Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Ten Commandments of Wal-Mart

1. Thou shall have no new carts before all of them have acquired at least one bad wheel and a missing handle cover.

2. Thou shall not take images with the cell phone camera for the People of Wal-Mart website if it’s someone you work with, go to church with or are related to.

3. Do not take the name of the Lord in vain while using the self checkout lane. It’s not his fault the dadgum thing never works.

4. Remember the two sides of each aisle and keep them holy. Blocking the entire aisle with your cart while you talk at length to your cousin Reba can get you smacked in the backside by my….I mean, “a” cart.

5. Honor the space between you and the person checking out in front of you. Stop crowding please.

6. Thou shall not kill the shelf stocker for moving things around AGAIN. It’s not his fault.

7. Thou shall not commit blasphemy because only two checkout lanes are open.

8. Thou shall not steal more than one glance at the customer wearing a camo jacket, flannel pajama pants and house shoes in the meat department.

9. Thou shall not bare thy backside and show thy thong by bending over the dairy case in low riders.

10. Thou shall not covet thy neighbor's spot in line…way ahead of you.

So sayeth the Hula Girl at Heart

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Oh Snap Moment of the Week

Friday, April 22nd, 9pm-ish-I'm in the shower, as bare as the day I was born and had just sudsed up my hair with shampoo.  Teen Angel burst into the bathroom to tell me the tornado sirens were going off (for the 10,000th time in the past week).  "Seriously?" I asked. 

Decision time.  Do I go ahead and condition since my head's already wet or do I jump out and grab clothes?  I decided it was probably best not to be found nekked when the rescuers pulled my body from underneath a pile of rubble.   Lesson learned-If there is a tornado watch for your region, don't take off your clothes for any reason.

Monday, April 25, 2011

How High's the Water Mama?

Fifty-three feet high and risin’. The animals are lining up two by two at the riverfront, looking for their boarding passes, and some guy named Noah stopped by a little while ago, inquiring about the price of wood. Our little town is about to get wet, and unfortunately, for some, it could be devastating.

I live in a river town. The Ohio and Tennessee Rivers provide this region with many jobs, both in transportation and tourism. But the rivers, especially the Ohio, are mighty forces that command respect, and every now and then they like to flex their muscles and remind us who is boss. For days now, we have endured on and off again rain. Not piddly rain, but gully washers. Over and over again, and it’s finally catching up with us. In a rather rapid way. We looked up over the weekend, and bam! The water was noticeably higher. Then the National Weather Service held a news conference and started throwing around words like “record flood levels” and “catastrophic flooding”. They said the Ohio could crest at a level second only to the 1937 flood, which gets folks around here in a bit of a lather. Those of us from these parts grew up with grandparents and relatives who told stories about the devastation of the 1937 flood. It inundated this region and caused numerous folks to lose everything they owned. It’s how this city ended up with a floodwall. The Army Corps of Engineers did not want history to repeat itself and ringed this city with a floodwall in the 1940’s. So the near mention of setting a record anywhere near that level got folks to moving fast yesterday. The city moved in heavy equipment, started building a levee around our riverfront convention center and today started closing the floodgates.

What a busy place our riverfront was today. As my daddy would say, it was all arseholes and elbows down there.

Besides the workers, there are plenty of gawkers. People were snapping pictures of what they think could be history but hope it isn’t.

There are a handful of roads around the community that are already closed, and several hundred people in low lying areas in this county and a few surrounding counties have been told to evacuate their homes. While the floodwall will keep us from seeing the devastation of seventy four years ago, there are some people around here who will probably suffer great property loss. The Hula-gen’s live on high ground, so we aren’t worried about our property, but we do know people who live close to the water’s edge, and we hope for their sakes the forecasters are just being overly cautious. As I type this, Hubby is helping a church member sandbag around his home. It will be interesting to see how this unfolds. It just goes to show, you never can tell when something big is going to happen. As mama says, it’s good to stay all prayed up.

Sunday, April 24, 2011


The more things change the more they stay the same.  For instance:

Prom Theme-"Paris"

Prom Theme-"An Evening in Paris"

Oh, and a certain senior was voted "Best Sense of Humor" this week.  Guess what senior superlative her mother captured as well. 

Cue the weird music.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Photo Friday Challenge-"Minimalistic"

The other entries are always so fantastic.  You can check them out at

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Somebody's Gonna Need a Wash Cloth

I was lucky enough earlier this week to be in a place where there were dozens of kids having a big day on a field trip that featured ice cream as their last attraction.  While there were plenty of smiles on the shiny little faces, you wouldn't know it by the pictures of them eating their treats.  They were cracking me UP with the intensity they had while chowing down.  They either completely ignored the camera or seemed annoyed that it intruded on their efforts to get every drop of sugary goodness.  Ah, if only the rest of us tackled our joys with that much intensity.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Somebody Call A Plumber

Live has its ebb and flow. Sometimes it ebbs. Sometimes it flows, and sometimes it flows downhill and backs up in the basement. This has been one of those basement weeks. Besides sixteen little things that have gone wrong, we found the neighbors’ little dog dead in our pool the other morning. Poor little Miss Nola apparently slipped through the fence, got too nosey and fell in. She was an adventurous little spirit who had a habit of doing things that put her in danger, and it caught up with her. We were all just heartbroken. And a bit traumatized.

Yesterday, we put Mama J. in the hospital. It’s nothing serious, but she did give us a scare yesterday morning that prompted an ambulance ride to the hospital. Apparently, dehydration had a lot to do with that incoherent babbling that caused us to worry that she had had a light stroke.

Mama called me this morning to tell me that one of my elderly aunts fell and broke a hip late yesterday (not good at her age), and another elderly aunt has pneumonia (also not good). Right as I hung up the phone with her, Hubby called me to tell me he had just spent a fair amount of money at the pool store, and while we were on the phone he came upon a bad wreck involving a good friend of his. He hung up, bailed out and helped emergency crews cut P. out of his truck that was wrapped around a tree. Nothing like getting covered in mud and your friend’s blood by 10 o’clock in the morning. P. will be okay and had remarkably few injuries from the accident, but he’ll be in the hospital for a few days. Oh, and rolling around in the back of our brains this week is the fact that tomorrow is the two year anniversary of Sissy’s suicide. Um, yeah, it’s just a barrel of monkeys over here. Sister Mercy, I’m afraid to answer the phone anymore.

We will weather all of this and be smiling again soon, like this weekend when Teen Angel has prom, but right now, we could use a little break. The business where I work is closed for Good Friday, and I have a full day of comp time built up, so I’m takin’ my ball and goin’ home. I’m taking the rest of the week off, and plan to try out that new lounge chair I bought Sunday….if it doesn’t storm yet again. We are in the midst of a cycle of very stormy weather that’s supposed to last through the weekend. The wind huffed and puffed and tried to blow down the house last night, but we came through without any damage. I hate to sound paranoid, but at the rate things are going, I think I’ll just slap a hardhat on everybody’s head and hand them a flotation device for at least the next few days. If anybody needs me, I’ll be in the back eating bon bons and watching House Hunters International reruns. Anybody know how much it costs to buy a home in Belize? I want something without a basement.

Monday, April 18, 2011

My memory cards are full.

“Take any pictures lately?” I get asked that quite a bit, and it always makes me want to giggle. Take any pictures? Does the Pope share his crackers? Has the Queen of England tried on any new hats? Does Charlie Sheen….oh, let’s not go there.

I have taken LOTS of pictures lately. I take pictures of everything. See?

That’s me looking out the patio doors during Friday night’s hail storm, praying for the good Lord to spare that new glass top table from hail damage. And that weird yellow shade of the photo? That’s untouched. That’s exactly how the sky looked at our house during the storm.

I take pictures all of the time, and usually I share them here, but here lately I’ve just been too busy to download them, clean them up and upload them to the World Wide Web. I keep thinking I’ll get around to it, but then something else happens, and I don’t get around to it. April has been a blur, and I can’t imagine May will be any better since it’s Teen Angel’s last month of high school. But let me tell ya’, I’ve been takin’ pictures.

There were daffodils. 

And dogwoods.

And cherry blossoms.

Oh, and tulips, lots of tulips.

There were some engagement pictures.

And some senior pictures that were most fun. In fact, this young man is one of my new favorite people.

Then there were family pictures for a friend of mine.

And later this week? Prom pictures. Dresses and hairdos and shoes loom in my future. It will be great fun, and I hope to share them with you, but don’t be surprised if it’s July before you see them. I hope not, but I’m not sure whether to scratch my watch or wind my butt right now, so I won’t make any promises I can’t keep. But just in case you were wondering, yes, I’ve been taking pictures.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Photo Friday Challenge-"Lines"

I call this "The Crossing"...also known as the one where I almost got my foot stuck in the tracks.  That's what I get for squatting down in the middle of a railroad bed.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Hula-Gen Family Fun Fact #2034

In 1990 Hula and her Hubby honeymooned in Cancun, Mexico.  A large time was had by all.  In fact, Hula got second place in a rather crowded limbo contest.  It was a good thing she didn't win as first prize was a bottle of rum, and let's just say she didn't need any more of THAT.  There are no pictures or videos of that contest to share with you, and in this day and age of Facebook and social media, Hula says, "Whew!  Thank goodness."

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Warren Goes Big Time

You know how we all like to brag about knowing someone famous? Well, today’s the day I’m going to tell you about my friend from college, Earl Brown. Make that W. Earl Brown. I forget the W. because I knew him when he was just plain old Earl from Puryear, Tennessee. (Look it up on a map. You’ll need a magnifying glass.)

You may not know Earl’s name, but you probably know his face. He’s played everything from MeatLoaf in a VH1 movie to Dan Dority in Deadwood.

And remember Warren in Something About Mary?

Yep, that’s Earl.

Way back in the mid 80’s when I was attending fraternity parties and occasionally studying at good old Murray State University in Murray, Kentucky, Earl and I shared some theater and television classes together. In fact, we were anchors on the student run television news broadcasts. I did the news, and he did the weather. And neither one of us knew much about either, but we looked good doing it. Earl was funny and clever and filled up the room with his personality. He may have been a boy from a tiny town in Tennessee, but he had success written all over him. We just didn’t know what he was going to be successful at. I mean, we knew he wanted to be an actor and had no doubts that he COULD be, but it’s a tough field to break into. I figured if he didn’t make it as an actor it wouldn’t be due to a lack of talent or hard work, just a lack of breaks in a hard knock business.

I don’t want to mislead anyone into thinking we were close. We just spent a lot of time in the same departments on campus and were good acquaintances, mostly through our work on TV-11. I will go to my grave remembering the evening during a live newscast when some wind-up male genitalia went bouncing across my news copy, just out of the camera’s eye, forcing me to fight the giggles for the rest of the show. He was paying me back for asking him a question on camera he couldn’t answer during the previous newscast. Did I mention he had a VERY wicked sense of humor?

I ran into him a couple of times after graduation, and he seemed to be doing well. He headed to Chicago and honed some skills in school and theater there, got a break as a speech coach on Backdraft and eventually headed to Los Angeles. To make a long story short, he’s done well. Really well. He has built a good life in L.A. for himself and his high school sweetheart, Carrie, steadily adding better and better credits to his resume, and this week I found out he has a new movie coming out in May. A big one, Bloodworth, featuring Kris Kristofferson, Val Kilmer, Dwight Yokum, Earl and Hilary Duff. This could be the one that really puts him on the map. Earl wrote this one. Yes, he wrote the movie. He’s been involved in writing for a while, helping to pen Deadwood episodes and now, this.

I couldn’t be more excited for him, and I can’t wait to see it. I have a good feeling about this one. It could be his really big break. And if he gets nominated for an Oscar, I’ll refrain from digging out my old anchoring tapes from TV-11, calling the National Enquirer and telling them the genitalia story. But honestly, if I did call them, I think he’d appreciate the retribution.

Here's the movie trailer.  For some reason YouTube hates me again today.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Oh, Snap!

The Hula-gen’s are anxious to try out their new pool, since it was built in the fall and then promptly covered in preparation for the impending cold weather. In a couple of weeks, the cover will come off, and we can start getting it ready for swimming. The cover is one of those heavy duty thingies that’s supposed to hold up an elephant, but the Hula-gen’s, being the skeptical sort, have been afraid to test it.

Now, we don’t have to. Special Delivery did it for us. He danced right across it Friday while we all watched, unable to stop him. I’m happy to report that the cover held like a charm.

But we all need new underwear.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Louis Armstrong-The Sunshine of love

This one is really for the 2.3 family members who read this blog, but the rest of you might enjoy the video. I've been working on engagement photos for my cousin's son and his fiance. Looking at pictures of young people in love always makes me smile and think about those good old days when you worried more about being together than how you were going to pay the electric bill. Livin' on love, Hubby and I call it. It's a grand time before you discover how hard marriage is, and it's memories of those times that help to carry you through those days when you want to whack your spouse up the side of the head with a two by four. They're just the cutest couple, and I can't wait to shoot their wedding.

It just makes me hum Louie Armstrong tunes when I look at them.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

What Time is It?!

Holy 1984, Batman! It's a contender for the first song on my half marathon iPod playlist. It contains one of the best lyrics ever, "This dance ain't for everyone, just the sexy people."

Oh, and why does Blogger hate Youtube? Did they break up and no one told me? It also doesn't what me to use paragraphs anymore. Somewhere out there, my senior grammar teacher is wincing.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Tattoo You

Sometimes I act without thinking and regret it. Like this morning when I felt all spring-like, put on a cotton floral skirt and stepped outside into 25 mph winds. And it’s not like I shouldn’t have seen that coming since local weather forecasters had been telling us for two days that we were going to get blown away today. Parts of town can now tell you what color and brand of underwear I prefer. How nice. Sometimes I just get all enthused about something and jump in with both feet before turning on my brain. It’s usually not a huge deal, but it can lead me into places I didn’t expect, especially on the internet.

Last night I was diddling around on the internet, acting like I had time to diddle around on the internet, looking for that website where you can make yourself into a tattoo on a hunky man’s body. I said to myself, “Hula it’s been ages since you plastered yourself onto David Beckham’s abs. See if there’s a tattoo option for Johnny Depp’s fanny.” Only I couldn’t think of the name of that website, so I just Googled it and in my haste typed “tattoo yourself” into the search bar. Lord, have mercy, did that pull up some interesting stuff. Mostly about making your own homemade tattoos. It appears there are people who do that kind of thing all of the time. To save money. I’ve never been desperate enough for a tattoo to whip out some sewing needles and ink and poke myself hundreds of times in an attempt to save a few bucks, but some people do. And they like to document it for the whole world wide web to see. Of course, it appears much of this happens at parties where adult beverages and possibly illegal substances are involved. I say “possibly” as if to give them the benefit of the doubt but frankly, many of the pictures I saw led me to believe that grow lights and tall weeds were just out of camera range. Kind of like the night of my senior prom when my date and I stopped to pick up another couple at his friend’s house and after about ten minutes in the house with friend’s hippie parents I said, “Self, there is weed in THIS house.” I got me and my puffy blue dress out of there as quickly as possible. A couple of months later, cops raided that house and found numerous marijuana plants growing upstairs. Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. Or marijuana.

Anyway, I read all about giving yourself a tattoo. The basic supplies involve sewing needles, pencils or ink pens and indigo ink or acrylic paint, but that’s not really recommended. Ya’ think? There were step by step instructions that involved such nuggets as you might not want to do it on someone who has a disease, and wash your hands before starting. Oh, and there might be some bleeding involved. However, there were no tips for what to do when your buddy overdoses on rum while trying to anesthetize himself for getting poked and scraped by his stoned friends. It never ceases to amaze me the things people will do, but it gets better.

You know at the bottom of the Google page where it recommends other topics that are similar to yours? They had a link to sites for removing your tattoos at home with acid. I didn’t have the nerve to look. I found the Photofunia page instead and slapped myself on a few pictures. They didn’t have a Johnny Depp option, but it would be a whole lot easier to remove myself from his backside than it would be to burn off my own arm with some acid if they did.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Need a toothpick?

Yesterday, we had a big ol' storm that roared through here. A couple of tornadoes were involved but not close to my house. However, in the midst of the storm, Hubby stepped out of our garage, into a monsoon, and heard a boom that sounded like a cannon going off. Apparantly, an old tree just up the road lost its pants. As daddy would say, how do ya' like them apples?

Monday, April 4, 2011

On My Feet

My running lately has been excellent, which is a dadgum miracle. Don’t ask me how it happened, but somehow I managed eleven miles Saturday. Actually, it was ten miles of running and one mile of run a block, walk a few steps, run some more, walk a few steps, repeat. That last mile kicked my arse. I was dog tired when I got back to the van. I have found that if you run far away from your car without cab money in your pocket you have no choice but to run back to your vehicle. Or hitch a ride, and while I may risk life and limb for a few daffodil pictures I’m not about to take up hitchhiking. To see my old Town and Country van in the distance is like seeing a lake in the desert. It beckons from a distance, calling my name. “Hula,” it says, “Shuffle just a little farther.” What it should say is, “Suck it up and RUN! Move it, move it, move it!!”

Eleven miles is not a big deal to many runners, but it’s a huge deal to me. I’ve been running for three years, and I have struggled with building distance. I knew it was a mental issue, and somehow, some way, about two months ago I broke through that mental weakness that was keeping me from pushing harder. I’m not sure how it happened or why it happened when it did, but it did. And to that I say, “It’s about dang time.” I am training for a half marathon that our city is holding Mother’s Day weekend. This will be the second one that I’ve run. The first was two years ago, and while I finished, I didn’t do nearly as well as I wanted to. I didn’t train enough the first time, so I struggled with that race. I don’t want to struggle this time. I want to be challenged but well prepared, which is why I’m pushing farther than my training schedule says. I want to get as close to thirteen miles as I can before the race. Slowly and surely, I’m getting there, one blister at a time. By the way, I highly recommend the Band-Aid Blister Care bandages. They’re excellent, and they’re helping me to get by while I work out the shoe-sock thing that’s causing my blisters. I’m also working on a couple of really nice calluses in my second toes. What do you call those? Index toes? By May, my feet should be gloriously ugly for flip-flop season.

My biggest challenge during those long runs is to stay focused. After that first hour, my mind can wander aimlessly if I’m not careful. Using my iPod has been a big help with that. I usually put it on “shuffle” and enjoy the surprises that brings. I plan to put together a well timed playlist for the race that will hopefully, put the right song in my ears when I need it most, but Saturday, it seemed the good Lord was giving me the songs I needed most at just the right time. During those last couple of miles as I started to get tired and struggle, a really inspirational song would drift through my ears, giving me a little extra push.

Now, I have all kinds of songs on my iPod as my music collection is pretty eclectic, but the songs that seem to inspire me most are spiritual. Nothing makes me run faster than David Crowder’s version of I Saw The Light or the Reverend James Cleveland’s Get Right Church, but the song that made me pick up my feet and keep me shuffling along during that last mile Saturday when I really wanted to sit down on the curb and wait for the bus, was this one:

Blogger wasn’t letting me post the actual video, so you’ll have to live with the link. Sorry.)

I discovered Saturday that Jaci Velesquez has a really sweet way of saying, “Move it, move it, move it!”

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Daffodils-Up Close

Big ones, small ones, yellow, white and orange. The daffodil farmer had them all. I wanted to just lay down in the middle of them. If I had to pick a favorite it would probably be the white ones with orange centers, but honestly, I love them all.