Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Of Men & Goats

Another week has flown by. It's hard to believe our wedding is in nine short days! We have been very busy since my birthday...

Greg picked me up in the late afternoon with a gift of three red roses (to mark the third year we have celebrated my birthday together). After a scheduled appointment with a linen rental rep at the chapel where we're getting married, Greg surprised me with a wonderful dinner at Capital Grille in downtown Nashville. It is rated as one of the best restaurants in town and is located in the historic Hermitage Hotel. We lingered over two hours, enjoying the good service and delicious food. We started with appetizers (Summer Salad and Chicken Livers); proceeded to entrees (Roasted Domestic Lamb Loin and Pork Chop) and enjoyed complimentary dessert (Jack Daniels Semifreddo and Berry Pie), not because it was my birthday but because our entrees came out before we were ready so our waiter apologized and offered the free desserts to make up for it.
Jennifer Byler of Connie Duglin Linen demonstrates one way to tie chair sashes
I met my BFF for lunch at Red Lobster to discuss wedding plans and life in general. Red Lobster is offering a special 4-course Seafood Feast for $15 which is a great deal (even though Amy was paying). I ordered clam chowder, Caesar salad, Spicy Coconut & Citrus Shrimp and Key Lime pie. Of course we also got unlimited Cheddar Bay Biscuits. It was way too much food for me to eat everything so I brought home my entire entree (minus a couple of shrimp), the dessert, a sack of biscuits, and Amy's leftover Shrimp-and-Scallops Alfredo. My grandmother enjoyed a few biscuits and the dessert with her dinner that night, and Greg & I ate the remaining food for lunch the next day.

Greg & I both had appointments to get our teeth cleaned (for the first time in a year since we've been out of the country). We actually went to different locations because neither of us have dental insurance so we had searched for the cheapest place with available appointments prior to the wedding. He ended up at a private office near his parents' house in Old Hickory; I went to Embassy Dental in Donelson. I am happy to report that we both are in great dental shape minus a little extra plaque build-up after a year of being on the road.

We spent the remainder of the day working on wedding-related activities and talking about the future. Greg's parent's took us out for dinner (another birthday celebration) at Dusit Thai in Hermitage. The food was good but not as good as in Thailand and service was slow/erratic (there was only one man waiting tables during the dinner rush).

Greg & I drove to Knoxville to visit my aunt Elaine and uncle Don Jackson & family. We spent the evening helping with the final preparations for the baby shower (on 7/16) and catching up, watching our RTW trip videos, etc.

We were busy in the morning preparing for the baby shower, which started at 3pm. My cousin Chris and his wife Kate are expecting their first baby, Ella Catherine, who is due 8/20). Chris & Kate had no idea we were coming to the shower so it was a great surprise! I was the "official" photographer for the event and everything went off without a hitch. We all had a wonderful time and almost 40 people attended!
Kate & Chris Jackson goofing off after the baby shower (and no, that is not her beer!)
We left Knoxville around 10AM and drove back to Hermitage, stopping at my grandmother Smartt's house for lunch. Then we continued on to Orlinda where we had been asked to goat/cat/garden-sit for the next three days while my mom, step-dad, sister & nephews were on vacation at Kings Island. For the first time ever we had the big log cabin all to ourselves and we really appreciated & enjoyed the peace & quiet. Plus it was a great opportunity to check items off our multiple, extensive "to do" lists.
Ronnie Campbell feeds the goats earlier this month
Feeding the goats is fun, although you do have to watch out for the big males who could unintentionally gore or trample you just trying to get to their food! There are currently 12 goats (I think) plus 3 adult cats, 5 weaned kittens and 4 new kittens who are just starting to explore the area around the barn. Mom & Ronnie also have a good-sized garden which is producing tomatoes, green beans, zucchini and yellow squash at the moment. After all the hard work of picking vegetables on these hot July days, I enjoyed incorporating the bounty in our daily meals.

That's all for this update. We're back in Hermitage now and will soon be busy with wedding celebration parties (one this Friday night and one Saturday) and other last minute wedding preparations. I will try to write at least one more post before THE BIG DAY! :)

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