I’ve Been Set Down

bham2

Birmingham, Alabama

This post is coming up from a deep well of I don’t know what. Ruminating on friendships past and future. Looking for words of wisdom from scripture and finding nuggets in unexpected places. Surfing the net sometimes provides providential words of encouragement and exhortation.

There is no ideal place for us to serve God except the place He sets us down. We are not to run from it on a whim or sudden notion, but we should serve the Lord in it by being a blessing to those among whom we live.  -Alistair Begg

I have been set down in Alabama; deposited in this south deeper than Florida. Here the grass is softer and the roads hillier; the accent thicker and the seasons more varied. Tornadoes have replaced hurricanes and I have discovered white BBQ sauce. But, God is the same. No matter how much I vacillate, He is the same.

And to quote a fictional character:

 God will put you in the right place. Even if you don’t know it at the time. –  Alec Hardy (quoting his mother)  in Broadchurch

So, I believe I’m in the right place, no matter how I “feel” about it. Maybe I have not yet seen why. But, in our pursuit of becoming foster parents, I think perhaps this is our right place. In taking the steps to follow our desire to foster, it’s been like “going down the chute”.

You can’t be that kid standing at the top of the waterslide, overthinking it. You have to go down the chute. – Tina Fey

Half the Year Gone

People are always asking, “Where did the time go?” The time goes in big and small moments, some memorable and some wasted. You can read my highlights of the first quarter of 2016 HERE.

Here are some highlights of the second quarter of my year:

  1. I got my taxes done on time
  2. Discovered Ruffner Mountain
  3. Finished out the year subbing – you can read some of those adventures HERE.  This also included the last three days of school with a great bunch of 8th graders  IMG_4822
  4. Flew to Tampa to spend time with fam. This included a late afternoon at Clearwater Beach and a gorgeous sunset sunset 
  5. Read lots of books – You can check out what I’ve read so far this year here on my Pinterest board
  6.  Made several trips to Pepper Place Market
  7. With more time in the summer, I checked out movies from the Hoover Library. It’s also a great place for lunch or a coffee!
  8. Discovered: Over Easy Cafe – delish!; Hillsboro Trail; Lazy Boy BBQ in Helena (great pork – best for take-out); Twisted Root Burger  in Vestavia (you  must check out the Chuck Norris wall!)
  9. First-time visit to Clanton for Peach Festival – highlight was getting peach ice cream.
  10. Got the first pedicure in over four years at Riveria Nails & Spa in Hoover. – so nice!
  11. Enjoyed watching the Braves beat the Marlins in Atlanta with hubby and daughter. braves

 

Looking forward to the rest of 2016!

First Quarter Gone

A quarter of 2016 has already slipped by. The following is a recap of the last three months, just covering some of the highlights.

  1. I was the voice of @BeingBham on twitter for the last week of January
  2. Had the best pork chop ever at  Gianmarcos in Homewood
  3. Got my name on the sign at Demetri’s!
  4. I met Matt Redmond, author of God of the Mundane
  5. I flew to Tampa for Juliette’s 3rd birthday and Princess Party
  6. Heard  the Vulcan Eejits at the Hoover Library
  7. Spent quite a few days subbing at RMS and PHS
  8. Rediscovered some old photos
  9. Discovered Eudora Welty

 

Redneck Foods

photo by Ryan McGuire

photo by Ryan McGuire

I realized yesterday as I was reviewing a restaurant, that two of the choices I made from menus in June both had the word REDNECK in them. First there was the Redneck Pot Pie at HomeGrown in Asheville, NC. This dish was suggested by my son and it was delish! It’s a pot pie made with BBQ chicken, cheesy grits, and a buttermilk biscuit – all in one. There is also a Redneck Cuban on their menu – perhaps next time?

Later in June we went to Dave Poe’s BBQ in Marietta, GA. Here I got the Redneck Lasagna. Man oh man was it good! It’s their creamy mac-n-cheese mixed with Brunswick stew. So excellent!

This got me to thinking – what other “redneck” foods have I savored in my life? The first thing I thought of was fried bologna sandwiches. We made this as kids – it was probably one of the first things I ever “cooked”.  Fast forward to the microwave age of my kids, and they made bologna bowls. They would put a piece of bologna on top of an inverted bowl in the microwave and nuke it. I can’t remember what went in it, but I’m pretty sure cheese was involved.

Here’s a similar version – The Hillbilly Bologna Pizza – watch below:

Please share your favorite REDNECK foods in the comment section!

Jim ‘N Nick’s Bar-B-Q

This time, in March, we visited a different location. We got the same great service as before. I had the smoked turkey which was served with a white sauce. I had it on the side; which was good as it was a tad hot for me. I also used some of their other BBQ sauce. I had the collards, which were also too spicy for me – I think I liked the creamed collards better. I had the mashed potatoes with gravy; I’ve had better. Over all the best thing was the turkey. And, of course, the company – Chuck, Erica, Tammy, and Temperance.

Address: 1810 Montgomery Hwy S, Hoover, AL 35244

Southern Legacy

During our house hunting expedition we have been able to check out  few more eateries. Last night we went to Southern Legacy on John Hawkins Parkway (Hwy. 150) in Hoover. It was a good choice. I got a fried green tomato BLT so I could compare it to the one I got at Saw’s back in November. It was delicious, but not stacked quite so high. This time I was able to pick it up and bite it! I also got the sweet potato fries. They serve craft beers as well as daily specials. I hope to go back on a Friday to try the Shrimp Po Boy. You can take a look at Southern Legacy here: http://www.legacybbq.com/

Pluses: good service, menu variety

Next time I want to try: The Shrimp Po Boy

Jim ‘n Nick’s Bar-B-Q

2831 Greystone Commercial Blvd., Birmingham, AL 35242

While visiting Birmingham for the first time, we visited this restaurant we’d spotted on the way to our hotel. It was an excellent choice.

Our waitress, Stephanie, was knowledgeable and friendly. We went the first time on a Saturday night and it wasn’t too crowded. I had smoked ham and tried creamed collards for the first time. I liked them, and the helping was just right because I could not have eaten a large portion of them. The ham was tender and moist and I took some back to the hotel for breakfast the next morning.

The next afternoon we went back for lunch. it was very crowded but worth the wait. Stephanie stopped by our table and spoke to us. The night before she had recommended the “Loaded Mac” so that’s what I ordered this time. It was delish – mac-n-cheese topped with roasted pork.

One thing that drew us back was the freshness. Stephanie had explained how their food was made fresh every day and there were no large coolers to hold any pre-made items.

Pluses: They carry local craft beers; they sell their BBQ sauce and cheese cornbread mix ; they also sell T-Shirts.

Interesting: One of the appetizers is deviled eggs.

Next time: I’d like to try the BUTTERBEAN & SMOKED MUSHROOM HUMMUS which is a southern take on traditional hummus, served with cornbread and celery.