Trip to the Lake

The weather was gorgeous last weekend, sunny with the temperature in the sixties.  Though it’s not Lake Michigan by any stretch, we decided to head over to the lake, or rather, the J. Percy Priest Reservoir

Hannah Chasing Waves

I bet I can catch that wave!

Originally named the Stewarts Ferry Reservoir, construction of the project began in 1963.  The name was changed to J. Percy Priest in honor of Tennessee Congressman James Percy Priest in 1958.  The project was completed in 1968 and was dedicated by President Lyndon Johnson on June 29th.  The dam was built to reduce the amount of flooding in the Cumberland Valley. 

Percy Priest Dam

Constructed from earth, rock, and concrete, it rises one-hundred and thirty feet above the stream bed.  The lake covers over fourteen thousand square feet, has two-hundred sixty-five miles of shoreline, and has a watershed area of eight-hundred ninety-two square miles.  The maximum capacity is six-hundred fifty-two acre feet of water, but typically contains three-hundred ninety-two thousand acre feet of water. The hydroelectric power plant there generates twenty-eight megawatts of power.

Hannah at Percy Priest Lake

Wow, 28 MW of power!

Five million visitors come to the lake each year to camp, fish, boat, canoe, swim, ski, hike, and ride horses.  The construction of the dam caused the decimation of the last known population of the freshwater mussel Epioblasma lenior, which is now extinct.  Sorry I can’t share a picture . . . 

And for those of you have been following the kitchen saga, this is what I came home to today.  Maybe tomorrow I’ll have a functional kitchen again!

Drywall is Done

Weekend Guest

This weekend we have a special guest – my house mate’s beautiful daughter Kayli! 


Kayli’s a student at Southeastern University in Lakeland, Florida and she’s here for the weekend.  On Monday she heads to Manhattan to visit her friend Katherine

Southern Thrift

Since she’s just here for a couple of days we did some really fun stuff, like go to Southern Thrift and Opry Mills Mall.  Okay, Southern Thrift wasn’t on her list of places to go, that was all my idea.  There are a couple of things that I’m looking for that can best be found at a thrift store.  Then, despite the trauma of trying on clothes, I did find some badly needed jeans at the GAP, which has a B+ rating in my Better World Shopping Guide.  As an added bonus, the jeans were on sale and I got to use a gift card I got from my oldest son’s family for Christmas.  Score all the way around! If a person has to shop, that’s the way to do it!  Once my purchases were in hand, we picked up my house mate’s husband, who had been hanging out with Hannah (and avoiding shopping with us girls) and headed out to a couple of my favorite places in Nashville.

It’s very rare that I go out to eat, so when I do, I try to make sure it’s something fabulous.  Which is exactly what you find at The Pharmacy in East Nashville.  We had to sit in traffic on the highway for forty-five minutes and then wait another forty minutes once we got there but it was worth it.

The Pharmacy

Stroganoff Burger

Even though I was incredibly full after my stroganoff burger and sweet potato fries, we headed over to Jeni’s for some splendid ice cream.  Imagine my delight when one of their new limited edition flavors was candied ginger.  I had a scoop of that along with some dark chocolate peppermint.  Mmmmm. 

Jenis Splendid Ice Cream

After all that excitement, I’m pretty well spent.  This is why I rarely leave home on the weekend.  Even though it’s been a long time since I spent much time with a twenty year old, I learned some new stuff and have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed it.  Kayli will be back next weekend and I’m hoping she will teach me a few more new things.  I hope I can keep up!

Weekend Listening

It’s Friday night and I should be doing something really exciting, but I’m not.  After playing ball with Hannah after work, doing dishes, and cleaning up the kitchen, I’m pretty much ready to call it a day.  Even though I still really look forward to Friday and am typically in a great mood all day, it’s been a long time since I’ve wanted to go out and do anything on a Friday night. 

So what do I do when I spend so much time at home?  Lately I’ve been listening to two different podcasts.  The first is from The Minimalists, Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus.  Josh and Ryan take questions from postcards, posts on social media, and on their voicemail, and cover a variety of topics from decluttering to education to relationships.  What I enjoy about their show, aside from their humor, is that they help me to examine not just the stuff in my life, but every aspect of my life.  They’ve taught me to ask whether the things I own, the way I spend my time, and the people I have around me add value to my life.  When I look at life through that lens, I’m much more conscious about what I buy and bring into my home, what fills up my day, and whether the people in my life are healthy or toxic. 

The other is Budgets and Cents, by Cait Flanders of Blonde on a Budget and Carrie Smith at Careful Cents.  Cait started her blog after deciding to go on a year long shopping ban.  What’s pretty amazing is that on her one year anniversary, instead of going crazy and spending all kinds of money to make up for that year of deprivation, she decided to go another year.  The side benefit of all that ‘suffering’ is that she’s been able to freelance and be her own boss, travel to all kinds of places, and save a ton of money.  When I heard she was partnering with someone to do a podcast, I just had to check it out.  What I enjoy about Cait and Carrie’s podcast is that they are so honest – they are not afraid to talk about what made them change their lifestyle.

If you’re buried in snow, stuck inside because of rain, or need something to listen to while you’re outside taking a walk or a jog, I wholeheartedly recommend listening to both of these.

If you’re interested in the saga of my kitchen, this is what I came home to yesterday.

Drying Machine

It was really loud, but it did suck some of the water out of the room because there were a few inches in a bucket when I woke up.  It was gone when I came home tonight.  No word on when the hole in the ceiling might be fixed, but I’m sure it will happen soon.  Soon.