Monday, April 30, 2012


Bucket Couture

I stand disbelieving in front of the new display of High Fashion that is being offered for the "typical" Bucket shopper knowing there is an immense disconnect between he buyers and the clientele. I ponder the thought that our frequent eaters drag in sweaters, jackets and all types of cover ups to defend themselves from the onslaught of our over zealous air conditioning requirements. After all, even if our customers are sedentary, the employees are not. There is no balance between the two and so the air is always on, except during the winter months when we are doomed to the the fate of the  fireplace and the subsequent lingering scent of  exquisite smoked BBQ which clings to our hair, our clothes and our whole being!

I ponder all this and more. Theorizing that the 30 somethings that order this type of clothing never once worry about their upper arms flapping in the breeze. I speculate that the buyers have never set foot in a Bucket and researched their target market. 

Or do they? 

It is certain they will see the parade of American Heartland march through the doors of our artery clogging delights disguised and marketed as comfort food. They arrive in their huge SUV's and sedans and F-150's to be dropped off at the front so that they do not have to endure the walk from the expansive parking lot to the entrance. The men are inevitably sent back to these gas guzzling abominations for the cover-ups and jackets the women folk need to battle the atmospheric conditions. Our typical woman shopper/guest is in her 50's or 60's.

Maybe they do realize that the typical stock order of one size small, two size mediums and several larges and the rest of the lot be XL's, XXL's and the biggest seller of them all (no pun intended but snickered at) the XXXL's is pure genius rather than in the trenches research. 

The smalls always linger on the rack until they are shifted to the Clearance Corner and then and only then, are purchased as a gift for someones daughter or granddaughter, who would be so young they would not be caught dead in any of the Bucket Couture.

I still marvel that they insist on sleeveless blowsy blouses that I love.

Because I am now Blanche Devereaux.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

What's Old is New Again

Juke Joint

I am fuddled about everything with this new Blogger! Did I inadvertently agree to this? I can not up load pictures. It sucks. Reminds me of the old days at AOL-J-Land. I couldn't upload pictures for some time. Seems such a long time ago when you were required to know something about HTML, uploading to servers and then downloading...blah blah blah blah. I like it when you press a button and it happens!

So its begun again. I will muddle through with this and prevail I suppose.

So.....I have had company the past several weeks. Lots of company. I have been all over Memphis and North Mississippi over exposed, overpowered  and immersed in the music scene. it's been wonderful but I can't include any pictures!They look pitiful.

I am living in a place where the air oozes music. I have discovered it's easier to borrow CD's from the library and find some remarkable recordings from obscure bands such as Mud boy and the Neutrons. Ever heard of them? Me neither. But while listening to the disc, "it came from memphis" they jumped out at me and grabbed my attention. I thought, "I have to tell everyone about this band!" and so I googled them.

I have a great ear, or great music can not be overlooked. The guys are legendary around Memphis and I realized my education here has just begun.

Elvis? Only the tip of the iceberg. As they said/say "All roads lead to Memphis".

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Psychology 101

Every so often I would pay attention while in class during my first attempt at impersonating a college student. What I am remembering right at this moment is a sketch of a beautiful young woman, happy, smiling, all pulled together. Under the illustration was this statement, "How she sees herself." Next to it was a second illustration of a rather average looking girl with her hair all askew, one earring on the other ... lost. Under the picture was the startling announcement, "How you really look."

I remember thinking, "Good Lord!. Is this possible! Are we truly clueless about our real selves!?!"

Apparently, yes.

My daughter was here for the week end and naturally that meant a slew of picture taking. I am much more comfortable BEHIND the camera.

The scenario went like this....

I informed the men (my hubs and my cousin from Los Angeles also visiting), "I promised Bridget I would take her to T.J. Maxx but she has conceded to go Target. We will be back in hour and then we'll go to the Festival."

"You mean the Target on the way to the Festival?"

Damn, he had me there and with that we wer rushed out the door!

When we arrived at the juke Joint Festival I had neither my camera nor sun block. Thank God for SPF 15 face moisturizer or I would have been burnt up by the time we located a $10 bottle of Bullfrog. the going rate at the tiny down town Clarksdale drugstore.

There was nothing I could do about the camera other than every so often I would say to darling Bridget, "Can I see that?" and take a few artistic shots. Artistic to this delusional messed up one earring woman.

This is how it is. At sometime you have to give it up. You have to let go of the delusional state you operate in. That face looks back at you every morning is near retirement age. You no longer look like a fresh young thing right out of High School who shunned make-up until well into her 30's. The woman who is on the hunt for a miracle is that same woman who appears next to Bridget in all these photo's.

Great God, seeing yourself on a computer screen is like having a glass of cold water thrown into your face.

This is how I see myself - Disclaimer, this is the only picture I could find on my thumb drive of me as approximately a 20 year old. I am the one looking down at something! Probably the dog trying to get in the picture. See how long my hair is and how skinny I am in my empire line mini-dress? Somewhere in my demented mind I still think I semi look like that!

Imgine my horror that I look more like this!

Is this SHOCK therapy?

Despite all the revealing and shocking photographs, we had a quite excellent time. The pictures were good too. Damn it all!
Sorry for the small print! Can't seem to edit the font size. Damn Blogger. I have a good mind to switch to Word Press. And I just might.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

A Bizarro World in my Unpublished Posts

All this for under $15! I know how to shop and it helps that I won't see the grand kids until this week-end so I can take advantage of half price everything!

This is an example of what my Unpublished Post's look like. Perfect little gems waiting to be polished and adorned in Cyberspace. Most the time they are just snippets of thoughts, a long sentence or two. I am queen of a rambling sentence!

In between the published posts is this Bizarro World of Unfinished business. Someday I may take each one and see what I can do with it, until then they sleep like baby thoughts in the incubator of my subconscious.

This has so far been a good day. Beware, there is lots of day left! I finished my taxes, well I started them actually, this morning and had them completed n about two hours. I owe so much less than I did last year. A true blessing. I can probably cover the shortfall quickly.

I made the final payment on 2010 taxes this morning. Funny isn't it? Strange but true!

I finished CUTTING FOR STONE and I must admit, the book became much better and I could not put it down. Sunday night, after The Killing, I hopped in bed and read for hours. I was fully caught up in the story! I did not cry at the ending, I cried Sunday night and that was enough. Fantastic Book!!

My daughter will be here tomorrow for a long week-end stay. We will go to the Juke Joint Festival in Clarksdale, home of the Cross Roads. My cuz from Los Angeles will arrive Friday morning to join us.

I'm off for five days and on Sunday we are heading to Lexington to visit my Mom and celebrate the April Birthdays. An added plus is to see the Grand babies.

Now if only my burnt out head light would fix itself all would be perfect. At least for a couple of hours.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Sleepless Nights

Or Do You Consider me Neurotic?

Even under the most dire circumstances I generally am able to fall asleep. Sometimes a rosary helps, other times just going to my happy places does the trick. I drift off while laying on the beaches of the Caribbean with a fruity drink in hand and the sun on my face. When I was a kid I use to make up fictional stories with myself as the heroine. These are the lullaby's of my falling asleep ritual.

As of late I have not slept well. Tossing and turning, knocking the cat around. I wake up to glance at the clock to see how much time I have left to writhe around in the sheets.

What is laying heavy on my mind is the anticipation of having house guests. Horrors.

A year ago I totally went through everything I owned and practically got rid of it. What was left over was a big screen tv, the sectional couch, two small end table and the number bed. Books, cut drastically, keeping only the travel books, the Civil War boobs, the Girl Private Eye collection, garden books and cook books. The books from my childhood and Bridget's I drag around with me. They are piled in my bedroom in the wall storage shelves looking like a Woody Allen movie. My precious prints adorn the wall and my unframed prints stare accusingly at me from their perches in boxes of "junk" that I can not and will not throw away. Don't tempt me to go into a description of my junk! Suffice it to say that I still have my First Holy Communion book and all the Holy Cards I ever received.

My husband just shakes his head at my stuff. He once asked me if I ever entertained the idea that I might be a hoarder? I responded by getting rid of so much!! It makes me sick to think of the pile of household items I could not get Salvation Army to come pick up. The fact that I lived across the Tennessee border elicited a response that they would not cross over! Even with the temptation of a $1800 elliptical machine would not get them to cross the two miles into the Bluegrass to my door!

I even cleaned out my leased storage area. I think I was suppose to feel relived and a sense of freedom was to be ushered in?

A year later and I fret that I have no kitchen table and no guest room.

I am ashamed of my little 800 foot square (if even that) dark Man Cave apartment. The only light shines into the kitchen.

So I toss and turn wishing I was back in my beautiful sun kissed airy ceiling fanned house in Jeff!!

I guess I am worried of judging myself. When you reach this age and this place in life you should not be living in a man Cave. I want to say, "I made this choice because it was going to save us about $18,000 over the two (maybe more) years we stay here.

Oh well, there I have said it.

Friday, April 06, 2012

Saving theUniverse

Have you seen that TV commercial for "Seal a Meal"? I think the sales pitch begins with, "The average person throws away $5,000 worth of food in a year." I may exaggerate, but it is an astronomical amount that makes me whistle. I hardly spend that much in a years time! Let alone throw it away!

That gave me pause. How much do I actually spend? How much of that do I throw away?

Case in point. Strawberries were 69 cents a pint last week! I bought two! We had strawberry pancakes Saturday morning. I just threw out the other pint and the left overs. Such a waste.

Maybe I need to research that Seal a Meal thing.

I have about $15 worth of veggies and fruits I just tossed out. I read recently that that will emit methane gas into the atmosphere which is more damaging than carbon dioxide. That made me ask, what is my methane footprint?

So with careless abandon I used up the spinach I bought at Farmers Market. In addition I chopped up one of the yellow peppers, peeled the Japanese Eggplant, washed the cauliflower, chopped vine tomatoes and made a colorful skillet dish. Since I was such a roll I tossed the thawed ground turkey I was suppose to have for dinner last night, but opted for a frozen pizza, into another skillet with a chopped up onion. I will add tomato sauce in a few and simmer a nice gravy for the eggplant. After all I still have half a container of ricotta cheese from the week-end.

I have about five lemons from the sale two weeks ago (or longer) where they were 49 cents a bag. You gotta love ALDI. They are on the counter looking at me asking me if I want to make some methane or do I want some lemonade?

At the back of the frig I emancipated a jar of Ice Coffee! In the past I could honestly say I was not a fan of ice coffee. I mean, before Starbucks they brought to you regular coffee poured over some ice cubes. Ugh. But this ice coffee recipe was born from a need to experiment and One Up the Pioneer Woman, who is my nemesis.

Her recipe was so involved and labor intensive. But it looked divine.

What did I do? I made a very strong pot of coffee and poured it in to a large container then dumped in about 10 packs of fake sugar and approximately (as an after thought) three generous tablespoons of my chocolate cappuccino double mocha latte mix (from ALDI also).

That stuff is good! I am not much on milk in my coffee. Had a bad experience with evaporated milk as a child as in my mother was always slipping it into stuff and my young palate was opposed. I suppose it still is.

The chore of cleaning out the refrigerator has evolved into saving the universe and getting a caffeine buzz.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Memphis Thursday 13

13 favorite places in Memphis (area)

1) Elmwood Cemetery - I love cemeteries. This one is in the top three of final resting places that I have photographed!

2) Beale Street - I need not say another word.

3) Cooper-Young - Funky area of town that includes the best restaurants, farmers markets, Irish bar and bookstores, interior design shops, art shops, etc. etc. etc. the cultural area of Memphis!

4) Burke Bookstore - My Mom's maiden name. How apropos. Great used bookstore.

5) Memphis Public Library Bookstore - bookstore and more bookstores. I am my mothers daughter.

6) Laurelwood Shopping Center - everything from expensive I mean delicious chocolates (Elvis loved them) and a fantastic non-chain large bookstore, this shopping center is a must go to for me.

7) Shelby Farm Park - A respite from the world and about a hundred miles of walking and running paths!

8) Sheffield Antique Mall - Why do I love old stuff? Because it transports me back in time. Remember 33rpm records? Remember Paul Revere and the Raiders? Remember Where the Action Is? I do! I'm old.

9) Goodwill Bookstore - My major hang out and I have spent about a zillion dollars on amassing my extensive and knock you dead Cookbook collection!

10) Mississippi River - Just an awesome breathtaking and overwhelming River!

11) Memphis Botanical Garden -When I first visited Memphis about 20 years ago I made a trip to this lush beautiful extremely large oasis. From the Japanese meditation garden to the fields of irises back to the sculptures it is one of most beautiful spots in the city! A Farmers Market on Tuesday, a Art museum inside and of course the flowers and flora. Heaven.

12) Hernando Farmers Market - Pictures to follow. Voted one of the ten best markets in the South, if not the country!

13) Civil War Historical Sites - They are everywhere and Joe and I explored so many of them when we first arrived in the Mid-South. This is a picture I took at Shiloh. By the way, tomorrow and Saturday is the 150 anniversary of this battle on the Tennessee River. I think Joe and I are heading there on Saturday. it's about 100 miles east of Memphis.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Write On Sister!

I finally got around to finding the results from the Bloggie Awards given out earlier this spring. I always find some terrific new blogs tucked among the usual suspects. What strikes me from this short blog jog I just ran is the lack of comments I encountered on some of these masterpieces.

Which got me to thinking. I wonder how many hits they get each day and of those hits how many comments?

Recently I submitted a request to be part of a Blog Hosting Tour. I answered all their questions and received this reply....
Thanks for applying to be a Novel Publicity Blog Tour Host. I've gone over your site using our specially developed blog evaluation worksheet and have listed my feedback in the attached excel document.

If you have any questions about something I've said or a suggestion I've made, please don't hesitate to ask for clarification.

Based on my review of your site, I think you need to focus on expanding your influence on Facebook and Twitter, making your blog more visually appealing, and adding a quick category list to your blog.

In the attached excel sheet, I've also included a tab called "stats tracking" along with some examples. I suggest you record the data asked for within the sheet on a daily basis and try to see if there are any patterns. I'd be interested in viewing these stats, when performing a follow-up evaluation of your site.

We frequently blog about how writers can use social media to help develop their platforms. This advice is for both published writers and bloggers. We strongly suggest you follow the series and make use of the suggestions. You can view our blogging, Twitter, Facebook advice and more at

We hope you'll keep checking back for our latest advice.

I did not realize they were going to do a critique of my humble little HTTP. Their input was interesting and I was tempted at first to follow the advice which followed in the work sheet. I even tried to make an Alphawoman Face Book page, but quickly fond out I am going to have some difficultly doing so from this computer.

After some thought I realized that maybe I did not want to Put Myself Out There. After all, I have been operating under the cloak of anonymity for almost nine years. Why would I want to screw it up now?

I wrote back stating those concerns and objections. I have not heard back. Not a word.

I suppose in this world of intense competition to get yourself a spot on Survivor, The Bachelor, the Amazing Race, the Biggest Loser, Big Brother, Wife Swap, and the list is endless the last thing anyone concerns themselves with is anonymity.

I have been paralyzed since receiving this evaluation trying to find a way to increase awareness and include interesting content just to...

Just to....

Just to what?

Screw it!!

I am content with my little corner of the world and if my hit counter is stalled out and my content is not universally interesting then that is my fate.

I accept it.

And I will Write On.