Apr 30, 2008

Some final thoughts.

Sometimes when I think about what to write on my blog I say to myself, "Melissa, nothing exciting really happened today so you really don't have anything to write about." But then I reply to myself, "Yes, I know, Melissa. But remember, the world is counting on you. They need what it is you have to say." And then I take a deep breath, and continue...

So it is today. Nothing much to write on. Nothing much to say. Mer is packing up to go after her seven day Nashville excursion. She has learned much in this new homeland, so I will take these last few seconds and interview her about her travels. Think of this as Conde' Nest for really, really poor people.

Meridith, I am going to be interviewing you now. How do you feel about that?

Okay, but you have to make me sound really interesting and funny. And by the way, don't write down what I just said on your blog.

Will do. Okay, Meridith, tell me, why is it you call occasionally call and say that you are coming to town but you never ever do. So in fact, it took almost four years to finally get you here. Why is that?

Cause I'm poor.

Okay, that is so country, but let's continue.What was your favorite thing that we did during these seven days?

Let's see it was one of the following three:
a. the trip to the emergency room. The Williamson county E.R.
b. The stalking adventure we went on last night. It was very old school Melba and Annette.
c. The morning at Cracker Barrell the AG got on to you for "accidentally" eating 8 strips of bacon and told you "Melissa, that is not popcorn babe, it's pork."

Those were some good times. Indeed.

But I also loved going out with your girlfriends and the day we took in all the movies.

Meridith, how many hours, on average, would you say you slept this week?

(She slaps me then answers) Well, the majority of the hours you thought I was asleep I was actually watching re-runs of LOST on the internet. I'm finally watching it and I'm hooked!

I have taught you well, young one.

Thanks Yoda.

Will you miss Remi?

Absolutely. Now that you have her, I may visit more. (Meridith now rushes to the bathroom as we hear something splash into the toilet. It's Meridith's favorite bottle of lotion.)

Will you miss the Attorney General?

Uh. Take him or leave him. No, I love him. I'm still waiting to hear what happened at his lunch meeting yesterday. I know he's hiding something. He looked very guilty. Of course the man always looks guilty.

The man usually is. Will you miss me?

Here is actually Meridith typing out her answer. Forgive her for misspellings.: Yes, as a matter of fact I will miss my pork-popping, popcorn loving, sneak m&m's into the movie, one-of-a-kind, best mother in the world, cousin Melissa! It's been a great week and believe it or not, we haven't fought once. Of course, I'm still not on the plane, but it's been great. Can't wait to come back!!

I couldn't have said that better myself, Mer. Well, I probably could have because I'm a fabulous writer and all, but I'm hoping to send you off with some self-confidence, so well said!

Apr 29, 2008


We did it! We took in two movies at once!
Nobody "call the law" on us (as my Granny would say) - I paid for the second one when Meridith thought I was refilling my 48 oz. Mr. Pib (which I also did.) And let me tell you - it waaaassss wonderful.

To be perfectly honest, I can't remember the last time I went to a movie, much less two. And for those of you reading this and thinking to yourself "wow, she's really going nowhere fast spending her days taking in that trash" (mom!) let me just say that I did this for Meridith. Really. It wasn't for me. It was, in a sense, a ministry opportunity.


We actually saw two really cute, perky, funny movies. One that made me laugh, one that made me get all misty-eyed. Just perfect for two girls out on the town. But let me tell you the real reason for this post today.

If you have ever been to a movie - and if like really does beget like and you are fan of this blog, than I imagine you go allll the time - then you very well know that what previews before your movie is really not up to you. I mean if it were I would have them show previews of Breakfast at Tiffany's, Oklahoma and Short Circuit before every movie I take in. But no! What comes up on that screen has only to do with what is about to come out in the theatres. And over this, you have no control. Which leads me to my point.

I am not a fan of scary movies. I am a fan of thrillers! There is a difference. I don't want to see someone chased with a chainsaw but I never mind watching someone run for their life in a parking garage. One makes me hurl, the other makes me scream. I prefer to watch someone moving around in a closet - not in a casket. Get my point??

So yesterday Meridith and I are anxiously awaiting the start of our movie and are gearing up for the previews which we all know is the best part, anyway, when what to my super sensitive eyes should come on the screen? Something absolutely, positively, horrifying. At least to me it was. Others of you may laugh at it, mock it, roll your eyes or dig into your popcorn. I bit my nails, gritted my teeth and let out a scream that they could hear all the way out at concessions. Normally this would embarrass Mer but she was on the verge of doing the same thing.

Don't leave me a comment asking me what the movie was. I will not promote it in any sense of the word. In fact, I woke up at 5:20AM and prayed that God would wipe it from my memory. He must still be considering my request - cuz it is very much still present.

But just so you know I will have to have someone I know and love and trust watch it and then sit down and tell me all about it. Because my husband has learned that I actually let my mind go further and darker down the mind's hallways then it ever would if I would actually watch the thing! So many times he has said, "Melissa, it might just be better if you would just watch it so you would stop imagining it and being obsessive over it." But to my defense what could I possibly imagine that would be any worse than a horror movie??? I mean - if I imagine they all die, don't they all die? To this he just answered, "Well, you have a point."

All this to say. Stay away from the movies. Don't go. Before long this movie will be shown on posters out front and will be advertising on your television.

When it does, do what I do, run as fast as you can to the remote all the while singing "Shine Jesus Shine" to the top of your lungs, press Mute, turn around and think of yourself dancing with clowns. Wait, no. Not clowns. Those things are terrifying. Think of yourself with dogs. Wait, on second thought, didn't you ever see Cujo? Think of yourself with a baby. Oh my, Chucky! (I never saw any of these by the way...just the previews. Yep, it's that bad.) Think of yourself at the beach. No wait, Jaws! Think of you at your favorite holiday. Just not Halloween!!

Oh forget it. Just watch the thing and tell me what you think.

Apr 28, 2008

Everyone Just Remain Calm!

Remember the old song, "Oh What A Night?" Start to sing it now.

Because ooooohhhhh what a night.

Here in the Radke household we had pretty much decided to skip church yesterday. Yes, it's horrible I am confessing this, but let me finish before you call my mom. My cousin Meridith is here and bless her heart, this has been anything but an ideal vacation for her. We did take her out Friday night for Mexican food. But that is - officially - all we have done with her. That's it. Zip. Zilch. Nada.

She arrived on Wednesday where we asked her to watch our child and we left for the Doves. We returned home, thanked her, and dropped dead in the bed.

When she woke up on Thursday I was gone buying groceries and David was mowing. She spent the better part of the day alone, in her room, reading. However that night was Grey's Anatomy night AND LOST night. So I made her favorite meal, burnt it to a crisp and we gnawed on it in front of the television for 18 hours.

Friday night. Mexican food. But that is absolutely all we did on Friday day...waited for Friday night.

Saturday night I spent the entire day out of town at a church as "Ester" with "Frannie", my sidekick(see http://reallybadhairday.blogspot.com/2007/12/spending-2007-with-francis.html), who had hired us to come in for our entertaining abilities. I know, right? Meridith spent the day at the house, alone. Although she said she did get to catch up on 5 hours worth of Gossip Girl, so actually, she seemed okay about that. Later that Saturday night we got her all hyped up for a big night out in Cool Springs. But unfortunately is was prom night and every single restaurant had tulle sticking out of the front door. We took this as a sign and ended up at the Jason's Deli salad bar. Wow. Another wild night with the Radke's.

So after raiding Blockbuster video I swore to her that we would stay home on Sunday morning in our pj's, watch movies and eat cookie dough. She seemed genuinely excited about this until Remi woke up with 102 fever, wouldn't eat or drink, and we all ended up in the Emergency Room.

Now, just for the record. I'm not one of "those." You know, one of those mom's who think their child should be taken to the doctor just because they walked outside without shoes on. No, not me. It has to be big and serious and I have to have Kelli calling me every 18 seconds to see if I've gone yet. (Which she did, thankfully.) So after a full day of lethargy, no food, no drink, high temp, and a strange appearance of bruising on her back we pulled into the E.R. Our house guest in tow.

So from 5 PM until 9:45 PM we sat with Remi as she screamed one bloodcurdling scream after another as they poked, prodded, took temp, tried catheters, took vitals, took strep tests, you name it. Finally, after much exhaustion she decided to throw up all over herself and me. So we had to sit around with that memory all over the room. Another highlight of Mer's trip, I'm sure.

The Remster is back home now, she hurt herself something fierce with those back bruises but they thankfully! have nothing to do with her temp, and severe ear infections in both ears. She's just a sick little girl. And so it's my job to spoil her rotten over the next 24-48 hours. Pray I do well at this.

But also pray that poor, poor Meridith gets to do something this week that is even worthy of telling people about once she gets home. To think she's going to get off the plane and have to say...

"It was great. I ate at a salad bar, tried white cheese dip, found out where the Williamson County ER is and cleaned up some vomit. Wait that's not true, I also babysat one night and caught up on 29 hours of television"

...will just break my heart.

Hopefully at some point the AG can watch the little one while I take Mer to a movie. She loves it when we stuff Chik-fil-A in our purses, go in and pay for one movie, but sneak into a second one. She gets a real hoot out out of that. It makes her feel like a kid again. Of course I'm a mom now, so before we leave I secretly give them the money, but she thinks I'm in the bathroom and I let her think that. I don't want to steal all her fun!

Apr 24, 2008

I'm up for Best Stretch Marks.

So last night was the Dove Awards. Yawn. It's exhausting being me.

Actually I went as a proud wife on the arm of one incredibly handsome Attorney General. Seriously, you should have seen him. Oh, mamma. I was proud as a peacock to be with him. And I wasn't looking at all shabby myself if I'm allowed to say that (which I know I'm not so I figure my mom will be calling me any minute now to say that's tacky.)

So we're on our way to the Grand Ole Opry last night when the AG asks me to open up the envelope they gave him - when he went and picked up our tickets - and pull out the parking pass. Apparently it would tell us where to park be it one, two or 18 miles away. (Considering the heels I was in I was praying we got to park in Minnie Pearl's old spot but figured that on this night that was given probably given to the Gaithers.) So when I pull our "parking pass" out I notice that it's a sheet you put in your dashboard and it says "DOVE NOMINEE VALET PARKING". Huh? Did someone forget to tell me something??

Thank you God, I'm wearing my Spanx.

So after pulling in beside the Crabb brothers and Christy Nockels I was walking pretty tall. (Of course not tall enough to bypass the pretzels they were selling at concessions. You can take the girl out of Southern Gospel but you can't take the southern gospel....oh, you get the point.)

We walk in to the pre-show section of our evening and the usher looks at our tickets and says, "Oh, you've got the good seats." She then proceeds to walk us down to the THIRD ROW center!! Yes, that's right my lovelies, directly behind Natalie Grant, directly in front of Sandi Patti and just a few down from someone named Jeremy Camp. What is going on here? Attorney?? General?? What do you know that I don't??

Sweet Lord, thank you for inventing Spanx.

Now I'm not gonna lie. In fact, I started this blog in order to create a forum of complete and utter honesty. So here goes...


I thought my hair looked really good.
And my husband is a dream boat.
My dress finally fit me after months of hanging in my closet.
My Spanx were cutting off circulation in all the right places.
And I had gotten all the pretzel out of my teeth moments before.
I've written 87 songs in my journals over the years that I, personally, think are award winning. And my dad tells me I "sing better than anyone in the whole wide world." (His words,honest.)
I might still not be able to turn a cartwheel or go under water without holding my nose, but dadgum it, I'm funny!!

Isn't that enough to get a girl some third row face time?

By alas, it would never be. I chickened out and ended up trading our tickets with one of my husbands artists', who actually was nominated for a Dove Award and was sitting 11 rows back. The AG felt it was the right thing to do. I agreed.

Sort of.

So no, you won't see my face on TV if you watch them. And no, you won't see me fake laughing at Mark Lowry or trying to touch Natalie Grant's hair to see how she gets it to look like that. You won't catch me hob-nobbing with TobyMac or looking strangely terrified at David Crowder.
But you could have! If I were not such a sweet submissive wife. (There has to be some huge crown up there for that, right Lord?)

So I sat eleven or so rows back and had a great time. Ended up directly behind our friends Travis and Angela Cottrell so I got to trade remarks with them all night, which is always fun.

And you know what else? I got to eat M&M's. Which would not have been possible had I been third row, center. So see? God works it all out for good. His crunchy, chocolaty, melts-in-your mouth-but-not-in-your-hands, goodness.

Apr 22, 2008

Sweet Lord.

Dear Lord,

Please help me. Please, please help me. I know that you have been busy - terribly busy. You've had that whole election thing goin' down in Pennsylvania and if I know you at all I figure your probably still pretty hacked that Micheal Jon's got voted off American Idol. (I know I still can't move past it.) But I really need some help here. And I know I don't need to tell you about it but I would feel much better if I could just get it off my chest.

1. Tomorrow at noon my semester of Systematic Theology ends. Finally. Man! Talk about your 40 years in the wilderness. I've been stumbling around in that dry, barren land for-ev-er. But finally there is light at the end of the tunnel. In about 15 minutes from now I will turn in my 18 page paper on Miracles: Our Past, Our Present, Our Participation, I will finish up one last test, turn in my last 10 definitions and call it quits. And I won't shed one tear. So here's what I need from you...I really need to pass this course. Really. Badly. I need you to take a paper that, let's be honest, is probably sub-par at best, and turn it into wine. C'mon - do what you do best. There is a reason I wrote on Miracles, after all. I could really use one.

2. My cousin Meridith (silly me. You know who she is, no need to remind you.) flys in tomorrow. My house looks like I have been providing temporary housing for infidels. Considering she flys in at noon and I'm going to be up until midnight finishing school I am not exactly sure when I'm supposed to clean it. So remember that one time when you stopped time or you made the sun go back down or whatever so some army could win or something like that, well could you do it again so I could get these dadgum spots up off my carpet? Thanks.

3. I have some ground beef that has been sitting in my fridge for many, many days. Can you make it not make us all sick? Cuz I really need to make dinner for my cousin Meridith and if she dies on the very first day of her visit that would be a real bummer.

4. Okay, Lord, get out your notebook cause I'd like you to take notes on this one. Tomorrow night is the Dove Awards and I am doing my good, wifely duty and going. Even though you and I know I really, really don't want to. But it's important to the AG that I be there to support him and his artists' and so I'll do it. (Plus he promised to pull through and buy me an one of those new RootBeer floats from Arby's afterwards). One of my girlfriends asked me if the reason I dread going is that awards shows can be a bit, well, offputting - let's just say - and they aren't always filled with most genuine people and sometimes you feel like you just want to scream "BE REAL, PEOPLE!" But that's not the reason at all. In fact, I have met some really wonderful people in my husband's industry and tomorrow night I hope I get to sit by both of them. But my reason goes deeper than all of that. You see Lord, I have fat arms. Really fat arms. Arms that you try to hide but no matter what you drape over them they just keep coming back - fatter and whiter. So Lord, in all your sweet mercy help me find something to cover these things that hang from my shoulders and look like small children carrying home jugs of milk. Please Lord. If you do I promise you that I will clap for every person that wins even if it's some of these newfangled contemporary singers and not 4HYMN.

5. And last but not least, when Meridith gets in to town and I hug her neck and then head straight out the door for the Dove Awards please make her feel comfortable in this strange town, and this strange house all by herself. Let her enjoy the taco meat and live to tell about it. Let her feel at rest. At peace. And don't let me forget to tell her I need her to watch Remi for us all night.


Apr 21, 2008

So this was embarrassing.

You are eagerly reading today in hopes that I did something else that embarrassed me, my husband or my parents, aren't you? Well, you are going to be sorely disappointed. I am speaking today, in the figurative sense, not the literal sense.

So, ha!

Yesterday I got to go hear Beth Moore. I've never heard her before! Can you believe it? I go to a Baptist church yet have never heard Beth Moore teach. Not even on a video! Isn't there some kind of statement written into the Southern Baptist by-laws that you have to attend at least one Living Proof Live conference every quarter to keep your SBC membership badge? But if so, no one told me.

Wanna know how I know I'm still a closet charismatic?
I've heard Joyce Meyer maaaannnyy times. Sssshhhhh.

So anyway I get to go and hear her yesterday and I am so glad I did. What a powerhouse! Granted, looking at her legs hurt me - for fear that they could snap right in two at any moment. But chances are if she saw mine they would hurt her too (but for different reasons altogether.)

So as she comes up on stage yesterday I was so excited to hear the message she was going to deliver. Oh, I just couldn't wait! But as she went further and further along I couldn't help but think, "Hmmm. Apparently this message isn't for me. Well, they can't all be."

Have you ever thought that? Have you ever been sitting there thinking, "Hmmm. God must be pretty pleased with me today because He has nothing to get on to me about or correct me about or bring to my attention. Man, I get the day off. This feels great. I'm just gonna close my notebook and my Bible and leeeeaaaaannnn back and take a load off."

Well, that's exactly what I was thinking.

And then I start thinking, "Aahhh, you know what? This is a really great message for ____ (will leave out of the names of my friends sitting there with me). I really hope she gets something out of this. This is definitely for her." I think at one point I even gave a thumbs-up to one of my girlfriends, as if to say, "Yeah for you!! God's really getting your attention today isn't He? Hope you don't run out of ink writing all this down. Sheesh. Could it be any more for you? She might as well walk out into the crowd and invite you up on stage, ____. Man oh man, is God trying to tell you something or what?"

Oh, my.

And then, the strangest thing happened. About 13.4 minutes into her lesson she threw something at me. (Again, not literal. Figurative, people, figurative!) And it hurt a little, granted. But no biggie. But then....ow! That one kind of hurt. And before I knew it...sheesh. There was another one. What is she doing? Is she about to make me actually look up that scripture? Pow! Something else, right between the eyes.

Yep. You gotta hate it when that happens.

Get where I'm going with this? Yeah, it was for me. Big time.

Your all probably pretty shocked by this. You probably all thought that nothing could penetrate my wall of good-deeds and servants heart offerings. But you'd be wrong. Waaaay wrong. Embarrassingly wrong.

But chances are none of you ever thought that for one moment. In fact, chances are three of the girls I was with longed to look right at me and give me the ol' "thumbs up". But didn't because they were too busy taking notes.

Apr 18, 2008

Heaven's sounding sweeter all the time.

I heard the most beautiful sound in the world today.

I heard Remi say "Lisha." That's 2 year old talk for "Elisha."

I had never heard her say that name, ever. But she walked up to a picture today and looked at it, then looked at me and said, "Lisha. Mommy and Lisha." I said, "That's right, Rem, that's Elisha. He's your brother."

And then we both kind of stared at each other for a moment. She stared at me because she doesn't get the concept of brother and how in the world do I begin to explain that anyway? And I stared at her because I needed to hear someone say his name today. I needed to hear it very much. And so she said it. And it sounded like heaven to me.

And now it's 9pm on a Friday night and I'm headed to bed.
Because this day is not going to get any sweeter than that.

Apr 17, 2008


I put Kohl's on lock-down.

And that's not easy to do.

But my child went missing. And thankfully, that is something Kohl's takes most seriously.

So after I rushed to an employee with not one ounce of blood in my face and a dry sweat pouring down my forehead they reassured me everything would be fine.

They talked to me calmly and asked me sweet things like, "what color bow is she wearing?" (They must have heard that she wears bows all day every day. People talk, ya know.) They asked about her dress and how old she was. They asked her name and how to spell it, which meant I had to go into the whole "I wanted to spell it R-h-e-m-y but my husband said it looked to froo-froo and he wanted R-e-m-i, but then he had pretty much let me have my way on the R-h-e-m-y until we found a rocking chair at USA Baby with her name already written on it but it said R-e-m-i and they said they would give it to us at cost - which is a crazy good deal - since it was a floor model. Which meant that once we bought that chair it would forever be R-e-m-i and now I am really happy we went with that..." Oh shut-up Melissa and find your child.

Then after talking to me so sweetly and so calmly they went out over the loudspeaker and all I heard was, "We are on lock-down at your neighborhood Kohl's. No one in our out. We are looking for Remi who is wearing a blue and pink dress. Thank you." But I heard, "This is CNN and we are filming live at the Spring Hill Kohl's where the most beautiful child in the world has gone missing because her mother just had to try on one more pair of flip-flops."

And here's the solidarity of anyone who has ever given birth. As soon as we went on lock-down, six other mothers whom I have never seen nor probably will ever see again all started walking around yelling, "Remi! Remi!" I love being in this club. P.S. I give you full permission to find her when she's lost and spank her if she talks back.

Then I found her. Somehow she made it from the flip-flop section all the way to the far right, back corner. Last aisle. How she made it to the - you guessed it - toy section in 1.3 seconds I'll never know. But she did. And there she sat, big blue bow, little blue and pink dress, and all the innocence in the world. Playing with toys.

I wiped the torrent of sweat from my brow, leaned against the wall and sighed. Deeply. The sweet mothers who had stormed the gate of child protection with me now looked at me in disgust, as if to say, "Really? The toy section? You couldn't have checked here first?" The loudspeaker came on and said "We have found Remi. Thank you shoppers. You are now free to go in and out of your neighborhood Kohl's." But they might as well have said, "This is Matt Lauer. Only moments ago this schmuck lost her 2 year old and actually thought she would find her in the dishware section. But all of us who have years of parenting experience knew she was in the toys all along. This was a test for this new mom. She failed. Back to you Meridith."

I didn't care. I had Remi Hope. And as I picked her up in my arms it seemed like a movie. Except that in the movies the child doesn't scream and kick and yell "Down momma, put down momma!" Well, maybe they do - in like, Children of the Corn 2, but I never saw that. But in this movie we walked out of the store together. No one hurt. No one missing. Just mom and Remi. And a bright colored pair of brand-new flip-flops because if I'm going to tell the story to the AG adequately then I need to use some visuals.

Apr 16, 2008

"I had a midlife crisis too Stanley, so I gave myself a perm and took up Jazzercise."

Okay, so that is one of my all-time favorite quotes from the Golden Girls.

Do ya'll laugh at me for liking, okay loving, that show? Do you? Tell me the truth.

Another favorite is when a nervous Blanche tells Dorothy that she is "jumpier than a virgin at a prison rodeo." And Dorothy calmly states, "Wow. That is pretty jumpy."

I laugh like it's the 38th time I've heard it. When really it's closer to 98th.

I'll admit, it's hard to make me laugh. I'm not one of those people who just laugh at anything. Like Donna Hulsman who I went to 4 years of high school with. I loved Donna, don't get me wrong, but she laughed at all my jokes. Even the ones that I knew weren't exactly precise on ye ol' delivery. But still, she laughed. Which is probably why I desperately tried to get the seat right beside her in most of our classes together. But I digress.

All I'm saying is that considering how much I LOVE to laugh, and how important I think it is, I really don't do it all that often. It takes a lot. If you make me laugh you've really done something. Which is why if I ever see a movie preview on TV and it makes me laugh the AG knows that he might as well get out his $48 because he's taking me to that movie. (I say $48 due to the ever increasing ticket prices not to mention my penchant for popcorn, Reese's, a Diet Coke and an Icee.)

But here are a few things that make me laugh. Still. And a lot.

The Attorney General. He can still slay me. And I'm not sure why. Like the other morning when I told him "no, no, don't get up. I'll go upstairs and get Remi." And he said, "Are you sure Melissa? Are you sure you'll know where to go up there? Sure you won't get lost?" He said that because he says I do whatever I can to avoid going up stairs. Any stairs. Any where. Now that's funny.

Seinfeld. The show makes me laugh. The man makes me laugh. And every time he comes to town the AG takes me to see him and I just laugh until I want to cry. Every time.

Micheal Scott. on a preview for this week's The Office episode he actually asks a woman in his office regarding the friend she is going to set him up with if "an average rowboat would support her without capsizing." And as she glares at him he adds, "...it bothers me that your not answering the question." You almost have to wonder if he is not just a little bit like that in real life. That's just too good of acting.

America's Funniest Home Videos. I know, I know. Cheezy. Right? But I'm telling you, I feel like a little kid when I watch that show. I actually season pass it on my TiVo and I just laugh and laugh every time a heavy person falls in water. Or down a mountain. Or off a swing set. Or through a door. Or...

The Three Amigos. Steve Martin through that entire movie. "I've been shot already."

My dad. People think my mom is the funny one. No, my mom is the crazy one. There is a difference. My dad is actually the funny one.

When me, the AG and my cousin Brandon made my cousin Meridith sit by a man wearing a Puck on his head at a Predators hockey game. As if she wasn't grossed out enough he bought a hotdog and only ate the wiener. With his hands. Then he actually offered her some. That moment, my friends, was priceless. (Ya wanna hear something funny? I'm laying in bed writing this and the AG is falling asleep beside me. But he just woke up out of a deep sleep and actually said, "Puckhead. The Puckhead episode still makes you laugh." Sorry Meridith.)

Tina Fey. I really want her to be my new best friend. I have a good feeling that she'd like me.

I'm sure there are things I forgot. And as I think of them I'll let you know. I feel it's my duty. In the mean time, do what you can to make me laugh. If you succeed we could be friends forever. But if you can't, don't feel bad about it - just laugh at all my jokes and we'll still be friends forever.

As I sign off let me leave you with this thought..."Blanche, this is Rose we're talking about. The same woman who once asked if the city of Atlantis is lost how can Bobby Vinton appear there twice a year." Now that's good stuff.

Hey, just out of curiosity...what makes you laugh?? C'mon, leave me a little somethin' somethin' and let me know.

Apr 15, 2008

Beth Moore ain't got nothin' on....oh, who am I kidding?

So in just a few short weeks I will go speak at a church in St. Louis, MO. I'm thrilled about it. I really am. I get all excited just thinking about it.

I also get scared.

And nervous.

A little bit sick to my stomach.

And then I run to the bathroom.


And like any woman I start to second guess myself and tell myself all sorts of things, like, "they meant to ask Kate Watkins but got my phone number confused with hers," or "they are probably excited to have me because sometimes being 7th on the list of desired speakers really does pay off in the end."

Then I get super duper fleshly and I start saying stuff like, "what if my bangs grow out to that length where getting them cut right before I go makes them too short but not getting them cut makes them hang in my face and nobody likes to stare at that," or "what if my crown pops off in the plane on the way there and I am miserable all weekend long?" (Suffice it to say I have had no problems with any of my crowns in almost 3 years but it's something to obsess over and I prefer to do that.)

I also think, "Isn't Joyce Meyer from St. Louis, Missouri? Oh that's just great. So they've probably heard her a million times. That's it - I'm doomed."

Once I even thought, "Haven't these women read Believing God?? I can't top that."

Then I remembered I'm not supposed to. Thankfully.

And I remembered that when I was nine years old I gladly gave the Lord total control over my heart and my life. And the ride He has taken me on has proven to be long, windy and really really difficult. But totally and completely worth it. And I remembered that I accepted the challenge to serve Him in any way I could. And I meant it. And here He is - taking me up on it. That's just like Him, isn't it?

And over these past few years I have had really terrible difficult excruciating lessons to learn. And I've tried really hard to learn each lesson to it's fullest so that in the end He will be glorified. I haven't always succeeded, but I've tried.

I've tried to learn courage when I admit that fear (and running away) comes much more easily.
And I've tried to learn how to say "no" when saying "yes" is easier and makes people like you more.
And on that note - I've had to learn how making people like you is really hard when your are anyone other than yourself.
And I've learned how to step back, sit down, and shut up. Okay, okay, I'm still working on this one -but it's coming along rather nicely. He's making sure of that.
I've had to learn that when He gives, He oftentimes takes away. But He rarely ever does it without showing you a really really precious side to Himself.
And I am currently in the process of learning that forgiveness isn't easy, isn't fun but is required. Period.

And I'm learning that who He calls He equips.

So here I come St. Louis! Oh, I'll be packing some temporary glue for these teeth - better to be safe than sorry - but I'm coming. You can count on it!

Apr 14, 2008

My mom went to the beach and all I got was a Tiara, a bow, and some Burberry sunglasses I'll accidntally step on and break in the next 2 days.

Well, my lovelies, I'm home. And even as I write this I am having a little difficulty because someone is allllll over me. Oh yes, momma is definitely home. And ever since I've walked in the door all I've heard is "come play, " "come over here," "hold you," "watch this," "see me." Sheesh. And that's just the AG.

Was that line too predictable?

Predictable, but true.

Oh, we had a great time. We really did! I love those girls and I must say that getting away to the beach and laughing for 3 days straight is not a bad gig if you can get it. I would also like to say that this flies in the face of my mom's prediction when I was 15 years old and she told me, "I'll be surprised if you have a single friend by the time you're 19. I'll be shocked."

Ha! Take that mom. I have THREE.

Couple things happened while I was gone:

My granny read her write-up in the Stretch Marks Times and tried to post a reply, but thankfully (and not altogether surprisingly) did it wrong. Dodged that bullet.

I caught my husband talking secretly to someone on the phone and when I went up and stuck my nosy little ear to the phone this is what I heard, "So after I hit the comment button, what do I do?" It was mom. She wanted to leave a reply on the post about Granny. David walked her through it and she left a comment. But on the WRONG post. So go check out what my mom wrote about Granny on the post entitled "Dear Lovelies..." Please do not leave me comments on her verbiage. I don't understand it either. Never have. She still says things like "not happenin' captain" which I still think makes no sense and doesn't even rhyme.

My in-laws came into town and helped the AG with the little Rem. Pretty much it's an excuse for them to come see her and an excuse for the AG to get to see his mom and dad. It really works well for everyone.

My daughter has decided to call her Grandpa, Bon-ga. We don't know where it came from and we've no idea what it means, but she is totally serious about it. When I asked if she had a good time with Grandpa she looked at me and said, "Bon-ga." O-kay. Whatever. I can imagine it will take a while for a grown man to get over being referred to as "Bon-ga." Let's all pray for him.

But all in all I am happy to be home. Home with the ones I love.

I really appreciate the Lord letting me delight in these girls over the past few days, though.

I appreciate His faithfulness to us over the years.

And I appreciate His goodness in giving me girlfriends who loved me when I was at my meanest and most insecure (though some of my current friends might choose to argue over this fact.)

And I thank Him that He has always provided me with friends who have loved me and been honest with me instead of luring me into a false state of security and then beating me to a pulp and recording it to be played over and over again on CNN.

Oh yes, I've you missed you my internet lovelies. But as Austin Powers - the poet laurete of my generation - so adequatly said, "I'm back baby - yeah!"

Apr 11, 2008


What to bring to a reunion with your Golden Girls:

5 pound bag from Costco of Peanut M&M's.
An 8 pack of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.
2 cases of both Coke and Dr. Pepper.
Margaret's Broccoli Salad (not nearly as healthy as it sounds.)
Extra dressing for Margaret's Broccoli Salad.
French Onion Potato Chips.
3 pounds of Julio's Salty and Spicy Chips.
2 bags of homemade chocolate chip cookies.
25 chocolate dipped strawberries.
Peanut butter Ritz Crackers dipped in white chocolate.
Godiva Chocolate Cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory.

And bathing suits.

Apr 10, 2008

The only reunion where no one cares if you're fat.

When I was 7 days old Angela was born. We were the only two babies in the church nursery. They tell us that we slept in the same bed together.

When I was 5 years old Nicolle walked in to my Wednesday night "Prims" class. I couldn't understand a word she was saying through her New Orleans accent. That really hasn't changed.

When I was 13 Kristen visited mine, Nicolle and Angela's Sunday School class. Kristen said I made a rude comment to her in front of the class and she cried the whole way home. But she came back. Thankfully.

I can't even count the things we've been through together.

Blossom, Beverly Hills 90210, even Joannie loves Chachi.
Sea Breeze, Noxema, Acutane and Clearasil.
Red Door, Lady Stetson, Liz and Charlie.
Justin Horn, Shawn Penn, Josh Hughes and Joey McIntyre.
and as we got older...
High School, college, moving away, growing up.
Marriage, divorce, having children, losing children.

And through it all - I've had the Golden Girls. My very own little Sophia, Rose and Dorothy.

Every year we have a reunion weekend. There are no wild, loud nights. No partying or dancing or staying up till dawn (never been our style). Just cards and laughter, chocolate cheesecake and memories. And laughter. Lots and lots of laughter.

In just a few hours I head to the beach to spend 3 1/2 days with the Golden Girls. But I'll be here...posting every moment every memory every bite.

(Of course I wouldn't literally post with every bite because if you know us at all - that would be a whole heck of a lot of posting.)

Apr 8, 2008

Wave Granny! You're on the Internet.

My Granny: In 10 points or less.

If you think the stories about my mom are good, you should meet my Granny. This would be my mom's mom. Oh my.

1. Mom informed me last night that Granny is still an avid reader of my "blob." Which makes me happy. In fact, she told mom that she was reading it a day or so ago and it made her hungry for meatloaf. When mom asked if she used the recipe I gave she just laughed and said, "Well, Lord, no."

2. Granny worked for 182 years at the Diboll post office. There are approximately 94 people in Diboll and my granny knows each one of them by name, their best friends, their dog, their science partner from the 5th grade and how much they pay in taxes. She still checks in on them and sends gifts when their grandchildren have children. She has been retired from the Diboll post office and not living within a 20 mile radius of Diboll for the last 30 years. And they still miss her.

3. My Granny was once late to a funeral. When she slid in next to my mom she had taco sauce down the front of her blouse. She said she had driven through Taco Bell and they had purposely given her "an exploding taca." Yes, I said taca. So did she. My mom got tickled and had to leave the funeral.

4. My Granny once mailed me a letter that I have kept to this day. When the AG and I were first married we didn't have a penny to our name. She knew we were broke and were believing God would provide. When I received her letter it had one little mustard seed taped to the front of it. Just looking at the mustard seed meant the world to me...

5. When I opened the letter all it said was, "Melissa be good to him. You don't deserve him. Don't act like your mother."

6. My Granny still mails me things she has cut out of the newspaper for me. Comic strips, questions for Ann Landers, police reports and recipes for diabetics. I am not a diabetic.

7. My Granny is 77 years old. She faithfully serves the Senior Citizens group lunch at our church once a month. She fervently believes she is not yet old enough to be a member. She refers to "them" as in "'they' love to hear bible stories," "'they' love to see books with pictures in them." When mom asked who she was talking about she said "the old people."

8. You can go to my Granny's house at any given time during the week and she will prepare you a meal. Don't all grandmothers? But ahhh...mine is different. Only Granny will serve you cottage cheese, taco soup, 3 boiled wieners, fried okra, spaghetti and cheesecake. All. At. One. Time.

9. My Granny came all the way to Tennessee to hear me sing at a special showcase my senior year of college. This was a big deal for me and I was so excited to have her come. After my 30 minute performance she threw her hands up in the air and clapped as loudly as everyone else. Then turned to my mom and said, "I didn't understand one word she said."

10. My Granny knows everyone in the free world. Everyone. So once my dad said to her, "Mary, I need you to help me with something. I'm looking for someone to mow my yard." Granny thought for a minute and said, "Okay Gene, I'll try, but I've never done anything like that before."

Dear Lovelies, you're comin' through. Loud and clear.

I love you all who read my blog. I really do. I call you "my lovelies."
And I mean it when I say it. I'm not being mean and sarcastic - like I am a good majority of the time.

And I love that you all feel the freedom, the unadulterated freedom, to critique me at a moment's notice if you do not like what I'm dishing out.

Really I do. I'm being honest.


So far I've received emails regarding my frequent misspellings. Now just so you know, I do hit spellcheck people. So if the computer doesn't catch it, do you really think that I'm going to? Do you think that I think that I am smarter than a computer? I mean c'mon.

Oh, and then there's the actual, literal, phone call I received to let me know that kickin' a shout out to my good friend Kelli on her birthday was both boring and cheezy.
(By the way, I've already told Kelli about said phone call. And she was both hurt and also a little in agreement.)
I was warned that if I ever try to kick a shout out again to a friend that this person will just bypass it altogether and go somewhere else for her daily blog fix.
Apparently it's only fun to read about someones birthday if it's yours. Duly noted.

And now I have been given word that the recipe contest is getting old and overdone. Or overcooked, I suppose I should say. Well as Steve Martin said "Well exxccuuuusssseee mmmme." (And yes I know that was misspelled. It's s'posed to be.)
My fear was that if you all sent in these recipes and then I tried them at home and gave the prize to the winner that you would think I was lying and didn't really try them (which could very easily happen knowing my penchant for all things Pancho's and that I generally ask to eat out 5 to 6 times a week.) Or that you would think I just gave the prize to someone I liked and wanted to give a gift too. (Though this wouldn't be true because I genuinely like very few people and I certainly don't buy other people gifts for no reason.) So that's why the whole recipe thing has been going on since 1998. I've only got 3 more recipes left - although the Attorney General has told me he's tired of eating meat. So I'm not sure how the meatballs or the other meatloaf is going to go over.
Okay, okay, I may be cutting it short. But it's not my fault. Besides, let's be honest ladies - you're not gonna beat Carole who put in two sleeves of Ritz Crackers. It's just not gonna happen!

Okay, so you all give me your complaints. Well, here's one of mine. See that little comment button at the bottom?? Use it. How else do you know how popular you are or how much your worth is valued at if people don't leave you messages telling you on a regular basis?

You know I kid, right?

So what do you want to hear about? My hair? I can do that. My child? Oh please say "yes." Give me suggestions. Seriously. Tell me what you want to hear more of and baby, I'll deliver.

Oh, and the other complaint I received was that the stories about my mom are "boring and no one cares...besides 90% of it is made up." But that came from her - so it doesn't count.

Apr 7, 2008

That is not Velveeta.

Well, I knew this day would finally come. The day I made a recipe and forgot to take pictures. Please forgive me, although let's be honest, what were those pictures really helping? As if you don't know what ground meat looks like, I have to take a picture for you? Seriously, I can't babysit you all like this anymore.

I kid.


So tonight we had Nicolle's Meatloaf.

Now, before we go any further let's go ahead and make it known that meatloaf is something I do try and cook, occasionally. Especially for my meat and potatoes man that I love. But over the years I have never come across a recipe that the AG has loved all that much. Until about a year ago. I tried my hand one night at Paula Deen's Cheeseburger Meatloaf. I think he saw the Lord that night. So to my dear, sweet friend who sent me the recipe I cooked tonight... no offense, but no one can compete with Paula. It's a losing battle for all of us mere mortals who try and keep the home fires burning. So don't take it personally.

The recipe is good and easy though. Which I love:
1 lb. sirloin
1/2 white onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup bread crumbs
salt and pepper
3 tblsp. mustard
1 tblsp. ketchup
5 tblsp. BBQ sauce
Cream of chicken soup

Mix all ingredients except for soup, make a big burger/loaf and put in loaf pan and cook at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to one hour or until done. The last 10 minutes, take the loaf out of the oven, pour soup over the top and cook for 10 more minutes.


My recipe-giver suggests' Open Pitt BBQ sauce but I just used some that we had leftover from eating at SaltGrass last week (which on another note, I highly recommend.)

She said to pair it with mashed potatoes and corn. So I did. It was Americana at it's finest.


Well, when I pulled it out of the oven the AG immediately got excited when he thought the soup was actually a layer of ...VELVEETA...covering the loaf. Can you believe that would actually excite someone? Lordy.

After I explained that it wasn't Velveeta I also had to explain that "No, it doesn't have fried onions on the top." "No, it doesn't have 2 cups of cheddar cheese in the middle of it." See what you're up against when you give a man a slab of Paula Deen on a plate? Therefore the AG could only give it two gavels. While I, for it's sheer ease, and the fact that I should have lied and told him it was Velveeta, give it three.
Resulting in...2 1/2 gavels (out of 5) gavels.

Well played, Carol. Well played.

I cooked again last night. (I am really on a roll, ya'll.) And just so you know, we may have a winner. Don't be scared though - we still have a few recipes to go yet - but last night's was mighty good. Here's why...


Last night was Carole's Chicken Casserole. But really it should be called Carol's Chicken and Angioplasty Surprise. In other words, my dad's heart doctor, would not have been a Carol Fan. But who cares! He doesn't get a vote.

I am an avid reader of Southern Living Magazine because with any recipe they give you, you can almost be assured you will have the ingredients in your house. Same with Carol. Who doesn't have these things? I ask you. In fact, if you don't just naturally have sour cream, white meat chicken, Ritz crackers and butter laying around your house - chances are, it would never work out between us.

Here's what you do:

Line bottom of 9x9 ( or 8x8) baking dish with a sleeve of crushed cracker crumbs and pour melted butter over the top.
Boil chicken until done. Cut up.
Combine chicken, 1 can cream of chicken soup, 16 oz. container of sour cream and pour over cracker crumbs.
Crush more crackers on top and top with melted butter.
Bake for 30-40 minutes at 350 until top is browned and crispy.

* Much like Poppy Seed chicken that I got from a few folks, but just no poppy seeds on top.

Carole wasn't very descriptive in how much Ritz to use or how much butter to use. So I just assumed she meant - a lot! And I went for it.


I wasn't sure how much chicken to add, so I added enough for my family - 3 breasts. But next time I might add one more just for a little more chicken less goo. But that depends on what kind of mood I'm in.

I didn't change anything since it was so easy, but I did pair it with a green salad so at least if I died in the middle of eating it God would show me some mercy.


Needless to say the Attorney General and I loved it. In fact, I hoped to goodness he had a lunch meeting today so that I could have to rest for my lunch instead of packing it up for him. Thankfully, he did. In the middle of eating it he asked what was different about this than something similar to it we had eaten before. I told him the Ritz crackers and butter were on the top - AND THE BOTTOM. He replied, "Well played, Carol. Well played."

I agreed. Carol, my friends, is in it to win it.

So we give it a: 5 (out of 5) gavels!

Apr 4, 2008

Where's the beef?

You had to know that title was coming sooner or later.

I have to be totally honest with all of you. I was not looking forward to tonight's meal. No offense to the precious Miss Kim who sent it in, but it was full of fresh things. Full of greens and reds. Full of goodness. Yawn.

But upon closer inspection of the recipe I noticed that it called for 3/4 - 1 cup of mayo. And my friends, things started looking up.

So tonight I made Kim's Pasta Salad.

This was not like things I usually make. When I go to the grocery I don't normally stay on the outer section. Did you know they serve fruit and veggies at the grocery store? I know! I normally stay on the inside aisle; where the good things grow.

Here's what you do:

1 box of shell pasta (cooked according to directions and rinsed with cold water)
1 can of black olives, chopped or sliced
1/4 cup chopped green pepper
1/4 cup chopped onion
small can sliced mushrooms, drained
1-2 chopped fresh tomatoes
3/4 - 1 cup of Miracle whip light

Mix and enjoy!


Okay, first of all, it calls for a tomato. But the AG hates tomatoes, so I have to be tricky. If I put in those little cherry tomatoes then he doesn't really think he's eating a real tomato. Okay, he's probably figured this little trick out since he's 35 and all...but I think he's just being sweet to me and doesn't want to be too difficult. But I add the little cherry tomatoes since we have this little game going.

Also, it calls for Miracle Whip light. Light mayonnaise? Okay, this goes against everything I believe as a Christian woman. A believer. A wife. An American. I cannot fathom putting light mayo in anything. So even though the recipe calls for it - and it may even make the recipe taste better - I couldn't do it. So I prayed about it. And God agreed.


You have to know the Attorney General loves him some pasta salad. In fact, he knew this was coming up on this weeks menu and he has asked about it every night. Every. Single. Night. I was happy to make his dream come true tonight by serving this up on a plate for him. Of course his first comment? "Is there any meat in here? Would a little chicken really hurt?" Hmph.

I probably will add a little chicken to it next time, just to make it a complete meal for the AG. But I liked sitting down to it, it was light and easy and I would be throwing the chicken in for him. Not for me. Well, maybe a little for me.

I am not huge on pasta salad, so this wasn't something I would want to make all the time. But he loved it. But he has the mind of an 80 year old and could eat at Golden Corral every night just for the pasta and macaroni salad bar.

She, however, loved it. And on occasion I would see her just licking the mayo off of her hands. That'samygirl.

So if you average our thoughts together you get: (3 out of 5 gavels)

Apr 3, 2008

Fried Chicken and Julio. Mmm, mmm, good.

So today I worked hard. Really hard. So hard that all I want to do is lay in bed and complain about how hard I worked today.

So my friend came over today and worked my fat fingers to the bone. And that's a whole lot of work! My kitchen is in top running, effective order. All my pots and pans are stacked and my spices are arranged and my pantry is organized. You may think...that sounds pretty simple to do, Melissa, you can't do that on your own? No.

In fact, let's put it this way...when she began cleaning out one of my kitchen cabinets she found 8 cans of green beans, about 14 cans of soup (which we never eat), a rose scented candle, about 60 random Kleenex, some empty bags from Publix, some Rotel, a colon cleansing system and a book on adoption. Those are the things I keep in a kitchen cabinet.

And the "fellowship hall" closet is actually HUGE! Who knew??

Oh, and in case your wondering where the recipes have been. Here's the deal. Last night was Wednesday night. Wednesday night is church night and I don't cook on Wednesday nights. I barely have time to eat on Wednesday nights. So we do leftovers. Or Taco Bell. Last night we did leftovers. So thank you again to Kristen's Chicken Pot Pie and Ashley's Taco Ring. It didn't earn you any more gavels the second go round, though. So don't get your hopes up.

Then tonight...well, I'm an addict. Let's just say that. After a long day of working around the house and my sweet AG having a really hard day at work I felt we needed to celebrate. And nothing says "celebrate" to me quite like fried chicken. So fry it up, I did! And oh ya'll....it was goooooood.

I'm sorry, I'm not bailing on the recipe challange - honest I'm not. I just needed something to make me feel a bit of comfort tonight. And don't think I didn't search this house high and low for some Reese's that I might have hid, but chances are Miss Organization threw them away without asking. I hate her.

I suppose before I sign off for the night I should address the sweet lady who emailed me totally offended that I called Julio Iglesias an easy, cheezy, Mexican. She is a huge fan of his and was upset that I had referred to him as a Mexican when he was born in Galatia, but raised in Madrid. She also wanted me to know that is he neither easy nor cheesy and sent me a link where I could watch him host a television show from Spain in the 1970's. And so it is time that I address the comments I made and make sure she is alright.

But I won't.

Good night my lovelies.

Someone please call and check on me tomorrow. If I am in this mood again then I am going to try and slide up under my bed and find those lost Reese's. And if I get stuck...

Apr 2, 2008

A Couple Things...

Okay, so here are just some random things that I feel important to mention.

1. I am excited about tomorrow. And I'll probably be excited until I'm about 10 minutes into it. But tomorrow I am having someone come to my house and...
Clean it?? No.
Paint it?? Wrong again.
Torch it?? Nope.
ORGANIZE IT! That's right. A friend of mine has her own business and she organizes (and cleans) your home for a living.

Isn't it amazing how God made each of us so different? For instance, she wants to organize my home and I want to sit and do my nails while I watch her.

Her first task is to tackle what my friends and family all refer to as the "Fellowship Hall Closet". (If you've been in church very long at all, you get that reference.) She'll have that cleaned up and spiffed up and junk thrown out and dishes given away so fast - it'll make your head spin. Then she said she planned on moving furniture, cleaning out from behind beds and armories. I didn't even know that could be done. She's tackling my closets and our home office. She said there a "place for every pan and every pan should be in it's place." Just between you and me, it's like she's speaking Spanish half the time, but I just shake my head and tell her how excited I am.

I'll let you all know how it goes.

2. So chances are you have received this mass email that has been going around about the Oprah Winfrey fiasco. I received it last night, and there's something I want to say on the topic. But before I do, please take one second and watch it.

However, let me say this first. I have never, ever downloaded anything on my blog for people to watch - I'm not really a big fan of doing that (mainly because I've never known how.) And before you watch it I want to warn you...The first part ? Cheezy. The last part? Cheezy. The middle part? Horrific.

I'll be back with more after you're done.

You know whoever created this video put a lot of time and effort into making sure that the narrators voice was booming and effective. That the graphics looked good and the colors were impactful. But after all the time they spent, only one thing moved me. It wasn't the narration or the music from The Passion of the Christ that played at the end. It wasn't the picture of the family standing together at the cross or "church of Oprah" graphics.

It was that one woman who stood up and said something.
It was that same woman who sat with her legs crossed hoping to have a wonderful day seeing the most powerful woman in the world do what she does best - talk.
It was that same woman who entered that studio like it was any other day; as just another fan.
It was that same woman who spoke the truth against Oprah when no one else in that studio dared do so.

That, my friends, was the most powerful woman in the room. And it's not Oprah I want to be like...it's her.

I told the AG at lunch today how glad I was God didn't give me that task on that day. I feared I wouldn't be strong enough to speak out like that. But this afternoon, as I thought long and hard about it, I wish to re-tract my statement. I would be strong. Not overly strong, mind you. And not just a little too weak.

But just strong enough.

I'm saddened about Oprah. I think she was given a platform unlike anyone else I've ever seen in my lifetime. And I'm sad about what she's done with it. But that's being a tad selfish, isn't it? The truth is I'm sad for her. Her, personally. Not her platform or her pedestal, not her following or her exposure. I'm sad for her heart. I'm sad it's been led astray. I'm sad it tricked her. I'm sad it convinced her that everything she needed was found right there, inside of her heart. Because we know "the heart is deceitful above all things." And we know there'll be no place for her in heaven as long as she believes that her heart will lead her there.

But ya know what? God is still God. Whether Oprah knows it or not.
So I wouldn't count Him out just yet.

Apr 1, 2008

"What is that? Some kind of turkey wreath?"

Let me get one thing straight. Fancy, I ain't.

So no laughing.

Tonight we had Ashley's Taco Ring.
Love, love, loved it!

Here's what you do. Now, you'll want to grab a pen and paper. Or better yet, a digital voice recorder because the ingredients are lengthy and the instructions? Impossible. So hold on to your apron.

1 pound ground meat / turkey
Taco seasoning
2 things of Crescent Rolls
Onion (if you want)

Brown your meat until done. Add taco seasoning (and water. And cook according to package directions.) After finished cooking, add cheese - as much as you like. Stir together. (These are Ashley's directions verbatim) "Now place your crescent rolls in one of those cheezy little Pampered Chef rings" and fill. Cook at 375 for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.

Her recipe didn't call for onion, but in my family onion is like a fruit. We eat it in everything. So I added it to my meat while it was cooking so it could soften.

Of course you have to buy Mexican cheese - cheddar just won't do.

After I placed it the meat in the silly ol' Pampered Chef ring (which I secretly thought was super cool and far beyond anything "homemakerish" I have ever done. Ever.), but before I folded the edges over I poured a little Taco Sauce on top. And then a little Old El Paso Zesty Ranch sauce. We love that stuff.

And I served it with a blackbean/rotel/corn salad. We love this at Radke Ranch!


I loved this meal. I am not hard to please when it comes to my dinner. I like my dinners kind of like Julio Iglesias - easy, cheesy and Mexican. It didn't take long to fix and when I was done I wished that I had friends coming over to eat and watch AI with us because I was so awed at how my ring turned out.

The Attorney General also liked it because it was easy to eat in front of the TV. Keep in mind we all sat around the table tonight, but those were his words, "this would be easy to eat in front of the TV." And let's be honest, sometimes that's important. Who are we kidding?
But when he walked in from work he looked at and said, "What is that? Some kind of turkey wreath?" Uh! Offensive! It's a "taco ring." Get it right. Men.
However, the AG asked specifically that I use ground meat next time. I told him that due to the 8 crescent rolls making up said ring I was trying to do his heart a favor. He still wants red meat. And I have to agree. Turkey meat is not known for it's absorbing qualities, so the taste of the taco seasoning didn't really stick to it. I would prefer ground round next time as well. And maybe offset it by using those new low-fat crescent rolls. APRIL FOOL'S!

We're not even going to discuss Remi because she simply ate the crescent rolls and let the rest fall out of her mouth. She did down 8 pounds of Mandarin oranges though, so that should count for something.

This might not be for everyone's family, but we liked it. But we're just really good, salt of the earth, don't come better than us, down home kind of people. Maybe your too pretentious.

So the AG and I give this: 4 (out of 5) gavels.