Vegetables are a must on a diet. I suggest carrot cake, zucchini bread, and pumpkin pie. Jim Davis

Mediation on a Pumpkin


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Thanks to @NancyVanReece for sharing the images, above, from her time with the Amqui Station Farmer’s Market.

Today is Closing Day at the market, and our Nashville friends have a final opportunity to stock up on the heirloom pumpkins and other goodies between noon and 3pm.

The Coleman Brothers, pictured above, have been growing heirloom pumpkins for three generations. According to the University of Illinois, over 90% of the pumpkins grown in the U.S. are raised within 90 miles of Peoria, IL. So, we’re particularly fortunate to have growers in the SouthEast, and expert cultivators, no less. Lucky us.


Mama Said Best Reads September 14th – 20th

Mama said there’d be days like this.

When those days turn into a week…I like to have some resources ready.

James Maxwell’s Everman series was a great trip to another place. The link is for Enchantress, Book 1, but I dove right into #’s 2 & 3, as well. The lead characters are an orphaned brother and sister who we grow up with through the series.  Both characters are learning and developing magical, or magic-aided abilities, while learning about their family’s past and growing more savvy to the challenges of their kingdom’s future.

For those who like a little more realistic dreaming, Arcadia Falls: A Novel, by Carol Goodman is full of modern topics and historical side trips to explore. The novel is set in a fictitious, small college town, surrounded by a beautiful, but threatening wilderness. The college founders are two tangled lovers, female partners, who also share an art patron and artisan relationship. They lay the tangled groundwork for a mystery for a new, modern-day professor to unravel. If you’re fascinated by the Arts & Crafts Movement, academia, or art history, you’ll a plethora of engaging material here.

BTW, if you’re a Kindle Unlimited Account holder, both of these titles are included.

The illustration above is from YUKO SHIMIZU. I’ve flipped it sideways for the purposes of sharing. SHIMIZU is one of Japan’s most renown artists. If you can’t get to a book this week, give yourself a few moments to look at her work. She’s a world-builder, too. She has prints for sale, here. Plus, an open, honest, and insightful blog, right here. Shares through Creative Commons, and all along the way, she includes advice, instruction, and examples for aspiring artists…because that builds this world.

Finally, lest we forget–The Shirelles are here for us, too, honey.


16th-street-Baptist-church (1)

The Ballad of Birmingham: a Mixed Media Recollection

Monday, September 15th, was the anniversary of the bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1963.

Four girls–Denise McNair and Cynthia Wesley, both 11 years old, and Carole Robertson and Addie Mae Collins, both 14–were killed in the blast. The long, American story of bringing their murderers to justice can be found here, from The Oxford Companion to African American Literature and the University of Illinois Department of English.


Poet, Dudley Randall, memorialized the girls’ passing with a ballad written from the perspective of a mother.  The poem’s conversation, between a daughter who wants to be out of the house, and we might infer–to fight, to be free, to live– and a mother who wants to keep her child safe, rings current, today.


My friend Bob Bradley, a Tennessee State University professor, shared this video with me. It was created by TSU students. Bob refers to this as a “tone poem,” and I like the sound of that.

Angela Davis mentioned, when interviewed about her own recollections of Birmingham, the whitewash history has painted over events in Birmingham.* Watch the video, below, and tell me–can digital artists write a new version?


*Further reading: Davey D's interview with Angela Davis for Hip Hop and Politics.
The Ballad of 
Trio of TSU Students Set Civil Rights Poem to Music, Nashville Scene. 
Nashville Public Radio Report.
The Stockholm Octavo

Best Reads of the Week from September 8th-13th

The clear winner last week was…

The Stockholm OctavoIt was a quick moving plot. A smart combo of math, spirituality, a great daub of Swedish and French history, as well as nicely integrated graphics (the Kindle edition, anyway). Highly recommend if you’re seeking a smart, fast read this week.

An honorable mention: Sara Foster’s Southern Kitchen. There’s a lovely introduction from the divine Lee Smith, and the reading just gets better from there.

SouthernKitchenA simple buttermilk biscuit recipe has me making my own, again. The digital version is well indexed! (I hate it when I can’t get in & out of a book with ease). I checked this out from The Nashville Public Library (@NOWatNPL), and having used 7 recipes, will be running out to Parnassus Books for a hard copy.  It’s that good.



Rabbit Holes. Tangents. And Other Trips Off the Beaten Path.