Wednesday, March 28, 2012

This DIY Wedding..

Been busy with the May Wedding...
I got this rusty chandelier at a yard sale a few years ago...for FREEMy husband has threatened to throw it away more than once...

A little Ballet Pink Krylon...and it's ready to hang from a tree with a pink ribbon and candles...

My To Do List continues....See you soon!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Wesley Byrd

(I've been trying to make myself sit down and write (rather than waste time on FB and Pinterest) and I am practicing on developing characters- something I don't have to do with a blog. My story is about a fictional town in Missouri called Rebel and the people who live there....

Wesley Byrd's mobile home sat a bit cockeyed. Its north end sagging slightly from an accident with Teddy Boswell's horse trailer. Teddy had misjudged his abilities to back up the fourteen foot rusty monster and chipped the cinder block that balanced the corner of Wesley's 1975 Flamingo double-wide. Luckily there were no horses involved, but only a weeks worth of their manure that Teddy was hauling to his garden spot. Why on earth Teddy stopped by to show Wesley his load of crap was unclear, but with the temps in the 90's and no trees in the entire yard, the stench of equine feces suffocated the countryside for three days.

To aggravate the situation further, Wesley's water bed added extra weight to the already compromised foundation. It was a 1968 model from the local Bed Giant that had seen its share of wild nights and mindless neglect. A few silver stripes of duct tape, a spot of Super Glue and a large plastic mattress pad struggled to keep the stagnant water contained. One more crazy date with Tawny Doggins- and Wesley imagined waking up in a bed of deflated rubber and puddles as big as his ex-wife.

But Wesley smiled to himself. By golly, it would be worth it! Tawny Doggins made a man forget about things. Like: how old his bed was, how he was down to his last two beers, and how there was a chance that Auto Credit of America might repo his old Chevy.

However, at the moment Tawny wasn't there. And furthermore, it was very unlikely that she would be visiting soon. Apparently she had gotten back together with Dick Hill, the owner of the local lawnmower repair shop. The guy only had seven fingers, but he was built like a hillbilly version of Arnold Schwarzenegger- with a tattoo of two dancing ladies on his chest that moved whenever he flexed his hormone-boosted muscles. What Tawny saw in him, Wesley never understood- other than perhaps the fact that the guy had a job, a real house and a good used car.

Wesley sat at the kitchen table alone- the gray Formica still dotted with traces of  pizza sauce and yesterday's pancake syrup.

Although it was barely 10 a.m., Wesley chugged one of his beers, barely taking a breath before sucking the last drop from the aluminum can. He had friends, he thought, surely he did.

Outside his mangy pit bull kicked up clouds of dust and rattled his chain against the barbeque grill, barking incessantly at an armadillo who had made a burrow in the nearby creek bed.  Inside, his balding parakeet, Crackers, made sick-sounding cheeps from her dirty cage- the poop at least a quarter inch thick and growing- on the nasty newspaper floor. His window air conditioner sputtered a moment and the power surged, leaving his microwave flashing zeros. Time seemed to freeze, too- surrounding him in slow motion, magnifying the sounds and sights and smells of his life.

He rose from the table and gathered the empty cans, crushing them in half with the others in the thirty gallon Rubbermaid trash bin, reserved solely for recycling. He was due for a trip to the salvage yard. He had just about enough cans to earn him another case of beer and a pack of cigarettes. was pretty good.

Wesley stood over the toilet regretfully relieving  himself of his last beer when he heard his mother drive up. There was no mistaking the buzz of her Volkswagen bus, a vintage van still plastered with Grateful Dead bumper stickers and sporting a dusty dream catcher from the rear-view mirror. He smelled her fancy woman cigar before he even saw her.

Bertha Byrd was pushing sixty, but she still wore her bright red hair down the length of her back- a rude contrast to her frosty blue eyeshadow and circles of terracotta blush that stained her wrinkled cheeks. She only came to make sure Wesley had milk, bread, and eggs (as if that is all it took to survive), and to share all the latest gossip about Rebel, Hollywood, Nashville- and all points in between.

Wesley met her at the door and waited for her to finish her smoke. She flicked the cigar butt at the dog house and waved hello at Wesley.

"Ain't you got that weed whacker fixed yet?" she asked,"it looks like a jungle out here."

He ignored her and helped her up the rickety steps into the house, trying to avoid listening to her complaints about the yard, the dog, his clothes and the state of the bird cage.

"Guess what?" she said, clapping her hands together in obvious joy, "I think I got you a job! Talked to Gerty at the post office and she said they was hirin' at the new casino. You jus have ta go fill out an application by Wednesday.  I heard they pay real good."

Wesley's heart beat with excitement. A job. A real job? His unemployment benefits were due to expire in a few weeks and the thought of having another bowl of Ramen noodles for supper made his stomach growl.

"What would I do there. Ma?" he asked.

"Oh, they's all sorts of positions still open. Maybe you could bar tend. You like to drink, fer sure," she said, eying the bulging bag of empty beer cans. "Lawd knows ya ain't real good with a broom, but they will need janitors."

"Maintenance men, Ma. That's what they call them at fancy joints like that. And, I could do good at that, I'm sure."

Wesley began to daydream as his mother started in on some honky tonk country singer that showed too much cleavage and dyed her hair way too black.

...He figured with a job he might be able to replace the old water bed, the leaky faucet, the mildewed shower curtain, and pay off his truck. But more than all of that- maybe he could win back Tawny Doggins. Heck, he'd shovel Teddy Boswell's manure for another chance with sweet little Tawny...


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Does Ken Live Up to His Gender?

I've written on several occasions about the deep love that my sister Linda and I had for our Barbie dolls.
Clasped tightly in our pre-teen hands, we walked Barbie down fashion runways made of washcloths, marched her friskily through freshly mowed grass, and ice-skated her on aluminum foil ponds.

Barbie was our go-to toy.

One that preceded the love of our baby dolls, our Slinky, or any dog-eared Tiger Beat magazine full of long-haired idols.

However, we never really warmed up to Barbie's boyfriend, Ken.

Maybe it was a type of mother-love. An innate, raw, sense of duty we possessed that made us want to protect our (doll) children.

Ken just wasn't right for her.
We knew it.
Our friends knew it.
Heck - even Mattel knew it!

But they kept shoving him down our throats- improving him, redressing him, outfitting him with longer hair and a cuter smile. Making him more muscular, more tan, and giving him male friends.

But they could never take the "loser" out of Ken.
They never fully succeeded in  masking the slightly feminine side of him- the metro-sexual tendencies he outwardly flaunted- the hen-pecked shy-guy that Barbie kept wrapped around her little finger like a cheap wimp.

He and Barbie slept together under the bed in a shoe box for years- and never once kissed- unless Linda and I forcibly smacked their plastic lips together in an attempt to role-play a dating situation.

Face it- Barbie didn't really need Ken.
She had a dream house, a Corvette, a yacht, a huge modern wardrobe- (and don't forget -an aluminum foil pond.)
She was gorgeous, thin, curvy and carefree. She was young, tall, (and could do the splits like nobody's business!)

Whereas, Ken was stiff and cold- anatomically challenged, and didn't even own a house or a car. He spent most of his time in Bermuda shorts laying in a corner somewhere waiting for Barbie to win another modeling gig or spot him a twenty till his life coach got out of prison.

I think it's best that these two didn't make any babies together. Although their good looks might have won them points in the procreation effort, their combined IQ was less than the speed limit on Main Street.
(Hey- I said Barbie was a lot of things- but smart wasn't one of them!)

The whole reason for even mentioning this couple is that I found out today is Ken Day. I figured I would at least give him a little blog space, even though he's never been my favorite boy toy.

 However, further research causes me to believe that Mattel may have finally redeemed itself.

Meet the new "Harley" Ken.

I bet he could make some shoe box action.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Shame On You, Hardees!

I'm pretty easy-going.
There's not too many things in this life that get my goat.

(Did I really say "get my goat" ? Sorry.)

However, my goat's been got.

Here's why:
I simply despise the new Hardee's commercial.
You know, the one about the Southwestern Jalapeno Burger...
The one where the blonde eats her Hardee's burger at the drive-in theater.

First off, why is an attractive young lady like that alone at the drive-in?

Obviously, she suffers from social or physical issues that aren't readily visible.

Apparently she has a difficult time securing a date, even though she drives a convertible,wears dresses, and has enough cleavage to smother a small elephant.

Secondly, no girl that looks like that is going to be caught dead chowing down on a half pound of ground beef , cheese, and  a carbo-stuffed bun.
Rather, ideally she would be crunching on some celery stalks, spooning up a yogurt parfait, or nibbling politely on an apple wedge.

Plus, that ridiculous burger was almost as big as her bleached blonde head! I can almost guarantee it's not nearly that size in "real life".

And...(here's where my goat is snatched away)- why on earth does she lie down to eat?
Have you ever in your burger-eating life seen someone recline horizontally while filling their stomach with a giant cow sandwich?

Another thing- I just don't think the girl in the car next to her would be quite so polite to her boyfriend as he gawks unashamedly, drools uncontrollably, and breaks at least one of the Commandments.

Instead of a nice gentle push of his chin toward the movie screen, I'm afraid I would have inserted an elbow into his ribs, stomped his toes till he screamed and resort to at least a  non-abusive slap to both cheeks.

Okay. You're right.
Maybe I'm just jealous.

But, you know, it doesn't help matters much when my husband comments every single time he sees that commercial.

"Boy, I wish I had one of those..." he says longingly.

After flashing him the extra-evil eagle eye, extending my fighting claws, and loosening up my pitching arm, he sheepishly adds, "but without the cheese."

One evening- just to be sure he was truly focused on the sandwich- I reenacted the whole scene from the family room sofa.
Polka-dot dress, push up bra, heels, and a Southwestern Jalapeno burger.

He laughed so hard I thought his Lazy Boy would flip over.

(Plus, I choked on one of the peppers and couldn't breathe for a full minute.)

Shame on you, Hardees!!! Shame, shame, double shame!
I believe you need to rethink your obviously male chauvinistic attitude toward  burger advertisements and your outright sexually suggestive television ads that give young children and stupid men the wrong ideas.

And give me back my goat!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

It's An Oreo Party and I'll Cry If I Want To

I'm a little upset today.

Maybe it's just a case of feeling sorry for myself, hormones gone all Tasmanian Devil on me, or the generic coffee I drank yesterday.

But I can't help it.
I'm angry.

Why didn't anyone tell me that it was Oreo's 100th birthday?
And why the heck wasn't I invited to the party?

I mean, you think Mr. Nabisco himself would have sent me a personal invitation, placed me at the head table, and even asked me to toast the day with a celebratory twist of some double stuff.

But, no.

I wasn't even consulted about this whole affair...

Me- the woman who spent more in her lifetime on Oreos than on manicures, hairstyles and shoes combined- was totally ignored on this cookie milestone!

Me- the lady that hoards the calorie laden treats in places that take a step ladder, a Grabber, or a total remodel of the linen closet to get to!

Me- the gal who was pretty certain she was pregnant with her third child because she ate an entire package of Oreos while watching Dynasty one night!

Me- the person that gave them the benefit of the doubt when they introduced organic, peanut butter, and green tea Oreos!
(Epic fail. I could have told them not to bother.)

Do they not realize that one single cookie may have brought sunshine to my life for an entire day?

Do they not see how addicting, demoralizing and infatuating their cookies are?

Do they not care that I chose Oreos over underarm deodorant when my budget was tight?

Do they not take responsibility for all those jeans in the closet that no longer fit me?

Do they really want to start cheering for the Keebler side?

Can they even afford to lose me as a customer and loyal friend?

I think not.

That's fine.
I'll go on as though this didn't really happen.
It's not the end of the world...

Hey....I just remembered I have a stash of Oreos behind the VCR.
And cold milk.

Mmmmmm...Life is still good.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Margaritas, Mudbugs, and Muffelattas

I'm kind of an old dog.

It's difficult to teach me new tricks, convince me to try new things, and make me believe that the Habanero pepper sauce is just "sorta warm".

I can't help it.
I'm naturally a scaredy cat  chicken  yellow cautious.
I don't just jump into things without thinking about them for awhile.
Like for years.
And years.

But- one of my unwritten private crazy resolutions for 2012 was to loosen up, become adventurous, take a leap of faith...

Obviously I'm not about to start taking up hang gliding, scuba diving or wearing Spandex.
You won't talk me into bungy-jumping, race car driving, or wearing a bikini. 
Because, face it -Some things simply aren't physically or morally possible for me.

Or even possible to consider without causing me to throw up a little.

However, I stepped out of my comfort zone this weekend and have lived to tell about it.

A group of friends and family made reservations at the Broadway Oyster Bar in downtown St. Louis (one block from the Cardinal Stadium). Luckily we got a great front table that gave us perfect seats to hear and see the acoustic guitar player on stage.
Broadway Oyster Bar, St. Louis

This little hodge-podge building had uneven floors, tiny bathrooms, wooden benches and questionable graffiti - but it more than made up for it in character, delicious food and an atmosphere that made you just wanna dance. (After a few margaritas, of course!)

I sat next to my new daughter-in-laws mother, Lori, and she's a hoot.
We always seem to have a good time together.
(And please don't ask either one of us to change up our favorite drink- the Margarita - because that would be like asking us to get a tattoo- which we would never, ever do- and something we actually agreed upon over dinner. )

But, instead of ordering my typical dining choice of chicken strips or fish and chips, I opted for the garlic Cajun shrimp Alfredo, which was a bit spicy, but yummy.
Some dummy crazy person   brave soul in our party ordered a platter of crawdads (or mud bugs) and we all started cracking tails and licking our fingers and ordering another round of drinks.
And there was a large Muffelatta (Cajun club sandwich) for everyone to sample.
I love these.

It's been 25 years since I had a crawdad- and, like I said, I'm an old dog.
I was a bit wary about starting up an almost disgusting and unnecessary food habit. But, I remembered my leap of faith promise.
And the crawdads were actually pretty good.

Next, the waitress brings us a giant plate of ...alligator!
I admit this was pushing my limits. (Especially after watching every new episode of Crocodile Hunters).
But, I thought it was delicious! A little tough in some parts, but it had a good flavor, and I ate it because I wanted to write this blog about it I wanted to explore the unknown world of Cajun cuisine.

A margarita Two Three Four margaritas and three hours later, the laughing bunch of us were finally asked by the nice waitress if we were leaving soon- because there was a mob tribe group of starving people waiting for our table. (oops!- we were oblivious to anyone else in the room)...

Safely home- I thought a lot about baby steps, new territory, awesome new experiences and acts of bravery.
It may have just been crawdads and alligator this time- but who knows?
Tomorrow it might be roller skating and escargot...

And someday soon the whole world will be asking-
"Who let the dogs out?"