Category Archives: Where We Live


We were just driving home from a friend’s house. I was looking at the clouds back toward where our subdivision is and I thought to myself that it looked like a “funnel cloud.” I’ve never seen a funnel cloud before but it looked exactly like how I’ve always heard them described. It was moving pretty fast and by the time we got to our neighborhood it was well beyond us. As I was turning in, I got a good look at the clouds behind us and sure enough there was another one. I tried to get into the house to get my camera but by the time I got the kids in and got the camera, it had moved on as well. As I was settling Eli into bed for a nap, the weather warning sirens went off. They were a little too late for my taste.

All this after I watched a video on a weather website this morning about how most people’s chances of seeing a tornado is under 4% for their whole lifetime and that’s if they live in places like Oklahoma and Kansas. It’s lower than 1% if you live in the Northwest or New England.

So now that I’ve seen two funnel clouds in one day, does that mean I’ve seen my weather for my lifetime?

Grille 29

As Stephen promised, we have started a campaign to eat around town at more unusual places. Our first try today was Grille 29. It’s located in the Village of Providence which is supposed to be a “pedestrian-friendly neighborhood”. (The houses there look like the village on Martha’s Vineyard except without the excellent ocean views and with an added 3.5 cars per person.) Regardless, there are some good restaurants there that are totally worth the drive–er, walk.

First off, Grille 29 is a grown-up restaurant. I walked in and it was quiet except for the jazz playing over the sound system. No loud conversations. No kitchen noise. No chairs scrapping the floor. No kids. Let me mention that last part again: there weren’t any kids in there. I don’t know if that was by design or just my lucky day, but it was lovely. The decor is elegant and modern looking. They have a ginormous fish tank and a beautiful water feature at the reception desk. From afar, the bar looked extremely well stocked and there was even glitter or tiny lights over it that looked like constellations.

I ordered my usual $9 salad of mozzarella, tomatoes, basil and balsamic reduction. When I say my usual, I mean when I go to a nice place to eat I would rather spend my extra $9 on an unusual salad than desert. Some of my favorite dining experiences have been with $9 salads. Now while Grille 29 didn’t have all that many salads, never mind unusual ones, this one was excellent. The tomatoes were fresh, the mozzarella was super good and the basil looked like it’d been plucked off the plant moments before it hit my plate. I was pleased. And the highest compliment, Stephen ate some and he doesn’t even like tomatoes.

I had a tenderloin sandwich that would have been excellent if the caramelized onions and mushrooms hadn’t been over-salted. The beef was just right. A good sandwich even if I do have to drink a gallon of water this afternoon to compensate.

Stephen had Salmon BrulĂ©e which was a broiled salmon with brown sugar glaze on top of sweet potatoes. I didn’t try the fish (ugh!) but the sweet potatoes were cooked perfectly.

We didn’t get to order dessert because I had to hustle off to pick up Eli and Liza early from school due to the weather, but we’ll try to squeeze that in next time. It’s definitely worth a second visit if for no other reason than the atmosphere.

Notes from the National Geographic

Remember when I said I read National Geographic cover to cover when I get it? I read most of the current issue over the weekend and one of the things that struck me was the article on Biofuels. Check out the one on cellulose. Yes, that’s right, we could possibly fuel our future cars on leftover plant materials. Just like in Back to the Future. As long as I get the flying Delorean to go with it, I’ll be happy. Well, that and slowing down the global warming.

Today is Blog Action Day.

Bloggers Unite - Blog Action Day

Cotton Month

You know what we grow in Alabama? Cotton.

Field after field of it. During October it mounds up on the sides of the road and is nicknamed, rightly so, Alabama Snow.

We moved to Alabama five years ago this month. I am so glad we moved during October because I got to see the cotton harvest first thing and didn’t have to wait a whole year to see what happens.

Because of the drought this year, the cotton at the gin looks pretty slim. Usually there are four or five times as many bales as you can see in this photo. I hope the farmers have some other income.