Sunday, December 27, 2009

A Moment with My Daughter

These are my two lovely daughters. The one on the left is the oldest. She considers herself a fashionista and she does put together some nice looks. She rarely leaves the house without belting something or adding a splash of color with a sweater or shoes. She loves all things designer. I don't know where she got her expensive taste from.

However, when it comes to table manners, she's atrocious. A complete contradiction. Today we had lunch together at Olive Garden and I was watching her eat fettuccine alfredo. She looked up and said "What?" She's hunched over her plate like an inmate, holding her fork in caveman-like fashion.

"Oh, nothing. I was just thinking though, when you have that first date with a guy that you really, really like at a nice might want to consider going somewhere that you can order a smoothie or something. Drink your dinner, you know? Because if he sees your table manners, sweetie, you're in trouble."

Still clubbing her fork, she said "It's not that bad, Mom. Besides, you never sent me to manners school."

(I love how at any given moment my daughters can find a way to blame me for every problem...including the economy, the hole in the ozone layer and world hunger).

"I never went to manners school either, whatever that is, and I don't eat like a wild boar."

She laughed and again told me that I was exagerrating.

I sighed and said, "Would you please wipe the alfredo sauce from your chin?"

"Geez, Mom, I didn't even know it was there."

"Really? You didn't feel that noodle slapping you in the face as your slurped it from the plate?"

She giggled and wiped her chin with the back of her delicate hand.

So...perhaps I spoke to soon. I'm looking for some sort of manners class, school, prison, rehab center. Anything.


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Fungus Among Us

Tonight was good. Tonight was Zen. Tonight I made the Turkey and Rice soup, with mushrooms and sage. And sweet Lord, it was creamy goodness incarnate.

Just to walk you through the experience, I started about 4:30 PM. No kids, no grandchildren, hubby was in bed because he had a tooth extraction. Not that I'm glad about the tooth extraction, I'm just sayin'. It was QUIET. That's rare in my house. I poured a nice glass of red and started to chop the onions. Then I cried. Then I put on my glasses because the soup bible (the one I pictured yesterday) is unfortunately the tiniest cook book I have ever seen in my life. So very tiny.

I started out listening to opera. I want to love opera, I love moments in opera, but after about half an hour, I wanted to stab myself in the eye with my cutting knife. The sadness of the music just kills me. I tried reggae, made me want to get high...tried Christmas music, too cheesy...I even tried jazz but the only station I have available made me feel like I was in an elevator so I went to back to my constant...SIRIUS Coffeehouse music. A little Tracy Chapman, a little Neil Young, a little Jack Johnson. Perfect.

I chopped, stirred, sipped and listened. And at the end, I had this delicious creamy soup, full of turkey, browned mushrooms, sage and...well, creamy, creamy goodness. Seriously delicious. The kind of soup you want to bathe in...yep, it was that good. I used my culinary skills that I learned from the movie "Julie and Julia" which simply states that when browning mushrooms, don't crowd them. Apparently, mushrooms don't like to be crowded. Who knew?

I love mushrooms. Finally, a fungus after my own heart.

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Soup Nazi

If I were younger, I'd move to Paris and enroll in culinary school. I'd love to be a chef. Kind of strange, a love for cooking is something that developed later in my life. It was Hamburger Helper and hot dogs when I was young, now I want to explore ingredients I've never heard of and learn how to cook beautiful food. And serve it on red square plates. On the terrace of my villa in Italy.

But for now, I'll have to settle for this little book and all the delicious soups it can teach me how to cook.
This week before Christmas, my children are out out of town so I'm going to turn on some nice music, jazz maybe, or show tunes in honor of my new blogger friend, Mark, pour myself a nice glass of wine and make this...(sorry Mark, but the image of a guy down in the engine room kicking up his feet to the soundtrack of RENT is too priceless not to share).

and maybe a little of this...

And if they both turn out horrible, I'll whip up some Crawfish Etouffee because I know how to cook that with one hand behind my back, thanks to my cool sister-in-law, Lisa. The woman can cook, seriously.

And then I'll invite all of my friends over and make them stand in line, not looking me in the eye, and ask for the soup of their choice and if they don't speak up quickly enough, I'll shout


Sunday, December 20, 2009

Shadow Fish

It's Shadow Shot Sunday, people. For more cool shots, check out Hey Harriet. She has given us all creative inspiration with her wonderful blog! Thanks again! I've never noticed shadows like I have in the last couple of months...what a wonderful, new way to view the world.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Fairytales and Lifetales

I promised some stories last week. Thanks to everyone who said such sweet, encouraging words to a very, selfish woman. Namely, me. I forgot that Christmas isn't about how others make me feel, but about what I give out. And all year long, too...not just Christmas.

Now for the stories. A few days ago, Dino and I got wrapped up in the most ridiculous texting marathon. We collaborated on a fairytale that was born out of sheer frustration and we had more fun than two grown women should have...on a weekday...without liquor. You can read it, in parts, here. I've known her forever and our sense of humor has grown up together, influenced greatly by Monty Python and just plain silliness. So that's one two women, thousands of miles apart, found a little joy in the middle of a drab, routine week just being girls again. And using the words "belch", "poo" and "flatulent", many, many times. Who knew?


The other story happened last week, just a few blocks from my house at a Circle K. My daughter and I had stopped to put gas in my car at the end of a very long day. I was a little grumpy (see previous blog) and feeling sorry for myself. It was very cold that night, unseasonably so for Louisiana, and I was leaning against the car pumping my gas, when I noticed a man wandering up the sidewalk. He had on many layers of clothes, tattered and worn, a full red beard, ruddy cheeks, warm smile. He asked the woman next to me if she could spare some change.

"I won't give you money," she said, "but I'll buy you something to eat."

"Okay, Burger King has $1 double cheeseburgers."

The Burger King was just two blocks down from the Circle K.

"If you want to eat, I'll buy you a sandwich here. I'm not going to Burger King."

"Okay, whatever you think. I just know that food here is pretty expensive."

"It's here or nothing," she said, rather sharply.

"Okay, whatever you think is best," he answered with a smile.

So he stood there, waiting for her to finish and when she did, she popped the cap back on, put the nozzle back in the pump, got in her car and drove away.

And there he stood. Hands in pocket. Our eyes met, and he smiled and turned away. Like this happened all the time. I think what got to me was that smile. He didn't yell or curse at her. Just smiled. How could she just drive away, I thought? I was sick.

I finished pumping my gas and called out to him. I told him I was going down the street to Burger King and asked would he like a burger or two?

"I wouldn't want you to go out of your way," he said. There was that smile again.

I told him I was going there anyway for my daughter, and if he would be here for a few minutes, I'd bring them back to him. He said okay, he'd stick around for a few minutes and sat down on the bus stop bench.

When I came back a a few minutes later, my daughter rolled down the window and said, "Sir? We brought you some food."

He walked over to her window and peered past her to see who was driving and for a minute, looked as if he didn't recognize me.

Then he smiled and said, "You came back."


"Yeah, there's hot coffee, too. Cream and sugar in the bag."

"Thanks, ma'm and have a good evening."

And there was that smile again. As we drove away, my daughter and I talked for awhile about why some people end up living alone, out on the streets. Some by choice, but so many by one bad break after another. And we talked about how easy it truly is to give in small ways, everyday. And how we wished we could give more.

I didn't tell this story to pat myself on the back, it was just a bag of cheeseburgers. But just to remind myself that we're all in this together. And a bad day to me, is still a great day. And those who have great days, and families, warm homes, and cars, can always reach out and show a little kindness to someone who has so little.

That's all...two stories, both different, but both about bringing a little joy.

Merry Christmas.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Shadows and Ghosts of Christmas' Past

The other day, I was driving down Line Avenue in my hometown and had to stop when I saw this tree. The way the light was filtering through the leaves made it glow. I wish I could have captured that glow in this photo. You don't see a lot of leaves this color in Louisiana. For more Shadow Shots, go here!


And now for something completely different. For the last few years, Christmas tends to find me a little blue. I think it's four things.

1. My children aren't little children anymore. They've lost some of that magic that I used to see sparking in their eyes when they were younger. They try, but it's just gone. Same thing happens with birthdays as you get older. And mostly, it's harder to create that magic for them now. A candy cane and a cup of hot chocolate just doesn't muster up the same excitement. They're teenagers and so they spend a lot of their christmas vacation with friends. I miss them.

2. The darkness.

3. The effect the darkness has on my sweet hubby. I have never seen anyone in my life who despises winter like he does. So, naturally, he retreats a little. To his cave. And his Xbox. And in general, just seems a little...well, absent. I miss him.

This is what he looks like and where he sits pretty much all winter long. Note the scowl, the popcorn and the jacket. Always with the jacket.

4. This is the second Christmas since my grandmother died. It seems strange without her here. When I was a kid, we spent every holiday at her house and those are some of my sweetest childhood memories. Oh, how I miss her.

And to add to all of this, my best friend is in a wonderful relationship with a great guy so she's a little absent at the moment, too. Don't get me wrong, I'm very happy for her, I just miss her.

Things just seem different this year. Not necessarily bad, just different. So I spent a few days feeling blue and pitiful and then I decided to make the most of it. I'll use some of lonely time to catch up on my many great books that need my attention. And catch up on my writing. I still have an unfinished novel from Nanowrimo that needs my attention. One of my goals for this year was to finish said novel. That leaves me a few weeks. I'm such a procrastinator.

And I've also decided that the christmas tree is MINE this year. No one wants to help me decorate the little guy so guess what? The box of sentimental ornaments in the attic from years past is staying in the attic. This year, the tree is going have blue lights and very few ornaments. It's going to be simple. Maybe I'll make ornaments. I can learn to be crafty! Maybe my colors will strictly be blue and brown. I never liked forest green or red anyway. Or maybe I'll just go with the blue lights and a string of popcorn. My little Charlie Brown Christmas tree.
And he and I, the tree that is, will have a very, merry little christmas. And find new ways in which to celebrate doing things for complete strangers.

Those stories to follow...

Friday, December 11, 2009

It's an AWARD!

Thanks for passing on the award, Dino. I love awards.

I'm just like the father in one of my favorite christmas movies, "A Christmas Story." You remember the movie? The father is always entering sweepstakes and contests just in the hopes of winning something special...just once. Finally, the day arrives that he receives a special delivery from a prize department. He can't believe it! It finally paid off! He rips open the box, panting with anticipation, pulls the prize out and stares in gratitude and amazement.

"What is it?" his wife asks.

"It's an AWARD!" he shouts, clinging feverishly to the prize...a shapely, woman's leg, clad in a fishnet stocking and a black stiletto. But's not just a beautiful leg, it's a LAMP! Which he quickly places in the living room, facing the street, for all the world to see. His prize.

My family and I still quote that line every chance we get. It never gets old. "It's an AWARD!" we shout! And you'd be surprised at the many situations that you can use a line like that. Really. Amazed.

So in return for this beautiful award, I'll answer the questions below in one word or less and pass it on.

I'd like to thank the academy, God, my family...sorry, got lost there for a minute.

I need to pass this on to five people, post on their blog to let them know I left this award, and then I need to answer a list of questions in ONE word. And they they will answer these same questions and pass the award on to five others.

1. Where is your cell phone?…
2. Your hair?…
3. Your mother?…sparkly

4. Your father?…rock

5. Your favorite food?… pasta

6. Your dream last night?… water

7. Your favorite drink?…
8. Your dream/goal?…
9. What room are you in?…
10. Your hobby?…
11. Your fear?…
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years?…
13. Where were you last night?…
14. Something that you aren’t?…
15. Muffins?…
16. Wish list item?… piano
17. Where did you grow up?…
18. Last thing you did?…
19. What are you wearing?…
20. Your TV?…
21. Your Pets?…
22. Friends?…
23. Your life?…
24. Your mood?… melancholy

25. Missing Someone?…
26. Vehicle?… necessary

27. Something you're not wearing?… designer

28. Your favorite store?…
29. Your favorite colour?…
30. When was the last time you laughed?…
31. Last time you cried?…
32. Your best friend?…
33. One place that I go to over and over?…
34. Facebook?…
35. Favorite place to eat?…outside

I'm passing this award along to Lisa, Becky, Ray, Sweet Repose, and Linda. Have fun!

Sunday, December 06, 2009

This Moment

I cheated...I didn't take this photo but my daughter-in-law did! This is her daughter, and my inherited granddaughter, Makaila. I love this photo. Head on over to Hey Harriet for more interesting Shadow Shots. Yep, it's Sunday. And thanks, Sam!


Watched a couple of good indie movies this weekend. Paper Heart, a quirky semi-documentary on the question of true love. Also, The Answer Man, a movie about a man who writes THE spiritual answer book for his generation and yet, has no answers...whatsoever. Isn't this true for all of us? The main character kind of reminded me of my father, always reading and searching for answers to every theological question, but he hasn't always been so good at living in the moment. He's learning that now, though. And that's all that matters. So many of us never learn that lesson.

Our culture seems to view happiness and success as some elusive vapor. Something that we're always working towards, waiting for, searching for. And when we get there, we'll rest. We'll finally relax.

What a load of crap. This is it folks...this moment. This relationship, this friendship, this dinner, this glass of wine, this sunset, this busy, imperfect day. What a waste when we don't see it...when we don't see the little girl, underneath the net, peeking through.


Sunday, November 29, 2009

Sculpture Shadow

This is a sculpture that lives downtown in the artspace. It's also my photo for Shadow Shot Sunday.

Had a great Thanksgiving week. I got to see an old friend that I haven't seen in 25 years. She's not old...I meant old, as in a long span of time. The conversation was easy and fun...we still click. It's amazing how some friendships are so solid that even time can't erode their foundation.

I ate lots and lots of turkey, greenbean casserole, dressing, sweet potato casserole and other carby delights. I heart carbs. And in general, relaxed and slept, spent time with family, watched movies, read, ventured out a few times and sighed a lot. Big happy, sighs of contentment.

And no, I didn't ride my new bike...not once.

Don't judge me.

Friday, November 27, 2009

A Memory


You should know that those few days
that I spent with you are some of my
sweetest memories.
They play in my mind like an indie film,
slow moving and full of sweet, dialogue.
We saw Colin Firth, on the big screen,
falling in love with a house-girl who spoke no English.
Their confusion in communicating, beautiful.
They spoke to each other in silent ways.

And we walked, hand in hand,
down historic, hilly streets with
big, blue houses, wrapped with porches,
scattered with white rocking chairs and
pots of bright, red geraniums.
You said we could live in one of those houses.
You knew a home I could call my own would
tempt me, sooth me.

On one of those walks, we found a vintage shop full
of brightly colored scarves and clothes from
so many scattered lives.
I found a jacket...worn, brown suede with
huge, copper snaps. The lining was silk and
printed with pictures of cowboys throwing lassos.
Western, yellow stitching lined the pockets.
I coveted that jacket but couldn't
talk myself into spending the money.
Later, you took me back there, bought the jacket,
and presented it to me,
like a promise.
I still have it.
I slip my arms into it on cold days,
and think of you.
I wonder where you are.
Still in that cold, tiny apartment?
Married to some earthy, granola girl,
her fingernails dirty with earth?
Or nursing aging parents,
trying to be the good son,
their only son.
Still thinking over every decision
so carefully, so slowly, under the guise
of being careful, but steeped in the reality of your fear.
Nothing ever moves.
Still the manager of a warehouse store,
stocked full of party favors sold in bulk,
and insignificant people.
Insignificant to you because
you never let them in, always hiding
behind your plastic name tag.
Living a safe life, while you wait...
and write...
about an imagined life.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Shadows of the New Moon

So it's Sunday and and you know what that means...SSS. I haven't posted one single thing all week so thank you, Hey Harriet, for a little inspiration and motivation. I love the way the light filters through this shade early in the morning.


So this week's been pretty busy. Stood in line for three hours waiting to see the midnight showing of "New Moon" with my daughters, cousin, sister-in-laws and a gaggle of gaggle a word? A good time was had by all, although the next day, the older women in the group were pretty tired. I think I'm still catching up on my sleep.

A whole lot of estrogen in the air that night, for sure. And probably more women my age than teenage girls...hmmm.

I'm looking forward to Thanksgiving week. I've been a little under the weather for a couple of weeks now and I think I'm in much need of rest.

And TURKEY...lots and lots of TURKEY.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

My Other Life

You've seen her before. Guitar Girl. And now here she is again for Shadow Shot Sunday.

Sometimes, I imagine that she is another life. A life in which I stroll around in the open country with a guitar strapped to my back. Just waiting for a moment when I can sit down and burst into spontaneous song.

No cares, no responsibilities...sigh.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Shadow Shot Sunday

Here's my photo for Shadow Shot Sunday. It's from one of my new favorite places, downtown at the River Walk on the Red River. Yesterday, I packed up the bike and took it for a ride. It was a beautiful day, leaves crunching under my wheels, nice breeze and indigo sky.

Today, I'm paying for it...I can't feel my buttocks.

Happy Sunday.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Lucky Winner

After much wringing of hands and monumental anticipation, I'm happy to announce that Sarah's story about the above photo was dead on! Congratulations, Sarah! And your prize is having your name mentioned here, Sarah, in my highly read blog (6 followers!) as many times as I can squeeze it in! What do you think about that, Sarah?

Sarah, your guess about my grandson (a.k.a. Mr. Wapkaplet) being forced to send a birthday greeting was correct! And here is the weird part, Sarah, and I think you'll daughter, who's also named Sarah, but without the "h", was the one who forced the birthday greeting on Mr. W and took the photo! Could we call that serendipity? Hmm.....I wonder, Sarah. Not sure if this situation fits the definition of the word. I'm sure Diahn will let us know.

Thanks for particpating Sarah! And thanks for your encouraging comment on my previous Shadow Shot Sunday blog, too.

By the way, Sarah, love your blogs, the dolls in your etsy shop, your sketches and photos...all of it! Hope to see you here again!

Yay, SARAH!!!

Monday, November 02, 2009

What Up?

I thought it might be interesting to post this picture of my grandson and see who can come up with the best story to explain the photo.

Sorry, I don't have a prize to offer but I will include the best explanation in my next blog!

Work with me, people...just trying to create some traffic.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Can I Play?

I took this photo for Shadow Shot Sunday. Please keep in mind that I don't have the tools or the skills of the wonderful photographers who are participating, but that's okay, right? I can find a shadow and take a picture! Since I saw this link on Diahn's blog a while back, honestly, I notice shadows in the oddest places.

It's cool to look at the world in a new way.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

417 Texas Street

It's late, I should be asleep, but I can't. Sleep, that is. Hubby and I went out tonight, to a lovely place called Noble Savage Tavern. It's the kind of place that if you go there often, you might blend in with the crowd and become pathetic, but we don't, so it maintains it's unique, quirky edge. It's lovely for many reasons but one of the main reasons is the's divine.

The place is located downtown, on historic Texas Street. You've got to love the name...Wikepedia refers to the phrase as "the normal essence of an unfettered human."
I think I could live the rest of my life by that phrase. Unfettered. How I long to be unfettered.

Tonight, I met some really cool people. I'm sure their stories are amazing and maybe one day soon, I'll get a glimpse of those stories, but for now, names and shadows are all I have.

There's Narcolepsy Guy. No, I didn't meet him personally, but hubby and Rump (the boss) pointed him out with his oh-so-appropriate-name. He looked like he was about to fall asleep at any moment. He was a big guy, at a round table, surrounded by friends and family, wearing a lumberjack plaid shirt. Apparently, the guy's really intelligent but is known to literally slam his head into the bar or tabletop when he falls asleep, unexpectedly, if the conversation doesn't hold his interest. Now, I don't know a lot about narcolepsy, but seriously? If I were to talk to narcolepsy guy I think I would feel a tremendous amount of pressure to keep the conversation lively. Before I even met the guy, I would probably do days worth of research to make sure I had plenty to talk about. Because sometimes you can fake a nice conversation, throw in a tid-bit here and there to fake interest, but if there's a chance that someone can fall flat on his face into a deep snooze while I'm talking, all I'm saying is, I'm gonna have some interesting conversational pieces. Talk about pressure. Sheez.

And then there's Growler. I had no idea what a growler was. It's sort of a jug and this guy brings his own for his beer. The bartender knows him and fills it up...the growler. He's authentic, he says. The growler. He's young, messy, has curly dark hair, is slightly overweight, wears black t-shirts with witty slogans and geeky Clark Kent glasses. And when he introduced himself, he, well, um, slightly growled. Or mumbled, mixed with a growl. He's also known as the Drunken Prophet. Apparently, he growls words of wisdom after a "growler" of beer, like this...THE END IS NEAR, BUY ME A BEER!

I know, I know, the guy's a modern day Walt Whitman.

And then there's Chef. He's a whole weeks worth of stories. He owns the place, cooks amazing, gourmet, Top Chef type dishes with ingredients that you've never even heard of, and he's also the hardest, crudest, cursing-est (I made the word up) guy I've ever met. He told me once that he used to smoke weed until they started coming out with designer weed, and it become so potent and complicated that he became edgy and extremely paranoid, so he went back to heroin. Really. He eats bullets for breakfast. But cooks the most beautiful food that I've ever had the pleasure of eating.

I love this place.

For a few hours, a few times out of the year, I have the privilege of meeting some of the most colorful people that I've ever met.

Check it out, if you're in town. It's worth a visit.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Sweet Ride

I went for a run Sunday. That's right, I got off my fat butt and enjoyed the brief day of sunshine. Down by the river, no less. Okay, I walked. Briskly. I only started running when I saw someone approaching and then gave them the nod and a look that said "Whew! We are some kind of healthy running people, aren't we?" As soon as they passed, I dropped back into my "brisk" walk, panting like a big, sweaty dog. Still, I felt really good about myself and when I got home, hubby asked "How was the walk?"

"Run. You mean run. I ran."

"Yeah, that's what I meant. How was the run?"

"Great! Beautiful! I need a bike."


"A bike. I need a bike. I want to ride my bicycle, I want to ride my bike," I hummed. Freddy Mercury would have been proud.

So later, to make a long story short, the love of my life went out for awhile and returned with this...

I feel like a little kid. Of course, the rain has set back in so I haven't ridden it yet but what the's waiting for me!

I've got a bike...and the best man in the world.

Look for me on the open road, people. I'll be the overweight middle-aged woman with blue Adidas tennis shoes and one pant leg rolled up, grinning like a kid and pedaling like a maniac.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Random Man

I once knew this man named Wes. He went to my father's church. Sometimes he was homeless and lived in his station wagon, full of his belongings, packed to the ceiling. Sometimes he lived in rent homes of some of his clients...he was a painter. He would sleep on the floor on blankets until he finished the job. He was probably in his 50's. I'm using the past tense but as far as I know, he's still around. People tell me they see him from time to time.

Wes had crazy, white hair that almost looked like it had been taped around his head, like a fake Santa Clause beard. He was bald in the center. He had no teeth and he seemed to be pretty proud of that fact. He sure talked about it all the time. He looked like he had once been very muscular and strong, like a grizzly bear, but now, his stomach was huge...mammoth. He wore white t-shirts with holes in the stomach so you could see pink flesh shining through. His jeans were always covered in paint and at least two inches too short. He wore white socks with black patent leather loafers every, single day. Rain or shine, work or play, whatever...the shoes were always shined to perfection.

He breathed so loudly and whistled through his nose that you could hear him coming from around the corner.

I worked in the church office and Wes made an appearance daily. Sometimes, more than once. Sometimes three, four times. We called him random man. We'd see him pull up in his old station-wagon, watch him walk up the sidewalk and then he'd burst in the office...whistling through his nose and panting. And usually, he'd have some random gift to bestow on one of us who worked there. He loved flea markets. Sometimes, on trash days, he'd cruise the local neighborhoods, looking through their thrown away items, finding treasure. He brought us boots, tiny books, salt and pepper shakers, license plates, old cassette tapes, paddles, a rusted golf club, coffee cups with broken handles.

He never came in empty-handed. It was if he felt he had to pay a price to visit. And that's all he wanted. Just to visit. Just someone to acknowledge his existence. When he couldn't find a trinket to bring, he'd come in with a riddle or a joke. Sometimes just an odd quote, like, "The man who works hard from morning to night never thirsts for water." I'm pretty sure he made them up, or adapted them from scriptures. Then he'd ask for a cup of coffee. Then he'd sit down. And whistle through his nose. And tell stories.

Wes's father was a horrible, alcoholic, violent man. But even when he told us stories about how terrible he was, there was something in his voice that sounded proud. Like the time he told us how once his father hit him so hard that he literally knocked him out of his boots. "One minute, I was standin' there in my boots, the next, I was flat on my back in my stockin' feet. The boots were still standin' there in front of me, just like my feet were still in 'em." I always wanted to cry when he told me that story. He liked it though. He told it at least once a month.

One time, I went to the bank and when I got back, Wes had set the table in the breakroom with paperplates, plastic forks and spoons, and a little vase with a daisy, in the center. Next to the daisy was a KFC bucket. He gestured grandly to the table, like one of the Price Is Right models, and pulled my chair out. I had eaten lunch while I was out, but he seemed like it was important to him, so I sat down and fixed a plate and told him how nice everything was. He probably told a joke or two, or a story, I don't remember. I was a little uncomfortable because I didn't know if he was trying to be romantic or just to create a nice memory. Maybe a little of both. When we were done, he thanked me for having lunch with him. I wondered how many lunch dates Wes had been on in his life. And I wondered what had happened to him in all those years between the time he was knocked out of his boots, and now.

We eventually left the church and I've only seen Wes once since then. Sometimes you meet people and you wonder why they're in your life. Sometimes they even annoy you. But for whatever reason, your paths cross for a little while and they become a part of who you are by becoming part of your memories. And you become a part of theirs. And then you never see each other again.

Sometimes you think about them from time to time and kind of miss them, like Wes.

Random man.

Sunday, October 18, 2009


My parents have been married for 46 years. She's from Delaware and he's from Louisiana so it's pretty cool the way that they met. My father was attending college in Cleveland, Tennessee and at the time, dating my mother's sister. My mother was one of three girls in her family and she was the one who always felt like the runt. Her sisters were outgoing and courageous and full of confidence. Not so much, my mother. She never saw herself as beautiful or special, even though she was, and still is. My father took a road trip to Delaware with his girlfriend to meet the family, and he met, and fell in love with my mother. Awkward. But 46 years later, they're still in love. Forty-six years is plenty of time to build hurt and resentment but it's also plenty of time to build a story. A pretty good story, too.

So here's a poem that I wrote back in college celebrating who they were. It's taken from a photo of the two of them that I used to stare at in the midst of a really, bad patch that they went through. I thought they hated each other. But I had this photograph that showed such passion and youth, it fascinated me. Still does.

Beneath the Stairs

Your sister was the one. She brought
a Louisiana boy to the frigid state
of Delaware. Gangly, smelling of Noxzema,
he stumbled into your life
on her slender arm.
She was the popular one, the one
that boys talked about in locker rooms.
The one with the feminine curves,
dimpled smile and brilliant blue eyes.
Mother, you often said that you
were her negative. But even so,
before that weekend was over,
weren't you the one he was kissing
on the floral love seat,
beneath the stairs?
Someone, not your sister, captured
that moment in a photo and everytime
I look at it, I still cannot believe
you ever kissed him so passionately.
Today, you talk of wifely duties
and I wonder, when did you lose
her, that passionate girl necking
on her mother's love seat with a boy
from Louisiana?

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Let The Sunshine In

Welcome to my newly remodeled blog...courtesy of my webmaster, Diahn. It was time to move some things around and let in some sunshine! And since I'm a complete dolt when it comes to computer graphics, Dino stepped in as my general contractor. I love the new the header, especially. We also gave her a new permanent home in the sidebar for her new etsy shop. Check it out...she's a genius. Send her some love and buy some art! And don't just stop there once, she's always adding new pieces to the collection and the best is yet to come. Thanks, D.


I recently read an amazing book by Donald Miller, also in the sidebar...A Million Miles in a Thousand Years. If you like to read and appreciate the form of the story, you should check it out. It's a well written, humorous, contemplative book about the stories that we are all living. And how you can change, or jumpstart, your story if it's meaningless. That sentence doesn't do it justice because it makes it sound so trite, and it's anything but trite. My favorite line is "I feel written. My emotions and desires, feel written." Beautiful.

Now, I'm thinking about my story and how I can change it. Not that I'm dissatisfied...I'm the happiest that I've ever been. But, my story can be better, more alive, more fulfilling. I'll let you know how that works out. And I'm also thinking of how other's stories are tangled up with mine...and how amazing that is. And how we learn and love and grow, together. Our stories overlap and wind around each other creating a beautiful and rich narrative.

And while I'm not completely sure how, or in what ways, the change will manifest itself, I know this book has transformed the way I view my life. How fitting that just as I finished reading it, Diahn remodeled the blog and we both came up with, through an hour long texting brainstorming session, the tagline "what your mother never told you about happily ever after." Because while this blog is titled "Lunar Epilogues", the ending is also a beginning. And that's exactly what my life feels like at the moment...a beginning.

So, I think I'm going to start putting some stories here. Not fiction, but stories that I observe and live and hear about. Stories that deserve to be written. Someone once told me that she thinks I meet a lot of interesting people and it's true...very interesting. Sometimes downright odd. Sometimes inspiring. She said to me that she thinks God puts these people in my path because I can tell their stories. That maybe, I'm supposed to tell their stories. I'm not sure about that, but I think it's a cool idea.

Here's to new beginnings and all of our stories and how they intertwine.

Stay tuned...

Sunday, October 04, 2009


So many times in life, I feel as if things are out of my control. And sometimes, they are. Truth be known, probably more than not. But if I know one thing, and one thing only, my friends are my choice and they are the one of the best gifts I will ever receive.

I found an old friend a couple of weeks ago, or she found me...the Beckster. Doesn't matter, I had looked for her before and not found her. It's been so cool to re-connect and see the parallels in our lives. She was my best friend from eighth grade until my husband and I left for Florida, with $500.00, to start a new life...with $500 dollars. Yeah, we were that stupid. We ended up living in a tent on the beach in Panama City, but that's another story. After that, go figure, Becky and I somehow lost touch and now, we're emailing and she's sending me links to the coolest music I've heard in a while...Nathan Lee. He rocks and so does she. We loved Carol Burnett, Grease (the movie, not, um, grease), Nike tennis shoes and Levi's jeans, among other things. She had a horrible dog named Dusty that humped everything in sight and a little sister that we tortured. Literally, we tortured her. So much so, that in this day and age, we would be put on trial and viewed as terrorists. I'm not proud of it, just saying. Waterboarding has nothing on us.

Here's to old friends...and torturing younger siblings.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Had a very busy weekend. Friday was one of my most favorite days in all the world, the Centenary Book Bazaar. Books, books, books! Cheap books! This is my loot.

I found many, many treasures. I'm trying to decide which one to start first and when I do, I'll change my sidebar. I haven't been curled up with Amy Tan's The Bonsetter's Daughter for quite a while...excellent book by the way.

Friday was also my grandson's birthday...9/11. It sheds a hopeful light on a horribly, tragic day. He turned 2! This is some of his loot.

A great time was had by all at the party on Sunday. When we sang Happy Birthday, he actually blushed and grinned a mile wide grin and put his little hands over his face. It was so sweet!

And now this weekend, I'm off to Talladega, Alabama for a wedding. As with any trip that involves leaving my children behind, I have mixed emotions. My girls are staying here so they won't miss school (and really, they don't want to go...imagine that?) so I'm a little apprehensive about going. Four days. I'll miss them! But I have to admit, it will be nice to spend a few days with Robert, away from work, away from Shreveport. And who doesn't love a wedding?

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

The Hater Blog

Every creative writing teacher that I've ever had, always says this one thing: Show, don't tell. I get that. I'm supposed to use descriptive language and imagery. Sometimes, though, I just want to tell.

Today, I'm a hater. I have a list of things that I hate. But don't worry or feel like you have to tell me all is well, for tomorrow, it could be completely different! I may love these things! That's how I am. I think I have a little bit of the schizophrenia (that's for you, Lisa).

Melinda's Hater's List:

I hate washing, loading, unloading dishes two to three times a day. Seriously? How many dishes do we need? I don't use that many, hell...I don't even have time to eat most days. Unless it's a handful of dish needed.

I hate laundry. Not so much the loading the washer or the dryer, but the folding.

I hate cleaning. Seems like that's all I do, every minute of the day. But yet, at the end of the day, everything feels yucky. Maintaining. That's all I'm doing.

I hate my bedspread. I want a new one. But then I would have to paint my bedroom and buy new furniture and who has the money for that?

I hate flies. That's reason Number 1 that I won't be sorry to see summer leave.

I hate slugs (that's for you, Diahn).

I hate my pudgy stomach. Well, maybe hate is a strong word, but today, I'm especially unhappy with the pudge.

I hate that I'm a procrastinator. Thus, the pudge.

I hate dogs. Really, shoot me now, animal lovers. I'm not one. They're just someone, or something, else to take care of. Call the humane society.

I hate dust. Where does it come from?

I hate that we live in a country that absolutely idolizes sports. Especially the south. Sports are supposed to be fun. Besides, I feel left out on most Saturdays from late August to mid-January.

I hate the whirring sound that the ceiling fans in my living room make.

I hate door slammers. Easy does it, Bluto.

I hate those Progressive Insurance commercials with the peppy, heavy eye-lined saleswoman. Shut-up, already! It's just insurance! We know we're getting screwed! You can't make it cute! Hello?

I hate the Geico money stack with the weird eye-balls commercial...see the above.

I hate popcorn ceilings. My entire house has popcorn ceilings. Hello, 2009! What's new?

I hate complainers. Yes, I realize the irony.

I hate how some days are insanely busy from dawn to dusk, and yet, nothing feels accomplished. And nothing that was accomplished, has anything to do with me (that's for you, Crystal).

I hate my old, tired mattress. It's been moved so many times, and dropped on highways so many times from said moves, that it has more sags and tears than...well, me, I guess.

I hate people from high school who never, ever, ever, ever spoke to me and yet, keep requesting me to be their friend on Facebook. Like they're collecting snow-globes. Or moths on the ends of straight-pens. Get a life and get out of mine. That means you, Larry Bates!

I hate that my towels keep disappearing. Don't even get me started on socks.

I'm sure I could go on and on, but I hate when people do that (more irony). And besides, I think I've purged enough so that I can possibly sleep...on my tired, crappy mattress.

I promise to negate this list very soon with a things that I love list...I promise. Just not promising when. Might be a few days.

The tide always turns.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009


There's a slight smokey, smell in the air. The haze has lifted. Darkness is slowly devouring the evenings, earlier and earlier. I haven't heard the cricket's summer symphony in a week or so. I have visions of pumpkins and sunflowers in my head.

Bittersweet autumn.

Stay as long as you can...

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

September Rush

Brian and I have been cooped in this house way too long. The girls are back in school, which means evening homework, and ballgames and no more lazy summer nights. So today, after a stressful couple of weeks adjusting to the routine of high school, I decided to take Brian down to the riverfront.

The weather was perfect...felt like fall, but still a little bit of summer warmth left in the day. I thought he might like to play in the water spouts, but no...

It must have overwhelmed him a bit, so he was perfectly content to sit in the stroller and gaze at the dancing water.

Did I mention the weather was perfect? I did. I was so inspired (I love the downtown Shreveport area) that I'm kicking around the idea of getting up at 6:00am and heading downtown for a brisk morning run along the Big Red. For those of you who have read my past blogs vowing to get in shape, get up early, become a millionaire, etc., don't hold your breath. I wish I was that morning, jogger person...maybe one day, when my life is more my own.

Looks like a lovely place to run though, doesn't it? I think so, too. Hmmmm......

Next, we went to the Boardwalk to ride the carousel.

Now, my Little Brian loves horses. He also loves cows, sheep, chickens, goats. I think he's going to be a farmer. That's all he talks about, all day long. COW, he shouts, MOOOO.....HORSEY, he says, NAAAYYYY. Sheep, he bellows, BAAAHHHH.

However, in spite of his love of farm animals, this is Brian on the horsey carousel...

Very, very skeptical. The whole time on the ride, this is what he looked like. As a matter of fact, this photo was the only time that he moved his head. The rest of the time, he was as still as a statue, only moving his eyes from side to side. When I stopped trying to convince him that was this was the most fun he had ever had in his life and laid my hand on his chest, his heart was about to leap out of his tiny chest. He was petrified. Literally.

But we had a great day.

I had a Grandma day! For the first time in the year and a half that we've been raising the little guy, I got to be a fun Na-Na. We even went to Build-A-Bear and built a H-O-R-S-E-Y, whom we created a birth certificate for and promptly took to lunch, at Fudruckers.

Don't judge me, people.

We had chicken fingers and french fries and H-O-R-S-E-Y had a place at the table. Brian high-chair-danced while he ate and fed his new friend. I did take pictures, but my camera died, so, you'll just have to use your imagination.

He's the coolest little guy that I've ever known...

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Samurai Schoolin'

So, I went to my oldest daughters back-to-school night this evening. That's me, to the left. Sweaty and defensive. It's so strange, being back in high school...all of my old feelings of being a dork return in full force. And yet, I am different. I'm a surviving parent of high-schoolers! They hate me, but, so what! When I walk down those hallowed halls, the part of me that was so painfully shy in my day, wants to shout out and be noticed! It's a little scary but exhilarating at the same time.

My daughter is taking Latin. I never took Latin. I'm not even sure we had Latin in my high school. I took French all the way through college. I considered it a sophisticated, scholarly language choice, until tonight. Hello, Mr. Gilchrist! Where have you been all my life? He would SO be my favorite teacher were I my daughter. He's dorky, but in a cool sort of way. He loves all things British and is a huge Monty Python fan. He struts around the classroom in his academic gown. Need I say more? Sex machine.

Halfway through his presentation he made a Python joke, silly voice and all, and I laughed so loud that I snorted. Like a pig. HUGE snort. No one else laughed. No one else even raised a well-groomed eyebrow. I wanted to raise my hand and shout, "I get it, Mr. Gilchrist! I love Monty Python! I'm cool in a dorky sorty of way like that...we could be friends!" And just like high school, I don't even think he noticed me. Typical.

That was my high school experience in a nutshell. A nutshell, I tell you. So much going on inside, but nothing on the outside. I was a wall. A complete and utter ugly, brick wall. Just waiting for someone to tear me down...the bricks, that Pink Floyd? Rock on, dude.

It's odd how that girl rises to the surface so quickly as if she never left. And maybe she hasn't left. She's still there, still a little timid, still a little unsure, but yet, wiser, and stronger. This older, wiser girl...well, let's just say, she would jump up and bitch-slap the popular girl with her Coach purse and snide remarks in a MINUTE! Nay, a New York minute! But only, and I repeat ONLY, after she had whipped the girl into total submission with her sheer wit and intellect.

That forty-four year old girl would love to switch places with her sixteen year old daughter in a Freaky Friday scenario.

But not in a cute "13 going on 30" sort of way...more like a "Kill Bill" Quentin Tarantino sort of way.

Samurai style.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Ice Cream Trucks Suck

The end of summer deserves an homage to the neighborhood Ice Cream Truck. When we were kids, we loved the ice cream truck. We would search for change in the couch cushions and in the cracks of sidewalks. That truck and it's sweet sounding tunes was like a mobile miracle.

And then one day, my oldest brother was on his way back across the street after buying a tasty, cool summer treat when he was hit by a truck. It was bad. We almost lost him. He's always been a fighter though and he pulled through just fine.

The worst thing was, when my Aunt Sally picked me up from school, I knew something was terribly wrong. My Mom always, and I mean always, picked me up. Aunt Sally told me what had happened and the first thing that my 6 year old mind thought of was, "I bet he was on my bike." He was. I was six. And I was pissed. Anger quickly turned to total grief as soon as I realized the seriousness of the accident. I spent the next six years asking God for forgiveness for my selfishness. And being grateful that my brother survived.

The bike deserves a nod just because. It was green with a banana seat and a cissy bar. Not so great now that I'm describing it, but to me, it was like a Range Rover. But my brother was like Conan, the Barbarian. Super tough.

Follow my rambling, people, it's going somewhere, I promise. This evening, I was sitting outside on the deck, enjoying the early fall weather teaser, when I heard it again...the most evil sounding ice cream truck in the universe. My neighborhood ice cream truck. The music box on the truck must be broken because it plays a creepy sounding song, ALL IN MINOR CHORDS. For the love of God, an ice cream truck playing music in all minor chords? Give me a butcher knife! Where's the LSD? WHO WANTS TO BUY THIS CREEPY ICE CREAM AND WHAT KIND OF SICKO DRIVES THIS TRUCK?

Screw ice cream trucks...I hate them.

Happy Summer.

Saturday, August 22, 2009


I started this blog because of Diahn. We had lost touch for a few years and when I came to her blog and saw what she was doing with her spare time, it blew me away. I wanted a blog, too. We're kind of like sisters that way, always have been. A little competitive. I'd cut my hair, she'd cut hers. She'd buy a really cool t-shirt, I'd buy the same t-shirt, I'd sleep with the Australian bartender, she'd want to sleep with the Australian bartender. Note that I said "want" in that last one. I won that one. Or did I?

I have to throw that in there because I don't think there's one thing that I do that she can't do better, but there are many things she can do that I can't. Like painting. Her work is beautiful.

Now that we're older, we don't compete anymore. We encourage. But I don't think she'll ever know how much I've learned from her, how she makes me want to reach for more.

Then there's my sister-in-law, Lisa. We never competed or wanted to sleep with the same bartender, Australian or otherwise. Lisa is the Great Encourager. She has a way of sifting through all of my rambling thoughts and pulling out the one strand of reason. She is the deepest of deep thinkers and always searching within for truth. And once she finds it, it becomes a part of her as if it were there all along.

She's also creative, in a smart-ass Martha Stewart kind of way. She once made a beautiful Christmas tree top from twigs in her backyard and acted as if there were nothing to it. TWIGS, I tell ya.

When I'm with her, I'm inspired by her grace. She's amazing.

Then there's Crystal. I met her at church 7 years ago and when she walked in with her cute spiky, short, blonde hair and quiet confidence, I instantly liked her. And I was right, she's been my closest friend ever since. She is the most giving person that I've ever known. Almost to a fault, if there is such a thing. And I don't think there is. We've seen the darkest and the best in each other and through that, we've grown together.

When I'm with her, I am completely myself. We can sit together like an old married couple and not have to say anything.

So what the hell does this homage to my three dearest friends mean? I'm not sure exactly. Just that I'm so completely fortunate to have them in my life. And that they are a part of who I've become. We need each other. There's nothing like being able to see yourself through someone else's eyes when too much self-examination begins to weigh you down with doubt.

I love my girls. I only hope I give them as much of myself as they give to me.

Cheers, ladies!

Monday, August 10, 2009

He's my hero because...

Everytime I break a glass or a plate, which is often for those who know me, he appears in a flash like a superhero to see if I'm okay and if I have on shoes. If I don't, he scoops me up and carries me away from danger.

What a man, what a man, what a mighty, fine man.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009


I don't want to get into specifics but this post is about negative thoughts. Little background info, I'm at a really exciting place in my life. I've got a very supportive, positive, patient husband. My kids all seem to be in a pretty good place, for the moment. So where does that leave me?

With room to grow, that's where.

And I'm ready, open and willing to learn.

I've always tended to be more skeptical, cynical, hard-nosed, all of the above, however, I'm seeing that all of those qualities served me well when I needed them, but now, I need to be open and teachable. Those old qualities don't serve me anymore.

How incredibly exciting it is when you get to place in your life of openess. Only then will the doors open. And you can practically hear the hinges creaking as those doors swing open! Opportunities arise. Things happen. I look at God as the great trailmaker. When I ask him to mark the trails for me, they never fail to appear. I just have to follow the trail.

But on the other hand, it's so interesting to me how one, just one, negative statement from other people, compound in my mind. What's so interesting is that everything positive that happened in that day, or that week, does not compound. But the negative, it grows a thousand times. And then a thousand times more. Until it stops me.

Dead in my tracks.

So why is it that OTHER people's comments, thoughts, affect me? Even when they're friends and family and clearly love you, and don't mean to rain on your parade, how can that affect me so powerfully?

I think the answer is that I already think these things and am looking for an easy way out so I jump on these same thoughts that I've already had. Defeating myself before I've even tried.

It's good though, that I recognize it, right?

New things are brewing on the horizon.

Later: The english major in me wants to acknowledge that yes, I mixed my metaphors in the last sentence of this post. Coffee brews, horizons...well, they just...brighten! So let it be known.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I'm Just Sayin'

When did leaving a voicemail become so difficult that I need a play by play from a stupid computer voice to make sure I do it correctly? Isn't it universal that at the sound of the beep, we speak? Why does this woman now inform me of the number I'm calling, and that the person I am trying to reach is unavailable and to press 1 or 2 to leave a voicemail or send a page and then tells me at the sound of the beep I may start recording and THEN has the audacity to tell me that when I'm finished recording, I may hang up or press 1 for more options? Like I don't know to hang up? Has anyone ever pressed 1? What other options could I possibly have? Teleportation?

I hate technology.

Saturday, July 18, 2009


We live in a very diverse neighborhood. And for the most part, we all keep to ourselves. I think that's sad. I wish I could break out of my mold and introduce myself to my neighbors, but I'm not a very social person.

Next door, lives a large of family of mexican-americans. We nod as we pass on the street. Their dogs frolick in my front yard, under my crape myrtle tree. But we never really speak. I don't know their names, and they don't know mine.

Tonight, they are having a birthday party. I envy them in a way. At first, I was annoyed because they're so loud, but when I peek over my fence, they're playing hot-potato with a beachball. Adults and children laughing and playing. Just playing, a simple game.

Later, just now, I slipped outside on my deck and peeked through the shrubs, over the fence, and watched for awhile. The kids must be inside, asleep, and there is music...low and peppy. Dancing music. And outside, on the deck, a couple is dancing. So happy. While the other guests are sitting around them, beers in hand, watching.

You can learn so much from just observing. And what I've observed about my neighbors is that they love family.

They don't sit outside and complain about work or life...they dance on the deck.

I love that.

I want to dance on my deck.

Friday, July 17, 2009


My dear friend Dino, is giving away this little guy in a kickoff celebration of the grand opening of her etsy shop on July 31st.

Isn't he cute?

I like birds.

I want it.

Don't you love the watermarks and the blue and orange?

Go visit her blog to win!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

She is Indie

This is the new home of Guitar Girl, by the artist, Diahn. She now resides above my wine fridge, in a corner, between lots of windows (guitar girl, not Diahn...she resides in many places). She likes it there with all the light (guitar girl, not Diahn... although she likes the light, too). She shines (guitar girl and Diahn). She was hanging in my bedroom for a long while because she makes me happy, and I wanted to see her first thing every morning. No one saw her, though and she deserves to be seen.

This corner has been beckoning for her company. I have a thing for corners...hmmm....wonder what this says about me?


On to another topic. The beginning of the summer was a reading frenzy for me. I read Duma Key by Stephen King and enjoyed it thoroughly. It reminded me of his earlier works, like The Stand. It did not remind of IT...that one got a little silly for my taste. A psychotic clown that lives in the sewer that also turns into a giant spider and kills little children? Not my favorite. No sooner had I finished that delicious book, I jumped on the Twilight bandwagon. A lot of my girlfriends were reading it. When my oldest daughter discovered I was reading the series, she said, "I think it's so cute how all the old women are reading these books now!" Yes, she said old women. Killed me.

I loved the series and it kept me occupied for a couple of weeks. Now, alas, I have nothing to read. Well, nothing that grabs me. I'll keep searching though.

In the meantime, I've watched quite a few Indie films. I love them. They're called independent because they're not backed by a major studio but they're also independent and unique in idea. They're almost always unpredictable. The endings are not often wrapped in a nice, tight bow, but the characters are so achingly real. I've watched The Ramen Girl and A Thousand Years of Good Prayers. I highly recommend them.

These two particular films were enriched in the Japanese culture. I learned Ramen is more than a 19 cent package in the grocery much more. I learned that the Japanese are restrained but so incredibly full of respect and awe for tradition. And I use the word tradition only in the sense of values. And that they struggle just like the rest of us with relationships, with what defines success and expressing emotion.

That's what I like about independent films. When I watch them, I feel less alone. And more connected with the world.

The whole wide world.

Monday, July 13, 2009


There's been a certain lazy, summer quality to my days lately. A specific lack of angst. Sure, there's the little things that get under my skin but, all in all, I think I'm as content now as I've ever been in my life.

I want to stay here. I want to remember it.

It's almost as if I just now stepped into my own skin, and it feels right. As if I've stopped making apologies and explaining myself, like if I say just the right words, I'll be validated. I'll be acceptable.

Don't get me wrong, there's a lot of things I need to change. Only now can I see those things. But I have time...plenty of time.

Now if I can just get rid of these darn hiccups...seriously. They've totally interrupted my thought process but I'm going to post this anyway because it's been too long...


so much for waxing poetic...

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Bucket Head

This is my pride and joy. Little B. He has an odd fascination with putting everything that he sees on his head. Or "heed" as he calls it. So Scottish sounding.'s stuck again! Who knew this would keep happening, even after the 87th time!

He's really very bright...really.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Jar of Bitterness


Monday, June 15, 2009

Monday Morning Light

This is my favorite corner in the living room. I love the books and the black and white poster of Venice, and they way the light comes through the window at a certain time of day. It reminds me of an Emily Dickson poem, "A Certain Slant of Light". It has always been a favorite of mine.

Yesterday, I visited my youngest brother's house. He invited us out to swim in his new pool. It's a beautiful pool, indigo blue, odd in shape and just the right size. He's so proud of it. I enjoyed the time we spent there but last night, as I tossed and turned, I found myself caught up in thoughts about all the things I need to do around my house. I was comparing again, which is dangerous for me. It always puts me in a place of discontent. Why do we do this? What makes us think that our value lies in our materialistic possessions? Our stature in life?

For me, it's pretty transparent. My brother is younger than me, and financially, he's so far ahead of where I'd like to be. When I spend time at his beautiful home, mine seems so shabby in appearance. If you haven't guessed by now, this is a constant struggle of mine, the comparison game.

But the key with this game that I play with myself, is realizing exactly what I'm doing at that moment. This time I did. This morning, I woke to the sound of the dull alarm and for a moment, hated the day that stretched out ahead of me. I looked around my house with such a critical eye and hated everything I saw.

But I stopped myself and decided to look at the things that I love. The things, visually, that reflect my personality and my my little book corner. And then the immaterial things that count as my blessings. I lost the comparison game, but I won! I decided not to play anymore. It's boring and involves no one, absolutely no one, but myself.

I love this blog. As I look back to the first post, I realize that I've been in quite a long process of change. And so much of it has unfolded here, in writing out my thoughts.

Because that's where all change begins, in the mind, right? But the mind is a complex place, full of dark corners and hidden nooks and crannies. Only in writing can I find them and flood those places with light.

Not bad for a Monday morning...:)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Misplaced Italian

This is my hairstylist, Luciano. He's one of the people in my life that make me happy! He makes me blonde, gives me awesome haircuts and fixes the best cappuccino in the world. He makes them with the foam so thick that you can, and I quote, "shave your legs with it." I'm not even kidding. But I wouldn't. Shave my legs with the foam, that is.

He's from Italy. He paints. He's into photography. He's one of those people who's a little restless, always looking for ways to express and challenge himself. He's not a hairstylist, he says. He's a hair artist. I like that. He doesn't color hair, he paints hair. He's just a little arrogant, too, but in a good way. Very confident. How he wound up here, in the Shreveport/Bossier City metropolis in the great state of Louisiana, I'm not really sure. I'm just glad he did because everytime I go see him, I leave feeling beautiful and interesting. He always lifts my spirits.

He's also giving. The picture of him above was taken with a little Olympus digital camera that he gave to me today when I went to get beautified. He'd cringe at the word, beautified. I just made it up. I walked in the door and he came over and cupped the sides of my face and gave me a kiss on the forehead like he always does and asked, "Do you have a digital camera?" I do not. I borrow my daughters and had planned to purchase one this summer. He picked up a camera from his desk, complete with charger and USB cable, and said, "Here, this is for you. I want you to have it. I have way too many cameras, okay? What can I say, you caught me in a good mood!" (complete with Italian accent, which I don't know how to get across in writing unless I put an "a" sound on the end of every word, like "mood-a" and that's-a too cartoony-a and silly-a)

I love the people in my life. I'm reminded of that daily. Such a warm, eclectic, diverse group of loving friends and family. Makes me ashamed that I ever complain of things that, in the grand scheme of things, are so insignificant.

Next time you're over this way, stop by and see him to experience a little of the joy and beauty of Italy...right here in mudbug country.

Ciao, bella.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Bootstrap Post

This is a book that Diahn left with me when she came for a visit. It's one of the ways in which she inspires me. It's by Danny Gregory, who also wrote, Everyday Matters, a virtual Bible for sketchers and artists from all walks of life. It proved to be such an inspiration that now it has it's own Superblog, a community for artists that issues weekly challenges. Pretty cool. It makes me wish I were an artist.

I do think there's an artist in all of us. What is an artist afterall? Someone who takes the simple, mundane, objects and emotions of everyday life and shines a light on that you see the beauty. Beauty comes in all forms and if it moves you, if it takes you somewhere, it's beautiful. So, although I'm not a painter or a sketcher, I'm an artist. One of my favorite forms of expression is poetry. I love packing as much emotion into the smallest of spaces.

I've been in a very weird place lately and have been feeling extremely, well, for lack of a better word, dull. Dull in the routine of my everyday life and dull in a mental capacity. I've blamed it on everything from diet to the hectic pace of my life but I don't think that's the problem. I read a book a couple of years ago that talks about how we're created in the image of God, who is the great creator, which means that the drive to create is in everyone of us. And if I believe that, and I do, it's one way that I can feel closer to God. Which in turn, always fulfills me. Nothing else comes close.

Who knows, maybe I'll pick up a sketch book and start an illustrated journal. Maybe there's a poem in all of this that's waiting to be written. Or maybe, just maybe, I'll finish that book I started. Maybe, I'll wake up early tomorrow and take a brisk walk with the sunrise.

Time to move.