The Zarb Homestead

Living natural and healthy on a simple budget

Happy X-Mas December 29, 2011

Filed under: postaday2011,Uncategorized — Sheena @ 4:57 pm
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Sometimes you should be careful what you wish for. If you read my last blog I was complaining about how my Christmas Day is always so hectic and how I wished it would change. Well, this year it did, big time. I was planning for my normal Christmas hustle when news hit that my grandfather had passed away. This was a massive blow to my family. Don’t get me wrong, we all knew it was coming sooner or later, the man was 95 years old but we didn’t think that soon. I was never very close to my grandfather matter-of-fact he loved my brother more than me because he will carry on the Bolt name; however I never think he will have children, thus our family name dies. Anyway, I was super close to my grandmother, Pauline, and she has been gone for 5 years now. Following her passing, my grandfather started to turn into a bitter man that I really didn’t want to be around. The last time I saw him was about 2 years before he passed. This was around the time he disowned me because I lived with Phil and we weren’t married. I was so called “shacked up.” No worries, I understood the way he was raised and why he believed and acted the way he did. Still he passing really saddens me. I remember the times as a child playing with him at his house on the river with me and my brother. How whenever I was sick he would always pick me up from school. I miss the good ol days, the simple days.

The night after the funeral we had to go to my Father-in-laws house for annual Christmas dinner with the nieces. My step mother-in-law cooks a big dinner and the children open presents. We normally don’t attend this since we usually go to Nashville but they decided to have it a day earlier and we were able to attend. While the girls were opening presents Phil’s Mother called and left a voicemail to call her ASAP.

Sadly, we found out that Phil’s much loved aunt had also passed that day. All of our holiday plans got flipped. His mother was on her way to Michigan, where his aunt lived, and so no trip to Nashville. Phil and his younger brother were packing to leave on Christmas day, so we had to change our plans and do Christmas on Christmas Eve. No big deal for my parents. They easily changed their plans to accommodate ours. Phil’s family had already had plans and wouldn’t be back until 10:00 pm on Christmas Eve. We arrived at my parent’s house in Loudon around 2:00 pm. The plan was to eat and gifts then head out to get a few things for our ski trip, that didn’t happen. Needless to say, Phil got a bottle of Wild Turkey and him, his brother, my brother, and my dad finished that off plus some. I guess it help take the edge off :). We had a great time there, honestly one of our best Christmas’s. I guess death does bring a family together. By the time I looked at the clock it was 10:15 pm and we had to run off to his parents. The guys had a few more drinks and unwrapped so more gifts. We left there around 12:30 am. The guys left the next day (Christmas) around 11:00 am for their 8-9 drive to Michigan. I spent our first married Christmas without my husband. I guess I was complaining before when it wasn’t that bad.




Most Wonderful Time of the Year December 20, 2011

Filed under: postaday2011,Uncategorized — Sheena @ 12:31 pm
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This is a demanding time of the year for everyone and I am being fully affected by it. I am working 10 hour days since we are closed on Friday and Monday and then trying to get ready for the Holidays in my “free time”. December is always a stressful month for me. I have to get all my Christmas shopping done for my family and my husband’s while staying my small budget. Needless to say, I have to groom a few dogs and sell things on eBay but every year I always make it without charging anything on the credit cards! With the holidays emptying my pockets, I also the Zarb annual family ski trip to Colorado and there is nothing cheap about skiing. We are leaving on New Year’s Eve and will be gone for 7 days 🙂 but I have to get everything packed and ready to go, more stress. SO MUCH TO DO! Starting to feel that Holiday stress, like normal.

You would think after 8 years I would have gotten a handle on managing mine and his families but not yet. This Thursday, I have to pack us and all the dogs to our annual Christmas trip to Nashville to visit Phil’s mother, Linda. We stay there until Christmas day, and then we wake up very early and pack up the car and start our Christmas adventure.

The day goes like this: Car: drive to Knoxville – 3 hours with dogs. Home: drop off dogs, unpack enough to make room for new gifts, grab gifts for both families – place in car, back in car, drive 1 hour. My parent’s house: Christmas dinner, gifts, back in car, drive 30 minutes. Phil’s parents: Dinner again, gifts, drinks, back in car, drive 45 minutes. Home! (Around 1:00 am): Too tired to care about gift exchange, hand Phil his present and go to bed.

Every year we say we are going to have to modify something but each year we do the identical schedule. It is so hard to make everyone content. People get mad because we don’t spend enough time here or there, but there are only so many hours in the day. It is kind of hurtful when you bust your butt to get from one place to another and sacrifice your time and happiness and you get there they have started dinner without you. At times, I honestly think we will have to have children before we can enjoy a simple Christmas together, sadly. Just thought I would spread my holiday cheer!


Wondering About WonderWorks December 7, 2011

Filed under: postaday2011,Uncategorized — Sheena @ 8:13 pm
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Everyone locally has seen this upside down building while driving through Pigeon Forge, I being one of them, but never knew what this place was. Without doing any research Phil and I decided to check it out. This place is like a huge arcade but you only pay one fee, around $25, and you can play all day.

Inside they have arcade games, rock climbing, virtual roller coaster, rope walking (very scary), bubble making, etc.  I did notice that most of the interactive things were broken or did not work. They are also very firm with their weight policy on some of the rides and will make you stand on the scale to make sure you didn’t break the limit. It was a rainy day so there weren’t many people and hardly any lines.

This place does have something for everyone at any age but is better if you have children around the age of 8 and up. Not saying we didn’t have fun, but children would get more out of it then just adults. I did have a kick out of chasing Phil in Laser Tag but learning at the end of the game I am not very good at it.

It was fun acting like a kid again!