Tuesday, December 28, 2010

I Got You, Babe

Thirty-six years ago today, I walked down the aisle in a long white dress, said "I do" and married my sweetheart. I didn't know what awaited us in this new life of ours...I only knew I wanted to do it with Don beside me! It was the smartest thing I ever did. Choosing him. Choosing marriage. Choosing to start a family. Our 1st son was born a year and a half later, son #2 was born two and a half years after that, and our baby girl came along five years later.

I'm not an expert on marriage. I only know it takes two people who love each other and are committed to building a life and a family. You have to have fun together.

And you have to be on the same team. I'm on his side. And he is on mine.

I got you, babe...

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Let there be light ~

I've been having a love affair with a chandelier for 2 years now. I would go to the website, put it in my cart and then think...oh forget it, our kitchen needs major work, I'm not putting this up...someday, with a nicer kitchen/dining room. And so my thought process went. This is the object of my affection:

And then I bought a new Howard Miller clock for the dining room wall (love it too!). This one:When Don hung the clock on the wall, I said...whoa, stop the presses, this will not do! This gorgeous clock cannot live on that wall...so I started ripping off the country wallpaper. We worked for a few days, even rented a steamer...finally we called experts and had things fixed. Nothing big, new paint and trim, etc. It's not the end of the kitchen work, we have major projects ahead, new cabs etc. But I wondered, what if I die without having lived with the chandelier I love? So now it is here. And up. The chandelier is mine! (Ballard Designs) Lesson learned. I can't fix everything perfectly but I can do this.

This isn't my house but I love this picture anyway.

Let there be light!

Sunday, December 5, 2010


This afternoon was the 71st annual performance of Handel’s Messiah by the Lake Charles Messiah Chorus and Orchestra. And I was in it! We may be smaller in numbers than in years past, and the long rehearsal schedule has now shortened to a sing-along performance...but my section rocks. We dubbed ourselves the Mighty Mighty Altos. :)

Seriously, this day is so important to many of the participants. One elderly gentleman (at least 90 yrs) was wheeled in to sing. Of course his voice is gone, but he still remembers all his parts by heart.

This day was important to me too. It stirs up a mixture of emotions...love for the glorious music by Handel, the chance to be part of a long standing tradition, being with such good and talented people, and the spirit of Christmas. And of course, performing at McNeese State University brings back childhood memories of school chorus competitions on that very stage.

For a fun rendition, here is the Food Court Flash Mob. I thought everyone had seen this video...it's gone around the world and back again, but if you haven't, it's just cool:

And He shall reign forever and ever...Hallelujah!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Shop Til You Drop ~

I can hang with the best of 'em (shoppers, that is). At least until my knees ache and my back protests. So yesterday, my sister Lou Ellen and I decided to conquer the mountain and go to the opening day of the Nutcracker Marketplace...Houston's version of running with the bulls! It was crazy. It was fun. It was the wild west. It was So Very Texas!!

They sold gorgeous things...jewelry, pearls, pewter, pashimas, leather, boots, quilts, vintage jackets, personalized gifts, and of course, food. Dips, soups, sauces, nuts, the special Donne Di Domani spaghetti sauce, and more. The most popular vendor was the massive and magnificent Christmas decor by Paul Michael. Women were seen pushing and dragging boxes big enough for kitchen appliances, filled with sparkly things to decorate for the holidays. We didn't bring a camera but I found these shots online. :)

Here's a slideshow: (at least while the link works)

If you go, just remember:

1) You will get bumped. You will get poked. You may drop something. You may lose something. Embrace the danger. Walk on the wild side. Whistle past the graveyard. It'll do you good.

2) Wear comfy shoes. We did. We were glad.

3) Get ready to be friendly. Because it's not a party unless you talk to everyone around you. In case you missed the memo, Lou Ellen and I are talkers. You know...just so we can fit in!!

4) When you pay $5 for a diet coke, it's OK, it's for a good cause, to benefit The Houston Ballet. Barbara Bush cut the ribbon for the opening. If it's good enough for Bar, it's good enough for me.

5) Be glad you were born a woman. This is your destiny. This and childbirth. But this is more fun. ;)

See ya' next year!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Jason, son #2

Two days after Halloween many moons ago, our 2nd son, Jason was born. I always knew I'd have two boys. After Justin, we were experts in the boy department so we were ready for #2.

Jason was a beautiful baby, dark with olive skin, small - at least to me...6 lbs 7 oz. But he was born hungry. And he never let us forget it. He took his bottle well. And then he spit up. Again. And again. But his pediatrician pronounced him a fine, healthy baby and said he'd stop spitting up when he started to walk. The doctor was correct...he started walking at 9 months and the spitting up ceased. Just like that!

As the months passed, life with Justin (a toddler) and our baby soon slipped into life with "the boys". It was fun, and there was never a dull moment. Jason always called Justin "brother" or at least he tried to say it. Mostly it came out "brudder" and it was just adorable. Once my parents took the boys to the store and Jason went up and down the Hot Wheels aisle, pointing to certain cars, and saying, over and over, "We have this one, huh brudder?"

Jason was, and still is, a talker (that's a good thing!). He had white blonde hair and he was a doll. By the time he was two, he was tagging along when Don was practicing tee ball and soccer with Justin. Those toddler days were the beginning of a run of MANY years watching our boys play ball. When Jennifer came along, she joined the crowd and went to her first soccer game at 4 wks. old. It was heaven and so much fun!! So many stories were lived out on those fields at the ballpark. Lessons learned...lifelong friends...family time. I miss it.

I love being a mom. I loved it then, and I love it now. And I love you Jason!! Happy Birthday son!!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Bucks and Cowboys and Pumpkins ~

Last year I wrote about Halloween here but this year it's all about fall...pumpkins, deer hunting and football, baby!!

Don started the hunting season off perfect!! During the first hour of the new season he shot a 9-point buck. Important, he did it in one shot only!!

Shooting the buck is only one objective of deer hunting, the other is telling all your buddies all about it. Some people are more fun to tell than others, like Zack. He so appreciates a good story, and he can tell a good one too.
Football rules. Really. You know...the thrill of victory, the agony of defeat. The Saints fans are fervent. We're not big on New Orleans, or LSU, but hey, good luck to them. We've been concentrating on Cowboys. ;)

We went to watch McNeese play 2 weeks ago and it was a heartbreaker...such an effort, just to come up short. This week is another big game and we can't wait. As for the other Cowboys....I am forever and will always be a DALLAS COWBOYS fan!! Big D runs deep in my blood, and yes, Tom Landry is god. Bob Lily, Roger Staubach, Tony Dorsett, Emmitt Smith, Troy Aikman...all revered names in this house.

I know that Thanksgiving Day (Cowboys vs. Saints) will be awesome!!! Don't miss the halftime show...Keith is performing. O happy day!! ;)

In other doings, my sister came to visit and we girls had a fun weekend. We went to eat, to a craft show, to a movie, and even saw our brother. It was beautiful weather too.

We hope the fine, fair, fall days will return soon. And speaking of days....today our littlest pumpkin turns 5 years old! Happy Birthday Kirra!! We love you!! ♥

And finally, here's a few pumpkins from our house. I painted this one and added a little mod podge.

These are just cuties that I put on our table. They make me happy!!

I did a metallic glaze wash to this one. Trying to decide if I should follow suit and glaze a bigger one I'm putting by the front door.

~ Happy Fall ~

Monday, October 4, 2010

Indian Summer ~

Have you ever loved just the idea of something? That's how I feel about Indian Summer. Autumn is my favorite season of the year, I love it!!! And finally it's here!

From Wiki:
An Indian summer is a meteorological phenomenon that occurs in autumn, in the Northern Hemisphere. It is characterized by a period of sunny, warm weather, after the leaves have turned following an onset of frost, but before the first snowfall.

So, we haven't had a frost (it's getting chilly), we won't have snow, most of the leaves haven't turned, but still we've had a period of glorious weather lately!

I was intrigued with Indians when I was a kid. We made a trip out west and passed through places with signs saying "Indian Reservation" and "Genuine Indian Handcrafted Jewelry" and the most fascinating of all, "Indian Trading Post". On my paternal grandmother's side I have an ancestor who was a Blackfoot Indian. I do. And my Aunt Helen (my favorite aunt, in case you missed the memo) and her husband adopted a baby boy who was Native American. He was just darling. He danced with an Indian group when he was young, and we got to watch him perform several times.

So in the spirit of Indian Summer and an interest in Native American culture, I jumped at the chance when Jennifer suggested we go to the 16th Annual Pow Wow at the Coushatta Indian Resort. It's a 3 day event, a large tribal gathering where Native American dancers, singers and drummers compete for top prize money. They come from all across the United States and Canada. The dancers wear handcrafted jewelry, beaded moccasins and colorful feathered regalia. They are stunningly beautiful.

I learned that all Pow Wows are sacred places and the Dancing Circle is blessed before they begin and is considered sacred ground until the Pow Wow is over. There are rules of etiquette that remind us to be courteous and respectful. Here's one:

Dancers wear regalia. (It is also sometimes called an outfit.) Referring to these beautifully handcrafted and ceremonially adorned items as ‘costumes’ shows disrespect. Often some of the articles comprising it are family heirlooms. Do not intentionally touch any part of it, especially the eagle feathers––they are sacred. If you see a lost eagle feather, do NOT pick it up! Notify the nearest Pow Wow staff member at once.

I love that...the pride and reverence they have in their heritage. And as much as I loved watching the dancers, I was fascinated with the drummers and singers as well.

I don't know why we've never gone to the Pow Wow before, but I want to go next year. It was an awesome place to spend a beautiful fall day.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Islanders ~

We're Islanders...at least we were for the Labor Day weekend on Pleasure Island, home to Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, in Alabama. I won't say our trip was spoiled but we were nearly done in by problems, great and small. Too miserable to go into...horrendous traffic, sickness, and a locked condo were involved. Some persons didn't check the key before shutting the door. Some persons vowed never to travel on a holiday weekend. Someone may or may not have said some bad words. OK, it was Don...there, I feel better now.

We stayed in a sweet condo with a 28 ft long balcony facing the Gulf....so cool! There's so many fun things to do in Gulf Shores...fun places to eat, awesome shopping, amusement parks, live music and the BEACH. We didn't get to do everything we wanted but we did have fun. And we ate at 5 of the top 10 restaurants (according to Trip Advisor). Foodies, carry on...

Our first stop was Lulu's at Homeport. I loved that place! LuLu is Jimmy Buffet's sister and is known for her cooking. It was very late but they served us anyway. Jen had some delicious fish tacos and I had shrimp salad, served with fried green tomatoes. We'll be going back to LuLu's.

The next day we went to lunch at DeSoto's. The guys had chicken fried steak but Jennifer and I went for the shrimp salad, it was excellent with homemade dressing.

Jennifer found a cool looking car in the parking lot.

For dinner we went to the Original Oyster House. Insane long wait, but there were some shops on the boardwalk to pass the time. Don had Mahi Down on ‘DA Bayou, which he loved and gobbled down as fast as he could. I had fried oysters...much too small for pictures, they were just little fellas. I ate them anyway. ;)

You know advertising works when you see a plane cruising the beach pulling a banner that says "The Shrimp Basket - All You Can Eat Fried Shrimp - $9.99!" and you're there before you can say "Sign me up!" Honestly, they were crazy good!!!

Our best meal in Gulf Shores was our last. We ate dinner at Bahama Bob's Beach Side Cafe. It's one of those beach joints, great atmosphere, right on the Gulf, we sat on the patio with the sea breeze blowing. A big thanks to the ladies who walked up behind us to get a table. (Do you do this? Do you talk to strangers while waiting in a line?? I do. It's a good way to find out stuff!)

Anyway, those ladies said,"Be SURE to get the fried mushrooms!" We did. And they...were...incredible!!! This does not convey how good those mushrooms were, but still.

Don had grilled chicken salad.

And Jennifer and I had this...Crab Cay Baked Pangus, stuffed with crabmeat dressing, topped with shrimp. It was delicious!!
After dinner we went to The Hangout, a local place to hear Wayne Toups. Rockin' crowd, even though we missed most of it. Jennifer got carded. The weird thing is that once we were inside, there were a few little kids running around....

Other fun: the outlet mall, we all found some bargains. And one night we went to The Track, a fun place with go karts, mini golf, bungee jump thing. We started out on Wild Woody, a 3 story spiraling wooden track. I still haven't recovered!!

Life's a beach ~ I ♥ Gulf Shores

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

You say goodbye...and I say hello ~

OK, we watched two episodes of Glee tonight and that song is stuck in my head, so that's the title of this post. I'm a Gleek and I'm totally proud, ha!

This summer has flown by. There's been some coming and going...friends and family...I went to more baby showers than I can count...we've seen a bunch of movies...and we've celebrated! It's always fun to have people come but bittersweet to see them go. We've also had FOUR family birthdays this month. And since we're a smallish bunch, that's just crazy!

Here's some of those who've come and gone...

We had a "Louisiana Saturday Night" when the Christiansens showed up at our door.

Jennifer's BFF Katie (Baxter) Montou, came to visit. I think they look like they could be sisters.

Gwen & her family came home this summer. She did a little traveling and even managed to have eye surgery too (details on her blog soon, I bet). And don't ask me how, but when Brad arrived from Saudi Arabia on his birthday and their anniversary, Gwen forgot that it was...their 25th!?!

Having a grand old time at L'auberge. Here's the girls in front of a flickering fire...like we need one in August in south Louisiana. ;)

Lou Ellen & Charles came and helped us ring in the birthdays. We always have a ball when they come! And I do think they look cool in this picture. I took it, just saying... :)

The Birthdays: (I feel like Miss Karen from Romper Room looking through her magic mirror...)
First up was Wendy on August 1st. Wendy is beautiful, a great nurse and a lot of fun. This picture was from a few years ago, but I love it. The wind was blowing and it was a gorgeous sunny day. We love Wendy, and she's a fantastic mom to our grandgirls!!

Next is Don, who had his birthday on August 11th. Take it from me, this cajun boy had a good birthday...many celebrations! Don is a loyal friend, a hard worker, an amazing Dad, a fantastic Pawpaw, and the best husband in the world!!! I love him, and he is my heart. ~

And here she is, Alahna who turns 7 years old TODAY! She's precious and we just adore her!!! Alahna is in 2nd grade and she's very smart. She's learning to play violin and doing so well! Sometimes Alahna will send me a text or call me and that is so fun! We love you, sweet girl!!! Happy Birthday! ♥

So, that's it...I hearby declare the summer of 2010 officially closed. If you read this, leave me a hello! Or goodbye!! ~