Archive for November, 2007

Carolyn and Royal Pire Tools

Tuesday, November 27th, 2007

Carolyn(Queen Carolyn, user of Pire Tools)

When I was an undergraduate in the art department at Georgia Southern, my sculpture professor, a guy from Tennesse that made custom knives explained that we would learn to use pire tools this quarter.  We would go to a junk yard and collect salvaged metals for a sculpture we would weld. We would sandcast an aluminum  item. We would use pire saws and other grinding and polishing pire tools to complete an alabaster piece. We would produce a plaster totem-like column for the front courtyard. It required pire tools to construct the mold. 

I was excited and fascinated.  I leaned forward and asked a classmate that perched on a metal stool beside me, ” Hey. What’s a Pire tool?” Well, I suppose you might have figured it out.  I had no hands-on exposure to such tools and so POWER tools was a translation that I had to let sink in.  Wow. POW-er tools.

I don’t know lots of women that own their own power tools. Thankfully, I do know one and she just happens to be a dear friend, God-mother to my princesses  and  regal in every way.  As November slams to a close, I was feeling the crush of the Christmas demands edging their way around the corner, going faster than is safe for a really sharp curve. Hey, we are heading head-on into full throttle holiday time and I forgot to order my Mighty-Fancy Christmas tree from Honeydew Farms.  Honeydew Farms delivers a tree to your door, lets you select from 3 stellar choices. Then they clean cut the trunk.  Put it in the stand and position it it in your home.  Well, I lost the Mighty-Fancy order form this year.  Now I was going to have to find a time that my husband and I could go tree shopping, get him to put the thing in a stand and do all this simply, cheerfully and effortlessly, at a time when we both could be there.  Impossible.

After whining at lunch with Queen Carolyn, she calmly suggested that we should go ahead and get the tree and get it home.  No problem and no headaches.  Within one hour, we had gone to the friendly Snowy Mountain Tree lot behind Spanky’s. We selected, not one but two trees, had them tied to her roof and got them home.  That afternoon Carolyn came by with her little pire saw, extension cord and extra tree stand. Quick like a bunny, she clean-cut the trunks. Extra branches were trimmed off and trees were put in their stands. Not a curse word uttered. Not a bead of sweat appeared, and certainly no unpleasantness.  That little pire saw was so helpful. I want one!  No, not really.  But it was perfect for the job and Carolyn was one with the machine while she finished off those trunk bases.  I know she has renovated many a house and it is different from dealing with baseboards, cabinets, moldings, and other stuff I would pay carpenters lots do.  I was still impressed and thankful.

“Oh Mama” Dress

Friday, November 16th, 2007

Stacy and Me (click-Queen Stacy and Me flashing some pink. Did I mention Cate Lyon used to work for Victoria’s Secret?)

New clothes cause a stir in my house.  The cause is having two daughters that adore girly dresses and cute outfits and of course, me.  I love a new dress especially when I have had a challenging day.  Way, way back when I was in college, one of the stress busters for registration day was going to Tillie’s in downtown Statesboro and buying another dress. This was in the years prior to computer assisted registration agony.  After I had stood in line for core courses in the old un-air conditioned gym, just to find out every class I wanted was full, and I would have wait and then go to “drop/add” to get the crap I needed.  Not wanted.   Drop/add was equally tough and it required at least a new pair of skin-tight Chic jean. Think 1980. Old habits are hard to break and lately I have been under a lot of stress.

Braving the wet of a steamy Savannah drizzle, I went by Cate Lyon’s shop on 2 Oglethorpe and selected fabrics and watched her draw a couple of new dresses for me.  Then she scheduled muslin fitting when Cate will adjust the fit in simple muslin prior to even cutting a piece of gorgeous satin. It is a very up-scale walk-in. Be pampered, feel special, choose your color experience.  Now honey, I can afford “You want pedicure? “Choose you color” moments, but a custom dress? Not really.  However I can justify it. The way I see it, one dress is commensurate with buying a Talbot’s suit at full price and Donald Pliner shoes to match.  Or it is similar to Channel sunglasses and a Coach bag. For any woman who needs this ammo, think of a foursome at Savannah Harbor with lunch, drinks, and of course, cart fee. Or hunting licenses in Georgia, South Carolina, shells, and what?  Not a hunt club membership, too. Sweetie pie, that is much more expensive! Keep in mind, previous examples serve as rationalizations, as well as helpful reference points to use as needed. 

When I was little, having anything handmade was utterly disappointing. My mother tried really hard, but whatever she made never fit quite right and the fabric looked all wrong.  In fact, if I hadn’t realized how awful it looked, she would tell me in a self-depreciating way. “I just can’t sew.  I don’t know why I try,” she’d say in a disgusted tone. I might wear the thing one time and then banish it to the back of the closet before, years later, giving it to Goodwill.

Cate Lyon realized at a young age that she would learn to sew better that her own mother.  When she was only about four years old, she remembers watching her mother make a grand entrance wearing a blue organza cocktail dress with tons of glittery, glittery jewelry.  Oh Mama! You’re so pretty! To see her very own mother looking like a Queen was so exciting.  The memory stayed with her for years.  If you are fortunate enough to see your mother looking like gorgeous Royalty, then your own dream must be fact.  “I am indeed a princess,” you must sigh to yourself.  It is tremendously empowering to know that. When I said I wanted a fifties inspired dress that rustled when I walked and swished when I flounced, Cate thought of that Oh Mama dress that she had seen her mother make and wear in the mid-fifties. 

Ordering a dress is an ultra-luxury that I can try to rationalize. Why pay Neiman’s 500.00 for a dress anyone with money to throw around can buy?  Let a talented designer make something regal just for you.   Queen Becky C is having her Mother of the Bride dress made by Cate.  Queen Terri recently tried on one of Cate’s creations and exclaimed “I look gorgeous!”  Honey, Queen Terri is terrifically chic and lovely so just try to imagine her with a drop-dead dress on.  I want that. Where’s my checkbook? Do you remember the walk-down-the-street scene that John Travolta did in Saturday Night Fever or the walk through the office sequence in Renee Zellweger’s  Down with Love? This is the way I see it.  If all the world ’s really a stage,  I want the right costume.  Preferably something show stopping, in a stunning shade of green.

Road Kill

Wednesday, November 14th, 2007

I waited just the right amount of time to disclose this secret.  I am not going to be like Granny of The Beverly Hillbillies fame and tell you right off.  I will savor the moment and slowly determine just the right timing for a tell-all, confidential admission.  My consort loves hunting and we do serve lovely marinated vension backstrap from time to time.  Plus, every now and then, when you say, “This has to be Stephen’s vension.  It is so good.  I never knew I liked vension so much ’til I came to your house.  Goodness.  I wish my husband cooked this good.”  Hold on. Deep breath. Well, I need to fess up. Once in a blue moon, it is Road kill. Honey, it’s not posssum or armadillo, but Stephen did not shoot it.  It was hit by a car.

This time it happened in Vernonberg, a township in Savannah that is it’s own municipality (like Thunderbolt).  Late one night, on a drive home, a friend of ours hit a little doe when it ran right out in front of him .  Deer will do that. Really messed up his old beat-up whatever-car that he probably needs to replace.  If it had been a big deer, it could have put him in the hospital or even killed him.  Then serving the vension would have been in horribly bad taste.

Thankfully, it was a small deer, so he calls a neighbor and says, “Hey. I just hit a deer.  You want it?” The guy says he would be right over. Lucky thing. It was a sizable enough deer not to want to waste, so he fixed it right up, on the spot and brought some of the meat to my husband ’cause hunters share like that, (even road kill.)

After work, my husband comes home with this freshly butchered venison that his friend has shared with him. He tells me what happened and nobody was hurt and “Oh boy, these hams are sweet, tender meat and will grill up nicely. ” No matter.  I just could not stop laughing when I thought about the fun opportunity ahead of me, should I take advantage of it.  Would I intentionally avoid or spare potential diners the shock? Maybe shock is a harsh word. The concern. Or would I tell ‘em?  ”Yes,” I could say. “Honey, it is his grilled vension. ‘Cept I think you ought to know, some of it is road kill.  Hummm.  I wonder if it’s bad luck to eat deer that was hit by a car? ” I would muse to myself. “You know? I guess not. I just bet it’s good luck since the driver was not injured. Well, eat up.  We got more ready to come off the grill. Sure is good.”  (We serve grilled backstrap with bisquits, horseradish sauce and a sweet-hot apricot, chipotle jam-like stuff.)

Just so you know, we also like ground vension, so on spaghetti night, be forewarned. Look. It really is OK! Promise. I absolutely know that it didn’t lay on the side of the road for too long!  All that would be way too unpleasant.

Coronation VII Plans and Protocol

Tuesday, November 13th, 2007

Emma, inspiration for the invitation(click-Queen Emma inspired the invitation by exuding Royal Charm)

OO-la-la-la, MJQS . It’s tiara time. Three Ladies  in Waiting that have attended parties (or had ) parties in the last year and a half,  (Tricia, Ann, and Cathleen) have been asked to share their royalness with the MJQs by joining our group.  We will meet for cocktails at the Mansion on November 30th at 7:00.  No formal ceremony is needed, as you know, because each lady is already queen of her own realm.  She is merely offering to hang out with us and help us have more fun. If they are available to come in full regalia, (green gown and tiara), then they will be added to our royal roster.

Friends of Queens and others that have expressed interest in becoming an MJQ are being invited to come and have fun.  Any MJQ in good standing, (and honey, how can you be otherwise?) is allowed to bring a friend if they would like.  We will have a drink and then do whatever we decide.  No formal plans have been made.  Photographer, Erin Weathers will be on hand.

In January of 2008, the Founders, Mary, Carolyn, Becky, Stacy, and myself will ask all MJQs to come to an organizational meeting where we will decide how many more queens we will add in 2008.  If there are any questions about our regal group, please refer to the pages section, email me, or post a question. Reign On!

Rhett, You Promised

Friday, November 2nd, 2007

leslie-and-horse.jpg(Hold your breath and click)

In one of the riveting scenes in Gone with the Wind, I always gasp with white knuckle fear as Bonnie Blue falls off her horse during a jump. Rhett carries her limp body up the stairs as Scarlet accuses him, “Rhett, you promised not to let Bonnie Blue jump.” The understood sub-text is, “You bast***d, you killed our daughter.” That image makes me not want my daughters to ever ride.  Plus, my consort is suffering now with an old dislocated shoulder injury caused by a nasty fall of a big ol’ darn horse. His orthopedist loves him and so does his physical therapist.

Queen Leslie continues to risk life and limb riding on her favorite big ol’ animals. Her passionate pastime is horseback foxhunting.  Is that redundant? Well, being redundant is a hell of a lot safer than being equestrian.  Last month I thought Queen L was in Thomasville drawn there like the sailors in Greek myth were lured by the sirens to their rocky saltwater doom.  Honey, she was in Thomasville for a month or two.  She was there recovering from a fall that broke her right arm.  When she told me the details and scientific name of the bone that was pinned and cast, I was close to blacking out with fear and shock. Fighting back the mother-in-me that warns with wagging finger, “If you don’t stop that, you’re going to break your neck.” How many times have I said to my Princess Selia, the same exact phrase and when she crashes, and I draw in a lung full and then I can’t breath again until I know she can.  

I have come to accept that side to my daughter and my friend Leslie, as well. They know no fear when doing something they love.  With Leslie, it is sitting astride a horse chasing cute little foxes through the brambles of woods around Thomasville.  With Selia, it is jumping off the sofa arm, over the ottoman with one smooth leap.

Leslie just had her second surgery to fix a poorly repaired break.  Those orthopods in Tallahassee weren’t too neat.  Luckily, Queen Rhonda’s consort knows a thing or two about that bone stuff.   I hear tell that a splintered arm bone does not just take care of itself.  (Actually it can, but forget about returning to activities that required a functional arm and hand, like brushing your hair or putting on eye shadow.)

Since the joy of flying through the air on the back of a large animal seems to have its hold on Queen L, she has suffered two injuries in the last couple of years. And what about the lessons she has learned? Well, first get that bone back together and then get back up on the darn horse.  Show him who’s boss and keep chasing helpless forest creatures. Preferably with a pack of dogs.  Second, Savannah is a pretty nice place to recuperate, re-energize, and re-connect.  Literally and Figuratively.


Thursday, November 1st, 2007


MORE November Birthday Queens- Dennis fixing Wendy’s Royal do (Birthday November 19). Erica (Birthday November 4)and Carolyn. Emma blowing you a kiss, (Birthday November 5) (click) see Patty G (Birthday Nov. 2) below.

Queen Emma has said to me that friendships are like planets and heavenly bodies. Their orbits around us change.  Sometimes they are close to you like a moon, an up-lifting presence that shines on you, brightens your path, and shines through dark times.  They can be just like comets that streak throught the sky in a blaze of beauty and excitement and then they are gone.  Like Venus, a friend can be there, waiting for you to find them amid the scattered stars that threaten to out shine them or confuse the search until all the glitter around them looks the same.  They are there never the less. Finding the true steady light of the friend, enjoying the time you have with them whether they are close or not is the challenge.   Calmly, methodically you can find them.  Their orbit seems far away, but it really is the perfect distance for them and for you, whether you know it or not.

Every friend has a purpose, a role, and a meaning in their path.  I try to be accepting and enjoy the balance of these shifting planets, comets, and stars.  Allow them to give me joy and peace and see it all a part of the design of my life’s journey. I still struggle with the acceptance part and Zen of this orbit idea that can describe friends’ relationships.

There are times I really need a kind reminder and Emma paints the friends as planets picture for me so I can stop trying to force my own agenda on people. Let it be. Just let it be what it is at that moment. My goal is to recognize their individual value, beauty, and place in my exisitance.   Next time your solitary gaze searches the quiet purple sky for the marvel of smooth light Venus, the haze of the Milky Way, an exiting comet, or our own constant moon, remember a friend you saw today, a buddy that you haven’t talked to in a few weeks, or the fun companion that helped make you laugh many years ago.   The journeys, the orbits that our friends take will not always be close to us, but their effect on our lives is as beautiful as the glow of the distant stars and planets.