Sunday, January 31, 2010

Round and Round We Go...The Circus (for real!)

I went to visit with mother this afternoon. Her dementia causes her to get into conversational "loops" least that's what I call them. There are generally three or four themes that she talks about over and over and over and over and (you get it) for an entire visit. To keep from screaming when she's on a theme for, say, the seventh time in half an hour, I've developed a little technique which, as it turns out, generally spins that theme out of the loop.

Let me say, here, that Hank doesn't always like my techniques BUT I don't always like how he deals with his mother so there you go...I happen to think that mother would approve. The more she "loops" the more agitated she gets. It can't feel good.

For example this afternoon the first theme was "do I have enough money to take a little trip...I'd like to see the beach one more time before I leave this earth." My answer for the first several rounds was "yes, you have enough money to take as many trips as you'd like...When the weather warms up we'll see about going to the beach." When I felt as though I might scream, my reply changed to "yes, you have enough money, although you're REALLY going to need to give me a time line for when you're going to leave this earth so that I can make plans." First Theme--CHECK

Second theme...mother announced that she's developed a bad habit of saying, "doggone it" when she can't find something or drops something etc. She doesn't believe this to be at all ladylike and needs to use another expression. (Apparently "golly doodlebugs" isn't working for her any longer.) My reply for awhile was, "oh my goodness." After several rounds of theme two, I suggested that she might substitute, "dammit" for "doggone it." She informed me in no uncertain terms that she'd never said that word IN HER ENTIRE LIFE and is not going to start now. And theme number two spins out of the loop. YES!

Third theme...I noticed when I arrived that she had a new little doodad in with her framed photographs. It was three or four inches tall and had "I Am Someone Special" written on top with a little verse below. After about five minutes she picked it up and said, "Did you see this? The lady who sat with me when I was sick brought it to me. I always show it to people when they come in because I don't want them thinking that I think that I'm special. I most certainly do NOT think that I am special and would never have purchased this for myself. It was a gift from someone ELSE who thinks that I'm special." My reply..."well wasn't that sweet of her."

Theme three X 5... My reply..."If it bothers you, why don't you put it in your bedroom where guests can't see it?" She didn't say another word about it, but put it right back in its place of honor where it will be noticed. AWAY with theme three!

I'm tired now! I drank a large Pepsi and ate a cheeseburger and french fries from a truck stop McDonalds on the way home. I don't even LIKE McDonalds. Do NOT judge me!

On a brighter note, Ned and his housemates are going to the CIRCUS in Columbia this week. He loves the circus and used to go every year until mother got where she didn't want to leave home. Think good thoughts for him, though, because he has a nasty cold!

Have a fabulous week!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Sleepy Heads

This morning when we got the mail there was a really cool letter from Clemson, so I called Lorelai. Naturally, she was still asleep even though it was almost lunchtime.

ME: Lorelai...WAKE UP....We got a letter notifying us that you made the Dean's List. I'm so proud of you..this is so exciting!!

LORELAI: (in a very sleepy voice) At Clemson???

ME: NO, at Notre Dame!!

( I didn't say "no, at Notre Dame" because I was still kind of sleepy, just having recently gotten up myself. Don't JUDGE ME! I had a big week!)

Thursday, January 28, 2010


I'm being a bad blogger and a worse giveaway sender. I PROMISE to get the prizes out this weekend. Since Tuesday night, my work world has turned upside a GOOD way! I hit the ground running on Wednesday morning and haven't stopped. Got home this afternoon just in time to check e-mail, do this post, and change clothes before I have to run out again. I'm going to have BUNCHES of blogs to read this weekend and can hardly wait.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

My Mysterious News

Last week, I interviewed for a new position within our organization. Even though I love the role I'm in, this was an opportunity that I just couldn't pass up. I was thrilled when I got a callback for Monday afternoon. Tonight, I was recommended to the school board and officially hired. Life is about to get VERY interesting and longer hours will become part of my routine starting now! My office will eventually move to a different location which means that the people I interact with on a daily basis (some for many years now) will be different. I'm going to miss a lot of people, but look forward to making new friends too.

Having said all that, I am flattered to have been chosen and BEYOND excited. I'll be able to hire a team of people and we'll work together to create something wonderful. I know I'm being vague but as an educator, I'm not comfortable putting too many details about my job on the old blog. If you want to know more just send me an e-mail (that I can reply to) and I'll tell you more about it one-on-one. had been a long time since I'd applied for a new job and the process was exhausting. Hank just looked at me and asked, "Aren't you happy?" My reply was, "Of course, I'm thrilled... but I'm also STUNNED!!! It's going to take awhile to sink in...

They liked me....they REALLY LIKED ME!!!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Counting Our Blessings

I don't talk much about Hank's side of the family...those stories are his to tell. I quite often tell you about MY mother, but the honest truth is that we have lots of ups and downs with his mother too.

I "take care of business" with mother, but as I recently mentioned, Hank doesn't always like my style. She is all set and enjoying life at Green Grove, but when she has one of her little spells, I take the approach that if you're going to act like a child then I'm going to treat you like a child, which apparently comes across sometimes as being impatient and hard hearted. Mother wasn't a very nurturing parent...she was a Betty Draper sort of mother (without the smoking, drinking and so forth), know what I mean? On the other hand, I didn't turn out half bad so I suppose she and daddy deserve credit for some of that! Our relationship is what it is. Hank is more kind and patient, both with his mother and mine. That must be why they like him better than me.

Hank's mother has survived breast cancer and quintuple bypass surgery. A couple of weeks ago, she fell at her nephew's house, crushed two vertebrae, and after three days in the hospital moved to rehab. They gave her some medications that made her loopy and we started getting phone calls like this...

Nurse: Sir...your mother is in the hall and she refuses to go into her room. Can you come talk to her?

Hank: Well, it's late. I was just there and now I'm home and I live more than an hour away. You're going to have to put her on the phone. (I pick up the extension)

She comes to the phone.

Hank: Mom, you need to go in your room and get ready for bed. You need your rest.

Hank's mom: If I go in that room, they are going to kill me.

Hank: No, they aren't going to kill you. Why would you say something like that?

Hank's mom: I KNOW what I KNOW and they're going to kill me!!!

He got the nurse back on the phone and told her there wasn't anything he could do. Two hours later when he called back to check on the situation, his mother was STILL out in the hall.

You've got to give it to her, she was sticking to her guns.

Hank's mother is back at home and the rehab people are coming to her. She's no longer afraid that people are trying to kill her. Our angel, Ann, who stayed with mother and Ned is helping out a few days a week until she truly gets back on her feet.

I'm so thankful that Hank's mother and my mother don't have spells at the same time. Like I said, they both have TIME but at least they don't have a time at the SAME time. For that, we really truly count our blessings!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Several Somebodies Have Won Prizes!!!

I gave that random number generator thingy a try and the winners for the giveaway have been chosen. I wrote that I had ten prizes while apparently there were only nine, BUT I'm adding an extra Starbucks card to make ten. We do NOT mislead our friends here in the Land of Belle. Just shoot me an e-mail ( with your address and I'll get the prizes in the mail by the end of the week. After my mysterious activities are done...

Got a BIG old u-haul trailer in my driveway with things from mother's house that we don't have room for. Something tells me that we'll be making a trip out to the Treasure Barn next weekend with items for sale. I just heard about the new TV show, Horders, this week. Great balls of fire, I don't want to become one of those people!! I fear that I could be genetically predisposed after all of the JUNK we hauled away from mothers. I guess I'm probably NOT a horder, though, because we took thirty times more to the trash dump and Goodwill than we brought home.

Anyhow, I digress....THE WINNERS ARE...

$25 Target Gift Card- LYNETTE from Lynette's L.A.M Blog
$10 Starbucks Gift Card - TALES FROM MY EMPTY NEST
$10 Starbucks Gift Card - KAT from justabeachkat
$10 Starbucks Gift Card - PVE DESIGN
Lilly Shift Ornaments - BEVERLY from It's A Golden Day
DREAM sign - CAROLINA GIRL from Lowcountry Fayes
Cute Pink Dustpan, Brush, and Dish Towels - LISA from Pickles and Cheese
House on Tradd Street - MAUREEN from FamilyLifeBurbsNY
The Overnight Socialite - SHERRIE from My Life with Boys
Someday You'll Thank Me for This - BECKY from Ya Ya's Funhouse

....and my friend Bill who featured my blog in a class that he is teaching. Your number didn't come up but I'm going to bring you a surprise anyhow! I need to bring Ed one too for helping us yesterday in Hometown.

Hank and I are now going to unload the U-Haul...

Friday, January 22, 2010

This and That

The giveaway is officially closed. Good luck everybody. I'll be pulling the names out of the hat on Sunday night, so stay tuned.

Tomorrow we're headed to Hometown bright and early to collect the last few things from mother's house. It's the end of an era. My parents built the house and moved in just after I was born in 1961. Lots of memories! We'll get a cleaning service in for the carpets and so forth next week and hopefully have it ready to show by February 1. Hometown isn't exactly a hubbub of activity these days so I'm not real optimistic about a quick sale. Maybe we'll get lucky.
Interesting week at work...might have something to tell you about toward the middle of next week.

Mysterious, yes?

Finally, remember this framed poster than we got Lorelai for Christmas?

Well, Legare sent this little jewel to me this week. Funny, isn't it?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

You can't choose your family....or CAN you????

Sometimes family relationships in the south aren't what they seem. Take for instance, my Aunt Sookie. Sookie isn't really my aunt, she's my daddy's 80 year old cousin and my second cousin, therefore I call her "aunt." If you aren't from the south, don't try to make sense of it. It'll just make your head hurt.

Sookie never married and let me TELL you, it takes a village!!! Unfortunately, what with all of the hullabaloo of getting mother and Ned settled and their house cleaned out, I've not been as attentive as I might otherwise have been. Sookie is very fortunate to have good neighbors, friends, and other family who check in regularly.

Anytime you go by, there is ALWAYS something that's "lost." Monday, I located a long lost key to her carport storage room in an old cherry Sucrets tin with four marbles, used twist ties from bread bags, rubber bands, and a Buffalo nickel. Yay for me, now I apparently get the honor of going back and cleaning out said storage room.

Sookie adores family photographs and has them displayed all over. Many are of loved ones who have gone on to their great reward, but those of us still kicking are represented too. It's always an adventure to see which photos she's moved where around the house, not to mention looking for the ones that are "lost."

As I walked around a corner the other day, I did a double take when I saw this previously undisplayed photo hanging on the wall in a lovely gold frame...

How often do you reckon Dolly stops by???
Perhaps SHE could clean out the storage room...

Monday, January 18, 2010

Giveaway Time

For no particular reason, I feel compelled to have a little giveaway. Some folks have a few entries banked from responding to previous posts. You may respond to this post anytime between now and Friday at 5 PM Charleston, South Carolina time. If you want to share about the giveaway with others on your blog just let me know and I'll throw in a couple of extra entries. No pressure...only if you want to. Lots of times I want to but don't have time to...

There are a number of prizes....

A Target gift card in the amount of $25

Two Starbucks gift scards in the amounts of $10

A cutsie pie little clean up brush and dust pan and Valentine dish towels

Three fabulous books, gently ready by yours truly but in practically perfect shape.

This nifty DREAM sign to sit on a shelf....and a set of three sweet Lilly shift ornaments for springtime decorating. I think that comes out to ten, count them, TEN prizes. Let the fun begin!!!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Okey dokey then...

Tomorrow we start the GIVEAWAY!

I'm thankful to say that my hair has quit hurting. I believe I will survive. Thanks so much for all of the kind comments. They made me smile!! I started feeling alive again on Saturday morning which was good because I needed to accomplish a few things over the long weekend.

1. We can check off the cleaning and organizing of the living room and dining room. Easy peasy since they were neither dirty nor messy. Hank moved some pictures, touched up some paint here and there, and I added reupholstering the 25 year old camelback sofa to my "to do" list.

2. I organized all of my files for mother's and Ned's business dealings and piddled around in the downstairs "study." We'll need to work on that again next weekend, but I already know to add a new rug and window treatment to the "to do" list. Tomorrow we are going to mother's house to try to clean out a few more things. We need to get it on the market.

3. Speaking of the "to do" list, Hank and I had a little, shall we say, DISCUSSION, about said list since he has one of his own that starts with replacing our windows, replacing our back deck, and planning for the demise of a heat pump. He suggested that his list is the REAL "to do" list and that my list is really a "want to do" list. I'm pouting.

4. I wrote and addressed letters to 15 students who have just been accepted to Clemson, encouraging them to accept the wonderful opportunity that they've earned. The letter campaign is a task that members of the Clemson University Parents' Council take on each year. It's a fun thing to do. When Legare got accepted to Law School at UNC, he got a phone call. These special touches are nice, don't you think?

Tune in tomorrow for the giveaway!!!

Friday, January 15, 2010


So, not only does my hair still hurt, but I just caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and I have clown's sticking up all over my head. Last night, I thought that washing my hair might make me feel better. I didn't do a thing to conditioner, no mousse, just shampoo and then I put the hair dryer to brush, THEN got in the bed. SO...I have clown hair and don't feel compelled to do anything AT ALL about it. (photo from google images)

Here's another good thing about blogging...even when you're sick and have clown hair, you're not lonely. I visited with a whole bunch of blog buddies this morning and was thoroughly entertained. It's time for some motrin now...maybe some ear cream might make my throat feel better...

I'm still posting my GIVEAWAY on Monday. And I owe Froggity a post from a recent tag. Not to mention, I really need to be feeling better by tomorrow because we're supposed to do a deep clean on another room in the house. I changed my mind about the master bedroom and bath. We're going to get in the downstairs study. It's the equivalent of the upstairs closet room...i.e., a catchall room. I'm starting to get our business, Ned's business, and Mother's business all mixed up. I need to make the study into the organized office space it's supposed to be.
Later, my friends....

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Oh the best laid plans...

I've been a poster girl for doing all the right things to keep from getting sick or spreading germs. Sneezing into my elbow, washing my hands ALL the time...I wasn't supposed to get sick. I ignored the slight sore throat and little twinges in my ears for two days. I even got up this morning and went to work (after which I promptly called and made an appointment with the doctor). I was NOT supposed to get sick...

But I am...Not the flu, but an awful ear infection and probably strep throat. After looking in my ears, the doctor decided to forego the strep test since the treatment would be the same as for the ears. Considering the swabbing for the flu test, I was just as happy not to have them do the swabbing of the sore throat.

My hair hurts...

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Meetings and Granite Countertops

I'm's cold...I want to take a hot bath and put on my pajamas, but NO!! It's school board meeting night. I don't GENERALLY mind going to school board meetings, except when it's raining or cold or both. I should just stay at the office and work right though, but it takes me less than 10 minutes to get home and taking a little break is nice...except when it is raining or cold or both.

I do believe I neglected to mention that Lorelai is all settled in her new apartment with her new (YAY YAY HIP HIP HURRAY!!!!!!) roommates. There are three other girls, all seniors, who are just as sweet as can be. Each girl has her own private bedroom AND bathroom. The kitchen has granite countertops.

This is NOT how it went when I was in college back in the early '80's. Hardly anybody at my sweet southern all girl college ever moved out of the dorm and into an apartment. There were always four girls in a suite sharing a bathroom. I believe there was a sad little kitchen area in each dorm basement but it was scary down there. Shoot, my freshman year we didn't even have air conditioning. Times sure enough have changed.

God was good to us. We'd reconciled ourselves to the fact that Lor was going to have to tough out the unfortunate roommate situation in the dorm for the remainder of the year. THEN...this apartment opportunity fell into our collective lap at a football game tailgate party. She went over to look at it the next afternoon and signed the lease the day after that. We moved her in Monday a week ago.

Legare is jealous because his apartment in Chapel Hill does not sport granite countertops. Life can be hard can be hard...

Monday, January 11, 2010

There Will Be No Mocking Today!

We're proud! Hank and I got in our closet room on Saturday morning and did what we had to do. While he tackled the baseboards, inside of the windows, floor, and ceiling fan. I went though boxes, and bags, and clothes baskets and ALL manner of junk that had found its way in there over the past couple of years. The chair is going to consignment.

When we built our house, we took some space out of this fourth bedroom so that our master bath could be larger. We then used the room as the nursery and a playroom. When Legare and Lorelai to all grown up, we decided to turn it into a big closet...somewhere for extra clothes, shoes, bags, the ironing board, and so forth. We didn't plan on a bunch of junk too, but OH well!

We ended up with bags and BAGS for trash, recycling, Goodwill, and the Treasure Barn, our favorite consignment shop, which is located out in one of the more rural areas of our county in an old store.

PLUS, we ended up with another "to do" list, but shoot, I always have one. We still need to repaint and replace the sad looking curtains I grabbed in a hurry one hot summer day as the sun was beating in and making our upstairs into a sauna. The windows also need to be cleaned on the outside, but that is DEFINITELY a job for a warm spring day. And the lamp needs a new shade.

Now...what to tackle NEXT weekend??? I'm thinking the master bedroom and bath...

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Cold Weather versus Blog Love

It's 27 COLD degrees here this morning and my poor old freezing cold bones don't want to move around in the cold cold house. Is it cold, you might ask? Yes, it is cold, Cold, COLD!

I honestly don't know how you, my blog friends who live in places where it is routinely this cold (or colder) for a long time do it. Southern Belle blessings on you ALL!

I'm going to have to get up out of this chair eventually and get going on that upstairs closet room. There are at least four people poised and ready to shamelessly mock me on Monday morning if I don't get it done.

For now, though, I'm going to lounge awhile with my coffee and read blogs. I got all caught up over the holidays, which included adding new blogs to my reader but NEVER taking any away. I might not comment as often as I should, but goodness knows, I LOVE everybody!!!!

Do you love me??? If you say "yes" it's good for another pre-entry in the upcoming giveaway. Here's a little of the prizes (and there will be several) is a $25 gift card to a place that almost all of us shop!!!!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Getting Organized...

Apparently, January is National Getting Organized Month, or something like that. Goodness knows, we in the Land of Belle need to participate. I'm sitting here in the den looking at discombobulated bookshelves and am petrified to take a good long gander into the rooms vacated by the children after their winter breaks. I'll NEVER get organized in what's left of January.

The other day, I read on Doublewide Dreamer, that Michelle's husband, Big Daddy, suggested that they organize one room each weekend. I think that Big Daddy is on to something. It makes the task at hand seem FAR less overwhelming.

Hank and I are "on" for either tonight or tomorrow morning to tackle our first room. We have four bedrooms, one of which we have more or less turned into a big closet. We have a reasonable sized closet, racks for our shoes, hooks for my many bags, a couple of spare chests of drawers, the ironing board, and (you guessed it) a bunch of JUNK! Anything and everything that the kids don't like or don't want finds its way into that room. The closet is stuffed, the drawers are stuffed, and there is STUFF everywhere. I'd take a picture for you but I'm entirely too embarrassed for you to see the mess.

I tell you all of this, NOT because I think you're truly interested, but because it will help me be more accountable. Somebody I know will read this and they will ask me on Monday morning if we followed through. If we don't, they will shamelessly MOCK me, much like I would them in a similar situation. YOU know who you are! I'm counting on your mockery skills.
Wish us luck!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Let's All Play Along Now...

First...I'm going to do a giveaway soon. I'll post the information on my next day off from work, MLK Day, which is a week from next Monday.

In the meantime for folks who are paying attention, you'll be able to bank an entry or two or three by humoring me every now and then. Stay with will make sense in a few more sentences.

This morning I had to be at one of our more distant schools really early. There are several routes but all involve mega-traffic. As I drove along, I experienced something completely unexpected. I drove for approximately 20 miles down one of the busiest roads in the area and did not have to stop for a traffic light ONE SINGLE TIME until I got ready to turn off of that road onto the interstate. What a blessing! Come to think of might have been a true blue MIRACLE!!

Here's how you can earn one entry into the upcoming giveaway. Leave a comment and tell us all about something amazing that happened to you today!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

We had a good day at the farm yesterday with Lorelai and her friends, although while they stayed outside most of the time with the four-wheeling and the skeet shooting, I stayed inside by the fire. I'd upload some picture but am too lazy just now to go find the camera. I've got warmer weather on the brain.

I'm ready for springtime NOW. I used to like cold weather but as I get older, it just seems to annoy me. I don't really get the point of cold weather if we aren't going to have a single flake of snow. Why can't we go DIRECTLY from New Years Day to spring-like weather. Seriously...WHY!??

Being the fickle gal that I am...long about July, I'll be wishing for cold weather but that is then and this is now and right NOW, I'm looking for some chirping birds and warm breezes.

Photo above is of mother and me at Folly Beach, 1963. Talk about a lily white youngun. Mother had a real thing about NOT getting too much sun. I'm betting I was only outside long enough for the picture taking.

Legare, Lorelai and me at Edisto Beach, 1993

Legare is back in Chapel Hill after ringing in the New Year with friends in DC, and Lorelai is packing to head back to Clemson tomorrow. It's back to work for me bright and early in the morning, which explains the funk that I'm sure you can tell that I'm in this afternoon. I like my job and the people I work with...I just like staying at home in front of the fire, quilting, eating, and watching movies BETTER. Do NOT judge me!

Here's to warm breezes and sunny days ahead!

Lorelai chilling out in the pool, 1998

Ned and Lorelai fishing at the summer house, 2008

Friday, January 1, 2010

Life is Good!

The bloody mary's, Dukes BBQ, hoppin' john, collard greens, macaroni pie, corn casserole, slaw, deviled eggs, sweet tea, coffee, and caramel pecan pie have been consumed. Our guest has gone home...Hank is asleep on the floor in front of the fire...Lorelai has gone upstairs for a nap, and I'm lounging here on the sofa snug as a bug under an old quilt corresponding with you. Life is good!

Tomorrow, we are hosting Lorelai's friends over at the farm for a day of four wheeling through the woods. Four wheeling for THEM...I will be chief cook and bottle washer and Hank will probably ride around on his tractor. He loves that tractor. Ned will likely come over for awhile too.

I don't know WHEN I've felt so lazy as I do this afternoon but I've decided to give in to it. After all, I'm back to work bright and early on Monday morning. I do; however, love new beginnings (as opposed to OLD beginnings?????) and I'm excited about 2010. For one thing it's more fun and efficient to say "twenty ten" than to say "two thousand nine." Of course, quite a few people around these parts are confused and keep saying, "twenty o'ten."

Okey dokey's nap time.