Wednesday, July 31, 2013
I love DC Grill, a small restaurant in Brusly.
After having a pedicure, decided was going to treat myself
to a burger and a reading session via iPad.
I sit at my favorite table, it is the one by the large window
that sits 6 people. I am alone but the table is empty so I can sit there.
I set up my iPad and begin to read as I wait for the best burger ever.
I notice outside my window two young gentlemen speaking
with an older gentlemen that I believe is the owner of the grill.
They are looking towards my window but not through it.
They are speaking of a spot on the glass that they are cleaning.
I am intrigued. The window is being cleaned and
a decal is being put on the window, right below the hours
they are opened.
This is not an "open" sign.
Much love is going into the placement of this decal.
The owner is holding the decal on while one of the
younger men is rubbing every inch with a credit card,
making sure it adheres correctly and well.
they finally pull the backing off the decal and step back
to look at their work.
I can now see what it was they were placing there.
The picture is my view from inside,
a K with a halo on top.
The men all hug, long hugs, a hug that has meaning.
The younger men head to their vehicle, I think one of
them is trying to hold back tears.
The older owner comes back into the DC grill.
I have to ask,
"I watched you guys put up the decal, I watched how careful
you all were in its placement. May I ask?"
He begins to tell the story of the K...
Over the weekend of the Grand Isle Tarpon Rodeo
a young man from Brusly fell out of the back of a truck
and died from complications of the head injury he succumbed.
This young boy meant a lot to DC Grill.
The owner places the decal there so that forever,
he will be remembered and his parents will know that
there, Kolby, is honored.
I ask if he worked there and he said no but
his "significant other" did which made him a part of
the DC grill family.
I thank him for the story and I promise to pray for the families
and those who loved him.
DC Grill is even more now than before,
one of my favorite places.
for a man to honor the life of another is my kind of place.
Monday, July 29, 2013
I, as many others are, devastated by the loss of Kidd Kraddik.
For some, maybe he was just a radio host who you listened to
here and there, but for me, He and his show was a part of my life.
When I worked, it was Kidd's show I listened to on the
way to work and many mornings I sat in the parking lot
just to hear the end of parts of his show.
His death on Saturday at a golf fund raiser In N.O.
from a brain aneurysm shook many people.
No one I know has done more for ill children and their families.
So many mornings I was brought to tears by something he
said or did. He adored his daughter, Caroline and supported
her with everything she did. He divorced in 2007 but
was one of those honorable men who never spoke ill
of the mother of his child, held her high even though they
were divorced. Lately I haven't been a follower but
I have his app on my phone and when I walked, listened
to Kidd. Last week he and his awesome radio family,
wrote fake obituaries to each other so when his death
was announced, some thought or hoped it was just a
ploy. Nope, our dear Kidd is gone and many feel
like they have lost a family member.
I know I do. I could not even listen to the
radio special they had today with the rest of the cast.
May he RIP and may many continue his legacy of changing
the world of very sick children and their families.
Thursday, July 25, 2013
Today Is finally the day that My Malaina, my Mee Mee
is coming to spend a few days with her Auntie Lil.
I and she both look forward to this day each summer and
this summer has almost passed us by as school is already
about to start. Usually her time with me is shared with
another of the nieces but this time it is alone.
She shared with her Mom that it has been a while since I had
Aunt Lil all to myself.
This makes my heart happy as she is one of the easiest
children to be with. If you want to craft all day,
she is in for that. If you want to watch honey Boo Boo
or Toddlers and Tiara's all day, she is up for that.
She forgets no memories that have been made already.
Ice cream cones at 2 am is on her "to-do" list ever since
we did that a few years ago.
No pressure when time is being spent with her.
I adore this child as I do all my nieces and nephews
but there is something different about my relationship with
dear Mee Mee. I don't want her to grow up.
I don't want it ever to come to the time where she opts
out of days with Auntie Lil to spend with her
teenage friends or heavens, a boyfriend!
I need to get my time in before this happens.
And to add to this day, I am also going to
spend some time with some old friends as
lunch will be with my newly married, Katie Duet Soignet
(hard to add that Soignet there...lol)
we have so much to catch up on since the wedding.
There is the back stories of the wedding day as well
as the honeymoon that need to be discussed.
Going get the Ta-Ta's exrayed, Mammo. time,
and then to St. Joseph Manor to visit with Mr. Bill
and my friend who also happens to be his daughter,
Celeste. Hoping Celeste brings her bestie, Kim with her
as I miss them both so much!
Then there is the Sista, Roz, who works at the manor.
From the first time we met her, she became the Collins sista!
A full day a good day.
Friday, July 19, 2013
If you are like me, you grew up with channel 4 news
and watching Frank Davis and his wife of 45 years,
Mary Claire cooked for us each Tuesday and
Frank filled us in on the best fishing spots of the time.
When I moved to Plaquemine, that channel was no longer
available so I lost touch with a most awesome man.
Actually thought he and Mary Claire were still cooking.
This morning I come across the top article and am
saddened to find out that he is struggling for his life,
symptoms being very similar to ALS.
Thankfully it is no ALS but seems to be just as
hateful as Lou Gehrig's disease in the way it manifests.
It is hard to see a man your grew up with on TV
almost bedridden. Having to sell their dream home
in New Orleans to move to Texas for the best doctors
and to be close to their only daughter.
One thing that is still there, is the steadfast love
of his faithful wife, Mary Claire.
The article is wonderful and sad all at the same time.
The true meaning of the marriage vows many of us
"For better or worse"
As i have reminded myself many times over the last year,
those vows are to stand, made in the presence of God.
Mary Claire inspires me to continue on,
and to remember another famous quote I love,
"This too shall pass"
Many prayers and love to the most awesome
Davis couple and in thanksgiving for being part
of my life, even if it was through TV, for so many years.
Sunday, July 14, 2013
... and scrap on...
Yesterday, yesterday, what a wonderful day it was!
I was invited to an all-night crop night
(for those who don't speak scrap language, all night scrapbooking)
at my dear friend Ashley's new home.
This house is more than just a house, it is a showpiece,
magazine perfect and yet, Ash is just so humble.
I told her many times last night that this house
was "built" for her long before she was ever thought of.
So here goes, a whole blog dedicated to pics of
the most fabulous home and then words to explain
just what last night meant to me,
going to be a long one, just warning you.
The age of the home, Ash tells me is over 75 years old
but has only had three owners.
First the building couple then was passed on to their
son and wife. Then the Burke's, Ashley and Shane.
I walk around gawk and take pictures.
These six first pictures are her attic space scrap room.
A crafters dream!
All walls are painted a crisp, clean white,
the floors are the subfloor with not flooring on top
except for a good dose of white wash.
So inexpensive but so beautiful.
It is set up in a way that you feel like you are in
Ashley's old scrapbook store.
Each of us having our own long folding table to
set up on. There is Ash's most awesome desk,
facing all the other portable folding tables.
Seven of us scrappers can set up and still be very comfortable
with lots of space to spread out.
All Ash's wonderful old pieces of storage furniture
is eye candy to someone such as me who loves vintage.
The rest of the photos are just different parts in
the Burke home that I fell in love with.
The home is so spacious, big rooms with so many closets,
not found in older homes often.
AHHHH theater chairs, I love, love, love this!
and above, one of her many "love walls"
as I like to call them.
Ash is not pleased with her huge kitchen deco at the moment.
I, on the other hand, aside from the ceramic small tiles
that make up her countertops, love it!
It is full of storage.
and fits with the style of the house.
Their coffee table is huge,
made out of an old railroad cart.
There are actually still blessed with the old
railroad wheels that at one time actually ran on
tracts. Made me wonder, all what this cart has seen,
where it has been in it's life prior to being a coffee table
at Ashley and Shane's home.
The ideas I was inspired with as I went through
this magazine house is still going through my mind.
In their beautifully romantic master bedroom
I see something that I have wanted to do myself and haven't
found the right baby dress I desire.
I will lift this idea though.
Such a spacious bedroom, then the smartes
idea I have ever seen in a home,
in which Ash gives the credit to her Daddy and brothers for.
Off of the master bedroom was another room that
they converted into a closet room.
There also houses their washer and dryer.
Instead of having shoes and clothing, jewelry, hats
inside a closed closet, the Burke's have these things
on display. It feels more like you are in a boutique rather
than a closet. It is ultimately something more people should do.
In the hall is this conversation chair with an old nonworking
phone. I have always wanted to own one of these chairs
as growing up, my nannie had one and I always admired it.
Always wanted on even as a little girl.
When visiting my godmother, I would often sit
in that little seat and imagine myself grown up and
talking on the phone. There was a little shelf under
the phone that housed her phone books.
I want one and now know where I can put it! in my big hall.
The dining room is not complete yet but Ash had
this old stove in her scrap store, Inspire.
Shane tried to get her to rid of it when the store closed
but today, I know she is sooooo happy she kept it.
It will have a wonderful place in this home.
The foyer, the room you walk into when entering the front of
the home is an actual room. A den.
Even with all these beautiful things Ash owns and has
displayed it is so open, so spacious.
I am trying not to drool....
Even with all these wonderful pictures,
all these tangible beauties, the very best thing I got there
Sisterhood with friends who share the same interests as myself.
Taylor, one of my "youngen" friends who I have lost touch with
is now the mommy to a beautiful two months old baby boy, Liam.
Vera, one of my very first scrap friends when I moved to Thibodaux.
She owned the first scrap store I shopped at.
We started a friendship then and her family has grown
to two beautiful little children.
A new friend tonight, Brandy, shared her scrap talent
as well as pictures and stories of her own sweet babies,
a boy and a girl.
Then there is my dear, dear Ash.
I am old enough to be her Mother and yet
our friendship is one we can speak of anything.
I have this gift which I take no credit for as I
sincerely believe it was given to me by the Big Man.
Ash is one of those young friends.
We talk about so much, no topic closed and last night,
last night was good and cathartic for me as well as all
my young friends.
Here is to many more date nights at the Burke home
with many awesome girlfriends.
thanks again, my dear Ash!
(if interested, Ash writes a blog called
Saturday, July 13, 2013
A few weeks ago, when in Golden Meadow I decided to
ride down the lane of my childhood.
That's right a lane, not a street.
So much as changed and yet, so much is still the same.
You know when you are a little girl everything seems so much bigger
and a lane seemed so much longer.
This house right here?
The home of the Doucet's.
My best neighborhood friend was Roxanne,
the baby of this Doucet home.
We had lots in common as we were both the babies of
large families. I lived first house of Dursette, right behind
Roxie lived last house down the lane.
It always seemed like such a long walk to her house
so as an adult, driving down the lane that day,
I realize once again it really is such a short street.
People lived there for a lifetime.
No moving like what has filled my adult life.
We all lived there and never moved.
Still today, the homes are still all owned by the
original owners or their children now.
What I loved about Roxanne's house?
There were many things.
One, the large playroom with so many toys
and spaces to set up stores in.
There were those months that we and our parents saved
every empty box of food products so we could put in our store.
I also loved the built in beds Mr. Linton built for his two girls,
Roxanne and liz. There were built with big drawers under the beds.
Loved those beds.
I remember the day Kim died in a car accident.
Kim was Roxanne's big brother. Their home was so full of
sadness in those days. It was one of the first young people
I knew who died. I was so afraid to go there after hearing
of his death but C and I spent the days with them and I like
to think it helped them in some way.
Roxanne now lives in her childhood home.
Much has changed and much has stayed the same.
The bricks remain the same vibrant red while all the white
siding is new. Her parents live right next door in
a small home of their own.
Across the street from the Doucet's was more neighborhood friends,
the Cheramies'. Another house full of kiddies.
Mr. Frip and Ms. Norma had 4 children.
Dursette was full of kiddies of different ages and we
all played together. Gaye and I were the same age
and our friendship wavered from close one week and
hardly playing the next week.
My favorite memories of the Cheramie house was the
playroom that Mr. Frip had made for his little girls in the back yard.
Oh how I wanted that little playhouse that came equipped with a play stove,
an eating snack bar and a small play bed.
I longed to play in there selfishly by myself.
I don't think I was ever able to pull it off but I dreamed of that little house.
Ms. Norma was a beautician and across the street from their home
was her shop. I can remember going in there with Gaye
and the smell of perms and little old ladies filled my nose.
The door was always opened there for the kiddies.
We also were allowed to play in there on the days that it
was closed for business. I loved that shop!
Closer to my own home was another Doucet home.
Mr. Nolan and Mrs. Clarabelle and their only child, Missy.
Again another home still owned by the original owner.
Missy was an only child and on the rare occasion we were allowed
to play in the house, it was in their den.
I remember Neil Diamond records being played on the stereo
that was housed in that room.
Missy, being an only child, had a fantastic room.
I can remember her parents wanting to vacation and take her to every
state in the United States of America.
I think it was hats from each state that was hung across the top of
her bedroom walls.
Then there was the "telephone office"
AWHHHH across from Missy's house was the best playground ever!
We all loved this place. As the length of the street seems shortened
from my childhood memories, the size of this place is the same experience.
Here we skated, jumped off the porch. There was a big signal tower
on the property held in place by big cement squares.
Many talks went on back there, many climbs of the tower
even though forbidden by our parents. There were
many "hide and go seek" games,
many discussions and some even had their 'first kisses"back there.
Always full of big tractors and large round wooden reels that
held big black wire. Oh the fun we had on them.
Then there was this home, the best home,
that until recently, was my sister C's home.
It was the family home of Freddie and Minta Collins.
There, their seven children were raised.
I am surprised by how short the front yard looks to me.
As a child, it seemed like our home was huge, our property
so large. Now it seems like it is so close to the street.
Maybe it is closer as the lane has probably been widened a few
times in the last years since I grew up there.
It was the very best place to live, so much love,
so much arguing, so much normalcy happened there.
I have been blessed with the best memories of childhood,
all coming back each time I ride down memory lane
Friday, July 12, 2013
Take the Pledge.
If you didn't do it years ago when Oprah was hot on
the trail do it now.
I am referring to texting and driving.
What is it about humans that makes them think,
"Not me, I won't wreck if I text"
Then the worst happens and you may be facing
a family in a courtroom trying to explain how
you killed someone while texting.
It isn't like we have not saw and heard enough horror
stories to know it happens.
I retook the pledge even though I took it years
Because although I have kept my pledge to not text
and drive, I would be lying if I said I never checked
texts at red lights, while waiting for a train or bridge
or in traffic. Then before you know it
you are answering that text and nothing happens
so next time you might be a little braver
and read while driving.
I am done with it.
I do not want to become one of the statistics
that the website speaks of.
Be a grown-up,
take the pledge, preach it to others
and be proud to say,
"I do not text and drive"
Thursday, July 11, 2013
Our Malaina, what a special child.
She is the daughter of HOBL's uncle Jack and
wife Cindy. She is the baby sister of two teenage brothers
and she is adored by many of us.
She is sweet and kind, loves doing art with her Auntie Lil,
shoot I can brag here and say she loves everything about
her Auntie Lil. I love her the same.
I call her MeeMee.
I think I am the only one who calls her by a nick name.
Her Mom was a bit older when she had MeeMee
but what a blessing she is to her Mom.
Having had two boys first she longed for a little girl
to love. Boy did she hit the jackpot with this sweetie.
I want to take time today to talk about this child and
You know when you watch a certain child do something
and you know, for a fact, that there is something special,
something different about them.
That is my MeeMee.
The girl does not just dance,
she lives and breathes it.
Having just returned from a dance competition at Disney
and in speaking with her Mom I hear the pride in her voice.
I share with you just a few of the many dance pictures I
now own. Look at her face in each picture,
look at her form, look at the love she has for the art.
Watch out Abby Lee and Dance Moms because
I have no doubt this child has already found her calling.
I can see her in just a few years trying out for
SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE
and making it.
I have no doubt she will own a dance studio one day.
Yet, even with all these beautiful pictures of this miracle
of a child, they speak nothing of the loveliness of MeeMee.
The kindest most gentle child,
the sparkle in her Mother's eye.
I am so honored to know her, to
be special to her as I know a special child when I see one.
I love you my dear, MeeMee
without you, I don't think my world or
your Mommy's world would be just as
wonderful as it is. When the Big Man put you
in our lives he knew what he was doing.
I will forever, forever be in awe of your talent,
your sweetness, your sense of humor.
Nothing left to be said except.....
Tuesday, July 9, 2013
Today, My gypsy baby is in Mississippi
visiting her very first friend, her bestie,
Jessica and I am thrilled about it.
When she told me her plans, I went on and on
about how important this is, how much my two besties,
Laurie and Ann wish we had stayed closer
while raising our children but are so happy that
we have, once again, become important to each other.
We can't go back but we can work on the forward part.
If I could write a letter to myself now to be read
at 18, one of the top on the list would be
"Always stay in touch with the besties"
My besties, they know things about me that my own family,
my own HOBL does not know.
Shoot they probably know things about me that I don't even know.
So back to Gypsy's bestie who happens to share
the same name, Jessica (spelled correctly, of course)
They became friends when Jessica moved to the
bayou with her parents after her daddy finished law school.
They had play dates as young as 4.
Imagine how excited they were when a few years later
they found out that not only was Jessica moving to the
good ol' Tarpon Heights but would be so close
that we shared a driveway between our homes.
They became inseparable. They went to different schools
and yet, every waking moment that they were home, they
were together. They built camps together,
skated together, watched movies, slept and ate most
meals together. My Mommy would have home made salads
made for each Jess when they got home from school.
When we moved to Thibodaux, it was one of the things
I felt the worst about. My gypsy loosing that day to day
contact with her bestie. They tried really hard as us parents did,
to keep them close but time did it's thing and they lost touch.
Not completely but it just was not the same.
When, for Mommy's funeral, there was our Jessica R.
gypsy and I were both so touched.
That she would drive 4 hours, from Mississippi to be with us
only to have to hurry back to work right after the funeral,
will never be forgotten. Before the mass started, I looked to
the middle of the church and saw Jess sitting there.
I got up and brought her to the front, to the pew where
my babies were sitting, it is where she belonged.
She was family, like a granddaughter to my Mommy for many years.
That act of kindness reignited their friendship.
Gyspy was so excited but also a bit nervous.
She expressed how she hoped they would not feel awkward
around each other for a bit. I expressed that I know about
besties and I could tell her, for a fact, that it will be like no time has
passed. I love, love, love, love everything about their
time together. Only one thing could have made it better and
that would be if their other childhood friend, Gavin could
have made the trip with her from Lafayette. Next time,
they must all get together. Like a Tarpon Heights reunion.
No relationship can be more important than a bestie.
(gypsy baby and Gavin)
Monday, July 8, 2013
The stories of heroism are beginning
to surface related to the crash of
the Boeing 777 that emergency landed in
San Francisco, California.
As usual, I am going to blog about it.
It seems these types of stories always touch
me to the point that I have to make comment.
It is hard to believe, watching the news footage,
hearing the stories, that only two
exchange students, 16 years old, died.
There are some critically ill but all in all
out of the 300 something passengers,
very few are injured physically.
This morning there is the story of
the stewardess who would not leave the
wreckage before everyone was off the plane.
Even once she evacuated, she calmly spoke
to reporters only to find out later that
she had a broken tailbone.
Adrenalin, it's a wonderful thing in crisis.
There is the other story of an elementary boy
who was traveling alone and was terrified
to go down the slide to safety so the
stewardess that was assigned to him,
brought him to safety on her back.
I can only imagine how grateful his parents are.
Nothing seems to have gone has planned as
when the slides inflated, the inflated
inside the plane instead of outside pinning
two stewardess' under the slides.
Their coworkers used an ax to deflate
the slides and save their friends.
So many awesome stories but lets not forget
the two young girls from another country,
only 16 years old, excited to spend time
in the good ol' US of A, a place
that before, they had only heard of.
I can only imagine their excitement for
all they were going to see, do, learn.
I think of the families that were going
to be the ones chosen to house them and
show them our beautiful country, waiting at
the airport to pick them up only to find out
that out of the over 300 passengers,
only their young visitors were the ones
who had perished. I wonder, how you make that call?
The call to a foreign land to explain their children
I know many more stories will be heard of,
I also know that although physical bodies are intact,
the mind, the mind will work wonders on the survivors.
Next time I fly, I most certainly will pay better attention
to the announcements prior to take off.
Prayers for all involved.
Sunday, July 7, 2013
I was going to blog about the plane crash,
but changed my mind. Decided no tragedy today.
Then as I make my lunch of an old fashioned luncheon meat
sandwich, as I await the microwave to do it's
magic to my luncheon meat, I apply Mayo
to my very fresh slice bread and then the mind,
it does one of those things that is so strange.
It takes me back in the memory bank of
the first time I decided I liked Mayonnaise.
I can't remember what I had for lunch three days ago,
but the first time I like Mayo? Remember it so clearly.
Before 8th grade I like sandwiches dry.
No mustard, no ketchup and heaven forbid, no Mayo.
My Momma and Daddy had tried many times
to get me to try a good sandwich on french bread
with a condiment but until 8th grade they had no luck.
Then, it was a pajama party at a friend, Robin Gaspard's house
that turned me on to my first time.
Her Mom had a bunch of us girls over for the night,
brave woman. I was a late maturer and rathered stay
home than sleep at a friends house but something
about this party was going to be different.
Some of us were late bloomers such as I,
but that summer most of my friends were hanging on
the other side of maturity. I decided that being invited
to Robin's party was going to give me an advantage
for the 9th grade year. Some of these girls had periods,
shoot some of them even had boyfriends.
What did I have?
Well, I had a love for luncheon meat sandwiches
and there was a pile of them on the kitchen table all
cut like triangles. While the other girls talked of
crank calls and boys they liked I was wondering when we were
going to eat. Yeah, told you, late bloomer.
When the time came that the sandwich tray was opened,
I placed a few on my paper plate and there, there on my
beautiful little treasures was, you guessed it,
Mayonnaise..... Oh my, what would I do?
Only one thing I could do. I was hungry and it
would be rude to ask for another without mayo.
Then and there, I would never eat another
smash sandwich, nor a luncheon meat sandwich on
french bread without the wonderful taste of Mayo.
Of course, this story is not just about mayo but
about how the memory, it picks the things it remembers.
Not only do I remember that but all the girls that were
there that night. The phone calls that were made to boys,
some who had broken up with some of the girls at
the party. We talked of Robin's house being haunted,
I realized that not all homes were like mines.
It was an eye opening experience, one I did not
fit in. Except for those sandwiches, I had little
in common with some of the girls.
My love for this condiment remains.
Saturday, July 6, 2013
Last night, after Bean and I attended the best wedding, ever,
BB and Kd were here to spend their first night
in their new living arrangements.
They have sold their home and are about to embark
on building the home they have designed themselves.
HOBL and I have been living alone for some time now
but last month gypsy baby semi-moved back home,
Like her things are here but she rarely is.
Now Kd, BB and Bean will be sharing time here
and at Kd's parents.
This morning I awaken early as usual, quietly make my coffee
and play on my computer, same way I begin each morning.
About an hour later I hear,
"I wanna go wake up Musie, I wanna go jump on her bed"
Then the cutest little face comes from her new bedroom space and
I melt once again. Oh to wake up to this little girl some
mornings will be fantastic.
This morning, all my babies under one roof,
gypsy baby having come home this morning after
having a bad dream and back to bed.
Bean sitting next to me eating her trix and talking of
all the fun we had last night,
BB already pacing waiting to go and complete
the packing of the home that sells on Monday
while Kd and i try to leisurely drink our coffee.
while Kd and i try to leisurely drink our coffee.
Now I know within the next 7 months,
we will not always be as happy as we are this am.
I know by the time the new home is built they as well
as we, will probably be ready for seperating the families once again.
But for now, for now, I am going to enjoy the company of
one little girl who calls me "MUSIE"