13 April 2012

Click, Snap and Voila!

Just a shorty to say hello and wish y'all a wonderful Friday the 13th! (cue spooky music...)
I love taking pictures and have been wanting a good polaroid camera of some sort and saw this blogpost on A Beautiful Mess about her song lyrics scrapbook.  Love the idea! 
Photo & Song Lyric Journal: Elsie Larson @ A Beautiful Mess
Scrapbooking isn't my thing - it'd be great to do this or this - though I'd rather spend my money on other stuff than adhesive paper products and, besides, it's time consuming (although I like the Smash Journal & it seems to be one of the low maintenance options).  I do write in my journal daily and love to add pictures and such. I'd like to add more of an art element to it for more creative expression.

I promise this is going somewhere...

All this to say, it made me think, Oh, wouldn't it be cool to make a lyrics scrapbook from my own lyrics AND have an awesome instant camera like this!

I'm in desperate need of a good, long walk today and plan to get outside as much as I can this weekend since I've been  sitting inside so much and looking at the sunshine through an indoor window.  What are you going to do for yourself for this weekend?

Ok, that's all I got.  ;)  Have a great weekend, friends!!

11 April 2012

Wednesday's Walkabout

In a few weeks, I'm going to transition this blog to a new home; but in the meantime, if you haven't looked at Deep Fried Kudzu blog in a while, wander over that way and read the article my friend, Ginger, posted about a new flavor of Mississippi's first (legal) distillery (ha!) Cathead Vodka.  Can't wait for that!

Man, I sure do have my days when I pine for Mississippi something fierce. Though, the excitement I have at the prospect of all the new discoveries here in Asheville.

This week, I'm (thankfully) working a temp job in a town about 40 minutes south of Asheville called Flat Rock.  Yesterday over my lunch break, I got to go into town on a work errand - and it's so pretty here!  Truth be told, I have yet to see "ugly" around here anywhere...

I can't wait to come back up here and explore.  The town was established in 1807 and it looks like there are quite a few old homes.  Flat Rock is mostly known for being the home of poet Carl Sandburg.  (I didn't realize that he was also a biographer, folksinger and lecturer.)  His wife is known to have bred championship (yes!) goats at their Connemara Farms and operated a diary.  Now the park service raises the goats.  I have heard it said that it is a matter of pride around here if you own a goat from their breed line.  Who knew?!
Carl Sandburg and his wife, Paula.  Image from Sandburg website.
 I absolutely love a quote of his on the website: 
"It is necessary now and then for a man to go away by himself and experience loneliness; to sit on a rock in the forest and to ask of himself, 'Who am I, and where have I been, and where am I going?'...If one is not careful, one allows diversions to take up one's time - the stuff of life"  
-Carl Sandburg as quoted from a letter to his friend, Ralph McGill.
Today, I want to grab lunch at Flat Rock Village Bakery that's housed inside a shop called The Wrinkled Egg.  The Wrinkled Egg is a shop that has folk art, gifts and also puts together custom care packages for kids who go away to summer camp.  Isn't that the cutest?  I may have to send my favorite girls a little something soon!

Can't wait to see what they've got in the bakery!  Any place that has hot cross buns that look like this is ok in my book. My mouth is watering... 
Picture from the Flat Rock Bakery website
Have a great Wednesday :)

03 April 2012

Mississippi Friends in the Mountains

When I look outside of my window and see mountains in any direction, that instantly cheers me up.  It's so cool to get out of my car and look in front of me to see the glow of the home lights on the side of the mountain. 

So, my good friend, Mary Margaret, put me in touch with a friend of hers named Neal - a fellow Mississippian and Delta boy - and what's more, a fantastic chef.

One of our first excursions once we got settled in, was to Brevard.  We wound our way to Neal's house, where the promise of a good meal waited.  He had gotten a couple of rainbow trout (that very morning, and were swimming around in his sink just before we got there) and made an amazing smoked trout dip.  There are no pictures of the dip because it went FAST - a testament to its flavor and how hungry we were!

A venison backstrap thawed while we talked and ate.  In the meantime, he toasted some aromatic spices - that "smell like Christmas" - and chopped them up in the food processor.  He coated the venison in the aromatics and put them in a huge iron skillet to cook on the stove top.  

We also got to know Neal's friend, Emily, who is so much fun! She's a fantastic cook as well.  We had so much fun!

Neal began to prepare the plates and put down a bed of pureed sweet potatoes, sliced the venison and arranged it just so, then topped it with sweet pea shoots tossed in homemade vinaigrette.  Divine, I tell you!!  

Take a look at this: 


I'm doing a story soon for DeSoto Magazine about Neal, Emily, and her husband, Brandon, for DeSoto Magazine about North Carolina fly fishing (Neal & Brandon are working on being guides), so if you're in the area and can pick up a magazine in May/June, stay tuned!  

31 March 2012

What a Wonderful World

It's easy to think you're in a little bit of heaven here in Asheville. I take a walk outside every day unless it's raining. It must be my inner Mississippian because I have this urgency to enjoy the beautiful weather while I can (because at home, it never lasts long).  That being said, we've had a couple of warm days lately; and by warm, I mean, it's been in the lower 70s.  But then a spring shower will roll across the mountain and cool things off where you have to put a sweater back on in the evenings.  It's really nice!  

Will I ever be able to go back?!  Heh.  We'll see about that.  We will be heading back to Mississippi in August and it will be a true test. (I already kind of know how it's going to turn out.)

Dogwoods are in bloom just in time for Easter. The mountains are waking up and coming alive. I think we moved here at just the right time of the year and can watch everything bloom around us.

It's hard to believe that next week we'll have been in Asheville two whole months!  

I've been spending my days sending out resumes and doing the job search thing (like a mad woman, I might add) and in the between times writing, being outside and playing music.  

We're looking to get a dog but in the meantime, our resident pooch belongs to our roommate, Logan.  Her name is Maggie Mae and she and I have become besties.  She's a Golden Retriever and I try to take her on walks when I can, which is fun.

There's a favorite park where we take our walks that is right on the French Broad River.  It's really beautiful.  Sometimes there are kayakers on the water, other times people are fishing off the bank and other folks walking their dogs. It's a lovely little spot.

 Who's walking who??
 Awww! Maggie Mae!

10 March 2012

Our Evening Visitors

Every evening, around the time the sun begins to set, we have a few visitors that wander through our yard.  

There are at least 8-10 wild turkeys that make the rounds through the neighborhood each day.  They are HUGE.  The closest I'd seen was the end result packaged for Thanksgiving dinner.  

A male circled my car at least 5 times the other day, pecking at it (no harm done, but it's pretty funny to watch), so I went outside to see if he might like snack.  Take note that they respond to Fritos Scoops (crushed), didn't really care for Cheez-Its or Mission Corn Chips.   

He hung around for a few minutes and gobbled at me a few times. I didn't want to get too close - I've heard they can be mean...God forbid we should have to go to the emergency room for a turkey attack...

05 March 2012

The Big Move

Long time, no blog post, eh?  It's been three weeks since the big move to Asheville, North Carolina.  What an adventure!  We're all unpacked, have the house set up and are ready to go exploring our new hometown.

Before we left, I went home to Hernando (MS) to spend time with my family.  I just had to get a few pictures of the old home place, especially with the daffodils (one of my favorites) blooming.

This is the horse barn turned tractor shed

Per my request, my Dad built a bonfire and we roasted hot dogs & marshmallows for smores!

My Dad pulls the nieces around the yard.  Wish I was between the ages of 2 and 8 again.

My Mom, my niece, Drew, and I surprised Anna-Kate at her school during lunchtime right before I left. 
I had to see this sweet girl one last time before my trip.
 Drew playing in the big hall at Anna-Kate's school.
 Drew pointing at an airplane overhead!

Here's a few pictures from our move day.

When you put it like that, I guess this is really happening!

On the other side of the ordeal that is ATL rush hour traffic. John is driving the U-Haul.
From the side view mirror POV.  Please don't tell anyone I was driving & taking pictures.

We finally arrived in Asheville, God help our haggard souls, pretty late that evening.  We spent the next day or so unpacking.  It was pretty cold and on Saturday morning we woke up to ...


Hey, us Mississippians don't see snow on a regular basis.  So, when it makes an appearance, we enjoy the heck out of it.

30 January 2012

A New Chapter: Relocating

Hello, friends!

It's been a long time since I posted because this past year I haven't done nearly the amount of travel for work as I have in the past; and I've also been extremely busy juggling work and music.
I wanted to let you know that I am relocating to another part of the South, so I will say goodbye to Mississippi for the time being.  I grew up here and have loved most every minute of it, yet I'm ready for a new locale. 

Me and my mandolin player, John, are moving to Asheville, North Carolina. We're going to reform the band and get to work writing new songs, playing to new faces and hitting the road.

It's a thrilling new chapter for me and I am excited beyond words to have a new place to explore, new culinary treats to discover and new friends to make.  That being said, it's been hard for me to say my goodbyes to all the dear friends I have made during my 7 (!!) years in Jackson.    

My last day with Mississippi Tourism is today. It's kind of weird...and I think it'll hit me later!

I plan on getting the blog up and running again once I get settled so that I can sharing pictures with you from my new place of residence.  And you know for a fact I'll have plenty of stories to tell.

You'll hear from me again very soon!

~ Anna

p.s. Here's a photo of our new place. (Can't wait for springtime to hit!)

17 June 2011

Grits & Soul on Fox 40 and Friends in Jackson

Hey friends -

Hope you are doing well and having a great Friday.

This week, me and The Grits & Soul Band were Fox 40 and Friends featured artist.  We went into the studio, played a couple of tunes for them and had a blast!

What a ride we've had lately.  Doors of opportunity just keep opening for us and it's a great feeling when all the hard work pays off!  Looks like our fall will be heating up with visits across the state to play for folks from DeSoto County to the Coast.  We're STOKED!
If you missed the performances (and I'll admit I did because of work) then you can see them ri'chere!  We have two more besides these that we'll get copies of soon so's we can share with ya.

Visit this link to watch/listen to "Shame On Me" and "Flood Waters."

Have a great weekend!

01 June 2011

What I Miss Most About Memphis

Yesterday, not only did the Grits & Soul Band get some press in the DeSoto Times-Tribune and in the Jackson Free Press, but I had my first ever post as a guest blogger, too!

I Love Memphis Blog is written by a terrific gal named Kerri Crawford who works for the Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau.  We have been twitter friends for some time but it took us both flying into Austin for SXSW in March that we actually got a chance to meet up and talk.

Kerri is super cool and I absolutely love reading her blog.  She's officially on vacation this week and about a month ago, asked me to write a guest post for her while she is out. 

Here comes my disclaimer:  I post this  link a little sheepishly because I know my Jackson, MS peeps might get up in arms about my love of one city over the other.  Those who know me well already know this, but I have to admit that I didn't immediately fall in love with Jackson when I moved here in 2004.  There were several reasons for that.  (Ask me in person and I'll be glad to fill you in.) 

I guess the need to explain myself comes from the fact that I don't want my folks to get offended - because I love Mississippi and have a terrific life in my new hometown. 

So many opportunities have come my way since I moved here.  Hands down, it was the best decision of my life and it dramatically rocked my world.  I want you to know I have become quite smitten with Jackson; but you also have to realize the torch I'll always carry for Memphis.  After all, there's no place like home!

Read my blog post here.

23 May 2011

Wish List: Chalkboard State Map


I saw this on Etsy and thought this was SO COOL!

What originally caught my eye from seller ShopDirtSA was the scrabble letter pillows (that I have to say are freakin' pricey, but if money were no object..........)
But then I saw the custom-made map of your state!!! OH my stars I want one sooooo badly!!  Wouldn't this be the best EVER?!
Of course you know I want a Mississippi one.  They're $45. Not bad, I'm thinkin'.
You (and/or kids) could color in spots where you've traveled, where you want to go, make notes - whatever!  I'm in serious love.
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