Sunday, October 16, 2016


Image result for Helena Bonham Carter evening dress

Y’all KNOW I don’t do politics or FASHION, so little knowledge or interest I have in either, but sometimes . . .

I have an almost-everyday delve into an incisively-witty, fun blog by two smart, savvy fashion mavens, TOM AND LORENZO. They mercilessly skewer the pompous and self-involved, the old-enough-to-know-better and the rich-enough-to-hire-advisors, and are so clever with their words, I cannot resist peeking in, though as you know, I’m NOT THERE FOR THE CLOTHES.   It's the writing and the sumptuous bons mots and witticisms flying faster than light. 

Image result for helena bonham carter  LUCY HONEYCHURCH

ANNNNNDDD . . .They simply adore Helena Bonham Carter.   There’s just a sweet spot in my heart for her, in ANY role.   She simply has such a flair for being herself, such a self-confidence and blasé disconnect from What Would THEY Think? (the absolute standard on which I was brought up, sternly conscious of other folks’ opinions and standards of decorum and dress, and though I’ve breached them one and all on several occasions, at my age now, I require only that my attire be clean, preferably cotton, and good coverage. Perhaps that’s why I love her slapdash, outlandish outfits and devil-may-care attitude so much.

I once wore a “pair” of shoes like this to a fairly formal party in college.  Mammaw had insisted on my getting both colours of the pumps I particularly liked, so I just wore each on a whim to an afternoon tea at the Chancellor's House. 

Image result for Helena bonham carter with TWO PAIRS OF glasses

This is just like me (well, sans purse and shopping---I have an abiding hatred for both).   But I am known to wear two-pairs-at-once on my head, and wander around searching for them.

And I wonder what her closet must be like---I imagine it’s an enormous closet---a cavernous closet, with an inconspicuous door opening inside a charming apartment, and stretching
out and back into the distance  like the Weasleys’ Quidditch tent.   The theme is inordinately dark, whimsical, lit by torchieres and glowing eyes, and all the dresses move idly in the dim breeze.  Daywear is held  suspended from the beaks of crows, with evening attire the ravens’ domain, and an entire wing of the cavern is populated by small blackbirds, whose delight in life is to organize and maintain the vast drapings of jewelry, eyeglasses, shades, glasses-chains, belts, whimsical hats and gloves and scarves.     

 Griffin-doorknockers hold long rows of purses, swaying  like small sides of beef in the cool keeping-room, and shoes make their own way back to their allotted stairs, reaching out of sight above the raiment below.  And fully a hundred mighty rocs suspend the hangers for the fabulous, the fun, the frayed and the fanciful coats awaiting.  And somewhere in the darkest high rafters hang flights of wistful small bats, each responsible for the keeping of a forlorn little sweater---cardigan---jumper, to hug close around her body as the eyes and lenses of the world assail her spirit.
Image result for Helena bonham carter flowered dress sweater

 I firmly believe that somewhere WAY back in that closet, after many twists and turns, it intersects briefly with those of Miss Havisham,  Belle Watling and Miley Cyrus, taking one sharp turn at The Last Chance Goodwill. 

   Just one nebulous idea, one inkling of a look, a feeling for the day, and the mist stirs, with some garments whirling and sparkling,  and others creating their own black holes of darkness in the dim, as nine unrelated items magically whisk to the forefront, encircling her body more magically than Stark’s red suit.

Or some days, she just runs laughing through the entire domain like a child under clotheslines, clutching and clasping and grabbing in glee, and emerges into the daylight a Thing of Wonder, beyond description, for ordinary mortals to ponder and discuss. 


Wednesday, October 12, 2016



Dear Lottie Helen and all,

I hope this letter finds you all well.  We’re all well as common, but your Daddy liketa had a little tumble comin’ in with the stovewood last week.   He caught the cuff a his shirt on that ole long doorknob, and stumbled several steps before he righted hisself.  Didn’t drop a stick, not even them little ole fat lighterd slivers.   Soon’s we seen he ‘as allright, we all laughed fit to bust at that little dance he done. 

Tonight’s Church Supper night, and I’m a doin’ my best to get some good Fall cookin done to take.  Well, I got that big old roaster-pan buttered up right heavy, and then I got three a them quarts of gooood peaches out of the freezer and let ‘em thaw a while.   Then I  takened, and I put them sliced peaches in the bottom a there, and sprinkled on a right smart a sugar---just enough to get ‘em goin makin juice ‘n’ all—and a big dash of verneller. 
Cobbler is always better if you dot a good lot of butter around on top of the fruit, too. 

  And then, I went out and got me about four a them good yaller-yawk eggs for the cake---nothin’ like a good yard egg for a good rich cake.

Image result for cobbler in a big roaster pan

I got that old Sunbeam a-goin with them eggs and about a cup and a hafe a sugar, and just let ‘er rip til that mixture climbed up about three times its size and makin’ a ribbon when you lifted up the beaters.   So you measure out the flour and Clabber Girl and Salt, and melt you about a cup of butter in a different cup, along with a cup of milk with some good verneller stirred in.

You know, you hafta measure when you’re bakin’ cause it’s more like chemistry than cookin.  The right amounts of every tee-ninecy thing is the secret, especially the teaspoons of bakin’ sody or Clabber Girl, because they can play havick with all those good eggs and fresh butter if they’re off by even a smidge.   Nothin’ worse than a cake that squatted to rise, and baked in the squat, except maybe a real pretty one, all fluffy and golden, that wastes all those good ingredients and gets all the way to the table (especially if there’s comp’ny) so bitter with too much leavenin’ that the dogs just sniff and slink off when you throw it out in the yard.

I got the cake all mixed up good and light, and poured it real gentle over those peaches---it like to overflowed the pan, so I scooped out a cup or so of the peaches to keep it from runnin over in the oven.   Got it into a good smart hot oven, and then I put on three quarts of them good snap beans we canned when y’all was here in August.   Weren’t they fine? 

Just a big ole onion in the Dutch Oven sweated down some, and the biggest ham bone out of the freezer laid in with the drained beans, a good reach of salt and I crushed up almost a whole head of that fresh garlic we’ve got dryin out in the egg shed.  They’re cookin down right now, with some soy sauce, and does this house smell mighty fine!   Got a few dozen of the littlest potaters soakin to scrub to lay on top at the end to cook. 

I better go get my blue dress ironed.  I got so busy pickin up pecans and with the gettin-in of the last bell peppers and sweet taters so the boys could till the garden under, that I just laid everything crosswise on your bed til I could get to the ironin.

Remember we love all a y’all.

Your Loving Mama Marthy Tidwell

Friday, September 30, 2016



Much going on here, with birthdays and an unexpected, magical trip to Michigan last weekend, and takings-out and puttings-away of Summer and Fall things and outlooks on stuff.

Something about that air.  Something about the turning and the changing and the closing down of things that sends a message of slow down and settle in and even listen.

So, moiré non about the trip, but first, a tiny moment that made me smile my face off, and be glad the room was dark.

Sweetpea spent the night not long ago, and greeted her old friend Gecko the Chameleon, who had been left on her bed after her last visit, with a hug and effusive delight to see him again.

We turned out the lights and said our prayers, in which she usually concludes, “And Ganjin has something to say.”   This time it was Gecko who was to speak, and in the dimness I could see her hold his little sucky paws together.

 Then “he” spoke:

“Dear God, please don’t let there be any spiders in here, cause they eat all my bugs.   And just send all of THEM over here to me.  Amen.”

Tuesday, September 20, 2016


My friend Val loves the serendipity of finding hearts, and she does---in clouds, in a salad, in a crumpled paper from a straw. She claims them as luck or fortune or just as her special talisman in life.

I just had a hankering this morning for some Van Morrison, and let the music just fill the house, as I went about my little doings on this superlative Cusp of Autumn day.  

Go fill your eyes with HEARTS, and your heart with the MYSTIC.

Sunday, September 18, 2016


Image result for shagging on the pier charleston sc

I’ve just been rocking all morning, after reading Debbi’s post on Shagging on the Pier.   Still got the music going in the background while I’m writing---consider all typos a product of energy and rockin’ in my chair.

I just LOVE the idea of this---the night air, the energy, the music ringing out over the ocean, and all that fun and foot action.   I first heard of Shaggin’ on the Beach about twenty years ago, when Chris’ Sis and her new husband took Shag Dancing lessons and then went to gatherings all over NC.   It just seemed like the funnest thing, ever---going out with your partner, having such a wonderful talent in common, with the free-hearted steps and movements as effortless and easy together as breathing. 

I think of those long-ago, fun evenings often now, with a bit of gentle dolor, for that dear, young-hearted couple have since taken in and adopted FIVE of her daughter’s children, each as they were born, and and are now raising this second set of kiddos, ages eighteen to five, with all the attendant school and soccer and all the other joys and problems of parenthood---at OUR AGE, with grandchildren older than the younger ones.

They’re our Heroes, and they’re in my prayers and thoughts every day, with all this later-in-life burden and blessing they’ve taken on, embracing it with all of their dear kind hearts.  I like to think that they take a moment, now and then when a familiar song comes on, to lose themselves in a spin around the kitchen in that effortless, easy grace.

And I still think of them as dressed and shining, all that energy and rhythm and music filling the evening breeze in that happy gathering.   As they DANCE.