Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Mr. Cool and me, circa 1993

In case you were wondering why I call my husband, Mr. Cool. Here's a photo from about 1993 that will explain.

Hunka hunka burnin' love.


I'm enjoying my week off. See you Monday!

Friday, June 16, 2017

Our family knows the sting of poverty

My family also knows the sting of poverty
I recognize I may have a soft heart for the cause because my dad grew up in a time of dire poverty in the hills of Eastern Kentucky.

When you look at pictures from his childhood, you'd think it looked more like 1850 than the decade when America got television and the Soviet Union sent Sputnik into space.
In one shot, he's a tiny barefoot toddler wearing baggy overhauls, and standing in a dusty yard where someone has hung a washbucket on the fence. The family had no running water then.
In another, he's a teenager smiling in what could be a yearbook photo. It's around the same period in life he says he became aware of how poor he was, and grew increasingly ashamed for things he had no control over, like having to wear the same shirt and pants for an entire week, every week, at school.
"You'd get pretty ripe by Friday," he told me.
But I am SO GRATEFUL he says he never had to struggle with the gnawing pain of childhood hunger.
Dad says families, including his own, ate what they grew. He says as tenant farmers, my grandparents paid their rent for their huge brood (my dad was baby #14) with a portion of the crop they harvested on land they never owned.
As a result, there seemed to be a dependable supply of something to eat, he says.
But that is not the case for more school-aged kids in America than most of us realize.
It's why my chat with Gia stays in my mind.
Here was a child who, through no fault of her own, needed a helping hand. And she was so grateful to get it, proclaiming:
"I want to start a new school and a charity. I would like to have a school that would be grateful too for what they have".
Though she didn't say it outright, I felt like she was letting us know, not only did "Blessings in a Backpack" help fill her belly, it was also going a long way in feeding her huge potential.
That thought still brings a lump to my throat.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Cousin Blake Shelton makes my liver quiver...

Can I say that about a FAMILY member?

I called BS when they told me Blake Shelton was a cousin... but it turns out we are fourth cousins with Eastern Kentucky Roots.

Cousin Blake made an appearance on HLN's Journeys Home.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Getting Personal about my family and my roots.

It's been an emotional time for me. First exploring my dad's roots in Eastern Kentucky, and then reliving my Ohio cousin's opioid addiction.

I was born in Ohio, and my dad has Eastern Kentucky roots. I guess I'm at that age where my family roots are becoming more important.

A couple stories I did recently made me emotional. One was my dad visiting his three room schoolhouse and talking about his tough life growing up. Here's a clip from "Our Journeys Home" Would he still take the road from this 3 room schoolhouse in the hills of Eastern Kentucky to Ohio, if he had the chance all over again? AND I learn I have a famous cousin!!!

Here's my reaction when I was told...

Journeys Home will air June 6. Watch for it.

And along the same lines and another emotional time for me...

And then I did a long interview with the Ohio Attorney General.

The U.S. is in the midst of a major opioid crisis, an issue Morning Express host Robin Meade has a particularly strong connection to. This morning, Meade, an Ohio native, conducted a whopping 16-minute interview with Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine about the problem that has been inflicting wounds on families across the nation.

Meade revealed to the AG and on-air that her cousin, also an Ohio native, had been prescribed these painkillers for years, and was eventually killed by them. “One day, my cousin took a nap, and never woke up,” she recalled.

If you want to learn more about me and what formed my personality. Check these links.

Growing Up

High School and College

My early career

Special Events performances