Okay so I am not a doctor, sue me! But this was the best Lucy picture I could find and it sort of fit since I am back blogging. There is a story on why I love Lucy in the psychiatrist booth. A long time ago my friend Maria once said that I reminded her of Lucy. This was because she would always come into my office and spill her guts. I would listen give her advice and she would leave a nickel on my desk every time she did. I made a lot of money. Actually a lot of people I know spill their guts to me. I even have strangers do it. I don't know if I have a kind face (no comments from the peanut gallery) or because I seem trustworthy. But it is sort of what happens. I have gotten used to it and I don't mind listening. But like Lucy I don't sugarcoat things and will tell them what I really think. Now sometimes people come back for more advice and other times I think they get mad and never spill again. More often than not, they come back for more. You know who you are and I want my nickels. :)
Anyway, enough of Lucy. I am glad to be back blogging because I will be gone again soon and only have a few days to make entries. We are going up to Pittsburgh to visit Tom's lifelong friend, Brendan. I have met Brendan once and he and his wife are super duper nice people. This year Tom and Brendan hit the big 50 so they wanted to sort of celebrate it together although Brendan's b-day in in July and Tom's in August. I am always up for a trip so I am happy to go. I have been to Pittsburgh, once, and it was okay. Of course, it was in November so it might not have been the best time to go but I am hoping that I get to see more of the city. So I will be MIA once again the end of the week.
These last few days were spent with Tom's mom visiting. She came in on Thursday and if you read my blog you know where we went to eat. Yes, El Pacifico. We love our Mexican food! I think all guests get taken to El Pacifico whether they like it or not. So keep that in mind if you ever visit.
On Friday we took a drive around town and, of course, that took all of 10 minutes. Then we went to eat in Waynesville. We ate a a little diner called Clyde's that is always jammed pack full of people. We figured if so many people go there, it must be good. Right? We were underwhelmed. After eating the fried chicken and mashed potatoes etc., I realized that I am a better cook and my hurricane fried chicken is so much better than what they were serving. It was fine but we won't go back again. Then we drove over to Lake Junaluska. It's this Methodist community (no I am not finding religion although I would so live there) close to Waynesville. It was lovely. They have a lake and it's a whole community based around their religion. They have cabins to rent and a convention center and mainly anyone can go for spiritual enrichment. It was actually quite cool. We had never been so it was a good place to go.
Our next stop was Maggie Valley. We have been wanting to go there because we had no idea what it was and people always talk about Maggie Valley. It was like Pigeon Forge, TN or Kissimmee, FL in that it is sort of just a place for tourists to hang out. I think the main attraction is the Great Smoky Mountains so there are tons of motels, hotels, mini golf and restaurants. It is wicked small but has cute shops and I would love to go back though because it looked like a nice place to spend a day and we love mini golf!! Next stop Cherokee. The main thing about Cherokee is that there is a Harrah's casino there. They have other stuff but that's the biggie. We had been to Cherokee before. Yes, we did go to the casino. Many people know we love to gamble! But we didn't like the casino and I think that is a good thing!! Then we came home, napped and then went out to dinner at the Spring Street Cafe. We went there with my mom and sister. They have such great food.
The next day Tom and his mom went hiking! I didn't go because I HATE hiking. They also went over towards an area where there is another lake: Glenville. Then you have two other towns called Cashiers and Highlands. This area is really pretty and this is where the rich people have their second homes etc. It's very pretty. Them going off gave me a chance to get on the Wii who scolded me for gaining weight and not checking in. Whatever Wii! But I did run for 30 minutes because I was watching Michael Jackson videos on Fuse TV and the time went by fast. I had forgotten how much I liked Michael's music especially his older stuff. Listening and watching those old videos brought back a flood of memories from over 20 years ago. I always felt that 1984 was such a great year for music and he was one of the best at pop music. Once he got really weird, his music changed and I stopped being a fan. But he was a musical genius. It's tragic because he was so talented but oh so f*&ked up. It always makes me wonder what the hell happened to him when he was little to make him the way he became. Maybe one day we will find out but then again I think do we really want to know because it can't be good.
On Saturday night we went out to dinner to a local pizza joint, Speedy's. The pizza was good and we had been wanting to try it for a while. Sunday found us eating lunch at the Balsam Inn. Funny story about the Balsam Inn. A few months before Tom even knew he was going to interview here in Western North Carolina, I got a postcard from The Balsam Inn in the mail. I have no idea why but I probably had signed up for something. It looked really lovely so Tom said let's keep that in case we are ever in that part of the country and we want to go. So I took it and tacked it up on the refrigerator. A few weeks later he was called for the interview. The night he arrived the selection committee members took him to eat at the Balsam Inn. When he got home from interviewing and was telling me about the interview and the area he mentioned that he ate at the Balsam Inn and I said WTH? this Balsam Inn and grabbed the postcard off the frig. And that was it. Coincidence? Maybe, maybe not but it was freaky that we had kept that postcard. Anyway, it is a lovely Inn with a great view. It is huge. I finally had shrimp & grits. Believe it or not, I had never ever had shrimp & grits before. And me being such a good Southern girl. LOL It was good but it was sort of a gourmet version of the dish and I think I need to go find some real down home version of Shrimp & grits to really know if I like it or not. But the food was good and the Inn is so cool.
Tom's mom left today. She is driving all the way back to Cleveland. I remember we did that trip in one day when we went up for Thanksgiving last year. On the way back though, Tom drove the whole way because I had thrown out my back and was doped up on muscle relaxants and vicodin. Woo-Hoo! It wasn't fun although the drugs did work. I suspect that on our drive to Pittsburgh, I will have to drive. I used to love driving but in all my years with Tom, he drives the first leg of the trips. I usually have to drive late afternoon when he is tired but I am also tired. Luckily, I pop in some Doors music and I am good to go. But lately because I never drive in traffic anymore, I hate driving into cities and what not.
Today is my catching up day. I am blogging and wrapping up some of my giveaways. I have been weeding all weekend so I have the usual to do. I am getting tons of squash and cucumbers. Today I am going to make some curried squash soup to freeze and a tomato cucumber salad with some fresh lettuce as well. I already have baby tomatoes!!! I hate to leave my garden even for a day but we have Melody coming to take care of the cats and the garden. The tomatoes will probably be ripe in about 2 weeks or so. It is all so exciting. I went out this morning and have tons more squash but I can't pick them until late afternoon when the bees go away. I hate freaking bees. I know, I know they are good for the garden but I hate flying insects period. And let me tell you that there are 5,000 of them out there.
I also have to go get back on the Wii because we have eaten out so much these past few days and it kills the diet. It's amazing how we gain weight when we eat out. We are in need of a home cooked meal.
Chocolate Kissed Strawberry Dessert Cups
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