Tag Archives: Lookout Mountain

Geode It All To Jesus


Christmas has come and gone and the new year is just around the corner. That is why I have not been writing or reading much by way of blogs. It’s just been too hectic. However, I do hope you had a wonderful Christmas (and if you had snow I’m totally jealous).

One of the things that come with holidays is time off from work; when school is out I don’t have to drive a school bus. The downside to Christmas break is that I must go 3 weeks without that income. The upside is that I have more free time to do things with my children, including our exchange student, Freaya.

Lookout Mountain

Back in the middle of December, right after schools dismissed for the break, I decided to take Freaya and Haley (my youngest daughter) up to the top of Lookout Mountain for some free sightseeing. Lookout Mountain – famous for the “Battle Above the Clouds” and Rock City – is not far from where I live. You can actually see the mountain from our front yard.

Lookout Mountain in the distance, as seen from our front yard.

Lookout Mountain in the distance, as seen from our front yard.

The Painting

On the top of Lookout Mountain are several things worth seeing, such as the Incline and Point Park. The view from the overlook at the Incline (the world’s steepest railway – it goes straight up the side of the mountain) is wonderful, especially on a clear day. Likewise, the view from Point Park, famous for it’s iconic view of the Tennessee River and Moccasin Bend is equally stunning.

But it’s in the museum and gift shop next to Point Park where a large painting of the Battle of Lookout Mountain is kept. This was what I really wanted to take Freaya, our exchange student from South Korea, to see. The massive 13’x30′ painting was painted by James Walker, an Englishman. He was paid an incredible $20,000 commission for the work which was completed in 1874.

Freaya and Haley in front of the painting.

Freaya and Haley in front of the painting.

Mountain Memories

On the way down Lookout Mountain I decided to make a quick stop at Mountain Memories, a quaint gift shop right beside the tracks of the Incline. Believe it or not, this was the very first time I had ever stopped at this shop, even though I have lived in Chattanooga most of my life. I guess that’s typical for locals.

Anyway, Mountain Memories is a family-owned business which has been in operation for nearly 90 years (run by the granddaughter of the one who discovered Ruby Falls)! Unlike many other shops, this place sell some really unique items, including handmade quilts and genuine Civil War artifacts, like a bone saw and “carved bullets” (lead shot with teeth marks, the kind left by soldiers having arms and legs amputated – where the term “bite the bullet” came from). I highly recommend you stopping by when you’re in town.

photo 2

Broken and Beautiful

Like I said, there were a lot of unique and unusual gifts for sale at Mountain Memories, but it was some rather common little geodes that caught Freaya’s attention. With all the artifacts from the days of mortal combat on display, Freaya asked an honest question when she first glimpsed the pile of round stones: “Why are they selling rocks?

Haley sorta laughed, then picked up one of the “rocks” and showed her – they were geodes, and one had been broken open.

photo 1 (8)

“These are not just rocks,” Haley said. She went on to tell our guest that what makes them special is that although they may look like rocks, it’s only when you break them that you can see how beautiful they are on the inside.

She said, “You know, it’s a lot like people. We may be ugly on the outside, but it’s when we are broken that you get to see the beautiful on the inside…and what makes us beautiful is Jesus.”

That’s so true, Haley. I’m sorry for what you’ve been put through, but I’m glad you understand what can come from it: the beauty of Christ for all to see. We owe it all to Jesus!

That was a free field trip worth taking!

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Filed under America, places, Struggles and Trials

“As Isaac”

The Band

as isaacIt is not often that I take such a liking to a group, but As Isaac is a band that has really made an impact on me.

Not long ago my daughter told me of some kids that went with her to Precept Ministries. She told me they had a band and were going to have a concert celebrating the release of a their first CD. She asked, “Daddy, can we go?”

Well, the great thing was that they were performing at their home church just a few miles away over Lookout Mountain. We went, not knowing what to expect, but left knowing we had heard some seriously talented, humble tools of the Lord.

The Music

One song, written and sung by Rachel Kelly, brought chills the first time I heard it. The name of the song is Speak Lord. So, as you could imagine, I was totally thrilled to find out that the band had come out with a video.

Let me just tell you something that really impresses me about these guys (and girls)…it’s the lyrics. Beside being wonderful musicians, the words of the songs these young people sing show evidence of a deep walk with Christ. These aren’t kids who write fluff just so they can get on stage and rock the house. These are deep, spiritual young men and women of God who have experienced a real walk with their Creator.

Do me and yourself a favor – watch this video. Then, go check out their website and order their music. You will not be disappointed, believe me.


Filed under Homeschool, music, Uncategorized, worship

A Night at Rock City

What does this video have to do with a recovering legalist? You will actually see me dancing! Really!

If you have never been to Rock City, then you need to go. But if you have never been to Rock City at night when it has been lit up for Christmas, then you are missing a treat.

This week Katie sang with her home school chorus at Rock City, so we went to watch and listen. However, one can only listen to so much Christmas music when there are elves begging to be talked to.

Rock City is on Lookout Mountain, which is in Chattanooga. However, Rock City is actually on the Georgia part of Lookout Mountain, just for your information.

And for the record, I never found my missing glove.

See Rock City


Filed under America, Christmas, Homeschool, places, Relationships and Family

Anthony’s Appetite #8 (Café on the Corner)

It has been over a year since I did a food or restaurant review. But after my wife and I went to lunch yesterday, I figured it was a good time to revive a favorite series…

Anthony’s Appetite! Woo Hoo!

Not long ago my wife started a new job (praise the Lord) on Lookout Mountain (where you go to See Rock City). At the suggestion of one of her co-workers, we visited a little place called Café on the Corner.

Hidden Treasures

It is amazing how there are so many places that we drive by everyday without ever taking notice. I had seen this little cafe many times, but never stopped to check it out. Let this be a lesson to be more attentive.

The front of Café on the Corner is not very audacious. It blends into the surrounding area pretty well. It is very classy, as a matter of fact, with a nice little sitting area outside.The outside, however, did not prepare me for the upscale atmosphere that welcomed us inside.

As Valerie and I walked in, we were greeted by Brittany, who not only seated us, but served us. The Café opens as 11 a.m., so when we got there we were about the first to be seated. That gave me a great opportunity to photograph the interior without offending any patrons.

Money and Time

We were on a budget, so Valerie and I passed on any appetizers. We ordered our usual drinks (Coke for her, coffee for me), placed our orders, and then took a few minutes to enjoy some conversation over white table cloths. Some of the conversation included, “Can we afford this today?…Should we split something?…How long is this going to take?…That lady’s dress looks expensive… I like bare brick…this is going to be a long lunch…etc.

Café on the Corner is not the place to eat if you are on a McDonald’s budget. It is also not the place to eat if you are in a hurry and you arrive when the place is just opening. On the other hand, it IS the place to eat if you enjoy laid back fine dining with an aristocratic Southern flair.

For my main course I ordered the special of the day (which only cost around $8). It was a Philly Wrap with pasta salad. My wife got a hamburger (she’s not the adventurous type).

Oh, the Food!

Let me tell you, the Philly wrap was wonderful. Inside the wrap was extremely tender pork tenderloin, grilled onions, a few peppers and mushrooms, and the most delicious smoked Gouda cheese sauce. My first bite simultaneously brought chills and feelings of cuddly warmth. I nearly shed a tear of taste bud joy.

If you have read this blog for very long, you know I love my coffee and tea. When it comes to eating dessert, nothing compliments it better than a good cup of black coffee. In this case I was able to have the best of both worlds.

Valerie and I selected (to share) the Cafe’s signature caramel cake with vanilla ice cream. Oh my gosh it was good! But what’s more, Brittany told me that their coffee was especially blended to pair with their desserts. Amazing!

Overall, I highly recommend the Café on the Corner. My only suggestions would be don’t eat the cake if you are a diabetic; don’t dress like a Wal-Martian when you visit; and bring a little extra cash if you’re not used to sharing.

For further information, Click HERE to go to their website.


Filed under Food

Room With a View


It’s not much to write about, but it is an opportunity to test this new feature. “Quick Photo” is part of the upgraded WordPress app for iPhone.

I just took this picture from a window in Erlanger Hospital. My wife is here for a followup visit. At least it’s a room with a view.

In the distance is Lookout Mountain. Can you see Rock City?


Filed under General Observations

Anthony’s Appetite #3 (The Purple Daisy Picnic Cafe)

I love BBQ.  As a matter of fact, I think that when God told the Apostle Peter to eat the stuff that was on the sheet that was lowered down, BBQ sauce must have been included.  It had to come from God as a thing ordained from Heaven.  Consider the following words from Acts 10:11-13

He saw heaven opened and a certain container descending to him, like a great sheet let down by four corners on the earth, in which were all kinds of four-footed animals of the earth, wild animals, reptiles, and birds of the sky. A voice came to him, “Rise, Peter, kill and eat!”

At first Peter was not about to do this thing, for on that sheet (I think it was the first picnic sheet) were things formerly unclean, presumably including pork.  God then says to Peter, “What God has cleansed, you must not call unclean.”  Folks, let it be said,

“If to God you want to be true, eat everything with Barbeque.”

Alright, so I won’t get an “A” in biblical hermeneutics, but hopefully you get the point.  BBQ must be ordained by God, so we must try to eat it everywhere we can to find the best to recommend.  With that, here’s a suggestion.

The Purple Daisy Picnic Cafe

If you are ever at the foot of Lookout Mountain in Chattanooga, TN (right next to the Incline Railway), stop by The Purple Daisy Picnic Cafe (thepurpledaisy.com). My wife and kids and I went there last week and left pretty happy.  Let me tell you about some stuff we ate.


Have you ever heard of a Q-Dog?  Well, it was pretty dang good.  It consisted of an all-beef, grilled hot-dog, covered with barbecued pork and slaw, with a pickle on the side.  I loved it.  The slaw was good, too (if you like coleslaw on a BBQ sandwich, you’d like it on the dog).  The cost ($4.50) was a little more than a regular hot-dog, but i’twere the toppings that made the difference.  You could eat it with a fork, but I preferred to man-handle it.


Now, speaking of just good-ol’ barbeque (I think it looks better spelled with a “q”), the sandwich was a lot better than the one I had not too long ago at Bones’ in East Brainerd (no offence, Bones’).  The meat was tender and moist, with a good smoky flavor.  My wife ordered a regular size one, and I got the last bite (for the blog’s sake).

For dessert, Valerie and I shared a banana pudding.  Again, it was not like my granny in Alabama used to make, nor like the big-armed grannies at a few homecomings, but it was good.  What made it a little different was that it seemed to be freshly prepared for the customer at the time of order.  The reason I say this is because of how the actual pudding was at the bottom, but the vanilla wafers and whipped cream were on top.  The whole thing couldn’t have been made too much earlier, because the wafers were even still crunchy.  It was served cool, not warm.  I prefer warm, but oh well.

Now just a couple of other things to mention.  First, let me tell you about the baked beans.  They were a dish to themselves – really.

Baked Beans with "Stuff"

As you can see from the picture, these weren’t your ordinary baked beans.  They had “stuff” in them.  A bowl of them thar’ beans and some cornbread and you’d be set, I’m tell’n ya’.  How’s that for colloquial?


The atmosphere of The Purple Daisy Picnic Cafe was fun and unique, too.  Just take a look at the table and chairs in the corner.  There is seating inside and outside.  They serve Coke (hallelujah!). But getting in and out of their parking can be a little tricky, depending on which way you exit the lot (FYI).

Well, that’s about it for this addition of Anthony’s Appetite.  Who know’s where I’ll end up next.  Until then, give this little locally-owned cafe a try.  The even have a neat website if you want to plan your culinary adventure beforehand.

God Bless BBQ!

P.S.  My only complaint was that there was no Brunswick stew.  But you know, nothing wrong with doing only what you do best.

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Filed under Christian Living, Food, General Observations