Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!!

This is me on my ride to work this morning!!!

Here's a little bit of Kathie trivia for ya' - when my children were smaller and we were still living in Missouri, I was famous for my cackling witch laugh. That's right. I know it's not nice to brag, but I can do a mighty fine witch laugh if I may say so myself.

When Will was 3 he always wanted us to drive around the neighborhood with the windows down so I could 'cackle' and scare all the young'uns as they trick or treated. Oh, yes, those were the days......

Just for fun, since it is Halloween, here are a few of my favorite 'bad girls'....

Snow White's Stepmother

Cruella de Ville

Ursulla

and my favorite bad girl of all time!! Ta Da!!



The sassy Sharon Stone

This photo must have been taken on a day when she was in a good mood since she's flashing the peace sign rather than the bird. Yes, Miss Stone can be rather cantankerous and crude at times, but I still like her. Do I wanna hang out and be friends with her? No. I like sweet, cheerful, polite people, thank you very much. But I do admire her convention-defying, 'I'll wear whatever I want even if I am 50' attitude.

You all have a safe and Happy Halloween! Take care of yourselves, don't eat too much candy and most of all - Be Safe!! ((hugs))


Heeeeheeeeheeeeeheeeee!!! (witch laugh)


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A Letter From Home...

I'm not worthy! That's all I can say as I sit here with a big lump in my throat as I finish reading today's mail.

((Sigh))

Do you know the hardest thing about livin' in the city? It's not the traffic, the overcrowded malls, streets or restaurants. It's not the rudeness or apathy. It's ....well....

Let's see, what is the best way to explain this?

Have you ever seen the movie "Crocodile Dundee"? (If you haven't, then that's your assignment for the week. It's a totally mindless movie. Pure fluff. Pure fun.)

Paul Hogan as "Crocodile Dundee"

Anyway, there is a part in the movie where "Mick" visits New York City for the first time. Heck, it's the first time he's ever even been away from home. He tries to greet everyone he sees with a cheery "G'day" and they look at him like he's crazy. Well! I feel like "Mick" almost every day of my life. Except people don't look at me like I'm crazy, they just look at me with utter contempt. Or like I'm from a different planet.

So, as a result, I'm probably not as sweet and friendly as I used to be. Mainly because when you do try to speak and be polite, it makes people angry. Or worse, it attracts the crazies. I learned the hard way that it's just better to be quiet and keep the peace.

But, if you're outgoing, loud, happy and like to laugh, it also makes for a very dull existence. Which is what brings me here. Hillbilly Debutante allows me to keep that part of who I am alive and kickin'. It's connecting with and hearing from all of you that makes my world go 'round.

So, this morning when I sat down at my desk, and started reading my e-mails I 'opened' a letter that just made my heart swell. Can I share it with you?

"Dear Kathie,

I was reading your blog yesterday. You were struggling with the question of whether it was a writer's blog or a travel/road blog, a fashion blog, whatever.

Kathie, you have never been constrained to one of those labels. Your personality and adventures and likes/dislikes are why we read it. Not for one or the other. Your personality was always your best feature and your life is unlike any of us. You were a radio personality, a Mrs Missouri, a lobbyists wife, a George Washington lover, cowgirl, wife, mother and a writer. BE ALL OF THOSE! We love it! I would be terribly bored if you pigeon-holed your blog."

Well, okay then! It's amazing what a few words of encouragement can do. I feel like a whole new girl. Or at least myself again.

It is such a nice feeling to know that someone likes what you're doing.

Thank you, for the letter above, and thanks to ALL of you who read Hillbilly Debutante every day. I appreciate everyone of you and will work very hard to earn your loyalty. ((humble))

Kathie

Monday, October 27, 2008

The Ballet, The Book and The Wall

Here we are in front of the Kennedy Center getting ready to go see "Genius 2". It's a tradition to attend several ballet shows together each year.

I've lived here for over 7 years and never been in the Kennedy Center! Can you believe that?

(Unfortunately, my pictures don't do it justice.' See Rachael's bright smile on the side there? I love her!)) Last year all the shows were waaaayyy across town at the Harmon Center.



Before the show we stepped out on the veranda to admire the view. That's the gorgeous Arlington, Virginia skyline reflecting onto the Potomac River. So pretty. And amazingly enough, very quiet and peaceful.

My only complaint about the show? That my tickets this year are for Wednesday night instead of a weekend night. By the time I get out of the garage and drive back home it's late! ((Yawn)). I'm not a good party animal because it's hard for me to stay up late and then get up early the next mornin'!

Anyway, I'm gonna be a homebody for the next couple of weeks, I'm afraid.

Time to hunker down and get that book finished. Speaking of which...I think I might have a name for this 'masterpiece' ((sarcastic)). What is it, you ask? Nope, I'm not tellin' yet.

Oh, fine! You twisted my arm. I'm thinking about "False Victim". What does that conjure up when you hear that title? No! Don't tell me what you think! I'm not ready to hear opinions yet. I am hopin' to finish it this week, though. I know, I know. I keep sayin' that, don't I?

This time the pressure is on. I'm supposed to get with my editor this weekend and go over re-writes. ((Bor-ing!))


By the way, this is the desk I've been writing from. (Ignore the blank wall, please). This was a table that I picked up at a flea market. It was an ugly brown, contemporary 1970's table, but the more I studied it, the more I could see what it could be. I spent many hours during my time off this summer, sanding it smooth. I then painted it white and had Honey add the curly-q's on all 4 corners. And voila! It's a shabby chic writing desk! Very charming.

Now, regarding that ugly, naked wall. Not charming. It's driving me crazy! I am one of these people that has to have every nook and cranny filled, and every bit of every wall decorated. So, welcome to my new project! The Wall. What do you think I should do with it? I'm thinking about putting up mirrors of all different shapes and sizes. Or should I try to find a large picture? I'm so confused! Help!!

As soon as I get a few suggestions, I'll take off one Saturday and visit a few flea markets, garage sales and Thrift Stores. My favorite thing to do!

WooHoo!! This is my 50th posting!!

Wow! I can't believe! 50! Let's celebrate!!! Cake and punch for everyone!





It's the least I can do for your patience! You have been with me every step of the way as I created my own little escape from the crazy city life. Y'all have stuck by me as I have tried to decide exactly what I wanted Hillbilly Debutante to be. A lifestyle blog? A fashion blog? A writer's blog?


Originally, it was meant to be a writer's blog, then somehow morphed into a travel/road trip blog.


Then I thought I'd change things up a bit, and be more of a fashion blog - no thanks!! Although, my readership grew by leaps and bounds, I have to admit, I just didn't enjoy those posts at all.

I have to be true to who I am. Which you all should know by now is vintage cars, vintage trucks,

ripped jeans, wellington boots, cowboy boots, the lush, green countryside,





and the beautiful, wonderful, smell of .......






and, oh, yeah.....



So, a big "Thank you" to my fellow hillbilly debutante's out there in blog land!


Here's to 50 more! ((Hugs!)) And no more wierd changes, I promise. Just good ole' hillbilly country lovin' - I promise

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Opening Night at the Ballet

Septime Webre, creative director, Washington Ballet
photo courtesy of Washington Post

Tonight is opening night at the Washington Ballet. I serve on the Women's Committe, so I subscribe to tickets each season. And guess what? I found the camera! Yep. There will be pictures tomorrow. Finally. (This year we are back at the Kennedy Center.)



You just can not beat the art scene as far as Washington D.C is concerned and to say that I live for these ballet performances is not an exaggeration. It's nights like tonight that make me proud to live here.

There I said it. I am proud to live in my nation's capital. I am so torn because being an avid dog lover, horsewoman and outdoor person in general, I often times feel very stifled in the city, like I'm choking. Yes, definitely I belong in the country.

But, it's nights like tonight, when the lights dim, the orchestra starts to play, and these beautiful, talented dancers take to the stage and weave their magic that I think maybe, just maybe, living in the city 'ain't' so bad after all.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

There is someone I want you to meet...

Her name is Ruthanne and her blog is called "warmpiehappyhome.blogspot.com". Now, I'm going to tell you right upfront that once you head on over to her place, you're gonna like her a whole lot better than you do me. It's okay. Really.

Her blog is so charming, and you can just tell by the pictures and the dialogue that what you see/read is exactly what you get. Her blog is wholesome, warm, absolutely adorable, and you can tell that she is incredibly sweet. And beautiful.

Sometimes at night, right before bedtime I'll fire up the computer, and mosey over to 'warmpiehappyhome. Did I mention that she's from my neck of the woods? (The Ozarks.) I didn't? The words she writes, mixed with the sweet, hillbilly music that wafts through the speakers calms my soul and takes me back to where I know I belong. And some nights it makes me so homesick that I just want to cry (like tonight).

Don't worry - you're not gonna get all teary eyed if you go over and say 'hey' to Ruthanne. Unless you're like me. A country girl stuck in the city and you're missin' your Mama and Daddy something fierce. No, after reading Ruthanne's blog you'll feel warm and happy! just like the blog says. (she also has some mighty fine pie recipes.)

So, go on ahead and head over there right now - go on! Scoot! I promise I won't be jealous. But
you do have to come back and visit me every once in a while. Ya' hear?

Tell her the Hillbilly Debutante sent ya! She'll know who you're talkin' bout.

Friday, October 17, 2008

I am THISCLOSE.....

to finishing my book. It's so close I can taste it!

Speaking of 'taste' - I have now lost 17 pounds! ((applause! applause))

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

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, middle-aged 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. No sirree-Bob! I decided a loooong time ago to not give a jack rabbit what anybody thinks.

So if you live in Alexandria, VA and you see a middle-aged woman with spiky red/blonde hair, on a pink and white vintage bike, her wellington 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 somewhere in the Midwest. A nurse comes in. "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 now (46) 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 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 Daddy tells me about a local woman he delivers meals on wheels too. RG was well known in our hometown for her glamour and outrageous, expensive clothes. Now at almost 100 Daddy says he'll deliver her meals to her and she's in full makeup with all of her jewels dangling from her body, all dressed up like she's going to a ball. I love it! That tells me that even at 100, she still has a zest for life and has 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 the Commonwealth of Virginia's - and if I'm not hurting anyone then I'll be who I am.

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. "Who? Me? But, I was getting ready to drive that Monster Truck over those volkswagens 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, Pat, who is standing beside me that everyone is admiring. Or 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 glamor girls could never have - only one man's name tattooed on my ankle.

Take that, Liz! ((smug))





Monday, October 13, 2008

What are you wearing this fall? Where is your favorite autumn place?

I love classic, traditional, WASP-y style clothes...tweeds, plaids, anything that remotely resembles English riding/country clothes. Maybe it's from all those years I lived in England. Even so, I remember as a young girl, being in love with British cars and clothes and always wanting to learn to ride English.

The best place in the U.S. to buy traditional, English-inspired clothing is Brooks Brothers. I have been known to peruse that store for hours (my favorite is on Connecticut Avenue). We are even fortunate enough to have outlet stores in our area (Potomac Mills and Leesburg)

As I've stated before I love J. Crew, although they've gotten slightly off the beaten (traditional) path as of late. But I was very pleasantly surprised by Talbot's this year. As you probably know Talbot's, was first established in Hingham, Massachusett's in 1947. The clothing was strictly, classic traditional clothing, but somewhere along the line in the last few years, Talbot's forgot who their customer was and started trying to be all things to all people.

I was very surprised (pleasantly, I might add) when I noticed this spring that it seemed they were getting back to what they do best - tailored, classic, traditional, fine-quality clothes. I held off shopping this summer because I didn't really need anything. And I admit I was still holding a slight grudge for the fact they had been buckling and caving in to the 'trendy' crowd.

But after viewing their fall/winter line I have to say they've won me back. I told the sales lady how pleased I was and that the clothes were similar to early J. Crew (with more affordable prices), to which she replied that Talbot's new designer was, indeed, a former designer with J. Crew. So, apparently after lagging sales, and I am sure many complaints from women like myself, Talbot's (bless their heart) is once again going back to their roots.

Anyway, with my weight loss I needed a few pants, so I bought a few pair of cordoruys and a pair of tweed pants. Nothing like cords and tweeds to make you feel all cozy and 'autumny' - is that a word? Speaking of autumn, it's my favorite time of year!

Okay, I'm switching gears, I know, but isn't that a gorgeous scene?? This is what the Shenandoah Valley looks like this time of year. I love it. Sometimes I'll load up the dogs in old 'Dixie', (yes I still have her!) and we'll drive out to Middleburg, Virginia to see the rolling hills, the beautiful farms, and quaint shops. It's a very animal-friendly town so I'll put leashes on the girls and we'll go from store to store.

I buy my riding tack from a shop in Middleburg, so next time I go, I'll take along the camera. It's a very charming little town and community. It reminds me very much of the English countryside. It is also in the middle of Virginia Hunt country.

Why don't you stop and take a breather? Stop thinking about the markets, mortgage crisis, election and other things that you can't control and get out and smell the cool, crisp, fall air. Take in the beauty of the foliage, carve a pumpkin - just enjoy the great outdoors. Take advantage of and bask in the things that are still free and aren't affected by the economy! Until next time....

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

DUDE - Where's my Camera??

Yes, I was the last one to use it but now I can't find it!!!

I've had several e-mails this morning wanting to know about last night's gala and 'where's the dress'? Thomas (the designer) got food poisoning (bless his sweet heart). As long as he didn't have to venture too far from the 'outhouse' (in New York I believe they call it the 'powder room') he could still sew, but just couldn't make it to the post office. Long story short, the dress got here too late.

However, do not despair, my beloved readers! Opening night of the Washington Ballet is less than 2 weeks away and I'll be wearing it that night!!!

Now, where the heck is that camera?????

Thursday, October 2, 2008

I LOVE Burberry!!!!

I love all things English - and Burberry is a the top of the list!! These are my Burberry plaid wellies. Okay, here's something you should know about me. If you were to ask my friends what I'm known for the first thing on their list would be my love of and my collection of wellington boots. When I saw these at Bloomingdale's I thought I would DIE if I didn't have them. I've had them for 3 years and I am still in love with them. I wore them under a long, taffeta skirt (hey, it was snowing!) to the Presidential Inaugural - and then I turned around and wore them to the horse barn the next week. All you do is hose them down and they're good as new.

I have this scarf, too - I love fall/winter weather so I'm looking forward to bundling up in this again this year! Here are some other Burberry things I plan on adding to the 'closet inventory' this season. For instance......



Mm, mm, mm - this is a MUST-HAVE!!!! It's good-looking, plus you can carry everything in here! Honey calls my purse 'the abyss'. Once I drop something in there it's never seen or found again. He's convinced I have several people on the Witness Protection Program living in there.

I like this ensemble, minus the purse - looks like 'Zorro' got hold of it.

And I have someone that would look really hot in these.....



Ha! I say that, but actually I would end up wearing them with a sweatshirt and my tennis shoes while I walk or ride my bike. Or better yet, with my plaid wellies while I garden. They're just to cute to be hidden under clothes!! Don't you think?

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Working on a New Me....


After church on Sunday, I dropped the family off at home and told them I was going to Target to get a few things. On my way home I thought it might be fun to have a new haircut and color. So...here it is! I left a bleach blonde and came home a spiky-haired redhead/blonde. Poor guy - he never knows what I'm going to look like from day to day? Is that the secret to our success? I dunno. If you ask him he might think he'd like to have some predictability about his life - or at least about his wife. (By the way, I've lost 9 pounds - yea!!!)




What I am Lusting for this season...

I love these cheetah flats from my favorite store - J. Crew. I have a pair of Prada zebra print, yes, I said Prada but if my husband wants to know I bought them at Wal-Mart, okay? Anyway, they're pointy toes, and I'm ready for a change! I'm thinkin' I might have to have these!

I also am lovin' this green velveteen jacket - notice the popped scalloped edge collar - very vintage and very romantic - perfect with a lace jabot and cuffs, skinny jeans and riding boots. Which speaking of skinny jeans...
I love these! Normally, these are best left to the young girls - meaning under 25, however, I like to wear a long belted jacket, with boots or ballet flats. Also, and I know this sounds wierd, but I get lots of compliments when I do this, I like to wear a dress with them. I have a black dress that I absolutely love but it is too short for me to wear by itself. I don't do leggings. (Although I have seen some women my age that can pull it off those women are few and far between.) Anyway, a very casual above knee dress looks good, or a longer jacket that covers my problem areas. Great for a night out when you want to look cute but still be comfortable.
This one makes me cry!! I love it but it's just not for me!! Even when I'm skinny, I still have big bahonkers, so I have to be very, very careful with the preppy look - it tends to make me look frumpy. But, I think if you have the arms for this, anyone, regardless of age can wear it! Just not me. Unless I have breast reduction surgery. Then I'd be husbandless.

This skirt is from J. Crew about 3 seasons ago - unfortunately, it's a wee bit tight. Okay, who am I kidding? It's way tight, but not for long - I've already lost 9 pounds, so I'll be wearing this baby again before you know it! I love pairing it with high heel boots like this,
or English riding boots like this....However, my favorite way to wear it would be with a pink Lily Pulitzer vest,

with a pair of these.....

and if it's really cool outside I'll add this....

What are YOU lusting after this season....Ahem, we're talking clothes, girls. Strictly clothes