Mid-Life Ramblings; Sanity Optional

Wednesday, August 31, 2005


I've been sitting here thinking of the Garden District yarn store on Magazine St. that I'd just discovered, where I could get any kind of yarn I desired; the Creole Creamery ice cream parlor on Prytania St., where they make their own flavors like Champagne Peach, Dark Chocolate, and Rose; the restaurant Stella! that my classmate worked so hard to create, where he made his mark on the New Orleans culinary scene; Cafe Equator in Lakeview that has some of the best Thai food E and I have ever eaten; the Country Flame restaurant down on Bienville and Chartes that looked like a dive but had the best empanadas I'd ever eaten; the beloved French Market, where we loved to take out of town visitors to buy their souveniers; my friend Charles' house in Lakeside that was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright; and our favorite Vietnamese restaurant and bakery Dong Phuong out in New Orleans east.

So many places and people. Since living here in Baton Rouge, I'd begun to take being able to scoot to New Orleans in an hour for granted. There is just an overwhelming feeling of sadness now.

A Brother's Hug

Keith is here.

All I could do last night when I saw him was hug him and cry.

He has his laptop and the clothes on his back but he is safe and sound. He finally made contact with his partner C last night and I know that was a huge relief. They are not sure what condition their house is in or when they'll be able to see each other again. C owns a special events planning business but there won't be any special events in New Orleans for quite some time.

It's overwhelming to realize that despite all Keith's ordeals, he's still one of the very lucky ones.

I'll post more later. Keith is going to set up his own blog and when he does, I'll post a link for y'all. Just please know how much I appreciate all your prayers and good thoughts. Keep praying for the folks in the New Orleans area. The economic impact of this storm will be far reaching.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

News from a reporter on the Katrina situation

Thought I'd post my brother's last few emails for you guys to see the deteriorating situation in New Orleans through his eyes.

21:11 hrs CDT 08/29/05
Greetings everyone,

As grim as things are here in New Orleans, I can't help but be thankful that I made it through this storm unscathed physically.

I could spend the next few hours writing about what I've seen and done today, but I'm too tired, I'm hungry and I desperately need a shower (the colder the better!)

Many of you are probably curious about how we're managing here at The Times-Picayune main office. We'be been without electricity since 4 a.m.,but a generator is powering a small collection of computers being used by alternating shifts of editors, writers and photographers (thank goodness the picture people do everything digital these days).

About 30 of us reporters fanned out as far as we could this afternoon to assess the damage and start gathering the first elements of the remarkable stories we will be telling over the coming months about Katrina and her aftermath.

I reported on the electricity and telephone situations - bad and likely to get worse before getting better.

The "storm" issue of the T.P. will be "published" on our web page at www.nola.com later tonight, and printed tomorrow in Baton Rouge. I encourage all of you to pull up the edition.

It's remarkable that we produced a newspaper just hours after enduring the most powerful storm to ever hit the Gulf Coast. I think in the years to come we all will look back at this work and the stories we will produce in the coming weeks and months with pride and satisfaction.

I could say much about damage to the city but the pictures on our web site and others do more justice.

Myself and a few other reporters ventured outside for the first time around 4 p.m. and climbed onto the elevated expressway that runs in front of the office for a clear view of the Superdome and high-rise district.

It was a painful scene to view. Most of the buildings look as though they had been bombed. I've never seen anything like it. It was terribly sad - not that the buildings were damaged, but that my city, my home was torn to shreds. It took everything I had not to cry.

One item of continuing concern is the rising water approaching the center of the city. It appears that the flood waters of Metairie and eastern New Orleans are slowly flowing toward us. Things still could get much worse for us.

Here are my immediate plans. As soon as my editors finish editing my story, I'll call Mom and Dad, take a shower, then savor a few bottles of Abita Amber and some smoked salmon that a fellow reporter is sharing with us.

The moment will be hot, sticky, dark, and even sad, but I will eat my fill of it as though it was a fine feast. I'll probably never experience anything like this again. I want the memories to be deep and lasting.

I feel like I've been away on a very long and lonely journey. I miss all of you terribly. I miss my house. I miss Nero and Topaz. I miss Constantine. And I already miss this place I call home.

The truth is that our journey has barely begun. Keep all of us in your thoughts and prayers.

I love all of you,


0744 hrs 08/30/05

The Times-Picayune Building
Downtown New Orleans, La.
Tuesday, Aug. 30

The water outside has risen about three feet overnight, and continues to go up. Our building is an island. Another couple of feet and the water will start flooding our bottom floor.
This is "the worst case" scenario.
Things have turned very ominous here now.
Senior management here is starting to talk about evacuating us. Local officials are pleading with people over t.v. and radio to get out of the city now. Aaron Broussard, president of Jeff. Parish, just said on the radio that he's told his wife not to come back for at least a month.
This is the reality. We're all homeless now because we are cityless.
Kristina and Michele, would one of you call Constantine at XXX-XXX-XXXX. I haven't been able to reach him by phone since early yesterday morning, and I don't know if he's getting email.
Just check on him to make sure he's ok. And give him the latest from me.
Fortunately, I think we're in a better situation than many others. We still have enough food and drinking water for a few days. We have at least three boats here. And the building is located next to the elevated highway.
We can get, by boat, to the highway but getting picked up by vehicles isn't an option because the central part of the city is totally cut off from highway exits. It seems the only way for us to get out right now is by helicopter. That's certainly an option because a helicopter can land on the elevated highway.
Our ability to report is becoming more limited. With only a handful of boats, not many of us can get out to work. I suspect over the next couple of days, we'll start reporting on our website more and more about what's happening in our immediate viewing area and on our own personal experiences here at the building.
But we still have limited power from our generator. We're still able to communicate through some cell phones and computers over the Internet.
We have supplies. We can't drink the water out of the faucet but we can use it for bathroom reasons.
The looting is pretty bad according to the reporters and photographers who went out into the city yesterday.
Things will only get uglier as people start running out of resources and become more desperate.
I'm guessing that at some point, we might get evaculated out of the city to the north shore or to the river parishes to the west.
Its becoming hard to imagine the city proper recovering from this.
With highway damage, companies and businesses are going to have to relocate out of the city. People who can't come back to work - because their businesses and jobs in the city won't exist anymore - at some point will have to consider taking jobs somewhere else and establishing some sembelence of a life somewhere else.
How many of those people will come back?
I'm afraid that the New Orleans we all knew is gone forever.
I know this sounds almost hysterical, but the devastation here is almost unimaginable.
I'm charging my cell phone again but I don't know how well it is working today. I couldn't make any calls in or out yesterday. But many others here are able to use their cell phones.
I'll call out as much as I can. Same with email.
Pray for us.

0845 hrs 08/30/05

We do have another way out right now. We can get on the highway in front of the building and cross the bridge over the Miss. River, then follow the highway west along the West Bank to St. Charles Parish, cross back over the river and reconnect with I-10 and head west.
Our trucks still can get us out of here, but we don't know if they can bet onto the highway from here.
The water appears to be rising about 1.5 inches per hour.
people are starting to make their way to the elevated highway (Pontchartrain Expressway) and presumably walk across the bridge.
The word we have is that the West Bank (on the other side of the river) is dry.
About the only noise outside is from helecopters making constant passes over the city.

0918 hrs 08/30/05

We're evacuating to the West Bank immediately, then possibly to Baton Rouge.
Can't take much. Just my computer bag. not even clothes.
trucks can still get to interstate but window of opportunity to get us out is closing.
also beginning to smell fuel in building, probably from gas, diesel and oil in the flood water.
So safety here will increasingly be at risk.
Will update whenever possible.
Not sure when.

I'm hoping to hear from him that he's safe and here in Baton Rouge soon.

Above quotes (c) Keith Darce 2005

Monday, August 29, 2005

Aftermath of the Storm

As the last minutes of August 29, 2005 tick by, I thought I'd come here and update you all on how we fared.

At the moment my house is silent. E and the dogs are all in the bed asleep. M and Megs are in the guest room doing the same. I'm the only one who can't sleep because I've got this post swimming around in my head that I just have to get out.

The events of today are some of those which we will never forget. Baton Rouge was spared the brunt of the storm. Our sustained winds never got over 40 mph and our gusts never topped 70 mph. I can, however, tell you that Katrina has crippled this city. Nearly 90% of the city is without electricity and may not have it restored for up to a week. There are trees and lines down everywhere. Most traffic signals are not functioning which creates a traffic nightmare. Very few gas stations, grocery stores, and pharmacies can open. Our mayor made several appearances today asking people to stay put. Of course, when 90% of the city can't hear the request, I guess it doesn't do much.

We have obeyed our mayor's request. We haven't left the house since 2 pm yesterday. We sat nervously watching a combination of the local and national channels waiting for Katrina to do her bidding. Just after midnight last night, we realized we needed some sleep and that lasted until the winds and rain moved in at around 6 am.

As the day dawned I was able to see limbs down in the backyard and the trees swaying as 50 mph gusts blew through. Out front, our mailbox pole broke causing the box to hit the ground. We kept watching the news and were told that the worst we would see would arrive around 9 am. Sure enough, as if by invitation, 9 am brought huge gusts and the heaviest of rains, knocking out our power with the explosion of a transformer nearby. We settled in, resigning ourselves to the fact that we would probably remain without power for several days. Thankfully we were wrong and 30 minutes later our power was restored.

Throughout the day we never lost power again. The rain and gusts continued until Katrina tired of us at around 3 pm. Exhausted, we all headed off for naps and a break from the television coverage that wasn't giving us the information we truly needed.

It has been over 12 hours since I've heard from my brother Keith. But I know that he's ok because I was able to contact someone at the City Desk who had seen him shortly before I called. The Times-Picayune is out of power for the most part. They are running minimal equipment on battery generators so they are able to publish to the website. Keith had sent word early today that as long as we kept seeing stories about Entergy, we could be certain he was still alive. True to his word, he's managed to keep them coming. I do know that windows in one of the executive suites blew out in the building, gutting that office and causing some leaks in the cafeteria below. Keith said that they watched an air conditioning intake fly off the roof and land on someone's truck below. They also watched all the trees around the building blow down. Geographically, he is directly across I-10 from the Superdome so they kept an eye on the Dome's roof from their windows. His car is parked in the parking garage at the Dome but he's unsure when he'll be able to get to it. His house isn't very far from some of the flooding but hopefully it will be in good shape.

I am most worried for M right now. She hasn't heard from D since 6 am this morning. The phone lines are pretty much down now. She was able to reach the 800 number at the hospital this afternoon but they couldn't track him down. She left a message for him to call here but hasn't heard anything yet. They live on the Westbank of New Orleans, an area which has been pretty much ignored by the media today. Fortunately, we were able to see their neighborhood in the helicopter footage that all the stations have been carrying. It didn't appear that their house would be flooded but we did see some houses with severe roof damage in the area. The apartment building that collapsed with people in it is just down the street from their house.

The helicopter footage that was released this evening is sobering. We were able to pick out specific buildings and neighborhoods in the devastation. We have no idea when they will be allowed back into Jefferson Parish. Right now, D can't even leave the hospital to go check on the house because they've ordered all the roads closed.

What we're not seeing in this early footage is areas like Plaquemine Parish, Lafitte and Grand Isle, all of which are probably totally submerged. All of the models the professionals were running last night showed that there would be no dry land left in Plaquemine Parish when all was said and done. No one knows how many people stayed behind in those areas.

As I was laying in bed just now with this post swimming through my head, I was filled with a sense of awe because of the strength of nature, something which none of us can control. Many thanks to all of you who sent prayers and good thoughts yesterday and today. Tonight I realized that sometimes on ordinary days, when I'm frustrated that E's without a job again and I'm worried about money or anything else, I forget to be grateful for what I do have. Today has been one of those days that brings it all home. In that bed across the hall right now is everything I need - all the other "things" are just that. Yes, life gets hard some days but today was a day when Mother Nature could have taken it all away in an instant. Today I know that I'm one of the most blessed human beings on this planet and for that I am truly grateful.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Hurricane Preparation

Wow, a rare Sunday blog post for me.

We are preparing to get hit by hurricane Katrina beginning tonight. Fortunately, here in the Baton Rouge area, it looks like we will only see 50 - 70 mph winds and about three inches of rain. New Orleans will not be so lucky.

New Orleans residents are preparing for the worst storm in their history. My brother, a reporter for the Times-Picayune, will have to stay. His partner is leaving with their two dogs and heading north. I'm pretty worried about K and he's pretty worried about himself. They are being told that even if the eye passes to the east of the city, the storm surge will still be strong enough to breach the levees. This means that New Orleans, soup bowl that it is, will have standing water for an undetermined amount of time. There are pumps that pull the water out but it could take months for them to catch up. K isn't worried about flooding in their house but he's worried they may lose the roof.

My friend M and her daughter Megs are on their way here from New Orleans. They have been on the road over two hours now and are only about half way here. They're going to ride out the storm with us. M's husband D is a computer tech of Ochsner Hospital in New Orleans and can't leave. He has to go to work this afternoon after he finishes boarding up their house. M's very worried because her mother refuses to leave but insisted M leave - go figure.

Katrina will leave a path of devastation in her wake. The winds are now up to 175 mph and with the low barametric pressure at the center it makes her just a huge tornado. If she jogs just a big to the west then Baton Rouge will be in much more danger. It's hard to pray and ask God to send her in another direction because she will devastate whatever she touches. The folks on the Mississippi Gulf Coast in the Gulfport and Biloxi areas will be dealt a huge blow. They will be in the northeast quadrant and that is the worst part of any hurricane. The mayor of Biloxi has been on the Weather Channel all day today and the poor man looks scared out of his mind. He always looks like he's about to burst into tears. I can't say that I blame him. There's nothing you can do but run from a storm like this one.

Just say your prayers, folks, that everyone in the path of this storm remains safe.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005


My dear friend DixiePeach has tagged me with a meme:

10 years ago: I was 911 Director at the Sheriff's Office and pretty stressed out. I was single, living in my own house with my three kitties.

5 years ago: I was married nearly a year and was happy except in that we lived in a VERY small town in a trailer both of which I hated and rarely speak about now.

1 year ago: E and I were beginning to look at houses to buy.

Yesterday: I had a fight with E and his grouchy self born out of the fact that he's quitting smoking and had finished his last pack. (We made up later, of course)

Tomorrow: I have to pick up my engagement ring at the jewelers' because the repairs have been done.

5 snacks I enjoy: chips and dip (green onion dip, specifically), popsicles, nuts, cookies, anything chocolate

5 bands/singers that I know the lyrics of MOST of their songs: The Eagles, Barry Manilow, Fleetwood Mac, The Beatles, John Denver

5 things I would do with $100,000,000: quit my job, pay off all our debt, pay off my parents' debt, set up college funds for my niece and nephew, a huge assed RV - pack up the puppies and the cat - and travel extensively

5 locations I'd like to run away to: New York City, Eureka Springs (Arkansas), the Smokey Mountains, Germany, Great Britian

5 bad habits I have: overeating, procrastination, spending too much time on the computer, sleeping really late on the weekends, finishing people's sentences

5 things I like doing: knitting, reading, swimming, hanging out with my niece and nephew, driving

5 things I would never wear: a bikini, anything that exposes part of my stomach, short shorts, high heels, exposed underwear

5 TV shows I like: The Daily Show, Anthony Bourdain/No Reservations, ER, Real Time with Bill Mahr, I Want That

5 movies I like: O' Brother, Where Are Thou?, Lord of the Rings Trilogy, all Star Wars episodes, Napolean Dynamite, Enchanted April

5 famous people I'd like to meet: Howard Dean, Oprah Winfrey, Jimmy Carter, Barry Manilow, Harry Connick, Jr.

5 biggest joys at the moment: My husband, my dogs and cat, our pool, our house, my friends

5 favorite toys: My computers, DVR, my cell phone, my Game Boy, my truck

5 bloggers tagged: I'm going to be nice and only tag two - Frappy and Office Manager Mom

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Pat Robertson is a Whacko!

From an article today on MSNBC:

Religious broadcaster Pat Robertson called on Monday for the assassination of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, calling him a “terrific danger” to the United States.


“You know, I don’t know about this doctrine of assassination, but if he thinks we’re trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it,” Robertson said. “It’s a whole lot cheaper than starting a war ... and I don’t think any oil shipments will stop.”

How dare this man call himself a man of God, a Christian??? This is the same guy that in 2003 was praying for the removal or death of several Supreme Court justices.

In July 2003, Robertson asked his audience to pray for three justices to retire from the Supreme Court so they could be replaced with more conservative jurists. "One justice is 83 years old, another has cancer and another has a heart condition," he said.

I can't believe that I continue to be amazed at some of the things folks do in the name of God. As Rob Thurman said just the other day, his Christ is not my Jesus.

What scares me the most is that there are thousands of fundamentalist "Christians" out there watching the 700 Club nodding their heads in agreement.

Listen up people - WE DON'T HAVE THE RIGHT TO RUN AROUND THE WORLD ASSASSINATING LEADERS OF OTHER COUNTRIES JUST BECAUSE THEY DON'T LIKE OR AGREE WITH US. We are not the world's policemen or [shudder] "God's" policemen. Any of you out there that even slightly agree with Whacko Robertson - put the shoe on the other foot - what would you think about someone saying the same thing about our president (past, present or future)? Does any other country have the right to come here and assassinate our president simply because he doesn't like their country?

It seems to me that some Americans have gotten just a bit too big for their own britches, running around the world, pounding their chests and screaming that we're better than other folks because "God" told us so. And I am sick unto death of it.

I want my freakin' country back out of the hands of these fundamentalist whackaloons and I want it back NOW!

Monday, August 22, 2005

Cranky Husbands and Dogs

Ugh! E's got a stomach bug and is being a bear.

Nate's ears are full of yeast so I keep having to stick Q-tips and my finger in there to get it all out. Right now he won't come anywhere near me but he yelps when he scratches his ear. Don't worry. I've got meds ordered at the vet's office and will pick them up tomorrow.

I think I'm going to bed early tonight.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Has pit will travel

If anyone had any questions as to how sweet my husband is, I'm about to put those to rest.

When he was working this last job he was off on Fridays and we'd gotten into the habit of him coming to meet me and us going out to lunch. Since he's out of work again we're really trying to save money for the next house note so we're not eating out at all.

This morning he called to tell me he'd deposited his last paycheck and gave me the amount. He then called right back to ask me what I was doing for lunch. I said I guessed I had a lunch date with him (figuring that since he'd just deposited the check we could splurge a tiny bit and go grab some lunch together). He assured me I had a lunch date and said he'd see me in a bit.

The next thing I know, the temp receptionist comes in and says that E is here but he's outside. I told her that he'd come in eventually. She said no, I might want to go see what he's up to. Well, I was busy and figured he was out there smoking (a HUGE thorn in my side that I have no desire to witness first hand) so I stayed at my desk. The receptionist came back and again said I might want to go out and check on what he was doing. Finally it go the best of me and I went up front and peeked out of the window.

On the sidewalk stood my husband's barbeque pit with smoke billowing out and my husband, spatula in hand, with a big ol' grin as he flipped burgers. We'd had some frozen blue cheese burger patties from Whole Foods at home so he packed them up with buns, cheese, and condiments and came to barbeque for me. So I was treated to the best tasting cheese burgers cooked by the cutest chef around. Everyone here got a big ol' kick out of what was going on.

It was a wonderful surprise and a huge treat. I love that he's always full of surprises. :-D

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Wearing your grief

For the past several days I've noticed a Mazda Pilot amidst all the traffic that has on the back window a tribute to the woman's daughter, her "angel" who apparently died at the age of 17 in 2003. Hers is not the first vehicle that I've seen with such a tribute, just the latest in what I'm thinking is becoming a trend. I can't help but get a picture in my mind of this woman carrying her daughter's tombstone around on her back because that's what that tribute says to me.

Now please don't send me hatemail because I'm not saying that this woman or anyone else who's done this is wrong. What I'm doing is just asking why. What drives an individual to carry their grief around like that? Is she going to put that same tribute on every vehicle she drives from here on out?

The other trend is the crosses or other memorials on the side of the road where folks have died in automobile accidents. Folks tend these like graves. There's a spot in a curve here in Baton Rouge where apparently two people died in a crash and I'm assuming they wrapped the vehicle around the tree because the tribute is on the tree itself. There are always new flowers or windsocks and now there's some windchimes there.

I guess I just don't understand what purpose it all serves.

It's not that I don't know what it's like to feel intense grief. I lost my best friend to leukemia at age 15. I know what it feels like to sit at a grave and cry your eyes out and talk to that person as if they were right there. My beloved grandmother died in 1991 and hardly a day goes by that I don't miss her. It's still hard to think about her dying without tears welling up because we were very close. She died of a massive heart attack while picking pecans in her backyard. That house is still in our family but there's no cross or windchimes or windsocks out in the spot where they found her dead.

Maybe it's because I'm a wizard at internalizing things - at least that's what my therapist tells me. I just know that I couldn't carry it around with me each and every day, seeing that reminder every time I got into my vehicle or passed a particular spot. I feel for those who do because I fear their healing process may be stuck. Our hearts never truly mend when we lose someone that close to us. There always remains a hole that person left behind in our lives. But time does make it easier to carry on unless we become stuck in the grieving and refuse to let go. Every time I pass one of those tributes I say a little prayer - not for the one who died but for the one(s)left behind still grieving so publicly in hopes that they may one day find peace.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Tools of the trade?

The last thing I remember as I fell asleep last night was Sophie (the Peke-a-Poo) trying to jam her rawhide chew between two of my toes as a holding device to make her chewing experience better.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Tying up some loose ends...

Thought I'd just post on a few subjects today just to catch up from my absence.

Diamonds May Not Be The Hardest Substance On Earth

Last night while cooking, E bent over to pick something up off the floor and collided with my hand and thus my engagement ring on the way. I realized later that the large diamond was loose. Now y'all know it's true when I say how hard-headed E is - it's because he's German. :-D

I'll give him a bit of a break and tell you that my ring is an antique (from the 30's) and I was just told by the jeweler that all four prongs need to be rebuilt. I'm sure it has a lot more to do with age than with the thickness of E's head but I like telling folks that I bopped him on the head and knocked the stone loose. LMAO

Back To School

My nephew is doing well enough on his meds that he was released by his doctor to go back to school today which means he only missed the first three days. When I spoke with him last night he was less than thrilled. He was totally geared up for a boring day today and was lamenting all the video game time he'll be without.

El began 6th grade at a magnet middle school last week. She gets to take four single-semester electives this year. She's chosen choir and forensic freakin' science for this semester. Raise your hand if you wish you'd been able to take forensic science in 6th grade.


I came home just now to find that E'd shaved off his mustache sometime today. What's up with that?

As y'all can tell, my life is just a thrill a minute. Hopefully something of substance will happen soon so I won't bore y'all to death.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Just for fun

Nicked from Dixie Peach:

1. Nervous habits? Chewing on my bottom lip
2. Are you double jointed? Definitely not
3. Can you roll your tongue? Yes
4. Can you raise one eyebrow at a time? Yes - either of them, although I favor the right
5. Can you blow spit bubbles? No
6. Can you cross your eyes? Yes
7. Tattoos? None
8. Piercings? Ears only
9. Do you make your bed daily? Nope - Sorry, Mom.


10. Which shoe goes on first? Whichever shoe I find first
11. Speaking of shoes, have you ever thrown one at anyone? Not that I can remember
12. On the average, how much money do you carry? Just some loose change
13. What jewelry do you wear 24/7? My engagement ring and my wedding band
14. Favorite piece of clothing? My pajamas


15. Do you twirl your spaghetti or cut it? Twirl it in a spoon
16. Have you ever eaten Spam? Yes but it has been quite a while
17. Do you use extra salt on your food? No
18. How many cereals in your cabinet? Two - Corn Flakes for E and Honey Bunches of Oats for me
19. What's your favorite beverage? Coke
20. What's your favorite fast food restaurant? Jack In The Box
21. Do you cook? Sometimes


22. How often do you brush your teeth? Twice a day
23. Hair drying method? On work days I let it dry naturally but when I do something with it I use a round brush.
24. Have you ever colored/highlighted your hair? Yes but it's been a few years since


25. Do you swear? Hell yeah!
26. Do you ever spit? Absolutely Not!


27. Animal? Koalas
28. Food? Chicken and Andouille sausage gumbo
29. Month? April
30. Day? Saturday
31. Cartoon? Foghorn Leghorn
32. Shoe brand? No real favorite
33. Subject in school? Literature
34. Color? Deep purple
35. Sport? Football, baby!
36. TV Shows? ER, The Daily Show, South Park, Curb Your Enthusiam, I Want That, Knitty Gritty
37. Thing to do in the spring? Boil crawfish
38. Thing to do in the summer? Swim
39. Thing to do in the autumn? Watch football
40. Thing to do in the winter? Knit, read
41. In the CD player? The Eagles
42. Person you talk most on the phone with? My sister
43. Reading? Chick Lit, some histories, some self-help
44. Do you regularly check yourself out in store windows/mirrors? Not at all
45. What color is your bedroom? Right now taupe but I have plans to paint them blood red
46. Do you use an alarm clock? Yes
47. Window seat or aisle? Window
48. What's your sleeping position? On my stomach or on my right side
49. Even in hot weather do you use a blanket? No and usually not even a sheet in hot weather
50. Do you snore? Like a lumberjack
51. Do you sleepwalk? Not since I was a kid
52. Do you talk in your sleep? Sometimes
53. Do you sleep with stuffed animals? No - but I sleep with four real ones - the cat and the three dogs
54. How about with the light on? No
55. Do you fall asleep with the TV or radio on? Quite often
56. Last interesting person you met: Julie

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Today is my mother's 69th birthday. When I spoke to her yesterday both she and Dad were a bit under the weather. But I couldn't let the day go by without giving her a big ol' birthday shout out.

My mom is so very special to me. We almost lost her last Thanksgiving when she collapsed in their home. Thank God Dad was there when it happened. She completely coded three to five times that morning. I don't ever again want to hear my dad's voice sound like it did that morning when he called me. We were told by the doctors that she might not recover as they had no way of knowing if she'd had any brain damage before the first 24 hours was up. She was on a vent and posturing in the way that severly brain damaged people do. That was the longest 24 hours of my life - the four of us sitting up at that hospital just waiting. My sister and I finally went to K's to spend the night and left my brother with Dad. I remember breaking down in the shower the next morning and telling God that I needed my Mom.

When we got to see her, she was awake and looked so scared. As time went by that day she started to recognize us. By day three she was off the vent and by day four was starting to get some of her short-term memory back.

Mom was released from the hospital on Thanksgiving morning. K prepared a huge meal and had us all over at their house to celebrate. That day forever changed the meaning of Thanksgiving for me.

Mom, you have always been there for us. You raised three strong, intelligent, good kids. I am proud to be your daughter. I remain ever thankful that the angels you saw that Thursday morning gave you the opportunity to stay and finish what you started.

I love you, Mom. May your birthday be joyful.

And so it goes...

Yesterday sucked. Plain and simple.

I blew the motherboard in my computer at work just after lunch. But my boss went out and bought me a brand new machine so I hooked it up this morning. It's faster and bigger so blowing the motherboard was a blessing in disguise.

The worst part about yesterday was that E's out of a job again. The contract ended and the company decided not to extend it. Several people lost jobs yesterday. So for the fourth time in just over three years, E is job hunting again. We are praying that he finds something very soon as we haven't recovered financially from the last time yet. [sigh]

Today is Friday for me. My parents were supposed to be coming to visit us tomorrow but Dad's been down with bronchitis so they had to cancel. E and I are going to go visit them on Friday. It'll be fun to visit the old hometown on a weekday. I'll be able to go by the Sheriff's Office and say hi to the folks I used to work with.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Suffer the little children

I just need to say how unfair I think it is that little kids get sick and that little kids die.

For most of the past month, my nephew Ty has been in the hospital fighting a bacterial infection and molluscum. This is all thanks to his deficient immune system caused by the chemotherapy to fight the ALL (leukemia). Ty's only 7 years old. Once again this year school will start without him. He'll be homebound until they can get this infection gone. He's too susceptable to everything right now to be around a bunch of other kids at school. So once again this year he'll be the "different" kid at school, there some of the time and home some of the time. They're on their way back from his checkup at St. Jude as I type this. St. Jude will be FedExing a new medicine that they've used on adult AIDS patients to treat molluscum. Ty's case is the worst his doctors have ever seen - 400 to 500 bumps concentrated in the area of his bottom. His mom will have to take digital photos and email them to the doctors every other day during the treatment.

Then today my friend Karen is having to say goodbye to her aunt's six-year-old grandson Mason who swallowed a dart Friday. I don't have all the medical details but he quit breathing and was down long enough to cause severe irrepairable brain damage. He's been in a coma all weekend on feeding and breathing tubes. The doctors told the family to let him go yesterday. They are pulling the plugs today. Little Mason turned six last Wednesday.

It's days like today that I just don't understand what's fair and just. I don't understand how and why this can happen to little ones. Days like today shake my faith from the ground up. May Mason's family find peace today as they say goodbye.

Monday, August 08, 2005


My dear friend, DixiePeach, has tagged me and I'm a bit late responding but here it is:

n. pl. id· i·o·syn·cra·sies
-A structural or behavioral characteristic peculiar to an individual or group.

Write down five of your own personal idiosyncracies.

1. As my pseudonymn points out, I hate wearing shoes. I kick them off immediately when I get home, when I get in the car, and when I sit at my desk. Therefore, most of the time I am barefooted.

2. I love peanut butter and mayonaise sandwiches. When I was a little girl, we lived next door to a Korean family and their two boys taught me how to eat pb & m. Mmmmmmmmmmmm...Thanks Carl and Mark!

3. Quite often, for my lunch break, I turn out the lights, close and lock the door to my office, and take a nap. I find it invigorating and it helps me be refreshed for the second half of the day. (Of course, I'm sure this has NOTHING to do with the fact that I have undiagnosed sleep apnea, right? Sure...)

4. Toothpaste spit totally grosses me out. I have walked through many a bloody crime scene, stepping in all sorts of matter and it never bothered me but let me get my own toothpaste spit on me and I will gag every time.

5. I married a man that I didn't share physical space with until four months before we were married. In fact, I met my MIL and FIL a week before a physically met E. That was six years ago. :-D

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Morning commute no so bad today

As I jumped out onto I12 this morning, heading toward work, it looked like a parking lot. As that same parking lot made me 15 minutes late yesterday, I was none too please to see a repeat. But then I looked up and the sky looked very much like this:

The balloon festival started over at Pennington today and I grinned all the way into work. All I wanted to do was head back to the Mississippi River Bridge and watch the balloons from there.

This balloon was in the air this morning:

I think I'm going to head out to get a battery for my camera then E and I can go over early Saturday morning so I can take some pics.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Knitting woes

Can someone please tell me why it took me 15 rows of the Wavy scarf pattern to realize that I was doing the even rows backwards??? Fifteen rows frogged. Argh!

The good news is that I'm doing them right this time.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

They're children but thankfully they're not human

Last night E and I went out to dinner for his birthday and followed that with a couple of hours hanging out in Books-A-Million. We had such a great time. E bought the new Harry Potter book and I bought a book about the expulsion of the Acadians from Nova Scotia called A Great and Noble Scheme, which I'm loving as it is the history of my people.

We got back to the house pretty late so E fed the dogs and took them out while I got ready for bed. As soon as the pups came back in they ran into the bedroom to settle in for the night. E came in and kept saying he smelled poop but he'd look around and not find anything. I got into bed and smelled it as well so I got up and looked around and found nothing. We finally just blamed the poor cat and his litterbox.

Sneauball ran up in between us to snuggle and we both screamed at the same time. It appears that he felt the need to mask his smell while outside by rolling in fresh poop. So at 10 p.m. E and I were giving Sneauball an impromptu bath. The little booger smells pretty good too because the only shampoo within reach was my $11 bottle of Aveda Rosemary Mint.

Fast forward to 2:30 a.m. I've just gotten to sleep because apparently I can't have caffeine after 6 p.m. anymore. (I'd had a grande hot tea in the bookstore while doing some reading and had the damndest time falling asleep) So at 2:30 I awaken to the sound of a dog crying. Sophie was asleep between my knees and she was shaking a bit so I called to her. She came over and snuggled next to me and I calmed her a bit and we went back to sleep. More dog whining and it's not coming from Sophie. I pick up my head to take a head count - Sophie - check, laying next to me - Nate - check, laying at E's feet - Sneauball - check, laying on the other side of Nate. Hmmmmmmmm...Back to sleep I go. Dog whining yet again, more muffled this time. Ok, another head count. Sophie - check, still laying next to me and looking like I'm seriously disturbing her slumber - Nate - check, still sleeping at E's feet - Sneauball - hey, wait a minute that's not Sneauball laying by Nate, that's Nate's fluffy tail, where the heck is Sneauball??? More muffled whimpering. I turn the light and begin to search the room frantically.

I have to break here to explain that we're currently having an issue with our bedframe. It needs some repairing so our mattress and boxspring are on the floor with the frame still around us. The headboard is above us and there is space between the mattress and the wall so we've stuffed that with pillows.

Finally I find the source of the whining - Sneauball, while sleeping in his favorite spot behind E's head, has managed to slip off the mattess and had gotten wedged between a pillow and the mattress and can't move. His little nose was sticking out from the side of the bed and he was looking at me with this pleading expression in his little eyes. I picked him up and made sure he was no worse for the wear then we both got back into bed where he proceeded to squirm right back up to his favorite spot behind E's head.

This morning I overslept by nearly an hour and Sneauball looked completely refreshed. God knew what he was doing by not giving me human children.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Happy Birthday, My Beloved!

Today E is 43 years old. He's not big on birthdays. In fact, he'd usually rather them passed unacknowledged. That is so hard for me to understand because I've always enjoyed birthdays. But I try to keep it low-keyed just for him.

But I can't let the day pass without sharing with the world the fact that I'm married to such a great guy. Ten years ago if you'd said to me that I'd be married to a guy I'd met on the internet, I'd have laughed in your face. Yet here we are and I have loved every minute of this ride.

E puts up with me and my idiosyncracies like no one else could/would. He makes me laugh like no one else can. He loves my dogs just as much as I do and even tolerates the cat and the bird. He doesn't even mind sharing our bed with four fuzzy little bodies. He takes awesome care of me and our house. He reminds me to look at the positive side of things rather than the negative. He never worries about money or if we're going to make it through something ok because he just assumes we will - and we always do. He loves my friends and my family as much as I do. He loves to be spontaneous and have a good time.

I couldn't love anyone more that I love E. He's my soulmate, my best friend, my lover, my compatriot, and my partner in every aspect of our life.

So happy birthday, my beloved husband. This is the sixth birthday that we've shared together and I look forward to sharing many, many more with you. I love you with my entire being. - Your wife