The Zarb Homestead

Living natural and healthy on a simple budget

Bird Watching In The City March 25, 2013

DSC_0003 (2)This is how I know I am getting older, I am writing a blog about watching and taking photos of birds in my backyard. I have been feeding and housing birds since I moved in our house however I did it more for the cats to watch them through the windows in the house but my indoor/outdoor cat tends to eat them.

The first picture is a Coopers Hawk that lives in my woods. He/she sits up the dogwood tree watching the small birds eat at the bird feeders and picks them off. Hey, it is a bird of prey. Below are a few of my better shoots of the birdies in my backyard.

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Ice Storm Khan January 27, 2013

If you live in East Tennessee then you already know what I am talking about. They named her Khan and she was cold as ice. She coated East Tennessee with a thin layer of freezing rain all day on Friday. Everything shut down, the town of Knoxville was hardly in operation. No mail, no newspaper, nothing was moving and that included us. We stayed home, didn’t have a choice really, and had a lazy day. I wrote a blog, cleaned house, cooked, baked, etc while he played Call of Duty for hours. I started getting a small case of cabin fever by dinner time and really wanted to leave but didn’t for fear the roads would refreeze once the sun was down. Our pups weren’t too happy about Khan and had trouble getting around outside to do their business. They were ice skating on the porch and in the yard.The Yorkie had to be rescued because after multiple attempts to climb the back steps he just couldn’t and I had to go get him. It was nice to stay home for a change but I am ready for warmer Spring time weather to come fast.

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Tennessee Party Bike December 9, 2012


If you are out and about then you may have seen the Tennessee Party Bike pedaling its way down the roads in East Tennessee. The party bike holds up to 15 passengers with 10 peddle seats and 5 stationary seats plus 1 seat for the sober driver. The bike has a few different tours you choose from in 3 different cities. Once a deal for it  popped up on Living Social, we got a group together and purchased tickets to try it out. On Saturday, a group of 9 of us cashed in our vouchers for the Pigeon Forge winery/brewery tour. This tour starts at the Mt. Valley Winery and stops at Salsarita’s, Smoky Mountain Brewery, and Mellow Mushroom. It has very few hills and only about 4-5 miles round trip.  You do however have to be 21 to ride the party bike and sign a waiver that you do not need to wear a helmet. The cost is about $10/per person and will need at least 8 people to peddle.

Here is an image from their Facebook page of the bike. Please note, the seats above the wheels do not have peddles and if you are not at least 5 ft 6” this is where you will be sitting. If you are short, like me, you will not be able to reach peddles and the seats do not adjust.

The tours last about 2 hours with 4-5 stops along the way. You book what time you want to start (9:00 am – 12:00 am) and they will have the bike waiting on you at your first stop. We met around 4:00 pm at winery and started to peddle when the sun was starting to set. The weather was prefect not too hot and not too cold and no rain but traffic was bad.  Next time, I would prefer to do the whole route at night, it was funner in the dark. You start peddling down the main strip in Pigeon Forge for a few blocks to your second destination. Once parked, everyone runs in and grabs a drink and then jumps back on the bike and peddle a few more blocks to your next stop.  TN law does not allow public drinking; therefore, alcohol is not allowed to be consumed on the bike but that wasn’t a problem.

Here we are having fun

It was super fun event. I could not tell you how many people were laughing, taking pictures and hooking their horns to cheer us on as we made our way around. I hope they weren’t hooking because they were mad because the bike has a top speed around 5 mile per hour but if traffic was getting backed up, we would pull to the side to let it pass.

Here we are sitting letting traffic pass still having a good time

If you want to book a tour or for anymore information you can check out their website.

This is a great healthy and  eco-friendly event to book. I would recommend it to everyone who is 18 and up to try.


The Tomb February 8, 2012

What a showery weekend it was in East Tennessee last weekend. What to do, what to do. The guys (my husband and his friends) wanted to go to Bass Pro Shop, blah, to check out some gun stuff. I am sure I get the same feeling as he does when I tell him that Victoria Secrets is having their Semi-Annual Sale and he is going with me. Needless to say, I don’t take pleasure in going and looking at hunting, fishing, and gun stuff for hour’s apron hours. Maria and I decided to go to outlet malls to do some shopping. Let me say that I am not the “shopping type” but I much rather shop than watch the guys look at hunting stuff. They guys dropped us off on their way to Bass Pro. We browsed the in and out of the shops in the outlet for a few hours. We only purchased a few things from Earthbound Trading Co. and American Eagle Outfitters. By the time the guys picked us up, about 3 hours later, we were starving and decided to go to Smokey Mountain Brewery in Pigeon Forge for dinner. After we had a few drinks and grossly full from dinner we wanted to try out The Tomb.

The Tomb was an attraction at the beginning of the shopping center. The building was shaped like a pyramid along with Egyptian themed decorations all over the place. We weren’t sure at first what it was but after reading the large sign posted on the middle of the wall it stated that it was an adventure hunt. We talked the employees at the counter down on the ticket price from $12.99 to $11.99, I know big hustlers, and went inside. We had to wait about 10 minutes on the other group to get started before the adventure began. Our guide lead us into in a small room about 8×8 and informed us about  a  tomb that was discovered on site about 10 years ago and only one person has been able to open the door but that person hasn’t been seen since that day. Our goal was to get inside the tomb and make it out alive.

The tour starts out with trying to figure out how to open the door of the tomb once in the tomb the pharaoh states that you have entered his tomb and you must solve 3 puzzles to get to the other rooms. The same thing occurs as you go from room to room, solve the puzzle and move on. Once you solve the last puzzle you are free to leave.

The whole escapade takes about 45 minutes and I would say it is geared more for children and families. It might be frightening for younger children due to a number of the rooms being quite dark. At times you have to navigate with flashlights. It was entertaining but it was one of the things you can only do once. It was something nice to do on a rainy weekend.