Sunday, February 28, 2010


Finally, the sun came out at the end of the week and I found some shadows. Go here for more shadow shots from all over the world.


And look what else I found.

She's coming. Sweet lady spring.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

When Worlds Collide

If chocolate were an olympic competitor, I feel pretty confident that this little guy would be fighting for the gold.

Bacon. Chocolate. Together. Hello?

Guy: "Hey! You got bacon in my chocolate!"

Gal: "No, you got chocolate in my bacon!"

(In unison): "Wow! This is delicious!" (accompanied by huge, goofy smiles)

But wait....don't underestimate this humble contender. He's less showy than the bacon bar but performs with simple elegance and consistency (or should I say excellence).

It's possible that I have way too much time on my hands.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Tear Down the Walls

I live in an old neighborhood on the wrong side of the tracks. That phrase, wrong side of the tracks, annoys me because what's wrong for one is right for someone else, but you get the idea. I bought the home after my divorce. I was single, raising three children on my own, when I got approved for financing. I was ecstatic. I was only approved for a small amount which lead me to Highland. Old homes and diverse culture. I found this little house that I could afford and that was perfect for my family. I loved it...still do. It was picture perfect when I moved in but over the past 6 years, it's really started to fall apart. The house was built in 1947. We've finally started to fix it up this past week, which you'll read about in a bit.

What gets me though is that my girls are embarassed at times of where we live. Most of their friends live in nice neighborhoods on the right side of the tracks. Their friends drive Range Rovers and Hummers and have golf courses in their backyards. The girls tell me that most of their friends' parents won't let their kids come over to our house because of where we live. How ignorant. They don't even know me. I mean really? Have we become that shallow? That close minded? That judgmental?

As I write this, I realize I'm just as guilty sometimes. About a year ago, my husband installed an alarm system in a house a few blocks from here. The couple had recently moved here from California and were remodeling an old, two-story house. One day, Robert came home and told me he was going to help them on his Saturdays off, with the remodeling. Now, Robert does a lot of side work in addition to his 9 to 5, so my first response was, "Great. Extra money!" He just kind of looked at me sheepishly and said, "I'm not doing it for money. I just want to help, they're really nice people. And when I get ready to start the work on our house, Andre (the husband) says he'll help me." I'll be honest, Robert is way more trusting and giving than I am and I thought that he would spend all of his free Saturdays working for nothing, and then when the time came, he'd be working on our house all alone. I said nothing, though.

I was wrong.

This is what has been happening at my house the last couple of weeks.

This is Andre and Robert. Working side by side on this old house.

This is Larry. He's a friend of Andre's who just came along to help. We've never even met him. He just came because Andre told him they could use an extra hand.

At the end of the day, the guys came inside and we had a meal together around the dining room table of crawfish etouffee, hushpuppies and sweet tea. And I felt so blessed. I felt like a part of something important. I felt connected to this life. I felt like this day, these friends, this old house, this meal, was what it's all about. It's why we're here.

And just like that, my faith and hope in people and community has been restored.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Opposite Day

At 5:30 this afternoon, I was still wearing these...

Hot, right? These hideous polka-dot pajama pants have gotten me through two winters.

I changed into these beauties 10 minutes before my husband got home so as not to look like a total loser.

I'm going to sleep in them. Then I'm going to wake up and put my polka-dot pajama pants back on.

What? I'm washing them, geez.

I think I've lost my mojo again.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

My People Perish for Lack of Knowledge

I love my state...really, I do. See previous post. However, (you knew that was coming, right?) my people don't know how to act when you throw a little snow and sleet into their daily lives. If you need proof of their complete lack of snow sensibility, go here.

Granted, they come by it honestly here in the south. We don't see a lot of the fluffy white stuff here. But come on? Seriously? It's FLUFFY and WHITE and we only get a few inches of it at a time. How dangerous can it be for us? Usually, it melts as it hits the ground. The way people act around here, you'd think we were a region full of crack-heads and the stuff falling from the sky is, well, um, crack.

For one thing, people drive like maniacs. And that one I haven't figured out yet. I'm not sure if they're just giddy from the crack, I mean, er, um, snow, or if they're trying to get home before the roof caves in from the weight of the snow. At any rate, suddenly little blue-haired ladies start to drive like Mad Maxx on his way to the Thunderdome. No doubt, on their way to the store to buy milk, bread and eggs. Maybe some batteries.

And then you have the local media. The weatherpeople here just eat this up, which only adds to the frenzy. In their defense, I suppose they get so weary of reporting the usual 100 degree record breaking temps and the record breaking rain that they almost wet themselves when something new comes along. Who can blame them?

But mention a hurricane? Now you're talkin' party, people! We've even named a drink after that bad boy! If you've been to New Orleans, I'm sure you've become acquainted with that lovely, fruity, liquorous concoction and probably felt like you'd been through a hurricane the next morning after drinking a few.

And tornados? Please. We eat those for breakfast. Some of my fondest Easter memories involve a beautiful, sweet, easter-egg hunt followed by my entire family piling into a bathtub while waiting for the "funnel cloud" to pass over...get it? Passover? I love it when an unexpected pun just falls into my lap.

At any rate, here is a poorly lit photo (blame the blizzard) of what happened here today. You might have noticed that the snow is falling on the bamboo that threatens to take over my back yard. NOTE: While there are many different varities of bamboo, about half of the species tends to thrive in tropical climates. Which perhaps explains the behavior of my people when this strange, fluffy white substance makes an appearance. Snow and tropical climate do not mix. Or maybe my people are just idiots. I forget.

Who dat?

Dat be snow, my people.

Deep breath.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

I know, just let me gloat this one time...

Okay. I'm out. Most of the bloggers that I read or know of don't usually write about sports. For the most part, we're into the creative and contemplative side of life.


The New Orleans Saints have won the Super Bowl and I have to talk about it, being from and living in the great state of Louisiana. And not only that, it was a great game. Did you see that 2 point conversion? Amazing. I grew up in a house before Cable TV. What that meant for me was that from September until the end of January, we watched football. All weekend long. There was no History channel, no Discovery channel, no Bravo.

My brothers and I played football in the streets of our neighborhood. I was one of the only girls who played. And I was good. I had to be. With two brothers, you learned to be competitive or you became a "wuss". I was not a wuss. I played football, flipped fences, and crawfished with the best of them.

And for years, we watched the Saints lose. Still, we stuck with them, for the most part. Sometimes, it was embarrasing, but Louisiana still had our hearts. Come on, give us a break. We don't have much! Swamps, alligators, cajun food, crawfish and the worst politics and schools in the country. Still, we had our pride and our passion. And that's one thing I can say for most lifelong residents of the boot state, we have passion.

So...even though my intellectual side hates this phrase and doesn't ever want to hear it again, my competivive side has to say it, just once...


Saturday, February 06, 2010

Flower Power

In honor of Spring.

I'm back in the game...Shadow Shot Sunday, that is. Go here for more wonderful shadow shots from around the world.

One of my indulgences and simple pleasures is to buy fresh flowers for my dining room table every week. It's something I do all year long but in the winter, it really becomes a highlight. Pickings are slim in the winter, but the lovely tulips above are making an appearance.

And these flowers were a treat from myself for my birthday!


And now for a something completely different. I'm watching The English Patient. It's a movie that I've never seen all the way through. I have a friend who talks about it often. It's her favorite movie of all time. Now I can see why.

Happy Sunday.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Heart Song

Sometimes I hear a song that has a particular arrangement of chords, poetic verses and such a soul-stirring harmony that it moves me to tears every time I listen to it. Know what I mean? A song that causes your heart to swell with that almost causes a physical ache just because of the sheer, haunting beauty of the melody?

This is one of those songs for me.

It's called "Begin" and it's by The Wailin' Jennys. I first heard the song in an incredible indie film called The Cake Eaters. Awesome movie, really. Beautifully written and directed. And the soundtrack is amazing.


Monday, February 01, 2010

The Butterfly Post

I've been working on priming the pump but it isn't working. Maybe I just need to relax. Let the blog be what it be. And the writing. It's not like I'm going to solve the world's problems here, right?

It's supposed to be my retreat. A place to be myself. And right now, myself is tired. I'm well and not in the poor house. I'm healthier physically and on my way to a thinner me. I'd say the weight loss is all about health but I'd be lying. Vanity, mostly.

My son, whom I haven't written about in a while, is wonderful. There, I said it. I've been afraid to talk about his success for fear of eating my words...again. But it's not good to live in fear and so I won't. As if I believe that I could jinx who he's become by merely speaking of it? What am I, a suspicious voodoo queen? Not I. Some of his story is in past blogs and that's where it should stay. He and his lovely wife have a new life. And I have a new friend in my son. And my daughter-in-law. He's becoming the man I always imagined he would be and she, the woman I always wanted for him.

Look how happy they are. Seriously. What a transformation. If you only knew.

I still worry about my girls. Two teenage girls, 17 and 15. So much pressure out there. So many shallow messages. But even if they take wrong turns, cause me sleepless nights and veer off track for awhile, I can look at my son and know that I've done a pretty good job as a mother, in spite of my shortcomings. And that gives me hope.

So why this need lately to wrap myself in a cocoon? I don't know. Maybe I'll emerge in the spring with bright, beautiful, orange-yellow-red wings with a wing span the size of Texas.

Now that makes me smile. I wish I could paint that picture.

See? That's why I blog. Because it always reminds me that life is beautiful. And so do all of you.