Thursday, July 28, 2011

Blessing #72 - Zeb's

Remember the story of Jacob and Esau in the Bible? Esau sells his birthright (double inheritance) to Jacob for a bowl of stew. Esau sounds crazy, and he probably was, but when you take your first bite of Zeb's stew suddenly you understand Esau better. Zeb's Barbecue is my absolute, 100%, t-total favorite place to eat.

When Shad and I were dating, my parents and I took him to Zeb's for the first time on one of his visits to GA. As we sat down to eat, Shad said, "Oh, I had bbq earlier today?" I asked him where at and he replied, "Arby's." I shook my head in shame, and explained to him that roast beef and Arby's sauce does was not really bbq. At that same visit to Zeb's, he said, "Baked beans!" when he first saw brunswicke stew on the plate. He had such a long way to go, but he has grown to love bbq and stew as much as I do.

Here are a few pictures I took to try and show what gives Zeb's, its Zebiness, its Zebocity, its Zebtasticness (okay I'm done with's Zebdaciousness...okay now I'm done for real this time.)

Zeb's is a modest building in the middle of nowhere...a bbq oasis in a good food desert...(Sorry, I must be in a dramatic mood today, too much reality television.)

The decor is bulldawg red and black. There's sunbeam bread on the table, and the menus on the table are just the front of one page. (Always be nervous about a bbq place with a big menu.)

The art on the walls is a picture of a pig, and Zeb and his wife (moment of silence).

A life size cutout of Earnhardt (moment of silence) graces another wall.

Zeb's bbq sauce has always been in this glass container. Zeb's doesn't have multiple sauces on their tables because they only need one. It is a vinegar based sauce that has all the pepper at the bottom. If the sauce is not shaken it's mild, and if the sauce is shaken it's hot.

Zeb's bbq plate (moment of silence) has been served on a brown partitioned plate for as long as I can remember. I always get double stew instead of slaw. After we started eating my mom asked, "Did we pray?" I told her, "When I took my first bite of stew I said, 'God Bless America!' Does that count?"

Zeb's offers one free refill of stew per adult plate. This is the pot that the waitress carries around to give the wonderful refill. When the waitress comes by with the stew pot, everyone quickly eats up every spot of stew on their plate so they can get some more.

I never really eat dessert at Zeb's because I am so full, but this cake looks amazing.

Every visit to Zeb's must be capped off with a Mary Jane candy.

It's hard to explain my love of Zeb's, but at some point this restaurant went from being just another restaurant to something that wove itself into the fabric of me...I know, it's the dramatic mood today, no more Bachlorette for me.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Blessing #71- Wei's

Today's restaurant is another restaurant that bears the name of its owner, Wei's (It is pronounced just like Nintendo's Wii)...actually I think the full name is Wei's Commerce Country Cafe, but everyone just calls it Wei's. Based on the name, you may be thinking that Wei's serves some type of Asian food, but you would be wrong. Wei's serves the best country style cooking.

At breakfast Wei has the most amazing cat head biscuits...I never really realized how strange that term is until I typed it "cat head biscuits." A cat head biscuit means that the biscuit is as big as a cats head.

At lunch Wei serves meat and two vegetables plate. I always get his chicken fingers, mashed potatoes, and macaroni and cheese (for Brandon). The desserts at lunch are amazing, pineapple pudding, banana pudding, and fried apple pies.

At supper Wei serves...nothing. Wei's is closed for supper.

One of the best parts of Wei's is the price. We always get child's plates because that is just the right portion size. One Sunday, we got three child's plates, two plain biscuits, three banana puddings, two teas, and one water for $15 and some change.

The only picture I took was of the line on at Wei's on a Sunday afternoon. The line was out the door for most of the time we were there, that's how good Wei's is.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Project Life: July 18 - 24

All my pictures this week are from one day, Saturday, but I love these pictures we got at my Aunt Ruthie's house. We stopped in to see her on our way back to Maryland, and yes, I got an Aunt Ruthie breakfast that day. If you want to see more Project Life posts, check out The Mom Creative.

Collin is showing Aunt Ruthie his raspberries.

Brandon wanted to take some pictures for me. I love this one of my mom and I.

This is another Brandon picture that I love!

"The Photographer" said "Funny faces," so we had to comply. Collin is saying, "Hey dude! Why are you cutting me out?"

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Blessing #70- Bar-H

When I visit Georgia, I make sure that I stop at all my favorite local restaurants. During my visit to Georgia (by the way I'm home in MD now), I took my camera to some of my favorite restaurants, and I will be sharing those favorites this weeek, therefore I'm declaring this week to be restaurant week.

First up in restaurant week is Bar-H. Bar-H is my dad's favorite BBQ restaurant. While I like Bar-H, my heart and stomach belong to another BBQ place I'll mention on Thursday. My mom (and I think my brother) shares my favorite BBQ place while my dad loves Bar-H. Our family's differing views on the best BBQ place lead to some heated arguments...

"Their stew is more hashy."

"Their stew is too tomatoey."

Yes, some families argue about religion and politics, but my family argues about BBQ.

Here are some Bar-H highlights.

This is the all important pieces of cake that are for sale. Right after I took this picture they refilled the tray with cake.

Did you know that it really creeps people out when you pull and your camera and just start taking pictures of stuff without explaining why you are taking said picture? Did you? You should try it. I think some people thought I was some kind of restaurant critic.

BBQ buddies! My dad won Brandon over to the "Bar-H is the best side." In fact, that is exactly what Brandon said the entire way home.

Notice the decor in this picture. Any good North Georgia BBQ restaurant's color scheme will be red and black. (Go Dawgs!)

Here is the all important BBQ shot. Bar-H has all the basics off a good BBQ plate, chopped pork, stew, slaw, chips, bread, and sweet tea. The thing that makes Bar-H different is that their BBQ is all you can eat, although I couldn't eat more than one plate.

All in all, Bar-H is a fantastic BBQ place that serves BBQ, ribs, and chicken, but it's just not my "favorite."

I'm sure my dad is going to make his "Bar-H is the best" argument in the comments of this post, and his points will probably be alliterated, but just wait until Thursday, and I will show you my favorite.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Blessing #69- The Junk Bin

One of the places I wanted to go to when I got to GA was the Junk Bin. I was looking for a place to get just the right anniversary gift for Shad, and I knew I would find it at the Junk Bin (Yes, I know that sounds strange, but he's a unique guy.)

I loOoOoOoOve the Junk Bin, I could have spent days in the Junk Bin! When we first showed up at the Junk Bin, Brandon said, "We're American Pickers!" (We love that show!) If you notice the red sign in the picture below here it says, "It's not a museum, this junk is for sale."

It may look crazy, but the Junk Bin is actually really organized. This is a room full of clear glassware. Brandon did not come in this room.

Where else could you find all these chicken thingies all together.

I stood in front of these rolling pins, and tried to think of something to do with them. They all just looked so pretty when you put them all together.

I ended up getting some lids for some of my mason jars that didn't have lids, an old metal arrow sign, and a faded stop sign for Shad for our anniversary. I paid $7 for it all. There's wasn't price tags on anything, and I had to wait for the owner before I could pay because he was the only one that knew the prices of things, but that just made me love the Junk Bin even more!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Blessing #68 - Shad {what I got when I got him}

When I first started this blog, I did not tell anyone about it for a few weeks because I wanted to make sure that I could actually stick with it. After a few weeks, I told Shad what I was doing. After I explained to him that the blog was a list of my blessings, Shad looked at me with a knowing smile on his face and said, "What...or should I say WHO is Blessing #1?" I looked him in the eye and quietly replied, "Google." He couldn't believe it, "Google is #1 and not me? At least you could have made #1 something spiritual, but Google?"

Since then he mentions every so often, "You haven't even calculated me as a blessing yet." I always tell him that it's all about him, but he doesn't buy it.

Today, Shad and I celebrate our eight year anniversary, but I am still in GA. We both decided before I left that that was fine and we would celebrate on the weekend, but to celebrate our anniversary today I am giving Shad his wish and calculating him as a blessing...finally.

Eight years ago, I thought I was getting a good husband, but eight years later, I realize that I got so much more. Here are a few of the things I got when I got Shad.

I got a husband who is a hypochondriac.

I got a husband who laughs at his own jokes.

I got a husband with attention problems....Squirrel!

I got a husband who loves Goodwill more than I do.

I got a husband who gets out of trouble by being cute.

I got a husband who loves my cooking.

I got a husband who is constantly searching for dollars on the ground.

I got a husband who is my partner in crime.

I got a husband who looks great with a beard. (I'm just throwing that in there in case you are thinking of shaving it.)

I got a husband who just gets more handsome the older he gets (Did I word that one right?).

I got a husband who lets me be myself and loves me for it.

I got a husband who encourages me in every endeavor or project I try.

I got a husband who respects and values my opinion.

I got a husband who turned out to be an amazing dad.

I got a husband who has no trouble showing me that he loves me.

I got a husband whose first priority is me and the boys.

I got a husband who loves God with all his heart.

I got a husband who seeks to follow God.

I got a husband that I absolutely love!

Eight years ago, I had no clue of all the blessings I was getting in Shad, but I'm so glad I've had eight years to learn just what a blessing I got when I got him, and I pray I will have many more years to find more blessings in Shad a.k.a. Blessing #68 (but we'll just call him Blessing #1 just to make him happy!)

Blessing #67 - The Stump

My boys are so fortunate because they have four grandparents that absolutely adore them and are involved in there lives. Each grandparent has something special that they do with Brandon. My mom showers him with snacks every time he visits her. Soon after we got to GA, they made a list of snacks and she went and got them at Walmart. Shad's mom and Brandon have "dirty days." A dirty day is where Mrs. Lankford takes Brandon to a spot of dirt, gives him a hose, and lets him get as dirty as he pleases. Shad's dad takes B on rides on the John Deere Gator. When B visits GA, my dad and Brandon have projects.

In April, when B stayed with them for a week, my dad and B cleared out the woods or as Brandon described it, "We cut down trees!" I thought they were just cutting a few limbs, but then my dad sent me a picture of there project. My four-year-old was allowed to use hedge clippers to his hearts content.

During this visit, Brandon and my dad have been working on a stump. My dad, who would wouldn't let me use his drill to this day, lets Brandon drill holes into the old stump. They also use a hammer and chisel (or jisel as B calls it) to hammer out pieces of the stump.

One morning, I told Brandon we were getting to go out to eat with one of my friends. He quickly answered, "I can't go!" I tried to convince him, but he added, "I've got to work on the tree or it will come back!" There was no convincing him so he stayed home with my parents while I went out with my friend.

On this day of "work," they had to wear their bandannas.

As soon as I get home I'm sure I will have to go hide our hammer, drill, and "jisel"...immediately, but I'm so glad B is making a memory with my dad.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Saturdate with Southern Plate: mexican cornbread

Yesterday, I mentioned that my parents and I ate a meal of mostly vegetables. It was wonderful, but I haAaAated that meal when I was a kid. Every summer, somebody in the church would give my parents a bunch of squash, okra, and such, and my parents would make an entire meal of vegetables. As a picky eater (at the time), I gagged at least thirty times during that meal.

However, when I showed up to GA, my parents had a bunch of vegetables, and I actually ASKED to have a meal of all vegetables. As we were planning the meal, I offered to make "Mexican Cornbread" from Southern Plate. My parents were skeptical because they have had some superior mexican cornbread, and my mom was suspicious when the recipe called for sugar in the cornbread (she says if you use sugar in your cornbread you're not from the south), but they agreed to let me try this recipe on them. This recipe is only in the cookbook, and not on Southern Plate's website.

The recipe called for an iron skillet, but I decided to just try it in a glass casserole dish. I closely monitored my cornbread, making sure that it had just the right color of brown on top. When I was satisfied with its "browness," I pulled my beautiful cornbread out of the oven.

As I stared at my perfectly brown cornbread, I imagined my parent's praises as they ate the cornbread.

"This mexican cornbread is fantastically moist!"

"This mexican cornbread is perfectly brown!"

"The jalapeno distribution is perfect in this mexican cornbread."

I was soon startled from my daydream as soon as I tried to flip the cornbread out of the pan. I didn't loosen it at all...AT ALL, and when I flipped the pan to get the cornbread out the insides came out but not the crust.

My mom came over and worked with a rubber spatula to loosen the crust, and then she placed it on top of the pile of loose cornbread. I just stood there pouting at yet another of my cooking escapades ending in disaster.

When suppertime came, I placed my ugly pile of cornbread on the table, and soon my parents praises began.

"This cornbread is pretty good if you just use your fingers to pick up each bite."

"This tastes really good even though it looks bad."

Although my mexican cornbread was ugly, it tasted good, and that's what matters most, but if you try this recipe just make sure you loosen the sides before you flip it.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Give me Five Friday: Five things I've been doing in GA

This week has found me back in the great state of GA for a visit. I haven't been home in a year and a half. (Actually it's been one year and seven twelfths, but a year and a half is simpler to say.)

I do pretty good in MD. I stay pretty content, but I never really realize how much I miss Georgia until I am back in the great state. So for today's five...

Five Things I have Been doing in Georgia

1. Eating- I have a list of restaurants I have to go to while I am here, and I have also been enjoying my Mom's cooking. Tuesday night we had a meal of mostly vegetables...corn, fried okra, squash, tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, cantaloupe, mexican cornbread, and blackberry cobbler. It was the type of meal I hated as a kid, but I love now.

2. Visiting with Friends- Along with my list of restaurants to eat at in GA, I have a list of people to see. Everyday, I get to see a different friend, and the time spent with them is so special to me.

3. Trying to keep my boys from being absolutely rotten. This is a very hard job. They are getting so spoiled that I have to work double, but it's worth the work for them to know they are loved.

4. Soakin' it in- There's something absolutely wonderful and heart filling to be with people that have known you forever, have seen you at your worst, and still love you anyway.

5. Missing Shad- My husband, being the hard working man he is, had to stay home while we get to enjoy our time down here. It stinks because when I'm in Maryland I miss GA and when I'm in GA I miss Shad in Maryland. However, being homesick or missing someone has a blessing in it. When you do get to be home or with the one you love, you appreciate them that much more and see it for the treasure it is.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Curse #24 - Look-a-likes

It started this weekend as we walked into my Mamaw's house. This was the first time that she met Collin, and her inspiring first words when she saw my bundle of joy were,"That baby looks just like Chad."

Now, you may be confused but Chad is my brother and Shad is my husband. That's right Shad and get togethers are confusing.

Anyway, I thought Mamaw was just wrong. I mean, really? Collin looks nothing like my brother. C'mon! Then a good friend of mine said the same thing, and then another friend said it. In one week, three different people said that Collin looks like Chad.

Then my mom jumped on board the "Collin looks like Chad" bandwagon. Because I am at my parents house, I took the chance to prove everyone wrong by pulling out one of my brother's baby pictures.

These pictures don't do it justice at all, but in person Collin does look like Chad. I see it now. I being the mature adult handled this revelation by yelling, "Noooooooooooo!!!!!!"

While I was searching for my brother's baby picture, I also found this picture of me at my kindergarden graduation.

B was picking his nose in the only good side profile picture I had of him, but the point is clear. Poor guy!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Blessing #66- An Aunt Ruthie Breakfast

This weekend I visited some of my family in North Carolina while I was on my way to GA!!! We stopped in to see my Aunt Ruthie. (Yes, I am 29 year old woman and I still call my Aunt Ruth, "Aunt Ruthie", but Aunt Ruth just doesn't sound right.)

I don't know when it started, but at some point, Aunt Ruthie started making breakfast for any of my family that stops by and see her, and I love stopping in and having my Aunt Ruthie breakfast.

Aunt Ruthie's selections for this particular breakfast were grits, eggs, black label bacon, cheese, biscuits, and scupadine jelly. (I always thought it was "scuffidine", but google says "scupadine".)

Aunt Ruthie's food is fantastic...unbelievably good, but the food is not even the best part of an Aunt Ruthie breakfast.

The best part of an Aunt Ruthie breakfast is gloating about eating an Aunt Ruthie breakfast. Shortly after the tradition of the Aunt Ruthie breakfast started, the gloating phone call started. As you eat an Aunt Ruthie breakfast, you can't help but call your loved ones and let them know what you are doing. Here is how the call usually goes...

my brother or dad: Hello.

me: Hi, guess what I'm doing right now?

my brother or dad: What?

me: I'm eating black label bacon.

my brother or dad: (sigh)

me: I've got a biscuit with scuffidine jelly.

my brother or dad: uh huh.

me: It's just wonderful here at Aunt Ruthie's!

Now, before you feel bad for my dad or brother, just remember when they get an Aunt Ruthie breakfast they call me too. They may not write a blog post about it, and rub it in on facebook (they are nicer than me), but they call me.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Random Act of Craftiness #1: A {belated} father's day gift

I've had several crafting and home decor posts over the course of the blog, and I can usually calculate them as a blessing, but now I'm giving them their own place on the blog. I didn't want to commit to a weekly post on a craft because I don't think I could keep up with that so Random Acts of Craftiness will be...random.

Sometimes I am really bad at giving presents on time. Last year I gave my dad his birthday present in July, and his birthday is in April. For part of Shad's Father's day, I planned to make the boys shirts with the nicknames that Shad calls the boys, "Tank and Snapper."

It was a great thought, but it didn't work out. I originally planned on using freezer paper, but I tried that on another shirt, and it was a colossal failure. I found these striped shirts at Walmart on clearance for $2 a piece. Sunday, I decided to try making the shirts, but instead of using freezer paper, I used shelf paper. The sticky stuff that you put on shelves and drawers. I cut the design out on my Silhouette SD, and placed it on the shirts. The great thing about using shelf paper is it's REPOSITIONABLE!!!

After I placed the stencil, I used acrylic paint and painted on the design using a blotting motion instead of brushing. I didn't know for sure if acrylic paint would work because it's water based, but I washed the shirts and it stayed. I put a thin layer of paint because acrylic paint makes the shirt slightly stiff, but it got soft after a couple of washes.

Here's the finished product on my models:

"Tank" would only pose if he could make a funny face.

"Snapper" wanted to grab the camera.

Shad loved the shirts, and having the boys wearing their nicknames. I thought about making one for me with the nickname he calls me, but his nickname for me is "Tootsie"....I think I'll pass.

I'm linking up to these link parties.