Last day, first post

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Captain’s Log, Day 9:Lord, bubby. Re-entry to reality. Paradise lost. My Brigadoon enchantment broken. 

Phil, Brad, and I departed Telluride at noon yesterday for the 1,500 mile expedition home in the RV. After driving all night (I slept), we disembarked the Winnebago at 7:15 am for diesel when a helpful gent informed Admiral Phil that wires were dragging the ground under the motorcycle trailer and the tail lights were out. Hence, a two hour stop over in Fort Smith, Arkansas. Groovy. I immediately began to hack from humidity induced throat congestion.


After deliberating with a little meth mouth mechanic, we crossed a bustling four lane to the friendly neighborhood Waffle House seeking breakfast and relief from 1,000,000% humidity. After seating ourselves in a sticky booth, we were immediately blown by flies which Brad attacked with a sale paper he scrounged up by the cash register. Gross.
“Tina” brought us bleachy water and hot coffee which slightly diverted my attention from the loud waitresses squawking at each other and flirting with the chubby old regulars on oxygen at the bar. 

As I nibbled my bacon I wondered about the life of the apparent anemic and atrophic hog who gave up his pork belly for the sake of the greasy, fly trodden menu and turned my attention and waning appetite to my perfectly scattered, covered, and smothered hash browns. I ate every bite of these embellished taters and sopped up my hormone laden egg yolks with margarine drenched wheat toast and dreamed of the refreshing, delicious Rocky Mountain water straight from the taps in fly-free, alternate universe Telluride. (This paragraph is two excellent run-on sentences. What would Ms Linda Wilson my 9th grade English teacher say?)


Back in the RV hurtling toward life and thanking God for everyone I love in that world. There’s a damn fly in here. 

I love it that we are sisters.

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My sister and I are so very alike; nearly identical emotionally, intellectually, spiritually. We are lovers and fighters. We react to most things with the same passion and enthusiasm. We share the same father, our paternal heritage runs deep into the hills of North Carolina, a troubled, poor, yet strong family line. Our unrelated maternal legacies hail from Kentucky where our two strong, loyal, persevering mothers were born and raised.

Tara and I took a spontaneous trip this month to Charleston, SC to celebrate her 39th birthday. What a charming, historic, beautiful place! My first experience exploring downtown Charleston is one I won’t forget!

 

 

Our cozy room at The Lodge Alley Inn.

 

BE THE CHURCH. Yes.

 

We stayed here, too! Elliott House Inn on Queen Street.

 

Sisters.

 

Breakfast at Toast.

 

Charleston Harbor

 

Big as yo’ face biscuit at Toast.

 

Dinner at Husk. The best Manhattan can be found there.

 

Room with a view. We don’t recommend Room 16 at Elliott House Inn.

 

Charleston Firefighters – especially for Kat.


Rainbow Row

 

Rainbow Row – the longest cluster of Georgian row houses in the U.S. (Thanks, Wiki!)

 

Perhaps a Charleston problem as well? Proceed with caution.

Local brew at Henry’s House.

 

A fun cooking class at Charleston Cooks. Blair is a fabulous chef!

 

We scored these at the Historic Charleston City Market.

 

I roamed around Asheville, NC the morning I was driving home from South Carolina to my home in Tennessee.

 

 

Stop letting the imperfect tell you how to love yourself!

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I m so burdened by the constant refrain “I need to lose weight, I wish I looked like <insert name of scary skinny, muscled up person here>” coming from so many gorgeous, successful, loving women that I know. If you are morbidly obese, if your weight is creating life threatening illness in your body, then PLEASE lose the appropriate amount of weight to get yourself physically healthy.

If you assess your self-worth by the cut of your muscles and size of your clothes, then work on letting that sick mentality go to get yourself emotionally healthy. Read this excerpt from Glennon Melton’s blog...
 … I was raised in a sexist culture. I was raised in a world that tried to convince me through media, through certain religious organizations, through inadequate history books and through the beauty industry – that female bodies are worth less than male bodies- and that certain types of female bodies (thin, tall young) are worth more than other types of female bodies.
The daily deluge of images of women’s bodies for sale and the onslaught of emaciated women’s bodies held up as the pinnacle of female achievement and the pervasive message that women exist to please men was the air I breathed.

Who are these people and what grand worth are their opinions to make us believe that??? It’s unreasonable and embarrassing, really.

I’ve learned the key for loving myself is to love others, to help others in real situations of need, not by achieving superficial expectations that someone else has set. The best selling book of all time says our bodies are the “temple of the Lord.” Have we ever really stopped to consider what that means?

Who are these “they” that say my body is imperfect? Hell, one hundred years ago no one but a spouse or a doctor even saw the naked bodies of others! Do you believe there wasn’t beauty and attractiveness before the age of anorexics in g-strings? Honestly.

Take some time to recognize what you love about yourself, give honor to it, and flaunt it, baby!

My Sunroom Makeover

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Our house has an absolutely delightful sunroom that was being sadly neglected and under used. Here’s photographic proof:

  
   

I visualized a lovely, cozy retreat for myself with a funky vintage, shabby chic feel. Where to start? Naturally with a request to my go-to girls, the get-er-done gang: my mother Linda, my best friend since 1977 Tam, and Tam’s mother Wanda. Three days later they were in my driveway Sanford And Son style:

 
Tam immediately proceeded to chalk paint an old, brown, cobwebby desk she had dug out of her barn and this fabulous chair from my mom’s supply of vintage pieces.
 

The result:

   

That Tam is one cool not-so-shabby chick!

Mom and Wanda began working their brand of magic by bringing in pieces they had brought from Tam’s and their homes and a few gems they drug out of my garage and attic and some fantastic finds from Home Goods, Hobby Lobby, and my newfound addiction At Home. Have you been to an At Home store? Find one! Bargains galore!

The AFTER shots:

  

    
   

   

I enjoyed my special space for three hours after the Dream Team headed out on their two hour trek back to Kentucky. Angus likes it, too.
  

    

  

It’s also the perfect morning spot. 

  

Mothers Day is timeless.

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Today is Mother’s Day 2015 and although I didn’t see my son, my mother, nor any of the other special women in my life in person, I have enjoyed talking with some of them and looking at these precious pictures.

Jordy  

When we were both wee ones – 1986

 

1988

  

When we got to see UK play in the Music City Bowl, Nashville

  

That time he surprised me with a birthday dinner at Ruth’s Chris in Nashville.

 

My mother, Linda Baird 

  
 
Oh, how I miss Gran, Mamaw, and Nanny. 

  

Gran Hazel Johnson , me, Mamaw Ree Baird- December 1995

  

Todd, Jordy, me, Nanny Winnie Simmons, Tony, Tara – 1993

  

Nanny with a picture of her main man, – 1984

  

Mybeautiful stepmother Linda Simmons, Tony, Tara, me – Graceland. 1979

I was honored to know my Great-grandmother Hala Elizabeth McGahan Roy for 25 years of my life. Not many people can boast of a Great-great-grandmother, but Jordy had one for over six years. Grandma Roy passed away at age 100 in March 1993.  

Great-grandma Roy and me – 1990

  

Five Generations – my mother, me, my great-grandma, my son, my gran

  
I have been incredibly and bountifully blessed with extended mothers. A host of aunts on all sides of my family and special friends. Here are just a few… 

The Baird aunts – Velma, Myrna, Glenda, Pat, Linda (mom)

These two beauties on either side of mom have loved and supported me for well over 35 years. Anita Tucker and Wanda Mitchell


My two favorite reasons for Mother’s Day are also my two favorite singers.  

Jordy and Mom

My flowers and card from my hubby, Bradford   

 

Bison Chili

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Like most chili eaters, I made up my own recipe for this thick, hearty, comfort soup. And it goes a little somethin’ like this.chili recipe

Ingredients:

Ground Bison – 1 pound
Tomato Puree or Crushed Tomatoes – 28 oz can
Vegetable Broth – 1 cup
Onion – 1 diced
Garlic Cloves – 2 or 3 minced
Kidney Beans and/or Pinto Beans and/or Black Beans – 15 oz can each of two varieties
Salt – 2 tsp
Ground Black Pepper – 1 tsp
Chili Powder – 1/4 cup (I blend together a combo of cumin, garlic powder, cayenne    pepper – all to taste preference.)
Water – 1/2 cup

Now do this with all that:

1. In a large Dutch oven, add the ground bison and diced onion. Brown the meat over medium heat. Drain excess fat if necessary. I usually don’t have to with bison. Stir in minced garlic.

2. Pour in the tomato puree and vegetable broth. Pour the half cup of water into the empty tomato jar/can, swish around to loosen remainder of puree and pour into pot.

3. Stir in the chili powder, salt, and pepper.

4. Drain beans and empty the cans into the pot.

5. Now don’t get in a hurry. Reduce heat to low and let simmer for 2-4 hours. Allow the heat and bison fat to draw those wonderful flavors out of the spices. The longer it simmers, the more the flavors blend together.

6. Serve with biscuits or homemade croutons. Try my recipe for croutons here.

7. Top your serving with the usual suspects – cheese, sour cream, onions, relish, olives, jalapeno peppers. The choices for chili toppings are endless!

Chili is even better the next day so look forward to those leftovers!

Created equal

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Glennon inspired me to share my feelings on this…..
When I first heard about the immigrant children coming into the US recently, my first thought was “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.'” Matthew 25: 35-40
As a Christian, these words of Jesus are familiar to me and his teachings are but one of the reasons I love him. As a mother and a human being, my heart mourns for the horrible plight of these innocent children and their mothers, who incidentally were created and born onto this earth the same way I was. Exactly the same way. As an American, these wordsGlennon Melton quoted in her blog post (see link below for entire essay)-“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me:
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”

-these words humble me with extreme gratitude that I was born onto these United States of freedom and abundance of material things. I look around in so many areas, at so many situations, at my own heart and wonder where is the abundance of love for our fellow man, women, and children outside our loved ones and our own selves? I really want to be loving and unselfish and daily strive to do so even when it doesn’t look like I am. Who am I to think I deserve more love than any other person to whom I was “created equal”? God help me.

#theyarechildren
http://momastery.com/blog/2014/07/25/theyarechildren/