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Florida, United States
Southern born, Southern reared. It's a quirky place and we are unique folk... These are my people and these are my stories.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Let's Read Like Southerners!

God, Me, And Sweet Iced Tea

About the Book: In the South, nothing is more refreshing than a glass of sweet iced tea. Nothing, that is, except experiencing God in those small, everyday moments.

God, Me, And Sweet Iced Tea is a deeply personal collection of spiritual treasures designed to help readers experience new mercies each morning. Seasoning with insight and grace, this tender devotional points to the divine presence of God in everyday moments. Whether purchased as a personal resource or given as a heartfelt gift, God, Me And Sweet Iced Tea will help readers develop a daily habit of turning to God in those quiet moments of reflection.

About the Author: Rose Chandler Johnson, a Southern girl from a tiny Georgia town, is the author of the devotional blog, Write Moments with God. A devoted Christian and mother of six, she has been a teacher of English and French over the last 20 years. She looks forward to continuing her writing ministry in the years ahead.

Personally from Eva Marie: I met Rose Chandler Johnson at a writers conference about a year ago. I gave a keynote speech and happened to mention something about my hometown in the process. The mention had not been planned ... it was one of those "God Things" we like to talk about.

As soon as I was done with my talk, a woman about four-foot-nothing came sashaying down the aisle toward me, shouting, "Eva Marie! Eva Marie!" She sounded like an old neighbor calling over the fence. I thought to RUN ... but I stood firmly planted ... and was so glad I did. Turned out, she and I grew up not 15 minutes from each other nearly our whole lives. But it took a writers retreat outside of Chicago, Illinois to bring us together.

Throughout the rest of the conference, if you saw one of us, you saw the other. Or near about. She shared with me the hopes of seeing this book in print ... and lo and behold. Here it is.

I encourage you to draw near to God (always) with a little help from this book. Grab those ice tea moments along the way ... you won't be sorry.

A Little Something Extra:

19 Southern Sweet Tea Recipes: Southern Living  

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Let's Think Like Southerner's!

Southerners know their Religions:  

1) Bapdiss
2) Methdiss
3) Football

Southerners know their cities drippin' with Southern Charm:

1) Chawl'stn
2) S'vanah
3) Foat Wuth
4) N'awlins
5) Addlanna

Southern Girls know their Elegant Gentlemen:

1) Men in uniform     
2) Men in tuxedos
3) Rhett Butler

Southern Girls know their Prime Real Estate:

1) The Mall
2) The Country Club
3) The Beauty Parlor

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Random Thoughts from a Southern Mind

After the Verdict

For months, I've kept my eyes open.
     For weeks, I've held my breath.
For days, I willed my heart to keep beating.
And then, in one swift second, the answer came.

I see the photos and video.
     I think, "I love that place so much."
I see the photos and video.
     I think, "I hate that place so much."

And since last night I ponder...

I know what it's like to lose a child.
     I know what it's like to think that
the justice system is the injustice system.
I know what it's like to cry out, "This isn't fair!"

And, I know what it's like to let go.

So, I whisper a warning to those who think
   "What is a month or a year or a decade to hate?
To be angry and bitter?"
And I answer, "More than you want to take on.
Let it go.

Because I know what it's like to ...

Let. It. Go."

Then tonight I am about to toss the fortune cookie.
    Those wrapped sweets I never eat.
But instead I wrestle with the cellophane until it opens.
I eat the cookie and hold on to the fortune.

"Never Give Up" it says.

And I think, Okay.
Of course
I have let it go ... but

I will always cry and
while this fight has ended,
the fight has not.

[Warning: this is not the place to debate the verdict or the case of the State of FL vs. George Zimmerman. In fact, don't comment at all. Think, instead, of any bitterness or anger you are holding on to right now. Give it to God. Let it go. Release. Release. 


Thursday, July 11, 2013

Random Thoughts From a Southern Mind

Something kind of cool happened the other day. Fourth of July ...

Not just the holiday ... but something that happened on the holiday. During our celebration.

Allow me to back up a little.

When our daughter, Jessica, was born, my husband decided to work his full time job and take on a part time job so I could stay home with her. Between the extra income and me not buying lunches out or paying for uniforms, gas, etc ... the money balanced out. Tight, but balanced. We felt that my being with her in those early years was worth it and we chose to make the sacrifices necessary.

As she grew from infant to toddler, she became part of my morning routine. Each morning, we went into the bathroom. I stood at the sink, she on the closed toilet lid where she watched me put on my makeup and my (as she called them) "ton-tacts." (contacts)

Of course she had to do the same. She had a set of "little girl" makeup (which was nothing at all, but she didn't know that) and an empty "ton-tact" solution bottle. As I put on my makeup, she put on hers, carefully imitating my every move. As I put my contacts in, so did she. I stood at the sink with the big mirror. She stood on the toilet with a little mirror, which I'd propped up on a shelf.

So, fast forward 30 years to this past 4th of July.

After eating, I went into the master bath to brush my teeth and freshen my makeup. About three seconds later, here came my baby girl (now with a baby of her own). She keeps a toothbrush at our house and on my side of the bathroom (which is bigger than the entire bathroom of her early childhood). She got it, applied toothpaste, and started to brush her teeth just as I finished brushing mine. Then we both touched up our makeup and brushed our hair, standing side-by-side, looking into one big mirror.

I glanced to her and smiled, remembering. She said something about "those days when I put my 'ton-tacts' in ..." and I knew she remembered too.

Precious memories come in the most amazing moments. And from the most amazing children.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Let's Think Like Southerners

Southerners know ... 
... the movies that speak to their hearts:

Fried Green Tomatoes
Driving Miss Daisy
Steel Magnolias
Gone with the Wind

(What's your favorite?)

Friday, July 5, 2013

Let's Read Like Southerners!

The Wedding Dress

A year or so ago I read The Wedding Dress for the first time. I remember enjoying it ... and I wanted to read it again. To savor it this time.

So, just before my "24 days gone out of 36"--and so much time on a plane--I opened the front cover of the book and dove in for a second time.

Was it better the second time than the first? OH YES! And I thought it was wonderful the first time!

Set in Birmingham, AL and spanning over a hundred years, this is the story of one amazing wedding dress and the four women who wore it on their "most special day." Rachel Hauck, within the pages and words of this work, shows why she is a master storyteller and why this book not only was nominated for several awards, but also won several awards.

Highly recommended.


Amazon:  The Wedding Dress

ChristianBook.com: The Wedding Dress

Barnes and Noble:  The Wedding Dress

Rachel Hauck: Official Website

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Let's Eat Like Southerners

Molded Banana Cream Salad

You will need:

1 8-oz pkg cream cheese
2 TBS mayo
2 TBS lemon juice
1 tsp salt
1/2 c crushed pineapple
1/4 c maraschino cherries
1/2 c walnuts
3 medium-sized bananas
3/4 c heavy cream, whipped

What you will do:

Soften cream cheese. Add mayo, lemon juice and salt. Beat until creamy. Add fruit and nuts; fold into whipped cream. Chill until firm. Can serve on a bed of lettuce.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Let's Learn to Talk Like Southerners!

Yes, it's annoying, but it's also true. Southerners know everybody by their first name. Of course, we only have 3 we really go by:

Honey (Hunny...)
Darling (Darlin')
Sugar (Shug-ah)

And we really don't care how old you are, what sex you are, or where you came from. To us, those 3 names do just fine.

And that's your lesson for talkin' like Suthenahs for today.