Monday, December 31, 2012

Our Glamorous New Year's Eve

I'm writing this post at halftime of the Chick-fil-A Bowl where our Clemson Tigers are at the Georgia Dome taking on LSU.  Hank is asleep in his chair. 

I'm wearing a very chic long-sleeved red and white Piggly Wiggly t-shirt and charcoal grey yoga pants. My ensemble is completed by horizontal striped fuzzy socks in chocolate brown and champagne. Hank is very GQ in navy sweatpants and a formerly yellow t-shirt that is faded to perfection.

We dined on Hank's famous shrimp and grits...white wine for Hank and Pepsi for me.

What sort of GLAM are you and yours up to this fair New Year's Eve?? 

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Sleepy Saturday

Not sure why I think that's a catchy post title since almost the entire last week has been "sleepy."  I love having vacation but I'm a disaster when there's no structure to my day. I do not want to go back to work on Wednesday, yet I DO want to go back to work on Wednesday just to get back into a routine.

Last night we stayed up late watching the second season of Downton Abbey again in preparation for the new season. Hank has gone over to Hometown for a little reunion of sorts with some of his daddy's people. Legare and Richard have gone to Howard's for breakfast. I think I'm going to run to the grocery store and cook up a big supper.

The one thing I really missed on Christmas was my own dressing. Baking a chicken and fixing a down home supper for tonight sounds like a good use of my afternoon.

Lorelai is instagramming photos of her NYC adventure. Poor Beau...he'll be a good man if he survives five days in the city with her and her friends.

This photo says it all...and was taken on Day 1!!  Look how cute she is with that little pouty face and those hands on thos hips!! Oh my makes me laugh out loud!!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Sweet Rest, Resolutions, and Random Thoughts

Happy Do Nothing Day was a wonderful success, followed up by an equally impressive Happy Do Just A Little Bit More Than Yesterday Day. Today is Happy Piddle Around Day. A little cleaning, a little shopping, a little blogging. Hank and I are going to begin YOGA today. I took a class for a short time some years ago and felt SO relaxed and clear-headed, which for me is saying something.

Lorelai left this morning for New York...Legare is coming in tonight for the long weekend.

I am SO thankful for a few days of vacation!!

I'm not a maker of resolutions...has always seemed like a way of setting myself up for failure. For whatever strange reason; however, I feel like making a few for 2013....not firm on them yet but am pondering the following:

1.  Work will not rule my life.
2.  Work will not rule my life.
3.  Work will not rule my life.
4.  Work will not rule my life.
5.  Work will not rule my life.

I'm NOT kidding...I'm seriously considering 1 through 5 above.

What are you considering???

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Happy Do Nothing Day

Hope that you and yours had a wonderful Christmas Day.  I always admire and am a little jealous of folks whose holiday goes without a hitch. Ours never does...not actual Christmas Day anyway.

Christmas Eve was great...relaxing. Dinner at Peninsula Grill with our children and Lorelai's beau, Beau. Good food and fun...although I probably had a little more "fun" than I should have. Thankfully, I'm even MORE delightful after a couple of the Grill's southern manhattens with those little brandy soaked cherries, IF you can imagine. To top it all off, Legare grabbed the check from Hank and declared the entire evening his treat.

Mother's family all convened at Green Grove for dinner at noon on Christmas Day. There were 30 of us and it was as pleasant as Christmas dinner in a nursing home could be, I suppose. Both mother and her sister Elizabeth appeared mostly dazed and confused but we, the family, did the best we could under the circumstances.

All the more reason, my friends, to declare today Happy Do Nothing Day. In this world, there is rarely rest for the weary (or wicked, as the case may be). I slept late...VERY. Ate left over Creme Brulee for breakfast. Have NO intention whatsoever of putting on any make-up or clothing other than sweats...with warm socks and NO shoes. And watching TV. And catching up on blogs. And maybe taking a nap. Hank is going hunting...only a few days left of the season. Lorelai and her beau, Beau are headed to NYC in a couple of days to shop a bit and spend New Year's Eve with her best friend Amanda.

Legare will be back in town with friends in tow for New Years. Hank and I will declare New Year's Eve to be another Happy Do Nothing Day and flop down in front of the TV to watch our Tigers play in the Chick-fil-a Bowl.

I leave you with a few photos...I particularly love the one of our family. Seems like we only get a family photo once a year at Christmas.

Lorelai and Beau


I insisted that the "children" go outside and leave oats for the reindeer. One of them threw oats in my hair...I suspect Legare, as his facial expression implies that he is more than pleased about something!
 Ned came home with us to spend Christmas night. We took him for his first trip ever to Starbucks. He's a convert!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Are you fearful of having a screening colonscopy? Don't be!

This won't be the most elegant post I've ever written for sure; however, it is an important one. If you or your parents are 50 years or older and have not had a screening colonoscopy, IT'S TIME.

Because of a family history of cancer,  Hank had his at 45 and thankfully so, because he had several pre-cancerous polyps at that time. He's had two more screenings since then with no problems noted so he's been released for five years.

Today, I had mine...I'd been dodging the whole idea for a year, but finally decided to put on my big girl britches and make the appointment....oddly, having to take off my big girl britches for the procedure. (I'm SORRY...that is a horrible joke but I could not resist...there is still residual anesthesia in my system.Yep, that's my story and I'm sticking to it!)

If you're in our area, I highly recommend Dr. Eddie Irions at Charleston Gastroenterology. Dr. Mullins, the anesthesiologist was also tip top. On our way to the "room" we talked about colleges and our kids and my job as a educator. Once inside, he put a couple of shots of something glorious into the IV and the next thing I know, I'm waking up from a blissful nap back the recovery area with Hank by my side. There was one polyp...might be pre-cancerous, might not. Let's pray for not. In any event, I'll go back in either three years or five years depending on the lab results.

I didn't want to go...but now that's it's over, I'm so glad I did. We got back home about 10:30 and I went straight to bed for a five hour nap. Not much sleep last night...but not because I was nervous. The most aggravating part of the process was drinking the prep/cleanse. Not fun, but tolerable. Only clear liquids yesterday with one dose at 5:00 p.m. and another at midnight. The midnight dose kept me up until about 3:30 a.m. and we had to be in the car on our way at 6:00 a.m...hence today's long nap.

Colon cancer is treatable when caught early. If' you're "about that age" do not delay.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Clemson Football: Military Appreciation Day

My camera has been acting up for awhile now but I was able to coax it into giving me a few good photos several weeks ago at the Military Appreciation Day ball game at Clemson. We haven't missed a home game this year...another reason for my neglect of the blog, I suppose.
The Military Appreciation game is my favorite of every touching.  Daniel Rodriguez is Number 83 and a combat veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan. He was awarded a Bronze Star with Valor and a Purple Heart for his bravery. At halftime, the Clemson community honored the two pilots who provided air cover for Daniel and his unit during an ambush. We're proud of him!  OH...and we beat the mud out of Virginia Tech!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Why I have been a bad blogger...

Answer...I haven't the slightest idea...just got into some kind of slump.

Best idea I have to get back in the groove is to give you some sort of random list of thoughts.

1.  Hank's retirement is going SO well. He is one happy camper and has gotten a big part of his honey-do list accomplished, including renovations to our kitchen in the way of the ceiling and appliances, replacement of the tired old heating and air system upstairs AND refinancing of our mortgage to a much lower interest rate. He's checking in on the little old ladies once a week, filled a couple of coolers with shrimp, AND killed the ten point buck that he's been after for awhile now. I rarely have to go into a grocery store and he's even working on his culinary skills.  Life is good.

2.  We've begun attending a new church...Second Presbyterian in Charleston. It's lovely, although they probably do not think we're so lovely as the fall of the year wasn't the smartest time to transition since we're in Clemson so many weekends. We'll redeem ourselves after Thanksgiving.

3.  School has been going well, although the local elections this year were a bit nerve wracking for reasons that I will not go into. In the end, all is well.

4.  Part of the reason, I think, I've been AWOL actually has to do with the elections. I got so weary of reading silly and/or mean things/opinions. Some people have some crazy ideas...I'll leave it at that.

5.  Legare is fine...traveling for work a fair amount. He says it's not glamorous because all he sees are airports and office buildings. Occasionally he'll be somewhere where he knows somebody and enjoys the chance to grab dinner to catch up. Last week he called as he was waiting in the airport for a shuttle to Washington. I inquired as to where he was staying and he said, The Hay-Adams. You know what...that sounds relatively glamorous to me. I was assured that he generally stays in a Hampton Inn but when traveling with a partner, one gets to stay where he or she stays. Like I said...sounds REALLY good to me.

6.  Lorelai is wrapping up her second semester of her Master's Degree program in School Counseling. As you may remember, she's been serving as a nanny for an adorable 2 year old and her equally adorable 6 month old brother. They are giving Miss Lorelai a run for her money. I ain't EVEN lying. We get a phone call with a new story every other day. It's rather amusing seeing two car seats in the backseat of her little Honda. Speaking of school, while she's ready to be out in the big world making money, she enjoys her classes and will be giving up the nanny business after the holidays because of her next semester class load, which includes the start of many MANY hours of field experience.

7.  Ned is fine. Mother and Hank's mother are mostly fine. Aunt Elizabeth is fine. Holidays; however, will be something else. Taking mother out of Green Grove, even for a few hours wears on everybody's nerves. She talks non-stop about the same thing over and over. Last week, Hank took all three of them to the farm for a few hours. Lots of cotton in our fields just now and mother went on and on and ON about how WHITE the cotton is. At one point, Elizabeth (always the southern lady) said, just need to calm down and stop talking quite so much. After awhile, Hank's mother chimed in...Victoria, cotton has ALWAYS been white. After awhile longer, Elizabeth, at the end of her rope, said, VICTORIA...FOR GOD'S SAKE...STOP TALKING SO MUCH!!!

God bless Hank...the afternoon was capped of with Elizabeth, deeply desiring to be in a "better place" than Mother and Hank's mother, insisted on helping to straighten up the house and lock up.  Hank looked over to find her trying to lock the door with her Green Grove room key from around her neck. To her credit, she realized her mistake before he had to say anything. Later, as he walked her back to her room, she said, I'm sorry for misbehaving.  Mother, on the other hand, was still talking about the white cotton.

Upward and onward my friends...hope somebody out there is still ready. Hopefully, this post marks my return to blogland.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Being Stove Up...and Football

I'm mindful of age today...partly because I have a birthday in October but mainly because it was hotter than the hinges of hell yesterday at the ballgame in Clemson and THEN we drove the whole 3 plus hours home without stopping. We are "all stove up" as my grandmama used to say...meaning we are moving slow today. Hank did go out for a walk awhile ago. I sat on the sunroom couch and stalked my children and their friends on FB.

OH...look at the adorable shoes I found on sale at Steinmart on Friday night!  I got lots of compliments on them at the game. The laces REALLY rock, don't they?

We did have a great time yesterday, in spite of the heat. It was a 12:30 game so we did a brunch tailgate for Lorelai and assorted friends. Our Tigers won handily, eventually playing third string players. I love it when those guys get time on the field. It appears that our backup quarterback is pretty good, all things considered. Nice! My intent was to take pictures with my iPad but the glare was awful. Didn't take a one.The camera goes in the bag next weekend.

Poor Legare...his Tar Heels had a bad day at Wake. Unfortunately for him, his Furman Paladins are probably going to have a bad day next Saturday at Clemson. Hank and I need to put together "house divided" outfits...thing is that Furman's colors are purple and white. Clemson's are orange, purple, and white. It will be hard to tell the Furman people from the Clemson people.

I think there is an old FU t-shirt up in his closet.  I KID you NOT!  FU for Furman University. Furman, otherwise known as "The Country Club of the South" holds a special place in our hearts...the boy had four wonderful years there.

I'm feeling like a couple of ibuprofen and a nap.  What are you up to?

Monday, September 3, 2012

My Annual Presidential Election Year Post

I'm not fond of labels and certainly not fond of propaganda. I'm reasonably smart and not crazy (and to paraphrase Dr. Sheldon Cooper...I know I am/am not because my mother had me tested) and I read a lot. I am also reasonably intuative. I do NOT assume that everybody I know agrees with me from a political standpoint, nor that they are any less smart or intuitive than I just because their politics differ from mine.

And that's OK. People who know me well know that I'm the kind of gal who stands by her convictions.  And while I have strong opinions and would love nothing more for everybody in the world to agree with me (because I'm so smart and not one bit crazy, don't you know...), never ever will everybody in the world have a desire to live in the sunshine of my opinions in the Land of Belle.

I consider myself an independent but have probably voted more often for candidates on the Democratic ticket. I have never ever just hit the straight ticket button.

Having said thus, and agreeing that folks surely are entitled to put what they desire on their blogs or Facebook pages, my bottom line is this:

I don't have time or energy for all sorts of negative dithering about between now and Election Day. I've got football games to attend...tailgate parties to organize...and work. That high school isn't going to run itself.

Certainly, I'm always up for good discussion and a respectful exchange of ideas. Not so much the name calling and vitriol.

You vote your conscience and I'll vote mine.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Hank, the Little Old Ladies, and Family Reunions

My husband is a brave man!

Last Sunday, Hank picked up his mother at "the home" and took her back to Hometown for a family reunion. Being the brave man that he is, he decided to carry her to church and to transport "Miss" Peggy, who celebrated her 90th birthday two weeks ago, around too.

It's an hour drive from here to the home and another hour from the home to Hometown. By the time he got Miss Peggy loaded up from her house and made it to the church...the country church that both little old ladies have attended all their lives...they were late. Now hang with me here...

The music director, Gator (he has a real  name but I don't know what it is...have only ever heard him called Gator) was at the podium announcing a hymn. As Hank's merry little band walked in, Hank's mother HOLLERED from the back of the sanctuary, "Hey there Gator!!"  to which I am told he replied, "Hey there Betty!!!" then went back on about his business.

So...the service continued and seeing as it was the end of summer and new Sunday School classes were about to start up, it was incumbent upon the superintendent of Sunday School, Mr. Clary Mole to give a report and hand out awards for perfect attendance and so forth. It got to be about a quarter to twelve and he was 30 minutes into his part of the service and seemed to have no intention of wrapping things up...and the preacher hadn't even read the scripture yet, much less started the sermon AND the family reunion started at 12:30 at the Shrine Club clear back to town and around the other side. Miss Peggy started to get twitchy. She does NOT like to be late to family reunions. SO she sat up straight and tall in the pew next to Hank and said...not softly...Doesn't he KNOW what TIME it IS?  Hank replied, "No ma'am, I don't think he does. Let's go on ahead over to the reunion." And they did. Hank reckoned that he really didn't have anything to lose at that point.

The reunion was enjoyable, except that for several years in a row now, Miss Peggy has just missed winning the prize for being the oldest person there. She's always a tiny bit disappointed, I think. Not that she wishes the one person older than her any just might be nice it that person stayed home one year. I mean, really, who doesn't like to win a prize?

Sunday, August 26, 2012

A Big Green Egg

We went out for non-perishable tailgate supplies yesterday afternoon and came back home with a Big Green Egg.  So...anybody have a Big Green Egg?  Any advice?

Saturday, August 25, 2012

The Week the Kids Came Back...Football Season

Lawsamercy! The students arrived back at school bright and early last Monday morning. I spent 54 hours in the building proper, then another nine or so working early and/or late at home. My feet tell me that 90% of those hours were spent walking around. I need to get on the scale and see if I've lost any weight!

All in all, it was a very VERY good week. Normal glitches but nothing catastrophic. A few parent conferences already. Rules are rules and Mrs. Southern does NOT play!

Saving a magnet high school, we do not have an athletic program.While my colleagues were sweating it out on football fields last night, I got to be at home with my feet propped up. Nice!

Today, Hank and I are inventorying our tailgate supplies and are about to head of to pick up our season's supply of non-perishable items. Aw, who am I way we'll make it through the season. Maybe through September.

The first Clemson game of the season is on the road at Auburn. Ned will be here with us for Labor Day weekend and we'll tailgate in the backyard (or kitchen, depending on the humidity), hunker down in front of the TV and hope for the best. My man Sammy Watkins is suspended for two games. He made a BAD bad decision back in the spring. He is being punished and we shall not ever speak of it again.

As we start to get into the spirit of the season, a few photos from seasons gone by... (Edit...tried anyhow...blogger is not being cooperative w/ picture uploads just now!)

Saturday, August 18, 2012

One Season Ends and Another Begins

Yes...I know that summer doesn't not officially end for a few weeks; however, in the Land of Belle summer ends when school starts. Principalship 3.0  (and Fall) began for me last Monday morning when our teacher arrived back at work ready to go for the new school year. We had a great week. Several new staff members are bringing fresh perspectives and our Parent Open House and New Student Orientation were both successful beyond my dreams.

I'm going own up to being a little weary today. While summers in a school building are busy, it's mostly planning and paperwork with a few meetings thrown in here and there. The minute the teachers return that changes and when the kids arrive...LAWD...we rock and roll all day long.

Crazy me...I'm tired...but I love every minute of it. Even the challenging minutes.To help parents and children make good decisions about the future and to facilitate smooth transitions for them from one level in life to another....well, the pay ain't much but the rewards are great!

Recapping the summer...

1.  Hank retired and is settling in nicely at about the seven week mark. I have new beadboard ceilings in the sunroom, kitchen and laundry room. The downstairs powder room has new fixtures. Trees have been trimmed around the house and all of the gutters have been cleaned out. The house as been power washed. By the end of the week coming, my new oven and gas cook top will be installed. He spent two days last week at Lorelai's working on the "fixer upper" adding lattice around the steps, power washing, putting up window boxes and establishing flower beds. He's like the energizer bunny.

2.  Lorelai graduated, started graduate school, moved into the "fixer upper" and is starting her 30 hour per week job as nanny for a two year old little girl and her four month old brother. She's going to be tired but AWESOME. Our Lor has "the gift" for working with children.

3.  Legare is starting the second year in law practice. He goes goes goes all the time. He moved to a new apartment this summer. While urban living sounded good at the start, he said he felt like he went from elevator to parking garage to parking garage to elevator and vice versa all day long. He's now in a duplex on a quiet residential street...still close to the action but no elevator and a little bit of yard.

4.  We were gone a lot on weekends this summer. Beach, summer house, Clemson, Charlotte...I hosted a bridal shower (with three friends) here last weekend for the fiance' of our friends Anne and Tom's son. Didn't take a single photograph.

5.  When home, we've been visiting a new church...Second Presbyterian Charleston.

6.  Now...are we ready for some FOOTBALL!!!  First home game: September 8th. So so SO excited!

But enough about me...How are you wrapping up the summer??

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


I've mentioned before that I'm not an animal lover. Can't help it. Lots of little animals are cute. I like to look at pictures of them.

I blame Mother. Ned and I weren't allowed to have animals. Not sure why.

I didn't want to be like Mother in that regard. Hank always had pets and we wanted our children to have pets. Hence our 12 year old Precious, the Terrible. And Boo, the cat. Boo lives outside and keeps critters out of the yard. He's OK in my book. Before Precious and Boo there were Hampton, the bassett hound and Harry, the bassett/beagle. And Oreo, the cat. A few years ago Hank ran over Oreo in our driveway and killed him. Not on purpose. We just about had to send him to therapy.

Recently Lorelai found a little kitty cat by the side of the road and adopted her...this would be Sophie, the Wonderful.  Lorelai and Sophie came home today for a few days. Sophie has a case of roundworm. I have banished Sophie to the guesthouse bathroom until she's completed her three days of deworming.

At the moment, I have become Mother, the Coldhearted...version 2.0.
It's lonely at the top!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Back to the Real World

It was back to the real world for me this week.  In the office every day, taking care of all the little things that nobody realizes need to be done to start a new school year.

It was back for Hank...but not really to the real world. Back to navigating his new life in retirement. I have to say...I love having him home. We have a list of a lot of little (and some big) things that need to be done around our house. By yesterday afternoon, he'd had a plumber and a contractor at the house and work starts on Monday. No grass growing under my husband, that is for sure.

In the middle of all of that, he spent a day with "the mothers" and Ned AND finished recovering dining room chairs and painting furniture for Lorelai. THEN he picked up and loaded a UHaul truck...actually is on his way to the farm now to gather he rest of the furniture and will continue on up the country to move her into her new house. I'll be heading out behind him in my car (which he loaded last night) shortly.

I'm not stupid...I am perfectly well aware that come August 15...opening day of deer season...he'll be spending more of his retirement in a deer stand but that's OK by me. Hank will tell you that he finds incredible peace and solitude when he's sitting out in the woods. It's a "thin place" for him...a place where he feels very close to God. He watches the deer more than he kills the deer. If we get one or two in the freezer each season, we're perfectly happy.

Anyhow...must take my coffee upstairs and gather up my things to hit the road for Clemson. Lor and her friend Candice have been fixing up this little 50's era house for about a month. I haven't seen the real thing yet...will have photos.

You, my friends...have a fabulous weekend. We're within a month of school starting around here. WHOOP WHOOP.  Oh...and our state legislators returned to session and overrode our governor's veto of cost of living raises for teacher.  That's a BIG thing...this would have made the third year in a row that teachers in South Carolina would not have received a raise. Pitiful, isn't it?

Sunday, July 15, 2012

First Cousins

While we were away, we got word late Monday night that my oldest (of five) first cousin Francis had passed away at age 63.  He was mother's oldest sister's son. Aunt Dot passed away in 1985. It was sudden...most likely a heart attack.

You may remember that Aunt Elizabeth, mother's youngest sister, moved just down the hall from mother at Green Grove back in March. My cousin Nancy called to say that my cousin Tom (Nancy's brother) was going to Green Grove on Tuesday morning to tell Elizabeth and mother. Francis was the first grandchild in the family and the apple of everybody's eye. He was born when mother was in college and Elizabeth was still in high school. There are fun stories about how they thought Francis would never talk...because he was so spoiled that all he had to do was POINT and somebody would run to get him what he wanted. Another about how he and a distant cousin Ray ran into grandmama's kitchen one Thanksgiving morning all excited about killing a couple of ducks out on the pond. When granddaddy went back out there with them, they'd actually killed grandmama's two pretty swans.

But I digress...we didn't know how much mother and Elizabeth would absorb. Tom's report was that neither of them got upset and he left them with sort of blank looks on their faces.  Here's the never knows when news, good or bad, might sink in with either of them so I called the home health center to let them know what had happened. It was not outside the realm of possibility that hysterics might occur in the middle of the night.

Late Tuesday, Elizabeth called Tom's wife who ran over to Green Grove to see what was up. Elizabeth and mother were comparing notes...somebody came and told us that some man died. Jan explained. Then mother got going with nope...nobody told me anything...I don't know anything.  Jan got them calmed down and neither mentioned nary a word about it until Friday, but when it clicked in then, mother knew it was Francis. Still and all, there were no hysterics...and I'm thankful for that. Mother and Elizabeth having spells at the same time would not be a good thing.

I'm told that Francis was a reader of my blog. I sent to following note to his youngest son...

Our hearts are sad. Your daddy was a wonderful man and some of my earliest memories are of Granddaddy Funchess taking the whole family to the Folly Beach for a week in the summers. Francis was the oldest and at that time I was the youngest. I am told that I kicked him once with my cowgirl boots when he teased me. Francis was a kind and generous soul...even when being kicked by a bad little girl in boots.
I spoke with John this morning and as you may already know, we are away for the week. Please know how sorry we are and know that our thoughts and prayers are with you all over the coming days.

Although all of the first cousins have grown up and the summers together as well as spending every single holiday together ended many moons ago, there is still a bond that transcends miles and years. Francis will be missed.

Home Again, Home Again

Hank and I decided to come home a day early. We enjoyed ourselves tremendously but honestly, we aren't good at vacationing for a whole week. Sure, it sounds wonderful...but we're more "three or four night away" people. We missed our Tempurpedic mattress in an awfully big way.

Holden Beach was nice. We saw some beautiful houses...on par with Kiawah here in our neck of the woods. We'd not ever been to a North Carolina beach before. I don't think we'll go back took about four hours to get there. We can get in our car in our driveway here at home and be sitting on a beach in about an hour. We can be at our own summerhouse in Beaufort on the deep water in about 90 minutes. Still and all, a pleasant week AND we got to spend some downtime with our children. Legare had to work some but alas, that is the life of a first year associate. Working remotely while sitting by the ocean isn't the worst situation in the world, now is it?

A few photos for your viewing pleasure...


Monday, July 9, 2012

Lazy Lazy...Celebrating

Vacations are wonderful. Hank is reading. Legare is reading. We had a lazy morning and a relaxing lunch. Lorelei is driving and will be here shortly. Today, Hank and I are celebrating our 29th anniversary by being lazy. The children are cooking dinner for us (and cleaning up after) and we will probably take a little sunset boat ride later on. This was the first Monday morning in ages that I did not wake up to the obnoxious sound of an alarm clock. SWEET! Here's to 29 more years of wedded bliss (at least) with my sweetheart and another four weekday mornings of not having to wake up until I am good and ready.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Retirement Week #1- Check

We've just completed Week #1 of Hank's retirement. Poor guy, he didn't get much rest as he had to completely empty his mother's house back in Hometown so that a renter could move in. I don't think I've ever seen him so tired. Being the swell guy that he is, he took Tuesday to recover as best he could then got up on Wednesday morning and went to check on Ned and both of our mothers. Yesterday, he ran errands a lot of the day and today...TODAY...he is already outside cleaning up the boat.

The boat is important my friends, while I'm a long way from retirement, as of yesterday at 5 PM, I AM ON VACATION.  WHOOP WHOOP!  For the next nine days, I am going to be the biggest lazy bones that the world every saw. I'm going to eat what I want, watch a lot of movies, read a bunch of books, sleep late and take a lot of naps, read a lot of blogs, and generally NOT do anything that I don't want to do. Hank has the same mindset. There will be nary a lick of work on my part (that would be n/a for Mr. Retirement here).

We are praying for a week of peace and quiet on the "mother" side of things. More later...hope you're getting some peace and quiet yourself!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

My Husband is RETIRED!!!!!

My sweet Hank retired today...after 31 years with the same organization. That's rare this day and age, you know...a person staying with the same company for an entire career. I was sort of worried that the change would be hard on him. He's become very close to a lot of people over the years. There have also been quite a few people who have annoyed the zippiedeedoodah out of him over the years. I suppose that's par for the course in most every workplace too.

I got home from work this afternoon to find him sitting on the deck enjoying a gin and tonic after having floated in the pool for awhile. He appears to be coping with the change VERY well. I'm going to let him bask in the glory for a couple of weeks THEN the honey-do list comes out of the drawer.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Hello Friends...that is, if I have any friends left out there...

Greetings...since I last posted on May the something-th (YIKES) life has been busy busy busy. Aren't most folks' in the same boat...and how do we fix that? (Maybe by not talking about it all of the time...I'm the worst EVER offender!) We'll save that discussion for another time.

Let's go with highlights from the last six weeks or so...

1.  The obvious...I've been a bad blogger and bad blog friend. I surely hope to correct that.

2.  I completed my second year as a high school principal. I'm fairly confident that I corrected most of my  mistakes from the first year...and made a few new ones. At any rate, we're going into year three with confidence that it will be the best year yet.

3.  The master schedule for 2012-13 gets locked in tomorrow morning. That's the main reason you haven't heard from me lately. High school scheduling is QUITE the task.

4.  Lorelai spent a few weeks with us and has returned to Clemson to start graduate school in second summer session. Since my last blog, she "is in a relationship with..." (to use Facebook language) a certain young man. He is a lowcountry fellow so I don't know how this long-distance thing will go. I guess we'll see what he is made of.  Lorelai has high expectations and Hank and I have HIGHER expectations. Then there are Legare's expectations!! Big brothers are protective of their little's in the contract.

If you've been reading my blog at all, you're probably aware that in the Southern family, we set the bar quite high. Lorelai is prissy, but she knows how to carry a shotgun.

5.  In August, Lorelai begins work as a part-time nanny. She is so excited. She has also started her own blog.  More on that later...

6.  Legare is fine. Work has had him on the road off and on to Chicago, Boston and DC. He's been down Charleston way a couple of times.

7.  Matthew, son of the infamous Meg and Will got married on Memorial Day weekend.  The equally infamous Sue and Louis were here and we had a marvelous time.

8. It pains me to write this...I am going to Dillards to try to buy a bathing suit. Seriously, I have spent the last I don't know how many summers in the boat, on the beach/dock, and by the pool in shorts and a t-shirt. I anticipate that I will come home depressed. But I'm going to be depressed in a new bathing suit.

More later...Tell me what has been happening with you...anything exciting?

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Clemson- Class of 2012

Just got home from Clemson and Lorelai's graduation. Our friends Ann and Tom made the trip up, as did neighbor Deborah and her daughter Gracie. Legare rolled in from Charlotte to complete our merry little band. The ceremony was in Littlejohn Coliseum in Clemson and it was pretty much packed. Lor's group graduated in the second of the three ceremonies for the day.We headed back to Greenville after for a celebration dinner at High Cotton then back to the hotel where we collapsed after nightcaps and the opening of gifts. This morning, Ann and Tom headed out early while Hank waited patiently as Lor and I slept late.  Then a spot of shopping and the trip home.

I'm a little disappointed in my pictures...ever since my camera got wet in the boat it just hasn't been the same. Anybody know somebody at Nikon? are a few snapshots.

With Best Friend Amanda

On the jumbotron...
I drew an orange mark on her stole so you can tell which is Lor.

Being congratulated by President Barker

Arms around each other singing the Alma Mater

YAY...diploma in hand

With apartment-mate Maggie

One must go into the stadium after the ceremony...

Rubbing Howard's Rock...a long tradition. Every home game each coach and player rubs the rock before running down the hill.

Legare got into the act even though he is not a Clemson alum. 
Not sure what they rub at Furman or Chapel Hill.

With friends Ann and Tom...Lor surely does love them.

Proud daddy and brother...
Proud mama is always taking the pictures.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Last Month of the School Year...

...just wears me out!  Last weekend= was fabulous. The students behaved beautifully and were so pretty/handsome. This weekend, three of our seniors graduated with their Associate Degrees from the community college with which we partner. That may not seem like a big deal until I add that these are three HIGH SCHOOL seniors who received those college degrees a full three weeks before I will be presenting them with their high school diplomas. Nice, huh?  That's just one of many reasons that our high school ROCKS!  In between the two, was the yearbook presentation and signing extravaganza AND a principals' meeting. This week is Teacher Appreciation Week. I know I'm supposed to fix something but I can't remember which day.  And then there is all of the other school administrator stuff I cannot tell you about. Whew.

When in the world is PRINCIPAL appreciation week??  Somebody call Hallmark and get this thing going.

Our Lorelai graduates from Clemson this coming Friday afternoon.  If you've been following my blog from the beginning, you might remember that I started the blog as she was graduating from high school. We will have many photos to share next weekend...

Hank is fine...about seven weeks from RETIREMENT.  Legare is fine too.  Ned is hunky dory.

Mother's sister Elizabeth has moved in just down the hall from her at Green Grove.

I'm boring you...I can tell.  Sorry...

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Heavy sign and roll of the eyes...

Yesterday afternoon as Hank was winding up his day at the farm, he lost the tractor key. He got up this morning while the girls and I slept in and he and Mr. Ike, who helps watch out for things at the farm, got a giant magnet and in short order found the key in the tall grass. Being the swell guy that he is, Hank stopped by Green Grove to check in on mother before he came back home. He could not WAIT to share the following with me...

HANK: I know your mama doesn't know what she's saying half the time but I got a kick out of her today. 

BELLE: Do tell.

HANK: Just before I started for home she said, "Hank, I'll understand if you need to leave Belle one day, but please don't ever leave Ned and me.'"

Now, I ASK you...which part of the "half the time" does he think she was hanging out in...the half where she knows what she is saying or the half where she doesn't know what she's saying? And why on EARTH would he get a kick out of that???

Good thing I have more than my share of healthy self-esteem.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

What did you learn this week?

I learned that...

1.  Chicken salad is better when you cook the chicken yourself instead of taking a shortcut with a rotisserie chicken, which is good but not AS good.

2.  I should never try to make up my own exercise moves.  Ouch.  Part of the problem could be that I haven't exercised in forty forevers.

3.  Being too nice can backfire. BIGTIME!

4.  It is very hard to find a nice dress (i.e. guest of an outdoor lowcountry wedding) with 3/4 length sleeves that doesn't look like it is supposed to be worn by a little old lady. 

5.  You cannot walk into a spa on prom weekend and expect to get a "walk ins welcome" appointment.

6.  The TV show Duck Dynasty is HILARIOUS.  Oh My Gosh...I almost fell off of the sofa laughing.

7.  Meryl Streep was superb in the role of Lady Margaret Thatcher but the movie eventually put me to sleep. Glad we didn't go see it in the theater.

8.  Going to the farmer's market and doing the farm to table "thing" can be just as much fun as going out to dinner.  Except for the whole cleaning up the kitchen thing.

What did you learn this week???

"Heavy the Head that Wears the Crown"

Shakespeare...Henry IV...Part II...Act III, Scene I

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Springtime in the Lowcountry AND a "Tell us about it..."

We didn't have much of a winter down here, but for the first time that I can remember in recent years, we are having a "real" spring.  Usually we jump feet first from "BRRRRRRRRRRRR I've got the shivers" weather to "Oh my good golly, I am going to MELT in the heat and humidity" weather.

Last month, our next door neighbor launched that first of (hopefully) many to come 2nd Friday porch parties in our little village. We weren't able to go because Louis and Sue were arriving for the weekend; however, the second 2nd Friday porch party was last night just down the road and we had a great time. It's a simple person provides the "porch" (i.e. porch, kitchen, dining room, patio, deck, poolside, outdoor living room) and guests brings an appetizer to share and their own beverages. Everybody shares the joy and fun, while shouldering a small part of the responsibility. I was able to get home from work, prepare my hot artichoke dip and prop my feet up for a little bit before leaving.  It was lovely...the foot propping and the party...the dip wasn't bad either.

Even though our little community is very small, there are folks I go for AGES without ever seeing. Hank runs into people a lot at the post office but still, it's easy to lose track of  what neighbors are up to as well as what is happening with their grown up children, many of whom I taught when they were back in middle school.  I look forward to the 2nd Friday of March.

Do you have any sort of routine social event in your life?  Tell us about it...

Saturday, March 31, 2012

March Wrap Up

Dear appears that I am on about a two week posting routine. What in the world have you been up to?  I've been reading blogs on weekends but not commenting much.  Sorry about that. 

So...Lorelai rolled in last night for spring break with two friends in tow. Friend Karen will fly out on Wednesday to Texas to spend a few days with her family. Amanda will be heading back home to New Jersey after Clemson's May 11th graduation, so she's going to hang out for the rest of the week with us. All three of the girls are student teaching kindergarten and heavenly days, they are about exhausted and surely do deserve a nice break. We'll enjoy taking care of them.

It's nice having them here...our house is pretty quiet these days with just Hank and me. We come home at the end of the work day, find something for supper, then collapse in front of the television. Watching mindless TV is relaxing to reality shows though, except for Dancing with the Stars and American Idol. Everything gets recorded on the DVR so that we don't have to waste our time with commercials.

I don't think I shared that Hank and I went up to Clemson to visit Lorelai's kindergarten class during my spring break week. It only took about five minutes for me to remember why I am a high school person!  We took fun gift bags to each of her children...crayons, Teddy Grahams, a couple of other little doo dads. Our baby girl is going to be a WONDERFUL teacher and counselor. God gave her the gift!

Legare has had a busy month. He's been to court in Boston twice and took a long weekend fun trip to NYC. We'll see him next weekend for Easter then probably not again until Lorelai's graduation. Mother and Ned are fine. Hank's mother has been acting up.

As we look forward to Easter, here is a blast from the past, circa 1991. 

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Listen Up Girls!!

I've told you before that I do NOT like going to the dentist.  The saving grace is that I actually do like the two people who are our dentists quite a lot...have known them for years.  Because they know ME, we coexist peacefully when I visit the office thanks to the blessings of nitrous oxide.

What, you may wonder, does any of that have to do with the cute as a button image above.  Timothy, talented number two child (but number one son) of said dental professionals created it for his blog. (Timothy...I need to know where this blog is!!!!!)  Truer words were never spoken. Hank has been known to sport a bow tie and Legare's tie rack is full.

In the Land of Belle, bow ties ROCK!  Thanks for sharing Timothy!

For a blast from the past involving Timothy, click HERE.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Big News

Do you remember when I started this blog four years ago?  My goal was to journal life and memories as Lorelai was graduating from high school and Legare from college.  Now, Legare is a lawyer in good standing in the Great State of North Carolina and Lorelai is getting ready to graduate from Clemson with her degree in Early Childhood Education.

But WAIT!!!!  She just found out today that she'll be staying in Clemson another couple of years because...

She got accepted into the Master of Education in School Counseling program.

Hank and I are SO VERY PROUD!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Heavy sigh.....

Just not feeling the blog right now.  Probably going to take a little break.  Maybe...maybe not.  We'll see.

Sunday, February 5, 2012


Hank is unhappy because he's having to have a chemical peel on his forehead...too much sun back in the day.  Not enough sunscreen.  He was hardheaded and now he's kicking himself.

He was sitting in the dermatologists office last week when he mother called on his cell.  He explained what I just explained in line one of this post and hung up.

His mother called her preacher and asked that Hank be put on the church prayer list because he had, in her words, "brain cancer." Then she went to his uncle's house and told him about the situation.  Since Bobby already knew about the chemical peel, he went ahead and called the preacher to tell him that while any one of us would appreciate prayer, thankfully, brain cancer was not the reason why.

Mercy me!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Whatcha doing?

Not doing much here but always busy!

1.  After three long years, we have finally sold Mother's house back in Hometown. What a tremendous relief it is since we were just about to have to do some maintenance work.  I'd much rather that the new owners do their own thing.  It's hard to manage something like that from two hours away. It's a sweet house full of lovely memories, but Hometown is far from a booming center of commerce.  Not a lot of new folks moving in.  I understand that the buyers are retiring to the community.

2.  We spent last weekend at the summerhouse, joined by Will and Meg. We were so sad that Louis and Sue couldn't join us. On Saturday, we ventured into Beaufort and ate lunch at our favorite place..Wren, before returning back to paradise where Hank built a fire out by the water.  We sat laughing and talking until way after dark.  Will and Meg's son is getting married in May so we talked about rehearsal party themes and will all be together again for a party out at Folly Beach on March 10.

3.  Lorelai started her student teaching last week. I had to smile every afternoon when she called to tell me how TIRED she was.  Yes indeed...five year olds can give a gal a run for her money, although one little boy did draw a picture of Miss Southern, the princess.  She's happy that at least one of the children recognized her true inner princess.

4.  We found out last week that Mother has diabetes.  It isn't horrible and will be handled with "a pill" each day.  Bless her, she does love sweets and we've noticed as the dementia worsens that she pushes regular food around on her plate, taking a bite here and a bite there.  But sweets??!!!??  She loves them.

5.  Now I have possible genetic predispositions to dementia AND diabetes to look forward to. 

6.  I told you I'm reading the Happiness Project...haven't read a chapter in three weeks.  Maybe this afternoon since it's rainy and chilly.  Where is Hank???  I need him to make a fire in the den.  Let me go find him...

Hope everything is going well for you and yours.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Lorelai Update and Other Stuff

THANK YOU...a million times THANK YOU for your kind words, prayers, and offers of assistance for our little Lorelai.  At her appointment this week, the doctor told her that she should wait until after student teaching and graduation for the surgery on her foot.  Student teaching in kindergarten, combined with the three flights of stairs to her apartment provided too may opportunities for her to injure herself worse during recovery. She is being fitted for a special insert for her right shoe which will give her extra support and she shouldn't have to endure any more discomfort than a couple of ibuprofen can handle. In the meantime, our prayers are that between now and mid-May, the problem may resolve itself.  Wouldn't that be AWESOME?

I don't generally make new year's resolutions but I am setting out to try and improve upon a couple of points in my life.

#1- I consider myself to be a kind person...not that I don't employ tough love...that is a job requirement for a high school principal. BUT...tough love does not have to be mean-spirited, although from time to time I find myself making biting remarks that are unnecessary. In other  mouth gets ahead of my brain. I want to do better. When I'm nice and thoughtful, things just go better. When I'm not...karma likes to nip at my heels.  For instance...for a first week back to school after winter break, this was a pretty good one.  I kept calm and took one issue at a time...until Friday...when I got a little aggravated with somebody (outside my work) who was not cooperating with my time line and I kind of (sort of) implied (maybe...OK, I did) that I might possibly consider placing a call (OK..I name dropped and I HATE it when people do that) to somebody (with a lot of clout) who would solve my problem once and for all. My problem did get solved, but my day went downhill from there. I was mean and impatient and karma GOT ME for it.  Lesson's to doing better this week.

#2- I'm on a two week gluten-free challenge. Turning 50 has made me acknowledge a number of things that I won't detail for you, but a fuzzy brain is a big one.  I've always blamed sugar; however, it was suggested to me that I might want to consider gluten as the culprit (along with a good many extra pounds!)...not celiac or anything like that, just a sensitivity to gluten. I am at day 5 and maybe it is all in my mind, but I think I feel better...fuzzy head-wise. For sure, I haven't had to pop a Pepsid or Tums since Tuesday afternoon. We'll see.

#3- The Happiness Project
I'm reading the book and we'll see how it goes.

What has happened in the first week of YOUR new year???

Monday, January 2, 2012

Our New Year's Eve Celebration

Legare and friends have headed back to Charlotte. All of the holiday decorations are put away and I'm trying to wrap my brain around going back to work tomorrow after eleven workdays off.  Lorelai still has a couple of weeks at home...please continue to pray as we work toward the decision about the foot surgery now versus after student teaching.

We had a nice evening here with friends and family on New Year's Eve.  My camera, when set for night photography, did some wild things with the giant sparklers.  On New Year's Day, Hank and I were so pooped that we sent the young folks down to Peninsula Grill and we stayed home and watched TV.  NUTS is what that was...but we were tired.

Hope that your first two days of 2012 have been fine and dandy. A post on my goals for the new year coming soon.