Thursday, September 30, 2010

A New Ritual


after night...

after night....

It has become an evening ritual for these two to rest together after Britt gets home from work.  I love the man that Britt is becoming....a cat lover.

I Dream Domestic

I am that girl who revels in all things domestic (though that doesn't necessarily mean I'm good at all things domestic, but that doesn't stop my heart from longing for them).  Clean sheets, a full oven, and a garden of flowers make my heart beat a little faster.  Now that we have been in our Mississippi home for over three weeks, I have gotten settled enough to finally be able to do some of those "little things" that to me, feel like really big things.

For instance:

Arranging fresh-cut zinnias that I grew myself back in my garden in Georgia, that were so graciously picked and delivered to me by my cousin when she visited over the weekend.  What a nice "hello" from home!

Crocheting.  Thank you, Grandmother, for teaching me this wonderful skill! Hopefully this blanket, which I started in Iowa, won't take too much longer to complete and can be enjoyed in the upcoming cooler months.

Baking. We have enjoyed these wonderful (and puffy!) moon-shaped teacakes (in honor of Halloween, one of my favorite holidays!) for dessert the past few days. 

We had these fantastic garlic cheese biscuits last night.

This last picture is my favorite.  Coffee, candles, and cats.  Could that be the ultimate summation of my domestic bliss?

What's your idea of domestic heaven?

1 c. butter, softened
2 c. sugar
3 eggs
1 t. vanilla extract
3 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. sald

Beat butter until creamy; gradually add sugar, beating well.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating until blended after each addition.  Add vanilla.  Combine flour, sad, and salt; gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, beating at low speed until blended after each addition.  Chill dough until firm.  Roll dough to 1/4 inch thickness on floured surface. Cut out cookies to desired shape and size, and place on greased cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes, and let cool.

Garlic Cheese Biscuits
1 1/4 c. Bisquick baking mix
1/2 c. grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 c. melted butter (1/2 stick)
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. dried parley flakes

Preheat oven to 400.  Line a baking sheet with wax paper.  Combine the Bisquick and cheese in a small bowl.  Ad 1/3 cup water and stir just until combined.  The dough will be slightly moist.  Drop the dough by spoonfulls onto the baking sheet.  Bake for about ten minutes until firm and beginning to brown.
While biscuits are baking, make the garlic butter.  In a small bowl, combine melted butter, garlic, salt, and parlsey flakes. Mix well.  As soon as you bring biscuits from oven, brush then with the garlic butter, and serve.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

South Dakota

During our sojourn in Iowa, Britt and I decided to take a weekend and visit somewhere new, somewhere we might never have the chance to see again.

We chose South Dakota.

Seeing as how we made a wrong turns, we're not 100% sure how long of a drive it is, but it's somewhere in the neighborhood of 10 hours.  We had to travel west across almost the entire state of Iowa.  We arrived in the wee hours of Saturday morning and weren't able to truly assess our surroundings till the next morning.

Keystone, South Dakota is a quirky tourist town that we both loved instantly.

This part was especially nice for two Deep South natives...noon in July, and not even 80 degrees!

We headed straight for Mount Rushmore.

The carvings were so much more impressive in person than I ever imagined.  We were also surprised yet pleased to learn at the museum that Georgia's beloved Stone Mountain actually preceeded Rushmore, which was carved in response to the southern wonder.

The walkway up to the monument contains a tribute to all the states and territories of the U.S.

Georgia's pillar.

Next stop: Custer, South Dakota.  A great place to get that "western" feel, a history lesson, and a cold drink.

Leaving Custer, we were on to the Black Hills.

South Dakota made me want to saddle up a horse, and sleep under the open sky.  Till we meet again....

Monday, September 20, 2010

A Weekend in Hattiesburg, Mississippi

This past weekend was actually our second here in Hattiesburg, but since it was spent searching through boxes for food and clothes, I consider this our first "real weekend" at our new home, which caused me to pose the following question:

What does one do on a weekend in Hattiesburg?

Well, anyway, here's what we did.

Friday night, we joined the home-team crowd at the University of Southern Mississippi football game.

Britt made friends with the group next to us.  I was glad of this because that meant he had someone to talk football with besides me.

Lots of people in attendance, great atmosphere, and a victory for the Golden Eages over the University of Kansas Jayhawks!

On Saturday morning, we visited the Longleaf Trace Nature Trail, which is about half a mile from our house.

There are various biking and jogging trails through the dense woods.  We did a quick three-miler.

It was quite a popular area, and hopefully we'll return again soon and be regulars on the trails.

What else do you have for us, Hattiesburg?

Friday, September 17, 2010

Iowa: Honeymoon Part II

We did not actually go to Iowa on our honeymoon. We went to Costa Rica.  About six weeks before our wedding, Britt's job sent him to work in Des Moines for three months.  So, when we returned from Costa Rica, we both headed straight back out to Iowa for him to finish up his remaining time there.  (It's hard not to laugh when we think about how many different places we have "lived in" during our currently three-and-a-half-month-old marriage!  After Iowa, we moved into our house near Atlanta for less than a month before Britt's job took us to Mississippi.)

I'm always eager to see new places and check states off my "to-see" list, so I was excited to visit Iowa and see the sites.  With all due respect....there weren't many.  Maybe people say that about Georgia (but I beg to differ!).

These were new for me, though.

The power of wind.  Quite majestic.

We made several trips to nearby Winterset, Iowa, which is the birthplace of John Wayne and a quaint little town.

Britt's actually a big fan of The Duke.

The John Wayne van. (?)

His birthplace

The friend I made at his birthplace.

Besides corn (which there is truly a lot of), what Iowa is probably most famous for is being home to Madison County, which is famous for its covered bridges.  (These are actually pictures from several bridges.  It seems they are all constructed almost identically.)

Iowa, you are perhaps the most docile place I've visited. I can check you off my list and tell you that honestly, you're a state I didn't expect to see!
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