Thursday, May 10, 2012

More and more I have come to realize how important "time" actually is. For me, everyday there is a struggle between the things that need to be done, and the amount of time in the day.  As a young person with few responsibilities or dependents, when the conversation would include the phrase "there just isn't enough time in the day" my brows would furrow with doubt. Fast forward 30+ years, and with the responsibilities of a family and an aging family member, I see this as a simple truth.   As I approach  the big 5-0 next week, I have become even more conscious of the "value" of my personal time and who I spend it with.

For several weeks I have contemplated joining a club in Camden.  The motivation was to meet individuals, who have some of the same interest as I do and to gain more knowledge into that passion.  After researching the club on the Internet, an email was sent to the state headquarters, whose president promptly returned a response, with the email address and name of the  chapter president in my town of Camden.

Three weeks passed before the Camden president returned my email, and as I read this email I quickly learned that membership into this club, was by invitation or referral only. Really? This is the year 2012.   I had to wonder what made this individual state this fact so quickly in the body of her email.  Perhaps it was my name, as many people upon hearing or reading my name for the first time, assume I am an African American.

Immediately my amature detective antenna arose...just who were these individuals who comprised this organization?   My trusty fingers went to work.  Finding the presidents profile on Facebook was simple and I was immediately transported into this ladies life and what she deemed important. Whether or not we like to admit it, our Facebook profile is a mirror into our soul.

 Hers was a life of parties, horses and events. There were no pictures of her family, or of books that she had recently read. There was nothing on her profile that led me to believe that this individual was the type of individual that cared for others, or had an interest in any social issues effecting the world today. I had to ask myself, was this the type of person I wanted to share my valuable time with? Would this be the type of person that I would want as a friend?  I might also add that there was not one reference to the club, or to the subject matter of that club, on her facebook page. Hmmm....I thought that said a lot!

 It wasn't that long ago, that I believed that it was fine to allow an unlimited amount of  people into my life, either through church, Ted's wrestling program or various clubs and associations. However, every person that you allow into your life affects you and shapes you as a person. With this in mind, along with the realization of the great "value" of my spare time, I have finally realized the importance of taking a step back, and sometimes just saying no thank you.

I am certain that you are just dying to know what I did with that email from the club's president.....well I deleted it. I didn't even bother to respond, as I would not want to be in a club that was discriminating or was in some way demeaning to individuals.  I decided that I didn't need to open the door and let that group in.  I just said no....and it felt good.

Thursday, March 15, 2012


     Recently I spent a weekend in Washington DC, with some of my favorite people. These ladies and I share a lot of the same interest; books, travel, learning, and of course great food.  I really admire each one, for they all contribute something special to our little group.
     Jayne, the author in the group, reminds us that there is something to be learned with each new experience.  Janetta, teaches us, not to rush.  That life is better experienced and enjoyed, when you take your time.  Connie....well Connie makes us all laugh, and she has the most wonderful ability to make others feel special.  She is always coming up with some of the most interesting ideas, and challenging us to try new things.
     It was on this last trip that Connie started telling me about a website she had found, called Postcrossing.  My ears certainly perked up when she told me, that this program was developed to foster the concept that we are all brothers and sisters on this earth.  Then she said two of my other favorite cards, and Europe!
     For my friends that really know me, you know that I just love Postcards!  I am always trying to collect them where ever I might go.  They remind me of a time not so long ago, when a trip or a vacation was a big event in the lives of families.  I love nothing better than to find an antique store selling old postcards, from the 40's or 50's, especially if they represent the south during that time period.  I just think those are special!

           As for   the European aspect....well, I am totally in LOVE with Europe.  I have been since the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana.  On my first trip to England, I seriously did not want to come home.  I cried all the way to the airport. 
     While living in Virginia, I had the opportunity to host students as I worked for an International Student exchange program.  Our family hosted, two students from Spain, one from France, and one very special child from Russia.  We fell in love with these students, and have never regretted the time that we spent with them.  In the end,we felt that we benefited more by their stay then they did.
     Finally, this week, I sat down and registered an account (it is free by the way.)  The website is very easy to understand, and it has very simple guidelines.  You click on the tab, that says send a postcard, and after a moment or two it gives you a name and address of another member of Postcrossing.  It is that simple!  The website also gives you a brief bio. of the person you are writing to.  So far I have sent five postcards, one to Indiana, two to Belarus, and one to the Netherlands, and one to Italy!  Now I am just waiting for them to be received by my individuals, so that I can send out more and the best part.... I now can start receiving since I have sent five out!
     I am so excited about this project, that I wanted to share it with you!  The website is   and I want to invite everyone to take a look  and perhaps give it a try!   You might say, that you wouldn't know what to write... I thought that too, however the website gives you suggestions, and when I began, the words started flowing.
    What can be gained by a project such as this? Well I know for myself, that when I know someone from a certain country or region of the world, I have a better understanding of their lives, their struggles and perhaps their hardships.  And with that said, I certainly have a better appreciation of the blessings, that God has graced me with each and every day.  Check it out friends and let me know what you think!                                      Happy Crossings!!!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

My Date with ZZ Top

This weekend, Ted and I escaped to the beach for a few days, without kids, animals as well as pressures from work!  We enjoyed every moment of just being together, we laughed, we shopped and caught up on some much needed sleep!  We always make it a point to enjoy some delicous cuisine of the South Carolina coast, and we were not disappointed!  Sitting across from Ted, I was reminded how lucky I was to be married to my best friend, but also that I am not in the Divorcee Dating Scene any longer!
I have several friends who are now in their late forties, and early fifties, who are either going through a divorce, or due to other circumstances find themselves alone at this time in their lives.  I guess in a way, I am lucky to be finished with that phase in my life.  I will have to admit that there were times that I felt as though I was in the Fifth Circle of Hell, when it came to the search for my soul mate! 
Tonight, as I sat across from my wonderful husband, I started to remember the time that a well meaning customer, decided that I was exactly what her brother needed! I should have seen the red flags waving with her description that her brother was "just... misunderstood."  Sorry to report, that I didn't, and my Sunny Southern Bell self agreed to a lunch with this "misunderstood brother."
At the time I was working as a Sales Representative for a very large computer corporation in Newport News, Virginia.  I had been in the office most of the morning, writing proposals, and answering emails, when I finally realized that lunch time was approaching.  I gathered my purse and briefcase, and left thinking that perhaps I wouldn't be back for several hours if this lunch date proved to be worthwhile. Let me inject here, that as a divorced woman on the dating scene, I had rules!  Rule #1.... Always meet the "intended" for either coffee at Starbucks in Kiln Creek Shopping Center or Lunch at Cheers in Oyster Point.  Both places were well lit, well occupied and no where near my home!  You never know when you might get set up with a Wackadoo!  So off I went for lunch at Cheers in Oyster Point.
It was a beautiful March Day, and I am standing outside of Cheers in my Silk dress, pearls, and heels, as well as my new Neiman Marcus All Weather Coat, recently purchased on a trip to Tysons Corner in DC.  I look around to see if  misunderstood brother, is anywhere in sight, alas no...I seem to be the first one there.  Trying not to be too noticeably, I look to my left as a BMW pulls into the parking lot, and a nice looking man slowly eases his way out of the beautiful leather seats.  However to his right, is another man, walking toward BMW man, and they embrace and kiss, so I gather that neither of these two are Misunderstood Brother.  I fiddle with my purse and my coat, as I stand there in front of my favorite restaurant as several other men walk by me, and enter through the door.
Then I hear this sound, a very loud masculine sound of power and exhaust! Someone is pulling in on one of those Huge motorcycles, with leather bags draped on both sides.  The rider is dressed in leather as well from head to toe. He has on one of those dough boy helmets, and I suddenly begin to stutter to my self...NONONONOONONO...Lord I know that I have NOT done anything lately to deserve this! You had better not do this to me!!!!!
The rider disembarks the motorcycle, and takes off his helmet....suddenly I am very aware that I am looking at someone who looks like a member of ZZ Top!  His beard has been cut to form a point that reaches all the way down to his navel, which is very prominent on his big belly.  Suddenly I realize that I am standing, staring at this HUGE man, with my mouth wide open, and he is staring back at me! He walks slowly and surly towards me, and ask "Are you Tibby?"
Now I am sure that there are many women out there, that would have lied and said no...but being raised in Heath Springs, South Carolina, I have a difficult time with lying and being ugly to people.  I think I can trace it back to the time in third grade when Susan Hinson told me that "I wasn't going to Heaven if I  told stories!" So, not wanting to hurt this mans feelings, nor jeopardize my chances on the pearly gates...I uttered a very weak "Yes"
He opened the door for us to walk into Cheers, and the entire time, I am half praying, half begging the Lord, that there be no one in the restaurant today that would know me and see me at the worst moment of my life.  The Hostess looks at me as if, she wants to check my Sanity meter...and then leads us to a booth.  Of course it is in the front of the restaurant where EVERYONE can see us!
The waiter comes to our booth, to take our drink order, and I contemplate braking rule # 4 which is Never, Ever...drink on a first date.  I settle on Water...and catch my breath, thinking that this is only a lunch, it can only last an hour, and that I can make it through this...I made it through ten years of marriage to my ex! I can do anything...I am a liberated woman!
I begin with small talk....well misunderstood brother...".what do you do?" I ask....
He replies, what do you mean exactly?"
Perhaps I should make this a little more simplistic for my date...
"What do you do for a living?"...there he should be able to understand that.... I think!
"I lend money" he replies.......
I think to myself....There is just no way in H-ll that this man is in the banking industry, and I am sure that he has never seen the likes of an investment firm.
So I probe a little deeper....."What do you mean by "Lend people money?"
Mis-understood brother replies........"I drive around to the various ship yards, and the power plants, and the meat packing plants and lend people money"
My mind begins to spin, as I grasp the different scenarios...then suddenly I realize who I am sitting across....A Real Life LOAN SHARK!!!!!  OMG...We don't have anything like this in Heath Springs, so I have no idea of the proper protocol for addressing this profession!
"Are you a Loan Shark?"  I whisper.
"Some people call me that " states misunderstood brother, in a  very matter of fact tone!
"Well who exactly do you lend this money to?....Ok, I have no idea why I asked this question, because by now, my mind has finally caught up to my mouth.
"All kinds," he replies
Thank the Lord, that by this time, our chicken salad has arrived, and I have something to put in my mouth, therefore I won't make myself anymore upset with the situation at hand. 
After several bites of  the best chicken salad in Newport News, I look up at my date who seems to be enjoying his salad as well, when suddenly, he looks at me and grins.....and blows me a kiss! Oh my!
Then suddenly he begins to lick his fork with much gusto, as I stare in unabashed horror.....he takes his fork and begins scratching his back!!!!!!!!
I fall to the right onto the cushion of the booth, thinking "Lord take me RIGHT now!" I just lay there for a while , wondering how I am going to get out of here without causing a scene.   Eventually mis-understood brother asked me if I was ok...and I sit up visibly shaken, giving some excuse such as loosing a contact.
I look down at my watch and thankfully forty minutes have passed, and I begin telling him that I am going to need to leave in just a few.."Got to get back to the office!" and I nervously laugh.
He looks at me, and says..."Oh I thought we were going to spend the rest of the day together?"
"Oh no....I reply, I really must get back I have a meeting at one, that I just can't miss." This was a total lie, and I thought of Susan Hinson at this time, and hoped that perhaps this one time, she was wrong!
We walked to the parking lot, and I began to really worry now...was he going to press me for a kiss?...What would I do? How does one kiss a ZZ TOP wannabe? Would I throw up in the process? How was I going to get myself out of this one?  Nothing I had learned at Beth Blackwells Modeling and Manners class had prepared me for this moment, so I thought,to myself, What would Beth Blackwell do?  If you knew Beth Blackwell, you would know that she would never have gotten herself into this predicument to begin with, but trying to end this nightmare without being stalked for life...I projected my right hand, to shake his...and said "misunderstood brother,  thank you for lunch, and I hope you have a nice life, but I just don't see this going anywhere past today"  I suddenly begin backing up....and he says.."What? What do you mean" " I think your beautiful, and I could show you a good time!"......
At this point, I thought to myself, Why is it that the ones you want, never want you....and the ones you don't want .....well they always are the ones most interested in you!
I shook my head and said no thanks, and began to walk towards my car....I opened it with the automatic lock and quickly jumped in.  I was certain that he heard the door locks sound, as he looked at me, dumbfounded.  Suddenly, I realized that he thought I was the strange one in this scenaro!
I drove my mini van, as fast as possible back to the office in Oyster Point.  Shaking by the time, I got back to my desk, I balanced myself, and began to breath slowly.  I began to feel calm again, as my co-workers returned one by one. There is always safety in numbers you know!
After this date, I had to make a revision on rule #1...there would be no more lunches for first dates!  Rule #1 now read....Coffee date first! The coffee date was far less threatening at this point then another lunch from Hell!  Of course, misunderstood brother called, but thank goodnees for caller ID, and after a few weeks, he finally got the message!
Fast forward ten years, as I sit tonight across from the most wonderful man in the world, and I count my many blessings, but most of all that I never, ever have to entertain the thought of dating again!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Its a New Year

Happy New Year to all of my friends and family!
During the course of 2011 I was consumed with writing papers for school, taking care of my Mom, and naturally this blog just fell to the wayside. Over and over, I kept thinking that I wanted to dedicate more time and energy to recording my thoughts and events. However that just didn't seem to happen. Today is Monday, January 2, 2012 and it is a new day, and a new year, so naturally it is the perfect time to begin again!
I am very blessed to have two beautiful friends in my life, Connie and Jayne. These two women are each extraordinary women, they challenge me, encourage me and support me, each in their own way.
Each year they have a tradition, they pick a "word" for the year it was Hope, one year Faith etc. This year, Connie has chosen "Exploration" as her word, and Jayne has chosen" Focus". As I was reading Jayne's blog, "Mom's Musings" I thought to would be much easier to choose a word, to define the events of that year, as that year came to a close! However, I think their intention is to focus on setting a course for the upcoming year...a navigational tool of sorts.
If I were to have chosen a word for 2011, it would have to be "accomplish." I finished the masters program that I was in, we bought a house and got our family moved into that house....two pretty big accomplishments! With a brand new year ahead of me, I sit here with excitement trying to decide what my "word" should be! Actually, I have been thinking of this for several days...
I have thought of "quality," "hope," "focus", however none of those words felt quite right.
Finally last night it came to me...."Enjoy!"
Using the word "enjoy" as my navigational tool in 2012, I wanted to remind myself to take a deep breath, and enjoy the moment that I am in, whether it be good or bad. I need to remember that this is a moment in my life. One, that I can't get back, so I should enjoy every second. Honestly, I hope that this keeps me from being in such a hurry, rushing around, forgetting things. (like loosing library books!)
So there you have it word for the year, if you were to choose a word what would you choose....I hope I have made you think!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Our New Home ~1928 Forest Drive

Ted and I are so excited about our new house! We found this beautiful home in Camden, in between the Carolina Cup Race Track and the Camden Country Club! Ted and I both said that we should probably move in, after night fall. That way, the neighbors wouldn't know that country had come to town!
It is in a beautiful subdivision, called Kirkover Hills. Most of the homes in this development were built in the 1950's and 1960's. Our home was built in 1951 and we think that it has so much charm and personality, we can't wait for you to visit!

The couple that we bought the house from Ashley and David Smith, left us a beautiful surprise in the refrigerator! They have been so wonderful during this process, so thoughtful and considerate. Ted and I both wish we would have had the opportunity to get to know them, before they moved to Rock Hill! To all my friends in the Ft. Mill and Rock Hill area a great couple is headed your way!

Of course it started to rain on us Friday night, as soon as we started to unload the car!

We have been taking our 10lbs of joy with us, each trip! Miss GG loves the house, and has had such a wonderful day chasing all the lizards and butterflies.

My little sister Rachel came over first thing this morning! Doesn't she look great, you would never guess she just delivered a baby two weeks ago! She loves my refrigerator by the way!

This is my little Breakfast Nook! I love it so much, and I can't wait to curl up here with the Sunday paper and have a beautiful cup of coffee!

The screened in porch! This is what sold the house for us! I have wanted another screened in porch since I left Virginia, and I finally have one! The white furniture is so special to me, I bought it at an antique store in Virginia, and have painted it white. The cushions will have to be recovered, since they are almost as old as Kyle, and he is 18! I am thinking blue, but not sure just yet. Many of you know me well enough to know that I will change my mind 10 times before I finally decide.

This is just a snapshot of the kitchen! I am so loving this beautiful stove! Ted just wants to know when I am going to cook something ! Between packing and school, I haven't had much time for cooking lately.

My beautiful back porch...I love the ivy so much! It reminds me of England and how the houses are all covered with ivy! Love Love Love it!

Ok, so this is a pretty rough picture of us! We are both sweaty and stinky, but we are so happy!

Well that's all the pictures for now! I will try and take some more tomorrow as we move more of the bigger furniture in! Thanks to everyone who helped today, Harrison, Kevin, Joe, Rachel...we couldn't have done it without you!!!


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Life Lessons from Jayne Eyre

For the past several weeks, I have been reading the classic Jane Eyre. There have been days when I could hardly put this book down. I have laughed, and I have cried with Jane as she has faced some very dark days.Add Image
This classic has taught me several things, about life. Granted, several of them I already knew, I just needed to be reminded.
The first is that no matter who, or where you are born, your beginnings do not define your life. Jane was born to parents, who died and left her to relatives who never really wanted her. When the Uncle passed away, the Aunt quickly sent Jane off to a school for orphans. Jane could have wallowed in her misery but no, she put on her big girl panties and became a governess.
When Jane was faced with the fact that she was in love with a married man, she never gave a second thought to throwing caution to the wind, and living a life that she found degrading. Jane valued herself, her reputation, and most of all her honor. She respected herself, and no matter what the cost , she never dishonored herself.
When things did not go as expected and the marriage was suddenly stopped short, Jane made a serious error. She did not have a PLAN B! All women and men for that matter need to have a plan B, just in case plan A doesn't work out too well. Jane walked out into the cold of winter leaving Mr. Rochester behind, with only 20 shillings. In my own life, as a single Mom for many years, I soon learned that you had better have a plan B somewhere close at hand!
All in all I have so enjoyed reading this beautiful classic, enjoying the beautiful words, and poetry that coincide. As I continue in my readings for 2011, I am certain that Jane Eyre and the lessons that I have learned from her will stay with me for quite some time!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Sunday Dinner

With both Ted and I in Graduate School this year, to say our days are hectic are an understatement! We have to say "no" to a lot of our favorite activities, if just for a while. One thing that I refuse to give up, is the Sunday Night Family Dinner. Growing up, Sunday dinner was always a something to look forward to! My Mom would cook on Saturday, so that after church on Sunday, she wouldn't be in the kitchen for hours. We always sat at the dinning room table and used the "good dishes." At the time I didn't think this was so special, but today I realize just how special it was.

This took a lot of effort on my Mom's part, effort that I am certain she didn't always feel was appreciated. Today with my own family, I realize how very important it is, if not but for one night for the family to gather around the table, to talk and laugh, and to enjoy a good meal. Sunday night dinner has become something that now, my kids look forward to. Yes it takes a great deal of effort, however to have my family all around the dinner table together, it makes it all worthwhile.

Tonight, Catie has requested Mexican! (I am sure my Mom never thought of adding this into the Sunday selection) So for tonight, we are having Mexican Casserole and Guacamole Salad, and Strawberry Shortcake for dessert! I am listing the recipes below, in case anyone would like to have a change in your menu for tonight!

Monroe Mexican Casserole

1 1/2 lbs of ground beef 1 can cream of mushroom soup 1 can cream of chicken soup 1 bag shredded Mexican cheese 1/2 bag corn tortilla chips 1 can Rotel 1 can corn 1/2 onion (or to taste, Ted doesn't like onion, so I leave this out) Brown all the hamburger meat in skillet, meanwhile in a large bowl, combine canned soups, Rotel, and the can of corn. In a large casserole dish sprayed with non-stick spray, spread half of a bag of corn tortilla chips around the bottom. When meat is cooked and drained, stir into the soup mixture, then pour over the corn tortilla chips. Top casserole with bag of shredded Mexican cheese. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes at 350 degrees. Guacamole 3 large ripe avocados 1/4 cup of freshly squeezed lime juice 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro 1 small jalapeno (fresh not canned) finely chopped 1 clove finely minced garlic 1/4 cup finely chopped yellow onion 1 tablespoon olive oil 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper ripe Roma tomato (chopped) in many areas of Mexico , the tomato is never included. put all ingredients in the food processor and mix. mixture should be chunky! Serve immediately, if you make ahead of time, make sure you put this in an air tight container, the guacamole will turn brown very quickly once exposed to air! oooooh soooo goood! Enjoy!