Last day, first post


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.


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.




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




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!


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


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.


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.


When we were both wee ones – 1986




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


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


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!


What was I whining about? Somebody hurt my feelings when I was 12? Cut me off in traffic? Somebody actually thinks I should grow up and own my mistakes? But that’s UNCOMFORTABLE! Yeah, we all do it; become self-appointed, insufferable victims over stuff we should have long moved on from. The next time I’m being embarrassingly querulous, I’m going to reach out to a victim of a REAL tragedy, offer some love, encouragement, support in whatever form necessary. I bet I get over myself pretty darn quick.