Tag Archives: Jillian

Silly Memory That Still Makes Me Smile

Jillian here. I was working on an upcoming blog post for a friend for the month of October which is apparently Family History Month. My post for then is about my two great aunts. One of which I knew well and one who died before I was born. It reminded me of a funny event involving the one I knew and I thought I’d share it for my post here this month.

My family is from North Alabama. Even though I never lived there, we visited a lot.

My great aunt Lit was my paternal grandfather’s sister. She was married to a man named Charlie Sandlin and I loved, loved him- her, too, but her husband was my pal as a kid. My grandparents owned a house on the Tennessee River and Uncle Charlie and I would swim the mile and a half across it all the time- we’d try to touch bottom way out in the middle. Sometimes we could and lots of times, we couldn’t. The Wilson Dam was not too far away and the water levels rose and fell as the dam was used to let boats in and out of the lock.  It was always deep in the center, but sometimes, near shore, you could walk out a number of feet and pick up stray clams in the mud. All the kids grabbed them a lot and then we’d put them in steaming water to see them open. Charlie was a big ole kid and we had a special bond.

Uncle Charlie had a brother named Buddy and he was an inventor. It was a lot of fun to see him on occasion- usually running into him at a store or something like that. He didn’t come out to the lake house and I didn’t know him well and never met any of his kids or grandkids.

Years later, after Uncle Charlie died, I was in law school in Birmingham, Alabama and met a guy in one of my classes named Jimmy Sandlin. I couldn’t resist asking him if he was from Florence, Ala. He said he was and I told him I had a great aunt named Lit who married a man named Charlie Sandlin and he had a brother named Buddy. I asked if he knew them.

He said he was Buddy’s grandson but I was wrong about his Uncle Charlie because his uncle was married to a woman named Marie. It was just so weird, I couldn’t believe it. I said, “I promise you, her name is Lit and it has to be the same person- how could it not be?”

Shrugging, he said, “What can I tell you? Uncle Charlie’s wife was named Marie. I swear.”

I went home and called my dad to find out exactly what Uncle Charlie had been up to with two wives. My dad laughed and laughed and when he finally got hold of himself, he said, “Her name is Lydia Marie and the family have always called her Lit.”

Man! Did I feel silly, but you know what? In all my life, I’d never heard her called anything but Lit.

The next day, I told my new friend we did indeed share a great aunt and, from then on, we called ourselves cousins-in-law.

How about you? Any stories about mistaken identity?

Here’s a picture of the two great aunts I’ll be on my friend’s blog talking about in October. Lit is the one in the seat and Hoovey (another one with a nickname as her real name was Louise) is the one on the arm of the chair. Image-1 (2)

 

I Have a Grand Dog! 

Jillian here. It’s been a month of stress around here with the day job and I apologize for not being around to comment but I’m going to be better, I promise.  

My son and DIL have been trying to adopt a dog for a while now and kept being turned done since they both work full time. It seems a number of places are super strict about someone being home with the animal most of the day. I get that in some ways but it does leave a lot of people out, doesn’t it? 

They finally got approved at an adoption day at Petco and brought their little girl named Primm home today. She was named Ginger but they changed it.  Here’s a photo. Isn’t she cute? We aren’t telling Hobbes. 😉

I also have a new book out as of yesterday.  It’s under my other name, Sherry Chancellor and is a humorous romance called “Rex, the Ex and the Hex.” I think it’s my best work. The editor said tears were streaming down her face in laughter. Made me happy. 😀

Happy July. 

Wedding Report

I’m back from my trip to Texas for my cousin’s son’s wedding. It was a great time but I came home to two cases that caused me a lot of stress. Grr. It makes me mad that I can’t seem to have a minute without some crazy lawyer getting spun up and filing junk while I’m gone. It’s a conspiracy, I tell you!

The bride and groom are an awesome, fun-loving couple and we had so much fun, it should be illegal. LOL.  Now, don’t get me wrong- nothing against the law was done but their friends sure do party hard. A few times, I found myself wondering if these people were really almost 30. They were having a ball but I have no idea how they were going to feel the next day.

The rehearsal dinner was fab. It was at a place called Vincent’s in downtown Houston. It was Italian and I had to very best filet I’ve ever  had in my life. It was done to perfection and so very, very tender. *swoon*

The wedding was gorgeous. It took place at a renovated horse farm in Tomball, Texas. The ceremony was outside at a replica cantina and the reception was in the renovated barn. The bathroom area was made from some of the old stalls. Super cute.

During the ceremony, the bride’s veil came off and she called out, “Man down.” We all laughed as her mom and a bridesmaid fixed it. When she was set, she said, “Time in.” I love, love how she didn’t even hesitate and was so comfortable being herself in that environment.

The cutting of the groom’s cake was also amusing. The bride and groom pretended it was super difficult. So funny. They are going to have a wonderful marriage full of love and laughter, I know  it.

Here’s a few pictures: including the “man down” one. 465396400417436437440

Wedding Report and Excitement!

The wedding was lovely and went off like clockwork. No boo-boos but some very sweet moments and a crying mamma, bridesmaids and maybe the officiant got a little teary as well. Of course, the groom said he always got these allergies that made his eyes leak. Funny, he had no other symptoms…

They are a super couple and not only are they in love, they are friends and companions. They are fun and always up and happy. The groom is so cute. He absolutely adores his bride and wanted to be married for so very long. He kept telling me that we needed to “get out there and knock this thing out so we can party.”  LOL

The bride is infectious, never met a stranger and so vivacious, she wears us out… but in a good way. 🙂  I love her dearly and have enjoyed watching her grow even more lovely as each year passes. I predict a very long and successful marriage for these two if they go on as they’ve started.

Many compliments were paid to me on the beauty of the ceremony and some even said it was the loveliest they’d ever heard. That meant a lot to me. I’m going to share some pictures of the couple as well as ones of me and the bride and her mom in the photo booth which was a lot of fun (That’s a picture of a picture so I hope it looks okay).

AND TOMORROW, EXCITEMENT!!!! I am going to be on a jet plane to go visit our pals, Lavada and Laurie. I need to put them on notice that I will be ready for lunch when I get there!!  It’s a long flight. LOL

Sha

Rockin’ and Rollin’

I know we don’t usually chat about our writing over here but that’s what I’ve been spending time on lately. And I mean like a maniac.  I started writing a Regency story that’s probably really late Georgian not too long ago and it’s one of those stories that is practically writing itself. The ideas are coming faster than I can type so I’ve been crazy getting it down.  I love it when this kind of thing happens but it’s also tough because I become so focused on the story that I get obsessive. Lol. But at least it keeps me off the streets, right?

I stumbled upon a little known fact (unknown to me, that is- lol) about the Grimaldi family when researching a plot point for my story and while it wasn’t what I was looking for initially, it’s going to make my story even better than the idea I had and I love the serendipity of that.  Did you know that one of the wives of a Grimaldi prince (House of Monaco) was one of the last people executed in the Reign of Terror? And yes, I am working that into my story. Peripherally.

Hoping August treats you all well.  It’s 104 Fahrenheit here in the shade so I’m working on keeping cool!

Everyone’s Doing Things Except Me

Jillian here.  The last weeks have been a real grind for me. It seems that all I do i work, work and then work some more. It’s tough sometimes being responsible all the time. Working the way I do, I am at the mercy of other people’s schedules a lot of the time and can’t just take time off without hassle. I’m not complaining about it but sometimes, it’s tough. In fact, I was initially going to see Lavada and Laurie in July but a court date got set and I had to move my plans.

#2 son, his best friend and the spouse went (driving, mind you) to Acadia National Park in Maine, via Pittsburgh to visit Falling Water, the Frank Lloyd Wright- built house. They were gone for ten days. I wasn’t jealous because it’s a long drive (over 23 hours each way) and they camped for part of it. I’m not a fan of tent camping. Too old for that. LOL!  The one thing I would’ve liked to do that they did was visit #1 son for a day and a half. They got to see the new house he and his wife just closed on.

#2 son is now in Paris for the semester abroad and #1 son has redone all the floors in his new house as well as painted the interior and moved in. They also had a great night out when his wife had her birthday. My husband just came back from a weekend in Pittsburgh learning more moves and testing for his next level of black belt. My sister is in Boston on a work/pleasure trip and my parents just got back from visiting family in North Alabama.

Me? I went on that two day trip to Birmingham for the writing workshop. AND worked. And worked. And worked.

Really, really looking forward to my trip to Seattle. 🙂

I’m Baaaaack!

Hobbes here. Jillian has been a grumble-puss around here for the last couple of weeks so I decided to help her out and tell you what’s been happening. She had some issue with her tooth hurting and had to have two separate oral surgeries 6 days apart. Since the woman thinks she’s never going to have another pain-free day and keeps moaning about it, I took pity on the poor soul and took this task on to give her a chance to rest. Aren’t I some kind of awesome? Wouldn’t I make great hero material?

photo-27Anyway, I’ve been having a really successful spring. I’ve caught quite a number of moths and flies. They’re great fun to chase around. Lizards are also a particularly fun kind of prey. Jillian thinks I look like I have a mustache when I bring them in to her- with the head sticking out one side of my mouth and the tail out the other, I think it makes me look suave and debonair.

Jillian was not happy with me the other night though. I was excited to bring her my latest prey (after all, I am a great hunter and gatherer). As I leapt up on the french doors to get her attention, I knew in my heart of hearts that she would be pleased with my catch of the day. Imagine my shock when I came in and dropped it at her feet and she squealed, “Eek, Hobbes has a big ole frog. Get it, get it.”

Well, that was some how-do-you-do. Here I was, giving her a gift and she was flipping her wig and carrying on like a crazy woman calling for the man to come get the toad. Guess what I did? I batted that reptile (the frog, not the man) around for a second, picked him back up in my mouth and returned to the porch. Who needs the ungrateful wretch? I was hoping my present would make her feel better with that pesky tooth. Humpf. That’s gratitude for you. Heck, she probably won’t even thank me for handling this post for her.  What do you think? Is Jillian  unreasonable about my gifts?

photo-28

Finding Joy

Jillian here. I know we don’t usually talk about our writing journeys over here but I wanted to share the most recent things that have been happening to me in my writing life that are helping me find joy again in my daily life.

I went through a bad several months of sadness and feeling listless and low. I’m normally very upbeat and when I’m not, people notice and badger me so while I was putting a false face on each day at work and home, I was sad inside. There was no real reason for it and to this day, I don’t know why I lost my joy but I did. I was never in any danger of harming myself but I didn’t feel like there were any new mountains to climb or exciting things on the horizon.

This was when I started seeing cardinals almost every day and that helped me through that darkness to some extent but I still couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me. Being down is so not my norm.

I decided to get back to work on the young adult series I’d started and that character helped make me laugh again. She’s irreverent and sassy and says whatever she thinks. She’s very much a stream of consciousness kind of gal and writing her helped pull me up a bit. I couldn’t help but laugh at her escapades and trying to be clever in the dangers she faced pulled me out of myself and deeper into my creativity which usually brings me happiness.

Once I’d turned that story in to my fabulous editor (whom you all know and love- Laurie), I started on a Regency era novella. I’ve been approached to write this with a group of others for an anthology and being as it was only 20,000 words and not due until September, I started messing around with a character sketch of the heroine, never dreaming she would be so awesome that I’d immediately fall in love with her moxie and daring. She reinvigorated me and completed the job the YA heroine had started. I wrote that 20,000 words from one Tuesday to the next. AND I now have ideas for two more stories with this character. I’m excited to dive into two more novellas with her as well as the Christmas story and book three of the YA series.

It seems the joy I thought I’d lost is back. I’m feeling energized again and my mind is happy and engaged again. Some of this could also relate to having spent time with my oldest son for five days after an absence of a year (physical absence, not estrangement as we always stayed close in our emotional life).

But it’s amazing how our hobbies can help us pull out of a downward spiral, isn’t it?

Root Canal, Anyone? 

I’m a big ole baby when it comes to dental procedures. I come by it naturally since the dentist my parents took me to as a child in Virginia was later convicted of fraud. He’d attended one year of dental school and then faked his diplomas. Ouch.  He hurt me over and over since I had to have six teeth pulled because my jaw was too small to hold them all. 

So, I DO go to have my teeth cleaned every three months now because I went over seven years once as an adult without a cleaning and that did some damage to my gums- I couldn’t bring myself to sit in that chair and man, I paid a price for that since I had to do a deep tissue cleaning which was painful and they only did one quadrant a week because of that. 

Deciding I never wanted to go through that again, I’ve been diligent for the last 20+ years in going in even though it’s like all the circles of hell put together for me. I’ve had one root canal in the last 10 years and found out later – much later- that it wasn’t necessary since the real cause of the issue then was an old filling that had cracked up near the root. The guy kept telling me I couldn’t still be having pain because I’d had the root canal. Um, hello? I think I’ve been in this old body long enough to know when something hurts! 

This brings us to today. I’ve been in pain for four weeks now – it’s gotten so bad that I can’t even breathe on that side of my mouth much less eat. I’m breaking down and calling for help but I sure don’t want another root canal that isn’t a solution.  I’ll have to insist on a Valium or maybe six before I let them stick that nasty torture device called a rubber dam in my mouth again.  Claustrophobia and dental phobia are two things that really don’t work out well together. 

How’s your week? 

Florida, Weather and Fires- Guest Author- Hobbes

Hobbes here- sneaking around Jillian’s back again. I noticed she’s been posting some pretty dull things over here and decided she needed a little help. We live in Florida but you’d never know it these last few weeks. Now, today, as my paws are hammering out this post, it’s 73 degrees and sunny, sunny. A perfectly perfect day. A couple of weeks ago, it got down to 24 degrees a couple of days with a high only in the 40s. For you Celsius people that 73 Fahrenheit today would be 23 Celsius. BUT the 24 Fahrenheit we had those days would be something like negative 4 Celsius. That is pretty cold, people. Even those of us with permanent fur coats get a mite chilled then. Sometimes we get air that cold here but not normally in November. It usually comes in February.

Luckily, Jillian knows how to make fire. What a handy skill that is even though she doesn’t get to use it often. This is me digging the heck out of the fire she made the other day. hobbes fire hog

That contraption they call a Christmas tree should be arriving soon. I always appreciate it when they bring the outdoors inside since I love being out there so much. In fact, every day when Jillian comes home from work, she has to let me out on the screened-porch for a minute so I can make sure outside is still there. She finally caught on to that trick, though and leaves the door open. I thought I was being all slick going out and as soon as she closed the door, asking to come back in but I was not a clever puss after all. She’s on to me and my tricks.

Shhh. Did you hear that? No? Well, I did, and here she comes. *closes laptop and meows nonchalantly.*