The Zarb Homestead

Living natural and healthy on a simple budget

You + Me = Us Through The Years November 21, 2012

This Thanksgiving will be #9 for the hubby and I. It is strange how time flies by and gets away from you in a blink of an eye. It seems like yesterday we were going on our first date and being all bubbly eyed at each other. I was organizing my photos and thought it would be nice to put together a time-line of the “us.” A lot of has happened and changed since it all began in 2004. Hairstyles and colors gone bad along with different clothing styles. I giggles a bit at some of them. Well, here is a walk down memory lane.


Our first date after talking for 2 months 🙂 This was taken in the parking garage in West Town Mall. We went to see a movie but I couldn’t tell you what it was.


We both love the outdoors and here we are camping in the Smoky Mountains


After 2 years of dating we decided to get our own place together. This is us in downtown Knoxville watching Boomsday.


We were cruising to Mexico and the Cayman Island this year. This was my first time out of the country and my first cruise.


We had so much fun, we were off to Mexico, again! This was the year we purchased our first home together.


Here is my brother-in-law and us enjoying our “new” boat


Never skied before or been on a plane. I had a mild nervous break down on the plane and found out that I am not that coordinated to ski but we still had a great time.


7 years down the road we finally say “I do!”


Still happily together as we were in 2004


Skiing in 2012 – Zarb Family Vacation January 11, 2012

Day 1
Last week was the annual Zarb family ski trip to Colorado; however, there was a snag in our trip, no snow. That’s right a ski trip without snow. I have never seen the Rocky Mountains without snow on them. I see why they are called the Rockies; they look like huge rocks with pine trees place on them. The way I normally see them is snow covered hills that have perfectly placed pine trees that look like Christmas trees with fake snow sprayed on them, breathtaking. We arrived in Denver on New Year’s Eve and planned to stay 8 days, leaving on 1/8. From the airport we have a 2.5 hour drive up the mountain to Vail, where the house we rented was. We always stop at this little BBQ place about 45 minutes in the drive for some food (one of the best places I have ever eaten). We arrive at our rental in the afternoon. This place was great! My father-in-law really out did himself this time. It was a 3 story cabin sitting on a hill with the National Park as our back yard, beautiful. Phil wasn’t feeling well that whole day; his allergies were bothering him before we left Knoxville and weren’t getting better in CO. The family goes out to explore the town and go to the store to stock the kitchen while I play Nurse Sheena. Being New Years Eve, we wanted to go out and get a drink or stay home and watch the ball drop, neither happen. It had been a long day for everyone and with the 2 hour time change everyone was in bed around 10:00 pm, we were lame
Day 2
Everyone awoke planning on hitting the slopes or at least checking out the conditions at the local ski resort. Phil, still not feeling well, stayed at home and of course I stayed home with him. Along with his bad cold he also gets a bloody nose when the air is really dry and he gets them really bad, normally they last about 1 hour. After a long shower and me boiling water he finally feels well enough to go get lunch and go rent my skies and boots. We found this really nice brewery called Gore Range Brewery. The beer wasn’t the best but they had great food. We got a sit next to the kitchen and saw the food that was getting delivered to all the tables, everything looks awesome. I got a brick oven pizza and Phil got the wings, but we wanted to return before the end of trip to try some other things. The rest of the day was lying around watching movies, eating pizza, and taking it easy.

Day 3

This is my first day hitting the slopes. The local resort was too icy and rocky to ski safely, and the only place around that had the best skiing conditions in the area was a placed called Breckenridge. I have skied there before on the last trip and loved it there. The slopes weren’t as changeling and the people were really nice; however, it was almost an hour drive down the mountain. I haven’t skied in a year and wasn’t too sure if it was like riding a bike, you never forget, and it was I took the first slope and started were I left off. We skied 2 runs before we had to meet everyone for lunch. Once we arrived in the cafeteria Phil’s parents told us they were opening up a new resort at Peak 7 and if you did a tour then you got 2 free lift tickets. The only condition was you had to at least 25 and married, perfect we were in an set up to go at 2:00.

Once we arrive we find out it was a time share event but we still wanted the 2 tickets ($250.00 value) and did the tour but once it came time look at the paper work it wasn’t something I wanted to do. Of course you never can just walk away. Every time we got up they would put someone else in front of us. This 90min tour was taking 4 hours. I was getting mad. Finally, I said no and walked away. As my luck would have it, the lift had stopped for the day and the lady doing the tour had to take us to our car. The whole ride down the mountain she was trying to talk me into still, but in the end we did get lift tickets. We finally met up with the family and went home to have dinner.

Day 4
Off the Breckenridge again. Since we only got to ski 1/2 a day on Day 3, we wanted to use our free lift tickets. I, being a scared beginner, skies very slow and I feel bad for Phil because he is always waiting on me. So, after we met up for lunch I told him I would go with his brother skiing and he could go with his Dad where he could get some real skiing in. I was a bit nervous because last time I did this I ended up going down a black diamond on my butt when I trusted his dad to help teach me. So off I go with his brother and his girlfriend and after about 1 run she takes off because I am not going fast enough. We make is 1/2 down Peak 9 and were going to catch a lift that takes you to Peak 8 where we would end our day. This is where it gets interesting, I have never had a problem getting on the ski lifts before but I guess since the base wasn’t very deep and I haven’t grown in years I was too short for this lift. The first time, I ski up to catch the lift (this is a lift that is already going and you have to jump on when there is an empty chair) because I see an open seat and when I go to sit down, I fall under the lift. Of course I am so embarrassed, they have to stop the lift where I can get up and get back inline. My brother-in-law also gets off to help me and make me feel better. Ok, so I am back in line, this time I think that the lift hit my ski coat and it was too slick the first time so this time I pull it up. Bam, something happens only this time I get on the lift and fall off. I lose my ski, my glove on my left hand, and both of my poles. I didn’t realize until later that I got hit in the head and it cracked my helmet! A little dazed, I get up, my brother-in-law still on the lift can’t get off because it is too high and I have to try a third time to get on. I get in line with 2 other girls and I inform them the issues I have been having. The lift guys promise me that they will get me on the lift this time. Very scared, I ski up to the line to load on the lift, they pick me up and sit me on it, very relived I am on the lift, however I did still lose my pole by the lift guys were able to hand it to me in time.  Once on the top my brother-in-law was waiting on me, thank goodness, and we skied our way down an easy green and ended the day at the bar at the base of the mountain. I needed a good drink after my embarrassment of closing the lift 3 times 😦

Day 5
This is the day we sat aside for a tour of the New Belgium Brewery in Fort Collins. I will write a blog just on this day.

I caught Phil’s cold, I had to stay home while Phil and his dad and step mom went skiing. I stayed at home with the brother-in-law and his girlfriend. Really didn’t feel like doing much but we did go back to the brewery for lunch, they have the best food. We did a little shopping in Beaver Creek, another ski resort in the area.
Day 7

This was our last day to go skiing and I was very nervous about getting on any of the chair lifts, but that is the only way up the mountain so I wasn’t going to waste the money and sit at the bottom. Phil and I make out a plan to take the blue runs. We go up to the lift and everything moves so fast I didn’t have time to think. I ski up to the yellow line and bam on the seat and up the mountain I went. Perfect! As soon as we get to the top Phil gets another nose bleed. We stand on the side on the slope trying to get it to stop for about 30 minutes. He finally packs it and we make our way down the mountain. I am still dreading getting on the lift again but nothing odd happens. We do 1 more run. While we are in line to get on the ski lift again his nose starts bleeding again so bad that we have to go to the locker rooms. After 3 boxes of tissue and an hour later we decided we have to leave. Phil was so mad that we didn’t get to ski much and pretty much wasted the money. On the bright side, on our way down the mountain on the gondola, we saw 2 moose eating right below us, made us feel a little bit better. The snow is starting to pour down and the interstate is covered. We could hardly see where we were going. Sliding all over the road in a Chevy Malabo rental wasn’t fun. The hour drive took twice as long due to the snow but we finally made it home. We pull 1/2 way up the drive way, because we couldn’t make it all the way up, and open the garage door, smoke pours out. We think the house is on fire! We jump out of the car and hear sirens going off in the house (Phil’s nose is still bleeding) we run up the stair and the carbon dioxide detectors are screaming! We hurry and open all the windows and doors in the house to help air it out. After about an hour of the fans running with the doors open, remember it is 20 degrees outside, we finally just give in. Sitting in the freezing house only 1 detector is still screaming, we toss it outside. Heads hurting, moods not so good, we sit quietly in the living room. No TV on, no sound at all, we just sit. We both don’t have a temper and when we get mad we are silent. We finally calm down before the rest of the family get home. What a day!

Day 8
Time to go home. This is bitter sweet, but I was ready to get back to my normal life. We boarded the plane at 5:00 pm in Denver and arrived home around 9:15 PM in Knoxville. I was so glad to see 2 of my dogs; the little one stayed in at my mom’s house in Loudon and wouldn’t be able to get him until Monday, and my cats. Home Sweet Home!


Alpine Skiing in Colorado- For the first time EVER February 2, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sheena @ 8:14 pm
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The annual family ski trip to Vail, Co was last month, January 3 -9. Not only was it a great ski trip, it was my first ski trip.  Phil has been skiing since he could walk and I didn’t even know what a lift was. I was thinking this is a bad idea. I can barley walk normal without failing. Now I’m going to go down a hill, covered in snow, with sleds strapped to my feet, great idea.

I didn’t own any snow gear so,  Phil had to take me to the only 2 ski stores in the area Alpine Ski Center and the Board Room for my ski gear. This was a challenge in itself due to me being the size of a large elf. First I needed a ski coat. That should be easy right? LOL not at all. I have short arms and NONE of the women’s coats would fit my stubby arms.  So, I had to try on the little girls and the arms fit great however I have a few body features that 8 year-olds tend to not have, like hips. Next, was the little boys and had the same problem but I looked like spriderman. I finally found one but the arms were still too long and I just had to deal with it. Next, was the snow pants. I thought here we go again I have short legs and I cant even find blue jeans to fit me. The first pair I tried on PERFECT fit. Finally, the last major item I needed was my gloves. This was, like the coat, a problem too. I have a hand the size of a child’s and the stores were out of childrens gloves.  I had to get a small in women’s mittens and they were too big but I had to make do. I still had to purchase Smart Wool socks and a lot of winter hats. Shopping was finally finished after 2 months.

All packed up and ready to go, but now I have to get to Colorado. Since the most common way of travel when going long distances is via plane. I have never been on a plane before.  It was a direct flight to Denver, CO. We were running behind for our flight, the whole family runs on “Zarb time” so once we got in the airport we had to board to plane. It was too much too fast  for me. At the last minute I find out since we were late I would have to sit alone. I got on the plane and freaked out! But I settled down after the man beside me changed seats with Phil.

Arrived in Denver, CO around 5:00 and it was dark outside. We still had to go rent a car and drive 2 hours up the mountain to Vail. By this time we were starving and decided to stop at a BBQ place in the middle of the mountain. It was really good BBQ . I wish they were local were I could book them for my wedding 😉 We arrived in Vail around 8:00 pm . The condo we were staying in was really nice, a lot better than any of us had expected. It had a log cabin style with 3 bedrooms and 3 baths and over looking the balcony was a stream running through the back yard.

Day One: We decided to go to Beaver Creek  for Phil to warm-up and for me to learn.  We didn’t even get a lift ticket at first because I wasn’t sure I would be able to get on a lift my first day. I began on the bunny hill, a long with a few children and a group of adults from the ski school. It took me a while to figure out how to put on and move in the skies. Phil decided it was time for me to go down the “big” bunny hill. Then, near the middle  of the hill I see a 2 year old baby fly past me. That made me feel about 2 inches tall. I had to speed it up a bit. After lunch I decided to get a beginners lift ticket and try a bigger slope. When we arrived at the top I put my skies on and got about 10 ft before I began to tumble down the hill. I was mad at this point, about to just give up because I couldn’t stand up. Poor patient Phil, helped me up and talked me in to trying it again. Once I gained a little speed, and I mean little, down the slope it got a little easier. I was so happy that I did it! Phil wanted to try it again before the lift closed. I made it down the slope the second time in 10 mins.  Since, I was getting the hang of it we went on the lift 3 more times! By this time the sun was beginning to set and the lifts were closing. When we got back to the condo I was EXHAUSTED. I went to bed at 8:30.

Day Two: On this day we decided to go to Vail, a little bit more challenging mountain.  Vail had a lot more experienced people there. Phil took me on my first Green hill. It wasn’t too bad but it took me a while to get use to being on the skis again. However, one thing I didn’t like was the experienced riders flying down the Green slopes. They are marked Green because they are for beginners.  Phil had to match every move I made to block me from getting ran over. After lunch, Phil’s dad thought it would be a good idea to take me and let Phil get some real skiing in. I was okay with that and Phil said he would stay with me for a little bit. His dad took us down a trail and then there was a fork in the trial. There was not a sign to say what way we should go so we guessed and took a left. Wrong, this was the BLACK DIAMOND with moguls! There was no turning back I couldn’t hike up the hill in skies, but how was I going to get down? On my butt, I kicked off my skies and down I went. Poor Phil had to go down backwards for most of the hill because he had to grabs my skies and throw them down. I was so tired I had to take the lift down the mountain.

Day Three: Another day at Vail. This day I wanted to try to go down a Blue slope. Hey, if I can go down a Black I surely can do a blue. Well, I ended up having to take a blue because I couldn’t read the signs. It was a long hard ride down. I cut across that mountain about 30 times before I made it all the way down. I did it! I didn’t think I was going to be able to walk once we arrived at the condo.

Day Four: Off to Breckenridge. This ski resort was about 1 hour away but his dad had never been there before and wanted to try it out. The town it was in looked liked an old mining town, unlike all others that were new and resort like. This place was a lot more scenic than the others. When had to ride a lift from the parking lot up to the first mountain. Once again Phil and I stayed together whil the rest of the family went on there own way. I started small on the greens, but the green there were way easier than all the others I had been on. I went down them too easy so Phil and i started on some blues. The blues there were like the greens in Vail. Phil wished we had went there first to teach me. It would have been a lot easier. There were 3 mountains to ski 7,8, and 9. we skied the first one and Phil wasn’t feeling that great, he tends to get altitude sickness. He started feeling well enough to ski down to the meeting spot for lunch. That is when he noticed his ski boot didn’t feel right.  Once he took the boot off and examined it he noticed the liner was broken. He was still able to ride on it but it was hurtin ghis foot pretty badly. After lunch we decided to head back to the beginning of the first mountain. It would take the rest of the day to return. On the way home we stopped in the town to buy a few gifts then headed to the condo where we had dinner waiting on us because Phil’s step mom didn’t ski that day.

Day Five: Day of Rest

Day Six: Return home in a blizzard. It began to snow the night before we left and it didn’t stop all night and day. There interstate was covered. You couldn’t even see the lines on the road. People were driving it the “self made” lanes. The 2 hour drive going to Vail was 4 hours driving back from Vail to Denver. We planned to get there 2 hours early were we wouldn’t have to rush but we were pushing the clock on flight time. We were relieved when the airport called stating there would be a small delay on the flight. Then when we checked the status of the plane is was back to the orginally time!We didn’t give up, even though my soon to be sister in law was freaking out. I remained clam. Of course we had to go through security and of course I had to get searched.  I told everyone to go on and hopefully me and Phil would made it. Finally, they were done checking the backpack and off we RAN we had 1 min before the plane was to take off. I felt like I was in the movie Home Alone 2 were they are running in the airport and they loose Kevin. I was hoping I wouldn’t be Kevin. We made it! They were just loading the plane as we arrived at the gates but we couldn’t find Phil’s brother and his girlfriend. She had stopped to get something to eat! After freaking out the whole time in the car she stops for food. She cracks me up. I thought my belly was going to eat its self but I was going to wait until I knew I was on my way home first. Anyways, We made it to Nashville almost on time and had a nice dinner before our 3 hour drive home.

Summary: Phil ended up getting new Ski boots and new Skies. I finally learned to ski and hope to return next year. Riding on a plane isn’t as scary as it looks.