Sunday, February 28, 2010

Life of a Southern Belle Award - MILDRED'S MENAGERIE

It's been quite some time since I've given a Life of a Southern Belle Award. It isn't that I don't read fabulous posts all the time...I absolutely DO...but for a blogger to receive the award, a post just has to "strike me."

Today, I read a marvelous post on a Gracious Southern Lady over at Mildred's Menagerie. I adore Mildred, who herself is a MOST gracious southern lady. She is an adoring wife and caregiver, a loving sister and a wonderful and supportive blog friend. If you don't already know Mildred, go on over there and see what she and her husband Nalley are up to. I'm betting that you'll become as much of a fan as am I!

In case you've forgotten about the Life of a Southern Belle Award, when I find a blog/post that inspires 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. This isn't an award that one passes along to someone else. It can ONLY come from ME!!!

Congratulations Mildred...

While you're visiting Mildred, you might go see her sister Karen and her new blog. Caleb's Story is about Karen's memories of her very special son who, like my brother Ned, was born with Down Syndrome. Karen is new to blogland, so go over there and give her a hearty welcome.

Friday, February 26, 2010

The Book Club

A few like-minded people and I have started a little book club and last night was our first official meeting. This came out of a casual conversation while we were all standing around after a meeting. Since the casual conversation centered around the books of author Stuart Woods, we decided to read his latest book first and set down the following book club rules...

  1. First and foremost, we'll meet at a restaurant so that we can eat, drink, and be merry while we discuss the book of the month.
  2. In the event that a book club member would like to host in their home, that is perfectly fine; however, nobody should ever feel put upon to host.
  3. Any member who doesn't attend a meeting can expect to be talked about by the other members of the group. We made an exception last night for the one member who wasn't there since we only made up the rule last night after cocktails and he didn't have proper notification that he would be talked about. (Now you know, you know.)
  4. We'll rotate the task of choosing the next book and will discuss where we'll hold our next meeting before we leave the current month's meeting.
  5. If a member drops out, the remaining members all have to agree on who to invite to take said member's place.
  6. As part of the book discussion, each member will highlight their favorite passage and read it out loud to the group WITH FEELING!!
  7. We'll make up additional rules as we feel the urge to do so.
Belle's Review of KISSER, by Stuart Woods...To quote Randy Jackson from American Idol, "It was just OK for me, dude." I'm a big old fan of the character Stone Barrington, but Stone went a little overboard with the ladies in this one, if you know what I mean. Not Mr. Woods best work by ANY stretch. That's my opinion.

REVIEW of the restaurant, Med Bistro...Good. I had a nice salad and brown butter seared scallops with risotto and brussel sprouts. We liked the atmosphere for our purposes. Ordinarily, it would have been a little loud for me but it was a perfect setting for our enthusiastic discussion.

Next month's read is

Next month's restaurant...Bowen's Island.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Today at work I received an e-mail notifying administrators of an upcoming meeting for all head custodians. Since my new program will be located within an existing facility, I filed the e-mail away. After awhile, the deputy boss (DB ) forwarded the e-mail to me with the message, "since we didn't put a custodian in your budget, I guess you'll need to take care of this."

I knew he was joking so I decided to play along and the exchange went something like this...

Belle: I already received this notification and, since I'll be located at ABC, made the executive decision that the ABC custodial staff will clean up after me.

I received a reply almost instantly...

DB: How many people do you think they have working out there????

Nice...real nice!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Rolling right along....

Well, let's see. All is quiet on the Ned front, hallelujah. He really pushed my buttons last weekend, if you haven't already figured that out.

I'm still working on getting my way Southern Belle-style with that other situation. I made really big strides yesterday.

This is boring for you, isn't it? Me too...

Heard a funny joke the other day. How many Clemson students does it take to change a lightbulb? to hold the beer and one to call daddy. How many University of South Carolina students does it take to change a lightbulb? Just one...but after all it IS a major!!

That's all I've got...

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Things Always Look Better in the Morning...

THANK YOU, my friends, for your sweet comments. I very keenly feel your support and, as I remarked to several people this morning, there is no DOUBT that this blog and the friends I've made through it are wonderful blessings in my life.

Part of my problem is that I am a first class WORLD class control freak. And since I've had to admit that I am human (thanks Kathy...LOL), I therefore have to admit that I don't have all of the answers.

Now I KNOW that y'all thought that I DID have all of the answers so for heaven's sake, don't go abandoning me now that I've confessed that I'm a mere mortal!

Here's how things look today. Hank took Ned back hoome this morning and I joined them by telephone. I'm told that Ned appeared to be awfully ashamed (I hope so) and hung his head low. He apologized to everybody and then we discussed some possible reasons for this behavior...he's lived at Aldersgate almost a year and has never acted out. For some reason, his stress level skyrocketed...

A new resident moved in a month or so ago, so I wonder if perhaps that extra person getting some of the attention might have been a factor. Mr. Herbert and Miss Nell thought about the fact that he's had a cold for about three weeks that turned into bronchitis. He's been on cough medicine and a strong antibiotic. Maybe that had him edgy...I know that decongestants surely make me feel jumpy. I also wondered about what he's watching on the TV in his room, but they say that he's a Disney Channel fan all the way.

Hank wonders if perhaps Ned doesn't sleep well. They've told us from the beginning that he sits up in his bed with his Bible in his lap, sometimes until 1 AM....BUT...he doesn't get up until about 9 AM, so if he actually sleeps, he's getting eight hours. I have to smile at the thought of Ned and his Bible because Ned can't read, but who are we to say how Ned and God are communing with each other. Every now and then Ned will pass along something God told him.

Regardless of the reason, Ned has to understand that he misbehaved. Hank left Ned with another "talking to" about getting mad in Walmart and how sometimes when people get mad out in public other people call the police. We don't want to scare him...but maybe we do. I left Ned with the message that if this happens again, I (the wicked witch with the flying monkeys), will be the one coming to address the situation instead of the calm and patient Hank. If that doesn't scare him straight then nothing will.

Have I told you lately how wonderful my husband is?

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Oh Merciful Days

After a couple of successful days with Operation Surely You Jest, (no flying monkeys have been called upon) I just got a phone call about Ned and some recent bad bahavior. I cannot imagine what is going on.

He and the boys went to Walmart and when a child came up to him and spoke, Ned got upset. Nobody knows why. When Mr. Herbert tried to calm him down, Ned was VERY rude. Then he balked at getting in the van to go back to the house. Later in the evening, he was rude AGAIN to Miss Linda, who was working the evening much so that she got upset and at midnight, called the house supervisor, Miss Nell.

When Nell called this morning, she said that she doesn't think he remembers what he did, but when questioned by Hank, Ned replied, "I'm praying about it." He remembers! He also told mother, "They're going to close the house and I'm going to have to move." That simply isn't true!!

Hank has Ned at the farm for the night and has made it VERY clear that he will apologize to everybody tomorrow morning when he goes back home. Hank's feeling is that Ned did it to get attention since we have been so busy lately and haven't been able to take him out as much.

I'm having one of those little spells now...a selfish spell when things reach a critical mass that I'm NOT in any way proud of, but at least am honest about. Maybe this will give some comfort to other people who are in similar situations with disabled and elderly relatives...

Here goes....I feel very very bitter sometimes about our having sole responsibility for everything related to mother, Hank's mother, and Ned. With Ned as my only sibling and Hank only having a half brother who generally causes more harm than good, we don't have anybody to help us with ANY of it. I know that we are blessed beyond measure, and again, I'm ASHAMED of the way I feel right now, but dang it all, there is always SOMETHING. Along with feeling bitter, I feel guilty and selfish about feeling bitter.

OH MERCIFUL DAYS!! I can't find stitch of humor to include in this post. Sorry!

Thanks for indulging my little pity party. I'm going to wallow in it for the rest of the day and will hopefully be back to my old self tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Raise Your Hand If....

Humor me please...raise your hand (in the form of a comment) if you believe that THIS southern belle will do whatever it takes (within the
boundaries of integrity, solid values, good taste, and so forth) to get her way!

This afternoon around 4:15, I launched Operation SURELY You Jest!!, known in my inner circle (that would be those of you who comment) as Operation Don't MAKE Me Call Out the Flying Monkeys!!

For PITY know Scarlett would have if she COULD have!!!!!

My cause is virtuous, but I'm going to need to be stealth about it for awhile so I can't give you any details.

Rest assured that Hank and the kids are safe, as are my friends and neighbors. WAIT, OK...yes, friends and neighbors are safe.

Don't forget about leaving that comment!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Can you believe we didn't take any pictures???

Steph, from Living Life in the Lowcountry, and I had a wonderful lunch today. We met at a little restaurant that we had both been to before around 11:30 and were flabbergasted when we looked at our watches for the first time, only to discover that it was 2 PM!!!

We talked and talked...I couldn't tell you what was happening around us if my life depended on it. We talked about our families and blogs that we enjoy. We'd already discovered that we knew some folks in common since Steph used to work in Hometown, so we talked about those people too. Turns out that we lead very similar lifestyles and that our values, as well as our expectations for our children, are much the same. I do; however, have a few years on her

When Steph walked in she said something like, this is exciting but a little strange...I felt like I was getting ready for a blind date!

At that point, I had to tell her about Hank's concern that I was meeting "a stranger" for lunch and that I could be ABDUCTED! I suppose that people who don't "get" blogging have a hard time understanding how nice it is to meet someone whose life you've been reading about and who you've been trading e-mails with.

It was a thoroughly delightful experience and I have no doubt that we'll try to get together again. I've had a couple of comments today that some of you might like to join us...we'll have to see what we can do about that.

I forgot my camera...sorry 'bout that!

Exciting Morning

I'm SO all ready to leave to meet Steph from Living Life in the Lowcountry for lunch. She's the first blog friend that I've met in person. Maybe this will be the start of organizing like-minded Charleston area bloggers for get-togethers every now and then.

Like-minded Charleston area bloggers....what do YOU think about that?

Sunday, February 14, 2010

We Deserved A Treat

We live in the most wonderful place.

We can wake up on Saturday morning to this....

Then we can drive for about an hour and enjoy this...

Hank and I don't take vacations very often. We're too busy. We both work really hard and find joy in lots of season, the summerhouse, the farm...but we don't often just take off to eat, drink, and be merry without having to haul food and/or sheets and towels along with us. About the middle of last week, we decided to celebrate my new job and the fact that we were getting a little break from either of our mothers having a spell. The Sanctuary on Kiawah Island for a night seemed like just the thing to do. The fact that it was Valentine's Day weekend was an added bonus.

We left home around noon with snow on the ground, ran a few errands along the way, and checked in around 2:00 PM on Saturday afternoon. I immediately took my leave for the spa and a 90 minute hot stone massage. It was so wonderful that I'm without words to describe it. About 15 minutes in, I realized that I was breathing...know what I mean? Sometimes it seems like I don't take a good deep relaxing breath for days and days.

While I was being pampered, Hank bundled up and took a brisk walk on the beach, then found a quiet comfortable place to read. He pushed the "five o'clock somewhere" rule to around 4:00 and enjoyed a martini...The Clemson (because of the Clemson blue cheese stuffed olives...) while he relaxed and waited for me. We enjoyed drinks in the lobby bar and a delightful dinner in the Ocean Room before retiring to our beautiful room for the rest of the evening.

I decided that, even though it was chilly, we should open the french doors so that we could hear the waves. The doors stayed open just a little all night, and what a glorious sleep we had...until 6 AM, that is, when Lorelai called to tell us that her throat hurt and she had a fever. (6 AM...GOOD grief! We need to have a chat about what constitutes an emergency. I do believe 8 AM might have been more appropriate. "Take two advil" is NOT rocket science.)
We dozed until about 7:30 then had a delicious breakfast at The Jasmine Porch and were back at home by noon. Gotta love the South Carolina Lowcountry!

Enjoy my little slide show of The Sanctuary if you feel so inclined.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Hank, the Weatherman...

My husband gets very excited over weather...especially snow. I'm more zen about it...snow, that is. I get pretty fidgety about hurricanes though.

When it started to snow this afternoon, he called the children, who have already seen a fair amount of snow this winter at their respective schools. Neither was terribly enthusiastic. Then he asked me, "Who can I call to talk about the snow since you aren't excited about it?" I suggested he call Ned...or mother...she likes to talk about anything.

He called Mike over at the farm. Mike will talk about anything too. Hank walked out into the snow, talking about how the deck was covered and the forecast had changed. I started to wonder how he was going to cope when it got too dark to see what was happening.

Then he called Ned...Ned was not particularly excited either. Then he called mother....she wasn't there.

Then he checked the weather forecast....AGAIN! He never sat down. He walked from the fireplace to the back door to the telephone to the fireplace to the television to the front door to the telephone to the back door WITH the telephone to the fireplace. After that, I quit paying attention.

When I got up to check on supper he stopped me as I walked past the back door..."Stop...look...LOOK!"

I guess I'll get up in the morning and go out to play in the snow. I'll need to get my South Carolina Lowcountry snow gear out before I go to bed...let's see...sweatshirt, jeans, raincoat, tennis shoes, and the plastic grocery bags to go over my shoes.


Well DO Now!

Well DO Now!! It's snowing...

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Ah....Life! Funny where it takes you. I've been introduced several times in the last couple of weeks as "ABC School District's newest principal." Every time I hear it, I'm a little bit startled. SERIOUSLY, I must be the luckiest belle in the world to have landed this gig! I get to hire the team of people who will build a brand new magnet school that hasn't existed anywhere in our region until now. We get to start small for the pilot year, and even at full capacity, will still be considered a "small" high school program.

We'll get to work with all kinds of students and excitement is already building in our community. It's especially exciting to talk with parents who never thought that going to college would be a reality for their children, much less during high school and with free tuition and books. You know I'm not one for getting all weepy but when a parent holds your hand as they leave an application interview and says, "Thank you for giving us hope"....well...let's just say that I've had to blink real fast and try to convince myself that the tears welling up in my eyes are from allergies.

Hank and I have talked a lot about this since I was hired, and he understands that the next 15 months are going to be very hectic for me. I'm so blessed to have a supportive husband. We absolutely MUST hit the ball out of the park in the 2010-11 academic year. This wasn't a task I would have taken on when our children were younger, but what with the empty nest, the timing couldn't be better. God is amazing that way, isn't He?

I almost didn't apply. I knew two people who were and thought that they'd both be good candidates, but one morning I got a call from someone who assumed that I'd applied. When I responded that I had not, he was taken aback since I'd been involved in the planning, partnering, and approval process. That got me to thinking and the rest, as they say, is history.


Monday, February 8, 2010

A Most UN-Belle-like Obsession

This probably won't make much sense to you because it CERTAINLY is not making sense to me or Hank. I have a new television show obsession, Madhouse, set in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Honestly, it isn't because of the car racing. I do NOT get car racing!! It has something to do with the personalities of and relationships between the people. They eat, sleep, and breathe racing. they're praying one minute and beating each other up the next. Some of the rivalries go back generations and I SURE don't know how in the world their wives put up with them.

One acquaintance of mine suggested that I might like the show because I knew people just like these fellows from back in the day in Hometown. There wasn't a racetrack in Hometown but there WERE some characters...that is for true.

So, have any of you, dear readers, seen Madhouse??

Saturday, February 6, 2010

A Suggestion for Starbucks

Friday morning I had an 8 AM meeting at one of our schools 20 miles from home. I built in enough travel time to stop at Starbucks for a tall bold. That's it...nothing fancy...I'm strictly a black coffee kind of girl in the mornings.

When I walked in at 7:40 there were nine people in line. Two people were preparing drinks, one person was asking customers what they wanted and writing it down on the cup, and one person was collecting money AND heating and bagging pastries. It seems like all nine people, or at least the ones I stayed long enough to hear place an order, wanted complicated drinks and a pastry, heated of course. I stood there for seven minutes and only three people paid and moved to the side. I couldn't wait. I didn't huff or puff...I didn't make a snide remark under my breath. I couldn't...I didn't have enough energy without my tall bold!!! I just walked out and got in the car.

It seems to me that during the morning rush, they could have some kind of express lane for people like me who just want a plain old cup of joe (and shouldn't have to wait forever to get it.)

I believe I'll send Starbucks an e-mail from the Land of Belle. I'll let you know if they respond!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Patience!!! Please?????

Carolina Girl from Lowcountry Fayes and Lisa from Pickles and Cheese. PLEASE bear with me. I have your prizes all bubble wrapped (that was last weekend's task) but have gone all week without boxing them up and sending them along. I've been putting in a few extra hours at work.

They will go in the mail on Monday morning WITHOUT fail.

Please tell me that you aren't completely irritated?