Tuesday, June 16

To Cook or Not to Cook

In our house I have never had to be a chef to please my husband. He has simple tastes. So simple that I never have to chop, cut, fold or stir fry anything. Give him a hamburger patty with cheese on top and a side of baked beans (from a can even) and he is fine. As we have become empty nest-er's and Gene has been busier with meetings at nights, we have eaten out a lot over the past 4 years. I think that has made my pallet a lot happier ~ I can choose from a menu of items Gene would never eat. Fish has never been an option..... well, unless it was Gordon's fish sticks and mac'n cheese. But now I can choose seafood's and salad's and he can enjoy more flavorful things like ribs and crab claws (that does not count as a fish). It also gives us time to eat & visit with friends in the same situation.

When we want to eat at home I can now go to one of my two very favorite place's and get "home cooked" meals without cooking! Just drive home & pop it in the oven!! If you are local, I suggest checking out Ashley Mac's ~ don't forget the brownie (to die for). They have 2 storefronts, one in Bluff Park and one in Cahaba Heights, but they also cater & ship all over. Just walk in and pick up a delicious frozen meal, rolls & dessert. Instructions are on each item & you can cook them frozen or thawed. I love the Poppy Seed Chicken & Bar-B-Q Meatloaf, while Gene favors the Beef Stroganoff and Beef Enchilada's. http://www.ashleymacs.com/about.html

I cannot forget to mention my other favorite for dinners and desserts and catering ~ not far from Hoover you will find the town of Helena, where Kay has a daily menu (Mon.- Fri.) that changes weekly. You simply call in or e-mail your order for the meal of the day by 10:00 a.m. and you can go by and pick it up after 3:00 p.m. that day. If you want something different you just give her 2 days and she will have your special order cooked and ready for pick up too. Sign up for Kay's weekly email letter & you will always know the menu for the week and it gives me a reminder that she has lots of other things I might like ~ tailgating items, desserts.

I used to drive to Kay's house, but now she has a setup where you actually "drive through" and pick up your order!! http://www.homeplatecooking.com/contact.htm

So, with three terrific options why cook?

Sunday, June 14


No, there is no Alien involved here.

Just a giant box with lots of our c**p stored in it somewhere locally. Sadly, it is time for it all to return home. Luckily we have a phone number of a company called "Motivated Movers"... certainly money is their motivation. These guys come to your location and will help you move your stuff.... in or out (they kindly moved it out back in March). I am glad they have the motivation because I cannot fathom dragging all that furniture and boxes out of the POD and back into the downstairs myself. Fortunately, for now, I have open space in my den to pile some of the boxes so that I may go back through them and try to clean sweep a bit more. Unfortunately my garage is no help for storing the leftovers.

While waiting for Tuesday ~ the day of the POD ~ I am contemplating what furniture will go where. Even which bedroom will be set aside for guests and which one Daniel will occupy when he is at home. That is a huge deal for me. Because I also have to make sure he has a closet that is not full of our winter or "I'm going to wear it again someday" clothes. A close friend of mine came into my home last week and eyed the clothes that had been brought upstairs from the downstairs closets so the carpet could be laid and her comments made me realize that I have way too many "I'm going to wear it again someday" clothes. She "used" to have a dress like that..... and "I've never seen so many clothes"... hmmm..... time to find a good charity.

Speaking of charity, that is what I really do need to find. One that is going to give your items to those in need instead of selling them at their version of the "Thrift" store. I hear the employees get first dibs, so who am I really helping? I know... the money goes to.... but what if is something specific that someone could use ~ in great condition? I'm going to send out an email to some friends and see who does that. A local church does some of that and I always donate clothing there, as well as twin beds that had a home before they even came to pick them up in the past.

When I think I have it all figured out there is another variable thrown in. Daniel graduates from the University of Alabama August 8th and there will some things from his house that will need a place too. Here? Storage? Garage? I've got until August 7th to figure that out!!

Monday, June 1

Woa NANA!!

I recently had the pleasure of helping my daughter Camille prepare for her first child, my first grandson. She has been having contractions strong enough to cause concern, but not strong enough that labor was progressing. When they saw they could not completely stop them and she was not going to deliver they let her stay at home and be cautious and careful, but not total bed rest. Thus I got to "watch" her when her husband, Daniel, worked over the past two weeks ~ staying at their house in Chattanooga with them off and on.

Camille and I worked together.... she sitting and making decisions about things and me washing the baby clothes, etc. I am amazed at all the cool stuff for babies these days. I just want to buy it all for Aaron!!! I have to watch myself in the stores.... I just browse the aisles as if it is "I" having the baby. OOOing and Ahhhhing at it all. The softness of the fabrics is heavenly. The designs fun. The functionality of some of the items is plain amazing ~ what I would have given for the car seat / stroller duo back in the day!!

At my own home we are finishing up remodeling the area that Aaron and his parents will stay when they visit. In thinking of what to do for Aaron I remember seeing this tiny crib at a local baby store. While I like the pack 'n play theory, this just looks more comfy....it is based on the old fashion "porta crib", only this one resembles today's modern cribs ~ just not as long & wide.
Nana had to have one. The best part was I had to also order special size /color bumper pads & sheets. That will keep me from trying to theme things like a real nursery..... after all.... I am just the Nana!! And if the next one is a girl ~ she will be just as cozy sleeping on the color I picked.

Momma Camille, rein me in before I buy it all !!!