Wednesday, February 10, 2016

January Miscellany


Mama and I tried out a cool little lunch spot in Tifton the other day. It is an old service station. They had awesome food and I love the style of the building: gray, orange, and filled with rusty stuff.


We celebrated Daddy’s birthday. Y’all, these Oreo cakes from Publix are amazing!


Sadly, our little Walmart Neighborhood Market was going out of business after just barely a year. Not wanting to miss out on the opportunity for a sale, Justin and I stocked up on diapers for Georgia while they were 25% off. We went back later when we realized almost no one had bought formula and snagged it at 50-75% off. My theory is that if we end up not needing the formula or if she takes a different kind, we can always donate it to those in need. This was an amazing deal. We saved hundreds of dollars on things we are going to need and it makes me feel good knowing we have a stockpile of the essentials for when she arrives.

IMG_5390 IMG_5392

Speaking of deals, I got this amazing black pea coat at my favorite local thrift store for $20. I have been looking for a professional style coat that I can dress up or down but am gun-shy about spending a lot of money since I hopefully won’t be this pregnant lady size forever. I took it home and realized it still had the store tag on it for $130! Talk about a steal!


Publix had forcing vases with hyacinth bulbs in them for $4 each a few weeks ago. I have been looking for a forcing vase when I am in junk stores but I have only managed to find the expensive vintage ones for $30-40 each. Too rich for my blood! This was perfect for me and my SIL went back and got me a third one the next day.


Wyatt is a sucker for stuffed animals and I snagged this one up for him. You would have thought I had bought him a car. He was so excited to have it. I like that he is appreciative of the little things, for now at least.

IMG_5452 IUOO9815

We pulled up some of the turnips that the bugs had destroyed for the chickens. There were several that were as big as Wyatt’s head! Doc Bunny and the chickens devoured the fresh veggies and were decidedly more happy for the rest of the day!

IMG_5529 IMG_5545 IMG_5548

I bought Justin a Yeti cup for Christmas. It was a lot for a CUP. I didn’t see the value in it until he forgot it at home a few days. I filled my cup with ice and a drink and by lunch time the ice was still there. Heck, by supper time it was still there! Even still I would never spend that kind of money on myself for a CUP.  I saw a local farm store selling image wrapped cups and sent a screenshot to Justin. There were camouflage ones and I told him I should have waited to get him one of those. He saw the seafoam paisley one and knew I wouldn’t buy one for myself. He and Wyatt stopped by my office with a gift bag in hand saying “just because they love me!” What a sweet man I have. I even noticed it matches my notebook I use for work perfectly! With my hands on this beauty I still didn’t want to spring for the $20 handle that is sold in some stores. I really needed one because this is one heck of a cup and I have small hands. With some googling, I found a tutorial from a man who used a Tervis Tumbler handle (only $6!) and boiled it to make it slightly pliable to stretch the top band for a snug fit. It worked! I am so excited about this. Probably more than I should be for a CUP with a HANDLE. It’s the little things, I say!

Friday, February 5, 2016

It’s a girl! And she has a name!


When Justin, Wyatt, and I went to my appointment to find out the gender of baby Cook #2, he mentioned that he wanted to be the only one who knew because he wanted to surprise me. I agreed knowing that he wanted to be in on the fun and he really liked the idea of torturing our sisters by knowing what we were having and not telling them. I patiently waited and didn’t bug him too much about when he was going to reveal the big news. He said “when” was part of the surprise. I was at home getting things ready for supper one day when Justin arrived home from picking Wyatt up from school. Wyatt and Justin each had gift bags. When I opened the one from Wyatt there was a red and black tutu gift set. I couldn’t believe it! Crying, I asked Justin if that meant what I thought it did and he said that yes, we were definitely having a girl. It was so incredibly sweet for him to shop for girl clothes and make it a surprise for me. I think it turned out even better than I could have hoped for.


What we had definite trouble with was her name. I was stressing so much because I felt like we needed to have that one checked off the list. The only problem was that there were so many names and none of my choices were overlapping with Justin’s. From before the time I even knew I was having a girl, Georgia stuck out at me. I loved Jorja Fox’s name (Sara Sidle from CSI) without the funky spelling. It is so classic and feminine and yet it could be a B.A. take-no-prisoners tough gal’s name too. Justin had his heart set on Loretta but I just couldn’t bring myself to compromise. I didn’t feel the name at all and never warmed to it. One day when I was particularly stressed Justin told me to close my eyes and tell him what I really wanted her name to be. Georgia came right out with little hesitation. He had been on board with the name but pressure from our sisters was weighing him down. I agreed that we could compromise and name her Georgia Loretta although my heart wasn’t in it 100%. I guess that’s why this man has my heart; he knows me through and through. He said he didn’t want to do that and asked what I thought about Lou. I saw this as an opportunity to meet him in the middle. It’s an old-fashioned name, which is what we liked, and it seemed to flow well with Georgia. I could see it working.


We tried out several other name combinations and we kept coming back to Georgia Lou. We decided that was it. Just like that our baby girl had a name!

Of course, Justin wouldn’t leave it at just that. He had to draw it out a little longer for our sisters. They play right into his hand. The first night Justin texted them and my mama and his mama were in bed already. He waited until the next day and when he knew he had the whole group’s attention, he let the cat out of the bag. I love to see their reactions and being able to capture it as a whole conservation was worth the text!

Now that she officially has her name, I have found myself saying it as much as possible to get used to it. It is weird saying “Georgia” instead of “her” or “the baby” but now that it has had a week to sink in, I couldn’t imagine her having any other name!

Yes, the jokes have already started rolling in but I don’t care. No she isn’t going to be called “Georgia Grown.” No, Brother-In-Law, you cannot call her Bulldogs and get away with it. I know it’s all in good fun. Wait until she grows up to be a sassy little thing like her mama. She will set them straight! Smile

IMG_5598 IMG_5599 IMG_5600 IMG_5601 IMG_5602 IMG_5603 IMG_5604 IMG_5605 IMG_5606   IMG_5612

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Young Farmers



Justin and I have been relatively active in agriculture; me, more for my job. Justin has always helped with the local canning plant every year and our former ag teacher got us to join the Turner County Young Farmers program. I felt like a semi-imposter but Justin reminded me that we have interests in having cows and I have worked in the ag field for nearly 8 years. I have truly enjoyed my time so far with this program. Dennis is doing a great job sourcing out programs and activities. Our first official tour was to visit Golden Peanut Company. I have lived in Ashburn for 23 years and for some of that time my house was directly behind the processing facility. I never once thought I would get to tour the facility and see how it all worked. I enjoyed seeing how they get peanuts directly from the farmers and buying points and clean, shell, and prep them for further processing.

IMG_3971 IMG_3973 IMG_3978


Our second tour was to Sconyers Gin. Again, I have lived here my whole life and worked in the ag field for a while and have never seen a cotton gin in operation. My Uncle Louie works there and it never even crossed my mind to ask to visit. The whole process is very fast and efficient. I just learned that Turner County’s farmers grow some of the highest quality cotton in the state so that is exciting to hear!

 IMG_5338 IMG_5321 IMG_5322 IMG_5329 IMG_5333 IMG_5335 

My favorite event so far was the Georgia Young Farmers Association annual conference at Jekyll Island. I worked as much as I was an attendee because the place was filled with my colleagues and people I have known for many years. Justin even talked to a friend at the Georgia Cattlemen’s Association about starting a local chapter in Turner County for young people interested in raising beef cattle.

Dennis talked me into giving a speech about the importance of agriculture for one of the competitions and even to enter the photography contest. I didn’t win but I learned a lot and feel like I will definitely be more prepared for next year. I probably worried the mess out of him with my nervous questions. Not knowing what to expect is hard for a first-time competitor. We had a large group at the event and our chapter won the award for the largest growth in membership for this past year. I believe this is a fabulous organization and I can’t wait to become more involved.

Young Farmers Conference 2016


Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Meet Gus

My friends at White Oak Pastures mentioned on Facebook that they had two puppies that were too human-friendly to serve as guard dogs for the livestock and were looking for a home for the pups. After talking it over with Justin, we decided May could use a pal to hang around. Plus these puppies were an unusual mix: they are Great Pyrenees/Australian shepherds. Justin said we can call him a Great shepherd.

IMG_5424 IMG_5425

We traveled over to Bluffton with a detour to see my friend Katy at her new home in Alabama. This shy pup was weary of us and the attention Wyatt wanted to pay him but he warmed up pretty quickly. We decided after nearly a week to name him Gus. It’s an inside joke that it’s short for August since we have a May, but I think just Gus suits him. He is quickly learning to sit, getting along well with May and Cinnamon/Puss in Boots the name-confused cat, and loves to chase Wyatt around. I think he will be a great addition to our family!

IMG_5638 IMG_5640 IMG_5697