How Not to Make Biscuits

July 9, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: family, food 
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In my break from writing, I often turn to the kitchen. Today, I wanted UL's famous spoon biscuits. I called him to find out exactly how he makes them and discovered why southern cooks are so good at what they do - because they remember the recipe. They don't actually write it down for fear it'll diminish the magic or because, quite honestly, they enjoy the aggravation it causes when their children finally realize what things matter in a family and turn to them for guidance. And now the phone call conversation between me and Uncle Larry. ME: Hey. UL: Hey. ME: So, this...

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And then the tornado came…

May 6, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Deep South, faith, family 
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There is a road in south Mississippi that goes by the curious name of SoSo. The SoSo Road. I used to know it well. In my caterpillar days of driving, I would often (and under the heavy cloak of prayer from UL, no doubt) drive myself down to Hattiesburg and Purvis to visit my grandparents in the summers and this road was instrumental in that journey. The SoSo Road was a red-blooded country road. It required a slower speed; it went through “friendly” village-like towns; it was two-lane. All the things that reassured UL it was “safe” compared to the highway and the...

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What I Believe in Under 600 Words

March 16, 2014 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: faith, family 
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"The old people where I come from are made of magic. They are. But then, I believe all old people are made of magic, a deep magic that reveals itself slowly. A quiet kind of magic that cannot be seen until it's been lived. A sturdy, patient magic that waits for the busy to die down, for an inch of stillness to stop the flustered adult and remind him of where he comes from, of the magic that he belongs to and cannot escape. I was almost thirty when my inch of stillness stopped me. It's a severely humbling thing to...

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The Book That Mattered

March 10, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: education, family, writing 
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The other day my Facebook status read: “As a nephew raised by an uncle, I'm always moved when I remember how many heroes in literature, commercial or otherwise, were also brought up by uncles: Harry Potter to Frodo. Role models from non-traditional families. I think I'm in good company. (Don't worry; we only had a one-story house...).” That last part in the parentheses really confused people; my apologies, I was referencing the fact that Harry Potter’s uncle wasn’t the best, per se, and had locked him under the stairs in the first book. My uncle, UL, didn’t do that because (and...

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11 Mississippi Towns Spelled Out Phonetically in their Correct Pronunciations for the Media and Other Outsiders

September 15, 2013 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Deep South, education, humor 
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I grew up in #5. And one year, while I was still living in #5, we took a family trip to Branson because a) We had old people in our family, and old people like Branson, and b) at some point, everyone goes to Branson. As we were sitting in the audience at some yokel concert, the Emcee, for some reason, announced that there were people in the audience from Loo-ee-ville, Mississippi. (At first, in our innocence, we looked around to see if we knew who they were before realizing we were those people).  No sooner had he mispronounced our hometown, than...

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I need to find a banana.

October 3, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Deep South, family, food 
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This is what happens when I don’t eat breakfast. Which actually happens a lot – I write about food. Now, I’m no food critic. I just eat it. That about sums up my relationship with food. If I like it, I eat more of it. If I don’t like it, I don’t eat it more than three, four times, just to be sure. Chances are I will eventually come to love all food. You know, your taste buds change, like, what, every seven years? I used to hate Brussels sprouts, but now, no, wait, I still don’t really like Brussels sprouts, but...

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Children of the Corn-y, or Why I Loved the 80s

October 2, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: education, humor 
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I don’t like getting older, necessarily, but the beauty of it is that it’s happening, whether I like it or not. Might as well relax into it. So, what does one do as one’s “twilight” approaches? One reminisces about “what made them cool back in the day.” Nostalgia for children of the 1980s leads automatically to all the cool tchotchkes and fads that defined what cultural historians would eventually call the “Me Generation.” I’m sure it does for children of any decade, but I’m not talking about them. I’m talking about me, us. And, really, can we be honest, here?, children of...

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To say nothing about hurricanes. Literally.

August 28, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Deep South, humor 
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Ah, hurricanes.             You live in Mississippi, you get used to it. And tornadoes. And heat. And humidity. And football. All of which cause problems. The only hurricane I have any serious recollection of, personally, is Katrina. I mean, there were others who came and went, tried their best, but Katrina, she meant business. Even as far inland in Mississippi as I was, we still went nearly a week without electricity.   In the searing heat of late August, the lack of electricity tends to leave an indelible mark on you.  Trust me. Still, I have great respect for weather phenomena. I actually love storms,...

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Mistake #12: Riding the bus to Atlanta

April 3, 2012 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Everyday 
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I don’t typically make mistakes. But, boy, when I do. I make them count. You’ll recall my Zumba accident, perhaps. And if you need a new reference, well, then, here you go: I took a trip on a bus this weekend to Atlanta. Not a city bus that takes you twenty minutes or less from Wal-Mart to a museum, or whatever, where I live we don’t really have city buses. No, the bus I took was with a commercial busing company that we’ve come to know as Greyhound. I was heading to Atlanta to visit an old friend, and do some networking, and eating,...

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And now for The Walking Dead, and the lessons they’ve taught me.

March 5, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Everyday, family, humor, theatre 
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You were bound to find out. I’m a liar. I mean, I do sleep a lot because I love sleeping so that part from my blog the other day is not a lie. But, the part where I said I don’t watch a lot of TV? That was a lie. A big, fat, bald-faced lie – so called because 18th-19th century businessmen often grew beards to mask facial expressions when making “deals,”(Check it out http://tinyurl.com/5s9k7). By the way, though: Props to bald people. Get a rough end of it, don’t they? But back to me. I’m obsessed with TV right now. It wasn’t always like...

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