Monday, September 21, 2009

I'm beginning to think I may need an ark. It has rained and rained and rained in Tuscaloosa. We've had our ferns out in the yard for the past week, and they are loving it! And my grass has never been greener.

But there are times when I wish the rain would stop. And there were several of those times this past weekend.

Thursday night, Heather came in from the hospital and said that she thought something had bit her all over. She was itching and her skin was blotchy. She took some benadryl and went to bed. Then Friday morning, she woke up looking like a freak show. She was swollen all over and was covered in hives. So she went to the doctor and found out that she was having a reaction to the antibiotics that she was taking for the crud she'd had the week before. They gave her a shot and put her on a week of steroids, and it seems to be helping a little.

Friday night, our friend Jessica came over while Chris was doing ballgame parking stuff with the Scouts. We sat outside until the rain forced us back in, and then Heather and Jessica worked on shelling the peas I had brought home Thursday.

Notice how Heather looks like a China-man with her swollen eyes.

Saturday morning, we woke to heavy showers outside. I had gone out to the Quad at noon on Friday and put our tents out. So on Saturday, we just had to take the chairs and cooler and food. We got ready and headed on over and were on the Quad a few minutes past 8am. Chris and Jessica arrived shortly after.

We normally have a huge tailgating group. But this weekend, the usual folks weren't making it out there for one reason or another. So since it was just the 4 of us, we decided to keep things simple.

But our lives are never simple.

It was raining when we got out on the Quad. And when we got to our spot, one of the tents had collapsed under the weight of all the rain. So I got absolutely drenched from the start. But I got the tent somewhat put back together, and we finally got things set up so we could relax.

Sorry those pics are so blurry. Something funny was going on with the camera on my phone.

The sun finally came out, and of course the Tide rolled and rolled! It was a great day!

We did end up getting wet one more time before we left the Quad, so yesterday I hung everything out to dry before packing it all back up.

This should be a big weekend for us. Arkansas may put up a fight. I'm sure we'll be ready for them though.

Ya'll have a great week. Roll Tide!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Happy Labor Day!

City Hall is closed today for Labor Day. So I took advantage of having peace and quiet around the office and got caught up on some things that needed to get off of my desk.

When I got downtown this morning, I noticed police on every corner. And it looked like they were in their personal vehicles, even though they were in uniform.

Hmmm.... That got me wondering what was going on. But I came on inside and started working.

But, ya'll may remember that we had a bomb threat here a few months ago. And those kind of things just don't really ever leave your mind. Always a chance some fool will do something crazy.

So I emailed our City Clerk, Tracy Croom, who usually knows if something is going on. I knew it would go straight to her Blackberry and she'd let me know if I needed to get out fast.

Then I heard drums. And I looked out the window and saw a band.

It's the Labor Day parade!

I immediately sent Tracy a message back and told her I'd figured it out. Then I went downstairs to watch the parade.

Something funky was going on with my phone, so the pics aren't great.

But here's what I got. Sorry about all the equipment and orange cones in the pictures. Downtown is still under construction.

No matter how large or small, you just gotta love a parade!

Happy Labor Day!!

Roll Tide

I have 2 things to write about today. And the first is how pumped up I am for this coming weekend. It's our first gameday in Tuscaloosa, and we've been phoning and emailing with all our tailgate crew to get ready for the big day.

This past Saturday, the Tide rolled over VA Tech in Atlanta! As I told you a while back, I sold my tickets this year and watched the game at home with friends.

Friday afternoon, I was just sick over my decision. I just couldn't believe I had actually thought to do such a thing. What kind of a fan am I?

Then Saturday morning, I got up to a rainy day. Clouds and rain were doing nothing to boost my spirits. I turned on ESPN Gameday and then turned it off. I couldn't watch it.

So I loaded up Hershey and we went over to Chris and Jessica's to help them with a landscape project they were working on. Jessica's parents were here from Pelham to help, and they actually had very little left to do when Hershey and I arrived. It poured down rain at one point, and we had to move under the porch for a bit, but after about 2 hours, their back yard was finished. I took a couple of pictures with my phone. I'm sure they won't mind me sharing.

The area with all the rocks was an area where the water just poured through their back yard. So Chris built a "dry creek bed" for the water to flow through. Since it was constantly raining, we all got to see that it works as planned. They did a great job, and quite frankly, I am now wanting to do the same in the bottom part of our yard where the rainwater flows from the neighbors yard on its way to the creek out back.

About 4pm, Adam go to the house and we started watching the Georgia game. Then our friends, Libby and Megan, from Birmingham arrived. Then Jack & Leigh Kennedy with their new little girl, Emma. (Emma only stayed about 30 minutes since she has only been home from the hospital a week. Then Leigh's mom came and took her back home.) Then Chris and Jessica, and Katie and Aidan and Ethan all arrived.

I'm sorry, but I forgot to take pictures. I'm not sure all of the food would have fit in a picture anyway. I had lost about 20 pounds until Saturday, and I'm sure over the past couple of days, I have put 5 of them back on.

We ate and drank and cheered on the Tide (and Auburn, too). And it was a great night for the Tide and the Tigers both. We have such great friends, and I didn't regret my decision to stay in town one bit! It was an awesome night!

I made something new that our friend, Debbie Watson, makes. It's a cheese ring with strawberry preserves. Oh my gosh, it was so good. I told several people Saturday night that I would share the recipe, and most of them read this, so I'll share with all of ya'll. Here goes....

Cheese Ring

1 pound of finely shredded cheddar (sharp and mild mixed)
2 cups of mayo
1 package of cooked bacon pieces
1 tsp cayenne pepper
3 or 4 finely chopped green onions
strawberry preserves

Mix everything except the preserves together in a bowl.

Then pour into a round mold. (I didn't have a round mold, so I used a flat round pyrex dish, lined it with plastic wrap, and put a small round dish in the middle to leave a hole.)

Cover and refrigerate overnight.

When you get ready to serve, turn the whole thing over onto a plate, or cake server, or whatever you want. Then remove the mold and the plastic wrap.

Fill the center with the preserves and spread preserves over the entire top of the cheese mold.

We served ours with Sociables and Wheat Thins and it was good with both.

Note: I do have a fish mold, but Heather told me that the preserves would make it look like a bloody fish, and I didn't think that would be too appetizing.

I may do this again for the tailgate this weekend.

Roll Tide! Ya'll have a great week!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Trying New Things

Every morning on my way to work I pass this little drive-thru coffee shop called "Cuppy's." For a while there, I stopped every morning. I kinda got hooked on their vanilla latte, and thought I couldn't start my day without one.

At the same time, I was on a big time diet, but I never even thought about the calories in that latte until Heather's sister pointed it out to me. Cheryl works for Royal Cup Coffee in Birmingham, so she's our go-to person when it comes to anything coffee related. She told me that I should ask for a "skinny" latte, which is made with skim milk instead of whole, and that I should ask for sugar-free vanilla syrup. So I changed to that.

Then Cuppy's changed the syrup to another brand, and my coffee started having a medicinal after-taste to it. So I quit it cold turkey and just started drinking coffee at the office.

Until this week.

I've stopped 3 times and until today I've just gotten a large regular coffee. But this morning I thought I'd try the latte again.

"I'd like a large sugar-free vanilla skinny latte, please."

Maybe I spoke too fast for the girl to understand. Or maybe it was just too early in the morning for communication. Regardless, when she handed me my drink, I thought, "what the hell is this?"

Yeah, that's ice. In my coffee.

I've heard of iced coffees, and I've seen them in the cooler at convenience stores, and I've always thought that sounded pretty nasty. So when she handed me an iced latte, I figured I'd just wasted $4 and some change.

But then I tasted it. And it is gooooood!!!!!!!

I wish I had two.

So cheers to trying new things.

Alabama football is day after tomorrow!

Roll Tide!

Ya'll have a great day.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


There it is. The very thing that has been keeping me away from you all so long. It's the Mayor's budget recommendation, and it has consumed my life for the past month. Last night he presented his budget to the City Council in the form of a power point presentation. The news is bleak. We have a lot less to operate with this year than last year.

But Tuscaloosa is in a whole lot better shape than other cities in our state, and we should weather this economic storm and be ok.

So over the next 3 weeks, the council will go over the budget line by line and should have the final draft ready to adopt on September 29th.

Maybe I'll have time to write a little more. I still haven't posted about our fishing trip weekend before last. Thanks for hanging in there with me.

3 days til Alabama Football!!!!

Roll Tide, ya'll. Have a great day!