Evolution of a signature

by Jessie K on March 23, 2015

IMG_6834IMG_6836IMG_6889IMG_7075IMG_9784She’s come along way, hasn’t she? I burst with pride.


Mama Crockett’s Cider Donuts

by Jessie K on January 28, 2015

mama-crocketts31Folks around Lexington and the immediate environs have been raving about Mama Crockett’s Cider Donuts. Local readers, have you had one?

Apparently, these fresh made delicacies sell out in minutes; you actually have to wait on line to get one. Waiting on line is not something we in south-central Virginia are accustomed to….unless Walmart is having  a fire sale on flat screens.

The donuts are sold out of this pint size trailer, dubbed The Shasta, by co-owners Coulter Sims and Frederick Willis, a couple of Southern Virginia University alums. Man, I love entrepreneurs…particularly donut making entrepreneurs working their magic out of the perpetually financially strapped town of Buena Vista (pronounced BEW-na Vista, for non-local readers).

The duo also operate a shaved ice business called the Shaved Ice Shack that has garnered lots of regional buzz. Over the summer, I often spotted the shack parked out in front of the old Totally Party store on Rte. 11 near the Ruby Tuesdays.

I haven’t seen their vehicles in a long time. Their Facebook page suggests they may have moved operations to Lynchburg. Can this be? Does Lynchburg have something Lexington/BV doesn’t? I mean, besides a J. Crew outlet? Anyone know? I want a donut!

(Photo credit: Brinn Willis of Almirabphotography B Photography)



Netflix’s terrible TV descriptions

by Jessie K on January 19, 2015

gillian-anderson-the-fallI’m not the first person to notice Netflix’s terrible movie summaries  but the one I read last night of the Gillian Anderson crime drama, The Fall got on my nerves.

“Ice queen homicide detective seeks cold-blooded serial killer. To catch him, she’ll need to think just like him.”

ICE QUEEN. I love that. She’s a homicide detective who tracks serial killers. Is she supposed to be warm and fuzzy? Would anyone expect her to be full of charm and daffodils? Why the gendered qualifier when her job description itself is enough to convey a flinty personality? It’s because Netflix wants to help the viewer comprehend that she’s not just a hard bitten investigator with a soul crushing job, she’s a bitch. You know, because she’s a lady detective.

You find no similarly gendered descriptions of male leads on other crime shows. They’re described as “driven,” “focused,” “tough as nails” — positive, take charge attributes. Or their characters are not described at all because the viewer does not actually need to be spoon fed such superfluous information. Homicide detectives are always pissy. Or drunk. Or emotionally broken. Or all of the above.


Disjointed Friday musings

by Jessie K on December 18, 2014

Serial ends today. I’ve been following since the first day it aired though I fear the finale may be a bit of a letdown because the threads of the story followed up on so far haven’t really led to anything more illuminating than what led to Adnan’s original conviction.  I hope to be wrong.

Can someone please tell me when exactly normal jeans starting costing upwards of $200?

Katie turned one on 12/13/14…and there was a meteor shower that night. I knew she was special. I had plans of taking away her bottle in exchange for a sippy cup promptly on that day, like I did with June, but Katie doesn’t appear to be ready to part with it.


My mother-in-law came down for the weekend to give me a break and watch the girls and I ended up going out with some childless friends until 2 a.m. Friday and — check it — 4 a.m. Saturday. I didn’t think that was possible in a small town but turns out it is (key component: hanging out with childless friends who like to party). It was all good clean fun: alcohol, dancing, laughing, ending up in a dog pile on the cold ground in the backyard watching the meteors. It was very fun and only slightly awkward.

Jake comes home for Christmas for two weeks tomorrow. We’ve been missing each other fierce. I cannot wait to see him.

I have to dress June up as a snowman for her first official holiday show tomorrow. The pressure!

Okay, I’m off to listen to the final podcast of Serial.

UPDATE: Serial went down like I thought it would: anticlimactic.


How to be a better holiday gift giver

by Jessie K on December 10, 2014

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATell me if this has ever happened to you: A relative gives you a fancy bottle of olive oil for the holidays. You’re all psyched. How did they know you liked artisanal olive oil from a remote coastal village in Italy? Such thoughtfulness. Such care. Such consideration. You turn the bottle over in your hand, marveling at its beauty, and see this…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt’s the remnant of one of those ghastly price stickers that are notoriously difficult to peel off from a discount chain like TJ Maxx, Marshalls or Home Goods.

Suddenly, the gorgeous bottle of olive oil seems slightly less special. Slightly less luxurious. You infer that it was more than likely chosen in haste during a drive by of the knick knack-slash-chocolate aisle at TJs because the relative didn’t know what the heck else to give you and it only cost $5.99 (marked down from $30, according to the claim on the sticker). And she needed some underwear.

So my advice during this holiday season: If you plan to give a luxe tchotchke from the likes of TJs, Marshalls, et al, make sure that damn sticker comes all the way off. And not just the paper part. The glue too. The glue is the dead giveaway. The glue is what says, I came for the Jessica Simpson underwear, I left with a cheap bottle of olive oil. (Not that I would know anything about this [heavy cough]).


You might as well preserve the illusion you dropped coin on the recipient. No one wants to feel like a TJ reject.

The only surefire way I’ve found of removing it is to squirt some Goo Gone on a rag and rub the bejesus out of it. I’ve also heard rubbing alcohol or nail polish remover works well. But be careful or you might rub away the fancy label too. Then it’ll just look like you found the olive oil behind a tree, or something.

I’m wondering, do YOU have any similar tips or advice for making dollar store merch look Neimen Marcus? Or any great regifting stories to share? Tis the season!



November wasn’t my month, which is why I haven’t been blogging or doing much of anything except trying to keep my head above water, what with Jake being gone and me being home alone with the two little guys for a year.

It all caught up to me in November, capped by the day June, Katie and I cruised into Walmart to buy some stuff and June immediately started complaining about feeling nauseous. I picked her up and put her in the cart so she could lie down (you can do that when you’re four) and happened to pass a tower of those aluminum turkey roasting pans. I pulled a medium sized one off the shelf and handed it to her, telling her if she needed to throw up, do it in this.

No sooner had the words left my mouth did June grasp the pan and heave into it. I didn’t realize she had already passed the Code Red stage. It tried to play it cool as families sauntered around me, casually gaping at my child’s worst hour.

When she was finished, she handed me the roasting pan full of “choke,” as she calls it, and lay back down in the cart. I wasn’t quite sure my next move. I momentarily contemplated leaving it in Aisle 5 next to the Glade Plug-Ins but propriety compelled me to at least attempt to act like a responsible grown-up.

I decided to bring the tray to the front of the store to the restrooms. June threw up at the very rear of the store. Walmart, as you know, is colossal, a vast expanse of Great Values and Hamburger Helper. There was no room in the back of the cart for the tray; rather, June would not stand to be in such close proximity to it, so I had to carry the tray while pushing the cart to the front of the store.

I instinctively didn’t want passers-by to see what was in the tray so I held it aloft, like a deliveryman carrying a pizza. This would be a crafty move if I was a tall person. I’m only 5’3 1/2 so anyone over lilliputian height could see all the mucky slosh in the tray.

I made it to the front of the store where I parked the cart right in front of the ladies room (I wasn’t about to deal with unloading both kids at this particular moment), ran inside and flushed June’s gift down the toilet. I then turned and jammed the roasting pan into the garbage receptacle along the wall. I smoothed my hair before exiting the bathroom.

I pushed my cart over to the nearest empty check out station and tried to explain the situation to the cashier. “So…uh… I need to pay for everything that’s in here, in my cart, except for this aluminum roasting pan that my daughter spewed in….that’s in the trash. In the ladies room.”

She looked confused.”Uh, lemme call a manager over, will ya?”

A manager, a female, came over. I attempted to explain the situation again. I think she could just see the coming meltdown wafting from my being because she looked at me, waved her hand, and said, “Go. Just go.”

It was like she was saying, “Been there. Done that. Cleaned it.”

She knew what I was going through. I’ve never been so grateful to a box store manager in my life.

(I did have to pay for all the other stuff in my cart first though. The aluminum roasting pan was on the house.)



10 Secret Perks of Parenthood

by Jessie K on November 10, 2014


Search Pinterest for “mom inspiration” and the first thing you’ll see is a whole bunch of quotes about why it’s wonderful to be a parent: You become more patient, less selfish, your heart grows by leaps and bounds, you strengthen your family bonds, blah, blah, blah.

Those are all well and good, but they don’t portray the whole story. There are a lot of other parenthood perks that never make their way into artfully framed wall art. Since Pinterest and its platitudes won’t provide this insight, I will. Here are ten bonus reasons why it really rules to hear yourself called Mom or Dad.

Continue reading here. 


I thought repairing it would make it look better

by Jessie K on October 30, 2014

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWith Jake gone, I’m Mrs. Fix-It. When something in this house breaks, I attempt to repair it, “attempt” being the crucial word. Our house is strewn with all sorts of little objects in need of mend. I can’t fix anything except dinner, and even that lately has been Tator Tots.

The other night, one of the jewels on June’s Elsa crown for Halloween fell off. I attempted to glue it back on. I used Gorilla Glue.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis turned out to be a big mistake. It appears that Gorilla Glue foams. A lot. June is going to have the only foaming crown out there on the streets of Elsa of Arendelle tomorrow night.

I relay this little story for your own knowledge — in the event you find yourself in a similar situation: Don’t use Gorilla Glue for mending crowns. June will just have to deal with it. I couldn’t pry that sucker off if I tried.


Halloween treat

by Jessie K on October 29, 2014

IMG_8514This is the second time I’ve made these Surprise Pumpkin Treats for Halloween. They’re pretty gross — food dye, Walmart “Crisp Rice” cereal, green frosting, green gum drop, wrapped around a chocolate-y center — yet I’ve managed to polish off two. I’m thinking about a third.

IMG_8512The under 5 crowd love ’em.

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It’s not you, it’s just your face

by Jessie K on October 28, 2014