Last Saturday I attended the Chili For Children chili cook-off at the Lady Luck Casino here in Vicksburg. It was a charity event to raise money for Vicksburg’s children’s home. (more…)
Posted in Baer House Inn, blogging, Family, food, friends, humor, Jansen Schmidt, resolutions, short story, words, writing, tagged agenda, communicate, conversation, decaf coffee, English, foreigners, innkeeper, innkeeping, introverted, orange juice, plans, ringleader, shy, spokesperson, talking, traveling, vacation, Vicksburg on May 23, 2016| 10 Comments »
Being an innkeeper has opened my eyes to a lot of things that I never really noticed before. For instance, quite a few people travel in groups, be they family situations or just long-time friends who like to vacation together. I think that’s neat. I don’t remember my family ever traveling with any other family or friends, other than mom, dad, me and my older brother. I guess on occasion we’d include an aunt or uncle and cousins, but usually it was just the four of us.
But, it’s fairly often that we get couples traveling together through Vicksburg.
Posted in blogging, Family, Fiction, Holidays, humor, Jansen Schmidt, Vicksburg, words, writers, writing, tagged ballroom, California, church, Cracker Barrel, DMV, family, holidays, license plate, Mardi Gras, Mississippi, Natchez Trace, outhouse, parlor, polish silver, silver, Sundays, Vicksburg on January 11, 2016| 16 Comments »
It’s a new year and here in Vicksburg, it still has the new year smell. I’ve been settling in here in Mississippi and loving every minute of it. Well, maybe not every single minute, we did have the hot snap in December (80 degrees at Christmas?), but for the most part, LOVING it! (The irony of that is that where I used to live in California, they had snow on Christmas day for the first time in like 12 years. Go figure.)
Anyway, they definitely do things different here in the south. For instance, when I went to get my new driver’s license, they handed it to me right then and there. No waiting weeks for it to arrive in the mail, hoping it didn’t get lost or stolen. No written or driving test. Nothing. Just, “here you go.” I didn’t even have to wait in line at the DMV. (And – bonus – it’s right across the street so I could walk over.)
Same thing with the car registration; I walked in, handed them some basic paperwork and BAM, they handed me a bright shiny new license plate. On the spot. No waiting. No mailing. Again, I walked right up to the window. No taking a number, no standing in line, no internet appointment necessary.
I know – weird. All my California folks will know exactly what I’m talking about.
And here’s a strange thing – daily operations here cease on holidays and Sundays. No signs posted in the windows, no ads announcing holiday hours, just lights out and locked doors. That took some getting used to. If you want to go out to eat on Sunday, you have about one choice – Cracker Barrel. (Or the casinos – need I say more.) I think that’s kind of cool though. A lot of guests here at the inn don’t get it, but I’m getting used to it. Sundays are church and family days.
I also find myself saying things here that I never imagined I’d ever say in California. Here’s a short list:
1 – There’s an alligator in the backyard. (No, this hasn’t happened but it’s entirely possible and even very probable with the river already above flood stage. Stay tuned.)
2 – We have to get ready for Mardi Gras. (That’s right, even though we’re 2 1/2 hours away from New Orleans, Mardi Gras’s a big deal here.)
3 – Are you taking the Trace? (Referring to the Natchez Trace highway. It’s basically “the back road.” Not sure why it’s called a Trace, but it is and I like saying it. For more information visit here: http://www.nps.gov/natr/index.htm)
4 – It’s time to polish the silver again. (Really? Polish silver? Yup. About every 3 months that stuff has to be shined up.)
5- I’m in the parlor. (The parlor? How cool does that sound? Who even has a parlor these days?)
6 – This ballroom is hard to heat. (I have a freaking ballroom!!)
7 – You want to see my outhouse? (See this post https://jansenschmidt.wordpress.com/2015/11/30/a-peek-at-my-rare-2-story-4-hole-outhouse/ for more details in case you missed it earlier.)
How about you readers, ever find yourself saying things that sounded foreign at one time, but now seem natural? Ever been on the Natchez Trace? Ever polished silver? Inquiring minds want to know.
Word of the Day: Uraeus
Fun fact about me: I want to host a ball. Seriously, I want to have a ball in my ballroom.
Original post by Jansen Schmidt, January 2016. Photos courtesy Google Imgaes.
Posted in Autumn, blogging, blooms, dessert, desserts, Family, Fiction, food, Holidays, humor, Jansen Schmidt, short story, words, writing, tagged Easter egg hunt, Easter eggs, harvest, harvesting pecans, kulak, pecan tree, pecans, squirrels, tiny Easter eggs, Vicksburg on November 2, 2015| 14 Comments »
Dear lovely ancient Pecan Tree:
Thank you for the lovely fruit. How I adore baking with the tasty nuggets you drop to the ground each fall. I do, however, have a request, if it’s not too much trouble? Would you henceforth please drop your tiny morsels of goodness in one neat pile on the pavement instead of scattering them all over the yard. And, while you’re at it, could you make it a nice sunny spot instead of those inticing shady areas where pesky mosquitos and mud bogs and snakes tend to lurk.
It’s not that I mind bending down and picking them up so much, but because they are all one lovely, non-descript shade of tan, they tend to blend in with everything, making them much harder to locate. Each morning it is like I am on some outlandish Easter egg hunt for the tiniest Easter eggs ever, all cleverly disquised as clods of mud and pebbles and chunks of cement. I am sure you surreptitiously watch me with merriment as I try to locate the delicatable treats through squinty eyes.
And finally, after dumping your nutty deliciousness in a tidy pile in the warm sunshine, perhaps you could talk to some of your feline friends, and ask them to protect the mound of morsels from thieving squirrels until such time as I can make my way outside to collect the bounty?
For all of your helpfulness, I shall reward you handsomely by trimming your foliage in an attractive fashion so as to inspire greater productivity next year and to keep your sturdy branches from overload and thus the threat of breakage, like what happened to the gentle giant in the driveway. I promise to take better care your support limbs and to admire the shade and beauty you provide each day, if only would you do your part by helping with the harvest.
Thank you in advance for your cooperation. I am sure by working together we can both become better living beings as a result. Oh sure, we’ll piss off the squirrels, but all in all, who really cares about pissing off the squirrels?
Forever your most humble servant,
And so I ask you dear readers: have you ever harvested your own pecans? Walnuts? Almonds? Any advice for finding and gathering them? Not to mention cracking open those suckers?
Word of the Day: Kulak
Fun fact about me: I don’t really like pecans, but I have a lot of recipes that list pecans in the ingredient list.
Original post by Jansen Schmidt, October 2015. Photos courtesy Google Images.