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Monday, November 23, 2009

4 Years of Crazy Joy

B Daddy and I celebrated our 4 year anniversary this past week.


That's how long high school is - didn't high school last FOREVER?

4 years of marriage has seemingly flown by... 6 vacation adventures, 5 camping trips, 4 football seasons, 3 job changes, 2 small groups, 1 ridiculously awesome dog and of course the ever adorable Squirt.

Our celebration began on Thursday (when all great weekends truly begin - and our actual anniversary) with a picnic lunch and hike in the ATL. Palisades West is a small park hidden along the Chattahoochee River that gives you the illusion of being miles away from the smog and city traffic even though you're still inside the perimeter (the ring road that surrounds the city for you non-Atlantans).

We enjoyed some off-trail hiking...the river has risen several feet with all the rain lately and washed out several parts of the trails.

We picnic-ed. (Don't think that's a verb - editor?) Peas are a delightful picnic snack.

Then Friday we headed over to Athens, partied like it was 2003 and stayed out until last call!

B Daddy at the Globe

I got a hair cut this past week. We are clearly still getting to know each other.

Heard a great band - The Bridges - playing at Tasty World.
A.D.D moment - doesn't she look like Pioneer Woman from back here?!

We caught up with some old friends at Blue Sky (insert mental picture here - camera was AWOL) which used to serve it's a bar. Oh the times they are a changin'.

Saturday morning we drove out and visited the Chapel we were married in.
We even danced on the patio where we had our first spin as a married couple - cheesy yes. But it was my kinda cheese and I'll remember that dance for a long time to come.

I am so blessed to be doing life with BJ!
I hope we make this trip each year for a long time to come.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Drool: A Study in Pictures

At moments like these - words fail me.

I love this kid.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

My Kingdom for a Kindle

When our little bundle of joy was born this past May, B Daddy and I decided to get each other gifts to commemorate the occasion. His gift? A classy watch to pass on to the Squirt one day. My gift? A Kindle!


I have loved to read for as long as I can remember. When we used to go on vacation I would take at least three books: one for the trip there, one to read while there and one for the way back. If the trip is any longer than a few days - 3 books simply wouldn't do and my carry-on resembled a mini-library.

My sweet husband's gift has put an end to all of this ridiculousness. Now I can carry on as many books as I want more easily than I used take one. Plus I have a dictionary at my fingertips and I can access anytime I run out of books to read!

So the point of this post - - I have had aspirations since high school to read all the "classics." The trouble with the classics is that they usually require quite a bit of perseverance and at least $1.25 in late fees at our local library. (That's like 3 weeks overdue for you non-bibliophiles)

With my Kindle, I can download most "classics" for free now that they are in the public domain and read them as slowly as I need to. I'm currently slogging through Anna Karenina. So far a decent story...but a classic? Not sure I understand yet.

My friend Ryan over at The Swans are Nesting recently decided to take this challenge upon herself and for the sake of camaraderie and an excuse to fill up the menu of my Kindle with some high-brow selections I am joining her!

Granted I have 2 1/2 years before I hit the big 3-0, but as soon as I finish Anna Karenina I'm jumping on board to see how many of these great works I can have under my belt before Ryan's big day.

I have read a few of the books on Ryan's list, so here's my list:

1. Guns, Germs and Steel – Jared Diamond
2. Crime and Punishment – Dostoyevsky
3. Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell
4. The Sound and the Fury – William Faulkner This one will take some slogging...
5. The Maltese Faclon – Dashiell Hammett
6. The Giver – Lois Lowry
7. Perks of Being a Wall Flower – Stephen Chbosky
8. The Little Prince - Antoine de Saint Exupéry
9. Watership Down – Richard Adams
10. The Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
11. Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
12. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
13. Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
14. Catch-22 – Heller Ugh - not excited about this one. I've started and put it down twice.
15. Gulliver’s Travels – Jonathon Swift
16. Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury
17. Great Expectations – Charles Dickens Read this in middle school, but I think it's worth a second read.
18. Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
19. Seven Habits of Highly Effective People - Stephen R. Covey
20. Lord of the Flies - How did I get out of high school without reading this???
21. The Scarlet Letter - Nathaniel Hawthorne
22. Robinson Crusoe - Daniel Defoe
23. Moby Dick - Herman Melville
24. Huckleberry Finn - Mark Twain
25. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde - Robert Louis Stevenson
26. The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
27. My Antonia - Willa Cather
28. Tales - Edgar Allen Poe

Ha! I turn 28 next year, so my list is shorter by 2....28 before 28 for me! Anyone interested in joining the club?

Now back to Vronsky and Anna...

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Oodles of Apples

I promised I'd tell you what we did with all those apples we picked a few weeks back - and I'm sure you've been hanging on pins and needles waiting for this very post.

My mother, sister and I left the apple orchard with about 20 pounds of apples each - which, if you add up the price of admission to pick them + the price of the apples themselves - cost us roughly 99 cents a pound. (A pretty good deal as you couponers well know...)

So what on God's green earth do you do with 20 pounds of apples before they go bad? Well, I figured this was as good a time as any for us to get domestic and learn a new skill - canning!

- Sidenote - It cracks me up that you can learn all kinds of old-school things like how to can apples online. Something about the juxtaposition of my Mac on the kitchen counter wirelessly streaming a video of how seal the lids on a mason jar full of apples tickles me. Here I am feeling very Laura Ingalls Wilder all the while relying on decidedly 21st century technology...

So for any half-pint wannabes, here's the process in a nutshell:

1. Boil your jars and lids to sterilize them. Keep them in warm water during the rest of the afternoon (yes, this will take all prepared) so that when you fill them with your apples they don't shatter.

2. Peel, core and slice 60 lbs of apples. (This part sucks.)

3. Boil your cored, peeled and sliced apples for 5 minutes.

4. Fill the warm empty jars with apple slices, leaving about an inch of room at the top of your jars. Pour the water you just boiled your slices in into the jar to fill in all your empty space. Leave at least 1/2 inch headroom!

5. Place the lid on tightly and screw the ring onto the lid - leave it loose - so it just holds the lid in place. Over the next 24 hours the little pop up bubbles on the lids will magically get sucked down and you'll hear them pop! Once they do this, screw your ring on tightly and viola! Apples in a can. Yummo.

If plain apples in a jar aren't your thing, you can mix up some sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and nutmeg to add to your canned apples for instant apple pie filling...

This stuff is to die for. I was eating it straight out of the pot.

But it was also delicious in this pie!

I walked away from our afternoon of pioneer-esque delight with seven jars of apples ready for use, don't be surprised if one shows up on your doorstep come Christmas time!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Our first BE RICH project!

We live in a small home.

We have a lot of stuff (as clearly demonstrated here).

And as of late all our stuff is starting to make me feel claustrophobic.

So I wandered around our home and compiled a list of all the stuff that is just that - STUFF. I read somewhere that you shouldn't have anything in your house that isn't beautiful or functional. Ha!

So we're getting rid of it!

Some of this stuff we'll sell online, some of it will be sold at a garage sale and the rest will be donated. And the proceeds? All going to the Be Rich project!

So here's the question: what do you have laying around your home that you wouldn't miss?

I'm lobbing a softball here folks...this is a no-brainer. Put it on eBay, sell it on Craigslist, get together with your neighbors and have a garage sale.

Then BE RICH and donate the heck outta that cash!

I'll be back to post how much we make and where it gets donated...keep me honest!
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