When I started this blog I knew that I would be embracing my Southern roots but boy oh boy I had no idea how much I would be reflecting on them until now. Let me start by saying this is not a “Let’s bash the North” post but rather a comparison of the things I’ve encountered since we left on our journey last Saturday.
Just a little background as to the reason why I would even CONSIDER an extended stay in the north, let alone one during the winter. My husband’s job ended in Texas and his most solid job offer was in North Dakota. So after much discussion, prayer, and consultations from Nate’s dad, we decided to purchase an RV and head north. The RV was a must have for many reasons, mainly from a financial stand point and because of our dog. Hotels for some reason welcome little annoying yappy dogs all day long but intimidated by a large dog…whatever!
Back to our journey…we left Texas last Saturday after a very long day of prep. Nothing like taking your car for a front end alignment and finding out yet another tire is bad (Goodyear is the worst tire made in my opinion). After a lot of hustle we got that fixed. Then it was on to getting the brake system on our truck fixed before we started towing the RV. 6:00 pm rolled around and were finally on our way. We only made it 150 miles before exhaustion kicked in and we stopped for the night. Bright and early the next morning we left out of Brady, TX and continue on. Lordy Texas is a BIG state! We made a stop in some little town in Texas for lunch and to celebrate our little man’s 4th birthday. In the midst of all the chaos surrounding this huge decision we still made time for the important things in life. So on through Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, and South Dakota we go. We stopped for the evening in Rapid City, SD. The next morning we made a stop by Sturgis and visited the Full Throttle Saloon…LOVE IT! We continued our journey to Watford City, ND and could not find a decent RV park anywhere. Tired, exhausted, and stressed beyond belief we decide to head for the closest “big” town, Williston, ND. This is where things went south (no pun intended) and my opinions of the north begin.
Besides the obvious Southern draw, the overly used expression “bless your heart”, and the embedded manners of using the term ma’am and sir when addressing folks (yes, we call them folks, not people) the South is just nice. We’re nice to folks whether they’re our neighbor or enemy, we’re nice to our family, we’re nice to our pets…we’re just nice. The folks in the north seem to have missed that memo. When we hit about the Kansas state line it was like a switch was flipped. You can walk into a gas station and say hello and the cashier looks at you like you’re speaking a foreign language. Even my just turned 4 year old said “Thank you sir” to a guy that held the door open for him and the guy looked at him like he had just said a cuss word. Since we’ve been in North Dakota we’ve dealt with nothing but rudeness. No sense of customer service, no sense of compassion…nothing but attitudes as cold as the weather. Now I’m not saying that every single person who lives “up north” is rude or lacks compassion…this is just what I’ve experienced in 4 states in the last week. These people need to loosen up…smile every once in awhile…develop a sense of humor. It’s really kinda bumming me out.
Who knows how long we’ll be here but one thing’s for sure…I’m not going to let the Grumpy McGrumpy’s change my Southern way of life but rather give me greater sense of pride of how I was raised. I will continue to use my Southern twang when saying my ma’am’s and sir’s and not deter my son from being polite even in the face of someone who hasn’t ever been introduced to the wrong end of a plum switch. At the end of the day all I can do is walk out with my chin up and just shake my head and say “bless their hearts”.
Holy cow! I knew I hadn’t blogged in awhile but gosh, I’ve been a complete slacker! I’ve had such a busy summer and I hope I can recap everything into one post.
Let’s see, June brought Father’s Day and my birthday. I made a super cute craft for Nate for Father’s Day that incorporated his hand with both Tristan and Ethan’s hands and he absolutely LOVED it! I received the Cricut Expression 2 as my Mother’s Day/Anniversary gift so I was thankful to have that to do the lettering for the frame.
My birthday was filled with all kinds of fun that involved Magic Mike, beer, and Boba Fett! We saw the movie at an awesome theater that serves food and drinks during the movie! We honestly didn’t care if the movie was good or not…we had beer and Channing Tatum.
OH! Did I mention my friends “gifted” me with a life size cut out of Boba Fett?! He was standing at my front door on my birthday and luckily my husband didn’t shoot him when he left for work that morning.
July brought more birthdays, 4th of July (of course), my first attempt at a beer pong tournament, my daughter came to Texas for a short visit, and trip to Florida to visit our family and attend my (gulp) 20 year reunion!!!
If you even know me a little bit I can be a bit of a prankster…so with my friends thinking they had the upper hand on me with the whole surprise Boba Fett thing at my door I felt paybacks were in order. For Mandy’s birthday our whole group of friends decided to show up unannounced at her house and basically have a pretend BBQ complete with BBQ pit, empty beer keg, radio, cooler of beer…you name it we had it! It was pretty awesome although Mandy’s husband (who was recovering from the previous night’s beer pong tournament) didn’t find it very amusing.
My friend Kat’s birthday was also during July and she let it slip out that she HATES pigs! Well, of course I made a mental note and left these cute little fellas all in her yard along with a good old fashioned forking! I had a great time drawing up these pigs!
My youngest daughter made her way to Texas in mid July. Our time together is so precious to me and I just soaked up every minute I could. (another reason why I haven’t blogged in forever) We spent our time checking out a few of the tourist hot spots that we hadn’t gone to the last time she was here. She’s absolutely IN LOVE with the city and is already making plans to move here for college so I’m super excited about that possibility. We also visited the Japanese Tea Gardens http://www.saparksfoundation.org/japaneseteagarden.html
and took some photos that will be used as her “official” Sweet 16 pictures. We visited the Riverwalk a couple of times and her favorite part was seeing how beautiful it is at night.
After a week in Texas we began our 14 hour drive to Florida. Nate had been there for a few days and was soaking up that wonderful Florida sun and Tristan was chomping at the bits to see his Daddy, see his Papa, and of course play on the beach. No road trip is complete without a stop at The Shed BBQ in Ocean Springs, MS. By far THE BEST BBQ ever!!!
We had a great time just enjoying time with all the kids and I finally got to spend some time with my oldest daughter and her boyfriend. My 20 year reunion was a 2 night event and it was great to see old friends and take a walk down memory lane.
So far August has brought our little family trying to get back into routine again. Tristan is back at t-ball practice, Nate is back at work, the dog is happy to be at home, and I’m still cleaning, doing laundry, cooking, and trying to stay cool. We did have another Mom’s Night Out event that was a wigging out theme. We all wore wigs and went out to a couple of restaurants for food and drinks. We had a BLAST! I did learn that if/when I wear my wig again I have got to come up with a better game plan for putting all this hair up.
As far as all my plants that I was sooo proud of…this Texas heat has been tough on them and I’m still trying to revive them since my trip to Florida. 100+ degree heat plus no watering for a few days did a number on them all. I was able to get a good batch of basil picked before I left and we made some really good basil pesto using a recipe from my friend Tara’s blog at www.dellaroseliving.com.
Find the recipe here: http://www.dellaroseliving.com/basil-pesto-recipe/.
I hope to be back very soon with some new recipes and to share some more fun stories!
A couple of weeks ago I decided that it would be a fun little project for Tristan and I to plant some herbs and a few other vegetables. I had to plant them in something portable so that when/if we move we wouldn’t have to give up all our hard work. For the past couple of weeks our daily routine has consisted of watering our seeds that we had spent one afternoon planting. Tristan got bored rather quickly at the whole seed planting thing and I’m sure the only way I’ve been able to keep his attention with every day watering has been the fact that he gets to play in the water for a few minutes.
So, to our excitement today (mostly his because I knew that one day we would be watering more than the dirt) we have started seeing little sprouts pop up, hence his declaration “MOMMY! My seeds are sticking out!” He was so proud and so excited that he’s FINALLY seeing something! It’s in these little moments like this you can teach your children the very tangible meaning of “you reap what you sow”. I’m sad that I lived life at a faster pace when my girls were this age, yet appreciative that I have this chance to give Tristan some of the experiences I had as a child.
While planting the seeds I thought back to a story my dad still loves to tell from our days in Alabama. My mother and father planted a garden every year and I guess I felt the need to “help”. I was very young so I either do not remember this or I was falsely accused, wink wink. While they were working hard planting their garden I found the butter bean seeds! Once the seeds started sprouting all over the yard they come to the very quick conclusion that little Toni Lynn had her own little green thumb. From the looks of our seeds, Tristan might have acquired that same green thumb.
I still wonder if my butter beans grew better than the ones they planted in their garden…hummmm
I originally found this craft idea on Pinterest (imagine that!) but I wanted to share how I did them just in case there’s one person out there who isn’t a Pinterest addict like I am. This craft is super easy, but I did find it time consuming because I’m a perfectionist. This is a great gift idea for Christmas or even Mother’s Day.