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Gloom, despair and agony on me. Deep dark depression, excessive misery…

Gloom, despair and agony on me. Deep dark depression, excessive misery…

How’s that for a blog title? Now if you’re as old as I am and you were raised up right you’d know that’s from a skit on Hee Haw. But it sums up my week as well. Except for yesterday.

We celebrated the daughter-in-law turning &$@?! years old with some football and AMAZING BBQ. Ribs. Homemade Mac ‘n cheese. Baked beans. Corn pudding. Chocolate cheesecake and coconut pie. The best part? I didn’t have to cook a thing!

After dinner Mady settled into my bed with a little faux fur throw over her legs and her Poppys iPad and relaxed like the little princess she is. Emme, the wild child, who loves ‘ice keem’ more than life itself, was everywhere. That child has the best laugh. It comes straight from the gut and it’s loud and it makes me laugh when I hear it. Her happiness is contagious.

It was a great Saturday evening. Today will be a little quieter. We have such a busy week coming up I’m trying my best not to stress about it. The hubs has lots of out of state and out of the country visitors flying in. He’s been busier than a one armed paper hanger.

I have the joy of heading back to Duke for a little procedure. Several people have inquired about my health and I’m so sorry if I’ve seemed evasive. I loathe that. But I really just crawled in a hole there for a couple of days. I’ve had thyroid issues for quite some time. And having finally gotten in to see a new endocrinologist things are getting worked out.

Not too surprisingly I have some areas of concern. Now I need a biopsy to make sure whatever is floating around in there is not too evil. I mean it could just be me. Y’all know I can be just as mean as a snake! So I’ll let the good doctor stick a needle in my neck and we will see what’s lurking. I’ll keep you posted.

Come Thursday morning about nine a.m. if you throw my name in a prayer I won’t mind at all. I’m a huge fan of good mojo and positive vibes. I’ll be honest with you. I’ve been sorely lacking in the ‘positivity’ department. I’ll get it together though just give me a minute.

Let’s be real people, we’ve seen some stuff lately. Friends and family losing loved ones and dealing with illness. The older we all get, and some not even so old, it’s becoming more and more frequent.

Getting old is not for sissies.

(Debbie, I know that’s not how Harry puts it but we’re in mixed company here!)

I do hope you all have the most glorious of Sunday’s. And to my friends in Florida and Georgia who are dealing with lack of power from wretched old Irma, may your days be brighter (literally) soon!


Bruiser will now illustrate how I spent most of last week…


PS. That really is how he is sleeping at exactly this second as I write this. Are you ever jealous of your dogs ability to sleep for days? Yeah, me too.

Hurricane Brenda…

Hurricane Brenda…

All storms should be named after people known to wreck havoc.

I’m. Just. Saying.

So Brenda killed another car. I don’t know how she killed it. But dead it is. The repair it required cost more than the car was worth. And even though she wanted to repair it anyway we managed to talk her out of it.

I’m not even sure why she wanted to keep it. I picked it out and bought it a little over two years ago. And she has done NOTHING but complain the entire time. She once told me the air conditioning didn’t work and she didn’t have it turned on. The bottom line is, she never trusted the car because my husband did not choose it for her.

We gave the car to someone who could possibly fix it in time and needed transportation. And yesterday I called up Brenda and said “get dressed we’re going car shopping”. To which she replied, “why do I have to go?” I made her go even though she SAYS she wants no say so in the entire process.

Because here’s the truth. She really does have an opinion. And if she didn’t go I would be hearing that opinion until the end of time. She didn’t exactly love what the hubs picked out for her and quite frankly I didn’t care. It was a nice used car. In her price range. For a woman who drives no further than the library downtown, it was MORE than fine.

Brenda was ornery from the second we picked her up until we took her back home. Her allergies are bothering her. She’s old and moody. She’s a mess. She’s Irma.

Anyhootinanny, the car is purchased. I hope this will cut down the ‘whine’ level or I will increase my ‘wine’ intake. Which currently is zero but I’m more than willing to take up drinking if need be. One does what one must to deal with the storm.

Now, one last thought. WHERE IS FALL? Who took it? Last Sunday I was sitting on the porch at the beach enjoying the sunshine. Today I am wrapped in a sweater drinking coffee!

Remember fall? It’s BRISK. Not shiver me timbers cold! It’s cool. It wears sunglasses and scarves. It’s not bulky like winter. It’s the occasional flip flop and cardigan combo. It’s layers of good cotton. Not WOOL.

Ok enough complaining. To my friends in Florida, and anyone in the path of the wretched Irma, please know we are all praying for you to be safe.

Have a lovely Sunday!





Inlaws and outlaws…

Inlaws and outlaws…


As I sit here on the porch this morning, feeling this cool ocean breeze, I am abundantly blessed and grateful. Not just for the scenery around me. But the people with me. My brothers-in-law, my sister-in-law and my mother-in-law. AKA French Zoila.

French Zoila rarely has all her boys together. But this weekend she does. She’s made them breakfast every morning. You’ve never seen such happy grown men. I’ve laughed so much and ate so much I can’t tell if the stomach pain is from the food or the laughing.

This has been one of those rare occasions that shouldn’t be rare at all. We’ve celebrated an anniversary. A birthday. And an upcoming anniversary. We realize that we need to do this much more often. I love hearing their stories from their childhood and wild young boy days. And trust me, they love telling ’em.

I’ve seen smiles on my mother-in-laws face that were just priceless. She’s even offered to whoop one or two of them. And I enjoyed that as well.

Last night we stayed on the porch late after dinner. There was a band playing at the dive around the corner. The Trailer Bar. It’s famous ya know. It was in Our State magazine last month. The band was giving us everything from Rod Stewart to Willie & Waylon to Johnny Cash to Travis Tritt.

We all took golf cart rides down by the canal. Everyone throws their hand up at ya. Music is playing here and there. Beer cans are being opened. Grills are smoking. You just have to breathe it all in and smile.

Life is good.

And life is short.

So we’re going to continue the business of enjoying every teeny, tiny second. ┬áLoving those people we love. And letting them know it. Sharing a meal. And a lot of laughs.

Happy Sunday peeps!









22 Days with a pre-teen and lived to tell about it…

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22 Days with a pre-teen and lived to tell about it…

My houseguest was twelve. She stayed for three weeks. And I survived. We ran out of milk four times. Cereal, twice. If there was anything in my house made with sugar it disappeared within minutes. Oh, and twelve year olds are messy.

But I loved every single second of it. The day she left my house became oh so quiet again. Not that it wasn’t quiet when she was here. For the most part it was. Unless she was on some hour long animated phone call with a friend. Or binge watching her favorite show and screaming at the tv. Same things I do basically.

The child loathes vegetables. But I know the rules at her house so we kept them here. Cough. We did. Cough. I swear. Cough. She had to take a few bites. Needless to say our time at the dinner table was long. I wanted to grab green beans off of her plate and eat them for her. It was exhausting to watch. I swear she could wear me down though. Tweens are brilliant. And they have all the time in the world people. Know that.

Her love for sweets was unmatched. Never seen anything like it. We bought hand dipped doughnuts at the beach and her face when she got to hold the box was priceless. You’d have thought I had handed her gold.

She complained about the humidity constantly. Like a true Southerner. And returned home to California with her North Carolina twang fully in tact. I hope it’s still there when school starts next week.

Dear Baby Model,

We miss you and love you so much. Yes you’re in that stage of life where nothing much phases that pretty little face of yours. You like to be a hermit and hole up in your room. We get it. Thanks for coming out when you did. I enjoyed laying on the bed listening to you read me funny memes from Pinterest. I loved watching your face when it stormed and how much it thrilled you. I love that the second you got here the first thing you said was “everything is SO green”! I’m pretty sure you ate all of the hush puppies in the entire city. I’m happy to have been a part of you having your very first dip cone from DQ. The fact that you have no DQ where you live is completely inhumane. Now go to school and study hard so when it’s time for college you can be a UNC girl! (Or Duke or State, we’re not picky) But most of all, have fun. Smile. And know how loved you are and always will be.



Emma, may you always be as happy as you were in this moment.

Daddy’s girls…

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Daddy’s girls…

I was born a Daddy’s girl. I’m talking straight outta the womb. Everything he did fascinated me. From driving an eighteen wheeler to parking a camper to fishing for ten hours straight. I was his helper if he ever did anything around the house. (Oddly enough, not much of a handyman, LoL) I rode on motorcycles with him way before I was old enough and my mother stood there screaming at him to slow down.

I would have went on every single long distance truck ride if I had been allowed. I would stay up all night and fish on the pier with him. I wore a visor like he did. I think when I finally wore a dress it may have hurt him as much as it did me. We were the breakfast club. He taught me how to cook it and I took great joy in making him perfect eggs.

He worked at a service station once and I hung out like I was some sort of grease monkey. I knew nothing about cars and I still don’t. But I was with him so it didn’t matter. I don’t ever once remember him shushing me away. I think he may have spanked me once. Maybe. And that was enough for him.

Daddy was funny. No one made me laugh like he did. Whether it was taking pictures at the beach with his sunglasses perched askew on his head, cigarette dangling out the side of his mouth. He had dentures later on and thought nothing of taking them out and laying them on the table just to make me laugh.

I miss daddy every day. I always will. I know my sister does too. We talk about him a lot. I think he would like that. The memories he left us with. They sustain us. And for that we’re grateful.

Thanks Daddy.

Happy Father’s Day to all the good men out there raising babies, and supporting families, setting good examples for what a man should be. Helping boys to become even better men. And showing girls that they can do anything they want to in this world and don’t have to take any crap. We need you! Good Daddy’s are a gift!

To my husband, you’re the best. Your children know it and appreciate how extremely lucky they are. Thank you for all that you do for us. You’re so loved.

To my stepson, you learned from the best. You make us proud every day. You’re an amazing father and your girls adore you. We love you so much.

The day I discovered that I love a sugared lemon zest candle but I’m not willing to go to prison for it…

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The day I discovered that I love a sugared lemon zest candle but I’m not willing to go to prison for it…

Have you ever been so aggressively pursued by a salesperson in a store that you felt like you were in an Amway meeting? I don’t mean the ones who follow you around SILENTLY as if you’re going to shoplift. That’s annoying but at least it’s peacefully done. No, I’m talking about being accosted in a candle store by a sales clerk, we’ll call her Pushy Penny, to the point where you want to either buy everything or run screaming empty handed into the parking lot!

It was Tuesday. A pleasant enough day. Except for the dog punishing me for being gone by peeing on the rug directly in front of me. He may as well have hiked his leg up and went on my foot. Message received! My daughter and I do an errand day once a week. There’s no telling where we will turn up. What time we will leave. Whether I will be in real clothes or not. It’s all a big ole honking coin toss. But we get stuff done. She needed salon supplies and I wanted a candle.

Off we go to “Bath & Shower & Lotion Up Incorporated”. Where Pushy Penny lay in wait. The store was deserted which is normally a good thing. No one needs to see me without makeup and hair up in a half pony looking unkempt. I breezed in and went right to the section I wanted and started sniffing. I heard a booming voice across the store and saw that my child had been caught in the web of Pushy Penny. Now I know  she may have been trained this way. My guess is MakeASale Molly did the training. But even Molly comes up for air. This girl DID NOT SHUT UP FOR THIRTY MINUTES.

Did you know her husband cooked stuffed shells over the weekend and that they were delicious? Did you know her friend is having a baby and the smell of cucumber is what she’s craving? Yeah well, neither did I. None of this was told like she was just bored and needed someone to talk to. No. This was a sales tactic. ENGAGE. You MUST engage them in conversation to make that sale! Honestly I was buying the damn candle anyway! I didn’t NEED to know that watermelon hyacinth lotion MIGHT be reissued next year! I don’t care!

After she had finished with the offspring she made a beeline for me. Now first of all I consider myself adept at avoiding the Pushy Penny’s of the world. No eye contact. Just say I’m good and thank you bye bye now. There was no stopping this candle selling freight train. She MADE me take a shopping bag.  She asked. I said no. She brought me one anyway and put my two items in it for me. Eventually my refusal to make eye contact kicked in and she left me. I knew she didn’t go far. So I spent the rest of the time moving very quickly and purposefully.

By this time I was terrified to check out. I hoped there was someone else to ring up my sugared lemon zest obsession. But no. It was Penny. Like we were destined to spend just forty five more minutes together. I walked to the back of the store where the registers were only to find no one and she of course yelled to me to come to the center of the store. Which I dutifully did. No I didn’t have a coupon. No, I didn’t need any matches (a little voice in my head said I did but I knew that was the devil talking) to light my candle.

Finally I was free. My daughter was not so lucky. She had to check out after me. And hear the whole spiel again. We both left the store in complete silence. After about five minutes in the car, air conditioning cooling the blood pressure, we commenced to letting it all out. I may or may not have primal screamed. I don’t remember. It’s all a blur.

A blur with the slight scent of sugared lemon zest in the air…


Brenda and the beach…

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Brenda and the beach…

I must be losing my edge because I loaded up Brenda and brought her to the beach to celebrate my turning the tender age of fifty six. FIFTY SIX. Lord. That sounds so old. I do not feel that old! The hubs turned sixty last Wednesday and yesterday he popped a wheelie on a bicycle and climbed to the top of a ladder to get the water cut on in the outdoor shower. I’m like is this how your sixties are going to be? Constantly attempting to see how much you can do without breaking something? Oy.

Back to Brenda. She is like a five year old on a long car ride. She needed constant entertainment. Which consisted of me singing and pointing out anything of interest I could find on the side of the road. “Oh look, a car for sale.” “Hey, check that out. A dead opossum.” And yet she still talked. The. Entire. Way. She would tell me she wasn’t going to say another word. Didn’t last five seconds.

Before we left she called and she was packing her bag. Then she proceeded to inform me that she didn’t have a small enough travel bag so she was just going to use grocery bags. I texted my sister and after she finished cackling, called mother and said to use her small travel tote. I also order groceries before we leave so we can pick them up on the drive in. I asked Brenda what she needed and she said nothing. She was bringing her drinks and coffee K-cups from home. She wanted to know if I needed paper towels and toilet paper since she had plenty. I told her we were stocked. I still need to check her bag and see if there’s a spiral sliced ham stuck in there somewhere.

We’ve had a great weekend. The weather has been perfect. The food delicious. I got some sweet gifts. And as much as I like to tell my Brenda stories, I realize at the ripe old age of fifty six that I’m extraordinarily lucky to get to spend my birthday with the one who birthed me.

The sun is shining and breakfast must be cooked so off to the kitchen I go. Thank you ALL for the birthday wishes, cards, texts, tweets, and every ounce of love that was sent my way. I appreciate it more than you will ever know. Truly.

Have a beautiful day my friends!

Love, J


Here’s a few pics from our weekend!


Watching Brenda play Solitaire…

IMG_4799Birthday goodies from my boo…

IMG_4806Finished the master bedroom…


How I spent my birthday…


The city of surf…

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