Monday, February 27, 2012

Laurel Main Street Chili Cook-Off

Laurel Main Street is hosting its first chili cook-off this Saturday, March 3 from 12-5 PM. This free outdoor event is open to the public and will feature hot chili from 13 teams hoping to win the title of best chili, cold beer served at The Loft's beer garden and live music from the 6550s!

We'll also have activities for the kiddos, Laurel's Famous Big Butt Bad Boy sandwiches and "bottomless" pottery bowls hand made by local artists Mandy and Carl Buchanan will be for sale to hold your chili.

We'll also be raffling off a Green Egg with a Nest and a 20x24 print of "The Potter's Hands" on a brilliant metallic sheet of aluminum (tickets are $10 each). The weather's supposed to be perfect, so we hope to see all you locals out for our first ever chili cook-off this weekend! A great time is sure to be had by all.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Tasty Tuesday

Mimi's Chicken in Gravy

1 cut up chicken
Salt and pepper
1 small chopped onion
Dash red pepper
Dash garlic powder
Dash Cavender's

Salt, pepper and flour chicken pieces.

Lightly brown them in a small amount of oil in a large skillet or dutch oven.

Remove chicken to plate. Add flour to the leftover grease in skillet. Stir to lightly brown flour. 

Add onion, salt, pepper, red pepper, Cavender's and garlic powder. Whisk in 1/2 cup water and continue to stir to make gravy.

Add water as needed - gravy should not be real thick.

Add chicken and be sure gravy nearly covers all of the pieces. Put the lid on and put in a 375 degree oven. Cook about 1.5 hours (do not have to stir).

Serve with mashed potatoes and be prepared to take plenty of compliments on this easy peasy dish.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Mary Clayton's 2nd Birthday

Mary Clayton West's 2nd birthday party was yesterday, and we had so much fun at the Canebrake playground! We arrived a bit too late to enjoy the pony carousel and petting zoo but MaryCollis did see a duck and say "ca ca!" (quack quack). After inhaling a bag of baked chips, we took off for the playground. Sister girl could not be tamed, y'all. She ran squealing around the playground and refused to be picked up. She loved it!

We finally wrangled her into the swing.

She was amazed by all the little kids playing. She kept running around in circles squealing in delight.

Sweet baby.

She was not loving the cowboy hats Meredith handed out!

Even the birthday girl was too busy to take a picture!

We love those Wests. Sure do wish they'd move on back to Laurel! :)

Before and Afters v.4

The day we moved in, one of our sweet moving buddies fell through the brick patio/parking bay behind our house. No big deal, we thought. We'll just have Csab come re-brick it. Well, nothing is ever that easy for the Patricks. Upon inspection, we discovered there were two lines beneath the patio - a water line and a sewer line. Both lines were old and rusty and needed to be repaired.

It sounded simple at first but the lines were bad as far as the plumbers could see... even with a camera. The patio backs up to our kitchen, and we were terrified they might have to rip up the entire patio and our kitchen floor to repair the pipes. After 2 months of house calls from the plumbers, they were finally able to fix it. They didn't have to tear up our kitchen, but they did have to tear up a nice hunk of bricks.

After they fixed the old pipes, we had our pal Csab re-brick it, and it looks awesome. After a little time and aging, you won't even be able to tell!

I didn't get a shot of the hole before he started working, but it was a hole about 6 feet long x 3 feet wide.

My mom and dad have been out of town the past 2 weekends, so they haven't kept MC for their usual Saturday night sleepover. Since they've been missing the little monster (and since we desperately need to get a few things done) they kept her for the entire weekend. This is what we got done:

Do y'all remember what it used to look like? Let me show you...

The maroon color never bothered me enough to fix it but now that we have, it makes such a huge difference. It took a whole Saturday and a lot of squatting to paint the foyer, staircase and upper hallway but it was worth the sore legs to do it. When you first walk into our home, it seems cozy and inviting instead of dark and dreary. I'm so glad we did it!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Laurel Entertains

My parents went to Tanner, Alabama last weekend to take care of a few things concerning my dad's parents. When they returned, they dropped off a pile of books from my grandparents' house. In it was a cookbook called "Laurel Entertains." I didn't think much of it because lots of cookbooks are published by Junior Auxiliary, different churches, high schools or groups, etc.

This morning I was tidying up before Beth and Sharon Turner came over to look at invitations, and I started to thumb through it. I'm so glad I did because look what I discovered...

It's our house! How cool is that? I sure do wish those trees were still here. I just love old drawings of homes. Look who else I found...

It's our pal Tommy's old house! I don't recognize this house AT all. It's not their old house on 15th Street, so I'm not sure where this one is located. I'll have to ask him about it.

This is another house on 6th Avenue that belonged to the Gilchrist family up until 6 months ago. Now it's being completely renovated, and I'm so hoping they do it justice.

This is the home of George Gardiner Green, which is now the Gardiner Green house where events such as weddings are held.

It's the Leggetts' house! Also on 6th Avenue. It looks exactly the same.

This is the Poseys' house (parents of Parker Posey), also on 6th Avenue.

I was already proud of living in Downtown Laurel, specifically on 6th Avenue, but seeing all of these beautiful homes in a cookbook from the 80s just validated my urge to live here. I can't wait to whip up some of these delicious recipes!

Friday, February 17, 2012

MC Update

MaryCollis is so cool, y'all. We weren't sure we wanted to keep her during that first year, but year two is shaping up to be fun!

She says about 20 words:

1) Mama
2) Dada
3) No
4) Shoe
5) Sissy
6) Thank you
7) Hello
8) Hey
9) Bye and Bye-Bye
10) Night Night
11) Lamby
12) Cow
13) Uh-oh
14) Nose
15) Cookie
16) Cracker
17) Kaka (Khaki)
18) Nana (Ana)
19) Tee tee

I'm certain there are others but can't think right now.

Loving whole wheat pasta and using her fork!

Fridge magnets

First visit to EJE, my new workplace.

Legwarmers :)

Dress Aunt Jenna made

Mmmm. Carbs.

"Where's your tummy?"

We went to Hattiesburg for a play date with Shannon and Peyton last weekend, and it was fairly successful. MaryCollis missed her nap, so the end of the day was pretty scary.

Loving Peyton's grocery cart. Guess we ought to buy her one now.

Off for a day out with her bestie Peyton!

Rocket City Diner

MC has been using her utensils more. She isn't an expert with them but she knows how to use them.

Using her spoon

Mmmm. Carrots!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Happy Valentimes Day

Since I started teaching, I have noticed several words that are misspoken. Author (arthur), similar (simular), October (Optober), library (libary) and autistic (artistic) to name a few. Most recently I have realized most people say Valentimes. Y'all KNOW how mispronunciation grates on my nerves, so I've made it my mission to make sure Mrs. Patrick's churrens know how to pronounce things!

Chad had to leave at 4:30AM to catch a flight on Valentine's Day, so we haven't even celebrated yet. To show that I loved him, I placed a card next to his toothbrush so he would have it when he woke up. I had the coffee pot automatically turn on at 4AM, and beside it I left a note and a breakfast bar so he wouldn't leave hungry. I even scribbled sweet things on the chalkboard in our kitchen.

Since Daddy was gone, MaryCollis and I had dinner with Ily B at her house. MC was the cutest thing at Khaki's house on Valentine's Day. She wore a red shirt with heart-shaped sunglasses dangling from it, white tights with pink hearts on them and a red frilly tutu. Gyah, that kid is cute.

After dinner we let her indulge in a red velvet cupcake, which I am certain I will never get out of her clothes. But it made her happy.

Happy Valentimes Day!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Happy Birthday, Janie!

The ABC's of Jane

Always helpful.
Dog lover.
Into red wine.
Jane Wreck.
Loves late-night food.
Mind of an elephant.
Never has to be asked.
Public Relations.
Never Quiet.
SMU grad/fan. And also Smart water.
Tri Delta.
Ultra crazy.
Vero Beach.
Wonderful wife to Tommy.
EX-resident of D.C.
NYE buddy for life.
Zodiac: Aquarius

Jane and I met in June 2011, and it seems like we've known each other for much longer than 8 months. We instantly connected, and I'll never forget the first time we had an actual conversation. Jane was about to leave for Florida the very next day (to get married) when we had our first LRMA Gala committee meeting at Andrea's house in September.


It seemed as though every one else knew each other, so I started a conversation with her since I knew she was new in town. I can't remember exactly what all we said but I do know that at some point the conversation turned toward children. I didn't know this gal from Adam but I very boldly stated, "If you ever think you're ready to have kids, just come see me. I'll keep it real. And if you still want to have kids after our come-to-Jesus meeting, then you're ready."

We had both secretly known we were destined to be best friends ever since we met at the Laurel Main Street car show in June but our schedules had not allowed us to take on new friends at that time. After we finally had our first real talk, we knew we were both right. I'm so blessed to have this crazy, blonde-haired, fashion-forward, political-savvy lady as my friend. I love you, soul sister!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

17-Month Update

MaryCollis is 17 months old today! She's been toddling around for months but it seems as though she is a full-fledged toddler now.

- New words: Cookie, baby, woah, Quack Quack (Ca Ca) and sissy (Gerty). And get this... she says Nana (Nana is Ana Milham). She won't say Mama, Dada, Gamma, Doc or BaBa but she says Ana. What the HECK, child?! (She actually does say Mama, Dada and BaBa but not consistently). She's also been saying "ma!" and we're not sure if she's trying to say "mine" or "more" or what. And of course she still says her old standy-bys: No, thank you, hello, bye bye, uh-oh, nose, etc.

- New foods: Scrambled eggs (she would NEVER touch them before now!), peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, grapes, strawberries, and she has rediscovered her love for blueberries.

First PB&J!

- New style: Piggy tails! Glad we finally have a solution to the mullet.

- Newest change: TANTRUMS! I'm talking stomping feet, high-pitched squealing and fake crying. Joy!

- Newest developments: She can climb the stairs and come down them like a big girl - no knees! She steps up them and down them - holding on of course. She can climb into Khaki's rocker (which we bought) and rock herself.

This past month has been such a whirlwind that I'm honestly not sure what all is new. I need to do better. :(

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


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