Monday, March 31, 2014

Lighting Upgrades

We have a great thrift store in Tifton that Justin and I try to visit at least once every two weeks. They get store returns and sell them for pretty awesome prices. This is the same store where we purchased our new ceiling fan and area rug I mentioned before.

We stopped in there last week and found a great chandelier for the dining nook. Justin took it up to the cashier since there was no price marked while I continued to browse. He came back wordlessly and slipped it into our cart. I gave him a questioning look and he whispered, “Twelve dollars,” as if someone might snatch it up! I couldn’t believe what a great deal it was. The owners said since it wasn’t in a box, they couldn’t tell if all the pieces were there. Luckily, Justin is an outstanding home electrician and could tell there was nothing missing. It’s not a terribly expensive light to start with—around $50 at Home Depot—but that’s still a great savings! I have really got to get better at this photography thing, but I get so excited and snap away on my iPhone all the time.


Dining Nook Before Dining Nook After

We also got a wall mounted swing arm lamp. The initial plan was to put in beside our headboard in our room, but Justin tried it out in the living room. It is great there. This was another find the same day at the thrift store. This one was only $10. The shade is cracked but that is an easy upgrade. I’ll pick out a new shade and it will be good as new!

Swing Arm Lamp

This lamp is around $40 at Home Depot, so overall, we saved about $65 on two lights. Not too shabby if I do say so myself!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Quick photo session

Wyatt and I were visiting Mama and Daddy for supper one night and Sami mentioned that she wanted to go take some pictures of Wyatt in a field down the road. We had a good time, except when Wy was chasing Sami and knocked his nose on here camera. He’s fine, the camera’s fine…
I love snapping shots of Sami in action. She gets down on the ground, in the mud, on her belly, anything to get the shot. She leans over sideways and I think Wyatt is getting the idea of what to do. Sometimes to get him to cooperate with pictures, she lets him take some of her. She is brave to let him handle the camera (always with me inches away). I love how much he dips his head over to focus just like she does!
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I snapped this one on my phone. I call it “Last Breath of a Dandelion” because 0.2 seconds later, Wyatt kicked it and it puffed everywhere. 
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These are all of her pictures. I can’t get over how talented she is!
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Friday, March 28, 2014

Marching on Along

March has been very busy around the Cook house. Here is just a taste of what’s been going on. One sunshiney Saturday, Amanda, Desiree, and I started cleaning up at Grannie and Papa’s house. Amanda made the best little picnic for the kids and used an ironing board for a table. The kids got a real kick out of it.
Someone found an umbrella hat up there too. It’s going to be added to Justin’s fire clown wardrobe if it manages to fit over his big orange wig.
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I love these two! They were happy and relaxed after a big dinner one night.
I made a few Pinterest projects too. It was time to make another batch of my homemade powdered laundry detergent. I use this recipe.
My nephew Jake rescued this old window frame. I just screwed some cup hooks on it and it makes a great key/sunglasses rack. I originally planned to fill the frames with pictures, but my SIL suggested chicken wire and using small clothes pins to attach mail, papers for school, etc. I will post a final picture when I decide which option I like best.
Wyatt said he was “just resting” on the dogs’ bed one afternoon when we were out working in the yard.
Justin made this awesome light from galvanized pipes and old power insulators. He is the best! I didn’t even know he was working on it and he just showed up one afternoon with it painted. It goes PERFECTLY on the sewing table I got from Justin’s Grannie’s sewing shop right behind my sofa.
Justin stopped by a yard sale one day and found this cute little red rocking chair for Wyatt for a steal—$5! It is neat with our two beat up rockers on our front patio. I need to brush off the old paint on ours and give them a new coat.
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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Fun on the Job

I have a really great job. I get to work with agribusiness companies and help them start {and grow!} their businesses. I have been traveling with a colleague for a few days over the past few weeks to see what south GA has to offer. There is so much I have never even heard of. I am glad I get to experience all of these neat things and promote an industry I love.
During one of our travel days, we visited Sweet Georgia Baking Company in Americus. Of course, we couldn’t turn down sharing a slice of chocolate walnut whiskey pie, made with corn whiskey from Thirteenth Colony. Boy was it rich! I needed a glass of milk afterward. It was delicious.
We also visited Perry Wellness Center. It is a wonderful mental health day facility. Part of the activities include growing fruits, vegetables, and plants for their farmers market. PWC also has wonderful arts and crafts. I can’t wait to take Justin to see it!
The folks there got a grant to build a new greenhouse. Its walls are all windows. It is a real beauty.
They have wonderful art installations throughout the property. This wonderful archway was even worked on by former First Lady Rosalyn Carter.
I think I see a few projects for Justin in my future. I love the corrugated metal planter boxes and the funky bathtub would be a really neat fish pond.
Later that afternoon, we stopped at Lane Southern Orchards. My photog sister Sami took my middle sister Suzi’s maternity pictures here the day before. The peach blossoms are just beautiful!
We also visited a tilapia farm where they grow over 250,000 pounds of tilapia a year! It was amazing to see.
I absolutely love this grain-silo-turned-fire-pit. I sent pictures to Justin and he is on the hunt for an old silo to do this at our house now.
I also got to see a carrot packing shed in operation. These carrots were brought in from the fields in huge containers and are cleaned, packaged, sorted by size (some were cut down to baby carrot size), and sent out across the country. I see their brand in Publix all the time!
Justin cooked a fabulous meal earlier this week and reminded me it was a true “Georgia Grown” meal: deer he killed in Byromville, potatoes and cabbage grown by Jake and Ben and the rest of the Cook/Perry family, and butterbeans and strawberries for the pound cake (not in this picture) from Calhoun Produce.
We have a lot of great things around us if we just take the time to check it out!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Wyatt’s PawPaw Tree

I mentioned in an earlier blog post how I love what I call “tulip trees.” It turns out they are actually Japanese magnolia trees. I have always wanted one in my yard since I first noticed them on the Georgia Southern campus when I was in college.
On the day of Mr. Theron’s visitation, Justin came inside and told me to come look in our front yard. There, seemingly overnight, a tree in our front yard was bursting with beautiful pink “tulip tree” blooms! Since we moved into our house in November, we didn’t know what kinds of trees and flowers we had.
On the morning of the funeral, I called my mama with tears in my eyes telling her about how God gives you exactly what you need when you need it. I needed to see those blossoms. I needed the reminder of the renewal spring brings and the hope for better things to come. Seeing those blooms gave me a little bit of comfort on such a hard day.
Mama said that she and Daddy wanted to get us something more permanent than flowers in memory of Mr. Theron and decided that a tulip tree was exactly what we needed. She said when it blooms every year around the same time, it would serve as a perfect reminder of him. They bought a tree for us and told Wyatt the story of how that would be his “PawPaw tree.”
Justin and I looked around for the best place to put it and decided that a spot in the front flower bed where another tree once stood would be the perfect place. Wyatt “helped” Justin plant it, and I just know that it will brighten up our yard for many years to come and serve as the perfect reminder of what we have lost and what great things each spring can bring.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Marching on into spring

So far, our weather has been definitely temperamental in South Georgia this year. Saturday, the sun was shining and Wyatt and I spent most of the day outside. Justin had come down with the virus Wyatt and I had the week before and I was doing my best to keep Wyatt quiet for Justin to rest.
The girls definitely loved running around in the sun, splashing in the muddy ditches, and chasing Wyatt.
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Because I was trying to keep Wyatt out of Justin’s hair, I fixed us a picnic and we carried it out to the front patio and ate our lunch in our old beat up rocking chairs, watching the dogs chase each other in the front yard.
This year, spring is coming like Christmas. We moved to our new house in November when everything was brown and ugly and now flowers are popping out everywhere. We have plants we didn’t even know we had. It seems like the daffodils appeared overnight and everything is making its way out into the world. I have a great story to tell about my “tulip trees” but that will be for another post.
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