Saturday, January 31, 2009

I Say Tomato, You Say...'Mater

So I am not a tomato freak. I am not one of those girls who buys 8 bushels of tomatoes in June/July during the peak of tomato season and subsequently eats BLTs and tomato sahndwiches and tomato pie all day, every day for the rest of the summer. But that said...I do enjoy a good tomato. In a salad. On a sandwich. That sort of thing.

Anyways, I have noticed recently that the tomatoes I have been getting have been sort of...bleeeehhh. Mealy. Mushy. Inedible in one instance. Even in this day of hydroponics and importing produce from warmer climes it has been tough to find a decent tomato as of late.

Then I remembered what Marty's Aunt Hazel told us. We ran into her over the holidays while running errands downtown (this is why you have to love small town life). She had been out and about herself running errands and she had picked up some tomatoes from the guy who sets up a little stand across from the credit union. They were homegrown (so I could feel good about improved efforts to be more of a locavore) and quite tasty - even though it was the middle of December.

I reminded Marty about this while we were out watching the Duke game on Wednesday and he was picking soggy tomatoes off of his fish tacos.

Me: "Remember about that guy your Aunt Hazel told us about - you know - the one who sells tomatoes by the credit union?"

Marty: "No. That's not what she said."

Me (protesting somewhat): "What do you mean that's not what she said? That's exactly what she said. The guy across from the credit union sells really good tomatoes - even in the winter."

Marty: "No. She said 'Maters. She said he sells good 'Maters."

And if that ain't country, I'll kiss your...

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Mr. Dolce? Mr. Gabanna? Meet Mr. Johnson. Mr. Edwards. Mr. Busch. Etc.

It was Saturday, April 12th, 2008. It had been one of those days...one of those days that's sort of doom and gloom and miserable (couldn't tell you why) and I needed to feel FABULOUS. As Albin sings in La Cage Aux Folles:

When my little road has a few bumps again,
And I need something level to lean upon,
I put on my sling pumps again,
And wham! This ugly duckling is a swan!

So it was that sort of day. And it also happened to be the last night of the Lincolnton Rotary Auction which is a very big deal. And me being from New York and it being a Saturday night and me needing to feel glamourous and it being a fundraiser, I got dressed. Little black dress and Dolce & Gabbana leopard print stilettos - my most treasured shoes ever.

Went to the auction only to discover that most everyone was casual in jeans and sneakers. Spent about 15 minutes chatting with some friends and then Marty and I had dinner at the Outback in Hickory (again - slightly overdressed for the occasion) where the Subway Fresh Fit 500 was on TV and Jimmie Johnson was in the lead. Since I am a fan of the #48 car I had to watch. I did not stay until the end, but as it turns out, that was Jimmie's first victory of the year.

Now how many people can say that they were wearing Dolce & Gabanna stilletos the night they turned the proverbial NASCAR corner?

And if that ain't country, I'll kiss your...

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Art Stroll Photos: The Stroll

Some pictures from the Art Stroll in Downtown in Lincolnton:



Lighting the luminaries before the stroll.


Some gourmet goodies for "Two Broads and a Band."


More sustenance for Strollers.


Woodmill Winery sets up.


Hard to believe this used to be a beauty parlor. Looks more like a Soho gallery to me.


Strolling through the show.


Strolling in leg warmers.


Strolling downtown.


More Strollers.



The Band of "Two Broads and a Band."


Relaxing post-Stroll.


Deuling digital cameras.


And if that ain't country, I'll kiss your...

Strolling Magic

So it feels as though the last few weeks have been all about the Art Stroll. I know I wrote about it about a month ago and so to refresh your memory:

The Art Stroll in Downtown Lincolnton featured the work of over 70 professional and local artists in 15 locations throughout beautiful, downtown Lincolnton on one special night. ASDL is a collaborative, grassroots effort comprised of professional and local artists, downtown business and property owners, select city and county agencies and a church. No single organization is in charge and everyone participating is responsible for the event's success.

And what a success!!! Thousands of people Strolled on Friday night. There was such a sense of community to be sure - but we also had Strollers in from Charlotte, the Lake Area, and Hickory to name a few. Lincolnton was showcased at its finest. And everyone was commenting. On how much fun it was. On how great the art was. On how friendly the people were.

We had Strollers of all shapes and sizes. Young couples. Old couples. People with small children. Teenagers. Solo Strollers. Well-heeled art gallery owners mingled with contractors and mill workers.

One of the most amazing things (and I am quoting my friend Karen because she worded it so beautifully): "It was just so incredibly rewarding to see how much fun everyone was having and how RELAXED people were. Relaxed and not worried about the economy or losing their jobs or how'd they pay their bills, etc. People were smiling and happy and calm and even spending their money. I saw folks carrying bags of wine, pieces of art under their arms, and "take out" boxes of restaurant food, and more. The atmosphere was void of stress, at least that was the sense I felt when I walked around." Well said Karen. Well said.

I am proud to have been part of such a wonderful and warm event. I am proud to have been a part of my community. I am proud that our combined, collaborative efforts created a magical night full of family, friends, fun, and of course, art.

And I even enjoyed my glass of Muscadine wine!

And if that ain't country, I'll kiss your...

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Indie No More

A big, proud shout out to Marty, whose song Alive was released today on "Chill Out" a compilation CD released by Quickstar Productions.



Chill Out features some of the best up and coming acoustic artists from the East Coast music scene and Marty's song is side A, track 1.

Still tyring to figure out if it's available on iTunes (requires my booting up an entirely different laptop and I've had the sort of day where I just don't feel like doing that). In the meantime, I suspect y'all are savvy enough to track it down online.

And if that ain't country (and a little bit rock and roll), I'll kiss your...

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Stroll Down Memory Lane

So the last few days have been all about strolling down memory lane. It started with a box that arrived full of old papers, journals, letters, stories - the Big Box 'o Memories. I have been weeding through the piles, slowly but surely, for the last week and a half...

It has made me nostalgic and sad and happy all at once. It has made me think about old friends and remember happy times...which lead me to some Googling which lead me to Facebook which lead me to....you get it.

Two days on FB and I have reconnected with so many old friends. It's wild. Truly crazy.

It also makes me glad that I blog. I love having a written record of what I was thinking...feeling at certain times in my life. This has been a wonderful way to document my transition to life in the Country with all of the highs and lows...

No idea how to tie this post up without getting overly sappy so...

If that ain't country, I'll kiss your...

Monday, January 19, 2009

It's Official...

It's Official...I am on Facebook and I am a Facebook junkie...have already reconnected with nearly 2 dozen folks from my past...

In the meantime, it's snowing here and you know what that means: all of Lincolnton is making French Toast i.e. they went to the grocery store today and stocked up on bread, milk and eggs.

And if that ain't country, I'll kiss your...

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The 8th Circle of Hell

My passion for shopping has already been well documented. And I confess, it takes a lot to take the joy out of a shopping experience for me. But it happened today at Sam's Club in Hickory also known as The 8th Circle of Hell.

In general, I love "price club" shopping. We have memberships to BJ's and Sam's and there is a definite thrill in buying 1375 Q-tips at once (as I did today) and calculating the per unit cost versus what you would pay "retail." It's a shoppers high on steroids. But there are some potential detractors from the experience.

For example, don't shop at Sam's on a Saturday (like I did today). Ever. Saturdays are for suckers. Kind of like going to a bar on New Years Eve. It's amateur night. STAY AWAY.

Also, don't go at lunch time. Sam's in particular is a maze of free samples. People were literally in line with their big ass carts waiting to sample a mini eggroll or a chicken wing. I hit at least 2 major logjams where I had to go around several aisles in order to keep moving and I spotted more than a handful of people who looked like they were jumping from one free sample to the next in order to have lunch. Hey - I know the economy is bad but c'mon people...

So here's the thing. I don't know Sam's that well as I don't go often so it took me some time to gather my goods. But after 45 minutes of navigating through the hungry masses and collecting all of the items that I NEEDED (yes needed), I finally got to the checkout. Checkout was actually painless until....

SAM'S DOES NOT TAKE VISA.

Ok - let me clarify that point. They don't take Visa credit. They take Visa debit. They take Mastercard credit. Discover credit. Cash. Checks. But apparently Visa credit (as opposed to MC credit or Discover credit) is a no no. Well, as it happened, all I had in my wallet were 2 Visa credit cards. There was about a 3 minute exchange between me (completely incredulous and dumbfounded) and the cashier (dumber than dirt) and I finally just walked away leaving my cart of goods (including 1375 Q-tips) behind.

Frustrated, I hoofed it in the freezing cold all the way across the parking lot to my car (because it's Saturday at lunch and so the parking lot was more than crowded), got in my car, pulled out to leave when I realized...I had left my Sam's membership card with the freaking cashier. ARGH. And so, I waited for like 10 minutes to pull out because the guy 2 cars in front of me seemed afraid to turn left, he finally turned, I got out of the parking lot only to circle around and pull in again. I was not going to park 2 miles away so I pulled up in front where it's illegal to park, left my car with the flashers on, and frantically rushed NYC style back into Sam's. I had to wait for the cashier to finish ringing up her current customer who decided to pay with cash in order to get my card which was in the cash register drawer. Have you ever seen Quick Change with Bill Murray and Geena Davis? That scene where he is trying to get change for a $100 bill in order to get on the bus which is leaving in 1.3 minutes and the woman in front of him is taking FOREVER???? That's what it was like (I don't know why I thought they could possibly tow my car in the 2 - 3 minutes it took but I did).

Anyways, I finally got my card, got in my car and left to head over to BW-3's to watch Duke beat Georgetown!

And if that ain't country, I'll kiss your...

p.s. Because I am a glutton for punishment, I returned to Sam's after the game along with Marty's Mastercard.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Apple of Our Eye

Our little Lucky loves her apples...













And if that ain't country, I'll kiss your...

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

What Are the People Thinking?

So this post finds its roots in 2 totally separate yet not completely unrelated thoughts.

First - you know me - I LOVE awards shows - all awards show. Even the Peoples Choice Awards which although they are THE OFFICIAL kick-off to the year's awards ceremonies are also probably the weakest link. Not that the Hollywood Foreign Press is much more qualified but have you seen some of what the People have nominated/chosen?

Anyways, the People have (under the influence of serious drugs and/or alcohol and/or sniffing glue) chosen Rascal Flatts as their Favorite Group (over Coldplay and Maroon 5). And as I sit here and listen to Rascal Flatts (a band whose insane popularity makes me seriously scratch my head) perform live i.e. warble insanely off-key (and here's PCA hostess Queen Latifah with a not so clever quip: there's nothing FLAT about them...ha ha...not flat? Maybe not flat but certainly not on key either...) I have to wonder: What on Earth (or beyond Earth) has made these dudes so effing popular? I mean - seriously...these guys SUCK! I don't think anyone uses their adenoids quite like the lead singer of RF - and that's not a good thing!

And yet - they win awards and accolades and sell out ampitheaters and if you listen to Country radio (as I do) you hear fans swooning and crooning and mooning over them like they are the next Elvis/Rolling Stones/Beatles...

Which brings me to my second point...I overheard on the radio that RF is coming to Charlotte and guess who they are touring with...drum roll please...Jessica "I played Daisy Duke in a Movie Therefore I Qualify As A Country Star" Simpson. Can you imagine a more PAINFUL concert????

And if that ain't country (and trust me, in Jessica's case, it ain't), I'll kiss your...

ps Kid Rock's "All Summer Long," a staple on country radio and on CMT Top 25 video countdown won for Favorite Rock Song. ROCK SONG. Is it just me or are the people HIGH?

The Wrath of Mother Nature

Several days of non-stop ground soaking rains left one of our poor old oaks with nothing to hold onto and this is what we found when we got home from dinner:









Thankfully - no one was hurt, no animals managed to escape, and no property was damaged other than the fence. More pictures to come in daylight.


And if that ain't country, I'll kiss your...

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

How I Came to Finally Get My Haircut in Lincolnton: The Final Chapter

As it turns out, my friend Becky knows Holly and she brokered the introduction. She explained to Holly that I had been getting my haircut by someone in NYC for a long time but that I needed someone local and she was the only person I was interested in talking to. Holly agreed to meet with me and I scheduled a consultation for December 1st – about 3 weeks after my cut with Oscar.

I went to Holly’s salon and gave her the whole story. My longstanding relationship with Oscar, my hesitance to switch but the fact that I needed a local resource, my anxiety-provoking cut in Charlotte- all of it. She in turn examined my cut, she commented on the layers and the movement. She played around – she used a flat iron to smooth it. She flipped out the ends (I had been wearing them turned under). She even curled it with a curling iron (it looked really cute). She trimmed my bangs.
I think it was a 2-sided interview and I guess we both passed because at the end of the consult, I scheduled an appointment to get my haircut on December 22nd. The days before the actual cut were filled with anticipation – but in a good way. I think mainly I was excited to have reached a stage where I felt comfortable and trusting enough to let someone else care for my hair.

The day of, Holly was running late so I sat in the waiting room and read my book (Black Out, an amazing novel by Lisa Unger –I highly recommend it). And then came the moment of truth. And you know what? It was fine. Holly did a wonderful job. She was different than Oscar – her rhythm, her methods, her style – but it didn’t bother me and I was completely relaxed. She parted my hair to the side (which I never do), and she blew it dry with a little more volume than I am used to (then again, this is the South) but I think I have found myself a local stylist. And the best part? She charges $25 for a wash, color and style!

And if that ain’t country, I’ll kiss your…

Monday, January 05, 2009

How I Came to Finally Get My Haircut in Lincolnton: Chapter 4

The problem began after the haircut-that-changed-my-life. My next trip to NYC was a short time later – too soon for a cut and even our heavily discounted friends and family rate is too much for a trim. My next trip was on a Sunday. My next trip was over the summer and Oscar was on vacation. And while the haircut-that-changed-my-life had a longer shelf life than most, after 6+ months even it was starting to fray around the edges.

A trip to NYC in early October was the perfect opportunity to get my coif fixed….only about a week before Oscar called and cancelled. He would be in LA. I debated. I would be back the following month for a wedding, but I couldn’t wait. I was desperate. I needed the cut. A cut. Any cut. I was also desperate for change which meant I needed someone I trusted. So I asked Oscar who I could see in his absence.

So October 3rd, Oscar’s brother Luca gave me an amazing chin length bob and bangs - another haircut that changed my life. Given that my hair is naturally curly, this style is “against God’s plan” for my hair to be sure. But I loved it. And when I returned to NYC 4 weeks later, I kept my appointment with Oscar who made me look even more like Louise Brooks than I ever thought possible.



After the new haircut-that-changed-my-life, I knew that I was in trouble. A haircut like this needs serious maintenance and upkeep. I can’t afford to go 6 months without even a trim. And I am traveling to NYC less and Oscar’s schedule is so unpredictable…

Before the visit to Luca, I had reached that stage where I was ready to go local. I had asked my friend Anna, who is really cute and who has really cute hair, who her stylist was. Anna went to Holly Perkins, but she also warned that she didn’t think that Holly was taking on new clients. Great – leave it to me to find the celebrity stylist of Lincolnton.

To be continued…

Sunday, January 04, 2009

How I Came to Finally Get My Haircut in Lincolnton: Chapter 3

Aside from the Mark Garrison affair, the only time I found a new stylist was when I moved to Houston. I remember picking whatever salon was located in Saks at the Galleria. It was a chain headed up by some famous NY or LA stylist (of course I can’t think of the name right now…) and I remember being relatively disappointed by the overpriced haircut and being very relieved when I went home to NYC for a visit and Oscar fixed it. Still, I lived in Houston for almost 1.5 years and I don’t think I was visiting NYC all that often and so there were a handful of non-Oscar haircuts. Nothing that rocked my world. Nothing that destroyed it either. But I remember being thankful when we moved back to the Northeast.

When Marty and I moved to Lincolnton 2.5 years ago, I was in a little bit of a situation. I had scheduled a much needed haircut a few days before we left NYC, but Oscar cancelled last minute (he was accompanying Tom Cruise on the press junket for MI:3 which really pissed me off) and so I was left uncoiffed and feeling very shaggy.

I did succumb and see a stylist in Charlotte that June. Of course - I didn't let him do much - just trim some of the dead ends. He claimed he stayed within the guidelines of my existing haircut. I wasn't sure (and to tell you the truth, there wasn't much of a haircut at that point). But the whole experience of putting myself in a stranger's hands was very anxiety-provoking. Besides, it didn't really matter how he cut my hair because the haircut was sort of lost on me as the day I got it, I came home to the first of 2 dead goats and a basement full of water.

No worries though because back then, I was up in NYC almost every other month and so I was able to continue to see Oscar as needed (barring any cancellations). Still, the longer we stayed in NC, and the deeper my roots grew, the more I began to think about finding someone local. Not that I wouldn’t see Oscar whenever I was in NYC, but I decided that finding a local stylist was just a natural progression. Sort of like getting rid of my NYC cell phone. So earlier this year, I psyched myself up for beginning the arduous task of finding a local stylist. And then I went to NYC in February. And Oscar cut my hair. And it was AMAZING. I mean seriously – it was one of the top 2 or 3 great haircuts of my life. I got so many compliments and all of a sudden I was like: There’s a reason Oscar is Oscar and he is THAT good and NO ONE ANYWHERE – Charlotte, Lincolnton, London, - will EVER EVER be able to give me a haircut that is so INCREDIBLE. What had I been thinking?

To be continued…

Saturday, January 03, 2009

How I Came to Finally Get My Haircut in Lincolnton: Chapter 2

I think we met Oscar when I was a junior in high school or possibly the summer after my junior year. A woman who worked with mom had been a client of Oscar’s for some time and she referred us to him. At the time, he was a young yet established New York stylist with an $80 price tag and no celebrity clients (at least none that I knew of). He had recently left Pierre Michel at The Plaza (there were rumors of a lawsuit – about what I have no idea) and was temporarily at Mike and Me, a non-descript salon on West 57th near the ski shop. I don’t know why Oscar worked for us. His personality? His speed? The haircut he gave us? His charming Italian accent? Maybe we were just worn out after what felt like an eternity of searching for the next Glenn. But something clicked and we have been (almost faithful) clients of Oscar’s ever since.

He moved from Mike and Me to the Sergio Valente Salon. He was there for a few years and then joined Coppola. He was at Coppola for a while and then eventually left to start his own salon – ironically enough – at The Plaza. He was at The Plaza for quite a while before eventually relocating to Madison Avenue – in the old Coppola space (again, a little ironic). In this time, he became more and more famous. He cut hair for celebrities like Katie Holmes, Jennifer Garner, Sarah Michelle Gellar and Kelly Ripa (among others). He developed a line of hair care products – I’ll never forget flipping through the TV and randomly seeing him hawking his wares on QVC or HSN. His price tag went up from $80 to something so astronomical I won’t even publish it (although to be fair, as long time clients we pay a heavily discounted friends & family rate).

For the most part though, I stuck with Oscar. He always gave me a good haircut. I trusted him. I felt comfortable sitting in his chair, watching the familiar rhythm of his hands as he shaped my hair and added layers. Once – I forget when – I got a little case of the 7 year itch. I was tired of Oscar and the familiarity which I now find so comforting, seemed boring at the time. So I cheated. I made an appointment to get my haircut by Mark Garrison – another Madison Avenue stylist that a friend of mine saw. I remember the thrill and anticipation of going to see Mark and the ultimate disappointment. I mean, the cut was fine I suppose but it wasn’t the same as Oscar. My next appointment saw me back in Oscar’s chair where I confessed my transgressions and realized that if ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

To be continued…

Friday, January 02, 2009

How I Came to Finally Get My Haircut in Lincolnton: A Saga Told in 5 Posts

I got my haircut in Lincolnton the other week. And while I’d like to tell you all about it, there’s some backstory that I feel like I need to share and due to the saga-like nature of my tale, this will take 5 posts.

I think that there is a general misconception about me and my hair. I think that people think that I fly to New York City to see Oscar to get my haircut because I am a snob. Because I don’t think people outside of New York City can cut hair. Because I get off on going to see a celebrity stylist. But the fact of the matter is that none of that is true (in fact - the whole celebrity stylist thing is a major pain in the...). The reason I fly to New York City to see Oscar to get my haircut (and I will take a moment here to clarify: I don’t fly to New York City to get my haircut. I fly to New York City to see my family and friends, to attend weddings and 90th birthday parties, to celebrate holidays and attend reunions. The haircut is just extra) is because Oscar has been cutting my hair for roughly 17 years and because I trust him and because it’s not easy for me to suddenly change – especially where my hair is concerned. The last time I had to find a new stylist it took 2 years and I suffered through countless bad haircuts (both the style and the experience) before finding someone I trusted and liked. That someone was Oscar. Here’s the story:

Growing up, I got my haircut by Nick the Barber. Nick did an ok job (he even managed to salvage my hair when I was about 6 or 7 and decided that I wanted to transform my naturally curly locks into a Kate Jackson/Sabrina Duncan/Charlie’s Angels bob and attempted to do so myself with a pair of child’s scissors and a comb) but he was a barber. For kids. And as I approached my bat mitzvah (read: womanhood), mom and I agreed I was ready for something more grown up so she took me to her stylist, Glenn. Glenn worked at Kenneth Salon, a posh place in the East 50s that catered mainly to grande dames of Park Avenue society – frankly, I have no idea how my mom wound up there. But she had been with Glenn for years and I had no objections.

I forget how long Glenn cut my hair – 2 years, maybe 3. But then he retired and eventually died and mom and I were faced with the challenge of finding someone to replace him.

I once asked one of my male friends once where he got his haircut. “Wherever is open,” he answered. That notion seems unfathomable to me. A different person cutting your hair every time? My relationship with my hairdresser is pretty much like my relationship with my shrink or my gynecologist – it’s built on trust over an extended period of time. It’s not a revolving door.

That’s why finding someone to replace Glenn was such a challenge. The first person we went to was the woman who worked next to Glenn at Kenneth. I have no idea what her name was but I do remember this: it was the longest haircut of my life. Seriously – she took at least an hour and that was just for the CUT. That didn’t factor in the wash or the blow dry. I am my mother’s daughter in that I prefer efficiency. I like things to be speedy and quick – not sloppy, but efficient. Even when Oscar cut all my hair off (I was 19 or 20) I don’t think it took him more than 15 minutes. And while there are those who would argue that for the money one pays Oscar one should have his full attention for at least 30 minutes, I am relieved that he can cut my hair and cut it well in less than 10.

Anyways, after the hour long haircut, mom and I left Kenneth for good and spent the next 2 or so years bouncing around from salon to salon, stylist to stylist. There were referrals from trusted friends and family members. Names we’d seen in magazines. You figure that we were getting our hair cut every 6 – 8 weeks so that’s a lot of haircuts. It’s also a lot of stress. A lot of not knowing what to expect. A lot of nervous anticipation. In short, it was painful. After the stability of Glenn for so many years (at least for mom), this inability to find someone we liked and trusted was driving us crazy.

To be continued…

Thursday, January 01, 2009

White Walls Mean Everything

I meant to write this post yesterday but surprise, surprise I didn't have time. I'll tell you what - for someone who has been on vacation since December 24th, I have not had a moment to vacate and you want to know why? BECAUSE I HAVE BEEN SUPER BUSY RE-DOING OUR HIDEOUS PURPLE BATHROOM!!!!

That's right, the To Do List I started this time last year is pretty much done and redoing the bathroom was the cherry on the sundae that has been my year.

Gone are the lilac walls and the pansy purple trim. The walls are now Ultra White (as white as it gets) and the trim is Vegas Green. Gone is the stand alone mirror. it has been replaced with a mirrored medicine cabinet which means for the first time in almost 3 years I don't have to reach down to get my post-shower items (moisturizer, toner, etc.) from under the sink. Also it means I don't have to leave all of my teeth brushing accoutrements on the sink - they are put up where they belong. That ugly and old fashioned light fixture has been replaced with a beautiful vanity bar with 6 globes emitting lots of soft white light. We even replaced the shower rod with one of those curved rods now de rigeur in hotels across the country (so much so that's literally called the hotel shower rod) so the shower feels about 10x bigger.

And you want to know the amazing thing? We pretty much did it all ourselves. It started the day after Christmas - Marty and I rented a steam stripper and stripped off all the wall paper. That was fun. Saturday, while we were at the Meineke Car Care Bowl, Steve came and patched the sheetrock/prepped the walls. Sunday I primed. Monday I painted the walls. Tuesday morning I painted the trim. Tuesday night I touched up the trim and waited impatiently for Marty and Carl to get everything hung. I stayed up until 2am cleaning and putting away and organizing. It was thrilling - seriously.

I take it as a positive sign, a good omen that I am heading into the new year with a bright and clean and organized and spacious bathroom(seriously - the whole bathroom feels that much bigger even though we didn't do any construction).

Happy New Year!

And if that ain't country, I'll kiss your...