Saturday, December 31, 2011

We thought we were missing a parade...

Hank, Lorelai and I sitting around talking when Lor noticed that a "wagon full of people" were riding in front of our house.  They meandered down the lane on the side of the house (and met a dead end). I grabbed my camera so that you could see what we saw as they made their way back.

We encounter all sorts of things in these parts.  For one thing...we live in South Carolina...the lowcountry of South Carolina...Berkeley County in the lowcountry of South Carolina.  I believe they were Episcopalians. I don't know what else I can tell you...other than a part of me wanted to go jump on that wagon with them. I know who was driving and I don't think he would have minded...

It kinda looked like fun!!


Friday, December 30, 2011

For your prayer list...

Please put our Lorelai and her poor foot on your prayer list.  As you may know, she's been in a "boot" for some time with a fractured sesamoid bone.  From Wikipedia...In the foot - the first metatarsal bone usually has two sesamoid bones at its connection to the big toe (both within the tendon of flexor hallucis brevis).[2] In some people, only a single sesamoid is found on the first MCP.


She begins student teaching in kindergarten on January 17.  To have surgery on January 12, or thereabouts, would only give her four days to get rested and back to Clemson. She would not be able to put weight on the foot for six weeks. She would likely have to depend on the kindness of others to drive her for six weeks. That is a lot to ask people who aren't family to do for you.  In her apartment, she won't be able to count on but one of her roommates for any support at all and they aren't in the same major.  Her apartment is on the third floor with no elevator. We live three and a half hours away.

I know she's tired...this has been going on since October.  I know she's frustrated as can be about not being able to exercise...she loves to run and that option has been (and will be for awhile) off the table.  This isn't how any of us envisioned her senior year of college.  I have her an appointment this morning with a personal trainer and plan to engage one when she gets back to Clemson...hopefully they can design an exercise routine for her that will give her some relief and not hurt the foot.

Hank and I feel like it might be better to wait until after graduation in early May to have the surgery. Yes, she will have to endure some discomfort and prolong the exercise dilemma BUT that way she will be home for the recovery and able to completely stay off the foot.  She wants to go ahead with it now because she is sick and tired of the whole mess.

We covet your prayers as we support Lorelai in making the right decision about what to do...

Thank you so much...

Thursday, December 29, 2011

On the 4th Day after Christmas...

1.  Hank is with Lorelai at the orthopedist. We are praying that her foot has healed and she can take off that awful "boot." (Before I could post, Hank called and the broken foot has not healed...surgery scheduled for mid-January...Lor is a VERY unhappy camper right now.)

2.  I'm paying bills...ICK and DOUBLE ICK.

3.  On a brighter note, I have a hot stone massage at 2:30. 

4.  I declared that I would not be entertaining much during the holidays, but we've had SO much fun that we're throwing together a Saturday night shindig.  Not a huge crowd...10-15 folks.  Nothing like an oyster roast to ring in the New Year.

5.  Since we're going out for New Year's Day dinner at Peninsula Grill, I'm keeping our good luck lunch simple.  BBQ, Hoppin' John, Collard Greens, Hot Rolls, Artichoke Relish and Sweet Tea.
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...seems that I am having trouble completing this post. Have returned from my hot stone massage and after a glorious hot shower could just melt into a puddle....SO INCREDIBLE.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas 2011

We enjoyed a relaxing Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Gifts were opened on Christmas Eve and on Christmas morn, there was no rushing around.  There were eight around our dining room table for a 1:00 pm dinner and I hope that our company enjoyed it as much as we did.  Legare and Lorelai are real troopers when it comes to my picture taking. Hope you enjoy...cannot wait to see your photos.






In the above photo, Legare threw his first handful or oats so high that it came back down on top of his head.



The gift cards on top of the candle box are to Dean and Deluca and Brooks Brothers.



Since neither Legare no Lorelai wrote letters to Santa, they got ALL surprises. 
Boy howdy...Santa sure does have good taste!


 Hank and Legare were in charge of the roast.



Thankfully, I'm still on vacation...no work for me until January 3. 

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Counting down...

Hank and I spent some time with Mother and Ned yesterday. Legare stopped at Green Grove on his way home for the holiday weekend and we all went to Dukes BBQ for lunch. We adore Dukes.  

Mother was in rare form. She had her little living room all decorated and we arrived loaded with gifts that she and Ned will open tonight when he spends the night with her. They will enjoy tomorrow with her sister Elizabeth and assorted nieces and nephews, while we entertain "Hank's people" here.

As we were riding to the restaurant, Mother kept telling me to look at the clouds, saying she'd never seen such a beautiful sky in her "whole entire life!!"  After the 4th or 5th time, I said, "Really, in your WHOLE ENTIRE LIFE?  Are you positive??" 

"Well yes," she replied.  "My whole entire life...at least what I can remember of it."

BAZINGA!!!!!!!!!!!        Mother = 1             Belle = 0

Last night, we went over to visit our friends Tom and Ann and have some dessert.  Ann has not one, but TWO grand pianos.  I don't have but one...BAZINGA!!!!!!!!!!!!   Ann = 2        Belle = 1

We played piano while our families oohed and ahhed over how wonderful we were. Lord love them...they love us!! Smarty pants Legare documented a few seconds of my rendition of Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas...of course, I'm talking while I'm playing.



video

FOOD!!!  For Christmas Eve supper, Hank's famous shrimp and grits.

Christmas Day!!   Butternut squash soup, iceberg wedge w/ blue cheese, tomato and bacon, rib roast, roasted potatoes, sauteed brussel sprouts w/ caramelized onions and balsamic vinegar, a vegetable casserole (courtesy of Hank's aunt and uncle who will be joining us, along with Hank's mom and half-brother), hot yeast rolls, fruit cake, pecan pie, and ambrosia.

Monday, December 19, 2011

What does a high school principal do on the first morning of Christmas vacation?

1.  She sleeps until 8:00 a.m.
2.  She is still in her pajamas at 9:00 a.m.
3.  She catches up on reading her beloved blogs.
4.  She realizes that she did not dream about work at ALL the night before...not one bit!!  How awesome is that???
5.  She plans her day.
6.  The plan for the day is NOT to leave the house...maybe do a little baking...a little decorating...a little reading...a little napping...
7.  Seriously...HOW AWESOME IS THAT?????

What are you doing today?

Sunday, December 18, 2011

An itty bitty tour of my decorations...

Goodness Gracious...I haven't posted since December 5.  Getting school closed up for the holidays was time consuming to the max but I do have a bit of decorating done.  I spent a lot of this afternoon in the dining room.  Minimalism is the word of the year in the sunroom and living room.  My lowcountry-themed tree is up and while I have a few up close photos of the ornaments, I couldn't seem to get a good one of the whole tree.  The mantle isn't done yet so hopefully there will be additional photos later this week.

Lorelai is home...Legare, being a working man, won't be in until the end of the week.  All of our gifts are purchased and the Christmas Day menu set...more on that later.  Enjoy the photos...I've surely been enjoying yours. Off to happy hour across the street...best neighbors in the world!!













Monday, December 5, 2011

Wish I'd had my camera...

So, last Friday night Hank and I went to a Christmas party at Ned's house. We picked up Mother to driver her across the street and she protested that she was NOT going because she was NOT invited. We played it cool...said, Oh well...you're welcome to go but if you don't want to, we'll see you later.  Cool works...wish I could be that way with her more often. She promptly got up, combed her hair and got in the car.

She spent the next two hours thinking that it was Christmas Day. Hey...she was happy. Ned sat beside her and let her hold his hand.  He's a good son.  A new fellow moved in on Friday and I'm sure he was a bit overwhelmed with all of the merry making.  Like Ned, he's lived at home with his mother his entire life. He's 52 and doesn't speak.  Mother kept trying to ask the poor guy questions.
After supper, there was an sing along.  One of the wonderful women who takes care of Ned and his buddies has a gorgeous voice...I contend that if given a chance, she could take on Susan Boyle. She sang White Christmas and Silent Night for us. When the group started with The Twelve Days of Christmas, Ned went to his room for his guitar.  He's been "playing" guitar since he was very young and is never without one.  Since everybody attending works at the home or has a relative living there, his performance was accepted with joy and love.  Hank did his best to get a photo with his phone. You'll see Ned toward the back strumming along.  What he lacks in playing the actual tune of a song, he makes up with steady rhythm and enthusiasm.  Scott (in chair) was celebrating his birthday along with our holiday party which explans why his dad is wearing a birthday cake hat.  We're QUITE a group...


We got our tree up yesterday...Lowcountry theme.  Hope to finish up the decorating tonight and concentrate on being Merry and Bright!  Have a good week..

Sunday, December 4, 2011

And what a night it was!!!!

Orange Bowl HERE WE COME!!!!!

It appears that they took my advice this week. 




The Duke Building Bathed in Orange and Purple!!!


Friday, December 2, 2011

My Inquiring Mind Wants to Know...

Where did the week go? 

I'm finishing my Christmas shopping tomorrow. How 'bout you?

My brother Ned is supposed to take a HANDMADE gift to a Christmas party.  I just hot-glued twine to three silver spray-painted pine cones.  Is that bad?

When Hank came downstairs at 5:45 this morning, he walked into the kitchen to find me holding a cup of coffee in one hand and a bottle of bourbon in the other.  Whatcha think about that??? 

In my defense, I was mixing up a sweet potato casserole for a dinner we're going to tonight...it called for 1/4 cup of bourbon.  You didn't really think I was drinking bourbon, did you?

Ten more school days until Christmas vacation!  Who's excited??

I need a good book to read...my "to read" shelf is bare.  Any ideas?

Have a fabulous weekend...I know I deserve one.  Don't you?

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Hmmmmm

Looks like I might have to move to Clemson and become a FOOTBALL COACH!!!!!!!!

For PETE'S SAKE DABO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Our Holiday in Review

So much going on that I feel compelled to make a list...

1.  We're thankful that Lorelai's foot is healing but it isn't quite there yet.  Our Charleston orthopedist has her continuing to wear the "boot" for another month and has forbidden her to give Clemson tours, one of her favorite activities.  Hopefully when the new semester starts in January, she'll be back at it.

2.  Hank is on his way back to the Aldersgate House via the farm with my brother Ned. We're going to start calling him Prince Ned because he absolutely expects to be waited on hand and foot. I was drinking coffee and looking at the paper this morning when he came in from the guest house.  He said "good morning" and walked on through the house.  After about 10 minutes, Hank said, "He's sitting at the kitchen table...I think he's waiting on somebody to come serve him breakfast."  So...I went on in there and made him some delicious cheese toast on my new Cuisinart griddle/grill.  When I put it in front of him, his response was, "this'll do." The boy s ROTTEN, I tell you! :)

3.  Legare picked up Mother and Ned on his way here Wednesday evening. We've decided that this will be the last time Mother leaves Green Grove to spend the night elsewhere. Our house is by NO means a mansion, yet she kept getting lost. When I took her back to Green Grove on Thursday afternoon, she told me at least 25 times (in an hour drive) that it was too much for us to come get her that morning and take her back in the afternoon, i.e., she did not remember that she'd spent the night.  Every time we rode by a house with a bunch of cars parked around, she'd wonder out loud why there were so many people there.  And every time, I'd tell her it was Thanksgiving Day and remind her that she'd just eaten turkey, dressing, and the works. As little as three minutes later, we'd pass another house and have the same conversation again. I honestly believe that at this point, we are not doing her any favors by disrupting her routine for holidays.  She also asked me a number of questions about a COUSIN who I rarely see and don't know too much about.  When I told her that I didn't know, she said, "You should be ashamed of yourself not knowing more about your grandchildren."  She thought I was her sister, Elizabeth. 

4.  Mother and my aunts used to go shopping every year on the day after Thanksgiving, LONG before anybody coined the term "black Friday."  It's not my cup of tea. I've found quite a few good deals online in the last 24 hours...all with free shipping.  No traffic...no crowds...(in most cases no sales tax), all from the comfort of home sweet home. By the time I go back to work on Monday morning, I'll have all of my Christmas decorations out, with the exception of the tree,  which will be next weekend's project.

5. Clemson vs. South Carolina state rivalry game tonight.  I'm not feeling good about it...sad to admit, but for true.

6.  Legare had to go back to Charlotte last night to work today and tomorrow.  Ah...the life of a first year associate.  He got his business cards last week...Legare Southern, Attorney at Law.  SWEET!!

7.  I got a little sad yesterday afternoon when I was packing up Legare's Christmas ornaments.  We've collected at least one ornament every year for each of our children since they were born, with the idea that when they and had their own Christmas trees, they'd not have NAKED trees like Hank and I did the first few Christmas after we were "grown." This was the year for Legare to take ownership of his ornaments (which he returned to Charlotte without, as they are still sitting in the bags at the bottom of our stairs). I guess his tree will be naked until I can get them to him.

8. Enjoy the rest of your holiday weekend.  I know I intend to...

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving Eve

The fresh cranberry relish is cooling on the kitchen counter.  The black walnut apple cake just went in the oven.  I'm drinking my second cup of D&D Manhattan Blend.  Lorelai made it home safely. Legare is going to collect Mother and Ned late this afternoon on his way down from Charlotte.  It's a bit dreary outside...a bit warm and muggy, but tomorrow is supposed to be nice and clear and cool.  I really don't mind a dreary day when I don't have to go anywhere.  And today....TODAY...I do NOT have to go anywhere.  I believe I hear a third cup of coffee calling my name...

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Congratulations to my University of South Carolina Friends

Congrats on your big win against state rival (and MY team) The Clemson Tigers.

Wait...the game isn't until NEXT Saturday???

Like I said, CONGRATULATIONS!!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Regarding Ned

Hank wanted to do a little hunting Satuday morning so we headed over to the farm on Friday night, picking up some Duke's BBQ and Ned along the way.  Ned loves going to the farm. 

Ned also likes to talk to himself...sort of.  He's done this since we were children. He doesn't talk too loud but when he thinks nobodyis listening, he sure enough talks to somebody.  Sometimes it appears to be our daddy, who passed away in 1981.  Other times, he seems to converse with our granddaddy, who died in 1967 and Ned wasn't born until 1968.  In any event, he has a big ol' time and chuckles from time to time. Ned has a special way of seeing the world so shoot, who am I to judge who may or my not be there even if I can't see them. (We don't think he does this too much at Green Grove, but boy howdy does he get going when he's over at the farm or here with us.)

He can also get going when somebody makes him mad...usually that would be yours truly. We got up on Saturday morning and had a pancake breakfast (made on my new Cuisinart griddle/sandwich grill...I ADORE this new toy of mine).  When I informed Ned that he was going to dry the dishes, he got disgruntled in a hurry...

Ned: Belle!!!!! I'm not drying dishes. Don't you know the rules???  At Green Grove, the STAFF washes the dishes.

Me: This is not Green Grove and I am not your staff.  I cooked and I'm washing dishes. You're more than capable of drying dishes. Get busy!

Whew...he got a frown on his face like you wouldn't believe, but started drying nonetheless. He took his time and when I finished washing and started making beds, I could hear him talking...and answering back.

Ned: She's always telling me what to do...she can't tell me what to do.  Just dry the dishes you can do it. She's not the boss of me. I'm not supposed to dry dishes, my job is to sweep the porch not dry the dishes. Nooooo, be nice now and dry the dishes. I wish she'd go home and leave me and Hank here at our farm. This place is not for girls. Be nice now, be nice.

I was saved from any further insult when Hank walked in and told Ned they'd go for a ride to check out the fields when he finished his chore. Hank is most definitely Ned's favorite.

Maybe I should move to Green Grove...I'd sure love to have "a staff!"  How about you?

Sunday, October 30, 2011

This and That

1.  I have a holiday from work tomorrow.  First one since school started.  Yippee!

2.  It's nice and cool here and I'm in an organizing for the holidays frame of mind, much to Hank's dismay.  On my day off tomorrow, I plan to run lots of errands, plan menus, and perhaps purchase a few Christmas gifts.

3.  My Tigers played STUPID football last night against Georgia Tech.  So...we're 8-1...surely not looking at any National Championship.  Hopefully the ACC and a decent Bowl game.

4.  Tune out now if you don't want to hear me whine for a minute or two.  Along with planning for holiday fun, this is also the time of year that Hank and I have to start grappling with how in the world we are going to deal with our mothers. My mother is getting worse by the day.  It's getting more and more difficult to be patient and harder to get her out of what I call "a loop"...i.e. when she asks the same question over and over (times 10) in an hour's time. Taking her away from Green Grove makes it worse.  Our children drive 3-4 hours one way to get home and they don't want to run the roads when they only have two or three days here.  Plus, Hank's mother, you may recall, left Green Grove after six months to go back home so she is 1.5 hours away from us one way while Mother is an hour in the opposite direction. Hank and I feel overwhelmed trying to accommodate everybody.

Last year, we went away for Thanksgiving and had a marvelous time. Just us and the children, while we relied on others to accommodate the little old ladies and Ned.  We consequently ran up and down the roads between here and there and there and here over Christmas. I guess I'm selfish but I want one holiday at home.  They can all come here...I'll cook and clean and all that...I'm a hard worker.  The more the merrier.  I love to entertain...especially during the holidays. Here's the dilemma with that.  On said holiday morn, one of us has to drive 90 minutes to hometown to get Hank's mother...then 90 minutes back here. Another person has to drive 60 minutes the other way to get Mother and Ned (although he'll probably be here already)...60 minutes back here.  THEN, the entire process has to be done AGAIN in the afternoon to take them back.  That's what...ten hours of driving all total? Heaven help us...it's frustrating.  Very very frustrating.  I know...I'm a bad bad person.

5.  OK, I'm done whining.

6.  Did I mention that I have tomorrow off???  DOUBLE YIPPEE!!!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

My brother Ned throws a Halloween party...

Y'all remember my brother Ned, right?  He and his buddies at the Aldersgate House threw (with a lot of help) a Halloween party last night.  We stopped by last Sunday on our way home from Clemson to help him decorate his room.  The pictures aren't great...he wanted it "spooky" and the light was so dim that the iPhone didn't get a good shot of all of the lights.  Anyhow, it was a good time for all.  We were supposed to dress up and good golly, I'm so beat on Friday afternoons that I wore my regular Clemson game Friday outfit straight from school, declaring myself to be Clemson's Number One Fan!  Hank wore a Clemson shirt and cap, so we were quite a pair.  Ned was a hunter...

The photos aren't great, but I hope you'll enjoy them. Ned is always "up."  Never sad or depressed.  We are so blessed that he has such a lovely home and so many wonderful people to care for him.








SO...how are you loving this last one.  Mother told me to find her a costume and the little devil that sits on my left shoulder kept saying, "Buy the witch hat...buy the witch hat...buy the witch hat."

Hope you have a safe and happy Halloween.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Bliss...

Bliss: "supreme happiness; utter joy or contentment"
       
Powerful.  Yes?

I have to tell you...on the now rare occasions that our children visit, no matter what is going on, I have moments of absolute bliss.

Lorelai and I went out and about yesterday...shopping, talking.  What a fabulous day we had in our favorite Charleston boutiques...clothes, shoes.  We got home just in time to relax a little before the Clemson/Maryland game.  Hank fried some fish and we "ate good" as my uncle used to say, while watching the game.  HOLY COW...the boys scared us to death for better than half of the game but they brought it home in the end.
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In the words of Coach Dabo Swinney after the game...


“I love these guys – I’m so proud of them…Matthew 14 says ‘let your light shine’…That’s what I told ‘em, and that’s what they did – like a city on the mountaintop…I can’t wait to get back home to Clemson and celebrate once again…. To come from 18 behind, which I think is the second greatest comeback in the history of the school…that’s about the players…That’s the heart of our football team and the character of our football team and of our staff.”
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Hank, Lor, and I were exhausted from the roller coaster ride but happy...you might even say we enjoyed a moment of bliss in that our Clemson Tigers are now 7-0 for the season.

Now I know that a lot of the credit lies with quarterback Tajh Boyd, but at our house we're completely and utterly crushing on #2 Sammy Watkins and #23 Andre' Ellington, a hometown boy.  Sammy is a true freshman and there is already Heisman talk.  WHOO HOO!



Lorelai is getting ready to change from her Lilly to her camouflage and head to the farm with her daddy to sit in a deer stand.  That's our little lowcountry gal (and a daddy who will be supremely happy, especially if she shoots well).

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Clearly...

Clearly, my idea that this school year would be different in that I'd have ALL kinds of time to blog and read blogs was flawed.  This Tuesday will mark the end of the first quarter...life is good, but busy.  Of course, Clemson football takes up a lot of our time, but not this weekend.  It's fall break and Clemson is at Maryland tonight.  Hank is hunting (deer) and Lorelai and I are going hunting (clothes, shoes, makeup).

Legare completed his pro bono hours at the public defender's office yesterday and starts at the FIRM on Monday morning.

Oop....Lor is hollering, "MAMA, I'm ready when you are..."

Better scoot...more later.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

50 and 3 days Old

Ah...the birthday surprises!  Meg and Will arrived on schedule and as we sat watching the South Carolina/Auburn game, SUE walked in the back door.  Are you believing that she let her daughter take the Florida/Alabama tickets?  This, my friends, is how I know without a doubt that she loves me without reservation. Louis; however, was not with her...family reunion and all of that.

About an hour later Hank walked out of the den and, so I thought, opened the back door to let the dog out. A minute or so later, I felt a pat on the head and a deep voice saying, I heard somebody has a birthday. It was LOUIS!  Here is what he did to get here for my birthday...

Last Wednesday, he flew from Jacksonville to Charleston.  He rented a car and drove to Florence for meetings on Thursday. On Friday, he drove from there to Rocksboro, NC, to visit an aunt and uncle, cook Brunswick stew half the night, and go to the Saturday morning portion of the reunion....jumped back in the rental car after lunch and drove the five hours here. Sunday afternoon, he took the rental back to the Charleston airport and drove back to Florida with Sue.

Hank outdid himself in the planning and the keeping of two big secrets.  I truly felt "celebrated" the entire weekend.

Dinner at Peninsula Grill is always a treat and was made even BETTER by sharing it with friends we love so dearly.  Our waiter asked me if there was anything special he could do for me...my response was PLEASE...can you give me regular updates on the Clemson/Va Tech game?  Not only did he do just that, he got other staff members involved and ultimately I got another big present...CLEMSON ROCKED VA TECH.

I was so excited about all of my surprises that I walked out of the house without my camera.  Louis and Will both took photos of us Rowdy Girls but didn't send them to me.  I'll have to get on them about that.  Meanwhile, I'll just enjoy the memories of being celebrated...50 ain't half bad!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

My Birthday Weekend

I will be 50 years old tomorrow. 50!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
YIKES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

There is a birthday surprise in the works and you know how I absolutely do NOT like NOT knowing what is going on.

Here is what I do know...Legare is in Boston having a big time.  Lorelai is in Clemson having a big time. Their mother is in CRISIS and they are in other places having BIG OLD TIMES.

Here is what else I know...Meg and Will are coming in this afternoon.  Another person or persons will also be arriving at some point to spend the night but I don't know who it is.  It is not Sue and Louis because Louis has a family reunion. REALLY, Louis????  A family reunion????? 

Sue has tickets to the Florida/Alabama game so I really can't blame her as I'd likely throw her under the bus for football as well.  

I also believe that we are going to dinner at Peninsula Grill. That was my request.

About an hour ago, Hank said, Go pack an overnight bag.  We're going to the airport and on to Virginia for the Clemson/Virginia Tech game tonight.  I got ALL excited.  My heart went pitty pat. He was making all that up. 

So...what really happens when a belle turns 50???   Stay tuned!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Tiger Roared LOUDLY

(Just so you'll know, Lorelai had a little fender bender on the way to class on Friday morning...she ran into the person in front of her...everybody is OK...little damage to the other car...some to hers but repairs can wait until the Christmas holidays when she's home...)

What a fabulous day Saturday was in Clemson.  The weather was gorgeous...cool and perfect for football. The Tigers knocked Auburn (the reigning national champions) right off their two year (17 game) winning streak.  It was BEAUTIFUL to watch. The score-Clemson 38...Auburn 24.  Looks like they're missing ol' Cam Newton. I'm trying to get used to pulling for him in his new role with the Carolina Panthers.  Old habits die hard...

Since it was a noon game, we cooked breakfast.  Eggs, bacon, bagels, muffins, crisp red apples, frappacino, and mimosas. We fed 11 hungry Clemson guys and gals and loved EVERY minute of it.

I'm working on a pot of French Onion soup. Lots of red wine in it and my new secret ingredient...truffle salt.  (Don't tell anybody...) This is just the kind of Sunday afternoon I love...overcast and cool.  I'll get a bunch done today and believe me, I need to.

Enjoy a couple of pictures from yesterday.



Sunday, September 11, 2011

Shopping with Mother and Ned

Ned was a great shopper yesterday.  We got pajamas, socks, jeans, shirts...couldn't find any shoes he liked but he's OK for now.

Mother...a great shopper?  NOT so much.

She didn't like anything....and she's going to be going barefoot soon if she doesn't get some everyday shoes. When a person will only wear ONE pair of shoes except on Sundays, the shoes wear out fast.

I get so tickled sometime. She always talks about how much she loves her sister's clothes. I pulled a lovely blouse off of a rack and told her she should try it on.  "That's ugly," she said.  Gotta love Ned, who spoke up saying, "Aunt Elizabeth wears one like that."  Consequently, I couldn't resist adding, "Mother...he says that 'Lisabeth has a blouse like this.  Are you implying that she wears ugly clothes?"

Mother didn't respond to my remark but came back with, "My ear hurts.  Remember last time my ear hurt I fell into a wall."

We went back to Green Grove.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Pray For Me

I'm headed out to take Mother and Ned shopping.

Enough said...

Monday, September 5, 2011

Clemson...Heat...Children...Ted...Husk...Cemetery...Bush Hog...Massage

Confused much?  The title summarizes all of the themes from our weekend. 

1. Legare came home for the weekend with his pal Robert in tow, so Hank and I decided to make the ride up to Clemson and back a day trip. Have mercy...it was 4895 degrees up there, but thankfully the Tigers gave us a win. We agree; however, that we're just too old and creaky of bone to do it all in one day if we don't have to. Three and a half hours there, three hours of tailgate, three and a half hours of game, an hour of dinner, and three and a half hours back home. We got back on a wing and a prayer, took showers, and collapsed. It was great,though, to get to spend a little bit of time with Lorelai and her friends.

2. Sunday was worth having pushed our limits on Saturday.  Hank, Legare, Robert, and I met our friend Ted at Husk for brunch. Chef Sean Brock is transitioning to his fall menu and it was delightful.  I was particularly pleased about the new dessert menu. Ted, Legare and I tasted the peach cobbler, frozen chocolate peanut butter terrine, and oatmeal pie. Robert and Hank chose liquid dessert in the form of a second round of jalapeno-infused mimosas.

3.  I may not have shared with you that Ted is an honest to goodness licensed tour guide for the City of Charleston. Even though he hasn't actually given tours in a number of years, he is a great resource. If he doesn't know an answer off the top of his head, he's got a book about it somewhere on his shelf. For some time now, we'd been talking about going out to Magnolia Cemetery. Hank and I have lived in the lowcountry our entire lives...the last 28 years in the Charleston area and neither of us had ever been there. Neither had Legare...and Robert...well, Robert ain't from 'round here anyhow.  After brunch we headed spent some time communing with the dead with Ted in the lead. I have a bunch of great photos, including one of Robert trying to give Legare a $100 bill if he'll just hop down and lie on one of the "shelves" in a 6 foot deep open grave.  Legare declined.

4.  After we got back home on Sunday afternoon, Hank decided to collect Ned and stay over at the farm so that he could do some bush hogging of the roads today. He must be having fun because he's still at it.

5.  DISCLAIMER:  I am not being paid in any form or fashion for the following endorsement.  While Hank "farmed" today, I went for a massage A couple of months ago, I went to Massage Envy on a whim.  I filled out all of the paperwork for membership before I left that afternoon. I am a spa snob...I admit it...but...the Massage Envy location nearest me is INCREDIBLE!  True, it isn't decorated like a spa.  They don't offer hot tea or juice, but shoot, for $57 a month I get one massage. If I decided I want two, the second is only $39. That is two for the price of one "spa" massage and I've got to tell you, the last spa massage I had at Stella Nova a few weeks ago was a colossal disappointment. My friend Sue had one the same day and agreed with me wholeheartedly. I highly recommend that you go to Massage Envy and have the reduced-price introductory massage. If you know my real name, tell them that I sent you.

Pictures soon...Have a great week.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Legare Has PASSED the Bar Exam!!

Life is good!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

And so it begins...

I suppose you can see that school has started since it's been two weeks since a blog post. I'm happy to report that open houses, orientations, and the first four days of the school year went smoothly.  Only 176 students days left until summer vacation 2012.  Oh, who am I kidding...I missed those little darlins' over the summer.

Legare is all moved into his new condo in Charlotte.  Hank and I headed up there last weekend to do what we could to help. There was a little shopping and as always, a lot of eating. We need to find more healthy way to celebrate.  While awaiting the bar results, he'll begin this week doing pro bono work for his firm until he is sworn in as a member of the NC Bar in late Sepember or early October. 

Lorelai, who paid her dear sweet loving and generous parents VERY little attention over the summer unless we were facilitating her Grand Tour or throwing her 21st birthday jubilee, is back in Clemson and posting remarks on her FB page like, "home home home...I'm so happy to be home" and "I love this place with all my heart".  She means CLEMSON...not her lowcountry home.  She's about to hurt our feelings. I'm just sayin'...She'd better do less playing and more organizing to take the GRE so she can get into grad school next year. Our family rule...when you're no longer a student, the gravy train ENDS

Legare rolled home for the weekend to do some clothes shopping.  In our family, lowcountry men do a lot of shopping at M. Dumas and Sons. Once you get accustomed to the quality clothing they carry and their incredible service, you don't want to shop anywhere else.  His luck was "on" and he found three handsome suits which were on sale to boot.  Here is a recap of our day.

Taco Boy...Dumas...Grady Erwin...Bob Ellis...JCrew...movie The Help...Whole Foods...Food Truck Rodeo.  (Again with the food theme...we can't help it...).  We actually happened upon the food truck event by accident.  I stood in line for a solid HOUR for Diggity Donuts (they have a FB page if you're interested). As strange as it sounds, the strawberry and heirloom tomato donut was beyond delicious. 

Have a great week...TWO WEEKS UNTIL CLEMSON FOOTBALL!!!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Summer Accomplishments

Even summer is far from over and even though it is 789 degrees outside, this is the last day of summer for me. School officially starts tomorrow for our teachers. That means I'm back a DEFCON 1 every weekday, although Hank remarked this morning that he surely was glad that this year's start is not like last year's start.  I'm so much more calm and collected, and here's the magical secret...I halfway know what I'm doing.  Last year...not a clue!  Oh, I thought I knew it ALL.  How hard could the high school principal business be...I mean, REALLY!  They say that ignorance is bliss and boy howdy was I an ignoramus of the highest order last year this time. 

Summer 2011 has been quite a bit more laid back than that of 2010. Here are a few happenings in no particular order...

Lorelai went to Italy for a month AND turned 21.  She's headed back to Clemson in another week or so for her SENIOR year.  I can hardly believe it.

Legare graduated from law school at Chapel Hill and as of yesterday is a full time resident of Charlotte. The bar exam has been taken and he starts work in a week...an honest to goodness grown up person job in a tip top law firm. I'm pretty sure that I'm not supposed to be trying to run his life anymore. It's going to be hard. In case you didn't know, I'm a bossy individual.

While we didn't take a formal vacation, Hank and I spent some quality time at the summerhouse, enjoying the water and the boat. A little shopping here, a lot of eating there. The older we get, the more we appreciate the simple things.

I got a new refrigerator..not because we wanted one but because the old one died.  LOVE the new one...Samsung French Door model.

I didn't accomplish my weight loss goals but will keep on trying...

I took it easy...A LOT!  It was nice.  I read books and cooked and tried to organize this, that and the other.  Still a lot to organize...there's always next summer.

To end the summer on a positive note, my best friend Sue and her daughter Anna Lee spent the weekend with us. I made appointments for the two of them, Lorelai, and me to spend yesterday morning at Stella Nova, a wonderful Charleston spa. Sue and I laughed all afternoon long (and last night and this morning) about our massages. We had the same guy and he apparently had something against massaging feet...and he had no appreciation for symmetry. I want the same massage on my right arm that I get on my left arm...same on the right leg as the left leg.  (OK...I know...you understand symmetry...) Somehow, I feel lopsided. The girls laughed and laughed at us.

Anyhow...back to serious business tomorrow morning bright and early.  I hope you've had a wonderful summer...the best ever. 

SO tell me...was it all you hoped it would be??

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Analyze This...

So...not only do Hank and I write checks (or make an online payment) for our own bills each month, but we also are responsible for making sure that the bills of the following people get paid each month...
1. My mother    2. Ned    3.  Hank's mother.

Now before you go thinking that we're these wonderful generous people, we aren't paying their bills with our money...they have their own money.  We just receive the bills and write the checks from their accounts.  I deal with Mother and Ned, and Hank deals with his mother. 

It can be time consuming, but I wouldn't go so far as to say that it's a burden.  I'm thankful that they're all blessed with enough income to cover the bills...so many people struggle to get things taken care of for elderly or disabled relatives.

Here's the thing.  I'm organized...I have everything in Quicken and payments go in the mail around the first of the month...everything except the Green Grove check and the pharmacy bill because I don't receive those until around the 10th.  Easy peasy...right?

This is where you analyze...I get really ticked off when I go to address envelopes.  No problem when an envelope is included or pre-addressed.  Just the ones for Ned's house mostly... Isn't that odd?  As a matter of fact, I'm feeling my blood pressure go up just typing this post about addressing the envelopes, which I did about 15 minutes ago.  That's two blood pressure spikes within half an hour, which can't be good.

Lord have mercy...I'm TOUCHED in the head.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Events of the Week

Big Event #1- Lorelai's 21st Birthday

Big Event #2- Legare and the Bar Exam, North Carolina style.

Details:  Hank and I took Lorelai and friends to Oku on upper King.  The food was fabulous and our server appropriately interested and excited about the birthday celebration.  After dinner, we moved our party down to Charleston Place, where we had a toast to the birthday girl and then presented Lorelai and her gal pals with keys to a room for the night at Charleston Place.  We then proceeded to drive our tired "parents of the birthday girl" selves home and left the "young folks" (as my grandmama would say) downtown to enjoy the nightlife. By all accounts they had a wonderful time.  Several handsome young men joined them through the pub crawl, which I'm told covered eight to ten city blocks, from the Market back to upper King. Her gift from Hank and me was the birthday celebration, along with her recent trip to Italy. Legare is providing her with tickets to the Hootie and the Blowfish concert over on Daniel Island in August.  Mother and Ned gave her a gorgeous bag...I'll show you a photo in another post.  You're gonna want one...I'm just saying...

Legare sat for the Bar Exam on Tuesday and Wednesday in Raleigh. He's relieved (and we're relieved) that the exam has finally come and gone. He worked diligently to prepare.  Now the really hard part comes...the WAITING!  Several of his friends who are already practicing have told me that the weeks between exam and results were torture and really played with their minds...second guessing and all that. Legare will be focusing this next week on getting packed and moved from Chapel Hill to Charlotte.  After that, he'll sort of be at loose ends until he begins work in October.  I think I'm going to make all of mother's doctor appointments and let him take her.  THAT, my friends, will keep him busy (and will likely also play with his mind....)

I don't have any bar exam photos, as you surely understand; however, I have a few of Lorelai's special night.  She's lucky to have such wonderful friends to share the fun with...





Saturday, July 23, 2011

Hubba Hubba

I was looking through some older posts and starting laughing out loud when I got to this one. Hope you enjoy this oldie but goodie from 2009.
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Ned's housemate Scott celebrated his birthday on Sunday afternoon, so Hank and I rode over to enjoy the fun. Scott's parents brought a few friends over and one of the young ladies in the group brought "the music." They all danced and laughed and had a ball to the likes of Beyonce and Kanye. Mother was feeling better, so Hank went and picked her up for the short ride across the street.

Let me tell you, you haven't lived (or been scarred for life) until you've seen your 81 year old mother dance around the room to the good old standard, "if you like it then you shoulda put a ring on it." She was so into it that I couldn't get a good photo. Sorry 'bout that.

We got a real charge out of watching Ned. Having spent his 20s and 30s at home with mother and mostly friends of her generation, he doesn't have much of an appreciation for some of today's party music or dance moves. Ned is a country music kind of guy. While mother was dancing, I asked Ned who he thought was singing the song. He replied, "I think it might be Barbara Mandrell." I wonder what Beyonce would think about that...or Barbara Mandrell for that matter. Barb might be up for it...I mean, she WAS country when country wasn't cool!!

I can safely say that a good time was had by all, although I might have had just a touch of a headache by the time we started back home. Ned topped it all off for me when he sat down to eat his pizza and said, "Hubba hubba."

And so it goes in the Land of Belle...

Here's a little slideshow for your viewing pleasure...


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Summerhouse Weekend

Last weekend, Hank and I left Lorelai in charge of house and home while we slipped away to the summerhouse. We were lazy lazy people most all weekend long. We meandered into Beaufort proper to run a couple of errands and have some lunch on Saturday.  Otherwise, we we're doing one of the following: sitting in our lounge chairs on the dock, riding in the boat, reading, eating, or sleeping. When we felt especially energetic, we'd do two of those things at the same time.  Like sitting in a lounge chair AND reading. Yes, indeedy, we're crazy adventurous like that sometimes.

I'm no great photographer, but I did play around with my camera a bit.  Enjoy...

This last photo is the view straight across the water from our lounge chairs on the dock.