Take a whiff of Sista Smiff and you'll come back for more, that's fo sho!

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

More You Tube Fun

All the Sesame Street talk yesterday got me nostalgic and I wanted to see if there were videos from two of my other most favoritest kid shows.

I hit the jackpot.

I always dug th-is this.

I wish they had the one that had "It's the plummah and I've come to fix the sink!"

I think this show is why I learned to read, well, when I was 4. I was such a good reader, in first grade they sent me to second grade for reading class. I quit when Mrs. Massey told me if I was too shy to read out loud (in front of the big 2nd graders) I shouldn't be there. So, for the embarrassment she caused me, I never went back. Seems to be the story of my life.

Wish I could find some clips of "Zoom." Now THERE was a show. I wanted nothing more than to be a Zoom kid and have the rugby shirt and make paper mache.

Birthday Girl

Happy Birthday today to the mutha of mothers in law. She's also seeing Keith Urban on the side. (Don't tell Nicole. That might start a catfight.)  Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Can You Tell Me How To Get...

Boy, this'll make your Monday/Tuesday morning after a long weekend. Ivy, the Good and Wonderful has hooked us up with some classic Sesame Street clips.

One of the funniest things I've ever seen in my life is Kermit with teeth. For some reason, that sends me into uncontrollable giggling.

I've always been partial to The Martians too and can do a rip-roaring imitation of them.

I always liked it, too, when Grover was doing that waiter gig.

Ernie and Bert....well, they are just the best.

And anytime the Man In Black showed up at 123 Sesame Street, it was a good day.

I wish they had the clip with the chef falling down the stairs.

How I love You Tube!

Monday, May 29, 2006

Does Barry Manilow Know You Raided His Wardrobe?

Paul Gleason died over the weekend from cancer. Those of us who were teens in the 80's know him as the crabby principal in The Breakfast Club. A great character actor, I also loved him in Trading Places.
If you would like to see The Grascals perform here in Nashville, one opportunity you'll have will be July 6 at the Ryman Auditorium for Martha White Bluegrass Night. Tickets are on sale here now.

I bet the tickets will go fairly quickly cause some guy named Vince is closing for them.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

In The Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening....

Praise the Lord and pass the Freon. We have Air Conditioning at the Smiff House again! Seems the ol A/C had frozen up. I hated to have to shuck out $230 to have it fixed, but, at the same time, it was worth every penny.

Having no air conditioner for a number of days will cause one to lose their sense of humor and it also doesn't make for a good hair day. I had to go out to the car this morning, after I had dried my hair, to turn the car on to cool off a minute.

In theory, I should wait a long time until I complain about being too cold again, but, chances are, within 24 hours, I will complain about something. Air conditioning is one of those things we most definitely take for granted. I know there are people starving in China and all that, but, Sista Smiff needs her air conditioning. I don't require much in terms of material things (save getting my nails done) but I am spoiled in the realm of being too cold or too warm.

Mr. Smiff has returned home to the bosom of his family, safe and sound. He had something of a dazed, road weary look on his face upon his arrival. Everybody's glad to have him back although he will have to be in the studio tomorrow. No matter....I'm parking it at the Y swimming pool, hoping that the pregnant woman won't be there because she has delivered.

Heroes Proved

Just about everybody has somebody (s) in their family that made the ultimate sacrifice for our security and freedom and my bunch is no exception.

These four boys in this old newspaper clipping from The Alexandria Town Talk in 1944 are my uncles, my mom's brothers. The article was praising the brothers for all serving overseas at the same time. How my poor grandmother slept a wink during this period, I do not know. I look at this and am just floored with how young they were, not hardly the middle aged and older men I have known.

I only knew three of them, though, because the first one on the left did not make it back from his tour of duty. He was a gunner in the Air Force and was shot down over Italy in 1944, pretty close to his 25th birthday.

The second one on the left is the only one still living. He is 84 and still travels to the get togethers his unit has. I've never heard him speak of his experiences in the war, which is pretty typical of war vets. He is in possession of the Purple Heart, though, which he received for his injuries. He still has shrapnel in his head.

The one on the far right suffered emotionally due to his experiences. I've always said that three of my uncles survived physically, but, one did not survive emotionally. The military must not have had any resources to help these young guys cope with what they saw and experienced because like a lot of other veterans, he used the bottle to numb his pain, as a result, losing his wife and young boys, never to be part of their lives again.

While I hate war and know the cost pretty close up, I also know that anything worth having is costly. Our family sacrificed much, but, I doubt, if my uncles could talk to us and if the living one would be willing to talk about it, (most of them don't talk about the war) that they would have done it any different.

O beautiful for heroes proved In liberating strife.
Who more than self their country loved and mercy more than life!
America! America! May God thy gold refine
Till all success be nobleness And every gain divine!

Saturday, May 27, 2006


I have a word to say to the woman at the swimming pool today who was wearing a string bikini and is approximately 13 months pregnant: That is just plain WRONG.

This woman has a nice figure and it wasn't her stomach that was obscene. It was her mammary glands, which I know are getting primed and ready, but, the rest of us do not need to see that your top barely covered them.

I've been pregnant three times. I don't have issues with a pregnant body, although I'm not of this mind that women are at the most beee-yootiful when they are in that condition. I think we have that dang "A Baby Story" to blame for crap like this. This woman was not pretty and she should be severely punished for doing what she did. Thank goodness, I didn't see "Old Guy Wearing A Speedo" today. That's something else that should be against the law. The only people that look good wearing Speedos are Olympic swimmers. Got it guys? DO NOT WEAR A SPEEDO even if you do have a six pack. Just don't.

The Muffia's are staking their claim on the pool already. They were out in full force. I'm sure they noticed I didn't do such a great job shaving my legs. I only do in the winter what I have to get by with, but, that doesn't work so well once swimming pool season gets here. I thought I did a good job but apparently, my eyes are failing me.

And as I predicted, the pool had to shut down about 5 minutes after we left for it's first Kid Crap today. I'm really glad my children are potty trained. I would be so embarrassed if my kid was the reason the pool had to shut down on the first day it's open for the season.
As you can see, I've been messing around with my blog template. I tried to do something a little more new fangled and unique, but, I still live in the 50's.

I've changed my photograph. I thought perhaps it was time for a more updated photo. The Brownie photo of me from before, while extremely cute in it's 1970's way, has run its course. I was only a Brownie for about 5 minutes anyway. I did, however, return to Brownies when I found out they were putting on a puppet show. Show business has always been my life.

I'm holding my new digital camera in the photo. I'm not sure how many megapixels it has, but, it is a nice fashion accessory.

The things having no air conditioning will make one do....mess with your blog template at 2 a.m. because it's to effin hot to sleep.

Friday, May 26, 2006

School's Out

I know it's officially summer, even though the calendar doesn't say that it is. You know how I know? I've told #2, about 15 times this morning (it's not even 11 yet) to make up his mind if he's going to stay in or out. He's opened the back door, gone outside, come back in 2 minutes later a few too many times and it's getting on my nerves.

Put that on the list of "Scary Things I Hear Myself Saying, That I Never Dreamed I'd Hear Myself Say" list.

Random ADD Thoughts and a Song For You

I've tried to talk to Mr. Smiff 14 times today and everytime, it's broken up and I hear the last word of every sentence he says.

The Hendersonville Utility District has this thing where they expect to be paid for use of their services. The Smiff's neglected to pay the bill and guess what happened? I got home and there was no water in the schpicketsch. I rushed over to the water company and I got there at 4:56. They close at 5. This is a good thing. Mr. Smiff was probably happy the cell phone service in Branson is so crappy. I've been such a joy for him to talk to on the phone while he's away the last couple days anyway. Heh. I'm also glad #1 Son knows how to cut the water back on out in the yard.

I've never been to a funeral home visitation with a husband/wife casket until tonight. I've also never seen a funeral home so packed with people as the Hendersonville Funeral Home was this evening. Charlie, Billy and Bettie had a lot of friends. That sorta screams volumes about what kind of people they were.

Whoa boy...Lisa Patton's getting all hyper and excited cause a starm is coming. Have you ever noticed how spastic she gets when it gets nasty out? God love her heart....Wait...shes one of them homeschoolers and I'm agin those. That's probably why she's so nervous. Wrangling those kids all day and then going to work to tell us what the weather's doing.

I'm kinda partial to Ron Howes when it comes to starm predicting. I think you need an air of calmness, yet, in control. Maybe Ron's wig is what keeps him so calm. Would be horrible if he pulled a Pat Boone and knocked that sucker off in the middle of telling us that a funnel could has been spotted in Big Sandy and that we are under the gun and we need to batten down the hatches. Actually, I've never heard Ron say either of those phrases, but, Lisa likes them. I think Ron has a policy that he doesn't say any cliched phrases on air. I also bet Ron has no sense of humor off camera and I bet Lisa appreciates the value of a good, dirty joke now and then.

My air conditioner is not working good. Of course, this couldn't have happened when we had the coolest May on record, no sirreee...had to wait til it hit 90 degrees.

Today was the last day of school in Sumner County. Oddly enough, two of the kids were a little down. The Dawta was sad because a friend of hers is moving to Brentwood and she's afraid she'll never see her again.

Best I can gather, #2 is sad because he will not be in Mrs. Smith's class anymore. #2 is ADHD and has a hard time expressing himself. You have to really dig to get any kind of details out of him. He was very weepy tonight and Mrs. Smith told me earlier she didn't think he felt good today. I think somewhere in his mind, the reality hit that he's moving on to third grade. Hoping and praying his third grade teacher is as patient as Mrs. Smith has been and will get him.

I don't have the slightest idea where #2 got his ADD from.

#1 made the highest grade in his math class on the exam today and aced all of his others. I did not see him once look at a study guide or open a book. He's a freak.

Here's you a song for a stormy night. This is so good, it'll make you want to slap your mama. Don't do that, but, you'll want to after you hear this. Linda, Dolly and Emmylou...if you don't think this is pretty...well, I can't hep you.

"My Blue Tears" - Linda Ronstadt:

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Grassland Grill-RIP

I hate to see that the Grassland Grill is closing. The Grill has been part of the Grassland area since 1992. I watched that establishment from the very beginning days start as a little sandwich shop and grow into a thriving business. Seems business isn't what it was and I can't help but think the change in ownership probably had something to do with it. I'm not knocking the current owners...I'm just a little partial to the founder, one E. Darrin Kirby. (I'm so glad I have an excuse to write about one of my favorite families in the world!!)

Darrin is kinda like a brother to my sister and me. Our families met back in 1971 or 72 when we all attended Grassland Heights Baptist Church. Darrin was a year behind me in school but we were born the same year. We spent many a Sunday night after church at their house or our house. Some Sunday nights, we'd all go to Shoney's and at the infamous "Kids Table" we were known to doctor up glasses of water with ketchup, mustard, whatever condiments were handy....yes, we were delightful and I'm sure we thought were sooo original.

Friday nights, we ate with them at Bonanza for many years (Look Daddy! There's a monkey!" Inside joke) I have a rather large closet of Darrin Kirby stories that I could probably make some extortion money from and he, no doubt, has a tale or two to tell on me. Oh gosh, I know he does. He probably has way more on me than I do him.

Darrin's dad became one of my dad's very closest and dearest friends. He's something of a surrogate dad to me now, although I don't see him near as often as I would like. Every now and then, my phone will ring and it will be Dean Kirby calling with a question about a song or a memory of something...out of the blue. I love it when that happens.

The rest of the family...sisters Debby and Karen....they're all hysterical people and they have a slew of friends that are some hysterical people. In fact, my subtitle of this here blog is not something I made up....that "honor" goes to Lisa Underwood.

Anytime I heard anybody mention the Grill, I always had a snort of pride because Darrin worked really hard to build that business and he succeeded. Whoda thunk the same kid who get his groove on and shake it to the Commodores like he did could be a bidnessman?!??!!?

He sold it a year or so ago, after all those years of working such long hours. He did that because he is now a husband and father and didn't want to miss anything with his little girl. I'm sure he missed the Grill, but, really, I think he made the right choice.

Darrin's daddy owned the Texaco station there in Grassland for many years and his older brother, Mitch, owns and operates it today. That bunch knows everybody in the area and most of Franklin. I know when anything goes on or I hear of this or that in the Grassland/Franklin area, I can call their mother, Judi, or "Gee" as she has become known to most, and she or Dean can fill me in on what's happening.

I could probably do a hundred posts about this bunch of people and I will have to make it a point to do a Dean Kirby post before long. He is truly one of the funniest people in the human race.

One of the things about Darrin....we didn't hang out when we were teenagers. He was cool and I...wasn't...and I see him maybe once every couple years but to give you an idea how silly I am about him....the day I got married....I was cool as a cucumber, not nervous or emotional or nothing. I was ready to be Mrs. Smiff and get on with it all.

I'm sitting in the little bride room at the church before the wedding commenced and had a few minutes where I was sitting in there by myself. I was just sitting there, twiddling my thumbs and the door opens and Darrin peeked his head in. I don't remember what he said, but, it caused me to burst into tears. It was just a neat little moment we had that I've never forgotten.

I'm glad Darrin gave up the Grill to be a devoted husband and dad. Maybe some of these days he'll fire it up again. He sho can make some good cheeseburgers.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry

Criminy...I'm up to what, 3 posts today? I guess I'm going to have to just admit it here and ya'll have to promise not to tell, because it will destroy my reputation as the independent, Musician Widow....I miss Mr. Smiff.

Now, it's not his handyman abilities I'm missing and it's certainly not watching him switch channels back and forth betwixt the NBA playoffs and Andy Griffith (WWF Wrestling if I'm really lucky and it's Monday night!!) and all his middle aged persnicketyness....not missing that he can't see diddly squat without his drugstore glasses, his bringing me breakfast in bed or that morning cup of coffee he always has waiting for me as I rise to meet the day....nah...I just miss his Smiffness.

Thing about it is, I get in a rythym when he's gone on these long trips. I have my own method of channel changing that I think is superior to his (he would argue this point til the cows come that I don't know how to channel surf. I guess he should know, for he IS the champion at that) and when he gets back, I have to totally adjust the shedyool and routine and get used to him being back.

I'm tired of refereeing kid arguments alone. The latest one is why Taylor shouldn't have won American Idol, according to the Dawta, and dealing with her bad mood as a result of his win. Dealing with the fact that #2 was the only kid in his class who didn't wear his class tshirt today for their end of the year pizza shindig. (I didn't see the note saying to wear it til, oh, about 3 minutes before the bus came this morning and I had NO idear where the thing was) I told him to tell Mrs. Smith that "Mother has officially lost her mind and needs some sort of prescription" is why he didn't wear his shirt.

Just like when one of the kids is missing, it's not the same around here, it's not the same when Mr. Smiff is gone more than 3 days at a time. It's too long and too hard on everybody.

I do have to look forward to, this weekend, that the swimming pool opens up. I will be there bright and early to meet the 10:0 sun and I'm sure Tim Lee will be there. I think I will get me a new swimsuit and I've been sweating and sweating what kind I'll get. Beings I'm a Christian woman, I think modesty is most imortant, thus, I will be getting this swimsuit for the upcoming season.

Who'd have thought Pentecostal Swimwear could be so....fasionable?!?!? Nothing like taking a dip on a hot day in your culotte-styled suit!!? I will be the envy of all the muffias this summer.


I'm tired of being sad and nostalgic. I think it's high time we all laugh so hard, we wet our pants. Everybody ready? Let's go!

Life Is Fragile

I was about to do a whiny, ranting and raving post about how mad I am that some of the other families in the Grascals made the trip to Silver Dollar City this week. I'm mad cause the Smiffs didn't get to go due to final exams for the middle schoolers. I was really upset about the whole thing and was on a good roll of feeling sorry for myself and how I don't get to go anywhere, do anything, etc.

Then I got a comment from the marketing manager of the Palm Lake Opry in Foley, AL. The Palm Lake Opry is where Billy Walker played last Saturday night before he, his band, wife and grandson were involved in the horrible accident that killed 4 and has left the grandson fighting for his life. They have a photo up of the last performance Saturday night.

Bassist Charlie Lilly is somebody Mr. Smiff liked a lot and his son, Aaron, is the same age as our oldest son and they have some classes together. Charlie's parents had lost two other sons before his death last weekend. The Lilly's also attended the same church where we used to go and where #1 still goes.

Danny Patton was engaged to be married and is the father of three children.

That rant I was going to do about how I didn't get to go ride roller coasters is not really so important anymore. I bet Karen Lilly would switch places with me in a heartbeat about now.

Keep the Walkers, Lilly's and Pattons all in your prayers.

Deep Within My Heart Lies A Melody...

Most of my dad's family are in San Antonio, Texas. I spent most of my summer vacations in San Antonio as well as Thanksgivings. I have a plethora of memories of San Antonio and the mere mention of the town can send me into a state of grave sentimentality and cheesy with emotion.

Cousin Brad married the lovely Nicole this past weekend and his uncle, Cousin Brian, was kind enough to share photos of the event, that of course, cause I live so far away, I was not able to attend. I remember when Cousin Brad was in utero so the mere fact that he is now somebody's husband makes me feel somewhat like I'm ready for Assisted Living.

The Groom's mother, pictured above in pink, is the sweet Mary. She's been married to my Cousin Wayne for so long, I forget she's not blood kin. She has been dealing with ovarian cancer the past year and looks absolutely wonderful. This photo of Cousin Wayne sent me into teary mode. One, big day for him, but, also because he looks so much like his father, Charles, who was my father's brother. Everybody in the family misses Charles so much. He was the family Rock, Stabilizer and was the brother with sense. Now, my dad had lots of sense and was very intelligent. He and his big brother were a lot alike, it's just that Charles didn't suck quite so much air out of a room...if ya know what I mean.

Do take note of my Aunt Joy. She just turned 86 years young and gets online and checks email everyday. The other ladies pictured are Nancy, married to Cousin Ron (get it, Ron & Nancy? Just like the Reagans. Heh.) Cousin Vicki and her sister Cousin Cindy. Those two think they're all that just cause they're 50 something and are still smokin' hot. Psshhht...whatever. (I'm joking...they're gorgeous)

Next is Cousin Ron and Cousin Judi. Actually, I'm more inclined to call him "Ronnie". I'm just being nice cause I doubt anybody else in his life calls him Ronnie except me. Cousin Judi is a middle school teacher and has every known animal on her farm. She's kinda like Noah.

Thank goodness for email and the internet so we can keep up with far away loved ones and see special days like this from afar.

Wish I coulda been there. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Feminine Protection?!??!!

I guess I'm being smited for putting graffiti on the maxi pad box at Forest Hills Baptist Church when I was about 6 or 7. I just got paid back.

The maxi pad box, where I work, just attacked me. This receptacle is not secured as it should be and has a tendency to come out of its compartment when it's touched. It's a big, metal box. This isn't some Rubbermaid, plastic thing here.

A couple of ladies on this floor have been hit in the head with it (don't ask how that happened) and just now that dang thing landed on my big, nicely French pedicured toe. It's a wonder I didn't scream obscenities. It HURT. Now I'll have a nice black mark to start swimming pool season with.

What's worse is co-worker Elizabeth heard the whole commotion and thought that was the funniest thing. She was just laughing her head off. I told her she would next be smited for laughing at my infirmity. Here, this woman picks up stray dogs off Gallatin Rd. and finds homes for them and yet, doesn't have the mercy of a bottlecap at the fact that the maxi pad box caused me injury. What is this world coming to?

Co-worker George comes out of his office and offers me much mercy and said he hates it when people get hurt and there's always somebody around that will laugh like they're watching a Monty Python movie. I hate that too...what's up with that? He said one time he was trying to show his mother in law how to swing a golf club and she got him in the head, busting his noggin open and there's he's bleeding and she's just laughing like crazy.

I want my workman's comp!

What A Way To Go

Mr. Smiff and gang are at it again. Out traveling the highways of the good ol US of A, proving once again that show business is without question, THE most glamorous field one can go into.

Mr. Smiff and band were traveling to Branson, MO, Sunday night to work all this week at Silver Dollar City. I've never had the pleasure myself, but, hear Branson is pretty much in the middle of nowhere. There's not an interstate that goes into it and it's just a pain to get to. I'd love to go see the The Baldnobbers Jamboree or maybe Yakov Smirnoff yucking it up and especially The Elvis Experience. Maybe next time. I really would love to go to there sometime, but, I'm sure by the time I get there, everything will be gone and all that will be left is remnants of Andy Williams' theater, kinda like the remnants of the Grizzly River Rampage are still at Opry Mills. (Look for an Opryland post very soon)

Said Grascals were making their way to the Ozark's mecca of showbiz late Sunday evening and they have some alternator trouble. I don't know, nor do I need to know, the story of how they made it from the middle of nowhere and found a Uhaul truck, but, I'm sure it was colorful. Something in me pictures thoughts of "Deliverance" on a dark, Missouri road, late at night..Deliverance or the Darlins....anyway,

For the last hour or so of the ride into Branson, the guys are forced to take a Uhaul truck, with their trailer hooked up to the back AND some of the guys riding in the back of the truck. This absolutely cracks me up. Remember in "Home Alone" when John Candy, as leader of a polka band, offers Kevin's mom a ride and it's in the back of Uhaul?? I doubt these guys were playing Christmas carols on their way into town. I think it was probably more of a cuss-fest than a time of shoutin' and praises to the Lord.

They're doing three shows a day and something else about Branson is there's not much in the way of cell service. I have tried to talk to Mr. Smiff I don't know how many times and everytime, about as far as we get is "Hello?!" If I'm lucky, I do get to hear the VERY LOUD train whistle from Silver Dollar City. They've got them lodging in some sort of cabin dwelling and for some unknown reason, their telephone was removed yesterday. ??

I called him yesterday afternoon and he answers and I hear all this racket in the background and he says "Know where we are? In the back of a Uhaul going to the show!!" They have to keep the door up a little because Danny the mandolin player had a near suffocation experience riding in a Uhaul once.

Yes, kids...show business is glamourous. The glitz and glamour of it all is what keeps Mr. Smiff going after so many years. Last week, they were traveling in a custom bus, with television and dvd player, all the comforts of home...this week, in the back of a Uhaul.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Gotta Go Now, Guess I'll See You Around....

All the Smiffs were sad to hear of the sudden deaths of Billy Walker, his wife, Bettie, and musicians Charlie Lilly and Dan Patton.

Billy had such a long, distinguished career in country music and was one of the most respected and just all around nice guys in country music.

It's ironic that Billy died the way he did, considering the many years and miles he's been traveling and the fact that he was supposed to have been on the airplane that killed Patsy Cline, Hawkshaw Hawkins, Cowboy Copas and Randy Hughes. The story is now legend of how Billy was scheduled to fly back from Kansas City with that group, but, after his then father in law died, Hawkshaw gave him his commercial plane ticket back to Nashville.

My Dawta and I were in Wal Mart yesterday afternoon after we had heard the news about the wreck when I suddenly recollected a special Billy Walker memory and I started to tell her and got a little teary. She was mortified. "Wait til we get in the car!!!!!" (It's not like I was making a dramatic scene or nothing but to hear it from her....)

Back in 1991, my dad was dying of prostate cancer. Billy and Dad went back to the early 50's in Texas and had a long friendship. Billy was a very committed and onfire Christian and he arranged for some of the people at his church to have a healing service for him. I'm not a Benny Hinn/Ernest Angeley type of gal, but, the fact that Billy cared and wanted to do what he could for Dad...well, it's heavy and still brings tears to my eyes thinking about it.

Last time I saw Billy and Bettie was at El Rodeo in Hendersonville. We had a nice little visit in the parking lot and he was telling my kids about their grandfather, who they never knew.

I can't help but think that Billy would've probably rather gone out the way he did...still working, with his beloved Bettie at his side, quickly and no suffering and more than ready to meet the Lord face to face, but, the biggest jolt of the whole thing for us, and so many people in our lives who make their living playing music is how often they all pack up after a show, hop in the bus or van and drive all night to get back home. I think about it often, but, can't dwell on the dangers, however, this morning, Mr. Smiff did say he and the boys wore their seatbelts while traveling last night and they were probably a little more mindful of safety on the road than they were before.

Fortunately, this kind of thing doesn't happen as often as it did before interstates, when the artists traveled by car on two lane roads and really, as often as they all burn up the roads, it's amazing it doesn't happen more. Like I said, I can't let myself be fraught with worry but have to continue to ask God to watch out for the guys, and all our other friends, while they travel.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

The Fifth White

Usually, my Sundays (and weekends for that matter) are quite uneventful but today, I am most happy to report that I have something to tell. The Dawta and I went to the Skaggs' for a bridal tea for the adorable and cuter than cute Rachel Warren (her mom is the also adorable and cuter than cute Cheryl White of the Whites). Anytime you go to the Skaggs House, it's a fun time. That bunch is the happiest and funnest bunch of people to be around and you can bet, anytime you're at that house, there's bound to be some singing and today was no exception.

Molly Skaggs (Ricky and Sharon's daughter and Belmont student) and cousin Rachel sat down at the piano and blessed us with "Lord Most High"....then all of the White Sisters (including Melissa and Rosie) joined with Molly and Rachel and sang "Light Of The Stable" (who cares if it ain't Christmas) and it was just beautiful. A couple of other ladies took a turn and sang "He Touched Me" and "Light at the End Of the Darkness" and then Cheryl asked my sister in law, Marilyn to sing, which she did. Sharon was egging me on to sing with Marilyn on "Timberline" a rather obscure Emmylou Harris tune that I just happened to know. I was a wee intimidated to do that because dang, that room was full of some hellatious singers but then Cheryl took the lower part and I did the higher part and oh my gosh.... I know Cheryl was thinking "Forget that Emmylou girl and that ol' Alison...I am singing with the Sista." I just know that she and Sharon are tonight trying to figure out how they can bring me into the act and be their other sister. Yeah! They're discussing my awesomeness right this very minute. (Just let me continue my 13 year old fantasy here....this is my blog)

My sister in law...she has this remarkable, trained voice so there I sang with her and Cheryl....who has sung on the Academy Awards with Alison Krauss and then there was Sista Smiff. Hello? Which of these things just doesn't belong here...come on, can you tell which one???? It was like being in Hillbilly Heaven right here in the Hendersonville city limits. That was the best prescription for the PMS Blues I'm fighting and that Mr. Smiff is gone for another week and I've not been looking forward to being a single parent for the second week in a row.

Ya gotta understand that I've wanted to be a White since I was about 13, ever since I heard them sing with Emmylou on "Blue Kentucky Girl", "Roses In The Snow" and "Light of the Stable". In my dreams, I had three sisters and we could sing just like them. When other kids were headbanging in the 80's diggin them some Debbie Gibson and Tiffany, I was diggin the Whites. I've been fortunate enough to get to know these ladies and call them all friends.

Only in Nashville do you get to do stuff like that.

Friday, May 19, 2006

But I Kinda Like The Beatles

How bout a great song for a Friday evening? I love this song. Why has somebody not picked it up of late and brought it back? On second thought, the original is so good (and Elvis laid a good hurtin' on it, too), I don't know what commercial artist of today would have the oomph and soul to do it any justice.

Hoyt Axton, who wrote "Never Been To Spain", was a brilliant songwriter, recording artist, and succesful character actor.
I had the chance to meet Hoyt a time or two, but, like so many other amazing people I've met, at the time I met them, I didn't realize how special they were and how important they were with their art. When I met Hoyt, I had not yet discovered Jeremiah was a bullfrog, either. I'd have probably gurmed him to death.

I did know Hoyt's mom, Mae Boren Axton, rather well and spent a lot of time with her over the years. Mae was almost like those old Hollywood actresses...full of bs, but, absolutely a great personality and character. I miss her.

Never Been To Spain: "1. Never Been To Spain - Three Dog Night"

Whose Gonna Mow Your Grass?

The above title is more than a Buck Owens song, but my reality.

We have weeds. Not the kind you can smoke, but, the kind that grow in the yard and make your house look like Redneck Central. These flowerbeds are huge and the shrubs were ugly so we cut them down a few years back. Some sort of ivy has taken up residence and it has taken over the front and it's bigger than I can deal with. These are industrial strength

Mr. Smiff is not a handyman and this is his busy time of year so he can't deal with the clearing out of the flower beds, although he has claimed for a couple years now he would do it, don't hire somebody. This is why I was so surprised when he told me to see if Bubba can mow our yard this week and that I could get somebody to clear out the flowerbeds.

Bubba is a guy we've known for years through church, our kids go to the same school and he's been our regular mower before, but, we've done it ourselves the last few years. I've mentioned this bed problem to Bubba before and have called him to see about hiring him and his crew to take care of it. I'm getting the feeling Bubba would rather not deal with the Smiff Beds because he never calls me back on it. As much as I feel an allegiance to Bubba Cowan Lawncare, cause he's a good guy, I'm thinking I'm going to have to go in another direction to get this issew dealt with.

I look in the Hendersonville paper because I know there are a ton of yard guys out here and sometimes I see ads. Being the introvert who hates to use the phone, I see one with an email address (yay!) so I email the guy last night.

Now, I know yard guys work when there is sunlight and probably don't spend a lot of time in front of the computer. If I were advertising my lawn mowing bidness and I worded it something like call or email, I would make it a point to look at my email every night, just incase I had some inquiries. Yes?

I've made a couple calls and apparently, finding a yard guy is nearly as exclusive as a membership at the Belle Meade Country Club. They're not taking new customers.
So, if you know any yard guys, in or around Hendersonville, who would like to mow my yard, possibly a regular gig and can take care of my weed issues, gimme a holler.

***Update-I found a yard guy. He calls his company "Mow Town" and the name alone warrants at least an estimate. Too bad it's not Smokey Robinson or Tito Jackson. I appreciate the fact that the yard guy sees the importance in creativity in the name. He could've just called himslf "Sam the Yard Guy".

I need to do before and after pictures.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Homeschooling Parent Elected To School Board

My dander's getting up and I'm about to speak out on an issew, whoa-boy. This right here irritates the snot out of me. If this was my school board, I'd be marching down there and pitching a hissy fit.

Why do I hate homeschooling so much?

Where I used to go to church is crawling with homeschoolers. I helped teach children's choir for a couple of years there. You ask a kid "What school do you go to?" The MOTHER jumps in and answers, with nose in the air, pulling her child to her, "We HOME school."

Half the time, homeschooling people don't allow their kids to ever have any sugar of any kind. One time, at the same church, we had a little Christmas party, and this one little girl could not partake in any of the treats because her mother wouldn't allow she and her 10 siblings to have anything that wasn't "natural." This happened several times that year whenever we'd have treats for the kids. That little girl had to just sit there and watch and I felt so sorry for her.

And why is it that a lot of the HSers have a ton of kids? They have these little tribes. Somehow, that goes with homeschooling. A local doctor out here in Hendersonville is expecting his 8th child, on purpose. She keeps popping them out and he's going to wonder why she has to "go away" for awhile one of these days. Did you know there's a website for these people ? The word "creepy" comes to mind when you look at that site.

I'm not saying you can't teach your kid at home and them not get a good education. Sure, they can. When I think back to my schooling, and now watching my own kids, so much of my education had nothing to do with the three R's. There are life-lessons learned that you don't learn from a book.

This morning, #1 is going on and on about the 8th grade trip to Kentucky Kingdom tomorrow that he is not going on. Why is he not going? Because it's for the kids who made the Honor Roll. #1 would've been on the Honor Roll had he not gotten the unacceptable grade in band. So, he's trying to act like he didn't want to go anyway, he gets to sleep in tomorrow, it costs too much, etc. But, I know better. Most of his closest friends are going. He knows he's going to miss a fun time. Part of me is sad for him, but, at the same time, I hope he gleans how yes, even enrichment classes that aren't academic, require your best effort.

I guaran-dang-tee ya he's wishing he'd have practiced that saxophone about now.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Jesus, Rock My Baby

I was a mess watching the news earlier this evening and an interview with Josie Keaton, whose daughter was killed in that horrible car accident yesterday on Long Hollow Pike. The whole thing just makes me want to be physically ill. Here, this family was planning for their daughter's high school graduation this weekend, instead, they'll be having her funeral.

I started to lecture #1 Son on seatbelts, not riding with somebody who's been drinking, etc. and he informed me they had that lecture in about 5 classes today and My Beautiful Dawta had it too. (The young lady that was killed was a former student at their middle school)

I'm about to go into the driving territory with #1 very shortly. This part of parenting is scary as hell, turning them loose behind a wheel of a car. Stuff like this horrible car accident makes me want to lock them all up and keep them right under my feet. They would hate that and I know that's not something I can do.

This will sound so corny, but, I will have to keep repeating to myself words of a song that Irene Kelley wrote that Cheryl and Sharon White of the Whites recorded years ago. When #1 was a baby, I would sing this to him, but, now, as he's getting older, it hits home even more. You'd think it'd be the other way around:

Jesus, rock my baby whenever I'm away
Keep him safe til morning light brings another day
Too soon he'll know the trials of a world grown cold
Jesus, rock my baby, be his hand to hold
I watch him while he's sleeping so innocent, so sweet
My labor is to love him and Yours his soul to keep

God bless these grieving families.

Take A Walk...

I'm glad somebody listens when I give instructions. One of the bloggiest, CeeeLCee has shared some great memories of 100 Oaks Mall.

100 Oaks was, I think, the first mall in Tennessee. It was quaint and as you'll see at The Dry Spot, holds a ton of memories for lots of us who grew up in the Nashville area. Do yourself a favor and read his stroll down memory lane.

Madman Drummers, Bummers and Indians

I had a mind blowing, I-did-not-know-that moment today. It's not earth shattering as in a cure for cancer or something important but it blew my mind.

I did not know until today that Bruce Springsteen wrote "Blinded By The Light." As in revved up like a deuce, another runner in the night, blinded by the light. I learned this from the nice folks at XMRadio. They even played both versions for my listening pleasure.

Cube neighbor Shaun felt that the Boss's version lacked the magic of the Manfred Mann version. I do not see it that way, namely, because nothing is more pleasing to me than hearing a songwriter sing one of their compositions. Even if they are like the late, amazing Harlan Howard and can't sing a lick, there is something very special and beautiful about a composer doing their song.

Bruce's version is a lot grittier, angrier, if you will, more acoustic, while Manfred had the synthesized, 70's thing happening. In fact, if I'd have heard the Springsteen version before, it would've not immediately been recognizable to me as the same song. It's just different.

Another song that I was not aware of who wrote it until recently, although not as mind blowing because he's amazing, is that Nashvillian Steve Cropper co-wrote "Knock On Wood." I knew he wrote "Dock of the Bay" but not knock, knock, knock on wood. I bet those two ditties have bought him a lot of biscuits.

I usually know useless stuff like this that in the grand scheme of life, doesn't matter diddly squat, but, somehow my brain deems important.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006


As Ceeelcee noted earlier, we're getting old. No, we aren't signed up for AARP yet or nothing like that, but, I see signs myself. In fact, just this very evening, at the Wal Marts, I had a vision of Sista Smiff as an old person..

I go in the Wal Marts and greet the greeter with a big how do ya do..."HEY!!!" I said to her, as though I had run into a friend. Actually, I'm such a regular there, they start to get worried if they don't see me a few times a week. She was just so glad to see me.

I was there because I can't find my keys and had to get a copy (or two) made, and there's always that problem I have of not being able to find my car in the parking lot.

I ran into my friends Rosie & Brian. I've been knowing this couple coming up on 20 years. I'm over there playing with the digital cameras (I'm going to cave here soon and get one) while #2 is trying to talk me into a $40 Optimus Prime kinda toy, and Rosie and Brian come and I turn and holler and say "Hey!" like I did to the greeter and take the little camera and snap a picture of them. Dangit....that's just such an old personish thing to do.

Brian comes over with their little son in the cart (they're some of those blessed later in life parents) and he and I begin to chat about my purchase...Acid Reducer.

"Now, I take Nexium", Brian says. "That's some good stuff."

I say "Yes, it is. I used to take it when it first came out, but, my insurance wouldn't cover it."

Brian and I discuss the high price of heartburn and reflux and I say "Hey, where'd Rosie go?"

"Oh...she had to go to the bathroom."

"Well" saith the Sista, "There's some things that just won't wait."

We covered our ailments and bathroom needs. My mother's favorite subjects. If we'd have stayed a few minutes longer, I'm sure we'd have discussed somebody who died, arthritis, the weather....kinda scary.

Cabbies, Schmabbies

This is hilarious. A cabbie was mistaken for an expert on MP3...watch the look on his face when the girl introduces him.

Monday, May 15, 2006

I Love Vinyl

I love finding new blogs. I found Blogaritaville today and she was talking about listening to records and it reminded me of my love affair with vinyl.

I guess love of vinyl dates back to before my birth. My old man was a DJ. He was a dj back when there were such a thing as Radio Personalities, meaning he played what he wanted and he entertained people. He began radioing in the 1940's when he was a sophomore in high school. He ended up finding his way into the Country Disc Jockey Hall of Fame and his plaque hangs downtown at the Renaissance Hotel, but, I digress. (I tend to ramble about the Old Man because he was rather swell and has been dead a long time and I miss him).

As you can imagine, Dad had a TON of records in the house. Hundreds upon hundreds. He had more, but, my mother says the movers stole his original Hank Williams, Sr. records during the move to Tennessee to California, among others. I loved the record collection and a number of his albums make up the nucleus of my own vinyl collection. I'm nuts about my little cheap MP3 player, but, those records are near and dear to my heart and although I never listen to them anymore, I could never part with them.

Which leads me to this question....what was the first record you ever had? I don't remember the first one in my posession, however, I do remember the first 45 record I bought. I bought it at JC Penneys at 100 Oaks. It was The Carpenters "There's A Kind of Hush" and it cost me 99 cents.

I know a lot of people who claim to read this blog...I want to see some answers from those quiet ones (as well as the reggalars). If you are too young to remember records....well...piss on ya.

Family Sayings

I am not a political gal, however, I get extremely TICKLED everytime I see the commercial for Bob Corker for Senate. One, his last name is "Corker." (You think he hasn't heard some doozies of variations on his name through the years?!)

Two, the way his mother says "Cawkahs keep thay-uh wuuud."

I don't have any clue if Bob Cawkuh is Republican, Democrat, Branch Davidian, Scientologist or whatever, but tell me.....do families really have sayings like that? You know, "Kennedy's Don't Cry" (maybe they don't cry, but, they sho can throw 'em back some booze!) and crap like that?

At my house, if we had an official family slogan, it would run more along the lines of "Smiffs don't do today what they can put off til tomorrow."

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Did You Call Your Mama?

Did you have a nice Mother's Day? I can't complain about mine. My daughter made me several cards and even made a cute banner out of tissue paper and being the typical only daughter with two brothers, she signed their names to them. #2 made me a beautiful ceramic heart that says "I Love U" and he also made me a corsage out of a cupcake holder and tissue paper with Exodus 20:12 on it (He wrote 'Honor Your Mom and Dad") Ate at Jaybirds for lunch with the in-laws (Tommy Cash and Jimmy Fortune, formerly of the Statler Brothers also thought that was THE place to eat today)....it is a nice day to show our moms we appreciate them, to take them to eat, get them that hanging basket, etc. I was reminded today of how it ain't such a fun day for everybody.

At the end of the service at church today, the speaker (my pastor volunteered to spend Mother's Day Sunday keeping 2 year olds in the nursery. Leonard is quite a guy) offered the invitation (as we Baptist's do) and also invited those who wanted to come to the altar to pray to do so.

A lady that I do not know, went forward, knelt and with her head bowed, began to sob. This went on for the entire invitation time, which was about 5-7 minutes (I've never noticed time during the invitation, coulda been longer). I was seated down towards the front and could not help but wonder what it was she was crying about: Maybe she was praying for a wayward child, maybe her mother is gone and she misses her desperately; I don't know but my heart went out to her.

Another lady, a lovely mother in her early to mid 30's also went forward to pray. She has shared in a testimony before that she and her mother are estranged. The tears were flowing for her, just as they were the other lady. I know what she was praying for. I will be praying for that reconciliation, too.

My friend Craig sat in front of me, with his lovely wife. I know that today he had to have been missing the mother of his children, who passed away about 5 years ago, way too young from cancer.

A few rows over, sat another young woman who longs to experience motherhood and has tried every modern medical technology, but, still has an empty bedroom at her house, waiting to be full of a little one.

I couldn't help but think of our friend, Busy Mom, too.

My mother in law, I know, today thought of her mother, who at 92 is still living, but, due to advanced age, her mind and memory have faded and she is not able to immediately recognize her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren and lives in a nursing home about 400 miles away.

I was fortunate enough to be able to get in my car, with my Trio, and drive to see my mother. She liked her hanging basket and seemed to enjoy visiting with me and the kids. I know she was missing her mother today. Even though she passed away in 1972, the way she says "Oh....there's Mama" when she sees a photograph of her, it's obvious to me that yes, 34 years later, there are times the loss is as alive as if it had been last week that she died.

I hope my mom will be around a long, long time.

M Is For The Many Things She Gave Me

Happy Mother's Day to all the mom's out there, especially, to mine.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Has Anybody.....

Seen my retainer?

#1 Son and I wore braces at the same time, came out of them at the same time. I've never known #1 to lose his retainer. I have no clue where mine is.

My bottom teeth, pre-orthodontia, looked a little like these. Maybe not quite as bad, but, bad enough. I would've thought the bottom teeth would've been the ones that would take a lot of time to fix, but, that was not the case. Apparently, my bite was really eschew and I wore the top braces a whole year before they even put the bottom ones on. I never had any trouble, pain or anything with the top ones, however, the first two weeks with the bottom ones hurt like the dickens.

With all the work #1 had on his teeth (two rounds of braces) and mine, I have paid for a couple years of college for Tommy Koen's kids. Not to mention that there are two more Smiff's in line for orthodontia. (A fun word to say, but, not as fun as persnickety.)

After a year and a half of wearing the thing, those teeth STILL have this urge to go back to where they were the first 30 or so years of my life. The first six months after I got the braces off, I had to wear the retainer 24/7, except when I was eating. I got so used to wearing it, I felt nekkid without it for the longest time.

Pretty sad my 14 year old is more disciplined than I....and a boy at that.

Oh Rhinestoned Where Art Thou?

Where oh where is Meg? Please tell me she's just on vacation or something. I'm missing my daily Rhinestoned fix.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Hooray For Field Day!!!

Today was Field Day.

I want to know who the first person to have this bright idea of festive, competitive, frivolity every stinkin' year at the end of May? Who did this to us?

I am the first to admit I am not all up about being that parent who is ALWAYS at school for every single event, all up in the middle of it, lappin' up the PTO and all that that implies. I'm just not. Shoot me...call DCS....the head of the Muffia....the superintendent. It's not because I don't love my kids, 'cause those three are the center of my being.

I'm just gonna call it.....trying to see how many friggin marbles you can pick up with your toes out of a baby pool is perhaps the most insane activity one can spend any time doing. That's one of the many "events" held at today's Field Day festivities at #2's elementary school. It was also probably the coldest and windiest field day ever on record...anywhere.

I had two children before #2 go through this same school and this was the first Field Day I had ever been to. I didn't want to go. I hated Field Day when I was in school. I was still getting over the 2 and half hour band concert at the middle school last night that #1 Son was in. (He officially ended his band career last night. No more sax; and all my dreams of seeing him march in polyester during half time football games like I did....well, they're shot to hell now) #2 really wanted me to come today since I was a bad mother last week too and forgot he had a field trip.

Unlike his older brother and sister, #2 WANTED me there. He didn't want me out of his sight the whole time. As we walked from event to event, he held my hand and told me after each event "I really did my best!". Walking towards the Dart Throw, #2 spotted a kid he knows and said "Hey Jonathan! This is my mom!" Jonathan hollered "Hi #2's Mom" as he went to take his shot at picking up marbles with his toes.

My baby boy was proud of his mom and he may have gotten one ribbon (3rd place in Horseshoes), but, it was pretty clear to me that I was the winner today.

***As for the photo...I strategically positioned #2 and his compadres so the mini Muffia gathering in the background (to the right) could be seen.

Not A Good Gift

I'm a little concerned about Dan the Baptist over at Conservative Corner. I guess we'll know come Sunday if he survives the holiday, considering the gift he has gotten his wife for Mother's Day. This gift is what makes conservative, Christian men most unattractive to the feminist types.

Nothing says "I love you" like a household appliance, does it? I'd just as soon Mr. Smiff not get me a thang instead of that, which is a likely probablity anyway.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Word of the Day

The word for the day is "persnickety."

I told Mr. Smiff earlier in the week that he is getting quite persnickety in his old age. (Just for the record, he is closer to 50 than 40...and DO note he is almost a decade older than I, his much younger wife.)

I told him he was persnickety due to the fact that when you engage in watching the Andy Griffith Show with him, every night at 10:00, you are not to speak, move the bed, lean in his line of view in any way, shape or form, or exercise any imaginable form of distraction during this time. It is a sacred time when one most show the most ultimate in reverence, especially if Ernest T. Bass or the Darlin's are featured.

Mr. Smiff inquired what persnickety meant. I told him he was persnickety-ness personified. I don't think he believed me that this was a word because he looked it up in a real dictionary, not an online one. (He still uses the real phonebook too.)

As I was writing this here blog, his bandmate and closest friend, the one and only Elrod, calls, as he does most every night about this time, to inform Mr. Smiff which episodes of AG are coming on. Tonight, it's a couple good Barney ones, I'm told.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

That's FRONK-ensteen

So the Stones want the likes of us to know that Keith Richards was NOT brain damaged from that unfortunate tree thing.

What will probably happen is that he will come out of this sounding normal. Kinda like what sometimes happens to blind and deaf people when they get struck by lightning.

Muffia Heaven

I was so tickled when I found this blog. Here are some people who think like me. They even have a name for those moms I see at school and at my old church that made me want to scream. They are the "Muffia."

I had the priviledge to be in Muffia Heaven this morning. Mrs. Smith's Second Grade class had "Muffins for Moms" (heh) to celebrate Mother's Day. We go, they're supposed to serve us, blah blah. They give us a gift. It's a sweet thing, do not get me wrong, but, it's so obvious to me that these sorts of things are planned with the Muffia Mother in mind.

Judging by the way most of the moms were dressed, I was in the minority in that I'm a working mom. They all had on their cuter than cute capris, cutesy tootsie flip flops, perfectly pedicured toes, size 6 figures, tanning bed tans....I mean, even one of the moms who lost her home in the tornado last month looked like the Muffia Godmother. HOW DO THEY DO THIS?!?!??!??!

So, it was cute and all...they made cookbooks for the moms and there were contests. They played the purse game...you know "If you have something in your purse that starts with an 'M'"...your kid gets scholar dollars. I had a Maxi Pad in my purse. Seriously, I started to wave it in the air to get #2 his Scholar Dollars, but, my better judgement said that maybe that might cause some premature questions from the children.

The teacher called out all this other crap, none of which I had in my purse because I'm a bad mother and am so not prepared...nail clippers, safety pins, something monogrammed. I looked in my purse and besides the maxi pad (with wings!), I had three bouncy balls #2 got out of the machine at CiCi's the other night, a ton of pennies on the bottom, and Nasonex.

I did finally earn my kid some Scholar Dollars because I have a French Pedicure on my toes!!!! I just had it done the other day so pedicures DO have some value in the grand scheme.

I'd be a lot more hearty and flowery over the whole thing had #2 not started crying, complaining his head and stomach hurt. Yeah, yeah...likely story. He had asked me earlier if I could pick him up after Muffias For Moms. Not at 10:00 in the morning!

He cried and got pitiful so I took him home, grumbling, as I do so well. Get him home and tell him "You better finish that book, Mister! I'm not doing this report for you." I go to work (unlike the other Muffia moms) and I get a call from Mr. Smiff after I get there that #2 has thrown up.

I'm such a good mother aren't I?

Could I Borrow...60K?

My middle schoolers seem to get embarrassed by me, often, and there's a Smiff rule somewhere that says I'm not allowed to chaperone any dances or other middle school activities. I don't know why they don't want me at the school. I mean, gosh, just because I say I'm going to show up with blacked out front teeth, tight t-shirt and Daisy Dukes on....other than that? Why would they not want me around?

Nothing I've ever done could possibly be as embarrassing as what this mother has done on school property. I know that this woman is the mother of a child the same age as my oldest son, who also attends the same school. I saw his father at Wal Mart the other day (before I knew about this) and thought he looked rather stressed and worn. Geez...no wonder.

What is in the mind of somebody who does this?? Did she think she could get away with lifting that much money and nobody would notice???

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Remembering Keith Whitley

I just wrote the date on something and remembered May 9, 1989. I can't believe it's been 17 years.

I was working another one of my fabulously glamorous music business jobs, this one at the Gospel Music Association on 17th, which stood where Reba's complex does now. My friend Betty worked at WSMV for many years and she called me early in the afternoon and told me that Keith Whitley was dead.

Keith? Dead? Get outta town. She said they found him dead at his house in Goodlettsville. At that point, they weren't sure what had happened to him. I called my pal, then WSM DJ, Al Wyntor, because they had not said anything about it on the radio so I figured if it pertained to a country music person, WSM would have the scoop. Maybe it wasn't true because WSM hadn't said anything.

I called Al and he said it was true, but, they just hadn't announced it yet. I was stunned.

I don't claim to have been a close, personal friend of Keith's, but, I knew him and he knew me. He always said hey when I'd run into him here or there and he always obliged his scary Lester Flatt imitation. (I figure I must have some deep seated attraction to Lester because I married the man who does the second best imitation of him, behind Keith).

I was there at the Opry one night when Lorrie Morgan was following him around and I told my mother "There's something going on there." She said "No way! He's married." Heh. That's never stopped Lorrie before or since. He was still wearing his wedding ring from his other wife and there he was hanging with Lorrie. It was just a few weeks later they announced their engagement. I never understood why he got hooked up with her anyway.

Some months later, I ran into Keith again and he told me that the baby Lorrie was carrying was a boy and his name was going to be Jesse Keith. I see Jesse around Hendersonville now and then. He's about 18-19 years old now...cute kid, but, he has that same look in his eye that his dad had. I hope he never touches alcohol.

Keith is one of the reasons I hate alcohol so much. In the wrong hands, it's a destroyer. I've seen it rob so many people I love from a full life. Some can handle it and some can't. Keith was one of those people who should've never touched it.

Keith would've turned 51 years old this year. I sometimes wonder what he'd be doing had he not died. I really feel like he'd be doing some bluegrass, which was his heritage, kinda like his pal Ricky Skaggs, with whom he was part of Ralph Stanley's band as a teenager. He'd still be singing and I bet that amazing voice of his would've aged beautifully.

Keith Whitley's death, in my not so humble opinion, was one of the biggest losses ever for country music. I mean COUNTRY music, not this garbage that's being churned out now. You can take your Rascal Flatts, Kenny Chesney's (somebody tell me what the big deal is with this clown?), Tim McGraw's, etc. Not a one of them could carry Keith Whitley's guitar case.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Used To Be My Little Boy

A little sentimental today over my firstborn growing up on me. He's about to finish 8th grade and go to high school in the fall. He's a good boy that has yet to give us an ounce of trouble, makes good grades, loves Jesus, science fiction and video games. He had his first dance where he was actually with a girl this past weekend. Just wondering where the time has gone.

I've saved this email for a long time. It's dated February 2, 1999. Mr. Smiff took dictation from #1 Son, who was then 7 years old:

Are you happy right now?Can you one day go to get off of some day so you can
play with me one day. P.S. Be nice to daddy Love Tyler and Daddy

Wonder what he'd do if took off work and showed up at his school and to have lunch with him?!?! He probably would pretend he didn't know who I was or not speak to me for a very long time.

I can barely get him to talk to me on the phone and IMing is totally out. Boys just don't tell as much as girls about how they're feeling about anything. That's why this little email is so priceless to me.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Sunday Morning Church in Nashville

This morning, I attended First Baptist Church, Nashville, at the invitation of my good pal, Bob. (Everybody should have a pal named "Bob", don't you agree?) They were doing a special music program this morning and it was really wonderful. They have a HUGE choir and I think every singer in the choir has a music degree. It was that tight, vocally. They also had the Nashville String Machine backing them up. Anytime Kris Wilkinson and those string players show up and play, it's a good thing for the ears.

FBC Nashville has very RED carpet and are probably the only big Baptist church in Nashville that has no screens and still uses hymnals. I amused myself at how inept I've become the last 5 years at using a hymnal. Also, if you go to FBC Nashville to visit, do NOT say "amen", clap after a musical offering and by all means, do NOT raise your hands in praise. I got the feeling they would probably escort you out if you did so.

I'm not dawgin' them...FBC is a great church. I'm glad there are still some large churches around who do the traditional thing. Electric guitars and songs like "Trading My Sorrows" in Sunday morning worship aren't for everybody. I am of the mind that God likes it all....traditional, blended and contemporary. Neat that we have the choice.

The most surreal thing about visiting FBC was the fact that I know a ton of people who attend there. What makes it surreal is that the people I saw there this morning, are people from just about every era of my life, from small child, school years, teen years and adulthood. I saw a girl I was in marching band with at Brentwood High School, my fifth grade teacher, somebody I knew through my father, people I know from work and people I currently go to church with in Hendersonville...all in one place.

Neat day.

Saturday, May 06, 2006


I think I am the only person in the free world who still uses a film camera and has never seen either "Lost" or "24".

I had a digital camera, but, it broke. It was a piece 'o crap anyway.

This is going to sound crazy, but, anytime I ever see a promo or anything about "Lost"....I get visions of Marshall, Will and Holly. (Some of you will instantly know what I'm talking about."

Kiefer Sutherland freaked me out so much in "The Lost Boys" so I have a thing about him. I had my first panic attack after seeing that movie and he was pretty wretched in "Stand By Me" . Subconsciously, maybe, there's something that won't let me engage in the Lost phenomena.

Grassy Goatees

A weird moment a little bit ago. Turned the tv on and they're showing that infomercial (that's all that's on local television on Saturday's FYI) and they're advertising a series of dvd's and videos, Country's Family Reunion. They look great and I want to get me some.

During the course of the commercial, they are naming the different artists featured on the set and my pal, Whisperin' Bill, says "The Osborne Brothers" and they show a clip of them singing "Kentucky" and who should be singing with them, adding the third part but Mr. Smiff himself.

I couldn't, for the life of me, remember when he did this program. It's been nearly 5 years since he worked with Bobby and Sonny (he was with them for 13 years) and I knew these programs aren't exactly new (I'd say half the people on them are dead now) but it was driving me crazy cause I couldn't remember. I called Mr. Smiff, who is in Michigan for a show today, and dang if he couldn't remember when he did it. I pride myself on being able to remember stuff but this was a mystery.

We finally figured out that because Mr. Smiff was goatee-less and that he was singing in the trio, that it was during the time we were divorced. I was afraid I was really starting to slip there for a minute.

I loved Mr. Smiff in a goatee. The day he moved out he shaved that bad boy off and has yet to grow it again. I wish he would. He says it's all gray now.

Even Sonny Osborne, at one time, had the coolest goatee in bluegrass.

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday today to niece Mattie!

Hard to believe Mattie is already a year old. Even my kids are reminiscing about the day they unextpectedly got out of school to go down to Centennial Hospital to await Mattie's arrival. The funny thing about being in the waiting room of Centennial, waiting on a birth, for me, was I had never been in the waiting room there cause I was always the one down the hall doing the birthing, so that was different.

Mattie has been quite the blessing for her parents. She came along quite late in life for them (Dad will soon be 50). She has two older brothers that are 22 and this year 20 and for her mom, she was her first child...a child she didn't think she'd be able to ever have. God's good and thank goodness He is not limited by our imaginations and what we think is possible.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Smile For Awhile And Let's Be Jolly

Reading through all that's news in the world of country music, as I am prone to do, and I stumble upon this little tidbit about my former employer getting yet ANOTHER DUI.

I was under the Grammy winning singer's employ for a brief, yet meaningful time way back in 1988. I was all of 19 years old and even though I had heard she could be difficult", I took the job anyway. She couldn't be all that bad. My dad had known her since she was a young girl and had known her parents. Surely he would never let me walk into a potentially scarring situation? HA! All these years later, I have come to the conclusion that maybe because he knew I wanted to be in the music biz, maybe I oughta have a closeup look at it? I dunno.

I was not in awe of Lynn like I was, say, an Emmylou or Dolly or Loretta, but I've always loved "Rose Garden" (one of the first songs I ever remember in my life) and she had had a long career and I certainly respected her as an artist. Lynn, at one time, had a really great voice, great range, she could do impersonations and could just tear an audience up.

My job was to be her personal assistant. I thought that meant doing letters and stuff. I did do some letters, I made travel arrangements for her and her band (this was pre-Expedia.com days so I learned how to use a travel agent-remember, 19 years old) and I did errands for her, mostly grocery shopping, and crap like that.

I laugh now to picture myself at that age..idealistic but yet, pretty shy and intimidated by this whole thing. Everyday I went in there, I was a nervous wreck. She wasn't around a whole lot...slept late everyday and you never knew what side of the bed she was going to wake up on. Something about female country music women....they like to be waited on and they want everything yesterday. They're just like that. I bet even Martina Yearwood's like that.

One time, she sent me to Frugal McDoogals to get a buttload of liquor for some party she was having. I knew that they wouldn't sell me liquor (19) but she insisted I go anyway. Guess who didn't bring home any liquor???? She ranted and raved and cussed about it but even Miz Rose Garden couldn't change the law. She was rather pissed about that.

I also was sometimes the go-between between her and her boyfriend. These two (I believe she is still with this man to this day) fought constantly. She wouldn't be speaking to him, he'd call, she wouldn't talk to him..."You tell him to blankety blankety himself".....then I'd have to get on the other line and tell him "She won't talk." It was not fun.

The only really good memory I have of the whole experience was one afternoon, Lynn was in a great mood (sober!) and she wanted me to help her make wontons. She sent me off to the store to get the stuff and I learned to make wontons with Lynn Anderson that day. She had, and I'm sure still has, a side to her that was really fun. I thoroughly enjoyed hanging out with her that afternoon. I thought maybe the tide had turned and she was comfortable with me and I was adjusting. HA! I was so dumb.

Lynn had the typical lifestyle of a musician/singer, meaning she woke at the crack of noon. I would arrive at her house in the morning about 9 (this great old house off Tyne Blvd. She doesn't live there anymore) and some mornings she had scribbled out lists of things she wanted me to do. It might be go to the grocery store or this place or that. Her longtime housekeeper was this wonderful black lady named Carol, who was a reformed alcoholic and on fire for Jesus.

One morning I got there and there was a list. Carol said "You better go get that stuff before she gets up." So, I go. Carol had worked for her for years and years and knew her better than just about anybody so I went with her advice. I come back an hour later, and Miz Rose Garden herself had awaken and was not in a good mood. She was hollering and screaming (I could hear her all the way in the driveway. This was a big ol house) and when I got into the office, the phone was ringing and it was Her. I was scared to answer it and rightfully so. Miz L was not happy.

"Where in the blankety blankety blankety blankety blankety were you?" >>>I went to the store, you raging, cowgirl, lunatic.

She spews language unbecoming a good cowgirl and a young, Christian girl like myself shouldn't have been a'hearing, about how she got up and I wasn't there, blah blah, blah......

After she finished her rant, I gathered my things, got in my car and went home. I may have been young and stupid, but, I knew that I couldn't and wouldn't stand for being treated like that. The poor woman who had worked for her for many years before me took it and toughened up to it. I really didn't want to get used to being somebody's whipping post.

My career as an assistant to a has-been country star lasted a little over a month. I vowed then and there to never, ever work for somebody like that again in their home.

The guy I was dating at the time had this Metro cop father, very bigoted and anti-woman, and even HE said to me "I'm glad you got out of that."

A week or so after I walked out of the Rose Garden, I got a letter in the mail from Lynn. It was on this lovely, pink stationery with a big rose on it (what else?) and in her own writing, she apologized for everything, said she understood it was not easy to work for somebody in their home, etc., that she liked me a lot and wished me well.

I felt really bad for her and even as young as I was, I thought it so odd that here this woman had all this talent, had experienced wild, crazy success, was a natural beauty, had a home most of us would kill for, had three lovely children....but she was miserable. I also found out not long after, I was one of many, MANY assistants that had come and gone in a very short period of time.

Not to sound corny or whatever, but, I do hope that Lynn will eventually find some peace in her life. I'm glad I had that short experience and really, like Lynn said to me one time about working with her and not being in college (like I should have been at the time) "With me you are going to the School of Hard Knocks."

Poor thing...she was so right.

***Figuring up the dates, I realized I was actually not 19 when I worked for her, but, 18. Not that it matters, but, I didn't turn 19 til after I escaped, I mean, left.

Postcards On The Edge

I'm doing a rather large postcard mailing. It's been awhile since I've done one and totally forgot the postcard, mass-mailing rules. I stuck those labels on beautifully and tossed them into the mail bucket. I was feeling good about myself that I got this rather massive thing done so quickly.

Gloating over my sticking skills, I get a call from Cody, the Mail Boy. (I call him that because he's just about to turn 21. I have bras older than him.)

Cody the Mail Boy: "Sista Smiff, this is Cody."

SS: Hi Cody

CMB: Um....you know those, um, postcards you had me pick up?

SS: Yes. Aren't I the best label sticker you've ever seen?

CMB: Um, yeah, um, well, um, well, um, they kinda have to be, um, all turned the same way to um, go through, the machine. Do you think, um, that, um, you can come down here and um, knock it out? I have some time. I can help.

Needless to say, the Mail Boy, nor his middle aged counterparts, helped me turn one postcard the right way. I swear, you can't find good help anymore.

So, the lesson for today, kids, is make sure you turn your mail the same direction, lest it not be able to go through the thingy.

***The best name on the labels I've stuck??? Lyndal Lovelace. Poor guy.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Worth A Thousand Words

Almost a month later and the affects of April 7 are still all over my community and will be for awhile. I think, for a lot of those who were displaced, reality is probably beginning to set in somewhat and they're making decisions as to what to do next.

My daughter showed me this picture just a few minutes ago. It was taken in the front of my youngest son's (aka #2) elementary school, which is just on the Hendersonville/Gallatin line. About the time this was snapped, I'd say the tornado was pretty close, if not at Saundersville Rd., close to the Golden's home and to Station Camp High School and Knox Doss Middle School, where #1 and my girl were.

Still unbelievable.

Wednesday's Useless History Lesson

What do Diahann Carroll and Bonnie and Clyde have in common?

Absolutely nothing other than the fact that being knee deep in nicotine withdrawal, and could not sleep last night, I watched Diahann's Biography and a "Notorious" on the famous Barrow Gang.

Things I learned about Diahann:
Her given name was Carol Diahann Johnson.
She was born to a fairly well-to-do family in the Bronx.
Her first husband was Jewish and her father refused to attend the wedding.
After she divorced her first husband, Diahann got involved with Sidney Poitier and they were together for 9 years. Sidney never left his wife, but, Diahann thought he would. (Hello, Diahann..this is Reality calling)
She almost married David Frost. (What!?!?!)
Her daughter Suzanne Kay is a news/media personality.
She is a breast cancer survivor.
I love how she spells "Diahann."
At almost 70, Diahann's still quite the hottie.

As for Bonnie & Clyde, their story is just plain fascinating. Even though they were robbers and murderers, something about them is just interesting. I think they killed something like 13 people in their crime spree, that lasted about two years, covering Missouri, Texas, Arkansas and Oklahoma. I think if Bonnie & Clyde were around now, they'd be on the cover of People magazine and would be as photographed as Brad & Angelina. They'd probably have their own reality show.

Interesting B & C facts:
Bonnie was 4'10 and didn't weigh 100 lbs.
Bonnie had a tattoo on her leg with her husband's name (She was married to a convict named Roy that she was still married to and wearing his wedding ring when she was killed)
Bonnie was very creative.
Clyde's first arrests were for not returning a rented car and stealing turkeys.
Although he was known for robbing banks, Clyde's preferred robbing smaller outfits like grocery stores and gas stations.
Clyde's big goal in life was not to be famous for robbing banks, but, to get back at the Texas prison system for abuses he went through while serving time.
Clyde's maniac driving skills were probably what kept the gang from getting caught.
After the famous ambush in May of 1934, people came by the thousands to see the bodies still inside the car. Souvenir seekers even tried to cut Clyde's ear off. (eww)

My grandfather was one of those curiosity seekers that went to Bienvielle Parish, Louisiana, however, by the time he got there, the bodies had been removed, so, thank goodness my Paw Paw didn't try to take him home some Ear of Barrow.

I know you'll want to put the annual Bonnie and Clyde Festival, held every year in May on the anniversary of the shootout on your "to do" list. Still a few weeks to make plans to attend. If you can't do that, you can commemorate by watching the movie. Great movie with some amazing performances.

A Pledge For Summer

The following message was paid for by all of us grossed out by icky, yucky feet in the summer. Now, I hate to fool with them myself, but, it's a necessity for the upcoming summer season. Go to your nearest nail salon and get you a pedicure. Even the Hendersonville Super Wal Mart has a nail place....this is not an option. I did not create this but believe in its message wholeheartedly.

The Open Toed Shoe Pledge
As a member of the Cute Girl Sisterhood, I pledge to follow the Rules
when wear sandals and other open-toe shoes:
I promise to always wear sandals that fit. My toes will not hang over
and touch the ground, nor will my heels spill over the backs. And the sides
and tops of my feet will not pudge out between the straps.
I will go polish-free or vow to keep the polish fresh, intact and chip-free.
I will not cheat and just touch up my big toe.
I will sand down any mounds of skin before they turn hard and yellow.
I will shave the hairs off my big toe.
I won't wear pantyhose even if my misinformed girlfriend, coworker,
mother, sister tells me the toe seam really will stay under my toes if I tuck it there.
If a strap breaks, I won't duct-tape, pin, glue or tuck it back into
place hoping it will stay put. I will get my shoe fixed or toss it.
I will not live in corn denial; rather I will lean on my good friend Dr.
Scholl's if my feet need him.
I will resist the urge to buy jelly shoes at Payless for the low, low
price of $4.99 even if my feet are small enough to fit into the kids' sizes. This
is out of concern for my safety, and the safety of others. No one can walk
properly when standing in a pool of sweat and I would hate to take someone down
with me as I fall and break my ankle.
I will take my toe ring off toward the end of the day if my toes swell
and begin to look like Vienna sausages.
I will be brutally honest with my girlfriend/sister/coworker when she
asks me if her feet are too ugly to wear sandals. Someone has to tell her that
her toes are as long as my fingers and no sandal makes creepy feet look
I will promise if I wear flip flops that I will ensure that they actually flip
and flop, making the correct noise while walking and I will swear NOT
to slide or drag my feet while wearing them.
I will promise to go my local nail salon at least once per season and
have a real pedicure (they are about $20 and worth EVERY penny).
I will promise to throw away any white/off-white sandals that show signs
of wear... nothing is tackier than dirty white sandals.
Don't keep this to yourself - pass it on to other sisters.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Da Doo Run Run

I ran a mile then got wheezy. Not bad for not having run since January. I walked/ran for another 15 minutes.

I got a little bummed when I saw this girl who I saw back in the fall running. She's lost a buttload of weight and was going to town. No, no....can't do that. I'm here today...no looking back.

Day Two

Day 2 and LWC (Life Without Ciggs) is going ok. I don't normally tell people around me when I'm quitting. I just kinda do my thing and proudly announce, after I'm through the worst of it, that I haven't smoked in 2 weeks or whatever.

I changed that policy this morning when co-worker Robin, who is as sweet as they come and is a fellow Bee Gee lover like me started her usual morning chattah.

Co worker Robin made the comment that now that Barry Gibb lives in Hendersonville, there is finally a music personality she would care about seeing. This nearly sent me into a psycho rage and I haven't the slightest idea why.

Then, co workers Andrea and Bonnie, who are cuter than cute girls in their early 20's and mucho fun to work around....I had this huge urge to pop them both upside the heads, again, no reason. Probably because they neither have children, weigh about 105 lbs apiece and are just so damn cute.

Then, I realized that maybe I needed to tell them to ease up because my usual chatty, engaging, silly self was on vacation until I'm through this withdrawal. So I bared my non-smoking soul to them and they were sweet about it, but, I bet they are making fun of me behind my back!

In another week or two, I'll be one of those uppity, self-righteous ex-smokers who gags at the mere thought of ciggarette smoke.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Run Sista Run

It is now 10:24 pm and I have not smoked in almost 24 hours. I'm a pro at this quitting thing. I've done it many times and I always do it cold turkey. During the day is not a problem since I don't usually casually sit at my desk and smoke. (Amazing that there was a time you could actually do that?!) The hard part is the evening when I go to my night job: Home.

It's not because my kids are "bad." They really aren't. They're pretty typical, but, on nights like this where I have to stop at the doctor's office (a great way to spend an hour and a half), then run to the store and try to put together some sort of meal for supper; homework with #2 Son, whose Concerta has long since wore off; nighttime just seems to be the worst.

From past experience, I know that within about 48 hours, I won't have that "Dang, I want to smoke" thing. That usually goes away pretty quickly for me. I've had times I've gotten a little depressed those first few days, but, the key is getting through that first week or rather, those first nights of that first week.

The way I'm going to curb the withdrawals this time is the same way I did last time (there seems to be a pattern here) and that's putting my good running shoes I got at the Athlete's House after I had stuck with a running program for about 6 months, put those babies on and hit the road. I'm going to start badgering my running guru; I'm going to make the Faddists message board a favorite place again I'm not going to dwell on the fact I had worked up to a good 5 mile jog before Christmas and then different stresses that were going on at the time and I gave in to the Demon Nicotine.

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