Wednesday, March 26, 2008

A Rose by Any Other Name

I've been tagged by Tattered Cow Wings to tell how I came up with the name of my blog. So here goes:
I am a city girl transplanted to the rugged country life of rural Georgia. Growing up in Nashville, we rubbed elbows with a bunch of country music people but none of it rubbed off on me and I was just about as non-country as a person gets. I didn't own a single pair of cowboy boots. I couldn't yodel. I was not a member of the FFA. And I never even listened to country music--ever.

After getting my degree in graphic design at the University of Georgia, I worked in Atlanta and then Athens before marrying my dear husband and moving to his family's farm in rural northeast Georgia. I honestly had no clue about country living. Once I was invited by a friend to help her family harvest their potato crop: "Sure, I'll help ya'll pick potatoes! Should I wear my Calvins or my Sassoon jeans?" The day did not go well, and I found out that designer jeans are not appropriate attire for farming and I also found out that potatoes do not grow on trees. So before marrying, I did extensive research on the country life by watching reruns of the early reality TV shows like Green Acres, Hee Haw and Pettycoat Junction and then took the plunge. I left the glam behind: smog, hectic meetings, passive/aggressive co-workers, high heels, designer clothes, working lunches, vacations, long meetings, deadlines, bosses, resumes, and "rush" hour (and I use that term loosely because in Atlanta there is not much "rushing" to rush hour. It's mostly just sitting.)

The glam was replaced by a dirt road about a million miles or so from anywhere, chickens and cows and the fragrant smells that accompany them, and an entire dialect and accent which I'm sure is English, but one I'm still trying to learn to translate. [While I've yet to hear someone around here say the word "vittles" ala Beverly Hillbillies, I have found out some words have entirely different meanings. In the glam world, a "boot" is something one wears on her feet; here, it's the space in the back of your car where you store luggage, ie. "trunk". Go figure?!] Eventually this new glam included mountains of diapers, strep throat marathons, very little sleep, gangs of deer thugs who aren't afraid to rumble with the best of the mini-vans (and my left fender is living proof of that), party lines (yes, the phone kind of party line, not the dancing kind), gremlins in the DSL line, bats, rabid skunks, and stalker cats named Friendly. And for a couple of years I spent so much time at our pediatrician's office that they must have thought that I was an employee. Rush hour now means running out at break-neck speeds to our only grocery store before it closes to grab poster board because one of my kids just remembered a project which happens to be due the next morning. But my new life also included long, lazy carefree walks in the woods with our kids (and stopping to smell the roses along the way), watching wild turkeys, listening to crickets and whippoorwills at night, blackberry picking, lizard hunting, star gazing, mud puddle splashing, firefly catching, tadpole raising, and countless tea parties. I've never regretted the choice. I never even looked back, unless I was making sure I didn't have baby puke running down my shoulder.
And so, here is "Tadpoles and Teacups": my eclectic little piece of the blog-world (and besides, someone had already claimed the name, "Martha Stewart.")


Mary Isabella said...

Loving it!!!!

Lori said...

Cathy, what a charming tale of your life in the country:) i love how you tell a story, with just the right mix of humor and sweetness!!! and just let me go on record as saying that i have yet to actually hear anyone yodel during my jaunts to Tennessee...are there certain areas i should avoid so as to NEVER have to hear anyone yodel in person???

Twinville said...

What an expressive and humorous explanation of how you came up with your blog name. I had wondered the same thing, too.

Sarah B. B. said...

What an awesome story! We currently live in Atlanta, but are definitely headed in a more rural direction before we have kids. :) Thanks for sharing!

TatteredCowWings said...

Wow, I just Love how you came up with your name. There nothing like life to keep us all grounded.

"Tadpoles" like, My son use to say "mom close your eyes and hold out your hands".. Then he would place a frog in my hands just to hear my He thought that was just the greatest!

Teacups, My daughters always wanted to have tea time High So I would set down with my teacup filled with milk and say this is great

I love your Name, Because it's Life and everything it entails.

Blessings, Mae

Tanya said...

That is the sweetest story :)

Bethany Hissong said...

We have led similar lives!!! I was working in advertising when I was first married, headed on the path of having a great career in design and illustration. My husband decided he missed his home and the country, so he whisked me off to Pennsylvania and quite a few years of culture shock! We moved about 5 years ago to Lancaster which is a bit more suburban so it suits both of us! I used to say we lived the "Green Acres" life for awhile! My dad was actually scared the first time he visited and our neighbors had shot guns out in the neighboring corn field, trying to shoot a groundhog!!! I love Lancaster and am content with making trips to the city when I need that "fix"!!! I love your paper mache figures!!!