Where you Find Your Inspiration

You find your inspiration in the oddest places.  This week I was inspired by a TV show:  American Horror Story-Coven.  The show started off this week in the swamps of Louisiana.  The scene involves a character in a floaty hippy dress and shawl with layers necklaces and smokey eyes.  Fleetwood Mac music haunts in the background.  Just a delicious episode riddled with reference to Stevie Nicks.

I grew up in the 70’s-80’s and I fondly recall coming home from school, a very happy latch-key kid, and laying in the dining room where the stereo was and wearing the grooves off of my parents Fleetwood Mac Rumors album.  I carried the band and Stevie with me from album to cassette to CD to iTunes right up until today as a favorite.  I love the haunting voice and poetic lyrics that Stevie  does as only she can.

There’s that vein in me that loves lace and funky boots, necklaces and the sweet remembrance of how people in the 70’s looked at love and intimacy that seems so far removed now.  When talk of the tall grass, mountains, mirror in the sky, and night birds were as tangible in song as they are in real life.  Before texts and blogs and face time we had sitting around a living room (or laying in a dining room)  and having soulful talks with great music.

This has inspired my painted piece this week.  Dusky lavender with gypsy print accent and gypsy gold.  Here are a few pics…it’s not done and I am breaking a cardinal rule by posting a pic of the (yuk) garage (AKA my Fancy Studio).  I’m still knocking it around with my “purty sticks” but you get the idea.

Gotta run, at some point I have to go in and cook dinner and let the dog (with the breath that’s worse than Satan’s skidmarks) out.

How it starts

How it starts

In Progress

In Progress

“Wait a minute baby, stay with me a while
Said you’d give me light but you never told me about the fire

Drowning in the sea of love where everyone would love to drown
But now it’s gone, it doesn’t matter what for
When you build your house then call me, ‘Home””

Lyrics from Fleetwood Mac’s    Sara

Voodoo Dolls and Teenagers

I started painting a loooong time ago when by boys were toddlers.  I faux finished beautiful custom homes during the construction boom.  I have been making and doing since I was a teenager.  I stopped for a while when my kids were small because I couldn’t find time to wear a decent outfit  much less paint.  As their pre-teen years approached I felt my morph to the garage some since I wasn’t afraid to leave them in the house alone.  I was wrong, of course, as evidenced by my coming in one day to my 12-year-old, with a can of hair spray, a straw and a lighter (making a flame thrower like the one he saw on Youtube.)  I yelled at him for wasting my good hairspray and went on about my business.

Over time, my tweens became teens and I was glad to have my painting as I rose on the weekend and the man and boys slept until 2:00 p.m.  I enjoyed my radio and the outside and found my company in Annie Sloan, Martha Stewart and some gal with the last name Behr.    My boys used to make fun of my hobby saying that shabby chic was stupid and they hated the old furniture in the garage.  They shamed me for my hoard at every turn.  When people came to pick something up they’d scowl off waiting for a grilled cheese and wonder how anyone would like the things I painted.  I made voodoo dolls of them and made their butts itch and shaved off an eyebrow.

Funny how the jeers stopped when we took the first vacation we had in 16 years, last year, because of my painting, my peace, the thing that sets me free.

I’m full-on in the throes of raising two high-school boys.  Painting and crafting still takes me to my happy place in so many ways.  I hope you have found your happy-place as well.

Here are some things I’ve done in the last few:

dressernight standombreharlequin Drexel dresser

Cupcakes and The Women Who Lurve Them


This week had a theme…  CuPcAkEs!!    It started with a friend and I trying a new cupcake place in town (we are medical reps and we do a lot of goodie-giving so a new cupcake place sounded like a good thing to check out…for work…of course.)  We went.  The cakes were MEH but the icing was FAB! (Is it gross to order a pound of icing?  Okay, then a pound of icing, please.)

Fast forward to today.  That same friend and I are having lunch and discussing a  promotional item we could make from an idea on Pinterest  involving  cupcakes in a mason jar. (I know, who wouldn’t want to get an afternoon goodie with all THAT happiness in a toteable jar?!)  My friend told me at lunch that she had lab tests done this morning.  One of which was an A1C test, which if you don’t know, is a test for glucose (Diabetes).  My friend was offended that her doctor prescribed this test.  OFFENDED.  My friend is a nurse and ate cupcakes all week (and pasta, with me, right before a lab test) and was offended.  I said, “You are offended?”  She said, “Yes”.  I laughed and told her to throw her arm up on the table and I squeezed around the cupcakeyness of it and said, “Really, bitch…you’re offended?”  We laughed and laughed.  My friend told me that her doctor was super healthy and had offered to have my friend stay with her at her house for a month to embrace the healthy lifestyle and train with her and her  super-healthy husband.

I immediately tuned out my friend with a mental image of her hiding in the guestroom closet cranking out shameful looking and tasting cupcakes from an Easy Bake Oven hidden skillfully in the back of the closet.  I pictured my friend going batshit crazy when the sad little light bulb that actually does the cooking in the Easy Bake Oven poops out.  I can just see her busting through the shuttered closet doors like the Incredible Hulk looking for that good icing, or a mason jar full of cupcakes or even one of those Ho-Ho-Ring-Ding things.

I promised my friend that if she got bad news from her test and had to adopt a new lifestyle, and forced to wave goodbye to chocolate covered yum-yums that I would join her.  It’s what you do with friends.  That, and offer shovels and plastic sheeting and alibi assistance when needed…

Once Urine, Twice You’re Out

For more than a dozen years my office has been in the “Historic” (homeless) district filled with quaint shoppes, brick -paved streets and the dude on the bike with urine.  The first time I met him was 10 years ago.  I had just got out of the car and  was burdened with a purse, briefcase and a box of files and teetering on cute but unsmart shoes in the metered parking lot downtown.  Briskly and much like a ninja this grown-ass man on a kids bike scrambled up to me like a crackhead tornado and he said, “Hey ladyladylady, give me all your money or I am gonna throw all this pee on you!”  In his free hand  was a cup of yellow liquid with a rubberbanded  tin foil for a lid. I dropped everything and gave him all my cash…and I mean every red cent..and it was all the money I had to my name for a week (and I had small children to feed…does that make it worse?  Good!  Because that’s how it was!)  He left and I picked up all of my thrown belongings and walked to my office with my heart racing and aching that he had taken all the money I had, even though it was not a large amount.

Pitiful, huh?

Fast forward to April of this year after I had been called into the office to hear that our doors were closing that day.  I left in the sunlight wondering what I was going to do.  Up rolls this guy on the bike (probably a different guy by now but the same scam).  “Hey ladyheyladyladylady!” he screamed, ushering me to attention. “Give me what you got for money right now or I am gonna throw this pee all over you!”  I threw everything down except my purse and I rared my head back and just belted out, “HHHHEEEEEEEEEELLLLPPPPPP!”  It was so loud that I think I burped in the process and it sounded like a lion’s roar!  His face was priceless.  He was afraid.  I said, “Bring it, BITCH!  Let’s go!  What cha got!?!?”  I was a crazy woman! I even think I was trying to pull off one of those Fred Sanford fancy footwork boxing deals..I dunno, I was in a zone. (Mind you, this was 100 feet from the police station).   My would-be assailant scooted off faster than Moody’s goose.  I gathered my things from the pavement and walked bravely to my car, feeling fearless and amused.  I knew I would be okay.

P.S.  The photo is not my actual would-be assailant, I think it’s of of them Walberg boys.

What a Heiffer will do for Weigh-In Day


Today was my 1 week weigh-in day at Weight Watchers. I joined last week with a friend (her idea). I showed up for weigh in (she did not). In my planning of how to make the most of this day I wore the lightest clothes I could find. For good measure I put on a brand new pair of compression (torture drawers) panties that go clear up to my bra. I used the word compression lightly. What I really meant to say is that they were so hard to get on that I felt the fat surge up to my eyelids. I was so mad because those people (Walmart) must have mis-sized those jokers and put a small pair onto that hanger and sold them to me! Over them I wore some light weighed goucho-sorta-deal that forgot to land at my waist and spent the whole day north at the bra-line too. I prayed that I would make it through the day without dying because I know the paramedics would have a big time taking pictures of me for their Facebook pages with all of my clothes resting at my bra and them not being able to get it off of me without cutting them and having to do rock, paper, scissors to see would have the duty of cutting them and run the risk of a slingshot effect of my flubber.

Those panties are mean. Sinister. The whole reason why I bought them was to use as bathing suit bottoms under my new bathing suit top (tent). I decided that I would rather wear cowboy chaps to the beach (and nothing else) than to have to spend a day in the hot sun and sand with those unrelenting scratchy-ass britches! I did “save” them however, for when I am lighter. (That’s unless they get outlawed or the rapture comes before my “lighter” days happen)

You must be wondering about my weigh-in? I stepped right up there, took off my sweater, earrings, shoes, necklace, and rings. The weigh in lady looked at me like she didn’t trust that I wasn’t gonna get buck-ass-nekked. They didn’t kick me out. I get to come back next week and give them $13.

Lizard in the Bed


It happened.
Our dog, who loves to chase lizards has run one of those damned things into my bedroom. I considered moving or setting the house on fire but I decided to take an antihistamine and go dead to bed instead hoping that the meds would put me into an anti-reptile sensory coma. No such luck. I inspected every corner of my bed an pillows, no sign of that green bastard. I looked around the room for any sign of that Geico-looking-son-of-a-gun. Nothing. I sealed my ass up in that bed and was so tucked in that I was collecting condensation under the sheets. Sleep came.
2:00 a.m.. I bolted up with the strangest tickle on my décolletage. I started flappin’ and slappin’ my chest and undercarriage so hard that I literally snatched a knot on myself. I flung every stitch of clothes off and sprinted through the house screaming “Oh GOD! It’s Got Me!” The dog, awoken at his post in the family room, thought I was a chubby naked intruder in the dark and bit me right on the ass. The bite broke my run and I remembered that the wall made a “splat” as my first round of titty-slaps sent Mr. Lizard into space.
Beat up, bitten and unclothed I went back to my room to see if I could find him. He was gone. I decided I’d spend the next few nights on the couch and wait for him to be eaten by the dog. They deserve each other.



One of the biggest treats I allow myself is a day trip to the beach. I get up early and start the road trip at 7:00 a.m. which puts me at my favorite beach spot at 8:30. I take the back roads, through the phosphate mines and small farming towns of central Florida. I can drive 20 miles at a clip and never see another car. The roads are two-laned and are insulated by tall pine trees. Deer and wild hogs are rumored to be abundant in this desolate alleyway to my nirvana, but I choose to travel this path in order to eliminate the interstates with their texters and screamers and Hummer-limosines full of people getting-it-on all the way to a BUCS game. (One Sunday I carried an SUV full of teenaged boys to the beach who had the delight of watching 4 40-year-old couples having a massive BANG in the back of a Hummer limo with poor tinting.)

At any rate, I often go alone to the beach, to think, to float, to enjoy the solace of silence. But fear creeps in on my trip and I envision a wild hog skipping accross the two lanes while I hum along in my tiny car at 80 MPH, clip him (or see him and swerve) and flip my car and die because of a pig. I would be mortified of my OBIT:

“Dana Mercaldi of Lakeland passed away yesterday during a selfish ride to the beach …alone…with a car packed full of sweet tea and cheese popcorn. Mrs. Mercaldi unskillfully flipped her VW on SR 674 as a pig crossed the road. The deceased will be laid to rest in her “Miraclesuit” bathing suit since it was so tight the mortician couldn’t even get it off of her.”

Save A Horse

mikeGoing to the movies (or the show, as my Momma always called it) has always been a real big treat for me. I remember many a hot summer afternoon spent in the back of Momma’s car with the windows cranked down sweatin’ my ass off all the way to the movie theatre. Mom would pack cans of coke and a baggie of candy and popcorn to sneak into the show. The warm soda would always be too shaken up from the car ride so that when we popped it open the sound would make everyone give us dirty looks. Ahhhh, good times.
I had not yet gone to see the movie Magic Mike so I put an update on Facebook that I needed my girlfriends to go with me. After two threads of people wanting to go and no real plans I sneaked off to the theatre late one evening alone because my bitches were just too hard to posse up. My kid was meeting a friend for a different show so I snatched on my best granny panties and headed for the theatre.
I sat alone in the dark waiting with my smuggled- in sangria and a bag of Rasinettes the size of your head. I looked around and noticed that I was surrounded by older ladies….I don’t mean cougars…I mean goddamned MOUNTAIN LIONS. I mean, hell, did these old bitches seriously think about getting’-it-on after a Red Hat Society Swap Meet? Did they really fantasize about hot young men in the middle of a nice game of bridge? Do they buy frilly things that they will model in a mirror when they’ve had too much white zin? Does the sound of a deep bass and the boom of drums with pumped up dudes stir things in them that would heat up the bingo parlor? Will I be interested when I am 70? Will I be all crunched up against a catwalk with crusty singles and a pocket full of Wurthers Originals screaming, “Come here, Sonny, and shake it for granny!” Is 70 the new 30? Will I be a GILF? Will there be a geriatric version of this movie released next year called Magic Milton? All of these thoughts scare me. Another scary thing: In comparison to my fellow movie-goers, I was a fresh hot thang.
The show started as did the music and dancing. It starts with “It’s Raining Men” but honey… it isn’t like the old Chippendales stuff you remember from the eighties. I damned near fell out! The old gals were hootin’ and hollerin’ and I swear to Pete I got hit with a rogue single or two. A bit later on Channing Tatum danced to Ride The Pony and just set things alive in me that I ain’t felt since jelly shoes and legwarmers, y’all! That cute young actor from the movie The Vow plays the main character, Magic Mike. I never got to see if, in fact, his Mike was magical but I can attest that the rest of him was. He has a pout on him like Santa Claus skipped his house and it makes me want to eat him with a spoon.
All of a sudden, a feeling of remorse crept up on me and I felt like a turd in a punchbowl as I sat there in the clothes that I had dragged myself in with: A shirt I could have asooned just dusted the house with, Capri pants that my nana even said went out of style, and clodhopper shoes that would leave you wondering what team I am batting for. I mean, hell, what does a gal wear to a strip show at the movies anyway? Next time I will wear a tasteful Lilly Pulitzer cardigan and a sweet skirt…no – too preppy and people will think I have wandered into the wrong theatre and missed the one the Christian church rents out on Friday night for the Virgin Support Group.
At any rate, I guess I was dressed just fine and nobody cared since the two gals to my left were showing their asses so badly in celebration that some old lady complained to management and the ladies were asked to leave. Well, they GOT TOLD to leave and they made a big-ass stink about it while gathering up their bootleg cocktails and snatching their arms all about and yellin out about being “a grown ass woman!” and all.
I don’t mind sharing with you that when Matthew McConaughey’s role was that of the kinda gross older dude I was dismayed and more than a tad disappointed. I sat there wondering how old he was in real life. Well don’t you know that the damned Wikipedia people say he is two years YOUNGER than me? What the hell is all THAT about!?!?! Here he was, all leather faced and sunken eyed and costumed in weird vests and a rattlesnake tail necklace just a pimpin out his club and advising his dancers (and looking a bit coked up, I might add). Although Matthew’s portrayal of the club owner was really well done it did make me long for the younger days of Matthew when he sat across from Ellen DeGeneres on her talk show all dressed in soft worn denim and chambray and telling her how to make Beer Can Chicken on the grill. Makes my ass crave some of that juicy yard bird right now. But I digress. Y’all.
I have never been to a male strip show in person because they always pick a plump gal in the audience to grind and with all the low carb enthusiasts my chances of being the only chub there are too great to risk it. I do not want to be the reason that Elephant Dick Earl has to file workman’s comp because he was busy making an on-stage spectacle of me and decides to flip me forgetting that I weigh as much as his Harley. I will tell you that he will STRUT over but he will LIMP back. For God’s sake…he’ll have to wear a Grimace costume and lure me on stage with a Big Mac and fries. And I DO NOT want it to end up on Youtube or Facebook posted by one of my dumb ass girlfriends or some random Chubby Chaser so everybody can have a good chuckle while I spank Dexter The Flexer or, god forbid, he spanks me and busts the seam on my spanks knocking us and the whole damned first row unconscious from the release impact! Yep, sure enough, that video will go viral and I will have some ‘splainin’ to do at home. I also do not want to be NEXT to the girl that they do grind on. I mean, geez, that’s just as bad because everyone watches the girl next to her for the reaction. And my reaction, ladies and gents, would be to make like a baby and head out. Ya get me? I f I want to watch two clothed strangers hump all I have to do is attend the sexaholics support group meeting across town on Monday nights at 6 p.m. (Not that I ever go).
Another great little number they did was Save a Horse-Ride a cowboy. Girls…. The memory of that is still so vivid that I must have recently given Old Clem and uncomfortable feeling at the feed store when he loaded some dog chow for me last week. I think I was humming THAT song and may have gotten a bit to close okay, I fell into him over the curb. (Pause) NOW DON’T LAUGH Y’all!!! He’s got a lazy eye and and a neck goiter but he’ll do in a pinch. Y’all quit cutting on Old Clem!
I loved, loved, loved the dance numbers and could have done without the story line. Let’s be real. I did not go because I heard it was a “good story”. I went because the trailer on the TV showed that purty young man doing a muscle-man pose to music. I couldn’t log on to Fandango fast enough.
I was happy to sit there in awe, drink my wine and eat six pounds of Raisinettes like I was going to the electric chair. The old gals behind me laughed and swooned and had a ball. Half of them left to go home in a retirement home bus and I imagined that the geezers over at Shady Acres would all have a little more hitch in their giddy up tomorrow. Save a Horse, Y’all! Yee HAW!!!!!!!

Topless Tuesday at the Thrift

toplessI am late for everything.  I have two teen sons, a full time job (I call it my “Big girl job”), the Vintage Warehouse space and have a full load at USF.  So what that means is that when I am somewhere…somewhere else is a sufferin’.  I have to work extra hard at everything to get it done and that includes scoring my good junk and antiques to paint.  And before you get your thong in a wad, I am not all about painting great-Aunt-Gerties prized Berkey and Gay buffet that has been in the family 3 generations.  I am about getting a half sanded buffet that Jolene is selling for her crack habit.  (I am kidding about the crack but it’s funny to say so I do).  I haul these half sanded junkerz in and they roll back out like they have had Botoxx and a full-on ass-lift.  So, I see it as a service to it.

At any rate…   I rolled up to one of my face honey holes (I can’t tell you where or I’ll have to take you out) and on the step were these tops…a bikini, a ragged out bra and a push up bra.  Panic came over me as I feared it was Topless Tuesday at the honey hole and here I was knocking these A and B cups straight out of the game.  A tingle rushed up as I knew that if this were a contest for a discont that I WAS GONNA WIN!.  I quickened my step, rushed the door to see every heiffer in there with a shirt on.  Dang… I had missed it again… me and my full schedule.