Monday, October 31, 2011

Oak Hill Cemetery Tour

Oak Hill is the oldest cemetery in Birmingham where many of its pioneers and developers are buried.
I didn't attend the parade at 8am in 39 degree weather. I opted to do the tour at 12 noon after it was warm and sunny.

Actors dressed in period costumes stood by the gravesite of the person they were representing and told that person's history.
I enjoyed the tour and it is a great experience for history buffs. Above is Hattie Hudson.

Emma Hawes tells the story of how her husband killed she and her two daughters and then had the audacity to take on a new wife.
Another character whose name I don't remember . 

A character from the Jordan family

Louise Wooster well known madam of the late 1800's

James Withers Sloss
Sloss Furnace was instrumental in making Birmingham, Alabama a steel city.

Recent burial of Fred L. Shuttlesworth, Civil Rights icon

Oak Hill  assistants dressed in period costumes.

John  T. Milner's  obelisk shaped monument

The inside on one of the mausoleums photographed through it's bars.

Friday, October 28, 2011


There's a lot going on this weekend.
My alma mater goes against Alabama State Saturday, October 29th.
I'm not a sports person so I don't attend the game.

I do enjoy the parade. In the past years the parade time has changed from 9 am to 8 am. I've been unable to attend for the past 4 years because I was working. Now that I am no longer working, I'll have the opportunity to hear the bands and see the floats. Lisa Raye McCoy is to be the the parade's Grand Marshall.

There's to be much tailgating with some people arriving as early as last Sunday so that they could obtain a coveted spot for their trailers and mobile campers at Legion Field where the game is to be played.  

Tom Joyner and his crew will also be on hand for tailgating. In the past Tom Joyner would bring a show to the BJCC and broadcast live. People would line up as early as 3am just to get in and get a good seat. My sis and I went one year. When I arrived at 3 am there was already a long line ahead of us. We made it inside and the show was everything I thought it would be and more.

There will be so much associated with the 70th Magic City Classic, I can't remember it all. Steve Harvey will be doing a show. Frankie Beverly and Maze will perform. Above is a link to all of the festivities.

 On Friday, October 28th, the City of Birmingham will sponsor and serve as a host of the first Empowerment Expo , I AM CLASSIC.  There will be a job fair, spirituality, health, social media, sports, entertainment and women's issues. The expo is free. There are other portions that aren't. The website explains them.

A couple of other events I'm interested in are:

The Oak Hill Cemetery Grand Tour: October 29

This tour will feature actors impersonating some of Birmingham's famous, infamous, and ordinary early pioneers.  Many of those we read about in history books are buried there. This family-friendly event is from Noon until 6:00 pm. It is free but donations are accepted. Most recently Rev. Fred L. Shuttlesworth was buried there.  He was a notable Civil Rights icon.

Birmingham Southern College will present Organ Spooktacular , October 31st, 9pm in Hill Recital Hall.
This is how the spooktacular is described.

"If you've never attended a Halloween BSC Organ Spooktacular you don't know what you've been missing! This recital is filled with spooky organ music and lots of mischievious fun! Dr. Jim Cook and other talented organists are going to "treat" you to an unforgettable evening of frightful frolic (and maybe a few "tricks"). The Spooktacular starts promptly at 9 PM.....don't be late! This is a family event, so bring the kids......there will plenty of time to go Trick or Treating before heading over to the Hilltop."

Whenever I hear a pipe organ I think of scary movies. My all time favorite as a kid  was a comedy , The Ghost and Mr. Chicken starred Don Knotts. It was a great family movie that my mother took us to. It was one of those fun family times that holds a special place in my memories.


Saturday, October 22, 2011

Corn on the cob without the silk

As Seen On
by way of Smitty B
Smitty B sent me an e-mail about microwaving corn without the silk.  Naturally, I had to try it.  I tried out the Omelet in a  ziplock bag  that she sent me also.
Here's  the video from YOU TUBE if you'd like to watch it first, then my results.

I purchased one ear of corn for 75 cents just for this experiment.

I placed the one ear of corn with the shucks inside the microwave and set it for 4 minutes. I didn't have an Ove Glove, so I used oven mitts to place it on my cutting board.

I cut off the bottom of the corn.

Here is the bottom of the corn. I shook the ear of corn out in one shake.
It came out perfectly. No silk at all.

I don't know if it was the corn or the microwave but the corn was delicious. It was so sweet I didn't put anything on it.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Women In Agriculture

In a  previous post, "Party With A Purpose"  I told you about the many community service booths that were a part of the event.  One of those booths was that of the Hopewell Women In Agriculture. Their representative issued flyers regarding their annual conference.  The featured subjects on the flyer got my interest so I signed up for it.

It began the Friday before the conference. There was a salsa making contest. The judges were a deli owner and a couple who teaches salsa dancing. After the salsa making contest, we were treated to salsa dance lessons  with Sergio and Suzanne a salsa dancing couple.  This was fun but I'm pretty sure I don't remember the steps.

The Saturday conference was held at Hopewell Community Life Center. A printed schedule of the day's events were issued to each participant along with a "goody" bag.
On schedule was/were:

1. Spoken Word by Ashley Armstrong
2. Dr. Mia Cowan on Things Women Should Know But Are Afraid To Talk About
3. Rhonda Dial owner of Go Natural Herbs for Health
4. Smart Talk  Panel Discussion- Starting a small business
                                                     -USDA opportunities for farmers
                                                     - United Way 211 and help with business bookkeeping

Zumba  this was led by a lady who was a recent 22 year retiree of the military service having served in Afghanistan. She recently received her certification to teach zumba classes.  The zumba activity was a good vehicle for awakening the body  between sessions.

Breakout Sessions included:
*Urban Medicines
*Biblical Gardens
*What Is Organic
*Setting Up a Business
*Marketing With Social Media
*Landscapes With a Purpose
*Healing the Body

I was greeted by such friendly women as if I was a part of their group. They made me feel very welcomed. It was a tremendous feeling to feel so comfortable in the company of strangers. This conference was chock full of information I could use. I'm so glad I was able to attend.

NOTE: Since I'd never met these ladies, I didn't take any photos .

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sweet Tea

Located on the southside of Birmingham, Sweet Tea was spotlighted in the weekly weekend circular as one of the  newer restaurants to check out.  They are a new meat and three , something that isn't prevalent on the southside.
 In the background over the steam table is a beautiful mural of Birmingham landmarks . It is not to scale but is colorful and eyecatching.

From what I've read this restaurant has a line during lunch time so a waiting room would probably be a good thing 

This picture of Quinlan castle would be interesting to people not from Birmingham. Quinlan Castle has been much of a mystery. It was at one time an apartment building which later fell into disrepair and neglect, housing squatters . I was eventually bought by Southern Research which is on the corner next to it.

There is a monitor at the beginning of this this cafeteria styled restaurant that denotes food prices . (Click the photo to enlarge it.)  The prices are not cheap. A meat and one is $7.45. That doesn't include the beverage. To get the cliched meat and three would cost close to $10.00.

Sweet Tea advertises standard daily features. Lunch is from 10:30 am-2:30 pm.
 I arrived around 1:30 with my mouth set for the  baked/grilled fish. They had run out.  They'd also run out of the sides I wanted.  I ended up getting chicken fried steak and collard greens. People who know me well, know that I am NOT a brown gravy fan. I had the server place the gravy on the side because whether I got it or not I was paying for it.  The greens were fresh and not the canned or frozen type.  

The sweet tea from which the restaurant gets it's name and professes to be sweetened with brown  and white sugar was a disappointment.  My tea was NOT sweet. I tasted no brown sugar. I didn't get a sugar high as I had expected.
The restaurant was clean. The staff was friendly, cordial and accommodating.
The food was not  what I had expected. It was very disappointing.  My neice and a friend went that following Sunday and she too was not impressed. Apparently we aren't the only ones. A review at the Urban Spoon site has reviews  done by patrons of the restaurant.  It's listed as "Southern/Soul, Greek, American"
Maybe they need to stick with one culture and do it well.
That's It***

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Party with a purpose

 Ensley held  a community festival October 1st. This festival was sponsored by Councilor Steven Hoyt who is the rep for that district. Below is a quote taken from the B'ham News website.

The four-hour event, headed by Birmingham City Councilor Steven Hoyt, is a combination job fair, educational initiative and community festival. (copied from

The article indicated that over 10,000 people attended, up 4,000 more than previous years. Originally the event was brought about in an effort to have residents more involved in their community after a number of homicides. In addition to wholesome activities, the festival allowed families to spend time together.

There was more than one group of dancers. Also, positive rappers with positive messages.

There were numerous community service tents available for the public to visit. Among them were Project Rebound, to help tornado victims with recovery. Various church and non profit agencies were also there. Hopewell Church will be sponsoring a Women's workshop next weekend which I plan to attend. The subjects that got me interested were edible landscapes and practical business skills. The seminar is free as was EVERYTHING at this festival.

McWane Center's rep in the children's area showed how to make slime or goo. In the container above is about 3 TBS of ordinary white glue that has been colored with food coloring.

To that is added a little water that has borax in it. When the two are stirred together you get the gooey slime you see above. I can see how this would be a fascinating activity for children. As the rep pointed out it was also a great, safe chemical reaction experiment.

There were also airbrushed tattoos. I stood in line to get one also. I wanted mine to be fierce.

Can't get any fiercer than this snake. I'd like to see what I'd look like with a full sleeve and the reactions I'd get?

Not sure what type of owl this is but it was also in the children's section.


If You Cook it, they will come
 Cooks prepare the tasty meal given to the festival goers.

Everyone is served by adults as well as a Boy Scout troop. I remarked to the den mother how proud I was to see young men performing community service without selfishness.
There were hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken wings, chips or cheese curls, ice cream, soda pop. The Scouts and their mentors had everything moving smoothly.

These kids are gearing up to play Simon Says. The winner gets a bicycle.

Not to be outdone, those over age 40 were challenged in a game of Red Light, Green Light. The prize was a new vacuum cleaner.

The statue of Vulcan in  Birmingham, Alabama was made of iron since iron and steel was the primary industry at one time in this state. The Vulcan statue was also a feature at the 1904 World's Fair. It is thelargest cast iron statue in the world. You can read more about Vulcan and his history as it pertains to Alabama . 
Strength and stamina were tested when partakers did as many chin ups as they could within a given amount of time. Before that it was weight lifting. 

The weather for this event was beautiful . Not too hot and not too cold. A perfect fall day.