Wednesday, September 29, 2010

What Happens in Nantucket...

It all started innocently enough.  Five women from different parts of the east coast meeting on blogs.  I know that when I started blogging almost exactly a year ago, I had no idea what I was doing or getting myself into.  All I knew was that I knew another girl who blogged, I read hers, and said to myself, "I can do that."  Following, commenting, and blog rolls were not in my vocabulary.  But after a few posts, Jessica began commenting and following... then Gabi... then Mama Henley... then Katherine. And I began following theirs too.  Blogging and commenting led to Twitter.  And it was on that fateful night that we were all making snarky comments while watching the Golden Globes, a friendship we were not even anticipating was born.

We began emailing each other - all five of us at the same time.  I wish I could remember who it was that suggested that we meet.  Guess it doesn't matter.  But we all were excited.  After more emails, the date and place were finalized.
Nantucket, September 2010

I secured my plane ticket in May.  There was no backing out.  It was happening.  The moment I saw and hugged Gabi at Logan Airport in Boston, I knew it was going to be great.  And almost two hours later, we met up with Jessica and Katherine.  (Sweet Mama Henley was not able to join us.  Oh how we cried when we read her post.)  The four of us squealed, screamed, and hugged each other not as if we were meeting for the first time, but as dear, old friends.  And then the talking and laughing commenced... and didn't stop until we left on Sunday.

 Gabi mixing bloodies on the ferry to Nantucket.

Of course we had to compare the new edition 
with the tried and true...
(Yes, I brought BOTH editions!)

 Jessica showing Flat Stanley 
(from Jackson's class project) how to cook.
Yes, she was our chef extraordinaire for the weekend!

 At the brewery... 
This evening really warrants a post all its own, but I just can't resist. Of course we walked  in as if we owned the place.  The place was packed, full of earthy preppies (mostly women) all in name tags.  Hmmm... Lots of Patagonia and madras.  And, hey, look over there.  Hmmm... quite a few golf bags.  Oh, this must be an after party for a golf tournament.  Hmmm... the girl Gabi asks to take our picture, thinks she is the photographer for this soiree.  Numerous other things made us go Hmmm... But hey, "it takes all kinds" as my mother says, and we are having a ball!  Good drinks, good friends, good fun... and then the icing on the cake:  Ms. Madras shorts jumps up on a table, raises her glass, and announces to the gathering, "Let's give a toast to Melissa and Jennifer and to the life they will lead together."  You guessed it, we crashed a lesbian wedding.  Big fun!

Many other stories happened on our Nantucket weekend.  We giggled throughout, saying, "What happens in Nantucket stays in Nantucket!"  But between the four of us, I know we'll share more with you throughout the next few weeks.  I laughed so hard my face hurt at times.  I shared so deeply, more than I might share with people here in my own town whom I feel pretty close to.  I learned so much about each of these women:  their successes, their worries, their delights and their passions.

Here we were on the ferry leaving Nantucket.
 Jessica and Bevy

Gabi and Katherine

And here the four of us were right before we all said Goodbye.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

It's Time for Me to Get Packing

It's that time... time to get the suitcase out and start packing! You see, in just TWO days I will be spending a glorious long weekend with three blog friends on Nantucket. (Of course we will miss sweet Mama Henley who is not able to join us!!!). We five women have formed a friendship online and via emails and Twitter that we are all so excited to cultivate in person. And what better place than Tickled Pink Talk's family home on Nantucket. Entertaining Mom and Pink, Green and Southern will be there too, and I can't wait to see their precious faces in person! I can't wait to laugh! I can't wait to walk on the shore (although this southern girl says "beach")! I can't wait to learn more and more about these amazing women! I can't wait to drink fancy girl drinks! I can't wait to laugh! (Did I mention that already?) No worries on whether or not we will be posting. Between all of us, do you think that would be possible for at least one of us NOT to?

Of course I will not be flying up alone. I do have a little traveling buddy. My son, J, is sending Flat Stanley along! Hope he doesn't mind a little light reading on the plane..


Saturday, September 18, 2010

Are They Really Just Words?

In raising our boys, Mike and I work hard (as ALL of us do!) to instill morals and values that will carry them throughout their lives. We want them to grow to be men of character and conviction to know what is right. As a teacher, I have the same responsibility for them. I shared this story of a conversation I had with S just a few nights ago.

He wanted to know why some words were bad. He wasn't talking about racial slurs or outright vulgar words. He was primarily talking about cr** and su***. Aren't they just words? No. They are trashy. They sound horrible coming out of an adult's mouth, and even worse coming out of the mouth of a child/tween. We don't say those words. Period. (OK, I may let cr** slip out, but I'm mostly a "damn it" kind if girl.). It seems that both those words are in the vocabulary of almost every middle school student in the country. He said it made him feel weird to say "crud" and "stinks". And that sometimes he slips when he is around his friends. I was so proud that he told me that - that he confessed. He shared. And I told him how proud I was.

I asked him if anyone ever teased him. He said no, that no one really seems to notice. I asked if he was losing friends. He said no, that he was making even more friends in his new school and always had people around him. Do all your friends use that language? No, he met a new kid named J whom he really likes who seems to have parents "who believe a lot of the same things as you, Mom".

So, things are fine. But I gave him a bit of advice that is really the crux of what I told my students.

Pretend Mimi or GrandMuz are with you all the time. If you would want them to hear it, then say it. If not, then you know what to do.

If only we would all remember to do that...


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Fat Free and Delightful for Me!

Ok. I am not really a big sweets person. Dessert has never really been a big temptation for me. Good bread and fine cheeses, now that's another story in entirety. If I had it my way, I'd have a big wheel of Brie cheese with a candle sticking in it for my birthday. I'd call it "Fromage Anniversaire". Ok, maybe I'd have it wrapped in a little puff-pastry and caramelized to satisfy the others.

But I digress. If I must choose a sweet, it most definitely would be ice cream. And that is the key word: "cream". (See my above love affair with cheese.). Yum yum! But my diet - that I have fallen off the wagon of so many times - looks down on ice cream as a major food group.

Hallelujah and Praise the Lord! The angels were singing that fateful day I was in the freezer section of Publix buying the real stuff for the boys. There it was: Breyers Fat-Free Chocolate.

Not only is this stuff fat free, has only 90 calories, AND four grams of FIBER per serving... This stuff rocks! And I swear it is creamier than the real thing.

Too bad it doesn't go with Brie!


Saturday, September 11, 2010

A Perfectly Social Son

In my town, sixth grade is not only signified by the transition to that horrible (and I say this in jest) place called middle school. It is also the year that the fine young ladies and gentlemen of our town embark on a social adventure that will continue for at least three more years: Social.

Here's S in his requisite navy blue blazer and Brooks Brothers tie. So cute!

In seventh and eighth grades (and preferably longer), they will learn the waltz, foxtrot, etc. Winter and spring will host the formal dances where the proud parents will watch their offspring glide effortlessly around the room as we did when we were young (albeit in another town for me).

But in sixth grade, we are at the starting gates: Perfectly Social Manners class. And as a parent volunteer, I have had the opportunity to see the awkwardness of these boys in their navy blazers and ties. I see the girls in their dresses, looking around the room in hopes that no one is wearing the same one. They are seated at tables, their name tags serving as place cards. Seventeen-million pieces of silverware in front of them.

I see my S pull out the chair for the young lady beside him. I hear him give a compliment as he shakes the hand of one of the sweet ladies who teach the class. I watch as he stands and shares how he called to RSVP to that evening's event. Later on at home, I help him write a formal RSVP for the formal dinner that will culminate the class.

But I was also able to see something that tickled me the third evening of Perfectly Social. I was already in the room as were a few girls sitting at their table. As S walked in the room, they began giggling, "Oh, there's S." "Look, S's coming in." Etc. Etc. Seems these young ladies are taking notice? Oh yes. And as a mother, I have to be able to handle that. But get this! Another mother who arrived before me saw these girls switching the place cards around so that S and another boy would be sitting next to them!. Can you believe that?!?!?! At least they weren't switching so that he wasn't at their table. But it makes me ask myself what Mike and I have in store for us.

S has a few more classes in front of him... as do I. Here he is after one with these two cuties: his Social dance partner (You have to get your partner YEARS in advance!) and his "friend". Notice his blazer is off and the girls are carrying their shoes!

My perfectly social son...


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Not Your Everyday Hand Sanitizer

So the first week of school I have a student compliment me on my Lilly skirt. And now I receive this from another cutie pie...

I mean, how cute can hand sanitizer get?! (Honestly, I never thought I'd ask that question... LOL)


Friday, September 3, 2010

A Love Affair with Earrings

I love jewelry.  Yes, I am a girl, and I love jewelry.  The problem is that I am VERY picky.  Especially with earrings. I'll pretty much love ANY necklace, bracelet, or ring.  But please don't try to buy me earrings.  Not to be rude, but I probably won't wear them.  I have been hooked on Ronald Pearson's "figure 8" earrings for years.  I have them in both 14K and sterling.  They are both a classic and a statement.  I absolutely love, love, love them.

Probably the main reason I love them so is because what they signify to me.  As a Columbia Junior Leaguer, I always admired them.  Silver or gold, I never cared.  But it wasn't until I finally left my ex-husband that fateful day in May of 2002 (No details, please.  We'll just say he loved to imbibe more than the average southern male... much more.), that I finally procured my own "figure 8s".  I can remember walking into Carol Saunder's Gallery like a new woman.  Celebrating my, and my young sons', freedom, I felt so liberated.  I bought both the gold and silver pair.  I deserved these earrings.  I earned them!

And so seven years later have passed.  I am married to my husband - an amazing man.  I have a wonderful life. And... I still am in love with my "figure 8s".