Monday, October 25, 2010


I have SDD.

And it's pretty bad if I do say so myself.

SDD can sneak up on you when you least expect it. Sometimes no amount of protection and self gratification can ensure exemption from will catch even the most unsuspecting fool.

SDD is not a new affliction. Although geniuses at such places like the CDC and the Mayo Clinic might suggest otherwise, I have a sinking suspicion SDD is hereditary.

You see, my mother had the random flare-up from time to time, and I'm fully convinced it was passed down through the gene pool. Damn that gene pool.

SDD, for the uninformed, is Servant Deprivation Disorder.

I have a roaring case of SDD right now with no end or relief in sight. I spent ALL weekend cleaning and doing laundry, and that is NO way to spend a weekend.

Can I get an "amen, sista?!"

If I had a housekeeper or even a weekly maid service, just think of all the extra time I would have on my hands. I could go to the gym 4 days a week. I could volunteer at my local humane shelter. I could help my friend move into her new house, which is only a few streets away from my humble abode. Yay for neighbors who also enjoy porch time and a nice glass of wine! (Lawd have mercy I love my Catholic friends with no qualms about partaking) I could walk my dogs to the pumpkin patch all the time, and I could come home to whip up a delicious home-cooked meal for my lovely husband.

Actually, I would probably spend way too many hours at Wintzells drinking dollar beers with the ladies and discussing our plans to save the world. Or how I am STILL searching for the ideal pair of riding boots.

H had a nanny/maid/cook/second mother as a child. But in his 'hood, everyone did. He has such fond memories of Georgia--apparently she had hip replacement surgery which allowed her to do all sort of circus-freak tricks. Tricks, I imagine, that would amaze and terrify little boys. She would have dinner ready for the family every night. She did laundry. She even covered for H when he allegedly shot a BB gun at a neighbor's car. H was a handful. :)

I didn't know it was possible to miss someone you never met. In addition to SDD, I now have Georgia-envy.

Now, I completely understand that some of you who are reading this (especially those with children, dogs, and a full-time job) are saying, "What in the world does she need a maid for!?!? It is just her and her husband--they don't have time to clean their measly house!?!?!"

Nope, we dont.

Because we have lives. Fun lives. And God forbid cleaning get in the way of fun. Actually, I have a fridge magnet (even though I despise fridge magnets) that says, "A clean house is the sign of a wasted life."

Can I get another "amen, sista"!?!?!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Another Random Friday

First things first, Lois says hi. And she wanted me to add that she is sick and tired of not getting many shout-outs on this blog. She has many platforms, but the cause that is nearest and dearest to her little heart is pet adoption. Since I have been neglecting her thirst for the spotlight lately, I thought I would give her an opportunity to remind you how great it is to adopt a mutt! Big, small, old, doesn't matter. Just like finding a mate, sometimes the things you think you want in a companion end up flying out the window when you meet the One. Adopt a stray--they will love you more and save you a bundle!
And Lois says they are just better. Especially better than Chocolate Labs. Namely Chocolate Labs that may or may not be called Charlie.
Now back to this random Friday...
I took BOTH pupper dogs to the pumpkin patch last night. H was working last night so I was in charge of all canine operations. I decided to take them for a nice evening stroll through Midtown before it got too dark. Of course, we ended up at the local pumpkin patch! I love a good pumpkin patch. We ran into my mother-in-law, the artist, who was busy being fabulous. She was very happy to spend some quality time with her granddogs, and they can always use a good spoiling. After a good hour picking out the perfect pumpkin color scheme (and Chuck, the lab, giving the stink eye to an ironic black cat) we had the ideal fall scene ready to go. (Photos to come if I can get my porch swept this weekend)
Since I was alone last night, I was finally able to catch up on my DVR'd shows. Sometimes I am amazed at the mind-numbing crap I watch on TV. (Yep...Real Housewives I'm talking about you!) First of all, how pitiful are Michaele and Tareq on RHODC? And poor Cat, bless her heart. She needs a quick lesson in tact and respect. Apparently her granny never told her "If you can't say anything nice, then don't say anything at all!" Maybe grannies are different in England.

Before I killed brain cells with RHODC, I DID watch the season finale of Mad Men. Sigh. If you don't watch Mad Men, let me encourage you to catch up now. It has become my favorite drama now that Sopranos went to TV-series heaven. The story lines are great, the characters are intriguing, and the time period is fascinating. There was so much going on in our world back then--it was the cusp of a new era.

And Don Draper ain't nothing to sneeze at, honey. Neither is Roger Sterling, but I've always been a sucker for a silver fox.

The weekend looms ahead, and it is surprisingly void of plans and parties. I'm not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing.

Widespread Panic and numerous cocktails of various colors and decorations await us in New Orleans next weekend. I should probably use this weekend to prepare my liver and sleep-tank for the upcoming days of debauchery. But I doubt that happens. I will more than likely spend all weekend cleaning, eating, and biting my fingernails over my office football pool.

Now that I mentioned Don Draper a few paragraphs ago, I can't concentrate on anything. So I guess that's it.

Laissez les bon temps rouler, dahlins!
(And Lois says "holla")

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Taboo Topics

According to genteel Southern etiquette, there are just some things you aren't supposed to talk about. You can talk about your crazy mama. You can talk about your crazy maw-in-law. You can talk about SEC football until your blue in the face. You can even talk about what it really feels like to pass a kidney stone.

But dear, sweet baby Jesus (don't worry, I'm not taking his name in vain because I pronounce it Hey-suse) don't talk about politics.

Or religion.

But what are you supposed to do if you think politics and religion are both pretty fascinating topics to discuss? get a blog, describe it as a blog about renovating and entertaining, and then WHAM...the old bait and switch. If you find politics and religion too taboo, I would suggest you stop reading now. But maybe we'll see ya next week!

I heart politics. Especially politics in Alabama. We have the biggest bunch of yahoos running this state, and it seems that even the next batch of worthy candidates (there I go using terms loosely again) is a pretty pitiful excuse of social climbers and ne'er-do-wells.

But I digress.

I think somewhere along the line we forgot about common sense. We started paying too much attention to the "he said/she said" bullhockey and we lost sight of the big picture. When did lying become the norm for Alabama politicos? We used to see honest, hard-working folks running for an office so they could make a difference in our state. So they could make a difference for their children and grandchildren.

Now it seems the only thing our politicians and candidates are concerned about is getting in bed with the person or organization that can benefit them the most. Why don't politicians start taking some advice from MTV and "start getting real"?

EDUCATION--Education in our state is pitiful at best. As long as I live in the Hysterical District, my future children will never go to a public school. Write it down, folks. I don't care if H has to hook it on the corner, Jr. is NOT going to public school. I'm not sure if it will take a lottery to improve education, but it sure seems to be working for our neighbors. I think we need to clean house--starting with the AEA and its leader.

GAMBLING--Oh, the hot topic of choice for everybody from Southern Baptists to Uncle Milty McGregor. My personal standpoint--Who cares? With education in the toilet, maybe we should be focusing on something a little bit more important than blue-haired little 'ol ladies playing electronic bingo. I have an idea--why don't we vote on it!?!?! Because that would make far too much sense. I am 27 with admittedly a rudimentary knowledge of things like bills, fillibusters, and all the other broohaha that those crazy senators and representatives seem to know. But once again, I have a little bit of common sense. Which apparently is NOT a requirement to be able to place "Alabama State Capital" as your place of employment on your resume.

FUNDING--Okay, I admit it. I'm not the BEST at budgeting and such. But I'm GREAT at putting others on a budget (just ask H)! However, I believe a city or a state's budget should operate with the same basic principles as my own personal budget. When times are rough (cause let's face it...sometimes they are) you have to tighten the purse strings. If you can't afford to keep an elementary school from falling down around the students, why in the world would you spend hundreds of thousands of dollars over the course of a year for our politicians to eat at Ruth's Chris and stay at the Hilton? Yes, I love Ruth's Chris, too. But sometimes I have to eat my own steak without the well-timed deliverance and linen napkins.

Pardon me if my political rant rubbed you the wrong way. To ease your pain, I'm no Democrat. Because if there's anything WORSE than talking politics in Alabama, it's admitting you're a Democrat. But, to defend my open-minded lefties, I am no Republican either. I'm an Independent and proud to admit it!

Actually, I like to say I am socially liberal and fiscally conservative. In a nutshell I believe homosexuals should have the same rights as I do, and I believe things like government housing, welfare, and food stamps should have a time limit. I believe I should be able to praise my God, write and say what I want, and keep a loaded gun in my nightstand. And at the same time, I believe you should be able to praise your God (or Buddha, Allah, Wiccan tree, or life-size Nick Saban cardboard cutout if you so desire).

Maybe this topic is too heavy for my blog. If so...we will resume the tales of embarrassing childhood moments next time.

Toodles, kids.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Happy Birthday!

This is my best friend Nicole (on the left). She has been my best friend and the closest thing I have ever had to a sister. I used to get so mad at my parents because they never gave me a sibling--but that was until I realized Nicole was better than the real thing. I could send her home when we were tired of each other!

But that rarely happens.

We have been the two best friends that anyone could ever have (name that tune!) since elementary school, and today is her birthday. She is old. And although it used to KILL me when I was 20---I am still younger! Neener, neener, neener! Happy Birthday Nicole!

She is beautiful inside and out.

I know she will never judge me or make fun of me. As a matter of fact, she once beat the crap of some girl because she was mean to me in middle school. You see, I've always had a problem with my mouth writing checks my butt can't cash. Lucky for me...Nicole takes up my slack.

She is the MOST hard-working girl I've ever met. She is also completely unselfish and always manages to put her family first. She would give you the shirt off her back if she loved you and you needed a shirt. She is physically strong and can carry large loads of crap to the beach.

She has great style and always knows how to have a good time! Sometimes she is crude and gross--but in the best possible way.

She is a fabulous dancer. But most of all, she is the type of person who is ALWAYS ready to get out on the dance floor! We don't do "wallflower" to say the least! We have been through 5 proms, first loves, high school sports, college, being roommates, not being roommates, being roommates again, two marriages, one big move, one divorce, being roommates again, and another big move. We have lost friends together, made new friends, watched old boyfriends move on without us, sang songs, fought, made up, gotten drunk, gotten too drunk, hugged, danced, and laughed A LOT.

We like to hug. She recognizes that sometimes I am NOT in a hugging mood, and then she leaves me alone. You see, Nicole is my best friend because she understands what makes me tick, what makes me laugh, what makes me mad....she just knows me. Probably better than anyone else in the world. And despite all of that, she still loves me. Even when I am mean, cold-hearted, snarky, snotty, etc etc etc....she loves me and she lets me be.

We used to compete over all sorts of things. I used to think she had everything in the world that I wanted. She had beautiful straight blond hair. She was tall and slim. She was incredibly athletic. All she had to do was look at a boy and they instantly came running (usually pushing me aside in the process, but that's okay). I went through quite an awkward stage (which I may still be in, the jury is still out) and she never missed a day without curled bangs or a boyfriend.

Then I realized if I couldn't BE Nicole, the next best thing was to be her BFF! And twenty-some-odd-years later....we are still best friends. FOREVER.

I wish I had the words to truly describe her. She is silly and charming, disgusting and funny, beautiful and natural. She has an ease about her. In a completely non-Lesbian way (not that there's anything wrong with that) she completes me. And as long as she lives on a different coast...a little part of my heart is missing.

We officially CAN NOT spend another birthday apart!!!

Come home soon! But until then....

Happy Birthday! Welcome to 25 (again)!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Papa Loved Mama

Somewhere waaaaay back in the deep hollows of my brain, I have compiled a list of titles for my future novels. One is called "Bootlegging the Virgin" and it's a fictional story based on a not-quite-believable story told by a fellow camp counselor when I was in college. The other is called "Memoirs of a Graceless Child" and it is a true-life account (unfortunately) of some of my childhood antics and mishaps. After a Facebook post from my bestie this morning that took me straight down memory lane, I thought I would write this one down to test the waters.

As a small-town country girl in a small-town country school, I had a love affair with education. I literally loved everything about school--the teachers, the work, the socializing, lunch, even P.E. (except for the Presidential Physical Fitness Test which is a whole different animal-why in the flip do I need to do a pull-up to get a crappy paper certificate from the President!?!?!) School was a comfortable, safe place where it was actually cool to read books and know lots of useless knowledge.

Back in elementary school there were some things that DID excite me even more than usual. An opportunity to go watch the super-cool high school cheerleaders at a pep rally was like Christmas. Field trips were treats that I looked forward to for months, even when we were just heading to the local post office to watch them sort mail. (And I'm not kidding-ask my 2nd grade teacher)

Now, many of you might not know this, but I've always been somewhat of a ham. Give me a microphone (or really anything that resembles a microphone or can be interpreted as a microphone when singing into it) and a crowd, and this gal is in her element. What can I say? I love an audience.

So....when my little elementary school announced they were holding their first annual talent show, I knew my time had finally come. This was MY opportunity to show the world what I could do. My years of singing along to every country, gospel, and show tune on the radio would finally reap the rewards I so justly deserved. And apparently some teachers agreed with me as they excitedly signed me up to sing "She's In Love With The Boy" by Trisha Yearwood. Trisha (pre-Garth Brooks extramarital affair) Yearwood was having a good year around that time, and I just knew I could do her proud.

The weeks rolled by and the day of the talent show finally arrived. I can remember being SO nervous. I desperately wanted the approval of my peers, not to mention the fact that I fully expected Broadway or Nashville to come calling after my debut so I needed to be on my game. As the day wore on, my nerves got worse. I wasn't that nervous about actually getting up in front of a crowd, because I mean....hello, that is what I was born to do! I was just worried that I would forget the words and be standing up there with an actual real-life microphone with no words coming out of my mouth.

Apparently the practice I had done in the backseat of my parent's car and on my "stage" (aka the hearth in my living room) hadn't fully prepared me for what was to come.

When the emcee called my name, I held my head high and proudly marched my 8 or 9 year old behind right up on our auditorium stage in front of MY ENTIRE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, not to mention teachers, administrators, family, and friends. And to this day, I still can't tell you why what happened next happened.

Instead of the completely appropriate song about a young girl professing her love for a boy she eventually wants to marry....I belt out every line of "Papa Loved Mama" by Garth Brooks. Now, if you aren't familiar with 'ol Garth circa the early 90's, "Papa Loved Mama" is about a truck driver who discovers his wife has been cheating on him while he's on the road. He finds out about her nocturnal transgressions and catches them...ahem, in the a seedy motel. To make a long story short, Papa drives his big rig into the motel, killing Mama and her new lover.

Needless to say, when I finally put the microphone down and took my bow....all I heard was crickets.

And then the principal called my mom and had a talk about why kids don't need to listen to such trash. And I think the First Annual Talent Show became the last talent show. Nashville must have gotten wind of my fall from grace since I never did get that call. And while I'm sure Broadway would have enjoyed the theatricality of my song choice, I'm guessing they didn't need another scandal on their hands.

But just as they say, now that I am an adult I can look back on this embarrassing childhood memory and laugh. I am very thankful for that because if not I would have probably killed myself after hearing this story told and retold at countless family functions.

If you are wondering if this helped curb my thirst for stardom--it did not. I still crave the spotlight, and I still long for that EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony).

I've matured and grown up, I have realized one thing...

Drunk patrons at my local karaoke bar don't give a damn about the moral turpitude of my song choice--as long as I sing it like I mean it!

Friday, October 8, 2010

One Green Kitchen

The topic for "Show Us Your Life" over at is...KITCHENS! Wah, wah, wah :(

Normally I would include my disclaimer at the end of a post. But, since there are multiple pictures on this post (yay for me and technology as today we are friends) I thought I would apologize before you view them. I am not a fan of our kitchen. It is remarkably better than before--so much so that I won't even post the pics. All I can say is you wouldn't believe the magnolia wallpaper that some misguided, tasteless soul thought was beautiful.

Don't worry, it was not my mother-in-law who picked out, purchased, or pasted that hideous wallpaper on those poor unsuspecting walls, so I'm not offending her. :)

This is the view (kinda) as you walk into the kitchen from the dining room. We (again, I use that term loosely) replaced the old linoleum with new tile right when we moved in. Thanks to my handy dad and husband, we now have neutral flooring throughout the kitchen, laundry room, and both downstairs bathrooms. If you notice in this picture below, the door leads into a small hallway with our laundry room on the left and a bathroom on the right. The walls are a color called "Butter". I wish it was a little brighter, but the grass-green cabinets call for something a little more subdued, don't you think?

As of today, we are still working on renovating the cabinets and countertops. I can't decide if I want to just sand, paint/stain them, and get new hardware--or if I want to call a spade and spade and burn this mutha down.

No seriously....I can't figure out how to burn JUST the kitchen, so I've had to learn to live with it until we can save enough to do it the way I really want it done. Or until I win the lottery, which will probably happen before we can save that much! In honor of the "just live with it" motto, I have convinced myself to embrace the grass-green cabinets and laminate countertops. I decided if I can't beat it...I'll accessorize it! So...I throw every funky piece of art I can find (or steal from my mother-in-law and her friends) on the walls and call it a day. Throughout the past years we have collected a Bob Marley painting from Jamaica, a Ginger Woechen "Lucky Dog" canvas, Nana's beer stein (spell check someone, quick!) collection, a bobo painting I did (that you see below on the baker's rack) plus a few other odds and ends that didn't match anything else in my home. Yep...that's how I decorate! Take that Martha Stewart!

Now...since my kitchen isn't exactly where I want it to be right now, I thought I would include some of my favorite designs.

At night, when I curl up in my bed next to H and drift off...these are the kitchens that haunt my dreams. Can you just imagine having a cocktail with your girlfriend here? I sure could! We could sit here at this little island and gossip about how awesome it was that I found someone to make my fridge look like part of the cabinetry. I could astound you with interesting stories about my trip to 'ol Paris, where I scoured antique shops to find my to-die-for chandelier.

And then H would come in and ask why in the world WE needed a chandelier. And I'm back to reality.

This is probably more our style. I like some open cabinets, just not all open cabinets. I also really like open shelves in a kitchen. This room just looks comfortable--like you could hang out and cook all kinds of fish tacos in this place!

But....if I had my absolute D-R-E-A-M kitchen, it would look like the one below. White is so chic and classic. How could you possibly eat breakfast in this kitchen and worry about the emails on your blackberry or the laundry on the floor? I love the tall ceilings with the molding, too. Simply gorgeous.
In reality, I could never have this kitchen in my house. I would have to get rid of Chuck and Lois (the pupper dogs) because dog hair doesn't exactly go with this room. Only someone who owns a Chihuahua or Yorkie could realistically call this place home--not someone with a mutt and a Lab. (No matter how awesome they are!) We just can't do white in the Hysterical District (and it has taken me longer than I care to admit to finally admit that to myself).

And now...a little lagniappe....

My Kitchen Must Haves:

Stainless steel appliances
Granite countertops
Deep kitchen sinks
A window
A hanging pot rack
Wine rack

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Ahhh, Bayfest....

Another Bayfest down and I lived to tell the tales! If you aren't familiar with our little city's annual 3-day music festival, let me enlighten you to some of the wonderful and not-so-wonderful things you might experience while strolling through downtown with the masses.

The Wonderful List is pretty short: hanging out with friends and family, fair food, a good song here and there, people watching, beautiful weather, the skyline of our lovely downtown....yep that's about it!

Now for the Not-So-Wonderful List:

First of all, if you have all your teeth you are already ahead of the pack. Apparently a steady intake of funnel cakes, jumbo corndogs, and "homemade" lemonade are not what 4 out of 5 dentists would recommend. They are also not what any nutritionist worth a grain of low-sodium sea salt would recommend either. I am not a skinny gal myself--never have been, and despite dieting and exercising for the better part of the last two decades, I probably won't ever be. However, while I have struggled with my body image at times, I can surely tell you that I have never and will never be 300+ lb woman defiantly eating a jumbo corndog in front of God and everybody.

Secondly, if you are already disillusioned with today's youth, this may not be the music festival for you. I heard such foul language from these hoodlums it made me question our purpose here on Earth. My dad has always said that a person who curses excessively is simply a person with a small vocabulary. And I agree 100%. I also saw so many inappropriately dressed young girls it was enough to make Lady Gaga roll over in her grave. (Even though she isn't dead--just follow me here!) Whatever happened to leaving something to the imagination!?!? Do parents these days not tell their daughters that if you dress like a slut, you're going to be treated as such?!?! I know the moms are usually the ones buying the clothes so I can't fathom WHY these girls are walking around wearing just slightly more than what I wear to bed! (And I usually sleep in my birthday suit, if that's not too much information :)

And that brings me to the next point, which I suppose answers my previous "how do these girls get these hoochie mama clothes?" question. I guess it is hard to tell your daughter to dress appropriately when you are sneaking in her closet when she isn't looking and stealing one of her tops. And then you wear it as a dress. To Bayfest. If I could have conducted a social experiment where I asked random scantily-clad women if they stole their outfit from their 13-year-old daughter's closet and gotten $1 for every yes--let's just say I wouldn't drive a Nissan. My Granny would have had a heart attack if she would have seen these things! I almost did and I'm pretty hard to shock! The only good thing that I can possibly derive from a mom and daughter sharing a shockingly awful wardrobe is that at least they get to spend more time on the street corner hookin' and less time shopping.

I guess I am a glutton for punishment because as much as I'm complaining about Bayfest....this is my third or fourth year! Haha! In my defense, I've always gotten free tickets and VIP passes so it has required little to no effort on my part. Because you can bet your life on this statement--If I had to actually BUY tickets...well, I just wouldn't buy tickets. But with free tickets it is more enjoyable. And in all honesty, I usually do have a good time in the end. Even if the line up is chock-full of one-hit wonders and musicians who haven't been relevant since my mom was quoting "Urban Cowboy", it is fun to go and gawk at the toothless wonders with powdered sugar all down the front of their Shinedown t-shirt.

I don't hate. I appreciate! See ya next year!