Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

This is where most bloggers get on their blogs and leave a post saying, "I'll be taking a much-needed break from the blog during this most blessed of holiday seasons. Please browse around some of the older posts and most of all, have a Merry Christmas!"

But in case you hadn't noticed, I have kind of been on a break for awhile now, so yeah, no need to tell you I won't be around here for a few days.

However, because it's some unwritten law that bloggers must post family pictures on their blogs at Christmas, here you go:

I love this picture most because it's us. It's perfectly imperfect. The morning we took these (after a previous failed attempt) the wind was blowing like crazy, giving us about a 24* wind chill. Between the hypothermia and the wind-blown hair it's a wonder we got any good pictures at all. It's not one that would make the pages of a magazine, but it seems to project us just the way we are.

(Big huge thanks to my friend Brittany from Studio 215 for freezing her tushie off with us that frigid morning. She made me promise her that next year I won't procrastinate.)

This Christmas has been the best one we've had in many years. We are closer as a family, keeping our focus on God and what He has done in our lives -- and is still doing. I am so thankful for the gift Jesus gave us all those thousands of years ago, leaving the glory of Heaven and taking human form, knowing that He would die for us though we'll never deserve it. It brings tears to my eyes when I think about it.

Thank you for sharing my sporatic posts this past year. One of these days I'm going to get back into the swing of things......I think.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 09, 2010

An Adventure in Monster Pie Cake

Just before Thanksgiving I heard about this thing called a "Cherpumple", otherwise known as a monster pie cake. Basically, it is a cherry pie baked into a white cake, a pumpkin pie baked into a spice cake and an apple pie baked into a yellow cake. Get it?

Because it isn't every day you make a cake of such epic proportions, I decided to photojournal the whole affair. Not to mention it took five hours from start to finish - that alone is worthy of documentation. Also, big thanks to Abby who took pictures every time I hollered. This meant tearing herself away from a Bop magazine, her iPod and the bazillions of text messages she sent her friends during the five hour ordeal.

Here's the whole shebang; all the ingredients used to make the behemoth.
I am normally not a supporter of store-bought pies, but for this recipe you need to use them. Use the store-made ones from the grocery bakery because they are smaller. The frozen Mrs. Smith pies are as big or bigger than what you'd make yourself. They have to be small to fit inside the cake.

Okay, whoops - I left the butter and milk for the frosting out of the picture.
Oh well. Pretend they're there.

Start with three greased and floured 9" cake pans.
The greasing of cake pans is why I had children. Sticking my hand in a vat of fat is enough to bring on the gags for me. Now I have children for this disgusting task and they think it is AMAZING.
I recommend having children for this purpose.

First layer: Pumpkin and spice. Prepare the cake mix as directed on the box. Pour some batter in the pan, plop the pie on top and cover with more batter.
You'll have some batter left over, but it's okay - make cupcakes!
(I actually did not make cupcakes from this layer because spice cupcakes sound nasssssty.
Then again, I'm not a fan of the spice cake to begin with.)

This layer was doomed from the start. For one thing, I put the pie in right side up and it should have been upside down. Note that this quite possible was a fatal error for layer #1.

Here is the completed spice cake layer.
If the batter runs over the edge of the pan - which it likely will - just trim the edges when it's cooled

For the sake of time, I cooled my layers in the freezer. I wholeheartedly recommend putting a layer of parchment or wax paper between the cake and plate when they cool.

Mine stuck to the naked plate.
Here is layer number two: Cherry and white.

Note I put it in upside down this time. Also note it cracked when I did.
This may have been because I was all full of myself and tried to entertain and impress my teenager who was photographing for me. She was, however, unimpressed and I just ended up with a cracked pie.
Fortunately, when you're baking an pie into a cake, cracks matter not.

To keep this photoblog from being 17 eons long (as opposed to the 14 it already is)
I didn't photograph the finished other two layers.
Just use your imagination.

The recipe I found online called for canned cream cheese frosting, but
I am a frosting purist and always make my own frosting.
When it comes to cream cheese frosting I especially don't like using canned.
It just seems ..... wrong.


Here is where I unveil the disaster of the pumpkin spice layer.
Kind of gaggy, huh?

We have all theorized and here are our two possible conclusions:
1) Putting the pie in right side up make it too hard for the pie to bake around the cake.
2) Because pumpkin pie is a custard and therefore has to set up, by re-baking it inside the cake it liquified and basically turned into a pool of mushy goo.

I'm going with the second one.
It was no major disaster for me that it didn't end up in the cake.
To me it seems out of place to stick a spice cake and a custard pie in the midst of two fruit pies.
Next time I'm going with peach in a white cake instead of pumpkin.

While it looks like I am praying over my monster pie cake, perhaps asking that the soul of the deceased spice cake layer be safe in Heaven, no, I am not praying over pastry.....

I was tweeting.

Here is the finished product, a Cherple.

Kind of  like a two-layer train wreck of delightful baked confection.
It was also heavy as all get out. As in, heavy to carry.
I think I pulled a muscle between the van and Mom's house.

Oh, the taste?
One word:


And apparently, besides tickling your taste buds, it also has powers we knew not of beforehand.

It has the ability to make grown men wear silly hats and hair accessories while they play Guitar Hero.

Hey, it's a rule that when you play Guitar Hero you must wear something on your head.
The men were not about to let the kids and teens beat them at video games, so
they donned fedoras, African animal ears and farm animal sock hats in order to participate.

I think it was all because of the Cherpumple.


Thursday, November 25, 2010

A Post of Thanksgiving

It's 6:36am, Thanksgiving morning. I've been sick since Sunday and have wanted so desperately to sleep in all week, yet here I am wide awake and writing on a sleeping-in holiday. It's so rare that the inspiration to write hits me anymore I figured I should really take advantage of it. Because I'm all responsible like that. Yo.

I'm on my second bout of a wicked cold. With the first round about six weeks ago I had a cough, but the main complaint was the body aches and head congestion. This particular bout started in my chest and within 24 hours of the first tickle in my throat I was wheezing and crackling. Now it's migrated to my head, but I haven't run a fever. And the only body aches I have are the ones in my abdominal muscles (which I wasn't even aware I had anymore) from coughing so much.

Yesterday I had a Well Woman Visit scheduled at the Indian Clinic and considered canceling it because I was scared to death I'd get laid down on that table and have a coughing fit and things would go flying, if you know what I mean. And don't pretend like you don't. If you are a woman you know exactly of that which I speak. Yeah, thought so. But I forged on simply because I dread this visit like I dread ..... well, for the life of me I can't think of anything I dread as much as a pelvic exam. I figured I might as well get it over with while I was already miserable and halfway prepared for it.

I had dropped the kids off at Mom's office before my appointment and as I was headed back to pick them up afterwards, my phone rang. It's one of my girlfriends who I love dearly so I answered it with a smile on my face because, seriously, I love this woman to pieces. She said her husband had been trying to get hold of me and I needed to call him. Frankly, it puzzled me because, while I think her husband is the bomb diggity, I have never had occasion to call him up and chat on the phone. I asked her if everything was okay and she assured me it was.

Now, let me take a moment to digress, if you will. We here at the Redneck Diva household are not a rich family and even though on paper it looks like we're poor, we are indeed extremely blessed. We don't have a lot of money, but we get by. The bills get paid (when I don't just flat forget to pay them) and the kids are clothed. There's always an excess of food in the pantry and fridge and none of us are shoe-less. Yes, I had to cancel a hair appointment awhile back because there just wasn't any leeway in the budget for gray-hair-camouflaging procedures, but in the grand scheme of things I'm fairly certain I'll survive. I really don't like the grays that have taken over my head, but other than my vanity being a smidge dented, it's all good.

Every year we bale the hay on our property and sell it. We don't make a huge profit off of it, but the money we make is our Christmas money. This year, the hay hasn't sold. The guy who usually buys from us backed out. We found two other buyers. They backed out. Now, a year ago this would have had me running around pulling my hair out, crying, snotting and fretting, but this year, while I've been a little worried, I haven't gotten upset. By this time I normally have my shopping about half done - this year I haven't bought so much as a candy cane. Yet my peace about Christmas has been unfathomable. After the second set of buyers backed out I literally laid my concerns over money at Jesus' feet. I laid them there and left them. There is literally NO money for Christmas, but I have known down deep in my heart that it's going to be okay. God will provide. It may not be the most extravagant Christmas we've ever had, but I have known it's going to be okay.

Then Saturday night, while driving 77 mph on the turnpike headed for Joplin, one of my van tires blew out. I was driving. I was in the inside lane when it blew and as soon as we realized what was happening, Paul said, "Get to the shoulder NOW!" Looking back, playing it all out in my head again, God had the blueprints laid out in a cosmic way. Traffic had been close the whole trip, not the usual spacing you find on the interstate. We had driving from one cluster of cars and trucks to another the whole way, but at that moment, when my tire blew I was the only vehicle for a half mile either way. (I've got goosebumps just thinking about it!) I got the van to the shoulder, looked at Paul and remembered to breathe. Realizing the tire that blew was on the highway side sent ice water shivers through me because my husband was going to change that tire. I got out of the van and followed him to the back and said, "We have roadside! Let's just call a tow truck! Let's call Dad, Mom, the President, SOMEBODY. Please don't change that tire. We have roadside!" From halfway under the van, trying to release the spare, my precious redneck husband looked up at me and calmly said, "Sweetheart, you are not helping right now. Please get in the van and shut up." I got in the van, looked back at my children whose eyes had suddenly grown to the size of dinner plates and said, "We need to pray." Three little hands found mine and I prayed for protection, prayed that the semis whizzing past us at 80 mph would see us and avoid us, prayed that Paul would be safe, prayed that we would be safe, prayed that the spare wasn't flat. People, I just prayed.

I am telling you, my husband changed that tire with the speed and agility most pit crew mechanics don't have. He showed me the tire later that night and said, "There is absolutely no reason whatsoever why you didn't lose control of that van tonight. The speed you were going and the way it blew, we should've lost control." I opened my mouth to tell him what I thought, but he finished with, "God was protecting us." Enough said.

On the way home from dinner the worry started creeping in. Where we were going to get the money for at least two new tires when we only had money for bills and didn't have money for Christmas? Paul was beside himself. I nearly was. Then again, that peace just flooded over me and I knew it was going to be okay. I wanted to worry, but it was like I couldn't. Friends, my sister, my daughter, were sharing scripture with me that just calmed me down in a way I can never describe and do it adequate justice.

So now back to yesterday. I hung up the phone with my friend and called her husband. He said, "Kristin, you have a set of tires out here at Walmart." I said, "Excuse me? I what?" There was a lot of stammering and stuttering as I tried to figure out what he was telling me. He explained that someone had bought a set of tires for my van and I just needed to make arrangements to come out and have them put on.

I couldn't talk because I was crying so hard. Bless his heart, it had to be awkward for him sitting there on the phone, listening to me blubber. I managed to choke out a thank you and hung up. I dialed Paul's work number and told him. He didn't believe me. By that time I was at Mom's office, so I hung up with Paul, marched in there and said, "Mom, I am asking you right now to be 100% honest with me. Please, if you love me, do not lie."

She said she was certain at that moment that I had gotten horrible news at the doctor and that her heart was resting somewhere around her toes when she answered, "Kristin, I will not lie to you." I think she was sincerely worried I was going to ask her to take care of the kids when I died or something. Between sobs I managed to ask the question, "Did you and Dad buy me a set of tires?" She assured me she did not. She called Dad. He did not. What followed was about 15 minutes of me sobbing uncontrollably in my mother's office.

I was floored. I was stunned. I was overwhelmed. I was so completely mystified. Who? Why? WHY?

I have personally gotten to participate in giving money to someone who desperately needed to buy groceries to feed her babies. I didn't give the money from my own wallet, but I was the go-between, the person asked to deliver. The relief, the complete release of worry, in her eyes is something I will never forget as long as I live. She was, in that moment, absolutely certain that her babies would have food and being a part of seeing her blessed that way was unfathomable.

I felt that feeling yesterday. In the exchange of a few words "You have a set of tires" my whole outlook changed. The worry I had been pushing back, the question of "How?" was instantly gone. For the next two hours just the mere thought of the incredible act I had just been a part of brought me to tears. I had to put my makeup back on twice.

Psalm 52:8 says, "But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God. I trust in the steadfast love of God forever and ever. I will thank you forever because you have done it. I will wait for your name, for it is good, in the presence of the godly."

"I will thank you forever because you have done it" - this part stands out to me so very distinctly. He has done it. God has done it! God gave his Son for our sins. God gave us grace when we didn't deserve it. God gave us life everlasting if only we accept it. God gave someone out there the financial means to bless a family in need of tires this holiday.

When Paul got home from work last night he checked out my new wheels, the wheels my friend Natalie calls "Heavenly tires that will never go flat because they came down from Heaven and nothing from Heaven is flawed" and that is why I love my Natalie so. He squatted down and looked one over and when he stood up tears were in his eyes. "Why, Kristin?" Well, then of course, I started bawling again. He took my hand, led me into the house and said, "Now, look at this," and handed me a sheet of paper.

The casino he works for has partnered up with Sam's Club to give employees a shopping spree at the Joplin club where we can charge up to $700, interest free, and pay it out of his paychecks for the next six months.

Christmas is taken care of.

Mom hugged me last night and said, "Oh, baby girl, God just keeps smiling down on you today!"

Oh, yes. Yes, He does.

And whoever out there bought a set of tires for a very grateful redneck family yesterday, if you are reading this, thank you. There are no words to adequately describe the blessing you have given us. God used you, my anonymous friend. And I thank you for being open to it.


A happy, happy Thanksgiving to all of you out there reading this.
May God bless you in ways you never dreamed.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

It's the Most Tacky-ful Time of the Year

I am a member of one of the tackiest families in Ottawa County.

And when I say that, it is totally a compliment. Ask any of them.

If you're a veteran reader you are aware of our wacky Festivus tradition. If you're new I'll explain.

Our family, which has never been traditionally normal or known for following traditional rules (probably because we are about as dysfunctional as you can get), decided four years ago to take Thanksgiving and Christmas and turn the gatherings into something a little

In November 2007 we had our first "Glenn Family Official Festivus Planning Meeting". The purpose, besides eating potluck until we were miserable, was to plan the upcoming Festivus celebration and future Festivuses to come. We gathered on the couch, recliners, ottomans, folding chairs and the floor and proceded to draw up a set of by-laws for ourselves and future generations to follow. The result was a ridiculous set of rules and official-sounding names, fines, penalties and various other silliness.

The gist of it is this: We gather as close to Christmas as possible (2009's Festivus was held in March of this year because of the Icepocalype and Snowmageddon) and exchange tacky gifts. The competing is done only by family members by birth, adoption, step- or marriage who have reached the age of 16. No girl/boyfriends, fiances or kids. The gift-giving preparation is done with much secrecy, husbands and wives sometimes keeping the secret of their gifts from each other. The blinds and curtains at the place Festivus is held (we Hoovers were voted in as the Official Host Family last year) (lucky us) must be drawn so that guests arriving can place their gifts in the "Official Gift-Holding Recepticle" in complete anonymity. If two guests arrive at the same time the latter-arriving party must avert their eyes while the former party places their gifts, lest they be considered a "cheater cheater pumpkin eater." Yes, the by-laws actually say "cheater cheater pumpkin eater". Gifts can be handmade or store-bought, however the total cost of the gift or materials to make the gift cannot exceed $8.18. If the gift is less than that amount the difference is to be brought in cash and placed in a fund that will someday be used to buy pencils for the great-grandchildren when they graduate high school.

There is a President, Secretary and Sergeant-at-Arms. The Sergeant-at-Arms is responsible for goosing family members who get out of line at any gathering. My cousin Keith wanted to add a new official office this year - the "Official Leg Humper". He was voted down. Thank God. My sister's new husband, poor fella, was elected President, I remain the Secretary for All of Perpetuity (because no one else wants the job) and because his leg humping dreams were dashed, Keith was voted in as the new "gooser".

The winner of the Tacky Gift Competition is voted upon by secret ballot and the winner gets to proudly display the Turkey Plaque in his or her main bathroom for one year. If the Turkey is not displayed and another family member discovers the infraction they can steal the plaque and the violator is fined $8.18. So far only one winner was caught without the plaque on his wall, but considering he was in the middle of a home renovation he was allowed to keep the Turkey. It was that year the fine was implemented.

There are oh so many more clauses, rules, sidenotes and facets to the hilarity, but those are the main points. This year we have added a Tacky Apparel Competition. Everyone competing in this competition must bring an item purchased in the checkout line at their local Walmart or grocery store. The winner, chosen by secret ballot, will receive the donated prizes. I can hardly wait to see how many tiny cans of Lysol, Monster energy drink and Bic lighters are part of the prize this year.

This year my cousin Ben and his girlfriend, Amy, flew in from New York to be a part of the Planning Meeting. It was decided that all attempts would made to Skype Ben in from NYC for the Tacky Apparel Competition this year. Considering they both dressed as bedbugs for Halloween this year, we may regret letting them compete from afar. They may kick our butts. Poor little Amy was incredibly quiet through the meeting, only getting excited when we told her it wasn't too late to get in on the action -- if only Ben would propose to her. We even offered to gather with them at LaVerne's, the local wedding parlor, but no such luck.

Oh and something new this year? For Festivus it is "encouraged but not required" that all food brought for the potluck be in the shape of balls. This could get very, very interesting.

When this year's meeting was adjourned everyone went to the front yard and participated in an acorn and hickory nut fight. Nearly to the death. It didn't take long for most of us to go straight back inside. The kids took Ben to the hay bales* where they began jumping and cavorting merrily, thus nearly giving me a heart attack. Any time I see them jumping around out there I can only envision broken legs. And necks. The merriment only increased when Amy, a true city gal, a working actress in NYC, climbed up on the hay bales. And she wasn't even wearing flannel. When they came in, pink-cheeked and covered in bits of hay, she just kept saying, "I jumped on hay bales in my Steve Maddens!"

When my friend, DeLisa, came by later to deliver my Avon I said, "And she jumped on the hay bales in her Steve Maddens!" De gave me a blank look and I breathed a sigh of relief as I said, "Oh good, you have no clue what that means either!" The only Madden I've ever heard of has something to do with football and a Playstation game. I think. I didn't see that sweet girl holding a Playstation game while she jumped. I think she was referring to her boots.

Paul has his Festivus gift already. Courtney says she's going to win this year. Sis, who was last year's winner, says she is not giving up the plaque willingly.

I am open to suggestions. If you have any ideas for gifts tacky and completely lacking in taste please email me. Keep in mind I have made angel tree ornaments out of tampons before, so you gotta really deliver, folks. If you come up with something amazing, though, and I will totally mail you a loaf of Amish bread. And possibly a Sonic gift card. And if you're lucky, a picture of me blowing you a kiss. I'd offer to name my next child after you, but 2011 is the Year of the Vasectomy for us, so you'll have to just accept the loaf of bread and be happy.

* The hay bales are for sale. Desperately for sale. If someone doesn't buy them soon, y'all will able to adopt my kids from an Angel Tree in a Walmart entrance and just buy them presents directly.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

It was a dark and stormy night and the damsel cried out in distress...

Okay, so it's really just a cloudy, gloomy, windy afternoon, but go with it. I'm sitting at my dining room table eating half a garlic bologna, cheese and mustard sandwich and drinking a sweet tea, brainstorming about an upcoming event. Yes, the damsel has garlic bologna breath.

Actually, the eating is going better than the brainstorming.

See, this weekend our church is hosting a ladies' conference and I am the emcee. I have been in prayer about it since I was asked by the pastor, but as of yet I haven't gotten this big lightning bolt and thunderclap epiphany about how to go about my business.

Brother Clint said, "Introduce the speakers and funny."


That's about as specific as well....nothing.

So here's where you come in, oh great and mighty Constant Reader. I need your opinions.

When you attend a conference where there are multiple speakers what preferred role does the emcee play for you? Do you want them to put on a red clown nose and play a ukelele, lightening the mood and breaking down anyone's reservations?
(I can't even begin to tell you how disturbing it was to me to do a
Google search for clowns. I will likely have nightmares over this.)

Do you want them to tell a few jokes, a cute story, maybe tie it all to the speaker they're getting ready to introduce? Or do you want them to be more of a Ben Stein fella who says, "Up next is Suzy Jones who will be speaking about missionaries in Guatemala. Hang on your seats, ladies. She has a slideshow."

(By the way, it bothers me immensely that Bueller is spelled wrong in that picture. Just so you know.)

Do you want someone to just get it over with, introduce and get the heck out of the way or truly be a segue between topics and speakers?

Am I putting wayyyyyy too much thought into this?

So make sure to leave a comment and let me know your honest opinon. Please. I beg.

And also, if you're local we would LOVE to see you at the conference on Saturday at Bar-None Cowboy Church. The conference goes from 3-6pm and dinner will be served at the end of the conference. There is no charge, but if you think you're going to come please let me know because we need a headcount for the dinner since it's catered. Our church is very casual and if you want to come in your bluejeans and OU sweatshirt then please feel free. If you want to come in your OSU or Texas sweatshirt ..... that's between you and God. :-)

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Clowns and Gypsies and Country Stars - Oh my!

I spent one evening last week at Mom's looking through old pictures, hoping beyond all hopes I could find the ones of when I dressed up like Dolly Parton. I ended up finding many, many more and thought I'd share. (If you scroll straight to the bottom you are totally going to miss the cuteness, so you might as well take your time.)

First shot of adorrrrrrrrable!!!!
This is 1974, my 2nd Halloween. (I have no idea what my costume was my first one - there were no pictures of it.) Mom made this costume because she has seriously mad sewing skills. The man in the picture is my Poppie. He died when I was three. I have few memories of him and this is the only picture I or Mom have of the two of us together. I like to think I got my love of tattoos from him. Notice his Navy ink. :)


My father, Momma and me. I'm preeeeety sure this is where the redneck began,
I just suppressed it until I got married.

This was probably 1976 or so.
 I was a gypsy. All I remember about this costume was that my
Aunt Shirlye let me borrow her GIGANTIC hoop earrings and I was in awe of them.

 I'm going to guess 1977.....

I never took dance.

Sis was a mummy. I think if you embiggen the picture you can see the spiders attached to her. They were made out of walnut halves and pipe cleaners. Oh and of course, googly eyes.
We were two delicate little flowers, my sister and me.


Sis was WAY into Smurfs. Her bedroom, her clothing, her school bag....
and she couldn't even be a regular witch, she had to be Smurfette Witch. You can see
I put a lot into my costume. I was ya know, getting all cool and stuff.
The dog was in a lot of Halloween pictures, too.


This was my work costume and also what I wore to Paul's work party. I really stuck out like a sore thumb next to slutty nurse, slutty cowgirl, slutty witch, slutty cheerleader and Flava Flav.


....uhm......driving a 1986 Chevy Cavalier? Say wha?

Oh wait. It's just me. With bath towels stuffed in my shirt and wearing enough blush to scare a clown.

What, you don't think I'm serious about the blush?


Tell me there's no resemblance to me and the lead singer of Twisted Sister.

That's what I thought.


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I Am Diva, Hear Me Squeal

While I pride myself on my redneck-edness there is also that "diva" attached to my name and I'll be honest, sometimes I really am a diva. Not often, but yeah, it's there. Mainly when there are bugs. And critters. And other squirmy, wiggly, creepy things.

I had to run errands this morning and I had made my post office stop, library stop and Walmart stop. The only thing left to do was drop a payment off at the utilities department. Our house has rural electric, but I had to drop a payment off at the city and since it was the day the bill was due there was a line at the drive-thru. Since I had Conner in the backseat getting out was not high on the want-to-do list -- so I sat.

It got kind of warm sitting there in the sunshine, but was too chilly for the AC, so I decided to roll down the window. I looked to my left and there was the most gigantic stinkbug I have ever seen, just sitting there on the inside ledge of the window, and trust me, I grew up in the country - I know stinkbugs. It was HUGE. So I hit the button to roll the window down and my plan was to shoo him out the window so he could go home to his stinky little family. Except when I shooed him with the check in my hand.... instead of flying out the window to freedom he flopped onto my leg.

I screamed. Loudly. And I screamed, "OH  MY GOSH! STINKBUG!" Conner said, "Oh my dosh! Stinkbug, Kiki!" But his cute reply barely registered because I was doing something akin to a sitting-down version of the Funky Chicken right there in the seat of my van. I was flapping my legs like there was no tomorrow in an effort to make Stinky McStinkerton get the heck OFF OF ME, but instead? He fell off my leg and INTO MY CROTCH.

Okay, now here is where I COM-PUH-LEET-LY freaked the heck out. The check in my hand was transformed from a check to a bug whacker-away-er, except I was still doing the Funky Chicken and the stinkbug was just hiding his stinky self down where I personally don't want anything stinky. No offense. But I speak the truth, people. I'm sure you feel the same.

So anyway, I am still screaming and OH  MY GOSH-ing and Funky Chicken-ing right there in my seat and I realized later I was holding my breath because I was pretty sure all my flailing and screaming (Do stinkbugs have ears?) was making him go all stinky and stuff. The lady in the drive-thru window could see me and in the midst of my seizure I noticed her leaning over to look at me. It was then I decided I had to get out of my van. Right then.

I jumped out and did a crazy ittle hopping move on the concrete as I dusted my booty with my hands, shook both legs like a cat with tape on his paws and for good measure, dusted off my arms, neck, hair, chest and back to ensure the bug was not on me anywhere. The capris I was wearing have big turned up cuffs so I unfolded the cuffs and batted at them with my hands, still clutching the check in my hand, by the way. Convinced the bug was nowhere lurking on my body, I leaned inside the van to see where he was lurking in there. Conner, seeing me stick my panicky face back in, said, "Kiki? You okay? You see stinkbug?" I said, "No baby, not yet, but he's somewhere in here...I'm sure of it." And I punctuated every syllable with a smack on the seat. I guess I thought I was going to rustle him out or something.

I never found the little fella, so he either escaped during my very public, very graceful, sidewalk dance on city property or he found a safe place to live inside my van. Either way, out of sight was good enough at that point. I got back in the van, rolled the window down - you know, so he could fly if he wanted - and soon it was my turn at the window. The lady only gave me a couple of sideways looks and I tried to really appear normal. I'm sure the vein bulging in my neck and the messed up hair helped.

Now, fast forward to this afternoon just before the kids got home from school. I was walking out to my room to get the cord for my iPod when I felt an itch. On my rear-end. And, because I am a stay-at-home mom I am at liberty to scratch whenever I feel inclined - because 2 year olds don't judge. I reached back to give it a little scratch and felt something. Something hard. ON MY BUTT. As in STUCK TO IT.

Yep, I did the Funky Chicken again. Right there in my bedroom which was much more private than the front sidewalk at City Hall, thankfully. And, because I just knew the stinkbug had somehow found his way into my pants and into my underwear I just reached in to feel. Don't tell me you wouldn't have. I totally know you would have done the same thing.

The first dive into my pants was over the underwear. Yep, what I found was something hard alright. And it was in a square-ish shape. SORT OF LIKE A STINKBUG. I immediately envisioned the stinkbug had latched himself to my hiney and was sucking my will to live. Nevermind that stinkbugs aren't parasites and don't suck blood, much less a person's will to live. So there I was, at a place....a very precarious place. A place where I was going to have to touch the life-sucking stinkbug in order to remove it from my body so I could live to raise my children, maybe go to Disney World again and possibly learn to play the fiddle. But see, even if it's attached to my body, I loathe the thought of touching a bug. But I really want to go to Disney World so I made the decision to dive again - down the underpants.

I found the hard, square-shaped object attached to my booty, pinched, took a deep breath....and pulled. I moved my shaky hand to where I could see it, expecting to see a fanged stinkbug, licking his chops, possibly with little bits of my tushy skin dangling from his jaws. But instead I found one of Kady's fake, stick-on fingernails.

Complete with glitter.

Because I am truly a diva. Right down to my core.

Or my rear.

However you want to look at it.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


It's been a long time since I've broken up with someone. Paul and I will be married 18 years this coming New Year's Day. I didn't even break up with the guy before him - that jerk dumped me. But I recently broke up with a TV show -- Glee.

If you've never watched the show I can give you a rough synopsis: It's about a glee club in a high school. Now, if you were ever a Band Geek, a Choir Nerd or a member of the Chess Club you can probably relate to the characters who join this glee club. They are the misfits, the quirky ones, the ones who don't seem to fit in anywhere else. The first season was all about the kids, the teachers, the combative and eternally unhappy cheerleading coach and the trials and tribulations they experienced. It was full of great music, funny one-liners and ohhhh, the angst.

Even my redneck husband developed a love for the show.

It generated a huge following right off the bat. People all over America, dare I venture the world, loved them some Glee. We all were proud to call ourselves "Gleeks". We all sang songs a capella even if we were really bad at it. A TV show, "The Sing Off" was spawned because of Glee, for cryin' out loud.

I think I can safely say Glee was doing something big and doing something right as far as TV shows go. Right here and now I will admit that there were a few episodes that had a few themes that walked close to the edge, but I censored where I felt I needed to (Oh, how I love my DVR) and we discussed with the kids some of the themes as needed.

But from the very beginning of Season 2 just last month something has been.... off.

Oh Glee, why did you feel like you had to start trying so hard? You had us from the very first "bom bom bom". You captured our hearts with the football player who can't dance worth a lick and looks like he's constipated when he sings. You made us cry when the character Kurt came out. You even made us like the bossy, obnoxious diva who has grand dreams of  Broadway the whole time she pushed and shoved her way to the top of the nerderarchy. (Yes, I just made up a word. Hush.) I bawled when the cheerleader, fallen from the top of the popularity pyramid and straight into stirrups, had her baby -  and I bawled harder when she gave that baby up for adoption. Honestly, Glee, you sang your way into our houses and our hearts .... but now it's time to say good-bye.

The relationship has gotten toxic. It's unhealthy, it's gone beyond fun and entertaining to uncomfortable and well, frankly you made me angry.

You forced the breakup when you blasphemed my God.

I am not an idiot - I know that life is hard for teenagers these days. I know that drug use, alcohol abuse, sexuality, homosexuality and bullying is sometimes a part of daily life for kids in high school today. My own daughter has experienced bullying by a herd of "mean girls". A close friend of mine has a 14 year old family member who is experiementing with the "popular" teenage drugs. And as they have for years, there are babies having babies in high schools all over the world. I rebelled as a teenager. Most kids do. They experiment, they test, they try to see how far they can go without getting caught. Sometimes we do it as adults.

Please know I am not judging. If you know me personally in any way I hope beyond hope that you know I make a very concerted effort to not judge others. I do not have to agree with you, you do not have to agree with me, but I will not judge you. We all make our own decisions, we all make mistakes, we thrive, we fail, we live, we learn. I have made my mistakes and I have asked for forgiveness, made my peace and moved on. I am not judging anyone. I will receive the only judgment that matters when I stand before God, as will you. It is not my place to judge you here on this earth, nor is it your place to judge me.

But I will not stand for a show that blasphemes God the way Glee is. God will not be mocked. The "Grilled Cheesus" episode of Glee was absolutely more than I could handle. I was so convicted during the entire 60 minutes I was sick to my stomach. Yes, I am serious. God is not "Santa Claus for adults", as one of the characters in the episode stated. He is my Creator, my Most High. He has loved me and forgiven me when I felt unloveable and unforgiveable. What kind of a child of His would I be if I watched a show that belittled and made fun of Him? I wouldn't let someone talk bad about my momma. I won't tolerate someone talking bad about my God either. 

We have had a serious spiritual renewal in our household. We are trying as hard as we can to live our lives according to God's will. We are kinder, gentler, more patient, more giving, more loving. We laugh more. We see more. We share more. We pray more. We have eliminated virtually all secular music from our home - not because all secular music is bad, but because we feel more positivity and have a far more uplifted attitude when we are in a near continual state of worship through the music we listen to. It's not for everyone. I won't judge you if you listen to country music. Okay, let me rephrase: I won't judge you for listening to secular music. I don't know how anyone listens to country. (That was a joke. Seriously. I just don't like country music.) As a kid I heard the phrase "Garbage in, garbage out" so many times I can't count and now my husband, my kids and I are trying to live that kind of lifestyle the best way we can. It is spilling over into every aspect of our lives - from the way we dress, to the way we eat, the way we talk, the way we interact with others, the music we listen to and yes, the television programs we watch. And it's not just Glee we have stopped watching. There are others. But Glee went where no one should go. No one.

I think the folks at Fox messed up big with Glee. They had us at the opening of the first season and could've had us for the long haul, but for a lot of people, it's just too much to take now. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord and are choosing to elmininate Glee from the lineup.

You reap what you sow. (Galatians 6:7)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Gone but Not Forgotten and I Might Still Be a Tad Bitter About It

This morning while checking in on my Twitter BFF's I found a link to a post by Crash Test Mommy about the childhood toys her momma sold in a garage sale. And posts like that, steeped in nostalgia with a tinge of "MOM? WHY?" always get me *right here*. And what woman in her late thirties doesn't have a few of those toys she wishes were still sitting around rotting in the attic? None I know personally, so it might really just be me and Crash Test Mommy.

Like all moms, my mother had to weed out the toys from time to time. It was - and is - a task better done on days when the kids are at school, otherwise the day is filled with whines and cries, wailing and gnashing of teeth, as the child vehemently pleads for the life of their toy, all the while exclaiming, "But it's my FAAAAAVorite! I'll play with it EVERY DAY! I promise!" Oh yes, it's ages old.

I bear no ill will towards my mother, whatsoever. I'm pretty sure my girls are going to be very upset someday that I boxed up all the Barbies last year and shipped them off to a friend down my Oklahoma City. Oh well. They can disappoint their children in the same way someday.

So without further ado, the toys I miss the most from my childhood are:

1. The Tree Tots - As the box so boasted they were "Your friends from the magic forest".  Heck yeah! Any family that could make a home as 1970's luxurious as that one certainly had to be magic. they had an ELEVATOR, people! That's pretty high-tech for forest friends.

And weren't they just the fanciest dressin' group you ever saw? Dad in his striped shirt and polka dotted tie....Momma in her apron....*cough cough gender sterotypes cough cough* And what do you want to bet the dog's name was Spot?

2. The Tree Tots Amusement Park -- Because you can't stay in the magic forest forever. You have to come out occasionally and go partake of fried cheese on a stick, ostrich burgers and other carnival food. Now, one might think I'm still a little hung up over the Tree Tots and one might actually be correct, but I just don't think you're grasping the awesomeness of this playset. For one thing, what kid hasn't envisioned themselves living in a tree - especially a tree that's whole top lifts up and exposes your house to the world! I mean, it was probably our introduction to the voyueristic society we live in today. The Tree Tots might possibly have been the gateway toy to reality TV. Just sayin'.

Sis and I LOVED this amusement park because you could reconfigure the thing in as many ways as you could possibly imagine. The possibilites were limitless! One crank ran the whole thing and there was a charmingly annoying bell that dinged while you cranked. I remember the airplane swings being my favorite part because I'd turn that crank as fast as I could and make those planes stand straight out, hopefully giving those tree-dwellers the time of their plastic lives. It was my first lesson in centrifugal force.

3. The Disney Romper Room Mickey Mouse Club FOR WEEBLES!!!!! -- It had lights! and a camera! so you could shout "ACTION!" and pretend that you had creative control over Mickey and the gang while they romped about all Romper-Room-ish. And the bleachers! Just like the real Club members sat on! The club house came with a mat and because of my early compulsive tendencies the house had to sit exactly in the spot it was supposed to. Sis could play with the mat on her stinkin' head or in the next room, but man, for me the house had to be in the right spot for the universe to not be thrown off-kilter. And I really liked the flag pole seat thing - you put a Weeble in, let go and it would shimmy down. Pluto went down it best.

4. A Metal Dollhouse - Now, I have talked to both Mom and Sis this morning and none of us can remember exactly whose dollhouse that was. We all seem to remember it coming at Christmas and it made it's appearance at Nan's house, but who was the recipient we have no idea. Sis and I both remember playing with it and fighting over it, but then, we did that with everything - including air. Regardless, the thing was magical. No, not like Tree Tots magical, but more like metal dollhouse magical. The furniture was very "fancy", four-poster beds, armoirs, claw-foot all seemed so regal. However, the folks who lived in the ol' metal dollhouse pretty much looked like hobos. I think someone shaved a mouse and then Elmer's glued the fur to their plastic heads. The dad's hair looked like the guy's in Dumb and Dumber. (Jeff Daniels, not Jim Carey) Their clothes looked like someone had wrapped scraps of material around various body parts and hot glued it together. I don't think their clothes were actually constructed as like a dress or a suit. They were white trash rednecks living in a victorian house. Don't you know the neighbors were livid? I'm sure the Tree Tots loved them because they were all hippie and stuff, but I'm pretty sure the Weebles and Barbies thought they were better than them.

5. Baby Alive -- How could you not love a doll that poos and pees? Well, I mean when you're six. When you're 37 it just isn't quite the same, but man, when you're six a pooin' and peein' dolly is just the ultimate in mommy-ness. I loved her so much. I loved feeding her, burping her, rocking her, changing her......and then she broke. I don't know if her gears stripped, her bolts broke or maybe I just fed her too dang much, but for whatever reason Baby Alive quit eating. And if she quit eating she would soon be Baby Not-So-Much Alive Anymore. I was devastated. Then one Saturday morning I found my father in the office/utility room sitting at the big desk at the end of the room (the desk where his CB radio sat) (I had a handle - did you?) with the light shining over something he was working intently on. He turned around and held Baby Alive out to me and joy flooded my little six-year-old heart! She wouldn't become Baby Not-So-Much Alive Anymore after all! Granted, she now had a big black button on top of her head - a big black button like you would push if you were in a game show shouting "NO WHAMMIES!". Yes. Seriously. From then on you would plug a spoonful of "peas" in her mouth, then push the button on her head to make her eat. She still pooped like a pro, though, without any mechanical aid whatsoever.

I'm pretty sure that one didn't make it to a garage sale. No one could've loved a doll with a big black button her head as much as I did.

Let me take a moment here to praise my mother, though. Mom did save my Barbies, My Little Ponies and Strawberry Shortcakes. I'm sure she did that because those were the toys Sis and I played with most and she knew held the most memories. HOWEVER, I don't think any of us knew that some day in the far off future those Barbies, colored plastic ponies and fruit-scented dolls would be essentially rendered useless and downright gross because eventually the plastic in those things breaks down or something (probably leaking out carcinogenic slime and toxic residue because we all know the 70's and 80's should've killed every single one of us). My Barbies all have hair that is no longer luxuriously blonde tresses, but instead is one big melty-looking tress. As in singular. It's like someone held Barbie's head over the stovetop and well, melted her hair. The My Little Ponies also have the melty hair and their bodies are slimy. Like someone dipped each one in a vat of vegetable oil. All of my Strawberry Shortcakes appear to be going through chemotherapy - they're all going bald. When Kady gets the box out to play with them occasionally I find her standing over the trashcan shaking gobs of plastic doll hair into it.

Ahh....Memory Lane.....littered with broken plastic doll limbs, egg-shaped characters who wobble, ponies with tattoos on their flanks and hippies who live in a tree. 


Monday, September 27, 2010

Help Wanted

A little over a month ago I came about as close to desperation as I have ever been in my life. For two weeks prior I had been having an irregular heart rhythm that wasn't painful, but just there. I'd be going along fine then instead of the usual "thump thump thump" my heart would go "thump thump THUMPTHUMPTHUMP". It was certainly enough to make me notice. And the longer it went on the more I noticed it and the more I was convinced I was dying. Like, literally dying.

See.....I have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Of course, I didn't know that then. I just thought I was dying.

I know I've joked around on here probably since the birth of the blog about how I alphabetize my canned goods and books and eat my M&M's by color and number, things I've done since childhood, but there's more to OCD than having a neat pantry and a spotless house. (By the way, I do not  have a spotless house. Just in case you were wondering.) The alphabetizing is the "C" of it. The "O" part is the obsessiveness, the inability to stop thinking about something once it's wormed it's way into your mind. It's horrifying. It's paralyzing. It's cruel.

My little sister was diagnosed with OCD several years back when she was having obsessive thoughts that something was going to happen to her kids. She was completely convinced she would lose them, that something bad would happen to them. My cousin laid in bed one night and convinced herself she had bone cancer. Another night she was 100% positive she had a blood clot in her arm. These two women are very close to me and as they told me these stories I was sympathetic and said, "Oh honey, bless your heart," but .... until you have laid in the dark at 3am and planned out your funeral, have started writing letters to your children so they won't forget you when you're gone, have envisioned in your head the Highway Patrolman coming to the door to tell you your husband was in an accident and didn't make it. Or had the recurring thought that because you looked away for 30 seconds and didn't see your kids step onto that bus that morning you have somehow caused the bus to wreck on the way to school ..... you cannot for one second be as sympathetic as you need to be.

I hate going to the doctor and because I use the Native American Tribal Healthcare System for my medical needs it is sometimes a crapshoot getting in to see a doctor unless you have a severed limb or chest pains - and believe me when I say I was considering telling someone, anyone who would listen, that my chest hurt. I  needed to see a doctor and I needed to see one soon.

I managed to be the first one through the door on my second attempt at an appointment. That was totally a God thing - He knew how badly I needed to see someone. The RN who triaged me was concerned at the heart rhythm and got the doctor to order an EKG immediately. It showed nothing abnormal whatsoever. I kind of knew it would. See, I did this same thing roughly 17 years ago - irregular heartrate, elevated blood pressure, crying jags, etc. - and after an EKG and an echocardiogram was told I had a healthy heart, was suffering from panic attacks, was given a prescription for Xanax and sent on my not-so-merry way. Eventually life evened out (ie, we got pregnant) and I was fine. I never even refilled the prescription. So even though I was conviced I was dying, I knew the EKG would be normal. Because I knew what this was - anxiety.

The doctor came in, listened very intently to my ramblings and said, "We got this. This we can handle. You knew when you came in that OCD runs in your family. You are experiencing an undue amount of upheaval in your life right now. You not only have OCD, but also Situational Anxiety which gangs up on your General Anxiety Disorder. Now, here's what we're going to do for you..."

And right then I felt like the weight of the world had been lifted off my shoulders. He didn't think I was a nutjob. He didn't think I was insane. He didn't even think I was weak. His words were, "You're not broken. You just need some help right now." Those were the exact words my sister comforted me with days before - "You just need some help right now."

I struggled for a few minutes with the diagnosis of what is a "mental illness", but I for once didn't dwell on it. I knew I needed help, know I still do and I'm going to be okay. I'm not insane, I have a chemical imbalance in my brain that needs some balancing. In order to be a better wife, mother, person in general, at this point in my life I need help.

My help right now comes firstly from my God who is strengthening me daily. He is the Great Physician and I know He will see me through. My second help is in the form of a daily medication (an SSRI used to treat depression and also OCD) and an additional one for the attacks that creep up on me out of nowhere. I feel so much better. I was worried the medicine would disable my ability to feel anything and I'd be an emotionless zombie, but now I just feel life. I can still cry. I can still laugh - in fact I laugh so much more than I did. I don't walk around with my fists clenched and my jaw locked. My teeth don't hurt from being gritted continually. My blood pressure is lower. My husband is happier. My kids are happier.

I am happier.

Friday, September 10, 2010

She's Nearly Nine

I've been sick the last couple days and have pretty much sequestered myself to the bedroom away from the rest of the family. This is hard for me since I'm usually all up in everyone's grills and stuff, telling them what to do, cooking for them, making them cry over helping them study spelling words and other "momma" type stuff. The first night I laid out in the bed and in my feverish haze would holler instructions and orders interspersed with pleas for ice water and Tylenol.

So since my fever broke this morning and I felt like a human again, albeit a human with a nagging cough and a minorly sore throat still, I came out of hiding and spent the evening with my family. I didn't cook. In fact, I'm pretty sure Abby had potato chips for dinner and Kady had popcorn. I don't have a clue what Sam ate. We watched Valentine's Day first and after it took a break to go play in the yard with the dog. Then we all met up again in the living room and decided to break out a vintage movie I recorded off of The Movie Channel quite awhile back, Mask. You know, the one with a very young Cher and a smoking hot Sam Elliott and Eric Stoltz, about the boy with the rare disease that disfigured his face. Yeah, that one.

Normally, I'm a cry-er, y'all know that, but I'm taking some medication that is well, making me less of a cry-er these days. (Yeah, there's a big ol' blog post a'brewin' about it, trust me.) I'm not sure I like it, but it sure does make watching sappy movies easier on my sinuses and my eyes are far less puffy the next day. Kady is my partner in cry - if I bawl during a movie, she will crawl up in my lap with a box of tissue and we'll sniffle through the final scenes, making all the rest of the family members roll their eyes at us. We are cry-ers. Just like Truvy said in Steel Magnolias, "I have a strict policy - no one cries alone in my presence."

Tonight I did cry, but not my usual sobbing, hic-hic-hic, snot everywhere kind of cry, just a few sniffles and some tears. Kady, however, bawled her little face off. It has been a long week, our schedule has been off because I've been sick and it was after 10. She was absolutely exhausted, which only added to the drama in her crying. She finally calmed down only to say, "And you know what? (hic hic) We watched a stupid STUPID movie today in school!"

Well, of course, I had to ask what on earth kind of movie would merit two stupids in the description and she answered, "It was about that day. (sniff sniff) You know...." Her voice got quieter. " know.....that day." I didn't know what day she was talking about, actually, so I asked her to clarify. "You know, Momma....September 11th. When those towers fell." And the crying began again in earnest.

I patted the couch in front of me and opened my arms. She barreled off the chair she was in and dove into me, sobbing. I smoothed her hair and wiped the tears and said, "I do know that day, actually. I remember it very well. Wanna know why?" She looked up and nodded. "I was sick. I had four -itises!"

"You had four what?" She giggled and sniffed, wiping a tear on my shirt.

"I had otitis." I pointed to her ear. "I had sinusitis." I pointed her her nose. "I had pharyngitis." I tickled her neck. "And I had bronchitis!" and I tickled her chest. When the giggling subsided she said, "Wow. That is a lot of -itises!" I answered, "Yeah. And? I was pregnant with you! So I couldn't take a lot of medicine. I pretty much just laid in the recliner all miserable and let your brother and sister go wild." She laughed.

Pushing her hair behind her ear I said, "And we were watching Blue's Clues when the towers fell." She looked up at me, one tear threatening to spill. "I sat in my chair and rubbed my belly, where you were, and hugged your brother and sister a lot - and I cried a lot, too. And it's okay to cry now, too. Sissy, in the midst of all the bad that happened that day, there was good, too." She looked up at me, cocked one eyebrow up and said, "Huh? There was no good in that video, Momma. None."

I answered, "That one day brought all of us together. There were no rich people, no poor people, no black people, no white people. We were all just people. The people in New York were covered in ash that day and no one could tell what color anyone else was. No one saw anyone else's clothes. People helped other people. People saved other people. Peopled prayed. People died, but....people also lived. We weren't just people that day, we were Americans."

She looked up at me and said, "You mean there weren't Democrats and Republicans?" I laughed and said, "No, Sis. On that day, the Democrats and Republicans got along and it didn't matter who was who." Leave it to her to bring politics into any conversation.

She put her arms around my neck and said, "Momma, I know every year you read us Bravemole* on September 11th, but maybe this year.....maybe we should skip it. I'm not sure you and I need to cry that much tomorrow. You know that one even makes Abby cry."

"Oh honey, this story should make us all cry."

*If you have never read the story of Bravemole you need to find a copy. It is a fabulous way to talk about 9/11 in a way children can understand..........Well, as much as anyone can understand.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Cherishing on Labor Day

I have the day off today. So do the kids. I slept until 9:30, made French toast then retired to my room for what I thought would be a quiet day of blogging, writing and picture organization. See, my husband, in an effort to cheer me up out of the blues that had threatened to overtake me lately, bought me a gorgeous new quilt for the bed, new shams, sheets and pillowcases. My bed has eight pillows on it and it beckons to me constantly. I really do *heart* my bed. I go to it often.

But instead of a day of peace and pillow-filled tranquility, my daughters have decided to be all up in my business. I keep telling myself to cherish these moments because all too soon they'll be gone, grown up and married with annoying children of heir own. Yep, I keep on telling myself that. A lot.

Just a few minutes ago Abby took a kleenex from the box and said, "OooooOOOOoohhh! Do you want to see my magic trick? Dooooooo youuuuuuuu?" Without looking up from the computer I said, " No magic trick. Go away." Then she waved the kleenex in my face and said, "I'm going to perform my magic trick annnnnnywayyyyyyyyy." Then, using her kleenex covered hand, she took my glasses off my face and said, "OooooOOOOoooooh! I made your glasssssssessssss disappeeeeeeeeear! Wherrrrrrre areeeeee theyyyyyyyyy? No one knowwwwwwwwwws!"


Kady just announced, "Hey, Mom. Mom! When I grow up I'm going to be a weather girl."

I said, "Well, then I hope you like math because your Yaya was going to be a meterologist and she had a LOT of math classes in college."

She shrugged her shoulders and said, "Okay then. I'll be a blacksmith."



Oh, I'm cherishing.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Two Truth and One Lie - The Answers!

Yesterday's MckLinky with all the lying and truthing business was pretty fun and I loved reading y'all's comments! So now it's time to fess up. Here's the real deal. No lie.

I have been contacted by two separate production companies and was asked to apply/audition for two separate reality TV shows. I was "too normal" for one and "not redneck enough to eat possum" for the other.

This one is true!

Several years ago I was contacted by a production assistant from ABC and asked to send in pictures, essays and forms because they thought I would be a great character on the reality show "Wife Swap". Turns out, they found me quite boring. And really, I pretty much am. I don't dress up like a princess and LARP, I don't rule my house like a dictator, I don't have freaky routines and beliefs. I'm just me. Boring, normal me. I like me that way.

Two years ago I was emailed by a production assistant from Pink Sneakers Media and asked to interview and send in audition tapes for the show "My Big Redneck Christmas" which airs on CMT. We ended up sending in two tapes, did several phone interviews and made it down to the last two families in the running. The family that won, though, I guess shot light-up deer off their roof, ate a deep-fried possum and really took the term "redneck" to heart. We just exchange tacky gifts and celebrate Festivus. We just shoot possum, but we don't eat them afterwards. It probably worked out for the best.

My claim to fame is that, in college, my sister went on a date with Joe Don Rooney from the country group Rascal Flatts. They went to Jim Bob's Steak and Ribs for dinner and two-stepped in the parking lot after they ate.

This one is true as well!

Joe Don is from Picher, OK, and we actually grew up separately together. Our schools were the same size so between football, Speech and Debate, Band, etc. we occasionally would run into him. I knew him because Joe Don, my cousin Ben and my sister are the same age. When Joe Don and Sis went to NEO together in 1994 they joined the BSU (Baptist Student Union). To raise money the BSU held a date auction. Sis and her friend "bought" Joe Don and his friend, took them out for a steak dinner and, because Jim Bob's always had a line out the door on the weekend, country music was piped outside. The couples two-stepped in the parking lot. Then Joe Don went on to fame and fortune and a Playboy Bunny. Sis went on to have kids. And I tell everyone I know this story.

When I was 19 I was arrested during a traffic stop due to a case of mistaken identity. America's Most Wanted had just aired and the license plate had been put on the air incorrectly - the incorrect number being mine. I was cuffed and put in the back of the Highway Patrolman's car and very nearly taken to jail before it was cleared up and I was let go with apologies.

This one is the lie.

I've never even gotten a traffic ticket. Remember when I said I was boring? I kinda meant it.

But I can tell you about my one brush with the law: When I was a Sophomore a group of us girls "went uptown" to drag Main and beforehand had Cyndi's grownup, married sister buy us wine coolers and cigarettes. Cyndi's car had t-tops and because we wanted to be uber cool we pulled into the Civic Center parking lot to take them out. As we were taking them out, a car full of our friends, also Sophomores, also 16, pulled in beside us and proceeded to drunkenly scream, holler and just generally cause a ruckus while waving their bottles of Mad Dog 20/20 around. Oh and did I mention that the Civic Center and police station share a parking lot?? We were so busted by Officer Dan Dorey who made up dump the wine coolers and break every cigarette we had. How none of us got arrested is beyond me. He didn't even take our names or anything. Retired officer Dan Dorey now substitutes occasionally at my kids' school. I doubt he remembers me.

Thank God.


We....the people

Originally published in The Miami News-Record, July 2020 Everything is different now. I’m not just talking about masks and social distancing...