Picayune Pictures #7

Picayune Picture time!

❤ Here are some highlights from the past week or so ❤

Here is my stack of books from my latest trip to the Buck-A-Pound.


Oh, books.

Highlights of this stack:

The spiral bound cookbook near the bottom is a sample for a cookbook printing company. When I picked it up out of the bin and flipped through it, I opened right to a page that had a recipe for “Hilary Clinton’s Chocolate Chip Cookies”. It went right to my mom for mother’s day. She loved it.

84 Charing Cross Road is one of the most delightful books I’ve read in ages. It was just a little paperback that caught my eye while digging in the book bin. I had never heard of it and had no idea what it was about. Well. It is pretty much my favorite sort of thing to read: other people’s correspondence. The gist is that a lady author in her 50s lives in Manhattan and doesn’t like to travel downtown to the bookstore. She begins writing letters with title requests to a book store in London and purchases them this way instead. Her voice is beyond fab and reminds me of my dear friend from Texas, Mrs. MB. But I digress. The correspondence goes on for nearly 20 years and lifelong friendships are formed. You simply MUST read this little book. Like, ASAP.

The dark green book near the bottom is a Bobbsey Twins twins mystery! These were originally written in the early 1900s, but I thought they were wonderful nearly 100 years later when I read them in in the 1990s. How great is this inscription/property note? Goodness knows what the twins will get involved in on their vacation to Mexico!



Y’all know now that I am a total ham for office supplies. While doing some free-lance admin work my little eye spotted this jar jammed full of color. I couldn’t help it! It made me GRIN. It’s the little stuff and the VERY colorful stuff that makes me happy.






If you follow my instagram you might have seen these couple of pictures. I’m in the throes of pretty pricey dental work and the process hasn’t been easy mentally OR financially. I had to go get this “Den-temp” stuff to re-adhere my crown after I popped it off at 6:30pm Friday WHILE EATING A TORTELLINI using my back molars. Ugh. After I found the tooth cement I decided to look at the toys. Because I was pouting and needed a toy. I didn’t end up and get myself anything, but I did spot this awesome tube of Dice, which btw would make a great birthday present for you-know-who (me).

Who remembers hot dice?!?

Also I noticed that the little plastic doo-hickey that came with the “den-temp” looked suspiciously familiar. It dawned on me that it was awfully similar to a particular bone that raccoons have. If you know, you know…if you don’t, you can read a little more about it here.

SPOILER ALERT: it’s a raccoon penis bone.

You’re welcome.




Amethyst and I went in on a mini Japan Crate! OMG these things are so fun. I love trying all sorts of foods that are new to me–especially savory stuff so I am super stoked to try these seaweed chips! There is even a bungeoppang (fish cookie)! I’m especially excited about that since I’ve got a little eraser version of it 🙂 See that TINY kitten in the lower left?! You’ll see more of him next TINY TUESDAY! I’ll report back once we open and actually sample the snacks.


My happy place.

(one of them!)

I love getting home from work and sitting on the patio (aka carport) with a good book and an adult beverage. You can see parts of the garden up on the ledge in the little pots. I noticed dadgum aphids on my  lettuce last night! UGH! I sprayed the heck out of the leaves with soapy water. I hope it helps. Y’all know how precious the lettuce is! I only want to share it with Mr. Smith!!!

Hope your week has been a good one!

Hope you get to enjoy your happy place today–wherever that is for you! 🙂

Picayune Pictures #6


Here are a few little snippets from life lately.

I bought squash, zucchini, and sage for the garden. I am officially not allowed to buy any more plants! It was earth day though and I needed a few more vegetables. The garden has gone from 0 to 55mph in no time! NOTE: juxtaposition of plants in an STP box 😉


I have been wanting to hit up World Market for a few special things but haven’t made it in forever. Thankfully (I think) there wasn’t too much that tempted me. I got a few goodies for an upcoming party at my house. Stay tuned for more on that!

Here are things I did not buy but I did drool over:


After the afternoon I had on Friday, I am convinced this wine was developed just for people in my line of work. Perfect, eh? Available in lots of flavors! ❤

This is Neighbor Kitty.


Neighbor Kitty has ACTIVELY ignored me for the entire two years we have lived next door to each other. Last summer she looked at me ONLY ONE TIME and walked the perimeter of my truck to keep a 15 foot distance between us. Of course I have continued to talk to her, because I am a cat lady. She has pretended not to hear a thing.

Last week I brought my book and beer out to the carport to imbibe in an evening chillax session. Neighbor Kitty was in the back yard and as soon as I spoke to her she began trotting towards me with purpose. I honestly thought she was coming to attack me, but instead she began purring and head bumping me for head pets.

What the heck, Neighbor Kitty?!

Oh well, I’m just glad we’re finally friends!


This is my current favorite graffiti in AVL. The combination of Passive Frick Face and the calligraphic feel of ovary are juxtaposed like Bart Simpson holding a coupette of pink vino verde. Good stuff on the south slope!

Speaking of keeping Asheville weird…


Just a regular Sunday stroll with the calves…


Crawfish boil buffet! Pineapple upside-down cake and fig cakes with hard sauce.

I love having friends who love food as much as me.


Game of Thrones feast at my mom’s house. That’s a fancy smoked salmon nosh back there with two kinds of chips, and one kind of cheese. Not pictured: cocktails (of course).

I stopped by to pick up this EPIC asparagus plant (with a yellow tomato, dill, and moonflower plants included) from my cousins. Duck and Patti Smith were reeeeeeally curious about Uncle Bryce’s yard!  The girls had an entertaining trip up the mountain with the giant ferny plant to attack. Yes, I travel with my cats. I’m a cat lady, remember?

Hoe Cakes & Tater Toast!


I am my mother’s child and therefore I LOVE weird old cookbooks. I have never drooled so much while scanning documents! I am so going to make the Tater Toast. “Good with salad!” Could it get more hilarious or delicious?

Hope you’re having a great week that is full of rad noms and crazy cats!


Picayune Pictures #5

Here is one of the reasons you haven’t heard from me in days! I was really hoping to do some on-the-road blogging but my dear darling Duck Rabbit “wild cat” Rousey did THIS to my phone’s charging cord. As you can see, I tried to repair it before. After two nights of not getting a good charge on my phone I realized it was because the cord was nearly chewed in half. I pretty much just had enough juice to get some pictures taken. Now I have a fancy new pink cord. BAD KITTY.




I have had MAJOR knitting drama over the past week or so. I’ve been working on my third sweater (in a pattern I’ve knitted twice before) and I really messed up some calculations. I’d come up with a way to “fix” one of the mistakes (laddering was a success) but when the next wrong calculation (the steek was also a success but created a NEW problem) became obvious I just decided to take. the. whole. damn. thing. apart. I’ve since restarted it with major modifications. Stay tuned to see if I’m happier with the second attempt. Totally bummertown.

Aaaaand my little bird friend from last spring is back and has taken up residence in my mail box again. I’ve got to write a “Do Not Disturb” sign on it so that mama bird doesn’t abandon her eggs. Does anyone recognize what type they might be? If so, please comment!


I was really sad to hear about the passing of Earl Hamner, Jr. For those who might not recognize his name, he was the author of the book The Homecoming that later inspired the television show The Waltons. This book particular copy of the book was given to me years back and it has since been one of my most prized possessions. If you haven’t read the book, you totally should–I can’t say enough good things about it, particularly if you are interested in frugal country living and wholesome family fun. Here is a wonderful obituary that the New York Times posted over the weekend.

I had Easter lunch at my house with my mom and Mr. Smith! We had Alton Brown’s citrus salmon (a family favorite), deviled eggs, roasted sweet potato salad, the best coleslaw ever, and grilled pineapple on coconut gelato for dessert. And wine, of course. Would you  like a tutorial on how to make this award winning slaw? To be honest it hasn’t actually won any awards but I am pretty sure it would/could/will someday. Tell me if you are interested in the recipe and I *might* let y’all in on the secret ingredients.


After cutting the grass for the first time this season it was time to whip out the Twang. Stay tuned for a special drink themed post later in the week… 😉

I’ve also got two vacation posts coming up–about the area in eastern North Carolina where I used to live, and the trip mom and I made to Replacements. Stay tuned for the posts that were inhibited because of the phone cord drama! BAD KITTY!


Picayune Pictures #4


Here is a bit of life from this week.                                                                                                        Not pictured: my chipmunk cheeks from getting a cavity filled 😦

Amethyst and I went on a naughty little mall shopping trip last weekend.  I was not nearly as naughty as she was 😉 but I did pick up a few things. Pretty much every dang thing I bought was kawaii! Have y’all ever gotten a surprise box? They are so weirdly addictive, which I suppose is natural since it’s pretty much gambling. I was a *little* disappointed in my Pusheen plushie–of course the vegetarian got the dang hamburger one haha. He is still super cute and I’m still glad I got him. The little TokiDoki Unicorno brings my numbers up to four, which I suppose makes it a collection now.


I found some “koala yummies”! (remember from this post?) I’m going to try to save these AND the champagne JellyBelly beans until the next doll party. With these new nail decorations there will probably be a new nail post soon-ish!

I sort of hate candy apples because the apples inside are almost always mealy. This candy shop smelled SO GOOD. Good grief, so good. I would have eaten the heck out of all the toppings that covered those poor mealy apples!


Weird/good food:

chopped up cucumber, faux crab, feta, grilled onion, chia seeds, and poppy seed dressing.

I’m trying to come up with fresh and quick lunch things that keep me from being hungry all afternoon. I gotta tell you that the chia seeds really do seem to work. I had been reading about them and wasn’t sold on the idea until I tried them. Good source of protein, too!


Sunset on the lake.


Lettuce seeds + green stripes for St. Patrick’s Day.


A Shopkins miracle!


A very naughty cheeseball.

I was not impressed with this cookbook (the 1-star reviews were spot on) but DANG this one recipe makes me drool.  We should all have a party and Skype each other and eat this until we pop!

That’s all for now–what is making YOU drool this week?

Picayune Pictures #3

Some pictures, lately.

Let us admire the fluff of Sir Chester.  And he allows his minions to rub that belly!

(I got to spend some time with him at an Oscars party on Sunday.  Such a treat!)



Mom and I went to the Biltmore House this weekend with Mr. Smith and his mom.  The folks who run the house have relaxed their formerly VERY strict no-photography rules.  Now you can take pictures so long as there is no flash.  This made for very dark and mostly not terrific shots, but I will share what I was able to capture!

The Kitchens.

I have always been most smitten with the library and kitchen parts of the house.  I am lucky to live close enough that I get a season’s pass most years.  I love getting to see all the little details–the collection of copper pots, the funny box of fairy marshmallows, the wine bottle basket!  And check out the cabinets whose doors open UP!

The Halloween Room.

This room is seriously SO neat–please click through the link above to read more about it!  I would LOVE to have a room painted just for a party for me 🙂



We’re in the library!”

–unknown Saint


DUCK & DOLL HOUSE, a brief still life.

This is going to be a major work in progress.  I got this totally awesome doll house from friends of mine and am still in the planning stage of “what to do next”. Remember my “to-do” list?  Seems the cats really like the house, too.  I’m going to probably have to figure out how to share with them–it’s too cute watching them go in and out the windows and swat each other through the stairs!


I got to attend my first surprise party ever!  Boy was it sweet.  Just look at these beautiful cakes!  Happy birthday to my good quilting buddy.  I hope to grow up to be an awful lot like her ❤


Hope your week is off to a great start.  Stay tuned for more soon!


Picayune Pictures #1

picayune: small and of little importance

pictures: any visible image, however produced

Doesn’t that sound prettier than a “photo dump”?

Y’all, this banana cream filled beignet was a little piece of deep fried holiday magic.  I’m not sure how something so naughty could be gluten-free, but it was.  It’s too bad deep fryers weren’t allowed at the AVL Mardi Gras Annual Cajun Cook-Off competition and this entry couldn’t compete.  It’s also too bad that the winning dish was made in an overlooked illegal deep fryer, but I digress. BEIGNETS.  The real deal.


“Menu” printed from a picture of the wallpaper in Mr. Smith’s bathroom.  I’ve been wanting to put that crawfish to good use since the first time I sat on the throne in his bathroom.  (Other images on the old time-y looking wallpaper include old newspaper clippings and fly fishing advice).  The cakes on the left are Mini Fig Cakes with Vanilla Hard Sauce.  The pieces on the left are Banana Cream cake with Cajun Cream Evangeline.  My mom made them both and we served them up at the cookoff last weekend.  We didn’t win the competition but we did get quite a few votes.  Making taste buds dance is winning enough.


Here is a real life legit King Cake made by The VooDoo Krewe.  Purple icing is my favorite flavor.


This little girl was helping her dad serve up the dish that ended up winning the vegetarian category of the comp.  Check out her little pink chef’s coat!  I gave her the wisp of a pink hair clip in her hair–because OF COURSE I had multicolored hair clips in my purse.  Note the little toy cat to the left of the sauce bottle.  Because of course the little girl in the little pink chef’s coat had her Littlest Pet Shop cat with her.  Very rad kid, indeed.


And for 2 other rando pics…

This stunning sky last Wednesday, right at quittin’ time.


The beginnings of my first roux.  I got bogged down in the recipe and didn’t get any more pictures.  The dish turned out so well that I’m going to make it again soon and I’ll be sure to document better this time.  Teaser: homemade cheese sauce for a fake-out of Velveeta Shells and Cheese.  With a first roux like this, there ain’t no denying my Cajun blood. ❤


Stay tuned and tell me about your Mardi Gras plans, if you’ve ever made a roux before, and if you’ve had any pink and purple skies lately!