This Southern Belle's Musings

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

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Friday, February 25, 2005

If You're Looking . . . 

. . . for wit and charm . . .

Right now, this isn't the place.

It is a chore to merely type.     Editing is such a hassle -- it seems that the words I have formed in my head look more like a chicken danced the minuet across the keyboard (in double-time, no less).       The words and meanings are incomprehensible - spell-check is even going "#%^&*#$, I don't have a clue what this chick is trying to say!!"

So, until the fog lifts, my body stops aching, my memory refocuses, and life returns to some semblance (trust me -- with me -- it will never be truly) normal, I guess my posts will be intermittent at best.

Have a GREAT weekend, Everyone -- and, BE SAFE!!

p.s. Oh, yeah - and my laptop died, too!

Category::   This Thing Called Life
(c)   2005    A Southern Belle's Life

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Today (May) Be The Day . . . 

Aproximately one week and one hour ago today, I suddenly lost all memories and recollections of a time frame that included the totaling of my car in another State.     The only thing I can remember somewhat vividly is the wretched stench that emitted from the two deployed air bags, the gentleman who stopped his car and said he would stay with me until help arrived and later on, the ability (or, I should say, inability) to type without correcting every word at least 3-5 times each.     I've always prided myself on speed and proficiency but, now, I'm typing gobbledy-gook.      The doctor said I had a mild concussion -- I think my brain rattled around in there like jello or something!

At least the Georgia insurance adjustor called yesterday with his report from the "independent" adjustor in Tennessee (who must make it a habit of sniffing the contents of expended air bags) and made us a low-ball offer on the car - minus - the decuctible off of that amount.     The car only had 58k miles on it, the leather interior was pristine (even after the accident -- we took photos yesterday), and it could had lasted another 200K+ miles or more with proper regular maintenance.

With my s.o. and the adjustor not even discussing figures in the same ball park, on the same street, in the same town, my s.o. merely said, "I don't think we're going to get anywhere like this.     I'll give your name and number to my attorney and ask him to give you a call this afternoon."     By the time the attorney, called the figure had risen to [revision as of 02/24/05 - don't ask where 13+ came from other than the fog in my jello brain] that should have read 2,500 over where he had started that morning, taking into consideration the reduction of the total amount by the deductible (over and above the settlement agreement).

So, this afternoon, I drop by the insurance agent's to sign over my title to my car, and they hand me a substantial check for my troubles.    After that, we have appointments at several dealerships to test drive a few cars . . . I have a couple of Saab convertibles lined up, as well as a Volvo convertible.      There's also two PT Cruisers -- one convertible, the other on isn't -- but, I've been driving a PT as my rental since the accident.     And, I also have some Sebrings in the mix, too -- I truly loved my white convertible with camel top and camel leather interior!

Now, if I could just regain my manual dexterity, thought processes, linear brain function, and clear my head of this fog that is making it impossible to type this simple post (which, by the way, has taken 49 minutes thus far - not one of my better days, to be sure.)     I need to ask that if I accept settlement on the car, if it will negate future medical expenses for my lost wages due to my brain's inability to form coherent sentences and phrases (without help).

As for everything else, it still really pretty much sucks a bucket of lemons, but thanks for askin'!

Category::   This Thing Called Life
(c)   2005    A Southern Belle's Life

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Keep Your Head Low! 

(at the earliest)

Monday, February 21, 2005

We're All In This Alone 

"Treasure each other in the recognition
that we do not know how long we
shall have each other."

- Joshua Liebman

"Life is a long preparation
for something that never happens."

William Butler Yeats 1865-1939,
Irish Poet, Playwright.

"Nunc scio quit sit amor."
Latin, -Virgil

I gaze upon the beauty of the perfectly-selected long-stemmed tulips . . . pristine white, pale pink, and crimson rose . . . standing soldier-straight on stalks of pale green in a crystal vase . . . delivered right to my door with a card filled with sentiments.     I should be overwhelmed by such a gift since the usual sentiment that surrounds flowers is "they'll just die" and, therefore, I usually never receive any.

And, yet, after all that has happened in the last two weeks, it is as if everything is backwards -- out-of-whack -- not occurring on a normal plane . . . as if someone has taken l-i-f-e and adjusted the video . . . fast-forward, rewind, playback, slow-motion, pause, 1/2 speed, 1/4 speed, freeze-frame . . . nothing is as it should be.

I am unable to wrap my mind around all that is happening . . . I cannot fathom the depths of the pain and heartaches that surround me . . . I wish the mere beauty of books, and poetry, and flowers could ease the agony that is ravaging my soul . . . but, they cannot . . .

Category::   This Thing Called Life
(c)   2005    A Southern Belle's Life

Saturday, February 19, 2005

The Dogs Of War 

"War may sometimes be a necessary evil.
But no matter how necessary,
it is always an evil, never a good.
We will not learn how to live together
in peace by killing each other's children.
Jimmy Carter,
US diplomat & Democratic politician (1924 - )

I'm breaking my own rules . . . I'm writing about subjects that I consider off-limits for me, and my blogs.     But, considering the hellacious week I've just experienced, I'm entitled to a little latitude, don't you think?

  • Monday I received a call from the plastic surgeon that three of the six places he removed last week were cancer.     He strongly suggested leaving the top up on the convertible from this point on, and investing in SPF 45 sunscreen, citing the fact that a fair-haired, freckled Irish gal doesn't need to be exposed to the sun;
  • Tuesday was another doctor's appointment to tell me that they still don't know what's causing my problems, but I do have an elevated white count, some type of undeterminable bacterial infection, and an enzyme imbalance in my liver.     To top that off, they scheduled me for early the following morning at the hospital for even more tests;
  • Wednesday morning -- I total my convertible in a freakish accident.     I guess the plastic surgeon got his wish . . . I'm transported to the hospital (the very hospital I was on my way to for testing) and am seen in the ER before being transferred to the diagnostic center for tests;
  • Thursday, my doctor's office calls to say the ER results are back and I have several cracked ribs, a slight concussion and a bruised liver . . . so, just take it easy and rest; and
  • Friday, my friend who wasn't given the final clearance to leave with his Seabee battalion this past Monday due to a blown ACL and accompanying surgery last year, received word yesterday afternoon that the only other member of the battalion with clearance and certification on the equipment that he is certified on *popped* out and is being sent back home, so my friend has to leave on 03/07, meet up with his batallion without benefit of any combat training, and ship directly out to Iraq with the rest of his batallion at that time.     He will be gone a minimum of nine months, perhaps longer.

"What difference does it make to the dead,
the orphans and the homeless,
whether the mad destruction is wrought
under the name of totalitarianism
or the holy name of liberty or democracy?
Mahatma Gandhi,
"Non-Violence in Peace and War"
Indian ascetic & nationalist leader (1869 - 1948)

I have tried not to discuss politics, or war, or personal problems, or truly intimate affairs in detail . . . as my blogs -- although personal -- are still "out-there" for everyone to see, and I'm just not sure how much of my life I want to share with the world.     But, after this week, nothing seems to matter . . . it is all just a blur with no beginning and no ending - just frames out of focus.     I simply feel helpless when all I want to do is make it alright.

"If a problem has no solution,
it may not be a problem, but a fact -
not to be solved, but to be coped with over time.
Shimon Peres,
Israeli (Polish-born) politician (1923 - )

The problem lies in . . . I'm not coping . . .

Category::   This Thing Called Life

(c)   2005    A Southern Belle's Life

Friday, February 18, 2005

Home . . . 

It's odd how the things that you see on an everyday basis suddenly take on a new look -- a new meaning -- when you find yourself staring at them for long periods of time.     Being (basically) confined to this leather sofa for the last two days, unable to move very well from all of the aches, pains, and bruises caused from the car wreck, I'm seeing my room in a whole different "light," so to speak.     The open concept between the family room, living room, breakfast room, foyer,and stairwells leading up to the upper landing and down to the lower landing give the sense of not being closed in (even though I am).     And the five floor to ceiling windows in the family room, the two in the living room, five in the breakfast room, the three glass transoms over the entrances to the living room and dining room (one each from the foyer, and one from the LR to the FR) brighten the rooms even more.     The foyer is flooded with light from the glass-paned door and side-light windows.

The two antique pieces of stained glass from our last house (the 107 year old Victorian farmhouse) that hang -- framed -- from the top moldings on each of the living room windows by chains fill that room with amazing shades of color.     And all of the antique pieces that are located all through the house, juxtapositioned with new (often technologically-advanced) pieces seem to fit together perfectly.     There are living plants in each room, many over 10-15 years old that have moved as many times as we have during those years, and are still growing strong.     The artwork, the sculptures, the paintings, the prints, the photographs -- some mine, some friends/acquaintances, and some total strangers -- all mixed in perfect harmony.     There's a timeless age to the rooms . . . no way to date them by merely glancing at single objects.

As I look around, I remember how/where I got many of the things that grace my surroundings.     Some were gifts, some were special finds in little out-of-the-way antique shoppes and junque-palaces, and some were "ahh-ha" moments when a piece spoke to me so loudly that I could not pass it by.     And the comments and compliments I receive when visitors stop by are nice -- but, it is the feeling I get when I sit -- all alone -- that makes everything all worthwhile.

Even if I didn't have my degree in interior design -- or, I could say, in spite of the fact that I have my degree -- my home says "Me" in a way that is easily identified and recognized by all who really know me.

Category::   Nesting / Home / This Thing Called Life

(c)   2005    A Southern Belle's Life

Thank You, James! 

One day last week, Kathy and I met at my favorite restaurant Kanpai of Tokyo which, amazingly enough, I haven't been to since moving back South.     We met for lunch and, because we were in the last lunch group to be seated (they close between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. to prepare for dinner), the restaurant closed and we were still in a "chatting" mode.     We decided to go (basically) next door to Olive Garden for after-lunch drinks to finish our conversation.

We sat in the bar area and had a very cute waiter (long, dark, curly hair and dark eyes - mmmmmmmmm!).     His name was James.     I knew what I wanted to drink, but Kathy didn't.     He suggested she try a "Southern Belle."     Well, of course my ears perked up when I heard this -- a drink named for me . . . Oh, My - How Nice!

We asked James what was in it, and he said there were at least 3-6 different ways to make it . . . but, he had his own special variation that didn't show up in any of the Drink Mixer Dictionaries.     Kathy decided to have one.     I stayed with my tried-and-true Amaretto, but James brought me a small shot of the Southern Belle to taste.     It was divine!

I've done a search in several Mixer Dictionaries, and also on-line, and here's the two recipes I've found:

1/2 Benedictine
1/2 Brandy
1/2 White Creme de Cacao

-- OR --

1-1/4 oz. Tennessee Whiskey
3/4 oz. Triple Sec
8 oz. Pineapple Juice
2 oz. Orange Juice
Splash of Grenadine

Neither of those are James' recipe . . . here is James' SECRET recipe for his FABULOUS drink (and he was sweet enough to share the recipe with us, as long as we promised to come visit him again).


1 oz. Southern Comfort
1 oz. Peach Schnapps
1 oz. Triple Sec
4 oz. Pineapple Juice
4 oz. Orange Juice
4 oz. Cranberry Juice
Splash of Grenadine
Serve in a Tall Glass

He told me I could consider it my "own" special drink . . . for a very special Southern Belle.     Rather a kind gesture -- especially after the weeks I'd been having (and the tragic accident yet to come five days later)!    Thanks, JAMES!!

And, for anyone who is wondering -- the answer is NO -- I wasn't drinking at 8:00 a.m. in the morning when I wrecked my car!     It was raining, the roads were slick, and the shoulder of the road had recently been repaired.     I was not "impaired" in any way, in the least!

Category::   Something New

(c)   2005    A Southern Belle's Life

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Crash, Boom, Bang 

Tuesday was the day I was to drive back to Chattanooga for another doctor'a visit -- another one for them to tell me that the vials of blood they have drained over the last two sessions, along with the day-long ultrasound sessions at the imaging center are still not enough to determine the actual cause of the problem(s).     Tuesday, they scheduled a test for 8:30 on Wednesday morning at their north hospital branch.     I could have either driven all the way back home (which approximately is 100+ miles one way - with a long drive back early the next morning, or I could spend the night at Kathy's house, which is only about 12 miles from the hospital).     I opted for a sleep-over.

I got up in plenty of time, left early, took a route I knew like the back of my hand, followed it until is was approximately 1.5 miles from the hospital and, in the rain, my back wheels hit a slick spot in the road and the car started to 'fishtail' and I couldn't adjust to get control of the car. The front started sliding, too and, as they say, everything went in to slow motion, and my car slid off of the road, down onto a lowered shoulder, and off into a culvert (that's a large drainage ditch for the non-southerners who might be reading this).     My car bottomed-out, blew out both front tires, deployed both air bags, shattered the front windshield and, basically, became a shell of its former beautiful self.

Is it Karma . . . Bad Fate . . . or some other mysterious forces at work here.     Yesterday -- but long after everthing had settled down -- did I remember that the 16th of February was the day I bought my car . . . and the 16th of February is also the day l lost my car.     My beautiful white convertible has come full-circle.

As for me . . . I'm bruised, and sore, and hurting on every inch of my body -- not in the best frame of mind for being my charming, blogging self.     And, before anyone says it . . . Yes, I know I'm lucky that nothing worse happened but, to be honest, it's not a very comforting phrase right now.

Category::   This Thing Called Life

(c)   2005    A Southern Belle's Life

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

You . . . 

Your words are hollow; the empty utterances of whispers without emotion.

You abused my trust with the uncaring disregard of a stranger without feelings.

You raped my very soul with your disassociated absence from our relationship.

When you said you needed me, you lied.     When you said you loved me, you lied.     When you said I was the only one . . . oh, how you lied.

Category::   This Thing Called Life

(c)   2005    A Southern Belle's Life

Monday, February 14, 2005


"Love consists in looking together in the same direction."

- Antoine de Saint-Exupery

If it were only as easy as famous quotes make it sound, huh?!?

Category::   This Thing Called Life

(c)   2005    A Southern Belle's Life

It Isn't All Hearts & Flowers 

Valentine's Day, and everyone expects hearts and flowers, and cards that shout "I love you."     But we have something unique, something non-conventional, something deeper, and stronger.     I'm not one to trust too early or too easily, or to let someone in too close, but you were different.     With all of our shared secrets, and all those long talks, all those late nights, we knew each other . . . intimately -- it wasn't just physical; it was emotional, psychological, spiritual, deep into the soul.     The days turned to weeks, which turned into months, which turned into years -- the connection became a part of life, as much a part of our very existence as breathing, or sleeping, or merely being.     How could I have known that those words that you so easily uttered were filled with lies?

Those deep-brown puppy dog eyes and that unassuming shy demeanor were just an act -- an act perfected by years of practice at lying and cheating with little boy charms and cautious flirtations.     Do you even know how to tell the truth?     Do you know the difference between true emotion and a line used to get what you want?     Do you even have the capacity to experience real emotion?     The words that meant so much quickly meant absolutely nothing when it became obvious that you merely tossed those words around freely without forethought or emotion to any and everyone that you were trading epithelials with in whatever situation you managed to arrange.     What good is an "I love you" if you say it to anyone that you happen to be swapping bodily fluids with if there is no soul connection?     Then, it is only cheap words that mean nothing.

Now that responsibility is staring you in the face, are you still going to try to avoid it?     This is the ideal time for you to be a man, to accept what life has given you, take control of your actions, "step-up-to-the-plate" and get your life together.     You can't continue to live the way you've been living -- or, should I say, barely existing.     You have more than yourself to think about now.     Suddenly, for the first time in many years, it isn't just all about you.     Although, I don't think you'll change, and because of that, you have already set the wheels in motion for the outcome of this situation.     I don't think you can give up your habits, hobbies, cheating and lying.     So it will be up to me to make the most ultimate sacrifice in this situation for the best interest of everyone involved.     Once again, it comes down to me surrendering to protect you.     But, the other party should be very happy with the news once I set the wheels in motion from my perspective . . .

So, I guess all that's left to say is . . . Happy Valentine's Day!

Category::   This Thing Called Life

(c)   2005    A Southern Belle's Life

Friday, February 11, 2005

Thank You! 

My planned hiatus was thrown for a loop by circumstances completely out of left field, and out of my control.     But, in true Southern style, I improvised, adapted, and overcame . . .

I want to say a great-big THANK YOU to my Southern Harley cohort, Grey Biker for being a good friend (and ignoring my psycho-ramblings as best he could -- and not calling the men in the white coats with the funny jackets and really, really long sleeves!).     Thanks, Darlin' for being there when a girl needed a big, hunky shoulder and no judgment lectures!

And, a great-big THANK YOU to my best friend Vic in Pennsylvania who ignored all of the Cingular dropped signals at 80-90 m/p/h, the fact that I didn't stop to take a breath for at least forty-five minutes, and ended every sentence with a profanity (actually the same profanity) -- used like punctuation marks to denote the ends of sentences (since I wasn't really pausing for "effect").     I'm also glad she "suggested" that crashing my tiny, 'lil convertible into all of the semi-tractor-trailers on the Interstate as we were [I was] talking was probably not the most sane decision I would be making that day considering the size differences.

And, a great-big THANK YOU to another best friend Missy in Indiana, who merely called to tell me about a book she was reading that she wanted me to read.     Although I wasn't going to say anything to her, she knows me well enough to hear that "something wasn't right" in my voice.     Although all three were completely different in their reactions, approach and opinions, all three helped me put the situation into a better perspective . . . one that I can control.

And, a honorable mention Thank You to the guy in the red pick-up truck who flirted all the way back down the Interstate when I was on my way back home yesterday afternoon.     Although the answer to that Jeopardy question would be . . . "What is . . . no way in h*ll, Alex?"     DING, DING, DING -- that is the correct answer . . . the guy was still cute for giving it a go at 80 m/p/h.

So, THANK YOU to everyone who helped me get through my Thursday.     Anyone up for Friday duty?     Just kidding!

I'm off to another appointment in Chattanooga today (I couldn't get them both coordinated for yesterday) . . . more Interstate traffic - woooo-hoooo!     But, I think I'll hit the Mall, and the Harley dealership, and Barnes & Noble after my appointment . . . shopping helps me feel better!

Category::   This Thing Called Life

(c)   2005    A Southern Belle's Life

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

36-Hour Hiatus 

In becoming so caught up in the frenzy of addictive-surfing through the latest traffic-generating sites (i.e., BlogClicker, BlogExplosion, and BlogAzoo), I've lost sight of what is really important about my work as a legitimate writer, photographer and artist.     In the sprint to "drive-more-traffic" to [our] sites, [we've] or, I should say, "I" -- as I would not want to assume to speak for anyone else without knowing their true, underlying motives -- have traded some of my integrity and principles for things I thought might have a broader appeal to the surfing masses.     This is not only cheating those who might visit my site, but is also denigrating the quality of my work in the process.

And, so it is that I am instituting a self-imposed hiatus beginning immediately upon publication of this entry.     For the next thirty-six hours (at least), I will not turn on the desktop or the laptop.     I will pick up a book (or two) and read.     I will listen to classical music.     I may even pack an overnight bag and check into a hotel for a change of scenery.     No television, no newspapers, no magazines, no radio, no cell phone . . . just an influx of sensory renewal.     Scented candles, soft music, interesting books, delectable foods, perhaps a glass a wine, a jacuzzi soak, lavender-misted pillows and no alarm.

If this mini-vacation from technological overload doesn't reawaken my comatose Muse, I may be forced to take more drastic measures to jumpstart the creative flow once more.     But, let's first give this hiatus a chance for renewal of the body, mind and spirit.

Category::   This Thing Called Life

(c)   2005    A Southern Belle's Life

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Which ... Pin-Up ... 

You are Marilyn Monroe!

You're Marilyn Monroe!

What Classic Pin-Up Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla


Forgive me for being "out-of-the-loop" as far as the cool Internet folks go but, imho, I'm not finding Firefox to be the end-all everyone raves on and on that it is supposed to be.     To hear the tales, I expected it to not only allow me magnificent surfing abilities, but to also wash my windows, scrub my floors, clean out my fridge, carry out the trash, walk the dogs, scoop the kitty litter, and make my dinner . . . I mean, . . . honestly, . . . from all the ranting-and-ravings I've been reading, that's the impression I got.     To be honest, I can't even seem to keep more than two Foxfire windows running at the same time.     If I open three, one will suddenly just "disappear" into thin air without any forewarning.

And, although the same folks who are touting Firefox as manna from the gods are also calling MS I/E the spawn of satan, . . . well, . . . at least I/E displays my blogs the way they are supposed to be viewed.     Firefox completely "misplaces" one of the background graphics, deletes all of the right column data, and only displays one and three-quarters of the blog entries (leaving the whole center column missing any data below the next to last entry, including the comment section) in this very blog that you're reading now.

If this makes me an Internet dinosaur, so be it.     At least with I/E I'm not suddenly searching for browsers that have mysteriously vanished, and I can view my web pages as they were meant to be viewed (in their entirety).

I don't think that's too much to ask, do you?

Category::   Internet

(c)   2005    A Southern Belle's Life

Monday, February 07, 2005

Books, Movies, & Life . . . 

I, at this very moment in time, have 128 movies in my queue.

And, there are some movies coming to the theatres in the next few months that also look like they might make my 'must-see' lists.     In addition to the commitment I made to see 'certain' movies that I've not seen before (old and new classics, and ones I missed for whatever reasons), I also made a commitment on 43Things to read at least 50 books in 2005.     I have five new books waiting in the wings, not counting the two I'm currently re-reading, and the one I'm reading for the first time, consecutively.     I have some serious research to do for my own book that involves some travel, as well as logging some major hours in the library stacks and microfilm reels.

When will I have time for all of these things?     I mean, all of these things, . . . and, . . . life -- the ordinary, every day, mundane things that constitute life?     What about the fun things?     Friends?     Family?     Entertainment?     Just hangin' out?

I haven't seen some of my friends in months . . . some much longer than months . . .

I haven't been to the museum, to the opera, to the symphony, to the theatre in . . . I can't remember the last time.

Work is just . . . work -- nothing enjoyable -- just work . . . not the rush it used to be.

My art is suffering . . . I can't tell you the last time I took photos for the enjoyment of making pictures.     I can't tell you the last time I made art for art's sake.     A situation arose last Saturday that caused the meeting between myself and my s.o.'s cousin to have to be postponed.     We were meeting to discuss the details of a joint photography showing -- tentatively slated for early Autumn -- but, with both of our schedules so hectic, it may be weeks (or longer) before we can reschedule our planning session.

How I long for a repeat of last April . . . talk about a "jump-start" to creativity!     We traveled back to one of our favorite spots on the West Coast and spent a week in a secluded B&B . . . early mornings on the beach to watch the sun rise . . . early evenings watching the sun set . . . a rented convertible -- driving up the Pacific Coast Highway to Big Sur -- plenty of books to read while lying on the beach and while sitting in the porch swing outside of our bungalow by the fire each evening -- bike-riding around the quaint little town, taking in all the sights, sounds, and inspirations.

Now, with the new business just getting up and running, there's no way we can get away . . . how can I find my muse again?

Category::   Movies / Books / Life

(c)   2005    A Southern Belle's Life

My "Cat" Personality 

You are a random cat!     Also known as an alley cat or a mutt.     You aren't given to high-falutin' ways, but you're accessible and popular.     People love you for who you are, not what you are.

What breed of cat are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Sunday, February 06, 2005

I've Been Cheating . . .  

I confess . . .

I've been cheating . . .

For practically twenty years, I've been faithful to Clinique -- skin care, hair care, make-up -- faithful, never straying.     I've always followed my 3-step skin care regime, only using Clinique make-up, Clinique hair products, Clinique sun protection . . . well, . . . you get the idea.

But, in the last six weeks, I've been cheating on my beloved Clinique.     I've found a new love.     I have found a new stylist, and a new aesthetician, at a terrific Day Spa that uses only Aveda products, and I've already switched all of my hair care and skin care products to Aveda.     The make-up and sun protection will be next.

This also helped with the decision:

Connecting beauty, environment and well-being.

01. We believe in treating ourselves, each other, and the planet with care and respect.
02. We believe social responsibility is our responsibility.
03. We believe ecological and profit goals are mutually achievable.
04. We believe our authenticity and experience are our points of difference.
05. We believe in inspiring and educating people to integrate wellness and beauty in their lives.
06. We believe in the power of oneness: from our global image to a focused network.
07. We believe learning never ends.
08. We believe in encouraging innovation and empowered decision-making.
09. We believe our actions, products, and services should always embody excellence.
10. We believe personal and organizational balance is the key to sustainable success.
11. We believe true leadership is delivered with passion and by example.
             ~ AVEDA Visions & Beliefs

Hopefully, you won't judge me too harshly . . .

Category::   Life

(c)   2005    A Southern Belle's Life

The Weekend, A Second Look 

Nothing ever goes as anticipated . . . I mean, honestly, if you expect things to go as planned, you're probably in for quite a few bumps-in-the-road.

Friday night was a fun night.     We went to Bugaboo Creek Steak House, where I was quite taken with the talking Moose.     The food and drink were very delicious, and the company was most enjoyable as well.     Charles even had to kiss the Moose puppet when the wait-staff sang "Happy Birthday" to him.

Saturday night didn't materialize as planned.     I had to go to work with my s.o. all day -- it was insanely-busy!     It didn't slow down at all until we turned the "Open" sign off, shut all the doors, and turned out all of the lights.     So, his cousin (and cousin's wife) didn't make the trip down for us to discuss putting together a photo show for later in the year.

His cousin is a professional photographer, and also travels most every weekend photographing dog shows (in addition to his weekday work as a photographer for the local newspaper), so he has very little time for anything else.     We are going to try to re-schedule another weekend meeting some time in the next several weeks (when there isn't a dog show somewhere in the U.S.) to try to plan our own showing for later in the year.

Now, for this evening -- it's still Super Bowl Sunday!     There's a party here tonight . . . I'm not sure how much of a celebration it is going to be . . . considering . . . but, that's another story . . .

Right now, I'm not going to stress over it.     Perhaps chocolate, or sugar, or salt, or something else entirely might take the edge off of the upcoming events -- time to rummage the pantry shelves . . .

Category::   Life

(c)   2005    A Southern Belle's Life

Friday, February 04, 2005

Baggage . . . 

We all have baggage . . .

For my baggage, I need a U-Haul . . .

but, at least, I can carry all of my baggage in designer luggage . . .

~ Kitty

Category::   Life

(c)   2005    A Southern Belle's Life

A Brief Relief . . .  

Did fate pre-plan my three-day weekend prior to (or, is that, in light of) recent events that have occurred?     To be honest, it hasn't been the greatest week but, there won't be much time to dwell on the details until Monday.

Tonight, we're heading to Kennesaw to an upscale restaurant to meet our Harley-riding friends Charles & Barbara (and a group of their friends) to celebrate Charles' birthday prior to them leaving for a trip to Hawaii followed by a cruise of the islands.    Charles and Barbara are such fun, and I'm sure their friends will be, too . . . so, I'm sure the night will be filled with good times.

Tomorrow night, my s.o.'s cousin Mark and his wife Rachel are driving down from Chattanooga to visit.    This will be the first time we've seen them since moving back from D.C.     Mark is a professional photographer, and has a wonderfully-artistic eye.     I have been encouraging him to pursue some shows for several years now, but he has never taken the plunge.     So, I decided that, instead of just encouraging this year, I would be proactive instead.     So, during their visit, Mark and I are going to work on a "game-plan" for at least one joint showing this year (hopefully more).     I thought, perhaps, if I worked with him on a show, he might be more inclined to follow through.     So, in addition to hanging out and catching up with them, he and I are also going to talk "business" for a while, too.

Then, Sunday is, of course, Super Bowl Sunday.     We're hosting a Super Bowl Party for some friends and some employees of my s.o.     So, I'll be "Miss-Polly-Homemaker," whipping up snacks and such for the party.

But, once the weekend is over, the realities of this week will come back full force!

Category::   Life / Celebrations

(c)   2005    A Southern Belle's Life

Thursday, February 03, 2005

When We Two Parted 

When We Two Parted

When we two parted
In silence and tears,
Half broken-hearted
To sever for years,

Pale grew thy cheek and cold,
Colder thy kiss;
Truly that hour foretold
Sorrow to this.

The dew of the morning
Sunk chill on my brow --
It felt like the warning
Of what I feel now.

Thy vows are all broken,
And light is thy fame;
I hear thy name spoken,
And share in its shame.

They name thee before me,
A knell to mine ear;
A shudder comes o'er me --
Why wert thou so dear?

They know not I knew thee,
Who knew thee too well: --
Long, long shall I rue thee,
Too deeply to tell.

In secret we met --
In silence I grieve
That thy heart could forget,
Thy spirit deceive.

If I should meet thee
After long years,
How should I greet thee? --
With silence and tears.

Lord George Gordon Noel Byron (composed 1808)
22 January 1788 - 19 April 1824

Category::   Relationships

(c)   2005    A Southern Belle's Life

In A Split Second . . .  

. . . everything can change.

You never expect when the telephone rings, or the doorbell chimes, that life -- as you've just known it to exist -- is about to change forever.     But, that's exactly what happened yesterday.     And, in the grand scheme of things, to many, it wouldn't seem so earth-shattering but, as it relates to my world, it's difficult to get my head around.

Logically, I can fathom the pros and cons from a spreadsheet approach (and, isn't that how you were asking me to look at it?) but, from an emotional position, logic means nothing when rhythm and heartbeat are completely disrupted.     You're actually asking, not only for my opinion, but my permission, and that truly isn't fair.     If I say it is a bad idea, you'll eventually resent me for it; and, if I say it is a good idea, I'm slowly losing you in the process.

So, whichever decision you ultimately make, it will be your own, without my input or influence.     And, you'll "own" the decision (which, if we're both honest, you've already made, haven't you?).     But, please be sure to let me know, ever time you look down at your right hand and see that gold band with diamonds, if money really is more important than love.     (I'm sure "she" told you it was; that's how you ended up in this mess in the first place.     Remember that ever time you look down at that solid gold band on your left hand!)

Now, if I could just get Stevie Nicks and Tom Petty out of my head!

Stop draggin' my...
Stop draggin' my...
Stop draggin' my heart around.

Category::   Life / Relationships

(c)   2005    A Southern Belle's Life

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Lions, Tigers . . .  

. . . and Stalkers, Oh My!

Luckily, I currently have friends in law enforcement who:
  •   can run background checks;
  •   know the ins-and-outs of the legal system; and
  •   have my back, like good friends should.

Also, luckily for me, I've always had friends in law enforcement who:
  •   gave me an "in" to the blue line;
  •   took me to the police firing range often; and
  •  took me to their favorite gun shop and helped me pick out my first two guns.

I know more-than-enough to not be a victim . . . and, I will definitely not be a victim!

And, in my best Forrest Gump accent, "that's all I got to say 'bout that."

Category::   Life

(c)   2005    A Southern Belle's Life

The "Hot" Spots . . .  

I took a quiz entitled Find Your Best Place To Live at     Here's my list:
  • Atlantic Beach-Morehead City, North Carolina;
  • Mount Dora, Florida;
  • Whidbey Island/Oak Harbor/Coupeville, Washington;
  • Port Townsend, Washington;
  • Charleston, South Carolina;
  • Hattiesburg, Mississippi;
  • Anacortes, Washington;
  • Sequim, Washington;
  • Deland, Florida;
  • Crystal River, Florida;
  • Hilton Head-Sun City Hilton Head, South Carolina;
  • Fairhope, Alabama;
  • Mount Vernon, Washington;
  • Beaufort, South Carolina;
  • Fountain Hills, Arizona;
  • Gainesville, Georgia;
  • Stuart, Florida;
  • Wimberley, Texas;
  • Ormond Beach, Florida;
  • Bremerton, Washington;
  • Ketchikan, Alaska;
  • Fredericksburg, Texas;
  • Rockport, Texas; and
  • New Smyrna Beach, Florida.

hmmmmmmmmm?!?!?     Not that I'm planning on moving again any time soon -- I think four times in six years is plenty, don't you? -- but, these sound like some really nice places to visit . . .

Category::   Geography

(c)   2005    A Southern Belle's Life

Who's Blogging Who? 

In my compulsive blog-surfing with BlogClicker, BlogAzoo, and BlogExplosion, I have had the opportunity to read many blogs that I -- probably -- would never have stumbled across otherwise.     And, as with anything, I've discovered the good, the bad, the ugly, and the indifferent among the lot.     Many I have found to be superbly entertaining, and have bookmarked them for regular reading.

We all blog for our own personal reasons.     There are certain things I choose not to discuss in any of my blogs -- things such as politics (I consider this a very volatile subject, and one that I don't want to debate with strangers in cyberspace -- granted, this is my own personal preference, and no slander against those who choose to do so).     I am also not quite up on the so-called "mommy" blogs.     Nothing against mommies; I just don't happen to be one, and I can't relate to the dialogue about "little ________'s" antics in a way that would be do justice to the writer's talents in describing the details.     There are other blogs that hold no interest for me either, but I won't roll out a "laundry-list" here for fear of insulting anyone (any more than I may already have).     Still, if I have surfed onto someone's site, I take a look around and read a post or two while I'm there -- not being one to make rash judgments at first sight.     I've actually been entertained by some mommies in the process.

But, recently, in my compulsive blog-surfing, I've noticed a large number of bloggers who seem to want to merely "throw-stones" at other bloggers because they are not writing the type(s) of content that these self-appointed blog-police think that they should.     I read one last evening that was criticizing a collective group of blogs he/she had read as being mundane and boring, simply because the bloggers were blogging about their lives.     Once again, I'll reiterate . . .


So, if someone is blogging about laundry, or scrubbing the floors, or picking up the dry cleaning, or whatever . . . HEY! . . . that's their life, and that's what is happening in their world today.     If they choose to blog about it, that is their right, and their creative avenue to do so.     We can't all be utterly fascinating 24/7, can we?     (well, I guess if we're writing fiction we can)

Sorry for the rant . . . I just find the self-appointed blog-police to be a little overbearing in their methods at times . . .

Category::   Blogging

(c)   2005    A Southern Belle's Life

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Never Forget 

POW/MIA Internet Blackout Day


The POW/MIA Internet Blackout

POW/MIA Freedom Fighters

Category::   Never Forget

(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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