Friday, February 29, 2008

This 'n That

Hey girls,

What on earth did y'all leap into today, it being leap year day and all.

Miss Etta, you mention the distinct possibility that Miss Faye
sprouted some wild youthful hairs, and I've gotta' tell you that I
'spect she's still got a few. They may be a different color now, but
I'm quite sure Miss Faye has her fair share of wild hairs to this
very day.

Y'all heard all the whoopla doopla over the latest presidential
candidates' television ads? Hillary is saying she thinks O'Bama will
sleep right through the phone ringing, and O'Bama is saying basically
right back atcha, Hill. Me, I'm saying Look, who do you think you're
kidding? Neither one of them is gonna' actually answer the telephone
anyway. So come on.

I get so tired of politicians and their advertising designers
thinking we're all stupidier than, than, than I don't know what. I
know people usually say "dumber than dirt", but let's face it: dirt's
smarter than politicians consider us to be.

Got big plans for the weekend, girls? Br'er Vul, she lay low this
weekend. Not a whole lot going on. First time in a long time - a girl
could sure get used to it, too, let me tell you.

Whatever y'all do, try to behave, will you? Well, at least try to
behave enough to stay out of jail.

Till next time,
Miz Vul

Monday, February 25, 2008

Tis The Company You Keep, Ya Know?

Sometimes, Miss Faye, I worry about you. Why, it just seems as if
you had some wild hairs that sprouted on a regular basis in your
youth. Who would have thunk it? You? Such an upstanding do good
kind of gal such as yourself.

I didn't much have the opportunity to sprout wild hairs while I was
growing up. Being on the younger side of all the children made it
hard for me to come up with something one of my siblings hadn't
already tried and been found out. And, my daddy was on the town
council, too. He put the word out that no one messed with his baby.
You know, I don't think I could have paid anyone to get me into any
kind of trouble.

The one time I was late getting home was also the last time. I was
so severely punished in that I couldn't go to the homecoming dance or
football game. Kind of made sense to me from that point on not to
disobey.

At least, disobey and get caught. I did disobey one other time that
I recall. You see, I wasn't allowed to just go "riding around."
Riding around on a Friday night around the town square seemed to be
the sport of choice in the little town we lived. My daddy didn't
allow it. Seems he thought I could get myself in trouble if I did
that. Guess a lot of kids did.

Anyway, I did break the rules and went "riding around" one Friday
night. Seemed kinda foolish to drive uptown to the square, park the
car, and chat with everyone you saw all week long. Me? I wanted
adventure. I wanted to go somewhere, be someone.

I also remember the time I answered the front door on a Friday
night. Mama swore it was some gutter rats that had slithered up onto
her porch. I just saw some school friends. I wasn't allowed to go
riding with them, either. The fuddy-duddy folks seemed to think
that I could be measured by the type of company I kept. Guess they
were right.

Guess I did go somewhere. Here. And now, I guess I'm your front
porch friend. And, I'm kinda a do good gal myself. Must be the
company I keep.

Miss Etta

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Lazybones

I can't speak for Miz Vul, but as for myself, I've just been darned lazy. Maybe it's this crazy weather or just my penchant for keeping busier than a being needs to be, but I just haven't made time to enjoy time on the porch lately.

Miss Etta, I'm sorry to have left you sitting out here without good company. For a spell I was able to write something every single day and sometimes twice a day. I must do better. I must do better. I must do better.

Did your teacher ever make you stay after school and write something over and over? I had to do it once and that was enough. I'll have to admit that I cheated a bit. I was supposed to fill up so many sheets of paper with whatever sentence it was. I just wrote larger than usual then spent my detention time keeping everyone else from being able to finish their assignment. I don't even remember what I did to incur the wrath of my teacher.

I couldn't decide whether to be a good girl or a bad one when I was growing up. I could be the worst devil or the best angel depending on my mood or maybe it was the moon.

Miss Etta, I thought that dog story was rather nice myself. I try to find time to touch on a bunch of the Fayette Front Page blogs as some of the them are so interesting. Maybe spending all that time reading is why I'm not able to find enough time to do justice to our Journal!

I am not much of a big fan of animals although I don't dislike them, just don't want to own 'em. I had some run ins with dogs when I was a little girl and it has made me a mite skittish when it comes to having any great warm feelings for dogs in particular. I think they are wonderful creatures and find some of the stories about them inspiring, but I don't know that I'll ever change my mind about owning one. I like them when they're tiny and cute!

I guess I better move away from that subject before I have everyone mad at me!

I wonder what happened to Miz Vul?

Well, I'll try to be more faithful in my writing. I will have to write two or three times a day to make up for lost time!

Miss Faye

Thoughts of Therapy

I must have shamed both of you as neither of you have responded to my
last entry into our journal. I guess you two have been scrubbing
and washing. Some folks find that therapeutic. Some folks just feel
better if their houses pass the white glove test. I feel better if I
have a dog's chin to scratch.

Didcha see the article on the Fayette Front Page about the therapy
dog who was deployed with his unit to Iraq? It was in the All About
Animals Column. I loved it and it just further confirms how much I
like seeing the positive side of life. That dog reminded me of a
couple of my dogs who were pretty good at giving therapy themselves.

On the days when I am feeling blue and under the weather and just
have to lie about all snuggled into my bed, I usually have company.
Git your minds out of the gutter. I mean, while I lie there, I hear
the thundering of the paws as they race down the hall, take a flying
leap, and land their 60 pounds of therapy on the bed, usually on my
feet. I've gotten real good at pulling my feet up whenever I hear
that sound. Saves me from having to explain to the doctor why my
foot is broken. Anyway, my own therapeutic love bug will cuddle up
next to me and keep me warm. My little therapeutic love bug will
fall asleep, and then grumble when I try to move his dead weight
over. He has a tendency to snuggle up so close that I get shoved off
the bed. And trying to get him to move over is a job way too big for
me to handle!

When I was younger, we had another therapeutic dog named Jane. Jane
was a smiler- at least that is what we told all of our guests who saw
her flashing teeth as they came into our yard. Of course, she was
smiling. She wouldn't hurt a flea. Of course, the same can't be
said for Santa.

One evening, Santa came by to see the shut-in who lived next door.
There Santa was, just trying to spread some Christmas cheer in the
neighborhood. Well, Jane had been over next door to get her daily
rations of homemade cornbread. Our neighbor just loved Jane so much
that she invited the dog in every day to have fresh cornbread.

Anyway, here comes Santa into the yard. Here comes Jane. Only this
time she is not smiling. No, she is bearing her teeth, growling,
barking and starting to snap at Santa's knees. Santa quickly called
her by name as he knew her, but to no avail. She was intent on
keeping the man with the red suit out of that yard. That was her job
and she was gonna do it. Nope, no one, and she meant no one, was
gonna take her portion of her beloved fresh cornbread!

She did a great job of keeping Santa out-- until he removed the
beard--- and she recognized him.

Yep, Santa's helper that night was my daddy. Yep, the man who paid
for her food. The man who gave her shelter. The man who never wore a
Santa suit around the outside of our house again.

Hope you gals finish your cleaning soon. I'm getting lonely sitting
here on the front porch all by myself. Guess I'll have to call my
dog to come give me some therapy.

Miss Etta

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Cakes, Choices and Changes

Mornin' my friends. I've been busier than a bee in a field full of
fresh spring flowers. All these daffodils that have sprung up for me
to enjoy and the beginnings of the Red Bud trees and Forsythia have
inspired me. Bustle around and clean like a madwoman. Scrub the
walls, throw out some toys, get rid of clothes that don't fit, dust,
etc. All actions I've taken over the last few days. My fingers are
just plumb worn out with all that cleaning.

I also had some company in town. You know the saying, "If I had
known you were coming, I'd have baked a cake?" Well, I did know, and
I attempted to bake a cake. Twice. I got up early in the morning,
put all the secret ingredients together for my own special recipe and
put the batter in the oven. Over an hour later, I opened the oven to
an enticing smell. End of story for what was good. That cake had
overrun its pan and was all over the oven. I pulled it out and the
pitiful remains fell flatter than a pancake. Tasted good, but I had
to throw the whole thing out. I had to scrub out the oven.

The Mister remarked, "Just make another one." Hmmppphh. Easier said
than done. After wiping away my tears and reviewing everything that
could have possibly gone wrong, I had to trek back up to the store to
buy all the special ingredients again.

Tried again. Failed again. This time, the cake stayed in the pan,
but fell really low. Low enough in the center that I renamed it
"Pele Cake." You remember Pele? She was the goddess of the volcano
who threw fire and lava around? Well, the cake brought memories of
visiting volcanoes in Hawaii. Surely, Pele was the one responsible
for my cake throwing itself out of the pan and spreading around the
oven floor--- yep, just like a volcano.

Mister said, "Make some brownies." Is he nuts? I had spent over 4
hours trying to bake a cake and NOW, he wanted me to make brownies?
Told him we were having Pele Cake. Make brownies indeed. You would
have thought he would have seen the state of my hair, my nerves and
my kitchen and would have retreated. That would have been a wise
choice.

Couldn't throw the cake away this time as my company showed up at the
same time the cake came out of the oven. I just smiled, frosted it,
and threw my pride right out the door.

Didcha hear? There was a reunion this last weekend of 17 Atlanta
area survivors of Iwo Jima. I had just watched a movie on Iwo Jima,
with more of the Japanese point of view. Not the view from the
palace, but rather the view from several of the soldiers. It was
interesting. Of course, I had to read the subtitles as the actors
were speaking in Japanese. What a horrible battle that was for both
countries. I found it interesting to listen to some of the American
survivors as the tears fell down their faces. What dark memories
they have of that time. What horrors they all saw! What nightmares
they must have had! Those brave men-- who fought on both sides--
because they knew it was their duty. May they all rest in peace.

Didcha hear? After surviving ten US Presidents, Cuba is having its
own change by choice? Of course, gotta wonder if the cigar man is
even still alive. Wasn't the last picture of him released like two
years ago? Giving the power over to your younger brother makes it
seem like everything will pretty much continue as is over there.
History will tell.

Gonna go run. Gotta go run off the Pele Cake. My choice--- or
maybe I should just sit here and think about if for a spell.

Miss Etta

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Choices

All this talk about blue jeans and such got me to thinking about how different times are now. Remember when we were younger (and not that much younger) you only had one, maybe two, kinds of jeans to choose from? Everyone fixed up their own to make them different.

Of course, by the time I was a teenager the powers that be in the clothing industry had already figured out they needed to branch out because we were all hungry to "be different" by looking different. Except we still managed to look like everyone else! We all wore bell bottoms or hip huggers or whatever the flavor of the moment might be. All we did was label ourselves as either geeks, nerds, cool or jocks or whatever group we "fit" into.

Keds were about it if you wanted tennis shoes if I remember rightly. When jogging became the rage then pretty quick there started to be more tennis shoes on the racks. Now they come out with new tennis shoe styles every year and they retire the old ones. It always amazes me when I go to buy tennis shoes and I get last years on sale because they're not making them anymore.

I can't seem to get all excited about tennis shoes unless they're on a little child's foot and they light up or roll. That's cute. Grown-up tennis shoes just need to be comfortable and give the right support. I can't see what all the fuss is about.

Have you seen the prices they put on some of those "in" tennis shoes? Especially on kids tennis shoes. Those kids are going to outgrow those things in a month and yet they spend more on one pair than they do on food in some cases. And what about the crimes they commit to steal someone's shoes off their feet?

We sure are a material people anymore, or at least some are. Did you gals study Maslow's hierarchy of needs? I think we've managed to invert his pyramid!

I do have a tendency to just skitter all over the place when I'm writing don't I?

I don't know if having all these choices is really a good thing. How many kinds of water do we really need? How long does it need to take to pick out a stick of butter or margarine? Imagine when we were growing up seeing a whole aisle of nothing but choices of toilet paper (I promise, I'm not getting back on a toilet paper theme again)? What about milk? It comes out of cow and goes into a carton. Why does one brand cost so much more than they other? And laundry soap! My goodness there are more choices and all we're doing is washing clothes.

How many of your choices are the ones your mama made when you were growing up? We always used Tide to wash clothes but now I use that baking soda brand. I used Kleenex forever because that's what my mama used, but now I've switched to those Puff's because they have lotion in them. I don't think I'm real stuck on one brand or another but boy my husband sure is! There's only one kind of mayonaise as far as he's concerned, ditto on toilet paper (oops, wasn't going to mention it again but I did).

Ah well, there are now whole degrees in college on how to get people hooked on products. Do you know that there are people who study how we shop and design stores to entice you to grab things? I don't know whether it's a good thing or not, but it sure does give a lot of people a job to do so I guess I can't grumble about it.

Well, I'm going to go into the kitchen and see what I feel like making for dinner. I have a lot of choices in there, thank goodness!!!

Miss Faye

Monday, February 18, 2008

Right Out of My Closet

Miss Etta, I had a pair of embellished jeans, too. Took the hem out
and unraveled it, then sewed some embroidered braid stuff about 1/2"
above the frayed hems, then embroidered flowers all up and down the
legs. Had a body that looked right good in bell bottoms and hip
huggers. Oh, those were the days.

Y'all remember paisley? Had me a hip-hugger paisley skirt. With
matching belt. And I can still remember my first pantsuit I wore to
high school. When I finally talked the principal into letting girls
wear pants to school, I had to compromise and agree to his
stipulation that we would wear pantSUITS, meaning the pants had to
have a matching top. I had ways of getting around that, though. Like
that figure-hugging one-piece jumpsuit out of pale aquamarine terry
cloth I stitched up for myself. Oh, how I did love that outfit. It
was SO comfortable.

And the dress I wore to my senior prom, I ordered the material
through the mail and used the wrong side as the right side. I always
did LOVE to sew, but could never bring myself to go strictly by the
pattern.

Still can't.

Though I couldn't get my pinkie finger in a single one of those
outfits now, I sure do wish I had them so I could maybe chop 'em up
and make pillows and quilts or something. I can still remember all
those fabrics - one time in Home Ec, I was the only one who brought
blue-and-white-checked fabric for my pattern. Wasn't listening like I
should've been cause I did not hear Miss Whatzhername say NO checks.
When I went up on shaking legs to apologize and promise to have
something more to her liking the next day (she was a tall woman who
wasn't married and had no children which meant she could be right
vicious if the occasion called for it), she laughed and said for me
to go right ahead and use what I brought. Said I was the only one in
the whole class who was capable of using a checked fabric.

And that's quite a compliment, too, given that there were, let's see
- 1, 2, 3 . . . 7 of us in the class. 6.5 really, but that's a story
for another day.

Yes, I can pretty much tell my life stories by what I was wearing and
the pocketbook I was carrying at the time. Funny how a girl can be so
sentimental about clothes and purses and shoes, isn't it?

Miss Etta, your talk of jeans sure did get my memory generator kicked
into high gear.

Till next time,

Miz Vul

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Blue Over the Jeans

Well, gals, good to see you're both well and sassy. Used to be a
saying "fat and sassy", but I know better than to call a sister
"fat." We already can do that to ourselves even if we weigh only 108
pounds. Nope. No one needs to do that for us.

Kinda blue today. Went to put on my jeans. Tried, and well, enough
said.

Got me to thinking about jeans. Remember when we were young? Why I
remember when I got my first pair of blue denim jeans. I was a
teenager. You remember what it was like back then? For school, we
girls all had to wear dresses. So, we all had closets full of
dresses and saddle oxford shoes. We hardly had any pants since there
really wasn't anywhere a proper young lady could wear them. And the
summer was just for shorts and flops.

Not only that, but only the hard working poorer kids wore jeans. In
the rural south, jeans were worn when working on the farm. Jeans
were worn by boys working on the farm. Jeans were not of our
"class." I even had a friend from the famous Tobacco Road area who
once told me that even his family wasn't poor enough to wear jeans
and Tobacco Road was poor.

I also had to fight long and hard just to get a pair of denim
material bell bottoms. Up to that time, we girls had those
dreadfully ugly knit pull up pants with the stirrups in the bottom of
them. Oh, how I hated them. I wanted bell bottoms. I wanted my
pants to swish together as I walked. Well, mama finally bought some
red, white and blue striped denim material and made me a pair of bell
bottoms. They were hardly flared as she cut the bells down, but
bells they were. I was so excited and just so proud. Of course,
schools were still out for that nonsense.

Seems like the establishment didn't like how the youth rebelled
against them to wear jeans. Seems like the old folks didn't like the
kids in their embroidered, painted or psychedelic jeans. All those
hippies with their long hair, wide bell bottoms, flowers in their
hair, and just plain out "letting it all hang out" lifestyle. Wanted
to be a hippie. Couldn't. Not with my parents. Guess I was
satisfied to have those red, white and blue pseudo bell bottoms.

I finally got my first pair of authentic blue jeans when I was a
teenager. I was so proud. I just loved having them a tad bit too
long so I could rough up the bottom of them. I loved looking like
the others. I loved the flowers on them. I loved the purple fringe
purse I had to go with them. My parents hated them. Couldn't wear
them to school as they still weren't allowed. Couldn't wear them out
to dinner. Could only wear them to a friend's house or around our own.

You know, I didn't have more than one pair of blue jeans until I went
to college. The first pair of jeans I bought with my new found
freedom were great. They even stood up by themselves. Made them all
that more convenient when I was too tired to stand up by myself. Oh,
we'd wash our jeans and then have to get in them while they were
wet. Wanted to be sure they fit just right, donchaknow.

Guess what. I only have two pairs of blue jeans now. Perhaps, all
this typing has shrunk me down enough so maybe, just maybe, I can
strain while I pull them up, flop on the bed, suck in the old tummy,
and zip those babies shut. Of course, I may be light headed for the
rest of the day. Where's the maid to help with the corset just so I
can have an 16 inch waist? If only someone would lace me tight-- I
wouldn't have to flop around looking like a dying fish trying to zip
up those jeans. But then, lightheadedness would be guaranteed.

Enjoy collecting those rocks, Miss Vul. I'm off to collect some more
memories on this nice day.

Miss Etta

Friday, February 15, 2008

Trekking Rocks

Well, hey there, girls. Didya miss me? I sure did miss y'all.

So, Miss Faye went on a road trip, eh? A spur-of-the-moment road trip
- I do believe those are the best kind. It is another world down in
parts of south Georgia, isn't it? I declare, as I get down there, I
can just feel myself slowing down. It's a feeling I sure could come
to love. Hope the weather was nice for you, Miss Faye. You went down
to see your kinfolks and didn't bring us back any stories? How did
that happen?

And Miss Etta, so glad you weren't hurt in your deer encounter. Y'all
ever hear that deers travel in two's? I mean, when I see a deer jump
out from the side of the road, I come to a crawl if I can't
completely stop 'cause my daddy told me along time ago that where
there's one deer, there's at least one more. Just one more thing my
daddy told me that proved to be timelessly true.

Listen, girls, I've been thinking about this a lot lately: do y'all
collect anything? I used to collect things, but then years ago I got
onto this simplify-my-life kick, and collections - while I sure did
enjoy the hunt - just really meant, well, frankly, more to dust so I
just quit it. Stopped collecting things.

Things that have to be dusted anyway.

I mean, I still collect memories and stories and words and laughs. I
take a bunch of photos with my cutest little digie camera and I save
the snaps on a small big capacity external hard drive so I can pull
'em up and have a look whenever I am a mind to.

But lately, I've found myself collecting one of my favorite things of
all: rocks. When I was a kid, I had a killer rock collection. My
cousin gave me his collection when he lost interest, and I took all
those cute little rocks and glued them to an old piece of wood
paneling I found out in the barn. I can still see that collection in
my closet off the bathroom. I'd go in there and spend hours looking
at those rocks and looking them up in my World Book Encyclopedias,
reading all about each one of 'em.

This past weekend I walked right down to a creek, and as I got there,
I surprised myself by saying I wanted to start looking for heart-
shaped rocks. And you know what? I found one - at that very moment, I
found one.

Well, almost one, anyway. It's the top of a heart. A heart-in-the-
making I say. Then when I got back to our house, I put that rock on a
tree stump right along the walkway where I can reach out and pat it
each time I pass by.

It just made me happy, and I couldn't wait to get back to the land of
internet and share it with my two julep juice girlfriends.

When I was a little girl, we'd load up early one Sunday morning in
the fall and drive up to the mountains to see the beautiful leaves.
At lunchtime, we'd pull off to a roadside picnic area and enjoy the
lunch mom had packed for us. Then for dessert, we'd go walking on
rocks in the creek.

And every time - every single time - I'd fall in.

Well, girls, last weekend, I broke that tradition: I fell BEFORE I
got to the creek. I am just NOT a good nature walker. I'm not. I'm
okay, though. Didn't break anything, thank goodness, cause I do not
look good in a cast.

Oh, how I've missed y'all.

Miz Vul

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Well, dears...

I seem to keep apologizing for not writing and keeping up with all that's happening on our journal. However, I do see that our newest Southern Julep seems to be fallin' down on the job her self, so I am in good company.

I have subscribed to our Journal so I can get your entries right in my inbox. It saves me from having to pop over here and see if either of you ladies have written anything.

I have been on the go once again. It is so nice to have the ability to take off and do things whenever I want thanks to a wonderful husband. Of course, chances are he enjoys it when I am gone just as much as I enjoy it when he is gone. Now don't get me wrong, I love my husband and I love being with him, but I also enjoy "my" time when I can do whatever I want whenever I want.

It's nice to get up and blast the stereo playing some blues or rock n' roll. No television, pizza for breakfast and ice cream for dinner. A glass of wine and a bubble bath with a good book. Curled up in "his" chair with a good book and a cup of hot chocolate. It's like a little mini-vacation when he takes off.

There are not too many things I do differently when he's off on one of his short trips, but somehow it just seems different. When you're married life is different no matter how well you get along and how much you love each other. There is someone else you think about when you're making a decision. When it's time for dinner you're thinking about what the other person might want or whether they're hungry. There are accommodations.

They say that people who are married live longer. I wonder why that is? There are so many unhappy marriages it seems, at least that's the way it's portrayed on the news. They also say that people who have horrible diseases, like cancer, have a higher chance of survival if they interact with people (like going to support groups and things like that). I wonder if that has more to do with the personality of the person than it does the fact that they're around others? I mean, if they have the kind of personality that likes to be around others or seeks out others for support maybe they have a stronger internal ability to fight something. Those who are introspective or choose to fight alone may be dourer, more negative in their outlook.

Even as I'm writing about all these other things I am thinking about Miss Etta's deer. What a picture you painted of your drive!

I couldn't help but think of all the things that I didn't tell my mother until I was older! There are still some things I have not told and probably never will.

Well, I've rambled and rambled and not really said much of anything I think, but I did want to at least say hello and let you all know I have been thinking about you. Maybe one of these days I will break down and get one of those lap top computers everyone seems to have these days.

I promise to try and do better with my writing and I will try to stay home for a while so I have no excuses!

Miss Faye

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Oh Dear, Deer and Driving

There I was, on my way to run some fun errands with my radio blaring
and just howling along with the radio, when I suddenly stopped
singing. I saw a deer that had recently been struck. The poor thing
was suffering but unable to move. Those big eyes just held mine for
a moment and I wished there was something I could do. I guess all
the recent development in the area is forcing the deer out of their
homes and onto the roads.

That poor creature who should be having the time of its life, running
around, eating and doing whatever else deer do. Cut short. (Sigh)

Reminds me of my younger days. Out in the country while I was busy
growing up, there were always farmers busy working in their fields.
Many of their young sons, and I mean ages of 12 and 13, were
helping. I used to pass by the cotton or corn fields and see my
friends driving those big combines and plows. I wonder if there is
an age requirement now for that. Back then, it appeared that being
old enough to drive meant being able to reach the pedals. I can't
tell you how many boys I knew also were allowed to drive the trucks
around the countryside, without benefit of a driver's license.

Not only did those young boys drive around, they also all went deer
hunting. They used to ask if I wanted to go with them. Daddy always
asked what type of deer (or dear) hunting they were after. No
matter. I didn't go because I just love Bambi way too much.

I also can't tell you the name of the boy who perished when he and a
deer had a collision. Oh, it was just awful. The boy swerved to
miss the deer that had jumped in front of him. The deer hit the
windshield and came through. The boy was pawed to death. Oh, it was
just horrible.

Deer were always jumping out in front of cars out there. There
certainly wasn't a problem with extinction out in the woods.

My mama had a steadfast rule. Well, she had many, but we'll only
chat about one of them. She absolutely put her foot down at any of
us driving before we were of a legal age to do so. And, there was no
budging mama when her mind was set. No sirreeeeeeee.

Poor daddy had to listen to us all complain bitterly that we couldn't
do what our friends did. Wait a minute-- time just doesn't change,
does it? Anyway, one day, when I was 14 and able to reach the pedals
and see over the steering wheel, daddy relented and let me behind the
wheel. Now to be fair, it was a deserted, empty road that didn't
have a 100 cars a day on it. I think it was more for the tractors to
get from field to field. Well, daddy spoiled me rotten and let me
drive.

I started off pretty well. I went slow. I felt so grown up. I had
arrived.

Well, not only did my confidence soar, so did the really big brown
animal. Yes, it was at that precise moment a deer decided to go to
the other side of the road. If only he could have waited for 3
seconds. Maybe even just 2 seconds. He didn't.

He bounded out in front of the car. I screamed. I put my hands over
my eyes. I tried to go into the fetal position.

Lucky for me, daddy grabbed the steering wheel, got my attention and
stopped the car. No damage done to the car.

Now, we couldn't tell mama. We couldn't tell anyone. If mama had
found out, there would have been big prices to pay for both daddy and
me. So we changed the story to where he was the one behind the wheel
when we got the big scare.

Daddy did compliment me on taking my foot off the gas. He suggested
that I should reconsider taking my hands off the wheel.

You know, I finally did tell mama the story. I just couldn't keep it
in any longer. Of course daddy had been long passed over by that
time, and I was grown and married. I figured that maybe enough time
had gone by to where she would be willing to forgive both daddy and
me. I was right.

So, enjoy the day, ladies. I'm off to find my adventures for the
day. And to see if I can find a little something for the "dear" in
my life.

Miss Etta

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Relatives and the Deep South

Well, I have been off visiting my dearest relatives and neglected to tell my two favorite ladies that I was leaving. I took off on a whim with an invitation to see one of my south Georgia cousins.

We always have so much fun! Living in Fayette County we are a bit more cosmopolitan than in some of the more rural areas, although not so much as we'd like to think sometimes. With the advent of television, the computer, the Internet, cell phones, cable, and all kinds of other things that connect us all there's not much of a difference from one area to the next anymore.

Which reminds me! Aren't you so tired of seeing the same old stores and restaurants no matter where you go? It is so difficult for locally owned restaurants and mom-and-pop stores to make it these days. You can't turn a corner without seeing a Rite Aid, a CVS, a Starbucks, a Wal-Mart, a McDonalds, a Ruby Tuesdays, a Macys and the list goes one and on.

I'm happy these stores are doing so well and lord knows they wouldn't be if we didn't shop and eat in them. And I surely know they are usually owned by local folks and our local folks work in them. But goodness I love the spice of a new store or a restaurant with a chef who doesn't cook by the book.

I use Jones Pharmacy in Fayetteville for my prescriptions. They are so wonderful in there - and so, so busy! It's a locally owned drug store and they treat you just like you were their best friend. Ralph Balchin (who owns the pharmacy) will even come in on his day off to get your medicine if the store is closed. Since we have insurance and have a co-pay there isn't any difference for us whether we go to one of the chains or a local place. I'm not sure if it would really matter even without insurance though. Thank goodness we have such good insurance!

Let's see, there are some other locally owned unique places I like to visit. One is my favorite reastaurant, The Village Cafe. I won't talk about it today though because I know I've mentioned it before. Is that Sundried Tomato a chain? I don't think so, I think it's another local place. I know it's good!

I had every intention to talk about my relatives a bit more but I have to run. It's Sunday morning and you know where all good Southern girls go on this day of worship. Unfortunately, I'm not always a good Southern girl on Sundays, but today I need to repent a bit so I am going to take my butt to church and talk a bit with God.

See you ladies in the journal later! Maybe I'll have a moment to write later and share some about my relatives and, yes, I'll share why I need to do a bit of communing with God, too.

Miss Faye

Friday, February 8, 2008

Sweet, Sweet Savannah

Did you see the fire in Savannah? How horrendous for those poor
families. My prayers go out to the victims and their families. It
is good to know that there is a really good burn center available in
the state, and it's only a short flight up to Augusta for that. Of
course, the victims have a long road to recovery in front of them.

I watched the story closely this morning as I was sipping my morning
juice. Savannah, a sweet city if ever there was.

I love Savannah. All those squares that General Oglethorpe laid out
when he plotted the town back in February 1733. Actually, Savannah's
anniversary of its founding is February 12th. Happy Birthday
Savannah! The squares and all the monuments force us to slow down
when we drive through the city. Of course, if you get lost down
there, you might not make it out-- it's kinda like one huge maze! I
know I've spent many an hour just driving around those squares in my
life.

Savannah is also home to one of my favorite restaurants, The Pirate's
House, which is one block off the river and has been there since 1753
when those dashing pirates of old would come sailing in to the port.
Dashing? Of course all the romance novels we read as young teenagers
portrayed them that way. Why, who didn't want to be ravished by a
pirate? Who didn't fall in love with one of those cutlass bearing
men wearing those white shirts opened down to their belly with those
flashing white teeth? Oh, wait, that isn't quite the reality of
them, is it?

Oh well, young girls and their dreams. Although I will tell you gals
a secret. My hubby, just as we first started dating, told me he
would kidnap me, take me out on his boat, and keep me there until I
fell in love with his dashing, pirate looks. Why, he didn't even
have to kidnap me. I ran as fast as I could to that boat and his
charms!

I do enjoy the food at the Pirates House. On the day after I
graduated college, the folks took us all there for brunch. Of
course, all I really needed that day was some of the "Hair of the
dog" that I had had the previous night. You see, after graduation,
sister and I took off with a gift from daddy as we hit all the
graduation parties. Getting up the next morning and driving to
Savannah was not a pleasant thought. The food was good, but I do
declare, the Bloody Marys were even better!

I try to go to the Pirates House whenever I make it to Savannah. If
only to smile at the memories of my folks and my youth. I haven't
been to Savannah in a number of years now. I must go and dreamily
walk around those squares with all the Live Oak trees and their
Spanish Moss hanging down.

But I gotta remember to take the SSS-- the special weapon we used
to combat all those "no see'ums." We live too far north to
experience those lovely creatures of nature. You can always tell a
newcomer down on the coast. They try to swat at the nigh-invisible
creatures. We folks who have been there awhile know better. We just
puff at 'em out the corners of our mouths.

You gals have a nice weekend. I think I'm gonna go read a good
pirate novel now.

Miss Etta

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Not Guilty, But Close

Good Lord, Miss Faye, I sure do hope you aren't talking about one of
my relatives. Since he "went on to the next life", as you say, I have
heard some tales - let me tell you - and some of 'em sound strikingly
similar to the one you told about the condition of rental house and
its tenants, I'm sorry to say.

But wait a minute: you said he was "stinking rich" and of "old
money", so there's no way that coulda' been one of MY relatives.
(Consider that written with a big sigh of relief.)

Being a member of such a large family, there's bound to be some
goings-on ranging from just-plain-ole-fun shenanigans to out-and-out
lock-up behavior. And I'm just now learning to listen to tales of
things my relatives do and ancestors did without feeling a sense of
angst. Always did worry me 'cause Daddy preached guiltybyassociation,
sometimes calling it birdsofafeather. He believed in it, he did.

But wait a minute again.

Now that I think about it, seems like he believed in that the
strongest when I was a teenager (just a few years ago) and he didn't
exactly approve of some of my friends. Truth be known, I didn't
exactly approve of some of them either, so it was alright with me
that my daddy wouldn't let me run around with them.

Except for that one big ole' concert down at what is now the Atlanta
Motor Speedway. A bunch of us was going to the concert (Somehow. None
of us drove that i recall.), and my daddy wasn't having any part of
that. He drove me down to the racetrack dark early that morning to
show me what I was about to get myself into.

To this day I don't know what sort of impression he intended to make
'cause at that hour of the Saturday morning, there was absolutely
nothing going on there. But I stayed home anyway, and you know what:
it didn't kill me. I probably would've had a horrible time if I'd
gone 'cause I'm not too much on crowds and that is one big ole' place.

Maybe that was Daddy's point.

I wish he'd've just said something. We could've saved the gas.

But then we wouldn't've had that talk time in the car, and that's
when I have some of the best conversations.

Anyway, I gotta' go to walk now. Am trying to lose weight so I don't
have to wash clothes so often. Bigger sizes fill up the washing
machine quicker, don't you know.

Till next time,

Miz Vul

More bags and the Political Looking Glass

I just can't seem to stop thinking about bags this morning. What
will the airline charge for those extra bags under my eyes when I
haven't gotten a good night's sleep?

I just got a phone call from a friend who asked if I had gone to
place my vote this morning. Since I'm still sitting on the fence
about my candidate of choice, I listened to what they had to say.
There's a website called http://glassbooth.org.

It's pretty
interesting. At this site, you are given 20 points to spread around
at the topics that make your blood boil or rally for the American Way
of Life. After you spread your points around, you are then asked
questions about those hot topics that you've identified. All of the
questions are of a sliding scale sort. When completed, it tells you
the three top candidates whose stated views align most closely with
yours.

Fascinating. I broke down and took the test. Amazing! It told me
who my top three candidates were. Amazing! It gave me the point
spread on them. Amazing! Who I thought was my number 2 is actually
my number 1 by 3%.

Of course, this was fun, but I suspect I'll still use my gut feeling
when I go to punch the old voting box.

And, yes, Miss Vul, I was ablaze in all my red in support of bringing
heart health awareness to women. We've got enough heart troubles to
worry about when we have to mend all ours and our youngins, too!

Enjoy your day!

Miss Etta

Excess Baggage Fees

Have you heard the latest knee slapping event? Did you hear that one
of the major airlines is gonna start charging for excess baggage?
Now that brings up a whole lot more to my feeble brain.

I believe their current definition of excess baggage is more than
one. So, what does that really mean?

Are we ladies who have to travel with our bag of beauty secrets as
well as one for our clothes and shoes have to make a choice? Do we
look good or do we wear our clothes that we just bought special for
the trip? Could be a tough choice. What about the poor men who have
big feet and require a bag for their shoes? You gotta pay more to
change your outfits?

And then, there's the folks who have all sorts of excess baggage in
their brains. Will there be a brain scan to determine if you've
never let go of the time that sister stole your boyfriend back in
10th grade? Or the time that you got a speeding ticket for trying to
get to school on time?

What's next? Special charges for the wrong color of suitcase? Will
you have to have airline approved colors for the suitcase?

Of course, the next logical question is will the candidates be
allowed on airplanes? Don't they all have loads of excess baggage?

Speaking of candidates, I'm on my way out to vote on this Super
Tuesday. Still don't know who I'm gonna vote for. Maybe it will be
the candidate who has the least baggage?

See you later.

Miss Etta

Monday, February 4, 2008

Finally off the toilet...

Ladies, I'm sorry I brought up talk of toilets and toilet paper! Or did I? I probably was the culprit as it seems the older I get the closer I want to stay to that invention that has saved many lives.

I have heard tales of how much "fun" it was to get from the house to the outhouse from many of my older relatives. I know that here in Fayette County as near as ten to 15 years ago there was at least one family still living without the benefit of indoor plumbing. A kindly family took it upon themselves to whiplash the owner of the property and force them to put an indoor toilet into the rental. They also added electricity. And they bricked the walls if I remember correctly.

Can you imagine living in this day and time without electricity? Names will not be named as I believe the owner has gone on to the next life. I hope he is perpetually having to use the bathroom but unable to reach an outhouse. Appropriate punishment don't you think?

This fella was rich, what we used to call stinking rich, and he was old money. He owned a lot of land and the family who rented for him also worked for him. Being dependent on his largess meant never having the ability to report the SOB.

I was so glad when my friends told me they had gone to bat on this issue. They ended up spending their last days in a house that didn't have holes where the wind could whip through the wood planks!

Changing the subject, I did not get around to voting early last week so I will be needing to vote tomorrow. I understand that a lot of new people have been registering to vote here in Georgia. I also have heard that the early voting was done primarilty by Democrats, even here in Fayette County.

The future is always interesting, but I do believe the future is going to be even more interesting than I had imagined.

I am so sorry to have been so long in writing. I have been involved with other matters and have neglected one of the highlights of my day, which is chatting with my two journal friends.

Miss Faye

Friday, February 1, 2008

Shades of Red

Well, girls, I sure can understand how we got from talking about
politics to talking about toilet paper! That's a logical progression
if ever there was one.

Miss Etta, I never did have one of those cozys (or would that be
cozies) - not as a child, not as an adult, but I know what you're
talking about. I've seen them. Talking about toilet paper, I sure do
hate buying it. Do y'all? It just drives me crazy. So tedious doing
all that math, dividing the number of rolls in the package into the
price of the package to figure out which is the best buy. Then how to
factor in things like ply and length on a roll. Yes ma'am, I sure can
cause a backup in the toilet paper aisle.

Speaking of politics . . . did y'all see O'Bama trying to pull the
chair out for Hillary at the end of last night's debate? Wasn't that
a hoot? I can just imagine what that woman was thinking, and it
involves a lot of symbols like ### and *** and @@@. First she wants
to be treated like one of the guys. Then she whines cause they're
being mean to her cause she's a girl. But I'll just betcha she did
NOT appreciate O'Bama's gentlemanly ways.

And I have to admit that I'm kinda' a pick-and-choose girl myself.
There are times I want to be treated "like a lady", and there are
other times when it makes me madder than a wet hen. Sometimes it
feels like respect, sometimes it feels like condescension. I think
that's the thing. My husband is one of The Most Supportive People
Around, but I tell you what: when he grabs my elbow to "help" me
walk, oh boy look out. Now he knows I have what we could legitimately
call "bad eyes" - not much in the depth perception department (which
makes stairs hazardous) and not much in the nighttime vision
department (which makes driving at night rather hazardous for me and
everybody else who happens to be out). He and my monkeykids are bad
to tell me to "Step up" or "Step down" when there's not a stair in
sight - and that's okay 'cause it's all done in fun (and it hasn't
killed me yet). But let him grab my elbow and I feel like I'm some
old woman being helped across the street by a boy scout. Ugh.

I've got a Yankee nephew-in-law who's quit his job to stump for
O'Bama in South Carolina and Virginia. He's absolutely adorable, but
don't you KNOW the people in those fine Southern states just LOVE
being told how they ought to vote by somebody from up north???? I
bete they can't even understand what he's saying. I know I can't
understand him half the time, youse guys.

We go vote soon, don't we? I gotta' hurry up and decide who I'm
gonna' punch.

In the ballot booth, I mean.

Y'all wearing your red today? It's an effort to bring awareness to
heart problems in women. (Heart problems of the physiological kind,
of course, not the stand-by-your-man-even-if-your-heart-is-breaking-
slap-in-two variety.) Women are bad to keep going - regardless of the
pain and discomfort - and sometimes that perseverance could kill. Not
good. Not good at all.

Time for a little julep juice.

I'll talk at y'all later.

Miz Vul

Mint Julep Journal