The Zarb Homestead

Living natural and healthy on a simple budget

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!


Breaking Dawn at Midnight November 29, 2011

Filed under: postaday2011,Uncategorized — Sheena @ 12:40 pm
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I am a huge fan of midnight releases, mostly because all late release I have been too before was Harry Potter. The energy with HP is so substantial. Everyone is in an excellent mood and people dressed as different characters, fun times. I remember the last movie we went to, we stopped by Target to get a few snacks and ended up dwelling with a guy dressed as Voldemort in the candy aisle. This was the first Twlight midnight show and it was a little different than I was expecting. Not saying it was good or bad, just different. I didn’t see one costume and it was about 50 % were teenage girls drooling over Edward or Jacob. Which don’t get me wrong; I was too but a little more discretely. I did win a Breaking Dawn small poster and Maria won a key chain on the Spin-the-Wheel game.

Before the movie, Maria and I went Brixx’s for some dinner, drinks, and a little trivia.  We arrived at the theater around 9:45 thinking we should get there semi early were we could find a good seat. Come to find out, they started sitting people at 8:00 pm so there wasn’t anyone in line or in the theaters. We walked around the lobby for about an hour then we found our seats in our # 2 theater and waited for about 1.5 hours before the movie begin. We couldn’t wait for it to begin. The movie was great! It lasted about 2 hours and was well worth it the wait and loss of sleep. I arrived at home around 3:00 am and had to work the next day. Thankfully I took 30 minutes lunches where I could come in 2 hours late.  I can’t wait to see it again. I actually liked it better than the book. The next time I go watch it I have to talk Phil into coming this time.


My Battle With Post-Potter Depression November 21, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sheena @ 5:02 pm
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I think I may be suffering from Post-Potter Depression. Friday, 11/11/11, was the last big event for Harry Potter, Deathly Hallows part 2 on DVD. Of course there will be a complete series box set or a new collector’s edition but nothing new to add to the Potter story.

To remember the last 10 years of waiting in lines, waiting/reading all the books, and watching every movie. So, finally I decided to get a tattoo to remember the HP experience. I know what you are thinking, this women is crazy nut and out of her mind; but Harry Potter means a lot more to me than just being so called “children books.”

I in no way enjoyed reading, I actually despised it, but once Harry Potter came out I thought I would give it another try since people were going mad about it. This was the first “real” book that I read that wasn’t required by school and was more than 200 pages long. Most of the time, if I was required to read a book, I would just research it online and find out enough about it just to pass the test. Reading just took too long and I had better things to do. Harry Potter was different, lit a fire underneath me for reading. I have read numerous books since I picked up my first Potter and especially enjoy reading now. I read on my breaks and lunches at work and when I have a dreadful day I read to relax me. Reading has opened countless windows for me, and one of them was writing. Thus, as you can see while reading this blog, I have a passion for writing, even though I am not that good at it. This also was another chore I disliked in school and now I try to write at least 2-3 times a week. Writing, like reading, relaxes me. Plus having this blog helps me keep a record of my life.

Anyways, back on the topic, so I decided to get a tattoo. I have always wanted one but never knew what to get or where to get it. I knew I wanted to be able to hide it and show it when I wanted and it had to mean something very special to me. After thinking on it for a few months I decided I wanted something that included my love of reading and adventure along with my passion for the outdoors. I finally decided on an owl sitting on books, and the books just happen to be Harry Potter books. On the top book I have HP written on the top and side to represent the first book in the series and the bottom book represents the last book and has the Deathly Hallows symbol on its side. The owl represents my love for outdoors and wildlife. The owl is an Eastern Screech Owl, which is the smallest species of owls and happens to be my favorite and is native to Tennessee. Now that I decided what I wanted, I had to settle on where I wanted it. I truly wanted it to look like a piece of art work; however to make it look realistic it had to be fairly large. So, I decided I wanted on my back on my left shoulder. Perfect! Now I had to find a person that could do it! This was the hard part. If you get the wrong person then you will have bad art work on your body for the rest of your life and that is the last thing I wanted.

I searched online for local artists and after looking at some profiles I found most specialized in color and in cartoon-like images. After looking for weeks for an artist who had at least 10 years tattooing experience and that specialized in black and grey along with realism; I finally found John Goard from Born This Way. After looking at some of his work, I knew he was the right person for me.

The day was November 3 when I decided to make my appointment. I picked up my friend Maria and went to Born This Way.  I was nervous because I didn’t know what to except. I knew it was going to be uncomfortable but wasn’t sure how uncomfortable. The tattoo artist described it best, by saying it felt like someone starching a bad sun burn, and it did. I was thinking it would take about 2 hours however it ending up taking almost 5 hours. By the time the 4th hour rolled around I was done but I had to tough it out until the end. I am so glad I finally bit the bullet and got it. Now it has finally healed, took about 10 days, and looks great. Below are the pictures as I was getting it done, step by step.

Hopefully this will help with my Post Potter Depression.


Painting in Nashville November 7, 2011

Over the weekend we went to Nashville to visit with Phil’s mother, Linda. We haven’t been in awhile decided to pack up and leave on last Friday. We left the dogs at the house for the first time, we normally always just take them but my brother-in-law and his girlfriend were staying in town and didn’t care to watch them. I hope 🙂 Sometimes, it feels like we are parents of 5 children (3 dogs, 2 cats) and need to get away, alone, even for a few days away from the kids.

It was nice just spending time together even if it was just running errands and fixing things around the house. On Sunday, Phil left to meet up with his dad for half of the day which left me and my mother-in-law with nothing to do. She has taken painting classes before and I have always wanted to try one but never had the time. The class she normally goes to is called Sips and Strokes. You can bring your own wine and enjoy a painting class for $25. Sounds entertaining, but the painting they were doing that day was Christmas themed and I really didn’t want a Christmas tree hanging in my house all year long. Then, she remembered another place called Wine and Easel. It was pretty much the same idea but the painting they were doing was a coffee cup. Perfect, I could hang that in the kitchen. We signed up online and with a $5 coupon code it was only $20 + tax.

The class started at 2:00 and we arrived about 10 minutes early. There were about 20 people in the class and 2 art instructors. It was set up like a classroom with about 5 rows of tables on the right and left with 4 chairs per table. The canvas, apron, paints, and brushes were all ready set up for you. Once the class started, we were instructed to trace the cup and then you had free range of how you wanted to paint the rest of the picture. I was a little stocked. I thought we were going to be taught how to paint the painting but the teacher just kept saying “the painting should express who you are, everyone’s will be different.” I was thinking I hope this isn’t what I am; I bunch of colors smashed together and looking like a mess. My mother-in-law wasn’t enjoying her painting at all. She said she had never been to a class like that. Her instructors before would show you how to do each step and they took their time. Ours seemed like he was in a hurry and stood in front of the canvas so we couldn’t see a thing he was doing and his “assistant” never said one word to us. With all of that, I think our paintings turned out pretty good but we are going to try the other place next time.

My painting is on the right; Linda’s is on the left


Don’t Float the Main Stream October 28, 2011

Filed under: postaday2011 — Sheena @ 12:02 pm
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Phil has always had a sincere passion for beer and has always wanted to take the tour of the Sweetwater Brewery in Atlanta, GA.  Since, Brewery’s Jam in Knoxville had sold-out and we couldn’t find tickets at a sensible price, we decided to make our way to GA. I had the Race for the Cure that morning but I finished around 10:30. I had to hurry because the tours start at 2:30 and end at 4:30 and the drive took about 3 hours. We got lost took a detour around Atlanta so we were running slightly behind. We arrived at Sweetwater around 3:30 just in time for the tour. Warning, if you go take this tour you have to park far away from the brewery and walk in some alleys to get to the place. We had to pull out Google Maps to find our way.

You pay $10 to get a get a nice pint glass and 6 tickets. The tickets are for your beers. If you get the light beer = 1 ticket. The darker beers = 2 tickets. They have screens to watch the game and a place to buy souvenirs. Be warned though: there is no food so eat before you go and when they say they close at 4:30, they close, so get there early. The tour only takes about 20 minutes and the rest of the time is for beer sampling.

I would recommend this as a good weekend trip for the beer enthusiast. The tour doesn’t last very long so I would plan something else to do if you are staying the night in Atlanta.

I would like to go back in the spring because currently they are in the middle or renovating and expanding their brewery, so it might be nice to check to them out after they expanded.


Race for the Cure, Knoxville Style October 27, 2011

Filed under: postaday2011,Uncategorized — Sheena @ 4:17 pm
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In celebration of breast cancer awareness month, Maria and I did the Race for the Cure in Knoxville on October 21. It was a very wintry morning. I overheard one person say this was the coldest it has ever been for the race. Either way, I layered up and went to face the crowd and cold. This was our first time doing the race and wasn’t sure what to expect. I had Phil drop us off were we didn’t have to fight the traffic and worry about finding a place to park. He dropped us off at World’s Fair Park and we made our way to the gigantic crowd of people. I couldn’t believe how many people there were. I saw a news paper article that said there were around 13,000 racers and over 800 of them were breast cancer survivors! I was honored to be able to join them.

After the walk, 5K = 3.10685 miles, which took about 1 hour, we checked out some of the vendors that volunteered their time and money. We got hot coffee from Starbucks and fresh fruit from Kroger. Ford was there giving out scarf’s and McDonalds handing out free mocha fraps.

We had a great time and it was a great experience. I will without doubt be participating next year. Just is better costume like the guy below 🙂


“See Rock City”, We did! October 25, 2011

When you are driving down the interstate in east Tennessee you can’t go too long before you see a barn painted with “See Rock City”. I have seen this many times since I was a child and never knew what Rock City was. Over the weekend, Phil and I went to Atlanta, GA for a weekend trip and we ended up canceling our trip to the zoo since it was packed with hundreds of children dressed in Halloween Costumes, Boo at the Zoo, and went to see what Rock City was all about.

We took the exit off the interstate and took 1 mile trip up the mountain. Once we arrived I was surprised at the amount of people there. I thought it was going to be a little roadside attraction with maybe 30 visitors. There were about 100 people just walking around the entrance and the parking lot, I was surprised. We waited in line to get our ticket which were $16/person, not too bad, and made our way to the entrance of the Rock Gardens. There are 3 different paths you can take to Lover’s Leap, the main attraction, one was the green path, easy, second was the yellow, mild, and the red path, harder. Of course we take the red path; this path had more stairs and some very tight squeezes. The gardens contain hundreds of labeled local trees and plants. The trail also leads through a variety of bizarre rock formations, including the 1000-ton Balanced Rock and the Fat Man’s Squeeze.


After taking the garden path, you end at Lovers Leap. This is the place where you can see 7 states (TN, KY, GA, NC, AL, SC and VA) at once. Legend states that a Native American man who loved a woman from a rival tribe was thrown from the lookout when his love was discovered.  This is my try at a panarama view.

They have all 7 state flags displayed.

Since, it was October they were having Rocktober Fest. This = a very happy Phil.

Rock City also does bird shows at different times of the day. We just happen to catch the end of the 3:30 show. They feature different types of birds of prey and we got to see a baldheaded eagle, turkey vulture, and a screech owl.  I felt like a youngster again because I LOVE OWLS and the screech owl is my al time favorite. I waited in line with all the children to get my turn to pet the little owl. Oh, I loved it!

If you have children, you may want to check out Fairyland Cavern feature. This is a cave that features all the Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes.  I honestly found the place kind of creepy. They have all the different sets of fairy tales and the characters glow in a black light. They have nursery rhymes music in the background and it is  dark. Not my cup of tea. Would have made a great haunted house! 

We finally got to “See Rock City” and I got my little barn birdhouse!