When you want to make a good first impression…


So you know how much we love Bowman…how obsessed i am about his happiness and well-being.  Yes?  Yes.

We’ve been looking for someone to keep him when we go out of town. We don’t go out of town that often, but still.  I need to know that he is loved and happy. I found a great retired couple who live about 20 minutes away and they came over this afternoon to meet him.


We were like people trying to get their child into THE perfect kindergarten. Good impressions count. I went from work to the chiropractor and then home. Bo and Hank got home from the farm about 20 minutes before the sitters arrived and we got him (Bo, not Hank) brushed and smelling all sweet. I combed his ears and he was OH so handsome.

While we waited, I gave Bo a good pep talk about not getting overly excited and reminded him that he should not jump on people when he meets them because lots of people don’t like that. He’s our little work in progress.

He heard a car drive up. Hank opened the door and I saw the look in Bowman’s eyes. He was getting ready to run out to greet them in grand style. I had my iPad in one hand and was trying to hold Bo back with the other. Then I don’t actually know what happened. Bo was out the door. I was on the floor. The iPad was out on the deck at the feet of the people coming up the back steps. Hank didn’t know whether to go after Bo or see about me. I’m happy to say that he chose me.

To their credit, the sitters did not turn around and drive away. We had a lovely visit and signed Bo up. The minute they left, Hank laughed until he cried. Bowman needs another class at puppy school.

I’m fine, by the way…just might need the chiropractor again sooner rather than later.

So much for first impressions…

My Every 4th Year Election Season Message! And one more much more important item!!

I’m not fond of labels and certainly not fond of propaganda. I’m reasonably smart. I do not believe that everybody I know should agree with me from a political standpoint (that may be fudging the truth…I DO think that everybody should agree with me on EVERYthing but that’s wrong and I’ll continue to pray on it), nor that they are any less smart or intuitive than I just because their politics differ from mine.

And that’s OK. People who know me well know my politics…and that I’m the kind of gal who stands by her convictions. Having said thus, and agreeing that folks surely are entitled to put what they desire on their blogs or Facebook pages, my bottom line is this:

I don’t have time or energy for all sorts of negative dithering about between now and Election Day. If that’s “your deal” then have at it. I’ll see you again on the world wide web later this fall. I’ve got church activities…a bridal shower to throw…football games to watch/attend…tailgate parties to organize…joy and sunshine to spread…and work.

Certainly, I’m always up for good discussion and a respectful exchange of ideas. Not so much the name calling and vitriol.

You vote your conscience and I’ll vote mine. We will not discuss this further.

Now. I am at home. Wish I was in Auburn, Alabama. Next week this time I will be in…



How do you want to be remembered?

One Sunday a  year or so ago, Legare leaned over to me before church started and pointed out a memorial to a church member long gone on to glory. There are a number of such on the walls on both sides of the sanctuary. He remarked that he hoped to be remembered similarly…and I have to agree. I’d like to be remembered this way as well…

photo (2)

My buddy

In honor of the beginning of a new school year, an old post about a former student!

Dook is a senior in our high school.  He’s a character…a good old boy with a big old heart. He’s a hard worker when doing something he likes,  but NOT a big fan of academic endeavors. Dook and I have an interesting relationship.  Most mornings, if I’m out and about when he walks in, he says, Good morning, Mrs. Southern…I love ya. Sometimes he growls at me like a bear.

For the first few weeks, Dook took his time getting into the school groove and got behind in his work. At that point, I started laying down the law. We had a few rocky weeks. Finally one morning I was OVER it.  Dook loves coming to the office and that particular day he stuck his head in my door about 9 a.m. and declared, Mrs. S…I’m signing out at 1:30.  It was time for some tough love, so I turned in my chair and replied, You know what Dook, why don’t you go on and sign out now.  You’re practically a grown man and if you don’t WANT to do what it takes to graduate in May, I apparently can’t make you. 

He went back to class.

Two days later, my door was closed, so he went to my secretary and said, Will you please go tell Mrs. S. that I’m signing out at 1:00?  She came around the back way to tell me and I replied loudly, No he’s not! I heard a growling sound through the door, but he went back to class and we had four really good weeks.

Around noon today, Dook was at my door.  He started with, Mrs. S…you know I’ve been working really hard on my school work and I haven’t signed out a single time lately.  I’m going to leave now.

Dook, I said, I know you’ve been working hard and I am VERY proud of you, but it’s Friday and school is out at 3:00.  What in the world do you have to do between now and 3:00 that is so important?

Well, he countered pointing to his lower left jaw, these teeth have been bothering me when I eat anything hot or cold so I’m going to the dentist.

(Dook is not a good actor…)

Belle:  What time is your appointment?

Dook:  Well (pause) I don’t exactly have an appointment.  I need to call.

Belle:  Come on over here and use my phone. I don’t think you’re going to get a last minute appointment on a Friday afternoon but if you CAN, I won’t give you any grief about leaving.  I wouldn’t want you to suffer with a toothache all weekend. That would be TERRIBLE!!! I’d worry about you ALL weekend long.

(I, on the other hand CAN act…)

Dook:  Well (pause) I don’t have the number…it’s at home.

Belle (getting tired of the “wells”):  For pete’s sake Dook, what’s the dentist’s name…I’ll look up the number.

Dook (putting his hand on his upper RIGHT jaw):  Mrs. S…I know it’s hard to believe (he looks up at the ceiling) but I can’t remember the name of the dentist.  Besides, I need to make sure it’s OK with my mama if I go.

ME:  Come on and call her. She’ll know the name of the dentist. Get the good word from her and we’ll call for that appointment.

Dook: MRS. S….OK…PLEEEZE let me leave early because I’ve REALLY BEEN WORKING HARD!!!

Belle (all shocked like):  Dook, are you telling me that you do NOT have a toothache????

Dook (looking at the floor):  No ma’am. 

ME:  You almost had me there, pal.  Tell you what…let’s split the difference.  You can sign out at 1:30.

He growled.

I growled back, but I was really smiling inside.  Apparently, Dook has forgotten that, at 18, I can’t MAKE him stay if he really takes a mind to leave. 

At 1:30, I was standing in the hall as he blazed by on his way out of the door.

Dook:  Love ya, Mrs. S

ME:  Right back atcha, Dook. 

That boy is going to get a high school diploma on May 31, and I’m going to be the one handing it to him, probably through tears.  The only person in that room who’ll be more proud will be his mama.

Memory lane…tap dancing through life

I’ve been reminiscing my way through the old blog and there are some posts that I am going to share over here on the new blog. I started the old one in 2007 as Lorelai was starting her senior year in high school and Legare his senior year in college. I pushed through pretty well until both were done with school  If you’re an old blog reader, you may occasionally have a sense of deja-vous.

Back in the day, a dance teacher came from a nearby small town to our even smaller town to give lessons every Wednesday afternoon at the American Legion Hut. She had bright red hair piled up on top of her head and taught it all…ballet, jazz, and tap. As I recall, she wore leotards and bright caftans all the time. My friend, Karen (on the far left) and I (next to her) were in a class with two older girls, Melanie and Evelyn. This particular recital would have been at the end of our second year of lessons. Karen’s mom, our beloved Miss Helen, leaned over to my mother during our dance and exclaimed, “LOOK, Melanie and Evelyn don’t know what they’re doing…they’re not in step with our girls AT all!”

You’ve got to love Miss Helen’s faith in Karen and me…Unfortunately, my daddy had his camera at the ready and the evidence is pretty compelling that as tap dancing through life goes, Karen and I were destined to find another way through.


The tranquility room…

Get ready for next week’s BIG reveal of my tranquility room. If you know me then there is no doubt in your mind, I’m certain, that I could benefit from some tranquility on a regular basis.

My tranquility room rug is ready and my tranquility room chair was delivered on Monday. Just a few finishing touches and it’s ON!! Calm…peacefulness…SERENITY NOW!!!!



The baby girl is 26!


Lorelai had a birthday last week.  She turned 26 years old on July 26th and one of her best of the best friends, Amanda, flew down from New Jersey for stay few days.  Sweet Miss Amanda, even though born and raised in NJ, fits the bill as a Daughter of the South. She and Lor met at Clemson and I’ve no doubt that they will be life-long friends. Amanda was visiting with us during their senior year spring break and was with Lorelai the night that she and Butler met.

Senior Year Fun!



And of course, Amanda was one of Lorelai’s bridesmaids…


Lorelai, no longer merely a petite belle, is doing just what we always knew she would…she’s making a difference in this big crazy world of ours. She loves fiercely and cares passionately. She’s only 30 semester hours away from her doctorate in education but says that enough is enough when it comes to school for now.

She is her daddy’s girl for sure!

7-23-2009 9;12;05 PM


She also likes her own way…as evidenced by the photo below from when she and Butler visited Amanda and he was obviously not paying Lor enough attention.


She’s our baby girl. What a precious blessing!





Two weddings in two years…

Daughters of the South love weddings. Sometimes; however, it is possible…ever so slightly possible…that some of us get so caught up in timelines and the process that we get a little crazy when our own children are getting married. Yes. OK.  I got a little crazy. Two weddings, though, in 11 months and three weeks…Lorelai and Butler on June 13, 2015 and Legare and Robert on June 4, 2016. One a Charleton event and the other in the mountains of North Carolina. After two years of thinking of weddings every single day, there is a part of my mind all freed up to consider other things now. I like it.

We’ve just gotten the pictures back from Legare’s wedding and I must share a few.  (We DoftheS mothers  believe that everyone is as excited about our children’s weddings as are we.) Enjoy!

The WestglowR&M-004R&M-192

Butler, Lorelai, Legare, Yours Truly and HankR&M-120

Big brother and little sisterR&M-114

And Lorelai gains another brotherR&M-126R&M-128The two familiesR&M-125

The rain stopped for the ceremonyR&M-244

The pastorsR&M-375

It would appear that I am still trying to give instructions at the receptionR&M-410

Guests in the libraryR&M-596

The view you never tire of…beautiful still at dusk.R&M-597

Three cakes…coconut, chocolate and caramelR&M-428

The Furman friends. R&M-612

There are SO many pictures that I can’t possibly show them all.  More later, maybe.