Saturday, July 31, 2010

We had brunch at the Main Street Coffee Co. I had the peach smoothie and Chris had the cafe mocha. My croissant and his bagel hadn't arrived yet.

Here's something you don't see every day: a turquoise building. Well, I guess maybe you could see it every day, if you lived in Abbeville.

Our lives are pretty hectic. Every now and then my husband and I try to get away, just for a little while. When we were living in Maryland, we discovered that we really enjoyed going to Bed and Breakfast Inns - especially those that are close to downtown historic areas, with lots of great restaurants and antique shoppes. (Yah, me! I married a guy who enjoys antique shopping.) We visited some great inns in Frederick, Maryland, Fredericksburg, Va, and Lititz, PA. Since we've moved home, we've really enjoyed The Carriage House in Aiken, SC - and just this weekend, we visited Veranda on Main in Abbeville, SC.

Abbeville has a ton of history (The Confederacy both was born and died here.) and they also have an Opera House with an interesting history and a beautiful old Episcopal church. We're Episcopalians, so we always try to tour these churches when we find them. They're almost always very old and very beautiful, with some fascinating architecture.

Here are some pictures we took in Abbeville. Check it out if you're ever in the area, definitely worth the trip. Especially Veranda on Main, Thom and Linda are wonderful hosts and you'll feel right at home.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Maters to Marinara

The bad news is that we haven't had a lot of rain this summer, so the tomatoes are small. The good news is, this makes them that much sweeter. We brought home these tomatoes today from my aunt and uncle's garden. Right now, they are happily lining our kitchen windows, not knowing that as soon as they redden just a little bit more, they're going to be turned into some yummy marinara sauce.

At least that's the plan.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

We went to my friend Angela's house in Monetta on Sunday. Angela has a wonderfully relaxing pool and a wonderful husband named Steve. She also has a great garden and fruit trees in her yard. We came home with some cucumbers, pears, and crabapples. I'm not a fan of cucumbers - but I do like pickles and Angela recommended this recipe:

It was easy to follow and made some delicious Bread and Butter pickles. They remind me of generations of women in my family who made this kind of pickle. I didn't inherit their pickle-making talents, so I was very happy to find a recipe with such nice results. My family breathed a collective sigh of relief.

Monday, July 26, 2010


If you don't see an After picture in the next few days, it's probably best not to ask.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Kayaking in the early morning on a lake so fine and still that it looks like a mirror has to be one of the most peaceful things to do ever. Here, Chris and I are headed to 2 small islands near Broyles Recreation Area.

We are loving living near Lake Hartwell. There are a lot of State Recreation Areas here, with nice little beaches, picnic areas, and boat launches. The scenery is gorgeous, too. Maybe one day soon we'll try some more adventurous river kayaking, but for now we are loving the peacefulness of kayaking on a beautiful lake.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Almost Wordless Wednesday

Can you tell by the slightly outdated issue of Southern Living where we've decided to go for our 20th anniversary?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Here's one of the planters outside our front door. I found lantana this year - it's gorgeous! I have this yellow in the planter and a bright red, orange, and yellow out in the yard. Too bad I can't tell the annuals from the perennials.

Monday, July 19, 2010


Um. What to make when people keep giving you cucumbers and your best pickle-attempt tasted like Aunt Bee's? How about raita - a yummy dish from India that accents spicy foods with a lovely coolness. Not much to look at, but it sure it tasty and easy to make. It helps to have mint growing right outside your back door - mucho thanks to John and Leigh!

Here's the recipe I used, from epicurious. Fresh ingredients, kosher salt, and freshly ground pepper make it especially good.

Cucumber-Mint Raita

1 large unpeeled English hothouse cucumber, halved, seeded, coarsely grated
2 cups plain whole-milk yogurt
1/4 cup (packed) chopped fresh mint
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon plus pinch of cayenne pepper
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Wrap grated cucumber in kitchen towel and squeeze dry. Whisk yogurt, mint, cumin, and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper in medium bowl to blend. Add cucumbers and toss to coat. Season raita to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Keep refrigerated.) Sprinkle raita with pinch of cayenne pepper and serve.

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Just for fun, to start things out: Here's the view from our back door. Our 'new' 111 year old house will probably feature prominently in this new blog. It definitely has its own personality - and perhaps a friendly ghost or two.

Everything old is new again.

Here's the very first post in my brand new blog. I should probably say something profound. Maybe later.

My plan for this blog is to chronicle my journey back home to South Carolina after my husband's 20 year career in the USMC. People told me that I couldn't go home again - I'd be disappointed, too much would have changed. I'm happy to say that they were wrong. I'm thrilled to be back!

So, here I go, 500 miles back down I-95, with a husband, 5 children, and 3 dogs in tow.

Should be interesting.