“I don’t understand how a woman can leave the house without fixing herself up a little - if only out of politeness. And then, you never know, maybe that’s the day she has a date with destiny. And it’s best to be as pretty as possible for destiny.” - Coco Chanel


Baby, That's HOT pink


I lovelovelove this room, although I simply couldn't wake up daily to that color. I'm afraid it would cause me to catapult out of bed! I have been inspired for some time to do something like this art wise on my dining room walls. My wall color is a lovely chocolate, conducive to interesting conversation.

There are only 3 walls in the room, one with a door and 2 with oversized windows. The other is a large passageway to the living room. I am going to mirror the focus wall that faces the living room (I was lucky enough to procure 3 large sheets of mirror being disposed of). The other windowed wall is going to get the "multiple, multi-sized art" treatment.

I shall post pictures...(don't hold your breath as to when, it's overload season for me beginning tomorrow=).

(Photo from www.hiddeninfrance.typepad.com.)


The Battleship in Mobile, Alabama

I agree. That is the most beautiful portrayal of the battleship I have ever seen. I am off to meet a client in Mobile today, and the first thought process I had was of the battleship. My memories are in no way reflected in the above romantic picture. I remember crying and begging Daddy to get us out of there! The tour takes you deep into the belly of the ship and as a child, I was sure I walked 42 miles! I vividly remember the bunk beds and how they were stacked so closely together. Everything was painted shiney steel gray.

I don't plan to visit the ship today (actually never again=), but you owe it to yourself and children to at least once walk the 42 miles. Six months at sea on that monster? Makes me deeply appreciate the Navy.

I prefer a sailboat please...



This is exactly where my heart is today, on the water in sleek teak-decked sailboat. Oh, and while I'm fantasizing I may as well admit I parked my little convertible (pictured below) at the dock before boarding my boat. We're dropping anchor in a small cove at Horn Island and Wentworth (he's my imaginary chef) has prepared grilled salmon to top our salads. The centerpiece on the table is a large hurricane with a 3 wick white candle. (The back deck has a removable table. Perfect place for dining in the sunshine.) All white linens and a smattering of sea shells complete the setting. I think I'll ask him to set my ipod to play Jamie Cullum.

We'll be back to dock just after sunset, all windblown and with pink noses.

Oh man, I forgot about Wednesday night ensemble rehearsal at 5.30. Sheesh, guess I'll have to wait till another day...


Craving vs. Wanderlust


My home, which I refer to as "Never Finished" is what we call here in the South, a "Katrina" house. I purchased it in sad repair. Three trees in all went through the roof of the house and garage. A blue roof was not even put on. The garage had the most damage, but when I walked up, visions of parties floated in my head. The garage is deep, two cars can park one behind the other comfortably, as well as beside each other. In other words, four vehicles in all can fit. All that AND a storage room the entire width across the back. I envisioned linen clad tables with sparkly chandeliers dropped over them and easy jazz piped in. The garage literally sold me before I sat foot in the house. But there the vision did not end.

A small convertible could be housed perfectly during the "too hot" and "too cold" months. Finding the right one is a challenge, literally. If I could curb some of the wanderlust, it just may be possible. Some far reaching place on the globe always beckons, and the vision is bumped further away. At some point the craving for a convertible will overcome the wanderlust, and I'll be setting pretty. Well, a convertible will be setting pretty in my remodeled garage. Preferably one EXACTLY like the photo I found at www.cocokelley.blogspot.com.

I won't even mind taking down the hammock to park it.

You Need One...

Mario Batali Griddle/Pizza Pan

Oh the joy of finding gift cards you'd forgotten about. I carefully put them away so I wouldn't lose them, therefore never saw them again for 8 months. Have you ever experienced the sheer joy of a Christmas gift in August?

The Kitchen Table, an exquisite gourmet kitchen store in Hattiesburg, makes my guts smile. (Yes, I am aware I use that phrase too often!) My daughter and sister-in-law both did extremely well by "gifting" me with cards to this lovely establishment. I love making pancakes. I love preparing breakfast for overnight guests 'cause I get to show off my griddle. The newest addition to my kitchen is the Mario Batali "Persimmon" Griddle/Pizza Pan. My, my the joy. One of my favorite movie segments is Diana Keaton making breakfast for Jack Nicholas in "Something's Gotta Give". This after a first failed attempt at pancakes.

You need one...I highly suggest "persimmon". Ahhhh, anyone with the creativity to use that for a color name is someone I love. It also serves as a perfect cookie sheet and makes for delectable homemade pizza. Go on...spend some time in The Kitchen Table or purchase it here.

Shirley Bourn Dunaway

"Aunt Edie Noodles"

There are those that deeply affect your life without much fanfare. This doesn’t discount those that are obvious or in the limelight, just realization of the importance of the quieter ones comes with wisdom.

While recounting things that come to mind when I think of my Dad’s only living sister, first thing that pops up is that she made my wedding dress. I remember being completely lost when it came time to get married. My Mother had been gone for some 4 years and along with my engagement came yet another form and stage of grief. Cognizance of that fact simply alluded me. Yet she was a constant. She purchased the fabric, notions, and trimmings, then spent countless hours creating it.

I fondly remember the harmony of she and her sister singing “The River Of Jordan”.

She admonished me to eat the crust on the bread. I was mortified each and every time she’d announce “It’ll make your “dinners” grow!”. I’ll let you figure that one out.=) She brought her shower gifts to each function in the bag they were purchased in, just added a bow to the bag. Then proudly proclaimed we’d know which gift was from her.

Repeatedly I’d call needing work, and her reply was always, “What time can you be here tomorrow?” Off to the coast I’d head after dropping off whichever ones were school age. A finer seamstress/drapery workroom you’ll never find. My first pan of dressing was made while on the phone with her. I use her recipe for muffins and salmon cakes.

For years, each and every time I left her house she’d “plant” a can of “coffee” in my vehicle. She’d be sure to whisper and tell me where she hid it before I left. Many a loaf of bread, school pictures, $5.00 worth of gas (1/2 tank years ago), school lunch money, and gallons of milk were purchased with change from the coffee can. She’d always ask if I was out of “coffee”.

Every Christmas Eve has been spent in her home for as long as I can remember. She makes a gargantuan pot of Chicken Noodle Soup with her infamous shell noodles. To this very day my kids refer to them as "Aunt Edie Noodles". That pot alone would literally feed Cox’s Army. We absolutely crack up each and every year at the candle on her bar. It’s shaped into 4 vertical numbers-2000. Every year she corrects the last 0 with a black marker to the appropriate year/date. It’s the tackiest, yet funniest thing ever. She has a pair of Christmas mice that are collectibles. They’re about 8” tall, in full Christmas dress and my eye searches the room for them yearly. She tells the story of getting them as a gift from a downtown bank long ago. We sing, laugh, reacquaint, and celebrate the holiday as it should be done, family style.

My grandparents spent the last couple of years of their lives in her home. Her sacrifice was great. This on the heels of losing her sister, and not so long after burying 2 of her brothers.

I can never write enough words to express my genuine love and admiration for this incredibly special lady.

Happy Birthday, Aunt Edie. My life would be less without you.



(Simply could not resist..spotted on fav blog cocokelley...my fantasy yard work attire=)

I’m going to ramble, please allow me. In Advance class (basically Sunday School) our very able teacher has been admonishing us to journal. All the while I was thinking, hhmmm, that’s called “blogging” for me. We were instructed to write things down that we struggle with. Though blogging is my “journal” this is not the place because it’s too public. (If only you were privy to my anonymous blog. I have not blogged in several days and if rambling is my way of getting back in the groove then ramble I will.

Today, I’m punch drunk happy with myself (only after being desperately disgusted with said person around 5 yesterday evening). A bit after 7 this crisp morning, I was digging in the dirt with a scarf around my neck. The dark maroon mums are the perfect addition to the bed beside my drive. The wind was blowing and if a feeling can be described as beautiful, I have experienced it this very day. This punch drunk love of myself would have been more appropriate yesterday BEFORE the 40 guests arrived=). Some things just have to be moved to the back burner.

A previous blog alluded to the fact that Gustav (the hurricane) caused me considerable stress on the homefront. Not from damage, but from preparations. Makes no sense, I know. My house has been in basic order (well, to a level that my psycho tendencies recede, hush Tayler) but the outside literally gave me the hives when I drove up. We live outside, weather permitting, as much as inside=). And all my outdoor furnishings were STILL “secured for high winds” under the carport. I’m sure anyone passing was sure I was going into the scrap metal business. (I’m exaggerating here for chuckles, I do not live like a redneck.)

SOLO, my single adult class came to my home last evening and nothing is better for your home than entertaining. Whatever gene it is that God distributes causing a love of entertaining, I have two. I must tell you that after the initial disgust from around 5, by 6 the “punch drunk” began. The weather was perfect. The firepits glowed. The candles were luminous. The food was exquisite. The music was soothing. The company, my exact choice, though also my ministry. The two days of rigorous labor paid off, and they could have cared less that I had to hide the mums I didn’t get planted. I only know that the lesson Clayton taught was for more than one visitor there. Three of the attendees have never walked in the door of Woodlawn. They will now.

After class yesterday then the lesson last night, I have made a commitment to myself to desperately try to blog more often. It thrills me so to be asked “Has the ink ran out of your pen?” as was the case Saturday. With all things in life, there is ebb and flow. My blogging has been “ebbing”. I have purposed to try to post at least once every couple days. The posts may be short, but it will be something dealing with a life issue or just giving you insight into my day. A surefire way of killing your blog following is to rarely post. Lord help me to breathe life into them again=).

(Subscribe at the top right of the blog and see if I can keep you breathing=).


Pasta on the Pearl

It had to be different. My friend's birthday dinner was cause for celebration. I wanted an unusual location to set a fabulous table and after scouting around I found the perfect spot. There are a couple of new deck style viewing spots on the Pearl River. I cooked a pot of pasta, heated garlic french bread and ordered a cake. I packed up candles and table needs. The results were astounding.

I told Mary, the birthday girl, that my daughter would pick her up and our place of dining was a surprise. She arrived just before dark to candles illuminating the deck that overlooked the mighty Pearl River. My ipod played Dean Martin and we dined sumptuously. It was a perfect eveninig. And a perfect birthday for my dear friend.

Happy Birthday Mary...


Miss Hope

“Buh-taw-fwy!! Buh-taw-fwy!!” she hollered as she ran in circles chasing a bright yellow butterfly. Hope Baggett is an inquisitive 2 1/2 year old who is incredibly strong, self willed and takes me back some 18 years to another time and place. Spending the last 2 days with she and her brothers transported me to when I chased a 2 year old girl along with her 2 brothers, a 6 year old and a newborn. Hope works at keeping her brothers in line, one older, one younger, just as my Tayler did.

Her favorite outfit is a darling little hot pink sweater skirt with lots of color added. The bold sweater that matches goes on usually without a shirt and this is the outfit for every day of her life. (Of course her precious Mother makes her change for the outside world.=) It's too small, but somehow it the most important thing she owns. We played in the backyard for a bit and she found a black beetle-looking bug that I would have shrieked in terror over touching. She worked diligently to keep him crawling on her arm though he repeatedly fell off. In the end he was half smashed but she'd put him right back.

She looked intently into my eyes and said "I wike you hair."

"Lest we become as children..." This week I plan on chasing some butterflies, giving sincere compliments, wearing something just for comfort, and searching for the interesting (NOT a black beetle bug!) then using all my patience to enjoy it.

Join me?


My New Toy...


My new toy...I sincerely wish I were a year round coffee drinker, but it ain't happenin'. Come Fall, it's on. Keurig is a single serving machine that makes coffee, cocoa, or hot tea. 200 varieties are available in the K-cup, their mode of single serving. It's perfect for a household that wouldn't go through a pot or loves cocoa and hot tea as much as coffee.

Come by...we'll have a cup...=)

Email Subscription

I am learning new things each and every day. I have added an email subscription box top right in my blogspace. You may now be alerted by email that a new blog is available for you to peruse.

Go ahead, make my day.=)


I'm Officially A Redneck

I'm desperately in love. He's tall, blonde, tanned and has a tatoo of a bird on his right shoulder. (I detest admitting I've always had a thing for blondes with all the hoop-la surrounding females in this category.) There's a tad of grey beginning to show in his temples (though he's slightly younger) and he wears Sperry topsiders with panache.

He picked me up at the dock a bit after noon and we went to Horn Island, some 8 miles out. Skimming across the water at 50 mph is exhilarating and the sight of dolphins struck me dumb. As of this week, I have added yet another requirement to my list of "possibles". He must now own a boat.=) His boat, a 20 some-odd-foot center console "Open Fisherman", is perfect for a day on the water. The sky was absolutely endless and I'd forgotten that I love the smell of salt water. We walked on Horn Island for a couple hours and he named numerous birds. Rare is the man who knows what bird is which. We saw a couple of 20 pound stingrays that were waiting for high tide. Ghost crabs, white quick running critters were fun to catch sight of. I learned how to spot where the schools of mullet were and picked up a bucket full of large, perfect seashells and a couple dozen sand dollars.

(blue crab by Walter Anderson)

The infamous artistic recluse Walter Anderson lived on Horn Island for years. He'd row the 8 miles out with supplies and a fishing pole, then simply not leave. While perusing pelicans, great blue herons, reddish egrets, ruddy turnstones, and American oyster catchers, I felt I understood Walter's love of the island. Lore says he survived hurricanes by tying himself to the top of pine trees. Horn stretches 18 miles east to west and marks the boundary between the Mississippi Sound and The Gulf of Mexico. It was named one of the Best Preserved Wilderness' in the country last year. The south side of the island has a large cove and during the summer I hear it's quite popular, Australian style sunbathing being de rigueur. Park rangers live on the island year round for the sole purpose of preserving it's beauty. During nesting seasons, they flag the nests and certain areas are off limits to humans.

(bittern by Walter Anderson)

If there ever was a perfect day, my day on the water was. I wrote in my journal, looked at magazines and soaked up the sun while he fished. A 22 pound redfish is huge let me tell ya! Large, sleek sailboats glided by and he mentioned that when he retires he wants to sail around the world. (That's been on my list of 50 Things To Do Before I Die for umpteen years!) And yes, I agreed to accompany him. We returned to the dock just after the sun slipped beyond the horizon and the lights of the new Ocean Springs bridge sprang to life. I couldn't resist walking the bridge from the east to the it's highest point to view Biloxi from a nice perch. The walking track spanning the 2.6 mile bridge is unbelievably popular with joggers, walkers, cyclists, and the likes of me, the curious. My dear friends built that bridge post Katrina and I texted them while walking to tell them how lovely it was. I'm proud to be their acquaintance. The evening finished with blackened redfish at Al Fresco in quaint Ocean Springs. Dining outdoors with the sounds of a large fountain was the perfect ending to a perfect day.

I have weighed the pros and cons of my time with this extraordinary man. He's kind, intelligent, a font of information and a perfect host. After all, I do live in Mississippi and the world at large expects it. Why can't I prove them right?

I'll just go ahead and marry my first cousin. (For those of you with your eyebrows disappeared into your hairline, I'm joking. Anyway, he's already married to a lovely lady with whom I can't compete.=)

Steve, thanks for a day that's emblazoned on my mind forever. Oh, and thanks to TJ also.