Rustled Feathers

Listen. It has been a week. It hasn’t been a bad week at all; it’s just that my work usually gets super hectic between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and YES. That has certainly been the case so far. But in the words of Shawn Mullins in his hit song from 1998, “Everything’s gonna be all right. Rockabye. Rockabye.”

I have no idea why an old Shawn Mullins song just popped in my head. The brain is a strange and wondrous thing.


A couple of days ago I accidentally published a post that I had not in fact edited (I am an obsessive over-editor; in fact, the only reason I don’t continue to edit posts from, oh, 2006 is because I won’t let myself read them…the temptation to edit would be too great). I thought I would get that post edited and then put it on the blog again, but alas, I have not. Maybe next week. And telling you that wasn’t even the reason why I started this post tonight.


The reason I started this post tonight is because I just watched this week’s episode of Survivor.






All righty. Let’s talk about it.

Hayden is my favorite. I think he’s kind and loyal and it’s kind of endearing that he doesn’t do so great in the challenges. I very much appreciate that Tyson has played a brilliant game, but I haven’t loved the in-your-face aspect of it (I’m gonna eat all the food, I’m gonna talk about how delicious the ribs are while the rest of y’all rub blisters on your hands trying to win immunity, I’m gonna be lazy because I can, etc.). And I like Gervaise, but in this last episode he didn’t do himself any favors with his attitude at tribal council. Too much pride on display – and too much smack talk way too soon.

Anyway, Hayden needed a big move, and my word did he and Katie ever make one. It didn’t work out exactly like they hoped (I was sad for Katie), but it gave me some hope that Tyson winning won’t be a foregone conclusion. If Tyson makes it to final tribal council, I think he’ll win, but maybe – just maybe – Monica (who is tough as nails, isn’t she?), Ciera, and Hayden will join forces before that happens. It seems like Ciera has decided to shift loyalties OR see to it that Tyson and Gervaise make her some guarantees. There was a moment at the end of this last tribal council when Ciera looked at Tyson and said, “Don’t glare at me” – and oh my word, I laughed so hard. Because I know he has the immunity idol, but I also think he knew that she meant business.

One more thing: I’m ready for Tina to get back in the game. I don’t know if she’ll make it off Redemption Island, but I think she’s a phenomenal Survivor player. She’s unflappable – one of the few players who is relentlessly upbeat and positive.

Are y’all watching? What do you think? Is there any way to stop Tyson?

It Was Time

One of the odd things about having a blog is that I very rarely read it. I mean, I read the posts as I write them, but as a general rule I don’t click over to my blog just to see what’s going on. I know what’s going on. Because, well, I lived it.

That’s why I was a little shocked about six or seven months ago when I actually looked at the front page of my blog and realized that I’d had the same blog design for the better part of five years. Now I happened to love that particular design, so that was a bonus, but five years is a long time to go without making any significant changes. Every once in awhile it’s good to shake things up and move them around and put a little pep in your bloggy step. So I decided that finding someone to do redesign was an excellent idea.

And then I didn’t do one thing about it for another couple of months.

Eventually, though, I emailed my friend Karla. Karla and I met through blogging about six years ago, and I thought she’d be a great person to tackle the redesign because 1) she’s really great at what she does and 2) she is totally willing to work with crazy blogger people who don’t necessarily know correct design terms and occasionally say things like “I just want it to be a little more whimsical.” So we emailed and discussed and went through a couple of rounds of possible designs, but as soon as I saw this particular variation, that was it for me. I was crazy about the color and, yes, the whimsy – and I also loved that it’s simple. Lots of white space. Good, clean fonts. Easy to read.

(If you are reading this post on a feed reader, you are no doubt thinking, Everything looks pretty much the same to me.)

(But oh, it is very different around here. New and fresh and lo, even festive.)

So all that to say: thank you so much, Karla. You heard me loud and clear even when I didn’t know what I was saying. And I am mighty grateful.


There is something else that I need to mention. And I’m going to mention it quickly because I don’t want things to get too awkward.

My book’s official release date is exactly one week from tomorrow. I know that a few people have found it here and there and yon already, but in terms of your Internet booksellers and whathaveyou, June 4th is the official date.

So over the course of the next few days, we’re going to have some Happy Good Time Giveaways. That is not the official term (nor should it be), but the whole idea is that I’m going to give away some books and some Other Things. Southern things. Things like banjos and fried catfish and turnip greens.

Oh, I am totally kidding.

Although I could absolutely get on board with a banjo.

So just know that there are going to be some free things. And some fun things. And I should probably also mention that I do have some book signings scheduled (in Alabama and Mississippi), but I’m trying to keep all that info confined to my bloggy Facebook page so that I don’t get on your nerves. Because while I still haven’t gotten used to having a bloggy Facebook page and don’t really know how to use it, I do know that it makes my brain feel better to have a designated place for communicating that kind of stuff. Apparently my mind likes to compartmentalize meaningless information.

So. That’s the latest blog and book news. But it’s not the latest Bachelorette news, because OH YES MA’AM I’m about to sit down in front of the DVR and FIRE ‘ER UP. Depending on the level of cheesy that’s on display this season, we may have to link arms and support one another through some socially awkward reality television moments.

I for one am all for it.

P.S. Can we please take a moment to remember Jesse’s Book of Thoughts from Deanna’s Bachelorette season?

P.P.S. I think this next week will be much better if we do.

I’ve Been Very Busy At The Abbey

1. Last night I didn’t watch a single second of the Academy Awards.

2. I didn’t even watch the Red Carpet.

3. Normally I will DVR the Red Carpet stuff since I like to see what everyone is wearing.

4. But last night I didn’t DVR a thing.

5. Because, well, I’ve gotten a little obsessed with something else.

6. And I’m betting that 80% of y’all are also obsessed – or have been obsessed – but I just happen to be late to this particular party.

7. You see, I was planning to write all day this past Saturday (and I actually followed through with my plan).

8. So, since Saturday was going to be a Get ‘Er Done day for book stuff, I decided that I wanted to relax Friday night.

9. And for whatever reason, I decided that I wanted to see what all the Downton Abbey fuss was about.

10. Keep in mind that I don’t normally like to watch TV shows that take place too far in the past because the lack of central air conditioning in the pretend characters’ pretend homes and businesses makes me feel a little claustrophobic.

11. Needless to say, I didn’t know if I’d make it fifteen minutes into Downton Abbey without sprialing into a flat-out oh-my-word-they-must-be-burning-up-would-you-just-look-at-those-corsets panic.

12. Much to my surprise, though, the female characters seemed crisp and cool and refreshed.

13. Also, it seems like Yorkshire isn’t very humid at all.

14. You can’t even imagine how relieved I was.

15. And once I was certain that the Granthams weren’t suffering in the sweltering, non-air conditioned indoors, I finished the first episode of season one and decided to watch the second.

16. Then I watched the third.

17. Then I wrote all day Saturday, as was my plan.

18. But when I finished writing Saturday night around 8, I watched the rest of season 1.

19. I may have dreamed about Mary and Matthew.

20. After we got home from church yesterday and my people settled into some reading, I watched episode 1 of season 2.

21. Then I watched episodes 2 and 3.

22. Afterwards I grieved the difficulties of wartime while I very distractedly made a grilled cheese sandwich for the eight year-old.

23. Then I watched episodes 4 and 5.

24. Then I realized that I HAVE AN ADDICTION, SIR.

25. I am currently halfway through episode 6.

26. I don’t know what I’m going to do when I finish episode 7.

27. But I think I will probably see if my family would like to move to the English countryside.

28. We’ll be very happy there, I think.

29. Provided, of course, that we can find a home with central air conditioning.

30. And if the home is next door to the Dowager Countess, all the better.

Ever so fondly,
Lady Boo of Birminghamshire


Miss America Viewing Party 2012

All righty, everybody. I’ll go ahead and warn you that I’m going to update this post an obnoxious amount while the pageant is on, so between my wordiness and incoming comments, we’re all going to have to refresh the page from time to time.

I know. It’s not exactly a fancy plan, but it’ll do, hopefully.

See y’all in a few minutes!

As a point of order, I would just like to mention that I washed my face a few minutes ago but was so excited that I forgot to put on moisturizer. So I made it back to the TV in time for the pageant, but my face is now about to crack open. MISS AMERICA IS WORTH THE SACRIFICE.

Oh, wait – I am unfamiliar with this off-site introductory business. I LOVE MISS ARKANSAS (“called a hog”). These puns are magnificent.

I think the Las Vegas Visitors’ Bureau had a say in how the introductions are done. And yes, Miss Idaho totally called herself “a hot potato.” Also: I was unaware that Marky Mark is a sweet treat. But BREAK IT DOWN, GIRLS, with the dance moves.

I know I’m partial, but Miss Mississippi looks fantastic. And listen – all these old-school opening statements (“having fun is always the Maine event,” “from the home state of Nike, here tonight to Just Do It”) are making me clap my hands.

God bless Chris Harrison. He really is a perfect host, don’t y’all think?

There’s a Head Judge? WHERE DO I SIGN UP?!?!

Top 15 is silly, but nonetheless, we have Miss Oklahoma, Miss South Carolina, Miss Florida, Miss New York, Miss Iowa, Miss Texas (WHO IS DARLIN’), Miss Virginia, Miss Illinois (“There she creates, there she gives”), Miss Arizona, Miss Alabama (YAAAAAAAAY!), Miss Tennessee (WHO IS ALSO DARLIN’), Miss Wisconsin, (COMMERCIAL BREAK), Miss North Carolina, Miss California (sidenote: I don’t really need for my Miss America to be edgy, nor do I want her to manipulate the media, but I understand that I am old), and Miss Louisiana.


You know what I’d love? A good production number.

This is sort of like watching The Hills if The Hills took place on a really big stage. With crowns.

Swimsuit competition? I miss those old one-pieces that looked like they were made of vinyl. And looking at all these six-pack abs reminds us that I’ve got some pimento cheese in the refrigerator. I think I’ll go make me a sandwich.

I miss the three-point turn.

I think it might lead to some ish-ahs if you’re eliminated right after the swimsuit competition.

Three blondes left. The hair color tide, it is a-turnin’.

Now that is just mean. For girls to have to line up behind the girl they want to stay? OH MY WORD SO MEAN.

I just said this when I replied to an email, but clearly that whole “stand behind the girl you want to save” thing was designed by a man. A MAN WHO HAS NEVER BEEN A GIRL IN JUNIOR HIGH.

Dear Miss Illinois: You are gorgeous, but Miss America does not use the phrase “sex appeal.” And I LOOOOOVE Miss South Carolina’s gown.

Dear Miss Texas: Your gown is perfection.

A Person Who Shall Remain Unnamed just texted me and said, “Alabowma.” SO GOOD. And I thought everybody looked gorgeous in evening gown, by the way.

Y’all? Is she dancing to a Prince song?

Talent: Miss Arizona (cute routine, strange music), Miss Illinois (maybe not the most difficult routine, but certainly better than I could do, you know, EVER), Miss Oklahoma (IRISH STEP DANCE, AMEN), but I’m having a hard time concentrating on the talents because I’m obsessed with the strange facts and can’t stop thinking about how Miss Illinois is AFRAID OF WINDMILLS.


Miss Texas (very talented at piano as well as her ability to sit gracefully in a dress with a slit cut up to her hip), Miss Wisconsin (some opera something or other), Miss New York (oh, this is my kind of Miss America vocal, yes ma’am), Miss Louisiana (it’s like an Ann Margret number in toe shoes – I don’t mind it – and she ALMOST SWALLOWED A DIAMOND), Miss Tennessee (bonus points for singing something from Cats in Italian), Miss Iowa (You Raise Me Up – a crowd pleaser), Miss California (appears to be LEGIT as far as her ballet skillz are concerned; her interpretation of the black swan was very EDGY, I have to say). :-)

My prediction for Top 5: Texas, Louisiana, Tennessee, California, Oklahoma – what do y’all think?

Top 5, for real: Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Arizona, New York, California (I’VE NEVER BEEN LESS ACCURATE). In my humble opinion, Miss Texas and Miss Louisiana should’ve been in the Top 5.

4th Runner-Up – Miss California
3rd Runner-Up – Miss Arizona
2nd Runner-Up – Miss New York
1st Runner-Up – Miss Oklahoma
Miss America – Miss Wisconsin

Well, that was just so fun! More fun! It was just so much fun!

Thanks, y’all, for being the best commenters in the whole wide ever. I had the best time with y’all!

(I still can’t believe Texas and Louisiana weren’t Top 5.)

(I’ll try to get over it.)

(‘Night, everybody!)

Miss America Viewing Party Tonight, 8 Central

Tonight about 7:55 central I’ll set up a post for our Miss America festivities. I’ll probably do a live blogging-type thing and update the post throughout the pageant. Y’all can take over the comments, and I’ll jump in there from time to time, too. I think the easiest way to talk back and forth is via the “reply” button, but posting a regular ole comment will work just fine, too.

One last thing. This will all be in good fun, so, like I said before the Miss Mississippi viewing party, let’s please be mindful that somebody’s mama or cousin or great-aunt Ethel could stop by and read what we say. In other words: let’s do our very best not to say anything hurtful. These girls are darlin’.

See y’all later tonight!

A Fine Kick-Off For All The Pageantry

When I was in college, Emma Kate had a little TV/VCR combo that sat right underneath the window in our room at the Chi O house (oh, that TV/VCR was the HEIGHT of technology back in the day). At the time I had a slight obsession with taping my favorite shows and then watching them over and over again. so I’m surprised that I didn’t wear the TV/VCR slap out with my repeated viewings of Moonlighting, Saturday Night Live and Designing Women. I watched all three shows so often that I pretty much committed most of the episodes to memory (is that pathetic? please don’t tell me it was pathetic. IT WAS MY HOBBY.)

This past Saturday morning I was checking “the Facetime,” as my husband calls Facebook (and we thought it was really funny and clever until there was actually, you know, something called Facetime, at which point his nickname for the Facebook became a smidge confusing), and a college friend of mine had posted a scene from Designing Women that I’d totally forgotten about. Watching it made me miss the show like crazy, and it made me think of all the hours I fast forwarded and rewound similar moments on EK’s TV/VCR.

It’s a TV memorial stone, people. A TV MEMORIAL STONE.

Now I would be remiss if I didn’t follow up by saying that I have seen some lovely Miss Maines and Miss Vermonts in my time – but Suzanne Sugarbaker’s take on things cracked me up. It also reminded me of one of my all-time favorite DW memories (and I have a LOT of favorite DW memories). It’s such a classic.

It’s Miss America week, y’all.

Giddy up.