Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Home for a Whirlwind

I headed home to the great state of Tennessee this past weekend for my Grandmother's 80th birthday celebration. She is still young at heart, and surprisingly, still happy to be surrounded by all of us.

The next morning I woke up before the sun (AGAIN) and met Jenny & Rachael in Nashville to watch other people sweat and heave through the Country Music Marathon. Jenny's hubby, Greg, and his buddy Scott were running, as well as my cousin, Hope. Congratulations to each of them, for hitting the finish line. We helped by cheering and staying hydrated on the roadside.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Underwhelming Earth Day

Last year, I got involved in a local Earth Day celebration in Jackson, because it was held on the weekend. This year, work kept me from joining those guys again. Just so I can assauge my guilt on the matter, I wanted to post about a book loaned to me from my friend, Mary Beth: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. This book tells the story of how their family was changed by one year of deliberately eating food produced in the place where we live. It is a reminder of how far our food travels to get to our tables, and how we can make better choices about what we eat based on where it comes from. Small changes are the way that I am planning to approach this, for example, tonight I am making chicken pesto with whole wheat penne, but the only local ingredient is the basil (from my back porch).

Friday, April 18, 2008

Vicksburg is sinking, and I don't want to swim...

Water continues to rise in the lower lying areas of Vicksburg. I took these last Saturday before I flew out west, and then a friend sent these others during the week. Crest was expected today, but more rain today has meant that water levels will continue to rise.

California: Trip 2

And back on a plane headed to the West Coast...this time to northern CA, the state capitol of Sacramento. Almost a year of planning has finally brought us to the Dredged Material Assessment and Management Seminar, but I flew in a couple of days early to have a look around and spend some time with an old friend from grad school days at Oklahoma State. We hit Second Saturday in mid-town Sacramento that evening, which was mayhem, with people everywhere and lots to see and do. Someone told me later that she had lived there for 8 years, and it was more people than she had ever seen at one of these events.

The next day we packed up and left for wine country! Which reminded me of one of the most unfortunate Sex and the City quotes ever "If you are tired you take a nap-a, you don't move to Napa." Hideous. Anyway, it was a beautiful day at V. Sattui winery, and we had our lovely wine tasting, and then came the picnic. We bought some cheese and bread, olives and wine. Maral had packed up the hardware and the tablecloth.

Upon our return to Sacramento that day, we cruised by the Capitol and walked around the downtown and Old Town areas. I thought it was one of the more beautiful state capitols I had ever visited.

Then came Monday, and the work had to start. But I had a great weekend, playing in the sun, and catching up with an old friend. Thanks for the hospitality, Maral!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Inaugural Delta Diners

Mary Beth (see Fellow Bloggers) has finally mobilized us to trek into the Delta and sample some local cuisine at family owned resaturants. She and her buddies from SFA and Ole Miss do this, and she is trying hard to get us onboard. We relented, loaded up in the car and headed to Greenville, MS to the original Doe's Eat Place. It lived up to its name and then some. Photo credit goes to Kirk for those I have posted, and I will link to Mary Beth's Flickr site for those interested in more. I will post mine when I get back to Vicksburg and my camera cord.

Stay tuned for more Delta Diners adventures, and please suggest some locations that we can add to our list.

Hit the Bricks: Spring 2008

I am behind on my blogging due to a taxing travel schedule, but before I left for California: Trip 1, folks descended on downtown Vicksburg to do some shopping and socializing. Annie readied the balcony, Ned pondered the pork rinds, and everyone enjoyed some food and drink.

Friday, April 11, 2008

California: Trip 1

Jessica, Jenny and I loaded up on a plane last Friday after the bad storms, heading to SoCal. We were in search of lizards, not just any reptile, but the commonplace Western Fence Lizard. Despite tornadic activity, we made it to Riverside, CA and had an early field date with Kristy. So, off we go, up to Box Springs, heaving and hacking our way to the top (we live in a very flat place). Only the clouds did not part and the sun did not shine, meaning the lizards did not bask. A busted field day meant "found time" for us Mississippi Queens! So after careful debate, we opted for some sightseeing south of town. We found ourselves in soCal's wine country-Temecula. It was torture, but we managed. Even when they forced us to take a tour of the winery. Horrible people.

The next days, the weather cooperated and lizards were everywhere. We were soon good at this crazy collection method. A noose, made of fishing line, tied to the end of a bamboo fishing pole. Yup, you read that right. I am working on the movie clips to publish documentation of this.