July 10 Editorial

In every household a little dirt and disaster must fall, but my house seems more like it’s had a visit from a bull in a china shop. Some people spend their days cleaning up the messes of their children. I spend my days cleaning up the messes of my husband.
This week, I learned the valuable lesson that no matter how old he gets, my man will always need full time supervision. With that being said, I’ll take you back to disaster number one of the week.
It was nearing midnight, and our three crazy dogs were insistent that we take them for a walk before bed. Knowing their track record of keeping me up all night if not properly exercised, we decided that these night owls were going for a stroll. The last time we took a late night walk, we encountered a strange young man who said nothing and wandered aimlessly around the neighborhood, spooking me a bit, so my husband asked, “Should we take the pistol this time just in case?” I told him that I thought it might be a good idea, so he went to the bedroom to get it while I went outside to the car to get the dog’s leashes.
Seconds after I exited the house, I heard a shot ring out and my husband yelling my name. My heart stopped. I sprinted for the house, terrified that he may have hurt himself or one of the pups. I busted through the door to a living room that smelled like gun powder to find him standing there grabbing his ears and squinting his eyes like he had just encountered a flash bang.
I screamed in freaked out excitement, “Are you okay,” to which he replied, “I think so.” He asked where the dogs were, and it took us fifteen minutes to track them all down, as they had scattered like cockroaches when the shot rang out. Tucker was under the bed, Leia was under a bush in the backyard, and Jake had let himself out of the front door and headed down the street. Once all were wrangled, we realized no one was hurt. We had literally dodged a bullet.
“What the heck happened,” I asked. “I was checking to see if there was a round in the chamber and it went off. My hand wasn’t even near the trigger,” he explained. I’m not sure that I believe that this was a gun malfunction over user error, but seeing as how no one was hurt, I thought it was best not to split hairs and point fingers. He felt guilty enough on his own.
Our next task was to find where the bullet had gone, and it didn’t take long. It was lodged in about four pieces in the middle of our hard wood floors. I know that it could’ve been much worse, but spending the next two days ripping up the living room floor is something I could’ve done without.
A few days after the Wild West showdown in my living room, disaster number two happened when he once again decided to take it upon himself to take on another dangerous task…..checking the attic for packing boxes.
Normally, this would be a simple job, but not for my husband. I heard a gigantic crash, so I sprang from the bedroom to find his lower body dangling from the ceiling. I yelled, “Oh my gosh, are you okay?” He giggled like an embarrassed school boy and just said, “Oops.”
A minute or two later he managed to wiggle himself back into the attic with the help of a ladder. The mess was massive. There was sheetrock and insulation everywhere. Not to mention scuffed up walls, a dust covered couch, and a gaping hole the size of a small planet in my living room ceiling.
“This will be an easy fix,” he said hoping that I was in a good mood so that he didn’t have to die. Luckily, I was in fact in a good mood, so I smiled and gave him the eyes that said, “You are completely out of control, but I love you anyways.”
We spent the rest of our day off together repairing the sheetrock and cleaning the mess. I have to say that I nearly lost my good mood while holding up a heavy piece of sheetrock to the ceiling while he measured and searched for a pencil. I beginning to wonder if I can be considered for sainthood?
There are so many things I love about my husband, but his accident prone-ness isn’t one of them. I always talked about having a nanny one day when we have kids, but I’m seriously thinking we may need to hire one now. I’m not sure he can be left unsupervised and he loves warm milk before a nap….I think that qualifies. He may be a giant walking disaster, but at least he keeps things interesting.
I think I need to write an apology letter to my house. Poor little thing never had a chance.

July 3 Editorial

As a food lover, nothing brings me more joy than spending a night out with friends at a restaurant. That is until that restaurant turns into a perfect storm of bad experiences. This was the case last Saturday when my friends and I decided that dinner at a lively hibachi place sounded like a good idea. Turns out, we should’ve stayed home.
We arrived at 7:30 pm, and although the hibachi tables were mostly empty, we were told there was a wait. Normally, this wouldn’t have been a big deal, but I unfortunately was seated next to a baby who apparently thought that the next county over wanted to hear him screaming for no reason. My ears were literally ringing when I looked to his mother for some sign of frustration. Instead, she giggled and encouraged his horrible behavior. Good luck in the teen year’s lady.
We were finally seated at 8 pm, and I cringed when I realized that junior baby mutant lungs was seated around our table. I knew the only way I was going to get through this was to start drinking, so I waited for the waiter to arrive to take our drink orders. Fifteen minutes later, he was still nowhere to be seen and my blood pressure was on the rise.
The waiter finally arrived at 8:20 pm, and asked everyone for their order. Ten minutes later he returned with a glass of wine for me and a ridiculously large fishbowl drink that looked like cotton candy for the woman next to me. When he reached in to put it on the table, he lost his grip on the glass and showered me with sticky liquor and fruit juice. I jumped to my feet, feeling like I had just taken the “cold water challenge” while he fumbled to pat me down with paper towels.
This was becoming a nightmare.
I sat back down in my chair eager to order my food and get the heck out of there. When the waiter approached the other side of the table (which contained 6 people, 4 teeth, and 2 English speakers), there seemed to be some confusion about what they intended to order. They wanted to share plates, but didn’t want to pay the shared plate fee, scrambled to decide who was having chicken or steak, blah, blah, blah.
I stared at them as if laser beams were going to come out of my eyes and force them to explode. I mean, we had only had 40 minutes at this point to work all of the details out. Get it together people.
When the patriarch of the family laughed and said, “Can you just come back in a minute so we can figure this out,” my husband pinched my leg as if he knew I was about to go New Jersey Housewives on this guy’s behind by flying across the table with rage. Thankfully, the waiter just skipped them and took our order instead. I added, “Can you go ahead and put our order in? We need to be somewhere.” Also, I will cut you.
When the chef came out to prepare our food, the idiots next to us were so fascinated by the sight of rice and vegetables that they felt compelled to take photos of each course and selfies with the chef. The woman next to me said, “I’ve never seen rice like this before.” Where was she from? Neptune?
Her phone rang, so she put her camera down to answer it, “Hello? Shane?....Shane?....Shane? SHAAANNNE!!!???” At this point the baby was crying and this lady was driving me bananas, obviously too dumb to realize that “Shane” couldn’t hear her. I had officially come unglued and the main course hadn’t even arrived yet.
Oh, and I forgot to mention that the bar was full of drunken World Cup fans yelling, “GOOOAAALLLL” every five minutes. Yay, my two favorite things; drunken idiots and soccer.
I looked at my friends and asked, “Is this all really happening? Are we on TV right now?” They laughed and agreed that this was ridiculous. We had to get out of there.
All in all, the food was good, but our night was a complete disaster. We paid our bills and headed for the front door, only to be bid farewell by one of the soccer fans who had apparently had way too much to drink judging by the pile of urine and vomit he was sitting in right outside the door. The management in this place must be top notch.
I know that there are different people from all walks of life with all kinds of behavioral patterns, and I can usually deal with them in singles. When a group of these strange birds get together I nearly need to be committed. I know its “different strokes for different folks”, but maybe someone can come up with a restaurant concept that accommodates bad servers, horrible patrons, and complete morons. I’ll be sure to skip it.

June 26 Editorial

We’ve all heard those amazing stories that swirl around the internet that seem so unbelievable that they almost seem like urban legend. This week, I learned first-hand just how true these stories can actually be, and just how powerful prayer can be when you feel you are in your darkest hour. My dear friend Susan, who I’ve known for nearly 15 years, contacted me the other day with a miraculous and inspirational story she wanted me to share.
A school teacher, Susan had once held a second job years ago as a server in Orange Beach for extra cash while on summer break. One night, while cleaning off one of her tables, she found a silver bangle bracelet that read “Through God, all things are possible”. She put the bracelet in the lost and found bin in the office, and didn’t think about it again.
That is until her father passed away a few months later. “I was going through a really rough time in my life,” Susan said. “I needed something to give me hope.” She went to the lost and found bin, and there was the bracelet. She asked the managers if she could have it, seeing as how it had remained there for over 90 days. They said yes.
Susan wore the bracelet for months, and in time she said her heart learned to beat again. “When I felt low, I read those words on the bracelet and remembered that God loves me and has a plan for me,” she said.
Then, tragedy struck again for a friend close to Susan. Her mother was killed in Hurricane Katrina, and her heart was broken. Susan decided to pass the bracelet along to her and told her the story of how it had helped her through her grief.
Her friend wore the bracelet for nearly two years before passing it along to one of her friends who was going through a rough patch. This “sisterhood of the traveling bracelet” was fast becoming a special bond.
A year or so later, the third wearer of the bracelet called Susan with the bad news that she had lost it while swimming in the intracoastal one afternoon. Susan told her not to worry because the bracelet had more than served its purpose. They had all worn it in their times of need, and they had all healed.
Last week, Susan’s son, who was visiting from Georgia, came home with something shiny on his arm. He took it off and handed it to his mother saying, “I found this today, Mom. I wanted to give it to you.” When he opened his hand Susan said she nearly fainted. It was the bracelet.
At this point in our conversation, I knew that there was something wrong. Her voice trembled as she said, “Kelly, I have cancer.” I felt a lump rising up in my throat. I didn’t know what to say. Was I supposed to ask what the prognosis is? Was I supposed to tell her everything was going to be okay even though I didn’t know the details? Was I supposed to say something profound?
All I managed to say was, “How?” How could my sweet friend who would give her last dime to someone else have gotten this? How was she going to fight it, and was she going to win? How could I imagine life without her beautiful, peaceful smile being in it?
She told me that it was colon cancer, but there were treatment options. It was going to be a long hard battle, but she was ready to face it head on. She said, “I think that’s why God sent this bracelet back to me. I mean, what are the odds that it would ever be found, let alone by the person who once owned it?”
I choked back tears and replied, “It has gotten you all through before. This is a sign that you will get through it again.”
I told her that I would be there beside her through the good, the bad, and the ugly until we hear those wonderful words, “You are cancer free.” Then I told her to buckle her seatbelt because I wasn’t going anywhere after she was cured. There are just too many more adventures to be had.
I hung up the phone and started thinking about life, death, God, and fate. Perhaps the person who owned the bracelet when Susan found it no longer needed it because her pain had subsided. Or maybe God really does work in mysterious ways. I find it hard to believe that things just happen to us. I think every step we take is on the way to our destiny.
As for Susan and her bracelet, even if it is truly coincidence, it makes me smile to know her heart is filled with hope at the sight of it every day. It was the missing piece she needed to prepare herself for battle, and if anyone is going to win, it’s going to be this amazing lady.
The proof is in the bracelet….”Through God, all things are possible”.

June 19 Editorial

Is it just me or does being professional just not mean what it used to? For instance, our house is on the market. While there is a sign in the yard, any decent real estate agent knows that when a house is occupied, you don’t just knock on the door. You make an appointment. However, yesterday that very thing happened….at 8:30 am.
I awoke from sleep, nearly having a heart attack due to my dogs going nuts at the front door. Being that I am not even a shadow of a morning person, I stumbled in my satin pj’s to the door fighting back three barking attack morons, to find a real estate agent and his clients standing on my door step. I picked my brain in a panic, wondering if I had forgotten that there was an appointment to show the house, until he said, “Is it too early?”
First of all, yes, you idiot, and second of all, can I help you?
“We were just wondering if we could come in and see the house,” the agent said. I told him that we had been sleeping and asked if he could give us an hour to get the house ready to show, an offer that I thought was rather generous at the crack of dawn without an appointment. “Sure, that will be great,” he said. “We’ll be back in an hour.” I gave him our phone numbers and he gave me his card, then we got to work.
The house was in fairly good shape, so we just vacuumed and made the beds. The time for their “appointment” came and went. I called the agent, and he told me they were running a little late. “Can we come at 1,” he asked. “Sure. I’ll just have to move some things around in my schedule,” I replied annoyed but anxious to sell.
At 2 o’clock when they hadn’t shown, I called him again. This time there was no answer. By 4 o’clock, I was just plain mad. Not only had this jerk disturbed my beauty sleep by knocking on the door without an appointment, but now he has missed two appointments that I had to rearrange my day for without so much as even a courtesy call? Rude.
Later that night, I received a call from the agent. He explained that he had missed the appointments because he had forgotten that he had a lunch date. Really dude? I tried to control my disgust, but it bubbled over when I snapped, “And it never crossed your mind to call me? Never mind that I adjusted my whole day to accommodate you. How about you don’t show up at my door again unless you have a client with a briefcase full of money and a contract in hand. Good day sir.”
After the blood rushed out of my face, I giggled at myself for being so melodramatic. I mean, at least we have people wanting to see our house. It just burns me up when people don’t have any integrity. Just do what you say you’re going to do. It’s that simple.
I guess I expect too much from people. There’s always going to be those who knock on your door early in the morning, I will probably never be able to understand the customer service reps at AT&T, and I’ll probably never get the sauce I ask for when I go to the drive-thru, but I suppose life will go on. Maybe not much longer for the guy outside my bedroom window with a chainsaw at 7 am if he keeps it up. Seriously, doesn’t anybody sleep?
My point is this….people are so obsessed with their own agenda’s that they forget that there is a thing called common courtesy. Even as grown-ups, we still need to follow the golden rule; treat others as you want to be treated.
As for me, I drove to my real estate agent’s office immediately to pick up a sign that says, “By appointment only”. Take that Mr. Real Estate jerk.

June 12 Editorial

This weekend, my friends and I headed out to one of my favorite spots on the planet….Pirate’s Cove. If you don’t know about this little gem, it’s a hole in the wall kind of place nestled in a waterfront cove that boasts amazing music, delicious food, and best of all….the most awesome crowd of rednecks with money you’ll ever see.
I was giddy with excitement for our first voyage of the season to the mecca of all boat beach party hangouts. We pulled up, and as always, the place was packed. Kids of all ages were jumping like wild maniacs from the docks into the shallow water, and the stench of greasy cheeseburgers lingered in the air. I jumped from the boat to the dock and made a beeline for the bushwacker machines, careful not to step on one of the rogue dog’s tails.
I sidestepped about twenty four-legged pals before making it into the “no shoes, no shirt, no problem” joint, and admittedly was disappointed to find that the new bathroom facilities were now a big step up from the original, where you had to hold the door for lack of a lock while trying not to fall through the hole in the floor where a drain had once been. This place was getting fancy.
A cold bushwacker in hand, we met up with more friends and jumped in the water for an afternoon of lazy lounge time. While floating around, I noticed a few things about this place that make it so cool.
1) The dogs own the joint. People are just lucky they get to hang here. I swear I saw them taking shifts begging for food around the tables. Fluffy and Max worked table 2 and 4 then rotated with Skipper and Spot every fifteen minutes so that nobody got too comfortable with their sad eyes. The scary part is…..it works. Humans are easy.
2) There were millions of dollars’ worth of boats parked on the beaches but whether you arrived on a yacht or a dingy, once you stepped on the beach you were all friends. It was like “Oh, you like Pirate’s Cove too? Did we just become best friends? Yup!”
3) You may be rich enough to have champagne and caviar every day, but when you’re at the Cove…..you’re going to eat that burger and onion rings. Don’t care who you are….if you don’t like their greasy food, you are un-American.
4) Just because you have a little money doesn’t mean you’re not a redneck. I saw more NASCAR t shirts and Roll Tide stickers on boats that cost more than most people’s houses than I care to recall.
5) Rednecks with money are fun. Say what you want about them, these guys know how to have fun. They drink like fish, dance like nobody’s watching, and welcome you to their party with open arms. Just don’t bring up college football and you’ll be fine.
6) You can get really up close and personal with the wildlife. While swimming in the channel several people had close encounters with passing dolphins, and one poor Labrador retriever got the scare of his life when he swam out for his tennis ball and was met by a dolphin less than two feet from him. He panicked and turned for the shore, but quickly went back for his ball. No man left behind. I like that attitude.
If you haven’t been to Pirate’s Cove and a laid back, friendly day on the boat where even your furry family members can have fun, check it out immediately. Whether you’re a city type, billionaire, or just plain redneck royalty, everyone has a good time here. And you can be sure you’ll be welcomed with open arms…and probably a few beers.
Hooray summer!!!