Thursday, May 29, 2008

M. Hull

I wrote most of this a few days before Mimi died. And I looked back at it after she passed, and I was going to research “How To Write a Eulogy” to make sure that it didn’t end up seeming like an essay childishly titled, “My Mimi, by Christel Hull” and then I remembered the part in Forrest Gump when his mama died and he told the story like he was telling it to her, “you died on a Thursday…” but that wasn’t right either. And the more I thought about how to do it properly, the more I knew that anything coming from the heart would be the exact right thing to say. So I guess I still ended up with an essay. But these are my words. My words for my Mimi.

I am my grandmother’s granddaughter. Most girls are Daddy’s Girls. I was not that girl, but the bond that I shared with my grandmother was one that was precious for just us.

I am the oldest grandchild of five and the only girl. I wasn’t spoiled, nor did I get away with anything more than the boys, but my Mimi time was different than theirs. I was the one that played dress up. I was the one that wore her costume jewelry to the Club. I was the one that danced with her and Pop to their old Les Brown 8-tracks. She also instilled a very southern way in me.

But, she was not the type of grandmother who baked cookies. She did special things for us all; she always made sure there were granny smith apples for me when I visited. And during our “Tea Parties” around 3pm, we would have a Snickers bar and an ice cold, green glass, bottled coke while we played cards. Every now and then, around 3 in the afternoon, I think to myself, “It sure would be a good time for a tea party”. And I KNOW she still had them. You could open a random drawer in her house, or even where she was living, after Maplehill, and find a Snickers bar. She loved the little indulgences in life.

Mimi was also magical. She made the Wizard of Oz come on network television whenever I would visit her, and I would lie on that hard linoleum and we would watch it after dinner, completely amazed that it was on while I was there. It didn’t matter if it was spring, or summer, or a weekend in January, it ALWAYS came on. She somehow, did that for us and I still don’t know how. I remember when I was younger and would tell my mom that I wanted to buy something “Wizard of Oz” for Mimi for her birthday or Mother’s day, she didn’t understand, and would tell me that I should get her something else, until a year or so after I was grown and married, I called my mom when the Wizard of Oz had come on TV, and told her the story of how it ALWAYS came on for Mimi and I… and then she understood that it was OUR dear and unique thing.

So many habits and ways of doing things skipped my mother and are being carried on by me, too. And I think that is due to wanting to make our OWN way when we grow up. Saying, “when I move out, I’m going to do THIS differently…” and the mother that my mom and aunt had is a different woman than I grew up with. I would make dinner at my mom’s house and wash out the jars and save the lids. To my mom, she would rather NEVER see a drawer full of lids ever again. I cook my crinkle cut fries in a leftover aluminum Stouffer’s pan. I cook my scrambled eggs on low and try to make them look and taste like “Mimi Eggs”. I keep my precious jewelry in a satin pouch that she gave me and I sometimes rub my knee when I am on the phone, like she did. In fact, the morning that she died, I was unloading my dishwasher and I had several jars and lids and it made me pause and smile when I put them up. Because even though we were not related by blood, I am proud to have some of her quirks and mannerisms.

But she was not a perfect woman. And I only knew that from what I occasionally witnessed and heard from my family, but when she got sick three years ago and made that amazing comeback, she changed. She made peace with herself and with those in her life. She became the Mimi she was to me, to everyone else. And THAT is for what I am MOST grateful. That MY family got to know the woman I have known all my life.

So here we are, crying and mourning and wondering what to do to fill the gaping hole that she left in all of our lives, but I would like you to know that THIS… This is to celebrate the woman that did her crossword puzzles in pen and bought snacks for the guys who did her lawn. The woman who looked astonishing in purple and had a laugh that was infectious. The woman who was hard and strict and loving and kind. The woman who had a line in the kitchen, where the linoleum seam was, and while she was cooking you weren’t allowed to cross, and a woman you NEVER wanted to see “ACRIMONIOUS”. The woman who would use string to measure wrapping paper so there wasn’t any waste and the woman who used to wear the funniest hats to bed. The woman who said, “PIZZER” and “DINNAH”, and kept her 9 different shades of Mauve nail polish in the refrigerator. The woman who asked, “is it MY time?” when playing cards, or Scrabble, (which her husband cheated at, by the way.) One, who had an unquenchable thirst for knowledge, yet watched her soaps without fail. The woman who was still as sharp and quick-witted until her final days. The woman who loved her family so deeply and loyally and completely and unerringly that so many of you have gathered here today to wish her well on her next journey.

So Mimi, my CUTE GIRL… yes, yes it is YOUR TIME. Fly away knowing that you have touched SO many hearts and minds and you will forever be imprinted on our souls. As Dorothy told the Scarecrow, “I think I will miss YOU the most”.

when i got to the church, i saw a man standing outside of the door, and i thought to myself, "that man is shaped like a smaller version of My Gay" since i didnt have my contacts in and it was completely OUT of context, it didnt sink in that it WAS my gay. he drove down from Wichita Falls that day for the service. what a sweet sweet boy. luh you bunches, Lambchop!

and then, after the service , people came up to me and asked how i was able to say all of that. and i just told them Mimi wanted me to, so i just did it.

the ceremony was beautiful. the "wake" was beautiful. it was all perfect for one amazing woman.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

SOOOOOOOOOOO not snakes.

i got a text from My Gay the other day informing me of NEW MnMs. and i know MnMs by themselves are fantastic. BUT the words "Indiana Jones Mint Crisp MnMs" made me swoon. cause you KNOW momma likes the mint and chocolate. and you KNOW that i have trained my Gays that THAT is the way to my heart.

i have searched high and low since i read those beautiful words in a text message a week ago. and i have been in Targets, WalMarts, Walgreens, Randalls, and a CVS looking for them. Target was even so hateful to have the new Indiana Jones Plain and Peanut ones, and then the GLARINGLY empty spots where the Mint ones SHOULD go.

my co-workers have listened to my plight. Ang and Allie have listened to my plight. My Gay has listened to my plight.... and finally the universe heard me. i got a text last night from a co-worker asking if it was "the mint crisp ones you're looking for, right?" YES! resoundingly YES! abso-freaking-lutley YES!

upon my arrival at the Saturday morning meeting at 8 in the am, i was greeted with not one, but TWO big bags of Indiana Jones Mint Crisp MnMs for my veryownpersonal person. i waited 2 hours and 18 minutes before their siren song weakened my resolve.

lemme JUST say,




i am IN Love.

go get some. go right now. get some. eat em. and if you don't like them, i will give them a good home. i promise.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

she's gone

cant quite make words. i wrote her eulogy a few days ago. i will post it here after the service in a couple of days because its good words. and because i want everyone to have a piece of her in their soul.

and i will be headed up to McKinney next week.

i'm empty. and sad. but i know she is in a better place. i know that she died with southern grace. and having lived a life FULL of love and adventure.

i miss you so much, already, old girl.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Sweep The LEG!

THIS is quite possibly the Best Video I Have Seen in A Very Long Time.

i was riveted.
here. you decide.

Sunday, May 18, 2008


i read THIS blog every Sunday.
sometimes they hit home. sometimes they make me sad. sometimes they give me courage.

this one made me burst into tears the moment i saw it.

i've said many goodbyes lately. and no matter how much i learn, it still hurts.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

miriam starr hull

my mimi is slowly slipping away. and i know its time. and i know i have said my goodbyes. and i know that in the next place in her life she will be able to see and breathe and soar, but the selfish part of me doesn't want to completely let her go.

for those of you who have met her, you know the amazing force she is.
for those of you who haven't met her, know that i AM my grandmother's granddaughter.
for those of you who will get to meet her in the next life, squeeze her tight.

i love you Mimi.
~big blue

You Are My Sunshine

The other night dear, as I lay sleeping,
I dreamed I held you in my arms,
but when I woke dear, I was mistaken,
and I hung my head and cried.

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine
you make me happy when skies are gray
you'll never know dear, how much I love you,
please don't take my sunshine away.

Sunday, May 11, 2008


since i can't be with all the women in my life that are fantastic mothers, i have decided to prepare a Virtual Mother's Day.

starting with flowers... (my veryownpersonal mother's favorite are daisies.)

and since this is MY imagination, flowers would be followed by coffee that i had roasted and brewed.

and of COURSE breakfast will consist of bacon...

eggs... (prepared EVER how you want them... DUH)

and to be COMPLETELY decadent, Brioche French Toast Waffles.
yeah i said it. and it made ME feel guilty to even type it.

perhaps a mimosa?

maybe a bloody mary?

and then round it all off with a nap.

Happiest of Mother's Days to all of you. luh yous.


Wednesday, May 7, 2008


welp.... i finally did it. let's see if we get any nibbles.

Doesn't Run, but still has Spunk

it's gonna be weird to sell her.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


k, so Friday is the one year anniversary of when Gulliver and i had our first date. i am gonna make him a fancy dinner, but have NO idea what to make.

i need suggestions!!!!!

i have some ideas for sides, but the ACTUAL dinner part eludes me. i found a recipe for proscuitto wrapped asparagus. and i was going to make a spinach, strawberry and smoked walnut salad. but for the main course.... i'm lost.



possible menu:

Grilled Tilapia Piccata en Papillote
Sweet, mild tilapia blends exceeding well with lemon, capers, butter and white wine in this deceptively easy meal. The parchment paper lends a fancy touch to a very simple and fast dish.
Serves 2
1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
2 tilapia fillets (about 6 ounces each), skinned, rinsed and patted dry
1 teaspoon olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons butter, divided
1/4 cup dry white wine, divided
juice of l lemon, divided
1/4 cup sweet onion, chopped, divided
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, divided
2 tablespoons capers, chopped, divided
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon sea salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon pepper, divided
1 tablespoon fresh parsley (for garnish)
Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Coat the inside bottom of two large squares of heavy-duty foil with oil. Place two sheets of parchment paper over the oiled foil and coat the bottom of the parchment paper with oil.
Center tilapia fillets on parchment and drizzle each with 1/2 teaspoon olive oil. Top each with 1 tablespoon butter, 2 tablespoons wine, lemon juice, 2 tablespoons onion, 1 tablespoon parsley, 1 tablespoon capers, garlic and 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
Fold up the edges of the parchment and seal to keep tasty juices inside. Fold foil over parchment to contain it, making a small pouch. Center fish over heat. With the grill cover on, grill for 8-12 minutes or until tilapia flakes easily. Open foil, remove parchment pouches to individual plates, cut top of paper and peel back edges to serve. Garnish with fresh parsley.

Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus
Serves 4
20 stalks of asparagus
4 thin slices of prosciutto, fat removed
4 teaspoons unsalted butter
freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup freshly grated Reggiano Parmesan
1 lemon, quartered
Cut off tough ends of asparagus. Cover asparagus with water in a skillet; bring to a boil and cook until tender but still firm, 3–4 minutes. Drain well.
Divide asparagus into 4 bundles of 3 stalks each. Wrap prosciutto slice around center of bundle. Place the bundles into oven-proof dish; dot with butter; season with pepper, and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Place in the oven to brown the cheese, 4–5 minutes.
Serve with lemon wedge.

Parmesan Roasted Potatoes
1 1/2 pounds new potatoes, unpeeled, cut into 1-inch chunks
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup (4 ounces) grated Parmesan
8 sprigs fresh thyme
Heat oven to 400° F. In a medium bowl, combine all the ingredients. Transfer to a roasting pan or 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Roast, stirring once, until golden brown and crisp, about 50 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature.

still working on dessert? and i was told that the salad might not GO with the other dishes.

Monday, May 5, 2008

take time to realize

sometimes lyrics come at the EXACT time you need them.

Colbie Caillat

Take time to realize,
That your warmth is
Crashing down on in.
Take time to realize,
That I am on your side
Didn't I,
Didn't I tell you.
But I can't spell it out for you,
No it's never gonna be that simple
No I cant spell it out for you

If you just realize what I just realized,
Then we'd be perfect for each other and will never find another
Just realized what I just realized we'd never have to wonder if we missed out on each other now.

Take time to realize
Oh-oh I'm on your side didn't I, didn't I tell you.
Take time to realize
This all can pass you by
Didn't I tell you
But I can't spell it out for you, no it's never gonna be that simple no I can't spell it out for you.
If you just realized what I just realized then we'd be perfect for each other then we'd never find another
Just realized what I just realized we'd never have to wonder if we missed out on each other now.

It's not always the same no it's never the same if you don't feel it too.
If you meet me half way
If you would meet me half way.
It could be the same for you.
If you just realize what I just realized then we'd be perfect for each other then we'd never find another
Just realize what I just realized we'd never have to wonder
Just realize what I just realized
If you just realize what I just realized

(words and music by Colbie Caillat reprinted without permission)