Musings from a promise-collector

Archive for the ‘Life in the South from a Northerner’s Perspective’ Category

Thankful Thursdays


This Thursday I am thankful for:

1. Dutch letters! Oh, they are the most wonderful confection.
I get them only once or twice a year, but they are wonderful… especially the ones that come from my cousin’s world-famous bakery (Jaarsma’s) in Pella,Iowa. While I was home last weekend, I got to partake of their flaky goodness, and rich almond paste centers. (Am I making you drool yet??)

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Pineapple Delight


I celebrated St. Patrick’s Day with some of my friends from Fellowship Church. We had an “It’s Not Easy Being Green” party, where everything was green-themed, including the food. So for my food items, I brought a fruit salad made entirely of green fruits (grapes, kiwis, Granny Smith apples, and pears) and Pineapple Delight (also known as Men’s Delight).

Pineapple Delight is what you would call a “salad” in the Midwest, meaning that it is usually Jell-O based and has some type of fruit in it. This is one of my favorite salads – I remember my great-grandmother making it for holidays. And it is very easy to make.

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Birds of Tennessee


This winter and spring I have noticed many differences and similarities in the birds between Illinois and Tennessee. The two states have many birds in common, including the Cardnial, Bluejay, Robin, Mourning Dove, Goldfinches, and many other small Finches.

Goldfinch (Photo Source)

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A Day With Flat Stanley


Last week in the mail I received a Flat Stanley from a friend’s 2nd grade son in South Dakota. If you have never heard of Flat Stanley, you should check out the synopsis on Wikipedia. I spent Saturday afternoon in downtown Knoxville with my friend Theresa, showing Flat Stanley all of the sites. Here are some of the highlights:

First we showed him Market Square – this is a great place to hang out. There are restaurants and cute little shops. In the summer, they play free movies in the square; in the winter there is an ice skating rink.

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Rocky Top


Having lived in Knoxville now for the better part of a year, I have come to learn that there is a song that every Tennessee resident must know how to sing. I have heard it everywhere, particularly at concerts and other large events (including outdoor church services), and includes boisterous singing by all. It is especially known for being the unofficial fight song of the University of Tennessee.

Of course, wanting to be a good Tennessee resident, I looked up the song on YouTube and have been listening to it and reading the lyrics to make sure that I can sing along next time I find myself in the midst of a “Rocky Top” sing-a-long. (more…)

Road Impatience


Road rage is an aggressive or angry behavior by a driver of an automobile or other motor vehicle. Such behavior might include rude gestures, verbal insults, deliberately driving in an unsafe or threatening manner, or making threats. Road rage can lead to altercations, assaults, and collisions which result in injuries and even deaths. It can be thought of as an extreme case of aggressive driving.” (As stated by Wikipedia.)

I learned to drive in a very small town where the only thing that ever slowed traffic down was a tractor putzing down the middle of the road. I was also taught to drive in an Astro mini van; not exactly top-of-the-line in performance ability. (more…)

Northern Verbiage


Since writing about the Southern Verbiage (see here and here) that I have learned since moving from Illinois to Tennessee, I thought it only fitting that I write about some of the words and phrases that are common to the North.

pop/soda (n.) – any soft drink, different areas of the North use one term or the other exclusively, either side convinced that their word of choice is the correct word

bubbler (n.) – nickname for a drinking fountain; term used to describe how the water bubbles up out of the fountain; term used only in a small pocket of Wisconsin

Want to go with? (example phrase) – common phrase used that ends with a proposition (more…)

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