I don’t know why I love Nashville . . .

. . . but I do. Yes, it’s touristy, hillbilly, hokey, and I’m sure, filled with a lot of shattered country dreams. It is reminiscent of Las Vegas, New Orleans and even worse … Branson. Don’t get me wrong here, I love New Orleans but it most certainly has a dangerous perverseness about it just as Vegas does. Bourbon Street and the Las Vegas Strip make me feel dirty and naughty. When I leave those streets I feel like I need a shower. Branson is just tourist trap where the beautiful landscape has been raped for money. I grew up in Branson so I speak from experience. Yes, I am opinionated. Nashville doesn’t make me feel any of that.

Nashville feels focused and intentional. By that I mean, it really is about the music. The people there are serious about making and preserving music. I love that at noon I can walk into a “honky tonk” and hear talented musicians perform and sing. I don’t know much about country music because well … I’ve never been a big fan of most of it. I can honestly say I wouldn’t know at George Strait song from Randy Travis or Tim McGraw or Brad Paisley. I have a fondness for country songs from my youth. I love Don Williams and Ronny Millsap and with age I have learned to love Hank Williams Sr., Allison Krause, The Dixie Chicks and even Garth Brooks.

So I spent the day in Nashville yesterday. I toured the Country Music Hall of Fame which made me realize I know more about old country than I thought. I took some pictures of things that made me feel nostalgic. ImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

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I was impressed by all of the memorabilia they had. My appreciation for bluegrass started when I saw the film, “Oh Brother, Where Art Thou”. It introduced me to Allison Krause and a desire to hear more. Plus I spent some time in a church choir where I had to learn to harmonize. Bluegrass and gospel have amazing harmonies and are the perfect instructor for anyone wanting to learn how.

In keeping with my southern indoctrination I finally bought hat to go along with my boots. Here it is . . .

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What do you think?

My maiden name is Bruton. So I was surprised to find this in Nashville.

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It’s nice to know someone in the family is an entrepreneur even if it is with a cancer causing agent.

I also learned that more than one president is from Tennessee.

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So, after my second trip I learned a few things. James Polk is buried there. The Ryman Theater was in fact the Grand Ole Opry for years but has an even more illustrious history than just country music. The list of performers, actors and productions that have performed there is very impressive. Mostly, I want to go back and I’m thankful that such a vibrant and beautiful city is just two hours away.

Honeymoon in heaven!

I don’t understand completely how to upload a gallery of pictures to this site yet but I do know that if you click on one of the pictures you can view them as a slide show. Our camera is a new Panasonic Lumix. It takes amazing pictures which is made easier by having so many beautiful things to snap. Most of these pictures are in Paris, specifically, Sacre Couer. The last pic is the view we had from our hotel in Amalfi at breakfast time.

Less about cooking and more about Thanksgiving …

If I had a lot of disposable income would I be more inclined to enjoy “Black Friday?” I hope not. I stand by my belief that there is nothing on this earth that I need so desperately that I’m willing to be at a department store at 4:30 a.m. (or earlier). I love people and being around them, so I don’t want to fight you for a $20 waffle maker. I’d rather pay more for it and not have to hassle with a throng of crazy people for it. Black Friday is an awful example of how the media has trained us to be a lover of THINGS and not each other. Even if you’re entire family goes to the store to buy these things … it’s less about being together than the “things”. ┬áMaybe I’m bitter because rather than getting to spend the day with my family, I have to work at a place that encourages you to grow more debt and buy those things. Thanks Wall Street.

Okay, okay … I am so thankful that my parents are going to drive 16 hours round trip to spend one day with me. I’m thankful that I have a beautiful man who loves me beyond reason who has provided me with an amazing home. I have family who despite differences and the usual disagreements love one another. I have two lovely cats who bring me immense joy. I have a faith that is solid and has given me friends beyond numbering. I suppose I’m the one being greedy wanting to spend more time with them rather than a bunch of crazy shopping people.

I have employment. No, it doesn’t pay for much more than gas to and from the site. I have ┬áto change my attitude and be thankful for that. No one else has been inclined to hire me so I at least am good for manual labor if not intellectual.

This Thanksgiving I will be preparing a traditional dinner for my darling fiance, his kids and my parents. I am so blessed to have the resources to do so. I am blessed to have these amazing people in my life. They have encouraged, supported and blessed me abundantly. It’s amazing to me that in a time of such blessing I have still found something to grumble about.

I hope that all those I love will have the same blessing. I hope that those who choose to shop will as well. All those “things” they buy can’t replace the blessing of home, family and a well cooked turkey.

A movie and a pizza …

I’m making a goat cheese/pesto, mushroom, spinach and chicken pizza on whole wheat crust for dinner. It’s the first time I’ve added whole wheat to my pizza crust. Let’s hope it’s not a failure. It smells divine. Add a glass of white wine, the latest Harry Potter movie on blue-ray, and you have the making of date night. Even on a Sunday that’s not so bad. I am blessed.

UPDATED

The pizza was fabulous. I can’t believe I made it. I’ve learned to preheat the oven and pizza stone to 500 degrees. I baked the pizza on the lowest rack which insured a crispy crust. Also, I blended the pesto into the goat cheese and let it rest for an hour before spreading over the dough. I love making my own crust and each time I do it comes out a little different every time. I think I could eat that every day. Yum-Mee!