Friday, January 31, 2014

Date Night

Tonight we went out to dinner with Yeliz and Kaan, our friends  from Turkey. Yeliz works with Scott at TRW.  I enjoy spending time with my babe and tonight we did something we've never done before...visited two restaurants in one night. We drove to Bristol together and our first stop was Osaka, Japanese Fusion Cuisine for appetizers. Yeliz and Kaan were regulars here, knowing all the waiters and even had their own chopsticks on hold at the restaurant. The place was packed and it's easy to see why...their excellent sushi. We sampled Rainbow and Alaskan rolls and barbecue squid. It was delicious!  After our appetizers we headed to Mellow Mushroom for pizza where you build your own pizza. It was my first time at this restaurant and pizza doesn't get any better.  I would highly recommend both of these restaurants. Afterwards we went back to their apartment for some Turkish (Greek) coffee that Yeliz served in these cute little cups. If you've ever had Turkish coffee, you know there's mud at the bottom of the cups and I learned real quick not to drink the mud! We sure enjoyed our evening with our dear friends.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Winter Storm Leon

I heard we get our biggest storms when we least expect it and true enough, winter storm Leon hit us unawares. The forecast was for cold temps with the storm hitting the deep south along the coast.  The storm came further north than expected and was I excited!  Several times throughout the day I got my iPad out, taking pictures of the falling snow for the men and Emily in China. It's like a taste of home (Utah and New York) when it snows!!  This morning we woke up to a bitter cold zero degrees, blue sky and a blanket of white snow...biggest snow of the year so far. Schools were called off yesterday and today and most likely tomorrow as the high is only supposed to be 20 degrees. I bundled up and fed the elk first thing in the morning, walking around our farm and enjoying the beautiful snow.  I talked with Randy in Raleigh, and they got 4 inches of snow, while Ethan and Charles said Cookeville got none. We send our love. 

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Back Home on the Tractor

Scott got home from a work related trip to Indiana and before long, he hopped on his tractor, bush hogging our upper field. Our cows are temporarily next door in the neighbor's field. We got a call a couple weeks ago that our cows were walking down the road....yep, they got out. They walked right into Belle, our neighbor's field, as that fence was down too. Scott and Ethan fixed the neighbor's fence and then came back and fixed ours.   A week before that, Scott was trying to load our bull into the trailer and the bull jumped up on the gate, crushing it.  There are always repairs on a farm!  We still need to bring our cows home, but with the cold spells and Scott being out of town, Steve is kindly keeping them with his.

Back to TTU For Ethan

Christmas break is over and time for Ethan to head back to school. This semester he'll be living with Charles and while on his break, he made a bunk bed frame for their room. We bought him a mattress, perfect for the top bunk.  Ethan was ready to get back to school, see his friends and start classes. I had to work this day so Scott saw him off and took pictures for me.  We love you Ethan and are so proud of you. 

Monday, January 13, 2014

Cracking Hickory Nuts

"Grandpa" Little gave us several bags of his Hickory nuts while we were visiting this fall and they're now dried out and ready to eat. Cracking nuts is a great way to spend your evenings and it makes me smile as Scott is so much like his Dad, giving Scott his love for nuts. They both enjoy raising trees that grow nuts and Chuck has a variety on his property...Hickory, English and Black Walnut, Chestnut, and Pecan. The Littles gave us this antique nut cracker years ago and it works like a charm (Scott is demonstrating how to use it below.) The nuts have a light nutty flavor and not bitter at all. They're great in cookies, brownies or actually any dessert that calls for nuts, but they rarely make it to the recipes as we eat them along the way.  This is how Chuck spends his winter nights, cracking all those Hickory nuts, and we're talking over 20-30 gallons of nuts he collected this year.  I can picture him sitting at his kitchen table using the exact same nut cracker.... it's nice to carry on the Little tradition. We love you Dad! 

Monday, January 6, 2014

Polar Vortex

Schools have been cancelled today and tomorrow due to a polar vortex...don't you just love these new words the news comes up with. It rarely gets this cold in Tennessee and as I write, you can hear the wind howling in our chimney, bringing in the cold air mass from the north pole. Temperatures are dropping and tomorrow morning it will be zero degrees, feeling like minus 18 with the wind chill factor....burrrr.  The news said its the coldest in decades. The older schools in our district were built with no heat in the hallways, just in the classrooms, making our schools awfully cold in these temperatures. And I could just imagine our country kids waiting on those buses in the early morning hours, many of which do not have proper winter clothing. The safest and best place to be is warm inside their homes. We're all snuggled in our home, with vegetable soup on the stove, biscuits and a peach cobbler for dessert. I just checked outside and our back glass door is a sheet of's frigid out there! 

Sunday, January 5, 2014


It's amazing how much brush accumulates on a farm. We called ahead for our fire permit which is required for burning fires between October and May. I love a big bonfire and the heat felt so good in the middle of winter.  Scott and Ethan stayed out by the fire for several hours making sure it didn't spread to our nearby field.  A storm is on the way and tonight the rain will begin, turning into snow, bringing frigid temperatures for tomorrow. 

The Chicken Barn Roof is Complete

We're making progress on our chicken barn; over Christmas break Scott and Ethan completed the roof. Weather permitting, they worked on it each day, however, like most projects, it took a little longer than expected. I thought it turned out well.  Next up are the sides of the barn which Scott can work on during the next couple of months. Thank you Ethan for helping your dad...he  couldn't have done it without you! 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Tennessee Sunrise

I woke up early this morning to color streaming through our bedroom window....another beautiful sunrise. I quickly put on my robe, grabbed my camera and ran out to the barn for a picture, despite the cold, frosty morning. I was chuckling the whole time thinking about how I looked!  The picture still doesn't reflect the beauty of the sky in person and I took it on telephoto so it's kind of grainy.  Isn't God's splendor awesome!