Friday, October 30, 2009

Day 30: NYC loves Ktown

A NYC Magazine just highlighted Knoxville as a weekend getaway.!
“From weekly jazz performances to lo-fi indie shows, this once-decaying football town has become a new hot spot for music,” NYCMag reports. It goes on to say that, the “University of Tennessee football games are riotous, unforgettable affairs.” For more entertainment, you can go where “Jazz is the blue plate special” and some much more.
Read the full article here->
So, what are you doing next weekend?

Photo Credit

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Day 29: A Fall Drive

Nothing, nothing in the whole wide world makes a would-be-lonely road trip near as nice as an amazing view of the leaves changing around the Tennessee/Kentucky line and great phone conversations with exceptional friends.
Photo Credit

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Day 28: Cafe 4

This morning, it was a great breakfast downtown on Market Square at Café 4. It was voted Knoxville’s fav new restaurant last year and I’ve been itching to go there. I was not disappointed. The croissant topped with a egg, spinach, and some incredible cheese was one of the tastiest items I’ve had in recent memories. Good thing too. Otherwise, I would have had major food envy, because Angela’s sandwich looked amazing too.
We talked about life, blogs, moving, friends, change, and freedom. So good.
Meanwhile the atmosphere was great. Very neighborly downtown feel, with several people great folks buzzing about.
After breakfast and my coffee refills, Angela headed upstairs. In the 4 Market Square building, there are a couple of organizations’ offices, spaces for two churches, The Square Room, and the Knoxville Fellows. (I think I got that right. Correct me if I am wrong.) Stay tuned, as I am sure several of these items will be discovered on this blog.

Photo Credit

Day 27: KARM

On Tuesday, I got to go serve lunch at KARM (Knox Area Rescue Ministries). Here are some random observations…
…We served 216 meals…it was a slow day.
…Many of them told me, “thank you.” In turn, I thanked them. I was stuck by the fact that is a blessing to me to get to serve them and get to be with some many people.
…when we walked into the kitchen, something was familiar. I checked my senses. It wasn’t really the sight – never been there. It was the smell or the sounds – it was like most other commercial size kitchens. I wasn’t touching anything. But what did I hear? Something strangling familiar. It was my Uncle Roger’s voice. He works at KARM, but what I heard was his voice singing on an old band CD, North Creek, from the late 90’s. Loved it.

Photo Credit

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Day 26: The Mountains Moved

On Sunday, the mountains moved. Seriously, on I-40, the road between Spartanburg and Knoxville, there was a huge rock slide. Crazy.
I lived in Spartanburg from 1998-2009. In 1997 and now in 2009, the interstate has been shut down by such rock slides. It reminds me how the Lord left that connection to Knoxville and my famoly open the whole time I was away. Sure, you can take the 1 hour detour now, but it's been a physical reminder to me how God made the way for me to remain connected. Does that even make sense... Anyway, it is a reminder of the mighty mountains and the majestic of God's creation. Wow. Big Rocks. Big, big God.

Day 25: This City

We've been visiting churches. Lots of churches. Lots of great churches. And lots of them have worshiped with a relatively new song, "The City." It takes on such meaning in a city with such a heart to help it's neighbor and in churches that are striving to meet people where they are at. It has become my prayer....
Listen to it now->

God of This City
Chris Tomlin
You're the God of this city

You're the King of these people
You're the Lord of this nation
You Are

You're the light in this darkness
You're the hope to the hopeless
You're the peace to the restless
You are

For there is no one like our God
There is no one like You God

For greater things have yet to come
And greater things are still to be done
In this city
Greater things have yet to come
And greater things are still to be done here

You're the Lord of Creation
The Creator of all things
You're the King above all kings
You Are

You're the strength in our weakness
You're the love to the broken
You're the joy in the sadness
You Are

For there is no one like our God
There is no one like You God

For greater things have yet to come
Greater things are still to be done
In this city
When glory shines from hearts alive
With praise for You and love for You
In this city

Greater things have yet to come
Greater things are still to be done
In this city
Greater things have yet to come
And greater things are still to be done here

Day 24: Sami's

My new favorite place for a southern style food is Sami’s. For lunch this week I had a vegetable plate. For breakfast Saturday morning with the families, I had cinnamon French toast. The biggest highlight….the desserts. Wow. The best key lime pie I’ve ever had and a tremendous list of other choices.
It’s weird to be in this location – back in the day, that shopping center was home to another café where my friends worked in high school.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Day 23: Baker Peters

The theme of last night...I should listen to Brad. For example, he's been trying to go to Baker Peter's Jazz Club since I moved back to Knoxville. But it had not worked out. We went and he was right. The patio, the music, the historic house. You've got to go. You've got to listen. Next time, we're going my dad!

Day 22: Tinsel and Treasure

Brad and I headed out to get a "Sneak Peak" at JLK's Tinsel and Treasure. So fun and such cute stuff - yummy food gifts, lots of holiday items, toms of UT stuff, and great "girlfriend gifts"(check out Angie's stuff), even lots of things Brad really liked. I'll be back this weekend for some real shopping!
All the funds from the entire weekend will be supporting Junior League of Knoxville's Community Projects - there are so many!
Come out and shop this weekend. Call me, I have one extra ticket for YOU!

Day 21: It's All My Fault

Bad hair days. Eating vegetables. A mess in my parent’s living room. Global warming. His homework. Since I have moved back, my elementary school brother now finds humor in blaming me for just about everything.
“Well, after all, it’s Katie fault,” he says.
Or sometimes, in a sympathetic voice he’ll say, “Gee Katie, how does it feel to have everything be your fault, huh?”
It's rather hysterical, in an I-am-not-smarter-than-a-fifth-grader type of way. When there are 19 years between siblings it is always fun when you still have things to play around about. I love living here!

And Afternoon Reminder From Real Simple...

The most beautiful discovery true friends make is that they can grow separately without growing apart. -Elisabeth Foley

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Day 20: MARY

For a second, I thought I was in Columbia.
Was I in Five Points?
Was I shopping with Kellynn and Harrison?
No, I wasn’t in South Carolina, but I was at MARY.
They have a location in Knoxville. A familiar place, always with something new. Sweet dresses. Sassy tops. Savvy finds. I found something perfect and can’t wait to go back! Oh, and it’s in Western Plaza!

Day 19: WUOT

Nothing wakes me to the world Morning Edition. Nothing centers my day like All Things Considered. Nothing says weekend like coffee with Liane Hansen and Will Shortz. Nothing keeps me informed, at home, and on my toes like NPR. This week, I became a member of WUOT, Knoxville’s NPR station, broadcasting from the University of Tennessee. They even have tremendous local programming and they are celebrating 60 influential years.
Listen here for a taste of WUOT and a part of Knoxville's history that is coming back to life->

Monday, October 19, 2009

Day 18: A "Dead End"

In the midst of a day visiting great churches with Brad, hanging out with my mom, and getting in a great run, I was whipped out. But there is nothing like great b to awaken the senses. Brand new to me and brand new to Knoxville there is an awesome little place on Sutherland called the Dead End Barbeque . (It is right across from UT married student housing – where my family lived when we arrived in Knoxville in 1983.) Brad and I tried it all and declared it a new favorite. The atmosphere is lively and causal – celebrating Knoxville a great barbeque tradition
Here is their story…
"You have arrived – the end of the road, and the end of your search for great barbeque in Knoxville. Dead End Barbeque was born at the end of a dead-end street where neighbors gathered to barbeque. For more than a decade the Dead End Society honed their barbequing skills in the dead end, and in professional barbeque competitions where they achieved national recognition. The Dead End BBQ restaurant has been created to take you there. To the smells, the sounds, and the homemade tastes of an exceptional American neighborhood barbeque in Knoxville, Tennessee. Neighbors at the end of the road cooking BBQ. What could be better than that?"

Day 16: Farragut Football

Dum, Dum, Dumhhhh, Clap, Clap.
Dum, Dum, Dumhhhh, Clap, Clap.
Dum, Dum. Clap, Clap. Dum, Dum. Clap, Clap.
It was the first cold Friday night of the season. There is nothing like a little high school football to kick off the weekend. I haven’t been to a game at Farragut since I graduated, but there will always be something so special about cheering on your alma mater. Sure, several things have changed, and it was weird to not being watching the Dorman Cavaliers with my Young Life girls. But, so, so fun to rediscover – Go Admirals!

Day 17: Litton's

After a drive around cool old neighborhoods in North Knoxville, Brad (a.k.a. “Mr. X”) and I headed to Litton’s for lunch. It’s a Knoxville institution since 1946, but I had never been the original location. They call it the best burger in Knoxville and it gets ranked as such year after year. Well, after my lunch on Saturday, I have to agree. They cooked it medium rare. Yes, medium rare. They can do that – they grind their own meat! In addition to being a family-friendly-all-American-make-norman-rockwell-happy restaurant, it’s also a market and bakery. Not to miss out, we also ordered their famous strawberry shortcake. Yep, another fabulous day in Ktown.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Day 15: Knoxville Museum of Art

Today I was at the Knoxville Museum of Art. I can't wait to go back. Here are the Top 10 reason why:
  1. Higher Ground, the standing exhibition celebrating work of Knoxville and East Tennessee. This was my favorite.
  2. They also always have an exhibit featuring different, contemporary, local artist.
  3. One of the new local artists was doing the coolest things with light.
  4. I was there are a meeting. The space is so easy, open, beautiful and adaptable. A cool, creative space.
  5. Alive After Five! I can’t wait to go back for this!
  6. It’s free. Wow.
  7. Their Director David Butler kept saying – We really have first class art – right here in Knoxville! I believe it.
  8. After leaving the Hub-Bub of Spartanburg, it is wonderful to be stepping into another city committed to the arts.
  9. They are getting an Ansel Adams!
  10. So many memories. I grew up on the great museums of East Tennessee. It is so, so exciting to be back in one of them!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Day 14: The News Sentinel

The Knoxville News Sentinel has always kept me up to date on my hometown, even from Spartanburg. But I have to admit, I am extra pumped about Kate Heubach’s West Knoxville column today.

Loose change becomes a lifeline through charity
By Kate Heubach
Posted October 14, 2009 at midnight
"Last November, I started looking to women I admired and noticed they lived near their families," said Katie Landon, 29. "It got me thinking how I could do my job from any-where."
To Katie, "anywhere" really meant Farragut.
After having lived in South Carolina for almost 10 years, the Farragut native returned to West Knoxville on Oct. 1 as the director of program growth for Rice Bowls, a faith-based non-profit out of Spartanburg, S.C...
Read the rest here->

From the Real Simple Thought of the Day...

I see my path, but I don’t know where it leads. Not knowing where I’m going is what inspires me to travel it. ―Rosalia de Castro

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Day 13: Worship & Prayer

Seek First His Kingdom…Each of those 4 words packs in meaning today. Yesterday evening set my heart in such a place. I tried out a downtown Bible study, connected with some fun girls, and met some more of Brad’s friends. Then we headed something special…
There was no huge agenda. No formal invitation. No standing commitments. Just some people I love, a lot or new friends, and a handful of strangers.
25 folks packed into the living room of Jay’s house in North Knoxville…A guy named James had his guitar out and had sent out an email…Kate had forwarded it to me…Someone named Jeremy led prayer.
Simple. Honest. Organic.
Seeking God’s presence in our city.
Praying for communities, neighborhoods, downtown, churches, ministries, trips, families, change, hope, hearts, lives.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Day 12: Pimento's

My search for new favorite breakfast locations brought me to Pimento's this morning. This Memphis based company has 5 or 6 cafes around Tennessee, with 2 in Knoxville. It has already become one of my favorites lunch in Turkey Creek, catering they sponsored at the Junior League meeting, and their take home Pimento Cheese. This morning's coffee was great and so is the free wifi. It's 8am and I am ready for lunch!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Day 11: Harding

Brad and I met Harding at the Young-Williams Adoption Center on Labor Day. A few days later, he went home with Brad. He is a lab mix. (“Mix” means husky and maybe hound.) Harding was found off Hardin Valley road and is now about 9 months old. Thanks to our friend Chris, he’s learned some commands. Now we are working on running on a lease. So far, so good; he’s a smart puppy! Tonight, Harding gets to spend the night with me.

Day 10: Elle Boutique

After 3 Days in Atlanta for the Catalyst Conference, I am excited to be back in my new hometown. What better way to recover than checking out a new shop. I made my first visit to Elle. Who knew Turkey Creek had such great boutique shopping. Cute and helpful sales staff. Precious clothes. Great jewelry. Toms shoes. Fabulous. I was in the market for some new jeans and got my first pair for Paiges. They might be my new favorite and I’ll definitely be back to Elle.

Day 7: The Soup Kitchen

I love cute, local lunch places. And I have my first favorite in Ktown. The Soup Kitchen is an easy drive from my office; it's easy, inexpensive; and they have good for you or comfort food. I had the chili and the mexican cornbread. Spicy! Can't wait to try another variety.
I went with a friend. I'll call him "Jameson."
So, where should I try next…

Day 6: Chelsea

Farragut High School. Converse College. International work. Back to Knoxville.
No, this is not my life. This is my friend Chelsea. She’s a great friend, during so many phases of life. Now, we’re both back in Knoxville for the time being. Catching up with her was so great that I enjoyed lunch…even though I got the wrong food, I was over charged, and the waitress spilt a drink in my purse.
Hades Ladies - I know you are jealous.

Day 5: ProVision

Monday I started at my new office! For the next few months, ProVision will be home to Rice Bowl’s office of Program Growth (a.k.a. my desk). This organization is home to a for-profit arm, a non-profit arm, and a non-profit incubator, as well as temporary work space suitable for a non-profit in transition (like me). In my first morning, I got to enjoy the every-other-Monday-devotional and prayer. Then, I shared with folks working with restaveks issue in Latin America, some other folks working in medical technology, a new friend opening ministry centers all over Haiti, another guy who is forming medical missions in Haiti and the DR, some people working with exploited children in Cambodia, a group opening the dialogue between religion and science….
Plus, I learned there are ice cream bars in the freezer.
Check back soon for more stories about my current office neighbors.
Who knew all this was in Knoxville!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Day 4: The Cutters

Old friends in new places. It is a wonderful combination. The fabulous Cutters moved to Knoxville at the beginning of this year. It’s such a treat to share my hometown with one of my first Spartanburg friends, Laura, and her husband, Casey. Laura has mostly stopped introducing me as her “Old Young Life Leader” and started calling me her friend. Laura directs girl’s ministry at Cedar Spring Pres, where they are in the midst of their own Rice Bowls campaign! So, far, we’ve enjoyed coffee dates, the Knoxville Young Life banquet, and Sunday lunch. Looking forward to more fun times! Follow their Tennessee Adventures here->

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Day 3: Neyland at Night!

Go Vols! Tonight I am headed to my first UT night game. Maybe it's bad form to blog about something before it happens. But I just can't wait!
For those of you that are not Tennesseans or big time SEC fans, I'll take this opportunity to explain the name of this blog. Rocky Top is an anthem of this great state and it's the fight song of the University of Tennessee. It was famously recorded by the Osborne Brothers and played after every big play by UT's Pride of the Southland Marching Band.

Rocky Top

by Boudleax and Felice Bryant

Wish that I was on ol' Rocky Top
Down in the Tennessee hills
Aint' no smoggy smoke on Rocky Top
Ain't no telephone bills
Once I had a girl on Rocky Top
Half bear, other half cat
Wild as a mink,
but sweet as soda pop
I still dream about that.

Rocky Top you'll always be
Home sweet home to me
Good ol' Rocky Top
Rocky Top Tennessee,
Rocky Top Tennessee

Once two strangers climbed ol' Rocky Top
Lookin' for a moonshine still
Strangers ain't come down from Rocky Top
Reckon they never will

Rocky Top you'll always be
Home sweet home to me
Good ol' Rocky Top
Rocky Top Tennessee,
Rocky Top Tennessee

Corn won't grow at all on Rocky Top
Dirt's too rocky by far
That's why all the folks on Rocky Top
Get their corn from a jar

Rocky Top you'll always be
Home sweet home to me
Good ol' Rocky Top
Rocky Top Tennessee,
Rocky Top Tennessee

I've had years of cramped-up city life
Trapped like a duck in a pen
All I know is it's a pity life
Can't be simple again

Rocky Top you'll always be
Home sweet home to me
Good ol' Rocky Top
Rocky Top Tennessee,
Rocky Top Tennessee

(I learned all these lyrics, as well as the sign language, in 7th grade "enrichment" class.)
It's going to be a cool October evening so I am off to make sure I have something orange and warm to wear...

Day 2: Farragut

A year ago, I never would have guessed I would move to East Tennessee. Even more surprising to me, have moved back to the town of Farragut. Located just west of Knoxville, Farragut has been my family's home since 1992. Now, I am living there again. In addition to it's proximity to my family, my boyfriend Brad, and my roommate Kristin, I am already excited about all the Greenways and Parks. I am lucky to be living in a cute "guesthouse" on some property that is tucked away amidst trees and Tennessee hills. But, it's still convenient to everything. This is going to be a great place to run, relax, and reconnect.
Check out the Town of Farragut and it's Parks and Greenways.

Day 1: The Sunsphere

For me, Knoxville is full of memories and full of changes. The Sunsphere is both. East Tennessee's famous landmark was built for the World's Fair in 1982. In the 80's I played underneath it. In the 90's I wore a vintage t-shirt from Goodwill that sported it's logo. I even saw it mocked in an episode of The Simpsons.
Now, the Sunsphere has reopened. It is a great restaurant, bar, and event facility with an incredible view of Ktown. I missed Josh and Alissa's rehearsal dinner there a few weeks ago. But, to celebrate my move, Brad suggested we check it out.
Seeing Knoxville from this angle reminded me there will be exciting things to discover and rediscover - from a new Point of View!

Photo courtesy of
I need a blog savvy friend to tell me how to site images.