10 Pieces of Truth I Want my Sons to Know |The Bourbon Soaked Mom|

Everyone tells me that boys are easy.

“Oh, you’ve got two boys. They are so much easier than having girls. No drama.”

Really? Because where I am sitting, boys have a lot on their shoulders. One day my sons are going to (if they so choose) be the head of a family, provide for their wives and children, enter the professional world and become successful fathers, husbands and providers.

That’s kind of a lot of pressure on myself and my husband to raise them to be decent, good, loving human beings. Let’s face it. I’ve met some not so great boys and even worse men along the way. I look at those examples as everything I want my boys NOT to be.

In the spirit of looking to the future, (my boys have birthdays coming up) I thought of some of the little things I want my boys to know as they get older. Thinking of them growing up is hard, but with a little bit of humor, and truth, this piece has been fun to write on a snowy Sunday morning.

1: Being the “good guy” is always better than being the “bad boy.” 

I’m not sure who made this a thing, but being a bad boy who gets the girl in popular culture is something I’m over. I get it, Danny was adorable in his leather T-Birds jacket and bad attitude, but now bad boy means something different.

“Girls love bad boys”. Eye roll. It’s 10-1 better to be someone in a position to get good grades, who people respect, and who is a compassionate, caring and worthy of someone’s time.

Please, for the love of God, don’t get swept up in this macho crap. When you’re four misdemeanors in, and your Daddy can’t get you out of MCR because you’re too far gone and the Judge throws the book at you, we’ll see how much you wanna be “the bad boy”. I will let you sit in jail and think of how stupid you were, trust me.

I’m telling you boys, I will bust your ass if you turn out like this.

2: That girl you’ll fall for in high-school will not be your soul mate. 

This girl, she’ll be beautiful and perfect and probably a wonderful girl. I’ll love her and welcome her into our family. She’ll be around for a while, maybe four years even. She isn’t your soul mate. I promise, there’s life beyond high school. She will find it and so will you. Please, don’t go thinking you’ve found the one when you’re 17. Don’t neglect your friends, or not go on senior trip because so-and-so isn’t going. Don’t only do things with her, and get so caught up in being someone’s boyfriend that you miss high-school, those years are so fun and you can’t get them back.

Now, if by some chance you prove me wrong and end up marrying this gal, I’ll be the happiest person on planet earth. IF….she meets my standards as a person, future wife and future mother of my Grandchildren. And that’s a very strong IF.

3: When in doubt, ALWAYS open the car door.

Ya’ll are little right now, but I am going to make sure you know the importance of being gentlemen. It’s a lost art that is really only intact here in the South because of Moms like me who stress it’s ever loving importance. You should always treat ladies with nothing less than the respect you treat me, your Mother. I don’t care how much you dislike someone, if she’s a lady you better be respectful, gracious and mindful of your manners. This means opening doors for old biddies, saying Yes Ma’m to the horrible teacher you can’t stand, and helping carry groceries out of Food City for anyone who is pregnant, has a thousand kids, or just needs your general manly help. Remember this.

4: Sports are fun, but I doubt you’re ever going pro. Sorry, honey. 

Sports are fun, but they are for recreational purposes only. I will always let my children play whatever they want to play, and never force them if they don’t want to. What I disagree with is being a stage Mom who believes ya’ll are gonna be D1 prospects by the time you graduate high-school. I know those chances are slim, and while I would love for that to happen for you guys and you all to make millions tossing around some sort of ball, it’s unrealistic. You will play for fun and fun only. No crazy soccer Mom stuff from me, I promise.

5: I don’t expect you all to be lawyers like your Dad. BUT, you’ll get some type of an education if I have to drag you every step of the way. 

Do I expect ya’ll to suffer through law school like your Dad? No. But I’ll say this, it’s very hard to make it in the world unless you have an education. There are plenty of options if “school just isn’t for you.” You will have some sort of education or educational training before I turn you loose in the world.

6: I know you’re going to try to sneak out, try alcohol, and run wild. You can’t outsmart me. I’ve done it all. 

Please. I’ve already scoped out which windows are accessible from ground level, and what doors open silently without so much as a creak. I know your sneaky tricks, trust me, because I was a sneaky trickster once myself. SPOILER ALERT: You can’t get anything over on me. You can’t fool me. You can’t come home with a mouth full of vodka and try to hide it. I WILL CATCH YOU. If you try to sneak out of my house, I will find you and embarrass you.

Like my Dad always told me,

“You can’t outs*** a bullsh*****.”

7: There will be a lot of times that you won’t particularly like your Dad and myself. I understand it. 

There will a lot times when you slam your door and curse my name. I promise you, everything I do is for your own good. I promise, you’ll get it one day when you have kids of your own and all you want to do is keep them in a glass bubble. When I tell you no to going somewhere, it’s because I know what you’ll do once you’re there. If I tell you that those friends you like so much are no good, it’s because they aren’t. Only a Mom has your best interests at heart.

8: The world is a big place, go explore. 

I want nothing more for you guys than to go out and explore. See the world. Do all the things I never did, see everything I never have. I would love for you to see life beyond this small town. Travel, see different countries, taste different foods, experience different cultures. Figure out what you want out of the world and go get it. Life is too short not to.

9: Never settle for anything, baby. 

Never settle for anything. Never. Never settle for crappy friends. A crappy life. A crappy job. Make your life yours, under your own terms and be sure that everything you have is what you want. Don’t stop until you’re completely happy.

10: Wherever life takes you, remember one thing. I love you and you can always come home. 

If you hit some bumps along the way, know that your rooms are still here and you can always come home, regroup and recharge. Complete with a home cooked meal and plenty of Dad jokes from your Father.


 

Maybe I’ll give this piece to the boys when they’re old enough to read. As it is, I’m writing about them like they are already grown up and about to leave me. (They are 2 and 4) It seems like I’ll blink my eyes and that time will be here.

I always want them to remember the importance of little things, because those little things are actually big things.

I hope they never lose sight of who they are, where they come from, and the importance of being kind, honest and genuine people who are just trying to make their way in the world.

We’ll file this one in the archives under “read later” and hope until then that these boys don’t kill me.

 

Red Velvet Pancakes Stuffed with White Chocolate |The Bourbon Soaked Mom|

Warning: These pancakes should be illegal.

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I got up this morning with over a foot of snow outside and felt sorry for myself. So what did I do? I made these freaking pancakes, in the midst of an intense diet I’ve been on that I just so happened to start via the beginning of an indefinite period of snow days. Diet = ruined.

With Valentines Day coming up, I decided to use the leftovers of my Holiday fudge ingredients to whip some Valentines Day-esque pancakes for my kiddos. Hope you guys enjoy this recipe, and the snow!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of Standard Buttermilk Pancake mix
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 bag of white chocolate chips
  • 1 drop Red food coloring
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp half and half
  • Syrup (optional, seriously you really don’t need it)
  • Marsh-mellow cream (optional) 1 dollop
  1. In a large bowl, mix together pancake mix together pancake mix, water, cinnamon, and half and half.
  2. Stir until lumps are gone. Add 1 drop of red food coloring to chocolate chips in separate bowl. Stir.
  3. With a wooden spoon, fold white chocolate chips into mixture.
  4. Heat stove to medium-low heat. Grease/spray pan with oil.
  5. Cook pancakes around 1-2 minutes on each side depending on stove.
  6. Serve on plate with syrup, and top with marsh-mellow cream, or without depending on your sweet tooth.

Easy Comfort Food Chili |The Bourbon Soaked Mom|

Okay, so I know this is silly posting this recipe when it’s December and also 75 degrees out, but I couldn’t resist! This is my go-to meal when I just need to throw something together, plus who doesn’t love chilli?

I love comfort food, and this hearty chili recipe is perfect for the days (that we will get hopefully soon) that snow if flying outside and all you wanna do is curl up with a good book.

I took this recipe from a book of Eastern Kentucky coal camp recipes, when you had to make the most of your meals. My sons love this recipe, and even when I make a mega-pot it’s gone in a few days. It tastes even better when re-heated for leftovers. I’ve changed it a bit, I know everyone has their own way of making chili, and I’m not any different. Add or take away, there’s really no right or wrong way to throw it all together.

Indgredients:

  • 2 cans rotel
  • 1 can your choice tomato sauce
  • 1 chopped green pepper
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1 can red kidney beans (undrained)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 cup shells/macaroni
  •  lean ground beef or turkey
  • packet of chili powder or seasoning
  •  1 can drained mushrooms
  • 1 jalepeno pepper
  • 1 cup water
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • shredded cheddar cheese
  1. In a large pot bring water, rotel, kidney beans and tomato sauce to a boil. Turn heat down and let simmer. Add cumin, salt and pepper. Set aside.
  2. In a skillet, combine beef, onion, jalepeno, mushrooms and green pepper. Cook until meat is brown and has soaked up juices from the onion and peppers.
  3. Transfer contents from skillet into the pot with the tomato sauce and rotel. Add chilli powder or packet of chilli seasoning, and 1/2 cup of shells or macaroni. Stir occasionally and let simmer. Let shells cook until soft.
  4. Serve with cheddar cheese and crackers

I hope you all enjoy this recipe, and hopefully we may have some snow soon to go with it! Fingers crossed.

Rowdy, Kentucky|The Bourbon Soaked Mom|

As human beings, we all have cell memories. Certain instances and places seem familiar to us, as an apparent result of trickle down remembrances, passed down genetically from our ancestors, causing us to feel kinship with certain places, perhaps objects.

For some people it may be a house, a church, perhaps a particular piece of property or the family homestead. In my case, I have always felt connected to the area and community where I spent my earliest years, attended school, and the land my family had settled for generations before I was ever thought of being born.

Rowdy, Kentucky has always been my favorite place, and my heart will forever be trying to go back home.

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The first years of my life were spent on a slice of land nestled in the valley on what is known as Rowdy Mountain. I’ll never forget my years there, and remember them as some of the happiest of my life.

In the back yard we had a brook, the offset of Troublesome Creek, where I would spend countless hours catching craw dads and setting free messages in a bottle. I remember clamoring along the creek bed, climbing on rocks and catching lizards and salamanders on the bank.

I remember the smell of wet moss on creek stones, and the smooth and cool feel of river bedrock. The sounds of distant coyotes, and bobcats would echo in the night, and bears were animals not uncommon to the area. The closest neighbor was my Great-Grandmother, and the land had been in our family for years.

Rowdy was a place frozen in a time where you really, really knew and loved your neighbors. An area where family was interwoven with family. A place where you could over to the next house over and borrow anything you needed. You could walk down the road without fear, and you could leave your doors unlocked at night because no one would harm you, or steal or pillage.

The traditions and values of East Kentucky were held in high regard here in this tiny, close knit community. Traditions where you went to church on Sundays, after logging a full week of work, and then you went home and cooked your family supper.

You gave to those who were less fortunate, and you helped out those who needed helping. You took pride in your home, your land, and yourself. You loved those who needed it, and you defended your friends, and your community.

Rowdy was a lovely place to grow up, even if some folks wouldn’t agree with me. It was magical, in my eyes. Still is. Even though I’ve been known to romanticize the people, places and things that I love. But none more so than the places…

If you google “Rowdy” Kentucky, you won’t find much. A map that will tell you that this little unincorporated community lies between the Perry and Breathitt county borders. You can count a half written Wikipedia snippet that will inform you that their post office was closed in 2011. A couple of google map pictures that show the old Robinson high-school. There is a lot more to the story and the place than what it seems, with a people and history that has been scattered, if not completely forgotten.

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When my Grandfather was a young man, he taught at the “Stacy” schoolhouse. It was your typical one room school building, perched on top of Stacy Hill in what is now the portion of Rowdy that used to be close to the Red Rooster. Rowdy was once called “Stacy”. I imagine because it was settled in large part by the Stacy family, whose descendants still dot the riverbanks of Troublesome Creek. As someone who went to school at Robinson, I had many friends and neighbors who had the last name “Stacy” and now as an adult, who works at Robinson, I see many kids who come from the same line.

Back in the 1940’s or 50’s, the Greyhound bus used to run through Rowdy and pick up riders on the Rowdy Low Gap bridge, and ride them on into Breathitt County where there was a train station. Legend has it that when the bus station started to charge a toll to pick people up on the bridge, a group of rough and “rowdy” wayfarers staged an all out riot, tipping the bus over on it’s side and raising a ruckus. Hence, from then on, the area formerly dubbed “Stacy” was to be known as “Rowdy”.

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Settled by families like the Campbells, Stacys’, Boggs’, Allens’ and Jones’, Rowdy became home to those of mostly Irish/Scottish descent. One thing I can say that rings true to those who come from these families, even today, is their pride in their land, and the lands that have been passed down to them from generation to generation.

It’s not hard to see it in the way they upkeep their properties, and farms, and how they have stayed in one spot for decades. Many families, remain on the ‘creek’ and live their lives scattered among familial plots, brothers and sisters side by side with Granny and Papaw in the ‘big house’ down the road. This is common for Rowdy. This is how we live. Family is so important, and once you really feel as though this land is your home, it’s unlikely you will ever be able to say goodbye to it.

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A collection of beautiful plots of land along Troublesome Creek, Rowdy has become known as the land of swinging bridges. Plots of homes lie across the creek, some places look very much like those rolling plateaus and farmlands of Ireland or Scotland.

The scenery is worth the drive, and sometimes when I am just passing through, despite the fact that I’ve been gone for nearly 18 years, I get a feeling of dreadful homesickness that can only be quelled by pulling over on the shoulder and setting for a spell.

Landmarks such as Rowdy Low Gap, Rowdy Mountain, and Mount Carmel Church are familiar marking spots for directions among the local people. Old timers remember the Red Rooster, and RedWood Store.

I myself, can remember coming home from kindergarten and my Mother taking me inside Redwood General Store to get a popcicle and bag of gummy bears. I can recall a coal burning stove and an old oiled wooden floor that was slightly uneven and creaked with every single footstep. These landmarks have been long gone for years, but not forgotten, especially in the hearts of those who were born and raised in the area.

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Many a tale has been told to children of past generation to “not be caught on Rowdy Mountain” past dark. Fear of boogeymen, wild horned mountain goats, UFO’s and other nonsensical, mystical creatures fill up pages of folklore passed down from family to family. Ghosts and shadowy figures are said to roam hollers and walk forest trails in Cockrell’s Fork, William’s Branch and other well worn paths.

Mostly meant to frighten and fascinate the children of those were born and raised knowing these stories, Rowdy became a place of wonder to me at a young age and still seems to absolutely bewitch me when I tell these same tales and drive my kids down these same roads.

My Great Grandmother, Lottie Campbell Gwinn Boggs always told me she was born, would die and eventually be buried in Rowdy. She did just that. The family burial plot lies adjacent to a country church house that is so old no one really remembers it’s age. She rests between her husbands, sister and a tiny tombstone dedicated to Cora, the daughter she lost to measles in the 1930’s. She dedicated herself entirely to making a life within the rough confines of “Rowdy” and she did so with perseverance, intelligence and a strong sense of love for her land and family. A trait that is wholly shared by those who also come from Rowdy, especially those wild and wonderful mountain kin, like her, who really and truly helped to instill those qualities in us all.

As I sit here and smile while writing, thinking of all the people who will read this and agree, or maybe laugh and disagree, I have to say that it makes me feel better to write about the place that I miss so much, and remember with such fascination. To some, Rowdy may just seem like a regular place, but to me it’s much more, and I’ll bet that the majority of people who are from East Kentucky feel the same way. We all have those special places in our minds and hearts. For my husband, it’s his beloved Caney, for my Mom, it’s Lost Creek, but for me, it’s always been Rowdy.

The sentimental bone for East Kentuckians, is grown at a young age and seems to only double in size as the years pass by. Especially when it comes to love of our homes, our mountains and our land.

As my thoughts and words come to a close, I must say that I’m not sure why the area has almost a supernatural strong hold of sentimentality on the people who live within it’s borders, but it surely does. I’ve heard any number of folks tell me the only way they were leaving Rowdy would be feet first, and I understand now what they mean.

It’s a continuous, recurring theme in Eastern Kentucky. The bonds of kinship and family ties are nearly unbreakable, and the area you were born, and come to call home is as much a part of who you are as your family, and the blood that runs through your veins. Despite the fact that I am now defacto Rowdy-ite, (living in the “city” to county folks is the same as being a Yankee, basically) I will always count that area as home, and I will forever be counting the days down to when I can really go back, to the land of swinging bridges.

Being Scots-Irish and mighty proud of it, I think Margaret Mitchell said it best when she said:

“Why, land is the only thing in the world worth working for, worth fighting for, worth dying for because it’s the only thing that lasts.”And to anyone with a drop of Irish blood in them, why the land they live on is like their mother. Oh, but there, there, you’re just a child. It’ll come to you, this love of the land. There’s no getting over it if you’re Irish.”

 

The Bluegrass Box|The Bourbon Soaked Mom|

About a month or so ago, I ran across The Bluegrass Box on Twitter and I loved the idea and vision so much. After receiving the October addition of the box, I posted a photo of it, unopened on Instagram and Facebook and had such an overwhelming response, I had to do an unveiling and introduce my readers this amazing idea and new business start up that is unique to Kentuckians! Read on to find out about ‘The Bourbon Soaked Mom’s’ exclusive discount code for a percentage off of your first purchase!

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Paul Phillips and his family have always been fans of box services like Birch Box, and Dollar Shave Club, which provides a monthly collection of themed items delivered at your doorstep for a nominal fee. As frequenters of local farmer’s markets, and consumers of regional “Kentucky” proud products, the Phillips family wanted to incorporate a way to bring Kentuckians everywhere a monthly service to provide access to other locally owned and operated businesses who specialize in “Kentucky” specific foods and products.

The first ever Bluegrass Box was shipped out in August and and since, they have shared such products as Summer Shade Soap Company out of Louisville, MAM Candies (who just won “best of show” in the “sweets” category at the Ky Proud Food Show) from Hodgenville, Baxter’s Coffee from Somerset, and Grateful Grahams out of Northern Kentucky in their boxes.

The Bluegrass Box Company is also announcing a Special Edition Bluegrass Christmas Box this week ( they are going to actually share the contents because gift-givers generally want to know what they are giving), and they have introduced a Holiday Corporate Gift Program, also, for businesses who give gifts to clients for the holidays. (See attached flyer below) The corporate boxes will feature the company logo and can be customized to any company budget.

Below is a short video about how The Bluegrass Box vision became a reality!

My October box was centered around the idea of fall in Kentucky. Think bonfires, camping, enjoying the beautiful leaves and mountains, and being with family. What better way to celebrate a Kentucky fall then to ship out a box filled with Kentucky based goodies to make smores and enjoy pumpkin spice everything?

Included in the October box:

  • Crank & Boom Handmade Marsh-mellows. For those of you who have no tried their craft ice cream, you’re missing out. These hand made marsh-mellows are melt in your mouth amazing!
  • Grateful Grahams. These are vegan grahams and absolutely amazing!
  • Baxter’s Coffee in Pumpkin Spice. The best pumpkin spice coffee I have ever had, and as a basic white girl who loves everything pumpkin spice, that says a lot.
  • Cellar Door Dark Chocolate Bar. Simply put, this chocolate bar was heaven.

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I was absolutely blown away by the thoughtfulness and love that went into this box. Each is hand packaged and every item is carefully curated by this wonderful company. This family absolutely just gets what Kentuckians are all about, and I think it is a wonderful idea to help put “Kentucky” proud products on the map, and help small businesses brand their items. I can’t wait to see what next month’s box is full of!

As for the specifics of the subscriptions–The Bluegrass Box has 1, 3, & 6 month subscriptions. Pricing is $35.95 for 1 mo sub, $97.95 for 3 mo sub, and $179.95 for a 6 mo sub. The Bluegrass Box also has gifting options for you to send a box to a friend or family member, and you can also try our product by purchasing a single box without a subscription. This would be a great option for a birthday, or Christmas gift!

Use the code SOAKED10 for 10 percent off your first purchase!! 

To find more information, or purchase YOUR subscription, visit:

www.thebluegrassbox.com

Must Read Real Life Love Stories |The Bourbon Soaked Mom|

Cuffing season is upon us, people. Time to settle down, get into the swing of the Holiday seasons, and be with the ones we love. If you’re like me, you read the most during the winter time. It’s convenient for me to just curl up with a nice book and watch the snow fall outside. There is nothing better, and more comfortable. I always enjoy reading love stories, even more so when they are completely real and true. Here I have made a list of some of my favorite real life love stories, so curl up and enjoy!

 Click on each picture purchase directly.

1: Furious Love. By Sam Kashner

Elizabeth Taylor & Richard Burton shocked the world when they had an affair on the set of Cleopatra. They continued to do so after divorcing & remarrying each other, spending ungodly amounts of money on jewels (he out-bit Ari Onassis for a diamond) becoming infamous drinking buddies & making millions of dollars for being infamous. This book is definitely a guilty pleasure read.

2: Z. A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald. By Therese Anne Fowler

The story of spunky southern belle Zelda Fitzgerald and up and coming (then) writer F. Scott Fitzgerald, set in all the glitz and glamour of the roaring 20’s Gilded Age.

3: That Woman: The Life of Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor. By Anne Sebba

A look into the life and times of the American and twice divorced commoner who caused England’s heir apparent to abdicate the throne for the woman he loved. The Duke and Duchess of Windsor were a fixture in European society with a love story fit for a fairy tale, if you do not count a spoiled (would be) Princess, a disappointed and scandalized country complete with unthinkable extramarital affairs.

4: Jack & Jackie: Portrait of an American Marriage. by Christopher Anderson

The story behind American royalty. Jack and Jackie tells the truth about the relationship between former President and First Lady, with no holding back about all the juicy and sometimes depressing details of their marriage, (Marilyn Monroe trist included) personal lives and parenthood. Grab your tissues.

5: Bobby and Jackie: A Love Story. by C. David Heyman

I am still trying to decide if I believe this one or not, but the gossip hound in me wants to really think that maybe Bobby had an affair with his sister in law. Read and decide for yourself.

6: Anne Boleyn: Henry VIII’s Obession. by Elizabeth Norton

Obviously, we all know this love story didn’t really work out for Anne Boleyn, considering after a few years of marriage (and her inability to produce a male heir) and being Queen of England, she lost her head to a flimsy, unfair trial and allegations trumped up by her court enemy (and rival for the King’s ear) Cromwell. It’s interesting to read about the woman who caught and kept the eye of a King, who turned his country (and put his soul in mortal danger) upside down to have her, and an heir. A sad ending, but an epic real life love story. Plus, Anne Boleyn is probably the most notorious and influential Queen in England’s history, causing Henry to break from Rome and the Catholic church, changing the face of the monarchy, and country forever.

7: Love at an End. A Novel of Vivien Leigh and Laurence Olivier. By Gary O’Connor.

Vivien Leigh & Laurence Olivier were the original Hollywood power couple. Both brilliant stage & film actors, highly influential and loved by all who knew them. Their love affair spanned several decades, and set the bar high for other celebrity couples of their day.

Know Your Kentuckians: Verna Mae Slone |The Bourbon Soaked Mom

Once in a blue moon someone comes along that so unexpectedly knocks your socks off that you really never even saw it coming. For me, Verna Mae Slone is that person. I’ve grown up in a land where Slone’s name is synonymous with Knott county, the border county to my native Perry. Known as the “Grandma Moses” of Appalachia, Slone has left a lasting impression on those from Eastern Kentucky, Appalachia and all over the world. I am proud to claim this strong, influential lady among the ranks of those of who are unabashedly proud of being from Eastern Kentucky, and who aren’t afraid to portray this region in a strong, and positive light. God knows we need more in the area like her.

Verna Mae Slone was a special brand of Appalachian hero. A strong and stout East Kentucky lady with endless wisdom and intelligence gained from years of experiences that could never be taught within the walls of any school room. A Knott county native, and advocate for the mountain people of her region, Slone’s enduring voice still echoes through the legacy she left, not only in her hometown, but through her first (and my favorite) book, “What My Heart Wants to Tell” The work debunks the myth of the barefooted hillbilly, allows insight into the grit and gall it took to survive the wilderness of Appalachia in the early days, and it gives all us hill folk something in which to take pride. It is a sweeping, sharp and heartfelt look back into the history of a way of life that is being forgotten, as well as the art, craft and traditions of those who paved the way for all of us. Slone’s book paints a vivid detail of the characteristics of our region and the importance we hang on family and community.

Born October 9, 1914, Verna Mae Slone spent her entire life in Pippa Passes, Kentucky. She was raised by her father, Kitteneye Slone, after her Mother died when Verna Mae was just six weeks old. A mother to five sons, as well as a quilter, doll-maker, and advocate for the preservation of Appalachian life and culture, Slone found her voice later in life, writing about her experiences in the mountains for her grandchildren. Never expecting much to come from her musings, Slone’s writing became popular among her relations and were passed around. Soon, she began receiving recognition and had the chance to publish her stories, thus was born her first book, What My Heart Wants to Tell. Slone’s sense of pride about being Appalachian, coupled with the simple and dignified way she expresses her admiration and love for her region and culture is second to none. East Kentucky lost one of the best in 2009 when at 94, Slone’s voice fell silent.  Her efforts to put right the myths and injustices the outside world believe, and force upon those who were born and raised in the mountains, will make you feel proud to claim an individual who loved her land so much and made sure that everyone knew it.

 

“So many lies and half-truths have been written about us, the mountain people, that folks from other states have formed an image of a gun-totin’, “baccer” spitting, whiskey-drinking, barefooted, foolish hillbilly, who never existed, but was conceived and born in the minds of the people who have written such thinks as Stay on Stranger and the Beverly Hillbillies. And as lies seem to be more easily believed than truths, no matter what we do, we can’t make folks believe we are any different. These lies and half-truths have done our children more damage than anything else. They have taken more from us than the large coal and gas companies did by cheating our forefathers out of their minerals, for that was just money. These writers have taken our pride and dignity and have disgraced us in the eyes of the outside world. When our children go into the cities for work, or are drafted into the army, they are forced to deny their heritage change their way of talking, and pretend to be someone else, or be made to feel ashamed, when they really have something to be proud of.”

Slone is best remembered for her sense of pride in being Appalachian, for loving her family, maintaining mountain traditions and translating the beauty of her heritage and region through her crafts, and her six books. What My Heart Wants to Tell includes many bits of mountain lore and ceremony, including when to plow, plant and have babies. Tales of haunts, quilt making, moonshining, and “molassie stir offs” come to life in every page. One can not help but being lured into a powerful familiarity, feeling that they know Slone personally, as she shares personal histories of her family and continually tells of her respect for her home, and her neighbors on Caney Creek. You can feel the love in every word she writes to her grandchildren, so they can know the real truth about their heritage and mountain ways that will soon be forgotten. Her words are as much a call to arms for preservation as they are a written reflection of her time and place on earth. The message belongs to all her people, not just those connected to her by blood, but for all who are bound by those same cultural connections, in which she has such an amazing way of portraying. These words are for those who wish to take interest, so they too can know, love and cherish the culture and traditions.

I encourage everyone who reads this piece to find a copy of one of Ms. Slone’s works and give it a read. I have a personal fondness for her message. I am well aware that the time and place Verna Mae reflects upon is no longer in existence. The world has become a very small place within the last twenty years, and Appalachia is a modern region. I feel close to the central message of Appalachian preservation, but I sometimes believe that this idea is misunderstood, at least to the extent in which I promote it. Putting our feet in the ground and resisting modernization is not in the best interest of this area. In fact, we need to sturdy ourselves and push forward into the future. The strong will, character and general constitution of the regional people was forged by times gone by, but I do not suggest we revert to the socioeconomic climate. The message is to show outsiders, and local people who have forgotten, that what our ancestors built with the little opportunity they possessed was remarkable. Appalachian people were never presented with lucrative opportunity and squandered it. Instead, they were a people which survived and found happiness, despite the possibility of prosperity. The purpose is to show that it is what is on the inside that truly counts.

I do not write my own words in the hopes that you as the reader will simply just think back on what an amazing heritage we used to have. The same ideas, integrity and character that made our heritage great are still present. I believe that a great majority of it has been temporarily forgotten or dampened by outside forces and circumstances, but I believe it is still here. If anything I write, or in this case point you toward the words of another, can spark a value for those traits, I am happy.  The opportunities we have today are vastly greater than those of our ancestors. I believe that a revival of the traits they needed to survive, coupled with the opportunity we have today would allow for this area to prosper. The burden is no longer our predecessors’, but ours.

God knew that it would take brave and sturdy people to survive in these beautiful but rugged hills. So he sent us HIS very strongest men and women, people who could enjoy life and search out the few pleasures that were contained in a life of hard work. They were an enduring people, who did not whimper and complain because their burdens were heavy. They loved each other and lived closer to God and nature than any folks anywhere. So with God’s help, I hope my brain can say to my hands what my heart wants to tell.”

Verna Mae Slone, 1978

 

Clink the link below to purchase What My Heart Wants to Tell by Verna Mae Slone

Beauty On A Budget; My Favorite Drug Store Beauty Buys |The Bourbon Soaked Mom|

Since entering the workforce again, I’ve had to become a little more economical in terms of makeup. As all ladies know, we can be prone to spending a pretty penny on our face, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, but if you’re like me (with a husband and two children) I have more important expenses than my makeup. That is why I have decided to share a list of my favorite drug store finds that won’t break the bank and deliver the same affects as big money brands for less.

highdefpowder
E.L.F. High Definition Powder. $6.00

 

 

I use this E.L.F High Def Powder to set my makeup after applying it. It keeps my makeup in place all day and helps to blur the appearance of fine lines and blemishes. It also gives my makeup a buffed/filtered appearance which I really like. This powder is also a dupe and cheaper alternative if you like the Coty Airspun Powder, which is also great and achieves the same purpose. This is also said to be a dupe for Makeup Forever’s High Definition Powder which contains the same major ingredients, just a lesser quality.

NYC
NYC Smooth Skin Foundation. $3.14

 

 

I usually wear Clinique foundation, but I just recently ran out of my favorite. I needed a quick fix because I wasn’t able to find the kind I usually wear around here, so I decided to try this cheap and easy alternative. Not only did this cover smoothly, and match my skin perfectly, but the coverage was amazing and I didn’t even need to use concealer for blemishes or under eye circles.

LACOLOR
L.A. Colors Gel Polish. $1.00

 

As a huge Dollar Store person (late night diaper runs, and Halloween decor, hello!) I had to try out this nail polish that was only a dollar. I purchased this exact color and I was amazed at well the polish went on. I did not use a top coat and it stayed on for almost a week and a half without chipping and the shine was amazing.

elfpowder
E.L.F. Powder Brush. $3.00

 

This E.L.F. brush is supposed to be used as a powder brush but I use it to apply my foundation. The brush leaves an airbrushed feel and is great quality for only 3 bucks! It washes up really well, too and the bristles stay in amazing shape after many uses.

nyx
NYX Liquid Suede Lipstick. $6.99

 

This lipstick stays put all day and offers great color! Even after eating and drinking, and trust me, I drink coffee all throughout the day.

elfeyebrows
E.L.F. Brow Kit. $3.04

This brow kit is perfect for the price. With a gel part and a powder finish, it stays put all day. This is what I use daily to fill in my brows and I love how well the outcome is. I have very blonde brows, and I have always had a hard time making them stand out. The gel defines them well, and the powder sets it in place. The brush that comes with it will wear out in time, so I have discovered using a small concealer brush to apply it works well also.

salongraphix
Salon Graphix Dry Shampoo. $6.25

I use this Salon Graphix Dry Shampoo religiously. I refuse to wash my hair every single day, so this is the perfect fix for those mornings when you need to look fresh. My hair has been colored a little darker than usual, but even when my hair was cotton blonde, this left no sign of residue and fought off all oiliness. A spray or two after a blowout also does wonder for volume and body.

 

tanwise
Tanwise Sunless Bronzing Mousse. 12.99

I have never been one to use sunless tanners, but after finding this at our local Sally’s I am now a believer. This mousse offers full coverage, streak free tans and amazing color. I was seriously so surprised at how amazing this product goes on and how great it stays on. I use it once a week to build my color, and keep a glow year round. A serious close runner to St. Tropez without the price tag!

 

Next time you want to spend a fortune a Ulta or Sephora, remember these cheaper and more practical alternatives. There is always a way to save money in every area of your life, even the beauty counter. I understand that some products are MUST when it comes to splurging, but some we can afford to skim the line a bit. All of these products are great, and bargain worthy in terms of cost! Check them out and give them a try, hopefully they will do as well for you as they have for me.

The Bourbon Social Instagram Giveaway |The Bourbon Soaked Mom|

It’s that time again to do another giveaway! This time the giveaway will be done on Instagram since the last one was focused on Facebook. I will be giving away two tickets The Bourbon Social’s Main Event on October 10th. Any of my fellow Bourbon lovers will absolutely love this shindig, where people come from all over to celebrate the kick-assery that is Kentucky Bourbon Culture.

The Bourbon Social is an eleven day celebration of Bourbon craft and culture. Located in the heart of the Bluegrass, mix in a little Kentucky hospitality and foods we are known for, and you’ve got one helluva party! Guests can choose from 13 events carefully crafted to keep the Bourbon Lover in mind! The Bourbon Social is a place where newcomers and enthusiasts alike come together and celebrate all things KENTUCKY.

Events

  • Bourbon Crawl
  • Bourbon Brunch
  • VIP Progressive Dinner
  • Beer, Bourbon & Bacon Garden Party
  • Bourbon Camp
  • Bourbon & Bites; A Taste Outside the State
  • Keeneland Tailgate
  • VIP Pre-Event & Cocktail Competition
  • Seminar Series
  • Main Event
  • Distillery Brunch

For details, dates, times and location, and information on where to purchase tickets, please visit here:http://thebourbonsocial.com/

The MAIN EVENT

October 10th

7PM

Location: The Campbell House

The Main Event will host the best of the best in the food industry across the state, as well as the best bourbons that Kentucky has to offer! Guests will travel from room to room nibbling on Kentucky, Bourbon or Southern inspired fare, as well as tastings of American Native Spirit. Live music, signature cocktails, book signings and giveaways, plus the announcement for the 2015 Cocktail Competition! Cash bar is also available!

To enter to win tickets to The Bourbon Social’s Main Event, head on over to Instagram, screen shot TBSM’s Featured Image (the picture with me holding a bottle of Bourbon in the woods, because don’t all KY girls take the alcohol for a walk?) and share on your IG page! Next:

1: Tag @thebourbonsoakedmom

2: Share your favorite brand of Bourbon

3: Tag two other friends who love Kentucky Bourbon Culture!

I will be announcing the winner on October 1st, so hurry and enter!

Cheers!

Attention: Please be sure that you make your Instagram account public so that I will be able to see that you have entered. You WILL NOT be entered to win by sharing on Facebook. This is an INSTAGRAM only contest! Thanks guys!

 

Quotes About Kentucky That Will Make You Proud Of Your Heritage. |The Bourbon Soaked Mom|

“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.” -Hunter S. Thompson

 

Soon after, I returned home to my family, with a determination to bring them as soon as possible to live in Kentucky, which I esteemed a second paradise, at the risk of my life and fortune. -Daniel Boone

 

“Heaven must be a Kentucky kind of place.” -Daniel Boone

 

“I love Kentucky people, but you’ve got to get on the inside before they accept you.” -Margo Martindale

 

“The first time I managed to pick up a basketball I knew I was destined to lead the UK to another National championship. … Even now, so many years later, I still believe Kentucky will go undefeated in March & win everything.” -Hunter S. Thompson

 

“I have never in my life seen a Kentuckian who didn’t have a gun, a pack of cards, and a jug of whiskey.” -Andrew Jackson

 

“Gusts of snow blew in front of the car as he felt his way toward Man o’ War Boulevard …. The snow-covered fields made him think of the desert. Black fences rimmed with snow created a grid against the blank, vanished ground. He saw five snow-blanketed horses huddled under a clump of trees …. He was surprised they weren’t lolling on feather beds in their climate-controlled barns. Racehorses got better care than some people, he thought.” – Bobbi Ann Mason

 

“Bourbon, Kentucky bourbon especially, is like Dante’s Inferno in a glass, fire walks down your throat, lungs, and heart and everything in between with an unpleasant after-taste. We got along just fine.” -Bruce Crown

 

I never met a Kentuckian who wasn’t either thinking about going home or actually going home.” -Happy Chandler

 

“To be born in Kentucky is a heritage; to brag about it is a habit; to appreciate it is a virtue.”-Irvin Cobb

 

 

“Kentucky wasn’t a place you could just be in. You had to be from there, or everything about you was strange.” Anne Patchett

 

“If these United States can be a called a body, Kentucky can be called it’s heart.” -Jesse Stuart