Tag Archives: Franklin

Girl’s Day Fun

13 Aug

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

My husband and I share our birthday month, August and exactly two weeks apart. Our daughter in Florida plans to visit between our birthdays to celebrate both. Husband’s day was on Tuesday and our daughter arrived from Florida on Wednesday. Not even close to half way between, but who cares? She is here and we are happy

Wednesday was a long day for my husband, what with the trip to the airport, a late lunch, some shopping and then an hour and a half drive home. After a long day, he needs a full day to recuperate, so I planned a fun girl’s day adventure, locally of course.

Someone recently asked in the what’s happening in Franklin Facebook group, where to find a good bakery. I was surprised at the number of bakeries in this small town. I decided our girl’s adventure would be a spin off of the well known pub crawl. We would do a bakery craw

Armed with the phone GPS I typed in the first bakery address, Cinnamon Hill Pastries and Gelato. We wouldn’t have found it without the GPS. I am pretty sure the previous building tenant was a tattoo parlor and I would have driven right past it. Actually Rebekah would have driven past, as I was navigating. Once inside there was no sign of its possible tattoo history with it’s gleaming wood floors and large, bright windows. The owner had a large assortment of homemade gelato and a small assortment of European pastries. We decided to share an Italian pastry with a long name. The owner suggested simply calling it a seashell pastry due to its shape. The outer texture was similar to an italian bread loaf yet flaky like a croissant. Inside was infused with orange flavor and ricotta. It was delicious. For our gelato, we chose hazelnut. I haven’t been a fan of hazelnut, it always seems to taste blah. But this hazelnut was good

Our next stop was Brooklyn Bagels, a recommendation from a friend who heard about our adventure. She spoke so highly of it, we had to try it. Situated on a corner in Franklin’s downtown, it is a good location for those looking for a quick treat or meal. I was impressed with their menu which included sandwich bagels and even a pizza bagel! The owners are friendly and definitely from New York. Their goal is to give their customers good service with wait times under 5 minutes. Rebekah chose an Asiago bagel to enjoy for breakfast Friday.

A customer in Cinnamon Hill recommended Bend Willow Bake Shop for its breads. It should have been s straight shot down from Brooklyn Bagels and it was, we simply didn’t see it. After passing it, GPS rerouted and suggested we turn the wrong way on a one way street. With two failed attempts we decided to move on to La Toluca, a Mexican bakery that had rave comments on Facebook for quality and price. We did make a quick stop at the library used book store so Rebekah could dash in to search for books by two of her current favorite authors. That girl reads so many different genres I can’t keep up with her favorites.

La Toluca did not disappoint. As soon as we entered we inhaled the tantalizing aroma of fresh baking. I admired the lighted display cases with their overwhelming assortment of pastries. After a lot of oohing we decided on a pineapple pastry and planned to stop at a local park to eat it but plans change.

Since we would be approaching Bend Willow Bake Shop from a different direction, we decided to give the GPS one more chance. We found the bakery but not without some difficulty. The bakery is in a lovely, well landscaped. two story house. Everything color coordinated including the sign. Tasteful blending is admirable but blending in so perfectly a business is unrecognized, not so much.

This bakery is all about the ambiance. A wide front porch invites one to sit a while. Inside is trendy with conversation friendly seating and the baked goods tastefully displayed.The assortment of baked items was limited, but it was getting on to mid afternoon, so definitely might have been a contributing factor. We chose an interesting pastry, peach hazelnut, that seemed to have a biscuit type bottom and a course muffin type top.

Standing behind the house is a wooden gazebo and we decided to eat our pastries there, rather than driving to the park. The pineapple pastry from La Toluca was by far the better of the two with a crunchy and flaky outside and an inside muffin texture that was light and fluffy. The peach hazelnut biscuit didn’t have much flavor.Definitely no pop. This may be due to the burnt bottom. The burnt biscuit flavor wasn’t distasteful to me as I enjoy the depth of flavor the burn adds but in this case it obscured any other flavor. La Toluca also impressed with its pricing. Our pastry there cost $1.25 and the one at Bend Willow cost $3.50.

Although rain was predicted, we enjoyed partly cloudy skies with a few rumbly clouds. What a fun way to spend an afternoon. Maybe next time she visits we could do an ice cream crawl.

Watching Grass Grow

2 Jun

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

I'm a winner

  You know how people joke about watching grass grow, indicating boredom? Well, watching grass grow at our house has been pretty darn exciting. In the past we adopted the haphazard method of dealing with our grass in North Carolina. This method involved a lot of head scratching as each of our efforts failed. This year, due to our slide area, we spoke with the Soil and Water folks and took their advice.


In Florida, we didn’t sow grass seeds. We bought slabs of St. Augustine grass  and voila, we had grass. Of course, if we didn’t water it frequently we had dead grass.

My husband changed his method of dealing with our apple tree that had not produced a single apple in five years. In the fall he gave it a stern lecture, threatening to turn it into applewood lumber if it didn’t quit stalling. It seems the tree took it to heart.


We do have still have some gardening questions and your input is appreciated.  Why are our blue hydrangea now blue and white and is this pretty flower a weed or a plant that I can buy more of? It looks like Foxglove, but is more delicate and spindly.

It hasn’t been all gardening the past two weeks. We finally figured out how to get our sidewalk poured. My husband had been dreading hauling the concrete laden wheelbarrow. as he has painful shoulders, but we received an unexpected blessing in the form of the concrete truck driver. I call him our angel of mercy. He didn’t allow my husband to push even one wheelbarrow load. He and the handyman we hired went way above our expectations, hauling the excess concrete around the house and bucketing it up on a hill where we plan to build a water feature. They even smoothed the concrete!

Do you see our “porch dog” Gus supervising the men? My job was to make sure Gus didn’t make paw prints on the walkway. He only jumped on it once and it was easy to smooth out.

We were especially pleased to get our walkway finished as our aunt was visiting and we wanted a nice surface for her walker to roll on. We spent several days out and about with my aunt and my cousin. Lots of fun! We visited Black Rock Mountain State Park in Georgia. What a beautiful park it is!

I’m not a big garage sale fan, but my visiting family are and they always find great deals. I even found some myself. The best part of “garage selling” was discovering new communities in the area, The mountains sure have an abundance of nature and beauty. Here are two photos I took at one yard sale. I was warned a black snake was sighted heading for the old door. No worries. Black snakes are our friends.

It is quiet here now that our family returned to their home. I am back to watching the grass grow and the flowers bloom and I am enjoying every minute of it!


12 May

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

I'm a winner

#ThankfulThursday was trending on Twitter this week. Yes, it is a hash tag, but it is exactly what I feel. My husband has been feeling poorly for a while and today he is building a form to pour a concrete walkway, Three weeks ago, he could not do that. I am REALLY thankful. I am also thankful to be back in the North Carolina hills where summer hasn’t even begun. Florida was becoming unbearably hot and this week will have many ninety degree days.

When we left Florida, Rebekah was able to come up with us  for a long weekend. The hills were experiencing a weak cold front and we all welcomed the cooler temperatures. One of the reasons she chose to come to the hills is that Franklin was holding their annual “Airing of the Quilts.” It was a cool and breezy morning.

Check out this quilted car and the “Granny Clampet” truck.

We also came across a “Little Library.” I knew there was one in downtown Franklin but I had not seen it yet.


We were sad when Rebekah’s visit came to an end but we had a fun moment when we were driving her to the airport. Sylva, North Carolina is the setting for a movie shoot!



We took  some photos as we were driving.  Yes, I had my head and arms outside the car trying to get the shots. My friends know I am NOT a movie fan, I did if for movie buffs Jen and Pam. Those shots were awful so I went with windshield view.

I like the blue on the red brick. I think they should keep the colors. There was also a newspaper office but I wasn’t fast enough to get it.

Another thing I am thankful for is that I am back in the hills in time to enjoy the gorgeous blooms on my peonies. The first time I saw peonies was at the cabin of our friends Karen and Bill. I fell in love with them and they were a must-have on my list of flowers when we built our North Carolina home. The white ones are particularly dear to my heart as they came from Karen and Bill’s cabin. I think of them with a smiling heart as I enjoy the blooms.  They both passed away within a year of each other and I miss them.

I would love to hear what you are thankful for!


Announcing the Launch of Julianne- Beautiful Voice

19 Jun

Today is so exciting for those of us at Oldthingsrnew. Rebekah Lyn’s new book, Julianne is launching today. I will post her first five-star review, but first, my thoughts.

Julianne did not start out for me as a favorite character. If you have raised a teenager, you will feel  frustrated and want to tell Julianne to just “get over it.” But bear with her, because God is faithful and Rebekah shows how God  can help even the whiniest girl to grow up.

Now here is the Amazon and Goodreads review:

 Beautiful Voice! June 18, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
Rebekah Lyn has a beautiful voice in each of her stories. Her latest, Julianne, is an excellent exploration of the conflict that young professionals experience in contemporary society. They fall into many traps when dating and finding careers. Julianne illustrates how we take many wrong turns in life, but can find our way through love, trust, and spirituality. This Christian romance novel by the author of Summer Storms contains characters that are clearly defined and relevant to the storyline and a plot that is romantic without being sappy. The references to Christianity are not preachy, but instead show the effects of sound decision-making and personal choices that young adults create in their lives, making this novel appealing to all readers, from YA up to older generations of adults.
If you would like to read Julianne, visit Rebekah Lyn’s Amazon author page. Julianne will be available in paperback  June 30, 2012.
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