Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Drop that Possum!

Some 35 miles away from where I live is a town called Tallapoosa Georgia.  For the last 14 years, Tallapoosa has had a "Possum Drop" on New Years Eve.  Apparently, Tallapoosa was originally a township called "Possum Snout" until 1860 when they changed the name to Tallapoosa (In Cheerokee-Creek "Tallapoosa" means "Golden River" which really? I'm not too sure is a great name either if you think about it too hard.)  ANYWAY, Tallapoosa has a long, rich possum-related history...thus the Possum Drop at NYE.   You know, like the ball in Times Square, but with more fleas and the potential for rabies.
Kidding!!  They don't use a live possum (anymore).  They have a PETA-friendly taxidermied possum named Spencer who allegedly was found already having schucked off his mortal coil.  A taxidermist named Bud happened along and found Spencer and thought to himself "You know what this town needs? A stuffed possum for New Years."  And thus, a tradition began.
So in honor of end of 2013, the beginning of 2014 and the proximity of a dead possum dropping from the sky, I thought I would dig up and brush off my possum story.  I first posted this story back when I first started this blog...it was actually my second post.  Re-reading it last night, I realized it could use some editing before reposting.  So, below is a slightly abridged version of that first post.
Several years ago, Jeff's father was undergoing Cancer treatment at the Cancer Treatment Center of America in Tulsa, OK.  We made many, many trips from Alabama to Tulsa...one or both of us taking him there & back.  I love my in-laws DEARLY, but one particular trip to/from CTCA was absolute HELL.  Nothing went right, no one felt good, the flights were awful, we got in late and THEN had an hour drive home from the airport in a torrential downpour. 
When I finally get home, Jeff grabs my bags and hands me something to drink and tells me that I should grab a book and Rosie, the three-legged wonder dog and go sit where I can hear the rain and unwind and relax a bit.  It’s about 10:30 by this time and I’m wound tighter than a spring.  “Don’t worry about anything, babe, I’ll unpack your bag,” he says.  So, I raise the garage door, grab a book & my drink, invite the three-legged wonder-dog, Rosie to join me and start trying to loosen up. 

(Pictured above: Rosie, the wonder dog, giving a terrifying yawn)
I’m readin’ and sippin’ and starting to unwind a bit when out of the corner of my eye, I catch something moving.  I look up, and there is a POSSUM crossing the driveway.  Not a big possum, one about double the size of a squirrel, but STILL!!!  Are possums not the most skanky looking animals in the WORLD (or at least in the Southeast) or what? 

Well, Rosie jumps up and runs her three-legged self right out into the driving rain, runs around the car parked in the drive and then comes back WITH THE POSSUM IN HER MOUTH!!!  She’s trotting around in the driveway, getting soaking wet, when I holler at her (I want to say right here that I am a college degreed mechanical engineer, but certain circumstances cause me to revert to behavior such as HOLLERIN’) “Rosie, drop that possum RIGHT NOW!”  She opens her mouth and THUD!  Right in the middle of my driveway she drops the dead possum and comes back up the drive and into the garage.  I shoo her in the house, and walk to the bottom of the stairs and holler (I’m still in hollerin’ mode), “Jeff!  YOUR DOG has killed something!”  I then stalk back out to the garage and sit back down in my chair and look at the possum…it’s still in the drive, it’s fur getting all matted and nasty looking in the rain.  Jeff comes out and takes a look…he’s barefoot, because he had gotten up in a hurry to see exactly what was going on.  Then he actually looks at me and says, “Ah, I can’t get it, I’m barefoot.”  I put THE LOOK on my face and said, “Look, bucko, if you think I am going to deal with a dead, nasty BEAST after the three days I have put in…not to mention the NERVE WRACKING drive I just made, you are so, so mistaken.  I’m sure if you look it up, dead animals DEFINITELY falls under the “Man Duty” heading.  You may have been lucky enough to marry a woman who can put the gas grill together, but I am NOT taking care of a dead possum.”  I believe I had my hand on my hip by this point.
 So Jeff shuffles barefoot back into the house (I hear him stop to praise Rosie for being such a “good girl, gettin’ that bad ole possum”) and up the stairs to get his shoes.  He’s up there awhile…maybe 10 minutes.  Then I hear him back in the kitchen looking for rubber gloves (wuss) and getting a trash bag.  I’m trying to read my book and sip my drink, but I keep looking up at the carcass in my drive.  Jeff’s still banging away in the kitchen after the rubber gloves (you KNOW he really wants me to come in and find them for him) when the possum TWITCHES!!  Creepy, unnatural, not healthy-like twitchin’…”Well, crap!”, I think,  “The only thing worse than a DEAD POSSUM in my driveway is a HALF-DEAD POSSUM in my driveway.”  I’m thinking that Jeff’s going to have to go to the shed and get the shovel and put the poor (but disgusting) thing out of its misery.  This is not going to make anyone’s night…not mine, not Jeff’s, certainly not the possum’s.  I stand up to go give him the good news, just as the possum raises its head…it looks around, gets to its feet, gives itself a good shake and then trots on off to the bushes.  The tip of its gross, pink rat-tail had just vanished under the boxwoods as Jeff comes out of the kitchen and into the garage.  He has donned his rubber gloves and has the possum disposal bag in hand.  His jaw is set as he gets ready to do his manly duty…and I have to tell him that the possum was, well, playin’ possum.  It had lain there mouth open, eyes glassy, fur matted in the torrential downpour for AT LEAST 15 minutes, and then just trotted off!!  We both go back inside, Jeff stripping off the rubber gloves…to be confronted by Rosie, the three-legged wonder dog.  She is giving us such a REPROACHFUL look that I can almost hear what she is thinking which must have been something like, “I am a three-legged dog…do you KNOW how often I see that kind of action?  Not only do you call me OFF my possum, but then you let it get away.” I did the only thing I could do to make amends…I gave her some bacon and promised her I’d tell EVERYONE what a brave, brave dog she was for “gitin’ that possum.” 

Monday, December 30, 2013


On New Year's Day, I'm just as bad as the next person for making the same old resolutions that I know I probably won't keep (top two every year for at least 15 years running?
1. Lose weight
2. Exercise more)
That being said, for the last couple of years, I've tried to at least include a resolution or two that I felt like I would actually keep....like getting my passport.  I did that a couple of years back.

For 2013, one of the resolutions I made that I kept, I am actually pretty proud of...And no, I didn't lose weight and exercise more (silly).  I did, however overcome my fear of making cornbread.  Behold!  The first pone of cornbread I have ever baked that was actually edible:

It isn't the very best cornbread on Earth (my Dad makes that)...but it was actually very good cornbread.  I can't believe I did it.  I've tried for YEARS to make a decent cornbread.  Nothing fancy, nothing exotic...just a decent pone of cornbread that you could eat with beans or chili or whatever.  And my cornbread ALWAYS sucked.  It was too dry, it was raw in the middle, it was a hot crumbled-up mess when I flipped it out of the pan...Once, everything looked okay, but the cornbread itself had some kind of awful, bitter after-taste.  Eventually, I gave up on cornbread.  If I needed cornbread to go with my chili...I'd just make extra chili, call my Dad up and swap him some chili for cornbread.
Well, sometime in 2012, Dad cut me off.  He told me I was 42 years old and needed to learn to make my own cornbread.  He knew that I ended up with my Granny Gladys's cast iron skillet.  The skillet she got when she got married.  Basically, it is the most beautifully "seasoned" cast iron skillet you have ever seen. He insisted that I had all the tools I needed to make cornbread.  Nevermind that I had made some perfectly AWFUL cornbread in Granny's skillet in the past.
Above: Granny's skillet. Isn't it beautiful?  It's got to be at least 70 years old.  Yes, it's a Lodge.  I can't believe how much bad cornbread I've made with this because honestly, anyone should be able to make good cornbread with a Lodge cast iron skillet with 70 years of seasoning.
So for 2013, my very first resolution was that I would learn to make cornbread.  I have put it off and put it off until last night.  Knowing I only had three days left, I decided to suck it up and go for it.  And this time, I didn't try anything fancy...I didn't try any of the "tricks" (using melted Crisco like Granny used to do) or secret ingredients (guy at work says to put some creamed corn in it).  I just went by the recipe on the back of the corn meal bag and I MEASURED everything.  I'm not much of a measuring person...which probably explains why I can cook but can't bake.  So there.  Mission accomplished.  Yes, I was just in under the wire, but it still counts.  The cornbread was good, if not stellar.  The 12-Bean Soup I made with the left over Honeybaked Ham bone to go WITH the cornbread???  Now, THAT was stellar.
Now...what's in store for me for 2014??? Hmmm...
Update:  I've figured out what my resolution that I actually plan on keeping is for 2014.  I'm going to have a garden.  I don't know if I'm going to ease into it with just a herb garden or if I'll actually try to grow a veggie or two.  If you know me personally, you will know how out-on-a-limb this resolution is...I have a terrible black thumb.  But since I've gotten past my cornbread issue...the next will be to try to grow something.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Out to Lunch

This is a semi-sort-of book review for a novel I thoroughly enjoyed.  However, I want to start out with a word or two of caution.  Out to Lunch by the talented and lovely Stacey Ballis has some pitfalls. 

Number one: it will make you hungry.  Ms. Ballis has a tangible love of lovely food and it shows.  The descriptions of some of the food in the book are so well written you can literally ALMOST TASTE THEM.  And you'll want to...which brings us to pitfall number two:
Stacey Ballis is obviously a magnificent chief.  Not all of us are.  She will blithely lead you though how to put together a dish that seems easy as pie.  Not all of us are so talented.  I'm not a BAD cook per se, but if you are like me and most of your spices are McCormick and have been in your cabinet 5+ years...you are out of her league.  Now...don't get me wrong, I made her Turkey Tetrazzini (from her blog) with my leftover Thanksgiving turkey...and have had no less than 4 people beg me for the recipe...but some of the other dishes??  I live in a smallish town in Alabama.  You go into Winn Dixie and ask for cippoline onions?  Forget about it.  You need to just get your happy ass in the car and drive an hour and a half to Trader Joe's in Atlanta.
Pitfall number three: (Spoiler alert) The book is essentially about the lead character dealing with the death of her BESTIE.  Her best friend in the world, her soul mate.  The person you GETS YOU.  If you have one of those (and guys, everyone NEEDS one of those...if you don't, then you need to do...and no, it's not your spouse.  You need a BEST. FRIEND) then this will wrench your gut. After I read the first chapter of the book I was a sniveling mess and wanted to rebel, put the book down and then snatch someone bald.  Because I can't imagine such a loss.  I'm a lucky, lucky girl.  I have myself a gaggle of wimmens that I can turn to for anything: My Jenny-Jenn, Annette, Jacquie, the Belindas, Fancy-Nancy, Leslie, etc...and I can't imagine my life without each and every one of them.  You read this book?  You will immediately want to make a lunch date with your special go-to-girlfriends and kiss each of them on the mouth.

But besides all of the pitfalls...it was a lovely read.  Yes, it will make you cry.  It will also make you laugh. A lot.  You've got some time on your hands before you go back to work after New Years?  Do yourself a favor and check this book out.
As a bonus...after you've finished this book, Stacey has several more out there that you can plunge right into after this one...I've downloaded three of her other books and am enjoying them as well.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Post-Christmas funk.

Am no longer amused with the chest cold/bronchitis/lung funk I have been rocking since the week before Christmas.
I went to the God-forsaken doc-in-the-box to get it checked out and taken care of prior to the holidays just so I would be OVER it in time.
When I went, it was jam-packed in the waiting room with what appeared to be half of the population of the county.  It must have been a relief to all of the holiday shoppers that were dreading the crowds...since they were all apparently hacking and coughing and puking and sneezing all over me, the store crowds must have been quite reasonable.  On the upside, I ran into a friend I hadn't seen in about 4 years and an old high school classmate who's kid is graduating this year with my daughter.  So even though our collective germs were probably breeding and mutating into some sort of epic medicine-resistant super-flu, the time passed fairly quickly.
I went through the standard blood draw, chest X-ray...got to see the doctor who declared it viral bronchitis...gave me a shot of steroids a prescription for cough medicine, an inhaler and a decongestant & told me to drink plenty of liquids and rest. (All that? Was $107 out of pocket...insurance only pays 65%)

Here we are 10 days later.
Yes, I'm aware that I look like hell on a rampage.  My skin is pasty where it isn't flushed, my lips are cracked from mouth-breathing all night long, my eyes are blood-shot from lack of sleep and my poor widdle nose is raw.  Even my hair looks sick.
Something about the combo of the codeine in the cough syrup, the albuterol in the inhaler and the pseudoephedrine in the decongestant (the stuff you make meth from) (I'm TOLD) has me constantly wired and tired.  Jeff kicked me out of bed last night about 2:30 because I kept sitting up to cough and then falling back asleep still sitting but slumped over with all of the covers.  I flipped and flopped and (apparently) drooled and snotted all over the couch. I think I finally passed out about 30 minutes before I was supposed to get up and go to work.  Which did NOT happen.
Instead, I used a precious, precious Leave day to stay home with my mucus.  NOT the purpose I intended to put those comp hours toward. Sigh.
And none of this is really helping the after-Christmas blahs that inevitably set in right about now.  My house is basically a wreck, the tree (what's left of it) needs to come down and gifts need to be put away...yet I sit on the couch...a wheezy, snotty slug.
Any suggestions out there? I'll take advice for the blahs and the crud.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Ghosts of Christmas Past

My daughter is mere days away from becoming a legal adult.  This last year of her high school has flown by incredibly fast...I can't even articulate how fast.  And I do a lot of "this is the last time she will..." or "this is the last..." until I drive myself crazy.
Christmastime has been especially fraught with these kinds of thoughts...next year, Jeff and I will probably be putting up the tree without her.  I know she'll come home for Christmas...but I don't know if she'll have the time for all of our regular Christmas stuff...making Christmas candy and watching A Christmas Story eleventy times in a row.
People used to tell me how quickly she'd grow up.  That seemed impossible when we were going through potty training...REALLY impossible during the strained tween/early teen years where we never seemed to be in synch with one another.  And now I'm looking down the barrel of a short five months until her high school graduation.
Excuse me a minute while I go freak out and snuggle the cat and cry a little into his fur (I wish someone could explain to me why progress to becoming the crazy cat lady seems to be in some bizarre direct proportion to progress to becoming an empty-nester).

Okay...back again.  I think I can finish this up.  I wanted to share one of the sweet, sweet things my daughter did when she was small. I'm so glad we kept the tangible proof of it for me to get out and boo-hoo and slobber over every year.

We had just moved into our new house (this is 2002...so the kiddo was almost seven).  Our new house had a fireplace and that had Daughter all sorts of excited because Santa would finally be able to come down a chimney at her house (as God intended) and not have to come in through a door like some pedestrian.  We had always done the cookies and milk thing...Jeff & I eating them after we had finally gotten the Dream House or the Dream Kitchen or the whatever-the-hell assembled...careful to leave crumbs.
This year, the kid said to us, "I'm going to go get a box to put the cookies in so that the cats don't get them since we're leaving them on the hearth."  She took the cookies upstairs with her and returned with a box with a lid on it and put it on the hearth.  Then she scampered off to bed....we didn't think much of it.  It wasn't until we were finishing up and remembered we'd need to eat our cookies that we found it...a sealed envelope with the following inside:

The seven dollars you see above represented the net total liquid cash available to the kiddo at the time...including the Susan B Anthony dollar she'd been given by her PawPaw earlier that evening.  Jeff just sat in the middle of the living room floor bawling like a baby...I wasn't much better.
We ate our cookies and wrote her a very sincere, but simple "Thank You" note...then we put the kid's note and the money in an envelope for us to get out and look at every year.  I internally debated giving her money back to her...but Jeff insisted that she was very clear that Santa should have it.  Apparently, this was the right call...years later, my daughter told me that getting the Thank you note, but NOT getting the money back kept her believing in Santa that much longer. "I figured if it was just you guys, you'd give me my money back."
Ah....good times.

Monday, December 23, 2013

A Holiday Classic...

Seeing how THIS year, the Christmas tree has an entirely new set of problems (read about here) this post-from-the-past is a little ironic...However, it's become a tradition with my family and friends that I re-tell "The Horrible Christmas Tree" every year. I'm a little late this year in the telling.
(I really cannot believe how much the kiddo has changed over these past few years...I don't think Jeff or I have changed all that much):


Here we go tree hunting. Loving Jeff's new hat/toboggan that my sister gave him. Yes?  Rosie the three-legged wonder dog loves to tree hunt with us. 

The tree is FOUND!!! And so Jeff begins cutting.

This is taking awhile...so the child texts while Rosie stands guard.

Still waiting....

 Action shot. (My friend, Lori, loved this picture so much, she printed it out and stuck it to her refrigerator; called it "Jeff, my own little Christmas elf."

Why is this tree not down yet?

Whew! Finally! Jeff is exhausted, but we're all still excited about the tree

See...everyone is in a good mood. Even teen-age punk children who were forced to put down their phones for 6 seconds to take this picture. Also, the dog is grinning. I think I may need to burn this sweater though…or diet (again...it's years later, yet nothing's been done to rectify,Gah!)

The mighty tree-slayer with his kill

Tree is ready for transport

Rosie had a good time

Back at the house, Rosie dons her Reindeer garb in preparation for trimming the tree.  She is VERY excited.  I'll point out that Rosie was an only dog back then...we've acquired a Golden Retriever and a Chau-weenie since.

Here's another picture of Rosie being very, very excited.

And so the trouble begins...there's a definite tilt to the right.
The tree has two trunks that branch off right at the bottom. Only two of the four screw thingies will touch no matter how we twist and turn the tree. We try straightening; then decide to try another tree base. We unscrew the tree, Jeff lifts while I swap out the bases. The tree weighs a TON…foul language may have been used. Thankfully, the child has wandered to another part of the house to check her MySpace. (Yes, this story actually happened so long ago, MySpace was cool!)  Did you know that most "kids" now have moved on through Facebook, onto Twitter?  Apparently, too many parents were getting to hip to Facebook....anyway, back to the story...

Jeff comes up with a plan involving the daughter's old building blocks

Ah yes, this looks well engineered.

New problem? We have a BUNCH of Hallmark ornaments that have to be powered by non-blinking, mini-lights. The set of lights we used last year burned out and were discarded when we took the tree down and we forgot to replace. Jeff runs out to Walgreen's down the block for a new set…

...and rips the side mirror off his car when he backs into the garage.
When we get inside from looking at this...the tree has tipped over again. Also, the lights he comes back with?? Are pink (we’ll come back to that later.)

This is an artificial tree.
We finally gave up on the two trunk monstrosity and admitted defeat. The kiddo and I went to Lowe's where the selection was almost caput, Home Depot, where they only had trees 5’ and under and then finally
before finding a decent artificial tree.
Remember the pink lights we were going to use to power the Hallmark ornaments??? They had a pink cord. Sorry, this was too ghetto even for us. We had to take that strand off & send Jeff back for more lights.

Luckily...Izby, a kitten at the time and who'd never seen a Christmas tree before, ran into the room, startled himself so bad that he shat a little on the carpet before running back out with his fur all poofed out. The kid promptly stepped in it.
Another time-out while Jeff cleans this up

Finally, time to put the star on the new, artificial tree.  Note: no whiney-butt, griping teenage children were harmed in the placement of this star, though perhaps they should have been

Meanwhile, the original tree is out on the front walk.  Notice how DARK it is outside?

Another shot of the discarded “real” Christmas tree. Yes, it is still upright hours after Jeff set it outside. He grumbled a bit about that…however, it was on its side by morning, and that was WITHOUT the aid of the previously mentioned kitten (who eventually got over his fright and would SO have been up in the middle of it.)

Anyway, don’t you know the neighbors love us


And finally, here we are…two trees, two tree stands, two strands of lights, a busted side-view mirror on Jeff’s Altima and NINE HOURS LATER.



On a final note…just to prove that I WILL NEVER LEARN…even though I should have just stopped with the tree already, I wanted get to put my porcelain nativity scene out. It is well packed in Styrofoam...each figure has its own little niche. As I am prying the baby Jesus from His, He shoots out, hits the fireplace cover and skips twice across the tile hearth. Thankfully, nothing chipped or broke...

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Christmas in Dixie?

Running some errands yesterday, I was cutting through the Walmart parking lot, and there was this:

I stopped because the big poster board sign on the front of the truck screaming "WOLF PUPPIES" had me intrigured...Talking to the guy, he was actually billing them as Husky/Wolf pups (you can see one of the puppies in the back of the hay-lined truck bed.)  The bigger adult dog was the sire and supposedly the source of the wolf-lineage.  (It was not a wolf).  The smaller adult was the dam who was supposedly a full-blooded (but unregistered 'cause his cousin "didn't have the money to register her when he got her but she was shore 'nough full breed, you can tell 'cause her eyes is blue").
He was selling them for $1000 a piece.  Out of a truck. In the Walmart parking lot.
And people were BUYING THEM.

The two lovelies in the picture were trying to dicker with Jethro so that little bat-dude could have his very own "wolf" for Christmas.

Merry Christmas from Alabama.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

"Live" Christmas tree

A couple of posts ago I discussed why it will be a blue-eyed miracle if my Christmas tree survives until actual Christmas here.
May I present further evidence:

I hear that the betting in Vegas is less on will the tree go down and more about where it will end up...

1. Out the picture window

2. Middle of the living room floor (too boring for my beasts if you ask me)

3. In the fireplace.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Mama, Do you love me?

Buying wrapping paper the other day, Daughter picked out some with Eskimos and igloos and such on it and said, "I like this one...it reminds me of the book you always used to read to me when I was little."

The book was Mama Do You Love Me? by Barbara Joose  Illustrated by Barbara Lavallee.  I have read this book eleventy-zillion times.  It's about a little Inuit girl and her mother.  The illustrations are divine and the story itself one of my very favorites.  If you've got a niece...or if you've got a friend who's a mom of a new daughter, I strongly encourage you to get this book.

Mama, Do you love me?
Yes I do, Dear One.

How Much?

I Love You more than the raven loves his treasure
More than a dog loves his tail,
More than a whale loves his spout.

How long?

I’ll love you until
The umiak flies into the darkness, till the stars turn to fish in the sky
And the puffin howls at the moon

Mama, what if I carried our eggs-our ptarmigan eggs!-
And I tried to be careful, and I tried to walk slowly, but I fell and the eggs broke?

Then I would be sorry. But still, I would love you.

What if I put salmon in your parka, ermine in your mittens, and lemmings in your mukluks?
Then I would be angry

What if I threw water at our lamp?

Then, Dear One, I would be very angry.
But still, I would love you.

What if I ran away?
Then I would be worried

What if I stayed away and sang with wolves and slept in a cave?

Then, Dear One, I would be very sad.
But still I would love you.

What if I turned into a musk-ox?
Then I would be surprised.

What if I turned into a walrus?
Then I would be surprised and a little scared.

What if I turned into a polar bear, and I was the meanest bear you ever saw
And I had sharp, shiny teeth
And I chased you into your tent and you cried?

Then I would be very surprised and very scared
But still, inside the bear, you would be you
And I would love you.

I will love you,
Forever and for always,
Because you are my Dear One.

And I think to myself that if this is one of the things she remembers about her childhood...then I haven't completely botched the job!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Christmas miracle.

By which I mean...it will be a Christmas miracle if my tree is still standing at Christmas.

Last year at Christmas, Maxx was this big.  He discovered that he was just MADE for climbing trees and was so very pleased when we put one up in the living room just for him.

"Hi!  I'm Kitten-Maxx and I weigh approximately 5 pounds."
Apparently, the Christmas tree is one of Maxx's fondest kitten-hood memories.  We didn't get the first ring of branches attached to the "trunk" when this happened:
We would shoo him off and attempt to continue with assembling the tree...turn our backs and:

"I feel very debonair in my bowtie.  Someone get me a deal with Hallmark."
Maxx may still feel like a kitten...but he weighs about 18 pounds now:

"Entertaining AND delicious!  Nom, nom, nom."

The tree is now secured to an anchor bolt in the ceiling.  I still have my doubts about how long it can possibly take this kind of abuse:

"A quick 180 turn back into the tree and they will never even see me!"

Do you see the Popsicle-stick snowflake directly to the left of the fuzzy cat-butt?  It was our first casualty. Sometime in the night it was batted down to the floor where it was unceremoniously (I assume) destroyed by the dog(s):

Daughter made that snowflake back in 2000, when she was 4 years old.  Sigh.
So far today, Maxx has been content to lounge under the tree, king of all he surveys from the depths of his (artificial) conifer hideout.

Friday, December 6, 2013


Dear world. Thank you for finally having a fashion trend that I can work with.  This skirt, legging, boot thing?  Is FABULOUS!  And not just for me…I think it is a look that FOR REAL can look good on anyone.  Skinny minis look good in it.  Tall chicks look great (there are few fashion trends that DON’T favor the tall). Short girls can modify it to look taller.  Even, er, Rubenesque women like yours truly can rock this look.  And it’s comfortable.  It can be worn in the deadest of winter with thick, thick leggings and a sweater or it can work in milder weather with light weight tights, a tunic and ankle length boots.
Now here comes my complaint.  The only skirts I am finding in my size are black.  Black, black, black.  I bought two black skirts…one wool and one with some kind of stretch to it.  And they are great, don’t get me wrong.  If I wanted more black skirts in my size, I could have any number of them.  I have found them at Walmart for as low as $9. I found three different cuts of black skirt at Dillards.  Target had your basic black pencil skirt.  And that’s lovely, really.  I have a trendy pair of black boots and a number of tops that look good with the whole ensemble.
But then the other day, I bought a pair of brown boots.  My daughter found them on JustFab.com.  She got herself a gray pair, I got the brown…because if you bought two pairs, the shipping was free.  And they ACTUALLY had a brown pair of boots with a wider calf.  They arrived just 3 days after we ordered them (am now a HUGE JustFab.com fan) and the boots actually fit like they were made for me.

Only I can’t find a brown skirt.  Anywhere.  That’s when the abundance of plus-sized black skirts became apparent to me.  You can’t sling a dead cat in this town without hitting a store selling black skirts.  But not brown.  Never, ever brown.  If a store is feeling particularly diverse in its offerings to the curvaceous, you MIGHT score a gray skirt.  In my pursuit of a brown skirt I even ran across this houndstooth number that I snagged immediately (I live in Alabama, people WALLPAPER in houndstooth down here).

 But still no brown skirt.  What’s the dealio?  I’ve seen brown skirts in other sizes.  Many brown skirts.  Why don’t they want fat chicks to have brown skirts?  Why? I have some perfectly adorable brown boots languishing away in my closet.  I need a freaking brown skirt.