Month: April 2014

Why, I do declare!

I am from Tennessee and proud of it. I love the South and everything that comes with it. I was born in Appalachia and the mountains have a very special part of my soul. So let us have a little fun ya’ll and chit chat on our blog porches about the greatness, the weirdness, and the fun part of being a Southern girl.

Southerns have lots of pride and love where we come from. We also make fun of ourselves. But the moment someone else makes fun of us, you are going down. Then we just say, “bless it” and walk away with our sweet tea or beer.

 

Sorry for the wonky, cattywampus pictures and graphics. I just couldn’t get them to work. But we can’t be perfect right?

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1) Accents

*”The first thing outsiders notice about Southerners is the way we talk. In fact, if it wasn’t for our speech, some people wouldn’t now a Southerner from a Minnesotan.” (GRITS Guide to Life, 29)

*Did you know that deep South accents are more related to traditional British accents than any other American accent?

*There are 21 different dialects in the South

*Fun Southern words and sayings: cattywampus (something is crooked, off center), “We’re living in high cotton”, fixin’ to (getting ready to do something), britches (pants), “Dad burn it!” (damn, crap, used when angry), holler ( up in the backwoods in a mountain, OR yelling), “Lord awmercy!”(Lord have mercy), playing possum (fake sleeping), ya’ll (everyone), “He ain’t the brightest bulb on the Christmas tree” (not that smart), “Too big for your britches” (big ego), “I reckon”( I guess s0), and of course:Yankee

2) Food

*I have mentioned in previous entries about Southern food.  There is nothing like it. It is comfort food. It is a way of life. Southerners congregate in the kitchen like people in church. Casseroles are a must, cast iron skillets are handed down from generations to generations along with secret family recipes. If you use mayonnaise Duke’s is the answer. Chicken n Dumplins is made with white gravy, anything else is chicken soup. Everyone’s Mama is the best cook, and you better hold your tongue if you disagree.

*Barbeque is not grilling out! Barbeque is a style of meat (be it chicken, pork, beef) slow cooked. Grilling out is using a grill to cook meat and eating outside. Don’t say let’s have a barbeque and then proceed to make hamburgers.

*Southern girls don’t drink…we sip. A lot.

*Jack, Turkey, Jim, and Makers. Can you guess what those are? If you guessed Southern whiskey you are correct! Bonus points if you can tell me where they are from in the comments section.

*”I think Southern food is comforting. It bridges gaps not only economically, but socially. During tough times, you rely on two things: church and food. And in the South, those two things are synonymous” Chef Todd Richards

*Grits are delicious. Some people make them with milk, some with water. I like a dairy free milk with mine, my husband only prepares his water. But cheese in grits is a must!!!

*Appalachian food is different from Cajun. Cajun and Creole are different from each other. Lowcountry is different than the fore mentioned. All of them are made with love.

3) Family

*After religion, food, and SEC football, next is family. Family is very important to us Southerners. We can make fun of our family, but the  moment someone else attacks a family member, it is going down.

*Family does not apply to just your blood relatives. Family applies to your friends and neighbors. Aunt and Uncle are not just your parents’ siblings. Aunt and Uncle can also mean your really close friends that are like family. There is also your church family. Which is a second family. They help raise your children, look out for you like parents, and are also some of your closest friends. They also are not afraid to call you out and hold you accountable like your  blood relatives.

*”There is no substitute for family. You can’t run out on them, and you can’t ever lose them. Your family is with you always, and if you let it, your family will always be a source of strength, even if they sometimes seem like a royal pain in the rear. The Southern family is our strongest weapon. When we’ve had nothing else in our lives, we’ve always had family. In the past, the family was the source of our survival. It provided the basics: food, shelter, warmth, the Bible, clean clothes, and a switch in every corner. ” (GRITS Guide to Life, 214)

4) There ain’t nothin’ in the whole wide world like a Southern Girl…(that is darn right Tim McGraw!)

*”It is a special vanity of Southern women to believe that they are different from other American women.”

-Sharon McKern, Redneck Mothers, Good Ol’ Girls and Other Southern Belles

*Something is to be said about us Southern women…but I don’t there are enough words to describe the vast array of characters, especially females characters that are in the South. We have your country girls, your farmer girls, your mountain girls, your Southern Belles, and girls who are the best part of all of these and make a wrecking ball of a Southern woman.

*I know I rather be a Southern girl than any other kind of girl/woman out there. Wanna know why? I think everything below sums it up….Plus we are all over in country music. Can you say that about other females?

 

 

O Tennessee...

O Tennessee…

This is a great picture breaking down our accents. I am Southern Appalachian.

This is a great picture breaking down our accents. I am Southern Appalachian.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I know where the library is!

I know where the library is!

 

 

So true. Especially because this is how so many get my last name wrong.

So true. Especially because this is how so many get my last name wrong.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

food-quote

This reminds me of my mom. Don't you dare bother her when she is in the kitchen preparing Holiday feasts.

This reminds me of my mom. Don’t you dare bother her when she is in the kitchen preparing Holiday feasts.

 

 

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I love me some Jack followed by Makers.

I love me some Jack followed by Makers.

Nothing is more true about us....

Nothing is more true about us….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now git on outta here. But don’t stay gone too long. I got some fish a fryin’ and taters in the oven….

 

 

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Professor Winston, the rescue dog who teaches about life

If you are new to my blog or haven’t read previous entries, I have a lovely dog. His name is Winston. You can read about our story here: https://imageoftheheart.wordpress.com/2013/08/17/just-like-a-little-dog-would/.

I spend a majority of my day with Winston and he teaches me so much. Winston teaches me about life, love, happiness, and so many other things. I never thought about how much I learned from him till one day I was getting ready to take him on a “road trip”(our name for car ride). He was beyond excited. Winston was jumping around and wagging his tail; being unbelievably adorable. It was then I realized that he lives in the moment, unlike a bunch of us who string moments together like beads on a necklace. It was then I knew I could learn a lot from him and decided to open my heart and learn. Here are some lessons I am learning from Winston and that we can all learn from the dogs in our lives….

 

1) Live in the moment

Winston has such zeal for living that he is always himself. His eyes are full with wonder, excitement, and happiness. He never sits on the sidelines or stays a wallflower. Winston runs the field, and becomes his own coach. When I say “road trip” he turns into a wild man. While in the car his head is out the window and he cannot contain his excitement. When we reach our destination he cannot wait to jump out the car to the adventure that awaits. When the little three year old next door is playing fetch with him Winston will not stop. He won’t stop till the little one tuckers out. Each throw of the tennis ball is a new moment. Another chance to catch the ball or do a nose plant. If he catches it great, he is happy. If he nose dives, he is happy. If he misses, he is happy. Nothing gets him down because he is playing fetch. At doggie day care (yes, I take my dog to day care when I work just like a working mom does her little kid), he plays all day long. His dog best friends and him just run, play, and enjoy each other. They don’t think about what others think of them, how they look, or cloud their mind with judgement on new dogs, they just play. Nothing takes him out of living.

 

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2) Food is good

 

This goes without saying, Winston LOVES food. When I am cooking dinner he is at my feet waiting for food to fall on the floor. At dinner he wants what we are eating. If my hubby is eating breakfast on the couch you can bet your bottom dollar Winston wants to eat that same breakfast on the same couch while watching the morning news. When it comes to his own food, step out of the way. Especially if he has been a good boy and I put peanut butter on it (his “special treatsy”). Winston gobbles up his food and each morsel is as good as the one before it. When he is finished he wants more because he appreciated it. This is really powerful perspective for me because of my eating disorder. I don’t always appreciate food, I try to avoid it sometimes, I count each morsel instead of enjoying it. I need to approach my breakfast, lunch, dinners, and snacks like Winston. Savor each morsel. Eat mindfully and eat what I want and need.

 

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3) Set boundaries

 

Boundaries are hard for me. Being a people pleaser it is hard to say “NO”. One thing I have worked really hard in recovery is setting boundaries. Learning that no is fine to say. I have been working on different kinds of boundaries and how to set them in place (for deeper reading into boundary setting please check out Boundaries by Thompson). While this is not natural for me, it is natural for Winston. While those of us with boundary issues can’t say no, Winston can. If he doesn’t want to be touched in a certain area he lets you know. When he comes across an individual he doesn’t like he wants nothing to do with them. He lets them know “Hey, don’t mess with me” and goes on. Even with other dogs, he puts them in their place if he does not appreciate them invading his space. And they respond. Those dogs or people leave him alone. They don’t think bad of Winston, and Winston surely does not second guess himself or self sabotage. So why should we? Let our no be no and our yes be yes (even the Bible gives description of boundary setting). People will ultimately respect us more if put up secure boundaries.

 

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4) If something doesn’t work out, just let it be 

 

As humans we get so upset if a project, a deadline, or to do list doesn’t get completed. If you are like me and suffer from generalized anxiety disorder, the littlest thing can set you off and you are out of control. It gets you down and you cannot focus. Maybe you get wrapped up in what you were doing it becomes part of you and when it fails your self worth suffers. Dogs don’t get tied up in any of that. I don’t even think Winston has any objectives or goals in life except to love and play fetch; and his world doesn’t end if we can’t play fetch everyday. He may not get all his energy out, or be a little more cantankerous like any toddler, but he still has us to cuddle with and feed him and that is alright with him.

 

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5) Love the one you’re with

 

Winston is a lovebug. There are not many people he isn’t fond of. Once Winston knows you he wants to play and cuddle. He doesn’t see any wrong with anyone. He just loves. It doesn’t matter what color you are, what you do, where you come from, as long as you pet him or play with him he is all yours. Just like living in the moment, he has such zeal for loving you. When he is cuddling on the couch while my hubs and myself are watching our shows he is in our laps licking our hands or forearms. He is nuzzling in our sides or stretching out to get his belly rubbed. We are his whole life. Do we love others in life like that? Are we showing them how much they mean to us? We may not lick them or give them belly rubs, but do we reach out when they are in need? Are our words encouraging and uplifting? Do we make them feel like a part of our life like dogs do for their parents or do we just treat them like bystanders?

 

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“Dogs are our link to paradise. They don’t know evil, jealousy, or discontent.” Milan Kundera

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WINSTON!!!

Winston wanted to see what foam rolling was all about.

Winston wanted to see what foam rolling was all about.

Pirate Winston licking his lips for Halloween treats

Pirate Winston licking his lips for Halloween treats

Like my bow tie?

Like my bow tie?

Soulprint, Part 5: THE END

Finally, I have finished Soulprint. I believe it has taken me just as long to read it as it did to receive it. This book had a lot of strong, valuable, and pondering moments. I hope I can keep reflecting on it and use the words to help discover my own soulprint. If you have been blessed by just reading my entries on this book than maybe you need to pick up a copy. Now onto my next book….The Four Agreements.

*[David] reaches the end of his spiritual rope. None of us like reaching the end of our rope. It’s the scariest, weakest, and loneliest place we can find ourselves. But sometimes we have to reach the end of our rope before we will reach out for God. And that’s when we discover a knot at the end of our rope. That knot is the mercy of God. And it’s the only thing that will stop a spiritual free fall.

*We try so hard to fix our own brokenness, but there are problems beyond our ability to solve, hurts beyond our ability to heal, and memories beyond our ability to forget. What do we do with those? How do we get out of the prison of past pain? How do we overcome the regrets that haunt us? The only way out is through allowing God to reconstruct our minds, our hearts, and our spirits. And that is God’s specialty.

*You are God’s palace God’s temple. And He wants to dwell in you. But that requires major renovation. And it often starts with demolition. God needs to tear down the facade so he can re-lay the foundation.

*It’s in our brokenness that God’s holiness is most clearly revealed.

*If you want to discover your soulprint, you’ve got to being and end with Scripture.

*He [God] want to resurrect your personality that has died at the hands of those who have hurt you. He wants to resurrect dreams that have died of dissappointment. He wants to resurrect relationships and give them a fresh start. He wants to give you and abundant life, both quantitative and qualitative.

*Your mistakes may define your past, but they don’t have to define your present. And they certainly don’t have to define your future. If you’re still breathing, it means that god isn’t finished with you yet. He is still chipping and chiseling. He is still remodeling you into His image. He is still setting the captive free and creating the unique masterpiece that is you.

 *The reason so many of us are strangers to ourselves is because we don’t sit before the Lord. If you want to discover your destiny, you’ve got to spend time in the presence of God. There is no alternative. There is no substitute. True self-discovery happens only in the presence of God. It’s only when you seek God that you will find yourself. And if you try to find yourself outside of a relationship with your Designer it will lead to a case of mistaken identity.

*The best form of worship is becoming the best version of who God has created you to be.

*Ultimately, your destiny is determined by your decisions. It’s your actions, and reactions, that define you. So don’t play the victim. Play the victor. After all, that is who you are in Christ.

 

“Your real, new self…will not come as long as your are looking for it. It will come when you are looking for him.”

C.S Lewis