Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The History of Fashion

Phaedra came out to the country plantation to spend the night with me. We went through one of my closets. She looked at all of my formal dresses. She tried on my hoop skirt. Trying to walk in it and sit down she realizes, "This is not for me. How did women wear this? I'd just wear pants. Why hoops?"

We took a moment for a history lesson of women's undergarments. 

Then we went through a couple of my photo albums from the 1990's. She looked at my awesome fashion choices, mainly overalls and socks. I explained that once overalls were in style and where I lived, the higher the socks the better, especially while out in the woods. She thought for a moment, "My socks are always hidden. If in 1998 you could have seen the fashion of today, would you still wear those ridiculous socks?"

Little does she know, I still own those ridiculously high socks. 

Phaedra, with the "proper face of a fancy lady" in the hoop skirt. 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Such a Lady

Oh my goodness! Did y'all see that woman in the KA fraternity parking lot this morning? She was shot gunning some sorta drink out of an aluminum can!  And then she nonchalantly walked in to work at Wilder Tower. 

Actually, that was me and I have an excellent excuse. Another Coke Zero can exploded in my car. I was forced to take drastic actions and revert back to my former behavior of wild college nights. 

Who am I kidding? I'm still in college. 

But, on the bright side I proved to myself this morning that, if I wanted to, I can still shot gun beverages from aluminum cans. 

I am such a lady. I bet my mom is proud. 

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Tennessee Saturday Night

From the back patio at the cabin we are enjoying the live music coming from across Beech Creek. Upon J2's suggestion we take a walk to the dock in search of a better vantage point. With a cover of Hank Williams Jr's "Family Tradition" traveling across the creek we set out for the dock. 

A red and blue stage light flirts through the trees, but we cannot see any better when we make it to our vantage point. On the dock the music is as clear as if it were playing on satellite radio. While walking backwards J2 is sure footed. He is holding both of my hands to coax and guide me to stand on the floating dock. We get out to the end of the dock and he holds me close as we sway gently with the slip and the music, Garth Brooks' "Friends in Low Places." The still water begins to ripple. There we are, on a humid night in July, standing on the water, within sight of the Tennessee River, holding each other close. He leans down to kiss my forehead and we are slow dancing under the light of the full moon. 

Just another evening in paradise.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Earnestine & Hazel's

For the entire two years we have been dating The Silver Fox has made mention, "J2 never invites me to his gigs." 

"Mom! He's dating me, not you."

"We'll, he asked me to Mexico but I couldn't go so I suggested he take you instead."

I roll my eyes at her. If I let her know she's funny it'll just encourage her more. 

So, a couple of months ago when this next gig was booked J2 immediately invites my parents. The Silver Fox looks at me, "Didja hear that? J2 is taking me to a whore house." 

The venue, Earnestine and Hazel's, is a former brothel. How fitting the AdFed PlugIn gathers all of the Memphis advertisers, once a year, in a den of prostitution. 

Last night I remind my parents that the gig is tomorrow.

This morning, I wake up to this little gem, from The Silver Fox, tucked underneath my bedroom door. 

She's a riot!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Brownie for Breakfast

I keep thinking that it's totally awesome to be an adult. Like this morning, I devoured a brownie for breakfast. 

I was simply ecstatic and smug for inventing a "Brownie for Breakfast" song and dance. I rip open the package and immediately break off a moist piece. Like a Baywatch running scene I bring it to my mouth in slow motion. 

"Come to me you dark, little morsel," I whispered in anticipation of a flavor explosion. 

I'm salivating. I take a bite. 

A mouth full of imitation chocolate covering dirt. That damn diet brownie tricks me every time! 

To heck with being an adult! I demand to be 13 again with the ability to eat anything and everything I want. 

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Fall in Public

I met J2 and a group of his high school friends for dinner at Belmont Grill. I place my camera bag on the back of my chair. I pull the chair out to sit. 

The next thing I know I'm on the floor and the chair is crashing on the floor behind me. One of J2's high school buddies is yanking on my right arm trying to pull me up. I'm dazed, but I keep repeating, "I'm sober. I swear, I'm sober." His friend is still yanking on my arm. I don't understand why my ass is hurting and I'm on the dirty bar floor. 

Even though I've been trying to pull free the friend is still yanking on my arm. I have a herniated disc in my spine, I have to get myself up, I could hurt myself worse, "Let go! I'm sober. I've gotta do it by myself."

My back is killing me and spasming but my ego is still butt-hurt. So, I guess I've recovered. 

Like I always say, there's nothing funnier than a fat girl falling. 

Friday, July 12, 2013

Small Town Arkansas Rest Stop

We are at the small town Arkansas rest stop eating lunch. A young, able-bodied man in a royal blue t-shirt advertising a vo-ag company walks in through the doors wearing work-stained jeans that are worn in all the right places. The sleeves of his t-shirt are cut off to reveal farm-worked, strong arms with deeply tanned skin. He has a trucker's hat haphazardly resting on his head. In a deep Southern draw he tells an older gentleman that is refilling a drink, "The GPS says we are 7 hours and 81 minutes away from our destination." 

Is that the same as 8 hours and 21 minutes away? Shh. Shhh. Shhh. Don't worry with the details Honey. You are better off just standing there looking like a Country song. 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

My Gramma Rose

Today my family lost a mother, a grandmother, a great grandmother, an aunt, and a friend.  She lived a fascinating life, she loved, and she is immensely loved in return. She will be sorely missed.

For the past couple of months as every phone call would wind down she would tell me how much she loves me and would inevitably remind me that she would not be around for much longer. No one wants to be reminded of mortality, I poo-pooed her morbidness to focus on the moment with her. 

On Tuesday evening we were called by my uncle that we should immediately travel in to town.  We arrived yesterday afternoon.  Last night before I left her room I kissed her on her mouth and told her how much I love her. She exhaled, pushing out, "Iloveyou," with all of her strength as a one syllable mutter. My cousin, Kim, was quietly humming, "You are My Sunshine." 

This morning, as my mother was sitting by her bedside, holding her hand, Gramma succumbed peacefully.  

I am sad for my mom.  I am sad for my uncle and his family. I am sad for her best friend, Miss June.  I am sad for myself. I know this sadness will pass. But, I am happy that G is no longer in pain or suffering.

This afternoon, as Mom, Dad, and I were taking a long, quiet lunch and reflecting on G I remembered I took a class a few years ago and wrote a paper about Gramma. 

In the Fall of 2011 I took a class, The History of Childhood in America.  The assignment was to interview a person that is alive prior to World War II and relate it to the readings for class. I chose my Gramma. I called her the evening before the paper was due, of course, and spent hours on the phone with her listening to her stories.  I had her on speaker phone, which I am sure she would not have liked because she had an audience of Pandora and Phaedra wide-eyed listening to every word while I furiously wrote her stories in shorthand. This assignment made me realize that Gramma was much more than just my Gramma, she is a friend.  I began calling her every week and for the past two years I have looked forward to reminiscing her stories and sharing my own with her. Here is the paper in its entirety.

When I think of the Great Depression, it usually consists of a black and white photographic images flashing through my mind, like those of the infamous Migrant Mother by Dorothea Lange.  The Great Depression was an economic slump that lasted between the years of 1929 through approximately 1939, the start of World War II.  Historically, these years consisted of widespread unemployment, little or no food, and housing shortages.  Most people were struggling to survive these hardships.  However, the images painted from the memory of my Gramma, Rosalie Ghelarducci, are anything but grimy children scrounging for their next meal while holding onto the coattails of their waif-like mother simply surviving day-to-day in the shanty town of Hooverville.  Rosalie’s memories paint a time, like any ordinary childhood.  The Great Depression was not a way of life; solidarity of the family was the way of life, the Great Depression was just the name of the era.
Rosalie was born and raised in Carnegie, PA, a small town located just outside of Pittsburgh, PA and named for Andrew Carnegie.  Rosalie is the sixth of seven children, the third of four girls:  Margaret, born in 1913; James (Jim), born in 1915; Raymond (Ray), 1917; Catherine (Kay), 1919; Thomas (Tom), 1921; Rosalie, April 27, 1925; and, Therese (pronounced Theresa), December of 1926.  With her parents, Auto and Rosalia, they all lived in the same house her entire childhood. Rosalie only moved, at the age of 22, after she married my Grandfather in 1947
 Auto was Bohemian.  He regularly spoke German and Polish in the house.  Rosalia was Irish. The white duplex house she grew-up in was directly next door to the neighborhood hardware store.  The house is the second building on the quaint block and diagonally across the street from the neighborhood church. It is nicknamed The Irish School and Church, which is also the private, Catholic school she attended. When looking out her bedroom window she could see the church and school.  Like the children in Nasaw’s Children of the City regulated to living within a few blocks of a large city, Rosalie’s whole life was contained within a few block radius.  
Rosalie’s mother was strict, period. If she wanted something done you did it then, not later.  “You know, your mother is very much like my mother.” (Ghelarducci) If the children did not do something immediately, “we would be on restriction.  At the time we didn’t know it was called ‘grounded’ but that’s what we got. She rules the house. She never said ‘Wait ’til your dad gets home,’ he had said, ‘Take care of it when you see it.’ 
When we were younger, our punishment was to go upstairs and put on our nightgowns, because she knew we wouldn’t dare go near the windows in our nightgowns. That was how our punishment was given.”(Ghelarducci)  Rosalie recalls a story when both her and Therese were sent upstairs for the evening for bickering, to be in their nightgowns. At this time, the two girls were old enough to figure out that they could crawl to the window and sit on their bottoms without their nightgowns being seen.  As they were sneaking views of the outside, it just so happened that Rosalie and Therese’s playmate from across the street was also on nightgown punishment in her own bedroom. The girls began making faces at one another and sticking their tongues out. Rosalia, who was sitting on the front porch thought she was the recipient of the face making. She marched directly across the street to notify the playmate’s mother.  The girl received a punishment, spankings from her own mother.  Rosalie and Therese came running down the narrow stairs of the four-bedroom house, screaming, “She was making faces at us, not you Mum!”  Rosalia cleared up the mistake and apologized. That was the last time Rosalie recalled receiving the nightgown punishment. 
Rosalia found other ways to maintain order in the household.  “When we were older if we were late for curfew you must of had a pretty good excuse or you weren’t allowed out the rest of the week. You had to stay home.” (Ghelarducci)  Rosalia was very strict and stern with the children, Auto backed her up. “They made it to their 49th anniversary but then my father passed away. I had hoped my marriage would have lasted to the 50th anniversary but it didn’t work that way.”(Ghelarducci) 
When asked, “What was your dad like?”  She responded, “Dad was quiet.  He didn’t raise a lot of problems.  He worked.  He played cards at the Saloon.  He would drink while playing cards, come home, drink a cup of coffee and go to bed. He’d go to card parties at the church and win many prizes.  He taught us cards; we all played different games.  He played with us.  I remember him giving me, what they used to call, ‘Dutch Rubs.’  This is when he’d take his newly grown whiskers and rub them all over my face to tickle me. I would giggle out loud, ‘Stop it Daddy, you're hurting me!” (Ghelarducci)
Very similar to excerpts of the 1920’s and The Great Depression read in class, the children of the Spirik household were responsible for contributing to the family.  They had chores.  “We all had our chores. We went grocery shopping; each of us carried our own grocery bags, two of them, one for each hand. If we got anything wrong, Mum made us take it back. She wouldn’t keep it.” (Ghelarducci)
As far as other chores, Rosalie’s mother kept it fair. Everyone took turns doing the dishes.  When the boys became teenagers, they were not responsible for doing dishes any longer.  At this point, the boys were required to work outside of the house doing odd jobs and different things to help support the family. Other chores included from time-to-time ironing and scrubbing the floors. Although, Ray enjoyed the task of scrubbing floors, and kept this job for himself.  Rosalie recalled that Ray would get up at 6am on Saturday morning and block off the stairs so nobody else could come downstairs to walk on the clean floors until they were dry.  He would also wax the floors and then cover them with newspapers to keep them clean until Sunday morning.  She does not remember why it was so important to have clean floors on Sunday morning, it just made sense.  
 The boys were expected to finish high school; however, the older girls upon reaching the age of 15 were removed out of school to get jobs to help the family.  Margaret became a housekeeper, “The rich family she worked for called her the maid, and changed her name to Maize while she was working, I don’t know why, never knew why.”(Ghelarducci)  When Kay was pulled out of school she became a housekeeper too, but she did not like it, and quit to work in a drugstore.  Rosalie was able to graduate from high school because when she was 14 she procured a job at the hardware store, next door to the house.  This way she was able to go home when needed and permitted to finish school.  Therese also graduated from high school; she then worked in an office.  It was speculated that Therese and Rosalie were able to finish high school because both Jim and Tom where in the Army during The War and contributing money to the household.  
 Rosalie is adamant that all of her siblings were treated equally. “Both genders had it the same. Mother never treated us better than the other. She treated as individuals.” Rosalie recalls a time in high school Geometry class when she was not being treated as in individual.  “Sister Marie Dolores called on me to ask a question. I told her, “I don’t know it.” She said ‘You brother Tom would know it.’ I said, ‘I’m not my brother,’ and I sat down and closed my book.  She told me, ‘Go to the office.’ So, I picked up my books and went to the office. When the principal walked in she was surprised because I had never been in trouble and was not a troublemaker; my mother wouldn’t stand for it.  The principal said, ‘What are you doing here?’ I told her what happened and told her, ‘Also, my mother does not compare us at anytime.  She treats us as individuals.’ The principal said, ‘I’ll take care of this at dinner.’  I went to the Irish School, the whole school was taught by the Sisters of Charity. The Sister's were all nuns and they went to a convent to live every night.  They had dinner together. From then on, none of the nuns compared any of the students with our brothers and sisters.” (Ghelarducci) Rosalie still remembers her mother saying, “You are not your brother or sister; you are yourself.” (Ghelarducci)  
One of Rosalie’s playmates, while growing up, was Mildred Singleton.  Mildred lived a yard away.  Really, the families were backdoor neighbors, but their houses were around the corner of the block and on the other side of an empty lot.  “We never dared to walk through the empty lot, but always walked around the block to see each other.” (Ghelarducci)  When Rosalie and Mildred played, it was always outside.  They never knocked on each others front doors to play, it was only if either of the girls were on their front porches that they sought to play together.  Mildred never entered Rosalie’s home and Rosalie never played inside Mildred’s home. This was not considered odd, it just was.  Mildred differed from Rosalie only in that her skin is black, and according to Rosalie, “it wasn’t a big deal to play with colored people.  We called them colored people or Negroes, but mostly colored people.  And, Mildred’s mother and grandmother forbade entrance into white people’s houses.  Mildred had two uncles that were over six feet tall.  They played for the Harlem Globetrotters in the 1930’s.” (Ghelarducci)  At this point, I asked her, “Was Mildred’s family accepted in the neighborhood?”  Rosalie responded, “Oh yes, there was never a problem. They never went visiting though, and they kept to themselves. But, Mum was friends with her grandmother and mother, she knew the whole family.” (Ghelarducci)  When asked if Mildred having uncles play for a nationally renowned Negro basketball team helped to alleviate any possible racial tension Rosalie confidently responded that there was not any racial tension on their block or in the neighborhood that she could recall.  There never had been, “We didn’t really learn anything about race. We were taught to be nice to people and if we wanted to be friends we could; race didn’t matter.
One of the most interesting things I remember about Mildred is her wedding.  Years later, Mum and I were invited to Mildred’s wedding.  She married a fellow named, Carter, I can’t remember his last name.  When I saw Mildred, she was dressed all in white with a white veil. When she turned around, I saw her face.  It was as pale as ours are! She had so much make-up piled on, her skin was white and I said so.  My mother said to, ‘Sush!’ But, Mildred was beautiful. We only stayed for the wedding and not the reception. We were the only white people there. We didn’t feel unwelcome, we just felt out of place. We were asked to stay, but Mum said ‘No.”(Ghelarducci) The reflection of race is exactly as history recalls relations between Blacks and Whites in the Northern United States during the Great Migration and the Great Depression, races mixed socially and it was okay. 
She went to a parochial school with most of the children in her neighborhood.  It was a mixed gender school, with boys and girls.  Attending were mostly Italians, Germans and the Irish.  Rosalie cannot recall any other races attending her school, she had not thought about it.  Religion was there, and they went to church every Sunday, “Made sure of that! Mother didn’t preach or anything, just made sure we were in church.  The teachers were nice, they were nuns, they treated you nice.” (Ghelarducci) In school, they were taught the four R’s:  Reading, Writing, Arithmetic, and Respect.  In high school, she took courses in Shorthand, Biology, English, Religion, and Typing.  In her second year, she took German and Math.  At this point, I asked if she had any sort of McCarthy-like backlash from the community for being German and speaking German; keep in mind she was in high school during World War II.  She chuckled as she explained she had no problem because she always told everyone she was Irish. 
Growing up they did not eat many sweets, “It had to be a special occasion for ice cream, as far as that went.”  She remedies that now by having a bowl of ice cream every night before bed.  She believes that her childhood was a very typical childhood, like most everyone else her age.  “I was in grade school at that time (during the Great Depression) and I never knew we were poor.  Nobody ever groaned or complained about it.  We just pitched in and helped. I was so young at the time.”(Ghelarducci)  When asked, “How did the Depression affect your life?”  She responded, “We couldn’t get everything we wanted.  We’d have to save, which I still do.  I’m a bit, how shall I say this – conservative.  It’s just within the past five years that I feel I can spend a little more.” (Ghelarducci) 
As I sit and listen to my grandmother recalling her childhood during the Great Depression, I cannot help but to erase the sorrowful images of worn people with dirt under their nails, living hard lives, just barely scraping by.  Those images captured by Dorothea Lange are a distant memory.  Instead, I replace those images with recollections of fragile black and white photographs.  I see my Great-Grandmother with her hair twisted in a knot on top of her head, a face reflecting one that closely resembles my own Mother’s, smiling as she is sitting in a metal front porch rocker holding hands with her husband.  I see my Gramma, younger than I am now, beaming in a new suit in her backyard on her wedding day.  I remember a few summers ago, while visiting Carnegie, sitting on the floor by the window of my Gramma’s childhood bedroom, gazing at the stone church caddy-corner across the street and watching the people go to mass, thinking she must have done the same thing.  I imagine her life was much like mine was growing up.  At times, it may have been hard, but the family worked together, and it was not impossible.  Of her childhood Rosalie says, “Some had it better than others, but we didn’t realize it until we got older.  I’ve had a good life.”  (Ghelarducci)

Sweet as Tea on Me

I'm filling my styrofoam cup with a mixture of sweet and unsweetened tea in the nursing home cafeteria. I glance at the room and notice one man is sitting in his wheelchair and moving his feet like he is walking. He is slowly inching himself and the wheelchair towards the table closest to the door. 

I am making small-talk with the cafeteria employee talking about todays lunch menu, school lunch pizza. It smells so good, but all food smells fantastic when in a state of grief. 

The man makes his way to the table. He sits there patiently waiting and watching me. I ask him, "Is the food here any good?"


I repeat myself, "Is the food here any good?"


I'm not a patient person and I get easily frustrated when I have repeat myself more than twice. But, I think, 'Perhaps I'm not speaking loud enough.' 

His hair is long and unkempt. I cannot see if he has hearing aids. I'll repeat myself again, this time a little louder, "Is the food here any good?"

He put his right hand up to his right ear, "HUH?"

I walk closer to him and his table. I naturally think that I should make the international sign for eating. I hold my left hand like a bowl and use my right hand like I'm spooning imaginary food into my open mouth. This time I'm very loud and ennunciate my short words as I ask, "Is the food good?"

A slow grin creeps across the man's face. The twinkle in his eye is gleaming. He says, "I was just kidding with you, I could hear you the whole time. I wanted you to come over to talk to me. The food here is pretty good." Then he winked. 

Sweet Tea is not the only thing that is sweet on the ladies around here. 


10:30pm:  I'm in a motel and I can hear everything, EVERYTHING, from the room sharing our head board wall. It's not sexy-time, yet, but it's more like that scene from Office Space.

Lawrence: [from the next apartment through the wall] "Don't worry, man. I won't tell anyone either."

5am:  Good Times Fun next door still has the tv on full blast.

Oh.my. Gosh! It's a tv evangelist preaching fire and brimstone.

6am: Their EXPLETIVE alarm clock is going off now!

8:30am:  By 6:30am I had fallen back asleep. My Mom and Dad were up and moving around, very quietly getting dressed and ready. They work together in hushed whispers. I guess I'm used to their noises.

The next door neighbor's bed hits the wall like someone pl
opped down on it hard. In a very thick Southern accent he says,"Baa-bee, can I wear one my new shirts today?"

She yells, "I can't hear you."

At that point I had enough. I yelled, "I don't know why you can't hear him, I can hear every damn word he's said all night!!"

Mom and Dad burst out in laughter. Dad turns the tv on in our room to drown out the couple next door as Mom pounds on the wall.

The life of a Conway.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Big Sexy

I'm feeling pretty confident about my head space after receiving so many, "You've lost SO much weight," and "skinny" compliments. That is until I get to work and see the photos I am tagged in from this weekend.  

I went on a diet because a) I need to, and b) to help support J2 in meeting the weight requirement for his high-adventure, wilderness adventure in Philmont with Mav and his Boy Scout troop. 

As a couple we've lost 120lbs! He's lost the majority of the weight, and I'm so proud of him.  In seven months he's dropped two pounds for every one I've lost. Seriously, he's lost exactly twice as much as I have. 

So, I see photos from this weekend and I'm thinking, 'WTF! Who is that dumpy-looking fat chick?' 

I reflect on last week. I was wearing a two-piece bathing suit while working in the yard. I'm sure the neighbors now call me 'Big Sexy.' I probably scared away all of the woodland creatures and terrified the grass from growing back. The Holly Bushes are looking sparse too. 

But the worst part is not the photos. No, not at all!  

The worst part is coming home after work today and my boyfriend, who was 100 lbs heavier than I was seven months ago, is confident that he CAN wear my old, trusty, favorite, pair of Abercrombie boyfriend-style man jeans that will still clearly not button across these child-bearing hips. 

Imagine the next hour of my life as I attempt to jog while having the Grumpy Cat look plastered on my face. 

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Let's Go Krogering

As I was checking out at Kroger the kid cashier, Hunter, kept telling me, "Your eyes are so pretty; they're spectacular."

Of course I smile and thank him, Hunter is a cutie. He waves his manager over, she has to scan the case of beer I'm picking up for J2's band.

I look at Hunter and I ask, "You aren't old enough to scan my beer?"

"Nope, I'm only 17."

I'm stricken with panic. This fetus was a new born when I graduated high school. I exclaim, "You probably weren't born when I graduated high school and you're flirting with me!"

His manager glares at me. She walks away.

He hands me the receipt, with a wink he says, "Come back in 10 months, I'll be 18." 

I told the kid, "You only wanna hollar at me because I'm old enough to buy beer."

He responded, "Nope, my brother is already 21."

My jaw dropped. This child is throwing game.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The Old Blues Man Zeke Johnson

After the Bob Dylan concert I ran into Zeke Johnson. I met Mr. Zeke a couple of months ago while photographing him and Chris "Screaming Eagle" Nanney for www.Radio-Memphis.com. Mr. Zeke is a self-professed, "old blues man" with a CV to prove it. He learned from and played guitar with Furry Lewis.

Lewis is a bonafide, old-time, blues musician who has inspired countless illustrious Rock'n Roll guitarists including Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones. Lewis is a Blues legend and I cannot believe that I am holding court with one of his students!

One by one my group of friends gather around Mr. Zeke, who is sitting on the bench. He does not miss an opportunity to share a life experience. In a soft spoken tone he commands the conversation by regaling a story about Furry Lewis, his wife, and her fabulous double chocolate cake. The group is traveling for a gig in Arkansas. Mrs Johnson packed a basket of food. When asked how the cake tastes Lewis tells Mrs Johnson it is horrible. Mr. Zeke interjects, "The cake is not horrible; it is award winning. I have the recipe and can make it just like she did." Lewis schemes two pieces of chocolate cake from Mrs. Johnson by declaring the cake to be poisonous. When asked why he needs a second piece of cake, especially since it is so bad, Lewis claims he is protecting everyone else who may eat a piece of cake by taking two.

To preserve the moment I asked Mr Zeke if he would allow our picture to be taken. He permitted our photograph to be made.

As I walk Mr. Zeke to the car, driven by Screaming Eagle, he gave me his phone number and house address and said, "Keep in touch." I am in awe of this man. I cannot wait to listen to more of his stories!

*I'm holding my arm funnily across my midsection because I have a pinched nerve in my neck that was caused by the car wreck two weeks ago.

License Renewal

Well, I'm at the age where the State of Tennessee is requiring a new photo of me for continued driving privileges. The decisions I make for this photo are going to be in my wallet for the next five to ten years.Do you hear me? That's a life sentence!!! This is stress and punishment of undeserved proportion!!

I should have hired a make-up artist and a stylist for this!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Bob Dylan Concert

Fifteen years ago my brother and I took a road trip five hours away from home, by ourselves to Pittsburgh, PA. In the middle of the night, an hour away from our destination, my car broke down on the Interstate. We had to be rescued by Chelsea, Angie, and Mitch
EngineerBrother was so angry at me when at the concert I bought the same t-shirt that he did, but we made it to our first Bob Dylan concert together. 

Monday, July 1, 2013

Sergeant C

Congratulations to MarineBrother!

During this his first enlistment he came out of boot camp in Parris Island as a Private to, as of early this morning, earning the rank and being pinned as a Sergeant in the United States Marine Corps.

I am so proud of my brother, Blaise!!! Also, his wife Nicole earns kudos too for keeping it all together stateside. Fantastic teamwork you two!!!