Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Closet Comfort

What better way for a girl to feel better than surrounding herself with a bunch of shoes? Mom found me in her closet this evening, nestled by the heels she had on today. As soon as my legs are better, I'm ready to hit the ground running with her.

Cheap is Chic Chat: Stretch it Out

Since I’m a bit of a downward facing dog with this big cone on my head, Mom administered my pain med, settled me in for a nap and headed to Jade Tree Yoga’s studio for her own hour of relief. Mom has taken yoga classes in the past but prefers Pilates lately. She is taking a series of basic matt classes with instructor Allyson Moody. Allyson teaches at Jade Tree once a week (Tuesday evenings), as well as a full schedule at the Wellness Center. She also offers private lessons at your private place of choice. How does it stretch your dollar? Privates are $40/hour. Individual group classes are $14. Or pre-pay your Pilates like Mom at $80 for a series of eight and work it out at just $10/class (plus bonus motivation to get your money’s worth). For an entire hour of ab-fab stretching, fitness and Allyson’s full attention, it’s hard to find a better deal. Send me a Candygram if you want to find out more.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Not Ready for my Close-Up


Mom got a little weak in the knees when she saw all my fancy stitching, but with Shuga D's help, she is getting over the gore (no bandages on my boo-boos b/c they need air to heal) and learning to apply peroxide and my special salve with tender, love and care. You can't see me in the kennel, but that's where I was while Mom prepared dinner and my brother and sister mutts got used to me being back home (and looking like a satellite dish). So far, so good. After Kitty greeted me, she settled in her bed next to me, occasionally checking on me through the slats. "Franken-Paws" is how Mom described my temporary appearance. But it's a horror story with a happy ending. Again, thank you for wishing me well!

Doggy Bag: Veggie Sloppy Pockets

I may be battered, bruised and stitched, but I’m home with a cone around my head and everyone is relieved. Since Mom and Shuga D don’t want to be a minute apart from me, dinner is in the kitchen tonight. And what better way to celebrate the end of a Monday and the return of my dearly beloved self than with comfort food.

This is a recipe for the Manwich of a modern woman, one who turns her nose up at gender-biased labeling. Mom’s re-worked the classic comfort food and given it a veggie twist. A red meat-craving carnivore like the best of us, she finds Morningstar Farms Veggie Crumbles a less messy, more healthy alternative. Most hungry folk can’t tell the different between textured vegetable protein and ground cow (or turkey or buffalo). But know this ain’t no Sloppy Josephine finger sandwich, either!

Ingredients:

Bag of Morningstar Farms Veggie Crumbles

Croissant or pizza dough

Can of [Wo]Manwhich Sauce (Hunt's Bold is what she used)

2-3 cloves of garlic, crushed or minced

1/2 large bell pepper, diced

1 shallot, chopped

ground black pepper

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

mozzarella cheese

Saute shallot and diced pepper in extra virgin olive oil. Add garlic. Stir in bag of veggie crumbles (can do so frozen, thaws quickly). Heavily pepper. Stir in can of sauce and heat through. Roll out dough on greased cookie sheet (helps if sprinkle cornmeal or bread crumbs on sheet so dough is easy to work with). Cut in four rectangles. Spoon veggie mixture onto each rectangle (about 1.5 large spoonfuls). Place small slice of mozzarella cheese on top (or sprinkle, but Kroger now has fresh whole milk mozz balls under their store brand). Seal dough so it forms mini-calzone or pocket. You will have a good bit of the meatless mixture for leftovers (burritos, buns, by itself). Bake in oven pre-heated to 375 degrees for 12-15 minutes. Mom served the sloppy pockets with mushrooms sauted in butter, white wine, garlic and lemon. Cheap and easy . . . unlike my vet bills.

Things That Make You Go Grrr: Hall and Votes

While the family preps for my homecoming, here's the latest on another pressing issue that has rattled our windows lately. If the penny tax isn't passed and split between the Georgia Music Hall of Fame and the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame, Macon more than likely will lose them. As of right now, the deciding vote depends on Senator Robert Brown.

As longtime supporters of Senator Brown, Mom’s family is doing what they can to let him know they support the split and need his vote to do the same. Please take the time to send him an email like Mom did (see below) and voice your support: robert.brown@senate.ga.gov.


Dear Senator Brown:

As the daughter and niece of two Georgia Music Hall of Fame inductees, as well as former employee of the GMHF, I am writing to request that you do what it takes to keep our Halls of Fame in Macon. Right now, I believe it comes down to the penny tax, which should be split between the two halls and the two halls only because of the critical nature of where these institutions stand.

I know you are one of the reasons the Halls are with us today. I also greatly appreciate your support of preserving Macon’s rich music heritage. My father Alan Walden has more respect for you than any of our local and state politicians today. I am also a loyal supporter, as well as admire your service to our shared community.

I am hoping we can all put aside our personal issues with the GMHF and rally the good people of Macon into accepting the Halls as our shared community asset and responsibility. Having such a personal investment into the GMHF, I know more about its “backstage” history . . . in particular, the division of the Friends of Georgia Music, Bobbie Bailey, the desire to have them in Atlanta . . . It hasn’t been an easy journey. But I want the State, Atlanta and all who had their doubts to see Macon rally behind two of its crown jewels, proving that we do appreciate what we were so fortunate to receive over a decade ago.

I am also one of the few in Macon who see this beyond a partisan problem. I understand where Rep. Lucas was coming from, and I only dream of the day that the Douglass is a thriving part of our downtown mix, and I witness an acclaimed recording artist drawing thousands at a new amphitheatre. But right now, I want Macon to keep it simple. I want us to better nurture what we already have. The GMHF and the GSHF are anchors to a greater community. When you toss a penny into a wishing well, you make one wish, and often that wish is for greater things to come.

Thank you for all you do. All you have done. And all you continue to do. Keep up the fire on the Floor.

Sincerely,

Jessica Walden

Candy Come Home!

Don't you ever, be sad
Lean on me, when times get bad
When the day come, and you know your down
In a river of trouble, you're bout to drown

Hold on, cause I'm coming!
Hold on, I'm coming!

Mom and Shuga D are singing some sweet soul Sam & Dave. I've been told to hold on, they're coming . . . as soon as they get off work! I am going home today! My healing process continues to receive rave reviews, but I am in some serious pain. So, I've been growling . . . and a little snappy. What can I say? Nothing like a near-death experience to make you bite the hands that saved you.

I just know that home is where me heart is and there is no place like it. It just may have taken a car on Clisby Place to help me learn that lesson. You'll be seeing me soon. Until then, check out the Lassie clip. It gets Mom everytime.




Sunday, March 29, 2009

Petal Pushers: Kitty Has a Cherry Good Time


With the accident and all, Mom didn't have as much Cherry time as we planned. But this weekend she did manage to take in at least two pink signatures.

Saturday morning and afternoon, she and Shuga watched with horror as the green took over the weather screen for seemingly the entire day. Brows were raised when the Street Party wasn't called off, but in the end, the call was good. The weather cleared and except for the puddles, a brief drizzle and the air of frizz inducement, the night was near perfect. Mom and Shuga caught up with my God-dad Brad (of 11th Hour fame) and along with a safe count of 350 street revelers, enjoyed the sounds of James Brown's Soul Generals and went back to 90s with Tone Loc. Even though Loc played approximately 3.5 songs, Mom said what more could he have done? No telling what Loc got paid for the gig, but from what I hear, a young Maconite named Madison stole (or carried) the show for $100. For those of you who stayed inside and scoffed at the notion, Madison's "Chain of Fools" is dedicated to you.

Since I haven't been checked out of intensive care, my counter partner in crime, Miss Kitty, the brindle Beagle mix who once nursed a litter of kittens (and double-dog-dared me to cross the street - grr), went with Mom and Shuga D to the Mulberry Arts & Crafts Festival as a stringer for Candy's Land. Reporting below-knee-high amongst the packed crowds and near-perfect weather, Kitty said she and Mom agreed that the streets of New York were easier, but by the looks of things, the Cherry Blossom Festival was definitely in the pink as it came to a close.

Cross your blossoms I get to come home tomorrow!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Sweet Thoughts Keep a Comin'


I wasn't able to go home today, but even the doc said I seem spunkier. Maybe Monday. Until then Mom and Shuga D are clearing their calendars so they can give 24-hour care. If I wasn't spoiled enough.

The sweet thoughts keep a comin'. Scout and Cassidy sent me the card you see here (thanks Uncle David). Mom's bon ami Jackie and husband Mike sent me a Hallmark e-card that had us all smiling. And fellow furbaby Tula Jean Dunwody sent me her snazzy picture and said she was anxious to play once I was feeling better. The love just keeps warming our hearts. When I get out of here and on my four feet again, watch out, because I am going to be giving some serious kisses.

Friday, March 27, 2009

The Show Goes On

Since I'm not coming home today, Mom is going to try and have some fun. Tonight, she'll be at the Cox Capitol Theatre at 8 p.m. for the Big House Foundation's "Stay and Play" Concert Series featuring Bonnie Bramlett. She loves the music of the original princess of Southern Rock, turned TV star ("Roseanne), turned movie star (most recently, "The Guardian"), turned timeless musician.

Before the show, she'll be wishing sister and brother April and Jesse Hornsby a very happy birthday. Children of Southern Rock like Mom (their father is veteran producer/musician Paul Hornsby), their friendship has lasted since they were too bitty for backstage passes!

Sweet Thoughts for Candy

A quick update - Dr. Giles changed my bandages today and gave Mom and Shuga D another promising report. Even though I might not get to go home until Monday, my road to recovery remains on track! Shuga got to hold me for quite some time yesterday, while my IV was changed, and I managed to wag my tail . . . giving him a little sign that even though it looks rough, I'm the same Candy Lou underneath it all. Did I tell you I even have a black eye? Just like a Little Rascal.

Mom says the well wishes and sighs of relief haven't quit coming. Thank you to all for thinking of us. It has given us all the strenght to see this little, uh, "speed bump" through. I especially want to thank Aunties Bright Blue and Texas T for taking good care of Mom the day of the accident. Nothing like Mom's favorite movie "Grey Gardens" and the Macon meal of Nu-Way slaw dogs to clean up the mascara melt-down.

Speaking of my Aunties, I got my first Candygram today!

Hello sweet girl! You gave us a big scare. I'm so glad you are such a strong little lady. Get well fast and I'll be there to visit you soon so you can sit in my lap any time you need to (and I'll sneak you some treats when Mom and Shuga aren't looking!)
love,
Bright Blue ;)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Mama Always Warned Me About Running the Streets!


Wednesday I found out why – and I’ve lived to say the grass sure ain’t greener! Me and big sis Mitty Kitty (a mixed mutt with some serious street sense), dug our way to China . . . or at least the neighbor’s side of the fence. You see, even though we’re inside dogs, we have a doggy door to our backyard. Mom and Shuga D have fretted over exit possibilities, except for one side of the fence blanketed with thick ivy, which they assumed was enough of a natural deterrent. Well, it only made us more determined.


As we tunneled our way to the neighbor’s fenced-in yard, we saw a light through their back gate and poked our heads through. On the other side was neighbor and lawn caregiver James, who knew we were up to no good and startled us back into hole we came from. James immediately called Mom to tattle, and less than 10 minutes later, Shuga D arrived to take us back inside. The problem? We were no longer in the neighbor’s yard. While James guarded the back of the fence, I found a way to dig out of the front, like a true escape artist. Free at least, like a rooster, I was strutting across the road, when . . . Well, you can guess the rest because my memory is spotty from there.


I do remember making my way into another neighbor’s yard and settling on her stoop, where I tried to tend my wounds. The blood was coming quicker than the licks, and even though I could hear voices calling my name, I was scared to move. Finally, through the fog, I heard Mom’s voice. With my two mangled front legs, I slowly made my way towards her. She says by the grace of God, she saw me across the street, ran to meet me and swept me into her arms.


Seconds later, Shuga D pulled the car up, wrapped me in his shirt and took of to Hudspeth Animal Hospital, which is less than a mile from our home. Little did we all know I was moments from bleeding to death.


So, here I am under the care of Dr. Hudspeth and Dr. Giles. It looks like I don’t have any internal injuries, and my legs will mend with surgeries, time and proper care. Mom and Shuga came to see me today, and even though I’m still a little sedated, we were all teary-eyed and thankful to see each other.


Yes, the bandages and cone around my head might slow me and Mom’s social life down as I recover. But don’t think this dog blog is taking a break (which btw, no bones are broken). I’ll keep you posted on my recovery, and Mom is going to do her best to keep me in the Macon loop.


And hey, I’m practically human, so if you want to personally wish me well, send me a Candygram (maconcandy@gmail.com). If you prefer the classic fashion and don’t mind licking or sticking a stamp, you can send it to Candy Lou Walden Weatherford: c/o Hudspeth Animal Hospital, 510 Pio Nono Ave, Macon, Ga. 31204. Just be sure to thank Drs. Hudspeth and Giles and front desk maven Gayle for saving my life. And thanks to all who bowed their head. We will post all the good vibes and well wishes on the site. After all, Mary Poppins had it right – a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Cheap is Chic Chat: Hearting New York



I heard the car doors slam last night, and that only meant Mom was back. Her suitcase was heavier, her voice was louder and even though she still had the gleam of bright lights, big city in her eyes, it was obvious that home is where her heart is.

Mom admits it’s easy to get pick-pocketed in NYC – by your own hand! And even though Bright Blue and Cherry B had to use false promises and soft words to coax her out of the Juicy Couture boutique before she made a ridiculous, buttery blue purse purchase, she kept most of her impulse buying in check . . . as best you can when temptation blares from every storefront.

So, even though bargains don’t necessarily abound in the big city, Mom made a few purchasing decisions that kept her New York state-of-mind on a dime:

  • Virgin Megastore: The landmark Times Square retail outlet is closing and everything (including displays and hardware) is 50 to 60 percent off. Bright Blue bought classic “Virgin” NYC t-shirts as souvenirs for $7. Mom refined her CD and live show DVD collection for less than $10 each. Her favorite purchase? Lil’ Kim’s "Ms. G.O.A.T" (Greatest Hits of All Time). And Cherry B? Let's just say she'll be showing up at the Cherry Blossom Fashion show in a pink Bunny tee . . . And when say Bunny, we don't mean the nickname for nice old ladies. If the girl can't run a run-way, she sure knows how to raise a brow.
  • Falafel Sandwich from Street Vendor: Hotdogs and pretzels are classic NYC, but Mom looks for more ethnic options. Her $5 pita sandwich included grilled eggplant, stuffed with warm falafel and squirted with hot sauce (by request). It's more than a mouthful and can keep you full all day.
  • Prix Fixe Brunch Menu at North Square: It's not hard to find a restaurant offering "recession menus" and "stimulus package" meal plans right now, but Mom has to give Bright Blue credit for finding one of the best meal deals in town. It's a bit of a challenge to find the NorthSquare entrance on Waverly Place (adjacent to the Washington Square Hotel), but once you do, you'll find a classic local lounge/restaurant hotspot that offers live jazz during Sunday brunch and a delicious menu of classics like eggs benedict three ways (classic, salmon or crab) and the aforementioned prix fixe menu. For the set price of $20, Mom ordered the Challah French Toast and Chicken Apple Sausage, which came with the additional choices of coffee or fresh squeezed OJ, as well as a mimosa or bloody mary.
  • Vintage Coat from Andy's Chee-Pees: The "antique clothing" store has two locations. This one was between 5th and MacDougal, (16 W. 8th St.), not far from North Square's East Village corner. Mom and crew, which also included Bright Blue Sky bosses Beth (Boots) and Elliott (Appletini) Dunwody, turned the boutique upside down with their virtual vintage fashion show. The music was cranking, the clothes were flying, and when Mom found the perfect fitting faux fur coat, a collective "awww" echoed across the store. She decided not to believe the $120 price tag and after a bit of bargaining in her most enduring Southern accent, she wore her new/old coat out of the store for half the price, AND they threw in an already-sentimental heart-shaped broche, just because the store clerks loved her love for the city (one turned out to be a fellow Southerner whose mama back in Mobile came to Macon for Oprah). What else was found at Andy's? Boots scored her another pair of kick-butt kicks. These are red and black and were made for walking - with her in them! Appletini suaved himself into a red and black matching smokers jacket that looked pretty darn smokin'. There was also the red and black bowling shirt with a vulture on the back that will soon make its Macon debut at Gold Cup.
  • Pizza and Bellinis from Otto: Again in the East Village, not far from Washington Square; co-owned by Chef Mario Batali (yes, the awesome red head of Food Network/Iron Chef fame). Mom and the girls enjoyed their last NYC lunch feasting on Otto's signature Vongole Pizza (clams, garlic, mozzarella), classic Margherita Pizza (buffalo mozz, basil, sauce) and a pitcher of Bellinis for a little over $20/person. Her only regret? Wearing the vintage jacket around clams and not saving room for their famous homemade Gelotto.
  • Famous Magnolia Bakery Cupcakes: You get to Greenwich Village and you immediately want to trace Carrie B's well-high heeled fictional footsteps. The original Magnolia Bakery on Bleeker Street is worth every step. What better souvenier to take south than famous $3 cupcakes from a bakery with a southern flair? No southern girl should leave without their red velvet version. And there happens to be a used book store a few feet from its door, if you really want to get into the Bradshaw brain.
  • Carmel Car & Limo Service: It's the name of candy, so how could we not? Don't let the toll-free 866-666-6666 number freak you out. Mom has had it saved on her cell phone for the past two years and yet to summon the Antichrist. Instead of hailing a cab or taking the shuttle from the airport, Carmel provides a clean towncar or SUV to transport you from the airport to the hotel at a flat fee. Even with tip and toll, it comes in under $40. Mom has used this car service several times now, and she is cease to be amazed at how her ride magically appears to the dot on time. It's serious good curbside customer service.
That was just a tiny taste of Mom's big bite out of the Big Apple. There is an entire Allman Brothers element I will get into later this week, incidentally on the 40th anniversary of the band's first concert performance. Mom is still unpacking and downloading pics, so I have just included a few for now. The Macon weather is too perfect for her new NYC winter-friendly coat, so I'm snuggling in its big city smell and dreaming of the day my paws hit the pavement with her.

Friday, March 20, 2009

She's Leaving on a Jet Plane


Tomorrow morning Mom's leaving for NYC. Try as I might to sit on her carry-on and looked peeved, she's yet to pack me in it. I actually heard her say that she hates to be missing out on the fun events this weekend in Macon in lieu of Manhattan. But the Cherry Blossom Festival kicked off today, and I have to agree, she's missing a lot.

So it's Shuga D and me. Our day starts off tomorrow with the Bed Race, the afternoon with the Lawnmower Grand Prix and the evening with the Baggo (Cornhole) Tourney at the Hummingbird. All three events take place in glorious downtown. It's no Big Apple, but it sure as heck will be "the Pinkest Party on Earth." Mom says if she was in town, we definitely would not be missing the Pretty in Pink pet fashion show in Central City Park. I'm sure my competition just breathed a sigh of relief . . . Just wait until next year.

What Mom will be experiencing is a couple of days of cosmo comfort. And there will be a little bit of Macon up there with her. The Allman Brothers Band are continuing their historic sold-out run at the Beacon Theatre (last night Eric Clapton joined them), and in conjunction with the show, the long-anticipated release of the documentary "Please Call Home: the Big House Years" will make its NY debut. Joining Mom to witness the occasion will be a contingency of Macon folk. But what Mom is most looking forward to is big city adventure with her traveling partners Bright Blue and Cherry B.

Bright Blue (Stephanie Shadden) works with the Bright Blue Sky Productions team who produced the film. The fancy editing? That's her. Cherry B (Tosha Walden) happens to be married to one of the guys who gives colorful commentary in the film (hint: he's my Grandpa!). The documentary is part of the fundraising efforts for the Big House Foundation, who plans to open the Allman Brothers Museum before the end of this year.

When Mom gets back, you'll be seeing plenty of Pink in Candy's Land. But you'll also hear about the deals she sniffed out in NYC (a writer she may be, but a credit card-yielding Carrie Bradshaw, she's not). Until then, take part in the good times she's missing. Who knew Macon had a one-up on Manhattan?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Cheap is Chic Chat: Scissor Sister

There was a time when Mom thought going to the salon was a grab-a-mag and get-away experience. And with her ultra-short style, it was an every four week occurrence. But then her family-friendly hairdresser started turning and burning the barber chair faster than a three-year-old unleashed. And it was that same three-year-old yanking her green tea bag out of her mug while she was waiting her turn, family of four deep, that Mom finally had enough.

So, Mom phoned a friend, and her friend happens to moonlight as a hairdresser. Chris Spicer is museum marketing director by day; hair stylist when needed; girlfriend all day long. Before her corporate career, her post-college career was cosmetology school, then an upscale Southern California men's salon. Who would have thunk it?

She stopped by the house this evening to give Mom a quick coif since Mom didn't want to be shaggy in NYC. The cost? $20. The gratuity? A glass of wine and good conversation. The scene at the salon? The back deck, an iPod of choice and the setting Macon sun.

The result? Go with Mom just about anywhere, and she is constantly asked who cuts her trademark mini-tresses. She used to think it was a Macon thing until she scored a table at Atlanta's waiting list-ready Flip b/c the host liked her hair. We'll see what happens this weekend in the real City.

The secret behind the scissors is out. Chris comes to you or you can go to her. Cut, color or style - with no salon overhead, she can give your head a well-done deal.

Send me a Candygram to contact Chris. Pictured is me telling her, "Just a little off the top!"

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Getting on a Soapbox

If I could howl it from the rooftops, I would. This evening was awesome.

Thanks, once again, to the College Hill Cooridor Commission (http://www.collegehillcorridor.com/) for putting on another outstanding event that shows us that we can - and do - have a cool community.

In conjunction with the CHCC's Bike Week, today's event was the Soap Box Derby. The masses met on Magnolia Street, filling Washington Park with college students and townies alike. Before you could say faster than the feet of Fred Flinstone, the infamous Magnolia Street hill was lined with pinestraw bales, and the soap box competitors were revving their perpetual engines.


Check out me on the Cherry Bomb. That's who got my attention. After a flawless test run, the team switch riders and loaded their heavy hitter. First out of the gates to make the timed treck, the rider tried to rein her in before hitting the bale barrier. Instead, summersaults insued, and the finish line arrived in the back of an ambulance. Fortunately, he still managed to net just over 30 mph and only suffered two injured fingers - one broken, one dislocated.

So even though the race got off to a rough start, the entire event was most definitely not a wreck. The back-up ambulance arrived, CHCC's sundress-adorned Sarah Gerwig-Moore re-adjusted the misconstrued pinestraw, and the checkered flag waved again!

My daredevil moment was staring down a a mixed-mutt six times my size. But the remainder of the evening was life in the slow lane . . . me, Mom and Shuga D, eating the free Nu-Ways, sharing a blanket and listening to the live music provided by the swell Red Swill and the newly formed Roly-Bots (dynamo, indeed). The weather was perfect, the event was free and people took part. Quit standing on the sidelines . . . get on your soapbox and go.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Lucky Charms: It's the Little Things that Count


“A dog owns nothing, yet seldom dissatisfied.” – Irish Proverb

So today, I toast to the to leprechauns who see the world from my height. Where clovers are still precious, even if there are more – or less – than four leaves on each one. Where rainbows don’t lead to pots of gold, but rather still moments of staring at the sky. And where green doesn't mean money or envy, but peace on the earth we take care of.

Mom might not have seen a leprechaun on the patio of the Hummingbird today. But she did find dark beer ($3 pints!) and bright laughter. As the sun went down on downtown Macon, they tossed bean bags, clinked glasses and celebrated the luck of the Irish, no matter their heritage, age, color or creed.

There are times when Mom looks at her calendar and wonders how it all can be done. And then there are moments like today when the world slows down and she feels darn lucky, no matter the day of the year.

One more Irish proverb for the road that rises to meet you:

"The dog that's always on the go, is better than the one that's always curled up."

Monday, March 16, 2009

Doggy Bag: Just Another Stormy Monday Stew

Actually, I didn't hear a lick of thunder all day. But between the constant pitter-patter of the rain and my muddy paws, I was less enthused about my spongy squeak toys (I left outside) and opted to spend the day curled up in bed . . . Mom was jealous. But she did have a fairly productive day at the office working on the latest issue of address Macon. She forfeited an after-hours Bragg Jam music committee to go to Gray and tend to Miss Pro, my steed sister with 15 years seniority. Mom was a little soggy-bottomed after hauling feed buckets in the drizzle, but she still wanted to get her hands in something hearty for her own dinner. Here's what she did (in a roundabout way):

1/2 eggplant
1 whole zucchini
2 large cloves of garlic
2 shallots
1 can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes
dried basil
extra virgin olive oil
boil-in-a-bag brown rice
whole grain baguette
cheese (in this case, leftover gouda and brie)
salt and pepper

Chop up 1/2 an eggplant and entire zucchini. Peel and finely dice the garlic and shallots. Heat up the olive oil. Saute the garlic and shallots. Stir in the eggplant and zucchini, saute for a minute, and then add one cup of water. Let the veggies simmer until water absorbs. Salt and pepper. Sprinkle with basil. Add one can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Toast baguette. Remove from oven and cut into small rounds. Brush rounds with olive oil. Top with small slices of cheese (or not) and pop back in oven for a couple of minutes until cheese melts. Serve eggplant mix over bed of rice with toasted bread on the side.

The smell was enough to keep my nose twitching and tail in hopeful thumpings. But other than the wayward raw eggplant from the cutting board, no leftover tablescraps for me. All I got was a lousy rawhide and a handshake. I guess the sun will come out tomorrow.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Was it all Just a Dream?


When I was watching Mom get ready to go out last night, I don't think either of us knew what was truly in store. One vintage blouse and (very) fake fur jacket later, she and Shuga D started off with a margarita toast to birthday girlfriend Honey Shot, who just returned from Mexico.

Running a little late and darting through the rain, they then made their way to the Grand for the Macon Symphony Orchestra performance. In addition to the debut of the season signature and guest composition "Blue Shades," Mom said she sat in awe as Mayor Robert Reichert read "A Portrait of Lincoln" to the backdrop of the MSO's powerful accompaniment and historical, stirring slideshow. Mom was moved to tears, especially at the last frame that included Dr. King and President Obama in the portraits. "You rocked it," is what Mom managed to tell the Mayor as they later exited the Grand.

After an overture at the MSO afterparty at Wes & Betsy Griffith's - a.k.a Wetsy's - loft (note: the MSO is reaching out for the "young blood;" this ain't your granny's community asset anymore), they crossed Cotton and Second to catch the last bit of the concert at the Cox Capitol Theatre. Sponsored by MAGA and the Jazz Association of Middle GA (JAM), the evening featured an intimate concert with the George Petit Quarter and a special screening of MAGA "Best of Show" winning short flick, "The Drummer." The jazz flowed and the flickering candles kept the night cool, as Mom and Shuga D enjoyed their table with birthday girl Honey, who just couldn't get enough sax.

As the show wound down, Mom's crew geared up. It was time to cross blocks and make their way to Envy. Walking in the doors to Mag Tard full-throttle on stage, Honey Shot was given an immediate birthday shout-out, and Mom says it was like the night had started all over. The house was packed and as Mag Tard wound down, Bright Blue showed up with a big ass brownie, which Mom lit up with the sparkle candles she had stashed in her clutch.

But then the birthday celebration bowed down to the King -- Al K!ng. Mom is convinced that our burgeoning little music scene has some serious players. And Alexander "Al K!ng" Clay and Kevin 'Floco Torres" Williams are two of the most serious contenders. When hip hop makes that many black and white Maconites dance like there is no tomorrow, together, on one shared floor, those artists are doing something right. Mom's former co-worker Chris Horne told her to pay attention a while ago, and she did. Now she stands in front of their stage, wide-eyed and hopeful. Maybe history does repeat itself . . . Phil Walden Artist & Promotions didn't need fancy office supplies, receptionists or even a copy machine to get its start and change this town forever. All it took was a little Magic.

So, when Mom woke up this morning, she had a look of wonderlust. "Was it all a dream?" she asked. "Did I really hear the Symphony, real deal Jazz music and a killer hip hop show all in one night? All in one town? All in downtown?"

There's a stamp on her hand, two ticket stubs in her purse and Krystal boxes in Shuga D's truck. It most certainly wasn't a dream. In Candy's Land, it's only the beginning.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Flutterbuy

Oscar-nominated actress Karen Black told Mom at the MAGA Film Festival, "I wish I had your eyelashes. I pay a lot for mine!" Mom's heart fluttered at the comment, especially when Miz Black saw her the next day and said, "There is the eyelash girl!"

Well, Mom doesn't pay a dime for her eyelashes, but today she shelled out $15 for mascara at the Vineville Salon. She was recently reading about the junk found in today's cosmetics and decided she doesn't want tar or mercury near her baby blues.

Her purchase was Aveda's Mosscara, one of the only lash-lengtheners on the market without tar in it. Instead, Aveda has found a way to make the stuff from Icelandic moss. Ironically, Mom dreams of the day when she gets to go to Iceland and ride ponies . . . but I digress. Mosscara contains other additional natural ingredients like a rose derivative, which gives it a take-a-deep breath earthy, non-toxic smell.

We love eco-friendly Aveda products around here. What do I love most about Aveda? They test their products on people. But if they ever come up with a pet hair product line, I'm your guinea pig.

Next time you see Mom, give her a wink ;-)

Divinity Inspiration

When Mom was asked to be a "celebrity chef," she turned as rouge as a raspberry. A celeb she thinks not, and a chef . . . most definitely not. But when she was told it was a couples thang, she knew she and Shuga D would find a fun time. The event was Peaches, Pecans and Pralines, a mouthful of an event to benefit a handful of local charities: The Tubman Museum, the Center for Racial Understanding, Volunteer Macon and the Mentors Project of Bibb County (where Mom sits on the board and is a proud mentor).

Mom admits she and Shuga D sorta cheated. Asked to prepare a Southern-themed appetizer or dessert, the creative couple opted for "Raspberry Divinity Dipped in Dark Chocolate and Topped with a Pecan." Ambitious, you think? But it helps when Shuga D manages a candy factory. Espcially one that specializes in Divinity - and coconut candies, peanut clusters, pecan logs and more, right here in Macon, Ga. (http://www.crowncandy.com/).

The Divinity turned out divine. And with Shuga D working the assembly line, Mom could concentrate on her tablescape, which was Southern skirted, silver plattered and doileyed.

But the best part of the evening was that people came, stuffed their faces and raised money for four worthy causes. Times are tough, even for $20/ticket, so Mom says she was as proud as a peacock that local folks still recognize that our community is a shared community, whether you are a celeb chef or one of the teens the Mentors Project keeps in school.

Our house reeks of raspberries. The original plan was 250 pieces of Divinity. The result was 800. So, unless there is some divine intervention, we're going to be eating Raspberry Divinity Dipped in Dark Chocolate and Topped with a Pecan for a long time. I hear it goes well with red wine.

p.s. Thanks to Jeff Bruce, curator at the Tubman Museum, for trading a big ol' helping of his delicious baked spaghetti for a couple of pounds of our candy! Like mom told him, "This candy thing gets old. We've got to eat!"

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Casting Couch


Macon is finally getting her close-up. Mom attended a press conference today at New Fellowship Baptist Church that formally announced the full length feature film “The Hardest Hitter” is taking over our town. The director said their production team searched 60 cities in seven states before settling on Macon. What was the catcher to filming the “Hitter” here? Luther Williams Field, the historic home of the defacto’d Macon Music and the wanna-break Guinness World Record grounds of the heartbreaking World’s Largest Kazoo Ensemble (just you wait – we haven’t stopped humming yet!). Other filming locations include New Fellowship’s santuary (can I get an Amen, Rev. Terry?!), mom’s favorite lunch joint Tucker’s BBQ and the front porch of Ron and Dot Williams’ landmark Rivoli home. Mom just happens to work for the company Mr. Williams owns, so as soon as he goes Hollywood, she is asking for a raise!

Stay tuned on casting notices. The production team announced they intend to cast 60 speaking parts with 90 percent of the roles going to locals. And even if you don’t score an audition, they are definitely going to need extras to fill up the ballpark. The flick is a 1950s period film. I’ve got my 8x10 glossies ready. Just put me in a poodle skirt.

Cheap is Chic Chat: Twinkle Toes

Shuga D gives me a run for the sweetness sometimes. This week he took Mom and his mom to get pedicures . . . and he treated his feet with them! Mom went with her gut and chose her classic Big Apple Red. She says she was torn between the search for a perfect lilac and her recent knowledge from an article that said navy was the new “it” summer toe polish. But this was her first pedi of the season and she is leaving for NYC in less than two weeks (leaving me at home . . . grrr), so it made sense to go back to her basic.

Mom says she doesn’t need rose petals in her foot tub to enjoy a comfortable pedicure. She has been enjoying the kind smiles and good service of the folks at Spas Nails for a while now. In fact, it was there that she and Shuga D had their first outing – friends first, of course – after she double-dared him to get a group pedicure if he wanted to hang with her. And with their pedicures barely breaking a $20, there’s change for a pre or post cocktail at Taylor Made Grill. Be sure to the rock the foam flip-flops.

Cheap is Chic Chat: $25 BLD Challenge

Mom and I are sniffing out the best deals in town. You’ve heard Isaboo-owner Rachael Ray say she can do it on $40 a day. But we want to do it better. Mom’s got $25 in her pocket and her schedule cleared for BLD (that’s Rachael-speak for breakfast, lunch and dinner). Can she eat three meals with gratuity for $25 or less? Will she up her own ante with a “fourth meal” after-five $5 martini at Tic Toc? Check back soon. I’m quivering with anticipation.

Things That Make You Go Grrr: Art Attack

Mom was among the many who received a plea from Macon Arts’ Executive Director Catherine Sample that said:

“We just received word from Rick Hutto that the Mayor is proposing to the County Commission that the County take over funding for Macon Arts. This would mean that the City would no longer fund Macon Arts and the Purchase of Arts Services grants. We already receive funding from the County and even prior to this news, we are at risk of it being reduced. The city has reduced its funding of the arts steadily throughout the past decade which has reduced the size of PAS grants, however its $27,000 in arts funding that many of us count on. If you feel strongly about this we urge you to contact the Mayor personally or write and call his office. We also encourage you to share this news with your boards and patrons those who support the arts.The arts and cultural organizations are an $18+ million industry in Central Georgia. We are an economic engine and the city's investment is an important fuel for this engine. Please advocate for the arts at this critically important time.”

Mom’s video editor friend, I like to call Bright Blue, decided to voice her concerns over the possible cuts with an email to the mayor. The good news: He promptly responded. The weird news: He copied her boss and sounded like he was having a bad day. Here is his unedited response (for your information):

“Stephanie,
For your information, I have only suggested that in our service delivery negotiations with Bibb County, that the county be responsible for all arts funding, rather than both City and County making two smaller contributions, which is redundant, requires presentations to both budgeting agencies and invariably leads to confusion, since each assumes that the other will contribute in an unknown amount. If the County agrees, the City would take on exclusive funding of other functions. Just trying to be more efficient. I'm not advocating for a reduction in funding for the arts, although with our current budget pressures, I'm not committing to maintain current levels either. I don't need to be convinced of the benefits to our community from the arts.”

Can I Get a Witness?


How many B’s can we fit into Sunday Brunch? Blanket, basket, bottle of Kroger’s Saturday champagne best (for mimosa-mixing, of course), beautiful park, best friends, Bearfoot Hookers . . . bring it. The Second Sunday Gospel Brunch takes place just when it says it does in downtown Macon’s luscious Washington Park. It event is free. The water runs freely. You don’t have to haul your own mini bar because Bloodies and Mimosas are served from a cash bar along with $5 box brunches. If that doesn’t make your soul sing, I don’t know what will. Not only does Mom keep it marked on her little electronic calendar, but she has a hard time keeping me out of the way while she’s packing the picnic basket. I get to go! At a Second Sunday Gospel Brunch, you’ll find just as many kids as you do the furry variety. Everyone is welcome to the table – think of it like a communion of community.

The Gospel Brunch is the brainchild of the College Hill Corridor Commission (CHCC), which was formed to accomplish the primary goal of creating an attractive, safe and well-defined corridor connecting Mercer University and downtown. In other words, the CHCC wants to give Mercer students and townies alike the incentive to get out and do something in the downtown/intown area that has great hip/happening potential. For those of you in the north part of town, this means you, too. Have you seen their master plan? Visit
www.collegehillcorridor.com.

Back to Gospel Brunch: Here’s the church; here’s the steeple; when service is over, come join the cool people. It’s about fellowship, y’all. And it’s free.

There's a New Itch in Town

Stop, look, what’s that sound, everbody look what’s going down . . . Town. Is it just me or is it getting cooler? I know the summer swelter is starting to sneak up – heck, I’m panting already – but there is something going on in this town that puts chills down my spine. It’s synergy. We just wrapped up a happening little film festival called MAGA. A major music festival (Bragg Jam) will be here before we know it. Not to mention the everyday occurrences – the rise of the Cox Capitol Theatre; the many feet found on the sidewalks of First Friday; a burgeoning live music scene (shout out to Local 478); the creative class of professionals putting some blood, sweat and tears (yes, I’ve seen Mom do all three) into believing in Macon – what it has, where it will go and who all will benefit. There’s something to be said for this can-do vibe.

I’ll be the first to admit, Mom and I are downtown – not uptown – kind of girls. There’s a reason that most of what you read here will be found in downtown Macon. It’s because we believe downtown is one darn fine lady. We know she’s had a rough life. Once the grand dame of entertainment, retail and entrepreneurialism for Macon, a young big-boxed retail broad came along in the late 70s, and downtown lost her glory faster than you can say Mall Bangs (
http://www.liketotally80s.com/1980s-hairstyles.html). Lately, we’ve seen glimmers of the Grand Dame’s return, despite the rise of faux mainstreets in the north side of town. Don’t get me wrong, we realize retail is queen in Macon’s overall economic development. But coming from a fixed bitch who once spent some time in the dog pound and a mom who never fit the North Macon mold (yet survived 14 years of private school), we just happen to be fond of underdogs. This cool vibe is a good thing for downtown. People are itching for something to do. And we’re just scratching the surface.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Candy Who? Candy Lou!


I was down and out on the wrong side of town after being surrendered to the City of Macon Animal Shelter. Fortunately, the good folks at the Heart of Georgia Humane Society saw something special in me. I was sprung from my cage, cleaned up, vaccinated, spayed and put up for adoption. Next thing I know, I'm being carried out Petsmart's doors in the arms of my new mom.

From that moment on, my life has been one tail-wagging, dance inducing, lucky dog kind of life. They call me Candy Lou. I'm a Papillon/Chihuahua mix living it up at the feet (and lap) of my owner and friends.