Raleigh Ranked No. 2 Best Place To Live - We Knew That

Were you surprised! You heard it right. Raleigh has once again climbed the list. And each little burb is making the list each year. Something about these lists, there are a certain amount of people who 'live' by them and literally take off to these destinations. Being a Southern Girl, it is funny to me because the South has been made fun of for many years...now, everyone's coming around to our way of thinking... and living!

Read the Raleigh news version. And

Kiplinger's Report here. Or below:

Best Cities to Live, Work and Play
These ten great places will only get better.
From Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine, July 2008

Our approach this year to picking the ten best cities in which to live and work was simple: Look for places with strong economies and abundant jobs, then demand reasonable living costs and plenty of fun things to do. When we ran the numbers, some of the names that popped up made us do a double take at first. So we hit the road to meet movers, shakers and regular folks, experience the ambience and take in the sights.


Our 2008 Best Cities at a Glance
How We Ranked Our Top Places
Which City Is Best for You
Complete City Rankings
Find a Home in Your Favorite City

We discovered that our numbers guru, Kevin Stolarick, hadn't steered us wrong. Stolarick, research director at the Martin Prosperity Institute, a think tank that studies economic prosperity, says: "Our formula highlights cities not just with strong past performance, but also with all the ingredients for future success." One key to a bright future is a healthy shot of people in the creative class. People in creative fields -- scientists, engineers, architects, educators, writers, artists and entertainers -- are catalysts of vitality and livability in a city.

The cities that made our list also represent larger surrounding areas. And because we understand that city living isn't for everyone, we've highlighted some great suburbs, too.

Pack a bag and join us on a tour of the Best Cities for 2008 and prepare for some surprises.

Raleigh's Clay Aiken Embraces Fatherhood

Word is out, Clay Aiken is going to be a Daddy! The News & Observer Raleigh's newspaper is getting the word out that Clay is embracing fatherhood. "And plans to be active in the child's life." Good ole' Southern dad. :) Coming full circle, he has just released his new CD, "On My Way Here." :) Little Clay/Clayette is due in August. What's your vote boy or girl? Girl or boy? As the Tigers say check one! :)

North Carolina "Going Barefoot"

Going Barefoot By Joe Miller, by Raleigh News & Observer Staff Writer
For Matt Chvatal, it's a big perk of moving to the South. For Raleigh native Michael Todd it carries fond memories of his laid-back college days in South Carolina. And for Dr. Tracy Lutz it's a frequent reminder of the boob who taught her microbiology at Georgetown University.
It's an evocative practice that we all observe on Day One but after that, for reasons cultural and otherwise, most of us drift away from. Until the first inviting days of summer.

Going barefoot.

When our hominid forefathers first went bipedal some 4 million years ago, going barefoot was all the rage. Then, as our feet grew less furry and we began migrating to cooler climes, footwear became fashionable. (Or as fashionable as an animal pelt wrapped around your feet can be.)

Barefootedness reached its nadir during Victorian times when toe cleavage was considered risque. By the 1960s going barefoot was being used as a way to keep counterculture types out of conventional business establishments. (Though leave it to an enterprising hippie to help his brothers and sisters slyly get around the "no shirt, no shoes, no service" restriction with Barebottoms. The footwear merely consisted of a leather strap looping around the big toe and heel. From the top, they gave the appearance of a sandal; on the bottom, nothing but exposed epidermis.)

Perceptions about bare feet began changing in the 1990s when a kind of Reese's Peanut Butter Cup thing happened on the Internet. Cross migration between the alt.rec.nude and alt.rec.backcountry newsgroups sparked discussion about whether it really was illegal to drive barefoot. (No, according to a widely circulated Internet survey by the alt.folklore.urban newsgroup, though Alabama does frown on anyone riding a motorcycle without shoes.) That led to more discussion about what was and wasn't legal, as well as myths associated with the practice. Proponents say the discussion helped lower inhibitions about setting our piggies free.

No one keeps tabs on how many people go barefoot, or why. For Chvatal, Todd and Lutz, at least, their reasons vary.

No shoes, no problem

Michael Todd grew up in Raleigh, played football and baseball at Broughton High School. He went barefoot in the backyard and on family vacations at the beach and enjoyed it, but it wasn't like his mom was constantly trying to keep shoes on him. Then he went off to college.

Wearing shoes wasn't an issue early on at Furman University in Greenville, S.C. Until summer.

"Our fraternity house was in Travelers Rest," says Todd. (Travelers Rest, for those not familiar with greater Greenville, is a neighboring tourist town at the base of the Blue Ridge mountains.) "I spent several summers down there and we wore as little as possible."

Upon venturing into civilization, that required some accommodation, he says. But not much.

"We went into stores and restaurants down there without shoes," recalls the 23-year-old, "because nobody cared."

Going barefoot quickly emerged from an occasional indulgence into a lifestyle. A lifestyle that required adjustment upon graduation and his return to Raleigh. Again, though, not much.

Todd works at the Great Outdoor Provision Co. in Cameron Village where, as store spokesman Chuck Millsaps says, "We make him wear shoes."

But as he prepares sportswear for reshelving, a glance at his feet reveals he's wearing a high-tech descendant of those hippie Barebottoms: Vibram Five Fingers, a kind of foot glove deemed by Time magazine as one of last year's 10 best inventions. He's had them for several months now and says they accommodate every activity in his active lifestyle."

Growing up in New Orleans, I didn't even know that shoes existed for years.... With that in mind, the Tigers, love the cool, green grass of Spring. Here they are in our yard Memorial Day, barefoot with their toes in the grass.

NetWestWriters Interview Local Carolina Poet, Nancy Simpson

Check this out, the article is below. It's a pretty fascinating interview:

Wednesday, May 28, 2008
An Interview with Poet, Nancy Simpson, Resident Writer at John Campbell Folk by NetWestWriters

Recently, I had the opportunity to interview poet, Nancy Simpson, former Program Coordinator for the North Carolina Writers' Network West. Although I’ve known Nancy for thirteen years and always admired her, I had some questions about her writing and NCWN West. As you will see, her answers are most informative as well as candid.

GB: Nancy, you have been a practicing poet for thirty years. What inspired you to be a poet?

NS: As it happened, the N.C. Arts Council in Raleigh sent some poets to read at the Moss Memorial Library in Hayesville. I remember there was also a local poet on the program, Janice Townley Moore. Before that night I had only written rhyming poems. When I heard those poets read free verse poems, it changed my life forever. Something clicked. I remember thinking, Oh. That is what I have heard in my head all these years. I came to believe that poetry is a slanted way of seeing the world. When those quirky thoughts came, I started writing them down. That is how it began. I started studying free verse poetry immediately. I took classes with Dr. Steve Harvey, and I consider him my beloved teacher and mentor. I traveled far and wide to every writing workshop I could find. I went to hear every poet I could. I bought and listened to the great poets on tape. I could not get enough. Now, after all these years, I still can't get enough. Practicing, studying, and teaching poetry is my life.

GB: You earned your MFA at Warren Wilson College. Was that before you became Program Coordinator for NCWN West?

NS: I earned my M.F.A. in Writing in 1983. I began working with Marsha Warren, then Executive Director of the North Carolina Writers’ Network, to establish N.C.W.N. West in 1991.

GB: Early in your writing career you published with the best journals such as the Georgia Review and Prairie Schooner. How often has the Georgia Review chosen your poems, and what other fine journals published your work?

NS: I had three poems in The Georgia Review when Stan Lindberg was editor. I had five Poems in Prairie Schooner. Other poems were published in four editions of Southern Poetry Review, and recently SPR chose to reprint "Grass" in their upcoming 50th Anniversary Issue. Some of my poems have been in Indiana Review, Florida Review, Seneca Review and New Virginia Review. I've also been pleased to have poems in Appalachian Journal, Appalachian Heritage and Journal of Kentucky Studies.

GB: I know several of your poems have been chosen for anthologies and reprinted in books.

NS: I had poems reprinted in four editions of Anthology of Magazine Verse, Writers Choice, and Word and Wisdom - 100 Years of N.C. Poetry. My poem "Night Student" has been published and reprinted, upon request, nine times. It was recently included in Literary Trails of N.C. Seven poems were reprinted in the new anthology of Appalachian Poetry from McFarland Press.A new poem, "Carolina Blue Birds" is included in the anthology, The Poet's Guide to the Birds, forthcoming in 2008 from Anhinga Press.

GB: You published Across Water, a poetry chapbook and a full length collection, Night Student. Tell how that came about.

NS: The editor and publisher of State Street Press, Judith Kitchen, asked me if she could choose some of my poems for a chapbook manuscript. I had just met her in the M.F.A. Program at Warren Wilson College. I didn't know she owned a press. She chose and arranged the poems and published Across Water.
Two years later Judith Kitchen asked to see my manuscript again. After reading it, she called and said she had the title -- Night Student--and that although State Street Press published only chapbooks, she intended to publish my full-length collection. I was fortunate. I was very happy. To me, it is amazing. As years passed, Judith Kitchen became a dear friend. The biggest honor is that she asked me to be her best woman at her marriage ceremony.

GB: You dedicated many years to the NCWN West and, as Program Coordinator, mentored writers here in the mountains. Many have gone on to publish their work. However you continued publishing your own poems in literary journals, and you edited Lights in the Mountains, the NCWN West anthology published in 2005. How did you find the time when you also held a full-time job as a public school teacher?

NS: True. I taught in Clay County public schools for 26 years. After I earned my MFA, I taught 11th grade English and I taught English Composition part time at Tri County College. Later I switched to Continuing Ed so I could teach creative writing. At the same time, I co- founded N.C. Writers Network West and took on the job of Program Coordinator. I then was asked to serve as Resident Writer at John C. Campbell Folk School. At one time I was teaching full time and had three paying part-time writing related jobs. At the same time, I kept writing poems. I kept submitting them and getting them published. I do not know how I did it. It was not hard. Writing consumed my life.

GB: In recent years you lost a sister and a son. How has your writing helped you deal with your grief?

NS: I believe practicing poetry is a way to learn how to live. Yes, writing helped me deal with death and grief. Losing my sister was hard because we were close and most of my life she lived near enough that we could talk every day. She prodded me to write a specific historical novel and, before her death, she handed over all of her research. Every day I look across the driveway at her empty house. At night, it seems darker on the mountain without lights in her house. I honor her best by writing the novel. Sometimes when I get stuck, I imagine her telling me where to find the answer on which page of her research. Sometimes I imagine her saying, “Only 127 pages! Get to work!”

The death of my son from Cancer last summer was the hardest thing I've ever had to face. I was with him through surgery which took place during Christmas week at Emory Hospital in Atlanta. I thought he soon would be coming home, but his progress stalled and he stayed in the hospital. His brothers, who live in Atlanta, promised to take good care of him. One was employed as a nurse at Emory and checked on him often. I talked with my son two or three times a day, but grief set in. I became depressed. I had two completed poetry manuscripts that were circulating among the poetry presses, but I did not think about that very much. One day I found myself shuffling the manuscript pages, shifting poems from one manuscript to another, changing page numbers, even changing the title of one of the manuscripts. When I told a good friend what I was doing she said, “Oh No. Don't do that.”
I know she was concerned that in my depressed state, I might ruin the manuscripts. I stopped and thought about it. I knew I was doing the right thing. Other than the life of my son, there was nothing that could keep my mind focused. There was nothing else thatmade me want to get out of bed in the morning. Your question is how has my writing helped me deal with grief? Practicing poetry at the most dreadful time sustained me. When my son came home to Hospice, I put my poems away. I did not need them because I had my son, and I had an important new job to learn - how to be his nurse.

GB: As Writer in Residence at the John C. Campbell Folk School, you are in contact with writers and teachers all over the United States. What do you look for in choosing faculty for the Writing Program at JCCFS?

NS: In the John C. Campbell Folk School Writing Program, I look for a writer who has book publications or is widely published in good magazines. Second, I want someone who has teaching credentials, who has taught writing before or has teacher training somewhere in their background. Third, and most important, the instructors who come to teach at JCCFS must fit into the non competitive environment. We have "no hierarchy and no lowerarchy." The best teachers can sit in a circle with their students and teach them well. Lectures go over like a lead balloon at the folk school. We now have a lovely set up with classes held in the living room of Orchard House and in the new writing studio which is attached to Orchard House. I will not say the teaching style we want is casual. No. A week at the folk school is the most intense kind of learning. But, it is not similar in any way to college classroom and never shall be. We only have 18 writing classes a year now and the schedule is filled through 2009. Still, I am always on the look out for good writing instructors.

GB: You have two new poetry manuscripts finished. Give us the names of each and tell us the themes of these works. Have any of the poems in these manuscripts already been published?

NS: One is LIVING ABOVE THE FROST LINE. The other is INTO THE HEART OF THE GLACIER.The poems were written over many years. I took a NCWN Advanced Poetry Class with Kathryn Stripling Byer. What she read was one manuscript with 150 poems. Kay said it should be two different manuscripts, and she advised where to break them apart. I will always appreciate her direction. LIVING ABOVE THE FROST LINE, which was first titled Accounting, is written in the voice of a woman who lives alone on a remote mountain in Appalachia. Her concerns focus on specific values: Worth of Persons, Family and Concern for our planet. Nineteen of the poems have been published.INTO THE HEART OF THE GLACIER is also written with the same southern voice of a woman living alone on a mountain. Glacier is a love story, the ancient Eurydice story turned backward and set in our time. Twenty-two of the poems have been published.

GB: On June 7, you will teach your first poetry workshop for NCWN West. You have taught at Tri-County Community College, John C. Campbell Folk School, and the Institute of Continuing Learning at Young Harris College. How did it happen that you never taught a class for NCWN West?

NS: Thanks for inviting me. I can hardly wait to teach this Netwest Saturday Poetry workshop on June 7. To answer the question, I was the Program Coordinator and my main job was to help the representatives in each county get the kind of writing programs they wanted. At that time NCWN sponsored four Saturday workshops a year in the Netwest region. I was eager to teach, but it would not have been ethical to do so at the time I was on the NCWN payroll. I was busy editing and producing an anthology. Each county had character and ideas of its own. I worked hard at setting up critique groups, if that was what they wanted, or Saturday writing workshops. I was busy keeping two Netwest representatives in each county. It would not have been appropriate for me to teach a Netwest workshop.

I am happy to say that over the years, NCWN invited me to be on their Fall Conference program three different times. NC Women Writers invited me twice to be on their program; once when held in Asheville, and later when held in Greensboro. You can see I stayed busy, but now, yes now, I can say I am a happy woman to be invited to teach a Saturday Poetry Workshop for NCWN West.

GB: .What do you expect students to take away from this coming class, Advance Your Poetry?

NS: ADVANCE YOUR POETRY is an all day workshop for practicing free verse poets. My goal is to focus on their poetry and their poetry writing process. We will talk about how they started writing poetry, where they are now in their writing careerand what is their next step, and the next, and the next. I expect the students to take away direction and a folder marked in bold letters: MY POETRY CHAPBOOK COLLECTION.

GB: Nancy, I’m delighted you took the time to answer my questions so our visitors on http://www.netwestwriters.blogspot.com/ can know more about you and about NCWN West.

NS: Glenda, thank you for asking
***CORRECTION From the Ms. Nancy Simpson herself reads as follows: "There is one small correction. The second
NC Women's Conference was held in
Winston Salem, not Greensboro. It was
directed by Emily Hering Wilson. Those
years have run together in my mind I guess.
The Greensboro event was a NCWN Fall Conference."

Carolina Boys Legos Sparklers...Memorial Day

Carolina Boys, Legos, Ernie, Family Fun, Swimming, Hot Dogs, Hamburgers, Strawberries...  Carolina Sunshine....

It's Memorial Weekend!  Hope yours is blessed!

Carolina Mama

Still Remembering the Chapmans

In the words of Steven Curtis Chapman himself. To think of how he has reached so many of us with his music... and that today it speaks to and ministers to his own family. Still praying for this great family and their loss and pain. Yet we do have hope in Him and His promises forevermore.

This has moved me ... and I'm still speechless which does nothing for my post. We so need to cherish each and every day. We have not idea what God has in store for our lives, long or short, today or tomorrow. SCC said it best....

"With Hope" by Steven Curtis Chapman
This is not at all how
We thought it was supposed to be
We had so many plans for you
We had so many dreams
And now you've gone away
And left us with the memories of your smile
And nothing we can say
And nothing we can do
Can take away the pain
The pain of losing you, but ...

We can cry with hope
We can say goodbye with hope
'Cause we know our goodbye is not the end, oh no
And we can grieve with hope
'Cause we believe with hope
(There's a place by God's grace)
There's a place where we'll see your face again
We'll see your face again

And never have I known
Anything so hard to understand
And never have I questioned more
The wisdom of God's plan
But through the cloud of tears
I see the Father's smile and say well done
And I imagine you
Where you wanted most to be
Seeing all your dreams come true
'Cause now you're home
And now you're free, and ...

We have this hope as an anchor
'Cause we believe that everything
God promised us is true, so ...

We wait with hope
And we ache with hope
We hold on with hope
We let go with hope

Are you looking more Steven Curtis Chapman music? Click Here to buy all the latest Steven Curtis Chapman music.

In Memory of Maria Sue Chapman

Our thoughts and prayers are with The Steven Curtis Chapman Family. Here's what was in my inbox this afternoon because I'm pretty speechless:

Maria Sue Chapman 2003 - 2008
Photo by Mary Beth Chapman

Last night Maria Sue Chapman, adopted and youngest daughter of Mary Beth & Steven Curtis Chapman, was killed in a tragic accident in the family driveway. She was LifeFlighted to Vanderbilt Children's Hospital but for only reasons God can explain she went home to Him... not back to Franklin as we all so desperately wanted.

We are all humbled by the incredible outpouring of love and support at this difficult time. I have watched you, the Chapman friends, overwhelm website servers and jam phone lines with your gracious words and heartfelt prayers. The Chapman family is so grateful. Obviously, we cherish your prayers for all in the Chapman family, and we welcome you passing this along to others to pray and encouraging them to sign up for Steven's e-mail list to receive continuing updates.

If you'd like to express your condolences and get a glimpse of this beautiful little girl through a short video clip, click here.

Mail to PO Box 150156 Nashville, TN 37215.
In lieu of flowers, the Chapmans request any gifts be directed to Shaohannah's Hope, click here.

In closing, as many of you know, the song "Cinderella" was written by Steven to help him (and us all) grab a hold of the special moments with those we love we might otherwise rush by. It was inspired by a bath time that Steven tried to "hurry," Maria and her sister Stevey Joy were not exactly cooperating. : ) Let us all be reminded again today what Steven compels us to with the lyric of this special song.

Maria, we already miss you so much, and we only take comfort in The Hope that assures us we'll see you again soon.

On behalf of the Chapman team and family, Jim Houser (Manager)

Memorial Day Weekend Family Style Bluegrass Festival

Firming up your weekend plans for this Memorial Day Weekend. It's all North Carolina fun @ the Memorial Day Weekend Family Style Bluegrass Festival 2008. Or enjoy this @ the NC State Capitol.

May 26, 2008 Memorial Day Observance
A military encampment representing three centuries of military tradition will be set up on the Capitol grounds. A wreath-laying ceremony in honor of those North Carolinians who served during times of war will take place at the Veterans’ Monument. 11 am- 4 pm

Daddy and Sons

That about says it all. We had an awesome weekend and just wanted to pop back in and share the fun. As Father's Day approaches, let's remember to cherish the men in our lives. I surely do!

Fat Brain Toys and Twin Boys

Like most moms, we're mapping out our summer fun around here. In the Carolinas there are lots of school options. Traditional, Year-Round Tracks I - IV, Homeschool, Private, Public, you get the idea. We are on the Traditional track. Since our school calendar is traditional, we're getting everything we want to do this summer on the calendar.

One thing is for certain, there will be a healthy amount of lazy mornings and/or afternoons at the pool. And I am working on resources to keep the boys sharp academically for Fall. One thing I'm taken back to that is more about our parenting style is activities, toys, and books that make our children think. What joy when I discovered FatBrainToys.com, a great company selling some of our family favorites like these which just happen to need restocking. So check them out and let us know what you're up to this summer.

Our family is expecting some very special family visiting us July 4th. That will no doubt be a highlight.

Family Hike and Prayer for Family Friends

On this ordinary weekend, my family has spent great time together and you see in the pictures above, we've truly enjoyed Creation.  Something has been on my mind since an email popped open this morning.   A dear friend wrote, "I found out on Wednesday that I have breast cancer.  Even as I write those words, it still seems so surreal...like I'm acting in a play, or talking about someone else.  I have absolutely no risk factors (age, family history, lifestyle) that would put me in this position.  But, I have a God who has seen fit to allow this cancer into my life and therefore, into the lives of you all, my dear family and friends."  She is an awesome Christian wife, mother, daughter, friend.  They have three sons.  Young sons.  They are precious boys age 5, 7 and 9.  Please join us in praying for God's will, protection and peace upon this great family. 
Our days truly are numbered.  Are we living them as if today were the last?! I'm reminded again why I love to count my blessings. Thanks for your thoughts and prayers for this dear family.  

You Can Call Me Sweetie Anytime

Carolina Mama has no problem with being called "Sweetie!" You can call me "Sweetie" anytime. Is it me, or is the media just allowing the desire for "15 minutes of fame" to be perpetuated. Apparently, Presidential Candidate Barack Obama referred to a reporter as "Sweetie" in Detroit while touring a auto manufacturer. Is it just me, or is this deemed news to most folks? It seems to me a glorified attempt at a newstory. Or an attempt at a few minutes in the limelight.

Of course, I'm revealing my Southern nature where "Sweetie" is not an issue. Sweet Tea. Sweet Me. Sweetie. In fact, this morning it was prior to this news break, I was visiting my local Starbucks when I was informed the brew I was waiting for had just run out and my Barista was brewing a fresh pot. Before Carolina Mama knew it, I replied, "Dear, not a problem." Fortunately, I didn't get called out, but you know I am not Barack Obama or anything. And I do live in Dixie, maybe that is the issue here. Michigan, North Carolina Michigan, North Carolina.... I'm just saying... and somehow I just know my Barista will be waiting on me tomorrow morning without a bit of dismay over being called "Dear" by Carolina Mama. Just wondering if they will have the same complaints in Kentucky? Will Kentucky reporters make a national issue of a "Sweetie" slip?... I'm just saying.

I am a Mommyblogger Twitter Me

"I am a Mommyblogger. Twitter Me!" Ya'll I am already hopelessly hooked. You know as if blogging, Starbucks and the likes are not enough. Yes, it's that kind of hooked. You can StumbleUpon me, you can DiggIt /Me, but just Twitter Me!

When I gave birth to the Twins I knew nothing would compare in a million lifetimes. I just didn't know anything could come remotely close. The Tigers are so much fun, I didn't think anything would come close to fun in a million lifetimes. Again, I just didn't know my new friend, would come along. ;) Expect more soon because this is too fun. Now, Oh, Twitter, Oh Twitter, is there anyway to Twitter the Tigers all day!?! Wanna join me?!

Mac, Mother's Day and Me

This Mother's Day was very special! Click above - Mac had a little something to do with it. ;)

The weekend was awesome ya'll. We had a little Carolina Living Mother's Day full of family. We spent a wonderful time Saturday here which amazed beyond belief. It was icing on the cake to play football on the Quad with the Tigers and Mountain Man. The sprinkles on the icing were one of the Dean's stopping by to hang out with us in actively recruiting the boys! He was quite convincing. And who knows, of course, CarolinaGrandMama may not approve with her UNCness. :) It was extra picturesque, Saturday's Commencement Service had just let out, so it was fun to watch the recent Graduates bustling about.

Carolina Mama was spoiled and another part of it was Starbucks in bed. Shall I admit how late I got to longue? Does 10:30am register! :)

Mother's Day as a Daughter and Mama

The Tigers are excited about Mother's Day. What sweeties! They have been busying themselves around here at any little turn with paper, gel pins, glitter glue and the likes. Of course, it will all wait until they are ready to present. Not always on the day. Yet, nonetheless, this Mama will be happy any day with notes and missives from the Cherubs.

They sang beautifully at the Chorus performance last night. There were many great songs yet, I especially loved hearing one hundred first graders belt out, "God Bless America!"

I posted a special link about my mother here by Carolina Mama (under member profiles) so please enjoy and let me know about you and your mother. It's a special day to share and enjoy!

Another little Mother's Day happiness I enjoy is pampering. All things girly and pink if you can! First of all, if you know me and if you're getting to know me, I/we celebrate most special dates oh, for week or so easy. That said, this week started the Mother's Day Celebration. I started here! What a thrill and really kicked up my Mother's Day excitement a bit. Gel Salon Caryand Victoria are the key words let me tell you. A real beautician who 'listens' to your wants. You read it right. Not only does Victoria listen, she can do what you request! (the actual service - okay, regarding my hair - that's a whole other post which is so worth it's own space. so come back soon.) Until then, go and enjoy! And thanks for making me look good Victoria! ;)

Also, I'm enjoying my new Clarins mascara right here . Yes, it's been a while but isn't that what it takes every now and then to really enjoy our favorite things an a daily basis. My previous favorite was their navy mascara - so natural and beautiful. Now I am back to basic black . Whatever your favorite take advantage of the promotion and save right here .

Let me know what your Mother's Day indulgences are! And most of all, let's remember the most important thing about being a mother, time well spent with our children and family! Happy Mother's Day!
Carolina Mama

Have a Spanx Mother's Day

In honor of Mother's Day, I would love to share the email I received from friend, Sara Blakley, another Tri Delta sister.

Top 5 Mom-pliments for Mother's Day!

(5) You're the best at keeping secrets.
(4) You've taught me to hold my own.
(3) You believe I deserve the best.
(2) Your honesty has saved me.
(1) You're simply irreplaceable.

I would agree with all of these Sara! Nicely done and it always makes Mama happy to make Mama smile. And remember pass it along to Mama whatever you are thankful for on Mother's Day.

North Carolina Primary and Poison Ivy

A day in the life... is it Tuesday? It's a big day in North Carolina with the NC Primary. Let's just say that is as far as I am taking politics here at Carolina Mama.

However, I do have in more important world news, I've got a little one home with poison ivy! All of those nice looking trails that lead to what Mountain Man calls, Bush Wacking, can lead to a little/big thing called poison ivy. We left the remedy in the capable hands of our pediatrician. However, I have heard a couple of home remedies. Anything you would share? It has to be something you would or have actually tried. :)

TigerA is happy to be home with his Carolina Mama and getting some tutorials one-on-one and lots of reading. The original Homeschool! And an extra trip to the library leave him saying what am I missing at school?! Oh, all the friends and he did write a cute note to his teacher this morning with a little heart on it saying he missed her, too.

Otherwise, life is good. It hasn't spread and he is out of the contagious zone so life is great!

Mother Duck With Her Ducks In A Row

This picture from our lake hike yesterday reminds me of my mother.  Maybe it's with Mother's Day around the corner.  Though I think it would just remind me of her.  Let me explain.  I am one of five children.  And my mother was always talking about 'getting her ducks in a row.'  As a mother of twin sons, I know what she means now! 
Often, I find myself saying, "I need to get my ducks in a row."  My boys always find that one really funny.  They don't quiet understand yet.  Mother duck is so graceful, so nurturing and yet she knows when to let her young go.  This one, I am struggling with for sure.  Letting go.  Right now, we're just enjoying getting in a row together.  Have a great weekend!  Next week is Mother's Day.  What reminds you of your mother? 

Happy May... MayDay... MayPole

It is May indeed. I had a little seven year old , Tiger B, wake up this morning, bright eyed to say, "Happy May!" Then his brother, Tiger A, also a seven year old bright eyed one, said, "Happy May Mommy - Hold you." (as he crawled into our bed.) I asked if he had bad dreams and he said, No. Just a 'hold you' was in order.

Does anyone else hold a "May Pole" memory? I surely do and it is sweet. Have we danced the May Pole today, sort of, and the Tigers did discuss erecting one right here in our back yard. So we'll let you know what we do with our long weekend.... Until then, A very Happy May to you to and if you get a chance to dance the May Pole Dance. Enjoy!