Wednesday, December 22, 2021

News from the Farm

Things have been absolutely crazy hectic here. 

All of our belongings arrived from Texas to the 

Little House on the Prairie

a week ago so I have been unpacking and trying to figure out how to fit 3200 square feet of belongings into 1200.

Yes.

We have downsized.

I'm not eager to show you the interior until I have everything sorted and put away, but here are some of our sights from the outside:

We are waiting for our 'Little House on the Prairie' sign.


I spend almost every evening with my hiny parked here on the bench watching the bright, brilliant sunsets.



I spend a lot of time wandering around my future garden, dreaming of spring planting and summer vegetables.


We rescued this little girl -



and named her Charlotte.

In the meantime we also celebrated 40 years of marriage and can you believe that during the celebration we didn't get any pictures of us toghether??? I'm so mad!!

What were we thinking?

I guess we weren't - we were having too much fun seeing friends we haven't seen in so long.

But I do have a great picture of me with my son.


It's an awful picture of me, but I love it because his smile is so beautiful. 

We were looking forward to a house full of little ones that week, but one of my daughters little ones broke a leg, so they weren't able to join us.

It was disappointing because as you know, that time together is oh, so precious.

I know some of you are scratching your head about the last post.

More on THAT next time.
Kathie


 

Thursday, December 16, 2021

Coming soon!


 

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Beautiful Sunsets


I'll swear swan

(that's a word my grandma used a lot)




We have the most beautiful sunsets you will ever see...right here on this prairie.


 


 

Thursday, November 4, 2021

Little House on the Prairie

I knew this moment would happen.

This morning I woke up to 32 degrees and frost. Do you KNOW how long it's been since I've been this cold? Brrrrrrrrr

What's worse is that I have very - and I mean VERY - few winter clothes.  

(When we moved to the tropical island I thought we'd be there forever! Silly me!)

'Oh cool! Time to shop, right?"

Well, yes and no.

Normally, I'd see this as an excuse to shop, but remember-

I'm living in an RV, which means 'no extra space'.

None. What. So. Ever. 

(Yes, I know 'whatsoever' is one word. I did that strictly for dramatic pause. )

But guess what?

Our RV days are numbered.

In a few weeks we will be moving into the most DARLING little farm house EVER.

Behind this little house with brick corner posts and red tin roof

are 41 rolling acres (with a fish-filled pond).

Out our front door and across the gravel country road lies hundreds and hundreds of acres of conservation land - 

I mean, y'all - this literally IS a 'Little House on the Prairie'.

I don't have pictures to show you right now, but here's a brief description:

There is wallpaper EVERYWHERE. 

Every single room.

It's outdated. 

But you know what?

I don't care!! 

We both LOVE the wall paper - it gives it a 'lodgy/cabiny feel - and we're not going to change it.

The house sits east and west, and while the sunrise is mostly covered by hills and trees, there is absolutely nothing in the way of those brilliant sunsets.

At night it is so dark that the stars twinkle like fairy lights.

And it's SOOOOO quiet.

Where we are now is quiet, but sometimes you can hear those big iron horses in the distance. But this place is so rural that the only trucks we will have are feed trucks - and only during the day. 

I'm not sure if we will be 'up and running' by Thanksgiving, but most definitely for Christmas.

The bad thing is I sold almost everything when we moved to Puerto Rico - but the good news is I'll get to start over.

Nothing makes me happier than 'setting up house'.

Counting the RV - this makes our 36th house in 40 years - so I'm pretty good at this by now.

I'd never be so bold as to say this is our last house - 

But hopefully this is a place to let our gypsy souls rest-

at least for a while.

------------------------------------------------------------

'All who wander are not lost'


Thursday, October 28, 2021

If only I had a piano....

(I love this quote I found on instagram. I didn't write it but wish I had've!)

Someone: You're SO dramatic!

Me(with a rose between my lips, throwing glitter around, dressed in evening wear during the day, draping myself across a piano: 

"I have no idea what you're talking about"


(relaxing after a speaking engagement sponsored by the University of Oklahoma)

AAALLL of this is 100% true

....except, I don't have a piano. 



(Lillian and I out strolling around the farm)


I have been creative and over the top imaginative for as long as I can remember.

Example: 
As a 3 year old I became a frog and - naturally - would only answer to 
'Froggy Baby'.

At age 5, I at least became human and demanded to be called 
'Danny Boy'.

About 7 or 8, I believe I decided to become a girl, which was wonderful because all during my childhood my grandmother had a section of her closet dedicated to me for dress up - dresses, sweaters, and nightgowns that with the help of gloves and her marvelous costume jewelry, transformed into beautiful evening gowns in which to stroll around the kitchen waving at my adoring fans my grandmother.

As I got older my creativity morphed into what I could etch onto pen and paper - pages and pages of plays, stories and mini-sagas almost all revolving around a young heroine and her horse.

At 13 and 14 while my friends were noticing boys and of course boys noticing them (and not me), I found a new love - the stage!

Ahhh - I felt so alive with the costumes! 
The makeup! Oh...don't even get me started on the makeup!! 
I was such a plain-Jane, but underneath allll of that caked-on foundation, teal blue eye shadow, red rouge and layers of mascara I felt BEAUTIFUL. 
For the first time in my life I actually felt beautiful - so much so that I wore my stage makeup after a play on a date. 
Needless to say that was also my LAST date with that particular boy. 
(Can you imagine what it must have been like for a teenage boy to ride around with a 16 year old looking like a drag queen?)

To me, makeup and clothing is 'art', which I love even more than writing - please don't tell my agent I said that.

When I call myself 'plain' please know that I am PLAIN AS DAY - pasty white, no eyebrows, no eye lashes, no lips - absolutely nothing distinguishing about me at all.
I once even walked bare-faced past my own father in the grocery store and he didn't notice me. 
My own dad!!

So, when I say makeup is my ART - makeup is my ART! And my plain, white-as-a-sheet-face is my canvas. I love to watch my features 'come alive' every morning as I paint! 
Yes, I know natural is the trend..
But I couldn't give two-hoots about trends.
I do what I like!

However, as much as I love cosmetics - CLOTHING is my NUMERO UNO art medium.
 I live, eat, sleep and breath clothes.
The only thing BETTER than clothes are ACCESSORIES.
All it takes is one hat, one belt, one  fabulous piece of big, oversized jewelry to transform my world!

Case in point - see below:

(long day spent at home reading by the fireplace)
 
When kids came along and husband had a career in Washington DC, I put away my 'weirdness', otherwise known as 'myself', so as not to embarrass anyone. Kids can be so cruel and I didn't want my children to be known as the 'boy/girl with the weird mom'. 
So, I dressed to 'fit in'.

But once everyone was out the door and I high-tailed it to Texas I went back to my art.

Now...the 'down-side' to being me is that people mistake my love for the unique as 'attention-seeking'.
Sorry, but I don't dress for anyone else.
I only dress for me and how I feel and who I want to be each day. 
I look like this everyday - even when I don't go anywhere. 

The pink tutu above? I may wear it on a Tuesday to pump gas, or my black tutu (I'm famous for my tutu's) on a Wednesday to get groceries, but Honey - I also wear it on any given day just to walk 
around the house. 
I have also been known to wear one just to go outside to feed livestock.
At home and in the barnyard there is no one to show off to except the cattle, the dogs and the donkey - and an occasional coyote. 

So....if anyone thinks my weird, funky outfits are for them? 
Nope. 

It's all for me.


And YES - sometimes I DO wear evening clothes during the day.


Because my feeling is that life is too short, and if you want to wear a sparkly evening skirt with cowboy boots while you drive your husbands truck to the post office than you should just do it. 

Now before I close this out -
Question: Which font should I continue to use?

Left or right?

















  

Thursday, October 21, 2021

I wish one of y'all would tell me how you feel about this font...

I love it, but not sure how easy it is to read. 

Anyhoo - it would be great to hear from you. 

It has been a whirlwind past few months. 

Yes, we are still living in a van down by the river
living in an RV behind my mother in law's garage.

On most days I'd tell you it's really not bad....
and then other days I could - and have -cried.

 I love, love, love being back on the farm. I love being out in the middle of nowhere - especially after dark. 

We have the clearest night sky and the brightest, twinkling stars I've ever seen in my life. I'm telling you - our sky rivals anything I ever saw in Texas - or even in the Caribbean.



 Lillian and Willow are living their very best life. No more pink golf cart rides, but for the first time ever they can run free without leashes.
Terrorizing the cats.
Barking at the old bull.
Running from the donkey.
At night they are EXHAUSTED.

Life is so good, yet.....
Eventually, I'm going to need a house.

-----------------------------------------------------

About my other job: 




I had a meeting with the writer of the Hallmark Movie, 
'Coyote Creek Christmas' and



 another meeting with one of the directors of my first movie who is also a screenwriter.

I sent 'The Hillbilly Debutante Cafe' to both so now it's a waiting game.

Speaking of that....I'll be opening a shop based on the cafe in the book and will even be in the same building:

The Hillbilly Debutante Mercantile and Pie Shoppe opening May 3rd in downtown El Dorado Springs.

Til next time....



Monday, October 4, 2021

False Victim and The Hillbilly Debutante Cafe

Here's where I give you a very short spiel about my books....

'False Victim' 
is a true story about something that happened to us when we lived near Washington, DC.


It was featured on Investigation Discovery and in 2020 became a Lifetime Movie

"The Neighbor in the Window'

in which they took a looooot of what I'll call 'creative liberty.'

My very favorite book that I've written is this one right here:


 It was sooo much fun to create and write.
It is a completely fictitious story that takes place in my hometown of 
El Dorado Springs, Missouri.

It's also under contract for movie rights, although my contract ends November 1st.

It made the finals with Netflix and then was dropped.
(I'm guessing Harry and Meghan got my budget - kidding.)

I'm crossing my that it will get picked up by someone else. 

Anyway, now you know...I write books.


Kathie



Tuesday, September 28, 2021

'Blow up your TV....

throw away your paper,

move to the county

And build a home.

Plant a garden...

Eat a lot of peaches....

Try and find Jesus

On your own.

----John Prine







Lillian and Willow

So, if you're gonna hang out here then you need to know about 
Lillian and Willow.

Willow is the dachsund - a gift from my mother-in-law, and Lillian is my prized Scottish Terrier. 


I try not to have a favorite, buuutttt...
I have wanted a Scottish Terrier since my husband worked at the 
White House and came home every day telling me 'Barney' stories. 
Actually, I'll never forget the time I had lunch at the WH and saw Barney outside taking a dump while his very own Secret Service held onto his leash. 
No, I'm not kidding - a man with a black suit, black sunglasses as stiff as a board holding the end of Barney's leash while he pooped - I mean, you KNOW that isn't what that SS agent had in mind that he'd be doing when he went to 'Secret Service School.'

But anyway - years later I now I have my very own Scottie and while she doesn't have her own security detail she is definitely the star everywhere - and I mean EVERYWHERE we go.

Walking through the airport with her is like being the ugly stepsister. I could literally walk around naked and no one would notice. 
People oohh and ahhh, tell her she's beautiful and take pictures.

I swear she understands what's going on and KNOWS she's beautiful and eats up every bit of attention.

Unlike most Scotties, she loves people. 
All people - even children.

Except me. 
And she ignores me.
It's weird because I have never had a dog that did not absolutely love me.

Then there's Willow.
What I'm lacking in love and affection is made up ten-fold by her. 
She is always at my side.
If I'm travelling she won't eat til I get back.
She follows me everywhere and is always underfoot.
She even sleeps close to me.
My husband jokes that she'd nurse if I let her.

These two are as different as night and day.

Willow loves the farm and spends her day roaming the barnyard and pastures. 
We go for a walk every morning and every evening.

Lillian likes to be outside for a little while and then trots up to the main house and barks for my mother in law to let her in.

She's very prissy and not crazy about the walks as you can see by the picture below.



 Can you see the little shadowy figure up ahead?

That's my Miss Lillian.

Do you have animals that bring you as much joy as these do for me?
I'd love to hear about them!

Kathie


Sunday, September 26, 2021

'Don't be sad that it's over....be glad that it happened'

As I gazed out at the ocean one last time before leaving Puerto Rico
I was reminded of the Dr. Seuss quote...

"Don't be sad that it's over...be glad that it happened."


 And I am so very glad.

This was one of the best years of my life.


Sunday, September 12, 2021

I Dunno...Do you think this too orange?


 Years ago when I was living in Alexandria, Virginia near Washington DC, I traded my Mercedes Benz for my horse/barn fees for one year.
(Long story. You don't wanna hear it.)

Then I purchased a 1991 beat up rusty (she was beautiful) Chevy Suburban for a mere 1500$.
I named her 'Dixie'.

In a land where everyone fancied themselves to be 'rich and famous' and needed to prove it by what they drove.....I felt so FREE in that mess of a vehicle.
(And I almost was free when my husband came home and saw what I'd done...but once again, you really don't wanna hear that story.)

Anyhoo.....now, that I'm back on the farm I wanted another Dixie. 

I'd love to tell you I searched 'high and low' but in this day and age of social media all I had to do was put the word out and within minutes someone sent me a photo of her in a marketplace ad.

It was love at first sight and I knew she'd be mine no matter how she ran!
(I have a great mechanic)

And yes - I'm leaving the orange!


Of course the visits to the gas pump are going to be pretty painful - especially when I'm use to just filling up the golf cart (my transportation in Puerto Rico) for 10$.


We picked her up this morning and drove her straight to Doug - our favorite mechanic. 
She has a few things that need to be worked on.

I'll be headed back to Puerto Rico to pack up our things, so she will be ready for me when I get back.

Her name? 

Dixie Deaux

I'm looking forward to a lot of fun treasure hunts and junking expeditions with her. 

In the meantime, feel free to recommend a place I can shop for cool seat covers! 

til next time...

Kathie (and Dixie)

Friday, September 10, 2021

Plot Twist!

 'Plot Twist!'

That's my go-to phrase every time something in life doesn't go the way as planned. 

Sooooo.......

Forget everything I told you earlier about living it up in the fun and sun on the beaches of Puerto Rico.

It was fun while it lasted, but back to reality earlier than expected.

Here was the original plan:  to be in in our hometown of El Dorado Springs, Missouri from August to October -Just long enough to escape  hurricane season and the unbearable humidity. Then, October 1st we would head back to the island to for more fun and sun and then move back here permanently in July of '22.

As you know life can change in an instant - and it did.

When we got back here we realized that our family needed us so we decided to move back earlier. 

So...I've traded in the beach life for the farm life. And you know what? I'm not really sad about it. I mean....I'm sad to leave the friends I've made - and I have made some good ones. But, the truth is....I've felt the tug of home for quite some time now. 

We need to be close to Jay's parents, but also wanted to give them their privacy. So rather than move in, our daughter and son-in-law so graciously gave us their travel trailer to live in while we plan a home build. We are thinking construction won't even be able to start until March or April. 

It's a great RV and we are ever so grateful......but two people in such a small space is going to be a great challenge.

Did I mention two people in such a small space is going to be a challenge?

But we're determined to  make the best of it. We are gypsies anyway - this is our 35th move in 39 years. 

 And much to the embarrassment of our kids, we've decided to name it 'Love Shack'.  


Sing it with me.. 'Love Shack, Baby, Love Shack....a little place where we can get together......'

In the meantime, my morning is spent feeding cats - my neighbor has 42. 

Nope. That's not a typo. The dude actually has 42 cats, which breaks the stereotype of the 'crazy cat lady'. He's a middle-aged handsome man. A pilot. He just likes cats. 

And women. 

I know what you're thinking. 

And yes - he's single. 


Told you I knew what you were thinking. ;)

I've also invested in the obligatory farm boots. 
It's back to being conscientious of copperheads.


I'm not being paranoid, either. 

We have an overabundance of cicadas and copperheads looovve to feast on cicadas and since the trailer is parked in the absolute middle of nowhere and I have to be out and about all hours of the day and sometimes night....Ima gonna wear the boots.

Anyway, I am so glad to be back in El Dorado Springs - pronounced El DoRAYdo 
(NOT El DoRAHd0)
where I am close to my parents again.
Old friends. 
Peace and quiet.

When Jay and I were kids and talked about marriage I always thought we'd stay and the farm, raising animals and babies.

Now that we've traveled the world and the babies have babies of their own, here we are back on the farm. 

There's a lot to do here to get this place where it needs to be, but we are excited to do it.

I can't wait to share it all with you. 

In a few days I will be headed back to our home in Puerto Rico to get things packed and bring back to the farm. 

It will be a chance to say my 'see you later' to friends I hold so dear.

Please join us on the new venture. 
Or is is ADventure? 
Kidding...I'm SURE it will be an ADVENTURE!

Til Next Time...

Kathie





Friday, August 13, 2021

Let's Get Caught Up!

So, what have I been up to for the past 7 or so years, you ask?

 Well, wow...where in the heck do I start?

 As I mentioned in my last post, I up and moved to Texas back in June of 2014.

I've always loved Texas. 

I bought a run-down fixer upper, fixed her up, added beautiful landscaping and built a pool. I thought I couldn't be any happier until I stumbled upon another house and fell in love.

This house was perfect.

She was named Rosebud Cottage due to the over 30 breeds of Roses. 

Somewhere in between that time I parted ways with my publisher (I've authored 2 books) and decided to publish with another house.

This worked out well because the first novel needed re-editing something awful.

Once I re-edited, Lifetime purchased that novel and then I sold the other novel for movie option, as well. 

(Let's save all that for another time!)

Anyway, back to Rosebud Cottage -

Oh my, how I loved that house. I truly thought it was my forever home...


but then....

chalk it up to us being crazy, gypsy, ants-in-our-pants kind of people, we decide after a 5 minute discussion(no, I'm serious - after only FIVE minutes)  to up and move to Puerto Rico.

Why, you ask?

                                    Let's just say we decided to follow my husband's mistress. 

Here is a picture of her.....


Isn't she lovely? 

And while I wake up at 5:45 each morning to this beautiful sunrise out my window:


(this picture does NOT do it justice)

I still very much find myself homesick for my small Missouri town.

I grew up in the small town of El Dorado Springs, Missouri.

It's actually the basis for my novel 
'The Hillbilly Debutante Cafe'
But more about that later - remember I'm still tryin' to get you all caught up on my shenanigans the past few years.

Anyway, while in Texas, for the first time ever I experienced age discrimination,  decided to NOT take that lying down and became an influencer for women over 50 -
(more about that LATER, as well).
Not gonna lie, folks - THAT WAS THE MOST FUN JOB EVER!!!

Whew!
That should do it, but feel free to ask questions. I am sure I've left things out.






Thursday, August 12, 2021

Where in tarnation did the name 'Hillbilly Debutante' come from?


Well, y'all...for starters, this is a resurrection of a very old blog.

 I originally started 'Hillbilly Debutante: Musings of a Country Girl Stuck in the City' in the spring of 2008 when I lived near Washington, DC.

My husband worked in politics (still does) and I felt like a fish outta water in that den of iniquity some call the Nations Capital.

I used this blog as a way to kind of make fun of myself as I adapted to a very fast-paced, formal, uptight way of life. 

One day, after my last little chick left the nest, and Hubby and I were tucked in for the night, I announced:

"I love you, but I hate this place more. I'm headed to Texas."

The next day I loaded up my cowboy boots, clothes, Merle Haggard Cd's and a black lab named Sally and headed cross country to the small city of Rowlett, Texas.

Those 7 years of Texas were some of my happiest.

Then, one day.....Hubby says "We love Puerto Rico. Why don't we move there?"

And that's how I found myself living on the ocean in Humacao, Puerto Rico.

If you've followed the old blog, and you've followed me on Facebook and Instagram you KNOW there is a LOT more to this story....

but, alas...

THAT's for another time.