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Susan
middle Tennessee
You are an extraordinary woman, how can you expect to live an ordinary life? ~Louisa May Alcott
Interests: when asked if the glass is half full or half empty, i always respond "my glass overflows!, " blending all my passions into a balanced and harmonious life of family-friends-furbabies-travel-photography-good food-and wordsmithing. Oh yeah, and I love Doris Day. The first words I ever strung together were, "By the light" as in "By the light of the Silvery Moon." Mom sang it to me when I was a baby.
Recent Activity
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More than 300 residents of Natchez, Mississippi, come together each year to present The Tableaux, or Living Pictures, depicting the history of their hometown and it's melting pot of cultures starting with the native American Na-Chee tribe and conquests of both the Spanish and French, before becoming the oldest Amerian port city. Natchez is older than New Orleans by several years. The colorful costumes are beautiful. The singing was marvelous. The kids were cute. The dancing was entertaining. And who doesn't love dogs?? We were introduces to the President of the Pilgrimage Garden Club, Mrs. Glenn (Bridget) Green, escorted by her husband. And the finale was the presentation of the Queen of the Pilgrimage and her court. Although it's rather long, below you'll find a professionally prepared video of the event. Continue reading
Posted 18 hours ago at Charm of the Carolines
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What a delight to meet Don and Bennita Rouleau, owners of Lairdland Farm House in beautiful, historic Cornersville, Tennesse. Their covered front porch is 20 x 40 with two 'bachelor's bedrooms' off each end of the porch. This is where we'll have the classroom portion of our Plein Air Class... Continue reading
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It's Cone Month with the Mini-Monets and today we painted Princess Hats. Does life get any sweeter?? Continue reading
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My first meal at Mammy's Cupboard in Natchez, Mississippi, was actually 2 half meals, since I was told I had to try the Reuben Sandwich and I had to try the Chicken Salad. My friend and I ordered one of each and split the order when it arrived to the table. If I was to recommend the top 10 restaurants to dine before you died, Mammy's Cupboard would definitely be on the list. It's not posh, but it's fun. And the food is delicious. And the whole experience of the spring pilgrimage in Natchez, is like traveling back in time. So here I bring a little of Mammy's to you with their recipe for Chicken Salad. They serve it with a cup of vegetable soup and a scoop of potato salad on lettuce. Enjoy!! Mammy's Chicken Salad 8 chicken breasts, boiled and de-boned (canned chicken will do in a hurry)... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Charm of the Carolines
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One of the delights of Natchez is getting to meet long-time docent and entertainer Jimmy the Cricket. Jimmy, whose home is not Natchez, Mississippi, travels here twice a year to welcome guests to several of the beautiful homes on both the fall- and spring- Pilgrimage Tours. His home away from home while in Natchez is Texada, the home of Randy and Helen Smith whom he refers to as his “cousins,” and why not? Jimmy has met so many people from around the world and learned their stories and their histories that now he knows we’re all cousins, related somehow. If you visit Natchez and wish to snap a photo of Jimmy, use your fastest shutter speed. It's hard to catch him with his mouth shut (his joke, not mine). Never one to meet a stranger, Jimmy is quick to offer a warm smile and engage even the shyest of tourists... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Charm of the Carolines
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Joy be to you on this Blessed Easter Sunday! Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Charm of the Carolines
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I must admit I didn't have an opportunity to try the Hummingbird Cake while recently visiting Mammy's Cupboard in Natchez, Mississippi. And I know for a fact my sister-in-law makes the best looking Hummingbird cake, if not the tastiest. However, I did find a recipe for Mammy's Cupboard Hummingbird Cake and thought I'd share my findings with you. (No, I have not made this cake myself. Windy Acre Cottage doesn't have a working oven at the moment. And heat generating light bulbs are becoming harder and harder to find for my Easy Bake Oven. Just saying.) MAKES ONE 9" CAKE This recipe comes from Mammy's Cupboard restaurant in Natchez, Mississippi. They serve good, ol' down-home cooking in a uniquely designed building—shaped like a woman's skirt— a local landmark. Ole Miss students and architecture buffs alike have trekked all the way to Mammy's for desserts like this one. FOR THE CAKE:... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Charm of the Carolines
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Seaside Sunset 16 x 20 acrylic on canvas, $480 Continue reading
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I'm working on the May and June calendars for Painting Classes and Workshops. Subject to change, but here is what I have so far... Click on each to make them larger. Continue reading
"The forbearing use of power does not only form a touchstone, but the manner in which an individual enjoys certain advantages over others is a test of a true gentleman. The power which the strong have over the weak, the employer over the employed, the educated over the unlettered, the experienced over the confiding, even the clever over the silly--the forbearing or inoffensive use of all this power or authority, or a total abstinence from it when the case admits it, will show the gentleman in a plain light The gentleman does not needlessly and unnecessarily remind an offender of a wrong he may have committed against him. He cannot only forgive, he can forget; and he strives for that nobleness of self and mildness of character which impart sufficient strength to let the past be but the past. A true man of honor feels humbled himself when he cannot help humbling others." ~Robert E. Lee
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Taking commissions for Mother's Day and Graduation gifts. Additional sizes available. Call 615-216-5907 to commission a painting today! Continue reading
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You learn something new every day and in Natchez, I learned many, many things. Like the Punkah Fan used over the dining room table in the antebellum mansions. This beautiful and functional addition to the dining room kept the diners cooled during the hot months as well as shooing flies that may have followed the wafting aromas from the feast from the outside kitchen to the dining room. Punkah is from a hindu word Punkh, meaning the wings of a bird which produce a draft when flapped. It is a large and ornate wooden fan attached to the ceiling on hinges and pulled by a rope to create a breeze. I'd love to have one of these in my home!! This particular Punkah is from Melrose. Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Charm of the Carolines
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Mammy's Cupboard in Natchez, Mississippi, serves the most deliscious pie I think I've ever tasted, Banana and Caramel Pie. Come to find out it was originally an English creation of Bananas, toffee (or caramel) and whipped cream from a restaurant called "The Hungry Monk." Some people even call it "Danger Pie" and I understand why. It's made with either a regular pie crust or a graham cracker pie crust and in it is layers of bananas and sweetened condense milk that has been boiled to form a soft carame. Some people even sprinkle in crushed toffee pieces. The pie is topped with a fresh whipped cream that includes a little sugar and a little instant coffee and topped with crushed toffee. I'm still searching for Mammy's Cupboard's recipe, but until I find it, here is the original recipe from "The Hungry Monk." The Original 'Hungry Monk' Banoffee Pie Serves 8-10... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Charm of the Carolines
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Who doesn't love a garden in full bloom? Let's admit, the scrumptious color is no less than eye candy. and when the Azaleas are in full bloom, it's like French Chocolate Macarons with Chocolate Ganache. Muah! More than 100,000 azalea types have been registered, so there is sure to be a variety available to suit your preference and growing region. What grabs me is the amazing colors of the Azaleas... Purple, Pink, Red, and Orange. i thought the azaleas also came in white, but not according the the Azalea Society of America. Every color was in full bloom in Natchez during my recent trip. The cold winter kept the plants from blooming early as they regularly do, so I had the pleasure to see them in all their glory. Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Charm of the Carolines
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I've been exchanging emails with Lynn Golden, co-owner of Milky Way Farms located in Giles County between Pulaski and Columbia. We plan to offer a couple of Plein Air painting classes there this spring. The first class is scheduled from 1pm to 5pm on May 10. The second will be... Continue reading
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"In order to get through your work in proper time, you should make it your chief study to rise early in the morning; for an hour before the family rises is worth more to you than two after they are up." ~Robert Roberts, 1827 While in Natchez, I was touring The Towers, home of Ginger Hyland and her fiance James Wesley Forde, and sitting on a side table, I discovered an old book they owned by Robert Roberts called The House Servant's Directory: an African American Butler's 1827 Guide. What makes this book remarkable is that it is one of the first to be written by an African American and issued by a commercial press. It was also written while Roberts was employed as a Butler. The book was first published in Boston in 1827 and had two additional printings, one in 1828 and another in 1843. It is a... Continue reading
Posted Apr 15, 2014 at Charm of the Carolines
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The sun was warm but the wind was chill. You know how it is with an April day. ~Robert Frost In the 1920s Garden Clubs of America were becoming very popular. The Natchez Garden Club officially began in 1927 as an outgrowth of The Women’s Club of Natchez. In the spring of 1931 the small (only 57 members) but very active club was making plans to host the state organization’s annual convention. The most anticipated activity was to be a tour of the many old-fashioned gardens which should have been at their most beautiful at that time of year. To the members’ dismay, a late freeze spoiled the beauty of the gardens, and they had to hastily arrange for their visitors to tour a number of the old houses instead. This turned into an unmitigated success. And the rest, as they say, is history. From this grew the Natchez Pilgrimage,... Continue reading
Posted Apr 14, 2014 at Charm of the Carolines
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Mammy's Cupboard is a wonderful restaurant just outside Natchez, Mississippi. As many good, southern restaurants are in that town, and for as short a time as I was there, I still made it to Mammy's for lunch twice. It was originally built as a Shell "Filling" Station by Henry Gaudé in 1940. Mammy is 28 feet tall, and she has a 20-foot diameter skirt. The bricks and wood to construct her came from an old cotton gin, and the beams from the gin support her skirt. During the 1960s Mammy was painted to look like a native American squaw, but later reverted back to a beloved African American Mammy, only with much lighter skin tones. If you go, get there early. They only serve lunch from 11am to 2pm and if they run out of food, they simply lock the door. Save room for dessert. This is what Mammy's is... Continue reading
Posted Apr 13, 2014 at Charm of the Carolines
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While in Natchez, I had the priviledge to teach a private lesson to Kitty Bray. What a wonderful way to spend a Saturday morning, hanging out at Arts Natchez and painting sunflowers with this beautiful and talented lady. Continue reading
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While touring the beautiful and historic homes in Natchez, Mississippi, I noticed on their dining room tables, a piece of china I've never seen before. The pattern was "Old Paris" and the piece was called "Pots de Creme." Honoring the request not to photograph inside the homes, I don't have a photo of the actual Pots de Cremes I saw. However, a quick search of the internet found several photos a beautiful examples of this piece. A friend in Natchez knew I was interested in the china and the recipe, and he texted me this photo of his breakfast one morning, along with the recipe. I like this recipe better than all the others I've seen because it does not require baking in the oven. (For those of you who don't know I have no working oven at the moment. Long story that includes a big storm. Jus' saying) Additionally... Continue reading
Posted Apr 12, 2014 at Charm of the Carolines
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For most of my life I've heard about the Natchez Trace. Once a rough trail used by farmers and merchants who transported their crops and wares to Natchez, Mississippi, a port town on the Mississippi River and the most affluent city in our country, it became a Roosevelt "Great Depression" project to employ Amereicans when there weren't any available jobs in the 1930s. Originally the trace was a trail used by pre-historic native Americans and later by the Choctaw, Natchez, and Cherokee Indian tribes. In the 1800s it was used by "Kaintucks" which was the catch-all phrase for farmers and boatmen who floated their merchandise to sell in New Orleans and Natchez, including selling their boats, and walking home on the trace. The more the trace was used, the path eroded and sank. Sections of the old trace are visible today. As steam-powered boats became available, both people and products... Continue reading
Posted Apr 11, 2014 at Charm of the Carolines
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A delightful evening was spent with these talented artists in Natchez, Mississippi, painting what else? Cotton fields! Continue reading
Thank you for clarifying. I'll have to grab my camera and snap a few more photos. You are welcome to be a guest blogger, too, if you like and tell us more. Susan
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This week I'm very excited to be teaching a Paint-Along class in Natchez, Mississippi, at Arts Natchez. I created this painting called "High Cotton" just for the event which is a fundraiser for Arts Natchez, 425 Main Street, Natchez, MS. I'm also packing plein air supplies and hope to paint... Continue reading