Slice of Life Challenge – March 26- Savoring Saturdays

In January, members of my family and I became intentional about savoring Saturdays with coffee and things we enjoy. We’ve developed a whole new affinity for coffee shop culture – the aromas, all the coffee blend options, the food offerings, the buzz of conversation, the lingering togetherness and our own coversations percolating on the day’s possibilities.

I’ve recently downloaded the Roadtrippers app and saw right away that it was worth the upgrade from the free version to Roadtrippers Plus. Now I can locate coffee shops on the road trips we plan and add them as waypoints to our destination for any of the day trips we plan. So when we set out for St. Simons Island, Georgia on a recent weekend, I filtered the app to show me all the coffee shops along our chosen route.

Queen Bee Coffee in Forsyth, Georgia off I-75 seemed like just what we would enjoy. It was right on our way, and it opened about the time we’d be at its place on the map. We parallel parked on the street and went inside. The sign on the steps assured us we were in the right place. We chuckled, veering a hard left.

Inside, we chose a couch with a coffee table. We sunk into the comfort of both cup and couch and noticed the place – the way it appealed to all five senses and awakened us to this new place!

Yesterday, we spent the day in Winder, Georgia and had coffee at La Gabrielle, a little cafe with a European vibe. I fell in love with the light fixtures! My husband said they reminded him of the television show Bewitched.

I checked my Roadside America app to see if there was anything of significance nearby, and found that either the shortest or the second shortest road in the United States (shortest in Georgia for sure) with a traffic light was a mile and a half from our coffee shop. So we checked it out. It’s basically a named street in the middle of other streets, and one and a half cars can fit on it at once. John Bowen Way.

Been there, done that.

And that’s the way we love spending Saturdays – whether we are on the road, at a campsite, at home, or out of town on business, we enjoy coffee to start the day and something to pique our interest afterward. Even if it’s a short little road right in the middle of everywhere.

Savoring Saturdays has quickly become a self-care habit, woven into the tapestry of our weekends.

Slice of Life Challenge – March 25 – Savoring Saturdays in Pine Mountain, Georgia at F.D. Roosevelt State Park

We savored last Saturday, March 18, in Pine Mountain, Georgia on F. D. Roosevelt State Park Campground. Here’s a slice of our day, in pictures.

There’s something amazing about this door. It feels like a time warp. I think it weighs 500 pounds.
Rock buildings in the mountains on a cold morning give me a feeling of belonging.
Here we are!
We were looking for a coffee shop and found history.
Simply a delicious breakfast. The muscadine muffin was off the chain.
The windows overlooked the valley below. Gorgeous spot to start the day.
We took the boys on a short walk down the trail.
They enjoyed all the new smells and looking over ledges.
Boo Radley found a slice of sunshine after his long walk.
Ollie sunk down into the comfort of the bed for a nap. We love camping!

Slice of Life Challenge – March 3 – The Art of Charcuterie

I started savoring Saturdays in January, making sure that weekends offer something relaxing and fun – coffee, books, short day trips, reading, writing, and creating. So when my husband and I were having coffee in Senoia, Georgia (filming location of The Walking Dead) and I walked by a charcuterie board artist hard at work on a catered board, a post came rushing back to mind. Earlier in the week, I’d seen this:

This is a story idea, I thought. I ambled over and asked the food artist a few questions – namely if she could give me some pointers about creating a charcuterie board and whether I could make some photos of her work.

The first charcuterie board I’d ever actually eaten had been a disposable one from an outdoor camping and survival store in downtown Blue Ridge, Georgia when my husband and I were staying at the top of a mountain that took a 4-wheel drive to navigate. It was too much effort to go back out for dinner, so we took home a simple board, pre-made, with some cheeses, meats, and crackers on it. Nothing fancy like chocolate, nothing colorful or fresh and sweet like fruit, nothing exciting like nuts and pickles. We were not impressed. But it had been good for binge-watching Virgin River and not starving at cloud-level elevation.

Charcuterie board artist at work in Senoia, Georgia

This particular food designer, though, showed me the art of charcuterie creation with her XO and heart cookie cutters that she was using for the cheeses, and offered me a rule of thumb or two:

“Use three meats and three cheeses – play with combinations of food, and be creative with savory and sweet foods ranging from pickles and olives to chocolates. Your board should offer a hard cheese and a soft cheese. Use cutouts on the soft cheese and pipe in some preserves. Be festive with the cookie cutters and food colors to customize your board for the occasion.”

I decided to create a board for the Super Bowl, so I found a tray and shopped for the foods. What I discovered is that you can make these boards in under an hour, and they can be as healthy or as unhealthy as you want to make them. I shopped at a Dollar General that has a fresh food section, and the cost was about $40-45 – the price of what it costs for the two of us to go out for a nice meal.

I rolled ham and cheese and secured the bites with toothpicks.

I put on an apron to try to look the part and began chopping meats and dicing cheese and arranging the foods on the tray in designated areas. I started feeling a little bit like a food artist myself!

I arranged fruits next to meats and cheeses and kept the pickles, olives, and chocolates in their own containers on the tray. Soon, my board had a look of completeness to it, and while I’m no good at making little roses out of hard salami slices like the expert, I’m confident enough to create a charcuterie board for the next social gathering where I have to sign up to bring food.

My finished charcuterie board

So I realized that the daily 1,000 story walk is true! I’d walked past a story idea, stopped to ask questions, and learned something new!


Humbleswede inspired my post today when he shared First,  if I know I’m in need of an idea, I spend the day with my antennae up.  Thanks, my fellow writers, for all the sparks of ideas!

Special thanks to Two Writing Teachers

Savoring Saturdays – 1828 Coffee Company Breakfast and Hanging Out at Home

Boo Radley, napping on the back of my chair

Since January, we’ve made an intentional plan to savor our Saturdays by starting with coffee and dialing back the pace of life. Boo Radley and his brothers helped us do that today. All three dogs were in different chairs, in different sleeping positions, strewn across the furniture like cozy throw blankets on this cloudy, cold afternoon – inspiring us to kick back and take it easy.

We started the day at 1828 Coffee Company with a cinnamon roll, a slice of breakfast casserole, cheese grits, lemon biscotti, coffee, and lavender latte. What a feast! What a treasure! The gifts of time, togetherness, and relaxation without pressing deadlines are on my list of gratitudes for today.

And life is far too short not to be counting.

Savoring Saturdays: 1828 Coffee Company on the Zebulon Square

Think of the world which you carry within yourself…pay attention to what arises within you.  – Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet

We recently spent another Saturday savoring the morning hours with coffee and conversation in Zebulon, Georgia on our town square. We love the atmosphere of our small town coffee shop, restored from a historic building to the place we love and enjoy today by Dr. Dan Dunnahoo. You can read his story here. Dunnahoo, a retired Pike County art teacher known affectionately as “Dr. Dan” by locals, named the coffee shop 1828 Coffee Company because it was built in 1828 by Samuel Mitchell and still has the same wood floors that creaked under folks’ boots all those years ago, every plank restored and returned to its original position in the floor.

You can step back in time and order a cup of Zebulon Pike or any of their unique blends of coffee or tea and a cinnamon roll, then sit back and wonder about the history of this place and your own indelible time stamp on it, the dust of your own shoes settling somewhere beneath your feet between a crevice in the wood on the very dust brought in by those who used it as a trading post when it was first built. You can also wonder about those who later became proud first-ever owners of automobiles within its walls when it was a car dealership, and all the romance that bloomed here when it was an ice cream shop and young men brought their sweethearts here to share a date night treat – many of whom no doubt brought their own children back years later when it was a restaurant or an office.

Today, you can find a book in one of three Little Free Libraries here in this coffee house, hear live entertainment, or listen to students reciting poetry or performing a dramatic reading. Dr. Dan and his son-in-law Bryan open their doors to welcome a variety of events that shape the culture of this small town.

Next time you’re traveling through Zebulon, Georgia, be sure to stop in and say hello. Order coffee upstairs, admire the art, and then stroll downstairs where you can play a board game or sit outdoors on the brick patio and enjoy the sights of the town. If you happen to see a middle-aged woman huddled in a corner savoring coffee, reading, or writing, come introduce yourself – – it may be me!