• Confessions,  Do I Really Want My Readers To Know This?,  Food,  Fun in Knoxville,  I've Got Mad Skillz

    The Thrill is in the Hunt.

    I used to throw themed parties all the time. My boys were raised with big birthday parties that had tons of elements that coordinated with whatever show, movie, or thing they were into that year. The ability to take a theme and run with it, usually far further than the average person would care to and what I mean by that is “until said theme is nearly dead and gasping for breath but in a good way,” is something I come by honestly: my sister and I both get it from our mom. While I have contributed ideas for themed parties in the past few years when my friends have…

  • Friends,  Fun in Knoxville,  Something That Could Change Your Life

    Friender Bender

    I love my car. Wait, let me correct that: I LOVE MY CAR, in BOLD and ALL CAPS. I’ve been driving this Buick Regal GS for five years (Day One pictured above), and you know how usually there’s a honeymoon phase with a new car but after a while your eyes start to wander in the direction of newer cars? That hasn’t happened with me and this vehicle. I mean, my Dream-Car-Since-I-Was-Sixteen is coming up next, but I’m in absolutely no hurry. That’s because this gorgeous red car is so *mwah, kisses fingers* with its sunroof, power everything, leather (and heated) seats, adaptive cruise control, heated steering wheel (just to…

  • Blessings,  Fun in Knoxville,  Motivation,  Pretty Pictures

    Two Years.

    It was two years ago today when I moved back to Knoxville after 26 years of living in my beloved hometown (well, the greater Chicagoland area). First: I can’t believe it’s been two years. Second: I wish I could go back and tell the pre-move Melisa, who was terrified of the change and very upset about leaving the greatest city in the entire world, that not only was everything going to be okay but also that she could let go and be assured that this move would lead to a season of life that would be one of her happiest. Jim and I have had way too many adventures to…

  • Fun in Knoxville,  Random Thoughts

    Awkwardly Pleasant and Pleasantly Awkward

    In the week or two ahead of Christmas I do my best to cut back on errands that require me to go out in public so as to avoid the chaos. It’s bad enough dealing with the occasional distracted driver or the one who drives across parking lots like a bat out of hell or the people who bump into others without apologizing on a normal day in the spring; the second half of December is the worst. Years like this one when Hanukkah arrived and ended a little early are my favorite because it helps the cause, the cause being my sanity. Unfortunately, Jim and I do need to…

  • Fun in Knoxville,  I'm Apparently Old.,  Music

    Live From the Cheap Seats

    Last week we went to a blues concert here in town. The concert was good, but not my favorite. No offense to the artist who shall remain unnamed here; part of my problem is that the venue was standing room only and that is one of my least favorite things in the world: I need that chair behind me. Even if I’m going to stand for hours at a concert I love–like Foo Fighters–I am mentally more comfortable knowing that I have the option to sit in a chair for a few minutes if I need to. At the concert last week we took the recommendation of a friend and…

  • Confessions,  Fun in Knoxville,  Random Thoughts

    My Refrigerator: In Constant Evolution

    I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about my refrigerator lately. I remember when I was in college: my roommate and I had one of those tiny dorm refrigerators. We had typical college dorm stuff in there: leftover pizza, pudding, cheese, cans of pop…you get the idea. When Jim and I got married, he was in the Navy and out on the ship a lot. We were also on an extremely tight budget so as I recall I had the following in the refrigerator: cheese, jelly to go with my peanut butter sandwiches, ketchup, bread, and milk for the endless supply of Kraft macaroni and cheese I kept in the…

  • Childhood Memories,  Confessions,  Fun in Knoxville

    Home is Where the Heart is.

    One of the scariest things about moving away from a long-time home is the idea of starting over again, from scratch. Finding the nearest grocery stores and other preferred shops, setting up new doctors and a dentist, figuring out if the area where you think you want to purchase a home is actually the area in which you think you’ll be happy long-term, and so many other details can be completely overwhelming. Multiply that frustration by three or four times if your long-time home also happens to be the city where you’re from originally and then multiply that by ten times if you’re a control freak who hates change. I…