Archive for December, 2006

A Cup ‘O Kindness Yet

I have a memory when I was a  wee little child. My  dad  got me out of bed and carried me downstairs and he pointed to the clock on the stove and I can remember like it was yesterday him saying "Now, Lombardo01 when both hands get to 12, it will be 1972!"  Then, I remember going in where the tv was and there was Guy Lombardo and all the old people dancing with confetti in their hair.  Guy Lombardo ruled New Year’s Eve on tv back in those days.

We spent a lot of New Years Eves in Alexandria, Louisiana, because we’d go down there between Christmas and New Year’s to see my mom’s sister and her family.  Now, there is not a plethora of activities to do in Alex (they call it "Ellec"), however, being it is the Gret Stet of Louisiana, they know how to celebrate. Some of the relatives had fireworks stands, so we always had a ton of fireworks.

I always thought it interesting that although people do fireworks in Middle Tennessee on New Year’s, it’s not with quite the same zest and gusto as they do in Louisiana. We did LOTS of fireworks on New Year’s down there.  Gosh, those were great trips. 

One New Year’s, the cousins built a bonfire in the backyard.  From down the road, apparently, it appeared that a house was on fire so some well meaning person called the fire trucks to Eola Dr. only to find the fire was in an open field and not in a house.  I don’t know if that was the same year I slipped on a sleeping bag in the floor in my cousins’ room and fell and hit my head on the foot board, giving myself a rather large knot that is still sorta there to this day.  That was New Year’s that went into 1980.

I never have had a wild New Years.  My sister took care of those for me. So many New Years Eves have found Mr. Smiff on the road, in fact, as we crossed into 2000, he was on a bus coming back home from somewhere. 

If he’s not working on New Years, Mr. Smiff prefers to be right here at the house.  He’s working tonight at the Station Inn with the Grascals and I guess I’m going to go.   Stuff like that is a little different for us because I sit there and watch him work.  Not trying to make that sound like it’s not fun, because I do enjoy hearing them play and stuff, but….it’s not like it is for other couples who go out on New Year’s and have a fun, leisurely, time. For him, it’s work, just like the rest of us get up early in the morning to go to our various offices and stuff. 

Ginger and her friend are supposed to be down at the Station tonight so that will probably liven things up a bit.  I am grateful, however, that they don’t serve Tequila at the Station.  Hee.

Whether you’re home watching Dick Clark or out whoopin’ it up, I hope you have a great New Year’s Eve and that 2007 is the best year ever.

Gonna Make Me Sweat

James_brownWhy do I find it hysterically funny that they changed James Browns’ clothes after his viewing at the Apollo Theater?  My mother says its cause he was sweating, even in death.  I think that’s the funniest thing she’s said all year. 

Another funny quote regarding the clothes change…we were watching them take President Ford from the church in California to the plane and the Drama Queen asked if they had changed his clothes.  Something tells me the answer to that is no.

Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead

Saddam_hussein_02 Have a nice time in hell.  I hear it’s nice and warm there.

Falling Into The Ring of Fire

Junecartercash Listen to June Carter Cash tell Johnny Carson

how she and Johnny Cash hooked up.  She was so darling.

Funerals and Stuff

Over the next few days, we will be hearing the terms "lying in repose" and "lying in state" in regards to our dearly departed Gerald Ford.  When Reagan died a couple of years ago, they used these terms a lot and I didn’t know a lying in repose from a lying in state to save my life.  I know I’m not the only person out there who didn’t know things like this, so I want to clear this up for us right here and now so there will be no confusion in all your hours of funereal television viewing.  So, for you…because I care…

 

LYING IN REPOSE
A former president’s remains may lie in repose at a church or other suitable location. During repose, which is open to the public, a military Guard of Honor stands watch over the remains.

The term "lying in state" is used only when referring to repose in the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol, a government building.
LYING IN STATE
Lying in state is the formal honor accorded by placement of the former president’s remains in the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol with a ceremonial honor guard to attend him. Although lying in state continues through the night, it differs from lying in repose, which occurs at a church or other suitable location.

The former president’s remains are received with ceremony at the Capitol after arrival at Andrews Air Force Base.

An Armed Forces Guard of Honor maintains a vigil over the remains throughout the period of time the remains lie in state. Public viewing is allowed continuously during the lying in state until one hour before the departure ceremony.

From http://199.231.147.241/general/military_honors.html

However, not everyone lying in repose in the Capitol is "lying in state":
Jan. 28, 1998
WASHINGTON (CNN) — The bodies of Jacob Chestnut and John Gibson were lying in repose Tuesday in the majestic hall beneath the Dome of the U.S. Capitol, the building where the two police officers worked and died.
The two men are lying in repose rather than lying in state. The latter honor is given only to those entitled to a state funeral.
http://www.cnn.com/US/9807/28/capitol.shooting

So there ya go.  Oh, and another thing…incase you don’t know, you’ll be hearing "Hail To The Chief" so much between now and Jimvarney Wednesday, you’ll kindly want to scream. 

Do you remember that commercial that Jim Varney did years ago of Ernest that they showed during election season?  It had Ernest singing "Hail To The Chief" and he’d sing it like this: "Hail to the chief he’s yer buddy and yer neighbor" and as sure’s I’m a Sista, every SINGLE time I hear that song played to this day, in my head I’m singing that.  I think it’s a good way to remember him.

This leads me to another question…what song do you want to be played at your final rites?  My life will have been worth living if The Hager Twins can sing something…anything, with their tambourines in tow. A nice, gospel number by Lulu Roman will cover the Jesus part.  Then, I’d like to have the All Star Blogging Band consisting of Slartibart, The Knucklehead, CLC, Rex L. Camino and whatever blogger plays drums to play us out with something, preferably C’s little Christmas ditty he wrote in my honor.

Rootin’, Tootin’, Resolutin’

Some of us have some goals of shedding some extry poundage in 2007.  That has been my only New Year’s resolution for quite a number of January Firsts.  The only thing that has changed is the amount I want to get rid of.  It started off as 20, then grew to 30 and so on. 

I started to get Dr. Oz’s book, but, after thumbing through it, decided that that is like a science class and I never did so hot in science. I have even checked out Brittney’s beloved SparkPeople, but, found it to involve more calculating up stuff than my feeble brain is capable of.  Thus, I will lean on the old standby, Weight Watchers. The program works (as do many others)if you do what it says.  They’ve been taking money out of my account for years now on a monthly basis sos I can have access to the recipes and stuff, perhaps I should put it to use, yes?  All the tools are there.

One thing I’m finding as I get older and when I try to lay off the burgers and such, it’s like withdrawing from a drug. Now that I don’t smoke, it’s even more habitual, dangit.

The fine folks at Weight Watchers offer some helpful tips for keeping that resolution:

1. Make your resolutions public. Share them with one or more people so they can help you stay on track. If you let your friends and family in on your dream, you can use their support to help you make it a reality. I’m sharing my "dream" with dozens of you.  There, that’s done.

2. Write down your resolution. But don’t stop there: Also include the steps you will take to keep it. According to Laura Hess, a Nevada-based personal and business coach, having a clearly articulated goal and a plan of action is vital for success. I want to look like Jennifer Aniston.  See how good I am at following rules? Yay. This is fun.

3. Keep things simple. Break a big goal into a series of smaller goals. Want to lose 50 pounds? Shoot for losing 10 percent of your body weight first, or set five 10-pound incremental weight-loss goals. Me losing ten pounds won’t be all that noticeable, but, hey, ya gotta start somewhere, eh?

4. Mark your achievements. Each time you make a small lifestyle change aimed at reaching your goal—adding 5 minutes to your daily walk, for instance—put a star on your calendar so you can see your progress. Oh yes…I’ll get right on that.  Who took my gold stars?

5. Make small changes. If weight loss or a healthier lifestyle is your goal, put a bowl of fruit or vegetable pieces front and center in the fridge, and hide the cookie jar behind the oatmeal. Each week, try a new low-fat cereal or an exotic fruit or a vegetable you haven’t tasted before. Stash away your car keys for a weekend and challenge yourself to walk wherever you need to go. Lose the deep-fat fryer, too, and steam, bake or microwave your food. I like vegetables a lot.  I don’t have a problem making myself eat broccoli or spinach or carrots or stuff like that.  I have never, ever, once in my life thought to myself "Hmm, a piece of fruit would just hit the spot right now!"  I will eat bananas (only at a certain ripened state) apples (same with them) grapes, and pears.  Is that good enough?  Lots of fruit makes the inside of my mouth itch like crazy for one thing.  That somewhat takes any potential joy out of a fruit experience for me.  Bananas make my mouth itch, but, I can force those down without too much trouble.

So there you have it my pretties…one of my resolutions for 07. I’ve followed the Weight Watcher rules and shared.

Citizens Arrayest

Rita I think I know who stole my bird feeder from my front yard.  I have a feeling it was the same little shit kid down the street who stole my Darlene Stringfellow for Alderman sign a few months ago (Heh. Darlene won). It matters not that this is not an expensive, fancy bird feeder, but, it matters cause I love to feed the little birds who trek into my yard and I just got the feeder a couple weeks ago.

This would be the same kid who last year, I drove into my driveway a few days before Christmas just in time to see him kicking down a Christmas display of my cross the street neighbor and friend.  I took off down the street screaming at this kid in something reminiscent of Cheri Oteri’s "Rita Delvechhio" character on SNL.  What made me even madder about said Little Shit’s destruction of the candy canes was the fact that the person to whom the display belonged had buried his grandmother the day before.  I was livid.  I’m sure I was quite the sight running down the street "Hey ya little punk…get back ovah heah!"

LS happened to be riding his bike past my house a couple weeks ago as I came out the front door and he immediately looked down to avoid making eye contact with me. 

LS is headed straight for prison, I’m ‘fraid.

Yay! We’re Gonna Have A Funeral

Besides being a music/entertainment geekette, I’m also a Presidential history geekette.  Always have been.  Since I was a wee girl, I’ve loved to read about presidents and their wives.  Don’t ask me why.  I find them all, regardless of their political affiliation, interesting.

Maybe it began in about 1975 when Gastrica wrote a letter to President Ford.  Now, what she wrote to him about, I can only imagine and I chuckle to think of what was on her mind then that she wanted to discuss with the head of the US.  At any rate, because  she took her time to write a howdy note to Ol’ Jer’, somebody from the White House sent her this really nice book with pictures of the White House and some biographical info on the Fords.

I recollect noting, even then, that the Presidential son, Steve, was hotter than a two dollar pistol.  He was even in When Harry Met Sally, playing Meg Ryan’s boyfriend that Billy Crystal’s character knew.  Remember?  Maybe that’s how my presidential interest was piqued.

In 4th grade, we had to do an outline.  We could pick any subject we wanted.  I remember like yesterday us having to go up to Mrs. Spurgeon’s desk and inform her what our outlines would be about, and I remember I decided my subject as I was walking to her desk:  "John F. Kennedy" is what I told her.  I can tell you all sorts of stuff about the Kennedy’s.  I’ve always thought I could be on a documentary like Doris Kearns Goodwin or Michael Bechloss talking about the Kennedy’s.  I know those people better than they know themselves.

I dig me some Presidents and call me nuts, morbid or whatever you want, but, I am quite looking forward to the State Funeral and all that will go along with it. 

I’m kinda surprised that in reading some of the local blogs, nobody knows nothing about Gerald Ford.  I’m always shocked to find out Fordsnapshot2sv that others don’t share my passion for Presidential history.  (Sarcasm here) I suggest you do a little research because he was a rather interesting man as Sarcastro gave us some fun trivia.

His wife, Betty, was and is interesting as well. In 7th grade, I did a book report on her autobiography.  During his time in office, Betty was pretty outspoken about stuff like the ERA and abortion rights. (Aunt B should love that) and before her mastectomy, not many people in the public eye had been so forthcoming about their experiences with that.  She was also very honest and open about her own problems with drug and alcohol abuse. The center bearing her name in Rancho Mirage, CA has helped many a soul become free of chemicals.  Even regular people and not just famous ones like Liz Taylor and Johnny Cash.   We’ve always wished my aunt, who lived not far from the Betty Ford Center, could’ve made it a few more years and had the opportunity to go there and get treatment.

I join those who find it ironic that all many seem to remember about him were the SNL skits with him falling (thus giving Chevy Chase lifelong back problems) when he was probably the most athletically gifted President we have ever had.  Gerald Ford represents another era of politics that we’ll never see again and its kinda sad to see him go. 

Over

So today begins the After Christmas Cleanup.  Sheesh. Where in the world are we going to put all of #2’s Christmas crap? 

The tree must come down today.  Poor tree.  It was so gorgeous when we first got it, and in spite of watering it twice a day, the poor thing has dried out.  Dried out so much the branches droop.  Drooping branches, dropping ornaments.  I love a real tree, but, I don’t know if I’m going to have another one next year.  It’s like babysitting.  You have to constantly worry about the water situation, you can’t really leave the lights on all day, which I like to do ordinarily. 

So, we continued the Christmas Viztin’ yesterday and drove up to Knoxville to see Gastrica and her bunch. It was a lovely time.  She Christmas_2006_068 loved her Donny & Marie dvd I gave her and we delighted in reliving our childhoods watching a little of it.

Christmas_2006_067 The cousins checking out Payton’s new, cool toy.

Christmas_2006_074

The Niece got a new bed she was awfully proud of.

Christmas_2006_056 Gastrica gave us this cool, framed poster she found from a concert the Grascals played.

Christmas_2006_091 The grandkids are growing up.  The attitude dripping from the teen girl in this picture…you can almost reach out and touch it.

Christmas 2006

Santa showed up.  Christmas_2006_014 Christmas_2006_023

Santa was exhuasted yesterday.  I mean, exhausted, coulda-stayed-on-the-couch sleeping all day exhausted. So much goes into putting on Chrismtas that when it’s here and done, I usually tend to want to take a long winter’s nap.  I really coulda stayed put yesterday.  Mr. Smiff even commented how dead I was. I had every intention of blogging something yesterday, but, besides being barred from the computer by the new Ipod users, I was just plumb wo’ out. That rarely happens with me. I’m sorta like the Energizer Bunny that way and I can go and go and go and then I crash. However, I was not able to crash because…

We had Christmas at Grandma’s yesterday afternoon.  Christmas_2006_027Christmas_2006_036

Christmas_2006_039  Manchild’s uncle got him a pellet gun.  He’ll shoot his eye out.

Freakin I had taken the niece back in early November and had her picture made for her parents for Christmas.  The niece kept the secret rather beautifully.(She’s 19 months old)  That was fun.  I thought they were going to soil themselves for a minute, though.  Here, the sister in law is saying "NO you didn’t."  Then she bawled her little eyes out.  Hee.  It’s fun to surprise somebody like that.

My nephews (ages 22 and 20) went and got their Auntie Sista some Calvin Klein Euphoria perfume stuff.  I can’t believe those boys did that for me.  Isn’t that the neatest? I’ve beAdam_mattie_poichyen wanting some of that for a long time.

My family got me one of those Homedics massage things you put in a chair.  Everytime I go to Walgreen’s to get a perscription, I always look forward to the massager.  It’s some kinda good.  I was so surprised to have one under my tree yesterday morning. 

I gave Mr. Smiff a dvd collection of the classic tv show Christmas_2006_051_1 This Is Your Life

We’re going to ride  up to Knoxville today to have a little Christmas with Gastrica and her family. I plan on napping on the drive. 

The Night Before Christmas Part One

Christmas Eve is my favorite.  There’s a little buzz in the air on Christmas Eve.  The lights on the tree shine a little brighter, it seems than on Christmas Day or any of the days before.  There’s that sense of anticipation and excitement that is so much fun.

We’ve had a nice Christmas Eve.  The day started off with all the Smiffs in the same church house (Manchild attends a church where a lot of his friends attend) and me and the Mr. warbled nicely.  I think Mr. Smiff kinda dug singing with his old lady.  I was quite pleased to have him there.  I’m here to tell ya, it’s a different thang to sing with somebody like him as opposed to say, Harriet the Alto in the church choir.  Lordy me.  My Babys’ Daddy is one singin’ man. The_smiffs_sing

Being I only had to run out and grab a couple things to help Santa with the stockings, I didn’t have any serious shopping to do. I did run to Kroger and I do believe in my gut that I thwarted off a potential mugger.  I walked out the door with my cart of stuff and I noticed a young, black guy as I headed into the parking lot. He was probably 15 or 16 years old.  Something told me to pay attention to him. I had seen him in the store before and I had a weird feeling about him in the store, the way he was carrying himself.  He was watching me, I felt and not in a "Boy, she’s hot" sorta way.  He was watching me and then when I walked into the parking lot and something told me to turn around and I looked to see where he was, I couldn’t see him.  Then he peeked out from behind the column.  I made my way back and just kinda acted like I was waiting on somebody.  He was cutting his eyes at me and then finally, he went back in the store.  As I got in the car and had already pulled out of the parking lot, I then saw him way out in the parking lot, lurking between cars.  You can call me racist all you want, but, Dude was up to no good.  I called the store and told them to keep an eye on him. He might’ve just been waiting on somebody, but, I never once saw him with a person while I was in and around the store.  I hope he went on about his business and didn’t get into any trouble. 

I made our breakfast for tomorrow (a wonderful, Green Chile Egg Thingy I make every Christmas morning) and some other stuff to nibble on.  I’m going to make a Standing Rib Roast tomorrow.  Geez, I hope I don’t screw that up.

Just me and the Drama Queen went to church tonight for Candlelight_tara Candlelight Communion In The Round.  This is a wonderful tradition at our church.  We had some absolutely beautiful music with harps, acoustic instruments and some angelic voices, one belonging to a young lady I taught in Sunday School when she was about 5.  I had no idea this girl was a trained vocalist and listening to her sing "O Holy Night" brought mucho tearos to my eyes.

Me, Mr. Smiff, DQ and #2 headed over to the Duncan’s gorgeous house in Goodlettsville and had a lovely time there.  Craig’s had a lot of blog time with me lately.  He is such a wonderful person and has a precious wife, Peggy. Craig_peggy_trev  These two have been married for 5 years New Year’s Day. (I remember this cause they got married a few weeks after we remarried) Both lost their first spouses to cancer within a month of each other, fell in love and combined their families (both have 4 kids each) to form a beautiful, blended family.  They have a ChristmasDuncans_tree  Eve kinda house…warm, cozy and just all together Christmas_tradition wonderful.Peggys_village

On the way home from the Duncan’s, we narrowly missed hitting two deer.  We told #2 they might’ve been stray reindeer that mighta got loose from Santa’s sleigh.  With #2, you never can tell if he buys that stuff or not.   He has been monitoring Norad ALL day…I mean, since about 6:30 this morning.  That’s fun stuff right there.  I know that this will probably be the last year he’ll believe like he does now.  One of those things IHo_ho_ho  wish I could put in a bottle and hang onto forever. He’s my baby ya know. 

Them Sangin’ Smiffs

Tomorrow is going to be a first ever thing.  In 17 years, this has never happened…Give up?  Mr. and Mrs. Smiff are singing a song together in public. The church folks will no doubt have their Christmas tide enriched by the Smiffs. [sarcasm] I’m really looking forward to it and really, there is no other better Christmas present Mr. S could possibly give me than to do this. I do think he’s a little hesitant about the whole thing.

Mr. Smiff has somewhat refused to have anything to do with public performing with me for oh, about 10 years now. I don’t think it’s cause he didn’t think I had any business opening my mouth in public.  The reason why is funny now, but, believe me, it was not at the time.

Flashback to about 1996…your Sista had dabbled a bit in songwriting and me and the Mista had written a nice one.  At one point, Patty Loveless had it on hold.  Well, we had written another one that was pretty dang good and Mr. Smiff felt I should be the one to go into the studio and do the demo vocal.  I psyched myself up and psyched myself up to do this.  I’d never done anything like that and I was pretty scared.  Mr. Smiff was most encouraging about it and believed I could do it.

So, we get in the studio down in the UA tower.  I put the headphones on and heard myself loud and clear and for someone like me, who is so critical of themselves, as far as I was concerned, I sounded like a duck in labor.  I was just so nervous and insecure about the whole thing.  It’s a whole different ballgame to sing in the shower or in the car than it is when you get up there in front of the microphone, engineer and whoever else was around.  Plus, I was extremely intimidated by Mr. Smiff and the Brother In Law Smiff, who in my totally biased opinion, are amazing singers.  Not helping my nerves a bit was the fact that the then 4 year old Manchild and 2 year old Drama Queen were along for the ride and they were making me nervous, too.

Long story short, I had a meltdown.  I mean, I melted down and left.  It was not pretty.  It embarrasses me to this day to think about how stupid I was to get so upset, but, even more so that I had no more self confidence at the time and allowed that to let me think for a long time that I was totally incapable of doing something like a demo vocal, therefore it was a long time before I ever got in front of a microphone again.  I’ll never forget Danny, the engineer telling me a few days later, "Now, you get back in there and do that again so you’ll get used to it." 

I did get in front of a mic again.  I did a few writer’s nights a few years later with my friend Monty Russell.  I was scared to death and did not sound good, but, dammit, I did it.  I’ve done the singing thang a number of times since and this last year, I’ve finally gotten like "Screw it..just do it."  I guess I’m getting older and more comfortable with myself, but, I do wish I would’nt have waited til my late 30’s to do so.

This is why I stay on the Drama Queen about getting her butt up and singing at church or wherever else she might have the opportunity and getting used to it now.  She has a fantastic voice.  I’m her mom and all that, but, she really has a gift. Before she was a year old she would sing and carry a tune.  She has great pitch and I think with some developing and working on it, the potential to be a great vocalist. 

Mr. Smiff is sorta like Vince and Jon Randall and can make anybody sound good.  If it turns out good enough, I’ll post it up here tomorrow.  I don’t plan on melting down tomorrow.  I’m not nervous about it.  The only thing that worries me is that I’ll get distracted at hearing us blend and get all "oooh and ahh" over it and lose my place.  We haven’t rehearsed much cause Mr. Smiff has the same thoughts as Dean Martin on rehearsing.  Dean wouldn’t rehearse cause he felt like it took something away from the performance to go over and go over it. 

Speaking of Monty Russell…dude, if you’re out there, holler at me.  We wrote some good songs and should write some more next time you come to town. That one about paintin’ it red and trying to call it the blues was just good. I don’t care who ya are.

Norad Santa Tracking

Oh boy oh boy oh boy!!!  It’s almost time to track The Big Guy.  Go here and you can track Santa’s whereabouts tomorrow via Norad.  According to the clock, Santa leaves the North Pole in 9 hours. I hope y’all have all been good this year. 

I Smell Cake

Blogger_brock_parties_011_1 Happy Birthday to Kate O’ today!!   Go wish her a happy one.

What Would Jesus Do?

Nephew Smiff #2 re-reminded me of this clip.  Heh.  Love it.