Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Something's Gotta Give.

I know better than to proclaim my "health goals" out loud, because that's an instant jinx. My health goals are going to take a LOT of mental work for me to reach (3 years of in-your-face stress has broken me). The physical part is easy, once you break the mental.

That being said, as a very small step, I am going to attempt to start cooking every meal for myself again. I find it's very hard to cook for one. I've cooked for two most of my adult life (and, God-willing, that'll be true again soon). So when I have tried to cook just-for-me over the years, I end up with leftovers, that usually go bad in the fridge because I don't want the same thing again, or I forget about them.

As a result, I've resorted to a lot of simple dishes, or heat-and-eat. And, of course, eating out. I've also noticed when I DO try to cook, I feel like I have to follow a recipe a lot of times. And I have forgotten many of the things I used to cook on a regular basis. My "chef" instinct has faded tremendously. It's still there, don't get me wrong. I can still follow said recipe, but not have to break out the measuring spoons/cups for tsp, 1/2 cup, etc. (any chef worth her salt can eyeball those things). But that natural ability to see ingredients in the fridge, and put a meal together has left me for the most part.

Most of my life, I've been one of those people that knew while I may not always be happy about the weight I was at, I would never be obese, because I'd reach that "frustration level" somewhere around size 8-10-12, and hit the gym hard, to never let it progress to an uncontrollable state. And up until about 2010, that theory held true. I'd usually hit 8, get fed up, get down to a 6- and maintain that for a respectable amount of time.

Something changed after that. I've spoken about my anxiety before, and I don't want to use it as a cop-out for laziness, because there has been a lot of that, but I think it has been the driving force. From 2012, forward, I have gone through a divorce (essentially, though not a legal marriage), moving, beginning the immigration process, my father's death, my step-grandmother's death, my cat's death, changing paths on the immigration process and starting anew, a couple of friends' deaths, family moving in with me, adopting a new cat, my step-grandfather's death, family moving out, and my paternal grandmother's death. Some of which was traumatizing, some just life-changing, but all at least came with a bit of warning/preparation time. Then we capped it off with losing my sweet puppy (of almost-11 years) VERY unexpectedly. Which I still can't fully process. It's like I haven't really had time to "settle" my anxiety in 6 years before the next thing happens. And my health has suffered.

So tonight, I am taking a VERY small step toward the old me, and cooked an improvised/healthy dish. Baked shrimp egg rolls. Nothing but olive oil, shrimp, garlic, spinach, broccoli slaw, and lite soy sauce. Didn't even use the egg for the sealing/basting. So, maybe it's just a roll.

Regardless, I'm making an effort: 


Friday, October 20, 2017

Lost and Broken

Tonight starts the first vacation I have had since Christmas last year. I was supposed to be "yelling" VACATIIIOOONNNN on FB, and headed to Summer's house right now, to attend the Bama/UT tailgate tomorrow. That was supposed to be the way I kicked things off before Steve and family members got into town for an epic week.

 And now it all feels unreachable. 

 I know it will still be a wonderful week, with a lot of love. But this is a horrible feeling. Like, when life keeps kicking you, and keeps kicking you, and keeps kicking you... you do what you can to stay positive. To not let it break you. You find the good things to focus on, to just attempt to not completely have a mental break. You say things like "Man, this vacation is going to be AWESOME." And then life is like, "Pshhh. Watch this."

 I don't know what God's plan was for taking my baby from me without any warning. I don't know if he wants to prove to me how strong I am. I feel like the tests I've had on that over the past 3 years have been enough. Losing my father. Losing my cat. Losing 3 grandparents. Losing friends. Not to mention the medical and personal emergencies. And that whole immigration thing. Why one more test? Why take the one true companion I had in life away from me? The reason I am not locked up somewhere in a straight-jacket. She was the one thing that I knew I had each day. Yes, I have the cats here too - but cats are cats. Mine are very affectionate, but even so, they're very self-sufficient. Allie knew that her smile brightened my whole world, even on the darkest days. That if she just sat next to me while I cried, or kissed my tears away, my mood instantly lifted. That no matter how many times she told me how mistreated she was, because she'd only been out 4 times in the last hour, and was given 6 treats instead of the 8 she wanted, I would still listen and give her a kiss to make sure she knew I loved her.

 For 10+ years, she gave me the best love. The unconditional, I-love-you-more-than-bacon love. She was hand-picked by God for me. Sure I thought I was looking for a cat that day. He knew I was looking for Allie. And now she's gone. And I can't stop crying. I'm writing this through tears streaming down my face. Every time I hear a noise outside, or the neighborhood kids yelling, I brace myself for the loud indignant bark that is supposed to come. And it doesn't. And I think about the fact it never will again. My whole world is forever changed. Again.

 And this time I don't know if I am strong enough to get through.

 Rest in Peace, my precious Allie. Mommy loves you with her whole heart.   

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Mean Jean

It still doesn't feel real. I've shed a lot of tears over the past couple of weeks. We've been to her house twice to collect/clean out memories. But somehow, my brain is just not really registering that the last of my immediate family on Daddy's side is gone.

When I think of my childhood, I think of two things. Home (Atlanta), and East Tennessee. Mostly Rockwood. From the point I almost drowned at the lake house, to the piano lessons, to the Honeybee Tree game... SO much of my childhood memories are connected to my Nana. "Mean Jean" as she was referred to by our whole family. Which, if you knew her, was the silliest nickname. Given she didn't have a mean bone in her body. Smart aleck? Spunky? Funny? ABSOLUTELY (this runs in the Smith blood). Mean? Not even a little bit. I cannot think of one time in my childhood that Nana even scolded me. I'm sure they're probably there... I just don't remember them.

It's funny how you remember the stupid little things you'll miss when you lose somebody. I used to love to play in the flour canister when I was little. I loved how soft the flour felt between my fingers. I think I even had a little song/rhyme that went with it, but I certainly can't remember it. There might be family members that do. I also loved Nana's tea pitcher. It had this mixer built into the lid that you pumped to mix/stir the drink inside. Think like a TNT detonator. That's how I treated it, as I pumped it every time she made tea. Even in adulthood.

I'll never get to taste that tea again, or pump the mixer handle.

We went this past weekend to sort through as much as we could. Decades worth of memories/clutter is overwhelming. You want to take everything. It meant something to her, therefore it means something to us. But obviously, keeping everything isn't an option. So you have to somehow think realistically. 

I'm lucky that I just had to go through this with my own stuff 3+ years ago when I moved out of my apartment and in with Daddy, planning for my move to Canada (ONE DAY, AMIRITE?!). So I was able to shut off the Katie "BUT IT MEANS SOMETHING" brain, and only take the few little things that I knew I would treasure. Plus one big thing. Nana's house (not Nana herself; the house visits) to me was always about the piano. Even when I got older and didn't sit down to play it. I would plunk out a quick Hot Cross Buns or Chop Sticks, just to reconnect to my youth. It's now in Daddy's house, and will eventually be in mine & Steve's home. I plan on reteaching myself to play the basics, then progressing from there and actually doing what I should have done in my youth, and becoming a piano player - not just a piano plunker. 

This might be the view I'll miss the most. Oooh, baby baby! Buh-buh-buh-baby!

Most of the cousins know this view the best. It's just missing the lower branches to help you climb up to the top.

I remember when the branches of this tree were so low I would try and hide inside of them during hide and seek. 

Mama's tree

I didn't have the pic of me & Liz as kids in front of this tree handy for this then-and-now photo-op. But once I find it, I'll be sure and add it. 30 years later...

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Shoes, Glorious Shoes! 37

It's been a while. A full year since I posted a shoe blog, and almost 8 months since I posted ANYTHING. A lot has happened. Namely, two surgeries for kidney stones that took about a month 1/2 of my life. Life in general, then a couple of crazy work months. And here we are.

The last couple of weeks have been the hardest hit on my anxiety I have ever had in my life. Not my emotions - that was (still is) easily my father's death. But my anxiety. I am going through something I have only shared with a small handful of people, and it is completely consuming me right now.

The thing is, I have learned over the years to be a high-functioning anxiety-ridden person. Anxiety makes people uncomfortable, awkward, annoyed, etc. It's easier to hide it than it is deal with the consequences of the real world (ESPECIALLY in a professional environment). I'm great at smiling/laughing/joking when inside I'm screaming. It's something I've - in a very obtuse way - written about before. I DO consider myself to be an emotionally strong person. The more I've thought about that over the years, it's because of that wall I've learned to put up. So when "normal" emotional situations present themselves, I can deal. When anxiety situations present themselves, I go into that same "strong" mode, but my brain NEVER shuts up. Ever. I can do 8 million things to try and silence it. Usually at home, I'll have a TV show playing on the computer while I play a computer game. Right now, I have a TV show playing while I write this - and yes occasionally am having to pause the show so I can clearly think through a thought. All the while, my brain is saying "What about...?" "Did you think about this...?" "What if...?" And if there is silence around me? Forget about it. I'll likely end up making myself throw up from the stress.

People that don't have everyday anxiety don't get this, and never will. Everyone understands anxiety. Everyone can have anxious situations. But for it to be all-consuming, where it can make you physically ill... not many people in your day-to-day will get that. They'll tell you to think about other things, or find a way to distract yourself. Which as you can see in my above paragraph, I certainly try to do. On "small" anxiety days, it sometimes works. In times like these - it barely touches my thoughts.


That heavy intro aside (I promised y'all I was going to be more real going forward - this is me being real) - I decided to distract myself today by dressing the way the-artist-formerly-known-as-Katie would. Heels, matching outfit, and purse. I had a new dress to wear, and perfectly matching Betsey heels and purse. 

And about halfway through the day decided to blog the shoes, as I would have back in the day. So, here they are!

Brand: Betsey Johnson Name: Kissez
(I specifically direct you to Smile Amazon, because YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE)
Review: 4" heel. Fits 1/2 size small. As you all know by now, a 4" heel is nothing to me, so these would be UBER comfortable, except the heel part of the shoe is SUPER tight, so rubs a blister on the side of my foot if I don't remember to stretch it out a couple times during the day.

This dress** is so simple, but I love it SO much. It's very Parisian, to me. In fact, it makes me think of the last two episodes of Sex and the City, when Carrie first gets to Paris:

As much as I hated how cheesy they ended the show (even though I loved the actual end result), I was (AM) obsessed with those last two episodes, because EVERY. SINGLE. OUTFIT. was perfection. That was most of my (and plenty of other women's) obsession with the show, was the fashion. Then the hilariously brilliant writing was a bonus. But OMG, those last two episodes. They could not have been any more perfect, fashion-wise. And I'm sure they went all out, given they knew they would never have to worry about budget again (until the movies came around). PER.FECT.ION. 

**Sidenote: that one picture of my dress took me sitting in the grass to set up my camera on my tripod/adjust angles/self-timers, etc. for maybe 2 minutes: and resulted in an hour+ long allergy attack. The joys of being allergic to outside, y'all.

Anyhoo, I know this blog has been all over the place. But that's just where I am right now, so I'm sharing it. See y'all... I dunno when. Maybe tomorrow, maybe in another year. 


Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Road to Oz

I know what you're thinking. "Didn't she already do this blog?!" The answer is no. No, I didn't. I did the first Oz trip. But guess what??? ONE WASN'T ENOUGH.

So one thing you should know about me (or if you know me and are reading this, you already know this about me) is my birthday is usually a big deal every year. A month-long event. While I know this sounds incredibly selfish, it's never been about me drawing it out as much as possible (though don't get me wrong - I'm a Leo - the attention was never turned away). It was more that I had different groups of friends, family, co-workers, etc that I would celebrate with, so it always turned into weeks of celebrations. Well, this year I knew would be different. Everyone in my life is incredibly busy, as am I. So knowing I'd likely not have many celebrations, I decided I needed something different than the usual party at my house or going-out celebration on the actual day. After thinking about it, I decided a trip back to Oz would be fun, and after a few e-mails back and forth with my bestie, Kelly, we decided to go for it!

Now another thing that you should know, and likely have learned, if you're a regular reader of my blogs is I. LOVE. ROAD TRIPS. Hopping in the car and letting adventures happen is one of my most favorite things to do in life. I usually do these type of trips alone, because most people I know hate road trips, or can handle them but want to "hurry up and get there". I was worried about bringing up my fun road trip idea to Kelly until I remembered - she's used to long drives, given she has family in Nebraska. So I tossed it out there: what if we found quirky roadside attractions on the way to and from and stopped to take pictures? She was down with the idea, so I started researching.

The very first attraction I found while searching put my excitement level to warp factor 7.


Popeye was one of my favorite cartoons growing up. Mainly, I think, because my family used to tease me that I WAS Popeye (not sure why that didn't upset me, given I used to cry when people would tell me I looked like my Daddy, because I thought they meant I looked like a boy) because of my deep, passionate love of spinach. So the idea of reliving a piece of my childhood was very exciting for me. It was an instant "Add to trip" click. More research turned up a Buried Giant, Giant Concrete Teepee, and World's Largest Wren. We added them to the "if we have time/feel up to it" list.

So stop #1 was Popeye and his friends/enemies. I brought my Nikon and tripod, so we could get pictures with all of the statues with both of us, rather than doing individual pictures with them. We set the timer for 20 seconds and for it to take 5 pictures, so we could switch up poses and hopefully get 1 shot we both liked in the group. Two things you learn while doing this: 1) 20 seconds is either REALLY long, or my camera counted to 142 before starting to snap. 2) You run out of pose ideas very VERY fast. 

Poopdeck Pappy

Castor Oyl
This is where the crazy lady was yelling at us from inside the hospital (see below). We got out of there as quickly as possible.

Sea Hag/Bernard the Vulture

Bluto!!!!!! (I geeked out so much I drove the wrong way in the parking lot)

Rough House

Professor Watasnozzle

Fun in the square!


Cole Oyl

Olive Oyl and Swee Pea

Alice the Goon

And the Piece de Resistance... POPEYE THE SAILOR MAN!

Now among the things that happened as we snapped these pictures: SEVERAL strange looks (you can't tell me we're the only ones that come to see the Popeye statues), a few fox whistles, a crazy person at the hospital yelling at us from inside, a stop for lunch at a "bar and grill" that didn't have a food menu - "we only have pizza", which I imagine was frozen pizza they would nuke if we requested, and a secondary attempt at lunch... until upon pulling up we realized we'd be shunned instantly because we have lady parts. This is a Man's World...

Chester, IL - you are interesting.

And so we moved on. Next up: the Buried Giant. Not gonna lie, the pics we saw of this beforehand didn't do it justice. It is MASSIVE. A really awesome sculpture. I would've loved to have been able to get pictures of it with no one there. But people have kids, and stuff. 

So by the time we finished at the giant, we plugged in the address for the teepee, but got distracted by an outlet mall. Much shopping fun was had. As we got back on the road, we realized we were going to lose our light. So decided to go on to the hotel, and possibly hit the teepee/wren on the way home Sunday. Well, thanks to a random we-don't know-why traffic delay and a MASSIVE downpour (seriously, I was stressing - I don't see well at night anyway, thanks to my astigmatism - the rain made seeing to drive near impossible), our transit time got increased tremendously, and it became a matter of "What is our backup plan?" We had planned to try out a Mexican place in Manhattan, KS - where our hotel was - that night, but there was no way we'd be getting there before the kitchen closed. So we switched our plan to Party in the Room. Found a liquor store (That's a whole 'nother story. Good heavens.), got our wine, and hit the road again. This is actually the point the downpour hit, I got a bit ahead of myself. So, additional delay. By the time we actually got to the room/settled it was about 2 in the morning. We were exhausted. No party. Bed. Day one: 18 hours.

So on to Oz! HAPPY BIRTHDAY, KATYBUG!!!!!!!!

Last time I went as Dorothy. For my birthday, a Wicked Witch felt more appropriate.

I took a ton of pictures at the museum and winery as I did last time, but they're a lot of what you saw on the previous blog, just with a better camera. So, in an attempt to long-story-short this blog (lost cause), I'll skip that and just give you this:

They were so sweet to put this in the party room for me!

A birthday selfie is required.

So after finishing our day at Oz, we made our way back to Manhattan. Did a little shopping, then went to dinner at Tallgrass Taphouse for birthday dinner. Rooftop dining with perfect weather, craft beer, yummy appetizers... can't ask for much more. 

Plus, you know, this girl. :-)

Back to the hotel to rest up for the drive home the next day. Or that was Kelly's plan, anyway. Our day had too much going on, plus I needed to research the alternate route we were taking home for must-see stops. Katie-brain does not allow sleep when that much is happening. That being said, I was EXHAUSTED, and was reading sentences 4 times without understanding them. So, I made myself to go to bed and decided to plan our drive home the next morning, as I knew I'd have time while Kelly got ready (I'm a fast get-ready person. She is not.).

So the next morning, I discovered our alternate route still led us past the wren and teepee. And also discovered we'd be passing the World's Largest Fork. TRIP. BOOKED. 

Total time for Day 3 was 12 hours. We encountered the wren, teepee, and fork. Tried an antique mall, but it might as well have been called a glass mall, as everything was glasses, goblets, crystal serveware, etc. Tried to stop at Osceola Cheese, and the line to get to the cheese was insane. Had I been by myself, not gonna lie - I might've stuck it out: I LOVE ME SOME CHEESE, Y'ALL - but for the sake of Kelly's sanity/the trip home we skipped out and kept going. 

So here are the pics from the last of the Katybug Birthday road trip. I have some pretty "Katie's future photography business" pics as well, that I will likely add as a gallery to this blog eventually. I just need time to go through them and pick my favorites, edit, etc. This blog has already taken me two days. I don't need to delay it further. You get what you get, and you'll like it. Please like it. Again, I'm a Leo, I need attention...
I hate birds. I was ok with this one.

It is GIANT.

I feel like this fork deserves a meal beneath it!

So, anyway - Happy Birthday to me. On to more adventures!!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016


Seriously. Those that know me (on multiple levels) know my love of "Jenny Ani" (on multiple levels). Jennifer Aniston is just... siiiiiiiiiiiigh. Love her. She's ridiculously talented. If you've never ventured outside of her Friends/romantic comedies days - give it a shot. I recommend Cake and Good Girl. Derailed is also a big step outside of what you know of her. If you're in to indie-type flicks - I recommend "She's Funny That Way" and "Life of Crime". Two movies I bought having never seen them, and was pleasantly surprised with them. ESPECIALLY Life of Crime. I had heard a lot of bad on it. I actually thought it was pretty darn good. I get it, though. The previews played it like it was supposed to be this super funny movie. It wasn't funny. It has a couple of cute moments, but if anything I'd grant it a dark comedy/crime status. Anyhoo... I'm rambling. She's talented, despite what "cliche Hollywood" gives her credit for - don't forget, she's a producer and director, too. In addition to that, she's funny as hell, brutally honest, drop dead gorgeous, and then we have this:

You can read through the whole article (and I encourage you to - PLEASE READ), but here are a few key points. Let's dive in:

"The objectification and scrutiny we put women through is absurd and disgusting." A.MEN. I'll get into more as we reach deeper in this article/my blog, but perfect example: I had a wicked bruise on my arm the past few weeks. Cannot tell you how many "What man is beating up on you?"-type comments I got. Like OMG, there's no way you could have a bruise without it meaning you're a disobedient woman to your man. Shame on you. PUNCH.

"The message that girls are not pretty unless they're incredibly thin, that they're not worthy of our attention unless they look like a supermodel or an actress on the cover of a magazine is something we're all willing to buy into. This conditioning is something girls then carry into womanhood." YUP. As someone who was verbally belittled constantly in junior high/high school, there is never a day I truly believe when I'm told I look pretty that day. I see it as "You improved over that horrible look from the other day." And I am fully aware that's not how the people saying it mean it. So I've learned to smile and accept the compliment, all the while not believing a word they say.

"This past month in particular has illuminated for me how much we define a woman's value based on her marital and maternal status." Now, while this one obviously has direct meaning to what she's going through, the overall message still spoke to me. Any given day for me: "Why aren't you and Steve married yet?" "Are you getting married? When?" "Do y'all plan to have babies soon?" "Wait, you don't want kids?! WHY???" "Oh, you'll change your mind about kids once you're married." "It just shocks me you don't want kids, are you sure?" PEOPLE: I, as a woman, am not on this earth solely to be a wife and/or mother. I am a person that can make choices. These choices are mine, and you don't have to make the same ones, or even agree with the ones I make. I don't judge anyone that has kids. I don't look at them every day and ask them "Wait... you have kids?! WHY???" Just because I am not dying to pop out children for my husband does not make me a bad person. **Additional note here: I actually DO have kids. They just all have 4 legs instead of 2. Meaning they're animals - don't call the Guinness World Record people to come to my house looking for several 4-legged humans.

"I resent being made to feel 'less than' because my body is changing and/or I had a burger for lunch and was photographed from a weird angle and therefore deemed one of two things: 'pregnant' or 'fat'. Not to mention the painful awkwardness that comes with being congratulated by friends, coworkers and strangers alike on one's fictional pregnancy..." *waves hands in the air in praise* PREACH! Let me tell you, dear blog readers: I have had a rough couple of years emotionally. Losing my father, which I have been fairly open about here; having to put down my cat down 4 months later; of course, being a long distance every day from my love; plus the every day ups and downs that life throws at you. I've put on a fair amount of weight in the last year 1/2. I'm aware of that. Having people remind me is not necessary. Now, you know how you hear about those people that ask about a lady being pregnant, then are horrified to find out she's not, so they've basically just called her fat? This is something that no woman should ever have to deal with. Ever. To encounter it once in your lifetime is too many. So let me tell you how many times it's happened to me. Actually, I'd have to think about it to give you the real total, but just out the gate I thought of 5 people. And I am an outspoken person. But I swear every single time it happens feels like the first time and I am just dumbfounded that a person could see that as an ok thing to say when I have given you ZERO indication that I am pregnant. Do I wish I had not gained this weight? Sure. But I realize life has its weight yo-yos and I'm just at the down (or up?) part right now. What I don't need is people reminding me of where I'm at. "Oh gosh you're fat." *brain corrects them* "Awww, you're pregnant!" Nope. Nope, you're just an awful human. Thanks for playing.

Thank you, Jennifer for putting a VERY public voice to this everyday problem. And thank you all for allowing me to bend your ear (or eyes) on my personal connection to it.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

"It's always best to start at the beginning - and all you do is follow the Yellow Brick Road."

So to start at the beginning, for those that are new to the land of Katybug - here is a good start to introduce you to me (i.e. my Oz obsession). For those that know me, let's dive right in. In fact, let's just go through Dorothy's Oz journey!

Sepia (Kansas)

So years back, I discovered (likely because of a random Oz Google search) the existence of an Oz Museum in Wamego, KS. Made a mental note that one day I WOULD go. A few years later, I legit don't remember how I stumbled across Oz Winery's site. But again, mental note. Then happened to notice it was in Wamego, KS... and the bucket list trip was created and added to the list. A day at an Oz Museum followed by wine PLUS more OZ?!?!! Yes and YES. I didn't know when it would happen but knew it would.


Cut to modern day, and Katie's plan to live life to its fullest. I decided now was the time. I was willing to go by myself, as I've discovered I actually have a lot of fun on solo trips, but tossed an invite out to numerous people to see if they wanted to join.

Now, mixed in between the bucket trip addition and modern day, there was the announcement that the Orpheum's Broadway tour this year would include Wizard of Oz. So, OF COURSE, I bought tickets to that back in December for a June show.

There are no coincidences in life. The weekend that worked best for our Oz trip happened to be the weekend of Oz at the Orpheum! So Friday at Oz in Memphis, then off to Kansas for a family visit and more Oz on Monday.

The Scarecrow

Appropriate, if you ask me, that this scene applies to this part of the story. The Scarecrow is my favorite character in The Wizard of Oz, and Dorothy's best friend. And I spent my Memphis Oz experience with MY best friend! She is a piece of my heart, so I wish we'd taken a picture of her Tin Man-inspired outfit. It was more perfect than I even processed that night! :-)

Waiting for the show to start. Selfies are always required.

We have matching Oz shoes (this IS a shoe blog, right?!), and I of course had to get a Betsey Oz fix in there with my purse.

Now, about my outfit that night: I knew I would be wearing "our" Ruby Slippers. So I just had to plan around that. Cue black pants. Then I thought "Oh, my black and white striped shirt would work. Matches the shoes." Suddenly occurred to me - I'll be dressed as the Wicked Witch of the East's legs! PERFECTION. Outfit selected. Presentation is everything.  

*Note: I thought on the drive down there (too late), I should've bought a toy house and glued it to a headband so I could've been an accurate portrayal. But at least now I have a Halloween costume. 

My review of the show (as posted the night of attending): "It was cute. Definitely wasn't blown away. I hated the way the Scarecrow was portrayed, and the Tin Man was annoying. THE. LION. WAS. AWESOME. Glinda's dress was mesmerizing. I wanted to kidnap that chunky little Toto dog. He got the loudest ovation at the end. Overall, I'm glad I went for the Oz experience, but wouldn't go again if it came back."

Tin Man

So Saturday morning, I hit the road for Kansas. Arrived late afternoon and spent a fun night visiting with family. Sunday we'd decided to do a day of antique-ing. Turns out, there was a beer/food truck festival going on down by the shops that day. Shopping, beer, and food... sign me up. We get to the first store, and I am immediately in love:

Started as a joke(ish), and rapidly progressed into me deciding I needed them. We decided to hit the other shops just in case I saw something else, or wanted to talk myself out of them. All I did was talk myself in to them more. PURCHASED. *Insert dramatic shipping story here and note: NEVER ship UPS. Just don't. Greyhound, if you have furniture/large items. FedEx for everything else.*

There were numerous other success stories from that day. Mom found some chairs, as well. We all found some little purchases here and there. One store we went in, the sales associate complimented me on my dress as soon as we came in the store. Later, I was looking at their novelty socks, and she came over and whispered "I have inappropriate socks, if you're interested.". BUT I thought she said "I have inappropriate thoughts.", and after being complimented the second I walked in the store, plus this, I was kind of like "Umm... ok, random stranger..." Once she kept talking and I realized what she had actually said, I started giggling uncontrollably and told her what I thought she'd said. We had a good hard laugh, and she said "Now I feel like I can't look you in the eye!" 

Of all weekends for me to find this album - it happened to be Oz weekend?! MEANT. TO. BE. 

Did I mention food trucks?! Buffalo chicken tots, FTW.

Cowardly Lion

So, Monday had finally arrived! Oz day!! We piled in the car and headed to Wamego. I found myself calmer than I expected, but I think most of that was that I had only slept like 2 hours. Once I had the museum in sight, I don't think the smile left my face. 

Blue gingham shorts for Dorothy's dress with my Betsey Johnson Ruby Slippers. PRESENTATION IS EVERYTHING. 

You start your journey in sepia (the gift shop, ticket counter, etc). The entrance to the museum is through Dorothy's house.

katydid38134's Oz museum album on Photobucket

Here's the museum. Every display case, plus close-ups of certain parts. I have so many words, yet "Shucks folks, I'm speechless."

We had so much fun. Probably (likely) me more than my mom, aunt, and cousin.

Emerald City (The Wizard of Oz)

Museum tour over, time to head to the winery! I booked a private party/tasting for us - because if I was going to do it, I was going to do it right. We chose 4 hors d'oeuvres, and they paired the wines accordingly. 

Our tasting room and custom menu. The Hot Pepper Bacon Jam was definitely the biggest hit (we all purchased some to bring home), but everything was DELICIOUS.

This was probably my favorite part of the day. Getting to geek out on Oz, and also laugh and chit-chat with family - well, that's a pretty good time, if you ask me. Also, discovering that they're allowed to ship wine to me (I've been told by other wineries that they can't ship to TN) was great. Because I really wanted to try their bubbly, but they're in a bottling cycle right now and didn't have any on-hand. Champagne/sparkling wine is my favorite. So I'm excited to order some. Plus be able to restock. 

Not hard to guess who belongs to whom here, is it?

There's No Place Like Home

Well really, there are a couple places I'd rather be than Memphis. But that's "home" for now, so I digress. Time to bring the chairs home! I have left the home office in a state of disarray for months because I couldn't decide if it was worth setting up the room knowing I'd be leaving for Canada at some point. Once I got the chairs, I decided they deserved to be displayed appropriately. So I took on the task of unpacking about 20 boxes and setting up the shelves. Then I ordered curtains. And poppies for my Oz vase.

The Oz wine also found its home. 

And, without further ado...

New chairs. Witch's legs curtains. Perfection.

And the panorama of the full room.

So that is my Oz journey. I may have mentioned presentation being important to me. So you're aware: this blog was written while wearing Oz knee socks.