Tuesday, July 31, 2007

August Theme Day: Typical Breakfast

Today is August Theme Day featuring typical breakfasts around the world.
While the post doesn't have to be about what you eat personally, the only place we eat breakfast is at home. So, here's ours: buttermilk biscuits, grits (not instant!), bacon, red grapes or some other fruit, honey, and for me, Plantation Mint tea. The rest of us drink either apple or orange juice or milk. Now, the biscuit is not homemade although we often make them from scratch. This one is from a sack of Mary B's frozen home-bake biscuits that take only 20 minutes to cook. The honey, which we pour over the biscuit and slather with butter, is not actually the southern-born, Winn-Dixie clover brand that I thought it was! My husband just told me that he took some of the honey his dad collected from his honeybee hives and put it in the empty WD jar, because he was tired of spooning it out of a large canning jar! It's much easier to pour from the smaller container.

Now that you've seen a southern breakfast, I have to admit that not many southerners eat like this anymore unless they are at a Cracker Barrel Restaurant where breakfast is served around the clock! More likely, they have a piece of toast, cereal with milk, a Pop Tart or donut!

Now, please visit all the other fantastic breakfasts from one side of the globe to the other!

Saint Paul (MN), USA - Bellefonte (PA), USA - Menton, France - Monte Carlo, Monaco - New York City (NY), USA - Tel Aviv, Israel - Hyde, UK - Port Angeles (WA), USA - Mainz, Germany - Stockholm, Sweden - Paderborn, Germany - Singapore, Singapore - Haninge, Sweden - Nottingham, UK - Ampang (Selangor), Malaysia - Manila, Philippines - Boston (MA), USA - Seoul, Korea - Singapore, Singapore - Joplin (MO), USA - Chandler (AZ), USA - Paris, France - Sequim (WA), USA - Greenville (SC), USA - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - Boston (MA), USA - Chennai, India - Madison (WI), USA - Baton Rouge (LA), USA - Toulouse, France - Seattle (WA), USA - Mexico (DF), Mexico - La Antigua, Guatemala - Selma (AL), USA - Wassenaar (ZH), Netherlands - Albuquerque (NM), USA - Cleveland (OH), USA - San Diego (CA), USA - Lubbock (TX), USA - Jakarta, Indonesia - Sheki, Azerbaijan - Sydney, Australia - Mumbai, India - Seoul, South Korea - Cottage Grove (MN), USA - Cypress (TX), USA - Saarbrücken, Germany - Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina - New Orleans (LA), USA - Budapest, Hungary - Kyoto, Japan - Tokyo, Japan - Austin (TX), USA - Singapore, Singapore - Villigen, Switzerland - Montréal (QC), Canada - Stayton (OR), USA - Melbourne, Australia - Silver Spring (MD), USA - Moscow, Russia - Springfield (MO), USA - Inverness (IL), usa - Arlington (VA), USA - Cologne (NRW), Germany - Anderson (SC), USA - Oslo, Norway - Saint-Petersburg, Russian Federation - Manila, Philippines - Kajang (Selangor), Malaysia - Maple Ridge (BC), Canada - Bandung (West Java), Indonesia - Stavanger, Norway - Bastia, France - Hong Kong, China - Wailea (HI), USA - St. Louis (MO), USA - Chicago (IL), USA - Rabaul, Papua New Guinea - Sydney, Australia - Bucaramanga (Santander), Colombia - Kansas City (MO), USA - Grenoble, France - Paris, France - Evry, France - Saigon, Vietnam - Prague, Czech Republic - Cape Town, South Africa - Brookville (OH), USA - Brussels, Belgium - San Diego (CA), USA - Wellington, New Zealand - Newcastle (NSW), Australia - Saint Louis (MO), USA - Sharon (CT), USA - Shanghai, China - Zurich, Switzerland - North Bay (ON), Canada - Lyon, France - Naples (FL), USA

The Sweet Side of Kudzu

The other day when I posted a photo of kudzu about to overtake a downtown fence, a commenter gave some links to the better side of kudzu. While kudzu is notorious for choking forests, bogging down U.S. Army tanks, sneaking up on vehicles and providing shelter for copperhead snakes, this vine that "eats the South" really does have a nicer, sweeter reputation of sorts.
Many people have begun kudzu enterprises...weaving the vine into baskets, producing bales of kudzu hay, deep-frying the edible leaves, using the root to treat alcoholism and even making kudzu blossom jelly!
Here is a photo of the hands of a lady who lives nearby, and she is holding kudzu blossoms, the main ingredient of her kudzu blossom jelly. She gathers the blossoms from vines that drape the roadsides near her home.
The blooms resemble miniature wisteria and smell a lot like grapes. Kudzu usually doesn't bloom until August in these parts, so this is a photo I took several years ago for an article about her Central Alabama Fair prize-winning kudzu jelly. She recommends serving the jelly with homemade biscuits, and a kudzu website recommends melting it and pouring over waffles or ice cream.
Sorry, I can't share her prize recipe, but here is a link to one on the Internet.

Tomorrow: August Theme Day: What's for Breakfast?
I promise it won't be deep-fried kudzu leaves!

Monday, July 30, 2007

Cat in the Corn

What is it about sacks that attract the curiosity of cats? Our recently acquired kitten jumped into this sack and burrowed her way among the sweet corn, then gave us her "cute" look before we took a photo and got her out. And yes, we ate the corn, cat hair and all! (It hadn't been shucked yet.)

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Both Sides Now

The clouds this time of year always bring Joni Mitchell's words to "Both Sides Now" to mind. Over here, the clouds are brilliant white puffs, and over there, they take on a bit of gray. Like summer cumulus clouds, the events of our lives constantly change.

Saturday, July 28, 2007


One gardenia bush is all it takes to make a small yard smell sweet. One bloom can bring fragrance to your house. This strong-scented flower is a southern tradition for summer gardens. We rooted this bush and another in the front yard from a gardenia in my in-law's yard. Gardenias are easy to grow but difficult to defend the leaves from pesky white gnats.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Libba's Garden

Just follow the red-brick path through the hedges on the grounds of Sturdivant Hall, and you will find Libba's Garden, a goldfish pond guarded by an angel statuary. I took this photo at twilight when the angel really glows.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Creeping Kudzu

I don't know if this iron fence is wrought or not, but it looks a bit rusty as well as close to getting wrapped in kudzu. The fence and kudzu are down by the river just off Water Avenue. Notice the trees that are also covered in the prolific vine.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


Here's a closeup of the wrought-iron grillwork on the library balcony. Looking down, you see the elliptical rose garden, and across the street are the Downtowner Restaurant and other businesses.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Defender of Selma

Said to be the finest cavalryman in the War Between the States, Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest defended Selma toward the end of the long fight. This bust sits atop a stone pillar in Confederate Circle at Old Live Oak Cemetery. Forrest was known for his natural fighting ability and said to be a genius although he had no formal education or military training. He became a millionaire planter, joined the CSA as a private and quickly rose to general, recruiting men who could supply their own weapons and equipping them himself. After the war, he was a leader of the Ku Klux Klan but left due to its radical nature.

(This post is for Earl, a former Selmian, faithful reader and Civil War historian.)

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Curb Colors

In recent years, downtown Selma has done itself proud with flowers. Years ago, easy-to-keep plain, dark- green bushes filled the spaces. But, ever since clients of the Cahaba Mental Health Center took charge, the curbs are glowing with color. I am sure many Selmians other than myself appreciate their efforts! This flower bed is located across the street from the library, and I believe the tree may be a Savannah Holly. (no sticky leaves)

Selma Historic Tour Map

You are here, right by the red star. HERE is Water Avenue, and this giant, historic tour map is posted in a window so that visitors can plan their Selma itinerary. The color-coded map shows you where to find the Old Towne District (blue), the Ice House district (green), the Riverview District (yellow), and the Water Avenue district (red). Numbers give locations for major tourist sites. What could be more convenient!
I see that my photo also caught a reflection of the street lamp and buildings across the street.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Water Avenue Historic District

No, I haven't gone to New Orleans! But, the French influence is still here as seen on this commercial building. It stands just across Water Avenue from the St. James Hotel and other historic Water Avenue buildings. The district is considered one of the finest surviving examples of a 19th Century riverfront street. The buildings date from 1830 to 1900, and some of them were used by cotton merchants. In recent months, the old facade of one building collapsed, and another building was damaged by high winds. This one, thank goodness, seems to be holding up.

Friday, July 20, 2007

The Harmony Club

The Harmony Club downtown on Water Avenue was built in 1909 as a Jewish social center. It originally contained first-floor businesses, a second-floor restaurant and lounge and third-floor ballroom. Later, it served the Elks Club, then closed in 1960 until it was purchased in 1999 for a private residence. It has been under restoration since then and was featured on HGTV. ArtsRevive, a local arts group, uses the first floor for exhibits.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Selma's TV Station

Selma's Water Avenue is the headquarters for WAKA's CBS-8's West Alabama news bureau. The office is located in one of the historic buildings along the riverfront. Years ago, Selma had WSLA-TV, and the entire newscast was produced and filmed here. Then it moved to Montgomery. Now, Selma receives coverage through this station.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

St. James Courtyard

The interior courtyard at the St. James Hotel is a pleasant retreat. The bricked area is centered with an ornate fountain and surrounded by lush green plants. At night, it is lighted. The hotel is often the site of meetings, banquets, parties and receptions.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Bridge Tender's House

Here's a closeup of the entrance to the Bridgetender's House where the old bridge once crossed the Alabama River. Today, it is a privately owned bed and breakfast and is located beside the St. James Hotel. For another view of this house, click the link to View from the Bridge. 

Monday, July 16, 2007

Under the Bridge

This summer's severe drought has caused depth of the Alabama River to be at record low levels. This view under the Edmund Pettus Bridge reveals a sandy beach along the bank that normally isn't so prominent. The drought has also prevented a lot of boat traffic, particularly commercial barges.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

By the Bridge

A canopy of crape myrtles shades the terrace of the lower section of the Songs of Selma Park designed by architect John Lucas. The bench is a good spot to watch the river or the traffic on the bridge. Lucas also designed the Korean War Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., among other memorials.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Songs of Selma Park Entrance

Enter the Songs of Selma Park here, and check the kiosk for a bit of history and information. Then, walk down the steps between the crape myrtle trees for a view of the river and the Pettus Bridge. On a nice day, it's the perfect spot for lunch or just a quick rest.

Friday, July 13, 2007

The Selma Movement

This historic sign at the foot of the Edmund Pettus Bridge explains The Selma Movement, which brought national attention to civil rights and voting rights during the 1960s.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Songs of Selma Park

The Songs of Selma Park at the foot of the Pettus Bridge is prettiest in July when the crape myrtles bloom. Located on the corner of Water Avenue and Broad Street, it occupies the space where The Crossing Restaurant was located. The restaurant, which featured excellent cuisine along with antiques in an original riverfront building, burned as a result of arson in 1984.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Late Morning on the River

It's late morning on the Alabama River, and all is calm, very calm...hardly a ripple. This view is from the middle of the Pettus Bridge. Looking east, you can see a building on the left that has housed restaurants in the past. The view of the bridge from the dining room was fantastic. Also in the distance is the railroad bridge across the water.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

View from the Bridge

Hikers on the Pettus Bridge have a good view of the Bridgetender's House on the riverbank. The house, now a bed and breakfast, was once occupied by the bridgetender who operated the old drawbridge across the Alabama River. That bridge was destroyed when the Pettus Bridge opened just downstream in 1940. Notice the kudzu covering the bank.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Selma City Limits

The Selma city limits begin at the Edmund Pettus Bridge on U.S. Highway 80 West when traveling from Montgomery to Selma. Bridge to Freedom Memorial Park is to the right. Downtown Selma is just across the bridge.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

The 12 Stones

"When your children shall ask you in time to come, saying, what mean these twelve stones, then you shall tell them how you made it over."

Joshua 4: 21-22 is the verse inscribed on this stone monument near the Edmund Pettus Bridge. It refers to a miracle of God in the book of Joshua in The Bible. The Israelites erected a monument of 12 stones, representing the 12 tribes of Israel, after they crossed the Jordan River into the Promised Land. The monument was placed to remind them of the amazing miracle of how the Lord dried the river until they all had crossed. God had performed a similar miracle 40 years before with the Red Sea.

The verse is used here to remind future generations of how the right to vote was won for all Americans. It is significant that churches were used as meeting places for much of the voting rights and other civil rights activism.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Our family celebrated Independence Day on July 4 with a meal in the country. Here is part of it, which represents a typical Deep South summer feast.

The Menu: barbecue chicken, smoked pork roast and pork tenderloin, barbecue ribs, squash casserole, fried okra, corn, purple-hull peas, watermelon, sliced tomatoes, hot peppers, coleslaw, stir-fried squash, rolls, cantaloupe, fried green tomatoes, fried eggplant patties, and for dessert, peach cobbler with ice cream and chocolate cake, all topped off with sweet iced tea. (Not all the food is shown, thanks to lack of a wide-angle lens and not enough room on the table.)

Another highlight: The men did most of the cooking!
No kidding! They prepared everything except the squash casserole, coleslaw and desserts.
Why, you ask?
A. They like to cook. B. They cook the way their Mama cooked. C. They like to eat a lot. D. After Mama passed, it was easier for them to cook and let their wives look after the kids.

Are there any other families around the world where the men cook most of the holiday feasts?

Independence Illuminations

Fireworks illuminated the skies July 4 as part of the local Independence Day celebration.
Tomorrow: Summer Feast of the South

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Remembering Lafayette

American liberty is what the Fourth of July is all about, and Selmians will never forget the help from the Marquis de Lafayette. The Frenchman joined America's fight for independence and did much to strengthen its friendship with France. He spent more than $200,000 of his fortune to help the colonies. This plaque on Water Avenue commemorates Lafayette's American tour in 1825 when he was welcomed with a "frenzy" that today is reserved for rock and movie stars. His steamboat stopped briefly in Selma where one history books notes he was treated to lunch at Woodall's Hotel, then continued to the state capital of Cahaba where he was feted with a grand banquet.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Selma-Dallas County Centre for Commerce

Selmians once checked out books in this 100-year-old plus building that now serves The Selma-Dallas County Centre for Commerce. Built as a Carnegie Library, many local people recall the beautiful building they visited as children. Later, the library moved to a larger, new building on Broad Street, and the Dallas County Board of Education moved in. Then, it was renovated, and the Centre for Commerce united its chamber of commerce, economic development authority and tourism development under one roof. It is located on Selma Avenue just a block off Broad Street.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Weigh In!

Step right up (at your own risk!) and discover your weight! Some of us don't mind weighing ourselves on a sidewalk right in front of everybody. But others....well! These old scales are located just outside Swift Drug Store downtown. Even though they are rusty, I think they lend a certain antique Americana to Broad Street, right along with the brick sidewalk and awnings.
Also notice the RED newspaper boxes, and far up the sidewalk the RED motorcycle. I almost posted this photo for Red Theme Day yesterday.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

July Theme Day "Something Red"

Today is Theme Day, and for July 1 we post
"Something Red."

The Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail begins at the base of the Edmund Pettus Bridge along U.S. Highway 80 West. The 50-mile trail leads past several civil rights historic sites and the Voting Rights Interpretive Center sponsored by the National Park Service in Lowndes County. Soon, an interpretive center will open in Selma near the bridge as well as one in Montgomery.

Please visit these other City Daily Photo Blogs participating in Theme Day.

Shanghai, China - Mumbai, India - New York City (NY), USA - Manila, Philippines - Albuquerque (NM), USA - Hamburg, Germany - Stayton (OR), USA - Los Angeles (CA), USA - Hyde, UK - Oslo, Norway - Brookville (OH), USA - Melbourne, Australia - Stavanger, Norway - Bellefonte (PA), USA - Bucaramanga (Santander), Colombia - Joplin (MO), USA - Singapore, Singapore - Selma (AL), USA - Cleveland (OH), USA - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - Chandler (AZ), USA - Stockholm, Sweden - Seattle (WA), USA - Boston (MA), USA - Arradon, France - Evry, France - Baton Rouge (LA), USA - Maple Ridge (BC), Canada - Boston (MA), USA - Grenoble, France - Cottage Grove (MN), USA - Greenville (SC), USA - Hilo (HI), USA - Nelson, New Zealand - La Antigua, Guatemala - Brisbane (QLD), Australia - Singapore, Singapore - Tel Aviv, Israel - Hong Kong, China - Sequim (WA), USA - Paderborn, Germany - Saarbrücken, Germany - Rotterdam, Netherlands - Tenerife, Spain - Kyoto, Japan - Tokyo, Japan - Sydney, Australia - Naples (FL), USA - Cologne (NRW), Germany - Wassenaar (ZH), Netherlands - Saint Louis (MO), USA - Cypress (TX), USA - Ocean Township (NJ), USA - Mainz, Germany - Toruń, Poland - Menton, France - Monte Carlo, Monaco - Singapore, Singapore - North Bay (ON), Canada - Jakarta, Indonesia - Montréal (QC), Canada - Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina - Minneapolis (MN), USA - Baziège, France - San Diego (CA), USA - Prague, Czech Republic - Ampang (Selangor), Malaysia - New York (NY), USA - Kajang (Selangor), Malaysia - Sharon (CT), USA - Newcastle (NSW), Australia - Port Angeles (WA), USA - Nottingham, UK - Villigen, Switzerland - Chicago (IL), USA - Torquay, UK - Brussels, Belgium - San Diego (CA), USA - Mexico (DF), Mexico - Saint Paul (MN), USA - Cape Town, South Africa - Paris, France - Seoul, Korea - Manila, Philippines - Milano, Italy - Austin (TX), USA - Chennai, India - Madrid, Spain - Seoul, South Korea - Wailea (HI), USA - Toronto (ON), Canada - Ajaccio, France - Buenos Aires, Argentina - Silver Spring (MD), USA - Zurich, Switzerland - Sydney, Australia - Budapest, Hungary - Moscow, Russia - Auckland, New Zealand - Torino, Italy