Friday, April 30, 2010

Finally...the weekend!

So, everybody at work is sitting on pins and needles. Like last year this time, budgets are in awful shape and jobs are being eliminated. I'm safe because of my reassignment to the middle college, but my central office colleagues still don't know their fate. Our state legislators just simply DO NOT CARE about public education. It is a SIN and a shame. HEAR THIS....if you are an incumbent I will be voting against you when I next walk into a voting booth and will encourage my friends and family to do the same. Shame, shame, SHAME ON YOU! If you are a legislator in the fine State of South Carolina, feel free to try to explain yourself. I'll be happy to let you try...

On a brighter note, tomorrow is Derby Day and we'll be heading up to McClellanville to a party hosted by one of Hank's co-workers. We attended last year for the first time and enjoyed a delightful afternoon and evening. Good food and great conversation. I didn't know a single soul there with the exception of the host and hostess, but they sure know how to throw a party....and I DO love a well-concocted mint julep.

Lorelai is done with exams and heading to the beach for the week. Legare has one more exam and I'm told he plans to make an appearance for Mother's Day before he takes some beach time before heading to Charlotte to work for the summer.

Mother and Ned are hanging in there. I'm thinking of getting Ned an I-Pad. He needs to broaden his horizons from the radio and TV to something a bit more interactive.

Do you have an I-Pad or know somebody who does? Any thoughts or opinions that might help me decide what to do?

Happy Friday, my friends. Enjoy the weekend!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

DO Mercy!

I'm trying to think of something interesting to share but I've pretty much been working or sleeping....and eating. Eating like crazy and on the run...eating in my car...A LOT! Let me throw a few randoms atcha...

I've developed an addiction to the peach milkshakes (for a limited time only) at Chickfila (figures that the first thing I'd write is about food). They're easy to enjoy in the car.

In about a week, Legare is going to be 2/3 a lawyer. In about a week and a year he'll be whole lawyer and therefore financially independent. The boy recently went nuts with my credit card again. We had to have a talk...

He'd better anty up for a NICE nursing home when the time comes.

In three days, Lorelai will be halfway through college. Remember when I first started blogging and she was just graduating from high school and Legare from college. Time flies my friends...REALLY, it does!

Mother called the other night because a family reunion is coming up and her sister was insisting that she go. She wanted to know if we were going. Apparently the family doesn't want to see me because I knew absolutely nothing about a reunion. That's fine...I didn't want to go anyway. (really, I don't know ANY of those people). Anyhow, mother thought that PERHAPS I knew and PERHAPS they were going to surprise her as the oldest person there and give her a a million dollars.

I can't make this stuff up...DO mercy! Although if they DO every decide to give her a million dollars I'll be sure to show up...uninvited or not!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

A Sunday Afternoon Musical Matinee'

Our friend Ann teaches piano lessons and this afternoon two of her senior students put on a marvelous recital. I wish I had a video tape so that I could show some of it. Hank and I have known both of the families for years and years. Not only was the musical performance wonderful, but we got a chance to enjoy delicious refreshments and mingle with folks that we don't get a chance to visit with so often.

Students Timothy and Cecilia didn't want to do the average run of the mill senior recital and as Ann said, "pitched" her a novel idea. They wanted to focus on musical themes from movies and have video in the background while they played. It was A LOT of work on their part to edit and time the video clips to what they were playing. A LOT!! Hank and I thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

I'm not going to go through the entire program but some of the highlights were....

Clair de Lune
by Debussy (with scenes from Ocean's Eleven in the background)

Bella's Lullaby (accompanied by scenes from Twilight)

A medley of themes from James Bond movies (with appropriate film clips)

....and they ended the program with Beatles songs including Hey Jude, with Timothy on the piano and Cecilia playing the drums.

What extraordinary young people. I know it will take awhile for their parents to stop beaming with pride.

I give the Sunday Afternoon Musical Matinee' FIVE bells...(LOL...get it? BELLES!!)

That's as GOOD as it gets!!!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Lorelai Goes out on the Town

A friend of Lorelai's asked her to come home and go with him to his senior prom tonight. You know how much the girl loves to get dolled up so she readily agreed. As you'll see from the photos, he was smiling ear to ear and will likely be the only guy there with a COLLEGE girl!!

Hank was on his way home from the hardware store when the young man arrived so I sent Lor's friend Alex to open the door. I think we scared the poor boy half to death! Alex and her pal Phillip are very protective...

I know they'll have a great time!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Yo Ho Ho and a Bottle of Rum

When my kids were little, I took a break from teaching school and stayed home. To make a little money (very little money, actually) I taught piano lessons at home in the afternoons and directed church choirs and played the organ.

Two of my favorite students were a brother and sister, children of two of the most wonderful people I've ever been privileged to know. To say the least, Stephen and Catherine did not fall far from the tree. Well-mannered, well-spoken, well-read and very mature for their ages...every interaction was a pleasure. Catherine became our chief number one babysitter and they're both very successful adults.

I ran into Catherine, now an outstanding teacher and wonderful mother, this afternoon and as always, the topic of rum cakes came up.

Catherine's daddy, Dennis, was a character in this world. He would make the most delicious rum cakes for piano recitals and Christmas presents. I'd beg for the recipe but he stood his ground and wouldn't give it to me for the world. He'd say, "I'll make them for you but I won't give you the recipe...besides, I promise you'd RATHER me make them for you because they are not easy."

I was unrelenting but he stood his ground. One time he developed a scavenger hunt for me. The idea was that if I did everything on the list (that took me ALL over town) I'd find the recipe. I did the darn scavenger hunt ALL over town and ended up at the library. The last clue was, "a favorite recipe by a southern belle" (imagine that!). I looked up and down the recipe book section and couldn't find a thing. (Turns out that the cookbook by Dinah Shore was checked out.) AAAARRRRGGGHHHH!

I finally gave up and let him make them for me. Some years later, Dennis fell ill and after several years of battling cancer, passed away. His was the first funeral service that Legare ever attended. For some reason, he, from an early age, called Dennis, "that boy." We never could figure out why.
I went over the the house the morning after Dennis passed away and his wife said, "wait...stay right there. I have something for you." She went back into the bedroom and returned with a piece of paper and handed it to me saying, "Dennis left instructions that I was to give this to you as soon as I saw you." It was the rum cakes recipe...not a copy, but his original. It had spots and stains and a little place on the side where it caught on fire one time. To make it easier for me since it was (IS) such a hard recipe, he'd written little notes on it. "Double this....I use oleo" Where it stated, "you may omit the rum"...Dennis wrote in capital letters, "WHY??"

I cried. Then I came home to make rum cakes. He spoke the truth. They ARE hard to make, but I make them every year (but usually just once at Christmas.)

A couple of years later, Hank had the recipe framed for me and it's among my most treasured possessions hanging here in my kitchen.

While Catherine and I chatted this afternoon, I told her about my new job. She said, "Daddy would love this...he's raising a glass to you right now!" Know what...I'm pretty sure that he did...and I'm honored!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Facebooking with the Family

So...BUSY week here in the Land of Belle. Last night I logged onto Facebook to see what I've been missing over six or so days. And by "see what I've been missing" I mean stalking my children's facebook accounts. Legare has been eating out a lot and Lorelai put blond highlights in her hair. I guess we paid for all of that...I'll know for certain when the VISA bill comes, but I'm pretty sure.

Anyhow...I was dog tired last night and put on my FB status "Teachers! Give your principal a hug on Monday...It's harder than it looks."

Legare remarked first..."Being a principal or hugging them? We tried "hug your lawyer" one day but that didn't go so hot.

Then Lorelai..."How about hug your student day. I bet that would go over better.

Legare..."Yeahhhhh...because there definitely wouldn't be any lawsuits from that....

I decided to jump in at that point...

Me: "How LUCKY am I to have such supportive children? Who pays your tuition and car payments and rent and buys your food? WAIT...that would be daddy and ME. Want to rethink your remarks?

Stay tuned...I'm sure there will be a response. (and it BETTER be the right one!)

Monday, April 12, 2010

Designing Women

Join me for a moment to mourn the passing of Dixie Carter. Do lawsamercy, if Designing Women isn't one of the greatest shows of all time I'll hush.
I've always fancied myself something of a cross between Julia and Suzanne...a smart savvy southern belle who loves attention and longs for the days of big hair and tiaras. I'm not too much fond of pigs as pets though.

I have many favorite episodes but my MOST favorite was titled Dash Goff, the Writer. One of Suzanne's ex-husbands arrives all down and out but the gals pick him up and dust him off pretty well. When he moves on, he leaves a that any southern belle would treasure forever...

"Yesterday, in my mind's eye, I saw four women standing on a veranda in white, gauzy dresses and straw colored hats. They were having a conversation. And it was hot. Their hankies tucked in cleavages where eternal trickles of perspiration run from the female breastbone to exotic vacation spots that southern men often dream about. They were sweet smelling, coy, cunning, voluptuous, voracious, delicious, pernicious, vexing, and sexing...these earth sisters/rebel mothers...the arousers and carousers. And I was filled with a longing to join them. But like a whim of Scarlett's, they turned suddenly and went inside, shutting me out with a bolt of a latch. And I was left only to pick up an abandoned handkerchief and savor the perfumed shadows of these women...these southern women. This Suzanne. This Julia. This Mary Jo and Charlene. Thanks for the comfort. Dash Goff...the writer."

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Icing on the Cake

Thank you for propping me up over the last couple of days. Believe you me, I'd much rather write the happy silly stuff than venting about my mother. I know she can't help it. Dementia is an cruel and ugly thing.

We survived and I'm not going to belabor the uncomfortableness of the beach trip with mother. She wanted to go, we took her, now we know that taking her away from Green Grove overnight just isn't going to work anymore. Those days are done. Now we know...I don't know if I'll ever learn, though. Everytime, we hold out hope that "this time it won't be so bad." But it is...

We drove the hour from the beach to our house so that Hank could load the lawnmower. He then left for the farm, dropping mother and Ned off along the way. As they started to get into his truck, mother asked about her suitcase, which was already loaded. Then she looked at me and said "come on, let's go." When I said that I wasn't going, she asked, "You aren't going with us to the beach???"

She didn't remember that we'd just left the beach an hour ago.

Then Ned said, "please don't dump Hank...we really like him." (All I can figure is that he heard me ask Hank to dump the trash as we left the condo.)

I said, "Don't worry, I like him too."

I feel like I've been in some kind of bizarre parallel universe for 48 hours.

I just finished eating all of the ice cream that was in our freezer.

The End
OH...back in the REAL world...Lorelai landed a full-time summer job at the bank. YAY!!!!! Both kids are employed for the summer. DOUBLE YAY!!!

Friday, April 9, 2010

This may be the best one of the day...

Ned is ready for supper. We're going to pick something up in a little bit as we had a late lunch. I told him to drink a coke to tide him over for an hour. Mother said, NO...don't drink another coca cola. You'll wet the bed!

See what I'm dealing with here??????????

I don't even know where to begin...

Bringing mother to the beach was a BAD BAD VERY BAD idea. I feel sorry for her, but sorrier for Hank, Ned, and me. I know I should put on my big girl britches but good grief, there is a limit to how much people can take. She keeps saying that we're taking her back to hometown tomorrow. She's asked at least 25 times about her house and her car. She doesn't have the slightest idea what month or day it is and keeps forgetting where her bedroom is (and it isn't that big of a condo.) When we're in the car she reads out loud what is written on every sign on the road. She won't leave Ned alone...and she won't stop talking. ALL THE TIME...she babbles about this or that. And she won't sit down for more than five minutes at the time. Up and down...up and down...up and down.

This was a very bad idea....I was afraid it would be and let Hank talk me into doing this but knows it isn't working out. After lunch, we stopped by a garden shop and left mother and Ned in the car while we ran inside. As soon as we got out of earshot, Hank glanced back at me and said, "I know...I'm in trouble..."

I don't know WHEN I've been so frustrated...I''m actually afraid that I might involuntarily start SCREAMING.

I'm ashamed but this is what it is and it AIN'T good!!!!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Ned Joins a Club

Ned's housemate's dad is a member of the Kiwanis Club and he's starting a Kiwanis Aktion Club, a service organization for the boys and other disabled adults in the Orangeburg area. Hank went over the other night for the first meeting and, as always when mother puts herself in the middle of something she has no business in...well...there's a story.

There are only five members to start with (they need more so if you know someone in the greater Orangeburg, SC area who'd like to take part, let me know) and will meet once a month.

We didn't tell mother about the meeting for the obvious reason but she just happened to be walking around, saw the group in a meeting room, and went in. They tried to explain the purpose and that she didn't need to be there but what SHE heard was, "we're up to something sinister that will cause lots of problems for lots of people and will brainwash your son and all of the other boys and send them to live in a commune where they'll be tortured and have to eat dirt!"

She called Hank into the hallway and, putting her hands on her hips and in a high pitched voice asked, "WHY? WHY CAN'T I BE IN THERE?" Needless to say he told her she didn't have to leave. As the meeting progressed, she wouldn't hush. She kept asking the same questions over and over, still not understanding that this had nothing whatsoever to do with her.

After watching a couple of videos and talking about potential volunteer projects, the group began to elect officers. I think that's SO cute! When Hank got home, he told me about mother and then said, "Your brother got elected secretary...actually, he got elected treasurer first but your MOTHER wouldn't LET him be treasurer!"

Now I ask much sense does that make? Ned reads on a first grade level on a good day. He can write his name but it takes him five minutes, bless his heart. He can, however, COUNT so treasurer makes much better sense. I'm going to have to have a chat with mother about minding her own business.
I can see the Aktion Club becoming a secret society with a top secret meeting place from now on.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Dance Away...FAR FAR AWAY!

You know...Kate Gosselin needs to go on home with her kids. She dances like a robot and lawsamercy she's a whiner!! At least Buzz Aldrin has a good excuse. He's old...

I declare...Cloris Leachman was better than Kate.

Are you watching Dancing with the Stars? Who's your favorite? The Olympics dude is pretty good and Erin Andrews is so elegant. The Pussy Cat Dolls gal is light on her feet. Neecie Nash is surprisingly graceful. I want Erin to stay so I can watch Maxim. GOLLY MOSES...he is GOOD LOOKING!!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Taking Mother to the Beach Before She Dies

Mother has been all over us for several months to take her to the beach because she "wants to see it one more time before I die." Even though she isn't dying, Hank and I decided to go ahead and take her so she'll quit carrying on about it. She's going around telling anybody who'll listen that we won't take her anywhere.

We have a trip planned very soon...just two nights. If that goes well then we'll plan a longer trip later this summer. Her general way of operating is that she'll call us two nights before we're scheduled to leave and say she isn't going.

Usually she says that her ears hurt. If that happens this time, Ned, Hank and I will have a glorious time at the beach with mother's VISA card.

All afternoon, the conversational loop was:

Mother: I guess we'll need to take winter clothes to the beach?

Me: No, it's going to be plenty warm. You'll take spring clothes and a sweater.

Mother: I thought I'd take winter clothes. I don't have a sweater.

Me: NO winter clothes and yes, you have a very nice sweater that we gave you for Christmas.

Mother: I don't think I have a sweater. Don't we need to take winter clothes to the beach??

On and on it went until I finally said, "Yes, I think you're right. You'll need to take winter clothes to the beach." (I mean really, I'm going to be the one packing her clothes anyway so THERE!!!!!)

When I got ready to leave, mother walked outside and pretty as you please said, "I'm about to burn up out here. Why in the WORLD did you say that I need to take winter clothes to the beach????"

This is precisely why I take a "Lord have mercy and give me patience" pill (otherwise known as a "flying pill") before I go to Green Grove.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Hippity Hoppity

I declare...just can't believe it's Easter weekend. Hank is going to church and have lunch with his mother in Hometown and I'm going to Green Grove to go to church and have lunch with mother and Ned. Since Legare and Lorelai have already had their spring breaks, they elected to spend the weekend with UNC and Clemson friends respectively. SUPPOSING that the Easter Bunny hops by here, I'll have to save their baskets until we see them.

I have some book club photos to share but haven't had time to upload, so I'll share the details when I get the photos ready. It was QUITE an event this month.

Next week will be the first spring break week EVER that I've had to work. New job means more workdays, but goodness knows I've got plenty to do. The student applicant interviews are going very well. I'm meeting so many neat young people who have wonderful potential but need more of an non-traditional learning environment. Our new magnet high school is going to provide just that...I've definitely got a "missionary's zeal" for this project.

Got our order for for 2010 CLEMSON FOOTBALL tickets in the mail today. I know spring has just sprung but honestly, fall football makes me SO HAPPY!!!!! I'm looking forward to meeting some blog buddies up there this year. YES????

Hope that tomorrow is a wonderful day for you and yours...

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Distracted MUCH????

I've been on the road a lot lately during the work day traveling from place to place interviewing students for our new magnet school, i.e. my new job. I love talking to these students and their parents. I leave a school after three or four hours of interviews ALL excited about what we're getting ready to do for these kids.
Yesterday, I thought I would stop at Chick-fil-a for lunch on my way back to the office. I parked...grabbed my wallet...went inside...walked to the ladies room...used the ladies room...washed my hands...walked back outside to the car...drove away.

So...what's wrong with this picture. NO FOOD....I completely forgot to order!!! I just got in the car and left. About a minute into my drive away I realized what I'd done and turned around and headed for the drive through.

And believe you me...that's nothing compared to the $237 speeding ticket I got the other day leaving another school. I was so deep in thought that I didn't notice when the 55 mile speed limit on the country road slowed to 35.

I ain't EVEN kidding!!