Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Neely-Dorsey recognized as Mississippi Literary Ambassador

Congratulations to Patricia Neely-Dorsey who has been honored by Senate Concurrent Resolution 569, recognizing her as a Mississippi author and poet, as Literary Ambassador for the State.

It is so nice to hear good things about our Mississippi.  We knew these things all along, but through positive thinking from people like Patricia, maybe the rest of the country will share our thoughts.

Patricia Neely-Dorsey is a 1982 graduate of Tupelo High School in Tupelo, Miss., and she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Boston University. She is the author of two books of poetry, Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia and My Magnolia Memories and Musings. She calls both books a “celebration of the south and things southern.” Neely-Dorsey currently lives in Tupelo with her husband and son. 

Patricia Neely-Dorsey is asking that her poem Meet my Mississippi can be considered as the state poem.  "This poem can be used as a teaching tool for all ages and as a way to highlight some of the very best Mississippi has to offer," she says. "It contains references to our rich literary history as well as references to our musical and cultural history."

Meet My Mississippi

Faulkner's Sanctuary
Eudora's home state
Elvis' birthplace
The bulk of the Trace;
Sprawling beaches
Along the Gulf Coast shore
One blues man's crossroads
And inspiration for more;
A ride down the mighty river
On the American Queen
And some of the most
Beautiful countryside
That you've ever seen
She's music and melodies
And the mockingbird's songs,
By valor and arms
And faith ever strong:
She's magnolias blooming
Around Jackson's capitol dome
And the sweet scent of honeysuckle
That forever says "home"
She's My Mississippi
She's "The Hospitality State"
"Go Mississippi"
You're a true State of Grace
             Patricia Neely-Dorsey 2013

Thank you Patricia for allowing me to use the words of her poem Ancestors in my first novel The Carving Place, which I hope will be published this year. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Gloomy days call for action

I will admit it:  I suffer form Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), also known as winter depressionwinter bluessummer depression or seasonal depression, is a mood disorder subset in which people who have normal mental health throughout most of the year experience depressive symptoms at the same time each year, most commonly in the winter. (

I asked google how many gray, not necessarily rainy, days we'd had in North Mississippi in the last six weeks.  Google did not know. So today, the umpteenth gray day in a row, I fought back. I got up in my gloomy house, put dogs out in the drizzle. Got myself dressed, and went to town. With no real plan. I shopped at some of my favorite boutiques in town:  Cotton Treasures, Merle Normal, and Walmart, the ultimate boutique where I found some stretchy, cheap, boot cut riding jeans.  Yes, I have hopes that I will ride again.

But my new horse, who has given me more hope that you can imagine, was bogged in her small lot which had come to resemble the La Brea Tar Pits.  I moved her to a training facility so her feet would feel better while Howard and I, mainly Howard, worked on a bigger fenced area for her and another horse coming soon.(She has a special history and will be featured on a future blog.)

Following my shopping frenzy, I met one of my best friends for lunch at Applebees. This friend, one I've had since junior high, is good for my soul, so I needed her today. We got to know each other on the band bus in junior high on a trip to Georgia.  We were assigned the back seat next to the bathroom. Convenient for us, but a little ripe by the time we got home.  Back to today's story, it was Taco Tuesday, tacos with a different spin for $1.  We talked until the waitress was looking at us like she wished we would leave.

What could I do when I got home?  My culinary adventurous children had talked about cooking spaghetti squash. So I googled it, and here is my attempt at shrimp with spaghetti squash.

First photo, those things that look like loaves of bread are halved spaghetti squash.  After scraping out the seeds, you put them in the oven with a little olive oil and salt and pepper for 40 minutes.  In the meantime you sauté shrimp or make a red sauce.

Second pic shows squash after it has baked.  You take a fork and shred the inside which magically turns to pasta-looking stuff.

Third photo shows the "spaghetti." It was amazing.  I drizzled a tiny bit of butter because I'm Southern and can't be completely healthy, salt and lemon pepper.

Last photo lets you see the "spaghetti" with shrimp, onions and peppers.

You realize my husband and I grew up in meat and potato, one green vegetable, bread and dessert households.  This was
a stretch.  But we actually liked it.  It looked like pasta, but was
a little crunchy and sweet.  It did not taste at all like a shredded yellow squash, thank goodness.

Now I'm in my bed, writing my blog and wondering what I'll do tomorrow and the next day.

Maybe I'll go look at my my horse and walk her around and be glad that she is out of the mud. A good dose of horse aroma always does me good.

Thank goodness my phone shows a sunshine on Friday and Saturday, just a little bit.  I'll take it. PS:  I don't suffer from SAD in the summer
unless it stays over 100 degrees for many days in a row or turns into an Amazon rain forrest.