Wednesday, January 28, 2015

A question I get a LOT....

Kathie, how do you stay so positive?
Yep, I get that question quite a bit. Of course I have my bad days just like everyone else but for the most part I am pretty chipper.
Anyway, I got to thinkin'...
What makes some people see the glass as half-full while others see it as half-empty?
I can't answer for others but as for me, I blame credit my uncles for creating the confident,  take-on-the-world risk-taker that I am. 
You see, my mom was the only girl out of 10 kids and I am the oldest grandchild.
She had me at a young age so she brought me (all 5 pounds) home from the hospital to a house full of little boys
Now imagine all said little boys carrying me around like a baby doll (I didn't have to walk til I was 5), coddling me and spoiling me rotten, catering to my every whim.
For five glorious years I was a princess!
And then...... the bottom fell out.
That awful, horrible moment when reality opened the door and crept it's way into my life forever - that 'red devil' letting me know in no uncertain terms that I was not any cuter, not smarter, and -gasp!-  not any more special than anyone else!
Talk about traumatized! That's right, but it was my very first real lesson in life that sticks with me today. More on that later.
So, if you're interested in my 'secrets' on how to live a positive, happy, (almost) worry-free life then I am more than happy to divulge. 
But this will take more than one -even two - posts. So stay tuned. 
Til next time!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

People Like Us

It has been in the low 40's and even down to the mid-40's here in the Lone Star State. I know, I know. Those of you up north have no sympathy but that's still pretty nippy to me so I just 'layer up'.
And of course being cooped all I want to do is eat - which I have not been doing (outside of meal times).  So, I've been doing my Shaun T to distract me from thoughts of ice cream.

And ya know, I love my Shaun T, but I wish he'd just shut up. I mean, really. Why can't I just jump around,  dance and get my hip-hop on without his witty  stupid commentary? After the 6th time, he just isn't funny. Or cute. But I keep at it. And yes....I'm seeing a difference.
But night time is the worst. I just want to grab a bag of chips and eat the whole bag, because with winter also comes boredom and depression. So today I decided to reward myself. I went down to the Rowlett Library and checked out a book I've been wanting to read for sometime.
Then after I got my housework done I snuggled up on the couch with a cup of hot tea and said book.

I bought this teacup at Mount Vernon before I left Virginia. As you can see, there is Mount Vernon in all her glory on the teacup itself.
For many years we had the privilege of living on Mount Vernon property that was owned by George Washington.
I'll be going back to Virginia in February. We keep a townhouse there because Mr. T still has a office in DC. It's the first time I will have been back since leaving in June.
Yes, I'm looking forward to it....but not as much as I do coming back to beautiful Texas.
How do you get through the winter blues?

(book: Dominque Dunne "People Like Us", 1994)

Friday, January 9, 2015

First episode of 'The Hillbilly Debutante Cafe' talk show

For a while now I have planned on doing 'The Hillbilly Debutante Cafe' talk show once a week. And I use the term 'talk show' very, very loosely. Yes, this is very amateurish, but I still hope you enjoy the message.
I am fortunate to have many 'young' friends that are always asking me for advice. Lately, I've had several young readers write to me about being bullied.
I know what it's like to be bullied, to be made to feel like you're 'not good enough', made to feel that you can't possibly achieve your dreams.
This segment of  'The Hillbilly Debutante Cafe' is what my 52 year old self would tell teenage self about how to handle bullying.
I hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

All is calm, but not too bright....

I've decided not to decorate for Christmas this year.  Don't worry, I'm fine and I'm definitely in the Christmas spirit, it's just that my Christmas decorations and trees (yes, that's plural. I used to have one in every room, if you'll remember) did not make the big move. I will need to start over and with all the construction going on at The Hillbilly Hacienda I didn't feel like decorating. Plus, I think we're starting on the pool in a few weeks which means more chaos, which I don't need/want.

In the past few weeks I've had some dental surgery which has made me not want to do too much of anything, but it's also given me some time to think of some new articles, too. So, if there's anything you'd like for me to touch on in the next few weeks or the upcoming year - here's your chance to let me know.

And also, I had a wonderful tour of South Fork Rank a few days ago and I have plenty of pictures to share!

Til next time,


Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Defying convention....

Let me make one thing perfectly clear. I am not, nor have I ever been 'normal.' There. I said it.

I won't say I 'm proud of the fact that I'm not your average, every day, run of the mill, 52-year old woman. I'm just at peace with it. Most days, anyway.

Okay, yes. I admit I have laid awake a few nights wondering what it would be like to be glamorous, like....
Elizabeth Taylor, for instance. Or to possess the poise and class of Grace Kelly.

But alas, it just wasn't meant to be. Any and all attempts that have ever been made to emulate have ended like a long lost episode of "I Love Lucy."
Sorry, Honey.
It's no wonder his hair is turning gray. Bless his heart. His mother was/is a Liz Taylor - 'cept without all those husbands, of course.
Please, don't feel sorry for me. I do NOT waste time trying to be something I'm not meant to be. 
 I decided a loooong time ago to not give a jack rabbit what anybody thinks.
That means if you live in Rowlett, Texas and you see a middle-aged woman with Miley Cyrus hair, on a pink and white vintage bike, her cowboy boot wearing feet pedaling a mile a minute it's most likely me! And sometimes I'm even wearin' a big ole' hat! It embarrasses my kids to no end. And I don't care! I'm having a good time and that's all that matters.
You see, I have this vision in my head. My children are old, knitting and playing Bingo in an old folks home.
A nurse gently saunters in, taps my son on the shoulder, dreading what she must tell him, "I'm sorry to interrupt your Bingo game, Mr. Truitt (or Mrs. Tapper in my daughters case), but your Mother just passed away."

"It's about time!" my son will bellow.
(Forgive him, remember now, he's old and cranky).

"Yes," my daughter will manage to squeeze a few tears, "after all she was 105."

"Oh, no!" the nurse exclaims. "That wasn't it at all. It was a freak accident! She hit her head on a rock when she fell off her horse!"

My kids don't think that story is funny at all. Mainly because at my age they think I should give up the horses.

"Mom," Will says as he rolls his eyes. "You will NOT be riding horses at 105. You won't even be riding at 65!"

Hmmm. We'll see about that.
My heroine, Connie Reeves, 101, was still riding her horse, Dr. Pepper up until 10 days before she died.

It seems that Dr. Pepper, a feisty old boy himself, at 28, was pitching a  hissy fit and threw his owner to the ground. The fall broke her neck, but it didn't paralyze her. She died a few days later, though - from a heart attack.

Please make note that she is wearing her lipstick!
Other women that defied convention...Amelia Earhardt, Katharine Hepburn, Madame C.J. Walker just to name a few. I love the story Dad used to tell me about a local woman he delivered Meals on Wheels to. Ruby Gayle Wilson was well known in our hometown for her glamour and outrageously expensive clothes. At over 100 years old,  Dad described her in full makeup with all of her jewels dangling from her body, all dressed up like she was going to a ball. I love it! That tells me that even at almost 102, she still had a zest for life and had something to live for.
My favorites, though are the up and coming convention-breakers!
For instance, my dear friend Sherry Norman, tells the story of how her niece wanted to get married in camouflage. Unfortunately not all people embrace originality, so said niece settled for plaid, instead, just to keep peace in the family. I'll go easy on her. After all, she's young and she'll learn as she gets older to tell everyone to 'take a hike.' (I remember I wanted my own wedding gown to be red velvet. But when Mama's face turned 'red velvet' I settled for the namby-pamby white after all.)
The up and comers will learn in good time that it's no good to keep the peace if you don't have peace in your own heart. You just have to be who you are. Whether that's jumping out of planes at 50, learning to ski at 70, or running the Boston Marathon at 95. My rule of thumb is if it's not breaking the law - God's or Texas' - and if I'm not hurting anyone then I'll be who I am and I'll do what I want.

I tend to think us 'convention-defyers' have more fun than the average woman. We'll be the ones who are living as we are dying, not sitting around waiting for it to happen.
I suspect that regardless of how old we live to be, death will shock us when it happens.
We'll arrive at the Pearly Gates and exclaim to St Peter:
"Who? Me? But, I was getting ready to drive that Monster Truck over those volkswagen's in the Demolition Derby! Oh, you mean I had a brain aneuryism in the middle of it? Cool!"
Yes, I'll admit to a very small bout of envy when all eyes are fixed in my direction and I realize it's my glamorous friend, Carole,  standing beside me that everyone is admiring. Or how every head turns when my ballroom dancer friend Sonya saunters gracefully into a room.
(I can't even cross my legs without falling out of my chair.)
There's a place for the Grace Kelly/Liz Taylor's of the world. But I'd like to also think there's a place for the gals like me who aren't the conventional everyday type. Besides I have something that most movie star glamour girls could never have -  and that's only one man's name tattooed on my ankle.
Take that, Liz! ((smug))