The Zarb Homestead

Living natural and healthy on a simple budget

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!




My Views on a Happy Life July 17, 2012

I have started this blog out 5 different ways now and they all tend to go into a different direction every time. So plain and simple I want to talk about life. How short it is and why you shouldn’t waste it. When you step back and look at how small you are in this universe, it is crazy. Our lives are small and fleeting in the scheme of things, and yet we get caught up in our events and forget the world around us. I am one not to waste anything espically time and I want to talk about what is important in life and my views on how to have a happy life.

Hobbies: You have to have something you are passionate about. I have so many they are hard to list but my favorite hobby is writing. I love to write and tell my story. Other than the writing, I like to garden, read, bike,camp, hike, boating, astronomy, crafts,bake, and many other things.


Love You: The key to happy life is loving who you are. Loving who you are as a person inside and out. Yes I said on the outside too but if you are really unhappy about something, do what you can to improve it! Be inspired by your life, do thing that seem unachievable, be a great person. Learn to let go of hatefulness and bitterness and love people for who they are.

Friends: You can never have too many great friends. You need people to share your life with. People you can always count on to be there for you when you need them. Life is lonely when you are alone. There comes a point in your life when you realize who really matters, who never did, and who always will.

Family: Learn to be grateful for your family.

Love Your Job: I know this is hard but it makes a world of difference in your life. If you don’t love what you do then you can’t truly be happy. I know this first hand. I worked hard in business school and landed a job in big corporation. Hated it. Went to another job and worked 60 hours a week at a desk. Couldn’t take it anymore so I went back to the job I had while working my way though college, Vet Tech, and I love it.

Never Stop Exploring: Question everything in life. Learn new things everyday. Go to places that you have never been. Say yes more than no. There is so much to see and learn in such little time. Go explore!

A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life.
-Charles Darwin


Searching for the Moonbow July 12, 2012

First of all, that is not a grammar error in the title of this blog. It indeed should say moonbow not rainbow. A moonbow is created by light reflecting off the surface of the moon rather than from the sun like in a rainbow. The place you can observe one is in Cumberland Falls, KY. There are only certain days of the year that the moonbow is observable and those are on the nights there is a bright full moon and no clouds in the sky. On July 3rd there was a full moon and we decided to pack our camping gear and go see if we could spot the moonbow.

If you plan on staying overnight you set up camp in the Daniel Boone National Forest and from there you can either drive or hike a small trail to the falls. We reserved 2 spots early due to it being a holiday week and space was limited. FYI: If you plan on camping and have more than one tent you will need to rent another campsite. As you can see in forth picture, the sites are awfully small. They do have electricity so you can plug in a radio or fan but not much because you only get one outlet per site. The price was $25 per site and you can reserve them online for a $3 fee.



We set up camp around 10:30 pm on Tuesday night. We arrived behind schedule due to the fact I had to work until 6:00 pm that day and we also had to met up with two friends of ours and their daughter that were also coming along, plus we couldn’t find our camping spots, had to stop for gas, ice, food etc. Anyways, we got delayed and had to use headlamps to set up camp. This worked out well because you can’t even witness the bow until dark.

We arrive at the falls area around 11:00 pm, give or take a few minutes, as we walked closer to the falls you could see that there large group of people waiting to see the moonbow. I mean probably about 100 or more people were sitting calmly on rocks around the falls looking up in the sky in hopes for clear weather. I honestly didn’t think that many people would have been there. You have to be careful when going at night due to the fact it is not level ground around the falls and it could be slick. That night there was a bright full moon but there were also a few clouds in the sky and a massive one was covering the moon. We waited calmly for about an hour hoping the wind would blow the cloud away and we would get to see what we came here for but it never happened.

Sad and disappointed we back to our campsites. We cooked a few hotdogs and smores on the camp fire and had a few drinks. We stayed up pretty late into the night just talking and enjoying being in the outdoors. My husband and I (plus Mr. Malachi) slept great in our tent however our friends had some issues, their air mattress went flat and had to sleep on the ground. There were hardly and bugs out and the temperature was prefect, great camping weather.

We woke up early and packed up camp then headed to the falls to see it during the day.

With the sunlight you could see so much more of the falls and how beautiful it is. There are many different places you can view the falls. The picture above is me on the lower viewing deck but the view from the top is also good. You hike along the trails in the park and you can reach the bottom of the falls. This is were you can put it if you want to kayak or float on tubes which you can rent at the entrance to the park. We had a great time and plan on going again once there is a full moon on a day we are off from work. Maybe next time we will be lucky.


Amish Farmer’s Market June 29, 2012

Every other Wednesday my friend Maria and I go to the Amish Mennonite farm in Englewood, TN to get fresh produce at their farmers market. This is a very inserting place to visit and I would love to share with you a little bit about this community market.

We start our day early because it is about an hour and fifteen minute drive to Englewood from Knoxville and you want to be there when it opens to get the best picks. We take Hwy 411 the whole way there and it is a boring drive, mostly farmland the whole way and hardly any businesses. You will see a sign that Farmers Market on the right about an hour into the drive. At the second traffic light in town turn right and follow the homemade signs that lead the way to the farm. You will be on a narrow road and you must go slow due to horse and buggy also use that road for travel. Once you reach the farm there is a small stand set up where the women sale their breads. Behind that stand is a small pond where they go swimming (fully clothed in long dresses) I could not image how heavy that must be but interesting to see.  You continue your drive up the drive way and on the right is another small stand where the milk, eggs, and cheese is sold. There is a small cooler and you help yourself. You pay by putting your money in a wooded box; I guess they have a lot of trust in people. Drive about 100 feet more you will arrive at their produce building.


The building is simple but nicely built. It is built mostly of wood and is very open to let the air flow. On the right side of  building you may see farmers bringing in produce via horse and buggy, so the produce is always fresh and just picked. As you enter the store there is a sign on the outside that says you should be properly dressed. They ask that you don’t wear strap tops or low cut shirts out of respect. We always wear tee shirts and longer shorts, no big deal. You enter the store and they have rows and rows of produce, anything you want (that is in season) they should have it. They even have canned goods like honey, jams, and dill pickles. Outside on the deck, they have picnic tables for sale and also plants for your garden.  You can also pick up homemade lye soaps or homemade brooms or if you are market for farm animals they have a bulletin board that advertises chickens for $2.00 or kittens for $5.00. The workers there are always nice and helpful. The prices are great and we always end up spending more than we plan. Here are some pictures from this week’s trip.




They obviously have no phone or electric so there is no computerized checkout. They have an old fashioned cash register and they have most of the prices memorized. They only take cash for obvious reasons so stop at a ATM beforehand.

I didn’t take pictures of the market because I didn’t think it would be proper but it looks a lot like the photos below.