Last Saturday, Doc Dave and I gathered with a group of friends to participate in The Escape Game Nashville.  This activity bills itself as the best escape game in America.  Lacking any experience to compare it with, I’d vote for it to take first place!


Thomas, who ran our escape game scenario.

What is an escape game, you ask?  Here’s how the website defines it:

1 : quite possibly the most exciting hour of your day, week, year. 2 : an exhilarating 60 minute experience ​working with a team to​ uncover clues, ​complete a mission and​ ultimately​ escape the​​ room. 3 : An hour spent in an immersive environment, unlike anything you’ve ever done before.

I found it hard to imagine ahead of time, exaclty what that would be like.  Once there, our staff guide, Thomas, explained everything so well that it was easy to catch on.

The company offers seven scenarios or rooms with a theme.  Our group chose the Underground Playground, which was set up as if it was a child’s classroom.  All around the room, we found clues and puzzles.  We happened upon a secret door, which led to another room of clues!  All the time, we had our eye on the clock, for you have 60 minutes to unlock mysteries leading to a final mystery, the solution of which gives you the key code to get out of the room.

Lest you fear that it might be claustraphobic to be in a room in which you spend an hour figuring how to get out of it, let me assure you that it’s not.  The owners have planned for every eventuality, including the fact that someone might need to take a break.  The hour goes by quickly, though, so I’d avoid having to miss any of the fun if at all possible.

Being a mystery and puzzle lover, I thought it was lots of fun.  Since you are working in a group, you don’t have to provide all of the brain power yourself.  In fact, it’s a great team building exercise, for cooperating instead of competing leads to the fastest way out.


You will need to schedule this activity ahead of time, and you will want to go as a family or in a group of friends. The operators do suggest that chldren be a certain age in order to get the most out of the experience.  One or two younger children with a group of adults would probably be fine.  I wouldn’t reccommend bringing a party of young children with only one or two adults.  It would be fantastic for families with middle schoolers through teens.

The game doesn’t take much physical stamina to play, so it’s perfect for someone with a chronic, invisible illness.





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April is coming! Things to do in Tennessee….

T.S. Elliott famously wrote in a poem that “April is the cruelest month”, but he surely wasn’t writing about Tennessee.  Here, April is not only gloriously beautiful. but also lots of fun.  Here are some activities you can do to get in on all the happiness.



Tin Pan South…the world’s largest songwriter festival.  April 3-7 Find more information at 

Cherry Blossom Festival.  April 14.  Check out this day of fun involving Nashville’s 1000 intentionally planted cherry trees and various activities related to Japanese culture.  Check it out.

St. Jude Rock ‘N’ Roll Marathon.  (Full marathon, half marathon, kids race.  April 26, April 28-29.  During the events, there will be twenty-eight live stages along the route with bands performing in each one. Find out more.


Overton Square Crawfish Festival.  April 14 Take a look.

crayfish-sweden-crayfish-party-red-52959.jpeg32Annual Africa in April Festival.  April 20-April 22.  Join the fun.


Easter Sunrise Service at Ober Gatlinburg. April 1. Learn more.

Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage. April 24-28.  See what it is all about.

Wilson County

A Toast to Tennessee Wine Festival.  April 28. Uncork the Fun!


Brew Skies Beer and Food Festival . April 14.  See what’s cooking.

That is just a smattering of events.  What is your favorite thing to do in a fine April day in Tennessean?









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Nashville’s Car

If you live in Nashville in 2018, you know Marathon Village (Marathon Motor Works) as one of Nashville’s creative and cultural hotspots.  Housed within renovated, neighboring, historic factories are shops, recording studios, artists’ and photographers’ workshops, a radio station, a distillery, music venues, and so much more.cbf9978b-0891-406c-b911-8e01a7ef4ee5.pngIf you are new to the Nashville scene, you might be surprised to find that it also houses a museum dedicated to the line of Marathon cars that were made at Marathon Motor Works between 1907 and 1914.  Would you believe that every piece of the car was manufactured and assembled in-house?  Even in those early days of the automobile, that was rare.




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Check out Columbia’s reuse and recycle program now going on.  The end date is March 20th.  It’ s a great time to clean out a closet and to give back a little.


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Pour, Stir, and Bake…Nashville’s Soberdough

Tonight, I am going to make some Honey Bread by the Nashville outfit known as Soberdough.   I have used this before, so trust me when I say that it is the easiest bread I have ever made.  All you need is a sack of Soberdough’s dry ingredients, plus one bottle of beer and a little butter to brush on top.  As the directions say, you simply pour, stir, and bake. The yeast in the beer provides the leavening for this quick bread.  Soberdough comes in a small variety of flavors.

Since this is a Tennessee blog, you know that the beer I am using is a local brew.  I have carefully chosen (Ok, I admit that I just grabbed it in a hurry) an English style ale from Brookstone Brewery, which I hope won’t impart too strong a flavor.  Next time, i may go for something lighter.

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Cleo Comments

F66E2A8D-DD16-40CD-9F9E-9A55CD177E82    Cleo, the Tennesse poodle, recommends these spots for the pooch around town:

  1.  I love it when my humans take me to Barkwood Dog Park, which is located at the back of Tower Park. Sponsored by Mars Petcare, Barkwood is divided into two separate play areas, one for dogs under a certain weight and one for larger dogs. That way, I can race around with pals just my size. It is always clean and grassy, and has handy water fountains for dogs.  Barkwood is located at Heritage Way in Brentwood.  It is just off the corner of Concord Road and I-65.
  2.  My second choice is the Edwin Warner Dog Park located off of Vaughn Road.  It is not divided into runs for smaller and larger dogs as Barkwood is, but, instead, it is one large, happy free for all.  It’s lots of fun, but, on crowded Saturdays, I do get overwhelmed wih all of the humans and dogs.   It is a popular spot!!  Since I am still a puppy, I might not be ready to hang with all the big kids. Just give me a few months. 🙂
  3. Third might be best of all, even though it’s not really a dog park and I have to stay on leash there. There is a road at Radnor Lake which is closed to car traffic and that offers  a beautiful stroll by the water.  It’s the perfect place to walk my humans and to meet up with all of my canine friends.  Enter from Otter Creek Road or Franklin Road.                                              🐾  Cleo




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Stuck inside? In Tennessee, that’s no excuse for not having fun!

It happens to all of us at one time or another.  We’d love to get out and about, but circumstances won’t permit us to.  Perhaps, it’s the weather.  Maybe, it’s an illness. It could be simply that the body is too tired after a long week’s work or that you’re staying in to save funds.  Whatever the cause, you find yourself cooped up indoors and in need of some low key fun.

If that’s your situation, never fear.  Sticking to a Tennessee theme will provide you with lots of creative ways to pass the time.  Here are three ideas to get you started:

tennessee-flag public domain

  1.  Watch or re-watch great Tennessee movies.  Some ideas to get you started are the Last Castle (set in Kansas, but actually filmed at the old Tennessee State Prison), The Firm, Walk the Line, and the Blind Side.  Google a list of movies scened in Tennessee or made in Tennessee, and you might be surprised just how many there are to choose from.
  2.  Tennessee is all about the music, music, music.  Check out Spotify for some of your old Tennessee favorites or watch Music City Roots Live from the Factory to check out what’s new on the music scene.  Or, try out a music genre that you don’t normally listen to.  Sample classical or blue grass for example.
  3. Prepare a real Tennessee feast, complete with fried chicken (even hot chicken), corn light bread, and buttermilk pie.  Why eat out when you can replicate Grandma’s cooking in your very own kitchen?


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Rocking (or Jazz-ing) at the Ryman!

Something’s always hbelaflekappening at the Ryman Auditorium!  Here is Doc Dave at the Bela Fleck and Chic Chorea concert on April 17th.  Our children gave us tickets, and we are thankful to them for treating us to a delightful evening.

The Ryman is one of my favorite music venues in Nashville.  Though it was a large auditorium by the standards of its early days, it is not so large that you feel distant from the musicians on stage.

Here are five fast facts about the Ryman:

  1. The Ryman, which opened in 1892, was first known as the Union Gospel Tabernacle.  It was not until the death of the auditorium’s creator, Thomas Ryman, that it began to be known by his name.
  2.  Hugh Cathcart Thompson was the architect.  He designed it in the Victorian Gothic Style, which was popular at the time.  Thompson designed fifty-six buildings in Nashville.  The Ryman is one of nine that are still standing.
  3. Ryman built the auditorium in honor of Samuel Porter Jones, a firey Methodist revivalist from Georgia.  Formerly an alchoholic, Jones was famed for preaching, “Quit Your Meanness”.  He converted Ryman, who was a prominent citizen in Nashville, as well as a riverboat captain.
  4. The Ryman was primarily a place of worship in the beginning, but it was rented out to various civic and other groups in order to pay off construction debts.  In 1904, Lula C. Naff, a widowed mother and stenographer, began to book speakers, concerts, and boxing matches at the Ryman.  By 1920, she had transitioned into being its fulltime manager.
  5. The Ryman is most famous for having been the home of the Grand Old Opry for decades.  It is also the place where Earl Scruggs and Bill Monroe first stepped on stage together, an event that birthed the bluegrass genre.


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My three faves for surviving Tennessee pollen…

What a beautiful time of year!!  Tennessee springs are glorious.  Unfortunately, many of us can’t enjoy these mild days and lush landscapes because we are sneezing, coughing, or battling red and itchy eyes.  We are fortunate to live in a place in which so many beautiful plants grow, but seasonal allergies can be an unwatned side effect.

Nashville’s pollen count today is 10.5, which places it squarely in the high category on a scale of one to twelve.  Knoxville is 10.7.  Memphis is 10.1.  These figures are according to Claritin’s handy daily pollen counter.frommyyard

So, where do I turn when allergies get me down.  In addition to taking prescription medicines for allergies and asthma, I also turn to these little extra measures of comfort.

  1.  I use Occuvite Lid Scrub packets to soothe irritated eyes and to wash away irritants or drainage.  You can find them at most any place that has a pharmacy section.
  2.  Vicks Vapor Rub is a time tested remedy.  When I have a sinus headache and irritated eyes, I apply it to my cheekbones. Otherwise, I use it on my upper chest.  Yes, it stinks.  Sometimes, you just have to breathe. 🙂
  3.   To reduce congestion, I use Simply Saline or another saline nasal rinse.  I’m personally not a fan of neti pots, though I know people who are.  I prefer the rinses that you spray in your nose.  There are also recpies to make your own saline nasal rinse.

The key, I’ve found, is not to let allergies get out of hand before I tend to them.  With a little tender care, it is possible to not only make it through sneeze season, but to enjoy it as well.

Happy Spring.






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Did you know?


The only person in U.S. history to be both an admiral in the navy and a general in the army was born in Tennessee.  His name was Samuel Perry “Powhaten” Carter.  He was born August 6, 1819 in Elizabethton.

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