Waiting for? Probably nothing. Ned!

Lorelai and Ned, some years ago, fishing at the river.

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Life in the low country of South Carolina!  Never a dull moment. While it doesn’t look like we are in for any of the true chaos of the hurricane, it is windy and dreary this Sunday afternoon and school is closed until next Wednesday.  All of the windows in the house are side open and the breeze is glorious. Ned is here, as all of the Aldersgate homes called families to come and pick up the residents until further notice. Oh my…OH MY!  We had to miss the football game in Clemson (GO TIGERS) but DID make Ned watch it with us even as he sat there mocking us in his garnet South Carolina shirt.

Typically, when we visit Ned, he goes on and on and on and ON about wanting to come and live with us. After four hours yesterday afternoon, he started wanting to know when he is going home, i.e. Aldersgate. Apparently, I am much too bossy for him and living with us no longer holds any charm.  At least for now. By next week, he will have forgotten how bossy I am (as many of you know, he has early onset dementia) and we will be back to the constant wondering on his part of when he is going to come live with us.

My thankfulness for the fine individuals who care for Ned and his other five house-mates knows no bounds. He requires constant supervision and they are all, I am convinced, angels. And goodness, how they spoil him. Which is why he thinks that I am bossy.

Bossy though I may be, I am fixing one of his favorite meals for a late Sunday dinner.  Oven barbecued chicken, rice, crowder peas, and slaw. Better get back to it.

Waves of Nostalgia

I was blessed with five first cousins…all on Mother’s side.  Marshall was the oldest.  He was in Mother and Daddy’s wedding in 1955, so I’m guessing he was born 1950-ish.  Then came his brother, David, born…oh, let’s say 1953-ish.  Elizabeth was born, I believe, in 1958, then her sister Martha, who I am positive was born in 1960. Then yours truly in 1961.  I ruled the world until ’67, when Elizabeth and Martha got a baby brother, Whit. Ned was born in ’68.

I don’t think that it is an exaggeration to say that ours was a close family. Not all huggy kissy lovey dovey, but rarely was there a Sunday afternoon growing up that we weren’t at our Grandmama’s house for two or three hours. In the summers, Elizabeth, Martha, Whit, Ned and I were all together at our houses next to each other on the Edisto River. E, M, and W lived next door to Grandmama after she moved into town when Grandaddy died, but she stayed with us when at the river. She was my bunkmate. I don’t think she had a bathing suit. She was more of a porch sitter people watcher. One of the things I remember most about our Grandmother was that she got down on her knees beside the bed EVERY SINGLE NIGHT before she went to sleep. (Below, Martha, Yours Truly, Elizabeth at Folly Beach around 1964…our Grandaddy took his three daughters and their families every summer.)

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Now there are first cousins’ spouses, a total of ten second cousins, and the third cousins are coming along. While none of the first cousins live terribly far apart, life has been busy and I haven’t spent too much quality time with them in recent years. Mother is the only sister of the three still with us. Marshall and Martha have passed away…much MUCH too young.

Funny thing though…since we decided that we are going to move back to the family farm, I’ve begun reconnecting with the cousins.  As a matter of fact, Elizabeth, Whit, and I have shared three meals together in the last couple of months.  Two of which we shared with all of the others, except Ned.  He’s not able to get out much anymore.

I am feeling waves of nostalgia…good waves.  I’m sure that life was not perfect back in the day, but I’m pretty sure that we, the cousins, feel like it was pretty darn close. And I have a feeling that there are very good days ahead.

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A Little Trip to Arizona

 

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Hank and I are back from our mini-vacation (as in travel day…two days there…travel day) to Sedona and the Grand Canyon. Delta Airlines had a bad time of it on our trip out, but we eventually got there safe and sound, albeit a little bit behind schedule.

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The Grand Canyon was, well, GRAND. Pink Jeep Tours ROCKED it (no pun intended) and the package we had at the L’Auberge de Sedona did not disappoint. Breakfast and dinner out by the creek…delicious food and beautiful scenery. I have a great little video but am technologically challenged so as not to be able to figure out how to put it in this post.

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What stole the show for both of us; however, were the Red Rocks around Sedona. The red rock pictures from Hank’s hike (while I did the spa thing) are on his phone, so I’ll have to share those later. Should we ever head back that direction, Sedona and surrounding area will be our focus. It was THAT beautiful.

The dry air of Arizona was NOT a friend to this daughter of the south. As we walked out of the Charleston airport I was, for a few blissful moments, positively giddy about the humidity.  I’m over that now.

 

How Much is Enough?? Food!

We’ve been doing SO well these last six months decluttering and simplifying.  Most things. As we begin our process of moving to the farm, the commitment we’ve shown to our mission has really paid off. Why did we hang on to things so long?  There’s no answer worth wasting the time to figure out. We’re taking care of it.

Which brings us to today’s theme. How much FOOD does one person really need to know how to prepare.  I have…wait for it…more than 700 recipes saved on Pinterest.

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700. And then there are the ones I’ve saved on Facebook. And the ones in the many cookbooks on our shelves. And the recipe box.

Hank and I DO enjoy a good meal. We determine whether or not we’ve had a good time on vacation in terms of how well we eat.  We appreciate new interpretations (sometimes) of old favorites; however, as a true Daughter of the South, when I think of comfort, I think of meals eaten at kitchen tables…kitchen tables at my childhood home, at Miss Peggy’s house, at my Aunt Zoie’s. I think of church homecomings, family reunions, family gatherings on Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, and Mother’s Day…ice cream socials, peanut boils, shrimp boils, oyster roasts and the southern fish fry. Nobody needed Whole Foods. All the groceries came from Red and White or Piggly Wiggly.  Or Mr. Chick’s where you called in your list and he had it ready when you got there. Mr. Chick was ahead of his time.

I can’t answer the question of how many recipes are right for you. I, on the other hand, am going back to the basics. No more following Facebook recipe pages. No more new cookbooks. Back to the basics…those yummy ones from my childhood home, Miss Peggy’s, Aunt Zoie’s, church homecomings, family reunions, ice cream socials, and so forth and so on.  I’ll keep you posted.

What say you?

Time Flies

Lots to tell…LOTS!  Graduation is next Wednesday evening…another school year in the books.  Legare’s birthday is tomorrow…he’ll be 31.

I took a calligraphy class.  I’m REALLY bad at it.

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Lorelai and Butler closed on their first house today. Memorial Day weekend will be full of excitement as they get moved in.

I’ve decided to retire next year…13 more months. Actually, I retired on April 30th, but entered the TERI program and get to work one more year. It’s a South Carolina thing.

We’re going to MOVE…yes indeed, we are preparing to sell our house and will be building a new home…our forever retirement home…at the farm. I said that I’d move to said farm when “you know what” freezes over.  I guess it’s chilly down in “you know where.”  More on that later…we are really excited. Got the house plan draft last week…just a few more tweaks and it will be ready to go. If it sells before I retire, I’ll commute.

Hank and I are going to the Grand Canyon this summer. The trip has been in the back of our minds for several years and we are LONG overdue for a vacation. As you may or may not know, we’ve had weddings the last two summers…Lorelai in 2015 and Legare in 2016. Two weddings in two years will wear a set of parents out.  Our friends Fred and Donna had two children get married in five months.  Lawdy!

Politics?  Let’s don’t talk about that.

I have been sticking with my new minimalist attitude. Our new house will be a bit smaller that our current home and we’ve been cleaning out and giving away and reorganizing like nobody’s business.

I kid you not…we feel better.  We can breathe more easily. Our minds are not as cluttered. I’m writing in my version of a bullet journal. Prayer lists. Praise lists. Thoughts. Ideas…and what I call my Brain Dump.  I write every single thing in my cluttered mind in the book and it makes me feel less frazzled. When something or someone upsets me, I write it all down in my book and I generally feel better.  The brain is a funny thing, isn’t it?

And I got a Kindle…as part of the minimizing effort…fewer books. The struggle is real, though, because I LOVE LOVE LOVE books.

Later, my friends.

A New GiGi…

 

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My sweet friend Gail has been a GiGi for all of almost three weeks. I, for one, am obsessed with her sweet new granddaughter. Let me just TELL YOU…little Nora is gorgeous. Absolutely. Positively. And blessed beyond words to have been born into such a dear dear family.

Our pal Pam (who is NOT the boss of me) and I decided that we wanted to have a little soiree for GiGi Gail, so this morning the new GiGi, proud aunt Jennifer, and proud great Aunt Dianne joined us for a GiGi brunch. Of course, PINK was the color of the day and after cheese nibbles, cucumber sandwiches, bellinis, quiche, grits, fruit, salad, cake, and coffee, Gail opened a few special gifts to keep at her house for when baby girl comes to visit.

Pam and I thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and hope that Gail, Jen and Dianne did too.

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Decluttering and Tidying Up

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You should SEE my office at school. It is so tidy and decluttered. Crazy as it sounds, my mind is feeling more tidy and less cluttered too. I have my bullet journal at home and am developing one for work. Not going for perfection…just functionality. My home journal has my prayer list, gratitude/blessings lists, books I’m reading and those I want to read.  I’m still working on my collections…that’s bullet journal lingo for a list!

Hank is on board with the tidying and decluttering at home. Over the years we’ve cleaned out the homes of four elderly folks. Holy moly…we just kept putting things in the upstairs of the guest house. And downstairs. The closets. So much that it wasn’t possible to use the guest house for it’s intended purpose. Downstairs is good now…all tidy and spiffed up. Upstairs is better but not quite there yet.

Inside the house, the living room is DONE. I thought I’d do a room at the time but it’s not working out that way…but it IS working.  I’ve made great strides in every closet except the one in Lorelai’s old room. Most of the dining room and about a third of the kitchen cabinets and drawers. No rush…my goal for completion of complete decluttering and tidying up is December 31st so I’m feeling real good about the progress.

The one Marie Kondo move that I just can’t make myself warm up to is the part where, when I change my clothes in the evenings I…wait for it…I pat my clothes and shoes lovingly and THANK my clothes and shoes for serving me well on that day. Don’t get me wrong, I am so very grateful but talking to these items just seems a little odd.

I discussed it with Bowman and he agrees that it would be weird.

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Inauguration Day

 

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A lot has happened since my last post in September but I felt REALLY compelled to share my thoughts in light of yesterday’s big event. The picture is neither here nor there, except that at 92 years of age, Jimmy Carter was right there yesterday AND I think Jimmy Carter is the bomb diggity. I did not write what is to follow. Maria Shriver did, sometime yesterday. Her sentiments are mine almost exactly. I did not share it directly from her Facebook post because of some of the truly horrible comments left by people whom I, thankfully, do not know.

“I know many of you said you wouldn’t watch the inauguration this morning, but I did. I watched the transfer of power between two presidents — two men — with very different visions, styles, tones and politics. I hoped for a vision of uniting one man’s “we” with the other’s. I hoped for language that would bring the two hands of our country together. I hoped for an inaugural address that would find common language and ignite common dreams. While I didn’t hear that today I acknowledge that perhaps others heard exactly what they were hoping for. The truth is, I really believe we all, at our core, have the same hopes: to live in safety, to raise our children in safety, to give our children a good education that prepares them for a changing world, to have jobs that allow everyone to live with dignity and to grow old with dignity. The “we” of the previous administration is still a part of who we are as a nation. May President Trump find ways to bridge the divide, in language and in deed. As President Trump takes on this position, I pray that the enormity of the job and what he is about to do has sunk in. This is the greatest opportunity of President Trump’s life. I hope he does all that he can to safeguard the lives and freedoms of all of us.”

When you want to make a good first impression…

 

So you know how much we love Bowman…how obsessed i am about his happiness and well-being.  Yes?  Yes.

We’ve been looking for someone to keep him when we go out of town. We don’t go out of town that often, but still.  I need to know that he is loved and happy. I found a great retired couple who live about 20 minutes away and they came over this afternoon to meet him.

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We were like people trying to get their child into THE perfect kindergarten. Good impressions count. I went from work to the chiropractor and then home. Bo and Hank got home from the farm about 20 minutes before the sitters arrived and we got him (Bo, not Hank) brushed and smelling all sweet. I combed his ears and he was OH so handsome.

While we waited, I gave Bo a good pep talk about not getting overly excited and reminded him that he should not jump on people when he meets them because lots of people don’t like that. He’s our little work in progress.

He heard a car drive up. Hank opened the door and I saw the look in Bowman’s eyes. He was getting ready to run out to greet them in grand style. I had my iPad in one hand and was trying to hold Bo back with the other. Then I don’t actually know what happened. Bo was out the door. I was on the floor. The iPad was out on the deck at the feet of the people coming up the back steps. Hank didn’t know whether to go after Bo or see about me. I’m happy to say that he chose me.

To their credit, the sitters did not turn around and drive away. We had a lovely visit and signed Bo up. The minute they left, Hank laughed until he cried. Bowman needs another class at puppy school.

I’m fine, by the way…just might need the chiropractor again sooner rather than later.

So much for first impressions…

My Every 4th Year Election Season Message! And one more much more important item!!

I’m not fond of labels and certainly not fond of propaganda. I’m reasonably smart. I do not believe that everybody I know should agree with me from a political standpoint (that may be fudging the truth…I DO think that everybody should agree with me on EVERYthing but that’s wrong and I’ll continue to pray on it), 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 my politics…and that I’m the kind of gal who stands by her convictions. 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. If that’s “your deal” then have at it. I’ll see you again on the world wide web later this fall. I’ve got church activities…a bridal shower to throw…football games to watch/attend…tailgate parties to organize…joy and sunshine to spread…and work.

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. We will not discuss this further.

Now. I am at home. Wish I was in Auburn, Alabama. Next week this time I will be in…

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GO TIGERS!!!!