Billy’s Barbeque in Chevy Chase is a new Favorite.

Last weekend, my husband and I ventured to Lexington for a night before heading to Louisville to watch UK play Cincinnati. Chevy Chase is one of our favorite areas, and we always stop by whenever we are town. It was pretty late when we rolled in, and we were both tired, so I told Kyle that I just wanted a good beer and a BBQ sandwich the size of my face. He told me he knew the perfect spot. Off we went.

IMG_1855 (2)

My husband went to law school at UK, so he knows his way around Lexington pretty well, having lived there for three years. He never disappoints me, when he takes me places, and this spot was no different. I spotted an autographed picture of John Prine hanging on the wall, and I told him that I could definitely dig this place. The overall feel of the restaurant was very down home, Americana-Rock N Roll-Cool. All kinds of UK memorabilia, and eclectic stuff decorating the walls. Just my style. I’m not into fancy places where they give you linen napkins and a wine menu. Those places are fine, but just not my forte. I’m a “eat with my hands, watch whatever ballgame is on, and drink draft beer” kinda girl, and always will be. (You can take the girl out of Eastern Ky, but you can’t take the Eastern KY out of the girl.)

IMG_1857 (2)

Anyways, they have a really cool/quirky beer menu. I’m a fan of West Sixth Brewing, and also, Country Boy Brewing, so I had to get a Cougar Bait with my meal. I ordered the Billy Blitz, which is a pulled pork or beef sandwich topped with cole slaw, a pickle, cheese, and a tomato. It was delicious, and I felt like I was going to pop after eating it. I was tempted to try their Kentucky Burgoo which is supposedly world famous, but I decided to save that for another trip. They also offer mutton, and a variety of appetizers, but I’ve heard their jalapeno rings are the best. I also really enjoyed the fact that they serve Ale-8 in a glass bottle. So cool.

billysbbq2

Billy’s has been serving up real pit BBQ in Lexington since 1978, when two Western KY boys decided to take their area of expertise to the city. Co-Founded by Billy Parham and Bob Stubblefield, the restaurant has served many folks, and perfected their own brand of barbeque that earned them Lexington’s vote for the best BBQ in town. They certainly would have my vote, IF I were a resident of Lexington.

billysbbq

In short, if you’re in the area, or maybe if you’re from Lexington and never have visited, I suggest you give them a try. I’m not a food critic, or even a “food blogger” but I know good beer, good BBQ and a kick ass atmosphere when I see it, and Billy’s has all three.

billysbbq3

Located: 101 Cochran Road Lexington KY 40502

Phone: 859-269-9593

For additional information of history, menus and catering options, visit their website at:

www.billysbarbq.com

 

 

 

Bobby Davis Park. Hazard’s Historic Spot for Beauty and Remembrance.

 

bobbydavis2
Bobby Davis Park in the 1950s.

 

Springtime is finally here, and after the terrible winter that Eastern Kentucky has just suffered through, I am more than ready to enjoy one of my favorite spots in my hometown, Bobby Davis Museum and Park. My home is only a couple of miles away from this beautiful, as well as historic piece of Hazard, so I am privileged enough to be able to venture down and enjoy it whenever I want to. Many people have no clue how special this place is, and what a true labor of love it was for the man who founded the memorial, and later to our late Mayor Bill Gorman, who had an extensive role in making the park what it is today. To be able to really understand the true significance of the park, as well as it’s real beauty, I feel it’s important to look back to see how, and above all,  why it all began.

IMG_1988 (2)

Lawrence Davis, one of Hazard’s most prominent business men, was at the epicenter of the war effort in Hazard during WWII. Davis helped to found (perhaps) the first Civil Defense Council in Eastern Kentucky, directly after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Davis, and his committee of a select few prominent Hazard businessmen organized scrap drives every week, with all stores closed on Wednesday afternoons. Perry County never missed filling, or going high above any quota set for gathering scrap metal, or purchasing bonds. There was also one other factor that kept Davis pushing so hard to support Uncle Sam. His only son had joined the war effort and was overseas fighting for his country.

bdp2

Between developing a subdivision in Miami (where Davis spent his winters) and his involvement in the Defense Council, Davis was an extremely busy man, but somehow he managed to purchase an unnoticed 4-acre tract of land within the city limits of Hazard. His intent was to eventually develop a modern home and property for his only son, Bobby, who was in service at the time. After years of planning, the bottom dropped out of all of his intentions when in the summer of 1945, the Davis family received word their only son had been killed in Germany, the result of a train accident.

bdp3

After a month spent in deep mourning for his only son, Davis soon found a new form of use for the four acres of land he purchased and soon he gathered a few of his closest friend and told them of his intentions to build a living memorial for his late son. Being a master at landscaping and calling on the best architects available, Mr. Davis built the library that overlooks Davis Street above Hazard in one of the loveliest spots in Kentucky. The original plan to have 20,000 volumes of the best books available to readers of the city and county has been completed. Davis also spent a quarter of a million dollars of his own money to install a swimming pool and picnic grounds that are used during the summer seasons.The swimming pool, during that time, was one of the first public swimming pools around the area, even offering swimming lessons.

bdp4

The piece of the memorial, however, that was closest to the hearts of The Davis family was the reflecting pool, surrounded by four walls of native stone, with bronze plates displayed, that held the names of 188 Perry County boys, including Bobby, who gave their lives in the service of their country during WWII. Beneath each plate was an azalea that blossomed every Memorial day in May, the plaque at the entrance of the park read simply, “Let time never erase the memory of these Perry County boys who made the supreme sacrifice during WWII.” To my understanding now, the reflecting pool has now since been converted into the Heritage Herb Garden, but you can still see the bronze stones with the names inscribed, an eerie, but heart wrenching tribute to our lost county boys all those years ago.

bdp5

Late in the 1950s the City of Hazard elected not to fill the pool when larger and better equipped swimming pools were built around the community. After the late 1950s and 1960s when the park was somewhat neglected the Perry County Garden Club began plans for revitalization. Other individuals and organizations in the community pitched in to clean and restore the park in the early 1970s. Hazel Davis, wife of Lawrence, was a member of the Garden Club in Perry County, and it was said that the reflecting pool and the rose gardens were her favorite places. After the completion of the museum, LO Davis built himself and Mrs. Davis a home to overlook the rose gardens, where they would spend their summer stays in Hazard.

bdp9

bobbydavispool
Bobby Davis Pool in the 50’s, Jonnie Jane Shackleford is the lifeguard.
IMG_1996
The area that used to be the swimming pool.

 

Late in 1983 restoration began in the Bobby Davis Memorial Park to fulfill another dream for the stone building, and that was to fill it with artifacts and photographs depicting the history of Hazard and Perry County. Mr. Davis with the help of W. R. Hall established Perry County’s first local history museum.

bdp6

In August 1984 the City of Hazard Officially dedicated the Bobby Davis Museum and Park. This had been the dream of Lawrence Davis as he had inscribed on the plaque located outside the main door which states:

“This library, museum and park was built and given to the people of Perry County by Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence O. Davis in memory of their only son Robert Oren Davis killed in Germany July 13, 1945 “

bdp11

On December 18, 1992 the building was gutted by fire. The Mayor of Hazard, Bill Gorman, immediately initiated construction of a new and better museum building, and by August 1993 the structure was ready for dedication. In  a 2014 article written by WKYT, Martha Quigley, the museum’s director is quoted as saying, “I remember the night of the fire. He was standing out front seeing what was going on. Tears were rolling down his face. He felt very close to this park and he felt very close to what we do here.”

Since the fire, the building and museum has been fully restored. Not only does the building house a library, but also oral archives, photographs, historical documents, oral history tapes, personal artifact collection and a Museum Store with homemade crafts and goods. Many citizen committees and community organizations have breathed new life into the Park, restoring it to it’s former beauty while bringing new forms of enjoyment to the people of Perry county by way of the property. Many weddings, showers, and parties are held here during the summer and fall months, and activities such as “Summer in the Park, “The Heritage Herb Festival”, and “Cocktails in the Garden” have rejuvenated interest and attraction.

bdp8

I went to park/museum today to take the photos that you see pictured, and even these do not do it justice. As long as I can remember, I have always been in awe at how beautiful and peaceful this wonderful little place is. Many Hazardites have fond memories here, maybe from the 1950’s when you could come and swim in the public swimming pool. Perhaps a family member’s name lies inscribed in bronze as one of the few and brave who lost their life fighting for their country. Others have been married here, taken play dates here, or simply just come to enjoy what a beautiful and historic place it is. That would be the category that I fall under. Whatever the reason, this place is near and dear to many hearts in Perry county, both young and old, and continues to inspire us and make us appreciative of the circumstances by which this memorial came about, and the man whose dream came into reality in honoring the son he loved so much, but tragically lost. Let us all remember the sacrifices of those who served, but also gain new appreciation and admiration for this park, as well as the late Davis family who contributed so much to our lovely, Hazard and to the people of Perry County.

hazeldavis
Bobby, Lawrence and Hazel Davis

Photo Credits for Davis Family Picture and 1950s Bobby Davis Postcard: WSGS & Hazard-Perry.Com

Additional Sources:

cityofhazard.com

wkyt.com

10 Things You Should Never Say to Mothers

There is one thing that I’ve learned since becoming a Mom, people will say the weirdest/most insulting things to you and not even know they are doing it. Some of the things that have been said to me since having my children have both made me laugh and caused steam to barrel out of my ears. Here are some of my all time favorites, and the ones that I hear the most. Whether you are a SAHM, working Mom, or a Mother still going to school, I’m sure everyone can relate!

 

1: You look great for having two kids.

This is the equivalent of asking someone if they are sick when they aren’t wearing makeup. Would I look like shit if I hadn’t had children, considering? This may not insult some people, but I’ve always felt that this was a double edged sword. Just tell Moms they look great, and leave out the “for having kids” part.

 

2: Wow. You dressed up today.

Grrrrr. Yes, I am a human being and a woman aside from being a Mom. Sometimes I like to feel good about myself and wear my nice clothes, and smell like something other than baby vomit. People find it so hard to believe when I wear nice stuff. News flash, I own more than pajamas and an apron.

 

3: What do you do all day?

Mani-Pedis and Netflix marathons. This pisses me off to no end. Yeah, I may be a stay at home mother, but I rarely have any time for myself. Every moment I’m home with my children, it’s devoted to them, or to maintaining my household. I wish I could stay at home all day and just have me time, but it doesn’t work that way with a three year old and a toddler. Don’t ask this question, especially if you have literally no clue what you are talking about.

 

4: You mean, you let your kids watch TV?

Yes, to keep my sanity and get house work done, I let them watch whatever the hell they want to. Judge on, judgy pants.

 

5: Do you ever regret having kids?

I am always so floored when people ask me this question. I feel like this question is in the same category as asking political opinions, and how much money someone makes. Why would you ever ask a person this? I had both of my boys young, but that does not give anybody an excuse to ask me this. People never cease to amaze me.

 

6: Don’t you miss your kids while you’re at work?

I have a lot of Mom friends that work, go to school and balance their careers  and I have heard several people ask them this question numerous times. Obvious answer, of freaking course they miss their kids when they are working, going to school, etc. What is wrong with people!? Don’t ask something that is obvious. This burns me up just as much as when someone asks me what I do all day.

 

7: Oh, so you’re just a Mom, huh.

Yeap, I am just raising two human beings, trying to make sure they have futures, turn out to be gentleman and make the world a  better place. No big deal.

 

8: How do you do it all?

I see this on social media all the time, especially towards women who are mothers and continue to go to school, or work, etc. Why is it so hard for people to realize that women can do it all, and have it all. Men can work, go to school and be fathers and nobody questions it, but when a woman does it, it;s suddenly unbelievable. Kudos to all your Mothers out there who are raising your kids and kicking ass at everything else, including school and work. Keep on keeping on, ladies.

9: Just call a sitter and come with us.

I wish it was that easy. I need days in advance to plan an outing. I need to know the exact time I am leaving, coupled with what time I will be back and an itinerary of everything in between. Not to mention finding somebody I trust enough to leave my children with…..right now I have a handful of  people; their grandmothers, cousins and a life long friend….

 

10: So, when you are gonna have another one?

Don’t. Just DON’T!

 

Kentucky Basketball as told by Hunter S. Thompson |The Bourbon Soaked Mom

Hunter S. Thompson, late author of “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” and “The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved” (among others)  was known as the founder of gonzo journalism, and reveled in his own brand of drunk and drug riddled depravity. A cultural phenomenon, Thompson was unabashedly honest, brash and using his own sense of humor and intelligent wit, created some interesting and ground breaking work. It just so happens that he was a Kentucky boy…

Born in Louisville Kentucky, he remained a die-hard UK fan until his death in 2005. In his later years he was a sports writer for ESPN.  I have picked a few of my favorite quotes from some of his tournament editorials to describe all of BBN’s feelings on UK basketball, March Madness, and the NCAA Tournament.

On March Madness:

March is a month without mercy for rabid basketball fans. There is no such thing as a ‘gentleman gambler’ when the Big Dance rolls around. All sheep will be fleeced, all fools will be punished severely… There are no Rules when the deal goes down in the final weeks of March. Even your good friends will turn into monsters.

 

Remember this, folks – I am a Hillbilly, and I don’t always bet the same I talk. Good advice is one thing, but smart gambling is quite another.

 

On Winning it ALL:
I have learned, in my life and work as a sportswriter, that big-time Sports and big time Politics are not so far apart in America. They are both a means to the same end, which is victory…..and why not? Victory is good for you, and don’t let anybody tell you any different.
 On the NCAA Tournament:
I have warned many times about the guaranteed dangers of betting with your heart instead of your head – big darkness, soon come – but every once in a while you get a fair chance to have it both ways, and the annual NCAA basketball tournament is one of them.
 
And now, back to the cruel realities. Indeed, I am stuck with Kentucky again, and this time around I feel pretty good about it. You bet, let us rumble. I have already bet heavily on Kentucky against the field — at odds I see no need to disclose, at this moment, except to say that if my Bluegrass people do win the national title this year, I will be flying into Las Vegas on my own jet plane for the next heavyweight fight, or maybe just for a spectacular orgy at the Palms. We will see.
 
 I am a professional sports writer, among other things, and I take the games seriously. It is only one of my many powerful addiction and I don’t mind admitting any of them.

On DUKE:

Duke is an ugly word in Kentucky. Nothing in the world compares to the joy of beating those hateful swine from Duke.
I will bet heavily on every game, for many reasons and with many people. But in my heart I crave beating Duke even more than I crave the national championship.
On Arizona:
I hate Arizona, because they have caused me extreme grief in my gambling adventures over the years, particularly against Kentucky. Horrible, horrible…. I remember one monumentally rotten experience when my great and good old friend, Ed Bradley, strolled into my parlor on a Saturday afternoon, and beat me out of 4,000 green dollars right in front of my own eyes, in my own kitchen, with all the others watching like greedy barnyard animals. He flogged me on something like 22 straight side-bets in the course of yet another painful loss to Arizona. It was one of the ugliest days of my life.
On Pitino:
 
Former UK coach Rick Pitino should not be getting any sleep at all between now and whenever his crippled Cardinals have to take on Kentucky again in the East Regional. The password for this one is Beware.
Bleeding Blue:
 
I am more than just a serious basketball fan. I am a life long addict. I was addicted from birth, in fact, because I was born in Kentucky and I learned, early on, that habitual domination was a natural way of life.
That is why I say that I am “stuck with Kentucky” again this year. Hell, a blue-grass boy with a gambling habit could do a lot worse than being stuck with the SEC champion and No. 1 seed in this final showdown among the nation’s best college basketball teams. It is the most dramatic event in sports — and never-mind the World Series or the Kentucky Derby or even the three-hour Superbowl. I love all these things, but for long-running, heart-breaking, high-speed big money athletic competitions in the U.S.A., nothing compares to what Dr. Vitale calls “The Big Dance.”
 
 That is why we gamble on these things. For myself, I would much prefer to be stuck with Kentucky in the NCAA Tournament, than stuck with George Bush in the White House. It is the difference between losing your wallet at a cock fight and losing all your credit cards forever, along with your job and your house and your ability to earn enough money to pay off your sports-gambling debts or even a six-pack on game day. Forget about winning your office pool, bubba.
 
As for who wins that game … well, you could flip a coin, but I won’t. No, I will live or die with Kentucky, as always. But I will wait for the injury reports until the very last moment before committing totally. Until then, it is all a matter of personal fouls and foul shots.
  The quote that personifies every blue-blooded Kentuckian ever:
“The first time I ever managed to pick up a basketball, I just knew I was destined to lead UK to another National Championship.Even now, so many years later, I still believe Kentucky will go undefeated in March and win everything.”

 Kentucky has certainly bought the ticket, now we’re all taking the ride.
.

Memories from the Mountain; Reflections of Appalachia.

“Daughter of Appalachia” is a title that I have worn proudly my entire life. Every word that leaves my mouth is tinged and wrapped in that special “twang” we all know so well, and even if I wanted to, I’d never be able to hide where I’m from. Northerners and Southerners alike can always peg my accent, and usually add some quip that I’m too country for country and too southern for the south, I have to be from Appalachia, or most of the time, Kentucky. Yes sir, or yes ma’am, I’m from South Eastern Kentucky, I always reply. Most of the time, I get some jumbled joke about The Dukes of Hazzard (because obviously) or asked if we have shoes (depending on how far up north I am, because Yankees are generally clueless) and I smile, and nod, and go on because no one on earth except the generations of people who have grown up in Appalachia can know and understand how wonderful and special it is to call these mountains home.

If you were raised here, you know exactly to what I am speaking . Appalachia is so much more than an area, it’s an entire culture and region of people with a unique way of life. Appalachia, for some, may have different meanings, but to me it symbolizes many things: life, mountains, music, food. So much goes into Appalachian living that makes it so different from any other space on earth. I am positive that no one in the entire world lives their life like we do in the Appalachians. Good, or bad, you decide for yourself, but I wouldn’t trade my heritage for anything.

I know what it’s like running helter-skelter down a gravel road with only the wind at your back and mountains over the horizon. I know the feel of smooth bedrock beneath bare feet, and slimy green algae between toes in a gently flowing creek. I can still pick out the best craw-dad holes, recognize a gin-sing patch, know better than to go creeping up on somebody’s pot patch during harvest, and I’m not afraid to bait any kind of hook. I’m from a place where the whole family crams together at Grandma’s house for dinner. Golden fried chicken, dipped in puddles of gravy, with okra and fried cabbage, dripping with grease. The smell of morning dew, tobacco hanging in a barn, the foul and musty odor of a chicken coupe and the way it feels to literally wash the mountains off your skin after a day in the hills, will all remain the perfume trigger points of my (eccentric) but overall jolly childhood.

Legends and lore have been passed down from generation to generation. Tall tales, mingled with Indian legends and folklore that almost everyone believes in, and they continue to keep alive. We are the offspring of grand story tellers, troubadours, cowboys, and outlaws. We have the moonshiners, stills nestled up deep in the hills, perfectly hidden and producing the finest white lightning you can wet your whistle with. Real life mountain dew. We’ve got marijuana farmers, patches that play cat-and-mouse every summer with helicopters and police with large knives. We have tobacco farmers, forgotten heroes, who break their backs so we, and the rest of the world, can kill ourselves with cigarettes. We’ve lived on this land for decades, forged our lives from unimaginable circumstances and near impossibilities. We have built our communities from dust. We’ve known defeat, victories, and even in times of hardship, we’ve always survived.

I recall the boom of the coal business. The roads -thick with black dust. Coal trucks, stuffed and overflowing with the area’s lifeblood, would fly around two lane curves, like children with Halloween bags; so plentiful that no worry was given to the pieces that fall from the top. Trains would be gorged to the brim with loads of black gold, ready to be transported. I live in town, and hearing the long, and low whistle of the night train always sends a melancholy shiver down my spine, for whatever reason, even now. Everywhere you went, you’d see black sooted miners in their uniforms, running errands after work. Or you might have caught them before their shift, anticipating the day ahead. I remember the economy. The businesses. The energy. The good times. Coal is still here, maybe not as booming as it once was, but it’s undeniably one of the driving forces of Appalachia, both past and present. Regardless of whether the mineral is still in the mountains or in a railroad car, its still in our blood and in our minds.

Being a product of an Appalachian upbringing has instilled in me many things. Hard-work, honesty, loyalty, respect, perseverance and independence. It has also borne something else.  I’m not sure, for me, when it happened, but I have an instinctual closeness and kinship with this land that has provided for me for so long. I cannot describe the feeling in depth, all I can say is that I have an innate need to defend this piece of Earth to outsiders. There is a  need to tell people, and let them know, that this place is better than what everyone else seems to think. We are a people who have braved the edge and lived through it all. We are a people who have foraged and settled and withstood. I supposed you can attribute my feelings to the same love and determination passed down from distant ancestors who came here to start new lives and carried with them forever, that same kinship and love for these mountains. It is damn near impossible to pull away from that iron clad grasp that these rolling hills will forever hold on my heart.

So you see, when I say that I am a daughter of Appalachia, I mean that this region has mothered me in more ways than one. We are people who are proud of our heritage, who have soft hearts for these mountains, and sharp tongues for anyone who tries to belittle our homeland. Love of this land started very early for me, and has only deepened with the passing of years. I know how it feels to go on vacation, and feel the elation and satisfaction of getting the first glimpse of the world outside these mountains; like a child who finally gets the strength and height to peek their eyes from the window to the world outside. Most of us dream of leaving and seeing the greener grass outside the mountain ridges. Some of us will get that opportunity, but for me, the discovery of new places has never found a way to outweigh the feeling of coming home. Salt, sand, the ocean, big cities, bright lights, it’s all fine and good, but to pick a place to breathe, live and die… give me my mountains. I’m proud to say Appalachia/Eastern Kentucky is my home, my heritage, my past, my present, and my future.

 

 

Photo Credit: Robert Hall

Yes, this photo is also a picture of my hometown, a little place nestled in the foothills of the Appalachian mountains, the queen city herself, Hazard Kentucky.

 

 

Profile of a Young “Eastern KY” Professional: Celena Baker

A young professional is someone that is defined as a 20 or 30 something, who is ambitious, successful, career oriented, business savvy and independent. Eastern Kentucky, currently has a situation concerning young professionals. Most of my generation, who were born and raised here, will seek education elsewhere, and more than likely, move away after they graduate, providing services in another more profitable area of the state or country. This has been a local story, for quite a while. While this is completely understandable, it also makes it appropriate for me to shine light on a young professional who has not only received her training right here in Eastern Kentucky, but has also settled here, built her OWN business here, and has enjoyed much success here, while also giving back to her community.

Celena Nicole Baker, owner and operator of the newly opened salon and spa, “The Parlour” is a well know hair stylist and entrepreneur, around Eastern Kentucky. January marked the 10th anniversary for Celena’s career, and it proved to be a happy occasion for her. She was also able to celebrate a life long dream, bringing a full-scale operational spa and salon to the people of Hazard and Eastern Kentucky.

In addition to being born and raised here, Ms. Baker received her education and training here. She decided to render her services to Eastern Kentucky, after graduation. Baker has been working for herself since the age of 21. Once upon a time, she was co-owner of the popular salon “NVU”, for nine years, until leaving to start her new business venture. “The Parlour”, has allowed her to materialize her dream of creative and entrepreneurial freedom.

The Parlour is located at 8 Bomber Drive in Hazard, Kentucky and offers a variety of services. Erica Anderson and Teresa Patrick also offer hairstyling, manicures, pedicures, and as of April, these services will include facials, and spray tans.

Celena is a very passionate animal lover, and offers cruelty free color, as much as she can, and she also carries a line of cruelty free products for those who share her love and enthusiasm for animals. Celena is  active in animal rescue, and feels strongly about putting an end to lab testing and torture.

the parlous 3

While being your own boss has it’s perks, it can also prove difficult. For a hairstylist, time is not only your own, but those of your clients. If someone is on a strict appointment schedule, it is important for clients to call and say they are going to be late, or if they have to cancel, to do it in a timely manner so that the hairstylist can fill the vacant slot in order to not capitalize on their time. This also allows the business to give consideration to other clients who are waiting to have their hair, nails or facials done. One missed or late appointment can throw the entire day and schedule off track. Upon writing this blog, Celena urged me to remind people of this, as it affects not only her, but all stylist in our region, as well as their clients. It is so important to remember to be efficient and courteous as clients, and afford your stylist the same respect that they afford you. These things are especially true in a small town.

Celena feels extremely blessed for the clientele and following she has obtained and catered to, since her early years. She loves each and every one of you. One of the best and most rewarding parts about being a small town business owner is the amount of love, loyalty and familiarity received throughout the years of service. Clients are not only clients around here, but quickly become family.

I’m not writing this piece about Celena just because she is my hair stylist, but because I admire her in many ways. To me, she represents a dying breed for our younger generation. She possesses the drive, intuition, intelligence and brawn to forge her own way in Eastern Kentucky and has made an absolute success of it. She is the epitome of a young person who has stayed true to her roots and has used her knowledge and skill to give back to her community and her hometown. To have the gumption to start a business, build it up, give it your all, while chasing your dreams, and then eventually go completely out on your own and take a leap of faith is something extraordinary. To do so in a small town where few have the want or ability to push any new start ups, or even think of going into business for themselves, is something commendable.

“Providing local” walks hand-in-hand with “buying local”, another integral part of revitalizing our region. Our local economies were hit the hardest, in the recent “recession”, and our local economies will be the last to bounce back. When they do bounce back, I firmly believe it will be on the backs of our local people. I know that large businesses monopolize the sale of goods and services in our area. We should all realize that those businesses take our money, lock it in a box, and ship it too their bank, which is not in eastern Kentucky. It is much better to keep our money circulating in the mountains, but I know that buying local is often associated with a slightly higher price tag. Some of us need the products and services for the lowest price they area available. There is nothing wrong with that. However, if you have been blessed with the ability to buy local, you should.

I believe it is impressive what Celena has done, and is continuing to do. She is not just providing a great salon and spa, she is providing another way in which we can support our local economy, and for that, we should support her. We can all learn a lot from her, and her journey. Not to mention, we can count ourselves lucky that we have folks like her to keep all the ladies of Hazard and surrounding areas looking fabulous.

Phone Number: (606) 438-7714

Look for the official “Parlour” Facebook page for more information about what services are provided and how to book an appointment.

the parlour1the parlous 2

 

 

 

 

McIntosh Bourbon Sauce Topping

Three of my all time favorite treats. Apples, Ice Cream and Bourbon. How is there any way you can go wrong with this combination? This sauce is delicious, and can be used in a variety of different ways, but I like to put it on top of Kay’s Vanilla Ice Cream. You can use basically any type of apple, obviously, but my favorite are McIntosh because they have a good bite to them, and I went cheap and just used Evan Williams bourbon, but any bourbon will do.

bourbonsauce2

  • 2 McIntosh Apples
  • 1 oz Bourbon of choice
  • 1/2  Teaspoon of Cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 Cups Milk
  • 2 Tablespoons Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Flour
  • 1 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil
  • 2 Teaspoons Butter or Margarine
  1. Take two teaspoons of butter, 1 tablespoon of oil, and 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon and put in small pot on medium heat.
  2. Finely chop one McIntosh apple.
  3. Put chopped apple in pot and add 1 tbsp of sugar and 1/2 cup of milk.
  4. Keep on medium heat until it starts to bubble.
  5. Turn to medium-low heat.
  6. Cover and let simmer until apples become soft, stirring occasionally.
  7. Take 2nd apple and cut into large quarters. Set aside.
  8. In a large bowl, combine 1 cup of milk, 2 tablespoons of flour, 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon and an oz of bourbon, and mix.
  9. Put apples in pot, pour mixture over top, stir on low heat until it thickens.
  10. Serve hot over ice cream, or dessert of choice.

bourbonsauce1

To My Baby on his 1st Birthday

Yesterday my baby celebrated his first birthday. Most of the day I was nostalgic, looking through my phone at all the hospital pictures, milestones, holding back tears while viewing videos of his first steps, and marveling at how much he’s changed in just one short year. Short would be an understatement. It feels like the space between bringing him home, and now has been only a few jumbled, tiresome, but joyous weeks. I still have a hard time making myself come to the realization that I no longer have a baby on my hands, he’s a toddler.

IMG_1457 (2)

From the moment I first saw two blue lines on that fateful test, I could not wait to meet my baby boy. I always knew that River was going to be a “he”. You can call it “Mom intuition” or whatever, but I just knew. I went out and bought up everything blue that I could find, and I couldn’t wait to decorate the nursery with sail boats, and anchors. Greyson was so excited, if not a little confused about getting a “bubby” but he would pat my belly and curiously ask why we put his old crib back up. Everyone could not wait for the day he arrived, and even through a painful false labor, having to be hospitalized at 36 weeks, and a nasty snow storm, River Scott arrived into the world on March 5, 2014 a bouncing 9 pounder……and was three weeks early. Everyone in the room laughed when I ordered my Mom to go straight to Pine Mountain Grill and load me up one of their famous salads…… but I was too busy coddling my baby boy to even eat it, and hours later my husband ending up having it for his supper while I was asleep. Food could wait at a time like that…

Bringing River home seems hazy to me now. I was in a lot pain, severely anemic and (dumbly) I had refused a blood transfusion that would have made me feel a world better. I settled into the routine of caring for two. I watched him as he got bigger. I felt so proud the first time he stretched his arms out to reach for me. Laughed until my sides hurt the first time we coaxed him into cackling out loud. Had to fight back big fat tears the first time he uttered the word, “Mom-Mom.” As days went by I found myself ticking off more firsts. First boo boo, first solid foods, first sippy cups, first time with whole milk, first time crawling, and then one day I woke up and he was walking like he’d always been. I also had many moments that were hard, moments when I felt that I wasn’t measuring up to be the kind of Mom that this (obviously) perfect baby deserved. I cried when I wasn’t able to get the hang of breast feeding. Felt like a failure when I accidentally popped off his little belly button while changing his diaper. Felt like I should just hand myself over to social services after I let him bump his head on the coffee table. All of those moments of fear and second guessing myself were eclipsed when checkup after checkup he was healthy, thriving, advanced in his development, and most importantly…happy.

Yesterday as we put one little candle on his cake and watched as he excitedly demolished his smash cake, all the sadness and anxiety of the day left me. For the first time in weeks, I came to realize that he’s only turning one. I have so much to be thankful for, and so much to look forward to. His little life is only starting, and there is still so much to see him do. I felt weirdly ashamed of myself for being so selfish in wanting to keep him little forever.

I write this blog as something that River can look back on one day, years from now, and read the ramblings of his semi nutty Mother, who wants to keep him a baby forever, but, who would be devastated in not getting to watch him grow up. Bubs, I look forward to so much with you, and seeing you turn into a boy, and then a man, and then a husband and father.

As I get away from myself on this, I have to remind my wandering mind that there are still more birthdays, T ball games, messy dinners, scraped knees, dirty cheeks to wipe, bubble baths to give, and many moments where Mom is still needed. The year has evaporated so quickly, I wonder if the rest of them will be that way? Only more reason for me to stop and enjoy every second with both of my children. As should everyone.

In closing, I want to say, Happy Birthday to my Baby. I love you with all my heart and soul, and hope that the years ahead of you bring you nothing but joy, happiness, success, fortune and love. You’ll always be my Skittle Wittle Bubbers Bubby Turdtail.

|MOM|

 

IMG_1592 (2)

 

 

 

 

The Coal Miner’s Bride shares her Mountain Peach Bourbon Recipe with TBSM

I love anything that has to do with Appalachia, Food or Bourbon. I was so happy to see my friend, and fellow Eastern Kentucky girl, Nikki Bradley, start her own blog, and one that deals heavily with my favorite things. The Coal Miner’s Bride will give you plenty of recipe and cocktail inspiration, along with all things Eastern Kentucky & Appalachia. Here, Nikki has been kind enough to share one of her favorite Bourbon recipes. I think we can all enjoy!

 

The Coal Miner’s Bride

“Peaches, Sweet Tea, Lemonade and Bulleit Bourbon. This cocktail is all of my favorite things in one. It will leave you feeling peachy. When life hands you peaches, pour bourbon on them. I’m done. My jokes are the pit. Okay, really. I’ll stop.”

Mountain Peach

  • 1 oz. Bulleit Bourbon
  • 1 oz. Peach Schnapps
  • Sweet Tea
  • Lemonade
  • Sliced Peaches, fresh or canned, optional
  • Ice

 

mountainpeach

I used a wide mouth Mason jar to make this cocktail.

I added two sliced peaches to the bottom of the jar. I then added the Bulleit Bourbon and the Schnapps.

I then filled my jar with ice and filled to the top with equal portions of lemonade and sweet tea.I added the lemonade first, followed by the tea. It makes a pretty ombre drink.

Give it  a stir to combine flavors and add another peach slice on top for garnish.

mountainpeachwhiskey

This recipe has been brought to my readers from Miss (soon to be Mrs.) Nikki Bradley of her Appalachian “cool” blog, The Coal Miners Bride.

coalminersbride

“Family, food and the bluegrass state has always filled my heart. I’m a bourbon drinker, cookbook collector and soon-to-be bride of a coal miner. I love to cook Appalachia comfort food, share recipes, stories and I take great pride in being an East Kentuckian.” -Nikki

For more recipes and blogs from Nikki, go to www.coalminersbride.com!

20 Hilarious Pictures that put Parenting into Perspective.

Being a parent is really odd. I love being a Mom, and I find myself doing things for my kids that I never dreamed. My kids keep me laughing, and hopefully will continue to keep me young. I was going through my phone and was dying from some of these pictures and I wanted to share them with my readers. Parenting personified…..

 

parenting

1: You will do the most ridiculous things for your children.

This was myself and my husband with G last Halloween. I was Wendy Darling, Kyle was Captain Hook, and of course, G was Peter Pan. River isn’t pictures, but he was Mr. Smee, and it was hilarious. They loved it, and we had the best time, even though people were taking pictures and running red lights to look at Captain Hook driving down the road in Hazard, Ky….

parenting2

2: Did I mention how tired you are all the time?

I literally had blue jeans and boots on in this pictures but was so tired, I didn’t bother to take them off. River was maybe three days old.

parenting3

3: Kids have an uncanny ability to get dirty, messy, etc.

This was spaghetti night at my house and I all but took a Brillo pad to River to get him clean. It’s basically like this after every meal, that’s why he gets three baths a day and numerous baby-wipe wipe-downs.

parenting5

4: Mornings are the worst for all involved.

These little turds have been up partying all night with a bottle and you’ve been with them. No matter how little sleep they get, it seems like they are always up at the crack of dawn ready to go and they will be fussy, and demanding, and cranky but it’s okay, you feed em anyway,

parenting7

5: All bets are off when sugar is involved.

I never understood as a kid why I wasn’t allowed to have candy or mountain dew, but now I freakin get it. That stuff is the equivalent of baby crack and even one cup cake has my seemingly normal three year turning into the spawn of Satan. A MESS.

parenting8

6: Pizza is your go-to form of sustenance.

My oldest is so freaking picky, it aggravates me to death. But, he will ALWAYS eat pizza, even in the rain with his redneck swimming pool after stepping in dog poop…

parenting9

7: Somehow they always manage to take selfies on your cell phone.

River was maybe 6 months old here, but as you can see, he managed a ceiling fan selfie. I have no clue, I just found it on my phone and didn’t ask questions.

parenting10

8: Your kids will always steal the show, just hop on into the backseat for now.

That’s my three year old dancing on my Grandma’s kitchen table. Why? Because his brother was showing how he could walk early and G needed all the attention. Check mate.

parenting11

9: Letting them dress themselves can be weird and hilarious.

I took Greyson out looking like Bob Dylan to the grocery store, and he never even took the sunglasses off. I’m not sure how many high fives he gave out but I was seriously uncomfortable….

parenting12

10: If you have multiples, you’re more than likely also doing a referee gig on the side.

That would be my angelic 11 month old, pulling the hair of my three year old. I have a bully and a pacifist on my hands, and it is not in the order you would think…(yes, the dog has a ring-side seat)

parenting13

11: When they know they’re in trouble they will do something like this that is so sweet and cute that you forgot what they did wrong in the first place.

parenting14

12: Did I mention that your kids want and will get ALL of your attention?

parenting15

13: Your kids will teach you that vanity knows no age.

G checks himself out in the mirror and gives himself a kiss every time he brushes his teeth. I can’t wait til the teen years! YAY!

parenting16

14: Christmas time can get super awkward.

This picture makes me cringe. I was 7 months pregnant, Santa was weird and G was terrified. It’s framed and hanging up in my house.

parenting17

15: Your kids want it all. Making decisions…what is that?

parenting19

18: There’s a lot of vomiting involved.

I’m so desensitized to it know, I will let them yak into my hands in public. AH well.

parenting18

19: When your kids want to play “Jake” in a kiddie pool, you play “Jake” in a kiddie pool.,..AND YOU LIKE IT!

This picture pretty much sums up my entire summer last year, and probably the summer coming….he busted my mouth right after this was snapped, and made me cry.

parenting21

20: Lots of nudity. I honestly can’t get my oldest to wear clothes. I just hope it’s a phase.

 

parenting20

21: There is nothing you wouldn’t do for your kids. Nothing. Nada. The love I have for my two little turd-tails know absolutely no bounds, and I thank god everyday that they love me, and that God picked me to be their Mom.

What would life be without a little bit of laughter?