How’s It Driving Gwen?

Remember that free car giveaway? Last spring, I got to do one of the coolest things on my journey and that was hand over the keys for the car giveaway winner, Gwen. I know you’ve all been curious as to how she’s doing. Well, I’ve got an update for you! She has made some big changes in her life including moving back to California. Let me tell y’all, I was holding my breath when I heard that. Could you imagine how terrible it would have been if that car broke down on the way?! They both made it like champs! While in California, I got to get to know her and I couldn’t be more proud. What am I saying? I’ll let you hear it from her in her own words….

I’ve been home for two months now. I traveled 2,500 miles from Florida to California in my car that I was blessed with winning. I have had so many opportunities that I have been able to accept because of having my own car. I was able to move all of my belongings to California and saved a large amount of money instead of buying a plane ticket or renting a Uhaul. When I got home I was able to find two jobs and enroll in college for the fall semester. I can make it to work and school on my own and use this blessing I have gotten to safely get to where I need to go to fulfill my dreams of getting an education and becoming a successful business owner one day. Since I have been home I have also had the pleasure of getting to know Muffy on a personal level and not only has she changed my future but she has become an amazing friend and part of my family. She is an impeccable role model and is someone I highly look up to. She has taught me one very important thing and that is to know what you want and do whatever it takes to make it happen. I didn’t just get a car, I got job opportunities, a chance to better my education and my future, and I also got a life long friend and family member. In 5 years I will be a successful business owner living my dream and doing what I am passionate about and there is no way that I could ever thank Muffy enough for giving me that. My life is coming together and making my goals and dreams a possibility in the near future! 

         Thank you for the blessing!
Sincerely,  Gwen

I’m not crying! You’re crying! I think I speak for all of us when I say, we can’t wait to see where the world takes our little Gwen!



One of the things I get asked about all the time is my hair.  Do I color it myself? Is it my real hair? Once, like a slap in the face, did I color my hair with Kool-Aid? How does it stay so bright? How often do I do it? None of it is easy? But I’m going to tell you all about it. 

First off, it is time consuming in so many levels. I had never dyed my hair before so my virgin locks soaked up every ounce of color that came my way during the SEVEN HOURS I was at the salon. Yep, seven hours to make this brunette pink. Shannon from Hair Lounge in Summerville, South Carolina, did it and she’s amazing. When I can’t get back to her, she sends stylist instructions. The only person who has ever come close was Deron at Salon Studios in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. I don’t know what Deron does, but my hair always comes out crazy silky smooth after our visit. 

Product is everything. We use Goldwell Elumen and let me tell ya, that shiz isn’t going anywhere.

The only reason I go to the salon every 4-6 week is to touch up my roots. Damn my fast growing hair! When I get a touch up, I pack a lunch since those visits are a minimum of 4 hours. Younjust got to plan on settling in! 


Despite the pic above, the color doesn’t fade…like at all. With Goldwell as a base, I care for my hair with Keratin Complex shampoo & conditioner PLUS Viral color tinted shampoo. The color treated shampoo makes a HUGE difference. Hotel KLA has gorgeous purple locks ombré with her natural hair color, thanks to Viral she hasn’t had to have her color touched up in almost 6 months. 

Notice that sun hat? Yep, you guessed it! No sun to tarnish my color. Poolside I toss my hair up in a monogrammed ball cap, while driving with the top down I make sure to load my hair down with color sunblock. I find that the sunblock is a personal preference on brand. I don’t love the aresal, but haven’t found one I love love love. Even if you’re not pink, if you have any color in your hair at all you should be putting sunblock on your color to keep from dulling or turning brassy from the sun. 

No sun, no chlorine either. Saltwater is fine, but a chlorine pool will destroy my hair. Not even ashamed that I put on a swim cap, special ordered of course. 

I try to space out my showers as much as possible…which leads to a lot of dry shampoo (regular, nude, and pink tinted depending on the occasion) and LOTS of styling. 

I woke up like this

You’re going to want to invest in some dark towels for when you do shower. Can I keep going pink forever? With proper hair care, yes. Though I am considering leaning towards a fade into pink to cut down on salon visits and expenses. Maybe something like these only with pink? What do you think? 

Of course, I LOVE LOVE LOVE this bombshell:

A lot of the reason we transitioned from bubble gum pink to hot, hot pink are my dark roots. As much as I love that fiesty lady above, it would be even more work than what I have now. 

So yeah, that’s the 411 on my pink locks and haircare. Mad work, but worth every second. I mean, how can you not be enchanted?! 

Moving Monday?

There has been an offer on the house; the light at the end of the tunnel might be getting brighter. I miss being on the road. Even though I’ve been still, my mind hasn’t stopped. 

Nostalgia can’t help from lurking at every corner. Memories both tangible and intangible are all over this place. The “what ifs” are starting to creep in now. What if I had done this in August when I was first asked? Would I still have Mizzou? Would I have seen my grandmother more? 

There is no point in what ifs, that doesn’t mean they don’t run rampant through my thoughts. 

It hasn’t been all sad. I found a tent and a sleeping bag in the garage attic. I’m sure there has to be others…I’ll think of them eventually. 

From here, there’s the world. I’ll pack back up and head off. Before that I’ll pack up the memories both tangible and intangible. This was the last semblance of home and my purpose of being here is to get rid of it. 

There’s no looking back now, the world awaits. 

Swans of Hyde Park

For all those who have seen my attempt to clap “Deep in the Heart of Texas,” you’ll understand the depth of what I am about to say: my musical ability is just above my artistic ability. I am extremely creative, I lack the execution. Mostly, I’d put glitter on every surface available. 

Knowing this I’m somewhat amazed that my mother gave in to my pleas to let me tag along with my high school’s art class trip to Europe. You would think the high school art teacher would have been a little wise since I had never taken a single art class with no intention to ever do so either. Turns out the art teacher didn’t speak any foreign languages (well, maybe Spanish but we weren’t schedule to visit Spain) and had never been out of the country. How this didn’t come up in one of the parent meetings prior to the trip is beyond me. For sixteen year old Muffy, this was lining up to be the trip of a lifetime. Man, was it ever. 

Back then airlines gave you free alcoholic beverages in flight and once you hit international waters drinking age was eighteen. Close enough for me! The adventures of underage underage drinking will be for another time. 
Among the museum tours and lots and lots of cathedrals, there was even more free time with even less supervision. Full abandonment of any delusion my chaperone had any control over us was lost in Paris, only our second stop. That I’ll save for tomorrow’s Tuesday Travel Tip. 
Always the heartbreaker, of course I met boys; even an American in Switzerland who I dated after returning to the States. After all, I am enchanting. But, there was one in London. 

All this time later, I’ve lost the memory of how we met. Before cellphones and Tinder, it would have been simply by chance. Packed away in one of the two storage bins I have stored away there’s a photo of us together. He was gorgeous and I was a sun kissed bubbly teen. If only you could savor that kind of carefree for when you are older, beyond having it as a memory, for days when the stress is too much. 

We took a bottle of wine and snuck into Hyde Park after dark. He laughed at my accent and I soaked up his as he tried to explain to me their version grades in high school. We looked for the stars and I told him at my house you could see them all since I didn’t live in the city. He told me how much he loved American Dr. Pepper. We told stories about everything, secrets about nothing, and whispered into the breeze until dawn. Minus the whole breaking into a park, it was an evening of innocence that seems like more than enough when you’re sixteen. 

Eventually, the sun came up and the swans started to wake. As the flock began their way to the water, I started to make my way to the hotel. Curfew was long gone and I was supposed to catch a ferry for Paris. They may have missed me at bed count, but I had a suspicion someone might take notice upon leaving the country. 

He could come with me, no he couldn’t. Even at sixteen, I knew he was going to be a better memory than reality. Now more than twice my age then, that still holds true. When I gave back his hoodie, he gave me his ring. I thought my heart might break when he kissed me goodbye. It could have been a movie. This was a movie, maybe something about a train?

There had been a trio of us and he had a pair of friends with him. They made us laugh, we all had drinks. We were at the age that all we wanted were for boys to talk to us, cute boys with British accents? Yes, please. We paired off. 

Who knows who he grew up to be. All those dreams we planned that night, I couldn’t even tell you what mine were back then, who knew if his came true. Mine were either plans to go to one day become a lawyer (I was really close) or something completely outlandish (which I am doing exceedingly well with). 
It is a different time and a different place. His name was Amid, he was Muslim. Or maybe, I guess he is Muslim. There are many, many reasons now why I wouldn’t wander off in another country with a man (especially not to break the law by breaking into a park). Even in my own country I would not wander off with a man. There is more darkness lurking in the dark when you’re an adult.

It is a different time and place, in this day and age…I probably never would have met Amid. My exploits would have a snapchat filter lost in technology, not a photo for me to hold and remember. I’d never have been unconnected from my parents or chaperones long enough to make a memory. I worry that if we had met this day, this age in this time and place that him being Muslim and me being an American would not have just been tiny parts of us that didn’t factor into our story. I worry it would have been all of our story if we even got that far. Mostly, I worry that instead of him being amazed that back in America we say “y’all,” he’d be amazed at how back in America they say “terrorist” without even knowing him.

It Is My New Theme Song

So I’m buying a sailboat. Do I know what I’m doing? Of course not. In my defense, there have been tons of things I’ve done when I had no clue what I was doing. Tons of stuff before google, YouTube, and smartphones. Like, my car. My car is a stick shift. I didn’t know how to drive a stick when I bought it. 10 years later, automatics throw me off. This will be fine. 

This is absolutely going to be fine. I’ll take some classes. On the east coast it is $1500 for a sailing course, $2500 in the Bahamas, and only $500 out west. Obviously, I’ll go west and take some classes. If I hop from California to Hawaii then I’m debating keeping going on to Asia. In my head, I’m already over that way…I should just go on over to Australia…take all kinds of sailing classes! Not actually sail to those places. Take sailing classes in those places. 

The particulars will have to wait until I get dates. I’ll need warm weather for learning (no mas winters!), but no sailing during hurricane season. It would be my guess that buying a boat in the summer is probably a bit more expensive than the winter months. Again, I have no clue. And that’s the point. No, not that I’m winging it. The point is I think I need a boat broker. Does that exist? Big, huge red flags start waving anytime I find a boat that I like in my price range. Since I’m not keen on dying, bringing in an expert is probably the better plan. Research begins. Adventure awaits! 


I like Danville. I just never liked any of the feels that I had to deal with in coming here. I didn’t even know my mother wasn’t living here. That would have made the last couple of times I came through much less awkward. 
A few years back when my family moved from the house to the farm, I was traveling home for Christmas except I didn’t know how to get there. No one was answering their phones and I had no clue how to get home. Later I discovered that even if I had the address, it wouldn’t have helped. GPS doesn’t pick up the farm. 
How do you not know where your home is? That’s a lot of what I’ve got going on right now. 
I kind of feel like I missed the boat. When did Danville stop being my family’s home? How did a whole family and life leave without telling me? 

Now I’m here closing up our home by myself. All kinds of feels on top of feels. 

The same reasoning is why I had kept telling my grandmother no when asked to come back. I wasn’t ready to deal with this yet, I had other things on the list to deal with that took higher priority. Time ran out. 

I get it. I sound like major Danville Debbie Downer. Probably because I am. That’s just what we’re dealing with out here. 

The other day I got mad at my mom and hung up on her with the reasoning I could just call my grandmother for the answer to whatever I was asking. But, I can’t do that anymore. I’ve lost my center. 

So I’m out here going through all the feels without any distractions. This could be really good for me or I could go completely insane. Jury is still out. Upside, I’m not losing my stance on what I believe in, I found hangers, and I’m going out for a bit this evening. 

Let’s all expect long, waxy prose for the next little bit. 

It’s Harder Being Still

Who knew that being off the road in a normal lifestyle would be such an adjustment? 

Things have started to be sort of normal again. I’ve unpacked my car, which is insane on so many levels. My emotions keep bouncing back and forth between “look at all this stuff I have!” and “this is really all I own in the world?” Either way that branch swings, I’m still in awe of myself for rolling with 7 days worth of clothes for all climates for months on end. This kiddo doesn’t do jeans and t-shirts either. Talk about packing on the layering!

After sleepless nights in a big empty house, Sunday brought rest. It could be that I finally mentally settled in, these last few weeks have been a roller coaster. Maybe there really was a gang of robbers keeping me up each night that finally caught a glimpse of the interior and abandoned their plan, leaving me to a silent evening (when I say empty, I mean there’s no furniture, there’s no people, nada). It could be the normalcy that a television brought, breaking up the silence. 

Personally, my money is on Maverick. Who is that you ask? Maverick is the silver lining of being off the road. Maverick is my foster dog. He’s a good boy. Smart, super sweet brindle pup. He’s living it up with so much love, it makes me wonder what his old life was like. Maverick is going to be such a good dog for someone. You can find out more about him from Lexington Pit Crew. 

Sleep calls and I’m thrilled I left the ringer on, this is one call I’m ready to answer. More mountains of laundry tomorrow, internet will be the last piece of the puzzle for home. 

Here’s to a goodnight sleep. After all, I need my wits about me to finish off our fictional tale! 
We’re still rolling on the iPhone and running with first drafts, as always excuse the typos. 

Muffy Monday: Let Me Whisper Some Southern In Your Ear

We are just going to breakdown this learning curve right here with a breakdown of “Southern.”

By the grace of God, I was born and raised Southern with a powerhouse trifecta of an upbringing split among Alabama, Kentucky, and South Carolina. I don’t know how to answer “yes” or “no” without a “ma’am” or “sir” behind it.

I have my own hoopskirt stories that are a hit at DAR teas. I feel naked without my pearls. I pick a dress with flops over pants any day of the week. Asking me if I want a Coke covers all beverages, while asking me if I want a pop makes me concerned I’ve offended you and you might stat swinging. I’m proud to wear my letters just never while I have a drink in my hand.

I come from the land where football dynasties are made and “Roll Tide” covers hello, goodbye, hell yeah, or even an entire conversation.

Born a Kentuckian and a degree holding Wildcat, I will always be finding my way home. I will always bleed blue even when I’ve had too much bourbon.

All of this makes me Southern and not just geographically (which is the only way Florida really counts). Sweet tea sippin’, glowing not sweating in 105 degree heat & humidity, SEC rooting Southern.

Let’s clear some things up:

  • KFC is not like Starbucks. There isn’t one on every corner in Kentucky and we’re not all lining up to see what color bucket they’re doing for the holidays. Now if you replace KFC with basketball in that assumption, you’d be on point. The world stops in Kentucky on game days.
  • Depending on your side of the state line, when you say “Carolina” you either mean South Carolina or North Carolina. Those are the Carolinas, plural. They are not the same. It amazes me how many people are surprised I am not used to snow, don’t I get that all the time? No. North Carolina has mountains where it regularly gets cold. South Carolina not so much (except at the moment where our Southern winter has been hijacked). I lived in Charleston. I lived at the beach. Ocean not mountains. They are two completely different states.
  • There is Southern, there is country, and then there are people who are both. When it comes to country, I’ve only got a weekend in me. I’ve got a kill shot, I just don’t do sitting quietly, no matter how big a buck. Mudding sounds fun if there is a cabin nearby to clean up. My Saturdays are for tailgating not tailgates and I’ll take grits over gravy at brunch every time.

Don’t get me wrong, plain and simple, I’m not badass enough to be country.

I guess being Southern is just cream of the crop and that’s why all y’all are so fascinated. Or maybe it’s the lack of a Southern upbringing to blame for the manners. But y’all don’t see me out here in the desert asking people if they live in wigwams.

Class it up people! For the love of biscuits, embrace my manners! Be impressed with my historical knowledge! Just because I am polite does not mean I am naive. Just like me not calling you an asshole, doesn’t mean you aren’t one.

When encountering new people, use the good sense the good Lord gave you. I may love Him, but I say f*ck a lot and so help me, the next time I get asked to say something again so you can get a good laugh or if I eat possums or have a Confederate flag bikini, this belle is going to flip her shiz over more than tonight’s ballgame.

Now, if you excuse me, this Bama girl has a game to get ready for! Clemson, I hate it when we are up against each other. You won a place in my heart when you wooed this barely 18 year old girl tailgates, lake houses, beer, boats, and boys. You’re the only orange I like. And I sure do thank you for that shut out against Ohio! But, tonight, on live the SEC!

Roll Tide Roll y’all!