Long Live the Guest Book

A few years ago I took a history walk from a local historian and our current mayor, John Sellers. Now, while John knows just about everything there is to know about Hopkins County, he actually speaks all over Texas and the USA. We were touring an old home on College Street, and this home was once the hub for many parties. He said that prior to the tour he was looking through an old guest book, and he came across his mother’s signature, signed with her maiden name. For some reason, this story left a major impression on me.

I think back to all of the parties and gatherings we’ve had at our home, and, while we do a great job of taking a group picture at every event, I couldn’t help but wonder what piece of history we may have missed. So, I started looking for guest books. I found dozens in the $100+ range. Most were designed for weddings, but I found this Guest Book: Illustrated Nature Edition for less than $15.
I absolutely love it! I’m doing my best to find another one that allowed for menus of parties, etc., which I thought would be too fun to look back on. One day I have a feeling the pendulum will swing the other way, and our grandkids will enjoy the hardcopy items of things the internet just can’t replace. I’ve purchased this book and have it in our entryway. If you visit, plan to sign. 🙂

 

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Thursday Tales and Traditions

Tonight I’ll have the opportunity to speak at my alma mater, Texas A&M University-Commerce. This is where I met my husband. This is where my parents met. And this is where my grandfather attended to start this legacy. I hope that one day my kids will have the opportunity to walk the grounds as students, too. While the name has changed multiple times (originally East Texas Normal College, which was a teachers’ college), the traditions have remained the same.

TAMUC isn’t a very large school. There are around 15,000, which is a size I absolutely love. I felt like we knew nearly everyone. I had the opportunity to be involved as much as I wanted. The bar is set high for all students there, and it’s constantly being destroyed. The Lions are the 2017 Divion II National Champions. That’s wonderful in and of itself. However, the school has numerous sporting teams ranked in the top 10. They excel academically, too. To say I’m honored to be chosen to speak on business etiquette at this school is a vast understatement.

I always lead any speaking engagement with the statement that I teach Southern etiquette. What is so different about Southern etiquette? Well, white after Labor Day or before Easter is a primary difference. Another difference is that in business etiquette, women remain the “more important person,” all other things equal. Southern etiquette also places a much higher emphasis on tradition.

If you’ve been keeping up with the news lately, you know a new royal baby has been born. Even as an American I love this. It reminded me of one of my favorite Southern etiquette books, though. A Southern Belle Primer: Why Princess Margaret Will Never Be a Kappa Kappa Gamma.

This book was full of both facts and fun. It’s really one of my staples. There is a follow up, though it’s a bit harder to find and is usually more expensive. It is New Times In The Old South: Or Why Scarlett’s in Therapy & Tara’s Going Condo.
Readers, this is where I need your help. I have recently run across A Southern Belle Primer: Or Why Paris Hilton Will Never Be a Kappa Kappa Gamma. I’m curious as to whether it’s simply a name update or if the book has actually changed.

Just for fun, the book I’ve recently purchased is: The Southerner’s Handbook: A Guide to Living the Good Life.
If you haven’t read it, Garden & Gun was introduced to me by one of my Southern Belle friends, Chaney. I have been addicted ever since! I hope y’all enjoy these books! If you’ve already read any of them, I’d love to hear your thoughts. 🙂 As always, thank you for reading!

 

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Fun Weekend Full of Grace

So this past weekend was one full of fun, family, friends and grace. As is pretty par for the course for me, I overbooked the whole weekend. Due to the grace of friends, it all ended up being okay, which I’m very thankful for!

Each Saturday before July 4th, we have our Independence Day Concert, which is hosted by the Sulphur Springs Symphony League. The Northeast Texas Symphony Orchestra sets the perfect patriotic tone, and a beautiful fireworks show follows the performance. I work for a local bank that is one of the major underwriters of this event, and we hand out free goodies to the attendees each year. I knew I would need to be in town that evening, but I woke up on Saturday morning raring to go. We decided to head east in Pittsburg, Texas.

     Grant and Katherine about to enjoy hotlinks!

I’m a big supporter and lover of small towns. We first went to enjoy Pittsburg hotlinks (I had the amazing frito chili pie….truthfully, I love all concession stand-like food), and my kiddos split a buger but devoured more than their fair share of hotlinks, as well.

After we ate, we headed over to Efurd Orchards, where we got to pick our own blackberries.

               Picking blackberries!
              A rare picture of just the two of us.

As you can see by the clouds, the weather wasn’t the best, BUT that did mean amazingly cool temperatures, which I loved! The entire place was beautiful, but watching my kiddos’ faces as they picked blakcberries took the cake. We even remembered to get a family photo!

                                The whole family.

After we finished picking the 3 1/2 pounds of berries (enough for a cobbler and extra snacking berries!), we headed back to the main area for ice cream (the kids got strawberry, and I chose peach) and peaches for days! If I had had enough sense, I would have gotten a watermelon, too, for a party we had on Sunday.

Happy kids with homemade strawberry ice cream!

We were going to run by Los Pinos winery, too, but time (and the rain that ended up coming) got the better of us. We made it back in time for me to work my shift and to watch the beautiful fireworks!

              The WHOLE family (my mom’s side).

Sunday was my aunt and dad’s birthday. After church, we headed out to my aunt’s house for a birthday lunch for the two of them.

Then, just after presents, we headed over to our friends’ home for swimming and grilling. And my etiquette fail of the week.

I had told my friend I’d bring watermelon to their house for Sunday. However, that’s literally what I did. I brought the watermelon. It wasn’t cut up or even cold. 🙁 Thankfully, with the help of Sharla and the grace of Chelsea, it worked out. But I’m still beating myself up about it today BECAUSE….etiquette is about consideration of others. I hate that I just brought an uncut watermelon. By letting myself run out of time, I wasn’t able to do everything we were doing to the best of my ability. And that bothers me. I’m very grateful to have friends who just wanted to spend time with us, but I never want to take advantage of them. It helped me realize I truly ENJOY etiquette and consideration of others, which will be my “why” for next time.

Thank you for reading!