Monday, February 1, 2016

B! TRUE COSBYWOOD STORY-THE HISTORY OF BARRELASSIN'

 I came into my little half- finished corner in this half- finished room/office/work space, to begin my first night of working from here rather than my bed or the kitchen table or couch. It seems very fitting that it was one year ago today that I launched my online greeting card store. My silly, funny, sometimes nice, colorful, not everyone's cup of tea greeting cards. But this was not at all the very beginning of my journey.



I have been asked on multiple occasions about the name, "Barrelassin”, by my acquaintances. So this is my...  






For my entire life I have heard my mother use the word barrelassin'. Naturally, my mother is not the only person in the world to say the word;she didn't invent it or anything. She's not even the only person I ever heard use it growing up- it's a pretty common word. But according to my mom, everyone on the planet was actually physically acting out the word. "Watch going around these curves, some car is likely to come barrelassin' around it." "Watch getting over- these people are barrelassin' down the road today." "This car just came barrelassin' up on my bumper." People were not only committing this act on the roads behind the wheel either- they were doing it on their two bare feet! He/she was always barrelassin' up or down the stairs, around the corner, or into a room.You get the point.

One day a very long time ago, my mom, my sister, and me, were on a little road trip. Heaven only knows which one; actually I do know which one, but anyway...it appeared that everything throughout our drive was pretty damn hilarious. We were having a great time and naturally, everyone else on the road around us was barrelassin' the whole way there and back. I began to analyze it for a few minutes and finally announced, "Mom, one of these days I'm gonna get you that word. It will be your word, all for you." Of course we came up with a million different things that the word would be used for and I knew exactly from day one what I wanted the logo to look like. Our very first idea was to have our very own Barrelassin' Beer. Obviously that wasn't really gonna work out for us so we never even gave the beer another thought. I eventually turned it into my blog name and started blogging. I wasn't sure what to talk about but I knew I had tons to say. I wanted it to be a successful blog-whatever the hell that meant- but didn't really think posting whatever crossed my mind was a good idea. As it would later turn out- that was the best idea because it's such an incredible outlet for me. My mind never stops thinking and sometimes, I can think about a blog post for days before I ever blog about it. Not deciding what to say- but making myself sign in a start typing rather than signing in and checking a thousand other things, changing a widget, checking stats, etc.

I started off thinking I was going to talk about music and concerts since I'm very passionate about the music and artists that I really like and listen to. Face it- there's no one on the face of the Earth that doesn't have a connection to some sort of music. But that wasn't cutting it for me either because I found that I didn't have a lot to say about music except that I like it. Then I decided that I didn't need for my blog to even be about anything I had any knowledge of at all but, just something that worked well with my catchy name. So we decided it would be about racing- except not really, we were just going to allow people to upload their racing videos to the site because that was the big topic going on around us from the kids then. Well- that was a dumb idea because if I thought beer would be difficult, the journey to make that site happen was threatening to push me over the edge. It simply wasn't meant to be and I'm so happy I couldn't make that work.

It wasn't until Facebook came along and I was a little more free and comfortable to speak what was on my mind, that I began to figure out that what I needed was to be posting these things on my blog because they're sometimes long and drawn out.

None of this was easy for me due to where I live. Which is in the woods with only dial up internet available to me, and it was so slow that my mom and me would go to the library about twice a week and get on the internet just to avoid trying to post a picture or a comment on Facebook and waiting for it to successfully upload before bedtime. Neither of us even had a smartphone! The smartest our phones got at that time was taking a blurry picture of something and then emailing it to ourselves so we could open it up, save it, and then try to post it. Lord I'm exhausted just thinking about it!!

We finally ended up with satellite internet at my house and I was able to work more on the blog and some other social media sites. The only problem there was that I had no idea how to utilize all of the technology available to me; I still don't for the most part! But I would sit for hours in between life happening and try to do something as simple as center a photo or my blog post- silly stuff.

I had written several little...what I like to call books, and had been working on many of them- all about different things. I guess I'm just too many different women inside my head, and this was long before Facebook or my blog or any of that other stuff, and I knew I wanted to publish them someday and I knew that I would. I just didn't know how in the hell I was going to do it. It seemed so easy- and it might be by now, but that's only because I practically went to a fake college of Mickey Bryan on the laptop where I was the student and the professor. Every single solitary aspect of it required me to go find another answer to solve another problem. I eventually graduated myself and I gladly paid someone to format the photo and the book for me for an online version. I didn't want my Masters- I just wanted to publish 14,000 little words, so I hired someone to do it. I had to get an education on how to find those people,too.

Don't think for one minute that I should have been asking the people I know- because I did that first. One very kind person drew my logo several times for me until he captured my vision and he did it for free. Again- he was a very kind person. Not long afterwards, he sadly passed away. Another young man that I know was kind enough in the beginning to take my calls from across the country, relentlessly begging him to tell me how to create an account, create the website, get a host, (I'm like, what the hell is a host?) among many other stupid questions and God bless his little heart for doing so. He was a very busy man but he always took the time and never once hung up on me or stopped taking my calls. He was far away- he could have easily put me on ignore forever and ever. There were plenty of people that I asked for help who pretty much blew me off, and it was their right to do so, but it was just shocking at how many people were really not willing to help me or even take me seriously when I shared my vision or my dreams about it with them. So, I got the hint.

If I was shocked then, I was even more shocked when I finally published my little eBook and the very people that I knew would have my back and be happy and proud, were nowhere to be found. I mean literally! The revelation was absolutely astounding! People that I thought very highly of blocked me and even unfriended me on social media sites for inviting them to like my page. People I fully supported on social media and gave money to, raised money for, shared, shared, and shared some more, every single thing they posted for their causes and businesses, literally never even so much as clicked the like button or shared my announcement of the book one single time. Never congratulated me or expressed any kind of happiness for me whatsoever. Even more astounding was the amount of support that I received from people who I was actually afraid might judge me, or consider it too risque to share or help promote; people I would have never thought would even read a book titled I Only Wrote this to Piss People Off! were sharing and caring in a big way. They got it! They got me! They completely understood it. I totally get why people would be weary of sharing things like that on their social media pages- but those people are the ones who took the time to send me message after message after message in private to tell me how proud they were of me and happy for me.  It meant the world to me to hear it from those people. I admired and respected them already, and for them to compliment me so nicely made my heart overflow with gratitude.

So this, finally, is where the greeting cards come in. I enjoyed making up memes and smart-assy little sayings and laughing at them, and it hit me one night- I could write these things all day long. I'll just make greeting cards that you can't just go out and buy anywhere and give those a shot, too. Why not? I have too many ideas and not near enough time, but I don't have to do one thing and one thing only, and so it was born. I stayed awake for months teaching myself all of the rules and regulations to trying to design and sell greeting cards. Now, not only do I have a diploma from the college of Mickey Bryan on eBook publishing, but I have one for designing and printing professionally made greeting cards, and one heck of an education in preparing and filing a trademark for your own logo degree.

 That one was an expensive degree and involved the government, and screwing that one up would have been a mistake I could not afford to make- although, I made one small error and they charged me $100.00 for me to figure it out and file another form to revise the form that it had already taken me months to file in the first place. Definitely unlike the degree I earned for making the decision to represent myself and be my own attorney during a very long, drawn out custody issue when my kids were little where I didn't charge myself. I mean, I was a single mom after all- I couldn't afford to pay me. You wanna talk about filing forms...try that one on for size! Every single one of those forms I got off of the government website and printed and filled out myself and filed with the court. Even the judge was puzzled by me. He actually said he never recommends anyone representing themselves but I was welcome to try it. I think he was actually scratching his head when he told me that I only missed one single form, and if I could come up with that one and drop it off with the clerk, he'd sign it and grant me my wishes- and he kept his word. My bff told me that I looked and sounded just like a real attorney when I was in front of the courtroom arguing my case lol. The funny thing was- I wasn't worried about all of the forms and filing and time commitment, I was absolutely terrified to stand up in front of everyone in that courtroom and open my mouth. I have no idea where that girl came from- (maybe Law & Order?), but I sure am glad I summoned her that day.

 Anyhoo, I don't know if anyone wants those darned little cards or not, I don't know if people want me to fail or succeed sometimes, and I don't know if any of Barrelassin's future plans will play out the way I wish, but I do know the two morals of this story...

1) When anyone ever makes me feel silly for dreaming big, scoffs at me, or tells me that I cannot do something- that is a surefire way to motivate me, and I will die trying to prove them wrong.

2) Barrelassin' isn't just a blog or just some silly online greeting card store. Barrelassin' is a way of life for us- and I majored in Barrelassin' and graduated with honors. Those cards, this blog- all of it started out honoring my mother- and I know you can't technically own a word on its own- but I have a piece of paper here from the United States Patent and Trademark office stating that to the best of my absolute legal ability...I got my mom her word-just like I said I would.

My favorite quote: "Nobody ever made any money betting against me."- Bethenny Frankel

Who knows where you'll see us next.
Enjoy, Barrelassers ;)

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

BARRELASSIN' MOMMA'S ALOHA CHRISTMAS!


Barrelassin' Momma got a big surprise this Christmas. She has been talking about Hawaii for as long as I can remember- essentially, my whole life, and this year that's exactly what she'll get!
We first tried to surprise her with a beautiful calendar that included all sorts of photos from some of her previous and most recent vacations. The surprise was- we added a new vacation on the very last page- Hawaii! Since we haven't gone yet, we photo-shopped a picture of the ones going on the trip and added all of our faces to Hula dancers. Of course nothing ever goes off without a hitch around here so naturally, not only did the photo not get finished in time to add to the calendar but, the calendar didn't get delivered on time. In fact, it didn't actually arrive until the day after Christmas. But, like the true Barrelassers that we are- we improvised.

Photo-shopped picture that never made the cut :)


We decided to just pull up the calendar online from our saved projects page and let her know this was her gift that didn't make it on time. The idea was for her to read the calendar and of course, be very surprised when she got to December. No surprise here that it was raining and our satellite internet wasn't cooperating at all. We were able to make it slowly load on a cell phone which then made the writing almost impossible for her to read. Smh. We were finally able to capture some of the calendar reading and surprise on video- which you can see on our Youtube channel link and right here on the blog link as well.

http://www.barrelassin.com/2015/12/mother-gets-christmas-surprise-she-must.html

 And what else would Barrelassin' Momma's first thought be when she realizes she's going to Hawaii to celebrate her 74th birthday in June but 'did we rob a bank?' Of course we didn't rob a bank. We booked the trip- paid all of the deposits- and then for an even bigger surprise we told her she has to pay for her own portion. Shake my darn head again. Essentially- we knew she was willing to do that- but she wanted her family with her. So her real present is that we're willing to spend the money so that we can join her on her next big Barrelassin' adventure!

How do people such as us manage to go to Hawaii? We pay deposits and set up a payment plan with Alaska Airlines and we now have five months to pay it in full. Yes- it was like vacation layaway!

Enjoy, Barrelassers ;)


Friday, October 23, 2015

FOOTBALL FOLLIES/PANTS ON THE GROUND!

Well I certainly started this morning off in my typical "Lucy" fashion, no surprise there.
I woke up early and very sleepily put on my husband's old high school, football sweatpants...with no drawstring. (I actually think they may be wrestling team sweatpants but, Wrestling Follies would be a stupid title.) I added a long t-shirt with a sweatshirt over that and topped it all off with a pair of giant, white, fluffy, flurry looking, boot style house shoes.

This was the outfit I chose to drive my daughter to school in. Not a problem, nobody is really going to see me, right? And anyway, I don't actually care if anyone sees me looking like that at that time of day. It's early and cold and that's a great excuse as far as I'm concerned. 

Everything was going off just as planned and I dropped her off at school without a hitch. And since I don't care about the look I'm sporting, I make the decision to stop at the busy little gas station and order myself a biscuit for the ride home. That's when it happened. I grabbed my phone, keys, and money, up in my hands and started across the parking lot. I paused briefly to turn and lock the car doors using my key fob... and at that very moment, my pants gave way BIG time! In a split second my sweatpants dropped to my knees right then and there. I felt the cold air sweep across my butt just before I grabbed them as quick as I could  wrangle them with my full hands and pulled them up. I immediately looked around quite frantic at all the other cars in the parking lot and didn't see anyone else as I scanned quickly. However, it's also very possible that I just blocked them out due to humiliation, or that my mind automatically did so in order to protect my heart from failing. I can still hear that little scream I squeaked out.



I was really hoping that nobody in the store saw what happened, and given that there was nothing in the world that I could do about it now-and I wanted that biscuit more than I didn't want to suffer the embarrassment, I waltzed right into that station, laid everything I had in my hands up on the counter, adjusted my clothes the best way I knew how and told the lady at the register with all the seriousness I could muster, "my pants just fell down in the parking lot. I sure hope nobody saw that." I completely owned it. I had no other choice.
She kind of laughed but mostly looked confused. And then I picked up my belongings and walked to the back of that station up to the grill and ordered my biscuit like a boss!

I pranced back up to the register and paid the cashier. I thanked the lady and she told me to have a good day. I looked right back at her and told her I was going to go home and put on some real clothes and walked out the door. Like it was your average, everyday, most normal conversation in the world. Like nothing had ever happened. 

You're welcome, Barrelassers ;)

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

THE MAINTENANCE CALL HEARD ROUND THE WORLD...

We recently traveled to Los Angeles, CA. for my barrelassin' daughter's seventeenth birthday. That's a long way from Tennessee, especially when two out of five people in your group leave behind anything resembling a bathing suit for beach day. We make a fantastic mother daughter duo!

Naturally, we had to go shopping for swimsuits. Swimsuits that we could only use to sit in sand and take silly photos with because the water was a little too cold for our liking. It could have been worse, though. We could have had to purchase a blanket on the pier because we left our beach towels behind as well, along with our favorite sunhats. Oh, wait, We did that, too!

Did we have enough sense to buy a beach umbrella to lay under and relax while we gazed at the ocean? Of course we did! We spent twenty five beach minutes picking out that twenty five dollar umbrella. We opened that thing up like we knew exactly what we were doing and stuck it in the sand.That was mere seconds before a large gust of wind came along and sent me running to catch it as it turned itself inside out and nearly pulled me off the ground. This was not what I had in mind when I said I wanted to go parasailing, but whatever works I guess. That was officially the only use we got out of the umbrella before we packed it neatly back into its packaging. We bought two sunhats to go with our beach blanket and umbrella and couldn't use those either for more than two minutes. Those blew off of our heads every single time we put them on. Whatever, that's plenty of time to take a few pictures.

Santa Monica Beach and Pier with Barrelassin' Momma!


During this trip, I found myself in need of a very specific bra to wear with a specific dress, so I bought it. Unfortunately, during the purchasing process. the sales associate had to go price check another item and in turn, I bought the bra with the deactivated theft proof plastic thing a ma jiggy still on it and spent days trying to pry it off to no avail. I tried every MacGyver trick that I could think of and I had simply had enough. I was wearing that dress come hell or high water, so I pranced myself right down to guest services at our hotel and requested maintenance and tools to settle this problem once and for all. And by "settle this problem" I mean that maintenance accompanied me back to our room where we all stood  around slightly embarrassed watching a maintenance man remove that thing a ma jiggy, setting the imprisoned bra free from it's tiny handcuffs. I've called maintenance a lot of times over the years but, that's definitely the first time I've ever had to call them to come and fix my bra.

 
And I wore that dress with that bra like nobody's business!
If you think it can't get any worse... hang in there. I flew from California to Atlanta and went swiftly into another hotel room to rest my weary head a bit before the drive home the next morning, only to wake the next morning with missing luggage. I was baffled. All five of us recalled it coming off the hotel shuttle and even off the elevator. So where was it? Luggage thieves in the night? Not likely. A quick call to the front desk and they got right on it. They soon called me back to let me know I had left my luggage outside of my room in the hallway all night long and security had rescued it and it was currently residing downstairs in luggage prison.

Enjoy, Barrelassers ;)








Thursday, October 8, 2015

FAUX, FAUX, SQUIRRELY ME...

So next up, me and Barrelassin' Momma and the barrelassin' kids are headed to California for my daughter's seventeenth birthday celebration. This obviously requires lots of planning and cooperation from everyone involved. Less than forty- eight hours until we leave and this is where I nearly derailed. Because no matter how old I get, I'm not setting Fancy free. (Maybe tomorrow, though.)

While trying to wash and pack everything I would need for such a trip I wondered if I still had a set of unused false eyelashes somewhere. I think I looked around for mere seconds before I noticed my faux leather pants hanging on the rack in front of me. Oh yes! I almost forgot! I've been meaning to try those on and see if they still fit me since the last time I wore them just over a year ago on my fortieth birthday.

For the record, I was not wandering around like this.
Obviously this was the first time I wore them ;). 

Great news! They totally fit. But, I still needed to see how my butt looked in them before committing to them and adding them to my many, many, other piles of clothes that I swore I was not taking this time. I do this each and every time. I say, next time... I'm not taking many outfits on my next trip and lugging it all around. The last trip I actually had to go and buy a duffle/duffel bag (super don't care for the correct spelling of this word anymore. Apparently I can spell it either way in the last decade.) on wheels to get my shoes home because I shopped while away and had no more room for them.

Anyhoo...I wandered toward the bathroom mirror because I've recently decided the one in my bedroom is nothing but a skinny mirror and is a liar. My butt looks nothing like it does in that particular mirror. At least not in any other mirror here-maybe they're both wrong. So I'm on my way to the bathroom and then...SQUIRREL! Not unlike the many squirrels I've chased just telling this story, I stopped and finished loading the dishwasher, made a phone call, answered some Facebook stuff, took the sheets from the dryer and took them to my room. I then put clothes in the dryer, brushed my hair because I had just added my faux color to it before I ever thought about my "faux" eyelashes, which is probably what me think of those in the first place come to think of it. I cleaned out a purse I haven't carried in a while, found my lip shine and just had to see how that looked and then had to pee. It was THEN that I finally made it to the bathroom and remembered that I had started that way a long time ago to look at my real butt in my faux leather pants. I had been all over the house doing one thing and then the next wearing those things, and I still have no EYE-dea about those dang eyelashes.

Enjoy, Barrelassers ;)

THROWING BACK A FEW THURSDAYS...

Dotting west, Deborah Allen, and not too many moons ago, Darius Rucker. Sigh...good times.

Monday, October 5, 2015

I'M ALL OVER THE COUNTRY MUSIC MAP!

I once told Lee Greenwood, the day after he first won Male Vocalist of the year... I might add, and that I did not wish for him to sign the first page of my autograph book because I was saving it for Charlie Pride. Barrelassin' Momma was embarrassed, just as I would imagine I would probably be if I were my own child. Lee took it like a man. He simply turned the page to the second page and admitted that he didn't really blame me.

I was also eleven years old walking around Fan Fair, now known as the CMA Festival, much, much larger than it used to be, with a Michael Jackson "Beat It" hat on my head and the only people who appeared to care were the ones with me because it had nothing to do with Country Music. I think they were embarrassed but that all ended right after they told me I would never get anywhere near Charlie Pride and I showed them that being a child, I had things much easier than they had it. For instance...I walked through the mob of people trying to get to Charlie and not one person said a word. Nor did they say anything to my mother trying to catch me. Charlie not only signed my book, ON THE  FIRST PAGE RESERVED FOR HIM...but he signed a poster for me, posed for a photo, rolled up the signed poster and hit me on top of the head and informed me that he, too, liked Michael Jackson.

If I hadn't humiliated my mother enough during that week, as luck would have it I had signed up for The Osmond Brothers' fan club the year before. And for that entire year I received fan letters from them. Not special fan letters but- the same letters typed out and mailed to everyone else on the list.
So when we just so happened to be in the same place as they were  while being lead into the building and escorted to their booth as we were on out way out, I literally grabbed and swung on one of their arms as they walked to the booth, shouting all the way, "Hey! Don't you know me? I'm Mickey!! You write to me all the time!!He didn't dare let me down...literally. He walked and let me swing and so politely informed me..."I sure know you now, Mickey."

This was the same year that I met Loretta Lynn, Dottie West and the dang Dukes of Hazzard! All of those fine folks from Hee Haw and so many more of the greats. The one person I didn't meet that year...and it broke my little heart because I thought since he had a booth there, I was supposed to be able to meet him, was Johnny Cash. And I had my June Carter Cash impersonation down and ready! I was so upset that he wasn't there to greet me like I thought the book said he would be, and so I bought the most gigantic pair of Johnny Cash socks you ever did see. I even wore them around with my "Beat It" hat. They were white and came up over my knees with a black ink printed autograph. Naturally, I thought he must have signed them before I arrived. (I did later get to meet their son and that was the next best thing.) But I also had an argument that Keith Whitley's name was pronounced like "Whitely" as in the color?? I told that silly lady who clearly knew nothing, that he told me as we spoke and he signed my poster, the one I later thought was silly and threw away, that his name was pronounced like the color. I don't know where I got that, and I have no idea why that poster hang there for so long with his signature and one day I decided to replace it with a million rock n roll posters. Other than I was clearly out of my head because at this current say in time- I would give almost anything to have it back!! It wasn't until I was 14 years old that I fell madly in love with Keith Whitley and hated myself for that. But I also fell in love with Ronnie Milsap again and... I wouldn't have missed it for the world. Don't even get me started on the Bellamy Brothers. Heaven help us all!

Enjoy, Barrelassers :)


YOU PICKED A FINE TIME TO LEAVE ME, KENNY ROGERS! CMA 2012-NASHVILLE, TN.

For my whole life I've been in love with Kenny Rogers, Well, him and Eddie Van Halen.
Kind of the same, right? Anyhoo- the only reason I'm not a bad-ass guitar
player today, like Eddie Van Halen, is because the guitar teacher wouldn't teach me to play
Lucille, by Kenny Rogers, after two lessons. I quit! Right then and there!!
I went on to sing the song over and over from the slide of
my swing set for anyone wondering. I'm totally famous for it.

Lane Brody- Nashville, TN. Yellow Rose?...I think so.

The Kentucky Heaadhunters could not have found more heads to hunt
than half of our group trying to sit on their lap that day.

This photo would not need words if it were not for the fact that
I stood there with my little Barrelassin' Hannah Banana just to get a glimpse-
when a very nice lady gave Hannah her ticket to get in the actual line to have a photo made.


Jack Ingram <3 <3. I made him sign my photo...
"Love you, Mickey!" Because he probably does anyway...right?

Barrelassin' Momma with Mel Tillis. She just told him who my
father was (whom I had not yet met) and standing from the Jack Ingram booth, I took the picture.
She was pretending to not have said anything haha. 

Filming a promo with Taylor Swift and her band on
the steps of the Ryman .
Super nice of them to throw water to us. It was very hot!!
That man said Taylor asked  them to come out and give us the water :)

My lawd! Hank lll. Me and the hubby are fans of
his. Met him earlier than this and he called
Barrelassin' Momma for us to say hi :)

Barrelassin' Momma had met his daddy, Hank Williams JR. when
he was about 14 yrs old. <3 him!

Conway Twitty's son and daughter with
Barrelassin' Momma and Hannah Banana! Love Conway!

So happy to have this picture of Randy Travis! He is so timeless!

Barrelassin' Noah and the Naked Cowboy.
Nashville is too much fun!!

ROCK N' ROLL MEETS MUSIC CITY, USA- VAN HALEN 2012 -NASHVILLE, TN.

My Van Halen tattoo went to Nashville, TN. 2012
to see the boys!! 

2ND ROW! Had to go to Nashville and sleep for several hours
the night before these went on sale!

Magic fingers! Eddie Van Halen- 2012

HOMES OF NASHVILLE'S FINEST...WE ARE NOT STALKERS!!

When I asked my brother, who lives in Nashville, about a particular neighborhood and if I would go to jail for taking photos...he informed me that the neighborhood was full of mostly old money and Judges. He continued...not like American idol judges...but judges that will have you arrested and taken to jail for stalking and taking photos of their homes. Thankfully the day of stalking was nearly over. Whew! That could have been a close call ;).
Dottie West- Nashville, TN. 2013 (One of them)
Somebody's gonna give you a lesson...I'm just sayin'.
Patsy Cline-Nashville,TN. March, 2013
Crazy!

Earl Scruggs- Nashville, TN.2013
Foggy Mountain Breakdown!




Martina McBride- Nashville, TN. 2013

Ronnie Milsap- Nashville, TN. 2013

Minnie Pearl- Nashville, TN. 2013

Lynn Anderson- Nashville, TN. 2013 (RIP- Rose Garden :( )

Dolly Parton- Nashville, TN. 2013

Kenny Chesney- Nashville, TN. 2013

Tim McGraw & Faith Hill- Nashville, TN. 2013