Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Spell on You

Happy Halloween!

I don't think we'll be getting any trick-or-treaters this year...the dirt road might be a little too long for most. So I'll wear my little witch hat. Then we'll probably try to watch a scary movie, as long as we don't get too scared.

You know what? Sometimes I think it's good to get scared. Maybe it puts us in touch with that part of us that's fearful, that needs some love and attention. Maybe we can accept that fear and turn the energy of that feeling into love. That's real magic. The transformation of fear into power. 

Our house tonight...

Hey, I know what you're thinking! I love Halloween. How dare you! But here's the deal: Halloween is a city holiday. Besides for the nightly howling coyotes and the creepy little cats everywhere and the pitch black darkness and owls hooing and full moon with wind whistling through the trees and bats winging around, the country ain't where you find Halloween. There aren't enough trick-or-treaters and parties.

But we'll be having our own little party, and maybe some candy. Who am I kidding? Of course we'll be eating candy...I married the candyman himself. 

Stay safe tonight, whatever you're doing! 

Liza Jane

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Goodbye to Sandra Dee

A blog of prayer....

The Eastern Seaboard--the most populated area in the nation--has had a head-on collision with a not-so-innocent storm they decided to call Sandy.

Flooding, power outages, fires, damage, transportation systems disrupted and maimed, businesses and lives put on hold. The worst are the human injuries and the death toll, which hopefully will not rise above 38. 

Courtesy of the Associated Press

It's interesting that just when you think America is as dual as it gets with two main parties battling each other for power all the freaking time, something like this happens to America's central line. Everyone is together, and everything stops. The government stops, the Stock Exchange stops, the tedious presidential campaign stops. It's like someone who is really in charge said: Shut up already! Stop all your fighting!

So I want to pray. I want to pray for every single soul affected by Sandy. Please please never undermine the power of prayer. I want to pray for this country, for the chosen leader, for the survivors of the storm, and for those that did not survive. May there be healing for everybody and everything injured.

And I pray that this storm is not used by any journalist or politician for political advantage. It's time to be real. I think prayer and compassion are two of the fastest routes to freedom and authenticity. Let's come together in addressing God. 

"Hold your head high, Take a deep breath and sigh..Goodbye to Sandra Dee"

Liza Jane

Friday, October 26, 2012

Into the Mystic

I have been driving. I have been visiting. I have been working.  I have seen some gorgeous things that I want to share with you. 

Last weekend I went to my family's farm in Arkansas in the Ozark mountains. My grandparents are living there now, along with my cousin and his wife. We're a close-knit bunch so getting to spend time with everybody was wonderful. My other cousin got married in Conway. So happy I could be there for her. 

So here are some photos to soothe you here at the end of the week. I would prefer that you sing or hum or hear in your head the song "Into the Mystic" by Van Morrison. If you don't know it, shame on you. Just download it and all will be forgiven. 

Spending time in the woods--love the sun spots

Cousin Eric showing me his chicken coop

My grandmother chopping chives

Box of black apples from a neighboring farm

Grandmother Suey making lunch for us: this is called the Northfork Special. I don't mind sharing this coveted family secret, an easy and delicious lunch idea: one slice of homemade wheat bread spread with spicy mayo, chives and then shaved hardboiled egg sprinkled with salt and pepper and fresh parsely on top. So good.
Late afternoon view from the house on the hill 

A little lighter this time

Then I noticed some grazing deer and I tried to get a shot of them,  but I couldn't really see because the sun was in my face

Can't see them in this shot either but the topography is pretty

Changing leaves...Big House, barn and little egg house.

Another shot of the pond

And another one of the egg house and the changing colors on the moutains

Windmill and sunshine

They said the leaves had started changing four days before I got there. So happy I got to see all those colors. It was a special weekend.

This one will be special too. Looking forward to doing nothing at all. But who knows what it will actually hold? Into the mystic...

I hope you have a very merry weekend! See you on Monday!
Liza Jane

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Peanut! Peanut Butter! and Jelly

I made a peanut butter and jelly sandwich this morning, after long debate in my head over honey versus blueberry jelly. Then there was the debate with Will about whether or not to use honey or jelly (well actually it was jam). Then finally I was like, "The man wants a PB&J, then the man shall get a PB&J, but I still don't think blueberry jam is better than honey healthwise." So I bet right now he is looking at a cotton field in a tractor munching on a PB&J thinking about how awesome his wife is. 

But honey is definitely better for allergies and of course, is natural. 

But then there's the antioxidants in the blueberries, and this jam was real homemade awesome jam. So really who knows?

Forget about the stupid jelly let's talk about peanuts.

Digging peanuts

So I know all about peanuts. And I have actually dug peanuts out of the ground. In the above picture, we are riding in a John Deere tractor and that there is a digger, can you dig it?

So here is your agriculture fact of the day: peanuts are legumes. They grow underground. They must be dug up by said digger below. 

And after that happens, they must sit out there and dry out in the sun until they become the peanuts you eat all the time. At least I do. I love peanut butter. Not just because they surround our house and our livelihood depends on them, but I've always freaking loved peanut butter. Good source of protein. 

I eat em right off the ground. Sanitary? Probably not. Delicious? Definitely is. 

It's funny it's a little Scarlet O'Haraish. And if I want to be dramatic I do the God as my witness bit, but usually I just pluck a few open and eat them right there like a squirrel. 

After the peanuts are dug up and neatly situated in nice little rows, and they have dried, a combine comes through and collects them up so we can sell them to the peanut men. 

Ha I just imagined a bunch of little peanut men walking around hoarding peanuts.

Isn't that right?

Anyway, I like my peanut butter crunchy. One time a friend asked me how I like my peanut butter. And I said, "Crunchy of course!" And she, being hilarious as she is, said "I would hope so! Of course you like it crunchy. There is no other way." She was very opinionated about her peanut butter. So I said, "Well Virginia, there is another way and that's creamy." When she said, "The best way is the crunchy way." And we proceeded to make a very lofty and elite club based on the premise that crunchy peanut butter is in fact better than creamy peanut butter. 

If you like creamy peanut butter, we can still be friends (I actually like it sometimes too but please don't tell Virginia). But don't expect me to make you a PB&J. It will be crunchy and it will have H instead of J.

Hope you learned a little something something about agriculture too.

Liza Jane

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Everlasting Light

So many people. Were all over the place. At Austin City Limits. This past weekend.

Talk about supporting the arts. This is real support. This is love.

I've never seen so many fresh-faced hipsters. 

Fresh-faced hipsters
And I've never heard such beautifully inventive music.

Black Keys singing "Everlasting Light"-- a humungous disco ball came down and made all that light shine from the stage
Florence (whoa), Black Keys, Jack White, Neil Young, Avett Brothers and Red Hot Chilli Peppers (whoaa) were our among the bands that rocked our chairs. 

I don't know I can't really say much else. It's one of those experiences when as a writer you want to convey everything, but you just can't.

So I guess I'll just talk about the other things that also inspired me:

We went to a Vietnamese French restaurant called Elizabeth Street. This is a shrimp spring roll, and it was incredible 

I had a mushroom tofu on French bread.

This was Will's

Espresso Cream Puff and Cinnamon Curry Macaroon --yeah
Also, Elizabeth St. had jasmine Arnold Palmers that made me forget my dog's name. 

Just kidding Jackson! Could never forget you, sweet thang
Oh and Natalie Portman sat at the table next to me, 3 feet away. I was pretty star struck, but that did not stop me from consuming everything they put in front of me. 

Loved Austin. Knew I would. Yes, please keep Austin weird. We'll be back.

Traveling with your spouse is always a team-builder. Will we make the flight? How much should we tip? Where's this? What time is that?

It's those stresses that make us stronger. That's real fun right there.

So here's to stress? No I won't. Here's to fun!

Liza Jane

Thursday, October 11, 2012

All My Exes Live in Texas

"...and that's why I hang my hat in Tennessee!" My grandfather Pawpaw loved that song. 

Actually, all my exes live in Tennessee, and I hang my hat in Mississippi, and I'm rambling on to Texas this afternoon.

I've never been to Austin. Although, I did think about moving there for a week after college (I also thought about Buenos Aires, New York, DC, Paris, Costa Rica, New Orleans, Dallas, Peru, San Fran, Charleston, Madrid and Birmingham). Ended up hanging my hat in Nashville. Some of those places were a little too far away from the farm. Something about Austin, a city I had never been to, attracted me. And now I get to go there! For what? 

Music of course. Although Will is sick to his stomach about leaving the farm right smack in the middle of all that's going on with cotton and peanuts, we're making it happen. We wanted to go to a music festival together in a place we had always wanted to go to. It so happens that they thoughtlessly arranged the dates in the middle of harvest.

But we're going through with it, even though we made these plans in May and thought harvest would be over by now. Life is funny. Who knows what would happen if we had put it off? It might never happen--that's what could happen. Now or never. 

Some of my favorite bands are playing. 


Black Keys
Florence + The Machine are fantastic live. I was floating for a month after that last one I saw. And I am on pins and needles to see the Black Keys. And the Red Hot Chilli Peppers have been shaking me since I was nine. There's also the Alabama Shakes, Jack White, and many more. All in one place!

Our duty as avid music fans is go and and listen and scream and sing and dance and jump up and down (that might only be me). Because I'm a big time fan. And then also to support the arts, to hear new music live, something that does not happen very often around here (we've got natural music). I've just got to have it.

Indulging in your favorite fine art (although fashion and literature are also very necessary too and visual art is making its debut in my life at the moment) is like going to the spa for the day. Add that to one of your favorite hobbies like travel, and you will get juiced up. 

Liza Jane

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Mississippi You're On My Mind

For all the singing I do about Nashville, I was born in this state. Mississippi is my true home. Yes, my adolescent years that I remember the best were spent in Nashville. But Mississippi is my native land. 

From the funky Native American names of towns and rivers to the obsession with fried food, I love this state. It is truly different from any other place on this earth. For one thing, this place gave birth to America's music! How can you not love that? And for a second thing, the natural beauty is something that takes my breath away every day.

You've got agriculture, food, music, natural beauty, country living. What else can we ask for?

Nothing. God love it. 

Yes, there are issues. And the good people here will handle with grace. I know the future holds beautiful things for Mississippi. I'm not just being my overly optimistic self. It's true. We are supported abundantly. 

All you need is love. We won't give up. 

Liza Jane

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Sunday Kind of Love

I have been home for the these past two weekends, and it was glorious! And I was traveling for the two weekends before that, and that was glorious too!

We went to New York for a beautiful wedding a few weeks back. The weekend after I went to Nashville for a fabulous wedding with some old friends from high school (sweet little reunion). I love to travel. It's a hobby. Albeit, an expensive one. But that's okay. The fact of the matter is that travel is wonderful for someone like me for two reasons: being there and coming home. Experiencing a range of different sense perceptions in a place other than my home is very healthy for my sense of adventure. More than that, the feeling of walking into my house after travel is splendid. The best.

Street mural in New York

Sunday street market on 8th Avenue--people people everywhere


Tourists on Broadway

Will looks just like this guy to me. I guess posing on Broadway in New York was not what this farmer thought he would be doing one day. 

I travel so I can come home.

So this Sunday, I am home. It's cold outside. I am in my fluffy pink robe. I'll probably finish giving my blog some attention (yes it's been a month but I'm about to figure out how to blog from my phone so this will no longer be an issue hopefully), do an Elena Brower yoga session on YogaGlo, get out a jacket and take a walk, read some new books, write 'til my heart's content, and cook a little something something tonight. I'm not ashamed to admit that it is 3 o'clock in the afternoon, and I am just now thinking about getting dressed.

While the sound of football energizes my TV room. This time of year is so fun.

First fire of the year
Anyway, I hope you get some quality time with yourself after all the rushing around. I know I'm loving it. It's a Sunday kind of Love.

Liza Jane