The Graduate, Athens GA And Cashing Us Ousside

Lobby = niiiice. We loved the idea of getting to try the Graduate Hotel in Athens, Georgia — it’s part of a small chain of niche hotels (nine now, with four more opening in the next couple of years) with retro decor serving college towns.

The only thing is that it’s truly a motel — the lobby is in a separate building, and the rooms surround with outside corridors.

…but the interiors are styled in such a way you just roll with it. Naugahide- or nauga-ish headboards, plaid accessories…

…some kind of paint-by-number portraiture exhibit on the television credenza…

…trying too hard on the chalkboard there, but the Crosley radio is nice…

as is the wannabe rotary touch-tone phone (Crosley also makes a sweet pink Princess phone this style).

Malin + Goetz amenities in the bathrooms.


I’m kinda smitten with their lobby in Oxford. We have season tickets to UAB (and the Saints, and we go to AL, AU, and other games) but I want to show the boys tailgating in the Grove so that might be a great opportunity to see the hotel in person.

We haven’t been to an Ole Miss home game since ’06 (Ole Miss has a special place in my heart because every time I visualize myself in grad school, it’s getting a MA in Southern Studies there) but here’s how the NYT put it:
In many tents, food is served on silver trays, drinks splash through fountains and chandeliers hang from the metal supports. Fur coats abound. Jackets, ties and cowboy boots are common.

Prominent chefs are hired to cater meals, and chicken is a favored entree. “You don’t want to be a chicken in northern Mississippi on game day,” said Tim Walsh, the executive director of alumni affairs.

We walked through the tailgating area at UAB for the first game, and I thought, Lawd. We need to show Legion Field how to tailgate (tailgating is, after all, a sukkah party with a solid roof). Look for us one weekend in November if things go the way I think they will.

BTW, I had a genius idea for our sukkah party invitations this year. I’ll send nice-nice ones to the neighbors and other friends, but for our-age-and-younger friends who love memes, I came up with this idea that I’ll fill in with more of the details later:

Sukkot 2016, A Grammy-Winning Neighbor, And Empty Bowls

We had a great time at this year’s sukkah party. We had friend-friends, community friends, the boys’ friends as we were also celebrating Shugie’s birthday, and some neighborhood friends. It was crowded but never crazy thanks to it being one of those casual 2-1/2 hour parties where you can drop in / drop out whenever. It worked out so nicely.

We set up the side yard for badmitton, the front yard turned into a football space, and cornhole along the long stretch in the backyard. On two tables, I had artists’ canvases, foam stickers, and pipe cleaners, but the kids were more interested in physical games. Growing up!

For extra seating, we put out haybales I covered with burlap.

Thanks to our friend Sherrie for taking these pics of the setup! At the far end along one table, we did a mimosa bar and galvenized tubs of cokes, beer, water, and juice boxes, and some platters of treats (I did pistachio and cherry Mexican wedding cookies, boiled cookies, and pralines; other friends brought things like crazy-great brownies and rice krispie treats which the kids devoured!).

On this table, I got to use my new Villeroy and Boch three-tiered Artesano server along with Earthborn pottery for the croissants and bagels (what needed to stay cold like the lox and cream cheese was kept in Earthborn nestled in a galvenized tray filled with crushed ice)…

Sukkah Party 2016//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

…and those two great round servers with legs displaying the cheeses/olives/fruit/dried fruit/nuts/crackers are actually the Skogsta trays from IKEA.
Sukkah Party 2016//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

On the back porch, I did a popcorn and potato chip bar with mix-ins like granola, m and m, and marshmallows in my Mackenzie-Childs. I’m putting this here to remind myself for next year — the popcorn was the G.H. Cretors Chicago Mix (caramel and cheese) that I got in a huge bag from Sam’s and that was the best popcorn I have ever-ever had.
Sukkah Party 2016//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Inside on the kitchen island was a huge tureen of Israeli salad and a tray of hummus/pita/cherry tomatoes on Anthropologie Old Havana.

Shugie’s birthday was close, so ta-da!  Happy birthday, sweetness!

One of our neighbors who came by is a Thrasher Brother (who I initially remembered from their tour bus Trailways business) who was very modest but of course I had to look him up and he’s played at the Opry, did one of the theme songs for ‘Simon and Simon‘, recorded ‘Still the One‘, and ‘One Day at a Time‘ — and the group has won four Grammy awards. Small world: he knew my great grand uncle, V.O. Fossett who was also in the business. Pretty cool to have a Grammy winner for a neighbor!

Here are some pics of previous years’ sukkah setups:
Our Sukkah 2014 5775//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

This was a year in which we had a bunch of kids over to play, and besides the arts and crafts things I had for them, they had a huge time with the chalkboard that was simply a piece of board I painted with a couple of coats of chalkboard paint and big foam letters:
Our Sukkah//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Our scarecrow man from another year:
Our Sukkah 2014 5775//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Another year, we hung a bottle tree chandelier from the center of the sukkah and used more Spanish moss in the schach:
Top of our Sukkah//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js


Earthborn Pottery in Leeds, Alabama is once again hosting the Blue Light Special Art Show, this year December 10-11.

The show is inside a 24K sq. ft. building (we bought the old watch factory) so folks can shop, have lunch, stay out of the weather and give back to the community all in one visit. Join with us to support ‘Empty Bowls’ a hunger-prevention endeavor pairing local potters and local Chefs (Chef Rob Kamm of Brock’s restaurant at Renaissance Ross Bridge Resort), Rusty’s BBQ and Alecia’s Specialty Foods who will be providing lunch. For a nominal donation ($25) you’ll get hot soup and bread served in handmade Earthborn bowls, which you keep as a reminder of all the empty bowls in the world. Proceeds go to First Light Women’s Shelter. There is a modest $2 entry fee we share with First Light also.