Happy not dead anniversary!

I know I haven’t posted in a long time. It’s been a whirlwind few years with the restaurant and everything and I feel like I never have time anymore to write but today I felt compelled to share my “anniversary” story.
One year ago today started as any other but ended much differently, with me in Grady Hospital ICU/trauma center, confused and not being able to remember exactly what happened. It’s terrifying to know you can end up like that really through no fault of your own, but, I have come to realize three seeming cliches’ are actually very true. “God works in mysterious ways”, “everything happens for a reason” and just like those big billboards plastered all over Atlanta proclaim “Grady saved my life”.
One year ago I got up, went through my normal routine of getting dressed, hopping on Pinky Vespadero and going into work. I would normally at some point between 3 and 5 hop on Pinky and take her home and get my 4 wheeled vehicle to bring me back to work because I didn’t like riding Pinky after dark (I was afraid some errant deer not paying attention would run out of the woods and plow me down). I don’t really remember but I guess we must have been fairly busy that day or I was busy running errands and didn’t have time to take Pinky home at my usual time because it was closer to 5:30 (I also didn’t like riding her in the thick of traffic) I think (I don’t really remember that either).
Dwight kept fussing at me to take her home and again, everything happens for a reason and we had a slow spell so Dwight told me to take Pinky home but since it was getting to be the rush of traffic he’d follow me. I remember being annoyed because I thought “I’m a big girl, I can get home fine. Why does he think he needs to follow me?” Thank God he did!
I always parked on the sidewalk in front of the restaurant. I remember getting on Pinky and backing her back to the ramp and watching a car pull into the main drive of the shopping center. She turned right towards Tony’s and I pulled off the sidewalk. She was about 50 to 75 yards or so in front of me and I was going about 5 miles an hour. She turned into the parking lot in front of Tony’s and I sped up to maybe 10 miles per hour. Just as I got to that area of the parking lot she pulled right back out, right in front of me. I remember (now I remember) thinking to myself (actually I think I yelled it out loud) “Holy shit!! I’m gonna hit this car!” There was absolutely NOTHING I could do. I didn’t even have time to really be scared because at this point I was maybe 5 feet from her. I slammed on the brakes and turned the wheel and tried to lay it down but couldn’t. I do remember making eye contact with her and seeing the look of terror in her eyes that probably matched the terror in my heart. That’s the last thing I can remember for a while. I still don’t remember the actual impact which is probably a good thing.
Apparently I hit the back quarter panel of her car and went airborne, over the handlebars, over the trunk of her car and landed on the pavement on my head and eventually left shoulder. I don’t really know since I was out completely. I don’t remember anything from that time until I guess about 20 or 30 minutes later when I woke up in the ambulance down near 6 Flags. Dwight of course witnessed the whole thing, bless his heart. He thought I was dead. Scared probably 20 years off his life! Thankfully he WAS behind me because apparently the other driver was going to drive off and leave me lying there, twitching, unconscious, on the pavement. He pulled in front of her car to stop her. Dwight said I did regain consciousness long enough to tell him that I wanted him to get me up and take my helmet off because I was hot. He told me no, he wasn’t moving me until the ambulance arrived. Idon’t remember any of that. I don’t remember the ambulance arriving or them putting me in the ambulance but apparently I talked to the paramedics even though, again, I don’t remember any of it.
I remember waking up in the ambulance and I could see the roller coasters at 6 flags through the back doors and the paramedics were asking me if I knew who I was and what happened and I was telling them no and they were like all concerned like “You don’t know who you are?” I said “No, I know WHO I am, and I am obviously in an ambulance, I just don’t know WHY”. They asked if I remembered “the accident” and I told them no. I remember them working on me but no real specifics. I remember trying to joke with them and them laughing but don’t remember what I said. Then eventually we made it to Grady (it was the thick of rush hour traffic). For some reason, about the time we got to Grady I remembered hitting the car. I was like “Gold or cream colored car, pulled out in front of me and I hit it, right?” The paramedic said you remember it all now?” And I said “NO, that’s ALL I remember”. Since then I have slowly remembered the car pulling out and the look on her face.
I seemed to have sat out in the hallway of the Grady ER (on the gurney) for what seemed the LONGEST time because they were so busy. I remember the paramedics coming back several times to check on me before they left and headed back to Douglas County. I will forever be grateful for their kindness and their quick response time. Thank goodness there is a fire station less than a quarter of a mile from our restaurant and I was still in the parking lot when the accident happened. They were such kind people. I wish I could remember their names but my memory is still pretty foggy. It seems I remember that there was a young woman with blondish curly hair but that’s the only one I really remember. I do know that Dwight is taking them food by today to thank them that a year later he still has me here. He won’t let me leave the house today…. He’s pretty superstitious.
I was only at Grady about 23 hours I guess. Overnight and into the next afternoon but I was back home the next day before 5. It seems like forever because it was a seemingly constant stream of tests. I had MRIs and CT scans and full body scans and blood work out the yahzoo. It seemed like every time I turned around they were wheeling my gurney out of my “trauma room” down for another test. They kept telling me that they needed to get me up to ICU but there were no rooms available so they were “holding” me in a trauma room until one opened up. I never even got into an official hospital bed (just a gurney) until about an hour before I left the hospital and I never made it up to ICU.
A few hours before I left the hospital an intern came in and pointed to my daughter and husband as if to say “Who are these people?” I told him it was my daughter and husband. He asked if I had talked to my doctor yet that morning and I told him no, I didn’t remember them coming by and he said she was supposed to come talk to me about my kidney. My kidney? What’s wrong with my kidney? I’m here because I hit a 4 wheeled vehicle while I was on a 2 wheeled vehicle and now I have 2 brain bleeds and a concussion! He proceeded to tell me she was supposed to come and talk to me about the large mass on my left kidney. WTH??? So, yes, apparently things DO happen for a reason. Had this driver NOT pulled in front of me, and had Grady NOT been so thorough, I literally might be dead right now. SO Grady DID save my life. Because they were so insistent in doing so many scans to make sure I wasn’t bleeding internally, they found my renal cell carcinoma and I was able to find an awesome surgeon, Dr. Msangi, who removed my left kidney and ridded my body of the cancer.
This last year has seemed a whirlwind and I am constantly reminded of how blessed I am. The night before my surgery last summer to remove my kidney, my oldest informed me that she was pregnant. I now have the most wonderful gift of our first grandchild. My grandson Ryman is just perfect and I can’t spend enough time with him. Our daughter Sara married the love of her life, Denise, in December and they are very happy. Our youngest, Erinn met and got engaged to the love of her life Brian. Now in the next couple of months we have another wedding coming up and the much anticipated birth of our 2nd grandson, Carter.
My heart is full and my life is full. I am eternally grateful to the Douglas County EMS that showed up and transported me to Grady (apparently when you are knocked out in an accident or have any type of head trauma, you go to Grady whether you want to or not). It would not have been MY first choice of where to take me but I will forever be grateful that they did. I was told by one of the doctors that 6 more months and I might not have been here, it might have been too late to do anything about the cancer so….. God does work in mysterious ways. I can’t even be mad about the accident. I like to say that God made her temporarily stupid so that she’d pull out in front of me and they would find the cancer. EVERYTHING happens for a REASON. It’s not up to me to second guess God’s timing or why he allows things to happen. It’s only up to me to be eternally grateful that it did. I am so blessed.
June 13th will forever mark for me a new anniversary of when I got my life back. It’s amazing that it takes almost getting killed in a stupid accident to save your life. Thanks to everyone that helped me and my family through that time and thank God for his love and mercy.

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Please help my friend become the new face of Reebok One

Please help our friend and business neighbor, Rocky Piwko,  in his quest to become the new face of Reebok One. He has made it to the top 12 and now he needs our votes to push him to the top 4 and hopefully on to win! You can vote daily! Here is the link to vote:


Make sure and read his story and watch his video. If you have never met Rocky Piwko – Sngl_Handedly​ – Rocky Piwko​ then you have missed out on meeting an awesome person and an inspiration to all he meets. You should also stop by his Crossfit Box at 4040 Chapel Hill Road in Douglasville to meet him. While you’re there you can walk 2 doors down and eat with us!


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A Kia Full of Surprises

The last time I posted in my blog was a couple of weeks before my dad passed away. I had written a poem about him (it should be the previous posting to this one) while he was sick and then when he died, I just haven’t been able to bring myself to write anymore. I have felt stifled. Today, I had a little experience that brightened an otherwise dreary day for me.
Mama and daddy May 2010
After driving my Daddy’s Kia Sportage for over a year now, I FINALLY was able to access the back through the hatch thanks to Mr. Clark at Clark’s Transmissions! THANK YOU! Anyway it was way too hard to thoroughly go through or try to in any way organize the back end while leaning over the back seat and the back has only been opened once since I had for a very brief time which is when I found the “treat” I like to think my daddy left me, a bottle of his homemade wine in a paper grocery bag with a little stack of those 2 oz Dixie cups which I’m sure he used to give people a sample of his “recipe”. Thank you Daddy, it was delicious and like you, I shared!

Dad - Shine

Kia broken latch

Kia open

I’ve always known my daddy was an amazing man, I just never realized quite how prepared he was at all times for anything that might happen. This is a list of things I have found thus far in said Kia: The quart Miller High Life bottle filled with his homemade wine, stack of 2 oz Dixie cups, 2 pairs of sunglasses, disposable (picnic style) salt and pepper shakers (I am sure for his beer, which he liked to “spike” with tomato or Clamato juice), a fork (probably for those little Vienna sausages he loved to eat and would stop at Russell’s store and pick up to eat while he was out at the garden or out in the woods), numerous packets of seeds (flower and vegetable), a brown paper bag containing sinkers and fishing lures, 2 pocket knives, a koozie (for said Miller that he liked to drink), 4 different sets of gardening gloves, 3 different lengths of towing chains complete with the towing hooks, a can of motor oil, a can of brake fluid, a can of WD-40 (cause you NEVER know when you might need that), a can of Rustoleum (that one I couldn’t figure out), a buttload of plastic grocery bags (buttload is an official measuring unit measuring between a pound and a ton) which he used to fill with his home grown veggies and distribute to his friends and neighbors who were no longer able to garden or who he felt needed a little fresh home grown love, 2 umbrellas – one folding and one large golf type umbrella, an untold number of tools (wrenches, pliers, vice grips, screwdrivers, and metric wrenches), a spool of wire, twine, a rope, battery cables, a windshield wiper (pretty sure it probably went to the back window because it didn’t have one when I started driving it, which I didn’t notice until I went to use it one day… oops), a fitted sheet(?), garbage bags, a mini trowel and a mini hoe, and I think most ingenious (and maybe most disturbing, lol) not one, but TWO different sized hatchets! My daddy should have been a boy scout leader!

Kia bucket of treasures

There was also a little yellow tackle box in the back of it when I first got in it but my husband made me leave it at my moms and now no one knows what happened to it. I never got to go through it because we were getting ready to leave to head back to GA when my husband told me to leave it on the porch since neither of us fishes and he thought maybe one of the relative might need it to go fishing at the quarry when they visit. It is the one BIG regret I have about my dad’s stuff. A seemingly innocuous little tackle box that could have been so important. I would not have given it another thought except for the fact that the last time we stayed in Savannah I just happened to have breakfast with this lady (who just happened to be a medium, not that I have ever believed in that kind of stuff before) who asked me if I had a little yellow box that used to belong to my dad. I automatically replied no and then after a few seconds the sight of that little yellow tackle box sprang into my brain. I told her that I DID have it but had left it in VA. She told me that my dad told her there was something in that box that was for me, that I was MEANT to see, that I NEEDED to see. When I went back to VA, the box has disappeared. I have NO IDEA where it is because my cousins, brother in law and nephews have thoroughly cleaned and reorganized everything about that porch and shed. I really wish I had that tackle box. There may not have been anything in it, but, there MAY have been. OH, the possibilities!

My beautiful picture

Thank you, Daddy, for all the “presents” I got to go through this morning. Every item I picked up and touched, I could see him using and I could see why he had it with him. It (the Kia’s back end) was like his ”purse”. He went everywhere in that Kia. He used it for gardening, visiting, shopping, going to church, going out in the woods. He was a little pack rat BUT… you never know when you MIGHT need some of that stuff! I miss my daddy so much. What an incredible man he was!

carter family - relay 1

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Ode to my father

My dad as a young man

My dad as a young man

The mighty oak stands tall against the low slung evening sun
Standing as tall as it can, stoic, gathering strength from its nourishing roots
A root base that has supported it for well over half a century
The oak itself has stood for over ¾ of a century
Gathering sustenance to remain a force to reckon with
It has withstood the test of time and an onslaught of storms and strife
Struck by lightning time and again but continuing to hold its mighty branches aloft
These branches at one time were once impossibly strong, just as the oak’s base
They now are beginning to wither with age and blight
Many generations of children have played amongst those mighty branches
Gaily laughing, chasing, joyous and unshakable in their knowledge that it would always be there
Generations of young men and women have gathered at its imperious base
Rapt in the telling of tales, drinking of spirits and regaling in its wisdom
Gathering all the knowledge it has to dispense
It has weathered many a storm in its lifetime
Its acorns and seeds have fallen to the ground
Some to be taken aloft by the wind to land in distant places
Taking root and growing mighty in their own right
Others have grown to maturity only to be felled before their time
Themselves a victim of the blight
Still others have failed to gain the nourishment to grow to their full maturity
Foundering and trying to find purchase in the hardscrabble ground
Taking their strength from the mighty oak
Now the mighty giant is tired
Withered by years of battling ferocious storms
hit time and again by lightening,
Fighting off blight as it fights for its life
The blight is unfortunately winning this battle
Settling into its roots, threatening to fell it
But still it stands
Too proud to give up its fight
Too stubborn to let it win
Time and again the blight attacks
And still it stands
Not as mighty and strong as it once was
Yet still it stands
Still it stands


My mom and dad at the relay. Aren't they adorable?

My mom and dad at the relay. Aren’t they adorable?

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Wordless Wednesday




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Savoring Savannah

I’m back in Savannah for a few days and thought I’d throw this deal out for y’all while I am here.  The Dresser Palmer House has a fantastic deal out on Liivng Social right now.  Here’s the link:


Basically you get a room for two nights for $229.  You can upgrade to one of the nicer rooms for just a little more.  You can also circumvent having to do the whole joining Living Social thing by calling the Inn directly at 912-238-3294 and speaking with Don or Kolen and telling them you want the Living Social deal.  It’s a great destination for 2 days or a week!  You can double down and stay 4 days for basically the price of two!

While I was here of course I HAD to go by Motorini of Savannah  (http://www.vespasavannah.com/ or their facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Motorini-Vespa-Savannah/187539077936291?fref=ts) to see what was new to go along with my little pink Vespa!

pink vespaSO…. I got me a new helmet!  What do you think?

new flower helmetI guess that now, since I WILL have a crown on (the back of) my head that I can officially be called “Princess Peggy”!  Y’all have fun out there and BE SAFE!



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Milktruck and Kitty Bob

So sorry I’ve been so lax about posting but running a restaurant has taken ALL my spare time and time that wasn’t spare so it’s catch as catch can.  So much has happened over the last year but I don’t really have time to write about that right now.  I just wanted to recap on the last few weeks with our kitties.


The last six months or so we’ve had this stray little bob tailed cat hanging out around the house and I’ve been feeding him and even named him Kitty Bob.  I know I am VERY original.  Anyway,   it got to the point where I think the whole neighborhood was feeding him and he’d come by just to get a cuddle.  He would jump up and sit in my lap before he’d even eat. We’d only see him maybe once or twice a week and sometimes only once every two weeks as he made his rounds in the neighborhood.  He looked just like our Hellboy except with no tail and a little smaller.

Kitty Bob

Kitty Bob


Unfortunately, he got hit by a car a couple of weeks ago right outside our neighborhood.  It broke my heart.  Then, I think it was Monday morning, or maybe Tuesday, Dwight called me on his way to work and asked me if Milktruck was home and I told him no and he said he thought she had been hit by a car going out the subdivision the other way.  He asked me to go by and check so I threw on my clothes and jumped in the car and drove over and the car was definitely dead but it didn’t really look like Milktruck.  This cat looked like it had a small spot of orange at the base of it’s tail but other than that it looked just like her.  I called him and told him I didn’t think it was her.


What further made me think it wasn’t was that last week one day on the way home to check on Chorizo I saw a cat that looked just like Milktruck at the front of the subdivision (at the entrance) and I stopped the car and rolled down the window and yelled at her to get her butt home, she was too far away from home, as the cat turned at looked at me and then ran off in the other direction away from our house and it looked like it had a little orange spot on the base of it’s tail.  When I got home, Milktruck was at the house and there was no way she could have beaten me home.  So, when I saw this cat I reminded Dwight about that cat.  He was still convinced it was her.


Well, all that day she didn’t come home and all the next day she didn’t come home so when Dwight got home from the restaurant on Wednesday night he got a shovel and went and scraped what was left of the kitty off the road and buried it on the hill behind our house.  He said Milktruck was a great mommy cat and she deserved a proper burial.  He even started to convince me that it WAS Milktruck!




Last night our area got BLASTED with horrible storms.  Dwight went home a couple of hours before me and I closed up and had to take one of our employees home.  I pulled in the driveway and through the pouring rain I see this little gray soaking wet kitty huddled under the edge of Dwight’s truck…. It was Milktruck!  I’ve never been so happy to grab up a soaking wet mass of fur in my life.  Poor baby was soaked and starving.  I ran inside with her and called to Dwight to come in the kitchen I had a surprise for him.   He was beside himself!  He looked shocked at first (like he’d seen a ghost!) then he said  “She’s back from the dead?”   Had to laugh at that one.


So… the GREAT news is that Milktruck is home safe and sound…. The bad/weird news is that we have some random stray kitty buried on the hill behind our house.  I guess that is good news that it got a proper burial even if we don’t know who the cat was.


We also have a new kitty we are “fostering” for the Humane Society for the next few weeks.  The only problem is… I don’t know how we are gonna give her back when it’s time…. Meet Jetta:

Jetta Kitty

Jetta Kitty

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Background



This week’s photo challenge was to take a picture with yourself in the background. This was totally by accident but when I saw it I decided to use it.  We were voted the #1 place to go for lunch by the readers of our local newspaper (The Douglas County Sentinel) and although the official list of winners won’t be announced until Sunday’s edition they gave us our banner to go ahead and put up now!  I am so proud that we won this the first year of business!  Thanks to all our loyal customers and to Douglas County!

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Weekly Photo Challenge: My 2012 in Pictures

butterfly on football

This butterfly landed on the football and stayed there for a long time while we took pictures at a charity golf tournament.

Canon 1598

I thought the way the full moon peaked through the fog and the trees looked very ethereal. Almost haunting.

Canon 1965

We found this Marilyn statue in a little plaza between some shops while we were in Savannah.

Chamber gold tournament

This was our first charity golf tournament we got to take part of after we opened our restaurant.

cheesy chorizo

Our little Chorizo acting cheesy. He sneezed and got his lip stuck like that.


Dwight getting to feel like a little boy in the “Edif Ann” chair at The Secret Bed and Breakfast on our first visit in September.


I took this one from the sidewalk outside our restaurant I think in August.


This is our mission statement chalkboard. I tried to turn it so you could read it but it didn’t work. Oh, well. You can go to http://vimeo.com/52072531 and view the whole show about our restaurant!


This is the bar that belonged to my brother Monte. His widow, Ana, called me in September and told me if I had a way to come and get it it was mine. I rented a truck in late September and made the trek to VA to retrieve it. This was taken after we restained it and spiffed it up for the tv show.


Dwight’s new toy that our daughter brought down from Nashville for us. He really did need a truck for the restaurant and we love it!


In December Erinn decided she wanted to give back so she decided to do Toys for Tots. As you can see it was a success! She got all these in just two weeks from our amazing guests!


This was at a friend’s birthday party at a local Mexican restaurant in March. Much needed down time!


Dwight was SO excited when we got our sign! He bothered the poor guy to death but he had to be part of putting his name in lights! This was in April I believe…. or late March.


This just tells how we feel about how we got started. Nothing would have been possible without the help of our wonderful friends (and family).


This was from our pre-opening party the week before we opened. We fed about 200 people in just a couple hours time and we were EXHAUSTED!


We were toasting a successful pre-opening party!


Our ribbon cutting on May 4 (also Sara’s birthday)!


Dwight doing what he does best. That’s our open faced roast beef sandwich on the left and Double D cheeseburger on the right (full pound of meat and a pound of fries).


This is the Acorn Hill Spa and Bed and Breakfast that we stayed at in Forest, VA when we visited in July (after that El Derecho storm).


We took a night off in August to go see the American Idols live tour. It was awesome!


This is another amazing sunset taken from the sidewalk of our restaurant in October I think.

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Today is a regular menu day. We do however have fried catfish and corn chowder today. It’s a chilly day so come on in for a nice steaming bowl of corn chowder paired with a half a sandwich or side salad.
Our seafood selections today (besides the catfish) are tilapia (which can be fried, grilled, blackened or lemon peppered) and salmon (which can be blackened or grilled). We also have shrimp creole and shrimp and grits.

The rest of our menu can be accessed under our notes tab above. Don’t forget to order dessert!
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