Lifestyles Columnists

Mar. 28, 2015 @ 12:31 PM

The Smoky Mountain Gourmet sets the table for six

Those of you who read my Valentine’s Day column about a month ago know I am engaged. Space constraints kept me from mentioning a very important part of the situation: my fiancée has four children who will be moving in as well and, I suppose, will expect to be fed.


Mar. 28, 2015 @ 12:12 PM

Jake Old: I'm surprised I like 'Better Call Saul'

Recently I've been enjoying the new AMC television show "Better Call Saul." It's a spinoff of AMC's successful show "Breaking Bad," which centered on a high school teacher turned drug dealer.


Mar. 26, 2015 @ 11:40 AM

Carl Mays: Curiosity can lead to satisfaction, knowledge, discovery, success

"Curiosity killed the cat." Most of us have probably heard this saying from childhood. However, tacked onto that statement is the adage, "Satisfaction (or knowledge or discovery or success) brought it back (to life)." The killing of the cat aspect has usually been used to warn us away from getting involved in unwise or unnecessary investigations or experimentations. Or, as another old saying admonishes us, "Don't stick your nose where it doesn't belong." But the satisfaction, gained knowledge, discovery or success aspect can be rewarding – if we don't experience disappointment or negative results.


Mar. 21, 2015 @ 12:00 PM

Adriana Zoder: Romanian embassy visit is trip back in time

In the battle between big cities and small towns, there are no right answers. Every family is different. Some parents have jobs that require them to live in Los Angeles, Atlanta, New York or Pigeon Forge. As for me, I recently realized that given the choice between a small town and a big city, I would choose a small town.


Mar. 20, 2015 @ 01:10 PM

Beyond standard sports fare with the Smoky Mountain Gourmet

For the last 35 years, ever since I had my first apartment, I take the first four days of March Madness off work and institute an ‘open house’ policy in my home. From noon to midnight, for four days, all my friends are welcome to come by. We enjoy some food, partake in a few beverages, and park ourselves on the couch. No interruptions or distractions are tolerated. For pure sports drama, there’s nothing like the NCAA tournament.


Mar. 20, 2015 @ 01:01 PM

Jeff Farrell: Terry Pratchett reminded us to see the good in people

Seeing the news last week of author Terry Pratchett's death was, for me, like finding that a friend had died.


Mar. 19, 2015 @ 06:23 PM

Carl Mays: 80 percent of divorce cases can be salvaged

The Ides of March, March 15, is notoriously known as the date Julius Caesar was assassinated in 44 B.C. – an occurrence popularized by Shakespeare. However, I have now been informed that March may also be an extremely deadly month for marriages. Read on.


Mar. 16, 2015 @ 11:57 AM

The Smoky Mountain Gourmet keeps it simple

In cooking, as with many aspects of life, simple is often best. I have a rule of thumb that I go by at least 90 percent of the time: The more expensive an ingredient is, the less I do with it.


Mar. 14, 2015 @ 04:19 PM

Kenneth Burns: After all these years, I forgive Steve Martin

I forgive Steve Martin. I was surprised to realize this the other day. I didn't know I'd been holding a grudge.


Mar. 12, 2015 @ 02:50 PM

Carl Mays: Are you – gasp – 'nomophobic'?

I knew it existed long before I ever heard of “nomophobia.” And then I was finally introduced to the psychological term. Now I am seeing more and more articles about it. There’s no wonder these reports are multiplying. Like you, I’ve seen evidence all around that it is a growing condition exponentially permeating our society.


Mar. 07, 2015 @ 04:36 PM

Adriana Zoder: Rose Glen festival is a must for book lovers

Rose Glen Literary Festival happens once a year in Sevier County, at the end of February. If you love books and the writing process, you should attend Rose Glen. What's in it for you? Free workshops about the writing and publishing process, book sales in the foyer, meeting authors, writers, and book and magazine publishers. The luncheon, which is ticketed, features a special literary guest and a complimentary pottery soup bowl.


Mar. 07, 2015 @ 12:45 PM

Smoky Mountain Gourmet turns up the heat

Last week I wrote that I'd had enough of winter, and I meant it.


Mar. 06, 2015 @ 11:58 AM

Jake Old: I'm not ready to shave my beard

This weekend I'll be back in my hometown of Murfreesboro for the first time since Christmas. I've normally gone back home every four to six weeks since moving to Sevierville in 2013, so this is the longest I've gone between trips.


Mar. 05, 2015 @ 01:42 PM

Carl Mays: Let your gratitude flow

Fast Company recently ran an article titled "Seven Habits of Optimistic People" by Stephanie Vozza, in which she gleaned information from Jacob Wachob, cofounder and CEO of the healthy living site MindBodyGreen.com; and David Mezzapelle, author of Contagious Optimism. According to Vozza's findings, optimists express gratitude, donate time and energy, show interest in others, surround themselves with upbeat people, don't listen to naysayers, forgive others, and smile.


Feb. 27, 2015 @ 01:14 PM

Jeff Farrell: Yahoo, is that really the top news story?

Maybe I'm just not the target audience for some digital news outlets.


Feb. 26, 2015 @ 04:23 PM

Carl Mays: Engage the ‘thinking’ region of your brain

A book I have enjoyed reading and referring to over the years is “The Hidden Persuaders” by Vance Packard. In the book, first published in 1957, Packard wrote of psychological techniques used by merchandisers and advertisers to lead consumers to purchase products and services. He also revealed various techniques used by savvy politicians and organizations to get votes. With his explanations, Packard also questioned the morality of such tools. As a motivational speaker and writer, I, of course, realize the validity of the right motivational tools or techniques used correctly in positive ways.


Feb. 22, 2015 @ 12:23 AM

Kenneth Burns: I never got used to Wisconsin winters

As I watched the snow fall over East Tennessee last week, I thought to myself: I didn't leave Wisconsin for this.


Feb. 21, 2015 @ 06:22 PM

Adriana Zoder: Rossetti survived the winter, and so will we

This weather reminds me of my three years in Sweden. Dark days, snow showers, icy roads, freezing cold, all of which force us to stay inside and turn on many lights and candles, to create that much needed coziness.


Feb. 21, 2015 @ 09:45 AM

Stay warm with Smoky Mountain Gourmet's pork loin

I cannot express how much I look forward to writing about how to best use the fresh vegetables we've just picked from our gardens, and what our best options for the grill might be. Spring is officially just over a month away, but as I write this, with another winter storm forecast to hit the day before this column runs, a month seems like a century.


Feb. 19, 2015 @ 06:58 PM

Carl Mays: Musings on Murphy's Law

How many times have you quoted or heard someone quote Murphy's Law? I'm talking about the law that says, "If anything can go wrong, it will go wrong." Have you ever wondered exactly who Murphy was? Did he or she actually come up with such a law? When? Why? What were the circumstances?


Feb. 19, 2015 @ 06:42 PM

Upland Chronicles: James Chandler was a trailblazing black educator

Fifty years ago, the nation was mesmerized by the Selma to Montgomery marches taking place in Alabama, part of the voting rights movement that led to the passage that year of the Voting Rights Act. The previous year, on July 2, 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act, prohibiting segregation in public facilities. The entire country, particularly the South, was going through a period of cultural transformation.


Feb. 14, 2015 @ 12:04 PM

Jake Old: I wish I'd had musical guidance

Earlier this week, I wrote a story about an improvisational music workshop that will take place in Gatlinburg next month, free of charge.


Feb. 13, 2015 @ 06:28 PM

Chinese New Year with the Smoky Mountain Gourmet

Happy Year of the Goat! Or is it the Year of the Ram? Possibly sheep…


Feb. 12, 2015 @ 01:44 PM

Carl Mays: Remember this when dealing with a dissatisfied human being

I was standing near an exchange/return line at a big-box store and overheard a conversation between a customer and an employee. It was a good example of how to handle a hard-to-satisfy customer.


Feb. 07, 2015 @ 11:27 AM

Jeff Farrell: The drama of national signing day is irresistible

In the middle of a hectic week, I spent a good portion of my day Wednesday keeping up with the college decisions of some high school kids I've never met.