Monday, November 30, 2009


You may (or may not) recall that after several months of working with me a year or so ago, Todd the Trainer was let go by my gym. Consequently, I spent about a year floundering and gaining 20 pounds. I'm not proud of it, I'm just saying...

Several weeks ago, I joined a new gym and found Roy...Roy who was willing to call me OUT when I was cranky and push me when I said I was tired. I complained about Roy but honestly, I really like the guy. Not just everybody can deal with me...know what I mean? I've lost 10 or those 20 pounds since I found Roy. Roy is a miracle worker!!!

So this morning I received a text message from Roy asking me to call. I rang him up, at which time he told me that he had been LET GO....

What am I, I ask you??? The kiss of death to the careers of trainers?????

I'm sad...

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Christmas Decorating

I told you I would do it and indeed I DID! Well, almost. I don't have all of the gifts wrapped and the big tree isn't decorated and I don't have the mantles completely done and I'm still working on the dining room table BUT, the weekend isn't over, now is it?

See what you think about it so far. I tried something new with my windows. We took our window treatments down several years ago when I was battling allergy problems and kind of like the open look. I saw a photo in a magazine similar to what I did for the holidays this year and think that the taffeta ribbon swags looks REALLY nifty. Hope that you like it too.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Clemson Tigers...WHERE WERE YOU???

Calling the Clemson Tigers...Who in the world were those boys playing this afternoon?? I don't know them! I don't know anything about them. What in the WORLD happened???????????

Friday, November 27, 2009

And a day it was....

A little post-holiday whining here...feel free to skip this post

Too much food and almost too much excitement for mother and Ned. They were more wound up than they've been in a long time. While Hank and the kids were in Hometown for a few hours during the middle of the day, I had mother and Ned at the farm. I gave them a light lunch and we settled in for the afternoon. Poor Ned, mother harassed him half to death. Don't eat that...put on your jacket...move don't need anything else to drink...Poor guy, that's why he doesn't want to go visit her everyday. He finally went outside to sweep the leaves off of the porches for me just to get her to leave him alone.

Then, she proceeded to tell me how she's really been thinking about taking a vacation and she'd like to go BEFORE she DIES! I suggested that next summer we go to the mountains for a few days. That's a good idea as far as she's concerned as long as she isn't DEAD by then!

The vacation discussion then led into a funeral plans discussion. She wants a graveside service and wants it ALL done on the cheap! Nothing expensive...don't waste a lot of money on my funeral, she says. Just buy the least expensive casket, she says. How about we just wrap you up in a sheet and drop you in the ground, I countered? No, she replied, I'll need some kind of box. Maybe an orange crate. This was by far one of the most bizarre conversations we've had. I finally suggested that we just spend the day being thankful and save the funeral planning for another day. Of course, by the time the family returned and I explained what we'd been discussing, she didn't remember any of it. Lawsamercy!!!

There was food...lots of it. Caramel Pecan Pie...YUM! We enjoyed having both Legare and Lorelai with us. It's quiet at the farm...peaceful and restful and renewing for the spirit.

A few photos for your enjoyment. I'll have the Christmas decorations ready for you to see in a day or two.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Gobble Gobble

I'm writing this on Wednesday morning for a Thanksgiving Day post. As you read, if you're reading on Thursday, I have packed up my holiday meal and headed over to the farm. Hank and the children are headed to Hometown for three or four hours for his mother's family reunion and will be back by mid-afternoon to enjoy our big meal around 6 PM. Mother and Ned will be in attendance, as will our friend Ed.

Here's how the menu is shaping up. I'm attempting to brine a turkey...have NEVER done that before so I hope it turns out alright. There will be ham, dressing, rice, gravy, macaroni pie, sweet potatoes, butter beans, collard greens, watergate salad, broccoli salad, and....I think that's about it. OH....yeast rolls, pumpkin pie and pecan, sweet tea, and coffee. WHEW! I was not storying when I titled this post "gobble gobble."

OOPS...take collard greens off of the list. I just smelled something burning and it was the collards. I left them turned up too high. It took a long time to wash and cut up those things. Oh well...nobody to blame but myself. Have you ever smelled burning collards? It is truly awful.

ONE HOUR LATER...Well, I think the burning collard smell is beginning to dissipate. But now we don't have any water! Good grief! I called the county office and they don't know what is wrong...didn't even KNOW that our whole community was without water until their phones started ringing...they're on it, which is a good thing because I really need to take a shower, wash Lorelai's clothes, and run the dishwasher.

I'm SO very thankful for so many things (but not burned collards or a lack of water service). Our children are doing well, we are happy, healthy and employed. Blogging continues to be the perfect outlet for me to chronicle the events of our lives. The thing that made the biggest difference in our lives was the MIRACLE of getting mother and Ned settled. To know that they are safe and that Ned is finally getting to live the life that he deserves...words can hardly express how joyful and thankful we are.

As you reflect on 2009...what were your three greatest blessings? I really truly do want to know...wouldn't ask if I didn't!


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Begging Your Pardon

Legare just reminded me about this episode of The West Wing. I adore that show and never get tired of watching the reruns. Do you remember the episode in which President Bartlett pardons the turkey?

Monday, November 23, 2009

Bad Modem...Bad Bad Modem...GOOD GOOD CLEMSON TIGERS~!

Finally, the Home Telephone Company man came to fix our DSL. Apparently the last modem they brought was a piece of junk. Oh well...ALL better now!

Saturday was a FABULOUS day in Clemson. Our Tigers won the ACC Championship and are headed to Tampa on December 5. This week's game is for the "state championship" against the University of South Carolina in Columbia. We'll watch from home...not going to Tampa either. Too far...we'll tailgate in our kitchen for both games.

I had my yearly physical this morning (fun fun) so I took advantage of having a "sick day" to get some shopping done. Can't tell you what I bought because I'll give away my Christmas surprises. Let's just say that Hank, Legare, Lorelai and mother came out on the good side. Ned is SO hard to buy for. The decorating is almost done too. Just a little more shopping for my Thanksgiving Day dinner. I love being just rarely happens.

My camera battery died just as we started to tailgate last Saturday, but I took this one with my phone as we walked to the stadium. It's about the cutest thing I've seen in a long time. I never saw the little guy from the front, but at least his head and feet were ready for some football!

Lorelai comes home tomorrow and Legare on Wednesday...he's hurrying back to Chapel Hill on Friday morning as exams are looming. Lor will hang around with us through Sunday...she has a new "sweetheart" from The Citadel.

OH...and the Biggest Loser competition at work was over today. I lost 9.5 pounds in four weeks and am VERY happy about that. My hope is to maintain my weight during the holidays and go for another 9.5 pounds come January. Wish me luck!

Thursday, November 19, 2009


I really am thinking of calling out the flying monkeys!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Weekends! YAY

Good weekend, how about you??

I got a solid start on my decorating and we spent some time over at the farm. As an added bonus, Lorelai came home for the weekend. Of course we didn't see too much of her, but she did go with her daddy to sit in a deer stand for awhile. No deer, though. They were hiding.

Ned visited for a little bit and had fun on the four wheeler. He won't ride by himself but Hank is very patient and took him all around the farm Ned has finally gotten used to our little dog, Precious, but when Lor, our friend Ann, and I arrived with Ann's little dog (a mirror image of Precious), Ned got a little twitchy. For forty years mother told him that he was afraid of dogs and he REALLY is. (I think that's called brainwashing...) When a dog comes along, he'll run in the house or in the case of Ann's dog, he ran OUT of the house when she came in. At that point, he was ready to go back to his house. Oh well, he's come a long way in the last eight months. We aren't going to change everything overnight.

I'll add a few photos to get ready for work. Yuck!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Getting Ready for the Holidays

I am determined...DETERMINED, I SAY, to have my house decorated for Christmas BY Thanksgiving Day and all of my gifts purchased and wrapped by December 1. Here's why...I have just three days off for Thanksgiving and don't want to spend them cooking and decorating. Can't avoid the cooking but at least when the last of the dishes is washed and put away, I'll be able to sit back and enjoy my already decorated house.

Our holiday plans will be a bit different this year. For the first time in our 26 years of marriage, our families are not in the same town. Mother's move to Green Grove and Ned's to his house will change the complexion of our holiday plans from here on out. The question is this: How do we make sure that everybody feels like their got their due without losing our minds? I started getting twitchy about this as early as two months ago and made a proposal that, praise The Lord, Hank found agreeable.

His mother's family has a reunion on Thanksgiving Day at the American Legion Hut back in Hometown. I took tap dancing lessons from Ilona Hiers in that same hut for five years...first grade through fifth grade. I'm pretty sure that mother and daddy knew they were wasting their money but held on to hope that one day, I'd develop a sense of rhythm in my feet. Truth be told, Thanksgiving at the hut isn't my "scene" but it brings back fond memories for Hank, and Lorelai doesn't actually mind going so much because she says people ask her questions about herself and she likes being the center of attention...go figure! She's a novelty there, since 95% of the people who attend never left Hometown and see each other all the time. Mother and Ned have frequently been guests at the hut on Thanksgiving Day, but I don't think that taking them back to Hometown is a good idea. They're happy and I don't want to stir the pot.

So, Hank and Lor will go to Hometown for the midday meal. I'll be at the farm cooking a traditional holiday meal for supper. I'm going to send Legare over to Green Grove for Mother and Ned and probably have him help her get her Christmas decorations out. Then we'll all "gather together to ask The Lord's blessing" later in the day.

And we have been SO blessed this year. Mother and Ned are safe, settled, and happy. Hank's mother, who struggles with depression is doing better (I don't talk much about Hank's family...those are his stories to tell). Legare is doing well in law school and has secured a job for next summer. Lorelai is doing well in college and we have managed to find a way to get her into a new living situation for second semester. Have their been troubling times...sure, but the good FAR outweighs the bad and for that we are indeed thankful.

So...two weeks from today you can expect photos of Thanksgiving and my Christmas decorations. YIKES! I'd better get busy...

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Two Things People Asked About and One Miss Priss Story

1. Blood Orange Martini Punch (It's in the 2009 Christmas With Southern Living book, but not called punch. I added the word because I wasn't taking a martini shaker and poured it over ice)

4 cups blood orange juice
2 cups orange flavored vodka
1 cup triple sec (could maybe have used a little less)

Mix it up and drink it up. It is strong but suited me fine when over ice

2. can find him at East Shore Fitness in Moncks Corner, SC

3. After a long long wait...we have a MISS PRISS story. You may remember that Miss Priss is the now five year old kindergarten daughter of my former assistant Lilly, and is quite precocious. The other day, our school district's chief human resources officer was out visiting schools and stuck his head in the door of Miss Priss's classroom. The teacher greeted him and when he turned to leave, Miss Priss said, "oooooooooooooooooooooooooooo" (like "hoot" without the "h" or the "t"). The teacher pulled Priss aside and asked her why she would do such a thing when they had a guest in the classroom. Priss replied, "Because you're such a great teacher that President Obama came to your classroom!" When Lilly asked later in the day, Priss further explained that "He had on a blue suit and a red tie....I thought he was President Obama!" Mr. Sanders might have a future as a body double for the president.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Oh Those Seminoles and Their Little War Chant--NOT

We had a great Saturday up in Clemson as we enjoyed watching our TIGERS beat the stuffing out of Florida State. While the FSU band was impressive on the field...the Indian war chant thing that they played during the game over and over and over and over and over and get the drift...was the most annoying thing I've heard in ages. I'm sure that they MEAN for it to be sort of ominous and menacing, but it's just aggravating. (No offense to any FSU fans out there...I'm sure our jaunty little Tiger Rag annoys you!)

On the upside...when it became clear that the Seminoles could not come back for a win, all 77,000 of my good friends in Death Valley and I serenaded them with We Will, We Will ROCK YOU. It sounded beautimas, as my dear old Aunt Zoie would say.

Since it was a 7:45 pm game, we had all day to tailgate. Our neighbors invited us to join them and ultimately 40 to 50 friends, friends of friends, friends of get the drift. We had a marvelous time and my Blood Orange Martini Punch was a big hit. Our neighbors have been our neighbors for about 15 years and our girls are fast friends. Their Lilly is a junior at Clemson and younger daughter Rori is a high school senior. They are like sisters to Lorelai and have gotten into all SORTS of things together over the years. It was always more fun at their house because there was no Legare over there...and Donna, their mom, was the nice mom on the street. I was a meanie!! For years it seemed like Lor spent at least one night a weekend next door. They love her and we love them. Aren't good neighbors a blessing!! As a matter of fact, yesterday, Donna was pivotal in helping us finally find a solution to the predicament that I wrote about in my private post several weeks ago. I'm getting her a BIG Christmas gift this year.

Here are three photos of Lorelai and Rori. Lor had to make sure that the tiger paw tattoo (removable of course) was on properly. Then the girls had to look at the pictures they'd been taking. They grew up awfully fast!!

Friday, November 6, 2009

It Is Entirely Possible That I Have Met My Match

Roy always meets me as I walk into the gym. Yesterday afternoon, our initial greeting to each other went like this...

Roy...So how are you this afternoon?

Me...I'm cranky...VERY cranky!

Roy...Well, we'll work THAT right out of you!!


Now I ask you...what kind of comeback was I supposed to have for that?

Monday, November 2, 2009

Whoo HOO!!

Two weeks with Roy the Relentless and one week on the Biggest Loser plan at work.

5 and a half pounds lost.

Roy is looking better and better!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Legare's Halloween

I felt bad for leaving Legare out of my previous post and saw this on his facebook page. I have no earthly idea what he was supposed to be but apparently somewhere during the night he lost track of the baby. Hank says he looks like "a guy who was having a pretty good time at a party." Perhaps my anonymous commenter who knows lots and lots about Legare will enlighten us.


I've been enjoying looking at the Halloween photos people are posting. As there were no digital cameras when my children were in the heyday of being enamoured with trick or treating, I really need to go back through their scrapbooks and scan those old photos. I did find a few. Apologies to Legare who is going to sit down and cry because there are none here of him. I love you son...I'm just too lazy to go scan pictures right now.

First, here is my brother Ned in his cowboy outfit. What a cutie pie!

Check Spelling
Here are Lorelai as the beauty queen, and our next door neighbor getting ready to hit the neighborhood.

You'll see the difference a few years make here as Lor dressed up last year as a prom queen. Oh MERCY, how the outfit changed.

Finally, I leave you with a blast from the past with my aunt (for whom I was named) and uncle dressed as George and Martha Washington. They turned quite a few heads that year...I'd say around 1972 or thereabouts.