Thursday, December 31, 2009

Out for a few weeks...Book duty...

and a few highlights of 2009
signing my book contract


The birth of Sophia Floriana on July 29th, making me a Grandma the day before my 47th birthday.


me and the boys (April 2009) eating lunch after church at Annie's in DuPont Circle, Washington, DC

I got my manuscript back from Jaime B., my editor, with instructions of what she wanted edited. All in all it was only a few things here and there, but I only have 15 days in which to do it, so I won't be writing during that time because I need to stay focused. The sooner I get everything done the sooner my release date will be.

I hope all of you had a wonderful Christmas and I can't wait to hear from you (and visit a few of you!) in 2010.


Much love,

Kathie

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

I've Decided on My 2010 Challenge

Thank you for all the suggestions.


As Hillbilly Debutante is linked to my facebook status, many of my facebook friends also left comments/suggestions on what my 2010 Challenge would be.
The winning idea, though, came from one of my fellow bloggers.




(see right)


Here are a few of the suggestions:
Gracie Beth at Preppy Southern Princess, and my facebook friend Sasha both thought I might like knitting. Seems like everyone is doing it these days, including my daughter. Yes, 'knit happens', but not in my house. zzzzzzz...lookin' for somethin' just a little more excitin', thank you very much.

English Cottage in Georgia thought it would be fun to switch places with someone for two weeks and have their life. Um, ECiG, I think you've been watching too many episodes of Wife Swap. I'm being sarcastic when in actual fact I think that would be so much fun! But alas, Mr. T nipped that idea in the proverbial bud when he caught me sending off my application and a secret video to NBC. I told him with any luck I'd get switched out with a Playboy centerfold. He still said 'ixnay on the apsway.' Sometimes he is just no fun.


So, after much thought, the winner is (drum roll, please) .....Debbie at Trash Talk. She suggested that I take the back roads and travel different states. Hmm, that sounded promising... when I suddenly had an epiphany...


Why not "Meet Virginia". You know that song, don'tcha? Meet Virginia...loves babies and surprises, wears high heels when she exercises, Ain't she beautiful...Meet Virginia..

Yeah, yeah, I know I can't sing, but, really...it is a cool song.
Yes, I have lived here for 8 and 1/2 years, but unfortunately I let what happened to me when I first moved here (see stalking post a few down) ruin the dream that I've had since I was a young girl.

My family (on both Mama and Daddy's side) were some of Virginia's first settlers. As a matter of fact, my Dad is the first generation to not have been born here. Growing up, Grandad always told me stories about Virginia and the Appalachian mountains. They could always tell who was an 'outsider' by the way they pronounced "Appalachia." (Southerners pronounce it "Apple atcha".)

At 14, my parents allowed me the choice of where to vacation. Naturally, after hearing so much about her from Grandad, I chose Virginia.

Even at that tender age I was very intrigued by her rich history. I mean, who wouldn't be? Virginia is the site of the first English settlement of what would later, of course, become the United States of America. She also played a major role in both the American Revolution (two of my 6th great-grandfathers participated) and the Civil War, or as we call it here, The War of Northern Agression,(in which another Grandfather and a handful of uncles and cousins fought valiantly.)

Virginia is also the birthplace of eight U.S. Presidents.


including my beloved George. ((swoon))


We have everything! Beautiful beaches, mountains, countryside. Big cities, medium cities, and small towns dotted along the way.

So, at 14, sitting in the back seat in complete and utter awe of the rolling hills, I begged my Dad to slow down so I could take it all in. Horses nibbling on emerald green grass, pastures enclosed by acres and acres of either white or cast iron fencing, the main estate manor/farm house sitting back in the faraway distance at the end of a long, tree lined drive. An Anglophile since birth, Virginia reminded me of every picture I'd ever seen of England. As Dad dutifully slowed the car down so I could get a better look, I secretly vowed to live here one day.

(Later in my early adult years after living in England, I found that I'd been right. The Virginia countryside is synonymous to Great Britain's.)

I never forgot that vow. And years later, an ecstatic me, now a grown woman, found myself (thanks to Mr. T's job) living in Virginia. Northern Virginia. Not near as quiet and bucolic as ROVA - the Rest Of Virginia, but still beautiful in it's own right.

Perfect. I thought I was home.


Alas, Virginia, we didn't get off to a good start, you and I.

What I thought was a perfect neighborhood ended up being a nightmare. It's not your fault. It could have happened anywhere. It's over, I'm better for it and it's time to move on. Nonetheless, it was stupid of me to let it ruin the way I felt about you.

The fact is, we belong together. It's destiny. My DNA is in your soil - put there by the blood, sweat and tears of many generations before me.

So, it's time you and I got to know each other.

One weekend per month....


I will steer clear (pun intended) of the major highways and byways and take the road less travelled. No Wal-Marts, McDonalds, or chain-store-franchise-anything. Nothing but the fruits of the hard-working, sweat of their brow, down-home folks of each community I visit.
After 8 long years, it feels so good to let go of the hurt, the anger and the anxiety, and just breathe
It feels good to just be
and know that I am indeed,
Home.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

For my fellow Virginians..

Don't you just love this?


I unashamedly stole it from one of my new blogger friends.


She's a girl after my own heart and you'll understand why after
you


Go to the bottom of my blog list and click...


welliesmaketheworldgoround.blogspot.com


As a matter of fact I'm trying to figure out how to incorporate my favorite pair of wellies into my party outfit for tomorrow night's company Christmas party...

Thursday, December 10, 2009

HELP ME!!!!

I aM BoReD!!

And that's scary.


Because we all remember what happened last time Kathie got really, really bored.

Uh-huh, that's how I ended up with this little beauty right here.

No more tattoos, I promise

Besides, this is a different kind of boredom. It's more restless. I want to do something.


I need a challenge. And it has to be fun. 'Cause you know I don't do anything if it's not fun.

I need a change. Something I can experience, blog about it and take you along with me.

Any ideas?


For instance, one of my blogging buddies decided to 'live in the year 1955'. She took a few days to research and then cut everything out of her life that was not in existence in that year, with the exception of the computer, of course. Her style of dress, cooking, shopping and lifestyle for the past 10 months has modeled that of a 1950's housewife. She uses no modern conveniences that did not exist at that time.

I don't want to do anything that drastic. Not that it doesn't sound like fun, but number 1, I don't want to be a copycat, and number 2, if my family had a choice between me and the DVD I'm afraid I'd be tossed away like yesterday's news. And watching NFL in black and white? Are you kidding? Yeah, back to the past is just not an option for me.


Another blogger gave up buying clothes for one whole year. (She journaled the process of making her existing wardrobe work by mixing and matching.) Yeah - ain't happenin'. It's not realistic for me. The main thing, though, is I hate writing about clothes. I have never aspired to be a fashion journalist.
Next, please.
When I first started Hillbilly Debutante it was about trying to lead the 'simple life in the city.' I've really dropped the ball on that philosophy. And as a result, I find myself stuck in the same rush-rush-I-want-it-yesterday mentality. I hate living that way.


Life is a gift. Every moment is meant to be savored. Yet, I find myself driven by convenience, sacrificing simplicity and quality in order to save something I just don't have a lot of. Time.

The blogs I love the most are the ones where the writer is living simply, or better yet, simply living...

So, put on your thinking cap. All ideas with be seriously considered.

Unless it's really stupid.

i.e. I will not go to astronaut camp, culinary school or France.


Monday, December 7, 2009

The year in pictures....

Sleigh bells ring, are ya listenin' ....

I love this time of year!


It's not only when we as Christians, celebrate the birth of God's Son, but it's also the time when most of us pause to reflect on the past 12 months, to look at what we've accomplished, scrutinize what we wanted to but didn't, and refocus our energies on goals for the upcoming year.
From finding out this same time last year that I was going to be a Grandma, through the excruciating 9 month wait until it happened, and all the day-to-day happenings in between, I am just so blessed.


For me, 2009 has truly been the best year ever!


Going with Rachael to shop for baby things. Her belly is so sweet in this picture (although I'm sure she'd argue that).


Spending lazy days poolside at my friend Meredith's house.

4th of July on the roof top of my office building, with the Washington Monument in the background.


Everyday hugs from Will. He's 15 and he's still not embarrassed to hug his Mama in front of his friends. It doesn't matter where we are or who who is around, he always shows affection to his family. And he always opens doors for ladies. He is the sweetest!


The arrival of Sophia (finally) on July 29th.

Trip to Missouri

Four generations.

Ew, I thought long and hard before letting you see this one. Vanity almost won out as I chanted to myself "Do I or don't I?" Aw, what the heck? Are you going to like me any less because my double chin is hanging to my breasts (which are hanging to my knees)?

I didn't think so.



New house 'before.'


New house 'after'.

I revel in new beginnings, new places, where I can take the same things I've had for years and re-create, imagine, and use them in completely mixed-up,unique ways. I am in love with this house, but still...I don't think it will be my last one. I am sure I've got at least 'one more' new house out there for me to conquer before I settle down for good.


Cedric The Entertainer

(one of my favorite nights of 2009)

This particular evening was very special because it was courtesy of Cedric's sister and brother-in-law. We love Eric and Sharita like crazy, and Cedric's mother is a sweetheart. We've followed his career from the beginning and because of Eric and Sharita, he has always felt like family to us. So, when Cedric came to DC they arranged for Jay and I to go to his show. Imagine our delight when we got to the box office and tucked inside the envelope were backstage passes! Wait. It gets better. Our seats were front row! During the meet and greet he was so pleasant and patient with folks, posing for pictures and signing autographs, but I have to admit his face lit up when we told him who we were. Even though you know he loves what he does, in the whole scheme of things it's still a job, and I'm sure he gets homesick for his family.

More to come.....

Please leave a note...I'd love to hear some of the highlights of your year.

Monday, November 30, 2009

I hope your Thanksgiving was as wonderful as ours.

View from the head of the table into the formal living room.
(The turkey is going to be the centerpiece)

For me, the best part of entertaining and the holidays is the preparation. The anticipation. Making your guests feel special. I love it!!

I like to do a dress rehearsal for the table/centerpiece/place settings the night before. I'll play with it, arrange and re-arrange until I get it just perfect. When I think it looks fabulous, I'll leave it, thinking that's one less thing I have to fuss about. But no, I'll walk past it another half dozen times and 'tweak it', or add more baubles or bling. Never fails. When I walk away and come back, it doesn't matter how 'perfect' I thought it was 20 minutes ago, I always find something else to add. Or take away. Or re-arrange.

*Notice the door behind me? Well, the best part about my house is that the kitchen can be closed off.*


This is the view when you walk in my front door. My guests can smell the heavenly scents coming from the kitchen but they don't have to see the hellacious mess I sometimes create. However, this year I really didn't have to worry about that because Thanksgiving was catered by none other than Mama herself, which gave me extra time to cuddle the grandbaby ( her first Thanksgiving).


See? No distraction from kitchen activity when guests first walk in.




After dinner we 'retired' to the family room and had a family photo taken in between half time of the Dallas Cowboys game! (Go 'boys!)

Here is the star of the show, Sophia, in her Thanksgiving outfit.

Sophia and her sister 'Drexie'. This little dog is absolutely in love with 'her baby.' This shot is special because it was taken when Sophia looked at Drexie and for the first time really saw her and seemed to understand, "Wait a minute. This is a puppy and it's mine."

I am so thankful for all of my many wonderful friends and family. I am grateful to God for my health, my family's health and all the beautiful blessings in my life.






Wednesday, November 25, 2009

"When there is nothing left but God, that is when you find out that God is all you need."
For four long years, my son and I were the victim of a stalker. Not your run of the mill, 'I'm going to follow you everywhere you go and call your house and hang up' stalker, either (although I am not minimizing the terror that I am sure goes along with that type). But a 'false victim' stalker. I know. I'd never heard the term either, let alone know these people even existed. I won't go into too much detail about False Victimization Syndrome. I'll just let you google it. What I will tell you is that only 2% of the stalking population are False Victim Stalkers, in comparison to the majority which are Obsession Driven. It is almost 100% same sex gender-stalking and almost always women. FVS is a very new and complex diagnosis so authorities are still struggling with how to deal with it.
It started as complaints from this one woman (that I knew and thought was a friend) to my son's teacher accusing us of child abuse and neglect. We had only been in the area for about 9 months, so the teachers and school didn't know us all that well which made the situation worse.
After two weeks of panicked, sleepless nights clutching my child, wondering if every car that drove by was Social Services the school dropped the questioning/investigation. Even though Will absolutely did not fit the profile of a child being abused, they have to investigate every single accusation. Yet, when the principal told this woman not to call, visit or contact the school again, she continued to call and write letters.
When that didn't work, i.e. she couldn't brand me as an abusive mother (she literally wanted the school to have my child taken from me) she followed me every where. Sometimes she would just stand in front of my house, staring, waiting for me to come outside. BUT...she would tell everyone else that I was the one stalking her.
The last 6 months we lived there, my son couldn't play outside alone (she followed him around taking pictures and videoing him). I couldn't even step outside by myself. Not to get the mail. Not to walk the dog. Not even to get behind the wheel of my car to drive away. We both had to have round the clock witnesses and protection.
This woman was dangerous. I thought, and I am not exaggerating, I thought she would kill me. Or hire someone to do it for her.
I was literally a prisoner in my own home. The witnesses - and yes there were plenty- who knew this woman was lying - were too afraid to come forward. They were afraid they'd be next.
It was at that point that I knew, I knew that I was totally alone. I will, for the rest of my life remember the pain of listening to a prosecuting attorney trying to convince a judge that someone had done all these terrible things and they must be punished and the realization that the person he was talking about was me. ME!!
You see, that is what a False Victim Stalker does. They need the attention of being a victim. Thus, they make up lies, stories and events that never happened.
It never ends peaceful. Or pretty. You have to completely remove yourself from that person because they will never stop. They become more violent. A lot of times it ends in murder. I'm not being melodramatic. It's a fact.
It was during this time that I learned the meaning of the above statement.
So let me say it again.
"When there is nothing left but God, that is when you find out that God is all you need."
There comes a time in your life when you realize it doesn't matter who you are, who you think you are, how much control you think you have; the only thing and I mean only thing you can rely on is God.
This event was my wake-up call.
I can't begin to tell you what I lost during that time. But what I gained is more precious and valuable than gold.
The knowledge of knowing I am not alone.
Oh, and the book deal is pretty nice, too (wink!)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Chickens in the Road....

I want to tell you about a new blog friend I made today. Her name is Suzanne McMinn and her blog is called "Chickens in the Road". (suzannemcminn.com or just click on her link to the right).
A friend of mine e-mailed me this morning with the word 'VOTE' in the subject line. When she informed me that a fellow blogger participating in a 'writing contest' needed my vote, I, of course, being not only a blogger, but an author myself, knew I had to help.
First of all before I start giving Suzanne rave reviews as a writer (as if she needs moi), I want to tell you that she is nothing short of amazing! You simply must go over and see for yourself. However, heed this warning label: Do not read if you have Thanksgiving shopping, cleaning, errands, etc. Yep, you'll want to wait until you have extra time to spare and then prepare to be taken back to a gentler, more simpler time.
Now, where was I? Oh, yes. The 'writing contest.' Writing contest? Holy Cow! This is not just some piddly-ante little contest. This is for a J-O-B! With a decent salary! She writing for a blog every single day and getting paid for it. This will be a piece of cake for her if she gets it - she's already a very successful romance novelist!
Don't take my word for it - now scoot! Check it out for yourself.
Good luck, Suzanne, and let us know how it goes!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Last night's conversation. Here's the scenario: Mr T sitting on the plush, brown love seat, feet stretched out on the leopard print ottoman, computer in his lap. Me, on red/beige plaid chair watching Fox News. (First of all, this is not, I repeat, not a political blog, so don't chastise me for watching Fox. Sometimes, I watch CNN. Sometimes I watch wrestling.)
Mr. T: What is up with your blog?
Me: Whaddya mean?
Mr. T: I mean it really sucks.
Me (sarcastic): Gee, thanks.
Mr. T: No, seriously, it's really bad.
Me: I know! I heard you!
Mr. T: Well, you gotta do something about it. These people have followed you for two years. They've left comments and e-mails. A lot of them have friended you on Facebook. You have really let them down.
Me (now feeling lower than a snake's belly): I know it's bad, but I don't know what to do about it.
Mr. T: Well, write something funny. You're a funny girl, that's why I married you, you know. Well, that and the fact that you looked good in sweaters.
Me (sarcastic again): Well, I guess I could go put on my new yellow sweater and you could post a picture. However, I don't things my readers would appreciate it. Most of them are women. Besides that, some things have not 'stood up' well to the test of time, if you know what I mean?
Mr. T: Come on, now, Katheryne (he's the only one allowed to call me that). People will stop reading if you don't give them something they can laugh at or at least relate to.
Me (thinking silently to myself): When did Mr. Politician/Lobbyist/Consultant/I Love All Things Political and I Live For Talk Radio become such a literary genius?
Me: I'm not angry any more! I can only be funny when I'm unhappy.
Mr. T: So, you've been unhappy our whole married life? (bah- dah -boom)
So, that conversation really got me to thinking, which can be a very dangerous thing.
Just so you know, I'll have a new website soon, thanks to my publisher. I'm sure between Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year and my release I'll have something fun to share with you.
However, I will tell you a secret. My manuscript is with a few producers in Hollywood that have requested to see it.
And...are you ready for this? I have a face-to-face meeting this Monday with another producer.
Yes, it's exciting. BUT - there's always a big ol' 'but' in the way, isn't there? - nothing may come out of it. I'm not a 'pride-ful' person. If a movie doesn't come out of this, I'll be disappointed (because I really, really want it), but it won't be the end of the world. I won't be embarrassed that I didn't 'make the cut.'
Besides, the fact that my story has gotten this far is just more than I ever dreamed. It's not every day that producers request to see your manuscript, is it? So, even if a movie doesn't pan out, I still have the book and I can still sit in my rocker when I'm 102 and tell my grandkids about it.
I'm telling you all of this because Mr. T is right (did I just admit that?) You all have been with me every. step. of. the. way. Check back in on Monday night, and I'll let you know how it all went! Have a good weekend. And hopefully, wherever you are it's not raining cats and dogs like it is here in the DC area.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Gee whiz! I am stttrreesseed out. First of all, I can't think of anything to write about. I know it took me forever and you all had probably given up on me, but I think I answered most of the questions you'd asked in the last post. Some of those questions had been asked way back in the summer, so my apologies for just now getting around to it. Second of all, when I do force myself to sit down and write it really sucks. Which means my blog is getting worse, not better. That is not the way it's supposed to work, y' know.

Don't think I've been sitting around twiddling my thumbs, though. Nope. Well, maybe I am, sort of. This is the month my novel is going into production. Next month I do final edit and re-writes. (I have 15 days in which to finish it. No pressure.)

I don't know about you but when I get stressed I EAT. Oh, how I wish I could be one of these delicate little girls that 'forgets to eat'. I don't understand those women, but just once I'd like to be one of them. And since I'm not? Well, that's one of the reasons I haven't posted a picture of myself in ages. Let's just say I'm uh...larger than life.

I may be fat...but I'm happy. And happy is a great place to be!!!!

Friday, November 6, 2009

You're questions (FINALLY) answered....

1. How old are you?

I am 47! Yes, I know the saying 'a lady never reveals her age.' Sorry, but I disagree. Society puts too much emphasis on youth. I am proud of my age! I don't let it hold me back from doing anything that I love. As long as I'm healthy I'll be riding horses, riding my bike and dancing the night away until I'm 107.


2. Describe finishing school.

I loved it, although it was a different world for me. Much to my mother's disappointment, I preferred to be out riding, shooting with my Dad, or going to the livestock auction with my grandfather. Going to finishing school forced me to learn how to be a bit more ladylike. We had a very strict dress code. We could only wear dresses or suits, skirts only, no pants. No bare legs. We always had to wear stockings. Absolutely no gum chewing. No crossed legs. Feet flat on the floor or crossed at the ankles. Proper annunciation. I didn't know it at the time but it would prepare me and give me the confidence I would need for White House dinners or state events where I might be seated next to a senator, governor, ambassador or other dignitary. All in all it was a great experience and I think if you have the opportunity to put your daughter in such a class/school by all means do it!
3. How did you come up with the name 'Hillbilly Debutante?'
You know, I've made no secret about the fact that I grew up in a very rural area. I may poke fun of myself and talk about being a 'hillbilly', but actually I have had an amazing life. I would even venture to say 'glamorous'. Sometimes I look around at the people I've had the privilege to meet, my larger than life friends and neighbors (some of whom you've seen on television - that's all I'm sayin') and I can not believe the fun I've had/am still having. I have the best of both worlds. I am a true blue bona fide country girl that gets to enjoy everything the city has to offer, including lots of parties, benefits, i.e. lots of opportunities to dress up! I truly feel like a "Hillbilly Debutante."

4. How long did it take you to write the book?

17 long, hard, months.

5. What is your pet peeve?

Easy. I loathe snobbishness. I simply can not and will not tolerate someone that thinks they are better than others, and treats them accordingly. That is the most valuable lesson my parents taught me and I have been very adamant with my children as well. It doesn't matter who you are or what you have, it is never right to look down your nose at someone else. (Even the Bible states that God dislikes someone with 'haughty eyes.') Prime example: I used to work at a retail shop and one of our customers always treated us like the scum of the earth. She was just awful. One time she even told the manager that she didn't want us 'sales clerks' to speak to her when she came in the store. Imagine the surprised look on her face when she and I came face to face at one of Washington's premier invitation only events. I'm sure she was flabergasted that I was sitting at the table with some of the ladies that frequently have their pictures in the society pages. After that she'd come back in the store and try to be nice. But by then the damage had been done. While I don't hold a grudge, I never forget how someone treats me.

I'm sorry it took me so long to get to your questions. Some of you had wanted to see pictures from my visit to the country a few weeks ago. Sorry! No camera!

But I will be able to post some pictures from some fun things I'll be doing between now and Christmas.














Monday, October 26, 2009

Dear Santa....

Yes, I know it's a little early to start taking requests. But, I thought I better get an early start. (If I know my good buddy Allie over at Summer is a Verb, she has been working on her wish list since December 26th of last year.)





Okay, Santa, if you get closer to the computer screen and squint your eyes you can see the delicate little necklace that Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece is wearing. I'd love to have that. Actually, I have a necklace similar to this. I'd just like to have a shorter chain. Oh, and another child figurine as well (for Sophia).
Any chances you can make me have hair just like Marie-Chantals?


I didn't think so.



Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Book Synopsis revealed....

For all you spoiled babies who think you can't wait until closer to release date, I'm going to give in to you. I still thinks it's a little too early. After all, it's not being released until Spring. But you all have been with me since I first put pen to paper. You've listened to me whine when I had writer's block and was sending out to agents and publishers. You went 'hooray' when I finally did find someone. So, this little preview is just for you.


Julie Patterson, a former Miss Mississippi with a successful husband and two adoring children lives a lavish lifestyle most women only dream about. Life becomes even more idyllic when her husband Tom receives a much anticipated promotion to Washington, DC. Soon, the Patterson's American Dream turns into a nightmare when a neighborhood friend turns out to be a psychotic stalker and mind manipulator that won't rest until she destroys Julie. False Victim is a gripping tale of lies, deception and betrayal and one woman's quest to hold her family together, while struggling to keep her faith intact and her sanity from slipping. A fast-paced psychological, edge of your seat thriller, False Victim will haunt you long after you've finished reading it.
And yes, it's based very, very, and I mean VERY heavily on a true story.
Ta ta for now!






Monday, October 19, 2009

I Got Nothin'!

I appreciate everyone's e-mails wondering where I've been. I just don't have anything to say or talk about right now. Hard to believe, huh?
I really don't like posting about decorating. Although some of my favorite blogs are about decorating - I love "Romantic Home" blog and "Old Centennial Farmhouse", but that's not my writing style.
I refuse to write about 'what I'm wearing.' I wouldn't even dream of thinking that you care one way or another about what I have on. Trust me, my wardrobe is not that great. Uh, especially since I accidentally gave away some of my favorite pieces to Goodwill - Yikes!
Although I 've been a bad blogger I haven't been sitting idly by. I'm into the 3rd Chapter of my next book and production starts on "False Victim" in a few weeks.
I do have a lot of exciting things that have been happening and they've been happening real fast.
But I still need to wait a few more weeks before I can tell you about it.
I'm truly blessed to have such wonderful, positive readers. And while I might jinx myself by saying this, in the whole year and a half I've been blogging I've only had one semi-negative comment.
Please stay with me and I'll take you on this crazy ride with me!
Kathie

Sunday, October 11, 2009

In Missouri on the farm...

Takin' a few days off, inhaling the fresh country air, catching up with old friends, and savoring the sweet smell of cow/horse manure...
It's a country thing....if you don't get it, you just don't get it.
Headed home tomorrow - see ya then..

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Welcome to Rodeo Princess!!


This pretty girl is Sydney.


This is Sydney, her Daddy, (whom I only know in the blog world as 'Poloist') and her new horse 'Stormi'.
I've been following 'Poloists' blog for quite some time ("Consortium of Gentleman Farmers") and just recently I noticed he had pictures of he and his daughter at a rodeo. I assumed, quite naturally that since Poloist and his family live on a farm that his daughter must have a horse. He informed me that she did not.
I then chuckled to myself and wrote a quick note: "I predict that before this year is out, your daughter will be the proud of owner of a horse."
I love it when I'm right.
Not only does Sweet Sydney have a new horse, but she also has a new blog. Please visit Syndney and leave her a line or two welcoming her to the blog world. As you can see, I've added her to my blog list to the right.
Hugs, kisses and best of luck to you Sydney. I can't wait to read about more of your adventures.



Thursday, October 1, 2009

LET'S TALK ABOUT ETIQUETTE...

Metro Etiquette, that is....
I'd never ridden a subway before I moved to Washington, DC. Scratch that. I think I rode it once in London. Anyhoo, the metro, as we call it here in the Nation's Capitol, (because 'subway' just doesn't sound classy) is the cleanest and safest of anywhere in the country, if not the world.

Wow. Mark this day on your calendar. I have found something positive to say about this place. And Hades hasn't even frozen over. Hand me a Kleenex - I think I'm going to cry...


Okay, back to the point...I've had to ride the metro a lot lately, and I've come up with a (short) list of things that needed to be added to the Metro Etiquette List. Yes, there is such a thing. For instance, 'I'm a tourist and don't know where the heck I'm goin' but ain't it fun to ride this here underground railroad' passengers stay to the right. (I am NOT mocking you. I've been you, trust me.) This frees up the left lane for the 'I'm in a hurry and wouldn't stop to pee on you if you were on fire' crowd to rush like a scalded dog to their next appointment. But, I have a few of my own pet peeves that really, really need to be considered for the list.



First, let's address the i-pod.

I understand the i-pod. I appreciate the i-pod. Because if you're listening to your i-pod you're not trying to ask me questions that are just none of your business. (Yes, I do come here quite often, and No, I do not have an extra dollar for you to buy a cup of coffee.) And unless you're listening to Merle (Haggard, for those of you who don't know who the greatest country music star of all time is), then I don't want to hear you're i-pod, either. Turn down the volume.

And please - I can NOT stress this enough! I do not want to see you chomping your gum to the beat of the music and/or jamming in the aisle. 9 times out of 10 you are a white man and you just can't dance.

(Above picture stolen from Flicker. If you actually know this person and arent' ashamed to admit it, please contact me and I'll credit the photo to you.)

Now, let's talk about cell phones...



Am I the only in with a crappy cell phone package? The only one whose cell phone does not work underground? Apparently so. Because this is the conversation I had to endure last night. No, I was not eavesdropping, she was talking at the top of her lungs.


"Giirrrrl, you know I told him to get his sorry %^# outta my house! Mmhmm, yes I did"


while the guy behind me is planning a corporate takeover,

"Get his &*(__ attorney on the phone, now! This is not what we $#@^^ agreed to! This is not in the (*&%% contract! Set up a meeting pronto!"

As they both got louder, and I am sitting between them their voices start to combine and it sounds something like this...

"Girrlll, you know ^&#@! and his contract **& booty call %$#@ in the office on the table *&&**) then I'll just date Senator ##@&* and smack his booty during a conference call!"

Whew! Talk about sensory overkill!!

I wish the Washington Post would publish this on their front page. Maybe it would make people stop and ponder if their behavior is metro-appropriate. Plus, I bet I'd have a lot of support, and it'd be really interesting to see what my fellow riders would add to the list.

Til next time...gotta go before I miss my train. Now, where's my i-pod?











Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Welcome to My (New) Home, Part 2


Main floor powder room - I adore this wallpaper!


A house just isn't a home unless you have a pair of Wellies sitting around...


I bought these from Victorian Trading Post.




Here's another view of Sally's room, aka The Shabby Chic Living Room. Yes, I know. I'm absolutely crazy to have an all-white room with a black dog. That's okay, it's just furniture. She pretty much rules the roost at our house.




And here's yet another view. The lights on the flowered room divider are also from Victorian Trading Company. You'll notice one window has a pink panel draped from the top while the other one doesn't. I'm trying to decide if I like it better with or without.


Not all of the rooms are shabby chic, I'm just posting as I get everything put away and decorated. And if you're like me, which after visiting some of your blogs, I most of you are, we're never finished decorating, are we?

Monday, September 28, 2009

Welcome Home!

Did you think I'd skipped the country and forgotten you? Nah, that'll never happen.

I have, however, been up to my eyeballs in unpacking boxes, packages, decorating and all the things that come with moving. I'm still only half way done.

We are blessed with really big rooms in this house. And, of course, I am one of these people that has to fill up every nook, cranny and wall space with something, which drives my family nuts, because I am always arranging, rearranging, and pounding nails in the wall.
I make no apologies.
I will apologize for my terrible photography skills, though. I can't seem to take a picture that's not just a little blurry, or off center. Unfortunately these shots just don't do it justice.
This is a reading nook in a corner of the not-sor-formal, formal living room where I sit and thumb through my decorating magazines. Victoria, Southern Lady, Romantic Homes, and my absolute favorite, Romantic Country, are where I get most of my inspiration.

It's also where Sophia and I make goo-goo eyes at each other when she comes to visit. We hide out from the rest of the world and Grandma sings to her. And while maybe the rest of the world doesn't appreciate my vocal talent, you can see by the look on her sweet face that she thinks Grandma's singing is just fine.

She is also a huge part of my inspiration for decorating this house. I want Grandma's house to be a magical place, just like my Grandma's house was to me, not only as a child, but well into my adult life, as well.

The above picture of this 1940's flapper lady is one of my favorites. Notice the hat boxes and tea cup? You'll find that I'm obsessed with things like these when it comes to decorating. You just can't have too many and I'm always on the lookout for more.

Sally in her favorite spot

I'm trying to get as much done as possible because next week I'll be taking a trip to Missouri for a few days.
It's my first trip in 2 and 1/2 years. My first trip back since the purchase of the farm fell through. That broke my heart so bad that I haven't even been able to visit since then. Stepping back, of course, it's so much easier to put all that in perspective. Me, there? Sophia here? That just wouldn't have worked.
No, siree. I am right where I want to be.

Monday, September 14, 2009

What every wife dreads as she gets older....

The 'other' woman.
I promised Mr. T when I started this blog that I wouldn't write about anything 'personal' that goes on between us. And up until now, there wasn't anything worth blogging about.
We get along great.
I have been very conscientious about 'keepin' my man happy.'
I'm not a bad cook. I keep a nice home. I can count on one hand how many times he's seen me without makeup or with 'bad hair.'
I thought everything was fine. Good! Great!
I never saw this coming.
I mean, sure, I've seen plenty of marriages end because a husband has transferred his affections to a much younger woman.
Never in a million years did I ever think it would happen to me.
But it has.
She's young, vibrant, beautiful. How can I compete with that?
The fact is I can't. So what is that saying - 'if you can't beat 'em, join 'em'?
Hmmmm....
That shouldn't be hard at all.....


Friday, September 11, 2009

Where you were when the world stopped turnin' on that September day...

(words by Alan Jackson)

It was such a beautiful fall day in Virginia on the outskirts of DC. My parents and I were headed into town to take a tour of the Capital Building. I'd just moved here a few weeks earlier so this was a first for me, too.




Mr. T had called to tell me about the first plane in NYC that had hit the tower. Of course, my first thought was that it was a small commuter plane. When the radio announcer confirmed the second hit I thought, "Uh-oh, someone at the FAA is going to be in big trouble." A terrorist attack never even occurred to me.


A few minutes later the radio announcer screamed that a plane had hit the Pentagon. We felt a rumble and immediately saw the smoke and fire.




I was torn about what to do. Do I go ahead and try to make into the city, or turn around and go home and wait for the kids to come home from school? 17 year old Rachael was tough as nails. She'd be scared - we all were - but I could call her periodically. She could handle her little brothers queries. She was a second mother to him and he'd just as soon have her when a crisis erupts as he would me. However, I soon found out there was no phone service.


I thought about sending my parents home with the car and then I'd metro in to meet Jay, but it was their first visit and they didn't think they could find their way home. I learned later that the metros were shut down anyway, so I would have been stuck with no transportation as well as no way to communicate.


Sitting at home waiting for the kids, (not knowing what information they'd been given at school), we were glued to the television. I'll never forget Tom Brokaw's panicked voice, "There is another plane headed towards Washington. If you're within blocks of the White House you're in iminent danger."


Mr. T's office is 2 blocks from the White House. All I can do is sit and watch the news coverage of everyone scrambling in a hundred different directions. I hope I'll spot him, but of course, I don't.


Calls from 'back home' start trickling into my cell phone. Sonya wants to know "what's happening up there? We're watching the news and now gas prices are soaring to $5.00 per gallon." (To this day I have a very hard time forgiving the gas station owners that price gouged.)

I can't call out, but people can call in! This is good! I give each person that calls in an assignment.

Sonya is to call Mr. T's cell phone and find out if he is okay. I hold my breath until she calls me back and tells me his is safe. He will be home as soon as he knows all the people that work for him are on their way home and that everyone has someplace to go. He might be bringing a car load home with him if any one is afraid of being alone. He'll be home as soon as he can. Don't worry. Yeah, right.


My grandmother job is to call Rachael at school, let her know we've made it safely home, and then call Mr. T's Mom and let her know that we're all okay.


'As soon as he can' ends up being about 6 hours later. 7-year-old Will is huddled safely in his daddy's arms while we watch events unfold.

Life as we knew it is over.


"Daddy, are we going to die?" he asked.


"I don't know." We never lie to our children.


For as much as I've complained about city life and going back home, I am so thankful that I was here. There was never anyplace else that I wanted to be on that day.



What are your memories?