Shootin’ The Bull With My Past and Present. #AWBU Conference

This past weekend, I attended the Arkansas Women Bloggers Conference.

I sat in the midst of seventy female strangers, and yet, I felt at home.  And let me tell you something, home is where’s it’s at!  What I took away from this conference was wildly unexpected.  And I’m not talking about those free boots…although those babies are my new loves! (You can scroll down to see my pretty boots, BUT come back up to read what I gots to say)

The first night, a fascinating woman named Mary set the tone for the entire conference.  Mary, known in the Ozark Folk Center community for her storytelling and folk melodies, riveted us in sharing both the heart and performance behind the art of storytelling.

She sat on the stage step, telling tales of Mountain View women whose stories inspired those around them.  Mary felt so familiar to me–her aged, folk tongue, her slumped shoulders that came to life when she laughed,  her expressive hands that always managed to find their way back to her cotton dress.  Watching and listening, I felt like I was sitting on my front porch sharing stories with my Mimi and my Ammaw–very different stories but enjoying at them all the same.

Mimi (great grandmother) loved to garden and dance at the community center on Friday nights.  She lived alone most of her life, but had many visitors that stopped by for a story or two.  Mimi was quiet and never rambled. I always felt like her words were plotted, but I now know her thoughts were just well organized–admirable to a girl like me.  She really was a woman of mystery to me.  I’m telling you, every time we drove up to pay her a visit, I would see her sitting in her bedroom window, half hidden by the curtains. It would’ve been an eerie sight had I not known she just liked to watch the birds.  My sister and I would run up to her back screen door and wait for her to yell, “Woo-weee, come in ‘dis house.”  And like church mice, we would tip-toe in, take our place on the floral couch and just… listen.  She told us stories of the wild boys in her high school and the pranks they would play on the girls; she told us about working her whole life at the local drug store, and told us a lot about her garden.  Mimi told events but never her private thoughts.  She kept those to herself.

Now Ammaw, my grandmother, was my best friend. She loved beer,cigarettes and the Golden Girls, but above all, she loved her family.  Her house stayed full as she housed anyone who needed a temporary home.  On the weekends, it became a crowd of crazies sitting around shootin’ the bull, and I learned a lot about life sitting and listening in that garage, on a church pew, in the blue light of the bug zapper.  It was hours and hours of, “Oh, nah, you remember when ole JugHead nailed his shoe to the ground?” or “That One-Eyed-Jack fella had better boobs than I’ve ever seen on a lady.  He was sumpin else.”  There were some of the best story tellers in that bunch.  My Ammaw was far from perfect, and she never pretended to be otherwise.  It was all the more reason to listen to what she had to say.

So this weekend, got me to thinking about my story–not how I present myself, but how I share myself with others. I want to take away what I learn from other women and their stories and incorporate it into my own.  I want people to know they have an open invitation to my floral couch.  I want them to feel comfortable standing at my screen door unannounced, and I want to yell back, “Come in ‘dis house!”  My everyday choices, my everyday approach to people matter–they make up my story.  What I believe, what I give and what I take, what I say and what I don’t say, it will all be handed out to those around me.  Whether through words or mere living, my story will linger here even after I’m gone.  I’m reminded of the inevitable-we all have stories.  Intentional or not, we are all saying something.  And so, I’m still humming that folk song that we all sang with Mary… “May the life I live, speak for me.”


In the words of my Ampaw…Hootenanny!

A big thanks to one of our sponsors Country Outfitter who gave away a pair of boots to each conference attendee.  AND the first two weeks of October, I will be hosting a give away from Country Outfitter!  You will receive $150 credit to pick out your own pair of boots! I’m pumped! But hold your horses until October!

A few of the women who made it all happen.  Don’t they just radiate beauty?!


The Thrifted, Resized and High Waisted Skirt

I know…I could’ve at least ironed the skirt before we took a photo of it. But look, I had to change wardrobes in a kid friendly park.  You can’t be picky when you’re dealing with indecent exposure laws–and by model, our State is a bit unclear on what is appropriate.

This skirt is the result from yet another Goodwill trip.  The color of this skirt made me pick it up and the quality of the fabric made me actually pull out the dollah bills, with the plan of refashioning it to fit me-in shape and style of course.

Before I took in the side seams of the skirt, it was one large, pleated rectangle and was not flattering by any means.  I thought about shaping this like a pencil skirt but quite honestly, where do I wear these cute pencil skirts I have? The grocery store.  So, I chose to shape this for everyday wear, and I love it so much more for it’s versatility in my “stay-at-home” life.

And lastly,  I shortened the length of the skirt in which, I think, any schoolmarm would approve.

If you have been wanting to resize/refashion clothing then thrifting is the best way to practice.  This skirt was $2.50 so it takes the fear out of screwing it up.  “…How long before you screw it up, and how many times do I have to tell you, to hurry up” –Hey Hey, name that little ditty or artist. I’ll be singing this all day now.

Happy Monday!


Photography by Englexas

Go check her out on her FB page

My Most Loved and Hated Exercises

In a couple of hours I’m headed to the bloggers conference, and I haven’t packed yet. Uh-oh. So, here’s a short and simple one for Fitness Friday.

I’ve gone through different workout routines due to my schedule, my diet, my pregnancies, my motivation, etc.,  As of right now, these are exercise routines I do that I love and another list of some I endure that I hate.


  1. Hill Sprints
  2. Running Bleachers
  3. Squats of any kind…loving one legged squats.
  4. Planking
  5. Boxing
  6. Single Leg Dead Lifts
  7. Kicks of any kind
  8. Arm Dips
  9. Arm Curls
  10. Anything abs


  1. lunges
  2. push ups of any kind
  3. Wall Sits
  4. Jumping Rope
  5. Long Jumping
  6. Any kind of pelvic thrusting exercise. 🙂
  7. Walking
  8. Defensive slides
  9. Those dang exercise balls!
  10. Any workout with the heart of Richard Simmons. –crying or loud, smiley encouragement while doing the “pony”

Alright Ladies, Love Yourself! and Work!

Conference Bound / Plus A Surprise For My Readers

I must begin this post with informing YA’LL that I’m from East Texas.

By the 2nd grade, I knew my state bird, my state song, my state dish and knew to reverently “Remember the Alamo”. Two Christmas’ ago, my Ampaw gave me a wooden sign that said, “Don’t Mess With Texas.” (If you are not familiar, this is a state slogan that is seared into Texan’s souls to not pollute the holy grounds.) The sign is dear to me not only because it was given by him but because it symbolizes a precious story about my loyalty to my home state.

One summer, when I was a little girl, I was riding in the car with my Ammaw, probably making a beer or cigarette run. We drove by a state sign that again read, “Don’t Mess With Texas” and fear and shame came over me. I sat silent contemplating confession. My sweet Ammaw looked over and saw tears in my eyes. She asked me what the matter was, and I burst out with guilt, “Ammaw, I’ve been messing with Texas!”

If ever in me, it is now gone. I have lost my Texas pride. Nevertheless, I spur others on that hold true to the Lone Star State, and may she treat you sweetly.


The state of Arkansas is my home now, and I love her and all her natural, folkish beauty.  So, as an Arkansan and blogger I’m thrilled to be attending the Arkansas Women Blogger’s Conference this weekend.  The conference is held in Mt. View, Arkansas at the Ozark Folk Center, and I’m rooming with my  blogger friend, Kelcie at This Beautiful Inheritance.  Yeehaw!! 

And, because of Country Outfitter, I’m getting my first EVER cowgirl boots.  I know, I know…all this TX and AR talk, and I’ve never owned my own pair of boots.

Here was my first choice…..

But I made my decision too late, and they were out of stock so I went with…..Now all I need is a horse! Or a some wranglers…oh wait, oh wait…did anyone else’s mom wear Rocky Mountain jeans?

Okay, I’m sure you know Ima put these boots with something…else.

HEY! Wait, do you wanna free pair too??

Well, when I get back from the conference, thanks to Country Outfitters, I will be giving a pair of boots away to one of my readers on this here blog.

So stay in touch! -ohbygolly

Triangle Sleeve Top (Refashion)

It was a Saturday; I was in Goodwill singing along to Ace of Base, and I found this blouse.  Talkin’ about a good day! I know…my weekends are CRAZY.  I mean, you don’t wanna know how crazy I can get while thrifting at 10am.  (Yeah, yeah, I’m a mom, and I blog…moving on…)

Always looking for a light weight fabric that I can wear now in the summer and then can layer in the colder seasons.  I loved the print so I knew it had potential even it if was an XL and had “power” shoulder pads.


And here it is after I got a hold of it.

1. Removed shoulder pads and shortened the width of the shoulder where the sleeve would now sit in the correct spot

2.  Shortened the length of the sleeves to quarter length and added a sheer triangle to the top, middle of sleeves.

3.  Took in side seams for closer fit and added a split at bottom side seams to give the top a little more shape.

I liked how the triangle was sheer on the sleeve.  It helped this modest shirt have a bit of edge to it, right? Ha, you know, I actually used the sheer from a lingerie piece I never wore.  Now, seriously…I think it gets more use this way. *wink*

At the last minute, I decided to paint the white buttons black using fabric paint.  It was a good call because I love the contrast.

  I have too many old clothes just sitting here ready to be refashioned.  More to come!

So, what do you think?

Photography by Englexas

Englexas is on Facebook too! Go see!