old country house blog


Scout and Atticus
Scout and Atticus

LAST NIGHT…I received a comment …

“Popped on your site for an update and here I find a baby name discussion! …..I have ALWAYS wanted to name a little girl Jean Louise and call her “Scout” after a few favorite people (both fiction and real!) but my name suggestion is not going too far. I am loving Anna Grace, Drew, and Carolina Jane. Of course, anything with Lee would work for me! Enjoyed the posts!”

……for a moment I wondered….who is this person? is it me? Who is this that knows I have loved “To Kill a Mockingbird” since the 8th grade when my favorite teacher of all time, Miss Smith read it aloud to us each day for a month…and that my favorite character of all time is “Jean Louise Finch aka Scout” ? …and then I saw the name…The comment was left by my oldest and dearest friend, the Maid of Honor at my wedding, person I have not seen in years and years, my  best friend Karen.

Me and Karen at 15
Me and Karen at 15

Karen and I met in the eighth grade when my family moved from Tampa to Atlanta. Karen was adorable and popular, a cheerleader and future Miss CHS…sensitive and kind and a very good friend. We left treats in each others lockers, had a million sleepovers and sat long into the cold nights watching our boyfriends practice soccer. Talking and laughing and shivering…and then, in the middle of the tenth grade, my parents told me we were moving back to Tampa. I screamed and cried and launched an all-out strike to get them to reconsider…which now as an adult I realize was futile, because the decision to move was long in the works and all but done. My heart broke in a million places leaving Karen. I hurt so badly and missed her so deeply. I still have a box of letters she wrote me…mostly “who likes who” ….but the moment was pivotal.

My parents would fly Karen down in the summers, over Spring break…and we even went to college together…but Freshman year at the University of Georgia was not the same as going back to tenth grade and picking up where we left off and I went home after one semester and Karen left after a year. We have stayed close in touch over the years of marriages and divorce, kids and when I lived in New York, Karen  came to visit.


So much of my life is a blur but I remember this one walk we took, down by Washington Square in the Village, like it happened yesterday. I was on cute-handsome-no-money-quasi-actor-boyfriend number 10 …and, as only your oldest and dearest friend OR a sister can say, she said ” When are you going to grow up? I know how much having a family means to you…and I am worried that it is all going to pass you by…” I defended my direction and my dream and the boyfriend…and then one month later I had emergency surgery for an ovarian cyst which turned into 5 weeks in the hospital, almost dying, and the biggest wake up call a girl could get. Things like this happen and you don’t go back to life as you knew it. You see it as a sign and I did…I would be damned if I was going to run out  of time and spend my years floundering, waiting on an tables and an Oscar and for a man to have a family. I wanted to be able to support myself whether the acting jobs came and so,  much soul-searching and one statistics course later… I was heading to Boston to become a Nurse Practitioner. I met Damon the day I moved to Boston…

Listen to your Best Friend!


In honor of Karen and the many hours we lay on her spindle bed thinking up baby names…here is my current list:


Alison, Amelia, Bonnie,  Catherine, Clementine, Emily, Josephine(Joey), Maria Elena (Malena),  Maura, Mildred, Nancy,  Patricia (Trish), Ruth, Suzanna and of course Karen…



15 BOYS:

Alan, Atticus, Andy, Brigham, Campbell, Charlie,  Ford, Gregory, Jasper, Leonard, Marcus, Reve, Richard, Rocky, Smith and  Trevor 



I AGONIZED over names when I had the daunting task of naming a human person for the rest of their lives….but I consulted NOT one list for these names.  Instead I went straight to my heart…they are names of people in my life who bring me joy and whose name means so much more than letters and sounds. These names all make me smile.



Tell me YOUR favorite baby names!!!!


  1. I have two favorite names: Lily and Brooks (my mother’s name). I named my daughter Lily and I named my son Brooks. My mother passed away 13 years ago, but she remains with me everyday, all day because each time I say each child’s name, I am saying her name. She was a “one of a kind” fabulous spirit who now is alive and well in my children. How lucky can I be????

  2. I am waaayyyy past the baby naming phase but, I still think about it often! For a girl I love Audrey, Ginger, Sally and Peggy (have you ever met a Peggy that wasn’t nice? I haven’t) Favorites for a boy are Quinn and Charles (Charlie). I hadn’t thought about Jean Louise but, To Kill a Mockingbird is my favorite book/movie too! (Ms. Shedlock 7th grade) and Scout is just about the cutest nickname ever!

  3. My husband and I had the honor of naming our brand new son Huck on Monday. He was born on 7/7 and he is perfect. I can appreciate a post about names, and whenever someone references our little boy by name, it gives me shivers. That’s how you know it’s right. 🙂

    1. Congratulations and WELCOME BABY HUCK!!!! xoxoxo
      My firstborn son, Tate, was born on 8-8! and I still get shivers that I made him and named him! and he will be 18 on 8-8!

  4. ahhh, favorite subject……I am 57, so baby names are no longer needed here, BUT, my girls have classic names: Susan Elaine & Leslie Ann……..but, I have always loved the names: Lucy, Sally, Sarah, Rebecca….boys names, ummm, harder for me, but, Andrew, Ethan, Owen…..my mom’s name was Margo, wished I named one of my girls after her……..

  5. Too funny-I never wanted children but I always had a list of names- scout will be a dogs name for sure. Probably my next dog.i love all of my family names- Eleanor, Campbell, Brigham and Kennedy-Maureen and Millie too. Millie, I love but will use it for a dog. George for a boy. So old school and masculine. Henry but also a good dogs name (sorry humans!) but I could use george too. Scout will definitely be my next dogs name because my best friend took Dixie! Margaret. I love to look at the most popular lists and see what was in during what year.

    1. Love these names, and I forgot Millie, LOVE that too! My niece “Ellie” is Eleanor which I adore and you know I LOVE Scout and hope you will consider me a DOGGIE Godparent for your next pup! Miss u xo

  6. I love family names so I am always thinking of new ones in our family. One of my favorite names still remains…my son I lost. I miss saying the name Walker so much. If I were naming a child today my favorite girls names still remain Margaret, Faraby, and Eleanor (Ellie) which were all grandmother’s names and boy names – Worth, Miller, William, and Gregor, all family names too. Fun post!

    1. Oh Lisa, I can only imagine the ache of not being able to say Walker TO Walker…It is a beautiful name and he was a beautiful boy. I love your other names, funny, Margaret was on my list too and somehow I deleted it but I love how much you can do with that name…Maggie, Megs, Mags, Greta, garie, May May….just so fun!love youxo

    1. well..you KNOW I love Tate…and I LOVE Copely! is that a family name? Bliss is just so very sweet too, I think I would like my name to be Bliss….hmmmm?

      1. No, family names. I heard them and filed them away. I named my first daughter ‘Bliss’ because it’s the only word that comes close to describing what it’s like to hold your baby for the first time, and to know they are yours.

  7. How ironic, although you and I seem to be having parallel
    experiences. As you know ,my daughter ,Leslie (named after my beloved granddaddy) has 3 under four.
    Isaac ( god spoke his name) Grace Elizabeth ( after my grandma and me)
    One of the best days of my life! And now, we have Evelyn Mae ( after my SIL’s mother and my Aunt Eula Mae )
    Eula Mae was important to me and left her beautiful pearls to Leslie , so one day Evie will wear those pearls. That thought just thrills me ! And now my son Taylor ( my MIL’s maiden name) and his wife are pregnant so here we go again . My prayer is that they , too , will pick a name that will carry on a piece of family.
    Love , love all your new art. So beautiful.

    1. Thank you Beth! I just love all of these names…LOVE them and the special stories behind them…Thanks for sharing and I am jealous of all those babies you get to snuggle…ahh yes, seems like just yesterday I had my 3 under 4…so many snuggles..congrats on your son’s news!

  8. Some of my favorite girl names at the moment are Lily, Joyce, Ariana, and Haddie. My husband and I recently had a baby boy – he is now 4 months – and the names we considered were Charles (Charlie), Ellington (Eli), Max, Oliver, Harrison, and Crosby. We went with Charles Ellington but call him Charlie. Charlie after my grandfather and Ellington came from Duke Ellington. My husband is a drummer and jazz music was his first love so that is where a few of the names on our list came from.

    1. Leigh!!! Did you know my youngest sons name is Cooper Ellington?? After Sir Duke? All of our kids have Jazz middle names…Tate Coltrane and Phoebe Holiday! So very happy you stopped by! and hugs to sweet Charlie…

  9. I love Lucy…. no pun intended! And I’m liking Lola, Lily and Violet lately for some reason. My grandma’s name was Lola and her sister’s name was Lily… her middle name? Eglentine. I’m not liking that for some reason. 😉

    If I’d had another boy I think I would have named him Jack because I agree with my Dad… good guy names are one syllable…. or not…. but it sounded good when he said it…. and his name? Jack…..

    1. Love all the girls names…including Lucy….and Yes, one syllable Good guy names!like “tate” and “Coops” which is Cooper’s self proclaimed nickname…and what everyone calls him…xo
      Eglentine – maybe could be “Lenny” super cute for a girl!

  10. I always have a running list…despite being done having babies for 13 years. Always wanted a Liam, got a Delaney and Ellie. But my current list is Flannery, Scout, Ruby and Max for girls. Boys, the ever popular Liam, Paul, Joe and Charlie. Now I just name dogs.

    1. Love your names and you current names…Flannery is a great name for a girl….I think I would actuallybe just as stumped nows s I was 18 years ago…there are just so many great names…and yes, thank goodness for pets!

Comments are closed.