe pictures, but later.
After we had poked around the show all we wanted it was off to lunch at the Happy Days Diner and then on to Gatlinburg for some sight seeing, a bit of shopping (All Sauced up and bulk candy store-- banana caramel Laffy Taffy from Beich's and Bloomington! ). Once back at the hotel I pulled out my stitchery project (the hop is approaching after all) and sat out our room's balcony which overlooked the creek. We were up on the 5th (the top) floor so I didn't get too close to the edge but it was pleasant enough outside to watch the birds and listen to the water rolling nearby. Later we went off for supper and the Smoky Mountain Opry show. Not just country music either---Broadway tunes, jugglers, dancers, Rolling in the Deep, patriotic ending, Lion King, acrobats, lasers, pyrotechnics. You name it. Quite entertaining and a wonderful way to cap off the evening.
We left Friday morning to head home but by way of Maryville, TN on the way to Chattanooga. One of our Belles had moved up that way and recommended Pappy's Quilt Place. It is housed in what used to be a service station or gas station/quick shop building as the pump canopy is still in place but I believe that had to have extended the building some as the back big room looked like an addition to the building. Wonderful shop so thanks Linda C for the recommendation. A few cuts of fabric that will go in my Farmer's Wife Sampler came home with me and a pattern or two. Maybe pictures, but later.
Unfortunately, I had woke up that day with a horrid headache. I've never had a migraine but my whole head just hurt. I occasionally get an inner ear/balance issue. I don't think that was a factor but I started getting a bit sick to my stomach and the headache was not going away. The travel sickness med was not helping and I told Jane we might need to switch places in the car at our next stop. We stopped for lunch in Ft. Payne, about 90 minutes from home and well, no need to get graphic.
It is 5 days later and I still don't feel all that great. I don't know if I had an intestinal flu virus or a touch of food poisoning but I have heard that Marilyn and Roger are down with something similar now. Stomach queasy, no appetite and just exhausted. I missed Belles yesterday and just the absolute minimum of stuff has been happening around here. I did ask Robert my neighbor to help me pick up my computer desk I had ordered on Saturday. I put it together on Sunday but left it laying on the floor. Over the years I have put together plenty of pre-fab furniture so I didn't even think twice about doing this desk thing. All those years of me and the boys playing with Dad's old erector set taught me a lot about construction. If it has good diagrams and all the parts are there, I'll get it done if it takes all day.........and it did.
Monday after their son got off work, Robbie and Robert came over and swapped out the office desk, moving it to the master bedroom where I wanted it. Tuesday, since I knew I was not going to inflict my uncooperative g.i. tract on my buddies, I had this mess of wires to deal with and get the desktop back up and running.
I had already moved the file cabinets and their contents around in the past 2 weeks but I promised them that would be the last of the furniture moving around that they would be asked to do.
Still not completely done in this area as I need one of those mats so the chair will roll. Some day I need to find a new home for his golf clubs too but I hope his friend Herb will be able to help out with all the golf equipment stuff-- all the golf balls in the shed, the extra clubs etc. Tracy and Joshua have their own and they won't want their dad's/grandpa's. The little charging station has to stay somewhere in the room too.
The closet? Well, I have worked all the way AROUND his clothing and emptied things out but still not quite ready to deal with the things on the hangers. Yesterday I was sorting through the last box I spotted on the closet floor. It was full of greeting cards, most of which were the ones I had given him over the last 35 years. Some were from friends and family, some were cards from his father and sister, both gone in the early 90's. I did not read the ones from me, just looked for the signature or I really would have been a wreck. Instead, I boxed them up for "some day. " I do have some other things to send on to Tracy so it needed to be gone through. Oh, how I miss my sweet man and his sentimental heart. I don't want that room to be a shrine to him but I do not want to wipe every trace of him from this house either. A few things are switched up.
I hate that mess of wires but what the heck are you supposed to do with all of that mess anyway? The keyboard and mouse are hidden but this stuff sure isn't. I am replacing the little footstool that sat under the desk so it might disguise it a bit when it arrives.
I want to find some dividers for that small desk drawer and another waste basket. (The file box is going away as I won't need it with two file cabinets). It looks tidy on top anyway! I also have about another foot or so of floor space and in a room that is only 10 foot 4 inches square, it helps.
It was good to get away from all this for a few days anyway---away from the the estate tasks, my "to do" lists. I appreciate my friends asking me to come along and the time we spent together on the trip. Just too bad it didn't end a little better, LOL. Oddest thing though. When I was down and trying to rest on Friday and Saturday it is amazing how much the phone was ringing. Quiet as quiet could be for weeks and then boom! It was like I was sending out a vibe that I was not feeling well or something---8 different calls over two days. I don't know what today will bring but I have to start thinking about filing income taxes for the first time in I don't remember when---97 or 98 maybe?--and filing some of that stuff in two baskets, not one. Let's start there. Baby steps, Linda, baby steps.