Saturday morning we woke up early and headed to my aunt and uncle's new cabin in Ellijay, GA. I love Ellijay. I gew up going to Ellijay because my Grandad has had a cabin there since I was a kid. It's amazing how much that place has changed since I was a kid.
J.D. and I made it to the cabin around 10am and we went for a short hike down to the lake with the rest of my family. We only brought one of our dogs with us to the mountains and that made things so much easier. Pickle was hysterical. None of our dogs like swimming, but Jessie, my aunt's black lab loves it! Pickle jumped in after Jessie and swam all around. My cousin Kyle has some video footage of it that is awesome.
J.D. and I went antiquing that afternoon in Ellijay and then we went back to the cabin and napped on the porch. At one point I grabbed Pickle by her harness to try and distract her from barking and my fingers on my left hand got bent backwards. I started crying and I couldn't stop. It was the big ugly cry that I hate and avoid at all costs. Tears just kept pouring down my face and I felt like I couldn't get a grip. I finally got myself together and we were able to leave for dinner.
We headed about fifteen minutes north to the town of Blue Ridge. I love Blue Ridge. Blue Ridge is one of the most dog friendly places. I was so excited because we could bring Pickle with us everywhere we went. The plan for the evening was to eat at my favorite restaurant, Serenity Cafe and then head to the drive-in movie and see the new Shrek movie. Serenity has the best chicken salad melt and some of the best soups ever. I had been thinking about that meal all week. We arrived at the restaurant and they were closed for the evening! We forgot that because they are renovating their main restaurant and are in a temporary building with a small kitchen, they are closed in the evenings. Can I say that I cried?
We ended up eating BBQ which was decent, but it wasn't Serenity. We headed to the drive-in movie theater which was like a trip back in time. I had never been to a drive-in and it was AWESOME! We were parked on the first row and we brought out chairs and just sat and relaxed while we waited for it to get dark enough for the movie to start. The admission is only $6 and that is for a double feature! They were showing Iron Man II after Shrek. Everyone tunes their radios to a certain station to hear the movie. Shrek was cute but as I was getting out of my chair to go home, I slipped in the gravel and tore up my right knee. I kind of felt like a kid again.
We got up early the next morning to drive two hours to be back in time for church. After church we all went swimming at Grandad's pool. I love having a pool on the compound!
My cousin Kyle’s birthday was in mid-April, but since my birthday just happened, I figure I’ll blog about his.
Kyle loves tractors. He inherited our grandfather’s vintage Farmall Cub that is about 70 years old. He drives it and even uses it to cut our pastures. He loves all country music songs about tractors and has even ordered some International Harvester and Farmall Cub merchandise online. The boy is devoted.
I love to cook and Kyle asked me to make him a cake for his birthday. I decided to take it a step further and make him a tractor cake! It took me several hours, but it was so worth it. His party was on a Sunday afternoon and that morning in church he leaned over and whispered to me “Did you make my cake?” and I told him “I’m sorry, I didn’t get a chance to. I bought you one at Publix.” He was mad! He threatened to steal my Kitchen Aid stand mixer and sell it on Craigslist!
The look on his face that Sunday afternoon when I brought out his cake was priceless. I will show you pictures, but you can’t turn me in to cakewrecks. This is the first time I’ve ever done anything like this.
It’s a lot harder to do than you would think!
You can see in the picture below that he is wearing his Farmall shirt! The boy means business!
And I have to include this picture-
I think I am going to make tractor cakes for all of the kids in my family this year. Erica, who is in the second picture wearing the “Thing 1” t-shirt, requested a hot pink and lime green tractor for her birthday in June. I’m on it!
Well, I had myself an excellent birthday yesterday. I did a whole lot of nothing. I had lunch at a fabulous restaurant in McDonough, Pasta Max, and J.D. and I ate ourselves stupid. We shared the pasta with Italian Sausage and the Agnolotti, in case you click on the link and look at the menu.
After lunch we walked around the square and looked in some shops and I bought myself an egg in a nest to go somewhere in my house. It’s just so beautiful. I also bought some poo-pourri. Have any of you ever heard of this stuff? One of the sweet girls at my church was telling me about it and I saw some and bought it. I can tell you that it works!
Seriously! I think it is going to be my gift for White Elephant Christmas swap this year. I love it.
My camera battery died so I don’t have any pictures of my birthday celebration last night. A group of eight of us went and ate hibachi and had a fabulous time. My Aunt Gail and Uncle Fred brought me a fabulous chocolate cake with glazed strawberries on top from Publix. LOVED IT!
I hope everyone has a great weekend!
Let me be the first to tell you that psychologically you begin to want air conditioning the moment you realize that you are no longer in control of whether or not the unit comes on. It was all fun and games when I was in control, but the thought of sweating against my will was more that I could take. Keep in mind that this was mid-April at this point, Atlanta is just starting to get nice and warm and humid.
We decided on a system and the repairmen says that it will be 3 weeks before he can put in. I had no choice but to be okay with it. I slept okay at night until the temperature reached 78 degrees and that I slowly started losing my mind. The dogs were even miserable. We slept with our windows open during pollen season and everything turned yellow and we sneezed constantly. It was pleasant, I tell ya.
Finally May 11th arrived and our new system was due to be installed. Except it wasn’t. Our repairman gave his helper the day off and said that it would be another ten days before it could be put in. I honestly thanked him and then hung up the phone and cried.
We sweated and sweated and sweated and then last Friday rolled around and my Uncle Fred remembered that one of my aunts has a stand alone air conditioning unit in storage. I had no clue what that was but the word AIR CONDITIOING had me hooked. At midnight last Friday this was hooked up in my bedroom….
Seriously, I recommend everyone investing in one. This has saved my sanity for the past week. We moved the mattress in from our guest bedroom for J.D. to sleep on because the mattress from her bedroom wouldn’t fit on my floor and she deserved some A/C as well. This is what my room has looked like for the past week:
Until yesterday! After three days of Mr. Repairman working with his helper, our new central a/c and heating unit is installed and working. It’s beautiful! I think the best part is that our house isn’t near as humid as it has been.
The most interesting thing that I have noticed is that our utility bills have not decreased as much as I expected them to. They have only gone down maybe $50 or so a month. For me, that isn’t worth it. I will gladly pay $50 extra per month for a decent night’s sleep!
I so have to share what happened to me yesterday with you. If you didn’t know, I work in commercial property management. My maintenance staff is working on some other projects at another site right now, so I am running the show all by myself. Today’s task was tackling some wasps nests.
I’m not crazy about bugs, but I am not the kind of girl who is going to run screaming from them like the village idiot or anything. I get to the nest location and proceed to spray at those creepy flying insects. The wasps died on contact. SCORE for me! I wait a few minutes and proceed to try and knock the wasps nest down with a pole. The nest falls and I can’t find it. I’m frantically looking all over the ground, trying to figure out where in the world this nest could be when I catch a glimpse of it…. IN MY BRA!
Dude, I was wearing a dress that isn’t even low cut! I have no clue how this happened. To make matters worse, there were people outside who were watching me. I’m thinking to myself “DO NOT FREAK OUT, DO NOT FREAK OUT!”while simultaneously wondering how I am going to get this nest of wasp larvae and pesticide out of my bra without calling attention to myself.
Oh the exciting life I lead. I finally walked away and removed the nest when I was out of view from the general public.
You better believe I had quite the story to tell when I got home from work.
My maternal grandparents were the best with birthdays. Since I lost my grandmother almost two years ago, my birthdays have gotten a lot harder.
The last birthday I had with my grandmother she gave me a sizeable check as a gift. At that point, J.D. and I were still living in the house we had built. When we built that house, the front yard was entirely landscaped and the backyard left a lot to be desired. We had a scalloped wood fence installed about 18 months previously and the builder had sprayed hydro seed on the back, but that was it. I decided to use my birthday money from my grandmother to have a professional come up with a landscape design and then J.D. and I would implement it. My grandmother loved to garden and this absolutely delighted her! She was thrilled with my use of her gift.
The woman who drew the design had some great ideas. I told her that I loved daylilies because of how low maintenance they are. I also told her that I had been looking at gardening books and that I really wanted to have lamb’s ears in beds. She incorporated my wishes into the design and J.D. and I got to work on the weekend of Memorial Day.
We bought all of the plants but we could not find the lamb’s ears. We looked and looked and checked out the big box stores and the local nurseries. They would tell us that they had just gotten some in and that they were sold out. We decided that we would keep checking back.
Suddenly my grandmother was gravely ill. She slipped into a coma and passed away. The backyard was put on hold. Plans were made to sell our house and move into my grandmother’s house. The yard was forgotten.
About this time last spring with the first anniversary of my grandmother’s death and my birthday approaching, my grandmother’s flowers that she had planted over the years around her house, now my house, began blooming. Except something that had never bloomed before was also blooming; LAMB’S EARS! Last year there were two plants. Two little plants that bloomed gorgeous magenta flowers with the silkiest green leaves.
And this year? I have over twenty-five of them in this one flower bed!