Potato Box

Last year, around this time, I got into urban gardening.  Inspired by my sister, I built a square foot box for spring planting and had a blast learning about growing your own garden.  I didn't have the most prolific crop, but I did have a lot of fun doing it.  While doing some research I ran across the idea of a potato box.  I was attempting to grow potatoes in my square foot box and it was not working out.  I was not familiar with how potatoes grow, but apparently if you grow them vertically and continue to cover up the vines as they grow (leaving a few inches of uncovered vine up top of course) they will continue to root and put out potatoes.  I found this website that tells you how to build a "Potato Condo," which supposedly grows 100 lbs of potatoes in 4 sq feet.  My sister and I talked about this idea right after I found it and she was really interested in doing it, so I built her a box for Christmas.  It turned out pretty great.  Here is a picture of the final product...

The idea is that you start with your box set-up with 2-3 boards around the base. I decided to build 1 side that wouldn't be removed all the way up.   You fill the box with soil and plant your potatoes in the base of the box.  Once they grow up high enough, you add another layer of wood (which is already cut and pre-drilled) and then more dirt.  You continue doing this until you reach the top.  You will need to be familiar with planting and harvest times.  When the potatoes on the bottom have been maturing for long enough, you take off the second layer of boards from the bottom and harvest the mature potatoes.  You continue to work your way up the layers as the potatoes mature.  Supposedly by the end of this, you will have yourself 100 lbs. of potatoes.  I built myself one too, so I suppose we will see very soon if it works!  If it works, I am going to need a lot more recipes that use potatoes.  


If you like hummus...

I was a hummus hater.  Hummus was one of those things that I tried to like so many times and it just wasn't working.  I hated hummus. until I found some that I liked.  Two years ago I went to the Middle East; Jordan to be exact, and it was there that I first had hummus that I liked.  It was incredible.  Gradually, I found hummus in the states that I liked; a local greek restaurant owned by a man from Jordan and the Trader Joe's brand is also good.  I had hated the store brand Sabre hummus from the beginning, but I have recently grown to like it okay.
A few months ago, I decided to make my own black bean hummus.  I came across this recipe and it is so simple and so good.  If you like hummus, and especially if you like black beans, you should try this.  The Tahini can be a little hard to find.  Your best bet is an international grocer or a farmers market.  ENJOY!

Black Bean Hummus
  • 1 clove garlic

  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans; drain and reserve liquid
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons tahini
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika

Mince garlic in the bowl of a food processor. Add black beans, 2 tablespoons reserved liquid, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, tahini, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper; process until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed. Add additional seasoning and liquid to taste. Garnish with paprika and Greek olives.


Gifts of Hope

Christmas is one of my favorite times of year. For me, it brings a great amount of joy, anticipation and hope, but for many people, Christmas holds very little hope at all.  For many, Christmas is often a painful reminder of what or who they don't have.  The people who have get more and the people who have not continue to dream about the time when things might be different for them.
I work with underprivileged kids.  I can't tell you the number of times kids told me they didn't think they were going to do Christmas this year because money was tight.  I would just sit there with nothing to say back to them, surprised that that was their reality because that is no where close to my reality.  I have never been in a place where money was too tight to have Christmas, but millions of people are.

I have plenty of things.  My roommate and I were talking about how we wanted this Christmas to be more about giving and less about receiving.  We each wanted to find families to give back to this Christmas.  We both work with people in great need and we live in one of the places in the United States with the highest refugee population, so it was not difficult to find families in need.  All together we shopped for 10 kids, 5 families and it was such an amazing experience.

There was no fanfare.  None of the kids will ever know who gave them the gifts and that is the beauty of it.  Hopefully when they think about this Christmas, and the things that they received, they will say that God provided a blessing for them...that He gave them hope during a dark time.  This is the reason for this season. It is much greater than trees and twinkle lights, egg nog and carols; it is about the sacrificial gift of God that changed the world forever.  And it is our calling, as followers of Jesus to do Christmas in a way that honors that sacrifice and shines light into the darkness.

Now, I am not writing this to bring any attention to what I have done.  I am writing this as an affirmation of what God has promised to us about giving to others. This was the most meaningful part of my Christmas.  This was the part that will endure long after all of my gifts have been opened and the tree has come down.  This act of obedience stirred something in my soul, that continues to rise even though the act is over; it stirred up a heart of generosity.  I want others to experience this; to know that giving (the type of giving where you stand to gain nothing) is much better than receiving. Find a way to give before this season ends.  Here is an article about practical ways to give this season and throughout the year; because this shouldn't be a seasonal thing, it should be a daily rhythm of life for us as believers.  


So small

This summer I went on a trip to Glacier National Park in Montana.  I have been very blessed, in that I have traveled a good deal and seen a lot of beautiful places.  I am not sure I have been anywhere as beautiful and grand as Glacier National Park.  It is absolutely breathtaking.  There are waterfalls, pastures, forests, fields of flowers, lakes, rivers and wildlife.

I was going through pictures this week while making some Christmas gifts and I came across this set of pictures from Glacier with me at the top of this huge waterfall. On the last day we stopped at this short hiking trail that was suppose to have a pretty waterfall at the end of it.  A pretty waterfall was an understatement.  This set of falls is massive with a giant pool of rushing water at the bottom.  It was a huge reward for such a small hike.  I climbed to the top of the falls in hopes of having an awesome picture taken from the bottom, but as you look at this picture you can barely find me at the top of the falls.  I am dwarfed by the size and majesty of the waterfall.  As I was looking at this picture I was struck by how very small I am.  This is 1 waterfall in 1 part of 1 park in 1 town in 1 state in 1 country on 1 continent on 1 planet and it dwarfs me.  And suddenly my world, my life, my agenda becomes very, very tiny and if only for a moment, I gain a little perspective...

He is...

"O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!  You have set your glory above the heavens.  When I look at the heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him..." Psalms 8:1, 3-4

"The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork." Psalm 19:1

"He stretches out the north over the void and hangs the earth on nothing.  He binds up the waters in his thick clouds, and the cloud is not split open under them...The pillars of heaven tremble at his rebuke.  By his power he stilled the sea...by his wind the heavens were made fair....Behold, these are but the fringes of his ways."  Job 26: 7-8, 11-14

We are...

"What does man gain by all the toil at which he toils under the sun?  A generation goes, and a generation comes, but the earth remains forever.  There is no remembrance of former things, nor will there be any remembrance of later things yet to be among those who come after."  Ecclesiastes 1:2-4, 11

"O Lord, what is man that you regard him, or the son of man that you think of him?  Man is like a breath; his days are passing shadow."  Psalm 144:3-4

"All flesh is grass, and all its beauty is like the flower of the field.  The grass withers, the flower fades when the breath of the Lord blows on it; surely the people are grass.  The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever."  Isaiah 40:6-8

And yet...

"Yet you have made him a little lower then the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor.  You have given him dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet." Psalm 8:5-6

"The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous and his ears toward their cry."  Psalm 34:15

"In my distress I called upon the Lord; to my God I cried for help.  From his temple he heard my voice, and my cry to him reached his ears."  Psalm 18:6


The things you can do with a pallet

This should have posted months ago...not sure why it didn't.

For a while now, I have been itching to build something.  I am envious of all these people who know how to take something from a trash heap and turn it into something awesome. I would love to be one of those people. I would love to know how to build things and renovate spaces.  I admire people with those talents.  Recently, I began researching all of things that you can make with old wooden pallets.  This was sparked by the compost bin I made out of pallets at the beginning of the year.  Did you know that there are tons of things that can be constructed from old wooden pallets?  Coffee tables, shelves, end tables, headboards, swings and even this:

This picture is terrible, but it is the stage backdrop at my church made entirely from old pallet wood and it is beautiful.
Anyway, I found this swing online that I wanted to make.  It was featured on this link below:
Pallet Swing

It is awesome.  It looked pretty easy and I was dieing to make it.  Amy's mom, who is a jack of all trades and tools, came into town last weekend and we built us a pallet swing.  Her mom has a million tools and can build or create anything.  We got us some old pallets, some rope and wood stain from home depot and below is the finished product:

We are quite proud of what we created.  It looks awesome and so that you would know it actually holds a human, we took this picture of Amy trying it out. It also comes equipped with cup holders on both sides!  I may now be asking for some tools for Christmas.  Maybe I will one day work on HGTV...who knows! 



My sister is an expert on all things frugal.  She is the queen of deals and of getting a lot for a little.  It is really rather impressive.  Several months ago she informed me about the great deals you could get at Publix.  Publix does a weekly ad that includes lots of Buy 1 Get 1 Free options, which can make the things you buy already very cheap and even cheaper if you have a coupon.  She told me about all of things things she got for less than a dollar and even some things that she got for free.  I was skeptical at first because I have always seen Publix as the fancier, more expensive store (and it is if you don't shop the deals), but I have been testing this out and she is right.  Below is a picture of what I bought yesterday (not pictured is a 12 pack of double roll toilet paper).  I got all of this for $23.00. 

2 boxes of cereal (1 giant sized)
2 boxes of whole wheat pasta
1 box cake mix
1 box of margarine
4 bag of Nestle Chocolate chips
1 bag of Kraft Cheese
1 can of Progresso soup
1 large can of Lysol Wipes
1 pack 12 double roll toilet paper

All of these items are things I buy anyway and all of them were buy 1 get 1. You get the buy 1 get 1 price even if you only buy 1 of each thing.  The best deal I got yesterday was with coupons.  The pasta was buy one get one and I had a $1 off coupon when you buy 2, so I got both boxes of pasta for a total of .23 cents. .23 cents!!!!!! That is crazy! 

Normally, the chocolate chips would have cost me half of the total price of all I got.  I saved nearly $20 on items I buy all of the time.  The key for me, is not buying other things at Publix.  I check the ad each week and only buy things that are on sale and that I use.  I am not one of those people who go all out and dig in the trash for coupons and that sort of thing.  I actually put very little effort into this and I am still able to save a ton of money.  So thanks to my sister I have become a convert and between the Farmers Market and Publix, I am saving a ton of money on groceries.



 I love going to festivals.  Normally, the largest purchase I make at a festival is a ceramic mug (I have a slight obsession with handmade mugs.)  At this particular festival my roommate found a mug and I found a dog.  Note to self: NEVER, EVER, EVER, EVER follow the signs that say, "Pet Adoptions."  This is always a bad idea.  Of course, I found 1 that I loved and just had to have.  My roommate, Amy, is normally the voice of reason telling me that I cannot have another dog, but she failed me this time...she loved the new dog too. Here she is at the festival with a bandana on that says, "Your new BFF."  Who could resist this?

This dog was sweet, cute and she is a pit bull mutt and I have a thing for pit bull mutts.  I told the foster lady with her that I already had one pit bull mutt and the lady said, "Oh, you think she's a pit bull?"  I said, "Umm, yes.  What do yall think she is?"  She was apparently listed as a Sharpe mix.  Those people are out of their minds...this dog is no more a Sharpe than she is a dachshund.  They just don't like naming dogs pit bulls. 

Anyway, so I debated and debated about whether or not this would be a good idea.  I agonized over whether or not this was the right decision. I would not want to get another dog and it go terribly.  I am not the kind of person to return a dog, so once it is done it is done.  I decided that I wanted her and now she is the newest member of my family.  She is an unbelievably sweet dog.  A lot more like Cali than I first realized, but more so in personality than temperament.  Her name was Dani, but I wasn't a huge fan of that, so her new name is Zoe and she has picked up on it already.

She has a pretty quirky side like the fact that she ALWAYS lays like a frog....

...the fact that she cannot stand up if you pet her on the butt...she squats down....the fact that she scratches her back under the underside of the coffee table and the she loves to hide under the bed.  After working out some pecking order, her and Cali are best buds and my lap almost always looks something like the picture below.  Zoe is already a VERY loved little girl indeed!


Farmers Market Obsession

Do you ever get the feeling at the grocery store like it always costs more than you think it is going to no matter how many items you buy?  I feel like I walk in Kroger and whether I get 4 items or 14 items, it never costs me less than $30.  Often, I see the total, look down at my basket  and think something like, "Seriously, I just spent $30 and I have nothing to make a meal out of.  How is that possible?"
This situation never happens at the Dekalb Farmers Market; in fact, quite the opposite.  It doesn't matter how much stuff I put in my basket, it is rarely more than $13.  Because of this, I have a small obsession with the place.  The first 1 1/2 I lived here I heard about it, but had never been and then last October I moved a mile down the street from it and I obsessed.  Here is an example of how awesome this place is:
My Total yesterday: $10.31
My Cart:
1 large head of Romaine lettuce
2 Green Bell Peppers
1 Red Bell Pepper
1 Cucumber
1 bag of Carrots
1 3lb bag of Gala apples
1 2lb bag of fresh peaches

It never fails that the man at the counter tells me the total and I think, "I should leave quickly before they change their mind."  That is seriously a lot of stuff for $10.  Any 3 of those items would have run you close to that much at the grocery store.  Other than having awesome produce prices, you can get any spice you need in a big container for cents.  They have fresh meats, homemade pizza dough, fresh breads; including these amazing croutons I buy all of the time.  And if all of this wasn't enough, it is an amazing cultural experience each time you go.  It is staffed and frequented by people from all over the world.  You really feel like you are in the best part of another country when you go. 

I told my roommate the other day that I would need to always live within 5 miles of the Farmers Market.  In reality I would move, but I would be very sad about it.


Wait...It weighs how much?

I have had some plenty of idiotic moments in my life; but I may not have had one quite as idiotic as my most recent airport blunder.  The redeemable thing about idiotic moments, is that they often lead to very good stories.....later.  So here is the story.  Last week I had a trip planned to Glacier National Park in Montana to do some camping and hiking. I packed a large rolling suitcase to check with all of the camping supplies.  NO Problem...I've done this before.  This large rolling suitcase, affectionately known as Big Green, was carrying a myriad of camping supplies including, but not limited to: the tent, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, camping stove and pots, firestarter, trail mix, hammock and straps and a slew of canned goods and other food I had purchased from the store.
I packed Big Green to the hilt.  My carry on bags were a small daypack, barely big enough for anything and my camping pack.  Now my camping pack is only considered carry-on size if it is NOT packed to the hilt, so I carefully made sure it was a reasonable size.
I loaded all of these bags up, marched them to the bus stop at the end of my street, loaded them on the bus and then from the bus to the marta train and then traipsed them to the ticket counter in plenty of time to check Big Green for the flight.  As I was in line, I began watching other passengers put their much smaller suitcases on the scale and I became more and more nervous as their bags weighed 35, 40, 45lbs.  I quickly realized I was in trouble, but tried to remain calm. It was finally my turn and with all of my might I picked up Big Green and slammed it down on the scale and to my dismay it weighed in at not 50....not 55......but 69lbs!!!!  Not only was it to heavy...it wasn't even close....I know, I know...I'm an idiot.  My dog weighs 50lbs, so I should have known. The guy then informed me that it would be over $100 to check.  I pulled the bag to the side and frantically began rearranging and taking things out, but how do you relocate 19lbs into a small daypack and a camping bag that is as full as it should be already.  Second weigh-in brought the bag to around 58lbs.  This is when the man politely informed me that I was almost inside the 1 hour limit and would soon not be able to check my bag.  I was running out of room and options for moving things, so I took out a sleeping bag and a few other things.  The man who had been helping me was leaving and informed another lady to help me as soon I was ready since I was under a time constraint and the line was long.  I placed my bag on the empty scale and it weighed 50 exactly. I waited for her to help me, but she ignored me and took one person after another, so I got in line and waited.  When she finally got to me she said, "Oh, its too late to check your bag."  SERIOUSLY!!!!  I said, "I know. The guy helping me to told you to help me when I was done, but you didn't." At this point it is 9:10am and my flight leaves at 9:44am.  She talks with someone, who approves taking my bag, I grab my camping pack (Which is now so tall I can see it over my head and it is so heavy I can barely pick it up which means it probably weighs about 50lbs....oh and did I mention it now has a sleeping back and a camping pad strapped on either side?) and I take off to security.  The line is the longest I have ever seen it.  I finally get through and run to the train to get to my gate. I realize I don't know my gate, there is no gate monitor after security telling you gate numbers, and since I did an electronic ticket on my phone I don't know the gate.  I stop and have to look it up on my phone and then finally board the train.  I get off the train, running with my bag that is knocking people out with all of the swinging paraphernalia and make it to my gate.  There is nobody left to board but me, which is unfortunate since all eyes will be on me and my "way to big for a carry on bag" and I am guessing no overhead storage that will conceivably hold my pack since I am the last passenger.  I make it to the head of the plane, walk in and all eyes are immediately on me...there is no way of hiding that I am "that passenger."  I quickly realize that there is no way that I will make it down that isle without knocking everyone out that I pass.  I take off my pack and begin to untie the swinging objects.  Throw the pack back on and now I am carrying my other bag, a large sleeping bag, a camping pad and my jacket...still trying not to knock anyone out. I hear a guy in first class say, "That is not a carry-on." I want to scream...."I KNOW BUDDY!  But IT WAS WHEN I LEFT MY HOUSE!"  I get to my seat and try and wiggle down between the isle to get my pack off.  EVERYONE IS STARING AT ME!  I move some things around in the overhead bin trying to make a miracle happen and I lift my heavy pack, praying it will fit and it is close, but nothing doing.  Mind you,  nobody is helping me lift this heavy thing because they all hate me AND I am sweating like a pig!  I squat back down with my bag and take my flip flops out of the front and begin attempt #2 and miraculously...it fits!  And right on queue the guy beside me says, "And for my next trick."  I had to laugh at this moment of comic relief.  I then grabbed my daypack, sleeping bag, camping pad, jacket and flip flops and breathing hard, moved past my seat mates to the window seat and look out the window so I don't have to look at anyone else.  Haven't even left the tarmac for my trip and I am exhausted.  I was glad to see that my first few hours where no indication of how my trip would go.  It was AMAZING!  And now I have a funny, albeit ridiculous, story.  And I wiser.  I will never again pack canned food for a trip as if other states do not have grocery stores.


Childhood Nostalgia

Childhood Nostalgia...a smell, a song, a toy you haven't seen since you were a toddler-all of these can bring on childhood nostalgia.  Its a hard thing to put your finger on, but when it happens, it can affect all of your senses and almost transport you back to when you were 4 feet tall without a care in the world.  It happened to me just the other day.  I was dogsitting for my sister.  She lives in this little neighborhood with lots of kids who play in their yards and in the street-she calls them the Sandlot kids.  I was walking Cali late one evening and I noticed 3 kids run across the road and into a backyard. I didn't think much of it at first, until I got to another part of the neighborhood and came upon another group of kids.  When they saw me, they stopped and one of them dove behind some bushes.  And then, it dawned on me-they were playing neighborhood hide and seek.  As I realize this, one of the kids said, "Hey, its not them; its somebody else."  I was instantly transported back to my neighborhood in the tiny town of Bishopville, SC, where for years, all of us neighborhood kids would play hide and go seek all over the neighborhood after dark-Nostalgia.  It started by playing "The Dark Game", which was inside hide and go seek in the dark and then it moved to hide and go seek in that person's yard, which then turned to neighborhood hide and seek, which we affectionately called "War."  This was a different time; this was when neighbors all knew each other and kids played outside, after dark, all over the neighborhood...or at least I thought it was a different time, until I was standing in Lauren's neighborhood, watching these kids do something that to this day is still one of my favorite childhood memories.  Nostalgia is one of those things...one of those "good hurts."  It represents the memory of a happy time, but in a way that makes you miss something that only exists in your memory; which can be sad.  Maybe its because I'm getting older, or because in recent years I have found the adult world to be tough; or maybe its just because a part of you will always miss that piece of childhood where innocence, safety, friends and endless possibilities abound, that I stood in the street and watched those kids with gladness and sadness.  Childhood nostalgia...maybe I could convince someone to go play neighborhood hide and seek with me! 


I planted a garden

I have always wanted to plant a garden.  I grew up on a farm, where every year my grandpa planted a huge row garden and we got to go out and help pick all of the yummy things that he had planted. I don't have any fields, nor do I own the house I live in, so planting a row garden was out of the question.  My sister discovered this idea called Square Foot Gardening. This type of garden is planted in an above ground box.  You plant based on a calendar, so you rotate things and have a continual crop from April through the winter. We built our boxes and since compost is one of the other fillers for the box, I built a compost bin out of discarded pallets. It has been great, since we do not have a disposal at this new house. We just toss all of our discarded veggies, egg shells and yard trash in there.

I started planting seeds in March and I have really enjoyed getting to watch the progress of my little garden.  Some things have done great and others not so great, but I have learned a lot from this first garden experience. Here is a picture of the completed box and trellis.  A neighbor discarded some PVC pipe and I was able to use that to make a free trellis.

Here are a few pictures of the "first fruits."
A green pepper
 Sugar Snap Peas
 Green Beans
I also have sweet potatoes, lima beans, cherry and large tomatoes, basil, squash, zucchini, corn, watermelon and cucumbers.

Harvesting Time



I love hammocks. I think that there is absolutely nothing more relaxing than laying in a hammock on a beautiful day.  I have wanted to live in a place where hanging a hammock was possible.  I know you can buy one of those hammocks that comes on a stand, but it just isn't the same.  Especially, because those are huge and normally have to go out in the wide open with no cover.  The beauty of a hammock is the shade.  One of the things I was looking for in a new house was a yard with hammock hanging trees, so I was pretty bummed when this house that was perfect in every other aspect didn't have that.
I was driving through the city one day and I noticed that there was a hammock hanging on a front porch from the porch ceiling and I got super excited. I hadn't thought to do that before then.  I was going to wait and let Amy's mom do it when she came to visit, because she is super handy, but then one day I just decided that I didn't want to wait any longer and I thought I could get the job done.  I went to Home Depot, got what I needed and within 30 minutes I had this beautiful treasure.  It has been amazing!  I dream about being in it when I am at work!  So lovely and relaxing! Everyone should  have a hammock.


Black Beauty

I love working with inner-city kids. They are hilarious; full of life and personality. They say the funny things and interaction with them always makes for funny stories. I have been working at the Boys and Girls Club since the first of December and most days, it is fun. It is always full-on crazy and I spend most days running around from place to place, dealing with kids and parents and phone calls, but I like it. It's the kids and the funny things that they do and say that make the craziness all worth it. I will tell you about one of my favorite funny things that has happened so far. At the beginning of Black History Month, one of my part-time staff had 2 girls helping her find books on the bookshelves that related to Black History. One of the girls held up a book and said, "Mrs. Tiffany, like this one?" She was holding a copy of Black Beauty. My co-worker and I could not stop laughing. She said, "I like the concept, but that's not exactly what we are looking for."

From now on, when I see anything related to Black Beauty, I will think of that comment.


Dog is a school crossing guard.

Another awesome dog! If only Cali could be this obedient!


If Cali were a flip book cartoon...

Cali is a very smart dog that knows what she wants. She often tries to present herself as innocent. She will lay down with her head all sweet and when you least (or most) expect it she will inch forward revealing her true motive. Her head gets closer to the plate of food or the piece of cardboard she wants to get her mouth on. Before you know it she is right where she wanted to be all along.
Although Cali is not the least bit sneaky, and I always know what she is up to, she often gets away with her ploy because she is just so darn funny to watch. I like to watch and she what she is going to do when she thinks she is being perfectly sneaky.
One of things she loves most is the front seat. She hates being in the back seat of the car and if there is a front seat passenger it is a bonus because she loves being with the people. She doesn't know that 54 lbs is a little heavy to be a lap dog. The other day Amy was in the front seat and Cali began the ride in the back. Well it didn't take long for her to make her first move, which is pictured below...

She ever so gently places her head on your shoulder and waits the appropriate amount of time before her next move, which is pictured next...

As you can see, the head has moved further forward and her entire neck is now resting on the passenger, again, waiting for her next move.
Here we have the head even further forward and you can begin to see that she has reached the limit of her neck stretch and her next move will involve getting her front legs to the front seat.
And she has done it folks. The front legs have made it to the front seat and she is almost there.
And here is the final product...what she intended all along, but didn't want you to know. She is now officially a front seat passenger. I am not sure why she prefers this, since in the back she has the whole seat to herself and in the front she must stick her head up into the sky in the window, which does not look comfortable. This is one funny dog.


raynaud's update...

I am pretty sure my Raynaud's disease is getting worse instead of better. It is such a nuisance. This is what my feet looked a few weeks ago in close to 40 degree temperatures with warm socks on after only a few minutes outside...

I can feel it happening....the foot feels like a block of ice and it starts to go numb. The only thing that makes it stop is taking my shoes and sock off and getting them in front of a heat source. It is such a bizarre little disease. Maybe I need to get some fur lined shoes or something. This is Georgia.....I would never survive in the North...all my toes would fall off.


Cornhole Christmas

My sister and I are both pretty good at coming up with creative presents to give to other people. My mother is greatest beneficiary of this. She normally gets pretty great presents. At Thanksgiving this year we decided that we were going to make my mom and Vance a Clemson/Carolina corn-hole set. They also decided to make a set for Trey's parents. Lauren and Trey did some research. Trey, like the true carpenter he is (love you brother), constructed them with relative ease and only a few mis-measured boards. Lauren painted them white and I was in charge of painting the detailed images.

Here is the vision...

And here is the vision realized...

I am pretty impressed with our handiwork. I think we did a good job. Trey's mom liked it so much she cried. My mother didn't show quite that much enthusiasm for the gift, but I do think she liked it a lot. Great job Lauren and Trey!


Heaven came to Atlanta!

I moved to Texas in August of 2006 and lived there until January of 2009. In that time, I discovered that out of every state I have even spent time in, Texas, by far, has the best to offer in the way of food. There are so many good places to eat in that gigantic state! They offer an array of Tex-Mex places that are nothing like the mexican food that can be found in the rest of the country. I didn't even like Mexican food before I moved to Texas and now I LOVE it! Not having access to good Tex-Mex is one of the things that is sad about living in Atlanta. I miss YUMMY tex-mex.

Now one of things I discovered when I moved to Atlanta, is that they have Uncle Julio's, which is a very good Tex-Mex place that I enjoyed while living in Fort Worth. This was a very exciting discovery for me, and although I would say that the one here in Atlanta is not as good as the one in Texas, it is (or was) as good as I could get.

Atlanta does offer a place called Los Hermanos, which I love as well. They have very yummy fajitas, and thought they are not exactly Tex-Mex, they are also not like all the other mexican restaurants found throughout they country. It is a very yummy place.

But...in the last month, something extraordinary has happened! Atlanta got a Chuys! Now Chuys is by far my favorite Tex-mex place of all and is located in Houston. Every time I go back to Texas that is the place I want to go the most. I went to the Chuy's Atlanta for the first time last night and it was awesome! The food was just as good as it is in Texas. It is not quite the same as having it in Texas, but it was very yummy and I am so excited it is here! Here is a picture of it...