Sunday, April 29, 2007

The One that Got Away ...

This is a bit of a fish story post, so you'll have to depend on our upstanding reputations as honest folk to believe the stories. B and I were recently privileged to go crappie (before you get worked up, legalists, it's a type of fish, not a semi-curse word!) fishing with a friend out on Harris Lake. Actually, the whole story isn't that hard to believe, since it's pretty standard fare as fishing trips go, but it's the mere fact that there was "one that got away" that makes it somewhat dubious.

Crappie fishing is actually not that strenuous. If practiced the way B and her twin (can you see the family resemblance?) do it, it mostly consists of throwing your lines in the water, sitting back and waiting for something to happen, wandering to the other side of the boat, eating a cracker, wandering back to your seat, then eating another cracker, until someone interrupts by saying something like "Hey, I think you have a bite," at which point they scurry back to their post to haul in said fish.

As the evening wore on, the fishing was pretty good, although our guides advised us that it could be much better. Here B shows off a decent fish.

J got into the act as well, manning a whole stack of lines at the back of the boat.

However, as it got darker, B hooked her "monster." Crappie are typically not big fighters, and once you have them hooked its a simple matter of reeling in the line. However, this was not your average bite - instead of slightly wiggling around, B's line bent double and when she began to reel in, the fish put up a fight. She managed to get it almost to the boat while we floundered around finding the previously uncalled for net. As it surfaced, we realized that this was no crappie - it was a really large largemouth bass. The resident expert got a good look at it and gave a later estimate of 8-9 lbs, which would have made him a truly notable example of his species. Unfortunately, we were fishing on 10 lb. line, and after a brief appearance on the surface to smile at B in mockery, he dove and snapped the line with ease. Now, I must say that it has gotten bigger in the retelling (I heard 14 lbs. mentioned once!), but, though I didn't actually see it, our friend did get a good look and I think the 8-9 lb. estimate to be a fairly reliable and believable one.

Of course, you can't have a J and B post without at least one pic of the young one. Here he's enjoying a bright sunny spring day with his grandpa. The only detraction to the enjoyment of the day is the destroyed deck in the background (see last week's post for details) - if you look closely, you can even see the upturned stump of the offending tree.

As far as us, we're doing well. We're halfway through the documentation process, and finally sent in all the necessary paperwork for our travel documents this week. Please be remembering that whole process, which can be a complicated one. This week, we're going to going to Florida again for my grandmother's memorial service and to visit Steven's grandparents. :) I should be packing right now instead of writing this, and I'm talking in the morning to another local family group. Anyway, we're keeping busy - only a couple of weeks to go!

This week's Blog Debate
: What are the actual lyrics to complete this Enya song: "Whooo can saaaaay, what your oooooonaaanaaaaaaay, where the taaaaaroonaaaaaay, ooonly tiimme." And no, you can't google the answer - you have to guess based purely on your recollection from the time two years ago that this came on the radio every other song (unless you are Rachael, in which case you can use your recollection for when you actually played the CD in your car yesterday).

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Time is Ticking

Four weeks. That is how long everyone has to spend time with us. I can't believe it.

Steven has finally turned over. As I was writing the first sentence he rolled over from front to back. It's only taken him 5 months!
In other news, Steven also sat in a sitting position all by himself for about a minute a couple of days ago, so he's all out of order on the milestones. Oh, and Martha's theory about them eating a lot and then doing something special is debunked.

OK. So now the big news is out of the way I would like to continue on and share with you what we have been up to since the last blog. For one, my experience in Georgia. J shared with you most of our trip but I had an experience I would like to share. As J shared, while most of the men went golfing, the church took the women to a famous restaurant in Savannah, GA. I have just one word for you: BUTTER! Those of you who watch the food network channel know who I'm talking about. Paula Dean's "Lady and Sons". It was AMAZING! I don't think my grandma could have cooked anything better and she grew up as country as they come. Everything had butter in it. By the time we got there I was starving, which was a good thing considering what I had ahead of me. That is to consume as much as I could without throwing up. Although I came close to that line, I succeeded in my mission:
It was a buffet that had fried chicken, ribs, corn, rice, sweet potatoes, fried potatoes, gravy, black eyed peas, green beans, turnip greens, and more. We were started off with a pancake and a biscuit. Then the buffet. Then dessert which was a choice of peach cobbler, butter cake, and something else I can't remember. Although the lunch was amazing, the company was almost as good. I got to meet Bobby Dean (Paula Dean's cute and, as far as we know, single son). My sisters were upset I did not mention to him about my two single sisters (one who is my 30 year old twin and likes karate, hanging out with family, and outdoor activities and the other who is 32 years old and is loyal, hard working, and very nice and who are both pretty good looking) They are not too picky when it comes to rich, famous, cute, and single men. So Bobby, if you are reading this and would like to meet them, just let me know.

Here's me and Bobby Dean, my future brother-in-law (well, I can dream!) [Note: edit by J - THEY can dream! You can scheme.]

We also got to see my grandma and Uncle Steve and Aunt Patti (not pictured) in South Carolina on our way home from Georgia. Grandma took us to Cracker Barrel (yum, again!), so here Steven poses with his great-grandma.

Moving on, we had a lots of rain when the "noreaster" came through on Sunday which soaked the ground. On Monday, the wind was so strong it started uprooting trees everywhere. My parents house is surrounded by trees but we were not too concerned since we didn't have any trees fall on us during Hurricane Fran. Well, my sister and I were downstairs watching TV when we heard a crash and felt the house shake. We jumped up to see what happened and below is what we found:This tree fell right above where my parents' bathroom is. It scared us because my dad was in the upstairs bathroom at the time. Luckily the roof took most of the damage and my dad is fine. Unfortunately, his deck that he worked forever to build was destroyed. The roof took a beating, but we're thankful that it didn't rain much and hopefully it's just a matter of replacing the parts of the roof that were broken. Today they are out there getting it down. We now have lots of firewood. :)

Well that is it. I'm not that good at coming up with questions on my own so I will borrow from the coffee lady for the Blog Debate™: Michael Jackson - black or white? Discuss.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Sweet Onion Country

Yes, indeed, we are finally able to connect long enough to post a blog. And what, you're asking, is the reason for our prolonged absence? Did we stop caring about our new audience? Have we rejected modern appliances like running water and blogging in favor of a new monklike spirituality? No, you'll be surprised to find that the answer is none of the above - it's merely as simple as the fact that we weren't connected!

So, since we've been up to quite a bit of stuff since last we blogged, let's get on with it:

First of all in the list of "Interesting Things in the Lives of J & B" since a couple of weeks ago, we got to enjoy a visit from B's brother Tim and his wife Rebecca and child Meredith. Among other things, we ate a lot of good food, got our pictures taken, um, and ate some more food. Yummy. It was great to see them one last time before we head overseas!

In other exciting news, Steven had his first taste of real food. He may not have enjoyed it all that much at first, but our goal is to have him well on his way to weaning before we leave. Rumor has it that if he takes after his mom's side of the family, he won't dislike food for long! (Note: this is not a fat joke in any way, shape, or form. It is merely a commentary on an appropriate enjoyment of good food shared by B's family.)

Most of our time since last posting, however, was spent in Vidalia, GA. Yes, that Vidalia - home of the tasty sweet onions. A family group in that area took us in for a conference that would prove to be a great time for all. Here I've posted a picture of one of the tables at the ladies' meeting, where they gathered for small morsels of various salads. The men, on the other hand, were across the street eating all the fried fish and hush puppies we could eat off of styrofoam plates. I'll let you decide who got the better end of that deal.

One of the nicest things the folks there did for us was give us all a "Christmas in March" event, in which they gave us a bunch of stuff we needed/wanted. Here they're handing out the gifts to all the gathered workers.

Incidentally, we learned while there how to pronounce the name of the town (and the onion). It's not "vih-DAHL-yuh," like I had always thought. It's pronouced "vai-DAY-ya" ("vai" like as in "vine"), with NO L. If you pronouce the "L," people will look at you as if to say "y'all ain't from around here." Just a tip, in case you ever find yourself there, or discussing their tasty sweet onions in any context.

While there, we stayed with a great family, the Dixons, who practically adopted Steven as their own. It was hard to leave them this week, as we really did enjoy our time there in their home so thoroughly. Here Mrs. D plays with our hero.

We also got a chance to visit a local garden, complete with a replica tomb. It was quite an interesting place - very peaceful.

The family group has a small school attached to it, and one day we were privileged to be able to present our future work to the group. Here J gives his famous "Look at all my brownies that I'm not going to share with the starving girl" speech, the object being to compare our need to share important things with people who don't have access to them. I don't know how well received I was, but they did enjoy the brownies!

Anyway, we've also been up to a few other things, but I'll leave B to post sometime in the next week or so with her adventures to Savannah (Hint: they went to a famous restaurant and met someone you might have heard of there!) The ladies were taken there while I dominated on the golf course. Actually, I'm one of the world's worst golfers, but we had a great time. Thanks to all of our new friends from Vidalia for a great week!

This week's Blog Debate™:
Napoleon Dynamite or Search for the Holy Grail - which has the better one-liners?