Wednesday, June 30, 2010

WOW! I'm a BON

The post title is not very clear, is it?

I'm honored and humbled to have been chosen today's Blogger of Note (BON) at Words of Wisdom (WOW). If you are popping over from WOW, welcome to the Land of Belle where just about any kind of crazy can be found. Make yourselves at home...I am a wife, mother, sister, daughter of the south, educator, and friend who can at times be something of a control freak, loud mouth, over-eating and impatient pain in the neck. I can pitch QUITE the hissy fit when I put my mind to it...

If you're an old friend, THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart for reading about all of the craziness in my life and leaving your comments. If you're new...well...I hope that you'll become a friend and visit often, as I look forward to visiting your blog.

WOW asked me to give you links to three of my favorite posts....that's a tall order, because as everybody knows, ALL of my posts of marvelous (see...that remark is a prime example of the pain in the neck thing I mentioned in the first paragraph.)

Anyhow, see what you think about the following...

And I'll leave you with a photo of my most prized possession...our family. Come back now, ya hear?

Sunday, June 27, 2010

I'm Groovin' on Lists

In addition to becoming a weekend blogger, I find myself developing a love of writing posts in the form of a list. I'm not sure what it says about my mental state that I write random things which I imagine somebody out there might find interesting. For example...

1. What is it with men and DIY projects? Hank is outside in the blistering heat putting stain and sealant on our new deck. If he drops dead of a heat stroke I am going to be MAD!

2. We've had a pool for 12 years or so. I bet I haven't been in it more than 15 times. It was so hot yesterday that I felt no shame whatsoever in putting my chubby and untanned body in said pool. Today is shaping up the same. Why oh WHY did I complain about the cold weather last winter?

3. I think I forgot to mention that Lorelai and I watched Young Victoria last weekend. We liked it a lot and highly recommend that you see it too, particularly if you like period pieces. I didn't realize that Queen Victoria had nine children or that she'd become queen so young.

4. Hank's cousin has moved to the area so we had her over last night for supper. I've been in a cooking mood and we had boiled shrimp, tomato pie, and cucumber salad, with a bourbon banana pudding for dessert. The leftover banana pudding is calling my name right now, hence one of the many reasons for the chubby body referred to in #2.

5. It will soon be time for the beginning of the month of jubilation in celebration of Lorelai's birth (otherwise known as July). She will be 20 on the 26th. I feel that a mother/daughter spa day and afternoon tea are in order.

QUESTION: What's the most special/fun thing you ever did with one of your children for a birthday???

I want lots of answers....what you did might be a better idea than what I'm planning!!! Don't be shy now...

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Saturday Stuff

I'm sorry I was disrepectful to USC yesterday. Young Mr. Roth pitched QUITE a game last night. My guys looked kind of like the Keystone Kops several times. Oh well...let's see what happens tonight. Honestly, I don't have anything against the Gamecocks UNLESS they're playing Clemson.

The pimento cheese rice was not our favorite last night. I won't make it again but will be happy to share the recipe with that disclaimer. The pork with black eyed pea relish and the collards were fabulous though. Really truly!! I also tried another sangria was tasty...had tequila in it.

NOTICE TO PEOPLE WHO RAN IN THE JUNE PRIMARY AND RUN OFF ELECTION LAST WEEK: If you won...congratulations. If you did not win...sorry 'bout that. Either way, get up and out this morning and COLLECT YOUR SIGNS from the side of the road. It's over...we're tired of looking at them. DO IT!

Lorelai called last night about 11 PM as she was getting on the teacup ride...she is probably still asleep this morning. Hank is cutting grace. I believe Legare said he was going white water rafting today. The house is clean. I believe I need to read some blogs.

Have a lovely day.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Friday Facts

Ah...sweet Friday.

Lorelai has gone with some Clemson friends to Orlando, hoping to see the Harry Potter "thing" and spend some time at Disney World. It is hotter than the hinges of hell here. I cannot IMAGINE how hot it must be there.

If you're following the College World Series, you know that CLEMSON and the University of South Carolina are playing tonight at 9 PM. Tom and Ann, whose boys are both at USC, are coming over for supper (pork medallions with black eyed pea relish, pimento cheese rice, and sauteed collard greens) then we're going to make a pot of coffee and settle in to watch the game.


My new office will be ready this week...sort of. The space is ready but I don't think our server, computer, etc are going to be ready. I really am going to miss my colleagues "uptown." I've worked with some of these people of many moons, but I am more excited about my newest challenge that I've ever been about anything professionally speaking.

There are already many stories to tell about our students...not going to tell them on the blog so I guess you'll just have to wait until I retire and write a book. Can you hang in here with me for another ten years???? Shoot, I'm just hoping that I can hang in here for another ten years.

I found out on Wednesday morning that my newly hired math teacher had been chosen for an assistant principal position. I called Hannah (from the Nashville trip two years HERE), the principal who hired her, and calmly said, This is Belle, get your pocketbook and your car keys and run as fast as you can. I'm giving you a 20 minute head start before I start looking for you. Be afraid, be very afraid. Of course by the time I got to the "be afraid" part, I was laughing so hard I was about to fall out of my chair, and so was Hannah...laughing, that is. I'm not sure whether or not she was about to fall out of her chair.

Technically, I'm thinking I should have gone into "panic and freak out" mode at this point as good math teachers are difficult to find, particularly this time of year. I opted instead, for "keep calm and carry on" mode and within 24 hours, I had the phone number for a new math teacher. PLUS, she has experience as a senior class sponsor (and loves the role) so I am very pleased.

Time to hit the stores.

Have fun this weekend a stay cool....

Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Wedding and Father's Day

The wedding was beautiful. The reception was HOT! Legare was able to reconnect with quite a few people he had not seen since he graduated from high school. I still think of those people as children...including the bride! At one point a group of four or five were standing around and I had a flashback to a preschool Christmas program at the Baptist church where they all had giant red bows around their necks.

Hank,Legare, and I left around 9 PM to come back home but Lorelai stayed and danced the night away with her friends, then rode home with our next door neighbors.

Hank got up this morning and went to "early church" and the kids and I stayed home like heathens. Hank is an usher this month and he takes the job very seriously. He got home a little after 10 AM and we've enjoyed sitting around, drinking coffee, and talking. Shrimp and Grits is Hank's Sunday dinner of choice for Father's Day but he has to cook it because that is his specialty. I'll clean up. I'm not quite understanding how I cooked and cleaned on Mother's Day and he's cooking and I'm cleaning for Father's Day while our children sit around and enjoy the fruits of our labor. Lorelai is currently back in her bed napping before lunch and Legare is outside sitting in a chaise lounge by the pool. It must be nice...

I took a few photos before we left for the wedding (and I promise that Lorelai did NOT take that orange bag in at the wedding or the reception) Check out the "life lessons" blog later today for more on lowcountry wedding fashion information.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Wedding Season

We moved in our house in August of 1985 and our neighbors in October of 1985. Their daughter Camille arrived shortly after their move in December, and Legare followed in May of 1986. Camille is the one we threw the brunch for a few weeks ago and today is her wedding day. She is marrying the most delightful young man who just graduated from The Citadel and the wedding will be in Summerall Chapel at The Citadel. It's a beautiful place...

The reception will be held over in Mt. Pleasant at The Cotton Dock at Boone Hall Plantation.

Legare is on his way home from Charlotte to attend, so our family will all be together tonight. Lorelai and I have been shopping and hope to look FABULOUS, so we will take lots of pictures. Hank and Legare did not get new outfits but they don't really seem to care. For Lor, we ended up buying the first dress she tried on in Luna on King Street. That NEVER happens. By the way, they have a marvelous online shop also.

Look for some fun photos of the big event tomorrow.

So...what are you doing this weekend?? I know that Preppy 101 just had a big wedding event in her family. Anybody else "doing" weddings this summer?

Friday, June 18, 2010

The Friday List

It seems that I'm falling into a "week in review" pattern these days. I'm groovin' on it...

1. I did NOT bring work home after my "four tens" (more like "four twelves, but anyhow...)

2. I'm proud of me for not bringing any work home.

3. The maid is coming today, the air conditioner repair guy is coming to look at the duct work above Lorelai's room because it's VERY warm in there, and I...I am going shopping.

4. Mother hasn't had any other spells this week and Hank's mother is still quite indignant and has made it clear that she does not need any help from anybody. Okey dokey then...

5. Lorelai is in her sixth week of working at the bank and she has not complained ONE SINGLE TIME about getting up and going to work. I am completely and utterly amazed. So is Hank...

6. Legare is completing his second week of work and absolutely loves the firm. He likes Charlotte quite a bit and would love to settle there, I think. I'm cool with's MUCH closer than Chapel Hill.

7. They started moving furniture into my new office suite yesterday. I hired a fabulous secretary last week and will interview what I hope will be my final staff member on Wednesday.

8. ...and then there are the stories I cannot tell...let it suffice to say that being a high school principal (even of a smaller magnet high school) is NOT for sissies!!

Have a fabulous weekend...

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

You've got to laugh or....'ll go crazy and THAT won't help.

Yesterday, Hank's mother was diagnosed with Vascular Dementia and moderate Alzheimer's. Like we didn't already have our hands full with MY mother.

As I've said before, I could fill ten blogs with stories about Hank's side of the family but those are his stories not mine and he doesn't find as much humor in things as I do. Humor helps me shoot me.

He had a terrible go round with her after she had her own go round with the doctor after he told her she couldn't drive anymore and ought to move to assisted living. (We're going to just take over a wing at Green Grove...)

As Hank drove away last night with her car keys in his pocket, she informed him that she will "burn the house down" before she'll move to Green Grove.

Talk about being homeless...

Monday, June 14, 2010

A Guest Post Courtesy of ADG (Maxminimus)

I know I'm not the only fan of Maxminimus and its author ADG. He has QUITE the following...What a southern gentleman! What a wonderful daddy to his beautiful daughter LFG!! And to top it off, he's a South Carolinian by birth and a right snappy dresser. He graciously agreed to write a guest post for me and for the girls over at Life Lessons for Dumb Boys. Tell your friends, and if you don't visit Maxminimus on a regular basis, well, you really should start. He never disappoints...

So, without further adieu...courtesy of ADG...

Knucklehead Management

Now I’m thinking that since very few boys are reading your blog, I’ll pen this for the girls. Sort of a primer for things to consider regarding expectations YOU set. NOT expectations that your parents set for you. If you value who you are and what you are—set parameters that YOU believe in. This leads me to…

Number One: Don’t abrogate responsibility for your standards by saying …. “My parents insist that…..”. If you want to be treated a certain way and you feel like you deserve such treatment, let these knuckleheads know that it’s you—not your parents who are setting your standards.

Number Two: The way you begin is the way you end. In other words, the standards you have at the beginning of an encounter will at best, be the standards that carry the relationship. You can loosen the reins a bit over time if you choose, but it’s tough to heighten your standards later on if knucklehead starts getting sloppy.

Number Three: He’s not THAT cool and you CAN live without him. Tough news I know but please…if you feel bad about things with knucklehead more often than you’re having fun—it’s time to curb the boy. I know, I know…he’s the cutest guy in school, quarterback of EVERYTHING and it’s you—pinch yourself—it’s you he wants to date. Big whup. You’ll have more fun with someone who’s slightly less cool but scores higher on the consistency scale.

Number Four: God love ‘em…they are all knuckleheads…every last one of them. The good news is that they are coachable—especially if they really like you. Even the ones that might be a bit cooler than the others are really, deep down, just knuckleheads. Think about a Labrador puppy…that’s your knucklehead boyfriend. Use this as context when you are suggesting that they turn their baseball cap forward, buy their khakis in a waist size that isn’t four sizes too big and not refer to you as “she and her” when talking to their friends while you are sitting at their side. You have a name. Insist that they use it.

Number Five: I don’t care if they are in church or at mass five times each week, these knuckleheads are a hormonal mess! You’ve heard it from your fathers and probably others but you’ll hear it again from me…they will do anything and say anything to reach the ultimate conquest. Do I need to be any more specific? When you and knucklehead are reading poetry amidst a breezy day on The Battery—trust me—knucklehead would rather be doing other things. Don’t let him. Oh and by the way, don’t think any of this hormonal messiness settles down any sooner for the knuckleheads till about age thirty
Number Six: And finally two things to close this out. First…these knuckleheads that are causing you so much joy, frustration, giggly fun times and moments of rage…none of them will be your husband. Hate to burst your bubble but statistics are on my side in this case. So use this time as a training and development opportunity. Trial and error…now’s the time. Hone your skills…it’s time for having fun ‘cause this is just a scrimmage. Second…You my girls, have ALL the power in this game. The sooner you recognize it and leverage such power amidst all things knucklehead, the sooner the doors will open for you, your name will be used in lieu of “hey you or her”, ball caps will do a one-eighty and baggy pants will suddenly fit.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Mother vs Emergency Medical Services

So, mother woke up on Saturday morning and for whatever reason (like she turned both of the air conditioners in her apartment off before she went to bed, got dehydrated and overheated and panicked....I'm just sayin...) her blood pressure went up dangerously high.

She pressed the emergency button and the nurse came to check on her, gave her the morning dose of blood pressure medicine and decided to send her to the hospital for good measure. When the ambulance arrived, mother had already started to feel better and she REFUSED to get in the ambulance.

Now on the one hand, it turned out alright because we would have spent the day in a hospital emergency room for nothing. On the other hand, a person REALLY should get into an ambulance and go to the hospital when a medical professional calls one to come get her.

When I arrived at Green Grove, she was sitting in her recliner getting all sorts of attention, retelling her story over and over. Of course the story was a little different each time she told it because she really couldn't remember what happened. We had a long day sitting around until the house doctor arrived. I looked at magazines and played Scrabble on the iPad (gosh I love that thing) and she talked and talked and talked and talked. One minute she told me how lucky she is to live at Green very blessed. The next she told me how loud the air conditioners are and they are making her ears hurt and how the "old" people around there just like to stay in their rooms and she doesn't have enough people to talk to.

We looped through the funeral plans and whether or not all of her affairs are in order because she is "ready to go." I was patient as I could be but did finally have to get snarky so as to get that particular topic of conversation out of the loop. About the 10th time she asked about her affairs, I assured her that they were in tip top order and that she could go anytime she feels like it. That prompted an indignant, "Well, I'm not planning to go anytime soon!!!" (But she didn't mention it again.)

I have to laugh because she was up and down all day, but when a visitor came in she got all quiet and shrank down a little smaller in the chair, pulling the quilt up a little higher under her chin. When they called to say the doctor was coming down, she said something about the living room being a mess, jumped up, started carrying doodads into the bedroom and at one point while folding a towel, actually reached over and, standing on ONE foot, pushed a partially open drawer closed with the other foot. (The foot on the side of her body she said hurt so bad because of arthritis.) By the time he got to the door she was back in the chair under that quilt.

The doctor's advice..."stop getting so worked up." Go Figure!

Before I left, I laid down the law about the air ended up being 105 yesterday with the heat index. I taped the thermostats down so that she can't move them. Since the noise bothers her then she's to turn on the one in the living room at night and the one in the bedroom during the day. One will cool both rooms just fine. I put notes on both and stickers with arrows pointing to the "off" setting and the "cool" setting. Then I talked to home health services about making sure she kept them on AND I put a note on the door so they would remember to check when they come and go.

Then, I told mother that if she so much as THINKS about not following my instructions that it will not be pretty....if she gets cold she can cover up....but turning the air conditioning off is NOT an option.

So, as I left, she asked, "How much money do I have?"

I wonder if she's thinking of making a break for it?

Friday, June 11, 2010

I Wish I Had a Clever Story to Tell You...

I wish I had a clever story to tell you...but I don't...

Today, I will just have to dazzle you with random tidbits of useless information. I know you're just SO excited.

1. We're on a four ten hour day and Friday off summer work schedule. Today is Friday. Everybody I know took armloads of work home. yay for Fridays off...

2. On the bright side, I've been working all day in shorts and a t-shirt without putting on any make-up while listening to a soundtrack from GLEE. That makes me happy.

3. I just watched the season finale of GLEE last night. It made me sad and happy at the same time. Now I can't get Bohemian Rhapsody out of my head.

4. A fourth young man has moved into Ned's house. They all seem to be getting along fine.

5. Mother had her 82nd birthday last week.

6. This past week was the most hectic work week that I've had in recent memory, which is why this belle screamed on the blog. THANKS to those of you who heard me!

7. QUESTION! Have you ever been terribly disappointed in someone that you really thought the world of? So much so that you weren't sure if you'd come out on the other side of it? Just wondering...

8. More work?? NAP???? More work?? NAP?????

9. I guess you can tell which one I'm leaning toward. Hope you have the most wonderful weekend!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Calamity Jane Meets the Clampetts I bragged TOO much last weekend about what a wonderful, happy, fun, restful weekend I had because when Tuesday morning came around and I went back to the office.....SLAM...SLAM....SLAM. Things came at me from every was like a bizarre-o world.

For example, I made a snarky remark to the Boss....remember all those posts about how he "gets" me. Well, CALAMITY JANE, he got mad about this one. I apologized and we're OK, I suppose. No need to bore you with the other things as I don't suppose any of them were any GREAT big deal but put all together, I was feeling a bit put upon by the end of the day on Friday...kind of like I'd lost my charm with people, you know, that old magic touch that calms things down and makes them all better?

Saturday, Hank and I moved Legare to Charlotte for his two month summer law clerk position. He's in an unfurnished studio apartment about four blocks from his office in one of those big TALL buildings uptown. (It has vertical binds ADG...but it is NOT my fault...apparently you have to endure these sorts of things in a short term rental.)

We refused to move his furnishings from Chapel Hill and told him that we would bring a bed, bedside table, chair and ottoman, and a couple of lamps from the farm. It's on the way from here to Charlotte. I know HE feels that our plan is unworthy of his greatness BUT, one needs to be reasonable when you're just talking about eight weeks. So, Hank and I (mostly Hank) loaded things in the back of the Ford F150 truck and off we went to Charlotte. If we didn't look like the Clampetts come to town, I'll hush. Legare will survive.

I hope you had a good week last week. I've got to shake off the Calamity Jane thing (and probably the Clampett thing too)...put me on your prayer list. You know how I get when things don't go my way! Apparently I can no longer be snarky, which we all know is a coping mechanism to me. Oh Lordy...what am I going to do????