Tuesday, July 12, 2016

The Southern Girl Has Moved! Come Along With Me!

Hello, everyone! Thank you all for taking this journey with me so far. Please check out my new blog over at www.thesoutherndrift.com. I can't wait to reconnect with old friends over there, and meet some new ones!

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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Blackberry Smoke

Monday, July 30, 2012

Booktopia 2012 in Oxford, Mississippi

That's a mint julep on Faulkner's lawn. Yes, THAT FAULKNER. Did you know he was once fired from the post office? FOR SO MANY REASONS, some of which being: he would close up shop early to play golf, go fishing, or have a round of poker in the back room. But my favorite: He would throw the mail away of the people he wasn't keen on. If he would have been around on that balmy Friday night in Oxford, the bourbon would have been on me.

The balcony of City Grocery in downtown Oxford. This place has superb Southern food, but the most exciting thing to me is that John Currence, a contributing editor of Garden & Gun is the chef. I really (uber)wanted to meet him on this trip, but I never mustered the courage to ask between ordering his fried chicken and paying the bill. Because what would I even say that wouldn't make me sound like a food/ G&G/ All Things Southern GROUPIE--and that's what I am right? :)
This is one of my favorite Southern authors, Susan Gregg Gilmore, walking up the path toward Rowan Oak. She admitted on this trip that she has to work as a bartender at a barbecue place in Chattanooga in addition to writing her books. Does that make me like her even more  and respect her as a writer? You bet it does. (Click to enlarge. That's her in the pink mini-skirt.)
We all brought a wrapped book for an exchange--I wonder what book Faulkner would have given. And I wonder what he would have wrapped it in.
Southern catering and pink hydrangeas...sigh.
Square Books, the second floor. I wish I could just live up there. Be an alive-ghost, haunting the book store and re-shelving mislaid volumes. Or I could just work there like a normal person. Either way.
Sunset on Faulkner's front porch. Do I need to say anything other than that?
Just down the block from our hotel was this little place where we could get a decent cup of coffee.
Downtown Oxford.
Big Bad Breakfast--an Oxford Landmark. Our last stop on our last day.
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Friday, June 08, 2012

Chattanooga Aquarium

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Aretha Frankenstein's in Chattanooga: Pancakes and Beer

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Good Dog in Chattanooga

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Derby Day

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You Belong Among the Wild Flowers...

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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Peach Custard Pie at the Hil

I recently spent the day at a workshop with stellar photographer Tom England at Serenbe Photography Center. Most of the workshops they have there are on held on the weekends, which just happens to coincide with the brunches at the Hil restaurant next door. Both of these were definitely worth the drive from my Woodstock!

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Monday, July 25, 2011

Summer Road Trip 2011 -- Asheville, NC

Malaprop's Book Store

My little boy and I had just left Ohio on an early morning, heading away from my sister's house after my nephew's high school graduation. The weekend had been rushed and full, as the house had been filled with grandparents and my nephew's friends, and I was still exhausted from more-than-iffy sleeping arrangements. (We had to sleep on a leaky air matress in the only veritable "sound proof" room--the room with the hot tub--because everyone else stayed up deep into the night watching Nascar with the volume up so loud it shook the house.) Ugh. Now I may live in the south, but Nascar is just not a sport that I've managed to get into. At all. Watching loud cars going around in a circle just leaves me bored and wincing and longing for quiet, air conditioned libraries. So imagine.

So, although I love my sister and her family, I was ready to go.

We decided to take the long way back home (because as much as I was ready to leave, I wasn't quite ready to go home) through the Carolinas so that I could make a stop in Asheville, one of my favorite cities of all time. Asheville is surrounded by mountains and is filled with cafes, book stores, coffee shops, and non-chain restaurants. I had never been to Malaprop's Books, so I definitely wasn't going to miss it on this go-around.

So let me tell you something about my son. But before we do that, let me tell you something about me. I love books. I was an English major in college, and I could really just be happy reading all day. I was one of those kids under the covers with a flashlight at night so I wouldn't get caught reading.

I'm also a great supporter of INDEPENDENT bookstores rather than the huge chains. I love the personal service and the heart that goes into these places.


That said, my child is not cut of the same cloth. He hates to read and hates books.


He excels at math instead, which has been my arch-nemesis my entire life. I think people who are good at math just might be sleeping with the devil. I'm just saying.


Imagine my embarrassment when not only did he act extremely bored during my long-awaited and much-looked-forward-to visit to Malaprop's, he also yelled, at the top of his voice so loud that the owner could hear, "I don't WANT to pick out any books HERE! The only book I'll ever want is at BARNES and NOBLE'S, and that's only because LEGOS come with it!!!!"

Mortified, I tell you. I just stood there mourning the loss of the child that was SURELY switched at birth with THIS book-hating child that stood before me. So I did what any embarrassed mom would do in this case. I bought more books than I usually would, hoping that somehow I could repent for his sins, and then slunk out of there as quickly and gracefully as I could.

I love local-watching wherever I go, and Asheville never disappoints. I heart the straw hat.

I just happened to arrive on their anniversary...SALE! It really helped with my over-compensatory spending.

The Child at the O. Henry Monument, at which he tried for a good few seconds to pry the pocket watch from the sidewalk before I could stifle my good-natured laughter and tell him that it wasn't real.

The Gift of the Magi...define irony.

Shop Window Wonderful. It seems like everyone has one of these typewriters but me.

Double Decker Coffee Company; A cold comfort--no, really...it had air conditioning.

Milk Shake!  This is probably the only thing he'll remember about the whole trip. He said, "This is better than Chick Fila's!" You have no idea how big a compliment that is for him to make. A success.

And then we went home.

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