Today is National Pizza Day! We have been training for this our whole lives! Or maybe not training but eating pizza on the reg.
In honor of this special day we tried out Longhollow Pizza and Pub in Goodlettsville. I’m not sure what we were expecting but it was much bigger than we anticipated and much brighter. For some reason I figured it would be dark and greasy.
It was a little busy but our server got our drinks pretty quickly and left us to mull over the menu. There are many items on the menu that looked enticing but we decided to stick with pizza since that was the whole reason we were there. Next time we may check out sandwiches, wings, or calzone type sandwiches.
We started with a spinach bomb. It came out and actually looked kind of terrible. It was like a weird colored hockey puck However, we cut into it and the spinach, cheesy goodness exploded out and it was quite tasty. Next up was our pizzas. I do not like red sauce because it kills my stomach so my daughter and I got “Pretty Fly for a White Pie”. Chicken, white sauce, tomatoes, garlic, and a delicious crust. My hubs and son ordered a cheese pizza with several toppings. Both pizzas had plenty of toppings and tasted great. We finished our meal with a funnel cake. I have to say, that was not the highlight of the meal. It was a bit too dense for our liking. I guess we will have to try the cannoli next time.
I hope you got the chance to eat pizza today but if not I am sure you can make it up sometime this week.
One of my very favorite waffles in America was at a hotel in Texas. It was shaped like….you guessed it! Texas! I like waffles but my husband LOVES waffles. I heard the other day the the popular food truck 615_Waffles was opening a brick and mortar store tonight. My husband and son had been to the food truck before so we thought it would be worth a trip to the shop. As luck would have it we were the very first customers for their opening night!
We got to East Nashville about 3:30 so we had a little time to wander around and see what shops had opened and closed since the last time we were out there. We found a little tea and coffee shop called International Tea and Coffee Company. All of the tea is loose in jars, you choose what you want, take it to the counter, and they weigh it out for you. My daughter chose a tea and got an ounce to bring home.
The first thing you will notice when you walk in the door is the glorious scent of fresh baked waffles. You can choose from a regular liege waffle, churro waffle, bubble waffle, or vegan/gluten free waffles. You can choose your ice cream (supplied by the Pied Piper Creamery) and then choose your toppings. Or you can choose from their suggested menu. My husband and I both chose the Waffle Boss but I asked for no extra peanuts and substituted M n M’s instead. My son chose S’mores, and my daughter chose The Birds and the Bees (this is lavender and honey ice cream with fresh berries). When asked what the Birds and Bees meant my son said….uh birds and bees? It might be time for a little conversation.
While we were devouring our delicious ice cream topped waffles we had the opportunity to talk to Aisha, the owner of 615 Waffles and her business partner from FlyBoys (another popular food truck). They make everything in house and are hoping to try and get a vegan oreo icecream in the near future.
If you get a chance to get over to East Nashville 615 Waffles is located at 1100 Fatherland St St 102. You won’t be sorry. Plus they have a super cute Instagram worthy spot with waffle print pillows!
My son has been in public school since PreK. He has done a great job in school even though he has had to work twice as hard as other kids because he has some learning challenges. He is sweet, kind, generous, and his teachers have all told us that they love him. He also has a rare disorder called Agenesis of the Corpus Callosum. It’s a mouthful and he knows all about it. He even did a powerpoint with one of his teachers in seventh grade to share with his peers. If you didn’t know that he had a rare condition you might think he is on the autism spectrum but he is not. He does get very excited about certain things, he tends to get along really well with younger kids, and has a speech delay. I have been asked before what kind of accent he has. Over the years he has had fantastic teachers. You may be asking yourself why we chose to homeschool this year since it sounds like he has had such a great experience up to this point. Well, I will tell you.
Over the last several years I have been a substitute teacher at the elementary and middle school levels. I have gotten to bear witness to how schools have changed since I was in high school. There are wonderful teachers in our districts and there are many, many wonderful kids in our district but it only takes one bad apple to ruin the bunch. Unfortunately for our teachers this means they spend so much time having to discipline “that one kid” that the 26-30 other kids in the class miss out on instruction time. I have a child with an Individualized Education Plan (IEP). He needs the extra help. Since out district is pretty much one hundred percent inclusion that means that the kids that have IEP’s for emotional disturbance and other diagnosis for harmful behaviors are included in all classes. In the last few years In School Suspension was taken away so even if a kid is sent to the office for “restorative discipline” they are back in class ten minutes later with a sucker and pat on the head. I have seen a kid body slam another kid, go to the office, and come back in ten minutes. The victim then has to continue sharing space with the attacker.
When the time came to start thinking about where my son would go to school I started subbing at the high school level so I could see things from the inside. You can go to all of the open houses you want but you don’t really see the school from the inside. I went to our zoned school for two days. Kids were vaping in the halls, I walked through a group of kids making plans to beat someone up later, and saw a kid screaming in a teacher’s face. I went to an artsy magnet school, when I told the office who I was subbing for they laughed in my face and gave me directions to the Dean’s office. I went to an early college high school which was pretty good but you have to meet certain test requirements. I went to a school that had internships that I thought would be amazing but they wouldn’t let the freshmen in the hallway with the sophomores because there were too many fights in the halls. Honestly, if my son was going to be in honors classes I probably would have let him go to our zoned school. The classes are smaller and there are fewer behavior problems. But, he has an IEP so he is in inclusion classes with the general population which means he misses out on actual learning time. I should point out that my daughter goes to public school but it is a magnet school with test requirements so it is hard but she is thriving there.
When homeschooling started to become more of an option I was terrified. I want the very best for my kids like every other parent. For him, this is the best option at the moment. He gets the extra time and attention he needs to up his skills. He gets to spend time with other kids at tutorial.
For our homeschooling we have an Umbrella School that takes care of maintaining his transcript and he goes to tutorial for Science, Spanish, and Band. At home we do History, English, PE, Bible, and Algebra 1. First semester went pretty well. All A’s and B’s. We are changing a few things up for second semester and I hope they are helpful for him. I realize everyone does not have the option to homeschool and I am thankful that we get to be on this path!
We live in a neighborhood that is often referred to as Mayberry. We have lived in this neighborhood for quite some time and have pretty great neighbors. I can jump on the group page and ask if someone has a roasting pan and someone will come through. We have had the same neighbors to the left of us the entire time we have lived here. These neighbors have always been good and kind to us. They also love animals. They rescue dogs and make sure the dogs are well loved. Often our dog will run up and down the fence line with one of their dogs. Most of the time it seems like they like each other and are playing.
Yesterday their newest dog had Houdini’d himself into our back yard. My neighbor was actually already out shoring up the spot but I didn’t know their dog was in our yard when I let our dog out. I came out to horrible barking and crying and broke the dogs up. On first inspection everything seemed fine so I took our girl in the house to settle down. That is when I discovered she was bleeding…at four on a Sunday… Since we have never had to take our animals to the emergency vet clinic I wasn’t sure where to go. I went and found my neighbor and let him know that our pup was bleeding and asked if he had suggestions about where I should take her. My neighbors did the same google search I did and then handed me their debit card. I just about cried. Like I said we have been neighbors for a long time. They were as worried for our dog as we were.
My daughter and I loaded our old lady into the car and took off for the emergency clinic. Quite a few cars filled the lot when we got there so I figured we were in for a bit of a wait. We arrived at five and left and 1:15. Everyone in the waiting room was quite friendly and wanted to talk about what was going on with their pets. Several others dogs were brought in with more emergent cases than ours. Apparently open wounds are priority two. The vet had to sedate our dog so she could find all of the wounds because being fluffy makes finding wounds more difficult. Before the sedation she asked if we wanted them to do CPR if our dog’s heart stopped. uh…. My daughter and I have been watching a lot of Grey’s Anatomy so she realized I was basically being asked about a DNR. The vet was very good at giving us information on how expensive it was to do CPR but also that it only works in 3-5% of dogs and if they are as old as our dog they do not go home well. So I said no. My daughter held it together until the vet left the room and then let her tears take over.
My daughter was reassured when we could hear our dog in the back being a very unwilling participant in her care. We did recommend a muzzle because she is 75 pounds and has puncture wounds. After they finally got her sedated we were able to watch an episode of Grey’s Anatomy and an episode of Boy meets World before they came back to tell us they were trying to wake her up.
Our pup finally woke up enough that the vet was able to get her in the car but she was still groggy. We were able to get her out of the car when we got home but her back legs seemed to not be working so when we got to our front steps she just sat down and wouldn’t go any further. After pushing, pulling, getting treats, and cajoling I had to get my poor hubs out of the bed to help. He has been feeling terrible the last few days so I felt awful about getting him up but my daughter and I could not get her in the house. If it was summer I would be tempted to leave her out in the backyard. But it is not so we had to get her in. My hubs managed to make a sling out of our heavy duty picnic blanket and carry her into the house all the way to her bed. It took a good 30 minutes to actually get her in the house.
Now we are dealing with medicine. This is the dog that over the years has accumulated an impressive history of things she has stolen and eaten. She loves peanut butter (xylitol free of course) so I put her medicine on a spoon with peanut butter but she will not touch it. She is still very groggy but my hubs said that when he came down this morning she got up and went to the door to go do her business. So she can get up it just might be later today before I can get meds into her.
Back to neighbors. If you don’t know your neighbors go meet them today. Plan an event, go to coffee, take treats. This could have gone a very different way yesterday and I am thankful we have wonderful neighbors and that know us and love our animals and kids as much as we do.
Each year I have been challenging myself to read more books. A few years ago it was 50. Last year it was 100. I beat last year’s goal by 3 books! I read a combination of the PopSugar list, Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine book club, and the books for my neighborhood library book club. This year I will likely do the same but have added the free reading list from Modern Mrs. Darcy. I think often of writing my own book but with so many on the market to read I get overwhelmed wondering if anyone would take a second glance at a book by me. I know, stop with the excuses already! What is on your list to read this year? I would love to hear your recommendations! Without further ado, here is my list from 2019. May you find some inspiration for your reading goals.
Good morning and welcome to 2020!! I hope you had time to reflect on 2019 and what you want out of this new year. Like everyone else 2019 was full of ups and downs but compared to 2017 and 2018 I feel like there were more ups than downs for sure.
Last night we rang in the new year a little bit differently and then exactly the same. You might have heard of a tiny little show called Hamilton? Well, the show finally danced and sang its way to Nashville and last night was opening night. The tickets were not cheap but I am appreciative of the way TPAC handled them. You had to go pick your tickets up at the box office or get them on the app. If you got them on the app they were not available until 90 minutes before the show and forwarding was not available. They also had warnings on the website that said that tickets from 3rd parties were likely fakes. I don’t know about you but I am pretty tired of legalized scalpers buying up all of the tickets for everything and marking the prices up.
Anyway, we got downtown about 5:30 partially because we didn’t know if the tickets would show up on the app so we were going to head to Will Call and also because we wanted to find parking and knew that there were a bunch of road closures. Lucky for us the tickets showed up and none of the road closures were near where we wanted to be. Of course all of the meters that are free after six were blocked off for the Music City Eve party in Bicentennial Mall. On our way to TPAC we discovered Caesars Pizzeria (No, not Little Caesars). It was right on our way to the show so we stopped in and picked up a pizza. They seemed to be a bit short staffed but once our order was taken our Italian pizza and cheesy breadsticks made it to our table fairly quickly. I think we would likely eat there again if the opportunity presented itself. They are pretty much open most of the night. After dinner we still had plenty of time to make the short walk to TPAC and take a bunch of pictures along the way.
TPAC was packed last night and it was the first time I have seen them use metal detectors and security at the door. I wonder if that was just a New Year’s Eve precaution or a “this is our biggest show of the season” precaution, or if it is a new protocol. Since you had to go to Will Call or use your app the lobbies, staircases, restrooms and every other space were all packed. It was hot but the crowd did a good job of staying calm and waiting for doors even with sweat trickling down their faces…and by their I mean me. We finally made it in to our seats in the loge and got settled with just a little time before Aaron Burr stepped to the front of the stage and began the show. We were entranced from the first moment of the show to the last.
One of our 2019 adventures was to start homeschooling our son for high school. He is taking a US History Class and the beauty of him getting to see Hamilton is that it counts as a field trip for him. He will be writing a paper about it as well partially because it falls right in line with some of the history he has learned over the last semester in his lessons. It feels like a good end to his first semester of homeschool.
Once the show was over were were able to pick up my daughter’s sweet friend so she could spend the night and another friend and her daughter made their way to our house to watch the Nashville Note drop. These are best friends that have been joining us for several years to ring in the new year. We have a few fireworks leftover from 4th of July but ended up not using them due to the amount of fireworks and (if you believe the neighborhood watch page) gun shots already being set off in the neighborhood. After the ball dropped the kids asked if we could watch a couple of episodes of Friends since it was slated to be removed from Netflix at three am. We made sure to watch “The One with the Cake” in which Chandler and Monica tell Emma it is 2020 and they hope she is enjoying her nap. Um…Friends fans, and friends that have kids turning 18 this year…how are our children the same age as Ross and Rachel’s daughter?
We wrapped up our night about two in the morning. The snacks were put away, friends went home, and we all crashed into our beds with dreams of what this year holds.
We get an extra day in February this year. An extra day to be awesome! We have a Presidential election this year which gives each and every one of us the opportunity to get out from behind our computer screens and talk to our neighbors with cool heads and calm demeanor. I’m not saying don’t be passionate about whoever you support but try to talk to and listen to each other without judgment. My daughter will be old enough to vote this year. I want to be an example of kindness, thoughtfulness, and love for others that she can follow. My son will be of driving age this year. Watch out world! We have a lot of change happening this year and I am excited to see what adventures that will bring! How about you? What kind of adventures do you see for yourself this year?
This morning I was downtown and the name Brightside Bakeshop popped into my head. After wracking my brain for a few minutes I remembered stepping into Barista Parlor in Germantown a couple of weeks ago for a Whiskey Caramel Latte and seeing towering brioche pastries. I consulted my trusty Google map and discovered I was not far from the bakery. It is just off of Porter Rd. in East Nashville. I will say if you want a Hipster village to hang out in, this is the place. It is like almost every business used the Hipster Name Generator to name their business. Examples: Hunter and June, Apple and Oak. It made me giggle to see there is even a giant mustache bike rack out front. I need to head back over to the area so I can check out all of the neat stores.
Lucky me, there was a parking spot right out front! The space is very small but the lady behind the counter was very welcoming and told me about the business. Andrea, the owner, was based at the Richland Farmers Market before opening at Porter East. You can tell she has had plenty of practice perfecting her pastries. Her bakery is a small batch bakery but will be opening a second location in the Nations in the future. The lovely girl with the yellow bandanna in her hair was enthusiastic and so excited about the possibility of a space where you could sit and see the baking magic happen.
Brightside Bakeshop has sweet and savory pastries with brioche and croissant dough. I picked up a Churro Croissant for my hubs, a Sunshine Roll for my son, and a Chai-Spiced Pear Tart for me.
The prices were around $3.50 – $5 per item. That actually seemed pretty reasonable to me based on the size of the pastries alone, not to mention the work that goes into making brioche and croissant dough.
I started this post right before Thanksgiving, had company, and have now run headlong into December. While my brother and sister in law were here they stopped at Barista Parlor and also sampled the pastries available there. They were as impressed as I was.
If you get a chance stop by and check out this gem! I know I will be visiting again in the near future!
For months my son has been asking to go on a mother/son date to the Melting Pot. The idea of getting to cook his own food on skewers in the middle of the table has been intriguing for quite sometime. My husband is not a fan because if you have ever been there you know how stinking expensive it is….and you have to cook your own food!! We had tickets to see the SpongeBob musical at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center (TPAC) so we made an entire night out of it.
Because we are surviving Nashville as it grows we made sure to leave with plenty of time to find parking before our 4:30 reservation and 7:30 show. Now, if I was smart I could have parked at the library and been done with it but I wanted cheaper! (Quick tip: If you park at the library during the day and go in and get your ticket validated your first hour and a half are free. In after 5pm and it is $15). We drove up and down the block near TPAC and saw a couple of open spots…with signs that said no parking starting the date we were there. We continued down to Commerce and saw a garage that said it was $28 unless we parked after 4. That lot was going to be $15 as well but it was not 4 yet so we continued down to a Premiere lot across from Panera. I checked the rate….$38. So, back in the car and we drove down the block and discovered a few non metered spots in front of a hotel. There was a no parking to the curb sign and we were behind that but on the other end there was a carriages only sign. I don’t believe the carriages run on Tuesdays so I thought we would be fine, and we probably would have been but what if we weren’t (there was a towing incident when we first moved here that still makes me uneasy)? So we drove a little further down Commerce to a meter. We fed enough coins to last until a little after five and headed down to 2nd and the Melting Pot.
Y’all…Nashville is hilly and I always forget that until I am walking (or running, I did a half marathon a few years ago and let’s just say uphill is not my friend). As our altitude decreased I knew our walk back to TPAC was going to take longer than our walk from the car.
Our dinner was spectacular, my date was charming, and we made it in plenty of time for our show with a stop off at the car to drop off an uneaten salad that my thoughtful son got for his sister to pack in her lunch the next day. I went into the SpongeBob Musical not really knowing what to expect. I knew there were songs by Panic! at the Disco, Steven Tyler, and They Might Be Giants. I had no doubt I would love the music. But, I have a confession…I don’t watch SpongeBob and neither do my kids. They get the memes because they are kids and understand that stuff but it has never been on our list of things to watch. Sure, I know who the characters are..I don’t live under a pineapple under the sea. But I don’t know the relationship of the characters to each other or if the characters in the play match up to the show. I will say my favorite act of the play was when Squidward sang “I’m Not a Loser”. When I went back to the playbill I realized the song was by They Might Be Giants, one of my favorite bands from high school. The staging, the lighting, the choreography for this particular song were outstanding. Unfortunately, a lot of people didn’t see it because many people left at intermission. Honestly, what is not to love? A tap dancing, clarinet playing squid performs with a sea anemone chorus line! Check out the Playbill first look below.
If you get a chance to come to Nashville and have the desire to see a show, TPAC is your place. The Tennessee State Museum used to be located in the basement at TPAC but now has its very own building next to the Nashville Farmers Market. Aside from our parking fiasco the evening was fantastic! Please come visit! We need more theater goers to balance out the pedal taverns! 😉 The more that balances out the easier to survive Nashville!
As an aside: The other day I read a book called Surviving Nashville by Stacy Barton. It had several short stories in it that were rather tragic. The writing was lovely and Ms. Barton is a vivid story teller. I initially picked this book up because of the title but there was only one story that referenced Nashville. That was okay though because the stories were compelling.
A still more glorious dawn awaitsCarl Sagan
Not a sunrise, but a galaxy rise
A morning filled with 400 billion suns
The rising of the Milky Way
Recently my dad decided to sell my daughter his faithful little blueberry of a car. Mom and dad are moving to Tennessee next year so they were thinking of things they could downsize and one of those was to become a one car family. At least for the time being. My daughter and I flew to Colorado for a very brief visit, to buy the car, and drive it back to Tennessee. My sister, Kim (The Adventures of Milling About) called to see if we would like to go try to take some pictures of the Milky Way. I am always up for that type of photography adventure so I packed my good camera and jumped on the plane. As luck would have it, my niece was home for the weekend so she and my daughter were able so spend some time writing together and freezing together while we looked at the stars.
A couple of years ago my family was at my grandparents farm in October for fall break in the middle of Michigan, kind of between the thumb and forefinger if you know what I mean. The area they lived in was surrounded by Amish farms and a lot of open space. Looking at the stars on the farm was a spectacular sight. One night we sat out and were amazed by all we could see until we saw something that kept glinting in one particular spot. It wasn’t the space station because that moves pretty quickly through orbit. I really like scary movies and story lines with aliens so we googled it then and discovered it was a Chinese satellite that had an erratic wobble just sitting there, rotating, and glinting in the light! No aliens. Side note: I just looked this up and apparently the satellite reentered the atmosphere April 2nd, 2018 over the South Pacific!
Anyway, back to our Colorado adventure. My sister picked us up at mom and dad’s and we headed out into the wilderness. I have been to Estes Park and have hiked in Rocky Mountain National Park. When I think of Colorado I think mountains. I don’t think tiny back roads and plains but that was where our destination led us. As we headed out there was cloud cover but we could still see the moon so we were hoping the clouds would blow over. Before we hit the back roads, where we knew there would be no restrooms, we stopped at a Maverick services station. You guys!! Their slogan is “Adventure’s First Stop”! I know people in Texas love their Buck-ee’s but we were enthralled….by a service station! It was a hiker’s dream with murals on the walls. My niece is an artist so she seriously thought about trying to go in the men’s room to see the murals in there as well. So many adventurer details! Just in case we didn’t get to see the actual Milky Way we did buy a Milky Way to ease any disappointment that might crop up.
We probably would have checked out the men’s room if we weren’t itching to get to our destination and set up our tripods. Back in the car we went and made our way to the Pawnee Buttes Trailhead. On our drive out we saw a few cars but it was late enough that people were likely settled in for the night. The girls spent a lot of the drive talking in thick southern accents and wondering if we were going to be harmed in the wilderness. There may have been banjo sounds. Hopefully our giggling didn’t annoy anyone too much.
We set up camp next to an old windmill and cow pond. Unfortunately for us the cloud cover did not go away so we tried to get as many fun shots as we could. Those included very dark shots of the windmill, attempts with a flashlight and remote to get shots of the four of us together, and some attempts at making us look ghostly..the last may have turned out the best.
It was really pitch black at the trailhead. We managed to walk through many cow patties without realizing it until we shone our flashlights around. I don’t get to spend much time with my sisters so this was a really fun trip to take with this one. Let me tell you, this sister of mine is as stubborn as all get out and when she gets an idea on her head she grabs on and doesn’t let go. I really admire her for that! She and my brother in law just sold their house and bought an RV to live in full time. Make sure you go check out her blog as well: The Adventures of Milling About.
While we were a tiny bit disappointed to not see the actual Milky Way, we did see the Milky Way we brought, along with a raccoon, about 7 rabbits, a porcupine, a pronghorn, and an owl. This just gives us the chance to try again the next time we are out there for a visit!
This one is for the locals or for those looking for a local place. The Calypso Cafe has 3 locations in Nashville. When we moved to Nashville 18 years ago this restaurant was based in Rivergate. That was the area where the mall was and quite a few restaurants. Eventually it closed and opened in other locations.
My daughter came to work with me today so she could earn some volunteer hours for National Honor Society. She helped out on an admin day for the non profit and she rocked it! Everything she worked makes life easier on the rest of us!
We got done about one and decided to grab something to eat. I had never been in to this location but my colleagues and I had ordered in so I knew it would be amazing! I had BBQ chicken with spiced sweet potatoes and Boija biscuits. My daughter had Jamaican curry with black beans and St. Lucian rice. She was given the option to include sour cream and onions on her black beans to which she said yes. After the first bite she made the observation that sour cream and onion chips actually taste like sour cream and onion. I guess it is not too often one actually eats sour cream with onions. Everything we had was fresh and delicious! So, if you are in town to visit and want to go to a place the locals go check out the Calypso Cafe!
Living in Each Moment and taking photos of it all
The wanderings and adventures of RVing, Photography, Art, Game Design and Biking of the Mills Family
FEATURING REVIEWS, NEWS & MORE BOOK RELATED CONTENT FOR BOOK NERDS
Musings of a Baby Boomer....
Cooking, Baking, Exploring new Foods.
Betsy's Kitchen Experiments and Other Food Adventures
connoisseur of fine cake
Living in Each Moment and taking photos of it all
Our Crazy Blessed Life