Saturday, October 8, 2011

Pembroke Fall Heritage Festival

So this year we decided to check out our hometown festival. Sheri of course was checking out the competition on jewelry makers. Jeff was dreading the year she decides to start selling at these types of fairs and he has to set up and take down the tent and haul it all to the van. :)
Pembroke is a very small town in rural southwest Va and it was a small festival. But it was fun to scooter through and see who we knew.
They had vendors selling pumpkins and mums, tons of *stinky* candles (Jeff's description), two different jewelry makers (which Sheri promptly pointed out they were selling their crap waaaay overpriced), avon, various churches selling baked goods, handmade clothing for children, scarves in various "team colors", and homemade walking canes.
There was an antique car show also with quite a few entries.
They had horseshoe contests, dog show, arts & craft show, bingo, and rides in a real firetruck for kids.
Of course there was food! Hot dogs, greek food, pork skins, corndogs, bbq meats, snow cones, candied apples, kettle corn, and such.
This year the planners even sprung for a little "kiddies carnival" and had a few rides including a scrambler, ferris wheel, race car carousel, and some tilt-whirl thing that looked like it was guaranteed to help spew up all the junk food and hot dogs your kids just ate. ;)
It was really a hot day for October and it was obvious you would definitely need one of those pop-up tents over your spot if you were a seller. (Note to Jeff: don't forget this.) hehehe

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

I feel the Earth, move, under my feet....

I was on my lunch break yesterday and was sitting on my scooter next to Jeff, who was in the van. As we were eating and talking, we felt a weird rumble...I thought, "what's up with my scooter?" and then realized it was off. I looked up at Jeff who was looking at my hair trying to figure out why it was wasn't moving when the wind was strong enough to rock the van (or so he thought).

I sort of made a screwed-up face like '...what the -?' and his eyes said back to me: '...I dunno...' We sat there for a few minutes and finally said, "Was that an Earthquake?"

As I headed back into the building where I work, several people said, 'did you FEEL that?'

oh, yeah,....WE FELT THAT.

So apparently an Earthquake, measuring 5.9 on the Richter Scale had hit Mineral, VA, about 38 miles from Richmond, which is about 4 hours from us. Fortunately there was no damage anywhere unless you live near the epicenter.

Virginia's BIGGEST Earthquake was in Giles county, in 1897. It was especially strong at Pearisburg, where the walls of old brick houses were cracked and bricks were thrown from chimney tops. Springs were muddied and a few earth fissures appeared. Giles County was strongly shaken again on April 23, 1959. At Eggleston and Pembroke, several chimneys were damaged, plaster cracked, and pictures fell from walls (MM VI). A wide area (about 7,500 square kilometers) of southwestern Virginia felt the tremor; a few places in West Virginia also reported the shock.

Geologists say that most bedrock beneath southwestern Virginia and adjacent West Virginia was assembled as continents collided to form a supercontinent about 500-300 million years ago, raising the Appalachian Mountains. Although the seismic zone is laced with known faults, even today there are numerous smaller or deeply buried faults which remain undetected.

Well, isn't that comforting to find out since we live in that county. Giles does occasionally have little "tremors", but I didn't know about this bit of local history until yesterdays events.

Hmm...well, being on a scooter during an earthquake. Yep, that's a first for me. Hope it's the last too. ;)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Held hostage once again

On the night that Barack Obama was elected President, he was interviewed by Oprah Winfrey.

TV superstar and Barack Obama supporter Oprah Winfrey reacts to the news that Obama won his bid for President of the United States. She was at Chicago's Grant Park, where President-Elect Obama gave his victory speech on Election Night, November 4, 2008.
Jesse Jackson can be seen behind her on the right, and Oprah's long time companion Stedman Graham is behind her on the left.

She ask Mr. Obama a question along this lines of “Who are the people your administration is most likely to help?

His reply…..The Poor, The Homeless and the Disabled.

Help the Disabled! No social security raise for the next two years, in an attempt to balance the budget.

And today Fox News post a story on line…

Social Security Checks may be delayed if debt celling is not raised.

In a time when the disabled and older American's are being hit by rising cost of living, now is not the time to hold our checks hostage once again.

It’s time we send a clear message to Washington, DC, enough is enough…

it’s time we receive a fair cost of living increase that reflects the rising cost of Utilities, Medical Care, Food and Gasoline.

Lawmakers are considering changes to how Social Security is adjusted for inflation.

As part of the current deficit-reduction talks, White House officials and Congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle are advocating changes to the way inflation is calculated. The little-noticed proposal advocates measuring inflation with the "chained consumer price index," a metric that would likely make inflation look slower than the current measurement does. That would result in smaller Social Security increases for seniors, experts say. "Seniors cannot afford this," says Mary Johnson, a senior policy analyst at The Senior Citizens League, a non-profit seniors rights advocate. "This would negatively impact not just seniors, but also many families that end up helping out these seniors financially."

Some of you may be thinking….This does not effect me, I am not on Social Security and I don’t expect to be. I leave you with a bit of food for thought. One accident or debilitating disease, you would be unable to work for the rest of your lives.

So in closing I ask all abled bodied Americans to rise up and let your lawmakers know this kind of politics will not be acceptable to the American public, and if they should refuse to listen the the voting public now, rest assured you will hear our voices on election night.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Gatlinburg TN: 4th of July parade

It's the 3rd of July and it feels like July!! And we have staked out our places on the sidewalk around 11pm. Of course, we were late by everyone else's timetable...yep, they line up around 6pm to get a good seat up and down the main street of Gatlinburg. We decided we'd rather take a nap since we knew we'd be up until 2am. :) As you can see in the first picture, Jeff is ready and waiting for the parade & I'm right next to him (that's my basket on the left).

I'm not sure how the tradition started, but about 10 minutes before the parade begins at midnight, people start throwing their loose change into the streets and all the kids run out the grab what they can. Bet it's the only time the kids would dive for change and not dollar bills. ;)

I'm not really sure what this is, but the parade hasn't officially started and here's this Puppetone Rockers rolling down the street!

And let's not forget there's always these hawkers selling those sparkly lights and stuff for the kiddies.

The parade always starts with the local fire departments. Yes, that's a big dog character in the bucket up front.

Just in case you forgot what you were waiting for...after all, most of these folks have been here since 6pm.

The first in line, the military branches proudly at the beginning of the parade.

I don't remember seeing one of these type of floats last year. We were at a traffic light, so it was fun to watch them coordinate and get the floats under the lights.

Toys for Tots Float:

More Military:

Gatlinburg Inn float:

And of course, Cooters:

Gotta show the police car:

And "Boss Hogg" waving to the crowds:

OH, this one is our favorite. The economy has been bad,you know:

One of the "General Lee's" in the parade:

Every parade has to have a grand marshall & this year it's miss Daisy Duke:

Wow, she looks good for her age!

Ripley's Aquarium:

Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians with Miss Cherokee:

Lots of antique cars all decked out for the 4th of July:

Local radio station:

A local chapter of the Red Hat Society ladies:

Ober Gatlinburg:

Sweet Fanny Adams Theatre:

Food City float....awesome gigantic grocery cart!!

Haunted Mansion:

Ghostwalks through Gatlinburg:

Dolly Partons' Dixie Stampede:

Tennesee State Bank....yeah, we'd like to have that for a camper, stuffed full of money:

Christian float:

Lots of antique cars through out the parade:

Ole Smokey Tennessee Moonshine (Tennesee's first legal can get free samples in there stores OR buy some to take home):

Really, it's in Tennesee, didn't you expect to see some tractors?

White Water Rafting:

Knoxville zoo:

Soul of Shaolin Theatre:

Cool tiger float!


Tennesee River Old Iron:

Antique tractors AND a few John Deere:

LumberJack Feud (Pigeon Forge's newest dinner theatre):

Hatfields & McCoys dinner theatre in Pigeon Forge (where Black Bear jamboree used to be next to the Titantic):

Yes, you can buy your own fairytale carriage:

Grand Majestic Theatre:

Majestic Magic:

Majestic Soul of Motown:

Chocolate Monkey:

He's patriotic (woof, woof):

Another float that almost didn't make it under the traffic lights:

Santa store:

Well, we thought the parade seemed alot shorter than last year. We talked to a few others and they agreed. It was still good though and we got back to our motel by 1:15am...we just had to scooter up the street!