Your camping agenda may need some adjusting when bringing along the grandchildren. Be prepared - to enjoy!
Family camping provides the ultimate in teachable moments for children. All areas of the curriculum are covered.
Marshmallows have their start with the ancient Egyptians and have evolved a lot over the years to what we know and love today. It is easy and delicious to make your own marshmallows at home.
Dolphin Tale is a family-friendly movie about an injured dolphin and the boy who helps to rescue him.
Dolly Parton's Imagination Library provides free books to children from birth to age five through special community funding. Registration and sponsoring a program are easy.
The American Eagle Foundation is a non-profit institution dedicated to rescuing, caring for, rehabilitating and re-releasing (if possible) birds of prey. Located in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, at Dolly Parton's Dollywood, it began in 1985.
The Old Mill Pottery House Cafe' and Grille in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee is a versatile restaurant in a unique area that has something for everyone's palate.
Here is a very simple and nutritious chili recipe that will be ready in 30 minutes. Great for company, the church potluck or on a cold winter day.
Are you tired of the same old (although yummy) chicken soup? Here's a simple Mexican twist on an old favorite, just in time for colder weather.
Here Comes Honey Boo Boo is a TLC reality show focusing on the Thompson/Shannon family of McIntyre, Georgia. The highly rated show has evoked strong feelings both for and against it.
The Digest Diet, by Readers Digest Editor-in-Chief Liz Vaccariello, is a 21-day diet that encourages eating healthy foods in unique combinations, with emphasis on foods that have proven to be "fat-burners."
Our 16-year-old son got his driver's license a couple months ago. This has brought about some interesting changes to our family - some good and some bad.
I love to garden but unfortunately don't have a lot of space. Intrigued by the ads for growing "upside-down" tomatoes, I decided to try making my own. This was not a good idea.
Camping as a family can be a blast. Here are my top five tips for planning a family camping vacation.
Camping in the Southeast United States offers a variety of experiences, from the beach to mountains. Here are six favorites.
Checking out e-books from your local library is a great way to read the books you like without having to purchase them. It basically works the same way as checking out a "dead tree" book.
Alphamania: An Alphabet Resource for Teachers and Parents is an electronic book that allows teachers and parents of two to six-year-old children to explore the world around them in a fun and exciting way using the alphabet.
I love using Facebook to connect with old friends whom I haven't seen in years. It's fun to catch up on each other's lives.
Smashwords is an e-book publishing company that will publish your ebook for FREE. It is converted into multiple e-reader formats. You can sell it for as much as you want or offer it FREE.
Dracula, on which so many books and movies have been based, was written in 1897 by Bram Stoker. It really started the vampire frenzy that we know today. Here's a book review.
A safari in Tennessee? Briarwood Ranch Safari Park, one hour east of Knoxville, offers that and more for wildlife-lovers.
Sauerkraut (fermented cabbage) is good for you. Find out all about this wonder food here.
The pineapple is a perfect fruit. It is high in many vitamins and has a number of health benefits. Check out this important info.
The TLC TV special - Extreme Cheapskates - highlights several individuals who use unusual measures to save money. Here's what I learned from the show.
Janet Evanovich has published eighteen Stephanie Plum novels and numerous other books. As an unabashed fan, I decided to spread the word about this wonderful writer.
Losing weight is HARD. Here are my top ten tips to help with weight loss.
If it's not cold where you are now, it's likely to be soon. It's sometimes a challenge to keep warm when it's cold outside. Are you a gloves or mittens person?
Let's face it. We all have way too much stuff and most of it sits in the garage or attic or closet gathering dust and moths. Here's some ideas on how to make money by selling your unused and unwanted stuff.
The beautiful camellia originated in Asia but is evident world-wide. Learn more about this intriguing flower.
Yes, you can budget your money to make ends meet at home. These budget boosters can each add extra dollars to the monthly allotment for paying more bills or some fun extras.
Organize your life by making to-do lists. This is great for work and home projects.
Our eight-year-old, overweight Australian Shepherd seems to be having more difficulty than usual moving around lately. Could it be arthritis? Would a joint supplement for dogs help? Find out here!
A Redbird Christmas by New York Times bestselling author Fannie Flagg is a must for your reading list - whether at Christmas or not. It is sure to bring a smile even to the Grinch's face.
A possum invaded my bird feeders this morning. My cats were transfixed watching him try to maneuver the shepherd's hook holding the feeders. It was quite a comical sight.
"The Little Book of Christmas Joys" has been a catalyst for many of our family Christmas traditions. Check out ours and add some of your own!
To remind myself what makes me happy, I began a list of my favorite things - things that make me smile. Check out mine and then start your own.
Balloons are so bright and colorful. They bring joy to children and adults alike. However, there is a darker side to using balloons. Learn about it here.
Looking for something a little different to do on your visit to the Smoky Mountains? Smoky Mountain Llama Treks may be just what you need. It's a hike and animal encounter all in one!
If you're in the Pigeon Forge, TN, area consider visiting the Hatfield & McCoy Dinner Feud. It's a foot-stompin', stomach-fillin' good time!
At a recent performance of Handel's Messiah, my friend urged me to stand with her when the Hallelujah Chorus was played. I complied but didn't know why. I decided to look into the matter further.
As a high school band parent, I have read about and observed firsthand that there are numerous benefits to being a part of the high school band.
There are hundreds of ways to use photos for personalized gift-giving for all ages and all special occasions. Create some yourself or order through a reputable company.
I have tried various diets over the years and have found that Weight Watchers allowed me to eat what I wanted (in moderation), is healthy and relatively cost-effective.
Should I or shouldn't I go to my high school class reunion? Tough decision but I recommend that you go. Read these tips to ensure a great time.
One of life's biggest aggravations for me is waiting in the doctor's office. After many years of practice I have an arsenal of things to do while sitting in the doctor's office waiting room.
The unique cantilever barn is characteristic of the Southern Highlands area of the United States, particularly in Tennessee. There are some similarities to the German forebay barn.
Who doesn't need an inspiring quote to brighten the day? I certainly do. Since January 2011, I've been clipping positive quotes and posting them in my workspace. Here are my favorites.
You've done all you can to prepare your children for the first day of school. What did you forget? You forgot to prepare yourself and it's hitting you right now!
There are so many things to do in the Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, area that it can be hard to choose what to do. If the weather is nice outside, here are some suggestions for outdoor activities.
There are so many things to do in the Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, area. There quite a few indoor attractions if the weather doesn't permit doing the outdoor ones. Here are my favorites.
Panama City Beach, Florida, has become "the" place for high school and college spring breakers. However, if you plan your vacation at the right time, you can miss all the hoo-ha and the teenagers and have a wonderful family-friendly vacation.
St. Andrews State Park in Panama City Beach, Florida, is a beautiful destination for a family-friendly vacation with a myriad of things to do for all ages.
There are many birds who bathe in the dust to clean themselves. The "dirty birds" find a sandy or dusty surface like a dried up mud puddle. Then the birds lean down and throw the dirt over their backs with their wings and shake vigorously.
There has always been much debate on whether or not to send children to kindergarten. Ten benefits to going to kindergarten to consider are listed here.
Tennessee Fainting Goats' distinct feature is observed when the goats are surprised or startled. They will stiffen and sometimes fall over. They are bred as pets, for lean meat or herd protection.
If you live in the United States, you've probably seen Great Blue Herons. With more than a six foot wingspan and over three feet tall, these herons are the largest and most widespread heron.
3D movies seem to be the hottest tend in movie-going these days. What's the big deal?Here's what you need to know about 3D movies.
The Museum of Appalachia in Clinton, Tennessee is a one-of-a-kind exhibit that preserves all things Appalachian. It has been a popular vacation spot for years, with a variety of memorabilia and activities that appeal to all ages.
Elkmont Campground in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a great place to camp. It's location on Little River and close proximity to the attractions in the nearby towns make it convenient, as well.
What would you do if there were an emergency at home? Find out how to prepare - just in case.
Looking for after school care or a summer program for your child? Check out the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. You'll be glad you did.
In an age where so many young people are glued to the TV, electronic games and cell phones, activities involving nature should be encouraged. Birding is entertaining and educational.
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park, one day's drive from more than two-thirds of the population of the Eastern United States, is a great place with tons of things to do.
Most people don't know about the Metcalf Bottoms Picnic Area in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. There's a lot more than picnicking available here.
Money-saving ideas for family fun are endless. There are many ways to save money on fun things to do for all ages.
Yes, you can vacation on a budget. It requires a lot of planning ahead and creative thinking but it can be done.
The Great Backyard Bird Count is a wonderful opportunity for the citizen scientist (young or old) to report bird populations in different areas of the United States. It is typically held each February.
Snow day? There are plenty of things to do both inside and out on a snow day. Check out these ideas.
I never knew there were so many different kinds of snow. Snow is apparently not just snow. Learn more here.
The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin is an inspirational tale of a woman's year-long search for happiness.
As a former elementary school teacher and assistant principal, I had a lot of training in how to prepare for a parent-teacher conference. As a parent, nobody told me anything. I drew on my experiences in education to help parents make the most of a parent-teacher conference.
Want a fun adventure? Sign up to participate in your local Christmas Bird Count. Here's what happened when I did.
Ever have a person who's hard to buy gifts for? I think we all have one or more of those in our lives. You, too, can make easy gift baskets that are fun to assemble and a treat for those who receive them.
Sinus and cold symptom relief is here! There are some natural and medicinal tips you can use to relieve those pesky symptoms.
Gifts in our family's Christmas stockings are carefully researched and are almost more important than the actual Christmas presents. Get some great ideas here!
Being owned by two adult cats and one adult dog definitely makes us animal lovers. We were sorely unprepared, however, for the arrival of Aubie the kitten, affectionately nicknamed H.T. for Holy Terror!
Looking to vacation in North Carolina? Try the high country area - specifically, Boone, North Carolina. There are many neat things to do for all ages.
With only four ingredients you can easily make your own laundry soap at home for pennies and it lasts for months! Here's how.
The Great Smoky Mountains synchronous fireflies (lightning bugs) are beetles that flash on and off in unison during about the first two weeks of June each year. Of the fourteen species of fireflies in the Smokies, the photinus carolinus is the only one with harmonic rhythmic flashing light patterns.
What's so special about composting? Well, for starters, it's downright cheap, beneficial for the environment and produces amazing crops and flowers.
Birding or birdwatching is a wonderful hobby that can be enjoyed by all ages. It may be as simple as watching the birds in your backyard or it can be as complicated as traveling all over the world to view different species. The choices are unlimited.
Camping in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park at Cades Cove is a wonderful experience. There are a myriad of things to do, including: hiking, auto touring, horseback riding, picnicking, ranger programs, hayrides and just relaxing.
Going camping? Here are my top ten tips for respecting your camping neighbors and the environment.
Just on the North Carolina side of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park lies the small town of Cherokee. Learn about the history of the Cherokee Indian and of the people of early Appalachia.
Making money by selling your stuff at a yard sale can be a profitable business. Planning in advance ensures success.
Gardening can be an expensive hobby but it doesn't have to be. You can garden for less money by following these tips.
Mysteries and suspense novels are my soap operas. They provide an escape from the reality of life. Here are some of my favorite mystery and suspense writers.
We love tent camping. It would have been nice, however, to know some important things before we got started on this fun adventure. Here are my top "need to know" tips before you go.
With some careful pre-planning, even grocery shopping on a budget can be easy.