Reader Spotlight: Ginny and Melodee!

The best part of Wilfair? The people. Sure, in the books -- they're rather dear to me, it's true -- but the people *outside* of the books mean so much more. 

It's you, in short, and all the lovely readers and curious sorts who swing by to see what's going on 'round Wilfair HQ. Meaning that anything that spotlights a reader automatically is my the best thing, in my greedy opinion.

But what about two readers? At the same time? And a mom and daughter? Oh hello! Today we're featuring the very first dual reader spotlight, and it just happens to be familial. (More fun stuff: There is *another* dual reader spotlight ahead, next week, this one featuring friends. I'm excited!)

Today's guests are Ginny and Melodee. Melodee is always so supportive on Facebook -- thanks, Melodee, so much! -- and you'll know Ginny from her gorgeous, Fair Finley-esque fashion photos and her gallery-worthy motel shoot. (Truth: I go revisit your photos quite a bit, Ginny.)

Oh, and Ginny's pup, Buddy Montgomery, the first dog -- or anything, that I'm aware of -- to get a Wilfair middle name. Total cutie patootie.

Thanks, ladies, for jumping into a reader spotlight! 


Parents being helpful is a theme of the books. What's one way Melodee helps you, Ginny? And Melodee, how does Ginny lend a hand?
G: My mom is always there for me. I call her every day and she listens to me vent about work.  And she always lends a hand when we need someone to watch my son.

M: Ginny has always been a joy to me! When my husband (her Dad) retired in October, we moved to be closer to her and her family. She drives me all over town and watches over me when I'm here alone. She even brought me lunch yesterday. She's much better at "mothering" me than I was at mothering her!! 

This touches my heart. It's true how mothering can work both ways (and should!)

What's your favorite thing to do together? Lunch, movies, just hanging out. Who picks most of the time or is it mutual?

G: We tend to hang out and drink wine a lot.  Or go shopping together. Today we went to a casino and played penny slots together and I won $5! 

M: Ginny & I have fun just being together...and no, we don't drink a LOT of wine! We did have a ball at the penny slots! I broke even...and, I consider that a win! We like discovering "new" bakeries and good places to eat. Ginny most often is the planner of places to go or things to do. I'm still learning what's around here and I (according to my husband) have a hard time making decisions.

I'm seriously driving right over to hang out with you both. What is it from LA to Las Vegas, five, six hours at most? Will it be weird if I just show up on your doorstep some time (and will you invite me along)? Our first stop can be one of your bakery discoveries.
I'm very close with my mom but we have some pretty different traits. How are you different? In what ways are you very alike?

G: I'd say our temperaments are very much alike.  We are both worriers and tend to stress about things beyond our control.  The biggest difference is that she's a very neat and tidy person and I'm not.  At all.  Wish I had inherited that from her!

M: She's right. We're two peas in a pod...except for the cleaning thing. I kind of think the cleaning obsession is a curse in a way, but I DO love a clean house. On the other hand, I admire the way Ginny spends time with her son & that's really more important than a spotless house!

Awww, totally. And people who love you don't really care about a stack of dishes in the sink (or so I tell myself). I'm a worrier, too, but my mom is not (hence our different temperaments). I strive every day to be more like her.

Absolute favorite dinner, from start to finish. Appetizer, entree, dessert, drink...

G: Bean dip, shredded beef chimichanga with cream cheese and green chili sauce, cheesecake, margarita on the rocks with salt

M: That's a tough one! Guess I'll have to imagine I'm on death row & can only have one last meal! Let's start with shrimp cocktail (LOVE shrimp). Skip a healthy salad (I'm on not long for this world anyway, right?). Then surf & turf: Coconut fried shrimp & a well done steak with a sweet potato (load it up with butter & brown sugar) and cream style corn (homemade not canned). For dessert: pecan pie & rhubarb crunch (gonna have 2). To drink: Diet Coke and a glass (make that a bottle) of Chateau St. Michelle Reisling. This is my dream dinner if I never had to worry about calories. Never gonna happen!

See, this is why I must drive over and go out with you both! This is how to roll on the cuisine front, ladies. Pecan pie and rieslings, Melodee? Yes and yes. Creamed corn, yes. Ginny, the chimichanga is one of the top five foods most likely to appear in my dreams. I'm not joking. We all dream of food here from time to time, right? And a chimichanga with a margarita, mmm. Though I might add sour cream. I have a sour cream, uhhh, situation? Hence my obsession with dips.

What's the best piece of advice you ever gotten/given?

G: A long time ago I read something on a blog that stuck with me- Progress, not perfection.  Action, not avoidance.  Faith, not fear.  I try to go back to that when I get overwhelmed.  It's been my mantra in my classroom the past few days as I try to get it cleaned and packed up for summer. 

M: My favorite saying is: Life isn't about waiting for the storm to's about learning to dance in the rain. So, I guess my advice would be: Dance on!

Thumbs up to all of this. I worry (again, the worrying) when I see people putting things off in hopes of the perfect moment. Actually, there's some advice from my own mom: The perfect moment never arrives, so you just have to start things or do things and go from there. Yep, progress, not perfection.

We three share an Arizona background. What's your must-go place in the Grand Canyon State?

G: It is really hard to choose!  For nature stuff, I loved visiting the Wonderland of Rocks in Southern Arizona when I was a kid.  For a touristy trip, Tombstone and Karchner Caverns are great!  Visiting all of the fun shops and restaurants in Payson makes for a fun day trip.  I loved taking my son to the Phoenix Zoo and the Wildlife World Zoo!  And, in my hometown of Scottsdale, a stroll around the Civic Center and downtown is always fun!

M: The obvious answer is, of course, the Grand Canyon! Ta Daaaa! Also, Sedona & Oak Creek Canyon are gorgeous, especially in the fall since not much of Arizona has a changing of the leaves. When in Scottsdale (where we lived), you HAVE to go eat at Carlsbad Tavern. The food is VERY spicy New Mexican "grub". Not to worry, they have lots of yummy beverages to put out the fire! 

So many places I know and love. Karchner Caverns! Payson! Oak Creek Canyon, too, was always an autumn family favorite in my household. Love the tip on the New Mexican grub. Gotta have my heat.

Wilfair question: What would go into your perfect dip or club sandwich? Top ingredient? (I'm cheese!)

G: I love dip.  I would eat it every single day for every meal.  In fact, mom and I made a new dip for lunch today.  (Hot corn dip- mix together 1/2 cup mayo, 1 cup cheese, 1 drained can of Mexicorn, 1 drained can of green chiles and 1/3 cup grated parmesean and bake at 350 for about a half hour.  Mmmmm...)  I would have to agree with Alysia, cheese is pretty much the way to go.  Or cream cheese.  Or beans.  Or green chiles...

M: I'm a "dipper" too. My favorite ingredient would have to be avocado...put that in any dip or on any sandwich & it's a winner with me!

Dip 4evr!!! And I really will try that hot corn dip, since anything starting in the word "hot" and ending in "dip" has my pre-approval. That is has copious amounts of cheese only tempts me further.


Melodee and Ginny, thank you for this fantastic Reader Spotlight! You are both so sweet and I enjoyed the conversational quality of your answers.

I've been thinking on your special reader photos and want to post several, but I think I'll go with these two, which represent our mutual Arizona affection.

Number one is a foggy picture I snapped at the Grand Canyon a few Thanksgivings ago. We stayed just steps from the rim and the clouds dipped down into the canyon. Very dramatic. It was cold and icy, too, so we holed up in our little cabin (where I ended up writing an early draft of Fair and Gomery's first hug -- yep, that happened there).

Also, El Tovar? One of my very favorite hotels, and definitely an inspiration for the books.

The second picture is the Sugar Bowl ice cream parlor, which you both know, of course. A Scottsdale classic! My dad used to go as a teenager, and I went a bunch as a kid, too. Mmm, sundaes.


Elisa said...

It is great to meet you both! Melodee, I am loving your words of wisdom. Progress, not perfection. Action, not avoidance. Faith, not fear. That is perfect!

Ginny said...

Thanks Elisa! Alysia, I have a serious sour cream problem too! It's about 4-5 hours from LA to Vegas, depending on what time of day you are traveling. You're welcome to hang out with us anytime! Might have to be at my mom's house though, mine's a mess! ;-)

Melodee said...

How could we have forgotten the Sugar Bowl? And, YES please come see us!

Dena said...

Hey! I know them! ;-)

(Reading Wilfair right now thanks to Ginny & I love it!)

Wilfair Book said...

Elisa: Yep. Trying to live those today. We're on board together.

Ginny: I keep hearing about the super train they want to build. Why can't they build that this week? Because I could be over next Saturday. :)

Melodee: Sugar Bowl, hooray! I hoped you'd enjoy that inclusion. It is a big favorite in my family. Thanks for the invite, too!

Dena: Why hello there! So very nice to meet you, and thank you. Welcome to Wilfair! Do you call the lovely Silver State home, too? Or Arizona? Two places I'm rather sweet on.

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