Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Where ya from, darlin'?

I've been thinking a lot lately about home and what it's like to really be from a place. Our photography clients ask Doug and me all the time where we're from and I always tell them I was born and raised right here on Mobile Bay. And I've come to realize just how uncommon that is...that a person like me comes back home to put her own roots down in the same place where her parents and grandparents put their roots. It's something I never thought I would do, but knowing a place and feeling connected to a place means more than we know. Anytime I go out to the grocery store or take a walk through our neighborhood (the same neighborhood I lived in for 15 years as a child) I'm surrounded by my own personal history and the history of the people closest to me. It means something to drive by a place and tell a friend, "That's where I used to ride my bike with my friend Anna," or, "That's the treehouse my dad built for me," or "Down there is the railroad my grandfather worked on during the Great Depression." It means something to us...deep down in our soul bellies...to call a place home. Not just a house and the company of those we love, but an actual place. The bay, the beaches, the oak trees....they're the same natural surroundings that inspired by grandparents to paint and encouraged my parents to raise us here. My own children will be the 4th generation of kids to grow up learning to ride a bike along a coastline, swim in the ocean, and throw an anchor from the bow of a boat. We'll get up early and go fishing as a family, like I did with my parents, and we'll be fishing in the same waters, by the same trees. I remember what my town looked like 20 years ago, and my parents tell me how it looked 40 years before that. My dad takes me to the railroad tracks that he walked along to get to school, and he'll be able to show his grandchildren those same tracks. My parents' back-in-my-day stories will have so much more interest and relevance to my children because it all took place right here. I mean, that's pretty amazing, I think. And I think that kind of thing should be more common....people should be more connected to each other, of course (we're desparate for that), but also to the places in which they live. I think it's more important than we realize.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Grass Fed Burgers

So, we had burgers tonight from some local grass fed beef. It tasted very different from regular supermarket beef....I actually didn't like it very much. But, we're going to try some different cuts of beef and maybe try some from a different farm and see what we think. It's very lean, like deer meat, and even when well-done looks more whitish than we're used to. A very interesting experiment, indeed.

Bathroom Makeover

Doug and I redid our bathroom this weekend. It started out as a small project in which we were only going to put in a bath vent/fan thingy. And then....we scraped the peeling paint off the ceiling and repainted it. And then....we decided to go ahead and repaint the walls. And then we replaced the vanity because it looked terrible with all the new changes. It was all crooked and had been installed incorrectly and sank down into the tile about 2 inches, so it was short for us tall folks. And somebody along the way had cleaned the countertop with Comet or something terrible, so it had lost its shine and looked really grungy. So, bathroom makeover. But, the thing is, we didn't really plan on all this happening, so we don't have any before photos. You just have to take our word for it that it looks ten thousand times better now. We added a fan, painted, replaced the vanity and countertop, and purchased a fancy new shower curtain all for under $700. Not too bad. Also, we built up the floor under the new vanity, so it's 2 inches (at least) taller than it was. And here's how it turned out!