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Summer ramblings

Rain today which is much needed – even the lake is lower than normal for July.  But after last year, we were enjoying the sunny days.

Funny how once the summer solstices comes and goes it seems that summer races ever faster and faster.  The students in this area return to school on August 4th!  That’s terrible, but I understand they are going to get a week’s break in October!  Personally, but maybe it’s because I come from the north where school started after Labor Day and ended mid-June!  

But then we didn’t have air conditioned school buildings either!  Makes a difference.  Of course, I think school should be year round: the students whose birthdays are in September, October, November and December start in September.  The students whose birthdays are January, February March and April start in January.  And so forth.  By doing this the students will be closer in age..unless a parent wants to keep a child out for a year to mature a little more instead of now where there is often an entire year’s age difference in the students and in First Grade…that makes a big difference.

Also by doing this rotating, a teacher might take a sabbatical during the winter instead of everyone having to have summer breaks.  Each block would complete a block of learning and again, it would rotate so maybe a parent would like to take the family on a 3 month trip in winter…the children could drop out that block and pick it up again next block.

Another thing about this school year, the children won’t have to spend a few weeks catching up and what they learned the previous spring.

But afraid this will never happen…the world gets stuck in their ruts and has a great deal of difficulty thinking and acting outside the box.

dsc_0074.jpgNot a bad picture of the full moon over Doe Mountain…can’t see it tonight but it was something on the Super Moon a few nights ago!  Love the full moon. Even got married on the night of the full moon since it seemed that wonderful things always happen that night.


Summer Fun in the Mountains of Johnson County, Butler, and Northeastern, TN

It always amazes visitors how much there is to do here in the Appalachian mountains of Northeastern Tennessee during the summer and fall.

Every day there is hiking, swimming, boating, fishing and relaxing.  But there are also a great many activities which are fun for the entire family.

 Just in June alone are the following events:

  •  Blue Plum Festival – June 6-8 – Old Downtown – Johnson City – Blue
  •  Heritage Hall Performance Center – Blithe Spirit – June 20,21,22
    June 27, 28 – Mountain City –
  •  Watauga Lake Winery – Wine Dinner – June 21 –
  • Roan Mountain – Roan Mountain Rhododendron Festival –
    June 21,22 –
  • An 18th Century Independence Celebration and Muster – Sycamore ShoalsState Historic Area-June 28 and 29
  •  Old Mill Days – Trade Gristmill – Trade
  • Gray Fossil Museum with permanent exhibits and traveling exhibits – Alligators, red pandas, camels, and beavers are among the finds recently discovered while digging at the Gray site –
  • Doe Mountain – an 8600 acre recreational area for hiking, biking and ATV trails
  •  Watauga Lake – swimming, fishing, boating, kayaking, stand up paddle boarding
  • Butler Museum – telling the story of “the town that wouldn’t drown”  – Open weekends –

And remember, the Iron Mountain Inn B&B and Creekside Chalet in Butler, TN are the perfect headquarters for exploring all that Butler, and Northeastern Tennessee has to offer.

Book your stay by calling 423-768-2446 or for 24 hour online reservations, go to or

Looking forward to sharing the magic of the mountains with you and your friends or family this summer.


Winter blues

Although the sky isn’t blue due to the winter grey clouds covering the sky, sitting in my Lake House I’m surrounded by blue walls, blue upholstery and blue music…light, airy and it makes me feel like summer will soon be here.  Can’t come too soon.

But in the meantime….we are planning a great Valentine’s Weekend for our guests at the Iron Mountain Inn B&B.  Red and white dinner and red and white breakfasts!  Chocolate chip cookies…probably won’t come out red and white, but we will have hearts!   Dinner is being planned as a very special treat

Did you wait until the last minute and found all the rooms already booked?  Well, let us know because we are delighted to prepare a “Lover’s Getaway” for you anytime you stay with us!  Snuggling in front of the wood burning fire sipping a hot toddy; playing board games or card games with the other guests; trying to decipher the Sodoku puzzles (I never can) – it doesn’t matter what you do, you’ll relax and refresh your soul here on top of the mountain.

Come, share the magic of the mountains with us this year



Changes they are a’comin’!

Time for some updates!  Time for some new colors!  Time for you to follow our blog and see what we will be doing.

After 16 years, it’s time to make changes in the bedrooms at the Iron Mountain Inn starting with the Equestrian Room.  Working with David Harrell I can’t wait to see the new looks we are planning. He is so creative!  It’ll take some time, but I’ll try to post pictures as we go along. Here is the “before” picture of the Equestrian room and as we progress, I’ll be taking photo updates.


Next will be the Green Room…David wants to paint over the tree…but I told him he has to work around that!  What do you, my guests who’ve stayed in that room think?  We are planning to go Oriental…I have so many pictures and fabric with that theme we decided to use it.



After the Green Room, then it’s on to the Great Room!  Moving furniture, maybe cutting an Oriental rug (ooooo), painting walls…it’s going to be very different and much more up to date!  Just as comfortable with feet up luxury, I know we will all enjoy the changes.

Keep checking Facebook as well on the Iron Mountain Inn B&B and Vacation Rentals site for more info and photos.


Night time in the Mountains

Night time in the Mountains

Iron Mountain Inn front porch welcomes YOU!

A friend invited me to go to a movie today. I don’t know the last time I’ve been to a movie … at least 8 months I’d say if not more.

So tomorrow night for the Oscars, I won’t have any idea of the other movies and stars, but I do know Silver Lining Playbook was very well done! Didn’t know who the actress was until just a couple of days ago, but now I know! She was excellent! I’m sure she will have a long career ahead of her…and she is so young!

Having two friends who are bi-polar, the movie really hit home! One has told me how important hard physical activity is to staying on an even keel along with “light” medication. The other should get more hard physical activity but the meds keep this person so quiet it’s hard to get up the energy needed to work out/walk out/dance out!

Then later tonight about 8:30 p.m. we had major fireworks set off from the top of the mountain. Magnificent and the echo rolling around the mountains.. oooooo!

As long as there has been rain to dampen the forest we do fireworks fore proposals, weddings, anniversaries and any other reason, or for no reason at all here at the Iron Mountain Inn. Having them legal means special occasions can be made even more special with the excitement of fireworks.

Mid-night Musings at 3:00 a.m.

When you wake up in the middle of the night and your mind keeps racing around with all the thoughts stacked in there, it means no going back to sleep.  So, instead of worrying about it, I just get up and do something constructive.  

I look at the piles of papers on my floor waiting to be filed..nah, don’t want to do that.  I look at the piles of papers scattered 10 deep all over my desk waiting to have something done with them such as input data from the papers into the computer, answer those Christmas letters, read the manual for the new camera, mail some pop rocks to my granddaughter…you know, all the things which it would be nice to have a Katie Gibbs secretary do for me!  When I get it all done…then I”ll have that feeling of accomplishment, but right now…just looking at it drags me down.

Filing!  The bane of my existence!  And yet, when I get it done, I love seeing the clean floor, the neat desk, the feeling accomplishment!  But I keep putting it off!  Sort of like cleaning bathrooms…thinking about it I manage to find other things which I need to do, but then when I get to the job it goes very quickly, isn’t difficult and how nice and sparkly the sink, toilet, tub and floor look when I’m done!  Again, a good feeling!  And it didn’t take that long so why do I keep putting it off?  Who knows?Image

Like exercise…hard to get started, but once I get going, “I’m loving it” as the McDonald’s commercial says.  I love walking down my driveway listening to the birds, looking around to see what Mother Nature is up to at each season of the year.  Right now, in late February in the mountains of NE Tennessee, some of the daffodils are already up 7″!  Spring can’t be far behind, but still have to get through March!

But…it’s the thought of hiking back up the driveway which often keeps me from taking the walk.  After all, I do live on top of a mountain so when I walk down I know I’ll have to climb back up!  But again, once I do it…what a great feeling of accomplishment!

I admire the dedication of those athletes without a coach have the discipline to do the work. they need to get to the top of their event. The people who need physical therapy and do it on their own for months at a time. They all know the importance of consistency, dedication and will and they “get ‘er done”.  Hats off to all of them!