Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Redneck wedding cakes

These cakes are beautiful and weird! I can see them being served at the wedding of most any of my Redneck Tarot characters! Well, except Billy. He's having a Krispy Kreme donut cake.

Almost makes me wish I could bake--almost!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Whistling Dixie

This is an entirely inappropriate blog post for someone who not only voted for Barack Obama, but also is thrilled to pieces at what she has seen from him in the days since his inauguration. But I can't help it. For as genuinely happy as I am to have a Democrat back in the White House, I am almost that happy to have temporary possession of a Confederate States of America cuckoo clock. Its tacky kitschy quality speaks to the tackiest part of my Southern soul.


Here's how we came to have it. Last week when my sister and I went to Huntsville, Ala., to surprise our mom for her birthday, we found a surprise ourselves. We walked into the living room, a room that has changed little since we grew up in it. A room that hosted my mother's liberal friends during all the dark years when they had to practically meet in secret due to the conservatism that permeates Huntsville. Despite its history, the room housed a CSA cuckoo clock, complete with Stonewall Jackson on a horse, Robert E. Lee featured front and center, and as we would soon learn, a cannon that pops out of the doors marked by the Confederate flag and fires three times on the hour.

After our parents got home, we learned where it had come from. One of my parents' friends received the clock as a gift back before Christmas. To this day, she doesn't know whether or not the giver was sincere in thinking the clock is a fabulous must have for every Southern home or whether he thought it was the funniest thing to come along since pink flamingos. Mom's friend knew what she thought. She also knew she had to keep the clock, because the giver would look for it when he next visited. Until then, she would share, because, really, no one needs a CSA cuckoo clock in their home forever.

So the clock was making the rounds of their friends, moving from person to person as birthdays came and went. We got lucky and happened to visit the day the clock was delivered from the previous, birthday recipient.

Well, I had to get on this merry-go-round, and Chris's birthday was the perfect excuse. He'd be thrilled to have possession of the clock for even a short time. I called Mom's friend and got us added to the rotation. While it was a sacrifice for Mom to give the clock up prematurely, I reminded her she'd get it back come July when Daddy has his birthday. She brightened considerably at the prospect, and is, I'm sure, at home now figuring what place of honor it can occupy.

Meanwhile, we have the clock sitting in our living room now, just inside the front door, until sometime in February, when it will pass to the next lucky birthday woman. I hear she's already found a nice spot in her garage for it. Some people just have no appreciation for the finer things in life!

Oh, it's cannon o'clock now. I believe a mint julep's in order!

While I'm fixing my drink, why don't you share something in the comments that you own and love that's embarrassing or politically incorrect?

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Happy Birthday, Mom!

It's just been birthday central around here lately. First Elvis, then my mother, then my nephew and Chris's is next Thursday.

But I can't let Mom's get lost in the shuffle. She turned 70 on January 14, an event my sister and I decided couldn't go by without some sort of celebration, despite Mom's insistence that she didn't want a party.

She got one anyway, an intimate party of four. Susan (my sister) and I drove from Atlanta to Huntsville, Alabama, on the 13th, arriving about 6:30 p.m., while Mom and Dad were at the gym. Daddy, who was in on the plot, had left the front door unlocked. We brought dinner, homemade chicken vegetable soup, angel rolls and birthday cake. Plus, we'd stopped at the Piggly Wiggly in New Hope, Alabama, and bought ice cream for coffee punch and to go with the cake. We set the table with Mom's crystal and china.

Leroy, Daddy's shih tzu, let us know when they were almost home. He starts whining whenever Daddy's car reaches the bottom of the hill. (They live at the top.) Mom opened the front door. Susan and I jumped from behind the sofas and shouted surprise. Mom fell back against the door, clutching her chest. Nearly giving us a heart attack.

Fortunately it was just surprise, nothing fatal. We had dinner and chatted like grownups until after midnight. Just the four of us, our original little nuclear family. Mom says it's the best birthday she's had in years. Maybe since she was 16 and her best friend threw her a surprise party.


It was fun for us too. We don't often do things that surprise our parents. We know each other too well after all these years. But she was truly and pleasantly surprised. Now, what will we do when Daddy turns 72 this summer?

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Happy Birthday, Elvis!

In honor of Elvis’ 74th birthday, I thought I’d give you a tour of our guest bathroom, known for nearly 15 years as the Elvis bathroom.

I wasn’t a huge, drooling, fawning, panty-throwing fan of Elvis. By the time I came around to liking his music, he was probably dead. Though living in the South my whole life I admit I’ve seen some folks who could have been him, but likely they were just huge, drooling, fawning fans.

But then I found this shower curtain.


I don’t know what drew me to it. Maybe Elvis possessed it? We had just moved into our trash heap of a house and decided that the hall bathroom had to be remodeled first. The shower curtain was the inspiration I needed. We have a lot of company. I couldn’t ask them to use the scary bathroom.

Instead we asked them to bathe with Elvis. We painted the walls in jailhouse stripes, to honor that horrible movie, Jailhouse Rock. (I’m not a blind fan, though I admit to liking Viva, Las Vegas.) A friend gave us a picture of Elvis in the shower. It’s actually a vinyl placemat, so it’s perfect for a bathroom. The moisture won’t hurt it.


Most visitors were happy to shower with the king. But I remember my grandmother coming out of the bathroom after her first shower saying, “I had to throw my towel over the shower curtain rod and cover that man’s face. I didn’t want Elvis seeing me naked.”

Appreciative guests inspired the only rule about the bathroom. When we began to receive Elvis things--refrigerator magnets, signs, a blanket, Christmas ornaments, a nearly life-size guitar-shaped Elvis clock—as gifts, I started to panic. I had visions of Elvis taking over the house. So the rule is Elvis stays in bathroom. It’s fittin', since that’s where he died. Well, not in our bathroom, but you know what I mean.

So, Happy Birthday to the King. Long may you reign—but only in the bathroom.