Posts from the ‘Mr. Smiff’ Category

When You Feel The Prayer Wheel Turnin’…

 Mr. Smiff and Them taped one of those Gaither videos today.  I hope they got Mr. Smiff in the crowd a’singin’ and a’cryin’ and a’raisin’ his hands in the Spirit. I texted him through the day and said stupid stuff like “Tell Vestal I said hey”. We love us some Gaither videos, fo sho.

I was so hoping Ship Ahoy would be there.  “Ship Ahoy” is actually a fantastic singer named Larry Ford.  He has long been one of our favorites on those Gaither things.  We had this video collection of clips from the old “Jubilee” television show from the early 70′s where he did a song called “Ship Ahoy” in his lovely, Irish tenor-like voice.  Because we are so funny (we think we are, anyway) we named him that. I hope if Mr. Smiff ever does run into him, he doesn’t address him as “Mr. Ahoy”. Dude can flat belt out a song, now.  I’m telling ya, he’s amazing.

Oh and I have a Mr. Smiff story for you but I will have to wait to get his permission before I tell it.  One of those things that was just meant to be blogged, ya know?

Bless This Mess

Alert the Media…phone the neighbors….wake the kids…I want y’all to know something:

Your Sista worked her hiney off this weekend cleaning up the dang house.  I worked so hard, I hurt all over.  Scary thing is that I’m not done but boy howdy, I’m so tickled to tell y’all I actually ACCOMPLISHED something this long weekend.

I must give props to my very thin sister with the straight bob-Thing about my sister and me is we are alike in many ways (we sound alike on the phone, so much so we can play tricks on you with it) we look somewhat alike, however, I do not feel as though we look like identical twins.  She is taller than I am and now she is thinner.  She can do artsy fartsy crafty stuff with her hands, whilst I can not.  She’s a lot more outspoken in person than I am.  She is not scared to give anybody directions on what to do, when to do it and the best way to go about it.  If I say “Hey, do this” and you say “No”, I say “Ok”.   I am more twisted and just plain odder than she is (but in a good way).  I love to cook and she does not.  You get the picture.

Something else she can do way better than I am is clean crap up.  She was telling about her friend who had  a mess at her place and how she went and helped her get it straightened and she told how she did it. 

I took mental notes here.  For some of us, a big ol’ mess is overwhelming and we get very scared of it and think maybe perhaps we might be swallered by it.  Some of us need direction. 

I had gotten a little motivated when I saw that poor woman on Oprah week before last who had crap piled in her house all the way to the ceiling.  I felt good that I didn’t have quite 75 tons of trash in my house, although I probably had more trash  than you do.  I bet the neighbors are wondering what kind of white trash they have living in the neighborhood that we have that many trash bags waiting to be picked up by our ignoramus hard-working trash guys tomorrow morning.

The other thing that motivated me was I had been telling the kids that there would be nary a Christmas decoration hung in the Smiff House this Yuletide if’n we didn’t get something done about the mess.  The Smiff Kids aren’t “into” helping out around the house.  Yes, I know, they should help me more.  YOU come here and make them. I feel like I rant and rave enough and it obviously accomplishes nothing.

It’s hard to get stuff cleaned up with Mr. Smiff and #2 in the house. Both of them think stuff has feelings and they feel bad when stuff gets tossed.  Example: I worked in the bathroom Friday cleaning up.  I found this old, Ernie doll.   Ernie had seen better days.  He didn’t look good enough to give to Goodwill.  Why it was in the bathroom, I do not know.  I haven’t seen one of my kids play with anything remotely associated with Ernie since before 9-11.  Ernie was lying there and I said (to Ernie) “Ok, Ern’…love ya, but, it’s time to say goodbye.” I tossed him.  Do you know SOMEBODY in this house, I do not know who, must’ve seen Ernie in the trash cause he was back yesterday. WTF?  This is part of what I have to contend with in getting rid of stuff.  I’m not a hoarder like that woman on Oprah. 

Mr. Smiff said today, while I was working in the kitchen “I just don’t understand how it can get this messy here, knowing my habits.”  It wasn’t five minutes later I picked up this stuffed dog (again, why it was in the kitchen is beyond me) and I was going to toss it.  I saw him turn into a 10 year old right there. I thought he was going to cry. He tensed up and then he came and took it out of my hands.  What in the world is a 47 year old man going to do with a stuffed Golden Retriever? I doubt very seriously he’s going to put it on our bed after he makes it tomorrow morning. And he wonders why….

It’s also amazing the long-lost things you find.  I found 2 Gameboy chargers that had been missing. 

I forget that with #2′s Asperger’s, he takes everything you say literally.  I have learned lately I have to watch my sarcasm with him.  I had said the other day, during one of my, “This is pig-sty” tirading rants that Children’s Services was liable to come get them and take them away cause we had such a mess happening.  I didn’t think anything else about that until last night when I was working, he said “What time are they coming?” I thought he was talking about his dad and the siblings.  “What time is the Health Department coming?”  Poor thing thought I was serious. 

So anyway, my mother gave me these big, plastic storage thingies yesterday and I brought those suckers home, started working about 6:00 and worked til I fell into the bed at 1:40 this morning.  #2 helped a little.  He picked up Pokemon cards.  When I tell you there are 4, 382, 918 Pokemon cards in this house, please believe me.  I told him I would throw them all away if he didn’t get them dealt with so he worked on those and put a bunch of them in one of those collector books (something his Thin Aunt passed onto him). 

When Mr. Smiff, the Manchild and the Holy Tara got home this morning from Myrtle Beach, I think they thought they went into the wrong house.  I still have a lot to do but I feel pretty doggone good about getting done what I got done, complete with PMS.  I threw a bunch of stuff away when #2 wasn’t looking.  I’m sure somebody out there will have words of wisdom on how to get the family to help me out around here. 



figuring_it_out.jpgAn impromptu upright bass lesson last night.  It’s very rare that the bass comes out in the house.  It’s very large,  y’see.  Mr. Smiff popped a string on the Opry this past Tuesday night and had to change it before he went on the road.  The Mr. was all up in the string-changing (cussing and hmmphing the whole way) when he thought he felt something behind him and it was #2 with his guitar, ready to jam.

Note to Mr. Smiff…get your bass out more often.

Newscoma-do you recognize the shirt the Mr. has on?

Smell My Feet

This was the first Halloween since about 1991 that I didn’t have much involvement with it.  My involvement with the Halloween process this year consisted of taking some photos of #2 in his costume and of the pumpkins.  Mr. Smiff did all the pumpkin work (except the three I bought), he bought the candy and even bought festive, Halloween candles to go 1813027347_a8372d0002.jpginside the pumpkins!  The Manchild served up the candy and Mr. Smiff took #2 all over the neighborhood.  I didn’t hand out the first piece of candy to any kid. 

Where was I?  I was in the house doing Math. I worked on Math from about 6:00 until 12:15 this morning with a little A & P studying in between. 1813892760_294013ffd6.jpg

I really didn’t feel guilty about Mr. Smiff having to take over Halloween duty.  I’m quite appreciative that he stepped in this year and did the bulk of it.  Very much so. That sorta stuff is not his bag.  Not that he doesn’t enjoy spending time with #2.  I don’t know what the deal is.  It is tiring doing the Halloween trip though. 

 I’ve done my double duty of Halloween work through the years.  There’s been a number of years Mr. Smiff’s been gone on Halloween.  This was the days when all three Smiff kids 1813051653_57997c3f47.jpgtrick or treated.  I’d have to get one of the grandmothers to come hand out the candy (lots of T & T traffic in our neighborhood) and take all three of them out in the neighborhood.  

#2 had a fun evening though…collapsed from his sugar high while I worked on percentages til the clock struck November.

We’ll be going to Porter’s funeral later today.  I’ll report on that later on.

Not In Nashville, TN

Mr. Smiff and them played a show Downtown night before last for a bunch of talent buyers.  It was an important show cause these people look for acts to book at fairs and stuff.  Not your usual, yee haw, kinda Grascal crowd. 

I was not thrilled when Mr. S. said he had to go do this show cause he had just gotten back in early that morning (Monday) after being gone since the previous Wednesday night.  I’m sure I was really sweet about the whole thing since he said it “wouldn’t take long.”  I’ve heard that before.  I’m so jaded by show bidness, ya know.

As I sorta expected, Mr. Smiff’s thing took way longer for him to get home.  Not cause the show went over but cause some brilliant, motorcycle riders had parked their bikes in front of the bus, blocking them in their spot on Broadway.  (They played at the place that used to be where the NASCAR cafe was).  He called a few times, telling of the inconvenience and each time I spoke to him, he was using more and more colorful language to describe said Motorcyclists.  They ended up taking a cab home (of course, the bus followed right behind them once they decided to take the cab route).

Something else really crazy happened while they were blocked on Lower Broad.  They saw a guy die of a heart attack.  This guy (I believe he was a program director from West Virginia) collapsed inside the club (still can’t remember the name of it…Cadillac is in the title).  Mr. Smiff saw a waitress come outside, very excited, saying something about pounding the chest.  Because he is a dirty old man, he assumed somebody in the club must’ve grabbed her bosom. 

Instead, this gentleman inside grabbed his own chest and it was nearly 20 minutes before the paramedics arrived.  The waitress called 911 and was PUT ON HOLD.  I don’t know if a quicker arrival by the paramedics would’ve saved this guys’  life (he was not an older guy, probably in his 30′s or 40′s according to Mr. S) or not but, I’m still befuddled as to why they were put on hold by 911 in the first place and why it took an ambulance nearly 20 minutes to get to one of the main drags of the city?  I can’t understand that, for the life of me.  Mayor Dean?  Somebody? This should not happen in Downtown Nashville, Tennessee, or anyplace that has an adequate number of emergency personnel.  

I can’t help but think of that gentleman and wonder if he had a wife and kids at home.  One of those situations that makes me realize the fact that I can’t get anybody to take the trash out at home or help with the laundry…is not really that big of a deal in the grand scheme.

Year of the Grascal (Again)


Yeah,baby.  Once again, I get to sleep with the IBMA Entertainer of the Year…or one of them anyway. 

And how grand is it that two incredible singing Bradleys won the Female and Male Vocalist award?  Bradley Walker (who was the first guy to christen Knuck’s  ramp at the Mothership) and Dale Ann Bradley.  I fantasize that I sing as good as Dale Ann.  How wonderful for them.

Perhaps the number one thing I hate I didn’t get to witness was my Terry, Terry Eldredge and Jimmy Mattingly’s hillbilly-fever.jpgformer boss, Sonny Osborne, grascals-and-sonny.jpgpresent the award to them.  As teary as I get these days, it’s prolly a good thing.  I mighta sonny.jpgembarrassed them all.  (How bout that, Raymond E?)

Crazy Days and Thursdays Always Get Me Down

I kinda hate I won’t be able to be at the IBMA awards tonight because of the great photo ops. I hate to miss big family events.  All three kids are going to the show.  They wouldn’t miss it.  I’m tickled they’re that interested and get to experience a lot of the same things I experienced as a kid.   Same time, I’m glad I don’t have to worry about what to wear.  Then again, it’s a big deal and I’ll miss it…on the other hand, awards shows are long, tedious and make me nervous.  I can’t even think about if The Grascals will win or not win.  Of course, I hope they do, but, I can’t think about it cause I have to think about Pseudostratified Columnar Cells.  (Shishter…you hear that?!?! That one’s fun to say). I do think XM Radio is broadcasting the show again this year and my friends over at The Bluegrass Blog will be liveblogging the event.

I’m frustrated about the Lab exam  tonight.  50% of it is identifying certain tissues, cells, their function, location, etc. We didn’t start that til last week and unlike everything else, he breezed through that.  It’s nuts.  I’ve stayed up very late the last two nights studying. 

The Manchild helped me study last night and it was quite comical.  Too bad a video camera wasn’t going.  He kept calling me “Trevor” cause my attention would sometimes wander.  That big boy of mine is a hilarious person.  How odd to have your spawn calling out your study material to you.   He really was helpful.  Thing is, he hasn’t had Chemistry yet, but, most of that stuff was as simple to him as me reading about Hollywood movie stars. Amazing.  He explained and helped me understand 4x, 10x, 40x magnification on the microscope. 

I decided about 1:00 this morning, I can’t worry and stress about this exam.  I’ll just go in there, do the best I can and move on to the next thing.  I have to remind myself that I started this college thing in one of the harder classes a person can take.  I’m doing ok.

You should see the bags under my eyes, though.  They can carry groceries.

Mayberry Days

Mr. Smiff and them taped their thing on the John Boy & Billy Show today and it will air this Friday…September 28.  Go here to see if you can hear it on your very own radio in your own neck of the woods.  If not, I’m sure you can hear it online. 

Mr. S knew he was going to meet James Best and Betty Lynn…he also hung out with Maggie Peterson, who we all maggie.jpgknow better as Charlene Darling. 

 He enjoyed chatting with Betty (aka Thelma Lou) about betty-lynn.jpgvarious movies (old movie buffs are prone to do that sorta thing when in presence of people such as this) that she appeared in in her 50 something year career.  One he asked her about was “June Bride” that she appeared in with Robert Montgomery (Elizabeth’s dad) and Bette Davis.  Can you imagine sitting with a sweet little old lady who just happened to have worked with Bette Davis?!?!?! That’s one of those things that just doesn’t happen everyday.

 Before being sweet on Barney Fife, she was in the original Cheaper By The Dozen with Clifton Webb.  Good thing I wasn’t there.  Ol’ Betty woulda been saying “Get this crazed savant movie fan away from me!” 

The Mr. mentioned another actress who appeared on Andy Griffith that participated in this little function today.  He couldn’t remember her name.  Described her as “The woman in the ‘How Are You Missus Wy-lee’ episode that Ernest T. kept picking up.”  Oh.  Of course.  “That would be Jackie jackiejoseph1.jpgJoseph.  She used to be married to Ken Berry” I said.  She is one of those really familiar faces you’ve seen on tv all your life.  Look here at all the stuff she’s been in.  WHY do I know these things?   Surely there is therapy for this sorta thing.

One of the things Mr. Smiff noted about James Best (aka Roscoe, Jim Lindsey) is that even though he’s an older, somewhat frail-ish gentleman, when that red light went on, so did he. He was impressed with that. 

All of this craziness goes along with the annual Mayberry Days festival going on this week in Mt. Airy, NC.  Now that the Grascals are officially affiliated with the Mayberry bunch (thank you, Mayberry’s Finest) , they get to participate in cool stuff like this.  For my Mista, this is utter heaven.  Too bad I have to work and stuff, or I’d hightail it over to Mt. Airy.

2007- A Smiff Oddity

Something odd and unusual is happening this weekend at the Smiff House.  It’s so highly unusual, I don’t even know what to make of it?  Can you guess what it is? 

Mr. Smiff is home.  No Opry. No nothing except helping me with my Math homework. I don’t think he’s had a free weekend since probably April.

Speaking of school, I have my first exam in two weeks.  It is on the same night as the IBMA awards which means, I can’t skip the A & P exams to go to the awards.  It also means I have to do some serious studying to do this next coupla weeks.  I’m good on the body parts and cavities, it’s that #@*&! Chemistry stuff that I find to be something akin to trying to understand Swahili.

I don’t know what I’m going to do about having Mr. Smiff underfoot all weekend.  Any suggestions?

Mr. Smiff Meets Roscoe

Because I was busy dining with my good friends Busy Mom and CLC, I missed a phone call from Mr. Smiff telling two important things:

One…#2 went to the dentist.  No cavities.  That is a miracle upon miracles.

Two…Mr. Smiff and Uncle Bobo (aka Terry Eldredge) will appear on the John Boy and Billy Show next Wednesday (September 26) and it’s not necessarily to sing.  I think they’ll play music from their cds (I think this is correct) but they’re going to have both Terry’s facing off in an Andy Griffith Trivia contest.  This is the cool part….Terry Eldredge’s partner will be Betty Lynn aka “Thelma Lou” and my Terry’s partner will be James Best aka Roscoe P. Coltrane and Jim Lindsey.  (I’m pretty good at Mayberry trivia but didn’t know til about 5 minutes ago that Jim Lindsey and Roscoe were the same guy. Der. In my defense, I was not a Dukes of Hazard viewer)

Check your local listings to see when JB & B are on in your area.  This should be fun.  Mr. Smiff almost had a twinge of excitement in his voice when telling it.  Almost.

Oh and B-Mo and Cee…I found my extra cool cd I burned this morning.  Where was it?  Still in the car. 

Party On, Garth

It’s always funny to me to observe and analyze the contrasts betwixt the life of your Sista and her Mista. Allow me to share an example with you.

Home from work, hauling Smiff Kids to and fro and doing Math homework this evening.  Tomorrow morning, I will rise a little later than the normal 5:30, do Mom sorts of things, throw a load of laundry in the machine, go take a Math test, and will be at the mercy of the Holy Tara, especially since this is her birthday weekend.  In other words, it’s all about her.  Every weekend must be a Holy Tara Weekend, oddly enough, cause it’s always about her.  (Maybe Queenie is a better name for her).

So what I’m saying is fun and leisure will be of the small for me this weekend.  Get me wrong, do not…I am not complaining about giving my brain a much needed and long overdue workout and I’m quite grateful for the chance to do so.

Take my Baby’s Daddy…Mr. Smiff is somewhere in Missouri tonight and tomorrow plays in Oklahoma somewhere.  Mr. Smiff will mesmerize his people with his amazing slap bass technique and harmonic acrobatics.  It is hard work traveling (sleeping in a bus is sleeping in a bus) and it’s hard for him to be away from home so often, blah blah. 

I find it a little hard to feel sarry for him having to rise at a rather early hour tomorrow because he will be a guest in the home of Mr. & Mrs. Garth Yearwood for breakfast early.  Hmmph.  Just for that, I’m going to live on the edge and go to Chik Fil A and get one of those biscuits with egg, cheese and bacon AND get some coffee. 

I wonder what the Brooks’/Yearwoods will  serve?  Maybe some Lucky Charms?  Pop Tarts? Toaster Strudel? I’ll let you know what they eat.

Three Days On The Road And I’m A’Gonna Make It Home Tonight


After a three days on the road, Mr. Smiff needs to catch up on his beauty rest.

We’ve spent this holiday eating grilled hamburgers prepared by Nephew Smiff,  Sista’s Baked Beans, Hash Brown Casserole, Lemon Gooey Butter Cake.  Me and the Mista watched,and thoroughly enjoyed Directed By John Ford, a documentary on the legendary filmmaker, directed by Peter Bogdanavich. (I know what you’re thinking…excitement just never stops over there with them Smiffs).  I’ve never seen interviews with John Wayne, Jimmy Stewart and Henry Fonda done like these were done.  I had never seen these before and they are fabulous.  Wage, have you seen this?  You’d love it.

  Three day weekends are never long enough. Glad to have the Old Man home though.  The Grascals are on the Grand Ole Opry tomorrow (Tuesday 9/4) and oh yeah…mark your calendars for New Year’s Eve.  They will be returning for what is turning out to be a New Year’s tradition, bringing the new year in at the World Famous Station Inn.

I Think I Can

I have not one inkling of nervousness or fear about beginning this whole school thing.  The only thing that scares me about starting college today is that, like so many other things in my life, I have a fear way down there that I’ll not complete it.  Poor follow-through one of those things that has tended to follow me through life.  I picture it like the toenail fungus monster on that commercial.  My mother says even when I was little I was like that.

My husband has been incredibly supportive of every wild idea I’ve ever had.  He’s never once said “I don’t think you can do that.”  I’ve told myself that A LOT with different things.  I want to do this and finish it, yes, for me, but, largely for the Old Man.  Not to prove anything to him because I have nothing to prove to him.  I do want it to make our lives better in every possible way.

It’s been about a year to the day since I lost my job and wondered what in the world I would do and who’da thunk I’d be trotting off to school with my backpack and everything a year later? I never dreamed such.

Dig If You Will

bus.jpgHow bout the new Grascal-Mobile?(Click to embiggen)  As Andy would say “It’s niiiiiiiiice.”  Be listening/watching  for commercials all across the U S of A in the very near future and more importantly, be watching for Mayberry’s Finest in your grocery store and buy lots of it. 

Mr. Smiff has been traveling the highways and bi-ways for 30 years.  He’s ridden in cars, RV’s, vans, many vehicles that have broken down a lot, the Osborne Bus, and just about every type of vehicle you can imagine.  It’s about time he traveled in style.

*Thanks Marcela for the picture.  I still haven’t gotten to see it in person yet.

Friday Finally Came Around (And This Girl WASN’T Ready To Paint The Town)

 Raise your hand if you’re glad it’s Friday…Gosh, but, it’s been a long and tiring week.  Not necessarily a bad week, just long, busy, and HOT. 

I’m glad I followed up with our regular doctor today with the Holy Tara.  She has said all week she’s had a headache and all, but, she has continued on with her regular activities pretty normal.  The doctor gave her a series of neurological test-type things today.  Things like spelling certain words, drawing certain things, standing a certain way without falling, etc.  Things that sound pretty silly, but, somehow tell a lot about the brain.  He said she most definitely has a concussion and that anytime you are knocked out, even if for a couple seconds, it’s a concussion.  It’s a shock to the brain and it experiences some swelling.  He ordered her to lay low all weekend and not do anything but rest and take in lots of fluids.  If the headache gets worse, I get to take her back for a CAT scan over the weekend.  Yay.

I was surprised last weekend that Vanderbilt didn’t do a scan on her and so was the doctor.  I don’t know that they ever got how hard her head hit that tree. I guess the protocol they followed did not lead them to believe it was necessary, but, I wish they’d have done it.  Anyway, she’s resting and not very happy that she missed a couple very important social opportunities tonight.  I’m feeling a teeny bit of Bad Mother Guilt for not keeping her out of school one day.  She went on about her regular routine, though.

It’s been a busy, busy few weeks for the Grascals and that, in turn, is draining on me. Hard on everybody, really.  It’s been one of those weeks where Mr. Smiff is in and out…hi and bye.  We had some asspain things to deal with the finances this week. Without going into all the long, drawnout details, we hate Wells Fargo and once the car is paid for will never, ever do bidness with them again.

I finally, FINALLY made an appointment and got the insurance approval to be tested for ADD.  I think my life may change drastically.  I’ve been dealing with this since I was about 12.  Maybe some help is around the corner.  I hope so.

I’m a little put out with the voters of the IBMA for not giving The Grascals any Individual Instrument nominations.  Sorry folks, maybe I’m prejudiced but Terry Eldredge deserves a Male Vocalist nomination,  Danny Roberts deserves a mandolin nomination and Terry Smith is LONG overdue for a Bass nomination.  He can play circles around a certain nominee, who has won it umpteen times, is a good guy and a friend, but, just so happens to be a better politicker than Terry is.  Either way, it infuriates me.  There, I said it.  The IBMA voters were smart enough to nominate the Grascals for Entertainer of the Year and Gospel Recorded Song of the Year.  That keeps me from throwing and out and out hissy fit.

I had lunch at the absolute cutest place today…The Yard Shop on Gallatin Rd. in Inglewood.  Wonderful sandwiches, coffee, eclectic things inside, yard stuff…fun place to eat.  I’ll definitely be going back.  They had a picture hanging on the wall that I have and an old pew that used to sit on the stage at the Grand Ole Opry. 

I hated to miss the get-together at Blackstone, but, I only had a limited amount of time this evening to visit with Sir Smiff and I was just plain worn out from learning more than I ever thought I would know about STD’s this week at work and how rampant it is in this area and everything else that’s gone on this week.  I don’t have the stamina the other guys have.  Does that mean I’m old because I’m more interested in some quality time in bed (don’t get all excited. Mr. Smiff is at the Grand Ole Opry tonight.  No excitement there). 

Your Sista is tuckered out and very happy it’s Friday and anticipating a nice sleep tonight


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