Day 2 – Spring Break (Assault on the Piggy Corners!)

It’s Day 2!  Still trying to get the fire going in the wood stove, if that tells you anything.

I made a dent, be it ever so small, in my de-clutter list yesterday.  I started in the master bedroom.  It’s finally warm enough to throw open the curtains and remove some of the piles of covers from the bed.  With all the sunlight streaming through the windows, you can easily spot the piggy corners.

What are piggy corners, you ask?  That’s what I call those little areas that are clutter magnets.  Some are decorative chairs by the lamp table that are draped with clothes that didn’t make it to the closet or the hamper.  Some are innocent boxes that have become overstuffed with items that never made it to the basement.  Most people have piggy corners.  Some even have piggy closets and rooms.  (I don’t have a piggy room, but I do confess to having a piggy closet.)

Why would I spend my precious Spring Break time ridding my home of piggy corners?

Part of de-cluttering my life to make way for my future – cleansing emotions and toxic thought patterns – is to de-clutter my environment.  Mess can be depressing, and I don’t have time or the energy to be depressed!  I’m on a mission.

I may not get very many piggy corners checked off the list today, but I will be “bringing home the bacon” in some strategic areas!  Here piggy, piggy!

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Day 1 – Spring Break Adventure!

Okay, I’ve seen the pictures on Facebook.  You know the ones of the beaches, flip flops, and squinty-eyed smiles from the fabulous sunshine.  I now realize that I never appreciated the warmth of the Gulf Coast.  Never experiencing the snow and below zero windchills of the NE Indiana winters, I thought flip flops were year round foot attire.  Boy, did I have a lot to learn!

So, it’s day one of my Spring Break.  No students for one week!  What do I do with this gift of time?  Last Friday I sat with my daughter for some dream spinning.  I created a list of things that I wanted to accomplish by January 1, 2016 – a list of possibilities and promises not yet fulfilled.  The problem with lists is that you (I) can spend all my time making and refining lists and never actually accomplish anything on them.  :-/

I decided to take a walk outside as gardening and landscaping is on the list.  The sun is shining through the windows, so being outside sounds like a win-win!

Can you see it?  There!  Pushing its way through the thawing ground.  It's my first glimpse of Spring!

Can you see it? There! Pushing its way through the thawing ground. It’s my first glimpse of Spring!

Well, the sun may be shining, but the windchill is still too darn cold!  Thankfully, my tulips and daffodils are making a comeback without my help.  Gardening will have to wait for another day.

Time to stoke the fire and reevaluate the list!  😉

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Help! I’ve Lost a Year!

Well, I just pulled up my Southern Perks blog to dust off the pages and was nearly choked by the dust!  You could have knocked me over with a feather.  I knew I had let it lay dormant for awhile, BUT I had no idea it had been almost 1 year!  How is that possible?

Well, here I am at a crossroads yet again.  No, we’re not moving, but my current position is ending in May.  I have been tutoring a young man for the last several years and have learned more than I ever thought possible about raising pigs.  You see, he is a pig farmer.  He raises and shows pigs and dreams of making pigs his life’s profession.  This May he graduates!  I am proud of his accomplishments and blessed to have been his teacher, but now I am presented with a wide open field of opportunities.

Have you ever been there?  Have you ever had too many choices?

Baskin Robbins Logo

I’m the person that might walk into a Baskin Robbins 31 Flavors (ice cream store) and be overwhelmed by the options.  Not that I would want them all – I don’t like nuts of any kind (although I do like peanut butter) or fruit pieces in my ice cream – but there are still too many choices that I do like.

Mint Chocolate Chip

Mint Chocolate Chip

Lemon Custard

Lemon Custard

Do I stick with the tried and true, knowing that I really enjoy it; OR do I go with something new and hope I don’t hate it.  What if I like it even better????

I’m throwing caution to the wind!  We never know how many hoorahs we will have in this lifetime, so I’m going for it!  You’re invited to come along.  If you’ve been where I’m going or wish you had, drop me a line of encouragement or lesson-learned wisdom.

Here goes everything!

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It’s a Sign – Garage Sale!

FINALLY, the endless winter of 2013-14 has given up the ghost.  Snow shovels have been retired, boots have been packed away to make room for flip flops, and signs of life (tulips, daffodils, and irises) are popping up all over the place!  🙂

One of my favorite signs of spring, however, is this sign – “Garage Sale!”

Coming from the Texas Gulf Coast, I am not accustomed to garage sale seasons.  We had garage sales all year long.  Sure they may have slowed down during the “winter” while people redirected their shopping to the local malls for Christmas specials, but they never really went away.

In NE Indiana there is a garage sale season!  Who knew?!?  Granted it is difficult to stage a garage sale, much less get to one, when the roads are snow laden and the only vehicles out and about are the plow trucks; it just never occurred to me.  DUH!

I am soooo excited!  The first few sales have started appearing in the classifieds.  A couple community-wide sales have been held to kick off the season.

I now ask for all my change to be given in one dollar increments.  I am on the hunt!

I made my first purchases at the community garage sale.  I bought a bread machine for my daughter for $3.00, originally marked for $10.00, and a bread machine cookbook for my collection for $2.00.  I need one more bread machine for my younger daughter.  (I love hunting for others!)  I already have two myself, both garage sale finds, that keep us in homemade bread.  Yum!

Since I know there is a season and my treasure hunting is limited, I will be making the most of my opportunities.  I will accumulate enough treasures to keep me busy through the winter (AKA Garage Sale Off-Season) reimagining, repurposing, and giving new life to old treasures.

I will not be caught off guard this year!  Happy Hunting!  🙂

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Nuggets from NaNa – Being Respectful and Respectable

My NaNa would have been considered old fashioned, even in her day.  She believed there was a difference between a woman and a lady.  Every lady was a woman, but not every woman was a lady.

She taught me many things about being respectful and respectable:

  • How and when to stand – Good posture was a must (stand up straight, shoulders back, no slouching) and always stand when being introduced to elders or to give them your seat
  • How to sit – We wore lots of dresses with starched petticoats in those days (sit up tall, back straight – I still don’t use the back of a chair, feet on the floor, and by all means knees together!)
  • When to speak and when to be silent – Children/young adults were to be seen and not heard and only to speak when spoken to.  If we had to speak, we never interrupted but waited to be recognized and always said “Excuse me”.
  • How to address adults – We never called an older adult by his or her first name!  That was considered the ultimate disrespect!  If they were close to the family, they were either “Aunt” or “Uncle”.  We could use their first name if it was preceded by “Miss” or “Mister”.

At the time there seemed to be too many rules, but they became a way of life – life in the South – and are sadly missed in these “anything goes” times we live in today.

Bottom line is if you want to be respected, you have to be respectable.  And, try showing a little respect first!


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Let Me Call You Sweetheart!*

Did I mention that I love holidays!  I’ll take any excuse to decorate and celebrate the special people in my life.  This year I made goodie boxes with Hershey Kisses and homemade fudge and red velvet covered cream cheese truffles.  I’ve never made truffles before but will definitely make them again and in different flavors.  (I’m already thinking about making mint ones tinted green for St. Patrick’s Day!  Shhh!)

The Hershey Kisses were left over from Christmas and purchased at a deeply discounted price.  Love when that happens!  🙂  You may notice the green and purple ones in the background.  They will be used for St. Patrick’s Day and Easter.  For my cousins and friends in the Bayou country, they would make great favors for a Mardi Gras party.  Left over toilet paper tubes covered in scrapbook paper and tied with red ribbon served as favor boxes.

Sorting Kisses and Tube Containers

I also made “ice cream sodas” for the ladies.  They were calorie-free except for the “straws”. 😉

Single Ice Cream Soda Gift  Three Ice Cream Soda Gifts

They could have easily been filled with candy (conversation hearts, kisses, Skittles, etc.) but are a great alternative to all the calorie laden treats.  🙂  They were filled with rolled up Valentine’s socks with a mesh shower scrub for the “whipped cream”.  After searching and searching I found the soda glasses at area thrift shops.

* Let Me Call You Sweetheart – Music by Leo Friedman, Lyrics by Beth Slater Whitson; 1910.

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Groundhog Day Upset!

Sunday was Groundhog Day and the Superbowl!

Punxsutawney Phil was supposed come out of his hole, not see his shadow, and announce to the world the coming of an early spring .  Did not happen!  We are now in the throes of our second of three possible snow storms this week and digging out of 15-20″ drifts.  I have to admit that I do love the snow and all its beauty, but I am no longer praying for snow to keep my family and friends still talking to me.  🙂

The second upset happened on the football field.  Nowhere is football more revered than in the South, unless of course it is Superbowl Sunday when all of America becomes a fan.  I did not have a dog in the hunt – or a team in the game – but did not let that stand in the way of throwing a party.

We were divided in our allegiance to the two teams which kept things interesting, at least for the first few minutes before the game became a runaway train wreck.  The rest of the game we entertained ourselves with Superbowl Bingo, Orange Crush, Wolf Brand Chili, chocolate chip cookies, and Blue Bell Ice Cream (Homemade Vanilla, of course).

I missed most of the plays as I was collecting new words for next year’s Bingo game.  Gotta plan ahead!  If the snow lets up this week, I will make my way to the local stores to see what Superbowl items I might find in the clearance racks for 2015.  That’s where I found the referee “shirts” last year.  Woo Hoo!

Denver Bronco "helmets", Orange Crush "Referees", and Superbowl Bingo!

Denver Bronco “helmets”, Orange Crush “Referees”, and Superbowl Bingo!

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Why Southern Perks?

First reason:

Perk (noun) – a good thing that you have or get because of your situation  (

What was my “situation”?  Growing up in the South, the Gulf Coast of Texas to be exact.  What was my “perk”?  Having a southern NaNa!

Second reason (or maybe the first):

My NaNa’s nickname was Perk.  My Daddy, her son by marriage, called her Perk for years.  I thought it was because coffee was made in a percolator in those days, and regardless of what else might be happening, the “world” stopped every day promptly at 3:00 pm for coffee.  After checking with my Aunt Donna to investigate the origin of the nickname, I discovered that NaNa was given the name Perk after an early radio soap opera, “Ma Perkins” (  Ma Perkins was a widow who took in people who needed help, was ever ready with an encouraging word or a little homespun wisdom, and always had extra room at her table for those who needed a meal or maybe just a little sense of family.  That was my NaNa! Perk was a perfect nickname for her.

NaNa instilled (or at least tried to instill) her values and Southern graces in her two daughters and three granddaughters.  It is our joy, and some might say our duty, to pass those on to our daughters and granddaughters.

NaNa’s been gone for almost 38 years now and my Momma for a little over 17 years.  I’ve been transplanted from the Gulf Coast beaches to the Midwest farmlands, but my Southern Perks are deeply embedded and continue to mold and inspire my life.

As we sit together a spell and maybe share a little coffee (or hot tea), I hope a little Southern “wisdom” and hospitality will inspire your life as well.

I’m so glad you stopped by; y’all come back!

— Cindy (AKA: Momma H)

A Third Generation Southern Perk

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