Yes people, I am the big cheese-ball in the middle up there. Don’t get too used to seeing me in pictures folks. I am not a huge fan of self portraits at all but… Oh yeah! Redheads, ya gotta love them and yes I am 100 % biased 🙂 .

I seem to have inadvertently, over time, created a collection of redheaded friends. In case you were wondering, it is somewhat odd for one redhead to have more than say two or three redheaded friends who are not related. No… it is not because our temperaments are not suited for one another, haha, in fact it is just the opposite. We get along famously. The reason is because there are so few of us pale skinned, flame topped people. Sad isn’t it? At least we can lay claim to Shaun White. Now a days with blogging it is getting easier to find those redheaded sisters.

Now I can add one more delightful lady to my mix of redheads. Her name is Kate aka The Quirky Redhead . She would be the beautiful lady on the right. She is braver than most and wears fabulous color with her gorgeous red hair. I am sooo envious of her haircut. It is too darn cute. Kate happens to be the second blogger I met who reached a friendly hand out to me. We hit it off right away via emails and it turns out she doesn’t live to awfully far from me either. Cool beans!

A lovely plan of meeting one another for lunch came to be. Since there is another fellow reddie blogger living nearby we turned it into a full fledged Redhead Convention. My long time friend the Pie Mistress aka Pie Pans and Pigtails would be joining us. She is the beauty to my left whom I have talked about on here previously. Remember ” Oprah are you reading this?”. Yes sir-rie that’s the one. The date was set and it happened to be at one of my favorite places. We all collectively crossed our fingers and held our breathes with anticipation. We also giddily emailed each other reminders for weeks until the day finally arrived.

Would you like to hear more about how our lunch date went? Are you sure? It may be funny or it may be sad and a complete disaster. Are you still sure? Okay then keep reading. Remember though, I am a jabber-jaw 🙂 This may be long.

The day arrived and as is usual for me, I was fashionably late. Faux pas One

Lord knows I try really hard to be on time but 70% of the time the leprechauns in my life have other plans for me. They are not nice leprechauns. They are devious, mischievous and love to make me the punchline for everyone who may cross my path that day. At least I was only about 7 minutes late on this occasion. Kate and Pie Mistress were already seated at a table. Uh Oh! My nerves were starting to twitch. I get slightly klutzy and my jabber-jaw kicks into overdrive when my nerves twitch. Oh go away leprechauns. Tease me another day!

Trying my best to seem as calm, cool and collected as possible, I introduced myself and preceded to start to remove my jacket and sit down. Yeah right! On what planet can I get something as simple as removing my jacket correct. Not this one evidently. Thanks you wee beasties! Go play on a busy highway would ya!(I slip into fake Irish when fussing at the leprechauns, sorry)

First my cell phone feel out of my jacket pocket and tumbled loudly to the floor.. Faux pas Two

Keep smiling Red no one noticed. (There I go talking to myself again, a sure sign of trouble. Like talking to leprechauns is any better.)

I was able to retrieve the phone somewhat innocuously. Okay, everything is still good.

Kate was sweetness itself. She hadn’t noticed my all consuming weirdness…yet! She also has the most fabulous lyrical southern accent, it is ironic that her accent is what struck me first. Sorry, inside joke ya’ll. Don’t think Scarlett when you try to picture her. She is more like Melanie. Sweet serenity through and through.

But I was still working on trying to get my jacket off. Why? Oh, that’s right you don’t know yet. My jacket was now hung up on my bracelet and would not budge…at all! Please let go, PLEASE! Of course my bracelet had to be made from some super soft metal that would break if I yanked on it to hard. At this point I have been standing for what seems like an eternity making small talk. Oh Yeah! I stand up for days on end in restaurants and have small talk with new prospective friends everyday of the week, no biggie. Faux pas Three

Keep smiling Red, just keep smiling. Yo, Leprechauns! Make yourselves useful and get this dadgum jacket off of my arm so I can sit down like a normal human being!  I see you giggling over there in the corner you rats! Grrrrrrr!

Whew, the jacket was finally off. I could sit and finally focus on this new friend of ours, that was if she wasn’t wondering already, ” Who’s the dork that I met online”. Oh boy, my fingers were crossed at this point that nothing else happened.


“Ummm, sorry. That would be my phone…again. Sorry, I have extreme phone issues hahaha. Ummm…cough…yeah…you were saying? ”

Retrieved phone for the second time off of the floor. Faux Pas Four

The poor waitress at this point has asked me about three times what I would like to drink. Faux pas Five

Fortunately Kate and I knew what we would like for lunch since we have both dined at this restaurant before, not together of course, just an odd co-ink-a-dink.  Good ole Pie Mistress on the other hand, was having a wee bit of trouble deciding what to order. She was distracted. Between the very diverse, HUGE menu at our designated lunch spot and our joint excited, hyperactive, steamroll of a conversation over poor Kate; the Pie Mistress excusably, couldn’t possibly focus on food.

You see we plowed right over an unsuspecting innocent Kate. She never knew what hit her. Two crazy redheads who have 14 years of compiled, odd, weird, kooky history together… we of course dominated nearly the entire lunch. Faux pas Six

No more Faux pas, if I list them all we will be here forever.

To give you an idea of how much we talked, lunch actually slid into dinner time. Yep! Four hours later and the waitress who refused to refill our drinks anymore had clocked out for the day. The second shift was on the floor, the lights dimmed…a couple of times. Hint? Maybe?! I am still wondering about that one.

The good news is y’all that all of the faux pas were the normal little idiosyncrasies of life. Well normal for us redheads. Overall the day went well. Kate was able to share some of her life stories with us. We did stop talking for a few minutes at least. We moved our rip roaring, laugh a minute conversation to another venue; by the way I am probably banned from my favorite restaurant for life but it was well worth it.

Kate was a pleasure to meet and fit right in even though we steam rolled her in the beginning. Her innate kindness was visible from the very beginning. I look forward to getting to know her better as the days go by. I am charmed by her. She definitely TICKLED me, made me smile and made me laugh. I am so glad that we didn’t send her running for the hills. Nah! She saw right through our nerves. Bless her sweetness.

Pie Pans and Pigtails has a funnier version of this day on her site.

As usual I wish my pictures were better but I was to busy trying not to fall out of my chair. Seriously!

Tickled Red

P.S.- You don’t need to be a redhead to rock in my book. Blond, brunette, purple, pink, gray… it is all the same to me. If you are feisty, full of life and are true to yourself,  there in lies all of your inner redheadedness. So stick around. I enjoy meeting new people 🙂


Okay, before you go believing that I have lost my mind or that I have a massive ego, let me stress that I do not believe Oprah is in any way, shape or fashion reading my little blog. I have a plan for someone close to me.

That being said let me explain the title. One of my dear friends has a dream. She dreams of making her mouth watering pies for Oprah. She dreams of being on Oprah before the queen of all talk shows relinquishes her throne.  She deserves for her dream to have a chance.  I very much want to see her dream come true, especially before she moves very far away from me, to start an even bigger life long desire of having her own homestead.

My friend the Pie Mistress. We have known each other for 14 years. I meet her through my darlin’ surfer. He and her husband Rich have been friends for years. Pie Mistress and I had an immediate connection and it wasn’t only the fact that we are both feisty red heads…which of course didn’t hurt 🙂 It is that we both crave a simpler time and lifestyle.  She and I would be happy living on a farm in the 1700’s. Seeing as how time travel is not an option… I would get into so much trouble if it was, we have both tried in our own unique way to have as much of a simple life as we can.  She is closer to fulfilling that lifestyle than I am. Even though I will miss her like crazy when she moves, I am ecstatic that she is so close to achieving what is her soul’s desire.

Pie Mistress has her own business, home schools her three daughters, writes, raises chickens, makes her own bread, sews adorable tutus, bakes fantastic pies and loves her husband madly. She is one dynamic lady and never stops moving. I honestly do not know how she does it all. I wish that I was as organized as she is to be able to accomplish all of the tasks that she  does. Her determination is a sight to behold, may some of it rub off on me in my new found free time.

Pie Mistress is wise as well. She is always keeping me up to speed on politics and some really great organic tips. She also has had some interesting dreams about me over the years. Her first dream was that of my being pregnant with Monkey One. Of course it came true and I am so very blessed that it did.  Her second dream was that I would write something. That dream I didn’t take nearly as serious as the first. I am not the  writer in the family, my mother is. Even though I am writing a blog I still believe that my Mom is the writer, not me. Although technically, again her dream came true, and I am so glad that it did. Keep dreaming good things for me Pie Mistress, I am always TICKLED with the outcome.

Recently Pie Mistress’s darlin’ husband Rich took her pies to a Christmas party. Of course they were a hit, but the neat part of the story is that someone at the party has a daughter who works for…have you guessed? Aww come on, it’s so obvious. That’s right the queen herself.  You are probably asking yourself  right about now ” Then why the plea out into cyberspace? She has a possibility already”.  I believe that you should always hedge your bets, even though I never  gamble. You should always do all that you possibly can. Just one shot in the dark is not enough.

So on the extremely remote, absurd chance that an intern, for a secretary, of an assistant associate, to a producer, for Ms. Oprah Winfrey might stumble upon this post I had to write about Pie Mistress and her dream. You never, ever know what may happen. The daughter of the co-worker might mention this southern girl making delicious pies and that hard working, blog scouring intern might just chime in about how they saw a post about a similar story and BAM! Just like that my girl is on Oprah living out her dream. It could happen. It could. Really! Hello-0-0-0. Is there an echo?

Alright now you pessimists, stop shaking your heads and laughing.

Here is my plan.  I am going to ask a favor from all of you. Please click on this post. Have your friends, family and co-workers click on this post. The more people that do, the greater the possibility that someone might find it.

Let’s  make 2010 the year to take chances and the possibility for dreams to come true. Even if  we are not sure that we can take the chance for ourselves at first, we can always get a head start by helping someone else.

Keep dreaming & keep smiling.

Tickled Red

Fishing is such a wonderful part of the southern coastal life and this photo by my talented friend Robbie Johnson of Surf Carolina Magazine, shows it in such a beautiful romantic light. A life where little boys grow up squealing with delight at the flounder they pull out of the water, gasps of awe at the ugly toad fish they didn’t want to pull out of the water. Being able to go trout fishing the morning of Thanksgiving because the weather is still in the low 60’s, and many more delightful reasons to go on and on about. Although what I am about to share with you  has nothing at all to do with fishing as I just described it to you, or as you may be envisioning. I am so sorry for the tease.

What I am about to share with you not only TICKLED me yesterday, it had me smiling from ear to proverbial ear, it made me giggle with glee. It was an accidental, obvious insight that all of us parents stumble upon from time to time and say “Man, I am so remembering that, and using it frequently! “. What is it? Are you just dying to know? Are you about to fuss at me through the computer yet? Okay, okay. Let me start from the beginning…

The monkeys woke up and said good morning to us, then as usual when there is no school or rush to be at a game/ surf contest, they asked that all to familiar question…”Can we play a video game?”. So of course we said yes and sat back  ourselves to ease into the morning with coffee in hand and catch up on the early morning news.  As you know when you ease back on a weekend morning, it is hard to get going sometimes and well, time will fly by when you are being lazy.

Between breakfast, watching the news, listening to my surfer battle it out over the phone with the cable company about an incorrect  modem, two hours had gone by. Plenty of time to for the grey matter of my monkeys brains to loosen up and start to drip out of their adorable shell shaped ears. “Times up!”, evil old mommy said.

We were expecting company so there was some light cleaning that needed to be done and I am a firm believer in teaching your children at a young age to help out and to be respectful of where they live. Now I don’t want you to think that there are any child labor laws in question at my house, or that all they do is clean, by no means are either of those an accurate view.  Now that being said, weekends are a good time to catch up on some chores and they can pitch in more on the weekends.

You know heinous chores such as…

1. Strip their bed linens for me. Which of course turns into fort building, hide and seek piles, or my favorite bright orange specter’s walking the halls.

2. Pick up the toys strewn about so that I don’t fall and break a leg. Oh you know it… this one takes FO-EVAH. Those toys get examined like they fell out of the Bermuda Triangle and are never before seen wonders of an unknown world. Knowing they just played with them last night.

3. Clean their sink and bathroom. Now once you get through the 10 minute discussion of ” I did the toilet last time, it’s your turn to do the toilet” or ” I did them both last time, what are you talking about?”, they actually get done pretty quickly.

So the truth be told, they were done in about 30 minutes (not including goof off time) and I went on for another hour or two. During the time I was still working on the 200 piles of towels, down fall of being married to a surfer, the begging to play videos games again was driving me to the point of insanity. I believe the descriptive words “Obsessed” and “Addict” were used.  They finally got the hint, or at least Monkey One did, and made sure to get his little brother Monkey Two on board before he lost those privileges for all eternity. Day old, wet, piles of sandy towels make me a little cranky.  They played chess, bless their little hearts, light bright, whack-a-mole, read chapter books, you name it they did it until they had re solidified the grey matter that they had loosened earlier in the morning.

Okay here it comes guys, thanks for letting me get through the back story.

Poor  little Monkey Two couldn’t resist the siren call of the game room any longer. Four hours of it’s sweet, tempting whispers had made him decide to brave one more try. He saw that his loving mom was done with the dreaded towels and had moved on to dishes, which is actually kinda calming for her.    ” Mom? Can I pllleeeeaaasseeee play a video game? I did all my chores, read, played games…I’ll do anything! PLEASE” he asked so sweetly. They know what voice to use, but I am older & wiser… most of the time.

“I’ll do anything”…hmmmmm…light bulbs turned on brightly in my mind. “Okay, if you clean my bathroom sink the way you did yours”. Monkey Two’s smile could have lit up the Eiffel Tower all the way from my kitchen on the Carolina coast. “Sure!” and he was off like a shot. Monkey One having overheard our conversation made a point of announcing from the living room ” I have already done one toilet today, I am NOT doing another one!”. Wise boy…he knows me so well.

About 30 minutes later I had moved on from doing the dishes, and was reorganizing some shelves in my kitchen while my loving surfer was helping me out and was sweeping the kitchen for me when Monkey One walks in. “Mom?” his oh so quiet voice says behind me (hee,hee, here it comes) “Can I please play a little bit of video games?”. Having sat there and listened to his brother for 30 minutes have a blast defeating the bad guys, was just more than he could take.

“Sure, if you clean my toilet the way that you did yours 🙂 ” I replied, oh so sweetly.  ” Fine-ah!” came the exasperated response.

I wish that I had the words to describe the look that he gave me as he caved, but the below picture is about as close as I can get to the emotion… for both of us 🙂

Hahahahahahaha…it’s just too much.                                              (camping trip 09′)

Now I did have the decency to wait until he was gone before my soft, quiet giggles came pouring out. I didn’t want to offend him, or let him know that I had a new insight that I would be storing away like a greedy squirrel for future use.

As I was giggling my surfer asked me “What’s so funny?”.  ” Didn’t you hear my conversation with  Monkey One ?” I asked. ” Yeah…”, he still didn’t quit see all that I did. “Man, I just love video games now. Our bathroom is clean and it’s all because of video games. That’s just awesome!” I said with the utmost glee.  ” I am soooo remembering to make sure that they crave video games like that again. That way they will do just about anything to be able to play them”. Now his light bulbs turned on brightly as the long term possibilities came to his mind…yard work, car washing, dog bathing, you get the picture. Awwww come on, you know you would have the same thoughts and have the same smile as I did. Just look at that face up there, exasperation can be so hilarious.

Now honestly part of what makes it so humorous is not just the insight that I get to use in the future, and you can bet that I will, but that Monkey One knew he was sunk from the minute Monkey Two caved. You see, Monkey One and I are on the same wave length. He knows me almost as well as I know him. We are two of a kind. Which is why for every single minute, from the time it took him to say that he would “NOT” be cleaning another toilet to his own catapult into defeat, I was grinning like the cat that had all of the cream and then some. He was mine and he knew it. I just love him so for at least holding out a good half hour.

So my point is… find their hook (such as video games) and reel em’ in with it.

Hee, hee…I just love it. What fun is it to have kids if you can’t mess with them just a lil’ bit every now and then.

I would love to hear about any of your “fishing” stories. Weather it’s about your kids, significant others, or siblings go ahead and tell that “tall tale”.

Tickled Red

I am sure that you are wondering “What is up with the Tickled Red”? So I will try my very best to explain it to you.  First we will start with the obvious…

1. Tickled-implies laughter and joy, which I love. In my house we are always being silly and goofy. This insanity started with my parents. My dad was actually voted class clown, and my mother has a wicked sense of humor. Plus if your are petite in stature like me, you can vouch for me…short people are on the nutty side, we love grabbing your attention because then we know we have been seen and heard 🙂 Not to mention what bully wants to pick on the funny kid in class, even though he is little. You know this is why the court jester was invented,right?Sure that’s it. So no being stuffed into a locker in our boys futures, they have their mothers genes.

2. Red-well I am a redhead. That was simple enough.

Well now kiddos all silliness aside. I truly believe that we have to find the positive in life in order get through the rough times, and those are usually the simple things in life that we take for granted or do not focus on enough during our busy days. I have recently been given enough time to focus on all of my simple pleasures. I was recently laid off from my job after 10 years. Now don’t worry, all of my crying has been done, it was needed and it helped. Life is also about balance you can’t laugh if you can’t cry. So back to why Tickled Red…since I now have the said time, I can focus on all of those things that I said I didn’t have time for, the all day cooking fest coming up with killer recepies, the mural on the wall that has been a blank white space for three years, lying on my back looking for hippos in the clouds with the two monkeys’, lunch with that girlfriend who no longer asks because you were always so busy, watching the ants build a mound in the yard, whatever TICKLES your fancy. So Tickled Red. I hope that as I learn how to do this blog, that you will come on the adventure with me of sharing all of those little pleasures in life that make it worthwhile.

Smile till it hurts 🙂

Tickled Red