May 31, 2008

Sometimes A Mom...

Sometimes when mom's come in to town...

They tell that your roots need to be done.
But then they ask you what they should do with their hair, and trust what you have to say.

They tell you that you need to dust and clean your baseboards.
But then they take care of both when your out of the room.

They say things like, "Melissa, you are acting ridiculous" or "Melissa, quit acting like that."
But then say things in private about how proud they are of you and the woman you've become.

They tell you that you eat out too much and need to save money.
So they take you out for fried green tomatoes and chocolate cake and they pay.

They can make you feel like a child all over again.
But then sit across the table at lunch and talk to you like you're their very best friend and peer.

They make dinner for you even though they gripe that "you have nothing in your pantry."
And then take you to the grocery store and spend, like, $300 to fill your fridge.

You roll your eyes at everything they say because they have no idea what they're talking about.
And sometimes you take notes.

You can't wait for them to leave.
And other times, you pray they'll stay just a little bit longer.

May 30, 2008

Until I Have a Title...Here's a Bunch of Questions.

It is time now for our Friday fun-for-all. I’m trying to think of a clever name for it, and welcome your suggestions. I thought about…“It’s Friday: You Ask – I Answer” or, well, I’ll be honest, that’s all I got.

But I don’t like it. So help me. I want something cute and clever. Now, rarely do I think anyone as cute and clever as me - I’ll just be honest - but this time I am opening myself up to the possibilities that one of you may be as creative, or even more so, than me.

That’s a hard pill to swallow.

So, without further ado, let’s get this ball rollin’.

Little Miss Jenni writes: I'd love to be more clever, but I'm just seriously desperate. As a newlywed who has NEVER been a cook…I need cooking ideas for a man with a healthy appetite but who doesn't like casseroles or eggs…P.S. Pleasssssssssssssse tell me about the time you tried out for cheerleader.

Well, Jenni, here are my thoughts…and they run deep, so get ready. I’ve never known a man who doesn’t like two things: meat and potatoes. Okay, three things. But I digress. Now, I will also add that I’ve never known a man who doesn’t care if his meat and potatoes are thrown into one huge dish, covered in cheese and baked for one hour at 350 degrees. So this is an oddity, your man. But I get a lot of my ideas from my two favorite websites that offer recipes: and

I’m sure you’ve heard of both and so I’m not telling you anything you don’t know, but what I love about Southern Living is the ease of the recipes and the fact that if Southern Living calls for it – you can almost be assured you will have it in your pantry. Once it called for dried mustard and I was so angry I almost cancelled my subscription; but I haven’t had that happen since, so all is good now.

And then there’s Paula – and what man doesn’t like a big helping of Paula on their plate? And the great thing about her website is each recipe is given a difficulty level (look for it at the bottom of each recipe) and you can bet that if it says medium – I am outta there! I’ve never even rested my eyes on one that says difficult. I am all about easy and Paula has plenty of these.

I also want to tell you about a blog that I just came across the other day from one of my friendly readers, called In Mama’s Kitchen. She has some really easy, southern, down-home recipes. And I love that! She also cooks for a house full of boys, so I figure she’s got the upper hand on that whole, “the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach” thing.

In summary, don’t be afraid to try different things. Try pasta, taco salads, or make him grill. And remember - don’t make it fancy, just make it fattening!

And no, no cheerleader tryout story. My therapist says I am not ready to talk about it.

My Darling Debbie writes: I figure your husband is a lawyer. But do you call him AG because he is an elected official AG or that is just your nickname for him?

Debbie, Debbie, Debbie, you just told me in that one question that you don’t read my blog every day. Because didn’t I just discuss this a couple of days ago? Yes, Debbie, I think I did. So your punishment is that you have to go read this post again. Punishment, indeed.

But as to not be too hard on you, I will admit I hear that question quite a lot. About two years ago – before this blog ever even existed, I began calling him The Attorney General. I wanted to call him that while he was in Law School but he made me wait until he passed the Bar. Which he did.

First time.
My man.
So the moment I could uncross my fingers on that one, I started calling him that and it just stuck. Granted, I don’t call him that around the house. I have a plethora of names I use around the house. But the Attorney General is how I shall refer to him to you all, because why? Because my husband is a rules man. If you play a game with him, you had better follow every single rule and leave nothing out. If you ask him a question you had better plan on a 30 minute explanation that involves strategies from Fortune 500 and INC magazine. He is all things business and law and structure and rules and forms and legislature and policy. Whereas I am all things whimsy and girly and silly and obnoxious and free-for-all and undisciplined.

And I absolutely adore him.

Lovely Leah writes: First let me start by saying that I'm new to your blog but I LOVE it!!! Ok here goes ......... my question is in regards to dealing with difficult family members. Aside from my parents, all the other immediate family members in my life (my brother and his wife, my husband's parents, both of my husband's brothers and their wives) it's a one way relationship. If me and my husband don't make the effort then we probably would not be in contact with anyone in our family. We've been married a little over 15 years and have a 14 year old son and 12 year old daughter and it just pains me to see that their grandparents (my husband's parents) don't even put in any type of effort to get to know their grandkids, and I might be partial but they are really wonderful, fun kids!

Well, Leah, let me just start by saying, I suppose I could have left that first sentence out and not posted it for the world to see, but I figured that would disappoint you – and I’m about makin’ my readers happy.

Your question bothered me, and, well, I won’t lie, kinda made me mad. For you. And your family. I don’t understand grandparents that don’t want to see grandbabies grow up. I don’t understand brothers that don’t want relationships with brothers. Or cousins that don’t get the chance to run and play with cousins. I think of the relationships your children are going to miss out on, and I’m sad by it.

However, at the end of this life my hope would be that you and your husband could look back and say “we did what we know to be right. Whether reciprocated or not. Whether accepted or denied. Whether we got hurt or not. We did the right thing.” The right thing will be what your kids remember. The right thing will be what God blesses. And the right thing will be what causes your children and their children to remain close to you and your husband throughout the years. Keep, keep, keep on doing the right thing.

I’ll be honest - I don’t understand issues like this because I don’t have issues like this. As we speak my mom is the next room and I’ve asked her 12 times when she’s going home and she keeps changing the subject. And I have in-laws who would drive in their sleep to be with us for anything at anytime. I am blessed. I know this. But I am sympathetic to you and your kiddos none the less.

But ya know, this is where my sweet readers come in, it’s why I call them “my lovelies” because they are…and maybe they have some advice for you. And I hope that each of the comments in the comment section have words of wisdom for Leah if you have any idea what she’s going through.

Oh, blogging is nice. It really really is.

That’s all for this week, ya’ll. I have more questions that I plan on getting to next Friday. And yours are welcome any time, remember that! Just email them in to me.

So here’s your homework:

1. Think me up a creative name
2. Keep coming up with questions
3. And leave comments for your fellow blog readers.

Oh, and also, this weekend, be safe. Because I really do like ya’ll.

May 29, 2008

The Last Time I Talked to My Mother...

Before we go any further let me go on record as's gonna be one slllooowww Friday if ya'll don't participate. Now, go back and read what I posted yesterday and get on it! How can I pass on the wisdom of my fathers and my fore-fathers if ya'll don't ask me anything. I would eventually like for this to be an every Friday occurance. And once you see how not-dumb I am about stuff that's clever and kinda like, smart and stuff, you'll want me to share all my brain goings-on every week. Lucky you's guys.

Well, my mom is in town. And look people, I can't just let something like that pass me by. I have to use her for fodder. It's what I do. And if I let her get on that plane and leave without making tremendous fun of her, then what was it all for?

I haven't posted a "The Last Time..." in quite some time now. It isn't from not having the material - oh, I have the material. It's from not having the time. Trying to narrow down 30+ years of everything that woman has said or done takes some time.

So last night, as she sat in the leather recliner watching the NBA game, I decided to poke at her a little; ya know, just to see where it got me.

Me: Mom, maybe I should interview you.

Mom: Don't interview me. You are just going to make fun of me.

Me: No, I'm not I'm just going to ask you questions and you have to answer them, okay?

Mom: I'm not doing this. I'm too tired. And I have to go take my face off.

* It should be noted that's her way of saying "remove my make-up." It used to make me run screaming from the room, but I'm used to her sayings now.

Me: Mom, let's talk about a distinct memory we have of the years past.

Attorney General: Tell them about Sam Moon's.

Mom: Uh, Mr. AG? Who asked you to chime in?

Me: Oh yeah, that's a good one.

Mom: No. It's not a good one.

*At this point you should know that Sam Moon's is a shopping district in Houston known for it's low-end prices, high-end look. Everything is a knock-off. Everything says "Pradda" (with two d's) or "Succi" (instead of Gucci.) It is always busy. Mom and I make our guys take us down there. Often.

AG: Okay, set it up for them by telling them that she was wearing all yellow.

Mom: A lot of people wear all yellow!

AG: Not like that - you looked like a school bus. You had on a yellow shirt, shorts, socks, shoes and a yellow hat.

Mom: I did not have on a hat! You are lying! Liar!! Liar!!

Me: She didn't have on a hat. Now, continue...

AG: You came out of that car and you never even saw that curb. And man, you went flying! I mean you took a nose dive.

Me: (laughing hysterically.)

Mom: Ya know, If I wanted to be persecuted I could have just stayed home.

Me: Okay, we're s....

AG: I mean you didn't just trip. You fell right out, with your little yellow shorts and your yellow shirt flying up over you. And you broke all your nails on one hand, didn't you?

Mom: Yes, all of them.

AG: I will never forget you just rolling, rolling, rolling. Like a bright yellow penguin...until you just stopped.

Mom: (She is laughing too. Don't be fooled.) And not one of ya'll offered to help me up. Even your daddy just stood over me, looking at me and laughing.

AG: (Tears rolling) Man, good times. Good times.

Me: Meridith said I should write about all your "sayings."

Mom: Oh she did, did she?

Me: Like "I'm gonna slap you naked and hide your clothes."

Mom: That's a real saying...

Me: Or, "you look like you been rode hard and put up wet."

AG: Oh yeah, I bet that never got mis-translated.

Me: Should I tell them about the time our brand new pastor didn't understand what you were saying and he told the deacon board that he wanted to know why you kept telling him you were going to "Slap him naked and spank his bottom."

Me and AG: (laughing hysterically.)

Mom: I'm leaving now.

Me: Mom, don't go.

Mom: Why don't you tell them about the time you had to kiss Milton? Or the time you tried on bathing suits in the dressing room for me and I laughed so hard I almost passed out? Or the time you blew your knee out from attempting a certain dance move in your bedroom? What about those???

Me: Because those things make me look foolish - and that is not what this blog is about.

Mom: Uh, huh. Thought so. I'm going to take my face off now and read my paper.

*It should be noted here that when she says she is going to read her paper - it is ONLY the obituaries. Which she oftentimes finds amusing and tears them out to keep them.

Me: Okay, mom. I promise we won't do this the whole time you're here...

*It should be noted that yes, yes we will.

...I promise. It's just that I had been going blank lately and couldn't think of any stories from me and you.

Mom: Maybe that's God telling you something.

May 28, 2008

Just don't ask me about Denise Richards. It's complicated.

Well, as you can tell by my last post I needed some down time. So, I didn't post yesterday. Thank you for letting me do that. I have to say, I really like you all. I really do. Thanks.

It was kind of a blue day. The rain was still pushing down, my house was messy (which never helps your feelings) and my mom is coming in town.

Oh, Lord, why hast thou forsaken me?

Actually I was thinking of making a list of "ten things I really need when I'm down." But I didn't. However, if I had, number 10 would have been - My mom. No one can make me laugh more (I laugh both with her, and at her) and no one can cook for me like she does. And I will be requesting she do both while she's here.

We don't have a lot planned. I did order us some movies from Netflix, but she pretty much owns stock in the TruTV channel, so I figure we'll have that on most of the time. TruTV is true crime TV shows, one right after another. Or "slasher TV", as my dad likes to call it. Which makes her so mad.

She'll want to eat at Genghis Grill. And go to downtown Franklin at least once.

And the rest will be Remi, Remi, Remi. Day and night. Night and day. Which is good. Cuz I plan to nap.

Not much else going on around here. As I sit typing I have on the E! Channel reality show on Denise Richards, called Denise Richard: It's Complicated (which is ironic, cause it's really not). Which begs me to reconsider my stance on finding anything I care less about than exercising. Ladies and gentleman, exercising has just moved up a notch. Somebody call my doctor, who will be thrilled.

I did want to let you all know that this Friday I will be trying my hand at something - but it involves help from you. So I'm just gonna lay this out there - if you don't participate...I will be soooooo embarrassed. Here's the deal. This Friday I will be having a "You ask, I answer" day. Any question you have - send it my way. And when I say any question, I mean any question.
If it's about me - I'll answer it.
If it's about the Attorney General or Remi - I'll answer it.
If it's about cooking or cleaning or Cajun cuisine - I'll answer it.
If it's about your love life, your left foot or your leftovers - again, I'll answer it.
You ask. I answer.

All I ask is, just keep it clean, people. Keep it clean. Because I've lived a very sheltered life and let's be honest...I wouldn't know what to answer anyway.

*Side note: Since my mom will be here, I may be having her join me in the question-asking festivities. And if you have never met her, let me just say that should add a whole 'nother light on this thang!

So right over there on that little button that says "Melissa, I'd like a word with you" - just click on that and shoot me an email. DO NOT leave your questions in the comment section, because I will probably get around 10,000 questions and I won't be able to answer them all and I'll need to leave some for the next week. And we don't want to ruin the surprise for everyone, do we? No. We don't.

Okay, 10,000 was a guess. Just a guess. We'll see.

So let's see what you got. Oh, and if by any chance you are in my family and just want to humiliate me - do me a solid and don't email me questions like, "Melissa tell us about the time you tried out for cheerleader." Cause that's just mean.

I do, however, think this would be a great way to show you all that I'm not just a super savvy, charismatic, personality-filled, triple-threat, with a pretty face. I'm also smart. And humble.

As Jerry says to Kramer, every time Kramer had a "good" idea, "Oh yeah, that'll work."

Let your questions.....start.......NOW!

May 26, 2008

It is, after all, Memorial Day.

I rarely post twice in one day. I'm too lazy. And too boring, to be perfectly honest.

But I'm having a moment.

And so I will now act as if this blog is my journal. Here's what I write...

My house is so quiet. After a very full day of chocolate chip pancakes and 15 trips around the zoo we are finally back home and my two dearest loves are asleep. I, however, couldn't sleep.

My house is dark. It is Memorial Day. It should be sunny and hot. We should be splashing in a plastic pool and grilling the steaks we've been marinating. But it's raining outside. Lightening. Thundering. The satellite on my TV won't work in the storm - so there is no light from the TV screen. All is dark.

And I, well, I miss my boy.

I miss him so terribly that I wish (at this moment) that I could rewind time and say "No" to God. I know me, though, and in a few hours or a few days I will regret having even thought that. But He is a big God. A huge God. And He can take it. So I will be honest. I wish I had said "No."

I wish that when I was a child I had never told Him, "...everything...I give you everything."

I wish I didn't know all the verses to "I Surrender All."

I wish I had never heard that stupid song. Sung that stupid song.

I wish that it had been someone else He had chosen.

Another lady. With more confidence. More gusto. More fearlessness. (I even came up with a few names that I freely offered up to Him.)

I wish the only problems I had were having to buy new clothes because what's in my closet "swallows me" or deciding where to go eat after a nice night out.

Instead, I sit in a quiet place. A dark place. And I feel now, more than I have in a really long time, an overwhelming sense of loss. And I know that the flowers on his little grave are getting tossed around by this storm. As am I.

So I keep saying to myself, "This storm doesn't touch him. This storm doesn't touch him now." But it does me. In so many ways.

And I feel today like I felt the first time it snowed on his grave. And I cried all day for fear that he was cold. When clearly, he was perfect.

I don't understand why there have to be days like this, where the tears fall so fast that I can't even keep up with them. Where I worry that the terrible storm will affect him; when inside my heart I know it won't. Or when I feel like a part of my insides are missing. Today I feel every one of these things.

And my arms ache a little. That has never gone away. And though I wish him here...I said "yes." And I'm a woman of my word. So "yes" is what I meant.

Yes, I'll do this.

Yes, I'll walk this.

Yes, I'll trust you.

Yes, I'll learn you.

Yes, I love you.

Yes, here he is.

Yes. And Amen.

- Melissa

Must - Haves.

I am not doing this post today because I have run out of things to say. I think we all know that's not the case. I mean, I ALWAYS have something to say.

I am posting this today because it's necessary. It's summertime and so I thought I'd share with you some of my summer must-haves. Well, must haves for me. Maybe not for you. And if so, that's cool. But since I have this open forum, and it's my blog and'll humor me, right?

1. This is Arbonne Intelligencer Personalizer and I LOVE it. My mom bought it and as soon as I tried it I knew I had to have it. She ordered me some, I had it one day and Remi dropped it on the bathroom floor and it broke into a million pieces. However, because I am resourceful (and broke) I scraped it up off the floor and now use the scraps that are left. I find that I have red, splotchy skin the older I get. This corrects that and evens out my tone. And (now this is attractive, so get ready) I also get greasy eyelids - which I hate. Again, this corrects that. Because it removes all the oil wherever you choose to use it. And who couldn't use that in the summertime? Once the AG and I went on a cruise. My face looked like someone had thrown Slick50 on it the first day I get there. It then became known as "cruise face" and he has since referred to me as this on numerous occasions. Cause he's sweet like that. But not any more! I love this stuff. (I would also like to add that if you sell Arbonne and would like to donate a pack that is not broken into 3 million pieces. It would be greatly appreciated. I'm just sayin'...)

2. Wen by Chaz Dean. Is...Expensive...Wonderful...Good for colored hair ("So why are you using it, Melissa? Aren't you a natural blond?")...And also good for hair that plans on lots of sun, chlorine or salt water. Therefore I am proud to present it as a summer must-have. Of course I don't have it. Anymore. Because of that first thing I mentioned. But if by any chance you are Chaz Dean and are reading this and would like to donate...

3. Fried Green Tomatoes. No, not the stupid, yucky movie. I'm talkin' the real deal. All deep fried. And green. And served with a pimento / feta cheese dipping sauce. Ooohhh, such a deep fried heaven.

4. Here is Melissa's recipe for success. Invite over two of your favorite couples; make sure they also have children so that they can go off and play together leaving the adults alone. Invite them over when it's going to be about 78 degrees with a slight breeze outside. Sit on the back porch while the kids run around screaming. Eat chili dogs (my favorite things in the world) and play Phase 10. This game requires no real knowledge. So you can talk about everything under the sun while playing. And to me - that is a great evening.

5. Serve the aforementioned couples a dessert of Fresh peaches, cut up into big, juicy squares, served over a whopping bowl of Blue Bell vanilla ice cream and a light sprinkling of sugar. Let it melt just a little. Welcome to summer!

6. Do not invite couples over to lounge on your deck without some kind of lighting. Something. I don't care if it's candles in a tin can. Just provide something. The AG put up white globe lights all around our deck and they look so good that my girlfriend, Kelli Hankins, who shall remain nameless completely ripped off my idea, Kelli Hankins, and copied me to a tee, Kelli Hankins. So globe lights are cool. As are these babies.

7. If you decide to go swimming with a 2 year old. And let's be honest, who wouldn't want that task? Buy these. Yes, I know you can go buy "floaties" at Dollar General for 2 bucks. Or you can spend $10 and be the talk of the baby pool. And that's some high pressure, my friends. I honestly didn't know that putting Remi in arm floaties would cause my life to change in such a huge way - but my girlfriend slipped them on Rem's arms the other day - and off she went. Oh yeah, she was off swimming in the deep end and I was snoring on my lounge chair. Oh seriously, people. Trust me, I was all up in her personal space and watching her like a hawk. Even my girlfriend told me, "Melissa, seriously, back up just a little. She'll be fine." So the next day I went and purchased these bad boys and I love them. They are Speedo brand and so they are made out of fabric - not plastic, which is soooo 1992. They are comfortable on her, don't rub her arms raw like the others and well, I'll just be honest, she's stylin'. And considering her daddy won't let her wear a bikini she needs something to flaunt at that intimidating baby pool.

8. Prescriptives *magic Illuminating Cream Lotion. For those of you over 25 years of age, who have pores and skin of any kind...You're very, very welcome.

So there you have it, my lovelies, a couple of things you'll find around my place if you were to come over for chili-dogs and Phase 10. Except for the Wen shampoo. But I'm still praying that my ship comes in on that one, so don't count me out just yet.

May 24, 2008

Uuuughh..I've been Tagged.

Dear Lulaville,

Never, never, never do this to me again. For I am a "giver-in" to peer pressure but will not be so susceptible next time. For you see, if you lived down the road from me I would just "wrap" (also referred to as "T.P.", "Roll", or "Paper") your house. But since that is impossible I will just leave you harassing messages on your blog that scream "I hate talking about myself" while all the while subliminally saying "Thank you Lula, because talking about myself is my absolute favorite thing and I - along with all of my peers - cannot get enough of it."

So like I said, Lula, never again.

Cough, cough.

So here goes...because I've been tagged. NOT because I like talking about myself.

What was I doing ten years ago?
I was married to the AG and living in Nashville in our first little house on Maple Circle. I was attending Belmont University and attending New Song Christian Fellowship. We had no children so we spent several hundred dollars a weekend on movies and Taco Bell, if memory serves me. I spent every waking minute studying my music and practicing because I had big plans to move to New York after I graduated and be a jazz singer. Can you imagine??

Five snacks I enjoy: I will not state the obvious. So I will go with...
1. Blue Bell vanilla ice cream drowned in Hershey's Syrup
2. Chocolate chip cookies and the dough from which they come
3. Double Stuff Oreo's
4. Sweet tea
5. Chocolate Milk.

Five things on my to-do list:
1. Mow the yard for the AG since he has recently decided he is "allergic" to grass.
2. Watch Juno and get it back in the mail.
3. Buy some beutiful steaks for the AG to grill on Memorial Day. That's what that day is all about, right?
4. Decide what to do with the 20 people I have invited over for Remi's birthday party.
5.Find someplace in Columbia that rents moon-walks.

Five things I would do if I were a billionaire:
1. Rent a moon-walk from someplace in Columbia.
2. Hire someone to entertain the 20 people I have invited over for Remi's birthday party.
3. Make sure my church was well taken care of.
4. Make sure Remi and my little sister, Mallory, were well taken care of.
5. Go ahead and put my mom in a home.

Just kidding...
5. Give give give to St. Jude's Children's Hospital. I love that place.

Five jobs I've had:
1. Lee Trans Services....but I was fired!
2. Dillard's
3. Spring House Music
4. Church secretary
5. Writer at Saturday Night Live.
Kidding... Unfortunately...
5. Voice teacher (which I hated so much that every day I woke up with a sick stomach just to avoid having to go because the small children made me so nervous.)

Five of my bad habits:
1. Throwing my clothes on the closet floor.
2. Forgetting laundry in the washing machine - while they're wet.
3. Starting dinner too late and my family gets agitated.
4. Snoring.
5. Not returning phone calls.

Five places I've lived:
1. Lufkin, Texas
2. Waxahachie, Texas
3. Arlington, Texas
4. Nashville, Tennessee
5. Columbia, Tennessee

Five people I would tag if I knew they wouldn't hunt me down and kill me like I am going to do to Lulaville:
1. Milli
2. Vanilli
3. Francis RuthAnn Hindemeyer Winestock
4. Tony Toni Tone'x
5. Skeeter Davis

Six random things:
1. I don't know any of those people in the answer before.
2. Tina Fey won't return any of my calls. And how does she expect for us to hang out and be best friends if she won't call me back?
3. Have you heard the Viva La Vida commercial with Coldplay? I must stop everything I am doing and listen to it. Love him. Love them. Love that song. I have put in a request to find it under my pillow the day it comes out.
4. Big Kenny, of Big & Rich, absolutely freaks me out. When I see him I cannot avert my eyes but yet I am scared to death.

5. I MUST sleep to the sound of a fan. This is not up for discussion.
6. I could play Phase 10 with people I laugh with for hhhooouuurrrrsssss.
and one more for good measure...
7. My husband still covers my eyes when we pass a dead animal on the road.

That' all my friends. Have a good night.

May 23, 2008

Melissa X

Do you wanna revolution? Whoop - whoop.
I said, do you wanna revolution? Whoop - whoop.

How'd you like that? That's a really really white girl, blogging like a soul sista'.

Yes, it's awkward at first, but I think it's works.

Okay, I have a reason for all of this.

There is a reason my post is titled Melissa X. And it's this...I have started a movement. A revolution, if you will. I know, I probably think I'm layin' it on a little thick. But I never do that. Never, ever, ever. I never over exaggerate. Not ever. I've never over exaggerated yet and I'm not about to start now. So you can believe me. If I say it - it's truth. Seriously.

About two weeks ago I began my movement and today I am starting to see the fruit of my labor. Because as we speak grocery stores across our country are being asked to stock their shelves with Julio's Chips. Several of you have emailed me and told me that you tried to contact Mr. Julio's via his website. And I'm sorry that you've had trouble. But here's the deal...

I'm pretty sure Mr. Julio just works in his kitchen with his wife and like, four kids, frying up chips night and day. At least that's how I see it in my mind. (But then I also see him as a small, heavy set man in his mid-60's with a penchant for fedoras and a constant smell of boiled chicken that follows him around. You?)

So guess what?? The ATTORNEY GENERAL is going to call him. I am not lying. Leave it to the ATTORNEY GENERAL to make things happen. Why do you think I call him that? It's not because he's the Attorney General of Tennessee (though some of you have actually emailed me to ask me that. And don't think he didn't loooooove that.) It's because,
A. He's an attorney.
B. He's bossy. And mean. And all about rules and regulations. And making me do things I don't want to do because I'm lazy and forgetful and undisciplined.

Oh, and it's because he makes things happen. I don't lie. Give the man a job. It will be done by noon. As long as it's not outside. Or with his hands. Or with a hammer. Or with any kind of electric equipment. Or tractor/trailer combination.

So, to those of you who have contacted your local grocer and had Julio's sent it - BRAVO!! In fact, here is an email I received from one reader who heard Julio's were going to be delivered to his grocery store today...

"Let me just say that Julio's chips with guacamole and "non-alcoholic" sangria are nothing short of spectacular. 'They're real.....and they're spectacular!'

I got to Brookshire's Fresh Market, 5 o'clock rush. I'm dodging down the chip aisle looking for Julio. Can't see Julio. Lays, no. Doritos, no. Zapps, no. There was an empty space on the bottom rack with one back of yellow chips....What's that one? Wait a minute......Julio? Is that you? Yes, there it was, the last bad. I grabbed it and slowly looked around trying to see if anyone else seemed interested...I tried to nonchalantly place the bag in the buggy, resisting the urge to tear it open. I'm in control, I can wait.

Zipped through the market, don't know why they think it's so fresh? Avocados, Senorial Sangria (oh yeah), tostadas, lettuce, tomatoes, etc, etc.

Now I'm home. Can I resist the urge? Do I try them now? or wait until everyone else is ready for supper. Well the bag is pretty small. Do they come any larger? I slowly tear open the yellow bag with the precious name on it. I place the chip to my mouth and crunch expectantly. What are those remarkable flavors? Crunchy, tasty. I can hang with that.

Next comes the avocados. Crush them up, blend in the spices. How will they taste with guacamole? LIKE HEAVEN! THAT'S WHAT! Throw in some sangria and you have the makings of a fine night.

Oh well, I'm sure you've heard countless stories which can compare with mine. I'm just glad I found Julio in time. When was I going to start that diet? I can't remember now...."

This young man (I'm being kind) went to his grocery store - shout out! to Brookshire Brothers at Gaslight Plaza - because someone else had asked Mr. Berger, the store manager, to special order them. Which he did. And they were delivered.

So maybe Mr. Berger is starting the revolution.

Hmmmm....let me think on that.

Nope. Still me.

Anyway, my faithful lovelies, I will keep you informed on what Mr. Julio says, but in the mean time, ask your grocer for them. Oh give me a break, you'll go up and ask for Pizza bagels shaped like Dora the Explorer, but you won't ask for this?

On another note. Yesterday was Remi's birthday and we celebrated in style. Pancakes from Cracker looooooong hour at the bouncy house (it was her birthday, people. I HAD to. Plus the AG forced me at gun point).....yellow cheese dip for lunch.....and one big ol' Timmy the Turtle swimming pool for daddy's little princess. How she does it, I'll never know.

The AG loved the bouncy house so much that he actually looked at me as he was bouncing like an idiot and asked, "So how much would it cost if we - just me and you - wanted to come in and rent this place for a couple hours?"


What is he talking about? Has he never met me? In the fourteen years we've been married I have ruled out tennis, racquetball, church softball teams, gym memberships or walking of any kind. Jumping should be a given.

I hope you all have a lovely weekend. I'll miss you. But I have been "tagged" - I'm still very unsure what that means, but I'm taking some penicillin just to be safe - and I'll be posting that this weekend. Just so you know.

What are ya'll doing this weekend? Leave me a comment and tell me. I'm curious, because the AG has a buddy in town so I'm kind stuck here doing my own thang. So I really want to know what I have to be envious of.

In the mean time, go see Indiana Jones and eat some popcorn (with the buttered layered. As God intended it to be served.)

May 22, 2008

One Fine Day.

Some moms look like this after birth. Tired, sweaty and exhausted.

Some moms look like this. They wear hoop earrings and heels.

Some are glad this day is over.

Some are glad this day finally came.

On this day, 2 years ago, that was me. I simply hoped she came. And she did. Finally. And when she came in to this world everything changed for me. Everything.

The day Remi was born was, unfortunately, not the most eventful day in my life. I hate to admit that. It was eventful, don't get me wrong, but it wasn't the most eventful. The day Elisha was born was the most eventful day. Because I only had two hours to spend with him. Every second counted. My wish was to make every second last...forever. But I couldn't. Time ticked away. And so began a process of grieving and mourning and crying and breaking.

And then Remi.

See, when she came in to the world time didn't tick away. It just stopped. Suddenly. And on that day, my arms, which had been so heavy with emptiness - were full. And my heart, which had been so devastatingly broken - beat again. And my home, which had been so quiet for so long - was loud again. That was 2 years ago, today.

Happy Birthday Remi Hope Radke.

"But HOPE that is seen is no HOPE at all. Who HOPES for what he already has? But if we HOPE for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently." (Romans 8:24, 25)

P.S. You there! Yes, you. Just wanted to remind you that joy, does indeed, come in the mourning.

May 21, 2008

Couple Things.

Just a couple things we need to go over.

1. I have officially been offered a place to stay in Kenya, yes, I did say Kenya, if I ever decide to go there for an official SAFARI to see the LIONS.
Okay, let me catch my breath after even thinking about that. Because when I say "dream vacation" - that would be a "dream vacation." And some friends of ours, who we have officially reconnected with after almost 10 years, are living in Kenya as missionaries. And they found us on this blog! Can you believe that? Isn't technology amazing?
You are probably amazed at this moment that I have friends who are missionaries, aren't you? Be honest. And really, I don't mean to make everything about me, but doesn't this speak volumes to the kind of person I am if I have friends who are missionaries. Yay for me!

2. I realize I haven't written a "The Last Time I Talked To My Mother..." post recently (which are quickly becoming world re-noun...dont' believe me? Read this or this.) but that doesn't mean we haven't been talking and that doesn't mean she hasn't been post-worthy. Oh, no. That's not it at all. I assure you. It's just that considering we just had Mother's Day and pretty much all she got was to order off the the lunch menu at Red Lobster I thought I'd give her a break. Again, this speaks volumes about me, does it not?

This is shaping up to be one world-class post, sista'.

Don't be scared of my lingo.

3. Thursday is a special day. It's the day my heart started beating again. That sounds strange to say, but if you know me at all, you know what I'm talking about. You see, several years ago my heart stopped beating. Just stopped. Cold. Just like that. I dare not go in to it all here...that's for another day. But then suddenly it started beating again. And I owe it all to Thursday.
Actually, I owe it all to God. But he let's me use creative licensing with my writing. So when I say something poetic, like, "I owe it all to Thursday," he doesn't really care or call me on it.
Anyway, I can't wait to share it with you all.

4. Today was Remi's last day of pre-school. I shot out a text message to all my Twitter friends (who are not any of you because you won't go sign up. Why? What's that all about?) that said, "I just dropped Remi off for her last day of school. Can we all say together, 'Come quickly Lord Jesus?'" It was really funny in the moment.

5. Some of you have been asking about my Julio's. So here is, Julio's Chips in 12 words or less: Corn chips with salt and spices that actually glisten in the sunlight.
Go to their website and check them out!
Oh, by the way, know what would be cool? If all of you sent emails to that little Mexican man on the front of their website and told him about me. Then he would call me and ask if he could advertise on my site and I would say, "What advertise? Give me free chips and salsa for a lifetime and my space is your space." Then when my chips and salsa came in I would have you all over. And then ya'll would all be like, "isn't Melissa so cool that she would have us over to share her chips" and someone would inevidably say, "not only that - she has friends who serve the Lord in Kenya. Wow, that Melissa, she really must be amazing."

6. Now I need some thoughts on what to do for a child who wakes up every day and asks to "go wimmin'." And yet has a father who told me that if I spend even $20 on a plastic Timmy the Turtle pool he's going to make me sleep in it. (Personally, I have no doubt this is so he can see me in a wet t-shirt. But he begs to differ.)
Tips? Somebody? Please?
What? Is that someone calling me and Remi to a thrice weekly play-date? Uh, let me think about...OK!

7. I really like Remi. I don't know if I've told you that lately. I do. I say that I'm going to kill her. And oh, I've thought about it. But then she does something crazy and wonderful and she's my "sweet disaster" all over again. That's what I call her now. And she answers to it. I really like her because...
She lets me flat-iron her hair.
She seems as interested in The Golden Girls as I am when we watch it.
She put down three pieces of sushi on Sunday afternoon like a pro. Loved it!
She tells me I'm pretty.
We must have the same taste in men, because she's madly in love with the same guy I am.
She calls Tobey by his first AND last name.
Sometimes she cries to go see Poppie. And sometimes I do, too.
I caught her giving big wet kisses to the dogs.
She always waves at our neighbors and says, "Hi everybody."
She folds her hands when she prays.

I like that kid.

8. Our neighbor is trying to sell his truck becuase it gets NINE miles to the gallon. Anyone? Anyone? Don't just settle on his though, without trying out our '92 Honda, first. It has no air and it looks like we're smuggling drugs or dead bodies in the trunk. You'll feel mixed emotions when you drive it though, just warning you. We're kinda like, "No, we're not burning up gasoline during these trying economic times. But we may very well be contributing to the drug trafficing problem, can't say for sure."

9. Oh, and you know what 2 David's make for? A very boring finale.

Lee. Out.

May 20, 2008

Julio's: In Ten Acts

Act One:
Julio's arrives via FedEx. I pay no attention to the fact that I am wielding scissors around my small child. She's kinda all up in my space, though.

Act Two:

She totally thinks this is for her, so that's me saying, "I don't think so, suckkkkkeeerrrr!"

Act Three:

Oh, my sweet friend put in a card. It said something like, "Dear Melissa, I love Stretch Marks. It has gotten me through some very difficult times. Thank God for you. You are the best. If I didn't have you and Stretch Marks where would I be? You may be the best thing that has ever happened to me. And certainly the best thing to ever happen to the internet! I can't breathe without knowing that ..." yada yada yada. I'm not sure if that's exactly it, but I feel sure that's what she meant.

Act Four:

Clearly someone has gotten distracted.

Act Five:

"Remi, BACK AWAY from the Chips."

Act Six:

This is me singing Praise. I do it a lot. Not normally over chips. But this is a special day.

Act Seven:

"Remi, this is not a word I ever want you to use...but these are MINE."

Act Eight:

"Seriously Remi, I'm not kidding."

Act Nine:

I'm like a proud mama. Seriously though, after the AG took this picture he looked at it and said, "Melissa, there is a good chance you are making too big a deal over these chips. Your holding them like you just gave birth to them."

Act Ten:

Fifteen minutes later I walk back in the room and find this! Did no one pay heed to my words? I said, "Hands off!" But what could I do??? They looked so cute. And as I always say, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em.

I'm not gonna lie. We had chips for dinner that night.

Thank you Angela. Thank you very, very, much, sweet friend.

May 19, 2008

Hanging Narnia in my hallway.

Someone told me the other day, "Melissa, you're blog is so funny. But if you really want people to read it and take you seriously you're going about it all wrong."

Hmmm. I'm not sure how to take that.

Mainly because what I write is real. And it's me. When I spend and entire post salivating over Julio's Chips. I am really salivating. When I write about my struggles to exit an inflated, bouncey, torture chamber. I was really stuck. And when I do my "Last Time I Talked to My Mother" posts...people, it don't get no more real than that.

Just like everyone I have a softer side. An intimate side. A silly, girly side. They may not be as accessible as my fun side. My loud side. My quite boisterous and rip-roaring side. But they are there nonetheless. Just ask the Attorney General.

But I would hope - above all else, above anything that you could ever say about me - that my absolute love and devotion to the Lord is a side you see most often. It probably isn't.
I'm human.

Which leads me to today's post. Now, for the record, let me state this. I AM NOT posting this today due to the aforementioned comment. I don't really give in that easily. Just ask the Attorney General. But I felt it pertinent to share that comment considering what I wanted to share with you today was, well, rather personal.

No one laugh.

Here goes.

I love lions. I mean, I really really love lions. I have loved them my whole life, but by the time I became an adult I was wild about them. I love to look at pictures of them, read about them, watch the National Geographic channel on them, you name it. It may sound silly, but it's true. I'm fascinated with them.

It's something about the look in their eyes. The beauty of their build. They're beautiful and passionate, dominant and powerful. They're fierce. And I feel both terrified and safe all at once.

My sweet husband knows my love for them and yet has never really ever bought me anything with a lion on it. I'm not sure if you have noticed but a house full of "lion pieces" does not a Southern Living spread make. I assure you when you walk in my house you would have no idea my love for this animal. Until now...

For Mother's Day the Attorney General gave me this. Because he's good.

I love it. I absolutely love it. I love it more than the wicker furniture he bought me last year or the...oh, wait. It's only my 2nd Mother's Day. But so far the man is on a roll.

He hung it the very day he gave it to me. Which I have to say, is a gift all on it's own. Normally a Bill has to pass through the House and Senate before I can get anything hung around here. But not that day. He followed me all around the house until I had chosen the perfect spot. Know where it ended up?

In the hallway just outside my bedroom door. If, at any moment, I become afraid, all I have to do is sit up in my bed and look into my hallway. And He is who I see.

Below the picture it says this:

"They will follow the Lord; He will roar like a lion. When He roars, His children will come trembling from the West."
Hosea 11:10 (NIV)

Oh, my! Don't you love it? I do. Just the very thought. That picture is sometimes the last thing I see at night as I crawl into my bed. It's one of the most precious gifts I've ever received.

So now that you have knowledge of my secret love...guess what movie I saw this weekend? Yep, you guessed it. A little independent film that not many people know about called, "Prince Caspian."

I cried. Openly. And loudly. I really did. And all the AG can do is just sit there and let me do it. It can't be explained my love for all things Aslan. It's just that I suppose that is how I see God. Beautiful and passionate, dominant and powerful. I guess I feel both terrified and safe, all at once. What they have created on screen is what I have seen in my mind since I was a child. They got it perfectly right.

So you have to know how much I loved it when Aslan and Lucy are together...
"Aslan," said Lucy, "you're bigger."
"That is because you are older, little one," answered he.
"Not because you are?"
"I am not. But every year you grow, you will find me bigger."

That was my favorite line in the entire movie. Because I got it. I understood it. Every year I have spent serving Him, when it's been good and when it's been horrible, I have come to find Him bigger and bigger and bigger. And I have come to find myself less and less and less.

Every year I've grown I've found Him to be more just and faithful, more determined and ferocious. More awesome and forgiving. More precious and patient.

Every year I grow I find Him bigger.

May 16, 2008

Somethin' Bad's Goin Down At the Fun House.

The Fun House, the Play Place, the Jump Room, the Bouncey Thing. They're all the same. Annoying.

But I go because I love my child. And it's only 2 bucks. And her daddy is still out of town and I'm runnin' out of things to do, people!

But before we go any further let me remind you of my penchant for "bathroom runs" (no pun intended) at the worst of times. If you don't believe me please check out
this drama and this drama.

So I take Remi to the Bounce Around and immediately I am out of my element. I brought nothing to read while I sit lazily by hoping she doesn't hurt herself. And it's far too loud to talk on my cell. What'supwiththat? Do they not take these things into consideration? There should be a phone booth and a coffee table full of InStyle. Seriously people, do I have to think of everything?

At first we are not alone. The first 30 minutes we weave and bob in between Opie and his little sister. But then they had to leave, it was noon and apparently their mom feeds them lunch. But us? Nah. We keep playing.

I look around.
We're alone.
And suddnely, in what can only be described as a moment of insanity I decide...I'm going in.

The following story will now be divided into 3 parts.

Part One: Big Mistake to go in.

It seems so easy really.

You just hold back the little flap and inch your way in.

Anybody can do it. But not everybody should.

Take me for instance. I got in just fine. It was the getting out that was the problem. Thankfully Remi isn't 5 years old. At two it's "Fun! Mamma's coming in! She's going to play! This is the best day ever!" At five? I imagine it's, "Kill-me-now-my-mom-is-coming-in-and-dear-Lord-help-her-she-can't-get-out."

But I'm a good mom.
I'm not resentful that there are no magazines.
I'm not resenting the blatant disrespect for cell phones.
I'm not harboring ill will to your father who is laid up in a hotel room ordering room service. Naaaaaaah.
I'm a good mom.
See? I'm jumping. I'm jumping.
And................she's down.

Part Two: "Remi? Let's try the slide."

Now at this point the little thing you jump in is just not cutting it for me. So let's try something different. Something exciting. Something mommy can really embarrass you in.

We head over to what appears to be an obstacle course of sorts. Okay, this is different, this is cool, this looks fun. Right? Wrong.

Remi has no problem with it. She's good to go. She also weighed in at 27 pounds last we checked. Wanna know what I weighed in last we checked? How rude.

Now as I make the turn to do this obstacle course it becomes quite clear that there is no getting out - so finish it, I must. But who am I kidding? I can inch myself backwards and she'd be none the wiser. Except that now a little red headed boy with a really high pitched voice and an ax to grind has entered the room and is hot on my tail.

"Keep going," he yells at me.
"I'm trying," I yell back.
"Why aren't you going forward?"
"Because I'm claustrophobic and I'm about to hyperventilate. Do you even know what any of those words mean?" I scream.
His response? "Duh."
"Well then, back up!"
"I can't. Everyone knows you have to finish it once you get in here. You're almost done."

And at that moment I realize that in his own special demonic way he is encouraging me. And it feels nice. Because clearly, Remi could care less.

And happens.

Part Three: Keep 'er Moving.

Today I can't blame it on fried foods.
I can't blame it on salty foods.
I can't blame it on eating chili for breakfast.
I can't blame it on the rain.
Because I had eaten nothing. ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.

But in a split second I felt something come over me and knew that if I didn't evacuate that jump course right that very minute there was a good chance someone was going to die. And considering Chucky was behind me - it was looking like a bad day for him.

"Move back!" I screamed at him.
"Keep moving." He yelled back.
"I can't keep moving..."
"Keep moving."
"Do you want me to tell your mom?"
"I don't care."

"Oh really? Because I totally..."
"Ooohhhh gross...somebody..."
"Hush. Don't say another word."
"What is that?"

"It's your upper lip."

Yes, I actually said that to a six year old. Oh, I don't know if he was six. Maybe he was 27. All I know was he was standing between me and the door that said "Please flush only once" on the front of it. And by George, if I had to take him out, then call it collateral damage.

But in that instance I knew that it was do or die. It was: take that obstacle course or lay there in a pool of my own filth.

If Chucky could do it, I could too.

And do it, I did. I began throwing myself into positions that have never been seen before. I hurled myself into inflatable things that would pop back and hit me square in the face. I bounced. I fell. I cried. I screamed. I begged for God to give me the strength to endure. And with every inch that bathroom door looked closer and closer.

I finally mustered up enough strength to climb up the stairs and shoot myself down a slide.

It took every single cell in my body to hold it all in. I kid you not.
I. Thought. I. Was. Going. To. Die.

I took the slide so fast that I nearly landed directly on top of Remi. But I had to look at her as simply an obstacle in my way. I picked her up and threw her as hard and as far as I could. I dove for that little opening in the doorway and inched every piece of me out of it, all the while praying that God would grant me 15 more seconds on this earth.

I cleared - in one fail swoop - 2 pairs of Crocs and a hair bow. I looked around for Chucky's mom but never saw her. Figures.

I ran in to the little piece of heaven that was built just off the main room. I shut the door behind me, leaving Remi to fend for herself with Chucky. (I wasn't worried. She could take him.) And I thanked God for some privacy and that there was actually toilet tissue.

Epilogue: Don't build a bathroom right off of the main room. It's humiliating.

I spent a few minutes in there, I'm not gonna lie. The situation escalated and it required some time that I hadn't intended on giving. But when all was said and done - I felt like a new woman. I could face the world. I could find my child, put her Crocs on her and still still "fry it up in a pan."

But as I opened up the door into what I assumed to be a room with no one but Remi and Chucky. I find 14 little tiaras running from pillar to post. A birthday party.

And boy, have I just helped them get it started with a bang.

I grabbed Remi up - and slapped her shoes on her as fast as I could. I had to get out of there before one of those little 5 year olds said something nasty about me. I'm scared of today's youth. I'm not gonna lie.

But all I heard was Chucky, screaming, "Ooooohhhhhhh gross....somebody......"

May 15, 2008

Move on.

I'm giving you fair warning. Today's post? Snooze city.

Yeah, that's right. I'm calling a spade a spade, my friend. You need to move on down, move on down the road. I'm sure that someone else somewhere else has much better things to discuss than I do. I'm a big enough girl to admit that.

So go ahead. Go to Bon Jovi's blog, see if I care. (Actually, if Bon Jovi really has a blog you oughta check it out.)

More fun? Yes.

More important? I think not.

Today's post offers you a few things that you just can't get anywhere else.
Sense. And Sensibility.

First things first. Let me start by saying that my house smells like a campground. I kid you not. I am sitting in my living room and it smells like I just returned from 3 days on a camping extravaganza!

Have you ever been on a camping extravaganza? Weird, wild stuff.

I'm not sure what the smell is nor do I tend to find out until my husband returns home, because it might mean that I have to get up off this couch or do something exhausting like sniff something out. And then I might have to walk all around the house. Or even worse, it could end up with me having to go up the stairs. I mean seriously, could you imagine?

So I will sit in my stench until he comes home and solves the problem. That's why I married him, after all. He's like McGyver except he can't fix anything - but he always hires people who do a great job!

And the second reason for my post today is to tell you about a little something that has come to mean, well heck, it's just come to mean the world to me.

You know I've never been very tech savvy? You did know that, right? We have gotten past the first date here - so you have to have known this about me. So when the AG came home and told me I had to get Twitter, you can imagine what I had to say to that.

First I said, "Huh?"
And then I said, "Well, will you do it because I don't know what you're talking about."
And then he explained it, but still I said, "Please? Will you do it? Because I smell something."
To which he said, "For some reason I am in the mood to go camping."
And I quickly replied, "Twitter it is."

And my lovelies, I haven't looked back.

Here is a video explaining Twitter.

Oh, for Pete's sake it's only 2:56 - just watch it and quit complaining. It's cute. They use cut-outs. Like old school Sunday School!

Okay, so you have to sign up for it. Please? Do it for me. I LOVE IT. Twitter appeals to my nosiness. I like to know what's going on - when it's going on. And Twitter does that for me. It's awesome. And you can keep up with people you knew in High School or famous people. Or you can keep up with me and I can keep up with you....won't that be fun?

Let me give you some great (and practical) reasons why you need Twitter.

See, I "follow" Natalie Grant on my Twitter. So the other day she text messaged this, "Just saw Baby Mama. Hilarious." Okay, so now when I see her in the mall or something and I want to touch her hair I have reason to go up to her and say, "Hey girlfriend, read where you saw Baby Mama. How was it?" And then she'll be all, "It was hilarious. Why are you taking pictures of my hair?" And it will be awkward, but it will be worth it. THANKS TWITTER!

Or let's say I'm at Marshall's or LifeWay. Now if you know me at all then you know I spend on average 38 seconds in either of these stores and then have to race to the restroom as if my life depends on it. Which it usually does. So I would text a message that says, "Something bad's goin' down at the LifeWay." And ya'll would get what I mean and intercessory prayer would spring up all over the place. THANKS TWITTER!

I have a friend from home that "follows me." If he buys an album that he likes he just texts, "Just bought the soundtrack from Gigli. Awesome." Now otherwise how would I have known that? THANKS TWITTER!

Or how 'bout this? I'm sitting at my favorite Mexican dive, Las Palmas, and I'm at a table beside Matt Damon, Angelina Jolie and Scott Baio. Well, I would pull out my phone and text a message that said something like this, "Eating cheap Mexican food, but still don't have enough money for the bill." And then hopefully my dad would read it and like, help me out, asap. Again, THANKS TWITTER!

So you see? Twitter is wonderful, it really is. If you've noticed that little red box to the right, that is my Twitter box. I have it set up so that when I leave a post it comes both to here and to the cell phones that "follow me." That way when I get my hair colored, eat at a great new restaurant, finish speaking at a church and am so excited I could bust, or see something hilarious and have no one to share it with, I just use Twitter to get the word out.

Just wanted you to know in case you wanted to sign up, too. It's free. It's fun. And it's at

And you just might find out what in the heck is making my house smell like a KOA.