Mayor's Statement

Crickett’s Holiday Tips By: Crickett




Hi everyone, Crickett here. The holiday season is approaching. This is the time of year when we gather together with family and friends to share our love and our recipes. There’s nothing I love more about the holidays than to eat delicious food, but I’m not always the best chef (I mean, I’m no Annabeth or Lemon, that’s for sure!). This year, the Belles compiled a list of easy recipes for Planksgiving. Something to help those of us without the cooking gene still impress our guests.

My favorite recipe is for spiced cider. This is the perfect fall drink with the right amount of kick to it. All you do is take plain apple cider, add cloves, cinnamon sticks, lemon zest and heat over the stove. The whole house will smell like the holidays, and there’s nothing better than a hot drink on a cold fall day. It’s a guaranteed crowd pleaser, and if you’re feeling indulgent, add a splash of dark rum to the mix! – you’ll be feeling festive in no time!

For the slightly more advanced cook, try a greenbean casserole. No holiday dinner is complete without a casserole dish. This just requires condensed mushroom soup (straight out of the can is fine!), fried onion, a splash of milk, and a whole lot of green beans. My advanced tip is to steer clear of canned greanbeans and go with the fresh kind. It may take a bit more effort (I mean, it takes work to boil and chop those things, I know!), but it will make all the difference in the taste. Just mix it all together in your casserole dish and let it bake for 30 minutes. I promise, your guests will LOVE it.

Also, don’t forget that no meal is complete without appetizers. And there’s nothing easier than a cheese or fruit plate. It requires absolutely no cooking, only arranging and slicing. And let’s be honest – I am a GREAT arranger (as long as Lemon tells me where things go).

So get cooking and start celebrating! Happy Holidays!

Mayor's Statement

Wanda’s Word on a Thrifty Holiday By: Wanda




Hey ya’ll!  I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving- or as we call it here in BlueBell, Planksgiving.  I ate so much turkey and stuffing this year, that I slept right through afternoon football and woke up with a cranberry sauce mustache at 4am the next day!  Luckily I was up just in time to make it out for the black Friday sales.  I love a good deal, and although I’m tiny I’m surprisingly strong when it comes to getting through a crowd for some $3 DVD’s.  Speaking of Holiday sales, this week we have a question from a local BlueBellian who seems to be facing an issue we’ve all felt before.  Anonymous from Bluebell writes:

“Hey Wanda,

     Every year my boyfriend and I tend to get each other several gifts for the holiday season, but this year I just don’t have the money to do it.  I haven’t really talked to him about it because I know even if I tell him not to get me anything, he’ll do it anyway.  What should I do?

Happy Holidays,

Anonymous BlueBellian”

Anonymous- you are asking the right girl for this topic!  Contrary to popular belief, it actually doesn’t pay that much being a waitress at the Rammer Jammer, so I’ve learned many ways to be thoughtful but frugal during the holidays.  One of the best things you could suggest to your boyfriend is not getting each other any gifts this season and instead going on a little get away as a couple.  This will be so romantic and it gives you the freedom to spend as little or as much money as you’re comfortable with.  How about a road trip to Biloxi or Galveston? Maybe you even have friends or family with a place you could use so you’ll save money on a hotel too.  I personally can’t think of anything better than a whole day on the road followed by a few nights out of town with Tom!  It sounds like your sweetie might be pretty set on getting you some kind of present so if you still want to get your boyfriend a small gift just to be safe, I’ve recently learned about the miracle of online shopping.  One piece of advice is to go shopping in the stores, write down what you like, then go online and find the best deals on those items. I hope you talk to your boyfriend anyway- let him know some of your concerns and who knows, maybe he’ll love these ideas too.  I hope I helped!

Big hugs,


If I can give you some advice, send me an email!


Mayor's Statement

Love and Politics By: Rose Hattenbarger



Ya’ll don’t know how relieved I am that this Election is over. I think I speak for many when I say this, especially Mayor Hayes. It has just seemed to consume all of the wonderful Bluebellian energy the past couple weeks. I, for one, am looking forward to the beginning of football season, and cool weather. Politics makes people so crazy.

Do you know what else makes people crazy? New love!! Unlike Justin and Selena, talk of a sprouting love in town is heating up – Lavon Hayes and Ruby Jeffries. Who knew that after all these years of not speaking and all these months of fighting, there was true love brewing underneath it all?! It’s really so very inspiring. Kind of like something you’d see on an episode of “Sex and the City”. I almost want to narrate their love story in my head a la Carrie Bradshaw. Oh, who am I kidding, I’ve totally been doing that already.

So, I guess this means Ruby is here to stay, which I don’t hate because Ruby is definitely a new type of style that this town needs. She’s smart, sassy, stylish, and a good female role model for us up-and-coming lady entrepreneurs. This excitement is like what I felt when Zoe came to town. Maybe we can be the new power trio in BlueBell!! You can never have enough big city ladies in small town BlueBell!

Mayor's Statement

Wanda’s Word on the Holidays By:




Hey everyone!  Thanks so much for checking back in on my little corner of Bluebell!  Well, as ya’ll know the holiday season is just around the corner, and like so many of you it ALWAYS puts me in a frenzy.  So many meals to cook, gifts to wrap, Planksgiving costumes to make, parties to throw- not to mention the Rammer Jammer gets crazy as ever when we start serving Earl’s Egg Nog (it’s Wade’s recipe).  With all this holiday talk getting so close it’s time to start planning now, so let’s go to an email.  This question comes from Tess W.  Tess writes:

“Hey There Wanda,

         I know you have a busy schedule being a working woman, a good citizen of Bluebell, and a sweet girlfriend to Tom Long (who is so dreamy btw), but I was hoping you could give me some advice on how to balance all that with a hectic holiday season.  How do you still find time to do all the necessary Holiday shopping, making goodies, etc?  Lots of love,


Tess, it’s not easy but it CAN be fun!  If you’re at all like me, you have at least twenty people to cook for over the next few months, a few special ones to buy gifts for, and at least 3 dozen neighbors to make treats for.  It can seem overwhelming, but if you make a schedule and stick to it, this holiday season will be a success.  For example- this year Tom (who I agree is VERY dreamy!) and I have decided we’re going to spend one whole weekend making my famous fruit cakes for all of our friends in Bluebell.  It’s a lot of work, especially since we have to drive all the way up to Jasper to get a truck load of my Uncle Gary’s cherries (that’s the secret to my recipe!), but when we get back we’re going to spend one whole night staying up late, drinking coca cola, eating popcorn and making our cakes for friends.  I already have it marked on the calendar!  This is how I do all of my holiday prepping- I write it down and I stick to it.  I also set aside time the same way to decorate the Christmas tree, wrap presents, cook dinners… it’s all in the planning!  So this holiday season, don’t just fly by the seat of your pants- put your important tasks on the calendar in advance and you’ll have a smooth-sailing, joyous holiday season!  I hope this helps.

Big hugs,



If ya’ll ever wanna ask me a question or even just say hi, write me at

Mayor's Statement

A Series of Election Haikus by Tom Long By: Tom Long




Exercising rights

In the great town of BlueBell

I vote Lavon Hayes


Watching Wanda vote

Makes me a happier guy

Democracy wins


Waiting in long lines

Isn’t a problem in town

Dash runs all the polls


Colorful designs

The ballot looks confusing.

How do I do this?


Antiquated laws

Ritual sacrifices

Glad we have moved on


It’s a happy day

When all the townsfolk are here

Yes! Bluebellians.