Interview with the Pioneer Woman!!
September 22, 2010

Ree Drummond, no doubt contemplating our time together...

Sometimes I love my job, and then sometimes I really love my job…when I get to meet interesting people from different walks of life, and am allowed to ask them nosy questions that they would normally never stick around for, in the guise of an interview, of course.

 This weekend, I get that opportunity, to interview Ree Drummond, the creator of the Pioneer Woman blog!!  If you’ve never seen her webite and blog, click here..I guarantee you it will blow your mind, and you’ll never waste your time reading my little blog again. Seriously, it’s that good.

She cooks food that looks like this.....

She takes pictures that look like this...

And honestly, I don’t know how she does it all…cook… help run a ranch, homeschool her kids… write a kickass(sorry but it’s true) blog and website….take gorgeous pictures, and seem self-deprecating…. all at the same time.

Oh, and she’s really pretty too and married to the handsome Marlboro Man, the love of her life. I know…it seems that all this perfection would turn you off, but it’s just the opposite. You love her.

Ree's new cookbook...

And she has a new cookbook coming out(it is also drop dead gorgeous, obvie), so Ree is appearing at the Baltimore Book Festival, click here for more info this Sunday, and yours truly will get to introduce her, and then interview her on stage. Is she terribly nervous about this? Doubtful…but I can’t wait to meet the Pioneer Woman in person, and find out just how she does it all….maybe I can learn something about multi-tasking(trust me, I have much to learn). See you Sunday, Ree!

Vandalism? Or team decide....

Oh, and this is the sad sight that awaited me this morning as I entered the newsroom…Chris Dachille, sports producer and unfortunately, a fan of the South Carolina gamecocks, had papered(and ballooned) my desk in the  lamentable red and black colors of the team.

Subliminal tiger envy...poor Chris...

Alas, he himself  wore an orange shirt today….the color of the Auburn Tigers, who will probably devour the Gamecocks this Saturday(tigers eat chickens, don’t they?) Upping the ante C.D.?  Oh and readers…any ideas to get back at him that are 1. easy and 2. cheap. and 3. legal, would be welcome!!

Back from vacation!!
June 28, 2010

Strange bar we went to in NOLA.....

I have a lot to share with you…which I will dutifully do this week…but today is a busy day..hundreds of emails to sort through and eventually trash. And all the stuff that had been under my desk I came to find piled on TOP of my desk….I am surmising a thorough vaccuming was going on, or it’s a not so subtle sign to get rid of this stuff, which I did. I must admit, it does look better.

Let’s see, I hopped around a  bit on this holiday…two days in New Orleans, two days in Biloxi(for a wedding) and a week at my family’s place on  Smith Lake north of Birmingham, with my sisters and their husbands, though my baby sister left a couple of days in for a trip to Africa to see her son who’s on a mission trip there. And it was very interesting seeing a little of what’s going on at the Gulf Coast. I read just this morning, oil has washed up at in Mississippi in Ocean Springs, a darling little town right next door to Biloxi. Not happy news.

Fresh shucked oysters....a NOLA tradition....

But in New Orleans, I didn’t find people obsessed with the situation…sure they talk about it and worry about what it will mean, but life rolls on in the Big Easy…they’ve already seen a lot of suffering after Katrina, and while there were signs in a few restaurants that they weren’t serving Gulf seafood(makes some people nervous I guess)…..we went to an oyster bar in the quarter for some fabulous oysters on the half shell. I asked the bartender where they were getting their oysters these days. He said, “Oh, they’re still from Louisiana, so far…some of the beds are closed, but some are still open. We have to go a little farther sometimes, to Mississippi or Texas, but we can still get  ’em.” I don’t know how long that will last, but I enjoyed them while I could…Gulf oysters are  fabulously salty bivalves.

And the food there….if you’ve been to New Orleans you know of what I speak…it’s just amazing , though I didn’t have dinner in the Quarter, believe it or not. Tomorrow we’ll take a little food trip to NOLA….Ok?  It’s good to be home.

Thanks to all of you….
December 8, 2009

It’s the beginning of a long day here in Alabama….my sister’s living room is strewn with stacks of pictures of my Momma’s life…we’re trying to pick some(or hundreds) for a little presentation. Yesterday we entered the rare and expensive world of picking out caskets.

But I wanted to thank all of you who read my blog yesterday, and the kind comments made me cry(again). My sisters were amazed. “But they don’t even know Mother!”, but they understand that you really can get to know people you’ve never met, in a way. It’s like reading  about a character in a book of whom you grow very fond, and you’re shocked or saddened when they die at the end.  And even more, death is something we all share. None of us will escape its sorrow. So when my Mother dies, you’ve already been there, or know you will be one day. So for all your kind thoughts and words…thank you from the bottom of my heart. As my daughter-in-law, the lovely Jennifer likes to say, I heart you.

I got an A!! The all important boarding pass….
October 22, 2009

I got and A, I got an A!!!

I got and A, I got an A!!!

I’m headed to the heart of Dixie this weekend…that’s right, Buhminham, Alabama honey. I never got down this summer as I thought I would, and I need to spend some time with my little 89 year old Mommy, while I still have her. Bless her heart, she is starting to have trouble talking,. as there is something going on with her vocal cords, so that it’s really difficult to understand what she’s saying over the phone. And if she loses her voice…it’s her last lifeline to the outside world. We’re hoping a specialist can help her.

But when you fly on Southwest Airlines, as I do 100 % of the time when I go to B’ham….as it is the only airlineto go there nonstop. And for those of you who also are Southwestaphiles….you know getting the all important A boarding pass, has become more of a contest than ever. Nowadays, most people are computer literate, and plugged into how the system works…you can go online 24 hours before your flight leaves, and not one second before. Now, it used to be that if you got online within a couple of hours, it was all good….but no longer.

Today I tried to log in, got there a couple of minutes early, (you get a message-sorry you’re too early, idiot) went to get something, came back I swear, two minutes later…and bang. Yes, you’re in the A group, but at the back of the pack with 59. 59!! That means that 58 other people cleverer than I, quicker than I am, maybe smarter than I am will board before me….possibly filling all the overhead compartments with their junk, this creating a problem for my junk

Whatever….I’ll make it. But I always feel sorry for people with truly lousy C boarding passes…then you really have no chance at any overhead space at all. Don’t they know the system? Don’t they care? No computer? Not as competitive as me? Sometimes I want to whisper to them the secret of the A boarding pass, but that would only add to the onslaught when the witching hour comes….24 hours to the second before your flight leaves. Oh, Southwest will take care of it for you….for $10. No thanks….I can do it my self. For free. I’ll say hi to Mommy for you!

It’s that crazy-making time of year….
December 18, 2008

Im sorry about what this picture does to my nose...its not that big.....

I'm sorry about what this picture does to my's not that big.....

It’s starting…I’m beginning to have that tight, achy feeling in my back between my shoulder blades….I never get that until I start getting really stressed. Oh yeah, and there’s kind of a crazy look in my eyes…take today, for instance. I’m off after today through xmas week…which is a great thing, but today I need to write a story for air next week, I have recycling in my car that needs to taken to the recycling place, I’m starting to worry about gifts that have not been delivered(where are they and will they come next week?), today is the WBAL party here at the station, and I need to drop by there at lunchtime…which is good…you can schmooze and get lunch all at the same time….I have a ton of calls I need to make, including one to Cover Girl Cosmetics, to let them know a a story featuring them (about why many of us cannot, cannot resist a new product on the makeup aisle) will air tomorrow at five. Oh, and there’s a newscast to edit, makeup to put on, hair to do, and I’m having company over tomorrow night for dinner….what on earth am I serving…I really need to write out a little food plan, so I don’t miss anything. Except my sanity.

It’s time for deep breathing…deep belly yoga breathing. Or my back might do that funny thing it did last Christmas Eve….I was seriously flat on my back and could not move. My family had to cook dinner(they did a great shrimp and butternut risotto). And looking back on it, I’m pretty sure it was just plain old stress, that I totally put on myself, like Dr. John Sarno talks about.  I’m not gonna do that again….my mantra, which I keep repeating…is “things don’t to be perfect , things will NOT be perfect, and that’s ok”. My boss Michelle just stopped by desk, and told me how she actually bakes pecan pies for about 6 neighbors every year. Every freaking year! And she is freaking out because she doesn’t know when she’s gonna do them this year. Hmmmmm. I sense a theme here.

Maybe it just comes with the territory of the holidays that this pervasive sense of duty and tradition and obligation and perfectionism comes out in all of us. Or some of us, anyway. I just took a deep belly yoga breath. It was good. I’ll take another one later. Oh yeah, and even though I will be off….I will also be blogging through the holidays. I’ll just put it on the to-do list.

Hallelujah, my son is engaged….finally!!!
October 16, 2008

At the risk of being one of those bloggers that I read about in the Baltimore Sun this week in an article by Andrew Ratner about the “blogosphere”, in which he says a certain percentage of bloggers report their personal relationships have suffered with friends and family because of their blogs(because they use them for blog-fodder…),  but I still just have to tell you this! My son and the lovely Jennifer, about whom I’ve written often (too often?) are…yes…engaged. At long last. Like many parents of 20-somethings, you watch their lives from a certain distance(judging, judging, always judging, my daughter would say)…but that’s not true. More like, observing.

And here’s what I have observed. My son has been in a wonderful relationship, with a wonderful girl, for a wonderfully long time. And in his Mother’s opinion, which was never asked by the way, it was time for a ring. No, I never said anything, never even hinted at it…I don’t think. The only time I ever brought it up was a couple of years ago, when he was home sans Jen, I asked very casually, I swear, “So, do you and Jen ever think about getting married ?” He clearly interpreted my casual question(I practiced it, serously), as inquiring into his private life(which I was), where he did not want to go(and we didn’t).

Yeah, enought of that subject. So I just let it go, and thought, what is meant to be, is meant to be. Good Mommy, yes? Yet as the months and years went on of this happy relationship, my family in ‘bama has nagged…yes, nagged me relentlessly about it. “When are they getting engaged?”….”I’d like to go to a wedding while I’m still young enough to dance.” “Do you think it will be this year?”  Leave me alone, leave me alone…..was what I wanted to scream, but just smiled wanly and said, “I really don’t know.”

So, last Friday night, when we got a call from the boy and he announced, “I just asked Jen to marry me…”, there was great happiness all around. Happiness for him, for her(oooh my future daughter-in-law I can say that now!!), for her family, for our family, which will soon be one family. And I can’t wait. And no, I don’t think there will be any big wedding…Jennifer just isn’t into that it seems, and really, with the economy being what it is, it might be too much anyway. A small wedding is such a kindness to the bride and groom’s respective families, don’t you think?

Anyway, I wanted to share the news with you….for those of you who have gone before me, keep me in your thoughts….that I don’t say or do the wrong thing (beyond writing about it), that everything stays on a somewhat even keel, that none of us go off the deep end….wow, any cliches I missed there? But you know what I mean. I just want it to be a happy time. Not a stressful time. None of us need any more of that right now. We need some good news…and I got some!

Four-legged woman….is my cousin!!
September 19, 2008

My Mom called me this week and asked had I read the genealogical newsletter that comes out for the “Four Families” 4 times a year( I know, sounds like we’re in the mafia)….we have just recently discovered this newsletter and I signed up my Mom and sisters to receive it. “No Mom I haven’t read it yet, but I have it”…and in truth I often wait a long time to look through it…usually pretty dry stuff about the past and current relations through my Mom’s side of the family. But this time…this time, I was sooooo mistaken. She exclaimed, “You have to read about the woman with four legs!!”

Josephine Myrtle Corbin and husband James Bicknell

Josephine Myrtle Corbin and husband James Bicknell

I’m sorry…what did you say?”…I can’t believe it. So when I get home I open it up ….and sure enough, there she is…Josephine Myrtle Corbin, larger than life, and with considerably more legs, staring back at me.  An article from The Southern Democrat dated 1928, was a report on her death at the age of 60. It read…”The fact that she was double from the waist down made her one of the wonders of her age. She had four fully developed legs, the inside two legs being shorter than the other two. Otherwise she was perfectly normal.(Please….normal?) She had traveled all over the country and had been viewed  by thousands of people who were amazed at this freak of nature.You reckon??

So what was the deal with this chick? She was one of the rarest forms of conjoined twinning known as dipygus, a variation of parasitic twins, which gave her two complete bodies from the waist down! You heard me. According to the newsletter, she had “two small pelves side by side, and each of her smaller inner legs  was paired with one of her our legs. She could move them but was unable to use them for walking.” I can imagine that would have been difficult….

And here’s the kicker…wait for it…wait for it…. She married a doctor and had FIVE CHILDREN!

It has been said” (and I certainly can’t prove it), that three of her kids were born from one set of organs, and two from the other.”  Baby, baby, baby…I know. I know. I know, OK? The possibilities simply stagger the mind, don’t they? But there it is…How, gentle readers, are we related? In a way so convoluted that I don’t understand it, much less be able to explain it to you in the space we have here, we just are in some distant, “four families “way.  I called my daughter and told her about the ….odd family relative we used to have….her comment? “Eeeeuuuuuwww!” But you know, I kinda look at Josephine…and think… here was was this poor little baby, born as what most people would call a freak, certainly in that time…and yet she managed to live her life to the age of 60, get married and have five children. That’s real resilience, wouldn’t you say? My cousin Josie!! My girl!! I claim you as kin, happily.