Here We Go/#SoCS/#Free48

And it started with a crack, not a gunshot. What, you may ask? Well, the race to have a relaxing, productive, fun, peaceful, exciting, safe, drama-free yet noteworthy mini vacation. Easy peasy, right? 😳 And we were off to a great start until Alabama decided to step up and say, “Hey, you know what day it is?”

 

842B7164-9029-4B54-A1B2-4F4F38E2F4CA

 

3 great years and whack! Of course it must be filled soon or it will spread like a taunting grin and shouting, “Friday the 13th is reeeal” If I didn’t know better I’d think Nick Satan (I mean Saban) threw it himself. 🙊

But, we had a great trip otherwise and saw a cool new set of bridges, some great cloud antics, a nice sunset and sunrise. More on our food adventures later but mine was good last night, once we found the right restaurant.

We are excited about visiting with family and friends. Hope your #Free48 has no cracks, holes, breaks, tears or rot.

 

AE8E42CF-0BA1-464E-93CD-6DED3D5F98F5
Cool twin bridges
9AA953AE-4BFA-4A66-854F-5CE0BA842ECF
I loved the lines and squares in it

D897C3F8-99AD-4DE1-A569-DE174B40ED3F

73E2D2B7-E456-4947-A5EC-866FA5804905
This is a saki margarita. Oh yeah, it was..

3F8326BD-C9BE-4A9C-8FF7-800188BF3F8E

Ummm those are tuna tatake sliders. Yum!

*Okay Linda did I make the extra points? Do visit Linda’s blog for more great #SoCS posts and to join the fun. Today’s prompt was to use a three letter word. I had a few four letters in mind but tried to be good. 😂

Advertisements

The Messengers/#Free48

Today was such a beautiful day I had the urge to get out and explore, take photos and just get lost in history.  At first I thought of a church tour but there are just too many here.  The Georgia skyline is literally dotted with steeples. So, I began checking historic churches, which led to historic buildings, then narrowing it down to nearby cities and finally I hit a winner.

 

fullsizeoutput_2d21

 

This visit was not about patriotism or politics but about my love of cemeteries.  There is so much history written on grave stones and in the case today, much more that was left unsaid on the unmarked stones of the soldiers who fell in the battles around the cemetery.  So many were never identified and lay in graves there, acknowledged in the only way humanly possible without the  modern science techniques we use today.

Another thing that I love to see when I visit a cemetery is the birds that live there, so often lighting on the head stones and posing there or squawking until I take a photo. Many indigenous peoples have beliefs that include birds being messengers from the Spirit world. I like to feel this is true.  If it is, then there were a lot of messages coming at me today.  Here are the best of the images I got while we walked around.

 

 

If you hold your finger on the bottom of the photo you may find a caption!

It was getting late, so we headed over to the second stop on our excursion.  This one should catch your eye, Dan. I think it was your kind of place.  😉

 

fullsizeoutput_2cc4

 

I have more photos but not enough time to edit and put them in this post. I also feel this might be one of the best put together museums that I have ever visited.  It truly warrants its own post when I have the chance.  Meanwhile, here are a few of the highlights.  If you are ever in Kennesaw, and if you love trains or history, be sure to stop by.

 

 

Then we were hungry so headed in search of food. We found a new little place called The Nest and grabbed some cold beer and Barbecue.  I had mine in tacos.  I hope your Free48 was beautiful.  Got a busy week ahead so you may not hear from me for a bit.  Have a great week and stay cool, in all ways. 😎

IMG_6716

‘Sup, Peeps? #SoCS

Sup-pose you want to grill burgers for the big holiday. You know, the one that falls in the middle of the week and you can never get additional days off around it so you either pretend you aren’t going to, but get really drunk and just suffer through the next day-OR-you act all grownup and just enjoy a mid week break with some good food and try to avoid the crowds (although you dream of seeing fireworks from the rooftop in DC or Lincoln like your kiddos are doing). Since we sup-posedly wise up as we age, I felt it prudent to stay in this year. Perhaps I didn’t care about missing out. Perhaps I wanted to snuggle in with hubs and be creative and do all those things I miss out on when I am just bustling around. Either way, we wanted burgers. Did I mention we were avoiding crowds? That includes the maniacal scene that would be playing out in every grocery and conveninece store across this great flag-waving holiday-loving fireworks-exploding country. Now, just sup-pose two very sup-eriorly intelligent humans (insert crying laugh here 😂) were not prepared enough to pick up hamburger buns from the store.

I mean we are trying not to eat a lot of bread, especially processed white killer bread. But you really are sup-posed to have that junk on this auspicious holiday. Hubs offered to go to the store-half a dozen times or more-but he seemed so serene sitting there over his puzzle and I didn’t want our day ruined by a cart-pushing wise mouth or grocery employee with a grudge for having to work. What to do, what to do? Oh! I’ll just make some. I mean, I have been trying to find a good bun recipe and so far all previous attempts had been mediocre. What better time than a free day with no pressure?

Now, even though I still have a shelf full of my favorite cookbooks, I must admit to using the internet for recipes more often than not. It is just so easy and I can actually combine ideas that way.

A word to the wise and unaware here. A lot of people out there can’t cook; and often this fact spills over into their recipes. I can only hope it was typing ommissions because obvious things like baking powder left out of a cake recipe is going to really tick off that person trying a 27 ingredient Chocolate Decadent Roller Coaster Fudge Cake recipe for their big party. Thankfully, I have been cooking long enough to recognize an obvious ommission, but in others the ‘missing link’ was not as obvious. This time, though, I found what I think is the perfect  sup-per sandwich roll. If you love burgers and have a breadmaker, you can easily have these in about 2 1/2 hours. Bon Appetit’!

This #SoCS post is brought to you by Linda Hill . Visit her blog for the prompt to meet other consciousness revelers and read about her new book! Today’s word was ‘sup’.

I found the recipe at Genius Kitchen and have saved it to my desktop so as never to lose it. I hope. 😏

0C3466B3-391A-41AD-93E1-DA73C73E2587

 

I added sesame and poppy seeds after the egg wash and used olive oil as well as sea salt. It looks like a recipe you could play with. I have not tried my Bob’s Gluten Free flour mix yet as I wanted to test the integrity of the recipe first. OMG! We loved them. Have a look.

 

15EC9069-E552-4EDD-AA9A-9994C2828F04
This dough did perfectly in the breadmaker which I have had for almost 20 yrs
4FA99595-6472-4DBA-8CE6-48327F9135F9
You could so so much with the dough which is slightly sweet
9A20281C-640F-4A2D-9230-B1BDF270A241
At first I feared that they didn’t rise enough
0595A840-F58D-47F9-9486-0171F587D17E
Baking always finishes off the rising
F5D9B4CA-A539-4212-97DD-8CA3774C4DE4
I know. I was trying to get their best side.
88426F10-D255-42D9-85EA-F7C58DC8F065
Can you smell them?
867843FF-7C8F-446C-AA17-1803394D0550
Okay, a perfect burger made using our gifted Omaha Steak patties too. There’s Barb’s contribution Dan!
52CAE9AC-3AF5-443F-A024-171BEFE636D6
Of course I had to make homemade Thousand Island dressing, for that Big Mac effect.😉
2B8B03C6-2417-450C-B35F-55B68CF45673
I even shaped a few hoagies knowing we would have Italian sandwiches the next day-old Pizza Hut style. Yuuum!

Yeah, even though we no longer eat fast food, you can see how my food memories have been shaped by them. 😜

I hope you all had a relaxing and/or fun holiday and enjoy an even better #free48!

Oh. We heard lots of fireworks going off in surrounding neighborhoods, but his was the extent of my visual; and I had to brave the mosquito hoard to get this one! Yep, I was a total whimp.

DC23BA19-B18D-442C-A320-A43201A8FB5EF5169CA3-E159-4B8F-9B85-D86B7C9E68F4

In Search Of Brilliance

It has been a practice of mine for quite some time now to seek out small miracles which can turn things around-a moment, a day or an event which otherwise seems bleak. The last few weeks have been very trying and painful for my family in many ways; and although I am not right there with them physically, my heart still aches and longs to turn things around and make life beautiful again for everyone, so thoughts and prayer must suffice in this moment.

I also had a birthday over the past #Free48. My ‘Birthday Buddy’, my son who shares the same birthday, was not here this year and that added to the prospect of a bleak celebration. But, as is always the case, Nature stepped up to the plate and presented me with some magnificent bits of brilliance to say, “Happy Birthday!”.

With well wishes from friends and phone calls from loved ones, including a birthday song from the grandkids, it was-as always-a special day.

This early gift from my sweet sister kicked things off!

 

464B0691-53E2-4109-B03C-54E371BE149C
Thank you Omaha!

All I really cared about was getting outside to take some photos and having a nice meal somewhere that someone else cooked. 😉My dear hubby, as always, was a willing partner and smiled through it all-even the humidity. It really wasn’t too bad in the early part of Sunday. Here are some of my favorite things from our excursion.

 

 

 

 

 

Then I heard it. That familiar cry that sends me running like a crazed shopper on Black Friday. There is no mistaking a hawk’s screech. When we turned around there was a huge one flying low across the front of the property with its lunch in its claws. Seeing where it lit, I stealthily crept over to stand beneath the tree for some photos. I will spare you the gore (in this post) but it always amazes me to watch these birds methodically eat. He left nothing behind either, not a hair. We looked it up later to find this was a juvenile 😱 Broad Winged Hawk.

 

 

 

 

Please don’t tell Zippy! 🙊🙈He showed up to say Happy Birthday too!

 

F799072D-6586-4BAF-AB34-90FE77892EA2

I got my dinner out at Yardhouse. Plus a free birthday dessert! So yummy.

 

 

 

 

And yesterday there were a few more surprises from friends at work. And hubby stepped with a few surprises he said he didn’t have time to get over the weekend with me hanging around. 😉 He’s so good to me.

 

4B181758-05F5-4078-841D-FAB8357C7BFA
Publix Fudge Cake! Oh my….
1493CD15-3498-4E89-B038-DC3EBA95A3E1
These are a few of my favorite things….
41415527-3D30-4A8D-9D29-C115E69A6726
This lady and I usually share a burrito like this on Fridays. This one was all mine! The flowers came from her beautiful yard!

 

This?

 

51CD3CD3-1DA4-4C48-A741-5E54B22484A2

A gift from my oldest. A hands free gadget for my crafts, like jewelry making. I think it looks like Doc Oc from Spiderman! 😀 I thought you’d like it, Dan!

Well, there it is. Brilliant Birthday. I hope everyone has a better than anticipated week. Ours begins with a no tolerance hands free cell phone law in place. Should be high revenues for the state of Georgia! 😏

Hugs! 💕

This was in my head when I woke up. Now it can be in yours too!

Freedom/#SoCs

Cheers to Saturday! And another round of #Free48. Join Linda Hill if you want to participate and meet some wonderful bloggers.

759AD323-8E22-4F08-99A2-61DCBA7823E3

 

Cheers to freedom in its simplest form…

 

 

Blooms intoxicating as wine…

 

 

Labors of love bring fruit to the vine…

 

F8AA74E8-93EE-42DC-A7AB-4DE72AAE5272

 

Tiny friend who, at once flew away,

returns when I cry out in dismay,

”Why can’t these dewdrops come into view?

Oh, my goodness, wait,  now there is you!”

 

CKP copyright photos

 

 

Freedom to breathe,

to accept the smallest of miracles

and to return them with gratitiude,

defines balance within existence.

May we see Light and be Light in every moment….

 

 

Time in a Bottle

One of my favorite Jim Croce songs states, “If I could make days last forever. If words could make wishes come true, I’d save every day like a treasure and then-again-I would spend them with you.”

It is a blessing, in life, to have someone you feel this way about. In good and bad times, to realize you wouldn’t give up any days spent with them, but merely try to change the way some may have been miss spent.

Sometimes a day begins on a less than brilliant note but ends spectacularly. Those days are especially nice because I love surprises!

The #Free48 started out with a Friday fun afternoon at a new venue near the house. We thought #Baddaddysburgerbar was pretty cool, from the Badass Margaritas (of which they only allow 2 per person) to the wide variety of freshly styled burgers and hand cut fries. So good! The homemade chips were crispy and not greasy. We will definitely go back. There’s a whole menu to try!

 

(Touch any photo for the description)

 

 

Then there was Saturday…low key, projects, a bit of housework and cooking a weekend meal.

D5C05A2A-9825-4B7F-B0F5-6F86F8403FB1
I just had to work on jewelry projects
16ACEB76-5E60-4F4C-9F01-304BDF89DE47
Braised Pork chops, baked sweet potato, peas and Olive Oil Muffins.
35AB420B-7528-4473-90D7-0DD0955B4097
These muffins are so good! I found the recipe from David Lebovitz’s blog awhile back and saved the link. I finally dug in and gave it a whirl. Can you smell the orange?

Check out David’s recipe for Olive Oil Muffins

Sunday promised to be a beautiful day and we headed up to the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains to a small German influenced town called Helen. Here comes the disappointment moments….it was less than even underwhelming, mostly due to a sense of apathy among the vendors there. It seemed as though we had stepped back in time, but it was frozen somewhere in the 70’s along with all of their merchandise and venues. The buildings are quaint and stylish, and there is a cute little park as well; but it took us approximately 45 minutes to walk around and fear we had made the two hour drive for naught. Thankfully, we had to drive to the other side of town when we first arrived, making sure we parked in the best spot, and spotted a state and national park sign worthy of a second look.

We did stop in an ‘authentic’ German restaurant/bakery where we snagged a cream puff. What can I say? I have certainly made tastier treats. The pastry was dry and the cream was only whipped cream-and unsweetened at that. So disppointing.

22A340D5-33D2-455D-85FE-6C6739F30911
Authentic German styling
9DAA15AF-79EB-4626-BD89-997C42FAE232
Even a windmill!
E4089C84-E8FA-4629-8B1B-3CFBAE4509EE
This little waterfall was in the patk
85F2DEE9-762F-436F-84A5-72F060364B80
We always enjoy a good pastry. Too bad it was mediocre.

So, quick as that, we headed to the far end of town and followed the brown park signs to Unicoi State Park and Anna Ruby Falls National Park. Hubby has a lifetime pass to all national parks so we ended up getting in totally free! Yippee!!

Talk about worth the wait. It was about a mile walk uphill to the falls and the view along the way was beautiful, cascading water at every turn. I knew the moment I saw this beauty that we were where we should be.

66FCEF35-1E82-46DB-AEE2-C5FFD690EFAC

I so wish I could live here. One of the best things was the way the air got cooler the higher we walked. At one point it felt like a blast of air conditioning wafted down the hillside.

66C2F982-8488-4396-B6C7-05E0687FE6F6

I loved these huge rock formations and hidden passageways.

Then we reached the top! It was so lovely. We have seen larger falls but this place has its own special charm.

6FCE4B78-985D-4263-BB30-28EF316F2268
The view was breathtaking
CF86A09D-4DE1-4637-89C5-E808CC3EF753
If only I could stay…
A6923AE0-C4BB-4B2B-9848-964A737A4582
That smile is genuine. Me and water and the woods make a happy trio!

Reluctantly, we headed back down the hill and made our way to the parking lot.

Our day was exhilarating. From expectant to disillusioned to thrilled.

 

 

A0720F88-A22B-4DE9-AC46-87A860094269

What’s not to love about this drive?

We had one more stop to make.

 

 

 

How is that for a #Free48?

As I said before…..

Let Go…

Of my mango!

 

DDC4D279-31E7-4924-AD5D-439B498C25A7

 

Once upon a time in Costa Rica…

I was fortunate to spend the better part of an hour taking photos and sharing the shade with this beautiful fellow on a hot, humid day in Quepos, Costa Rica. These iguanas are common there and can pop up anywhere at any time, and every time was a treasure to me.

 

460ED885-FF2B-451A-878C-31637E26E87700ABA55D-FC1A-4871-8AD3-A3187D6048F5

 

“Be sure to capture the essence of my beard, Camera Lady.”

This post was brought to you by my faithful Nikon, our Pura Vida life while in Costa Rica, and the presence of some of Nature’s most magnificent inhabitants.

Happy #Free48!