A Top Ten: It’s Like they Say, Y’all, The South Will Rise Again

Did I ever tell you my undergraduate degree was in Broadcasting? That basically means if you want to be in front of the camera they do their best to spank the southern accent out of you before you graduate. I’ve been out of the South for almost five years now. So I’ve been practicing using that less-southern-accented dialect pretty much all the time over the past five years, in hopes that people will listen to what I say instead of how I’m saying it. (And in hopes that they can understand me!)

But you know, it really is like they say — the south will rise again. Not that I’m expecting the return of the confederacy although the current health care reform situation makes me wonder, but in my words and ways, the southern gets tired of being repressed and starts popping up when I least expect it. You can take the girl out of the south, but you can’t take the south out of the girl.

When the south decides to rise again, here are the top ten ways I see it surface:

10. I put on my Sperry Topsiders (translation: loafers appropriate for wearing on a boat) and the green polka-dot skirt my Mom bought me at Old Navy a couple years ago. The skirt has a matching pink and green belt, and that just feels as southern as the day is long.

9. I make biscuits from scratch and politely disagree with any guests who say they seem just like scones.

8. I call my Mom, Dad, or my friend Debbie who can make any three letter word have two syllables, and let my really, really southern accent drawl right on out!

7. I listen to a CD of Mexican music that reminds me of the Latino Radio Station I like to listen to when I’m home: Noventa y seis punto nueve, effe emme — la que manda en las Carolinas!!! (96.9 FM – the one that rules in the Carolinas.) Poor Hero Hubby.

6. I give my best effort to cooking nice crispy crispy bacon like my grandma used to. I use the bacon grease to try to make my green beans taste like my Mom’s. It never seems to work, though.

5. I bake any recipe I can find that calls for a stick of butter. Food Network + Recipe by Paula Deen = Good tasting stuff (& heart disease).

4. I let a y’all or two slip out in conversation and see if anybody notices.

3. I respond to a surprising situation with a “lawsy!” or a “gee-my-nary!” Gee-my-nary, Bear, how the heck did you get that off the counter? Lawsy, boy yer gone hurt yerself!

2. I don my cowboy hat and take the Bear for a walk around the neighbourhood. People sometimes stop to say “howdy.” No joke. Hearing somebody say “Howdy” with a South African accent is pretty darn amusing.

1. I dress the Bear up like this and we head to church. We need to get him some Sperry Topsiders, too!

He’s ready for the Sadie Hawkins dance with those Khaki Pants!

And I couldn’t be more proud…

even if his shirt comes untucked quick as a whistle.

Could somebody pass me a Cheddar-Bo-Biscuit?


I’m Away Today – Guest Post!

Hey guys and gals!  Hope you are doing well today! I am delighted to share that I’m guest posting on my sweet friend Amanda Avery’s blog today, so please check it out! The pictures to go with the post didn’t upload, so I’ve included them here. 🙂 Hope you enjoy. More to come from Bloemfontein soon! xoxoC

Too funny not to share…


He will give you very good price.

For Sale

Don’t forget to check out Amanda’s blog, or else these pictures won’t make sense!

Thanks for the invitation Amanda!  I hope we can have you on the show here soon! 🙂

Guest Post! The Ten Biggest Myths I was told in my Life

My brother in law, Andy, has a great sense of humour. He and my sister, Dodi, are SUCH a perfect match for each other. There’s probably not another couple in the world that gets more laughs out of farts and pooping dogs. He tells lots of unbelievable (and unbelievably funny) stories, and I think most of them are true! (He really was on American Gladiators!) Andy has arranged a special top ten for you on the blog today. If you’re interested in reading more of his funny stuff, check out his blog, That Happened People! here. Welcome to the show Andy!

The 10 Biggest myths I was Told in My Life

10.  There is a snail in my nose who would bite my finger off if I picked my nose. (Either that snail is slow or I’m quick.)

9.  There’s a Tooth Fairy.  (I knew this was fake when I got an IOU.)

8.  Sitting too close to the TV will make you blind.  (What if the TV is off?)

Dodi and Andy

7.  Mixing Pop Rocks and soft drinks will make your stomach explode. (I tried to use this as an excuse to skip school.)

6.  Pepsi is better than Coca-Cola. (That actually qualifies as a lie.)

5.  Cheaters never win. (Last time I checked Alex Rodriguez and Manny Ramirez took steroids and they won the World Series.)

4.  AOL is tracking my email and if I forward “this email” to 10 people Bill Gates will send me money.  (Don’t worry, Bill, I know you’re good for it.)

3.  There was a secret world on Super Mario Brothers.  (There is no secret world.)

2.  That I could be a professional baseball player.  (This was wrong on so many levels.)

1.  My brother used to tell me I was adopted.  (His story had some weight, I have almost every recessive trait in our family.)

My point: I’m living the American Dream.


Thanks for the laughs, Andy! Funny enough, your wife used to tell me I was adopted too! Love you guys, and can’t wait to meet the wee one on the way!

Guest Post! Top Ten Ways to Corrupt Your Friends’ Children

Top of the Week to ya! And this week it’s especially top! Please welcome our first guest poster, Laura Anne! She’s a friend of mine from Bonnie Scotland, who has arranged a special top ten for you this week. If you’d like to read more from this sweet and funny gal, you can check out her blog here! For now it’s on with the show…

Top Ten Ways to Corrupt Your Friend’s Children

So I’ve just spent a week with 2 families on holiday in Cornwall. Enter an almost-5-year-old, a 3-year-old and an 11 month old into my life.

Exit 3 corrupted children…

Amazingly my parenting friends still let me around their children, but if you’d like to have some fun with none of the responsibility like me, here are 10 tips on how you can corrupt your friends’ children. But apply them at your own peril!

10. At a children’s birthday party, teach kids how to eat Milky Ways the ‘proper’ way. Pick off all the chocolate on the outside (sides first, the bottom, then the top last), then eat the soft nougat bit in the middle.

Same principles apply to Jaffa Cakes and Oreos.

In case you're not from the UK, these are Jaffa Cakes! A lovely mess if eaten 'properly.'

In case you're not from the UK, these are Jaffa Cakes! A lovely mess if eaten 'properly.'

9. If you happen to find yourself in a hotel room with your friend’s child – teach them how to throw themselves on/jump on the bed. When parents come in and say “Now no jumping on the bed,” you say Of course not, no, I would never encourage your child to jump on beds.”

8. Bribe your friends’ daughters into eating their tea (dinner) by offering to paint one of their fingernails or toenails with pink nail varnish for every spoonful they eat.

7. Have many piercings. Kids will ask about them. Then you can tell gory disgusting stories about how each one was done.

6. Entertain babies by rocking out in the form of headbanging with teething toys (noisy ones). By the time they are 18 months old headbanging and moshing will be their preferred methods of dancing and you’ve got the early signs of heavy metal rockstar prodigy right there.

5. Want your friend’s kid to support your football team? Nothing quite like a cute teddy bear dressed in team kit to help them along the way – bear must wear the team scarf. The scarf novelty will make it their favourite bear…and voila…you’ve got another fan!

4. Babysit. With no parents around you can make slides down the stairs with duvets, blow up ready brek in the microwave or get toy lightsabres and re-enact fight scenes from Star Wars.

3. If shopping with children, point out CCTV cameras and tell them that’s ‘elf-vision’…Santa’s preferred method of watching children at all times to see if they should go on his naughty or nice list.

2. Choose your TV programme watching very carefully. If your friend’s kid walks in to find you watching How to Look Good Naked then suddenly you’ll find yourself trying to explain why the lady on the TV thinks she looks hideous and how Gok Wan is trying to help.

1. The ultimate: all children should know we have two stomachs. One for the main course, and the 2nd for puddings and sweeties…but most importantly chocolate and ice cream. That’s why even when kids are ‘full up’ or ‘had enough’ they still have room for pudding!

Thanks for the laughs Laura Anne! And for my American readership, I should note that in the UK ‘pudding’ means any type of dessert, and not just ‘pudding.’

Top Ten Things You Should Know About “Going on Safari” in South Africa

Top of the week to you again! We’ve decided to add a new feature to the site, with more posts about visiting South Africa. We have several friends planning to visit us over the next few years — including some coming quite soon. And, a ton of people will be piling into SA in 2010 as the FIFA World Cup gets underway in awesome venues all around the country! Look for a new page and some great changes coming soon!

We thought we’d begin to prepare our friends (and folks we don’t know) for their trip. Even if you’re not sure when you might be making your way ‘way down South’ we hope you’ll enjoy the photos and suggestions, with some good humour thrown in. Hope to see you here soon!

Photo Courtesy of Waynne Meintjes

Photo Courtesy of Waynne Meintjes

Top Ten Things You Should Know About “Going on Safari” in SA

10. You are going to have to go to a national park or a game reserve to see a lot of the animals you probably want to see. I am sorry if this news disappoints you. Elephants and hippos don’t walk through town as often as you may have imagined.

9. It is good to know that whilst in South Africa, you should say you’d like to go “game viewing” or “go see some game” or “go on a game drive” instead of “go on safari.” When in Rome…try not to be a touron.

8. Some folks will be excited to know you can see game on horseback in some game reserves. I, on the other hand, rue the day I thought this was a good idea. The leisurely two hour jaunt was actually three hours, I still have a scar on my hand from holding the reigns so tightly because my horse was a ninnymuggins, and I walked like a cowboy for the next three days.  It’s an idea, I just don’t know if it’s a good one.

7. There are some game reserves relatively close to Cape Town (a lot of folks would like to kill two birds with one stone and see Cape Town and the Big 5). You will still most likely need to rent a car to get to any of them. Most of the best game reserves, however, are in the northeastern part of the country, near the Kruger National Park. You might therefore consider flying into Johannesburg, seeing some game at a reserve nearer to there, and then taking a domestic flight (Kulula and Mango are good options) to spend some time in the Cape. Problem solved. Alternatively, there are tour groups that do trips to certain reserves, like Aquila, from Cape Town. This is also a good option.

6. All game reserves are not created equal. Pay attention to their websites and what animals they boast on their properties. And then go to Trip Advisor and see what other people thought. A lot of the reserves are like big zoos with tame animals that you have to drive to see.  This is okay and will give you pretty pictures, but it’s not quite the authentic experience. To get the authentic experience, you need to go to the big reserves in the north east of the country, or pay the big bucks at the posh reserves in the Cape.

5. The best time to view game is actually during the winter, when the bush is lower and less verdant, and the temperatures are cooler. In the summer, the bush is high and thick, making game viewing more difficult. The game spend the hottest part of the summer days sheltered in the shade, and normally out of sight.

4. South Africa is in the southern hemisphere! So spring and summer run from September to April, and autumn and winter from May to August.

3. Malaria is only a concern in the northeastern part of the country. If you fear malaria, pay the big bucks and go to the posh reserves in the Eastern Cape. However, you can take malaria medication in preparation for your trip, and you should really be fine. Medical Care in South Africa is very good, in case you’re concerned.

Meow?2. You have the option of going on a field-guide led trip, where you’ll be taken on the back of a Land Rover and driven around, or on a self-driven game drive. Guide-led trips are often the popular option because the field guides are usually in contact with one another by radio, and so have a good idea of where the game is at a particular time. A self-driven trip will be less expensive — you should find information at the entrances of most reserves as to what game has been seen in which areas of the park. You’ll miss out on the knowledge of the field guide, but you’ll save the cash. I’d recommend doing at least one game drive with a field guide. You don’t have to stay on a reserve to go to the reserve and see game. If you decide to do a self-driven game drive, please see the next point for very important details.

1. If you go on a self-driven game drive and the signs say Don’t Get Out of the Car, then Don’t Get Out of the Car. Seriously. Many Asian tourists have lost their lives trying to make a peace sign beside the lions. Actually, this is a good rule of thumb, whether there are signs or not: On a game reserve, Don’t Get Out of the Car. Remember, this is Africa. The Cats don’t meow. They roar.

Top Ten + Four for Fourteen Months with Bear

Top of the week to ya! This Sunday was the Bear’s 14 Month Birthday, and I think that is just plain special! Since everyone seems to like to see pictures of him, and his grandparents most especially miss him, I thought I would arrange a special Top Ten plus Four for you this week, with 14 of our favourite photos of our special wee man.

Hope you enjoy!

1. This one is from the day he was born… His first good shot in good lighting. (The delivery room was kind of dark at 2 am.)

Baby Bear

2. This one is from when my Mom was visiting and helped him nap on his tummy so I could get some rest…

Napping Bear

3. Aunt Dodi gave him this adorable onesie and he just posed so well in it!

Posey Bear

4. One day, I got ready to take the Bear outside in the Scottish cold. I bundled him up and left the room for a moment, because I’d forgotten something. He started crying while I was away. I wondered why he seemed so upset, but then he got really quiet. This is what I returned to…

Sleepy Bear

5. This was taken the first time he saw a Christmas tree. If you look closely, you can see the lights of the tree in his eyes!

Bewildered Bear

6. This was at a snugly wuggly bafftime.

Clean and Cuddly Bear

7. This was also an outfit from Aunt Dodi…also taken in South Africa. How precious is this baby zebra?

Zebra Bear

8. This was in America when he found his feet for the first time. I had no idea how adorable babies playing with their feet could be. We took lots of pictures of him in this pose because he was just being so adorable. At first we got lots of naked shots, which were of course so cute and funny, but then we decided to slap a nappy on him so that he didn’t grow up to rue the day his parents bought a camera. I think that was a good decision.

Tootsie Bear

9. Here is the Bear, posing as a very very very young version of Rocky. Adwiannnn!

Rocky Bear

10. You may have already seen this one…still a personal favourite. The hair, the moobs, the drool…fabulous.

Soggy Bear

11. I call this one ‘the bairn upon the rock’ because this is on the Isle of Skye, in Scotland and ‘bairn’ is a Scots word for child. I don’t know why I love this one. I just do! (Mark was hiding behind the rock to make sure he didn’t fall off!)

Bear on the Rocks

12. Sorry, Mom…I just can’t let this one go. I mean look at his face! (And yours! Tehe!)

Poopy Bear

13. This was at the Bear’s First Birthday Party! He had some of his amazing jungle birthday cake and I think he rather liked it!

Crumbsy Bear

14. And here he is … looking almost grown up! Our 14 Month Old Bear!

Almost Growed Up Bear

So that’s the fantastic fourteen! Many thanks to the little bundle bringing us so much joy!  Happy Birthday Bear!