Regional Dialect With My Daughter

Ok, how about a funny post for Halloween?!

We all know that dialect, like etiquette, is very regional. I was raised in East Texas by an East Texan who was raised by East Texans and so on. Seriously, our roots here are deep. However, my cute hubby made his way here from California when he was 11. In recent times he’s said “y’all” instead of “you guys.” Our daughter, though, says “y’all guys,” and it couldn’t crack me up more if she tried. Sweet girl is a prime example of mixing regional dialects.

This is what I find so fascinating about etiquette, as well. The mixing of it and the product of “new” etiquette. I’ve never known of a situation when even Emily Post herself simply decided on something new being etiquette. Rather, she would look at the current culture and evaluate whether or not something still applied in that area. People move in. People leave. Lots of external factors are at play when defining the culture of an area. To me, that’s what makes etiquette beautiful, as well.

Fun fact: It’s y’all, not ya’ll. Y’all is a contraction for you all, so the apostrophe goes where the letters are removed.

All Hallows’ Eve – Happy Halloween!

I hope everyone has a very safe and happy Halloween!

Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays. Y’all know I love holidays in general, but the magic of Halloween has always placed it at the top. I also love that it kind of “kicks off” the other holidays of this time of year, making it even more special to me.

So, for today, I’m here to give a brief history of Halloween, as well as a few traditions!

“Halloween’s origins date back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in). The Celts, who lived 2,000 years ago in the area that is now Ireland, the United Kingdom and northern France, celebrated their new year on November 1.

This day marked the end of summer and the harvest and the beginning of the dark, cold winter, a time of year that was often associated with human death. Celts believed that on the night before the new year, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred. On the night of October 31 they celebrated Samhain, when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth.”

Following Halloween is All Saints’ Day on November 1st and All Souls’ Day on November 2nd.

 

Now for some traditions!Soul Cakes

But what about the Halloween traditions and beliefs that today’s trick-or-treaters have forgotten all about? Many of these obsolete rituals focused on the future instead of the past and the living instead of the dead.

In particular, many had to do with helping young women identify their future husbands and reassuring them that they would someday—with luck, by next Halloween—be married. In 18th-century Ireland, a matchmaking cook might bury a ring in her mashed potatoes on Halloween night, hoping to bring true love to the diner who found it.

In Scotland, fortune-tellers recommended that an eligible young woman name a hazelnut for each of her suitors and then toss the nuts into the fireplace. The nut that burned to ashes rather than popping or exploding, the story went, represented the girl’s future husband. (In some versions of this legend, the opposite was true: The nut that burned away symbolized a love that would not last.)

Another tale had it that if a young woman ate a sugary concoction made out of walnuts, hazelnuts and nutmeg before bed on Halloween night she would dream about her future husband.

Young women tossed apple-peels over their shoulders, hoping that the peels would fall on the floor in the shape of their future husbands’ initials; tried to learn about their futures by peering at egg yolks floating in a bowl of water; and stood in front of mirrors in darkened rooms, holding candles and looking over their shoulders for their husbands’ faces.

Other rituals were more competitive. At some Halloween parties, the first guest to find a burr on a chestnut-hunt would be the first to marry; at others, the first successful apple-bobber would be the first down the aisle.

Nail Trends

When I was younger, I remember my granny telling me that one of her top compliments in her life came from her mother-in-law. My great-grandma told my granny that her nails looked very neat and clean. It was a simple statement, but as a child of the Depression, it made quite the impact on my granny. Even with Rheumatoid Arthritis, she always kept her nails well manicured, even if she didn’t paint them any longer.

As a girl she would tell me of the different trends she followed with her nails. In the 1930s and 1940s, the half-moon manicure was very popular, and when she was first on her own, this was the trend she loved. She said she would paint all of her nail other than the area where a half moon would be.  After researching this a bit, it seems the Hollywood crowd would wear their nails longer than my granny did, and they’d also leave the tip bare, other than clear polish.

My own mother also has beautiful nails, and when I was starting kindergarten (1991), I remember them most often as long and red – very fashionable for that time.

Now, though, it seems as though history is repeating itself as it so often does. The half-moon manicure is making a comeback! The next time I get a manicure, I think I’m actually going to attempt this trend as a nod to my granny. I’m going with red, though, for my mom.

Fun fact: There’s an old wives’ tale that states that the more nails you have that have half moons, the more attractive you are.

 

Mixed Up Sayings

Recently I’ve overheard people intending to say, “six of one, half a dozen of the other.” However, I feel like I’m overhearing Ricky talking to Lucy when trying to decipher some of the interpretations. I’ve heard “dozen one, half dozen the other” among many other mixups. However, as sayings are a vital part of the Southern culture, I thought this would be a good time to explain the actual saying, as well as the meaning.

A dozen equals 12. So, half of a dozen equals six. The idiom of “six of one, half a dozen of the other” is saying that the two choices are the same. If a person says this saying, they’re saying that either way is fine or the same.

What sayings do you like? I’d love to hear!

Thanks for reading!

Summer Storms

Ah! I knew it wouldn’t be too soon since my last post about summer storms, and I’m so happy to actually have a couple of pictures to share with you this time! If you’re familiar with the South (Texas in particular), the weather changes more frequently than you change underwear. However, I’m home for lunch, so I grabbed a couple of pictures on my way in. Yes, my hair is a frizzy mess now, but it’s so worth it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

As you can tell from the pictures, you can barely tell it’s raining. Earlier for a very brief minute it was coming down in buckets – just straight down from the sky.

There’s no wind today, so as soon as the cool rain subsides, it’s back to a muggy humidity. For a few scarce minutes, though, the slow rain is the exact thing ones needs to cool the air and soothe the soul. I even seem to be slower in my breathing.

Weather is very nostalgic for me. Like traditions, weather can transport to me a different day – a different place, even. Today’s weather reminds me so much of Jefferson, Texas. This place is incredibly special to me, as it’s a place my parents regularly took me when I was little. It’s also the town where Garrett proposed to me. What’s more special than that?

You know how much I like stories. Here’s one. I remember being little and going to ride in the river boat in Jefferson. When I was young, I thought a nice witch was over it. She just seemed magical. I couldn’t remember her name to save my life, but last year when my mom and I had a mother/daughter day out to Jefferson, my mom and I decided to take another boat ride. We were walking up to get tickets, and my mom studies the lady for just a minute before saying, “Rosemary.”

The lady looks up a little confused and said, “I went by Mary Rose, if that’s who you mean.” It was her. My magical witch! She said she went by her maiden name because her late husband said if she wanted to be in the canoe business, it was her thing. So she did it as a bit of a jab to him.

This lady who took us out on the water 28 years before, when I was 2, led us out again that day, and I found I was just as mesmerized with her. She clearly had no use for shoes, as she went barefooted everywhere. Along the way, we’d pull over for a bit so she could check her alligator traps, which I found quite fitting. She even trusted my mom to steer while she checked the traps! She smiled and laughed the whole time.

I don’t know why she is someone I’ve thought about for nearly three decades, but I’m glad we had the opportunity to meet again.