Gaits to Success
by seizure alert dog Daisy Mae Delray
This month - Daisy Mae visits a confidence-building program in Kiln that benefits both humans and horses.
To keep those numbers down Friends takes cats and dogs to the PetSmarts in Slidell and Gulfport for adoptions. Every week Georgia Goodell, Penne Rappold and Bev Rice pick up ready-to-go cats and dogs from the shelter to get them before the public in the hopes of a good placement. We need more helpers with the PetSmart program.
Another way we keep the numbers down is the feral cat program where we trap, sterilize and then release cats back to their neighborhood. We need more trappers as Jen has been doing almost every one. For information on how to volunteer for these and other programs contact my person, Christina at 228.222.7018 or send an email to email@example.com.
Flea season is year-round in south Mississippi and keeping them under control is a challenge and a pain. We have been using food-grade diatomaceous earth in the yard. It is safe and dries up their little bodies. I have friends who have dusted it on their pets and bedding as well. Read more about it here and as always, follow the instructions for usage.
Now on to Gaits to Success. I am dedicating this column to the memory of Peppermint Patty, a Percheron/Tennessee Walking Horse mix who worked at Gaits to Success for many years and was loved by everyone.
Drive up 603 and turn left at Dolly’s in the Kiln. Go a few miles and on the right is the sign for Gaits to Success. It sits on 10 acres and has pasturage, a barn, equestrian ring, classroom, horses, cats, and Carolyn Rhodes. This is no ordinary training facility. This is a PATH Center.
PATH stands for the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International, which is an organization that serves as resource and advocate for equine-assisted activities and therapies, and the equines in this work that inspire and enrich the human spirit. According to PATH, there are more than 850 member centers worldwide, divided into regions with Gaits being in region 5, which includes Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Florida, Mississippi, Puerto Rico, Africa, and the Caribbean Islands.
I checked with PATH to see how many centers there are in Mississippi. There are only seven listed: Mississippi State, Nesbit, Columbus, Burnsville, Brandon, Caledonia and Gaits in Kiln. This is a big deal and a very special gift for the Mississippi Gulf Coast to have a PATH center right here.
story continued below
The bond between horses and people is a very special one in working relationship and inspiration. Our two miniature Appaloosas are more than yard art to us. They are in training to visit hospital patients and love being around people. We have a senior citizen in our household with balance issues, and Teo and Cheyenne are very gentle with Gus.
Horses have been used for therapy for hundreds of years. In 1946, after cases of polio crippled children, riding therapy was introduced in Denmark by Liz Hartnel, an accomplished horsewoman who contracted polio. She was determined to ride again and her daily sessions brought back muscle strength and coordination. She went on to win the silver medal for dressage in the 1952 Olympics.
On Saturday it was breezy and cool as we drove up and parked. Three horses were saddled and ready to go. On staff this morning were Carolyn Rhodes, Director of the program, Lisa Munson, Debi Dowell-Ferris and Dimond Banks. Lisa is a physical therapist who works with children. She loves horses and is impressed by the synergy between the horses and the riders. “The way the children respond - some are over stimulated and then, once on the horse, just calm down.”
Debi was telling me that she loves being around horses and that “I have seen what happens when the rider gets that sense of trust and confidence. Once I saw Carolyn take her hand and put it over the hand of a girl who was wary of the horse, and then put both hands on the horse. I watched the child relax.”
Two parents arrived with their children. Nikki Palermo-Denoux’s son Christian, in the blue striped shirt has been coming since he was four. He is eight now. Today he was riding Levi, a sixteen-year-old horse who had been “thrown away.” He has been working with clients for five years now and is a favorite. Nikki is a veterinarian in Gulfport and she is very happy with Christian’s progress. She is also impressed with the care given to the horses and has a great deal of confidence in Carolyn.
Jeff Mays of Gulfport has been bringing Madie, in pink, for a few months now. It has been very good for her. She is riding Honey and is already using the reins. Honey is a show horse on loan from a local doctor who is very busy with her medical practice.
Watching the riders with their spotters was amazing. They started out a little tentative and then you could see them relax. Riding works on the core muscles and focuses the riders. During the hour-long session riders walked over pipes, around barrels, did cognitive exercises and interacted with their horses.
Gaits to Success was started in 1991. It offers a unique approach to assist clients with mental, physical and emotional disabilities. Volunteers undergo rigorous training as instructors and assistants. I have heard from so many people who have been involved with Gaits, and who see this facility as a real treasure to support and promote. Over the years Gaits has worked with college students, 4-H and Key Club members as volunteers, and has been a location for Special Olympics and Paralympics.
I especially enjoyed watching the parents watch their children grow in confidence while riding. The benefits of riding, along with the cognitive activities, increase self-esteem, self-confidence, attention span, concentration, dexterity, auditory and visual learning, and memory. Most important to me was the happiness I saw in all the faces. At the end of the session it was time to go home. My person has become a volunteer and will start her training next week. We will keep you updated.
For more information on Gaits to Success call 228.255-5368, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Well gentle readers, keep your tail high and your feet dry! Daisy Mae
by Daisy Mae Delray
This month - Ten ways to help keep our animal companions healthier and happier.
1. Feed us a wholesome diet. It must be hard for you to know what is good for us. Read and understand the ingredients in what you buy and look for products where the meat has a name like, beef, and chicken and lamb. We need vegetables and whole grains n our diet. Please talk to your pet food provider and your vet to find out what is the best diet for each animal family member. We need plenty of fresh water too. Not too many treats (read those ingredient labels too). Pizza is not a preferred food for cats or dogs. I’ll bet you didn’t know that dry cat food is not as good for your cat as wet food. Forget that crunchie treats clean their teeth, they don’t. You humans don’t eat crackers to clean your teeth. What else don’t you know about nutrition???
2. Vitamins can play an important role in your pet’s health. Check the labels or provide supplements to make sure we get plenty of anti-oxidants and all the other breed and species requirements. Check with a holistic vet or your pet food provider for specifics. Age and condition will be influencing factors. My person pays attention to my coat, my hair, my eyes, and my skin condition.
3. Exercise – Keep us moving. We need plenty of exercise to prevent obesity and to keep our
joints, heart and lungs in good working order. Be cautious when it is hot and the pollution levels are high. If it is too hot and dangerous for you or the pavement is too hot for you to run on bare feet, it is bad for us too. One caution, don’t overdue it when your pet is just starting an exercise program. Keep ages, condition and breed recommend levels of exercise in mind.
4. Vaccine caution. There are risks associated with over-vaccination. Some are required by law and the rest depend on the condition of the animal. Discuss vaccinations with your vet. I have a titer test every year. This is a simple blood antibody test that will tell you if your pet is still protected by the last series of vaccines.
5. Veterinarian check-ups are really important. Develop a good relationship with your vet and decide together on when check-ups should be. Between visits pay close attention to changes n behavior and do a body check at least weekly for bumps and sores and cuts, etc. Be a partner with your pet’s health provider. Look into health insurance to help with major expenses and the unexpected.
6. Teeth care – Periodontal disease is a real problem if not dealt with early. It can cause pain, gingivitis, tooth loss and infections that can spread to the kidney’s heart or other organs. I have a tooth brush and my teeth are brushed daily. My favorite toothpaste is chicken flavored. I also get organic carrots and apples to crunch on and the occasional raw knuckle bone. These help clean my teeth and give my jaw a good work out. There are some products you can use as an anti-bacterial spray if you laughed when I said use a toothbrush.
7. Take caution when using chemical pest controls. If you can, use natural products for prevention of fleas and mosquito repellant. What is recommended for dogs may not be safe for cats. Read the labels. Talk to your vet about your specific pet. Use flea combs, frequent brushing and do not use any product counter to the very specific recommendations for that product. Older, very young and sick animals may not be good candidates for some of these medications.
8. Good hygiene, especially in humid climates area is critical. Many of my friends have allergy problems. Daily grooming, bathing when needed ( not too often as you can strip the oils for our skin and we get dry and flaky), and a healthy diet will all help keep your pet’s coat and skin healthy. I like an oatmeal and aloe shampoo because I have that allergy to something in the grass. Because I am a service dog I need a bath every month to stay sweet smelling and shiny.
9. Keep our minds sharp. We need to be around others. People and other animals and new places and situations keep us sharp and interested. I do some agility training and most of my dog friends have been to obedience school. Dablonde, one of our cats, can do some amazing tricks and she has a video on birds that she just loves to watch. Just like most people, we get bored easily and if you don’t provide some appropriate toys we will find out own, like your best shoes or new chair.
10. Lavish us with love and attention. Two of my favorite things are massage and Reiki. Just think how much you love a massage, especially after exercising. Massage soothes stiff joints and improves circulation and it feels so good. Reiki I love because of my aging bones and the allergy I have. Let me tell you a little about Reiki. I know about Reiki because my human is a Reiki practitioner and she has a number of animal clients. Reiki is the practice of using energy to facilitate healing. A Reiki practitioner is attuned to this energy on a level that enables them to channel it through their hands and facilitate healing. Reiki is very soothing and it calms me down and I love the warm touch of hands on the places where I feel sore. One of my neighbors, a greyhound has a seizure disorder that, in spite of medication, was manifesting in at least a seizure a day. Regular Reiki treatments have reduced the number of seizures and Avery is feeling much better. Massage and Reiki are only two of the many alternative, holistic health treatment that are being used to improve the lives of pets and humans. Read more about them.
Keep your tail high and your feet dry, Love Daisy Mae
Rheta Grimsley Johnson is a 40-year veteran of southern journalism and author of several books (see below). She has worked as a columnist for newspapers in Memphis and Atlanta and today is syndicated by King Features of New York.
She will be writing original monthly essays for The Cleaver from her home across the bridge in Pass Christian where she spends roughly half of each year. The rest of the time she lives in Iuka, Miss., in an old farmhouse in a cold, dark hollow.
No Bottles, No Livestock, No Hank or Boo
The sign says “No Dogs Allowed” in red letters, like Jesus’ words in the Bible. So whenever I cross the bridge from the Bay side and see that unequivocal sign, I always tell Hank to keep his fuzzy gray head down.
Hank -- the found hound who wandered into my life at the folks’ house near Montgomery, so naturally he had to be named “Hank” – often rides in the passenger seat of my red Mini. Hank knows I’m being too literal about that sign, that it must mean no dogs allowed in the pedestrian lane. But he hunkers down anyhow. Can’t be too careful.
Truth is, you do have to watch where you take a dog on this coast. In Harrison County, the law is no dogs on the beach. Here our dogs fall into the same category as wine bottles and motorized vehicles. Dangerous, destructive blights.
East or West of us, in Jackson and Hancock counties, dogs on the beach on a leash are all right. Same dogs, just different counties.
And yet rare is the day I don’t see dogs with their owners on the Pass Christian and Long Beach beaches. Are local Labradors and Yorkshire terriers mocking the law? Are some pet owners privileged, others not so much?
I phoned Pass Christian City Hall. Not our purview, they said. The sheriff’s department is in charge of keeping marauding canines off the beach. Call them. So I did. And again, the buck was passed. Call the Sand Beach Authority, a dispatcher suggested.
I phoned the Sand Beach Authority. Yes, Virginia, there is such a thing. The genial man I talked to at the SBA said the county sometimes gives warnings to dog owners, but in the 26 years he’s been with the authority he’s never heard of anyone actually paying a fine.
So my heart gladdened, and I briefly believed the dog prohibition might be like one of those archaic laws against spitting on the sidewalk. I decided I might take Hank and his brother Boozoo for a beach walk. On a leash, of course. With a bag for clean-up, of course.
The very next day a friend told me an acquaintance had been ticketed and must pay $85 for walking his dog on our beach. I guess that pooch really rubbed the law the wrong way. And, once the subject was broached, yet another story was told about a woman who had a policeman yell at her from his car when she was spotted with her puppy at the wave lap line.
So I called the Harrison County Justice Court ticket office where a helpful woman had to look up the ordinance and get back to me. If caught and ticketed, you’ll pay no less than $25, no more than $500, depending on the judge’s mood. And you could do jail time, though no more than 30 days. Or at least that’s the letter of the law and enough for me to keep Hank and Boozoo off the sand.
There’s no sight more joyous than a dog on the beach, legal or otherwise. Not all dog-owners are responsible and clean up after Rover makes a deposit, but I’d be willing to wager 99.99 percent do. At a swell North Carolina beach I visited last Labor Day, Ocean Isle Beach, there were more dogs than people. I never once saw untidy evidence. And on Hancock and Jackson counties, it appears humans are the ones who more often leave a mess.
There’s a real demand for beaches where Fido can frolic with the rest of the family. When you check out Travelocity and other internet travel sites, would-be tourists often ask: “Are dogs allowed on the beach?”
“We’ll stay in Texas,” one tourist responded when told of the Biloxi ban. “Let ‘em keep their empty beaches.”
And though I feel badly for the stymied travelers, it’s a much worse situation for permanent residents who must figure out exactly where to walk their dogs.
There are no sidewalks on my end of Second Street, so I try to keep my two dogs on the edge of neighbors’ yards to avoid the traffic. But many of the lawns are full of sand spurs. I swear dogs can smell them. My two had rather take their chances with a Hummer than a sand spur. Even using their leashes, it’s hard to keep them out of the road.
Whenever a car is coming, I pull Hank and Boozoo, against their will, into the loaded grass. We struggle against one another to get to the deserted side streets where a dog can’t do much to hurt the vacant lots and forsaken foundations.
Last summer when Hancock County Board of Supervisors accidentally – or so they said – banned animals on the beach, a great and righteous cry of indignation rose up from residents who enjoy walking their dogs near the ocean. I suspect some of them moved to Hancock County for that reason. That portion of the ordinance that prohibited leashed dogs and fireworks soon was retracted. Squeaky, dog-owning wheels got greased.
Now I drive 8 or 10 miles to the Wolf River Nature Preserve to walk Boo and Hank who will follow me anywhere. I’ve always hated the idea of getting into a car to walk. But it beats sand spurs on their pads or 30 days in the joint.
Books by Rheta Grimsley Johnson
You can find Rheta Grimsley Johnson's books in bookstores nationwide and also at Bay Books (131 Main Street, BSL).
by Regan Carney
This month - To grow food, the world needs bees. But the bees are in trouble - why and how can we help?
photographs by Ellis Anderson
Bees are a varied group of insects. In the USA alone there are at least four thousand different species. Bumblebees and sweat bees come to mind right away. Most of the bees that live around us are “solitary,” meaning that they don’t live in a hive and most of them do not make honey. But most of them ARE interested in flowers, so they make excellent pollinators. They are not the only insect that acts that way, but they are the most well known.
The early settlers of this country brought their friendly honeybees with them, so that their crops would be pollinated and so that the colonist could have that honey, Ah that sweet honey! They set up beehives near their fields, and apiculture was off in America!
It has become a very big and necessary business. As farms have gotten larger and less diverse in what they grow, they have had to truck in mobile hives. The scientists are beginning to think that this may be stressing the bees. The farmers are using pesticides and herbicides on their crops. The scientists think this may also be stressing the bees. The bees are fed corn syrup during the winter. The scientists think this may not have a diverse enough nutrition and it is stressing the bees.
Someone imported bees that may have had a virus that is spreading through the bee population on the backs of a mite and that may be killing the bees. This has lead to Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD).
The number of hives that die off per year varies across the country. It ranged from 20% to 64% in 2013. It seems to be leveling off, but the numbers are still high and worrisome because no one knows exactly what is causing it. The native bees are also being affected, but there are no numbers on them.
The honeybee, at least the worker, only lives up to a couple of months. A male drone dies right after mating with the queen. A queen can live for three to five years. There are up to 1,500 bee eggs being produced at any one time. A hive will contain 20,000 to 80,000 bees.
We may be able to help the insect world by making the land around our houses bug friendly. Here's how:
1. If you are going to spray pesticides on your plants or house, please read the instructions: spraying when plants are flowering will accidently kill the bees. Most bees are not aggressive. They will sting to protect their hive and then die, so they have to really need to do that. Most bugs are good for your garden (OK, not all of them, but most of them) and they will generally set up a balance.
2. Try alternatives to pesticides. How about soap spray (I use Ivory soft soap and water). Use the least harmful first and give it time to work, rather than whipping out the big guns first. There has been a lot of research about the communities of bacteria, bugs and nutrients in your garden soil. Smart observation, research and small changes will lead to better solutions.
3. If you realize that your house, a piece of outdoor furniture, or a tree on your land has become colonized with a hive, call a bee rescuer before killing the hive. It is important that bee diversity is maintained and rescuing hives is one of the ways to do that. Or you could become a bee keeper!
4. Plant a wildflower garden NOW. Diversity of plant life is good for the bugs, the environment, and yourself! See below for a chart suggesting things to plant from kidsgardening.org
5. Gulf Coast Bee Keepers Association meets 2nd Tuesdays at 7 pm in the Gulf Coast Community College Science building. Contact Dan Triplett at email@example.com
Jeffrey W. Harris, PhD Ext. Research Apiculturist Jharris@entomology.msstate.edu
The Honeybee Health Coalition: https://keystone.org/bee-health, or contact Julie Shapiro at firstname.lastname@example.org
Jon Entine, Science Collapse Disorder--The Real Story Behind Neonics and Mass Bee Deaths. Forbes, 4/11/2013
Lisa Granshaw, 5 Fun Facts About Bees — and How You Can Help These Disappearing Insects, vetSTREET.com, July 10, 2013
Encaustic art by local artist Kat Fitzpatrick
The word encaustic is taken from the Greek and means “to burn in.” In the encaustic process, pigmented beeswax is applied and then fused to a surface with heat. The result is a broad range of surface effects and a luminous translucency that is unique to the encaustic medium. Check out Kat's website for more images of her work or to sign up for a class.
You can also find her work at the Mockingbird Cafe, a Prime Sponsor of the Cleaver!
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A Passion for the Bay
This month - a visit with one of the most dynamic entrepreneurs in the Bay: Jane Alford - owner of Bay-tique Boutique and Carroll House Bed & Breakfast.
story and photos by Ellis Anderson
Seventeen years later, she has no plans to go anywhere. She owns two thriving businesses in Old Town and is serving her second term as president of the Old Town Merchant’s Association.
“I absolutely fell in love with the area,” she says. “I have a real passion for Bay St. Louis.”
That passion shows in the two lovely historic houses she’s renovated in Old Town Bay St. Louis. One serves as home for Alford and her fiancé/business partner Kevin Kulpeksa. Next door, at the elegant Carroll House Bed & Breakfast, the couple play host to visitors from across the country, many of whom who are discovering the area’s mystique for the first time.
A few blocks away, the fun and funky Bay-tique Boutique offers “Bay-ware” for all seasons. The shop is located in a bright corner of the historic Masonic Temple building. While the building itself presents a staid, solid presence on the first block of Main, Bay-tique literally blossoms out of the shop’s doors with color and a bright energy, making it hard to pass up.
Inside, coastal-style clothing and beachwear mix it up with locally crafted jewelry and souvenirs. Shoppers will notice that the merchandise is heavily weighted to items made locally or in the state of Mississippi. “Local pride” gift items like hats, mugs and t-shirts are a mainstay, as are the popular brands of casual clothing she carries.
Shoppers can feel confident that they’re likely to be choosing items that are made locally. Alford explains that she has a three-tiered system when it comes to choosing what makes up the boutique’s inventory.
“When I’m purchasing for the shop, I look for work by local artists first,” she says. “The next tier is to stock apparel and goods made in Mississippi. My third tier is made in the U.S. My goal is to have 75% of my merchandise within that system. It’s harder than you’d think , but I’m committed.”
Alford could go into that “local artist” category herself. Her distinctive sense of style hits the mark every time when she’s producing “Bay-Centric” designs. She designs several lines of apparel in the store, including a show-stopping Bay St. Louis t-shirt made to look like a vintage baseball team uniform.
Bay-tique actually began two years ago as an outgrowth of Alford’s B&B, the Carroll House. It opened its doors to guests first in 2011 and has since built a regular and loyal clientele thanks to the couple’s creativity and personal attention.
Kulpeksa (who also owns a landscaping business) keeps the gardens lush and well maintained. Some of the food that Alford prepares for her guests is even grown on-site. Another popular feature includes being able to visit with Alford in the enormous open kitchen while she’s cooking breakfast. The screened back porch is a favorite as well – most guests can be found sipping wine and conversing with fellow lodgers each evening.
The B&B’s high number of top ratings on Trip Advisor is something any business would envy. For the second year in a row, Carroll House has received a coveted Certificate of Excellence from Trip Advisor, based on the number of four and five star reviews from guests.
However, many guests at the B&B asked where they could purchase locally made gifts and souvenirs to take home. Alford and Kulpeksa realized there was a need for an Old Town shop that specialized in Bay-wares. They rented a shop front last year on Second Street, and Bay-tique was born.
The store quickly gained a local following and visitors from out of town were delighted to have a wide range of locally made offerings in one place. Yet, when a space became available in the first block of Main, it proved irresistible to Alford and Kulpeksa. Although it was a much smaller space, the location and charm couldn’t be beat.
As if two businesses didn’t fill enough hours, Alford was recently re-elected to her second term as president of the Old Town Merchant’s Association.
“We have a passionate and diverse group of business owners,” says Alford. “This year we have a new budget and we’re going to work on marketing. We also want to form working alliances with other local organizations to help promote our area. For instance, we’ll work hand-in-hand with The Arts, Hancock County, to make this year’s Arts Alive! celebration in Old Town a success for everyone involved.”
Alford’s happy the word’s getting out nationally about what “a cool place the Bay is.”
“At the Carroll House, nearly everyone who comes to Bay St. Louis falls in love with it. The authentic character is so rare elsewhere and hard to find. Within the last year, I’d say 50% of our customers are wanting to move here and be part of the community. They’re either shopping for property or buying property.
“Bay St. Louis has a great vibe and a great spirit. I’m so happy to be a part of it and am looking forward to seeing it grow and thrive.”
by LiLi Stahler Murphy
This Month - Updates on construction, art exhibit at City Hall, Nereids rides, Garden Club, St. Pat's and Opening at the Ground Zero Museum
March 21st will be the opening of the Mississippi Power-sponsored exhibit “Backyards and Beyond,” an exhibit of paintings and audio interviews by Vicksburg artist, H.C. Porter. More details to come!
Donald and I are spending a lot of time at the Waveland Ground Zero Museum. We are truly enjoying meeting and chatting with the visitors. We had two buses of Hancock High special education students. We also had a group of volunteers from Maine. I never realized how many visitors we get from Buccaneer State Park. Would you believe that Minnesota tops the list? Although we have had some days that I would not regard as pretty, our snowbirds think it’s a lot better than their winters.
Here are some of the things that our visitors have told us: They love the beach. They love to walk on the beach and many of them bring their dogs and are so happy that their dogs are welcome on the beach. They love the food, our relaxed way of living and they think the people are delightful. Hats off to all of us. We really are delightful!
by Ellis Anderson
This month, a look at romance later in life, when it comes from "Out of the Blue."
The Martin Luther King Fun Run/Bike/Walk - January 17th, 2015
photos by Ellis Anderson
The CASA Mardi Gras Gala - January 17th, 2015
photos by Ellis Anderson
Rotary Chili Cook-Off - January 29th, 2015
photos by Melinda Boudreaux
A special Friday night in Old Town - Friday, January 30th, 2015
Seduced by the Sea:
is sponsored by
He'd been out on the open sea chasing Moby Dick around for two years and I'm sure he smelled delightful. The conversation probably went something like this: "How are... things? Oh, by the way, I brought you back this nifty decorative seashell thing.”
The "Valentines" were comprised of tiny indigenous shells assembled in intricate patterns — including hearts, flowers, and nautical themes — and then set into octagonal boxes. Some designs even left room for a photo. The shell mosaic was encased in glass and the box then folded and clasped (most commonly with a heart) to allow for safe traveling.
These manifestations of true love are referred to as Sailor's Valentines. Sounds pretty romantic, huh? These seashell trinkets were supposed to help make up for all the years of missed holidays, pivotal moments, and emotional solitude — in addition to unbridled longing and frustration.
Of course, could you ever imagine a sailor on the madly heaving seas steadily crafting a perfectly symmetrical, color coordinated, shell creation that had "Thinking of You" spelled out in tiny seashells? Not saying it couldn't happen... but no, it didn’t. This rumor was developed in the 1930s by antique dealers who made a very optimistic assumption based on the nomenclature of this item. Face it, “LOVE” sells.
Now, thanks to decades of false advertising, it's a common misconception that sailors actually put effort into creating these shell-encrusted crafts. No. They were too busy flirting with the super-hot chicks from Barbados who actually did craft them.
As the whaling industry began to decline, so did the sales of these creations. However, the art form remained popular and became a fun hobby for 19th century housewives everywhere. Although the true Valentines remain those of the octagonal diptych variety, the cover-everything-in-seashells movement has extended throughout time, producing many items now deemed Sailor's Valentines. Despite what this extremely biased and bitter article says about these beautiful creations, the originals are actually worth quite a bit of money these days. Some fetch thousands of dollars.
Basically, these things were the gas-station-rose-in-a-glass-tube of their day. But let's face it, women haven't changed through the centuries. We're still generally thrilled to get any gift from a man. Most of us are happy if we even get a box of four paraffin sugar bombs brandishing a washed-up Looney Tune and we'll devour those chocolates before the box is open all the way.
To read more about Sailor's Valentines, click here for Bill Jordan's blog.
William Douglas Meadows & Alma Yolanda Islas Urbina
December 20th, 2014
Wedding theme: Traditional Catholic Wedding
Ceremony Took Place: Our Lady of the Gulf Catholic Church
Reception: Longfellow Civic Center
Places Couple Registered: Pottery Barn, Restoration Hardware, Target, Dillard’s
Invitations: Handmade in Mexico
Bay-Waveland accommodations for wedding party: Hollywood Casino & Bay Town Inn
Hair and Makeup: Make-up by: Lauren Kelley, Hair by: Christine Ladner
Florals by: Bouquets by Martha Whitney Butler
Wedding Officiated by: Monsignor James McGough and Father Michael O’Connor
Matron of Honor: Jennifer Acosta
Best Man: Daniel Murphy
Groomsmen: Tank Williams, Jonathan Butsch, Ben Taylor
Bridesmaids: April Layton, Elizabeth Freeman, Ginger Felder Cook
Bride wore: Allure Romance purchased at Pearl’s Place in Metairie, LA
Groom wore: Vera Wang
Time of day: 1:00 p.m.
Weather: Mean temperature 50 F
Most Romantic Moment: The moment the groom saw his bride for the first time at the altar.
Ginger's Tips For a Standout Wedding
Colors!!! Such an important topic when it comes to weddings. I can't tell you how many brides I meet that come to me with a vision of colors that don't really scream wedding. Sometimes they scream high school prom! So what's a event designer to do? My job is to take your vision and enhance it a bit. Sometimes it showing you how the slightest tweak in your color palette can create the stylish event you're envisioning. Another big tip is don't always think about what is trendy right now. Trends come and go quick in the wedding world. Timeless and classic will never go out of style. Much love!
Catering: Southern Delights
The Reception Menu: BRIEF description with main items: Smoked Brisket smothered in a savory BarBQue sauce, Three Cheese Pasta, and Zucchini Casserole
The Most Talked About Food Item: Smoked Brisket and Zucchini Casserole
Signature Cocktail: Pink Moscato
Cakes by: Loranger Cakes, Hollywood Casino
Favorite toast: Mr. Gary Yarborough
Best Dancer at the Reception: The Kids!!
The "wow factor" of your wedding/reception that everyone talked about: The wedding patrons were impressed on the bride’s entrance with her parents without organ music as she walked down the aisle.
The most unique detail of your wedding/reception: The introduction of Mexican traditions that included sterling silver coins (as a symbol of prosperity and promises), a crystal lasso (as a symbol of the holy union), and the most talked about, hand-maid veil. All items were brought from Mexico.
Honeymoon location: The Grand Hotel Marriott Resort, Point Clear, AL
Bride's favorite part of the entire event: Dancing with my two sons, father, and husband….for they are 4 of the most important men in my life.
Groom's favorite part of the entire event: Being surrounded by so many loved ones.
Guest Favors: Personalized Koozies
Would you like to be a Bay Bride and have your wedding featured here? Contact us here!
by Karen Fineran
Mystic Krewe of Seahorse Set to Ride For Second Year
photographs courtesy Ann Madden
In case you haven’t heard, or witnessed strolling gaggles of pirates saunter down Main Street this past year, there’s a new Krewe in town.
The Second Annual Lundi Gras Parade of the Mystic Krewe of the Seahorse will be held on Monday, February 16 from 6-8 p.m. in downtown Bay Saint Louis. The theme for this year’s parade is “Sitting On The Dock Of The Bay,” a celebration of the culture and music of the 1960s. The parade will feature bands, antique cars, decorated golf carts, and costumed walking krewes!
Talk of the Town
The Krewe held its first annual parade last year on Lundi Gras evening – the first Lundi Gras parade on the Mississippi Gulf Coast! Since that March 2014 debut, the Seahorse Krewe had tons of fun with its year-round celebration of the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Bay St. Louis during the War of 1812.
Marketing Director Maggie Rafferty Cantrell said that the Krewe has been wildly popular since its inception, drawing nearly 600 members in its first year. Thousands turned out to see the golf cart and antique car parade last year, and she is hoping for an even greater turnout this year.
Queen Nikki Moon said that she was thrilled when she was asked to reign over Seahorse this year. “What a huge honor!” she exclaimed. She explained that the Mystick Krewe of the Seahorse was conceived as a way to commemorate the history of Bay St. Louis, while at the same time creating fun events that would keep Bay residents more involved in their beautiful town, all of which is expected to bolster the economic health of this community and make it an even better place to live and visit.
The Krewe is named after the U.S.S. Seahorse, a War of 1812 schooner, which fought a British fleet on December 14, 1814 during the Battle of Bay St. Louis. That battle was an important action in the War of 1812, and was the last naval battle against a foreign power in American waters. While the Americans ultimately were defeated in Bay St. Louis by the stronger British ships, the engagements helped delay the British arrival in New Orleans, bought Andrew Jackson valuable time, and contributed to the American victory at the famous Battle of New Orleans a few days later.
During the battle of Bay St. Louis, the Seahorse was dispatched into the Bay of St. Louis to harass a fleet of British ships, and to secure munitions in case they fell to the British, while another ship, Alligator, was sent to Chalmette to warn General Jackson of the British approach. In Bay St. Louis, a crowd of townspeople gathered on the bluff at Ulman Avenue to watch the approaching British fleet, and there the first cannon shot was fired from the shore toward the Brits (by an elderly bystander, according to legend). Under the assumption that he had cover fire from shore, the captain of Seahorse attacked the British fleet, they countered in kind, and history was made.
The reenactment was conducted by two Biloxi schooners from the Maritime and Seafood Industry Museum, each with about 40 passengers in period dress to act out the drama. On land, 200 North Beach Restaurant owner Ann Tidwell reenacted the role of "Miss Claiborne," whom, according to legend, used Mayor Toulme's cigar to ignite the first land-based cannon shot. Other bicentennial festivities that weekend included a costumed Inspection Ball, schooner tours, sailing excursions, Bay Bridge 7K and 1K Runs, a veterans’ motorcycle ride, and a naval oceanography watercraft exhibit.
This year’s golf-cart and vehicle night parade is scheduled to start rolling through downtown Bay St. Louis at 6 p.m. on February 16, 2015. It will assemble at the Historic Train Depot at Blaize and Bookter Avenues, head west on Bookter, turn right on Necaise Avenue, right on Main Street, left on 2nd, right on Demontluzin, right on Beach Boulevard, right on Main, and end at Cue Street near the parking garage. This is THE ONLY parade on the Mississippi Gulf Coast on Lundi Gras, and is the happening place to be on Monday night.
For more information about the Krewe, the parade, and information about joining, please call Marketing Director Maggie Rafferty at (662) 617-9422.
Krewe of Diamonds Set To Sparkle in Downtown Bay St. Louis on Fat Tuesday
The Krewe of Diamonds remains the only predominately African-American Krewe to parade on Mardi Gras Day on the Mississippi Coast. Each year, our townspeople look forward to enjoying the premier event of Mardi Gras Day in the Bay-Waveland area.
The Krewe of Diamonds usually announce their King and Queen at their ball, which will be held on Saturday, February 7th at 8 p.m. at the Bay St. Louis Community Center. Tickets can be purchased by calling a Krewe of Diamonds member.
The parade is set to begin at 1:00 P.M, first lining up at Commagere Park on Bookter Street at St. Francis St., then down Booker to a left onto Necaise Avenue, on to a right on Main Street, a right onto Beach Blvd., then right on Union Street and continuing to Blaize Ave. (Third Street). From Blaize Ave., the parade will turn right on Sycamore Street and roll to Old Spanish Trail, ending on Bookter Street.
So, on Mardi Gras Day, pack up your King Cakes, sandwiches, fried chicken, barbecue, and ice chests of beverages, and head downtown or to the Depot District to enjoy a truly enjoyable local tradition.
Those interested in participating in the parade, or for more information about the Krewe of Diamonds, should call Corinn Burton at (228) 671-1471, or Sharon Alexander at (228) 493-2092.
This month, the Cleaver Good Neighbor is Shannel Smith, who is opening doors - and minds - for children in the community!
New Engine Type Tested at Stennis on January 9th
From Universe Today:
NASA’s goal of sending astronauts to deep space took a major step forward when the first engine of the type destined to power the mighty Space Launch System (SLS) exploration rocket blazed to life during a successful test firing at the agency’s Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi.
The Big Buzz
A quartet of RS-25s, formerly used to power the space shuttle orbiters, will now power the core stage of the SLS which will be the most powerful rocket the world has ever seen.
Read the full article here.
The Best Burger in State? The Mockingburger's in the TOP TEN!
The Mockingbird Cafe is the only restaurant on the coast that made the finals.
The council will now send "expert" judges to visit the restaurants anonymously to determine the winner.
Each of the Top 10 will receive a recognition plaque and the winning restaurant will receive a $1,000 local advertising package, complements of Mississippi’s 17, 000 cattle producers through their beef checkoff program.
In addition to the advertising package, the winner will be honored during the Beef Night performance of the Dixie National Rodeo on February 17 - which is Mardi Gras Day in our neck of the woods. So Bay St. Louis might have another reason to celebrate!
Hancock Chamber Elects Mark Henderson 2015 President
Clay Wagner receives Jody Compretta Person of Passion Award
During the meeting, the Chamber announced that Clay Wagner was selected as the 2015 Jody Compretta Person of Passion for his leadership in coast-wide initiatives and for his service on numerous boards and commissions throughout the region. “I have been blessed to have great mentors like my parents, Virginia and Fred Wagner. I know my mother is looking down on me today and saying, you work is not yet done. I still have more for you to do.” he said.
Wagner also expressed appreciation to his father, retired architect Fred Wagner. “I was taught that if a community gives you a great place to work, a great place to raise kids, a great place to educate these kids as well as a great place to play…you have a moral obligation to give back to that community. “
Trapani's Adds a Brunch
Trapani’s Eatery rolled out its Sunday Brunch menu in January - it's available from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. upstairs in the Blue Marlin Bar.
Choose from three fabulous Eggs Benedict dishes with your choice of crawfish, fried green tomatoes or oysters. Also on the brunch menu are Tony’s famous Grillades & Grits plus Grits Cakes topped with Shrimp or Soft Shell Crab. Mercy.
Did I mention the Bloody Marys and Mimosas? Yes. Those, too.
This month - a review of one of the most talked-about books in the country by first-time novelist M.O. Walsh
"My Sunshine Away" - a novel by M.O. Walsh
M.O. Walsh took the title of his book from the lyrics of the song, “You Are My Sunshine,” written by the former governor of Louisiana, Jimmie Davis.
The narrator of this story is unnamed, but he is the grown man recalling this life-defining event. The style is informal and conversational. His description of the life of a privileged boy growing up in the south feels authentic. One pivotal event in the story centered around the explosion of the Challenger space shuttle. The reactions of the students and teachers watching television in class brought back vivid memories of that tragedy. Neighborhood street games, mosquito control trucks, and backyard barbecues evoke the sound and smell of a Southern childhood.
Our storyteller’s youth included trauma not centered on the rape, since his family life is far from perfect. The upscale neighborhood of his youth was not as idyllic as it seemed on the surface either. At times the guilt expressed by the narrator seemed puzzling. He described himself as a suspect, his infatuation with Lindy caused him to do some suspicious things, but he never seemed capable of committing the crime. While he became something of a peeping Tom, this appeared to be the indiscretions of a foolish teenage boy.
The novel is suspenseful and maintained my interest from the beginning. One chapter diverged into an explanation of the differences between Baton Rouge and New Orleans. That chapter seemed ancillary to the story, but highly entertaining as an essay. The conclusion demonstrated that a fulfilling life is possible in spite of traumatic experiences.
I had the pleasure of reading an advance copy of this novel, which won’t be published until some time in mid-February. The author, M.O. Walsh, is a graduate of the MFA program at the University of Mississippi and is currently the director of the Creative Writing Workshop at The University of New Orleans. He grew up in Baton Rouge, but currently lives in New Orleans with his family. His stories and essays have appeared in several periodicals, but this is his first novel.
About M.O. Walsh
photos by Ellis Anderson
Second Saturday Artwalk in Old Town - February 14th
By a happy coincidence of the calendar, February’s Second Saturday Artwalk falls on February 14, Valentine’s Day, making the monthly artwork and open house celebration in Old Town a bit sweeter.
The combination of Second Saturday and Valentine’s Day actually is a perfect pairing, considering shoppers will look for jewelry, flowers, artworks and other special gifts in shops and galleries around Old Town and then enjoy dinner for two (or more) at the nearby restaurants.
Second Saturday’s two hotspots — Cypress Cafe (300 S. Second Street) and The Palm House Cottage — have plans to enhance the Valentine’s Day celebration.
300 S. Second Street
The Second Saturday Column
This month - From Mardi Gras parades to concerts to awesome art events - we have it covered at the Cleaver!
2/6 - Friday
2/8 - Sunday
2/10 - Tuesday
2/14 - Saturday
Valentine's Second Saturday Artwalk
2/14 - Saturday
Tickets are $18 in advance/$29 at the door. Advance ticket purchasers will receive a grab-bag of discounts and promotional offers from area boutiques and restaurants upon check in at The Hall. Doors at 7pm; show starts at 8pm. Cash bar. Tickets can be purchased on their website.
Zena Moses and her band
2/16 - Monday, Lundi Gras
Want to decorate a golf cart or form a marching group and join in? Parade Entry-$30 per unit UNTIL January 1, 2015; $50 AFTER January 1, 2015
Mystic Krewe of Seahorse Parade
2/17 - Tuesday, Mardi Gras
2/21 - Saturday
+ Develop personal creativity through Narrative Pantomimes,Group Tableaus, and Theatre Games
+ Develop interpersonal skills and awareness through Improvisational Acting and Interactive Group Dramatizations
+ Develop aesthetic sensitivity and theatre skills through integration of scenery, costumes, art, music, and dance
Bay Children’s Theatre Academy Winter Workshops
This month - Bicycling is booming in the Bay - find out what you can do as a driver and a cyclist to keep it safe!
A check with officials in Hancock County, Bay Saint Louis and Waveland revealed no local ordinances governing bicycle riding. That leaves Mississippi state law to govern bike riding. In 2010, the legislature passed The John Paul Frerer Bicycle Safety Act. Named for a young Tupelo man killed by a car while biking, this law draws together, and adds to, previous laws concerning bikes, making these ordinance easy to understand.
Basically, bicycle riders have all the rights and obligations of a motor vehicle on the roadways of Mississippi. This included traveling with traffic (bike with traffic, run/walk against it!!), using hand signals to indicate turns and stopping at traffic lights and stop signs. A few special requirements for bicyclists include riding near the right side of the roadway except when passing a slower vehicle or preparing to turn left, and riding no more than two abreast. A headlight and red tail reflector are required for night riding.
Bike Helmets. There is no State law requiring riders to wear bike helmets. Starkville, Ridgeland and Hernando do have local ordinances with Starkville being the only town requiring helmets for all riders, not just those under the age of 17. However, sometimes things that are lawful aren’t always good for us.
Myron Labat tells a tale of helmet use convincingly enough to ensure that bicyclists with the Bay Rollers always wear helmets. Myron, President of the 12 member Bay Roller Bicycle Club (and Cleaver October 2012 Good Neighbor), had one of those oops moments with which we are all familiar. One slight misjudgment resulted in a two bike crash sending him to the pavement with his head striking hard. Without his helmet, … Well, let’s just say that the helmet saved more than the day.
Bike Lanes. Again, there are no local ordinances regarding bicycles, therefore no requirements that bicyclists use the bike lanes provided on Dunbar Avenue, or the bike path on Beach Blvd. Interestingly enough, MS State law on Bike Lanes only deals with motor vehicle obligations when bike lanes are present, mainly in that the “operator of a motor vehicle may not block the bicycle lane to oncoming bicycle traffic and shall yield to a bicyclist in the bicycle lane before entering or crossing the lane.”
Bay Roller President Labat and I share concern with foreign objects in our few bike lanes, such as gravel in the Dunbar Avenue lanes. It’s almost too dangerous to use those lanes and perfectly legal to ride in the road. To be fair, one shouldn’t expect BSL to constantly sweep those lanes.
Sidewalks are not bike lanes and bicycles are not allowed on sidewalks unless a bike lane is designated on that walk as it is in places on Beach Blvd. This is a far too common area of contention between cyclists and motor vehicle operators, and will become even more so contentious when sidewalks are added to Old Spanish Trail this spring and summer.
So for now, and until we can engage in some serious sign posting and education, y’all set good examples, be sensible and safe out there, pass along good biking habits, and we’ll see you on the road!
by Kerrie Loya
This month - 28 ways to open your heart - one for each day of February!
Put a Little Love in Your Heart!
Have you ever watched “Scrooged” with Bill Murray? At the end of the movie, Scrooge has found his heart, the little boy who couldn’t talk finds his voice, and the entire cast sings “Put a Little Love in Your Heart.” I cry every time. That song just tugs at my …...heart.
What is it about heart? Athletes are told “you have heart”. At weddings, “our hearts are full of joy”. To lovers we say “I love you with all my heart.” With Valentine’s Day this month, why not take it to another level by celebrating a month of love, a month of opening up our hearts? Following are my suggestions for 28 days of love.
1. Since 1943, 127 songs with “love” in the title ended the year at the top of the Billboard music charts. From Benny Goodman’s “Taking a Chance on Love” (1943) to the Beatles’ “Can’t Buy Me Love” (1962), we have loved these songs all the way to the top. Pick out your favorites and make a playlist or CD for someone you love.
2. Add the top 15 heart healthy foods into your diet. At Eating Well, you can also learn the reason why these foods are so good for your heart: yogurt, raisins, whole grains, beans, salmon, nuts, chocolate, tomatoes, apples, berries, pomegranates, bananas, popcorn, green tea, and wine.
3. Breakfast for your heart. Make a parfait of plain yogurt, berries, bananas and chopped green apple. You’ve just added four of the top 15!
4. Lunch for your heart. Make a salad of arugula with tomatoes and sundried tomatoes topped with grilled salmon. Hmm, three more!!
5. Dinner for your heart. Well, I am totally happy with dark chocolate and wine, but some may want something more substantial. Try beans and rice in a whole grain tortilla with some homemade salsa. Another four!
6. Pick a loving affirmation. What is an affirmation? It is a simple, declarative sentence voicing a deep wish. You pick a quiet time, preferably in the morning, sit calmly and say the affirmation a few times. Here are some of my favorites:
7. I live a life full of love for myself and others.
8. I make my decisions based on love.
9. I forgive those who need forgiving for not being what I want them to be.
10. My heart is full of joy and thankfulness.
11. Open your heart chakra, one of your body’s centers of energy, by surrounding yourself with nature. Hmm, this is easy here on the Gulf Coast with our amazing trees, waterways and sky.
Well, Well, Well
13. Wear rose quartz, renowned for its heart opening power.
14. Hug often and long. Check out “Hugs Have Healing Power.” That loving feeling you get from a hug can have reparative antiaging benefits because oxytocin, the “love hormone” is released. Hug until you feel that release, that “ahhhhh”.
15. Create a fairy garden. Why?? Because it will enchant everyone who sees it, bring smiles, laughs and happiness.
16. Give a gift to someone who always gives so much. You know at least one of these people, those amazing men and women that give so much of themselves! So give something back, something small, handmade, a flower from your garden, just a token of thanks for their generosity.
17. Give a random compliment to a stranger. I love to do this!! Sometimes I see someone who I think is so beautiful, or so sweet, or so polite, I have to tell them! The look on their faces is priceless.
18. The following three loving ideas were inspired by an article in Elephant Journal. Be open to receiving all the gifts the universe offers. What does this mean? To me, I work to keep my heart open to nature, to new people in my life, to new opportunities that are presented to me. I am thankful for all the lovely things and people in my life.
19. Live the life you dream of having. If you don’t love your life, make changes now that move you closer to that life. It’s amazing when things fall into place as soon as you begin to live your dream life.
20. Enjoy a massage. The power of a healing touch is worth every penny.
21. Instead of giving the traditional rose bouquet, give a rose bush! I love this idea from Nature Moms.
22. Start a love journal. Write about what you love about your daily life, what made you smile, who you hugged. Record only positive and loving thoughts, please.
23. Wear pink. The color pink represents compassion, nurturing and love. Pink combines red, representing the need for action, with white, the color that helps achieve success and insight. The deeper the pink, the more passion and energy exhibited.
25. Try a heart opening yoga pose such as Camel or Side Bending Mountain. These would be great to do after you say an affirmation! See our sidebar for photos and instructions!
26. Try a yoga pose to get you in the mood. If your partner is game, do this one together.
27. Say I love you! Receiving a text of “I love you” is just not the same as telling someone how much they mean to you. While phone calls might not be the norm these days, take a tip from Stevie Wonder and call “to say I love you”.
28. Kiss often and passionately! We all know kissing feels good, but there are actually health benefits to a nice, long kiss. Kissing might help you lose weight because a really passionate kiss burns two calories a minute -- twice your normal metabolic rate.
I lift my glass of rose champagne and toast all of you, dear readers. I love you!
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