Welcome Y'all

I am so happy you are here! Now sit and visit with me for a while, visit all my pages and feel free to leave a comment. I'd love to hear from you! It's all just a SOUTHERN THING.


Tuesday, April 26, 2011


To the naked eye it might look like Southern food and I just don't get along.  My ample rear end and extra pounds look like I am in a battle with food. Well, nothing could be further from the truth.  The extra lumps and bumps I possess are like trophies I display to the fantastic Southern food I grew up on and treasure like a fine delicacy to this day.  The food in the South is part of the rich heritage and the slow simmered way of life there. We aren't slower there, we just like to savor the moments.  Its a rich sweet part of the life I loved and still love when I am home to visit, which isn't nearly often enough.  Food in the South is part of the character there, like an actor in a well loved play.  Not a supporting actor, but more often than not it's the star attraction for every kind of event imaginable.  Food takes center stage for everything from tailgating to summer BBQs to weddings, birthdays, Labor Day, Fourth of July, Christmas, and Lordy, don't even get me started on funerals.  Funerals are a big deal in the South anyway, but in my entire life, I have never ever seen the food arrive by the car loads, for weeks and weeks, like it does when someone has passed.  It is a continuous parade of cars filled with potato salads, deviled eggs, homemade corn bread, peach cobblers, carrot salads, casseroles, hams, and the trusty staple of all funeral foods; the Pound Cake.  And BBQ, well that is a synonym for pork, both pulled pork and pork ribs. To a true southerner of the DEEP SOUTH, nothing else qualifies as BBQ! Sauces, well that is up to the individual, and the region they come from.  For me, I just love the spicy sauce of Dream Land, the world famous BBQ place in my hometown of Tuscaloosa!  I order it by the case, sent to my home here in LA.  My pantry isn't complete without it my jars of Dream Land Sauce!
All the women I grew up around could cook, except my mother, bless her heart. She loved to sew, not cook, so I grew up with a lot of KFC, and beautiful original pageant gowns!  My grandmothers, great grandmothers, my soon to be sister-in-law all cooked delicious Southern food though, so I stocked up pretty often. They all cooked differently, but it was just the Southern way.  The women are handed down recipes and cast iron skillets in wills left by generations before them.  Yes, those skillets have been seasoned with years of cooking and they are like gold in the South.  Family feuds have broken out over who gets Grandma's skillet after she has passed!  
Sunday dinners are a thing of pure legend in the South.  The amount of food there nearly rivals a funeral.  My grandma's Sunday dinner, (the meal at NOON in the deep South) would always include at least two kinds of meat, a ham, and some beef or fried chicken, and so many home grown garden vegetables...well I just know I got more vegetables in me growing up than my yankee husband.  Ok, well, they were fried or soaking in fat back, but hey, they were real home grown vegetables that I helped pick and freeze myself!  And I ate lots of them too, so that has to count for something!  My country grandma  put a spoonful of lard and a spoonful of sugar in nearly all of her cooking.  And it was mouthwatering, to die for, delicious. Fried Okra, black eyed peas, cornbread, and my all time favorite Southern special, fried green tomatoes!  I can ashamedly eat those by the platter-fulls,  all by myself. 
A good Southern breakfast is good enough to last all the way till lunch, (dinner) and then we get to start again.  And GRITS, Oh my goodness, what a delicacy of the South!  For those who have never had grits, first, I'm sorry, second, my description of this fine fare could never do it justice. Grits are the tiny white center of corn after it's ground up. You can buy grits ready to make in a package like you buy rice. We don't have to ground them up ourselves anymore. That went out the door about the same time we got indoor plumbing!  Grits can be served with cheese, a favorite of many a Southerner, but my favorite is with loads of butter and salt, for the health conscious, real butter, no chemicals that way, and sea salt works just fine.  Put that with some eggs, sausage and bacon, buttermilk biscuits with sausage gravy and you've got a Southern breakfast feast!  
And then there's the drinks!  We always say, "Want a Coke Cola?", Even when we aren't offering coke. A cold drink is a "Coke" to a Southerner.  Like "Soda" or "Pop" is to someone from somewhere else.  Whenever we went to my Nanny's house, (Mother's mother) she barely let a second go by without offering us a coke, a real coke, from the back porch fridge, along with other treats and snacks from the snack corner of her kitchen.  We had lemonade and of course sweet tea...The house wine of the South.  No Southern home was ever to be without Sweet Tea, or fresh lemonade in the hot humid Southern summers.  It is against the Law!  And then there's the well-stocked Southern bar, filled with the men we all revere down South: Jim (Beam) Jack (Daniels) Mark, (Makers Mark) And throw in a little Mr. Bailey for our rich Irish heritage, and a bit of Wild Turkey, and the bar is open, am I right?  We love our Southern men!
Eating in the South is as important as the kitchens we sit in to eat.  My Nanny had an eat in yellow table in the center of her coffee scented nook and it was the busiest room of the house.  Something always on the stove or in the oven, I cannot remember a single day ever of arriving through the back door into the warm kitchen and something not cooking on the stove or in the oven.  In the South the kitchen table is the center of life. My favorite memories of growing up are centered around that table.  This included so much laughter that I actually did spit takes as a kid, usually all over my poor uncle or aunt which I insisted on sitting in between at all times. I remember bursting into loud giggles with coke cola spewing out through my nostrils, and my uncle shaking his head, wiping off his face with a handy dish towel.  In times of sadness, of hilarity, holidays and deaths, we were always sitting around that table.  Life....was at that table. I now have it and feel I have a masterpiece.  The kitchen tables of the South are where we eat, yes, but it is also where we share and bond and love and listen, listen to the stories of our families.  Southerners are unique in telling stories.  We are all natural born story-tellers, and we have an entirely unique way of handing down these stories to generation upon generation of wide eyed children in the family.  And the stories are always told around food.  Gathered around an old aunt or grandfather, biting into crisp, dripping, watermelon, always with a salt shaker nearby.  Or sitting around the kitchen table over warm peach cobbler with a side of homemade vanilla ice cream, we listened to the the stories from the hilarious to the scary, for every good Southern tale has a ghost or two. 
So I wear these extra lumps and dimples with pride.  I was fed well, both with the food and the love that came with it.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Albright Writes: Albright Writes: MINT JULIP ANYONE? AND THE OUTHO...

Albright Writes: Albright Writes: MINT JULIP ANYONE? AND THE OUTHO...: "Albright Writes: MINT JULIP ANYONE? AND THE OUTHOUSE IS OPEN! MY ... : 'For me, growing up down South had a very unusual feel. See, there..."

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Albright Writes: MINT JULIP ANYONE? AND THE OUTHOUSE IS OPEN! MY ...: "For me, growing up down South had a very unusual feel. See, there are two kinds of South...the city version, and the country version. I wa..."

Monday, April 18, 2011


For me, growing up down South had a very unusual feel.  See, there are two kinds of South...the city version, and the country version.  I was lucky enough to experience both.  My Dad's mother was my country Grandma, and my mom's mother was my city Nanny, as I called her.  Visiting them each had its own feel and it was nothing at all alike!  For those of you not lucky enough to be from the South, the two flavors are distinctly unique. Each having the flair of the wonderful South but a taste all it's own.
My country Grandma was one of a kind anyway, loud, opinionated, and loved to work in her garden.  My city Nanny had a large house in a well appointed neighborhood and was married to a lawyer who had practiced in front of the Supreme court on the Rights to Privacy. Frank Bruce was my grandfather and he was also the Play-by-play announcer for the Alabama Crimson Tide in the 1950s.  His picture, to this day, hangs in the Bear Bryant Museum on campus!
 My country Grandma loved to have all the grandkids over in the summer to work in the garden.  I usually really hated this.  It was hot, and damp with humidity, sweat just dripping from my face, as I picked and pruned.  I was beet red at days end both from over heating and a stinging sunburn.  I hated picking the okra the most.  The tiny little prickly parts that would stick in my hands for days, made it the worst of all the vegetables to pick.  So I paid my brother to do it!  Her garden was big and filled with everything, from tall corn stalks to the smaller bean, and field pea patches. And the home grown tomatoes and watermelons were the best I ever had!  She canned and made preserves out of figs and strawberries, and blackberries, and had a huge freezer she kept everything in for the winter. Cucumber, cantaloupes, it was all there.  She could have owned a good roadside stand with all her plantings.  She was efficient and hard working.  We would sit for hours in the hot afternoon sun, sometimes on her porch swing, shelling peas and shucking corn. We had the picking and shucking and peeling all timed around her "stories"...her soap operas. "Y'all I ain't a gonna miss my stories now." That's where the idea that I needed to become an actress on a soap opera was born.  I wanted her to be able to watch me one day, cause I sure KNEW I wasn't gonna work in a garden for a living!  The very first time I was ever on a soap was when I did a bit part on her favorite show THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS.  She was so proud of that.  And that was the best part for me.  My Grandma would be able to see me on her "story"!
She had a window unit air conditioner so the "cool" was only in one room. When you left that room and walked into another, the HOT would hit you like a wet warm blanket.  It sometimes made you feel like you'd pass out from the abrupt extreme change.   We had to take turns standing in front of the window unit to cool off.  When we all spent the night in the Summertime, we'd have to pile in the same bed, a pull out couch in the living room so we could sleep by the air conditioner.  There's no sleeping in the deep South in the summertime without cool air...but to be honest, it was hard to sleep four or five of us in one bed too.  When we'd fight, which my brother and I did constantly, she'd say, "Go out and cut me a hickory", which for those who never had a "Hickory" is literally going out in the yard and getting a limb off a tree or one fallen to the ground and taking it to her so she could slap your legs with it!  And it STINGS!....we knew then we had stepped over the Grandma line.  I would always go get the tiniest little new limb growing, flimsy and green, so it had no "STING" when she switched the backs of my legs with it.  My acting skills began about then as I screamed in agony so I would not have to get another limb for her which would be stiffer and cause much more REAL pain.  No the flimsy..."HURT" just enough! And I would fake cry until she thought I could not take anymore.  I am sure now she knew I was "Acting." That's why she was laughing at me.
My Nanny never asked me for a switch or a hickory...but I did see her chase my uncle down the hall with a frying pan one day...all 115 pounds of her, her pearls just flying. She was tiny and sold make-up at Lewis Weasels down town, then Gayfers at the mall.  She was prissy and loved perfume and nail polish.  I remember her dressing table was a place of pure fascination for me when I was little girl.  It was a place of magical transformations.  And I cannot recall her house to this day without the fragrances she wore drifting in my head. Sometimes when I am missing her I spritz her last bottle quickly into the air.  I keep that precious fragrance on my own dressing table now.  She was not a country cook either.  My grandfather was from NY and she learned to cook for him.  Corned beef and cabbage, Salisbury steak, were the main fare when I was at her house.  She was from Mississippi but a debutante type of lady.  She did the make-up for the Miss Alabama contestants from Tuscaloosa when I was growing up.  I loved it when the girls would come over for make-up lessons.  I was really young but I sat in on the lessons and was in a heaven I cannot describe. Perfumes floating through the house, custom mixed powders, lipsticks in every shade and blush, and fluffy make-up brushes, it was just a little girls paradise. She always included me in the lessons too, saying, "Now Beth, remember whatever you do to your face do to your neck line. Blending is the secret."  And my Nanny was funny too, hard working as my grandfather had taken ill in his later years and it was my tiny Nanny that ran the house and made the money, selling make-up.  She was my teacher for skin care which I employ all of her lessons daily. She had wonderful parties and served lots of fascinating hors d'oeuvres , like bourbon balls and rum fudge! She also taught me the double use of a strand of pearls... beauty of course, and just in case you need to wring someone's neck you just remove and use!!
Sometimes when I visited my country side of the family there would actually be a mule in the yard, ready for plowing.  I loved to ride the mule too.  Couldn't do that at my city Nanny's house!  But at Nanny's, I loved all the prissy evenings I spent with her painting my nails, and playing at her make-up table. There was such an extreme difference between the houses!
When I was really little my country grandma still had an outhouse!  Oh Lordy, I hated that thing!  Had to walk clear out to the far back yard, with a flashlight!  Just to go to the bathroom at night! If you have never had privy to an outhouse, allow me clue you in.  It is a big hole in the ground with a wooden seat built over it.  The seat is inside a little wooden closet that sits alone outside.  You open the closet door and there you are.  Kind of like a wooden port-a-potty...but this potty was not going anywhere!  And the hole filled up with...uh huh...just what you're thinking!  That smell was straight out of hell.  I was terrified to go in it, especially at night!  And the splinters in you rear end...well that was just a given. You had to remember to put down the newspaper down if you didn't want splinters. Newsprint on your rear was better than splinters in it.  The most horrific part was the paralyzing fear of falling in.  My mother had a story from when she was a child that her aunt had slipped while helping her to the potty and dropped her in!  My Nanny said when she got there to answer  the screaming, all she could see were hands and tiny feet sticking out.  That awful vision was burned into my poor little head as I trekked outside with my flashlight.  I was rejoicing the Lord above when she finally got rid of that awful smelly thing!
Her cooking was maybe the very best I ever had, with a little chunk of fat back or lard, and a spoonful of sugar in  nearly every single thing she made.  Her Sunday after church dinners were the concoctions of legend. That's the kind of Southern food I love! Ham and butter beans and potatoes and onions, and corn bread and fried green tomatoes, fried okra and pecan pie!  Oh I am dying here just thinking of it!
  I had such an extreme dichotomy of Southern life growing up this way.  And I wouldn't trade it for anything!
Both of my grandmothers were quintessential Steel Magnolias.  Both were the breadwinners when I was growing up, both were hard working and they were great friends to each other. I watched them closely and modeled myself after both of them...in different ways.  I hope I am doing them proud as they are both my angels now. Yes, I am truly, a little bit redneck, and a little bit debutante, and that's a true Southern Belle, wearing our pearls, but we can kick your booty if we need to. Especially if you are hurting our babies! You never saw a Belle go redneck faster than to mess with our babies!!  I can just pull my pearls off and strangle somebody!  Aren't all Steel Magnolias this way?

Friday, April 15, 2011


Albright Writes: COME HELL OR HIGH WATER, HE'LL BE BORN IN ALABAMA: "When I was on DAYS OF OUR LIVES, back in the early 90s, I was, even then still homesick for Alabama. Oh, don't get me wrong, I w..."

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Albright Writes: RADIO DAZE: WHEN TED TOOK OUT THE LAUNDRY.... INST...: "Right after Brooks was born, we left my beloved Nirvana of Tuscaloosa and moved to Kansas City. Much to Ted's disappointment, we did n..."

Monday, April 11, 2011


Right after Brooks was born, we left my beloved Nirvana of Tuscaloosa and moved to Kansas City.  Much to Ted's disappointment, we did not go back to LA...not right away anyway.  I announced to him once I had the love of my life in my arms that I wanted Brooks to grow up in a slower paced atmosphere.  I will spare the details of this discussion for a future blog, as it will be worth the wait!  It was loud, well, that part would be a given!!   So when Brooks was 2 months old Ted found a great job as a TV reporter at a TV station in Kansas City. It was a ridiculous mess moving there, with half our stuff in storage in LA and our little apartment in Tuscaloosa filled with several months worth of new baby items for my new love.  Things shift when you have a baby, as all of us moms know.  The center of my universe was no longer BIG Mr. World, it was tiny new LITTLE Mr. World.  When we arrived in KC into our precious little 2 bedroom 1950s bungalow, I thought maybe I would just stay home and pretend it was 1954.  I was in a brand new city and didn't know a soul so, Ted thought  I needed to get out.  In a flash I found myself back on the radio with my own talk show.  I was not ready.  But the worst part was how much I DIDN'T KNOW I wasn't ready.  Instead of taking Brooks to a day care, I hired a young girl who had just gotten her Nanny license. Ted and I were trying this out.  I told him I am making no promises that I will keep working. Eventually, I left radio to be home with my sweetheart.  That, too, is another story.  The Center of my Universe was crying when I left and crying when I got home...and I was only gone about 3 hours a day.  At the time, I thought it would be a fantastic idea to re-create Norman Rockwell scenes at home on a daily basis.  The little house would be clean and perfectly appointed, a home-cooked meal on the table ...with candles...when Daddy arrived home at night, baby all clean and sweet-smelling.  I just wanted the postcard.  So I asked the Nanny to help me clean and when Brooks would sleep, which was NEVER, she would do the laundry and some light housework.  I mean after all, I was never gone more than 4 hours at my very latest.  One day I had a really huge interview planned on my radio show.  Rue McClanahan from the Golden Girls.  I had already interviewed Betty White and Estelle Getty,  but Rue was my favorite!!  A true Southern Belle and we would have so much in common, lots of funny stories about men.  I had no idea I was about to get my own story in just a few seconds!  She came in the studio and sat down and we began.  Not 15 minutes into the show, my producer rang the the studio phone and when the red light lit up at my microphone during a commercial break I just knew something was wrong.  Like the BAT PHONE...it never lit up with something insignificant or benign.  The red light was blinking, and Rue was sitting there laughing and chatting with me during the commercial break...... .......BLINK....BLINK...RED... ON...OFF.......RED... ON....OFF....  OH MY HEAVENS!!!!!  WHAT!!!!!!  Did I want to know??  I was so worried it was something wrong at home so I had to pick it up...quick! I was chatting with one of my idols, SHE is a real SOUTHERNER! Was it just Ted calling to tell me I bounced another check?  And I was just starving for a conversation with ANYONE from the SOUTH!  How many REAL SOUTHERNERS had I even met in KC...RIGHT!  NONE!!  And it was RUE MCCLANAHAN!!  Did I say that already?   What if it was little Mr. World??  What if he was sick??  As my stomach dropped with the thought, I reached for the blinking BAT PHONE.  Before I could say anything  my producer said, "It's Lynn, your sitter."  Stomach plummets, like I have been dropped from the peak of a roller coaster.  The producer put Lynn through, and said, "We are back in 60."  I had exactly one minute to hear the problem, and fix it and not be panicked and get right back into the show..meanwhile Rue...RUE MCCLANAHAN!..is sitting right next me trying to chat funny meaningless stuff...Oh my heavens...."Hello!  Lynn what's wrong?"  I waited for the worst....Brooks is sick.... Brooks bit the cat's ear, (which he loved to do) Brooks is bleeding...WHAT?? WHAT????   Lynn spoke.  "Where is the laundry you wanted me to do?"  I dropped my head back in relief!   "The laundry?"  I couldn't even think!  Rue was sitting right there!  "Yeah," she said.  "I opened up all the bags you left for me and all of them are full of garbage! You know like milk cartons and stuff."   "WHAT?" I said.  Producer is showing a card that reads "...45 seconds..."    "I left the three bags of laundry right by the stairs to the basement."  I said.  "No," she continued.  "It's all garbage.  I looked.  All three bags are all just your garbage."   It hit me like a slap in the face....TED TOOK OUT THE LAUNDRY...INSTEAD OF THE GARBAGE! The panic set in.  I said it out loud, at which point Rue, listening to this entire conversation, burst out laughing. The producer showing me ...20 seconds..... "Oh my God, look out the window, did the garbage truck come?"  I am frantic now, knowing ALL Brooks baby clothes, underwear, towels....all in the garbage truck.  And we had the trucks that CHEWED everything up....into smitherines, shredding into thin threads, all of Brooks things.   "Oh no," Lynn said, "they just threw the last bag in..."  I heard the door open and the sounds of Lynn running across the yard to the street, "Stop!  Stop!", she yelled, and then the sounds of the garbage truck, ripping our clothes and towels into nothing.   They turned the truck off as she arrived at the curb.  I heard her say, "I think that was the laundry...."  Then silence....Producer shows, .....10 seconds.... And then..a low gruff voice...the garbage man spoke  "Sorry m'am...seems it WAS clothes..."....then..."Oh my God...there's the laundry I was supposed to do..."  Then Lynn said..."Oh I am so sorry...I think your husband took out the laundry instead of the garbage this morning..."  "OK...I'll call next break"  I hung up the bat phone.  Rue was laughing but as a true Southerner with manners and grace, she covered her mouth and held in her hysteria as she knew I was a tad upset with my husband!  A TAD!!  The producer pointed to me, the sudio light came on..."ON THE AIR"  I am live in the moment and boiling mad and RUE is there and the mic is ON...what do I do?  Ted was a reporter and I KNEW he was riding around KC on his daily story in the news truck, with his photographer, Jonathan, and they always listened to me.  Ok...PAYBACK...ALL of Kansas City would know Ted left out laundry at the curb this morning.  Y'all...seriously..come on...Does LAUNDRY and garbage really FEEL the same when you lift a bag of it??  I KNOW it DOES NOT!  Ted was not even paying attebtion when he left Brooks clothes at the end of the driveway for the garbage man to shred into threads of nothing today!  So I opened my next hour with..."Rue, forgive me for one second while I deal with some HOUSE CLEANING!"  Rue laughed.
"Ted, Honey, I know now you are listening...let me have your undivided attention"....I paused for emphasis...  "Are you listening???"  Another pause...."Remember when I asked you to take the garbage out this morning...well guess what?  I will be needing to buy Brooks all new clothes and I will need new underwear too...and oh yeah...we will need new linens too....Why,  you ask??  well....INSTEAD OF TAKING OUT THE GARBAGE...YOU TOOK OUT THE LAUNDRY!!!!  and Lynn just called saying she is not sure how to fold GARBAGE!!!!!  Yep...garbage inside...laundry outside!!!!  And it all got chewed up...curbside!!"  By this time Rue is unable to contain herself, she is laughing loudly, about to fall out of her chair.  "Oh My," she said.."MEN MEN! MEN!!  Well, honey, now you have the perfect excuse to buy all new lingerie!" I answered back, "Would you happen to have a new man in mind for me to wear it for?"    Producer talks in my ear..."Beth, your husband's on line 3...."  The BAT PHONE was lighting up ...again!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Albright Writes: Albright Writes: COME HELL OR HIGH WATER, HE'LL BE...

Albright Writes: Albright Writes: COME HELL OR HIGH WATER, HE'LL BE...: "Albright Writes: COME HELL OR HIGH WATER, HE'LL BE BORN IN ALABAMA: 'When I was on DAYS OF OUR LIVES, back in the early 90s, I was, even th..."


Albright Writes: THE BIG THING ABOUT SMALL TOWNS... OR MY LOVE AFFA...: "Small Town America is a special place. It's like nowhere else on Earth. I learned this lesson the hard way; by leaving. I ..."

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


Albright Writes: COME HELL OR HIGH WATER, HE'LL BE BORN IN ALABAMA: "When I was on DAYS OF OUR LIVES, back in the early 90s, I was, even then still homesick for Alabama. Oh, don't get me wrong, I w..."

Monday, April 4, 2011


When I was on DAYS OF OUR LIVES, back in the early 90s, I was,  even then still homesick for Alabama.  Oh, don't get me wrong, I was ecstatic too.  I was doing exactly what I came to LA to do.  I wanted to be on a soap opera.  It was the Goal.  The Dream.  It was a place I could be a psychopathic murderer and NOT even mess up my nails!  No matter what I played, glamour was a big part of wanting to be on a soap.  It's the Southern girl in me.  All the beauty pageants!  All that glamour is very important, you know.  I loved sitting in the make-up chair, loved being on set with Deirdra  Hall and just loved the entire experience of being on the NBC lot everyday in Burbank.
So, seven months into my dream coming true, I found out I was pregnant. We had been married seven years and having a baby was not , so far, easy for us.    I never loved LA anyway.  Time for a trip home.  I was always looking for a new reason to get to Bama!  WHAT?  Leave the Soap?? My husband said.   There was no way I was having that baby out Here!  What in the world would I do THAT for?  NO!  Brooks would be born in Alabama. And THAT WAS THAT!  It had never occurred to me that a baby of mine would make their grand entrance anywhere else!  My husband thought the crazy pregnancy hormones had kicked in.  "Beth we are at UCLA medical center...we have the best doctors in the world at our fingertips!"  I was having no part of THAT!  THEY weren't  in ALABAMA!  I had always said, "When I finally get pregnant, I am leaving here and going home to have my baby."  I guess he never really believed I would do it.  Especially NOW, since I had finally gotten my Soap Opera.  But DAYS OF OUR LIVES had nothin' on this!  This was me having my first baby, and what turned out to be my only baby.  I was just like any other pregnant Southern girl, I wanted my Mama!  And I was going home to Alabama, come hell or high water!  I found out I was pregnant September, 15th 1992.  I shot my last episode of "Days" in late October.  I wanted the entire pregnancy experience with the baby showers and everything to be in Tuscaloosa.  It was the biggest event of my life next to my wedding...DAYS was a distant third to my real life!  So I wanted to share it with my friends and family.  This move home was growing right along with my burgeoning tummy.  It was occurring to me that I needed a place to stay.  Six or seven months is too long as a visitor.  Even in the hospitality driven deep South.   It began to look like we would actually need to MOVE...like with lots of stuff.  Ted tried to talk me out of this daily, as did my agent who was finally making money off me.  But it all fell on deaf ears as visions of the BAMA campus, Denney Chimes, Taco Casa, Dream Land BBQ, my grandmothers screened in porch, and my sister-in-laws fried green tomatoes danced in my head daily.  I was in a Tuscaloosa trance.  And it WAS football season.  Yes, HOME.  I began to pack!
We loaded TWO cars, cause like a true Belle, I had OVERPACKED. Even pregnant, a girl needs her  all her sparkly shoes!   Subconsciously, I may have been planning on staying....but only subconsciously...ahem.  This meant I would have to drive myself, Ted in the other car, all the way 2020 miles, from Burbank to Tuscaloosa, four days, across the country.  NO PROBLEM!  I am going HOME to have my baby!  Nothing could stop this stubborn, oops, freudian slip, ahem, "Southern" Belle!
I just didn't count on the extreme morning sickness to kick in...right around Palm Springs.  Only an hour and half out of LA and I had to stop...and stop...and stop.  I kept a steady supply of Saltines, sometimes just licking the salt off them.  It was like crawling across the desert, on my knees, dying of thirst...
C-R-A-W-L-I-N-G....with sweet visions of City Cafe and the Warrior River in my head.  Boy, Tuscaloosa sure does have a lot of FOOD attraction for me!  The four days we had planned for, slowly, painfully, turned into six.  One day, my Yankee husband said, Why do we have to have the baby in Tuscaloosa?  Can't you just get OVER the fact that your from Alabama?"   WHAT DID YOU SAY??? If I had not been pregnant, homesick and stuck literally in the deserts of West Texas THAT would have been the DEAL BREAKER!  Don't worry, when I got myself together I let him have it over that one!  I got back in my car with my cats and kept pushing towards the Bama line.  And like all Southern Belles, when I finally got to Tuscaloosa, I collapsed into my mama's arms and cried my eyes out.  No not from the exhaustion, or the perpetual  morning sickness, or six grueling days on the road, but because MY HUSBAND SAID,"CAN'T YOU JUST GET OVER THAT YOU'RE FROM ALABAMA?"  I asked my mother to find me a lawyer...IMMEDIATELY!  OK, well, I calmed down a few WEEKS later.  It took me a while to get over that one.
 The love of my life, my sweet son Brooks was born April 10th, 1993, nearly seven weeks early, weighing over 9 pounds!!  I know.  He was seriously the largest "Preemie" on record that year! According to our insurance company.  Maybe ever!  I had major complications, diabetes, a stroke, and was in DCH Northport for three weeks.  BUT...Brooks had been BORN IN ALABAMA!  That year Easter fell just one hour and 4 minutes after his arrival, and after a lengthy surgery, and more complications, I was wheeled back to my room at 1:30 am Easter morning.  And the waiting room was filled.  About 15 or 20 people were waiting for me;  friends from high school, family, a huge support system.  Even my mom's friends from HER high school days were all there.  THAT'S why I drove my pregnant self all the way HOME to Tuscaloosa to have my baby.  The people.  And that's what makes it home!  That and a little Dream Land BBQ!