Wednesday, June 22, 2011

21 Jump Street...Almost!

Back in the day when you were still dating, did you ever have a friend, cousin...or even your well-meaning a "fix-up" for you?

And didn't they always swear up and down, he/she was perfect for you?

And didn't they always guilt you into going when you said "thanks, but no thanks" by crying if you didn't go...they couldn't go?

And didn't you always cave...even when you knew better...and agree to go anyway...hoping against hope for Captain Jack Sparrow?

And ending up instead with Captain Underpants?

Yeah...I  thought so!

Happened to the best of us!

(For the record...I once spent an entire evening perched on the roof of a '55 Chevy while at the drive-in with my so-called perfect match!  I shall forever remember him fondly as Sir Handsalot...and I'm still not speaking to my cousin for thinking that troll was my anybody's perfect date!)

(Photos courtesy of La LuLu and friend Sherry!)

Such was the case just recently when I was contacted by someone I had "met" through a mutual blogging friend.
This new friend was going to be in Texas for an art retreat and e-mailed to ask if there was a way we could possibly meet.  She was going to be at Canton so I suggested we meet at W&T's...and our blind date was set in ink!
Gotta tell y'all...I was as nervous as a bride on her honeymoon about meeting this lady for the first time.  For one thing...she's gorgeous and for know how it is.  People aren't always exactly the same as they appear on a monitor.
In fact...let's talk real here y'all. 
We all tend to hide our faults and put our best "face" out included...right?
Who'll know the difference...right?  That is until we step outta the boat and meet someone we admire face-to-face!
So I was a little worried that either she...or I...would be disappointed with the "warts and all" first howdy-do!    

Arriving at Winnie and Tulula's, I was greeted by these mavens of madcap marauding, mischief, and mayhem.  It was a lucky day indeed for to me to meet this bevy of beautiful bloggers...but the high light of my day... 

was meeting La LuLu!

I tell y'all...I was gobsmacked!

La LuLu is everything you read on her blog...and more!  She's delightful, insightful, and...
oh gosh...what's another 'ful word to describe her?  Forget it...there just aren't words enough!  She is the person you visit when you pop in...nothing phony or contrived or warty....and I love her!

All I can say is...she was my perfect mystery date.  We sat, talked, laughed, cried...and talked some more!  Talking was more like catching up with a long lost friend 'cause I felt as if I'd known her instant connection...a bonding.  I truly hated for the afternoon to end, but smiled out loud at the thought of it all the way home!

(Are you reading this Cousin EX?  This is the kind of personality you shoulda fixed me up with!  Certainly not that guy who thought if a little Hai Karate good...whole bottle even better!  "Be careful how you use it"?  Yeah right...someone forgot to tell him to read the little manual that came with each and every bottle...assuming he could read!)

(Photo of Junke & Disorderly Sale courtesy of Margo!)

Let me tell y'all...if you've never visited W&T' might want to think twice about getting yourself in there...PDQ.  You never know what kind of treasures you'll take away...maybe even some warm memories that will last you me a lifetime!

Psst!  FYI...also you'll never know who's loitering just around the corner in the alley either!  Captains of industry...or

Captain America!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Cow Jumped Over The Moon

To all the fathers of daughters,

When you learned you were going to be a dad, I bet your first thoughts were of catcher's mitts, teeny golf clubs, and spending many hours teaching your boy all about the finer things in football!

Never in your wildest dreams did you think your life would revolve around Hello Kitty, sleep-overs, and some guy named Justin Bieber instead of Nascar, fishing lures, and some power tools named Ryobi...right?

Let me ask you point blank.

When you first laid eyes on that tiny bundle of pink...did you remember ever really wanting anything else....except that little girl with your eyes?

Who else thinks you are just as funny as you think you are, but never throws a raised eyebrow your way...only blown kisses, followed by squeals of delight?

What does it feel like to be the only man in her life for now...but dreading the day you're not?

Can you imagine your life any sweeter than raspberry pink tutus, motorcycles and toe nail polish?

You musta been mistaken when you thought there wasn't a thing under the sun a little girl would want to do with her daddy by her side or that she'd be your number one fan...huh?

Who knew that a ponytail and flip flops would make your own heart go flip flop?

If someone had told you she'd love what you love only because you love it...just because you're her daddy...would you have believed them?

For the there any music more beautiful than the sound of her singing and giggling...simultaneously?

Can you imagine your life being any richer...not for what your pockets can hold...but for what you can hold in your arms?

Are you amazed each morning when you see her beautiful face and at the infinite wisdom of God for placing such a treasure in your life...thus completing you?
Do you always remember to hit your knees, raise your hands, bow your head and say thank you Lord for this wisdom?

Do you find yourself wishing for more hours in the day just to be with her, but treasuring the time you have been given?

Do you pray for guidance to help guide her in her journey of life all the while praying doubly hard your mistakes be few...

and secretly wishing little girls came with a how-to manual? 

At the end of the day, how does it feel to be ten feet tall and bullet-proof because you are her hero?

Can you even remember what your life was like before she floated into the picture?

When you look at you wonder how on earth your beating heart can possibly fit in your chest...

and find yourself also wondering how such a creature so tiny can wrap you around her little finger with just the flutter of an eyelash?

Every minute of every you ask God to keep her safe, happy, blessed...and always your little girl?

If you answered yes...or any of the above questions...I'm sorry.  I guess I should have warned you on the day you became a father of a couple of little details.  Boy or'll never have another good night's sleep...and your heart will never be yours again.  You gave it all away in the delivery room when you took receipt of one of God's precious miracles.

Now answer me one last question.

Do you really want it back?



Monday, June 13, 2011

Jumpin' From The Frying Pan Straight Into The Fire!

I warned y'all I was going to be mighty busy this month, but I guess I forgot to warn moi...imagine that!

Things have really been jumping at W&T's (and for that I am most grateful), but reloading my space...not once, but twice...has added to my burgeoning Ta Da list.  Not that I'm complaining mind con-tra-ree mes amies...but I do feel as if I'm neglecting y'all.  To try and make up for it, I'm offering up my "tried and true" recipe for cooking up one hot mess.  Got your pen and paper handy?  All righty then...let's get cookin'...

Trash's secret party recipe for Squirrel Stew!

I guarantee it'll have 'em begging for seconds...and thirds! 

First you'll need to assemble all the necessary components for this concoction.  This may take a little time and patience to find just the right spices and secret ingredients hidden away in remote, hard-to-reach places...but oh so worth the effort!

Since I like to make  jumbo batches for party-sized crowds, feel free to increase/reduce the amounts to serve your needs.

Step One:

Take three (3) truck loads of junk quality merchandise and
add two (2) backseat loads of very cool, smallish items. 
Slowly stir in a tub of glassware, taking care not to break anything salable, but don't cry over spilt milk if you hear the sound of tinkling glass.  After can't make an omelet without cracking some eggs.

Step Two:

Once you have all your dry ingredients assembled, place in a roasting backyard pan and baste with three (3) buckets of sweat. 

This step is very important and is the roux that holds all the ingredients together, forming a  pastiche of taste and style!

(FYI...While a chafing dish is not recommended...keeping a box of baking soda on hand is.  When working in this much heat, the  danger of underwear fires caused by excessive chafing is always present!)

Step Four:

At this point of preparation, you'll need to be thinking about garnishes.  Your own personal taste buds are instrumental for creating your own unique bouquet garni!

As Julia Child must of (had to of) said at some time or another..."A copy never tastes as wonderful as the original." make it full of the flavor of YOU!

Step Five:

For those who like their dishes sweet, sugar can be added at this point.  In fact, my mother always added a pinch of sugar to a recipe calling for salt...and with 3 buckets of sweat... I highly recommend more than a pinch or two!
  Bear Claws are always a welcome addition, but I prefer my sweetener in this kind of cute packaging.

( I stole, I mean borrowed this photo from Sherry who was in the fantastic group of ladies  from the Gilded Life I met at W&T's!)

Nothing artificial about this cotton-candy dish.  In fact...just the right amount of spun sugar to make ya wanta slap yore mama!  This La LuLu of a cupcake is so deliciously divine...she deserves her own post and I'll be serving one up this week.  Be prepared to fall in love...I did!

Step Five:

You will now begin to separate your olla podrida into equal parts depending on your serving needs.  I just happen to need it for three upcoming special occasions.

One for Paper Cowgirls Vendor Night...which I just participated in this past Saturday!

One for Winnie and Tulula's Junke And Disorderly Sale ...which just happens to be this upcoming weekend!

And of course...

One to grow on...for The Greatest Show On Dirt!

For the first batch, I allowed the mixture to simmer outside in the Texas heat while the temperature inside the trailer rose to hotterthanblueblazes.  We popped our Junque Jambalaya into the pre-heated truck, burned up the highway to Waxahachie and being careful not to scorch ourselves, removed and placed it all on a steamy, hot parking lot outside the Paper Cowgirl Playground!  Served warm, straight off the griddle, to a bunch of hot nuts who love all things was delish!

This piping, hot melange was guaranteed to melt in your hand...not in your mouth as demonstrated above by one of the lovely taste testers

(Did I mention hot nuts?
Beth (Happy Birthday sweet girl) and Lisa made setting up look like fun.  These two were hotter than a pepper's sprout...all the while glistening in the shimmering sun!)

I made sure to set my timer ('cause time sure does fly when we're having fun) to have a second batch ready and waiting for vendor night at Paper Cowgirls...where girls really do just wanta have fun.  Once again the old adage of "git 'em while they're hot" rang true!  No oven mitts fact...all gloves came off when it came time to getting the goodies!
(Thanks to Cindy for letting me try out my recipe on a lovely bunch of coconuts cowgirls!)

Now I've got to start preparing the sizzling batch for our big 2nd birthday bash in Athens this coming weekend.  No left-overs y'all...always freshly picked!
I hope y'all will think about joining us...I'll save you a plate!  Heck...I'll serve pheasant under glass if that's what it'll take to get you to come see me and the Cat!

In the meantime...I'll be watching you...and wishing you the sweet smell of success!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Jump Break

(Look deep into my eyes...deeper...deeper.

You're getting sleepy...sleepy.

You never saw me.  I wasn't here.  I was working my fool head off getting ready for Vendor Night at Paper Cowgirl and the Junque and Disorderly Sale at W&T's.

When I snap my fingers you will remember nothing...nothing!)

  Memorial Day weekend, instead of cleaning, pricing and packing, Cat Daddy and I decided we needed to light out in search of El Dorado.  After flipping a coin...and making a necessary phone call...we hit the hardtop heading north.   

Upon reaching our destination, the back of the truck was already half-full, but being a lover of animals...especially squirrels...I'll tell y'all about that later.  Right now, I'd like to tell you a little story.

While out to dinner with our new friends, the question was posed "What did we ever do before blogging?"  My first response was I.don't.know, but I quickly added that it had opened my life to a world I didn't even know existed.  The people, places, and dreams that lived inside my monitor screen were miles away physically...yet only a heartbeat from mine spiritually.

My beautiful, soul-eyed friend Debra was one of these people.  I've loved her from the first time I read her and dreamed of actually meeting her face to face.

She does posts about her lovely home and one room in particular is my favorite...the sun room.  Love it and always leave with a smile on my face when I've popped in.

This past November she did a piece on her sun room and when I clicked on...just for an instant...I literally saw myself in that room.  The surreal moment came and went in a second, but as I sat there staring at the screen ...I could still the warmth of the room...and her.  I'm telling y'all...I was there.

I know it sounds crazy...and we all know I'm more than just a little throwed off...but I swear up and down...I was sitting on this little loveseat with her.  I even had to leave a comment telling her about it! me crazy if ya want...heck...even call the guys with the nets, but guess what?

(all photos except this one...belong to Debra!)


Yeppers y'all...I made it to El Dorado...thanks to a certain Tom Cat and a red Ford diesel!

Pinch me y'all 'cause either I'm dreaming...or I've died and gone to Heaven...or I'm "Ready for my close-up Mr. DeMille" coo-coo!  Whichever...I don't care.  God gave me a peek into my future and then provided the opportunity to make it a reality.

Did I have the time to make a road trip?


Did I need to look for more junk?


Did I need to listen to His voice as He whispered "Call her...then pack your bags."?

Yes...a hundred times yes!

Life is a series of roads traveled.  Some uphill, some rocky and sometimes the ones less traveled bringing the sweetest rewards!

This particular journey, my friends, is something I'd never have without blogging.
Can you hear us smiling?

I have to add that while finding junk and friends on this trip was a breeze...finding a room...not so easy.  We didn't think about how close Joplin is to Springfield and while it did my heart proud as an American to see so many people (first responders, work crews, emergency workers, etc.) there to help,  it also meant we had to drive until 3:00 am to find a room in Muskogee.  Seems there also was a huge rock concert going on in Oklahoma.

Silly us for not making reservations, but would I do it again?