Monday, June 29, 2015


Last week, I had the pleasure of meeting with Captain Randy Cuthrell of the shrimping vessel the B.D. Judge (get it? Their cards say, “You be the judge!”) and learned about Georgia Grown wild-caught shrimp and what makes their operation special.


Captain Randy had shrimp gravy, boiled shrimp, shrimp creole (what I liken to shrimp etouffee), grits, and rice. They have some of his recipes on the boat’s website: I really liked the shrimp creole with rice!


Captain Randy and his crew were oh-so-patient with our 1,001 questions. I think I asked at least that many on my own.

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After a slow start, we made our way out of the marshes and into the Atlantic Ocean. Despite the water being relatively calm, I got a little sea sick—never actually sick but definitely feeling a little green—so I popped the Dramamine I forgot to take that morning and rested a bit.


It was neat to see the shrimp nets in action and understand the hows and whys of the operation. Captain Randy’s boat was one of the first few boats in the U.S. that used onboard flash freezing systems, meaning that the shrimp are frozen within an hour of bringing them onboard and then are stored in 100 pound bags in a deep freezer until they are ready to be sold, locking in the flavor without adding any additional chemicals like STPP (sodium tripolyphosphate), which is common among some fishing operations.

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I got some new lenses for my phone and I couldn’t help but overuse the fisheye lens. I also got a wide-angle lens and a macro lens, but those didn’t get as much use.

Our Georgia Grown intern, Callie, with a crab caught in the nets.

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After almost five hours on the water, we saw storm clouds brewing and made our way back to the dock. Luckily we had the nice air-conditioned cabin to keep us dry as we asked the last of our questions.


We made it back safely to the dock and thanked the crew for such wonderful hospitality. I drove home happily from Savannah with 10 pounds of shrimp in the cooler, which made for a very happy family back home!


Saturday, June 13, 2015

Stuff That Doesn’t Go Anywhere Else!

This was Wyatt’s suitcase to go to his Grandma and Pa’s house—90% stuffed animals, 10% clothes. This kid never ceases to make me laugh.
Wyatt was a great helper when I had to work for Georgia Grown at a local farmers market.IMG_8605
My Ashburn Women’s Club secret pal is amazing! She bought/made? me this adorable chicken door hanger with its big chalkboard belly. I think it fits my personality and taste perfectly!
I made a happy little discovery that my new favorite candles fit perfectly on the mason jar wall sconces Amanda made me for Christmas. It’s not a good idea to leave them unattended like this but it’s great when we are home.
Wyatt got t-ball pictures back. I love looking back at these pictures to see how much the babies have changed over time.
I posted this onto my social media a few weeks ago:

THIS is why I love living in a small town and shopping local, specifically with the Piggly Wiggly! While I run in to Walmart occasionally, the folks at the Pig all make a special effort to speak, shake hands, load my groceries in the car, and make Wy feel special. Mr. Bill let Wyatt take the price gun and help out today, making him feel like a rock star. They've been rocking sales lately and even beat Walmart's price on the Dr. Pepper 6-packs I love. Thanks, PW!

Wyatt helped take care of Aunt Sami’s flowers at the studio while she was on vacation. He might be my little green thumb yet!
Also, perks of keeping the Perry Family’s chickens fed and watered? FREE eggs! Our chickens are freeloaders, too young to lay eggs yet but I did snatch these up from the nest boxes the other day.
I grabbed up these awesome finds at a yard sale for less than $5. Justin and I were just talking about how we wanted a divided dish to heat up veggies in. He and I eat completely different vegetables and Wyatt eats them all, so we always end up with tons of pots on the stove. It was amazing to find this vintage Pyrex divided dish in this dreamy turquoise with its matching lid. The man even threw in this cute Georgia peach cardboard basket. I think it’s a cute piece of vintage Georgiana.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Aminals Everywhere!

For the week of Memorial Day while my in-laws were on vacation, there were 90+ souls on our little scrap of land. Aminals—Wyatt’s word—took over everywhere! We had Amanda and Michael’s chicks in the brooder, our cats and kittens, our chicks, our chickens, May, the fish, and the guineas, PLUS Lucy and her 11 puppies! It was literally a zoo at our house!
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We have been letting the chicks hang out a little outside of their brooder and it is too cute to see them with the kittens.
The big cats made a tasty meal out of a black snake in our yard. Good kitties! Later that same night I found each of them with huge field rats’ tails hanging out of their mouths. Maybe they will turn out to be good hunters after all.
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Wyatt and May shared some fresh watermelon one night after supper. I have never seen a dog enjoy a piece of watermelon like that!
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While we had 11 puppies and Lucy hanging around, Wyatt and Pax definitely showed them some love. They were so cute but they all got tangled up under our feet, so we had little yelps every now and then when we inadvertently stepped on paws or tails. It’s a true wonder I didn’t fall and bust my butt trying to feed them every day!
Our visitors are back at their own homes now, leaving us with a more manageable 50-ish mouths to feed. PHEW!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Water Gun Art

Pinterest can give me some of the best ideas and get me into some of the biggest messes—particularly if I don’t read the full instructions or the follow up comments. I saw a pin on Pinterest that showed using water guns and paint to make some creative art. I took one look at the photo and decided to step out and do my own thang with Wyatt. I picked up some flat canvas boards and some cheap acrylic paint at JoAnn’s.
I decided I wanted to try to make some white space letters out of painter tape.
After that, I filled up some cheap dollar store water guns with about 50/50% water to paint.
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I set Wyatt lose on the boards. He really had a lot of fun with this project.
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I realize now that the paint/water blend was too runny. The paint seeped under that painters tape and we lost a good bit of the letter outline. Next time I’ll just let Wy go to town painting with the water guns.
He still loved them and and we had a lot of fun so I’m gonna call this Pin-spired project a win in my book!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

June Garden Update

I am so excited for the summer months at our house. It means the garden is plentiful, the flowers smell amazing, and life is bursting with color!
I planted ten different kinds of flowers for my new cutting garden. I know it’s silly to plant annuals, but I love the idea of my house being filled with asters and wildflowers and dahlias.
The caterpillars are back! They eat my fennel plant and I get the benefit of black swallowtail butterflies for the rest of the summer. It’s a win-win situation.
I wish I had even a minute bit of floral arranging skills. My sister-in-law Amanda could make Martha Steward jealous with her flower skills but I get only as technical as sticking my pretties in a mason jar with a flower frog on top. I still love the colors and the smells my yard has to offer.
Speaking of smells, my two huge gardenia bushes just finished blooming and my entire yard smells like heaven.
I dug up some gladiolous from the ditch in the dirt road and transplanted them to our back patio. I stopped by our old house in town and the ones I transplanted there were all doing exceptionally well.
One of our researchers on campus had done some work and had tons of fresh basil for free! I never pass up on fresh basil, so I went home and whipped up some southern pecan pesto. I then had to go out to the store and buy up some of my very own basil plants so I could have fresh pesto all summer.
We have been picking squash, cucumbers, and bell peppers all the time! We have blanched and frozen squash, made stuffed bell peppers, and my favorite thing: made pickles.
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We have made two kinds of fermented pickles so far: traditional garlic dill and some horseradish ones that I cannot WAIT to get my hands on!

Saturday, June 6, 2015


It’s splash pad time again in Ashburn! I don’t know how the kids at Wyatt’s daycare can stand to see all of the kids at the splash pad and not drive their teachers crazy to go over there. I don’t know; they might drive their teachers crazy anyway but they’re too nice to tell the parents!

We hit up the splash pad with Liam, Pax, Suzi, and David after church one Sunday. Pax was pretty good about the cold water for the most part.

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Leave it to my crazy boy to find the one patch of mud in the whole place! He was on the front page of our hometown weekly newspaper The Wiregrass Farmer this week as a result.



These boys don’t need a fancy splash pad to have fun though. We sat out in the yard and they had just as much fun with the water hose and the mud puddles there too!

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