Monday, December 31, 2012

Huge, Rockin' New Years Eve CELEBRITY party!!

No, not really. Just a quiet night here at the 'ranch' with Sophia and three of her little friends from church. My daughter and son-in-law own restaurants in D.C., so while Rachael takes one restaurant and Dino takes the other, Sophia comes to Grandma's.

This year I went a step further and asked three little girls (one which is in Sophia's bible class) whose parents just moved to Fort Belvoir from Minot, SD. I thought it would be nice to give them the opportunity to have a night out by themselves.

So. The 'end of year' photos I had planned to post isn't gonna happen, mainly because I am taking a little rest before everyone gets here! I can tell you that every year Sophia waits to midnight so we can call her daddy at one restaurant and say 'Happy New Year' and then call her mommy  at the other and say 'Happy New Year' - then and only then will she succumb to sleep. But with 3 more added to the mixture? Hmmm...I'm not counting on getting to bed any too early.

Can I count this as my number one of our '365 Days of Random Acts of Kindness'? Just kidding. But don't forget! That starts tomorrow.

My only goals for 2013? Nothing big. I'm going to (try) to let my hair go back to it's natural color - gray. And I am also going to give in to'bloggy peer pressure' and start posting an 'outfit of the day'. I love to see those on your blogs but I've always been uncomfortable with me doing it, however enough of you have requested it that I'm going to give it a try.

Happy New Year - my love to every single one of you!

Til Next Year,

Kathie

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Bye-Bye Dixie Red...

She has been a major 'character' on my blog for years.. Our famous ' Southern Living Dixie Road Trips' earned me a gift and thank-you note from 
'Southern Living Magazine.'



My beloved 'Dixie-Red'

She has hauled antiques, junk and new furniture, not to mention horses and dogs. Not only has Dixie-Red carried me safely to book signing and tours all over the South and Mid-west, but she has been my main ride to church, shopping and literally every country club in the DC area (which made for interesting conversation at times).
 She's carried the most precious cargo ever for the past 3 and 1/2 years - my beautiful granddaughter.

                         But all good things must end. 

     It's really not feasible to drive a truck in the city. I don't deal in        antiques too much anymore (stay tuned though for a MAJOR sale this spring) and the gas was getting way too expensive for my road trips. 

When I bought Dixie-Red she had only 600 miles on her. Now? 126,000! She has never caused a bit of trouble. To this day I'd drive her to California and back. But instead, she is going from Virginia (Washington DC metro area) back to the family farm in Southwest Missouri. 

She will get to do that for which she was created - drive through green pastures, carry round hay bales and sit beneath a beautiful sunset while her new owner makes a final check on his herd. 
She will be driven through mud deep enough to spin her tires and force her new driver to flip it into 4-wheel drive - something that literally never happened while she was a city truck.
 She will finally know what it's like to open up and 'stretch' her motor on an open highway every single day of her life. 

Dixie-Red will be going to the land of 
"The Hillbilly Debutante Cafe" 
in El Dorado Springs, Missouri.

She will be now be owned/driven by a true-blue cowboy - not an old washed-up country girl desperately trying to hold on for dear life to her past.

 I swore I 'heard' a sigh of relief as my husband backed her out of our paved city drive for the final time, put her in drive and headed south. 

So long to bumper-to-bumper traffic and horrific road-rage.
Hello to red dirt roads and two-lane highways.

Now, I need your help.
What do I name the new hillbilly debutante-mobile? 


Now, you know I have to have a cute name for my new ride.
 Any ideas? My mind is blank! The only name I will NOT consider is 'the Banana'. Ugh! 

But she really does need a catchy, cute name. So put your creative thinking caps on!
And there just might be a little 'sumpin-sumpin' for you if yours is the one I choose.

And oh! If you ever find yourself in El Dorado Springs, Missouri and you see my Dixie-Red, give her a honk and wave.

And tell her I miss her.

Until next time,
Kathie

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Will YOU commit to this in 2013?

 Last week was full of heartbreak.
 First Violet. 
One of my best friends a few days later. 

Then add the Newtown, Connecticut event and it was truly the week from Hades for our entire nation.

Instead of memorials, or trying to make sense of all that has happened, I've decided to honor my loved one and the victims of the school shooting by campaigning for my friends/followers/readers to commit to participating in
365 Days of Random Acts of Kindness.

Of course you don't have to wait, you know - and I know a lot of you make this a part of your every day life, anyway!

But starting January 1, 2013 I will leave a short comment of acts of kindness that I know you all have either witnessed from someone else/something you've done, or even a kindness that has been shown to you!

You can leave them in the comments or email them to me.

I will also list some ideas of things we can all do! 

Let's all commit to making this world a gentler, kinder place. That may seem a daunting - even impossible task, but it isn't! 
I'm reminded of how our whole nation's demeanor changed after 
9-11. Road age came to a halt. People held the door open for each other, smiled a bit more, looked out for each other. And then...it trailed off and everyone went back to their old ways. 

Let's not let that happen this time. 
Let's get in the habit of going beyond being kind and actually doing little, special things for people. 

I hope you'll make that commitment to join me in doing this.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

For my 'Violet' fans....

I'll keep this simple.

For 9 years Violet did exactly what she was created to do: 
make me happy.



As you know she'd had some health issues since this summer.

Yesterday she let me know it was 'time'.



She will continue to live on through her character (along with Sally) in 
'The Hillbilly Debutante Cafe' series.
(she was also 'Colette' in my first novel that was based on a true story - 'False Victim')

I haven't made too many appearances but what someone didn't ask me about her.

Sally loves to accompany me and meet fans. Violet never did. She would always snap at anyone that got too close. She was a true, blue mama's girl and never wanted to share.

Thank you for the love shown to her since the inception of this blog and the release of my books. 

Til Next Time,

Kathie

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Banquet Etiquette Confusion

'Tis the season for holiday parties and banquets. It's always fun to get dressed up, go somewhere nice and enjoy a good meal, however there is one point in this process that never fails to make everyone uncomfortable. 
When is the 'proper' time to start eating?
If you're at an un-hosted table of at least 8 people you may start eating as soon as 4 people have their plates. 
However, let me tell you what happened at a banquet I attended a few weeks ago.
I was seated at an un-hosted table of - you guessed it - 8. As should happen, the servers pretty much set everyone's plates in unison. Except one.
For about five (long) minutes everyone had their food but  that one. If you notice this happening, hopefully everyone will do what my table did and wait since he was the only one without food.
This man, ever the gentleman, told everyone to please go ahead and start, which was the right thing to do on his part. 
(Note: if you ever find yourself in such a situation, please follow suit and instruct everyone to continue so their food will not get cold, then get the attention of your server).
Once, the person gives you permission to continue without them please do so. It's uncomfortable for that person if you don't.
Luckily in our case the server caught her mistake without anyone having to put out an APB on the vittles.
I hope this helps.
 May all your Christmas parties be merry and bright.


Friday, December 7, 2012

Dear Miss Merry Christmas 1979,

Savor this moment. You're Queen for the day and all eyes are on you - which will never happen again for the rest of your life.  Enjoy the red velvet dress. You're going to want one very similar for your wedding  and your mother will nix that idea right fast.   

You think you're going to live in this little town all your life but you won't. You know that boy you've got you're eye on? The one you think doesn't know you exist? You marry him.

The two of you will ride off into the sunset and have wild, crazy adventures. You will have dreams come to fruition that you thought were beyond reach. No, you won't run off to New York and become an actress, nor will you be a back-up singer in Nashville, but you will have a great radio career, and you and said boy will have two of the most beautiful children known to mankind.

But right now, you're future is the furthest thing from your mind.

So go ahead and wave to the crowd, blow kisses to the babies and think to yourself that this is the best Christmas ever. You'll find out soon enough that it's nowhere close.

In a few hours you'll remove your tiara and gently showcase it on a mantle never imagining that 30 years from now your granddaughter will be wearing it while trying to balance herself in your too-big silver high-heels, brandishing a foil-wrapped spatula/wand.

You also have no clue that the boy driving your car whom you barely know will 25 years later become delirious in his 'old age' and tell folks that you two had an imaginary romance along with a kiss that never happened. No problem. You will squelch that ugly rumor in December of 2012.

Til Next Time,

Kathie

Monday, December 3, 2012

Tell me!

'Tis the season for gift-giving and that got me to thinkin'; what's the strangest gift you've ever received?

One year my dear, sweet, Christian, church-goin' mama was gifted with a painting (and not very good one at that) of two naked women riding a horse. Uh....they were each on their own horse so that takes a few points off the 'weird' factor, doesn't it? Kinda? Anyway Mother so graciously thanked the um...artist?... and kept it conveniently in the garage so it could be quickly hung on the wall when the um....artist? came for a visit. Sadly, the artist passed on a few years ago.  And apparently the painting did too as I've never seen it again.

My father-in-law got a Llama for Christmas one year- or was that for his birthday? Heck, I don't remember! All I know is that a Llama miraculously ended up on his door step one day and they became the best of fiends. Until the darn thing tried to kill him. That story is for another time, dear reader.

I, however, think I can win the prize for wierdest gift. Horse sperm.

Yes. You read that correctly. I know...I know. You're thinking "ewww gross!" or "how inappropriate" but I can assure you I was absolutely thrilled!

I had just bought a farm and had planned to move my horses from Virginia to Missouri and when the time was right I would have the vet come out and put the gift to good use. I had planned on having a foal to love and raise the next year. 

But alas, as with life plans change and I stayed in Virginia. I sadly no longer have the horses and the 'vile' was sold to someone else - probably to another lady who'd rather have that than diamonds or furs.

Now, you tell me! What is the weirdest give you've ever received?

Friday, November 23, 2012

'Mrs. Kennedy and Me'..my afternoon with Clint Hill

About a month ago I had the distinct pleasure of attending a luncheon with Clint Hill and Lisa McCubbin, co-authors of 



the new book, "Mrs. Kennedy and Me".

(front cover - she is asking him to please keep the press at bay so she can have some privacy)

Mr. Hill was Jackie Kennedy's security detail during her husbands administration as well as two years after JFK's assassination.

I sat there completely awestruck as he brilliantly regaled the adventurous details of everything 'Jackie'. I say 'adventurous' because after protecting President Eisenhower he felt he was being demoted to 'fashion shows' and 'tea parties'. Instead he followed the first lady onto fancy yachts, camel rides in the Middle East, elephant rides in India, numerous business and shopping trips to Europe, not to mention foxhunting in Middleburg, Virginia. 
During his lecture, which was conducted Q and A style with Ms. McCubbin moderating, photos flashed across the projector screen behind the podium as he recounted the history of each one. 

 Though I was totally engrossed in every single detail -  Jackie having him buy the tabloids so she could read what they wrote about her, or figuring out how to keep up with her during a foxhunt since he couldn't ride - I still sat there in anxious anticipation of what I knew was to come.

Then.

His voice became somber. 



That fateful day.

The images on the screen changed from still life photos to a video. 

Like most of you, I've seen this video dozens of times throughout my life, but this time it was different.

I am sitting with the man who was there. The man whose sole duty was to protect the President and First Lady.

It has to be so difficult to do this.


He knows what is going to happen when they turn that corner. 
He knows - and he can't stop it.

I wonder how many times he has physically watched this played back in slow motion, knowing that the world is going to be changed forever and he can't stop it.

You could have heard a pin drop in that room as he gave play by play of what was going through his mind each step of the way before and up to that moment. And after.

There wasn't a dry eye in the room.

Afterward I was able to catch him alone.

"Mr. Hill, can I ask you something?"

"Absolutely".  

His eyes are an amazing, transparent blue. I wonder if Jackie ever noticed. 
I don't see how she couldn't have.

"What is it like to watch that video and know what is forthcoming, but you can't stop it?"

"It's hard," he replied, his smile weary. I expected that he'd been asked that same question a million times. I was surprised to hear I was the first to ask.

"Well, I have a reason for wanting to know", I explained. He stopped, giving me his undivided attention. "My family and I went through a terrible trauma when we first moved here. Not as traumatic as you went through", I'm quick to add. "But it was absolutely horrendous. Life as we knew it ended. It was crazy-creepy enough that I got a book deal, and I sold the story for movie rights."

"Anyway, there is a wall at my house that used to be filled with family pictures. Every time I walked by and saw my pictures I wanted to say to that girl that's me 'please don't come here. If you do it will ruin your life'. I know what's going to happen to her - and I can't stop it. I finally took the pictures down. I just couldn't look at myself anymore - who I used to be. I just wonder if I'll ever get over that."

Immediately I wish I had kept my mouth shut. Why did I bother him with this? How can I compare my situation with his? He must think I'm crazy. 

He looks at me with those eyes.
I see sadness. 
But I also see understanding. 

"It gets better," he assures me. "It gets a little easier each time. It will get better for you, too. I promise."

I pay him for the book and he signs it for me. He then congratulates me on my work, I thank him and we part ways but not before he says one more time, 

"It will get easier. I promise."

In the upstairs hallway at my house, three of six framed picture collages are back in their rightful place hanging side by side. I see the same young, blonde woman in each photo, the same familiar smile, blue eyes shining with excitement and I can feel her excited anticipation. 
I no longer want to tell her to stay where she is but I'm not quite ready to welcome her with open arms, either. 
 I know she has to make that move in order to be who she is now - a much stronger, wiser woman who is closer than ever to her family, loving her grandchildren, and living her dreams.

 The other three pictures are on the floor, propped against the wall, ready to be hung up next to the others. Not yet, but soon. 
Baby steps. 
Baby steps.


(By the way, 'Mrs. Kennedy and Me' is an incredible book. I give it 5 stars! Put it on your Christmas list to either give or receive!)

Til next time,

Kathie










Friday, November 16, 2012

Facebook: Friend or Foe

Four-letter words. Graphic images of child abuse, animal abuse and domestic violence. Sordid details of a love gone wrong. And just when you think it can't get any uglier, along comes Election 2012.

Sounds like the evening news, right? Reality tv? Nope. 

Facebook.

I was the last one in the family to succumb. I had no intention whatsoever of participating in any type of social media. I likened 'MySpace' to a low form of match.com. 'Linked In' seemed too professional (read: boring) - more for lawyers, salespeople and professors. Not for a writer and a happy homemaker like me. And frankly, who on earth would post on a 'status' their private thoughts, or something as mundane (read: stupid) as 'I just had the best tuna sandwich ever.' 

Not me. I was above all of that.

But when my family started giving me details on people from our past I thought I'd never see again, pictures of friends new babies, cars, houses and the status of my husband's old high school girlfriend (!) I thought, 'okay, maybe I should give this a try.'

Soon, I too, was catching up with people from all the way back to elementary school, girlfriends from my cheerleading squad and all the friends I'd made in our travels. 

Facebook became my best friend when my first novel was released. As a matter of fact I credit it for much of my success as an author. All I have to do is put the word out on where I'll be signing, or when my next work is being released, ask everyone to post and voila!  No better way to get the word out to the masses. 

My friends list grew by leaps and bounds. My number is at 1,442. Friends and family account for only about 1/4 of my list. Everyone else is either friends of friends,  fans of my books/blog, someone I met at book signings or fellow authors just sharing ideas and offering encouragement.

I thought I could hold my Facebook activity at a healthy level. Really, I did. I knew I might have a slight problem when my first morning priority wasn't brushing my teeth, but checking my facebook.  Not only was it the last thing I did before falling asleep but it ruled my entire day! You see, it's not just on my computer but also on my iphone. So no matter where I was or what I had to do, I had the capacity to bring everything to a screeching halt and check Facebook.  24/7.  Which is exactly what I was doing.  When I wasn't checking everyone else status I was updating my own.  (I just had the best tuna sandwich ever).

Obsession would be an understatement. Housework went undone. Laundry piled sky high. Supper was whatever I could scrounge around because I'd wasted so much time that I didn't have anything planned. I wouldn't leave the house for days so trips to the grocery store were few and far between.

I would wake up in the middle of the night to continue ongoing 'conversations'. Crazy, huh? Well, it got even worse during the months and weeks leading up to the election. Things got ugly overnight while each of us defended our candidate and did our best to discredit the 'other guy'. Please. Don't give me that look. None of us were immune and all of us know the pain of either being 'unfriended' or the anger of 'unfriending' someone when the conversations got heated.

I had to face the cold, ugly truth about myself when my publicist and I had a 'damage control' meeting a few days after the election. 

They say the first step is to admit you have a problem: 

"Hello, my name is Kathie Truitt....."

(hello, Kathie)

"....and I'm addicted to Facebook."

Deleting my page is just not an option. I need it for business purposes. But I did take it off my iphone. It's been painful. I have nothing to do when I'm stopped at a red light (I never check it while driving), waiting in line at the grocery store, or during commercials. Oh who am I kidding? I didn't even wait for commercials - I lived on facebook 99% of the time. The only exception was during church and okay... yes! I've even been known to 'glance' even then. Not during prayer or service, mind you...only during announcements, so does that really count?

It's been difficult but I'm adjusting. I find I don't need my glasses so much because my eyes aren't squinting trying to read the tiny print of my iphone. I now have time to write on my blog, and work on my next book. The house is clean, laundry's caught up and I'm back to cooking. The best part? I'm back among the living. I'm leaving the house more often, seeing and talking to 'real people'. 

And I'm focusing on re-building the friendships almost ruined during the election. I've made a vow to stay away from all political postings in the future and go back to what I do best - posting positive, encouraging and uplifting status', with a little of bit of 'what I'm doing now' thrown in.

After all, 'I just had the best tuna sandwich ever' never hurt anyone.





Thursday, November 15, 2012

Congratulations Becky from Becky's Babble's


You are the winner of the first book in the Hillbilly Debutante cafe series.....just email me your address and I'll send it to you pronto! (kathie.truitt@hotmail.com)



I will be back to blogging again full-time starting tomorrow (don't get too excited now) and I have more giveaways planned, too.

Hope everyone survived the election! Now it's time to gear up for the holidays.

Kathie

Monday, October 29, 2012

Bring it on, Sandy

The meatloaf is done. 
Roast with vegetables? Done.
Veggie tray, pot of beans, bread, cinnamon rolls, crackers with various cheeses and savory spreads. Ready.
 Cookies? Of course.

It sounds like we're having a big party, huh?
Well, we do have company. 

Hurricane Sandy.

We  have firewood so we can reheat stuff in the fireplace if needed, but I've also tried to prepare food that doesn't taste too bad cold, either. I picked up four bags of ice - enough to keep two coolers full of food. And I've calculated enough food to keep us going for a week if the power goes out.

And I'm predicting the power will go out at, oh...let's say, about 8:00 tonight. It's 3:46 right now.


Looking outside from the picture it just looks like your average, dreary, rainy day, huh? 

But au contraire.

The wind is howling and at different times at least one of these trees looks like it's going to break in two.

Candles and matches are at the helm......


so I can read these.

Poor Violet.


She is now completely blind due to diabetes, and the wind/rain combo has been very traumatic. I decided it would just be easier to put a diaper on her.

Sally, of course loves the cooler weather and doesn't mind the rain,  but since our back yard is flooding (oh joy!) we have to put her leash on and take her out to the front.

My rubber boots are getting a workout.


It's all good today - I kind of enjoy being tucked inside all cozy and comfy. But by Wednesday I am going to have cabin-fever big time. 
Pray for me. Better yet, pray for my family that has to put up with my antsy pants. It ain't pretty.

Til next time - batten down those hatches!
OH! And don't forget to go down to the next post and leave a comment to win my latest book and a visit from me to your book club!

Kathie

   

Friday, October 26, 2012

Giveaway!


 I promised y'all a follow-up to 'The Hillbilly Debutante Cafe' so by golly, a 'follow-up' ye shall have. But truth be known, I am not all that crazy about writing books. 

Don't get me wrong. I love to 'have written'. Nothing is as much fun nor as exciting as travelling, meeting new people, seeing new parts of the country and personally autographing a novel you've put your heart and soul into. 

But when you're a people person like yours truly it physically hurts to sit at home behind a computer and type. I almost need to be in the midst of chaos to be able to think and create. 

But blogging? Now that's a whole 'nother story. I know, I know. I've been a slacker the past few months, but I am still in love with communicating with you through my blog. Don't ask me why, but it doesn't feel as lonely. I think it's because you can leave comments - and I like comments (hint, hint).

Anyway, while you know 'The Hillbilly Debutante Cafe' is a fictitious story, there are some aspects that are real. I was just thinking that if I show you some pictures and tell you a bit about what's 'real' and what is isn't it might put me back in the mood to start the second in the series. 

So, here goes:

In case you're wondering how I come up with the names of my characters: the name of a street in my neighborhood where I walk.



Below is a (very distant) photo of 'Molly's' house. While Molly is a fictitious character, I instinctively put her in a house that I tried to buy when I thought I'd leave Washington, DC. This house is actually how I came up with the idea for this novel. I was so unhappy about not being able to move back and start a new life that I thought I'd just write about it. Ofentimes, late at night when my head touches the pillow, this is the house I go to in my dreams. 





 Terry McCallister - a character in the book and a character in real life.

He really does own the gun shop/museum in downtown El Dorado Springs, Missouri (Carl's Gun Shop). If you remember, Terry protects Molly and Jennifer from that trouble-maker 'Roy Bob Benson' when he shows up at the cafe three sheets into the wind.

Sally and I on a visit to the museum last winter right before the book was released.

And speaking of Miss Sally, she shows up in the book as one of Molly's two dogs (along with Violet who stayed home this trip). She really wasn't sure what she thought of the stuffed bear in the background.

Aaannnddd (drum roll, please).....

This corner building is 'The Hillbilly Debutante Cafe'. Well, not really. It's actually a store called 'Foundation 81' (1881 is when the town was founded). I tried to talk the proprietor into opening a real, true-blue Hillbilly Debutante Cafe to no avail.

There has, however, been some talk of the Revitalization committee (yes, just like in the book there really is a committee) opening one. I think that would be fabulous! 

Now. Although the story is fictitious there is 'some' truth. For instance, the radio station owner and the newspaper owner really do despise one another and there is an ongoing feud. I got a front-row view of all the action when I worked at the radio station (KESM).

And apparently a few town councilmen were not happy with the story line. The mayor made sure to release an article -on the front page of the newspaper no less - that the town had just passed an audit and was not on it's deathbed.  I did mention the storyline was fictitious, didn't I? Oh well.

Funny thing is, when I go into 'Foundation 81', I don't see racks of clothing or walls with shoe displays. I don't even see the soda bar in the back. Nope. When I walk into that building I see cafe tables, with Jennifer waiting tables. I see 'Big Scott' in his cowboy hat claiming his slice of pie that he won in the cafe naming contest. At the bar I see 'Brother Jeff' and his parishioners laughing and telling jokes and parked out front I 'see' Molly's 1952 red Chevy truck named "Dixie".....

When you read it I hope you 'see' those same things....

So now....let's do something we haven't done for a while. Let's have a giveaway! Leave a comment and your name will be entered in a drawing for your free copy of 'The Hillbilly Debutante Cafe'. If you're the lucky winner I'll also do a phone interview with your book club - my favorite thing to do. Better yet, if you live within an 80 mile radius of me I will show up to your book club - in person!

Good luck!

Til next time,

Kathie

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Good Fortune



Yes I am.

As a matter of fact the 'place I'm going in life' now is to the beautiful town of Warrenton, North Carolina for a speaking engagement/book signing.

Funny thing about that? My early ancestors founded this town.

My family was one of the first families in Virginia. They eventually moved further south in what became North Carolina.

My 7th great-grandfather Edward Jones was in the first House of Burgesses. He died on the house floor during session and a vigil was held in his honor the following session.

I'll be sending two days there and will be doing something I've never done before.

I am sssooo psyched about this. 
Promise not to laugh when I tell you what it is?

I'm staying in a bed and breakfast. 
Yes, I know. 
I'm the last remaining American to never have done this. 

I have been in such a 'writing funk' lately.
 Every week I get asked when the follow-up to 'The Hillbilly Debutante Cafe'  is coming out and I'm ashamed to say I haven't even started.

Maybe the Ivy Bed and Breakfast will give me the inspiration I so need right now.

Til next time,

Kathie

Monday, October 8, 2012

Steven Lagos at Neiman Marcus, and All-Access Fashion Show for Make A Wish Foundation and Ladies Who Lunch

I have been busier than a one-harmed paper hanger.
  Actually I once knew a one-armed paper hanger. 
But anyway....
I have been having way too much fun going here, yonder and everywhere when I should be working on my follow up 'Hillbilly Debutante Cafe' novel. 
Writing is a very lonely job.

So when I got the invitation to attend a breakfast/trunk show with famous jewelry designer Steven Lagos I couldn't get there fast enough! 


I love his look - especially those Steven Stolman-type spectacles. (He has a pair in every color - how cool is that?)


I bought this little guy right here. 

But I'm saving up for this bad boy right here. Gorgeous. I am addicted to anything sparkly, but if you're the more subtle type he has some beautiful pieces you need to check out here:

www.lagos.com



My beautiful friends

The breakfast and trunk show started at 9:00 am but the early hour didn't deter a one of us from trying on every single piece, oohing and aahing, and burning up the cash register. 

 Steven is such a gentlemen. He spent an equal amount of time with every woman there.   He didn't just try to 'sell' us jewelry. He took an interest in what was going on in our lives, our families. It's so cliche' but he was actually just a really nice guy.

Who just happens to be a magnificent jewelry designer.
My kind of guy.



Hillbilly on the left/Debutante definitely on the right!
Jackie is a supermodel here in DC. She walks almost every single fashion show - and there are plenty.

Do not believe what you read/hear in the press. 

Washington DC women love fashion! 



lunch in Annapolis, Maryland
 Cheryl, 60, on the left, Katharine 85, on the right with the funky, spiky young hair cut. Both are fashion consultants for the Carlyle Collection (both ladies offered their ages - I would never ask!)


I don't want to offend the young women, but I have to tell you that in DC it's the 'over 50' set that have the monopoly on style and elegance. 
 These are women that still dress up just to go to the grocery store.
I love that.


I saw this lady when I sat across the runway from her at the All-Access Fashion Show a few weeks ago. 
That hair!!
I practically chased her down at the reception.
She graciously posed for a picture. Isn't she lovely?

And of course it made me ask the question, "Why do you spend so much money every few weeks to get your roots done"?

 "Forget it sister. You've tried that before and it ain't pretty". 
That's my voice of reason talkin'.
Yes ma'am. Gotta love that 'voice of reason' - which also tells me I can't wear the leopard print leggings I saw on the young models on the catwalk.

Oh well. I bet they can't pull of a pair of cowboy boots like this ol' girl here, either.

Til next time.

Kathie

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Your Etiquette Question Answered

Q:  Dear Hillbilly Debutante,

     I  sent a sympathy card to one of my mother's friends whose husband recently passed away. I addressed the card to "Mrs. John Smith", however my co-worker says that once a woman is widowed she uses the name, "Mrs. Susan Smith." Who is correct?

A.  Actually, both of you.  But. *Tradition states that she retains her title of "Mrs. John Smith" until she remarries, however in recent years "Mrs. Susan Smith" has become acceptable and is not a breach of etiquette.

With that said, allow me to share my opinion on why traditional is 'better'. 'Mrs. Susan Smith' seems too 'abrupt'. There will be many cruel reminders in the days ahead that life as she knew it is no longer. I would leave it up to her to decide when she is ready to move on.

And of course, "Mrs. John Smith" is more formal. My number one rule? If in doubt, always side on the err of formality.

*If you are from the south always use the traditional rule of etiquette.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

False Victim the movie? Here we go again....

If you're one of my long-time 'regulars' then I'm sure you remember back in 2010 when Lifetime bought the life and movie rights to my first novel.



A year and a half later the A&E channel acquired Lifetime. Lifetime acquired a new CEO and voila - the new CEO decided to drop the 2011 projects that had not already gone to production.
 I was one of those casualties. 
Ouch.
But hey, that's show business, right?

(For you newbies: "False Victim" is a riveting, highly emotional account of my families terror at the hands of a neighborhood stalker - a woman that literally lived around the corner and was so obsessed with removing our young son from our home that she made it a full-time job. When that was unsuccessful she upped the ante and became hell-bent on having me arrested and sent away for crimes that were a figment of her sick, psychotic imagination.)

Well, this afternoon I received word that another group of producers (not Lifetime) is interested.

I am not holding my breath. 

Who am I kidding? Of course I am holding my breath.

And while I'm at it...I think I'll throw in an a copy of 'The Hillbilly Debutante Cafe'. 

Just in case they're in the mood for comedy rather than drama.




What a crazy, wonderful life I lead. 

Til next time,

Kathie



Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Fashion Week with Thomas Lavone

How do I know that my p.r. team has done a great job of 'branding' me? Honey, let me tell you.

Allow me to set the stage: New York City Fashion Week. People lined up down the block waiting to get in and snag a seat. Or a place to stand at the very least.

Right now I am feelin' pretty darn good about having VIP seats. I am one of the lucky few that gets to sit front and center. I am so happy I can't stand it. What on earth did I do to deserve this fabulous life?  


I encounter these beautiful ladies at the front door. Keep in mind it's my first Fashion Week so I'm more than a bit intimidated  which turns to absolute fear as they inform me that not only am  I not on the VIP list, I'm not on the list at all! 

((Gasp!)) 

Originally I was taking my friend Gayle, who is comedian Chris Rock's mother in law, but at the last minute had to cancel. 
Of course! The tickets must be under her name.

 Nope!

Suddenly I remember an email I'd gotten from Thomas, the designer, a few days before.
That works. They let me in.
Yes!
Whew! I am in like Flynn.
Front and center.

There's more to this story....but first let's take a look at some of Thomas Lavone's fabulous designs.


I wasn't allowed to take my Canon in since I wasn't part of the press but I did manage a few shots with my iphone.




Orange is all the rage this season as well as animal print.



Below is the outfit I'm buying:



I am on the planning committee for an upcoming gala in DC in February and this has my name all over it. Animal print, of course.

Below is Thomas (isn't he adorable?) with his assistant, Miss Sophia on the left and Jerseylicious' Olivia on the right.



Now, back to the 'branding' story. 
After I RSVP'd  to the invitation Thomas called me and invited for me to stick around for the after-party.

 After his numerous press interviews he made his way over to me to thank me for coming.



Hillbilly Debutante with award-winning designer Thomas Lavone

'Do you live in New York?' he asked after exchanging air-kisses and a hug.

'No,' I replied. 'I'm Kathie Truitt, from Washington D.C.'

His eyes lit up!

"Oh! You're Hillbilly Debutante!"

As soon as he said that a light bulb came on for me.

"Did you buy any chance put me on the guest list as 'Hillbilly Debutante' rather than Kathie Truitt?'

'I sure did'.

And sure enough - Miss Sophia took another look at the list and there I am right under the h's. Hillbilly Debutante. 
The rest of the night I was simply 'Hillbilly'. 
Hey, I don't care what you call me - just call me for next spring's Fashion Week, please.



My new BFF - sought-after celebrity makeup artist/genius Rodney Jon

Thank you Thomas Lavone for showing this 'Hillbilly' girl such a great time! 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Fashion week, flea markets and Times Square Naked Cowboy

Now - that headline was just to get your attention. Oh settle down! I will post pictures for you very soon, I promise! I had more fun than the law should allow, but more about that later.

As you all know, I just turned 50 the end of July. We have a saying in the south that a 'lady never tells her age.'  Now y'all know I go along with almost all of those rules - 'never wear white after labor day', 'don't chew gum in public', et al. But I will never go along with guarding my age like it's some big national homeland security secret. I believe this 'shame' is why there is such a fear of so many young women I know of getting older.

We should embrace this stage in our life! Show these young gals what they have to look forward to. It's an age of freedom - our children are grown. We don't have to try to find a babysitter on Saturday night and can go to Sunday morning services without throw-up down the front of our silk blouses! 
We can hug, squeeze, spoil and love our grandchildren to death and send them home with their parents while we get to have a good night's sleep and wake up fresh and rearing to go!

So here is the direction I am pledging to take this blog -we'll still talk about old trucks, cowboy boots, and road trips from time to time - but I'm also going to introduce to you some phenomenal women living life to the hilt, dressed to the nines (some on Best-Dressed lists), and active forces-to-be-reckoned with in their communities. Women who don't have time to fret or whine about growing older because they're too busy with their careers, travelling to exotic places or involved in charitable causes.

I have time to leave you with one picture from this weekends fashion show: 



Me and the designer himself: Thomas Lavone

Pictures from his collection tomorrow!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Fashion Week!

Um, did I mention that I got an invitation to Fashion Week? Yes, I did! And a VIP pass which means front and center and fun at the after-party. I'll try to take as many pictures as I can. Mr. T is dropping me off at the train station on Saturday and I'll be spending the last few days of Fashion Week in New York. Yay!!! Now....what to wear?

Sunday, September 9, 2012


Dear September 10th,

Here we are again for the 25th year in a row, staring each other down like mortal enemies. Maybe it's time we have that talk that's long overdue.

First of all, I don't like you - that's no secret. But this next admission just might surprise you;  You see, I have come to realize that my dislike for you isn't totally fair. You're not the only day to blame. Nope, September 9th needs to 'man up' and share some of that burden as well.

After all, September 9th you were the one that started this. Don't look at me like that - you know what you did! It was YOU we were marvelling at with the golden autumn sunshine, warm temperature and your blue cloudless sky before you sucker punched us with the news that our baby's heart had stopped beating. It was YOU that continued to happen as the world spinned on it's axis, while ours came to a screeching halt. You went on and on with your beautiful self just like everything was perfect while we waited to give birth to a little boy that would never breath your air. It was YOU that passed by so slowly, holding onto him until you could force him out into the wee hours of an innocent, unsuspecting new day. How very clever, thinking you could shrink away and be forgotten as if him coming into this world on a different day would absolve you of any wrong.

But on the other hand September 10th, it hasn't helped your case that every year - and it doesn't matter how deep of a sleep I'm in - my eyes fly open at exactly 30 minutes past midnight - the exact time that sleeping angel entered our world.

Every year the week leading up to you I beg God for something wonderful to happen on September 10th This Year. Something that we can remember for all time - that magical 'Something' that will fill that awful, empty void you left us with.

'Please Jesus - let me win the lottery.... get that promotion.... that house.... or at the very least make me thinner on this day.'

This year I decided to 'get tough' by prepping myself and repeating the following over and over.

'You need to let this go, Kath. He was only a baby - it's not like you really knew him. It's not like Cheri Allison's Nathan, or Maretta Smith's Shawn - young men that were taken in their prime - Jayson was 'just' a baby.'

Yes, but he was my baby.

So you see, Sep - I can call you Sep, can't I? Unless you know somethin' I don't, we'll be meeting here again next year - and the next, and the next...

But here's a cold hard fact - you won't win at this game. I may die tomorrow, or I may die at 105. But when I get where I'm goin' there'll be only 'happy tears' and you won't even be a memory.
And looonnggg after you're gone - don't look so surprised - you know what the Good Book says - time (that's you) will pass away - and our relationship will come to an abrupt halt. But until that happens I suppose I'll just deal with you the best way I know how. I'll go ahead and feel what I feel and gather up a years worth of strength until our next meeting. After all, it is what it is...


Kathie