The New Memory Matron is…Me! By: AnnaBeth

What a week it’s been for me! After some recent… life developments, I was encouraged to pursue the position of Memory Matron, and I won it! Although not everyone was pleased with this decision, I personally think it will be a great opportunity for me. Unfortunately, with my Memory Matron duties being so time consuming, I will not have the time I once had to dedicate to the upkeep of my blog. Therefore my fellow Belles will be starting a new blog of their own. Look for it soon. Make me proud, Belles!

Since I didn’t have a chance to give my speech tonight, I have published it below. I look forward to serving my community in my new post!

It is with great honor and humility that I accept the position of Memory Matron tonight. It was not an easy road to get here, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that nothing worth having comes easily.
I’ll always remember the day my mother brought me to the Historical Society’s Annual Picnic Fundraiser. At the time, the revered, late Phyllis Ennis-Green was Memory Matron, and she wore a hat so vast it provided shade for her whole family. I looked at her and thought, “I could only ever dream of pulling off a hat like that.”
Phyllis was succeeded by Delia Ann Lee, and now here I am accepting the title from Delia Ann. I cannot stress how surprised and grateful I am, but I know I could not have made it to this point alone.
I would like to thank my husband, Jacob Nass, the most patient, good-hearted man I’ve ever known. You are my rock, Jake, through good times and bad, through blessings and Gypsy curses. Honey, I know you’re in the crowd tonight, and just for you I’ll say, Go Crimson Tide!
I’d also like to thank one special friend in particular, who gave me strength and courage I never thought I’d have. Who taught me how to stand up for myself, who taught me how to be a leader.  These qualities are the most important a Memory Matron can have, and I know I wouldn’t be standing here tonight if not for this friend. I will be forever grateful to this very special friend… but you don’t know her, she lives in, um, Vermont.
I promise I will maintain the legacy passed down to me from Delia Ann. I will uphold the most glorious of Memory Matron traditions. Bake sales, car washes, date auctions. I plan to start some new traditions too. Wouldn’t a kissing booth be adorable? I promise to fulfill the main objective of the Memory Matron, and with my fellow women of BlueBell, build a new future while holding on to the treasured traditions of the past.  Thank you.


Baby Belles By: AnnaBeth

Savannah Lee. What do y’all think? No? Too old fashioned?

I can’t hold it in any longer. Lately, the hubby and I have been discussing baby names. Now don’t get too excited, friends! We haven’t been blessed with that little bundle of joy quite yet! But thanks to Dr. Hart, we may not be too far off. Unfortunately, since most of you, my faithful but certainly most beloved readers, are likely not Belles, I cannot disclose the secrets of my recent… difficulties. Suffice to say, what once was barren is now as fertile as the banks of the Mississippi! Please don’t consider me coarse for being so direct but I’m just so excited!

Speaking of the good doctor, have you all heard the news? Well—are you sitting down for this?—it turns out that our town doctor paid a visit to her few living relations and found out that she’s a legacy!  That’s right, ladies and gentlemen: Yankee native Doctor Zoe Hart is in fact a southern belle! I know, I could barely believe it myself. I’m sure it goes without question that Lemon was none too pleased at this news. In fact, she suggested we reinstate the old tradition of initiating new Belles into the group. It may seem a little on the mean side, but it really ended up being so much fun! Also, I (and by “I” I mean Dr. Hart) got so many things done that I’ve been meaning to get done for quite a while! My car is immaculate, the dog looks like a little furry princess, those dust bunnies behind the fridge have finally been slain, and I think anyone would mistake Jake’s mama’s toenails for Shania Twain’s if they weren’t inclined to look up!

Oh, how about Tallulah Belle? Maybe not. Seems to be a little on the husky side, doesn’t it? In case you’re wondering, we’re not discussing boy names because little boy names are easy. Jacob Junior. We’d call him Junior and dress him up just like his daddy. My goodness, I cannot wait to buy those little miniature suits! And those tiny little shoes… I feel like I could just about burst from thinking about it!

Anyway, Dr. Hart took it all in stride. Juicing a hundred lemons, getting pelted with paintballs (never experienced this myself but I hear it hurts), and goodness knows what Lemon subjected the poor girl to. All that on top of solving my little problem on the side. That Wilkes clan is made up of some pretty tough stuff! I honestly don’t know if I could handle the abuse the way she did. Maybe Zoe Hart isn’t so bad after all. I still think my milkshake idea would have been awfully funny though.

Annabelle Lee. Wait. For some reason I can’t put my finger on that one just seems a bit… dark.

Anyway. Thanks to Ms. Hart’s… perseverance… in the face of adversity, I can now openly dedicate my time to researching the most successful (and most Christian) methods of conception. Wish me luck! And when the stars above finally decide to bless us with the prospect of a bouncing baby girl or boy (let’s hope for a little girl!), you all will be the first to know! After my husband, my mother, his mama, my daddy, his daddy, my cousins, and the other Belles of course.

In the end, Zoe Hart might have decided the Southern Belle lifestyle isn’t for her, but in my mind she’ll still be one of us in the honorary sense. Just this once, in honor of her efforts, you can all say it with me now:


What does it mean? I’ll never tell! I’m proud to be a Southern Belle! God bless, y’all! ‘Til next time!


Merry Christmas From the Glendinning Mansion Holiday Open House! By: AnnaBeth

‘Tis the season for presents, playoffs, pageants, and pretty decorations. Lemon was extra-busy making sure her gorgeous, talented sister Magnolia earned her rightful title of Miss Cinnamon Cider – of course Dr. Zoe Hart had to try and ruin poor Lemon’s (and little Magnolia’s) pageant, just like she does with everything else. Maybe if Zoe had a boyfriend, or a life of her own, she could stop meddling in everyone else’s. Well, Lemon was so busy dealing with the meddlesome Dr. Hart that she actually let the other Belles and I do more than our usual share of work with the other Belle Christmas projects. ‘Tis a busy, busy season to be a BlueBell Belle! For example, every year, the historical society handpicks several of the most prestigious community groups to decorate rooms in the old Glendinning Mansion. Proceeds from the holiday open house go towards buying gifts for needy children. Or restoring the mansion floors scuffed during the month-long event. The treasurer’s always a little vague. But there is a Toys 4 Tots drop-off at the local Dixie Stop, so regardless, y’all should find it in your hearts to support local poor kids during this season of giving.

Anyhoo, this year’s theme for the open house is Songs of the Season! So of course we chose to do a “Carol of the Belles” room. Isn’t that so precious?! We got one of the best rooms in the mansion – the formal dining room – and we’ve filled it with lots and lots of caroling dolls. Not those giant, tacky ones you’d find wobbling about in some hick’s front yard next to a lit-up plastic snow globe but rather the quaint ones that look like they’re from ye olde England. And when you walk into our room — with a fire crackling in the fireplace, and wreaths and mistletoe and trees decorated with these darling vintage ornaments, and our super-secret blend of candles and potpourri that reminds you of the best Christmas you’ve ever had — you really do feel like you are surrounded by a village of rosy-cheeked peasants singing wassail to you.

We were working late one evening, waiting for the stain to dry on our miniature organ and pulpit, when I got locked in the room… for almost two hours. And I’m sure it was the fumes, or the fact that I’d only eaten a biscuit and half a peach all day because of the humungous stress of wanting to get everything just so… But ohmigod, being alone with all of those dolls! It was like there was nowhere to hide from their little beady eyes. And why are all their mouths open? They started to look like that awful painting – you know, the one that looks like a melted crayon drawing of the Home Alone kid. I know they’re supposed to be caroling, but couldn’t some of them be ringing bells? Or holding songbooks? I mean, is it realistic to think that they’ve all memorized every carol – even the ones no one remembers like Good King Wenceslas? Thankfully, Crickett came back with the miniature Douglas firs and freed me before I went nutcrackers!

Now don’t let my momentary fright keep you from visiting. As usual, the Glendinning Mansion is a must-see this holiday season – and you will be singing its praises the minute you walk through the door!


A Homecoming Party from Hell By: AnnaBeth

Like tailgating behind the middle school and kissing Bo the pig for good luck before the big game, Mayor Lavon Hayes’ pre-game party has become a beloved part of BlueBell’s homecoming ritual. But leave it to Dr. Zoe Hart to go and try to ruin it. What BlueBell tradition will you come after next, Dr. Hart? Planksgiving?!

Through no fault of our handsome, hospitable mayor — whom I hear was only trying to help the hopeless Dr. Hart fit in — this party was an absolute travesty! There was none of Lavon’s famous crab dip! And not a chicken finger, or wing, or even a nugget, in sight! The horror! Also, Lavon’s delightful mix tapes were silenced! Instead, we were forced to endure an auditory assault of something called “psychedelic trance” from a deejay who reeked of flea market incense, and who had one of those holes in his ear so big you could stick a chicken finger through it. That is, if we’d been served chicken fingers. Do you have any idea what Zoe Hart’s idea of party food was?! Tiny, fancy, foamy, lord-knows-whats. If that’s all she ate in the big city, it’s no wonder she’s so small and needs such giant shoes.

Zoe Hart enlisted the help of a party planner friend of hers from New York, some blonde floozy who dressed like ‘70s disco Barbie (like literally wearing a dress so small it should only be worn by large dolls or tiny pageant kids). And between Bordello Barbie and Dr. Hart, who wore one of her endless supply of slinky black boudoir dresses (which, curiously, she finds appropriate to wear for both the office and nights of hedonism), they turned Lavon’s typically casual and festive fête into a purple-hazed peep into the depths of Gomorrah. I heard from Miss Pepper Ann Finkle (who had to be escorted home because everyone in town knows her blood pressure spikes around moral deviants) that the male waiters were actually exotic dancers. Not a typo, exotic dancers! Even the drinks served, some neon purple concoction that Zoe Hart called a “Blue Moon,” looked more appropriate for a Cancun foam party. It’s a good thing my husband Jake didn’t come. (He takes his pre-tailgate ritual very seriously, and refuses to leave his marinating meat home alone.) He would have been hog wild at the blasphemy of it all — no one messes with his hometown’s homecoming and gets away with it.

My theory, dear readers, is that BlueBell’s resident party-pooper may actually be jealous of our charming small town traditions. After seeing the so incredibly misguided, practically X-rated party she and her wretched city “friend” (we all know her so-called friend slept with the veterinarian she let slip through her tiny fingers… obviously even New York friends aren’t as good as BlueBell friends) threw, I can find no other reason that she would act out like that. Poor, poorly dressed Dr. Hart. You know what they say, dress for the job you want. Perhaps a splash of color and a long pant, and Zoe, you’d start being treated more like a medical professional… and a lady.


Slow and Steady (and Special Treatment) Wins the Race By: AnnaBeth

The Junior League Turtle Derby is one of my favorite events of the year – or at least of the fall – because it happens to involve three of my favorite things: large hats, small animals, and sports betting. This year’s derby also featured my fourth favorite thing – BlueBell’s might fine Mayor Lavon Hayes. He was looking more dapper than ever in a suit that was perfectly tailored for his chiseled frame. And, don’t tell my darling husband, but when I heard that NASCAR star Brian Vickers bowed out, it was actually my suggestion to have Mayor Hayes co-host the turtle derby with Lemon Breeland. I don’t know where exactly my mind was at that moment (except perhaps remembering how glisten-y the mayor looks whenever I see him on his daily run) because I quite prefer letting Lemon Breeland and Delia Ann Lee make decisions at Junior League meetings. As do they. Boy was I relieved that they both loved my idea! And what an amazing power couple Lemon and Lavon made! Better than Regis and Kelly.

My turtle – “The Shell Obama” – was, of course, the most timelessly stylish of the bunch, a reptilian Jackie O if you will. She gracefully bowed out to Delia Ann’s turtle in the second heat, as is local custom. Though it is a bit unfortunate since The Shell Obama had the best arms of all the turtles and could have totally won the whole kit and caboodle. C’est la vie, I suppose.

The turtle races themselves were a hoot, but for many of us, the derby is also a wonderful excuse for all of us to play dress-up and spend an evening parading around in our finest attire. For charity, of course. Some BlueBellians could have taken tips from my trend-setting tortoise’s namesake, and spruced up their derby wear. Ahem, you know who you are. It doesn’t matter if the main event is an opera, derby, or monster truck pull, if the invite says black tie, it means black tie! And ladies, derby hats are supposed to bloom like the largest petal on the flower of your overall ensemble, not stand out like a prickly thorn, parasitic garden pest, or hideous weed that is climbing up your stem about to strangle your flower to death. Don’t dress like an ugly garden. And don’t let your husbands wear sport coats to black tie affairs! Since I want all of you to shine like proper southern ladies and gentlemen at next year’s derby, I may have a few pictures of Lemon Breeland and Mayor Hayes at the event that I will post for you, my loyal readers…When my hubby isn’t looking.