Things We Say in the South that Drive People Crazy

I was born in New Jersey. Although I didn’t even live there a year, I’ve been told, on several occasions, I have a “Northern Accent” and cute things like “they took the girl out of Jersey but couldn’t take the Jersey out of the girl.” I have also been accused of told that I drive like a Yankee (no turn signals, gestures, etc).

That being said, there are some things we others say here in the South that tend to drive everyone not from here crazy. Here is a sampling:

“I’m fixin’ to”

“Bless your heart”

“I might could”

“But for” (or as my college writing professor Sarah Messer used to write it on people’s workshop pieces “butt 4”)

“Are you puny?” (Puny means sick. When my brother, the largest child ever born on the Eastern seaboard (not really, but close), was two and sick, my Dad took him to the doctor who asked, “Michael are you puny today?” My father looked at the doctor like he had two heads. This kid? Puny?)

We “cut” the lights off.

We use “buggys” at the grocery store.

We call people we don’t know “honey” and “shug.”

If we pass you on the road, even if we’ve never seen you before we wave. (okay, so that’s not something we say, it’s something we do, but it still drives folks crazy.)

Addressing all adults as “sir” and “ma’am” regardless of age.

And that’s a small sampling. Feel free to share more in the comments section.

What motivated this post was a post this week from Jimmy Akin at NCR about referring to the Pope as Pope Ratzinger or Pope Wojtyla and his feeling, initially, that it was a crude and disrespectful way to address the Pope. Upon further investigation, he found that is was actually a very common tradition in Europe and considered more respectful there and that it even appears in Vatican writing. I came away thinking, well, it’s not my way, but I don’t find it disrespectful.

Where I live in the South is a hotbed for Northern transplants. Particularly retirees. I find quite a few of them in the position where the constantly criticize the way things are done in the South and the speaking patterns etc. My general response to this is: go back where you like it better. But, I think it bears saying that just because someone speaks in a different way or might have more courses for dinner or serve greens on the table at every meal doesn’t mean they are wrong or better or worse. Just different. There are things I like better in the South and things I like better in the North. But neither one is better or worse than the other necessarily. So, if you’ve moved to a new area and feel like an alien landing from outer space, just try to get used to the way things are done. If you spend all your time bemoaning what you miss, you will find yourself missing out on some great new experiences and people.


Seven Quick Takes Friday

— 1 —

Our Hostess, Jen, is the AWESOME SAUCE! (And, honestly, how could someone who named her daughter Pamela Scholastica NOT be!) She created a totally great template and shared it with us, her readers. Rock on Jen!

— 2 —

This week Joey had his four year well child check-up. Because the poor kid is born toward the end of September, he will always get a shot at this check-up. His flu shot. I brought Will along as well to get his flu shot. Joey was very well behaved (a first at the doctor’s office) and cooperated fully with the PA who saw him and the nurse. William, on the other hand, proceeded to complain from the second we got into the parking lot that he wanted to go home even telling the nurse he knew how to drive. Whatever you say buddy…since Will did cooperate with is shot and Joey was so well behaved, as a reward they got lunch at McDonald’s and got to pick out some candy at the store afterward. What can I say, I feel bad for the kid who has to get a shot every time he goes to the doctor’s office.

— 3 —

Although you can’t tell from reading this, I just had to stop for 45 minutes and go pick up my child from school early for the very first time. She was crying inconsolably and when the teacher assistant scooped her up and took her to the rocking chair to rock her she noticed Shelby was rather warm. She calmed her in the rocking chair and took her to the office. Verdict: low grade fever and just feeling yucky. So Mommy picked her up…

— 4 —

I started the 100 workout this week thanks to Carmen at Mom to the Screaming Masses who pinned it on Pinterest and then shared on her blog. Two days straight, then I inadvertantly took a day off (it’s called a family emergency in this case) but my abs still hurt when I sneeze today and I hope to get some workout time in today (may be more complicated thanks to #3 occurring but I’m gonna try).

— 5 —

Speaking of Pinterest, I caved. I’m doing it. Do you hear that loud sucking sound? Yep, Kristen into another internet vortex.

— 6 —

Once again, for those asking when I will post more about autism. Please check out Blessed by Autism.

— 7 —

And, finally, for two pictures that describe this week perfectly for me:

 and then there is this one

Yes I bought Cheesy Poofs because they were Cheesy Poofs (and how the h-e-double hockey sticks am I old enough that South Park is fifteen years old already?). And I think that picture totally describes me and Jesus on a regularly, daily, sometimes hourly basis. What can I say, I’m human, I’m a sinner, I’m doing my best, I beg for forgiveness.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Small Successes

1) Well, our plans last weekend for Joey’s birthday fell through. Football game cancelled due to weather and subsequent party cancelled due to Jeff’s mom being in the hospital but did I get upset, no I did not. We combined his birthday and Bella’s Christening with my family and Jeff’s dad and step-mom came over and took me and the kids out for another mini-celebration. Did Joey mind, no he did not…he thinks EVERYDAY is his birthday!

2) I am leaping to a new and wonderful opportunity to babysit my neighbor’s little guy for a few weeks in October. He’s a great baby, he’s already used to 3 older brothers so my three kids will be no problem for him and I’m helping a fellow mom while her husband is out of town for work. WIN–all the way around!

3) I did surprisingly well with the changes to facebook. In fact, I was almost blase about it. Learning to decide what to freak out about in life is very cathartic!

4) I handled some surprising news from Shelby’s school very well, for me. I also did not jump on a bandwagon or to conclusions and I waited until all the facts were in before I made my judgment. Whew, saved myself a lot of upset that way!

5) I managed to cook for dinner every day for a week. No frozen pizza or take out. I was on point…but I advised my family not to expect that every week!

Join Sherry for more Small Successes.

A Thankful Woman’s Book of Blessings

1) I am thankful for my three beautiful, healthy children. They aren’t perfect, but they are mine and I wouldn’t have them any other way!

2) I am thankful for my rotten dogs. They are lazy. They bark at the wrong things, but they try. Which is more than I can say for most humans.

3) I am thankful to listen to people’s stories of their lost loved ones. It makes me feel happy to be part of their lives and help them remember one they loved.

4) I am thankful for all the kind people who have prayed for my mother-in-law during her current (and on-going) hospitalization.

5) I am thankful for wonderful friends who are flying in from around the world to support Shelby next week.

6) I am thankful that Alec Baldwin hosting SNL counts as Date Night in our home!

7) And I am incredibly thankful for the outpouring of support for Blessed by Autism, my blog chronicling being the mother of an autistic child. You can also “like” us on facebook here.

Please join Judy and all the other lovely ladies for A Thankful Woman’s Book of Blessings.

We are Christ for one another

Sometimes my kids are absolutely rotten toward each other. I mean, we are talking class A nasty. I break up at least ten fights a day over toys. They call names. They hit and kick and bite. They do time out. They lose privileges. They have toys taken away. They don’t get dessert.


We try to model proper behavior. We offer incentives for hit-free or fight-free days. We make them say they are sorry. And yet, most days, I find myself wondering if I can truly raise kind, compassionate and Christ-believing children.


Today was no different. I have already taken away six toys. We had a disastrous prayer together for Uncle Ben’s surgery. And then I find this:


Joey had run into a wall (a surprisingly common occurrence here). And of course, I was in another room when it happened. So when I got there a minute later. I found this scene. Will put his blanket “Night Night” under Joey’s head and was stroking his head consoling him.


My all-time favorite movie is The Crow. In one of the most harrowing scenes, Eric (played by the late Brandon Lee) accosts and confronts Sarah (Rochelle Davis)’s drug-addled and negligent mother Darla (Anna Levine) after killing Darla’s boyfriend for his role in Shelly’s death. As he squeezes the drugs out of her arm (it’s a movie, we all know that could not happen in real life) he says, “Mother is the name for God on the lips and hearts of all children.” He releases her with a command to go find her daughter and take care of her.


While it’s not perfect but, children, particularly when they are young, look to their parents as images of God and His love for us. It’s not perfect because we’re human and God is God and there is no way our love can perfectly mirror His.  And it’s been a good couple of thousand of years since the last time God was presented to us in the form of His Son, Jesus Christ. While we have the stories of that time (the Bible) and tradition, the most visible and tangible witness to Christ’s loves is our actions toward one another.


So on days like today when it appears that my children aren’t absorbing any of my Bible Story readings or any of the creative activities I’ve come up to teach them their faith I am reminded: They are Christ for one another when they show their love.

Ten for Tuesday

Week 99 of Ten on Tuesday, wowza! This week’s questions were provided by Melissa at I’m Living in a Dream. Go visit her and thank her for the questions. Also, a reminder that Chelsea at Roots and Rings will be doing a giveaway on next week. If you’ve linked up between week 90-100, you’re entered. She’ll draw a name next Wednesday.

Sorry the formatting is off, I have no clue what’s going on.

1. What is your dream vacation?
Pretty much anywhere with my husband but we’d love to go back to NYC…where we had our honeymoon.
2. What has been your favorite trip so far in your life?
Valentines Day 2010 we went to Morehead City and it snowed (my first ever Valentines snow) on the beach. My parents kept the kids. We had a great time.
3. If you and one of your best friends could go anywhere in the world for one week, where would it be and why?
All expenses paid? Jeff would get to decide. Probably somewhere in Europe and my guess would be Finland or Poland.
4. Have you ever booked a trip using an online deal? How did it go?
Just a two day trip (technically one but whose counting) to Colorado for a job interview. He got the job but turned it down because of lack of opportunities for our kids.
5. What’s your favorite thing to do while you’re on vacation?
Nothing. I LOVE to do nothing. (that was Chelsea’s answer and I’ll add and enthusiastic “Me too!”)
6. Have you ever missed an opportunity to take a trip that you regret?
Not that I can recall.
7. You travel far away from home and get stranded with no way to buy anything, what’s the one thing you can’t live without?
I’m going for bare necessity and saying Tampax (sorry if that’s TMI, but it’s gotta happen)
8. What’s one of your favorite traveling memories?
Going with Jeff and Shelby to the Bogue Inlet Pier at night.
9. All included resort or backpacking? Why?
I like both. Although my dream vacation is do nothing…I have to say active ones are fun for me too
10. Are you more of a lie on the beach kind of person on vacation, or do you prefer to see the sights?
Even though I’m in the “do nothing crowd” I would hate to go some place like Rome and not see the Spanish steps or Vatican City, so I’m divided on this one.

God Bless Isabella Rose!

On Saturday, my niece, Isabella Rose, became part of the Catholic church. I apologize that the lighting is bad in some of these pictures. Old church+ evening sun= strange lighting that my camera can’t figure out all the time (also figure weak flash into there). The last pics are of my brother Mike, his wife Autumn, Isabella, Father Bob and Godparents Tegan and Jeff.

Seven Quick Takes Friday

1) Shelby’s school wears uniforms. I, personally, love it. For one, it takes the guess work completely out of dressing her every day and knowing what is or is not allowed for dress code. On top of that, uniforms purchased at Big Box Mart are a lot cheaper than most other clothes. And she looks absolutely adorable in them.  I am pro-school  uniforms all through k-12. But one of the strangest arguments that I hear from parents is that their child should not wear a uniform because of the child’s need to “express him/herself.” Really? What message, exactly are we sending our children by saying that the best way for them to express themselves is via clothing? First of all, are very young children truly expressing themselves? To be honest, I’m the one buying the clothes so aren’t my kids just expressing my tastes (or my lack of funds as it may be). And aren’t we just telling older pre-teens and teenagers that labels matter and that outer appearance is the most defining way for one to be judged? That, quite frankly, one’s brain power and ability express themselves verbally or through mediums like art or music are nothing compared to the way they look? And won’t that dumb them down, because if all I have to do is dress a certain way, am I really going to try express myself in other, more unique ways? And let’s be completely honest here…gangs express themselves via dress, so do we really want to encourage that? School is a place to learn. Your kid wants to “express him/herself” do it on your own time. Upset because you feel it’s too expensive to purchase “school clothes” and “other clothes?” Well, if you have a teenager, there is nothing wrong with them getting a job and paying for their “other clothes.” I think this whole school uniform debate boils down to the same thing as most things with public schools…kids reflect their parents. Parents need to be the ones to step in and enforce but because the majority fail to do so, the schools are stepping in and being forced to teach things like values, morals and even how to dress properly. And the reason it’s not effective is that those things should always be taught by parents.

2) Now that my uniform manifesto is over…I seriously need to rent myself out as a mosquito magnet. I’d be the Bill Gates of the outdoor barbecue world. And I wouldn’t have to work year round to support our family…one could dream right? (And I despise mosquitos and their bites, but do they ever love me!)

3) I have to say, as nervous as I was about The Office last night…I was pleasantly surprised. I wanted Darryl to  be the manager, but Andy is cut from the same cloth as Michael Scott and I think, after seeing the episode, that it was a genius move. I always found Andy’s character to be annoying and lacking any kind of depth, but the writers really improved on him since making him manager. I also despised James Spader in the finale last year, but was pleasantly surprised to see Robert California as a good CEO. (And an interesting fit to replace Kathy Bates who has her own show on NBC now). I really think it would be funny too if Pam and Jim did name their new baby boy Michael Scott. Oh well, one can dream, right?

4) This week was Joey’s birthday. Well, Wednesday was, but don’t tell him that, he seems to believe every day is his birthday now. And on a related note, I believe it is possible to go one year younger vs older on your birthday. My proof, is this: Joey turned four on Wednesday. On Thursday, he exhibited perfect two-year-old behavior. Constant melt-downs,  screaming when he didn’t get his way, not sharing…so I believe he may have gone from three back to two instead of up to four!

5) Seriously, stop what you are doing right now (reading my blog) and read this.

6) We had big plans to go to Jeff’s alma mater (for high school…the college we both attended doesn’t have football) for homecoming tonight. The rain we so desparately needed all summer has shown up this week. So, we may not go after all. But we’ll see, no decision being made until I would have to leave!

7) Yesterday started the Novena of St Therese, the Little Flower. If you missed starting it yesterday start with day one this morning and day two this evening (can you tell I have issues with remembering to pray every day of a novena!). Jessica over at Shower of Roses has printable prayer cards and is posting the Novena daily on her blog!




Small Successes

1) I have survived thus far in Shelby’s school year. Even with homework…(it’s basically me reading to her, but Joey and Will seem to enjoy making it a complicated endeavor).

2) I have now survived five weeks of Jeff in school as well including the day Shelby had off for a hurricane and Jeff didn’t…fun, fun.

3) I have survived as many weeks of working weekends. Even if it wasn’t a whole weekend, going back after being out is pressure!

4) Laundry and dishes are caught up…don’t blink, you might miss it.

5) I am back on schedule with reading…enjoying Jane Austen right now!

Check out Sherry and all the other Small Successes this week.