Azalea Festival In My City

I chose these images for Sunday in My City, a photo forum that has folks posting pictures on Sunday of their cities. To visit other cities, click on the button and link up with photos of your own town.

Goodness, gracious, it’s Sunday, y’all! Where does all the time go when you’re not blogging?  I have been playing hookey the past few weeks, but I’ve been snapping lots of photos. These are just a few I took at the annual Azalea Festival that is held here, in Wilmington, North Carolina every spring. It is a big southern-style party, complete with a parade, a street fair, fireworks, garden tours, a few celebrities and lots of pretty local girls dressed up like southern belles.

The whole thing is in celebration of the azalea, which blooms here in profusion, along with dogwood trees,

The parade always includes the marching cadets.

And a few colorful clowns. This one even had his poodle dyed to match the azaleas.

The local kids get in the act with lots of talent and loads of cuteness.

The azalea belles are in the parade…

And one of them appeared to be lost in the crowd.

You Capture Spring

I’ve been participating in a photo forum on Thursdays. Brought to us by Beth, at I Should Be Folding Laundry (me too, by the way), it’s called You Capture. Every week there is a new theme. This week it was “Spring.”

Spring is here in southeastern North Carolina, and with it comes days warm enough to finally return to the beach, strawberries to pick at the local fields, nights warm enough to finally sit outside on the patio and enjoy a glass of wine, our annual Azalea Festival and spring breaks.

I took a vacation from work (and blogging) and spent the last two weeks having the whole family over for an authentic southern meal (fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, butter-beans with pork neck bones, fresh tomato salad and sour cream pound cake) for my youngest son’s birthday, rushing to the emergency room right in the middle of beating the eggs into the pound cake batter because my mom passed out from not being able to breathe (she’s fine now and getting treatment), driving to and from New York in two days to pick up two giggly fifteen year old girls (my step daughter and her BFFL)  who spent their spring break with us, dragging the two girls to an Azalea Festival Parade, street fair, fireworks,  garden tour, the beach, a “girl day” complete with mani-pedis and mimosas, going out to dinner several times (which added another ten pounds to my already disgusting weight gain!) and visiting a couple of local garden centers to pick up hundreds of dollars worth a few flowers to plant in my flower beds.

Whew! Did I leave anything out? Probably, but you get the general idea.

Of course, I toted my camera everywhere with me, snapping  hundreds thousands of photos of just about everything! Because everything around here is just so darn gorgeous right now, y’all!

Azaleas and dogwoods are the stars of the festival.

Along with the Azalea Belles!

The North Carolina Azalea Festival is held in April every year in Wilmington, NC. It’s a celebration of everything exceptional about Wilmington: artwork, gardens, rich history and culture.  It is a grand party, southern style, that includes entertainment, a parade, a street fair, a circus, several concerts, pageantry, and of course, authentic southern belles in a variety of pretty costumes.

I have so many gorgeous photos to share, that I’ve decided to start posting again in my other blog, Wilmington Daily Photo, which I have neglected since (gasp!) spring of last year!

Next week’s challenge on You Capture is “Pink!” I will definitely be back to post lots of pink flowers, dresses  hats and poodles from my collection of hundreds thousands of springtime photos!

Southern Women Don’t Get Mad


I was supposed to write a post about anger management for last week’s Spin-Cycle topic, which is brought to us by Sprite’s Keeper. Last week, y’all.

But, every time I thought about it, it just didn’t feel right. There was something about admitting that something made me mad, that didn’t sit quite right with me. After I week of pondering over this, I figured it out. Southern women just don’t get mad, y’all.

Now, look-ey here. I was raised by a Baptist Southern Belle, who was raised by a Southern Belle who had a Pentecostal Southern Gentleman father. Our extended family included a whole passle of other kinds of Southern Bells. Down here in Cape Fear Country, we even have a Festival, called the Azalea Festival, to honor the beautiful azaleas and the cute lil Southern Belles. In other words, I didn’t stand a chance of being any kind of normal.

A true Southern woman is obliged, by virtue of her birthright, to always smile, be polite and smooth over problems with good manners and a glass of sweet tea. No matter how upset, riled up, or irked we get, we just don’t ever admit to being angry. We can be, under circumstances of high provocation, “ill” or “aggravated” or “upset”. But really, anger is not lady like and it’s not fitting of the image that a Southern woman strives for: all that-there grace and beauty.

My grandmother is the ultimate Southern matriarch. The only girl in a family of six boys, she was taught to drive a car, fire a gun and cook up a mean bunch of collards. She is a steel magnolia inside a velvet glove. I’ve seen her get so “riled up” that she drove right past the speed limit to get to a woman’s house to very politely, and sweetly, refuse a gift from someone that was acting “messy”. It might have even been, in her mind, “a Big Mess”. She may have raised her voice just a tichy. She might have slammed her car door as she left. But she definitely was not mad.

My mother, a prim and proper Southern gal with a peaches and cream complexion, always preached to me that “pretty is as pretty does.” Everything in her life is “Little”. She wears a “little” sweater with her “cute, little skirt” and she has “little parties” where she goes to dance “a little”. She never gets mad, she just gets a “little upset”. I think she has the image of the Little Baby Jesus permanently stuck in her head. Anyway, she was so upset one time that she threw a right proper hissy fit. This “fit” included jumping up and down in place, while screaming, “YOU’RE BEING UGLY TO ME!”

But to this day, she will not admit to being mad. Nope, she was just a little upset because I wasn’t acting nice. I was being “ugly”. It got real messy. In other words, I dared to disagree with her.

When I think about it, it kinda makes sense. After all, what with Jesus hangin’ on the cross and all that Amazing Grace and us meetin’ at the River (the beautiful, beautiful River, so it had to be in the South) that we absorbed into out Southern spirits – it DOES seem kinda rude to be gettin’ all hot and bothered at each other over silly stuff, y’all. And I’m pretty sure there is a special place reserved in the Lake of Fire for Mad Women, along with all those cheaters, liars and other types of rude folks.

So, when my momma had her hissy fit and jumped up and down in the floor, accusing me of “bein’ ugly to her,” I got even uglier and got in my car and left. I slammed my car door real hard and I drove right past the speed limit that day. But I wasn’t mad, y’all. I was just all riled up.

All this is Okey dokey until you try and be married to a damn Yankee. Then things can get a lil complicated, ya’ll. He’ll say something really tacky that gets me all upset. I guess I get kinda angry pouty. He’ll say, “Are you mad at me?”

“No,” I say (with tone), “Of course I’m not mad!” (Well, duh, y’all. I DON’T get mad!!)

“Well,” he says dryly. “You sound mad.”

Now I’m IRKED. “I’m NOT MAD, I’m just a lil ill.”

“Ill?” he asks, perplexed. “Are you sick or something?”

“No.” Heavy sigh. “I’m not sick, I’m just ill. Aggravated. I’m UPSET.”

“Oh,” he says. “Then you ARE mad.”

“I’M NOT MAD!! YOU’RE JUST JUST TREATING ME UGLY!!” I wail. Why can’t he get it through his thick, yankee head that I’m NOT MAD???!!!!

And of course, if a Southern woman ever got PISSED OFF…..well, I shudder to even THINK about that. Lightning would most likely strike her, ya’ll.