It's been a few weeks now and the excitement has yet to wear off. Mom and Shuga D were at the Cox Capitol Theatre this week for the Dead Confederate concert. When Mom went to order her drink, the man behind the bar gave her a wink. "This one is on me," he said, "Because you have the best engagement story ever." We'll toast to that!
Sunday, June 27, 2010
Mom's status was simple. She had just made a shrimp n'grits casserole and was chilling and cheering with the guys as the U.S.A. soccer team took on Ghana. Fortunately, the casserole turned out much better than the game. Considerate it a consolation prize.
It was devoured before Mom thought to take a photo, but here is the basics of the easy, low country吉林快三遗漏 comfort food recipe:
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup grits
1 cup (or more) of shredded cheddar
1 cup (or more) of mont jack
1 bunch of green onions
1 green pepper
1-2 garlic cloves (minced)
1 lb cooked, peeled shrimp (wild caught, please!)
1 can diced tomatoes and chiles, drained
sausage (optional, but we had some good Charizo)
salt, pepper, olive oil and other preferences
Bring chicken broth to boil, stir in grits, cover, reduce heat and cook grits.
Mix grits with cheeses, saving some cheddar for the topping
Saute garlic, chopped scallions (save some of the greens for garnish) and chopped pepper, add to grit mixture. Add shrimp and diced tomatoes. Salt and pepper.
Cook sausage, drain fat and also add to mixture.
Pour into lightly greased, 2-quart baking dish. Top with remaining cheese. Cook for 40 minutes at 350.
Let it firm up, then get out the forks because if you're like Shuga D, you might just eat it straight out of the pan.
Pictured is the UK's "Sammy the Shrimp." Go Paraguay!
Saturday, June 12, 2010
, calling from the land line at the ranch. "I rode a horse today!" she says. "And it was awesome. And I loved it. And I see how you love it. You were the first person I called!"
It all began this time last year when Mom and her friend, who was then referred to as , decided to channel their inner-Annie Oakley and take a trip to a friend's Wyoming ranch. Except this friend's ranch was the size of a small country吉林快三遗漏. And while Mom chased cows for the annual branding, Honeyshot was taking some of the best shots of her career in . Honey had also caught the eye of a real deal cowboy, who happened to be the foreman of the ranch. And he happened to catch her eye, too.
Fast forward almost exactly one year later and Honeyshot is now our Magnolia Cowgirl, settling into her new 吉林快三遗漏, back at the ranch . . . in Wyoming. She uprooted her city life on Magnolia Street and followed her heart into the wild and arms of her cowboy. It's the stuff Harlequin novels are made of. And Mom says she's never heard her friend sound so happy.
Of course, Mom and the rest of their Little Creative Crew miss her terribly. When she heard the Magnolia Cowgirl's voice and the excitement coming from the other end of the country吉林快三遗漏, Mom's eyes welled with tears. She was both proud her friend finally swung into the saddle and sad she couldn't have been there to give her the leg-up.
Then today a package arrived in the mail, with a Wheatland, Wyoming return address. Mom tore into the box with excitement to find, wrapped neatly in spur-spangled tissue, a vintage leather, tooled purse - the kind fashionable cowgirls carry. Mom swooned. It is exactly what she has been wanting for quite some time, and it couldn't be in more perfect, plus it matches her boots.
One year later from the adventure of a lifetime, she finally got the perfect souvenir.
P.S. Read the old posts about their trip to Wyoming here.
Friday, June 11, 2010
It's going to be one hot and heavy weekend here in Candy's Land. Mom and Shuga D are looking forward to their date night to the Comic Kick-Off party at Asylum . . . (and here's a lil' Candy's Land exclusive: Mom is soon to be steppin' into a storyline - a la Nancy Drew - with 's !) Then they are going to grab dinner at the T before calling it an early Friday night.
The reason being, Mom and I have to be up early tomorrow for a video shoot that we're crossing our paws will give a dream make-over to Macon's dog park. We're working with on this, and we'll keep you posted here, for sure.
After the early morning shoot, Shuga is making sausage and eggs as we kick-off the World Cup mania with a breakfast for our friends who have already been bitten by the international bug. We're getting competitive for sure!
Sunday is Second Sunday, so that means, we'll be at Washington Park for free live music organized by Mom and her full-time job at the . We're switching it to the evening time of 6 p.m., so consider it Second Sunday at Sundown. It's Mom's co-worker and partner-in-crime Nadia's birthday, so be sure to wish her a happy one. And as a special gift to everyone, Mom and Nadia will be giving out a little fun to do that Southern thang of "I declaring" while fanning yourself.
In honor of the sweatin' we're sure to be doing all weekend, here's a little video of the hot and lovely performer, Carrie Rodriguez, to get a little bit going on your brow:
Sunday, June 6, 2010
recently sent them the finished photos, and once again, the ladies were smiling at the art they created. Although they are saving the hundred-or-so photos for their own private giggles (and maybe one or two framed in their favorite spaces), Mom was willing to share a solo shot of herself here in Candy's Land, as well as a lil' essay she wrote about the experience:
There are some things so cathartic, you shouldn’t give a darn to how offensive it might be. The wedding dress, for example, is given more sanctity than it deserves. It’s an over-priced, fussy, some-shade-of-white adornment. Sometimes it has intricate beading. Sometimes it’s pure woven silk. Oftentimes it cost thousands to buy and hundreds to preserve. And I’m just not sure it deserves any of the fuss. After all, you only wear it once.
And what happens if you wore it once and the wedding didn’t work? You and the groom go your own ways months, years, decades after the dress was given its own day and worshipped by a room full of revelers who stood at the site of you in it.
In divorce, you are left picking up the pieces of a failed marriage and starting an entirely new life you didn’t plan. And among the pieces you take with you, the former bride, is this once perfect wedding dress . . . now fallen to used, unlucky, tainted grace. Do you burn it as a sacrifice to the altar? Do you sell it to a stranger who doesn’t know its story? Do you shove it into storage and swear to never look at it again? Or do you make peace with it? After all, it wasn’t the gown’s fault the vows didn’t take.
It just so happens I am not the only one in my circle of girlfriends with a leftover wedding dress. You make friends you can relate to. And mine are smart, business-minded, civic-driven career women who have lived several lifetimes by the time they hit their thirties. We’re somewhat fearless. And we like to fancy ourselves as hell-raisers. Together, we make quite the creative, untouchably talented crew.
It wasn’t hard for our photographer friend Leah Yetter to arrange the studio and have the lights, camera and background music jamming for us when we arrived – here comes the Jaded Brides – with our wedding gowns from another life slung over our shoulders and a brown bag of brand new whiskey in hand.
None of us had been to each other’s weddings. Changing into our dresses we became like a bunch of bridesmaids, who hadn’t married for the first time, cooing and complimenting each other on the gown that never was.
Then came the hair and make up. Loads of eye make-up just like our wedding day, this time smudged, smeared and streaked on purpose. A really good purpose – our new vows:
To those who have cried and then had your tears dried by your fellow jaded bride.
And no matter how hard we tried to make ourselves look like we felt during the days of divorce, we were funny. We laughed as we applied eye drops to make our mascara run. While creating circles under our eyes, we swigged Jack Daniels.
Well, except for the eight months pregnant one. She wore a long white slip that fit her expanded belly but brought the tiara from her elaborate wedding day. She was our good-sport prego princess, and even though she couldn’t fit into her old wedding gown, it couldn’t have been more fitting.
Standing before the camera, bad silk flowers and liquor bottles in hand, we gave our wedding portraits another chance. This time there was no glimmer of happily ever after in our eyes. But we still sparkled. We also pouted, sneered, scoffed, made obscene gestures and poked fun at the wives we once were . . . and just weren’t meant to be.
So the marriage was far from a fairy tale. And all I ended up with was this lousy wedding dress. But now I can look at my gown again with fondness, knowing I got my money’s worth. And the photos, lessons learned and empowerment to show for it.
Thursday, June 3, 2010
It's no secret that Mom's drug of choice is mixed cocktail of products and services at Macon's Vineville Salon. What better way to relax than the warm towel and holy hands of Sonya, the massage therapist? Mom got so taken away in her latest massage that she got Shuga D a gift certificate to decompress from a crazy day in the candy factory -- because if there was any other woman Mom would let put her hands all over her Shuga, it would be Sonya!
Then there is the hands-down and feet-first offerings of Paige for the perfect mani-pedi. Mom is still loving the dark purple "Shoot for the Stars" they selected together for her toes, but she is anxious to go back and try the appropriately named "Freebird" color of Spa Ritual's organic polish line. Paige is currently offering a free manicure with pedicure special. Call for an appointment and tell her you read about it here on !
Then there is the lovely Anne keeping Mom tuned into the fountain of youth. As you've read here before, Mom loves a microderm. It's the chemical-free way of sloughing off the stuff that ages and weighs our faces down. If you've never tried a microderm before, send us a Candygram at maconcandy@吉林快三遗漏gmail.com, and we'll hook you up with a free test run.
Finally, Mom is the product of good products. She is hooked on the natural and eco-friendly focus of all things Aveda. And she is a sucker for the shampoos and conditioners of shower champagne / product line Shu Uemura. You may have to save your pennies to buy it, but gosh darn it, you're worth it . . . and every penny.
Nothing wrong with pampering yourself with a little fix from the Vineville Salon. Come on, we're all doing it.
It's First Friday in downtown Macon, and you can find Mom at the Musicians United Benefit Concert to keep the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in Macon. She's actually in for a treat tomorrow because she will be sharing the stage of the Historic Douglass Theatre with her father, 2003 GMHF Inductee Alan Walden. Mom and her pop are emcees for the concert experience that evening . . . expect her to turn red a time or two when her dad threatens to do his Elvis impersonation. Please, God, no. Regardless, it's something near and dear to both of them and the live music for the evening is just a bonus. Buy a ticket and support not just live music in Macon but keeping Georgia music history in Macon!
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Sometimes it takes more than a bad mullet to make it in Nashville. Check out the vintage Kenny Chesney video, circa 1993 on Capricorn Records. Yep, Uncle Phil always knew how to spot a star . . . including his daughter, Amantha Starr Walden, dancing as Kenny's leading lady in this fabulous music montage.
Monday, May 31, 2010
Mom said she was tired of her own excuse that she didn’t have any time. Truth be told, she really hasn’t had any lately. But she always said if you want something done, ask a busy person. So Mom told herself, “If you can’t find time, make time.” And with that, she issued herself a dare.
For her, it was just as bold and daring as those bucket list things in life that require helmets, safety vests and waivers. She would spend a weekend completely alone, in her cousin’s mountain cabin, where there is no cell signal, no internet, no cable or other forms of communication, unless you go looking. She would have no other choice but be enveloped in complete quiet time and choose to spend it reading, writing or just being still.
With Shuga’s support, telling her he was proud of her, Mom left Macon in the rear view mirror for the mountains of North Carolina.
The Mini Cooper loved every turn as she climbed the mountain to where the cabin was nestled, her heart racing with every shrinking cell bar. When she finally caught site of its tin roof and welcoming screen door, all signal was lost. The solo mountain sojourn had officially begun.
Without a doubt the air was lighter the minute she stepped out of her car. The birds were louder than she remembered, and the cabin with all the care her cousin had invested, never looked so precious with its blooming flowers and cozy interior, decorated with folk art, vintage Macon postcards and music mementoes of Capricorn artists gone by.
Despite the instant serenity, Mom spent her first day antsy, as predicted. She wasn’t sure how to handle the quiet. She had to make herself not to turn on any music until it was at least dark outside. She read, she napped and she almost drove back to Macon at least once when she started missing Shuga and us mutts so bad. But she bucked up and went to bed early with the notion that tomorrow would be a new, full day, and she slept well knowing the baseball bat Texas T loaned her was by her side.
Life was different the next day. She opened the windows to the sounds of birds, got the tea kettle going and decided that was all the noise she needed. With the cool mountain air, she kept her long sleeves on, the tea always hot and a blanket over her lap when she read on the porch. Meals consisted of goat cheese, prosciutto and green onions and loved it. She brought along her Dolly Parton box set, but soon found she didn’t need it. Hours were spent writing beside the window, the breeze in the trees and the occasional rain shower keeping her mind focused and inspired.
Mom also prayed, but more than anything, she tried to listen. For once in a long time, her world was quiet and all she had to do was look at the view to feel the Kingdom of God before her.
While Mom was on the mountain, she read Erskine Caldwell’s God’s Little Acre. A friend of her Uncle Phil’s recommended it to her. Ironically, the main character is named Ty Ty Walden.
Mom finished the book on her last day at the cabin, on the porch as the rain was beating down.
“When you get God in your heart, you have a feeling that living is worth striving for night and day. I ain’t talking about the God you hear about in the churches, I’m talking about the God inside of a body. I’ve got the greatest feeling for Him, because He helps me to live. That’s why I set aside God’s little acre out there on the farm when I was just a young man starting in. I like to have something around me that I can go to and stand on and feel God in . . . All you boys seem to think about is the things you can see and touch – that ain’t living. It’s the things you can feel inside of you – that’s what living is made for.” - Ty Ty Walden
Friday, May 28, 2010
Especially his daughter . . . He'll trade the world, spend his very last dime and give her everything he has. Thank you, Mom's Pop Walden, for marking another year as a wonderful father. We're a little late with the birthday wish, but after 67 years . . . who's counting?
Pictured is recent birthday (May 23) boy Alan Walden with Jack Chisom and the ultimate balladeer Percy Sledge, who remains romancing couples everywhere as he tours today. The picture was taken the week "When a Man Loves a Woman" reached number one in Billboard. It was also taken at a party where Mom's Pop met a then-unknown guitarist named Jimi Hendrix and could have mistaken him for Johnny Jenkins!
There's a whole lot of living and legends wrapped up in those 67 years. Candy Lou loves and celebrates you!
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Thanks to photographer Chris Smith for these great "headshots" of me Candy Lou and my new little brother Boz Waggs. Just call us poster children for "Why would you ever want to shop when you can adopt from your local shelter?"
By the way, in case you can't tell, we've got new summer hair cuts!
Make tails wag everywhere by being committed to adopting and rescuing all of your pets. We sure are glad Mom and Shuga D always have and always will.
Saturday, May 15, 2010
It's been so crazy in Candy's Land catching up from Mom and Shuga D's first real deal, week-long spring vacation, that we haven't had time to recap it. Although old news now, it's been far from forgettable. From visiting her sister Georgie Girl and her drummer man Scott in Hollywood to driving through the desert to Tucson for visiting his sister Brooke and main man Steve with their beautiful toddler and newborn brood, Jackson James and Olive Jean, here are just a few of the highlights:
- The moment Mom saw her sister . . . and hugged her until they weren't the only ones in the Pig and Whistle with tears in their eyes. Georgie Girl has been an L.A. Woman for over a year now, and she looks more beautiful, authentic and TALLER than ever.
- Shuga D taking the crew to a L.A. Dodgers game against Arizona's Diamondbacks. Mom not only agreed to go to a sporting event, but she stepped out of her comfort zone so much so that she lost a few moments in outer space on Hollywood Boulevard.
- Hugging the neck of Macon's own crooner Mark Brooker and his beautiful Italian lady friend after meeting up at the place of 80's rock legends, the Rainbow Room.
- The strike at Lucky Strike, first try and several "Roy Rogers" drinks later while bowling with Shuga.
- The infamous $25 salad among the famous (or wannabe famous), poolside at the Roosevelt Hotel, Mom and Shuga's temporary 吉林快三遗漏-away-from-吉林快三遗漏. Such salad is now a souvenir pictured here.
- Afroman's curse-filled, star-studded celebrity tour that made Mom blush and Shuga say, "The Southern gentleman in me isn't so sure about this."
- Pinkberry. Pinkberry. Pinkberry.
- Mom dipping her toe into the chilly Pacific ocean and soaking up the sites and sounds of the stunning cliffs of Malibu with Shuga, Georgie Girl and Drummer Man Scott.
- The Jewish waitress at Greenblatt's Deli who cursed when she burned herself and harkened the New Testament with a few choice words. And then there was the best bagel and lox (Mom's absolute food favorite!) ever had.
- Sitting amongst her Walden kin - sister and cousins in their historic deco 吉林快三遗漏 nestled in the hills above Hollywood. The West Coast seems to be treating the younger sibs of Waldens well.
- The breath-taking art and artistic view from the top of the Getty Museum that got Mom and Shuga behind schedule and stuck in L.A.'s Friday rush hour . . . for three hours.
- Windmills on the desert drive just before the sun went down and the lights of Palm Springs came on
- Figuring out the Prius rental car in Phoenix, then figuring how much money and little carbon footprint they really did save!
- Jackson James anticipating their arrival by waiting in the front yard
- Meeting, holding and cuddling newborn Olive Jean for the very first time
- Eating an orange, straight off a backyard orange tree
- Tucson's version of Bragg Jam . . . and Mom and Shuga taking notes!
- Mom's re-discovery of the desert's beauty, a decade since her last trip and the first time with the man of her dreams.
- The Sonoran hotdog: bacon, mayo, peppers, beans and bottomless bun. No need to say more.
- Fresh tableside (in their case, barside) salsa-making right before their eyes. More tomatillos, please.
- Seeing Shuga and his sister share that same wonderful Weatherford smile . . .
And that is just a start of Mom and Shuga's recapped adventure in the wild, wild west. The rest, as they say, is meant for the family scrapbook. Except for the poolside salad.