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Blast from the Past

Landon and I dated for two years while we were both at Clemson (our freshman and sophomore years), then broke up and barely spoke for the next three. After seeing each other for the first time in a year at Landon's graduation, we finally realized we were made for each other. Funny how things come full circle if you give them enough of a chance!

Anyway, there was this one picture that we both loved when we were dating previously, and we each had a copy. It was taken at a football game that Clemson won (yay!), but it was also a memento of one of the most fun weekends we'd ever had together. Mine went to picture heaven (not by my own hands, but that's a completely different story), and I always longed for it after it said farewell. Perhaps this should have been my first clue that I wanted to be with Landon. :) I figured Landon didn't have a copy, and even I wasn't crazy enough to call him at that point in our relationship to ask him to look for it. 

After we got back together again, we discussed THAT picture at length, and Landon told me that he thought he'd thrown it away with a lot of other Natalie stuff years before. We were very disheartened by this discussion and mourned for this one, super amazing picture. THEN! We went up to visit Landon's parents one weekend, and Landon's mom made him clean out his old room. Guess what we found? 

THE picture.

At long last.
Landon and I at the Clemson-Carolina game in Columbia our freshman year, many moons ago. 

It's a bit worn, and it has some rust on it, but we're okay with it. After all, we're not perfect either. :)

And of course, it's been scanned onto my computer and backed up in about twelve places. It will roam no more!

Vaught Reunion


This past Saturday, we had the annual Vaught reunion in Florence. It was a lot of fun since I got to see some relatives on my paternal grandmother's side that I don't have the occasion to see very often. One of my favorite things was the spread of old pictures that everyone contributed to: I saw pictures of my great-grandmother Vaught (my paternal grandma's mom), my aunts and uncles when they were very young, and a few of my dad as a little boy.

The cutest newlyweds there
Billy, my dad's first cousin (my grandma's brother's son)

Mama talking with my cousin Alan
Furman, who is my grandma's nephew

Mama and me

My first cousin Dana and her little girl, Sully

Seamstress Natalie

I've really been going to town on my sewing machine lately. Once I figured out all of the knobs and buttons and whatnot, I fell in love with my machine, and all of the fun things I can make with it. I'd always wanted to learn how to sew, since I grew up with my dad's mom always sewing quilts and clothes and other fun things (she was actually a professional seamstress), but I couldn't ever seem to get anyone to have enough patience to sit down and teach me. (Hmmm...perhaps I wasn't the angel I thought myself to be?) During college, I decided I wanted to teach myself (after all, how hard could it be?), but my mom's sewing machine has been broken for decades and my grandma's sewing machine was in Myrtle Beach. I asked for--and received (funny how that happens)--a sewing machine last Christmas, but because of my INSANE schedule during my last semester in grad school, it basically collected dust until after I graduated, and then got married. Since then, I've largely taught myself how to use the machine, and thanks to my mom's sewing tips and the amazing sewing sites and blogs I've found online, I've managed to put together several pretty awesome projects, including 2 pairs of pajamas, two sundresses (one for me, and one for Amb), a baby quilt AND.... THIS DRESS!
I had a blue maxi sundress that just didn't fit correctly, so I decided to (as Landon said) cannibalize it and make it into something new. It started life as something very similar to this dress (minus the black part up top):
I wanted a different top so I could 1) wear the dress to work, and 2) have it be a transitional piece into fall. So, I said bye-bye to the spaghetti straps and triangle top of the original dress and went to hacking on it. I made a pattern out of one of my favorite t-shirts: I chose this top because it had the longer (mid-elbow) sleeve length that I wanted for the final product. I traced the front, the back and one sleeve on a piece of newspaper,
(one of the newspaper patterns)
then cut each of those pieces on the fold of my new fabric (leftover scraps from the sundress I made for my sister for the USC-Auburn game). I'll save you all the boring details, but I sewed all of those parts together in the right order, then attached my top to the old sundress bottom, added a black ruffle to the bottom and some cuffs to the sleeves and VOILA! A new dress! Final cost: -Original sundress ($10 two years ago) -leftover material from my sister's dress ($5 for ALL of the material, which made two dresses) -buttons from my mom's stash (free) =$15 (if I'd bought everything new) Not bad for a brand new, customized dress!

Students say the darndest things...

I've been an English professor for over three years now, and thus, I've read A LOT of papers in my time. A few are great, most are forgettable, but then there are the papers that make you laugh and cringe and run to find someone to share the terrible awesomeness with. In honor of my current predicament (working on final grades for the most recent quarter), I decided to share a few of the best gems from actual papers I've received:
*All spelling and grammar remain faithful to the original texts.*

"She was a really old lady who smelled."
-When asked who Emily from William Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily" was

"I believe that he is right in some instances but wrong in others."
-in a supposedly analytical paper about the characters in August Wilson's Century Cycle plays
(honorable mention: "These stories are alike in some ways, but different in others.")

"In other words, it is obvious that Troy Maxson is like Superman."
-Thesis from a paper that, other than this sentence, focused on the relationship between a character from August Wilson's play, Fences, and his son. Keep in mind that this play had no mention of any comic book characters. Ever. After three years, I still haven't figured out the Troy = Superman equation.

"The story's main character was Nora and Ally, the two young birds who met as teens."
-From an extra credit assignment that was supposed to be about "Romeo and Juliet." This student, instead, watched "The Notebook," which apparently stars a single main poultry character named Nora-and-Ally.

"Gothic liteature is something that I feel has very scarry elements and a lot of mystery, like in the Cask of Amontillado when Amontillado is auctully buried alive."
-From an exam question that asked the students to explain what Gothic literature was. And something important to note: Amontillado was just a cask of wine used to lure the actual victim, Fortunato, to his death.

"I feel that Faulkner presents the story through [Emily's] eyes because if not it would change how you see the story completely."
-When asked on an exam who the narrator of "A Rose for Emily" was, and how the reader knows that information. For those non-English majors: the story isn't told by Emily. And also, of course the change in narrator would change the way we view the story's information. Hence, the phrase "point of view."

Oh, students....



Clan MacFun

Today, Landon and I went to the 39th annual Scottish Games and Highland Gathering at Boone Hall Plantation. We've always wanted to go to Scotland, but haven't been able to go yet (hello, 5th wedding anniversary!), but today felt a little like a vacation. A vacation to a very hot, humid Scotland, but a vacation nonetheless!

Although my clan was woefully absent (boo!!), Landon and I still had a great time browsing in the clan tents, checking out all the foods and enjoying all the activities offered. I'm an Ulster Scot (Scots-Irish)--Clan Gibson, a sept of Clan Buchanan originally from near Loch Lomand in Scotland. I think we have the most gorgeous tartan, but I might be a bit biased:

(I want a kilt for Christmas!!)

Landon is (we're pretty sure) a member of Clan Davidson in Wales. Here's their tartan:



And now, some pics from today:

the border collie demonstration--herd those sheep, little doggie!



a few of the cars brought by the Charleston British Car Club



Highland games--the 54 lb. toss



a necessary branch of all of our families!



a lone piper, practicing in the gardens



Landon tried some haggis--it tasted like liver pudding. Landon loved it. I took two bites.



the opening ceremonies



the massed band at the opening ceremonies


Pottery Pics!

When Amber and I went to The Mad Platter last weekend, we had to wait to see what the finished pieces would look like. They were definitely worth the wait! Amber went to pick them up today, and then sent me some pictures:

My two mugs and Amb's vase





Mo(netta), Mo' Pictures: Sisters' Weekend, part II

As promised, here are some more pics from our super fun weekend! When I lived in Columbia, I hated the place, but when I went back, Amber and I had so much to do that it felt like a vacation spot. :) After all, we ate way too much, had a planned itinerary, watched a daily movie and laughed until our stomachs hurt...so it was a kind of vacation!

Getting ready to paint our stuff at The Mad Platter:

On Saturday night, we went to The Big Mo, in Monetta, SC (Welcome to Monetta!)--it's an old fashioned drive-in, complete with sound funneled over an FM frequency, a super nice owner (who takes the tickets AND broadcasts before and between shows) and a very tasty snack bar that offers more than the traditional popcorn and soft drinks. I discovered the Monetta Drive-in back when I was at USC's law school, and desperate to get away from Columbia one weekend. Since then, I've gone back many, many times, and always had an amazing time. I've enjoyed hot summer evenings there, and I've also watched movies bundled up in a hoodie and blanket during November! Perhaps I'm an old soul, as the drive-in era occurred decades before I was born, but I find the simplicity and family-feel of the Big Mo so much more enticing than the over air-conditioned big box movie theatres of today. And where else can you see two recent releases back-to-back for only $7?

Amber enjoying her all-time favorites: popcorn (of course!) and some Nutty Bavarian pecans.

And here I am with my Goofy Grape Mike and Ikes and a bag of Nutty Bavarians, all for me.


Sisters Weekend

Anyone who knows me or my sister knows that we are really close--and always have been. We went to the same college, the same grad school, and even lived together for a year during our overlapping times at grad school. Amber started her last semester of her MHR program in August, and she moved back to school while I stayed in Charleston. Although I've inhereited a new roommate since she and I lived together (hello, Landon!), I still miss having my sister around. SO! We decided to do a fun sisters' weekend before her school stuff got really crazy. I've had an awesome time so far...and the weekend's far from over.


A few places we've visited:


Wild Wings (with the rest of the MHR ladies!);


The Mad Platter, where I painted two mugs and Amber painted a fleur-de-lis vase;


Beezer's and Cupcake;



and The pool at her apartment.


To come:


The Big Mo! (Drive-in movies! Two-for-one features! Nutty Bavarian pecans! Funnel cake!!)


Running the Dam


and french toast. YUM!
More pics to come! :)

Visiting Daufuskie Island, South Carolina

Visiting Daufuskie Island, South Carolina | CosmosMariners.com

Earlier this summer, we all went on a mini-vacation to Daufuskie Island. It's off the coast of Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, and is accessible only by a twice-daily ferry. There's one restaurant, one hotel, and one sundries store where you can buy a $2.00 snack-size bag of Cheetos that normally costs 78 cents at a convenience store. I guess that's the price you pay when everything (and I mean everything) has to be carted in by boat.

Beaufort Bound

This past weekend (as I mentioned in a previous post), my sister, mom and I went to Beaufort, South Carolina to shop and sightsee. It's an adorable and historical place, and I really want to take Landon back soon. A few highlights from our trip:

Me with our horse, Rocky, from the carriage tour. I answered a question correctly on the tour, and so I got to feed him a carrot at the end (Q: What movie has Jim Williams as the main character? A: "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil"--also a favorite book of mine).

Then, visiting Jim Williams' former house in Beaufort.

Visiting the St. Helena's Episcopal Church and grounds.




Looking at all the beautiful old houses:





The Beginning...

of our blog! Look for posts on all things Vereen-Davis here: because we are THAT exciting. (Or at least, we like to think we are.)

What you might need to know:
-We just got married in May.
-We are dog people, though we cannot agree on little (Natalie) or big (Landon).
-We always have dreams bigger than our wallets (but who doesn't?).
-We are both Clemson University grads. Blood around our house runs orange.

Of course, there are many other exciting things about us...but that's to come!



(photo by our super awesome wedding photographer, Jason Tench of Blue Mountain Photo Works)