All By Myself

You know how sometimes you’ll try on something when you’re shopping and go back and forth about whether you should buy it and then decide not to buy it but then a few days later you wish you had bought it?

That’s pretty much how I feel about these shoes.

Aren’t they darlin’? I had two concerns, though: 1) since they don’t have straps, I worried about keeping them on my feet and 2) I thought the animal print might be a little limiting.

So I didn’t buy them. But now?

I MISSSSSSSSS THEM. And my Steinmarts doesn’t have my size anymore. And I’m still not sure that I’d wear them very much, but I MISSSSSSSS THEM.

And speaking of missing them.

(How’s that for an overly obvious transition?)


I’m spending some time all by myself this week while I try to get some writing done, and the fact of the matter is that I miss my people. They are doing great, of course, and being all sorts of encouraging and checking in to make sure that things are going well and texting to ask if I’m making progress and etc., but I am not used to this much quiet. However comma I seem to need quiet in order to concentrate on the writing stuff (this whole process has taught me that I don’t do so great with trying to work in short bursts, and also I’m not a very strong multi-tasker), so I’m mighty grateful for family members who are willing to share their temporarily empty homes so that I can hunker down and be productive. It’s a luxury for me to be able to work on the book during the week – it’s mostly been a weekends-only thing the last couple of months – and I am trying to make the most of it.

I’m not completely alone, though. Because I brought this little stinker with me.

Oh, I have talked and talked to her. And oh, she has looked at me like I’m insane. We share such a special bond.

Since I knew that I would be dining solo for a few days, I went to the grocery store yesterday afternoon. My goal was to not leave this house AT ALL once I got here – to sequester myself until I’ve written a certain amount (yes. I believe I did in fact set a goal. THIS IS UNPRECEDENTED.) – so I tried to take into account that I was going to need food for several days’ worth of breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Or, as we say in the South: breakfast, dinner, and supper.

By the way, I should probably tell you (or maybe warn you) that hearing the word “dinner” for “lunch” conjures up all sorts of wonderful memories for me. It practically screams fresh corn, fried okra, fresh tomatoes, fresh peas, and cornbread sticks that Mama made in one of those cast iron cornbread molds.

And now I’m going to have to stop it with the cornbread talk or I’ll end up winding my way down some long rabbit trail and telling you about the way Mama’s kitchen used to smell when she’d can tomatoes and squash pickle.

Because the next thing you know it would be Thursday and you’d be saying, “Why are you still talking about bread and butter pickles?” And then I would weep because for one thing I’d be tired of writing about all the varieties of homemade pickles, and for another thing I would pretty much give up my left arm for just one more jar of Mama’s homemade sweet pickles.

Which reminds me. Do you know what I need to learn to do?

Pickle things.

Maybe that can be my goal in 2018 when I finally finish this book.

Now. I’m glad that’s settled.

ANYWAY, I can’t remember the last time that I grocery shopped just for me, but yesterday’s shopping trip reminded me of when I was single and used to go to the Jitney Jungle on Highway 51 in Ridgeland, Mississippi. Back then I bought lots of saltines and American cheese slices and bacon and Diet Coke. Yesterday I bought lots of multigrain crackers and cheese and bacon and tea. So I think the lesson is that cheese, crackers, and bacon have been constants in my life for the better part of 15 years.

(I’m not sure if that depresses the fire out of me or floods me with happy nostalgia.)

(But I’ll let you know just as soon as I figure it out.)

So if you need me, I’ll be, you know, right here. Typing and whatnot. Trying to justify eating cheese and crackers for breakfast. Drinking way too much coffee. Talking to the dog. And hopefully making some book-related progress.

Oh, and thinking about those shoes.

I still miss them, you know.

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • email


  1. So very proud of you!! Praying for you all the time. It is gonna be a beautiful, wonderful process. Will you be at KC LPL? Cause I will :) and I would love to see you.

  2. Would be happy to check my Steinmarts for your size in the shoes. There’s one less than five minutes from my house, and one near my church .Just let me know.

  3. Has anyone else noticed that something’s changed in the Kraft cheese world? I, too, am an American cheese lover from way back, and there were two things that set Kraft apart from the store brands: one, there was a better quality plastic that peeled off nicely; and two, the cheese had a firmness and lack of “shine” to it. I’m here to tell you that neither one of these things is the case anymore, and furthermore, Velveeta does NOT melt on my broccoli like it used to.
    It’s a sad, sad time.
    Perhaps I need a dog to share this with.
    Enjoy your writing retreat!

  4. Oh my word….dinner talk!
    Memories of those vegetables right from the garden, to the stove, to the table are priceless.
    Enjoy your time away!

  5. We have that exact same dog bed. From Costco. When we brought it home it was so fluffy we called it the Cloud Bed, and the dog bee-lined to it with such focus we could read his thoughts: “where have you been all my dog life while I have been forced to lounge on inferior beds?” He practically disappeared into it. Your dog is probably not even listening to your rambling because he is thinking, “I will go anywhere and listen to anything because I am loyal and also I have a Cloud Bed.”

  6. You know what I love best about this blog? That I imagine you TYPE exactly the way you TALK!!

    It makes me triple happy that I am not the ONLY one who uses CAPS and !!!!!!! and ……..
    waaaaaaay more than most people. But when I get EXCITED I talk that AND TYPE like that!!!

    I just “GET YOU”…that’s all….. :)

  7. oh, I’m sad you didn’t buy those shoes. They are not limiting at all! I have some animal print shoes and and animal print bag (I do not wear them together) and I heart them so much because they go with almost everything! Unless you wear a lot of prints, which maybe you do, which is why it would be limiting. But solids are an amimal prints bestie and they go with nearly every color.

  8. I just love hearing about your book process! It’s so fun for me. And since I have a goal to write a book someday (about what, I have no clue), it’s been a little peek in what I can only hope will be my future. Happy penning! Praying the words flow!

  9. Get the animal print shoes! You will love them.

  10. I have a pair of black dress shoes in a similar toe style, and I have to say they are not very good if you have to do a lot of walking. I bought them for a wedding, though, so they worked well for that (but not for fast dancing, in case you do a lot of that in normal life!).

    Anyway, I just wanted to wish you well and cheer you on with your writing! It can be a little isolating, and it’s hard work — so please know that a friend with a very little bit of experience in that area is praying for you.

  11. Oh Sophie the dinners!! You propelled me back to barefoot-y summer goodness with just the one sentence. Back in the day we thought people who used the word “lunch” were puttin’ on airs for sure.

    Now I kinda miss my mom…she doesn’t make her bread & butter pickles anymore but she DOES, on occasion, crank out some delightful cornbread. and green beans. and sliced tomatoes.

    Wonder what she’s doing for supper? ;)

  12. I don’t know why I feel the need to tell you this, and I really hope you do not get offended, because in my eyes this is a great compliment, but, as I read your blog I hear Reba McIntyre’s voice…do you sound like Reba??? or look like her for that matter??? I just love her! And being a Mississippi girl, I know a lot of us talk like her :)

    Have a great time working on your book!!

  13. and, P.S. LOVE THE SHOES!!!

  14. Love the shoes … and I get the not able to write in fits and starts thing.
    I have to mull it over in my head for a week or 24 and then I need a BLOCK o’ TIME to write… and that was a rarity when I was finishing up my book. We were knee deep in wedding planning, had a 13 year old who needed constant taxi service and then there was a the JOB. It was crazy. I remember falling asleep on my desk more than once.

    We tried the me and hubs go away and I write while he goofs off. Didn’t work so well, I wanted to goof off too.

    Praying for you as you go through the process! Remember what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger!


  15. Ok, so, the bacon puzzles me—-it must be the already cooked kind? what would you do with raw bacon in a motel room or dorm room? well, maybe there’s a microwave. just had to smile wondering about that. I would have added some Korn Nuts and spray cheese to the groceries for that writing get-away.

  16. I can still see the picture in my head as clearly as if it were hanging in my closet of an outfit I saw in a catalog YEARS ago. I kept putting off ordering it, until, lo, it was too late. I feel your pain. At least you have a lovely picture of them to cherish forever.

  17. As soon as you clarified that southerners say breakfast, dinner, and supper I IMMEDIATELY clapped my hands in a fit of happiness! My first thought was of my first job at an advertising company where not everyone was from the south, which was fine. They were all lovely people. But the differences in regional vocabulary became clear rather quickly. I certainly confused them when I asked, “Where should we go for dinner today?” I remember my friend, Bill, asking if I thought we were all going out to eat together that night. Well, I thought that was the silliest question. A very confusing conversation ensued before I explained the difference between dinner and supper. My explanation didn’t do anything to change his use of the word, but I gave it my best southern shot.

  18. dinner…oh how my memaw used to confuse me. But yeah, the kind of lunch she cooked on Sundays was in no way just lunch…it was definitely worthy of the word dinner. I still call dinner supper, though…it is supper…sometimes it is even suppah…

  19. I am wondering if you noticed the recent surge in the use of the word “whatnot” in the culture (here in the South)? For some reason, when I hear people use it, it cracks me up! That being said, keep using it.

  20. Do you know how happy it makes me to hear you used to shop at a place called JITNEY JUNGLE?????? I may have been born in the North, raised in the North and now settled in the North, but I think I have me some Southern Roots SOMEWHERE deep down because I would love to shop at places called PIGGLY WIGGLY and JITNEY JUNGLE! Delight.

    YAY for your book!

  21. Courtney Sloane says:

    Yes ma’am to the breakfast, dinner, and supper instead of breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Though, I must admit that I often call the middle meal of the day lunch, but I always, always call the evening meal supper (never dinner).

  22. Jennifer H. says:

    Guuuurrrrll. Those shoes are cute. Will be hitting my local Steinmarts by the weekend for sure.

  23. Oh how lovely it sounds to work on writing all by myself in a hotel room! Although I would be tempted to just sleep for the entire time . . .

    I’ll be praying that the process is a blessing to you and that you are able to write everything JUST how you have it in your head :-) (that’s always my biggest problem haha)

  24. Those are a must. I’d be looking online to get them where ever I could.

  25. FYI-SteinMart orders its shoes from DSW, I know this because the same thing happened to me and the nice lady at the counter took pity on me.

  26. Good luck on being incredibly productive!!

    If I had to shop “single” again – hmm… fried baloney sandwiches with lots of mayo and\or but not limited to macaroni and cheese. Or Frito corn chips and that wonderful canned jalepeno processed cheese spread. Lots of coffee (well, I do that anyway).

    I could keep going… better stop while its just a thought in my head and not on my plate.

  27. Lisa D. says:

    What’s your shoe size? I can check at my Steinmart for you!

  28. I’m so glad I stopped by and sat a spell with you Mrs. Sophie. You are the most fun, and here is my favorite part of you post. (Besides, the shoes – BTW… I am headed to the Steinmart in my neck of the woods to see if they have my size… What’s yours – I may just send you a pair. :))

    “By the way, I should probably tell you (or maybe warn you) that hearing the word “dinner” for “lunch” conjures up all sorts of wonderful memories for me. It practically screams fresh corn, fried okra, fresh tomatoes, fresh peas, and cornbread sticks that Mama made in one of those cast iron cornbread molds.”

    Yep, at my Grandmother’s house whenever we came to visit there was always a meal cookin’ on the stove. A sweet somethin’-or-other in the oven and well if she knew you were coming there was a gift for you on the buffet.

    She always had my favorites on the noon time dinner table – and Grandma laid out a spread. at least 3-5 courses for breakfast, 7-8 courses with enough sides to put you in a food coma for Noon Dinner and 7-8 courses for supper… Or suppa’ as we say it in the south.

    Oh heavens, now I may have to go watch “The Help.”

    Blessings, Old Friend. Praying for you and your book writing get-away. Can’t wait to read it. :) Love you to pieces, still.

  29. Ok, go find another Steinmarts and find your size, woman! SO CUTE! And I am NOT a huge animal print fan but have to admit that print is growing on me. If you can’t find them in your size, well, just rationalize it all away: they would have rubbed your skin raw on both sides of your feet and flown off and hit someone in the head, therefore reeking all sorts of havoc. See how that works? Best wishes for some smokin’ productivity!

  30. When you get ready to learn to pickle things, come see me. It would be my joy to share some kitchen time with you! I make some great squash pickles…

    Scroll down a ways to see the picture of the squash pickles. (Even that was delightfully Southern.)

    Praying for your book – LOVE YOU!

  31. The shoes is great, but I also think it ‘s difficult to walk with because it doesn’t have a strap. Stop missing it and don’t regret if you didn’t buy it :-)

  32. Your Brother says:

    You will break your neck in those things…

  33. FYI ~ I live in Iowa and I call it breakfast, lunch and supper…is that weird? :) Good luck with your writing!!!