Archives for September 2013

The Big Boo Cast, Episode 28

Well, I’ll just be honest. Melanie and I could have used a power nap before we recorded this one. Oh, we still muster some significant enthusiasm for all manner of minutiae, but we were a little bit on the tired side. Melanie had a big weekend cheering for her Aggies, and I got way too invested in Sunday night’s Miss America pageant and stayed up far too late on the Twitter. Even still, we cover some of our favorite podcast topics: college football, TV (specifically, why I did not enjoy Breaking Bad), Miss America, eyelashes, skin issues (both real and imagined), more football, etc.

(It just dawned on me that I forgot to tell Melanie that I bought chicken at the grocery store today.)

(And when I picked up the chicken, I thought, “Well, I can always serve it with pinto beans and then squeeze a little lime on it.)

(That was one of my most favorite podcast lines ever.)



You can click here to listen. Or here. Or, as always, you can subscribe on iTunes if you’re feeling particularly fancy.

Enjoy, y’all!

Miss America 2014 Viewing Party

It’s only been nine months since the last Miss America pageant, so it seems a little strange to be having another viewing party so soon. At the same time, though, I’m really excited that the pageant is in September again, and the fact that it’s in Atlantic City makes me smile. Plus, you will never hear me scoff at the opportunity to watch tap dancers / baton twirlers / vocalists who enjoy performing show tunes.

Now. Before we get started, I want to cover a few business-y things. Because I know we all want to approach this pageant in the most professional way possible. I laughed when I typed that, by the way.

1) I’ll update this same post throughout the pageant, so just be aware that between the updates and everyone’s comments, we’re all going to have to refresh our browsers in order to keep up with the conversation.

2) I’ll also be updating on the Twitter.

3) Let’s embrace the fun of the pageant without being mean-spirited. I’m confident that we would all be mortified if some contestant (or, heaven forbid, her mama) accidentally ran across this post and felt like we’d been unkind. So let’s have a blast and laugh like crazy and start a slow clap during talent and take a moment to marvel at how many squats and lunges are represented on that stage during the swimsuit competition.

4) Let’s also take a moment to ask the Lord for the blessing of some tap dancing / baton twirling / clogging during the talent competition. I cannot imagine any greater short-term joy.

All righty – see y’all in just a little bit. Thanks so much for being here!


I don’t know if y’all are watching this 20/20*****

Parade of contestants, everybody!

(I wonder if Mallory Hagan is sad that she only got to be Miss America for nine months? I think they should let her stay on for an additional three months. IT’S ONLY FAIR.)


Oh, I adore how they start dancing after they say their names.

Do y’all think the contestants get to meet with pun consultants before they record their introductions?

I will always root for Miss Mississippi most of all.

Did y’all see Miss Nevada dancing the entire time? I love her. And I think the girls who are introducing themselves on the beach have an extra challenge. That sand makes aerobic movement more difficult.

The dancing has been outstanding this year. And we’re not even finished with the intros yet.

All righty. Time for top 15. But they just can’t stop dancing! And I wish we could’ve seen the former Miss Americas up close.

Anybody have any predictions? I thought Miss Georgia stood out – and Miss Nevada, too. But maybe that’s because Miss Nevada danced with such enthusiasm.

Top 15:
Kansas (America’s Choice)
New York
————interrupting to say that the Southern states are in fine form tonight———


Anybody have any info on the talents? Is there a Bollywood dance in the mix? PLEASE SAY YES.

Watching swimsuit. Can’t help but think that I need to eat more celery.

I’m glad swimsuit is over. I was about to go to a dark emotional place. :-)

TOP 12
New York

We have the possibility of a Bollywood dance AND a baton routine in the talent competition. I LOVE AMERICA.

An evening gown competition with Imagine Dragons playing in the background? Miss America, YOU ARE SO EDGY.

Two purple evening gowns? Unexpected.

And really, there were four evening gowns in the purple family. Plus a yellow one. LSU fans are delighted, no doubt. :-)

I wonder if they’re gonna do that thing this year where everybody is on stage in their costumes and then they surprise them with the Top 10 announcement?

Top 10
Kansas (OPERA!)
California (BALLET!)
Connecticut (IRISH STEP DANCE!)
—————–these talents are FANTASTIC—————
Georgia (Les Miserables)
Texas (“Fever”)
————–so far I think Oklahoma was the best —————-
Minnesota (violin)
Maryland (singing “For Good”)
Florida (BATONS!!!!!) (THANK YOU, LORD!)

What was your favorite talent? I think Miss Minnesota was the most talented – but I do love some batons.

Oh. The questions. This always makes me nervous.

Top 5
Oklahoma (twerking)
Minnesota (stand by your man – and ROCK ON, SISTER)
California (Syria)
New York (plastic surgery)
Florida (racial equality)

Okay. I have a pick. I think Miss Minnesota is the winner. What about y’all?

Clearly I am a terrible prognosticator.

4th – Minnesota
3rd – Florida
2nd – Oklahoma
1st – California
WINNER – New York


Thanks so much, y’all, for watching and commenting and making me laugh a whole bunch.

Same time next year?


Winner Winner Bacon-In-A-Cast-Iron-Skillet Dinner

Let me state for the record that I am impressed and humbled by your bacon-related enthusiasm. I got such a kick out of your giveaway comments.

And I’m happy to announce that we have a winner.

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Her name is Kara.

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Congratulations, Kara! You should have an email from me by the time you read this post. You have a bonafide bacon blessing headed your way. And a skillet and a book, too.


This has nothing to do with bacon (well, nothing that I know of, anyway), but this little video just about made my week. Cutest couple ever.

(I don’t know why it says, “sultry.”)

(Personally, I find it to be laid-back, jazzy, and kicky.)


Finally, I’m having a Miss America Viewing Party this Sunday night right here on the blog. We’ve done this the last two years, I think, and as my mother-in-law would say, it always fun! just more fun! so much fun! So if you’re sitting around and watching the pageant, grab your laptop or iPad or phone and join us. We’ll have a blast. I am already praying for tap dancers to make the top 10 – because it only takes one quality tap dancer to catapult a pageant to the next level of awesome. It’s been scientifically proven. I think.

So. 8:00pm central. Sunday night. ABC.

Hope to see some of y’all here (and on the Twitter, too – but I imagine that goes without saying).

Have a great weekend, everybody!

Muchas Gracias, Mi Amiga de Barcelona

It was about 1:45 when I landed in Atlanta this past Sunday afternoon, and as soon as I got off the plane, I came up with a plan. I had a little over an hour until my flight to Birmingham, so I wanted to get to my gate, grab a sandwich, eat some lunch, and hopefully have time for a round or two of Candy Crush while I sipped on a pre-flight two-pump pumpkin spice latte’.

Listen. Sometimes a mental to-do list is the only thing that gets me through the day. And also caffeine.

So I hopped on the subway / tram thing for a ride to the next terminal, found my gate, stopped at Atlanta Bread Company for a sandwich, then tried to gauge whether or not there was time for a PSL. Since the line at Starbucks was surprisingly short, I decided that time was in fact on my side. I ran in the restroom, washed my hands, dashed over to Starbucks, and within about five minutes, I had a PSL in my possession. The only thing missing was the actual crushing of the candies, and I planned to remedy that ASAP.

I found a seat at my gate with enough room around it for all my paraphernalia, and after a few sips of coffee, I was more than ready to tackle the quests after level 50. It was time to make some stripes, make some wrappers, and make the long-awaited transition to level 51. Hallelujah. Amen.

Unfortunately, there was just one tiny little problem: I couldn’t seem to find my phone.

And as I mentally retraced my steps, I realized that the last time I had my phone in my hands, I was walking in the restroom. Ten minutes ago.

Needless to say, this memory neither comforted nor encouraged me.

As quickly as I could, I gathered up my purse, my coffee, and my big ole tote bag, and I ran back to the restroom. I looked on the floor, on the countertop next to the sink, in the open stalls, but that phone was nowhere to be found.

Oh, y’all. I was just sick about it. Because I don’t know if you know this or not, but if you lose your phone in the Atlanta airport, odds are that it is Gone Forever.

I may have also been having a crisis of conscience about a few gossip-y text messages that were most definitely not written as unto the Lord.

A very sweet restroom attendant told me that I should probably go to lost and found on the first floor, but I was worried that if I tried to get to another part of the terminal, I might miss my flight. So for about thirty seconds, I just stood there in the restroom, wondering what in the world to do, wondering how in the world I could have done something so careless, wondering why in the world I had not PUT MY PHONE BACK IN MY PURSE INSTEAD OF ON A SHELF IN THE RESTROOM.

Somehow, in the midst of all my panic, my brain realized that there was some kind of announcement coming out of the speaker above my head, so I tuned in. What I heard turned out to be the nine most favorite words of my day: “Shopie Hudson, please report to the Delta courtesy desk.” And then again: “Shopie Hudson, please report to the Delta courtesy desk.”

Neveryoumind that he didn’t pronounce my name correctly. I’ll answer to “Shopie” all the livelong day if there’s a possibility that someone may have found my phone. I’ll answer to “Gertrude,” for that matter. “Horace.” TAKE YOUR PICK.

So. After I checked at my gate to make sure that my plane was not about to leave, I asked where I could find the Delta courtesy desk. I then proceeded to run in that direction LIKE MY HAIR WAS ON FIRE. Fortunately I didn’t have to run very far, and as I turned the corner, I saw the face of the sweetest girl – maybe 17 or 18 years old – standing in front of me.

“Shopie!” she said, with the most beautiful Spanish accent. “You lost your phone!”

I couldn’t figure out how in the world she knew the phone belonged to me, but then she held out my phone and turned it around to show me. She’d opened my Facebook app, seen my name – and then she had me paged.

Suffice it to say that I’ve never been happier that I don’t use the passcode option.

My new forever friend and I struggled to communicate a little bit since I’m sort of dependent on English and she’s sort of dependent on Spanish, but I did manage to find out that she lives in Barcelona, Spain. She was traveling with three other members of her family, and I must have thanked all of them 19 or 45 times over the course of about four minutes. At one point I tried to give the girl some money as a reward – I was so grateful and didn’t know what else to do – but she wouldn’t take it. So we said our good-byes and I hugged her neck and I was about to walk away when I remembered that I had five or six copies of my book in my tote bag.

And y’all, I don’t know what came over me, but I dug down in my bag, pulled out a book, and handed it to her.

“Here!” I said. “I wrote a book. I’d like for you to have one. As a thank you. Since you found my phone.”

Because SURE. OF COURSE. I mean, you know what’s all the rage with teenagers in Barcelona these days? SOUTHERN NON-FICTION.

Oh, I can BRING IT with the awkward, can’t I?

So there you have it. I lost my phone. Someone found my phone. Someone returned my phone. And I “rewarded” her with a book that’s written in a language that she more than likely has no interest in reading.


I have to say, though, that I’ve learned some good lessons as a result of the Great iPhone Scare of 2013. I’ve been watching my phone a little more closely, holding it a little more tightly, updating my apps a little more frequently. I’m very thankful that we’re together again.

As a matter of fact, I think I’ll crush some candies right now. Just to celebrate, you understand.

It seems like the right thing to do.

Would Anyone Like A Cast Iron Skillet And Some Bacon?

So remember when my book came out and one of the giveaways was a cast iron skillet and fifteen pounds of bacon?

Well. I was actually supposed to give away two cast iron skillets. But I forgot all about that second one because the week before the book released I was very busy watching Mississippi State baseball while I tried to ignore All The Nerves. I really was scared out of my ever-livin’ mind, and baseball was my most favorite coping mechanism in my time of publication need.

I will pause for a moment so that you can marvel at my lack of mental strength and maturity.

So for the last three months, that second skillet has been under the watchful eye of my friend Maria at Tyndale. And earlier this week I got a couple of very funny emails from Tyndale friends that essentially said I AM TIRED OF MOVING THAT SKILLET OUT OF THE WAY WHEN I WANT TO SIT DOWN IN MARIA’S OFFICE. PLEASE GIVE IT AWAY.

Which is what I’m about to do.

But – but! – there’s even better news. Because this past weekend I got to hang out with sweet Misty from Petit Jean Meats, so after the Tyndale folks emailed me about the skillet, I emailed Misty and said, “Hey. You want to give away some more bacon?” And then she wrote me back and said, “Yep. Sure do.”

(That might not have been the exact conversation.)

(But you get the idea.)

And that is why today I am so happy to give away a 12-inch cast iron skillet along with fifteen pounds of Petit Jean Meats bacon.

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These two things belong together. It’s the Southern way. And I can tell you without hesitation that Petit Jean’s black pepper bacon is the best I have ever had.

That is high praise considering that I am no stranger to the bacon.

SO. If you’d like to enter to win a a 12-inch Lodge cast iron skillet, FIFTEEN POUNDS-O-BACON, and a copy of my book because, well, WHY NOT, just leave a comment on this post. If you’d like a second entry, just go like the Petit Jean Meats Facebook page and then come back here and leave an additional comment (you can just say “PJM Facebook” or something like that in your second entry).

I’ll close comments on this post Friday night, and I’ll select a winner using

Happy Wednesday, y’all!

This giveaway is now closed.

Arkansas, Arkansas, I Just Love Ole Arkansas

Well. I had the best time this past weekend. And believe it or not, it had absolutely nothing to do with college football.

I mentioned last week that I was speaking at the Arkansas Women Bloggers conference, and that is exactly what I did. Friday morning I flew to Atlanta so that I could fly back over Birmingham on the way to Little Rock. And by the way, do you know how long it takes to fly from Birmingham to Atlanta? THIRTY-ONE MINUTES. I mean, yes, you have to make time to taxi and take off and descend and land and taxi again, but you are really only in the air long enough to watch one episode of your favorite sitcom – and you can’t even do that because for at least ten minutes of the flight all of your electronic devices have to be turned to the “off” position and stowed.

For some reason all of this fascinates me.

Anyway, the conference was at Ferncliff Camp outside of Little Rock, and the setting was absolutely beautiful. There were trees and hills and wide-open skies, and lo, my heart was full. The rooms weren’t fancy, but they were charming, and I really do think that I’m growing as a person because even though THERE WERE NO TELEVISIONS THERE, I did not panic. I took several deep breaths, reminded myself that there was plenty of wifi (even if it wasn’t powerful enough to live stream a football game), and remembered two words that can be very important during an unexpected TV-free weekend: CANDY CRUSH.

Listen. I’m as bad as it as I ever was, and it’s certainly not any sort of all-consuming thing with me. But it was a great way to pass the time on my flights, and I actually bonded with a woman in the Birmingham airport when we discussed some strategies that might help her get past level 22. I told her about combining the wrapped candies with the striped candies, and she was so excited that she nearly jumped up out of her seat. Obviously it was a special moment that I will treasure forever.

As it turned out (and a little bit to my surprise), I didn’t have a whole lot of time to play Candy Crush. I did, however, get to meet a bunch of blogging women who couldn’t have been more warm, welcoming, and fun. I got such a kick out of their DEEPLY genuine sense of community, and I loved watching how they support and encourage each other. My friend Stephanie started the conference a couple of years ago; she and her team have done a phenomenal job. I enjoyed my time there so much. And if all of that weren’t enough, I also got to see my friend Jennifer (we went to State together), and about six different times yesterday we laughed so hard that we couldn’t make any sound come out. My heart was so happy to see her.

So, in summary: Great conference. Wonderful women. Sweet friends. And the view wasn’t bad, either.

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Thanks, Arkansas. For everything.

You made me feel right at home.