Archive for September, 2006

Sista’s Scrapbook

Some pictures from awards night. Producer J gives a fantastic rundown of things behind the scenes so go read that. I can’t believe I didn’t get a picture of J that night. Way to go, Sista. I also failed to photograph my Bluegrass Blog friends.

Two Grascal Princesses: The pretty little one belongs to Jimmy Mattingly and the one in the pretty, blue dress belongs to us.

Two Hazels….Hazel Smith and the legendary Hazel Dickens. I was pretty awed to meet her.

The Cleavers aka The Smiffs. Mr. Smiff looks like he’s passing gas here… And he looks as though he’s aiming it at me. I wish my pretty skirt was showing here. It was a shiny, dark green and had this black, lacy stuff over it. My feet were already hurting here.

Peter Cooper is perhaps the hottest journalist in town. He writes well, but, he’s also easy on the old eyes. I love to say his name like I’m British…Petah Coopah. Here, he’s getting a quote from Ricky Skaggs.

Vince looks great, but, y’all…I don’t know if he’s taking medication, drinking or what…I hope there’s not trouble in paradise. He’s never had a reputation for being a drinker or drug user, but, his behavior of late makes you wonder. I hope everything’s ok there. Oh…the cutie with him is the wonderful Steve Wariner. What a nice feller.

The most wonderful Kyle Cantrell interviews Mr. Smiff after the big win. “I owe it all to my wife” he was heard to say. Not really.

So, anybody who says Mr. Smiff doesn’t smile, take a peek at this. True, he rarely smiles big, toothy, Guy Smiley smiles, but, I love it when he does. This was right after they won.

I’ll put the rest on my Flickr and watch the Grascals website for more photos.

The Morning After

I was really hoping I could convince Mr. Smiff to carry out some trash for me this morning, but, I don’t know that that’s gonna happen. Mr. Smiff is not a haughty type of guy, but, I can’t seem to scrape him off the ceiling this morning. I guess winning Entertainer of the Year will do that to a guy.

Some important things I forgot to do before commencing to the Opry House: I forgot to get a black bra and forgot to shave my legs. I forgot to put mascara on and we had to stop at Walgreens on the way to get some. That’s so typical of me. I got a makeup smudge on my skirt before we left and on my black top. I can never go anywhere with everything intact, the way it’s supposed to be.

The whole Hee Haw Gang of Smiffs had a great evening last night. We were joined by Hazel and our nephew, Adam. I am so glad our kids were able to be there and experience the whole thing. It was such a long night for them and I know at times they were bored, but, they all agreed that the longness of it all was worth it.

I was pretty bummed that the Bluegrass Blog was having server problems, but, that’s live entertainment for you. Thank you to all those who attempted to follow along. I’m going to try to recap the night over there during the day today.

In spite of the snafus, I thoroughly enjoyed getting to meet and hang with the guys behind the Bluegrass Blog, John and Brance. Super guys who are so passionate about the music. Also, Tina Potter, who is with the IBMA was great to everybody. I got so tickled at Tina after the Entertainer award was announced when she said “I’ve been sitting on that for a week and couldn’t tell anybody!”

I really enjoyed hanging with my blogging sister/XM Queen Producer J. She and Kyle Cantrell are such great friends to the Grascals and to the Smiffs. I’ve known Kyle since I was about 14.

I made a new girlfriend last night in Sheri Easter. I wish she lived next door to me. She is so down to earth. Not a phony bone in her body. Loved chatting with her and her adorable husband, Jeff. They participated in the grand finale with Sheri’s family, The Lewis Family,who was inducted into the IBMA’s Hall of Honor.

Vince Gill is very thin. I don’t remember ever seeing him so thin.

The general consenus amongst the women backstage is that high heels are just plain bad. My feet hurt like hell. That’s what I get for getting cheap shoes. One of these days, I will learn. It wasn’t just me…just about every female I encountered was saying their feet hurt….even Sharon (Mrs. Ricky) Skaggs was carrying her shoes. Producer J has learnt her lesson and had on comfy flats. That is a smart woman. I tried to get Jimmy Mattingly’s little girl, Ansley, to rub my feet. I offered her a buck. Can’t imagine why she wouldn’t oblige me.

I got the biggest kick out of running into my former boss, Stan Hitchcock. I was shocked to hear him say he is a regular reader here and gets whiffed often. I haven’t seen Stan in about 16 years. He looks the same as he did when I answered his phone and took his messages. Seems like a lifetime ago.

It was a great night for everybody associated with The Grascals. Y’all have heard me whine about this and that being married to a traveling road musician. This year has been the hardest in all these 17 years, in terms of Mr. Smiff being gone, us not seeing him, him missing this and that, but, stuff like last night makes it worth it.

They are going to be guesting on the Grand Ole Opry tomorrow (Saturday 9/30) and will be on the televised portion on GAC so watch for them or listen live online.

I’ll hopefully have pictures later today.

And The Winner Is…

It is 12:48 a.m., Friday morning. I’m not going to post the whole rundown of the evening now because it’s been a long day and we’re all tired. The server at the Bluegrass Blog was not real cooperative so my live blogging was kept to a minimum.

I did get to blog the very end, however, and heard Vince Gill say that Mr. Smiff and Them won Entertainer of the Year. Yep. I am about to go to bed with one of the IBMA’s Entertainer of the Year. I kinda like the sound of that.

I’ll give y’all a rundown tomorrow.

Coiffin’ It Up

After several days of running around, trying to make sure everybody has the proper attire for this awards show this evening, all we have to do is get dressed, make-upped, get in the car and go.

Wait til you see the pictures of the Beautiful Daughter with her gorgeous hairdo. I was watching Dancing With The Stars last week and Samantha Harris’ hair was fixed so pretty and I told the D she oughta get hers fixed like that for the awards. She did and it is beautiful.

Just do me a favor and don’t mention to Mr. Smiff how much all this hairdo beauty we aquired today cost.

IBMA Awards Day

Two Smiffs have write ups in this morning’s Tennessean: Beverly Keel, the brand new entertainment writer, tells about the Mother In Law’s upcoming tv gig.

Left of the Dial pointed out that Peter Cooper does a nice little write up on Mr. Smiff and them as well.

Today is a ridiculously busy day, trying to get ready for the IBMA awards tonight. Mr. Smiff was at the Opry House til late trying to do a soundcheck, but, there were some major sound issues and they have to go back this morning to do it. Steve Wariner is performing with them and I’m kinda excited about that. When I was about 15, I had the biggest crush on Steve. There was a time, I was certain I would be Mrs. Wariner, but, Caryn beat me to it. I loooove Steve Wariner.

All of the Smiffs are going so I’ve spent the last few days making sure everybody has awards show worthy clothes. #2 is wearing a miniature version of what his dad and the guys wear onstage. He is something of the mascot for the Grascals. #1 has actually agreed to wear something other than a t shirt with Black Sabbath or some other heavy metal act on it and the Daughter…I never could’ve worn a dress like she’s wearing at 13 when I was 13. When we shopped, we went round and round because she wanted to wear a dress much more sexy and I told her we had to have a compromise. It took a bit, but, we finally found something we agreed on. (Note to self: Leave #2 at home next time we shop for his sister. He finds the topless mannequins rather humorous and makes sure everyone sees them)

I will be live blogging for the Bluegrass Blog the sights and sounds of the whole thing so do check over there to see how I do.

Unemployment Fun

As I was dining in the food court of Opry Mills today, I was so wishing I had Rex L. Camino and Short and Fat with me.

The reason for this is nobody, but, nobody would’ve enjoyed being serenaded by the Do-It-Yourself- Recording booth and the poor soul inside who thought she could sing, screaming “Daddy’s Hand’s” at the top of her lungs…nobody but those two would’ve understood the beauty of the moment like they would’ve.

Life Isn’t Fair

It must be a bitch to be the son of a rock and roll legend like John Lennon, but, yet, have the misfortune of inheriting your mother’s singing voice.

Even Baptist Women Want To Know….

This is a family blog here and I suppose it’s not fittin’ for a Southern Baptist woman, such as myself, to be asking such a question in a public forum, but, I must.

These commercials they run for Viagra and it’s ED prevention bretheren….the one where the guy is watching the big game on tv and the Mrs. gets a little randy and heads towards the bedroom and he has to decide whether to continue watching football or using that groovy invention called the VCR and go for a shag.

Then, they cut to Dr. Richard Edwards (not his real name. Just a little joke from me. Heh. Get it? No extra charge for that one) the one where that doctor, with a straight face, goes over all the possible side effects of Viagra and then warns of possible injury and for the love of Ron Jeremy, get straight to the ER if you experience an erection lasting longer than 4 hours.

I didn’t know it was possible for something like that to go on for 4 hours. I mean…does that happen?

Frankly, I’m glad we’ve come around to discussing personal things about the menfolk in our advertising. We’ve had to endure those horrible, feminine hygiene product commercials forever. Ugh…all those horrnedous “Mom…do you sometimes not feel fresh?” commercials.

One Of The Best Movies Ever Made?

Now that I’m unemployed, I’ve reverted back to my true, nocturnal nature. I’m getting back in the habit of staying up late. Mr. Smiff and I are a good match that way. He keeps more Elvis hours than I do, being a musician, but, he and I both are into some staying up late. The decade I spent working regular people working hours, I could barely make it to 11 most night, but, now, it kinda reminds me of the days when our big kids were little, before they started school, before I started working and it was not unusual for us to stay up very late.

Last night, I pulled a late nighter. Mr. Smiff had a late night showcase for IBMA (late as in they played at midnight) and he got home about 1:30 or so. I went to bed with the intention of sleeping, however, I was sidetracked by a fantastic movie that I had never seen, but, had always wanted to see.

As I started watching The Last Picture Show, it appeared to me to be a story about Cybill Shepherd and Jeff Bridges characters wanting to get laid and that was it. If you’ve seen this fantastic movie, you know it’s about so much more than that.

The cast in this movie was unbelievable: Very young Cybill and Jeff, Timothy Bottoms, Ellyn Burstyn, Randy Quaid, and it’s no wonder Cloris Leachman and Ben Johnson won Oscars. I don’t know if it was cause it was the middle of the night, the black and white film, the amazing soundtrack with people like Hank, Sr., Hank Thompson, Eddie Fisher….the brilliant direction of Peter Bogdanovich and writing by Larry McMurtry..this movie is perhaps one of the best movies ever made.

It’s very rare I think about characters in a movie the day after, but, I’ve found myself thinking about the characters all day today. Unusual.

Rent it if you haven’t seen it.

Ben Savage is NOT Dead

My site meter shows that I’m getting a ton of hits of people trying to find out if actor Ben Savage is dead.

I’m going to say this one more time…Ben Savage is not dead. If he were dead, he’d have been on the cover of People, The Star, all over every cheesy entertainment magazine that exists.

That poor boy of Anna Nicole Smith’s did nothing to be famous, except for having the poor fortune to have been her kid and dang if I saw his last photos, supposedly taken minutes before he died, under strange circumstances, in a hospital room. So trust me, if Ben were no longer with us, we’d have had it in our faces and be sick and tired of the whole thing.

There was a rumor years ago that Jerry Mathers, aka “The Beaver” had died, as well as Butch Patrick who played Eddie Munster. Both of those guys are still live and kicking, albeit, they’ve turned into middle aged guys that look like somebody’s Paw Paw.

I haven’t had this many random hits since I posted about Paul Eels death a couple months ago. I’ve had more hits from all over the country, including Hawaii, of people looking up Paul. I have a lot of new Arkansas readers because of that.


Me and Mr. Smiff are babysitting our 16 month old niece today. It’s been awhile since I’ve had to keep up with a toddler. Mattie reminded me, as soon as I walked in her house with her, what it’s like to change a poopie diaper. I mean, this girl wasted no time in reaquainting her Auntie Sista with diapers, wipes and Desitin.

It should be interesting today to see how much we’ve aged. I hope we have the energy to keep up with her.


I don’t think I mentioned here that Twisted Mister, I mean Mr. Smiff and the Grascals will be playing at the World Famous Station Inn tomorrow night at 9:00, following an appearance on the Tuesday night Grand Ole Opry. Tomorrow is the first Opry appearance for the week cause they go back Saturday night to be on the televised portion.

I’ll tell more about this Thursday,but, your Sista will be live blogging the IBMA Awards show for my friends at the Bluegrass Blog. Those guys might be sorry they let me do that. Those awards shows make me a little on the nutty side. I was so wigged out last year, I had to have a little alcoholic beverage and I’m not a drinker. If I feel the need to partake at the pre-awards reception for the nominees, it should be an interesting read. “Drunken Blogging With Sista Smiff.” I can barely hold one beer so maybe it might be in the best interest to stick with Diet Something or another.

Dishwashers and Hell

If you’ve been following the saga of the passing of the Smiff Dishwasher last week (may it rest in peace), you can sleep well tonight because there is a new dishwasher on its way.

I did my research on dishwashers and decided to go back to whence I came and went with Sears since the Kenmore we had performed so nicely all that time. I got tickled at Mr. Smiff testing the salesman on the whys and how to’s of dishwasher installation and we came to the conclusion that the Sears Guy did not know diddly shit about dishwashers.

While at the mall, the Daughter was pumped to go spend some birthday money and a gift card. The store that she had a gift card for, Hot Topic, appeared to be the sort of establishment where Satan himself lives. Nothing but t shirts and crap with skulls on it. I think my favorite t-shirt was the one with the symbol for satanism on it. I was really hoping my beautiful baby girl would choose that one. I’d have been one proud mother, for sure.

I would prefer spending a day locked inside Abercrombie anyday over the Hell Store. I don’t know why somebody thought this was the store for the daughter. She told Mr. Smiff as we approached Hell Store, “Now Dad, this is an Emo and Goth store” to which this Star of Bluegrass replied ” A WHAT store?” I don’t think either word meant a thing to him.He sat outside while the Daughter perused the aisles of skull paraphanalia, body piercing jewelry, tattoo magazines…

The only two things in the entire store that I would have bought was a Willie Nelson t-shirt and a copy of Johnny Cash’s autobiography, which I have already read. I guess Cash is something of a patron saint of the Goth and Emo kids. I wondered if the girl working there had any idea that the Cash book that she was selling told of Johnny Cash’s deep, persnal, relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ AND had pictures of Billy Graham in it?

I was quite relieved when the daughter said to me “There is nothing i want here. Let’s go to American Eagle.” Thank you, Lord.

It will be about a week before the new dishwasher is delivered and installed though. That means another week of washing dishes by hand. Have I mentioned how much that sucks?

While You Have The Chance…

My dad’s first cousin, Libba, passed away yesterday at the age of 86. She had taken a bad fall earlier in the week and I knew that the outlook for her was probably not so good. I did go out and get a card to send to her as soon as I heard about her fall. I filled it out, signed it, put her name on the envelope and had every intention of looking her address up, getting a stamp and putting the card in the mail. It’s not like I’ve been extra busy now that I have plenty of time during the day.
This is not a relative that I was very close to, in terms of communicating regularly or being close to her when I was growing up. In fact, the first time I remember meeting Libba and her wonderful husband, Frank, was at Dad’s memorial service in 1992. I was so touched at the time that they drove up from their home in Chattanooga and they were just the nicest, warmest people. I instantly felt bonded to them.
Libba’s father and my grandfather were brothers. They were very, very close. They suffered through a difficult childhood with an abusive father and up until they were old men and as long as they were able to, they made regular visits, in spite of the many miles between Chattanooga, TN and San Antonio, Texas. They were tight. They made a pact that whoever died first would go to the other’s grave and “christen” it. Use your imagination as to what that meant. My grandfather followed up on that pact after Uncle Homah died in 1973.

I think the closeness between the brothers and the immense love those two had for each other is what made me feel like I knew Libba and the times I was able to visit with her were very special moments. I had the same experience the first time I met her daughters. Their personalities, sense of humor were just like the girls in my family. It had to be cause of the Brothers. Had to be.
I wish I could’ve spent more time with Libba. I last saw her two summers ago. She was the epitome of what one would think a lady would be. She had four wonderful children, all extremely succesful people (one son was a dentist for one of the President’s even), a number of grandkids (also high achivers). Her husband, Frank, is one I will one day do a post about. He was a Prisoner of War during World War II for several years and his escape was something that would make a killer movie. Great people.
Just another reminder to follow up on those stirrings and not let them slide.

Times Haven’t Changed

Two thirteen year old girls…one in 2006, one in 1982.

Being the mother of a nearly 15 year old and now a 13 year old, I hear lots of interesting stuff. Just when I find myself at my wits end in dealing with them, something happens that reminds me of when I was that age and that we’re not totally living on different planets.
There has been a rumor floating around My Space that Ben Savage, younger brother of Fred, known for his role on Boy Meets World was killed in a car accident. My son tells me last night “Mom…Corey Matthews died.” (Who the hell is Corey Matthews? Ah, the character on Boy). Then, this morning, the daughter says “Momm-eh….Ben Savage died.” Even 8 year old #2 got in on the action.
Apparently, Ben Savage is alive and well. I am glad. I was always partial to Big Brother Fred, who was on The Wonder Years as that precious Kevin Arnold.
Why is it kids like to make up stuff like this? It’s nothing new. When I was in 7th grade (same grade my daughter is in now) the big rumor that went around was that Belinda Carlisle, from the Go Go’s, had overdosed and died. We didn’t have the internet then and I have no clue how it got started. I was so relieved Belinda wasn’t dead because I loved me some Go Go’s.
This whole Ben Savage thing reminds me of how crappy middle school can be for another reason. 7th grade, I had this thing all year for Andrew Savage. I mean…I dug him. Finally, when summer came, we got to talking on the phone a little bit. (to me, that was serious business. He was probably just being nice) Then, I went off to church camp and my best friend moved in on my man. I laugh now and say “That’s 13 year olds for you” but boy, at the time, I was crushed. Not so much at him, but, at my best friend. She was this beautiful, blue-eyed, blonde and I ……was not. She had no trouble getting the attention of the male set.
Oddly enough, this best friend, who I had been friends with since we were 4….we were never close again. Maybe that was just the regular course of things, but, I always thought it had to do with that stupid boy, who was, like, not all that…..We did resume communication though and even though I haven’t seen her for years, we do email from time to time.
Oh no…I’m surrounded by Middle School drama and I’m reverting. It all just shows how with parenting, you get to relive your Sesame Street phase and your Awkward Phase.