A Hellacious Belle’s Guide to Sips and Vittles of the Modern South: H is for Handpie #AtoZChallenge


OMG, I have to stop writing about food for this challenge.  I’m perpetually hungry and can think of nothing but making and eating all the food that I’m writing about.

Today, we look at the humble handpie, or fried pie, another traditional Southern consumable.

In theory, the handpie can be savory (and is in many cuisines, such as the divine empanadas of Hispanic culinary culture) but in the Southern United States, it’s traditionally sweet.

A single portion: rolled out biscuit dough, an aromatic filling of spices and fresh fruits (plums, peaches, apples), a quick crimp ’round the corners and a fast fry in hot oil – drain and dust with powdered sugar or a cinnamon sugar blend – maybe a drizzle of icing glaze.

A hot, palate-intensive flash of concentrated fruit flavor surrounded by sweet, melt-y, crunchy, flakey, amazing – give me one, NOW.



I, for one, am ready for a handout.

“We must have a pie. Stress cannot exist in the presence of a pie.”
David Mamet, Boston Marriage



In the Closet

Bam! Jarred awake, Lucy turned to her sister; but Susan snored softly, undisturbed.

Bam! Lucy slid from the bed and scurried through the gloom.

Bam! Flinging wide the wardrobe door, she startled as the bold winds of another world caressed her face.



When I tell people that I have a blog, they always want to know what I write about.

“What’s your category,” they say.  “Humor|entertainment| pets| parenting|relationships|food|health and wellness|travel?”

(Huh?  Category? What?)IMG_1778

It’s hard enough posting something/anything with any kind of regularity.

Describing my blog is difficult,  perhaps it’s because I’ve never really had a theme beyond its name, Drunk on Life.

In a silly, sappy way that’s totally normal to my nature, that’s how most of me feels – that life itself is intoxicating – a giant glass of champagne, filled with bubbles of happiness,to be tossed back, quaffed, slurped down and savored.

But of course, the reality is that life isn’t always a sparkling nectar.

I’m wildly fortunate in so many ways, and I am truly grateful for all of the blessings in my life.  I have a job and my health; a husband, parents and friends who love me; a home, two amazing fur kids, a car that runs, money in the bank.

It doesn’t stop me from bad days and stressful realities the same as anyone: the loss of a friend, feeling exhausted and alone, moments at work when I want to put my hands over my ears and start screaming, painful times when I fight with my husband, my car breaking down in an intersection and thinking I’m going to die, hearing a colleague saying something petty and nasty and unwarranted about me. Maybe it’s as simple as realizing I forgot to pay a bill last month; or it’s just one of those days when I’m a hot, hormonal mess, my jeans won’t zip up, my face breaks out and then my freakin’ dishwasher overflows suds all over my hardwood floors..

or when I try to write something/anything…

and nothing comes out.

Those are the times when instead of crying, I look through the pictures in my phone gallery or Instagram, pull up an old blog post, or scroll through albums on Facebook or real albums on the coffee table and remember wonderful, precious moments with the people I love. Walks on the Beltline with Sue and Laura. Barbeques and Ninja Turtle Burgers. Sunsets on the beach in Rosemary. Thanksgiving and Christmas. St. Patrick’s Day Dinners and Burn’s Suppers and “Screen on the Garage Door” movie nights. Hanging out with our parents. Hanging out with our cousins. Kitty hijinks. Clowning around. Dancing with my husband. Hugs and hand-holdings, a sweet text from a friend, jokes retold a thousand times, grins, giggles, laughing so hard you’re crying. Love.

IMG_1461 copy

And knowing that this is what really matters, ultimately, I find myself once again buzzed, wasted, snockered, giddy, tipsy on the life I have and the people in it.

And that’s what I try to share here, with you, the funny, charming, magical and wonderful moments that make it all worthwhile to me.

Cheers, Salud and Slàinte Mhath.  Here’s to life.

“Life is a crazy mixture of intoxicating cocktails.”
Ken Poirot

Nanopoblano: A Month of Spicy Writing with some fabulous Tiny Peppers!

I’m a Pepper, he’s a Pepper,
She’s a Pepper, we’re a Pepper,

nanopoblano, Team Pepper Wouldn’t you like to be a Pepper, too?

Yay!  It’s November 1st and for me the start of the 30-Day Crazy that is NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) as part of the NanoPoblano (Team Tiny Pepper) bloggers’ group!

I’ve been MIA from writing for the past two months due to a soul-sucking work load that’s left me low on energy and short on words.

To be truthful, I am frightened of committing to NaBloPoMo and Team Pepper.

I’m scared I’ll never be able to write a post Every. Single. Day. for the 30 days of November.

I’m timorous of taking on too much work: I’m panicked that I’ll be too short on time to peruse other Pepper’s posts,  I’m petrified I won’t write anything that anyone will find interesting. I’m even apprehensive of being a creative addition to the team.


I’m even more heart-stoppingly terrified to miss out on so much fun!








A Hellacious Belle’s Guide to the New South: Daddy’s Girl

Yes, I am a Daddy’s girl. Since I am also a Southern girl, there is no shame in this at all.

Regardless that I am a forty-something adult woman, it is not only perfectly normal, but socially acceptable for me to still call him Daddy.  Not Dad, not Jim.

(In the South, btw, Daddy is actually pronounced \ˈdeh-dē\ or “deddy”) 

383614_10151224165692561_295008258_nThere is a special relationship between Southern girls and their fathers.

Southern mamas teach their daughters to be strong women; but their fathers teach them that they are invincible princesses with arcane superpowers who should be treated with monumental respect.

Daddies teach their girls that they are brilliant and beautiful, worthy of love and loving and can do anything they put their minds to: start a business, be an astronaut, be president of the United States, be happy and fulfilled.

8895_10151224165697561_1369087551_nMy Daddy didn’t raise me to believe that my goals in life were defined by my gender.  He taught me to be smart and quick and strong and give my best.  And if I worked hard and believed in myself and what I was doing, I could have or be anything I wanted.

He taught me integrity by daily example.


He taught me to win without vanquishing others.

He taught me a love of learning.


He taught me that if I ever borrowed anything, I should give it back better than I got it.  Don’t just fill up the gas tank, wash and wax the car.

He taught me to be a good friend and told me that was the most important thing I could be in life.

My Daddy is my hero. Now and always.


One of the (few) benefits of being older is that my father is now my friend.  My husband and I not only vacation with my parents, but we have dinner parties with them. We go to the beach together.  We enjoy their company.  We hang out.

We are good friends.


I am eternally grateful for the strengths he gave me.  He not only taught me to believe in myself, but gave me a port in the storm and a shoulder to cry on for those times I didn’t.  He has always been there for me.

Me and my awesome Dad.

Me and my awesome Daddy.

I am proud to be a Daddy’s girl.  My Daddy’s girl.

We pick our battles and fight with the heart of a pit bull while still maintaining grace and elegance. Our mystique is that of a soft-spoken, mild-mannered southern belle who could direct an army, loves her mama and will always be daddy’s little girl.”

– Cameran Eubanks

A Hellacious Belle’s Guide to the New South: Accent the Positive

Ah’m fixin’ to write this blog, y’all, for the a to z challenge.  It’s just takin’ me a bit.

I was born in the South and learned to speak there, my earliest words lulled by languorous rhythms of low country loquacity, dusted with the twang of the North Georgia mountains, and balanced by the “get-to-the-business” patois of Birmingham and Atlanta.

I do have to confess to some inner valley girl swirled somehow into the middle; a hitchhiker, I suppose, from UGA college days long past.  It’s like, who I am.

Some of us chose to hide our Southerness.  Or mask it in our daily conversations, thinking the lack of a drawl makes us sound smarter, more educated.  Traveled.  Worldly.

But if we are from the South (and that South can run all the way from Delaware to parts of Texas and Arkansas) trust me: we have an accent.  And the deeper you get into Dixie, the deeper it lies within the dweller; the broader it becomes, the more it brands who we are.

As children, we’re all yes’ems and no’ums, fixins and done gonnas, but once we’re off to college and maybe living outside the South in some nest o’ Yankees or Midwesterners, (or heaven help us, as a lonely expat in outrageous and truly foreign parts, like New York City or Los Angeles), many of us will barricade behind the safe sterility of carefully enunciated “Americanisms,” only spontaneously dropping our “g”s in the excitement of  a promotion, “y’all”in’ all up while reminiscing about our childhood, returning to our every day lives from down home holidays with gifts of fudge, divinity and peanut brittle, along with some venison sausage that we let slip, “came from a deer our Deddy shot lass Fall.”

My voice falls into Southern drawl when I am tired, drunk, or in trouble. Too often, my accent is attacked by all three of these realities.”
Jennifer Harrison, Write like no one is reading

Much like Jennifer, my accent seeps out of me when I’m tired (and admittedly, the other two occasions as well) plus the rare opportunity that I’m actually speaking on the phone with a Southerner, especially an older woman.  It’s like a secret password: “Hey, I’m one of y’all.  I know the code.”

You almost always hear my accent when I’m being charming, or flirty. Believe it or not, Time Magazine recently reported that a survey by dating site Cupid.com, voted the “sing-song honey sweetness” of the Southern accent as the country’s sexiest, and by a pretty significant margin.

Regardless, it’s part of me and defines me as a native of the Southern states of our nation.  There’s history and tradition in my speech, an above-the-norm politeness and courtesy marks my words. The voices of my ancestors layer over the language of business and tech I speak daily at work; Southern “sugar” spins into words of endearment; the honeys, preciouses, sweeties, and darlins I use to address my beloveds and total strangers alike.

Oh, and I will use it to be annoying.  Don’t get me wrong.  The first time I sense someone is prejudging me as an Atlantan, or a Southerner in general; watching them don that patient look they might assume with the deliberately obtuse, the mentally challenged or the truly uneducated.

Game on.

And then I lay it thick.  Sweet as honey, slow as  molasses mixed with peanut buttuh.  Just givin’ them folks what they’re expectin.’

Why, it’d be just plain rude to disappoint!

“I decided to deflect her attitude by giving a long, Southern answer. I come from people who know how to draw things out. Annoy a Southerner, and we will drain away the moments of your life with our slow, detailed replies until you are nothing but a husk of your former self and that much closer to death.”
Maureen Johnson, The Name of the Star

Hell’s Belles

atoz-theme-reveal-2015Despite a level of of fear and trepidation I typically reserve for dentist appointments, I just signed up for the Blogging from A-Z April (2015) Challenge. This is a writing quest to blog each day in the month of April (except for Sunday, which you get “off” for good behavior.) For these 26 days, you’re asked to write “thematically” from A through Z, taking on a new “letter” daily as your source of inspiration. (Ack! ‘Zounds!)

Obviously, I don’t got a “lick of sense,” as my Granny would have said, because I’ve taken this a little further and joined the bloggers picking an underlying theme for the A-Z theme of their daily challenge. ea495251ac8fd45e5ecaa4c2604c66f0 I’m going to do my best to write about the South: the place I call my home, the food I love and the culture I respect, the roots of my humor and every once in a while, Hell'sbellesposta  source of embarrassment (Honey Boo Boo, Real Housewives of Atlanta or Duck Dynasty, anyone? ::shudders::) How being raised to be a “lady,” and the perfect little “princess” translates into a world where the door’s no longer held open for me; it’s sometimes slammed into my butt.

The juxtaposition of very old and revered (and occasionally woefully dusty and outdated) and the spangly new: sometimes bright and fresh, sometimes bling-y and gaudy, studded with trailers and high-rises, dusted with Dawgs and debutantes, and swirled and twirled into the inner urb’s and outer ‘burbs that make up the New South.

I’d love your suggestions for discussion or your stereotypes to be debunked and we’ll sop ’em all up with a biscuit, while discussing Southern Life, or at least life as a modern “belle,” from A through Z and to Handbaskets from Hell.

To Sir Terry, with Love;

March may have breezed in like a lamb, but it is roaring out with the ferocity of a lion.  A lion that has stalked and devoured more than its fair share of the good things of this world.  March is a calendar page I’d just as soon see flipped over.

Six years ago, it snatched up my best friend, Nyk.

This year it beamed away the fabulous Mr. Spock: gifted actor, director, photographer and writer, Leonard Nimoy.

On Thursday, March 12th,  it snuffed the blazing candle that was one of my favorite authors, the amazing and astounding Terry Pratchett, although no one and no thing could fully extinguish his spark.

Image source: the Guardian

Image source: the Guardian

“To be a star, you must shine your own light, follow your own path, and don’t worry about the darkness, for that is when the stars shine brightest.” – Terry Pratchett

To you, Sir Terry, I raise a toast to your worlds and your words.

The disease that took you can’t take away the gifts you’ve given to me and so many others.

Thank you for Binky and Greebo, Susan and the Death of Rats. For Samuel Vines, Tiffany Aching and the Wee Free Men. For Mort, Cut-Me-Own-Throat Dibbler, Nanny Ogg and Granny Weatherwax.

Most especially for Granny Weatherwax.

For the innate and powerful wisdom of Headology.

Thank you for your beautifully realized, but hysterically polarized Discworld; a more bizarre, yet somehow still warmer and gentler version of the warped reflection of the society that we view, skewered in the mirrored screens of our TVs and laptops and cellphones.

Thank you for sharing your light. Your grace. Your magic.

There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who, when presented with a glass that is exactly half full, say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty.

The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What’s up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don’t think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!” – Terry Pratchett

Thank you, Sir Terry, for filling my glass.

Share Your World – 2015 Week 8

This week’s questions from Cee’s weekly “Share Your World” blog prompt:

Your favorite blog post that you have written? (add link)

"We are Martial."

“We are Martial.”

There are two, and for very different reasons.  I think “We Are Martial” is the funny (to me at least), quippy kind of writing I wish I could do more of.

Missing Nkoyen” is a tribute to my best friend Nyk, who passed away five years ago.  It’s far from a worthy tribute to all that she was to so many of us, but it’s just one effort, as e.e. cumming, said, to carry her heart with me, “to carry it in my heart.”

What do you feel is the most enjoyable way to spend $500? Why?

A big dinner party at home or at a restaurant with a bunch of friends. Eating and drinking while spending time with people I love is one of my favorite things in the world to do.

We host dinner parties all the time, from our big Burn’s Supper in January, to St. Paddy’s Day dinners, Easter soirees, and 4th of July barbeques to food-themed movie nights, like “The Breakfast Club,” (with pancakes and bacon) and “Dr. No” (with Dark and Stormys and Key Crab Cakes.)

Burn's Supper

Burn’s Supper

If you could know the answer to any question, besides “What is the meaning of life?”, what would it be?

I think I would ask for direction on what my dream job would be and how I would go about getting it. I love designing events and creating images and stories for brands and social media. It would be amazing to write every day as part of my job. I wish I could combine them all and get a realistic paycheck.

Where do you eat breakfast?

When I’m with my husband, who usually cooks, we will eat in front of the fireplace in the winter, or on bar stools at the kitchen island. Otherwise, I might scarf down a bagel at my desk at work.

Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

For last week, I am grateful that it didn’t snow or ice over because I had so many events at work that would have been cancelled or negatively impacted. (Note: this is changing as we speak, as winter weather descends on us once again.  There are events that could still be cancelled or negatively impacted. Dammit.)

This week coming up?  See Question 2:  I am looking forward to a big brunch with friends on Sunday, followed by dinner with other friends visiting from out of town.  Yay!

Share Your World – 2015 Week #7

I’m really enjoying Cee’s Weekly Blogging Challenges.

Tuesday’s challenge, “Share Your World” asks you to answer a few diverse questions; sharing a little about yourself and your thoughts with your readers.

Is the paper money in your possession right now organized sequentially according to denomination and with the bills right side up and facing the same way?

No, to be honest, I have probably have a single dollar or a fiver wrinkled up at the bottom of my wallet.  I’m all ATM now and never carry cash.  This marks the vast gulf between now and my years as a bartender, when it was all about cash and when all my money had to be faced, sequential, crisp and organized (or I had a tiny meltdown.)


What is your favorite type of dog? (can be anything from a specific breed, a stuffed animal or character in a movie)

Even though I have two very amazing kitties that I love with all my heart,  I do love dogs too and volunteer for a rescue so I get a chance to help and hang out with some pups.

I grew up with labs, shepherds and dobermans, but I would have to say that my current favorite type of dog is a foster dog, any foster dog, because they desperately need love, support and shelter while they find their forever homes.

I am very happy to announce that we are the proud foster parents of a young gentleman named Beau who we hope will become a permanent member of our family.  He’s a black lab, around two years old.

Beau with his ducky.

Beau with his ducky.

He’s pretty awesome.

If money was not an issue, would you go on a cruise? If so where would you go?

Years ago, I worked for a travel agency and sold cruises, but never went on one, even though I had several opportunities.  Should I go now, I think I would like to visit somewhere classically exotic in the Mediterranean – Amalfi, Greece, the Côte d’Azur.  Of course, I wouldn’t say no to French Polynesia: Bora Bora, Tahiti, Moorea.  Just not in typhoon season.

Amalfi Coast, Italy image source: charmingasiatours.com

Amalfi Coast, Italy
image source: charmingasiatours.com

Would you dare to sleep in haunted house overnight?

I lived in a haunted townhouse in Old Town Arlington, Virginia for a few months.  I was terrified to even be in the house and totally thrilled to get out of it.  Weird stuff happened.  Just saying.

Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I am grateful that our sweet foster pup has come to live with us.  Getting up in the sub-artic air at the crack of crap each morning for bathroom runs has been a little challenging, but it’s worth it.

I’m looking forward this week to seeing a really old and dear friend, Colleen, who will be visiting from California with her husband, Gary.

Me, Heidi and Colleen on one of her last visits!

Me, friend Heidi and Colleen on one of her last visits!

Thanks, Cee for the challenge and happy Wednesday to everyone!