Ahh, the beach. Where all of our weeks, or even months, of hard work go right out the window. The daily workouts and healthy eating are gone with the wind, like my sarong in the Gulf breeze. Isn't it ironic that we try so desperately to get into that teeny tiny bikini, only to slip it on and lounge lazily about drinking sugar-bomb tropical cocktails and drowning our seafood in drawn butter -- that is, if it's not fried to begin with? No wonder most of us come home from vacation busting out of the seams.
A beautiful moon hung low over the Golden Triangle last week. It seemed to stay full for days, peeking into my kitchen window, illuminating the tangled wisteria vines that twist like snakes from the arbor to the old pecan tree in our back yard.
Call it whimsical thinking, but it seems the honeybees at Mark and Keri Lewis' apiary in Mayhew have plenty to be abuzz about this spring -- especially after moving into newly-decorated digs. The Lewis' bee yards are bursting with color, thanks to a creative partnership with Heritage Academy art students.
I hear it all the time: "Will you be my workout buddy?" No, no I will not. I confess, I'm a little on the antisocial side and my gym time is "me" time. It's the one thing I do for myself and myself only. And for that two hours or so I like to be focused and in tune with my body. Not that there's anything wrong with an exercise buddy, especially if you're more of a social butterfly.
By the time you read this, the Easter Bunny will probably have already hopped into town and be on the way out. In fact, I thought I caught sight of that most festive of bunnies early this morning, peeking out from behind my yellow roses and artfully avoiding the thorns.
This week Chris and I were lucky enough to spend some time on the campus of Mississippi State University. We were there to entertain at their Spring Fling, an outdoor event with food, music and all sorts of fun amusements. The students could be painted with henna or a glitter "tattoo," or have their caricature drawn.
Titanic is returning to the big screen and in 3D. I was in my early 20s when it came around the first time, and I could not be more excited about seeing it again. "You jump, I jump," is still my favorite line, as Jack and Rose stole my heart then and surely will again. The timing could not be more ideal for a cinematic, stylized period encore of a classic, and I'm not just speaking of the movie, but the dramatic return of glamour in hair and makeup that sails with it.
Like so many, I've struggled to keep my weight under control for most of my adult life. When I set out on my weight-loss journey 14 months ago, I knew that depriving myself with the standard tasteless diet food fare would not be a long-term solution for me. I wasn't looking for a temporary fix. I wanted to change my life forever and become on the outside what I felt like on the inside. I didn't become overweight from eating junk. I gained the bulk of my chunk from preparing gorgeous gourmet meals for my husband and myself throughout our first six years of matrimony.
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.
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.
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?)