Fading Fast


Today’s giveaway is Southern Accents Architectural Antiques swag. Woot! Woot!

Hello, Dear Readers,


My little WordPress sign tells me that I only have 19 days left on http://www.thewritesteph.com.

I’ll miss my first little blog, but I’ve got a “new and improved” one over at www.sweetgumlife.com.

Be sure to move yourself on over there so I can reach my goal of 500 followers in 2017.

I’m doing bunches of giveaways to (hopefully) keep all of you faithful friends.

Hope to see you there!




Packing up Christmas Stuff and Avoiding the Post-Christmas Blues

Christmas_decorations.jpgIt’s that time of year when I have to pack our Christmas stuff away after having it out only about three or four weeks.

After all the presents are unwrapped and we’re heading into New Year’s Day, I typically get a big wash of post-Christmas blues.

No fun.


The bare, naked Christmas tree.

But over the years I’ve found a way to minimize the blues.

I find that if I invite kids over while I’m un-decorating (dis-decorating??) the tree, things are a lot more festive.

Yesterday, we invited a sweet friend over to hang out with Princess Buttercup while I took down the ornaments from the tree.

Her mom stayed a couple of hours and we talked over coffee and caught up on each other’s lives while the girls played. When the mom left to go run errands, I took down the ornaments and enjoyed shrieks of laughter and the sounds of girlish gab.

It made me happy.


No worries, I’ll get to bring all of these out next year!

A Superior Early Thanksgiving Feast

Another arrangement from Rabbit's Nest Florist and Gifts.

Another arrangement from Rabbit’s Nest Florist and Gifts.

A wind blew in last Friday night, bringing in rain and cold temperatures which didn’t deter Trick-or-Treaters one single bit. We all had a blast!

So today, it’s out with the rain and in November’s beautiful blue skies. I’ve also decided to go sugar-free until Thanksgiving. No, I won’t even indulge in any (more) of Princess Buttercup’s Trick-or-Treat candy.

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite times of the year. There is lots of food and friends, and we get to see family members that we don’t usually see but once or twice a year. Good times.

Actually, I got an early taste of Thanksgiving last week. I went to get an interview with Joey Usery of Superior Heating and Air. The interview was for “Heritage Living,” a community magazine that I write for.

Please note that I don’t get any kind of kick-backs for mentioning small businesses in my blog. But sometimes there are definitely perks in being a writer. Like that day!

Mr. Joey and Miss Cindy serve up some yummies.

Mr. Joey and Miss Cindy serve up some yummies.

Miss Cindy, the office manager at Superior, and her office staff cooked a whole Thanksgiving feast for their crew. And then they invited me to join them in the fun.

A couple of the HVAC crew members on lunch break.

A couple of the HVAC crew members on lunch break.

It felt like Christmas at Aunt Bertha’s and Uncle Otis’s house. Everybody had a paper plate of turkey, dressing (that’s what we call ‘stuffing’ in the south, because we eat it as a side), mashed potatoes, green beans, Milo’s Sweet Tea (I think they’re out of Birmingham), mac-n-cheese, and pies.

Apparently, Miss Cindy had a turkey that she had to cook up so that it wouldn’t go to waste.

Anyway, here’s a shout out to Joey, Miss Cindy, and the rest of the crew at Superior Heating and Air for making me part of the family for a day!

Superior food!

Superior food!

southern_delicacy Superior_Heating_Air

Ladies and Gentlemen… The Beatles!

beatles1The Quarrymen, Johnny and the Moon Dogs, the Silver Beetles.

The Beatles.

Still one of my all-time favorite bands but mostly in their younger days.

It was February 9, 1964—fifty years ago yesterday—that the Mop Tops performed on the Ed Sullivan Show and sung themselves into rock-and-roll eminence.
Although I had always known that the Beatles played these catchy songs like “I Want to Hold Your Hand” and “She Loves You” (Yah, Yah, Yah), I didn’t fall into my own semblance of Beatlemania until I was a freshman in college.

See, there was this guy. I’ll call him “Paul,” just because. I caught site of him in summer school and decided that he was a real cutie. He had a mop of dark hair, so I decided to call him “Paul MacCarthey” to my friends. I probably just should have gone right up and introduced myself, but I think I had a lot more fun swooning and eyeing him from a distance. It was a lot safer, anyway.

So my girl friends knew that I liked this young feller—in some parts of north Alabama, guys are called “fellers”— and they knew that I called him “Paul MacCarthey.”
One day we were all packed in my friend Jennifer’s* little compact sedan. Suddenly, I caught sight of Paul’s black jeep, darting through the intersection up ahead of us.

I started practically screaming, “There’s Paul MacCarthey! There’s Paul MacCarthey!”

Jennifer slammed on her breaks.

I felt six pairs of eyes on me.

“Stephanie!” gasped Jennifer. “What’s wrong?”

“I saw Paul MacCarthey!”

My buddies all sighed in relief but were still shaken by my outburst.

“Who?” asked Heather.

“Paul MacCarthey. The guy that she likes. Stephanie, please don’t ever do that again,” said Jennifer.

“No, you don’t need to do that,” agreed Michelle.

“You scared me to death,” added Jennifer.

My friends were very nice about it, though. I think I got their point and was sincerely apologetic. Then we headed back to Harris Hall, where we were living that summer.

“Isn’t it actually ‘Paul McCartney?’” asked Michelle. The other girls agreed that it was, and we started talking about the Beatles and their music.

And maybe my “Paul MacCarthey” crush got me to listening to early Beatles’ music until I became a fan.

I don’t like their music as much when they got all shaggy in the 70’s, although I do like the “Hey Jude/Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” mash that was released a couple of years back, and I did learn to play a mean “Let it Be” on the piano.

My mom remembers when they were first on The Ed Sullivan Show, which is very cool.

I found some neat Beatles memorabilia on eBay, and the seller was most gracious to share his photos. I hope you enjoy!

Crazed fans...Mom, is that you?  (Just kidding!)

Crazed fans…Mom, is that you? (Just kidding!)

The Fab Four:
John – the smart one
Paul – the cute one
George – the shy one
Ringo – the sad one ??

* Names changed to protect my friends’ privacy. BTW, we are still good friends and remember our summer at Harris Hall—its dank, stale cigarette smell, notwithstanding—fondly.

Here is the link to the Beatles memorabillia on eBay. Thank you so much, Newton6950, for sharing your pictures!


The Beatles with Ed Sullivan.

The Beatles with Ed Sullivan.




Jaunty chaps.

Jaunty chaps.

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