Wednesday, April 30, 2008

First Impressions.

Went to Walmart after church this evening in search of a cheap DVD player for our "gym," because movie-viewing will aid my endurance while on the elliptical or treadmill. (Wishful thinking, at least.) Just before paying ($48--not exactly cheap, but it was a Sony, the only brand worth having according to Scotty) I noticed a familiar face in the New Releases section. MY BOYFRIEND! He's also known as Jason Statham, but I like referring to him as my boyfriend. Leave it alone.
Of course I bought the movie, even though I'd never heard of it. When it comes to Jason there are no price checks, no thinking about whether I really need it or not. It's really one smooth, fluid motion...I grabbed & tossed into the buggy in less than 2 seconds. This is real love, folks.
In The Name Of The King
I'll report back later to give my review of In the Name of the King. The cover art displays swords, horses, and a battle scene, and it's obviously a period piece. These features alone are enough to pique my interest--but the casting director was obviously genius enough to hire Jason Statham for the lead role. SOLD! And really...even if it turns out to be lame I will have spent two hours of my life enjoying him as an actor. And as a fine-looking man. That's what counts, peeps. It's the little things in life that make me happy.
What was that, Scotty? No, Katherine Heigl is not in this particular flick. Sorry, honey. Go back to your Xboxing.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Half a decade.

Exactly one year and one day ago our house looked like this:

Our home on Thornbird Circle, in Boiling Springs, South Carolina, was being packed away, ready to be hauled to Jonesville, Virginia. Scott was finishing residency at Spartanburg Regional, preparing to return to his home of Lee County, where he would set up his medical practice & fulfill his dream (calling) of being able to take care of his family and friends. Libbey (who was 15 months at the time) and I were just along for the ride, because we didn't care where we long as the three of us were together.

Before Scotty & I married in 2000 I knew that he wanted to return to his teeny, tiny mountain hometown. I knew that I'd be far from such conveniences as Target, Walmart (which we now have--woo!), Taco Bell, Chick-fil-a, Hobby Lobby and Starbucks. I knew we'd have to find & buy land on which to build a house because there aren't really any neighborhoods or subdivisions here. I knew it would be a blessing for us to live so close to his grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins, especially for Libbey's sake. I wanted her to grow up surrounded by family (and trust me when I say that mygirls are related to half of Lee County, in some form or fashion--I'm not kidding!), even though it meant being 6.5 hours from my parents, brother and nephew in Georgia. (That's what roadtrips are for!) In short, I knew it would be hard for me at first...being away from "city" life, living in a town where everyone knows everbody else--and privacy is something found only when your doors are locked and windows are down! And even then all bets are off, as I can't count the number of times someone has shown up on our front porch, at night or in the early morning, with a medical problem of some sort.

One year ago today--April 29, 2003--we returned to southwest Virginia and moved into a rental house in the west end of the county. We nicknamed it the "Love Shack," as it was very Brady Bunchesque...complete with lots of wood paneling, various shades of shag carpeting, and trippy light fixtures that could only be found these days on eBay. Witness:

The master bedroom, resplendent with red shag, Holly Hobbyish wallpaper, and a pink tiled bathroom--big enough to turn around in. Once. Wish I had a photo of the chandelier from the kitchen. It was a wagon wheel. I can't make this stuff up, folks. Upon hearing about our new dwelling place, Vicki very sweetly sent a Better Homes and Gardens decorating book. From 1968. Very appropriate, let me tell you. She knew we'd need all the help we could get. Never could get that lava lamp to work, though. Oh well.

And here's Scott, standing in the exact spot in which, one year later, mushrooms would grow. In the carpet. I'm not kidding. There was a fungus among us and yes, it was by far one of the nastiest things we'd ever seen. And this coming from a physician who's lanced boils, removed various body parts, drained appendages, and sewn flesh. Euuuuwwwwww...I get creeped out just remembering it.

About 5 months after moving into the Love Shack (or as Libbey now calls it, "Our gross old house!"--she remembers the mushrooms, no doubt!) God led us to land in Pennington Gap, which is in the eastern part of Lee County. We bought it at auction for a ridiculous price. Ridiculous because we purchased 17 acres for what half an acre would cost in my hometown in Georgia. Because God is good that way. Five months after becoming certified landowners we began construction on our house. Our final house...we like to say that we're gonna live here 'til we die or Jesus returns, whichever happens first. Because honestly, we were just over the whole moving deal. We moved to South Carolina one week after getting married, and moved to Virginia three years later. We then had to move from the rental to our new home, and by that time I was newly pregnant with Caroline. So this is how we handled the relocation task:

Ok, ok...just kidding! This was actually taken last summer. It was my father-in-law's idea of the easiest way to move new patio furniture to the upstairs porch. Turns out he was correct--all the pieces (heavy wrought-iron chairs and a glider, I might add) were in place in about 10 minutes. Scott Sr. is very handy to have around, in case I haven't sung his praises enough.

We actually moved into our new house on our 5th anniversary, April 8, 2005. Caroline arrived a little over six months later and the four of us have been happy and blessed in our home sweet home ever since. See? God is good. All the time.

It's been half a decade since I've become a small towner. Ninety-nine percent of the time I adore it, which shocked me at first. My mother was truly thankful, though--for months she worried about me living in the "country," in "the middle of nowhere," where "everybody knows your business." I've handled it well, huh, Mama? Living in Pennington has taught me a lot...about family, friendships, community, and being surrounded by people whom I feel honored to have in my family's life. Like Mikey, I like it...I really like it! Even better than Life cereal!

I do have moments of utter discontent, I must confess..."TARGET...oh, Target...45 minutes away...wah-wah-wah!" These times are fleeting because I usually get there for my bi-monthly fix and all is well. But then Kelly mentions going to "Stuportarget" (her term for Super Target--great, huh?) at least twice a week and I get a little squirmy. And then there are the times, such as this morning, when we're on the way to school, a regular morning thus far. Upon reaching the end of our road Libbey yells, "WHAT? Look! Where is our mailbox?" Apparently it was stolen last night. The entire thing. What some people will do for drug money. I kid you not. How sad is that? It's bad enough we drive 1/2 a mile just to retrieve our post, but to have the entire thing ripped from our posession? That's just wrong, man. Hope the high is worth it, you rogue thugs.'s been five years. Five years today. It seems like five minutes ago...truly. Much has happened over these years. Caroline joined our family and we are now complete. Aunt Mitzi died in June of '03...Papaw Smith and Uncle Frankie in May of '04...Aunt Doris last Christmas. Litton Family Medicine keeps growing and the nurses/staff there are truly the best in the county, and members of our extended family. We were blessed with a niece, Eliza, in October of '06...her baby sister, Helen, arrives in about 6 weeks. Libbey completed three years of library school (we love you, Ms. Sherry!), played T-ball and soccer, and is performing in her 4th dance recital next month. She's almost finished her first year of kindergarten and thinks Lee County is the center of the universe. Caroline is the most blessed of all, though...she's never known a life apart from these mountains, surrounded by most of her family. My prayer is that when God moves her away from here--be it college, marriage, job, whatever--she'll have only gratitude for her upbringing. I pray this for both our girls, and for myself. Because I am growing up here, too. A little later in life, but still...I'm growing. It's been a good five years.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

24,090 Days.

I know a very cool guy who has, in 66 years, done a lot of very cool stuff. Witness:

*A one-on-one conversation with Elvis before he was known as "The King."

*A member of 2 bands, one of which has recordings still available, while the other toured as an opening act for a little piano player known as Jerry Lee Lewis.

*Serving our country in the Vietnam War, with tours in both Okinawa, Japan and Bangkok, Thailand, in the Military Advisory Group to the Royal Thai Air Force.

*Graduating from Mississippi State University after returning from duty in the U.S. Air Force.

*Operating & making contact with people worldwide via Ham radio. (Call sign: KD4AR)

*A firm grasp of Biblical knowledge, particulary studies of the end times/Revelation.

*Driving a convertible and riding a Harley-Davidson, without it being a mid-life crisis.

*Picking an accoustic guitar, strumming the base, and playing a mandolin.
(And being modest regarding his talents. The standard, in my book, is a decent performance of Chuck Berry's "Johnny B. Goode," which he can play. Very well, I might add.)

*Working for the U.S. Government for 42 years, 8 months and 9 days, primarily in Electronic Warfare.

*Marrying the former Mary Elizabeth "Pinky" Raley of Meridian, Mississippi.

*Being my father! (And Eric's, too. And grandfather to Logan, Libbey and Caroline, of course!)
I'd list more of his greatness, but it's appropriate to stop right here. Because you wanna hear about the time I was 17 and he drove 30 minutes in the middle of the night to pick me up because a friend's mother was smoking dope and I was freaked out beyond measure? Yeah, that was a great moment in my book, but not what I wanna go into here. (Dad, do you even remember this?)

So here's to you, Edmund Henry Roth, Jr., or "Sonny," as you're more commonly known. Happy 66th Birthday...I love you forever! (Don't kill me for posting this pic--wearing Lib's wig was definitely one of your finer moments, you know.)


Lest anyone think we're raging pyromaniacs, I should probably let everyone know that we live in the country. On 17 acres. With no neighbors. Half a mile from the main road. In other words, if you currently reside in a dwelling that's in a subdivision/neighborhood in a city/town, I probably wouldn't attempt even a small backyard fire...unless you wanna be on COPS should it get out of hand. If this is the case, by all means...I'd love to see anyone I know on COPS, because that show is better than a train wreck. I'm just sayin'. Not that I think a train wreck is good...oh, forget it...y'all know what I mean. I hope.

p.s. Those from my hometown will love this: The burnt area of the yard smells exactly like Mossy Creek! Yesterday Libbey & I sowed grass and put down about 4 bales of hay to protect the seed. Lingering smokiness & hay is Mossy Creek's signature scent, and I immediately started searching for Dulcimer Dan, roasted ears of corn, the petting zoo and some serious square dancing! Can you hear the fiddles now? Mom--I wanna get my face painted!!!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Blaze of Glory.

This warm and sunny afternoon begged the Litton girls to come outside and play, and we happily obliged. While we were getting our dirt on, Poppy appeared, driving up in his backhoe. He stopped briefly to let me know he was going to do some work near the treeline on the back of our property. This made me happy because (a) it looks like crap back there, (b) Scotty would never have time to do this himself, and (c) Scott Sr. is a perfectionist, so I knew it would look pretty darn good after he'd finished. I mean, this is what he gets paid the big bucks for and how blessed are we to have such a profesional in our immediate family? Woo-woo! 75% of what's good/right/lovely on our land is due to him. So this is me, singing the praises of my father-in-law, whom I love dearly. And just so y'all know, he'll never see this so I'm not kissing booty here.

Moving on. After assembling a huge pile of various trashy items--NOT left by us, but rather from construction workers over the past few years--such as old siding pieces, plastic buckets, wooden crates, various construction castoffs, Debbie Cake wrappers (or to the unsouthern, "Little Debbie" wrappers), roofing shingles, bales of hay and Pabst Blue Ribbon cans (not ours--we have more discerning tastes) he asks for matches. I'm all, "Cool--a little fire. The girls will love this!" Less than 2 minutes after handing them over I begin to rethink my words.

The burning of redneck rubbish begins. Right next to a pretty Redbud tree. Oh well...
The previously breezeless day gives way to a bit of wind and the fire grows.
In less than 2 minutes we go from a little yard/rubbish burnage to towering inferno.

THEN, amazingly enough, SMOKEY (aka "The Smoke Monster") shows up. I completely disregard the climbing flames and begin searching for Ben. Darn him, he was controlling that thing the entire time. (And if this is Lost on y'all, too bad. You should be watching Lost!) I didn't see any flashes nor hear any clicking, so I'm certain my fate is safe. RIP Eko.

Meanwhile the Litton Girls decide they wanna catch this show sitting on the sidelines, totally heeding Mommy's incessant cries (yells) of, "DO NOT GO NEAR THE FIRE! POPPY IS NOT GOING TO DIE!!! THE TREES ARE NOT ON FIRE! YES, ONLY WE CAN PREVENT FOREST FIRES! WE'RE NOT GOING TO BE ARRESTED! SIT DOWN!" And yes, the situation warranted all caps. Because as you can clearly see in the photo the girls were just as afraid as I. Ahem.

About 5 minutes later Daddy showed up and sprang into action, connecting a couple of hoses to the nearest spigot and getting his Volunteer Firefighter Action Figure on. He, too, was saying (not yelling), "Stay away from the flames, girls." Not in all caps, because he is calm like that. I suppose this stems from him being a physician and all...gotta maintain your cool in potentially frightening/stressful situations. Whatever.
Our blaze of glory was shot down in less than 10 minutes, and Poppy continued his work in the yard, completely nonplussed by the almost-out-of-control flames. He's a Young Gun. And yes, we've been singing the song all evening long...officially putting in our request for it on Rock Band.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Just in time.

lost logo
(Do you love how the "T" is cut off? It's only fitting...the show moves quickly, so ya gotta catch up. Ha.)
Lost returns this evening folks, at its new time, 10 pm, immediately following Grey's Anatomy, a show I've never watched nor intend to take up. There's far more McDreaminess over on the island anyway, if you go for that sort of thing. While I enjoy a pretty face,
Josh Holloway
there is more to my show than southern charm and good looks, all neatly packaged into one performer. (Really! There is!)
After a six week break we are diving right back into the fast-paced storytelling that fans have come to love and worship. OK, so maybe not every fan worships...but they should. Yes, I'm mildly obsessed with show, or have y'all noticed?

Welcome back, Best Hour Of Television In The World.

I have missed you!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


April 22: Singer/Songwriter Paul Davis died in Meridian, Mississippi, at the age of 60. He achieved fame in 1977 with his Top Ten hit, "I Go Crazy," which spent more than 40 weeks in the Top 100. Other hits include "Cool Night," "65 Love Affair," and his duet with Tanya Tucker, "I Won't Take Less Than Your Love," from 1988.

I can't listen to Paul's hits without being reminded of my childhood in the early 80's. This is mostly because the music of that era still resonates today, with me at least. I'm a sucker for easy-listening know the kind that's sold in a Time-Life infomercial? (The Carpenters, Player, Bread, Cliff Richard, etc.) But I have a place in my heart for Paul for another reason. He was my cousin. How cool is that?

This is rather lame, but it was the most decent offering You Tube had that I could post here. There is a great clip of him performing "I Go Crazy" on Ricky Nelson's show (another late, great singer/songwriter), however You Tube wasn't parting with it!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

I (don't) write the songs that make the whole world sing.

Last weekend while Scott & I were driving home from Atlanta, I took the opportunity to play what I refer to as " iPod Jukebox." We rocked out to Van Halen & Nickelback, chilled to some Michael Buble and Harry Connick, Jr., got our twang on with George Strait and Vince Gill, and officially welcomed the warmer weather with our outdoor favorites, The Beach Boys, the Beatles, and The Temptations. Just before pulling into town I switched over to Duran Duran, both their old school stuff and their latest release. As a kid I was obsessed with their tune, "The Reflex," and was pretty much doing a great (in my own mind, that is!) karaoke version of it, while Scotty kept his eyes on the road, wishing I'd return to King George so that he could give his own performance. There's a line in "The Reflex" that goes, "I'm on a ride and I wanna get off..." I told Scotty, "You know for Simon Le Bon and company, that's a pretty deep lyric." Obviously he did not want to dissect the lyricisim of Duran Duran because he pretty much ignored me...and said, "Hey, go back to George Strait--we're almost home!"

All last week various songs popped into my head. This is not a new trend, as music is a central part of my world. (Until my pastor preached on solitude and quietness this morning--thanks, Rusty--now I'll feel guilty all week!) Yet this time, I specifically thought of songs containing lyrics that just slay me...or prompt my brain to work on overtime...or move me to smiles or tears. I've often said that there are some songs so deep I just want to dive in for a while...tread water 'til I've gotten my fill of brilliant words penned to music. I admire songwriters and poets. Imagine a world without music, novels, screenplays, stage productions, sitcoms. Yeah, it'd be pretty bland and boring, and when have those two adjectives ever met with glowing reviews?

Here's a short list (hooray--another list--y'all know me and lists!) of lyrics that I really dig, for various reasons. Dive in...tread water...see what you think.

"Are you drowning or waving?" from Bush's "Out of this World." Tell me this doesn't paint a picture for ya and I'll call you bonkers to your face. It's so deep I can't even go into it...

"I'm the chill that never left your spine..." from Quarterflash's "Take Me to Heart." A brutal reminder...yeah, you may have moved on, but don't ever think for a moment that I'm far from your mind.

"Kiss me, please kiss me...kiss me out of desire, babe, and not consolation..." from "Last Goodbye" by Jeff Buckley. It's the pleading that gets me...begging for smoochies freely given, rather than offered as a parting prize. Plus this is just a darn fine piece of musical genius, by that lyrical genius himself, Mr. Buckley...may he rest in peace.

"High time we made a stand and shook up the views of the common man..." from "Sowing the Seeds of Love" by Tears for Fears. Political ramblings aside (the basis for the entire song, that is), I love this song, particularly the opening lyric. I like the thought of rocking the views of the average saying, "Evolution is whack!" Because, you know, I am not afraid of controversy.

"My words are paper tigers, no match for the predator of pain inside her..." from "Love Will Come to You," by the Indigo Girls. At the age of 17, I was completely convinced that every song written by Amy Ray & Emily Saliers directly related to my angst in some form or fashion. These girls are poets in the purest sense. While I don't respect their lifestyle preferences, I still maintain my fan status. I mean, come on..."my words are paper tigers?" That's just good, y'all. Mull it over a while.

"A rock feels no pain..and an island never cries." from my all-time faves, Simon & Garfunkel, in "I Am A Rock." One line from an entire song of brilliance...oh, the pain...the solitude...the agony. "If I never loved I never would've cried." How many times have we all said this at some point in our lives?

"Wearing the face that she keeps in a jar by the door...who is it for?" The Beatles' "Eleanor Rigby. As a kid this lyric haunted me. A face in a jar? And you know I immediately thought of it upon first viewing of Silence of the Lambs! When I got old enough to get it, I got it. Another loneliness reference...gee, notice a theme here? I must've had issues with self-imposed solitude or something. Thanks, Scotty, for taking that away.

"You hold the percentage, but I'm the fool paying the dues..." from "Hold Me" by Fleetwood Mac. A love song fully devoid of sap and cheese, "Hold Me" is tongue-in-cheek and lighthearted. And this particular lyric? Hilarious.

"If confession is the road to healing, forgiveness is the promised land." from DC Talk's "Between You and Me." Honestly, one of the most beautiful, profound, and truthful pieces of songwriting. Ever. The men of DC Talk (who no longer perform together, but are each charting solo--and I await the day we'll see the trio reunited!) are, in my opinion, the most talented to ever roam the halls of the World's Most Exciting Christian University. (Do you even have to ask? Yeesh, ok...Liberty University, my alma mater, of course!) Everytime I hear the song I can barely make it past this particular lyric...because they're singing about a promise I don't deserve. But the Truth of it is what makes me grateful I've received it. Now I'm off to wade in this one some more.

These are just some of the specific lyrics I mulled over the past few days. There are many more, of course...but this is already longer than intended, so I'll hush soon!

Here's some homework for y'all; I'm interested in YOUR thoughts on this subject matter. Send me lines from songs that slay you, create deep thoughts, or just make you happy, for whatever reason. I love, love, love music...all kinds...and I love, love, love talking about it. Maybe we should all just gather 'round our computers, Coca-Colas in hand, while gushing, "I'd like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony..." Or we could at least have a campfire sing-a-long..."Kumbaya," anyone?

Finally, I close with one of my favorite lyrics of all time. It's crass, obnoxious, and true on many levels. And right about now, Scott & Suzanne are nodding their heads in mild horror and complete approval: from "Yeah!" by Usher, Lil' John and Ludacris...

"We want a lady in the street but a freak in the bed!"


Friday, April 18, 2008

Thursday, April 17, 2008

All in the family.

Witty repartee has been spewing from the mouths of my family the past couple of days. Even Caroline, at two years of age, is getting in on the act. (We train 'em up right here in the mountains.) Witness:

Wednesday, 7:30 am, at breakfast

Scott: Bye Sissy, Bye Mommy--I love you! Have a good day! (Kisses Libbey, barely hugs me.)

Me: Um, hello...where's my kiss?

Scott: Honey, your breath stinks.

Me: Yeah, but love never fails! (always good to quote the Bible!)

Scott: But the stench endures. And you're gonna put this on the blog, aren't you?

YEP!!!! Moving on...

Have any of you seen the AT&T commercial where the guy's in the pool hall bemoaning the fact that he can't get Motorhead tickets? (I'd show it on here if You Tube would let me--instead, just go to YouTube and look it up, after you read below. It's worth it. Promise.) Well, I LOVE that commercial because he uses the word "Dillweed," which I find to be a marvelous term...yes, I know...totally lame, but I make no apologies. And who knew "dillweed" could be said on network television? Anyway, the first time I saw that commercial was at my parents' house in Georgia...I gave up my big, cackling belly laugh for that one, to which my mother replied, "You've got problems." Well, clearly...where have you been all my life? Libbey obviously took note of my love for all things "dillweed," because this is what transpired last night:

Wednesday, 8:30 pm, at bedtime

General silliness ensues during our nighttime routine--lots of laughing, throwing of towels, getting the bed ready, etc. Libbey's bouncing around Caroline's room, laughing at her world of funny stuff...

Libbey: (mumbling something incoherent)

Scott: What are you saying over there, Sissy?

Libbey: Mommy likes that commercial where the guy says "Dellwood."

Me: (trying not to spazz in laughter) No, honey--it's "Dill-WEED!"

Libbey: "Dill-wee?"

Me: "Dillweed!" Like this: "Dill," like a pickle, and "weed," like what we pulled in the yard today.

Libbey: Oh! Dill...weed...Dillweed! That's how you say it! It's funny! I like it!

Scott: Did you just instruct our 6 year old in the phonics of dillweed? Embarrassing.

Me: Yeah, I sure did. I rock. Hey, Libbey...don't be saying "dillweed." Let's keep that one in our family.

Thursday morning, 8:00 am, walking out the door

Me: Let's go, chicas!

Libbey: Let's go, chicos!

Me: Well, "chic-a" is for girls--"chic-o" means boys. So we say "chic-a!"

Libbey: OK, let's jet, Chicas!!!! Yea!

We laugh and make a big deal out of it...and then...

Caroline: (arms thrown over her head) Summer-Donna!

She is The. Coolest. It was as if she had to say, "Look, you people are way too chipper this morning, and I just woke up--cut the Spanish lesson and let's get Sister to school, shall we?"

Yep...we are funny. Not Eddie Murphy funny, mind you (does he say "Dillweed," I wonder?), but Litton Family funny, or at least that's what we think. My mother is constantly reminding me to write down the hilarity that comes from our girls' mouths. I think she's onto something.

I close with Robbie...

...who had to hear all of this last night (with the exception of the "summer-donna" exclamation this morning) before I finally said, "I might as well just put this on the blog." His reply? "You people and your technology...blogs...yeah..." Somewhere in there was a huge head shake...possibly a swig of beer...most definitely a desire to disconnect with me and play Xbox with Scotty. Well, OK!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

I love these people.

Thanks, Kaley, for reminding me that it has been one year since our mountaintop fun. From bubble break marathons, charades, lots of girl talk, babies off their sleep schedules due to travel, poopie in the bathtub, and that guy in Olive Garden who couldn't stop listening in on our fabulousness...and on and on. What a blast! I love y'all, I miss y'all, and I'm wondering...when are we gonna do it again??? Putting in my request now for Hawaii. I'm just sayin'.

p.s. Love that we've added two more to our group since this shot was taken, with another coming in August. Yes, we are fabulous.

As promised.

My last post was a bit of fluffiness. But what the heck? Did my totally conservative rant scare y'all or something? Or has everyone taken the day off from reading this blog? Does the truth frighten? ('Cause my girl Vicki sure laid it out there...or did y'all not take 20 minutes to read the post of hers I referenced?) Hmmmmmmm...

I am not afraid. I know political agendas are both personal and usually private. (Yes, I know...politics and religion...touchy subjects and all. Again...not afraid.) Thankfully I have no agenda. Believe that or not. The mainest thing what God says. Take it up with Him if you've got issues.

Now I'm off to read Ann Coulter and Sean Hannity. I swear, I felt some of your sneers just now.
LOVE Y'ALL!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Thirty Four.

My favorite number in the world is 34...always has been, always will be. For UGA lovers, I need not explain any further. For the rest of you backsliders, I'll be so kind as to school ya: thirty-four was the jersey number of the greatest college running back to ever live, Herschel Walker. Since the age of 6 I have loved Herschel and followed his career, varied as it's been over the past 28 years. After graduating from UGA (as well as winning the Heisman and leading the Bulldogs to a National Championship, of course!) he played professional football, arena ball, was on the '92 Olympic bobsled team, and is a black belt in martial arts...yeah, he's pretty much well-rounded. More than anything, though, I call him "brother," as he and I serve the same God. And that ROCKS.

Tonight Scotty fell asleep with the TV on ABC, which is where I left it after The Bachelor ended. (Woo-hoo, Marshana & Robin are gone--my 2 least faves. Finally a Bachelor gets it right!) I walked into the living room to shut off the TV, when lo & behold--HERSCHEL IS ON TV!!! I started punching my snoring hubby, "Look, look, look, it's Herschel, it's Herschel--WAKE UP, Herschel's on! Why aren't you looking? LOOK, PUH-lease, this is important to me!!!!!!" Because I'm all dramatic and stuff when it comes to my man Walker. He opened one eye and gave an obligatory glance, while mumbling, "Who is that?" I have to go through it again? Because I totally don't mind to do my dance of Herschel Walker joy. IT'S HERSCHEL AND YOU KNOW HOW I LOVE HIM!!!!! Scotty's all, "Whatever, but Katherine Heigel was just about to feed me shrimp scampi and a never-ending supply of Land Shark and now you've gone and rained on my parade and we can't ride off on the Harley." Fine,'s a tissue for your drool.

I never watch Nightline...because I never watch TV, remember? (Bachelor, Torchwood, CSI and Lost...and truly, that's it. But I have watched a few eps of Bones, so I might give it a chance...oh, and Rob & Big. And Smallville this week, as my boyfriend is doing his recurring role on it.) So laugh if you want, but I just know my sweet God was giving me a little treat this evening because I haven't had the greatest of days. I mean, He just worked all this out for my enjoyment...and if any of you are rolling your eyes now, go read some TMZ or Perez Hilton and let your sockets get wonky, 'cause I am being heartfelt. And mildly psychotic, but still...

Oh...and the Nightline spotlight on Herschel was about his suffering from DID (Dissociatve Identity Disorder), a mental condition regularly dismissed by doctor types who think they are smarty pants. Scotty did wake long enough to answer my questions about DID...mainly to confirm that yes, it does exist. As if I think my man Walker would ever lie to me, much less the world. Throughout the interview he talked about his faith in God, which made me super joyous. The interview also showed another hero of mine, Dr. Tony Evans, pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship Church in Dallas, Texas, and host of the radio program, "The Urban Alternative." Tony Evans is so hard rockin'--one of the few preachers I can stand to listen to on TV and/or radio...and Dr. Evans spoke about counseling Herschel and being a close friend of his for the past 8 years. It just gets better and better, people. Seriously, I was barely perched on my chair because I kept bouncing up and down like a 4 year old on Christmas morning. Are you grasping the depth of my love for #34?

He's written a book on his mental disorder...yes, I've already ordered it on Amazon. Did you even have to ask? Breaking Free: My Life With DID is the title...will review it once I've devoured every word. Now I love and admire him even more...for not being afraid to be so open with his issues. Guts...strength...compassion...yes, that's my man Walker. Did I mention I happen to adore him?
Now Georgia is #1- Herschel Walker
Look at him go! My favorite thing about this picture, other than Herschel of course, is the poor little Gators eating his dust (grass) as he tramples over them for yard gainage. I hate the Gators...and the Tigers, and most of all, the Volunteers...basically, I hate orange in any stadium. In all seriousness if you want a treat, check Herschel out on You his feats of flight and fancy on the field...'twas poetry in motion. STOP ROLLING YOUR EYES, peeps. Now!

Because I can.

A lot of people don't want to read political stuff on non-political blogs. Well, tough crap. I'm putting this out there because it frightens me on so many levels. If this man is elected, I weep for the safety & security of this country. He might as well fly a big ol' banner across the rest of the world..."Come one, come all to the defenseless United States of America! We're just waiting for YOU to attack!"

Also, my dear friend,
Vicki, blogged today about last night's "Compassion Forum" on CNN, featuring the Democratic candidates & their views on such "hot button" issues as abortion, stem cell research, global warming, etc. Vicki's post is a must-read, and is both well-written and throught provoking. With her permission I am linking it here. (Click on the "Compassion Forum Page" link highlighted in the very first post.)I will not issue a warning to those of you liberals who read this blog because it's more than evident by now that I am radically conservative. Yes, I have friends (and family!) who are left-wingers and this is mighty fine and dandy with me...choice and personal opinion are wonderful rights we are given as Americans. But as I always's my blog and I'll post as I want to!

Finally, nothing irritates me more than fence-riders, particularly those in the public eye. The Democratic position is historically pro-abortion. (Yes, I know there are Democrats who are pro-life, just as there are Republicans who are pro-choice. I am fully aware of this, peeps...settle down!) So for Obama to claim the preciousness of live one minute only to espouse the right of choice the very next...yeeeeeeesh, it just gets all over me like a bad case of poison ivy. That I can't scratch away. Itch-itch-itch. Where's the Calamine for that?

For the record, I used to be pro-choice, even after becoming a Christian. I was of the notion, "Well, I love God and all, but the government has no right to interceed on the behalf of my body! Yeah, abortion is bad but it's not my place to determine what some woman does with her body." (Spoken like a true Democrat...sorry, couldn't resist.) My parents taught me better than that, folks. (Love you, Mama & Dad--I truly do!) And my Father taught me better, too...if I claim to be His, then all of me is His. It's not my's His. 1 Corinthians 6:20 tells me that I was bought at a price (Jesus' death on the Cross for me), and that I am to honor God with my body. Psalm 24:1 reminds me "the earth is the Lord's, and everything in it..." Making my point here, folks. Obama, are you listening? Well, clearly no...but that's a fact and that's the end of the story. Got it?

Off the political soapbox now. To quote Vicki a while back, "Fluff to come tomorrow!" Easy reading for my Lulaville peeps, I promise! But you know...every now and then I get passionate about something and I fully credit God for sparking the fire within. Besides, it all comes from Him anyway...

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Awwwwwwww, YEAH!

Be afraid. Be very afraid. Be careful and get outta my way, 'cause I'm gonna mow somebody down to secure tickets. Who's with me????

Start singing the theme to COPS.

On our way home from Johnson City tonight, we stopped at a quickie store so that a certain physician could live out his "do as I say, not as I do" philosophy on smokeless tobacco. We pulled up to the front of the store and Scott hopped out to get his mouth cancer candy. The following is a word-for-word transcription of Libbey's comments at that moment:

Libbey: I guarantee you there's drugs in that place!

Me: What?

Libbey: See? In there? Drugs.

Me: Oh, that's just cigarettes, baby.

Libbey: I know! DRUGS, Mommy. They. Are. Drugs.

Take that you anti-public school people. Yes, I am a bad mom because I haven't had the "say no to drugs" talk with my child yet. But she's heard it at school, or more specifically, in health class, so I applaud their efforts. She hasn't figured out that Daddy's chew qualifies as tobacco...but when she does, hoooooo boy...Daddy better watch out. The drug patrol is on a roll. "I guarantee you..." She cracks me up...I'm still laughing.

And this one's just for free: here's what happens when Lizee sits still long enough for Aunt Lula to give her a new hair 'do, or a "hai-ruh did," as we say in the ghetto.

Adorable, ain't she? Luv dat baybeeeeeeeeeee...and baby sister to come...

The Sex Industry.

Raise your hand if you remember the post I did back in March regarding random musings from a typical morning here in the Litton household. If your hand is not lifted high, read here.
In that post I commented on an article in TV Guide regarding "TV's 10 Hottest Scenes Ever," stating that I agreed with their number once choice. Agreed is putting it mildly...when I first read the piece I said out loud, "If Buffy & Spike aren't listed I'll scream!" Low and behold they were given the #1 spot, which was spot on with me. Picture me squealing! (Other scenes I agreed with: Sawyer and Kate in the cage on Lost, and David & Maddie's slap-fest that turned into what viewers had been wanting for over 3 years on Moonlighting, to the tune of "Be My Baby" by The Ronnettes.) I further stated that I was so tickled by TV Guide's choice that I might just write the editors a verbal round of applause. Well...I did. And they printed it...see above. (Sorry it's not any bigger--but you can click on the picture to see my name in even bigger glory!)

There it is, plain as day, in black and white...with my name spelled correctly! I honestly had no idea they'd print this. But hey...little Pennington Gap gets a shout-out in a major publication. Wowie! I'm sure the TV Guide staffer who had to publish this particular page was thinking, "Where the heck is this?" Or, he/she could've been of the mindset,"Cool! Someone in the middle of nowhere is part of the Buffyverse! Yes!" Oh, if only Matt Roush or Michael Ausiello (I'm a loyal Ausshole) could have seen this, as they are my fave writers over at the Guide, and also Buffy-lovers. Sigh...fame eludes me today, but tomorrow...well we all know what Scarlett has to say about tomorrow. And if you don't, DUDE...go read/watch Gone With the Wind. Now. Please.

My friend, Susan, had this to say about my name in print..."I always knew you'd make it big in the sex industry." Let's just get it out in the open--Susan is my Sunday school teacher...and my pastor's wife. Just wanted everyone to be clear. Upon hearing this, I asked, "Should I be honored or offended by your comment?" She has yet to respond to my questioning.

So there you have it, folks. Lula in TV Guide. This is so my world, my 'ville. Aren't ya glad to be hanging out in it with me?

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

The Name Game.

We have been trying to teach Caroline the given names of our family members because Libbey learned them at 2.5, so we figured it was time for Sister to do the same. You know, Mamaw's name is "Pinky," Nanna's is "Patty," and so on. Here's our conversation from this afternoon:

Me: What is your name?
Caroline: "Cara-LINE!"
Me: What is Sissy's name?
Caroline: "LIBBEY!"
Me: And what is your Daddy's name?
Without skipping a beat...
Caroline: "HONEY!"

See? Told y'all we are in love!

Rule of 3 on #8.

On Tuesday we celebrated eight years of fabulously wedded bliss. (Thanks, God--we love You!) We also proved, once again, our Rule of Three. Remember this post back in January? It was all about how the things that test & try us seem to happen in threes. still holds true.

Just after midnight on April 8 Scotty had an insuppressible urge to make a Walmart run...I begged him not to go. Actually, I used my shrill voice (the one he hates!) and pleaded with him to stay home. Since we are both completely stubborn, he, of course, ignored me and was all, "Peace out--see you later." Meanwhile I was all, "Whatever--you'll be seeing me fast asleep 'cause I ain't waitin' up on your butt." Oh, and happy anniversary--we are sooooooooooooo in love.

I have no idea what time he returned from his discount shopping jaunt, but I do know that he woke me with this startling bit of information: "Honey, I hit a deer." LET THE RECORD SHOW (as Claire Huxtable always said), I FIRST asked my sweet husband if he was all right...didn't even inquire about the car. And let the record show he would have done the opposite if these roles were reversed...because he has a severe case of OCD. Again...we are sooooooooooooo in love. And I digress.

Here's the car, deer hair and all:

For those who are keeping score (me), it's now Number of deer hit by Scott: 2. Number hit by Leigh Anne: 0. This will most likely come back to haunt me, yet I'm still putting it out here. Technically, he's never hit deer--they run into him. I think they must like his delicious-smelling self...because he is a finely scented man, I gotta tell ya. Love you, honey!

Later on that day our landscapers came to put out some fresh mulch and replant a few trees that we lost in the Easter snow we received last year. Around 10:30 the foreman comes to tell me, "Ma'am, I am really sorry--but we cut into your gas line. I can repair it, but I just wanted you to know." OK, first of all..."Ma'am?" I'm 33!!! I appreciate manners, especially from my girls and younger children, but this was coming from a guy who had to be 50-ish. And he was doing work for me, no less...I might as well just change my name to Scarlett and start ordering the servants around. Yeesh. Secondly, I started freaking...the gas line is cut? Does this mean a leak? Are we in danger? Will we have to stay at my in-laws' for the day? YIKES! He assured me it was not a big deal (to him, I guess, but it was to me) and it would be fixed by lunch. Ok, fine...thanks for letting me know, and y'all have any Bradford Pears on your truck because I'd like a couple more. See how I got over it quickly?

THEN...and there's always a then when it comes to the Rule of Three...THEN he comes back to the door, this time with his little hat in hand. Again with the "Ma'am," too..."Ma'am...I don't know how to tell you this, but we seemed to have dug into your fiber optic cable." I mumbled something incoherent (that wasn't a cuss word, so points for me!) and ran to my laptop, where I discovered the complete lack of internet access. WHY, OH WHY do these things happen to me? It hit me then...the deer, the gas line, and now the computer cable...but of course! The Rule of Three! Happy Anniversary! I immediately phoned Scott to tell him we'd had another Rule of Three experience...and then I called my father-in-law, because nothing makes him happier than laughing at us & our misfortune. Or watching people falling on America's Funniest Home Videos. Again, I digress.

We did without the internet most of yesterday...and survived, I'm happy to report. And we had a very nice anniversary, which I'm not telling you about in detail! (Unless you are someone particular in Indiana, New York, Maine, or Honduras--and they know who they are, and what I'll tell!) Scott & I both laughed about the day because that point laughing is all we could do. The car will be mended and cleaned of the deer fur and various goop, the gas line was fixed and the fiber optic cable was repaired this morning, so all's well that ends well. Is that what Shakespeare meant when he wrote that bit of famousness? I'm gonna steal a phrase from my friend Kelly, who recently wrote, "Rhymes with bucket." Mull over that one for a while, friends.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


"I was made for you and you were made for me, in this lonely world we were meant to be in love..."--DC Talk

A home theater in complete disarray, crossed projection wires, and a midnight trip to Walmart that results in a collision with a deer...honey, we sure know how to celebrate our anniversary! And all before 2 am. This is so "us," in the grand tradition that is Scott & Leigh Anne, and I wouldn't have it any other way. So glad we have this weekend in Atlanta to properly celebrate.

Thanks for the finest eight years of my life...for your leadership, friendship, companionship and unconditional love. I don't deserve you. Neither does anyone else, so I happily retain my role as your partner. I love you forever. We've got 60 years 'til 95 and our side-by-side deathbed...let's keep on living them up!

Sunday, April 6, 2008


It's starting to feel a bit like spring here...hopefully we're just a month or so away from front porch sittin' & rockin' and singin'. Play some Patsy Cline, keep the sweet tea cold and the citronella candles lit and I'm a happy girl on my porch!

I haven't a clue when this photograph was taken (update--Mama tells me it was the early 60's, so thanks for clearing that one up!), but seeing it makes me want to be right there with them. My maternal grandmother, Ada Flora Jones Raley (simply "Mamaw" to me) is in the red dress. Mama looks just like her. To her left is my Great Aunt Lois, who died not long after I was born. Next to Aunt Lois is her brother, my grandfather, L. Levoid Raley, or "Papaw," as I called him until he died almost 13 years ago. Caroline and I got our wonky ears from him!

There was nothing like enjoying the world from Papaw & Mamaw's front porch. See that swing in the background? It fell once...with me on it. (And at that time I probably weighed around 100 pounds, so no fat jokes, please!) I was OK, and the swing recovered well enough to be moved out to my "aunt who's not my aunt" Pat Smith's house , where we can enjoy it again when visiting Meridian, Mississippi.

I love this picture...I love that my mother's parents and aunt are clearly represented. I love the awesome chairs and glider they are perched on. (So vintage in this day and age!) I love that Mamaw is dressed to the nines for whatever reason, while Papaw's chillin' in his shorts and gym socks. Knowing him, he most likely had the radio tuned to WTOK for the latest gossip, news, and the daily reading of the obituaries, which he never missed. And I'm convinced that either right before or right after this photo was snapped, both Mamaw and Aunt Lois probably had a big ol' bowl of peas or beans that they were shelling. To this day I love to shell beans...must be a genetic trait bequeathed from generations of Jones/Raley women. And come's sooooooooo southern.

Yes, can start making your daily appearances...dry out all this rain we've been having...burn a little brighter, a little warmer. Because I am ready for some porch time with my family. And while I wish these three folks pictured here could rock away with me, I have memories to do me just fine...and I have my own little family to keep me company now. Whew, God. You are good!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Must-See TV.

By now my faithful readers have picked up on my love (obsession) for the TV show Lost. And for the record--Beckie, I've not written about it in over 2 weeks now--gimme some mad props, please! Last weekend while eating with Kelly & Danny I made the comment that I really don't watch much else on television. "Come on, I don't believe that!" was Kelly's response. Truthfully, I rarely turn the thing on. My wonderful husband watches Fox News and the History channel every single night, so I catch bits & pieces of those networks. We do love CSI and now it's back with new episodes--hooray! Just a couple of weeks ago I discovered Rob & Big on MTV, but of the six episodes saved on the DVR, I've watched only two. Sometimes I'll make an effort to turn on Food Network to see if Paula or Giada are cookin' up something fabulous, but really...there's nothing on TV worth watching nowadays. So when I say that I don't watch much, I really mean it!

After the return of CSI this evening (a subpar episode, though--in my opinion!) I started questioning myself and my TV habits, or lack thereof. Ok, Leigh Anne. You claim to be on the pulse of pop culture--yet you're excluding television. American Idol? Project Runway? Grey's Anatomy? The Office? Dancing With the Stars? The Hills? The world is watching...why aren't you?

The answer? First of all, I have two small children...not much else needs to be explained. What about after they're in bed at 8:00? Well, I either surf the net, take French lessons, study the Bible, or read for pleasure...four things I'd rather do than watch TV anyway. As usual, though, my brain really started pondering and I started thinking of favorite episodes of my all-time, best-loved series from the past. I realized that truly great television is just not being produced anymore. Allow me to elaborate.

Designing Women is my favorite sitcom. Ever. I know there are lovers of Cheers, Seinfield, Friends, or even The Andy Griffith show, as is the case with the entire Litton family. None of these compare to the antics of those Atlantian interior decorators--Julia, Suzanne, Charlene and Mary Jo. Yes, the show's creators/writers were huge liberals, but if you can look past the occasional political jab, Designing Women contained some of the most hilarious and thought-provoking storylines of all time. And Delta Burke's portrayal of Suzanne Sugarbaker still has me in gales of belly guffaws every time I watch.

Let's now sing the praises of the joy that was Moonlighting. Part detective caper series, part comedy, with a little bit of drama (both onscreen and off!) and a lot of Motown thrown in for good measure, Glenn Gordon Caron's creation is the standard that shows today are still attempting to emulate. That show Bones? Yeah, a Moonlighting-ish ripoff. Mulder & Scully of The X-Files? They so tried to be David Addison & Maddie Hayes. (And X-Filers--don't shoot me--I loved the show, but it was no Moonlighting!) What other television show could make a post office chase scene as knee-slapping as this?

Joss Whedon, Joss Whedon, Joss Whedon. He's so brilliant, so talented, so out there...he's the creative genius behind Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the last great hour-long series (in my opinion, of course!) until Lost came along. For seven sweet years BTVS provided some of most original, hysterical and controversial (lesbian witches, anyone?) hours of serial television. This show could be poignant one minute (Buffy comes home from a class to find her mother has died, unexpectedly, in their living room) and wacky the next (demons playing poker--using kittens instead of chips). The shiniest jewel in the crown of King Joss is the musical he wrote, produced and directed in Season Six, "Once More With Feeling," which has Buffy and her gang of Scoobies under a spell that causes them to break into song, revealing true feelings they've kept hidden from each other in previous episodes. Buffy fans hold this episode in the highest regard, and with good rocks! And yes, I do own the surprise here. The fabulous James Marsters (one of my all-time favorite actors, ever--he's outstanding in everything he does) has one of the best numbers in the musical as Spike, the coolest vampire-with-a-soul in the world.

"If my heart could beat it would break my chest..." Brilliant lyric for an "undead." Sigh...

So...there y'all have it. These are my top three favorites. I long for a line-up that includes shows of this caliber...and to me, other than Lost and CSI, I'm just not seeing it in this day and age. I own all 5 seasons of Moonlighting and the 7 years of Buffy on DVD (and the Buffy spin-off, Angel, which was a bit more mature/darker than the Buffyverse), so I can relive my favorite episodes whenever the mood strikes. Designing Women is still not available (save for one special release DVD that has 4 eps--yes, I have it!), but you can be certain if/when it's released I'll be the first one to shelling out the dough, happily.

Hope I've inspired y'all to check out these particular shows, if you haven't already. Rent them on Netflix. Watch on Whatever...just watch. It's really great TV. I promise. When I have ever failed y'all? Ok, don't answer that one.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Well, duh!

Yesterday afternoon my friend, Kim, phoned to say, "In the words of Julia Sugarbaker, 'Have you just completely lost your mind?'" (As in previous posts I stress again: you should be watching Designing Women. Now.) My mother chimed in with, "That better be an April Fools post!"

Ok, Ok...y'all got know I could never be a flaming left-winger. Then I'd have to start getting my news from the major networks, CNN and MSNBC. Oh no!

Yes, the previous post was indeed my April Fools attempt...and most of you caught it because you all know and (hopefully) love me. Without any doubt I maintain that I will always be a right-wing, red state loving, Ann Coulter admiring, "uber-psychotic" (thanks, Kelly!), card carrying super-conservative Republican. Unless, of course, that party gets shot to heck in the future...and I hope I'm Home long before that happens. Of course I'm not too keen on my party's offering this go 'round...but still...lesser of two evils, I guess.

There's my April Fools explanation and political soapbox for ya...take it for what it's worth. Next year I'll have to try harder to fake out all you smart readers.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Change is good!

hilary clinton for president
Hilary Clinton 1

Yes, folks...I'm changing my political stance for the first time in my 33 years. Hillary's not that bad after all, and I know she can bring positive change for our country. Global warming, immigration, the war in Iraq, abortion rights, taxes...these are the issues that matter. Hillary's the (wo)man with the plan. Let's get behind her with our support, shall we?