Good and fun weekend. M came home Friday (yay) so we spent a lot of time together this weekend which was nice. Saturday we went shopping which is always fun. Right? Sunday we went desi shopping and house looking and had a great Iranian meal. We went to Solar and had the Sunday brunch buffet. It was sooo awesome and filling. It's the best halaal restaurant here for sure. Kabobs, lamb shanks, all kinds of stuff.
We like to drive through various neighborhoods to see the houses, neighborhood, and price. This weekend we found a great area with great houses. Unfortunately, the houses also came with great big prices. We went to one open house and the house was huge and fun to wander through. Not a bad price either.
After that we went desi shopping at a new desi strip mall that we hadn't known about. Everytime you think you've went to all the desi strip malls there's always another. We got some yummy snacks - see the above picture. And also some fresh squeezed sugarcane juice. Good stuff.
Then we went to the desi market. Got a bunch of stuff for biryani and stuff. (Making it right now...harder than it looks - timewise mostly - but looking good.)
* When looking for Gulab Jamun
ingredients, don't ask for Gulab Julab
because well that has a completely different meaning, but it will make the person you are asking laugh out loud at you. (Smile... guilty as charged.)
* While looking at the medicinal or beauty products I saw Krack and said "I want to get some of this Krack." M says, "No, that's not good Krack. You don't know what they put into it. I will find you some good Krack." This conversation causing us both to Krack up laughing.
(sidenote: what's up with that "Fair and Lovely" stuff that turns brown skin white. Eek. That's scary. Brown is more lovely than fair anyhow but I guess the grass is always greener on the other side.)
(another sidenote: Isn't it great how thousands and thousands are marching all across New York for the weekend and next few days? But here's my thing. How arrogant is Bush to even keep running? I mean, with thousands protesting in any city he enters, doesn't he get the feeling that he's not liked? Even if some do, I would feel ashamed and bothered if people actually protested my arrival in a city. What a loser and what an arrogant arse. I really don't think he gets it. But kudos to all those in NYC. Wish I were there to feel the energy.)
Okay, off to finish the biryani and other stuff I'm cooking up today. M is going out of town this afternoon again (sad face) so i figured I'd send him off in style- with a great meal. Insh'Allah it will all turn out as it is my first time cooking any of these dishes. I'm using his kitchen and gonna surprise him. Perhaps i'll post another food picture like last time.
Happy Monday everyone! Enjoy your week! Salaams from the South.
They did it again. The US women's soccer team got the gold again
! Mia Hamm rocks. The whole team does, but dang...this is cool.
Other good news is that Sadr and his crew have left Imam Ali's shrine. Alhamdulillah.
A bushism or two or three:
- "She was neat." On meeting Queen Elizabeth
- "The thing that's most important for me is to remember what's the most important thing."
- "If this were a dictatorship, it would be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I'm the dictator."
Have a good weekend everyone!
"At the heart of every winter, there is a quivering spring; and behind the veil of each night there is a smiling dawn." Kahlil Gibran
Sorry about the sad post last night...it happens but this quote came to mind.
I was thinking about my sister tonight. She died when I was 4 and she was 9. I miss her terribly and if I had one wish in the world it would be to have a conversation with her because I can't remember any. From what i have been told we were very close. We were inseparable - then her life was taken away. I responded to her death by not speaking - for years I kept silent. My pain was expressed in silence. I hid in cardboard boxes, I read, I thought about God and told my parents that I also wanted to die so I could go to heaven to be with her. I told my grandma that she was an angel and I used to cup her in my hands as an angel, and I'd tell my grandma that she was right there in my hands. I was never told about God as a child, not until i was 7, years later, but I obviously already had a relationship with Him.
I feel her life was stolen from her, so I better live enough of a life for us both. I don't want to fail her and I hope I haven't. I sometimes wonder if I converted so I could make it to Heaven to have a conversation with her. When I think of Heaven I only think of her because that is the point of heaven to me. What else is there to do there? I know I shouldn't think this way but I do. I sometimes think God guided me to Him to give me that chance to have another conversation with her. Or was it to teach me about suffering? My heart if soft for mankind and perhaps this is why. It was a big loss and at such a young age. I dread the day I lose another person in my life. She lost her life, perhaps for a bigger reason. Maybe she suffered less that way. This world is full of pain. Maybe her heart was too good for this life and she would have had a hard life. I don't know. There are no answers...yet. I guess a part of me always thought if I pleased God and could make it to heaven, I could find my way back to her. Selfish thoughts I know and wrong ones too but these are my thoughts tonight and they are keeping me awake. Perhaps sharing them will put me to sleep.
So, this is going to sound silly... I've read every Islamic kids book the library has...most of them on Ramadan. I wanted to read them because I have been thinking about writing a kids book series and then begging my soon to be mother in law to illustrate them. I think it would be fun and cool. My fiance's mom wrote and illustrated one and I saw it and it gave me the idea. How cool would that be. Anyway, so I was reading them to see the styles and also to learn (yeah, that's my reading level ha ha). I found some interesting ones though like "Iblis" and "And the Earth Trembled" - look them up on amazon if ya want. They are interesting because they combine all the monotheistic religions in one book making it seem very strange. It has a Muslim and Christian theme with a Jewish illustrator. Interesting though. Oddly enough, God is drawn, which I found disturbing. It was the typical Michelangelo style...God with curly hear and gray beard. Another interesting book, although not Islamic, the boy was actually Christian is the story of a Pakistani carpet boy sold into slavery and is a true story. This book was well done and the style I think I'd like to do mine in. Check out the story of Iqbal Masih here
and also here
. His story is all too common. And if you are willing, there's a whole slew of places to donate money to help out with this cause. This kid wanted to build schools so the kids would have a chance to be productive people and end child slavery.
New Scarf :-DPosted by Hello
I've been reading about Ramadan and what's expected of us during that time as this is my first Ramadan. I'm so excited and am hoping it will renew my strength and faith again and purify me a bit as things were when i first converted. Those days when i couldn't wait for the next prayer time. When I loved turning my face to Kab'ah. When i didn't question things, when i just embraced it all. When I didn't argue with hadith, or imams, or this or that. When i just knew in all my heart and soul that i was Muslim and I loved praying to Allah. That's what I'm hoping to get out of Ramadan. High expectations? Yes. Realistic? Probably not. Hopeful? Yes.
Neighbors are not out of town...and they are stomping around as usual making work and concentration a thing to be desired. Why must people be so rude after you politely ask them not to be? How am I supposed to purify myself when I'm so frustrated with their noise and banging around. Ugh.
I've already started trying to not talk as much and concentrate on other things for Ramadan. I went to digests on all the groups i'm a part of. That way I'm less inclined to comment. I visit the blogs of my friends still and a few people on Naseeb and keep up with my emails but in general I'm trying to express opinions less. I'm tired of bickering and backbiting too. Childish play and very unproductive.
I'm halfway through the Qur'an and the two commentaries I'm reading along with it and hope to be done by Ramadan (no rushing though) so I can start again from the beginning.
Girl - you so totally completely rock! I got your package today. You so completely rock! Those scarves are awesome. They are my new favorites and I will wear them until they are in shreds. You so rock. What desert country did you find those in? I love them and the material is so great for hot weather. You so ROCK! And a handwritten letter and a post card?!? I'm so spoiled. You made my day...my entire week. :-) I loves ya! (self portrait in one coming soon to a theatre near you)
Okay, blessed days seem to be few and far between and today is one of them for these reasons:
1. see above
2. I went to the library and they had such cool stuff today. I got the movie Blackboards by Samira Makhmalbaf, a movie I've wanted to see FOREVER. I'm a big fan of her Dad's work. Blockbuster only has it in VHS so i've been waiting and waiting. AND they also had a DVD on Andalucia AND the Bourne Supremacy on tape (got that for M for his long commutes).
3. My obnoxiously loud and annoying upstairs neighbors are gone for what looks like the whole week. I'm actually going to be able to live in peace and quiet for a short time. They drive me up a wall and this is truly a blessing.
The only bad thing of the week is that M is out of town and I hate that. I miss our evening walks and chats and just looking into his soft brown eyes over dinner. :-( I miss you. Don't let those border agents harass you and if they do, well they are gonna have to deal with me (tough girl face).
Okay, enough of the mush. Dinner time.
Pomegranates and Blood Oranges
These are by far my favorite two fruits and I have been waiting months for blood oranges to be in season again - it will be any day now. I can't wait! Pomegranates and sugar cane too remind me of my youth. My dad raised me so it was always me and him ....like peas and carrots if you will....and i remember my dad opening my first pomegranate for me and seeing all those lovely red seeds in there and then telling me it was a lot of work but worth every little bit. Sugar Canes were my treat while grocery shopping - thinking back i think it was just to keep me quiet and occupied. Dunno...but pure sugar cane is awesome - quite bitter really. Blood oranges became my favorite last year during Muharram (first time i tried them) ...the way they turn your fingers all red. I guess I like fruit that turns your fingers red (although watermelon is also good). Now - how boring of a post was that?
Imam Ali Mosque
Imam Ali Mosque
So the fighting continues and worsens. I feel selfish. I haven't said much on here about how I feel about the possible destruction of one of Islam's oldest and most sacred mosques. I feel selfish because I want to visit it one day and I'd like my children (insh'Allah) to visit it one day. Selfish thoughts, but truthful. I love history that can be seen and that is what the shrine is to me. I have other feelings about the situation but as they are not white and black and fall more in the gray area, I'll leave them out. Sadr, in my opinion is a complex individual and what he is doing is a complex situation that really doesn't have any simple answers or solutions so for once I'm staying out of dialogue about him. I do hope the mosque can stand up to the fighting - God willing.
I returned to the town
where I was a child
and a teenager and an old man of thirty.
The town greeted me indifferently
but the streets' loudspeakers whispered:
don't you see the fire is still burning,
don't you hear the flame's roar?
Find another place.
Search for it.
Search for your true homeland.
Adam Zagajewski (translated from the Polish) - Mysticism for Beginners
Senator? Terrorist? A Watch List Stops Kennedy at Airport
Quote: "I've been getting on this plane, you know, for 42 years. Why can't I get on the plane?" SENATOR EDWARD M. KENNEDY, telling how he was barred from a Boston-Washington flight because his name resembled an alias used by a suspected terrorist.
Full article about it here
(You'll have to register with the NYT if you don't already...quick, easy and free though)
Excerpt: WASHINGTON, Aug. 19 - The meeting had all the hallmarks of an ordinary Congressional hearing. There was Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Democrat of Massachusetts, discussing the problems faced by ordinary citizens mistakenly placed on terrorist watch lists. Then, to the astonishment of the crowd attending a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Thursday, Mr. Kennedy offered himself up as Exhibit A.
Between March 1 and April 6, airline agents tried to block Mr. Kennedy from boarding airplanes on five occasions because his name resembled an alias used by a suspected terrorist who had been barred from flying on airlines in the United States, his aides and government officials said.
What warning label are you?
I'm highly toxic.
Take the test here.
"Take time to enjoy things - the beauties of God's creation, the many blessings of life." ~ Parmahansa Yogananda
And that's what I'm gonna do.
I'm in awe. These kids and this film
are amazing. I don't know a single adult that could have spelled two of those words right. This movie/documentary is definately worth a watch. I'm in awe of these kids peristence and the uniqueness of the backgrounds. I see how one passed out this year at the competition.
Thought of the day: Why do us American converts say As salaam alaikum instead of Peace be upon you?
I finished two book reviews today. One I gave a stellar review too as the book was excellent. The other I trashed - i had to. I feel sorta bad because as a writer myself when the time comes for me to publish a book (insh'Allah), I will want a good review, but this book was annoying from beginning to end. The problem with these things is that you don't want to trash a book if it's because you personally don't like it. It has to merit trashing. And since you are reading the book months before it is even published, there are no other opinions to go by. It is all on you so once you decide to trash a book, all other reviewers may give it a great review and you feel like a sap for trashing the guy or vice versa. It's pressure (and power)...but tough sometimes. Another bad thing is that authors read all reviews from major papers and i've even heard back from some authors thanking me for the kind review etc, so i know the guy is going to read it. Ugh. He's gonna hate me.
Posted a few more pictures on the picture blog.
Israel Ends West Bank Construction Freeze
Evilness. I hate it. It eats me up inside. Israel (those who makes these choices) has no heart nor respect for human life. Will it ever end?
Georgia Terrace Hotel
I almost forgot...after dinner last night at a Jamaican restaurant we walked to the Georgia Terrace Hotel
. What a beautiful place. We walked through and then a nice lady said, "You want to see one of the ballrooms?" Well yeah! She let us into one that had a wedding reception the night before ($90,000 reception mind you) and whoa...beautiful. The bar was made of ice even (we didn't see that but it was so beautifully decorated). Then she said, go see the other ballrooms too so we did. This picture (below) was taken just outside the second one...the whole hotel is just so beautiful and has such a rich history. The "Gone with the Wind" cast all stayed here, other famous people, and even some presidents. If it hadn't been dark, I would have shot some pictures from outside because the architecture is fabulous.
The good and bad of the weekend
The weekend started off slow and icky but got better by the end. I was a bit down because my Dad still hadn't called me for my birthday so I knew he forgot it the second year in a row. C'est la vie eh? I was a bit hurt, and then I got bad news from my brother too so I was in a funk for a portion of the weekend. Began looking at houses since we know it's going to take a while and want one once we are married but it seems an impossible task to get the right area with the right price. Frustrating.
Went to a small park a little out of town and had fun walking around the lake trying to find a geocache that we never did find but hung out on the bridge for a little bit looking into the water..fish and tons and tons of turtles. I have never seen that many turtles in their natural environment before. Too cute. And then Sunday we went to Sweetwater Creek State Park.
We went canoeing, well actually a bit bigger than a canoe with oars, which um i guess makes it a boat. So we went boating around the lake area which was quite fun. Drank a yummy Ting,
one of my favorite beverages, and just had fun talking and rowing. Then we drove around the park and did a hike and one geocache on the hike which led to an old burned down mill. The mill was 5 stories high and the tallest building in the whole state, even Atlanta, in 1860. A great hike. One thing about Sweetwater Creek...that water ain't sweet. Yuck. Polluted I think. Very cool area though. Sad that they wiped the Indians out here (Cherokees) - but then that's our history of occupation. I tend to think of Native Indians and America like Israel and Palestine - just without a current struggle.
Saw a few good movies this weekend. Saw Last of the Sumarai which was just as good as I thought it would be. Loved it. Also saw Scorched which was funny and since I love bank robbery movies i especially liked it. When I was a little girl I wanted to rob banks - thought it would fun. Yeah, it passed...well sort of. ;-)
I'm sure there's more, but that's all I'm coming up with at the moment.
Salute to Israel Parade Protest by Orthodox Jews
Salute to Israel Parade Protest
The Use of Fiction
The one has multiple pictures.
Dinner that I cooked the other night...
Okay, this is sick and twisted but um...hurricane weather gives Atlanta a nice cool breeze...it's so wonderful. Hurricanes bad but oh boy is this weather just so perfect.
I hate friendships ending but sometimes it just happens I guess and there's nothing to be done about it. So today, I'm letting it go. I've tried salvaging a friendship but I guess it's just not meant to be salvaged. C'est la vie.
So my birthday was great. The night before, M showed up with a whole bunch of roses with different colors and a card for a one year old with a 3 written in - he said I'm one year old (Islamically) - it was too sweet and cute. I got calls from all of M's family and even a couple from my own. And friends wished me one over the internet - all of which made me feel thought of and special for the day.
I finally got to go to Red Top Mountain State Park.
I'm not sure why they called it a mountain, but anyway, it was real pretty there. Huge lakes where you can rent boats and jetskis and stuff. There's also a small beach and putt putt golf area. Since it was closed, we grabbed the putter and some golf balls from the trunk and played anyway. We had lots of fun.
Afterwards, we drove through Cartersville and also Etowah Indian Mounds Historic Site
which was really cool. Then we went to dinner and had lots of seafood. Then I got a Cappucino Cake from Whole Foods...yummmmmy. It was all in all a great day.
My computer is at the hospital and I'm going through withdrawels...soon to be admitted to IAA (Internet Addicts Anonymous). I'm at the library right now with 15 minutes of surftime. See you all when my computer is all better. Insh'Allah shortly.
Thoughts of the Day
1. I'm going to be 31 tomorrow. Yuck and Yay. And why do I not seem to care that it's my birthday? I thought it's because my family usually forgets, but I now have a new family that will definately not forget. Is it age that makes us not get so excited?
2. I've been cooking Indian food all day and feel like my Mom (if she were desi) - she is a master of the kitchen.
3. I'm very lucky and blessed.
4. Why don't my prayers feel as heartfelt as when I first converted? My mind gets distracted where before it didn't. :-(
5. I'm looking forward to Ramadan.
6. I'm really sad that my GPS is broken and therefore can't geocache.
7. Soy milk isn't all that bad...especially when you are eating it with soy cookies.
8. Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan rocks.
9. Good friends are hard to come by and when you find one, they should be held onto. Quote of the day: "A loyal friend laughs at your jokes when they're not so good, and sympathizes with your problems when they're not so bad."
10. I can't wait to eat this delicious looking dinner I have prepared.
Wedding Cake House
Charleston and Myrtle Beach
What a great weekend getaway. We drove to North Myrtle Beach and spent most of the day there hanging out on the beach and just relaxing. Perfect weather as the mini-hurricane they just had left it cool. Perfect and relaxing. Read a bit and lounged. Then we played in the water a bit. Afterwards, we walked the pier and well leaned on it looking over the water and lo and behold, there was a bunch of sharks swimming around. Not dinky little sharks either...huge...some were six feet and some nine feet. All of this about 50-100 feet where people are swimming. Whew...scary. I will post some pictures. We then went to the main Myrtle Beach
(there are strands...the north strand, south strand, and the grand strand) and looked around then the North Strand since we stayed in the South one. One thing to note, this is the putt putt golf capital of the world! Tons of high tech well developed putt putt places. We didn't get a chance to partake though...next time insh'Allah.
From there we drove to Charleston
. WOW! What a great town! We both love history (another reason we are a perfect match) so we both loved this city (M has been here a lot for work...my first time). There is so much history all around. We got there in the late afternoon, prayed and then took off to explore.
Sidenote: My face looked like a tomato...i didn't use sunscreen and shoulda...blue eyes on a tomato is what i looked like. The sun is different there at Myrtle Beach...whoa.
We walked around the old houses and wharf while no one was around which was nice. We peeked into the gardens of mansions admiring the interiors. So incredible these houses were. We ate at Bubba Gump Shrimp...a spin off of Forrest Gump. :-) This (the South), btw, is Gumpland. I actually have pictures of where the movie was filmed in Savannah...cute. :-) Awesome dinner. We shared all our meals so we wouldn't leave anything on the plate (didn''t want waste)...anyhow, we ate cajun shrimp for an appetizer and New Orleans Shrimp (shrimp gumbo basically) for the meal and an awesome 4-berry cobbler. Mmmm. The restaurant was themed well and unique - not cheesy - and the food was excellent. Loved it. We wandered around some more and read the history plaques in the dark. Kind of a nice way to do it.
These houses make mansions look small...unbelievable in their grandeur. It was at one point the richest city in America.
The next day we took a carriage ride around the old houses and learned their history and architecture from a great guide. He loved his city, grew up there and learned from his grandpa too, and was majoring in history and architecture - fun stuff. The history is interesting here and it's awesome how the French, the Spanish, the Brittish, Indians and pirates couldn't seige the city in over 500 hundred days. It's a city full of history and charm. A wonderful day and weekend.
We walked around some more then headed back to Georgia. South Carolina is a great state. I really liked it there. The sad part is driving along the highways along the plantations and knowing how many slaves were put to work here. One plantation had over 1,000. Sad stuff. Next time we go to Charleston we will probably tour some plantations and slave houses...and some of the things we didn't do this time.
This is when I love the South. There is so much history here and it's fun to explore. I'm a happy Southerner today. :-) BTW, I just got my GA license since mine expires on my birthday in a couple days (did it on the way out of town - not a fun experience).
About the pictures: Wedding Cake House or the Tiffany House: A woman was married and her bridal gift was $70,000 (about 2.5 million back then) and a note saying "build any house you'd like and she had this one built to look like her wedding cake. This house has amazing features including a 2 million dollar chandlier, crystal windows, etc. Simply amazing. It's a bed and breakfast now (kids not allowed). The chimney looks like the Arch d' Triumph because Paris was her favorite city (see the chinney on my picture blog). The other picture was just one of the small houses that i liked. More pictures can be found on my picture blog: Picture Blog
Feels like France...
So we are strongly leaning towards Andalucia
for our honeymoon. It's got lots of Islamic history and very important mosques (most of them now churches). We were watching a documentary last week on the Islamic Empire and was interested in that part of it's history so we're thinking it would be cool to see it and it makes our honeymoon somewhat Islamic history wise, unique, and warm (for the most part although the weather is unpredictable that time of year). It would be interesting. The other option is the Azore Islands or other islands in the vicinity. The final decision has not yet been made. Insh'Allah soon.
So M and I are trying to figure out where we should go for our honeymoon. Help us out by throwing out a place to us. We have the following rules:
1. Must be out of this country.
2. Must be tropical/warm.
3. Must be in a similar timezone.
4. Must be tropical/warm.
5. Should be romantic to a certain extent.
6. Must be tropical/warm.
Okay, so we've come up with Fiji, Belize, Costa Rica. Anybody come up with anything else? Please let us know and quickly...it's all approaching very fast. :-)
Look at the rising star (Masooma on side bar under Bloggers I know). :-D
So, in exactly one week I'll be 31. That's sad. Someone recently passed this quote on to me and nothing could be truer. David Letterman said 20 years ago, "Turning 30 didn't mean anything, but when I turned 31, I realized it was an irreversible trend."
Getting ready to head out of town for the weekend. :-) Yay! Going to go to Myrtle Beach SC and also Charleston SC. Summer has gone by way too fast and I've spent way too much of it locked inside so I'm really looking forward to going to the beach. It will help me forget my looming birthday.
Then when I get back I'm going to apply for some jobs at some Muslim magazines here that someone passed on to me. I've also got a lead for a freelance writing company so I may do that as well. We'll see what Allah has in store for me. I need to finish these two book reviews also. One has been holding me back because I'm giving it a bad review. The other is getting an excellent review. I don't like writing bad ones. :-( But it's the job - to be objective.
Bushism of the day: "Reading is the basics for all learning." - Announcing his "Reading First," initiative; Reston, VA; March 28, 2000
Hadith of the Day: "Do not make anyone your enemy although you may guess and think that he will not harm you and do not shirk and avoid anyone's friendship even though you may think he will not benefit you." (Bihar Ul Anwar VOL 78, Page 160)
From Creative Loathing (artsy paper here)...the Blotter page: All items in The Blotter are taken from actual police reports and are public record.
"Police responded to a suicide threat at an apartment on Northside Circle. The caller, a 47-year-old woman, was drunk. She said she didn't want to hurt herself, but she was fed up with George W. Bush and that he lied to her and she did not want to be here anymore.
An officer asked, "Does that mean you want to hurt yourself?" The woman said police didn't need to know that. The woman also said she'd had 13 beers that day. Police took the woman to Grady Memorial Hospital's psychiatric floor.
Okay...so it's not a funny story but the bolded text cracked me up.
Learn the words of wisdom uttered by the sages and apply them within your life. Live them out, but do not declaim them, for whoever repeats what he has not understood is as useless as a donkey laden with books. - Kahlil Gibran
Very interesting article on Bush and religion.
He honestly believes "God wants him to be president." This is a must read: The Jesus Factor
What a great weekend!
So we didn't make it to Muslim Day as Helen was further than we thought but Mashalla - what a great weekend. We went to Helen, Georgia (link in previous post) and had a picnic lunch with an Afghani family from the Mosque and some of their friends. What wonderful, kind people. I look forward to our next outing. They brought a bunch of homemade food. The Afghani family's story is interesting. They were refugees and all the kids were born in refugee camps in various countries (Iran, Pakistan, US). It's amazing to see such a wonderful family.
After chatting and eating we went tubing down the Chattahoochee. Now mind you, this was the first time I went tubing after converting and let me say this - tubing fully clothed (although the jeans were heavy after getting wet) is just as much fun as it was in a bathing suit all those years ago. What a blast. Went down the 'hooch for two hours just drifting along with occassional exciting drops. I really liked the houses along there and also when we got to the town area how restaurants had live music playing (songs about Georgia and the South). Too much fun. The rednecks were odd characters... confederate flags proudly displayed on their clothing and how they would stop in the deep parts for beers and smokes. I never realized how disgusting smoking looks. It was a nice realization and I am so glad that I quit. It's been over 2 months now.
After tubing, we went back to the picnic area (along the river where the above picture was taken). After, a flash rainstorm (typical of Georgia for the sky to just fall out for fifteen minutes and then clear back up) we had tea and some more food then hung out for a while. Afterwards, M and I went to see the nearby waterfall (below) and drove through the Alpine Bavarian town. Very cute and we'll be back to do some of the other stuff another day insh'Allah like put put golf which is cool since the whole town (including a Wendy's) is done Bavarian style.
A few amusing things on the way: A big pink elephant wearing glasses (see pic), a trailer carrying a basket with what looked like easter eggs, the country baptist churches with revival signs...the most amusing being "Soul Food Saturdays" with a big revival sign. There was also a mailbox with the ten commandments tacked on to it. It's the Southern Bible Belt for sure. Nice drive though and nice day. How wonderful to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon with such company.
The lawn elephant