move forward, live fully, breathe deeply....

there are so many areas in our lives in which we can get stuck...drowning in things, worry, anxiety. Here is my journey to live simply, with the fantastic freedom of 'less is more' as my mantra.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Retirement Adventures: Re-Inventing Myself in the South

photo borrowed from Southern Living blog

Last weekend I had the pleasure of attending a wonderful event:  SOUTHERN REINVENTION--hosted by Tasia Malakasis and held at the new 
Belle Chevre Creamery in Elkmont, AL. 

It was a beautiful drive into the country with sunny skies and good company. The Colonel & I chatted pleasantly with one of my girlfriends who sat in the backseat as we found our way to Elkmont.  It was a drive of unfulfilled hopes of southern music (I kept trying to get The Civil Wars track, Barton Hollow, up & running) to get us in the "mood" for our outing. Little did I know that I would have such difficulty with getting the track from my smart phone onto my husband's new car stereo with bluetooth capability.  I'm the kind of gal who likes to read and apply the how-tos in life...and even after pulling out the owner's manual I couldn't get a single bar of music out of that car stereo by the time we made it to Elkmont!!   
Now, I was so Happy! to finally make it to the event...the beautiful new creamery was a wonderfully refurbished warehouse that was dilapidated only last summer! The soiree was to showcase the best of what the south has to offer where handcrafted and artisan are synonymous with quality and ingenuity while bringing new life to old buildings with a zest for community.
People came from many communities far and wide to support and enjoy the day with samplings of food, music, cheese making, clothing, and storytelling.
Clothing Designers Billy Reid and Natalie Chanin had items available to purchase--both Alabama natives with a connection to community--they make a metaphorical statement that being Southern is an asset! not a hindrance.

We had introductions to some of the wonderful artisan-made libations of Shine of  Stills Crossroads, AL( and the Back 40 Beer Co. of Gadsden, AL(moonshine and beer! Seen, not tasted! except in poached persimmons and beer vinegar respectively)


   Recipes from Southern Living editors ( goat cheese cheesecake---divine!! Deviled eggs w/ goat cheese & pickled okra---yummy!) 
Southern Living editor Scott Mowbray on R

We had a fun time kneading and rolling our own goat cheese into logs before they were cut into little logs for taking home to enjoy --- though a few impatient persons unnamed enjoyed licking our fingers on the way to the wash stand afterwards! 

Sitting on bales of hay with burlap seat covers we enjoyed a repast provided by
 Jim&Nick's Community BBQ.   We feasted on BBQ sausage, brisket, and hot wings with multiple condiments rounding out the palate.  I was sooo tempted to revisit the goat cheese cheesecake bites...but decided to play nice & share. I wish that I had had enough forethought to take photos of the lovely food -- next time I promise!!  While fresh bottled water was provided aplenty, I purchased (as I always do!) a quart of icy cold herbal tea&black tea mix named Pom Pearadise! from Samovar Gardens of Brownsboro, AL.  Never ever disappointed with their tea!

On the way out..we purchased a Chocolate Bourbon Pecan pie from the Pie Lab also of Greensboro, AL .Check them out! Not only are they producing wonderful pie...but they are producing social change in their community!

                                                pie lab

We cornered Tasia for a quick photo under the new entrance wall of the creamery.  What a gracious lady! 
me! Jen (sister-in-law) & Tasia

What a lovely day out with my hubs, family and friends.  Though I am born a Southerner (you all know what that means!) I am reinventing myself Alabama.  At times, it's a rather daunting task...but then I meet brave, strong individuals who dare to dream and then work like the dickens to accomplish those dreams!! I am inspired once again to pull up my cowgirl boots and get to work!

I am at once overcome with bittersweet memories of where I've been...but am determined to be happy and enjoy this new In Alabama!!  There's beauty to be found here. XOX.

poetry on the wall of Belle Chevre Creameryby Tasia Mala

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