Friday, August 29, 2008

Sarah Palin

John McCain announced today his VP nominee is Sarah Palin, current Alaskan Governor. I don't know much about her, besides what I've read today, but from what I can tell, I think it's a good move on McCain's part.

Personally, I'd love to have a woman VP, given she's the right person. Hmm... I'll have to investigate further.

On the phone with my husband today, I said, "Did McCain announce his running mate yet?" and my husband quickly responded - "Yeah, and she's hot, er, um, I mean she's a really attractive, um, qualified woman."


Thursday, August 28, 2008

Hurricane, Hurricane, Go Away

The fact that Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast THREE years ago blows my mind. Although much progress has been made in the recovery process, there's still a long way to go.

And then there's Gustav. Word on the street is it's crazy out there - people filling up gas tanks, stocking up on supplies. I remember after Katrina we sat outside in lawn chairs for days just praying for a breeze. I stripped our daughter, who was a baby at the time down to her diaper because of the lack of A/C. Ice and gas were like gold and silver. And we had it good in the central part of the state.

I feel like we'll definitely be more prepared this time. I was oblivious about Katrina until it was right on us. I bebopped into work that morning like nothing was out of the ordinary. This time I'll be a little more cautious and stock up. I just hope that Gustav will show a little mercy.

CARA Animal Shelter

Today's Clinton News features an article I wrote on Mississippi's largest no-kill animal shelter, Community Animal Rescue and Adoption. I didn't know much about CARA until I did research for the article, but I soon found out what a labor of love this place is. They are constantly struggling financially, so help them if you can! They take donations of dog food and other products as well as monetary donations.

See my article here.

Also, the annual Backyard Brawl between my alma mater, Mississippi College, and Millsaps College will benefit CARA. Read about the game here.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Jackson - not so shabby, despite popular belief

Last week, I had the privilege of visiting a Pilates studio in Jackson to research an article I am writing.

I was rushed that morning, trying to get ready with a kid hanging on each leg while attempting to meticulously apply mascara. I hurried out the door and opened the garage to a torrential downpour. I made my way to the studio frantically gathering my notebook, cell phone, and recorder, all scattered across the front seat of my car. I checked the mirror, assuring myself that I looked like a serious, put-together journalist, and ran inside through the rain.

I walked through the doors and whoa! It was like walking into a different world full of aromatherapy, dim lights, and soothing music. I decided I would stay there indefinitely. This was my kind of place - a place I could actually nap. The owner of the studio approached me ever so calmly, carrying a sprig of rosemary and raving about how great it smelled.

This was a state-of-the-art studio, complete with every Pilates device you could imagine, instructors with "at least a master's degree," and a really impressive atmosphere.

This got me thinking... Jackson gets such a bad rap. Everybody complains about it and how every place is so much better, we have nothing to be proud of, blah, blah, blah. But the people that invest in Jackson really invest in Jackson and are extremely proud of it. Now, don't get me wrong, there are many things we could improve on. I'm still in desperate need of an IKEA and there are places in Jackson where I feel inclined to lock my car doors, but tell me a city where it's not like that.

I'm proud of Jackson. We have lots of hidden treasures. We should all stop complaining and use our energy discovering these amazing little places, like the Pilates Place of MS, throughout the city and support them.

Monday, August 25, 2008

And the crunch begins...

When I decided to take the plunge into freelance writing, I thought I'd be extremely lucky to get an assignment or two a month. I have obviously been really fortunate, because just this week I have four articles due! So I'm in a crunch to interview, write, interview, write, and so on. Posting will most likely be pretty slow this week. In my favor, preschool starts this week, so my mornings are now semi-free and my three-year-old will come home exhausted. Hallelujah!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

My first article in the Clinton News

Clinton is now home to yet another show choir -Clinton ShowZone. Read my story here.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The long, boring days of late summer

My three-year-old and the kids next door have spent all summer going back and forth between our two houses. They have done everything from making "salads" out of grass and sticks to playing sea monsters in the pool. She thinks she is really something being "best friends" with five-year-olds.

But - it was bound to happen. They started kindergarten and her world has turned into nothing but boring and dull. She doesn't go back to preschool until the end of August, so in the meantime, I'm trying to fill some very hard to fill five-year-old shoes. We have played babies, waitress, and dogkeeper. We have baked brownies and made "aquarium" jello. This morning, we painted... a lot. But, alas, she's still bored stiff. Mommy's just not the same as her fun, "cool," big kid friends. Mommy's just Mommy.

So, unless any of you have any great ideas to keep her occupied, I'm in for a few more weeks of very unsatisfactory baking and painting... Post some ideas here!

Johnny Cash pickin' festival

In May of 1965, the Man in Black, Johnny Cash, found himself in a jail cell in Starkville, Mississippi after picking flowers while intoxicated and being arrested for public drunkeness. Cash once recalled that he learned in Starkville, Mississippi, that trying to kick the bars out of a jail cell isn’t a good idea - an idea that landed him with a broken toe.

On October 17-19, the second annual Johnny Cash Flower Pickin' Festival will be held in Starkville, where Cash's friends, family, and fans will gather to honor his life and legacy.

Read more about it in the Clarion Ledger's article.

Monday, August 11, 2008


A couple of days after Morgan Freeman's car accident with his lady friend, the news came that he and his wife were filing for divorce. Although it is not completely and positively because of infidelity, reading between the lines would make one think otherwise. Being a bit idealistic in nature, this completely broke my poor little heart.

And then there was the news of the John Edwards affair. This news wasn't as earth shattering for me, given that I have a hard time taking Edwards seriously since the first time I laid eyes on him. I don't know which makes me more angry - a man cheating on his wife, or a woman who puts up with it (a'la Elizabeth Edwards). This, I believe, is the reason people still cheat - because they can get away with it. Forgiveness is great and all, but come on, people!

As you know, I'm a huge fan of Morgan Freeman and my guess is that this won't change, but I must say, Myrna Colley-Lee, aka Mrs. Morgan Freeman, has gained some respect in my book. Take note, Mrs. Edwards.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Sheer exhaustion

I'm really lucky. I mean really, really lucky. I have two precious girls that I am blessed enough to stay at home with. Anyone who has kids knows that they grow all too fast and I'm so thankful that I get to witness all of the firsts and be here with them every day.

With that being said, today has been one of those days where I have almost walked out the door and gone back to work. I'll get over it once they're tucked away in bed.
When I was working full time I would dream about staying home. I had fantasies of long, leisurely strolls every day and reading while babies were peacefully napping. I was delusional. Truly delusional.

Instead, my days are jam packed with the constant sound of slamming pots and pans on the kitchen floor, temper tantrums at their best, dirty diapers, and spilled drinks. I do well to get our one-year-old down for a nap at all - a time that I usually take advantage of by taking a much- needed shower.
The afternoons are the worst. Trying to get supper ready and give baths to two exhausted girls is a task I have yet to master. Clearly, I'm still adjusting to staying at home. Often I feel like I do the same thing all day, every day - change a diaper, fix food, scrape said food (or play-doh, or glitter lipgloss, or melted crayons) off floor, repeat. Hopefully by the time they start school I'll have some sort of handle on the situation. But it's doubtful.
It's 7:30 p.m. and I am covered in peanut butter, sweet potatoes, and bath bubbles. It's the end of one of those "normal" days - the time of day where I realize how fulfilling my days truly are. My sweet girls are clean and have full tummies and a happy, albeit exhausted, mom. The other day my three-year-old randomly said, "Mommy, do you remember when you used to work ALL THE TIME? Well, I missed you then." That did it for me. I know I'm right where I'm supposed to be. Those leisurely strolls and long books will be there when my kids are grown, a time when I'm sure I'll miss that sweet sound of slamming pots and pans.

Hilarious Paris

Paris Hilton responds to McCain's "celebrity" ad. Pretty funny. Pretty ridiculous. Pretty sad she has nothing else to do. But, no matter who you're rooting for in this election, it's nice to take a break from all the economy, race, and war talk and have a laugh. Worth a watch.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Freeman on the mend

Good to see that Morgan Freeman is recovering nicely and will be up and at 'em in six months or so.

One of Jackson's best

Until last week, I was apparently one of the only people left in Jackson who had not experienced the delight that is Pan-Asia. Now housed in a first-class location off of Old Canton Road, Pan-Asia offers mouthwatering Asian fare. Executive chef Grant Nooe draws inspiration from Korean, Vietnamese, Thai, Chinese, Japanese, and Indian cuisine. I was with a tableful and we ordered a good half of the menu. Be sure to try the lettuce wraps, spring rolls, and spicy crab cakes. You can view the full menu at Prepare to be blown away.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Morgan Freeman hospitalized

My thoughts and prayers are with my favorite actor of all time, Morgan Freeman. Not many like him.

Sweet Home Mississippi

Deciding to dedicate this blog to Southern culture was a no-brainer. Growing up in rural Mississippi, I counted down the days until I could leave the South. I just had to leave this bucolic place behind. I had dreams to rush off to the likes of New York City, make a name for myself, and live life to the fullest.

Being young and na├»ve, I bought into the stereotypes given to Southerners, particularly Mississippians. After all, aren’t all of us illiterate, racist, and unforgivably behind the times?
As fate would have it, I was accepted and offered a generous scholarship to Mississippi College, a mere thirty minutes from home. I was excited, but still a small part of me was insanely jealous of my friends who were off to new and exciting places. While in college, I met my husband and we later settled, yep, you guessed it, right here in Mississippi.

After the birth of our first child, my view of Mississippi began to change. I began to investigate what I wanted my daughter to gain from her childhood - and from her mother. I quickly realized everything I considered positive about my life went back to one common thread – my Southern upbringing. Instead of seeing the negative, my eyes began to open to all the unique characteristics of home that helped make me who I am. I hoped to instill in my daughter the same values my parents found to be so vital to my well-being.
There were so many memories that only Mississippi could offer that I couldn’t bear my daughter to miss out on. Summers spent with purple fingers from shelling peas, the smell of Neshoba County red dirt, jumping from a makeshift rope swing into my grandfather’s muddy pond, my uncle’s homemade ice cream, and Decembers filled with Christmas cantatas at every local church.
Recently I had the opportunity to watch as my daughter took her first swim in that very same muddy pond that I spent numerous summers splashing around in. She loves a bowlful of purple-hulled peas and her favorite treat is that unbeatable homemade ice cream. Her rapidly developing vocabulary is splattered with “y’alls” and “fixing tos”. She’s pretty much Southern to the core and I couldn’t be happier about it.
My brother, who now lives in Kansas, comes home to visit with a look of relief on his face at the first signs of a true Southern accent. My friends who ventured off to new and exciting places have, for the most part, returned home. There’s a reason people come back. There’s warmth here, and it’s not just the 100 degree heat. This is where I grew up, where I’m raising my children, and where I hope to retire someday. My younger self would surely be taken aback. She’d be surprised to learn that I am, in fact, living life to the fullest – right here in Mississippi.
I have heard that sometimes you have to leave Mississippi in order to truly appreciate it, but that doesn’t ring true for me. They say the grass is always greener on the other side, but my grass is pretty green here in Mississippi – so I think I’ll stay.

Here I am...

In an attempt to perfect my writing skills... here I am... on a blog...