Lunch

DSCN2579No, this is not what I’m planning for lunch today. Because that would be silly. You don’t indulge in this much rich & yummy frosted baked goodness for your mid-day meal. These gems from Sweet Treats Bakery, in Tupelo, Miss., strictly are breakfast items. (Note No. 1: Actually, lunch today is a leftover half of the Mediterranean Veggie Flatbread Sandwich from City Hardware in downtown Florence, Ala., home of the only balcony dining on Court Street. Note No. 2: I wouldn’t actually eat ALL of this for breakfast. Some crumbs would remain. And Note No. 3: Both of these places are locally owned and locally managed eateries that serve fresh & flavorful food accompanied by friendly smiles and welcoming attitudes. Highly recommended — and that’s a completely unsolicited and un-paid-for recommendation.)

Home for the Holidays

Finally — Elvis is in the house! It’s been more than two years since Husband JP and I moved into our house, and all this time Elvis Martha BeadlehasElvis been languishing in storage. Oh, sure, we had valid excuses: We’re too lazy not sure where to put it, it’s so big that we’re too wishy-washy to commit heavy that it needs professional installation, we’re scarred from a previous trauma of dropping a heavy mirror on a cat’s paw — you know, all the usual. But we live in northeast Mississippi, where folks speak of both Elvis and the War of Northern Aggression in the present tense, so we couldn’t delay much longer. Plus, this piece is from one of our favorite artists — Martha Beadle, of Florence, Ala., who creates wonderfully whimsical fiber art from bits and pieces and her own inspired imagination under the name Martha’s Needlework Eccentricities. She sells throughout the Southeast, and we’re lucky enough to have three more of her pieces — wine, Tupelo honey and the beach  — which we think makes us official collectors. Elvis would be is proud.

Running Without Scissors

This spring I’ve been helping my husband John Pitts, sports editor for the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal in Tupelo, cover local races. I think he mainly wants me involved so I’ll make sure he gets up and out to the starting line in time, since runners and sportswriters seem to have different interpretations of  what “early in the morning” means. (One thinks 5 a.m. and the other thinks  10 a.m. You be the judge.) But I’ve honestly enjoyed the up-close-and-personal perspective I’ve gotten from helping cover both the Corinth Coca-Cola Classic 10K and Tupelo’s Gum Tree 10K Run. I mean, I do not run. It hurts. It makes me cry. It’s painful. I do not understand why people do it. I remember somebody who ran explaining it to me once. She said, “You know that feeling when you can’t move your legs and you feel so sick and dizzy and you have to stop and throw up? I love that!” This is madness with a capital “C” for crazy, too. Because whenever I feel like that, I immediately go lie down. And perhaps call the doctor. I do not think, “Only four more miles to go!” That’s the difference, I guess, between those who run and those who buy a pair of Nikes maybe once every five years. Or the difference, perhaps, between those at the front of the race pack, poised to spring into record-breaking action as soon as the gun goes off, and those at the back, who are, like, “Has it started yet? Are we supposed to be moving?” As an experienced race reporter now, I can tell you that there’s quite a contrast between the intense anticipation at the front of the line and the relaxed gathering going on in the back. But that’s one of the most surprising things I learned: There’s room for all. Maybe even for folks who don’t even like to run.

Storm Damage

Thanks to all who have so kindly asked if my family and I are OK, after the deadly storms that swept through the South during the past couple of days. We are so thankful that family and friends made it through. In  the towns where my husband and I live and work — the Shoals, Alabama; and Corinth and Tupelo, Mississippi, — there’s only minor damage from flooding and downed tree limbs. In Huntsville, Alabama, Older Daughter and her family are without power, and they lost tree limbs and parts of their back-yard fence. Of course, other places were not so lucky. A couple of nearby small communities are completely devastated and the death toll is climbing. Please join us in praying for those who are grieving and suffering today.

Mississippi Grocery Stores

I don’t know what it is about Mississippi and restaurant names, but any eatery in the Magnolia state that has the word “grocery” in it is bound to be a winner. Examples: City Grocery in Oxford, Pizza Grocery in Corinth. And Romie’s Grocery in Tupelo. A meat-and-three by day, Romie’s turns into a warm and friendly dining experience at night featuring a creatively eclectic menu of fresh Southern favorites. And then of course there is the ladies’ room — you know that’s one of my top priorities for a restaurant. And Romie’s gets top grades for its home-like decor, cozy lighting and whimsical art work. Also: I sort of want to take this sink and the bathroom counter home with me, but a) that would leave a huge hole in the Romie’s ladies’ room and b) my Dear Husband consistently turns his nose up at bowl sinks. I say they’re an imaginative way to add some personality and style to a bathroom. He says, “They’re just weird. And wrong.” But I believe, with all due respect, that in this instance he is wrong. I mean, doesn’t the contrast of textures among the sink and the mirror and the counter just make you believe that the whole world should be this cool?  Imagine, if you can, what it would look like with your typical white bathroom sink. Ugh. However, Dear Husband and I do agree that Romie’s is delicious and we should eat there as often as we can.