Banning Mills, Georgia

Banning Mills, Georgia

Friday, July 12, 2013

Weekend Happenings, Factory Tours

Good Friday morning!

RANDOMNESS #1 - I know this blog is called A Simple Life, and while that is what I strive to have, sometimes others (Mikie, the kids, the school, the church, etc.) make things a little more complicated than I would like.

Lately, Mikie, the kids, school and church have not been a factor in complicating my life.

It has been Copper, our beagle.

You may remember several weeks ago, we lost Copper for an entire weekend...

And we were in the depths of despair...

Until I received a call bright and early the following Monday morning from a woman who had been feeding him and loving him for two days waiting for our vet's office to open to find his owners with the tag information.

It was a great day.

We took pictures. Mikie fixed the tiny hole in the fence. Copper was happy to be home with Sparkle and The Faulkner Five. Life was good.

And then a few weeks later, it happened again.

And again.

And again.

That's right. Copper has left AND been returned by FOUR different humans over the last couple of months.

There has been a different story told to us each and every time by the person returning him, and I will have to admit, Copper is not leading A Simple Life.

He is leading An Adventure-Filled Life.

I'm just a little envious.

I'll be telling you a couple of the stories Monday morning, because they are much more interesting than anything that is happening to me at the moment. (See "dark chocolate covered blueberry" story below.)

Heavy, heavy sigh.

Crazy, crazy dog!

NOTE - Since Copper was a rescue dog, we aren't sure if he is 11 years-old or 9 years-old. That means he is between 63 and 77 years-old in human years.

I hope I have his zest for adventure when I am 63 to 77 years-old.

More importantly, I hope Mikie is still willing to look for me and pick me up after my adventures.

I guess we'll have to wait and see.

RANDOMNESS #2 - I have a new favorite food. While I was waiting for a prescription to be filled at the local drugstore the other day, I grabbed a Diet Dr. Pepper and a bag of dark chocolate covered blueberries.

Oh... my... goodness. They smelled divine, AND dark chocolate and blueberries are both considered SUPER foods.

So I went on an antioxidant binge for a little while, and even though dark chocolate covered blueberries are "pricey," I fully intend on making this my new HEALTHY snack/breakfast/lunch of choice over the next few days.

RANDOMNESS #3 - The Chick had her wisdom teeth taken out Wednesday. It was an emotional day for me, her Mother. There were tears. There was pain. There was some yelling. Words were spoken.

And Roxie wasn't too happy after the procedure either.

Yep. The Chick was definitely loopy...

Our Sweet Friend, Taylor, rode with us to the dentist office, and fortunately, she helped keep Roxie in the car on the way home.

And she acted as a pillow for different naps Roxie took throughout the ordeal.

We tried watching a little television, but it became obvious Roxie was taking it WAY too seriously.

A simple phone conversation with her Dad started off normally...

BUT quickly ended in tears... because she loves her Daddy so much, you see.

Every now and again, she would look to the heavens and declare, "God has blessed me." When Taylor or I agreed with her, the tears would begin anew.

More friends dropped by later in the day, and while tears still flowed at any given moment, she was able to control her emotions a little better.

It has been an emotional roller coaster, I tell you, and I am proud to say The Faulkner Five are Wisdom Teeth Free!

Factory Tours

It is Summertime, and if you think like me, every now and then, a day trip (or field trip) is in order.

A day with structure.

A day filled with moments which teach your child/children one or more life lessons.

A day which will, HOPEFULLY, physically drain your child/children of any and all energy and make them more than happy to eat pizza on the deck for dinner that night, happily take his/her/their baths and jump into bed more than willing to contentedly fall asleep dreaming of the fantastic day spent with the family.

Sounds good, doesn't it?

I found a website on Pinterest and it has a list of factory tours for each and every state. For many, many ideas, go to and click on your state of choice.

Summer is the PERFECT time to plan a day trip to a nearby factory for a tour. I know I've mentioned the first two tours several times because I love ice cream... and chips.

1. Blue Bell Creameries
423 North Norton Avenue
Sylacauga, Alabama 35150

Folks of all ages seem to like our plant tour, but it may be 'cause they get to eat some of our famous ice cream when it's over. Since you can't eat Blue Bell over the Internet, you might want to tour our facility and taste the fruits of our labor for yourself.

If you decide to visit us, here's the scoop. We offer guided plant tours weekdays throughout the year, but we're closed on weekends.

Tours are available by appointment only, Monday through Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

General Admission $3.00
Senior Citizens (55+) and Children (6 to 14) $2.00
Schools and MHMR groups are Free (September thru February) $1.00 per person
Schools and MHMR groups (March 1 thru August 31) $1.00 per person

Tours last 45 minutes and include a serving of ice cream.
Please check in at the Country Store on arrival.
No cameras permitted on tour.
Call 1-888-573-5286 for more information.

2. Golden Flake
6th Street South
Birmingham, Alabama 35205

See the South's original potato chip made at our Birmingham facility and have your photo taken outside our "Company Store" with its unique delivery van entrance. Look here for more on how to schedule a tour.

Tours are given Monday through Thursday (excluding holidays). Tour hours are 9:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. No appointment is necessary, but school class tours and any tour group over 10 persons should call in advance and make an appointment to avoid waiting.

If you are interested in visiting our Birmingham Facility, you can call for tour information at 1-800-239-2447.

Children must be 5 years of age or older to go on the tour.

3. Hansel & Gretel Candy Kitchen
8651 Main Street
Helen, Georgia 30545

Hansel & Gretel Candy Kitchen started in 1973 as a tiny shop in an alley in Helen, Georgia. The owners were a young couple, David and Janet Jones, who were full of enthusiasm, but had no idea how to make candy.

Slowly and steadily over the years, the couple and their ever-growing staff learned how to make different candies, and Hansel & Gretel now produces the widest assortment of candies of any Georgia retailer.

Whether you are looking for such Southern traditions as peanut brittle, divinity, fudge or pralines, there is simply no one who does it better.

Hansel & Gretel also specializes in a vast assortment of chocolate molded novelties and chocolate suckers, and offers a wide selection of chocolate gift boxes and other assortments.

During a visit to the large Hansel & Gretel Candy Kitchen in downtown Helen, you will see these and many more items too numerous to list, made right before your eyes.

David and Janet still run the company, and their now-grown daughters Andrea and Diana help when they can. David loves to answer your questions about our products and enjoys handshaking in general.

If you are in town, drop by or call anytime. Our number is 706-878-2443.

Hansel & Gretel Candy Kitchen is open every day but Christmas.

9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. (Sunday through Thursday)
9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. (Friday and Saturday)

4. Mayfield Dairy Farms
4 Mayfield Lane
Athens, Tennessee 37303

Mayfield Dairy Farms began when T. B. Mayfield, established Live Oak Farms in 1912. He purchased 45 Jersey cows and began to sell the milk to homes in Athens, Tennessee. In the early 20s, he built the first milk plant in the area capable of pasteurizing milk. He purchased a ten-gallon ice cream freezer in 1923, and began making ice cream. Since these humble beginnings, people in East Tennessee and the Southeast have enjoyed top quality Mayfield dairy products.

Visit us at a Mayfield Visitor Center in Athens, Tennessee, or Braselton, Georgia. Browse the Mayfield gift shop and take a free and educational plant tour. It's fun for the family or a perfect field trip for schools, church groups and other organizations!

10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday)
10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. (Saturday)
No tours on Wednesday.

Weekend Happenings

1. We're doing the "lake thing" this weekend.

2. And hopefully, the "tubing thing."

3. And MAYBE, just maybe, the "fishing thing."

Have a fantastic weekend. I'll be back Monday with more Summer Goodness.

Take care, and I'll talk to you next week.


The Enchanting Belinda

1 comment:

  1. Congrats to Roxie for getting her wisdom teeth out. I still have one that needs to do that in about 2-3 years, I hope. We are celebrating being rubber bands and braces free. But NOW I get to remind them about retainers and wearing them. We have been on vacation a bit. I'm happy to say I'm back being a follower. Have a great weekend Belinda !! Andrea who was in WA but now in UT.


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