Archive for December, 2014

WHAT?! I Posted Again!

You know you live in Bell Buckle, TN when the BIGGEST NEWS OF THE WEEK is that you made Christmas cookies and got a new shed.

Though, to be fair, when the aforementioned cookies are part of a hallowed longstanding family tradition that happen to take three dang days out of your life and the new shed allows you to finally get rid of the POD that has been sitting in the driveway of not one, but two houses– well, that’s kind of a big deal.

Also? The shed is adorable. Seriously, you are going to have such an extreme case of shed envy when you see it that you are immediately going to start frantically looking around your yard to see where-oh-where you could put one just like it– yes, it’s just THAT cute. *holds hand up for the high fives that are sure to follow*

Here’s what the @#%* POD looked like inside when it was finally emptied out and ready to be hauled away– picture cartoon hearts shooting out of my eyes:



And no, we are most decidedly not going to add up how much rental $$ I have paid for the privilege of having that sucker in my driveway, because that way lies madness, sir. But we had to move some furniture out of our Brentwood house in order to show it and then this lovely old 1905 house has very little usable storage space, so hey, we did what we had to do, and anyway I can’t put them biscuits back in the can, so JUST LET IT ALONE, OK?? (You have just been privy to the mental conversation that has been going on inside my head for the last year. Scary, isn’t it? To quote Anne Lamott, “My mind is like a bad neighborhood, I try not to go in there alone.”)

So anyway, here’s the shed-among-sheds (from these great Amish people in Kentucky):


I KNOW, right?! And yes, those are window boxes, thanks for asking. And a cupola, too? Of course! *shyly digs toe in the dirt, tries to look humble* (I’m on the hunt for a peacock weathervane for it, so do me a solid and let me know if you stumble across one that won’t require me to sell a kidney to afford– m’kay, thanks.)



I’m having to be physically restrained from dragging a mattress up that ladder and sleeping in there. When I was a kid growing up on Midland Street in Little Rock, my friends Duddy and Doug and Bill and Phil and I had a secret club in my basement, but this is WAY cooler than our Kit Kat Klub headquarters. Not to mention…





OK, moving on.

In related news,  this week I also spent one whole day doing this:


So that Madi Rose and I could spend two days doing this:





And in case you are silently wondering if I am posting all these photos just so you can ooh and ahh and leave all kinds of gushing comments like, “Oh my gosh, you are so creative and wonderful!!!”– you would be right. I need motivation, people, or this lovely tradition is gonna die on the vine. I have exactly twelve months to forget what a pain in my still-relatively-perky backside these ridiculous cookies are to make, so yeah, I’m not above manipulating you with pictures. (Hook and line– meet sinker.) (I might need a shot of me holding a sign that says,”Will Work For Compliments.”) Aw, who am I kidding, I really do enjoy making these… At least the first couple of hundred batches… Then I kinda start swearing under my breath.

Let’s see, what else.

Russ did a hometown concert in Hot Springs this week, at this lovely little theater on Central Ave., and in spite of a man-cold that make his voice just a wee bit husky, reportedly a good time was had by all. The girls and I couldn’t attend because COOKIES, and also we were finishing up our shopping/POD clean-out/Christmas craziness– but our sweet friend Carolyn provided some photographic evidence for us:

1HS4(That’s the back of Daddy Bud and Kimmie Masino’s heads. They look even better from the front.)

There will be more photos of this night to come– there are some really good ones– but I didn’t have time to edit them all now because I was too busy editing pictures of The Cookies. It’s called ‘priorities,’ people.

I’ll leave you with a couple of random things that made me smile. I’m trying to get back to making Time-Suck Tuesday posts again, but my carefully hoarded stash of funny photos got completely lost during the Great Laptop Crash of May, 2014. (Note to self: BACK UP YOUR FILES MORE OFTEN.) So, enjoy these, and I’ll start hoarding again soon.

(And tell me all about your holiday plans… We’re heading home to AR tomorrow!)

I’ll start with a couple of cat-related ones, because why wouldn’t I:1catracing This is TOTALLY Catsy Cline’s philosophy of life:



This one is for my sister Liz:


And finally, in anticipation of those holiday meals– we’ve all been there, right?


I’m Posting– It’s A Christmas Miracle!

Hello there, lovelies. Remember me?

Well, my ‘short break’ has stretched out over a couple of months, and for no good reason other than… I guess I must have needed a ‘short break’! I don’t exactly know why it took me this long to start writing again, but I sincerely apologize for my neglect, and I should totally drop and give you 20. At any rate, everything is great, we are all well and happy, life is full and busy, blah di blah blah, rinse and repeat– but how are YOU?

*bats eyelashes fetchingly*

If I tried to recap everything that has gone on since our last visit, this would turn into a manuscript of epic proportions and you’d get bored and wander off to get a snack and I’d get my feelings hurt, so for all of our sakes I’ll just condense it into this Catch-Up Haiku:

Life in Bell Buckle…

Like end-of-the-rainbow gold

Covered in cat hair.

Hey, I know what– let’s say it in pictures! We’ll call this segment


(And yes, this little exercise in narcissism will be chock-full of photos of ALL TAFFS/ALL THE TIME. There’ll be other stuff/people too, but come on, who else am I gonna feature?)

Let’s see. We went on the Homecoming Canadian cruise and Russ got randomly stopped and wanded as we entered the check-in area, and because I am such a supportive wife I stopped laughing long enough to capture the moment. (Also, you can’t really blame the security guys because if you check out those enormous kicks at the end of his skinny little ankles, it TOTALLY look like he could be smuggling drugs in there. Or ponies.) :


**Looking at art in Quebec City while lugging around a giant shopping bag full of gifts because I am generous like that:


**The Bell Buckle Arts Council had our 2nd Annual Plein Air event– that’s Billy Phillips watching his store being captured on canvas:


**Had a wonderful couple of days at Mark Lowry’s house in Houston with dear friends Bubba, Cynthia, Chip and Reba. Either Reba just said something that cracked both of us up or I am grabbing her butt. I forget which.11retreatFRIENDS

**We taped six months worth of Homecoming Radio shows in October, and my sweet Bonnie joined us for one of the days, which was way too much fun. We have been friends for 30 years, which I can barely even type with a straight face– how can that possibly be?!


**RT presented at the Dove Awards and hung out all day with these guys. This kinda looks like a LensCrafters commercial.


**And then he hung out all night with these guys. Whatever is around Russ’ neck makes it look he is trying to pass himself off as a Nobel Peace Prize winner. Or possibly a diplomat.


**Madi Rose and I went with Russ to Myrtle Beach Gaitherfest– apparently we DID get the memo about the dress code:


**Best of all, we got to see our beloved Momma Lloyd:


**Meanwhile, Charlotte got ready for a Halloween party–funny,  I don’t remember Mario being quite so, um, statuesque:


**Family brunch at the River Cafe in Normandy, TN (slightly out of focus, but hey, so are we):


**Russ and William Golden shot a video together (RT is a circuit-riding preacher and William Lee is his scout. Both of those scenarios should give you pause.):


**Let’s see, what else… Oh, yeah! “Hick hop” country rapper Big Smo opened a store in Bell Buckle. You can’t make this stuff up, people. Madi Rose is posing in front of what she refers to as the Smural.


**Had a wonderful Thanksgiving with the Smedleys. As always, June and Bud welcomed us with open arms and hearts– since Mom and Dad are gone, this is most definitely our ‘home for the holidays.’ We are rich in family. Here’s how Madi captioned this photo:

“I’m thankful that nearly 40 years ago, an English teacher and her husband took in a gawky little boy who, with their selfless compassion, would grow up and be my daddy. Words can’t describe the love and gratitude I feel for each person in this room. Especially Bruce Willis on the left.”


**OK, that’s not really Bruce Willis, it’s her Uncle Stuart. (Although he is pretty much as bad-ass as Willis.) Ladies and gentleman– Stuart Smedley, County Coroner:1STUARTcoroner

**Oh, and for those of you that have asked about Catsy Cline– she’s still here:



11catsyeditor**And she’s still…


**Well, that pretty much brings us up to date. Ish. It’s now Christmas time in the Buckle, which makes my town even more adorable than usual. I’ll leave you with a few holiday shots, and then I’d really love to hear from you guys– so how ARE you, anyway?!

(Courtesy Bell Buckle Chamber of Commerce)


(Courtesy Butterfly Kisses Photography)





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