Staycation…

Since May I’ve traveled to eight cities in seven states and from the Pacific Ocean to the Great Smoky Mountains.  We thought about several travel options for the holiday weekend but ended up at our lovely loft in downtown Memphis…which we seldom see anymore.  The farm in Byhalia is becoming more and more like home.  I find myself missing the ability to count the Canadian geese or watch the llamas and horses cool themselves in the pond.  Toby Tobe loved to travel but Diva Kitty prefers her pillow to stay in the middle of the sofa and I miss sitting with half of her on the pillow and the other half draped over my leg.  As we drove to Memphis ready for a break from “country life” we had to ask ourselves where we’ll go on the weekend when we move to the farm permanently…some of you need to be careful saying, “when are you coming to visit”!!!  Oddly enough going to the loft felt like going to a vacation home…a really fabulous one…just not home.  We packed food, clothes and unmentionables…everything we needed to have a good time should the opportunity arise….opportunities did arise and a good time was had by all.

I do miss the Memphis Farmers Market.  The quality, presentation and atmosphere are unsurpassed in the Mid-South.

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I could spend a small fortune every time I go.  The flowers at the market have been glorious this year.  We have enjoyed the vegetables and have Spring peas, lady peas, purple hull peas, purple green beans, okra and corn in the freezer as well as beautiful pickles in the pantry.  Of course, choosing what to have for breakfast is always a chore but this time I got there before the breakfast pizza was out of the oven.  The choice then was whether to have Grilled Cheese with Berkshire Bacon, Tomato and Arugula or Breakfast Burrito…clearly I couldn’t decide and we had both…and apricot almond pastries…and cranberry walnut bread…FABULOUS!!!!

Saturday afternoon we thought we should do some research for our proposed farmhouse renovation. I can do color, fabric, tile, upholstery, lighting and art with one eye closed while a husband and wife fight over budget. However, choosing architectural elements…items that really should be somewhat permanent is much more labor intensive and not nearly as much fun…especially since we don’t fight.

We want to do a combo of elements…metal, wood, glass etc.

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We really like this corrugated siding and especially like the combination of wood and metal. However, I’m not a fan of metal roofs. I’m also not a fan of the word “normally” like…”Normally, if you do a metal walls you would do a metal roof.” Uh, Yeah…what part of me or anything I do seems to be NORMAL.  If that’s the way everyone else is doing it…I don’t want it.

IMG_3075We sorta fell in love with these “gingerbread house” shingles at Lowe’s.  I’ve never seen this scale or profile and love that they offer an additional architectural element…opposed to more metal.  We think the combination of grays will be fabulous with the metal siding.

The front of the project will be mostly glass.

Front copy

We shopped a couple of places before we grew weary of incompetent sales “professionals”.  Again, if it’s not what everybody else does…they haven’t a clue.  We decided popcorn was more alluring…oh, and a movie, too.

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Unfortunately, we didn’t see the groundbreaking version that so many have mentioned on television and in the press. We thought it was about The Butler when in all actuality it’s a political piece about civil rights.  There are some great performance “moments”.  There are some well crafted characterizations of historical figures.  There’s certainly some very emotional scenes delivered by seasoned veterans of stage and film. However, I left feeling like I saw a docudrama instead of a biopic.  The popcorn was excellent…I held off on Junior Mints as I knew we would go to dinner afterwards.

For dinner, we enjoyed our favorite Mexican Restaurant…a little slice of Guadalajara…in what used to be a Chinese restaurant next door to a meat market where Rib-eyes are $1.99 EACH!!!

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The best guac in town, flautas and enchiladas suizas…Delicioso!!!

Sunday, we were LAZY…like Outback Steakhouse for dinner LAZY…okay?!?!?!

Monday we had friends (a lovely southern belle and her nice Jewish husband, a gorgeous black woman and her French-born Jewish-turned American Christian husband) over to join us two backsliding gay boys for a Labor Day “picnic”….not normal!!!  The dinner conversation turned political and the red wine promoted lively banter and thought-provoking dialogue for some while the Peach Lemonade allowed others to occasionally comment, be embarrassed, get tickled or clip their nails (had to be there).

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Prosciutto wrapped Melon with Lavender Honey

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Chicken and Apple Sausage, Hebrew National Franks and Chuck, Sirloin & Round Burgers

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Sauerkraut, Relish, Colby Jack Cheese, Blue Cheese, Pimento Cheese

Arugula, Caramelized Onion and Oyster Mushrooms

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Baked Beans, Potato Salad and Slaw

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Last week in East Tennessee I heard about this Apple Dumpling recipe that calls for Mountain Dew…you heard me…Mountain Dew. Well, I Googled it and made it with fresh peaches. Oh, how I wish my mother could have some of this.  I also made fresh peach ice cream that reminded me of Bro. Gibson…together they were to live for!!!!  It’s sinfully rich but the kind of thing that makes you ignore the ingredients because it takes you to that special place to ponder things dear to your heart.

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You know, sometimes staying home and being with dear friends is the best relaxation one could ask for.  The house was somewhat understated…

…but a good time was had by all.

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