Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Bug Has Bit Again

I tend to change my hairstyle often. After a few months, I am bored and ready to move on with something a little more stylish. Some time back, I cut off all of that long, out-of-style hair and I have no regrets on that, for sure! I graduated to a posh-like style, went from blonde to light brown and back to blonde again. The brown just wasn't me but for some reason, I am thinking that I may be me now?? (yes, that is a statement and not a question)
Once again, I am back to feeling the urge to go darker. Does everyone else go to the salon every 4 weeks for cut/color? Figuring up the cost, I spend at least $140 a month on my hair. My theory would be that going a tinge darker would cut down on my cost, and not to mention my time that I spend there. My life is not that exciting that Ashley and I have enough words to fill up a 3 hour conversation every time I go - because that is how long it takes me to foil all of this hair! Short or long, I have a ton of it!

This is the next adventure that I am considering. I am really thinking I could pull this off! Cute, Huh?

Monday, December 29, 2008

Some Sugar For That Sour Mouth!

This post will not be a pleasant one so I think it's fair that I warn you ahead of time. You can thank the redneck girl in my office for this.

First, let me paint a picture for you. One sentence will take care of it. She drinks Mt. Dew out of a 2 liter bottle that sits on her desk. You heard it right the first time, no glass, no thermos, no NOTHING! I could not believe my eyes when I saw it for the first time and you should have seen Ed's face when I told him about it. I am not a full-blown debutante, but I do pride myself in most etiquette that has been instilled in me since birth.

She lit a match under me first thing this morning when we had a confrontation. She crossed the line in the delivery of her request and let me be the one to tell you that I don't take too kindly to that sort of thing. It wasn't just to me, but it was to two other co-workers whom I felt she offended. It may take awhile to get over Sharon's look of horror (she's our new office mate). I felt so bad for her. There are several of us that have a great relationship and we do tend to share a lot but nothing over and beyond what we deem is acceptable.

For the most part, I don't seek out confrontation but I don't back down from standing up from myself when I feel as if I have been disrespected. I treat others how I would like to be treated and the Golden Rule will always stand true with me.

I am gonna be brutal here when I state that I hate loud mouth people who have the tendency to "tell" rather than "request."

Go let someone else tolerate your crap 'cause you're not stealing MY joy, sister! (Thanks, Ed - I can hear you saying it right now. Mwah!!!)

T-10 days and counting until Mexico.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Santa's Needs A Break!

Not trying to be a Ba Humbug in spirit post Christmas, but Santa needs a break! My theory is that Mother's Day should immediately follow Christmas because us mom's don't get a moments rest and WE need a vacation from taking care of everyone else but ourselves during this season. Mother's don't get enough credit.

Tomorrow will be the official "after Christmas clean out" because the tree and decorations are coming down, the trash will be put out and I am gonna begin to pack for my trip! Everyone in my house knows what the Saturday after Christmas brings and they dread it.

No more festive cookie scented candles and back to the lemony smell of Lysol filling the air.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Finally, the finished product.
You won't hear from me until after the holiday so may peace be with you all.

Bloated and Busted!

Gawd, please spare me any more junk food! I long for a home cooked, stick to your ribs kind of meal that will replace every morsel of sugar that exists in my home and office! Ham and scalloped oysters can't come soon enough! If this really stand true, then WHY are we still continuing to gorge on this crap?

I'm officially ready for Christmas - AND a trip to the gym!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Mojitos and Sombreros

Did someone say Christmas was next week? Somewhere between Thanksgiving and Christmas, I have lost almost a whole month. I wish someone would get The Crinch That Stole Christmas off my back!

Every time I have an inkling of Christmas spirit, the spark flickers out just as quickly as it came. The only thing I can concentrate on is sipping mojitos at an ocean side bar in Mexico. This could be part of the problem. Mexico has stolen Christmas!

Is that a bad thing??

Friday, December 12, 2008

Hooching Through The Holidays

The open bar at the Mitchell's Christmas party last night was in full force as usual. Trust me when I say that these folks KNOW how to throw a party! They live on the intercoastal waterway and their home is perfect for entertaining. The signature drink was a Blueberry Martini but I found it hard to get past the fact that the host misspelled "Eggnog" and wrote "Eggnot" on the bar menu. Yes, they even had a bar menu! After thinking about it, the term "Eggnot" was probably more appropriate.

I am going to spend my weekend baking and maybe I will even wrestle with my own recipe for homemade eggnog. Party mix and eggnog..........ya just can't get much better than that!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Whale of a Sale!

I will admit that I am not a fan of most of the Croc footwear that I see from time to time. They have had some practical sandals and flip flops that I have eyed for our up and coming trip to Mexico which requires us to leave our "nice" flops at home. Most of my summer shoes are heels, polka dot flip flops, or some sort of cutesy shoes that make a diva-like statement. Just how I am - take it or leave it.

I logged on to Dick's Sporting Goods website and found the most awesome sale! Athen's style Crock sandals for $15.98. That price included EVERYTHING! I was all over that bargain.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

To Be...or Not To Be

I am having such a hard time getting into the Christmas season this year. It could be due in part to my brother's passing but I think I am actually doing better than I was initially. I put the tree up at the house because of the girls and it does make me feel somewhat better when I turn it on in the evenings but things just seem so blah this year. Is it something in the air? Most of my friends would have already completed the majority of their Christmas shopping by now but the consensus is that most haven't even started!

I have Ed's mother's old family recipe for party mix and I think after making a few batches of that, the spirit of the season will return. But, for now, I will drink this and be content!

Monday, December 8, 2008

So Much Catching Up To Do!

Way too much time has passed since I have even thought about logging on to blog. The Saturday after Thanksgiving, my brother passed away peacefully at home and our family has really taken a blow from our loss. I am trying to attempt to put one foot in front of the other and move on with my life and deal with the devil of grief as we know it. I can sum things up by saying that no none can ever prepare for the loss of a loved on - even when you know it's coming - it does not make it any easier. Yet, I am very blessed to have so many friends and loved ones to comfort us in our time of need that words will never describe the appreciation that we feel.

My 38th birthday followed on December 6th and once again, Chef Ed came through with flying colors. I knew Darius Rucker from the old Hootie and the Blowfish was coming into town and I was painfully seeking tickets to purchase for his sold out show. I am gonna give a shout out to Crowfield, the band that opened for him, because they were amazing and they work with Ed part time. Such talent and genuinely thankful guys. Charleston is a great spot to breed vocal talent.
Third on the list was Jypsi. They are a small little country group that's attire gives new meaning to "gypsy" in itself. I couldn't put an outfit from Goodwill together if I TRIED that matched anything they had to offer! Once again, AWESOME talent if you can get past their clothes. Take some time and look them all up.

Darius Rucker being an hometown Charleston boy, filled the place wall to wall and he brought back so many old memories of being young and carefree at the Windjammer on the Isle of Palms. It was great to have seats so close (second row back from the stage) and nothing was better than being there with the one that has taken care of me the most over the last few years. Our next adventure is our week long trip to Mexico on January 9th. I have so much to think about as I file away all of the good memories that cherish. I am keeping faith in time healing all wounds. Darius helped, though!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Not Just Black Friday - How About Black Thanksgiving Holiday??

Thanksgiving has come and gone and so has my hot water heater!! Yep -- not kidding. $675 later, we will FINALLY be back up and running this afternoon!

I SOOOO need a girls weekend get away or some devine intervention in my life. Let's see if Christmas can be any better. I'll keep my fingers crossed.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Every Woman

Maya Angelou's best poem ever!

enough money within her control to move out and rent a place of her own, even if she never wants to or needs to.

something perfect to wear if the employer or date of her dreams wants to see her in an hour.

a youth she's content to leave behind.

a past juicy enough that she's looking forward to retelling it in her old age.

a set of screwdrivers, a cordless drill, and a black lace bra.

one friend who always makes her laugh and one that let's her cry.

a good piece of furniture not previously owned by anyone else in her family.

eight matching plates, wine glasses with stems and a recipe for a meal that will make her guests feel honored.

a feeling on control over her destiny.

how to fall in love without losing herself.

how to quit a job, break up with a lover and confront a friend without ruining the friendship.

when to try harder and when to walk away.

that she can't change the length of her calves, the width of her hips, or the nature of her parents.

that her childhood may not have been perfect but it's over.

what she would and wouldn't do for love or more.

how to live alone even if she doesn't like it.

whom she can trust, whom she can't, and why she shouldn't take it personally.

where to go be it her best friend's kitchen table or a charming Inn in the woods when her soul needs soothing.

what she can and can't accomplish in a day, a month, and a year.

God Love Paula Deen!

I'll admit that I am a Food Network Junkie. Something about being attached to a Chef makes it sort of a competition at times. He is a great cook and I'll give him credit for that, but I don't do too bad myself because I have managed to raise two children and feed them well loooong before he came along. As Greeks, we don't miss too many meals, either. Growing up, most events centered around some celebration with lots of loud chatter and enormous amounts of food. Have you seen My Big Fat Greek Wedding?? THAT would be us except marrying a Greek was never mandatory- only suggested.

Anyway, I just love, love Paula Deen. She can get on my nerves sometimes with the "ya'll" stuff and she goes overboard with that quite often. My brother and I had a conversation last night about her and he said that he thought she did that for all of the "Yankees" that watch her show. (He still does have his wit about him.) I told him that he was probably right because we have lived here all of our lives and I have NEVER heard anyone say "ya'll" that many times in one conversation. All in all, I think Paula has a good heart and she has struggled to get to where she is today. She is a self-made woman who worked hard and did it honestly.

While watching her Thanksgiving Day special, she made these Sweet Potato Balls and they looked amazing! You form the sweet potato mixture around a marshmallow and bake them in the oven. That is gonna be our dessert this year! You'll have to log on to Food Network in order to find the complete recipe but I'll bet it will be well worth it!

Now for the mushy stuff.....Today is my last day of work for the week. I decided to take off Wednesday in order to spend some time with my family for our last Thanksgiving together with Richard. If I have never said this before, I feel like someone has a stop watch on my time and we are eager to cram in all that we want to do and say to each other before his end of time on this earth as we know it. If I blog about this and bother to share things with you, my hope would be that everyone that stumbles across this page will say "I love you" to their friends and loved ones this holiday. Don't wait because you will never get yesterday back again.

Make every day your Thanksgiving.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

One At A Time, Please!

(Stepping up on my soap box)

I have delayed posting about this until this morning when I have had my fill of "Christmas come early." In all honestly, I feel as if lots of folks have forgotten what Thanksgiving is all about. I am disturbed when I drive down the road and see businesses all decked out with holiday decorations BEFORE Thanksgiving is even here!

Isn't anyone thankful for anything anymore?? Slow down and enjoy one day at a time. You will never get that moment back again.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Countdown Is On

I have found some relief in being able to count down the days until our trip to Mexico. Ed and I enjoy traveling and have found a little nook at the tip of the Yucatan Peninsula, northwest of Cancun. Because of it's relatively remote location and small size, it's a great place for a relaxed, non-pretentious vacation (no big resorts, no chain restaurants, no cars). It's a little bit of work to get to. The travel to Holbox includes a flight to Cancun, then a drive north to the town of Chiquila (2 hours by car, 4 hours by bus), then a 30 minute boat ride to the island.

The beach area stepping outside of our room.

The view from our palapa.

Ed has lived in St. Thomas, USVI, and although he felt like it was pretty for folks to visit, he was more than ready to leave that lifestyle and excess baggage, and EVERYONE goes there. We wanted something to call our own and we found our secret paradise on an island that is longer (25 km) than it is wide (1 km across). This is JUST what we were looking for!

We will be staying in the Orange Palapa at Villa Los Mapaches which is a bungalow located directly on the beach within footsteps of the ocean. It consists of a small kitchenette where we will cook very few meals and travel by bicycles provided by our hosts for a five minute trip into town. Did I mention that there are no cars? The only means of transportation is a golf cart that can be rented for a minimal fee but really isn't necessary. Conga, the resident German Shepherd, is rumored to be very friendly and provide lots of company when swimming and throwing a ball.

Our trip will begin of January 9th and I have a sense that this vacation will be well deserved. Ahhhhh........Paradise does exist!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Use It OR Lose It!

I have been up to my ears in junk taking up space around my house. My obvious cup of compulsion regarding cleanliness had runeth over Saturday evening. I typically give my girls a fair warning about the condition of their rooms about twice a year. The ultimatum goes something like this: "I will give YOU a chance to CLEAN it - NOT pick it up - but REALLY clean it. You know what my expectations are and if it does not meet it, in comes the trash bags and I will clean it myself." The trumpets blew Saturday and it was "game on" after that! My youngest daughter, AC, usually is fairly compliant because she knows when I mean business! My oldest, CLS, on the other hand, does not take me quite so seriously.

While she was working Saturday night, I decided to tackle this heap of a mess. I swear, I KNOW that I will end up with some dreaded lung disease after inhaling all of that dust! How can anyone live in such filth? It amazes me that she dresses to the nines and every hair on her head is in place yet she will walk over a pile of crap in the floor without picking it up!

I hope she marries rich and can afford a full time house keeper. I would have taken an "after" picture but I was simply too exhaused!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Out of The Woodwork

Forgive me while I ponder a few thoughts on a dreary Saturday afternoon...........

I took yesterday off to be with my brother and family and also hit the grocery store during my little bit of down time so my family could eat. It turned out to be an enjoyable day with a few family members that stopped by to see us.

I am unsure if it is "right" for everyone to come by NOW that they know my brother isn't going to get any better and hospice is involved?? Where have they been for the last few years during the peak of his illness? Granted, we have a large family and everyone is older and busy now. Should I feel this way or should I be accepting of folks that lose track of time and never come around when all is well? Maybe this is a part of the roller coaster of emotions that I have been experiencing the last few weeks. My patience has been thin and my family has been bearing the brunt of it, unfortunately.

I can make a promise to all that from here on out, I will visit and call during the good times in life so I will never have to meet friends and loved ones under unfortunate conditions.

Have you called someone that you love to tell them that you are thinking of them? If not, you should.

I miss Chef Ed today while he's working........... he makes me feel better.....and when he reads this, I hope he knows how much I love him today.... and every day.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Have Mercy!

I don't often take a second glance at men on the streets that have longer hair and tattoos, but it's something about Keith Urban that stops me in my tracks!

That million dollar smile and the rugged REAL MAN air about him has got to make him the sexiest man alive! I saw him on the CMA last night and he just keeps getting better and better!

Please, Keith Urban, get rid of that pale-faced wife you have. You can do so much better and I am sure we could find you a true Southern girl with a sun tan!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Wine - With A Side of In-Laws

Although wine is a staple at any event at my in-laws, we do greatly enjoy each other's company. Last night was no exception. In spite of the fact that Ed and his father talk business constantly, I laid down the law last night when they were in town. My nerves could simply not take the heat of the moment that arises when both of them disagree (which is the majority of the time). It had been a few months since we had seen Ed's parents and his mother is suffering from early Alzheimer's so we were not sure what we were walking in to. I was pleasantly surprised with our visit. As usual, when we drove up, we all squealed and hugged and kissed and immediately poured the wine! I was able to escape the troubles of my own life for a moment, enjoy shrimp and grits, key lime pie, and a family that loves me unconditionally. I really do have a lot to be thankful for.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Someone Got A New Toy

Christmas came a little early this year. We have a regular laptop that we normally use but I have wanted a small notebook to travel with to replace lugging "old faithful" around. On a whim, I purchased the small Acer One Notebook to simply stay in touch while away from home. It's so tiny and it can fit right in my purse! Cute little gadget, huh?

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Am I Standing On Holy Ground?

I often look at my life and I am constantly reminded of the many facets that it has. I wear many hats - a mom, a co-worker, a friend, a sister, a daughter, a spouse. I am having a hard time deciding what role I need to be in right now. The pre-grief that I feel prior to my brother's passing is already taking a toll on all of us. There is nothing more tormenting than waiting for someone to die. I have humbled myself over the last few days. I am trying to figure out what focus my life is going to take once this is all said and done. Am I going to "lighten up" about the simple things in life or am I going to walk around in total paranoia that everyone around me will one day go to meet their maker and smother the ones that I love the most?

I am reading a book that was recommended reading by a friend and co-worker that talks about the glimpses of Heaven. It was written by a former hospice nurse and her perspective and experiences of patients and families that have traveled the journey through the end of life experience. The author reminds us there are many important lessons that people are trying to teach us moments before they die. We had better listen. We are standing on holy ground during these moments and we dare not miss one of them.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


This is a bittersweet post today and the main reason for posting at all is that I find it rather therapeutic and uplifting to blog at times.

After five years of being the bravest solider that I have ever encountered, my brother will go home and enter hospice care in a few days in order to spend the remainder of his life with dignity. This has always been my wish for him.

Cancer is one of Satan's biggest weapons and I am almost certain that he uses this to destroy families and spirits. We have all been on an emotional roller coaster for the past 5 years and we know that peace for all is soon to come. I can only sympathize with other families that have endured such hardships as we have and I pray every day for those people to stick together and cherish every moment.

This ordeal has been confirmation that cancer knows no name or face. Any one, any time can fall victim to it and it come bearing no mercy.

I lift my eyes to a much higher power that consoles me when I feel like I can't make it one more day. I often wonder how folks without faith get through tough times like these? It isn't easy with Him on your side but I can't imagine what it would be like all alone.

It only makes us stronger.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Exercise Your Right!

The bumper sticker says it all. Enough said.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Keep It Simple, Stupid.

Changing gears a bit since my last post but I have to vent about people that insist on wearing multiple gold necklaces, bracelets and rings on every finger. PLEASE stop the madness, people!
Unless you are Mr. T or stuck in a time warp, this is NOT in style. Replace that junk for a simple strand of pearls or a monogrammed necklace. Recycling that old gold stuff is my suggestion.

Pluff Mud & Oysters - Ya'll Can't Get Any Better Than That!

Bowen's Island
Along this small tidal creek near Folly Beach, there is a small shack where folks have come for years in order to have real fried seafood and freshly steamed oysters. We decided to take the hike over on Saturday night. Through the years, people have questioned the fact that I have never left this beautiful area. In all honesty, I don't know if I could ever find somewhere more peaceful and tranquil as this. It's the smell of pluff mud and salty air that has instilled that Southern way of life long before I knew how to appreciate it or even what it meant.

Off to Bowen's Island for All You Can Eat Oysters! Make no mistake that this place is the "newer" of the buildings that has been rebuilt since the "older" one caught fire a year or so ago. I tried to take as many pictures as I could without looking like a tourist (which there was plenty of). The locals, like myself, walk right up because we KNOW what to do, and the tourists wander around trying to figure out what in the world they have gotten themselves into.

This is the small building where you place your order. Placing your order consists of telling the gentleman behind the counter your last name and what you want to eat and drink. The menu is hand written on a piece of notebook paper and stuffed into a sheet protector. You do not pay then. You only pay when you are finished and they accept Cash Only. You are given a hand towel, oyster knife and an old Gatorade bottle filled with hot sauce for dipping, then sent on your way to tell Henry (the tall, thin, older, black gentleman that has been there for 20+years) that you ordered oysters. You find a table with a hole in the middle to toss your shucked shells in and have at it!

This is the Oyster Room. Within 20 minutes, this place is so full, you can't move! Henry always remembers where you sat and he literally shovels the heaps of oysters on to your table until he sees that the pile is dwindling down.

We ate more than our money's worth. In the far right hand corner, you can see the bottle of hot sauce. There is really no wait staff. If you want another beer, you have to walk up to the small window and he grabs one out of the cooler for you. Your other option is to bring your own which some folks did. The selection is very limited as you can see from the Miller Lite can on the table.

When the air is cool and the oysters are hot, you can't get any better than that!

Over the years, the owners have encouraged everyone to write a sentiment on the walls and tables of the buildings. Before the old building caught on fire, you could hardly find a space to write because of the markings that had accumulated for decades past. This is the outside of the main room.
Here is the sunset that appeared.

This is what coastal living is all about.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Goulish Mutterings

Happy Halloween, All!

Sadly, I don't have any more Trick or Treaters because the girls are too old but I will enjoy seeing those little darlings in our neighborhood all dressed up tonight. I consider myself to be a pretty festive mom and I make every effort to spice each holiday up at least a tad. It may be making cookies or decorating something simple around the house, but holidays, growing up, were aways an excuse to decorate. That tradition still carries on. My mom, at 68 years old, STILL does it! We were a little late on carving the pumpkin but managed to get it done last night. We chose a simple stencil this year because of the time factor. It turned out cute and it will serve it's purpose.

A few weeks ago, we make Oreo Spider Cookies and they turned out CUTE, CUTE, CUTE. The only downfall was that they were almost too sweet to eat - and a little messy because AC wanted to do EVERYTHING herself.

I hope the girls do things like this with their kids when they are all grown up. These are ever-lasting memories.
Happy Night!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

If You Are Counting Calories - Stop Here!

I have discovered a new secret indulgence. I am not a coffee addict like some folks I know, but I do tend to lean towards the flavored stuff that you buy at Gloria Jeans while Christmas shopping at the mall in the winter time. It's one of those traditional things, I guess. AC, my youngest daughter, LOVES coffee - thanks to my mom and dad and although decaf is what they swear they give her, I am not so sure that her pediatrician would support this action! I didn't help much this weekend when we went grocery shopping and I spotted the Coffee Mate Gingerbread flavour. OMG-- this stuff is sinful yet so YUMMO!!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Smile Award

Baby Girl <------- (that would be me) is SPENT. Today has been a week since my brother has been in the hospital but I honestly think things are finally starting to look up. The heart cath is scheduled for tomorrow and if all is uneventful, I think he may be able to go home by the weekend. I'll keep my fingers crossed because spending all day at work and all evening at the hospital is just not my cup of tea. I have to fit family life in there somewhere.

I came across something this morning when I was doing my usual surfing of the web and it was called a "Smile Award." THIS made me smile.

Monday, October 27, 2008

The Down and Dirty

A. Attached or Single? About as "attached" as you can get.
B. Best Friend? Ed
C. Cake or Pie? Pie
D. Day of choice? Sunday
E. Essential item? Lipstick
F. Favorite color? Pink
G. Gummy bears or worms? Neither
H. Home town? Summerville, SC
I. Favorite Indulgence? Vera and a GOOD glass of wine.
J. January or July? July - it's the birth of our country and it summertime!
K. Kids? Yes, my two beautiful daughters. I am blessed.
L. Life isn't complete without? God
M. Marriage? It's a great thing with the right person.
N. Number of brothers and sisters? One older brother.
O. Oranges or Apples? Oranges - I like citrus.
P. Phobias? heights
Q. Quotes? "Powerful is like being a lady. If you have to say you are, you're not."
R. Reasons to smile? Although life is tough, I have been blessed with healthy children and great
life surrounded by people that love me unconditionally.
S. Season of choice? Summer - it's magic!
T. Team of choice? Old high school football team - Greenwaves. Coach McKissick is a legend.
U. Unknown fact about me? I am scared of the dark.
V. Vegetables? Eggplant
W. Worst habit? Cursing
X. X-ray or Ultrasound? Ultrasound because I saw the sex of my girls for the first time.
Y. Your favorite food? Seafood - oysters
Z. Zodiac sign? Sagittarius
(Another) Z. Which zoo animal is your favorite? They monkeys. The are so interesting.

More Than Enough

Today is my first day back to work after being out most of last week due to my brother's illness. The past five years, his battle with cancer has been a courageous fight. He has won so far but it is begining to take a tremendous toll on him physicially. Last Tuesday night I really felt as if the time had come for this to all end. He has suffered a major heart attack, a blood clot and a kidney infection and has somehow managed to STILL be living. Talking about a "cat with nine lives?"

I am trying to maintain some sort of normalcy by plowing through each day. I am so thankful for all of my friends and family that have called, visited, and prayed for us. The love that I have felt has been overwhelming.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Explain This

I have been keeping my political opinions to myself lately because I felt that blogging them was not really the appropriate way to show support to the candidate that I was endorsing. However, after careful thought, I realized that THIS is the beauty of living in America and if I really believed in the candidate of choice, I should be on my "soap box" about it.

Although McCain may not be the best person in the world for President, he is the lesser of the 2 evils that we have to choose from. I don't feel compelled to list all of the reasons why I am voting for him because listing all of the reasons why I am NOT voting for Obama seem much more important. It concerns me to no end that people are not openly questioning his history and if I were you, I would do some research on these things below. IF he is elected, I don't want to hear the upper/middle class Americans who voted for him complain!!!

Around 1979 Obama started college at Occidental in California. He is very open about his two years at Occidental, he tried all kinds of drugs and was wasting his time but, even though he had a brilliant mind, did not apply himself to his studies. "Barry" (that was the name he used all his life) during this time had two roommates, Muhammad Hasan Chandoo and Wahid Hamid, both from Pakistan.

During the summer of 1981, after his second year in college, he made a "round the world" trip. Stopping to see his mother in Indonesia, next Hyderabad in India, three weeks in Karachi, Pakistan where he stayed with his roommate's family, then off to Africa to visit his father's family.

My question - Where did he get the money for this trip? When he came back he started school at Columbia University in New York. It is at this time he wants everyone to call
him Barack - not Barry. Do you know what the tuition is at Columbia? It's not cheap to say the least. Where did he get money for tuition? Student Loans? Maybe.

After Columbia, he went to Chicago to work as a Community Organizer for $12,000... a year. Why Chicago? Why not New York? He was already living in New York.

By "chance" he met Antoin "Tony" Rezko, born in Aleppo Syria, and a Real Estate Developer in Chicago. Rezko has been convicted of fraud and bribery this year. Rezko, was named "Entrepreneur of the Decade" by the Arab-American Business and Professional Association" . About two years later, Obama entered Harvard Law School. Do you have any idea what tuition is for Harvard Law School? Where did he get the money for Law School? More student loans?

After Law school, he went back to Chicago. Rezko offered him a job, which he turned down. But, he did take a job with Davis, Miner, Barnhill & Galland. Guess what? They represented "Rezar" which was Rezko's firm. Rezko was one of Obama's first major financial contributors when he ran for office in Chicago.

In 2003, Rezko threw an early fundraiser for Obama which Chicago Tribune reporter David Mendelland claims was instrumental in providing Obama with "seed money" for his U.S. Senate race. In 2005, Obama purchased a new home in the Kenwoood District of Chicago for $1.65 million (less than asking price). With ALL those Student Loans - Where did he get the money for
the property? On the same day Rezko's wife, Rita, purchased the adjoining empty lot for full price. The London Times reported that Nadhmi Auchi, an Iraqi-born Billionaire loaned Rezko $3.5 million three weeks before Obama's new home was purchased. Obama met Nadhmi Auchi many times with Rezko.

Now, we have Obama running for President. Valerie Jarrett, was Michele Obama's boss. She is now Obama's Chief Advisor and he does not make any major decisions without talking to her first. Where was Jarrett born? Ready for this? Shiraz, Iran! Do we see a pattern here? Or am I
going crazy?

On May 10, 2008, The Times reported, Robert Malley, advisor to Obama, was "sacked" after the press found out he was having regular contacts with "Hamas", which controls Gaza and is connected with Iran. This past week, buried in the back part of the papers, Iraqi newspapers reported that during Obama's visit to Iraq, he asked their leaders to do nothing about the war until after he is elected, and he will "take care of things".

Oh, and by the way, remember the college roommates that where born in Pakistan? They are in charge of all those "small" internet campaign contribution for Obama. Where is that money coming from? The poor and middle class in this country? Or could it be from the Middle East?

And the final bit of news. On September 7, 2008, The Washington Times posted a verbal slip that was made on "This Week" with George Stephanapoulos. Obama on talking about his religion said, "My Muslim faith". When questioned, "he made a mistake". Some mistake!

I will be sure to watch the debate tonight!

Don't Reach Out & Touch Someone While Driving!

The last two days of being stuck in traffic for well over an hour has sparked me to investigate some of the possible reason as to WHY South Carolinians have such terrible driving statistics. We move slowly in the South yet we drive like maniacs! I have never been an advocate of demolishing cell phone usage completely while behind the wheel, but I do support hands-free devices vs. holding the phone chatting OR text messaging. This is what I found.

South Carolina is No. 1 for people who report that they text message on their cell phone while driving, according to a survey sponsored by a company that offers a solution to the problem. It's no laughing matter. There are reports of drivers in Tennessee and Colorado who have caused fatalities because they were distracted while texting. State lawmakers around the country take the issue seriously.

The company, Vlingo, sells software that it says can translate voice to text on a cell phone, eliminating the need to tap out a message. It hired a firm that tallied 4,820 responses to a "self-administered" online survey.

The Palmetto State came out at the top, with 40 percent reporting they reached out and touched someone with text while driving. Arizona had the lowest rate, 17 percent.

Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, California and the District of Columbia outlaw the use of handheld phones while driving, and 38 states are considering 133 bills that would regulate their use behind the wheel, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

A study conducted by Nationwide Mutual Insurance found that 19 percent of all drivers — and 37 percent of drivers between the ages of 18 and 27 — send text messages while behind the wheel.

While the state Department of Public Safety does not track accidents involving cell phones, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that using a cell phone, including hands-free devices, left drivers four times as likely to get into an accident serious enough to cause injury.

More than half of the states place some restriction on cell phone use by drivers. The majority of restrictions are on school bus drivers and teens, according to the institute.

Monday, October 13, 2008

He Cooks...and He's Cute, Too!!

I'm going to brag for a bit and he's gonna read this eventually so I had better keep it nice - big smile.

We received a proposition for a large upscale dinner party a few weeks ago and this came from no ordinary folk. Let me first tell you that I am NOT a waitress, bartender, etc. and I will NEVER claim to be one. Not that there is anything wrong with them, I have just not gone to school for this long and suffered through sleepless nights studying in college for something I don't think I would be good at. I have earned my chair at my desk a long time ago and I love what I do during my M-F job. When Ed and I initially met, some time passed and he had a strong urge to pursue the hands-on culinary skills that he used to use before he moved here from St. Thomas. We realized that there was a pretty good demand for a Personal Chef here at the beach and he has since been quite successful in doing this. He really loves it and he is great and talented at it. He asked if I would be willing to learn how to help him in the kitchen and of course, I agreed. I am a social butterfly so "hob-nobbing" with our clients came easy to me. I know the in's and out's of the Charleston area and I never suffer from lack of conversation. I have since become his Girl Friday to a certain extent and I do truly enjoy working with him and it we do it well as a couple.

Now, we had no idea that this gentleman and his wife were owners of a large food distribution company and were in business with the military so our opportunities were endless if all went well with their dinner club. My initial meeting with them came Saturday night and much to my surprise, these people were amazingly genuine. They provided us with a bartender, Amelia, and a dishwasher, Alvera, and there were both well versed in what needed to be done due to their past experience with these clients. This was extraordinary!!

At the end of the night, everyone adored every aspect of the meal prepared and invited us back for their holiday party.

I know I'm partial, but I not only love "Chef Ed" for his kindness and thoughtfulness, but I love him for his hard work and dedication to the things he enjoys in life. I really consider myself lucky.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Don't Bother To Buy Your Children A Costume

This was sent to me from a guy I do business with in Detroit, Michigan. This speaks the truth!

Halloween is going to suck this year.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Never Again - So Don't Ask!

Does it really pay to try and be healthy?? I am beginning to question this today more than ever! About a month or so ago, I made a commitment to myself that I would put taking care of everyone else but me on hold and try to get caught up on some way over due doctor appointments. I am busy sending Ed, my parents, and my girls to the doctor but never me. They have all had check ups, dental appointments - everything they need but I manage to forget that I need some maintenance as well. I needed to have my teeth cleaned, have my yearly visit with my OB/GYN, and get some answers to a few questions regarding some sensitive skin issues that I have been dealing with. (see the post below in reference to the mole removal.)

When the most handsome, Dr. Ward, did my minor procedure in his office a few weeks ago, he wanted me to see an allergist for some patch testing because I have had some issues flare up pertaining to some form of dermatitis around my eyelids. Because I trusted his judgement at the time, I agreed. After all, I have had this problem for years and have been self treating as usual.

Listen, if I must "toot my own horn," I am pretty smart when it comes to medical stuff. I have been in this field a long time and I can more than hold my own in conversations with physicians regarding most treatments, etc... I will admit that allergy testing is not my forte so I went in blindly this morning to see Dr. Ruppe. His wit and charm had me sold UNTIL........he asked the nurse to explain the "scratch" testing procedure to me. Let me say to you that it was nothing short of 80 scratches on my back and last but not least, 18 sub dermal skin tests on my arm! I looked like a dart board coming out of there. God have mercy! I was not having an anaphalactic reaction to something. All I have is a freakin' rash above my eyelids once in a while! I spent 3 hours in that office and they found NOT ONE allergy to anything except a dust mite!! He gave me 8 samples (which I appreciate) of everything under the sun and told me to change my facial cleanser. Was he kidding??? I guess not. He wants to see me back in 3 weeks. Yeah, right!!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Power Of The Tongue

This morning, I really feel compelled to educate others on the power of the tongue.

There are not very many people, who at some time or another have not experienced pain, hurt, shame, or disgrace, as a result of a person or group of persons' careless and sometimes deliberate use of an unbridled tongue. Characters have been assassinated, reputations destroyed, spirits broken, lifelong relationships ruined, and seemingly repairable damage has been been done by some members of your life.

The unfortunate thing is that the tongue is simply an instrument that is used. IT does not think, nor devise evil, and by itself it really does absolutely nothing. Yet, in the same way that with a bit, a rider can control the body of a horse, a captain can determine the course of a ship, so it is that the tongue nestled in our mouths control the direction of our lives. It is the owner or master of the tongue that determines how it is used. It stands to reason; therefore, that the things we say is often a reflection of the things in the heart.

Those who abuse this power will soon find themselves all alone with what is left, if anything, of their consciences.

Change your heart.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Happy Birthday, Boys!

Set aside from raising two girls, Ed and I are also the proud parents of 2 male cats. Cats?? Who says they are cats? They act more like dogs to me and the things they do never cease to amaze us. Let me introduce them to you. Murphy, the gray one is diviner and smart - almost in a nerdy sense. All he needs is some black rimmed glasses and a pocket protector and he would be good to go! Larousse on the other hand, is a "daddy's boy" and is Ed's Siamese twin. He follows that man everywhere! I would never expect anything different as he was named after Larousse Gastronomique for all you foodies out there.

One year ago today, we began hand feeding these boys when they were 24 hours old because they were the children of a stray momma cat at my office. I BEGGED Ed to take them and he willingly agreed. Things have never been the same since. They chew on things, eat people food (Whole Foods no-salt turkey, I might add) and the newest trick is shredding toilet paper that is left on the roll in any of the bathrooms. In honor of them, I will share their latest masterpiece that we disovered upon entering the house after our weekend trip to North Carolina.

Better be glad we love ya', boys.....or you would find yourselves in the soup line!!

Monday, September 29, 2008

The Apple of My Eye

It's Monday morning and it's back to work for the both of us. Nothin' like a slap in the face with reality after a nice weekend in the mountains! I really can't express how important it is for folks to take spur of the moment getaways. Although the beach is where we migrate to the most, there is something about the simplicity of mountain living that we enjoy as well. The rain cleared out on Friday night and the clouds gave way to bright sunny skies! We headed back towards the Apple Orchard Trail to tour and visit with the locals. The care-taking of these massive fields has to be WORK in a form that is foreign to me! Just to see the men with bags strapped about their bodies dumping fresh apples picked from the trees gave me such a sense of being "home grown." EVERYONE is so kind and gentle there. I took so many pictures until it would be hard to post them all. I will share a few so you can see what all the fuss is about.
This was made for little people but he got the point. What a trooper!

Apple Pickin' Bags
A huge field of sunflowers!

The pumpkins put us in the mood for fall.

Crates of apples everywhere!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

So Nice!

Stopping by for a few seconds to touch base with all who are out there. The drive to NC yesterday would have been best suited for an ark! It poured the entire way up and the whole rest of the evening. We are in a quaint little hotel and the hospitality is out of this world. I am BIG on service in places like this and they have far exceeded my expectations (except for one guy at the front desk who sort of creaps me out for some strange reason). The sun has been shining all day and we did a little shopping in downtown Hendersonville and headed to apple country where there was miles of orchards and roadside stands. We had lunch at a small little locally owned diner and the owner was actually from Charleston! Small world. This is such a nice place and I could really get used to spending the fall and winter here. Much more to post later and many pics to download. I miss the girls and it would be much better if they were here with us! Tonight is dinner a Poplar Lodge that overlooks the mountainside. This has REALLY been nice.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I KNOW this is gross....but I have to share it!

Everyone knows that I am a comedian from time to time and Ed is WAY more funny than I am. So, you can only imagine what comic relief we provide when we are together. What a freak of a relationship we have. No one else would share this story.

Anyway, moving forward. Last Easter, I was given the most wonderful gift from my gracious other half. Typically in the past, we have not exchanged "gifts" but I always buy a card and some PEEPS because those are his favorite. I knew it was gonna be something special because he "beef'd" me up for it days in advance. I HATE suspense. I opened the box and there they were.....Prada sunglasses! I had LONGED for those babies for months and months and was too frugal to buy them myself. (I prefer not to use the word "cheap"....sounds so trashy.) Yep, me, the Diva, had been wearing some off brand glasses and I heard about getting cataracts from him for a year or more. I am convinced that stemmed from his worries of having to take care of me if and when I get old and couldn't see. He has bought tons of jewelry for me but for some strange reason, this gift struck me as being very sensitive - maybe I was just greedy and wanted them so badly. I really promise you that I am more of a giver than a taker in our relationship.

After wearing them for a few months, I noticed that I had a mole in the back of my head and the arm of the glasses kept irritating it. I FINALLY broke down and went to the dermatologist to have it removed. I was FREAKING out! Over the top anxiety and when I drove up, it was a surprise to me that my sweet mother was there to support me. For the record, thank the Lord for my mother - I would die without her. I felt my heart racing, shortness of breath...the whole nine yards. I felt like a nut case. The procedure went so fast and simple that I was embarrassed about it when it was all said and done. Not to mention that I felt like a stroke victim driving home because my lips started going numb!

I said to myself, "Self, how can I birth 2 children, be at home vacuuming my house the next day, clean baby poop and vomit from myself and the floor for 16 years but not have a freaking mole removed??" I have a large background in trauma and critical care and it has never bothered me to be in the operating room or emergency department when a trauma arrives so this has got to be defined as a control issue!!

I have GOT to do some research on this!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Eye Candy

Okay, I stumbled upon these cute items as I perused the web doing my pre-Christmas shopping. These votive candles carry you somewhere in between daily casual to catwalk extravagant. THESE can fulfill your fashion craving yet so simply thought of. They're available in two scents. Gardenia and Persian Fig. They are 100% soy wax and hand poured in LA. What a great gift for teachers, dinner parties or simple love notes. I could not pass these up!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Cozy Chic & The Mr.

My other half is not much of a metrosexual guy but there are certain things in life that he enjoys. Nice bedroom slippers. A robe in the winter. Expensive wine. Massages. These are a few things to name. Very few luxuries do we splurge on as a couple. I have considered buying us Barefoot Dreams Cozy Chic robes. They don't come cheap and they may set me back a nice $250 a set but some things in life just are worth the money spent! They are not made from ordinary material but a poly-microfiber knit that gets softer and cozier with each washing. Thinking....thinking.......wonder if I am beginning to travel the high maintenance road? Check 'em out!

I Can Smell It!

I can smell fall in the air and I love this time of year when the chill in the mornings does your hair good because the humidity isn't lurking. The last weekend of summer is here and our past habits have shown that when it's fall, we take a trip to somewhere "beachy" and when it's summer, we travel to somewhere "cool." Personally, I think it's just an excuse for us to get away but who's keep track?? Anyway, we (I) planned a "spur of the moment" getaway a few weeks ago - by the way, "spur of the moment" IS planning a few weeks out because we have to make sure the girls are taken care of- and we are headed to Hendersonville, NC. My parents are frequent flyers to this place and it gives me a sense of homeyness. We are huge farmers market goers and love the freshness of flowers and produce. For the last several years, we have purchased our Halloween pumpkins there as well. Poplar Lodge is our chosen place for a nice dinner with a wine bar nestled in the mountains in an old rustic lodge with a view to die for! We are big into supporting the locals when we travel and not so much into eating at the chain restaurants. I can't wait to post my pics when we return!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Magic Good Mood

Although Ed and I enjoy cooking together, we rarely go out for dessert. He's a Chef and a hard one to please, at that and never seems to pass something up (especially when I am paying). We took it upon ourselves to skip into Cold Stone Creamery to enjoy ice cream for lunch. The waffle bowl in itself will send you to hyperglycemic heaven. By the way, HE paid!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Mental Floss

As the mother of a teenage daughter, I certainly feel as if that should qualify one to be declared legally insane. Her birthday is up and coming and for sure - The Princess Has Arrived! It's the Sweet Sixteen that all of the girls, nowadays, look forward to. I NEVER had a Sweet Sixteen party - never wanted one; never cared. I totally blame those crazy shows on MTV or whatever channel that is for embedding glorious fantasies into my baby girl's head. After months of wrestling with this "alligator", I was finally able to talk her into doing something semi-simple with her best friend. Sooo....I have arranged a day at the spa for the both of them. I approached the subject, tip-toeing towards it at the dinner table (after a glass of wine- or two- I wasn't keep count at this point) and by the blessing of the Diva, we all agreed! Pew! I wiped the sweat from my brow and finished my bottle of wine and chalked one up for "momma!"
I love her so much and see such a mirror image of myself at that age, although I would never admit that to her. Her longing to grow up takes my breath away because I, from experience, knows what life has in store for her. It ain't pretty, sister. "Enjoy the free ride while you can," I repeat daily.
After 2011, the year she will graduate, my plans are to toss her into dentistry and eliminate my Mental Health Benefit. I may even consider quitting drinking!

Monday, September 15, 2008

I am SO over it!

Okay...I am SO over the Victoria Beckham haircut that I longed to have three months ago! This past weekend, I had my limit of unfulfilling makeup applications every morning of my life so I tried to test my fate and head to the Clinique counter at Belk. $120 later, (which wasn't so bad in MY opinion) I had a total transformation of colours! My personality is that of a true blonde although my natural color is the far extreme (don't see too many blonde greek women), I enjoy FLASHY, VIBRANT, and it speaks volumes about my life. I truly believe that Debby, my hair stylist, dreads seeing me walk through that door but some seem to think differently in regards to that. They continue to spew things at me such as, "I hope she drives a nice car- YOU have to be paying a large payment." I know, I know......back on track- After scrolling through tons of photos, I have come to the conclusion that Paula Abdul has great hair. It's thick and healthy - a lot like mine - and she can wear just about anything! A long style is not an option for me anymore mainly due to the fact that I cut 8 inches off months ago, and long is OUT! In the process of growing out the wedge in the back, this picture piques my interest. Questions, comments, complaints will be accepted.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Make A Difference

After returning home from hosting the SC Organ and Tissue Donation Collaborative in Columbia this year, there were several things that I felt so strongly about sharing with others that I decided to post on this blog. Be inspired!.......and make a difference!

Also, my friend, Rachel, who I admire quite a bit, also shared this with me via email and it really served as a "lifter of spirits" for me. I hope it will do the same for you!

This was written by a guy named Brett who writes columns for The Plain Dealer, a newspaper in Cleveland, Ohio.

Life isn't fair, but it's still good.
When in doubt, just take the next small step.
Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
Pay off your credit cards every month.
You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.
It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.
Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.
When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
Make peace with your past so it won't screw with the present.
Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.
Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry, God never blinks.
Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.
It is never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.
When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.
Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, and wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
Over prepare, then go with the flow.
Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.
The most important sex organ is the brain.
No one is in charge of your happiness, except you.
Frame every so-called disaster with these words: "In five years, will this really matter?"
Always choose life.
Forgive everyone everything.
What other people think of you is none of your business.
Time heals almost everything. Give time, time.
However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.
Believe in miracles.
God loves you because of whom God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.
Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

3900 Saturdays

Everyone gets a ton of "forwarded" emails a day. Periodically, I will receive one that touches my heart. This one is in the top 10 for sure!
The older I get, the more I enjoy Saturdays mornings. Perhaps it's the quiet solitude that comes with being the first to rise, or maybe it's the unbounded joy of not having to be at work. Either way, the first few hours of a Saturday morning are most enjoyable.
A few weeks ago, I was shuffling toward the garage with a steaming cup of coffee in one hand and the morning paper in the other. What began as a typical Saturday morning turned into one of those lessons that life seems to hand you from time to time. Let me tell you about it.
I turned the dial up into the phone portion of the band on my ham radio in order to listen to a Saturday morning swap net. Along the way, I came across an older sounding chap, with a tremendous signal and a golden voice. You know the kind; he sounded like he should be in the broadcasting business. He was telling whomever he was talking with something about "a thousand marbles." I was intrigued and stopped to listen to what he had to say.
"Well, Tom, it sure sounds like you're busy with your job. I'm sure they pay you well but it's a shame you have to be away from home and your family so much. Hard to believe a young fellow should have to work sixty or seventy hours a week to make ends meet. It's too bad you missed your daughter's dance recital," he continued. "Let me tell you something that has helped me keep my own priorities." And that's when he began to explain his theory of a "thousand marbles."
"You see, I sat down one day and did a little arithmetic. The average person lives about seventy-five years. I know, some live more and some live less, but on average, folks live about seventy-five years." "Now then, I multiplied 75 times 52 and came up with 3900, which is the number of Saturday's that the average person has in their entire lifetime. Now stick with me, Tom, I'm getting to the important part. It took me until I was fifty-five years old to think about all this in any detail." He went on. "And, by that time I had lived through over twenty-eight hundred Saturdays. I got to thinking that if I had lived to be seventy-five, I only had about a thousand of them left to enjoy. So, I went to a toy store and bought every single marble they had. I ended up having to visit three toy stores to round up 1000 marbles. I took them home and put them inside a large, clear plastic container right here in the shack next to my gear. Every Saturday since then, I have taken one marble out and thrown it away. I found that by watching the marbles diminish, I focused more on the really important things in life." "There is nothing like watching your time here on earth run out to help get your priorities straight."
"Now let me tell you one last thing before I sign-off with you and take my lovely wife out for breakfast. This morning, I took the very last marble out of the container. I figure that if I make it until next Saturday then I have been given a little extra time. And the one thing we can all use is a little more time."
"It was nice to meet you Tom, and I hope you spend more time with your family and I hope to meet you again here on the band. This is a 75 year old man, K9NZQ, clear and going QRT, good morning!"
You could have heard a pin drop on the band when this fellow signed off. I guess he gave us all a lot to think about. I had planned to work on the antenna that morning, and then I was going to meet up with a few hams to work on the next club newsletter. Instead, I went upstairs and woke my wife up with a kiss. "C'mon honey, I'm taking you and the kids to breakfast." "What brought this on, she asked with a smile." Oh, nothing special, it's just been a long time since we spent a Saturday together with the kids. And hey, can we stop at a toy store while we're out? I need to buy some marbles."
And so, as one smart bear once said......."if you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day, so I never have to live without you." - Winnie the Pooh.
Blogger Design