Sunday, May 27, 2012

A Summer Weekend in Mississippi

After a long fall, a mild winter, and a perfect spring, summer is here. The A/C is on. It's too damn hot to be outside at high noon. But life continues, nonetheless, and today that meant a brunch birthday party at a friend's house two streets away.

But first, let me introduce Louie:

He joined our family yesterday and so far fits in great.

Woke up this morning and after awhile, went to the garden to pick off stinkbugs. Determined to  keep them under control so they don't devestate my cucumbers and exotic melons and squashes, so I head down there every other day or so to squish the mustard-like eggs and hand-pick any I see. Found six today, two ripe cucmbers, three strawberries, and these:

The year's first sunflowers! These are Lemon Queens and are taller than K, so about 8 feet or so. The cucmbers are twining up them pretty nicely.

Caspian helped me water but after a half-hour, we headed back up the hill, already hot.

Got dressed and headed to the party.

Where there was a backyard set up for fun-- boucy castle, sprinklers, pools, and of course, balloons.

A friend's baby, whom K has a special fondness for (I think it's mutual):

And so for three or so hours, the kids played relentlessly and the adults flopped in lawn chairs, drank spiked lemonade and Bloody Marys and let the conversations wander.

Some of us work with or next to each other. Some of them are my customers. Some of them are my vendors. Some of them have kids who go to the same daycare. A lot of us were pregnant at the same time. Almost all of us have known almost all the kids since infancy. We all see each other weekly, if not daily, in some way or another, and always at the kids' birthday parties.

I like that my kids are growing up with friends just blocks away.

Caspian and hus buddy G., taking the girls' new birthday present for a spin:

Annaliese ferrying various boys around:

She had a great time. Annaliese never cries or whines or even stops to eat at parties. Instead, she plays like it is her job.

Caspian, on the other hand, ate non-stop, whined a little, and got hot and tired by early afternoon.

So we're home now. Resting in the cool air. Talking about screening in the porch. Letting the heat have its way with the afternoon. We'll go back out again in the evening.
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Tuesday, May 22, 2012


K. is the BEST husband in the WHOLE world and he should DEFINITELY not be angry at me for 1. forgetting my phone at the store and 2. going out to dinner with my cook and the baker and drinking margaritas and 3. getting home 48 minutes after when I was supposed to be home so we could switch and he could go weed-eat and listen to audiobooks in peace and I am SORRY honey, I am sorry.

Sometimes, it's nice to not be in a hurry.

Other than my grumpy husband, whom I can't call cos my phone is still not with me, all is very well indeed.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day, 2012

I was really excited this morning for Mother's Day.

After a long, extra-hard week (culminating in me forced into cooking for a manically busy Saturday breakfast and lunch at the store, as neither of my professional cooks could/would work-- hint: it ended in many bad eggs and one forearm slashed), I came home yesterday with my hair smelling of bacon and crawled into the bosom of my sweet family.

K. kissed my forehead and said, "That's it! You're done doing anything until tomorrow afternoon!" Which was absolutely fine with me.

Until the phone rang at 7:10 this morning, with the Sunday waitress/clerk/cleaner calling in sick.

So I went to work on Sunday, on Mother's Day, and I felt pretty grim about it until a customer, who'd already ushered his wife, son, mother-in-law, and mother out of the store, came back to settle the bill and told me that his wife's Mother's Day included one of their sons shipping out to Afghanistan.

Which made spending some fairly chilled-out time in my pretty store with my kids at home "secretly" baking a surprise carrot cake seem absolutely alright.

K. took a nap the moment I got home. I went running (something this past week didn't allow) and puttered in the garden a little (first blooms on the cucumber vines, which ARE climbing the sunflowers just as I planned!), and then my babies woke up.

We ate cake. We played. Then Annaliese asked if we could go to the nail polish store so she couldn't paint her nails, something she's been dying to do, and on this soft gray afternoon, seemed like a great idea.

On the walk down to Fred's, Caspian said he wants a teddy bear for his birthday (June 3rd!). I asked why. He said in his little-boy lisp, "so I can snuggle with it when I got to sleep."

He also wants axes.

Such a delicious combination :)

So we got nail polish, and Crayons, with my tip money from Saturday (I cleaned UP. Because we were busy, or because people felt sorry for me? Who knows? Fifty tax-free bucks though!), and we walked home, and then I painted both my kids' toenails.

I am not super-into boys and nail polish but Caspian wants to do whatever Annaliese and I do, and today, that means his toes got painted.

Now the kids are sitting side-by-side in their rocking chairs watching Caillou, waiting for their toes to dry, and it feels like I'm a pretty lucky mama. Because I have good kids. Because I have a good mama myself.

Hope y'all had good days too.

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Cinco De Mayo

We have a festival getting set up just in fornt of my store. I anticipate a 12-hour work-day for myself, maybe 14, we'll see how it goes. Yesterday was a 14-hour-er too. Even without the festival, we were on track to having our best week ever, again, knock on wood.

So K's at home with the kids, who have been a tad trying this week, and I am pretty sure he is counting the hours until he leaves Tuesday for a child-free, adults-only, Main Street conference with his New Orleans buddy.

I've been there.


What else is up? Not much. Our long lovely spring that I'm proud to report I enjoyed is OVER and it is officially summer. The A/C is on and it's too hot to play outside unless it's before 10am or after 5. Fair enough. I did plant spinach in January, after all.


Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Some Big-Ass News

If you haven't heard from my mama yet (I'm sure you will), a big thing happened yesterday.

I sold a book to Clarkson Potter, the cookbook division of Random House.

This came about because of the New York Times article in march. A NYC literary agent contacted me, said do a proposal, essays with recipes, and so I did.

The writing again, after 2 years away, felt great.

My proposal, 88 recipes from my good friend and cook Dixie, with sample essays and such, went out to editors last Thursday, and on Tuesday, the TWO-YEAR anniversary of the B.T.C., it sold.

Now I have 9 months or so to write the whole thing; it's slated for spring 2014 publication. I don't get any money for a couple months; they pay in 4 installments; the money has to be split among my agent, a photographer, taxes, Dixie, and me, plus a couple little amounts for some other key people. So I am far from quitting my day job :)

But it feels great. It feels unbelievable. I have written 2.5 novels and never even gotten people to read them. Selling a book before it's even written? Phenomenal. It feels like a gift, and a responsibility, and destiny, and other big things.

But most of all, it just feels like fun.

Thanks to my hubby for this sweet post that made me get a little teary.

Also, here's a pic of the kids this morning.