Monday, November 23, 2009


I just wanted you to know that you define me.



Saturday, November 21, 2009


Will just made a huge bowl of cereal, his usual pre-bed snack. The Wal-Mart brand of Honey Bunches of Oats, filled to the brim of one of our deep bups (bowl/cup), with a generous dollop of honey on top. 2% milk touching the lip of the bup. Perfection in his eyes (and gut).

He brought his delicious creation to the couch. Took a seat next to me and settled into his cereal.

He took the first bite. Sat up really straight, sniffing the contents of the bup.

He stood up silently and went immediately to the kitchen, where he gagged.

I looked up from my blog-searching.

"What's wrong?" I asked in response to the gag and the look of pure disgust on his face.

"Bad milk," he said with turned-down mouth.

And, it is for moments like this that I am so glad I have this blog. I can't wait to read this years from now and relive this moment. I hope I never forget his face as he dumped that gigantic bup of cereal down the disposal. It was pure grief.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009


There is definitely some truth to the old adage that there is "safety in numbers." But, it is also true that there is safety in Panther.

This morning, as I prepared to take my shower, I noticed a rather large and extremely ugly bug with very long legs crouched in the corner between me and the shower.

Did I tear off a piece of toilet tissue, squash the intruder and flush?


Did I get the broom and stab him with its bristles until he curled up in a ball and then sweep him into a bin and flush?


Did I swat him with the bottom of my flipflop?


Did I scream?


So, what did I do?

I put the Panther on his trail, which was short. Battle ensued and was over.

She won.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


And I mean EVERYONE and their brother, mother, sister, neighbor, co-worker, cousin-once-removed and ex-lover have a food blog. I don't get it.

Who died and made EVERYONE a foodie????

I love food. I love to cook food. I love to eat lots of food. I love different food. I love ethnic food. I just love food. Period.

But, I don't want to hear anything more about food! And, I definitely don't want to read another blog about it. Is there really nothing else to blog about?? I mean, come oooon.

Ok, I feel better now that is off my chest.

Look up. Yeah, I'm talking to you. Look to the top left of the browser window under the search bar. You might have to scroll up. It should be right above my title. Its in line with the Blogger "B".

Do you see the words "Next Blog-->"?

Click on them. I dare you.

You'll be at a food blog. Go ahead. Do it. You'll be at a food blog and then, when you click it again, it will take you to another one and repeat and repeat and repeat. The outcome is all the same! Because that is all that there is out there: FOOD BLOGS.

My new mission: Save us all from the foodie bloggers. I know I've had my fill.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Part II

So, I'm blogging for the second time today, because I am laid up on the couch with a very tall glass of ginger ale. This morning, my excuse for blogging was the presence of a plumber, come to fix our broken kitchen sink. My excuse this afternoon is that I just spent an hour and a half staring at microfilm (yet again) and almost threw up about three times. The final time was a close call, so I decided to pack up my things and call it a day. The librarian fussed at me for not taking dramamine.

Who knew that I would be so vulnerable to motion sickness thanks to antique newspapers?

Well, the librarian agreed that I was just a few too many shades of green and white and said I should go home and lay down. That sounded like a welcome relief at the time, but the drive back to my house left me shaky and sweaty. I nearly lost my breakfast then, as well.

I am feeling much better now. All I need to complete this health restoration is Will and he should be here soon.

As I was showering, post-first post of the day, I wanted to share some more mush and updates with you all.

I am still chugging along steadily at Historic Columbia. They just recently hired me as a weekend staffer. I will be giving tours of three of their seven historic houses and running the museum shop on any given weekend day. Come by and see me!

I have completed my research on the Lourie's building and am proud to say that the Mast General folks seemed quite impressed with my work. I can't wait for the store to open in 2011!

Will is still making all of the nurses fall in love with him at Providence. They are too good to him!

The Panther attempted to eat 3 really really mega hot peppers from Grandpa's garden while we were gone this weekend. Apparently, peppers don't bother her stomach like consumption of bits of her toys. Glad for that!

Oh, yeah. I have the most amazing and loving husband in the entire world. He got on ebay last night, looked up the boots that I wanted, found them for $30 cheaper and ordered them for me!!!!!!!!!! The best thing about being poor is being poor with Will Jackson. It makes selfless acts like that so much more special. To say that I almost cried is not an exaggeration. Here they are:

Now, for something I love...

I love rolling over to Will's empty bedside in the late morning (think 7:30am-ish, not Amish) and burying my face nose-first in the mattress just below his pillow, where I inhale deeply the smell of his piney-fresh and so clean, clean deodorant. I think that spot must be where he lays on his side with his arm under his pillow. That same arm extends under his pillow, bends at the elbow, where he then props it up on the headboard and sleeps hand in the air, waving to me and all of the sleep fairies all night long. Maybe its a bit gross to bury my nose in the spot that usually houses Will's armpit, but maybe not. Is there anything better or more comforting than such a tangible reminder of the one you love that is just a smell away?

Marriage, and Not Ours!

Wes and Jodi had a beautiful Friday night wedding in the gorgeous Belk Chapel on the Queens University campus in Charlotte. Late night weddings are definitely my favorite. They are so dressy and sophisticated and give a girl every excuse to get dolled up. Here is me all dolled up with my dance face on:

Notice that my ears are bear (because I lost those pinching clip-ons before the ceremony even began. And the ponytail, well that is just the most conducive hair-do for boogying. Isn't it a shame that this is the best picture to show you? Somehow, my simple goal of a full length picture of myself with hubby never happened. I blame the Grey Goose for that one. But, here's a full length of me, party hat and all:

Will looked amazing. I was crushing on him throughout the entire ceremony. This is how he looked:

One word: HOT.
Here are the lovely bride and groom (Photo Credit: Marco):

Jodi's dress was beautiful! Wes's face here made me cry (Photo Credit: Marco):

It was a great weekend full of friends, way too much food and fun! My abs got a serious workout. I haven't laughed that hard in a long time. This is who I laughed at the most:

That is Nate in the picture with me. He roomed with Wes and Will their freshman year. Stories about him have cracked me up for years. This was the first time that I really hung out with Nate. I never stopped laughing.

That's all the pictures for now. If I feel like it, I will put up a few more from the reception. I think I will have to put one up of the light up dance floor!


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Tux Time

Tomorrow night, Will's best friend Wes will be marrying the love of his life, Jodi. Will and I are heading up to Charlotte this afternoon in a whirlwind. The rehearsal is at 5. YIKES! Will doesn't get off of work until 2:30. Its going to be go time as soon as TuTu relieves me from keeping the Griffster (who is, by the way, snoozing comfortably butt up in the air on the couch next to me).

I have to:

#1 steal Mary's wool coat (thanks Mare!!)
#2 take all of the random crap out of my car that has been there since last semester (note: I'm no longer a student)
#3 pack all of my varied wardrobe (this crazy weather means a heavy bag)
#4 get together sheets and pillows and blankets and the air mattress
#5 get the Panther's setup ready (2 bowls of water because she likes to play in the them and tip them over--can't have her thirsting to death! 3 bowls of food that she will barely touch but it makes me feel better; and finally, empty that dirty litterbox that she loves dirty, so it stays dirty)
#6 pack up the car
#7 shower
#8 blow dry hair (quite the process)
#9 get dressed (which is always a much longer process than it should be; ahhh... decisions!)
#10 wander around the house forgetting what I was just about to do (but really, I'm waiting impatiently for Will to get home)
#11 Will arrives
#12 give the Panther a kiss
#14 get gas
#15 drop off the GRANT APP (canNOT forget to do this)
#16 run (and I mean run) into Target and get a bag and tissue paper and card for the b&g's gifts (which I secretly, but maybe not so secretly, want to keep for myself--in love with it! will disclose future contents of Target-bought bag at a future date, ie after they open it)
#17 hit the road, Jack!
#18 hopefully, arrive in Charlotte by 4:30 at the latest
#19 witness a rehearsal
#20 eat some nachos at Loopy's

And did I mention that none of this can even begin until TuTu gets here and I run out the door at 1????

Oh, and the best part about all of this (hence the title) -- WILL'S WEARING A TUX! WILL'S WEARING A TUX!!

I can't wait to see my hunk in a penguin suit.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

To Laugh

Ok. So, I know that I've already blogged once today, but I'm bored and am currently laughing hysterically at old pictures. I thought I would share.

These pictures just make me laugh. I hope they at least make you smile!

(in no particular order)

I hope you laughed at least once!

Back to the Mush

These pictures were taken the week before our wedding on the beach in Garden City, where "we" began.

To say that I've never been happier is cliche, but so darn true.

Sometimes, I have to pause.
Then, think.
And finally, feel.

This feels good, I think.

Would I be happier somewhere else with someone else doing something else?

NO. And try as hard as I might, I can't even begin to imagine another life somewhere else with someone other than Will. Its impossible.

Last night, I couldn't sleep. It was one of those nights where your pillow feels more like a cement block no matter how much or hard you try to punch it comfortable. Will was in a deep snooze. I could feel the solid mass of him, completely relaxed in unconsciousness. It was the first night in several that he was actually sleeping well, and I was terrified that my restless tossing would wake him up. I finally decided that it was time to give up and get up. I crawled out of our warm but at that time torturous bed. I barely lifted the blankets as I slipped out and tiptoed to the door. I listened in the dark as I reached for my robe. He hadn't stirred. I wrapped myself in the robe and turned the door knob, praying that it for once wouldn't catch and scrape open. But, it did. I listened after the explosion of door against door jamb, and his heavy breathing continued undisturbed.

I gratefully shut the door behind me to be immediately greeted by the Panther in mid-hunt. She abandoned her prey and kept company with me on the couch. Her rolling purs were background music as I surfed the unfulfillable web. I gave that up quickly and then attempted to read my mystery/murder/thriller book. That lasted until the first stirrings of the Patters over my head, whose heavy footfalls and scurryings totally freaked me out and left me wanting the comfort of Will, even in sleep. Damn the pillow, I was going back to bed. I dosed up with ibuprofen and crept back into the room. He was still sound asleep. He turned towards me when I sunk into the bed. Thank God, he wasn't awake just responding to the weight shift on the mattress.

I lay there on my back, watching shadows move across the blinds, until the back of my head ached, and I had to turn on my side. I barely breathed as I turned towards Will, praying that I wouldn't touch him. I just wanted him to finally get some well-deserved sleep. Once on my side, I imagined life in West Virginia, anything to take my mind off the dull ache of my skull and the frustration of being wide awake in the middle of the night. At some point that I don't remember, my pillow transformed back into the fluffy feather-filled thing that it is. And the very next thing I knew, Will was kissing me goodbye.

The verdict from the night: Will had finally slept very well with no memory of my late night wanderings.

What all of that had to do with the above pictures, I'm not really sure. I just really love those pictures and they made me ponder the depth of my love for Will, which is immeasurable. Enough mush? Agreed.

Now, to clean up the Panther puke under the bar. Wonder what she ate this time. JOY!

Monday, November 9, 2009


So, I want to blog, but have no clue what to blog about. I figure that all of my devoted followers are pretty sick of hearing all the mush-mush that is Will and me. Yet, I really don't want to cop out and dub this just another random posting. I'm so sick of my lack of direction and noncommittal attitude. So, I'm losing the 'tude and picking a direction.


NORTH is West Virginia. NORTH is cold, mountains, boot weather, boot terrain, where it is now boot season. Noticing a trend? I fell in love with a pair of boots this weekend. Will and I went to Florence to pick up my party dress for this coming weekend (WES'S WEDDING!!!!-blog to follow). On Saturday, Will headed down to Holly Hill for the day to work in Gank and Bop's yard for Bop's birthday. I stayed at my parent's, laid up on the couch with war raging within my uterus. Ah, the pains we women suffer. Anyways, Mom had me loaded, quite literally, with ibuprofen and tylenol, taken at rotating intervals. Needless to say, by 2pm, I was feeling GREAT! So, Mom took me shopping. Our first stop was Big Lots for a sneak peak at all of the wonderful Christmas decorations. Our next stop, Hobby Lobby. Our final and the most important stop, TJMAXX, my haven. There, I found the boots of my dreams for only $100. They were beautiful, the most perfect shade of brown leather with the slightest platform heel. They channeled Robin Hood and quite honestly took my breath away. I didn't get them, but I did hide them on the top shelf behind a really ugly pair of fuzzy brown boots. :)


SOUTH is home, comfort, warmth. SOUTH in November is chocolate covered pecans, oyster roasts and barbecue (vinegar, always and forever). I nearly ate myself sick on chocolate covered pecans this past weekend. I have two oyster roasts in my very near future, one on Saturday and the other on Sunday. The vinegar barbecue is strictly a Pee Dee thing, so no chance of my finding any in the foothills. I might have to wait until Christmas to get my fix.


EAST has always been one of my favorite directions. EAST means beach, summer, waves, sun, tan, boogie-boarding. EAST means seafood and family time and horsehoes and bacci and paddle ball. My family goes to the beach every year for the week of the Fourth of July with the Stephens. We usually spend 10 days total at the beach, the first Friday night and the last Saturday night at our beach house in Surfside; the week between, we stay at the condo. Next year, Will and I will be packed off to the beach house for that week (if we are able to go at all!). Apparently, my parents decided there's just no room for a second married couple in the condo. Fine by me!


WEST has always meant mountains to me. WEST has very rarely conjured up images of cowboys, cattle drives and cacti. WEST means camping time in Pisgah National Forest, which hasn't happened in a while. My parents seem to thoroughly enjoy vacationing without their children. I'm only slightly bitter. But, WEST now means something very different to me. It means WEST Virginia. It means my life with Will in WEST Virginia. And, that is sometimes an overwhelming thought.

But, it has brought us full circle. I have no other direction to go.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

action shot

This is the Panther in action, a fine athlete.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Life Years from Now

I have no idea what life will be like for Will and I years from now, but if I had to write a book about it, I think it would go something like this.

I will be sitting on our plush but firm off-white couch in our circa-1925 living room with white trim and bright blue-green walls. Our son, Finn, will be reciting his vocabulary words to me, stumbling through their definitions. I will sit patiently and will try not to sigh as he mispronounces "worry" for the third time. I will laugh with Will later that night at how much he sounds like a little Canadian. Our 10 year old, Will, will be in the backyard, kicking his neon green ball into the goal that he and his dad made last year. Our 13 year old daughter, Emma, will come down the stairs in the middle of Finn defining "confuse". She will be decked out in the trendiest of trends. To me, she will look twenty, maybe twenty-two, a reflection of me from not so long ago.

"Shouldn't you be in a onesie with a bib? That would make me feel better," I will want to say as I bite down hard on my tongue.

She will not look at me as she walks by the couch. I will not be able to take my eyes off of her.

"I'm going. Chels's mom is in the driveway. Byyyeee," she will say.

The door will slam shut behind her and something uncomfortable will settle on my chest. It will be heavy and will force me to take slow, deep breaths. Finn will not notice, but will drone on and on. I will put on a smile for him as my insides curl up in an attempt to comfort my sore heart. I will have a flash of anger as I consider the speed of life. And, a little part of me will mourn for my daughter's youth, when she couldn't tell her right from her left shoe and pants were a tantrum waiting to happen. It will have always been dresses and tights for her before she grew up and fashion came calling. I will wonder if I even knew the difference between brands at 13? And then I will remember that I wouldn't step foot inside a clothing store if it wasn't Gap or AE, and that was when I was 12.

Will will walk in soon after Emma's departure. His tie will be loose, but barely noticeable, and the top button of his shirt will be undone, but you will have to look close to see. His eyes will be tired, but his smile will never disappoint, its ghost forever near the surface. He will always be a fighter, the strongest man I've ever known, despite sleep deprivation and life's stresses. Finn's eyes will light up at his entrance, vocabulary forgotten, as he hurls himself off of the couch and into his father's waiting arms. Will will carry his bundle towards the couch and lean down towards me with expectant lips. I will smile and wrap my arms around his neck, adding my kisses and embrace to our son's. A squeal of delight will resound from the top of the stairs as our youngest, Carrie (short for Carrington) sees her precious daddy come home to her. She will always believe that we all love her the most. And, we will never tell her the opposite, as we draw hearts in the air and mouth, "I love you the most," to our other children over the top of her innocent blonde head, as they greet our message with smiles, blown kisses and maybe even rolled eyes. Our dinosaur-like Goldendoodle will be hot on Carrie's trail down the stairs to greet the man of the house.

Later that night, as the quiet wisps of the childrens' breaths sooth the air, Will and I will hunker down in the center of our massive California King bed, much too big for two people.

I will whisper to him, "Let's be 20 again, right now."

And, he will say, "Ok."

Then, he will reach over and tickle me and I will writhe away from him, but not before sticking a cold foot on his inner thigh. We will laugh until our stomachs hurt, fighting over the covers that we will buy extra large because we can, and remember the nights from our first apartment, when he was dubbed "the cover stealer," and our bedroom was always too hot or too cold or too muggy and always too buggy. And, for a little while, we will be 20 again, until it gets too late and his heavy eyelids can no longer stay open. Then, I will turn my back to him and snuggle into his warm chest. He will rest his scratchy chin on the delicate skin between my shoulder blades, and I will no longer find it itchy and ticklish, but comforting and just right.

"Let's never get old," I will whisper into the dark.

He will grunt in answer, and I will pat his arm.

"We never will."

Early Bird Special

So, Will and I have been busy lately. Every weekend has been jammed with adventure and travel and visits. Every week is filled with work and call and research and meetings. I usually get home by 5:30 at the latest.

Dinner is on the table by 6:15 at the latest.

By 7:15, we are perched on the couch, in pjs, shod in slippers, blanket wrapped around me and Wheel of Fortune on the television.

Then, we watch Jeopardy.

Dear God, did I really just admit that to all of cyberland?

Tonight, we had Moe's for dinner. Moe's is a carry over from our wonderful years in Charleston, where we were known to have it sometimes twice a day for multiple days in a row. We were poor and it was right around the corner. And, admit it. Its delicious!

We have been looking forward to our Moe's night all week. We were so excited. So excited that we were there, had ordered and taken our seats at the booth, food in hand, by 5:50.

Will joked that we were there for the early bird special. Then, we noticed that it was 5:30 and we were pulling into the parking lot.

"Ok," he said. "So, we're beating the early birds here."

Thankfully, there were no early birds in sight, but we nearly drowned in a sea of soccer moms and their offspring.

And the best part, we received our first invitation to AARP in the mail today. Middle-age here we come!

And my revelation of the day: I'm not giving up the sweets I love until I'm 25. I'm just praying that my metabolism will last until then.

BY THE WAY: I like comments. :)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Why I Love Books

There are many books and bits of lit out there that really inspire me. Blogs inspire me, too. I like words and how they go together. I like unusual words used in the place of ordinary words. I like to play with words. But, more than anything I like to read them, over and over.

Will's mom lent me a few books written by an incredible British writer, Rosamunde Pilcher. Her stories stole me from reality. I ate her books for lunch and dinner and breakfast, and often for a midnight snack, taking a big bite from a favorite scene and chewing on the words until I had my fill. I haven't lost that much sleep over books since the last Harry Potter. And, that's saying something.

I like to get lost in a book. No, I like to get stuck in a book, when breaking the force between your eyes and its words is like ripping off a band aid too slowly.

I will say to myself,

"One more paragraph. Just one more."

"Ok, maybe one more page."

"Well, I think I'll just finish the chapter."

Right now, I am reading a book by a Southern writer, Jocilyn Jackson. The book is called The Girl Who Stopped Swimming. I can honestly say that I would have never picked this book off the shelf, but my mom sent it home with me and it was next on the stack.

I read the first paragraph late one night after Will had been called into work. I was determined to stay up until he returned safely back to our warm bed. I was snuggled under the covers and assuming my late night reading pose, when I turned to page one. It was like taking a cold shower. After the first chapter of that book, I was worried that I would be able to sleep at all. I was completely freaked out, but soaked in her language. I was drowning in prose just as the ghost of the drowned girl revealed herself to the main character and led her to the body floating in her pool. Ghosts, sleep walking, dead bodies. But, language and images that flew past my eyes and I was there with her, dragging the cold body through the water, lifting her chin to clear the airway, knowing it was too late.

I've been hooked ever since. And, there is nothing in this world that makes me want to write more than reading beautiful writing.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Mountain Weekend in Pictures

Here are just a few of my pics that my lovely camera didn't delete. Enjoy!

Will and I went with his mom, sis and nef to Seneca to see the Chewning Folk. While there, we had a mountain adventure, even the goats weren't safe with us around. I documented just a little. I'm getting better about being a photo nazi.

Will took my picture (finally!), because I always complain that our children won't know what I looked like when I was young since I'm always taking pictures of him!

"WHA!" Action shot.

Carky, the mountain man.


This next sequence just makes me laugh.

This is definitely how I want my kids to think of me when they look back at our old pictures. "Mom wore pink underwear!" "Ew! I can see her underwear!"

So funny, Will.

This sheep loved Clark. He tried to dig a hole under the fence to get out and come home with him.


See that little apple. It was the only one that Sky Top Orchard offered me that beautiful day. I found it on the ground amidst its rotten brothers. I didn't have the guts to take a bite out of it until yesterday. It was delicious!

I LOVE petting zoos!

I witnessed Little G's first time petting goats and sheep. It was great!

The steep hill that made my butt burn. Ouch.

I also had some great pictures of all of us that made up the three car caravan that trekked the winding roads of the mountains all the way to Hendersonville. Stupid camera. So bitter.