I guess I’m thinking about Southern phrases a lot, because my feet are swollen from carrying a big ol’ baby and I can’t seem to do much else. Being pregnant has brought the phrase “burnin’ slap up” to my lips many a time. If you did not know, there are degrees of warmth. When I visit Buffalo to see my beloved husband’s family around Christmas, it is “cold as all get out.” There are other “cold as” expressions, but they are a bit more colorful than I prefer to be. It does get a little chilly down here now and then. If it is still cold but has warmed up a bit, you might get to “plumb cold.” “Plumb cold” still requires a jacket, but you might not need your boggin’ (knit hat for my friends in other parts of the country). Anyway, as it warms up for the first time in the spring, you will hear the phrase blackberry winter. Everyone will tell you its coming. Don’t be scared. It cools off a little again as the blackberries bloom, and you make it through it. When it gets to be about 90 degrees, we like to say that it is “a little warm.” We either understate or overstate. Otherwise, it’s no fun. I think the step right before “burnin’ slap up” is “smotherin.’” As in, I’m smotherin’. I say that a lot as well, especially in high humidity. Some people claim to use phrases like “hotter than a billy goat in a pepper patch.” That seems like too much of a bother to remember and use properly. I just find myself burnin’ slap up the majority of the time these days. I hope you don’t mind if I pray for blackberry winter with a little Easter snow.