Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Weekend Wrap-Up, Restaurant Review (River Bottom Grille in Florence), Way Back When... (Multiple Birthday Celebration Ideas), Blog Linkage

Good Tuesday afternoon!

RANDOMNESS #1 - As Friday's post clearly stated, Mikie and I went on a day trip to Muscle Shoals and Florence.

For some unknown reason, I had never been to that corner of the state, but I have a large list of "Things I Must Do in Muscle Shoals and Florence" now, so we'll definitely be going back sooner than later.

We had lunch at the River Bottom Grille on the Tennessee River and it was lovely. At night, it would be a spot with twinkly lights, lots of music and probably many, many people, but as luck would have it, Mikie and I kind of had the place to ourselves for the most part.

It reminded me of a low-key beach restaurant, and I like that vibe.

I ordered the Island Chicken and the Hawaiian Coleslaw.

And in case you ever wondered, "Island" and "Hawaiian" are always, ALWAYS the restaurant code words for PINEAPPLE. So, so good.

The onion straws were also a little different... tiny, crispy and made from super thin strips of red onions. We ordered them as an appetizer, but I stopped eating after the first 100 or so. They are a little addictive, and that can be a problem.

There are two other restaurants I want to try in the near future in Florence, but it will be hard because I feel the need to return to the River Bottom Grille as soon as possible.

Alas, I am torn.

Here are a few pics from our little day of travel, AND an itinerary of what we plan to do on our next visit when the weather cools.

When I said "on the water," I meant River Bottom Grille was "on the water."

Did I mention the restaurant sits beside a beautiful marina?

Well, it does.

One of the reasons I love Mikie...

He looks like Popeye from the back sometimes without doing it on purpose, and I think it is uber cute.

I gotta say, most days I wouldn't mind looking like Olive Oyl from the back!

We call this one "Belinda on the rocks." Humidity had already started soaking my hair back into my skull, so what had begun as a good hair day went south in a hurry.

We saw this statue and many more on the campus of UNA.

I loved UNA. It is such a pretty, pretty place.

We were fortunate enough to come across a goat farm in our travels...

And later, we saw a few geese, too.

My day was complete, I tell you.

RANDOMNESS #2 - We celebrated Grandparents' Day at Southside Baptist in Trussville (as is our tradition). We were missing Josh, Stephanie and T. J., but the rest of us carried on and enjoyed an excellent message and great food and fellowship.

It is always sweet to "go home."

Roxie and Katie... Two of the prettiest chicks I've ever met.

Brad and Grandmother.

Zac, Brad, Melia and Austin.

Zac and Brad... So handsome it actually hurts.

Katie, me and Roxie!

What is a Grandparent?

(Taken from papers written by a class of eight year olds.)

Grandparents are a lady and a man who have no little children of their own. They like other people's children.

Grandparents don't have to do anything except be there when we come to see them. They are so old, they shouldn't play hard or run.

It is good if they drive us to the store and have lots of quarters for us.

When they take us for walks, they slow down when they pass things like pretty leaves and caterpillars.

They show us and talk to us about the color of the flowers and also why we shouldn't step on "cracks."

They don't say HURRY UP.

Usually Grandmothers are fat, but not too fat to tie your shoes.

They wear glasses and funny underwear.

They can take their teeth and gums out.

When they read to us, they don't skip.

A six year-old was asked where his Grandma lived. "Oh," he said. "She lives at the airport. When we want her, we just go get her. Then, when we're done having her visit, we just take her back."

Blog Linkage - Go to and read the last two blog posts as quickly as you can.

I mean it!



Way Back When...

The following two items were first posted in September of 2009.

Multiple Birthday Celebration Ideas

Boy, are you lucky today. Today is so random, I couldn't just hold it down to one party or event. Today you get several ideas in just one post from Let's Make a Memory by Gloria Gaither and Shirley Dobson.

1. Choose one gift and put it at the birthday person's place at the breakfast table to be opened as soon as his/her day begins.

2. Ask the birthday person to plan the menu for supper. (Or, let the birthday person choose a favorite eating place, as the budget allows.)

3. On each child's birthday, record a DVD of an interview with him or her. Ask him or her to describe special memories about the past year (happy times, sad moments, fun things that happened, and other meaningful experiences). Add to the recording every year at the time of each birthday. After each interview, play back the previous years' conversations.

4. Make an Instant Party for a loved one away from home. Bake cookies and arrange them in a box with packs of party plates, napkins and several birthday cards from friends and family. Add several wrapped gifts and gift cards to the package. Wrap the box in birthday paper with a card explaining that you are sending an "instant party." Finish with an outer wrapping of brown paper and mail to that special birthday person who is living away.

5. Give the Gift of What You Are. Buy large empty capsules from a drugstore or pharmacy. On strips of bright paper, have each member of the family write, "I love you because..." and sign his/her name on the back. Each person may contribute as many as he wishes. Roll strips tightly and insert in capsule. Put capsules in small box (jewelry container or match box) and wrap or decorate box. Give to the birthday person to read now or to save for special "low" days. Great medicine to counteract discouragement all year long! This gift is very special for someone away at college or in the service.

And, of course, serve the birthday person's meal on the family Birthday Plate AND hang the official Birthday Flag for the day. (I hope you're fortunate enough to own the Winnie the Pooh Birthday Flag. I've seen others, and they're okay. But everyone knows, a birthday isn't a birthday without a Winnie the Pooh Birthday Flag.)

Football Story

Okay. This is it. Another very shaky football story.

The first year of my marriage to Mikie, we went with his parents to the LSU game in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. It was very exciting. We spent the day in New Orleans before heading to our hotel to spend the night before the game. I had never been to Louisiana before, but I was looking forward to the game and all of the other things we had planned to do that weekend.

The morning of the game, Mike showered, got dressed and met his Mom and Dad for coffee while I finished getting ready. When I showed up downstairs to go to breakfast a few minutes later, I was met with stares of disapproval... severe disapproval.

"What are you wearing?" Mike asked in dismay.

I thought it was pretty obvious what I was wearing. (The way they were looking at me you would have thought I was wearing a blue tube top and/or strapless dress with heavy blue eyeshadow.) In reality, I had on jeans and a pretty purple sweater. I had not invested in a lot of Auburn clothing in the short time we had been married. I had NO idea the importance of wearing team colors. In a word, I was "clueless."

"It's just a sweater. It's supposed to be a little chilly today," I wasn't getting it.

"You can't wear purple to an LSU game. Purple is their color," Mike hissed at me.

"Okay. Okay. I have another sweater. I'll just run upstairs and get it," I said. (We hadn't been married long enough for me to tell him in front of his parents NOT to hiss at me. That came a couple of months later.)

I changed sweaters quickly and walked downstairs to meet them once again. This time, Mr. Faulkner just put his head in his hands and Mrs. Faulkner looked away.

"Is this a joke?" Mike asked, incredulously.

"No. It's a sweater," I said through clenched teeth. (We HAD been married long enough if I had been able to get him out of sight of his parents I would have let him have it... big time!)

"It's a yellow sweater! You can't wear a yellow sweater to an LSU game. It's their other color!"

"How many colors are they allowed to have?" I asked.

"Just go put on an Auburn sweatshirt or something," Mike said with a sigh.

"Mike, it's my suitcase... not the Auburn gift shop. I don't have an Auburn sweatshirt in my suitcase. I don't even have an Auburn sweatshirt in my closet at home. This is what I have to wear. Pick... purple or yellow," I told him.

"Either way it's a problem. The LSU people aren't going to like seeing you sitting with Auburn people."

He was starting to get on my nerves. "Well, I'm not spending $40 on an Auburn sweatshirt in Louisiana. And I DARE someone to say something about a perfectly good yellow sweater. Good grief!" And with that, everyone quietly got into the car and we drove to the game.

As it turned out, people were very, very kind to me. The LSU people spoke to me, and the one time I made the mistake of holding Mike's hand, they were even sympathetic of my situation... You know. Marrying into a low-down, no-good Auburn family. I was by far the most safe of the four of us because I was the only one able to blend into a group of rowdy LSU fans at a moment's notice.

So when LSU won, and I clapped my hands, Mike and in-laws were less than thrilled, but I had made a lot of new friends. I was in the majority... which I have found in my 48 years on this earth is not necessarily a bad place to be.

Have a tremendous day! I'll be back Friday with a really good dessert recipe and Fall stuff galore.

Take care, and I'll talk to you the end of the week.


The Enchanting Belinda


  1. I certainly hope you've upped your Auburn apparel game in all of the years that followed!! Missed seeing you this week. Hope all is well!

    1. Yes, indeed I have, Jenny! And you can look all day long, but there is NOTHING purple OR yellow in my closet!

      I missed you, too. See you Sunday!


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