Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Just Back from 'Bama

Home away from home. Beautiful Fairhope. As usual, I'm behind in posting! ACKH!!! I'm so sorry but it's just been so busy, back and forth and such. Road trips every week it seems!

The hub's parents came in last week, I can't even remember when now. Perhaps it was Friday. Yea yea, that's it. I know this because the kid had his driving class all week and we ran out of time on Friday and was unable to get his learner's permit. Do you know how hard that was on him not being able to have that license in hand??? Pretty darn hard! (He got it today though!)

We had found a new restaurant before leaving a couple of weeks ago, Bimini Bob's. Mmmmm.

Right on Mobile Bay.

BBQ shrimp. Mmmmm.

Conch chowder. Although I've only had the tomato base, this was very good!

Mmmm, and black beans. Yummmmm! Everyone enjoyed themselves except the kid. He came down with a little vertigo on the drive down from TN and he quickly made his way to bed after arriving at Riverside. Poor guy. But he was better the next day.

Just in time for a fabo Low Country Boil! It was soooo good, if I do say so myself. It was nice to stay in and relax. Such an easy meal, all in one pot--shrimp, sausage, potatoes, corn, lemons and onions. Voila--dinner!

The next day while the hub took the inlaws around town, I spied a new store. Rosie Blu's! I love it. Lots of felty things--one which I bought, a heart. Bella tore it up. lol

The kid and I came back yesterday--long drive. A story about that later. But we got home and Dave had peed on every bed in the house, except the guest room. Ugh. I could have killed the teenager for opening all the upstairs doors, which I had closed on purpose for that reason. You see, Dave gets mad and then he gets even. Ew. I have spent all day washing. Lordy me.

Mom is good. Everyone else made it back to TN today. I'm tired. But I wanted to catch up a little and let you know that I am still blogging--just a tad scattered about.


Sunday, July 26, 2009

Fatter, Happier?

Call it what you will, but the South sure does have it charms. I've always considered myself a quasi-Southerner--not only by birthright, but I spent my childhood summers in Georgia and Texas, birthplaces of my parents. Now that I live in Tennessee and Alabama, I feel the connection even more. Yes, it can be quite quirky, sometimes ignorant just like other places; but for the most part, it is absolutely charming, the folk sweet as sugar, and the food? Well, I don't need to tell you about the food, 'cause I know you know. ;-)

I found a new magazine last summer in Fairhope while perusing the racks at our little bookstore Page & Palette. A nicely dressed southern lady walked in and asked the cashier, in the sweetest Alabama drawl, if they had any "Garden & Guns" left. Of course, a conversation then ensued, as it always does in the south. When I heard that our little town had been written up in the above-mentioned magazine, my ears perked up. I hadn't even heard of the periodical before. Well, with Gun in the title, I wonder why! It was then that I began my search for it and finally found in back in Nashville. I'm sure every copy within 100 miles of the place had been grabbed up back in Fairhope! The article, Southern Dream Towns, indeed did mention Fairhope, Al, listed under the "Best Birding Town" title. You'll recognize, I'm sure, some of the familiar spots around town that normally show up in my blog from time to time.

"Perched high on the bluffs of Alabama’s Eastern Shore, the town of Fairhope sits squarely on the Alabama Coastal Birding Trail. Each spring and fall, the 240-mile-long birding extravaganza surrounding Mobile Bay attracts upwards of one million visitors of the wingless variety, hoping to get a glimpse at the hoards of migratory birds that use the bay as a rest stop on their routes to and from Mexico and beyond.When the flocks have passed, however, Fairhope does not fold up its wings. The town is known for its sweeping panoramic views of Mobile Bay, its old bluff cottages, its tree-lined avenues, and its explosion of flowers lining planters and windows of downtown shops. The town owns and operates eight greenhouses. Even the trash receptacles double as planters.
The area has long been a haven for artists and writers, and maintains a progressive, culturally vibrant climate year-round. The annual Arts & Crafts Festival in March is one of the oldest and largest of its kind in the South. Each April, the Fairhope Yacht Club hosts the Dauphin Island Regatta, the largest one-day sailing regatta in the nation, which celebrated its fiftieth anniversary in 2008.

A Typical Day:

Start your day at Julwin’s Restaurant with a stick-to-your-ribs country breakfast. Then head to the Weeks Bay Nature Reserve and stroll on walkways through the marshlands, or try your hand casting for redfish and speckled trout. In late morning check out Page & Palette bookstore in the beautiful French Quarter, where you can eavesdrop on the ritualistic gathering of Fairhope’s intellectual and creative fringe. Panini Pete’s, just behind the bookstore, offers crepes, seared tuna salad, and European sandwiches, with a courtyard for a patio lunch. Spend your afternoon exploring more than two hundred boutiques, galleries, antiques stores, and eclectic shops in the tree-lined downtown. Stroll through the award-winning rose garden in the park along the waterfront. For dinner, try the Colony Grill’s salmon filet glazed with rum and maple syrup, with “angry” hot pepper flakes.

Plant Your Roots:

Fairhope was once called the best-kept secret on the Gulf Coast, but its secret is out, so home prices are up, though still lower than in many coastal towns. The flip side to higher home prices is low property taxes and no sales tax. Fairhope was founded on utopian principles as a single-tax colony, where resources are pooled for the benefit of the town (the latest fruits of this program are an Olympic-size swimming pool and a planned 43,000-square-foot library). You can buy historic waterfront homes for around $2 million or cottages for $500,000."
After reading several months of G&G, I decided that it was good enough to subscribe to. I think in fact, that it hardly ever mentions guns--a short story on hunting every now and again--so I truly enjoy it. This was my brother Jim's and my favorite issue to date! Chock full of places to hit.

There are indeed some fun articles each month. I liked this one entitled "Study Shows Southerners Fatter, Happier." How's that for big news? lol "Fried chicken recommended as an antidepressant!" Yessirrie doggie! Bring it on! (I wish!!)

Of course, I then went on to read more of the Big Bad Chef's recommendations and found a place right here in Nashville that, low and behold, I had not yet frequented. You can bet it's now on the list. Prince's chicken looks to die for. Yes, I've heard of it, but I guess I've just been avoiding it.

There are wonderful articles on saving our frogs,

old Southern roads, great for road trips,

and local fare, such as soft shell crabs,

and the enjoyment of a longer oyster season this year! (Not for me, yuk, but the hub sure is enjoying it!)

We have been enjoying the family from the North, the hub's parents, as they always seem to enjoy the South although would never admit to it back North. lol. We are heading deeper South tomorrow to show them our sweet Riverside. I look forward to it--only wish the drive wasn't so long. Oy.

Will try and stay in touch. I'm just bad bad bad these days!!

Cheers to the South!


Friday, July 24, 2009

A Jujubee Summer

Mmmm, I don't know about you, but these have to be one of my all-time favorite candies. And, I believe, this has to go on record as being an all-time wonderful summer.

I found these at a cute little store in Savannah. The cuz and I went through an entire box driving from Savannah to Tallahassee. Yes, a stomach ache transpired. But it was good.

I have been so busy with this or that that I have neglected my blog; and I do apologize. Do you think I'll be able to remember anything if I don't blog about it? I doubt it very seriously. I guess sometimes we just lose that bloggy feeling. For whatever reason, I'll try and do better, as Uncle Vin used to say. "Are you going to try and do better?" Yes, Uncle Vin. Well, perhaps after school starts, that is.

The temperatures here in Middle Tennessee have been uncharacteristically cool. Oh, and we are loving it. I wouldn't change it for the world. Absolutely perfect. And so, with the cool weather (and I do mean cool), I have been cleaning. As you'll remember, I hardly ever spring clean--but come fall? Oooh, I'm in there rearranging everything! Here you will see my new view from another corner of the study. Yep, moved my desk and computer last week. Seems a little more confined over here--can't quite figure out why. So, who knows how long this will last. Regardless, it's a nice little change for the time being.

And then I moved to the upstairs and my little nook in the bedroom. Nice, no?

Look where everything went! lol Of course, I only do this rearranging and cleaning when the hub is out of town. Therefore, in order for me to sleep that night, I just shoved it all to the hub's side and finished the next day. Bella doesn't mind. :-)

Then came a couple of nights later--a little larger task that had become completely overrun. Not that I have a photo of the before. I wouldn't have dared share that one! And I'm pretty darn good at sharing, don't ya think?

I won't even begin to go into what I found on my bath counter. But now, it is nice and tidy. For the time being!

I've always been a tad paranoid about my jewelry. Most of the "good stuff" has been lost by the kids; but I've always had this thing about putting pieces all over the bedroom and bath. That way, if a thief comes in, they will get a piece or two, not the entire shebang. Well. Daig. I can never find what I'm looking for now that I'm in that age bracket, so I say "bring it on" burglars! I sorted it all and put it in these three boxes. Have at it. I'm too old to "put it away" and not enjoy it without having to look in a million different places! And it is so much prettier.

I have been enjoying mom and her new spot by the window. When the cuz was here, we even began decorating. It's looking nice and cozy--as much as it can, anyway. She's doing well. I do miss Mrs. M. though and her old room. Mom loves sitting by the window, so I'm happy. We had a scare the other night by a phone call at 1 a.m. saying that her blood pressure had dropped and her heart rate was up. They told me they would monitor it and call me again if it changed. The next morning when I went to visit, she was perfectly fine. I was a wreck, but she was fine! She's been very happy with visitors--the cuz, the kid and the teenager. Always does the heart good when she recognizes everyone.

To close, a new sink has arrived to replace the one cracked by the kitchen idiots in January; so that should be installed in a week or so. Shoot me now. The kid finished his driving class and gets his learner's permit on Monday. And, last but not least, the inlaws arrived today for a week's visit. I haven't seen them in several years because of my having to stay at home with mom. It's nice to have them here with us. As much as we complain about inlaws, we still love 'em.

Hope everyone is well. K, where are those jujubees?????!!!


Sunday, July 19, 2009

Simplistic Sundays

While I'm still working on catching up on the many things I have put on the back burner, I am trying to keep my Sundays as simple as possible. As much as I torment myself over it, this is the one day I don't visit mom. I try and relax on this day as much as I can.

I found these pictures on Apartment Therapy and love the simplicity of these settings. I've come to call the site my weekend therapy. I looked around my house to see if I have any spots that aren't over crowded with stuff but gave up after looking through a few rooms. I seem to decorate in explosion mode--entice the senses rather than calm them. To be honest, I can almost feel myself aging towards the calmer mode. Each and every day, I say to myself "ooooh, I have to do something different to the house." But once I get home from wherever, I have no energy to do so.

I'm hoping that the fall, my active season, will bring all the energy I need to do something new, somewhere. If I could just start with one little spot . . .

Happy Sunday.


Saturday, July 18, 2009

Catch Up

I'm finding it extremely hard to catch up. I'll blame it on summer. I'm feeling so lazy since the cuz went back home. Guess I need to catch up on my rest with all the running around we did. This is about how I feel. Think the kid took it.

As I said, the cuz went home on Wednesday. We miss her terribly. It was so much fun having her with us and we kept the motors running the entire trip--even after we returned to Nashville. We visited mom and mom was worried that the cuz was cold so she covered her up with her little blanket. Always the nurturer. Awwww. It was absolutely precious. And the way Jacq responds to her grandmother is heartwarming. Sniffle.

I loved this blurry shot of her.

And of course, we kept our bellies full of goodies too. Lunch at the Stoveworks was served with tiny rolls. Yummmmm.

We then stopped at GiGi's to get cupcakes. The cuz liked the Boston creme while my fave is the chocolate cake with vanilla icing. No matter what kind of fancy flavors they have out, I still prefer my old standard. Mmmmmmm, again.

We got a couple of games of bowling in. It sure was sad seeing her board the airplane.

Yesterday I had my annual MRI for my mystery brain blip (no explanation of what it is--we just keep an eye on whatever)--long story but all is fine. It being Friday and my not having any time to cook for the nurses (and since we were celebrating the teenager's 20th birthday), I decided to go by a new bakery in Murfreesboro, Julia's Homestyle Bakery. Since I've been eating everything in sight and therefore on a major food restriction now, I bypassed any for me and got the nurses three big boxes of goodies and the teenager a birthday cake. I sure did want something though, as you can well imagine from the photos. I loved all the decorative cakes.

We took the family for the birthday bash to Sunset Grill in Hillsboro Village. It was sooooo good! Shrimp in phylo with kiwi salsa.

Salads that were sooo good.

And steaks that were out of this world.

Do I need to say luscious cocktails were involved too? Probably one or two too many?

We came home and continued our celebration with a wonderful chocolate cake. We could barely get in a mouthful because we were all so full! My baby, all grown up (and disguised by a PS paintbrush, sorry!).

Life is gud.

Now, nap time. I so tired.




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