Memorial Day

Saturday was one of the most gorgeous days of my life.  Sometimes you just get one of those days that has so many perfect moments you just don’t know what to do with yourself.  I don’t mean to make any of you jealous, but I’m going to share that day with you. 

Memorial Day weekend brought lots of plans for me.  I’m nothing if not a planner.  I had the whole weekend mapped out by Thursday afternoon and took off down south to the homestead on Friday evening.  Madre and I planned to ride horses Saturday morning.  We also planned to pick blueberries.  Later that evening we were invited to a cook out with Martie and family.  After that, I was going to drive back to Nashville so that I could make my Sunday morning run.

Saturday morning I got up at the crack of dawn and drove from Martie’s house where I had spent the night to Madre’s house.  I got there early and was ready to go.  After running some errands, we saddled up the horses and launched our journey.  You’ll see a separate post about that later, but now I can tell you that it was a gorgeous ride.  The sky was exquisitely beautiful as it often seems to be after big rain storms.  The weather was perfect, breezy and warm.  We rode for about three hours, just kind of leisurely and slow.  I last rode a horse in September and can’t say I have any great skills but I can plod along just fine.  My butt now hurts.  I thought you’d like to know.  I also got a really sweet farmer’s tan. 

 After we gave the horses a bath and turned them out, we picked blueberries.  Several years ago, Madre and Poppa decided to plant a few blueberry bushes.  Now a family of 6 can have all the blueberries they want for a year out of just a couple of blueberry bushes, maybe three or four.  Madre and Poppa planted 14 of them not knowing this, so every year they extend the invitation to pick blueberries to everyone they meet.  Everyone.  I’m more than happy to do my part in weeding out the excess. 

Later I whipped Madre’s arse in a couple of games of Spite and Malice.  That’s okay because she will whip my arse next time we play.  It all comes out in the wash.

Saturday evening we were invited to a cookout at Coach’s parent’s house.  (Does that sound complicated?  Let’s call them my sort of in-laws.)  Granddaddy and Grandma are nice people and I’ve always enjoyed them.  Granddaddy cooked ribs and chicken and the rest of us brought side dishes. 

The girls played outside like children are supposed to do.  They played hide and seek, tag, and rolled down the hill in the grass over and over again until they got so itchy they had to stop.  It gave me so much joy to watch them run around the yard with no shoes on in their dresses, cheeks flushed and hair blowing back in the wind.  Their tinkling laughs and giggles were good for my soul.  I love that childish abandon when it comes to having fun.  We ate watermelon and had a seed spitting contest.  I won.  That’s what having a big mouth is good for, apparently.  I also won the affection of every single mosquito in the county.  I have the bites to prove it.

Martie sang for us and played her guitar. She has the most voluptuous voice, full bodied and rich.  It fills an entire room, and being outside and listening to it expand was amazing.  Coach watched her, enraptured, which is very special to me.  I love seeing those moments between couples.   Martie sang a song or two for everyone until we exhausted her voice and her good will with our requests.  It happens when you’ve got that kind of talent. 

When it was getting dark, we made half-hearted attempts to catch a few lightning bugs, then we piled up in our respective vehicles and headed for home.  I just sighed all the way to Madre’s house.  It was such a perfect day.

I felt and commented so many times throughout the course of the day, “I’ve got such a nice life.”  I really do.  I’m very fortunate.  I’m so thankful that I’m aware of it as it happens so that I can send up my gratitude and really squeeze every bit of loveliness out of it that I can.  I enjoy my family.  I’m so blessed to have a good one.  I love you guys!

I hope you all had a nice Memorial Day!  I say a big thank you to everyone who serves in our military, for our country, for us.  I ask for blessings for the families who have lost loved ones during that service.  I ask for blessings for the men and women who have served and who still serve.  My heart is filled with gratitude for all of you.   Thank you.  


Phranke is Wise

Remember when I told you that Phranke was a smart cookie?  Take a look at the email exchange below:

Phranke:      OMG.  18 months without changing your air filter.  Who are you?  Have I taught you nothing?  You don’t listen to me when I speak. 

Jimmie:       Crap.  I was hoping you would put that off for a while and read it when you were drunk and hopefully not remember that part  . . .

Phranke:      I am in shock.  There are just certain things in life you are supposed to do. 

                           Shave your underarms. 

                           Put oil in your car. 

                           Brush your teeth.


                           Change.  Your. Air. Filter.

Clearly she does not subscribe to the philosophy of “Boy jobs” and “Girl jobs” when one becomes a homeowner either.  Noted.

Responsibility Blows

Once again, I am responsible. Dammit.

Being responsible means that no matter how much you want this

You will have this instead, because it is a better choice. 


There are three things you should know about me, which of course I will share now. 

To begin:  Martie and I grew up in an old house with no cooling system at all, unless you count the two windows we could open in our ATTIC BEDROOM and the decrepit ceiling fan that lazily stirred around a bunch of thick, hot air. Attics are notoriously warm in summer months and boy could we attest to that.  We were only able to open two of our windows because one of the brothers (I won’t tell you which one because I luff him and I don’t want anyone yelling at him for this) cut some holes in the screens so he could pee out the window instead of going down the 12 steps to the bathroom in the middle of the night.  If you are familiar at all with Tennessee, you know that there are some big-ass bugs that can worm their way into those holes in the screens and those big-ass bugs will scare some little kids, particularly if they are the buzzing, fly-in-your-hair kind of bugs.  I’m fairly certain that Martie and I gave each parent at least one mini-heart attack every summer when a bug would fly in our near vicinity – we screamed like, well, like little girls.  To prevent big-ass bugs from attacking us and to prevent our parents from having mini-heart attacks on a regular basis, we only opened two of our four windows during the summer months.  We sweltered because of it. 

Next up:  I would consider myself easily technologically spoiled.  I had the first inkling of this truth a few years ago when my snazzy Isuzu Rodeo crapped out on me.  I had to borrow Poppa’s vehicle for a couple of weeks until I could figure out what I wanted to do for my transportation needs.  He had a fancy car with the key fob that unlocked the doors.  I was in raptures over this.  My Rodeo just had plain old keys.  Now I had a button I could smash to unlock the doors! (I also had a button I could smash to set off the car alarm which I did with great regularity but never on purpose.) After about two weeks of having this fancy car with a fancy buttoned device, the key fob croaked.  It quit working.  And I was completely at a loss.  I had no idea how to get into the car anymore.  The idea that a KEY would UNLOCK THE DOOR didn’t occur to me for a few terrifying minutes.  I know you all luff me, otherwise I would never share this with you.

Finally:  I adopted my two kitties from New Leash on Life.  They are older cats and came together.  Apparently Seamus does not do so well without Murphy and they needed to be adopted together.  I had to sign papers and make promises that I would never, under any circumstances, let them outside.  That was no problem in theory.  Seamus could care less about outside or anywhere but under the bed and the feeding places.  In reality, though, Murphy will bolt outside that door at every single opportunity, no matter if he just came in from a long stroll or has woken up from a nap.  He’s red headed and Irish and male – in other words, he’s a big fan of carousing outdoors until all hours of the night.  If he hadn’t had his neuters cut off already, I’d suspect a girlfriend.

And now, onwards:  Apparently monsoon season is not over.  Every time I drive out of my neighborhood I notice a huge change in the landscape because another tree has been taken down or another branch has smushed a car.  Thank goodness my lone tree is fairly small and unassuming.  It does not seem big enough to attract the windstorm or the lightning like those other too-big-for-their-britches trees do that must be taken down a peg or two.  These last few weeks have been just riddled with thunderstorms. 

A few weeks ago when Martie and Coach and family were at my house we were all sleeping soundly in the middle of the night when the biggest boom and flash of light hit my house.  That is probably not proper terminology, but it’s what it felt like.  Big thunder and big lightning and all of it seemed to happen inside my home instead of outside it.  There was much screaming from children and mini-heart attacks all around.  Since then, my heating and cooling unit has been working only when it feels like it. Mostly I didn’t notice because until this week, our temperatures were in the 50’s and 60’s.  But this past week has been, shall we say, “sticky”.  It’s warm in my house.  Disgustingly warm.  It’s like bath water all the time.

It would make sense that since we grew up with minimal heat in the winter and no cooling system in the summer, Martie and I would be heartier now.  You’d think we’d be able to withstand high temperatures and freezing toes with the very smallest of complaints.  You’d be wrong.  We have since become grownups and thus, spoiled.  I have sweltered enough in my lifetime.  I have earned the right to not do that anymore. 

I pay an electric bill faithfully every month.  I also pay a gas bill faithfully every month.  In return, I expect all appliances to work all the time, exactly like I want them to with no hiccups, key fobs and air conditioners included.  When they don’t, I flail around wondering what to do and how to do it and generally look like a moron, at least in my own head.  As a first time solo home owner, I’m learning that things sometimes break and that I need help.  Enter Coach.  I call Coach a lot with various issues I run across.  I also call Felix, a handful of co-workers, my neighbor Luke, Jose, Daddy-O, Poppa and sometimes Dammit Todd.  And a couple of other folks.  It’s a good thing that I’m a good cook. 

Sunday night was the first of a series of lengthy phone calls with Coach about the state of my cooling system (lucky guy).  I’ve flipped switches and reset buttons and checked for ice and hosed it down.  Those things didn’t work.  I was also instructed by Coach to go outside and listen to make sure the unit was at least doing something.  I opened the screen door just a smidge to squeeze my way out in an effort to keep Murphy in the house because I promised a year and a half ago.  Ha ha. Let me just tell you, I almost died. Murphy bolted out that door so fast and was gone like a streak, after he got all tangled up in my feet and tried to take me down. 

Later that night we had another monsoon.  I fully expected Murphy to be caterwauling at the door after a couple of hours, wanting to find shelter from the storm, but nope.   I kept waking up all night because of the heat and the worry over my damn cat.  He still had not appeared by Monday morning.  Or Monday night, even during another monsoon.  And I still had no air conditioning.  Needless to say, I was Not Happy. 

Some resolution, though.  Tuesday morning, after two nights of having a rock in the pit of my stomach over a missing cat and a broken air conditioner, Murphy bolted in the garage door as I was leaving for work, forty shades of pissed off because I had not let him immediately in the front door when he caterwauled outside of it.  He stalked around the house letting me have it for a good long while.  Damn cat. 

And tonight, the HVAC guys are coming over to have a look-see at my unit and tell me what is wrong with it.  This is the part where I hate that I’m responsible because it means I’m the one who will pay that bill.  It also means that I’m the one who will have the mini-heart attack when they tell me my unit is fried due to a lightning strike.  I really hope that isn’t the case.  I really hope they just tell me it ran out of gas and they can juice it up for a nominal fee.  Keep your fingers crossed for me.

UPDATE:  Lessons learned in responsibility . . . .

Crying does not fix broken appliances.

As a homeowner, one should take responsibility for changing the air filter on a regular basis. Regular basis is more often than once every 18 months. 

The HVAC guys will laugh at you when you try to explain that some things are “Boy Jobs” and some are “Girl Jobs”.  According to them if you live alone, those jobs become “Homeowner Jobs”.   No exceptions.   

As a cat owner, it is best to keep cats inside at all times.  I will be purchasing flea treatment this evening.

Good night, all.  Please learn from my mistakes. 




Today I’m Boring. And a Tease.

Meh.  This last week has been uneventful in many ways and just chock full of stuff in others.  So this post will be a little all over the place.  For those of you who speak to me on a daily basis, this is nothing new.  I’m amazed when I can pull something together and stay on topic and make a valid point by the end.  Sometimes it requires a Herculean amount of effort.  Sometimes it just flows. Today it will be one of those splice-together thought processes that almost no one will be able to follow, even me.  Maybe look at it as small samples, like tiny little desserts on a tray that you can have a bite of when the mood hits. 

Hey guys? The Rapture didn’t happen.  I didn’t think it would which makes me even happier that Jane and I didn’t go to Dairy Queen on Friday night and have lots of stuff smothered in hot fudge sauce.  For the record, that is exactly what I would do if I knew it was coming.  Alas, we will never know ahead of time, so I suppose I should keep myself out of Dairy Queen and the hot fudge sauce.  I can grow hips without that kind of help. Lorne (Remember her?  The one who named this here blog? She’s Ty over at her place.) had some things to say about Mr. Harold Camping.  Hee!  Go read it, here.  Isn’t that great?

While we are on the subject of stuff that didn’t happen, I should mention that I went to Roller Derby last night.  It was fun.  I can’t really enthuse a lot about it, though; I’m not sure it is something I will want to do again.  While the skating was good, it was a little too circular for my taste.  Before you kindly inform me that circular skating is exactly the point and make fun of me a whole lot behind my back, please understand that my only frame of reference for Roller Derby is Drew Barrymore’s movie in which there was lots of cursing and aggression and girlie dramatics of every sort.  Also, it should be noted that friends of mine who have raved about Roller Derby also raved about the tasty beverages one can purchase at the auditorium.  A ha!  While their descriptions of Roller Derby made me yearn to go, I think now that tasty beverages had more to do with the experience than the actual skating.  Duly noted.  Also, there didn’t seem to be any kind of fighting or much aggression.  There wasn’t really any profanity at all except for that one time I almost fell down the stairs.  But that was more of a gasp of surprise than a true expletive so it barely counts.  However, the company was great because Freddie and Ian came along with some friends of theirs. Rickkster was in attendance as well.  I was hopeful that he would drink a lot and tell us secrets but that didn’t happen either. How disappointing.

You know what else didn’t happen?  Quan didn’t come to work after Tuesday.  We only got to borrow him for a few weeks from one of our other offices.  He was replacing a fellow co-worker who had been out after some sort of surgery.  I told you from the beginning that we all just liked him so much so it’s a pretty big blow to be without him now.  It’s possible that I got a little teary-eyed when I looked down the hall on Wednesday and didn’t see him sitting at his desk. 

Also what didn’t happen?  Co-worker Grumpy (new character, totally irrelevant) didn’t come to work on Friday.  He left our company to move to Montana with his new girlfriend.  We fought like brother and sister, a lot.  I accused him of not even liking me and questioned him on why we even bothered to have a good-bye drinking party for him when he clearly didn’t want to be there.  That was Tuesday.  It didn’t get better on Wednesday or Thursday and when I tried to give him a hug good-bye on Thursday, he threw me off like a bratty little kid.  So I left him alone and had nothing to do with him for the rest of the day.  Later, right before he left, he walked up behind me and gave me the tightest hug and said, “Bye, Fluffy” and then walked away very quickly, almost running. I bawled my eyes out for about an hour.  We are so mature, the two of us.

Another thing that didn’t happen?  I didn’t get fired, although I totally should have.  I had the following email conversation with my boss on Friday, after getting copies of our pay stubs and expense checks. 

Jimmie:       Hello, Hottie

Boss:             Are you drinking?

Jimmie:       No, I just got your pay stub and expenses check

Boss:             Ah. 

It pays to work for a man like him.  Anyone else would have at the very least given me a “talking to”.  Hee.

Something that did happen that I can’t tell you about?  Friday night Phranke came over and had a look at my new room. She’s a much better photographer than me, and she also helped me put my bed together with the new stuff.  See? 


Yes, I know I have two very orange cats, one of which sheds at least a full cat in fur every day.  So what?  White and orange go well together and I can purchase all of the lint rollers I want. 

Anyway, she shared some stories with me that made me laugh until my abs hurt but those are her stories to share, not mine.  I’m such a tease.  You’re welcome.

A final thing that didn’t happen?  I didn’t run the full six miles I was scheduled for on Saturday.  I ran/walked them but didn’t get to run them all.  Ugh.  Sometimes this running thing blows.  Still, so that I don’t discourage others of you trying to do this, there are times you just have to remind yourself that it won’t always be so difficult, and that the more you practice, the easier it gets. Also remind yourself that once you have finished your running or water aerobics or whatever exercise you choose, you will feel so much better, no matter how disgusting you get while doing it.  The sacrifice is worth it even if you have a cry a little during it.  Plus! I saw a HUGE black and yellow snake.  Call me weird, but it was kind of cool.  I could have reached out and touched him, he was so close. 

Erm, okay.  Yeah, that’s it for today.  You expected something more?  I just told you I was a tease and that I was boring.  You’re welcome.


Uncle Andy

Monday I celebrated the life of a good man, my Uncle Andy. Although the celebration included a lot of tears and tissues, I’m happy that we had things to celebrate. I’m hopeful and left feeling a bit lighter and more connected to my family.

His health hadn’t been great over the last few months but I would say that his passing still came as a shock to all of us. We never really expect our loved ones to go away. At least I don’t. I feel that I’m lucky, though, because I know I will see him again, in his changed healthy body, whole and joyful and celebrating.

Celebrations of Life often include memory sharing. Monday I walked away with several new stories of the man I called Uncle. I’ll include a few.

When he was little and my mom was still an interesting creature called Baby Sister, they both had stuffed animals with music boxes inside. Andy had a bear and Mom had a lamb. When Mom’s music box died, Uncle Andy cut his bear open, removed the music box and stuffed it into Mom’s lamb, so she wouldn’t have to do without. And when they were older, we would visit him at his lake house. He often stopped on his way out there to buy a cheeseburger. Mom always wanted a bite but would wait until he got to the middle so she could have the bite with the pickle. He always let her have it. Always the sacrifice, always the love. That’s the kind of man he was.

Once, when I was between cars, he let me borrow an old Ford pick-up truck for a summer. He drove over in that rust bucket and I nearly died. But it was transportation and it was free so I thanked him and drove that visual disaster for several months. God forbid my purse fall into the floorboard (and I use the term floorboard loosely) because the strips of rust that still clung to the area beneath my feet weren’t strong enough to hold a gnat, much less my giant handbag. In an effort to make it more visually appealing, my sister and boyfriend and I used model car paints to decorate it with peace signs and happy faces and hearts. By the time we got it looking like we wanted, Uncle Andy had sold it, sight unseen, to a man who cared not that it looked like a hippie mobile and only cared that it ran well. His reputation as a mechanic was outstanding.

He had five children and a beloved, and listening to each of them talk about what he meant to them gave me such a sense of who he was, outside of my own view. He was dedicated. He loved. He accepted. He was a family man. He was a friend. He got his kids through some rough times. He fixed things for them. He met every need that his family had. And he did it with spirit and laughter and love.

Ah, I’m going to make myself cry again. I don’t want to do that.

I miss my Uncle Andy. I have for a while, because life gets in the way. We let so many things take precedence over things that used to be important. I won’t do that anymore.

I miss Zeke. I miss Reid. I miss Adam and Kevin and Tammy. I miss Boo and Vaughan. I miss the happy times as kids when we were getting to know each other, fighting and hitting and learning and laughing. Now that we are older, maybe we can recapture a bit of that youth and include the people that we have since added to our family. We have vowed to spend more time together and to make better efforts. I plan on worrying the mess out of everyone until we do that.

Yes, I miss my family but they are still here. Uncle Andy is not but we can celebrate him still. We can do that by living the life that he lived – with faith, with hope, and most importantly with love.

Love you, Uncle Andy.


Have you guys read the book “Room” by Emma Donoghue?  I heard it was awesome.  This has nothing to do with that book, though.  Just thought I would share.

Following are some snippets of conversations heard from Jimmie’s bedroom, last Thursday night.

 “Ooh, I love it!”


 “I will cut you, bitch.”

“No, not that way!”

 “Dammit Murphy!”

“Jimmie! Let me do it!”

“Oh, God, did we squish Seamus?”

“Freddie, did you really drive over here in a sports bra and a blanket?”

“Jimmie, thank you for letting me fulfill my dream.  “

“No problem, Felix, thanks for fulfilling your dream in my bedroom.”

And then I went to work puffy-eyed and lethargic on Friday.

You guys do know that my Daddy-O has the link to this here blog, right? Get your minds out of the gutters, pervs.

Remember when I was painting my bedroom over a weekend?  That was merely the first step of a huge process called Operation: Jimmie’s Bedroom.  Again, minds out of the gutter. 

I decided a few months ago that I liked my bedroom but it wasn’t really mine.  I saw a movie in which the bedroom had a certain feel and I wanted that feel.  So I yapped about it to everyone and Felix perked right up.  “A feel?” he says.  And I says, “Yes, soft.”  And he says, “Give me ten minutes.”

And then the plans poured forth.  We talked about color and texture and paint and fabric and chandeliers.  We used words like “fresh” and “glam” and “treatments” and “oh holy crap, I can’t believe we are going to do this.” 

It has taken me months to decide on the comforters and sheets and assorted furniture items.  Several things have arrived in boxes since January and those boxes have yet to be opened.  Murphy and Seamus have set up their guest house on those boxes and it will be a sad day when they come home from work and find them gone.  Let this be a warning to you pets, that day is coming soon.  Prepare now. 

 I also had to choose paint colors.  By now, it should be clear to all of you that I’m a chick.  And while I think Lowe’s and Home Depot are marvelous places, I cannot amuse myself looking at every screw and nail and set of pliers in there.  Apparently every ex-boyfriend I ever had can, though, and all of my whining about “let’s spend time togetherrrrrrrr” should include the caveat “but not in a hardware store”.  Ahem.  I went into both Lowe’s and Home Depot with the idea of finding the perfect paint color and came out with every hue of blue, green, gray and purple they had.  Clearly, I like variety and can amuse myself for hours looking at every single paint sample in the store. 

I proudly showed my 52,000 paint chips to Felix who in a sudden lurch understood that maybe I needed more help narrowing than we originally thought.  I have a feeling that this was the beginnings of a slow panic for him.  I’m so distracted by shiny pretty things and I’m whipped about like a rag doll with every new thought I have.  Ooh, feathers!  Sparkly chandelier! Wow, modern stuff is awesome. . . . Fortunately for him I’m his favorite plus I’m nice plus I cook well so he’s been very patient.  Bribery works wonders.

After Felix narrowed my choices to about 50, I went back to Lowe’s and got more paint chips. Like I said, shiny!  And I taped every single one of those paint chips to my wall and invited Felix to come over and help me choose.  I wish I had a picture of that.  You would laugh hysterically at the picture of horror on his poor face.  We finally chose three of them, one for an accent wall, one for regular walls, and one for small designs.  Oh, it was agony.  (The funniest part about this is Martie and Coach were there also.  Martie took one look at the 68 paint samples on my wall and within about 30 seconds picked one that matched her bedroom décor perfectly.  Decision made. Done and done.  Were it that easy for me . . .)

Now I had big plans for taking pictures all the way through this process so that Felix could use it as a design book of sorts, in case he gets the chance to do this for someone else.  And I wanted to see the progress. But once I bought the paint, I went nuts. Best laid plans of mice and men, and all that . . . . so no before photos. 

I painted like mad for a solid day and then did touch ups for a couple of evenings. Meanwhile, Felix spent HOURS with some poster board and an Exact-o knife making a stencil for me. 


So the process on Thursday night went like this – feel free to interject the conversations from above wherever you see fit:

Felix and Jimmie leave work at the same time.  Felix arrives at Jimmie’s house before Jimmie does despite their leaving at the same time from the exact same location.  He runs to the house with giant stencil in a wad so that it wouldn’t get wet in the monsoon (again) and then waits miserably on the porch for Jimmie to arrive.

Jimmie arrives.

Jimmie and Felix lay the stencil out and ooh and ahh over it.

Jimmie opens a bottle of wine.

Jimmie and Felix sample cake that Jimmie made (divine).

Jimmie and Felix sample cake again.

Jimmie and Felix drink wine.

Jimmie and Felix have dinner.

Jimmie and Felix drink wine.

Felix mixes the paint while Jimmie hovers.

Felix demonstrates the proper paint application treatment. 

Jimmie tries to recreate it and fails miserably.

"Jimmie! Let me do it!"

Jimmie hovers for a while then parks herself on the bed, watching and looking pretty.  And drinking wine.

Freddie arrives wearing a sports bra and blanket.

All ignore odd attire and Jimmie and Felix and Freddie drink wine and feed Freddie.

Murphy discovers stencil and tries to play with it.

Felix has apoplexy.

Murphy settles in for a nap on the stencil.

Why is everyone freaking out?

Felix and Freddie apply the stencil.

Felix demonstrates the proper paint application treatment.

Jimmie and Freddie try to recreate it and fail miserably.

Jimmie and Freddie give up all pretenses of hovering and park themselves on the bed, watching and looking pretty. And drinking wine.

Felix works his ass off.

How come I'm all alone over here?

Jimmie and Freddie ooh and ahh a lot.

Freddie goes home with cake at reasonable hour.

Stencil bows up in odd places, prompting much cursing and yelling.

Jimmie and Felix wrestle with stencil. A lot.

Jimmie and Felix win and apply paint twice more.

Felix and Jimmie hop around like morons in excitement over paint treatment and lack of sleep.

Felix and Jimmie put bedroom back together and hop around like morons some more.

Felix leaves with cake in the wee hours of the morning.

Jimmie sighs in happiness a lot and stares at her newly painted walls.

Murphy, indifferent to the happy sighs, purrs loudly on Jimmie’s stomach.

The end. 

And here mes amigos, is the finished product, at least for this week.  The bedding is not included yet. I wish I were a better photographer.  More progress will be made but I will spare you the write up and just show a picture of the absolute finished room.  Don’t expect it anytime soon.


What do y’all think I should do for Felix as a thank you gift?  In your suggestion thought process, please note that he also offered to come help me pick up a bed for my third bedroom and in the drive over to my house, he hit a curb and blew out his tire.  His man-truck had to sit on the side of the road for a while as Madre and I came to his rescue.  Here he was trying to do a good deed and the man-truck has a minor heart attack.  It only took him an hour of swearing and cursing and sweating to bring it back to life.  What’s the phrase?  No good deed goes unturned.  How do I repay him?  I mean besides purchasing more wine and making more cake and looking pretty, of course?


Martie – What I Saw in the South; Alabama Storms

On April 27th, I saw: Water. Thunder. Lightening.  Black clouds.  More water.  School was cancelled due to bad weather.  In my hometown, which is only a few short miles from the Alabama border, we experienced severe thunderstorms and rushing water, like this:


Just below us, in North Alabama, and central Alabama, the scene was much more devastating.  Tornadoes ripped through towns, uprooting trees, homes and lives.  Hundreds were killed.  Thousands were without power.  Stores were closed, families were busy trying to find one another.  My heart breaks for those people, and my mind fears this same occurrence here, where I live.  We are so blessed, we are so lucky, we have dodged another bullet.  


Hundreds of people from Alabama converged on my town the next day to buy gas, food, ice, and anything they were in need of.  Idiots in my hometown got angry with these people for “taking what’s ours” or “getting in our way”.  You people should be ashamed.  I pray this never happens to any of you, so that when you head down to Alabama for essentials, no one can make you feel as hopeless as you made someone else feel.  First of all, these people were PURCHASING supplies, so yay for the one-day economy boost.  Secondly, are we really that greedy?  I thought we lived in Heaven on Earth, but people don’t sound very saintly when they sit around gripping tightly to everything they can grab screaming “MINE, MINE!”  Please open up your hearts and minds, and put yourself in their shoes.  I, for one, am thankful that we had what they needed, and sad to think of those who didn’t have a way to get here, nor a home to store their food and water in.  God help them.

Thanks to all of my good neighbors and friends who were quick to lend a buck, a helping hand, or anything else you could scrape together.   Thanks to our power department for sending groups of  people down to help restore power to the ones without it.  Thanks to all who are reading this and deciding to do something to help as you read.  And to those of you who are struggling through this, we are still here if you need us.  Come on back to Tennessee, and buy anything you need.  If someone gives you grief, I’m sorry. 

And I’m not forgetting the 30-something people who died here in my own state, along with those of you who lost your home or a loved one right here in Tennessee.  God Bless you.

Soapbox gone.  Have a great day.

Jimmie here.  There are lots of great organizations that you can donate through and these people still need your help.  I’ll list a few.  Please understand that I am not choosing one over another and can make no statements about these organizations.  I just did a quick Google search and found these.  You can do the same. 

Salvation Army

Help the Children

Samaritan’s Purse

American Red Cross

Photo credits: Water found here.  Damage found here, photography by Scott Fillmer.  He has other photos as well.  Check out his site.


I’m ready to make a commitment to you guys.  I’m stating it here so that you know you can hold me accountable and nag me about it as you see fit.  I’m fairly certain you know I would nag you if the shoe were on the other foot.

 I’m going to run the ½ marathon in September, the Women’s one.

Now I’ve said it and posted it.  I have to do it.  Lynnette wrangled a promise out of me (think along the lines of Major Payne with a pinch more sweetness) and while I will most likely curse her every time I set foot on the Greenway and die a thousand slow deaths as I’m running to some Cee Lo Green, I’m pretty excited about it. Thank you, Lynnette.  You do know that I really do want to do this.

The last weekend in April was the Music City Marathon and a bunch of my friends ran it.  I trained for it for a little while but I ran out of steam before I ever got there.  Besides, the one I had originally planned to run was the Women’s one and I believe I only have one in me.  If I’m going to run all that way and train all that much, I’m going for the prettiest t-shirt; clearly the pink one with the girlie logo on it is far better than the blue one they gave away at the Music City Race.

Freddie and I, both of whom had toyed around with the idea of running the Music City Half, decided we would bike down to the Titan’s stadium which is where the half marathoners would finish their races.  I wanted to see my friends run in and hopefully snap pictures of them so they didn’t have to pay $39.95 for their photos.  Highway robbery . . .

I got up early and drove over to Freddie’s house to borrow one of her bikes.  Now with the exception of our trip to Jacksonville, I had not been on a bike in YEARS, probably ten of them.  And the bikes we rode in Jacksonville were lovely with no gears and nice cushy sheep fur-lined seats.  We pedaled around, about six miles or so.  It was a leisurely ride, fueled by pomegranate and pineapple mojitos, and it was on the beach.  You can’t get much better than that.  It practically wasn’t even a bike ride. 

The bike ride to the Titan’s stadium was not at all like that. Firstly, it was far too early for mojitos of any kind but we rallied. We had oatmeal instead.  Secondly, the bike seats were not sheep fur-lined but the real deal pieces of granite the bike seat manufactures are so fond of.  What’s so wrong with a tractor seat, really? These seats were tiny and wedged themselves perfectly between the bones of our butts so as to cause maximum discomfort.  And thirdly, the ride was twice as long, twelve miles total.  Oh, and there were gears, lots of them.  What am I supposed to do with gears?

I grumble but honestly, the ride was really nice.  The Greenway, which has a trail that leads directly to the stadium, is beautiful in the spring.  Honeysuckle and English Rose line the walkways and the smells wafting around are amazing.  The pathways are shaded in places and sunny in others.  And as bikers, we are the fastest things allowed on the Greenway and the breeze from the speed was just lovely. 

We pedaled down our chosen path and I do believe we passed the eventual winner of the full marathon.  We also passed the men who would place 2nd, 3rd and 4th.  We yelled encouragement to all of them and were ignored but didn’t take it personally.  When you are in that kind of zone, I doubt even a naked Lady GaGa will break your trance.  It was pretty exciting for us to whizz past them, knowing that they were working so hard and really accomplishing something very nice for themselves. 

Anyway, we arrived in the crowds and made our way towards the finish line, no easy feat.  I read somewhere that approximately 33,000 people ran that race so you can imagine how many supporters and spectators were there.  And I saw lots of people run in, gobs of them, but not one of our friends.  Freddie and I stood in awe of all of those people and watched them stretch, cramp, eat goo and generally look healthy. We decided that if we ever ran one of these big races, we were going to do it in a tutu like some of these other ladies.  At least I am.  Might as well sweat in style.

I took this picture while we hung around.  I just love Nashville. 

After a while, we gave up on seeing anyone we might know so we hopped back on our bikes and took off for Freddie’s house again.  My butt was doing okay so I thought nothing of it.  I was really quite proud of the fact that I had already biked six miles and not made a complete fool of myself by face-planting on the asphalt at the stadium, although it was touch and go for a minute there.  We pedaled away and this time, had to ride on real streets with real cars.  And I did just fine although I’m pretty sure that Freddie tried to kill me on that one hill but since I lived, I forgive her. 

I did lie face first on Freddie’s floor for a little while before I drove home.  But I was fine.  I could still move anyway, and I counted that as a great accomplishment.

Before I complain a lot about my sore butt, I should throw in another little story. 

Martie and Coach and family came up that night to go to a Sound’s game. Also lovely.  I took this picture while we hung around. I just love Nashville. 

And the next morning, I sweet talked Coach into helping me move stuff around in my bedroom so that I could start painting it.  (Actually what I did was stand on a chair in front of him and try to unscrew my curtain rods. When he realized what I was doing he shoved me off the chair and took over.  Heh heh.  Not my first rodeo . . . .) I painted on my own after they left which generally involves a lot of arm and back work.  But I was fine.  I could still move anyway, and I counted that as a great accomplishment.  Plus the paint fumes helped.  Sorry if I drunk dialed any of you that night. 

Monday morning rolled around as did my 4:30 am alarm.  Let me tell you how much fun it is after biking 12 miles on Saturday and painting for 6 hours on Sunday and then lying prone for 7-ish hours to try to leap out of bed like a young, spry person.  I hear you over there laughing! I minced gingerly around my house for a while, prancing like some Arabian horse, and knew that there was no way I was going to plant my butt on a stationary bike for 45 minutes voluntarily.  No way.  I didn’t care how good the music was.  So I skipped the gym which is terrible, I know!

Skipping the gym then led to other instances of skipping the gym which led to the conversation that Lynnette and I had over the ½ marathon and here we are again.  Me, making a commitment to you.  And to Lynnette.  I’ve missed her and I’ve missed Jane and I’ve got to stop missing the gym.

Gah, I’m such a whiner.

So now that we are back to the whining, feel free to nag me about my training. Also feel free to give me advice.  I’m running this bitch.  I’m going to do it.  And when I’m done, I’m going to need you to listen to my whining (again) and tell me that I look pretty despite the huffing and puffing and that no, I didn’t look like a water buffalo at all while I sprinted down Broadway.  And also that no one saw me fall down and certainly no one got of a picture of that.  I know that all of you will borrow bikes from Freddie and will pedal down the Greenway to watch me run in and try snap my picture but will give up eventually because you can’t find me. And I will be okay with that.  Because your butt will hurt like mine did and I will laugh at you when you try to leap out of bed like a young, spry person.  You can come back here to whine about it if you like. 

I’m so nice.


Vignettes of a Mother

This weekend Madre came for a visit.  She wanted a pedicure and since she’s never had one, we thought it best that she come to NashVegas and let me treat her to one.  Okay, that’s not the full story.  I believe she’d heard the rumor about how I laugh like a hyena at the nail shop when they scrub my feet because it just tickles so badly.  I also believe she’d heard the rumor about how the staff at my nail shop gives me grief because I have long feet and because of my hyena laughing.  They say things like, “We charge you extra, you so loud.” And “We video you and send it in to funny videos.  Ha!”   But she also heard the rumor about the massage chairs so I feel certain that clinched it for her.  NashVegas and my nail shop were the places that won out so she packed up and came here.

We had pedicures. They were awesome. She is hooked.

Martie did her share of pampering Madre too.  Madre got a new haircut and new color, courtesy of Martie. The best part about Martie doing our hair is that she’s quite talented and we always leave looking better than when we came in.  The worst part about Martie doing our hair is that we cannot always re-create what she does in the shop and we spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to make it stand up this way and poof up that way and sweep across our foreheads in the correct manner.

Saturday morning ablutions rolled around and Madre was in my upstairs bathroom attempting to create Martie-quality hair when her hair blower thingamabob which had been on the fritz lately just stopped working.  I heard it shut off and didn’t think much about it until I heard Madre bellow down the stairs, “I’m throwing that mother f@cker in the trash!” 

I laughed like a hyena at this. 

I love you, Madre.  Happy Mother’s Day.

A couple of years ago Martie and I were in the car or in the movie theater or in her living room or somewhere, and we were digging through our respective purses for something.  Probably this would be a better story if I could remember the circumstances around it but you read the post where I’m facing forty in a few years, right?  They say the mind is the first thing to go.  Anyway, we were digging around in our purses and I said, “I can tell I’m a chick because I have 4 chap-sticks and 3 lip glosses and 2 lipsticks in my purse.” 

 Martie gave me a thoughtful look and said, “I can tell I’m a mother because I have loose raisins in my purse.” 

 She won that one. 

 I love you, Martie.  Happy Mother’s Day.

My parents divorced when I was pretty little and my dad re-married when I was still in the Cinderella phase of my life, meaning that all my sister and friends and I knew of step-mothers was the wicked one who made Cinderella clean a lot and wouldn’t let her go to the ball.  So when I told all my school friends that I now had a step-mother, you can imagine the looks of horror that crossed their faces.  They would ask me questions like, “Is she mean?  Do you have to scrub the floor with a brush?  Are there mice in her house?” 

The thing is, she wasn’t mean and she didn’t make me scrub the floor with a brush and I never saw any mice.  I wanted to convey the fact that having a step-mother wasn’t so bad and that it was actually kind of nice.  So I mustered up all of the wisdom and knowledge a five-year-old has to explain it in the best possible way to my friends so as to gain their admiration and respect and possibly their jealousy.  And I told them the truth.  “She lets us eat raw cookie dough.”  Score!

I love you JiJi.  Happy Mother’s Day. 

And for all the other mothers I know out there: Aunt Jean, Jane, Vonnie, Christy V., Chandra, Monica, Jamie, LaCole, Melissa, Judy, Nikki, Cheryl, Elizabeth, Rhonda, Dawn, Andi, Kat, Katie, Michelle, Julie Ann, Christy H., Anne, Sarah, Jade, Barbara – oh I’m going to forget so many and I don’t want to – Happy Mother’s Day!  Love to you all!

Proverbs 23:25

 . . . May she who gave birth to you be joyful!


Administrative Happenings and a Guest Post!

Aw, suki now!  I got a taker!  I sent out a request for guest posts and Martie has obliged me. 

I’ll give you just a smidge of a back story for this. Martie and I grew up in a small town where it was assumed that because we lived there, we drove tractors to school instead of trucks and cars.  And Thanksgiving Day was not just a day for eating until vital organs burst but more a day to get up at 4:30 am to hunt and hopefully kill a deer.  For us, this town was the true South, the South we knew.  Still is.  And because Martie still lives in that neck of the woods, she gets to witness it all first hand.  I have a feeling that many of you will relate to her musings and because of that, her posts will be a recurring thing.  You and I will occasionally get treated to the things she gets to see every day. 

So, here we go! Whee!

Martie here.  I’m gonna do a little series, hope you like it.  I see way too many “interesting” things here in the South, and I feel like the rest of the world should experience the South in all its glory through the eyes of someone who loves it, and maybe understands it a little too well.

This is an ad that was on my local radio station’s website.  It is real.  It’s a want ad.  It is real.  Really, it is real.

live in babysitter

April 20, 2011

i need a live in babysitter that takes no drugs if they drink preferred after my 4 yr old and 11 week old are asleep.  i need someone responsible and is willing to put my kids first in their life. preferred woman, responsible, preferred with references, and has to love kids, pit bulls, cats, and snakes.  AND MUST BE TRUSTWORTHY AND OH DID I SAY RESPONSIBLE


free rent free food free cable and internet if u smoke I got ur cigs and ill throw in some money here and there when I can afford it.  im a cool chick and I really need some help plese call me at ***-***-**** ask for *** need someone quick but im not stupid.  i am willing to work with any stipulations please feel free to call and ask questions, i live in ******* if u go to ****** ********* college so if theres a college student needin a roof I need a sitter please call me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yes, it is real.  Yes it is.   

And so ends Martie’s post. Tune in next time for another exciting chapter of “You Won’t Believe the Crazy Sh!t I Saw Today! Or, Life in the South.”

Please, none of you need to apply for the above position.  I thought it prudent that I state that here . . .

Also, if you have any awareness at all, you’ll notice that things look a little different around here.  WordPress (the place that hosts this here blog) has different themes and I chose Rounded because it was pretty and girlie.  But Rounded and I got into an argument about spacing and I lost.  So like any mature adult, I flounced off in a huff and went behind Rounded’s back and chose another, prettier theme.  Now we are Koi. Doesn’t that sound nice?  But I ask your pardon as I learn the tricks on this new theme.  Spacing might be wonky for a minute but I’ll work it out.  I always do. 



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