Monday, December 31, 2007

Last Post of the Year!

Happy New Years!

We're celebrating tonight in Cairo, GA at Papa Bill Gainey's home. The Burnam family is here & some serious football games are on (as I can only judge by the amount of shouting!). Pics soon to follow of our trip south.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Holiday Pics

It's 1am here & the laundry is finally washed and repacked - we're ready to hit the road again. We arrived home at 2am on Friday and will leave out again Saturday at 11am. The 36 hours have been full.

We were home in perfect sync to see our friends Nick & Natalie (from Anchorage), who were visiting in Athens for a few days - they came over this afternoon. And as we depart Athens (in about 10 hours) we'll swing by and help celebrate at Grady Pittard's 1st birthday party.

We made it home from Wildwood with some 300+ holiday pics. Here are just a few from the last week:

Levi sporting his new BabyLegs - at home this afternoon.
A back valley hike with Deanna, visiting her in Rising Fawn, GA (just a short drive south from Wildwood).

Tivoli (my first cuz) at Christmas dinner.

Marshall face to face with one of the many snakes he has, while outside for a "slither" - I think this one's a python.

Aunt Rie - at her house for Christmas dinner.


Joe with my (errr.. his) new tool set

Playing the harmonica

Christmas morn

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

2007 Christmas holiday

Hope everyone had a great holiday... we've been in Wildwood for the last five days. As always, it's been non-stop action since we arrive: visiting old friends, hordes of family, feasting, long walks, and lots of laughs. We will be heading back home tomorrow night, rest up for 36 hours, & point the car south, for New Year's in Cairo, Ga.

Levi had a great first Christmas & we got some great pics which I will post soon...

Friday, December 21, 2007

Monday, December 17, 2007

Winter Bees

This is the one hive of bees that live in our yard. Last week it was warm & they were really working all the flowering rosemary up in the corner bed. I enjoy their presence & regularly check to see what they're up to. But a beekeeper I am not, at least not at this time in my life. That entails management, strategy, treating for mites (a common bee parasite), and the most common reason bees are kept = the taking of honey.
I read in a book one time that there's a difference between "bee-keeping" and "bee-having". I fall into this second group. With all my best intentions, I rarely do more than occasionally light up my smoker & poke around in this hive to take a look at their honey stores & to see that there is indeed a working colony of bees inside.
I've had this hive for five years; that they've survived for so long, with so little supervision on my part is actually something of an anomaly. I've read most hives will not last more than three years left untreated for mites & then there's the "hive disorder" that hit last year (taking out 25% of all US hives).
Anyways, I hope my bees make it through another winter. The hive is heavy with honey & the population seemed ample. Maybe next year I'll do a little "hive management" & actually take some honey.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Beaver Pond Morning

At Molly's suggestion, I'm going to start including some pictures from various hunting and outdoor trips. This is me and my buddy Max after a recent morning in a beaver swamp. If you've never eaten wild duck roasted in sherry and dressed with a mushoom cream, you're missing out!
I dream of the day Levi can accompany me in the field. Every boy should get to stand beside his Dad in flooded timber while mallards drop out of the morning sun.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Spoons? We don't need no stinkin' spoons!

Levi and I (Daddy) had the house to ourselves tonight. I taught him the finer points of hands free eating....just the ticket to get those last scraps out of your food bowl. As soon as he learns to wipe his hands and face on his shirt, I'll feel like I've made real progress.
Looks like he got most of it.
"Good job son, good job. Now clean up before Mama gets home"Guitar man in the making. Dirt roads and honky tonks.
Out of the 50 videos he drug out, he chose this one. :-)

Saturday, December 8, 2007


Joe is thrilled to finally hear 'da-da' after weeks of 'ma-ma-ma-ma-ma'. We're also hearing a whole new array of sounds & jibberish. Tooth #6 made its appearance on Wednesday; we were starting to wonder because it had been a full two & a half months since the last teething. And the little man now plays a mean game of peek-a-boo.

Levi actually slept through the night last night - for the first time since my last "slept through the night" post = weeks ago. I feel I am quietly suffering what every new mother must surely at some point = chronic fatigue.

It's a mild Saturday afternoon here - a Locally Grown beef roast with mushrooms bubbling away in the crockpot - a hummingbird cake freshly baked & iced (no hummingbirds were harmed in the making of this cake) - and the husband whipping up a pot of fat laden mashed potatoes.

I'm thinking of supper & then a soak in the tub....

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Energy Star

We're making the switch this week from a house full of standard incandescent lightbulbs to energy-saving fluorescent twist bulbs. I'm a couple four-packs away from a complete switch over.
Lowe's is making this super easy right now - as there's a "2 for 1" sale (good throughout the month of December) on four-pack twist bulbs which brings the cost down to $1 a bulb. Just guess what everyone on my Christmas list is getting? :)
I'll be interested to see if there's a noticeable difference in our power bill.

In addition to the lightbulbs, we finally made the switch to a front loading washing machine this week. All said & done, I got a sweet deal at $180 bucks off the sticker price. I installed it yesterday & literally pulled up a chair & watched it go through a wash cycle. It was a step up from watching paint dry, but I do have to admit I was tickled to have this modern marvel washing away in our laundry room. In addition to having more than double the load capacity of our old model (twice as many diapers!) & using less water, it will also reduce our power needs.

Monday, December 3, 2007

December in Wildwood

We all made our way north this weekend to Wildwood for the memorial service for my uncle, David Pratt, who died 16Nov07.

Sarah & Molly - taken by Carrie. Visiting the "ladies & gents" over at Hooker - the Neely plot - as far back as my greatgreat grandparents. I love this picture: family, sisters, not knowing, life, blue sky, death, the winter feel of home - this graveyard plot that is etched in my mind.

Levi visiting at Honey's grave - my grandmother, his great grandmother.

Lingering after the service. Talking family, land, & children.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Thanksgiving in Florida

We're home & it's a cold rainy day here in Watkinsville. We've been in Jennings, Florida visiting with the Burnam's this past week for the Thanksgiving holiday. We had a nice vacation & ate & ate! Here are some pics...

Crazy hair! finishing up breakfast

Eating! Thanksgiving dinner

Aunt Bug & Levi (with a head full of gel & his garden rake)

Levi & his great-Papa Bill, Katy, & great-Opa Burnam

Justin & Katy - out for dinner, celebrating Katy's 18th birthday - congrats!

Monday, November 19, 2007


It was a retrospective weekend in Wildwood - leaves changing, a death in the family, and everyone home. David Pratt, my uncle, died Friday morning. Originally from Florida - his family was in town for the weekend too.
As always, when I'm in Wildwood, I have an overwhelming sense of community that I feel nowhere else - of family - of belonging - the place I grew up - I always feel a bit of sadness as we drive away, leaving this patchwork of family & friends nestled between two mountain plateaus.

We took well over 200 pics in the 48 hours we were home... here are just a few.

Tivoli (first cuz), Beth (sis) , Sarah (sis)

Carrie (sis) & Levi visiting with Aunt Marjorie & Uncle Frank

Off for a long walk - with nearly as many dogs as people

A little extra help mulching the flowerbeds


Levi, Carrie, Tivoli, Uncle Scott, Mom, & me

Levi & me

Carrie, Beth, Molly

Thursday, November 15, 2007

November colors

Thursday here & there's excitement in the air. We had a good rain shower last night (of course the truck windows were down) & today is really windy - a cold front moving in. Our trees are at their peak of color - the maple out front a brilliant yellow - nicely contrasting with the red dogwood. Unfortunately, with each gust of wind the leaves on the ground get deeper.

I'm cleaning & packing today as we get ready to travel - 9 of the next 10 days we'll be out-of-town. Levi & I (along with my sisters Carrie & Beth) are making a pre-Thanksgiving roadtrip to Wildwood (our homeplace) this weekend. We'll do a quick turn-around & then head south for Thanksgiving with the Burnam's.

When our friends Mike & Teddi moved to New Mexico I inherited their Thanksgiving cactus - it spent the summer soaking up the sun on our back deck & came inside just few weeks ago. It's bursting with blooms this year - a nice splash of color this time of year - & a nice reminder of old friends.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Pesticides in Produce

I always think about sharing this list when I pull it out at the grocery store. Today I actually remembered it here at the house. These items are consistently the most contaminated with pesticides - buy these organic:

apples, bell peppers, celery, cherries, imported grapes, lettuce, nectarines, peaches, pears, potatoes, spinach, strawberries, & carrots

These items have the lowest levels of pesticides:
asparagus, avocados, bananas, broccoli, sweet corn, eggplant, kiwi, mangos, onions, papaya, pineapples, sweet peas, & cabbage

Thursday, November 8, 2007

First Fire

We had our first frost Tuesday night, & our first fire last night.

My collection of decorative tinder... dried flowers, pinecones, mossy branches, and fallen birdnests... as it has sat for months awaiting a match.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Kiwi craze

I've started stocking up on kiwis each time I make a trip to Publix - the organic ones are the same price as conventional (2 for $1) which rocks. They're a quick treat for Levi & the more I read up on these shabby little fruits, the more I'm convinced we each should be eating one a day. The one downer is that they're shipped halfway around the world before landing on our grocery shelves - they are a native of China, but now are predominately grown in New Zealand.

One kiwi will give you more vitamin C than an orange and more fiber than an apple; they're rich in potassium & good for the immune system.