psssst. Anyone here?

This may have been my longest blog hiatus ever! It was completely unintended, and I can offer no explanation. Blogging just didn’t happen. Since my last post, I’ve turned 50 and read some books, among other things like working and sleeping and chores. Paul and I got away to the beach for my birthday, and we’ve visited my peeps in Chattanooga, and they’ve visited us. I’ve done a little knitting, but it’s just somehow remained in the knitting bag during these sauna-like days of summer.

I will try to get back in the blogging habit, but for now, I’ll leave you with a few random thoughts:

~ johnIf you’re looking for a good Bible study (where you actually study your Bible, and not a book that occasionally references a few verses here or there), I highly recommend Kathleen B. Nielson’s studies. I’ve done several. Right now I’m working through John: That You May Believe, and it is soooooo good.

~ I’ve read quite a few books this summer (instead of blogging, right?). Here are a few of my favorites:

The Lake House – Kate Morton (and it’s $2.99 on Kindle right now!)

Kitchen Confidential – Anthony Bourdain   The man could write.

Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption – Bryan Stevenson  I want everyone I know to read this one.

The Paris Wife – Paula McLain  Books about adultery are usually not my favorite, but this one is well-written, and so thought-provoking (and it sent me down a Google rabbit hole of checking out Ernest Hemingway’s tragic family members). There are some lines that will stick with me.

I hope to be back soon. If you’re still here, thanks ever so much for not giving up on me!

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aaaachoooo!

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Spring has sprung, and my eyes and nose have sprung a leak. It’s too much for a daily dose of Claritin to handle.

Every surface of our front porch is covered in pollen, and we’re tracking it inside onto our dark wood floors. My car is a dusty yellow, when it should be charcoal gray.

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A light rain has been falling this morning, and I’m hoping it will turn into a heavier shower and rinse everything off.

And yet, my daily commute is lovely, and spring green is such a cheerful color. Those old-fashioned formosa azaleas are putting on a show, and dogwood trees are still in bloom. The hydrangeas on my front porch get prettier every day.

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I remember enduring long winters years ago when we were stationed in Maine. One year, it snowed on my birthday – at the end of April! I knew that my home state was enjoying a beautiful spring while we were still stuck inside, looking out at barren trees and muddy slush. I truly understood seasonal affective disorder.

But I was allergy free!

You know what? I’ll take the sniffing and nose-blowing and watery eyes in exchange for green and pink and sunshine and no snow. Maybe that’s just me, but I’m glad to live where I live. (Until July.)

Happy spring y’all!

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random thoughts

~ Parents, people do not think your child is cute when you give them the mini-shopping cart at Publix and let them wreak havoc down the aisles. Please keep an eye on them and the other shoppers around you.

~ If you’re trying to sell someone essential oils, skincare, etc., and they say no, please just respect that and don’t continue to email/text/DM. I know that the motivational speakers at your conferences tell you otherwise, but it really just puts people – often your friends – in a very uncomfortable position. Some of us don’t like saying “PLEASE DON’T EVER ASK ME THAT AGAIN!”

~ Spring has sprung here, and the dogwood trees in snow white bloom remain my favorite.

~ The canopy roads in these parts are spectacularly green:

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~ Roses are blooming in Thomasville, the City of Roses:

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~ I’ve got 5 knitting projects in various stages of completion, and I have 4 books in progress. It’s time to power through some of these and move on.

~ By the time this post appears, I’ll likely have finished Sous Chef: 24 Hours on the Line, and it’s really good. I love reading about people who pursue a vocation with excellence, and this one fits the bill.

Happy Thursday y’all,

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snow day

It’s a rare sight in north Florida, but it’s snowing today:

Honestly, after living in Maine for 3 hard winters in the early nineties, I’m still over snow. But it was neat to open my back door and hear kids in the neighborhood enjoying it. For now, I’m in bed with a mug of tea. 🙂

saturday

Today has been a perfectly lovely day:

~ Paul’s brother and his wife are in town and stopped by for a visit. I can’t believe I didn’t think to get a photo of the brothers!

~ Paul and headed up to Thomasville for lunch and a couple of errands:

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George & Louie’s for lunch:

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~ A stop at my favorite yarn shop. I just love this place! I love that when I walk in Cadence calls out, “Hi, Anne!”

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~ A stop for an Icee on the way home (I know, I know… it’s not Whole30. But I felt like we were on a little vacation, so I indulged. It’ll be okay.)

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I hope you’re having a good Saturday, too!

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weekend

It’s been a lovely weekend in these parts, and I’ve enjoyed being outside. Yesterday after a solid 12 hours (yes!!!) of sleep, we had a late breakfast and headed to my home away from home (Thomasville, Georgia) for the 95th Rose Festival. The weather was perfect, especially in the shade, and we took our time walking through the car show, stopping in some downtown shops (I couldn’t resist a stop at my favorite yarn shop to pick up some skeins on sale), perusing the prize-winning roses, wandering through the arts and crafts at Paradise Park, and having a delicious meal at Jonah’s.

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Then, today (Sunday), I re-read a blog post I wrote 3 years ago to the day and was reminded once again of my Father’s love for me. After church (a sweet time of worship and fellowship), Paul and I had lunch at a new (to me) restaurant. The day was so nice that he suggested we walk a little before returning to the car, so we ended up strolling through some old neighborhoods. I love to do that. You see so much more than you notice when you drive by, and I’m always surprised by little discoveries. Today it was a cute little garden shop, and flowers popping up beside the sidewalks:

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Now it’s time to read a little and rest before putting supper together and taking another walk.

Oh, and Paul has informed me that in honor of my birthday later this week, Anne Week has kicked off today. 🙂

Happy Sunday y’all!

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saturday afternoon

It’s another gray, gloomy Saturday, but at least we have a little taste of cooler fall temperatures. I’m happily at home, with a huge pot of Brunswick stew (recipe below) on the stove, a sweet dog nearby, and football on the big screen. We’re dog-sitting for my parents this weekend, so I’ve had a little sidekick:

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I haven’t made Brunswick stew in years, but Paul and Stephen both expressed an interest. (I really like cooking when folks appreciate it.) People can get a little crazy over Brunswick stew preferences, but here’s the tried and true recipe I use. I love that it makes a huge pot because leftovers are always a blessing.

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Brunswick Stew

1 whole fryer (about 3 pounds)

2 stalks celery – cut into 1-inch pieces

1 small onion – quartered

water

2 (10-oz) packages frozen lima beans

2 (10-oz) packages frozen kernel corn

1 cup chopped onion

2 (28-oz) cans whole tomatoes, undrained and chopped

1 (8-oz) can whole tomatoes, undrained and chopped

3 medium potatoes, peeled and diced

2 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon salt

1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper

1/2 teaspoon red pepper, or to taste

Combine chicken, celery, onion, and enough water to almost cover the chicken in a large stock pot; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for about 1 hour. Remove chicken, celery, and onion from broth, reserving broth in pot; discard celery and onion. Cool chicken; skin, bone, and coarsely chop meat. Add chicken, lima beans, and remaining ingredients to broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer uncovered about 4 1/2 hours or until desired consistency, stirring often. Add water if/as needed.
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The Auburn game is starting in a few minutes, so I’ll be flipping back and forth between that and the UGA/Bama game while knitting. Go Dawgs! 🙂

Oh, and another tidbit about the Brunswick stew: My dad says it’s good to eat when you’re sick because it looks the same coming up as it does going down. You’re welcome.

Happy Saturday y’all and War Eagle!

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saturday

I can’t believe I’m saying this after that terrible loss to LSU, but yesterday was a really good day. My son was down for a visit, and we spent the day together. He had a podcast interview with The Sturdy Brothers in Thomasville, so we headed north on a beautiful fall day. We enjoyed coffee at our favorite spot, and then he did his interview while I camped out at The Fuzzy Goat to knit. It’s the coziest spot in town.

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On the way out of town, we stopped by my sister’s house for a visit with their family, and then we grabbed a late lunch in Tallahassee before getting home to watch LSU crush Auburn. I worked on my Auburn scarf (more on that project later) while wailing and gnashing my teeth.

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Paul took Will for a ride in his beloved 1970 Camaro, and he gave Will a turn at the wheel. I missed all of that fun, but I did snap a pic in the driveway.

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After the game Paul, Will, and I went out for sushi, and we just happened to find out during our conversation that Paul had never seen Face/Off.  We rectified that after dinner, and Paul may never forgive us. Around 10:30, Will remembered that he was going to interview me for a future podcast, so we did a late night (waaaayyy past my bedtime!) thing that will probably be as exciting as an NPR episode. (More on this later, too.)

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I ended the day by watching Ole Miss beat Bama – the cherry on top of my day. 😉

Family, football, knitting, hanging out, a beautiful day… these are a few of my favorite things.

Tired but happy,

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all good things must come to an end

Well, we’re back to reality. Or almost. We got back home earlier today, and I’ve been busy unpacking, restocking the fridge, and doing laundry. I’m back on the Whole30 wagon tomorrow, so I boiled eggs, made a big salad, cut up some veggies, and have some chicken marinating.

We return rested and relaxed and grateful for our time away. Paul and I agree that we have fun traveling together and even going to Costco together. We’re grateful.

Here are a few more photos from our time away:

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coffee with a nice view

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babeach

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not a cloud in the sky…

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umbrella, multiple layers of SPF, hat, sunglasses — it’s hard to be a white girl in the sun.

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nice view! 😉

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bliss!

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chips & salsa for lunch

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last evening on vacation

We stayed on 30A, and enjoyed the scenery and several good meals. Our favorites: The Great Southern Cafe (we liked it better than Bud & Alley’s), The Perfect Pig, and La Cocina Mexican Bar and Grill.

Ciao,

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