A Day at the Courthouse

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When I saw this sign, I wondered if I’d been transported to Birmingham, England. It wasn’t until I uploaded the above picture at home that I saw someone else had noticed and penned a correction!

 

We had been warned – it will take 4-5 hours. So, my husband took the day off for us to get our Alabama driver’s licenses and my car tag/title taken care of. He has to go back to get his tag/title taken care of. He will do that alone. We were there for six hours last Tuesday.

We decided to go the courthouse in Bessemer as it seemed the closest place to us. I came armed with a good book to read and my cell phone. In between chapters I kept my friend back home apprised of the situation via texts. She lived in Birmingham about four years ago and was quite familiar with the scenario.

Where shall I begin? We started the process about 8:40am – we were numbers 18 & 19. At 10:15am they were still on number three. There was an older gentleman who got in line, hopefully for an ID and not a driver’s license. He had a cane but was still pretty unstable. But he had no birth certificate; could be it had been written on a stone tablet somewhere. Thankfully, everyone was very kind to him before he left in search of the elusive birth certificate.

A young upstart was walking around with a shirt that read, “I’m allergic to stupid.” I wondered how he was able to get a number. Soon, everyone was inquiring about each other’s numbers. Kind of like the first day of school but without any bells to let us know when it was time to change classes, which we didn’t need anyway as we weren’t going anywhere.

My friend suggested that I could write about the life and times of two Alabama employees. Here is my introduction: “Once upon a time there were two people who were vying for the title of Least Productive Employee of the Month.”

Another young man was quite humorous. His observation of one of the employees: “She went to the bathroom and on break all in one motion”; upon finding out some people had given up and left, “We’re the last of the Mohicans.” My friends responded that at least they are well read in Bessemer.

After I got my license, I headed downstairs for the tag business. I observed a sign behind the woman who was waiting on me that made me wonder at all the Southern Hospitality I’d been experiencing since we moved. The sign said, “Unless you pay into the coffee funds, you are NOT welcome to any of the coffee supplies.” Hmmm. SOMEbody was disgruntled.

We didn’t pack a lunch and I was afraid to chew gum for fear of a loudly growling stomach, so I survived on a few tic-tacs. I was very happy when we finally got lunch/dinner about 3:30. We ate at La Brisa on John Hawkins Parkway, sitting  outside, enjoying our meal and nice cold drink. That will be for another post.

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“Hot Bama” Brown at Baumhower’s

 

4445 Creekside Avenue – just off John Hawkins Pkwy.

Hoover, AL 35244

205-403-7474

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Last Friday night we went out to an early supper at Baumhower’s. After perusing the online menu, I’d already decided to try the sand-wedge they are famous for – the “Hot Bama”. It’s featured in the “100 dishes to eat in Alabama before you die!” It’s a good thing I tried it last week, because I could have died waiting at the courthouse while getting my driver’s license. But, that’s a blog for another day.

So, the “Hot Bama” Brown was excellent. It features their Almost-Fried Turkey piled up on a slice of sourdough bread, smothered with cheeses and mushroom-beef gravy, then topped with bacon and tomato slices. It comes with a side of mashed potatoes with MORE gravy.

Next time I go I want to try either the Gulf Wild Shrimp & Grits or the Catfish Po’ Boy.

Baumhower’s 

Mountain Meadows Farm

1824 Hwy 30 – Columbiana, Al 35051  

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When we went to Pepper Place Farmers Market a few weeks ago we got some delicious strawberries. What drew me to these particular berries was the fact that they are grown without using any chemicals.

So I got my new neighbor, Suzanne, to ride out to the country with me to pick berries at Mountain Meadows Farm in Columbiana. Owner Jim Suttle describes himself as an Alabama Dirt Farmer and his slogan is “It’s all about the soil.”

We took a lot of back roads, depending solely on Flo, my phone’s GPS gal, to get us there. We were relieved and happy to see the sign for the farm and turned in.  Farmer Suttle had us follow his truck back to the berry patches and provided us with baskets to hold our berries.  (We also tasted a few as we went along the rows – so yummy!

For our return trip we took a different route that was less country roads and more highways. I am looking forward to going back next month when the blueberries and blackberries will be ready. Hopefully it will coincide with the time when some of his vegetables will also be ready.

If you like fresh, chemical free produce, check out Mountain Meadows Farm. Then, go back in December to get a fresh Christmas tree.

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Nino’s Italian Restaurant

2698 Pelham Parkway –  Pelham, AL  35124

Phone: (205) 620-1116

Hours: Sunday noon-8pm; M-T-W 11am-9pm; TH-F-S 11am-10pm

Nino’s Italian Restaurant in Pelham was a treat! A big thank-you to Mel for gathering us together there. The hospitality was great, thanks to co-owner Walter Caron. They accommodated us all at one long table. Walt read off the specials to us and was patient as we asked him to repeat some of them. I enjoyed the Shrimp and Crab Ravioli in Pomodori sauce.

This is a kid-friendly place, as you could tell when Walt held Mel’s little boy, Jacob.

I will definitely go again and would like to try Mel’s fav Hawaiian Pizza.

You can read more here: Ninos Italian Restaurant 

 

 

Target and Beyond

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Talk about Southern Hospitality! I experienced this first hand in Target, of all places. I’m used to Publix, my fav grocery store, being full of friendly and helpful employees. But Target? I had no less than six people ask me how I was doing and if I was finding everything okay. One young girl even came back a second time to check on me. But, it wasn’t just Target. When I entered Kohl’s I was greeted my three pleasant workers. And at Babies R Us – same thing.

It could just be that these particular stores had excellent managers and good training procedures. But, I never got this kind of service in Jacksonville, except, of course, at Publix. It sure makes transitioning easier!

Pepper Place and the Great Radish Discovery

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After having unpacked boxes all week, I was so glad to get out of the house today. We decided to find the Saturday Market at Pepper Place in Birmingham. I am grateful for GPS as there were a lot of turns to take. When we got there I was pleasantly surprised to find so much fresh produce. I’d gone online and found the vendors who practiced organic growing methods, so we tried to buy from them first.

One thing I bought was a bunch of radishes. Now, I’ve only had them in salads, but as I was researching the best way to keep them fresh, I discovered two things.

  1. You can eat the leaves – which we did in our salad at supper.
  2. Other people eat them with bread and butter. I tried this and can’t believe I’ve missed out on this all my life – it was delicious!

If you want fresh produce, coffee, soap, jewelry, music , and much more, visit Pepper Place.

Pepper Place

2829 2nd Avenue South
Birmingham, Alabama 35233.