>Nashville Star and Mad Hatter Birthday Party

Way to go, Melissa!

We were clapping and cheering last night as we watched the finale of “Nashville Star,” because our favorite, Melissa Lawson, won! We even voted for her last week—first time we’ve ever voted on any of these shows. She’s got an amazing voice and stage presence, and I love that she’s a mother of five boys and has put everything into her dream. We’ve been watching her since the first show, so now we feel like we can say, “we knew her when!” Us and a few million other close friends.

You can see Melissa singing her original song, “Ready to Stand,” a few weeks ago in the video below—just click on the arrow.

On Sunday night we celebrated our friend, Damon’s birthday with Damon and his wife, Madeleine (more of our Godchildren!)…. First with homemade from scratch (they even used fresh-squeezed limes and oranges) margaritas at Damon and Madeleine’s beautifully refurbished Victorian home a few blocks from us here in Midtown. Then we headed down to the Inn at Hunt Phelon for an elegant dinner of scallops and shrimp (for hubby and me) and lamb and duck (for Damon and Madeleine.) Yum! The Inn’s on the east end of Beale Street (east of I-55) kind of up on a hill. Standing on the back porch you get a great view of the skyline of downtown Memphis with the sun setting behind it. Didn’t have my camera.

Afterwards we gathered back at their home for these awesome little Island Way Sorbets in natural “shells”… like mango-orange in half an orange peel, pineapple in half a pineapple peel, coconut in half a coconut shell, etc. Leave it to Madeleine to find something so special. (Want some? They’re at Cosco’s.)

Then Madeleine brought out her new camera on a tripod and set it up in the living room and started taking pictures. Then she got creative with us.

“Oh—you know what “little Damon” (who is 31 and a lawyer) and his friends used to do when they were bored?”

Madeleine’s eyes glisten with excitement when she gets an idea. Something I’d love to see in her job as school teacher in the gifted program in West Memphis, Arkansas!

“They’d dress up in hats and old clothes and take pictures.”

Next thing I knew we were digging in a closet for hats and coats and, yes, guns and posing for Madeleine’s camera.

And those who know my husband well will crack up at the pix with the guns, as he is such an anti-gun person. My dad and brother did lots of duck, quail and dove-hunting when I was growing up in Mississippi, but I never went with them, so this is as close as I guess I’ll get to the hunting experience.

Never a dull moment with these two dear friends we’ve known now for almost twenty years!

I thought about Garden & Gun , the magazine I enjoy sometimes, with its classy mix of Southern art, literature, destinations and cuisine.
There’s an article in the July/August issue by Clyde Edgerton called “The Family Guns,” that reminds me of Damon and Madeleine’s extensive antique collection and family treasures

that fill their beautiful home. I had fun posing in Damon’s fur coat from 1906.

So, I’m posting some of the hat pictures in my permanent hat gallery on the left side of my blog.

Thanks for a great time, and Happy Birthday, Damon!

Okay… tomorrow is the day… when we’ll celebrate Pen and Palette’s first birthday! I’m already working on the post and hope to have it up by tomorrow

afternoon. Thanks for reading!

Please share!