Here in Alabama, we take our potential snow days very seriously.  In fact, we are subjected to many a news story about how bread and milk is flying off of the shelves, because apparently, southerners believe they need those things to survive for the 1 or 2 (or maybe 3) days of being stuck at home, fearful to venture out on the roads.

I am not sure where the bread and milk requirement originated?  Perhaps, young families who have children in the house and just cannot run out of milk?  I don’t know.  I don’t remember it being a thing in Mississippi on the few snow/ice events we had.  I remember bottled water being the thing, because when it iced we tended to have some issues with our tap water supply.

Here I am, now, ruminating on last weekend’s winter weather event, here.  I did pop into the grocery on the way home the day before the expected event.  Personally, I am convinced you can determine how seriously the citizenry is taking a forecast by how much bread and milk is left on shelves.  But, I actually LOVE to peruse other people’s winter prep shopping carts.

[My personal choice of emergency grocery supplies generally include butter, flour and eggs.  I tend to have the urge to bake cookies during winter weather.  It is nothing my mother ever did when I was a kid, so I did not pick it up there.  Maybe, because my house gets so cold, and I have to hang around in it for days on end, I enjoy the heat coming from the oven as I cook things.   My other winter weather necessity is bacon.   I think the only time we cook bacon in this house is for snow day breakfast along with scrambled eggs and pancakes.  AHA! There is where I need some milk!]

Back to other people’s carts…

Last week, I watched people at the checkout.  Mind you, this takes a while when snow is forecast, because lots of extra people are at the store, needing to check out.

Cart number 1 was full of refrigerated, portioned, ready to bake cookies.  How about that?  I am not the only one who craves them.  I just make them from scratch because it helps kill time when I am avoiding productive work at home.  When I say, full though, I’m talking 8, 9 packages of cookies.  That’s quite a few cookies. Hope you have a lot of people in your house pal, because that would make me ill.   Don’t forget 3 gallons of milk to go with those yummy, warm sugar bombs.

Cart number 2 – cigarettes, wine, aaaaaand milk.  I feel for you, hon, I don’t want to be trapped for three days either.

Cart number 3 – and this was  my favorite of the day – no milk.  But 13 2-liter bottles of Mountain Dew.   And lots of Ruffles.   Now, ordinarily when I see a cart like that, my assumption is perhaps they don’t really care about the weather. Perhaps they are having a playoff football watch party at their house, and those are snacks for it.  But, 26 liters of Mountain Dew?   Really, if they were having a party, I would think there would be an assortment of different sorts of soda beverages.  So, Mountain Dew is their disaster preparedness fluid of choice.

Stay warm my friends.  Maybe we will get one more icy precipitation event this year.  They are fun!  What’s in your cart?


Little tiny things hit you out of the blue to remind you that your children are really adults and are transitioning into their own visions of adult life.   My daughter said she wanted to be “at home” to watch and celebrate the iron bowl yesterday.  She meant her apartment at auburn, not her room in this big old house.  This coming at the same time we are helping her brother to find an affordable aparment tugs a little at the heart muscle.  But it’s okay. Life goes on.


And, PS, Amazon, we really do not want your HQ2. The last thing we need is for rent to skyrocket with an influx of new population. Haha.


I like to think of myself as open-minded and adventurous when it comes to dining out. However, there’s also that inner person who wants a guarantee that I’ll love my meal, so sometimes it dampens the desire to experiment.

But for mother’s day this year we tried a coastal restaurant that is new to us.  Their specials board had many interesting offerings, so I decided to go for something brand new to me.

I tried the “savory” cheesecake (crab and asparagus), after convincing myself it was probably a lot like quiche. Only, it wasn’t.  It was very much like a real cheesecake, extremely dense and very cheesy. There was even a sauce on top that was too savory for this girl.  So, this time, going out on a limb resulted in some lunch disappointment.


I did salvage my lunch with a fruit salad side that was absolutely delightful. But, I also managed to embarrass myself when I asked what the small round golden colored fruits were that resembled peeled grapes.  “Raisins.”  Um, duh. But, in my defense, they had soaked up moisture and did not look like raisins.  I promise, waitress-lady, I am not an idiot.



One of the scents that is capable of immediately and forcefully reminding me of childhood is that of Honeysuckle.  Every time, I catch a whiff of the stuff, I am transported to a patch of scrubby grass and a grown up ditch, near the clotheslines that stood behind the apartments where my family lived in Oxford, Mississippi. We weren’t there very long, only two years, while my dad finished his doctorate.  Many of my childhood glimpses and snippets come from this place – I was between four and six years, then.  I remember, after the honeysuckle waned, the blackberries coming forth in full force.  Mom would send me, and whomever else was hanging about, into the overgrown vacant lots back there to hunt the berries.  I distinctly remember her always giving us a pail of water, with sugar melting in it, to wash the berries with.  Rarely did many actually make it home in those containers.

We have honeysuckle up here in North Alabama.  Only, it’s not quite as much and not quite as fragrant as it was in my memories.  But, you know how memories are, we tend to remember the good things as very, very good.  So, maybe honeysuckle doesn’t smell quite the same in reality.

We went down to Auburn this weekend to see some baseball and catch The Tempest at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival (very good – go).  In the evening, after the game on Friday, we were strolling across campus to my daughter’s dorm when the scents hit me like a ton of bricks. It’s warmer down in Auburn, and the honeysuckle was in full bloom. The heady scent was just like I remembered it.  And to add to it, there were quite a few tea olive bushes around (at least I think it is what they are called, or something similar).  They have an extremely sweet perfume.  When I first encountered them in New Orleans, I always thought someone nearby had overdosed on some overpowering Giorgio, but eventually, I figured out it was the bushes.

I love that smell.  I miss it.  It always makes me feel happy.  I just stood there in the cool evening breeze, letting it waft over me and carry me back to my Freshman year on Tulane’s campus.  I almost cried.  I cannot believe my youngest is in college. Where did the time go?  It was just yesterday, I was tromping through briers, cutting up my shins and knees, picking blackberries.