I recently went “walkin’ in Memphis” or more like a run for fun and several car rides all over Memphis. So here’s what ya need to know before ya go.

1) DO visit Stax Records Museum. This place is amazing and has a plethora of information on the history and early days of soul music.

DON’T try to walk around with a beer. I was at a private function where the beer was served to me. I didn’t take my own and I’m sure they will not let you walk in off the street carrying one :).

2) DO visit Graceland. The famous home of Elvis Presley. It is very interesting and has tons of information on the King of Rock n’ Roll.

DON’T try to go upstairs. They won’t let you 😉

3)  DO visit the Memphis Zoo! It’s a really nice Zoo and has some great animal exhibits.

DON’T think you’re gonna feed a Giraffe without possibly getting french- kissed.

4) DO visit the Loraine Motel- the site of Dr. Martin Luther King’s assassination. You can learn a lot, and even if you don’t learn anything- it’s a gigantic piece of history and worth seeing in person. DO prepare yourself for the overwhelming emotion that will build up inside of you as you approach the site. You may have to hold back a tear.

DON’T go in the pouring rain if you want to take pictures outside (and you will definitely want to)- DON’T let your husband try to take a picture with his phone as you drive by the Loraine Motel in the rain and almost run a stop sign and nearly cause an accident that could kill his wife and then blame it on you for freaking him out when you scream AAAHHH! so that he will pay attention and stop the car so you (the wife) don’t die.
There’s lots of DO’s when visiting Memphis. Go to Beale Street, eat at B.B. King’s, go somewhere and listen to some live blues music, ride the trolley, and buy a BIG ASS BEER on the street. (I didn’t do that this trip, but I did it on an earlier trip to Memphis.) 
With all the DO’s in Memphis, try to remember a few more things not to do if you want your trip to run a little smoother. Don’t step on your husband’s big toe with your high heel when he’s in his bare feet; it will hurt him. Don’t be overly confident with your comforter on your hotel bed, if you tug hard and your hand slips off, you will punch yourself in the nose really hard. And if you must do that, don’t do it while you’re on the phone with the school counselor because you can’t scream or cry until you hang up.
And last but not least, expect your kids to do the exact opposite of the list you left for them before you left town. Expect everyone to be late for school, get hit in the face with a soccer ball and almost break their nose, expect them to need way more gas money than you thought, expect them to melt the red solo cups sitting too close to the stove instead of drinking from them so they didn’t have to dirty all the glasses, and definitely expect them to want more pizza.
Enjoy, Barrelassers 🙂


My barrelassin’ husband is a huge fan of the Waffle House. I like it okay, but it’s definitely somewhere I have to visit in moderation. It has basically become the tradition that we eat at a Waffle House on our way out of town. We take care of everything in need of our attention, e.g., car rental, gas, going over a long list with the kids of what NOT to do while we’re away; it just seems more realistic and specific than what “to do.”

Anyway, our oldest son took us to pick up the rental car we had arranged to take to Memphis, TN. The three of stopped off at the Waffle House to get our usual. It was very busy, which is typical for a Waffle House, but for the first time, they jotted our last name down on a list they were compiling of customers waiting to be seated. It didn’t take an unacceptable amount of time before we were seated, and we all knew exactly what we wanted. I ate and, in a sense, people watched and kept up with conversation while I pretty much thought the same thoughts that I have every time I visit one of their establishments: this place is loud.

This is what I want for the Waffle House; peace. Just peace. If for no other reason than simply for the health of the employees. It has occurred to me that more often than not; that place has the potential to be a complete disaster; a hot mess if you will ,(that should definitely be the name of at least one of their plates.)

As we were preparing to leave I stood in the doorway, watching with my son as my husband paid the bill. We stood there silently, looking around; our eyes darting around from one near catastrophic event to the next. It was then that my son turned to me and announced with not even a hint of sadness, “I could never work here.” It was then that I realized I was not alone in my thoughts. I responded to him with excitement, knowing that he was having the exact same experience as I was. Please do not misunderstand what I am saying. We enjoy the food and the atmosphere at the Waffle House; it is a one of a kind experience. No matter what city or town we happen to be in when we dine in one, we have always encountered kind, helpful staff and good food. We will continue to visit Waffle Houses all over the place- I’m certain. But like I explained to my son:
  This place makes me a nervous wreck, sometimes. All of the hollering, and screaming from the minute I enter the building; everyone on the staff greeting me with a screaming HELLO!!! The only quiet words spoken are the ones spoken when we’re actually ordering our meal. And although our waitress has written our order down on a tiny green notepad- from that moment on, she screams everything we just said to a cook close enough to have probably heard us when we ordered  it had it not been for all the clinging and clanging, the banging and slamming of glasses and plates in the over-crowded restaurant. Silverware seems to always be flying everywhere, yet I never actually see it; I know it’s there, because I hear it being thrown together the entire time I’m there. It sounds like all the dishes are being thrown and broken, but they’re not- they’re obviously very durable. At any given moment you can hear children speaking, a group of men and women laughing loudly, see one coffee-drinking man at the counter telling everyone around him his story, and all while listening to either a country or rock song from 1985. It makes me wonder, son, what would happen if I walked into a Waffle House one day and shouted- ‘ALRIGHT! EVERYBODY JUST CALM THE F@#* DOWN! EVERYBODY FREAKIN’ RELAX!’ And then trail off with something like- ‘today everyone is just gonna sit back and enjoy their coffee. We’re all gonna sit back and take in the sites and some of us are gonna quietly read the newspaper and ponder about some things.’

Enjoy, Barrelassers 🙂


I’ve been far too busy to post lately, but you can be sure it wasn’t due to taking care of myself or my looks. I made a trip to the grocery store so that I could be sure my teenage/adult children would have plenty of food to eat while I’m out of town, which is probably just a big waste of time since they’ll likely eat out the entire time I’m gone. I’m leaving for Memphis tomorrow, and apparently only half of me was prepared to leave the house, because I just dug the other half of me out of the bottom of a grocery bag. I mean I knew all along I would probably need to grab something for my trip, as I usually do, but after returning home and opening this particular bag, I had to ask myself…what in the hell must I look like? I better get my act together, and quick! It would appear that I was missing the color of my hair, my eyelashes, my fingernails, the color of my toenails, and the scent and feel of my soft, cocoa radiant, non-greasy skin. It seems the only thing I was prepared to leave my house with was the hair on my legs and beneath my underarms!

                                                                    It takes all of this…

 to equal this…
And a good pair of heels. Enjoy, Barrelassers 🙂