Category: Uncategorized


The Little Things

Last night, I decided to fix a frozen coffee.  Yummy!  While I was in the cupboard getting everything to blend up a frozen drink on a chilly night, I shifted gears and zoned in on the big box of Splenda that we bought at a Costco that opened a few months ago.  coconutOn top of the Splenda box was a rather large jar of organic coconut oil that my husband really, really, really had to buy…at Costco, of course.  There’s something about the smell of coconut oil that turns me off, but no big deal if it’s something he likes.

The Splenda box caught my eye because the dainty, little crystal holder that I reach for when I need a Splenda packet was almost empty.  I moved the obnoxiously large jar of essential, wondrous, and fragrant organic coconut oil and grabbed a handful of Splenda packets.  As I turned, the jar fell right on top of my “good” foot.  It hurt like a sumnabitch.  I couldn’t talk it was so painful.  I hobbled in pain to the living room hating, I mean really hating, that damn jar of coconut oil.

peasMy husband was in the kitchen and sweetly asked if I needed the frozen peas.  Yes, I most certainly needed the frozen peas.  We are so prepared for bo-bos around here.  He grabbed a hand towel and wrapped it around a huge bag of frozen peas and told me to go lie down.  Propped up on some pillows with my bag-o-peas, I felt like asking if he’d make me a frozen coffee.  I didn’t ask because I remember how much he dreaded making those for me when I was bedridden after my accident.

I knew I married the right man before my wedding day, and that never changed.  coffee 1However, when faced with the dreadful and physically and emotionally difficult task of taking care of me, which included carrying me and lifting me like dead weight and he never balked or made me feel like an inconvenience, I KNEW I had married the right man.  Words cannot describe how deeply intense the feeling of knowing your mate and life partner will do anything for you, no matter how many year have passed or wrinkles have appeared–true love truly knows no bounds–except blending up a frozen coffee.

Back to last night, though, I didn’t have the heart to ask.  While I sat there immobilized with my peas, I flashed back to him taking care of me immediately after my accident.  Since my accident happened on a holiday weekend, I was sent home after they snapped my foot back in place at the ankle.  Propofol is a helluva drug, by the way.  The bones were shattered and jagged and basically floating until they could schedule my surgery after the holiday.  clockUntil surgery (and several months afterward), I was stuck, like a rock, in my bed.  My dear husband set an alarm and would jump up and give me my numerous medications every few hours.  After waking up for my 3 am dose, I told him I also needed the pain meds.  He asked if I was sure and I assured him that it was due.

After swallowing a doubled-up dose, I realized I had, in fact, just taken a doubled-up dose an hour or two before that.  I won’t go into numbers or names of meds, but it was dangerous.  My husband got in touch with the emergency room and they said that it was probably not lethal, but to definitely not let me go to sleep or be left alone for any length of time because it *could* be fatal.  Ugh!  It’s 3 am, we’re exhausted, but I must say that soon afterwards, I was FINALLY feeling some relief from the pain.

We sat in bed trying to find something on television that wasn’t an hour-long infomercial about blenders, grills, garden hoses, or the worst of all for someone in my condition, some boot camp video that could prepare me to become a Navy SEAL.  b buttonsIt took a while, but we finally found a movie, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.  We hadn’t seen it, and as a bonus, it was partially filmed in New Orleans so we could enjoy identifying spots that we knew.

Midway, my husband fixed us a HUGE, elaborate breakfast and we ate in bed and watched the movie.  We chatted a lot about all sorts of things, some serious and some silly because he needed to keep me awake.  During the movie, the sky changed from dark to bright, and afterwards we drifted off to a peaceful sleep.  It was one of my favorite moments in my life, but not for the normal reasons.  I knew it when it was happening.  hands togetherI remember a mom once commenting on something that we were talking about, she said, “It’s the big things that become little, and the little things that become big.”

Regardless of how tough something might seem, remember that even the big deals will pass.  What really deserves our attention and should stop us in our tracks are those little moments when love proves itself to be real.

What It’s Really All About

streetcarLike a lot of people that decide to write a blog, putting my thoughts into words is the real purpose.  My dream has always been that my kids will one day read my posts and hear my voice.  For me, like normal and sane people, it’s an online diary that also affords the opportunity to interact with people from anywhere in the world.  How great is that?

My blog has never been about hits or the number of comments.  As a matter of fact, after hitting a few thousand, I stopped counting.  It wasn’t my purpose, and it wasn’t my goal.  I don’t need to lie about millions of hits or approve any old comment because it feeds an ego.  I don’t need to make up fake screen names to comment on my blog or praise myself about what a witty writer I am.  I don’t need to put widgets to show the numbers following my blog.  kidsI don’t need to do any of that because it’s not why I’m here.

My blog is all about my words being here for my kids to return to when I am no longer physically here, and the splendid bonus of being able to interact with YOU.  I am thankful for the wonderful, and very real, people that come to my blog.  It is genuinely quality over quantity.

When I hear from people in comments or get a new follower, it’s a happy day, a really super happy day.  I like and appreciate people, and I especially like the people that gravitate towards my blog.  It’s intended to be peaceful, like I usually am in real life.  It’s to focus on the small things in life that make me feel connected and alive, whether it’s art, music, an insect, food, pets…things I want to share.  If someone comes to my blog, I want them to feel welcome and appreciated.

There have been times, though, when darkness creeps out and some of my pain and sadness surface.  kitten kissI try to limit those, but I’m only human.  One day, though, I want to tell my story because I think the story of katrina and its impact on people needs to never be forgotten.  Now is not the time.

Please know how much I appreciate you taking the time to read my blog.  I am humbled and honored, always have been.  This is my online home, and I am glad you stopped by today.

 

 

 

Feral Feline Food-Flinger Furor

Sketchy_vanAbout a month ago, I read about a feral feline feeder in the suburbs.  Apparently, this gentleman drives around in his car at a very slow pace, and the moment he sees a cat, he grabs a scoop of cat food from a big container on his passenger’s seat and flings it in the direction of the kitty.  Shazaam.  Wham, bam, feed the kitty, ma’am.

It’s no secret that police forces are stretched thin dealing with serious crimes, but now this scofflaw just had to pick up that gargantuan bucket of Kitty Chow at the local warehouse club, load it onto the front seat of his car to ride shotgun with him, and then set out feeding the forgotten felines.  People are upset and calling for action.  They do not like those salmon and chicken flavored morsels thrown wildly onto their lawns.

raccoonsI see their point, and the point of their city officials.  It is not a good thing to have some guy spraying lawns with food that will not only feed the cats, but also rats and animals like raccoons.  fiesta timeIt sounds funny, but I don’t know if I’d find it funny if there was a stray cat that just so happened to be taking a siesta on my lawn when this guy came cruising around–from feline siesta to feline fiesta.

Then again, I deal with a lot worse that wanders around my neighborhood.  Living in the middle of the city, I expect the unexpected.  Some guy wanting to feed cats and throwing a scoop of cat food isn’t that bad compared to walking outside and finding someone shooting up heroin outside of your door or burglarizing a home.

What I’d really like to know, though, is what drives this guy to do it?  It’s a big step from putting a dish of food out for a stray to loading up the car with buckets of cat food and cruising the streets.

A couple of years after katrina, a tenant of an apartment in the block took only one of his cats.  He would show up every now and then and put a flea collar on the abandoned cat, then quickly drive away.  The cat stayed because she didn’t really know what else to do.

We started feeding her, but only that one cat, and on our property.  Eventually, several neighbors started to help feed her and she has become a neighborhood cat.  white kittyShe is spayed and we all look out for her.  For the safety of the cat and our neighborhood, I’m taking her to the vet to keep her shots up-to-date.  Everyone in the neighborhood knows her, and many people stop their bikes to sit on the sidewalk and play with her.

Even though this “stranger with cat food” needs to tweak his current approach, I hope he never stops helping animals in need.

Happy Labor Day

BelowSeaLevel:

Reblogging this from last year. Hope you’re having a great Labor Day and final run of summer before fall gets here. My dear little dwarf bunny is very ill, so I was unable to edit a post that I had started for the 8th anniversary of katrina. I’m holding him and sleeping with him to comfort him as much as he comforted me during my darkest moments after katrina. Those closest to me have dreaded this time because they all know that I rely on the comfort I receive holding him as much as I rely on air to breathe. If you’re so inclined, a prayer for us and comfort for my precious little guy would be appreciated. Thank you. xoxoxo

Originally posted on BelowSeaLevel:

I wish you a very Happy Labor Day filled with smiles and laughter, good company, and yummy food

Things are returning to normal in my area, but there are still people dealing with Hurricane Isaac.  It was a long, long storm.  People are tired and anxious for electricity to be restored, and also to repair damages and clean up.

I plan to write soon, but I am still recuperating from the heat and dehydration.  Thank you to the very sweet people that tweeted and posted messages.  You know who you are, and I’m hoping you know how special and dear you are to me.

It wasn’t hard to laugh every now and then during the storm.  I’ll be back in a day or two.

BelowSeaLevel, xoxo

View original

Red Beans and Rice-ly Yours

washboardMonday in New Orleans means there’s red beans and rice on the menu of most local restaurants and simmering in numerous kitchens across the city.  According to tradition,  red beans were a food staple brought to the area by settlers fleeing modern-day Haiti.  The Caribbean- and Creole-influenced recipes took advantage of ham hocks and meat left  over from a traditional Sunday meal.  With Monday being traditional wash day, a big pot of red beans simmering with the left over ham hocks is both a marriage of convenience and a marriage made in heaven.

red beans and riceYesterday was Louis Armstrong’s birthday.  As is the case with many native New Orleanians, he clearly loved red beans and rice,.  Louis often signed letters with “Red Beans and Rice-ly Yours,” and while courting his fourth wife, he asked her to make his favorite dish.  She must have passed the test, because they were happily married until his death in 1971, at the age of 69.

There are no words to express my love of Louis Armstrong and his music, and I don’t think there is any song better than Satchmo’s recording of What a Wonderful World.  

 

 

 

A friend agreed to let me share her recipe.  If you’d like to make red beans and rice, here is a step-by-step recipe, and the heavenly Louis Armstrong to inspire you.

 

 

RED BEANS AND RICE:

  • 1 lb. dried red beans, sorted and soaked overnight
  • Water, as needed
  • 1 lb. beef smoked sausage, cut diagonally in 3/4 inch slices
  • 1 tsp of cooking oil, more as needed to cook sausage and vegetables
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 green pepper, finely chopped
  • 4 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup parsley, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. or less (depending upon desired heat level) ground cayenne pepper
  • Creole seasoning, such as Tony Chachere
  • Salt
  • White pepper
  • cooked white or brown rice, approximately 3/4 cup cooked rice per serving

Soaking red beans overnight: Sort 1 lb. dried red beans and soak in a large stockpot covered with 3 inches of water water.  Let sit overnight, draining and rinsing before cooking.  Place soaked and rinsed red beans in a very large saucepan or Dutch oven.  Cover with water to 1-part bean and 2-part water ratio.  Cover and bring to a rolling boil, then immediately reduce heat to a simmer, remaining covered and stirring often to prevent beans from scorching at the bottom of the pot.

veggiesWhile bean are simmering, brown the sausage with 1 tsp. cooking oil (more as needed) in a frying pan in batches, setting aside on a plate.  Add more oil as needed to saute the onion, green pepper, celery, and parsley until tender.  Add the sausage, sauteed vegetable mixture, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, oregano, and cayenne pepper to beans.  Continue to simmer, stirring often and adding water as needed, for 2-3 hours, until beans are soft and creamy.  Note:  If beans scorch, remove from heat and transfer to another pot, leaving the scorched beans on the bottom of the original pot.

For creamier beans, mash the beans against the side of the pot with the back of a spoon, or scoop a bunch of beans onto a plate, mash with a spoon, and then return to the pot.  Add Creole seasonings, salt, and pepper to taste.

To serve, place cooked rice in the center of a bowl and ladle beans around the rice.

water…unless you boil it first.  Had the English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge been alive today in uptown New Orleans, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner might have turned out a little differently.  Maybe it would have included something about safe to use your dishwasher with the sanitizing feature or shake water after you boil it if the flat taste is offensive.

It is hard to believe that any major city in America could have boil orders issued as frequently as the east bank of Orleans parish.  What is becoming infuriating is how late the boil orders are issued–often after people have made coffee with tap water or brushed their teeth.  Even if the tests ultimately come back clean and safe, it makes one feel queasy during the wait, mentally counting out how many cups of coffee were consumed that morning.

weinermobileTo me, the water purification process and the means to bring it into my home are magic, wonderful potable water magic.  I don’t like it when they take my magic away.

Well, even with the boil order, it’s still a wonderful day in New Orleans.  The Oscar Mayer Weinermobile is in town celebrating National Hot Dog Day at both Dat Dog locations, the First Lady is in town and stopped by a grocery store opened by Wendell Pierce, and every night is a good night on Frenchmen Street.

See ya later.  I’m running low on bottled water, and really need to get to the store.

Go Make Some Money

nurse holding babyThe title of this post has been in my head for a while, and the back story has been playing out for years.  It is a story that reduces me to a mushy mess, enough tears to flood the Mississippi River.  It’s not a sad story, but instead, one of the most beautiful in my life.  This is for you, my precious Angel.

A perfect baby boy was born.  He was so beautiful and peaceful, even the nurses fell under his spell, taking him from his Mum every chance they could.  His Mum had to buzz the nurses station constantly telling them to bring him back, that she wanted a turn holding her little Angel, too.  He was–and remains–breathtakingly beautiful and sweet and gentle.

This beautiful baby grew, thriving with the love of many.  He was born with a brilliant mind and sense of humor.  He questioned everything around him, antique toy 1including why his Daddy couldn’t stay and play every day.  Believing honesty is the best policy, his parents had a heart-to-heart with the little toddler and told him that adults need to work, that Daddy needed to go make some money to buy the trucks and toys that he liked to play with.

Every day, when his Daddy would hug him and kiss him and tell him how much he loved him before leaving for work, moneyboth would have a few tears forming in their eyes.  At first, the toddler would cry, so his parents reminded him that Daddy needed to go to work.  After a while, with a few tears still forming in his eyes, he dealt with it by telling his Daddy, “Go make some money.”

commencement in the 50sWhat had been a hard separation every morning became funny with a giggle.

That beautiful baby has made us the proudest parents of any child ever born.  To say that he is handsome, smart, brilliant, resilient, kind, talented, a true friend, mature, passionate, hilarious, compassionate, and gentle–these are all accurate and only scratch the surface of describing what a dynamic and extraordinary young man he is. finally

So, my precious Angel, now that you have rightfully earned your college degree with a major and a minor in areas in which you are naturally talented beyond belief, I tell you with tears in my eyes and a proud smile, “Go make some money.”

Don’t ever let your genius, talent, and God-given gifts go to waste.  YOU have the world by the tail!
 

 

 

A View From the Porch

IMAG0480-1-1Today was a mellow Sunday, putting my foot up while enjoying a gentle breeze and listening to some Reggae.  This little squirrel looked like he was as peaceful as I was.

 

 

He looks really tiny, and in the big oak trees lining the street, he is.  He was so comfortable in the tree, spending a good ten minutes enjoying whatever it was he was eating.

 

IMAG0480-1-1-1-1-1-1

 

 

I hope everyone had a peaceful moment where your place in the world felt right.

 

 

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 27 other followers

%d bloggers like this: