Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Dixie Road Trip with Sally...

Remember Mom promised me a while back that we'd be taking a special trip - just me and her?  Well, we packed up the truck and drove for 2 days til we got to Nana's house in Southwest Missouri.

We spent the first night in a terrible, nasty motel. I couldn't even sleep! I stayed awake all night just to watch over Mom and make sure she was safe. Then we got up early the next morning and drove for another day.

"Just be patient," Mom would say. "All this time spent in the truck will be worth it, just wait and see."

Oh boy! She was right! Grandpa had 80 acres for me to run and play in! No leash! No traffic! And no noisy cars or trucks!

Are you sure, Mom? Are you sure I can run ahead of you without a leash?
Mom didn't have to tell me twice! Off I went.


This is the only place in all of Cedar County, Missouri that Mom got phone service. So while she did business, I roamed

here.....



and here.


Nothing like drinking fresh water from the stream.



One tired dog.

Please join us tomorrow for pictures from Mom's Southern Living Dixie Road trip.

(Note: Mom's Southern Living Road trips are when we go visit some place that has been featured in Southern Living magazine)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Synopsis of 'The Hillbilly Debutante Cafe'


Welcome to El Dorado Springs, Missouri, population 3,021. It doesn't look like much from the outside, but it doesn't take long -anytime at all, really - to realize there's much more than meets the eye.

That's how Molly McCarty feels, anyway. After deciding she's had enough of the big-city life as a politicians wife in Washington, Molly moves back to her hometown and buys the abandoned Serenity Farm. Molly acclimates herself to life in a small town with the help of her best friend, Jennifer Papula, who is only too happy to share the town's most recent juicy gossip.

For one thing, there's Jerry Ray Turner, the towns best mechanic, who came out of the closet as a cross-dresser. And then there's crazy old Ollie Griffin, still living inside his '69 Thunderbird and occasionally showering in the park's fountain. But the biggest uproar is Roy Bob Benson, who is trying to buy the old Hacker's Jewelry building and turn it into a "girly" bar.

That's just the beginning of the news, and as Molly tries to help the newly formed revitalization committee think of a way to stop Roy Bob, a vandal threatens the town's sense of security. Who is doing this and why? Full of wit, intrigue, and a cast of memorable characters, The Hillbilly Debutante Cafe is sure to keep you coming back time and time again.

****
Release date: March 27th, however I have a little surprise! I will be making a trip to the town where the story takes place very soon.

On January 28th I will be in El Dorado Springs, Missouri emceeing The Miss Cedar County and Miss Southwest Missouri Pageants with Miss Missouri Sydney Friar. Either during intermission or after the pageant I will have at least 50 books to sell. You will be the FIRST to be able to purchase this book. (I won't even allow pre-sales until after this date.)

If you live in the area and aren't able to make the pageant no worries. It's only fitting that the release party for "The Hillbilly Debutante Cafe" takes place in El Dorado Springs and you'll have the opportunity to attend!

til next time,

Kathie

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

I NEVER do this, BUT....

I thought I'd post an 'outfit of the day'. I love it when my blogger friends do this but I just have never participated because I figure y'all really don't give two cahoots about what I'm wearin'.



But it was so cold, rainy and gloomy today that I was just pretty dog-gone proud of myself for pulling together an 'I've got errands to run' outfit that kept me warm and dry but was still presentable.

I have to tell you though, I still think it so strange that these boots, which I used to wear to clean out horse stalls are now all the fashion rage. Who'd have thought?

Til Next Time,

Kathie

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Make Living a Wonderful Art - Guest Post by Author Sharon Chang



The Creative Giver

When most people think of making living a work of art, their minds leap readily to scenarios involving getting, having, enjoying and retaining what they find most pleasurable. Nothing wrong with that—it’s human nature to seek out happiness in the forms that are most meaningful to us. In any work of art, though, a measure of balance is required. Based on some of the most artistically-lived lives I’ve observed, I’m here to declare that without adding giving into the equation, a totally satisfying life can’t be created.

Think you aren’t rich enough to be giving anything away? Think again. The lack of riches only hampers those who consider giving in terms of money and material things. Each of us possesses incomparable riches that extend well beyond whatever our material wealth may be. If we can share nothing else, we can at least make giving of these intangibles a habit that contributes to artful and rewarding living.

(Jesse Barnes: Church in the Wildwood)

How? Start at the Source. Everything we have, including life itself, is a gift from God. He has asked that one day of our every week be given back, consecrated to Him, treated as holy. Is it really too much to ask that we give back to Him by getting up, suiting up, showing up at our chosen place of worship, and giving Him an hour or two of our attention every Sabbath day? Really? So what if the sermon is dull and the choir off key, and we’re tempted to walk away saying “I didn’t get anything out of that service”? Is it really too difficult to remind ourselves that we’ve come there to give our worship to God, and that anything we may get is icing on a cake that is perfectly tasty unadorned?


Continue with our families and our friends. What they want and need most from us, in addition to our love, is our attention. In the case of relatives more distantly related than first cousins, I’ll add “our acknowledgment”; in the case of friends with mental/emotional glitches (e.g., ADD, Asperger’s Syndrome, developmental disabilities), I’ll add further “our patience.” Family and friends are our riches even when other riches may be lacking, and to discount them (or simply fail to invest in them) is to impoverish ourselves beyond any telling of it.

Finally, consider the rest of the world. “God gave me no talents that are suitable for sharing” is an attitude that reaches well beyond false modesty, venturing into the territory of flatfooted lie. Whether our talent is for entertainment, teaching, or service—or all of the above and more—we have much to offer the world. If we set our creative minds to it, we can identify a multitude of ways to make that offering.

Two of my finest friends, both deceased, taught me much about giving. Emily was a housewife and occasional art student, a child of poor immigrants, a woman not educated past high school. Through her love of art and her voracious reading, she pursued a lifelong self-education process. And no matter how much I would ever bring to Emily in the way of gifts, it was impossible to escape her presence on any given visit without being forced to bear away twice as much as I had brought. If she found nothing else to bestow at a moment’s notice, she would fill my arms with food (“It’s the peasant in me,” she’d say apologetically). Almost every gift I ever gave her eventually found its way back to my daughter, for Emily also believed that cherished objects were only lent, and that parting with a truly good gift “should hurt a little.”


Eddy became what would turn out to be a lifelong friend when we first met at the age of fifteen. He gave me his undying romantic love and devotion—and (very eventually) his understanding that, even though I could only reciprocate with the love of a friend, that kind of love has its own great value and is not a diminution of anything “better.” Besides a great many material things, he offered me unflagging hospitality, tremendous appreciation, and unending gratitude for the fact that I was his friend. His dying wish was for me to be notified and to visit him before the end; his (nearly) last words to me echoed his concern that I be shown something occurring nearby in which we both shared interest and delight. Eddy gave me—we gave each other—a valuable relationship of unquestioned authenticity.


Were I to get started on specific ideas for more tangible giving, this post would very quickly begin looking as though the Sorcerer’s Apprentice had been tasked with its creation. So I’ll stop here—hoping that I’ve provided you some insight into all you have to give, and how very much your life will be enriched by the giving.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Join me for Live Tweets Miss America-style!

 This year is special as I have known Sydney Friar, Miss Missouri since before she was born.
  

Miss Missouri Sydney Friar and her proud grandmother, Mrs. Friar

As a matter of fact, she is mentioned in my new novel, "The Hillbilly Debutante Cafe" because she just happens to be from the tiny town where the story takes place - El Dorado Springs, Missouri!

Rhonda Shellhorn Friar, Miss Missouri Sydney Friar, and Jerry Friar


Those of you who are familiar with my tweets/facebook dialogue during the Country Music Awards should know that this particular feed will be 'snark-free'.  These girls are so young and they all have worked so hard to get to this point and they are all so deserving of the Miss America crown. So everything I talk about regarding the contestants will be very positive. The judges and emcees? All bets are off.  They're fair game.

If you are on twitter, follow me at @ktruitt. If you don't have twitter and you want to join my play-by-play on Facebook please join my personal page 'Kathie Truitt".

Monday, January 9, 2012

Living vicariously through Elizabeth Taylor

Meet Elizabeth Taylor:



For years I dreamed of owning a dress form so when I saw this lovely lady at TJ Maxx it was love at first sight. She seemed right at home in my pink and white house and she earned her name to due to her obvious glamour.

Now something I bet you didn't know about me: I collect vintage clothing. Unfortunately, so many of these lovely pieces are tiny, tiny, tiny and no way will my big butt am I able to fit into them. That's where Elizabeth Taylor comes in. See for yourself....


Doesn't this look like something Jackie Kennedy would've worn?


 And isn't this to die for?

The time of day/occasion dictates what she wears for the day. Miss Taylor has been known to change clothes several times a day, but if you look real close in the background in the next photo, you will see the simple day dress and pearls she dons most of the time.

Til Next Time,

Kathie

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

'Make Living a Wonderful Art' -

my mantra for 2012 and my challenge to each and every one of you!

This year my goal is to encourage you to turn your life into a beautiful, magnificent piece of art that is a reflection of who you are - or who you want to be.

"But Kathie, that's impossible for me. I have a demanding career, bills, obligations, kids...I sit in 2 hours of traffic, only have time for take-out, no one in the family has had clean underwear for 3 days and my boss just assigned me a new project that is due tomorrow. I barely find time enough in the day as it is to get everything done."

Been there, done that, got the t-shirt and I can assure you, my dears, that if this is the case with you, then you need this challenge more than anyone! So ask yourself these two question: Am I living? Or just existing? 

 With all due respect to Shirley MacLaine I believe we only get one go 'round in this old world, so we need to make it the best 'go-'round' possible.


(For you young-uns, Shirley MacLaine is an actress who is probably more memorable for her belief that she's lived 'other lives' rather than her movie roles. Oops! Forget I said that! My other goal for the new year is to curtail my smarty-pants comments - my bad!)

Each week I am going to give you ideas on how I incorporate little things into my life to beautify the mundane of the day to day. And I look forward to YOU sharing your ideas with ME!

So let's get started on a few, shall we?  

I know a lot of you wives and mothers out there who are on the go a lot rely on take-out. I'm not judging you. Yes, I work at home but there have been times I've been on a deadline, lost track of time, or just simply didn't want to cook so I either call out for Pizza or I go and pick something up.

But please, if you do that resist the urge to just slop the food on paper plates! I hate paper plates! Yes, I know they are convenient and yes I know they make some beautiful ones nowdays but they're just so...impersonal. And tacky. Life is too short to eat on paper plates with plastic eatery. No matter how hectic our life has been I have always tried to set a proper table. And although the photo above is more casual, I am also a stickler for using my china. I never wait for a special occasion to use my 'good' china and silverware! Get over that thinking!! Every single day you have here on earth is special so don't wait to use the best you have.

(these roses lasted almost two weeks!)

Keep fresh flowers! Although my favorite thing to do is support local florists, if you're on an absolute time-crunch and can't make one more stop, most of your grocery stores have fresh flowers. They're not expensive and if you cut them and put them in water as soon as you get home they last a long time. I almost always buy roses, cut them down and place them in Mason Jars and tie a ribbon around the top. It adds instant elegance to any room and of course everyone will enjoy the frangrance.

Something else that I got into the habit of the past year is setting aside a 'tea time'.

Every day at 3:00 I stop whatever I'm doing and make myself a cup of hot tea. I have a collection of over 20 tea cups that either my mother has picked up for me or that I've found at thrift stores and I take joy in drinking from a different one every day.

See? Nothing major. Nothing expensive and nothing too hard. Won't you take this challenge with me?

And I would LOVE to hear what some of you are already doing to make YOUR life a wonderful art! Please share!