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.
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.
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.
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.
I have a tendency to want to over-nourish myself. I love the thought of getting all of the nutrients, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and enzymes my body needs to run at its very best. I could easily get carried away with the anti-aging, disease-preventing, and healing power of nutritious foods. (Have I mentioned that I'm a tad OCD?)
Last week Columbus was so fortunate to have a spectacular cast of professional actors performing Tennessee Williams' play, "Orpheus Descending." It was an amazing experience, with characters coming and going from the theater's front, back, sides and even speaking from the balcony. Sometimes it was hard to tell who were the actors and who was the audience.
Spring is blooming out all over. The buttercups are popping up everywhere and my, oh, my, aren't the redbud trees a sight to behold with their fuchsia blooms. The Japanese magnolias have shown up and shown out all over the South, but it's the Hollywood glitterati that performed like a colorful bouquet in a spring garden this year at the Oscars.
The benefits of exercise go far beyond bodily transformation. So often we think of exercise as a means to an end -- pounding away at the pavement to create a calorie deficit in order to lose a few pounds, or sprinting up hills to burn off that extra dessert from Saturday night out with friends.
Spring's boldest accessory is not sitting in your closet. It's on your face, so just look up. Thicker brows are the sure-fire way to make the face appear more youthful, because the brows naturally get lighter and sparser as we age. Plus, when you have beautiful eyes, a thicker brow can make the perfect frame.
I have a schizophrenic heart. Its chambers echo with beats from two cities. New Orleans jazz and Columbus blues blend in rhythms that are sometimes archaic, sometimes contemporary, always miraculous. The taunts of rival Indian tribes (Mardi Gras Indians, that is) and Big Joe Shelton's amazing harmonica are all objects of my bipolar love.
When our family first moved to Columbus, my parents rented a house on Second Avenue North from Blanch McClanahan until they could build. I was in the fifth grade, and the neighborhood was a great choice for me, because there were at least 24 children of various ages nearby, maybe more. We lived there for two years, and I enjoyed it fully. Although we "played out" en masse, those who were near the same age formed smaller groups. I was lucky.
I'm not the type to hand out compliments with reckless abandon. Not that there's anything wrong with it; I'm just not one to use flattery to break the ice, I guess. So if I say, "You look great," well then, you must be channeling a model or movie star because I always try to say what I mean and mean what I say.
Thin is in! Yes, you heard that right. At last women who have been struggling with thin hair have more options than ever before for beautiful hair. I remember my Aunt Mary fondly. Somewhere in her past she earned the nickname "Sugar," and it was so befitting her sweet personality.
It's been a rough week at the Elliott-Hannon household. Murphy's Law, (which says that if anything can go wrong, it will) was in full force. And it was all mechanically related.
I like Aunt Bee because she makes me want to be a better person. She makes me want to bake pies and take them to sick people. Aunt Bea is my Hollywood idol and favorite TV role model.
When the topic of Antebellum Black History comes up, most people immediately think of the horrors of slavery. While those horrors cannot be diminished, there is a whole world of Black History that needs to be brought to the forefront. That is the roles of blacks, both free and slave, in the settlement and development of the Tombigbee River Valley.
Diet. The word that grates on my nerves like fingernails on a chalkboard. It's just so passť, bringing to mind the low-fat fiasco of the '80s or the low-carb craze of the '90s. Diet implies temporariness. And for so many of us, weight loss and maintenance are lifelong challenges. There are no temporary quick fixes that will last forever. You have to stay on top of it.
I remember the first salon where I worked right out of beauty school. Scissors in hand, I began cutting. McRae's Department Store in the Hattiesburg Cloverleaf Mall was hidden far behind cosmetics, just past the shoes and tucked into a small corner beside customer service. Perhaps it's ironic that this column is all about customer service.