I remember my very first book. "Katie the Kitten" was the story of "a small tiger cat, asleep in the hall, in a ball, in a hat." I could go on, but will spare you.
Dearest David, Why is it I find the three words "I love you," the very ones that roll so easily off the tongue when thinking of others, the hardest to say to myself?
January and February are good times to see where landscapes need evergreen color to break out of the drab grays and browns of winter. When you find a spot that needs a pick-me-up, Savannah holly is a superb evergreen plant to grow in our Mississippi gardens and landscapes.
When I was a child, I thought my daddy looked like Elvis. Perhaps it was his dark brown hair and the way he combed it up in the front, or it might have been the way he moved his hips to "Ain't Nothing but a Hound Dog" when it came on the radio. Men's hairstyles have caused many to swoon across the generations.
In some of the old "Saturday Night Live" television episodes the late Gilda Radner portrayed a deaf person speaking vehemently against something she perceived to be unjust because she misunderstood it. One example was a diatribe protesting "deaf' taxes in which she said deaf people have enough trouble without being taxed for their handicap. When told she had misheard the term "death taxes," she said, as always, "Never mind."
You may have noticed some of the landscape projects around Columbus that have had the hand of the Lowndes County Master Gardener volunteers placed on them -- like the landscape at the downtown post office, or the reclaimed beds along the side of the YMCA, or even the front beds to the Columbus-Lowndes Public Library.
In the history of this great country there are battles of such epic importance that they are remembered for generations. Even after all the combatants have long since gone on to their reward, some names still resonate with Americans.
Back when I was barely big enough to reach Mama's ceramic mushroom cookie jar, and only then by standing on the tips of my toes, I sported the most hideous bangs known to man. No chocolate chip cookie could ease that kind of pain.
Much of the state got a dose of winter weather last week. Seeing pictures of gardens and landscapes farther north covered in a blanket of snow made me thankful for living on the coast. Having lived in colder climates, I had enough of snow before coming to Mississippi.
When funny, mold-looking things start growing on landscape trees and shrubs, phones start ringing in Mississippi State University Extension Service offices across the state.
'Downton Abbey," the acclaimed British drama brought to American audiences on PBS, is indeed a masterpiece which has taken the world by storm with its Edwardian setting and dramatic tensions both above and below the backstairs. The early 1900's era is revisited through all the grandeur of Edwardian fashion, even down to the romanticism of hairstyling and makeup.
Sometimes it seems that we are surrounded by people who were raised by animals. The "bull headed," the "greedy pigs," the "sly foxes" are all around us. "Personification" and "anthropomorphism" -- we employ these concepts every day. They are shortcut explanations -- easy to understand, but usually not literal.
Color in the landscape can seem like an unachievable goal in the cold and dreary winter months. But it can be reached when gardeners rely on plants with features other than flowers to brighten the areas around homes.
The one-block section of Fourth Street South in Columbus known as Catfish Alley has been in the news often lately. A slick magazine bears its name. A building on the corner of Catfish Alley and Main Street wears a painted sign that probably goes unnoticed by many: "Joseph Hanna Gen. Mdse."
Not since Mia Farrow, Audrey Hepburn and Twiggy has the pixie haircut been more the rage than it is now. All the hype leading up to "Les Miserables" did not disappoint with stylized cinematography, the genius score that could only come from the epic musical and marvelous costumes. With a cast of big name stars, it was indeed Anne Hathaway who shined the brightest with her portrayal of Fantine.
I'm beginning to feel a bit like some sort of Superman. We all should. In spite of dire omens and doomsday prophecies, anyone reading this column has continued to wake up every morning to face another day.
As for New Year's resolutions, I plan to eat another cupcake and put off painting the garage a few more days. Upon reflection, life is far too precious to refrain from simple pleasures or to agonize over mundane tasks. My resolution is to give myself the best gift ever and live more in the present.
I suppose we are all anticipating the launch of a new year -- and not a moment too soon. This past year was horrible. Surely this one will be better. It just has to be.
One of the most magical New Year's Eves for me was several years ago at a bash in historic downtown Hattiesburg. Just as the sounds of Auld Lang Syne mixed with bursts from whistles and horns, huge white snowflakes whirled through the air outside. It was truly magical since we live in a land where snow is a rare pleasure.
Well, it is that time of year again, time to make New Year's resolutions: lose weight (especially after all the holiday goodies,) stop smoking, get more exercise, control your temper, be more patient, smile more, read better books, whatever you think you need to do to make yourself a better, and perhaps happier, person.
4. Assessing Innards BOOK REVIEWS