It has been at least 10 years, way before Katrina, since I last went to New Orleans. Recently I returned, guest of daughter Nora Frances and son-in-law Vaughan, for a birthday visit. I was eager to see if that gallant lady had changed much. I knew the dreadful hurricane had not greatly damaged the French Quarter, not like the Mississippi Coast, which is almost beyond recognition, I think. But, after all, years had passed. I was surprised to see things look so much the same.
Well, hello there, spring! The birds are chirping, the bees are buzzing, and the South is in full bloom. My gardening obsession is in full swing, which means I can say goodbye to a $20 water bill, my manicure, and that winter insulation I've been carrying around on my thighs.
If you ask me what's hot this season, I might tell you of a smoking hot haircut or equally sizzling hair color, but I am also going to share some of the hottest styling tools. First, all hair is not created equally (no big surprise), but neither are the tools on the market. Let's begin with hair dryers, shall we?
This is a beautiful time of year in our area. After such a gentle winter, spring caught me by surprise. Azaleas and tulips and dogwood are exploding in unexpected palettes of pink and lavender and sunny yellow. The oak trees are powdering porches with their soft green dust. Mother Nature mixes colors that might be too flamboyant if combined in our clothing or home décor. But she pulls it all off with an exquisite finesse.
By day, Brad Overby is a serious graduate student, studying diligently for his master's degree in business administration. A responsible 24-year-old who loves his wife and dog. But by night, or, frankly, any other chance he gets, he's Drift0r -- carving a path through YouTube with oddball costumes, dark humor, fake blood, buddies and, oh yes, the dog.
Crawfish, mudbugs, crawdads, crayfish -- call them what you will, the prolific Cajun delicacy is once again on the move into the Golden Triangle. Late winter into early spring heralds a new harvest of fat crustaceans generating a buzz, especially with fans who have been impatient for their arrival.
Recently, Mayors Robert Smith of Columbus and Scott Ross of West Point signed proclamations designating March as Red Cross Month. For 95 years, the Red Cross has played an important role in helping people in the Golden Triangle area. It was in 1917 that the local chapters were founded in response to the events of World War I.
In a perfect world we would all have the knowledge, time and money to nourish ourselves with healthy, delicious local and/or organic homemade meals and snacks. My personal fantasy also includes a gourmet kitchen and a personal chef with an advanced nutrition degree. Alas, over here in the real world we have to do the best we can with what we have. In the safety and comfort of our homes, it's relatively easy to make good choices. My philosophy is: You can't eat it if you don't have it. So I make a point to keep junky foods out of our home, and that solves that problem.
Flames danced in Temple Heights' kitchen house fireplace Wednesday, in spite of wilting temperatures outside. A heavy, black pot of greens hung on an iron swivel arm, soon to bubble above the open fire. An errant ember rolled onto the hearth, settling near sweet potatoes and cornbread destined for dinner. Lois Lett-Swindle quickly pushed it back to the hot ashes, using a tool typical of what a Columbus smithy might have forged more than 150 years ago. This plain one-room structure is dwarfed by the grand four-story antebellum home only a dozen steps away, but it retains a rustic character. It once was a hub of activity and intense labor, where meals were prepared for those living and working at Temple Heights.
I love gardens. The tulips in my neighbor's lovely little cottage garden all stand at attention this time of year, nodding into the wind and signaling that spring is upon us. For as long as I can remember, flowers and I have been in a whirlwind romance. It's a love affair I cherish, whether it's a bundle of pink stargazer lilies taking center stage on my dining room table or a bouquet of roses in delicate hues on a nightstand to wake to each morning, I'm in love.
As gardeners look forward to the spring planting season, many go in droves to the various garden shows and displays to see some of the newest and flashiest flowers on the market.
Yes, we still have St. Patrick's Day and March Madness to get through, but have you looked at the calendar? Easter is just over three weeks away, on April 8. Next to Thanksgiving and Christmas, this may be the holiday that inspires us most to do something special in the kitchen.
Mississippi University for Women's Culinary Camp for Kids will again host four sessions for youth June 4-29.
I'm a huge fan of multitasking in all areas of my life. To me nothing is more satisfying than a productive Sunday evening at home, a purifying mask on my face, a conditioning treatment in my hair, supper (and tomorrow's lunch) in the oven, the dishwasher running, a load of laundry washing and one drying, a Swiffer duster in one hand, the vacuum in the other, and "Hoarders" on the TV in the background. My husband must really adore me, for I am quite a sight!
It was done for comedic purposes on a sitcom, but no woman wants it as her reality. Not long ago, a hairdo in despair ran, not walked, into my salon for some emergency care just before dialing 911 or shaving her head. I do corrective work, and apparently her "beautician" had tossed aside all the knowledge she learned in beauty school about damaging hair and had been coloring and perming on the same day. As if this was not enough to warrant concern, this poor client had been scheduled every four weeks, which is far too often. The aftermath was a frizzy, fuzzy substance that once resembled hair.
The blues-ripped rock of Lukas Nelson and the Promise of the Real and the rousing funk of Austin, Texas' Mingo Fishtrap will fill downtown Columbus May 4 when Main Street Columbus kicks off the 17th annual Market Street Festival. The festival's music committee announced the lineup this week for the ticketed concert on Main Street.
Sir Walter Scott wrote, "Breathes there a man with soul so dead who never to himself hath said, "This is my own, my native land ... " These words came to my mind -- almost romantically nostalgic -- because recently Sylvia Higginbotham invited me to accompany her on a business trip to nearby Maben. She was assisting a Maben resident, Maury Shurlds, publish his memoirs, entitled "Memories." She had invited me because she knew I had Maben roots; I spent the first two years of my life there.
The fourth annual Everything Garden Expo March 24-25 will draw green-thumbed visitors to browse the wares of 60 or more vendors, learn how to take better care of the earth, and soak up the wisdom of numerous authorities on topics ranging from pesky fire ants to landscape design.
When St. Patrick's Day rolls around, there seems to be at least a wee bit of Irish in all of us.