Monday, May 13, 2019

How many of you

watch Home Town?
[For those who don't know it's an HGTV show out of Laurel, Mississippi]
{{And yes, I still go 'crooked letter, crooked letter' etc. 
when I write it out... Don't you?!?}} 
I've loved this show since before the beginning when I would occasionally drop into Erin's blog and see what they were up to...
 So we decided to drive through on our way south a few weeks back - and we realized that we had, in fact, been to Laurel at least once when on the way to either New Orleans or Biloxi and had declared it a podunk 
[yes. it's a word -
"Po·dunk/ˈpōˌdəNGk/nouninformalUS noun: Podunk
plural noun: Podunks a hypothetical small town regarded as typically dull or insignificant." -
- Even *I* am surprised the word originated from the Northern states...]
town right off the interstate - but to be fair, we'd only taken a quick exit off for food...
We never really got into the city... 

We did ZERO research... and had no idea what to expect...
But somehow we expected it to be bigger... or smaller... 
Or more filled out... and less spread out... 
Does that even make sense?
As we explored a bit we realized, it's DEFINITELY not podunk, as it's really quite a big place.
It's just that the residents [and businesses] have spread away from downtown... To me it's typical southern downtown that's seen better days...
Trying to revitalize with a few boutique shops and restaurants...
And with my travel to different areas of my state, I've seen an awful lot of those. 
I don't what the answer is to get life back downtown. 
But I know they are making a great effort to do this in Laurel.
It kind of reminds me of the downtown area of Sheffield or Tuscumbia with the spread out areas of Muscle Shoals... all combined. We saw nice neighborhoods, re-vitalized neighborhoods... and some neighborhoods that have seen better days...
 It was good to get out of the car and walk around a bit - and we DID meet the nicest people including someone who actually grew up in our neck of the woods and Judi Holifield who's played a major part in Laurel's growth these last few years...
[I wanted to ask if I could drive by her house... but I didn't. Ha.]
And we enjoyed shopping at both of the stores associated with Ben and Erin Napier -
But they are so much smaller than I had envisioned...
As we traveled on we took some 'back roads' towards The Gulf
and stopped along he way to meet up with Smokey...
And dip our toes in the surf...
 Those are oyster shells, y'all.
All. Over. The. Place.
Y'all know we like to add a little bit of fun along the way ---
I'll share more about our stay in Mobile
and one of our favorite places to eat in another post...
Oh - I'll go ahead and say it's Neighbors in Tillman's Corner 
[what used to be our little neck of the woods when we lived down that way many moons ago...] If you like your seafood fried... THIS is the place to go...

Monday, May 6, 2019

How is it May already?!?

It has been a cRaZy busy few weeks for us - 
and it looks like it will continue for a few more...

Let's do a quick April re-cap -->
   We were on the road quite a bit for love - work - and play.
[You know we've always got to add a little play in when we can!] 
1. Laurel, MS - Home of the Home Town TV Show we all love - truth is, we did VERY little research before stopping off the interstate... I'll share more in a separate post!
2. Time with friends at the Botanical Gardesn with Chinese Lanterns 
[I've already shared - so many gorgeous lights at night!]
3. Time with friends for our spring scrapbook retreat! Always a treat since we don't get together monthly anymore - and I finally gave a charcuterie board a try - SO FUN! 
[I put a warm spanakopita on it and served it with salad -]

4. Enjoyed a sweet friend visiting from Chattanooga - Always a joy to catch up with Rosemary - she has a great blog <-- a="" click="" here="">
5.Had our share of storms this month - a spring tradition here in the south - But! 
Only one night of bedding down on the couch! [Here I am heading to bed at 4 a.m. cpap and all - ha.] I'm more than a little concerned that one of our 60+ trees might tumble down on us -
6. SO FUN to get together with another friend from high school and do some Bible Journaling! Can't wait to do it again!
7. We love traveling back roads - and stopping for impromptu photo ops with Smokey! 
8. And dipping our toes in The Gulf whenever we get the chance!
And we make the effort whenever we're close - 
9. And eating with our favorite Neighbors in Tillman's Corner - lol
ALWAYS delicious!!
10. We both had work down south and loved staying in the Admiral Semmes Hotel 
[that's what I will always call it -] with all of it's art deco glory!
[I'll try and remember to share more on this beautiful hotel - ]
11. Easter started bright and early [AND COLD] with sunrise service up on the mountain.
Then we listened to our church's live stream on the way to The Shoals -
I love {{love!!}} that our church has this entire service so we can be a part even when we can't be there physically!
We enjoyed being in worship and out to eat with Craig's mother - 
[Went to Too Fat Sisters - the BEST OKRA I'VE EVER EATEN.]
12. Love all the spring flowers in the south - but these roses from my mama's yard are so sweet and special to me...
 13. At the last minute we were able to attend a fun vintage camping gathering over at  Honeycomb and so enjoyed a little respite from these busy days - 
14. Then I headed to Nashville for a quick trip with a sweet friend to see Michael W. Smith and Friends - over 55 performers!! Such and incredible night - I'm glad we made the effort!
15. Meanwhile - this one has managed two fishing trips in between his work out of state - 
You see, we believe in working hard, but also that we need to be intentional about resting / relaxing too. 
So I'll leave you with that - be intentional.

Friday, May 3, 2019

Y'all know I try to

live intentionally - 
Joyful Surrender – 7 Disciplines for the Believer’s Life 
 – by Elisabeth Elliot was recently re-released by Revell 
[a division of Baker Publishing Group] in April. 
Elisabeth Elliot was a former missionary and popular writer prior to her death in 2015 
and this book , while originally published in 1982, is timeless
 in its encouragement to believers – 
She speaks to having discipline in regard to the 
body, the mind, place, time, possessions, work, and feelings…
Some of my favorite parts are:  We should be intentional in how we treat our bodies – what we put in, how much we let it rest, and what activities we pursue to maintain health because our bodies [our SELVES] should be given to God daily for His purpose – 
So we want it to be the best gift we can give - and  
“A simple and orderly life represents a clean and orderly mind.” 
In our meditation we should set our mind on Christ and all the good He brings to this world.
These areas where God is consistently working with me - 
so I loved reading new and encouraging thoughts on the subjects.
Note: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes. 
All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

There's always a potluck

when we gather with 
other vintage campers.
[Keep reading... I'll get to this...]
In the past we've served the easy peasy frozen meatballs
 + chili sauce + grape jelly.
But recently we've tried a couple of new dishes... the most frugal being white bean and ham soup. 
Go to the Dollar Tree and get two packages of country ham from the fridge and a package of white beans and pop it all in the instant pot. 
$3 of deliciousness. 
There was absolutely NONE left.
Thus, no photo. Ha.
We've found another favorite to be
Mexican Street Corn.
The recipe I found was pretty simple
[and y'all know I love simple!]
Basically you mix up 1/2 cup mayo with some chili powder and lime juice...
Cook corn on the cob as directed.
[I put skewers, that I trimmed, in before cooking.] Next I pan grilled for just a bit of charred flavor... Then you smear the sauce all around and sprinkle generously with cojita cheese.  Delish.
But! I think when I make next time I'll add a bit of cumin, just because I love it so...
Again,  it was gone in minutes. 
Give a go.
You can make a little or a lot...

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Here's another

 sweet suitcase turned art case that I love -  
I may have shown it to you before...
But I came across these photos as I was deleting from my phone...
And wanted to be sure y'all saw them - 
It's a little bigger than some of my others - 
And it holds A LOT of art supplies - 
The 'trays' are made from paper box lids and tuck nicely into the case...
stacking on top of each other and closing securely.
It's a favorite!
For sure!

Thursday, April 25, 2019

We live a busy life.

No surprise to those who know us - 
Just this week we've been on the road to 
- The Shoals - [80+ miles]
- Mobile and Baldwin Counties - [360+ miles]
- Home - [360+ miles]
- Birmingham - [100+ miles]
- Home - [100+ miles]
and back to- The Shoals - [80+ miles x2] 
 So I was more than happy to have this sweet holiday tucked into April 
 where I could just be at home and relax a bit - 
A beautiful day to read a book outside and enjoy the day,
catch up on art, and photos, 
[and yes a little housework - ]
I love our backyard - 
[Pardon the pollen covered chairs - 
I need to put cleaning the patio furniture on my 'to-do' list - ha.]

Monday, April 22, 2019

Okay, so you know

I get together every month
 [when I'm in town] 
with a group of friends for 
Bible  Journaling.  
This month I was inspired by
 a song from Breakthrough,  the movie.
[And some little chickens
 I saw on a page in a Facebook group. ]
Here's my take:
I printed the lyrics  [sometimes repeating them] as a background
AFTER I did the title and the little chicks.
Here's the lyrics and some verses 
if you'd like to create your own page.
Go to our Alabama Bible Journaling Group on FaceBook
to see how others interpreted the idea.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

I want to be sure and

share some of these photos while I'm getting them off my phone - 
The other night we took the opportunity to walk through 
The Chinese Lanterns 
over at The Huntsville Botanical Gardens.
We got there just as it was getting dark -
 It was a beautiful spring night for a walk through the gardens...
So we got together with some friends for dinner then enjoyed visiting as we toured the lights - I know I have a photo like this of the guys,
But. Can. Not. Find. It.
 Of course, I didn't even THINK to bring the 'big' camera - 
So these are all cell phone pics...
But I've learned to touch the screen and adjust a bit 
to get a better 'night-time' photo -
All of the lanterns were all really beautiful...
but especially those beside water [loved the reflections!]
And the flamingoes!
How cool are they?!
The lanterns are cloth covered forms with lights inside - 
So delicate and wonderful - 
And the zebras running across the land?!
So, so fun!!
 And... and... and...
Around every corner of the path there was something else to catch our eyes - 
All beautifully bright in the night-time sky.
 We sure enjoyed the evening... 
and will have to get back over to see them 
in the light of day before they leave us -
Y'all should go check them out too!
[Warning: all the animals sound like the camels - ha.]