Sunday, May 23, 2010


So here is how our Sunday went. First we stopped at the farm and feed store, where we got five bags of deer corn, five bags of bird seed, and a new cat toy. Then next it was the pet store, where we bought two bags of cat food, and a new bird feeder. Then, finally, we got to Publix to buy
our groceries for the week.....

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Tuscany In Atlanta

Today we were back up in Atlanta, in the Dunwoody and Sandy Springs area, where we had to pick up our wedding rings from a jeweler (more later). It was lunch time when we got up there, so we stopped at Brio. Yes, Brio is a chain restaurant, but for Italian food just a step above the very average Olive Garden or Carrabba's, give this "Tuscan grille" a try.

This particular location, in the Perimeter area, features outdoor seating looking out over a small pond. Lots of Canada geese with their young ones all gliding across the water, and a huge heron flew overhead at one point. But the highlight for me was the family of ducks- mom, dad, and these oh-so-cute fuzzy babies (not my cutely manicured feet), who were all waddling up and down the patio, hoping for crumbs. I'm not sure James, who is always thinking about food safety, really enjoyed having the wildlife so close to his brunch. But I loved them.

We had a wonderful meal, with the beautiful scenery and perfect weather to enjoy. The restaurant even had several bocce ball courts outside. I confess, I'm Italian, but I don't know how to play. I'm sure my grandfather, who came over here through Ellis Island, probably played.

And so, here is proof of how the other half lives, and how I knew we were in the hoity-toity section of ATL. Below, I thought this was perhaps an enormous financial institution like a swanky bank or insurance company, or at least some very fancy offices. No, it's self storage. If you don't believe me, see the photo below this. I have never seen a "self storage" center that looked like this! We have the long row of concrete barracks with pull down garage doors in our neck of the woods.

And we came home to find our first lily of the season has bloomed. If you read my blog last year, you know I planted A LOT of bulbs, and I had a dozen variety and different colors of lilies in our front yard. I can't wait to have more blooming soon.

And so to the reason for our trip way up to that part of the city. Yesterday we had to take my engagement ring to get it repaired, as the part of the ring that holds the diamond to the band had broken in three different places a few weeks ago. Well, as the commercial goes, "He went to Jared". When James got my engagement ring, and we got our wedding rings, we got them at Jared. I just want to brag on the company, because not only did they fix my engagement ring in just a few hours for free, they also fixed a break in James' wedding band, and they kept my wedding ring as well- and they put a new coat of rhodium on all three- all of this for free. All three rings look as shiny and brand new as the day we got them back in 2005.

I wanted to share this top quality service we received, and to show how Jared stands by their product and their customers. I can't ever see us going to a "mall" jewelry store. This is just one story I have to praise Jared; I could tell you the one about how hard they worked to call every store across the country just to get this particular wedding band for me- and how they let me "borrow" another ring until mine came in. Customer service, A++ from me!

Take Me Out...

To the ballgame of course! Saturday we went to our first Braves game for 2010. We took the train up into the city and our friend David picked us up, where we headed to Midtown to our favorite hamburger joint the Vortex. Then David did some superb driving on some back roads to get us over to Turner Field, where James had already scored us a discounted parking pass.

The guys were hoping to catch some foul balls, but nothing ever came our way. The Braves were playing the Arizona Diamondbacks all weekend. At the entrance to the ballpark, there were about 100 people there protesting with signs and handouts. They were protesting the new immigration policies in Arizona. I was actually sort of surprised. I didn't know if they were local people in support of the protest, or people who had travelled from Arizona in order to stand out there all weekend while the Dbacks were in town.

The Braves did well last year, almost making it into the post season. This year they've started off horribly, and Saturday night they got stomped 11-1. We stayed until the end though. David is a huge Braves fan, and I don't think we could have pried him out of his seat, even though the outcome was hopelessly not in the Braves' favor.

It was a long night, and I got tired. David dropped us off at a train station, then by the time we got to the truck and got home, it was after midnight. I was whooped. But we had a great time. The baseball season is long, and I'm sure we'll go to another game later this year. We had good seats and it was a good time to share with a friend. Come on Braves, get your act together and let's have a winning send off for longtime coach Bobby Cox's last season! Okay, yeah sorry, baseball they call the "coach" a manager. Why is that? Why can't he be a coach just like in all other sports.....??

Friday, May 14, 2010

My New Trick

So I just have to say, you are never too old to learn! And here is my proof (above). My mom told me that if I cut off the ends of green onions, I can grow new ones! Sure enough, the last batch of green onions I bought at the grocery store, I cut off the white ends, dried them out, and planted them in a container on our back patio. And within just a few weeks (I'm talking 3-4), ta-dah!- and look what I picked last night! Fresh green onions! Wow, I wonder if I just keep cutting off the ends every time and keep planting them, will I have an endless supply of green onions? Would that be sort of creepy-weird to keep "eating" the same onion over and over again.....? Sadly I don't use them that often in recipes, this was more of an experiment than anything. But I thought it was pretty cool. Thanks Mom!!!!!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mother's Day 2010

Mother's Day this year saw us in Knoxville once again, to spend the weekend with the women of the Truan clan. Three generations of moms under one roof. James and I snuck over to his parents house and set up a dessert buffet for Saturday night, when everyone came over to exchange gifts and cards and enjoy being together. We were so busy getting it all ready, neither of us thought to take a single photo at the party!

We got to see a little bit of downtown Knoxville, and drove through the UT campus, but unfortunately it was on the way to visit James' niece Sarah on Saturday and Sunday. She is at the children's hospital with a painful, but as of yet undiagnosed, mystery illness. We are still hoping that she and her parents get an answer soon, and most of all we wish her a speedy recovery and a trip back home as quickly as possible.

And as always, we did spend some time with James' Granny. While we were over there on Saturday evening, "her" raccoons came over for a visit as well. James snuck up on them to take this photo with his phone, but as he was creeping closer he stepped on a twig and "snap!", and then the critters scattered. But, they are not afraid of Granny, and when she goes out there to feed them, they cluster around her like little puppies waiting for a treat. And if she doesn't get out there quickly enough for them, they come and stare inside the windows of her house. I can honestly say I've been there when this has actually happened. It was a bit disconcerting to sit in the living room for a visit, and look up to see two raccoons peeking inside at us. Not only is Granny feeding the local raccoons, but she also has a sweet black and white kitty who comes around for food and milk. Granny has a cat, but she stays inside most of the time, although Granny did say that her Socks chased off the new kitty recently.

On Mother's Day, we went out with James' parents and drove over to Sevierville, where we had a big country lunch at the Applewood Farmhouse, one of our favorite places to eat. We relaxed on the porch after shopping over in their massive gift store- and sneaking a fried apple pie at the bakery. It was chilly that day, but signs of Spring were everywhere, including several nests of baby birds (sparrows) up under the porch rafters. (See above, you can barely make out the two little heads, but boy were they squawking away for their mama.) As always, we had a wonderful but quick visit with the family. But, we will be back again in just a few weeks, so it's easy to go back home when you know you'll be seeing everyone again in a matter of days.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Playing Catch Up Again

Sorry I have been away for awhile, just a quick post to catch up on life at the Truan home. I haven't had the time, and mainly the energy, for blogging lately. I am recovering from "walking" pneumonia. After a week of fever, sometimes 104 degrees, I finally broke down and went to the doctor, where they quickly put me on a strong antibiotic. I thought it was just a sinus infection. For about two weeks, I did little but go to work then come home to fall into the bed. Good thing my husband knows how to cook, because I did little in the way of taking care of him for many many days.

This is the end of week three of it for me, and I am feeling good again finally- still a bit of congestion and still don't feel like I can get a d-e-e-p breath. But I can't slack off, as I mentioned before I got Employee of the Month, so no calling out sick, ha ha. My sweet hubby decorated my cubicle for the occasion. I don't know what crazy people at work voted for me, but I appreciate them all.

Last weekend we made our monthly rounds to check on the shuttle sites for work. It was for "April", but since I'd been sick we postponed it into May. We made a stop at a brand new Bass Pro Shop in Macon, where we picked up four new pennies for the collection. We also stopped at a state farmers' market where we loaded up on local tomatoes, potatoes, onions, and zucchini. My dear husband knows that I never ever miss a Kentucky Derby, so that first Saturday in May we got up at 4am in order to go check all the trucks, and be back home in time to watch the Run For The Roses. And wow, Calvin Borel did it again!! He is unstoppable.

We've both had unbelievably busy weeks at work lately. I even worked about six hours of overtime last week while I was sick, without complaint of course because I love my job and I'm so grateful to have it. And six hours is nothing- knowing, of course, that James works well over 40 hours a week- probably around 50-60 on a "normal" week, and no overtime pay for him!! I already know in advance that next week I will have a big big week with folks in my department on vacation, and several large projects that must be done. My boss today already told me, I will be working a lot of extra hours next week. I don't know how my husband does it day after day, year after year, because he works WAY more hours than anyone I know, and he has WAY more responsibility than I ever will. I would nominate him Employee of the Decade, if they would let me.

Yesterday James had a long long day, after working his normal "day", he had to return in the evening to have dinner with his night shift. Which he always does happily, because it's a reward for his hard working (and safety-minded!!) crew, and I'm always full of pride that he is so dedicated to the company and particularly the group of people he works with. So yesterday evening, he slipped away for just about two hours, and took in a little golf before heading back into work for the night. I went with him- I don't golf but it was fun just to hang out with him and walk the course- I make a terrible caddy by the way. He made it through ten holes before it was time to get back to the office. But it was a beautiful day, and I appreciate that he finds ways for us to spend time together. I got distracted quite a bit with all the ducks, geese, fish, and turtles all around the lake. Oh yes, and he parred four holes in a row!

He should be home any minute now, and we are headed off for a Friday night dinner out and a few errands. Then on towards Knoxville early Saturday morning, to spend the Mother's Day weekend with all the lovely Truan women. Now that I am feeling almost back to normal again, I will try to blog a little more frequently!

Happy Mother's Day to you all- especially my mom Pat and James' mom Carol!