The Zarb Homestead

Living natural and healthy on a simple budget

Road Trip North to Michigan January 11, 2013

Filed under: Postaday2013 — Sheena @ 12:00 pm
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This New Years, like many others in the past, we spent out-of-state. We usually are on the annual family vacation but regretfully we had to attend my husband’s grandfather’s memorial service, which was being held just outside of Detroit, MI. We left East Tennessee bright and early on Friday Dec 28 for our 8-9 hour drive north. The rain showers that had hit the south a few days prior headed north and turned into some very snowy conditions. Fortunately, we missed all the bad road conditions and just got to see the pretty aftermath of snowy landscapes. Along for the ride were my brother-in-law and his girlfriend. 4 people packed into the little toaster “Honda Element” made for good times 🙂 Naw, it wasn’t that terrible and the time passed by rather quickly, I didn’t even take a catnap. I wasn’t sure how the toaster would do in snowy conditions but to my surprise it did really well and got us all there safe and sound about 9 pm that night. After dinner we all settled into our hotel room for the night.

The memorial service was early the next morning, so no sleeping in that day. We all arrived at the funeral home at 9:45 am and the service began at 10:00. It was an exceedingly pleasant service and many friends and family attended. My mother-in-law, along with others, gathered pictures of her dad and had them placed around the room. That was uplifting to see all the fun things he had done in his life. It was also good to see some old faces again. Following the service the family held a luncheon at a local Italian restaurant. They had tremendous food I would go there again just to have dinner. It was a good day and everything went better than I had planned.

Over the next few days we toured the city and of course did the Michigan thing to do, eat. We ate and ate, I was stuffed the whole time but I wasn’t complaining at all because it was some good food. We had to stop and get a hot dog at one of their well-known Coney Island’s, yummy. We took a tour of Detroit’s Greektown. While there we ran into my husband’s Uncle from his father’s side of the family. I had never meant him and his family before so it was a nice surprise. During of time in Michigan we hung out with his Uncle a few times. Once we all had dinner together, another time we hit up the arcade with the children, and even caught a local hockey game.

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New Years Eve was spent at his uncles and aunts home (mother’s brother’s) outside of Detroit. His aunt cooked a lovely dinner and we had a few drinks and shot some pool in their basement. Of course we didn’t make it the whole time to watch the ball drop but we had a nice time just catching up but we had to hit the bed early because we had to pack and leave the next morning. The ride back home went well, other than many places being closed due to it being New Years day. We did get to stop by a Cabelas which we do not have locally and I have never been able to visit. My husband had a field day there and shopped for 2 hours, but so did I 😉 The weather on the drive home was almost ideal until we hit Tennessee then there was thick fog. After we passed Jellico, TN and got out of the top part of the mountain it was a smooth sailing all the way home with just a bit of a small rain fall. We arrive home about 11:00 pm. Tired and drained from the drive we hit the bed and didn’t unpack too much. It was odd to have just one animal in the house. The house cat, Heidi, was very happy to see us; I guess she got bored all alone for a few days. The next day I would have to pick all the other fur babies from their boarding places and Mr. Mal from granny’s house, he is a bit spoiled.

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We had a great time but it was nice to finally be home after weeks of travel and get back to normal life.


Christmas in January January 10, 2013

I know I haven’t been writing much in the last month but we have had a lot going on in the family and doing too much traveling to stop and type out a blog. Anyway, enough with my excuses, I wanted to let you all in on how our Christmas went. Just like every year, we traveled to Nashville to visit my mother-in-law and stay a few days. It was a little sad this year due to the fact Phil’s sweet grandfather passed away a few days before Christmas but we made the best of a sad situation. I know our fur babies made it an interesting trip. My husband grilled a awesome turkey and we had a great Christmas dinner. It was nice to get away from home for a bit.

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Stop # 2. Off to my parents house in Loudon to celebrate. My mom cooked us lunch and as always she cooked too much so we were stuffed. No pups with us this time just their little dog Gizmo and my brothers dog. I feel like I never get to spend enough time here on Christmas because we still have one more stop to go.

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Stop # 3. Off to my father-in-laws house in Farragut, TN. Here we have Christmas dinner with my father-in-law and his wife along with a couple of their close friends, my brother-in-law and grandmother. As always, great food good times.

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Stop # 4. Home sweet home. We always get home pass midnight and I always have to work first thing in the morning, but it is worth it.

I hope everyone had a happy holidays this last year!


Kayaking In a Lagoon November 5, 2012

I have been trying to blog about my vacation I took last month; however, my life seems to keep getting in the way of writing. So, here is a petite blog about us kayaking in Half Moon Cay.

We rented double kayaks along with a guide to lead us around the waters of the lagoon. What a tranquil and wonderful thing to do on an island. It was so nice to just get away and hear nothing but your paddle hitting the water along with the sounds of the calming ocean in background. It cost about $40/person but was well worth the money. You have a guide that will show you the best spots in the waters. He took us to a shallow area and there we saw some starfish and jellyfish. I even held a large jellyfish upside down; it was very slimy but didn’t sting me. We paddled our way around a large part of the lagoon for about an hour. Then, sadly we all had to return to land.

What a time we had. I would have to say the driving with the stingrays was an exciting adventure but kayaking a private lagoon in the Bahamas was peaceful adventure. I would do it again in a heartbeat.

Here is a short video I took while making my husband paddle us both 😉


Project 365: Week 42 and 43 October 30, 2012

Sunday was the formal captains dinner

Monday we arrived at Half Moon Cay

Tuesday I was in Nassau

Wednesday was our last fun day at sea

Came back home on Thursday and the trees had already changed colors


This is what happens when you left a husky alone


My package arrived from my secret Halloween gifter. I think they got it right 🙂


Making some Halloween cookies. I love these!


Oh my, I found another Frankenweenie shirt for Mr. Mal to wear


Found my last piece for my Halloween costume


Subway is giving these out in their children meals. I have 2 as of today.

Making the huge tutu’s. This is mine on top of my friends. That is 500 years of tule!


Burr it is cold. Someone does not want to get out of bed.

Halloween Party time! This is my Witches Brew

More pictures to come!


Our Amazing Stingray Adventure In Half Moon Cay October 25, 2012

I have been a busy bee for the past few days and haven’t been able to blog about our trip to the Bahamas. It was so nice but I want to let you know about what we did there in greater detail in a few different blogs. The first island we visited was called Half Moon Cay. This is an island own by the Carnival Cruise lines and is 98% a bird sanctuary and the other 2% is made for tourist activities.  It is a petite island but spending the day on a 5 mile private island in the Bahamas with perfect weather, you will not hear me complaining. We spent our first hours on the island swimming with stingrays.

Very relaxing video of me snorkeling

We have done this before in the Cayman Islands and had the time of our lives so we wanted to do it again. Since, the island is so small it isn’t hard to find where you should be going. We had to take a small open air bus to the beach area where the Stingray Adventure was held. On a side note: In the Cayman’s we took a small boat to a sandbar in the open ocean where stingrays like to hangout and we did this about 1 month after Steve Irwin had been killed by one. People thought we were nuts and maybe we were but we didn’t care it was so enjoyable. However, on Half Moon Cay they keep the string ray in a roped off beach area where predators couldn’t harm the rays or the people. I think they just like to keep them from escaping but they didn’t seem to mind it. They get feed all day and nothing can bother them but the people I guess.

This was me trying to “adjust to the environment”

Once we got off the bus, a middle aged black lady with a Jamaican accent told us what should anticipate from the rays and what equipment we required then she pointed us to the changing room and the lockers (big closet that didn’t lock.) We got our snorkel gear, life vests, and water shoes on and head to the beach. There was a different instructor lady with the same Jamaican accent waiting on us at the beach. She told us (small group of 6) to get in the water and not to step in the sand because the rays where hidden under it. You should drag your feet and not step but I didn’t have to worry about this because I couldn’t touch anyways due to the high tide and maybe a tiny part on my height. After we got use to the water we snorkeled around area watching the movement under the clear blue waters of the lagoon. Now, I am not going to lie and say I jumped right in like a fish in water with the massive rays. It took me a minute to adjust to the environment, it can be overwhelming at first but after 5 minutes I was swimming right along with the fishes.

This is us feeding the rays

Not only did we see stingrays but there were thousands of jelly fish in the water. The instructor told us they were not dangerous and they didn’t bother me. I swam right with them and not one sting. Along with the jelly fish there were starfish, sea cumbers and many different types of typical fish. Near the end of the adventure, we were allowed to feed the stingrays some raw squid, yum. They have extremely powerful mouths and suck the squid right out of your hand. We swam and snorkeled for over an hour. It was so much fun and well worth the $40/person. This is a must do exciting activity in Half Moon Cay. Tip: Make sure you have an under water camera.


Project 365: Week 48 September 23, 2012



Week started off with a lot of rain!


Battle wounds from trying to give a cat a pill.


Date Night Sushi


Mr. Mal had to get his teeth cleaned. This is him about an hour after waking up.


Saw these guys at Wal-Mart, nope too freaking early!


Went on the Tennessee Riverboat for their Deluxe Dinner Cruise


Starting to feel like Fall!






Boomsday 2012 September 3, 2012


As a staple for living in city of Knoxville, one must attend an annual Labor Day event called Boomsdays. For the people to whom do not live in Tennessee; Boomsday is the largest Labor Day fireworks show in the nation! This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Boomsday Festival in Knoxville. The festivities start at 1 pm, and the day ends with a 22-minute musically choreographed fireworks display of more than 20,000 shells at about 9:30 p.m. Over 400,000 people attend this show and it is always a fun time.

This year, like many other past years, they were calling for rain 😦 We normally spend the whole day on the boat relaxing on the river enjoying the day in the sun but not this year. Last year the same thing happen; it rained all day and we ended up watching from the South Knoxville side of the bridge. This year, raincoats and umbrellas in tow, we decided to go view the fireworks with the crowd on the city side on the bridge at Calhouns.


Finding a place to park wasn’t too bad. I think we paid $10 for a spot that was easy to exit and was close to the highway.  Just a short walk down the road from the car, we entered the Calhoun’s Beer Garden. It was $1 for a wristband and all the proceeds went to charity. This was the prime spot to be. They had food and beer and fireworks while overlooking the river and away from the huge crowd. The fireworks started just after the sun went down. So far so good, still no rain. Then, about 5 minutes before the grand finale, in came the monsoon. We ran and got undercover and waited it out for about 30 minutes. Once the light rain began we made our way to the car. It took a bit to get out of the traffic jam. Some people were in a hurry and didn’t want to let any other vehicles out, we solved that issue fast. One of us stood in front to the jerk car while the rest drove the car from the parking lot into the road. I know it made the other car mad but that is what you get for being a jerk.

All in all, we still a great time even with the rain. Hoping for better weather next year!