Sunday, November 30, 2008

Awards are SO much fun!!

Liz at Objection Perfection passed along a lovely award to me the other day. If you've been following you know I adore awards. Liz's blog is great, so go over and visit NOW.

Here are the rules: Copy and paste the rules and instructions in your post. When posting on receiving the award, make sure you include who gave you the award and link it back to them. Post five winners and link it back to them as well. Post five of your addictions. Add the award image. Let your winners know you gave them an award by leaving them a comment on their blog.

Five of my MANY no particular order

1. Morning Joe (the TV show AND my morning cup of coffee)
2. Blogging...this one may be moving from addiction to an OCD situation
3. Clemson football
4. Now that the weather is cool...Chai Tea Latte
5. starts back in January...YAY

I'm passing the award along to (YIKES...only can I possibly decide...)

It was a cold, rainy, gloomy, BEAUTIFUL day... the Clemson Tigers ROARED past USC in Death Valley on Saturday afternoon.

USC 14

I'm thinking that the guy cock-a-doodle-dooing in the lobby of the Embassy Suites at all hours is feeling like "doodle dooey" this morning. (LOL LOL LOL, I crack myself up sometimes!)

Here's a photo of fans gathering with the team at The Paw when the game was over. Hank and I would have gone down there but every thread on us was damp and I was chilled to the bone. Lorelai was right out there in the thick of things. Since she "touched" CJ Spiller last game, she was out for Aaron Kelly this time and did indeed find him. I haven't seen the photo but she says that as far as height is concerned, he could rest his elbow on the top of her head!! Looks like we're bowl bound and that Dabo will be hanging around...That makes us happy!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Family...Flow charts...Filets....FOOTBALL

Hank and I took to the highway early Thanksgiving morning to check on the little old ladies and Ned. (Thank goodness the Starbucks on our route was open.) Miss Peggy was invited to eat with a cousin so we didn't see her. Mother and Ned were invited to join Hank's family at their yearly Thanksgiving reunion (usually about 75 people) but they declined so I took lunch for them, while Hank enjoyed a short visit with a whole bunch of people that he only gets to see once a year. We wrapped things up about 2:00 PM and headed back. (Thank goodness the Starbucks was STILL open.)

Legare and Lorelai elected to stay home...Legare has read, outlined and flow charted the whole time he's been home in preparation for his first ever law school exams. Lor's been battling tonsillitis for more than a week and she slept most of the day away. She just goes and goes like that little Energizer bunny, but unlike the bunny, things catch up with her eventually. We've got to get her all better for her first ever college exams.

Hank built a nice fire last night and we enjoyed a delicious non-traditional Thanksgiving dinner of grilled fillets, crab cakes, roasted rosemary red potatoes and asparagus, then watched Legare's favorite movie of all time, The Godfather, Part II. It was a happy cozy evening and I'm looking forward to more of those in two weeks when both kids are home for an extended vacation during the winter holidays. The tree is up, but not decorated...I've got to get busy with that on Sunday afternoon.

For my South Carolina friends out there....You KNOW what weekend this is!!! Our Clemson Tigers will meet the University of South Carolina Gamecocks on the field in Death Valley tomorrow at high noon. We're heading out later this afternoon for our football season home away from home, Embassy Suites in Greenville and I'll have an update ASAP after we get back home. I HOPE that it will be a HAPPY update. GO TIGERS!!!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Green Acres Is The Place to Be

Oh YES! I'm on vacation for the rest of the week and am OH SO HAPPY. Lorelai got home about 8:00 last night and Legare will be home tonight. I'm headed downtown for some shopping this morning and Hank will bring home our Christmas tree at lunchtime. If Hank and I do the hard part (getting the tree up and putting on the lights) the kids will usually muster up a LITTLE enthusiasm to help with the ornaments.

Since I'm in a festive spirit (thanks for your supportive comments about last night's post...I was, in southern belle-speak "sick and tired"), I thought I'd share something about myself that I haven't talked much about. I enjoy quilting. I'm not very good at it OR very prolific because I only like to work on it during cooler weather and we don't get much of that around here. I tend toward more folk art-type wall hanging projects which don't show very well here at home but look perfect at the farm.
This is the first quilt I attempted when I took a beginner's class at People, Places and Quilts, a wonderful shop in Summerville, South Carolina. This little log cabin is FAR from perfect but it surely does have a special place in my heart.

My next project was very ambitious...a folk art quilt that is just about all applique' with embroidered Bible verses about home and family. You'll see the full quilt below as well as a few close ups of particular squares. I enjoyed making it because it was more piece work than quilting and with the folk art quality, the applique did not have to be precise.

The last one I completed (below) was done on the sewing machine. Now mind you, I can only sew a straight line and even then sometimes the line ISN'T so straight. It adds a nice pop of color to the boring off-white wall in the master bedroom, don't you think?

Hank likes to think of the farm as his "manly man" retreat and there ARE many manly man activities...a bunch of pickup trucks, hunting and shooting, four wheeling, tractor riding, muddy boots and nasty dirty camouflage clothing (particularly if somebody actually kills something). The decor is a work-in-progress because I try very hard to keep to his "hunt club" philosophy while finding things that I like as well. It is VERY time consuming.

Just a couple more photos...the first turkey he killed...which hangs over the farm fireplace across from a wonderful vintage Coca Cola sign I found at an auction. I fear that if the place ever caught on fire, he'd save the turkey before he saved me. I guess that's OK because I'd be busy saving the quilts...Green Acres IS the place to be!!

Monday, November 24, 2008

I know it SOUNDS like I'm complaining BUT....

Hank and I spent Sunday getting my brother Ned ready for a colonoscopy this morning (Monday). Ned is very brave and everything turned out alright, but he did NOT like having to drink the gallon of liquid required to flush out one's system. It took a lot of encouragement and flat out bribery to get it all down the hatch.

My mother, who with a little medicinal help to calm herself down elected to stay home this morning, had two really bad weeks leading up to Ned's tests today. Anxiety causes her dementia to spiral out of control and she called us six or seven times a day over the past ten days... sometimes happy about the tests, sometimes crying/scared, and sometimes furious with us "for doing this to her child because he doesn't really know us...we don't really know him...we don't really know anything about them."

Did you know that the word "screeched" is the longest one syllable word in the English language?

That's all I have to say about that!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

6th Photo in the 6th Folder Tag

Petunia tagged me to do this fun post...

Oh's a fuzzy one! I grew up in a small town, Hampton, SC....the Watermelon Capital of the World. In 1980, I was selected Miss Hampton and thereby one of the hostesses of the Watermelon party, street dance, big float in a big parade, garden party, beauty pageant, Melon Ball (that's funny, isn't it...melon ball...). Hampton is one of those communities that time has passed by in a lot of ways...not much industry, and kids who leave for college rarely return to live or work unless they're coming back to a small family business. It's a shame because it was a pretty darn good place to grow up.

The Watermelon Festival is a BIG deal and is the longest running festival in the state. I haven't been back for festival weekend in probably 15 years but it is still going strong. An added bonus was that I got to go around the state and ride on floats and in convertibles in OTHER know how I love to be the center of attention and although I never rose any higher in the queenly ranks, I had a VERY nice time as the big fish in my little pond for awhile.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


In a corner of the law library by Legare....a female voice saying, "Dear God, please make me a bird so I can fly far far away....Dear God, please make me a bird so I can fly far far away." I told him that if he should hear the same voice uttering Life is like a box of chocolates over and over to call me and we'll stage a Forrest Gump intervention.

In a school teacher's lounge...Legare's friend Lulu saying, "Dear God, please don't let me hurt these demon children...please don't let me hurt these demon children...please don't let me hurt these demon children."

I guess it's just that time of year....

Monday, November 17, 2008

First Class Drinks...Christian School Friends and Flying Pills

When Legare was a sophomore in high school, his Mock Trial team (THE team in our state) won the state championship (again) and prepared to head for the national competition in Minneapolis. I was sort of a "room mother" for the team and helped to organize the travel arrangements.

It was not long after 9/11, and we had all sorts of travel issues. Some of the kids had never flown and were nervous. It took 12 hours to make what should have been about a five hour trip from Charleston to Minneapolis, and the return trip home was even worse. As we were about to board the hotel shuttle headed for the airport on Sunday morning, I got a call from the airline saying that our plane was grounded with a hydraulic fuel leak and they wouldn't be able to get us out that day...AT ALL.

Honestly, I thought somebody was playing a trick on me, but it was NO trick. The shuttle was about to leave and we had no hotel rooms so we went on to the airport. I walked up to the counter with 23 tickets in my hand...a desperate look on my face and tears in my eyes! We'd been traveling since the Wednesday prior and three of our days in Minneapolis had been in a grueling competition. We were all very tired. Long story short...they split us up all kinds of ways in an effort to get us home. I'd be flying with 10 or so of the kids who didn't have parents with them and the other two included...would be on standby with their parents.

You can see from the photos that everybody did his or her best to pass the time. (Legare has his mouth wide open in shock and dismay as somebody from Maine tells him that they've never had sweet tea.) As things worked out, a security breach in Cincinnati threw everything MORE out of whack and about eight hours after arriving at the Minneapolis airport, they put me, my charges AND the entire standby group on the same plane for Atlanta.

Hank and Lorelai found themselves in first class. Legare was a few rows back, and I was in the last seat on the last row of the plane. Did I mention that this was all happening on MOTHER'S DAY? I was sure that Hank was not going to let me sit WAY back there on MY Day and sure enough, just about the time we started to leave the gate and I thought that all hope was lost, he comes striding down the knight in shining give me his seat. We watched our connecting flight in Atlanta depart the gate as we arrived and had to wait there for a few MORE hours before we loaded our exhausted selves onto the last plane of the day out to Charleston around 11:00 PM.

Lor was about 11 at the time. The next week, I was driving her and a group of kids from her school (the Christian school) on a field trip and she was telling the story of our travel adventure. It went something like this...My daddy and I were in first class and my mom was in the last seat on the last row of the plane and she was having a terrible Mother's Day. She was stressed trying to get all of us home and doesn't like it when her plans don't work out right and some of the kids didn't have parents with them and everybody was really really TIRED! My daddy stayed in first class long enough to get the FREE DRINKS then he took my mom's seat in the back and let her sit with me. (I could only hope that the children thought the free drinks were Mountain Dew or Pepsi and NOT Bourbon...I waited all night for a parent or someone from the school to call.)

Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't have imbibed since I was responsible for other people's kids, not to mention an employee of the school district on a school trip, but apparently Hank wasn't QUITE as selfless as I'd originally thought. At least one of us was in a "good place." (Although I DID have my "flying pills.")

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Clemson Beats Duke...and it's a VERY small world

Good job by our Tigers today...but we were COLD. (Some of this will be meaningless if you aren't a Clemson fan so you might want to skip to the next paragraph.) I called Lorelai during the last few minutes of the game to see if she was still in the stadium and she said, Yes, and as soon as the game is over we're running onto the field and I'm going to FIND C.J. Spiller!! I wasn't entirely certain what she intended to DO with him when she found him, so we waited back at our tailgate for her to arrive. She comes prancing up in a very self-satisfied kind of way and we inquired as to C.J.'s status...She TOUCHED him (which he never knew because everybody wants to touch him) and then he almost tripped over her. Bless his heart...he must be a patient guy.

I was getting on the elevator at the hotel on Friday night and was joined by a very pleasant lady. She said, Oh my, I'm just exhausted...we drove up from Charleston and the weather was so terrible we didn't even stop. I replied that we had come up from Charleston also...actually from Happy Town. Turns out she lives just a mile or so down the road from us. THEN when we pull into our parking spot this morning at the game, I look over to see a girl, now a Clemson junior, who I taught piano lessons to when she was in elementary school before her family moved away. THEN, about an hour later, another girl walks up who was on the Mock Trial team with Legare when he was in high school. Her parents live just a couple of miles from us as well. Isn't it amazing what a small world it can be even when you're on a big university campus four hours from home on Homecoming game day?

We're 'bout worn out and glad to be home safe and sound. More later...

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Thank You Lord For Getting Me Out of That House

Some of you might remember that my brother Ned is 40 years old and has Downs Syndrome. He still lives with my 80 year old mother, who suffers from an "Alzheimer's type" dementia. We have an angel of a housekeeper who attends to their every need.

In my opinion, Ned hasn't had the chance to find his full potential. Mother has dedicated her life to keeping him close and protecting him fiercely. I'm not faulting her...I'm just saying that given the opportunity, he could have gotten a job and probably flourished in the right group home situation. We've tried for 20 years to make some changes for him, but she will not hear of it. We could force the issue but there's no doubt in my mind that without him by her side, she would lose ground quickly and be overtaken by the memory loss. He is her reason for holding it all together. As it is, he just stays home with her and goes where she wants to go (which is all in a five mile radius) and doesn't often get to make any kind of decision at all other than what he might like to eat or watch on TV.

People who don't know Ned might think that he isn't always aware of what's happening, but he's fooling them, let me tell you. He is Mr. Personality and has never met a stranger. He can tell you who sings what country song on the radio and knows all the words to most of the songs. He can tell you all SORTS of things and has become mother's "memory." It drives me nuts sometimes when she asks me the same question five times in as many minutes and, bless Ned's heart, he never gets a break from it. Hank asked him one time, "Ned...How do you think your mother is doing?" Ned replied, "Well Hank, I try to help her out but sometimes she doesn't remember things and gets aggravated with me." Yep...he knows what's going on...

One afternoon, Hank was over at their house and decided that he was going to bring Ned to our house to spend the night. They'd go over to the farm and ride around in the truck and on the four wheeler. It took some convincing but Mother finally gave in. Since it was about supper time, they went to the Burger King drive-thru. Listen...Ned is NOT going to eat a bite EVER unless he says a blessing over it...not even a snack... so sitting there in the car, they bowed their heads and Ned said, "Thank you Lord for this food. Please bless Mama and our family and Thank You Lord for GETTING ME OUT OF THAT HOUSE! AMEN"

Hank and I have talked about it a lot lately....we don't quite know how we're going to do it, but there's no question that we've got to do whatever it takes to get the poor fellow out of the house more often.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Throw the Milkshake

We were talking the other day about some of the meltdowns various family members (usually Lorelai or I) have had over the years and one particular incident jumped back into my mind.

When Legare became old enough to drive to school, he was responsible for picking Lorelai up in the afternoons. Because he loved nothing more than getting on her last nerve, he would occasionally go somewhere to get something to drink for himself ONLY, and then go get her.

One afternoon, she asked him for a sip of his milkshake so he gave her some. A minute or so later she demanded more and he said "NO" so she proceeded to grab the cup from him (do I need to remind you that he was driving at the time). He grabbed it back. SO...she grabbed for it one more time, poking a hole in the side so that milkshake began to leak out all over him. He shoved the cup toward her and told her to "hold it" and apparently overcome by insanity, she THREW the cup at him, milkshake and all.

I arrived on the scene about two minutes after they'd pulled into the driveway to see the driver's side car door open with milkshake (although I wasn't entirely certain what it was until I got out of my car) dripping down the window and door panel. Legare was holding a towel and Lorelai was practically hysterical because she KNEW she was going to be in BIG trouble.

Lorelai was grounded, Legare was forbidden to ever get another drink after school without getting her one, and they both got a good long "talkin to" about driver and passenger safety.

So, you moms with younger kids who think that things will one day calm down....THINK AGAIN. Things never calm down but know what? I wouldn't trade my husband and children (don't they look like angels?) and the milkshake throwing-type memories for anything in the world. It was not their finest hour to be sure... but heck, it made for a great blog post!!!

Monday, November 10, 2008

How Random? Pretty Random...

Shoulda Been a Belle tagged me to post seven random things about myself. Let's see...

  1. My husband and I can't agree on the kind of coffee we like so he makes his in the Krups and I make mine in a french press....every single morning!!

  2. I'm having an internal struggle right now, trying to decide whether or not I want to try to make a switch from central office administrator back to the school building level. It's a huge decision...

  3. I've never caught a fish.

  4. While waiting for last season's Lost to come out on DVD, we've gotten hooked on Eli Stone.

  5. My children are the only grandchildren on both sides of the family. Yes, they are spoiled rotten, if you haven't already figured that out from reading the blog.

  6. I've never been to a costume party.

  7. Todd the Trainer resigned from his position at the gym last week to seek greener pastures...the economy has hit those folks pretty hard so it looks like I'm on my own. Hopefully, the few months I spent with him have helped me establish some better habits. We'll see!

Anybody else out there feeling like throwing a few random things out into the blogosphere? Have at it!!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Most Embarrassing Moment

Just a Beach Kat put out a dare to post about our most embarrassing moment. Lordy, I've had SO many but this was the first one that I recalled...

Hank and I were just married and looking for a house. We met a great realtor who was so very patient. When THE house got scooped out from under us by $1,000, she rode around with us for hours looking at this and that. One afternoon we were riding in our preferred neighborhood and she pointed out a house that I thought was about the ugliest thing I'd ever seen. REALLY ugly...and I said so....again and again in great detail. We continued down the street and she said, "Oh, by the way...the really ugly house back there..that's where I live."

I was MORTIFIED, but she laughed, then called her husband and we all went out to dinner. We actually became friends until they moved away about a year later.

Here's the thing....IT WAS A REALLY UGLY HOUSE!!!!!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Answers to Questions...

AH...I love questions so here are a few answers to some I've received recently...

First...thanks for the complements on my new blog look. I can't take any credit for the creativity. It was all Shannon from EightCrazy Designs. She is fabulous to work with and SO very patient!

Several folks noticed the cello in my living room. It belongs to Legare. He started playing in 4th grade and stuck with it through 9th grade. We drove to Charleston for many moons for private lessons and the last year he played, he was in the Charleston Youth Orchestra and was first chair in the All-State Orchestra. In his 10th grade year he discovered all kinds of other things that were much more exciting to him than cello and he put it aside. Nevertheless, it was money and time well spent. He'll pick it back up one day, I have no doubt.

Who did Belle vote for? Understand that this is NOT a challenge nor a criticism to anybodies politics, it's an answer to a question. Fellow Bloggers...I absolutely respect your political views.

Let me give you my history. Other than the first election I voted in as a mere babe, my policy is to study the issues VERY carefully, almost to an obsessive point. I read all the commentary I can, both about those I'm leaning toward and those who are opposed. This year, I called myself a Democrat but I'm truly an INDEPENDENT! Here is my voting history from the very first Presidential race I was eligible to vote in. Carter, Reagan, Bush, Perot, Clinton, GWBush, Kerry, Obama. (I bet the Perot thing is REALLY throwing you, isn't it?) That year, I couldn't bear to have either candidate on my conscience SO I decided to vote for Perot, figuring that he would never win. I had rationalized everything out so that if by some miracle he did win, then it would be God's will and I'd be off the hook for any responsibility. (I'm completely serious!)

Anyhow...I'm glad it's Friday. My week started with a bang dealing with those little old ladies and ended with a meetings, meetings, and more meetings. We're getting ready to eat shrimp and grits for supper and watch a movie. Y'all enjoy your weekends too. I'll be back tomorrow or Sunday to do another tag.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Three Things I Like About Me

All Things Southern and Preppy tagged me to come up with three things that I really like about myself. Hmmmm...I come across sometimes as thinking I'm "all that" but when it comes down to it, I'm having a tough time as I don't want to come across too proud but what the goes.
  1. I am a hard worker. When I commit to a cause or a task, it will absolutely be accomplished properly and in a timely manner.

  2. I am generally good company. My family might disagree as they are the ones who see my worst side but from a social perspective, I can keep a conversation going and be reasonably entertaining,
  3. I play the piano and organ very well.

I tag...Confessions of a Giggling Drama Queen, Daily Mish Mash, and Just a Beach Kat

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Weekend Fun...Well, not all fun...

We enjoyed having Lorelai home last weekend for Fall Break. On Friday night, she had some Halloween fun dressed as an "80's Prom Queen with her hometown friends, and then cheered in the "old timer's game" at her alma mater on Friday night. (yeah, I know, she's only been at college for three months...the oldest of the old timers graduated in 2002!) Saturday brought a deer hunt with her daddy and a WIN for Clemson against Boston College.

Then came Sunday and a trip to our hometown to check in on the little old ladies. We took Dukes BBQ for lunch, which is the BEST in the world. Just like I won't get all political on everybody, I'm not going to disrespect BBQ tastes because around the south people are passionate about their regional favorites (but GO Dukes WHOO HOO).

All three of the little old ladies presented challenges. Our 85 year old Miss Peggy got in her car the other day (the car which she hasn't been supposed to drive since she suffered a stroke about three years ago) and drove herself and a friend to the drugstore. While she assured us that she only took the back streets, this news is of concern to us as she might lark out for Savannah if she takes a whim.

Miss Peggy is feeling real good about herself right now, which caused her to encourage MY mother to assert HERself by getting back behind the wheel of her Buick LeSabre. Mother hasn't driven in about a year now. and hasn't complained a single time since she tried to pull a fast one on us and got called out in a restaurant in town by a gentleman she knew who yelled across the room, "How did you get know you aren't supposed to be driving!" (Everybody loves to mind other people's business in a small town.)

Anyway, Miss Peggy's bold move set mother off into a tirade about what a wonderful driver SHE is (with Miss Peggy agreeing and egging her on all the while). To top it off, Hank's mom acted like she'd lost her last friend the entire time we were there. She should be ecstatic as out of the three of them at least SHE can still drive!! MERCY! On the bright side, I'm pretty sure that my mother was just "talking big" because Miss Peggy was there. Now Miss Peggy...she's a sly one, and we're going to have to keep an eye on her!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

It's Like Super Bowl Sunday

We love election days in our house. I'm just sad that Legare is four hours away and can't sit in front of the TV with us tonight to await the election results. In addition to the BIG ONE...we have several significant congressional and school board races in our community.

Today was also a big day for Lorelai...she voted for the very first time. I don't think she voted along the same lines as Hank, Legare and me (mainly because she's not telling who she voted for) but that is her prerogative.

My philosophy is that a person should vote for who he feels is the right person for the job using his best judgement based on a thorough understanding of the issues. And when the election is over, if his candidate won then he should be grateful and gracious in victory. If his candidate does not win, he can be disappointed but absolutely must be gracious in accepting the loss. That, quite frankly, is easier said than done, but it MUST be done. Bitterness accomplishes nothing.

Here is Lor, heading with Hank into the elementary school which serves as our polling place. She wouldn't let me take an up close shot because I rushed her and she didn't "have her face on." We waited in line for two and a half hours....saw all sorts of folks that we never get to see. It was like a little reunion and the time went by pretty quickly.

See you on the other side of election day!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

We can all use A Little Loveliness in our lives...

A Little Loveliness with Melissa Lester is the new recipient of the Life of a Southern Belle Award. She hosted a fabulous luncheon last week for her daughter's preschoool class and their moms. Melissa's blog is full of beautiful photos and wonderful ideas and she is a most gracious hostess. I do believe she might be able to give some of those gals with their own television shows and magazines a run for their money.

Melissa has a wonderful husband and four adorable children. In addition to sharing her marvelous sense of style with others. she is a contributing editor to "Christian Woman" magazine and author of the book "Giving for All It's Worth." She also contributed a chapter to the recently-released book "Woman to Woman."

Go over and see Melissa and congratulate her on the award. You'll be impressed!!