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)

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...