I am not dead.

Just minus a lot of bodily fluids.


I had Le Stomach Virus this weekend, and if I may say so myself, it was a particularly spectacular version of it. I am an overachiever in the virus category, I do nothing halfway. I spent most of the weekend in self-imposed exile so that I could lessen the probability of passing the blessing on to the girls. I also went all Howard Hughes-y on my ownself and did a lot of opening doors with a Kleenex wrapped around my hand, wiping down all available surfaces with antibacterial sheets and spraying great glory clouds of Lysol all through the house. The laundry piles have reached epic proportions and the kitchen looks like Ground Zero– a dead give-away that The Mom has been out of commission. (Which begs the question: WHY?? Do you people not have eyes?!! Does this giant mess not bother anyone but me in this whole dang house?!! **FYI–Excessive vomiting makes me a little cranky, just so you know.)

Ahem. *shakes head to clear it*

Anyway. I am now on the mend and will soon fully return to being my usual little ball-of-sunshine self. Meanwhile, I’ll post some random gratuitous photos from this weekend’s jaunt. The girls have inherited my seasonal wanderlust, so every spring and fall I get a hankering to jump in the car and just take off somewhere. Since NY and Paris are a bit too ambitious, we usually settle for a small-town Tennessee festival of some sort. This weekend we hit Fayetteville’s annual ‘Host of Christmas Past’ celebration, which featured lots and lots of homemade food, people walking around in Dickens-era costumes, a bandshell concert and an Abe Lincoln impersonator. Top that, Big Apple!

Here are a few highlights:

**You gotta love an orchestra with Santa hats.


**LOTS of frying going on: funnel cakes, fried pies, and…

**Kettle taters!

**Char and I enjoying cotton candy.

** This kind of creeped Madi out.



**Lest you forget this IS the South… This Confederate soldier statue is front and center on the town square.



**Lovely costumes.


** Madi is kind of crushing on ol’ Honest Abe.

18 Responses

  1. auburn60

    OH WOW!
    I grew up a stone’s throw from Fayetteville.(‘Fett-vull’ would closer approximate the local drawl.)I never spent much time there until I dated a guy from Fayetteville and we went to visit his family one weekend. Not a happy memory. They were just so ODD.They sort of sat around and stared at me.The highlight of their night was watching ‘Love Boat’–every one had to be silent for the entire show. Old boyfriend and I went for a walk downtown and I remember that statue.
    I realize that has nothing to do with anything you wrote. I’m just kind of ‘free-associating’. Haven’t thought of all that in years.

  2. themema

    I know that you are younger, and can still cram a lot more into a period of time than I can. But how did you hit Fayetteville for a festival, and also spend most of the weekend in bed?

    Sure looks like a fun festival, but why the coats? Ain’t been cold enough anywhere I have wandered to have a coat…. and hood pulled up.

    Glad you are back to where the kitchen is bugging you. That is a good sign that you are well enough to care, again.

  3. themema



    That is a lot of candles to blow out.

  4. tori

    Well, we got to “Fet-vull” at about 1:00 in the afternoon (it WAS a little bit nippy!) and got back home at dinner time. Except that by that time, dinner didn’t sound so good… Started hurling, etc. around 8:00 pm, crawled (literally) back to bed around 4:30 am.
    Sunday is a blur.

    (He said, “Thank you!” And he said it with a mouth full of apple cake!)

  5. rockin robyn

    YUK!!! I’m so sorry you were feeling “way” under the weather. That “up-chucking” thing… Man I hate that! Hate it! You don’t think you got ahold of some bad food at that festival do ya? Looks like a pretty kewl “fest” though!

    Do you happen to know if that Abe Lincoln was Mr. James Getty? The picture you have there shows he could be too young, but James Getty is a famous Lincoln actor and Lincoln historian from Gettysburg, PA. He does that sort of “thing” traveling the country impersonating Mr. Lincoln. It’s a pretty big draw when he does the ceremonial “Gettysburg Address” during the 4th of July celebrations. I think he still does that every year.

    If the Taff’s ever find themselves in the central PA area – you have an open invitation to join me in a tour of the great historic Gettysburg. (If you are into that sort of thing!)

    Birthday wishes from me too! Hope he has a blessed day!

  6. gracelynn

    Welcome to the sick club Tori! Glad that you are feeling better now. You had the stomach virus and I had the massive ear infection. Unfortunately, I still have mine. I went to the doctor yesterday and hopefully, with the aid of antibiotics, it will heal up soon.

    I’m glad that you felt well enough to go to the festival and had a good time. Love the picture of Madi and Abe. It’s great that you are able to go and spend time like that together as a family.

    Tell Russ I said happy birthday too. Enjoy some cake for me as well.

  7. themema

    Ok, how many Fayettevilles are there?

    There is the Fayetteville that I know and it is in NC,449 miles from Brentwood.

    There is Fayetteville, Ark whichis 411 miles from Brentwood.

    Then there is Fayetteville, Tenn. which is a mere 80 miles from Brentwood, and the more likely one-day get-a-way. But it took me until 1:49 am to ‘get it’.

    Glad I figured that one out!

  8. belinda

    Looks like you and the girls had a great time! Sorry you ended up sick! There is nothing worse than hurling! Glad you are feeling better!

    Our wishes to RT on his birthday too! Hope it is the best year ever! So did you bake the apple cake? That sounds yummy!

    Was that a Santa in that one picture? Does that mean it is time to decorate? Oh my Oh my!

  9. rcbeth

    Glad you’re feeling better. It’s no fun being sick to your stomach!

    Have you discovered the charms of Bell Buckle, TN, some 40 miles SW from Nashville? I just checked their website and they used to have more festivals than they do now, but still have several. I learned about it because of their RC and Moon Pie Festival. (I worked 29 years for RC, hence my logon name.) Check out the Bell Buckle Cafe on a Friday or Saturday night, too. They bring in up and coming country singers and groups.

  10. Barbara M. Lloyd

    Happy Birthday to you
    Happy Birthday to you
    Happy Birthday to “my” Ru-ah-us (I’m singing, ya know)
    Happy Birthday to you!

    Probably didn’t sound like Janet Paschal, but it was the best I could do long distance.

    Poor baby, I’m sorry you had the stomach flu….and I’m delighted you are bright-eyed and bushy-tailed again.

  11. tori

    rcbeth– We LOVE Bell Buckle! The girls and I just went there two weeks ago! Antique shopped, ate at the Bell Buckle Cafe, walked all around and took pictures.. I’ll post some!

    Momma Lloyd– Russ is on a plane right now, will call you later– LOVED the cake and dvd! I have pictures of that, too!

  12. BrownEyedGirl

    I’m sorry were sick, Tori. I’m with Belinda, there is not much worse… I almost didn’t have kids JUST so I wouldn’t get sick. Crazy huh??

    And yes, Tori, why does the house fall apart when those that live in it are old enough and capable to take care of themselves??? I can relate…

    Happy Belated Birthday to Russ! Trust me, he does NOT want me to sing LOL


  13. Phyllis S

    Ah, Beth
    We were just talking about Bell Buckle in Myrtle Beach. Here we are in South Louisiana and make a pilgrimage to Bell Buckle several times a year to antique and of course eat. What a quaint little town, just love it.

    Tori, did you have chicken and dumplings at the Bell Buckle Cafe and of course go around the corner for ice cream afterwards?

    So glad you are feeling better and “crud” is gone.

  14. LindaB

    Oh, to live in the genteel south! Where festivals involve cotton candy, Abe Lincoln look-a-likes, chicken and dumplings, and places with “Bell” in their names!

    I live in Michigan, and our next festival is the Chainsaw Carving Festival. Our festivals usually include stuff like beer and brat tents, chainsaw maintenance, and outhouse racing (don’t ask). At the chainsaw carving festival, you can actually watch a chainsaw “artist” carve something for 8 hours. That’s EIGHT HOURS of scintillating entertainment and fasination! It’s hard to keep the blood pressure in check for that long, folks. I get giddy just thinking about it. And, if you can believe this, they have one event that just reeks with excitment—–one talented carver will carve a piece in just ONE SHORT HOUR! Now that pushes the envelope, don’t it!!! The chips will be a flyin’! I feel goosebumps forming as I speak. Oh what fun!

    (Just a side note: I looked up the chainsaw festival on Google just to make sure I had the facts right, and I read on the official Michigan Festivals website that the carver will carve one “peice” in just one hour! See! We not only have borish festivals, but they can’t even spell it right! They were probably sitting in the beer tent when they wrote that! Help me! I should be living in a place called Bell Buckle and eating homemade ice cream and posing with Abe Lincoln!)

  15. Phyllis S

    You are so right Linda, you can find a festival every weekend somewhere and two or three each weekend in the spring.

    I sincerely hope you do not try to do a chainsaw carving, but then again it could be an interesting subject to do a picture show of….I KNOW!!! you could do a carving of Lynette in bed fully dressed and ready to go. Oh Yea, I would buy it, consider it sold.

    You had a picture of “Kettle Taters”, explain to me what they are. I have not seen or heard of them, but they sound delicious.

  16. tori

    Phyllis, I think they’re basically potato chips– but somehow, freshly sliced and cooked in a black iron kettle in the open air, they take on a whole different persona!

  17. auburn60

    Linda–my husband would love any festival that had a brat tent. We’d never get him to leave. He’d probably host a ‘brat-eating contest’ just to get free brats.
    You are welcome to come to Grainger County,TN next summer where they host a tomato festival, complete with a rotten tomato fight on the fairgrounds. Then there is the Museum of Appalachia where they shoot an anvil in the sky with gunpowder for the 4th of July. That one scares me a little. How do you direct the flight of an anvil?
    I think Tori finds the best Tennessee festivals.

  18. LindaB

    Yes, she does!

    I have to say that Michigan does have a tulip festival, that I hear is wonderful. I’ve never been…….they don’t have a beer tent! LOL

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