Not Cool

I had something on the order of an “Aha” moment the other day while talking to my younger sister, except, it was more of an “Oh no” moment.

You see, I used to be too cool for school.

And then I was the cool big (and taller) sister.  My shirt says so.

This dynamic really worked for us.  I was daring and adventurous.  I drove with my windshield down and no hands.  I did not require a snowsuit to play outside in what is obviously multi-colored windbreaker weather.  And I was still taller.

So a few years have passed since the pictures above and although my sister is now about 4” taller than I am, I thought I still had a firm grasp on the cool big sister gig.

And then, one (terribly sad and life-altering) day, that gig came to a screeching halt.

I was talking to my sister on the phone the other day and I was telling her about letting my clients know that I am moving and how much I will miss them.  I mentioned one client in particular that I have really enjoyed getting to know because I feel like she and I are on the same page about a lot of things.  I casually conveyed this thought by telling my sister that my client and I are “like souls” (as in similar), to which my sister replied “did you just say ‘souls’?” (exuding disdain)

Me: “What?? Is there something wrong with souls?”

Eugene: “No….it’s just….you’re just….funny.” (a.k.a. NOT cool)

And there we have it folks.  I am no longer taller or cooler than my little sister.

And I have graduated from school so I can no longer be too cool for it either.


Y’all come back now, ya hear?


Spring Cleaning (Understatement)

Last week, I helped my dad clean out his closet.  I really didn’t think this would be a big job.  My dad is usually a pretty neat and organized guy, so I figured it would be an hour or so of editing his closet, not a major undertaking.

BOY was I in for a surprise.

When I arrived on the scene, many piles of clothes had already formed on my parents’ bed and in the floor and this is what I found upon opening the closet door:

Oh dear.

(I apologize for the blurry photo.  It was all I could manage in my state of shock.)

Tempted to close the door and walk away (while making a note to have my eyes checked) I took a deep breath, changed into sweatpants and a mouth-guard, and debated my plan of attack.

Edit everything from the closet OR take everything out and only put back what is acceptable to wear in 2012?

Due to space limitations, I chose to edit from the closet after requesting that my dad extract all contents from the closet floor.  He obliged.

I then proceeded to heave volumes of clothes out of the closet and into 4 loosely defined piles:

  1. Discard immediately
  2. Donate (must be in good condition and passable the for the 21st century)
  3. I don’t know (read: daddy, now’s your last chance to defend this item or it goes into pile 1 or 2)
  4. Appalling and/or Interesting (more on this pile below)

With the abovementioned piles out of my sight (and my parents’ bedroom looking like a tornado had blown through) I then went to work organizing the remaining (acceptable) items by clothing type. Here is the finished product:

“Oh wow….oh my…..what an improvement….”- daddy

Yay organizing by color! (This might last 10 minutes before my dad decides organizing his clothing by color is not a valuable use of his time.)

I’ll have you know that after I finished editing and organizing the open shelving and hanging spaces, I discovered that these 4(!) drawers were packed with socks.


Why so many socks?


But, I ruthlessly edited the drawers, too, and my dad now has 2 drawers of socks instead of 4 (which, I know, still seems excessive, but he has “trouser/dress socks” and “athletic/casual socks”, so we had to give each type its own drawer for the sake of my sanity).

Now, back to pile 4 (“Appalling and/or Interesting”):

I always like to get the bad stuff over with first, so let’s start with “Appalling.”

Item 1: Ties

Below is a photograph of 4 unfortunate ties, pictured in ascending order of heinousness (I can’t believe that’s actually a word) from left to right.

Now I’m sure these ties were manufactured before my birth (which was not particularly recent), and were at some point fashionable.  Maybe.  Maybe/probably not.  Nope.  But, I’m going to give my dad a pass on these since I don’t recall him ever wearing them.  I make a motion to strike these from the record.

So stricken.

Moving on to “Appalling”, yet “interesting”:

Item 2: Uncategorizable Thing You Wear On the Top Half of Your Body

This here is a most curious specimen: a cross between a sweatshirt and a turtleneck.  I like to call it the “sweatneck” or the “turtleshirt”.  Each of these names is as appealing as the garment itself.  Take a look for yourself:

Please take note of the ¾ length sleeves.  (Why????)

Having covered “Appalling,” I now present some straight-up “Interesting” items:

Item 3: My little Sister Fishing in a Tankini

Among the odds and ends in my dad’s closet, I stumbled upon this gem of my kid sister in the ever-fetching tankini style of bathing suit.  Due to its neon color and tye-dye pattern, I am willing to bet that this suit came from Limited too, the store that I believe is now called “Justice” (hahahaha) and at which my mother so nonjudgmentally allowed my sister and me to shop as pre-teens.  Bless her heart.

My family doesn’t really fish so I have no idea where this photo was taken or why my sister is fishing so nonchalantly.  I asked her about it and she has no idea either.  So the mystery remains:  where/why was Eugene fishing (in a tankini)?  If anyone has any leads, please feel free to leave a comment.

Item 4: A Sweater Knit by Grandmother

I relieved my dad’s closet of many an unfortunate sweater and in the process I unearthed a beautiful hand-knit sweater that is exactly what I have been looking for since I was in high-school (a while ago).  This sweater is a lovely cream color, heavy and warm, and knit with several different stiches.  It’s long and roomy, but still flattering.  It’s just the thing for leggings and riding boots.  And somehow I found this perfection in my dad’s closet and he said I could have it.  What is this world coming to???

Well, in any case, I am thrilled to have the sweater which was my dad’s, knit by my grandmother, exactly the style that has eluded me for years and FREE!  Life is good.

SO, the moral of the story here is to clean out the closet of someone approximately 30 years your senior so that you may uncover some buried treasures, have some laughs and minor heart-attacks when you find volumes of items wildly out of style.

Y’all come back now, ya hear?


P.S.  I want you to know that although my account of this closet surgery was somewhat brutal at times, I thoroughly enjoyed it and love my dad very much.  I just want him to have an organized closet and look sharp.

Ain’t Skeered

This is me and my cousin Lauren in the teeniest automobile/go-cart posing as an automobile you have ever seen.  She’s pictured left, in the driver’s seat, and I’m pictured right, being unhelpful and giggling.

I’m not really sure why we own this fierce vehicle with a Harley Davidson sticker. Apparently my papa bought it thinking it was a useful farm vehicle.  Turns out, not so much. It has, however, provided hours of entertainment for his granddaughters.  So, all in all, I would say it was a good investment.

One pleasant, Kentucky afternoon, we set out to trek up old Leslie mountain here (read: small hill) and stalled and nearly went careening down the mountain (read: rolled 10 feet down hill at a snail’s pace), but Cousin Lauren and I ain’t skeered of no mountain and we kept on keepin’ on.

Undeterred, after about 17 of these stall-and-roll episodes (very much unlike the athletic pick-and-roll), we managed to charge up the mountain (minor hill) at 1.7429 miles per hour and made it to the top by what seemed like the following afternoon.  What a journey.

Having arrived on level ground, which proved more agreeable to our peculiar vehicle that I have decided to call Julio, we then toured around on the dirt road and took in the lovely wooded scenery of our family’s farm.

We only ran over a stick and subsequently stalled 4 times.

Then, we began our descent back down old Leslie Mountain (hill).  For our lack of speed traveling up the hill, we certainly made up for it as we flew down the hill in Julio’s alarmingly front-heavy cab, his Barbie Jeep tires barely gripping the grass to prevent our collision with a very dense and at rest object of the bovine variety.

If you look closely in the picture above, you will see that my mouth is open as I am likely screaming for my life or laughing uncontrollably.  Maybe a little bit of both.

Once we reached our resting point, a ditch, I decided to drive.

Did I mention that I had never driven a manual transmission before….?

All parties left the scene unharmed, in case you were wondering.

Y’all come back now, ya hear?


About Me

Hi there,

I’m Emily.  I love the South.

Although I was born and raised in the Northeast, the South has always felt like home to me. All of my family is from and (mostly) lives in Kentucky, the place where I have spent every Christmas and a few weeks every summer since my birth.  What amazes me is that even though I only see my grandparents and extended family two or three times a year, we are very close.

I have come to the conclusion that there must be something special and Southern going on here to allow such a bond to develop and I have an idea of what that might be: great stories, sayings, food, and care (always served together, at all times and by great people).

So, in the spirit of sharing great stories, sayings, food and care, I have decided to blog about the sweet morsels in my life, the things that make me smile.

And why is this blog called “the sugarlump”? Because one of my grandmothers used to call me “sugarlump” when I was little and I think it captures well the intention of this blog (to compile the sweetness in my life) and is extremely Southern.

Side note: When I told my grandmother I was thinking of starting a blog and calling it “the sugarlump,” she was quick to reassure me that “sugarlump” was a term of endearment.  It had never occurred to me that she meant it otherwise, but I suppose she was just clarifying that she wasn’t calling me plump, which I was not even borderline close to as a child.  In fact, my level of nutrition was questioned a time or two due to my extremely spindly physique.  As evidence, I have provided a photo of my knobby knees (pictured right, sporting my tap recital ensemble):


Some other things about me:

1.  I do not enjoy tap dancing.

2.  I’m a residential interior designer.  Helping people create a home is very important to me.  I decided to make a career of it and started my own business quite young.  Here I am on my first day:


3.  I consider myself a private person and am mildly allergic to all of the oversharing of mundane details of one’s life via social media.  I also surprise myself sometimes.  I suppose I have justified sharing my life in blog form by 1) giving it a specific purpose/flair and 2) only sharing things that are meaningful/noteworthy/extremely profound/absurd.

4.  Oh, and did I mention that I don’t really care for writing?  I would rather complete an entire SAT II prep book of Algebra problems than write a five paragraph essay.  So I’m going to keep this informal and more conversational; however, I will try to use correct grammar for the sake of coherence.

5.   I don’t like odd numbers, except when arranging accessories or making points.  And this one makes five. Ha!

I hope these posts make you laugh and rejoice.

Y’all come back now, ya hear?