Friday, May 30, 2008

I'm just sittin' here in Beverly Hillbilly Heaven....

cast of Beverly Hillbillies
Oh, my goodness - I absolutely love this show! If any y'all out there are wonderin' what to get me for my birthday (hint: July 30th), I would be absolutely beside myself if I was to receive a dvd collection of this fine sitcom! Nope, they don't make television like this anymore. ((sigh))With bein' laid up and not much to do, I've been gettin' re-aquainted with my inner childhood and watchin' the shows that my generation grew up with. Another good one....Leave it to Beaver.Wally, June, Ward and Beaver

Yesterdee, Wally and Beaver were in a heap o' trouble and sent to their room for the rest of the night and the next day. Seems they went to see the horror movie, "The Voodoo Curse", which they were given strict instructions to not see, rather than "Pinochio" which they were told they could see. I laughed so hard my stitches hurt! My goodness how tv land has changed...but, that's for another blog. Right now I'm all about reminiscin'....

Ellie Mae and Uncle Jed

Wasn't that Ellie Mae a cutie pie? I could always relate to her - her innocence, sense of fun and love of animals, but that's as far as the comparison went. I never managed to fill out a pair of jeans - or anything else for that matter quite like she did. And then there's Jethro.

Ya know , this ain't the best picture of Clampett cousin Jethro Bodine. He really was a bit more handsome than this. But, doggone it, he was dumber 'n a box of rocks. Kind a reminds me of this city boy I used date from Kansas City. Really good-lookin', but talkin' to him was like talking to a mule. Come to think of it, I think I had more intelligent feed-back from Grandad's mule than I did that boy. Hmm, and city people think us hicks are dumb. Which brings to mind my favorite sitcom character of all time.... the one..the only...

Granny!! She was sharper 'n a tack, she was feisty and she didn't take no bull-hockey from anyone - let alone those city slickers. And she was smart! I'll save Granny's words of wisdom for another time. I'm still havin' to take it slow and I've worn my self out a bit today. The next few blogs will be about lessons from old sitcoms that can and should be applied in today's society. Til then ((yawn)) I'm gonna hanker down right here on the sofa, got my remote in my hand and ...oh!!! gotta go.... "I Love Luci" is on.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A recycled post for someone special....

Last night at a book signing for Sam Haskell's "Promises Made to My Mother", I once again ran into one of my favorite people. We always meet in passing, and I've never been able to really, really tell her how special it is to see her. So, I gave her my card and told her to go to my blog and read for herself.
Mrs. Ann Hand, this is for you.....

Earlier this year it made my whole life when Hoffman media brought back Victoria magazine:
Yes, I know what you're thinkin'. 'Kathie, don't you think that's a bit of an exaggeration? How can a magazine be that important.' Simple. But this'll take a while, so you might wanna get up and get a few hankies and then come back and get yourself all comfy.
The year was September of 1987. September 10th, to be exact. I was on the way home from Freeman Hospital in Joplin, Missouri after giving birth to a baby boy. A stillborn baby boy. My husband was off running errands, making memorial arrangements, and my mother drove me to her house, but not without stopping at the store first. Knowing how much I loved antiques and how much I loved to read, she picked up several magazines. One of those magazines was called Victoria and had the most beautiful coverI had ever seen. However, when I got home I quietly put the magazine aside and tended to a 3-year-old daughter who was very angry at Mama for coming home without the promised baby. We lived on a ranch at the time that was about 40 miles from El Dorado Springs, near a small town called Sheldon. I didn't know anyone there, and El Dorado was too far away to just load up and go on a whim, and it was really too far out for anyone to come out and visit me. To call in or out would have been a long distance phone charge (this was back before the cell phone days). So I was not only sad, but I remember feeling incredibly lonely. One day I passed by the stack of magazines and the beautiful cover of Victoria seemed to jump out at me. I was hooked. I won't even take the time out to explain to you the contents of this publication - it's just something you must experience for yourself.You will either love it or you won't. I became obsessed with it from the moment I opened my first issue. I simply could not put it down. To say that Victoria transported my life is a gross understatement. It took me to a graceful, peaceful place in my mind where there was no unfairness (is that a word?), no worries, and most of all no grief. For the 2 or more hours it took me to read that issue from cover to cover there was no ache in my heart - only peace and comfort. I found myself reading and re-reading and memorizing every picture. I couldn't wait until October to buy the next issue. Then the next. Mama got me a subscription for Christmas and I cried tears of joy when I received the notice in the mail that I not only had a 1 year subscription but two!

Each month for the next 5-10 years my family knew that when my Victoria came in the mail they might as well order out Pizza or Chinese because I would be absolutely worthless for the rest of the night. It was never enough to just read the magazine once - each issue for all those years was read, and re-read over and over and over again. (I still have every issue and every time we move I treat them like family heirlooms - drives Jay nuts!) Some of my favorite issues talk about Ann Hand, a famous Georgetown (DC) jewelry designer and discusses the National Museum of Women in the Arts, also in DC.

Ann and Lloyd Hand

While still on the ranch in Sheldon, I remember thinking to myself that one day I would visit Washington, DC and go into Ann Hand's shop. After that I would take a whole afternoon perusing the National Museum of Women in the Arts - then I would hop on the train and have dinner that evening at a swanky restaurant in Manhattan. I spent many, many afternoons dreaming about the places I would visit - someday, knowing full well that 'someday' never really truly comes.

We moved around to other places after the ranch - each time taking Victoria with me - the one piece of familiarity and comfort I'd always found regardless of the whirlwind of changes and surprises that life inevitably brings our way. Ironically, some of those inevitable changes brought us to Washington D.C.

It was just a few weeks after we were settled into our new neighborhood in this fantastic new city that another change came about. Victoria got a new editor. That new editor decided to give Victoria a more, 'modern, updated' look. I knew from the first issue that it was the beginning of the end. And I was right. A few months later the notice came in the mail. Hearst was stopping the publication of my beloved Victoria. I am not the least bit ashamed to tell you that I cried. I grieved, and not just for several days but for months. Out came the boxes of old issues and I went through them over and over. Each one had a memory - September 87 - the first issue Mama gave me all those years to comfort me in the best way she knew how all the way to September 2001 when our nation riveted after September 11th.

I tried other publications, but nothing was ever the same. So, here's what I did. I decided to deal with my disappointment by visiting all the places that I could in this area that Victoria had feautured at one time or another. As a novice city driver I bravely drove my car into the city and spent the afternoon at a lecture at the National Museum of Women in the Arts. I loved the place so much (remember - I'm a hillbilly girl - I know nothing about art!!!) and the patrons made me feel so comfortable that I ended up being a volunteer during some of their evening lectures! Can you believe it? Years earlier I had only dreamed of this place - now I was a volunteer??!! And Ann Hand, the famous jewelry designer who not only designs for Miss America and other celebrities, but also Madeline Albright, Hillary Clinton and Laura Bush? Well, I ran into her at an event at the Japanese Embassy and before I could get two words out she came up to me and said - get this - "I love your hair!" She loves my hair!! I wanted so very badly to tell her what that meeting had meant to me. That as a young mother grieving the loss of her infant son, the idea of meeting the people and going to the places in Victoria - even if it was only in my dreams was what kept me going. How can you possibly tell all that to someone you've just met in a crowded embassy at a gala event with people chattering, music playing -((sigh)). I left that party that night feeling that our meeting was a gift from God. That I had somehow come full circle - a gift for moving on from the country girl who thought it impossible for her heart to heal - to the adult woman who had forged ahead and got on with life anyway.

Return of Victoria - Christmas 2007

Five years later lo and behold! I get an e-mail informing me that Victoria is back!! Phyllis Hoffman of Hoffman media (Southern Lady, TeaTime) was not only resurrecting this beloved publication but was bringing it back in its original format - not the modern, updated, cold version, but the old, wonderful, beautiful version. I googled "Victoria" and immediately renewed my subscription. Not only is it back - just the same and great as ever - but I found there was an on-line community of women who were and are every bit as much in love with Victoria as I am!

I immediately registered to be a part of this Victoria 'chat-room.' Mind you, I have never met these women. We only 'talk' and 'get together' on-line - and when I first started I wasn't sure what to expect. What do we talk about? Well, I've droned on long enough so I won't go into details. We're simply just a group of women who love and yearn for a gentler, more graceful time, when men were gentlemen and women were ladies. A time when manners, courtesy and etiquette really mattered.

These ladies have come to mean the world to me. In a city where image is everything, where are there are more BMW's and Lexus' than you can shake a stick at - (I drive a beat up suburban named Dixie), where the fashion of choice is mostly Prada and Manolo Blahnik (I wear cowboy boots or wellies) - it can be very hard to fit in. These ladies don't care what I drive - how I look or don't look - they care about the inner me, what I think about a new issue, the latest book I've read, what's on my bucket list. I cherish these daily visits and the first thing I do each morning is check the chat room board to see what's new - do I need to add anyone to my prayer list? Should I try that new recipe? How many guests is Loragene expecting at her bed and breakfast today? Oops - there's a note from Bluestocking that she thinks I'm paying too much attention to my blog and not my novel (she's right). And many, many notes from so many saying they were praying for me during my surgery last week. I smile when I think about these ladies, because it reminds me that not only have I gained the old, unimproved version of Victoria that is so near and dear to my heart - but I have all these new friends that I can't wait to get up and 'talk' to and 'catch up' with every single day. I love these new friends in my life. Because I know if we ever meet we've gotten past the awkward stage of 'sizing each other up' as people so often do in this world. We already know the important part of each other. That is such a gift to me.

editor of Victoria, with one of her other famous publications

This September 10th will be the 21st anniversary of the birth and death of our baby son. Each birthday is difficult but this one will be a milestone - the birthday when a child legally becomes an adult. I will no doubt play through my mind the 'should have beens', the 'what ifs.' It will also be the 21st anniversary of the first time I first laid eyes on Victoria. I plan to take that day, settle in with a cup of hot tea in antique tea cup, and curl up in my big comfy chair and do what I've done so many years before - get lost in my new edition of Victoria magazine - and I'll also take advantage of what I didn't have available to me 21 years ago - my Victoria online friends.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

I'll need to rest a few days!

I had a lot more pictures from the Mount Vernon road trip but had to get to bed early. I had to be at the hospital really early the next morning for surgery. Anyway, I'm home now and feelin' as good as can be expected but I'm gonna have to take it easy for a few days. I'll have to stay close to home for the next 6 weeks, so I'm gonna rest and hopefully finish the book I've been workin' on, and let my little honey bunches of oats take care of me. I'll see y'all in a few days. Have a safe and wonderful memorial day weekend!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

A Great Day at Mount Vernon!

Here we go....climbin' into ole Dixie..but first a trip to the gas station to fill 'er up -


Now that I've turned over my life savings and my firstborn to pay for gas, let's mosey on up the road a bit to Mount Vernon - home of my George Washington. Maybe he'll be there ((swoon))!

Let's take of the important stuff first - lunch! I meet Meredith, my tour guide at the Mount Vernon Inn. Everything served here is raised and grown from the Mount Vernon farm.
They won't let me take pictures inside, but here it is from the front - Mount Vernon mansion.
every girl loves a drummer

me 'n GeorgeMartha Washington was entertaining a group of school children when we found her. She so graciously allowed me to have my picture taken with her. A big thank you to Meredith for taking time out of her day to give me the private tour. If you'd like to make a trip to beautiful Mount Vernon, Virginia give her a call at 703-799-6833. Tell her the Hillbilly Debutante sent ya!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

I am happier than a pig in mud!!

(courtesy of

Tomorrow's Dixie road trip will be to Mount Vernon, the historic home of our first President. Now, for those of you who don't know I, Kathie Bishop Truitt, am completely and utterly obsessed and in love with George Washington. Truly, madly, deeply.
Isn't he handsome?
Why, you ask? I ask why not? He was the father of our country - our very first President - the first George W. He was a man of high moral standards who cared passionately about the future of this country. He dedicated his life to securing our freedom. Although, he was the first President, he cared more about going down in history as a great farmer. What, I ask you is there not to love? Oh, and on TOP of all that - he was known as great horseman!! Gotta love a guy like that. So, join me tomorrow as we load up ole Dixie and head south down the GW Parkway to historic Mount Vernon. We'll get the private tour thanks to my good buddy, Meredith! 10-4, good buddies!

Monday, May 19, 2008


Sally, Mommy and Violet

First things first! Off for a ride with the girls! I swear Sally knows when it's Saturday - she'll grab her leash and run for the door. So we fired up old Dixie, went for a long ride and then stopped at the dog park so they could play with their friends. They were exhausted when we got home! So, while they slept Honey and I cranked up Dixie again and headed for the good ole' Virginia countryside. I'm drivin' Dixie, Honey is ridin' shotgun, we're all dressed up in our cowboy clothes, all windows are down and our hair blowin' in the wind. How much better can life get?

Our good friend Brent is having a big Texas barbecue today at his new house out in the country. Don't you just love the big wrap-around porch?

Brian, pictured above, was the celebrity guest bringin' his fine southern fixin's all the way from Woodbridge, Virginia from the "Dixie Bones" kitchen. If y'all have never been to "Dixie Bones" then y'all have never had real southern cookin'. (I've accused those sweet folks there a couple of times of stealin' my grandma's recipes). Keep checkin' back. This Hillbilly Debutante and her roadies will be takin' a road trip to "Dixie Bones" in the near future.

Honestly, I wouldn't know fine wine if it bit me in the butt - I just liked the picture on the front!

We met up with Terry and Walt, two good ole' boys. If Walt ever gets tired of workin' on the Hill he should buy a bus, hire a band and go out on the open road and give George Strait a run for his $$$. (The boy can sing!)

My little Honey Bunches of Oats..... I have loved this man since I was 17 years old (and known him since I was 6). Isn't he hot?????Good friends, good food, good day! But all good things must end. We thanked Brent for his big Texas hospitality, hopped in the buggy and drove off into the Virginia sunset...back to the bright lights, big city and big gas prices.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

5 things about me that I've never told anyone - shhh!!

This will be hard because I'm pretty much an open book to anyone who knows me, but here goes:

1. I have always wanted to be on "Days of Our Lives". (Yes, I know. No respectful country girl raised in a good Christian home should aspire to such trash, but, oh, the outfits, the makeup, the glamour! I'm sorry Mama!)
2. Yes, officer, that was me throwing biscuits out of the back of my daddy's truck on Halloween night, while the crazy lady in the gorilla suit was driving us around (Mama). And since I'm confessing my sins I'll also point the finger and say that yes, Kent Bland was indeed my partner in crime. (Picture Mama in the gorilla suit, wagging her finger at the policeman that she was 'keeping these kids off the street and out of trouble. Now go pull someone over who isn't being properly supervised.")

3. I am secretly in love with Robert Duvall. He doesn't live too far from me and sometimes I drive over to his small town just in hopes of catching a glimpse of him. We were once invited to his house for a fund raiser but for reasons I can't remember and I'm sure weren't important we weren't able to go. RATS!!!

4. For my next birthday I'm planning to bungee jump for the first time. (I've never told anyone this because I am deathly afraid of heights and I'm afraid I'll wimp out.)

5. Every time I go on the toll road I pay for my fare and the car behind me. It's a random act of kindness and it's my little revenge on the person who cut me off to get in the front of the line. (Now, doesn't he wish he'd stayed behind me?)

That's all for now, folks! Places to go and peope to see and I am enjoying a beeeeyooutiful day here in DC!! Ta-ta!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Rainy Days and Mondays....

Another rainy day. You know what that means.
Which ones will I wear today? Decisions, Decisions.

I think I'll wear these.....I love rainy days!

A Great Mother's Day weekend!!

I am on the Women's Committee of The Washington Ballet so I have season tickets. I always have to scramble to find a date because my Honey and William don't want to go (imagine that). Saturday night's show was "Cinderella" - and guess what?!? Honey asked if he could take me. It was so much fun - we had the best seats - and we looked great all dressed up in our fine duds. However, you'll have to take my word for it 'cause I forgot to plug the camera in. But, really, we were cute - trust me! It would have been perfect if William had come with us but he muttered something along the lines of he'd 'rather walk barefoot through snake-infested grass'... Anyhoo - the next day was even more fun - they took me to King's Dominion! It's an amusement park just north of
This is all I really wanted for Mother's Day

Richmond. You haven't lived until you've ridden the 'Rebel Yell' in the pouring rain. I loved it!! We had so much fun - all we did was laugh - and get wet. Wow - forget Mother's Day - I had a Mothers Weekend. I love you guys! And thank you so much.
Me and Scooby!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Dreams don't always come true!

No time to talk today - it's Mother's Day weekend. Rachael and Dino (my new son-in-law) are in Texas, but Jay and William say they have a surprise in store for me this weekend. I can't wait! But.....before we can play all the work has to be done - talk to you soon!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

I am Tammy Faye Bakker in a Jackie Kennedy World

So true. Washington DC/Northern Virginia is filled with lovely, attractive fresh-faced Jackie wanna-be's. Not a lot of make-up, conservative in manner and dress. And like Jackie these women have a very regal quality about them. I, on the other hand don't have a regal, graceful bone in my body. And the only thing conservative about me is my values. But like Tammy....

1. I, too, am a make-upaholic. You will never see me lookin' natural - ain't gonna happen. First of all I am just too ugly - it's true - I am not fishin' for compliments - it's just a fact. Without makeup - I scare small children - and I am totally unrecognizable. One time I passed right by Daddy in the checkout aisle at Sibley & Thatch Supermarket and I had to speak to him before he realized it was me!

2. I can totally relate to her personality. Regardless of what she was going through she exuded joy! I am a deliriously happy person - the glass is always half full, tomorrow's a new day, the sun'll come out tomorrow, blah, blah, blah. (Yeah, I know -I even annoy myself sometimes.) Even when I'm sad, things are falling apart or I'm completely ticked off I still have a contentedness about me. It comes from knowing God is in control. Knowing that no matter what life throws at me to hurt me I will win in the end because this place just 'ain't what it's all about.' As Paul says in Philipians 4:11 "...for I have learned in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content."

3. She was never afraid to shout or burst into song on a whim to give the Lord credit in all things. Yes, I know it could have been for the camera's benefit and publicity. But I don't think so. I remember during the Jim Bakker fiasco and you knew her heart was just breaking and she burst into "On Christ the Solid Rock I Stand." I have sang that and many others like it in my heart as I've gone through my own trials and tribulations.

4. Last but not least I can especially relate to her love and acceptance of people -ALL people - regardless of class, religion, color or sexual preference. At my birthday part a friend perused the crowd and commented that I seemed to collect a contradicting conglomerate of people. My guests included White House staff, Burger King employees, Black, White, Asian, a famous Guiding Light actor, Miss DC, my favorite waitress at Denny's, Muslims, Christians, and of course my shell-shocked family from the sticks who had never seen so much diversity in their entire lives. Yes, I know that the Good Book says the only way to heaven is through Jesus, yes, I know what God says about Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve. That same Book also gives me very specific instructions that I am to love my neighbor regardless of who or what they worship or how they live their life. I'm to teach them the best I can, love them regardless of their lifestyle, and He'll be the judge.

Yes, the 'Jackie's' in my area definitely have more class, grace and style in their little finger than I will ever have in my entire body, but with all things considering, maybe 'Tammy' isn't such a bad 'place' to be after all.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Home Sweet Home...

This spring we decided to downsize ... and for the first time in 20 years we are renting..that way when William graduates in 5 1/2 years I can make a quick exit out of the city. Jay says we're not leaving before then so unpack the suitcase and take the moving van phone number off my speed dial.

Since he has that attitude I don't feel the least bit guilty for decorating the house in pink and white.

This is unusual for me - I've always used the Ralph Lauren/English Hunt Country look. But since I've started decorating this way the house is really light and airy - and it cured my wintertime blahs.
Notice the rubber boots! Much to my family's dismay I have a whoooole collection of these! I wear them everywhere. One year to the President's Inaugural Ball I wore my Burberry ones under a long taffeta skirt. I had to swear to Jay that I'd keep them covered up - hey? what was I supposed to do - we had three feet of snow that year.


Violet and her Mommy

This is me holding Violet. She's my other daughter. I felt an overwhelming sadness before Rachael went off to college. I wanted another baby (Jay never denies me anything, but it was an EMPHATIC no on this). Sooo...I started planning for another kind of baby. I love this little girl so much and in some ways she is much more pleasant than my first little girl (sorry, Rach). Violet always wants to snuggle, she is never embarrassed to be seen with me. Nor is she ever embarrassed to go for a ride in Dixie. She never complains when I dress her in little pink sweaters. And most important. She will never go away to college and she will never get married. Her sole purpose in life is to make Mommy happy and that's exactly what she does.