When in Doubt…

Sometimes you just can’t remember exactly what that protocol rule book would have instructed for the situation you’re in…

Not sure what to do? Just remember the very reason that protocol exists:

Always put others’ needs, wants, and comfort before your own: ask yourself how your actions and words will affect those around you.

Love and serve your fellow man.

Galatians 5:13-14

For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.

For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even this; Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.

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Basic Courtesy

You may still be wondering what exactly to do about that RSVP, and might be completely lost when it comes to which fork to use first… But, you don’t have to be a pro at all-things-protocol to practice basic courtesy.

from weheartit.com

What I’m referring to as Basic Courtesy is the “common sense” of social interaction. Here are a few points, off the top of my head, that would fall into this category.

And, though these may seem pretty easy for us adults, we should remember that even small children are capable of these things!

  • Be pleasant, and make eye contact.
  • Thank more than once.
  • Stay positive. (No whining!)
  • Don’t be nosey.
  • RESPECT OTHER PEOPLE’S PROPERTY/SPACE/HOUSE RULES
  • Take responsibility for your mess, your children (and their messes), your belongings, etc.

The underlying truth in all of this courtesy/etiquette stuff is: love. Show this love by putting others before yourself. When you’re not sure how to handle a situation, think about how you will affect those around you. Just do your best to make that affect positive!

Modern-Day Challenge

As I’ve continued to look at etiquette through the years, I’ve stumbled upon some points that, for many of us, would be quite a challenge.

On EmilyPost.com, I found a page entitled “Party Manners 101”. This is a GREAT list of the basics, and perfect for a quick reference.

There are 13 points, ranging from “Arrive on Time” to “The Thoughtful Afterthought” (regarding thank you notes). What immediately struck me, however, was the second point:

Turn off your cell phone.
While you’re at a party, consider yourself unavailable. If you’re expecting a call or must be reachable, put your phone on vibrate and excuse yourself to another room to take the call. Never use or answer a host’s phone without permission. If you are asked to answer the phone, say, “Scherr residence.”

This point goes for more than just “parties”, but it sounds so extreme, doesn’t it? How can a whole group of people come together, and unplug from ALL the other groups that they are always available to? Email, Facebook, Pinterest, iMessage, Instagram, Twitter, etc., etc., etc… all turned OFF for a whole event. Really?

Norman Rockwell perfectly portrays the scenario, with a newspaper in place of a modern-day device. (found on Pinterest)

Yes, really.

So, I am challenging us to focus more of our attentions on the folks around us – in person – by setting aside our devices while we’re with them. Can we do it? I believe so. 🙂

When in doubt…

… send flowers.

In those moments when you want to show someone you care, and are thinking about them, send/take flowers. Chocolate is a nice addition. 🙂

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When a sympathy card is too strong, and you don’t even know what to say in a “Thinking of You” card, flowers will say it all for you.

I have the best friends in the world. Thanks, y’all, for being there for us!

I’m Back…

I am now home and settled in after an awesome trip to Ohio and Illinois. And, for those who might be interested, my light packing worked out well! The best thing was definitely having versatile skirts. I never wore the same outfit ensemble twice, and never even got around to wearing one of the skirts I took. The nude pumps and converse shoes got me everywhere I needed to go without a problem. In the summer, I might opt for a nice pair of sandals in place of the pumps.

On another note, while I was gone, the seasons completely changed!

I have this thing about snapping pictures of our mailbox through the seasons. So, now you can visualize just how dramatic this season change was!

March 5th, before my trip...

March 5th, before my trip…

Three of my best friends enjoying some high-powered sledding... If I'm not mistaken (heavy coats make this challenging) this is Kyle (driving), Willa (riding), and Paul (sledding).

Three of my best friends enjoying some high-powered sledding… If I’m not mistaken (heavy coats make this challenging), this is Kyle – driving, Willa – riding, and Paul – sledding.

Sam & Luke walking home after the sledding...

Sam & Luke walking home after the sledding…

That was quite a day! I LOVE living so close to most of my best friends. These last-minute snow days, and all our other various and sundry adventures make life around here more than a little amazing.

While visiting my sister and her family in Illinois, all signs of winter at home disappeared.

March 27th

March 27th

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I’ve been really enjoying these beauties.

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Review: Arnold’s Meat & 3

Today was our family’s semi-annual dental appointment. It’s a family event, and generally, since Dr. Foster is in Nashville, it’s a day-trip. We’ll all have our teeth cleaned, then snoop around Nashville in search of new-to-us restaurants/destinations to enjoy.

Click on the image to see their FaceBook page.

Our search today led to Arnold’s Meat & 3. From the road, it looked like a place I wouldn’t have dared to go in. It’s tiny, tucked back with a small sign – no prominence whatsoever. It kind of looked like a place that didn’t want to be found. But, since it comes pretty highly recommended, we found a parking spot.

A note on the parking: We arrived right during the lunch-rush. The parking was scarce, at best, and the line was impressively long the whole time. But, they kept the line moving, so there was very little wait time.

The clientele was incredibly diverse, and the service/hospitality very friendly. We had heard that it was a good place to get real southern food… And, since that’s what we eat here at home, I have high standards. In most restaurants, (like Cracker Barrel, for instance) I find that the vegetables tend to be undercooked and under-seasoned for my preference. Glory be! My turnip greens from Arnold’s were well-seasoned and cooked! Of course, they were a little different than how we make them. But, as far as I can remember, they were the best turnip greens I’ve ever eaten away from home. Woohoo!

I also really enjoyed my fried catfish. I could seriously go for some more of that…

Since we’re usually adventurous, and ready for a new or unique experience when it comes to food, we all split a slice of “Hot Pepper Chocolate Pie”. Folks, that was delicious! It’s definitely worth a try, if you’re in the area!

With friendly faces, tasty food, and unique options, I’d say this is a great find!

Menu Planning

Well, folks, I’m about to head into the pantry to take inventory. For the next few weeks, we are challenging ourselves to prepare meals SOLELY from what we have on hand – well, except for the more perishable items that will have to be purchased. We keep a well-stocked pantry, but still find ourselves dashing to the store for a meal’s worth of ingredients.

Maybe it’s time for you to take the challenge, too! It’s great for the budget, since you’ll be spending less on groceries AND fuel!

Time to go shopping... in the pantry!

Time to go shopping… in the pantry!