January 25, 2012

My Favorite 25: The Blogs I Read

Blogs are now popping up everywhere.  Links are on Facebook, Twitter, websites, newspapers, and even magazines.  Blogs for me have replaced magazines.  The words written by you inspire me, change me, teach me and encourage me.

I love reading blogs!  In fact, I love reading these blogs much more than I love writing one!  Writing a blog is something that I constantly struggle with:  How much of my personal life should I disclose, why am I doing this, does anyone read what I write, what is my purpose here?  Sometimes I just wonder....  But reading blogs is pure pleasure.

I normally pack my lunch and eat at my desk in my office.  My entertainment during this time is reading My Favorite 25 blogs.  Well...actually 26.  My favorite blog of all time...hands down...is The Pioneer Woman.  The only problem with her blog is I can't program her link into my Google Reader.  So, I have set up a folder in my Google Reader with these 25 blogs.  When I log into Google Reader, My Favorite 25 are current - updated but with the blogs I have yet to read still waiting for me.  After I read the current blogs, they disappear so I always know what I have read and what is left to catch up on.  My Favorite 25 list does change from time to time.  Sometimes I find a blog isn't fitting into my interests and when I find another blog I enjoy more, I will replace it.  I try to keep this list to 25 because 25 seems to be a good amount of reading material for my lunch break.  Not everyone posts daily which works well for the time allotted for my lunch.

I find I am drawn to several categories of blogs.  My Favorite 25 fall under five different categories:  Decorating, Housekeeping, Health, Organization, and Inspiration.  Some blogs deal with just one of these while others cover several categories at once.

I will be introducing you to these 25 blogs through my eyes during the next several week.  As some of you know, I am an accountant and tax season is just now beginning.  I will be much busier than usual and to have my blog planned out for the next couple of months should help me get posts out more timely instead of taking up to four months off.  I sent emails to each of the writers of My Favorite 25 and asked several questions to make these post more personal for you.  Many replied and I will be sharing those answers with you.

I'll leave you with a picture from our Alabama Snow last winter in January 2011.  This is a view from the back field of our farm looking toward the back of the house and barn.  You can just see a little bit of the partially frozen pond between the house and field.  The sheep were being "sissies" that day and staying warm and dry in the barn.  How I would love to have some snow this year!  Not likely...it was 63 degrees today!

 Enjoy winter!

Judy :)

January 11, 2012

Road Trip: Lobelville, TN

...and Linden and Parsons, TN and Cypress Inn, AL.

My husband has been under the weather for the past couple of months, so I was thrilled when he announced he was ready for a little road trip.  He had his taste buds set on molasses and the best molasses are made by the Amish.  I had just purchased a new camera and was itching to try it out, so we headed for Lobelville, TN and the little Amish settlement there on the morning of New Years Eve.  From Alabama, Lobelville is just past Linden so Linden was our first stop.  We were searching for coffee and found a little cafe open in The Commodore Hotel on their main street.

About a month ago, we saw a Groupon ad for The Commodore Hotel so we did know a little about it.  After the gentleman poured our coffee, we complimented him on how nice the hotel was looking.  He asked us if we would like tour and we happily agreed.  (Of course, I had left my camera in the truck!)  He showed us the bedrooms upstairs and explained some of the history of the old hotel. It has about eight bedrooms that have all been recently restored.  The Commodore would be a nice weekend retreat.

With coffee in hand, we set out for Lobelville and turned off on a side road with signs pointing toward molasses.  We saw all of the usual sights when you enter an Amish community:  horse drawn wagons, children in their blue shirts, dark trousers, suspenders, blue dresses and aprons.  The men with their long beards, and the women with their hair bonnets.  I would love to have taken some pictures of them, especially the horses and wagons, but did not have a chance without invading their privacy.  Maybe another time. I did take the following pictures of their farms and homesteads.  Notice the absence of electrical lines.  I love seeing smoke coming from their chimneys.

We found our molasses and also purchased some blackberry and raspberry jam.  (Just to let you know...  homemade buttermilk biscuits were made to try out our new purchases after we got home and it was all delicious!)

On the way back, we drove through Parsons, TN so we could drive across the new bridge over the Tennessee River to Clifton, TN. When our son was a baby, we used to attend church in Clifton, TN.  Right before we moved to Georgia this bridge was projected to be built.  So, the bridge was actually "new" to us, but is now about 15 years old!  The drive from Clifton to Parsons was made so much easier and the bridge affords a nice view.

We ended up on the Natchez Trace on our way home, so I asked my husband to drive past this old country store at Cypress Inn, AL.  This store is about 5 miles from our house and I had always wanted to photograph it.  The day was beautiful with blue skies and sunshine and I was pleased with the outcome.

When we arrived home, we needed to check a new lamb who was born right before we left on our road trip that morning.

As you can see, the new lamb and mom were doing just fine!

Judy :)