Author Archives: jennifermichie

Writing on the Wall #142

Today represents not only the first of the month, but also the beginning of Lent. It’s a time to turn the page, to reflect and to refresh. In my family we always added an activity as well as giving something up. This Lent one of the things Mr. Michie and I have decided to add in, is a twenty minute period of mediation each day. We hope to use this as a time to consider, to step back and to catch our breaths. We’re also giving up dessert. That has become a big deal around these parts. Even with all of our running/exercise we still eat a cookie or a square of chocolate with a cup of tea at night; occasionally we share a cupcake from the bakery. I’m already looking forward to our Easter basket, I hope the Easter Bunny packs it full of chocolate and jelly beans and Peeps!

{Image found HERE // Pinned HERE}

Sally Bell’s

There is something very unique about the South. There’s an essence to the people, to the way of life, to the general mannerisms. The South is a place that my heart yearns for when I’m not there. As there is everywhere, the South has a lot of off the beaten path joints and those special places that relate just to your town. Everyone has their favourite diner, their favourite hang out. You know who has the best sweet tea, where to the find the fluffiest melt in your mouth biscuits and who has the best pecan pie as close as you can get to tasting like your Mama’s!

A few months ago while reading an article, I discovered a Virginia treasure. Sally Bell’s, in Richmond, has been in business for over 92 years! Even more incredible then their longevity is the fact that Sally Bell’s was started after the meeting of two ladies at the Richmond Exchange for Women’s Work. An organisation that allowed women to earn money for selling their wares and work toward becoming self-sufficient. Just as important in 1883 as it is today. They’ve been at their present location since the 1920’s and not too long ago, after VCU purchased their property they moved to a new spot. In that move they discovered numerous pieces of their history stored away in the nooks and crannies of cabinets, drawers and hutches, they hope to put these on display in their new home.

Sally Bell’s is a place near and dear to many people’s hearts. That is clearly evident by not only the patrons that have been coming for generations, but also the people who work there. They are a family and they put heart and soul into their food. Their box lunches would be a treat for sure! I couldn’t imagine anything better. It’s nice to know that as the world continues to march forward, places like this still exist. The nostalgia they carry forward is so very important to who we were, where we are going, what we want to become and what we don’t want to lose value in.

I loved watching these ladies put the lunches together. What is it about something wrapped in wax paper? Maybe it just conjures up a certain time in my childhood for me, watching my mother and grandmothers wrap cakes or sandwiches in a layer of wax paper. The crinkly sound it creates always makes me think of a scene in Driving Miss Daisy, where Jessica Tandy prepares a lunch for her and Hoke. She wraps their lunch in wax paper and tucks it into a shoebox so nothing gets crushed. That sound the paper makes as she folds the corners in and later as they eat by the roadside, drinking Coca-Colas from a glass bottle, Hoke crushes up the wax paper that housed his deviled egg. The crinkly, crunchy, soft sound that it makes, I love that noise.

One day, I’m making a road trip to Sally Bell’s. Besides my boxed lunch, I think I will also be walking out with a box of cupcakes, because it just wouldn’t seem fitting to not do that!

Below are three brief, yet interesting articles on Sally Bell’s, worth a read:

Martha Crowe Jones & Marcyne Jones

Richmond Magazine: First Look: The New Sally Bell’s

Eater: A Boxed Lunch That Has People Lining Up at 6 a.m.

Weekend Plans

I’m elated that it’s Friday and I have a whole weekend with Mr. Michie all to myself! The temperatures are supposed to stay cool this weekend and the rain is gonna keep on coming. Which means that after our morning run, we’re going to head back indoors and stay cozy.

A big batch of spaghetti and meatballs is on the weekend menu. We’re planning on pulling out some classic Eighties movies from our collection and hunkering down on the couch under a mountain of blankets. I foresee lots of popcorn being involved in our movie watching endeavours. Candles will be lit and we will just try to drift through this weekend as slowly as possible, because Mondays come around all too quickly again.

Here’s to the weekend, long may it last!

Dreaming of Soup

We’re in the middle of Storm Doris here and I only made it a 1/4 way through my run this morning, before I was beaten back home by wind gusts, falling branches, hail and rain coming down in sheets. I guess today, I just wasn’t meant to run.

The dampness in the air is making me cold. While warming up in the shower I started dreaming of Copenhagen. I would have bundled up today and walked down to the Torvehallerne. Maybe I would have gazed at the flower stalls before picking just the right bunch to bring home. Maybe I would have stopped at one of our favourite coffee spots for a drink and a mini chocolate cinnamon roll. Maybe I was lucky enough to find a seat by the window and I could watch the world go by.

Maybe I would have picked up a fresh loaf of focaccia from the bakery to have with dinner tonight. Maybe I would have been there long enough to have lunch and I would have stopped at another stall we liked, grabbed a seat at the counter and ordered this delicious chicken soup with ginger. Just maybe.

A girl can dream, can’t she?

The Grand Total

Since my last post about reorganising the closets, we’ve given away a whole lot more! The grand total now stands at 10 garbage bags and one large shopping bag worth of clothing, fabric, towels and home accessories. Decluttering is an amazing thing, it frees the space and it frees you. I haven’t missed anything that we have donated. I’m truly enjoying the bits and pieces we decided to keep. I took great pleasure in making a loaf of bread yesterday, on countertops that were practically devoid of clutter. It’s very cathartic and something this little dollhouse and us were desperately in need of.

Six Bags

Six bags. Six garbage bags: each one filled to the brim with clothes that are now too big for us, since we started running. Six garbage bags filled with clothes, shoes and winter coats that were swallowing us whole. Six garbage bags that we’ve donated to charity.

The house feels empty; in an odd way. No one but us ever sees what’s behind the closet doors or inside the dresser. Now, they are incredibly streamlined. Everything has been organised so it is easily visible when you open the drawer. It feels empty, but it feels so good. And we have a list of a few items that need to be replaced, in smaller sizes.  It was a mentally and physically exhausting process that took us two days to complete.

Nevertheless, I feel exhilarated!

A Taste of Snow

It’s trying so hard to snow today. You can feel it. That particular dampness that snow brings to the air and the way the world smells. I saw a few flakes tumble down around me on my run this morning. It makes me so happy! I’m keeping my fingers crossed for at least a good dusting. I want the world to look like a Christmas cake powdered in icing sugar, with no nook or cranny left un-sprinkled by white. Snow today seems fitting as tonight we usher in the Full Snow Moon.

I’m curled up this afternoon, the candles are lit. I’ve feasted on toasted challah bread, smothered in butter and strawberry jam. A hot cup of tea is by my side, sending steamy little tendrils into the air.

It feels like an Anne Shirley kind of day. So, I’m listening to the soundtrack while I work. Happiness is…