Jury Duty (2) or Baby Mama Drama

Photo found on: mahlatseaphane.wordpress.com
Photo found on:

Yep, that is what my jury duty was. Baby Mama Drama! That is what the State’s Attorney called it. Once those words were said, I couldn’t get them out of my head. I had a hard time keeping a straight face. The words echoed all day……..

We’ve seen it on “Those” talk shows. We’ve seen the women trashing each other. Heard their stories. Ridiculed them. Shook our heads and wondered what the heck they were thinking.

The case I was a juror on involved two young women, both very attractive. Both of them expecting, due at about the same time, by the same man. Yep, Baby Mama Drama in all it’s cliche’d glory.

One of the young ladies showed up where the other was at, words were exchanged, a hammer was used on a truck, a tire iron was thrown through a window, an injury happened.

5 women, 1 man. Charged with determining if one of these young women would spend time in jail, away from her children. Serious stuff. Scary stuff. Yet we couldn’t look at each other without grinning, the attorney’s words echoing in our head.

I had planned on using this as a funny post, using my amazing sarcasm skills. Seeing it on TV, I’ve ridiculed the drama, made fun of the women who let themselves become involved in things like this. Yet as I sit and write this, I can’t find the humor in the situation.

It’s heart breaking. It involves someone’s life. Someone’s children are going to suffer the consequences of their mother’s actions against another. I could put myself in their places and understand the hurt and anger they both felt. The betrayal and the pain they both felt. Yet I can’t imagine doing what they did. It’s heartbreaking that young, smart women still let themselves become a cliche and feel trapped in a lifestyle that offers no hope. That a 30 year old has 7 children, all under the age of 10. That they think it’s ok to live on welfare and food stamps. The man involved never showed his face in court. Neither did his mother, despite the fact she was called as a witness for the plaintiff.

I have no answers on how to help these women. That is better left to those who have the knowledge I don’t.

Jury Duty changed my mind on several things. My duty to serve, my understanding of a lifestyle I had ridiculed for years. The true meaning of Baby Mama Drama.


COPYRIGHT© 2015– Southern Belle Charm~ Unauthorized use of this material without express written consent from this blog’s author’s and/or owner’s is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided full credit is given to Southern Belle Charm and/or it’s owners with appropriate and specific direction to the original content

Jury Duty (1)


I admit, this has always been me……..You know what it is when you get it in the mail. You sigh. You hang it on the fridge so you don’t forget to call in the night before. I get a summons once a year. Like clockwork, sometime in February or March. EVERY YEAR. Two weeks after Hubs’ comes in.

I am always so upset when my number is chosen to show up. I’m busy. I have a real job……..I have a husband, a dog, well you know how I feel. My guess is you do also.

Until yesterday I had never been chosen to serve on a jury. Last year they tried. The case was a DUI. I feel very strongly that you DO NOT drink and drive and I am very vocal about that. Ok, well I am very vocal about quite a few things. The defendant’s lawyer couldn’t get me out of there fast enough. Well,  he asked, I told him the truth. Did he think any one approved of drinking and driving?

Anyway, back to yesterday, of course I am late getting there, which means I have to park in public parking ( gasp!!!!! I have to walk 2 extra blocks at 8:00 a.m. in downtown). I will say me running is not a pretty sight. Anytime. Especially at that time of day. All those people to dodge.

Now I am in a room with about 500 other people. There are no chairs left for me to sit in. There is not a young man in the room who offers me his chair ( no manners, shame on them). I slide down against the wall and start reading. My number is called and I line up with about 50 others and we are led off to a courtroom.

Once inside the courtroom, we are all asked to answer basic questions. Surprisingly I am chosen to serve. First time that’s happened! I am aggravated, it’s lunch time, I’m hungry, I need to go into the office and handle payroll and a jillion other things I can think of to do.

Yet when I am seated in the jury box and the judge starts explaining things and what is expected of us, my bad attitude leaves. I am on a jury. I am taking part in the justice system. I hold someone’s fate in my hands. I sit up straighter, I pay attention. I examine the evidence. I make a list in my head of things that don’t sound right to me.

I watch the attorneys, the judge, the plaintiff, the defendant, the witnesses. I forget how late it is. I want to see this through to the end. I WANT to do my duty.

At 6:00 p.m., the jurors are sent to our little room for the last time. We talk about it. We question the testimony and the evidence. We all agree and make our decision.

After a good nights sleep, I’ve decided that all these years, when I have fussed and complained, I was wrong. It IS an honor. Was the case I was assigned earth shattering? Yes, to the person on trial it was. To the plaintiff it was. This was their life.

I’m thinking next year when I get my summons, I won’t be quite so aggravated if my number is chosen. It was a learning experience that at the end of the day, I was proud to be part of.


COPYRIGHT© 2015– Southern Belle Charm~ Unauthorized use of this material without express written consent from this blog’s author’s and/or owner’s is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided full credit is given to Southern Belle Charm and/or it’s owners with appropriate and specific direction to the original content

Mixed Media

I’ve been seeing mixed media crafts all over the place and the more I see, the more I like the idea. To me it just looks like a fun one of a kind way to personalize your artwork. I love having things no one else has.

For my first project, I decided that Belle Debbie F. would be my experiment. I’ve been trying to think of something I could do for her, just to let her know she’s on my mind, with her new job, we don’t get to talk as much as we used too. I miss her!

I read the tutorial on http://modpodgerocksblog.com/tag/collage-and-mixed-media so I would have some idea of what I was doing

I had purchased a pack of 12 canvas’ from Amazon, so I had plenty if I messed up ( a very real possibility)

12 pack of canvas
12 pack of canvas









I spray painted one with white spray paint. I was out of Gesso and didn’t feel like going to the store…….. I let the spray paint dry overnight. I wanted to be sure it wasn’t sticky when I started working on it.

Canvas painted with white spray paint.........
Canvas painted with white spray paint………








I also got my scrapbook paper from Amazon. I love shopping on line.            ( Beats fighting the crowds this time of year in SW Florida)




I went through my package of scrapbook paper, choosing ones I thought Deb would like. I know her favorite color is blue, so I used a lot of that color, yet wanted it to have a lot of contrast.

After playing with the colors and how to lay them down, I spread a thing coat of Modpodge over the entire canvas and started laying the paper.


Making sure to cover each piece well with Modpodge, I went to town getting the look I wanted. I wanted to be sure that the edges were also covered with the scrapbook paper, so I cut the corners off of some to do that.


Again, I let it dry over night so the base was dry.

I added pictures of the kids, along with a poem Deb had posted to her wall on FaceBook about having children. I used some stickers I had from another project, one of her home state, some dolphins, flip-flops, an antique key next to a heart subtly makes the statement that her children are the key to her heart.


I enjoyed this one! It was fun to play with the paper and colors and I knew that Deb would love it. Can’t wait to take it to her!






COPYRIGHT© 2015– Southern Belle Charm~ Unauthorized use of this material without express written consent from this blog’s author’s and/or owner’s is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided full credit is given to Southern Belle Charm and/or it’s owners with appropriate and specific direction to the original content

I’m over winter

I’m over winter

I live in a resort town near the Ski slopes.  Many people come here to ENJOY winter sports.  MY sport is dodging winter.  It is a FULL CONTACT sport.  RUN from the warm house to the cold car.  WRESTLE with the cover on the windshield. BEND to the winter windy blast.  It’s just a 2 mile drive to work and I drive a minivan.  So it’s just getting warm when I get to work, so I DODGE snowflakes and ZIGZAG around the ice in the parking area.  Whew! No wonder I’m tired!
My office has a big window and I look out all day and see a beautiful blue sky that tells tall tales.  It says come on out its beautiful and warm out here… I know better!  It is frigid and waiting to catch me unaware!

Photo found on: pawpawhollerhome.com
Photo found on: pawpawhollerhome.com

I’m on to your tricks winter.  I’m staying inside with a space heater at my feet, marking the days off my calendar.  Go on and huff and puff and snow, if you must. All too soon, mild temps will sneak in and wildflowers will bloom and I will venture outside and be able to slow down and enjoy the outdoors.  Until that time, if you are in my area and see a lady doing the 50 yard dash, just cheer her on and hope she beats winter at its own game.

What is “Natural Healthcare”?

timthumbNatural health is a natural healing practice, or a subset of alternative medicine, that only looks towards nature for answers and explanations. Natural health is about a few Western forms of alternative medicine that NCCAM has classified as Biologically Based Therapies and their Mind-Body Interventions for stress management. Natural health has nothing to do with magic or new age mysticism. Traditionally, Natural health is about the natural healing therapies of prevention and healthy lifestyles, eating natural whole foods, nutritional supplements, physical exercise, and stress management.

That one sentence, “Natural health is about the natural healing therapies of prevention and health lifestyles, eating natural whole foods, nutritional supplement, physical exercise and stress management” say it all.


In this “Natural Health” for Southern Belle Charm we will be discussing and sharing such “natural” health modalities as FOOD, HERBS, HOMEOPATHY, ESSENTIAL OILS, as well as the physical therapies such as ACUPRESSURE, MASSAGE, CHIROPRACTICS, ENERGY HEALING and the like …

A Southern Belle is a BEAUTIFUL Belle — inside and out! So keep tuned here to start reading how to augment YOUR healthcare with AWESOME results … NATURALLY!

Definition of HEALTH:  free of “dis-ease” in mind, body and spirit.

Hear hear!  Let’s hear it for NATURAL HEALTH!  Image5


Use Your Words & Why Cousin Cheryl is Queen

Since I’ve had so much fun with the “Secret Subject Swap” with www.bakinginatornado.com, I signed up for the “Use Your Words” challenge.  You can follow the links below to see who was assigned Southern Belle Charm’s words and comment if you are inclined.  We like comments.  That way we know people are actually reading what we write!

The words assigned were submitted by http://batteredhope.blogspot.com and I can use them just about any way I can think of…

Mistake ~ degree ~ Queen ~ effect ~ change

This month, Cousin Cheryl is going to “Use Your Words” on a subject near and dear to all of the cousins on the Massey side of my family.

I am Queen. Not A Queen, not THE Queen, just Queen. How did I come to be called that?  My family lived in Alabama, but my father’s work took us far away to California. One year we flew back “home” to see the family.  Mother (being the proper Southern Belle that she was) had me dressed in my Sunday best and had my hair styled in a “flip”.  My cousin Nancy saw me for the first time as I got off the plane and called me Queen because I looked like the Queen on her SeeNSay toy and she calls me that to this day.  Some people might call her a “mistake“, but for my family she is all that’s right with the world.  Innocence, pure joy, no pretense.  Nancy has a wonderful effect on people, she makes you laugh, she astonishes you with her memory for birthdays and her total recall of the tracks on her hundreds of gospel CD’s, even though she can’t read. To some degree she is far more intelligent than most.

We have fun with our football rivalry, most of our family are Alabama fans, but she is an Auburn fan much to my chagrin.

She will never live alone, drive a car or do many other “normal” things, but she can change your day with her quick wit, all consuming love and sunny smile.  You see Nancy has Down’s Syndrome- and some people don’t understand it and are cruel. I know better, she is a wonderful person and delight to everyone who truly knows her. At family gatherings it is she who holds court.  I think she is truly the Queen and I am just her lady in waiting.


Me again y’all.  A sweet short note about Nancy. We are all close to the same age.  At one of the family gatherings, after Nancy had called Cheryl Queen, she became very worried that I would have my feelings hurt that she was calling Cheryl Queen.  She told me, being very serious, that I couldn’t be Queen, there was only one and that was Cheryl.  But I could be Princess if that was okay.  That’s fine with me.  I agree with Cheryl, we’ll be her ladies in waiting gladly, full of love and laughter when we’re with her.


The participating blogs this month are:

Baking In A Tornado
Spatulas on Parade
Stacy Sews & Schools
The Bergham’s Life Chronicles
The Momisodes
Battered Hope
Eileen’s Perpetually Busy
Confessions of a part-time working mom
Someone Else’s Genius
Juicebox Confession

COPYRIGHT© 2015– Southern Belle Charm~ Unauthorized use of this material without express written consent from this blog’s author’s  and/or owner’s is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided full credit is given to Southern Belle Charm and/or it’s owners with appropriate and specific direction to the original content


Swamp Cabbage

Swamp Cabbage
Swamp Cabbage

It’s that time of year here in SW Florida with all sorts of Festivals, Art Fairs, Craft Shows, Car Shows, well you get the idea.

Our weather is perfect. Sunny most days, light breezes rustling the palm fronds, low humidity, perfect weather for being outside. It’s our reward for the miserable summers when it rains most afternoons, there is no breeze, unless you live right on the beach and the humidity is so high you can’t breathe.

One of our favorites festivals is the Labelle Swamp Cabbage Festival.  We’ve been every year since we got married in 1993.  Where else can you see  a parade, (I’ve been in a few of them with the car club) all sorts of arts and crafts, have lunch by the river, participate in a 5k run, see a beauty pageant, a rodeo, lawn tractor races and my personal favorite, the Armadillo Races?  Yep, Armadillo Races. Not a lot of edge of your seat excitement there, but lots of laughs.  There is some controversy as to which is the biggest draw, the rodeo, the lawn tractor races or the the Armadillo races.  Me?  I vote for the Armadillo races.  Though the lawn tractor races are fun to watch also.   In the last few years, they’ve added a car show.

It’s always the last full weekend in February.  The festival started in 1965

Wondering what Swamp Cabbage is? It’s made from the heart of a palmetto tree, which is the official tree of the State of Florida. Though a palmetto can grow up to 90 feet in maturity, at 8-10 feet, the heart is cut, which is what becomes Swamp Cabbage.

According to http://www.semtribe.com/Culture/SeminoleFood.aspx,  the Seminoles called it Taal-holelke and boiled it.   Which is pretty much how it’s cooked today.  Thank goodness I don’t have to do the hard work getting it out of the tree.  It’s hard work to do that!  And when a palmetto tree pokes you it hurts.  Just sayin………..

Sadly, my favorite restaurant Flora and Ella’s closed a few years ago.  Not sure where I can find pies to match those.  It had been in existence in one form or another since 1933 and was listed on several travel sites as a MUST visit eatery.

Wear comfortable shoes and bring a light jacket.  Be prepared to walk after you find a parking spot.  LaBelle isn’t that big, traffic is terrible that day and you park where you can.   It’s worth it though to experience small town Florida where things have looked the same since the first time I went there, 20 + years ago.


COPYRIGHT© 2015– Southern Belle Charm~ Unauthorized use of this material without express written consent from this blog’s author’s  and/or owner’s is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided full credit is given to Southern Belle Charm and/or it’s owners with appropriate and specific direction to the original content

Swamp Cabbage information found on:  http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/mv038

February Secret Subject Swap~ My favorite sweet


This month there are 15 bloggers participating in the Secret Subject Swap. I had so much fun with January’s Secret Subject Swap, I signed up for February. I hope y’all will take the time to follow the links below and see who got my subject and read the rest of them.

My subject was from Karen at www.bakinginatornado.com and she asked ” In honor of Valentine’s Day, what is your favorite sweet and what is your favorite sweet you make yourself.

Ok, well the first question is easy.  I adore Norman Love Chocolates. and Krispy Kreme donuts.  If someone ever wants to buy me  a gift, they can’t go wrong with those.  Norman Love is  local and the flagship store is about 10 minutes from where I live.

Norman Love was  named  one of the top 10 artisan chocolate companies in 2002 and in 2005 Consumer Reports named him one of the top 3 chocolate companies in the US.  He was also asked to do a line for Godiva Chocolates.  His were the best in my book.

I don’t share them with just anyone, well ok, no one.  Sorry, even if I love ya bunches, I don’t share them.  Yep, they are expensive, which is why I only get them as gifts on VERY SPECIAL OCCASIONS, 20th Anniversaries, 50th Birthday.  Those special occasions.    I have even  been known to buy them as gifts.  I sent some to my little sister as a surprise a few years ago.  She’s not a big chocolate fan, but she enjoyed them.  She did share with her husband and sons.  She’s good that way.

Krispy Kreme donuts are the best donuts EVER.  I will not debate the issue with you.  They just are.  Nothing else comes close.  I can’t get those around here, which makes them even more special.  Shan will tell you when I visit the one thing I ask for is to find a Krispy Kreme.

The second part of my question is harder to answer.  What is my favorite sweet I make myself…………hmmm

My Chocolate Cake with 4 kinds of chocolate?  Banana Pudding, my grandmothers Orange Coconut Cake?  Her Pound Cake?  Digie’s  Banana Bread or her Lemon Pie?  My own Key Lime Pie?   Decisions like this are tough to make for someone who loves to bake and try new things!

After pondering for a few days,  I can tell you, it’s not any of those.  Not even close.  As a matter of fact, I’m not sure if  my favorite sweet is an actual recipe.

It’s a can of biscuits, the top of a 2 liter soda, some hot grease and a sugar glaze.  Yep, I cheated when I made donuts with  my daughter.   It didn’t matter then and it doesn’t matter now.  It’s a sweet  memory my daughter smiles when she thinks about.

It’s also my favorite because of the memories.  The sparkle in my daughter’s eyes when I told her we were making donuts.  Both of us in our tiny kitchen, popping the can of biscuits open, laughing as we try to get the holes made with the soda top exactly in the middle, ( it can be done, promise) dropping them in the grease,  turning them so they brown just right, pouring the glaze over them.  Sitting at the table with a big glass of milk for each of us, just hanging out.    Saving the donut holes for a snack later.  So many things make me smile about making donuts.  So that’s my answer.  They’re my favorite.



Check out the other blogs below for their subjects:

http://www.BakingInATornado.com                                                                                 Baking In A Tornado

http://stacysewsandschools.blogspot.com                                                                      Stacy Sews and School

http://berghamchronicles.blogspot.com                                                                 The Bergham’s Life Chronicles

http://spatulasonparade.blogspot.com                                                                   Spatulas on Parade

http://dinoheromommy.com                                                                                           Dinosaur Superhero Mommy

http://themomisodes.com                                                                                               The Momisodes

http://climaxedtheblog.blogspot.com                                                                      Climaxed

http://thethreegerbers.blogspot.ch                                                                           Confessions of a part-time working mom

http://thelieberfamily.com                                                                                              The Lieber Family

http://www.someoneelsesgenius.com                                                                      Someone Else’s Genius

http://www.eviljoyspeaks.wordpress.com                                                            Evil Joy Speaks

http://www.gndisney.wordpress.com                                                                      Disneyland in Kentucky

http://sparklyjenn.blogspot.com                                                                                  Sparkly Poetic Weirdo

http://www.JuiceboxConfession.com                                                                        Juicebox Confession


COPYRIGHT© 2015– Southern Belle Charm~ Unauthorized use of this material without express written consent from this blog’s author’s  and/or owner’s is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided full credit is given to Southern Belle Charm and/or it’s owners with appropriate and specific direction to the original content

Indulge Yourself

doTERRA Bath Salts

EVERY Southern Belle wants to indulge herself now and then.  Heck, every Belle wants to indulge no matter where in the world she is.

Nothing better than a nice long soak in a warm, soothing bath … light a few candles, put on some soft music, get some organic, silky salts into the bath water and … sink in.

There’s nothing more organic and soothing than doTERRA Essential Oils to make your own, luxurious bath salts! Simply follow the recipe in the illustration above (add a few lavender flowers to the mix if you have some).

I L.O.V.E. my doTERRA Essential oils!  Aromatically, Topically, Diffused into the air or stirred into my tub … they are healing, calming, invigorating – whatever you need, there’s an oil for that!  Even disinfecting your kitchen counters! (Or healing a baby’s bottom.)

Some of my favorites are:

LAVENDER:  Lavender is widely used and accepted for its calming and relaxing qualities.

WILD ORANGE: energizing and revitalizing. It is also commonly used as an effective tool for uplifting mood, as well as for its wonderful citrusy aroma.

LEMONGRASS: soothe aching muscles.

EUCALYPTUS: calming and clearing properties as well as to ease breathing. Great for a flu soak!

CLARY SAGE:   uplifting and mood-lightening plus widely used by women to soothe monthly discomfort associated with their menstrual cycles.

PATCHOULI:  rich musky-sweet fragrance. It can have a grounding, balancing effect on the emotions while providing excellent mood support. Patchouli is also widely used for wounds and tissue repair, as well as in skin care preparations for these same properties.

If you’d like to learn more about essential oils and how they can be safely and wonderfully used for all sorts of home and family applications — from bath salts to laundry to safe and organic baby shampoos — just holler at me, Auntie Gwen, and we can chat over a cup of nice, lemon-tea!  You may email to me:  caballus@charter.net or you may go directly to my doTERRA Essential Oil Shop to order: http://www.mydoterra.com/penzanceequine  

I can’t wait to talk with you!  (Oh, and don’t let me forget to tell you how you can get your oils and blends at wholesale prices, too!)


Doesn't matter where you are or where you're from, there's a little Belle in all of us