Happy Birthday, World!

Posted by ginger On Wednesday, September 24, 2014

If you're getting ready for the New Year, here are some pics and links to past ideas (some with tutorials):

Rosh Hashanah Banner
L'Shana Tovah Banner and Rosh Hashanah Decorations

Caramel Apples

Caramel Apples

Caramel Apples

Sculpey Apple Magnets and Thumbtacks
Sculpey Apples

Honey Cake

Honey Cake

Happy Birthday, World! Cakes
Happy Birthday World


We have some great ideas for this year and can't wait to show them after the holiday!

Montgomery, Curated By Nall

Posted by ginger On Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The last time we stayed overnight in Montgomery, we decided to stay at the Renaissance Hotel (it's one of the Marriotts that the RSA has) because I'd heard it had been completely filled with art curated by Nall.

Renaissance Montgomery Hotel and Spa, Montgomery AL

Renaissance Montgomery Hotel and Spa, Montgomery AL

We had a great view of the depot and the Alabama River.
View of Depot

View of Alabama River

One of the big pluses of staying here is that at night you can walk down to the riverfront through the tunnel that's lit with differently colored lights (another Bill FitzGibbons work? I don't think so, but it's definitely inspired by him if not). Here's Shug running through it:

We walked all over downtown, then came back to the hotel to see the art. These pieces behind check-in are by Mary Catherine Watson:
Mary Catherine Watson

Charlie Lucas:

Charlie Lucas

'Horse Outside the Wheel' by Charlie Lucas

JJ Gaudel:
'Words of Wisdom #11' by JJ Gaudel

Kyle Braund:
'Life Without Blemish' by Kyle Braund

Yvonne Wells:
'Marilyn Monroe' by Yvonne Wells

Quilt by Yvonne Wells

Quilt by Yvonne Wells

This (nearly two story) installation is by Nall:

Neal Brantley:
Neal Brantley

Amber Hall:
'Coosa River in January' by Amber Hall

Mike Handley:
'On the Vine' by Mike Handley

The Middle Feast in Mobile

Posted by ginger On Monday, September 22, 2014

Av and the people in The Middle Feast food truck from Food Network's 'The Great Food Truck Race' were talking when they were on their way to Mobile, and Av helped get the word out in the community.  We went down to Mobile that weekend to meet them, and it was really neat.  I haven't posted this before because I didn't want to mess things up for people who are watching the show, but the Mobile episode came on tonight, so here we go!

All three trucks -- Texas, Bacon, and Middle Feast, all set up in downtown Mobile, and there were long lines for every truck:
The Middle Feast in Mobile, AL

Tyler Florence came around at one point and met people in the crowd:
The Middle Feast in Mobile, AL

Here, explaining some change-up in the show:
The Middle Feast in Mobile, AL

The Middle Feast in Mobile, AL

Av had the chicken shawarma, and I had the Israeli nachos:
The Middle Feast in Mobile, AL
(Have to say, those chips themselves were awful -- I bet if they had sprung for falafel chips it would have been much better -- but the chicken shawarma was great!!)

Thank You And Hurry Back

Posted by ginger On Friday, September 19, 2014

Farm Stand, Cullman County AL
'This Week's Various' will be back next week.

This is a farm stand not far from the home I grew up in, in rural Cullman County, Alabama.  There was nothing for sale there this day, but we used to stop and get beautiful tomatoes and other produce, putting money in the honesty box.

Have a beautiful week, friends!

Adventures, Roll Tide, And Happy Birthday

Posted by ginger On Thursday, September 18, 2014

I am so thankful to have been asked to join a group of women who go out every week and do something adventurous! We just started for the year, and our first week was hiking, then the following week was horseback riding, and this week, I got on a paddleboard for the first time (it was fun and I only fell off once!).
Adventure Women

The farm we went to for horseback riding had this pair of 'gypsy horses' -- developed by the Roma in Europe to pull the vardoes:
Gypsy Horses

Over the weekend, we were treated by friends to an Alabama game!  Av and I have been to games since the boys have been born, but this was their first and they *loved* it!  Shug even made his own sign!
Roll Tide!

And these two very cute about-to-go-swimming brothers wish their niece B a happy first birthday!!

Boys Love Brianna

Colorful Cranes

Posted by ginger On Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Fayetteville, Tennessee

Posted by ginger On Tuesday, September 16, 2014

George Jones Goodrich and Sallie H. Goodrich

George Jones Goodrich and Sallie H. Goodrich

George Jones Goodrich and Sallie H. Goodrich

We found this interesting monument at Rose Hill Cemetery in Fayetteville, Tennessee, for George Jones Goodrich (1848-1902) and Sallie H. Goodrich.

Rosa Parks Museum, Howard Buffett's Gift, And Courage

Posted by ginger On Monday, September 15, 2014

Earlier this year, I visited the Rosa Parks Library and Museum in Montgomery:

Rosa Parks Museum, Montgomery AL

Which is at the bus stop that Rosa Parks refused to move (not the one at which she originally got on the bus).  
Rosa Parks Museum, Montgomery AL

No photography is allowed in the museum, which was disappointing.  The tour -- there's a film, followed by a docent-led tour -- lasts about 45 minutes.

Only in the lobby could I take pictures; there was this small, excellent art quilt by Riché Deianne Richardson
Art by Riche Deianne Richardson at Rosa Parks Museum, Montgomery AL

An interview with Riché:

In August, a collection of more than a thousand Rosa Parks items, which had previously been warehoused due to legal dispute with heirs and an educational institution she had set up, was purchased by the Howard G. Buffett Foundation (Howard is Warren Buffett's son), and the Foundation announced this month that they will be on loan for a decade to the Library of Congress.  From the NYT:
Mr. Buffett, who acquired the collection through his foundation, told The Detroit Free Press that the purchase had been prompted by a television news report about how the items had been in storage since 2006, unavailable to scholars.

“I’m only trying to do one thing: preserve what’s there for the public’s benefit,” he said. “I thought about doing what Rosa Parks would want. I doubt that she would want to have her stuff sitting in a box with people fighting over them.”

Copper thieves broke into Rosa Parks' former Montgomery home in Cleveland Court (now Parks Place) last month.   There have been plans to improve the way visitors can see her former apartment, but now with the damage, that project is temporarily on hold.  The AP article here.

The bus Rosa Parks was arrested on is at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan.

Rosa Parks' Home
This pic from our visit in 2011 -- one of the homes Rosa Parks grew up in, in Henry County, Alabama just outside Abbeville.

One of my favorite quotes of hers (and so true); letterpress by Amos Paul Kennedy Jr.:
Amos Paul Kennedy Jr's Letterpress Card: Rosa Parks

A Toast Over Fried Pies

Posted by ginger On Friday, September 12, 2014

Fried Pies

My friend Suzanne, who was a director at a college here, took a position at Harvard.  Harvard!!  Suzanne and I have been friends over ten years.  Her house was always ready for Southern Living to come over and do a photoshoot.  Her garden was always lush and beautiful and fragrant.  Her taste was incredible.

We did too many girlfriend lunches and suppers to count, we'd talk about where to get the world's best rutabagas and collards, and we'd sup at white tablecloth establishments with tiny-trendy dishes.  She knew where to get the best antiques and shared my love of the handmade, of wabi-sabi.

But best of all, my perfect-perfect Suzanne was always there.  Laughs, hugs, tears.  She always had, and will always have, my heart.

Now she's a blessing to everyone in Cambridge.

I'll be up there soon and often, maybe we'll find a way to get a little summer in at Martha's Vineyard, then lighthouse-hop in Maine.  Rather than chasing rutabagas and collards, we'll find the best places for lobster rolls and clam strips.

Got to be with Suzanne and soak up her magic.

For our last repast for a while, we decided to toast everlasting friendship no matter the distance over fried pies.  It just felt right.

Here's to the family we're lucky enough to make for ourselves.  What a gift it is.  xoxo!

Lunch At Miss Mary Bobo's

Posted by ginger On Thursday, September 11, 2014

Miss Mary Bobo's, Lynchburg, Tennessee
We were able to get in for lunch at Miss Mary Bobo's in Lynchburg, Tennessee earlier this year.  It seems that reservations are requested days or weeks in advance, as the setup is family-style dining, with each table having its own host.  We called about a week before our visit, left a message preferring the earlier of the day's two seatings, and they confirmed our reservation.  Lunch is $20.

Miss Mary Bobo's, Lynchburg TN

We've been wanting to come here for so long.  We love revolving table restaurants (like Walnut Hills in Vicksburg and Dinner Bell) and family-style (like Monell's in Nashville and Mrs. Wilkes' in Savannah) because it's so much fun to sit down with strangers and once the meal is over, we're friends.  Miss Mary Bobo's is unique in that each table sits with a host, whose job it is to get things rolling with introductions and stories, etc.

Miss Mary Bobo's, Lynchburg TN
(Lynchburg's most famous past resident, who supped here many times)
Miss Mary Bobo ran this establishment as a boarding house from 1908 until her passing in 1983.  She lived to be 102.  

You can mill around the home beforehand or afterwards to view the furnishings, and of course there's a giftshop.
Miss Mary Bobo's, Lynchburg TN

We were in one of these outer rooms in the back.
Miss Mary Bobo's, Lynchburg TN

I wish I had taken more pictures inside.  We were seated with probably a dozen people at the table, and the food was waiting on us.  The food was passed, but after the initial introductions began by our host, there wasn't very much talking going on.  Here I was, thinking I was going to see what a great conversationalist could do with a nice group of people, but there wasn't much chatter at all.  I decided to get things going and so I asked her a few questions that maybe we would all enjoy ("what's the funniest thing you've seen as a host here?" etc.).  We decided that if the host wasn't going to get everyone talking, we were.  We all had a good time, but it was a little mystifying.

Here's the other thing: the food wasn't very good in general.  It wasn't bad, it's just that none of it was delicious.  It was utilitarian food.  The mashed potatoes were mashed potatoes and the beans were beans, even the fried chicken was just fried chicken.  From my plate, I tried to get a bite or two of most things served.  There wasn't anything I wanted more of.  A shame, because I really just wanted to love this place.
Miss Mary Bobo's, Lynchburg TN
So the best part of the meal food-wise was the dessert, pecan pie with Jack Daniel's.
Miss Mary Bobo's, Lynchburg TN

From al.com:
Mary and Jack Bobo opened the Bobo Hotel in September, 1908, in a white Federal-style house on Lynchburg's Main Street. Miss Mary quickly built a successful business that was popular with single school teachers, traveling salesmen and federal revenuers stopping by to check on the local distillery.

The tax man didn't have to go far - Mr. Jack Daniel himself often took his noonday meal at the boarding house.

"Dinner at Miss Mary Bobo's may have been the early 20th century version of a power lunch," Lynne Tolley, current proprietress of Miss Mary Bobo's and great-grandniece of Jack Daniel said. "Jack Daniel and Lem Motlow were both frequent guests, and the local bank president, Tom Motlow, lived here."