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,


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, 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,

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

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

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


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.