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DIY Drop Cloth Curtains
Need some chic curtains? Here's an inexpensive solution that whips together in a hurry - yet looks like a million bucks.
- story and photos by Holly Lemoine Raymond
Let’s get started!
First you’ll need to determine how long/short you want your curtains to be. I always measure twice so I only cut once. I needed my curtains to be 7’ long by 4’ wide.
I washed my cloths without detergent and dried them to loosen the fabric a bit before working on it. I like the feel and “worn” look this process gave. If you are a little more of a perfectionist than I am, you can always iron the fabric after you wash and dry it to get all the wrinkles out.
Next I folded the fabric in half, lengthwise and made my cut as straight as I could. This gave me two curtains. I did not “hem” the edges. Again, I like the worn, rustic look these drop cloth curtains provide and, quite frankly, I don’t have the kind of time I would need to be a perfectionist.
I have a great seamstress, Gretchen Fleming, (238-342-2743) who has hemmed a few more for my office where I needed a bit more of a professional look. Or, you can use the fabric tape as demonstrated below.
Once you get the fabric tape in place, you will need to use a hot iron to “seal the deal.”
Let’s get these curtains hung.
To continue the rustic-industrial look, I used oil rubbed bronze drapery clip rings. I bought mine at Lowe’s for under $10 but you can get these almost anywhere, including Target, Amazon and WalMart… All the rings I have seen come in various colors and range from $6.99 to $15.99 depending on finish and/or number per set.
Space the clips evenly on your curtains and slide them on the curtain rod and you are ready to hang. Ta-da! That’s all there is to it! Now you’ve got an expensive look for an inexpensive price.
If you will be using piping as your curtain rod, hanging will be a little more complicated. You will need to put the clip rings on the piping before you affix the piping to the wall. But the look can’t be beat. Otherwise, this project was easy-peasy.
Note: If you want to spice up your curtains a bit, you can color them with RIT Fabric Dye. Just follow the directions and you will have the perfect accent for your windows.
When Kids Are Kings
These smaller coast Mardi Gras parades are guaranteed to bring out the kid in everyone!
- story by Karen Fineran, photos by Ellis Anderson
Krewe of Kids
photos from the 2015 Krewe of Kids Parade
Instead of just taking your children to watch the Mardi Gras parades, how about you take them to roll in one themselves? Your kids will love the opportunity to be on the throwing end of the beads and cups for a change!
On Saturday, February 18, the Bay St. Louis Krewe of Kids Mardi Gras Parade rolls down Dunbar Avenue at 11 a.m., featuring kids on festooned bikes, wagons, shopping carts, and sometimes even canoes on wheels.
The parade will start across from Dunbar Village on Dunbar Avenue heading to Larroux Park at the corner of Dunbar and Julia Street, then back. Paraders stop at Dunbar Village to greet the senior king and queen there, then return to Dunbar Village for a party after the parade.
Biloxi Children's Mardi Gras Walking Parade
While you can’t be in two places at the same time, if you love seeing small children costumed up and marching down the street, another option is the children’s parade in Biloxi.
The 17th Annual Biloxi Children’s Mardi Gras Walking Parade also takes place on Saturday, February 18 at 10 a.m. in downtown Biloxi. The route will begin under the I-110 overpass on Howard Avenue and travel east on Howard to Reynoir Street, then turn south, ending at a celebration at the Mardi Gras Museum at 119 Rue Magnolia.
There, folks can enjoy refreshments, a costume and float contest, Mardi Gras art activities, and the opportunity to meet and have pictures taken with the Gulf Coast Carnival Association Royal Court.
Krewe of Legacy
On Saturday, February 11 at 1 p.m., the 9th Annual Krewe of Legacy Mardi Gras Parade rolls through Pass Christian. Unlike the more traditional Pass Parade with floats (held this year on Sunday, February 26), the much smaller and more eccentric legacy parade features horse and buggies, golf carts and antique cars, as well as some floats.
The parade will roll throughout a 5-mile circular route north of Interstate 10, starting on the corner of J.P. Ladner Road and Vidalia Road, and then continue down J.P. Ladner Road until it takes a right on Edwin Ladnier Road, then a right on Vidalia Road. The route will end right where it began.
Not a Sign of the Times
Award-winning author and syndicated columnist Rheta Grimsley Johnson muses about authenticity, character and signage on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
But I guess that’s how towns stay pretty, fussing over the details. Only sometimes they miss the forest while pruning the bottle trees.
For me, in this age of insubstantial people and things, I find the Pass’ HOTEL sign refreshing, nostalgic. It harkens to the days when college football bowl games did not have long corporate sponsor names and pharmacies innocently blinked DRUGS.
I once lived in a humble and ugly apartment complex just offthe interstate in Jackson. It was called Pine Hills Apartments. There were no pines, or hills, just cheap boxy apartments thrown up on a concrete pad. But I suppose few would have rented them if the owners had called it Ugly Sprawl Near Interstate Village.
So I guess that’s also why I like the Hotel Whiskey’s approach. HOTEL. No brag, just fact. Written in red like Jesus’ words in the Bible. Easy to see. Not like a fast food joint in the rich part of town that has to disguise itself to be there.
Now when you get to the fine print, the HOTEL’s Whiskey part makes the place sound like a Willie Nelson song. I also like that. All a traveler’s needs encapsulated in the name and under one roof.
“Park your nags, boys, we’re staying at this here Hotel Whiskey.”
Seaside towns have all gotten too prissy and pink for my tastes. Even the workaday Apalachicola in the Florida Panhandle has gone boutique. What happened to boats in every yard, and dives? One can only buy so many souvenir golf visors. Beer, on the other hand….
I’m much more put off by pretty little wooden signs swinging from a post and decorated with a pelican than I am HOTEL in red. Something perverse in me, I guess.
The Pensacola of my youth may have influenced my taste in towns by the coast. I remember cinderblock homes near the bay, including my family’s, which was painted pink and convinced me we were rich. I can hear right now the cheap glass wind chimes hanging from my friend Margaret’s carport; they made a better sound than any of the expensive ones do now. There were eclectic neighborhoods that mixed demographics the way a blender mixes margaritas, with boats on trailers, or sometimes blocks, as de rigueur as the shell driveways.
I’ve always described the Mississippi Gulf Coast as the last remaining authentic seaside place left in the South. When I drive along Railroad Avenue I get the feeling I’m back in the 1950s, with snow ball stands and bars with funny names and tire stores and beauty shops. It’s as if the Panhandle of old and New Orleans had a love child and we’re living in it.
After Katrina there’s been the temptation to zone the seaside spontaneity out of communities. It’s good that condominiums were pretty much kept at bay, and historic properties intact, and I definitely believe in separating commercial and residential. But a little leeway for color and character comes with the territory, don’t you think?
Take my opinion with a grain of sea salt. Remember I’m the girl that starts her diet with a steak and a sweet, washed down with good wine.
Love at First Sight
In the early 80s, a visitor to Bay St. Louis was smitten with the historic cottage at 308 Main Street. Thirty-five years and one addition later, it's the Millers' dream home.
- story and photographs by Ellis Anderson
Yet, in 2014, the first time she and Kent toured the interior of the house, the couple was disappointed. The rooms were dark, the natural light blocked out. And although the house was nearly 2000 square feet, there was only one real bedroom. They kept shopping for their new home.
The Millers were set on moving to the coast and after owning two historic houses in New Orleans, were determined to purchase another. Yet, the ones that were available had already been renovated in ways that weren’t suitable. Finally, they returned to 308.
“Cynthia asked me to look at it with fresh eyes,” says Kent. “To see the potential. I realized it really was an incredible house.”
If a bit small. Once the Millers purchased it and started moving in, they realized that it didn’t have room for most of their furnishings. Avid entertainers, they also discovered that the living room only comfortably accommodated five or six people. And with one bedroom, they couldn’t have overnight guests.
So they began working with local architect Ed Wikoff to build an addition that would not only give them more space, but create a flow making the house more livable. Filling the rooms with natural light was one of their primary considerations in the new design.
Since the Millers didn’t want to change the appearance of the original house from the street, the 1,500-square-foot addition is cunningly tucked behind the house. An earlier addition (a small sun porch on the back) was torn off to make way for the new one, which includes a spacious and open living and dining area and a large master suite. A series of French doors opens onto a wide l-shaped screened back porch - with room enough for outdoor living and dining rooms.
The front two rooms of the original house were transformed into a music room/library with an adjoining guest bedroom. The original cramped kitchen will be the next project the Millers tackle – it will be expanded to include the home’s original dining room.
Construction of the addition began in the summer of 2015. Since the house is located in the Bay's Historic District, the addition first had to be approved by the city's Historic Preservation Commission.
"The experience working with the historical commission was a easy and very positive one," says Cynthia. "They expressed gratitude that we were tackling the renovation in keeping with the historical significance of the building."
The construction process itself was also a positive process. The Millers say that contractors Rick Dedeaux and Ed Madden were “great to work with.”
“I was really dreading the process, but it was painless,” says Cynthia “Ed Madden has the same eye for detail that I have.”
Cynthia picked out every fixture and finish for the addition. “I can see it in my head,” she says. “I pick things that intrigue me and group them together. When you take chances like that, you wonder if you’re making a costly mistake, but somehow, it’ll all come together in the end.”
Kent has learned through the years to trust his wife. “Whatever she’s got that tells her that it’s going to work, I don’t have,” he says, laughing. “I’m just happy to hang this or build that, whatever she thinks needs to happen.”
The checkerboard flooring in the master bath is a case in point. Cynthia loved the classic look, but wanted something softer than black and white. The muted tile tones she chose give the room a spacious, clean feel that doesn’t dominate the eye.
Cynthia was apparently born with the knack of knowing. When she was five, growing up in rural Stone County, Mississippi, her parents were amazed at her early drawings. There’d never been an artist in the family before.
Her father persuaded her to channel her artistic inclinations into an education that could earn her a living. Cynthia attended Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College (MGCCC) in Perkinston and in 1969, was the only woman to graduate with a degree in drafting and design.
Her father was right about career opportunities. She took a job with the college and worked there for the next seven years. Since classes were free for employees, she spent her spare time taking advantage of the opportunities, learning everything from art history to photography.
Kent grew up in Gulfport, Mississippi, graduating as Gulfport High’s valedictorian. He worked his way through USM in Hattiesburg, first doing construction and later as a bookkeeper for an appliance company. When he graduated with a degree in business (with a concentration in accounting), he immediately signed on with an accounting firm in Biloxi.
In 1976, Kent received a life-changing assignment: he became the member of a team auditing MGCCC.
“I met him at the Xerox machine,” Cynthia says. “He asked me to play tennis and we played all afternoon. That was it.”
Soon after they married, Kent was offered a partnership in his accounting firm, but the couple wasn’t ready to narrow their horizons. They traveled to Houston, where Kent found an accounting position with Gulf Oil Company and Cynthia snagged her “dream job,” working as a photographer for the University of Texas Health-Science Center. For the next several years, she worked with some of the top physicians in the world.
Kent was transferred to San Francisco when Gulf Oil merged with Chevron in the early eighties. The couple took advantage of their exciting new West Coast location by traveling often, yet remained homesick for the South. When Kent was offered a position in New Orleans in 1987, the Millers packed their bags with glee.
Although the couple had spent time in New Orleans, they’d never lived there and began their house hunt with only a few goals. After years of living in new tract houses, they wanted a home with a history.
“All my life, I’d drive past old classic houses, adoring them. People say they’re more trouble, but it turns out that’s not really true,” says Cynthia.
They started with a turn-of-the-century Greek revival on Coliseum Street and spent the next six years happily renovating it. Then they purchased an enormous Queen Anne on Camp Street further uptown, which they ran for several years as an exclusive bed and breakfast.
Always eager for more education, being back in New Orleans afforded Cynthia the opportunity to attend UNO, receiving a degree in sociology, then pursue her master’s at Tulane School of Social Work. After graduation and an internship, she accepted a job at Touro, working to help rehabilitate quadriplegics and paraplegics. Meanwhile Kent traveled frequently for his job with Chevron. The couple jokes that although they’ve been married forty years, they’ve only been together for twenty.
Several factors intersected to bring them to the Gulf Coast. Cynthia’s widowed mother in Stone County was suffering from congestive heart failure, so Cynthia retired from her job as a social worker to help out. Kent had retired from his Chevron job in 2008 with the intent of working part-time as a consultant, yet found himself busier than ever. He was determined to retire completely.
So the Millers put their New Orleans house up for sale and began exploring the possibility of retiring on the Mississippi coast. Then, in 2013, Cynthia was diagnosed with breast cancer. She was in the middle of treatment when their New Orleans house sold.
The Millers’ friend, Dita McCarthy, who lives in Harrison County, presented the situation to her Pass Christian book club. One of the members offered to rent the Millers a house on Second Street in the Pass, completely furnished, with a view of the beach. It was the perfect place to heal and plan the next phase of their lives.
After Cynthia finished her treatment, the Millers began the hunt for their new home, shopping the coast from Gulfport to Bay St. Louis. Cynthia’s childhood friend and director of the Mississippi Arts Commission, Malcolm White, has a home in Bay St. Louis and was a factor in helping persuade them on settling in the Bay.
“The Bay had so many of the things we were looking for,” says Kent. “It’s a grass-roots community, with an active arts scene. There was a great stock of historic houses. Once you’ve lived in an older home, you don’t want to live in a new house anymore.”
“It’s also less than an hour’s drive from New Orleans. Plus, there’s the Mayberry Effect,” he says, referring to the town’s reputation as “Mayberry by the Sea.”
Once they settled on 308 Main, they began researching its history. It had been built in 1880 by esteemed contractor/craftsman “Papa” Joe Labat. By the early 1900s, the house served as part of the Bay’s fire department.
“The early paperwork says that the department consisted of a steam engine, two horses and the house where the engineer lived,” says Cynthia. “The steam engine apparently had to be kept going at all times. There was a special alarm that would ring the engineer in event of a fire. I found that thrilling.”
Later in the century, the house provided quarters for out-of-town visitors attending services at the nearby funeral home.
There’s nothing somber about the house now. It’s filled with art and memorabilia from the Miller’s rich life together.
For instance, there’s the enormous vintage Miller beer sign that they rescued from a fate as part of a pigpen. Hanging on a stairway wall is a quilt that Cynthia’s mother made as a teenager. A painted drumhead from Kent’s high school livens up the music room. Cynthia’s art and photography catch the eye at every turn.
Cynthia points to a painting in the dining area.
“It’s worthless to most people,” she says. “But I remember my daddy holding me up to it and asking me to find the alligator in it.”
“We’re where we ought to be,” says Kent. “Bay St. Louis has the vibe of New Orleans, yet a great hometown feel. People immediately embraced us in this community. We love the house. And our location is great. We’re within three blocks of everything we want to do. We don’t even feel the need for a golf cart,” he says laughing.
“Being a social worker keeps me aware that life can change in a minute,” says Cynthia. “But we’re happy here and plan on being here to the end.”
She smiles mischievously, then continues. “We’re prepared to get walkers with tennis balls on them and stroll right on down to the Mockingbird Café.”
The Language of Flowers
Shoofly columnist Martha Whitney Butler takes a #tbt to #tve (the Victorian era) to translate the language of flowers.
Floriography, as it is formally known, was practiced most famously during the Victorian era as a way for lovers to convey cryptic messages to one another. Often times these messages were skewed and wrought with folly, but if the sender took the time and care to pronounce the "words" correctly, they could be translated quite accurately.
When the sender selected a bouquet, he or she would carefully select each flower based on its meaning. Several flowers could create an elaborate display of affection, but one wrong bud could send the recipient flailing into a pit of despair. Some even used it to schedule a secret rendezvous right under a watchful guardian's nose.
It quickly became the language of young lovers engaged in whirlwind Romeo and Juliet romances. In this era of etiquette, it was considered impolite to express emotions in public. One could not peacock themselves on Facebook and express their joy or disdain, so they expressed themselves with poetry, romantic literature, and flowers. Real flowers - not to be confused with flower emojis. They actually gave each other flowers. Allow me to translate:
When I design flowers for weddings and daily arrangements, I am often cognizant of the flowers I am using and the stigmas attached to them. For example, you wouldn't want to send your mother a bouquet of red roses because they denote passion - gross. When I create a bridal flower crown, I often use myrtle as the base because it symbolizes a happy marriage.
Besides reading into the meaning of each flower, there was a whole set of etiquette that applied to the hand off. Handing over a bouquet with the right hand would denote a "yes" response, while handing it over with the left hand would mean "no".
For example, if a lady received a bouquet, plucked a bloom and handed it to the gentleman with the right hand, she was accepting his token of affection. Handing the bloom over with the left would mean rejection.
Remember, the Victorian period was exceptionally rigid when it came to social graces. To reject someone in a subtle manner such as this was the polite thing to do. A form of this is still employed today: "swipe right" when you like someone and "swipe left" to make them go away on dating apps like Tinder. Some things never go out of fashion... Subtle rejection is one of them.
If you look up each flower, you will see like in any language, the translations vary. However, if you're lucky enough to find an antique copy of The Language of Flowers, scoop it up! Several of these texts were created in pocket-sized versions so that they could be produced on the spot. Equate it to the Pokémon Go craze of our era - it was THE thing to do!
I do caution people to not look into it too much, but it was a fun pastime in the old days to receive a tussie-mussie and scurry to your flower dictionary to interpret a meaning that may (or may not) lie within the blooms. Can you just imagine some poor gent handing over a freshly-plucked hydrangea (heartlessness) to his fair lady? Oh, the humanity!
Below you will find MY TAKE of a few favorite flowers that are readily available this Valentine's season and their meanings. For a more comprehensive (and true) guide, check out the Old Farmer's Almanac.
Ranunculus - "I don't know what this flower is called, but the florist said you would love them."
Roses (gas station variety)- "I bought you this rose and a pack of Camels too!"
or "I bought you this rose so I could use the glass tube it came in for a chemistry experiment."
Roses (grocery store)- "I forgot the milk, but grabbed these tie-dyed roses on my way out in an effort to appease you."
Roses (florist)- "I thought about you in advance and wanted you to know how much I love you."
Write for Mississippi
Noted author Katy Simpson Smith spearheads a program that brings writers into high schools, challenging students to tackle problems in their own communities - with the power of the pen.
- by LB Kovac
Smith is an author by trade - her first novel, “The Story of Land and Sea” (2014), was released to good reviews, and her latest novel, “Free Men”, has similarly received high praise from publications like “Vogue,” “The Washington Post,” and “The New York Times.”
And so it makes sense that, from her initial inspiration in that high school classroom, Smith would develop a way to demonstrate to students the power of their words.
Heirs of that Revolution
Smith is behind Write for Mississippi (WFM), an organization that seeks to “use creative writing and storytelling to further the causes of community engagement, social justice, free speech, historical responsibility…” WFM’s latest advocacy uses writing as a “springboard for action,” empowering students – students at high schools across all 82 counties of Mississippi – to pinpoint and address problems within their own communities.
With her project, Smith poses two questions to Mississippi’s students: “What is a problem within your community? How could you fix it?” Dubbed, “What Can We Do For Our Country?” WFM marries writing, duty, and advocacy.
Smith’s questions are questions that writers from every generation of American history have considered. One example is Maya Angelou, author of the poem, “Still I Rise.” Published in 1978, the poem speaks to the era’s restrictions imposed on the civil liberties of African Americans.
By the simple act of writing the poem, Angelou brought to light a pressing problem in her own community.
Smith hopes that students will be inspired by the works of writers like Angelou, Danez Smith, Langston Hughes, and others. By getting students to engage with issues personal to them and asking them to think about possible solutions, Smith says it will “provoke students into thinking of themselves as agents of change.” From there, who knows what will happen?
A Special Pledge
This isn’t Smith’s first foray into civic action. Last year, Smith created an alliance of 95 writers to petition against Mississippi’s H.B.1523, also known as the “Religious Liberty Accommodations Act” or “First Amendment Defense Act.”
This bill, which Governor Phil Bryant signed into law, would make it legal for organizations, businesses, and private citizens to discriminate against patrons or employees based on their perceived sex or their sexual orientation.
The response to Smith’s latest project, Write For Mississippi so far has been heartening. More than 40 writers have volunteered their time and skills to lead the project’s proposed 50-minute classroom workshops. Teachers and educators in 22 of Mississippi’s counties have responded with requests for these visiting writer’s workshops. And a GoFundMe page set up to cover costs reached more than 85% of its goal in less than 18 days (click on the link to donate to the project).
But Smith isn’t satisfied with those numbers. She’d like to have all 82 counties in Mississippi represented in the project.
Area teachers interested in participating in “What Can We Do For Our Country?” can contact Smith through the Write for Mississippi website. Smith will pair each classroom with a writer and plan the workshop sometime between the beginning of February and the end of April, schedules permitting.
And educators unable to accommodate writers can lead their own workshops with the classroom materials and sample lesson plan provided on the Write for Mississippi website.
A Celebration of Freedom
Smith says that the ultimate goal of the project, beyond inspiring the children to take initiative and seek to change things in their own communities, is to collect the best poems, essays, and short stories that come out of the workshops and publish them as a collection in a book to be distributed across the state.
This way, other students across the state will feel empowered to address issues in their own communities. And, among the voices of the next generation of Mississippi writers, there might be another Kennedy, Smith, or Angelou.
Snowbirds Find Warm Welcome
The mild winters of the Mississippi Gulf Coast entice flocks of residents from colder climes, ready to bask in the balmy weather.
- story by Lisa Monti
Billy Baumgartner, the golf course manager, said the snowbirds who golf at the Bridges start arriving on the Coast in February and some stick around until May. This season looks to be on track with past years. “We’ve already started booking,” he said. “They’re coming.”
They soon will be joining local golfers on the award-winning course designed by golf legend Arnold Palmer.
“We still have locals who play but this time of year is our busy season when we get the bulk of our play,” he said. Upwards of 30 percent of the annual rounds are played during snowbird season. “Maybe a little bit more,” he said.
Many of the snowbirds faithfully make the annual trek because they know they can count on the weather and other coastal amenities like fresh seafood. Golfing is a huge draw for them and the Bridges is a favorite for many. “We’ve got them coming from Chicago, St. Louis, some from Canada, and all around the Midwest,” he said.
Not surprisingly, our warm climate is a big attraction for the visitors from up north. “They’re just escaping the cold. We average about 59 or 60 degrees this time of year. It’s a good change for them,” he said.
At Buccaneer State Park in Waveland, visitors this time of year come from all over, including some from up north, according to a park staffer. “They’re from everywhere,” she said. “Most are snowbirds. We have some now from Canada and Indiana.”
And it’s not unusual for campers to start arriving in December and stay for up to three months. “We have a good bit of people staying over a month,” she said.
The park earns high marks from those who visit and the feedback is positive. Considering its many amenities and beachfront location, snowbirds return year after year.
Water is also among the selling points for the Bridges. Baumgartner said his pitch to potential players are “scenic views of the Bay, no homes on the course and target-oriented golf.” Even with recent heavy rain and freezing temperatures here, he said, “The course is in great shape right now.”
Marching to a Different Drummer
Carnival and Creativity go hand-in-hand - especially in these five very different sorts of Mardi Gras parades. They're all within easy driving distance from the Mississippi coast and make for a fun-filled day trip!
- story by Karen Fineran
Krewe of Bilge
Over in St. Tammany Parish, a unique parade to attend, especially for the boat lovers, is the Krewe of Bilge in Slidell on Saturday, February 11.
The Krewe of Bilge is an array of festive decorated boats that float through the Eden Isle Canals with crazily costumed skippers and passengers. It begins at Phil’s Marina Café at 1194 Harbor Drive and ends at the Dock at 118 Harbor View Court. Expect to see some Santa Clauses and Easter bunnies on board, as the theme this year is “Festivals and Holidays.”
Krewe du Vieux
In New Orleans, dozens of krewes parade around town during Carnival season, often several on the same day. One of the first is the satirical and scathingly funny Krewe du Vieux, held in the French Quarter this year on Saturday, February 11. The parade's theme this is is "The Crass Menagerie," fitting right in with former years that have focused on adult themes and political comedy.
Krewe of 'tit Rex
A lesser-known, but charming and eccentric parade, is the Krewe of ‘tit Rex, which claims to be the world’s first “MicroKrewe,” rolling only miniature floats the size of shoeboxes. The word ‘tit’ in this case is based on the Cajun diminutive, an abbreviation of the French word “petite” that is often used in front of a person’s name.
Inspired by Bacchus, the granddaddy of all “super-krewes,” with its quest for bigger, taller and more elaborate floats, longer marching bands, more expensive throws, and greater spectacles, the Krewe of ‘Tit Rex was founded to counteract that trend.
‘Tit Rex Krewe members pride themselves on having the tiniest, but most elaborately decorated floats that dazzle with their diversity, but there is one rule of float building that they all must follow – only shoeboxes may be used as the foundation of the floats.
The parade is capped at 28 floats, and each float can have up to two “riders” in addition to its maker, who together pull the diminutive floats through the French Quarter streets. In order to keep the crowd’s focus on the imaginative floats rolling by their feet instead of on the “riders’” own costumes, the krewe members all dress simply in black tie and evening gowns, but with identical sashes. This year’s theme? “No Big Deal!"
This year, the wee parade will roll in the Marigny on Saturday, February 18, at 5 p.m. It starts just outside St. Roch Tavern, one block up from St. Claude, then down St. Claude to Music Street, hangs a right over to Franklin, and continues to Royal, then Mandeville, onward to Burgundy, and then up Marigny (with extended drinking stops at several lounges along the way).
The parade winds up (but the raucous party keeps going) at its final destination at the Allways Lounge, at 2240 St. Claude Avenue in the Marigny. Admission to the “Tit Rex Ping Pong Ball” ball is open to all, for just $10 admission!
Intergalactic Krewe of Chewbacchus
In the New Orleans Bywater neighborhood, the Krewe of Chewbacchus is dedicated to and parodies Sci-Fi and fantasy films (including the Star Wars film character Chewbacca).
This year, in tribute to the late Carrie Fisher, the parade is bound to have Princess Leia lookalikes on the floats - and in the crowd - when it rolls on Saturday, February 18 (in fact, the Krewe already held a parade just in her honor this year, shortly after her passing). The parade's theme this year is "The Revel Alliance."
Krewe of Barkus
Founded in 1993 and now a greatly anticipated event for dog lovers each year, the Mystic Krewe of Barkus is the only Mardi Gras krewe in New Orleans for the canine population and their humans. The Barkus Krewe members will trot, stroll, roll, and wag out in style on Sunday, February 19 at 2 p.m. in the French Quarter.
In past years, dogs have been dressed up in every crazy or extravagant costume imaginable, like Marie Antoinette, Charlie Chaplin, Lady Gaga, Chinese dragons, jesters, brides, prisoners, motorcycle gangs, or scary animals such as lions and bears. Some people even paint their dogs entirely in Mardi Gras green or purple.
Barkus registration for 2017 is still open, so if you have a cute pup that looks great in Carnival attire or you have a great doggie costume idea, you can go to Barkus.org and register. This year’s theme is “Pirates of the Crescent City: Barkus Tells Tales of Jean LaFleaBag.”
The parade route starts at Armstrong Park and goes up Dumaine to Royal and St. Louis Cathedral, then down St. Peter and Orleans back to Armstrong Park, where the Barkus dogs and their humans can mingle, eat, drink, and have more opportunities to strike a pose and flaunt their style.
What a Ride!
A tribute to a remarkable rescue dog and Shoofly columnist, Daisy Mae, who passed away in January. Daisy Mae, we won't forget you.
- by Christiana Richardson, PhD
The sign on her cage read: 13 months old, excessive barker, not housetrained. Her chances of survival were slim until Lost Dog and Cat Rescue saw her. She was spayed and then taken to the PetSmart in Alexandria, VA.
I just happened to be there getting cat food and this dog walked over to me. She was up for adoption and it took about 20 minutes until she was mine. Two days after joining our family she got very agitated, tugging at me and whining. Shortly thereafter I had a seizure. She had alerted me. After doing this twice more my doctor said she had the gift and she became my registered seizure alert dog.
From this day forward she has been my constant companion and a game changer in my life. I was a management consultant and Daisy went with me. We stayed in hotels and ate in their restaurants. Daisy liked the tables with tablecloths to the floor and we wrote an article for the hotel magazine about that.
Soon we were writing for numerous papers on all things animal. Daisy got such a good reputation that I was asked to also do some writing. I became a journalist writing on many topics and Daisy and I have been on the masthead of three newspapers and a columnist for the Shoofly Magazine.
In addition to being a management consultant I am also a grief counselor. Many a client has been helped by having Daisy sit next to them while we talk. Daisy worked with me at the American Red Cross – responding to emergencies where she would sit with the children to be a calming force - a mannequin as we taught pet first aid. Sometimes the participants had her so bandaged that only her nose was sticking out.
Together we wrote about and talked about issues that matter – not just to animal people but to everyone. Taking care of and loving and being loved is a gift not to be taken lightly. We are who we are because of the love in our lives. Make room for love and love in return.
This morning my constant companion of 15 years died in my arms. I will love her forever. I hope that you have had and will have the gift of unconditional love. I will cry with my friends and I know how lucky I have been. As Daisy said – dear gentle readers keep your tail high and your feet dry!
Puppy Dog Tales will go on – Daisy’s brother Robbie will be writing. I expect a rougher edge as he is a dominate male. Here is a photo of him last year with Daisy in her Micky Evans bustier. Mikey is not one who dresses up. Too frivolous!
Second Saturday Artwalk - February 11th
The February Artwalk sparkles with Carnival glamour as the town celebrates two Hot Spot businesses: Cuz's Seafood Restaurant (108 S. Beach Blvd) and The French Potager (213 Main Street)!
- by Grace Birch, photos by Grace Birch and Martha Whitney Butler
Cuz's Seafood Restaurant
Everything about books interests me and few details of a book’s publication escape my notice. In addition to reading the contents, I usually “read” the covers and publication data. It is in the publishing that the artist yields to the business side of bookmaking: editing, printing, protection laws, marketing, and product distribution.
Hardcover books have a paper cover called a “dust jacket” with imagery usually created to capture the essence of the book. Hardback cover designs are usually recreated on the paperback cover, but that is not a hard and fast rule. The publisher’s name is generally printed on the book’s spine below the title and author. Some covers are so beautiful that I am compelled to pick up the book which frequently leads to a purchase.
My interest in publishing started years ago when I read a biography of Max Perkins, iconic editor at Scribner’s, who edited books by some of the greatest writers of the 20th century including Ernest Hemingway, Thomas Wolfe, and F. Scott Fitzgerald. This wonderful book, "Max Perkins: Editor of Genius," written by A. Scott Berg in 1978, was made into a movie in 2016 starring Colin Firth and Jude Law.
Because I loved Perkins’ story so much, I became interested in the publishers of books I read. I understand that publishing books is a business, but the process of transferring words on paper to the books on bookstore shelves is interesting to me. I’m don’t aspire to publish, but I admire the writers who have navigated the process.
Judy Reeves has a simple message she lives by: “Get Moving!”
Brimming with energy, Judy has supported and been involved with community activities that nourish her love of nature and keep her mind sharp.
Many in the community know Judy as a devoted, experienced sailor who has won many boat races and received top awards in sailing competitions. In 1980 she was the U.S. Women’s Sailing Champion.
She was also a member of two Bay-Waveland Yacht Club teams (1977,1980) which won the Adams Cup, symbolic of the U.S. Women’s Sailing Championship sponsored by U.S. Sailing.
The old phrase, "one man's trash is another man's treasure" couldn't be more apt and over the last few years, I have made a game of budget shopping.
Once the basics are covered, many of us only have a finite amount of disposable income. And it seems that as time goes on, I get more interests, hobbies, and projects all vying for that piece of the pie, so we have to be smart about how we spend our budget for clothing.
When I was younger and rent was cheap, my bills were trivial. I was bartending and had a lot of expendable money, and didn't understand the value of a dollar. I saw a pair of boots that I really liked for $1,200, I didn't give it a second thought. I liked them, had the money, so I bought them.
Surveys show that most small business owners have one thing in common: they hate bookkeeping. While they’ll joyfully put in long hours doing the parts of the business they love – like developing product lines and serving customers – most entrepreneurs would rather schedule a root canal than spend time with a balance sheet.
Individuals suffer a similar affliction. Anxiety sets in just after the first of the year and increases each week until April 15th, the deadline for filing income taxes.
Do you eat too much sugar? A hundred grams (three cans of soda per day) is too much sugar. Sugar tastes so good but can be soooo bad. One hundred grams of sugar can hamper the ability of white blood cells to kill bacteria for up to five hours.
Do you forget to drink fluids like water, coffee or tea during the day? Fluids flush out toxins.
Are you a little too fluffy for your height? Too much weight can create hormone imbalances.
Do you have a dry nose and sometimes a nosebleed? Wet on the inside of a nose traps viruses and clears them from your body.
Mind, Body, Spirit
Thank heaven for the sweet celebration of Valentine’s Day in the heart of February, a month that tends to be damp and cloudy. And a special thanks for all manner of chocolate, by far the most preferred treat to share and savor on Feb. 14.
Not that enjoying chocolate is confined to this month. There actually are three official National Chocolate Days on the calendar of candy holidays: July 7, Oct. 28 and Dec. 28.
Chocolate fills our King cakes during the Carnival season, flavors the snowballs of summer and puts the divine in divinity fudge.
Not only is chocolate a comforting treat, the dark version has health benefits. And the taste, the melt-in-your-mouth texture is lagniappe. There’s plenty to love about chocolate.
“It’s addictive, like coffee,” said Julie Ragusa, executive chef at Mockingbird Cafe. “You’ve got to have it.”
For several years, the professional chef lived in Belgium, home of Godiva chocolates, where “there’s a chocolate shop on every corner.”
A sapphire blue gown is the first regal ensemble you see as you walk into the Mardi Gras Museum housed in the Bay St. Louis Historic Depot. The ball gown is a satin creation decorated with crystal jewels worn by the Captain of the Nereids Krewe when she led the “La Cirque” themed celebration at the 2015 Ball. The majestic gown was designed and created by Carter Church of Bay St. Louis.
Mardi Gras celebrations are conducted all along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. With Krewe captains, kings and queens, pages and other members, the nature of the parades and balls become royal events.
Ceremony took place at: The Sycamore House, on the back patio under the oak tree
Reception at: The Sycamore House
Wedding Planner: The bride coordinated everything with help from the groom while on a ship working for two months right before the wedding!
Photographer: Ella J. Reese Photography
Places Couple Registered: We decided not to register anywhere.
Waveland Goes to Jackson
Waveland Mayor Mike Smith, Alderman Bobby Richardson, public works director Brent Anderson and I recently attended theMississippi Municipal League’s 2017 Mid-Winter Legislative Conference in Jackson, Mississippi.
Along with approximately 300 municipal leaders from all over Mississippi, we participated in discussions of current legislative issues and their impact on local governments, attended economic development classes, and solicited help from a number of State agencies about current and upcoming Waveland projects.
What's Up, Waveland?
Across The Bridge
At Home In The Bay
Beach To Bayou
Coast Lines Column
Friends Of The Animal Shelter
Growing Up Downtown
House And Garden
Old Town Merchants
On The Shoofly
Puppy Dog Tales
Station House BSL
Talk Of The Town
Wines And Dining