The 1971 movie "Friends"

Once again I am showing my age. Does anyone remember this wonderful movie from 1971? It was a very special coming of age movie. Elton Johns soundtrac was just beautiful too.

Where are the mannerly?

I don't normally rant on this blog but today I must. I am so tired of rude, obnoxious people. It seems I am confronted by the ill-mannered more and more and I must wonder why this so. Is proper social behavior becoming a lost art? Some say that because we are such a melting pot that we must accept the behaviors of all peoples as those behaviors may be normal to the people committing the act. Now I ask, does that make any sense. It doesn't to me. Is there a group out there that does not want to be thanked, apologized to, be granted ease by having a door held or who appreciates being knocked over at the the sale rack or the entrance to a lavatory. Where was I when the rule changed on men not wearing hats indoor? ....or children calling adults by their first name, or having courtesy while driving?
Is it bad parenting that individuals grew up with no understanding of acceptable behavior? Was it the wild and crazy '60 when the call for tolerance among all groups was so strong that allowed people to be rude so they could make a point?
I don't know the answers but I wish I knew the response. I think it is to just continue to be as civil as you can in all situations.
I have been in several situations in the past few weeks while visiting out of state that just made my skin crawl ... like the woman who plowed right into me as I was walking out a door, then just looked at me and walked on but the car incident takes the prize. As I was driving, I slowed because there was a woman jay-walking with a small child. She should not have been jay-walking, especially with a small child but she was and I chose to slow to give her time to get across the street. The driver behind me saw this as an insult to his desire to get where he wanted to go and chose to start honking his horn and then pulled around me to more forcefully display his anger in gesture. Not only was this directed at me but also at the woman and child who the driver decided to yell at from his car window. The woman and child made it safely to the curb but the driver was now on a tear to make me realize he was unhappy. He quickly pulled in front of me and then proceeded to slow down and break. I eventually found my way out of this mess but was stunned at the rudeness and childlike behavior of this person. Obviously he was not in a hurry... and what kind of hardness would make a person so angry in such a situation?
The part that bothers me the most is that as I work to teach my child to be courteous, to be socially primed, to defer to adults and all the other niceties of proper social behavior, I fear it is sometimes thwarted by the acts of those who feel being ill-mannered is okay. I can only hope that what I am instilling in my child will be remembered and kept sacred long after I am gone.

I would love you to comment here so I could read your thoughts on this topic. Click on the link below to read an interesting article I found on the Emily Post website.

"One of the more noteworthy findings in the Public Agenda survey was how little respect rudeness has for boundaries: experiences with bad behavior were virtually the same whether one was from the North or South, rich or poor, living in a big city or a small town. "

Feeling pretty in Armonk

La Gravinese Jewelers of Armonk photo
I had a lovely Saturday with my good girl friends whom I've known since I was a mere 15 years old. One of the highlights of the day was visiting Debra's store. It was the first time I had actually seen her store and all the 'pretty's' residing in the cabinets calling my name. I thought I would purchase a strand of pearls but my attention strayed to beautiful gold drop earrings with two small dangling pale aqua blue stones on each. Just beautiful! I can wear them with just about anything and won't I just be pretty, pretty!
La Gravinese Jewelers of Armonk photo

Such a lovely shop, in the center of a well appointed town. Not only does she offer the usual services but also custom design and redesign of jewelry, special orders, ear piercing, appraisals, watch repair, estate purchases, as well as teachers & corporate gifts. Designer lines included Leo Pizzo, Craig Drake, Kurt Wayne, Hidalgo, and many more. I enjoyed feasting my eyes on all the gorgeous diamonds and beautiful pearls.

Pave Settings

I learned about pave' jewelry where jewelry is designed and created with stones set very close together to create a unique look and beautiful shine...such as the very lovely pave' cocktail ring that was on display. Gorgeous diamonds clustered around a larger deeply colored blue gemstone.
If you are ever in the area or are interested in beautiful custom work, contact Debra at:
La Gravinese Jewelers of Armonk
Armonk, New York 10504
I always knew Debra to have great business sense as well as great style and a flair for the elegant. It's nice to see all that incredible talent being used so well. Just wonderful...thank you, Debra!

The Ocean Project...What an inspiring theme...

The Ocean Project
I've just learned about The Ocean Project, an organization seeking to educate and create awareness about the failing health of our oceans and create strength around needed conservation practices. I was inspired to learn more and join the group... I have much to learn. I am revisiting old interests in our beautiful oceans that sustain us each day. Of course living so close to the coast has made me very aware of how important it is to do what we can to insure the health of our oceans and the life within. There are many in the Charleston area that work to insure healthy habitat for sea turtles and other ocean life, care for the dunes and insure clean and safe beaches. I've also just learned that June 8th is the official World Oceans Day reminding us about our connectedness to the oceans whether we are close to the coast or deep inland. The oceans are no longer as healthy as they should be. Coral reefs are dying, rising sea level is threatening coastal communities and especially low lying islands such as North Carolina's Outer Banks. I encourage you to learn about the Ocean Project and make a pledge to protect our oceans.

We had a lovely visit!

Photographer: Jonathan Lamb; GNU Free Documentation License".
Lighthouse on Sullivan's Island, SC. This is the most modern lighthouse in South Carolina.
I've been away just long enough. I had house guests visiting so of course my goal was to create a lovely visit for them to remember...thus I had not a moment to post here.
We had a grand time relaxing at the beach, attending Beachwalker Boy's lower school graduation, eating, drinking and being merry. They have promised to return as soon as the begining of the new year when it will be cool enough to enjoy all the touring of historical places in this lovely area. I'm looking forward to their return and the visits of more friends and family who have decided a stop by is in order.

Hampton Park, Charleston, SC : Public Domain

I did have the opportunity to attend an event at Spoleto...on the last day...but still I had a first taste and it was wonderful. Beachwalker Boy and I attended an open air concert with a friend in Hampton Park featuring a great funky band from the Mount Pleasant area called Sababah. They were really quite good and good looking as least one young man caught the attention of this old woman.

In memory of...

I'll be away for a bit as there has been a death in my family. Beachwalker Boy and I will be attending the funeral and visiting with family.

Breakfast Casserole...Delicious

My neighbor had a lovely breakfast Saturday morning and Beachwalker Boy and I were invited. The main course consisted of a wonderful casserole among other choice items. I was so pleased when she offered the recipe. This casserole makes for a wonderful weekend breakfast or brunch and is perfect when you have a house full of guests. She had been told of the recipe by her friend from Texas who had been told of it by her friend and so on. It can, of course, be found on the Jimmy Dean Sausage Company website...but today, I will share it here with you.

Breakfast Casserole

1 pkg. Regular Flavor Jimmy Dean Pork Sausage
10 eggs, lightly beaten
3 cups milk
2 teaspoons dry mustard
1 teaspoon salt
6 cups cubed bread
2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms (optional)
1 medium tomato, seeded and chopped (optional)
1/2 cup thin-sliced green onions (optional)

Preheat oven to 325 F. In large skillet, cook sausage over medium-high heat, stirring frequently until thoroughly cooked and no longer pink. In large mixing bowl, combine eggs, milk, mustard and salt; stir well. Distribute half the bread evenly in a buttered 9" x 13" x 2" baking dish. Sprinkle with half the pepper, half the cheese, half the sausage and half of each optional ingredient. Repeat layering using remaining bread, pepper, cheese, sausage and optional ingredients. Pour egg mixture evenly over casserole. Bake uncovered for 55-60 minutes, or until eggs are set. Tent with foil if top begins to brown too quickly.

May be assembled ahead and refrigerated up to 12 hours before baking.

Serving size:
6 servings

Happy Easter! Happy Spring!

Easter postcard from 1901

Easter postcard by Stecher, ca. 1915
Aren't these Easter cards just lovely? As much as I love to write notes, I did not post any Easter cards this year and really I should have since I did receive a few. Of course, if I had been in possession of such beautiful cards as these, I would have certainly enjoyed sending them to dear friends. So pardon my lack of spirit and allow me to send an electronic greeting to all those who might normally have received a posted greeting from me. Of course, this is also a grand opportunity to send greetings to those who read and enjoy this blog...Thank you

Happy Easter! Happy Spring!

April Food Day

The founder of Pigtown-Design and Easy & Elegant Life have placed the call for April Food Day, presenting the cause of Feeding America, the organization formally known as Second Harvest. I learned a great deal reading their website last night and have decided they are a worthy cause.

One in eight Americans are at risk for hunger...yes! I said Americans. If everyone who could, contributed just one dollar to Feeding America, those in need could get a hand up through the help of the organization. Each week Feeding America helps approximately four million Americans in need. If you would like to get involved or make a donation, see the FAQ page of the Feeding America website.

A nod to the First Tee of Charleston

I have always tried to expose Beachwalker Boy to different sports, clubs, groups, etc. One of the things he has enjoyed most is becoming involved in The First Tee. I learned of The First Tee a couple of years back in the place from whence we came and it was a perfect summer program for 'Boy' to attend. He had already decided the golf course was a pretty nice place since we would spend Sunday mornings walking the trails around the course and stopping for brunch at the links cafe.
I was very happy to find The First Tee thriving in the Charleston area and quickly signed on Beachwalker Boy for the Winter Program. Not only does he learn the game of golf but also is learning positive values and developing a good and strong character.

The First Tee strives to use the game of golf to develop the leaders of tomorrow. Today, I received an e-mail from Ben Gandy, the Program Director for the Greater Charleston chapter. Every non-profit organization needs the support of the community and Ben is presenting an opportunity for participants and others to give back through the support of The First Tee of Greater Charleston. I hope you will have a look at their website and learn about the value the chapter is providing this local community and consider ways you could support them either by giving your child an opportunity to participate, making a small purchase or joining PGA Tour Superstar and Charleston native, DJ Trahan by pledging $1 for every birdie he makes on tour this year. It is a simple and fun way to support DJ and The First Tee. I'll let you read Ben's e-mail which says well what The First Tee does for children and the communities in which they are involved.

Dear Friends and Supporters,

The First Tee of Greater Charleston saw much success in 2008 because of the dedicated help and support of the Greater Charleston community. 2009 has started the same and our enrollment has increased to nearly 420 youth from all backgrounds and from all over the Greater Charleston area! We are excited about reaching even more youth, teaching them valuable Life Skills such as Honesty, Integrity and Respect through the game of golf.

The First Tee is also excited about the opportunity to continually engage the Greater Charleston community and get them involved in our quest to make a positive lasting impact on the lives of our youth. We have created some small ways to get involved, that will make a big difference!

1. Become a Supporting Member
2. Purchase Logoed Merchandise
3. Follow Local PGA Tour Superstar DJ Trahan

More information on these ways to support and how to get involved can be found on our website.

Please join us in our efforts to help not only the youth of today but the leaders of tomorrow. Thank you for all your gracious support!

Ben Grandy, PGA / Program Director
The First Tee of Greater Charleston
222 West Coleman Blvd., Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464
O. 843.352.4513 / F. 843.881.0358

The Citadel

Spike is the Citadel Mascot

On Saturday, Beachwalker Boy and I headed into town to visit The Citadel, the prominent southern military academy in Charleston. Founded in 1842, it has a long and rich history. On January 9, 1861, Citadel Cadets manning an artillery battery on Morris Island fired the first hostile shots of the War Against Northern Aggression (Civil War), repulsing the federal steamship Star of the West, carrying supplies and two hundred federal troops dispatched by President Buchanan to reinforce Union Forces garrisoned at Fort Sumter.

We really had a fine time visiting the library which will be undergoing renovation this summer, the museum, the canteen where we had lunch and the great field where we saw cadets drilling, others covered in mud jogging hard and what appeared to be a contest of skills with teams from other southern colleges.
Beachwalker Boy really enjoyed seeing the different 'artifacts' on the field. He would have liked it better if he could have been allowed to climb all over them...but there are rules.
It was really a fun time!

Mt. Pleasant Junior Cotillion

Anson's Restaurant in Charleston's Historic Market
Tonight, Beachwalker Boy will attend the Grand Spring Dinner at Anson's Restaurant in downtown Charleston with his cotillion group. It should be great fun for the children to try out their manners at a evening dinner. Parents will not be in attendance as usual.

Saturday morning beach music

This morning Beach Walker Boy and I took our walk along the beach. It was a great morning. So many people were out with their four legged friends enjoying a very comfortable morning.
How could we resist heading to the shore to watch the glistening sun reflections on the water.

We met up with Will and Nate, students at the local high school who were practicing their music while enjoying the nice morning. Once they realized we were listening they stepped it up and started singing a popular song often heard on the radio station that Beach Walker Boy is normally glued to when we are in the car. Both young men, as polite as can be, had really good voices and played well for their age. They have been playing for a while and are members of a group big deal, just a group of kids happy to play.


I love this hat. 'Vivi" had a style!
Viviane Joan 'Vivi' Abbott Walker (Character) from Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood (2002)

Getting ready for our own Madi Gras celebration...Beach Walker Boy is already asking when I'm going to make Jambalaya. Mmmm! the smell, the colors, yum! I first started making Jambalaya after my dear friend moved to Southwestern Louisiana. She sent me a great cookbook that I often use... Zydeco Shoes--A Sensory Tour of Cajun Culture. It's a pretty interesting cookbook that includes history and art as well as a CD of some great Zydeco music.
Zydeco Shoes: A Sensory Tour™ of Cajun Culture steeps you in Cajun art, stories, recipes and music. The book features Cajun artist Earl Hébert's vibrant art and engaging stories, recipes from world-famous Mulate's®,
I started with the recipe in Zydeco Shoes which is an absolutely delicious recipe. I later tried different pre-packaged varieties but they were a bit too salty for my taste. I now think I have come to a final recipe. It is a traditional Creole Jambalaya recipe that I found on the My Recipe's website and it originally ran in Southern Living in 2003.

Creole Jambalaya with Shrimp, Ham, and Andouille Sausage
click here to enjoy Zydeco Music and a fun website...while you try this nice recipe...
Creole Jambalaya This recipe does not call for shrimp but you know I'm adding it.
Yield Makes 8 servings
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 large onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
8 green onions, chopped
2 celery ribs, chopped
3 cups cubed cooked ham (1 pound)
1 pound Cajun-flavored or smoked sausage, sliced
1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
5 cups cooked rice
Garnishes: fresh parsley sprig, chopped fresh parsley
Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and next 3 ingredients; sauté until tender. Add ham, sausage, and next 4 ingredients. Cook, stirring occasionally, 20 minutes.
Stir in rice, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, 30 minutes over low heat. Garnish, if desired.
Southern Living, APRIL 2003

A nod to Miss Gracious Living - Southern Accent

From Cranes Stationery

The lovely ladies who organize the Southern Accents magazine blog always have something of interest to say. Today, they talked about the importance of the thank you note. Being a lover of all manner of stationery and it's ultimate purposes, I take great interest in anything having to do with it's use. Instilling the value of properly thanking someone has been something I have been working on with Beach Walker Boy from the time he was able to draw a few lines. His effort has been paying off and he has realized that when he makes the effort to show appreciation properly, he is applauded for his effort and good things come back his way. Sometimes he struggles with the correct use of words but he understands the formula and in the long run, we all know that it's the thought that counts. He has recently sent out his very first properly written invitation acceptance. Hooray! On to next steps.

From Mrs. John L. Strong Stationery Collection

Keeping a nice supply of stationery papers at the ready helps to insure the thank you notes are sent. There are so many pretty papers. When you click on the link below, you'll see the pretty papers presented in the Southern Accents blog. Personally, I like Cranes or Mrs. John L. Strong papers. Beach Walker Boy uses Cranes basic informal notes or correspondence frill for him...typical boy. Recently, I picked up a pack of very pretty photo cards prepared by the Alhambra Garden Club of Mount Pleasant. Each card featured a beautiful picture of a local historical site in town. My favorite and the first used was of Pitt Street in the Old Village of Mount Pleasant where the Village Bakery is located. Ahhh! The Village Bakery...well that's a whole other post...

Have a look at the Southern Accents magazine blog. It really is quite good. Sincerest Thanks - Miss Gracious Living - Southern Accents

Happy Valentine's day

A Moment of Happinessby Jalalu'l-din Rumi

A moment of happiness, you and I

sitting on the verandah,

apparently two, but one in soul, you and I.

We feel the flowing water of life here,

you and I, with the garden's beauty

and the birds singing.

The stars will be watching us,

and we will show them

what it is to be a thin crescent moon.

You and I unselfed, will be together,

in different to idle speculation, you and I.

The parrots of heaven will be cracking sugar

as we laugh together, you and I.

In one form upon this earth,

and in another form in a timeless sweet land.

The Beach...

I love this picture of the sun's rays hitting the water...

...and I'll post this picture again of Beachwalker Boy...every time I look at it, it speaks differently to me.

Church Wall Art

Today after church while I was waiting for Beach Walker Boy, I decided to take a walk through the garden behind the church. It's a gorgeous garden with a lovely pond and pretty plantings. Even though it's only the 1st day of February, there was already some beautiful flowers in bloom.
There are places throughout the garden to sit and meditate. The birds were singing, and the squirrels scurrying ('Boy' calls it Man vs. Wild music). It was very pleasant and I spent a bit of time just enjoying the garden. It was outstanding weather today and perfect for a bit of a walk.

As I was heading back to where I would meet up with 'Boy', I found these beautiful pieces of art on the wall near the side entrance. I'd never noticed them before...or perhaps I never slowed down enough while leaving through the side entrance to notice. I wish I could have gotten a better picture of them but I have just a foolish little mini first digital. Shouldn't really blame the camera...I'm not much of a photographer....but I digress. There are actually three pieces but these two were the ones I captured (I thought I had captured all three...Hmmmm!). They are really quite impressive in person. I like that they are broken but really are all part of one scene. I would have preferred they were put on a solid wall as I think the brick background detracts from their beauty but still a nice touch overall for a side wall.

Beach Walker Boy's first day on the golf course...

On Wednesday afternoon, Beach Walker Boy and I raced to Patriots Point Golf Links for his first session with the First Tee of Charleston that I posted about a few weeks ago. We were late arriving and it was starting to mist. I asked the first staffer I saw where the children were meeting and he was gracious enough to offer his cart to get to the meeting spot. Not wanting to run the risk of tipping the cart in my hurry, I asked him if he would mind taking the trip down the lane and he did...Beach Walker Boy loves a good golf cart ride. There are quite a few people here who own their own personal golf carts that they use either down by the beach or around the neighborhood. Needless to say, Beach Walker Boy thinks it a good investment...Uhhh, Right!

Well, back to the other afternoon. The mist started to turn to showers...then to a full out rain storm. As I looked out the window of my car where I was comfortably waiting, I saw a parade of golf carts streaming down the lane back to the viewing porch. Out poured a stream of wet tweens. I braved the rain from the car to the covering to show my support as other parents were a bit more on the ball having brought umbrellas...Oh well, I try. After so much time in the desert, I'm still getting used to the idea of a umbrella. A little rain never hurt anyone...unless of course, it comes by way of a hurricane.

Apparently the children did have enough time together with the coaches to go over the rules and and structure of the program. They each received their own score and guide books. Everyone seemed happy...maybe because a kid generally love getting drenched in the rain. We'll be back out there next Wednesday...hopefully with better weather for the children and so I could chill outside as I wait for 'Boy' and watch the harbor boats go by...

Scarlett's Grapes

Blue cheese grapes - Oh my gosh! These are so good...

8 oz cream cheese
1 small tub crumbled blue cheese
1 bunch of grapes
chopped pecans

Mix cream cheese and blue cheese until creamy. Set aside. Wash grapes and remove grapes from stems. Dry each grape and set on a clean dish towel. Place a piece of parchment or wax paper on a baking tray. Using your hands roll each grape in the cream cheese mixture until coated. Then coat the grape in pecan pieces. Place on baking sheet and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Beautiful Border Collies

Official license

I love Border Collies. As a child, I grew up with 'Tippy', our families beautiful Border Collie who lived to the very ripe age of 21 human years. Perhaps that was a record...we never checked. We were just happy to have had Tippy with us for so long. Some of the smartest dogs you'll ever find and loyal to their humans. When my sister and I were quite small, Tippy would 'do his work' by herding us to safety. He was the best babysitter a parent could have as well as a regular sweetheart. For my sister and I, Tippy was our friend and protector as well as our 'electrocutin' doggie'...a term we coined from a game we played with Tippy where we let him chase us around.
If I ever decide to have a dog, it will be a Border Collie...just as beautiful as was Tippy.

Martin's photos

copyright MC 2008

I love these two photographs shot by my dear friends son who is hoping to craft a business from his hobby. I am hoping he will make a good go of it. I think he has an interesting way of capturing the image plus I just love black & white photos.

copyright MC 2008

Messages in the sand

Beach Walker Boy leaving a message in the sand...

Beach Walker Boy tees up!

Tiger Woods, the leading professional golfer and the world's highest paid athlete.

In a week or so Beach Walker Boy will once again hit the golf course for another round of lessons with The First Tee of Greater Charleston. The course at Patriots Point is quite nice and having had experience with the quality of the program at The First Tee from whence we came, he is excited to get started again.