Friday, October 31, 2008

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Happy 90th Birthday!

It was a pleasure to see Cappy Ricks at the SFA symposium this year. He's attended every year since SFA began meeting, back in 1999. And this year, we happily celebrated his 90th birthday at lunch.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

(Butter)milk makes a body strong

Saturday morning saw myself and three friends (Melissa, Sally, and Renna) on a buttermilk errand. That really heavy container that we lifted into the van is full of wonderful fresh buttermilk from Cruze Dairy. The link is to Colleen's blog, which is full of other wonderful photos from symposium weekend.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

And it wasn't even the worst thing he did...

Here Sean Brock tries to buy a jacket from SFA by offering us $5000...from Costa Rica. That's about $9.22 in US dollars. We were initially impressed by the generosity, until we did the conversion. Later in the weekend, he put a plastic roach in my hand and caused a scene in City Grocery. Nonetheless, he is a really cool guy. Check out his blog here.

Monday, October 27, 2008


One highlight of the symposium was getting to see Linus Hall, a Vicksburg native, a friend, and an engineer-turned-brewmaster who owns Yazoo Brewing Company. Yazoo is the beer of choice in Nashville, and at our house on National Street. If you're ever in TN or AL, be sure to buy some. It's not yet available in Mississippi, but we hope that will change.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Today's Vicksburg Moment, brought to you by Fed Ex

So there's been a lot of back and forth with Mac re: shipment of my new computer. Lost faxes, lost e-mails, folks who don't do their jobs very name it. So, yesterday morning, I was finally able to talk to a person re: shipment of the new Macbook. My primary concern? A personal plea that, since they've already waited 2 weeks to ship it, that they wait a third week -- because I'm headed to Oxford and will not be home to receive it. I begged, "Please do not ship me a computer while I am away from home for a week. Please. Please." I sent e-mails. I sent faxes. I left a voice mail. They said, "Don't worry. Fed Ex won't leave it without a person at the house to sign for it." Today, Fed Ex delivered my new $1500 replacement computer to Vicksburg. And left it, unattended, propped on my front steps. Fortunately, it was still there when Ned got home.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Silence on the Radar

It's that time of year again -- Southern Foodways Symposium time. I'll be working nonstop as we celebrate the Liquid South this year. We'll update you next week...after the conference is over and I've had a nap. For more info on what I'm doing, check out

Monday, October 20, 2008

Living in fear

Ned has a stomach virus. He started getting sick early last night, just as our party began, and he's gotten worse ever since. He's been on a strict regimen of saltine crackers and Gatorade today. I'm living in fear--with the SFA symposium next week, I can't afford to get sick. We've declared it "sleep in your own bed week," and we don't communicate unless Ned talks to me with his hand (or shirt or blanket) over his mouth. Here's hoping we both make it through the week...

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Hot Dog! A fond farewell to Liz

We celebrated Liz's upcoming trip to Iraq with a Chicago Hot Dog party. On the menu: regular Chicago dogs (mustard only, no ketchup); the Mother in Law (tamale on a hot dog bun, chili, cheese); and the Mighty Dog (hot dog bun, tamale in half, hot dog, chili, cheese, and all the other fixins'). There was also an ample supply of Tums on the table. Sandy created a slide show (she's seen above, happily handling technical difficulties), and the clanking of all the bottles into the recycling bin during the post-party clean up was a testament to everybody's good time.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Home Depot inspires false confidence

Vicksburg, MS -- The assurance of a Home Depot employee that re-screening a porch "isn't that hard" and "anybody can do it" proved false last week for a couple from Vicksburg. Armed with a crow bar and a staple gun, the "quick-fix" job quickly turned to a two-day disaster, filled with obscenities that offended neighbor-children and a few cuts and bruises for the homeowners. Today, the porch is repaired, but visitors are asked not remark on the wrinkle folds that appear near the top of the screens. The next time the couple encounters a Home Depot assistant who offers words of encouragement, they vow to turn the other way and run in search of the nearest contractor.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Back on the block

Last time I got excited about a sign like this, I was 12. This time, I was 31. But I doubt Ned will road trip with me back to St. Louis.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

St. Louis was optimistic about hard times

From the Soulard Farmers Market.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A Trip to the Alabama Farmers' Market

and $6 will get you a giant pumpkin!

Monday, October 13, 2008

A Whole Foods Adventure

Better than an olive bar -- an olive oil bar in Birmingham!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Fishin' in Pontotoc

Ned enjoyed Sunday morning fishing in Pontotoc with Jimmy. Mary Beth sat on the dock and watched, documented, and perused the newest Food & Wine. All fish were thrown back to live happy lives, since we didn't plan to cook them.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Shopping at Sam's

Last week we went to Sam's with great intentions of buying all kinds of discount groceries, but all the packages were just too big for us. Here's what we ended up with: beer, pig, and candy. I'd have bought a flat screen, but Ned has me on a budget.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Dining al fresco

With the beautiful fall weather we're enjoying in Vicksburg, Ned and I have taken to eating outside on the back porch. Here's a photo from Thursday's dinner, complete with the funky porch lights that were a present from Ned.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Blogging Mobile

We have a lot of catch up blogging to do, now that my computer problems are temporarily resolved. Monday we had an overnight getaway to Mobile. Ned had a meeting, and I tagged along to scout the city for the SFA. We stayed at the Battle House Hotel, which has just reopened after 30 years of closed doors. It was beautiful. On a historical note, Stephen Douglas stayed there the night he lost the election to Lincoln. Elvis also stayed there in 1952 when he was kicked of stage for "wiggling" in Mobile.

We arrived to town a bit late, so dinner options were limited. We ended up at a restaurant that had sharks hanging from the ceiling, and even jumping through the roof. No kidding. You had to have a sense of humor about it, because if you had any sense of taste you'd never walk in that place! Monday's dinner was redeemed by Tuesday's stop at an ice cream store, and on the way home we stopped to ramble around the campus of Spring Hill College, a Jesuit school in Mobile. It's a pretty campus...for a Jesuit school.

An Apple Resolution

I didn't have to pen the letter to Apple after all! I just called back, encountered a kinder, gentler customer service agent, killed him with kindness myself, and there's a new computer on its way to me in the mail. Yay! It was really breaking my heart to think that my only recourse would be to go back to a PC... Ned, we may be back on for the iPhone.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Sad day for Mac fans

You may have noticed that we haven't posted in awhile. That's because Mary Beth's Mac crashed. AGAIN. For those of you keeping tabs, that's two batteries and two hard drives that have failed on me in the last twelve months. Mac seems to think that this is not enough "trouble" to warrant a replacement laptop, though mine is just over two years old. So I've grown bitter and very unhappy with Mac. They've definitely lost a lifetime customer, unless they respond to the unhappy consumer letter I plan to pen this week. I guess this saves Ned the iPhone trouble at Christmas. The image above is Mac's symbol of doom. I'm growing quite familiar with it. Meanwhile, on the other end of National Street...

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Ned's new look

In a conversation the other day, it occurred to me that Ned's been wearing the same glasses since before we met. And he's never had his eyes examined in the time that I've known him. Since that's been awhile, I thought it best to make him an eye appointment. Sure enough, he needed new glasses. We tried a few hipster varieties, but finally decided upon these...close to his old style, with square lenses. Also, importantly, the frames were on sale!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Game Day at Vandy

Is this a sign that the end is near?

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Thursday: A House Divided on National Street

No, we're not talking Biden-Palin tonight. We're talking Valdosta State vs. Delta State; the football rivalry between our hometown colleges. Delta State does have the best mascot (the Fighting Okra). But Valdosta State is in Titletown. Who will win? Tune in tonight to find out -- the game's televised.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Happy Birthday, Mama!

Here's a photo from the archives: it's Mom at a birthday party, just not her birthday party. From L to R, Melanie, Susan, baby Judy, Jeanne, Mark, Mary Joyce (standing), and Charlotte.

And happy birthday to Cousin Anne, too!

Hope you get as many presents at your party as you got at Madeleine's!