Cookie of fortune...

Have you ever thought much about fortune cookies? They're my girls' favorite part of ANY Chinese meal, but did you know they didn't even originate in China? Many people believe they were first made in San Francisco in the early 1900's by Japanese immigrant, Makoto Hagiwara, at The Japanese Tea Garden. However, some historical digging has them dating back MUCH earlier (still in Japan). The NY Times even got into the exciting debate on the origin of the fortune cookie with this fun article

To ward off lower back pain or joint problems, undertake some at-home measures like yoga.
— Hogyokudo

Originally there were only 23 "fortunes" that were largely poetic or self-help in nature. Today there are over 10,000 possible fortunes that you could receive when you finish your Chicken Chow Mein. 

Several months ago, my husband and I opened two crispy cookies after a wonderful meal of General Tso's Chicken and Beef With Broccoli to find these... 

Mine was pretty poignant, seeing as how I'm having my first book published (EEEEEEEEK!), but Steve's is pretty interesting. We wrote the date on the back, so we'll see what happens on 3 months from that date..... Stay tuned!

Just 200 of my closest friends...

Every spring, Steve and I go to the Alabama Historical Association's annual meeting. It's a Thursday-Saturday event and I look forward to going every year. The Alabama Historical Association is a group made up of academics, historians, archeologists and normal people like me who just love the history of our state. We have an annual spring meeting and also a smaller pilgrimage in the fall (usually right around my birthday). This year the spring meeting was in our hometown, Auburn, and I was on the local arrangements committee.

The local arrangements committee consists of making sure all the tours and sponsorships and meeting spaces are arranged, but it also includes arranging flowers, making appetizers and (for me) drawing a local landmark for some giveaway notecards.

This year was especially great, because LOOK what I got! IMG_5686 It's official... I'm an author!! I may or may not have jumped, clapped and squealed when they handed it to me.  :)

As much as I love the sessions and papers, I REALLY love the tours... and this year was no exception.

IMG_5694 Look at the relaxing view from this front porch. I could've sat here all day!

IMG_5692 I even saw an Ella Smith Indestructible Doll at one of the homes. This is something I didn't think I'd ever see in person. Ella Smith was from Randolph County, Alabama and she won a blue ribbon for the doll's design at the 1904 Worlds Fair!

IMG_5690 One of the lovely homes we were fortunate to tour.

IMG_5687 For a lucky few, Samford Hall/Tower was available for touring. Only 20 got the privilege (10 at a time). Can you see them up there peering out the clock face? That's WAAAAY too far up there for my taste...

IMG_5689 Look at this adorable barn!!! I would string some Edison lights in these trees and sit out here in an Adirondack chair sipping iced tea out of a mason jar and reading a good book!

All-in-all it was a great weekend. I got to see lots of old friends and make some new ones. I was able to buy some great new books to further my knowledge of our great state. Next spring, the annual meeting will be held in Birmingham. That one ought to be interesting...