Help Save the World – Don’t Wear White After Labor Day

I was recently having the age old fashion conversation about whether it is okay to wear white after Labor Day.  The short answer is no.  And the long answer is…no.white-after-labor-day-420x315

You can choose to disagree with me and I won’t judge – but you would be wrong.

There is plenty of speculation about how and where this unwritten rule originated.  I, however, am convinced it was created with the intention of giving us boundaries as a society and to help us from falling victim to the same fate as many civilizations before us.

The very survival of our culture depends on people putting away their white clothing and shoes after the first weekend in September.  If you want to question my logic then just look at some of the cultures that have come, and gone, before us.  The Roman Empire fell once everyone started wearing white togas after Labor Day.  And what about the collapse of the Ming Dynasty?  Contrary to the popular myth that it was inter-tribal feuding, it was actually their refusal to put away their white sandals and move to transitional fall colors in their footwear.  (You history majors can back me up on this, right?)

It’s so simple and easy – just don’t wear white after Labor Day.  Many people use the excuse that summer temperatures still exist after Labor Day so they feel comfortable still wearing summer clothing. I’m not saying you have to break out the winter wardrobe.  Certainly common sense must prevail, but for the love of all that is holy, don’t try to dress like it is still the middle of July.  Just ask the Mayans. Oh, wait you can’t. Their civilization collapsed when it became common practice to wear white after the “official end of summer.”

Contrary to what Vogue or Cosmopolitan magazines may say, you are not a fashion forward trend setter for wearing white in the “no white after Labor Day zone.”  You are, instead, guilty of hurling our culture toward certain disaster and ultimately destruction.

Don’t let anyone tell you that this rule is old fashioned or out of date.  Don’t fall into the trap of believing that one little lapse of wearing white capris won’t matter.  It will; because it’s just a short and slippery ride down the slope to linen and sear sucker, my friend.  And then we are doomed for sure.

(In case you’re confused, my tongue was firmly planted in my cheek while writing this. However, I was NOT wearing white!)


Filed under Random Ramblings

Southern Snow Days

I’ve lived in Georgia since I was five years old. My daddy moved us here to make a better life for his family. I would have to say that he more than accomplished that goal.

Since living here, I have watched the area around the city of Atlanta grow and expand. The city’s perimeter, 2-85, used to be a four-lane road with a grassy median. Now it’s a multiple lane highway that still can’t accommodate the rush hour traffic that moves along it every day.

New buildings have gone up while old ones have been torn down. I remember watching the demolition of the old Omni Coliseum on television and reminiscing about seeing my first concert (Electric Light Orchestra) there in 1977.

One of my favorite memories of growing up in the south is the occasional snow day we would have from school. It was a rare, but precious thing to wake up to a winter wonderland and the news that school had been cancelled. It was the kind of excitement that could only be matched by the anticipation of Christmas or a birthday.

Our boys have been out of school for four days now due to a large winter storm that dumped an unusually large amount of snow and ice over the Metro-Atlanta area. Each day they have waited impatiently to see if school would be closed. Again.  And it has. We could, conceivably, miss an entire week of school. A kid’s dream, right?

One would think so, but I have seen a lot of complaints posted on Facebook by all the kids and parents snowed in for the past few days.

I get it. Sort of.

I just remember, as a kid, hoping and praying for that elusive southern snow day off from school during the winter. So another part of me doesn’t get it at all.

“I’m bored.” “I have cabin fever.” “There’s nothing to do.”

These are just a few of the postings I’ve seen on facebook and twitter. I know that all these people have access to cable, DVDs, video games, computers, etc. I also know I sound old when I say that “back in my day we only had three TV channels, books, Monopoly and Pong, and we were happy to have them.”

I love technology and all the entertainment if affords us, but I guess I’m also a little old fashioned. I like the idea of having a snow day, or five, where school is cancelled and I’m stuck with a good book, long conversations and an afternoon nap.

I think sometimes we have to learn to enjoy the moment more and stop wishing away our time for circumstances other than what we have. I think there’s a better way, a better life and I want that for my family.

Just like my daddy did.


Filed under The Boys Are Back

Has It Been Enough?

I passed another milestone this week and, in retrospect, I think I might have rather passed a kidney stone.

I took my oldest son to register for his college classes.

Want to know the painful part? We bought the text books!

Seriously, I’ve been kidding myself all summer that I was ready for this and that I was going to be okay when the time came. Well, the lump in my throat tells me I’m not. And honestly, it doesn’t really matter if I am ready or not. The real question is – is he ready?

More importantly, did I do enough as a mother to prepare him for this moment?

In exactly one month, his father and I will help him move into his dorm and eventually we will drive away, leaving him there with more freedom than an 18-year-old should probably have.

In the end, I have to trust that he really did listen to all the speeches, lectures, instructions and pearls of wisdom I shared with him over the last 18 years. I have to trust that he will do the right thing when faced with issues of integrity, honesty and sincerity. I have to trust that he will study, make good grades, eat his vegetables and be in by curfew.

In the end, I have to trust that it has been enough.

In the end, I just have to trust.

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Filed under All About Me, College Life, Random Ramblings, The Boys Are Back, You Gotta Have Faith

It’s Just A Piece of Paper

I wrote this last fall when I initially started back to school. I had forgotten about it until I was cleaning out some files and came across it. I thought I would bore you with since I haven’t posted anything on the blog in a while.

When I hear someone say, “It’s just a piece of paper,” I think of all the valuable documents in our lives that are on paper: birth certificate, marriage license, last will and testament, money, a finger painting created by a four-year-old.

 Another is a college diploma.

I have every one of those things except for the last one. Oh, I had good intentions. I headed off to the big state university with wide freshman eyes and high expectations of a future that included me being a college graduate.

Somewhere along the way, however, those plans got side tracked. My parents’ financial burdens and my own guilt of adding to them by being away at school led me back home. I got a job and easily convinced myself that I would return at some point in the future and finish my degree at another time. At that moment it seemed that I preferred the thought of being financially independent over the thought of spending another moment in a stuffy classroom.

 As I moved from the world of retail and selling shoes to a corporate environment and magazine publishing, I decided to see how far up the corporate ladder I could climb without having to list a degree on my resume. And, in fact, I was able to climb fairly high and attain some lofty goals.

 I made good money. The kind of money that convinced me I was okay without a degree. Not to mention that my hard work and personal work ethic had earned me several awards from my peers and employers throughout the years.

One marriage and three children later and there was no time or money for me to even think about completing my degree. I would once again put my goal of a college degree on the back burner.

 I now have a senior in high school and we have started helping him look at colleges and weigh his options for the future. As a parent you always want your children to have more and better opportunities than you did. I want desperately for him to go to college and finish. I want him to know that it’s more than a “piece of paper” and that there is more at stake than how much money you can earn or what kind of awards you can win.

 I want him to feel the sense of pride and accomplishment that comes as a result of hard work, along with hours of dedication and sacrifice. I want him to be a college graduate.

 So, that is why I am going back. That is why I am going back to school, and why I am going to finish what I started 28 years ago.

 I know it sounds crazy. Why would I start this now when we are getting ready to put our oldest through college next year?  Well, that’s exactly why, because we are getting ready to put our oldest through college next year, and I want to show him through my own experiences why it’s so important to have that “piece of paper.” I want him to finish what he starts. I want him to have high expectations for a future that will include personal, as well as, financial success. I want him to have a college diploma.

 I’m not going to kid myself into thinking this will be easy. I will still have responsibilities as a wife and mother and a fulltime job that will require my dedication, but I know deep in my heart that this is the right time and the right thing to do.

 And I can’t wait to get my hands on that “piece of paper.”


Filed under All About Me, College Life

How to Tell If You Live In a House Full of Boys

  • Your toilet seats are always up.

 I have been baptized, by immersion, in my own toilets in the middle of the night more times than I care to recall.

  •  You have a full arsenal of weapons.

Should our house ever come under attack, we are fully prepared with an armory of air soft and nerf guns, as well as a complete supply of plastic swords and knives of all shapes and sizes. Should the battle take an inter-galactical turn, we are prepared with numerous light sabers.

  •  Your washing machine has a special setting for “camo.”

 I wash a lot of camouflage clothing, and we don’t hunt. In fact we have enough to outfit a small army. See the item above to understand the need for so much camo.

  •  You purchase milk and cereal in bulk quantities.

 We go through more gallons of milk and boxes of cereal in a week than I can count. I have watched an entire box of cereal disappear within 45 minutes of entering our home. Our boys firmly believe that “cereal isn’t just for breakfast anymore” because they eat it night and day.

These are just a few of the things that I have found that indicate a household full of boys. I’m sure all you moms of boys have others. What are your tell-tell signs that a boy lives in your home?

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Filed under Around the House, The Boys Are Back

New Favorite

As holidays go, Christmas has always been high on my list of favorites. However, this year, I made a discovery. I discovered that Christmas Eve is my new favorite.

I have finally realized that I like the waiting. I like the build up, the hype, the anticipation that occurs on the day before Christmas. I love the last minute shopping, wrapping, cooking and running around that Christmas Eve inevitably brings with it.

Now don’t get me wrong. I still love the magic of Christmas morning: getting up way too early because three boys can’t wait another minute to open their presents, listening to the crackle of the Christmas morning fire and smelling the much needed coffee brewing in the kitchen. Being surrounded by my family and feeling the strong sense of contentment that loving them brings me.

All that being said; I still like Christmas Eve more.

I look forward to taking care of last minute details; tracking the progress of Santa and his reindeer so that little boys know when they need to go to bed. I love Christmas Eve church services with flickering candlelight and “Silent Night” being sung by voices young and old.

I treasure the late night gift wrapping sessions with my Hubby and trying to sneak through the house without waking anyone. Finally laying my head down on my pillow, thankful for another year of God’s blessings, and realizing that I am wide awake, can’t sleep and in less than five hours, three boys will be bouncing on our bed in an attempt to wake us up.

I imagine the expectation that Mary must have experienced as she waited to hear the cries of her baby boy; the way she must have felt as she prepared to give birth to the Savior of the world. I think about the anticipation that generations have felt as they wait for HIS return.

Waiting for something that is worth more than any other gift you can receive.

I ponder the vastness of an eternity spent with no more waiting.

But for now, I wait. And I like the waiting.

Yes, Christmas Eve is officially my new favorite.

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Filed under All About Me, Random Ramblings, You Gotta Have Faith

Intentional Southern Girl Meets Accidental Country Girl

When I started blogging a few years ago, I had a few “must read” blogs that I visited and read with regularity. One of those blogs belonged to a fellow redhead who calls herself The Pioneer Woman. Little did I know where reading a few posts from her site each week would lead.

I started with the chapter by chapter story of how she met the man of her dreams and it was’t long before I was hooked by the daily pictures and updates of her rural existence.

Somewhere along the way she and I took very different paths with our blogs. I flew below the radar, choosing to avoid the limelight, while she grew her readership with witty writing, breathtaking photography and recipes that would make you slap your mama. I’m still trying to figure out where I went wrong.

Pioneer Woman, or PW as all her close friends call her, has taken her blogging success to the next level. She took some of her most popular recipes, photos and stories and married them all together into a best selling cookbook called “The Pioneer Woman Cooks – Recipes From An Accidental Country Girl.”

She has been on a self-proclaimed Griswold Family book signing tour over the past few weeks and as luck would have it, she visited a city close to me last night. And I got to meet her. And she signed my book. And more importantly, she told me I didn’t look as old as I actually am. I’ve decided she can be my friend.

Well, right back at you PW! In fact, maybe your next book should be one that shares your country girl beauty secrets. Until then, I’ll keep reading your blog, trying out your recipes and following your life (in a totally non-stalkerish kind of way) through the fantastic photos and stories you share with us.

And just to think – if I had tried harder, I might be the one autographing a bestseller and enjoying and all that fame and fortune.


Congratulations on your success, PW, and thanks for coming to town.

I forgot my camera (gasp!) so the only pictures I have of last night’s event are from  the thoughtful gals in line behind us. The cute, little blonde with me is my friend, Andi, who is just as big a stalker fan of Pioneer Woman as I am. We had an awesome time!

Meeting Pioneer Woman - she's very friendly!

"Ok girls, chins out and shoulders back." We had a good laugh over that.


Filed under All About Me, BlogStuff, Cool Stuff & Beyond