This Southern Belle's Musings

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

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Saturday, April 30, 2005

A Southern Belle's Life ... 

The day has finally arrived . . . the day that everyone in the Southern Blog Ring is to share what it means to be Southern.     As our ring-owner Choctaw expressed so well . . .

The Southern Blogs Ring was created for all those bloggers who take pride in the rich heritage of their southernness:   the south side, south of France, south of the border, southpaws, South Bend, or just plain south of center.

As a true Southern Belle, no matter where I have suffered (I mean, lived) away from home, my heart has always resided in the Old South.     I was born in Florida (at an air force base - my Dad was finishing out his tour of duty), but we left when I was three months old to travel "home" to my parents' roots in Tennessee.     I grew up as an east-Tennessee gal, experiencing the heritage of the Old South, along with the rich history that surrounded our hometown.     In addition to being a Southern Belle, I also fit the categories of "southpaw," and definitely "just plain south of center."

The South means warm summer nights where the adults sit outside talking for hours in the twilight while the children chase fireflies.     The South means sudden thunderstorms on summer afternoons that only succeed in making the rest of the day even more humid.     The South means family and friends who find any occasion to be the perfect occasion to get together and celebrate.

We welcome all -- no matter their origin initially -- who understand and appreciate the South for what it is.     By that same token, we refuse to accept those who spend their time comparing where they came from to where they are now, and denigrating the South as inferior by any means.     The South is more than a location; it is an attitude, and the very essence of our personality, existence and spirit.

I'm proud to live in a house that is completely surrounded by a wrap-around porch and entertaining veranda.     The white wicker furniture is a perfect accent to the porch's invitation to "come and sit a spell."     My decor screams Southern Belle with antiques, and heirlooms, and old photos, and the sense that you've stepped back in time.     We cherish our history and heritage in the South, but that doesn't mean we ignore modern conveniences and innovations in the process.

We completely immerse ourselves into a Southern frame of mind here.     Yet, that doesn't mean we're predictable, and are but a mere caricature of the people represented (or, should I say, mis-represented) in film, television, print and other prominent sources as the definitive expressions of the Southern way of life.     While there are so many stereotypes that people attribute to the South -- some positive and some negative -- it isn't about other's conceptions (or misconceptions) about us that matter.     It is the knowledge that we possess in knowing that we are a truly unique breed -- one that believes in family, and honor, and respect, and friendship, and enjoying life to the fullest without judgment or "putting-on-airs."

And, with that, I will leave you with my favorite Southern Belle joke of all time . . .

A proper Southern Belle was sitting on her veranda one summer afternoon, sipping iced tea and reading a novel, when a flashy red sports car came speeding up the long, winding driveway.     The driver jumped out of the car (in less than lady-like fashion) and made her way up to the veranda.     The Southern Belle recognized her as the new wife of old money and braced herself for the encounter.

"Good Afternoon," said the Southern Belle, "What brings you out for a visit."

The New Wife of Old Money said, in her grandiose fashion, "My husband just bought me that brand-new red sports car.     What do you think of that?"

To which the Southern Belle smiled and said, "Oh, My!     How nice."

The New Wife of Old Money continued by saying, "What do you think of my new jewelry?," flashing her hands covered with diamonds.     "My husband just bought all of this for me."

To which the Southern Belle smiled again and said, "Oh, My!     How nice."

Becoming a little miffed, the New Wife of Old Money said, "My husband took me on a two month tour of Europe, and we just returned.     It was wonderful."

To which the Southern Belle smiled once again and said, "Oh, My!     How nice."

Indignant and totally outraged, the New Wife of Old Money snapped at the Southern Belle and said, "Is that all you can say?     Just oh my, how nice?     What has your husband ever done for you?

To which the Southern Belle smiled and said, "Why, my husband sent me to Charm School.     So, now, every time I want to say f**k you, I merely say, Oh, My!    How nice"

Bless Your Hearts, Y'all!              

And, if anyone plans on relaxing on the veranda this weekend, and is looking for an alternative to their usual sipping drinks or iced tea, may I suggest A Southern Belle . . . this drink was actually created for me by a bartender who consulted and mixed a few recipes into his own creation as a celebration of the complexities of a Southern Belle.     If you try it, I hope you enjoy . . . CHEERS!

  •   3/4 - 1 oz   Southern Comfort
  •   3/4 - 1 oz   Peach Schnapps
  •   3/4 - 1 oz   Triple Sec
  •   4 oz   Orange Juice
  •   4 oz   Pineapple Juice
  •   4 oz   Cranberry Juice
  •   Splash of Grenadine

Mix well and serve in a tall glass over ice.     Garnish with fruit.     Enjoy!

Category::   Southern Celebration

(c)   2005    A Southern Belle's Life

Southern Blogs Open House 

This entry will remain at the top of this blog until the end of the month.     Please scroll down for daily, updated, entries.     Thanks!


Southern Blogs Ring, the premier source on Southern culture, manner, missive and nostalgia will be holding a group blog to celebrate being alive, southern and free all at the same time.

You are cordially invited Saturday April 30th to attend our first neighborhood cotillion and brunch.

The menu will be a light repast of Southern classics and down home cooked tales served up with Southern style and taste by your hosts:

Guests will be offered words, photographs, entertainment and some surprises, to be sure.     So plan to attend and spend some time with us in the South.

Category::   Blogging

(c)   2005    A Southern Belle's Life

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

MIA - captured by invisible 'lil buggers! 

I apologize for being M.I.A. but my laptop has been invaded by some nasty 'lil buggers.     I've always wondered what causes hackers and virus-creators to unleash their dastardly creations on the unwitting of cyberspace . . . I try to keep my systems (desktop and laptop) programmed with the latest, and most up-to-date, software to prevent viruses, spam, spyware and the assorted cyber-garbage that bombards unsuspecting victims on a daily basis.

My sluggish laptop is to the point now where it can't / won't even connect to download my e-mail.     Of course, with this cast on my leg, it isn't like I can dash out to the studio to log onto my desktop in hopes that it isn't corrupt, too.     For all the benefits of wifi, I don't think there's enough security in place for the good of the systems it connects.

Yesterday was also my first follow-up with the surgeon, post-surgery.     He took out all of the staples -- seventeen in all, I do believe -- and re-wrapped and casted me back with my attractive black boot.     At least I went to my appointment in somewhat stylish . . . if not totally Allison Reynolds a'la The Breakfast Club . . . attire.     On my left foot, I wore a black sock and black & white Converse All-Star high-tops.     Even my surgeon commented on my vogue impression    :-)

I fear I'll be working to clear my laptop for days to come - OR - heaven forbid! - I have to send it out to some Geek Squad to get it up and running correctly again.     This is definitely not a good time when I have a book review and an article submission due by the end of the week!

If anyone has received spam from me during the last week, please accept my most humble apologies because I had absolutely no knowledge or control in the matter.

Category::   Technology / Computers

(c)   2005    A Southern Belle's Life

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Faux Pas Sisterhood 

Thanks for the enjoyable Faux Pas Sisterhood entry over on my friend, An American Housewife's blog.      Check it out, and let her know "Kitty" from A Southern Belle's Musings sent you!

I know PLENTY of people who need to read this entry (and take it to heart).      *hint,hint*

I, on the other hand, am a devoted pedicure lass (Summer & Winter alike), and have a manicure/pedicure appointment scheduled for every 2-1/2 weeks.      The manicures have not been so much the problem since my 'accident' (as long as I can get a lift to the manicure studio) . . . but, I'm trying to figure out a way to get a pedicure (and a new coat of polish on my toes) while working around this darned cast that will be on my right leg/foot for another seven weeks, minimum.      After my doctor's appointment on Monday, I'm hoping that I can work out the pedicure issues.

Break out the sandals, girls -- and, FOLLOW THE RULES!


Category::   Just For Fun

(c)    2005    A Southern Belle's Life

How Many SIDES?!?!? 

Thanks to An American Housewife, I ended up taking this quiz.

Thanks, Sweetie!      (yes, that was dripping with sarcasm)

But, now it's your turn . . . gonna take the quiz?

I am a d20

You are the large, round, friendly d20!      (You probably didn't know this, but the shape of the twenty-sided die is called an Icosahedron.)      You are the friendly, outgoing, outspoken, leader of friends.      You are often looked up to, even though you don't normally deserve it.      Most other types secretly wish they were you, and you'd give them tips on how, if only you had a clue yourself.      Your charisma is often all you need, but you have your occasional moments of brilliance as well--just never when it's actually needed.      You are the all-around good guy, a dependable chum, a respectable foe, and an inspiration to those who need one.      Who says you can't get by on a smile and good looks alone?

Take the quiz at

Category::   Just For Fun

(c)    2005    A Southern Belle's Life

Would YOU Pass? 

How well will you do?     I was somewhat surprised how similar puzzle tests from elementary school came flooding back when I started . . . I -- amazingly (especially to myself) -- got 48/48 on the first try!

Now it's your turn . . . give it a go, and have some fun.     Be sure to come back and leave a comment to let us all know how you scored!

Can You Pass Third Grade?

I'm not as ditzy a blonde as some may have thought . . .

Category::   Geography

(c)   2005    A Southern Belle's Life

Those Nasty 'Lil Buggers! 

What a BUMMER!     My laptop has been attacked by some type of replicating e-mail virus and I have been, without knowledge or participation, been sending SPAM to businesses all over the world through a fabricated jumble of letters and numbers attached to my business account.     Many of the ones sent were 'bounced-back,' rejected or otherwise returned.     And, the subject lines consist of 3-4 that are being rotated, such as "Featured Company In 52 Week High, "Refurbished Toner Market in 2005, "Featured Company Continues To Grow, and so on.     My business pursuits are all about writing, photography, interior design, and mixed-media art, and that is what my company represents.     I don't think I would be contacting "crimebusters of south africa" and a laundry-list of other organizations, businesses and individuals: (1) for any reason; and (2) definitely not to tout some other business' accomplishments.

Yesterday, I had to deal with over 500+ bounced/returned e-mails sent from my bogus e-mail accounts.     Since my last long-on yesterday, until I just downloaded my mail again this morning, I had received over 1,500+ bounced/returned e-mails sent from my bogus e-mail accounts . . . and more are downloaded every time my mail program checks for new mail!     I've ran several virus detection programs over the last few hours, and they have found a few bugs but, . . . I checked out the McAfee HackerWatch site and found that my general location within the U.S. (actually, right on top of where I live) is glowing bright red with a SEVERE ALERT for heavy hacker attack.

I have so many things running on my laptop now just to keep hackers out (since I'm running on a WiFi connection) -- so many, in fact, that it takes my laptop between 3-5 minutes just to boot up because of all the programs in the start-up menu.     The machine runs like a speed-demon once it is actually up and running but, just from a protection aspect, I can't use it quickly upon boot up. In scanning my system, the programs keep telling me there's a breach in the Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP), a required protocol tightly integrated with IP.     Great . . . so, what does this mean in Southern English???

I just don't want my name (which is my business account e-mail name) flooding strangers all across the world with . . . you-know-what!


I haven't been around too much over the last few days . . . aside from some shocking flair-ups of pain in the foot/ankle and the hassles of keeping it evelated at all times . . . I've been trying to keep one step ahead of the spam overload.      So far, I've been fighting a losing battle.     Wish me LUCK!

Category::   Computers / Technology / Spam

(c)   2005    A Southern Belle's Life

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Who Made The List? 

Over on Good Girls Don't ... But (Sometimes) I Do ..., I posted my responses to the Ten On Tuesday Ten Favorite Blogs (spread the blog love!) meme yesterday.     If you're curious as to who made the blog list, check it out . . . (it was very difficult to narrow it down to just ten) -- I may have to go back and add a load of "honorable mentions" so I don't leave any of my favorites out!

I would encourage you to visit each of these blogs -- and, when you do, be sure to leave a comment and let them know that Kitty at A Southern Belle's Musings sent you from her Ten Favorite Blogs list!

Category::   Blogging

(c)   2005    A Southern Belle's Life

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

I've Always Loved Vincent . . . 

I finally found my soulmate but, ... (just my luck!) he's been dead for 115 years!    

Here's a portion of the response to my "match-maker" questionnaire:


Vincent van Gogh responds...
"You too share a lust for life!     We will pursue it together!"

What your date might be like...
Dates with van Gogh are unpredictable-- you might end up having a perfectly nice afternoon picnic with him in the countryside, or you might end up in a shouting match with him in his bedroom, dodging any small objects he might throw at you.     Van Gogh is a very religious man who at one point became a preacher, so it's possible that you will end up on the receiving end of a manic sermon if you're not careful what you say.     Most importantly: hide any sharp implements when you're around him.

Check out Dead Celebrity Soulmate Search here and find your perfect match!

Category::   Creativity / Just For Fun

(c)   2005    A Southern Belle's Life

Monday, April 18, 2005

Creativity Surrounds Us . . . 

As someone who is active on 43Things, I discovered a very talented and creative person there today.     Her name is Kim Novak and, as she says, "no, not the famous actress, Kim Novak."     Although she may not be the actress, she is still a very talented individual in many different areas.

I would like to give you a link to just a small segment of her creative nature.     Check out: State Capitols, which is one of Kim's 43Things goals . . . to photograph all 50 State Capitols.

I must say that . . . between seeing Kim's creativity, my Artist's Way group interaction, and surfing on-line (since I'm confined to the sofa for the next eight weeks in a cast) . . . I've gotten a new -- refreshed -- sense of creativity of my own that is begging to be explored and nurtured.

I hope you enjoy Kim's site -- when you visit, be sure to let her know how you found her . . .

Category::   Creativity

(c)   2005    A Southern Belle's Life

Today, in-the-stars ... 

Dear Susan,
Here is your horoscope for Monday, April 18:

Having your doubts about an unfamiliar situation is quite natural, so don't let anyone tell you you're being paranoid.     You're not.     You're being wise, and that's a rare commodity.

This horoscope sounds more like most of my fortune cookies lately . . .

Category::   Just For "Fun"

(c)   2005    A Southern Belle's Life

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Third Level of Hell 

The Dante's Inferno Test has banished you to the Third Level of Hell!

Here is how you matched up against all the levels:

Purgatory (Repenting Believers)Moderate
Level 1 - Limbo (Virtuous Non-Believers)Very Low
Level 2 (Lustful)High
Level 3 (Gluttonous)High
Level 4 (Prodigal and Avaricious)Moderate
Level 5 (Wrathful and Gloomy)Moderate
Level 6 - The City of Dis (Heretics)Very Low
Level 7 (Violent)Low
Level 8- the Malebolge (Fraudulent, Malicious, Panderers)High
Level 9 - Cocytus (Treacherous)Moderate

Take the Dante's Divine Comedy Inferno Test

Category::   Just For "Fun"

(c)   2005    A Southern Belle's Life

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Checking In . . . 

Thanks to everyone who sent well-wishes for my surgery.     I appreciate it all more than you will know.

I survived the surgery but, things didn't go as originally planned.     I was scheduled originally for an 8:15 a.m. surgery, but it was changed to 12:00 noon.     I was supposed to be there at 11:00 a.m., and I arrived a little earlier and checked in.     I was taken back to pre-op and, before the nurse started my I.V., I told her that I my veins would roll and blow out if she didn't take care with the needle.     She stuck me three times in both hands, blowing out three veins, before she finally went out and got an anethesiologist to come in and start the I.V.     I was then in pre-op until almost 3:00 p.m., because the doctor was running late with his first two surgeries.

When I woke up in recovery, I was told that they had to put in five screws and a plate -- not two screws, as originally planned.     The surgery took longer and, YES!, the pain was more severe.     The first night was excrutiating, and even with the really great drugs, they didn't touch the pain and I couldn't sleep.     The next day was horrible as well.     I couldn't eat from nausea and, because I couldn't eat, I couldn't take the pain medication on an empty stomach, so the pain was incredible.     It was a vicious cycle.     The doctor finally called in something for nausea late that afternoon.     So, I didn't eat from 7:00 p.m. Tuesday night before the surgery until some time late Friday morning.

I'm still not up for long computer sessions, or anything else, for that matter.     This recovery will not be an easy one but, at least I'm on my way.     I have a minimum of eight weeks in a cast and, most likely, physical therapy after that.     This has already caused us to have to cancel our bike trip to Biltmore this weekend with our H.O.G. Chapter, a few days out on our friends' new boat, and anything else that might have been planned over the next two months.     This isn't how I planned on spending my Spring and early Summer.

Again, thanks for everyone's well-wishes!!     I hope to be back on-line soon.     Until then, . . .

Category::   This Thing Called Life

(c)   2005    A Southern Belle's Life

How I Feel ... 

Wanna know how I feel?
Just click the pig to find out . . .

(Thanks to my Uncle Jim for sending this to me.)

Category::   This Thing Called Life

(c)   2005    A Southern Belle's Life

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Break A Leg (it's just a saying!) ... 

It is already Tuesday.     It would be better if you could hear the inflection in my voice as I say that phrase.

It's hard to believe that my last entry was Saturday.     I know that I've been doing a lot of complaining about being stuck in one room -- on my sofa -- since my accident.     I'm tired of it -- I'm sure you're tired of it -- I know my s.o. was tired of it.     Saturday night, my s.o. helped me upstairs and I slept in my own bed for the first time in a week.     Sunday morning, he helped me out to the car and took me out for breakfast.     We also went to Lowe's because, after sitting on the sofa for a week, and with the change in "daylight-savings-time," the afternoon sun through the breakfast room windows is not only fierce, but it is also causing my large aquarium to turn green -- and, I needed some blinds to (1) match the blinds in the rest of the main level windows (that are covered); and (2) to cut some of the glare from the blazing afternoon sun.     I bought three more blinds to match the ones already in my family room (2" white wooden blinds).     My s.o. has been promising to install them since Sunday (maybe tonight???).

Also, on Sunday, after we returned from breakfast and Lowe's, my s.o. did all of the landscaping work in the front and back yards, and then helped me out onto the front porch (in my wheelchair) while he planted the antique cuttings and rootings of plants that I received from my cousin a few weeks ago (they've been kept in small amounts of water until they could be planted).     My s.o. repaired the Adirondack chair that he built for me several years ago and placed the chair in the front "island" planting bed where I had already planted several flowers, ground cover, ivy, and herbs.     He planted the rest of the flowers to fill in the bed, and then moved to one of the flower beds between the porch stairs and the driveway and added the verdis metal and glass solar landscaping lamps that he bought for the space.     After that, he hung the hammock (that my cousin's husband bought me a few weeks ago) on the back/side of the covered porch near the deck.     It was a long (tiring) day, and I was up too much (I'm sure), but I did get to sleep in my own bed again that night.

On Monday morning, I had to be at the hospital for my pre-op appointment at 7:00 a.m.      Of course, don't expect anything to go off without a hitch.     The hospital "swore" that the doctor's office had not sent over any of my paperwork.     And, of course, at 7 a.m., the doctor's office wasn't going to be open to verify -- or to get any paperwork faxed (or re-faxed).     Finally, they did the pre-op stuff without the doctor's orders based on my statements, new paperwork, checking my leg (foot/ankle).     After that, I had to go to the medical equipment company to get fitted for my fracture boot, which will be used after the surgery.     By the time I finally returned home (close to 10:00 a.m.), I was already exhausted!

Later in the afternoon, the doctor's office called to tell me that they were re-scheduling my surgery.     Same day, different time -- because someone else is allergic to latex, so he has to be first on the schedule for the day.     They re-scheduled me to 12:00 noon from 8:15 a.m.     So, instead of arriving at 7:15 a.m., I'm not due at the hospital until 11:00 a.m.

Back on the sofa, I realized that, since I won't be painting my walls any time soon, I needed something to add some color in the family room and breakfast room.     Thank goodness for laptops and wireless internet connections!     I ordered ten drapery panels for the family room in a golden/yellow voile fabric, and six drapery panels in a terra-cotta voile fabric for the (semi) adjoining breakfast room.

I have to admit -- that isn't my first shopping foray since being confined . . .

I have already bought several things while sitting . . .

I ordered a great designer bag last week (long story about the Marilyn Monroe purse, that was swapped out for the 50's Chic purse - that is waiting to be returned) that should arrive any day.

Today, I placed an order with Sephora, and with Aveda, and with Amazon (okay, two orders with Amazon) . . .

The housekeeper came today and straightened the main level.     My parents are coming down tomorrow to stay for a few days (for my surgery, and to help afterwards).     My Mom is planning on making fresh pintos and cornbread one night for dinner - yeah!!!

Tomorrow is the day!     I probably won't post for a few days, depending upon how quickly the pain lessens after the surgery.     So . . . until, whenever, everyone . . . wish me well!

btw, right now it is raining "pigs & sheep" -- my dogs are stranded out in this down-pour -- and the satellite just went out . . .     hopefully this isn't a sign of what hump-day will be like . . .

Category::   This Thing Called Life

(c)   2005    A Southern Belle's Life

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Take Nothing For Granted . . . 

I posted on Wednesday how I was discovering that -- in life -- we often take so much for granted without realizing just how much we do without thinking.     That is becoming even more obvious as time progresses.

I've had several "people" ring my doorbell this week.     I have no idea who some of them were because there was nothing left on the front porch (no packages, no delivery notices, nothing).     Even though I'm on the main level, and I'm in the large family room that is part of an open concept design, there are columns, juts and jigs that block my view from the sofa to the glass entrance surrounding the front door.

I can't go to the gym.     I can't *pop* into the car and run quick errands.     I can't let the dogs in (and one - "Miss Dixie Leigh Belle" - has been barking, off and on, all day today!     I'm sure my neighbors are ready to kill one of us - or both!).     And, dozens of other things that we, normally, just take for granted.

And, the cravings . . .

I would love a huge plate of nachos -- with lots of jalapenos, and sour cream, and chili, and lettuce, . . . and cheese, . . . and . . .

also . . .

I would love some sushi . . . ebi and unagi . . . plus a bowl of rice -- or (and) -- some hibachi chicken with ginger sauce, hibachi vegetables with hot sauce, and fried rice (with ginger & hot sauces) . . .

also . . .

I would love a bowl of fresh pinto beans . . . with chopped onions . . . and buttermilk cornbread -- crispy, hot, and straight out of the oven -- loaded with real butter melting between the slices . . .

And, the everyday stuff . . . "Fuggetaboutit!"

showering is -- almost impossible!

dressing is -- almost impossible!

getting breakfast & lunch is -- almost impossible!

I'm alone from approximately 6:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. six days a week while my s.o. is at work.     Even though I have crutches, a wheelchair, and a walker to use, getting up is hard enough -- but, navigating is so difficult and painful, I'm only doing it when absolutely necessary.

I don't know how I am going to survive another eight-plus weeks of immobility!     And, with surgery scheduled for next Wednesday, I'll be going *backwards* before going forwards on the healing process.     The last seven days, and the next four days, will be down-the-drain once they cut my foot open and insert the plate and screws . . .

I think I'm going to be saying . . . "Ouch, oooow, oooow!" . . . a lot for weeks to come . . .

btw, does anyone know of a restaurant that will deliver all of the stuff I'm craving?!?!?

Category::   This Thing Called Life

(c)   2005    A Southern Belle's Life

Shrinking ... It's Shrinking!! 

It is amazing how quickly this over-sized, over-stuffed leather sofa is starting to shrink . . . shrink, I tell you!     This piece of furniture used to be a massive, over-scaled piece -- even in the large room that it is in.     But, over the past week, it has gradually begun to shrink in size and scale.

Could it be because I'm confined to this sofa 24/7 ???

After another eight-plus weeks, I'm afraid the sofa will have completely disappeared by then . . .

Category::   This Thing Called Life

(c)   2005    A Southern Belle's Life

Let's Go Shopping . . . 

Accessories, and your own personal preferences, are what make your home uniquely your own.    It's the little things that express your personality and transform your living spaces into places that showcase your individuality.     The great thing is . . . it doesn't have to cost a fortune to make your home a reflection of you . . .     One of my favorite parts of the design process is the merchandising phase!

Here are a few companies that have great accessories, gifts, and home dec items that don't break the bank, and can -- with a little bit of personal flair -- look like a million bucks!

Category::   Home & Garden

(c)   2005    A Southern Belle's Life

Friday, April 08, 2005

Move Over, Feng Shui ... 

As a professional interior designer, I am always fascinated by the latest trends in the design world (even when I'm not actively practicing my design profession, while writing instead).     Jennifer Huskey, an decorating editor, wrote a terrific article entitled:

The Wabi-Sabi Way

which can be read here.

Ms. Huskey also recommends the following books:
"For more on wabi-sabi, check out these books available on

Wabi-Sabi for Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers
by Leonard Koren
The Wabi-Sabi House
by Robyn Griggs Lawrence
Living Wabi Sabi
by Taro Gold

I think -- if you have an interest in creating a sanctuary to call 'home' -- you'll enjoy Ms. Huskey's article.

Category::   Home & Garden

(c)   2005    A Southern Belle's Life

Thursday, April 07, 2005


As many regular readers already know, I have five cats and three dogs.     All of my pets were "rescues" of some shape, form or fashion.     And, some are more "attached" to me, both emotionally and physically, than others.     Especially, Alvin Bryant.

I rescued Alvin and his siblings out of a garbage dumpster behind a grocery store in 1991 where someone had dumped the whole litter of kittens.     I had gone to the store, and stopped by the adjacent movie rental store (near the dumpster) when I heard their little cries.     I found homes for all but Alvin, because he was skittish, and it took two cans of tuna to lure him close enough to catch him.     But, once he realized I was trying to help him, he has been my constant companion ever since.

He goes to bed with me. . . he gets up with me . . . he follows me around like a puppy.     But, since I broke my foot/ankle, he's been a little too close!     I can't move, or even re-position on the sofa, because Alvin is always snuggled right up next to me, plastered against my leg, or buddled up in the sheets.

And, talk about indignant!     He becomes highly offended if I even attempt to move.     There is NO comfortable position to put my leg in, and nothing is even close to semi-comfortable for very long . . . but, Alvin makes me feel guilty for moving.     The 'lil stinker!

My new constant phrase is . . . "Ouch, oooow, oooow!"

Category::   Feline Life

(c)   2005    A Southern Belle's Life

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

A Greater Appreciation . . . 

. . . for the simple things in life!

Most people probably don't realize just-how-much they take for granted.     After five days of immobility, I'm discovering that I was one of those people!

For example, the news has been breaking in with weather warnings of severe thunderstorms heading directly toward our area.     It is so dark and ominous, and my dogs are outside.     I even attempted to hobble out to let them in but, after only 1/2 the trip (no pun intended), I decided going outside, on the deck, attempting to balance and unlatch the gate on the top of the steps to let the dogs up from the back yard while on crutches, was a B-A-D idea!

When you "think" of something, you can't just *pop* up and get it, do it, grab it, or whatever.

I really need to RE-CHANNEL what is going to be a LOT of pent-up frustrations into something much more creative!

Category::   This Thing Called Life

(c)   2005    A Southern Belle's Life

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Rear Window 

I just finished watching the original "Rear Window" with Jimmy Stewart for, amazingly-enough, the first time.     Considering my "present" situation, it seemed an appropriate movie to watch.     And, even though I'm confined to the sofa with my leg propped up in a cast, I'm not sitting at the "rear window" with binoculars or a telephoto lens.     I've got enough drama in my life without sticking my nose in someone else's.

But, in chatting with three very close friends . . . via phone (one in Pennsylvania, one in Indiana, and one in Tennessee), all three were encouraging me (in their own special ways) that this may be the perfect time to not only catch up on my reading and movies, but to WRITE, WRITE, WRITE!     In all the things that have been happening in recent months, I've missed deadlines, I've not submitted like I normally do, and I've just slacked off in all areas of creativity.     But, with a minimum of eight weeks ahead of me with my leg propped up -- immobile -- I need to find my muse, and start creating again!

Category::   This Thing Called Life

(c)   2005    A Southern Belle's Life

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Everybody's Gone Surfin' . . . 

In addition to surfing around (what else is there to do with my leg cast elevated, per doctor's instructions?) on BlogAzoo, BlogClicker and BlogExplosion, I decided to do a little "extra" surfing using the Blogger (tm) toolbar "Next Blog" button.     Talk about some i-n-t-e-r-e-s-t-i-n-g "stumbles" upon -- some really . . . interesting . . . funny . . . sad . . . and just plain bizarre . . . blogs!

Many of the ones that have been extremely bizarre have been single entries -- as if someone began a blog, made a strange post, and then abandoned the blog as if it didn't exist.     Or, what about the ones that have been updated regularly but the "Links" section still have the original Blogger (tm) fillers of Google News, Edit-Me, Edit-Me, Edit-Me, Edit-Me?     And, still more confusing are the many that are dated in the future (some as far ahead as 2006).

You'll never see these blogs if you're surfing around on any of the traffic-driving sites.     Yet, I would recommend taking some time to check them out -- I can't do justice to the i-n-t-e-r-e-s-t-i-n-g things that you just might find.

Happy Surfing!

Category::   Blogging

(c)   2005    A Southern Belle's Life

Saturday, April 02, 2005

That's The Breaks . . . 

As usual, I was supposed to work at our business today . . . part of the "joys-of-business-ownership" (or, being totally in debt up to your eyeballs, whichever sounds more palatable).     My s.o. decided to drive himself and leave earlier than me (we usually ride together) because he had somewhere to be directly after work, and I was going to close up the store and do all of the week-ending paperwork.

The weather forecast for today wasn't looking too pleasant, so we decided to move the dogs to the garage while we were gone to keep them out of the 40+ mph winds and predicted rains.     Before moving the dogs, I decided to carry down their food bowl and water bowl and put them in the garage.     On the way down the last section of the lower flight of stairs, the water "sloshed" over the edge of the bowl, I stepped in the water, my right leg bent back underneath me and I fell the rest of the way down the flight of stairs (sledding on my bent leg).     Water, dog food and two bowls went flying in every direction.

Excruciating pain followed!

I managed to drive myself to the emergency room (using my left foot) and, after x-rays and a thorough exam, I was told that I had a broken foot (2 places) and a fractured ankle.     I'm now sporting a cast to the knee and am hobbling on crutches (actually, walking is too excrutiating to even attempt, so the crutches are just for absolutely the most necessary movements).     I drove myself to the pharmacy to fill my two pain prescriptions, and then home.     It took me over forty minutes to get up to the main level when I got to the house, and I was definitely ready for the pain meds by that time!

All of the nurses in the ER kept commenting on my nail polish -- guess it's a good thing I had a manicure and pedicure a few days ago, huh?!?

I'm so hungry, but the thought of trying to hobble to the kitchen -- much less, to try to balance on crutches while I try to fix something -- is too much to deal with.     My whole leg is throbbing!     Saturday afternoon television sucks . . .     I've watched a couple of movies on satellite, but nothing else is on right now -- and it's too much trouble to search through the DVD collection and find something else too watch.     I'm not a very good "patient," as I can't be still and immobile -- it isn't in my nature.

This will drive me insane before the cast comes off . . .

Category::   Life Happens ...

(c)   2005    A Southern Belle's Life

Friday, April 01, 2005

Peeking Through The Clouds . . . 

Mother Nature is trying especially hard to give us a nice start to the weekend . . . the sun is trying to peek through the clouds but, . . . I'm afraid it is a losing battle.     The National Weather Forecast for the next ten days for our area shows predictions ranging from partly cloudy/light rain, to mostly cloudy, to high winds and thunderstorms through next Sunday (April 10th), with temperatures ranging as high as 73 degrees and as low as 36 degrees (F) during that same time frame.     I guess the old adage is right -- "April Showers Bring May Flowers" -- I only wish Mother Nature would space out the rain just a little bit.

Yesterday, even though it was dreary and overcast, still had some bright spots along the way . . .

I received a military-censored, fifteen-minute-maximum-allowed telephone call from Iraq as my wake-up call yesterday morning (there's eight hours difference in the time), accompanied with the news that I had six photos awaiting me in e-mail also.     Fifteen minutes passes very quickly when you know someone is standing by with a stop-watch, ready to cut you off when your fifteen minutes are up.     I guess Andy Warhol was right . . .

Since I spent Tuesday on the boat, and Wednesday in the convertible -- even though I was slathered with 45 sunscreen -- I still have a bit of a hint of color to my skin now.     So, to everyone's surprise, including my own, I decided to forego my "trademark" red nails for a bright, bubblegum pink . . . and, I do mean PINK!     Fingers and toes are now all girly-girl pink and innocent.     My s.o. asked what had happened, since he said I must have been replaced by a pod person.

This assumption was solidified when he saw the new purse and wallet that I bought.     When I stopped into the boutique to check on my "Marilyn Monroe" replacement purse, I was told that all of the management that generally took care of ordering, re-ordering, returns, etc., had been out of town and my purse had not even been shipped back for exchange yet.     I was originally told it would only take a week (meaning it should have been back last week) but, in actuality, it worked out quite well because I bought a different purse instead (of course, more expensive!), plus I bought a coordinating wallet to go with it too.     The purse is in the old 50's-style "change-purse clatch" top, fanning out on the sides and bottom. It has a dark pink snakeskin strap and bottom, with a bit of snakeskin piping, and the bag itself is heavy canvas with different sized stripes (ranging from very wide to very-very narrow) in shades of pink, green, yellow and blue on a creamy-white background.     The wallet is the same colors, but in a madris-plaid design.     I feel so 50's Chic!

I have end-of-the-month work to do for the business . . . but, I just can't seem to get motivated to do it.     I'm sitting downstairs, working on my laptop, and Mother Nature is trying her best to entice me outside with flickers of sunshine mixed in with the clouds.     I probably have time to get a few of the antique plants from Kathy's in the ground before the rains start up again.     And, paperwork is just such a b-o-r-e . . . plus, I need to write a press release and I'm just not feeling that creative today.

Oooooooooooh, the sun is now streaming through the windows . . . I really must go out and play . . .

Category::   This Thing Called Life

(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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