This Southern Belle's Musings

"Darlin', don't ever take a Southern woman for granted!" [tm]

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Saturday, March 27, 2004


Yes, I've been "missing-in-action" for almost a week . . . I have been basking in the joy of "HOME" -- i.e., Tennessee, to be exact!

I will be returning to D.C. on Sunday but, . . . my computer is still on the fritz - as in my CPU isn't even at the house (it is at a friend's [hopefully] getting a major overhaul)!

But, I did not want to leave everyone wondering where I had disappeared to over this wonderful, beautiful, sun-filled, high 70s Spring week (especially after leaving a snowy evening last Sunday in D.C. *brrrrrrrr*)

I hope that everyone else had a GREAT week -- I know that I did.

I also hope to see everyone again real soon (as soon as my CPU returns home).

current mood: Enjoying that wonderful feeling of "Home"
current music: XM Radio - The 70s

(c) 2004 A Southern Belle's Life

Saturday, March 20, 2004

A Brief Moment In Time 

Like the sudden rustling of the wind through the leaves on a tree, or a shooting star as it streaks across an India ink sky, a moment in time is here and gone just as quickly.    And, although Rob Lowe's character, Billy Hicks' heartstring-tugging soliloquy meant to inspire and motivate Demi Moore's character, Jules Jacoby in the 1985 film "St. Elmo's Fire" downplayed the significance of a moment in time, I must respectfully disagree with Billy's naive opinion that single moments don't really matter.

Billy began by telling Jules,

"So you lost your job?    I've lost twenty of them since graduation.    Plus a wife and kid.    And, in a new development this morning, a handful of hair in the shower drain."

Then he continues with,

"Jules, y'know, honey ... this isn't real.     You know what it is?     It's St. Elmo's Fire.     Electric flashes of light that appear in dark skies out of nowhere.     Sailors would guide entire journeys by it, but the joke was on them ... there was no fire.     There wasn't even a St. Elmo.     They made it up.     They made it up because they thought they needed it to keep them going when times got tough, just like you're making up all of this.     We're all going through this.     It's our time at the edge."

In many instances, it is the decisions that are made in a single moment that have the greatest, and longest lasting, impact on our lives.     My belief, and one that I have held from very early on, has been that life is a journey.     The day you are born, a path stretches out ahead of you, full of great wonders, and mysteries, happiness and sorrow, and so much more.     But, the path isn't marked with signposts, and doesn't come with a roadmap.     So, each decision that we make along the path, whether large or small, is made at a fork in the road.     When we make our choice -- to take the left fork or the right fork -- we have forever altered our journey by the single choice -- that single moment in time.     Do you find yourself lamenting that you sometimes wished you'd taken the other fork in hindsight?

We are so busy rushing through life that we often miss some of the most precious single moments.     Do you miss the quiet whispers of nature's wonders by listening too intently to the roaring shouts of the man-made jungles?     Do you miss the sudden flickers because you're waiting on the grand finale fireworks?     Life isn't always to be found in the majestic, but more often hidden in the happenstance.

First Written & Published: Sunday October 26, 2003 / Backwash column

current mood:  Still Nostalgic
current music:  Still 3 Doors Down - Away From The Sun

(c)  2004   A Southern Belle's Life

Thursday, March 18, 2004

Firsts, Lasts and In-Betweens 


FIRST JOB: Administrative Assistant/McDonalds Corp.
FIRST SELF-PURCHASED (MUSIC): So many since then, I can't really remember.
FIRST PIERCING/TATTOO: Ears, the first time, when I was sixteen.
FIRST ENEMY: I can't really remember the first, but I can tell you the last.


LAST BIG CAR RIDE: From the Atlanta, GA airport to Chattanooga, TN
(next one will be next Tuesday -- Washington, D.C. to Chattanooga, TN)
LAST LIBRARY BOOK CHECKED OUT: It's been a few years -- I usually just buy from Amazon or Barnes & Noble.
LAST MOVIE SEEN: Watched Pulp Fiction (again) on DVD for, like, the fifteenth time.
LAST BEVERAGE DRANK: Smirnoff Raspberry Twist.
LAST FOOD CONSUMED: Tortilla Chips and Goat Cheese Dip.
LAST PHONE CALL: My friend Vic.
LAST CD PLAYED: 3 Doors Door -- Away From The Sun.
LAST ANNOYANCE: Someone who can't take a hint.
LAST ICE CREAM EATEN: Mint Oreo Blizzard from Dairy Queen.
LAST TIME SCOLDED: This morning (every morning).
LAST SHIRT WORN: Navy blue authentic Army/Navy sweatshirt.

I . . .

I AM: creative.
I WANT: to move back home again.
I HAVE: wonderful, loving animals.
I WISH: I could be happy.
I HATE: ignorant, stupid and/or obnoxious people, especially when they think they aren't, or can't realize that they are.
I FEAR: bugs!
I HEAR: in-between the lines.
I SEARCH: for happiness, and not wealth or fame.
I WONDER: if happiness is just an illusion.
I REGRET: not being brave enough to do what I should have been done long ago.
I LOVE: "forbidden" things.
I ALWAYS: wish upon stars.
I AM NOT: very good at staying "on-task."
I DANCE: to old 70s and 80s music.
I SING: in the car, but not in the shower.
I CRY: even at cartoons.


YOU KEEP A DIARY: Yes, several journals.
YOU LIKE TO COOK: I can, I just don't like to.

DO YOU . . .?

EYE COLOR: Teal -- some days more blue, some days more green -- depending upon the day and my mood.
BIRTHPLACE: Homestead AFB Florida.


COLOR: Green
DAY: Tuesday
MONTH: April
SONG(S): Lyin' Eyes, Fire & Rain.
SEASON: Autumn
DRINK: Amaretto Sour


CUDDLE OR MAKE OUT: Usually one leads to the other so . . . cuddle.
CHOCOLATE MILK, OR HOT CHOCOLATE: Hot chocolate with whipped cream.


SAID I LOVE YOU?: No, not today.
MISSED SOMEONE? Yes, definitely!

current mood:  Nostalgic
current music:  3 Doors Down - Away From The Sun

(c)   2004   A Southern Belle's Life

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Happy St. Patrick's Day! 

Near a misty stream in Ireland
in the hollow of a tree
Live mystical, magical leprechauns
who are clever as can be
With their pointed ears, and
turned up toes and little coats of green
The leprechauns busily make their shoes
and try hard not to be seen.
Only those who really believe
have seen these little elves
And if we are all believers
We can surely see for ourselves.

(Irish Blessing)


As an Irish lass from a family with strong ties to our Irish homeland, March 17th is a special day for us to celebrate our history and heritage.     To begin with, I'll provide you with some actual "history" lessons – things that you may, or may not, know about Ireland, and our beloved St. Patrick.     Beginning with the history of St. Patrick's Day and more detail about the Saint himself, you'll find details that are richly embedded in a culture that have strong religious, as well as superstitious, beliefs.

Ireland is a country that has endured (and still endures) hardships due to socio-economic factors, wars for the sake of religious freedoms, and a myriad of other adversities that are beyond most of our comprehensions as we sit so far removed from the warn-torn countryside.

I've always wanted to learn (and, all I seem to do is struggle with) the true Gaelic language of Ireland.     There was even an organization formed called The Gaelic League specifically "for the purpose of keeping the Irish language spoken in Ireland."     And, further, although there are many authentic Irish and Scottish dishes that I will never partake of, there are many Irish recipes that should not be missed!


Another common symbol of Ireland (aside from the leprechauns) is the shamrock.     Although the shamrock is not the official symbol of Ireland (the official symbol is the harp), it is synonymous with thoughts of Ireland, and a widely accepted motif of the country.     Yet another symbol that is commonly associated with Ireland is the Blarney Stone (thought to be, perhaps, one half of the Stone of Scone) and endowing all who kiss it with great eloquence.



current mood:  Proud To Be Irish!
current music:  Celtic Harps CD

(c)   2004   A Southern Belle's Life

Sunday, March 14, 2004

Hot, Hot, HOT! 

Ole ole - ole ole / Ole ole - ole ole
EE-Yessa Ha-ha
Ee-yes girls
Me mind on fire -- Me soul on fire -- Feeling hot hot hot
Party people -- All around me feeling hot hot hot
What to do - On a night like this
Music sweet - I can't resist
We need a party song - A fundamental jam
So we go rum-bum-bum-bum
Yeah we rum-bum-bum-bum
Feeling hot hot hot -- Feeling hot hot hot - oh Lord
(me la la la lum bum bum)
See people rocking -- Hear people chanting -- Feeling hot hot hot
Keep up this spirit -- Come on let's do it -- Feeling hot hot hot
It's in the air - Celebration time
Music sweet - captivate your mind
We have this party song - This fundamental jam
So we go rum-bum-bum-bum
Yeah we rum-bum-bum-bum
Feeling hot hot hot -- Feeling hot hot hot - Oh Lord
Ole ole - ole ole / Ole ole - ole ole
Ole ole - ole ole / Ole ole - ole ole
EE-yes girls
People in the party - hot hot hot
People in the party - hot hot hot
They come to the party know what they got
They come to the party know what they got
I'm hot -- You're hot -- He's hot -- She's hot
I'm hot -- You're hot -- He's hot -- She's hot
(Real hot) -- (Real hot) -- (Real hot) -- (Real hot)
Ha-ha-ha - Oh Lord
How you feeling? (Hot hot hot)
How you feeling? (Hot hot hot)
How you feeling? (Hot hot hot)
How you feeling? (Hot hot hot)
(Hot hot hot) (Hot hot hot)
(Hot hot hot) (Hot hot hot)
{repeat & fade}

~ Buster Poindexter  

Weather-persons!     For their so-called "expertise," I could be a weather-person!     I mean, take today for example . . .     the temperature was supposed to be in the mid-to-upper fifties, which sounds like decent "get outside" weather, especially after the frigid Winter we've experienced in the Mid-Atlantic region.     But, the "weather-persons" failed to consider a little thing called "wind-chill," considering the winds are blowing out of (some compass direction) at high rates of speed!

So, to counteract the (what I consider to be extreme) wind-chill (based on my beliefs from listening to the learned weather-persons), today is a day to feel . . .



Which means that, for starters, I whipped up some of my "famous" salsa -- with fresh tomatoes, garlic, onions, cilantro, jalapenos, limes, lemons, and crushed black pepper.

Pull out the tortillas, grab something to drink, and get ready for the H-E-A-T!

Next, it was time to plan ahead for dinner.    And, what better for such a cold day than my "equally-famous" chili?     Right now, that pot has been simmering on the stove all afternoon, melding all of the flavors of fresh onions, cayenne pepper, chili powder, chili beans, and my "secret family ingredients" to make one fiery bowl of chili!

Let the winds howl . . . I'm ready with some HEAT to counteract whatever frigid winds may blow . . .

current mood:  Hot, Hot, Hot
current music:  Buster Poindexter

(c)  2004   A Southern Belle's Life

Friday, March 12, 2004

Who Sits On Your Shoulder? 

If I'm lying, wouldn't my pants be on fire?

~ new sticker on my car

Most people have been "conditioned" to believe that there are two little "beings" that sit on their shoulders.     Literature, movies, and even cartoons have perpetuated this belief.     We all know immediately what I am talking about -- "good" and "evil," an "angel" and a "devil," -- the two sides of our brain that try to sway us to make a decision based on the best "pitch" by whichever little "being" delivers the best reasoning.

I've discovered that my two entities are not quite as distinguishable in nature between one taking precedents over the other in the good-vs-evil department.     Mine are more stealthy and covert than that -- attempting to switch places like identical twins playing practical jokes.     Instead of good and evil, mine are more like "responsible, frugal, and rational" (hereinafter known as "RF&R") -vs- "spontaneous, here's-my-visa, reckless" (hereinafter known as "SH&R").     Honestly, they both look exactly alike and, usually, in the end, the results are the same -- just arriving on a different train schedule.

A prime example of these two lil scamps' mind-games was quite evident a few evenings ago.     As I slid into the 105 degree hot tub on a crisp, clear evening around 11:00 p.m., I looked up into the star-filled sky and thought how utterly amazing this whole experience was.     That's when "RF&R" and "SH&R" magically *poofed* upon my shoulders and started whispering in my ears.

RF&R began with . . . "but, you have to admit, it still was quite a bit of money."

To which SH&R countered . . . "but, you have to admit, this is a slice of heaven."

Back and forth, back and forth . . . louder, and louder, trying to make their points . . .

Finally, I did the only logical thing I could think to do to salvage the purity and spectacular oneness I was experiencing with the entire universe . . .

I slid down into the hot tub completely and drowned them BOTH!

current mood:  Sassy!
current music:  Skid Row

(c) 2004 A Southern Belle's Life

My Computer Is POSSESSED! 

"Men are from Mars.
Women are from Venus.
Computers are from Hell!"

Let me state, for the record, I have never been SO disgusted with an inanimate object before in my entire life!     And, believe me, the range and realm of my frustrations considered, that is a b-o-l-d statement indeed.     Last May, I purchased a new Hewlett Packard Pavilion to replace the HP I had been using for 5-plus years (which, in computer life, is a long, long, l-o-n-g time to be working on the same computer).     And, to be totally honest, there wasn't anything really wrong with my previous PC other than the monitor display was starting to get a little "wiggly" (rather hard on the eyes!), and it only had a CD player, not a burner.     So, off to the store to purchase an "upgrade."

Although I didn't go completely top-of-the-line, I did get one with dual CD and DVD players, as well as a CD burner, and a few of the techno- "bells-&-whistles."     The problem was, the system came with Microsoft XP loaded as the operating platform.     And, from practically Day One, XP has caused unexplainable crashes, lock-ups, disappearing files, shut-downs, and a laundry-list of other bizarre occurrences.

Well, Tuesday was the ultimate in LAST STRAWS!     For no apparent reason, other than the fact that my computer decided that I did something that displeased it, it seized my entire system and began a "System Restore," meaning it was restoring factory settings.     At that point in time, I had no idea whether it was a complete return to factory settings, or a partial save of newly-loaded programs.     Either way, I was at the mercy of my computer as it -- at lightning speed -- zipped off file, after file, after file -- doing unknown things to each and every one.

After two hours of NO control over my system whatsoever, it finally relinquished its hold over the system, but . . . certain files were MISSING -- FOREVER GONE!     Calls to Tech Support proved fruitless.     The main two things that were missing were my e-mail address book   *p-o-o-f*  and all of the settings and configurations for my satellite internet connection   *no internet!* .

So, for those who are unaware as to what "XP" stands for, let me enlighten you (feel free to take your pick, or use all three!) . . .

(e)Xtraterrestrial Possession

(e)Xtreme Pain-in-the-Pa-Toot

(e)Xtraneous Psychological Torture

and, a little FYI -- you cannot switch to Windows 2000, or Windows ME from Windows XP -- that is, you cannot -- without loading the new platform from DOS.     But, the kicker is . . . XP will not allow you to access DOS in a simple, straightforward manner.     The gyrations and hoops you have to try to achieve just to FIND DOS on XP makes you give up before the hunt is completed.

current mood:  (Still) Extremely Frustrated and Angry!
current music:  The ever-increasing rapid beating of my heart!

(c) 2004 A Southern Belle's Life

Friday, March 05, 2004

What Type of Seducer are You? 

I just love fun 'lil quizzes ... and, this one was ... shall we say? ... fun ...

I am the Siren

A man is often secretly oppressed by the role he has to play - by always having to be responsible, in control, and rational. The Siren is the ultimate male fantasy figure because she offers a total release form the limitations of his life. In her presence, which is always heightened and sexually charged, the male feels transported to a realm of pure pleasure. In a world where women are often too timid to project such an image, learn to take control of the male libido by embodying his fantasy.

Symbol: Water. The song of the Siren is liquid and enticing, and the Siren herself is fluid and ungraspable. Like the sea, the Siren lures you with the promise of infinite adventure and pleasure. Forgetting past and future, men follow her far out to sea, where they drown.

What Type of Seducer are You?
created by polite_society

current mood:  Still Fighting A Migraine!
current music:  Bryan Adams - "(Everything I Do) I Do It For You"

(c) 2004 A Southern Belle's Life

The Book Quiz 

You're Lolita!

by Vladimir Nabokov

Considered by most to be depraved and immoral, you are obsessed with sex.    What really tantalizes you is that which deviates from societal standards in every way, though you admit that this probably isn't the best and you're not sure what causes this desire.    Nonetheless, you've done some pretty nefarious things in your life, and probably gotten caught for them.    The names have been changed, but the problems are real.

Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

Personality Questions 

If you have anything really valuable to contribute to the world
it will come through the expression of your own personality,
that single spark of divinity that sets you off
and makes you different from every other living creature."

~ Bruce Barton

  1. Emotional age? Some days 5 y/o, some days 105 y/o.
  2. Hairdo you wish you could pull off? Long, long, long flowing ringlets of curls.
  3. First word? I don't remember (and don't want to ring up my mom to ask).
  4. First written word? I don't remember that, either -- but I haven't stopped writing since.
  5. Famous person(s) people say you look like? Ally Walker, Sondra Locke, and with the right make-up, hair and clothes, Marilyn Monroe.
  6. Eat your vegetables? Fresh, in season, organic when at all possible, and never over-cooked.
  7. God, or a god concept? God.
  8. Most lengthy phase you ever went through: Cop-groupie.
  9. If you're a boy, do you like baking? If you're a girl, do you like grilling? I am a girl -- and -- the griller in the household most of the time.
  10. Language(s) you'd most like to speak: Spanish, Italian, and true Gaelic.
  11. Favorite names for people: Y'all!
  12. Death row last meal: My favorite dinner (appetizer to dessert) from Kanpai of Tokyo.
  13. Birthplace: Homestead AFB Florida.
  14. Do you have an accent? No, everyone else does!
  15. To-MAY-to or To-MAH-to? to-MAY-to.
  16. Most exotic thing you've ever eaten: Squid, snails and I'll plead the 'fifth' on the rest.
  17. Superheroes or the supervillains? I just don't get into the whole hero/villain genre thing.
  18. Marriage is... an outward symbol of a deep, loving commitment.
  19. Love is... the culmination of every emotion tossed into a blender and turned on high.
  20. Down pillows or plush pillows? One down pillow and one memory-foam pillow (and one body pillow is nice, too).
  21. Bush. Love him or hate him? I don't discuss politics.
  22. Favorite color? Green, but I'm very into all earth-tones.
  23. Favorite flavor of ice cream? Breyer's Mint Chocolate Chip and/or Peanut Butter Fudge Ripple.
  24. Dream job: Writer / Photographer (oh -- wait, I'm already doing that) -- but, the "dream job" would be to be a highly sought-after writer / photographer that would allow me the opportunity for unlimited travel to all parts of the World!
  25. Elvis or the Beatles? Neither (so, sue me).
  26. Coke or Pepsi? Coca Cola Classic.
  27. Bad speller? No.
  28. Friday night.   You're tired enough to stay in for the night, but not too tired to go out.   Which one do you choose? Stay home so I don't have to fight the Friday night crowds.    I'd pick another night to go out.
  29. Favorite cuisine: Mexican.
  30. Show you miss the most: Hill Street Blues and/or WKRP in Cincinnati.
  31. Were you popular in high school? No.
  32. What do you like in your brownies, nothing, nuts, or weed? Peanut butter chips.
  33. Do you like to read? All the time.
  34. How many relationships have you had?  Serious ones?   Three.
  35. How old were you when you had your first kiss? Twelve.
  36. How old were you when you first partied? Sixteen.
  37. Favorite season? It's a toss-up between Autumn and Spring.
  38. Marshmallows: burn em, or toast em? I'm not a big marshmallow fan but, if it is Autumn, and there's a bonfire, toast them to perfection, please!
  39. Do you enjoy dressing up? Yes, most definitely!
  40. Do you mind getting dirty? Yes (if you mean dirt).
  41. What did you think you were gonna be when you grew up? A police detective and/or a newspaper reporter.
  42. Number of mortal enemies: Two.

current mood:  Tired (fighting a migraine!)
current music:  Prince - "Kiss"

(c) 2004 A Southern Belle's Life

Thursday, March 04, 2004


"Obstacles cannot crush me; every obstacle yields to stern resolve."
~ Leonardo da Vinci

"When all else is lost, the future still remains."
~ Christian Bovee

"Experience is the hardest kind of teacher.
It gives you the test first, and the lesson afterward."

~ Anonymous

"You gain strength, courage and confidence by every
experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face.
You must do the thing you think you cannot do."

~ Eleanor Roosevelt

Blogging . . .

How do we know where to draw that thin line between idle, entertaining self-chatter and the revelation of deep, dark secrets?

Some people blog as a way to keep in touch with family and friends.     Some people blog as a way to make political, social or other comparative personal statements that affect their lives, and those around them.     Some people blog as a way to use a public forum as a "Dear Diary" to unload the trials, tribulations or exuberations of their day.     And, some people blog to just blog.

So the question has come to me -- from deep within the recesses of my soul -- "why am I blogging?"

I think I am a conglomeration of all of the above.     Each time I write, it is for a different reason, and with a different purpose in mind.     Yet, last Friday through yesterday (Wednesday), my blogging stopped entirely due to a series of circumstances that were too much to deal with on-line or in real life.     Life, as we all know, is filled with potholes and speed bumps, but mine suddenly felt as if it was filled with ravines and mountains!

Thomas Wolfe may have penned the words within his book, "You Can't Go Home Again," but I do not believe this to always be entirely true.

"When I let go of what I am,
I become what I might be."

~ Lao Tzu

"As long as one keeps searching,
the answers come."

~ Joan Baez

In the midst of turmoil, I have seen a light at the end of the tunnel (and it isn't a train!).     It looks as if, after 1,011 days and counting, I'm finally going home again!

The details are too delicate to share at this point in time but, suffice it to say, I am deliriously happy at the prospect of seeing my beloved hometown, and to be able to call it "home," once again.

current mood:  Ecstatic, Excited & Anxious
current music:  Sheryl Crow - "Home"

(c) 2004 A Southern Belle's Life

The Highly Sensitive Person 

'Sensitivities are a blessing not a weakness'

Self-Test Results

You have indicated that 21 of the items are true of you.


If you answered more than fourteen of the questions as true of yourself, you are probably highly sensitive.    But no psychological test is so accurate that an individual should base his or her life on it.    We psychologists try to develop good questions, then decide on the cut off based on the average response.    If fewer questions are true of you, but extremely true, that might also justify calling you highly sensitive.

current mood:  Sensitive
current music:  U2

(c) 2004 A Southern Belle's Life

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

A Rose Is A Rose ... 

"A rose by any other name would smell as sweet."
~ William Shakespeare

The last few days have been . . . well . . . shall-we-say . . . very stressful!     I won't go into details here but, . . . suffice it to say, I will not be using the phrase "what-else-could-go-wrong?" for fear of finding out.

I did receive a nice surprise, though, in the midst of all the turmoil.     I was gifted with a dozen long-stemmed roses.     And, not the usual red roses (which are not my favorite).     The giver took the time and effort to choose my favorites:

  •    Two Rust;
  •    Two Apricot;
  •    Two Peach;
  •    Two Yellow;
  •    Two Blush; and
  •    Two Cream.

I hope that my blog will become more animated and uplifting in the days ahead . . .

For now, I'm back to work, work, work . . .

current mood:  Overworked, Overstressed, and Overloaded
current music:  REO Speedwagon

(c) 2004 A Southern Belle's Life

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♪   I am

Susan Reno-Gilliland, known as "Miss Kitty," an Irish lass, a true Southern Belle; a writer, photographer, animal-lover, dreamer, stargazer, totally tangled (or is that entangled?) in relationships, slightly obsessive iNFp with stories to tell!    . . . (fascinated by forensics, human behavior, pushing all the right buttons of men I find interesting, and seeking utterly-sweet revenge without any repercussions.)     I am a Friday's Child.    Friday's Child is loving & giving.
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   World According To Tish, The
   Zen Wizard

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Misc. Links

   Mental Floss
   Urban Legends
   Criminal Minds
   Wish Jar Journal
   To Protect The Innocent

Personal Charities & Causes

   Breast Cancer Research

   Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric
      AIDS Foundation, The

   Leary Firefighters'
      Foundation, The

   Michael J. Fox Foundation
   National Center For
      Victims of Crimes, The

   Rape, Abuse & Incest
      National Network (RAINN)

   Red Cross, The
   Victory Junction Gang, The

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The WeatherPixie

Living somewhere, out there
in the Southeast, US of A