NYC Shopping- 2016-Classic or Bohemian?

Anthropolie Window Display- Rockefeller Center NYC 2016

Let’s get oriented…if you’re from a small town and you go to a big city- the best thing you can do is make sure you stay close to a familiar spot so you can get back there! In New York, we stayed at The Jewel right across from the Rockefeller Center – it is a tiny boutique hotel, with tiny rooms and big windows- we could see St. Patrick’s Cathedral , unveiled now, in all of it’s glory and also see the side of Radio City Music Hall where the entertainment equipment is unloaded. A bonus is that we can look straight across the way and see the side of the ground floor NBC Recording Studio. The famous shopping on Fifth Avenue is a half block up from the Jewel Hotel, so we’re oriented! Everyday we passed by JCrewJCrewand Anthropolgie Anthropologie to go to our hop on- hop off bus! And every day I thought – well, you’ve lived long enough to have seen and worn Classics and Bohemian styles. JCrew’s spin on the classics by adding ‘bling’ necklaces is just a winning combo! Anthropolie’s Bohemian looks soft, feminine and vintage without being overdone- that’s their winning combo! Both looks are totally wearable for Spring and Summer. Which will you be wearing? I generally prefer the classics- but I loved both stores!

From JCrew…

From Anthropologie…

The handbags were small, but the shoes at Anthropologie were chunkier as you can see in the photos. At JCrew, there were classic pumps and tennis shoes…and of course the jewelry they have become famous for…

It looks like a good weekend to go shopping! Even if you get yourself an iconic T-shirt for your favorite birthday boy from Katz’s Deli Katz’s Delicatessen !

Katz’s famous Delicatessen

Just had to kid around with you a little bit!  Have a great weekend!


Love y’all, Camellia

What I would say to Myself now…

IMG_2407I found some old photos of myself and my best friend as high school baccalaureates – I pondered what I would say to myself now that I didn’t know then…

  • You’ve just finished some of the best years of your life- be sure and thank your teachers; or apologize to them -whichever is most appropriate.
  • You are not at the finish line- you are just beginning the race.
  • You will become a life long student.
  • You will meet the love of your life, the marriage will last a very long time.
  • You grew up in the south, a great place to grow up despite it’s shortcomings.
  • You will live, work and raise a family in the south- a great place for doing those things despite your own shortcomings.
  • One day, you will discover a whole big world is out there; and you will get to see  a whole lot of it.
  • As you graduate, the United States put a man on the moon, but you will see things in your lifetime that you never believed possible.
  • Take care of yourself, your whole self- body, mind and spirit. It will serve you well.
  • You will be thankful your whole life that you learned to read.
  •  Try to make the best decisions you can, remember you won’t get it right every time.
  • You will make mistakes, your life won’t always be easy- but it will be good.
  • You might have more than a few dark days-but you will laugh a whole lot.
  • You may not know what you will do with your life-it is more important to be.
  • You will have teachers, mentors and special friends at every stage of your life. You will need them all.
  • At every age you will ask yourself what you should be doing and what you will be.
  • You will be a mentor, a ‘teacher’, a writer, a friend, a wife and a mother- sometimes all at once!
  • You will have wonderful, exciting and unexpected experiences in your life.
  • You will get at least 2 miracles maybe more!
  • You can’t go back and make anything different. You can always move forward and with God’s Help- make things better.
  • Everything you’ve experienced will make you who you are.
  • Don’t ever forget you are a miracle, born at just the right moment in history.

If you are graduating from kindergarten, middle school, jr. high,high school, college or graduate school congratulations! May all the good things you hope for become a reality and more!

Love y’all, Camellia


Annual Mother’s Day at Peach Park…


Well, I hope y’all had a Happy Mother’s Day. We met the kids on their way back from beach at the Peach Park in Clanton. Chilton County Peaches are well known- they aren’t ripe yet- but this combination of farmer’s market and restaurant includes sandwiches and cobblers, fried pies and homemade ice cream almost all year round. It is a favorite stop for those on their way to or from the Alabama Beaches. image

We drive the back way, on rural county roads. I amuse myself by writing down names of places, church signs, businesses and the sights of the countryside. This year, I noticed that every Dollar General we passed had folks boiling out-probably pickin’ up a card, gift or supplies for Mother’s Day. Near Beaver’s Collison and Auto Body Shop, a wooden floor had been set up, I said, ‘family reunion’…he said, ‘tent revival’ – in the rear view mirror I said he was right since there was a big white van with Independent Holiness Church on the side. Down the road a bit was a cemetery. A family was having a ‘flag ceremony’ for their loved one. There was a full size American flag and a full size Crimson flag with a big white Alabama ‘A’ on it. A good sized group was standing around. This is the South, folks like to personalize their funerals. This is Alabama where folks love God, country, their mommas and take a firm stand on football- Auburn or Alabama. image

I began to sing -‘When peace like a river attendeth my way, when sorrows like sea billows roll…Tide!’ He cut his eyes over to me- I said ‘well, that’s how we sang it at Campus Crusade meetings when I was at Alabama’.  I saw a church sign which said ‘Have an Epic Mother’s Day’ …am still wondering what that would entail.  It has been said that a mother loves the black sheep of the family the most. I thought about that when we cruised at 25 miles per hour through a small town, past the city hall – several people were milling around the parking lot by the jail. A pickup truck had the tailgate down with a picnic going on- men and women in tank tops sporting tattoos alongside men with short sleeved shirts and ties, seemed to be having a good time. There were women sitting in the back seats of sensible sedans. I wondered if momma was brought over to the jail to visit the black sheep or if it was momma they were visiting. Either way, you can mark it down that her knees were worn out from praying for that bunch. Out front of the Farmer’s Co-Op there was a sign that said- ‘Onion Sets, Seed Taters, Mater Cages’- the owner is a clown. A truck farmer was setting up shop with some good looking spring Vidalia Onions with thick green tops. Past fallow farmlands that would soon be sprouting cotton or stands of corn, we saw a hand lettered sign- ‘Gourds for Sale’ – Get those now! put ’em up for the purple martins! keep the skeeters away! – is what I always think.

We passed a sale lot filled with new tractors and backhoes and a cute shop called ‘bulbs.sprig.birds.chirp.’ – and a beauty shop called ‘Shear Elegance’- probably worked overtime on some epic Mother’s Day hairdos; another church sign- this one said ‘God plus one is a majority’ – I actually think God is a majority all by Himself. We were listening to music on Garrison Keiller’s Prairie Home Companion- folks singing ‘wicked path of sin’ songs. We decided to stop and use the facilities at a gas station. I heard a woman checking out say- ‘We picked up the chicken and biscuits, stopped at the grocery store, got the cake, then we called Rusty, he had just gotten up, stayed out all night and was sleepin’ it off’…yes, ‘wicked path of sin’ songs were in order. Right across the interstate from the gas station was the big water tank painted to look just like the biggest peach you ever saw! Two more exits down, ‘which way?’ – we were behind a car with a specialty tag that read- GoneWTW- I said ‘go left’. When we got to the Peach Park, we pulled in, got a good parking place, folks were sitting in the big rocking chairs, or bringing out boxes of fried pies and barbeque, one couple had bought a gallon of peach ice cream- probably to take up to momma’s. A big man and a little woman came out with big bowls of ice cream- she slid daintily onto a picnic bench, he hiked his leg over the bench as it groaned- ‘um baby, this sure does look good, don’t it?’. Our children were already there- I wanted to say- ‘um baby, they sure look good, don’t they?’ We ate our share of the bounty, I took some pictures of past Peach Queens- which line the walls.

For my gifts-the kids brought me a quart of gumbo from Doc’s Seafood Shack in Orange Beach, two boxes of Peeps and a mug with ‘Mom’ on the side and ‘love’ on the inside-exactly what I wanted. I almost cried.image

When they got in the car to leave I wondered if they knew that our hearts were travelling in the car with them. On the way home, several times my eyes filled with tears, I looked out the window often. We passed over Beeswax Creek- I sniffed big- he said ‘What is it?’ I said ‘none of your beeswax’, and got tickled. Right after we passed the ‘Red Barn Bent and Dent Grocery’ but before you get to the ‘Dixieland Trading Post’- I thought about that church sign- ‘Have an Epic Mother’s Day’; I’m still not sure what epic would entail, but any day you get to be with your children is an epic day, especially when the nest has emptied. On those days-I can honestly say, ‘It is well… it is wellwith my soul, it is well, it is wellwith…my soul! Roll Tide.

Love y’all, Camellia

  • feel free to take sides and add ‘War Eagle’…