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Happy Mother’s Day!

BelowSeaLevel:

Happy Mother’s Day. May this be a restful, peaceful, and reflective day as we think about our biggest cheerleader, our biggest fan, and the source of the greatest love we’ll ever know.

Originally posted on BelowSeaLevel:

May every mother have a lovely day and feel appreciated and loved.  Moms make the world go ’round, fill our lunchboxes, wash our clothes, put Band-aids on our boo-boos, and help feed the dog we promised we’d always take care of forever.

I love you, Mom!  I love being your Mommy, my sweet Angels!

xoxo,

BSL

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Garden of Memories

gardeningOnce upon a time, there was a little boy that loved to garden.  His mummy bought him his own garden tools and scooting garden cart with big yellow wheels.  As much as some toddlers want a stuffed teddy bear, that’s how much he wanted that cart of his very own.  He helped his mummy whenever she went outside, and more often than not, he begged her to go outside to enjoy his garden.

They spent a lot of their time at a local nursery, walking up and down the aisles, letting him pull a little red wagon to hold their plants and flowers.  One adventurous weekday, they bought and planted over 200 bulbs that bloomed year after year.  People would drive by and stop to talk to the little toddler and his mummy on matching garden carts.  They had a lot of fun together.

Not only did this joyous little gardener have the standard trowels and rakes, he had almost every gardening tool imaginable, including a rather sharp pair of pruning shears.  Not to fear, he was never unsupervised, for they sat on their carts side by side chatting and enjoying their time in the yard.

ladybugOne of his mummy’s favorite plants was a miniature azalea.  It took a very, very long time for this little bush to grow just a foot tall.  When it bloomed, it had the most beautiful little light pink flowers, ruffly and compact.

Helping weed the garden one day, the little boy came across a rather strange weed.  Unlike the others easily plucked with his gloved hands, this one offered some resistance.  In the blink of an eye, he reached for the shears and cut the weed off at the ground level.

It wasn’t a weed, it was his mummy’s miniature azalea bush, cut down in one fell swoop.  His mummy sadly looked at it on the grass, but couldn’t be upset with her little helper.

Normally, it would have made sense to get another one to replace it, but she never found another one and eventually gave up looking.  There were so many other things needing tending in their garden that it soon became forgotten for many years, until this weekend.

IMAG0426-1While shopping for some annuals, she unexpectedly saw a beautiful miniature azalea bush for the first time just like the one cut down so many years ago.  Her heart and mind went back to that day and it was bittersweet.  Her little helper is a young man now, but to her, he’s still that sweet and innocent little toddler in the garden.

There was only one of those azalea bushes in the nursery, and it had been so long since she had seen one, so she bought it and brought it home.  Her little helper will be home from college soon to help plant it, but this time around, his mummy is taking the shears away.

An Interlude

happy dolphinsThe time is soon for another surgery and more physical therapy afterwards.

I’ve put off having surgery longer than I should have, and I’m nervous and panicking, frankly.  I don’t want to be back to dragging myself up three flights of stairs, step by step, and stuck in bed.  Physical therapy isn’t exactly fun, but it works and is worth it.

Bye-bye for now.  Will be back periodically and wish everyone well.

 

Yay! It’s Spring

baby squirrelHopefully, everyone is enjoying a bit of spring weather.  Today, I was outside observing a young squirrel venturing out of its nest and scampering around the oak tree.  Its parents were close at hand and playing around climbing upside down and spinning in circles.

Later, I paid the price for these big oak trees, raking up bag after bag of dropped leaves.  A neighborhood stray cat curled up on my deck railing to take a nap in the sun while I raked leaves, and children were playing basketball in the street.

It has been a really nice day.

Rest In Peace, Harry Stamps

The SunHerald. com obituary for Mr. Harry Stamps has gone viral, which is a good thing.  I plan to write my congressman, and I hope you will, too.

From SunHerald. com:

“Harry Weathersby Stamps

December 19, 1932 — March 9, 2013

Long Beach

Harry Weathersby Stamps, ladies’ man, foodie, natty dresser, and accomplished traveler, died on Saturday, March 9, 2013.

Harry was locally sourcing his food years before chefs in California starting using cilantro and arugula (both of which he hated). For his signature bacon and tomato sandwich, he procured 100% all white Bunny Bread from Georgia, Blue Plate mayonnaise from New Orleans, Sauer’s black pepper from Virginia, home grown tomatoes from outside Oxford, and Tennessee’s Benton bacon from his bacon-of-the-month subscription. As a point of pride, he purported to remember every meal he had eaten in his 80 years of life.

The women in his life were numerous. He particularly fancied smart women. He loved his mom Wilma Hartzog (deceased), who with the help of her sisters and cousins in New Hebron reared Harry after his father Walter’s death when Harry was 12. He worshipped his older sister Lynn Stamps Garner (deceased), a character in her own right, and her daughter Lynda Lightsey of Hattiesburg. He married his main squeeze Ann Moore, a home economics teacher, almost 50 years ago, with whom they had two girls Amanda Lewis of Dallas, and Alison of Starkville. He taught them to fish, to select a quality hammer, to love nature, and to just be thankful. He took great pride in stocking their tool boxes. One of his regrets was not seeing his girl, Hillary Clinton, elected President.

He had a life-long love affair with deviled eggs, Lane cakes, boiled peanuts, Vienna [Vi-e-na] sausages on saltines, his homemade canned fig preserves, pork chops, turnip greens, and buttermilk served in martini glasses garnished with cornbread.

He excelled at growing camellias, rebuilding houses after hurricanes, rocking, eradicating mole crickets from his front yard, composting pine needles, living within his means, outsmarting squirrels, never losing a game of competitive sickness, and reading any history book he could get his hands on. He loved to use his oversized “old man” remote control, which thankfully survived Hurricane Katrina, to flip between watching The Barefoot Contessa and anything on The History Channel. He took extreme pride in his two grandchildren Harper Lewis (8) and William Stamps Lewis (6) of Dallas for whom he would crow like a rooster on their phone calls. As a former government and sociology professor for Gulf Coast Community College, Harry was thoroughly interested in politics and religion and enjoyed watching politicians act like preachers and preachers act like politicians. He was fond of saying a phrase he coined “I am not running for political office or trying to get married” when he was “speaking the truth.” He also took pride in his service during the Korean conflict, serving the rank of corporal–just like Napolean, as he would say.

Harry took fashion cues from no one. His signature every day look was all his: a plain pocketed T-shirt designed by the fashion house Fruit of the Loom, his black-label elastic waist shorts worn above the navel and sold exclusively at the Sam’s on Highway 49, and a pair of old school Wallabees (who can even remember where he got those?) that were always paired with a grass-stained MSU baseball cap.

Harry traveled extensively. He only stayed in the finest quality AAA-rated campgrounds, his favorite being Indian Creek outside Cherokee, North Carolina. He always spent the extra money to upgrade to a creek view for his tent. Many years later he purchased a used pop-up camper for his family to travel in style, which spoiled his daughters for life.

He despised phonies, his 1969 Volvo (which he also loved), know-it-all Yankees, Southerners who used the words “veranda” and “porte cochere” to put on airs, eating grape leaves, Law and Order (all franchises), cats, and Martha Stewart. In reverse order. He particularly hated Day Light Saving Time, which he referred to as The Devil’s Time. It is not lost on his family that he died the very day that he would have had to spring his clock forward. This can only be viewed as his final protest.

Because of his irrational fear that his family would throw him a golf-themed funeral despite his hatred for the sport, his family will hold a private, family only service free of any type of “theme.” Visitation will be held at Bradford-O’Keefe Funeral Home, 15th Street, Gulfport on Monday, March 11, 2013 from 6-8 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you make a donation to Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College (Jeff Davis Campus) for their library. Harry retired as Dean there and was very proud of his friends and the faculty. He taught thousands and thousands of Mississippians during his life. The family would also like to thank the Gulfport Railroad Center dialysis staff who took great care of him and his caretaker Jameka Stribling.

Finally, the family asks that in honor of Harry that you write your Congressman and ask for the repeal of Day Light Saving Time. Harry wanted everyone to get back on the Lord’s Time.”

Happy Birthday, Fats

fatsToday is Fats Domino’s 85th birthday.  I adore him, having seen him perform and also unexpectedly every now and then while out and about in the city.  My favorite Fats spotting was at a local old-school steak house with curtained booths when we were the only people in the place.  Our kids were babies, and we wished they could appreciate just how cool their dinner was that quiet week night.

During Katrina, Fats’ home was flooded, including his Steinway piano and National Medal of Arts, bestowed by President Bill Clinton and later replaced by President George W. Bush.  Like many residents that stayed for Hurricane Katrina, he was feared dead, leading someone to paint on his home.  Thankfully, he was rescued by Coast Guard helicopter.

fats receiving replacement medalSource:  nea. gov

Fats Domino is a legend, a genius, a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award Winner, a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee, and royalty in New Orleans.  He has released multiple gold records and dozens of Top 40 hits.

Fats Domino and his music have influenced some of the biggest names in music, as evidenced by the performers on the double CD “Goin’ Home:  A Tribute to Fats Domino”, including the late John Lennon (recorded 1975), Tom Petty, B.B. King, Elton John, Paul McCartney, Lenny Kravitz, Dr. John, Irma Thomas, Galactic, and Robert Plant just to name a few.  Not only is it an amazing collection, it also helps raise money for the rebuilding of Fats Domino’s home and other programs for the community, including Tipitina’s Foundation.

fats domino and robert plantSource:  prweb. com

Everyone loves Fats Domino, around the corner and around the world.

Happy Birthday, Fats!

How Does Mardi Gras End?

Mardi Gras is officially overThe official end of Mardi Gras is actually one of my favorite parts of Mardi Gras.  I’m not happy that Mardi Gras is over, I just happen to like the tradition.

At midnight, the police announce that Mardi Gras is over, telling the crowds to go home.  A wall of mounted police make their way down the street in the French Quarter, usually followed by street sweepers.

No one leaves and the party continues, because the answer to the question is that Mardi Gras never really ends.  Time to start planning for next year.

Carry On

Ikitten kissn my human nature, it has always been easy finding the small joys in life, the funny in any situation, but I’m so low, I can’t even fake a grin at the moment.  I lost myself a little over seven years ago and can’t seem to find my way back no matter how I try.  Some days I get closer, while other days seem too hazy.  The past year and a half have been brutal and crushing.

This past weekend should have been like A Tale of Two Cities, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…”  Except, it wasn’t.  What I expected to be contentious became nuclear, and what I expected to be delightful was eye-opening in how sometimes you can try to give someone rubies and diamonds, only to receive fool’s gold.

I’ll be back in a few days after I collect my thoughts and re-group.  Until then, much love and gratitude to those that bring light into my life.

 

 

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