Friday, August 28, 2015


I don't have to tell anyone south of the Mason-Dixon line how hot it has been this summer. Records have been set for the number of 95+ degree days in a row with heat indices well over 100. 

I do not do heat. It does not work and play well with my illnesses. This summer has been especially difficult health-wise.

Stuck in the house for most of these summer days, it hit me how much time I had been spending on the internet. Between Facebook, news sites, Pinterest, and email, I was not getting much of anything accomplished. It was too hot to get much done in the house. Without a place to hang my art, I had trouble getting into my painting. I couldn't seem to concentrate to read. I needed something that did not take a lot of physical energy to do, but would engage me. 

I have wanted to learn how to do some and have been following the blog of Lori Vliegen (Elvie Studio at for about a year. After buying some books that were hard to follow, I bit the bullet and paid the $40.00 for Lori's online course, found here: It took about a week of practice to learn the basics, but now, I am hooked. I can't wait to take her next course "Doodle Page" to learn more. She has a lighter, more spare style than many who do art journaling.

At least I can say that I learned something this summer and put it to use. 


Tuesday, August 18, 2015


Last Sunday, I did something that I have not done in over 10 years. I ate an apple. A Fuji apple, to be specific. 

I have a history of multiple, sometimes severe, food allergies. I had eliminated all the foods that elicited an adverse reaction, of any kind, from my diet years ago. Apples used to make me start itching and exacerbated asthma symptoms. 

When I went to the allergist in Jackson last week, he tested me for my existing food allergies and some suspected new ones. There were a few things that I tested positive for (the last time I underwent tests) that did not come back as positive this time. 

One of these things was apples. Since my reaction to these was not life threatening, my allergist gave me permission to try them again. I bought the apple pictured, washed it well, and sliced off a piece. It was sheer Heaven. 

Two other things I will be allowed to try again are oats and things in the cucumber/pumpkin family. I can't wait to bite into a juicy dill pickle and maybe an oatmeal raisin cookie soon. I have to do them one at a time, with some days in between. 

Having these three things back in my diet will allow much more variety than I have had for many years. I am already dreaming of apple bread and apple pie. But, for now, a plain apple is hard to beat. 

Monday, August 10, 2015


I know that this is not the hottest summer that I have ever experienced. But, for some reason, this one is really getting to me. Maybe it is the 29 straight days with temps over 95 degrees??

Because heat is the enemy of many neuromuscular disorders, I have to stay in when it gets this hot. Just getting in and out of the car to run errands is too much. This morning, I was having trouble catching my breath when I left home at 8:15. Even when I know what the problem is, it is still a little scary. 

Even at home, I don't get much done. In order to be comfortable with a temperature compromise to accommodate my cold-natured husband, I have to be pretty still. It is almost like my brain is running in slow motion. I have no energy or motivation to create, read, cook, or even think some days. 

Fall is coming.



Sunday, August 02, 2015


Last week, I went to Oxford. On purpose. I have been through Oxford to get to other places, but I have not actually been TO Oxford since 1977. 

There were two reasons for making the trip. One was my friend, Beverly, pictured here. She has plans to move from California to Water Valley in the future. I felt it my duty as a Mississippian to begin her "Redneck Training" with a trip to Sonic, encouraging bare feet, and eating at the Huddle House. I can already tell that she is going to be a natural at Mississippi living. 

The second reason for going to Oxford was to see another friend who became quite dear to me during her sojourn at St. Alban's Episcopal Church here in Vicksburg. I enjoyed singing for services there during Holy Week and Christmas Eve. She allowed this Methodist to participate in Bible studies with her parishioners. We were also in a prayer shawl group together. I have been wanting to visit her and participate in a service at her new church, St. Peter's. 

I must admit, despite Oxford being the home of "that school", I was quite impressed with what I experienced. I loved both Square Books and Off the Square Books, the local restaurants were quite good, especially the Bottle Tree Bakery, and I even found a great little indie art store called Paint and Pen

What impressed me the most, however, were the people. They were friendly, welcoming, and very open minded. There is a strong sense of community in Oxford. 

I won't wait nearly so long to go back this time. 


Mystery Meat

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