Photo Friday, Ya’ll!

Well, it’s been a crazy couple of weeks around here, and my mind is a big ol’ hodge-podge of Stuff I Need To Get Done Before _____(fill in the blank with deadline of your choice.) Posting has been kind of light (I KNOW!!!), but I promise to do better next week. *smiles sweetly and bats eyelashes* Hang in there with me, people!

Here are a few pictures that hopefully are worth a thousand words– you know, the thousand words I DIDN’T write here this week. In no particular order…

*** Madi and I took off on a little day trip to Bell Buckle on Monday– you guys remember that little country town with all the cute antique shops and the great cafe that we go to every fall? Yeah, THAT one. Madi had full control of the camera, which is always a great idea because the kid has got a real talent for capturing moments and creating beautiful pictures. Here’s a shot of the Tennessee countryside she took out of the window of the car:bblandscape

*** Madi diving into her good ol’ Southern cookin’ lunch at the Bell Buckle Cafe:bbmadieat

*** This dessert is outrageously good! They call it ‘chocolate cobbler’  on the menu, but it’s actually some kind of magical brownie/melty chocolate cake/ice cream/hot fudge sauce kind of thing… Aw crap, now I’m craving it.


*** Bell Buckle storefronts:


***Sidewalk painting with Madi’s shadow:bbmadishadow

*** (This one’s for you, auburn60…)


***This is out behind one of the shops– great background, isn’t it?bbtoripose

***Our annual “Madi becomes part of the local scenery” photo:


*** Here’s a montage of pictures Madi took inside several of the antique stores:bbviolins




***This house is just off the main square and was totally tricked out in fall finery, with a side order of Halloween black cats and baby pumpkins stuck on fence posts. Madi and I were ready to move in on the spot.


*** Switching gears– Thursday we all went to Charlotte’s swim meet at Tennessee State University. This is her first year as a Brentwood Academy Aqua Eagle, and this was her second meet. Here is the team doing some kind of primal scream thing right before they started– the bald guy in the middle with red writing on his face is their delightfully weird head coach, Mr. Chapman. Char’s in there somewhere, but danged if I can find her!


*** Here she is on the far end getting ready to swim the 50 meter freestyle– she came in 2nd!


*** My favorite shot of all– Russ took it on his phone. (Those shadows under her eyes are a result of the weird lighting in the building, not swine flu or anything!):



31 Responses

  1. LindaB

    The Tennessee hillside picture made me miss the mountains of W.Va………and so did the food pics!

    Love the storefront shot! I want to walk along that walkway. Someday.

    Tori, you look so cute in that picture! You can’t seem to take a bad picture!

    Love the still lifes, Madi! You DO have an eye for photography! And you look great without your braces, Girl!

    And…….YOU GO, CHAR!!! What an athelete! Second place!!! Love the last shot of you——that’s movie star looks, Lady!

    What a nice day in the country, Tori and Madi! I bet it’s a real change of pace after Nashville! And I enjoyed the pictures. Thanks.

  2. delightedabroad

    Thanks for showing such beauty !
    Actually I’m surprised that there are so few reactions thus far – I thought those connoisseurs among us would immediately comment on the delicious-looking food :-)

  3. bettyrwoodward

    Great photos mind you I had seen them before on Madi’s facebook. It looks a lovely place – thanks for sharing them

  4. auburn60

    Thanks for the ‘moon pie’ reference. I am slowly converting my son from chocolate flavor to banana. But I can’t do RC cola. I also own a copy of ‘Flower Fables’ like that one.
    Yeah,the food looks good. But I really want the light fixture. It appeals to my ‘funky, Gothic’ side.Didn’t know I had one, did you?

    Gotta cook. Trying to get a little bit of a jump on Thanksgiving.

    Speaking of which–we just got home from putting together Thanksgiving boxes of food for people in the community. Our church had TWICE as many requests this year for Thanksgiving and we are doing three times that many for Christmas. How are people surviving in this economy? I hope those of us who are still financially on our feet will help those who are struggling.

    OK–off my soapbox.

  5. rachelbaker

    Hey Tori, having had a couple of crazy weeks myself, I’m just amazed, and grateful, that you find the time to check in with us at all. Unfortunately I’m not sure if its going to ease off before Christmas, when I might just collapse in a heap and re-emerge sometime in early January ready to face a calmer year (???)

    The photos are fantastic. Madi takes some great photos. I would love to visit Bell Buckle sometime. I admit that Tennessee is the only State of the USA that I have spent any tme in, but I love it! Also – Charlotte looks like a natural, and I am seriously impressed that, at an age at which most kids are embarking on a lifestytle which involves mostly vegetating she is using so much energy. Maybe I’m just slightly envious as I was a teenager who loved sport but was useless as it (fairly coordinated – not bad ball skills – but when it came to running or swimming I reached new standards of slowness so had no chance).

    I hope all you bloomrs are having a wonderful weekend. I’m at my in-laws.

  6. chillybean

    Those were beautiful photos. The chocolate cobbler looks divine.

    Just a little laugh. Proof that I live in the north. My son, Julien, is learning about contractions in school. He saw the title to this blog and exclaimed “Mom, what kind of contraction is ya’ll? That’s not real, is it?”

  7. auburn60

    How ’bout ‘you’ns’ ?

  8. Bloomfield Farm

    Tell Madi her photos are absolutely gorgeous. I think the artistic eye must run in the family :-)
    And Char…. WAY TO GO!!!!

  9. carsmith

    Madi does have an eye with a camera and captures great pictures. Love the antique store pictures. Who would have thought to take a close up of beautiful glasses. She’s an artist in her own right. Way to go in the swim meet, Char. Hope you have as much fun with your swim team as our granddaughter.
    Makes me want to add a trip to Tenn. to my list of places to visit soon. Gotta check out the Bell Buckle Café to make sure the Chocolate Cobbler is really as good as Tori says. Hear that Momma June?

  10. MostlySunny

    Beautiful countryside, yummy looking food, enjoying a quaint little town, great photos, time with kids. Life is good! Thanks for sharing the pictures.

    auburn60 – I’m with you; requests are way up. And these are people who’ve never had to ask for help before. We do what we can – bless others as God has blessed us.

    Which brings me to a movie we saw on Friday – “The Blind Side.” EXCELLENT! I don’t normally endorse most movies, but this one’s really, really good!

    Tori – I know this takes place in Memphis and you’re Nashville, but is it a big deal there?

    Our Pittsburgh Steelers play the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday. I just might put in a little cheer for Michael Oher of the Ravens (he’s who the movie’s about). Here’s a link for more information

  11. auburn60

    Mostlysunny-I can tell you the movie is a big deal here in Knoxville. Part of the reason is because it’s about SEC football. All of us SEC football fans are all up in each others business, we recruit against each other,know each others traditions and love our football heroes.

    I knew a similar situation here when I was working as a social worker involving a kid I was working with–an African-American teen who went to live with a white family, was eventually adopted by them and excelled in HS football, then got a scholarship to Vanderbilt.He’s now coaching HS football here in town. I’m very proud of him.

  12. jonny

    Wonderful story, auburn60! Thanks for sharing!! = )

  13. Barbara M. Lloyd

    Gracious, Madi has found her place as a photographer. She seems to have just the knack for it….enjoyed those pictures. Made me want to go there and bum around. Momma Taff is adorable and looks like one of the kids herself.

    Awww, Charlotte came in second place. Good for her!

  14. MostlySunny

    Thanks auburn60 – the SEC recruiting thing really comes across in the movie. Funny…the parade of coaches offering the moon and more!

  15. jonny

    OK, my fave pics would have to be the one of Tori, the boots work for me on sooo many levels, and the one of Madi eating. Not so much because of Madi, but all the little American restaurant things in it!! The tall plastic ‘glasses’ filled with soda, the napkin dispenser, the ketchup and mustard containers on the table, those salt and pepper shakers, etc.

  16. delightedabroad

    Is it a Southern thing to get those small bowls on your plate or is that a general habit in the US ?

  17. LindaB

    Delighted, I don’t think the small bowls are a “southern” thing. It’s a “restaurant” thing when you have side dishes that the juices run all over and you don’t want it to get on your other food if they were on a single plate. Also, if the restaurant has a sort of “cafeteria” style assortment of foods to pick from, they will put them in little bowls to make it easier and faster to let their patrons pick out what they want and put them on their tray. It also allows the restaurant to control the portions. I’m not living in the south so I’m not an expert in “southern” things, but that’s my “northern” opinion.

  18. LindaB

    To our European friends, do you have a holiday similar to our Thanksgiving? Do you bake a turkey for it?

  19. rachelbaker

    LindaB – nope, no thanksgiving over here. We have our turkeys at Christmas in England … can hardly wait! I hope you all have a wonderful thanksgiving holiday. I’ll try my hardest to be especially thankful this weekend.

  20. bettyrwoodward

    Happy thanksgiving to all our friends ‘over the pond’. We are thankful but have to wait for Christmas to get our turkey.

  21. jonny

    Yep, turkey at Christmas in Finland, but ham is more popular.

  22. jonny

    Happy Turkey-Day all you fellow Americanos!! = )

  23. delightedabroad

    Hello everyone ! Have you all eaten your turkey ? Is anyone around ?

  24. MostlySunny

    Hello Delighted – No. I haven’t had my turkey yet. I spent our wonderful Thanksgiving in bed with the flu! The family went on to Ohio without me; didn’t want to infect the older folks. So, chicken soup and Nyquil/Dayquil was on the menu for me. They brought me back some leftovers so I’m hoping to have an appetite again on Saturday. Definitely not “MostlySunny”. More like “Not-Sunny-At All.” Back to bed…

  25. Barbara M. Lloyd

    Bless your heart….having the flu over Thanksgiving is not a happy thought. It’s Saturday and I’m hoping that long-awaited meal will be enjoyable for you, dear one.

  26. delightedabroad

    MostlySunny, I’m so sorry ! Are you on the road to recovery ?

  27. MostlySunny

    Thank you Barbara and delighted – Had a couple bites of mashed potatoes and a taste of apple pie. Yum! Maybe the turkey tomorrow. Also had another very long nap today – feeling so much better now. Just in time to get back to work on Monday! Appreciate your concern.

  28. jonny

    Good to read you’re feeling better!!


  29. carsmith

    My better half recogonized the green round things in the still life moon picture as bois d arc. Madi didn’t know her picture would be the topic of conversation at Thanksgiving.
    To see pictures of the tree and fruit go to

  30. jonny

    Truly interesting. Thanks for the link!

  31. delightedabroad

    MostlySunny, I’m glad you’re feeling better. Those around here who have/had the flu or a cold need much time to really recover. Seems to be a somewhat persistent virus…
    From Monday on I’ll rejoin English classes what makes me a bit nervous; I’m concerned that I’m out of training. Moreover I have to do 3 French tests next week: an essay, translation F-G and G-F; the last one is the most important for me with regard to the exam.

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