A little over a year ago, I got a phone call that shook my little world; I was convinced I had encountered a major roadblock in my career.  The not-so-quick-fix was to haul my cookies back to school and become certified in the practice of Esthetics.  My participation in this program meant big changes for my family and business; mainly, time away from both.  But I did it and persevered, and yesterday I completed the second of two South Carolina state board exams.  Today I’m done.  And yet, I’m so not.

What I thought was a traumatic situation turned into one of the most enriching, educational experiences of my life.  That “roadblock” turned out to be a roundabout: a means to overcome an obstacle. . . a way to get around it.  It has been a year of proving to myself that I can do pretty much whatever I set my mind to.  I can be an A-student at any age; I can learn new skills; I can juggle a lot of stuff and still be a good mom and wife.  But I couldn’t have done it without the support and love of my family.

And my Friends.  The ones who were in the trenches right alongside me.  The ones who, for their own reasons, decided to enhance their livelihoods, too.  And none of us could have done it without the brilliant mind and loving support of our instructor and mentor, ‘J-Norm.’  This experience set lifelong relationships in place.

So, I say to my children:  Jordan & Culley & Livi, if you think Life ever hands you an insurmountable situation, go ahead and freak out for a minute (it’s a good motivator;).  Then get on with the business of attacking said situation.  And know you have a team: Dad + Me, and all the people who respect and cherish you.  Trust yourselves to assemble a network of support.  You, my children, can do even more than I can.  And that’s a whole lot.





The Women Who Formed Me

February 20, 2015


As I learn to cope with my mother’s dwindling memory, I find myself looking back through lots of old family photos.  A part of me wishes I could remember for Mama.  Certainly, she is the woman who has formed me most.  There was a time when her mind was a steel-trap: when she could cite everyone’s full name, important dates, and all the locations of these photos.  Now, she looks at them with a vague fog and only occasionally remembers a face.  And I realize the torch has been passed to me.  I have become that steel-trap of memories for my generations to come.

The above photo captures some of the women of the Martin family of Winterville, Georgia.  Roberta, Dessie (my grandmother), Shonny, and Viola.   They were Irish-Appalachia immigrants: seamstresses, factory workers, farmers/gardeners.  Hard-working women.  These are the women who gave me my work ethic, and sense of grounded-ness.  No frills, get-it-done, hearty cooks (of the food they raised, grew, & preserved).   This is a picture from a family outing at the Martin plot in the Winterville Cemetery.  They would gather for a day or two to take care of their family’s resting place.  And there would always be a fabulous picnic prepared for after the weed-pulling, gate-mending, grass-mowing, and flower-laying that would go on. These are my people.

And then there’s this lady, whom I’ve never met, as she was deceased before I was born.  Ruth, my father’s mother, has had a huge influence on my life.  She was a first generation American, born of Austrian/Czech parents who immigrated from pre-Holocaust Austria.  The stories I’ve heard about her and the riches of old photos with which I’ve been entrusted, have made her a formative figure.  Her beauty, style, intelligence, and the free spirit she was, have all been things I’d love to emulate.  She’s my people, too.

So, I figure I’m somewhere in between. . . country and country-club.  I am so very grateful for both.


A Part of My (Personal) Arsenal

October 15, 2014

Not so long ago, I sat in a style symposium keyed by an up-and-coming player in the fashion world.  She said something that I will never forget: that I should have my own personal team of style professionals. . . people who understand my preferences and  can navigate me through my own style evolution; professionals who know trends and classics. […]

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Where I’ve Been and Where I’m Going. . .

October 10, 2014

The lyrics from a late-80s Hall & Oates’ song keep resonating with me because the past seven weeks have kept me pretty much Out of Touch (and Out of Time). I am still hunkered down from my first semester of esthetics training at Trident Technical College, with one more final exam ahead of me.  Who would […]

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Charleston Blog Society

July 31, 2014

I’m looking forward to an affiliation with a new network of Charleston professionals: Bloggers!  Great stuff here, headed by Gillian Ellis, one of my favorite up-and-coming photographers.

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Scents are Songs, Part 3: Giving the Guys some Love

July 28, 2014

It seems there are just as many fragrances out there for men as there are for women.  And therefore, just as many opportunities to leave a lingering scentpression.  Shamelessly, these are some of my all-time faves: Ralph Lauren’s Polo Cologne.  Classic.  Enough said. Christian Dior’s Eau Sauvauge.  A bit more obscure, but referred to in The Preppy […]

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Smells are Songs, Part 2

July 27, 2014

Estee Lauder in the 1980s, had a fragrance lineup that was undeniable, unbeatable, and so pervasive that most high school and college girls (that I knew) had at least a couple in her arsenal of colognes.  Cinnabar was one of my favorite autumn fragrances.  Brings to mind Friday night football games, hot cocoa, dances after […]

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Smells Are Songs, Like Time Machines

July 22, 2014

One morning spent Pinning (Pinteresting?) former perfume-loves of mine led me to the idea for this blog.  I expect it to morph into several things, but here’s where I’ll begin:  Scents.  Perfumes.  Colognes.  Aromas.  Smells. “. . . Smells are songs like time machines. . .” is a quote that was recently written on my […]

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My name is Pamela, and I am a Perfume Whorder.

March 25, 2014

I am a perfume whorder.  There, I said it. I love perfumes: one for every outfit. . . one for each new day, each new mood.   Big bottles, little bottles, sample sizes, magazine rub-cards.  I love it all.  Scented body lotions, shower gels, soaps, eau de’s, parfum, cologne, and splashes. I. Love. Perfume. Since […]

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The F’in Wolf of F’in Wall Street

February 2, 2014

I’m still mulling over the movie Jim and I saw last night, The Wolf of Wall Street. I was forewarned by my sons about the graphic language, nudity, and sex & drug scenes. Honestly, when my own kids warn me not to see it, it makes the 12-year old in me resurface, and want to […]

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