A Hellacious Belle’s Guide to Sips and Vittles of the Modern South: N is for Nashville Hot Chicken

nashvillehotHey guys!  We’re back today with the Hellacious Belle’s guide to Southern Food and Bevs, ’cause whoo hoo!  We just got us a Hattie B’s in the ATL and I wanted to share.

Hattie B’s is a purveyor of Nashville Hot Chicken, which is a type of fried chicken made famous in the Music City, that’s marinated in spices, crispy fried and sauced again with a pepper-based paste.

Nashville Hot Chicken is usually served with white bread and some pickle chips and ranges from mild, “Southern” heat to “Burn Notice” style, STCU.

Our branch of Hatti B’s has been open maybe a month or two but the lines are still wrapped around the block at lunch and dinner.  I’ll pass for now on a wait for a plate and instead try my luck making my own fiery fried cluck, with a recipe courtesy of the Food Network.

In a way that somebody else converts to Judaism or becomes a Hare Krishna, I belong to the church of fried chicken. – Padma Lakshmi


Cat Rules 101 – Rule 417

The other day, I shared with you Cat Rule 417, which addresses the ratio of unsolicited feline affection to the amount of black clothing worn by the feline’s human.  Corollary 1 of this rule further enhances the proportionate values by cost and use proximity.

Human and Feline interaction preceding the exercise of Corollary 2 of Cat Rule 417

I would like to add Corollary 2 to Cat Rule 417:

In circumstances of extreme need (such as the human wearing an all black dress, tights and coat on the way out the door for an important function) the feline can actually project hairs from their body like miniature javelins at recorded distances as great as fifty feet to adorn the clothing of their human.

Scientific illustration of cat hair projectiles by source and direction

This is an atavistic response honed through generations of self-imposed, selective breeding as a means to preserve the comfort and lifestyle of the species, by warning off predatory cats from poaching or impeding the cat’s human and perhaps impacting, even in the smallest of ways, the timely service of meals and scheduled applications of due affection.

It is to be noted that this redistribution of strand assets, resulting in the  “branding” of the human, is accompanied by an almost imperceptible “poof.”



Dogs have owners, cats have staff. ~Author Unknown

The kindness of strangers

I lost my kilt pin last month at the Stone Mountain Highland Games.

This happened at some point during the Parade of Tartans, when I marched with my Fergusson family and about 100 other Scottish clans and families in front of thousands of spectators.  The clasp must have caught on something and sprung loose, and the pin slipped free of the fabric and vanished under the feet of the masses.  I didn’t realize it until we were back at the tent.  David and I went back to look for it but it was hopeless.  Far too large a space, still too many people wandering around, too tiny of a pin.


My Mom gave me that pin when I was elected Regional Vice-President of Clan Fergusson.  It’s not super expensive, nor even an heirloom, but it means something very special to me.

I was crushed.  When we got home that night, and without any expectations of ever recovering my brooch, I sent a message to the webmaster of the Stone Mountain Games website and asked if he could connect me to the organization’s Lost and Found.  I described the pin and gave my contact information.

Three weeks later, a lovely lady from the Games Administration – Mrs. Grey – called me and asked me to describe my pin.  “It’s gold, a thistle, with a purple stone,” I replied.

“Can you tell me about the ribbon?” She asked.

“Ribbon?” I was perplexed.  “Huh? Oh wait, there’s a snip of tartan ribbon in the pin to represent my husband’s clan, the Douglasses.”

That was the identifier she was looking for.  She took down my address and said she’d send it on.  Today, I opened the mail to find an envelope containing my kilt pin, none the worse for its journey back to me.

Thank you, Mrs. Grey, from the bottom of my heart and my thanks also to that kind stranger, who picked up the pin and turned it in to Lost and Found, knowing it meant something to someone.

“I’m reminded that no matter how hard we try, nothing we do is in a vacuum.”
Mike McIntyre, The Kindness of Strangers: Penniless Across America



Cat Rules 101

Cat Rule 417: The amount of unsolicited affection shown by a feline is directly proportional to the amount of black clothing you are wearing.

Corollary 1 to Rule 417: the fervency of the feline’s affection is directly relational to the cost to dry clean the black clothing item and the proximity of the occasion you next plan to wear it.

“If a dog jumps into your lap it is because he is fond of you; but if a cat does the same thing it is because your lap is warmer.”
A.N. Whitehead

A book by any other cover…

…would still be awesome at my quarterly Pace Cetter’s book club meeting.

Today, we were hosted by the lovely Debraleigh in her beautiful home, and had the pleasure of meeting her husband, brother and her cutey-pie son, Ian, along with her delightful fur kids (who were desperately hoping we might get clumsy and drop some cheese.)

It was a fabulous afternoon, with great refreshments and even better conversation. Unfortunately, we never got around to discussing our book.

But that just gives us more to talk about next at the next function. Which I’m really looking forward to. I can’t value enough spending time with friends, putting work and weekday stress aside and genuinely enjoying time spent with charming, funny and intelligent women. I feel recharged and maybe a little rewritten.

I can’t wait to get our next meet up on the books.

We are family

The older I get, the more I have grown to cherish my family.

This is a little surprising to me considering what a rebel and a loner I was for so many years, but honestly; they couldn’t be more important to me now.  And not just the family I grew up with – my husband’s family has become precious to me as well.


We went to David’s Mom’s house in Augusta this weekend to spend time with my husband’s sister, Debbie, who’s visiting from San Diego.  David’s other sister, Vicky, who lives nearby, came over and spent the night on Friday, so we’ve had a lovely day and a half curled up in the living room watching old home movies (OMG, they have tons of home movies!), eating, drinking and taking crazy pictures.



You don’t choose your family. They are God’s gift to you, as you are to them.

 – Desmond Tutu


Cat Nap

The cats have been simply exhausted lately.

They’re asleep most of the day. Just worn out!

I’m thinking that they must be sneaking out at night, while I’m asleep, to go to work. I’ll bet they wanted to get me something really awesome for Christmas, so they secretly got jobs and they’re saving up.

They’re so amazing!