Not Ed’s Pet World…

Not Ed’s Pet World…

On September 11th this year I got sucked into watching a good hour of coverage from the memorial sites. It was all quality programming but after watching it for an hour I just wanted to step away from the tv and out into the sunshine. I just wanted to go somewhere happy.  So, I took the kids to Animal Trax on Governor’s Drive.

Right now you’re probably thinking ‘you should go to the Madison location. It’s bigger! It’s better.’ But I’m going to respectfully tell you, no, you shouldn’t. The Madison location is smelly, like, Ed’s Pet World smelly. Ed’s Pet World is a dive of a pet store in Birmingham that always smells, well, smelly. Obviously a pet store isn’t going to smell fresh as the driven snow all the time but the Madison location…good gravy, it’s bed.

The new location on Governors is awesome though!

Animal Trax Bearded Dragon

The owner is SO nice. He took a ton of time with my kids. Showing off all the animals and letting them touch them and feed them. He is incredibly knowledgeable.

Bearded Dragon

This guy was awesome. I wanted him.

And how about this guy!?


“Hey, wise guy, What are you looking at?’


 Stella wanted to take the Chinchilla home. I did too. Until I heard how long they live and then I was kind of like…‘ain’t nobody got time for that.’

We’re petless right now. I won’t be talking Billy into a dog anytime soon. Fish are boring. We’ve done the hamster and the gecko. It might be time for a bird. Sadly, Animal Trax doesn’t do birds.

Hmmm…I wonder if Ed’s Pet World sells them?  

Campfire Hacks

Campfire Hacks

Guess who’s certified in fire safety? Thats right, this girl.

It’s totally true. When I was working as a camp counselor we all had to take tests to get certified. I know, I know. Y’all are all totally impressed, right?

Monday, the kids were out of school for Veteran’s Day so I rounded up a friend and we took our kids to my grandparent’s place in the country.

When we got there we built a fire.

How to make a campfire

Now as a gal certified in fire safety I need to tell you I didn’t not follow the rules this time. First off, the number one rule of campfire safety is we don’t talk about campfire safety. Sorry, I just couldn’t resist. Okay, actually the number one rule is always have a bucket of water close by. The second rule is that you need to make sure wherever you’re building your fire doesn’t have stuff around it that can catch fire. Obviously, y’all can see that I have all sorts of foolishness near my fire. Yeah, don’t do that. We spent the whole morning putting out tiny strands of fire with our sneakers.

I like the log cabin method of building a fire but, of course you, can do teepee. And if you’d like a great hack that will make your kids think you’re the best fire builder ever, I’ll share it with you.


It’s true. See my perfect little log cabin? I just put a little bit of dryer lint in the middle with some tender (little sticks) on top and then light it. That thing was burning in seconds.

Which is probably why it’s so important to keep your dryer lint trap cleaned out!

I think the kids had a good time roasting dogs and making s’mores.




Mmmm…dirty feet.


I’m sorry. You clicked on the post just wanting some good campfire tips and lo and behold…preschooler’s feet. Not cool, I know.

Dryer lint for fires, though – totally cool!


Christmas is coming…and according to practically every show on TV so is some sort of Apocalypse. So, a great gift for Christmas for the men, or women, that are interested in this type thing would be Paul Tawrell’s book on wilderness survival.

Just click on the book and take a look see.

Camping and Wilderness Survival

Behind the Scenes: A Love Letter to Auburn

Behind the Scenes: A Love Letter to Auburn

Hey Kids, I’m participating in ye olde ‘Behind the Scenes’ link up today at Crystal Stine’s pad.  Crystal Stine is an awesome blogger who I met at Allume a couple years ago. Here’s the deal: you post a picture and tell what was going on behind the scenes of said picture. Coolest idea ever, huh. I’ve participated before if you want to take a look see. 


I’m an Auburn fan. And I love college football. I mean, I love it kinda like a dude that loves football loves it. It’s not a casual thing. And one of the most fun and rewarding experiences I have had in parenting is introducing my kids to Auburn.

In 2010, at the beginning of the football season Auburn was not expected to achieve a coveted spot in any major bowl. A new quarterback, a new coach, it just wasn’t going to be our year.

But as the season progressed and we beat team after team victory became the norm and a national championship became the taste on our tongues.

In late November, several things stood in the way on our road to Phoenix, Arizona and the Fiesta Bowl for the BCS championship. One of those things was the Georgia game, the deep south’s oldest rivalry, the game that originally birthed Auburn’s battle cry – War Eagle.

As I walked into the stadium herding my minions, I went in warily – not expecting a loss but certainly not expecting a win. I sat in the stands with not only my brother and sister-in-law, but my nieces and nephews, my cousins, and also my husband and my boys. When the seconds ticked off the clock and we had won I turned around and looked at my brother, who had tears in his eyes, and jumped up to him for a big hug.

As we watched the on field celebrations he said “We have stumbled into something great.”

Yes, we had.

And the game just exemplified everything I love about Auburn. Family and fun and tradition and something I can share with my kids forever because, guess what, you don’t grow out of football like you do Boy Scouts and Little League. 

And I shudder sometimes to think that sometimes I turn it into an idol…but when it’s done right, it is right. It can be right.

After the game we rushed over to Toomer’s Corner. The center of Auburn where two enormous old oak trees guided people on to campus. Two months later, the Auburn family would learn that the trees had been poisoned by a rabid Alabama fan and would soon be dead, but on this night they were beautiful. 

The children climbed in their strong arms and we threw toilet paper in them to celebrate – a salute that goes back to the old telegraph days where the telegraph messages of the team’s away wins would be hung in the trees for the students to come by and see.

Toomer's Corner Celebration

Happiness shone out of our faces and everyone felt love. It was a celebration. A homecoming. And looking at this picture just makes me thankful.

Thankful for my husband for buying the tickets when honestly he could not care less about the games.

Thankful that I have something to share with my family that’s bigger than we are.

Thankful for the self confidence that my boys exude as soon as their feet hit the ground in that little city in southeast Alabama.

And I promise it’s not about the winning (even though boy does it feel good) because there’s solidarity amongst us even when we lose. Especially when we lose.


Today we sit at 9-1. And, guess what, the Georgia game is this weekend. And while StubHub and scalpers are telling me we don’t have the money to go I’m still looking at these pictures and remembering how good it felt to be there. And I’m remembering that taste on my tongue.

And I’m remembering that sometimes Thanksgiving doesn’t taste like turkey and dressing but like the memory of toilet paper in trees and little boys turning into men right in front of my eyes.

Auburn flag sunset