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Telling Tales

As many know, what first inspired the magazine were the emails we received each week in response to our “Telling Tales” column published in the Wednesday edition of the Wilson Post.

Our “tongue in cheek” column is about our “normal” life as working mothers and busy wives who go about our days in Wilson county - muddling through it all – but at the end of the day – thankful for every minute of it.

Our favorite part about writing for the local paper, is when we are stopped at the grocery or the hair salon by someone who enjoysreading our columns and they share with us which of them are their favorites.

We will continue to share our most recent tales with you each Wednesday in the Wilson Post. But now you will be able to enjoy your favorites in the magazine.

We hope they bring you a chuckle at the end of your busy day!

Angel & Becky

Category contains 4 blog entries contributed to teamblogs

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By Becky Andrews

Most adults have repeated the same phrase when referring to the younger generation, “What is this world coming to?” From the boomers to millennials, we’ve all been on the receiving end of criticism about our taste in music, movies, politics, and work ethic. My own parents had little patience for my taste in music, refusing to believe it was anything but noise. While there are many things I find annoying about the younger generation…texting a person sitting next to them, neck jerking to keep the hair out of their eyes, the constant mumbling, The Harlem Shake and on and on and on, in spite of it all, I still feel like we adults, the future retirees, are going to be just fine in their hands. Here’s why:

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By Angel Kane

“Do not be a baby!”

Those were the words I read, via text, after parking my car at the Lebanon Police Station last Tuesday night. Twenty minutes before I’d met Brody in our driveway as he was pulling in and I was pulling out. We had both forgotten I was supposed to go on a police ride as part of my Leadership Wilson program. And I was not happy about it! I complained for about five minutes, via my open window to his, with all the reasons I should not have to do this. 

“They better not drive fast!”, were my parting words to him as I drove furiously out of the driveway. 

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Have you ever been involved in a verbal confrontation and, after it was settled, thought about the perfect comeback? Of course, we don’t ever do that because that would be stupid. If we counter with the best comeback one day or even one hour after said confrontation, that person would now think you were even more inept than before. Not to mention, “crazy.” I’m the worst at comebacks. But afterwards, I. AM. AWESOME. I keep these little snappy retorts on file just in case the need to use them in the future ever arises.

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A couple years ago I wrote an article that I often still hear about today. It had to do with my tendency to take down names...in sharpie. I'm not sure when or the how the practice first started, but at some point in my life my Oprah inspired gratitude journal went to hell in a hand-basket.

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I live in a home that is all about justice. Maybe it's because we're lawyers or maybe it's just in our children's DNA, but nothing gets done in our house that doesn't involve negotiation, reward or retribution.

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A feeling of both melancholy and excitement prevails in the Kane household as letter after letter arrives for our oldest, from colleges near and far. As I watch her open each one, I distinctly remember being her age, knowing very little about life, yet believing I knew everything.

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I'm not sure if I should be offended or rejoicing, considering I've just been disinvited to my son's soccer tournament. Our youngest has been playing soccer since as far back as my 40 something year old brain can remember.  

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By Angel Kane

With the holidays soon approaching, I've been seriously considering starting a charity. It's been on my mind a lot lately as I've noticed many who are in dire need of help. And this charity would be like none other!

Now, for starters my charity won't be giving out books, blankets or baked goods. In fact, there are those of you who may scoff at my "so called" charity, but as I always say...or more to the point...sometimes say...or if I'm honest, for the first time today, am finally saying...to each his own!

So the spark was lit for my charitable organization over Labor Day while spending a long weekend at my brother's home. Stumbling over Baby Einstein toys, my sister-in-law's golden retriever and a stack of recyclable magazines, I found my way to the sofa on an early Saturday before anyone was awake. With a mug of organic coffee in one hand (I know! Can you say Generation Y!) and the remote in the other, I hit....Power.

Nothing, other than a blue screen. I hit Power and then On. Nada.

Power, On, Menu.


Power, On, Menu, On and then a few wacks on the sofa.


For the next hour I pushed every button on the television, the remote, as well as every other remote I could find, working myself into a frenzy having missed much of the Saturday Today Show.

My brother was the first to get up, probably because after an hour, I started texting him like only a sister can do "Get UPPPPPP!! Emergency! Emergency!!!"

"What's the emergency?", he said, like a guy who had heard his sister's cries for several decades and guessed my 911 was either I needed shampoo or wanted him to run to the nearest grocery to get me real coffee.

"Don't look at me like that. This one is for real. Your television won't turn on. I tried everything. I even went upstairs and tried the television in the playroom. You need to call the cable company asap.

"You got me up at 7:30, on a Saturday, for that. I sometimes forget how much I hate  you. There is nothing wrong with the television, we gave up cable a month ago!"

"What? You gave up cable? Why, did you lose your job? Mom is going to kill you."

"No, I didn't lose my job! We decided television was taking up too much of our time. It  was bad for us."

T.V. taking up too much time? T.V., bad? Immediately, I understood the code. WE had nothing to do with this. This had Erica written all over it.


The reason for the long haired golden retriever that keeps Brody sneezing and itching every time we visit.


The reason for the stacks of recyclable paper products, plastics and cans that cause my kids to second guess the Kane family mantra - We Don't Recycle.


The reason for my constant weekend headaches caused by drinking her organic, caffeine free coffee-like substance she passes off as the real thing.

"Are you serious? What is wrong with you? What about your kids?"

"Erica says television shows just make you brain dead and they shouldn't watch them. We read and play outside instead."

And just like that I heard my calling. Erica and all the other Ericas of the world were slowly destroying the simple joys of life we were raised on. So for Christmas this year, my brother and his children will be the first recipients of my newly formed charity.

"I'm getting you cable for Christmas!" were the words I texted him the other day.

"Right, is that because it's your turn to come down here for the holidays?", he texted back.

Well, they do say charity starts at home...

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By Angel Kane

If you were to look up the word uptight in the dictionary, there by the definition would a photo of yours truly. And, in that picture, I'd be sitting in a perfectly proportioned square box.

Oh, how I love my box where everything is just how I like it. Nothing out of place, everything color coordinated in muted colors, elevator music playing in the background, putting on my comfy socks on a Friday night, right before sitting in my comfy chair with a good book beside it.

Being as uptight as I am (and proud of it) you can only imagine that when my someone tries to dismantle my box, I don't take it well.

So a while back, Brody came up with the brilliant idea that I should apply for a spot in a local organization that does quite a lot of good for the community. He, himself, had participated in it years before, and he'd wanted me to join for some time. The organization, while a worthy one, required an overnight retreat of its members, where I would not know many of the other participants.

It also involved a bus ride, where it's common knowledge, at the end of which you will be required to tell the entire class what you learned about your seat mate. It required a personality test where your entire personality is dissected and discussed. It required countless interactions, games and discussions with those I barely knew. And it required my sharing a room with someone I had never laid eyes on.

For many years, for these reasons alone, I said No way! That box sounded noisy, messy and way too close for comfort for me.

For one, when I'm on a bus or plane I read, I don't talk, and just in case you try to engage me, immediately upon sitting down, I put on my earbuds and hoodie (the international language for "leave me alone"). I don't need a personality test to tell me all the ways I'm controlling and crazed. And I don't play games because I can think of 101 things I can clean with the time it takes to play an entire game of monopoly or bunco. (Plus the fact that when I have won, I have yet to win anything of substance.) But the number one thing I dislike more than any, any, anything, in this entire world, would be sharing a room (i.e. my box) with a complete stranger.

But for some reason I won't ever be able to fully explain I finally agreed to attend. All I can think of is that there must have been a slight opening in that box due to the fact Becky had just finished asking me to drive to East Nashville with her to have our chakras read and while trying to wrap my head around that crazy thought, Brody had snuck in with this one, which on it's face seemed less uncomfortable.

So last week, I did all sorts of things I never thought possible from my little box.

I made a new friend on a bus. It was slightly painful at first, mostly for her, because she seemed to be one of these people who can talk to anyone. I completed a personality test - that at the end of the day - found me to be judicious and competitive, which are nice words for controlled and crazy. And I played games which weren't so bad except I missed every ball that was thrown at me, which tends to happen when your hands are crossed in front of you. But most importantly, I shared a room with a complete stranger and she didn't kill me in my sleep nor did she steal from me.

My stranger roommate was very, very nice. A former model and diamond broker who now works for a local non-profit, she kept her side of the room neat and tidy, let me shower first and actually went to bed before I did. As potential psychotic roommates go, she was a good one, although the diamond broker M. O. had me worried there for a minute.

When I returned from the retreat, I was met by both Brody and Becky who seemed so very proud of me for stepping out of my box.

So much so, I found it quite annoying. "I'm not completely anti-social," I told them both. "I talk to people every single day of my life and lots of people like me." "Sure they do," both said in unison while trying not to laugh. But I must say, that evening, upon returning home, there was nothing I wanted to do more than put on my comfy socks, sit in my comfy chair, and read about the virtues of properly aligning frames on a gallery wall. While that other box wasn't as bad as expected, there is simply no place like home...especially when it's a perfectly proportioned square box. To read more of Angel and Becky's columns go to www.wilsonlivingmagazine.com or www.wilsonpost.com.

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So as I sat there listening to my son’s 5th grade teachers welcome all the parents to Back To School Information Night, I thought this year was destined to be like all the others: struggling through homework, studying for tests and working on class projects.

And as I watched these two women excitedly expound upon the virtues of field trips, flash cards and fabulous educational apps, I was just about to zone out when I heard one of them say, "And we are going to try to NOT send homework home, especially not math!”

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By Angel Kane

Wilson Living Magazine

School starts tomorrow and for the first time in many years, I'm rather melancholy about it.

Most years, I'm glad to return my kids to school. And I don't mean just glad, I mean ecstatic, overjoyed, beside myself with overwhelming happiness that I am no longer "Julie, their summer Cruise Director" planning one fun and exciting experience after another so that they won't be.....that word that shall never be spoken again! You know the one...don't say it, it's forbidden!

This year, however, our Madi will be a Junior and the college talk has begun, which means soon she will be leaving us for her own adventures. And honestly, its not about Madi leaving that has me down, it's that, as I told Brody,

"She is the child I practiced on. Remember when I fed her too much and she almost chocked to death? And then I gave her bangs that took years to grow out when all the other little girls had long hair with bows!  Not to mention I've never been her class room mother - ever! And last year I made her join the soccer team to bolster her college applications and she had her tooth knocked loose! She is going to look back on her childhood and remember me as a horrible mother."

To which my always agreeable hubby added, "you also forgot to pick her up at school, what was it twice, I mean who forgets their kid? Wait you just didn't forget Madi, you forgot all three of them, didn't you?"

But all hope is not lost. (And for the record, I didn't forget to pick them up, I was just running late...from Nashville.)

What is clear to me, is that I need to reform my image. You know, rewrite history. If Anthony Weiner can run for Mayor after his texting scandal and Martha Stewart can serve jail time and follow her incarceration with a Prime Time Christmas Special, surely I can become supermom in the next two remaining years.

So, in an effort to replace her memories (and those of her siblings while I'm at it) I pledge to do correct my wayward ways as follows:

1.     I will not forget to pick you up from school. Not even once, because that is wrong and also because it seems to be that one thing you guys bring up over and over and over. I get it, you get out at 3 and I will be there. What you get out at 2:50? Well, therein lies the first problem.

2.     I will make your school lunch for more than just the first week of school. This will, obviously, also entail my going to the grocery on a regular basis which is really a huge thorn in my side but I completely understand, after 10 years you can't eat one more chicken nugget. Have you tried Chick Fil A  nuggets, though, because those are soo good? Ok, no - you are right - make your lunch - done!

3.     I will no longer let my son wear girl shirts to school. Apparently boy polo shirts button up on one side and girl polo shirts button up the other - who knew - well apparently most of the 4th grade boys did last year, so this year - no girl shirts!

4.     I will not forget to wash your tennis, soccer, cross country, football gear every single night - twice - on HOT! Because throwing them in the dryer for a ten minutes with a dryer sheet and then Febreezing them is not the same... even though it kind of is.

5.     I will not wait until the last minute to work on your/my Tennessee Project because all that yelling is bad for everyone. Additionally, I will start building that wigwam at least two weeks early so I can order all the necessities  and not end up supergluing sticks and leaves to an old, plastic piece of tupperware the night before it is due. Because that not only gets you a bad grade but more importantly allows That Mom (you know the one) to make a better grade than me/you!

6.     I will remember to sign your agenda book/permission slip/sports waiver and won't encourage you to forge my name when you call me from the school office. Because the Principal has an odd habit of putting me on speaker and also because your Dad's signature is much easier to replicate. 

7.     If there is a short period (promise, it will be short) where I can't make your lunch and you have to eat cafeteria food, I will remember to put money into your lunch account. Because it's embarrassing not only for you, but for me to get that call...day after day. And while  part of me thinks it's character building, your Dad doesn't think it's funny.

8.     I will encourage you to attend all practices even if that means I will spend every single day of this next year waiting in my car or sitting in the bleachers for hours on end. One, because I love you and two, because I have a feeling your Dad is keeping a file on me and I probably need to step it up.

9.     I will remember that it's important that I get your teacher a Christmas gift, a Teacher Appreciation gift, a Valentine's Day gift, and an End of the Year gift because when I/you get that last tardy before Saturday school begins, she just might be "resting her eyes" as you slip into the room at 8:05.

10. I will do my best to not look absolutely pained as I sit through your Christmas, Chorus, End of the Year, School Award Program...because you/I worked hard for that Flutophone award, just as hard as that kid who has won every single other award for the last 10 years. Just as hard!


To read more of Angel or Becky's Columns go to www.wilsonpost.com or www.wilsonlivingmagazine.com.

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By Angel Kane

Wilson Living Magazine


On my travels this summer, I read a lot. And I mean, a crazy lot. If you own iTunes stock be ready for a huge upswing in value because I downloaded almost a book a day.


Those around me all read fiction. Brody is a big Harlan Coben fan and the girls love trilogies.


Back in the day when I read fiction, I'd turn to the end and read the conclusion first.


I know - right - HORRORS! Oh please, get over your judgy self!!


I'm not about to invest three hours on a book only to find out that the main character dies in a fiery crash or worse yet, he disappears, thereby causing me to have to buy yet another of this author's books, to THEN find he dies in a fiery car crash!


When we first married, Brody found my reading the end first to be a serious character flaw, claiming I'd hidden a terrible secret trying to trick him into marriage. Then came my wiping the fog off the mirror by hand and squeezing the toothpaste from the middle, and you would've thought he'd been deceived into marrying a transvestite!


In an effort to save our marriage, I gave up reading fiction and bought separate tubes of toothpaste but I still wipe the fog off the mirror, because, seriously, "I ain't got time for that!" If you have time to wait while fog dissipates from your bathroom mirror - then I guarantee your baseboards are filthy!


So, back to my books, since I graciously gave up fiction, I now only read biographies or financial or political  books, because the end is a given. Don't get me wrong though, I'm not sitting on the beach reading books about the life of Lincoln, I definitely spice things up with some "D-List" memoirs.


And like all summer reading lists, once read, you are expected to write a report on what you learned, so here goes...


One of my favorites this summer was by Jen Lancaster, who lived her life as directed by my all time idol, Martha Stewart, and then wrote about it. At one point,

she chose to NOT follow Martha's directions on how to properly de-yolk an egg, before dying it, facing utter disaster. Her AHA moment came when she realized "there is no benefit to blazing your own trail, when the perfect path already exists!"


This morsel was a much needed eye opener! Most things have been done people. I mean you can try to reinvent the wheel but I promise you, round is the way to go on wheels, so if you need to know how to cook something, build something, or clean something - just ask Martha.


"When life hands you lemons, grab yourself the nearest bottle of vodka and make yourself a cocktail." This little nugget came from Brandi Glanville's biography. Now there are two types of women, those who watch Real Housewives and those who simply don't admit to watching Real Housewives, so I'm pretty sure you all know her.


Alcohol is not my thing but I find this gem to be golden! It's not about the vodka, its about the lemons. Life will hand you all sorts of lemons, but lemons are an opportunity - you can make a cocktail, you can make lemon ice box pie or you can make a good old fashioned lemonade - just never, never, eat a lemon without adding a ton of sugar to it.


"If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, but you think it's a pig, then it's a pig." This came from Katie Couric's book wherein she asked various prominent people to impart their wisdom. Per Gloria Steinem, go with your gut.


I should do this more, in fact, as I explained to Brody on our last leg of the trip, "When we get home, I'm going to listen to my gut and only do what I feel like doing." Thereby causing my defogger of dreams to impart his own wisdom, "Well, I hope to God your gut is telling you to get back to work or else you and your gut are going to be walking everywhere, after they come pick up your car."


No wonder Gloria stayed single for so long!


"When in doubt, order the hamburger," that one is per my favorite late night comic Jimmy Kimmel.                 


I find this to be so profound, I might just put it on my tombstone. How many times have I been faced with either the fish or pasta, when I should've just ordered the hamburger?  You can't go wrong with plain and simple - ever!


And I saved one of my best books for last. Larry David is the genius behind Seinfeld and is not only hysterically funny but also a truth-sayer.


Larry relays to...


"Always - always - no matter what the circumstances - I don't care if you won the lottery - curb your enthusiasm. Nobody wants to see you jumping up and down - acting like an idiot. Nobody! Unabashed displays of enthusiasm are as off putting as watching a couple make out in public. Do you think Anne Franke appreciated it when Miep Giez, the woman who hid her, paid a visit, then couldn't stop yammering about how beautiful it was outside? 'Oh my God Anne, what a spectacular day! I took a hike, played with my dogs and just got back from swimming!' To which Anne replied, ' with all due respect Frau Giez, I'm glad you had fun. Now do me a favor. Shut the hell up and get out of here.'"

Clearly, have truer words ever been spoken? I mean, I know you went on a trip, but do you have to post it all over Facebook?


Okay, so obviously I should've read Larry's book before posting my 1021 vacation photos, but if it makes you feel better, I gained 10 pounds!


That's my lemon, now to find the Splenda...


To read more of Angel and Becky's columns go to www.wilsonpost.com or www.wilsonliving.com.


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By Angel Kane

Wilson Living Magazine


July 4th is always a big holiday at our house. We start with a late afternoon BBQ of burgers and hot-dogs, followed with Brody and a few other Dads shooting off fireworks while the Moms and kids all Oooh, Ahhh and scream "Neill, get back!!", over and over.


This year, however, we will sadly be missing all the festivities as we are out of the country. And nothing makes you appreciate America more...than not being there! So, in honor of July 4th and all things great about America, we Kanes have compiled a list. It should be noted that as I'm typing this column, Brody and the kids are still shouting out things to add to my list, however, since Telling Tales isn't up to two full pages just yet - I'm going to stick with the ...


Top Five Things Americans Do Better




I don't know who invented the ice cube but I've got a  hunch it was an American! That's because, in Europe, ice is basically outlawed. No matter what the drink, be it a Coke or juice, every drink is served a few degrees cooler than room temperature. It's become my "thing" to ask for ice, which is usually met with a sneer, followed with "No Ice, ... sorry!" But I don't believe any one of them are truly sorry. For one, their tone clearly indicates otherwise, but mostly because, seriously, how hard is it to freeze water in an ice cub tray?!! No, after two weeks of practically begging for a cold drink, I'm convinced whoever did invent ice somehow insulted the entire continent of Europe and his product has been permanently banned.


To that end, as soon as we land, I'm finding a Sonic and ordering the biggest cup of crushed ice that they sell. Actually, I'm going to order three, one for each hand and one just to stick my face into!


The Big Cup


While we are on this topic, let's talk about their big cups or lack thereof. So, I know most Europeans are thinner than us, claiming it's because they walk everywhere. Well, they are liars! Their lack of weight gain is the direct result of the fact that they can't drink their calories, like we can. And that's because every cup here is tiny, from my morning coffee to my evening Sprite, their cups are basically shot glasses. I'm certain I could make millions here by opening a kiosk serving only ice in big cups! I'm not kidding, they may have given us democracy, but once I give them ice in a big sonic cup, we're going to be even. In fact, at that point, I'm thinking they owe us!




Okay, I'll admit, I'm not the best driver, but these people over here...they really, really, really can't drive! It's as if they get in their cars each morning - with one thought - I'm going to run Angel over! And, who knows, maybe they  heard about my "ice thing" and are really gunning for me. But I'm guessing I'm not the first westerner to ask for ice, so I'm hoping it's not personal. Driving here is definitely at your own risk, so is crossing the road or even walking down the street. At this point, I've seen my life flash before my eyes so many times, I no longer fear death.




How is it that the women over here can wear the craziest outfits and look positively posh, but if you saw me wearing the same thing, you'd call Brody to tell him "she is walking around Walmart, wearing tights, wedge heels, a jersey dress with holes cut into it, a leather satchel and a scarf. I'm sure she's had some sort of mental breakdown, come get her quickly." Whereas you can spot the Americans, here, from a mile away. We are the ones in shorts, tank tops and our $5.99 flip flops!  And while the natives do look 1000 times more fashionably forward than me, they also look HOT! So hot that I want to cry out "Hey people, ice, big cup, lose the scarf!" I mean its July- who wears scarves in July!




They charge one Euro ($1.40) to use their public restrooms and some of them consist of nothing but a hole in the ground. When you enter the "water closet" there's usually a rather large woman sitting there, smoking, as she takes your money and hands you a tiny square of toilet paper. And let me tell you from first hand experience, there isn't any amount of my precious American hand sanitizer, that I lugged all the way over from the U.S., that can fix this mess!


So on this greatest of American holidays, when our country celebrates it's independence, we Kanes are immensely grateful...more grateful than we've ever been before, that our forefathers won that war! Because I've seen what life would have been like had they not, and believe me, while we would've all been incredibly thin and stylish, we would also be unbelievably hot and thirsty and I'd still be "holding it" until we could get home!


To read more of Becky and Angel's columns go to www.wilsonpost.com or www.wilsonlviingmagazine.com.

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By Angel Kane



There are a lot of things people might call me, but one word I will never be called is adventurous. And over the years, I've come to realize that being unadventurous is deeply seeded within my DNA.


Never has this been more obvious than the last week while vacationing with my parents and brother. As I type this article this morning, I'm sitting on a balcony overlooking the ocean. My entire family, including myself, my parents, my brother and his family, Brody and our kids are spending two weeks together in Greece.


In anticipation of our trip, my parents, brother and I did what any normal person would do: got shots, checked the various world weather radars and compiled the statistical safety data of the numerous planes we would be traveling on. Then we registered with the American Consulate and updated our Wills.


Ironically we each did these things separately, without consulting the other, which we thought was just hilarious, as we compared our research in detail before boarding our 12 hour flight.


There are two non-blood family members traveling with us on this trip -  Brody and Erica, my sister-in-law. They don't find our antics amusing.


Therefore, after picking out all the possible terrorists on the plane, we let them sit closest to them - I mean if these terrorist-like looking people don't scare you -  you have nothing to worry about. 


Although Greece isn't officially a third world country, I'm a firm believer that any country where they don't serve soft drinks WITH ICE, has got to be on some sort of United Nations hazardous travel list of some sort.  And don't even get me started about the shower heads that are not mounted to the walls. I have permanently injured my neck from just one week of holding the shower handle with one hand while trying to shampoo with the other.


If I knew to whom to write a strongly worded letter about these issues, along with the lack of dryers, air conditioning or internet, I'd do it. But only once my  feet are firmly planted back on American soil, because I'm 110% positive that I would suffer some major atrocities if they locked me up in a foreign prison.


The island we are staying on is simply gorgeous with steep gravel roads carved out of the side of the mountains. I've taken to closing my eyes and muttering prayerful gibberish to God on most of our days of travel. Just ask my husband how enjoyable that has been for he and the kids.


So, it would be just my luck that as we were traveling on one of these steep gravel roads, with a donkey on one side and a looming cliff with the ocean on the other, I would hear a loud POP and then smell something burning.


"What is that? Did you hear that Brody? Something is wrong with the car, pull over, pull over!!!"


"Where exactly do you want me to pull over?" he answered back.


I could read my obituary now, "The Kane family plunged to their deaths over a cliff in Greece, the donkey survived."


They tell me that my gibberish got louder and more frantic and although I remember none of this, and would deny it to any PETA official, at some point I demanded my husband run the donkey over!!!


Finally, we made it down the cliff to safety, only to find that we had lost power steering, a belt had snapped and and by now, the car was engulfed in smoke. My brother's car had been in front of us and my parents' behind.


We all got of our cars and my blood-family rushed over.


"Geez, I really thought you might go over the cliff," cried out my brother. "Your car was smoking all the way down that hill."


My parents were openly weeping.


Brody rolled his eyes, "the only reason that car was going over the cliff, is because I was this close to making a sharp turn into the sea to put us all out of our misery!"


My other non-blood relative, Erica, was rolling her eyes as well.

If I were an adventurous sort, I would have told both of them to...., but tomorrow we are kayaking around the island and I'm going to need their upper body strength to make it safely back to shore.


But once my feet are firmly back on U.S. soil, well, let's just say the letter I plan to send to each of them (as well as the rental car agency and the Greek Road Commission) will be very, very firm indeed!


To read more of Angel and Becky's columns go to www.wilsonlivingmagazine.com or www.wilsonpost.com.



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By Angel Kane

July 4th is always a big holiday at our house. We start with a late afternoon BBQ of burgers and hot-dogs, followed with Brody and a few other Dads shooting off fireworks while the Moms and kids all Oooh, Ahhh and scream "Neill, get back!!", over and over.

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By Becky Andrews

According to Social Media (for most of us):

We have more than two hundred friends or followers.

Never taken a bad picture (unless a “friend” tags an unapproved shot. In that case, the picture is deleted and the friend “unfriended”).

Family vacations are filled with nothing but laughter, delicious food, and perfect weather.

Our children make straight A’s and never talk back. They are star athletes, self-taught musicians, blindingly attractive, adored by everyone, and have never gone through an awkward phase.

We feed our family organic fruits and vegetables, cook gourmet meals and eat together at least once a week. In some cases, we post pictures of said meals to prove it.

We are cool enough to be friends with our teenager’s friends.

We are way cooler than our parents were!

Never more beautiful than when pregnant.

Marriage is perfect and even after all this time, he/she still gives you butterflies.

The house is always meticulous.

40 is the new 30.

We either think the Kardashians are a disgrace to humanity or we “have no idea” who they are.

We knew about Harlem Shake and Gangnam Style before our kids.

And according to social media, because I’m a wannabe writer some assume I draw inspiration from the morose writings of Sylvia Plath, Virginia Woolf and Emily Bronte’.

In reality (for me):

Besides my brothers and sisters, there’s only a handful of people who will tell me if I have a piece of spinach in my teeth. Ironically, those same people would also let me talk to a group of people with that same piece of spinach in my teeth just to get a laugh.

Having my picture taken creates so much internal anxiety, I would gladly spearhead a bill that would require a license and background check before one can purchase a camera.

On our family vacations, the kids are fighting before we hit the road, the food is overpriced and if we’re lucky, we get 2 days of sunshine.

Straight A’s as a young student doesn’t automatically spell success as an adult any more than memorizing a Julia Child cookbook will make you an award winning chef. Plus, it’s more important to teach our kids to like themselves before worrying about who does or does not like them.

Gourmet cooking is a waste of time, and if eating Ball Park food on the bleachers counts as family meal time, my family has been doing that for years.

My kids don’t want to be my friend, follower or fan and their friends don’t even use the account they’ve friended you on.

I could care less if a smart alec, little twit thinks I’m cool, I know I am!

I gained 80 pounds when I was pregnant.

While my husband makes me happy on most days, I’d gladly trade him for a housekeeper.

If 40 is the new 30, is 80 the new 70?  40 is 40 and 30 is 30, get used to it!

The Kardashians make my family look totally normal and that’s the only reason I know who they are.

I actually did know about the Harlem Shake and Gangnam Style before my kids. Only because I work in an office full of 20 something’s.

I really am a wannabe writer however, I prefer the less serious musings of Carol Burnett, Lucille Ball, Roseanne, Amy Sedaris and of course my favorite, Erma Bombeck. Besides, laughter can drown out the negative dialogue in your head.

Social media has its place but, instead of friend, follower or fan, I’d much rather you call me the other F word, FUNNY!

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Like most parents, my husband and I have each assumed our parental roles. I’m the Mom that requires good grades and clean rooms, reminds them to say “please” as well as “thank-you”, and returns them to their room when skirts are too short, shirts are too wrinkled or hair is disheveled.

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Pinterest has created a lot of arrogance. Making us think turning an old door into a headboard for the guest room is a piece of cake or turning old wine bottles into tea glasses is an easy task. Over the years, I’ve tried my hand at many things. Sometimes with success-hello boeuf bourguignon and other times, not so much-at home hair highlight. Because we all seem to be in a hurry when it comes to…EVERYTHING, I’ve compiled a list of things you shouldn’t waste your time trying at home! And please trust me on this, I’ve done the leg work. So here it goes:

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By Becky Andrews

Pinterest has created a lot of arrogance by making us think turning an old door into a headboard for the guest room or turning empty wine bottles into tea glasses is an easy task. Over the years, I’ve tried my hand at many things. Sometimes with success-hello boeuf bourguignon and other times, not so much-at home hair highlight. Because we all seem to be in a hurry when it comes to…EVERYTHING, I’ve compiled a list of things you shouldn’t waste your time trying at home! And please trust me on this, I’ve done the leg work. So here it goes:

1.     Self-tanner. Unless you like to walk around looking like Lindsay Lohan, visit a spray tan booth. And not the machine operated kind. I tried this once and the noise was so loud I couldn’t hear the prompts to turn around. Needless to say I wound up looking like an extra in a revival of The Wizard of Oz.

2.     Bikini wax (or any wax!)- This will be short and sweet. Do yourself a favor and invest in a razor, tweezers or get a laser treatment (Although, I’ve heard that is equally painful!). If you insist on it, bring a pillow to scream into and plan on drinking heavily after.

3.     Duck en croute. If you aren’t Julia Child or seasoned chef, stick with an easier duck recipe. I was determined to make this one weekend and it took me 8 hours from start to finish. I didn’t even bone the duck. The realization that it was a mistake came when my husband who will eat anything, (Seriously, he’s eaten frog eggs) picked at the meat stuffing and commented on how the pastry shell made no sense. It would have been cheaper to pay someone to cook it for me.

4.     Divorce- I’ve not been through a divorce. But, I’ve heard it’s a bad idea from friends who have trusted their post marital future with a site found through the Google search engine. Unless you like living in your car and eating cat food, hire an attorney.

5.     Groom your pet- Just because you own a pair of clippers, doesn’t make you a groomer. I tried it once and my friendly little puppy wouldn’t look at me for 3 days. Don’t ever give an Australian shepherd “The Chihuahua.” It’s not a good look.

6.     Painting- The only time I ever seriously considered number four. That being said, it’s cheaper and less stressful to wait until you can afford to pay someone to paint for you. This also goes for trying to imitate a painting you’ve seen. I wish I had a dime for every time someone within ear shot has said, “I bet I could make that!”

7.     Repurposing ANYTHING but especially furniture-I know the fools on Pinterest make it look easy. That’s because to them, it probably is. I have two ways you can repurpose that old dresser. 1. Give it away before you spend $400 on supplies OR 2. Call my friend Mandy Pryor and pay her to do it. She knows what she’s doing and actually enjoys it.

8.     Make any Disney or Nickelodeon themed birthday cake. Buying a cake pan in the shape of Buzz Lightyear doesn’t make you Duff Goldman any more than buying a pair of skinny jeans makes you skinny.


So before you pick up that pallet of ceramic tile because it’s on clearance, it’s important that you slam your hand in a door and drop a cast iron skillet on your foot. If after all of this you still think retiling the spare bathroom is the perfect weekend job for you and your husband, call me and I’ll give you the name and number of the perfect divorce attorney.


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