Monday, October 25, 2010

Kitchen Organization

Measuring Cups
For years I had to rummage around in overcrowded kitchen drawers to find measuring cups and spoons. At last I hung them all on the wall by the cooking prep area.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Joey at 7 months old

Joey up close
Joey up close.

Joey in the bushes looking for geckos to eat
Joey in the bushes looking for geckos to eat.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Birmingham Trip, Day 4

Water tower, Flomaton, Alabama
When we see this we are almost home.

An easy drive south from Birmingham, we arrived home mid-afternoon.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Birmingham Trip, Day 3

This morning we drove into Birmingham's downtown to see the sites. It's a very nice looking city with lots of hills.

Virginia Samford Theatre, Birmingham, AlabamaWhen we drove near the Virginia Samford Theatre, currently home to "The Drowsy Chaperone," we decided to see where it was so we wouldn't get lost getting there tonight. It's a good thing we did.

The directions say it's on 26th Street just off Highland Avenue. Well, Highland Avenue is a difficult U-shaped street about 2 miles long with at least 10 right-angle turns. And narrow winding parts through lovely neighborhoods and past at least four beautiful city parks. Pretty to look at -- and easy to get lost in, even in the daytime. And we did, but also happened upon a restaurant we had read good things about, Rojo, and decided to eat there before showtime.

Rojo's logoRojo has two menus: Latin American food and American food. It's a busy and happy neighborhood restaurant, part Mexican cantina, part burger place.

The show, part of the Red Mountain Theatre Company's season. was wonderful, a fabulous production in a beautiful theatre.

Man in Chair
Saxon Murrell as Man in Chair in "The Drowsy Chaperone" (From the Birmingham News, photo by Brandon Robertson)

Theatre Historic Plaque
History of the Virginia Samson Theatre,
click the image to enlarge.

For some information about "The Drowsy Chaperone" and its history click here.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Birmingham Trip, Day 2

Lunker Lake, Pelham, Alabama
Lunker Lake, Oak Mountain State Park, Pelham, Alabama
(click on the image to enlarge it.)

The Marina at Oak Mountain ParkIn the morning we drove to Oak Mountain State Park. It's just a few miles south of Birmingham's city center. A winding road goes right through the middle of the park and on an off-season Wednesday morning we had the whole place to ourselves. The trees were beginning to show some signs of fall foliage and I expect that in early November there's lots of color.

Sign: Niki's WestFor lunch we followed the advice of a local blogger known as Ginger. Her blog, Deep Fried Kudzu is (mostly) about southern food. She helped guide us to where to eat in Birmingham.

And so we went to Niki's West Steak And Seafood Restaurant. The food was wonderful, meat-and-three, but when we saw the size of the side dishes we had to go for meat-and-two. We loved the food and we loved the sign in the window.

Window sign: Niki's West, Birmingham, Alabama
Sign in Niki's Window

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Birmingham Trip, Day 1

Logo: The Drowsy ChaperoneA month ago we bought tickets to see "The Drowsy Chaperone" in Birmingham, Alabama. It's risky planning anything (especially anything non-refundable) during hurricane season. But we took the chance.

Neither of us had ever been to Birmingham and we had heard a lot about the great restaurants.

So at 11:00 a.m. we headed north on Interstate-65. As we left the house the rain began and by the time we got to the highway, about a mile away, it was a serious down pour. The kind that can't last long. And it didn't. After 15 minutes it went away.

From Pensacola to Birmingham is a 250 mile trip and it took us about 4 hours, not counting breaks and lunch. We stopped to have lunch in Greenville, just south of Montgomery. The last time we were up this way we looked in Georgiana for the Georgiana Family Restaurant where we had eaten before -- great southern country food. But it was now a used car lot. Onward to Greenville where (last time) we discovered The Chef's Table with really good meat-and-three choices.

Courthouse Square, Greenville, Alabama
Courthouse Square, Greenville, Alabama

That was then. Now The Chef's Table is Polka Dots Cafe. It's a coffee house with a limited menu -- it was fine for hungry travelers like us.

A few miles south of Birmingham and about ten miles from our hotel we got caught in a terrible rain storm with thunder and lightning striking next to us. There was heavy traffic and no visibility. We came upon a serious three-car accident that had just happened. The first police car was arriving as we passed by. I was sorry for the people in the accident, but had to be happy we didn't get stopped in the traffic backup that was sure to happen.

Our hotel was on the north side of Birmingham and after driving through two heavy storms getting here we were happy to eat at the Outback Steak House next door. Not a local establishment but certainly a local favorite. It was packed with happy, hungry folks.