This Southern Belle's Musings

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

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Friday, May 27, 2005

This-N-That ... 

Once again, my 'extended' family has proven why I keep telling myself to avoid my 'extended' family.     I called my parents to say "thank you" again for the fact that I am an only child!     It is amazing how many lies some people can tell, and how much smoke they can continue to attempt to blow up everyone's *ss, and they want to whine and carry on about how they are the poor-pitiful-one!     What a Crock-O!

Earlier in the week (Monday), my s.o. drove a Jeep Grand Cherokee 4x4 home for a test-drive.     He had simply decided that he wanted to trade in his Dodge Ram 1500 pick-up, and a dealership that his business services had the Cherokee for sale.     It was a nice vehicle; a beautiful dark green with leather interior.     He said there was another vehicle he was also considering.     It was a Ford Explorer XLS in a gold/champagne color.     We drove up to the dealership on Tuesday to return the Cherokee (and for me to look at the Explorer).     After some consideration, we decided on the Explorer.     We had one of our employees remove the hitch from the pick-up so we could install it on the Explorer (for trailering bikes and such), and traded in the pick-up.     The dealership sent the pick-up out for detailing on Wednesday, and had already sold the pick-up by Thursday afternoon.     My s.o. said he didn't even have time to miss the pick-up before someone else had bought it.

On 43Things, I commented on someone's entry yesterday (have a secret adventure that I can remember when I'm old), and ended up with a "tiny-little" secret of my own today (nothing like some of "my" past secret adventures - but, that is another story altogether).     Someone who is reading this right now knows exactly what I'm talking about . . .

here's a hint:    dartboard

just our little secret . . .   

Sooooooo???     What is everyone doing for the long holiday weekend?!?!?

Category::   This Thing Called "Life"

(c)   2005    A Southern Belle's Life

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Counting The Days ... 

Today is Day 54.

Fifty-four days of a cast on my right leg, extremely limited mobility and, basically, total house-confinement since every entrance/exit is at least one flight of stairs.     I've tried not to whine and carry on all the time over this situation but, . . . it has been miserable!

This week has been better than most for several reasons.     One reason was that our Harley-riding friends invited us to their house on Tuesday for an afternoon by the pool.     Sitting in the sun, listening to reggae music, and enjoying time away from the confines of the house -- outside in the fresh air -- was a great alternative to much of the rest of the fifty-four days thus far.     We even ordered in Chinese for dinner and sat on the far deck (they have a three level deck on the house and a separate 3-section deck on the opposite side of the pool), chatting . . . planning several trips (including our August trip to the HOG Nationals, our October trip to Daytona for Biketoberfest, and a late Winter trip to - possibly - the Caribbean) . . . and just "kicking-back" and enjoying the moment.

Tuesday was such a terrific change of scenery (and boost to my morale), that I took a book and 'managed' to maneuver out onto our back deck for a couple of hours yesterday afternoon.     I read for a while, and then took a nap in the sun.     There was a constant breeze -- which keep the wind-chimes moving in a hypnotic, melodic serenade -- and a peaceful atmosphere with the trees swaying, the birds singing, and the sun shining.

It looks like it is going to be another beautiful day today . . . I might end up on the back deck again this afternoon . . .

Category::   This Thing Called "Life"

(c)   2005    A Southern Belle's Life

Monday, May 23, 2005

Forget Baha . . . 

Veteran British Rockers Roger Daltrey, Pete Townshend, and John Entwistle broke into an animal hospital today and released all of the Doberman Pinschers.      The police have said that they now have proof that . . .

The WHO let the dogs out . . .

-- Brad Sherwood
Who's Line Is It Anyway?

Wanna Listen?

Category::   Humor

(c)   2005    A Southern Belle's Life

Saturday, May 21, 2005

What's That Smell? 

I'm very interested in my readers' opinions.     With that said, feel free to make your comments on the following topic . . . and offer your suggestions . . .

I've always been loyal to product and/or brand if I have had success with said company.     Case in point, my extreme loyalty to Victoria's Secret, Clinique skin-care and make-up, Aveda hair-care, and so on.     I'm interested in -- toying with -- perhaps -- finding a new signature scent (even though such a statement isn't very P.C. these days in light of environmental platforms).     But, while I still have the choice, and can make the choice wisely (without offending those around me), I should still be allowed to make it.

I am not someone who can wear just any scent, as cheap scents are just that -- cheap-smelling and vulgar (imo).     My Spring/Summer light fragrance is Calvin Klein Eternity Eau de Parfum, my Autumn/Winter heavier fragrance is Estee Lauder Youth-Dew Eau de Parfum, and my romantic fragrance is Erox Realm Eau de Parfum, and this has been a loyalty to these houses abilities to combine the Art & Science of Perfumery for many years.

Maybe I should stick with what works (yeah, they work!).  

Or, do I want to be "labeled" as someone who isn't willing to experiment?     Heaven knows that phrase is rarely (if ever) used to describe me!

So, do I branch out in search of a new scent (or scents)?     I really am a three-scent minimum kinda gal . . . it just seems the proper way to approach Life . . . at least the way to approach my life . . .

LADIES?     What fragrance(s) do you wear?

GENTLEMEN?     What fragrance(s) do you find appealing?

Category::   Beauty & The Beast

(c)   2005    A Southern Belle's Life

Week-End Ramblings . . . 

Sharon Stone has (finally) filmed the sequel to 1992's Basic Instinct.     Basic Instinct 2: Risk Addiction will open -- next year -- on March 10, 2006.     The film was green-lit several years ago, but production was halted (many times) -- mainly because the actors chosen had ranging issues (with their personal lives, the script, the nudity, the whatever).     But, Sharon did veto several actors who auditioned as well, including the producer's favorite choice Benjamin Bratt.     (I have to agree with Sharon on this one -- he isn't one of my favorites)

I'm SO totally BUMMED that Blind Justice wasn't picked up for a new season!     Maybe Steven Bochco can shop it to some of the alternative networks.     This is similar to the bumming I got when USA didn't pick up the US version of the (UK) Touching Evil for a second season -- I thought it was a thought-provoking show, slightly off-kilter, with all of the pan shots of the time-lapsed skylines and such mixed in.

What happened to the "talk" of another spin-off of CSI -- CSI:LA?     I'm into 2 out of 3 already (I don't do David Caruso -- he is so stiff and overly self-indulgent that I can't take large doses of him).     And, what happened to the half-and-half split of the L&O:CI 22 espisodes to give Vincent D'Onofrio some "down-time" after his collapse on the set twice and hospitalization for exhaustion last season, by bringing in Chris Noth's original L&O "Mike Logan" character to "share-the-load?"     Chris has appeared in only one episode this season.     Did his first outing meet with negative feedback from the audience?

I've been shopping again . . . I am willing to admit, I have a VS-addiction.     Here are three of the sets I just ordered.     I also ordered some v-neck henleys and faux-wrapped t-shirts in black, white and red, that will look great with jeans and shorts.

I was rambling on about this (among other things) a few nights ago in Shop-A-Holics, Big Wishes & Ramblings.     I guess when you realize you have a different definition of friendship than others, a little shopping helps to ease the pain.

My s.o. surprised me last evening with a "treat."     He brought home edamame to snack on, and ebi sushi (with a light shoyu) for an appetizer.     The whole thing was delicious enough to make a meal of since it has been so long since I've had sushi -- especially such good sushi!     The only thing that could have made it any better would have been a couple of pieces of unagi and some shaved shoga (okay, and maybe a kani stick or two with a big bowl of steamed rice with more shoyu).     I've just made myself really hungry talking about all of this.

Also, since I'm ranting, rambling, and otherwise rattling . . . I'm really bummed about my doctor's appointment as well.     I guess I should really say -- the lack thereof of a doctor's appointment.     I was scheduled to see my orthopedic surgeon next Monday (the 23rd) but his office telephoned earlier in the week to say that they needed to reschedule because my surgeon had been called out-of-town, and would be unavailable all next week.     Of course, the following Monday is Memorial Day (he maintains two offices and is only closest to my location on Mondays/Thursdays).     So, my long-awaited appointment was rescheduled to June 2nd.     I knew (logically) that he wouldn't (permanently) remove the cast at my 05/23 appointment but, I had hoped that he would (at least) discuss scheduling physical therapy sessions -- and, perhaps, begin them prior to the final removal of the cast.     Now, I'm losing (potentially) two weeks that I could be in therapy; instead, I'm just stuck in this cast doing nothing!     The worst part of it all is that one of my very good friends is getting married on June 3rd, and I had hoped to be out of the cast -- no wheelchair / no crutches -- by the wedding, so that I could attend this gala occasion and reception of the year.     I haven't had the heart to call him to tell him yet that I won't be attending his wedding.     I refuse to ruin his wedding by potentially being caught in photos in a wheelchair or on crutches, or taking any attention away from the reason for the day by my -- what would be -- lack of a quiet, under-the-radar arrival.     So, I have to miss something that is very important to me because of this never-ending handicap saga.

Enough of this . . . I think I'll "roll" into the kitchen and try to find something for lunch . . .

Category::   This Thing Called "Life"

(c)   2005    A Southern Belle's Life

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Do Not Disturb . . . 

I'm not one that is really all that into television . . . which, is an odd thing for me to realize, considering the tons of entertainment trivia I have littering my brain, and the years of television and movie viewing from my childhood on.     But, I have certain shows that I watch -- religiously -- and, can take or leave the rest (and usually leave it).     The only shows I refuse to miss (thank goodness for DVR technology!) are: L&O:CI, L&O:SVU, CSI, CSI:NY, Blind Justice, L&O:TBJ, and Kojak.     (anyone notice a theme here?)

Tonight is the two-hour season finale of CSI, which is being directed by Quentin Tarantino (whom I adore!), and featuring a favorite actor of mine from a million years ago -- Frank Gorshin.     Frank Gorshin passed away Tuesday at the age of 72, and his appearance on tonight's episode of CSI will be his very last (as it was the last work he completed before being hospitalized).     And, the plot tonight revolves around my favorite member of CSI, George Eads.   (allow me a moment of pause to wipe the drool away)

So, just for the record . . . between 8:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. EDT tonight . . . don't expect to reach me by any means . . .

Category::   Television

(c)   2005    A Southern Belle's Life

La Dame de Shalott 

I hope that readers and visitors of this blog will indulge me in my idiosyncrasies as of late . . . there are many reasons for the things I've said and done; none of which I feel compelled to explain fully.     Today, someone very close to me said that whenever she sees the painting "The Lady Of Shalott," she always thinks of me.     At first, I was a little taken aback by her odd observations but, after some thought, perhaps I can see her point.     She has known me for a very long time, and knows most of my intimate secrets.

And, considering I've been 'trapped' inside this house now for forty-seven days, the story is something I can relate to . . .

The Lady Of Shalott (La Dame de Shalott), 1888
by John William Waterhouse
Waterhouse illustrates Tennyson's fabled poem, based on the legendary maiden in love with Sir Lancelott.

The Story:
The Lady of Shalott is a magical being who lives alone on an island upstream from King Arthur's Camelot.     Her business is to look at the world outside her castle window in a mirror, and to weave what she sees into a tapestry.     She is forbidden by the magic to look at the outside world directly.     The farmers who live near her island hear her singing and know who she is, but never see her.

The Lady sees ordinary people, loving couples, and knights in pairs reflected in her mirror.     One day, she sees the reflection of Sir Lancelot riding alone.     Although she knows that it is forbidden, she looks out the window at him.     The mirror shatters, the tapestry flies off on the wind, and the Lady feels the power of her curse.

An autumn storm suddenly arises.     The lady leaves her castle, finds a boat, writes her name on it, gets into the boat, sets it adrift, and sings her death song as she drifts down the river to Camelot.     The locals find the boat and the body, realize who she is, and are saddened.     Lancelot prays that God will have mercy on her soul.

The Poem:

On either side the river lie
Long fields of barley and of rye,
That clothe the wold and meet the sky;
And through the field the road run by
To many-tower'd Camelot;
And up and down the people go,
Gazing where the lilies blow
Round an island there below,
The island of Shalott.

Willows whiten, aspens quiver,
Little breezes dusk and shiver
Through the wave that runs for ever
By the island in the river
Flowing down to Camelot.
Four grey walls, and four grey towers,
Overlook a space of flowers,
And the silent isle imbowers
The Lady of Shalott.

By the margin, willow veil'd,
Slide the heavy barges trail'd
By slow horses; and unhail'd
The shallop flitteth silken-sail'd
Skimming down to Camelot:
But who hath seen her wave her hand?
Or at the casement seen her stand?
Or is she known in all the land,
The Lady of Shalott?

Only reapers, reaping early,
In among the bearded barley
Hear a song that echoes cheerly
From the river winding clearly;
Down to tower'd Camelot;
And by the moon the reaper weary,
Piling sheaves in uplands airy,
Listening, whispers, " 'Tis the fairy
The Lady of Shalott."

There she weaves by night and day
A magic web with colours gay.
She has heard a whisper say,
A curse is on her if she stay
To look down to Camelot.
She knows not what the curse may be,
And so she weaveth steadily,
And little other care hath she,
The Lady of Shalott.

And moving through a mirror clear
That hangs before her all the year,
Shadows of the world appear.
There she sees the highway near
Winding down to Camelot;
There the river eddy whirls,
And there the surly village churls,
And the red cloaks of market girls
Pass onward from Shalott.

Sometimes a troop of damsels glad,
An abbot on an ambling pad,
Sometimes a curly shepherd lad,
Or long-hair'd page in crimson clad
Goes by to tower'd Camelot;
And sometimes through the mirror blue
The knights come riding two and two.
She hath no loyal Knight and true,
The Lady of Shalott.

But in her web she still delights
To weave the mirror's magic sights,
For often through the silent nights
A funeral, with plumes and lights
And music, went to Camelot;
Or when the Moon was overhead,
Came two young lovers lately wed.
"I am half sick of shadows," said
The Lady of Shalott.

A bow-shot from her bower-eaves,
He rode between the barley sheaves,
The sun came dazzling thro' the leaves,
And flamed upon the brazen greaves
Of bold Sir Lancelot.
A red-cross knight for ever kneel'd
To a lady in his shield,
That sparkled on the yellow field,
Beside remote Shalott.

The gemmy bridle glitter'd free,
Like to some branch of stars we see
Hung in the golden Galaxy.
The bridle bells rang merrily
As he rode down to Camelot:
And from his blazon'd baldric slung
A mighty silver bugle hung,
And as he rode his armor rung
Beside remote Shalott.

All in the blue unclouded weather
Thick-jewell'd shone the saddle-leather,
The helmet and the helmet-feather
Burn'd like one burning flame together,
As he rode down to Camelot.
As often thro' the purple night,
Below the starry clusters bright,
Some bearded meteor, burning bright,
Moves over still Shalott.

His broad clear brow in sunlight glow'd;
On burnish'd hooves his war-horse trode;
From underneath his helmet flow'd
His coal-black curls as on he rode,
As he rode down to Camelot.
From the bank and from the river
He flashed into the crystal mirror,
"Tirra lirra," by the river
Sang Sir Lancelot.

She left the web, she left the loom,
She made three paces through the room,
She saw the water-lily bloom,
She saw the helmet and the plume,
She look'd down to Camelot.
Out flew the web and floated wide;
The mirror crack'd from side to side;
"The curse is come upon me," cried
The Lady of Shalott.

In the stormy east-wind straining,
The pale yellow woods were waning,
The broad stream in his banks complaining.
Heavily the low sky raining
Over tower'd Camelot;
Down she came and found a boat
Beneath a willow left afloat,
And around about the prow she wrote
The Lady of Shalott.

And down the river's dim expanse
Like some bold seer in a trance,
Seeing all his own mischance --
With a glassy countenance
Did she look to Camelot.
And at the closing of the day
She loosed the chain, and down she lay;
The broad stream bore her far away,
The Lady of Shalott.

Lying, robed in snowy white
That loosely flew to left and right --
The leaves upon her falling light --
Thro' the noises of the night,
She floated down to Camelot:
And as the boat-head wound along
The willowy hills and fields among,
They heard her singing her last song,
The Lady of Shalott.

Heard a carol, mournful, holy,
Chanted loudly, chanted lowly,
Till her blood was frozen slowly,
And her eyes were darkened wholly,
Turn'd to tower'd Camelot.
For ere she reach'd upon the tide
The first house by the water-side,
Singing in her song she died,
The Lady of Shalott.

Under tower and balcony,
By garden-wall and gallery,
A gleaming shape she floated by,
Dead-pale between the houses high,
Silent into Camelot.
Out upon the wharfs they came,
Knight and Burgher, Lord and Dame,
And around the prow they read her name,
The Lady of Shalott.

Who is this? And what is here?
And in the lighted palace near
Died the sound of royal cheer;
And they crossed themselves for fear,
All the Knights at Camelot;
But Lancelot mused a little space
He said, "She has a lovely face;
God in his mercy lend her grace,
The Lady of Shalott."

1842 "The Lady of Shalott"
by Alfred Lord Tennyson

Category::   Literature / Art

(c)   2005    A Southern Belle's Life

Shop-A-Holics, Big Wishes & Ramblings ... 

It's 1:30 a.m. and I can't sleep, so I picked up the laptop for some 'mindless' time-killing until I felt a bit drowsy . . . the problem is . . . I'm not the least bit drowsy.     I've already placed an order with for an assortment of H&BA products.     When you can't even drive to the local pharmacy, it's nice that the pharmacy will come to you.     I've also been eyeing the latest Victoria's Secret catalogue that just arrived -- the one touting the Semi-Annual Sale!     And, then there is still that matter of the VS shoes that are lingering in the back of my mind.

I have a credit card handy (I just used it to place my MediChest order), and it isn't any problem to whip out my VS Angel's Gold card . . . Heck!, I already placed an order earlier this afternoon on Amazon for three new CDs.     I also have a call in to a large mall in Maryland attempting to purchase a gift card that can be sent to my nephew for his birthday.     We recently moved away from the D.C. area, and my nephew and his family moved into the area after we left - close to this particular mall.     It's his 4th birthday, and his mom asked for some very particular items for him.     Instead of buying here and shipping something which may or may not suit her tastes, I thought I would let her choose her own things for him.

Even though you can find practically anything on-line, I would love to be able to *pop* into my new car (which, because of the broken foot/ankle, I haven't even really gotten to drive since I got it), and drive to a mall and shop for myself.     Of course, there are a zillion-and-one other things I would love to be able to do as well . . . see my nail tech for a manicure and pedicure, see my stylist for a cut, see my massuese for a full, deep-tissue body massage, drive up to Chattanooga to see friends, go to my favorite restaurant (Kanpai of Tokyo) and partake of a fabulous hibachi meal, get on the back of our Harley for a ride to anywhere (or nowhere in particular), go out on the lake with our friends in their new boat, get back in the gym to work out, or just walk to the mailbox or around the block.

And, honestly, what's the point of owning a Saab 9 3 Turbo Convertible if it just sits in the garage all the time???

I will tell you this much, though . . . when something like "this" happens (meaning my broken foot/ankle), you r-e-a-l-l-y find out who your "real" friends truly are!     Prior to my accident, I had been receiving what turned out to be some hefty wheelbarrow-loads of lip-service, with nothing to back it up.     Since the accident, I've seen a lot of people's TRUE COLORS shinin' through!

Enough of this . . . I think I hear VS calling to me . . . come on -- how can anyone pass up a Semi-Annual Sale's Event?!?!?

Category::   Addictions/Rants

(c)   2005    A Southern Belle's Life

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Synchronicity . . . 

I have to confess that I am totally hooked on Night Sessions by Chris Botti, after a very close friend suggested that I (had to) listen to the CD.     He especially recommended one song in particular, All Would Envy, for extremely personal reasons (to us both).     He was right; the song is addictive.     Even the first time I heard it, I felt as if I had heard it, or something very similar, before.     It wasn't until he and I talked a few days after I received the CD, and I had been listening to it, that he told me that the song was written by Sting, and sung by Shawn Colvin.     I realized that there was a song with a similar "feel" on Sting's Brand New Day CD.     When I first bought that CD, I had played it quite incessantly as well.     I've been searching through the multitudes of CDs in my collection (I won't even tell you how many that might be), and finally found the CD today.     I loaded the CD onto my laptop, along with Night Sessions, which was already there.     In reading the liner notes, I found that Chris Botti had contributed trumpet to the Brand New Day CD.     How's that for full-circle synchronicity*    (wouldn't C. G. Jung be so proud?)?

One of the songs on Brand New Day that is also very haunting is A Thousand Years.     If you're interested, check out the lyrics below:

A Thousand Years
From Brand New Day
Words by Sting, Music by Sting and Kipper

A thousand years, a thousand more,
A thousand times a million doors to eternity
I may have lived a thousand lives, a thousand times
An endless turning stairway climbs
To a tower of souls
If it takes another thousand years, a thousand wars,
The towers rise to numberless floors in space
I could shed another million tears, a million breaths,
A million names but only one truth to face

A million roads, a million fears
A million suns, ten million years of uncertainty
I could speak a million lies, a million songs,
A million rights, a million wrongs in this balance of time
But if there was a single truth, a single light
A single thought, a singular touch of grace
Then following this single point, this single flame,
The single haunted memory of your face

I still love you
I still want you
A thousand times the mysteries unfold themselves
Like galaxies in my head

I may be numberless, I may be innocent
I may know many things, I may be ignorant
Or I could ride with kings and conquer many lands
Or win this world at cards and let it slip my hands
I could be cannon food, destroyed a thousand times
Reborn as fortune's child to judge another's crimes
Or wear this pilgrim's cloak, or be a common thief
I've kept this single faith, I have but one belief

I still love you
I still want you
A thousand times the mysteries unfold themselves
Like galaxies in my head
On and on the mysteries unwind themselves
Eternities still unsaid
'Til you love me

(c)   1999 A& M Records, Inc.

* there was no pun intended in reference to the Police song Synchronicity I or Synchronicity II when I made this choice of word.     Perhaps just another example of "synchronicity."

Category::   Jazz & Rhythmic Soul

(c)   2005    A Southern Belle's Life

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

If We Believe . . . 

Scorpio   Scorpio

"It's been said that whatever good one sends out into the world comes back eightfold.     You're about to provide proof that it's true, thanks to the wonderful things you've unselfishly done for others."

I would like to think that this is true . . .

Category::   What We Don't Know

(c)   2005    A Southern Belle's Life

Monday, May 16, 2005

Out Of Touch . . . 

Okay, it was bad enough when some virus (and/or some hacker) hijacked my domain name and used it to send thousands upon thousands of spam e-mails to companies and individuals all over the planet (I know it was in the thousands because I received over four thousand bounced-back rejects . . . imagine how many were delivered) -- the (at) my domain name (dot) com was used with just a lot of letters and numbers before the (at) to send junk . . . so my name is associated with a major spam-a-rama fest . . . (I'm still getting bounce-back rejects, and it has been three-plus weeks)

anyway - as if that wasn't enough . . .

Now, for some reason, I can't download any of my mail.     My mail program isn't working.     I can go on-line and read mail for two of my accounts from my ISP provider but, I can't download anything to my laptop.     It has been three days since my mail program just stopped working.     Of course, as usual, my ISP is of no assistance whatsoever.

Yes, I'm ranting . . . but, things like this just p*ss me off . . .

Category::   Technology (or lack thereof)

(c)   2005    A Southern Belle's Life

Sunday, May 15, 2005

A Creative Loss 

Promising Author Egolf Kills Himself at 33 (the full article can be found at this link).

We all have our demons . . . it's sad that his were too strong for him to fight against.

Even though I didn't agree with his strong "politics" and his overt demonstrations of his views and opinions (he still had his rights to his opinions), it is sad when the creative community loses one of their own - one who was just finding his place in the literary world.

R.I.P. Tristan

Category::   Literary

(c)   2005    A Southern Belle's Life

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Here Without You . . . 

~ ~ ~ 3 Doors Down ~ ~ ~

Video code provided by Music Video Codes

UPDATE:     What a bummer.     The video doesn't seem to be working here (at least not for me - I don't know if it's working for others, so I've provided an alternate link above).

And, "C.," regardless of how you get there ... you still know this is just for you, don't you?     Thanks for "Night Sessions," too.     We'll talk soon ...

Category::   This Thing Called Life

(c)   2005    A Southern Belle's Life

Friday, May 13, 2005

More Torture? 

Those who read me (or know me well enough) know that I am a Victoria's Secret junkie . . . yeah, a junkie!     My VS addiction had been a long one, and I have a highboy chest and four drawer chest that proves that fact.     Most people have a lingerie drawer or two . . . I have whole lingerie furniture combinations, filled to the brim, and spilling over!     Of course, the lingerie isn't the only thing I buy from VS . . . I love their jeans, and their dresses, and their shirts, and, . . .

well, on Monday, I received a new catalogue from VS -- it was simply entitled "The Shoe Book" which, at first glance, was a cruel blow to my tortured soul but, as I flipped through the pages, I was INSPIRED by the beauty of s-h-o-e-s!

I was immediately infatuated by a lime green Birkenstock Slide, and an Anklewrap flat sandal with interchangable white, pink, and paprika cotton gauze ribbons, and some sassy cotton plaid Chuck Taylor Converse All*Stars . . . and, then, there they were . . .

That's when I saw the Anklewrap Pump from Carlos(tm) by Carlos Santana, which sent my heart into palpatations . . .


My friend Vic says I should just order them for the inspiration they'll give to aid in healing -- but, . . . I'm ordering those shoes because I'll be WEARING those shoes before the end of Summer!     (let's just hope I don't fall off of them and break my other foot/ankle in the process)

See?!?!?     I told you . . .     I LOVE SHOES!  

Category::   It's All About The Shoes

(c)   2005    A Southern Belle's Life

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Night Sessions . . . 

In the for-what-it's-worth department, I highly recommend this CD . . .


Chris Botti - Night Sessions

This CD came highly recommended by someone very close to me -- one track in particular -- and, . . . I'm hooked!     It has been playing, non-stop, since it arrived three days ago . . .

(You can listen to samples at the link above)
I actually bought both "Night Sessions" and "When I Fall In Love," but I haven't even opened the seal on the second one yet.

Category::   Jazz

(c)   2005    A Southern Belle's Life

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Southerners . . . 

I can't take credit for this - my Uncle e-mailed it to me (and, only Heaven knows where he got it) - but, it's too good to not share . . . so, ENJOY!

Only a Southerner knows the difference between a hissie fit and a conniption fit, and that you don't "HAVE" them, you "PITCH" them.

* * * * *

Only a Southerner knows how many fish, collard greens, turnip greens, peas, beans, etc., make up "a mess."

* * * * *

Only a Southerner can show or point out to you the general direction of "yonder."

* * * * *

Only a Southerner knows exactly how long "directly" is -- as in: "Going to town, be back directly."

* * * * *

Even Southern babies know that "Gimme some sugar" is not a request for the white, granular sweet substance that sits in a pretty little bowl in the middle of the table.

* * * * *

All Southerners know exactly when "by and by" is.     They might not use the term, but they know the concept well.

* * * * *

Only a Southerner knows instinctively that the best gesture of solace for a neighbor who's got trouble is a plate of hot fried chicken and a big bowl of cold potato salad.     If the neighbor's trouble is a real crisis, they also know to add a large banana puddin!

* * * * *

Only Southerners grow up knowing the difference between "right near" and "a right far piece."     They also know that "just down the road" can be 1 mile or 20.

* * * * *

Only a Southerner, both knows and understands, the difference between a redneck, a good ol' boy, and po' white trash.

* * * * *

No true Southerner would ever assume that the car with the flashing turn signal is actually going to make a turn.

* * * * *

A Southerner knows that "fixin" can be used as a noun, a verb, or an adverb.

* * * * *

Only Southerners make friends while standing in lines.     We don't do "queues," we do "lines"; and when we're "in line," we talk to everybody!

* * * * *

Put 100 Southerners in a room and half of them will discover they're related, even if only by marriage.

* * * * *

Southerners never refer to one person as "ya'll."

* * * * *

Southerners know grits come from corn and how to eat them.

* * * * *

Every Southerner knows tomatoes with eggs, bacon, grits, and coffee are perfectly wonderful; that milk gravy is also a breakfast food; and that fried green tomatoes are not a breakfast food.

* * * * *

When you hear someone say, "Well, I caught myself lookin'," you know you are in the presence of a genuine Southerner!

* * * * *

Only true Southerners say "sweet tea" and "sweet milk."     Sweet tea indicates the need for sugar and lots of it -- we do not like our tea unsweetened.     "Sweet milk" means you don't want buttermilk.

* * * * *

And a true Southerner knows you don't scream obscenities at little old ladies who drive 30 MPH on the freeway.     You just say, "Bless her heart" and go your own way.

* * * * *

To those of you who're still a little embarrassed by your Southerness     Take two tent revivals and a dose of sausage gravy and call me in the morning.     Bless your heart!

* * * * *

And to those of you who are still having a hard time understanding all this Southern stuff, bless your hearts, I hear they are fixin' to have classes on Southerness as a second language!

* * * * *

And for those that are not from the South but have lived here for a long time, ya'll need a sign to hang on ya'lls front porch that reads "I aint from the South but I got here as fast as I could.

Category::   Just For Fun

(c)   2005    A Southern Belle's Life

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Tortured . . . 

I'm being tortured.     For some reason, the television is filled with advertisements, close-up shots, and discussions about shoes . . . yes, I said . . . SHOES!

I admit it -- I love shoes . . . I have always loved shoes . . . at one point in time, I had over one hundred and fifty pairs of shoes.     And, this wasn't just a pile of cheap shoes -- these were designer shoes . . . snakeskins, alligator . . . high-heels, medium heels, low-heels, flats.     I really LOVED my shoes!

Over time, I realized it was a dangerous obsession, as I could not go to a mall without buying one or two pairs of shoes – dropping $100 - $200 at a pop.     As you can see, this was an unhealthy obsession.     It was a hard habit to break but, over time, I conquered my addition to buying shoes.

It doesn't mean I stopped loving shoes.

I still love shoes.

And, that is what is making all of this saturation on television so difficult to watch.     What happens when the cast comes off?     What happens after physical therapy?     Will I be able to walk like I did before?     Will I be left with a limp?     Will I be able to put on any pair of shoes?     Will this horrific scar fade away?     What happens if I can't wear anything but sneakers?     I don't think sneakers will look appropriate with most of my wardrobe.

I still have a little over another month in this cast.     And, crutches and a wheelchair are truly a royal pain in the *ss.     I can't even leave my house without help because every entrance to my house is at least one flight of stairs.     I always wanted to be put up on a pedestal but, . . . I don't think this was what I had in mind . . .

Okay, sorry . . . I'll stop the pity-party (or, at least I'll try).

Category::   This Thing Called "Life"

(c)   2005    A Southern Belle's Life

Friday, May 06, 2005

Mischief - Ill.Fr. 

This week's   Illustration Friday


No groaning allowed . . .

Category::   Creativity

(c)   2005    A Southern Belle's Life

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Ambition - Ill.Fr. 

I was so excited about participating in my first   Illustration Friday   event this week.

The word was AMBITION, and I had the idea of sketching out my poor 'ole foot in this danged cast, and have my foot "dreaming" of a sexy sandal . . .

But, I went through probably ten pages, using colored pencils, pastels, watercolors, collage . . . I had the "perfect" illustration in my head . . . it just didn't want to translate to paper, for some reason.     I got a few "okay" pieces, but none that I was happy enough with to upload.     But, to me, and all of this stress of being trapped in this cast,   a-m-b-i-t-i-o-n   means working myself out of this clod-hopper of a cast and back into some sexy, strappy sandals that show everything -- no scars, no swelling, no evidence of the abuse my foot and ankle have endured over the last five weeks (or longer).

broken  crutches  high-heels

I guess my creativity wasn't at a place to translate into a tangible project.     So, I am resigned to wait until the NEXT Ill.-Fr. topic to participate - BUMMER!     But, I think I'll still play around with this topic, and these images, and see what -- finally -- emerges from the darkness . . .

Category::   Creativity

(c)   2005     A Southern Belle's Life

Where's MY Fifteen Minutes?!? 

Okay, folks . . . we've all heard Andy Warhol's immortal take on life concerning everyone's fifteen-minutes-of-fame!     But, there are just some people who are using up more than their allotted share, and dipping into the rest of our shares - leaving nothing for us when our time does finally arrive.

Some are obvious (the celebrities that already have their fifteen minutes and then do something so outrageous -- excuse me -- allegedly outrageous -- that we're subjected to the stories in the news, on court TV, E! True Hollywood Story, etc., ad nauseum), while some are just plain sinister without an ounce of guilt or remorse in their bodies and, some . . .

Well, let's take my "neighbor," Jennifer Wilbanks -- she lives just a few towns over (thus, "neighbor" being a relative term in Georgia) . . . last week, we here in northern Georgia, along with the rest of the country, prayed and hoped for the best, yet feared for the worst (due to the track record of missing women such as Chandra Levy and Laci Petterson) but, miraculously, Jennifer Wilbanks turned up in New Mexico, the victim of an alleged kidnapping three days prior.

The joy of her being found alive and safe quickly turned to anger and outrage when it was learned that she had merely "ran-away."     Yes, ran away because she couldn't handle the stress of a large wedding.     Excuse me!?!?!     WHO PLANNED THIS WEDDING?????     Who addressed and mailed 600 invitations?     Who chose 14 bridesmaids?     It wasn't me, that's for sure . . . *in my best Church-Lady voice* -- "Was it Jennifer, perhaps?"

And, still the reputable news organizations are running stories on a daily basis on this woman.     DAILY!     Opinions.     Psychoanalysis.     Rehashing the same information that has been disseminated for almost a week now.    I mean, yeah, it's Sweeps Month but, JEEZ, LOUISE!, give it a break!

This does not EVEN begin to scratch-the-surface of the myriad of articles that are circulating -- both on-line and in print -- on Jennifer Wilbanks . . . and, will be for weeks to come.     Is anyone even still concerned that Chandra Levy's killer got away with murder?     And, what about the numerous other disappearances and murders that occur on a daily basis that never get this kind of press, or might - perhaps - get a one inch mention on page 15 of the local newspaper -- what about THOSE people?     Do they not deserve the same energy, manpower, and effort as to what went into this hoax perpetuated on a Town, then a State, then a Nation?

Category::   Life's Little Annoyances / Rant

(c)   2005    A Southern Belle's Life

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

I've Been Tagged! 

Well, I wondered how long I could "dodge-the-proverbial-bullet" of this circulating meme but, it seems that An American Housewife has tagged me with it.

* * *

Here's how it works:

Pick 5 of the following and then complete the sentences.     Then pass this little meme on to 3 more of your blog friends!

But no tag backs!

And be could be next!

  •   If I could be a scientist . . .
  •   If I could be a farmer . . .
  •   If I could be a musician . . .
  •   If I could be a doctor . . .
  •   If I could be a painter . . .
  •   If I could be a gardener . . .
  •   If I could be a missionary . . .
  •   If I could be a chef . . .
  •   If I could be an architect . . .
  •   If I could be a linguist . . .
  •   If I could be a psychologist . . .
  •   If I could be a librarian . . .
  •   If I could be an athlete . . .
  •   If I could be a lawyer . . .
  •   If I could be an inn-keeper . . .
  •   If I could be a professor . . .
  •   If I could be a writer . . .
  •   If I could be a llama-rider . . .
  •   If I could be a bonnie pirate . . .
  •   If I could be an astronaut . . .
  •   If I could be a world famous blogger . . .
  •   If I could be a justice on any one court in the world . . .
  •   If I could be married to any current famous political figure . . .

If I could be a farmer. . .   I would go back and re-purchase the house we just sold last year (a 108 y/o Victorian farm with acreage and outbuildings) and find a large amount of acreage here and have the entire farm (with all buildings, fences, trees, fruit vines, etc.) moved here.     With that said and done, I would add milk cows, goats (for milk and cheese), chickens (for eggs), and horses (for exercise and enjoyment).     Then, I would add a small garden just for our family to grow fresh vegetables, fruit, herbs and other edible and usable items.     I would surround certain areas with flowering plants to bring all sorts of birds, butterflies, bees and wildlife to the farm.     It would be a self-sustaining oasis away from the hassles of the world around us.

If I could be a painter. . .  I would want to have a studio near the ocean, surrounded by a garden filled with flowers of every imaginable shape, color and fashion.     I could paint either at the beach, listening the the sounds of the waves crashing against the shore, or in the midst of my gardens surrounded by colors and nature.

If I could be an athlete. . .  I would be a beach volleyball player so that I could spend my time near the ocean, surrounded by fresh air and nature, and building up my strength and endurance in the process.     And, since I'm currently incapacitated by this danged cast on my leg, any sport that would involve running, jumping and using my foot and calf muscles would be a welcomed dream come true.

If I could be an inn-keeper. . .   it would be in a quaint seaside village, so close to the water that you could hear the waves as they hit the shore.     The B&B would be small and only accomodate 2-3 sets of guests, but would be filled with antiques, vintage ambience, charm and an appeal that would bring visitors back, again and again.      Each room would be a separate bungalow behind the main house, and be surrounded by gardens, and trellises, and climbing vines that transform the entire place into a storybook setting.

If I could be a writer. . .  (which I already am) . . . I would envision being only the BEST - meaning success, popularity, and a following (instead of just the struggling writer I currently am now).

Well, wasn't that a bit . . . enlightening . . . even to me, once I started answering the questions . . .

Now, I have to sneak up behind and tag three others . . . *shhhhhhhhhhhh* . . . okay, here goes . . . I tag:

Category::   Meme Fun

(c)   2005    A Southern Belle's Life

Monday, May 02, 2005

Connecting ... 

I have participated in a few post-card "swap" events -- some were on my interior decorating/design group, and the others were on art groups.     Both types of swaps were such fun, and a great way to create a small piece of art and share it with others.      And, you receive cards from all the other participants in return, and get to see their talents and creativity.

Today, I happened upon an entry on someone's dead blog that linked to another type of postcard swap (not so much creative - more connective).     It is called postcardx. and appears to be a way to revive 'snail-mail' and 'pen-pals.'     I've just looked around briefly but . . . what a neat way to connect to others.

I think -- as a group of like-minded bloggers -- we should organize something similar to stay in touch with each other . . . aside from e-mails and comments on each other's blogs.

Anyone interested?!?

Category::   Creativity / Connection

(c)   2005    A Southern Belle's Life

She's A Little Runaway . . . 

As I walk along I wonder
what went wrong
With our love,
a love that was so strong

And as I still walk on I think of
the things we've done together
While our hearts were young

I'm walkin' in the rain,
tears are fallin' and I feel the pain
Wishin' you were here by me
to end this misery and I wonder
I wonder why why
why why why why she ran away
And I wonder where
she will stay my little runaway
A run, run, run, runaway
(Instrumental Break)

~ Del Shannon

Okay, I'm usually not one to jump on the proverbial bandwagon of "in-your-face" media frenzy-feeding topics that permeate the airwaves, the dailies, the glossies and the tabloids when something such as this story hits.     I usually keep my opinions on these topics (as well as politics, and a few other [what-could-be-construed-as] controversial subjects) to myself but, . . . this one was difficult to ignore.

Living in the extreme northwest outskirts of Atlanta (so far, it can't really be called suburbs), I am also in close proximity to the town of Duluth, Georgia where Jennifer Wilbanks disappeared last Tuesday night.     I -- like most of our region -- and, later, most of the country -- followed this story closely.     Of course, as many, influenced by the stories (and spins) that the media was placing on this disappearance, I was reminded of my move to D.C. during the time that Chandra Levy disappeared (I became totally wrapped up in Chandra's case).     And, of course, even the media alluded to Laci Petterson on several occasions over the last week.     All eyes began to turn to Jennifer's fiance when the search failed to bring any real leads.     Two prominent and well-respected legal journalists emphatically declared during their shows that there was "no way this was a runaway; no way" and inferred that the authorities needed to look more closely at the fiance.

I watched the news conferences each evening on the Atlanta local news, and watched as the distraught families begged for any information, and for Jennifer's safe return.     When Jennifer first contacted her family late Friday night to say she had been kidnapped, her family and her fiance's family were elated.    She then telephoned the Albuquerque, NM police at 9-1-1 and told her tale of abduction to them.     It was later on Saturday that Albuquerque, NM authorities - then Duluth, GA authorities - were told the truth.     The Duluth chief of police had to inform the family of the truth.     The mood turned from elation to -- what I'm sure was embarrassment and shock -- and the families barricaded themselves inside of the fiance's home, drawing all the blinds and cutting themselves off from the same media that they had spent the last three-plus days with in direct interaction.

Originally, both NM and GA said there would be no charges filed.     But, that is now being reconsidered.     The Gwinnett County Georgia District Attorney is currently weighing two different charges -- either a misdemeanor charge of false report of a crime or a felony charge of false statements.     The misdemeanor carries a penalty of up to a year in jail; five years in prison is the maximum sentence for the felony.

In addition, now there are numerous psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers and marriage counselors coming out of the woodwork (looking for their fifteen minutes), who are giving their "expert" opinions on the stress that caused Jennifer to run away from the responsibilities and commitments she had made by planning such an elaborate wedding with 600 invited guests, 14 bridesmaids, and 14 groomsmen and everything that goes with such a lavish affair.     These "experts" are saying she was overwhelmed, had feelings of 'fear of disappointment' if she didn't go through with the wedding, and a barrage of yadda-yadda-yadda-psycho-babble.     I've already heard (and/or read) the opinions of at least six marriage counselors who have laid a perfect foundation for Jennifer's defense of her actions.     But, none of these counselors have seen or met her, and are merely going on what they (just like the rest of us) have heard in the media.

But, there are indications that she purchased the bus ticket at least a week in advance.     There's indications that she had put money aside that she could access.     She took a cab to the airport where she then caught the Greyhound bus to Las Vegas.     Once in Vegas, she decided to travel back to Albuquerque.      Somewhere along the way (it appears before she left Georgia, as hair was found "consistent" with hers near where she had been jogging) she cut her hair to disguise her appearance.     Did she just expect to vanish and not come back?     Or, did she plan this elaborate 'kidnapping' hoax all along?     Or, did she not think ahead at all?     She certainly didn't think about her family -- I grieved along with them as I watched their daily news conferences and saw their anguish over her disappearance.     And (especially if charges are filed), I believe her attorney will attempt to prove severe emotional duress brought on by the overwhelming stress of the upcoming wedding, and will recommend hospitalization (and no retribution to the City/Police Department).     From all indications, this was not a "spur of the moment" thing.

Bottom line, I'm very glad that she is safe.     I'm happy that she is back with her family, and they are not having to deal with not knowing what happened to her or, worse, planning a funeral.     I do feel angry that the police department and all of the volunteers who spent two days searching, (square foot by square foot, the entire city of Duluth) for any small piece of evidence that might suggest with happened to Jennifer wasted precious hours for nothing.     I feel sorry for her fiance who had to endure the pain of not knowing, going through interrogations and polygraph testing, and the thinly-veiled accusations as days progressed.     And, yes, the nation as a whole is angry because the media whipped us up into another missing girl frenzy, and we became emotionally invested in this story . . . only to be told that we were all duped by a hoax perpetuated on us all by a 32 year old bride-to-be who stressed out over an overly-elaborately-planned wedding and she got cold feet.

Everyone has gotten in on this bandwagon . . .
check out this eBay auction --
The Original Jennifer Wilbanks Runaway Bride Kit!.     There are actually already seven items for auction on eBay relating to Jennifer.

She definitely got her fifteen minutes, 'eh???

Category::   Opinion

(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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