Thursday, March 29, 2012

Blog Spring Break

I took a little Spring Break. I just felt that you deserved better than fuzzy cell phone pictures. I know that besides the writing, pictures are the most central component to a blog. A little two-week spring break, and I'm back in business boys and girls.

Things get so busy for everyone in the springtime. Everyone is starting up the whole garden process here in Mississippi. Me, I mostly do a whole lot of thinking about it and procrastinating. I don't want to talk about it, but I'm a little unorganized and frustrated with my late start this year. And spring just ran up behind me and surprised me and said "Yeah, it's already the end of March, where have you been?" And I said, "Shut up, Spring! You are early, and I have been busy! But thanks for coming, I have really been enjoying you this year. Quite a show you are putting on." It's usually still cool this time of year, but I don't think I have felt a chill since the middle of February.

I don't think I've been as perceptive about spring in the past. Maybe it's because my creative juices are being juiced because I started this blog and figured out that writing is my passion. Maybe it's because by the compassion of my dad and husband, I was gifted a beautiful "fancy" camera to document this process. Maybe it's because this is my first spring here in the MS Delta, and I think this is probably the most sensational place to watch spring being sprung. Maybe it's all of them. Spring always came in second for me, as far as seasons go--but I am reconsidering this, and maybe most everything else.

So everyone knows that sunsets and sunrises are stuff of unfathomable beauty. I don't what it is. Here in the Delta, they are the best in the world. Yes, I said the world. Like better than Jamaica, Hawaii, Switzerland, the Florabama. A complete day is a day where I catch both of these moments. And when I tell you that I've turned watching both into some sort of ritual out here, I am in no way ashamed of that. It's my prayer time, as best as I can manage for what's going on around me in terms of household mambo jumbo. It's my quiet time if my farmer hasn't been doused with diesel or arrived with a dead turkey. With this Nikon fancy machine (apparently they are called Mommy cameras--wasn't ready to hear that one) I've inherited, I am a sun and earth addict.

First sunset on this camera.
Little Blue Suckey Tail, which is my new not-so-clever name for her because she sucks her tail, and I thought she would have stopped by now. 

Budding pecan tree.
Our weekends have been very laid back and grandfatherly lately. I like it. I'm not going to pretend I don't. But last weekend was a riot. We went to our friends' wedding in Indianola (town about 45 minutes from here). It was so much freaking fun! I love it when you have a fun time, and didn't even expect it or mean to. And plus, I got to hang out in a new little Delta town. Indianola has a lot to offer too. The reception was at the B.B. King museum, and the Crackerjacks (I think?) were rocking. I danced my shoes off. I literally lost my shoes.

Then we went to the Blue Biscuit, which was also so much fun. And guess what? I love Indianola. Good place. I'm a huge B.B. King fan so I am all about it.

Sunday was an unbelievably gorgeous spring day. It was W's brother's b'day so we had a wonderful lunch with the family at River Hills Country Club in Jackson. When we got home, everyone was waiting to get on the Better Deal (husband's huge pontoon 1970s pontoon boat). We were all looking for a nice day on the lake. But guess what? The thing was ravaged by a tornado two years ago and hasn't been the same since. So it was a nice day on the pier, while the boys slaved over the Better Deal engine.

Cypress leaves  growing in.

W, LT, and MR working on the engine. I had been going out with W for a couple of weeks when he bought this boat. I was driving to his house, and he was a few minutes behind me on the highway so I pulled over at a gas station to wait and follow him because I didn't know my way around those country roads at that point. He drove by waving with a big smile, dragging this huge broken down boat behind him. He had just bought it. I was shocked, and thought "this guy is nuts, but really cute." 

That ball is like tobacco chew for Jackson.

Looks like we caught something! Oh, just a stick.


Getting pet with a chew in his mouth on the pier.

I don't really have to say anything here. 

Better Deal has seen better days. 

These two cousins look a lot alike. One time, at a friend's house, LT had his sunglasses on, and I was making eyes with him, thinking he was W. Then I got mad because he wasn't responding to my flirty eyes. He was really weirded out, and it wasn't until after he spoke up, that I realized it wasn't my boyfriend. 

Sun making its descent. 
Cypress knees.

Heaven, I'm in Heaven.
Time to give up and watch the sunset.

There she goes.

Sunrise the next morning over the lake. 
Sunset that day. Looks like a tornado of beauty (a little slice of cheese).
And another sunrise! 
 Well, I have to go do some more procrastinating and useless worrying and thinking about my garden. Going to Jackson or Greenwood today for some essentials.

Hope you have a happy happy day, wherever you are!

Jiza Lane

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Babysitters, Lunches, Gardens, and Fish

I know it's a weird title. But my mind is having a hard time coming up with a good one for this diverse blog post. I just can't come up with a unifying theme right now. 

And this was supposed to be posted yesterday but Internet stinks in the country, and I am now in the city of Nashville where the Internet is wildly rapid. 

I'll start with Thursday. I'm out of the house by 2 and on my way to Jackson. I had some errands to run and wanted to see my grandparents. I walk in their apartment, and it's full of stuffed boxes. They are moving to our family farm in Arkansas. This, to me, is not good news. I love my grandparents and am particularly close to my grandmother, Suey. I won't go into it, but I'm sad she is going to live far away again. But this is probably the selfish analysis of the situation. I pray that all will go well with everything and that they will be happy. Of course, it's whatever makes them happy and healthy. It might turn out to be a wonderful move, I pray. 

So Suey and I are taking one last road-trip to Nashville tomorrow. She needs to see her great grandchildren before this big move. Before we leave, Suey will take a tour of my home, and we will leave from here. Needless to say, I've been cleaning tonight like Mr. Clean himself. 

Back to Thursday afternoon. Right after visiting with my grandmother, I went straight to my nephews' house. W and I were to babysit B and B (my two nephews) for the night while sister and brother-in-law were out of town. I had a little glimpse into what having children would be like with W. Between the two of us, who do you think will be the disciplinarian? My children better love me too. 

Friday morning, I grab a chai latte at Cups (tiny interesting tidbit: my mom started this coffee shop chain in Jackson in 1994 or 1993 or something like that and going there helps me to feel the entrepreneur spirit). Anyway, I got out my laptop and started maybe to blog? No time: 5 minutes until my hair appointment. I apologize to my blog audience, if there still is one.  

After the hair appointment, Daddy wants to meet up for lunch. I say let's meet at High Noon in the co-op. We love the co-op. Daddy helped start the whole operation back in the 80s. Going to these places like Cups and the co-op in Jackson reminds me of my parents' contributions to this city that I find myself back in (we moved when I was 9). Rainbow is the health food store and there's also a neat retail store and a computer co-op, and then the restaurant High Noon. So we meet there at high noon.

Playing catch-up, eating awesome food; It was a fantastic lunch date. Daddy and I talk about everything. And then he tells me he likes my blog. And that's when I say I need a fine camera to spruce up this thing.  And that's when Daddy makes his contribution. So from now on, every picture is dedicated to my father, except if it says otherwise, and not the blurry, foggy BlackBerry pics either. 

W and I seem to collapse Friday night. Sleep like babies. I'm just not the babysitting city girl that I used to be.  

But Saturday? The most gorgeous, glorious spring day! I mean, I've never felt a temperature so perfect. We worked in the garden hard and hardly broke a sweat. It was warm enough, however, not to wear anything long-sleeved and to wear shorts. There was a little breeze and the blue sky was lined with long white clouds. Wow. 

So our mission was to clean up my old mess of a garden so we could start making decisions for the new one. We tore out the old pants and weeds, removed the bricks that were my border and stacked them against the other side of our house by the AC unit. This entailed stacking the bricks on this little green garden cart because we could think of no other way to make this simple. 

Our patio. I know it looks like we just moved in after no tenants for a decade, but this is what winter neglect will do to the most loved part of your home. We decided to haul all the furniture off and spray the patio down, removing all the unnecessary foliage that makes our house look like it might be haunted. 

All the plants of yesteryear piled up. 
We wanted to spray all the weeds and stuff that was making our house look like an abandoned house so we took a drive to the farm shop to get the chemicals. I'm not a big fan of chemicals, but these weeds got to go. So we went and say the shop animals: Shop Cat and Shop Dog, who just had puppies.

She's worn out. She is an adopted mut on the farm.  
The puppies. I love puppies. If you know anyone who is looking to adopt, please comment or send me a message.  
Shop Dog has more...12 puppies this litter!

Back to the yard...W over there spraying. Is this an awkward spot for a birdhouse? This is about the 17th time I've moved the thing. I was just thinking the best spot for a birdbath is right outside my bathroom window. I can watch them bathe while bathe in my tub! Perfect. Don't want to think about it anymore. 

Birdhouse #1. Christmas present from my sweet father-in-law. 

Birdhouse #2: posted up on a post. It's a little church birdhouse. Cute wedding present. 

Sunday provided a relaxing morning. Jackson got a little feisty with W. Love it! 

Then he calmed down, got on his mat and started working out. See how he pushes his chest out--great Upward Facing Dog position. Yeah, he does yoga with me all the time. 

Don't you love his haircut? I like it when he shows his teeth like this because he is nothing but a big bundle of cuddly love, and when he shows his tough side it's hilarious. 

We went over to friends' house, D and L to go fishing and then fry some catfish on Sunday. So much fun getting to visit with them.  This is J, me and W posing on the porch.

Sha and Drew fishing.


Action shot on the BlackBerry. I wish I had gotten a whole group photo with D and L, but I didn't. Next time when I have a camera.
And that concludes the rundown of our weekend activities. I wrote this on Monday on the farm, posting it on Tuesday, in a different confused, all over the place. Forgive me. Going over to MBC's place tonight. So excited to see my dear friend! Happy to be in the fabulous city of Nashville.

Have fun this week! Hopefully, I'll be posting.

Liza Jane

Monday, March 5, 2012

Rest, Relaxation, and Hunger

Friday nights are not what they used to be. In high school...

During college...
With group in Europe during a pirate party in Italy. Yes, I said pirate party. The guy on the far right is Tim Tebow. I'm just kidding. But isn't there a strong resemblance? 
After college...
In New Orleans at my bachelorette party.
Even right before marriage...
A couple of nights before my wedding day.
I think I was ready to let go of the whole going out thing that usually happens when you live in a city at a young age. I like my new Friday nights. I love them in fact.
Bee Lake in all its splendor.
This was a tough adjustment at first. But now, I can pick and choose my Friday nights. Because I am still 25 and should be having a fun time. And I'm healthier than ever probably.

After a whole lot of traveling lately, this weekend was just what I needed. I'm proud to say that I didn't do anything Saturday except for read.

And cook deviled eggs.

W went camping with buddies, and at first, I was a little sad wishing to be in Nashville or New Orleans or Denver or somewhere with some friends, but then I realized: this is perfect. Just what I needed. I love time alone. I was born to live here.

So is Jackson. He never left my side on this strenuous day.

Close-up. I have to take pictures with my BlackBerry now so I apologize for the quality. Plus, it might be worse because I was trying to take it without getting out of bed. Lazy Susan over here. 

I'm going to come right out and say that I did not get out of my pajamas Saturday, and I don't care who knows it.

I stepped into dangerous territory. I was told too many times to read Hunger Games, and I don't have be told a million times to do something. I have to be told 999,999 times. So I ordered it from Amazon, and when our sweet FedEx guy Matt brought it, I ripped open the package immediately. I was in trouble.

They were right. You can't put the book down. It's a good thing W wasn't around or he would be pacing around trying to get me to do something for goodness sakes. It was ridiculous. I didn't even stop reading if I had to go to the bathroom. I would just hold it until I couldn't anymore.

And then the hunger came. I hadn't eaten all day! I got hungry reading the Hunger Games because it is an addiction. I never got into the Harry Potters or the Twilight stuff, but this book drew me in and never released its grip on my mind. Anyway, I don't need to spend more time talking or thinking about it, because I need to get on with my life. I finished it in 37 hours, and that's all that needs to be said. I'm just happy I ended it so I can get on with my life and be useful to the world again. The second one is on its way though.

If you're looking for a book you can't put down, you've found it, my friend. I heard there's a movie coming out too.

Sunday was beautiful. I was happy to come out of my reading cave. We celebrated my niece Margie's baptism. That's why I made the deviled eggs. No, silly, I wasn't just making the deviled eggs to eat by myself Saturday night because of my hunger caused by the Hunger Games. Who eats deviled eggs alone? Okay, I had one or two.

To quote my good buddies the Rolling Stones, "You can't always get what you want. But if you try sometimes, you might find, you get what you need." This weekend was just what I needed. R&R, plus a little H.

Have a lovely week! Take it easy.

Liza Jane