They saw each other across a busy room.


He smiled.


She dropped her chin, and the corners of her youthful mouth pulled up ever so slightly.


His uniform made the walk even more enticing.


She began to part her lips.


His voice was pleasant.


Her hair smelled like a spring morning.


They danced.


And it was done.



Now, let’s skip forward a year, and tell the unicorns with rainbow farts to get out of your house, and discuss how the hell to pull together a wedding on a dime, because seriously, unless you’ve just hit the lotto, or have a mother named Bunny with old money- this is going to cost the fortune you do not have.

Ready Ladies? Grab your children… 


  • Dream, but be realistic. John Legend is probably not in your budget.

  • HAVE a ‘Budget’ and don’t be afraid to say it out loud. Keeping people in the dark about what you can truly afford just causes confusion and dashed hopes. If it’s only $500 (or nothing-nada-zip) so be it. Get it ‘out there’. Let it sink in. Have a cry. Yell. Take your punches. Belittle yourself. Whateva.. then DEAL.

  • Wouldn’t we all have loved to be married in a newly sprouted wildflower field, on a hilltop, with a babbling brook? Of course so, but it’s gonna rain. I promise.

  • Who do you know? And what do they HAVE? Use your contacts. A yard? A house? A fancy car? A musician? An artist? A cook? A fireworks specialist? Ask them to join in with their talents as a gift. It may not be wrapped in a Tiffany blue box, but it will have a lot more meaning. Tiffany’s can come later- after you both get jobs.

  • Use what’s ‘at hand’. In our case, we cut flowers from surrounding fields and used birch tree branches to construct an arbor. We also rearranged the potted annuals that were already present around the cabin to stage a more dynamic entry to the reception. Of course, it didn’t hurt that a little digging in the back room turned-up some discarded table linens that we used to create the backdrop for the ‘photo booth’ (Where two cast-off picture frames had been repurposed with a little glitter). Thank God for staple guns- and glue.

  • Bring a little something from home. In my sister’s case, she brought a box full of objects that had deep meaning for her and her daughter. They were displayed in the powder room, making this often times overlooked space seem like home. You know it’s true.

  • Make your own signage. My sister had me create several: “Just Married’, ‘Sparklers’ (for a night time display), ‘Ching Ching’ (a salutation used by the groom’s family), ‘Brew for the Crew’. etc. They weren’t perfect but they looked like love. So perfect, after all.

  • Music was provided by an ipod playlist. MJ showed up. He’d have been pricey- and he’s dead, so it was a win-win.

  • Photography doesn’t need to come with a down payment. Place disposable camera’s around. This generation KNOWS HOW to take pic’s. Have you been on Facebook?

  • You do not need a football team standing up with you at the alter. Most of these people will fall off of your radar over time, and think of the pay-back. Oh, dear God. How many bridesmaid dresses do you really want to have to purchase over the next few years?

  • Lovely, white clothing can be purchased anywhere, even on sale. I know we all dream of looking like Princess Di on the Big Day, but you are only going to wear ‘The Dress’ one time, and your future daughter will not want to wear it again- trust me. She thinks you’re a big dork. Even though she’s not born yet.

  • Food. Yes, you should have some, but it doesn’t need to be gourmet and served by gloved men in dark suits. It can be seasonal. It can be room temp. It can be family style or buffet. Just make sure it’s varied and plentiful and on clean plates. And make sure to provide extra napkins for when your awesome Aunt laughs out loud with her mouth full. Just sayin’…

  • But for the Love Of Everything That’s Holy, have an open bar. You’ll need it. And your Uncle just might sing Man In The Mirror…


  • Who knew?

Such a Happy Day. And, why do I ALWAYS cry at weddings?



Simple. Elegant. Clean.



Work it! In a log cabin, the pot bellied stove is a focal point. Fresh flowers spruce it up- and they were FREE!



The Photo Booth. Hung from the ceiling and glitter bombed. My sister brought a box full of fun hats.



The Bar. Dear God- the BAR!



I’m going to cry again…

  • Jan Ross - I will never forget that my wedding dress cost $50 at a moonlight madness sale at a local department store. It was beautiful – and, for heaven’s sake, you are wearing it once!!
    Jan Ross recently posted…The Coastal Arts Center of Orange BeachMy ProfileReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Exactly! My mother made mine- and it was stolen from the drycleaners- it was THAT good. -sigh-ReplyCancel

  • noel - Wow, beautiful post, yes being original and making something unique is the best experience along with a great bar!
    noel recently posted…Plaza de Espana, Seville – Travel Photo MondaysMy ProfileReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Hey Noel! Nice to see a new face!!! I’ll met you at the bar. -wink-ReplyCancel

  • Betsy Towns - Cheryl,
    I just got so choked up!! I am so worried about how I will put on weddings for my girls. This looked absolutely perfect! All the best to the bride and groom!!ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - It was wonderful Betsy!!! Very simple but meaningful. Nothing over-the-top, but all the right things in the right places. And EVERYONE chipped-in in some way. Not with $ but with time/effort/skill. I truly meaningful event. Melissa never looked more beautiful. I couldn’t stop crying!!!! And THANKS for stopping by and leaving a comment- finally! -wink-ReplyCancel

  • Betsy Wuebker - Awww, sweet photos! Looks like a lovely day. We did our wedding on a small budget, too, and I believe they are way better than the extravaganzas. :) ReplyCancel

  • Sharon Hodor Greenthal - Love that photo booth – and you both look gorgeous.ReplyCancel

  • Gary Sidley - Great post. There’s nothing quite like a family wedding. I’m still trying to get my head around your “unicorns with rainbow farts” quip. ReplyCancel

  • Running Mama - Beautiful. I especially love you saying just say the budget and accept it. I got married at City Hall. Of course a party with loved ones would hav2 been great. But I have so many friends and family who did that and are divorced. Glad we were realists. Still married 12 yrs later…ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Wonderful! !2 years is an awesome number!!! Sometimes the best things come in small, simply wrapped packages- Oui? I’m feeling very French tonight….ReplyCancel

  • Diane Tolley - Perfect! I still say the best fun is the kind that doesn’t cost anything! My wedding cost my parents less than $200.00!ReplyCancel

  • Suzanne Fluhr - My wedding dress cost $35 at Loehmanns. There were less than 20 people at the ceremony which was followed by deli sandwiches in my parents’ small back yard—-but we went to Peru for our honeymoon. Fast forward 31 years. We gave our son and his fiance a substantial cash gift for their engagement to use for whatever–house, travel, savings, whatever. They added to it and had an elegant, upscale wedding—all the bells and whistles. All we had to do was dress up and show up.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Now, that sounds good! I’d love to just ‘show-up’ at our kids weddings, but I don’t think that’s going to happen. They are both counting on me to ‘make it happen’ though I’ll advise them to keep it intimate. Problem is, the hubby has a slew of people he wants to invite! The HUBBY! HahaaaaaaReplyCancel

  • Rena McDaniel-The Diary of an Alzheimer's Caregiver - I bought a gourgeous dress, hoop, veil and shoes for$120. Originally $2700. The girl had just divorced the cheating husband after 3 months. I catered my own wedding. Never recommend this I was so exhausted we didn’t ah…consummate our marriage for three days. Did have the open bar…bringing my maid of honor home with us after a big fight…priceless…wedding $1000 bucks we paid for not our parents. Donated the dress to Goodwill everybody needs to feel pretty on that one day. I had actually just put a pic of it/me and my MOH (now deceased) on FB yesterday! 23 years ago!
    Rena McDaniel-The Diary of an Alzheimer’s Caregiver recently posted…MY HOLIDAY DISASTER!My ProfileReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Oh, I LOVE the idea of donating the dress!!!! What a wonderful gesture! ANd you catered it? Smashing! (not so much the three day recovery- hahahaa). Now, I’m off to your FB page to take a look! Thanks for stopping by Rena!ReplyCancel

  • Alyson Shitastrophy Herzig - Cheryl – you could make anything look fantastic. I have seen the amazing photos of your table scapes before. This looks absolutely amazing. How wonderful for all you – oh and yes on open bar. ReplyCancel

  • Mari Collier - LOL I still have my mother’s list for the cost of my wedding. Including everything it hit an amazing $15,00. She even counted the cost of my wedding dress (she made it). One reason your daughter won’t wear your gown is the simply fact, she would never fit into it. I still have the dress (hat and veil are gone), but even my granddaughters are far too large to consider it.ReplyCancel

  • Donna Janke - What a lovely setting for a wedding. I love the photo booth.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - It was so fun! Everyone put on different hats and masks and had their pic taken. Such a clever idea! My sister just found some old picture frames, glittered them, and we hung them!ReplyCancel

  • Kristin Henning - haha! My son’s wedding is coming up next month, and he+bride are going low key and doing fairly well staying in budget. The number in attendance grows, however, and the hosted bar is a given. (Moderation for Mom, so I can stay on me feet ’til the wee hours. That’s what I keep telling myself.)
    Kristin Henning recently posted…Tallinn, Estonia: Fascinating Capital CityMy ProfileReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - It’s funny how no matter how much I imbibe at a wedding I never get crazy or get a hang-over. I think it’s the adrenaline. As for the growing guest list- I think that’s a given. Kids. Thanks for stopping by Kristin!ReplyCancel

  • Pam Hermanson - Oh our dear Cheryl! Only you could master the words to paint a perfect picture of this perfect union!!! So many of us who knew you Haddocks remember your talents are endless (I’m older…don’t make me print your jr pic) What a beautiful day, full of love, coolness, creativity and a bar! So happy for Marty and Leah.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - HAHAHAAAAA. Spoken like a true friend! It WAS so cool! Everything went off w/o a hitch. I swear Melissa and I could stage an inauguration! HAHAAAAAA. Love ya gal!ReplyCancel

  • Marilyn Jones - Your ideas are great and the photos tell the story — with imagination you can make any venue romantic and grand!!ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Yes! It just takes a little imagination, elbow grease, and two very dedicated sisters working in harmony! Hahahaaa Thanks for stopping by Marilyn! I appreciate it!!ReplyCancel


Here, in New Orleans, I have what many neighbors (and a few homeless men) call a little City Farm and everyone wants a piece of me it.


That makes me smile.

I’m happy to swap a few war stories while sharing the bounty.


If you have ever ‘read’ me (HERE- on the blog PERV) you know that I LOVELOVELOVE to grow things- and I’m kinda good great at it.


But there was a learning curve.


I come from a Zone 6 and I’m now I’m in a Zone 9 ( and we all know that’s a hoot ’cause I’m really a 10 but the USDA Plant Hardiness people don’t know me-yet).


Up North, you set your seed by late May and harvest in September/October. That’s it. One growing season.


Down South, you set your seed any damn time you want to ’cause you can grow nearly all-year-long.




But, I need a break now and again, and I usually take it right about now- July/August.




Because it’s so freakin’ hot out my veggies and I are usually floating in the pool until sunset with a rum cocktail in our hands.


‘What to do? What to dooooo?’ you might ask.


Why, gather ye harvest while one still has full A/C and electrical service before the inevitable ‘brown-outs’ on our ancient grids (did I say that right?) that’s what!


And so I do.


And it is Good…



And the belly of the beast is filled.


Namaste farmers.


Stuffed Blue Peppers



1 pound ground meat (it doesn’t matter what kind, or even a combination)

5 large red/ orange/ yellow peppers

1 large green pepper

1 small onion

1 whole egg & one additional egg yolk.

1 cup crumbled blue cheese

1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning

1 teaspoon course ground black pepper

1 Tablespoon salt

3 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce

Your favorite tomato sauce



Preheat oven to 350


Cut the tops off of the red peppers and core, removing all of the seeds and the tough inner ribs (There’s a joke here but I just can’t seem to put my hands on it- THERE it is). Put aside.


Core the green pepper and dice. Set aside.


Dice the onion. Set aside.


In a small bowl, whisk the eggs together.


In a large bowl mix the ground meat with all of the dry and wet seasonings. Add the eggs. Mix well. Add the diced green pepper and onion. Fold in the blue cheese.Combine but don’t over mix, or the meat won’t be as fork tender as it should be. (Am I right Ladies?)


Stuff the peppers to the top- with your hands. Don’t be afraid.


Place the stuffed peppers in a shallow baking dish, cover loosely with foil and bake for 45 minutes.


Remove the foil top and continue to bake another 15-20 minutes.


Before serving, drizzle with your favorite tomato sauce and sprinkle with a few more crumbles of blue cheese because your awesome.


With your hands…



  • Carol Cassara - So here I am, wondering, where did she find BLUE peppers? LOL I got up too early.
    Carol Cassara recently posted…Pretty thingsMy ProfileReplyCancel

  • Foxy Wine Pocket - These sound absolutely amazing. Going to pin this and make them very soon.
    Foxy Wine Pocket recently posted…You Know You Want It: Sunday Sauce(d)My ProfileReplyCancel

  • Lana - Yummy! My family will love these.
    Lana recently posted…One Of Those DaysMy ProfileReplyCancel

  • Suzanne Bluth Robertson - YUM pretty much covers it. ReplyCancel

  • Eve Gaal - Unfortunately, blue cheese doesn’t grow in any zone but I love this!!!!!ReplyCancel

  • Sarah Cartwright - wow what a fascinating post! thanks for sharingReplyCancel

  • Gary Sidley - As Dick Emery (an old British comedian) used to say: “You are awful, but I like you.” And your stuffed peppers would sustain me throughout a cold, wet British winter. ReplyCancel

  • Vashti Q - Cheryl, you are just too funny. Great recipe! I live in Florida and I think we’re a zone 10 or 11. I need to learn to grow stuff dam it!ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - How’s that Irish prayer go. lord give me the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference….ReplyCancel

  • Rena McDaniel - Loved stuff peppers, can’t to try this recipe! I’ve had the same problem went from zone 6 to zone 9 but we’re still trying to work out the kinks in our new gardening dilemma!ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - It’s a journey am I right? Things -melt-.ReplyCancel

  • Carollynn Hammersmith - I don’t normally like stuffed peppers, but I think you may have just made me a convert! ReplyCancel

  • Kristi Campbell - YUM YUM YUM> thank you for sharing. I was actually looking for a stuffed peppers recipe and saw this on G+ so you ROCK :)
    Kristi Campbell recently posted…How I Get Inspired to WriteMy ProfileReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - I hope u try it! Then let me know what u think!! Promise.ReplyCancel


Wherever I travel I try to discover how the region truly plays-out their lives: how they work, what are they proud of, in what are they housed, what are the community routines, what do they eat, where are the bars?

You get my point.


When I was a child, the lines between the three divisions of ‘lifestyles’: Urban, Suburban, Rural Country, were very clear.


Sooty, crowded, vibrant, anything-might-happen, Saks Fifth Avenue CITY verses tar & chip, 1/2 acre plots, cookie-cutter post WWII housing SUBURBAN verses clean air, wheat fields, dirt roads, Biker bar COUNTRY.


Very easy. Life was d-e-l-i-n-e-a-t-e-d.




The SUBURBAN supplied the workforce for the CITY.


And the CITY was where you went to go Christmas shopping, and cheat on your wife.

Living was clear to me.


As a child of the SUBURBS I moved easily between my neighbors to each side, having a true knack for milking cows while draped in my mother’s fur coat.


Let’s just say I was always ready for whatever the day brought.


And the other day (while cruising Columbus, Ohio, assisting the Princess on her search for affordable appropriate housing as she enters Veterinary School at Ohio State), I was ready to delight in the fusion of disparate cultures that is now the norm: Move over boring, super-sized, asphalt gorged, crumbling, sliced bread, my-way-or-the-highway communities. There’s more RURAL goodness in the CITY then there’s ever been…


And Suburbs suck.


59 Spruce St.
Columbus, Ohio
A public market, home to dozens of independent local food
merchants. FABULOUS!



Perogies, Brats and Kraut.
I Love the Polish!


Fresh Baked Bread- on premises- which is THE only way to have it.


See… on premises.





Decadent desserts- because they SHOULD be.

Or fruit.
Does anyone grow chocolate apples?



  • Carol Cassara - Why am I hungry? ;-)
    Carol Cassara recently posted…Celebrating five. Or 42. Or just celebrating.My ProfileReplyCancel

  • Lance - For work, I’ve been spending a lot of the time in cities, lately. I live in a very boring, bland, stagnant thinking suburb.

    My wife and I are plotting to move once the kids are out of their very nice schools.
    Lance recently posted…100 Word Song – The Lady In RedMy ProfileReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - God, I dislike the suburbs. Give me Country or City any time. We raised our kids in the suburbs. Now we are ALL out- everyone in a city. New Orleans. Chicago. NYC. We must have done something right!ReplyCancel

  • Gary Sidley - I love your categorizations of the world around you. Life is much less stressful when we can impose order. A new slant on “the good old days.”
    Gary Sidley recently posted…My hi-tech doctorMy ProfileReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Do you? Thank you. I categorize everything. Helps me keep things in working order and my understanding of the world, clear and with purpose. So happy to see you stop by Gary. You’re one of my fav’s!ReplyCancel

  • Diane - Where is this heavenly place? And why isn’t there something like it here?!
    Diane recently posted…Speaking DonkeyMy ProfileReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - It. Is .In. COLUMBUS, OHIO!!!!! Can you believe it??? Though it is part of the bread basket of America, but just DID NOT expect it! So happy for the Princess!!!ReplyCancel

  • Lana - Now I’m starving! We have a market similar to this in our town – I don’t go in often because I would be bankrupt and weigh 20 pounds heavier. Hey, my son wants to go to vet school too!
    Lana recently posted…Thoughts For ToddMy ProfileReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Really???!!!! Awesome! I can put him in touch with the Princess. PM me Lana. I mean it!ReplyCancel

  • Rena McDaniel - I also grew up in the suburbs so I know exactly what you mean being able to step off into either easily. I’ve actually been to this market before and it is AMAZING!ReplyCancel

It is with tear-stained cheeks that I must announce that I will NOT be able to attend this year’s BlogHer14 in San Jose.


However, because I KNOW how excited all of you are that can attend, I thought I would re-post my re-cap from last year’s BlogHer13 in Chicago- ’cause ya never know what you might learn….

 I have returned hunched over, hungover, and happy.

 I have returned with a slew of new friends, a shitload of swag, and a pocket full of ‘contacts’.

 Because I know you all tune-in to absorb my amazing words of wisdom, I’d like to share

Ten Things I Learned 
While Interacting With Five Thousand Women 
Under A Single Roof. 

     (Note: I hate lists, but the bloggerverse LOVES them and one of the things I learned was do as the bloggervere says. Sometimes. Sorta like when your mother told you to keep your legs crossed. Like that kinda ‘sometimes’). 

 So put down your kid. Lock yourself in the car, and listen up.

1. Even though it is widely believed by Americans that yoga pants, a Jimmy Buffet tee-shirt, and neon running shoes are appropriate dress for almost any situation- they are not. Dressing for Success is still an intelligent alternative to being invisible. I’m not talking about wearing a big orange hat (or anything that ridiculous), just maybe a little lipstick, and dry hair, and a bra. No one wants to see your girls getting off the escalator before your cross-trainers. 

2. A smile is an excellent way to say ‘hello’ to anyone, and at my age, with the corners of my voluptuous lips turning down into the empty wallets of my jowls, if you have to freeze a facial expression of h-a-p-p-i-n-e-s-s and c-o-m-e-h-i-t-h-e-r, do it. Or get a lift before you come. Come to think of it- get a lift in as many places as you can. 

3. Find your Tribe, but don’t pigeon hole yourself into just one. Women friends come in many shades of lipstick. 

4. Remember your reality when, at a keynote speaker address, most around you are applauding some absofrickinlutely crazy-ass-three second sound byte of impossible inspiration dripping off a seasoned conference pro with a book deal. Clap. Be polite. Don’t leave your brains at the conference.

5. Not everyone you LOVE on-line is going to be a ray of sunshine in person. Some are going to be younger, some older, some louder (blinking meekly), some shy, and to some, you will be invisible. Cut them all (and yourself) a break. This can be stressful and overwhelming, especially if you haven’t been out of the house, or out from under diapers, in a few years. 

6. Eat well and often. Food is provided. But if you can’t find the time, do not forget the benefits of liquid nutrition- especially if it’s white and chilled.

7. Feel free to NOT speak and listen. For the Love Of God- feel free to do this.

8. Try to ‘take-away’ something from every break-out session, even if the agenda has not been ironed out, rehearsed, coordinated, or is even on point. Seriously- how can you teach someone to write funny? Have you read this post? (I shoulda taken better notes).

9. Don’t be afraid to approach a wise women. We are very friendly.

And, finally, the big number 10, the most important thing of all…

10. Don’t forget who YOU are.
Cathy Chester
(Very much an Empowered Spirit)

Yours Truly
She is even MORE fun then she looks!
Ellen Dolgen
(of Menopause Monday’s)
celebrating Midlife freedom!
(among other things)
Stacia of Dried-On-Milk
Janie of Purveyor Of Fine Words
with the loud mouth in the orange hat.
Some of my Bloppy Bloggers!
Linda the Carpool Goddess,
Julie of JulieDeNeen2.0
the Orange Hat
Sandra of ApartFromMyArt

  • Cathy - You are endlessly funny and I thank you for adding me into your crazy, fun and wonderful mix of friends. Great to meet you IRL!

    P.S. The pic of me is yucky, but I love the expression! I have a better one of you……ReplyCancel

  • Sarah Rudell Beach - So funny! Love the hat… and great advice about not just hanging out with your niche. I was amazed at all the cool things women are writing about. So glad I met you!ReplyCancel

  • Sue - Get a lift before I come, try to be quiet and listen, wear a red hat, and take plenty of pills…Got It. Wonderful photos and I really enjoyed this post.ReplyCancel

  • Grown and Flown - Wonderful recap – would have loved to spend a moment with you and the fab hat!ReplyCancel

    • A Pleasant House - I know- but I think I waved to you a few times. I’ll take whatever piece of you I can get! Hope to actually TALK next time!!ReplyCancel

  • House Crazy Sarah - cool pics! and thanks for the “the list” I would never know what to do at a function like that – I’m so anti-social.ReplyCancel

  • Ruchira Khanna - oh! such precious pix and loved your summary of the event in chicago!

    Hopefully I can make it next year :) ReplyCancel

  • Julie DeNeen - It was so much fun to meet you!!!! Thanks for the shout out! oxReplyCancel

  • The Shitastrophy - Ok now I gotta know – who was the chick with the girls in motion? Which speaker – cause I didn’t do the Lean In one since I was busy leaning into my pillow still. Or was it Guy? hmmm and the bitch….um I am hoping that wasn’t me. I took my zoloft everyday for what it counts. Awesome meeting ya!ReplyCancel

    • A Pleasant House - The only girl in motion that I remember was me when I wasn’t knee deep in a glass of wine. As for the BITCH- it wasn’t you. I like your inner bitch! xxxoooReplyCancel

  • Sandy - Hey funny lady. What a delight to meet you in person. Especially the hat. Love your list. Will I remember it next year?ReplyCancel

  • Kim - I’m not sure who I’m most envious of — you for going to BlogHer or all the gals who had the honor to don the orange hat! Maybe next year for me. Thanks for sharing!ReplyCancel

  • The Bearded Iris - You are a wise woman, indeed! And funny too. My favorite line: “No one wants to see your girls getting off the escalator before your shoes.” PREACH! BlogHer – a place where the women are women and the boobs are scared.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Right? For God’s sake foundation garments are a must!!ReplyCancel

  • A Pleasant House - Your pretty sassy yourself- no me- no you- no me- no you- okay both of us- actually it’s the boobs that crack me up. Not mine- yours- mine- yours…..Hahahaaaaa Thanks for stopping by.ReplyCancel

  • HouseTalkN Rossow - The bra comment had me roaring! Good to know! I loved meeting you! Thanks for linking up!ReplyCancel

  • Susan Williams - Nice hat.
    Funny post.ReplyCancel

  • William Kendall - Looks like you had a lot of fun!ReplyCancel

  • Andrea B. - I am quite sure you would be the kind of woman I’d like to meet at a blogging conference. You’ve got me giggling and I’m so tired, it could be that, but I think it’s the list. :) Thanks for sharing. Lists sometimes rock the blogosphere, don’t they?ReplyCancel

    • A Pleasant House - I Hate Lists! But sometimes ya gotta do…. (I’d love to meet you but we’ll be friends anyways). xxxooReplyCancel

  • Lance - I’m so sorry I won’t be meeting you there but thank you for enabling me to be one of the 4 dudes, there, this year.
    Lance recently posted…100 Word Song – Dark SunglassesMy ProfileReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - 4 dudes. What a shame…..But I’m pretty sure you’ll have a good time, but remember- the ladies can get a bit crazy. Have your vaccinations up to date.ReplyCancel

  • Roshni - You rocked the orange hat!!! I’m sad that I won’t be able to attend!
    Roshni recently posted…7 things I learnt about my kids during our road tripMy ProfileReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - We’ll have to have our own linky party! To Those That BogHer Left Behind!ReplyCancel

  • Connie McLeod - Great list. Like you, I’m very sad that I will not be attending this year. ReplyCancel

  • Rena McDaniel - Great post it is nerve racking and I’m not going until 2015!ReplyCancel

  • Aussa Lorens - Bummed you won’t be there :-/ But this is a great list! And I recognized several faces in your photos! ReplyCancel

  • Princess Rosebud - So sorry! I was looking forward to meeting you!!!ReplyCancel

  • Lynda@fitnessmomwinecountry - I wish I had known about the BlogHer in time for this year as San Jose is just about an hour and half south of me. I enjoyed the recap and tips however from your last one Cheryl and the hat … well the hat is its own celebrity :) ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - It’s so funny. My sister bought me The Hat years ago so that she could find me in a crowd. My daughter took a photo of me in The Hat which I used as my gravatar and chose to inform my blog colors. I decided to take it with me to BlogHer, just in case, someone might recognize it. Low and behold- it’s become my signature!ReplyCancel


The year is 1911.

Picture a young boy: poor, hungry, ignored.


He travels with his sheepherder grandfather, tending the flock.


The young boy is required to take the animals up into the mountains of Oregon, for months on end, alone. Only a make-shift wagon with a canvas top pulled by a mule will be his shelter.


He has some beef jerky, a thermos, a hardwood cookstove, a kerosine lantern, and a few mystery books. A water stained adventure magazine is his favorite.


When he returns the livestock to low ground in the autumn of 1916, he packs a sack and jumps a ride on a train, down the coast to Los Angeles. HoBo style.


He joins the Merchant Marine, and travels, and dreams.


The boy feels the pull of learning, and working several odd jobs and sailoring during the summer months, he, somehow, affords his way through Stanford University.


In 1921, at age 25, he graduates from the College of Law, but will never practice. He has other ideas.


The memory of travel on the High Sea has set his rudder.


In the backyard of a small wood frame house in Los Angeles, the man builds ships. Land ships.


They have all the comforts of home: self contained clean water, cooking, refrigeration, sleeping quarters. Toilets.


They can easily be pulled from a the back of a car. And everyone has a car. They’re the new craze.


A grown man can stand erect within the confines of his own shiny ship. The captain of his own vessel.


People come from far and wide to see the ‘craft’.


He sells them as fast as he can build them- one at a time.


He publishes a small newsletter instructing fellow enthusiasts on how to build their own to accommodate the demand, but his followers would not only prefer he build them- they also want him to guide them in the adventure.


The man forges ahead, finding financing, hiring engineers, developing a manufacturing plant, and setting off on adventures around the world with his land craft. All the while, asking for others to join him.


And they did- to Egypt, Europe, India, as well as, the great American outdoors, which were all backscape for the Wally Byam Caravan Club International group of adventurers, and the making of an iconic American company that would become known as…




And my sister-n-law has one.


And my adventures with her are still unfolding.


Wally would love that.



With my brother-n-law, Ted Batchelor, holder of the Guinness Book, World record for Most People on Fire Simultaneously. I am NOT Kidding.




  • Cary - My partner really wants one of these.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Don’t we all! They are AWESOME on the inside. Ben and I are thinking about getting one and making the restoration a project- like I need another ‘project’.ReplyCancel

  • Doreen McGettigan - My inlaws had one and it was a beauty. I loved caravanning with them when my kids were small.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - I bet. They really are just beautiful and, if my sister-n-law is any indication, the people who caravan are wonderful! So fun!!!ReplyCancel

  • Lana - This brings back such memories! My grandparents had an Airstream for years and were part of the caravan club – they had many wonderful adventures! Waiting for the story about Ted…
    Lana recently posted…The Gathering PlaceMy ProfileReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Ya know? I really SHOULD write a post about Ted. Quite a character! Thanks for the idea!!!!ReplyCancel

  • Lynda@fitnessmomwinecountry - Cheryl, anytime I see one of these, I think of Lucy and Ricky
    {The Long, Long Trailer} movie. I love the planter box outside the window. I have never been inside one, but looks very fun for family travels
    Lynda@fitnessmomwinecountry recently posted…Live Love Nourish With Lorna JaneMy ProfileReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Oh you should see the inside!!!! So diminutive with not an inch wasted. Absolutely charming. I would go crazy decorating one in 1950′s vintage style. My sister-n-law is so stylish- that window planter box is perfect, and she had an awning sewn for outside from a new fabric that looks vintage. Very clever. Let’s all get one and meet up! hahaaaReplyCancel

  • Carol Cassara - Airstream. Grey’s Anatomy. I’ll say no more.
    Carol Cassara recently posted…This is how it happened.My ProfileReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - What???? You’re going above my pay grade- again!ReplyCancel

  • Susan - ofeverymoment - The photos make me want to visit!
    Also, after reading your bio about Wally, if my life story ever needs to be told – I want you to write it!
    Susan – ofeverymoment recently posted…Insinuations of Deadly Intentions (The Papalo Cure – part 2)My ProfileReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Ohhhhhh, I’d LOVE TO!!!! I’m thinking of writing my Obit- now. Hahaaaaa I will be amazing if I have anything to say about it!ReplyCancel

  • Suzanne Bluth Robertson - Yes, yes… I want one. It looks so FUN. I love the garden on the back.


  • William Kendall - I’ve seen these things in campgrounds, but never did get in one.
    William Kendall recently posted…An Enduring TreeMy ProfileReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - AMAZING inside. So compact but efficient. Very Retro and shiny. I like it all!ReplyCancel

  • Vashti Q - Hi Cheryl! This entire post fascinated me from start to finish. Now, I really want one of these and the adventures too! :) ReplyCancel

  • Terrye Toombs - How awesome is THAT?! ReplyCancel

  • Alana - Yes! Yes! Yes! This has been my dream since I worked in an insurance agency in Arkansas that wrote insurance on Airstreams (and other types of travel trailers and mobile homes). There is something so special about Airstreams.
    Alana recently posted…The Time for FearMy ProfileReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - They are….. beautiful. Really beautiful. It fast becoming one of my ‘dreams’ as well. Meet you at the Caravan?ReplyCancel

  • Cheryl Craggs - Your writing really drew me in, and to be about such a fabulous land craft, even more! Your brother in law sounds like someone who will try anything! I gather it was intentional? xReplyCancel

  • Enchanted Seashells, Confessions of a Tugboat Captain's Wife - Wish we had an Airstream; I’ve always loved them! FYI, I’m under orders from my tugboat man to make sure everyone knows it’s “Merchant Marine”, not “Merchant Marines”, and one is referred to a a “Merchant Mariner”. (Don’t shoot the messenger!!)
    Enchanted Seashells, Confessions of a Tugboat Captain’s Wife recently posted…Surfing Safari with Princess RosebudMy ProfileReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Good to know. I’ll go in and make the change now….ReplyCancel

  • Sue - Airstreams are such a head turner. Loved the story!
    Sue recently posted…Come See The Real Life As We Know It HouseMy ProfileReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - A kind of ‘house’ for you to write about on your wonderful blog?ReplyCancel

  • Gary Sidley - So I can now add ‘marketing executive’ to your burgeoning list of talents! My good lady has recently expressed an interest in caravaning; if she were to read this post I’m sure she’d flip into overdrive and nag me into submission. ReplyCancel

  • Big Top Family - Wow! What a great story, I loved this. And yeah, even though I already did my time in a trailer back in 1979 or so, you did kinda make me want an Airstream. ;) ReplyCancel

  • Claudia Schmidt - I always thought it would be way cool to travel cross country in one of these babies! Maybe I still will, when the kids are out of college. Love the pictures, cool story, I had no idea about how he came up with them.
    Claudia Schmidt recently posted…How To Get A Teenager To Clean Their Room (Or Not)My ProfileReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Thanks Claudia! I agree- very cool. We should start our own caravan group? Wouldn’t THAT be a R-I-O-T!!!ReplyCancel

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