News and Views/The #Free48

Last week was, well….was it just 5 work days? 

I spent my #Free48 (for those of you new here, that is my new word for weekend) doing a few projects and having some great creative time. I got some chapters finished in the book, added some touches to a painting, started a new watercolor project and even made a piece of jewelry!

I communed with bees, butterflies and even got out for a bit of a hike in the park today. I cooked a lot, got fresh sheets on the bed and managed to put the memory of that long week behind me. Just in time to start all over again.

Here are just a few highlights. I hope your days off were all you hoped they would be-and more!

1C837123-49A7-4B24-83F9-CED6EE9F2D4D

“F” is for Friday, Fun and Forgetting…just what we did. 😀

BA2C86B0-7FCC-4BB8-B9A0-DB53C6421155
Saturday called for waffles!
BC236550-29D0-4DD9-B89C-A200C7488F51
Bee watching is always a treat
7919CD2E-DC00-4976-BC75-13DCBC604352
They rarely mind my photography
338CCEF4-2B9F-4090-B442-C91AD782094D
And then this fine fellow flitting around

 

 

 

 

F7811C4A-DC11-42BC-84DC-63FB88C68288

I’m thinking of starting a rock collection. 🤔

Here’s hoping your next 120 hours be brilliant and painless. In the words of my dear friend, that Willy Nilly, Silly Ole bear….

06C3EE6C-8690-474E-AD97-6CD81C7031EF

Happy Trails! Oh! And watch out for aliens disguised as Threadwaisted Wasps! I don’t know if they sting humans or not, but better safe than sorry. Very elusive creatures…

 

1D1E392E-4C51-4399-904C-27A95DD26B03

Relax Mulder, it’s only a wasp….👽

Advertisements

I’m Late!

I’m late, I’m late….

 

I promised I would post the result of my hush puppy trial yesterday but never got around to it. I must apologize but it was with good reason. I was having fun!

We were fortunate to be able to get out during a reprieve from our recent rains to make a return trip to the Botanical Garden and found a new spot that we totally missed on our first trip. We found a couple of new friends there!

 

 

More on that later….on to the hush puppies.

I actually like this recipe more than most others I have tried because it gives more of a light, cornbread texture-and they are good cold as well! The inside is light and fluffy while the outside maintains a nice crispy texture.  They were perfect with the breaded shrimp we had alongside.  Time was short so we opted for a prepared shrimp that only needed cooking.  Next time, the real deal.  Honestly, I avoid frying anything very often so this was a special occasion.  When I do fry it is normally only pan frying in a small amount of oil.  This requires the full monty, however, and so we did.

 

IMG-5524
Hush puppies cooling their jets..
IMG-5534
These breaded shrimp came from the grocery freezer..not like homemade but sufficient
IMG-5540
Nice platter yes?
IMG-5531
Crispy outside, light inside. Perfect with butter!

 

We made a significant dent in this platter.  My plate was clean!

 

IMG-5538

 

Who would think there was room for dessert? Well, how could we resist fresh, juicy mango with whipped cream?

 

IMG-5545

 

Yeah….we had to wait a few minutes before tackling the mess in the kitchen. 😂

 

Would I change the recipe in any way?  For me, the white cornmeal is a bit too fine so I would try to find a self rising yellow or make my own.  I might even substitute some yellow corn flour in place of the whole purpose flour in the recipe.  I added cayenne or perhaps you might like fresh jalapeño.  The green onions were great and I added some well drained diced red pimiento, or you could use finely chopped fresh sweet pepper.  It’s your cornbread, after all! The buttermilk definitely made the texture perfect for me.  I hope you guys let me know how yours turn out.  In case you missed my last post, with the recipe, you can find it here.

Meanwhile….back in the garden….

 

fullsizeoutput_2967
Doesn’t he look just tickled? Exactly how I feel when I am there! Sans frogs in hand….

 

Maybe he’s thinking frog legs with hush puppies….🙊

 

IMG-5582
Savoring the moments….

 

IMG-5554

 

“We have to stop meeting like this,” I whispered.  He said he would be there waiting until next time.

I promise to share more of our #Free48 later on.  I hope yours is unfolding splendidly!

Bend Me, Shape Me…

 

Anyway you want to….

Long as you grill me, it’s alright!

 

26095881-2339-4209-9706-124AE29AEB1A

Image courtesy of This place. 😜 Since our host Linda Hill took the easy road on this most picnic-ky of holidays, so will I. Visit the link to her post to meet other bloggers and maybe join the fun in the prompt.

Oh, and the tune is for my beer loving, favorite bar patron, Dan-who will be grillin’ with the ‘nines’ this weekend.  Keep this one in your head all day buddy. 😉

 

 

 

#SoCS

B191DD95-19A3-4EBA-9655-3BF937885E2F

Missed It! #photography

On a beach trip I watched these guys trying to coax in seagulls with bread nibbles so that one of them could get photos. I snapped a few of the scene and when editing saw the comical reality of their efforts . I know I pay a lot of attention to the tiny things, but all too often our focus on the grand event causes us to miss the little gifts that life has to offer. This really struck a chord with me which stuck and was a pivotal moment that caused me to stop being so busy with my large endeavors to enjoy the simple gifts I was being given. The sun glinting off of a dewdrop, the sound of the world waking up, the wind whispering through the trees ovehead or the symphonic silence of clouds rolling against a blue sky are precious jewels that,  if we continue on the path we are as a global community, we might end up losing. We must stop looking up and out for the answers and really look inward. I am often told I am too hard on myself; but I really feel effective change can only begin by changing the one thing we can-ourselves.

I believe in the power of Spirit. Prayer is answered every day,  just not always in the way we envision it.

 

0DD567DF-6B63-41A3-969A-82715C707703
When you are busy reaching for a dream
C5B840CB-CBBF-47E9-A348-6DCD25B98114
Be careful not to miss the small miracles…

I hope you have a terrific, and safe, Free48 holiday weekend. This time is for remembering the sacrifices of those who believed in and fought for the freedoms we enjoy every day.

“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven…”

 

Oh Marietta!/Free 48

I wasn’t sure I would squeak this out but with the Academy Awards booming in the background, I am bound and determined to share my 2nd installment of my new theme #Free48, my weekend tribute to those hours which are afforded to me that belong to me. Sometimes they are quiet, sometimes busy, manic, lazy or productive. But, since  I am the conductor of my 48 hour train, I vow to attempt a new journey each time it pulls away from the station.

 

This 48 started out lazy on Saturday morning, sleeping in and doing my morning reading. After watching the birds enjoying the gorgeous day, we decided to head out in search of junktique and thrift stores, with an eye peeled for something to hang over the new bed. Our online search pointed us in the direction of Marietta, so we dressed appropriately for the suddenly chilly temps and headed out. What a beautiful ride!

 

1F4B5ADD-E102-4805-8E87-B25F447440A2

 

I can only imagine the beauty once Spring actually springs! Of course we had to take a slight detour on our way to the antique village….cuz we couldn’t miss out on seeing….

 

C399B11A-8232-4531-9F6F-1F9A9B85843F

 

The BIG CHICKEN This iconic bird is a landmark, legendary as one of the oldest Kentucky Fried Chicken stores in Georgia, although it started out as Johny Reb’s Chick, Chuck and Shake restaurant. It is pretty impressive and the beak and eyes are motorized, the beak opening and closing and the eyes rolling. And I thought the giant bucket was pretty special when I was a kid. 😏

During our U-Turn we spotted a promising looking thrift store, Value Village, so decided to hop out for a quick look around. An hour or so later……

 

 

 

 

Grand total? $59! Hooray for detours and side trips. I love recycling! Makes me so glad for all those bags of clothes I have donated over the years. It all comes back in the end. 😊 Next stop….The Antique Village!

 

 

 

 

We did pick up a few treasures here, but I didn’t  really find what I was searching for. Maybe at the next one.  So….three hours later and my stomach was screaming at me.

Where else could we go but to another icon in Marietta, famous for its great home cooking and for being featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives-Marietta Diner ! What a grand place. We were not disappointed. This restaurant serves up thousands of faithful and new patrons daily and the staff really know how to provide a great experience. It has a bustling diner feel but elegantly chic at the same time with professional and friendly servers and better than quick food arrival. Everything is made to order and tastes like someone’s Mom made it. 😉 With love.

Click on the link above for the full history of this NY family’s successful history of restaurant greatness and the different restaurant venues they have added over the years in Atlanta. What follows is a pictorial of our own adventure there; and I can only say I hope there are enough Free 48 weekends to make our way through the entire, extensive menu. 😱

 

 

 

 

And then there was the complimentary beer from the owner…just because!

Thank you #Marietta Diner for such a wonderful meal and experience.

 

279951AD-6C6C-464C-A771-88976C602FF3

 

Oh…who could pass this up?! We got ours to go.

 

EC830AB8-FFA9-45AC-BDDA-6AE1C78044BE54284042-3426-49B3-BF3F-E31A3AA4A18D

Hubby’s treat was a luscious Lemon Meringue pie slice. Me…must be chocolate and there were many options. Of course I chose the Death By Chocolate Cake which was so large a sluce it is lingering on. So far I have had three desserts out of it. And there is still a bit left for breakfast. 🙊

Now we are settled in watching the Academy Awards. I hope your weekend has been all you hoped for or needed; and I hope you had a bit of this in it as well..

 

FED9E011-3BE8-45B1-8B19-BF4C752997E3FF7FF0F4-3B77-4FE1-B4FD-A6FEBF6DAAD5

And here’s to a grand week ahead!

 

C0C02F45-3E6C-4D70-919C-E39F588C5F12

 

628BA72F-7A69-4D98-88BA-08E1EC7DD427

Free 48/Weekend Adventures

I had a stellar weekend. Really, it was all I wanted and came right on the heels of a great week. Was work perfect? Hardly. But I realize the things that mean the most to me are those little gold flecks that show up while I am sifting through life’s dirt and rock to make a living, with or without striking it rich. Things like friends that pass through town and spend an evening relaxing and laughing over some great food. Things like meals I neither have to cook nor clean up after. Things like preparing a simple, tasty lunch with my hubby and enjoying it outdoors.

I‘ve made my mind up about one thing since returning to full time work after our brief ‘retirement’ in Costa Rica.

 

I cannot go back to living for the weekend.

 

C1A5A109-166C-4211-9274-710870A9E5DE

 

My time in paradise taught me that each day is meant to be lived entirely-whether brilliant, beautiful, boring or back breaking. When we power through our days with blinders on working toward those precious moments we feel belong to us alone, shining like a trophy on a folding table at the finish line, several things happen.

Number one, we rush through our moments, trying to ignore the difficult ones while our eyes are glued to the checkered flag waiting to mark the end of another gruelling race.

Secondly, we build ourseleves up for something stupendous to serve as our reward for a job well done, for putting up with so much nonsense for yet another week and for perservering through life’s muck and mire to get to that place in the sun we call our weekend. And then it rains. 🙄

Thirdly, we age while we live our lives in chunks of time. Week to weekend, holiday to holiday. Vacation to vacation. Another year closer to retirement. Talk about a hamster wheel!

 

86F61551-A482-43E0-A594-60145FEF139A

While I can’t always (though I try like hell) improve the quality of a nightmarish work day, I can at least step outside of myself to be objective.

 

This too shall pass

 

I can’t change the attitudes of anyone around me, so I must be content to do what I feel is healthy for me and hope that someone else might find value in my outlook, might learn to laugh instead of complain about the small stuff, and so a ripple effect is begun.

Sooooo. I have made the decision to no longer live for the weekend; and the first step in this new mental directive is to change the way I view the mini repreive I get every 120 hours.

Henceforth the afore mentioned ‘weekend’ will be now be referred to as the Free 48. The Glorious 48 hours that are blank pages in my book of days. What do you think?

I am celebrating this new outlook by sharing my very first Free 48 with you here. It was relaxing, exhilarating, creative, fun, rewarding, loving….did I mention it was really good? Here are a few of the simple, fantastic details.

It started Friday afternoon by grilling shrimp with the hubby and enjoying our meal on the deck under some welcome sunshine.

 

E02A3101-9AB8-4FA4-9378-F429167B9822
Magenta blooms
413238FD-DCED-4663-82CB-53AC51EABBF2
A nice Reisling to go with our shri p
B92F43BC-E987-49C0-ABE1-4DD63E02BE8E
My humble little paradise in the making, check out the SUNshine……..

 

Then, my ‘book-that-never-came’ from Amazon finally arrived! Yaaaay!! (Yeah, it was sent again with actual shipping info too!) Miracles do happen.  This little book is a real treasure. If you haven’t read it I recommend it highly. The simple truth of the Tao spoken through the heart of a lovable bear.

 

0E9CEC39-680C-4B4E-86A4-99939BFA96BB
The Tao of Pooh and the Te of Piglet. 💕
8E571D17-E212-4C47-B50F-1F2D5B68284B
Which explains my completely Zen feeling all weekend.

 

Then, Saturday we got out for an early morning hike. Well, early is relative since my one rule of the Free 48 is no alarm clocks. But we did make it out of the house by ten am. Hubby is in charge of adventure time, finding us new trails, parks and places of interest. This time we hit the Silver Comet Trail, a very scenic and easy to walk paved hiking trail that goes on for miles. We did about three. It was beautiful but had a bit too many bikers for my comfort. (More on this subject on One Liner Wednesday. I’m working to keep my ohhhhmmmmm on here.)LOL.

After our hike we rewarded ourselves with a great Mexican meal and margaritas at our new favorite Mexican place in town. (More on that for Thursday Doors)

 

44165862-6EB4-4829-AB0D-7E96155CCC5A
Silver Comet Trail
24EB8D7A-EE8F-4A55-A94C-F8EE3D5F99BD
I wanted so much to get a shot of this tunnel sans people-no easy task.
EB3869AE-9260-41EB-977A-ECA5B4C16DA7
Someone else was feeling Zen!
23C6E0BA-047E-4D80-B878-058D40CE5B6F
My new best friend in a glass.

 

Now on to my favorite moment….

Sunday brunch with my youngest at the place we tried to go before. You know….where the awesome bar Eleanor  is? 

Yes! We finally ate at Muss and Turner’s. And it waaaas good. From the Tropicalia on draft to the pulled smoked pork andwich on an H &F bun, it was all I hoped it would be.

 

 

But the real gift was the company. Food, no food, we all had a great time catching up!

 

C82D999C-276B-4008-9051-F00C2326DAC2

Oh yeahhhhh…I actually spent an evening working on my latest creative exploration. I have wanted to try my hand at paper bead making for quite awhile. It was such fun! I am only just getting started. 👏🏻🙈

 

8B319506-50A1-454C-9E54-5019AF49442A

 

Sooooo…..there you have it. My first Free 48. Can’t wait to gear up again in about….well…..who’s counting anyway? 😉Have a great week friends!