Total Eclipse of the Heart over Kentucky! Solar Eclipse August 21, 2017!

I have no other word other than AMAZING for my experience and how I felt watching the solar eclipse.  In Kentucky we got quite a show, the eclipse began around 11:10 am in south central Kentucky, with a very small black space beginning to cover the sun. 

Of course we had our special eye ware on:

Me with my ‘OH SO COOL’ solar glasses taking a look at the Eclipse

My Daughter and Dad with their eye ware on. Check out my Daughter’s shirt and what it says…
Even Bailey Boy got in on the action with his special doggie glasses

Over the next couple hours my daughter, dad and I would check out the progression of the eclipse. Around 1:10 pm we could see that it was getting a bit dimmer in the backyard and sure enough right on cue for our area, at 1:25 pm we had totality.

Truly an experience to behold. Watching through the glasses we saw the darkness creeping closer over the sun as the moon was passing and to watch that one little last flicker of light and then, Bam!, to witness total darkness over the sun was amazing. We took our glasses off so we could view the backyard and sure enough we were in the dark, the temperature had dropped and the humidity was gone. 

But just as all good things must come to an end, this moment in time went too quickly. Just like the last bit of sunlight poked through before totality, so was our moment of the moon fully covering the sun. Within seconds we realized it was already starting to lighten again in the yard and as I put my glasses back on the moon was in motion and the sunlight began peeking through again. 

I went back out one more time around 2:00 pm and the moon was still partly over the sun but the heat of the day was back along with the birds and squirrels out in the yard again. What fun to anticipate and watch the eclipse as the moon made its way over the sun and to share it with your family, it is a moment that will always be remembered.

Just Livin’ Life One Sweet Tea at a Time with a Total Eclipse of the Heart over Kentucky!

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun-Sweet Tea Gals are Ready for a Week of Crusin….

Leaving tomorrow night to head down to Mobile, AL to catch a ride on the Carnival Cruise Ship Fantasy for a few days. Looking forward to some fun in the sun and needed relaxation to restore my soul and let my mind and body reach a place of balance, harmony and strength.

 In other words:

  • Girls Just Wanna Have Fun
  • Cruisin’ With My Bestie
Double Trouble on the Cruise!!!!!

    The two of us Sweet Tea Gals on board a cruise ship for a week, Woo-Hoo!  

    We have stops at Costa Maya and Cozumel. I know we are going to be doing some Dune Buggy driving, another day will be spent lounging around at a Beach Resort and doing some scuba diving-sounds like good times ahead!

    Passports are ready, itinerary has been received and reviewed, we have spent time doing some pre-cruise last minute shopping , got our lovely ear patches for motion sickness-what else would any gal want to wear as an accessory-and now we are double checking everything and doing final packing.

    When we disembark next week I am sure the two of us will have plenty to share about our trip plus some great pictures to show. I know just from starting to prep for this trip we have come up with some travel prep ideas, cruise ship prep ideas, fun cruise printables, plus a cruise binder printable and tips for packing to post when return from our trip, plus we’ll have discovered some new fun family cruise tips to share with y’all! 


    Bon Voy’age(!) and Live Life One Sweet Tea at a Time!

     

    Lonely is the Night-Abandoned Big Screen Stands Silent 

    A Big Screen Stands Silent

    On my way back to Bowling Green, KY from Dexter, MO, I was ushered off of the Western Kentucky Parkway by State Troopers who had closed off part of the Parkway at Central City, KY. It was a beautiful day and I made up my mind at the exit I was going to enjoy getting off the parkway and finding my way home through the back roads. As luck would have it as I drove along I noticed two road signs, one pointing toward Owensboro, KY and the other directing me toward Beaver Dam, KY.  I am not real hot at left and right but I do have some sense of direction and knew I needed to head toward Beaver Dam, KY as it would be the closest direction to toward Bowling Green.

    Of course I got just what I asked for, a long twisting road as well as an up and downhill journey through farmland and small sections of towns-if you really want the truth-a strip of the road where the speed limit changes to slow drivers down and as quick as I blinked my eyes I was past whatever little town I had just passed through and was back up to 55 mph.

    Twenty miles up the road I finally caught sight of Beaver Dam’s little main street and turned following the parkway sign.  At the stop sign I almost kept going straight across the little intersection and hitting Hwy 231 towards Morgantown, KY and continuing my back roads drive, enjoying the slower pace-by this point in my journey I knew where I was and how to get back home going either route-but decided I would take the quicker way and chose to make a right turn following directions back to the parkway.

    As I was driving I happened to glance over to my left and to my delight I saw an old Drive-In screen still standing and it looked like it was in pretty good shape.  I quickly turned around and went back to find the old Drive-In sign I had spotted and when I reached it I was delighted with my wild decision to turn back around and investigate.

    I turned onto the little paved path that narrowly was set between the marquee entrance sign and what appeared to be a run down house towards the left of the entrance road. On the marquee there was a sign posted, ‘Hopeful to Re-Open In 2017’ and I wondered how long the Drive-In had been closed. I also decided that what I was looking at must not have been the original marquee entrance sign and wondered how long this quaint off the road Theater had been closed. 

    Marquee Sign at Drive-In Entrance
    Marquee Sign
    I drove around a little bend of the paved road which lead to another building and what must have been the ticket booth and entrance into the Drive-In. What I did find surprising was the fact that this building was built out of brick just like the marquee sign and I wondered if this building too was not the original ticket booth from when the Drive-In first opened.

    Drive-In Ticket Booth
    As I continued around the little bend I drove  right pass an old white building and guessed it was once the projection room and possibly a snack bar area. The small white building was overcome with over grown bushes and the inside of the building looked like it was piled with left over junk and some kind of door was standing up against the inside of the window. I could still see up ahead,  looming high above, the big, white movie screen so I continued on my journey.

    Drive-In Projection Room
    The little road opened up into what looked just like a huge field with trees to the right going back toward the marquee sign and as I looked around further off to the left there were big groves of trees. Straight ahead of me was the big beautiful screen and rolls and rolls of speaker stands from the left, center and right of the screen.

    Right Side Shot of Drive-In
    This picture was taken as I was following the run down paved road that became gravel right passed the ticket booth. As you can see the field is large and the speaker poles start on right side and center of screen and the rows go pretty far back.

    Center Screen Shot
    At the center of the screen you can see the speaker poles clearly and to my dismay the speakers had all been removed, as so many other still running Drive-Ins have done. Now you tune into the Drive-In station on your car radio to listen to the movie playing. As a child growing up in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s I remember very well pulling up to the speaker stands and the speaker would already be sounding out while you watched the preview or old black and white commercials showing the popcorn, sodas, and hotdogs dancing reminding movie goers to visit the concession stand up on the big screen. I miss those speaker days. You were able to adjust the volume by turning the speaker up or down and were able to get out of your car and place lawn chairs in front or to the side of your vehicle. 

    Good Ole’ Drive-In Movie Speakers

    What was even better as kids and teens we often sat on top of the vehicle hood and could hear every word coming out of those old metal speakers. By the time my daughter was old enough to take to a Drive-In in the early 90’s most Drive-In’s that were still operating had removed the old speakers and adapted to the sound being played through the vehicle’s radio, believe me when I say it’s not quite the same.

    Left Side View of Screen
    As I drove away from my visit to this lonely Drive-In the thought occurred to me that there is a great possibility that this Drive-In may never show a movie again, that this Big Screen may truly be silenced forever. No more car loads of families packed up with lawn chairs and blankets looking forward to sitting outside in the fresh evening air, enjoying each others company while watching the movie. Couples headed out for a date and spending time together under the stars watching the big screen will find someplace else to go.  Long gone are the sounds of teenagers running from car to car, meeting up with friends, gossiping over the latest news, making runs to the snack bar to get everyone goodies. I found these thoughts to be quite sad for this beautiful setting in which this Big Screen held center stage. 

    I did find out through some research and found limited information on drive-in.com’s website. The Drive-In I found was once the Tri-City Drive-In and originally opened in 1954. It has one screen and a 200 car capacity, which is quite large for this particular small town area. The Tri-City Drive-In closed down in 2015 falling victim to a theater using the old projected movies and not being able to afford to upgrade to the digital projector and the use of digital movies.

    Personally I have no problem with the old way of showing movies with film reels and projectors. It was really quite cool back then when a drive-in or movie theater had to switch out film reels. Film reels have been replaced with DVD’s and movies are filmed by digital cameras nowadays. I am sure because of this advancement we have suffered a loss of many drive-in’s having to close down and there is a possibility that the drive-in will become a thing of the past. 

    Let’s hope this Drive-In finds a way to light up that Big Screen once again and silence will be replaced with the sound of a great movie playing, the sounds of laughter and talking coming from different vehicles as family and friends have once again journeyed out to enjoy the wonderful scene of the Drive-In movie.

    DIY Kentucky Derby Day Party

    The Kentucky Derby is scheduled the first Saturday in May each year.  It is a spectacular event to behold and the fastest two minutes in sports.  There is nothing like watching those beautiful horses coming out of the gate and heading down the race track.

    Celebrate and join in the fun of the Kentucky Derby and host a Kentucky Derby Party or BBQ for your family and friends.

    Begin your party with a betting game-what a way to keep in the spirit of the derby-have each guest place a dollar bet on their favorite horse to win the race and whichever horse wins the Kentucky Derby that guest will get the jackpot, if you have two guests bet on the same horse that wins then you split the pot.

    The Kentucky Derby takes place at Churchill Downs in Louisville, KY and it’s an option you should have available for your guests to drink-Sweet Tea!  You gotta do as we southerners do and we love our sweet tea- plus the fact it just happens to be the name and theme of this blog.

    If you are really planning to get into the spirit of the Kentucky Derby Mint Julep’s have to be on the drinking menu too. Mint Julep’s are a staple of the Kentucky Derby and have been served at the derby since the 1930’s.  I read the other day on the Kentucky Derby website that over 120,000 Mint Julep’s are served each day of the Derby Festival.  That’s amazing!

    img_7932
    The Original Mint Julep Recipe Served at the Kentucky Derby

    For Derby Delights and other food ideas for your get together visit The Kentucky Derby website where they have provided fabulous recipes for staple foods served at the Kentucky Derby each year and for other fun, delicious food and drinks.

    Photos courtesy of The Kentucky Derby website-www.kentuckyderby.com

    In the true spirit of the Kentucky Derby there must be hats!  Beautiful or not the ladies and gentleman goers who attend the Derby come wearing all kinds of fancy hats.  Below is a DIY for making derby hats:

    DIY Kentucky Derby Hats

    Items you will need:

    1. Hats for Each of your Guests

    • Check out garden and beach hats at your nearest Dollar Tree or Dollar Store
    • Grab some Bowlers or Top Hats for the Gents

    2. Variety of Ribbon Colors and Cute Objects to Place on Hats

    • Solid ribbon colors work best
    • Purchase at your nearest Dollar Tree

    3. Artificial Flowers-Don’t Forget the Roses

    • Purchase artificial flowers at Dollar Tree, Dollar General or Wal-Mart

    4. Variety of Glitter Colors to Offer that Guest Who Loves to Sparkle

    5. Glue Gun or Clear Elmer’s Glue

    6. Vinyl Table Cloth

    • Purchase a Solid Colored Vinyl Cloth at Dollar Tree

    7. Pick up a couple inexpensive, fun prizes to use for Hat Contest

    Instructions:

    Spread vinyl table-cloth down on table to protect your table and to make cleaning up faster, Next let each guest choose a hat design and let them decorate hats anyway they choose using assortment of flowers, ribbon and glitter.

    This is a great in between activity to do and keep every one busy while waiting for the race to begin.  After everyone is finished and before the race begins have a contest for most gaudiest hat and prettiest hat. Give winners a fun, cute prize!

    Have Fun!

    SweetTeaGals.com

    Place Those Bets! It’s Kentucky Derby Time!!

    I am truly a Kentucky gal, I love my state and once again it’s time for one of my favorite things about my state, one of Kentucky’s finest moments-or the most exciting 2 minutes in sports-to shine once again:  The 143rd Kentucky Derby!!

    Pick a horse and place your bets folks! How do you choose your horse for the race?  Do you spend time checking out the stakes and current odds.  A friend of mine studies each horses race history for the current season, looks at the jockey riding the horse and so on, he has a process and its long, but he gets there.  Me, not so much hard work, it’s quite simple and funny how I choose my horse each year.  I always check to see if the horse is Kentucky born, I usually pick a horse by its name, such as ‘Always Dreaming’, or if horse is a mare running, sometimes I choose by the color of the horse, at times I choose the horse based on the jockey riding, especially if it is a female jockey, and this year it seems I just fell in love with the story of ‘Patch’ and his road to this year’s derby,  which I posted Patch’s story earlier in the week.

    Here are a few pictures of horses racing in this years Kentucky Derby, they are all beautiful!

    Kentucky Derby 2017

    img_7931
    The Starting Gate Line Up For Race

    Below a Instagram Post of Patch from Churchill Downs:

    Patch-My Kentucky Derby Fav and Pick To Win

    Post from Instagram yesterday of my favorite singer, Harry Connick Jr. who will be singing the National Anthem!  Woo-Hoo!

    img_7935

    Just in case you don’t know the works to our beloved song:

    My Old Kentucky Home

    The sun shines bright in the old Kentucky home,

    Tis summer the ‘people’ are gay,

    The corn tops ripe and the meadows in the bloom,

    While the birds make music all the day.

    The young folks roll on the little cabin floor,

    All merry, all happy, and bright:

    By’n by hard times comes a knocking at the door,

    Then my old Kentucky Home, a good night!

    Chorus

    Weep no more my lady,

    Oh! Weep no more today!

    We will sing one song for the old Kentucky Home,

    For the old Kentucky Home far away.

    -Words and Music by Stephen Collins Foster

    I have attended the Kentucky Derby on several occasions, my first trip to Churchill Downs was with my family the first year we moved to Bowling Green, KY.  I loved everything about Churchill Downs from the history surrounding me, the smells of food, the ladies in their fancy hats, the parade of the jockey’s and horses to the starting post and the race itself.  There is nothing like it.  I have gone back as a college aged student and experienced the inner field for the derby to dressing up all fancy and watching the race from the stands.  Anyway you choose to experience the Kentucky Derby it’s worth it.  The Kentucky Derby is always the first Saturday in May and there are plenty of activities going on the week prior to the race, you can check kentuckyderby.com web site for plenty of information and I noted the other day when I was on the website tickets for next year’s Kentucky Derby are already on sale.  Take your family someday and enjoy.

    If you are experiencing the race from home check your local stations NBC or CBS for official kick off of post time show and official start post and race times.  (Coverage begins on NBC at 1:30 pm CT and on CBS Live Updates begin at 11:00 am CT.  Starting Post for race is expected to begin at 5:34 pm CT.)

    Enjoy the race and as always Live Life One Sweet Tea at a Time!