Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A letter.

Dear Icky Grubworms,

I'm writing this note to complain about your presence and destruction in my husband's backyard garden. You see, when you guys decided to make a home amongst the roots of our vegetable plants, you irrevocably damaged them, and have caused them to produce small, gangly looking fruit, which frustrate both my husband and me. What you do not understand is that you have very much hurt your own profits in your poor decision to take up residence here. If you had chosen not to live in the garden, we would be having large, beautiful vegetables, and as I cook them, the scraps and peelings I would have thrown out for you would have been delicious and convenient for your grubby mouths to find. Alas, you decided to ruin the garden. Furthermore, you have no idea of the trouble you caused to our nice evening. Furious at the fate held by his garden, my husband huffed and puffed and pulled up plant after plant. When I asked for his help in the kitchen where I was making Cinnamon Apple Preserves (which are all canned and sealed where you or no other damaging parasites or bacteria can get ahold of them) he came in and was disagreeable, fussy, and generally could not help but take his frustration out on me. I point out the positive, that we still have the garden on Pawpaw's land, but I'm tired and on edge from hovering over a pot of jam so I can't help but fire back when Darling Hubby gets an attitude. See, all because you stinking grubworms made him angry, Hubby and I are simultaneous trying to comfort one another over the loss of the garden and starting to spat in a pointless fight over Hubby's angry attitude. We decided to go to the Home Depot to get a few meager replacement plants and some lime to convince you to move out of our garden and find a new home or live & die in the toxicity of the lime. There, we found several dry icky half dead plants still at full price. We asked to see a manager about knocking the price down on the neglected plants, but the homely looking cashiers wouldn't and "couldn't" do anything. After a semi-polite exchange of words, my husband finds himself completely angry with Home Depot, over their stupid policy on marking down products and the fact that no one ever got the manager for him. The whole way home he fusses about Home Depot, and he pins his anger over you despicable grubworms on Home Depot, and gets worked up over nothing. Clearly, he is mad at YOU and taking it out where he can. You even called for us to spend extra money we don't have, cutting into our vacation savings. Frustrated that my usually sunny and optimistic Hubby was being what we like to call a "pissy pants Patty" I grew frustrated myself and fired off, "well, why don't ya just write Home Depot and tell them how stupid they are!" and proceeded to remind him that he wasn't really that angry with Home Depot, that their policy wasn't all that ludicrous, and that the cashiers had indeed been pleasant and not rude, and that all his angry was over you stupid grub worms and your destruction of the hard work he has put into that garden for months. With that, he told me that maybe I should write you grubworms a letter. So here I am, writing a letter to you grubworms that destroyed the garden and made me and Hubby fight on an evening that we should have been enjoying while admiring the many squash we would have been harvesting. In conclusion, Grubworms, your residence in the Wilson garden is hereby terminated and you will be evicted tomorrow when the lime goes down onto the soil of the garden and we attempt to start over. Good riddance and next time please think of the consequences before you decide reek havoc on someone's vegetable garden.

Sincerely,

Sunday, June 28, 2009

I CAN CAN!

So, as y'all know, I'm a country bumpkin. And this country bumpkin really likes to garden. This summer, Hubby & I have been working hard on our gardens, and this week we picked an entire BUSHEL of green beans. Well, Friday I sat down and broke every single one of those beans. If you ain't never broke beans, then you're missing out, because nothing tastes quite like a green bean you grew and broke yourself. Anyways, I've grown up (and so has Jake) with families that can (home process) their foods, and so we decided to can the green beans. Mama let me use her pressure cooker since I've just got a water bath canner and with the amount of beans we had, we'd been cooking forever had we tried to use mine. Anyways, I've helped can jelly and such since I was little, being an assistant wherever I could, but never have I done any of it on my own. Well not anymore. After the last run of beans, I had it down pat. With Mama (and Daddy's help, too- he had came over to help Hubby work on his truck that morning as well)guiding me, we successfully canned 20 quarts of green beans. My thumb is quite sore, but it was a great feeling. This week, I'm hoping to make some Apple Jam or something! I love it! I'm so glad I CAN can! To me, it's part of the job description of any southern, country-fied housewife like me! Hahaha! Anyways, that was my Saturday morning.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic


After all the beans were canned, I hosted an impromptu swim party/cookout for my Mama's side of the family. It was kind of spur of the moment- my aunt talked to my Mama and said they had a free Saturday and wanted to know if we'd all be able to cookout, and since we have a pool and my house is most convenient, I was willing to have them over. Well, lo and behold, almost the entire family is able to come, and it was funny because we're the type of family that takes an act of congress to get us all is the same place. If we'd tried to plan it ahead of time, we'd never been able to. The only people who didn't make it were my cousins Darrell and Eric and their families. It was a great Saturday, and I went to bed exhausted from all the fun and swimming and hosting, not to mention the canning! I felt like a pretty successful lady- putting up 20 quarts of beans and hosting a party of 20 some-odd people on the fly, all on one Saturday!
Image and video hosting by TinyPicImage and video hosting by TinyPicImage and video hosting by TinyPicImage and video hosting by TinyPicImage and video hosting by TinyPicImage and video hosting by TinyPic


I also did something very cool last week. My grandmother who passed away when I was 9 or so was an avid genealogist and historian and writer among many other things. She was a housewife who never even learned to drive, yet still taught herself to play the piano, speak Spanish, write poetry, you name it! She was an amazing woman! Anyways, one of my many summer projects (in addition to gardening and learning to can and taking this summer class and doing all the research for my papers!!!) is organizing her memoirs, family histories, and genealogy research that we have had since she died. Long story short, I took a notebook of her stories and research to my professor who recommended I show it to an archivist at a local historical center, and she ended up making tons of copies and binding it and putting it all on the selves in the archives for others to use. In one of her memoirs, Granny talks about how she hopes that others will find her family stories useful and valuable and shares the importance of family history. I found it so bittersweet, that I was able to get her work on record for anyone to use and read. How cool is it that our stories are now in the archives?! I wish she were around to day to continue and teach me how to do so many things. Its one of my many goals to continue her research into our genealogy. If I've said it once, I've said it a million times- it is my hope and dream to be just a fraction of the awesome woman she was.

One last thing- this scripture was a part of our sermon last week I believe, but it's been weighing on my heart all week. I'm thinking of painting on the wall in our bedroom, because I'd like to read it everyday when I get out of bed each morning since I think it describes my aspiration for each and every day I breathe.
"Watch, stand strong in the faith. Be brave, be strong. Let all that you do be done with love." 1 Corinthians 16:13-14

It's time for bed now. I hope everyone had a weekend as full of good things as I did. I got to see lots of family (including seeing my preggo cousin's pretty belly & my sister in law's pretty hair cut!) and hang out with lots of people I love!


Thursday, June 25, 2009

Not a good day in Hollywood,

Jeez... I'm quite tired of the terrible breaking news- first Farrah Fawcett (or is it Fossett?) dies, which is so very sad seeing that she was such a legendary actress.
Now Michael Jackson, seeing as he was just one sad individual, between the possibility of child molestation, his "sickness" or skin bleaching, his strange acting... yeah, I just feel sorry for him and pity they way he turned out. All that potential.

Then I feel sorry for Kate & Jon and their kids. They were supposed to be a Christian family- a Christian marriage! And how they put their kids and their faith and the respect and love for each other BEHIND that stupid TV show and the fame it brought- it's selfishness. And I can't imagine what it will do to this family. I pity them. How sad.

And Mark Sanford's disgrace. I'm not sure which makes me sicker, his lying to his staff and the people of SC and leaving the country and his duties as Governor to just fly to Argentina for this woman, or his infidelity and embarrassment to his wife and sons. He and this whole situation is an absolute shame.
I mean, yeah, I've thought his political leadership has sucked and he made poor choices for the state, however I still respected him as the elected governor of the state, even when I STRONGLY disliked him and his policies. But now? I mean, the man tore Clinton up one side and down the other... calling him to resign for his plain and simple dishonesty- citing the necessity for elected officials to respect the institution of democracy by remaining honest and truthful. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black! He oughtta practice what he preached and step down himself. Again, how sad.

If I had to be alone with the TV today, I would have had a horrible day, but luckily, I've been out and about and it's been glorious. Jake was off this morning so we got up early & I made homemade biscuits to go with apple jelly Uncle Ken gave us that he canned. It was a great way to start a day. We picked a bushel of beans from the garden before noon, and I have enough to can 32 jars of green beans! :) We came home so Jake could go to work and I napped & read a cookbook. Then I had dinner on the table when he got home- and we went back to working in the garden- weeding and tilling. We rinsed off and played in the pool, too. ;)

I'm so excited. Tomorrow is PAY DAY so the first thing I'm gonna be going to get are Mason jars and some more vinegar to can some pickles later that afternoon! I love gardening!

Today proves why my heart will never be into all the glitz and glam of fame- leave me right here where the only "hoeing" going on is in the garden! :)


Monday, June 22, 2009

I'm not missing you, Mark!

Apparently, our dearly beloved Governor Sanford is missing.

(note: if you are confused about why I claim both of the [idiotic, stupid, etc.] Carolina governors as my own, know that I live in one Carolina, work and go to school in the other, born in one, raised in the other, and have spent my entire life straddling the state line. I feel as if I'm a citizen of both states...)

Anyway, the good-for-nothing oof is said to have went hiking the AT, however, nobody's heard from him in days.

I hate to say it, but I feel little concern. There are plenty of politicians I wish would "disappear" right out of the political realm. Maybe he should take lovely Gov. Perdue with him next time. Honestly though, he's probably out doing one the following:

1. Out looking for Andre's stash of hooch... the court battle probably caused him to need a pretty strong one, and Lord knows Andre the Drunk would have some!

2. Mending his wounded pride with some well-paid lady friends, like any good politician would do.

3. In Washington, underground. Facing water boarding for challenging the Great & Powerful Oz... I mean, Obama...

4. In the basement of some ratty school along the corridor of shame, where the mice are nibbling on his toes and the cockroaches are hissing at him ... you know those poor teachers along through that God-forsaken region had finally had enough with him putting education on the bottom rung of everything, and decided to let him SEE what it's like in those pathetically neglected schools.

5. Out hunting with Cheney, perhaps? Chasing a moose with Palin? You know how much guns help those Republicans relax their tired souls after their long, hard days in the capital...

Personally, I hope it's number 4, but that's just me.


*** Disclaimer: I actually hope Mark Sanford is okay, for the sake of his family and personal safety; however, I despise the ground the despicable man walks on and can't say I'm all too sad. I hope no one gets offended by my political postings, I'm sorry, a little. Personally, I've never met a politician I ever trusted and think its a business of smooth talk and power, and the government is basically ran by whoever brings home the most bacon and makes the most people smile in the process. I put absolutely no faith in politics and use it mostly as a source for my own amusement. I'm conservative in many ways, liberal in others, I think like a libertarian, but I agree with the Green party on some things. Heck, somedays, I might even opt for communism (joking!) and when all is said and done, I guess you'd call me an independent. More or less, I find that the nature of the beast is corruption, and I dislike all parties equally. I'm telling ya, there's a reason my Facebook profile says "Can we get coffee first?" in regards to my political views.

Hope your having a blast, Mark!
All my love,

Fun-ness!

Well, yet another glorious weekend in the life of Breezy Bride. This weekend was full of family fun-ness (I know that's not technically a word, but w/e.) Friday, my cousin Brandi and I went to see Corey Smith (if you don't know him, imagine a small southern college bar where a guy sings songs that are like Robert Earl Keen meets Jimmy Buffet and you'll get the idea...) and she graciously got my ticket since I was otherwise too poor to go. Brandi is a busy mama of 2 little girls and with me in school, we rarely get to hang out, so we had an absolute blast together, and even got to meet Corey!!! :) It was awesome. Saturday was the Wilson super Father's Day cookout thing over at Uncle Bob's. My Father in Law, Ben, and his brother Bob had all of their youngins (except Justin & Danielle who are making the bucks up in Maine- Danielle, we missed y'all like crazy!) and even some "adopted" youngins together for music, drinks, and brats. Of course, it was so much fun. Sunday, we spent the day with my Daddy, and we grilled steaks and had a meal that would make you wanna smack your momma, lol. I' m talking HUGE steaks, fresh salad, baked potatoes, rolls, grilled corn, and warm homemade blueberry cobbler with a dollop of ice cream on top. I was as full as a tick. :) Of course, the doggies got to play, and even though Jake & I were snappy with each other (thanks to my PMS) the day still turned into a perfect evening. My silly, wonderful, amazing mama sent us home with a box of "extra groceries she just happened to pick up" and more goodies, including a basket of peaches & a cookbook I've been eyeballing called "The Best of the Best from South Carolina." I can't wait to use it! We even got to visit Pawpaw & listen to him tell us stories we'd never heard about his days in the war. I'm tellin' ya- FAMILY FUN-NESS!

In addition to all the papers I'm trying to write for class, and trying to make sure we keep up with the hoeing and picking and watering and pruning that goes along with gardening, in what little spare time I've had lately I have started a new project. I'm calling it the FREE SUMMER FUN project. In mine & Hubby's poverty, we've learned that we simply just can't go out and buy our fun. Even when payday comes, we're trying to hoard up every little dollar for spending money down in Florida in a few weeks. Granted, we don't plan to do much other than lay on the coast and sun and sleep and swim, but still. Anyways, we ain't got a jack-diddly dime left for things around here- so I'm making me a calender using WORD of FREE things going on in the community, like the free outdoor concerts by the Symphony Orchestra, and the "blues" concerts on the lawn of the local history museum. As it is now, we've got more things on the calender than we can go to. It definitely helps you feel less poor! LOL. I totally get the whole "stay-cation" fad that this recession has brought on- I mean, if you can't afford to go, at least if you do some digging and keep your eyes and ears open you can find all kinds of interesting & FREE things to do right in your own area that you make have never done before. There is nothing better thatn FREE FUN-NESS!!! LOL. Couple that with the fact that there are no bags to pack and no rooms to check into or flights to confirm, those stay-cations look like they could be a pretty awesome idea in some cases.

Regardless, though, I'm still excited about Florida!!
(Please note that I absloutlely HATE-HATE-HATE it when people say "irregardless" instead of "regardless" - It drives me NUTS!)

I've gotta ska-daddle. Lots & lots to do today! Love you all!




PS- Please also note that Saturday (6/20) was the 6 year anniversary of the day that Hubby asked me to be his girlfriend. Cue the AWWWWWWWs... wanna know how that suave, sweet red-headed boy asked little ol' me to be his girl? Click here. <3 you guys!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Faithful blessings

The weather has been crazy this week. Cool and foggy some days, 99 degrees today. Not to mention that there actually ended up being THREE tornadoes that touched down earlier this week, and we were all right in the middle of the mess. Since its so hot today, and I don't have to go anywhere (no class!) I plan on laying out by the pool. I've spent most of this morning being ridiculously lazy, so before I go out I've GOT to do some laundry and clean the house up. Then, tonight, my lovely cousin Brandi has asked me to come with her to see COREY SMITH!!! Oh, how I love Corey Smith, and it's gonna be even better since it will be some quality time with Brandi- we never get enough time together since we're both super busy- me with school and her with her 2 sweet little girls. So yeah, today seems like a pretty great day!

Despite how wonderful life's been, I still can't help but worry.

First of all, I'm mostly worrying over my Daddy. His cancer seems to be confined to the pocket of tissue around the knot on his head, but we will know more next week. He gets his stitches out today, I believe, and then they will plan the surgery and decide what the course of action is. So, Mama and I have been sitting and waiting and worrying about it. We're all doing our best to have faith that its going to be fine (after all, if it were absolutely critical, the doctor wouldn't have put it off for 2 weeks, would he?) but it is still so hard, especially with Father's Day right here. It reminds you just how precious your Daddy is. And Lord knows, my Daddy takes the cake there. He is the picture of pure goodness. Lord, make this worry go away and please fill my heart with Your peace, knowing that You have this in your control! Amen.

I've also worried about the rain, while it has been great not being in a drought like many years, all the rain has drenched to garden so much, the plants just aren't growing much and bearing fruit. I mean, this time last year, we were honeymooning in Mexico (Oh, to be back there now!!!! I digress...) and had to have neighbor John harvest for us while we were gone! This year, we have gotten just a cuke or squash here and there. Most of what we've gotten has came from the garden we're all working down at Pawpaw's, but it'll be awhile before we get any fruit off anything since the storm damaged so much. At least the beans are okay. I can't help but worry about all the hard work we've put into the gardens and how bad we need them to bare fruit- I mean we're pretty darn poor right now, and I haven't been to the grocery store in ages, I need some produce!!! At least the tomato plant has a couple on it... I want a fresh summertime tomato sandwich so bad I can hardly see straight here lately! Lord, please send rays of sun to make the garden grow and help it bear the fruits and veggies we need, Lord. Help me be patient and understanding and take my worries away!

Money. You know that had to be on this little list. Ever since our wonderful (note: SARCASM) NC governor, dear old Bev Perdue cut teacher pay, we've barely had our heads above water. I mean, once our bills get paid, that's every last penny we have. I've barely had enough to get to class (especially since we're traveling...) each week, and by now, I would have ran out of gas and money had it not been for Mama making sure my tank gets full each weekend, and her sweet little stops by the grocery store on her way over to visit! Mama, I can't thank you enough! :) Even though I know we're okay- the bills are not late, not behind- and Mama has vowed to make sure we don't go without gas or food, being so broke you can't stop at the store for a drink when its so hot, not being able to make a recipe or craft you find online because you can't run to the store and pick up that one item you need to do it, not being able to call up a friend and get lunch... it wears you down. I mean, we've always been a little poor as college students with part-time jobs, but it was never so bad that we couldn't get Chinese takeout once in a blue moon. Gosh, I can't tell you the last time Jake & I went out to eat ANYWHERE just the two of us. I mean, we can't even have a Dollar Menu date. Like I said, I know our bill have been paid and there are so, so, so many people out there that has it much worse, but it's just a depressing feeling to not get to do the simple things that you enjoy like that. And I know that this is not permanent. This next check should be back to full size (I hope?) and plus we'll have the check from Jake's summer job at the Y soon. And I know that in the long term outlook, we will both be okay. After all, once I start teaching, our income will jump drastically (provided they don't start making teachers pay the district to let them work or something stupid like that, but hey, I wouldn't be so surprised!!) or so I hope. I have to turn these worries over to Him, too.

So now that I've shared my worries and asked Christ to take them away, I do feel better. Tonight is gonna be great and Saturday Jake is gonna be playing music with the boys again, plus that evening there is gonna be an annual summertime Wilson bonfire, this one in celebration of our Wilson fathers, complete with Uncle Bob's homemade wine, cigars, and fire-jumping by our cousin Mark. It is always a great time. And Sunday, we will celebrate Father's Day with my Daddy, although I'm not sure what he's got up his sleeve yet for that day, but I know it will be fun.

You know, sometimes I really struggle with expressing how much I love our families and our life, however poor & simple it may be, and how full of blessings it is. I've been blessed with so many people who truly love me and I've got a beautiful roof over my head and a Lord who will take care of me and my worries despite how unworthy I may be! How wonderful! Lord, I will be faithful!


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Oh, what a week!

It's just Wednesday, but there's been enough going on in our lives these past few days for me to write a book. I'm gonna try to give you the abridged version, though. Here's what we've been up over the last few days!
Sunday, our anniversary, was a glorious day. I woke up to breakfast in bed, we went to church where there was an announcement about it in the bulletin and we were recognized by the pastor, and Hubby had gotten a vase of pretty flowers placed in the church in honor of the day. We came home and I let him take a Sunday afternoon nap (his favorite) while I fixed a big pretty salad for lunch and we went out to the pool and enjoyed this pretty salad and some of the sweetest honey dew melon you've ever tasted. We swam for a few hours & floated around on two big floaties, holding hands. It was quite sweet & relaxing. Then we went with my parents to the Symphony again Sunday night since we enjoyed it so much last week, and we thought that my parents would enjoy it too. It was kinda a double anniversary celebration, considering their anniversary was Monday. We had a picnic and enjoyed the music and all in all it was an absolute perfect day- just like any anniversary should be.
Image and video hosting by TinyPic
Here we are with my flowers. <3

Monday, Mama & Daddy's anniversary, I went to my class & we got to meet the Chief of the Catawba Indian Nation. Apparently, in the last few hundred years these particular Indians were so taken advantage of by white settlers in this area that they were proclaimed extinct by the government. On the reservation, they have several hundred people living there, but our professor didn't seem to think any of them were "full-blooded" anymore, seeing how they had to intermarry with other races in cultures to survive when they were nearly killed off. He was a funny and interesting fellow and I realized when he started talking to us that I had made an expectation of him based of several Indian stereotypes. His facial structure, demeanor, voice, and color looked nothing like what I thought it would. He had the color skin that looked like what a red-headed Scots man would look like if he had a nice summer tan. He was basically a mixture of white, Cherokee, Catawba, and Irish, I think. The Catawbas have an interesting story & it was really neat to get to hear about them from the Chief himself, and he was a really nice man.

Yesterday, our class went to Bethesda Presbyterian Church down towards Chester and visited a church and a cemetery that's been since the 1700s. It was such a cool place and I got lots of pictures of many, many ancient graves and tombstones, including one unique one that had the Mason's symbol upside down and a big skull and crossbones.
Image and video hosting by TinyPicImage and video hosting by TinyPic
We saw the graves of several local heroes including William Bratton, and the Bratton family's section of the graveyard. I walked around for quite sometime in the hot sun and sweated til I looked wet. I even sat down in the grass to get a better photo or so and one on my classmates freaked out telling me bugs were gonna get up my dress. I sweetly explained that I hadn't the tiniest care- I was the kinda girl who ain't happy unless she's got dirt under her nails. :) We're going down to Brattonsville itself today. After Monday's class, I drove in the rain to Gaffney and traipsed around downtown hunting for the burial site of Col. James Williams, a Patriot leader in the Battle of Kings Mountian, who had died in the battle and been buried there. I'm doing one of my research papers on this guy. I got soaked & probably looked a bit like a fool wondering around with a camera and & umbrella in that weather, but I got my picture of his gravesite. Here it is!
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

After we had finished walking around the cemetery, we stood around talking to the Walkers, a father-son duo who were historians by hobby and doctors by profession who had given us the tour of the church and its grounds and come to find out he had a book specifically on James Williams and invited me to follow him to his house to get the book for me to borrow. Gratefully, I followed him to his house & exchanged a few pleasantries with his mother and thanked him and headed home. On the way, I realized that since Dr. Walker had been nice enough to have the Brattonsvile admission fee waved for us, I could use my three dollars in cash (yep, that's all the money I've got. Or well, had!) to buy some peaches. Whenever I take the back roads home to NC, I always pass several peach stands no matter what route I take, and the sweet smells of the fruit had been calling my name for a few weeks now, so I gave in and pulled into the peach stand in Filbert, where I've been going for pumpkins and peaches and watermelons every year since I was little. I found out that with my 3 dollars I could a bag of the "ice cream peaches" which are the ones that have bruises or are overly ripe and need to be used. Just a little hint, they are the sweetest too. So I picked out the least bruised ones and got me a small bag and headed home. With the windows down, and the radio up of course, I tore into those peaches like a starving girl in the wilderness. I mean I through being lady like out the window. With my hair a blowing and Tom Petty blaring out the speakers, I bit into that peach still warm from the Carolina sun (trust me, you have NEVER lived until you've taken a bite of a SC peach still warm from the sunshine!!) and as I did, precious, glorious, delicious peach juice dripped down my chin, down my chest, along my arms and down my elbows, and stained my flowerdy sundress all to pieces, but I coulda cared less. It was pure and tee-total heaven on earth. My bra was saturated in peach juice and sweat. As soon as I got home, I got chewed out by Hubby for not texting him more often about where I was since I made him worry. I'd probably done the same to him, so I apologized. No sooner than I got in, we turned back around and headed over to my grandparents' house to work in the garden. I took this picture of these roses when I got there.
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Jake made sure to take one of fruits of the massive volunteer plant that's grown up in the compost corale to see if my Pawpaw, an experienced gardener could tell us what the blasted thing is.
Image and video hosting by TinyPic
See, the old owner of our house had a trash corale that was about 5 ft by 7 ft and it's too cumbersome to tear down so we've been using it as a compost pile, putting our grass and weed and other clippings in it to make compost for the next years garden. It grew up in the old trash corale, and this thing just came up one day and has grown so big, the plant leaves are 15 inches across and the plant itself as a perimeter of about 20 feet. The fruit seems like this combination of a pumpkin, squash, zuke, watermelon, and cucumber. It's weird. Anyways, they hadn't been working long when Grandma & I heard thunder in the distance, towards a wall of black clouds behind her house. We didn't even make it inside before we heard to the tornado siren going off, so we went and turned on the television and sure enough, one touched down in Waco/Fallston, up towards where J went to high school, and where his mom works as a teacher. We called and made sure she was safe and Mama, Daddy, Pawpaw, and Jake put up the tiller and packed everything up and headed inside right as lightning bolt smashed down behind the house. We got inside and sat in front of the TV and watched as a big tornado cell headed right towards us on screen. We all said a quick prayer for Mama & Daddy's house 7 or so miles to the southeast and our 7 or so miles to the northwest, and of course, for us all there at Grandma's. I felt like a row of sitting ducks and worried myself to death over our homes, and our friends and family that lived all over the counties shaded in the red tornado warning box on the weather. I started raining hard, and then golf-ball size hail started coming down and beat the poor garden everyone's worked so hard for down to a pulp. Those poor roses were gone. I'm so tired of rain. It is raining now.
Image and video hosting by TinyPicImage and video hosting by TinyPicImage and video hosting by TinyPic
This is them out surveying the damage to garden, later after the storm passed. Notice that the corn is all laid over some. :(
Mama was visibly horrified that the pretty tomato plants she'd just set out and the squash plants she'd just picked from got beat and broken by the wind and ice. Trees laid over in the wind and we debated going down to the basement. Wind and water was blowing like I ain't never seen in my whole life and water came blowing in under the back door. It was scary. When it was all said and done, a tornado ended up blowing through just a few miles up the road from where we were. Trees were down all over the place and the interstate was shut down for a while. We ended up going to Rhonda's, a little country grill on the main road, for supper and watched as a rainbow crossed the sky.
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

I called and checked on Brooke, who lived in the next town in the path of the storm and the poor thing had 3 trees down, and one right across her Tahoe. I felt so horrible for her. At least she was okay! Having survived the storm (although all of our vehicles now have round hail dents across the hoods, sadly!)we went our separate ways and stopped to check in on Aunt Sue & Uncle Ken. Aunt Sue has breast cancer and is doing okay, but the radiation treatments are giving her a hard time. Uncle Ken, a man with a thumb greener that the Green Giant himself, couldn't identify our mysterious volunteer vegetable either. If my pawpaw and J's uncle couldn't identify it, then Lord knows who could. Everybody seems to think the thing is a hybrid of something, or a mixture of several things. It's quite strange. Anyways, Ken showed us some beans he'd canned, and gave us a jar of apple jelly made from the apples off of Jake's mama's apple tree a few houses down, which is just now starting to bear fruit. I love that tree and it's boocoos of the best green apples you ever tasted. They make the absolute best pies and I look forward to them every year. I plan on making biscuits this weekend and opening the jar up. :) We went and visited with Jake's mama before we headed home. It ended up being nearly 11 o'clock before we made it home last night. What a day it was! I tell ya, I came home REAKING of summertime. My little paper thin sundress I'd worn all day was saturated in sweat, peach juice, bug spray, rain, and had dirt and food on it too. I smelled like pure Carolina summertime, and boy it was a smell to inhale. I definitely took a quick shower before I hit the hay.

Wouldn't ya know, this morning Jake would have a flat tire on his truck as well. This is just Wednesday morning, and I already feel like I've had enough adventures to last me a few weeks!!!

In other news, I've got a few nerdy things to share and a few recipes before I run.
I took this picture of a church in York last week and got to digging in the archives for my paper and found this picture of the same church- isn't history awesome like that?
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

The recipe I wanted to share is from Taste of Home magazine, a 1990-something edition from a stack Mama gave me.
It's called Farmhouse Apple & Pork Pie, and as soon as I get more apples, especially those from my Mother in Law's amazing tree. I'm making it again. I had a picture of it, but I can't seem to find in on my hard drive. Here's the idea of the recipe:
In a cast iron skillet, brown up about 7 or 8 whole strips of bacon, and set aside. Using the bacon grease, brown up a whole onion or two if you like, and spoon them out and set that aside as well. Take a couple of boneless pork chops, cut into pieces, and roll them lightly in flour, salt, pepper & parsley and fry in the bacon grease, adding more oil or butter if needed. Once the pork is just browned on the outside, add in 5 small cut up apples, with peeling and no core, to the pan. Add back in the onions and crumbled up bacon, along with a 1/2 cup of Apple Cider and a splash of water. Mix it all together with some more parsley, pepper, coarse salt, nutmeg, and sage to taste. Put the whole skillet in the oven on 325 for a little over an hour in a half, depending on how "tender" you want the apples. You kinda have to eyeball it until you see the apples get really soft and the liquid has thickened up with the oil and flower to make an apple gravy over the pork, onions, and bacon. In the meantime, boil 4 big red skin potatoes and mash them up with some milk and butter once they get soft, making a chunky mashed potato topping for your pie. Once the pie is done, slather on the potatoes like your icing a cake, spinkle with parsley, and put under a broiler until the potatoes get a golden brown tint. Slice it up and serve it like Sheppard's pie. <3 J loooooooved it. It's so southern, hearty, and old fashioned. It's such a pretty hearty meal too. I can't wait to make it in the fall, when I get some mountain apples and cider. Sorry about the lack of pictures of it!!!

The other recipe was a from Cupcakes Take the Cake, a blog about cupcakes I read frequently, and it was for these beautiful blue cacoaco (did I spell that right?) cupcakes that I haven't yet made. I'll post the details whenever I finally do get around to making them. But, obviously, by the length of this post, life is crazy right now, so my baking adventures will need to wait til another day!
I'm going to the grandparents again today after class and I'm bringing my big pink rubber boots and getting into the garden. We've got rows of beans hanging full and they need to be picked. I'm gonna call Aunt Sue up and get her recipe for Dilly Beans and try to can some by the end of the week and hopefully, manage to finish a paper while I'm at it! Wish me luck with this JAM-PACKED, CRAZY week!


Sunday, June 14, 2009

One Year!!!

Today is mine & hubby's ONE YEAR wedding anniversary! Exactly one year ago, at about this time, I was sitting in a chair at the salon getting my hair done & veil put in! We are getting ready for church now. This morning I woke up to breakfast in bed, and Jake has had flowers like what I carried down the aisle placed in the church this morning in honor of our anniversary! I'm so happy!

If there was time (I'm running late and my hair is still wet...) this morning, I'd write you a book on just how much I love this amazing husband of mine and tell you how much he still makes me weak in the knees and makes me get butterflies in the pit of my stomach, and how blessed I feel to have him as mine, but I guess you're just gonna have to take my word for it. <3

June 14, 2008- The best day of my BEAUTIFUL life!

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

With Love,

Friday, June 12, 2009

Prayer, please.

I usually don't post twice in one day, but I just got a call from Mama.

They got Daddy's test results back. He recently had a knot come up on his head and the doctor took a biopsy. Today, doctor said the test show that it's "class V" skin cancer. I'm not exactly sure what that means, but the doctor seems to think that it's confined to this "pocket" where the knot was. It was like a big ball with a root that apparently went down nearly to his skull. The root part was scary to me. My mama and I are both pretty upset. Like she told me, if it was just a flat place, such as a mole or freckle-type of place, I don't think it would be as scary.

I'm going to keep everyone posted as I know more and more, and as they schedule his surgery. I'm not sure what kind of surgery will happen, but I know it's gonna happen soon.

Please, everyone, keep Daddy in your prayers, and for me & Mama, too.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic


Feel free to pass this along to people you know. More prayers can't hurt, can they?

Lots of love,

Nerdiness, with illustrations!

As promised a few posts back, I have the pictures of the pool party up. I stole them all off my mom's SD card and uploaded them to FB, so instead of putting the pictures up on here, I'm just posting a link to the FB album itself. Let me know if you can't view them. Just click here to see the party pictures.

In other news, last night J & I went to my parents' house for dinner and for me to get some of my Granny's genealogy stuff. I thought since she researched so much about our family's connection to Lincoln, I thought I might could do a Carolina snapshot paper for class about Lincoln's Carolina connections, but as it turns out Granny found that most of his people were from Dallas or the Lincoln (go figure, right?) County areas, so no such luck finding out if he was connected to SC. I scratched that idea for a paper but I'm still going to be using Granny's research in the near future. I've decided that once I get these papers done, I'm gonna use her research to create a family tree, complete with her family stories and lore she dug up, and old pictures of each family member & his or her accomplishments. Granny, I hope you know how much I treasure what you did!!! I love her writings, and doing this makes me feel so unbelievably close to her. She loved learning so much, and I definitely feel a part of her in me that's just gobbling up and loving every minute of this history class I'm taking. I hope her spirit loves living vicariously through me.

Like I said recently, I apologize for the extensive nerdiness of my blog posts recently, but oh well, I am a nerd, and I love what I'm doing... :)
For this class, I have to write 4 short (5 page) research papers on an aspect of SC history in what he calls "Carolina Snapshots." Each one has to be about something SC related and is on a different era- the 1700s, 1800s, 1900s, and today. The Works Cited page is very loosely required, and we are encouraged to include pictures and maps and such and write it as if we were telling a story about the past to friends or students or peers. I love how he has assigned these. Without the pressure of a "formal" research paper, doing the research for the sake of learning and sharing makes this project much more real-life like and applicable and even fun to me.

I've decided on these as my paper topics:
1700s- I'm going to write about the Battle of Kings Mountain, and about local places where these soldiers are buried. This is easy enough seeing as how I'm so close to the sight.
1800s- I'm researching the history of the Latta building in York, which is where the York Wedding Chapel is, and where my lovely parents tied the knot 29 years ago. My grandparents did, too, I think!
1900s- I'm using the Louis Pettus Archives at school to find out about Martha Thomas Fitzgerald, a former female political figure and educator from the same SC county as me, who also went to WU.
today- hmm, yeah. I'm still at a lost about this one. Maybe on the current (sucky) SC education system?

For the last paper, the book review, I'm reading Pat Conroy's Beach Music and I'm currently on Chapter 9. It was sorta hard to get into because it was like "WTH are these people talking about?!" for the first few chapters, and then piece by piece you realize, you're not supposed to understand them just yet, and as he reveals the main character's past in little phrases and slips of the tongue, you ever so slowly start putting 2 and 2 together. I'm kinda sorta hooked already.

So, this is a preview of my weekend. Work. I'm not complaining, it's stuff I already enjoy. But, this weekend is our one year anniversary. Thanks to our extreme poverty right now (note: not a dime in the bank, & pay day is a few weeks away- thank God for a full tank of gas and a semi-full pantry, we're gonna make it okay, I believe!) but we will be missing a friend's wedding. So Saturday is gonna be an "US" day at home ;) and then Sunday we're going to church and hopefully back to the symphony's free outdoor concert on Sunday night, and this time I hope Mama & Daddy will come with us so we can celebrate both of our anniversaries (theirs is Monday, the day after ours) together by enjoying free beautiful music! Sounds like a great weekend to me!

Yesterday, while I was working on getting my topics together at our class trip to the Historical Center of York County, I decided to take my camera on a little excursion. I went talking all across downtown and took pictures of the Wedding Chapel and the old buildings and then I went and plundered a couple of cemeteries, looking for graves of old soldiers, hoping to find some from the Battle of Kings Mountain. While I didn't really find what I was looking for, I did narrow my topics and get my thoughts together, and took some pictures of some neat things!

Image and video hosting by TinyPic
Apparently, there was once a circus in York. I took this picture as I was walking and then learned about the old circus at the historical center. Ironically, the building that houses the center was once a schoolhouse where the circus performers sent their kids to school.
Image and video hosting by TinyPic
Where my grandparents, and parents, were married.
Image and video hosting by TinyPic
A flower out in the Chapel's garden.
Image and video hosting by TinyPic
At the Latta House.
Image and video hosting by TinyPic
One of the Old Yorkville churches.
Image and video hosting by TinyPic
A sweet magnolia in bloom.
Image and video hosting by TinyPic
This was in the old York cemetery across from the MCcelvey Center, and may have been one of the family from Brattonsville.
Image and video hosting by TinyPic
The front of the building- people have traveled up these steps for the sake of learning for hundreds of years.
Image and video hosting by TinyPic
I found this tombstone in Grover, searching around for a grave I read about in an newspaper article from the Herald from '92. I got a hold of it in the library, but I never found the grave itself. I did find some interesting ones though, like this one with a tile picture of the person.
Image and video hosting by TinyPic
This guy was even creepier. I'm not gonna lie, I got the chills after snapping this picture.
Image and video hosting by TinyPic
This confederate soldier's grave was neat since it had an old marker and a new one that was much more readable.


Well, that's all of my explorations yesterday. Monday, the CHIEF of the Catawba Indian tribe is coming to speak to the class. Don't make fun of me for saying I'm really, really, excited about it! :)

Studiously,

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Metal & SC history

Well, so far, so good.

My class seems like it's going to be (dare I say this?!)... fun! I've always loved history, particularly local & family history, and this is basically the nuts & bolts of the class I'm taking. Since it's essentially a class made up of a month's worth of field trips, we're going to several local placed that are full of history, and I plan to take my camera along, so plan on seeing lots of nerdy posts about SC history coming from me throughout this month. :)
I like my professor a lot. He's nice & jolly and personable. He's also a local politician, and that shows as well, but like I said, I do like him. He likes to tell stories. For instance, he told us yesterday that former SC Governor James Henry Hammond (who was in office in the early 1800s I believe) married his ugly wife for her daddy's money and then apparently had a thing (yeahhh, one of those kinds of things)with his younger preteen nieces, and had an affair with his black servant, Louisa, who got pregnant with his child. He then turns around and sleeps with that little girl, the half-white slave that he fathered! EW! In the past 2 days, so far I've learned that SC history is full of scandal, and that this state has a split personality- southern charm, grace, and beauty- and a need for power and supremacy.
I'm pretty interested in the class so far, but not too excited about the 5 papers I will be writing- 4 research papers, each one about a different era in SC history on a specific topic of our own choice- in the 1700s, 1800s, 1900s, and modern eras, plus a book review on a book (fiction or not) that deals with SC history. I need to pick my topics for each paper, and today, we are going to the Louis Pettius Archives to start some research. While I'm there I plan to get a new book for the book review. I'm leaning towards something by Pat Conroy, because everyone in class raves about him, plus the sound like "my kinda book." I love Dorthea Benton Frank and Anne Rivers Siddons, and I thought about using one of their novels, but I just finished my "for fun" novel and need something new to read. Pat Conroy's comments and praises are in the front of many of my favorite books by both Frank and Siddons, so I think I'm gonna find exactly what I want. This class will be a good bit of work, plus lots of driving, but at least it's a topic I truly do find interesting! Like I said, I'm gonna take a lot of pictures on the trips and post a lot about what I learn.

Yesterday, before I headed up to Heather's to help her with some of her wedding stuff, I chilled out at home for a couple of hours and wound up finishing a novel I've been reading while I tan. I have heard nothing but praises for this book and even started it once (and loved it then, no telling why I quit reading it then... class, maybe?) and now I've finally finished it. Its called The Poisonwood Bible and its by Barbara Kingsolver. Man, the way she writes, you can literally hear the character's voice and feel each individual personality as you read. It was great.

That's basically all the news from here, minus the fact that school is finally over for the hubby, minus a few more teacher workdays. I went to his field day last week and got to see his kids, and I must say, it's so evident that they adore him. They've come a long way this year and have grown tremendously, and I know J is proud. He's done so well this year & I'm tickled pink with pride in him.
With the end of the school year comes camp, so J has been busy doing stuff for the YMCA now, and he is also working some bass licks now that he's starting playing metal with some of the guys we hang around with. I love when he plays and I will never complain about amps, cords, or wires laying around... I vowed long ago to never hold him back or complain about him playing music. <3 After all, music is partly to blame for starting our whole relationship, right? ;)

So that pretty much sums up life around here... Jake's playing metal and I've got my nose in a book.

Life is good. :)



Late-night Addendum:
Can please just tell y'all how freaking much I love Jake? Just indulge me for a second. When I got home, after a trip to the library where I got lost in the local history room for a few hours (lol), just like Granny used to do, Jake gently & sweetly fussed at me for making him worry about me while I had my nose in a history book, and then as we got started on dinner, we started talking about money and realized that we've got to make it 2 weeks without spending a dime. We both were wincing with worry talking about it, when he takes my hand, leads me outside to the massive zucchini plant growing in our compost pile (I'll be blogging about this amazing zuke plant soon!) and we look at the monster and he says, "you know, this plant wasn't planted here, it wasn't watered or fertilized and look at it flourishing. Its huge, and it grows bigger each day. If God takes the time to care about this plant, why won't He get us through these hard times. We have nothing to worry about, just like this plant" He scoops me up into his arms and kisses me and tells me that we've got Him and each other, and that's all we need. He smiles and his eyes sparkle, and we go back inside to finish dinner together, hand in hand.

I can't tell you the butterflies and the joy he still gives me. <3

Monday, June 08, 2009

EW, it's Monday.

Well, our wonderful company has come and gone, and the pool party was a great success. All in all, there were about 25 people who dropped by and we had a great time. There was tons of food, drinks, desserts, and lots of swimming and splashing. It started at 2 and we didn't really wrap up until around midnight. Hubby & I decided since we might be out of town for a wedding the weekend of our anniversary to go ahead and thaw our cake and eat it in front of all our friends & family- and so of course, since I had threatened him with death or divorce if he got any cake on my wedding dress or veil or perfectly made-up face, this time he really, really let me have it. We sliced into the cake, each got a sliver, and WAM-BAM-THANK YOU MAM.. butter cream icing went so far up my nose, I think it's to the brain. I had to blow it out like icing boogers... it was slightly traumatic. Mama caught some hilarious pictures, like me with the icing, and the boys and their synchronized diving, and I hope she got one of all of them sitting around the shallow end of the pool with their drinks looking like a bunch of men in a hot tub. I'll update this post with pictures soon, I hope.
The party clean up wasn't near as bad as I thought it was going to be. We have a lot of food left over (which is great for our poverty- seeing how I can't go to the store for a month!!) and a lot of random lost items people left. I've started a pile.
My friend Brooke knows how much I love getting old magazines and brought me a stack of Southern Living, which I'm starting to pillage and plunder in search of new recipes. It was awesome having Whitney up too. She's amazing- I swear. I'll see her again in about a month when we head down to her town for her birthday, on our way to Florida for our summer vacation in July.

After the party, we got the house clean and the outside straightened up around the pool, so Sunday evening, we decided to go to a free concert our friend Dorothy, a music teacher and fellow YMCA-er, told us about at the pool party. She told us about the free summer concerts in the park offered by the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra last summer, but last summer was dominated by wedding activities, so we never got the chance to go.
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Yesterday, we took advantage of our free time and loaded up a cooler of leftover goodies like chips & veggies & dip, hamburgers, puddings, pies, and of course, wedding cake and drove up to South Park, and picnicked and enjoyed the music. The musical selections were all "yee-haw" themed for this concert, so we heard songs from Oklahoma! and pieces that were throw-backs to Foghorn-Leghorn and the old-school Looney Tunes shows. We sang "Old Susanna" and other folk songs, and laughed at the hilarious conductor. (Click on the pink wordFoghorn-Leghorn and see an episode playing some of the songs we heard!)
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

I even saw our local weatherman Eric Thomas UP CLOSE! I slightly freaked out about this- he's been on the news since as long as I can remember and is one of my favorites. At the Southern Women's Show, they always have radio and news personalities, but the crowd is usually so big and it's usually some recently added reporter, rather than a veteran and well-known face like Eric Thomas, so it was really cool to me to see him in person after watching him on the news for umpteen years. :)

As you can probably tell, I've had a busy, yet absolutely wonderful weekend, full of family, friends, and fun. It goes without saying that I didn't want it to end, but alas, it has. And now it's Monday, and I have CLASS today. Yep, my first day of class is today so I will be making the drive to school. Bleh! I HATE having to go, particularly since the weather today is gonna be HOT & perfect for laying out and tanning. I know I'm whining about it, but seriously, the university OWNS me during the fall and spring, so I feel entitled to get a little pissy about them trying to commandeer my sweet summertime too. I'm also a little nervous about today as well, since I've never done the summer school thing, so I'll let everybody know how it goes. At least it's over at 3 and I should still be home at the same time or close to the time Hubby gets home from his last day at school with students. I have some pork chops marinating and will probably be thinking of what to fix with them today in class rather than listening to a word I hear, but that's nothing new! So, off I go to shower and dress and eat something, and go pretend I care one lick about being a good student!

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Company's A-Comin'!

Yay! 1 more day 'til Whitney gets here! I'm so excited to see her! When your best friend lives 3 hours away, weekend road trips are ESSENTIAL! We take turns making the drive to see each other, and it's been since Pawleys since we saw each other, so I'm looking forward it!
This is one of my all time favorite pics of me & Whit. It was right before we left to go to a USC (Gamecocks!) game. <3
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

In addition to Whitney coming to town, on Saturday, as I've mentioned before, we're having a pool party to celebrate our anniversary (which isn't technically until next weekend, but we're going to another wedding that weekend) and so far, I've heard from about 25-ish amazing people. That's a pretty big crowd, and a lot of wonderful people will be here. I get on Facebook & check the event page, and whoa 50 some odd maybes. I usually don't count on maybe people to show up, but if they do, I certainly hope they bring some food, because that's a big difference in groceries! LOL. Anyways, something I always love/hate about company coming is the cleaning. Our house is lived in, but usually decently clean on a day to day basis, but when I know I'm gonna have company, I try to get the house nice and sparkly. While this can be a headache and tiresome, I like the fact that company motivates me to do the cleaning I frequently skip- like the dusting, super-scrubbing, and organizing. Last night I reorganized my side of the office. Jake's side still looks like a teacher's desk threw up, but oh well. I'm scared to touch his side, haha. I keep leaving him post it notes telling him his desk is gonna eat mine for lunch if he doesn't tame the beast. This morning I dusted our guest bedroom. Dust sucks. No really. I used to not care so much about dust, but OMG, it's taking over my house. And what's this? A COBWEB in MY house? I'm not a spinster-lady! You only get cobwebs if you're old and have 15 cats and a crazy creepy laugh... kinda like Mrs. Nettles (not her real name) up the street, but that's a story for another post. Anyways, cleaning... I got baking to do soon, too. Sweeping, Mopping, more dusting, vacuuming, and the worst of all, the scrubbing. You see, when we bought this house, we didn't know it, but good old BJ (you know, the former owner of the house) smoked (or maybe it was his mistress Wilma or his dear old wife - again, another story for another day) inside the house. Big no, no for me. I just can't stand what the tobacco stains have done to the walls. In the bathroom, ever so often, nicotine will seep through the white paint and make icky yellowish drips down the wall. G-R-O-S-S. Mama said she used to see this when her mother smoked, so we know that's what caused it. But the more I think about it, the more I think this might be a case of poor paint choices by the man the remodeled & resold the house to us after BJ & Wilma hit the road. I mean, I know people who smoke in their homes, and their walls are nice and pretty. Danielle, what do I do? Did these people smoke some kinda mega-cigarette? How are your walls all nice and clean and pretty? This stuff is a you-know-what to get off. It involves me getting a chair and a bucket of bleach water and an old rag and literally scrubbing my walls from top to bottom until the yellow is all on my poor rag and off my white walls, all while praying to the dear Lord above that I don't get woosy from the chemicals and fall off the chair and die. Quite an ordeal, but I do it when I know company's coming. Not to mention the outdoor chores to do. Jake has to cut grass (and joy! it's raining now...) at some point, fill up my bird feeder, and weed-eat. Yep, the Wilsons will be busy-busy-busy for the next few days! But at least I'm gonna have a sparkly house when I get done and I know it's gonna be a wonderful weekend.

Friday, I hope to go to J's school for field day & take the camera and get some more cute kids playing pictures. I absolutely love elementary school field day. I was a PRO at the balloon pop in my day. ;) If I'm gonna get time to go, though, I better quit gabbing and get back to my house chores. I've got one last load to fold & put away and there will officially not be a dirty stitch of clothes in my house, nor a thing to wash! :) I usually stay on top of laundry pretty well, but I LOOOOVE when there's not a single piece to be done! :) I have to also get dressed and head over to the pool store. Our pool vacuum head broke yesterday, so there is one more thing to put on my lengthy to-do list!

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

I'm not really complaining though. 99.7, my favorite radio station everrrr is having a listener appreciation day and are playing some awesome music, so I'm dancing around to some Bon Jovi and Ozzy and Skynard all while singing into my can of Lemon Pledge!

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Just another day in Paradise...

Boy, did I sleep in today. I've made a vow that I will sleep in as late as possible this week since it's my last week of summer freedom. Well, not really, but Monday I start my dreaded summer class (that I had absolutely no choice in taking- it's only offered in summer school- & I had to have it to graduate) and I'm not so happy about it. Anyways, after I finally got up, I got busy doing so cleaning around the house. Mama called, and stopped by the house with some lunch on her way back to work after her doctor's appointment today. She brought me an RO's barbecue sandwich. If you are from the Carolinas, then you'll likely know what an RO's BBQ is. It's this local joint that makes this legendary slaw, and it's absolutely heavenly, and perfect with a Cherry Lemon Sundrop, also a Carolina original. It was great sitting and eating with Mama, but she had to get back soon. After she left, I decided to tackle a few projects. The first was our linen closet. It's technically the former laundry closet before the laundry/utility room was added, so it's a rather large linen closet, and over time, I'm ashamed to say we've kinda just started tossing stuff in and closing the door. It was a mess. So I got to work, making sure I documented my hard work with pictures.
This, I'm a bit embarrassed to show- is before. Horrible I know.
Image and video hosting by TinyPic
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

I pulled everything out and started going through it. Everything got sorted and refolded or thrown away or washed and sorted. When I pulled it all out into the bathroom, I saw this and thought to myself, what the heck have I gotten myself into...
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Never the less, I preserved. Somewhere along the way I found these.
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Who in the world gave us RED washclothes? That's all I need. Red fabrics like this equals death to all light colored things in our house. As my sister in law Danielle and I have both learned, Wilson men have a tendency to accidentally wash them with light colored items like new sheets and favorite khakis and the like. There are enough of these things to ruin every pair of khakis in this house for a while. I seriously debated tossing them. I also realized that I have entirely too many twin XL sheets and comforters left over from mine and hubby's dorm days.
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Part of me wanted to pack these up for a yard sale (I'd make one future freshman very happy to find these!) and ended up opting to keep them for the twin guest bed or for blankets to use when star-gazing. They fit perfectly in the bed of a pick up truck, as we found out one night when J and I took his daddy's pick-up out into the cornfield to watch the stars back when we were dating. :) Anyways, back to work. I get side tracked by this big beach bag full of beauty products and such and go digging through it. I find tanning lotions and sunblock and creams and aloe and face masks and all kinds of goodies for a poor girl with no money to go to bath and body works anytime soon. I was quite excited. I remembered that these were some that I brought here from my room at my parents house shortly after I/we moved in here. I got sad thinking they might be too old to use and need to be thrown out, but they smelled fine, looked fine, and everything, and talked myself into believing those people who talk about throwing out your products and getting new every few months are just crazies with money to blow, lol. So I said the heck with it and decided to keep them. :) The bag they were in was a nice find too, I'd forgot all about it. I will be perfect to take to Florida in July for our vacation! :)
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Finally, my hard work paid off and a nice and neatly organized linen closet emerged. Everything is sorted and categorized, folded and neatly stacked. I definitely can't get over how many blue towels we own- something I just don't understand. I registered for tans and whites and somehow we have a massive stack of very shade of blue that exists... I'm thinking they're from our dorm days as well, otherwise, I must have gotten a lot of wedding gifts that I didn't register for! LOL. Anyways, it still looked much, much better.
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

I was quite happy.
Yesterday, when Daddy and Jake were working on patching some of the cement out by the pool, he had to use the bathroom in our bedroom while I was in the "big bathroom" which is the one we normally use. Since no one ever uses the little bathroom, it was horrible mess. I mean, we've done nothing in there. It's just an empty bathroom with some TP, and a bottle of hand soap and is covered in dust, and the commode desperately needed a scrub. It only gets used if one of us gets up in the middle of the night or if we have to go at the same time, so it's not been a priority. When Daddy when in there, though, I realized I needed to get it looking good, especially if we have a lot of company and some people need to go the same time this weekend during our party! Well, I have no money to go buy anything to decorate it with so I went on a scavenger hunt in the house looking for anything I could use, and I found a decorative picture (it's just out of view in the picture below), a vase and some pretty flowers, a candle holder and 2 candles, and my great grandma's (I think it was hers?) cigarette box, and a bath mat that used to be in the linen closet. So me and the Clorox bottle got to work, scrubbing it from top to bottom. You'll notice there's no before picture, mostly because I was too ashamed to take one. I mean, it wasn't THAT bad, but still... you didn't need to see it. I did some quick [FREE] decorating, hung up my fluffy pink robe and BAM... pretty new bathroom, welcoming for anyone (even company!) to use! :)
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

At this point, I felt pretty accomplished and started working on some more laundry, and finally ended up finishing most of it just as Hubby got home from work. I showered, helped Hubby make some yummy fajitas (we always get meat for fajitas from our local Hispanic grocery store- it's always better!) and took it outside to eat. We had supper, and spent the rest of the evening with Jake's sister, who came over and splashed around in the pool with us. The perfect relaxing end to a productive day! :)
I have a feeling the rest of this week will be similar as I clean and work to get the house and outside ready for our party this weekend, and of course, I'm gonna be doing a lot of cooking and baking. I'm so excited! I'm especially happy that my best friend Whitney will be in town. She lives on the coast and will be spending the weekend with us. :) I can't wait! It's gonna be an great week!
Love y'all!