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Being the Sparkle 2017

Saturday, February 11th, 2017

groupbench2.jpgAlthough we have been incredibly busy with our group and our private reigns, you may never know it based on this out of date blog. It reminds me of the person who is so preoccupied Snap Chatting, Instagramming, and Facebooking that they forget to experience the moment. The cold hard focus on a screen consumes them.

Well, that sure enough has not been the MJQs last year. So huzzah and good for us. We have been living and surrounded with joy and so focused on Being the Sparkle that the job of recording our Royalty on a blog has taken a back seat. To be honest, the blog is not even in a back seat. The task is in a rusty flat bed trailer sitting out in a field.

Should you wonder, “What have the MJQs been up to lately?” then this simple answer should satisfy: We have just been happy Being the Sparkle in Savannah, Georgia.  You are most welcome.

New and Shining, Mint Julep Queens

Friday, August 14th, 2015


Fun comes in many different forms.

I know someone whose deepest passion is fox hunting. In fact, I know two such ladies who count the days until fox hunting season. Queen Leslie moved to Thomasville a few years back so that she could pursue her treasured pastime more often. The other, Nita Ann just got her sash and also reigns as a Mint Julep Queen. Lisa’s passion used to be helping one of her favorite charities, Bethesda Academy.

I find it fascinating that once you find a single passion, that it can define you so completely. When you meet someone new and shining, trying to remember their name may be a challenge for you, like it is for me. I need a framework to help me plant their name and their Life Picture in my mind. The frame may be your job–”Ahh. I remember her. She’s an attorney.”   Or it may be your hobby. “Oh, yeah. She’s the one who shows horses,” I may say to myself.  Picturing a runner on a track and thinking “She’s a runner,” is a image that does not help me remember anything at all– except how much I hate running. So many people are runners, I need more information.

These newest MJQs are like most women, though. Multifaceted.  They work. They have a family. They have charities. They have many deep interests and hobbies. The excitement for me is that now that they are Queen, they can add a Regal image to their Life Picture. How many among us can’t benefit from additional shining sparkle? Now we all are thrilled that they are willing to share that brightness with us. Isn’t it nice that when are out and about in Savannah and we run into a familiar face, we can think, “Oh! I remember her. She’s a Mint Julep Queen!”  Next, imagine her in her crown.

Reign on, Lisa and Nita Ann.  

In or out? Yes or no? Heels or flats? Crown or Tiara?

Monday, July 6th, 2015

dh-adjusting-jodis-tiara.jpgqueens-elizabeth-kim-b-georgia.jpgdh-kim-laughs-with-mary.jpgSome binary choice questions imply that there is something wrong with you if you answer a certain way. How does this translate to fear? Lemme tell you.

For example, in your Book Club, everyone may say they adore the latest book by E.L. James. (I do not use the word “novel” to describe the 50 Shades of Gray book because I am a critical like that.) During the discussion you announce that you did not like it at all and did not finish reading it. Life is too short to read books you do not like, you say.   The Book Club members look aghast and one other person, whispers, “Yes. I really did not like it that much either.”

What happens if everyone says they just hated the memoir “Just Kids” by Patti Smith. “No kidding,” you say. “I loved it.” One other member counters, “It was totally disgusting.”

If you are able to feel comfortable with other women commenting on something you personally like, be it heels or flats, then good for you. Most of the time, I like to believe that I am more than happy to share my opinion and others’ differing ideas do not phase me at all.  But what if you have had a bad day?  Or even a bad week? Your hair is all frizzy. The dog threw-up on your new bedspread. Maybe the coach did not let your ten year old play but a 5 measly minutes and and your boss added your name to the clean-up crew after the company picnic. Maybe you have surgery scheduled on a lump somewhere. The nursing home workers told you that your mom had been crying a lot more and MRI you just had for the pain in your hip was diagnosed as sciatic nerve pain caused by poor posture. Maybe you have to have a root canal tomorrow or you just had one yesterday. To top it off, the only swimsuit that fits you anymore has a broken elastic leg hole and now you have to take a day and go shopping for a new one. All of these challenges are stories someone out there can tell.

Mountains of small things might pile on top of you, weighing down your heart and your spirit. The only thing you have had time to schedule is Book Club, but then doubt and unpleasantness may be your reward. A feeling of “Crap ,am I the only one who thinks this way?” could creep in with waves of loneliness and little ripples of isolation. Tiny Hardship after Tiny Hardship can take a toll and even a small judgment can knock you down a peg or two.

Face it.  Being the only one in a room who likes (or dislikes) something is not a  joyous party place to be. I feel strong and powerful being honest and going against the crowd, most of the time, but there are times it also feels lonely. It sort of depends on what else is going on in my life. We all have a story. The story details are constantly changing for all of us.  You never know what others face.

That is what I adore the most about reigning as a royal with the Mint Julep Queens. Through the years we finally have found our code, our mission, our reason to exit. Do you like to dress-up and wear a crown? Every last one of the MJQs will proudly say, “Yes. Of course.” In every other way we are a very diverse group of females, but on this we stand. Give us a rhinestone headpiece, a swishy dress, and a royal wave and Voila`–all is right with the world. In the Mint Julep Queens, the only question you need ask is this- “Do you like wearing a crown?” As our Queen Elizabeth noted, “Why wouldn’t I like it? I am a queen for goodness sakes.” And I promise, everyone agrees. 

Reign on!

New Mint Julep Queens get Sashed at Tybee Island’s Mardi Gras Coronation

Saturday, February 14th, 2015


Of course, we celebrate reigning as Royals, but our newest members give us even more reason to call “Huzzah! Huzzah,  All Hail, most regal sovereigns.”

Elizabeth, Mary, Marianne, Georgia, Jenni, and Kim B sparkel with charm, wit, and majesty.  I predict last year’s MJQs and this year’s MJQs will lead us triumphantly.  Keep in mind, our job is spreading joy, one tiara at a time and to never grow so tired that we forget how to have fun; nothing less will be the order of business for the remaining months of 2015.

A May tea time and “MJQ Coronation & Flounce” will be the scene for our next official welcome of new members.  Time and date TBA, location will be The Davenport House on East State Street in historic downtown Savannah.

“The Davenport House is situated on Columbia Square at the corner of State and Habersham Streets in the Historic District of Savannah, Georgia. The house is one of the oldest brick structures in the city owning to the common use of wood construction during the town’s earliest history. Situated directly on the street, the two-and-a-half story urban dwelling contains a total of 6,800 square feet with a basement level (which originally housed the kitchen, storage, work space and possibly a sleeping area for the enslaved servants owned by Isaiah Davenport), the first floor containing the public areas, and the second and third floors which were bedrooms and storage space. The Davenport home sits on Columbia Ward’s lot number 13, which originally measured (and continues to measure) 60 feet by 90 feet. The rear portion of the lot at one time held a carriage house, garden and privy.”

“The site now contains a portion of lot number 14 which is the Museum’s courtyard garden. The garden was a Bicentennial project of Savannah’s Trustees Garden Club. It has since been redesigned under the guidance of renowned English landscape designer Penelope Hobhouse. While not a true restoration, the garden is maintained by volunteers “in the spirit of the original owners” and is planted with varieties of plants known to the Davenports and typical of coastal Georgia.” 

Judge not, my Monkeys, lest ye be Judged!

Tuesday, January 27th, 2015


Judgement is different than criticism, isn’t it?  Or is it?  Honest critiques are not judgmental, are they?  Well, as I consider the landscape of intolerant humans out there in the world, there are a handful of folks who are pretty quick to judge the Mint Julep Queens, or anyone at all who enjoys wearing a costume and a crown for fun.

“That is down right silly,” they will whisper to each other.

Sometimes, they turn to their spouse and instruct, “I hope, my dear  you never go out of the house wearing a get-up like those wild women.”

They ask,  ”What is that crazy big chiffon dress, huge rhinestone tiara, and beauty pageant sash about? Lawd.  They look silly.  Who in the world would ever in a million years dress like that for fun? God!  If they knew how silly they looked, they would never prance about like that!”  *Huff- Huff and sneer*

Well, honey baby,  I love it.  Being a princess, running about the house with a construction paper cone and attached long veil helped me channel Leslie Anne Warren—  ”Alone in my corner, in my own little chair, I can be whatever I want to be.”  So why stop playing, just because I am a tad bit older?

I will not judge you, if you do not judge me, how ’bout it?  Do we have ourselves’ a deal?   I mean, look at the dress you are wearing. And what about the Brooks Brothers suit on you, dear sir?  Does anyone ever smile with joy when you walk into a room? Do little children run up to you and hug your legs?  Do grown women ask you, “Oh my! Where in the world did you buy that wonderful dress and that spectacular tiara?”  Do men ever come over to you, slap you on the back and say, “Man, you look like a king in that button down.”

Your cute white sandals and Lily Pulitzer dress with the green scuba diving monkeys is…what?  It is a pink sea.  There are cartoon monkeys riding seahorses, also.  I know you spent a chunk of change on that look, and honey baby, it is—well.  I will say it.  It is not my cup of tea.  It is fine as wine, but I would never wear it.  Nor would I like my daughter to wear it.  And by the way, your husband never pretended to be a princess, nor did he wield a sword and fight dragons as a child, so how would he understand my pleasure in re-creating this Royal facet of myself– of my soul and heart?!  He would not.  Most men who understood the role of Knight when they were mere tikes, totally understand the Mint Julep Queens.

When our Newly Crowned Queens and Ladies in Waiting meet someone who understands the group, they find minimal explanation is needed.   Women and men who gush, grin and gaffaw usually celebrate the playful aspects of life, always have, and always will.

Those who snark, envy, condemn, or otherwise suggest that you are a wild-ass rebel and foolish non-conformist and somehow totally look down there noses at you because you are a mess…well.   Try not to judge them, Highnesses.   Really.  It is hard.  But try.  Just think of green monkeys swimming in a pink sea.  It is not your cup of tea, nor is playing dress-up theirs.   Flounce off. Avoid the negative energy. For every judgment, you will find a dozens, and I mean dozens more strangers who adore you, and adore us, the Mint Julep Queens.  Encourage all people to be playful again.  Encourage young children to never stop playing.   And, Highnesses,  just let the monkeys be and the sea be pink.

Glitter, glitter everywhere

Friday, January 16th, 2015

There are so many ways to add glitter to your stuff.  Glue it.  Spray it.  Paint it.  Pin it. Bedazzle it.  Stitch it.  Wear it.  Seems whenever I run into Lady Elizabeth, she always has some random glitter dusting her face, an unintentional marker of her zest for life and infectious joy.   Queen Kim will actually glittercize her Converse prior to a parade.  When it comes to adding emotional sparkle to your heart and soul, that is a different DYI project and can be a much more difficult challenge.

Just like a needle pierces a cloth with a thread as crystal beads and shiny sequins are attached, the sharp point that sometimes hits me is anxiety, doubt, and misery.  Or depending on the type of massively crappy day I just had, a simple sourness that life is too darn hard; there is too much dadgum hate in the world, my house is a wreck, and nobody told me I had spinach in my teeth, because I have no friends.  That hot tub of sorrow can cause premature wrinkling, plus it interferes with enthusiasm and without enthusiasm, being Queen is near about impossible.

All of the Mint Julep Queens love playing dress-up.  Anytime we have an excuse to perch a tiara on our Royal heads, we jump at the chance.  Anytime.  All the time.  Honest.  Anytime at all,  we will prance about with rhinestones in our hair, except when we can’t.   And when we can’t, I promise you, there is a crisis in the kingdom, a fly in the ointment, a stone thrower at the gates.  When rotten stuff happens and wearing a happy face, (not to mention a crown) feels like an imposition, give yourself time to re-group.  Stay at home and watch “You’ve Got Mail” and practice being perky in the face of unhappiness.  I find that Meg Ryan helps, so does not kicking yourself for being a bit blue.

Depending on the depth of the blueness, pulling out the glitter pen to journal a few thoughts can rescue me.  Or a nap.  Queens like naps.   But dear, if you are fortunate enough to see the Mint Julep Queens out and about, each wearing a dazzle-tastic tiara and darling sash with emerald green flocked letters that proclaim MINT JULEP QUEEN, you must know that everyone of us is shining with enthusiasm in our hearts.  We are celebrating be alive, being female, and being spirited enough to never grow so old that we stop playing dress-up.

Do not be fooled, though.  In person,  we may very well present a picture of Regal perfection to our public, that does not mean that we have perfect lives.  That does not mean we don’t fight our own battles, slaying our own dragons of doubt, fear, misery, and visible panty lines.    When the MJQs make a public appearance, you can assume that each female decided to make time in her otherwise busy, challenging, confusing, fabulous, messy, grace-filled life to be Queen, if only for a few hours.


“What do y’all do, Mint Julep Queens?”

Saturday, December 6th, 2014


After winning the BEST WALKING GROUP category in the Savannah Waterfront Association’s Annual Light Holiday Parade, a sweet old dude in a lit-up SRV pulled up to our Duke of Tranport’s 1964 convertible Cadillac, Desi.   He hung his head out the window,  as we all busied ourselves getting de-lit and un-plugged from our Sparkling Regalia.

“Hey,” he called politely.  ”I got a question.”

I had not really been paying attention to the nice old dude, so our group of ladies called to me and indicated we had an admireer  with a question.  The group deferred to me I suppose because I have a gift of chatter.  Some might even call it a talent.

As I approached his car window,  he said,  “Tell me.  What do y’all do?”

“We are the Mint Julep Queens.”

He nodded.  You see, he had that part figured out, since we had a handmade glittered poster board strapped to Desi’s car doors proclaiming The Mint Julep Queens.

“Yeah.  I see that,” he nodded at me.

I continued.  ”We have fun.  We celebrate being fabulous females.”

The guy smiled back.  ”Yeah.  But really, what do you do?”

“We celebrate being alive and being fabulous. ” I curtseyed a bit and grinned at him, hoping he understood.

He cocked his head, surveyed the scene and asked, in a surprised tone, “That’s it?”

“We have fun being Queen–  so, yes.   That’s it.”

Then he waved and answered,  ”Well, then.  Bless you, all.” And he drove off.


Keep Calm and Fly me to the Moon!

Monday, October 6th, 2014

jan-and-joyce-new-mjqs.jpgliza-and-suzanne-2014.jpgWe won third prize in the “Picnic in the Park” with the Savannah Philharmonic.  Parker’s stores sponsored this wonderful event.  Thousands attended this annual event in Forsyth Park– and we, the Mint Julep Queens coronated three new members.  We gave away 150 toy tiaras to little princesses and encouraged the dears to never grow so old that they forget the raw joy of playing dress-up.


All are Welcome at our Ten Year Anniversary!

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

To celebrate ten whole years of Reign in Savannah, Georgia, we, the Mint Julep Queens are planning a huge, elegant, regal party.  Yes.  I know.  I am giddy with excitement.  The Savannah Philharmonic will play for us! Thousands and thousands of well-wishers from far and near will pack their suppers and seating, and then they will gather on the grounds of Forsyth Park.  Glasses will be raised and love and peace will abound throughout the Realm.

Three Ladies in Waiting will be crowned and sashed as official Mint Julep Queens.  Several of our brilliant Junior Mint Princesses will be there to give away over two hundred little tiaras to charming guests. Please join us at 4:30 pm in Forsyth Park for ”Keep Calm & Fly Me to the Moon”,  an MJQ 10th Anniversary Coronation & Flounce.

(In case you have not heard, the gathering on Sunday, October 5th is free and open to the public.  You will likely see it written up in local papers as “Picnic in the Park” with the Savannah Philharmonic sponsored by Parkers.  We Royals prefer to think this beloved tradition is a gift from the city of Savannah to us, but honestly, dears, maybe it is a gift to us all.)

(Queen Kim welcomes visitors from abroad who arrive to celebrate our decade long reign.)  



Wednesday, May 7th, 2014

If the over 200 Nigerian school girls had been Royalty off at boarding school, would they have been abducted?  If they had been abducted the investigation and recovery be swift and thorough, I believe .   The world needs these girls to return safety to their families.  We are all Valued and Loved.  We are all Royal Spirits.     # BringBackOurPrincesses  bringbackourgirls.jpg