Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Eat Athens VI - NONA

Our "Eat Athens" campaign has been kinda sidelined after the beginning of school,  This was due to several factors.  The first of which is that the adults went on a diet and the kids' schedules picked up to the point that we were just participating in "Drive Thru Athens". We're not giving it up, though, and we went to a place for our wedding anniversary that I have been dying to try for sometime: NONA.  NONA is "New Orleans in Athens".

Those who were in and around Athens fifteen or twenty years ago will recall the old Gautreau's that was in East Athens.  I loved it and I miss it.  It was this nostalgia that fueled my very high expectations for NONA.  It was a very nice anniversary meal, but it wasn't Gautreau's.  We had lunch there because we had an evening football game.

I had Crawfish Etouffee and De had Grilled Chicken Maque Choux.  It just wasn't Gautreau's. I could go on and on and on about the Crawfish Etouffe they served.  Yum!  NONA's  etouffee was okayish, though not as spicy as I like and the side of collard greens was good.  De enjoyed his meal... all except the weird side of creamed spinach. (Had I payed dinner prices for my etouffee, I think this review would be harsher.) We had an appetizer of Raw Oysters on the Half Shell with hot sauce and horseradish, which was good and we didn't have dessert.  A major disappointment was that beignets are only offered at brunch on the weekends. ( I guess we could have called ahead to ask about that, but we don't think things through that far!) Our service was just fine.  Our bill including sweet tea - which De thought was good - and coffee was around $50. (Fifty bucks for two - no alcohol, no dessert and... the lunch menu - just keep all that in mind.)  I would try NONA again simply because it has such a fun, lovely atmosphere, but for this trip, I give it 3.5 out of 5.

Crawfish Etouffee

Grilled Chicken Maque Choux

NONA is located in the old Harry Bissett's building, so that is nostalgic in itself for me.  Harry's was quite the place to go when I was in college.  It is a beautiful building and has been nicely redecorated for the new restaurant with three pretty spacious (looks tiny from outside, so this is surprising) separate dining areas.

Every other year, (for about twenty!) we've gone to The Last Resort for our anniversary.  It is an Athens eatery that never disappoints.  I can't say that NONA will fit the bill when it comes time to decide on the venue for number 22!  So far, Last Resort holds the lead firmly for my favorite celebration destination!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Kirkin' of the Tartans

Here our family wears our tartan and carries our banner for the Kikin'
It is a curiosity in my church that while others may say that Easter or Christmas services are their favorites, so many of our members say that it is the "Kirkin' of the Tartans" service.  This service is uniquely Presbyterian and while it celebrates our church's (kirk's) Scottish heritage, it is uniquely American.

Because our minister has done the research, I will shamelessly plagiarize our bulletin from this service:

The History: The ceremony of Kirkin' of the Tartan is of American origin, though based on Scottish histroy and legend.  In 1746, Scotland came under British rule after losing the Battle of Culloden and druing this rule the Scots were forbidden to carry arms or wear kilts or tartans representing their Scottish heritage.

The Legend: This act promoted the stubborn Scots to secretly carry a piece of their tartan as they went to the kirk.  The minister then slipped a blessing (a kirkin') into the service for the tartans.  This tartan prohibition lasted for nearly 50 years.  At the repeal of the act, the Church of Scotland celebrated with a Service of Family Covenant, at which time the tartan of each family was offered as a covenant expression for the Lord's blessing.

The First Kirkin': The Saint Andrew's Society of Washington, DC held the first kirkin' during the early years of WWII.  The late Dr. Peter Marshall, a Scot, then Chaplain of the US Senate and Pastor of New York Avenue Presbyterian Church, led the service in 1943, choosing"Kirkin' of the Tartan" for the title of his sermon.

Drums and Bagpipes provide the music for this service

Tartan banners line the front of the church

Baillie Ancient Tartan

I was able to order scarves and ties from scotweb.co.uk.  They were reasonably priced and were delivered in about 2 weeks.  Since this service occurs every year on Reformation Sunday, we will be able to wear them again.  And you know what?... I can't wait!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Goodbye, Baby A

During the last few weeks, I've enjoyed countless blog posts and Pinterest pins on the glory of Fall. I've enjoyed the cooler weather, college football, boots, pumpkin spice coffee and all other goodies she brings, too. I've also spent the last month being angry with summer.  That's right.  Summer is a thief.  She breezes in with promises of beach trips and lazy days, but I've found, she wants something in return.  She has taken from me before, so I should have seen it coming.  This was ruthless though. Just as she was sneaking out on September 22, she grabbed something so precious:

"I know my ear trick is darling"

"Nanny's party wore me out"

"Mama, look what I got you for Christmas!"

"I was going to be Cujo until Mama found this ridiculous glow in the dark pirate costume"

It has been hard to adjust to homecoming without wagging, walking alone with no panting, grits in the morning with no begging and sitting down to watch TV with no petting.

To quote one of the most wonderful kiddie lit authors ever,  he was, "precious and priceless and fascinating and winsome".  (-Kevin Henkes, Chrysanthemum)

Soon, another dog will come into our lives - cause who can live without one?  There will never be another Baby A - lover of grits, running, squirrels, CHILDREN, balls, his Chic Fil A cows and most of all - our family.  He is sorely missed.

Archie "Baby A", "Mr. Pants", "Angel Baby"

May 3, 2007 - September 22, 2014

The dog is the most faithful of animals and would be much esteemed were it not so common.
Our Lord God has made his greatest gifts the commonest.  - Martin Luther

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Pray for the Amazing Cooper B

I've lost track.  Nineteen, twenty?  I'm not sure how many surgeries, but Cooper has had lots for a little guy who is not quite finished being ten.  Anyway, he'll have another one today.  There is an infection involved and hardware that is potentially rejecting.  Please pray for the little boy with the mouth that doesn't stop and the heart that doesn't give up.

Check out this link for more on The Amazing Cooper B.

Homecoming 2014 Part II

This was the year.  I finally got it.  It took me until his Junior year, but I got it nonetheless.  For homecomings and proms past, I've asked sweetly to get some pictures.  These requests have seemingly fallen on deaf ears.  While Baby Noona will allow umpteen gillion pictures of any event, John will not.  Boys are like that.

This year was different, this year:

I realized it was all about $$$.  I paid dearly, but I got some pics....

John and his date, Mc.

When you want something done, it never hurts to send along "a reminder".

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Homecoming 2014

With three volleyball games and a football game,

we had a lot going on for Homecoming week.  Julia and some buddies and I had shopped for dresses several weeks ago.  By the time the event rolled around, no one was wearing her original choice, though none of them could have been more beautiful.

Baby Noona and her date, JB.

These men are truly brave considering they escorted most of the 9th grade volleyball team.

After pictures at The Georgia Club, they all boarded "The Boogie Bus" for dinner at Sakura and then the dance at NOHS.  

"Behave", we shouted as the bus pulled away.... I'm sure they were listening....

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Busy, Busy, Busy

Like Professor Hinkle in my favorite Christmas cartoon, Frosty, we are busy, busy, busy. It's August, so that means plenty of volleyball...

NOHS JV Volleyball Team: 1st Place Winners in Titan Spiketacular Tournament 8/16/14

and football....

NOHS vs St Pius 8/15/14