This Southern Belle's Musings

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

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Monday, January 31, 2005

Every Opinion Counts . . .  

Some may recall reading in a recent rant about the hotel that was being proposed in very close proximity to a historical landmark in Chattanooga, Tennessee.     In addition to signing the petition, and requesting that others do the same, I followed the proceedings closely as they related to the City Council meeting regarding the proposed hotel construction.     After the Council meeting, I read in the that a prominent Chattanooga businessman stood in support of the hotel's construction.     I refer you to the following opinion article that ran on January 26th (the day after the Council meeting) Change Doesn't Always Mean Progress.

I was flooding with e-mails of support for my stand on the issues.     In fact, the left my article in the top position for five days before moving it (practically unheard of by this newspaper as they rotate their opinion articles as they are received).     Several opinions that were received and dated after mine were moved directly into the "Other Opinion" Menu and were never featured on the main page.     This hotel is a very volatile issue in the City, especially in this election year for the mayoral race on March 1st.     I certainly hope that the 8,000+ names on the petition, and the community rally against the construction, will be enough to stop this travesty!

Category::   History / Politics

(c)   2005    A Southern Belle's Life

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Whaddaya Reading? 

Do publishers embed magnets into the spines of books?

My s.o. and I went out for breakfast this morning.     As usual, he took the AJC newspaper to read.     I took a book.     It seems that every time I take a book, thinking I can spend a leisurely time over breakfast reading, the waitress (or waiter, as the case may be) seems to think that I'm eager to talk about what I'm reading . . .

"What are you reading?"

"What's it about?"

"Is it any good?"

and, so on, and so on . . .

Or, every five minutes . . . "Is everything okay?"    "Can I get you anything else?"

When someone is reading . . . they really would prefer NOT to be disturbed!

Bother my s.o. -- he's reading the newspaper -- let him tell you to . . . well . . . just disturb him a few times and find out what happens!

Category::   Literature / Life

(c)   2005    A Southern Belle's Life

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Ink . . .  

. . . in an ice storm.

Okay, it probably doesn't sound like something that a "proper" Southern Belle would do . . . but, . . . this Southern Belle had new ink added to her person today.     Irregardless of the ice storm that was blanketing the Southeast today, I decided that it was the perfect time to venture out to the local artist, who comes highly recommended as the best in the area, to have a pair of retro Harley wings on my lower back.

At least it won't show when I'm wearing my "perfect" cotillion gown for all of the frou-frou balls!

If you're interested, here's something somewhat "similar" to what I got:

with the exception - my wings are black with gold and brown shading all through the body of the wings - and the bar & shield isn't bright orange, but more subtle in coloring, and the lettering is smaller.

Category::   Life

(c)   2005    A Southern Belle's Life

Friday, January 28, 2005

The Grocer Conspiracy 

Yes, as those who live in the South well know, there's a super-secret conspiracy between the grocers and the meteorologists to boost the sales of milk and bread during the Winter months.     Just *hint* at the possibility of freezing rain, ice, sleet or snow in the Southeast, and the grocery stores are over-run with frantic shoppers thinking they're going to be snow-bound for weeks.

Me?     I wouldn't have even ventured into the hysteria had it not been for the fact that the dogs had eaten all of the cat food last night, and the cats were sitting by their feeder this morning with a sad expression on their collective little faces.     So I was forced to enter the war-zone, better known as Ingles, to fight through the crowd of milk-and-bread warriors for a bag of cat food.

Right now, the skies are grey and ominous, the winds are howling, and the temperature is dropping.    I'm all safe and warm inside with a fire crackling, candles flickering, and music playing.     Is it going to sleet or snow?     Who knows?     But, the cats have food, the dogs have food, and the fish have food.      I don't drink milk, and there's plenty of bread already in the house . . . I guess we're ready for a blizzard . . .

[Update:   At 3:15 p.m. EST, It has begun sleeting - heavily - just north of Atlanta ... are we going to see bad weather this weekend after all?]

Category::   It's a Cat's Life

(c)   2005    A Southern Belle's Life

Sleep, Glorious Sleep 

I'm an insomniac!     Medications don't really help.     Even if I sleep, I don't rest, and I wake up exhausted.     The reason -- I suffer from sleep apnea.     When I was diagnosed at the sleep clinic four years ago, I stopped breathing something like 647 times within a six hour time frame of testing.     I was prescribed a CPAP machine.     But, to be honest, it is a hassle to "hook-up" every night, and I got out of the habit about three years ago.

If you're unfamiliar with sleep apnea, you can read about it here, although this doesn't tell the whole story.     There's more here at Women & Sleep.     I don't fall into any of the "typical" categories . . . I'm definitely not an overweight, middle-aged male . . . but, I do know that, after a recent doctor's visit -- at which time he said he wouldn't discuss my insomnia until I spent 30 days back on the CPAP machine, I have used it the last two nights and have awoke more rested than in a long time.     It may not be the most attractive sleepwear, but . . . sleep is a most wonderful thing!

Category::   Life

(c)   2005    A Southern Belle's Life

Am I Going, Or Not?!? 

. . . lost in a state of confusion (or, is that frustration)!     nothing derogatory aimed at anyone in particular . . . just my frustration venting

Here's the deal.     I'm the Activities Officer for our local H.O.G. (Harley Owners Group) Chapter, and there is a POT (Primary Officers Training) seminar scheduled in four cities this year.     Our group will be attending the one in New Orleans in March.     That's the good part.     The not so good part was going to be that the seminar sessions last a-l-l day, every day, and mixers are scheduled for each evening, so you don't have any "me" time to explore the city on your own during the time you're there.

Okay, back to another good part.     I was going to travel with the Director of the Chapter and his wife, and they were going to leave a day early (before registration the next evening) so that we would have time to spend exploring the city for a full day before registration.     We received our applications (via e-mail from the Director) to submit to Harley yesterday for early registration in the "hopes" of obtaining a spot in this POT session (as classes fill up quickly for every session!).     With that application, the Director also mentioned that we (himself, his wife, and I) were leaving the day before.

Now, back to another bad part.     Just a few hours later (if that), we (meaning the officers who are planning to attend) receive another e-mail from the Director who says that he and his wife have discussed it and have decided not to attend this year due to work obligations on both their parts, and they do not have the time to be away from work.     Now, suddenly, if I still want to attend, I have to arrange my own transportation -- either driving the 9-1/2+ hours, or arranging airfare (which will not be reimbursed) -- booking my own hotel room (and submitting a voucher for reimbursement from the Chapter later -- the rooms are approx. +/-$200/night), and traveling alone to New Orleans since all the other Officers who are going (with the exception of one, and her husband is an officer, too) are men, and will be riding their bikes.

The seminar is supposed to be a very important addition to your training as an Officer, and I really want to attend -- to learn more to help the Chapter grow and develop a stronger membership base.     I just don't like getting thrown for a loop when plans have been made and, supposedly, finalized for several weeks already.     I'm in a quandry but, I guess I'll handle it as a proper Southern Belle should -- I'll improvise, adapt, and overcome . . .

Category::   The Harley Life

(c)   2005    A Southern Belle's Life

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

The Martians Are Coming! 

. . . the Martians are coming!

Oh, wait!     They're already here . . . at least, they're on my BRAND NEW television!

Last night, I turned the set off and went to bed.      Everything was fine -- beautiful, brilliant, crisp, touchable colors and hues -- pictures to make you believe you could step right in.     This morning, the world is a much different place!     Everyone is green.     Green, I tell you.     Every person, every channel -- the faces, the hands, ever inch of body that shows -- all green.

In the middle of the night, while I slept so soundly in my bed, aliens took over my television.

Yes, there's already a service call into Best Buy!

Category::   Life

(c)   2005    A Southern Belle's Life

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Kick In The Bum! 

I had an appointment yesterday in Chattanooga, Tennessee with a professional associate whom I haven't seen in four years.     I never expected it to also include a good-swift-kick-in-the-bum . . . but, in retrospect, it was.     The man I met with didn't "buy" any of my excuses as to why I am failing miserably with my first draft of my novel, or why I find it impossible to push myself away from the Internet - surfing blogs for clicks - when I have research and "real" work that needs to be done, or even my lame excuses as to why I procrastinate over certain things that I "know" are necessary tasks that I just don't want to do.

So, today, I gave myself a time limit on the blog surfing - with more time spent reading than just clicking, I actually did some research on my book, I made some telephone calls that needed to be made, and I started planning a joint photography show with my s.o.'s cousin (he's a professional photographer - very talented!).     Now, I just have to keep this up!!

Also, the satellite company came out to install the HD/DVR-receiver upgrade on the new 52" HD television, and the DVR-receiver upgrade for the master television upstairs.     The installers brought the wrong HD-receiver upgrade (no DVR recorder) for the new television downstairs, so they are ordering the correct receiver, and will have to come back out to switch out the incorrect non-DVR for a DVR recorder that is also HD capable.

It may sound dull-and-boring but, . . . to be honest, . . . I feel like I actually accomplished more today than I have in days/weeks!     Now, if I can just  m-a-i-n-t-a-i-n  my initiative . . .

Category::   Life

(c)   2005    A Southern Belle's Life

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Television Tales 

My s.o. said, "let's take a ride" today and I asked, "are we going to the mall?"     I had visions of Victoria's Secret dancing in my head as we headed south toward Kennesaw.     But, when we reached the exit to the mall, he turned right instead of left toward the mall.     I said, "are we going to a movie?"     He just kept driving.     He then turned in toward hhgregg and said, "let's look at new televisions."

We looked at High-Definitions -- flat screens and plasmas -- and big screens.     After about forty minutes of working with a guy, we finally picked out a television and stand . . . only to be told by the guy that they had NONE of the televisions on the floor in stock.      Whatever we purchased would have to be ordered and delivered later in the week.

Oh, no, no, NO!     Not for instant-gratification people like my s.o. and I!

So, we said "thanks, but no thanks," and went right across the street to Best Buy.     A bigger, better television (52" screen DLP/High Definition) a better deal, a great matching stand, plus two free $150 gift cards (automatically received at the point of purchase).     We immediately used the gift cards to purchase a $150.00 television surge protector and I upgraded to Paint Shop Pro 9 for $129.99.     We moved our current big screen upstairs to the master bedroom, and moved that television into the main guest bedroom.     I'll be watching television in bed and be able to see everything on a 50" screen instead of the 27" we had in there.

For someone who was planning on cutting down on television time . . . well, . . . maybe later!     Right now -- I'm enjoying this great new television!

Category::   Television

(c)   2005    A Southern Belle's Life

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Long Day's Journey . . .  

What - a - day!

First of all, I had to attend our local H.O.G. Chapter meeting since I am the Activities Officer for the Chapter.     We had a terrific turn-out of members on a cold, rainy Saturday . . . and, discussed our plans for the upcoming year.     Afterwards, I spoke again with the Director to nail down the details of the P.O.T. (Primary Officers' Training) which I will be attending in March.     It is being held in New Orleans, and we will be there on St. Paddy's Day . . . yes, . . . this 'lil Irish girl will definitely find a little time away from all the day-long sessions of training to celebrate such a fantastic holiday in such a party town!

After that, I had to go help out at our new business since my s.o. said please.     It was a long . . . cold . . . day!     But, since I'm on the hook for the $850K for the business as well, I guess I should pitch in when needed.

Gee!     When you narrow it down to mere words, it doesn't seem like a lot, does it?     Trust me - it was a LONG day!

Category::   Life

(c)   2005    A Southern Belle's Life

Friday, January 21, 2005

Pardon My Rant, Part Three 

I'm originally from Chattanooga, Tennessee (that is, if you don't count that I was born on an Air Force Base).     Chattanooga means HOME to me.     But, there is something that is currently occurring in the downtown area that threatens to destroy the beauty and integrity of the historic, artistic and beautiful landscape that has been so finely developed over many years.     That threat is a proposed hotel, which is to be built practically touching the oldest and longest foot-bridge in the country (the bridge was closed for many years, slated for demolition, saved by the historical preservation society, and transformed into a bridge for foot traffic between the two art districts on either side of the Tennessee River).

First, here is an article that will give you a brief overview of the situation -- Cornerstones, TPL Should Fight Coolidge Hotel, and here is a link to the I Love Coolidge Park site, which shows photos that depict how the hotel will spoil the Park and Bridge's beauty and harmonious flow with nature.

Finally, the most-important link -- the Petition Page, where you can sign your name to the petition that will be presented at the City Council Meeting on January 25th.     All signatures will be GREATLY appreciated!

Downtown Chattanooga and the surrounding areas have plenty of hotels, motels, and B&Bs.     If another one is something the City feels it must do, then the least they can do is find another location for it rather than sticking it in the middle of a beautiful park and directly next to a grand historic landmark!

(leave me a comment if you sign the petition, please -- thanks!)

Category::   Rants

(c)   2005    A Southern Belle's Life

Pardon My Rant, Part Two 

When we returned to the South (after three long years in the shadow of our Nation's capital), one of the "treats" of the morning was getting to watch two hours of the televised segment of a regional/syndicated Alabama radio show with a huge following that was shown on a local Atlanta affiliate station.     Generally, everything was in good fun, good 'ol boy humor, semi-frequently interspersed with the two co-hosts professing their Christianity without hesitation or apologies.

Although, on more than one occasion, we had heard them "trashing" Anna Nicole Smith -- not just in passing -- but in a long diatribe of insults.     The first couple of times, I was disturbed, and actually called into the show once to express my opinion -- which I had to relay to an intern who "promised" to pass it on.

Finally, two weeks ago, I tuned in and heard the most outrageous insults being bantered about over Anna Nicole.     I'm not saying she's a good person, or a bad person . . . I'm saying it isn't our place to judge -- especially for two public figures who claim to be devout Christians.     So, I sent them an e-mail which read:
Name: [names withheld]
On Jan 12, 2005, at 7:52 AM

Hey, Guys!

I know you think it is humorous to make fun of Anna Nicole.     Of course, she has put herself into situations that have made her the butt of many jokes.     But, you have to remember, she was in a coma several years ago and sustained brain damage that caused some of the speech problems and other neurological problems.

I hear you guys talking about her a lot, and I feel sorry for her because she has had a lot of problems, and seems to be a very unhappy and searching soul.

And, these are the two comments I received back:
From: [name withheld]
Sent: Wednesday, January 12, 2005 11:09 AM
Subject: Re: Anna Nicole

"that is sad but being sloppy drunk and whoring around doesn't help with the sub human doubt she is lost..."

[name withheld]
The [names withheld] Show

-----Original Message-----
From: [name withheld]
Sent: Wednesday, January 12, 2005 11:31 AM
Subject: Re: Anna Nicole

"That and drugs & drinking."

[name withheld]
The [names withheld] Show

I was appalled by their flippant attitudes and comments.     At that very moment, I never tuned in again.     After almost a week, I decided to express myself one more time, in an attempt to make my point more clearly.     This is the e-mail I sent:
-----Original Message-----
Sent: Tuesday, January 18, 2005 11:04 AM
To: [names withheld]
Subject: Show Comments


I have been wrestling with this for almost a week now, and am really still at a loss as to how to approach it.     I have been a loyal fan since even before moving back from D.C. in September because I would tune in every time I would visit my parents in Chattanooga, Tennessee.     When we moved to Georgia in September, one of the high points of the morning was seeing two hours of your show each day on [station name withheld].

My s.o. and I were both so impressed with your stand for your convictions, the lack of fear that you displayed in discussing issues relating to Christianity - especially on a station such as [station name withheld], the guests that you would feature, and what seemed your non-judgmental signs of brotherly love and concern for others.

I have to admit that, after receiving the e-mails back from you -- [names withheld] -- regarding Anna Nicole Smith, I haven't tuned in since.     I'm not saying she's a good person, or a bad person . . . that isn't my place to say.     It's just that so many people listen and look up to you and your views and opinions, I would think that you would be a little more considerate in how you express them.

In John 8:7 it says,
He who is without sin, let him cast the first stone.
And, in Matthew 7:1 it says,
Judge not, lest ye be judged

The e-mail response I received back from this message basically said I was "judging" based on my comments.     Oh, well . . . I have two extra hours each morning to devote to other things and don't have to try to watch/listen to this show AND do something else at the same time.

I'm not claiming to be some high-and-mighty better person . . . I just think that people in the public eye should be held accountable for their actions, comments, views and opinions if they are:
  1.   High profile public figures;
  2.   Claiming to be Christians; and
  3.   Using a public forum to deliver their views and opinions.

Just, whatever you do . . . GET-OFF-OF-THE-FENCE . . . for pete's sake!     Pick one side or the other; but, don't keep straddling the fence, trying to pick from both sides -- that only tends to ride up in the crotch after a while . . .

Category::   Rants

(c)   2005    A Southern Belle's Life

Pardon My Rant, Part One 

I definitely don't want to sound like some other blogs I've read where the writers whine and bemoan the fact that they've not written in x-number of days for this reason or that.     Of course, I'm not talking about this blog, I update regularly here (as regularly as real life allows), but I am talking about my other blogs . . . which includes the blog where I answer all the silly memes-of-the-day/week, as well as my own meme page, my photo blog, and the two blogs where I post re-prints of my previously published columns.

To be totally honest, I just haven't been in a mood to be that dedicated to updating those blogs as regularly as this one.     There!     I said it!     No whiny excuses . . . no "poor-pitiful me" rantings . . .     just the truth . . .     I mean, jeez-louise, there's a lot more to life than living on the internet 24/7.     I have work to accomplish, and a house to maintain, and friends to see, and a life to live.

I'm not denegrating those that want to blog about not blogging . . . it's just that -- come on, folks -- we don't owe anyone an excuse for our absences.

And, we don't owe anyone an explanation for our expressions of our creativity on our own personal blogs.     I bring that up because I received a very negative comment a few days ago on my photo blog.     It was added to a list of comments, all praising the work and composition of the photo displayed.

The comment read:
Name: [name withheld]
Wednesday, 19 January, 2005 - 04:13PM
"This is pretty mediocre.   Ansel Adams you're not.   Sorry."

At first, I was quite taken aback -- and, in all honesty -- extremely hurt by the comments, because no one likes to have their work criticized.     But, then I decided to merely take the high-road and let it go.     So, here's what I posted on the same comment board on my photo blog (and I went to the person's own blog and posted something quite similar there as well).

My response comment read:
Name: Kitty
Wednesday, 19 January, 2005 - 06:43PM
"[name withheld], thanks for your feedback.     I never claimed to be Ansel Adams - nor would I ever attempt such a high feat - and I'm sorry you found the photos here to be merely mediocre.     But, that is the thing about life . . . everyone is entitled to their own opinions - thanks for sharing yours with us.     No need to apologize."

I felt good about my response to this.     I didn't let someone else's negativity get to me.

Back to writing -- I try to seduce myself into the false sense of delusion that if I'm writing in my blog(s), that constitutes writing.     Of course, in a sense, it does.     But, in the larger scheme of things -- especially since I am a writer/photographer/artist by profession -- blogging isn't going to bring-home-the-bacon, so to speak.     I end up spending time just blogging when I should be doing research, sending queries, contacting editors, writing (for real) . . .

can we all say   p-a-s-s-i-v-e---a-g-g-r-e-s-s-i-v-e?

Anyone have any words that will figuratively "kick-my-bum", and get me jump-started on the real tasks at hand?!?

Category::   Rants / Writing / Blogging

(c)   2005    A Southern Belle's Life

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Vanity, Thy Name Is . . . 

. . . well, . . . me . . . these days.

Today, as every Thursday for the previous three weeks, I'm heading to the Day Spa for my 11:00 a.m. appointment with Angie for my microdermabrasion treatment.     Or, in easier to explain terms, having your face bombarded with a contraption that resembles a sandblasting tool, shooting out tiny grains of a sand-like substance, only to have it then vacuumed off with a suction device that feels as if it is pulling your skin off of your skull in a way that would make even the Marquis de Sade proud.

The sessions last for approximately just over an hour, as the process is repeated three times each visit.     After six consecutive weekly sessions, then you are "allowed" to reduce your sessions to once a month for maintenance.     And, at $75.00 a session plus tip, once a month sounds like a bargain!

When I scheduled my first appointment, Angie and I discussed what I expected and why I wanted the treatments, and she was curious as to why I would feel I needed the treatments at my age.     When I asked what she meant, she said she didn't see any real problems, other than a few freckles that may be a bit darker than others (my Irish heritage showing) from some sun exposure, and said she usually didn't have clients as young as me.     I asked how old she thought I was, and she told me what she thought.     She was off by ten years!

Perhaps at that point I could have said, "Well, maybe you're right.     Maybe I don't need the treatments."    But, that only solidified the reasoning for having the treatments.     If I already look ten years younger than my age, and I refresh my skin with the microdermabrasion, I can fool Mother Nature (and everyone else) for many more years to come.     (Thank you, Daddy for these wonderful Irish genes!)

Category::   Health & Beauty

(c)   2005    A Southern Belle's Life

All "Dolled" Up . . .  

Since B. has a tendency to call me "doll," now it fits . . .

cute, huh?!?

Category::   Fun

(c)   2005    A Southern Belle's Life

Wednesday, January 19, 2005


Sometimes, in our scribbles, volumes are written . . .

I know that you "understand" exactly what I mean, Babe!       That doesn't mean the "timing" will get any better, though, does it?

Category::   Relationships

(c)   2005    A Southern Belle's Life

How Many Movies . . .  

. . . can one person watch in a year (and never leave their sofa)???

I do believe I am on my way to being a "well-rounded" videophile in 2005.     Aside from my 43 Things entry of watching all of the movies on my "Must-See" List, I currently have 74 movies in my queue.     These include classics, new releases, comedy, drama, horror, and documentaries.     As more 'new-releases' are added to the site, I'm sure more 'new-releases' will be added to my queue.

So far from my list, I have seen The Godfather, Part I and The Godfather, Part II, and those have already been returned.     I have The Godfather, Part III to watch, and three more movies will be on their way to me from     I'm glad I gave this a go -- especially since it is cheaper than NetFlix and, since my movies are shipped from Atlanta, they arrive in one day via standard US mail.     This is so much better than the in-store deal where you can only rent two movies at a time -- and you have to drive to and from the store.     Right to the mailbox -- what a wonderful concept for an avid videophile like me!!

Category::   Movies

(c)   2005    A Southern Belle's Life

Monday, January 17, 2005

What Is Friendship? 

I don't consider my reactions to recent events as over-reacting or, as my s.o. likes to refer to it, me trying to assign my morals, ethics and expectations on others.     I merely file it in the "common-courtesy" category, but you are certainly welcome to come to your own conclusions, as I certainly don't want to attempt to tell you how or what to think.

We recently visited with friends for the evening and I made a comment . . . very off-handedly and matter-of-factly . . . about a certain situation to the woman, and I was side-swiped by a comment back from her that raised a question of my heritage, parentage, lineage, and any other "-age" you may want to insert here.     Now, before anyone says I'm over-reacting, let me further add that this isn't the first time that . . . well, . . . I would classify things she has said as being snide, somewhat rude, comments . . . albeit in what appeared to be a feeble attempt at a joking manner.     I don't know if she is just lacking in some social courtesies, or if she is just somewhat passive-aggressive in her behavior.     I was taken aback and merely looked at her in disbelief that she would even say something of such a nature to me.

In another relationhip . . . one that I really should distance myself from for my own self-preservation . . . I keep allowing myself to be pulled into this woman's melodramas.     Furthermore, on the telephone and in person, I continue to allow her to dominate the conversations -- even to the point of interrupting me in mid-sentence (how rude!) to rattle off something completely off-topic of the conversation at hand, all due to some false sense of family loyalty that I possess.     I have bent-over-backwards for this woman -- emotionally, monetarily, time-wise -- and without ever a thank-you or any type of reciprocative show of friendship or family loyalty (or payback of the money she still owes me).     I understand that she is self-centered and egocentric; I guess I just expect her to one day miraculously change.

To be quite honest, I have better luck with those that I (personally) choose as my friends (rather than the family that I was stuck with -- with the exception of my parents; they are fantastic! -- or the friends that happen to be "joint" friends of my s.o. and myself)     I want to say that I'm extremely thankful for my best friends Vic (who needs to update her blog - *hint,hint*) and Brian, my literary colleague and secret-sharing friend Patricia, my MIA friend Marshall, and my new cyber-friend/phone buddy GreyBiker.     These are people that I believe would drop whatever they were doing if I called, and help me out in a moment's notice.     These are the kind of friends I prefer to surround myself with -- and, I'm lucky to have these five in my life!

Category::   Relationships

(c)   2005    A Southern Belle's Life

Get Your Number Here . . .  


You are a versatile and mercurial personality.    Freedom is the core component of your life.    You have the capacity to do almost anything, and probably quite well.     Being a clever and a quick thinker, you are unusually adaptable.     You are gifted in your ability to communicate.

Your thought processes -- like your life in general -- can be chaotic and scattered.     All of life is a playground for your senses.     But this can get you into trouble.     Any sort of boundary is allergic to you, which can blind you to your natural limits, and may cause you to overindulge in your desires.     Because of your unpredictable nature you tend to loose your credibility among your peers.

You are anything but faithful and so fall in and out of love frequently, especially early in life.     Your challenge is to develop mature and lasting relationships.     You will meet many types of people and travel great distances.     Your health is average.     You should guard against nervous breakdowns.

You can be a salesman, politician, lawyer, public relations person, and minister.     You are talented with your hands.     You love the new and untried.     However you should realize that self-discipline and setting healthy limits is the key to your success in virtually every area of your life.

You should endeavour to carry out your plans on all days that fall under your own number namely the 5th,14th,or 23rd of any month.    Your favourite colours are all shades of grey or silver.

Find your own number.

Category::   Numerology

(c)   2005    A Southern Belle's Life

Must-See List (43 Things) 

There are "classics" and "new-classics" movies that I've just never seen. This year, they are on my "must-see" list. I joined, and added all of the movies that I've never seen but want to see (i.e., the Godfather series, Citizen Kane, etc.) to my queue so that I will automatically have the movies sent to me for viewing when they rotate up in my queue.

Category::   Movies

  1.  Godfather I - DONE!;
  2.  Godfather II - DONE!;
  3.  Godfather III;
  4.  more-to-come . . .

(c)   2005    A Southern Belle's Life

50 Books in 2005 (43 Things) 

Between the books already in my library, the books on my Amazon wish list, and the books I've already ordered (in transit), having enough books to do this isn't the problem - finding the time might be an issue . . . but, I am going to do my best to accomplish this task!

Category::   Books

  1.  7 Habits of Highly Effective People (re-read) - DONE!;
  2.  The Artist's Way (re-read);
  3.  Writing Down The bones (reading);
  4.  Guerrilla Marketing for Free: Dozens of No-Cost Tactics to Promote Your Business and Energize Your Profits (soon-to-be reading);
  5.  more-to-come . . .

(c)   2005    A Southern Belle's Life

Friday, January 14, 2005

To-Do 2005 (43 Things) 

I've begun research on -- of all things -- a historical novel (with a "hint" of semi-biographical detailing). This would have been the *last* type of book I would have expected to undertake but, sometimes the writing chooses us, not the other way around.

To-Do 2005 (43 Things) 

Instead of "saying" I'm going to do it, 2005 will be the year I actually "actively" pursue shoppes and boutiques to carry my artwork.

To-Do 2005 (43 Things) 

Instead of "saying" I'm going to do it, 2005 will be the year I actually "actively" pursue shoppes and boutiques to carry my photographs.

To-Do 2005 (43 Things) 

Instead of merely tossing the newspapers into the recycle after my s.o. has read the paper, I want to read -- or at least peruse -- the newspaper on a daily basis ... if nothing more than to scan the headlines, the metro section, the lifestyle section, and the arts & books section. I am missing out on a wealth of information by allowing the newspaper to slip through my fingers this way.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Movies, Anyone? 

Category::  Movies

Well, since I brought up movies, and the music entry garnered such a response, let's try it with movies.     Here are my top five movies:
  1.   Casablanca;
  2.   The Bridges of Madison County;
  3.   Falling In Love;
  4.   The Whole Wide World; and
  5.   Violets Are Blue.

Of course, some of my other favorites are horror movies such as Texas Chainsaw Massacre II, House of 1,000 Corpes, Night of the Living Dead (the original "living dead" series), and so on . . . but, for tear-jerkers, I'll watch the five above 500 more times.     In fact, I'm not even going to admit to how many times I've seen each one before.

Now it is YOUR turn!     Let's hear YOUR top five movies.     Feel free to comment below.

(c)   2005    A Southern Belle's Life

Tugging At My Heartstrings . . .  

Category::  Movies

Channel-surfing can be dangerous to your heart.

It's true.     I had been listening to the satellite "New Age" music channel all morning while I worked but, this afternoon, something told me to *pop* up to the movie channels to see what was on.     One of my favorite movies was just coming on . . . so, I had to stop and watch.    The movie is Violets Are Blue, starring Sissy Spacek and Kevin Kline.

Why does it seem that all of my favorite movies have the same theme?

(c)   2005    A Southern Belle's Life

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Songbook . . .  

Category::   Music

Being such an avid (or, should that be rabid?) audiophile, when I first contemplated this question, I thought it would be very difficult to answer.     While driving yesterday, the thought crossed my mind . . . can you name your top five favorite songs?     My first thought after that was -- I would have difficulty naming my top fifty or top one hundred -- how could I ever reduce the years of music that have colored my life for as long as I can remember to a mere five?

But, after considering all of the songs that have been special -- in their time -- and, most that have found their way into my 400+ (which was at last count - it could be well over 500+ by now) CD collection -- I was still able to think of five songs that have consistently always brought back special memories and emotions whenever I hear them.     And, I think there also seems to be a theme to all of them as well.     So, without further ado, I give you my five favorite songs of all time:
  1.  Lyin' Eyes - The Eagles;
  2.  Ghost In Your Heart - Bad English;
  3.  Do I Have To Say The Words? - Bryan Adams;
  4.  Nothing Else Matters - Metallica; and
  5.  Endless Summer Nights - Richard Marx.

That doesn't mean that's all that you'll hear playing in my car, or on the AV system in the house.     More than likely, you'll hear Damageplan, or Nirvana, or Clarence Carter, or Barry White, or Poison, or Bob Marley . . . and, the list goes on and on . . .     But, when it comes down to songs that reach in and grab my heart, the five above do it every time.

So, now it is YOUR turn . . . in the comments below, let me hear your top five of all time!     When you start to think about it, you might be surprised by the answers you get . . .

(c)   2005    A Southern Belle's Life

Am I A Scorpio? 

Category::   Signs

Evidently, I'm very much like my sign, huh?!?

You are 90% Scorpio

(c)   2005    A Southern Belle's Life


Category::  Quizzes

Take the quiz:
"Which Greek god/goddess are you?"


You are Artemis!    Artemis was the virgin Goddess of the Hunt.    She helped women in childbirth but also brought sudden death with her arrows.     Artemis and her brother Apollo were the children of Zeus and Leto.     In some versions of their myth, Artemis was born first and helped her mother to deliver Apollo.

(c)   2005    A Southern Belle's Life

Monday, January 10, 2005

A New Week . . .  

Category::   This-n-That

I spoke to a very close friend of mine last Thursday -- someone who has been, and always will be, a major part of my life (okay, he's an ex, but we've remained the closest of friends).      I haven't seen him in over three years, and I haven't spoken to him in several months yet, as soon as he picked up the phone, it was as if we had spoken just the day before.     It has always been this way with us . . . for the last twenty-plus years . . . and, the hour and a half conversation was an inspiration to write about it.     So, I took out a notebook and pen at lunch and began writing my thoughts.     It is a-m-a-z-i-n-g what great service you get when you are writing -- the server is at the table (looking over your shoulder) at every opportunity, as if they expect you to be writing either your deepest, darkest secrets or the miracle cure for cancer right there at their station.     This server was -- very attentive -- to say the least.     She checked on me -- no exaggeration -- about every two minutes the entire time I was writing.     I'm sure it was frustrating to her that I would "strategically" place my arm over the paper whenever she would show up at the table.

In addition, Thursday was a hectic day all around.     I'm not going to whine or beg forgiveness for not posting to my blog in several days -- I'll admit -- life is hectic and, sometimes, blogging isn't high on the agenda list.     The last few days have fallen into that classification.     Thursday was an appointment with the aesthetician for the second in a series of microdermabrasion treatments, then on a search for a ring for another very close friend of mine (I finally found the perfect one), a couple of errands for myself, a couple of errands for my s.o., taking said products of the errand-runs for my s.o. to his store, sticking around to help out for a while, and going to dinner with my s.o. and one of my best friends.

Friday, I began the research for a book I'm writing.     It's in the infant stages, and the research is going to be time-consuming as it is a historical piece of (semi-biographical) fiction.     To be quite honest, if anyone asked what I would write, anything historical wouldn't even be on my list but, . . . this is going to be a sort of catharsis to exorcise a few demons from my past (or, I should say, from my grandmother's past).

I also joined, and have placed all of the movies from my "Must-See" classics list for 2005 in the queue, so they'll be on their way to me soon.     I logged on today and found that the Godfather series has already been shipped.     That will be three I can scratch off my list soon Godfather I, Godfather II, Godfather III -- with more to follow . . .

Saturday was unbearably long as my s.o. asked me to work at his new business to help out in greeting customers and billing out on the computer.     We were up at 5:45 a.m., out the door by 6:30 a.m., and at the business by 7:20 a.m.     He opens at 8:00 a.m. and closes at 5:00 p.m. (then we had to do day-ending and week-ending paperwork before leaving) and, believe-you-me, that was a l-o-n-g day, indeed.     We stopped for dinner afterwards, then to Saturday evening church (our church has a contemporary service on Saturday evenings and it frees up our entire Sunday, since it is s.o.'s only day off each week).     It was a long, tiring day, though.     When I did drag home and check the mail, a book I had ordered from had arrived.     Of course, I haven't even had time to bend the cover yet.

Sunday didn't go as expected.     I had plans to work on more research for my book, kick back and relax, and spend a quiet (lazy) Sunday afternoon with the Arts & Books section of the Atlanta Journal Constitution and my new book from Amazon then, perhaps, a nice little catnap in the middle of the day.     S.O. had other plans -- plans that involved dirty words like . . . cleaning, straightening, vacuuming, mopping, laundry . . . it didn't make my three day migraine any better -- it only made it worse!     But, to prevent dissention in the household, I pitched in.     I thought, if I get all of this done, I can still read my newspaper and catch a few winks but, alas, that wasn't to be the case.     I had forgotten that we had made a commitment to be at a neighbor's house for a meeting at 5:00 p.m.     There went the day *poof* no rest for the weary.

Today, I'm moving at a snail's pace . . . I really should be up and out the door already.     I have laundry to drop at the dry cleaners, I have a couple of stops to make for errands, and I have to go to the grocer for ingredients for lasagna.     One of my best friends is spending the night tonight and when I asked what he wanted for dinner, he put in his request for lasagna and garlic bread.     I try to feed him well when he visits as he doesn't get decent meals from his s.o. at home.     I don't want to be telling-tales out of school but, . . . suffice it to say . . . she's no cook nor a housekeeper, either.

Well, enough catching up . . . the clock is ticking and my day is passing way too fast -- I need to get a move on!!

(c)   2005    A Southern Belle's Life

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Be Resolutionary 

Category:   New Year

I know I said that I wasn't going to really get into all of the so-called resolution hype this year because, ultimately, it leads to disappointment and guilt when our resolutions fail.     I mean, jeez-louise, I haven't even transferred over all of my information into my new Franklin Planner pages yet for the year (birthdays, anniversaries, etc.).     But, I received something via e-mail from Franklin-Covey that made me reconsider bypassing resolutions altogether this year.     The following is attributed to Steven R. Covey, and is sound advice:

"Your power to choose the direction of your life
allows you to reinvent yourself,
to change your future, and to
powerfully influence the rest of creation.

- Steven R. Covey - "The Eighth Habit"

"Each January, most of us pick a few things we want to accomplish in the coming year.     That's a good thing.     When everything seems important, deciding on your highest priorities is the first step toward living the life you want.     Here are some simple tips to start you off.

1. Set one to three goals that you define clearly in writing.    Having too many goals makes it difficult to achieve the results you'd like.

2. Ask yourself why you want to achieve these goals.    Do they relate to your mission?    Asking yourself "why" helps clarify your goals.

3. Achieving new results requires new behavior.    Write down three behaviors you will have to change to reach each of your new goals.

4. Determine how you will measure your progress, and set deadlines for yourself.    Write your deadlines on your Planning Pages.    We respond better when we have a deadline to meet.

5. Keep your commitments."

                                              (c) 2005 FranklinCovey

I'm inspired . . . well, at least inspired to get my Franklin Planner up-to-date right now . . .

(c)   2005    A Southern Belle's Life

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

More Than Words . . .  

Category:   Writing

I have a love of words.     Not simply as a writer -- which would seem inevitable -- and expected -- but as someone who recognizes and appreciates the ebb and flow of how some words just evoke strong emotions or pleasant memories.     Likewise, there are other words that can illicit negative feelings as well.     That isn't to say that I sit around and read the dictionary on a regular basis but, just in my everyday reading, on television, in the news, on the internet . . . our senses are flooded with millions of words . . . many of which can create a specific reaction to just reading or hearing them.     We are literally bombarded by words and phrases that imprint themselves on our subconscious and, perhaps, even change our perceptions and views from that point forward.

I am especially fond of words that possess an ethereal quality.     Not necessarily in the "spiritual" connotation that some may associate with the word but, more simply, in the intangible sense of mystery that surrounds it.     In fact, not only am I drawn to words that possess that quality but, also, to that word itself.     It has an air of complexity and excitement that surround it like a cloud of gossamer frailty -- smoke and fog that could simply disappear right before your eyes.

There are also times that, no matter how hard you may try, words seem to escape you, and you cannot express what you most want to say.     Yet, it is amazing how someone else's words -- especially when found in a song -- can express your feelings better than you could ever attempt in your own feeble way.     Does it seem as if I'm talking in code, in some clandestine fashion?     Perhaps, that is true, if only fueled by a self-preservation instinct.     Even a wordsmith can find themselves lost for words when words are simply not enough to express emotions that are better left in a more surreptitious shadow.

I remember the first time I heard this song, the first time I played it when I bought the CD, the first time I taped it for someone -- and, ten years later, when I burned it to a CD for that very same person whom I had not seen in those ten years.     Life . . . mine, at least . . . has a way of bringing people in and out -- similar to the ebb and flow of the universe that surrounds us.     And, I like that ethereal quality to my life.

More Than Words

Extreme from Pornograffiti

Saying I love you
Is not the words I want to hear from you
It's not that I want you
Not to say, but if you only knew
How easy it would be to show me how you feel
More than words is all you have to do to make it real
Then you wouldn't have to say that you love me
Cos I'd already know

What would you do if my heart was torn in two
More than words to show you feel
That your love for me is real
What would you say if I took those words away
Then you couldn't make things new
Just by saying I love you

More than words

Now I've tried to talk to you and make you understand
All you have to do is close your eyes
And just reach out your hands and touch me
Hold me close don't ever let me go
More than words is all I ever needed you to show
Then you wouldn't have to say that you love me
Cos I'd already know

What would you do if my heart was torn in two
More than words to show you feel
That your love for me is real
What would you say if I took those words away
Then you couldn't make things new
Just by saying I love you

More than words

Listening to:   Earth: Voices of a Planet - Paul Winter

(c)   2005    A Southern Belle's Life

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

"Vickie" Is My Friend . . .  

Category:   Shopping

It seems my obsession with a certain lingerie establishment is a well-known fact among friends, family and even acquaintances.     I received not one -- but two -- telephone calls today from friends telling me of the Victoria's Secret Semi-Annual Sale.     My friend Missy in Indiana called to say she saw the ad on television, and my friend Patricia in Tennessee called to say she had seen the ad on the marquee at the mall.     I appreciated their thoughtfulness but, . . . having received the catalogue several days ago, I had already called and placed a rather large order via telephone and am expecting delivery any day now.

I have very few materialistic things that I can be quite obsessive about.     It just so happens that having three large highboy chest drawers filled to the brim with nothing but VS lingerie is one of them.     I do not own or wear any other type or brand.     And, since they also sell clothing through the catalogue, I have several pair of VS jeans, several angora and silk "poorboy" and "boyfriend" sweaters, and even a VS bathing suit.

My "addiction" may be expensive, but it isn't detrimental to my health as some other addictions are (just to my VS credit card).     And, if you think you may suffer from this addiction, too - don't feel bad - check out Victoria's Secret for all of the semi-annual sale prices.

(c)   2005    A Southern Belle's Life

Monday, January 03, 2005

New Year, New Look 

Category:  Blogging

. . . for one of my blogs, I mean.

I don't think I mentioned this before (and, I'm too lazy to look back at my entries to make sure right now) -- but -- I won the Door Prize two weeks ago in the BOB (Best Of Blog) Awards contest, which was a free blogskin designed specifically for me.     Cool, huh?!?

I decided that I really already loved my skins on this blog, as well as my Never Underestimate A Southern Belle (which I really need to update a.s.a.p.!), but I've never been satisfied with the lack of *pop* that my Good Girls Don't . . . But (Sometimes) I Do . . . blog had.     So, I asked the designer to revamp that blog.     I gave her my ideas, and chose Midnight In The Garden Of Good And Evil for the theme (fits, don't you think?), and she did a good job of interpreting that into a skin.      Now, I need to update that one, too.

Check it out and let me know what you think of the new design.     Feel free to leave your comments here.

(c)   2005    A Southern Belle's Life

Sunday, January 02, 2005

It's The Second, Now 

Category:   This-n-That

Today was my parents' anniversary.     I should have called them either very early (before they left for church), or right when they returned home from church this morning . . . but, . . . today was just one of those days, that I can't make any excuses for my lack of consideration, other than it was just filled with hectic -- yet mundane -- tasks, errands and chores that occupied most of the day.     I finally called my parents and spoke with my Father at 10:00 p.m.     What an inconsiderate child I am to wait so late!     I told him that "at least" I called before midnight, so it was still "technically" their anniversary.     [nothing like the amazing surprise party that I threw for them two years ago!     I planned it for months (it was their 50th), and all their friends were in on it.     I managed to coordinate it from 8-1/2 hours away (with the help of one of their friends), and we had a huge celebration with friends and relatives.     And, they were really surprised!]     What a horrible only child I am; especially when they tried for so many years to have me . . . and I don't give them the proper consideration on their special day.     Yes, I'm feeling a bit guilty over my lack of consideration.

In addition, today was filled with a lot of mundane activities.     My s.o. and I ran errands that included him picking up supplies for his new business, while I shopped for groceries.     We also stopped for lunch at Ruby Tuesdays, and stops at several stores for this-n-that.     It was just a long afternoon that really felt like walking-in-wet-sand.     Nothing moved at anything over a snail's pace, and the grey, dreary day didn't help, either.

I had plans for the day which didn't really materialize.     I needed to switch all of my information into my Franklin Planner for the new year -- didn't happen.     I needed to work on a couple of articles for some jobs -- didn't happen.     I did DVR the premiere of Henry's Film Corner, with Henry Rollins that debuted on IFC at midnight Saturday night.     I watched it this afternoon.     Some may already know, I'm a huge Henry Rollins fan -- aside from his music, I've seen his stand-up routines, and read his books . . . he is an amazingly articulate and intelligent man (with a great body, too).     I'm a big IFC fan anyway but, now, with Henry Rollins in the mix, I'm totally hooked on the channel now.

I did read my horoscope for the new year.     I'm just hoping that the "change of residence" was just a hiccup that I managed to achieve last September that, possibly, wasn't supposed to occur until this year.     Or, the whole thing could be a major crock'o.     Anyway, here's what it had to say:
Scorpio in 2005 - Transmutation
Scorpio, you can still expect changes - perhaps major ones - in your life this year, almost to the point of total transformation.     While this is most apparent in the area of your career, you'll see it showing up in other important aspects of your life.     Your life might take on an entirely new direction you've never dreamed of.     You may also change your residence during the year.     Whether you start the year as a single person looking for a partner, or you've been married for many years, happiness in love does lie ahead.     Be prepared for new horizons.     They may not be familiar, but they will be fascinating.     Don't cling to the banks; instead, flow with the tide in 2005.

Can we say totally G-E-N-E-R-I-C?

Enough of all of that . . . I'm off to bed.      Perhaps I'll be more productive tomorrow!

(c)   2005    A Southern Belle's Life

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Starting The New Year . . .  

Category:   New Year

. . . on the back of a Harley.

Who would ever imagine that the first day of the new year would see the temperature rise to 72 degrees F?     That's exactly what happened today - January 1st - so we joined our local HOG Chapter for the New Year's Good Luck Ride that took us to Rome, GA and Johnny Carino's Country Italian Restaurant for lunch.     The skies were a heavenly blue and the clouds were so white and fluffy - scattered across the sky.

We put a little over 120 miles on the bike today, and spent some quality nature time in the great outdoors.     The weather was unseasonably warm, and absolutely the perfect way to begin the new year!

(c)   2005    A Southern Belle's Life

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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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