Sunday, July 27, 2014

National Ice Cream Day

I've shared the recipe for Homemade Butterfinger Ice Cream before.  I've described it in all its excellent yuminess and even yakked about the history of its goodness.  Suffice it to say, that it is a summer highlight for me.  Then upon second thought, isn't that true of all ice cream flavors?

Because I am an informed citizen, (and a listener of WMOQ, Bostwick/Monroe) I pay homage to all great national days of the year.  As a matter of fact, as I type this post on July 27, I am fully aware that today is "National Walk on Stilts Day".  More importantly, July 20 was National Ice Cream Day.  I did all I could to celebrate!







Thursday, July 24, 2014

Seventeen

For John's 17th birthday, we all waited until he got home from football practice (two a days) and then went to Longhorn's to celebrate.  





After this late dinner, John ambled on home to get ready for an awesome present from Nanny:
The Darrell Huckaby Honor the Braves Tour in Coopertown, NY!



Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Thankful

"We pray for blessings, we pray for peace, comfort for family, protection while we sleep..." are the lyrics to a popular Laura Story song.  I am here to tell you that for our family, this week, those prayers were answered.  Monday saw yet another surgery for our Pop.  After several hours in the OR, the surgeon came out and used a word which Pop has not heard in a long time to describe his health: "great."





This afternoon, I got a text from my Aunt about my beloved Uncle.  It seems that while he and my cousin slept - in a tent - in the woods - in a remote area of Canada - they survived this storm:

We are so thankful that they are okay.



Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Fun in the Son - Hilton Head Island

Last week, J&J took off to the beach for "Fun in the Son". (Thanks to DT, who unknowingly, loaned me these pics from her Facebook page.)  This group of high schoolers from our church goes every year to a faith based camp.  This was the first year at Hilton Head.

July 13  Leaving Central Pres
I think they had a great time, judging by Julia's reviews.





She enthusiastically told me stories of worship time, soccer, running in the rain on the beach, her break out group, spending times with friends and dancing.






When asked about the trip, John just said, "good".
It is a "good" group of kids, a "good" summer activity, a "good" spiritual opportunity and I'm so glad they got to go!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Eat Georgia

Since we were out of town last weekend at the appointed time for Eat Athens, we just made a switcheroo to the plan.  We would modify our dining area.  Since we were in the Georgia Mountains, we would, of course, eat there.  I guess this installment would be more appropriately named, "Eat Hiawassee"!

This place has been around forever.  I remember eating here when I was growing up when we played football in Towns County and later as trips to the mountains would allow.  It has never disappointed.  Never. I looked forward to going this weekend.  After J&J finished their fried fish and cheeseburger, my guess is they'll look forward to their next meal there, too.

image from tripadvisor.com

We got there late and it was raining.  I didn't take any of my own pictures, but if I had... they would have been all smiles.  I've been here many times and while it has always been crowded, we never had to wait long.  I suspect that is not always the case, though.  It appears to be a favorite with locals as well as tourists.  Take time to visit nearby Sautee, Georgia and maybe Hiawassee as well.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Fourteen

Julia celebrated her 14th  birthday with Uncle Jim, Aunt Patsy, Nanny, our family and her buddy, MCP,  It was the first year every without a party.  No invitations, no balloons...no hoopla.  Just a birthday dinner after church.



Happy Birthday Jules



 Later in the evening, we did have birthday cake and ice cream with neighbors and friends. Julia requested plain birthday cake, no icing.  Easy enough.  Birthday cake is otherwise known as Cream Cheese Pound cake and is one of the secrets of life.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Family Reunion II

July is our family's month for reunions.  For the fourth, we gathered with some from my Daddy's side of the family and the next weekend, we got together with my Mom's side of the family.  Our reunion destination with this crowd is always Brasstown Valley Resort in Young Harris, Georgia.  I have raved about this resort in previous posts and for good reason.  The cabins are arranged so nicely for big groups.  There are individual bedrooms that open off of a kitchen / living room area.  Depending on your needs, you can use the common area or not.  "The Sisters" always opt for the use of a common area which allows us to all eat together.  This year our numbers were down as so many cousins have moved (Michigan, are you kidding me???) or are just plain busy. Our numbers may have been down from previous years, but our fun wasn't. We ate, golfed, shopped, exercised (!) and read.  Then, our family dashed back to Athens to get ready for Fun in the Son.
image from hotelsharbor.com

Lots of winding paths that are beautifully landscaped and wooded
 for the walker, runner...
or lollygagger


image from Brasstown Valley Spa and Resort








Thursday, July 10, 2014

The Amazing Cooper B

Most people would have given up.  Not Cooper.  Most people would have lost hope.  Not Cooper.  Most people would be bitter.  Not Cooper.  Most people would at least have a pretty bad attitude.  Certainly not Cooper.  Watch this viceo and see if you agree, Cooper B is an amazing kid!

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Fireworks and Family on the Fourth

Some of my favorites gathered at my house for a little family time, food and fellowship on the Fourth.  We had such a good time.  As a bonus, the pool house was finished to accomodate the party.



I'm so proud of KB, who did all the work himself, except for the tile on the bar. His buddy, BM, helped with that.  It was a long, laborious project, but it is finally finished!  Yay!







We swam, played games and ate a lot.  Again, I borrowed heavily from Paula Deen.  Our menu included a few standards, but I have to say that I loved the grilled chicken with "Daddy's Tangy Grilling Sauce". (Find recipe below.)

We had so much fun with the Alabama and Tennessee cousins!  I was sad when they left. 



 Really.  I love them!




Don't let the face fool ya. This was fun.

When it was over, we were making plans for 2015.  It started with a "Share a Coke...."


... we decided Atlanta would be a great place to go for a 2015 celebration. Among other things, we can tour the Coca Cola Museum there. (I had hoped to get a Coke with everyone's name on it for the reunion.  I just couldn't find them all. After a valiant search, Julia and I gave up and decided the one above was the prize!)

I love it when you leave one event and you're planning the next!



Daddy's Tangy Grilling Sauce
Paula Deen's Southern BBQ Two Episode


1 cup worcestershire sauce
1 stick of butter, melted
2 lemons, juiced                                                         Combine all ingredients and baste on chicken.     









Eat Athens V (Amici's)

Located in the old Rocky's Pizza building is an Italian restaurant named Amici's.  This isn't a new establishment.  In fact, it is a regional chain with stores in Covington and Lake Oconee.  If I remember correctly, there was one in Madison, Georgia on the square in the 1980's. Still, it made the "Eat Athens" cut and we enjoyed it very much.  Really good Grilled Ahi Tuna Salad that was quite filling.  This restaurant was the site of the girls' lunch during our family reunion shopping bonanza, so we didn't get John's or Kenneth's vote.  Not to worry, we'll return to really size it up, but Jules and I would give it a solid 4 out of 5 stars!









Monday, July 07, 2014

Shop Athens (Clayton Street)

As much fun as we are having with Eat Athens, we decided to Shop Athens as well.  Athens has a neat downtown area that has a lot to offer the shopper.  Again, while UGA is fairly quiet, it is easier to find a parking place and check things out.  Clayton Street has our favorites and this list isn't exhaustive - but gives an idea of the eclectic nature of downtown Athens.

Masada Leather
This store has been around forever - even when I was at UGA.  Service is friendly and the offerings there are superb.  While it is clearly geared for the collegiate, I found a pair of slip on shoes that I love and Mama would have purchased a pair as well had they fit.  There are tons of items here that Julia just loves.  The store itself is quite appealing as it has such cool architectural details that are really old... not just made to look that way.  Maybe the best part is the smell.  The leather smell is certainly not overpowering, but nicely present.



Chick Piano
For much of my adult life I have been involved in church music.  While a student in high school and UGA, I took organ lessons.  I have always loved to go in a music store and browse.  Chick Piano has been a favorite "go to" whether I am playing or looking for music for Julia to play.  Two years ago, I purchased her Kawai  piano from Chick.  No matter your instrument, Chick has something for you.

Aurum Studios



If I filled out a wish list for Aurum, it would be simple: "Anything".  This is the most wonderful jewelry store I have ever been in.  Gifts at all price points can be found in this beautiful store.  A "must" for any shopper in Athens.

Onward Reserve
A guys' store - or as John says: "haberdashery". Don't miss this.  I love the decor as well as the goods.  My favorite find here is:

I purchased this for John.  Mama said, "he doesn't know who Ronald Reagan was."  Julia said, "he won't wear that."  The sales guy said, "he'll wear it."  And... he did.

There are lots of other fun places on Clayton...

Heery's
A very nice boutique.  Beautiful designer items for the well heeled.


Heery's Too
Heery's Too is a beautiful gift store that features china, baby items as well as home goods.  Beautiful linens, mirrors, art and knick knacks can be found here.

Encore
Another great store for ladies' clothes and accessories.

Native America Gallery
Wow!  This store is just fun. Really beautiful, unique jewelry and accessories can be found here.  This is a "must" stop.  

Wuxtry Records
A real record store.  Records - LP's - there are just a few of us left who know what those are! Wuxtry has CD's as well as comics and is just an interesting store to check out.

Kum's Fashions  
Kum's is a good spot for sunglasses.  Customer service is par excellence. Kind of funky, but don't pass by too fast.

Private Gallery
Nice ladies boutique geared to the young and hip.

Red Zone
E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G   a die hard Georgia fan could ever dream of can be found here.

Cillies
Go in and have a look around.  This store is really packed with vintage goods.  Kinda disorganized, but maybe it's just that there is so. much. stuff.  Vintage designer handbags galore can be found here - as well as just about anything else.  Mood rings, wedding dresses, cowboy boots and LV bags are all under this roof! Too fun to pass up.

There are many other stores, restaurants and bars on Clayton Street.



If your trip to Athens includes a shopping afternoon, come here.  Every town has the same mall with the same anchor stores or strip mall with the same big box stores.  Not everybody has a Wuxtry or Cillies or Aurum... and they are worth the trip!
(Clayton Street certainly isn't the only place to shop in Athens.  Lots of our favorites are scattered around both Athens and Watkinsville.  It's just convenient to park on Clayton or in the deck near the Classic Center and explore the entire street.)  While our family was here for the fourth, we did just that. I think our crowd of 7 ladies (of all ages) really enjoyed the afternoon.




Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Summer Loves

Christmas may be the most wonderful time of the year, but in my book - June and July aren't bad at all.. I love all things beach and nautical and thought I would share some summer favorites:
Yankee Candle Ocean Star 22-Ounce Jar Candle, Large

Pearl bracelet by Kiel James Patrick - made in the USA - how's that for a July 4th accessory?
Not only that, but they offer the fastest shipping ever!

Lands End's Maxi Wrap Dress
Available in Tall.
Put it on. Lose 10 pounds. Easy. Peasy.

Port to Port Tote
Spartina bags - the perfect weight for a handbag.

Light Blue for Women by Dolce & Gabbana Eau De Toilette EDT 50ml 1.6 / 1.7 oz Spray
I hate most perfumes.  I love Light Blue. Great summer scent.

Here are a few other summer musts:



Almost as good as Grandmama's. Almost.

Loved!


Such a thriller!



Summer Kisses, Winter Tears by The King
What are your summer favorites?