Friday, July 31, 2009


I'm doing this on a whim this morning...

Every now and then I see where bloggers take questions from readers. I'm not a terribly interesting person, but thought I'd see JUST how not interesting I am by asking...Does ANYBODY have a question for me? It doesn't even have to be about me...I LOVE giving my opinons on any variety of topics....cause in the Land of Belle, I'm always right! (not so much in the rest of the world, hence the reason I have created the Land of Belle...DUH!)


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Charleston Grill...Legare's Date

I promised a review of our dinner at Charleston Grill last Saturday night. I've loved the atmosphere in the restaurant for years...since before it was Charleston Grill, back when Louis Osteen had his restaurant there many moons ago.

We met our friend Scott, his wife, and little girl, Jane, who is six, to celebrate Scott's impending 50th birthday. Lorelai was out doing HER birthday thing, so it was just Hank, Legare and me. We got there a bit early and had a drink while we waited...that was fine. I don't even really feel compelled to describe what we was THAT forgettable. (crab cake, scallops, duck...can't remember anything else) You can check out the menu HERE. I'm not saying that it tasted didn' tasted OK, but when I go out for a nice dinner, I'm not looking for OK. I'm looking for FABULOUS! I'm kind of worried that our dinner several weeks ago at Il Palio in Chapel Hill might have us a tad bit spoiled. (I'm going back there next weekend...YAY!)

As we walked to our table, I told Jane that Legare could be her date. She didn't seem to think much of my suggestion but during dinner, she whispered something in her daddy's ear and he said, "Jane wants to know if Legare would like to go on a carriage ride after dinner." We all agreed that a carriage ride would be nice. As we walked down Market Street, Jane whispered again that she would like it if Legare held her hand. It was SO cute. I snapped a couple of photos with my phone. Unfortunately, it was just past 9 PM and the last carriage ride of the night had departed. We were all disappointed...especially Jane...but we promised that we'd go next time.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Birthday Jubilee in Review

We've had quite the birthday celebration weekend. What started out as three extra girls quickly became five extra girls by bedtime on Friday...bedtime for Hank and me, anyhow. When we got up on Saturday morning, the five had become seven. Thank goodness for the guesthouse...they're able to go out there and stay up as late and be as loud as their little heart's desire.

Saturday morning, the girls slept in then took off for the beach. They arrived back home just as Hank, Legare, and I were headed downtown ourselves for dinner with friends. I'll review the new chef at Charleston Grill won't be stellar. Anyhow...the tired, sand-covered girls jumped in the pool to cool off before resting a bit and then headed downtown themselves for dinner and dancing. Hank was sound asleep in his chair and me, likewise, on the sofa when Lor called about 12:25 AM to let us know they were heading home. Needless to say, they slept until almost noon today, so we had muffins and fruit at noon, then pizza and salad around 4:30 so that the girls could get back on the road for home.

Lor got some fabulous gifts and you'll see in the slideshow the little goodie bags we shared in return. They were a great bunch of girls...we didn't worry one single bit that they would get into any trouble. They've all apparently been raised by Southern Belles who taught their daughters how to be gracious guests. Enjoy the slideshow...I played around a bit with putting text in the photos so you might want to move the slides manually so that you don't miss the narrative.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Everyone STOP for the Weekend of Jubilee...It's Lorelai's Birthday

Since I told you the story of Legare's birthday back in May, it's only fitting that I share the story of Lorelai's birth...July 26, 1990. Yes...our baby girl will be 19 years old on Sunday.

Hank's parents got here the night of the 25th and we all got a good night's sleep. The next morning, Hank and I left for the hospital about 4:30 AM for a scheduled c-section, and itty bitty 6 pound 11 ounce Lorelai was born at 9:07 AM. Easy Peasy!

Later that afternoon, four year old Legare came up with the best line of the day. Mother was fussing around the baby...looking at her hair and her hands and her feet. She knelt down to help Legare hold his baby sister, still making remarks about how much smaller she was than Legare had her hair was darker. Legare kissed Lorelai on the cheek and said, I LIKE her! Grandmama, don't YOU like her? Mother assured him that she did indeed like Lorelai.

Lorelai has the biggest heart in the world...she is a lot like her daddy in that respect.

As a matter of fact, she just about wears herself out sometime...

She can go from a pageant dress to her deer hunting clothes in a flash...from a young woman going out on the town to daddy's little girl in the blink of an eye. She, like her brother, is going to do great things in this world!

Lorelai has always had a flair for the dramatic. She learned to dial the telephone at four and when things didn't go to suit her here at home, she would go upstairs and call mother to tell on me. We didn't realize this for the longest time until one day when mother mentioned Lorelai calling her the day before. This was before mother got so forgetful, but I tried to argue with her nonetheless that I had NOT put Lorelai on the phone with her. Oh, said mother...I didn't talk with YOU...Lorelai calls me herself every now and then. Then Lorelai learned to call Hank at work...again to tattletale on ME. It was sort of a reverse "wait until daddy gets home!" Yes, she is an angel, but oh my goodness...sometimes she gives us a run for our money.

For her 16th birthday, we let Lorelai choose what she'd like to do. She chose a trip to New York City to include shopping at Tiffanys, a makeover (hair, makeup lesson and new makeup), and two Broadway shows. Hank, Lor, and I had a wonderful time sightseeing and saw The Wedding Singer and Hairspray. While she and I enjoyed a morning at the Elizabeth Arden Flagship Red Door on 5th Avenue, Hank did a little shopping for himself at Barney's. (Who says the parents can't enjoy the birthday too!) Afterwards, she took almost two hours looking at EVERY jewelry case in Tiffanys, ultimately choosing a sweet silver necklace and locket for her Sweet 16! The staff was very pleasant and accommodated her with anything she wanted to try on...and she tried on A LOT!
The photo on the left is the "before" photo as we were waiting for them to take her in for her appointment at Elizabeth Arden. The photo below is the "after" photo.

And now she is a rising college sophomore and turning 19...a beautiful young woman with the world at her feet. Hank and I are SO very proud. We love you sweet girl...

Remember....YOU are my sunshine!!!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

A Day Out

I'm telling you...working these four ten-hour-ish days is wearing me out. I've been tired and my attitude has been teeter-tottering on NOT wanting to be so gracious, so I decided to take a sick day was critical to my mental health. It's kind of funny, I frequently work long days...somehow it's different when I make the choice as opposed to it being a mandate. The Friday off each week is really nice, but I still don't FEEL really nice Monday through Thursday. I know...I'm pathetic...

Legare is home for the last time before he moves into his new apartment so we larked out early this morning. We needed to pick up his new suit that we'd left for alterations a couple of weeks ago and see about some other things. If you live near a Lacoste store, run run as fast as you can. They are running an unheard of promotion. Almost everything is on sale and THEN another 25% off. Legare got two shirts and we picked up another two for Hank. Looks like you can get the same deals online also.

Lorelai's birthday is Sunday and she's invited friends from school to come for the weekend...lots to do to prepare for her weekend of JUBILEE! Lawsamercy it was HOT out there today...the humidity was off the charts. I'll have a birthday post in the next day or two and then LOTS of pictures and stories from the weekend, I have no doubt.

Time to rustle up some supper...

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Please remember in your prayers...

Today we received the sad news that the son-in-law of my friend and former boss, who retired two years ago, was killed in a terrible accident. He was electrocuted while working on power lines...not even 30 years old. They are hometown folks with two sweet children, and I taught my friend's daughter Lauren, in middle school. This family is strong and they are good and faithful people. Please lift them up.

Lest we forget, life is a beautiful but fragile thing. We seriously deny ourselves so much of the beauty by getting bogged down in petty and trivial things. I let that happen to me this afternoon...ruined about three good hours that I'll never get back because I was annoyed with the outcome (or lack of outcome as the case may be) of a meeting at the office. I'm going to do is too short.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Monogram Plate Problem Solved

I'm happy to report that E.A.D. Designs came to the rescue and helped me solve my dilemma about how to do a monogram on three china dinner grandmother's, mothers, and mine. I was unsure about the vinyl at first, but after talking to lots of folks and seeing what E.A.D. Designs could do, I decided to give it a try. The photos aren't fabulous because of the flash but I think you can get a good idea about how FABULOUS they turned out. I'll get a photo of the three together as soon as I decide how I'm going to hang them.

The first one is mine...second Mother's (so uncharacteristic of her to have chosen a plate with a pink border but I LOVE it), and the third is my grandmother's. I'm very pleased with how they turned out.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Those Receiving a Book Are...

Congratulations to everybody. For those who didn't get a book this time...TRY AGAIN. I'll be doing several more book giveaways in the coming months. Hank and I have been cleaning and taking loads to Goodwill and the landfill today. I found more books...

LADIES...send your mailing address to me by e-mail at I'll get these in the mail to you this week.

Preppy 101 gets.....

Princess Freckles...nobody else whose name was drawn requested this one but you, so you can be expecting to receive...

KAC....this one is yours...

Pauline Goat Ranchers will be receiving...

Lisa from my extra good life gets...

Like I said...more to come soon.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Life of a Southern Belle Award -

It's time to bestow another Life of a Southern Belle Award.

I know that you get tired of me reminding you what the award is all about but it's important (to me). Sometimes I read blogs or even individual posts that inspire me or tickle me to no end and I say to that gal is a Southern Belle. Southern Belleness transcends is a philosophy...a state of and substance...wit and and sunshine...grit and, and much more. The standards for receiving the award are high indeed. This isn't an award that one passes along to someone else. It can ONLY come from ME!!!

I this case, our awardee is not a Carolina Girl but a CALIFORNIA girl!

Julie is a wonderful wife (a firewife, no less), mother, and labor and delivery nurse. Every time I read one of her delivery room stories, I say to myself, I sure do wish Julie had been with me when my kids were born. The women who find themselves in her care are truly blessed...and I KNOW that they feel her care and concern and that it brings them unmeasurable comfort...even if they ARE screaming their heads off. Julie is a COOL customer when handling those difficult ones. I, on the other hand, would probably slap somebody.

Go see sure you have some time because you'll want to know the ending of every story.

Congratulations Julie. Feel free to save the award button to your desktop and post it on your sidebar if you want to. You're now a member of a VERY elite group.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Saved by the license plate...

Sorry for the blurry photo...chalk another one up for the SC DMV.
I don't think I mentioned that we had a run in with the law on our way to Chapel Hill a couple of weeks ago, Hank got stopped for speeding just outside the little town of Manning as we made our way toward I-95 on the backroads. It was Independence Day weekend so law enforcement was all over. The very pleasant deputy sheriff came up to the car and indicated that Hank was rolling along at 68 miles per hour in a 55 mile zone. OOPS.
We were in my car, which has the public education plate shown above. I just got the plate with my new car in February. Hank handed over his license, registration, and proof of insurance and we waited. As we sat there, I mentioned that several co-workers had told me that they'd gotten out of tickets because of the education plate. Hank though it was just an urban myth.
After a few minutes, the deputy walked back up and said, Which one of you is the educator? I gave a little wave. He went on, When I saw that plate, I said to myself, I can't give THESE folks a ticket, so I'm just going to give you a warning this time. But you need to be careful this weekend. The crazy drivers are out early today.
Hank promised to be more careful and as we drove away he said, Whew...I've got to get one of those plates for my truck!
I'm not sure that he learned his lesson...

Monday, July 13, 2009

My Monday Mood

I'm headed back to work today after two weeks off. We have a lot to is important work and not for the faint of heart. I'll share some photos of my new office as soon as I get it all situated.

So...oddly, my Monday mood is good. I'm hopeful that the new school year will be a successful one. I'm also in a simplifying kind of mood.

I've GOT to simplify. We have too many books in our house. There are MORE at Mother's house. Well...really, one can never have TOO many, and I do buy particular books that I carefully keep...signed firsts of my favorite authors and so forth. Anyway...Hank and I always have some books lying around that we've read and enjoyed a lot, but that we don't particularly want to keep forever.

I'm going to give away these gently used books...All you need to do is leave a comment that you'd like one and you're entered in the drawing. Spread the joy! If there is one in particular that you want for your very own worse than ANYthing, say so in your comment. If nobody else whose name is drawn wants it also, then I'll send it to you. If we have more than one person who wants a particular book then I'll have to give them away in the order they're listed below as the names are drawn. I think I'll do this every one in awhile. Next time some that might be more appealing to the gentlemen in blogland.
I'll draw the names this Friday, July 17, in the evening so let's set 5:00 PM as the cut off to enter.

Let's have some FUN!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Shopping with Mother and Ned

I'm happy to report that pairs (of shoes) # 16 and 19 were acceptable to Mother. When I took size 9, she said she wore 8 1/2. When I took 8 1/2, she said she wore 9. We ended up with a pair of 8 1/2s and a pair of 8s. Go figure.

While we were there, I decided to get Ned a new pair also. We had a little "discussion" because he wanted velcro shoes like Mother used to buy him before I became queen. I maintain that a person who is CAPABLE of tying a shoe doesn't need velcro shoes. Ned has a little bit of a lazy streak. I velcro.

We had a nice lunch and then Ned went back to his house and I took Mother to visit her sister for a little bit. We're still trying to talk Ned into trying out a job. His new housemate, Scott, is already working, while Ned is just as happy as a clam to sit home. I told him that men without jobs don't get the pretty girls. Ned doesn't care. I told him that Scott was going to be able to go shopping to buy fun things with the money he's earning. Ned does NOT care! I told him that if he got a job and saved his money that HE could go buy velcro shoes! He did pause at that point to consider this one guess it...He DOES NOT CARE! I don't know what we're going to do with him. Finally, I told him that Hank (who he puts on a pedestal) was going to be VERY disappointed if he didn't at least try out a job. Didn't work! I decided it was time to come home.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Happy Anniversary to Us!

Today marks the 26th anniversary of the day that I was the luckiest girl in the world.

The photo at left was staged BUT it wasn't far from the truth. Hank doesn't like to be "on the spot" and goodness knows, how much more on the spot can you be than when you're up in front of the whole town in the First Baptist Church declaring your love and devotion to one person for the rest of your life?

Ah...the wedding party...and a group of party people they were.

You should have SEEN what they did to the car. It was practically obscene.

Hank's cousin Redneck Boy wanted to put some kind of animal in the car. Our good buddy Scott was the keeper of the keys and to his credit, he wouldn't allow anything that would cause permanent damage so RB put it in another cousin's car who was a guest.

I have no earthly idea why I was sticking my tongue out...not very ladylike, was it?

Look at Hank's expression...

Thanks for indulging me during this walk down memory lane...

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Three Quotation Thursday--on a Wednesday!

"Be pretty if you can, be witty if you must, but be gracious if it kills you."
Elsie de Wolfe.

A bit of "gracious" can carry a person a long way...even if one is not so pretty or witty (now you KNOW I'm not talking about any of US. WE in the blogworld are gorgeous/handsome, witty as can be, and gracious beyond measure!). I remember attending an out-of-town engagement party for some friends many years ago where the hosts DEFINITELY thought themselves attractive and of superior intellect, but they were NOT gracious. Consequently, I'm ashamed to say that I didn't react well to the unfortunate circumstances and didn't present myself in the best light either. In the end, I was never able to truly forge a good strong friendship with the bride-to-be of our good buddy Scott. Some twelve years later, I'd like a do-over of that entire weekend. Moral of the story...there are no "be gracious if it kills you."


"I don't always know what I'm talking about but I know I'm right."
Muhommed Ali

This little gem has gotten me in trouble MORE than once. I'm USUALLY right, but not always, Remember that GRACIOUS is the operative word.


"If you're coming to see me tomorrow, bring me some money."
My Mother

Laws a mercy, mother is going through "a thing" since she moved into Green Grove...she thinks she doesn't have any money or is going to run out of money. I'm not sure which. Before you start taking up a collection, rest assured that she is not destitute. I'll run by the ATM (with her debit card, which she doesn't understand AT ALL) in the morning and grab some cash before I head over to visit. Then we're going to the shoe's hoping that pair #15 will be the charm.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

All Sorts of Things...

I searched all over Charleston and couldn't find it...Sephora in Durham was out. I FINALLY found the Marc Jacobs Cucumber Splash at Nordstrom.

It's delightful....light and perfect for this hot and humid weather we're having down here in the SC Lowcountry.

Speaking of the Lowcountry...if you're looking for a good read, pick up one of the many books written by Dorothea Benton Frank over the past several years. The new one is Return to Sullivan's Island. I'm about half-way in and it's good. If you want to set the stage, read Sullivan's Island's one of her older ones, but you surely do NOT have to read it in order to enjoy Return to....

Lorelai is off the the beach this morning. Hank is at work...lots going on there. I have four more days of vacation and plan to enjoy each and every moment between now and next Monday.

Hope you're having fun!