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April 09, 2008

Visitors from way up North

Yesterday Uncle Chas, Chas Jr, and Melissa came for a visit.

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And they came bearing gifts! Aunt Ellyn made us this needlepoint wonder...

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...which is absolutely beautiful and looks great over the piano next to the one Kim made us for our wedding.

Chuck and Melissa bought the twins some cute coordinating onesies that have a little pocket on the front so they can safely store their pacifiers. We talked about their very cool wedding plans. Uncle Charlie, Chuck and Tim swapped stories on the strangeness of the south. Melissa talked about the Civil War reenactments where the person who draws the short straw has to fight on the Union side.

Best line on the south of the night--commenting on the Stone Mountain carving, Chuck says, "Why did they carve three traitors into stone?!?" That wouldn't quite fly in the land where they still call it the War of Northern Aggression. (ominous banjo music heard in the background)

We got to talk to Aunt Ellyn AND Amy on Chuck's cell phone. Amy caught us up on all the latest Amy news that is happening in the world of Amy (her new job, her new boss, skating, basketball, the cool dudes on American Idol, etc.)

Melissa also told us that family members are reading our blog. Hi Lynn and Mike! Hi Amy and Aunt Ellyn!!! We wish that we could keep up with everyone as well as we'd like, but we're so glad that you're reading what's happening in our little family. We miss you all!!!!

Posted by Tim and Jo at 06:25 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 30, 2007

Good Food, Good Beer, Good Kids

Tim: It’s been great having Christmas week off. Sleeping in late, having lots of wife and baby time, watching Frank Capra movies, etc… On Thursday we had an unquenchable taste for fish and chips so we spent almost an hour looking for a place in Athens that had it. We are still adjusting to small town America where everything is not at our finger tips. In Pittsburgh we would have had our choice of a dozen or so establishments that would have fixed us up with our desired Pisces, potatoes and potations. We finally found it at The Globe in downtown Athens. This place may be our substitute for the Sharp Edge in Pittsburgh. An old world pub kind of place with great food and over 80 European beers to choose from. Anyways, the fish and chips were excellent – we felt like Frankie in Angela’s Ashes – if they were wrapped in a newspaper, we would have even licked the grease off the editorial page. We washed it down with a Belhaven and a Highland Oatmeal Stout. The twins snoozed away in the booth seats while we our consumed our vittles.

Tim and Jo: Yesterday we decided to take a trip to Helen for a dose of Georgia-style Bavaria. It’s as close as we’ll get to München in at least the next several years. As soon as we got there, we needed to feed the kids. We provided many passersby with free entertainment as we sat on a bench with bottles and babies in hand. The cats were out of their bags, so to speak.

For lunch we went to Altstädter Weinstube & Biergarten so Tim could get his own bottle. We had an olive and gherkin appetizer and for the main dish, three kinds of wurst –weinwurst, smoked bratwurst and rindswurst.

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It came with a gigantic pretzel that was more bread than pretzel and we drank an Aecht Schlenkerla Urbock Rauchbier (smoked beer) which Joanna said was like drinking a stout by the fireside, except the fireside was in the beer! The kids dozed away on a nearby chair. Looks like a nearby gnome wants to wet his whistle...

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We strolled through Helen going into shops we hadn’t been in before (like the live tarantula exhibit and the leather store--Das Ist Leather--a mishmash of faux-Bavarian, redneck and biking cultures) and stopped for some apple strudel and funnel cake. There was a big tree decorated for Christmas and a Santa or two leading horse drawn carriages through the streets.

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We stopped at Nora Mills and got some stone-ground buckwheat pancake mix, pickled okra and berry preserves. The kids were getting a little restless being in the slings all day long to so we left for home. When we got there they were really cranky! They must have realized we were having all this fun and leaving them out!

Posted by Tim and Jo at 05:36 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

October 02, 2007

Old rivalries

I can't wait for Tim to come home and see what I found for our little boy (btw, I found a great thrift shop with baby clothes for an unbelievable price)...

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For some reason, Pittsburghers have never forgiven the Braves for knocking the Pirates out of the pennant race so many times (especially in the '80s), hehehe....

At the same time, I do have a fondness in my heart for the Pirates, and have unforgettable memories of attending their games. Like the first time I heard fans booing their own team, even tossing a sneaker out onto the field, I suppose to see if the outfielder did any better catching that than the balls coming to him. And the first time someone threatened to toss me over the side for cheering the wrong team (see above photo!) too loudly...

But there was so much more than the game to experience...

It was taking a ferry over

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to get to a stadium almost at the apex of three rivers (see the bright lights on the left),

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hanging out with friends afterwards

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and sometimes fireworks over the riverfront.

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Posted by Tim and Jo at 03:28 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

July 27, 2007

In tandem with "cute" DUI schools...

...our city has a plethora of "cute" bail bond stores.

You can call "Bond, James Bond" for fast, easy, cheap bail bonds.

Or you can call "007 Bond" (I'm not kidding here!) and get a student discount.

A student discount. For bail bonds.

Ummm....this is disturbing on several counts. Obviously, to offer a discount for that, there must be a strong market for students who need bail bonds. But beyond that what's the message being sent in making bail bonds a student perk?!?

Between the cute DUI schools and the cute bail bond stores, the slap on the wrist you were getting for endangering other people's lives through your own reckless behavior almost becomes a pat on the back. Sure, crime doesn't pay, but pay a little less with us!*

*offer only valid with a current student ID

Posted by Tim and Jo at 09:49 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 06, 2007

Athens culture: A-F

It's been about a month now, and we're starting to find our way around Athens. Much of the time I'm assessing it in light of Pittsburgh experiences, probably not fair considering how much I'm still in love with Pittsburgh.

Anyway, here's a bit about our Athens experience so far...

*Books: at first we couldn't find a single used book store in Athens. I was going nuts, wondering what kind of college town wouldn't have a smattering of cool bookstores (maybe look at the paragraph above for what students are doing with their time...)? But finally we drove by a quirky little hole-in-the-wall that I'm looking forward to exploring.

And the public library, well, I got spoiled by the Carnegie-endowed library system of Pittsburgh, where I could do as much research in the public library (sometimes more!) than I could at Pitt. From a quick perusal, it looks as though most of the books in the local library were obtained in the 1970s. However, the UGA library is quite nice, and I now have a card.

*DUI schools: There aren't too many things I dislike about Athens, except for the proliferation of DUI schools. I've never seen so many in one place in my life! And what I hate worse is when they give the school a cute name, like "Dawg House DUI School." It feels like it's giving a drunk driver a pat on the back, like, aww, you got caught this time, come to our cute little school and make things better. Urgh. Drunk driving is not cute, and nothing associated with it should sound cute. Plus the DUI schools are only a symptom of the problem of too much alcohol+too young and stupid drivers on the road. It makes me nervous sometimes being out on the road, especially since I've already been feeling a little more edgy driving since I got pregnant.

*Film: I found an indy theater in Athens that we went to for the first time last night, to see Paris, je t'aime. It's in a refurbished factory, and has a nifty wine/beer/coffee cafe in the entranceway, and you can bring your drinks into the theater. Tim enjoyed watching the movie with a European beer in hand, though perhaps a red wine would have been more appropriate. I *heart* independent and foreign films (and cool theaters to see them in)! The next one we want to see is The Golden Door, telling the story of immigrants coming through Ellis Island (wait, I never wrote about our NYC experiences, such as Ellis Island!)

*Food: well, food in Athens definitely can't compare with the cosmopolitan food found in Pittsburgh, especially Oakland (probably surprising to those who aren't from Pittsburgh, but there's an enormous number of international students who come to study and it really has influenced the kinds of foods around town, not to mention the actively preserved immigrant roots of Pittsburgh itself).

I miss the Strip District!! And the farmers markets all around the city. I found one in Athens that I was really excited about, but we got there, and there were just a few little tables and a handful of vegetables. Nothing like the proliferation we were used to.

But, in Athens' favor, there are many interesting latin American restaurants (and grocery stores) around--Mexican, Cuban, Columbian, Salvadorean--that we'll have fun checking out. And a couple of odd combinations, like a German-Turkish sandwich shop.

I've also found a few stores I want to check out when I have the chance--a fish market, an Indian grocery store, and a couple of gourmet food stores.

*Football: well, I think Athens probably gets almost as excited about football as Pittsburgh, but I can't imagine it being nearly as much fun! Go Stillers!

Posted by Tim and Jo at 10:00 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

June 15, 2007

Strawberries!

Feeling restless the other day, and wanting to get out in the first cool day we've had since we moved down, I hunted up a local pick-your-own-berry farm. Donning my favorite pair of maternity overalls, I drove down Hog Mountain Road (I always want to say Haawwwg Mountain Road when I see it) to find the farm.

The vines were covered in bright red berries, big and small. Several moms with little kids running about them were picking in other rows. In my row, I appreciated the solitude, the time to appreciate the fresh dirt underneath my feet, the smell of the ripe berries, and to think quietly about the many changes that have taken place over the past few weeks.

Within an hour, I had a gallon of strawberries to take home.

The next day I sorted my berries into piles--now, later (freezer), and jam.

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After misadventures the last time I made strawberry jam, I decided to make freezer jam instead. I love looking at the shiny redness of the jam jars in a row.

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Next time--blueberries!

Posted by Tim and Jo at 03:17 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Goin' to Alabama...

Tonight, we're going to take a little drive to see my old roommate Jess, and stay for the National Sacred Harp Convention

Hurrah! It's nice to be in shape-note territory again!!

Posted by Tim and Jo at 09:13 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 06, 2007

Taste of the South #1

We've had contact with an older southern lady in Athens. She has such a strong drawl, I actually have to get on the phone and translate for Tim.

She and her husband are retiring this year so that they can do more traveling. We were both interested to hear that they had recently taken a trip to Paris.

She told us that it was difficult to get around Paris because they didn’t know a word of French. “And then, honey, we got to a restaurant and I couldn’ read a thang on the menu. So I said to the waiter nice and slow, ‘Ham. Bur. Ger.’ Honey, I said it to him a coupl’a’times, ‘Ham. Bur. Ger. Ham. Bur. Ger.’ And then he brought me meatballs!”

Posted by Tim and Jo at 05:12 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack