Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Tuesday's Kitchen Inspirations

This photograph was taken a few years ago.  It was Easter at my family's Episcopal church.  Jackson (he was five!) and his cousin, C, are "flowering the cross".  I love the tradition of all the families bringing azaleas, camellias, and dogwoods from their yards to decorate the large cross outside the church.  Then, when we are all inside, the beautiful hymns of "Jesus Christ is Risen Today!", "Hail Thee, Festival Day", and "Welcome Happy Morning" bring tears to my eyes.

This week I am looking forward to Holy Week:  Maundy Thursday's stripping of the alter and foot-washing, and then Good Friday service.  The darkness and somberness of those days prepares me for the Happy Morning this photograph conveys.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Good News for My Foot!

for me!
(Only a sprain... lucky me!)

Thank you all for your concern and prayers!  Blogland friends really are Golden...  Love you all!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

How Dangerous IS a Piece of Sidewalk Chalk?

To those of you whom I am a faithful reader, I apologize for not being very faithful these past few days.  I blame it all on a lone piece of pink sidewalk chalk innocently lying on the playground at school. 

Tuesday afternoon was lovely and we were coming in from recess.  I didn't see that lone pink piece of sidewalk chalk, but I felt my Dansko clad left foot twist beneath me as I tripped on it.  Not a bad twist at all - and I was so glad I didn't fall in front of my fourth grade class.  That would not have been cool at all!  Drat, that little piece of pink sidewalk chalk.

Ouch, my foot was a little sore the rest of the day.  And the top of my foot was a little tender, but I thought nothing of it.  I took a Tylenol PM, made myself my little Crystal Lite Cosmo and was out like a light.  Stupid little piece of pink sidewalk chalk.

By Wednesday, I am in a little more pain.  The top of my foot and toes are a little swollen.  Hmmm... not good.  But I teach, for goodness sake!  How on earth am I to stay off of my feet?  I am limping a bit.  I have sharp pains shooting through the top of my foot and radiating  into my ankle and toes.  Even more "not good".  I take more anti-inflammatory pills.  Oh cr*%, Jackson has baseball practice, Sumter has baseball pictures AND a game, and I am in charge of Sumter's team snack.  No time for pain.  I'll put on my Sperry "mules" and deal with it.  After the game (and over 24 hours later) I feel hot pokers shooting through my foot.  I take more drugs and elevate on a pillow in bed.  I hate that little piece of pink sidewalk chalk.

This morning it really hurts.  I am close to tears.  But I can walk on it... it's not purple, black or blue.  It can't be a torn ligament or broken bone (can it???).  I go to school, wincing in pain, and prop my foot on a chair.  Later, I run into the school nurse.  She convinces me to let her wrap it as the hot poker burning sensation continues to shoot up and down my foot.  She is not pleased that I have not gone to the doctor.  Seems you can tear and break bones without intense bruising - or being unable to walk.  Lovely.  Or should I say, Damn that little piece of pink sidewalk chalk.

Oh, the story gets better... went to the Doc-in-the-Box at 6:00 after getting my hair "cullahed".  (I do have my priorities in order!) to get an x-ray.  Guess who's insurance carrier has not mailed her a new card?!?!?!  Guess who had to leave without an x-ray?  (Have an appointment Friday at 2:00.)  Guess who has to deal with the insurance company to find my new number, etc.?  Guess who has self-medicated herself AGAIN tonight?

If I EVER see another piece of pink sidewalk chalk...

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Tuesday's Kitchen Inspirations... Not!

The past month I have set aside Tuesday to share photos or objects in my kitchen (where we ladies tend to spend much of our time!) that inspire me.  However, this morning was a bit different.  As I looked out of my breakfast room windows, I was NOT inspired.  I was shocked.  I was perplexed.  I was stunned.

I walked out onto my deck and saw this:

This is the house at the end of our cul-de-sac.  I HAD to take a picture.  If I didn't, you would not have believed me.  As I was standing in the middle of our street, snapping away, another neighbor came out to see.  He took a picture with his cell phone.  There were no words spoken between us.  There was no need.  I am just thankful that today is trash day and when I got home from school, every bag was gone.

UPDATE:  Thank goodness the bags were full of leaves and yard debris.  So double thank goodness my neighbors aren't THAT trashy!  It's kind of crazy as I really don't know them at all. 

Sunday, March 21, 2010

It's Official...

... I am a Socialite.  (And that kind of makes me giggle.)  But at least that's what my friends at The Preppy Mafia say!  I was tagged and have the change to share a little about myself... also share this cute button with you!

1. Who is your style icon?  Reese Witherspoon.  She is so classic, southern, and a former debutante.  Even when she is “dressing down”, she is so put together.

2. What is your favorite socialite lit book?  Love Devil in the Junior League by Linda Francis Lee.

3.  Favorite party theme? Winter - Christmas Open House... Spring - Aiken Steeplechase

4. “Go to” Halloween costume? Didn’t have one until reading about Beth’s witch hat (I already own!) and black cocktail dress (ditto!)… Très chic!

5. Extravagance you cannot live without? Is having a maid really considered an extravagance?   I also love a good pedicure… must book one now!

6. Living person you admire? Laura Bush

7. Greatest Fear? Something happening to our boys.

8. Trait you deplore in yourself? My weight… gets in the way of cute clothes!

9. Which talent would you most like to have? Flower arranging... never have had the opportunity to learn.  And I love having fresh flowers around the home.  Sigh...

10. Greatest Achievement? Bouncing back and ON TOP after my divorce…then  marrying the right guy and living the life I love (and deserve!) with him and our boys.

So, there is a snapshot of a southern Socialite from SC...
(Still makes me giggle!)
Oh, and pictures from Steeplechase will be posted soon!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Steeplechase Preparations

Oh, what a Golden Day Saturday is sure to be!  We are looking at partly sunny skies and a lovely 75 degrees for the Aiken Steeplechase.  I went to the grocery store yesterday to get supplies for my part of the spread:  brownies, homemade oatmeal raisin  and chocolate chip cookies, and the "Now Famous Cheese Ring".

(This isn't mine... you'll see my creation next week
with picture from the races!)

You've never heard of the "Now Famous Cheese Ring"???  Heavens!!!  It is divine, scrumptious, and a hit every year.  I have been making it as long as I have been entertaining.  The recipe comes from the fabulous cookbook Tea Time at the Masters  (Augusta, Georgia JL cookbook from years past).  And I thought I would share this delicious hors d'oeurve with you.

"Now Famous" Cheese Ring
1 pound sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup pecans, chopped
1/2 cup onions, grated or finely chopped
6 twists (of the pepper mill) of freshly ground pepper
1 dash cayenne pepper
12 ounces strawberry preserves
  • Mix all ingredients except strawberry preserves and shape into a ring. 
  • However, I usually "pour" into a bowl and scoop out the middle after it is chilled.
  • Chill
  • Spoon preserves into the hollow before serving. 
  • Serve with Ritz or wheat crackers.
Oh, so delish!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Tuesday's Kitchen Inspirations

Another Tuesday and another look around my kitchen for what inspires me and makes me happy.  I know I'm off on the season.  This was two years ago at Jackson's kindergarten Thanksgiving feast.  But I love these Lilly pink whale jeans!  I bought them in Chatham (on the Cape) a few years ago when I had my annual Connie "If You Weren't There, We Talked About You!" weekend.  I went to a wonderful girls school (to be PC, "womens college):  Converse College.  You can read about the last weekend we had in A Weekend at Connie's.

Anyway... I digress.  I am heartbroken that I can not get my fat derriere in said jeans.  Therefore,  I have this picture on my refrigerator as a kitchen inspiration.  I want these babies to be loose in September when I make my way back up to Nantucket! 

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Winter Jam and the Best Date

Last month (yes, this post is a little late!) I went on one of the best dates I've had in a long time.  And I really didn't want to go.  I thought and gave every reason why we shouldn't:  Valentines (at school was the next day), the boys had to be packed to go to the mountains for the weekend (grandparents picking them and gear up from school), and I was just tired.  I knew we wouldn't get back until well after eleven.  It was a school night for this teacher!  Finally I relented.  And so we left at 4:30 to got to Winter Jam in Augusta, Ga., about 45 minutes from our house.

For those who don't know, Winter Jam is a Christian music concert with 6-8 bands.  This year, the big names were New Song, News Boys, and Third Day - awesome bands!  And when we finally got in the James Brown Arena (yes, the James Brown is from Aiken/Augusta area), I was getting a little more into it.  We got a $5 Diet Coke to share and made it to our seats. 

(Please excuse the photos.  They were taken with my phone!)
News Boys

Third Day

The bands were amazing.  I knew most of the numbers.  (That's always a plus!)  And my date was amazing.  When he thought the music was too loud, he instructed me how to lift the collar of my jacket to block the noise.   He thought that I might be getting thirsty with all my singing along with the bands, so every so often, he tapped me and held up the monster Diet Coke.  During the intermission, the lead singer of New Song came out to give a little talk and a prayer.  My guy reached over and grabbed my hand in his. In the next set, confetti was shot from "cannons" on the stage, and he made sure he got a few pieces for me.  Every now and then, he'd lean over and ask if I was having a good time.  (I was!  Those bands put on an awesome show!)  And when we the concert was finally over at 10:30, he squeezed my hand and thanked me for coming with him, even though I was tired.

It was one of the best dates I've ever had.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Oh Tretorn, Where Art Thou?

I saw them in the LandsEnd catalog.  I saw them on some of your blogs as you reminisced about them in your younger years.  I even saw them on Zappos.com.  They were back: my beloved Tretorn tennis shoes.
 photo courtesy of Zappos.com

What wonderful memories I have of my many pair.  A few stand out: 
  • The blue with whale print shoelaces (remember those???).  I used to dance when I was younger, and during one rehearsal of our company's production of The Nutcracker, the director grabbed one in a pinch to represent the real Nutcracker.  Our city's newspaper was there doing a photo shoot, and my blue Tretorn was all over the article!  I was so proud!
  • The pink.  I worked as a waitress at Kanuga, in the mountains of N.C,during the summers of '85 and '86.  This is the wonderful place my family has summered every year of my life (visualize the resort in Dirty Dancing ).  The parties, the first real summer romances, the hikes around the lake, the "this is the BEST summer of my life - EVER!"
  • The Madras. My college Tretorns that no one else had.  A boy I had a crush on always called me Tipsy, for the book Tipsy in Madras.  Alas, the flirting never evolved into anything else...
So you can see why I was so excited when I saw that LandsEnd had them at 30% off and free shipping.  How fun!  I can relive my create some new Tretorn memories!  I ordered the white on white as I thought they would be nice, Preppy casual shoes if I didn't want to wear my Eliza Bs.  I anxiously awaited their arrival, and when they did, I was so... disappointed.

You see, these are not the same marshmallow soft shoes I remember.  Gone is the scrumptious terry lining that enveloped your foot.  Gone are the almost "waffle weave" thick laces.  Even the logo has obviously gone on a diet as it is not the same robust "V" on the side.  The picture above is pretty much what I see in person.  I was heartbroken.

They are ok on the comfort end.  They are acceptable.  They don't offend me.  And they are the originals.  But they aren't my old, beloved Tretorns of the 80's and early 90's.  So I ask, dear friends, What would you do?

***Update... Checked the website at Zappos.com and saw lots of different views of the shoe.  They look just like mine.  Also, read quite a few reviews by others.  Those that remember the "good old days" had the exact same reaction I did.  Doesn't seem to matter where you buy them.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Tuesday's Kitchen Inspirations

So this watercolor isn't really in my kitchen, but I can see it in the great room from my kitchen sink!  And it does so inspire me and make me smile as it reminds me of that wonderful Saturday we get to experience every March.  Some of you may have already seen it from yesterday's guest blog Mind Your Manners' Monday: People with Disabilities at Entertaining House.  And I read so many sweet comments on it.  Thank you for being so receptive!  And thank you, my dear friend Jessica, for your support!

We love the Aiken Steeplechase in late March.  The weather is always so lovely with a gentle breeze and the azaleas beginning to bloom... I'm getting spring fever right now, just sitting on my front porch in a rocking chair, laptop in my my lap. Steeplechase is the perfect time to get out the Lilly skirts and Jack Rogers sandals.  Mike always wears a pair of loud (AKA obnoxiously preppy) pants... or shorts if the weather is warm enough.  One year, it was Lilly's pink and green giraffes.  Here, we have a classic and subdued (LOL) patchwork.

The boys love the races and have so much fun running around passing the hat for the bets on the horses.  I don't think we are contributing to the delinquency of our sons!

I love the beautiful tables and flower arrangements the women prepare.  The silver (or Mariposa) trays full of chicken salad sandwiches and fresh strawberries.  (You know I will blog about it later!)

And Mike... he just loves a good bourbon and coke!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Sun-body Loves Me! (... and my manners!)

Yesterday, I was inspired by my cute friends 
Bethany and Sara
and used a gift certificate for a pedicure 
to get these tootsies ready for SPRING!!!  
How wonderful... 
How relaxing... 
How come I don't do this more often?  
And it made me realize that...

Sun-body Loves Me
by OPI

OH... and it's definitely a Golden Day!  Entertaining House asked me to write for Mind Your Manners Monday, and I invite you to visit her blog (Monday the 8th).  I think hope you will be inspired!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

An Email Worth Forwarding... and Reading

OK... so I am not a big fan of email forwards:  sappy, smarmy, or political.  Normally I delete without even looking at them.  But for some reason I didn't today.  It was from my dear friend from college, Elizabeth.  I read it.  I thought of my children (and husband)... and I wept.  Even though it's a bit long, I wanted to share it with you...

She jumped up as soon as she saw the surgeon come out of the operating room. She said: "How is my little boy? Is he going to be all right? When can I see him?'"

The surgeon said, "I'm sorry. We did all we could, but your boy didn't make it."

Sally said, "Why do little children get cancer? Doesn't God care any more? Where were you, God, when my son needed you?"

The surgeon asked, "Would you like some time alone with your son? One of the nurses will be out in a few minutes, before he's transported to the university."
Sally asked the nurse to stay with her while she said good bye to son.. She ran her fingers lovingly through his thick red curly hair.... "Would you like a lock of his hair?" the nurse asked.. Sally nodded yes. The nurse cut a lock of the boy's hair, put it in a plastic bag and handed it to Sally..

The mother said, "It was Jimmy's idea to donate his body to the University for study. He said it might help somebody else. I said no at first, but Jimmy said, 'Mom, I won't be using it after I die. Maybe it will help some other little boy spend one more day with his Mom.' " She went on, "My Jimmy had a heart of gold. Always thinking of someone else. Always wanting to help others if he could." 

Sally walked out of Children's Mercy Hospital for the last time, after spending most of the last six months there. She put the bag with Jimmy's belongings on the seat beside her in the car.

The drive home was difficult. It was even harder to enter the empty house. She carried Jimmy's belongings, and the plastic bag with the lock of his hair to her son's room.

She started placing the model cars and other personal things back in his room exactly where he had always kept them.. She lay down across his bed and, hugging his pillow, cried herself to sleep.

It was around midnight when Sally awoke… Lying beside her on the bed was a folded letter. The letter said:

Dear Mom,
I know you're going to miss me; but don't think that I will ever forget you, or stop loving you, just 'cause I'm not around to say 'I Love You'. I will always love you, Mom, even more with each day. Someday we will see each other again. Until then, if you want to adopt a little boy so you won't be so lonely, that's okay with me. He can have my room and old stuff to play with. But, if you decide to get a girl instead, she probably wouldn't like the same things us boys do. You'll have to buy her dolls and stuff girls like, you know.

Don't be sad thinking about me. This really is a neat place. Grandma and Grandpa met me as soon as I got here and showed me around some, but it will take a long time to see everything. The angels are so cool.. I love to watch them fly. And, you know what? Jesus doesn't look like any of his pictures.. Yet, when I saw Him, I knew it was Him... Jesus himself took me to see GOD! And guess what, Mom? I got to sit on God's knee and talk to Him, like I was somebody important.. That's when I told Him that I wanted to write you a letter, to tell you good bye and everything.. But I already knew that wasn't allowed. Well, you know what Mom? God handed me some paper and His own personal pen to write you this letter I think Gabriel is the name of the angel who is going to drop this letter off to you. God said for r me to give you the answer to one of the questions you asked Him: "Where was He when I needed him?"  God said He was in the same place with me, as when His son Jesus was on the cross. He was right there, as He always is with all His children...

Oh, by the way, Mom, no one else can see what I've written except you. To everyone else this is just a blank piece of paper. Isn't that cool? I have to give God His pen back now He needs it to write some more names in the Book of Life. Tonight I get to sit at the table with Jesus for supper. I'm sure the food will be great.

Oh, I almost forgot to tell you. I don't hurt anymore the cancer is all gone... I'm glad because I couldn't stand that pain anymore, and God couldn't stand to see me hurt so much, either. That's when He sent The Angel of Mercy to come get me. The Angel said I was a Special Delivery! How about that?

Signed with Love from God, Jesus & Me.

Golden Day Blessings...

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Tuesday's Kitchen Inspirations

Love these pictures of Sumter and Jackson.  They were taken the day Mike and I got married.  These little guys walked me down the aisle that rainy June afternoon.  As I mentioned before in Meet My Husband - Part II, they wore the Palmetto Tuxedo of khakis, white shirt, tie, and navy blue blazer.  By the reception, the blazers were gone and the Vineyard Vines ties were askew...

...But so cute I've always wondered if I should submit these pictures to Shep and Ian.  I just know their Tuesdays would be as inspired as mine!