Saturday, August 30, 2008

A Guy in a Gorilla Suit...Happy Holiday Weekend

We're headed out for a couple of days for some rest and relaxation. I haven't forgotten that I need to pass along several awards...

Several people have asked about Lorelai...she's loving college life but as expected, it has been an adjustment. Chemistry seems to be the class she's most concerned about and having been used to going to high school classes that met everyday, she's learning to adjust her study habits accordingly. Clemson is great in offering supplemental instruction for the tougher courses and she's taking full advantage of those as well as the parties and fun. She decided at the last minute not to rush as she didn't want anything to distract her from figuring out how to manage her academic work load. It would have been fine with us if she'd participated but I thought that it was very mature on her part to have such a good sense of herself that she made the decision on her own to opt out.

I had to laugh...looking at her Facebook page the other day I noticed she'd written..."Just saw a guy in a gorilla suit being escorted back to his dorm by the CU lie." I didn't laugh as much when I realized that she'd written this at 1:26 AM BUT...I'm old....what can I say!

We'll be headed that direction next weekend for the first home football game against The Citadel and hope that she'll be able to find a couple of hours to spend with her old mom and dad.
We're VERY excited even though as first year season's ticket holders out tickets are WAY up in the stratosphere!

I came across this photo of Lor and me taken back in April as we were leaving for our girls' spa weekend in Savannah with my college roommate and her daughter.

Everybody have a great, happy, and safe holiday weekend.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Fall Swap- All About Me!

Preppy Mama is hosting a Fall swap. She provided us with some questions that we could answer to help our swap partner decide what to send. Here are my answers...

Do you have any hobbies? Blogging is the latest and greatest. I love to read...enjoying cooking when I have time. This fall we're Clemson crazy.

Do you enjoy crafting? I piddle with scrapbooking and have been working on a yo yo quilt for two years...can't quite get there.

5 Favorite things you can’t live without. ONLY FIVE? That's tough...books, coffee, chocolate, my digital camera, computer.

Do you have any Children or pets? I'm not much of a pet person but we do have a little maltese named Precious (she's not) and an orange cat named Boo. Two children...Legare, age 22 and a first year law student at University of North Carolina, and Lorelai, age 18, a freshman at Clemson.

Favorite things to do in the fall. Organize (anytime seasons change I have an overwhelming desire to clean out closets and drawers), wrap up in a quilt and read or watch movies, eat fair food, start my Christmas list and shopping, wear sweaters.

What makes you think of fall? longer days, falling leaves, football games, the start of school

Favorite treats? Lindt truffles, Gummy Lifesavers, Harbro Gummy Fruit Salad

Favorite color combo. pink and green for sure, brown and turquoise,

Any allergies? No, thank goodness

Favorite autumn scent? apple, cinnamon, pumpkin....

Monday, August 25, 2008

Oh My WORD...I am overwhelmed but in a fabulously fantastic wonderful way!!!

Jillian, Inc (an inspiration to this new blogger) is passing along awards today also and has graced me with the Kreativ Blogger Award. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU. (I'm feeling such pressure...what if I turn out to be a colossal blogging disappointment to all of these ladies who have passed awards along to me...NO....I won't even consider it....I can do this....I WILL NOT DISAPPOINT YOU, I PROMISE!)

OK...I'm better now. I need to list six things that make me happy and then pass the award along to six other folks. I'm going to go ahead and do the list (in no particular order) then I'll pass the award along next weekend after I've had time to think. (plus then I'll post the pretty award button again and make myself look ALL important.)

1. My job...while it can be hectic, I get extraordinary satisfaction from helping others.
2. My Joe Muggs coffee mug.
3. Alone time with my husband.
4. Staying home on a rainy day.
5. Chai Tea Latte on a cold day.
6. A good book...

and a bunch of other things...Thanks again, Jillian, Inc...I'm honored.

More Amazing Awards...I'm Humbled...

Maracris over at Zen Ventures made my day...The blog world has been good to me in the last week or so. She's passed along a couple of awards for which I am truly TRULY thankful. I never dreamed that blogging would be such a wonderful outlet and that I'd "meet" so many amazing people who share similar interests. Thank you, Maracris, for the honor and vote of confidence

I'm going to think on (that's belle-speak for consider, weigh my options, research the possibilities) who I'll be passing the joy on to for a few days and report out at the end of the week. I'm swamped at work what with the start of school and worked diligently to stockpiled several posts over the weekend to get me through the week. I'll find the time to read through my faves, comment, and moderate comments until the weekend rolls around.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

And the next Life of a Southern Belle Award goes to...

Petunia in Paradise!!! It was her post "i heart" and these lines in particular that put her over the top..."I 'heart' this handbag which just arrived at Gucci this week. And just left Gucci this week. In my car." If those aren't southern belle words than I'll hush my mouth.

Petunia is a class act...a preppy wife and mother who loves living in the south, shopping, decorating, and just plain old enjoying life. We have a fair amount in common, including but not limited to a love for the movie The Big Chill and Lilly Pulitzer.

Jump on over there to say congratulations and see what is happening in Petunia's world. You won't be disappointed.

A few friends have asked how this award is given...For those of you who aren't familiar with the award, sometimes I read things that just inspire me or tickle me to no end and I say to that gal is a Southern Belle. Southern Belleness transcends is a philosophy...a state of and substance...wit and and sunshine...grit and, and so much more. The standards for receiving the award are high indeed. I kind of just have an epiphany when the time is right based on reading the magic words or seeing the magic photos.

Congratulations Petunia...

Friday, August 22, 2008

Cute Cute Note Pad Giveaway

These are so CUTE. Melissa at MCC Designs has created some great notepads. You can see samples at her Etsy Shop and you can enter the giveaway by e-mailing her of your interest at so that she can send you the password to her private blog. She'll even do custom design. CHECK IT OUT!

My First Ever Award from Petunia in Paradise

I'm speechless (but not blogless)...Petunia in Paradise has graced me with my first ever award! Ta DAH...It is a Diamond and "diamonds are a girl's best friend" after all. I'm channeling Sally Field..."you like really like me!" (and I like you too,'re cool!) Clearly, I'm carrying on so because I AM without words. This means a lot...A LOT to me. Blogging has helped me find my voice that I had once a long time ago but that got lost for a little while in all of the busyness of raising a family and living life. I started blogging last spring, with the goal of keeping an online journal for my children. It helps me to be more some that will sound silly but not to you, my blog friends. I appreciate this award more than anybody can possibly realize.

Now, back to business...

Here are the rules:

1. when you received a diamond, make a post about it on your blog

2. name the blogger from whom you got it

3. award the diamonds to seven other bloggers

4. link them

5. and tell them, that they got one!, this is tough. I've looked back over comments from my very short blog life and have several gals who have been super-supportive for awhile friends as well....can't give this to but head is spinning. Here goes...don't despair friends, if you don't get this today. I hope I'll be able to share more bloggy love soon.

1. On the Upside

2. Life Is Better With...A Cute Outfit

3. A Little Bit of Life On the Side

4. It's Toile, Y'all

5. Jillian, Inc

6. The Pink Owl

7. Mommy Cracked

Congratulations Ladies...lots of you already have more awards that you can count and there's a reason for that. You're fabulous bloggers and an inspiration to others. Thanks for that!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Check It Out As Fast As You Can

A GIVEAWAY! Go on over to The Pink Owl and enter the Gold Medal Giveaway. I like this blog a doesn't hurt that she's from Clemson...

Quotations this Southern Belle Favors...Share One, Why Don'tcha

Let's call this "Three Quotation Thursday"

Do you agree with my observations (in italics)? How about share one of your favorites with me...Please!!

"South Carolina is too small for a republic and too large for a lunatic asylum."-J.L. Petigru (I've lived here all my life...explains a lot, huh?)

“I haven't got the slightest idea how to change people, but still I keep a long list of prospective candidates just in case I should ever figure it out.”-David Sedaris
(We can dream, can't we? Isn't there at least ONE person out there you'd change if you could?)

"My theory is that if you look confident you can pull off anything - even if you have no clue what you're doing." -Jessica Alba
(Now I've never though of Jessica Alba as a great thinker BUT I think she has a point.)

I'm looking forward to lots of comments!!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Shuckin' in the Park

There is a park in our town and every year in the spring they hold an oyster roast (yum yum) event which is appropriately named Shuckin' in the Park. It's a pretty big deal...we love oysters in these parts and on this evening you pay a flat entry fee and get all the oysters you can eat. We don't go to siree...oyster eating is serious business...SERIOUS business. We have our own monogrammed oyster knives and oyster eating gloves.

(Click here for info on How to Have an Oyster Roast)

A couple of years ago, my friend Ann and I were taking a walk through the park on Sunday afternoon after the Saturday night shuckin'. There is a boardwalk that meanders along the river. As you stroll you experience an abundance of wildlife and of nature's bounty. As we were nearing the end of the boardwalk, we rounded a curve and slowed down as we saw a young man snapping pictures ahead of us. We slowed...we didn't stop...and as we got closer we saw what he was photographing. First a pile of clothing and then his lady friend (wife, who knows) about five feet in front of him BUCK NAKED. She started shrieking and trying to cover herself as he motioned to us and said, "Oh, you can walk on by." My response, "Oh, I don't think so....GIVE HER THE CLOTHES!" in my best school teacher voice. Apparently this guy was a moron and the girl not a lot smarter...then again, maybe she was the moron...he wasn't naked in a public park in broad daylight. People take their children to walk around the park on Sunday afternoon.

The experience gave a whole new meaning to nature, wildlife and Shuckin' in the Park.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

A Fun Giveaway...(I want it, I want it, I want it...)

Now that Legare and Lorelai are settled in their new digs, I have some unprecedented blog surfing time. I came across this giveaway over at The Fun House. I really REALLY want to win but I know I cannot be selfish and covet the Lush products basket (but I NEED it....NEED IT!!!!) I'm OK...really, I am...

Go on over there and enter the contest. See the pretty button over to the right of this post. Just click...

Maybe I should do a giveaway...stockpile some good karma for my own winning potential...

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Moving Day...Mission Accomplished

Oh, Hank and I did so well. We didn't cry or anything. Everybody was calm and collected. Lorelai was just SO happy and everything went smoothly. We're 'bout exhausted but a good night's sleep in our own bed will do the trick. One of Lor's best friends, Lane (yes indeedy, another Gilmore Girls reference) moved up today also and I think the girls and both sets of parents have a better sense of well-being knowing they can rely on each other if they need to. The only downside was the SEVEN flights of stairs. The elevators were for the big things and the line was forever and a day long. At least it wasn't so terribly hot. I've made an attempt at a slide show...hope it works...

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Enjoying the Moment

We're counting down. Tomorrow afternoon we leave for Greenville, where we'll spend the night and drive on up to Clemson on Saturday morning for the BIG DAY! If we haven't bought it I don't think they make it (yet I fret that we've forgotten something). I'm pooped!

I got to work this morning and said, "OK...I'm done here, see you on Monday" and left. Imagine life being more important than work...novel idea. Why do we wear ourselves slap out at work so that we're too tired to enjoy the sweeter moments in our lives...moving a child to college is a major milestone. I want to be rested so that we can enjoy the experience, not so tired and stressed that we spend the day snapping at each other. I'm proud of myself for walking away (to take vacation time that's mine to start with...go figure) so that I can enjoy the next couple of days.

Lorelai is ready...Hank and I are as ready as we're gonna get. GO TIGERS!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Lowcountry Kids and The Little Ghost Girl

Lorelai is trying to fit lots of activity into her last week before heading to Clemson. The other night, she and her best friends stayed out at Molly's house which happens to be located on the property of Mulberry Plantation. To people who don't live in our area, "plantation life" might sound like something out of Gone With The Wind but in our area which is so rich from historical and natural resource perspectives, well, it's not unusual to know any number of people who live and/or work on plantations that date back to the 17th and 18th centuries.

As an's important to note that lowcountry kids (note also that "lowcountry kid" is a term like "southern belle"....just because you live here doesn't mean that you ARE one and vice versa) grow up in a beautiful world. They are well-mannered, well-educated, and know how to entertain, but they also know their way around a deer stand, a dove shoot, how to call a turkey, ride a four-wheeler or tractor, throw a shrimp net, catch and clean a crab, etc. Not just the boys girly girls put on our wellies and join right in. The lowcountry of SC is a great place to live.

Well...I birdwalked a bit there. Mulberry, there is a ghost...a little girl whose name, I believe, is Robin. She comes and goes and the way you know she's been around is a very strong smell of perfume. Lor and her pals were hunkered down in one of the cabins...several were watching TV....Lor and Ashley were in the bedroom talking. They walked out to see what the others were doing for about five minutes and when they went back into the bedroom the smell of perfume was overpowering...all around the bed the Lor had been sitting on. Clearly, the little one wanted that bed for her own so Lor QUICKLY moved her pillow and all of her things OUT of the way. When our girls went back in an hour or so later her glasscase was back on the bed. We're thinking Robin felt bad about scaring them. More likely than not, the little ghost girl just wanted to join in the fun, bless her heart.

I know what you're wondering...does Belle REALLY believe in ghosts or was some prankster just playing a practical joke? The answer is both!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Book Swap

Creative Momma has organized a book swap. Thought I'd give it a whirl. I have two gently used books I'd be happy to swap. I'm providing the Barnes and Noble link so that interested folks can see what they're all about.
The first selection is Plato Not Prozac! Applying Philosophy to Everyday Problems. I haven't the slightest idea why I bought it! I've never taken Prozac and I'm not that into Plato. Go figure!

The second selection is The Appeal by John Grisham. Hank and I both read it and liked it quite a bit. We're partial to "lawyer stories."

As I understand the process, the first person to comment that they want the book gets the book. We'll see how it goes this week. I have stacks and stacks of books that I'd love to swap.

The Life of a Southern Belle Award Goes To...

KELLEN...of On the Upside and On the Flipside and soon to be On the Darkside.

I just am so inspired by the manner in which she multi-tasks and is so dedicated and maintaining two (almost three) blogs, and by how much she loves her children, extended family and her wonderful husband of 25 years. It's clear from all of the comments that she receives everyday that she is not just an inspiration to me but to many many others as well.

For those of you who aren't familiar with the award, I'm continually discovering new blogs that I enjoy reading and sometimes I read things that just inspire me or tickle me to no end and I say to that gal is a Southern Belle. Southern Belleness transcends is a philosophy...a state of and substance...wit and and sunshine...grit and, and so much more. The standards for receiving the award are high indeed.

Congratulations KELLEN...You're a Southern Belle!!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Dress Code

Not much time...been shopping for last minute school things for Lorelai and company is coming for supper; HOWEVER, I must say something to the multitude of "Glamour Don'ts" that we saw all over Charleston today. I would never take pictures but if I had, they would have looked like some of the ones you'll see if you click onto the Glamour link...except no bathing suits. Our day did not, unfortunately, include sitting in the sand or by the pool.

Attention Please, Some People of the Lowcountry: Just because they make it and sell it in your size...well...that doesn't mean that you should buy it and wear it. That goes for men, women, and teenagers... tall people, short people, skinny people, and fluffy people. HAVE MERCY (and a little dignity), please, I beg you!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


Y'all!!!! Do you know about Swoozie's? I saw a feature in a magazine not long ago with these gorgeous glasses and had to order them. They're made of hard plastic...I got three pink and three green. Swoozie's suggests that they are for mojitos, but I smile every single time I pull one out of the cabinet, even if it's just for a drink of water. Not sure where all they have store locations but I know there's one in Greenville, SC and one in Durham. Check out the website...they're having a summer sale!! Go, go, go... as fast as your little fingers will type...

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

I'm a Fast Learner

My friends and I are getting to the age where our parents are getting older and more prone to illness. Let me tell you, if your parents are in good health fall down on your knees right now and count your blessings. In our case, Hank and I both have mothers (well of course we have mothers, we didn't just know what I meant) who can be challenging, but I'll let him tell his own stories.

My 39-year old Downs Syndrome brother Ned, a delight to all who know him, lives with my mother who is 80 and suffering from dementia. They will eventually have to move to a different living situation but in the meantime, we have a wonderful lady, Tess, who helps mother out everyday and who I declare is an angel dropped right down from heaven to keep me from losing my mind.

I was seven when Ned was born and Mother loved and protected him fiercely as well she should. He was a very sick baby. She and my daddy would alternate 24 hours shifts at the hospital in Charleston (90 miles away from my childhood home), not once ever leaving that little baby alone until he was able to come home at around four months. My grandmother and assorted aunts, uncles, friends and neighbors soldiered on at home, keeping my little 2nd grade world moving along with nary a hitch. Mother gave herself and her life over entirely to Ned's care and it has been thus for almost 40 years now. She's done a wonderful job with him...he is a character in this world!

Mother, by her own admission, was distracted but nevertheless I was raised properly as all good belles are, with lots of attention from lots of people. I don't remember being unhappy one single moment and probably got TOO much attention, hence the reason I love the limelight so much as an adult!! One of our little old ladies, Miss Peggy, is the mother of my best childhood friend and was a tremendous influence on the person I became. Miss Peggy, along with my grandmother and my daddy's late sister Zoie, are the women from my youth that I have the most fondness for. Mother did not care so much for a matter of fact, in her mind, the worst insult she can level to this day is to say, "You are JUST like Zoie!!!" I take it as a complement...a HIGH complement.

As mother progresses further into the dementia, she has trouble remembering what we discussed five minutes ago, but can remember in vivid detail what happened 50 or 60 years ago. She is often anxious, and for awhile I would try to reason with her...that was idiotic on my part...she cannot be reasoned with on certain days when the least little thing can throw her into a tailspin. I try my best to go with the flow but it can be hard, and sometimes strangers get really confused (and amused) when they overhear our conversations. Here's one from a doctor's office waiting room recently...

B = Me and M = Mother

M: Did you see that man who just walked out of the door?

B: Yes ma'am

M: He looks like Frank Boykin? Do you remember Frank Boykin?

B: Now remind me who that is?

M: He was the school principal from Point Pleasant who I dated when I first started teaching school.

(I must interject here, that her first year of teaching was 1948 or 49. I wasn't born until 1961.)

B: No ma'am, I don't believe I remember him. (in a perfect world the conversation would have ended right here.)

M: Yes you DO...I dated Frank and then I met your daddy when I moved to Hamilton. Now I KNOW you remember Frank. We took all those seniors on their class trip to Niagara Falls and oh my goodness, they misbehaved shamefully. I was so mad because we were supposed to stop in New York City and Frank just told that bus driver to head straight for South Carolina...didn't that man look just like Frank Boykin??

B: (here I make a big mistake trying to reason with her) Mother, how could I remember him....I wasn't hadn't even MET daddy. I've never heard you mention Frank Boykin.

(by now everybody in the waiting room is fully engaged in our little conversation...waiting rooms are boring, I really can't blame them)

M: You DO TO remember Frank Boykin!!!!!!!!! I don't know why you have to be so difficult...I don't want to hurt your feelings but you are JUST like Zoie. JUST LIKE HER...She was one of the most difficult people I have EVER met and you are JUST like her. I hope you're happy!

(I made every effort to look properly chastised and picked up a magazine...three minutes later...I SWEAR...)

M: Did you see that man who just walked out of the door?

B: Yes ma'am

M: He looks like Frank Boykin? Do you remember Frank Boykin?

B: You know, I was just sitting here thinking that he reminded me of Frank...Frank from Point Pleasant, right? Do you remember that trip to Niagara Falls?

(I'm a fast learner...)

Sunday, August 3, 2008

UHaul...Apartment...Heavy Lifting...Shopping...More Heavy Lifting...

Historic UNC
Whew...Hank and I are back. Legare is happily situated in his new apartment with everything he needs but cable, internet, and a mattress. The cable and internet will be taken care of in the morning and the mattress will be in stock and delivered on Wednesday morning. The mattress store must have been having a slow day because when I declared in typical fashion..."this will not DO...he HAS to have something to sleep on besides an air mattress before THEN!" The little salesman hopped to it and gave us a twin mattress for him to sleep on in the meantime.

Chapel Hill seems to be a very nice place to live. We stayed at The Carolina Inn on the UNC's about time for them to do a little face lift in the rooms, but it's just so charming that we've always stayed there when in the area.

We located a very nice shopping area...Southpoint...and were able to purchased all of the things we didn't take. I came across a store not far from Legare's apartment that I can't believe I've never heard of...A Southern is MECCA!
Here are a few photos of his room in progress. One of the roommates is bringing the living room furniture so there isn't much to see just now except for his room, sans mattress. Things are still a little cluttered as you can tell, but it'll get there.
I don't think he really wanted to take the Wildlife Expo print of the puppies from back in the 80's but it was one of the first things we purchased for his "big boy" room when he graduated from a crib. I kind of insisted!

I found the neatest wall hanging at A Southern Season. It's a scene from a North Carolina vs Duke game back in the 1930's. Naturally, UNC won. Thanks so much for all of the words of encouragement I've received as we've prepared for the move.

Like I said's bittersweet!

Finally, one photo of the law school building where Legare will be spending the next three years of his life and one of him humoring his mother standing outside of his new apartment. NOW, we're on the two week countdown for Lorelai's move to Clemson. Like I said at the beginning of this post...WHEW!!!