Wednesday, June 25, 2014

A Month Later!! Wedding Plans

Huge progress in planning Lorelai's wedding this week.  WE HAVE A DRESS!!!!  Wish I could show it to you, but alas...just in case the groom-to-be reads blogs, we cannot risk it. I can tell you this much...it is from the Legends by Romona Keveza collection and is just gorgeous.

We went to several shops and found the dress at Maddison RowWe took maid-of-honor Mary, and our good friend Ann along to enjoy the fun. Ann has been something of a referee between Lorelai and me over the years when clothes shopping. I'm pleased to report that she didn't have to pull out her whistle a single time. This picture was taken as we arrived at the first salon on Friday morning. Needless to say, we were dragging by the time was left the third with a couple of favorites but no clear decision. Lorelai and I were able to get a last minute appointment at Maddison Row on Saturday afternoon but had to go by ourselves as Mary and Ann were otherwise engaged.



Today, we spent an hour and a half with Ellen Robinson, of  WED (Wedding Event Design) and photographer Marni Rothschild. There is no doubt that we've chosen well...or rather HAVE been chosen. These ladies are two of the VERY best in the business. I am amazed that they were not already booked, even for June of 2015. Ellen has recommended SYGDesigns to do the florals but we won't meet with them until later. 

So...church, reception venue, event designer/planner, photographer, florist, wedding dress...CHECK!!!  We have some time on the bridesmaids dresses. Ellen is working on recommendations for the reception music. I believe we will go with a DJ. In researching bands, Lorelai hasn't discovered one that plays all of the songs she wants. Engagement photos will be done in November out and about downtown. Save the Dates will go in the mail in January. CHECK CHECK CHECK!

For now, we are set. Lorelai is going to get ready for her new job and I am going to rest. Hank is ready to talk about something other than flowers and colors and dresses. Did I forget to tell you Lorelai has a JOB!! Elementary counselor in a wonderful school in the middle of the state. She worked so hard the last two years to complete her Masters and Education Specialist degrees...we couldn't be more proud of the young woman she's become. 

So...you're updated!!  What's been up at your house?

Saturday, May 24, 2014

And Two Weeks Later...

And two weeks later, we've accomplished a lot in preparing for the wedding. The church is booked...our beautiful sanctuary at Second Presbyterian Church...for June 13, 2015.  We have engaged a wedding planner...Ellen Cohn-Robinson of WED (Wedding.Event.Design). And, after much research, we have settled on the location for the wedding reception...the Colonial Room at the Francis Marion Hotel.

The church was a no brainer. We are SO blessed to be members of Second Church. In the words of our pastor from the church website...

Second Presbyterian Church is #1 on the List of Historical Churches in Charleston.
For over two hundred years the light from the steeple of The Second Presbyterian Church of Charleston and Its Suburbs, as it was named in 1809, has been a beacon providing direction for sojourners on the sea and the sea of life. As we move into our third century, we are committed to serving our still-creating God in ways that are yet to be imagined!

The decision to work with a wedding planner was also an easy one to make. Let me tell you...the fact that we were able to get WED to take us on a mere 13 months before a wedding during the month of June--the busiest wedding month in Charleston---is nothing short of a miracle. As important as it is to us that our only daughter's wedding be exactly what she wants it to be (within reason) it is also important that we have every opportunity to enjoy it without feeling overwhelmed. WED is a gift that Hank and I are giving ourselves!!

The reception. The Francis Marion Hotel.  The Colonial Ballroom in the 90 year old hotel, was completely refurbished in 2012 and is lovely...but...there are many lovely venues in Charleston. At the end of the day, it's all about parking, parking and parking. Our guests will be able to walk across Marion Square from the church to the reception. It is also all about air conditioning!! There are a number of gorgeous historical home venues; however, they require that dancing be outside as amplified music is strictly prohibited inside these homes. Charleston...June...hot...humid...sand gnats. My nerves would not be able to withstand worrying about the heat, humidity and sand gnats.



So...the next steps...firming up details on the photographer, the guest list, the music and schedule appointments for wedding dress shopping.  More soon...

Monday, May 12, 2014

Big News...BIG BIG NEWS

You didn't think I'd completely given up the ghost on blogging, did you?  I mean, really, it's only been almost six months since I posted.  Give a girl some encouragement with a few comments pretty please. But now...NOW, I have BIG BIG NEWS!

Lorelai is ENGAGED!!!!  Here's the story...last weekend, she graduated from Clemson (again) with her Masters and Education Specialist Degrees (two degrees...TWO!) in Counselor Education.  By the way...she's looking for a job so if you are a school administrator in South Carolina be a pal and give her a job.

Hank and I took Lorelai, her then boyfriend now fiance' Butler, and Legare out to dinner at Rick Erwin's West End Grille on Thursday night.  After the ceremony on Friday afternoon, Legare headed back to Raleigh (oh yes...other news...he's moved from Charlotte to a new job in Raleigh) and Hank and I grabbed a quick supper at Davani's, then went back to the hotel to collapse.

Hank's cell phone died so he plugged it in and promptly fell hard and fast asleep by about 8:30. I watched Netflix for a bit and was out shortly thereafter. He woke up about 1:30 a.m. and when he checked the time on his phone, saw that he had a text from Butler requesting a private conversation for Saturday morning. Confident that he knew what the conversation would be about and to his credit, he suffered in silence for the rest of the night and did not wake me.

After Saturday morning brunch with Lorelai's fellow graduates, Hank and Butler found a quiet place to chat. Long story short, Hank gave our blessing and we started back toward the Lowcountry. With the help of good friends Candice and Jesse, Butler hatched a plan to be executed that evening in the Botanical Garden at Clemson. Candice called Lorelai and requested that she and Butler come to the garden to take pictures of she and Jesse in all of their finery before the Inaugural Ball for the new president of the university. Unbeknownst to Lorelai, Candice and Jesse were hiding in the shrubbery at the appointed location ready to take photos of the big moment. And here it is...



And one with Candice just after...

And finally....the ring!


Lots to do...lots to do.  And I am going to blog about all of it.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Big Talk

I talk a good game, don't I?  Posting everyday, blah blah blah.

I did a good job posting my "thanksfuls" on Facebook. The smartphone is convenient for that. Can't manage a blog on a smartphone...at least I can't.

So...today is a recap of my FB updates since New Year's Day

1.2.14- Tonight...I am thankful for a roaring fire, this cozy quilt (made by my Grandmother Mason and Aunt Zoie some 70+ years ago) and most especially my kind and patient husband. And I DO mean patent!! (I got, let's just say, angry...insanely angry (hormones...I'm going to hang fast to hormones) and was ready to fire off a communication that would have SINGED the eyebrows off of the person for whom it was intended. Hank talked me down...he is a saint.)



1.2.14- Tonight, I am grateful for our children. Legare and Lorelai are the most precious gifts we could have ever been given. We are thankful that they have become such kind, caring, and generous young adults.


1.4.14- It's pretty safe to say that yesterday, I was thankful that the TIGERS won the Orange Bowl, but I was also grateful that we got to have supper and spend some time with our good friend Ted.

1.5.14- Tonight, I am thankful for my neighbors. It was good talking with you this afternoon Dee Dee, even if was just for a little while.

1.6.14- Tonight, we are thankful for our cat Boo. He went on to his great reward today but as cats go, he was a good old fella and kept the critters out of our yard. (Lorelai got Boo when she was in middle school. Poor thing was just too sick and we couldn't let him suffer. This upset Hank the most as he is the one who takes care of the animals on a daily basis.)

1/7/14- No fewer than ten times today, I said to myself, "I am so thankful for this wonderful team of people." Our school staff is in a league of its own. (Although on Friday when I had to lay down the law on a few housekeeping details, they might not have felt the same about me...)

1.8.14- Tonight I'm thankful for wisdom. Both the occasional flashes that I might display...and the wisdom shared with me by others. (I got a very nice response from a fellow who I taught in 11th and 12th grade WAY back 1983-85...my first two years of teaching school. I recall being immature and whiny...he says I was a positive influence. He is very kind.)

1.9.14- So thankful for our "second family" at Second Presbyterian. Come join us.

1.10.14 I am thankful to live in the South Carolina Lowcountry for 100 reasons. #1= GOOD eats around every corner. Tonight...steamed oysters from just up the road a piece. (Below, you will see our oyster eating supplies...got to have Texas Pete, saltine crackers, and your own oyster knives...not sure why the heavy duty gloves from the hardware store aren't in the basket.



1.11.14- Rainy Saturdays make me happy and I'm thankful that I don't have to go anywhere today. We have a very long honey-do list.

You have a wonderful weekend. I've got to get going on MY part of the honey-do list.


Saturday, January 4, 2014

What has happened to my brain?

(Case in point...you'll see what I men when you finish reading the post...I forgot to come back and hit the publish button after I wrote yesterday morning...In the meantime...our Clemson Tigers won the BCS Discover Orange Bowl. For this...I am thankful!!  The game was so exciting that it was 2:00 a.m. before we got to sleep...anyhow...)
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When I turned 52 in October, my brain turned to mush. I'm blaming it on menopause.

For instance, when Living in the Lowcountry suggested that I utilize Bloglovin in place of the long gone Google Reader, I immediately clicked over to Bloglovin. There, sitting, waiting for my reading pleasure, were all of my blogs from Reader. Apparently, I set up the account and completely forgot about it.

As we were trying to get on the road for an overnight trip to a wedding on New Year's Eve, I had to come back in the house five....FIVE...times because I kept thinking of things I thought I'd forgotten. Most of the things turned out to be in my bag in the car.

I only took THREE pictures on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Totally forgot to take my camera for the New Year's Eve celebration.

And I weep...not full blown crying...weeping...A LOT.  My eyes fill up with tears because I'm happy, sad, angry...because I see a cute kitty cat on Pinterest. I don't even LIKE cats! I let Lorelai's cat Sophie sit in my lap one night, all cozied up in a blanket.

I've fallen in love with Legare's dog, Bingley. I drove all the way to Charlotte a few weekends ago to BABYSIT THE DOG while Legare went out of town. I don't even LIKE dogs!  Over the holidays, I let him sit on the furniture and sleep on our bed. ON MY SIDE!!!

I'm seeing a theme here...as I reinvent my blog the topic of the year just might be "hiding my crazy."

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Blessings

Tonight, I am grateful for our children. Legare and Lorelai are the most precious gifts Hank and I could have ever been given.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Well...I'm Going To Try This Again, Folks-WELCOME ME BACK TO BLOGGING!!

Lordy, do I miss blogging. I am going to REINVENT "Life of a..." in 2014. Yes, Indeedy, Do!

How are YOU??  I've not blogged and I've not been reading. When Google Reader went away I got completely confused. Tell me...what are you using to keep your blog reading organized?  PLEASE TELL ME.

We are fine. Legare is fine. Lorelai's housemate, well now former housemate, Candice married the love of her life last night up in Anderson, so Hank and I road tripped up that way on New Year's Eve afternoon and came home this morning. It was the sweetest event...my eyes must have filled up with tears ten times. (This crying thing is a new phenomenon since I turned 52 back in October...Hank doesn't quite know what to do with me.)

Candice and Lor have lived together for two years but now husband Jesse is moving in and Lor has moved to an apartment. Candice's family lives locally and they have been SO GOOD to Lorelai. It was a true blessing to Hank and me (who just swoop in from four hours away for home football games) to know that the Bagwells were keeping an eye on her.

Looking back at last year's goals, we didn't do yoga more than five or six times and I didn't lose any weight. But I didn't GAIN any weight so I count that one as a victory.

This year I only have two goals...to be more thankful...more grateful...for the many blessings God has given to us. And to slow down...when I tell people that I do not let my job rule my life...well, I'm telling a WHOPPER. I am going to FB and Tweet my "thankful fors" as often as possible...and share here as well.  I really look forward to catching up with all of you.

SO...for today...

This morning, on Facebook, I posted...I am thankful that we had the privilege of being a part of the Bagwell Godfrey wedding...each person there came away truly blessed. And that we got to meet the entire Bagwell family, who have been so kind and loving to our Lorelai over the past two years.

And tonight...with the photo below...I am thankful for a roaring fire, this cozy quilt (made by my Grandmother Mason and Aunt Zoie some 70+ years ago) and most especially my kind and patient husband. And I DO mean patent!!


Saturday, September 7, 2013

I try and I try...

...to keep up with blogging. It just isn't meant to be a weekly (or apparently monthly) activity right now.

Lorelai and Legare are fine. She is enjoying her counseling internship and her new part time job working in the tutoring center for student athletes at Clemson.  He's on a unrelenting quest to furnish his new house.

School has started for me.  Fabulous group of new students this year. Dream team of a staff. It's all good.

Hank is busy supervising work on a bedroom remodel, bathroom addition, and new roof at the summerhouse and, as the most patient person in our family, still heads up the highway once each week to check on the little old ladies and Ned.  He's busier in retirement that he ever was when he went to an office every day.

Our Clemson Tigers did good work on Georgia last week. Have to share a "smile" story with you. We have four season's tickets. When Hank and I realized that it was going to be an 8:00 p.m. game, we decided to watch from home. I love night games, but not ESPN Game Day games where people start their parties at the break of dawn. All of the hullabaloo makes me a little nervous.

Anyhow...Lorelai wanted two of the tickets and I sold two on StubHub. Here's the smile part...the face value on each ticket was $75. SOMEBODY bought those two tickets for $590!!  Maybe they got their money's worth because it was a fabulous game (unless they were Georgia fans). All I know is that Legare, Robert, Hank and I sat in our comfortable chairs in our cool den, eating wings, BBQ, rice and hash, slaw, and homemade ice cream... and after StubHub took their cut, I deposited $501.50 in my checking account.

Happy, happy, happy.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Legare's New House and Our 30th Anniversary

It's been a busy two weeks. On July 4th, Hank and I loaded up a U-Haul trailer and he left for Clemson where he unloaded said furniture at Lorelai's and reloaded some furniture she was using to take to Legare and his new house. On July 5th, we met up in Charlotte at Legare's new house to unload furniture and help get things settled there. Hank painted and I cooked the first decent meal anybody'd eaten since the move. In a moment of brotherly love, he invited Lorelai to come for the weekend also. Fried chicken, collard greens, tomato pie, peach pound cake. A really good comfort food sort of "first" real meal in a new home.


Hank and I left about dark to settle in for the weekend at the Ritz. We looked like poor old country come to town dragging in there after working hard all day. When we got to our room we found this waiting for us. Legare had called to tell them that we were celebrating our 30th anniversary.

On Saturday morning, we headed back over to the house. It's a lovely little neighborhood...he's less than ten minutes from his office in the Bank of America building...the one with the crown on top, but it feels like a small town neighborhood. Robert was working on getting the big television mounted on the wall in the den and Legare was walking around supervising.

While Hank started back in on the painting (and Legare continued to supervise), Lorelai and I headed in the vicinity of SouthPark Mall to look for some clothes for her and for MY anniversary gift. Sue and Louis were in Charlotte checking in on Sue's mother and they joined us for a bit. I found the gift and Hank joined us later to seal the deal. I'll show you the earrings later...I'm wearing them and do NOT do "selfies." Later, Sue and Louis, with her mom in tow, came by to check out the house.

Late in the afternoon, Hank and I went back to the hotel to get ready for dinner. Lorelai, Legare, Robert, Hank, and I went to The Capitol Grill for the most delicious dinner I've had in awhile. Drinks...appetizers...beautiful porcini rubbed delmonico steaks for the gentlemen, parmesan crusted sole for Lorelai, and a filet and lobster tail for me. Delicious sides to share... and a wonderful surprise champagne toast AND dessert, compliments of the establishment. When the check came, Legare and Robert each whipped out a credit card and dinner was on them. SO SWEET! We were so enthralled with all of the food that we didn't take a picture!

We got up on Sunday morning and packed to head back to the Lowcountry, while Lorelai got on the road back to Clemson. It was a wonderful WONDERFUL weekend.

Bingley waved goodbye. He loves his new house and his fenced in back yard.



Hope you're having a good weekend!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Snap Crackle Zizzle Zazzle Pop Pop Bam

I found a section on blogger that I didn't know was there...some spot where it looks like spam comments were sent pending approval.

One said that my post titles weren't "catchy" enough.

How's this one for catchy?

Sunday, June 30, 2013

How Do You Want To Be Remembered?

Back on Easter Sunday, Legare leaned over to me before church started and pointed out a memorial to a church member long gone on to glory. There are a number of such on the walls on both sides of the sanctuary. He remarked that he hoped to be remembered similarly...and I have to agree. I'd like to be remembered this way as well...


What say you?

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Installment #2..Anybody Miss Me (I'm Baaaack!)

We'll make this installment a family update.

Hank...is just winding up his first year of retirement. Our yard has never looked better. We have a beautiful little vegetable garden. He has several improvements underway at the farm. God bless his kind and caring heart, he has visited our mothers and Ned every week...I don't believe he missed three weeks the entire year. Recently, he was elected to the Aldersgate Special Needs Ministry Board of Directors, the organization that built the house Ned lives in and another one other for disabled women up in Columbia. He will be a blessing to the group.

Legare...is wrapping up his second year at his law firm. He's traveled quite a bit...mostly Houston, Boston, Seattle, Philadelphia, Manchester, NH and DC.  Good thing he doesn't live awfully far from the Charlotte airport. Two big things...he got a dog. Bingley is an English Springer Spaniel and he is absolutely adorable...and this coming from a person who doesn't really like animals..at all. We kept him for a weekend recently and he and Precious did not get along. Since she will hardly let Hank out of her sight, he slept in Legare's old room with her and Bingley slept with me. Yes...at the foot of the bed...the same one I was sleeping in. People who know me well think I'm telling a fib. Second big news...Legare is buying a house. He closes on July 1...photos to come.

Lorelai...completed her second year of grad school. Next year this time, she will have an Education Specialist (Ed.S.) degree in School Counseling and be more credentialed than her dear old mama. I stopped after my Masters, but then again I was 36 when I was done. She'll only be not quite 24. Lorelai's boyfriend, Whit, lives in Columbia so they're about 2 hours apart. Lor and her kitty cat Sophie still coexist with her friend Candace and Candace's big old sweet pie of a dog Remi. Candace is getting married on New Year's Eve so Lor will be moving into a nearby apartment to wrap up her last semester of school in Spring 2014...unless she decides to stay for her Ph.D....I think, though, that she is ready to get out into the workforce for awhile.

Ned is fabulous. Hank's mother is up and down. My mother is on a slow but steady decline. She can no longer recognize the children in any photographs and thinks I am Dorothy...her older sister who passed away in 1981. We have to chuckle...

Here are a few photos... 1. The day Legare got Bingley  2. Bingley on the boat...it looks like he just told Legare a funny joke  3. Lorelai with us at church on Mother's Day  4.  A much bigger Bingley trying to see what's cooking.




Thursday, June 20, 2013

Anybody Miss Me-Installment #1

I'm baaaack!  Was not away for any terrible reason...life just got in the way of blogging. Work...and work. More work.

SO...it's been more than six months since I posted my New Year's resoloutions. In a nutshell, we did yoga for three days and I didn't walk a single step on the treadmill. Pitiful!

I haven't lost a single pound...but I haven't GAINED a single pound so I'm considering that a victory all things considered.

The only resolution fulfilled is that we joined Second Presbyterian in March. It's such a loving and caring church home. I've joined the choir and had a fabulous time serving in the Tea Room two Saturdays during the Spoleto Festival in Charleston. I've even filled in for handbells a time or two. What a blessing to worship in such a beautiful place on Sunday mornings.  I'm taking a rare vacation day. Got to scoot to an appoinement. More later!  I hope you're still out there my friends. I've got a lot of blog reading to catch up on.


Sunday, January 6, 2013

January 2013 Resolutions

As I mentioned in a previous post, I'm making/revising my resolutions one month at a time. The January goals are starting a little late...although I've been tweaking this and that for the last week. It's all about being more healthy and calm and patient. Here goes...I'll be updating on January 31st.

1.  Yoga three times a week.  Hank and I are doing yoga together and this is the one resolution we started on January 1. Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday are our yoga days. We did a different video each day and finally, today, settled on a good intro that we're going to stick with until we feel comfortable with the basics.

2. On Wednesdays and Fridays I'm going to do a mile on our treadmill. Mondays and Saturdays will be my off days. I know a mile doesn't seem like much but for me, it's huge!

3. This morning, we declared our intention to join Second Presbyterian Charleston, where we've been visiting since summer. Hopefully, by the end of the month we will be members in our new church home...our "second" family at Second Presbyterian.

4.  I weighed myself this morning and will be using a couple of apps that I've discovered to pursue a goal of losing 2 pounds a week.  My goal is 40 pounds. More on the details when I update at the end of the month.

That's it for January...

How are things going for you and yours?

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

This and That

My nerves are still frayed from last night's Chick-fil-A Bowl...formerly known as the Peach Bowl.

Our Clemson Tigers were their best selves in the end, winning over LSU by one point, earned by a field goal in the last two seconds of the game. It was a humdinger of a ballgame and a sweet win, as I don't think many people were expecting it. I had a teeny tiny good feeling at kick off but never would say it out loud. Can't tempt fate...no siree...no jubilation until the win is in the bag!

I've decided on several resolutions; however, because creating short-term goals is more conducive to success for me personally, I'll be creating monthly resolutions. The list will get longer as the year goes by because while some goals will be met, others will continue for a time. I'll be putting said resolutions into effect beginning Monday, January 7th and report out at the end of each month.  Not that I expect you, my friends, to be overly interested...it's just that reporting publicly will keep me honest.

More on the resolutions over the coming week...I'm still formulating plans.

This is my last afternoon of vacation. I'm sad...but I'm happy...but I'm sad...but I'm HAPPY! 

Have a great rest of your New Year's Day!


Monday, December 31, 2012

Our Glamorous New Year's Eve

I'm writing this post at halftime of the Chick-fil-A Bowl where our Clemson Tigers are at the Georgia Dome taking on LSU.  Hank is asleep in his chair. 

I'm wearing a very chic long-sleeved red and white Piggly Wiggly t-shirt and charcoal grey yoga pants. My ensemble is completed by horizontal striped fuzzy socks in chocolate brown and champagne. Hank is very GQ in navy sweatpants and a formerly yellow t-shirt that is faded to perfection.

We dined on Hank's famous shrimp and grits...white wine for Hank and Pepsi for me.

What sort of GLAM are you and yours up to this fair New Year's Eve?? 




Saturday, December 29, 2012

Sleepy Saturday

Not sure why I think that's a catchy post title since almost the entire last week has been "sleepy."  I love having vacation but I'm a disaster when there's no structure to my day. I do not want to go back to work on Wednesday, yet I DO want to go back to work on Wednesday just to get back into a routine.

Last night we stayed up late watching the second season of Downton Abbey again in preparation for the new season. Hank has gone over to Hometown for a little reunion of sorts with some of his daddy's people. Legare and Richard have gone to Howard's for breakfast. I think I'm going to run to the grocery store and cook up a big supper.

The one thing I really missed on Christmas was my own dressing. Baking a chicken and fixing a down home supper for tonight sounds like a good use of my afternoon.

Lorelai is instagramming photos of her NYC adventure. Poor Beau...he'll be a good man if he survives five days in the city with her and her friends.

This photo says it all...and was taken on Day 1!!  Look how cute she is with that little pouty face and those hands on thos hips!! Oh my goodness....it makes me laugh out loud!!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Sweet Rest, Resolutions, and Random Thoughts

Happy Do Nothing Day was a wonderful success, followed up by an equally impressive Happy Do Just A Little Bit More Than Yesterday Day. Today is Happy Piddle Around Day. A little cleaning, a little shopping, a little blogging. Hank and I are going to begin YOGA today. I took a class for a short time some years ago and felt SO good...so relaxed and clear-headed, which for me is saying something.

Lorelai left this morning for New York...Legare is coming in tonight for the long weekend.

I am SO thankful for a few days of vacation!!

I'm not a maker of resolutions...has always seemed like a way of setting myself up for failure. For whatever strange reason; however, I feel like making a few for 2013....not firm on them yet but am pondering the following:

1.  Work will not rule my life.
2.  Work will not rule my life.
3.  Work will not rule my life.
4.  Work will not rule my life.
5.  Work will not rule my life.

I'm NOT kidding...I'm seriously considering 1 through 5 above.

What are you considering???

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Happy Do Nothing Day

Hope that you and yours had a wonderful Christmas Day.  I always admire and am a little jealous of folks whose holiday goes without a hitch. Ours never does...not actual Christmas Day anyway.

Christmas Eve was great...relaxing. Dinner at Peninsula Grill with our children and Lorelai's beau, Beau. Good food and fun...although I probably had a little more "fun" than I should have. Thankfully, I'm even MORE delightful after a couple of the Grill's southern manhattens with those little brandy soaked cherries, IF you can imagine. To top it all off, Legare grabbed the check from Hank and declared the entire evening his treat.

Mother's family all convened at Green Grove for dinner at noon on Christmas Day. There were 30 of us and it was as pleasant as Christmas dinner in a nursing home could be, I suppose. Both mother and her sister Elizabeth appeared mostly dazed and confused but we, the family, did the best we could under the circumstances.

All the more reason, my friends, to declare today Happy Do Nothing Day. In this world, there is rarely rest for the weary (or wicked, as the case may be). I slept late...VERY. Ate left over Creme Brulee for breakfast. Have NO intention whatsoever of putting on any make-up or clothing other than sweats...with warm socks and NO shoes. And watching TV. And catching up on blogs. And maybe taking a nap. Hank is going hunting...only a few days left of the season. Lorelai and her beau, Beau are headed to NYC in a couple of days to shop a bit and spend New Year's Eve with her best friend Amanda.

Legare will be back in town with friends in tow for New Years. Hank and I will declare New Year's Eve to be another Happy Do Nothing Day and flop down in front of the TV to watch our Tigers play in the Chick-fil-a Bowl.

I leave you with a few photos...I particularly love the one of our family. Seems like we only get a family photo once a year at Christmas.


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Lorelai and Beau

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I insisted that the "children" go outside and leave oats for the reindeer. One of them threw oats in my hair...I suspect Legare, as his facial expression implies that he is more than pleased about something!
 
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 Ned came home with us to spend Christmas night. We took him for his first trip ever to Starbucks. He's a convert!


Monday, November 19, 2012

Are you fearful of having a screening colonscopy? Don't be!

This won't be the most elegant post I've ever written for sure; however, it is an important one. If you or your parents are 50 years or older and have not had a screening colonoscopy, IT'S TIME.

Because of a family history of cancer,  Hank had his at 45 and thankfully so, because he had several pre-cancerous polyps at that time. He's had two more screenings since then with no problems noted so he's been released for five years.

Today, I had mine...I'd been dodging the whole idea for a year, but finally decided to put on my big girl britches and make the appointment....oddly, having to take off my big girl britches for the procedure. (I'm SORRY...that is a horrible joke but I could not resist...there is still residual anesthesia in my system.Yep, that's my story and I'm sticking to it!)

If you're in our area, I highly recommend Dr. Eddie Irions at Charleston Gastroenterology. Dr. Mullins, the anesthesiologist was also tip top. On our way to the "room" we talked about colleges and our kids and my job as a educator. Once inside, he put a couple of shots of something glorious into the IV and the next thing I know, I'm waking up from a blissful nap back the recovery area with Hank by my side. There was one polyp...might be pre-cancerous, might not. Let's pray for not. In any event, I'll go back in either three years or five years depending on the lab results.

I didn't want to go...but now that's it's over, I'm so glad I did. We got back home about 10:30 and I went straight to bed for a five hour nap. Not much sleep last night...but not because I was nervous. The most aggravating part of the process was drinking the prep/cleanse. Not fun, but tolerable. Only clear liquids yesterday with one dose at 5:00 p.m. and another at midnight. The midnight dose kept me up until about 3:30 a.m. and we had to be in the car on our way at 6:00 a.m...hence today's long nap.

Colon cancer is treatable when caught early. If' you're "about that age" do not delay.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Clemson Football: Military Appreciation Day

My camera has been acting up for awhile now but I was able to coax it into giving me a few good photos several weeks ago at the Military Appreciation Day ball game at Clemson. We haven't missed a home game this year...another reason for my neglect of the blog, I suppose.
 
The Military Appreciation game is my favorite of every season...so touching.  Daniel Rodriguez is Number 83 and a combat veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan. He was awarded a Bronze Star with Valor and a Purple Heart for his bravery. At halftime, the Clemson community honored the two pilots who provided air cover for Daniel and his unit during an ambush. We're proud of him!  OH...and we beat the mud out of Virginia Tech!
 
 
 







Sunday, November 11, 2012

Why I have been a bad blogger...

Answer...I haven't the slightest idea...just got into some kind of slump.

Best idea I have to get back in the groove is to give you some sort of random list of thoughts.

1.  Hank's retirement is going SO well. He is one happy camper and has gotten a big part of his honey-do list accomplished, including renovations to our kitchen in the way of the ceiling and appliances, replacement of the tired old heating and air system upstairs AND refinancing of our mortgage to a much lower interest rate. He's checking in on the little old ladies once a week, filled a couple of coolers with shrimp, AND killed the ten point buck that he's been after for awhile now. I rarely have to go into a grocery store and he's even working on his culinary skills.  Life is good.

2.  We've begun attending a new church...Second Presbyterian in Charleston. It's lovely, although they probably do not think we're so lovely as the fall of the year wasn't the smartest time to transition since we're in Clemson so many weekends. We'll redeem ourselves after Thanksgiving.

3.  School has been going well, although the local elections this year were a bit nerve wracking for reasons that I will not go into. In the end, all is well.

4.  Part of the reason, I think, I've been AWOL actually has to do with the elections. I got so weary of reading silly and/or mean things/opinions. Some people have some crazy ideas...I'll leave it at that.

5.  Legare is fine...traveling for work a fair amount. He says it's not glamorous because all he sees are airports and office buildings. Occasionally he'll be somewhere where he knows somebody and enjoys the chance to grab dinner to catch up. Last week he called as he was waiting in the airport for a shuttle to Washington. I inquired as to where he was staying and he said, The Hay-Adams. You know what...that sounds relatively glamorous to me. I was assured that he generally stays in a Hampton Inn but when traveling with a partner, one gets to stay where he or she stays. Like I said...sounds REALLY good to me.

6.  Lorelai is wrapping up her second semester of her Master's Degree program in School Counseling. As you may remember, she's been serving as a nanny for an adorable 2 year old and her equally adorable 6 month old brother. They are giving Miss Lorelai a run for her money. I ain't EVEN lying. We get a phone call with a new story every other day. It's rather amusing seeing two car seats in the backseat of her little Honda. Speaking of school, while she's ready to be out in the big world making money, she enjoys her classes and will be giving up the nanny business after the holidays because of her next semester class load, which includes the start of many MANY hours of field experience.

7.  Ned is fine. Mother and Hank's mother are mostly fine. Aunt Elizabeth is fine. Holidays; however, will be something else. Taking mother out of Green Grove, even for a few hours wears on everybody's nerves. She talks non-stop about the same thing over and over. Last week, Hank took all three of them to the farm for a few hours. Lots of cotton in our fields just now and mother went on and on and ON about how WHITE the cotton is. At one point, Elizabeth (always the southern lady) said, Victoria...you just need to calm down and stop talking quite so much. After awhile, Hank's mother chimed in...Victoria, cotton has ALWAYS been white. After awhile longer, Elizabeth, at the end of her rope, said, VICTORIA...FOR GOD'S SAKE...STOP TALKING SO MUCH!!!

God bless Hank...the afternoon was capped of with Elizabeth, deeply desiring to be in a "better place" than Mother and Hank's mother, insisted on helping to straighten up the house and lock up.  Hank looked over to find her trying to lock the door with her Green Grove room key from around her neck. To her credit, she realized her mistake before he had to say anything. Later, as he walked her back to her room, she said, I'm sorry for misbehaving.  Mother, on the other hand, was still talking about the white cotton.

Upward and onward my friends...hope somebody out there is still ready. Hopefully, this post marks my return to blogland.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Being Stove Up...and Football

I'm mindful of age today...partly because I have a birthday in October but mainly because it was hotter than the hinges of hell yesterday at the ballgame in Clemson and THEN we drove the whole 3 plus hours home without stopping. We are "all stove up" as my grandmama used to say...meaning we are moving slow today. Hank did go out for a walk awhile ago. I sat on the sunroom couch and stalked my children and their friends on FB.

OH...look at the adorable shoes I found on sale at Steinmart on Friday night!  I got lots of compliments on them at the game. The laces REALLY rock, don't they?


We did have a great time yesterday, in spite of the heat. It was a 12:30 game so we did a brunch tailgate for Lorelai and assorted friends. Our Tigers won handily, eventually playing third string players. I love it when those guys get time on the field. It appears that our backup quarterback is pretty good, all things considered. Nice! My intent was to take pictures with my iPad but the glare was awful. Didn't take a one.The camera goes in the bag next weekend.

Poor Legare...his Tar Heels had a bad day at Wake. Unfortunately for him, his Furman Paladins are probably going to have a bad day next Saturday at Clemson. Hank and I need to put together "house divided" outfits...thing is that Furman's colors are purple and white. Clemson's are orange, purple, and white. It will be hard to tell the Furman people from the Clemson people.

I think there is an old FU t-shirt up in his closet.  I KID you NOT!  FU for Furman University. Furman, otherwise known as "The Country Club of the South" holds a special place in our hearts...the boy had four wonderful years there.

I'm feeling like a couple of ibuprofen and a nap.  What are you up to?

Monday, September 3, 2012

My Annual Presidential Election Year Post

I'm not fond of labels and certainly not fond of propaganda. I'm reasonably smart and not crazy (and to paraphrase Dr. Sheldon Cooper...I know I am/am not because my mother had me tested) and I read a lot. I am also reasonably intuative. I do NOT assume that everybody I know agrees with me from a political standpoint, nor that they are any less smart or intuitive than I just because their politics differ from mine.

And that's OK. People who know me well know that I'm the kind of gal who stands by her convictions.  And while I have strong opinions and would love nothing more for everybody in the world to agree with me (because I'm so smart and not one bit crazy, don't you know...), never ever will everybody in the world have a desire to live in the sunshine of my opinions in the Land of Belle.

I consider myself an independent but have probably voted more often for candidates on the Democratic ticket. I have never ever just hit the straight ticket button.

Having said thus, and agreeing that folks surely are entitled to put what they desire on their blogs or Facebook pages, my bottom line is this:

I don't have time or energy for all sorts of negative dithering about between now and Election Day. I've got football games to attend...tailgate parties to organize...and work. That high school isn't going to run itself.

Certainly, I'm always up for good discussion and a respectful exchange of ideas. Not so much the name calling and vitriol.

You vote your conscience and I'll vote mine.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Hank, the Little Old Ladies, and Family Reunions

My husband is a brave man!

Last Sunday, Hank picked up his mother at "the home" and took her back to Hometown for a family reunion. Being the brave man that he is, he decided to carry her to church and to transport "Miss" Peggy, who celebrated her 90th birthday two weeks ago, around too.

It's an hour drive from here to the home and another hour from the home to Hometown. By the time he got Miss Peggy loaded up from her house and made it to the church...the country church that both little old ladies have attended all their lives...they were late. Now hang with me here...

The music director, Gator (he has a real  name but I don't know what it is...have only ever heard him called Gator) was at the podium announcing a hymn. As Hank's merry little band walked in, Hank's mother HOLLERED from the back of the sanctuary, "Hey there Gator!!"  to which I am told he replied, "Hey there Betty!!!" then went back on about his business.

So...the service continued and seeing as it was the end of summer and new Sunday School classes were about to start up, it was incumbent upon the superintendent of Sunday School, Mr. Clary Mole to give a report and hand out awards for perfect attendance and so forth. It got to be about a quarter to twelve and he was 30 minutes into his part of the service and seemed to have no intention of wrapping things up...and the preacher hadn't even read the scripture yet, much less started the sermon AND the family reunion started at 12:30 at the Shrine Club clear back to town and around the other side. Miss Peggy started to get twitchy. She does NOT like to be late to family reunions. SO she sat up straight and tall in the pew next to Hank and said...not softly...Doesn't he KNOW what TIME it IS?  Hank replied, "No ma'am, I don't think he does. Let's go on ahead over to the reunion." And they did. Hank reckoned that he really didn't have anything to lose at that point.

The reunion was enjoyable, except that for several years in a row now, Miss Peggy has just missed winning the prize for being the oldest person there. She's always a tiny bit disappointed, I think. Not that she wishes the one person older than her any ill...it just might be nice it that person stayed home one year. I mean, really, who doesn't like to win a prize?

Sunday, August 26, 2012

A Big Green Egg

We went out for non-perishable tailgate supplies yesterday afternoon and came back home with a Big Green Egg.  So...anybody have a Big Green Egg?  Any advice?

Saturday, August 25, 2012

The Week the Kids Came Back...Football Season

Lawsamercy! The students arrived back at school bright and early last Monday morning. I spent 54 hours in the building proper, then another nine or so working early and/or late at home. My feet tell me that 90% of those hours were spent walking around. I need to get on the scale and see if I've lost any weight!

All in all, it was a very VERY good week. Normal glitches but nothing catastrophic. A few parent conferences already. Rules are rules and Mrs. Southern does NOT play!

Saving grace...as a magnet high school, we do not have an athletic program.While my colleagues were sweating it out on football fields last night, I got to be at home with my feet propped up. Nice!

Today, Hank and I are inventorying our tailgate supplies and are about to head of to pick up our season's supply of non-perishable items. Aw, who am I kidding...no way we'll make it through the season. Maybe through September.

The first Clemson game of the season is on the road at Auburn. Ned will be here with us for Labor Day weekend and we'll tailgate in the backyard (or kitchen, depending on the humidity), hunker down in front of the TV and hope for the best. My man Sammy Watkins is suspended for two games. He made a BAD bad decision back in the spring. He is being punished and we shall not ever speak of it again.

As we start to get into the spirit of the season, a few photos from seasons gone by... (Edit...tried anyhow...blogger is not being cooperative w/ picture uploads just now!)



Saturday, August 18, 2012

One Season Ends and Another Begins

Yes...I know that summer doesn't not officially end for a few weeks; however, in the Land of Belle summer ends when school starts. Principalship 3.0  (and Fall) began for me last Monday morning when our teacher arrived back at work ready to go for the new school year. We had a great week. Several new staff members are bringing fresh perspectives and our Parent Open House and New Student Orientation were both successful beyond my dreams.

I'm going own up to being a little weary today. While summers in a school building are busy, it's mostly planning and paperwork with a few meetings thrown in here and there. The minute the teachers return that changes and when the kids arrive...LAWD...we rock and roll all day long.

Crazy me...I'm tired...but I love every minute of it. Even the challenging minutes.To help parents and children make good decisions about the future and to facilitate smooth transitions for them from one level in life to another....well, the pay ain't much but the rewards are great!

Recapping the summer...

1.  Hank retired and is settling in nicely at about the seven week mark. I have new beadboard ceilings in the sunroom, kitchen and laundry room. The downstairs powder room has new fixtures. Trees have been trimmed around the house and all of the gutters have been cleaned out. The house as been power washed. By the end of the week coming, my new oven and gas cook top will be installed. He spent two days last week at Lorelai's working on the "fixer upper" adding lattice around the steps, power washing, putting up window boxes and establishing flower beds. He's like the energizer bunny.

2.  Lorelai graduated, started graduate school, moved into the "fixer upper" and is starting her 30 hour per week job as nanny for a two year old little girl and her four month old brother. She's going to be tired but AWESOME. Our Lor has "the gift" for working with children.

3.  Legare is starting the second year in law practice. He goes goes goes all the time. He moved to a new apartment this summer. While urban living sounded good at the start, he said he felt like he went from elevator to parking garage to parking garage to elevator and vice versa all day long. He's now in a duplex on a quiet residential street...still close to the action but no elevator and a little bit of yard.

4.  We were gone a lot on weekends this summer. Beach, summer house, Clemson, Charlotte...I hosted a bridal shower (with three friends) here last weekend for the fiance' of our friends Anne and Tom's son. Didn't take a single photograph.

5.  When home, we've been visiting a new church...Second Presbyterian Charleston.

6.  Now...are we ready for some FOOTBALL!!!  First home game: September 8th. So so SO excited!

But enough about me...How are you wrapping up the summer??

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Oh LAWD!

I've mentioned before that I'm not an animal lover. Can't help it. Lots of little animals are cute. I like to look at pictures of them.

I blame Mother. Ned and I weren't allowed to have animals. Not sure why.

I didn't want to be like Mother in that regard. Hank always had pets and we wanted our children to have pets. Hence our 12 year old Precious, the Terrible. And Boo, the cat. Boo lives outside and keeps critters out of the yard. He's OK in my book. Before Precious and Boo there were Hampton, the bassett hound and Harry, the bassett/beagle. And Oreo, the cat. A few years ago Hank ran over Oreo in our driveway and killed him. Not on purpose. We just about had to send him to therapy.

Recently Lorelai found a little kitty cat by the side of the road and adopted her...this would be Sophie, the Wonderful.  Lorelai and Sophie came home today for a few days. Sophie has a case of roundworm. I have banished Sophie to the guesthouse bathroom until she's completed her three days of deworming.

At the moment, I have become Mother, the Coldhearted...version 2.0.
It's lonely at the top!

Friday, July 27, 2012

A Money Pit? A Fun Note!

By the time Hank and I got in the car to come home from getting Lorelai settled in "the house" we'd been to Walmart three times and Lowes six times. We spent about $700 (counting the tow truck) on day one and about $1200 on days two and three combined.

We put blinds or curtains over ten windows. I put steel wool and duct tape over the holes in her closet floor...seriously, you could see the dirt under the house. We had to clean all of those windows before we could put anything over them. I don't mean just a spritz of Windex...razor blades and scrubby pads with soap and water BEFORE we could get to the windex stage.

I called and talked with the Sheriff's department about the safety of the area. They actually made us feel a little bit better, thank goodness.

We left a list which included: motion sensor lights to be put up outside (there was one little tiny light by the front door...that's it...no yard lights AT all), replace side glass door with a solid door (yep, the deadbolt on that glass door was not one of your brightest ideas my dear former occupant), secure the entry to the crawl space (a bear could crawl through that opening), take the dishes OUT of the nasty kitchen cabinet and clean them (better yet...clean them and put cleaning supplies or something in there...find another place for the dishes).  There's more but it's only 9:00 a.m. and I don't want to put myself in a grumpy mood.

Lor's friend's dad and a carpenter spent some time there yesterday ticking off some of the list.

I continue to be baffled as to how Lorelai's boyfriend visited a good two weeks before us and thought that this place was OK for his girlfriend (OUR DAUGHTER!!!) move into. Also, how Lorelai thought we would think it was OK in the awful state it was in. Yes, I want her to live in a nice place but this was more about safety than style. She's got to live there not me. But I have to be able to SLEEP at night. BAFFLED, I say.

Maybe we need to put in a security system.

On a FUN note...Hank and I are getting ready for a Rowdy Girls weekend with Louis/Sue and Will/Meg.

Mojito heaven...here I come!

Friday, July 20, 2012

I drove into a ditch...OY

So...Lorelai's rental fixer upper...long story how she and her friend found said house and it is quite a bit more of a fixer upper than Hank and I were anticipating. And not exactly in the best part of town. I was so taken aback that I drove into a ditch. I KID YOU NOT. I was seeing the house for the first time and pulling onto the side of the road in front not realizing that the side of the road included a ditch. Turned my car almost completely over on its side. I am OK...car is OK. Tow truck company $100 richer. Not sure what we are going to do about the house. She has made a commitment so I don't guess there is much we can do. Not to mention that she is very determined that this is how it is going to be. I could just cry!! Actually, I did cry, but I could cry again right now. I also might have raised my voice. Hank reflected at dinner that it is a good thing he was calm because I was not...and Lorelai was not. We had words. She cried too. We went to Lowes and bought cleaning supplies, blinds and a few other things. Am going to get on the phone in the morning to see about a security system. At least we brought a truck load of nice furniture. Tomorrow we scrub.

Back to the Real World

It was back to the real world for me this week.  In the office every day, taking care of all the little things that nobody realizes need to be done to start a new school year.

It was back for Hank...but not really to the real world. Back to navigating his new life in retirement. I have to say...I love having him home. We have a list of a lot of little (and some big) things that need to be done around our house. By yesterday afternoon, he'd had a plumber and a contractor at the house and work starts on Monday. No grass growing under my husband, that is for sure.

In the middle of all of that, he spent a day with "the mothers" and Ned AND finished recovering dining room chairs and painting furniture for Lorelai. THEN he picked up and loaded a UHaul truck...actually is on his way to the farm now to gather he rest of the furniture and will continue on up the country to move her into her new house. I'll be heading out behind him in my car (which he loaded last night) shortly.

I'm not stupid...I am perfectly well aware that come August 15...opening day of deer season...he'll be spending more of his retirement in a deer stand but that's OK by me. Hank will tell you that he finds incredible peace and solitude when he's sitting out in the woods. It's a "thin place" for him...a place where he feels very close to God. He watches the deer more than he kills the deer. If we get one or two in the freezer each season, we're perfectly happy.

Anyhow...must take my coffee upstairs and gather up my things to hit the road for Clemson. Lor and her friend Candice have been fixing up this little 50's era house for about a month. I haven't seen the real thing yet...will have photos.

You, my friends...have a fabulous weekend. We're within a month of school starting around here. WHOOP WHOOP.  Oh...and our state legislators returned to session and overrode our governor's veto of cost of living raises for teacher.  That's a BIG thing...this would have made the third year in a row that teachers in South Carolina would not have received a raise. Pitiful, isn't it?

Sunday, July 15, 2012

First Cousins

While we were away, we got word late Monday night that my oldest (of five) first cousin Francis had passed away at age 63.  He was mother's oldest sister's son. Aunt Dot passed away in 1985. It was sudden...most likely a heart attack.

You may remember that Aunt Elizabeth, mother's youngest sister, moved just down the hall from mother at Green Grove back in March. My cousin Nancy called to say that my cousin Tom (Nancy's brother) was going to Green Grove on Tuesday morning to tell Elizabeth and mother. Francis was the first grandchild in the family and the apple of everybody's eye. He was born when mother was in college and Elizabeth was still in high school. There are fun stories about how they thought Francis would never talk...because he was so spoiled that all he had to do was POINT and somebody would run to get him what he wanted. Another about how he and a distant cousin Ray ran into grandmama's kitchen one Thanksgiving morning all excited about killing a couple of ducks out on the pond. When granddaddy went back out there with them, they'd actually killed grandmama's two pretty swans.

But I digress...we didn't know how much mother and Elizabeth would absorb. Tom's report was that neither of them got upset and he left them with sort of blank looks on their faces.  Here's the thing...one never knows when news, good or bad, might sink in with either of them so I called the home health center to let them know what had happened. It was not outside the realm of possibility that hysterics might occur in the middle of the night.

Late Tuesday, Elizabeth called Tom's wife who ran over to Green Grove to see what was up. Elizabeth and mother were comparing notes...somebody came and told us that some man died. Jan explained. Then mother got going with nope...nobody told me anything...I don't know anything.  Jan got them calmed down and neither mentioned nary a word about it until Friday, but when it clicked in then, mother knew it was Francis. Still and all, there were no hysterics...and I'm thankful for that. Mother and Elizabeth having spells at the same time would not be a good thing.

I'm told that Francis was a reader of my blog. I sent to following note to his youngest son...

Our hearts are sad. Your daddy was a wonderful man and some of my earliest memories are of Granddaddy Funchess taking the whole family to the Folly Beach for a week in the summers. Francis was the oldest and at that time I was the youngest. I am told that I kicked him once with my cowgirl boots when he teased me. Francis was a kind and generous soul...even when being kicked by a bad little girl in boots.
I spoke with John this morning and as you may already know, we are away for the week. Please know how sorry we are and know that our thoughts and prayers are with you all over the coming days.

Although all of the first cousins have grown up and the summers together as well as spending every single holiday together ended many moons ago, there is still a bond that transcends miles and years. Francis will be missed.

Home Again, Home Again

Hank and I decided to come home a day early. We enjoyed ourselves tremendously but honestly, we aren't good at vacationing for a whole week. Sure, it sounds wonderful...but we're more "three or four night away" people. We missed our Tempurpedic mattress in an awfully big way.

Holden Beach was nice. We saw some beautiful houses...on par with Kiawah here in our neck of the woods. We'd not ever been to a North Carolina beach before. I don't think we'll go back though...it took about four hours to get there. We can get in our car in our driveway here at home and be sitting on a beach in about an hour. We can be at our own summerhouse in Beaufort on the deep water in about 90 minutes. Still and all, a pleasant week AND we got to spend some downtime with our children. Legare had to work some but alas, that is the life of a first year associate. Working remotely while sitting by the ocean isn't the worst situation in the world, now is it?

A few photos for your viewing pleasure...