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

Monday, July 31, 2006

From The Mailbag

I was most pleased over the weekend to get my love note from my friends at Hendersonville Hosptial telling me my recent mammogram showed that my mammaries were in tip top shape. I knew they were, but, it's nice to know that part of myself is healthy. I'm glad I didn't chicken out and not go through with it. Proactive with ones health is a good thing.

So now, I'll get on my soapbox and remind everybody that they should get theirs done, too. If Sista Smiff (the biggest baby in town) can be a big girl and get it done, so can you. You know who you are.

Here We Go Again

My daughter's best friend was taken back to the hospital last night. Her blood pressure went up again (150/126) and she was having trouble seeing like she did before. . The Daughter was over at her house when she started feeling bad. She asked her if it felt like she was going to have a seizure and she said "Kinda." I told her that was the best thing that could be done and that she was in good hands, but, she (and we) are still pretty jumpy about it.

The final determination is that she had/has a strep infection in her kidney. I'm thinking maybe they haven't nipped the infection yet and tried to explain to my daughter that just like strep can relapse when you have a regular Strep Throat thing or other infection and this is probably what's happening.

I'm not a medical person and I certainly don't know. I don't want my girl worrying needlessly, but, I have to admit, I'm concerned about Shelbi and a little fearful that something else may be going on. I'm telling myself the infection is just being stubborn. The last I heard anything was a voicemail late last night from Shelbi's mom saying they were going to the ER.

As Busy Mom says, if you pray or whatever your thing is, throw some prayers/thoughts Upward for Shelbi.

***Update They did a CAT Scan and some other tests last night and sent her home. Everything's looking ok. I was talking to a lady here whose niece had this same thing a few years ago and she said she ended up being ok, just took awhile for her kidneys to work right again. Scary stuff that you can get an infection in your innards like that.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like...

Went to eat at Cracker Barrel tonight and not only are they all decked out and ready for Halloween, but, they have all their Christmas section all fixed up. It's not even August yet.

I love Christmas and all that goes with it but, for the love....I've got to get through Back to School and all that expense before I can think about what Santy Claus is bringing!

Not One To Go 'Round Spreading Rumors

I just can't get enough of this Ginghampalooza that is Hee Haw. I mean, what other show has an instrumental, featuring Roy Clark of course, with a steel guitar AND a tuba??? Huh? HUH?

Charlie McCoy...the little harmonica player. Great musician. Apparently, not a great husband. I know his former wife, the mother of his children. They divorced many years ago and one time, I asked her if Charlie remarried ...her answer? "Oh yeah. He's been remarried a long time. Might as well have....he'd only been DATING her for 10 years!"

Say what you want about Hank Williams, Jr. I bet he's the only guest that ever did an armpit fart on "Pfft You Were Gone."

Surprise..Roni Stoneman did not get better looking with age. She did, however, get that cocked eye fixed, thanks to one June Carter Cash. Pretty sweet of her...didn't help, sadly.

Besides starting that backwards overalls fashion craze, Buck Owens appeared on my most favorite game show?

With a war going on, what the world needs now is more eefin' and eyefin'.

Those people on Hee Haw shore nuff had them a good gig. They'd come to town twice a year, tape for a couple weeks and it made them all pretty wealthy folks.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Live Bloggin' From The Kornfield

What a treat it's been to indulge in one of my favorite guilty pleasures, watching multiple episodes of Hee Haw on CMT today. A few thoughts for you....

Misty Rowe and Lisa Todd are still a mystery to me (and still irritating). Other than the obvious boobage, did the menfolk really find these two babealicious?

Maybe I did miss out on a great thing not getting to know Buddy Alan a little better when I had the chance.

Were there ever as many toupees in one place as the Kornfield? Maybe on the set of a Bill Gaither Homecoming video taping, but, that's about the only place I can think of that would rival the Big Hee. That fiddle player, Tommy Williams' wig oughta go in some sort of Rug Hall of Fame, along with Hank Snow's and Jack Greene's.

Knowing Lulu Roman was once a go-go dancer (for Jack Ruby, no less) is simply more disturbing than I can express here.

Beauregard (real name Buford)the Dog was the nastiest dog I have ever been face to face with. I had an encounter with this hound in the backyard of his owner, Joe Hostettler, who worked on the show. That was THE most slobbering, stinkingest dog. His stinkiness is what got him fired. That is no joke. (Dog lovers, simma down. I love dogs too, but, even Aunt B would deem this dog nasty)

How unbelievably wonderful it was to see the late Ben Smathers and his Smoky Mountain Cloggers doing their thing. That one brought back memories. Daughter/dancer Candy now travels with Gretchen Wilson and does her hair and makeup.

Just what was that blue and yellow liquid in the bottles in Archie's Barber Shop and notice didn't nobody leave there with a haircut?

As time went on, The Hager Twins attempted to have separate identities. They had different lengths of their Toni Tennille haircuts circa 1980 and grew mustaches. You can tell the Hagers apart because Jim's head is slightly smaller than Jon's. I do love me some Hagers, now.

Barbi Benton's singing along with the Hee Haw Gospel Quartet was intriguing to me. Reckon she learned "There Is Power In The Blood" at those All Night Gospel Singin's at the Playboy Mansion with Hef?

The Kornfield was not the same after the deaths of Junior Samples and Archie Campbell. Pfft You Were Gone just didn't have the same comic effect with Celebrity Spitters like Reba McEntire. I must say though, John Anderson tenoring Buck on the chorus was probably, vocally, the best "Where oh where are you tonight" that ever was. It was also not the same after Buck left. Incidentally, Larry the Cable Guy owes some props to Junior. **Later, I did see George, Tammy and Archie to a three part trio on "Where Oh Where" and it was pretty doggone good, too.**

Animated pigs dancing while Roy Clark sings is just plain funny. I don't care who you are.

George Jones wearing a two-tone, denim, leisure suit, accented by a huge, white, turtleneck, is quite a sight. I imagine that was Tammy's doin's. On this one particular episode, I'm figuring it was about the time of the famous "Lawnmower Incident" because you don't see George without Tammy. She was probably afraid George would slip out and go chasing women with Archie Campbell. And Tammy Wynette's hair during this era...could best be described as a "Hairdo With A Hard-On." Tammy looked exhausted around 1974 and with good reason.

Who knew "May The Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose" done as a chorale by the whole Hee Haw Gang could be so fraught with mirth and merriment?

Laverne Nagger, aka Roni Stoneman, is one of the funniest characters ever on tv, however, she always seemed to have a sinus issue, as she was constantly picking at her nose.

Somebody explain the Hee Haw Honeys, lying in the background on the porch, rubbing their legs together with Junior and Grandpa Jones lying down on the floor,in the foreground, sipping moonshine. They always looked very sleepy. Why is this? What is the implication here?

One episode, about 1979, featured the Palmetto Square Dancers, and one of the dancers was a pudgy, teenaged boy, grinning like crazy and it was probably because his white pants were deeply embedded in his ass-crack.

I do kid and poke fun at Hee Haw, but, do not mistake how I love this show. No, it did nothing to make Nashville look uptown, but, it's a classic.


"Biff Collie Interview - Live" - Elvis Presley: "This afternoon, #1 Son and I decided that we'd get on the stick and get the kitchen cleaned up. We've had an afternoon of bonding through clutter and music. #1 has been enlightening me with stuff he likes...The Foo Fighters, System of a Down, Disturbed, Blink 182 and I've introduced him to music from the Olden Days like Violent Femmes, ZZTop, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and then there's stuff we both love....Stevie Wonder (how many 14 year olds even know who he is?) Ray Charles, Johnny Cash and Elvis.

#1 and me normally don't have much opportunity to bond (the fact that he's 14 should explain that right away) but I have thoroughly enjoyed my firstborn this afternoon. I'm quite proud of the fact that he knows good music when he hears it and I do dig some of his musical heroes of today (cept the angry, hollering ones).

We've took turns looking on Rhaposdy for stuff we want to listen to and #1 says 'Look for some Elvis.' The first cd that came up on Elvis is one that features the first ever, known live recording of the King.

Imagine my surprise and sheer delight to see the first track is an interview done with my Dad about this event. I've always known Dad had a tiny part of the King's rise to fame and I'm sure I heard him tell it, but, obviously, didn't pay a lot of attention. So one, to hear the historical background was pretty cool.

Two...and even more so, to hear my dad's voice and his look-alike grandson's expression to hear his grandfather's voice for the first time (telling something as cool as this) was a neat little present. ("So, you mean Grandpa was THERE?")It's like it hasn't been a week since I heard him talk.

***I think the deal is, if you have Rhapsody you can hear the clip. I also have turned #1 onto Def Leppard....He has found out the intro to "Pretty Fly For A White Guy" came from "Rock Of Ages." I think he thought the "oonta gleetun gloutin globin" was exclusive to those born after 1990. Heh. This is fun.
I Gotta Be Me

I couldn't sleep night before last and got to watching Jimmy Kimmel. Robin Williams usually cracks me up, but, he REALLY did on this because he did a Sammy Davis impersonation. I'm a sucker for any Sammy imitation. Maybe it's cause it was late and I was slap happy, but this had me screaming laughing. Robin's imitation isn't as good as Billy Crystal's or Tommy Davidson's, but, it's not bad.

There's a part 2 of this interview too that was funny, but, I'm not posting it. Go look at it if you want.

More Sadness in Hendersonville

Hendersonville has had too many losses of kids this spring and summer. Another one happened yesterday morning near Beech High School. I don't have any relationship with this family, however, I do work at the same place his dad works and see him on a daily basis and I see he and his family out and about all the time. Matt tells more about Nathan here.

My daughter was with her friends yesterday. Her dad had ok'd her to go with them, but, didn't have the complete wheres and whats of what they were doing. She didn't understand why I called her and wanted to know specifics. Someday she will.


A little bird gave a heads up on this last weekend.


Friday, July 28, 2006

But It's Nobody's Fault

Thunder Jones has found Nashville's perfect Margarita.

I am intrigued by his findings. In my intrigue, I have to admit, and this is probably un-American, un-Bloggerly or something, but, I have never, ever had a Margarita.

So, tell me, what makes a good Margarita and should I ever take that plunge, how will I know if it's good or not?

Pfft You Were Gone


It is going to be one hellatiously, Hee Haw kind of weekend. The nice people at CMT are going to be showering us with old episodes of Hee Haw Saturday night.

It appears that most of the episodes are from the 80's, although there are some from the 70's. I want to see some Junior Samples, Culhanes and Hagers. (Something about the Hager with the tambourine singing "Here I am, stuck in Lodi again") I want to see Grandpa Jones tell us whats for supper, Roy Clark as "Claude Strawberry" reading some poetry, Buck and Roy pickin' and grinnin' and see Roni Stoneman beat Gordie Tapp over the head with a rolling pin. What a show.

I hope that our pal Chez Bez and his mom get a chance to watch so they can get a peek at his step-dad, the legendary Bobby Thompson, back when he was in his prime, when he was THE Banjo Cat. Some of y'all are laughing at the thought of those words being used in the same sentence. You don't usually think "banjos? Cool cats?" Heh. Do some research on Bobby. 'Cause he was sho nuff the coolest cat to ever do a three-finger roll. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Flippin' Sweet

Are you familiar with Chet Flippo? He's a renowned music journalist, historian, author whose writing I love and whose opinions I really respect. He's a soft spoken, rather unassuming character that I've had the pleasure of sharing Thanksgiving with the last two years. (His wife, Martha Hume, is no slouch in the music writing department, either) Chet's resume is about 100 miles long, having been a senior editor for Rolling Stone magazine, he traveled with THE Rolling Stones.... Very cool guy.

Chet has a weekly column at CMT.com that I look forward to reading every Thursday.

Call me crazy and I certainly mean no disrespect to Mista Flippo but his current column, talking barbecue and music, reads like a blog. I love it.

I wonder if he's been peeking into Nashville Is Talking? (Chet, if you happen to read this, I hope I haven't offended you, comparing writing greatness with us lowly bloggers)

Thursday at the Mothership

Wonder Dawg has blogged a rundown of today's Porkapalooza with pictures.

Lord, Mister Ford

Reading Mista Kleinheider's hilarious story about Congressman Ford's Playa status, made me think of my brief brush with him about a year and a half ago.

Mr. Smiff and group were on the Opry with Dolly. Also scheduled to be present at the Opry that particular evening was Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld (That is his title isn't it?) They held a reception in the back and there were dignitaries out the wazoo. Everywhere you looked there was some such celebrity from Whisperin' Bill Anderson to Jim Cooper to Little Jimmy Dickens to my former Hallbrook neighbor, Marsha Blackburn (back before she was nothing more than the head of the Brentwood Muffia).

In order to go into this little soiree, they had to have your name a number of days before to clear it through the Secret Service, or whoever that stuff goes through. I would bet that was probably the easiest background check they ever did when they ran Sista Smiff through.

Anyhow, I was standing in the line, waiting to get into this happenin' party. Suddenly, I felt this hand on my back and hear this voice, not quite Barry White, but, just about as suave say "Excuse me, Mrs. Smith, you beautiful specimen of a woman." Ok, he didn't really say that last part but he sho nuff looked at my nametag. I babbled something like "Oh I'm sorry", although I doubt it came out that coherently when the Hunka Hunka Burnin' Ford said "You are fine." I was pretty taken with those pretty green eyes of his and felt sorry for him that he was kin to all those other Fords. That one uncle of his is ALWAYS pissed. Everytime they show him on tv, he's madder'n a hornet at whatever reporter is trying to talk to him. Mista Ford has got it going on. Made me swoon. I think we need a Playa in office. Makes things interesting.

By the way, Rumsfeld is very short.

Smiffy Me


I have a "helper" at work today. Dad is on the road and #2 wanted to come to work with me. I've printed him a bunch of Sponge Bob, Spiderman, and Scooby Doo pictures. That should keep him occupied about 3 minutes. He's looking forward to lunchtime at the Mothership because he can see the funny bathrooms again.

#2 loves to come to work with me. I can't imagine why because thus far this morning, I've told him to sit down and hush more times than I can count. He's already christened my office by breaking wind....he's been to the bathroom already, co worker Bonnie has lent him her little basketball goal so at this moment, he's throwing a ball, making noise, reminding me it's going to be a long day. Then again, I can remember as a kid, the times when my dad had an away office, when he worked at United Artists and Capitol Records. I would LOVE to go down to his cool office with the secretary and then...in his office...he had his very own little refrigerator stocked full of cokes and stuff. There was something magical about Dad's office. I guess it's like that for #2. I've been working here since before he was born and here in a bit, we'll go around "viztin" so people can see how he's grown, etc. Mom and Dad's work can make a kid feel special to get a little attention and just to get to step into their world a little bit.

Relax, Sista. Enjoy your 8 year old. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, July 26, 2006


My absolute favorite Johnny Cash song. I do believe he might've been a little high on something here, but, still...he was the coolest.

They Suck

I swear....there's a reason I don't like to handle stuff like insurance claims, especially when said insurance company won't pay the claim. I'm non-confrontational, except when I'm confrontational. When I'm confrontational, I tend to get kindly nasty and then I feel guilty. I'm thinking it's the Baptist Girl in me. The nice, mannerly, gal that I am on one side of my personality and then there's the Sybil side of me.

One time, when me and Mr. Smiff had only been married a short while, he and I went and ate with the guy that was managing him and his brother (when they had a record deal and stuff). This ol guy was a former New York attorney who had managed Dr. Hook back in the day. Talk about confrontational....whoooo boy. He is a great guy but picture a little Jewish, Mr. Spaceley from the Jetsons kinda guy...he was intimidating and for some reason, brought out the language-unbecoming-a-good-Baptist-girl in me. I don't remember how it all commenced and what led to me hollering at him to F@$k himself in the middle of that restaurant...oh crap y'all...what was it called....that vegetarian kinda place there that was there by 18th and Broadway. The Slice of Life! Yeah, that's it. Course, the New York Guy didn't think a thing of it but I was so upset about the whole thing. Why in the world did I do that?!?!?! Visions of my 3rd grade Sunday School teacher, Mrs. Luella Rodgers, singing about all thangs bright and beautiful came into my mind and I was plunged into an abyss of guilt for months. (Do remember I was 21 years old at the time.)

Anyway, Mr. Smiff has just turned 46 and his eyesight is not what it was. The old guy has to use his drugstore glasses for just about everything. We went to eat last night and the Daughter asked "Dad, why do you still have your glasses on?" He has to have them on to eat! He said his food gets "blurry". It's a scream. He carries the Drugstore Glasses everywhere he goes and attaches them to his shirt. As you can imagine, this practice is hard on the Drugstore Glasses and 9 times out of 10 if you see him with Drugstore Glasses on, one of the ear things is missing.

I've been tellling Mr. Smiff to get him some real glasses for the longest time. His mother finally said she'd get him some glasses for his birthday. An eye exam is covered by our insurance company. Perfect.

I even called the fine folks at CIGNA and said "Hey, what's the procedure for getting an eye exam paid for for my Old Man?" They tell me to go to such and such website, find a doctor and that was all there was to it. Should've been easy, right? Heh. No.

We get a love note in the mail from CIGNA (don't forget that) saying that they wouldn't pay the claim for Mr. Smiff's eye exam. Glory be. I called them just now to find out all the where's and whys. The girl on the phone starts throwing around all this insurance lingo like "VSP" and some other initial thing. I told her I knew nothing of what she spoke. I said it pretty much like this....

SS: Why do y'all do stuff like this? I mean, I called and one of your people told me what to do and I did what they said. This is so irritating.
SS: I don't know what you're talking about. [Face starts burning-temperature rising]

SS: YOU ALL SUCK!!!!!- click

I hope they got that on tape that they suck.

How's that for class? Grace? I'm a walking, talking Emily Posteses aren't I? My co-worker girls got a rather large kick out of my phone call. They erupted into laughter when I got off the phone and then I hear a strange, male voice say "Wow...it's funner on this floor than on mine." Oh great...it's probably the Big Boss Man. Nah...just another guy.

Anytime y'all need me to step in and help you handle business....you just give me a call.

Then You'll Begin To Make It Better

Part of the fun of blog reading is finding new blogs. I've talked about my love for Blogarita, who has become a pal. Blogarita has some cool friends, one of which is Dave the Voice Over Guy, who has to be one of the funniest fellers out there. Through Dave's blog, I've found Lightning Bug's Butt and Redneck Nerdboy.

Redneck Nerdboy said the sweetest thing about his wife. Even though he looks like somebody I know named Ron that's a goofball, he has a great blog. He's got him a little thing going at his blog that intrigued me, so I thought we'd whiff something a little different around here today. I'm going to do something I rarely do around here. A meme!!! Whee for meme's. Play along, will ya?

Three Things I Can Do To Make A Better Me
1. Get my hiney back out there and start running again.
2. Not get all happy and excited when I hear "Thank God I'm A Country Boy."
3. Go to the movies more.

Three Things I Can Do To Help All of You Or Somebody Who Needs Help
1. Try not tell my teenaged son he needs a haircut everyday.
2. Not imitate my 13 year old daughter when she says "Mom-uuh".(At least to her face)
3. Watch more Huckleberry Hound and Quick Draw McGraw with #2 cause he likes it when
I do that and we laugh at Snuffles The Hound Dog when he gets his dog bis-kits.

Three Things I Can Do To Make A Better World
1. Eat more barbecue
2. Ride the bus to work. (Ain't gonna happen, but, it's a nice thought)
3. Vote for Rex L. Camino

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Phrase of the Day

At the hair place today, I heard this phrase and think I will add it to my pocket o' sayins.....

"You are a black hole of need." Said by one hair stylist to another.

Day Maker

Nothing quite makes your day like having an almost 13 year old girl call you at work and chide you because you "almost" threw her green pillow away. No "almost" about it. It was in the floor and looked like trash to me.

It is a hopeless task for me to attempt to clean out crap in the house because somebody ALWAYS finds something in the trash and they say "Why did you throw this away?" Never fails. I give up.

Fine. Just don't be embarrassed when I put us on that show "How Clean Is Your House" and those two British women show up wanting to have YOUR room on national television. Heh. All the kids at the Middle School should be very interested in that.

Some Say Loooooove....

I love me some Conway Twitty. That ol' boy could flat sing a song. The wimmins would go nuts when he'd point that finger and sing about how he could tell they'd never been that far before..bum bum bum. My favorite Conway song was one he did with Loretty, "After The Fire Is Gone"...I love "This Time I've Hurt Her More Than She Loves Me", "I May Never Get To Heaven", "I Don't Know A Thing About Love"...oh boy...Conway was such a good singer, I can overlook the ugly, velour suits he was so fond of. Conway had a knack for picking great songs, rightfully earning him the nickname "The Best Friend A Song Ever Had."

There's a point of contention betwixt me and the late Mista Twitty though and I just always wonder what in the world made him record "Slow Hand" and "The Rose?" Obviously, those two songs did ok by him and they were hits for him, but, for the sake of art....Conway....what were you thinking??

Everytime I hear him do "The Rose" (like I just did on Sirius) it absolutely cracks me up. "And the sooooooooooooooooooooo-(insert growl here) ooooooooooul afraid of dyyyyyyy(growl)innnnng...." oh lordy me, Conway, you are killing me. Maybe he had an allergy to the velour.

I always loved "The Rose" when I was a kid. It had a nice little melody. The lyrics, heh....not so prolific. Rose is also my middle name. It was my song. My sister's friend Andrea sang it in the talent show at Northside Jr. High when they were in like, 8th grade and she held a rose while she sang it. Man....that was living the dream, as far as I was concerned.

Someday, I must go do karaoke, if for nothing else, for "The Rose." I might do sign language, ala "Happy Hands" when I do. I'll let you know when that is going to occur.

Monday, July 24, 2006

The Man In The White Hat

Maybe I'm just a Country Music snob. Perhaps I'm a little hoity toity in my know-it-all-ness (or what I perceive to be know it all-ish) but I'm somewhat disturbed when someone walks into my office, sees the below picture and asks who the man in the hat is.

Do YOU know who the man in the hat is?

The guy with the huge microphone is The Biffer, aka my dad. 1948, Houston, Texas. He bought that shirt for Hank and it used to hang in that museum over on Music Row where the Tin Roof is now.
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Funny #2 Quote of the Week

#2 never ceases to crack everybody up. He's funny and I don't know if he tries to be or just is.

The In Law Smiff's from North Carolina were in for the weekend. Mr. Smiff arranged for his dad, stepmother and their friends to do the Opry Friday night (The Grascals played there, too).

Now, my mother and father in law have not been man and wife since about 1968. I still can't picture them as a couple, but, apparently they were. I imagine it's even weirder for all the kids to put it together, or it was when they were younger. It's kinda confusing having that many sets of grandparents, especially when the North Carolina set aren't really around and in their lives much.

I do believe #2 has a pretty good idea of who is who, who is married to who (whom?) now that he's a man of 8.

After Mr. Smiff took #2 out to Music Valley Dr. to visit with Grandpa Smiff a little Friday afternoon, he brought him back to Hazel's house. (I was at Vanderbilt). Grandma Hazel said to #2 in a grandmotherly voice "Who did you go and see?"

#2 answered, very pointedly and plainly- "Your old husband."
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Sunday, July 23, 2006


I love Carol Burnett. This clip is one of the funniest things ever. This was me and my sister's favorite things when we were kids. Saturday nights it was Hee Haw, Mary Tyler Moore, Bob Newhart and this at 9.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

A Perfect Blendship

My daughter and I spent most of today at Vanderbilt with her best friend, Shelbi, who is recovering from a pretty intense kidney infection. It was so intense, her blood pressure was scary high. I can't remember what the top number was, but, the bottom number was 125. That's high for an adult. Shelbi is a teeny little girl. They were fearful she had had a stroke, with the seizures and all. At any rate, she is doing much better and was moved to a regular room early this morning.

Being at the hospital last night and today, I observed some things that, in spite of the chaotic and scary situation, were real gifts to me:

Because my daughter is around Shelbi so much, all of her family and extended family knows her and treat her like she's one of them. Having a number of them get me off to the side and say how sweet my girl is and how special she is....well, that does a mom's heart a lot of good. Nice to know she conducts herself so becomingly when she's away from the house.

In addition to her wonderful family of three sisters, brothers in law, nieces, nephews, cousins, Lisa being surrounded by three girlfriends she's had since junior high was something lovely to see and quite envied by me. The girls I was close to until junior high...we went in different directions, had different interests and drifted. We have an occasional "What's Up?" email but I haven't seen them in years. It makes me want to call them and get totally reconnected. Same with the people I was close to in high school. I don't know why those friendships weren't maintained.

I have totally shied away from girlfriend type relationships as an adult and really, don't tend to get really close to anybody. Another part of my personality I don't really understand. On the surface, I am lively and cut up with people and love to talk to people, but, as a rule, my lunchtimes are spent alone, as are my weekends, etc. I guess it's by choice. Fear of rejection....those nasty voices that say "Why would anybody want to spend time with YOU?" It's weird, I know. I need to get over that, I guess. Solitude is nice at times, but, isolation is dangerous.

I always knew these girls cared for each other, but, didn't realize the depth of the love they have for each other until today. Shelbi called as soon as she was in a room, wanting my daughter to come down to see her. I took my time going down there and didn't hurry to get ready. We got another call from one of Lisa's friends saying "She's REALLY wanting her down here."

When we got down there, Shelbi cried and clung to my daughter. All afternoon, my daughter sat in the chair right next to Shelbi's bed. Shelbi did not really want her to leave her sight so my daughter sat. Sometimes they'd talk and Shelbi would recount what she remembered about her ordeal. I finally told my daughter I had to go home to see about the boys and she was insistent that she was not leaving. Shelbi also did not want her to go so her parents said they'd bring her home tonight when one of them brought her little sister home.

I think this experience has deepened their already close friendship even more. I hope and pray these two will be like Shelbi's mother and her friends are now when they're my age. After all these years, all the things they've been through with each other, all the moments they've been by each other's sides during difficult days...it was so precious to see. My daughter is blessed. I was reminded that I too am blessed and there are some people out there who would probably love to get a phone call from me or to have lunch with me or (surprise) want to see me more than once a decade or at another occasion besides, say, a funeral. I'm the one who needs to open up a little more.

God is good...all the time. Even when things around us are scary and seem out of control, He's got His finger on the pulse. He sometimes throws you a much needed wakeup call.
No 'Lectricity On The Ellen DeGeneres Show

Do forgive me for blogging yet another family member on the You Tube, but, this right 'chere is the funniest Grandma on Ellen episode. She even refers to #2 on here.
The Grascals - Can't Ya Hear That Whistle Blow

If it's good enough for Newscoma and Joe Powell, it's good enough fer me.

I give you...Mr. Smiff.

Friday, July 21, 2006

One Day At A Time

I had a voicemail message this afternoon telling me my daughter's best friend was in the hospital and they wanted to talk to me so I could tell my daughter what was going on. That sounded pretty serious if Lisa, the friend's mother, didn't call us. I tried to call the messenger back...couldn't reach her...everything in the world going through my mind, not knowing what was going on. I didn't know if she was hurt, sick or what. On the heels of a classmate being killed two weeks ago, I think all of the parents of Knox Doss kids are a little jumpy.

This little girl and my daughter have been best friends since preschool. They are inseparable. Lisa says when my daughter is around (which is a lot) it's not like there's company there. My kid is like an extra kid for her and hers for us. For a couple hours, I didn't know what we were going to be dealing with...was I going to have to deliver heartbreaking news to my daughter about her best friend? I didn't know and I was a wreck. Every scenario went through my mind.

Finally, after a bit,(and after driving through that lovely windstorm we had) I did get to talk to the girl that called and she told me that my daughter's friend was at Vanderbilt Hospital. She had had several seizures yesterday and by this morning, was unable to see and was totally disoriented. I happened to see the ambulance go by our house about 6 this morning, not knowing who it was inside.

Poor little girl has been through umpteen tests today, including an MRI and they've determined it's either a kidney infection or strep infection causing all the trouble. She is much better tonight, but, still in ICU.

We spent a better part of the evening at the hospital. My daughter was able to see her dearest friend for a few minutes, which eased her mind. She was sleeping so she didn't get to talk with her.

She was pretty surprised a few minutes ago when the phone rang and her friend called her. (Even a scary illness can't keep those two girls off the phone.) One of the few times I didn't mind her calling after 10:00 at night, for sure.

We're pretty fortunate to have a facility like the Monroe Carell Children's Hospital here in our backyard. What a beautiful facility, that's taken such excellent care of our friend and her whole family today and everyday cares for children of all ages with all sorts of problems. In the pod next to our friend, there was a teeny, tiny, premature baby being cared for. The friend's grandmother said she talked with people in the waiting room today who are here from places like Texas, Georgia, etc. with sick children.

I hope and pray my kids (or yours) don't ever require the services of the Children's Hospital, but, boy, I'm grateful they are there if we do.

About Schmidt...Baby Talking, Etc

After all my yappin' about not wanting to go to the retirement reception of the Baby Talking Wady....I went.

My giggling commenced as I was standing in line, overlooking the shrine to Baby Talk Wady. Around these parts, people tend to go for the more subtle retirement, as in slip out the door, see ya later, kinda sublte. Not Baby Talk Wady. There were pictures, pictures and more pictures of her...there were flowers....books of letters....there was a real creepy element to it.

I was ready to do some snarky dawgin' with a few select others who also delight in the art of dawgin el snarko. I get there and nobody wants to dawg. They let me down. I was wishing I'd have stuck to my guns and skipped the soiree. I came to dawg, by golly and nobody wanted to play!

The Pervert Gentleman Formerly Known As My Boss delivered a lovely speech and then opened the mic to Baby Talk Wady. She gave the usual retirement speech, blah blah. Then she mentioned the girls she worked with and she made eye contact with me and said "Oh and all the others I've worked with through the years....If I was ever unkind to you, I'm sorry. I loved working with you all." Oh boy. Here comes the guilt.

I went to congratulate her and she grabbed me and hugged me....like...maybe...I meant something to her.

Bad Sista. Bad.

Thespian Kin

Have I ever mentioned here that I'm related to this guy? No, seriously, I am.

Lewis Smith is a real, bonafide, working Hollywood actor. (Notice I didn't say famous) This is how it goes: My grandfather had a younger sister named Millie and she was Lewis' grandmother. Pretty cool, huh? His daddy, Art, looked a lot like my dad and looked more like he belonged to my grandfather, although I've been told by some family members, I have a bit of a resemblance to Aunt Millie. The gene pool on that side of the family is heavy duty.

Besides "Buckaroo Banzai",
Lewis had a pretty good part in "North and South" and was in another movie in the 80's called "The Heavenly Kid." I see the box every time I go into the Video Depot in Hendersonville. Lewis used to be Marsha Mason's boyfran and he is close pals with Garry Shandling.

Oddly enough, I've never met Lewis and the only movie I've ever seen that he was in was that made-for-tv movie about the showdown in Waco. I think he played an ATF agent.

Maybe one of these days Lewis Smiff and Sista Smiff will meet. (Different Smiffs but a Smiff is a Smiff, by golly!) I bet he would have plenty of good stories to tell.

Who are you kin to that's famous or kinda sorta famous?
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Thursday, July 20, 2006

I have sunk to a new low.

Maybe it's the PMS, the heat, but, Nick Lachey reduced me to tears whilst watching Behind The Music. When they got to that inevitable part where "Behind the smile....there was sadness", he told of how things with Whatshername went to hell, how good his family is, him tearing up talking about his new little niece....oh, I can't even speak about it now. Never mind I can choke up or get a lump in my throat pretty easily....Nick seems like a nice feller.

Busy Mom

I'm thinking a lot this morning about everybody's friend, Busy Mom. Her own mom lost her battle with cancer early this morning. A lot of us have been through losing a parent after a long, painful illness. If you haven't yet, you will. It's an odd journey to take. When death comes following a long illness, like Busy Grandma had, it's something of a relief for them. Even so, you're never really prepared to lose them.

Busy Mom has been quite inspiring to me in how she's managed the Busy Family, working full time, keeping these multiple blogs up and caring for her mother. She doesn't have brothers and sisters to share the load and I'm sure she's tired, but, her attitude and spirit is really something. No whining from Busy Mom.

The Busy Family has a lot to do the next few days. Keep them in your prayers.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

The One Where I Talk About The President and Stem Cells

I was just reading Webslog (the blogger I've known the longest) and his post is so clever and well written, I'm still not sure if he's talking favorably about our President or not. (I will not slap your ass and call you "Skippy" however, I just might've in 1985) At any rate, it reminded me of a thought I've had all day.

I envy these bloggers that can talk so intelligently about politics and the state of things. I read them daily in hopes I shall grow more brains in this area, both the Lefties and Righties. I guess the fact that I'm a card carrying Southern Bapt-tiste automatically throws me on the Right team in most people's eyes anyway and that's alright. I love Jesus, even though I say "shit" here and there. Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell embarrass me sometimes. Sometimes I wish they'd just jump on over to another denomination.

For anybody that gives a rip...here's how I feel about stem cells and what not:

I don't like abortion. I don't think it's a good idea and it certainly shouldn't be used for birth control. I believe that as soon as the sperm and egg say howdy, it's a person. Why? Cause Jeremiah 1:5 says that God knows us before we're ever in our mother's wombs. (However, I HATE the word "womb" and I hope I'm never called on to say it, say, outloud) That said, I think they need to keep abortions legal.

Had I gotten myself in the Family Way before I was a married woman (and praise be it didn't happen 'cause it sure could've) I don't know that as a teen, I could've gone to my parents and said "I'm pregnant." Even now, the thought of facing the Wrath of Barb makes me shudder. She wouldn't have gone ballistic, she just would've given me a blank, cold stare and not spoken to me for months. Thanks to The Barb, I'm still somewhat scared of my own shadow. I have a hard time consuming any sort of alcoholic beverage because I was taught, to borrow words from the Martini Ministry, that I would spontaneously combust upon ingestion of Bud Light. I still have to fight hearing my mother's voice in my head of doom and gloom, fear of living even now. At 16 or 17, I thought she was right about everything because she was my mother. I know better now but boy, at that time, I couldn't have faced her.

I like to think I'm raising my own daughter in a more communicative environment regarding such things and hope should she ever find herself in an impregnated state, that she could come to me and we'd deal with it. If she didn't feel she could cope with telling me and facing it that way and she chose to terminate the pregnancy, I would understand. It would make me sad, but, I'd understand. I would hope that there was a legal and more importantly, a safe way for her to deal with it. The thought of my beautiful baby girl having to go to some filthy place is more than I can even bear to think about, even hypothetically. Keep it legal. (You will never see me marching for abortion nor will you see me encouraging people to blow up an abortion clinic either)

This stem cell brouhaha....if they're cast offs from failed invitros gone bad, dang it, use them! I don't know how I feel about them creating embryos for that purpose but as Mr. Smiff keeps hollering at the tv, everytime it's talked negatively about, what if it were MY kid that needed it? I'm inclined to think I'd say "Screw that...give them live embryos, if that'll keep them alive." We're sorta selfish that way.

The thought that's been trailing in my head all day and I haven't heard it come up with the Talking Heads on the news (Mr. Smiff and Boy #1 are into some serious news watching, both the CNN and Fox variety with a little MSNBC thrown in for good measure)....Mr. Smiff always says to the tv (like it's going to give him a perfectly audible answer) when Bush talks about stem cells, "Wait til it's your kid."

Now, Bush had a sister, Robin, who died of leukemia when she was about 3. When this happened, the elder Bushes were somewhere around my age, not the bajillionaires they became later, but, both of thems Daddy's had lots of money. Barbara said herself in her autobiography that Robin got the very best care and treatment that was available at the time. Is our President trying to say that if stem cells would've been around at the time, and possibly could've been used to save his sister, that his parents (or had it been up to him) not have jumped all over that to save Robin? I doubt it.

Hell, I don't even know if stem cells can help Leukemia patients. I'm just surprised that none of the reporters have axt him that straight out. If say Jenna, during one of her drunken party binges, staggering around, fell out of a 3rd story window, paralyzing her, George would not want them to do everything they could do to get her walking again. The doctors say "A stem cell thing would fix her" I mean...honestly....would he say "Ethically, it's not good strategery?"

I probably shouldn't even be allowed to blog anything remotely political, especially at 11:40 at night. I'm not intelligent enough in daylight hours to ask such a question. I sure don't want to argue with nobody, especially Aunt B, Katherine Coble and Sarcastro. They would eat me for supper. Just that this thought has been in my head for a couple days now.

Welcome Home

I am so glad to see that Amy Hawkins has returned home to Hendersonville. You may remember Amy who courageously shielded her two little boys during the April 7 tornado that destroyed her home and has left her (at this point) unable to walk.

I don't know why Amy's story hit me so hard in the gut. I'm sure the fact that her home was less than a mile from mine and that we shop at the same Kroger and Target and probably have the same Papa John's delivery person has something to do with it.

More than that, there's something in the faces of her two little boys that just absolutely tears me up. What is it about little boys? I have two of them and even though my oldest boy weighs about 190 lbs, has size 13 feet, and his own razor (that he actually needs to use), I still can see him as a 6 year old with a lisp and not able to say his "r's" correctly.

Just like any other mother, I'd have done the same thing for my boys and my baby girl that Amy did. I'm so humbled by her experience. I'm tickled for those little boys that they have their mama back home with them, even though life will be a little different. I've not spent more than a couple nights away from my kids since they were born. I can't imagine how hard it was for Amy, not only to deal with the physical and emotional trauma she's been through, but, to be away from those adorable little boys.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the people at "Extreme Home Makeover" will have the Hawkins' on their show and build them a new home. I can't think of anybody that deserves it more.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Goodbye To The Great Pumpkin

I don't boast a green thumb, but, I do get some enjoyment out of watching things grow in my yard, be they in pots or whatever. I decided this year to plant some pumpkin seeds. We planted some years ago, when we lived at our former abode, and we had several nice pumpkins. Problem was, Martha Stewart here didn't know to put some straw under them so they wouldn't rot. Ya live and learn so I got some seeds and planted out in the backyard by the fence at a spot I knew the dogs wouldn't use to slumber in. (They love to lie in the flower bed, much to my dismay).

So I plant these seeds and this wonderful vine came up. #2 Boy was especially into it (older kids are way too cool for such, you know) and has been really helpful in making sure it has had plenty of water. I've Miracle Growed the Great Pumpkin vine a lot too. It was long and had a number of blooms on it already. We were pretty proud of our budding little crop. #2 and I have already been planning the jack 'o lantern faces we're going to do on our own, homegrown, special Smiff Pumpkin Patch.

You may remember the hiring of the yard guy, Mr. Mow Town. Mr. Mow Town is a nice fella and has done a pleasing job tending to the Smiff yard this summer with Mr. Smiff being gone so much and me working full time and just not feeling like dealing with it. (Yes, I'm aware I have a man-sized teenaged son who would be PERFECT to do the yard. Problem is, I can't get him pumped up about it and am too tired to participate in that argument). Mr. Mow Town is very reasonably priced and very dependable. He is quite pleasant and can kill a snake when called upon to do so.

Unfortunately, Mr. Mowtown doesn't know a pumpkin vine when he sees one. Yesterday, Mr. Mowtown did the Locomotion with his weedeater and our pumpkin vine is no more. I wanted to cry. It was a beautiful vine and I was getting quite attached to it. Thing is, the vine has been growing now for weeks and he never mowed it over. No, he waited until it was huge and THEN decided it was time for that pesky "weed" to go.

I don't think #2 is hip to the fact that the Pumpkin vine is history. I had a couple seeds leftover and went out this morning (about 5:30 to be exact) and put it in the grown so I'm hoping that there is still hope for the Great Pumpkin to rise out from the Smiff Pumpkin Patch.


I'm determined today to drink 64 oz of water. I just am. Drinking water is a challenge for me. Not because I don't like how it tastes, but, when it boils down to it, I'd rather have a Diet Dr. Pepper or coffee. (Not Starbucks. It leaves an aftertaste). I don't want any flava flav in my water either. Berry in my water makes me gag.

I'm envious of people carrying their water bottles around here and there and there I am...with my ever present Diet Dr. Pepper, full of caffeine and artificial sweetner.

I have this Big Ass Water Jug that holds 32 oz but it appears to be even bigger. It's got a plastic thing around it to keep the sweat from the smaller thing from dripping everywhere. I hate water bottle sweat. It's kinda embarrassing hauling this BAWJ around. It never fails, I carry it downstairs to the ice machine and every person I come in contact with says the same thing "That a big enough jug?" or my favorite "You thirsty?" Brilliant folks, eh? It makes me not want to even use the dang thing but I will not allow the igmos where I work to keep me from becoming a better, healthier Sista.

It reminds me of a few years back, my Shishter and I did the Weight Watchers at Work thing. My Shishter (not to be confused with my biological Sister in Knoxville) did very well on it. The Sista did not. Anyway, my Shishter refuses to participate in Weight Watchers here anymore because she got tired of people hollering out to her in the hall "How did you do at weigh in today?" or "How's the Weight Watchers going?" People are retarded even when they're just trying to be nice.
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Monday, July 17, 2006

The Happy Homewrecker?

I'm beginning to think the fine folks at XM Radio and Sirius are onto me. Without giving my secrets away, I listen to them faithfully at work and enjoy every minute of it. Alas, I wasn unable to listen today. I was quite sad about that. I was forced to listen to Real Radio (as in a real radio with knobs and arythan. Just like real people do) Posted by Picasa I'm here to tell ya, people....radio is in a sad state. It's ugly. It's sad.

Being that I'm in a downtown Nashville building, it's hard to get good signals. I've been forced to listen to Mix 92.9....aka Dentist Office Radio. I like me some Phil Collins, Lionel Richie (from his hit machine years), Sheryl Crow, etc. It just aint the same as satellite.

Mix 92.9 has weather girl Nancy Van Camp from WSMV give the weather every little bit. I think Miz Nancy is THE Whitest Girl in Nashville. I mean, she is the most perfectly articulated, whitey white gal around. She reminds me of Sue Ann Nivens, the "Happy Homemaker" of WJM TV in Minneapolis. (For those born after 1975, WJM is a fictional tv station). Maybe its the dimples.

Wonder if Nancy is like Sue Ann and has the hots for say...Dan Miller or Rudy Kalis?? Oh, wouldn't it be fun to know the Newsroom Dirt?!?!?!? I wish my friend Betty still worked at Channel 4. Maybe Lindsay knows some good stuff!

Musings on the Cheese

Being it was Boy #2's birthday yesterday, that meant we had to celebrate. #2 was insistent on going to Chuck E. Cheese. I had vowed the last time he had a party there 2003 that I was retiring from birthday parties at the Cheese. Lord knows, I have done my time between there and Circus World (a similar type of joint in Hendersonville). I'm over it.

I'm not one of those moms that will put on an elaborate theme party and invite every kid in the hemisphere to. I'm all about taking it somehwere where somebody else decorates and cleans up. I guess that makes me bad in the eyes of the Muffia and I'm just wrong. My excuse is "I work." Earlier on in my parenting career, I'd have been more likely to do that, but, I'm tired. Plus, #2 wanted to go to Chuck E's place so he could get on the stage. He originally wanted to wear overalls and a cowboy hat (he has an image, afterall) but I talked him out of it since it was 180 degrees yesterday.

Chuck E. Cheese is loud and overstimulating. Instead of the slogan "Where A Kid Can Be A Kid", they should change it to "Where a Parent Can Regret The Day They Ever Thought Sex Might Be A Good Thing" or "Where A Parent Can Have a Nervous Breakdown." (Ask my friend Lisa about she about got into a smackdown over there the other day with a Redneck Mom) They have bad pizza and even worse birthday cake. We opted to bring our own cake because the ones Chuck has are just plain gross. They taste like cardboard. Turns out, I shouldn't have even bothered to get a cake because none of the kids were interested in cake. They wanted to go play games so they could get more tickets so they could get more crappy prizes to take home to make their mothers crazy. They were just about as interested in the pizza as they were the cake.

The overstimulation, noise, the Chuck E. Cheese smell, the whole thing just puts me in a bad mood. I didn't think we would ever leave. I finally had to play about 15 rounds of Skee Ball to get rid of those damn tokens. I gotta say, I am one hell of a Skee Ball player. If they ever have a competition for that, I'm in.

Mr. Smiff had barely made it home from New York to get to the Cheese. After traveling for 20 hours, he was understandably tired and after a bit he said "Hey, I really need to get this ice cream home so it won't melt...but, I don't want to leave you here with all this." (Sure you don't.) I finally came up with a great plan, Mr. Smiff could take the ice cream home (since he was so concerned about it melting and all) as long as he hauled all the presents and crap home so all I'd have to do was get in the car and go home. Pretty fair deal, dontchya think?

I guess I'm hard on Chuck E. Cheese. The kids absolutely love the place. Never mind I see it as an insane asylum disguised as a place of fun and frivolity. #2 had a great birthday and went home a (mostly) happy boy. He only told his sister he'd never speak to her again once while we were there.

Oh and just for the record, I did not once mention this entire post how plain and simply unfair it is that our friend CLC and the Belle of RUA are soaking up the sinfulness of Sin City and working towards some serious grape stomping in Napa, while I was working on my Skee Ball skills and trying to keep up with Chuck E. Cheese tokens.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

It's Like....Um....You Know

Bee-zar...I was thinking of doing a blog post, asking the blogosphere their opinion on how to let somebody know that they REALLY need some public speaking instruction because they always say "Um" every other word every time they speak. I'm talking seconds after I had that thought, I came upon this post. I'm thinking it's a sign from Above that I should somehow take action because it drives me NUTS.

This is somebody at my church, who is on staff, is 30ish, and has been in this position a long time and often is called upon to speak in front of the congregation for various things...quite often. They've been doing this long enough to not get all giggly and say "Um" and "You know" like they do. This person is a good person, a hard worker and very dedicated to their ministry. (This is twice this week I've talked about a "This Person").

Maybe it's being the kid of a broadcaster and being a little more nitpicky about people speaking in public or maybe I'm just one of those crotchety people just looking for something to complain about. Every single time this person speaks, as we're leaving the church, I lecture to my daughter (poor thing) how they really need to get somebody to work with This Person on their public speaking cause it's driving me (and probably others) batty listening to the "Um Parade" every week.

Maybe I could anonymously send them Mother Tongue Annoyances' link and look at it as my ministry. Am I totally a snob thinking somebody in that position should know better??

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday today to #2 Smiff Boy!

I can hardly look at that first picture of the newborn #2 and not hurt. Look at the size of that head, would ya? Nearly 10 lbs of baby, no medicine, some brief, sorta scary complications but he's more than made up for the trauma from that day.

I wish everybody had the opportunity to meet this kid. Yeah, he's mine and all that, but, he's such a hoot to have around, the Grascals have nicknamed him "A.K." for "Ass Kick" cause he does. He's a wonderful little boy and I feel pretty blessed that, as big of a surprise as he was, that the Good Lord saw fit to send him to the Smiff House.

Happy Birthday, Baby Boy.


Saturday, July 15, 2006

Scenes From A Carwash

Me and Boy #2 enjoyed ourselves immensely at the 4:05 showing of Cars at the Regal Indian Lake. That movie IS as great as everybody says. Everything about it, from the amazing animation, the voices, characters, the music...it almost makes me want to figure out who everybody in NASCAR is, throw my tank top on, grab me a beer and get to the races myself. Almost.

#2 was unusually still and engaged in the whole thing. Normally, I have to tell him to sit down and hush about 100 times during a movie, but, not this one. He only got up to go to the bathroom twice and he didn't even go either time. He was so into the whole thing, he couldn't make himself walk all the way to the bathroom. When it was over, he was doing the "Need To Pee Dance" is how I know he didn't go...that and the fact he'd have been gone 10 minutes had he actually gone. He'd have gotten distracted by the video games and whatnot.

The whole Paul Newman character/voice/connection to the car racing thing moved me. I don't know why. Maybe it's cause I'm such a sucker for the old geezer. He's old, but, still hawt. Never mind Mista Newman was not actually seen.

I loved how they had actual racing people in this movie...Earnhardt, Jr., Richard Petty, Mario Andretti (sound like I know who/what I'm talking about, don't I?) and Darrell Waltrip as commentator "Darrell Cartrip." Heh. Love that.

Oh, you know there's a story coming about a brush with Waltrip, don'tchya? You're so smart.

About 1987-88...my hotrod, the 1983 Cutlass needed a bath, so I take it down to that car wash in Brentwood next to the skating rink. It was a slow day and I was the only customer at the moment. I'm standing there, mesmerized by the brushless wash, watching my lovely automobile make its way down the thing..I don't know what they call that. In my periphial vision, these two men are coming from the right. I wasn't paying any attention, didn't look who it was, but, I could tell the one man was coming closer and closer. He gets right up to me and says..."What are we looking at?" Dang, if it wasn't Darrell Cartrip hisself.

Now, I didn't give a rats ass about racing, but, I knew enough to be impressed that I'm standing there in the carwash, me and Darrell. Even at my youthful age, I was so mature and sophisticated beyond my years. I was going to get really deep and philosophical with this award winning driver person guy.

Sista Smiff: What can I do about my top? It's cracking and I don't know what to do about it.

Darrell Cartrip: You need to get you some Armor All and put on it.

Sista Smiff: Thank you, Mr. Cartrip.

That, my friends, was my introduction to the wonderful world of Armor All. It was so touching, not a time goes by that I don't use it that I don't remember that watershed moment at the Brentwood Car Wash. I still can't figure out why in the world Mr. Cartrip even talked to me. I guess he was hoping I'd tell him how he was my biggest fan. (I love it when overwhelmed fans of any type meet the objects of their affection and nervously tell them "You're my greatest fan" instead of "I'm your biggest fan!")

I know that was heavy. Y'all can go collect yourselves now.


She's pretty sorry, alright.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Praying For Porter

Frank at Left of the Dial is talking about how Porter Wagoner was taken to the hospital today. We don't yet what's going on with him, but, I do know that he did have prostate cancer in the last couple of years. Hopefully, it's not something related to that and he'll be ok. Porter is a treasure and a uniquely Nashville icon.

I told the other day at Metroblogging one of my favorite moments...ever...regarding Porter. Another one occurred last summer when the Grascals were on the Opry. I was trying to take a picture of the Wagonmaster with the boys and didn't turn the stupid camera on. Porter, in his West Plains, MO drawl said "You might arta turn it on, hawney." Notice they're laughing. Yes, it was at me, not with me. No, I wasn't embarrassed.

Mr. Smiff is even in the picture Frank has up.

Your Secret's Safe With Me

Somebody told me something yesterday that was supposedly to be kept really under wraps. "Don't tell anybody" this person told me. It's the kind of sensitive issue that is sooo sensitive, if it got out, it could affect their life in a serious way. (Nothing life threatening or nothing lurid or morally bad). This person repeatedly said, during the course of our conversation how important it was that what she told me did not get out. I told her I would not tell. I like this person very much and would not want anything bad to come to them. This person has had a real string of bad luck the last decade. Things can't really get much worse for them. They're kinda a lightening rod for bad stuff.

Anyhoo, I just saw this person talking to somebody. They greeted one another with the "Hiiiiii...how are you" kinda thing. I could tell by the body language that this person was telling this other individual exactly what they had told me yesterday. I watched their reaction and that kinda confirmed that they were telling this thing that was supposedly such a secret. I wonder how many other people they told? It's not exactly a secret, is it?

I'm still not going to tell but I know at least, if it gets out and what she feared happening happens, it ain't going to be cause I told.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Pardon Me Sir...Did You See What Happened?

Patrick saying "Don't Look Ethel" to me today got me thinking about something funny. I think it's funny, anyway.

Mr. Smiff is from a little town in North Carolina called Reidsville. It's about 30 miles out of Greensboro, a hop, skip and a jump from the Virginia line. It's a sweet little town, somewhat Mayberryish, full of really good, hard working people. Lots of those good, hard working people are of the church going lot. Most of them work at one of the nearby hosiery mills, Miller Beer or one of the ciggarette factories. Father In Law Smiff retired from P. Lorillard and now spends his time playing music in his old-time string band.

Reidsville boasts a great little barbecue joint, that's been there forever, called Short Sugars. Upon arrival when they go back "home", one of the first things the In Law Smiffs do is head to Short Shugahs to get their barbecue and Chili/Cheese Dog fix.

Probably the most excitement that's ever hit Reidsville is the time, way back in the 70's that they had Santa Claus parachute in to the parking lot of Pennrose Mall (everything in Reidsville has the "Penn" name attached to it. I'm guessing the Penns were a rich bunch). While Santy Claus was aiming for the parking lot, he missed and hit the bank and broke his leg. No doubt that traumatized lots of little children who are still recovering from that.

You catch the drift...Reidsville is a fairly quiet, little southern town. This is why I was so shocked to discover not long ago, that there is a nudist camp there. A nudist camp with nekkid people running all over the place.

In Reidsville, of all places. The Bar S Ranch is the place to be, if you live in the Piedmont area and wish to disrobe and participate in various leisure activities. Why, in just a couple weeks, they are hosting their annual 5K cross country race. Who knew there was such a thing as nude running? Where do they put their race numbers???

This ain't the first time there's been people running around Reidsville nekkid. Back in the 70's, a 16 year old Mr. Smiff, Cousin Danny (now a mortician), Cousin Bobby and Cousin Alan O'Bryant (now of the Nashville Bluegrass Band) with Brother In Law Smiff driving the get away car...they decided they were going to get in on the streaking craze.

They didn't just streak the Hardees,with shouts of "Don't Look, Ethel!" by the patrons...no, they went into one of the nicer restaurants in town, proud as they could be of their anatomies, moving on to the Holiday Inn, where they waited...and waited on Cousin Bobby as he made his way through the lobby. They thought for sure he'd been caught when here he came hollering "The security guard's after me!"

The final streakin' stop was the home of Bill Monroe's older brother, Charlie. He was pretty elderly at this point and knowing he wouldn't appreciate such foolishness, Cousin Danny got up on the porch, dancing around in all his glory. They noticed the blinds being peeked through and then they heard the howl of hound dogs. Charlie had sicked (sp?) his dogs on the juvenile delinquents...as he should've.

Life in a small town....

Lunch at Logans

Some work friends and I hauled it down to Logans today. Work friend Jeff took it upon himself to invite this other former co-worker without first consulting former co-worker Patrick and myself if it was ok if this other guy came. Now, this guy is not a bad guy. He has a good sense of humor and is pretty funny. Thing about him is he is a Conversation Hijacker, in fact, I think he got a degree in it. He's notorious for it and it's aggravating.

Sitting there in Logan's, Conversation Hijacker holding court and the boys are discussing audio/visual stuff (that's what they do). I was bored. In my boredom, I noticed songwriter Dennis Morgan came in and sat in the booth behind us.

Dennis is something of Nashville songwriter royalty. He's a member of the Nashville Songwriter's Hall of Fame and wrote a lot of Ronnie Milsap's hits (my favorite "Smoky Mountain Rain") and he wrote "I Was Country When Country Wasn't Cool" and a butt load of other songs you would know if I listed all of them here. (Oh yeah...he wrote "Nobody" that Sylvia had a huge hit with back about '82))

I'm pondering the many hits written by Mr. Morgan when I look up at the tv and my attention is caught by ESPN's coverage of Nathan's Famous 4th of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest. I have to tell ya...as All -American and great as this annual event is, it is not the most appetizing to eat by. I don't see how in the world these people don't choke to death stuffing those hot dogs in their mouths like there is no tomorrow. It is not purty.

It was a fairly close race between Joey Chestnut and title defender Takeru Kobayashi. The most interesting thing about this whole thing is the method's these "Competitive Eaters" use to gorge a record number of wieners into their mouths in 12 minutes. Mr. Chestnut has a way of shoving his in that cause him to go into something of a convulsive state and it appears he's demonstrating the proper way to...um...perform oral sex on a feller. This whole thing got me really tickled. I mean, REALLY tickled. When I get really tickled, that's pretty much all she wrote. You just have to wait til it passes. Before long, my A/V lunch companions had abandoned the discussion on sound systems and looked at the tv.

I'm still laughing painfully and getting pretty teary and it appeared Dennis was pretty sucked into the whole thing. Patrick kept saying "Quit looking." Like an accident or a fire, you can't help but look. My laughter continues and Patrick hollered out "DON'T LOOK, ETHEL!!!" Too late....I'm already doubled over. I hope ESPN runs this again. You gotta see Joey do his thing. No wonder he's a world record eater and makes his living shoving crap down his mouth at a high rate of speed.

I think Dennis kept a straight face through the whole thing and probably wished I'd have hushed my laughing so he could eat and ponder his many dollars in his bank account.

Be On The Lookout...

My friend, the Old Fart In Training, has a nice post about his first car "stereo" that he had in his Monza (I forgot about those) today.

When I think about my first car stereo, I have to giggle. One, it was most likely a crappy stereo, but, it played cassettes nicely. Speakers? I could hear just dandy. The car itself was a jewel among jewels in the car world....a maroon, 1979 Grand Am. Yee haw.

When I was in high school, I came out to my car one afternoon and noticed something was amiss in my grand vehicle. Somebody had done broken in and tried to abscond with my awesome stereo!!!

I summoned the law. The law showed up and did a report. Our tax dollars at work and surely they would capture the mongrels that attempted to take my fine specimen of a stereo.

The next week, in the Police Blotter of the Review Appeal (or was it The Williamson Leader?) they told of how "Sista Smiff's car was burgalarized in the parking lot of Franklin High School. The victim reported her knobs had been stolen." It did too say that.

Last I heard from my Franklin Detective friend, Detective Becky, 20+ years later and the Franklin Police force is STILL on the case.

A Thursday Morning Ponder

I'm beginning to think that Christie Brinkley is turning into something of a Liz Taylor or a Tammy Wynette. She and her fourth husband are splitting up and one begs the question: What's the problem here? Is she just chronically prone to picking the wrong guys? Is she too high maintenance, difficult to live with?

Here you have a very attractive, succesful woman. It would be assumed she's doing ok financially with that pretty lucrative supermodel career she had, alimony from Billy Joel, and that thing she sells with Chuck Norris and all. She appears to be somewhat intelligent. She is kinda like Lorrie Morgan and has a big ol' throwdown wedding everytime she walks down the aisle. Maybe she gets bored with them?

Everybody's entitled to make some marital mistakes. We learn from those mistakes, yes. But after four husbands, I just wonder what her deal is. I won't lose the first bit of sleep over it. Just typical of things I waste my time pondering.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Congratulations-It's A Sista

I've officially joined the brother and sisterhood of Metroblogging. Busy Mom just wouldn't shut up her nagging, crying and begging me, so I did it just to make her happy.

5 minutes into and I've already screwed it up. I better not have to write that thing all over again.

Hear Us Roar

What's that saying about how behind every good man there's a good woman, or something to that affect? Well, this here group of girls definitely falls into that category.

What do we have in common? I could turn it into a contest and if you guess, you could win some of Wonder Dawg's crap he's trying to get rid of. Nah..

These here ladies are the better halves of 5 of the 6 Grascal Dudes. (One of them is wise and is unmarried). You got Susanne who belongs to Jamie,the left handed gi-tar player; Myrna (or "Meerna" as I like to call her) who belongs to the banjer player, Dave; Mrs. Smiff, Andrea, belonging to the mandolin guy, Danny; and Ginger, wedded to the fiddler, Jimmy.

This was the first time in the three years the group has been together, that all of the wives had been at one spot. Ginger and I, both being mothers of three, had never even met before Thursday. Crazy.

Actually, none of us have actually seen our respective spouses for more than 5 minutes the last three months with festival season being in high gear, recording, Fan Fair and all that jazz. We're all smiling cause we're loaded on crack from trying to keep our respective abodes functioning, looking after kids, working, etc. by ourselves. It ain't for the faint of heart. Shows like Thursday night's at the Ryman make the blood, sweat and tears worth it. When the second cd Long List of Heartaches is released on August 29 on Rounder and everybody loves it...it will be worth it, too.

I keep wanting to make that earring of mine go back where it belongs. What is up with that?

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


I can forgive VH-1 for that heinous "My Fair Brady" and that slutty girl that's marrying MY Peter Brady because they are showing I Love The 70's vol 2 tonight. (I give the latest Brady marriage about 5 minutes. What's wrong with him? I mean, I KNOW what's wrong, but, what is he thinking?)

I'm inlcined to think they've updated it with current celebrities 'cause I could swear they've covered some of this stuff already...Malibu Barbie, ViewMasters, Fro Combs and such.

I live for crap like this.

A Tax Vacation? Sho Nuff?

Is this really happening? Or is this one of those chain things where a cute little cartoon character will appear at the end or that I'll have good luck for the rest of the day if I forward it?

Tennessee Department of Revenue
Back-to-School Supplies, Clothing, and Computers
Tax-Exempt During Tennessee’s
First Sales Tax Holiday
In August of this year, Tennessee will hold its first annual sales tax holiday, giving shoppers the
opportunity to purchase certain school supplies, computers and clothing tax-free for a specific
period of time, beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 4 and ending at 11:59 p.m. on Sunday,
Aug. 6.
As you plan for the 2006-2007 school year, you may want to let your students and parents know
in advance what items they will need for school next fall. Items exempt from tax during the
three-day holiday include the following:
School Supplies
($100 or less per item)
($100 or less per item)
($1,500 or less)
Blackboard Chalk
Cellophane Tape
Composition Books
Glue, Paste, and
Glue Sticks
Index Cards
Index Card Boxes
Legal Pads
Lunch Boxes
Pencil & School
Supply Boxes
Pencil Sharpeners
Writing Tablets
Ear Muffs
Gym Suits/Uniforms
School Uniforms
Computer CPU
School supplies are defined as items used by a student in a course of study. Specifically
excluded are items such as art supplies and instructional material, including reference books
and school computer supplies (compact discs, printers, and printer ink).
Exempt clothing is defined as human wearing apparel for general use. It excludes accessories
such as jewelry or bags, protective equipment, and sports and recreational equipment such as
baseball gloves.
Computers with preloaded software and components purchased with the computer are also
exempt. Computers and their components must be purchased as a system. Individual
computer parts and accessories, and software that is not preloaded on the computer, do not
qualify for the exemption. PDAs and MP3 players also do not qualify for exemption.
Additionally, exemptions do not apply to items used in a trade or business, or to items that are
Layaway sales qualify for the exemption if final payment is made and the property is given to the
purchaser during the holiday or if the layaway order is made during the holiday even if delivery
is made after the holiday ends.
More information from the Department of Revenue is available from the following
• Web site: www.Tennessee.gov/revenue
• E-mail: salestax.holiday@state.tn.us
• Telephone: (800) 342-1003 8 a.m. - 5 p.m., CST, Monday through Friday
Special telephone hours for Sales Tax Holiday:
Saturday, Aug. 5: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., CST
Sunday, Aug. 6: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., CST

June Allyson RIP

I guess I shouldn't be surprised that the passing of June Allyson has only gotten a mere blip on the news. I saw it yesterday on the Comcast homepage and Google is only starting to show mentions of it here and there.
I guess most of my generation only knows June from her Depends commercials (or was it denture stuff...no, that was Jane Powell) and that right there is kindly sad. She did a lot more work than advertise stuff for the incontinent.

I loved her in The Glenn Miller Story, which has been on On Demand lately. May still be on. She was great in Little Women and she got to cozy up to Peter Lawford in Good News. She was married to actor Dick Powell . She was in a ton of movies and was part of that Golden Era of Hollywood that is dying out pretty quickly. I always loved to see her on Larry King and other shows where all the old girls sat around and told old Hollywood stories.

I guess June's passing might've made more of a splash had she been arrested for shoplifting, had umpteen husbands or umpteen babies without being married, killed somebody, had a meth lab in her house or something negative about her. When Lana Turner died, seems there was a little more press and that was mostly because all people wanted to recollect about her was how her daughter stabbed her abusive boyfriend.

***Update*** I stand corrected. CNN has a nice article about my girl, June. Maybe they were just a little slow getting their info.

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