1349 Gunbarrel Road, Chattanooga, Tennessee 37421

Sunday, May 12, 2019


Spring rains brought this welcome sign of promise over our entrance driveway.
Spring rains brought this welcome sign of promise over our entrance driveway.

Spring 2019 descended upon us screaming, CELEBRATE!  We’ve had fun times witnessing our guests’ various celebrations, for which we are honored and grateful.  During one recent weekend, we had guests celebrating a 30th birthday, the upcoming arrival of a first baby, a wedding night, a fifth wedding anniversary, a Berry College graduation, and two students receiving their master’s degrees, so we popped some champagne and served mimosas with breakfast.  All of these wonderful happenings deserved a toast!

Andy and Linda from Northern Ireland celebrate her birthday at St Francis Cottage.
When you’re almost 4,000 miles from home and celebrating a birthday, it’s fun to pull out some cake and sing “Happy Birthday” with our lovely guests, Andy and Linda, from Anahilt, Northern Ireland.  Laughter is indeed the best medicine, and we greatly enjoy and appreciate when people choose St Francis Cottage as a celebration point for their special life events.  

SFC Second Anniversary

We celebrated our second year of opening St Francis Cottage on April 15th, and Chuck and Linda from Orlando, our first guests, surprised us with a gorgeous bouquet of spring flowers AND a visit from them and their three babes, Bella, Domino and Lily.  Chuck and Linda have been so encouraging and supportive to us over the past two years, and we know that the Good Lord sent them our way as our first guests.

Chuck and LInda, with Bella, Lily, and Domino visit for the fifth time and help us celebrate our 2nd anniversary.
Beautiful gift from Chuck and Linda, our first guests, to help celebrate the 2nd anniversary of St Francis Cottage.

St Patrick’s Day and Cinco de Mayo

We decided to go out on a limb this year and decorate our ride with gaudy d├ęcor while participating in the 6th Annual St. Chatty’s Day Parade on Saturday, March 16th.  Since Nancy is 67% Irish, Saint Patrick’s Day does not go unnoticed around our house.  The proceeds from the Parade were donated to Chattanooga Kids on the Block, which is an award-winning puppet theatre, educational organization using the skillful practice of Bunraku puppetry to educate children about social concerns and differences,  giving them the skills they need to stay safe and healthy.  So we had a good time while supporting a great, local cause.  Our little rescue “Mini-Bobo” stole the show riding with Nancy on the roof of the car, and she loved all the attention.

St. Patrick's Day Parade, Chattanooga, TN, Nancy and Mini Bobo ride atop our car.
We’ve been wanting to experiment making a breakfast Mexican casserole, and since Cinco de Mayo fell on a Sunday this year, it was the perfect time for a new dish.  Since we had 14 guests for breakfast, the layered casserole of corn tortillas, shredded chicken, scrambled eggs, seasoned organic tomatoes, black beans, corn, peppers, onions, cheese, and sour cream fit into a buffet setting along with fruit salad, pinto beans, cornbread muffins, and Wallace’s original lemon curd blueberry bake for dessert. ¡Celebra Cinco de Mayo!

Special Cinco de Mayo breakfast buffet at St Francis Cottage.Cream cheese and lemon curd stuffed French Toast bake, with blueberry muffins and scones.

Celebrate Plants, Nature, and Art!

As the trees, shrubs and flowers burst into bloom this spring, they’re all shouting “Celebrate” after the dormant winter months.  Although so many (including Wallace) must contend with the effects of outrageous pollen counts in our area, everyone enjoys the visual pleasure of springtime blooms.  The vibrant red flowers on our Scotch Broom bushes were fantastic this year along with other favorites: flowering almond, azaleas and Korean spice viburnum.  Although the peony bloom period is short, their magnificent display is well worth waiting for.  I transplanted some from the house to the B&B last fall, and unfortunately they’re still having a pouting session as peonies tend to do when disturbed.

Perennial Peonies at St Francis Cottage.Scotch Broom in full bloom at St Francis Cottage, Spring 2019.

We’ve been putting up with and wondering about our kiwi plants for several years, and after an extremely rainy winter, they’ve turned into monster plants with sprawling tentacles invading surrounding foliage.  We’re A-okay with that since they’re also covered with blossoms this spring.  We’re actually seeing some kiwi growing this summer and we hope to beat the birds to them.
Crazy kiwi bush blossoms and produces fruit after a six year wait at St Francis Cottage.
Sometimes we just need to hop in the car and take a ride, so Wallace suggested we drive to the top of Raccoon Mountain since we had not done that in years.  The views were spectacular, and we even saw an eagle soaring over the mountain!   

Tennessee River Gorge overlook at Raccoon Mountain Pumped Storage Reservoir - Power Plant
Tennessee River Gorge overlook at Raccoon Mountain Pumped Storage Reservoir - Power Plant
We also, naturally, celebrated the arrival of 12 new chicks.  They grow SO quickly!  In about 4 months we should start getting our first eggs.  Can't wait.

Chicks grow rapidly into Chickens.  Eggs coming soon!
Another spring outing was to Sculpture Fields for an evening of fun, and we were surprised to see how many art structures had been added to the park near downtown Chattanooga.  We decided to go out to dinner and forego the sculpture burn, but we will return when we have time to explore more thoroughly.

Sculpture Fields "Sculpture Burn" Event, Chattanooga, TN
Sculpture Fields, Chattanooga 
New Nearby Eateries, the Fam and Law School
After receiving the good news about our son Michael’s acceptance to law school at the University of California at Davis (with a large grant), we decided to celebrate on his behalf.  After a long day working at St Francis Cottage, we drove over to Drake’s since most other restaurants were closed, and we found their food quite tasty.  Since it’s a sports bar, the music is loud, LOUD, but the food is good, GOOD!  Another new nearby restaurant where you can find good, healthy food is Newk’s, which is in the same retail complex as Drake’s.

Drake's in Chattanooga food review.  Yummy!
Drake's in Chattanooga at the Waterside Center, about 2.5 miles from the Cottage. 

Newk's food review, Salad and Sandwich. Chattanooga
Southern Salad and Farmer's Market Sandwich, Newk's Eatery, Chattanooga
Newk's, also at Waterside, features great soups, salads, and sandwiches, all freshly made.

We had an opportunity to visit with our son, Michael this Spring, on a short trip out from California.  He has some major changes going on in his life. Over the next three years, instead of hanging out of car windows, Michael will be regularly hanging out in the law library! And instead of flying over cars, he’ll be flying to get to class on time at the UC Davis Law School.

             Michael Gumby Braud hanging out in preparation for a trick.Michael Gumby Braud, airborne over his car in California, inline stunt skating

We always enjoy receiving texts, photos and FaceTime moments with our daughter Hannah, son-in-law Phil, and the grands in Canada.  This is their annual Easter photo which was taken by a friend after church, during the best-by-far Spring celebration there is. 

The Lord is Risen Indeed, Alleluia!

Cavey Family Easter Photo 2019 in Winnipeg Manitoba Canada
Phil, Big Guy, Hannah, E-man, Amelia, and Grace, Easter 2019.
(Big Guy & E-man are foster children and cannot have their faces or names in social media.)

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