Sunday, April 28, 2013

Baby Bears on Ladders!

I think that "Baby bears on ladders!" is going to be my new phrase to exclaim when something exciting or crazy happens. What brought this on? Why, baby bears on ladders. Lay your eyes on this:

I had no idea what was about to happen. Did you? So smart of those bear rescuers! 

In other news, the Mister and I found a dog that was hit by a car yesterday. Whoever hit him just left him there on the interstate and if I could find that person, I'm pretty sure that I'd shout out "Baby bears on ladders! I'm going to punch you in the face! You'd better start running!" If you ask me, it takes a certain kind of jerk to hit a defenseless animal and then leave them to die alone.  More than likely, this person didn't hit him on purpose but to just keep going like that? Wrong on so many levels.

Lucky the Pup is going to be okay but it's going to be a bit of a long road. He has some broken bones and other issues so I'm going to be busy for a while helping that pup along. Please send good thoughts our way for speedy healing and success in finding a great rescue home to take him in. Will see y'all on the other side... Peace and love.

Until next time,
x's and o's,

Friday, April 26, 2013

George Will Be Missed

I just learned that good ole George Jones passed away this morning. The news gives me such a heavy heart. Talk about a legend - he was one of THE legends -  not only in Country music but also in this town.

It really feels odd knowing that he's not here anymore, kind of like a family member has gone away. It was a good feeling just to know that he was kicking around the same town that I was in. Unfortunately I never ran into him but probably could have if I'd really tried. The loss of George definitely feels like the end of an era as I've heard his songs my entire life. My great uncle Glen has pretty much worshiped George for decades and I'll never forget the glee in my Grandfather's voice when I told him that I passed by George's house on a regular basis when I lived in a more rural part of Tennessee. Since George had infamously been arrested for driving his riding lawnmower down a county road with a bit of a buzz on, every time that I talked to my Grandfather after that, he'd ask me if I'd seen George riding his lawnmower down my street. He'd never really understood why I moved far away to Nashville before that...but after I told him about George, he actually seemed tickled that I was here.

George was also known as quite the rebel. He was notoriously late to appearances and he missed some altogether. He battled alcohol and drug addiction off and on throughout his life. He definitely lived the lyrics from some of the most hard-scrabble classic country songs but through it all, he was known as a good guy. I read a note online today from a soldier who said that George picked him up while he was hitchhiking back in 1966 just North of Knoxville, Tennessee. He said that George had sung country songs with him along their route. That soldier was on his way to Vietnam and said that it meant the world to him. I'm sure that it did.

Oh George...he will definitely be missed. You can read more about his life here.

In true George Jones form, he might be a bit late getting to Heaven but when he gets there and gets settled in, I hope that he'll ride past my Grandfather's eternal mansion and give him a big ole wave from the seat of his heavenly lawnmower.

Until next time,
x's and o's,

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Around the Ranch

Can you guys believe that April is almost gone? The weather is so strange here in Tennessee. It's Spring-like during the day and at night, it's in the 30's or 40's sometimes. We got a new birdbath at an estate sale last year and filled it up for the critters on a recent Saturday. That very same day, a big crow started bringing his meals to wash in the formerly sparklingly clean birdbath. It's been pretty gross so far. He's brought a dead baby bird and some other unidentifiable critter...and even a quesadilla! That quesadilla made us laugh pretty hard as we couldn't help but think of "Napoleon Dynamite". After the crow brought a huge wad of coleslaw yesterday, Mister Kitsch decided that he was going to start documenting the crow's birdbath meal remains with photos. Don't worry. I won't show them to you...but I do think that it might be a fascinating project just the same! If only we were hip enough to have Instagram. Those cute filters could add a certain something to the project, don't you think?

The past week has been pretty busy. I've been cleaning out the garage and closets and let me tell you - I had a TON of stuff to get rid of. I liked every single item but have decided that if I don't LOVE something, it's no longer taking up space in my house. After taking two carloads to Goodwill and having my Dressbarn ladies (and a Mister) over to pick through the vintage items, the house feels so much lighter. Of course, I DID buy something new on my way home from one of those Goodwill trips but as I told the Mister: "It goes on the wall so it doesn't count as taking up space". I'll show you what I got tomorrow!

And while we're on the topic of feeling lighter, I feel a lot less weighed-down too. I got ten inches cut off of my hair yesterday! I desperately needed a haircut and bravely got it cut in a haircutting class at a local salon - well, because it was free. I had thought that the experienced teacher was going to be cutting my hair with the students watching her - but once I got there, I quickly learned that I would be getting my hair cut by a very green student. It was a pretty white-knuckle experience, let me tell you! I didn't really walk out of there with the style that I wanted but I think that it will be fine in a few weeks. Have any of you ever had one of those hairstyles that has to evolve? One of those evolving hairstyles that is too short to pull up into a ponytail even though you asked that it be long enough to? I think that I'll go down to one of the forty weave stores that are in my neighborhood and pick out a clip-on ponytail.

And in other news: We got our couch back from the upholsterer today! I think that he did a great job. Whew!  It's pretty nerve-wracking to devote a chunk of money to a final result that you can't predict but we really love what he did with it.

It's very 1960's doctor's office, isn't it? 

"Here. I'll just need you to fill out these forms."

I wonder if we could invite a bunch of people over for a movie party and charge copays?

We kept the old cushions (as they were the only part of the old couch that wasn't destroyed by the hellcats) and I like the way that they look too. 

It's hard to tell with my spastic photos but there is a good deal of wood on the frame of the couch and it matches the old cushions. I'm having a hard time giving those old cushions up as they were the reason that I liked the old couch.

Which cushions do you guys like better? Let me know your thoughts! I'm so nervous that the cats are going to take a liking to it and do it in. I keep walking into the living room just to make sure that it's safe from their wrath. Hopefully since it's vinyl, they'll just leave it the heck alone. They do have three scratching posts so I don't think it would be too much to ask! Jeez...

I'd highly recommend our upholsterer if you're in the Nashville area. We used Pace Upholstery and Mr. Pace is located in Tullahoma. He picked up the sofa from us in Nashville and within a week and a half, we had a brand new sofa. I think that's pretty good turn-around time! Here is a link to his Facebook page if my local folks ever want to use him. He's a very nice guy and he even brought us gifts!

Cowabunga! Phones! 

When he originally came to pick up our couch, he noticed that we had an old yellow rotary phone and thought that we might like some more. Boy, did we! We were super excited about getting these. When he came into the house today and said "Oh yeah. I have a gift for you!" my first thought was that he'd found something dicey inside of our couch - maybe a fat roll of twenties (because I'm always losing those) or a dead mouse - but it turned out much better! If you ever use him, tell him that the wacky couple in the phone hoarding house recommended him.

I've always wanted an aqua rotary phone and heck, I've never even seen that particular shade of orange that's on the wall phone. It's atomic, isn't it? Here's the dial on the bottom of the red stand phone.

Sooooo cool! He didn't even know that we collect phones.

Though I think that we're going to need more shelving now.  And an additional phone operator. Pip is never going to be able to answer them all. Especially with all of the breaks that she takes. She's Union.

Well, that's it for today. I'd better go guard the couch! I hope that you all are having a really great week! 

Until next time,
x's and o's,

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Cool Lady. Cool Car.

Today I want to tell y'all about one of the coolest ladies that I know - and her equally cool car. I met Theresa Thompson on Flickr and she has some of the best photography technique that I've ever seen. She's not just skilled but also crazy creative with her photo ideas, many of which have a perfect retro twist. I always get excited when I see a new photo pop up in her photostream. And on top of that, she is such a sweet person. You might be asking yourself how she could get any cooler.

Well, Kapow!

Yes, folks. She's a stunner and she owns a 1949 Cadillac covered in pennies.

Theresa was kind enough to give us a little chat about her car which is aptly named "Penny". 

Penny is a incredible! Did you and your hubby Larry own her before you got the idea to have a penny covered car?

We actually shopped for the perfect car to cover in pennies and were ready to purchase a Lincoln (figuring that to be the perfect penny car) but decided to go look at one more car. When we got there, she was the color of a penny and we decided that she was the one.

How was the idea for a car completely covered in pennies born? Did you hesitate at all or were you at the bank getting buckets of pennies the very next day?

I remember waking up one morning and telling my hubby, "I think we should get a car and glue pennies all over it." and all he said was, "ok."  We started shopping for the car that day.

I was so excited about transforming her when we first brought her home, but after she sat in the garage for a month, I felt myself loosing my nerve... I knew it was right then, or never so I started gluing pennies on the visor first, figuring if it looked terrible I wouldn't have ruined the car, I could always remove the visor and no one would be the wiser.

I love that you just woke up with the idea! Were any other embellishment ideas thrown around before deciding on pennies? 

It was always going to be pennies. We have since talked about transforming my VW Beetle and thrown out different ideas. The key is if you're going to glue something on it, you have to use something that won't be too heavy (the pennies added a little over 200 lbs to the car!) something that won't fade or break too easily, and nothing that anyone would steal.

How much time did it take to install them all? Did you and Larry put all of the pennies on by yourselves?

Larry, my two boys and I glued on the majority of the pennies, but neighbor kids, nieces, and nephews... We had lots of helpers. We ran into our neighbors after we'd finished the car and they confessed that one evening after their son came home late for dinner, he was grounded for lieing after stating that he had to stay and glue money to our car. They were surprised to see us driving a car with pennies glued all over it.

That poor neighbor kid! I bet his parents believed him from then on! How many pennies are on Penny? 

There are 38,295 pennies (I'm so glad that we had the forsight to count them as we were putting them on. Everyone wants to know how many and it would be impossible to count them after.) The pennies are all American pennies and all heads up (with the exception of four tail side up. Each family member glued one penny on tail side up, it's kind of a "Where's Waldo")

It looks like you take Penny to classic car shows. I know that a lot of times, the last thing that car owners want visitors to do at car shows is to touch the cars. I love that Penny has a sign encouraging people to touch her. How do people generally respond to her?

We get asked to show her once or twice a year, so we usually do. We're not really car show people. I would much rather just take her out for a drive, but Penny is definately the belle of the ball. Kids love her and they always ask, "Are you rich?"

Penny is the first "art car" we've ever owned, but I doubt if she'll be the last. I would recommend transforming a vehicle to anyone. It's like being in a parade where ever you go.

I love that little kids think that you're rich! Do you polish all of those pennies or do all of the folks rubbing them for good luck keep them bright and shiny?

For several years we would polish her a few times over the summer, but we eventually put a clear coat over the pennies to keep them from tarnishing. Before we coated them she would always get two real shiny spots just above her headlights from people touching her.

Tell us anything that you'd like us to know about Penny. A Penny for your thoughts!

It took us six weeks and lots of silicone caulk in 1999 to adhere the pennies one at a time. I like to think that we were just fulfilling her destiny- She was born to be a penny car. I can't imagine ever parting with her, but if we were to ever sell her, the advertisement would read "1949 cadillac in mint condition."

Thanks so much to Theresa for sharing her lovely Penny with us!  I hope that I get to see it in person one day! All photos here were taken by Theresa. Stop on by her Flickr photostream to see more snapshots of Penny - and all of her other awesome photos.  I promise that she'll often make you laugh and more often that that, will inspire you. And take a look at this fun video about her process and inspirations that the local Fort Wayne, Indiana news station did:


That girl is a delight, isn't she? 

Buckaroos, what do you think of Penny? What would you embellish your own car with if you could?

Until next time,
x's and o's,

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Then there is this...

Pretty much what the inside of my head looks like:

I hope that you all are having a great week! Stop on by tomorrow to see a really awesome car!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

What's Going Down At The Ranch

I know that like me, you're more than likely feeling a little shaken from the news of the last week. You're probably also like me in that you want to hold your loved ones just a little bit closer. I just learned that my brother and his family had a fire in their house today. Thankfully they were home and caught it in time so they are okay. If it had been during the night or when they were away, things could have been truly tragic. I know that my family is feeling fortunate that things happened like they did.

Big ole storm clouds are brewing tonight so I've got to clean out that danged Christmas closet in the hall again. For lack of a better place, it's our makeshift tornado shelter. I think that I spend more time with those decorations during tornado season than I do at Christmas! My next house is going to have a basement storm shelter, mark my word. And every time that we take to the closet, I swear that I'm going to buy another scooter helmet. Back story: Okay, so the Mister is from Kansas where the mighty winds come whistling through the plains quite often so he's not scared of tornadoes. But me? I saw the I-Max movie about tornadoes and let me tell you, I know that they're bigger and badder than I am. I even started bawling when I watched it. It was a life event for me, I kid you not.

Anyway, every time that the tornado sirens go off, I make him put on his scooter helmet. And then I put on some random motorcycle helmet that we own even though we've never owned a motorcycle. I then yell "WHAT??! I CAN'T HEAR IN THIS HELMET!" the entire time because it completely seals my ears shut. "ARE THE TORNADO SIRENS STILL GOING OFF? WHAT?? I SAY I CAN'T HEAR IN THIS HELMET!!" In other news...

Son of a....

The kitties have officially destroyed our beloved couch.

We did the best that we could with blankets and throws and limp-wristed discipline but a couch is no match for four demon cats from the depths of Hell. Here it was in its glory days:

Ahem, y'all. Note the tuxedo cat on the left side of that photo.

A man in a van came and took it away and is going to replace that beautiful fabric with a thick vinyl. Le sigh. You know how when you accidentally break something vintage and you think "Great. This (whatever it is) has lasted for sixty years and then I go and destroy it!"? That's the way that we feel about this couch. 

In happier news, we're finally starting to work on our patio which has been a huge mess since we moved here thanks to hackberry tree sap. The Mister discovered this amazing stuff (not the technical term but you know..) that you can put under the trees to make the sap go away. Or it kills the bugs that create the sap. We're super stoked that we might finally be able to use the patio. Well okay, for the two weeks out of the year that mosquitoes don't pick you up and carry you away if you dare go outside.  I marvel that some of you live in areas of the country where you can actually go outside for most of the year. What must that be like? 

So, I've been mother-henning some herbs and having a great time potting little plants. I didn't have quite as much fun with the power-washing of the patio and can still feel my teeth vibrating. The Mister has been cleaning and spray painting all of our old pitiful patio furniture. Funny story for you: He works at a place that has a nice spray paint booth so he has been taking our chairs there to paint them. Two college aged kids came into my husband's studio at completely different times and he said that both of them sat down in one of the patio chairs and tipped over and fell into the floor! Two separate incidents of kids just falling out like rag dolls into the floor. 

The offending chair: 

(Insert menacing music here.)

He said that they didn't seem to understand the logistics of chairs that tip to the front. What the heck is going on with kids these days when they can't sit in patio chairs?? Those damned video games have made them off-balance, that's what. Pong never did that to us. Why, we could sit in chairs AND play video games at the same time back in my day! I don't even know how to explain the lack of understanding that these kids have for patio chairs but I do know that I'm not inviting them over for any cookouts.

Did you know that I once bought a haunted chair in a thrift store? I sure did. I am going to put that on my list of stories to share with you guys soon. 

I've rambled enough for now. Join me next time when I show you one of the coolest cars ever!

Until next time,
x's and o's,

Monday, April 15, 2013

Big Daddy

I'm just stopping by to drop a fabulous tune by The Browns on ya. Have a great Monday!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

The Heart Wants What The Heart Wants (and some other sexy business)

First off, your comments and e-mails on my last post have seriously kept me entertained! I have loved hearing about your embarrassing stories and let me tell you, I think that you're giving me a run for my money when it comes to mortifying situations! I guess the lesson here is that we make it through them and live to tell the tales.

It's been a hard week at the ranch. All on one single day, my car broke down and the internet crashed. Add to that the fact that when we called Comcast to get the internet fixed, they then realized that they'd been giving us free cable for a year and a half and swiftly took it away from us. I admit that they had every right to do so but did they have to snatch it away when I was in the middle of delightfully watching the guy on "My Strange Obsession" who thinks that he's a mermaid?  Mermaid? Merman? Either/or...there was no humanity in the situation. For a couple of days, I had no World Wide Web and nothing but droll network sitcoms, religious broadcasts and home shopping channels to distract myself from the fact that I couldn't drive out of my own yard. It felt like we had suddenly become Amish. We were one power outage and a pig slaughter away from living in "Frontier House".

But in good news.....Spring is bursting out all over in Tennessee and my neighbors are out in full force. Out of one pollen coated window, I can see one of them picturesquely swinging her curly headed toddler on a tire swing (aww!) and out another, a man is breaking up a dog fight with the spray from a garden hose while screaming at the top of his lungs. Ahh....Spring. Achoo! I'm happily about to get away from here for a bit but I do hope that your weekend is a good one, full of all the things that you desire! In related news,  I'm not sure that I've ever seen a list of desires so eloquently stated as they are in this Craigslist ad looking to trade out some unwanted floor mats:

" can trade me for something if you like. I like goats, fireplace tools, 
broken  deep freezers with the seal still intact..."

If taken out of context, wouldn't that make for the creepiest personal ad ever ?  Back before I started saving screenshots of strange Craigslist ads, I found one where this guy was trading something that I can't remember and he had this huge long list of specific VCR tapes and flavors of soups that he'd like to get in return. Dozens and dozens of them - and he was totally serious too. It's funny when we think about the things that make us different - including what our desired items are. One woman's grilled cheese sandwiches and tacky squirrel knick-knacks are some other guy's video tapes and condensed canned soups... The heart wants what the heart wants.

Speaking of desires,  this post is about to get scan-da-lous. 

"Now wait a minute, y'all....This blog ain't for everybody...only the sexy people!

Am I dating myself with that song reference?  Anyhoo....I recently came across the funniest strip club review.

Don't you just love that he's concerned about her sciatica? It's those stripper heels, I tell ya! No good can come of them! Barbie, get yourself a pair of Crocs and never look back!

You're probably asking yourself why I was looking up reviews for strip clubs. I stumbled upon that gem while googling how to correctly spell "deja vu" and well, that just also happens to be the name of one of Nashville's finest naked-lady-dancing venues. The review linked to the club's website and there I  learned that their interior is "a relaxing atmosphere that you could almost call home". Oh, I highly doubt that!

They also brag that many of our local university coeds work there when classes are out. Ugh. It beats Fuddruckers, I guess. If you'd like the advice of a middle-aged lady who doesn't go to strip clubs, I'd say to save your money for the next time that this little gal comes to town.  I don't know how often she performs but I imagine that viewing her act would be much akin to the rarity and beauty of viewing Halley's Comet.

I have received no word back yet from her publicist on how her sciatic nerve is faring these days but she's a mighty cute little cop. I read in my "research" that she used to do an act with her daughter but they pretended that they were sisters. I'm trying not to dwell on that one for too long as genealogy has never been my strong-suit. I also learned that her sister/daughter got injured and had to quit the act. After reading about her and poor Barbie with the sciatica, I'm starting to wonder how many strippers go on disability from working the pole. I'm also wondering if my millions might finally be made by creating a line of sexy yet orthopedic stripper heels. The mind reels. Next time you see me I'll be on "Shark Tank" presenting that idea to the panel. 

So okay, back to Deja Vu. I also  found another curious review of the place that was about a yard long and included this nugget of knowledge:

".... a friend of mine and her guy friend from National Public Radio are in town and he wants to go to a t***y bar. I have no huge objections as he's offering to pay and I don't care I'm just hanging out. I watch roughly $600 of money donated to NPR go into stripper's hands..."

Yeah, right! I'm sure that National Public Radio has so much extra money that they don't notice when their employees take hundreds of dollars and squander them on lap dances!  I also viewed some surprisingly tame but rewardingly hilarious photos in their employee gallery including the funniest one of the girls on a pool table that I will not post here. The last thing that I want is to be sued by a strip club for defamation of character. If that's possible. I also made a five second foray over to their Facebook page to try and find other great quotes before remembering that Facebook tells everyone we know about everything that we do - so more than likely everyone now thinks that I was strip club shopping for the weekend. GREAT.

Huh! I totally never expected to do a post on strip clubs. As a habit, before publishing each new blog post, I always critique what I've just written with "What if I die tomorrow? If this happens to be my last post will I be okay with that? Could this be my literary legacy? "  I think that my standards are completely slipping. Or maybe the questions that I usually ask myself are just drowned out by the din of "Welcome To The Jungle" that has been playing in my head since I started this post. I think I once saw a stripper dance to that song on "The Sopranos" and now I imagine that all strippers dance to that one song.

If I do pass on to the great honky tonk in the sky before my next post, someone please log on under my name and do a post about the favored snacks of Little Jimmy Dickens or something. And in lieu of flowers, please send your tribute donations to National Public Radio. I'd love to be a part of the beautiful circle of moneymaker-shakin' life that made this post possible.

Okay buckaroos...I hope that you have a great weekend and take Mama Eartha's advice: Save those singles for the ice cream truck!

Until next time,
x's and o's,

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

My So-Called Embarrassing Life

While watching "The Voice" last night, one of the contestants did a great job but apparently got a little overzealous with her microphone. After she performed, she talked to the judges with red lipstick smeared under her nose the entire time. The poor girl was so danged cute but she looked like she had eaten a McRib sandwich in a wind tunnel. I felt so badly for her. She had no idea that she wasn't looking camera ready and I mean, how many millions of people were watching the show? She may or may not be the same contestant who joked about how she falls a lot and was really concentrating so that she wouldn't take a dive while singing. I can't recall because I was probably too busy projecting.

It all got me to thinking of how mortifying it would be to find out that you just made your worldwide television debut with a big ole lipstick smear under your nose - and I couldn't help but think back on some of the most embarrassing moments in my life so far. I know that I told you about my less-than-stellar incidents with the pest control lady already so you probably won't be surprised at some of these. Oh, and note: I'm sure that there will be worse ones before I'm done on this planet so Mother Universe, I am not challenging you to keep things real by locking me out of the house naked or anything. Duly noted, m'kay?

Up until this point, here are some of my fondest "oh hell" moments. And if you're squeamish about blood, bodily functions or teenage angst then you might want to skip this post. Here we go:

I once ran myself a nice hot bath and then sat down in it only to realize that I had just plonked down with all of my weight on a plastic disposable razor. The razor's casing broke and that brand new, sharp razor blade wedged itself into the meat one of my butt cheeks. Oh yes, church. They don't call me "Ole Scarbutt" for nothing. I remember standing up out of the water and seeing soooo much blood. Mortified, I tried to stop the bleeding with a towel so that I wouldn't have to tell anyone but before long, I realized that I was going to bleed out and die without some medical intervention. My husband got involved and then he called my Mom and before we knew it, I was being rushed to the ER. I couldn't sit so I was on my stomach in the back seat of the car,  clutching a stack of towels over my wound.  Of course, when I got to the hospital, the doctors and nurses had never seen my particular ailment before so they stopped by my curtained room in  droves to gaze at my wound and make jokes about my embarrassing predicament while I lay stomach down on the gurney.

Before long, I just succumbed to the oddness of the situation and chirped to each looky-loo "There goes my career with Playboy!" I'll never forget the pain of the doctor irrigating that wound to see if rogue bits of plastic had been left in - without any anesthesia . And those stitches. All of those stitches. Unfortunately, the mortification didn't end there as those stitches wouldn't allow me to bend over or sit for quite some time. I had to tell my employer about what happened to me and became quite the butt of office jokes. No pun intended. I also got some pretty good butt themed gag gifts from my family at Christmas that year.

It's funny - there you are in your home, about to take a nice long soak in the tub and before you know it, throngs of complete strangers are staring at your naked posterior. Don't ever think that you know what is about to happen in life. Let me tell you.  For instance, don't think that you can ever wear mismatched socks and have nobody see. This is from another time that I landed in the ER:

Always keep in mind that when you get dressed in the morning, there is just no telling who is going to see you undressed. don't mean it like that. While I was working a job as an office manager, I had what was thought to be a stroke while sitting at the front desk. All of a sudden I couldn't talk or use one side of my body. I'll never forget a couple of my coworkers gently caressing my hair and whispering, "She's having a stroke. SHE'S HAVING A STROKE!" 

The paramedics came and as if the situation wasn't memorable enough, they removed my bra right there in front of God and country (and my male bosses). They then wheeled me out on a gurney for the whole office complex to come out and gawk at. And those who couldn't come outside? I saw them pressed against the windows taking in the freak show from afar. For the entire time that I worked at that company after that, I often found myself checking to see if my blouses and cardigans were securely fastened. I couldn't even walk to the copier or set up the coffee machine without wondering if my fellow coworkers and bosses were thinking "Saw her boobs!"

In a related mortifying moment, weeks later after seeing a neurologist for the above situation, I was walking through the hospital parking lot and realized that my car was parked one level down. I decided that the easiest route would be to walk down a grassy hill to get there. Before I knew it, I had lost my footing and slid down the hill like I was on an invisible sled, my skirt up over my waist with underpants unveiled for all the world to see. But I didn't stop there! I had so much momentum that I actually came to rest with the lower portion of my body under a parked car. I lay there, looking around to see if anyone had seen my fall from grace and was pleased to see that nobody else was around. I lurched out from under the car, pulled down my skirt and began to pick gravel and grass out of the backs of my arms and legs while walking gingerly to my car. It was then that I realized that there was a car full of people parked a few feet away who had seen the entire incident! I gave them a quick wave in some kind of lame attempt at saying, "It's okay! I do this all of the time!" and got the hell out of there.


Okay, I've just realized that with just like the two events above, sometimes embarrassing incidents beget embarrassing incidents - like this pair from seventh grade:

I have always been directionally challenged and without fail quaked in fear of  finding my classes at the start of each new school year. In that same vein, when I started seventh grade, I was assigned to a science class being taught by Mr. Williams. I ended up going to the wrong room and on name alone, took my seat in an art class being taught by another Mr. Williams. When my name wasn't on his roll, he just added it and there I was, a student in his class. Weeks went by before anyone realized that I wasn't supposed to be there and I was forcibly removed by the principal during class one day and exiled back to the intended Science class. But not before I could embarrass myself there. Oh no.... Something had happened a couple of weeks before. There was a boy in my class that I had a huge crush on. He sat next to the pencil sharpener and one day, I decided to sharpen my pencil just so that I could make googly eyes at him. Of course, I dropped my pencil but it gets worse. When I bent over to pick it up, a big stream of seasonal allergy snot dripped from my nose and left a puddle on the floor in front of his table! I. Had. Dripped. Snot. On. The. Floor. In. Front. Of. The. Cutest. Boy. In. School. 

That junior high story reminds me of how I got my period for the first time. (Oh yes, the "T.M.I" train is about to leave the station! Toot! Toot!)  Not even Judy Blume in her infinite wisdom could have prepared me for what was about to happen. It was the same year as the snot puddle incident - seventh grade. As you can see, seventh grade was quite the year for uncontrolled bodily functions. I was one pee or poop away from covering all of the bases! OF COURSE, in true "Dear Sassy Magazine...I want to kill myself!" fashion, I was wearing my white capri pants that day. Ladies, will you join me now in a collective groan?

I didn't know what to do (this was the age before we all had cell phones) so I sat hiding in a bathroom stall for the longest time and finally reasoned that my health teacher would know best since she talks about well, you know..body stuff. I knocked on her door and she left the class that she was teaching. She was very sweet and  tied an old cream faux Members Only jacket ("Members Club" if you have to know) around my waist to hide the evidence and sent me to the principal's office. My Mom picked me up and before the day was done, some mean girls told absolutely everyone about what had happened.

When I went back to school the next day, it was practically under martial law because I was determined not to go back. I was now "a woman" after all and could make my own damned choices! Once I was there, I found that I had been given all kinds of new cruel nicknames. If there was any bright lining to that cloud, it was that those nicknames took the place of the one that I'd been given previously. Apparently, those same girls had perceived earlier in the school year that I had big thighs and branded me "Hammy". If only I'd had the power of Stephen King's scorned Carrie. Hammy Bleedy Pants would have lodged swift fiery justice on those kids! 


Ooh! Just so that you won't think that my embarrassing incidents peaked out in seventh grade, I once had a ninth grade Summertime romance with a guy who thought that I was someone else. There was this guy named Wilson who was okay, oh my hot. He had just what I was looking for - the tight jeans and the flyback hair and that gangly-but-intriguing physique of any well-turned tenth grade guy.  He was a year older than me and I had been crushing on him for two years. During the second year, a friend got tired of listening to me whine about him not noticing me and decided that she was going to fix things. School was out for the Summer and at some cruise-in at the park ( kids cruise anymore??) , she told him that her friend who wasn't there had a huge crush on him and described to him who I was.  He said that he knew who I was and that he thought that I was cute too! Holy heck! We were going to be just like Hope and Bo on "Days of Our Lives"! He got my phone number from her and great day in the morning... he called me! 

After that, we talked every day on the phone for weeks. We didn't see each other in person since school was out for the Summer (I don't know...maybe we lived on opposite ends of the city....or on opposite sides of the railroad tracks like Andie and's totally weird) but talked for hours at a time, sharing all of the stuff that teenagers share. I was totally in love with him and couldn't wait for school to start so that we could walk around with our hands in each other's back pockets like kids in the eighties did. The other girls were going to be SO jealous! I had already merged my name with his in imagined marital bliss all over my notebooks. It was all a dream until the one fateful day when he said that he was going to stop by and hang out in person. I waited on my front porch swing and before long, he appeared in his souped up Nova. I went out to talk to him and could tell that he was acting a little strange. He didn't stay long but I chalked his haste up to nerves. He never called me again. 

I then learned from the same friend who fixed us up that he had thought that he had been talking on the phone to some other girl all Summer and hadn't remembered who I was at all! Once he saw me, he realized his blunder and didn't think that I was "cute"in the least and headed for the hills. I chalked it up to my having gained some weight over the Summer and wrote him this totally ridiculous four page letter (in pencil on college-ruled notebook paper don't you know) about how he was shallow and should "give fat girls a chance too". I really did - and mailed it to his house with a postscript of "I'll be willing to give you a second chance and will love you forever" written at the bottom. Of course, he never responded.

And yes, I have looked him up on Facebook. He still looks great and never developed the huge boil that I'd wished would appear and disfigure him to let him know "how it feels" to be judged on looks. 


And here is an additional grown-up example of how the fun never ends: 

I once got  too close to a wall heater and melted the entire back off of my polyester skirt. The minute that it touched the heater, it must have just melted away. Somehow, I didn't realize it until I had driven downtown and trolled leisurely through an antique mall with my whole backside showing. At some point, I passed a mirror and was shocked to find that I had been flashing people right and left! It boggles my mind that I didn't feel a breeze but what boggles me even more is that you KNOW that people saw what was going on back there and didn't tell me! Wouldn't you tell someone -even a complete stranger - if the backside of their skirt was missing?? I got out of that store FAST. 

I'll stop here because this post has gotten reaaaaally long and because well, you people have never received pay to be my shrinks. Let's just say that along with those stories go other stories. Stories of stupid first impressions where I've said the wrong things. And job interviews where I just had to launch into stories about things like looking people for deer ticks and how if I were a dog, I'd be a golden retriever.  And falling into holes, hitting my head on cabinets, door jams and car trunks. And the two times that I have walked around in public with my skirt tucked into the back of my underpants. (A big shout out to all of the passengers at the Nashville International Airport who looked on speechless!)

 If you guys have any funny and embarrassing stories that you'd like to tell, please leave them in the comments. I'm sure that they'll make me feel better about my own history of "of course this is happening...of course!" And please, for the love of all that is good and holy - if you are ever with me and you see that I have a private part exposed or a huge chunk of spinach between my two front teeth, just tell me.  If I stumble into a ditch or a cactus patch, just lend me your hand.  Don't worry that I'll be embarrassed. Embarrassment and I go way back - why, we're practically best friends. 

Until next time,
x's and o's,

Friday, April 5, 2013

Jan Will Be Missed

If you read Ranch Dressing then the odds are good that you read "No Pattern Required" too. I've linked to the site a lot and think the world of the lovely ladies there and what they do. I learned yesterday morning that one of their crew, Jan aka "Sablemable" has unfortunately passed away. It's with regret that I realize that I never got to know Jan as well as I should have. She was such a sweetheart - super kind and enthusiastic - and she was truly passionate about Mid-Century charm. I didn't learn until after she passed that she was also absolutely in love with her rescue dogs and that made me wish all the more that I'd known her better.

One of her main features was called "Won't You Be My Neighbor" and she highlighted different homes around the country that were on the market and still had their period charm. You could tell that she took delight in the show-and-tell and that made those posts even more worth looking forward to. I have guest-posted a few times over there and each time, my posts were met with enthusiastic cheers by Jan. Her comments always made me feel like I was getting a big hug. She just seemed like such a cool lady and she will definitely be missed. I know that the "No Pattern Required" ladies who knew her best have big holes in their hearts today from her leaving so soon. Most of us can't help but wonder sometimes what will be said about us when we pass -what our legacy will be. When it comes to Jan, it's a pretty grand thing when those who hardly knew her and those who knew her best all say that she was kind and wonderful and good. She may not have known it at the time but she left a mark with her words and deeds.

I was trying to think of a way to memorialize her here today and though her passing is definitely heartbreaking and the world is less bright without her, I couldn't help but remember how fun and enthusiastic she always seemed about the homes and fashions and decor of her era. Jan was born in 1954 and truly got to grow up in and experience the time periods that some of us can only dream about.     When I realized that one of the most toe-tapping songs of the fifties (and of all time) was written on the very day that Jan was born, I decided that I would memorialize her by posting it.  I imagine that she's touring the beautiful ranch homes, ramblers and streamlined estates up there in Heaven and I know that whichever one she chooses for her own, it will have a great hi-fi for songs such as this. I like to picture the needle magically dropping on the record and the lyrics "put your glad rags on and join me hon" echoing through the brightly colored open front door as she laughs and taps a foot, watching her heavenly dogs run across the big, sweeping front lawn.

Here's to Jan. I wish that I'd known her better but in knowing her at all, I want to be a better person.

You can visit the remembrance of her on "No Pattern Required" here.  We here at the ranch wish peace and comfort to her family and friends - and much love to Jan for making what was already magical even more so by letting us view it all through her eyes.

Until next time,
x's and o's,

Monday, April 1, 2013

Live Like Roy

Roy Acuff was one of our biggest country stars and easily lived up to his title of "The King of Country Music".  He was a singer, musician and one of the best ambassadors of the country music genre. A definite legend. So of course, I got really excited when I learned that the late Roy's Cadillac is for sale on Craigslist. Look at this long, tall ride:

Whooowhee! It's being offered for $7500 cash money if someone wants to live my dream and own Roy's car. I'm thinking that a person could fit a lot of estate sale loot in that massive back seat and trunk!  If you're interested, click on through here to chat with the Seller.

I've also been driving past Roy's old house a lot lately. It's a real stunner with a huge front yard and a back yard that skims along with river views.

A lot of it has been updated on the interior but here are my favorite rooms - the wood ones of course!

This home was built in 1935 and Roy's radio show was done in the basement game room.  Roy lived here between 1945 and 1950.  Just think of all of the amazing stars who passed through the home's doors! It's said that Roy's home is one of the few on the long, winding street who had a telephone and that he used his fox hunting horn to call his neighbors to the phone when they got calls!

This area of town was where the very rich folks would go for their Summer vacations back in the day when the house was built. There are some amazing houses back in this Brush Hill area of Inglewood, many built with an incredible usage of river rock.  The current owner got this stunner at foreclosure and after I learned what he paid, let me tell you....I wish that the Mister and I had placed a bid. This incredible home went for cheap. Let's just say, that I either could have bought this house... or about ten of Roy's old Cadillacs. It's still priced nicely for what and where it is but we are now out of it's target market with it's new and more realistic listing price of $399,900.

All of the above photos are from Realtor Karen Hoff with Historic and Distinctive Homes. Give her a holler if you'd like to purchase this beauty (and subsequently have me begging to come in about once a week. I promise that I'll bring cake.)  If you do buy the house, I insist that you also buy the car too and double-down on the fabulousness. Just sayin'.....

I found this newspaper article from The Florence Times Tri-Cities Daily Newspaper from 1982 that talked about how Roy built his final home inside of the Opryland theme park which was interestingly enough just on the other side of the river from the home shown above.

I love that he decided to just build his final home inside of the park and didn't mind at all if tourists and fans just walked on up to his house and said hello. You wouldn't find many stars (or non-stars) that would be down for that kind of action!  It just goes to show that he really loved the Grand Ole Opry and the fans. Here is that home which became an office after his death in 1992.

Note: Thanks so much to Garry Thompson for letting me use the above photo. You can visit his Flickr stream here.

The Opryland theme park has now been torn down and the property turned into a shopping mall much to the chagrin of many local residents. I'll never forget hearing how my Aunt and Uncle drove all the way from South Carolina to go to Opryland only to arrive and sadly find that it was no longer open - a real Walley World with the Griswolds kind of moment, if you ask me!

Let's hear from good ole Roy to wrap this thing up.

Until next time,
x's and o's,