Archive for January, 2009

Published by PaintingChef on 28 Jan 2009

What you would have heard last night if you were watching “Big Love” with me and Patrick.

“I just can’t imagine what a stressful way of life that must be, keeping up with all those wives and kids.”

“I know, right? Imagine having THREE MORE of ME!”

“I’m sorry… what? I think I just blacked out from post-traumatic potential stress disorder.”

“No seriously though Patrick, if you ever do decide to find an additional wife can you PLEASE make sure she cleans?”

“Like… you want her to do floors?”

“No. YOU do floors. I want her to do windows. And kitchens. And laundry. And dusting. And dishwashers. She doesn’t have to cook but if she could clean up the kitchen afterwards I would appreciate it.”

“I’ll file that one away for future reference in the oh-so-likely event that I acquire an additional wife.”

“Seriously. Tell her I’ll totally pay her.”

“Wouldn’t that make her a hooker?”

“Only if she does it naked.”

“Fair enough.”

Published by PaintingChef on 26 Jan 2009

Dropping trou.

Back hundreds and hundreds of years ago when I wasn’t old and decrepit and had lovely little unshriveled ovaries and a non-toxic uterus (I know, I had to throw that visual in there, you are welcome) I loved nothing more than a Friday night out and about. Whether it was hitting O’Charley’s on the strip with the girls or, later, a nice civilized date with a guaranteed toe-curling good-night kiss from my future husband… Friday nights meant O-U-T.

And then… something happened…

I started being exhausted on Friday afternoons. It was gradual. At first it became choosing the seven o’clock movie over the nine o’clock show. And then suddenly we were going out to dinner and renting a movie to take home and watch on the couch. Eventually that became… “Hey, I’ll pick up dinner/groceries/pizza/Thai and a movie on the way to your place. And oh by the way, don’t be wearing pants when I get there.”

Then we got married.

Now the dog is lucky if she gets to go out and pee before I’m in pajamas on Friday afternoon. And I’m okay with that. Because even though the context is slightly altered, I can’t wait to get out of my pants on Friday night.

Published by PaintingChef on 21 Jan 2009

The last of my grief therapy. In which you are an unwilling participant.

Never Alone
by Rodney Belcher

I feel you in the morning
When at first I awake
Your thought is with me
With each decision I make

You’d been around forever
Since the first breath I took
Now I have to go on alone
But for love, I need not look

Cause by what you bestowed
In our short time together
Will last in my heart
Forever and ever

Although you’ve left
And now walk above
I’m never alone
I’m wrapped in your love

Enjoy now your long waited reward
Feel peace that your love continues on
What was taught to me, will be taught to mine
Cause you live on in me even after you’ve gone

This is one of the earliest pictures I have of Neena. And when I look at it, only one name comes to mind… Ramona Quimby. If that name doesn’t mean anything to you, I’m afraid we can no longer be friends. Unless you brought cake. Or wine. Oh fine. We can still be friends. Just get to a library, you hear? I’m worried about your childhood.

This is the first of what I’ve dubbed her “pin-up” shots. That sound you just heard was her very Baptist, very Southern and very devout father rolling over in his grave. She played basketball for Tellico Plains High School. For some reason I find that incredibly awesome.

More pin-up. Something about this tells me she was trouble. That makes me happy because I know I came by it honestly. It certainly didn’t come from my mom, that much is for certain.

Why yes. That is a grass skirt.

My most favorite of her childhood pictures. Something about her face makes me think we would have been friends. Well, we were friends. But I mean if I were her age.

Ah the 50’s. Something about this is so casually glamorous. Also? So very blonde. I never saw her with blonde hair but there it is. And hello to Papa Bill!

The rehearsal dinner before my parents’ wedding. She had it at her house and made all the food. And then? The very next day? Did the same thing for the wedding reception. And all in three inch heels. Again with the kindred spirits…

Me and Neena at the beach. I’m guessing Daytona. I’m also guessing she is postumously pissed off at me for showing the internet a picture of her in a swimsuit. Tough Neena… you were a hottie. Own it.

Christmas was always a huge deal. See those stockings behind us? Yeah… she made all those. And later that night I promise you that we all wore matching pajamas that she has spent weeks sewing. Unless this wasn’t Christmas Eve. In which case we probably didn’t all match. My mother must have taken this picture because from left to right that is my uncle Tim, Papa Bill, my uncle Todd, Neena, Daddy and then me and my sister down in the front. I think that pose was the original “Blue Steel.”

Mom marching in the UT Homecoming. Neena was always so proud of her. Also I think I wore that outfit every chance I got. Hot yellow pants, huh? Could be worse. I could be the one in a purple sweater vest and knee socks…

One of the only pictures I have of just Neena and Papa Bill where they don’t look like they’ve been forced to be a picture together. But even then… they kind of still do. No doubt the thumb injury was caused by some wayward icing.

Many years ago I was an ice skater. And I didn’t suck. And Neena, her sister Barbara, me and mom all went up to Lake Placid for a competition. It was such a fun trip. Even if the hotel was a dump.

Haha! That’s twice! Swimsuit shot!! I think I’ve never seen her as relaxed as she was on this trip. She just sat in this chair at the edge of the water and read. All day. It was absolutely fantastic.

Three wonderful women who I miss so desperately. Neena, her big sister Barbara, and their mother, my great-grandmother, Nannie.

Published by PaintingChef on 19 Jan 2009

Betty Ruth Holliday (1932-2009)

This is the obituary my sister and I wrote for our grandmother yesterday. Writing obituaries is not fun.

Betty Ruth Holliday

HOLLIDAY, BETTY RUTH – age 76, of Knoxville, passed away, Saturday, January 17, 2009 at the home of her daughter. Betty was born and raised in Tellico Plains, TN. She raised her three children, Debbie, Todd and Tim in Athens, TN where she also owned a fabric store and a catering company. Betty later moved to Knoxville where she continued her catering service until her retirement in 2005. Her door was always open and her home full of friends and the family who called her “Neenah”. She will be greatly missed by all those whose lives she made sweeter. Betty was preceded in death by her husband, William R. Holliday; parents, Jasper and Jeanette Johnson; sister, Barbara Johnson Hunt and son William Todd Holliday. She is survived by her daughter and son in law Deborah and William Hall; son and daughter in law Tim and Shannon Holliday; grandchildren Susannah Hall Perry (husband Patrick), Betsy Fellabaum (husband Matt), Kristoper Holliday and Eli Holliday; brother in law and sister in law, Frank and Nora Mae Holliday as well as many beloved cousins. Family and friends will meet 11:00 A.M. Thursday at Haven Hill Memorial Gardens in Madisonville, TN for graveside service with Rev. Dr. Augusta Vanderbilt officiating. The family request that in lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Humane Society of the Tennessee Valley, P.O. Box 9479, Knoxville, TN 37940, in celebration of Betty’s lifelong love of animals. The family will receive friends from 5:00 to 7:00 P.M. Wednesday at Rose Mortuary Mann Heritage Chapel.

My mother, sister and I spent yesterday evening combing through hundreds of pictures of Neena(h)’s (we disagree on the spelling, I’ve never used an “h”… I lost but for clarity… its pronounced Nee-Naw. We just aren’t country enough to actually spell it that way) life. I know it’s been all dead grandmother all the time around here lately and that’s really depressing. But it’s my corner of the internet and this is consuming me. So… sorry. But not really.

I have a handful of photographs that I’m going to scan and post here but for the meantime I’ll just re-post one you’ve seen before. She was beautiful and wonderful and we were complete and total kindred spirits. She was crazy and I loved that about her. There is an empty spot in my heart that nobody else will ever be able to fill. But I will take that hole a million times over just to have had the privilege of having her to begin with.

Published by PaintingChef on 18 Jan 2009

Sweet Dreams.

It happened so fast. But she is gone. My heart is broken.

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