Two for the price of one!

There are TWO important people celebrating their birthdays today. First – Granny Meadows who turns 96 today. Whoo Hoo! Granny is in Michigan visiting the Yankees in the family. We’re reluctant to let her go on such an important occasion, but otherwise they might come HERE. I’m totally kidding. Well, sort of.  I had chubby cheeks as a child and my Aunt Gay nicknamed me “Pumpkin Puss”. The Michigan cousins used to visit every year and chase me around pretending they were going to eat me. And they talked weird. Okay, to be honest, (and because they’ve been known to read this blog), I liked them alot. They were like exotic, beautiful aliens coming to Zollicoffer and I followed them around constantly. So hopefully they won’t leave Detroit and come hurt me.


Back to Granny. Wasn’t she pretty? She’s the one on the right. I don’t know who’s on the left since my mother doesn’t label photos. It could be a sister, a cousin, Amelia Earhart . Thank you Mother, for making my blog so VAGUE.


Granny is a lot like the grannies in movies. She always had something yummy cooking on the stove, and she told the BEST bedtime stories. But my favorite thing was her books. Granny read. A lot. She probably still reads a book a day, all of them romances. She had stacks and stacks of Harlequin Romance books in her utility room. I grew up reading them because of her. Which is a good thing, otherwise, how would I know to dream that one day, I’d grow up to meet an arrogant, but devastatingly handsome man who would completely infuriate me on our first meeting, even though I was immediately drawn to him, and while I resisted the attraction, my wealthy and deceased uncle would insist at the reading of his will that me and Mr. Arrogant marry for a year in order to keep the inheritance and we would fall in love, because deep down, he really was my soul mate?

Granny is that nice lady in the back of church, the one that wears a pretty suit and heels every Sunday, and never has a bad word to say about anybody. The one that leaves her house early so that she can go by and pick up her great-nieces and nephews because their mom doesn’t take them to church. Afterwards she takes them to her house for cookies and kool-aid, knowing it will be the highlight of their week. And later, the ones that grow up to believe in the Lord, look back and know it was because she took the time to care.


THAT’S my granny. That’s the legacy of someone who lives her life with love and truth and grace. Happy Birthday, Granny Meadows, I LOVE YOU!

And then there’s this guy.


It’s also HIS birthday. But I’m disinclined to write something sweet about him. Because A) I just wrote a nice post about him on Father’s Day and how many does one guy get? B) I wrote a nice one about my Granny which pretty much drained the  well dry. C) He’s been a serious cranky butt for the last two days.


I mean, if he weren’t devastatingly handsome, I might give him a birthday smack. He has “issues” with birthdays. He doesn’t like them, wants no celebration, no parties, and if you even THINK about a surprise party, he will turn around and leave the party – guests or no guests. I don’t know WHAT his problem is.


It’s not like I’d embarrass him or anything. Geesh. Happy Birthday, Honey, I love YOU!

Women of Faith


Because I know people who know people, I was given 5 tickets to the Women of Faith Conference, hereafter known as the Women of Faith and that one girl Conference.


Mandisa was there. You know, MANDISA, from American Idol? She was very good.


And Steven Curtis Chapman. I kept waiting for him to call me up on stage. I guess he hasn’t heard about my Rock Band performance. He spoke about his song, Cinderella, and how it was written for his two youngest daughters. If you don’t know the story, then go read about it. It’s too sad to talk about; Zolligirl only does snarky.

One of the main speakers was a lady named Anita Renfroe. I’d never heard of her, but she sang a fun song about Mom Speak.

Other than that, I didn’t really get her. She’s supposedly a “comedian”, but all her jokes were about getting old, saggy boobs, Botox, and menopause. Uh..what’s funny about that? Not that I could relate anyway. Maybe next year I should attend the YOUNG Women of Faith Conference. IF I can find someone to drive me; my vision at night’s a little iffy.

Rocking with the Church Ladies.

When I was growing up and attending Flatt Creek Church of Christ, it never occurred to me that the ladies who went there might be cool. To my adolescent mind, they were just bad hairdo’s in rayon dresses that pulled my hair for giggling during the service. Could it be possible that they had dreams, and talents, interesting friends and cool jobs? Or have Church Ladies’ just changed over the years?

The ladies that I KNOW, are just as holy as those women back at Flatt Creek. They’ll stop what they’re doing and drop a prayer on you in a second. They say things like, “I need more quiet time to hear from the Lord,” and “The Lord has really been convicting me lately.” BUT. They are cool. They run successful businesses, dive with SHARKS, run 7 minute miles, know KUNG FU, quote Charlotte Bronte, travel to India and Israel and China, AND….AND…AND…



And not to just Christian songs. They can play the fire out of Bon Jovi.


Like Kimbo Starr. She’s a mad woman with the sticks.


And these two. No bad hair, no rayon dresses – just Sister/Sister Cool Jam.


You know, come to think of it, the women at some churches would get kicked out for doing what this woman is doing. And she’s in PANTS for crying out loud.


Oh. Well, God even uses Rock Band to speak to us. Like here He’s saying, “Two minutes in a pretend band and you’re already showing cleavage and flashing gang signs. And you look fat.” I don’t know what got into me. Could it be…


Never mind.

Moron Test Kitchen – Goat Cheese Roll

Take that, Mom! Even though my mother said the Moron Test Kitchen is her LEAST favorite, I felt strongly about trying out this recipe. It’s been calling out to me for awhile now, ever since last Monday when I said I’d bring an appetizer to Rock Band/Ladies Night and Kathryn stole my bread idea. I’ll be blogging about Rock Band with the LADIES THAT GO TO CHURCH BUT ARE SO NOT CHURCH LADIES ALA DANA CARVEY later.

Needing a quick and easy recipe – I headed straight for The Pioneer Woman. She RAVES about this:


Okay, I’m going to keep it simple.  Go to the store, I chose Walmart, and buy 2 rolls of goat cheese. Stick it in the freezer for a few minutes to get it firm. Cut up tiny shards of fresh dill, and roll the cheese around in it. Then do the same for the other roll, only use paprika.



And when your daughter asks if she can help, say “No, you’ll break it”. This is all about learning from my mistakes.

Roll it in some plastic wrap and chill until the party, no longer than 2 hours. Serve with crackers.

goatcheesesYou know, IF I’d had my flash on, instead of trying to hand hold my camera for  2 seconds, these would have looked really similar!  My dill DOES  look a little mangy; whatever, the LTGTCBASNTCLADC seemed to like it. I was pleasantly surprised. I tried the goat cheese by itself and it tasted like poo, but once I put the stuff on it, and spread it on a cracker, it was yummy. Moron Test Grade – A+. The A is for ease and taste, the + was for the added benefit of aggravating my mother.

Come to think of it, this might be my favorite recipe all year.

Dances with Bears

Ashleigh-the-Niece ended her whirlwind Farewell Tour today, at least the Atlanta portion, as she prepares to leave for Alaska. We had a nice lunch to tell her bye, give her last minute instructions, the usual.


Good-bye! It was good seeing you! Dress warm!


Come back soon! We will miss you. Be nice to your new roommates!


I’ll be checking your Facebook! Don’t make me come to Alaska with a gun!

Since she’s heading to the University of Alaska in Juneau, she’ll now be known as Alaska Ashleigh!


She’ll be on a plane Monday, off to meet new people, on a beautiful campus, measuring glaciers and hiking with bears. In a related story, I’ll be playing Wii with some ladies from church.  Take that college girl, Ka-POW.

Lesson Learned.

Carolyn of the Coupon Cartel, Ashleigh the Niece and I went out to eat at a place called Jalepeno Joe’s. Just as we were getting ready to ask for the check, Jalepeno Joe HIMSELF, came to the table. He asked if we’d like to order their world-famous Alamo brownie, of which over 19,000 testimonials had been written.

img00002Being sophisticated consumers, we asked to SEE these 19,000 testimonials. So he brought 3 books to the table and began to read from them randomly. Things like, “I was on the road to hell, robbing banks, stealing cars, but then I had a bite of Joe’s Alamo brownie.” And –


“I woke up this morning hating my life. I said to myself, Self – I hate you, this is our last day together.” But then he ate the Alamo brownie and …well, you get the idea. Anyway, we thought this was HYSTERICAL. We were laughing like crazy and of course, we ordered the brownie, and wrote a testimonial.


Which I will not repeat here.

I had forgotten my camera so Carolyn used the one on her phone because we just HAD to document the whole story. It had BLOG written all over it because it was JUST SO DARN FUNNY. Then I got home and started actually writing about it, and hmmm, it really didn’t seem as hilarious in retrospect. Isn’t it odd how something can seem hysterical at the time, and then later, it’s just not?


It’s a mystery.

A Day at the Movies

I saw my mother and sister recently at which time they both informed me that the Moron Test Kitchens are their least favorite posts. And they didn’t say it like, “I love all ice cream, but vanilla is my least favorite.” It was more, “my least favorite dental procedure is the root canal.”

Whatever. So now I need a NEW weekly segment so that I don’t have to come up with an original thought every freaking day of my life to entertain my readers. Until then, HEY, I spent the day watching movies.

First – Lars and the Real Doll. Basic plot – sad and lonely dude who doesn’t like to be touched and has trouble relating in social situations orders a life-size doll off the Internet and takes her everywhere as his girlfriend.


I’m not gonna lie – I CRIED throughout this movie. I was totally moved by the kindness of his family and friends. It may have something to do with my OWN family. Let me try to show up with a life-size doll and see what happens.

Next, Ashleigh the Niece flipped over to Practical Magic (1998). You know the movie, Sandra Bullock, Nicole Kidman play sisterly witches? Not so great, but it did have the totally awesome Aidan Quinn.

What can I say? It was watch this or clean house. I went with my gut.

Then Ashleigh and I met up with Carolyn of Coupon Cartel fame for the THIRD movie of the evening – The Ugly Truth.


Absolutely one of the worst movies I’ve seen all year. Sigh. Good-bye $18.00 dollars, it was nice knowing you.   Maybe I should send my mom and my sister the bill.The Moron Test Kitchen was much cheaper.

She’s baaaaccckkk.

Ashleigh the niece is in town for a few days before she goes off to college – in ALASKA. We thought we’d make the most of it by visiting the High Museum.

_mg_3764It was Jazz Night, very high brow and all that. We fit right in.

_mg_3767Our friend Mike went, too. He’s one of us.


And by “one of us,” I mean a sophisticated connoisseur of art.