I should be on the city council..

From the Marietta Daily Journal,

Councilman Van Pearlberg’s latest idea to ban dogs from the Square’s Glover Park during concert nights died in committee Wednesday without much barking.

Pearlberg, who has been spotted with his 200 pound Saint Bernard on the Square from time to time, said just as the council has banned smoking from Glover Park, so too should it ban people from bringing their dogs on concert nights.

Councilman Jim King asked Pearlberg if he was concerned about the dogs smoking.

Council members Grif Chalfant, Holly Walquist and Philip Goldstein said they hadn’t noticed a dog problem. Parks Director Rich Buss said he had received no phone calls complaining about dogs in the park.

King said as it stands, dog owners are required to obey the current animal laws, which requires owners to pick up their dog’s feces.

Failing to find any support, Pearlberg withdrew his request from consideration.

Well, you should have asked for chickens on the Square,” King said, referring to Pearlberg’s recent attempts to allow downtown residents to keep chickens in their backyards as pets.

Pearlberg vowed to continue to fight for the legalization of chickens at a future meeting.

I vow to fight for chickens, too! Finally, a cause I can really get behind. To heck with the Tea Parties, this is where the action is.

FYI – Blogging will probably be light, if at all, over the next few days. I’m going to visit MAD Tania today at her lake chateau. And she has no INTERNET. Well, she SAYS that she has no internet. It’s probably just to ensure there will be no bathing suit pictures on the web. (Pssst: Check back later, I’ll TOTALLY post them when I get back.)


One of my first posts involved a flying squirrel. INSIDE my house. It was not as much fun as it sounds. Anyway, I mentioned at that time that we once found a snake in the basement. See, we don’t have a beautifully finished basement with a movie theatre and surround sound. No, WE have a leaky, CREEPY basement with areas I don’t want to go into. Ever.

Anyway, it’s a day I’ve tried hard to forget. But there I was today, walking through the yard and ran into this –


Seriously! I could have been KILLED. It could have bitten me or wrapped itself around me until all the air was squeezed out of my body and Rachel found me lifeless in the yard.


Luckily it was dead or this story could have ended tragically.

While the cat’s away…

the mice will gain 4 pounds in 3 days eating fried onion chips and ice-cream.

JD is finally coming home tonight after 3 days on the road doing “photography”. Uh huh. He and his friend Mike, another PROFESSIONAL photographer, are assisting their friend Jay. Picture 3 men that LIVE on vacation, talking about how hard it is shooting  MODELS, while stuffing themselves with expensive food, all on the client’s dollar.


Meanwhile, Rachel and I are barely making it. So far, I’ve fallen over the dog, been electrocuted, broken the toilet, broken my printer, may or may not have broken the pool, made inedible food, and gained 2 inches around my belly. Don’t ask how I can made bad food and STILL gain weight, but it’s happened.

Whatever. I guess I should be glad he’s working. And I’m just kidding about them sitting around doing nothing. Photography is not as easy as it sounds. I’m sure he’s working really, really hard.


*Actual images taken while “working”.

Moron Test Kitchen – O’Charley’s Rolls *update

31428-hi-rollsThis Moron Test Kitchen is brought to you by Rachel. I told her I’d try to make anything she wanted, and she LOVES the rolls at O’Charley’s. Surprisingly enough, they don’t actually post their recipe on their website. So I googled it and came across this random recipe CLAIMING to be what I was looking for.

We’ll see.

_mg_2799Here’s the cast of characters. Pretty average stuff.


Mix 1/2 cup Crisco oil, 1/2 cup boiling water, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/3 cup sugar. I called both my husband and my mother and asked “Do they mean Crisco OIL, or Crisco SHORTENING?” Tbey agreed- shortening. I’m not so sure, because mixing it was impossible.


Next dissolve 1 package of dry yeast into a 1/2 cup of lukewarm water. Mix and pour into the oil mixture. Now beat one egg and pour it into the mixture.


Add 3 cups of all purpose flour. So far Rachel’s comments have been, “gross”, “this stinks” and “do I have to touch it”.


Yes, yes you do.


Form into a ball. Lightly flour and let sit for 2 hours. It didn’t SAY this, but I saw some other recipes that say to cover and put in a warm place. So we did.


Hey! It actually got bigger. Shake the bowl so the ball drops down in size a bit. Then pinch off a piece, roll it into a ball, and place on a greased baking sheet.


We made regular balls, and for fun, a few made up of 3 little balls, for the puffy, cloverleaf look. The recipe says to let them sit ANOTHER 2 hours. Seriously? We gave them an hour. I couldn’t see that anything was changing and since I didn’t want to spend my ENTIRE day watching dough, we threw them in the oven. 15 minutes at 400 degrees.


rollcompAs Rachel put it, “We made BISCUITS’. And not very good ones. Moron Test Grade – F! I thought about giving it a D, since they were EDIBLE, but the disappointment factor swayed me. It’s like following a recipe for carrot cake and getting a carrot. Same family, not quite the same flavor.

Feel free to let me know where I went wrong. I’m guessing it was the part where I went into the kitchen.

*NOW my mother says that if it says OIL, you should use OIL. “They look a little dry.”

Environmental Portraiture with Rachel


Step one – pick an environment that suits your subjects. Make sure everyone is involved. Some subjects are shyer than others and must be coaxed out of hiding.

_mg_2768Step two – arrange subjects in a pleasing manner. It’s rarely wrong to arrange by height.

_mg_2769Step three – before taking the picture, look things over. Move subjects as needed. Don’t be afraid of being assertive. The success of the photo depends on you.


Step four – make sure you can see everyone’s faces. Having subjects touch gives a relaxed feel to the image.

Step five – be sure and clean up the area before leaving. Leaving it in bad shape reflects poorly on your professionalism.


Hello? Hello? Where’d everybody go?

Conversation with a smart tail.

_mg_6297Me: I’m trying to write a blurb about my childhood for my website.

JD: What do you have so far?

Me: “I knew from an early age that not every child had a pet skunk, a dad that ran a bar in the front yard, and a neighbor that…” This is where I get stuck. Does “a neighbor that got shot by a crazy ex-boyfriend make us sound like rednecks?

JD: Dear, you passed that point two sentences ago.

Kids are weird.

I’ve mentioned before, I had TWO options for playing as a child – inside or outside. Compared to my childhood, my daughter is living in Disneyland.


I would have KILLED for a pool. Seriously. Pick a neighbor.


I found this swingset at a yard sale. It weighed 800 pounds and took 3 men to move it to my house. I haven’t seen two of them since.


Yet, it’s the old, used CAR in which they choose to play. I give up.

And before you comment, those are EMPTY coffee cups they’re playing with. I never give them  a second cup that late in the day.

Hey, this isn’t so bad!

I thought that going from eating “crap”, to eating healthy would be difficult. Turns out, not so much. First, JD cooked potatoes and chicken on the grill. It was soooo good. The next night we were craving pizza, so he went to Johnny’s and they sold him a wad of pizza dough- for a dollar! He put fresh tomatoes and veggies on it. Delish!


Tonight, JD made pasta with fresh tomatoes. I mean seriously, doesn’t that look great? It was so, so good. Eating fresh-made meals is so much better than the frozen, boxed dinners we WERE eating.


And to think I thought this would be hard.

Zolli Dad

There are two people I tend NOT to blog about here, Jesus and my dad, and for roughly the same reasons. 1, my feelings for both are just too big to put into words, and 2, I don’t want to inadvertently tick them off and get sent to my room. Or hell.

But since today is my dad’s birthday – I’m giving it a shot.


What a looker! I have his nose. I used to swear Buck Owens and my daddy were one and the same. I can tell the difference NOW; my dad is way better looking. Well, technically Buck IS dead, but even back in his heyday my dad had him beat. My dad is handsome.


When I was little, I thought he could do ANYTHING. I still do. He can build a house from the ground up, repair large machinery, grow a garden, pretty much everything. He once fixed JD’s car. Over the phone. My dad is smart.


Growing up around my dad was great. He used to pack up the whole family, half the neighborhood kids, several relatives and a few of his friends, and take us all to the lake for camping and skiing.  Oh MAN, was it awesome! I would love to go back in time to this very moment on Dale Hollow Lake and just sit and watch my dad and the men in the family. I have no idea where the women were. Probably hiding. My dad is fun.


This is how my dad taught me to ski. He would come out of the water carrying me, then I’d slide down until I was standing on the ski’s in front of him.  This is him teaching his 5 year old grandson, Matthan. Dad’s 47 years old in this picture. My dad is strong.


Dad’s best friend was Johnny Van. He was sick for a long time and died several years ago. They were so close that the family asked him if, instead of being a pall bearer, he wanted to sit with the family. He said no, that it was a honor to carry him. I watched my dad, this very masculine builder, lean down and kiss his friend on the forehead before they closed the casket. My dad is good.

blog_grandGetting my dad to stop and smell the roses has been difficult. Even after a long day of building, he’ll still come home and find something to do. The only thing that’s able to slow him down is the grandkids; he always manages to find time for them. When I told Rachel I was writing a blog about Pa, she said “Say he is sweet and nice.” My dad is sweet and nice.

blog_dianeweddingSee, I told you I have his nose!  I once said (and I know it sounds kind of morbid) that I would never marry as long as my dad was alive.  I just couldn’t imagine letting go of him to go and “cleave” to someone else. On my wedding day a few years later, I was STILL having trouble with the idea. He set a pretty high bar. My dad is loved.

They say a person views God based on how their father treated them. I usually picture Him as loving, kind, a fair disciplinarian, worthy of respect, loyal and fun. And slightly sarcastic. I don’t think I’m too far off the mark.

Happy Birthday, Dad.  I love you!

The spy in our backyard

_mg_2752This is Tate, the resident of our pool house. If you’ve never been here, think of any Hollywood movie you’ve ever seen that featured an infinity pool and a luxury cabana that overlooks it. Then think polar opposite of that and add kudzu.

Tate is a Worship Pastor. There is a Worship PASTOR in my backyard. Let that sink in for a minute. A few years ago, I would have been totally freaked out about that. Not anymore. I took this picture while sporting JD’s baggy T-shirt, no makeup, coffee breath and Budweiser boxer shorts. Kinda explains the look on his face, huh? I think Tate will refer to this time of his life as, “God’s Great Test.”

To make matters even better – Tate has a blog. In a transparent effort to get more hits, he’s started his blog with a post about Rachel. You can read it here.

A PASTOR in my backyard with a blog. What could go wrong?