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Showing posts from October, 2010

Goodbye Camper

Yesterday we officially said "Goodbye" to the camper. After 3 months of living in a tiny space{170 square feet to be exact}, we have moved on.
Trine and Corey came to pick the camper up yesterday afternoon – a big thank you to these guys for allowing us to borrow their camper. 
It was a little bitter sweet. Raccoon Mountain is a beautiful area. We enjoyed the scenery, eating outdoors, walking Sophie under the stars and just spending time together. After living in separate states for 4 months, the small camper was a great opportunity to be together again.
Living in a camper taught us that we don't need that much stuff to be happy.
On a slightly separate note, after saying goodbye to the camper, we ran some errands in Chattanooga and then went up to Signal Mountain to meet the Reynold's new baby. She came on the day of the tornado warnings {while we were contemplating "taking cover", they were under Code Black at the hospital – this is when all of the patient'…

Back in the saddle

After a cooking hiatus for most of the last 3 months and a good portion of this year {after all it is no fun to cook for one and cooking in camper was a bit difficult} I am back in a real kitchen and cooking again. Daniel is thankful to not be eating out for a majority of our meals :)
Last night I made Chili and Skillet Cornbread. It was a great meal to have on a chilly evening.
Chili Recipe {recipe adapted from Aggie's Kitchen} Ingredients
1 tbsp olive oil 3-4 cloves garlic, minced 1 onion, chopped 1/2 lb Italian sausage 1/2 red pepper, chopped 1 green pepper, chopped1 jalapenos, chopped {I remove the seeds} 1 cup of corn kernels {I used a can} 1 can chili beans, drained but not rinsed 1 can kidney beans, drained but not rinsed 2 tbsp chili powder 1 tbsp paprika 1 tbsp cumin 1 tbsp garlic powder 1 tsp cinnamonsalt {to taste} 1 cup of chicken broth {the recipe called for Sam Adams Octoberfest or a substitution of red wine, chicken broth or water} 14.5  oz can of diced tomatoes 14.5  …

Project 52 Date Nights: Movie on a Week Night

I was too busy moving to write this post on Tuesday, but we did have a date last week. 
Early last week, Daniel and I went to eat at Sugar's Ribs in downtown Chattanooga. The food was great, but the music and decor made it feel like we were at a disco instead of a ribs joint. 

Before dinner, we had briefly contemplated skipping dinner altogether and going to the movies and splitting nachos instead. The movie we wanted to see didn't start until after 8, so we decided to forego that option. 
When we left Sugar's, Daniel asked me if I was still interested in going to the movies. This was a bit surprising since it would mean getting home late and he would still have to get up early to drive to work the next day. After a bit of discussion, we decided to go.
We normally only go to cheap theaters and this year has been too busy for movie going. The Majestic 12 in downtown Chattanooga was a treat. The seats were the most comfortable theater seats we have sat in. Ever. For $9 per perso…

Only in Alabama

I have to start this post with the day we closed on our house. We signed the papers, dropped off a load of our stuff and then headed back to Chattanooga for one last night in our camper.
{via The Daily Sentinel, click here for the entire story}
As we left Hollywood, we noticed a small plane in the median of Hwy 72 by the Texaco near our house. There were several police cars next to him. We wondered aloud if he had actually landed that little plane on the Highway?!? The next day Daniel found out that the man had been traveling from South Carolina to Texas when he "realized" he was low on gas and decided to land on the highway. He landed near the Texaco where he got out of his plane with a gas can to go "refuel."
As Daniel's Facebook status says: A plane land on the highway near our house. Next to a Texaco. He was out of gas. He landed, pulled the plane into the grassy median, and supposedly got out nonchalantly with a 5 gallon gas can to walk over to the Texaco f…

Moving to Hollywood

{via} Hollywood, Alabama that is. {via}
Until we find our DSL cable modem, we will have limited access to internet :(
Moving is going well so far. Movers took 4 hours to unload everything. Our boxes are {mostly} in the right rooms. Now we just need to unpack boxes and get organized.

Our Unexpected Tornado Warning

Looking out towards Lookout Mountain the morning after the storm.
Our second-to-last night of camping was not the serene night we had anticipated. The weather had warmed up quite a bit over the last couple of days {I think we were both regretting the electric blanket} and it was raining lightly. Pretty soon the rain picked up and we found ourselves wishing we had ear plugs to drown out the noise of rain pounding on the outside of our fiberglass camper. 
View of Raccoon Mountain - we are the first white camper on the right.
Before we went to sleep, we opened the vents above our bed and in the bathroom for air circulation. Around 5am, I woke up and realized that we were getting a bit damp from the open vent, so I got up to close it. Around that time, the storm really picked up and Daniel decided to check to see what the radar looked like. Lucky for us the internet was working. Unfortunately, there was a tornado warning that suggested everyone in Hamilton County take cover.

Busy. Busy. Busy.

Yesterday we went and helped my sister and brother-in-law move into their new home {in Nashville}. While at the storage unit, it was discovered that something organic had been packed up for the past 4 months. This organic matter had since rotted and turned to a putrid liquid form. It was enough to send Daniel, Robert, Mark and Angela running out of the storage unit. {I was lucky enough to miss out on smelling it}.
Angela tried to persuade Mark to take it to the dumpster. Unfortunately for her, our little brother is not so little any more and he said NO. Angela, being the nurse of the group, agreed to take the basket of unknown material to a dumpster. This involved me driving and Angela hanging out the window holding onto the container while we went across the street to a gas station. We also ended up throwing out a blanket and a few other things that had absorbed the rotten smell. Angela said that it smelled like "poop that had become rotten." That is pretty bad coming from a…

20 Little Things to Treasure in Autumn

The Inspired Room blog posted the question "what 20 little things do you treasure in Autumn" and I figured I would make my list since Autumn is my favorite time of the year.
1. Pumpkin Spice Lattes {I can't wait to try this recipe that Macoroni & Cheesecake posted} 2. Hiking in the mountains3. Smores with the Moore's {to take place this Saturday}4. Hayrides 5. Sitting around a campfire, under a warm blanket 6. Laying in a field, staring at the night sky 7. Sleeping under an electric blanket 8. Wearing my cozy knitted slippers around the house {currently around our camper} 9. The aroma of a Thanksgiving meal cooking 10. My favorite hot chocolate {generally saved for Christmas, but it is good in autumn too} 11. Camping trips 12. Seeing little kids all dressed up for Halloween 13. Trying new recipes that have pumpkin in them 14. The brilliant colors of leaves changing 15. Hot coffee and a good book on a cold day 16. Cramming as many family members that will fit onto …

52 Books in 52 Weeks: Book 40

One Thousand White Women ~ The Journals of May Dodd by Jim Fergus is a fictional story based on a historical event. In 1854 there was a peace conference at Fort Laramie where a prominent Cheyenne chief requested that the U.S. Army authorities provide a gift of one thousand white women as brides for his young warriors. Looking back at history, we know that this did not occur. However, the book takes the premise that President Grant decided this was a valid idea and his administration went about getting "volunteers" for the task. The first set of women dispatched were a motley crew – volunteers, prisoners and patients from mental institutes that were allowed to gain their freedom by volunteering for the program.
The book follows the {fictional} journals of May Dodd {a woman who had been sent to an insane asylum by her prominent family for being promiscuous}. The journals tell her story of being in the asylum, her trip out west to the plains, how she and the other women {numberi…

Being Alone

A couple of my friends recently posted this video on Facebook and I wanted to share it.

I think everyone is afraid of being alone. I think this comes in different forms. If you are single, you may feel lonely, but loneliness can also have its grip on those of us who are happily married. If you are unemployed, or work for yourself, or move to a new place, you can feel the tug of loneliness. You can feel alone when by yourself and sometimes you are alone when surrounded by a sea of people.
There are times that it is good to be alone. To put aside all of the things that distract. To get lost in a book. Or a long walk. Or to enjoy a cup of coffee or a meal. ALONE. When we can find ways to be happy by ourselves, then we don't have to worry about the times when the reasons for our loneliness are beyond our control.

If you're happy in your head,  then solitude is blessed and alone is okay.

Project 52 Date Nights: On The Border

Thanks to hotel reward points, we were able to go to Atlanta this past weekend and stay in
a hotel for free. 
Instead of eating at Atlanta-specific restaurants, we chose to eat at On The Border our first night – mostly because there isn't one in Chattanooga {or Nashville for that matter} and I have been craving OTB. 
We drove all over Atlanta hauling a small trailer {that we brought to haul furniture home}. It was interesting going into crowded shopping areas and trying to find parking. Somehow we managed.
We got to OTB rather late, so we thought we would have fast service. We were seated immediately and then ignored by every server/person/manager in the restaurant for the next 10+ minutes. This was probably due to the fact that a huge party was seated next to us {20+ people for a b-day celebration}. 
I finally made eye contact with a manager and he came by and offered to get us drinks and I mentioned that we had been seated for a while and could he please send our waiter over. He imm…

52 Books in 52 Weeks: Book 39, Part II

This is my Part II post for the book Commencement. I have been mulling over this book since I finished it. Mostly I was curious as to what the questions would be for the online book club.
1. What parts of the book could you most relate to? Least relate? There is not a whole lot that I related to in this book. I had a hand-full of close girlfriend's in college, but I had a lot of guy friends too and I am a pretty independent person when it comes to my decision making process. I wasn't wild and crazy. I didn't plan on getting married, but I did end up getting married right out of college. After 8 years of marriage and post college, I guess I feel most like Celia – wanting more than my career has offered. Trying to figure out how to achieve those professional goals while balancing married life and personal goals.
2. If the author were to write another novel that followed one of the girls onto her next step of life, which one would you want it to be about? Whose story would y…

Last Week in Pictures

Last week was pretty hectic. Here is a recap in pictures:
We went to Murfreesboro two Fridays ago to pick up our electric blanket and warmer clothes since fall had descended on us. Then we had several days of warm weather that made us question putting an electric blanket on our bed {we also had several nights we were thankful for the electric blanket}.

Saturday we headed back to our camper.
Sunday we went backpacking at Bob Bald in the Joyce-Kilmer Slickrock Wilderness area.

Monday we were back at the camper.
Tuesday I went to Nashville to babysit my niece while my sister and bro-in-law closed on their house.

Wednesday and Thursday, my brother and I spent the day painting at my sister and bro-in-laws new house.
Dining Room BEFORE
Dining Room AFTER
Kitchen BEFORE For some reason I don't have an after, but we painted it all white with KILZ View towards Living Room from Kitchen BEFORE
Living Room with Kilz primer in progress
 Living Room with primer almost complete
Thursday night I went back t…

Almost Dinner and a Movie

We are staying at a hotel in Northlake {Atlanta} that is close to a Movie Tavern – which serves dinner with your movie. We decided {rather last minute} to go see Life As We Know It
The hotel was close enough that we decided to walk. We had 10 minutes before the movie started, so we hurried as fast as we could. The theater ended up being further away than we thought (thanks to big parking lots) so we ran to try to get there on time. We made it to the ticket booth {out of breath} only to find out that the movie we wanted to see was sold out. Boo. 
Since we missed out movie, Daniel gave in and agreed to stop for Chinese food instead. Daniel thought that the inside of the Mandarin Palace {where we ate} looked like something out of a movie where a Chinese mob boss would be hiding in the back. The food was good. I'm bummed that we missed out on getting to eat dinner with a movie...

A different bed every night.

Look at me in Chattanooga.
Now in Murfreesboro. Now back in Chattanooga. Now in Bob Bald. Now back in Chattanooga. Now in Nashville. Now back in Chattanooga. Now in Atlanta.
That has been my schedule for the past week. A different bed every night... crazy huh? We are furniture shopping this weekend because our closing date has been moved up until Monday, Oct 25.
Just for fun:

Project 52 Date Nights: Bob Bald

Shakedown at the camper.
How has it been a year and a half since our last backpacking trip? As soon as we get moved into our new home, we plan to remedy this and make an attempt to go at least once a month {there was a time when we went EVERY WEEK}.
Road "not suitable for passenger cars."
For our initiation back into the world of backpacking, we decided to do a short overnight to Bob Bald in the Joyce Kilmer Slickrock Wilderness Area. We cheated and drove up to the Wolf Laurel Trail to start {almost at the top of the mountain} and hiked 3-ish miles across Stratton Bald to our campsite on top of Bob Bald. 
 Pre-hike picture.
We arrived just in time for sunset and were thankful to see that we had the bald to ourselves. This was a good thing since when we stopped I stripped down because my skin started itching terribly. We changed into dry clothes, set up camp and started cooking dinner. Just in time for a father/daughter and their dog to come up on the bald. We told them they were…

52 Books in 52 Weeks: Book 39

This will be a two-part post because I am participating in an online book club with two sets of questions for this particular book. 

The selection for this edition of book club is Commencement by J. Courtney Sullivan. It is a two part book and the questions are also broken up into two sections.
I was really excited about reading this book because it is supposed to explore {in the form of a novel} the complicated and contradictory landscape facing young women today... Instead I find an okay novel with deep roots in feminism. Not exactly what I was hoping for. I will write my full thoughts after I finish Part 2.
1. Which girl do you identify the most with? I had a hard time determining which girl I identify with. Initially I felt like I didn't really identify with any of them {not as a whole character}, but with more reflection, I think that at this point in my life I identify with Sally the most. She had all of these ambitions of who she would be when she grew up but her life didn'…

52 Books in 52 Weeks: Book 38

This week's book is actually a "banned" book. You may have heard recent controversy over books that have been banned throughout the United States. I happened to visit the Hamilton County Public Library in downtown Chattanooga during Banned Books Week and they had a display devoted to banned books so I picked up The Sound and The Fury by William Faulkner.
To be frank, I have a hard time believing that The Sound and The Furyis banned. I feel the same way aboutThe Diary of Anne Frank. It makes me question who is trying to censor these books and why. 
I truly believe it is the responsibility of parents to decide what their children can or cannot read. I read The Diary of Anne Frank when I was 13 and it gave me my first glimpse of the atrocities of the holocaust. It did not adversely affect me as a person. 
As an adult, I get that The Sound and The Fury deals with some difficult content (if you have the energy to wade through the stream-of-conscious-type writing that makes up t…

As soon as I have a big kitchen again...

I plan to try these recipes out:
Ultimate Turtle Brownies
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake
Apple Spice Cake
All images and recipes are via the blog Dinner & Dessert.
I heart this blog, it has so many great recipes that I can't wait to try out.

Camper Grilling

I have had a hard time staying motivated to cook in our camper. I love to cook, but the tiny prep space and the even smaller area for cleaning dishes have had me dragging me feet.
Since it has gotten cooler (let's be real, it's been downright cold), I have decided to make more of an effort and make use of our grill {mostly because there is less clean-up involved}. I am not a griller. I have almost no experience grilling. I have dabbled with it, but as a grown woman, I figured that I am perfectly capable of honing my grilling skills.
So this week's menu has included grilled steak with baked potatoes {cooked in the microwave} on Monday; grilled salmon and asparagus with brown rice {cooked in the microwave} on Tuesday and tonight I will be grilling hamburgers with blue cheese and sweet potatoes {cooked in the microwave}.
I am actually pretty proud of my grilling so far. Thanks to grilling suggestions that I found online and the Neelys suggestion to let your steak rest at room t…

Project 52 Date Nights: Three Sisters

Last Friday we met friends at The Terminal Brewhouse for dinner. Afterward we headed downtown to meet more friends for the Three Sisters Festival – a FREE live bluegrass concert. We saw Sierra Hull, Chatham County Line and Ricky Skaggs play. It was a fun concert with perfect weather, not too overcrowded and we even managed to score FREE parking {after I drove over a curb to get to it}.

Daniel created a sling to carry our chairs with out of webbing that was in the trunk of our car.
Sierra Hull playing. It was too dark to photograph Chatham County Line and Ricky Scaggs. Daniel and I enjoying the music.
Thumbs up for date night: we had the winning combination of good food, good music and time spent with good friends.


I'm not going to lie. Every year, I have good intentions of buying a pumpkin to carve. Most years I make the purchase, but I don't actually go through with the carving part. I think we might have carved one pumpkin when we were newly married. 
Last year, I saw this tutorial on how to use a doily and paint to decorate a pumpkin. I tried it out and loved it {I actually used a Sharpie marker instead of paint – less messy}. I also liked that I could leave it out past Halloween. 
This year, I am really liking the idea of using a pumpkin as a container to hold mums.
Since I am lazy about the carving part, this type of project would probably go into the pile of good intentions that never happen, but I do like the elegant use of the pattern.