American Latino Bail Bonds–A new sponsor!


A new sponsor! This is a first for this American Adventurer and blogger, we now have an official local sponsor!!!! Thank you, Bondsman Jones for your support!!

Available 24 Hours/7 Days a Week 
Bi-lingual-Hablamos Espanol
David Jones, Bondsman
109 Sloan Street, Clemson, SC 29631
Office: (864) 780-0389 Mobile: (864) 985-8905
Serving Oconee County, Pickens County, Anderson County,  Greenville County and Upstate South Carolina.

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Ubicados en Clemson, Carolina del Sur, estamos disponibles las 24 horas del día, durante todo el año. Llámenos en cualquier momento al número de teléfono celular mencionado anteriormente. Damos servicio a todo el norte del estado de Carolina del Sur

Choke Cherry Chicken and Potatoes-one pot dish


3 medium/large chicken breasts (bone in or out, your choice)

1 pound of baby carrots

2 toes of garlic, finely chunked

4 red potatoes, washed and chunked

4 oz of choke cherry preserves

2 tsp Tony S. seasoning blend

1 tablespoon olive oil

Rub olive oil over the bottom of a glass baking dish, dump everything else in, bake for for an hour or so at 350 degrees or until chicken is cooked and potatoes are done. Serves 6

Turkey Chili–one pot to feed a small crew


The ingredients were all already in my house (I grocery shop only twice a month) and are all affordably priced from my local Aldi’s grocery store (except the spice jars, which I got at the local Dollar Tree or at Aldi’s)

1 pound ground turkey, frozen

1 small can of tomato sauce

1 large can of crushed tomatoes

1 can each of chili beans, great nothern beans, black beans (don’t drain)

1 tablespoon each of cumin, chili powder, parsley

Salt and Pepper

2 small purple onions, chopped up

2 jalepenos, chopped up

1 medium green bell pepper, small chunked chopped

Brown the turkey in the pot, add all the fresh vegetables to simmer while the meat finishes to cook.

Add all the spices and canned goods, simmer for 45 minutes to let it all “melt” together.

Can be topped with sour cream, shredded cheddar or my favorite, served with homemade cinnamon rolls

Tuna Steak, New Potatoes, Veggies-A Meal for 2


Again, I chose to shop at Aldi’s and found a great price on Tuna Steaks.

I didn’t include the cost of the spices/seasoning as I already had a can of Tony’s in the cupboard.

1 Tuna Steak

1 Can of green beans (Aldi Brand)

1 can of new potatoes (whole, Aldi Brand)

1 large carrot, peeled and cut into short sticks

1 table spoon of olive oil

Sprinkles of Tony’s.

Simmer Tuna Steak and carrot sticks (same skillet) on low/medium heat, slowly until cooked through.

Warm up green beans and new potatoes in same skillet, season with salt and paper.

Put New potatoes and green beans on the bottom of two bowls, cut tuna steak in half and put half in each bowl, top with sautéed carrot sticks, serve hot.

Feeds Two and is a artisan meal.

One Pot Chicken “Stew”


Yes, another one pot wonder meal to the rescue (and at an affordable price, too!)

I enjoy one pot meals because they are easy to make, affordable, and can simmer without being slaved over. I use easy to find, inexpensive ingredients too so we can all save our pennies for travel, adventures and other hobbies.

2 chicken breasts (2 cans of chunked chicken breast also work, whichever is found on sale)

2 bell peppers (or raw poblanos)

2 cans of red kidney beans (75 cents each at my local Aldi’s)

2 cans of tomatoes (I used the pre seasoned ones with oregano and basil)

2 toes of garlic, salt and pepper

Cook the chicken in a deep pan/skillet, until done, cut into chunks

Chop up garlic and peppers

Open cans of beans and tomatoes, don’t drain, add everything to the chicken pan

Simmer for 30 minutes

Can be served over rice, too, if prefered

Beef Tips & Rice- Veggies-A one pan complete meal


Yes, I am a giant fan of “one pot wonders”, not because I am lazy, I simply like to be efficient with my time and efforts (and honestly, who wants to slave over a hot stove/oven all the time?)

Ingredients:

1 pound of Beef tips/stew meat (the butcher’s discount stuff works great!)

1 medium onion chopped

2 large carrots, chopped chunky

Mixed bell peppers, poblanos, etc. (whatever you have for raw veggies that need to be used up)

1 Cup of white rice, 2 Cups of water

Seasonings/spices of your choice (I had a packet of taco seasoning, so I used that)

Simmer/cook the beef tips/stew meat until cooked thru, add in the chopped veggies, simmer for 2-3 minutes.

Add the rise and water and simmer on medium heat until mixture starts to bubble, turn down to low heat and let finish cooking until rice is soft and all items are al dente.

Serves 4-6.

Remember to shop online at my eBay

Isle of Palms and building Ruins, Sandcastle Style


The state of South Carolina has so many wonderful venues that are easily accessible on a whim!

My Sweetness and I drove down to Charleston to pick up a motorcycle part from a dealership (while he is adventurous and rides a motorbike, I am not that brave. We drove down in a regular vehicle.) Since we were “in the area” hahaha, we drove to the Isle of Palms and enjoyed a good chunk of the day on the beach–thankfully, a regular grocery store wasn’t far off, so we popped in, purchased some bottled water and sunscreen, and off we went!

The Isle of Palms boasts a lovely, clean long beach, an intact pier and a great environment for hanging out, soaking in the sun, and enjoying the splendor of the strand. While I didn’t partake in the other amenities of the area directly, there are plenty available. I simply was enjoying building “ruin” styled sandcastles (I am no castle architect) but we did see dolphins as well!!

The Savannah River in 2 States, It’s powerful


Click here to learn a bit more history!

A lovely walk up a boardwalk to view the damn and river provided spectacular views! Want to know a bit more history? Click on the link below the video!

The river separates both South Carolina and Georgia as a natural border/state line. It’s a free venue and a wonderful place to enjoy the evening, the scents of nature are pleasant and overly abundant!

A Walk with my Brother


My youngest brother came for a 2 week visit and, of course, a walk with coffee breaks had to be included! It’s always a joyous time to spend with loved ones with a bean buzz and fresh air. The sites and venues are always an added perk as well.

While here in the Upstate, I wanted to share some of the local awesome adventures with him…and he smiled the whole time. His smile lightens up the whole world and he is a fun, handsome guy (but I might be just a bit biased, being his sister and all!)

The photos are captioned of the places we attended. The conversations were endless!

Coffee and Ice Cream @ Figs Beanery & Creamery


A lovely day, sitting out on the veranda with a friend/brother and enjoying two of life’s greatest pleasures–coffee and ice cream.

I enjoyed trying something new–a Mayan Mocha…bursting with steaming flavors of mildly spicy chilis and robust brewed beans, it was a huge treat for me–mixing spices and flavors together that I had previously never had blended together. My brother enjoyed a regular latte and enjoyed the frothiness and flavor as well as he is Classic Cookie and Cream Ice Cream cone.

While the coffee and ice cream are superb, the conversation with my brother was amazing. We caught up on items, discussed hopes and dreams, laughed, told cheesy jokes (the only kind I know, of course) and spent several hours just having fun together in the comfortable outdoor seating. The Cafe boasted faux lawn under the table, which added a nice touch and color.

Adventures are always more fun with a friend and brother.

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Travel Tips for Any Season


A Sunday Drive to a major vacation (anything over 7 days in my book) all require a bit of planning and forethought, even whilst winging it. Why? Well, no one particularly cares for being caught “with their pants down”.

Thus, here are a few tips that I think are helpful and I use them myself.

  1. Have at least a general idea of where you are going.
  2. Make sure you have adequate fuel in your vehicle/taxi fare/bus passes on hand
  3. A bag/backpack, even if left in your vehicle, is a great way to keep stuff together
  4. Keeping at least one cell phone with “directions” capable app on it or a paper map is helpful, we all need directions from time to time.
  5. Comfortable footwear, with a spare set of socks
  6. Keep a little extra of cash on hand for an impromptu cup of coffee or other last-minute need. We all need a relaxing break and sometimes that need sneaks up on us. Why cash? Sometimes after hours, vending machines are all that are available.
  7. Keep a bottled beverage with you (and maybe a little snack, like nuts or something) or at least accessible.
  8. Keep a reliable person’s phone number handy, in case you break down or need a pick-up.
  9. Enjoy yourself and take all the photos you desire!
  10. If you are taking a pet with you, remember to grab a leash and snacks/treats for the pet too and a water bottle and dish!

StumphouseTunnel, with a cheesy twist


A tunnel to…. nowhere! The train tunnel remains as an incomplete project but it’s very fascinating, rich in history! Located just outside of the city of Walhalla, Stumphouse Tunnel was initially meant to be a train tunnel, but it was never completed.

At one point, Clemson University even used the tunnel as a forum for aging their famous bleu cheese (Clemson University Bleu Cheese and Bleu Cheese products are still available for purchase at local venues, groceries stores and such).

The more indepth history can be seen in the photos and via the videos attached. I hope you enjoy!

It’s Taco Twos-Day! 02-22-2022


Chili’s roasted, cilantro, diced onions, freshly grilled chorizo and Alpastor, my mouth was already watering even before I could order at the window from the cherry red food truck.

The proprietor doesn’t speak any English but with my improving Spanish language skills, I ordered 8 tacos, 2 chorizo, 4 Alpastor, and 2 Asada–with 4 ramekins of salsa, 2 mild, 2 picoso (hotter) and guess what, my language efforts earned a gold star! I received exactly what I ordered and desired (it’s a true struggle when developing language skills to convey a genuine message when ordering food.)

I delivered said order to my Sweetheart’s house, and much to my delight, his Guatemalan Grandmother even approved and ate 2 of the tacos!

The Food Truck is located on Main Street in Walhalla, in the same parking lot as Napa Auto Parts
The address of it.
The food is outstanding and very affordable. I fed 3 people; sodas included for $25 (tip included)
https://www.ebay.com/sch/apotthoff/m.html?_nkw=&_armrs=1&_ipg=&_from=

Don’t Forget! Handcrafted Items and paintings are available on my eBay!

Martin Luther W. @ St. John’s Lutheran Church, Walhalla, South Carolina


History comes to live in a graveyard and the history is richly embedded here at St. John’s Lutheran Church (ELCA) here in Walhalla, South Carolina. Founded by a German emigrant in 1853 (which makes it older than my home state; Colorado was indoctrinated as a State in 1876).

The German Emigrant who founded the church wanted to create a place of worship for new and incoming fellow Germans, I am speculating as a way of integration and for creating a foundation for their lives in the new world (just as my opinion); what creates a better sense of belonging than a community of faith?

According to the historical marker (signs that are posted frequently around the Southeast, which is boundless in its history), the German Emigrant was General John A. Wagener. The history of his efforts and settlements can be read in the photos below.

The one particular headstone that really caught my attention was the one bearing the name Martin Luther Waldt. Why? Well, Martin Luther is the great German Reformation leader, creating what is now known as the protestant Church. While his intention was to reform the Catholic Church, noting such things that we are saved by faith alone (versus penance) and nailing his 96 Thesis to the doors of the castle church door at Wittenburg. His intent was to reform, not to split, but severance of the two did happen, creating the two factions we now know.

A Little Video allows one to hear at least the toll of one bell (I wasn’t quite quick enough to get the full set of bells tolling for 5 p.m.) When I was younger, my parents had taken me and my siblings on a family vacation to Germany (my first time being abroad); I often heard the bells chiming. I asked my mother why they rang so often, and her answer has stuck with me ever since, as I often sang along with the hymns or music that the bells performed. My mother said, Anna, those bells are chiming for you. Every time the bells ring, I can’t help but think they are especially for me, as if magically they knew I was there to hear them. Finding this graveyard created a full circle, so to speak, for me, having German heritage and being Lutheran, this happy happenstance couldn’t have been more perfect.

Stewed Ginger and Herbal Hot Tea for a Windy Day


The winds blow here in South Carolina (nothing like what Wyoming and Colorado get for winds, sweeping across the plains but still, it’s windy!) The winds make me sneeze like a fiend and my eyes water, so what is a girl to do—make tea to help!

While I am not a doctor or an allergist, I personally have found that a good, strong cup of tea really does help me and helps keep me hydrated!

I chopped up a 3-inch section of fresh ginger root, putting it on to stew for about 20 minutes on a low simmer, adding 2 bags of Tazo Organic Baked Cinnamon Apple Tea (which was purchased at a buy one get one free special at the store) to the pot. I added a drizzle of honey to my mug and enjoyed! Yes, I even eat the stewed ginger bits when the cup of tea is empty!

The warmth and the aroma, flavor, is amazing! P.S. The pot is enough to share with friends and family.

Waldrop Stone Waterfall, Central, S.C.


A happy happenstance for me, while searching for something completely unrelated, I learned that a waterfall wasn’t far from where I currently live-which is outstanding. So, what is a girl to do? Go on an adventure, of course!

Naturally, I wanted the adventure to be easily done and mindful of my pocketbook, so I packed a little picnic for myself, including some bottled water and goodies that I enjoy, but nothing too heavy as I did have to carry it with me!

The parking “lot” is a pull off from the main road, circular around a chopped down tree with brush growing in the center; parking is limited but the trail head is easily accessible from anywhere in the parking lot.

While I have been swimming a lot more these past 10 months, the hiking/walking trail was a bit much and my calves are now mooing (I have never understood the cliche of calves “barking” when they clearly moo, whether they are on your legs or baby bovine.) The 2.2-mile (total distance) hike along the “moderate” trail (which seemed a bit more daunting than moderate, in my opinion) definitely challenged me today, even though my backpack only weighed about 7 pounds.

A few botanical signs along the trail made stopping and enjoying the tidbits of information along the way so much more enjoyable; I also enjoyed the information as an education is always welcome. A few of the botanical tidbit signs are available in the photos below, as well as some photos of the trail and adventure!

Happy Adventures! Here is also a link to a short video taken of the Waldrop Stone Waterfall as well.

https://youtube.com/shorts/mcjQ6dqogjg?feature=share

American History and Coffee at Lake Keowee


A little adventure date with yourself…..a perfect way to spend an afternoon, even when it’s windy!

Choosing a place wasn’t on the agenda, simply driving until a potty break was needed. Asking the local gas station attendant, I inquired about local points of interest and the young man (not to come across as a senior lady but he was truly very young!) and he directed me to Mile Park at Lake Keowee.

While it is a residential lake (meaning that I could see homes scattered around some of the perimeter of the lake) it’s stunning! The wind made the docks click and bag, the whistles going under the planks and zip through the leafless tree branches.

A leisurely walk around the edge of the lake, I chose a picnic table with a great view to enjoy my coffee (gleaned and purchased at the gas station), I read and replied to a letter sent from my brother in Colorado, soaking in the sunshine.

The bit of history, as seen in the photos, was a pleasant perk to the day as well.

Happy Adventures!

https://youtube.com/shorts/q9Ph7pwaRlE?feature=share A short little video of Lake Keowee

A spicy twist!


Homemade salsa, a wonderful way to get more flavor in your food with minimal effort! This recipe is a medium level on the spice scale but super easy to make!

Ingredients:

2 medium tomatoes

3 medium raw jalapeños

1 tsp minced garlic,

Sea Salt and pepper

1 medium onion

3 medium poblanos

Put all the raw ingredients in a medium pot on low heat with 2-3 cups of water. Simmer for about a hour until all the ingredients are tender. Turn off the heat and let cool for a bit, doesn’t need to be ice cold, just not boiling hot any longer.

Put contents of the pot in a blender, puree until it’s the consistency of your choice. I put the salsa into upcycled food jars (jars that previously held other things, like marinara sauce or olives, jar and lid thoroughly washed and dried before re-use).

Serve with chips, top on roast beef as a “marinade” or in any way you prefer. Great with a variety of dishes and sides.

Chilly Day Chili, simple and delicous


It’s January in the northern hemisphere and baby, it’s cold outside! While I do live in South Carolina, the chill is even here, having snowed last week, the snow is melted but the cold remains. With the holidays now over and most of us wanting to cut back on expenses or curb spending, a homemade meal is an easy way to accomplish both, why not make something easy that also brings a bit of warmth to the body as well?

Ingredients and Instrutions:

1 pound of ground turkey or ground beef

1 medium onion, chopped up

Salt, Pepper, Chili powder, italian season blend

Cans of assorted beans

2 cans of diced or crushed tomatoes

Brown the ground meat, dump in the cans of everything, add spices to your strength preference. simmer for 45 minutes. Enjoy! Adding a dollop of sour cream on top or shredded cheese is also delicious.

Multi-Generation Family Adventure–Beaufort, Lady’s Island & Hunting’s Beach, S.C.


Who knew that going to the beach in January could be so much fun!

As per their annual tradition, my parents made their winter road-trip across the country, stopping in South Carolina after the New Year to visit their daughters (my sister and I live relatively close together, within an easy commute of each other), Papa (my mother’s father) and of course, my brother-in-law and to meet my Sweetness (he lives close, too!)

So what do we do? We spontaneously decide to hit the coast while playing games over a family dinner Thursday night and we left promptly Saturday Morning!

Along the drive to Beaufort, the place we decided to stay for the night, the Spanish Moss indicated how close we were approaching the ocean, with every mile, it became thicker, creating a mystical “fog”, draping from the trees, power lines, and every place it could position itself, with all of its silver-miller and mossy green and grey hues.

We easily checked into our hotel and enjoyed the recommendation of the hotel concierge by dining at a local restaurant called “Dockside”–and it was lovely atmosphere and good food, especially the raw oysters! Nothing like a good local meal to finish off the drive there.

Sunday Morning, after we had breakfast at the hotel and checked out, we drove over the bridges, across Lady’s Island, through Port Royal and headed to Hunting Beach, on the Atlantic Coast, and enjoyed a heavy day of finding seashells and enjoying the surf and feeding the birds, generally enjoying each other’s company, with laughter as I donned my swimming suit and my mother wrapped up as she felt chilled…but all laughter and fun as we fed the birds and just enjoyed the day.

A late lunch at Port Royal, much later in the day, at the Fish Camp was a great way to wrap things up. While waiting outside for a brief moment, enjoying looking at the ships with all their riggings, I spotted a dolphin breach and play in the firth. What a lucky and fortunate spotting!!! Alas, I wasn’t fast enough with my camera to capture the beautiful dolphin, but it did smile at me when it came up!

Hunting Beach Seagulls Video

A Southern Winter Wonderland, Snow Days


While the holiday may be over, a winter wonderland is still something beautiful to behold. While living here in the lovely state of South Carolina, snow, true snow (not a powdered sugar dusting) is a rare event…and something to be cherished for sure.

While it’s true that I grew up in Colorado, living there sporadically through my adult life, I greatly missed experiencing true snow days (which I greatly underappreciated when I was in my teens, taking the break for granted.)

Technology and forecasting predicted the snow, which is a new-age perk, allowing those in the affected area to be able to prepare for inclement weather, which is a blessing on many fronts (pun intended). Forecasted fun and adventures, though, when there is a white out? Naturally!

Adventures at home are a true joy–a stay-vacation! While there is always a list of things to be done, a snow balling accumulation of chores to be done, projects to be finished (or begun), sidewalks to be scooped, animals to feed, etc.

The forecast allowed my Sweetheart and I to clean out and re-line his chicken coop with fresh straw before the storm hit, preventing chaos and worry about the health and well-being of his flock, avoiding the need to go out in the snow and icy roads to retrieve much needed items for the animals and house (and finding a place that is open)–like with any good adventure, a bit of pre-prep work is essential, allowing a much more enjoyable.

Speaking of a bit of prep work, while out and about, purchasing feed and straw for the flock, I did remember to pick up extra wicks for my oil lantern, just in case the electricity went out (which does tend to happen from time to time with bad weather.) My sister, on the other hand, already had the foresight to retrofit her house, when she purchased it, making the fireplaces and her stove natural gas (which is awesome, even without power, the stove and fireplaces still work!) But why prep in advance, one could possibly have everything at one’s hand or delivered while on an adventure? Well….things can get icy without a bit of forethought (okay, cheesy puns aside, nasty weather does make things a bit more challenging!)

And the adventure part? The flurry of choice is an endless blizzard. For me, the adventure is being able to get to read a book, unhindered, delving into the pages, skating through the characters’ lives, snow shoeing through the plot, enjoying the snow day, exploiting the comforts of my love seat as the gusts of a zephyr wind howl outside.

Pottery Pendant Necklaces…a pretty accessory


There are several fashionable scarves and pretty pendant necklaces available on my eBay, all handcrafted and locally made here in South Carolina, perfect for the last-minute stocking stuffers and prices that will make Santa go HoHoho.

The items on my ebay are not only handmade and locally crafted (AKA made in America) but the sales also help support me and my travels. Thank you for shopping my eBay

Mystical Unicorn…a fantastical piece


Unicorns may be a creature of myth and fantasy…while you might not be able to tame or ride one, you can now have “proof” that they exist!! A jewel and gem hued painting is available, by American Artist Anna Potthoff, and your purchase supports the artist and their endeavors and adventures.

Click here to purchase/make an offer, free shipping within the USA, international shipping is also available!! Easy shopping and guaranteed safe transactions on eBay

Handmade, Hand-painted, Hand Crafted…


‘Tis the season to be merry and bright…and perhaps a bit chilly! There are gifts to help cut the chill and still won’t rock all the jingle off of your tree. Handmade-knitted scarves are still available, as are necklaces and more on this artist’s eBay! Order soon and the items will arrive in time (sent to USA addresses) in time for Christmas! International shipping is available as well!!!

Yes, I made every item listed on my eBay and a percentage of all items sold will benefit the Wildlife Sanctuary in Keensburg, Colorado. Everyone wins this way!! Click here to shop and there is the “Make an Offer” button on each item, don’t be shy, make me an offer! (P.S. Not only does every sale help the Wildlife Sanctuary, but it also helps me to adventure!)

Season’s Greetings…a family tradition.


Season’s Greetings, a “newer” way to greet the universal crowd to wish them a happy holiday season when one doesn’t feel a “Merry Christmas” is warranted in the situation. In our home growing up, though, the expression of “Season’s Greetings” meant and means something entirely different….in a magical kind of way.

There are 4 children in my family, grown up now, living lives of our own but we continue to celebrate our Season’s Greetings. Each of us have something “unique” about our birthdays, a conjoined “event” that was highlight, the 4th of July, Bastille Day, Santa’s Birthday, and yet, the youngest of us, my brother, when small, asked what was special about his birthday and inquired what Season’s Greetings was (he was learning how to read at the time.)

Being creative, as most mothers are, our mother explained that Season’s Greetings was his birthday “buddy” holiday, a special day when the North Pole aligned with the North Star, allowing all the elves to roam amongst us, being Santa’s helpers to look for all the good little boys and girls, and it officially started December 1st. The elves would watch for goodness and other such loveliness amongst us, leaving elf treats as a reward, inspiration and more….and thus began the tradition of Elf Treats and Season’s greetings.

As we grew older, the elf treats customization, of course, grew with us and now, as adults, elf treats are delivered by the help of the mail system instead in lieu of the winds of the Northern Zepher and help of a volunteer flying reindeer for giving….adding a flare of fun and spice amongst us.

Elf treats now are often fun but sometimes, they are also little gifts of help or need as well and aren’t limited to giving to each other-paying for the coffee for the person behind you in line, donating of time to a neighbor or babysitting for a family, sending kibble to an animal shelter in need, sharing a bubble bath basket for a stressed out relative, the possibilities of sharing an elf treat are endless, and the size is often on the smaller side but sprinkled with the magic of the season.

My sister and I live relatively close to each other, in terms of physical distance, now and since. Season’s greetings parties have been made, inviting the neighborhood, making new friends, and even the pets get involved, because whom doesn’t need a good jingle jangle from time to time? And with that, I wish you a very Merry Season’s Greetings and may you be the best of yourself and a good Elf this year and always.

Here are some elf ideas, in case you want to share! (And I have tried to be a very good girl this year!)

The Christmas Booth is open!


Christmas and holiday gifts available until December 10th at the Belton Art Center, Belton, SC

While the market went live on November 16th, the shopping is still great for the pickings through December 10th at the Belton Art Center, Belton, South Carolina. Yes, my booth is the one featured in this article but there are others to shop from as well!

Hand knitted scarves, oil paintings themed from Christmas trees to the mystical unicorns and more, Chinese Flying dragon trees that bear bitter citrus fruits, and more are available at my particular booth. All items are affordably priced, making a perfect assortment to choose from for Christmas and holiday gifts or simply to get an exquisite treat for yourself!

The Belton Art Center is located at 306 City Center Square, Belton, S.C, 29627, Business hours are Tuesday-Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m EST. Phone: (864) 338-8556.

Truly, let yourself dream


Life is about what you want to make out of it and often times, we go, go, go so much that we inadvertently put our dreams and hopes on the back burner, to our own chagrin. But what if we paused, breathed for a moment, and evaluated what is really important to us and what we truly desire? Are adventures and personal pursuits not as equally important as paying bills and putting our nose to the grind stone? Is it possible to align it together and have a cohesive game-plan that encompasses the daily responsibilities and the dream? Listen and watch the video below for great way for making the positive change so many of us need.

An Upcoming Adventure…A Holiday Market


Wrapped Gift

Holiday Market @ The Belton Center of the Arts, Belton, South Carolina

306 City Sq, Belton, SC 29627 · (864) 338-8556

November 18, 2021 | 5:00 – 8:00 PM

Open through December 17.

Take care of your holiday shopping with unique, handmade gifts you won’t find anywhere else. On opening night, enjoy a homemade bowl of vegetable soup with cornbread in this holly, jolly atmosphere with local makers. ​

After the opening night, come shop the market during our normal business hours. Tuesdays through Friday from 10 AM to 5 PM, and Saturdays, from 10 AM – 2 PM.

A twist on the way we think…an adventure of thoughts and thinking


Once in a while, something outstanding is found and should be shared…and this is one of those times and circumstances. Changing up our environments, going on vacation, and changing the scenery are all wonderful aspects for personal growth and positive change… but taking an adventure within can also be exhilarating.

Listen to and watch the video below and see how wonderful a little change from within can be #selfhelp #easychange #thinkingdifferently #lifetips #selfadventure

A Day with Papa, South Carolina Botanical Gardens and Geology Museum, Clemson, S.C.


A day out with my grandfather, with local history, a great variety of plants, and even a stuffed mountain lion, it literally rocked as toured the Botanical Gardens and Geology museum–an extra nice perk? The venues don’t charge admission but do take donations (which are well worth giving!)

There is so much more to do and enjoy in Clemson, beyond going to a football game, and there is ample parking! The parking lot abuts to the gardens and is easily accessible, and most paths are handicap/scooter friendly for those who desire to go with some assistance.

Old Elkmont Cemetery, near Gatlinburg, TN


Yes, it’s true, I am a lover of beautiful masonry work and old stones– an appreciator of etchings and engravings and any opportunity I am offered, I enjoy a good cemetery crawl. Sometimes, more often than not, a “good” one is often off the beaten path and takes a little adventure and finagling to get there… and it’s always worth the effort!!

Fortunately, I had a bit of aid in locating/finding this particular older cemetery near Gatlinburg, Tennessee as a person briefly posted on a photo forum of Elkmont Cemetery and I had to use google mapping to get me there…the cemetery is quite small but hosts an elaborate amount of carved lambs on the headstones, those that are marked any way.

An interesting factor that I haven’t personally seen before… coins were left on certain graves… any one know the history behind that?

https://www.yelp.com/biz/old-elkmont-cemetery-gatlinburg?osq=Old+Elkmont+Cemetery

Swinging Bridge & Great Smoky Mountains,Townsend, Tennessee


A Sunday drive (albeit on a Monday) was a true delight!! Just taking the whim, before heading home, to enjoy the last day of our vacation was worth winging it in Tennessee!!

The Great Smokey Mountains (yes, the home of infamous Dolly Parton) are well worth visiting!! The natural overlooks are fabulous and well maintained. While the Smokies are not actually on fire (it’s the fog that rises that make them look smoky.) Absolutely stunning views!!! I admit, getting “lost” in the forrest is truly a delight.

We started driving from Sevierville, Tennessee, area and headed out , We enjoyed taking a pit stop in the tiny town of Townsend (which, by the way, hosts a Post Office with wonderful, helpful staff, and yes, I dropped off quite a few postcards and the clerk was able to help give us some local pointers.)

A triple ride… at Dollywood Theme Park


There are theme parks all over the place but until recently, I didn’t have a clue that Dollywood Theme park was a “thing” and that it was so close to where I live, within just a few hours drive from home. I hadn’t been to a theme park in ages—and if my memory serves me correctly, I hadn’t been to one since going on an activity bus on a “date” in college, to the Halloween themed one at Carowinds in college—but I am not going to date myself on that one!

Dollywood Theme parks sent out flyers, which is initially is what the idea going, offering tickets at a big discount for “Essential Workers”, which I qualified for, working at a mental health facility–and having some time off, We (my sweetheart and myself) decided to take advantage of a package deal he had purchased (3 nights, 4 days in Pigeon Forge through another venue) . And off we went….

Dollywood Theme park was between “festivals” and it being a Sunday, the park was pretty slow, which suited us just fine as there weren’t any waiting lines for the roller coaster, finding parking was a breeze and the staffed was not stressed or rushed, which was so awesome.

The biggest winner of the day, though, besides getting to hold hands all day with my sweetheart and riding coasters and laughing at the funny pumpkin scenes? I got to mark an item off of my dream list (I don’t want to call it a bucket it list because I am not kicking the bucket–plus, what did the bucket ever do that someone thought it needed kicking?) I have always wanted to ride a ride, a roller coaster, more than once without having to get off the ride and go around again and wait in line… and the dream came true!

As I said, the park was having a “slow” day and when I got on the “log ride”, which goes by another name but I can’t recall, again, as I had already ridden it a couple of times during the day, the operator let me ride it again without getting off, not once, but twice! So, yeah, I got to ride the ride 3 times back to back without disembarking in between!!! Yes, I left the park looking like a half drowned rat from being splashed, oh by the glory of it all!!

Easy Brunch, pulling it all together


Brunch is made to be enjoyable and make it easy for yourself, simply use what you have about in your fridge or make it “potluck” style with a couple of friends, bring only what you have on hand!! It makes it a fun and easy way to dine tastefully and on a budget…. and who doesn’t like that?

An easy brunch of things pulled together, a bagel with scrambled eggs, quartered roma tomatoes, red grapes and radishes made in the shapes of flowers (my neighbor is food crafty)

Summer Blossoms along the road side


Road side blooms make a lovely bouquet

On the way home, I came across a most obliging field of wild flowers; I couldn’t help but stop and pick some for my home (while leaving plenty for others to enjoy!) And what girl doesn’t enjoy a nice bouquet? I gifted myself the beautiful bouquet and it was well worth the 10 minutes of effort to enjoy such blossoms!!

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Stone Soup–using what’s at hand.


The Stone Soup is a European folk story in which hungry strangers convince the people of a town to each share a small amount of their food in order to make a meal that everyone enjoys, and exists as a moral regarding the value of sharing. In varying traditions, the stone has been replaced with other common inedible objects, and therefore the fable is also known as axe soup, button soup, nail soup, and wood soup.

Stone Soup – Wikipedia

While I most certainty don’t go hungry, I don’t like to waste. While trying to figure out what I wanted to make for dinner this evening, I realized I bits and bobs of this that and the other. I didn’t have enough of any item to make a “proper dish” of anything, so I made stone soup at home of the bits and bobs from my refrigerator that needed to be eaten; while none of the ingriedients were any were near spoiled or bad, they still needed to be used an eaten.

What is included in this stone soup:

CHicken Bullion-water, carrots (diced)-half a large onion (course chunked)-medium tomato chunked-3 cups of raw kale-salt-pepper-2 medium red potatoes (chunky diced)-2tsp Italian seasoning

It was all simmered together for about 90 minutes (of course, while I caught up on my pen pal correspondence).

Stone Soup –potato vegetable soup

She Crab Soup, a Charleston Delight


I found a postcard in Charleston with a delightful recipe I feel is worth sharing! I hope you also enjoy!!!

See recipe below

Charleston, South Carolina She Crab Soup (taken from the Postcard)

2 tbsp butter, 1 tsp. Flour, 1 quart milk, 2 cups white crab meat with roe, 5 drops onion juice, 1/4 tsp pepper, 1/4 tsp mace, 1/2 tsp sea salt, 1/4 pint heavy cream (whipped) , 4-5 tbsp dry sherry, grated rind of one lemon

In the top of a double boiler, melt butter and blend with flour until smooth. While stirring constantly, add teh milk slowly. Then add the crab meat and roe plus all the seasonings, except sherry. Cook over low heat for 20 minutes. Serve warm in cups with one teaspoon of Sherry, and a topping of whipped cream.

Playing Postcard “Where’s Waldo” In Charleston, South Carolina.


A friend, many years ago, introduced me to the notion/game of playing “Where’s Waldo” postcard style and I fell in love with the game. The idea is simple, when on an adventure, in a new town or country or anything, find a few postcards and try to find each item on the postcard(s). Sometimes the greatest adventures are had while searching for the items, discovering hidden away treasures along the way and finding victory when you find the place!! It’s a lot of fun, I often will then send said postcard to a friend or family member, expressing the joy that was experienced or send it to myself, as a “rememberal” souvenir to add to my journal when I do return home.

Pineapple Fountain, A Welcoming Site, Charleston, South Carolina


Pineapple Fountain, Charleston, South Carolina, USA

The Pineapple Fountain, Charleston, South Carolina, located a couple of Blocks from Waterfront Park– a beautiful walk to reach the fountain, and what a stunner!! While the Fountain was bubbling and spouting while I visited, it provided beautiful entertainment and cool waters to splash my face in on such a hot day!!

A bit of history as to why the Pineapple is the symbol of welcome and hospitality, the Pineapple History can been joyfully read. This Pineapple sits on the welcome fronts of Charleston, most certainly welcoming locals, tourists and other adventures alike to the beauty of Charleston.

This is me, going into the fountain for refreshing cool off while doing walking adventures. The trees around the fountain are Palmettos, the state tree of South Carolina and other trees adorn the walk ways,

Live Music Duo-Music to my ears at Grits and Groceries, Belton/Due West South Carolina


An evening out with friends has proven to be quite lovely!

Live music, performed by a local duo, and great food at Grits and Groceries. Open for the live music outside of normal operating hours, the live event was quite entertaining and the sound quality was great way to have a lawn party with a small bonfire going .

Grits and Groceries – Destination restaurant in Belton, SC, featuring eclectic southern cooking

Discovering the vacation: tips for scheduling


Scheduling: it’s something we all do in life–dentists appointments, that meeting with the boss, pedicures with the girls, potlucks picnics for church- but what about scheduling a vacation? As Americans, we aren’t as “good” about taking time for a vacation or a true weekend getaway. Why not? The Washington posts suggests some reasons, Washington Post :

That’s not to say employers don’t offer vacation. According to the report, employers are granting paid vacation to 90 percent of full-time workers this year and 40 percent of part-time workers. But what might be shocking: Even when Americans get paid time off, they don’t use it all. And when they do use their days — it may not come as a surprise to learn — many of them fail to leave work fully behind.

Vacation might not even be an option for many in the United States, whether they can’t afford to lose wages or have to prioritize other spending ahead of leisure. The top barrier to taking a vacation is cost, says David Huether, senior vice president of research for the U.S. Travel Association. After that, he said difficulty getting away from work and dealing with the hassles of air travel stand between Americans and vacation.

What does America have against vacation? – The Washington Post

Vacation, down time, leisure trip, getting away from it all—however it’s said, everyone needs down time and something different. So how do we discover the world we live in without spending a fortune (as this is a travel adventure blog on how to go, see do on a frugal budget and about sites and venues that are affordable.)

Trips and vacations don’t need to cost and arm and leg to make it happen but with a little bit of planning and scheduling, it’s totally possible to have a vacation. This is adventurer is a working person, in total need of having a regular paycheck to pay bills and rent, not coming from a place of high independent wealth, it’s possible to still go and do, even on a yearly gross income of less than $25k.

Scheduling and planning on the key but flexibility is also important. If a package deal, say to Disney, is more of your cup of tea to lessen the hassle of planning things down to the detail, your vacation has just gotten a lot easier but more costly. How so? Package deals are generally more hassle free and everything is done for you, which can be cool and helpful but you pay for this hassle free, all inclusive package. If this is the venue and method you choose, wonderful!! The process of going on vacation, though, remains the same if you are creating a vacation of your own that isn’t a package deal, it’s about discovering what it will take to make the vacation happen: planning and scheduling.

Sit down and mark where you would like to go and do.

When is the best time to take time off of work?

Do you want to go to our venue during peak time or when a special event is occurring?

These are the key starting points. Why? Well, it will determine how much time you have to prepare and save for the trip, because, honestly, most of us just can’t take off on a whim, financially or professionally. We all also have preferences as well—be honest with yourself and those involved/going on the vacation as well. Your best friend is getting married, you really want to stay in the same hotel as the venue, even if it’s a bit pricey—you want to avoid big tourists sites—distillery tours are your priority—mojitos on the beach—hiking a specific trail—whatever it is that you desire and wish for, it’s possible with planning and scheduling–put your priorities and wishes first and “fudge” the non so important areas.

As an example, let’s decide that attending your best friends wedding is the priority and wish and you want to stay in the special venue hotel, but also make a vacation out of it (being somewhere else that isn’t your home area.) and that the wedding is 8 months away. Let’s say my friend, Gloria, in Denver, Colorado, is getting married in November of this year, as practice.

Planning out the money: You know you have 8 months to plan and make arrangements, perfect! With the internet, planning out flights or driving mileage, figuring out the cost of transportation is simple–and if flying, buying tickets in advance will save you a bundle. (If international flights are available by then, using http://www.skyscanner.com is a huge savings feature!)

Upon a cursory look, I can get a round trip flight from Greenville, S.C. to Denver, Colorado, for less than $200 roundtrip, per ticket, with a free checked bag (cha-ching!) Simply by using the internet, with less than 30 minutes in time, plugging in a few dates and details, you can find affordable airfare and hotel stays. (Hostelworld.com is a great site)

All the math below is based on a 7 day trip.

Airfare: $200 Hotel: $350 Food: $140 Fun Money $200 Treat for neighbor $20 Extras: $90= Total: $1000

That’s pretty affordable, in my book. While, it doesn’t include normal living expenses, those are figured to be already covered because adulthood is already being covered on a monthly basis. Treat for the neighbor equates to bringing home something as a thank you for whomever drove you up to the airport and picked you up–something sweet to say that you appreciate their help. By planning ahead, it will also give you plenty of opportunity to put in the request time off (and chances of a higher approval rating for planning advance) at work with your boss or HR department.

By choosing a hotel in the vicinity of the wedding venue, walking there will be a breeze (saving money by not needing a cab or ride share), also it will allow you to explore the areas and things by foot, which is always fun. Researching the area will also provide some low cost or free venues in the area that you can enjoy on your vacation as well.

Taking a week’s vacation for a friends wedding would require the traveler/adventurer would require saving $32 a week, which is very affordable (with the mindset that trimming a take out meal here, a special coffee there, having a movie night at home, it’s pretty easy to do!) and when the airfare portion is saved up, you can purchase your airfare in advance and rake in the savings! Many set up a special travel savings account with direct savings or put the money on a “prepaid” card so they can easily pay with the special travel card–or whatever method that you decide to use so that your travel funds get put all together.

Planning ahead and having a plan for your adventure and vacation will also give you something exciting and joyous to look forward to as well! Happy Travels!!

Easy Homemade Pasta Primavera


Sometimes an easy but tasty meal is needed and in a flash!! but who wants to blow their budget on an expensive meal? The following recipe costs a total of about $4-$4.50 I shopped at the local Dollar Tree/Dollar General for the items (when I was already out and about) and the recipe serves 3-4 adult size servings.

Ingredients:

1-1 lb box of whole grain penne pasta ($1.00 at Ingles Supermarket)

1 bag of frozen stir fry mix ($1 at Dollar Tree)

1 jar of Ragu Alfredo sauce ($1.25 at Dollar General)

1 can of Chicken breast ($1.25 Dollar General)

Cook the whole box of pasta according to the directions on the package.

While the pasta is cooking, open the bag of frozen stir fry and dump into a medium sized sauce pan with a little water added to the bottom, open the can of chicken (drain it first) and add to the stir fry vegetables (you won’t actually be frying the vegetables, just lightly steaming them with the chicken.)

When the pasta is about finished cooking, add the jar of the alfredo sauce to the chicken and chicken mix, simmer until hot. When the pasta is finished cooking, drain the water off.

Layer pasta on the bottom of the plate and top with the sauce/chicken/vegetable dish and voilà, you have pasta primavera with chicken.

Easy Homemade Mediterranean-semi scratch meal, serves 4


Ingredients:

1 pound yellow fish tuna (I used frozen)

1 1lb bag of stir fry vegetables (Frozen)

4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

1/4 tsp Lemon Pepper salt

1 package of butternut squash ravioli (i used fresh, organic)

4 tablespoons of fresh shredded parmesan cheese

Turn on oven to 400 degrees (F).

In a glass pie pan or baking dish, put in 2 tablespoons olive oil to cover and coat the dish. Put in the pieces of yellow fin tuna, sprinkle the lemon pepper salt over the fish. Dump the bag of stir fry on top of the fish, squeeze a bit of lemon juice on top of it all. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 70-80 minutes, until thoroughly cooked but not over done.

When the tuna vegetable combo is about 90% done, make the butternut ravioli according to the package directions.

When everything is completely cooked through and hot, layer up the food, starting from the plate then put:

ravioli-vegetables-tuna piece-drizzle of salt and olive oil-topped with parmesan cheese. Adding a squeeze of fresh orange to the side is a delicious but optional treat. Serve hot. Serves 4

Wrapping Up the Year


2020 for all of us has been quite an interesting year; a year no one expected on so many levels. The pandemic had cancelled trips and vacations, altered the way we mix and mingle, go to work and the way we even grocery shop. Alas, it has been an amazing year, full of wonderful twists and turns, interactions, new friends made and so much more! Lie is one big beautiful adventure, as seen in just a few of my photos.

In 2020, I have enjoyed numerous cemetery crawls, a handful of dates, I made new friends, saw family, my nephew was born this year, and so many other blessing occurred.

I hope your 2021 is as glorious and blessed as years passed and filled with many more adventures and excitement.

A morning stroll along my own Street, coffee in hand


Adventures can be enjoyed any where, even a stroll down my own street this lovely morning. Here in Upstate, South Carolina, the changing of the autumn leaves are still taking place and it is quite splendid. A little stroll provided quite a stunning view while enjoying the cool morning air and golden sunshine that glowed over the Seneca River tributary.

Living in a quite neighborhood complex has its perks, as you can well see, not a whole lot of traffic but a great place to enjoy a little adventure this morning, admiring all the pretty colors and hues and smiling at neighbors walking their dogs, all while sipping a toasted chestnut praline latte (Starbucks was on the drive home this morning!)

A fine and lovely autumn morning at an adventure best!