Monday, March 21, 2016

Big Ticks and Electric Guitars

Blair stopped in, this weekend, when she returned from her spring break trip and now I feel like one of those big, swollen, gray ticks that hang off the side of an ol' dog. 

Why, you ask?  Let me explain something about our family......

I believe that there are three kinds of eaters in this world and our family has a representative from each group. 

Carson belongs to the first group, the picky eaters.  His repertoire is quite limited.  Everybody knows one of these or has one in their family.  Food has to look just right.  Smell just right.  The texture has to be right.  The brands have to be right.  Dishes can't have too many colors or too much going on because the picky eaters' palates are very sensitive, so there are few foods which are appealing to them.  These are the people who can eat the same handful of things over and over and over and it's just fine with them.  They have boundaries which shall never be crossed.  Very narrow and constricting boundaries. 

I'm familiar with this group because I was once a part of them.  I was a picky eater when I was younger and, even though much better now, I still carry some of those tendencies with me in my middle agedness.  So, I guess you might call me a recovering picky eater.  I only want cheese and meat on my hamburgers or sandwiches......no condiments.  I despise any cold food unless it's a fruit or a dessert......no deviled eggs, no pasta salad, potato salad, green salad.  As a matter of fact, nothing that ends with the word, salad.  Period.  So, as difficult and as boring as it is to cook for him, I can't deny where Carson gets his discriminating taste.  Bless him. 

Davis belongs to the second group of eaters.....those who eat to survive.  You know any of those?  I find it hardest to relate to this group.  They can eat a whole meal without showing any outward sign of enjoyment.  To them, eating is the process by which nutrients are ingested in order to sustain life and its functions.  And, for them, the experience is about as fun as their definition sounds.  They are just as content to eat a sandwich as they are a homemade meal.  As long as it keeps them alive throughout the day, they're good.   

Davis is what we call our scavenger.  He will finish off any leftovers in the refrigerator.  Some that I would hesitate to serve the dog.  He's like the vulture, who comes in and cleans up what nobody else wants.  After all, it's just food.  This group is amazing to watch with their robotic eating.....and incredible discipline.  Eating is just all business.  It's like breathing.....just do it.  So, while Davis is always appreciative of the meals I cook, there's just not a big change in his enthusiasm between peanut butter crackers and shrimp scampi.  Hard to get overly excited about cooking for this group.          
Then, we have the third group and they're the people who live to eat.....or look awfully forward to it.  Blair falls into this category and, even though I'm a recovering picky eater, I feel closest to this group.  They are my people.  We thoroughly enjoy our food.  It's not uncommon to hear us let out moans several times during a meal or to do narration for our taste buds.  It's just so hard to stifle our feelings.  We're those people who get up from one meal and start talking about what we're having for the next one.  "Taste and see that the Lord is good" is what we say.   

Needless to say, these kinds of people are fun to cook for.  So much positive feedback.  It gives you joy to give them such joy.  Which brings me to why I feel like a big, tight, gray tick hanging off of an ol' dog.  When Blair comes home, I cook a lot and this weekend was no exception.  The final menu plan is usually set only after several series of texts discussing this important matter in depth with her.  And, so, this weekend, we ate and ate and ate.......and she and I moaned.....while Carson picked......and Davis took in his required nutrients. 

Also, in weekend news, Carson bought an electric guitar and amp on Saturday.  There was the choice between a 5 amp or a 10 amp.  Of course, we went with the 10.  Duh.  They had to order the candy apple red guitar.  So, it will all be here in 2 weeks therefore I have that long to brace myself. 

We were looking contently at the acoustic guitars.  The salesman was strumming and it was so soothing.......like John Denver or James Taylor.  Then, a guy came in off the street and started playing "Sweet Child O' Mine" and "Stairway to Heaven" over in the electric guitar section.  That was it.  "Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy" just can't compete with "She's got eyes of the bluest skies", I suppose.  Not when you're 15.  So, I'm sure it will be some time before it sounds like Guns N' Roses over here.....may just sound like guns for a while.  But, we will cope.   

And........we are currently in the process of getting a third pharmacy/gift shop ready to open and so my time will be really, really limited this week.  I hope to be back here before the Easter week is over but, if I'm not, you'll know where I am! 


 Have a great day!



Thursday, March 17, 2016

The Trailhead

Blair and some of her friends went to the Smoky Mountains for their spring break.  Unfortunately, not everyone could make the trip but they had a great group of girls going.  I was all for their destination choice because you just don't see many disturbing spring break documentaries filmed in the mountains.    

This is her last spring break. She graduates in May and starts her first real job in June and, well, big girl jobs don't really do spring breaks.  That's one of the major downsides of this thing called the real world.  The job thing is all fun and games when you're first starting out until you realize you get 2 days for Christmas and work right through the summer.  Bummer.    

So, anyway, the girls are in the mountains shopping, hiking, cooking, climbing mountains, eating, antiquing, and sightseeing.  I know they're laughing a lot.  Probably watching movies.  Staying up late.  Sleeping in.  And, by the looks of social media, they're taking a lot of pictures.  But, I wonder if they're taking it all in.  I mean, really appreciating this time for the precious thing that it is. 

In just a couple of short months, they'll all start to scatter in several directions.  They'll have different lives in different circles in different towns.  Some of her friends are moving on to other colleges to pursue various degrees.  Some will intern.  Some will go to work.  Some will stay where they are and finish up.  Suffice it to say, it won't be like it is now. 

Blair's been busy trying to build up her career wardrobe and pinning ideas for her new place.  Like the rest of the girls, she's looking into living options and all the other possibilities that exist in her new, uncharted world.  Everyone is excited to head out on the path toward their chosen dreams.  The next stop on the road that leads to their calling. 

By the time you reach those last semesters, you're usually ready for a change of pace.  A change of scenery.  I know I was.  But, anytime there's a change of scenery, there also comes a change in the daily interactions you've come to enjoy.  A change in the company you've kept.  There's something serene about walking the same familiar ground and having your path start to show a little wear.  There's something cozy about having your steps lead you to the same friendly faces each day.  There's a comfort in that kind of familiarity and certainty.  There's a warmth in that sort of reliability.

Oh, the next phase of their lives will be just as wonderful as this one.  In life, it's hard to find a favorite part because each one has its own wonderful qualities.  But, I bet that no matter where they go or how many years pass, they will look back to this time of life as one of their favorites to recall.  It is the place where, together, they got ready to set out on their great, big journeys......separately.  But, there's something special about the friends you make on the cusp of writing your own life story.  And when they're many years down the path and the trailhead seems so far back in the distance, they'll see each other or hear those familiar voices on the phone and they'll feel the forgotten warmth of their youth.  And smile. 

Remembering what it was like to be young and full of dreams.  Back when they were just starting out on the trail.   


   Y'all have a good weekend!  I'm ready for it!


       

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

A Dozen Things We Can't Do Anymore

On Sunday afternoon, there was a bridal tea at our church for a very special couple.  I saw an old friend of mine come in with her two granddaughters.....a precious baby in a carrier and an adorable toddler.  Beautiful children.  The baby slept soundly and the toddler tried to entertain herself the best way she could.  I'm sure she was thinking, "What kind of a "party" is this with no bouncy house or balloon animals or anything containing snowball juice?" 

She had the prettiest long, blonde curls and was all gussied up in a darling, little dress for the occasion.  She'd sit for a while and then stand up and twirl off some energy.  I mean, lady parties can make even the most sedate a little restless.  At one point, she just stretched out on the floor with her little chin propped up in her hands.  I commented to the ladies around me that I was a little envious....wishing I could do the same thing.  About that time of the day after we'd sprung forward the night before, I was thinking how much I wanted to lie down next to her and kick off my heels.  Something told me that I wouldn't have looked near as cute on the floor as she did, though.   

That got me thinking about all the other things that we could get away with when we were little and even look precious while doing them and, well, now, not so much.  Let's talk about a dozen of those..... 

1)  Scratching places that itch.  I know you've seen kids just hike up their shirt or dress right there in front of God and everybody to scratch their belly or some other itchy spot.  Yeah, the dress over the head like...."hey, don't mind me."  Well, sometimes, we, grownup ladies, get itches, too.....you know where the Spanx tag is there in the back or where the underwire of your bra digs so far into your sternum that you just wish to goodness that you could reach in there and go after it.  It wouldn't be near as adorable, though.  Not near.     

2)  Saying whatever comes into your mind.  Kids get a free pass on this sort of thing.  They have no filter.  They just speak whatever is on their minds.  "Your skin is like Sponge Bob's?"....."You have a lot of wrinkles."......."I don't like this gift."........"You have a long hair on your chin."......."Are you Cruella?"......"Why do you talk weird like that?"  Try doing this at 48 and see how it works out for you.           

3)  Eating whatever you want whenever you want it.  Yeah, all parents want their picky kids to eat and so they get whatever ......whenever they want it.  No questions asked.  Day or night.  Hot dogs, macaroni and cheese, hamburgers, grilled cheese, chicken nuggets, French fries, chocolate milk......You know, all the finer things of life.  All the things that our doctors tell us are bad for our blood pressure and cholesterol and gluten intolerance and all those other adult things that we get.  Enjoy that blue box macaroni with all of its orange goodness while you can, kids.  You'll be on statins and a low carb diet before you know it.                                  

4) Having people carry you when you're tired or push you around in a stroller.  I think I'll try this the next time we go on another one of those family hiking trips.  I'll just put up my arms and say, "Carry me, Davis."  That will most likely cut down on those types of outings.        

5)  Falling out screaming in the floor when you don't get your way.  I miss this one.  Someone tells them, "No, you can't have candy."  Well, they just drop to the ground and scream until their family is so embarrassed by the scene that they say, "Here.....Skittles....Get up."  Not sure that would work now.  Fall out in the floor and scream in your middle agedness and they'll have an ambulance there so fast it will make your head spin.     

6)  Naps.  Is any explanation necessary?  When you're a kid, you're expected to nap everyday.  It's your job.  Oddly, kids fight the nap.  Stupid, stupid kids. 

7)  Kid cereal without judgement.  Is there anything better than a bowl of Fruity Pebbles, Apple Jacks, or Lucky Charms?  Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Froot Loops, Cookie Crisp......I could go on and on.  Even the Crunch Berry Captain Crunch that scrapes the top of your mouth like 40 grit sandpaper is about the best thing ever for a nighttime snack.  Then, we grow up and have to trade all the goodness in for cholesterol lowering, fiber-rich cereal made from bark and twigs which has no taste and absolutely nothing interesting to read on the box while you're eating it.  Bummer.    

8)  Getting treats when you're good.  Children get treats for being a big kid at the doctor, doing well in a recital, pee-peeing on the potty.....just about anything they do, really.  I think this practice should be carried over into adulthood.  "Joni, here's a treat for going to work every day this week like a big adult." ........"I'm taking you out for steak and lobster because I'm so proud you did all the laundry today."........"Somebody's getting a trip to the jewelry store because they paid all the bills on time."........"Here's a 20 for being non-violent during your PMS time."  Yeah, I think I'm due more rewards for all of my appropriate behavior.   

9)  Eating with your hands. You've got the salad fork, dinner fork, dessert spoon, butter knife, cake fork, soup spoon, dinner knife, teaspoon and, still, not one thing to eat pasta or a chicken quarter with gracefully.  Kids have the right idea about this one.    

10) Spitting out things that taste bad.  Ever seen a child bite into something that they didn't like and then just open their mouth wide and, with a grimace, let it all fall back out?   We've all bitten into terrible things at parties and wished we could spew it out on the floor.  Or that awkward piece of gristle that you need to get rid of at a dinner party.  Just to be able to let it fall back out on the table.  Oh, what liberation that would be.      

11) Dropping things when you're done with them.  Socks.  Toys.  Books.  Crackers.  Sippy cups in the car.  Remember when your kids were little and you'd find those Playtex sippy cups rolling around on the floorboard?  They were full of all manner of fermented liquids and molded cheese-like matter.  "I'm done here so I'll just drop it......I have people for that."  If moms did this, it would start to look like an episode of Hoarders real quick because ain't nobody picking up after us. 

12) Taking naps during church or long programs.  This would come in handy on spring forward Sunday after we lose that hour of sleep or during those 5 hour dance recitals when your child dances for 2 minutes at the beginning and 1 minute and 45 seconds at the very end.  I remember when Carson was little.....after all the hymns were sung on Sunday morning, well, that was his cue to start getting himself stretched out on the pew and planting his head in my lap.  By the end of the sermon, I'd have a big ol' slobber spot on my skirt about the size of a salad plate.  Nobody thinks a thing about that.  But, let a 48 year old throw her legs up on the pew and put her head over in someone's lap and..... "Security!" 

Well, I guess we have to all grow up and conform. 

Dang it. 


Happy Wednesday to y'all!!

Saturday, March 12, 2016

One Nation

I watched a portion of Nancy Reagan's funeral on Friday.  I, myself, was getting ready to go to a funeral so I couldn't watch it all.  I did see the distinguished guests filing in.  The politicians, the media personalities, the Hollywood famous.  The front rows began to fill up with the Reagan family and members of first families, past and present.  There was Michelle Obama seated next to George and Laura Bush.  Then, there was Hillary Clinton and Rosalynn Carter and Caroline Kennedy, who was the only one left to represent the Kennedys.  I read, later, that Steven Ford and the daughters of Lyndon Johnson were there, too.  They all greeted each other and hugged as they took their seats there together. 

The soldiers brought Mrs. Reagan's casket into the service and, as the attendees stood to their feet to honor her, our country did, too, in a figurative way.  Out of respect for the contribution that she made to our nation, standing with her husband and serving us alongside him.       

The service recounted memories from another era.  A more productive time.  A gentler time than now.  It was a time when our differences of opinions didn't paralyze us and render us completely broken.  When we could disagree with someone without feeling the need to destroy them personally or financially.  When we were more civil.  Less vicious.  More merciful.  Less vindictive.  When people, who didn't hold the same opinions, could still respect each other.  When getting the last word took a back seat to getting things done.  When we knew we each had to give a little in order to work together.  When we could all speak without fear of being annihilated by people who didn't believe the way we believed.    

Throughout the service, the camera would periodically go back to that row of Washington's past.  I thought what a unique occasion it was to see them all seated together in one place......their differences and all.  I thought about how they seemed to be united on this occasion in honoring the former first lady and her contributions.  If only for that moment. 

I came home later that day and turned on the news to see the protestors outside one of the presidential candidate's rally and the scene that was causing.  The talking heads took turns placing blame for the situation.  I changed clothes and sat down for a minute, finding a thread concerning Dr. Ben Carson's candidate endorsement which was filled with the most disturbing and vile comments and indignant proclamations of disassociation.....and, sadly, many were from his fellow Christians.  And then, another thread where a Christian entertainer halfway hinted of her support for a candidate and her comment section lit up with people vowing to remove themselves from her fan base immediately.  These people, who identified themselves as Christians, were done with her.  Forever.  I thought, "So, this is how we treat each other now?  This is how God's people handle differences of opinions?" 

It seems like we all have our little fenced off areas where we stand guard, these days.  These little fenced areas contain the things we believe to be true and the things which we feel strongly about.   This is an emotional place where we take offense to any kind of attack or assault.  We methodically walk back and forth and back and forth on our patrols ready to pounce on anyone who would offend our area.  We watch and listen carefully for anything that would insult us.  And when it comes, we lash out and we look to embarrass the perpetrator and get in the last word to prove that we are right and they are wrong and sorely misguided.       

Since its beginning, the country has always had divisions but it just seems to be fragmented now more than ever.  Religious groups are suspicious of one another.  The social activist crowd is intolerant of the religious liberties crowd.  The" Black Lives Matter" group resents the "All Lives Matter" people.  The liberals are hostile toward conservatives.  The conservatives blame all problems on liberals.  The citizens are fearful of immigrants.  The legal immigrants are resentful of the illegals.  The police are hated by the people they serve.  The abortion rights crowd has little regard for religious convictions.  Christians have the same sex marriage supporters at the top of their "sin chart".  The Sanders people feel more progressive than the Clinton people.  The Clinton people are annoyed by the Sanders people.  The Cruz supporters feel morally superior to the Trump crowd.  The Trump crowd is fed up with the establishment.  The establishment resists anyone but their own kind taking the wheel.  The atheists feel more intellectual than the Christians.  Southerners and their heritage are villainized with a broad brush by the PC crowd.  The PC crowd has an entire nation terrified to speak for fear of personal ruin.  The gun owners resist the gun law people.  The gun law people blame the gun rights crowd for escalating violence.  The have-nots resent the haves. The working taxpayers are bitter toward the entitlement abusers.  The entitlement abusers feel they are owed things by the taxpayers.  And on and on and on and on it goes.    

I just wonder when we came to this place.  When did we begin to feel like we have the right to be offended by the beliefs of others?  When did we start to think that we cannot live together as Americans unless we all agree?  When did people who yell about intolerance become blind to their own intolerance?  When did we decide that if you don't agree with me, we can't associate or even co-exist?       

It's hard to be one nation under God or indivisible when we're all standing guard inside our fence rows, patrolling them like they're maximum security prisons.  Yes, there are things truly worth fighting for.  Things on which we should never compromise.  But, so much that we protest and scream about these days doesn't fall into that category. 

We can't really help what our nation does as a whole but, for Christians, it's hard to be the hands and feet of Christ through these fences we've erected.  Hands can't reach very far over barriers.  Hands can't work if they're always on our self-righteous hips.  If we always act as offended and indignant toward each other as the unbelievers, how are we any different from the rest of the world?   

Jesus walked around the fences and ate with people who didn't exactly mirror his thinking.  He spoke the truth, but He spoke the truth out of love. Never out of hate or exclusion or the desire to destroy.  He didn't write people off because He didn't agree with them.  He knew the sick needed a doctor more than His fence needed a guard and so you'd find Him outside his own yard eating with the likes of crooked tax collectors and talking to adulterous Samaritan women.....crossing all sorts of lines and barriers.   

I wish we could go back to the time of more unity in our country.  Back to the time when we were one, at least, in American spirit......instead of the millions of cordoned off areas that we are now where we dare each other to cross the lines or even step foot on it.  I don't know how we get back to that as a nation but, as God's people, I believe we are called to treat people with respect and resist engaging in condescension. 

Let's not limit our calling by sectioning off.  We can't gain much ground when we pen ourselves in with self-made fences. 

It's hard to show God's love through "barb-ed" wire. 



Hope you have a great Sunday!    

                    

        

                     

Thursday, March 10, 2016

A Written Excuse

So, first, I've had intermittent trouble logging into my blog all week which has been extremely frustrating.  Secondly, once I finally sorted that out, we found ourselves in the throes of a monsoon here in Mississippi, tonight, and the thunder and lightning landed a 17 pound, panting dog in my lap and on my keyboard for most of the evening.  Now, that she's finally succumbed to the Benadryl we gave her, I've gotten interested in the debate and a thousand other things.  Sometimes, I guess you have to concede that it's just not happenin' and so, since this is Carson's spring break, I'm going to call this my spring break, too, and we'll resume our regular schedule on Monday.


I hope y'all have a great weekend.   

  
      

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Coming Out of Dormancy

Well, the daffodils and Japanese magnolias have spoken and the azaleas are also starting to chime in that spring is here.  It's been sunny and 75 all weekend and I even had some sweat roll down my back for the first time in a long while so put a stamp on it......it's official.   

On Saturday, we spent a good part of the day outside in the yard.  We'd had some plants to die and we replaced those.  We spread new mulch and pulled up weeds.  We pruned some shrubs and did some edging and a little raking.  The windows had gotten all nasty over the winter so we washed those.  Knocked the spider webs down.  Did a little touch up painting.  We picked up the shriveled remnants of toilet paper that were still hanging tough from homecoming week and even found an Easter egg from no telling when.   

So, yeah.  I logged over 17,000 steps on my Fitbit Saturday.  I feel like the Fitbit people should've sent some kind of alert to the police station....I mean, just in case.  Something like ,"Our atypical data seems to indicate that Joni may have been abducted and it appears that there may be some sort of ongoing struggle."  I mean, surely, if there are people who sit and watch for unusual activity at the credit card companies, we should expect that the Fitbit people would have the same kind of concern for our suspicious behaviors.

After supper, I went to work inside.  I finished putting out my Easter/spring decorations.  I packed up my heavier sweaters and wintry clothes and changed my closets and dresser
over to my more lightweight attire.  I decided to part with some things I haven't worn since Bush was in office.  I pulled some things from the back of the closet to the front and moved some of the front to the back.  By the time I went to bed, I was exhausted.  And when I woke up today, I hurt in places where I haven't hurt in a long time.    

Winter is that time when we just sort of coast along.  We wrap up and go into a stupor and let things slide.  We lie as dormant as the hydrangea bush out in the front yard.  Hibernating like an old bear.  We tell ourselves it's too cold, too dark, and too wet to do the things we should be doing and so we just bundle up and plop down on the couch .....with a snack, of course. 

The light of spring illuminates all the procrastination and neglect of winter.  Our yards are unkempt under a generous layer of leaves and sticks.  Our house paint shows some mildew.  The windows are all grimy.  The garage is cluttered.  The cars need to be washed and waxed.        

And it doesn't stop there.  We know all too well that the lackadaisical winter can show on our persons, too.  Our legs may or may not always be clean shaven under the multilayers of boots, leggings, jeans, and socks.  Our bodies show a little extra insulation and padding.  Our feet may need some attention after being in confinement for several months.

It all just piled up while we were hunkered down. 

The birds were just a-singing away this weekend.  There wasn't a cloud in the sky.  The frogs were doing some croaking.  And I even had some bugs flying around my face.  They're all calling us to come out from under the covers and join them.  To get busy again.  To get up and give attention to the things we've neglected.    

Winter break is over, y'all.

As bad as I hate it. 



Hope you have a good Monday!        

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Once Upon a Time in the South

As you all know, I was born and raised in the South.  Not just in the South but the heart of the South.  The buckle of the Bible Belt.  I know I don't have to tell y'all (you all) that we have our own way of talking down here.  First off, we just like to talk.  Period.  It's one of our most favorite things to do.  Our words are lively, warm, and descriptive and we use them to connect with each other.  We don't really have to know you to strike up a conversation.  We think it's kind of rude to pass people without, at least, saying, "hey" or sit next to someone on a plane and not ask them where they're from and what they do.  Sure, we may not always feel like adding the "g" to the end of our words and, sometimes, we may put more syllables in their pronunciation than are called for but I guess we just like to squeeze all the good out of them.  Our dialect is a little bit of the present and a little bit of our past.  It's a mix of who we are now and where we've come from.  It's our way of making people feel at ease when they're around us.  Loved and treasured.  Comforted.  Like we're all in this together so we might as well be friends.
       
Today, I decided to write a most brilliant and riveting literary masterpiece which would encapsulate the southern language.  While we don't usually use all the words in a wad like this, you can't come down here and not hear them sprinkled all throughout our conversations.  For those of you who live in other regions, I have included the translations in my work of art.  Who knew I had such a flair for fiction?            

Once upon a time, Suzy and Mary were fixin' (getting ready) to walk to town (a commercial area) to get some cough medicine for Suzy's Mama (Mother) who was sick as a dog (very sick).  She'd been coughing like all get out (really badly) and was making all sorts of racket (noise).  There was a storm coming so they knew they had to hightail it (hurry).  They told Suzy's Mama (Mother) that they'd be back directly (soon) and she reminded them not to act up (misbehave), to mind (use) their manners, and not to go gallivanting (running) all over town (a commercial area). "'I'll hold down the fort (stay here) until y'all (you both) get back," Suzy's Mama (Mother) said.  "Okie Dokey,"(sounds good) they yelled as they left.  They knew there was no time to lollygag (goof off) because they didn't want to be caught by the rain.  Not to mention, they needed to get back with the medicine because they didn't want Suzy's Mama (Mother) to end up in the mergency room (emergency department).

"Let's go this-a-way (take this route)," Mary suggested.  Suzy agreed.  After all, this was their stompin' grounds (neighborhood) and they reckoned (supposed) they knew the shortest way.  Mary started singing a little song as she walked but Suzy reminded her that she couldn't carry a tune in a bucket (was tone deaf) but telling Mary anything was like talking to a brick wall (pointless).  The more Suzy got in a tizzy (upset), the louder Mary sang.  "For crying out loud (ugh), you're as stubborn as a mule (quite stubborn), Mary," Suzy hollered (yelled).  Mary replied, "Who gives a flip (who cares) about what you think, SuzyDon't get your feathers ruffled (upset)!  You're getting too big for your britches (taking yourself too seriously) anyhow,"  Mary said, madder than a wet hen (quite mad).   

Suzy agreed to quit being ugly (mean) and they finally made it to the edge of town (a commercial area).  It was a good thing because the wind was starting to blow and Mary's monogrammed hair bow was all catawampus (crooked).  Suzy spotted the ice cream shop.  "Oh, Mary, I have a hankering (craving) for some chocolate ice creamIt won't take long because it's just over yonder (there), catty-corner (diagonal) to the drugstoreI'm about to burn slap up (very hot) and ice cream would taste so good!"  "You don't have to tell me twice (I'm in)," Mary said and they headed toward the shop. 

They walked in and were tickled to death (so glad) to see Miss Betty was working.  "Well, I'll be (Isn't this something)!  Aren't you, two, a sight for sore eyes (I'm so happy to see you)!  I haven't seen you, girls, in a month of Sundays (a long time).  Y'all (you both) are just pretty as a peach (very pretty)," she said as she came around the counter to give the girls some sugar (a kiss).  "It's good to see y'all (you both) in my neck of the woods (neighborhood).  Suzy, how's your Mama (Mother)?  I hear tell (heard) she's been laid up (sick in bed)."  Suzy replied, "Yes, ma'am, we're on our way to pick up some medicine for her."  "Well, tell her I asked about her.  And, my goodness gracious (oh), you sure have grownI used to couldn't (once, I couldn't) see you over the counter but you've shot up like a weed (grown a lot)," Miss Betty commented. 

She scooped up the girls' ice cream cones and passed them over the counter, reminding them, "Now, don't tump it over (dump it out)."  "Yes, ma'am, Miss Betty," they replied just like their mamas(mothers) had taught them.  The girls sat down to eat their ice cream.  They were in hog heaven (a very happy place).  Mary was finished lickity split (really quickly) but Suzy was eating slower than molasses (quite slow).  Mary said, "You've got to hurry, Suzy.  We've piddled (wasted time) long enough!"  "Hold your horses (wait a minute), Mary, I just have a tee-niny bit (a little) left," Suzy replied. 

The girls cleaned up their mess and waved at Miss Betty as they headed for the door.  "Y'all come back to see us (come again soon), girls. And tell your Mama (Mother) I'm prayin' for her (talking to the Great Physician about her not to be confused with sending positive thoughts)," she said.  "Yes, ma'am.  Thank you, Miss Betty," the girls said as they opened the door.  Miss Betty complimented the girls to the people who were in line to buy ice cream, "Now, those girls were raised right (taught well)," she said.  "I've known their families my whole life and y'all (you all) know I'm older than dirt (really old).  They come from good stock (a wonderful family)." 

The girls walked down the sidewalk and passed several stores on their way to the drugstore.  There was the hardware store where they sold things that the girls didn't care diddly squat (at all) about like tools and other do-hickeys (things for which we don't know the names).  They passed a shoe store, a dress shop, a Hallmark store, and the lingerie store where they sold lacy drawers (underwear) and such.  "I double dog dare (really dare) you to go in there, Suzy," Mary said.  "Do what (What did you say)?  No way!  You're barking up the wrong tree (asking the wrong person)," Suzy assured her.  Mary couldn't resist saying, "Well, don't get your panties in a wad (get upset)!"  The girls laughed and kept walking.  

Finally, they spotted the drugstore.  Then, suddenly, it started to rain cats and dogs (really hard)!  They ran into the store dripping wet.  "Ok, let's get a buggy (shopping cart) for all the stuff we need for Mama (mother)," Suzy said.  They made their way to the cough syrups.  There were so many different kinds that they couldn't make heads or tails of it all (couldn't understand).  "Let's ask him," Suzy said as she pointed to a man who was also looking at cough syrup.  "We don't know him from Adam (he is a stranger), Suzy," Mary warned.  "Sometimes, you act like you don't have a lick of sense (no sense whatsoever)," she said reminding her of what their Mamas always told them about talking to strangers.  "Ok, well, don't have a conniption (a meltdown).  You're such a worry wart (worrier).  Let's just pick one and go," Suzy said.

They made their way over to the cokes (sodas/soft drinks) knowing that her Mama (Mother) would probably enjoy some being sick and all.  Mary asked, "What kind of coke (soda/soft drink) does your Mama (mother) like, Suzy?"  "Let's get her a Dr. Pepper and a Sprite," Suzy said as she placed them in the buggy (shopping cart).  "Now, we just need to get some new batteries for her clicker (remote control), Mary," Suzy remembered.  Suzy knew her Mama couldn't watch TV from bed without the clicker (remote control).   

They finally made their way to the checkout and Mary laughed when she saw that Suzy's rain soaked hair had dried and left her with a big ol' cowlick (hair that stood up) in the front.  They paid for their items and Mary quickly grabbed the bag with the batteries and cough syrup and left Suzy to get the 2 liter drinks.  "I have a bone to pick with you (something I want to talk to you about), Mary.  I think I got the short end of the stick (the worst side of the deal)," she said.  "Oh, don't pitch a fit (get upset), Suzy," Mary giggled.  Suzy snickered, "Lord have mercy (Oh), you just beat all I've ever seen (you're quite unique)!"  The girls left and headed home.

On the way, they saw Billy, the bully prankster from school, heading toward them.  Mary said, "Oh, isn't this just fine and dandy (Isn't this just great said sarcastically)?"  He came over and got in their faces bragging that he'd been to the ice cream shop.  "Well, woop-dee-doo (big deal)," they said.  He offered to carry their heavy bags but Mary leaned over and whispered to Suzy, "I wouldn't trust him any father than I can throw him (I don't trust him at all).  Knowing him, he's liable (likely) to run off with our cokes (sodas/soft drinks)."  "Come on, girls, let me carry those heavy drinks," Billy said teasingly.  "We weren't born yesterday (we're not na├»ve), Billy," Suzy said.  "Dadgummit (darn)," he said as he ran around them like a chicken with his head cut off (crazily).  Mary pretended to call her Daddy (father) on her cell phone and that scared the living daylights out of Billy (scared him badly).  He took off and they made their way home.              

The girls finally got to Suzy's house with all of the bags.  They went into Suzy's Mama's room and saw that she was sleeping like a log (sleeping soundly).....or either playing possum (pretending to be asleep).  She appeared to be dead to the world (sound asleep).  Suzy whispered, "Mama?"  She woke up and looked at the girls.  "We saw Miss Betty in town and she said she's prayin' (speaking to the Great Physician) for you," Suzy said.  "Well, bless her sweet heart (an expression of appreciation).  She's so precious (dear)," Mama replied.  The girls handed her the medicine and Suzy changed the batteries in the clicker (remote control) then mashed (pressed) the buttons to make sure it worked.  Suzy said, "I'll just chunk (throw away) these old batteries. Is there anything else you need, Mama?"  "Well, mercy me, (my, my) I can't think of a thing I'm just hunkey dorey (fine) now, thanks to the both of you," Mama (Mother) said.  "You, girls, are just so darlin' (sweet and beloved).  Thank you, kindly (thank you very much)."  "You're welcome," they said. 

And they all lived happily ever after. 

The End.



Did I leave anything out, my fellow Southerners?



Y'all have a good weekend now, ya hear?