Grits & Moxie

08 February 2016

8 Things I'm All About In The Right Now...


Researching Wildflowers & Odd Plants/Flowers - I've always been interested in flora and fauna, and I've always a book in my bag about one or the other but there's SO MUCH to learn about the plant world that it is unceasing task to try to study it all.  Right now I'm looking forward to spring as it is only a few months away here in Georgia!  I'm updating my list of wildflowers to try to find and photograph AND odd plants/flowers that I would love to try to grow in a small garden this year.  The plant above is called Love Lies Bleeding and not only does it look cool as hell but you can eat parts of it.  Win-win, eh?  If you're interesting in seeing an online site that has an enormous amount of categorized flowers for my area then I highly suggest this one.  You may just fall down the rabbit hole of spring floral dreams though...just a warning.

Taoist Tai Chi Classes - The YMCA offers Tai Chi on Wednesdays and I AM SO THERE.  I took Tai Chi off and on for 2 years when I lived in Valdosta but that was a good bit ago and I'm rather rusty.  But it really does help with stress and god knows that I've been dealing with stupid shit at work for months and months now that is finally wearing me down and making me feel like poop.  Exercising always helps as does a variety of other things I've been putting into action lately.  Aligning your mind and body is a good thing 'round here and I'm trying my darndest to get in a good head space.

Penny Dreadful - Hooooooooly shit am I obsessed with this show.  I started watching after a coworker loaned me the 1st season and I've glut-watched it for weeks (often rewatching episodes) with sheer delight.  Alas, I'm at the final episode of Season 2 and I just can't bring myself to watch it just yet.  For someone who has no self-control in many areas I find I have a will of steel in creating anticipation in my shows.  I mean, I portioned out 30 Rock for months before I finally finished it up.  But let's not talk about that because I'll get sad and mad that it's gone forever.  Anyhoo, back to Penny Dreadful!  It's at once gory, violent, wretched, beautiful, heartfelt and unbelievably intriguing.  I recommend you take a gander and be prepared to be blown away by some of the richness of Season 2's dialogue.

Toccoa, Ga - This town is super tiny and struggling economically but it has some of the friendliest people, neatest old signs, cool murals, bestest soul food and greatest outdoor adventures around.  There are dozens of waterfalls in the area to found if one knows the places to go (many involve setting the odometer after passing landmarks or mile markers) although none of the sights are as dramatic as Toccoa Falls.  I bought this book and now we go exploring every single time we have a day off.  Brady may go mainly for the fried chicken (this area is crawling with fried chicken joints!) but he still hikes along to the waterfalls with no complaints.

Oatmeal Cream Cheese Sandwich Cookies & Vegan Chocolate Mousse - I can't keep these in stock in the bakery and I'm making them almost every single day.  So.  Freakin.  Good.  I'll try to get the recipes up in the future but I always leave my camera sitting on the dining room table instead of taking it to work with me.  And no phones in the bakery 'cause they're germy germ gross.

Jenny Lewis - Hot damn!  That's good stuff.  I missed her in spring 2015 here but I'm living vicariously via all the videos that Nashville friends have uploaded from the recent show.  I'm also loving Dori Freeman and her work with the Carter Family Fold.  She doesn't have those badass suits like Jenny Lewis but she's just as talented with a definite Gillian Welch / Lucinda Williams feel...

Helen Levitt - My love of Diane Arbus has broadened to encompass a plethora of female photographers that captured life in old New York and all that it entailed.  Poverty.  Excess.  Joy.  Madness.  Sadness.  And everything in between.  Helen Levitt's work has become a favorite of mine and I'm saving up in dribs and drabs to purchase another beautiful book of her photography.   Take a gander via the link on the picture.  You'll be glad you did.

Rosemary Oil -  A few months back I bought a fairly inexpensive diffuser and I've just ordered a bit more expensive and bigger one since I keep them running constantly.  My oil of choice?  Rosemary!  It's a wonder oil!  I put it not only in the diffuser but on my body.  All over the body.  So much rosemary everywhere.  It can bring down a pimple, cure dandruff, reduce a headache, soothe a tummy ache, keep bugs away and a million other things (ok, 21 according to this article) including just making you smell green, fresh and yummy AND boost your spirits.  Much needed.  I get compliments on it all the time since it's such a unique scent.

I'm also obsessing over things like building a kayak storage system for my new birthday kayak (it's PANK!), stressing over bakery stuff since classic Athens band Widespread Panic is playing for 2 days and Drive By Truckers for 3 days (the insanity that is the GRIT right now boggles my mind and is giving me migraines...but people love when their favorites come home to visit), avocado toast, my new-to-me juicer (all veggies and fruits should be in fear of their lives because I'm squishing them all and drinking them down), flax dresses (I've got 5 that I wear all the time now and I should just get rid of everything else I own), wool socks and this 365 Project thingie.  Phewww! But Ain't Life Grand?  Yes, it is.  It is at that!

Happy Monday to everyone!

05 February 2016

365 Project // January 21-27...

I need to upload a bunch of photos off my phone but here's what I got for the latter part of January - food, plants and house stuff.  Yep, sounds about right!

Top to bottom / left to right:
// Winthrope lives in the papasan chair with that silly fish pillow.  Seriously.  He spends hours in it.  Even doggies like to feel decadent by lounging on red velvet.
// Penis pancakes.  Sorry folks, these are NOT on our regular menu!
// Udon.  Udon.  Udon.  I loooooooove you so!
// New shower curtain that has the derpiest horses I've ever seen.  There also appears to be an extra leg on a repeating group.  Maybe that's why Modcloth had it marked down to nothing?  I'm totally keeping it though because DUH.
// A glimpse into my very old kitchen full of plants, a wee bit of garden laundry, mismatched rugs (the big one was a gift from a friend and the other one by the door now lives in the living room) and all the daylight one can handle from those windows.  Seriously, it's a perfect greenhouse and my 20+ plants in there are going bazonkers with growth!
// Some of the aforementioned plants (the aloe is a new cutting so that's why it looks puny) including a new weird vase I found for 10 cents that I hope to root a cutting via...
// The Camelias are blooming like crazy at the Botanical Gardens here and I couldn't resist snapping a photo of them when I was out hiking there the other day.

Dang.  So many awkward sentences.  Oh well.  I's tired!

Please feel free to share your own 365 link below!  I'd love to see them...

04 February 2016

Travel Adventures // Lexington, GA...

This wasn't my first visit to the teeny tiny town of Lexington but it was by far the most interesting!  Stories about hordes of cats (which are real...just look below!), an eccentric from Atlanta who brought such said cats, Sunday dinners at the jail's unbelievable stuff!

We counted over 30 caats at one time and that's just what we could see in the few minutes we were at this spooky, falling down manor home.  They were in all the rooms, which were still furnished with linens and curtains and clothes, on the roof and EVERYWHERE.  The cats arrived to town a few years back via an older gentleman from Atlanta who brought a big bunch to his new older home (the one pictured) and then they begin populating and repopulating around the house and into downtown.  It became such a problem that the town had to get a grant and work with the UGA vet school to start spaying and neutering them in large batches.  The last group numbered 300+!  They rerelease them so you can imagine how many cats we saw while we were visiting the area.  It's been over 5 years since the gentleman came to live in Lexington and now the cats are a part of history as is his penchant for keeping the front porch of his condemned home swept clean.  Lexington has a large network of old drainage tunnels under the city (about 3 miles worth we were told) and the cats hang out there a lot.  It was weird to walk around and not only see cats everywhere you looked but also know that they were probably right under your feet in a secret kitty tunnel!

At one antique store the owner offered to give us a key to the old jail so we could see the restoration and museum inside.  That old jail held about 12 inmates in it's 800 square feet, still had the remnants of the gallows used 100 years ago and only closed about 8 years ago!  That's how tiny this town is and it boggles my mind.  Oh, and the backdoor was never locked so the sheriff's Mom could bring the inmates their food...which she cooked herself in her own kitchen.  The inmates would also get to go fishing with the sheriff on Sunday so 'they wouldn't be cooped up too much'.  And everyone was so talkative and nice and adept at turning out a good yarn or two.  This was so much small town southern it was beyond endearing...and this comes from a woman who grew up in the swamp in rural Georgia!

And we had to stop by Shaking Rock Park, of course!  There's new graffiti, lots of trees down and more of a view of the river.  Plus Brady likes to get in some exercise via rock lifting...

03 February 2016

Groundhogs & Switcheroos...


7:34 am, 56 degrees: Enticed by the smell of Waffle House “scattered, smothered and covered” hash browns just outside his mansion door. General Beauregard Lee awoke to a balmy 56 degree morning as a heavy fog lay across the Game Ranch. He did not see his shadow, foretelling an early spring for the Sunny South.

And THAT my friends is how we have Groundhog Day here in Georgia!

I know I'm a day late (story of my life, eh?) to the party but I had to work 18 hours yesterday and I'm only now finding out about the hullabaloo that went on in my online/news absence.  I absolutely LOVE Groundhog Day - the events at buttcrack dawn, groundhogs, the groundhog names, the people holding up signs like the groundhog can read, the movie.  Everything!  So today is yesterday.  Instead of today.  Get it?  Now excuse me as I go watch the movie on my new VHS machine-y and eat nothing even remotely resembling any of THESE Groundhog Day recipes....

Happy Wednesday Tuesday everybody!

29 January 2016

365 Project // January 10-20...

Whelp, I'm still plugging along on my challenge although my pictures are not getting any more creative or too far away from the ol' house.  That's still ok with me though.  I've not felt very in the groove, outside of the bakery and my newest creation of a Mexican Hot Chocolate Cake (HOLY SHIT IT IS SO GOOD), to make things different/artsy/edgy/whatthefuckever.  Seriously, I've been glued to the papasan with a book in one hand and nibbles in the other.  Thank goodness I've joined the YMCA with a friend or else I'd be a total winter potato lugster.

Top to bottom / left to right:
// Shirley's Sole Food Cafe is a tiny spot in Toccoa that I recently discovered and I still think about their cabbage and cornbread...there'll be a post soon
// Clawdia loves prowling on the roof
// dusting of snow on our old glider and woefully sad looking fire pit thingie
// Tullah loves the scary old heater and will sit there til she's so hot she's panting
// Leroy Man Cat is the most talkative cat I've ever met in my life...and a destructive 21 pounds to boot, which is why he's lying on an old blankie...he's already shredded on one of my quilts *mad face*
// boozy late lunch after a long shift at work...our favorite place is a little Latin American joint near the chicken plant that has papusas that will knock your socks off
// eating a GINORMOUS slice of cake with stepdad and Mom-o
// hadn't seen the Cap Man out in Athens in a long time so it was nice to suddenly find his truck parked near where I was shopping
// another shot of the house from another day (early Sunday brunch time!) except with a nice frosty look
// we found these old sailor prints and bought them for a joke and then I found a pipe planter that matched and now it all lives in the living room and we love it...which is kind of how 90% of our decorating happens
// the snow began at night and I tried to capture a few flakes in the streetlight

Please share your latest round or 2 with me via a link in the comments.  I love to see what y'all are working on!