The Number of Visits to JoJo The Dog Face Girl's BlogSpot

Thursday, December 30, 2010

2010 in review.

In the beginning, I got out of the hospital with a new appreciation and fear of life.

Accepted my own mortality for myself, but not those I love most.

Began the year as an only child. 

Found out someone I love very much is very ill.   Still hurt for them.

Was reminded of God's grace MANY times.

Watched my Blake grow into a stronger person.  (again, God's grace)  Watched him become more at peace.   This is priceless. 

My Jake went from being a 12yr old 7th grader to a 13yr old 8th grader.
Watched him grow, physically, emotionally... but still have the honor of tucking him into bed at night.  Many hugs for and from that kid.

Received a gift, my camera... important because I discovered another facet to myself.   A love of photography.  And, dare I say... an artistic side.

Was reminded many times how loved I am by my husband... can't count the dozens of roses he brought to my work/home, the small things, the big things he did throughout the year to let me know.    Fell deeper in love with my soul mate.   Poor feller will never be rid of me.

I found family.  My mother's son.  My brother.   He's pretty awesome.

Took a cruise. Saw some things.

We went on trips to Caddo lake in Texas.  I love it there. LOVE it.

I fished.  This makes my soul so very happy.   Only hunted once so far... (hope to remedy that Friday morning)

Saw Ryan get a letter saying he was accepted into nursing clinicals.   To say I was "proud" would be an understatement.

Watched our Relode age.  This is hard.  Love does hurt.

We went down to south LA (several times) and visited the family we love there.  The culture.  The life.   I'm not from there, but I always feel like I'm returning home.  I love my in-laws a ridiculous amount.  

I found more family.   I found my father, but was a month late.    And as sad as it was... I think the family that have opened their arms, minds and hearts to me ARE the reason my journey occurred WHEN and how it did.   I have a 98yr old grandmother.    Who told me she loved me.   And meant it.   I have a sister I text daily and a brother I speak to about weekly and aunts that are kind.   Especially one, she wraps herself into your heart and takes hold.  Blessings... all of them.

Saw my husband's heart break when he lost his Nana.   She was pioneer stock.  Period.   (once one a sexy leg contest and always wanted to marry a carpenter, facts we found out in our past visits to see loved those visits)

Watched my Mom struggle.   Her biggest fear is not death, but was always dialysis.  Saw this come to pass.    Also saw her accept and realize this is not the end of the world.   (also heard her cuss for the first time since I was a child... I'll blame the

And who can forget Bella.   A new baby.   Great spirit.  Too smart for her own good.  Wrapped my husband's heart around her little yellow eyes.   

I discovered I suck at painting.

Had a wonderful holiday season, kept things financially reasonable.  Enjoyed my family.

I stopped working out.  All Year.   But, recently, went to the fitness center and resumed a regime to begin again.  

I took pictures.  lots. 

Ended the year with 2 brothers and a sister, aunts, cousins and a grandmother.    What a difference a year (and the Internet) make!

Overall, 2010 was a better year for me, for us.    2008 and 2009 were brutal with my son's illnesses.   A mother's heart is fragile.   Very.  And I pray God is graceful when it comes to my loved one who is so ill.   And for my Mom.

But I am ready for 2011.   Bring it.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Past?

The other day I was loading pictures onto my external hard drive.   I'd taken a few of Jake in front of the Christmas tree at the La Boardwalk and went to file them under "Christmas" and create a 2010 file.   I'm looking and it hits me.... 2004... 2005... 2006... 2007... 2008...   Ummmm... What happened to 2009?   

It didn't happen... well not in 2009...  it didn't.   I was in the hospital for a while last year.   And spent Christmas there.   And was sick enough to not care that I was in the hospital for Christmas.     So we "celebrated" on Jan 2nd.   The day after I got out of the hospital. Obviously.. I'm always the one taking the pictures.  And that was not even a thought last year.   My husband cooked and did everything.   So our holiday was low key and simple and I'd never been more grateful to celebrate Christmas with my family. 

This year?    I'm healthy.  The boys are healthy.  I still have my Mom.    My husband is a good man.  God is good.

My mom is struggling and we'll have to have Christmas with her at the nursing home.    I wish I could bring her home, but she's just not stable enough at this point.   She fell last night.  She is on dialysis.  And she's not fully oriented.     I'd give anything to receive one of those quirky phone calls from her.  But, she can't figure out her new phone and it's rather simple.   But Christmas will be Christmas... whether it's at the nursing home... or on January 2nd. 

So, what's my point?  

Be grateful for every moment.  Every Christmas.  Remember.. its about the birth of Christ and spending time with your family.

I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!

Oh yeah... and Christmas 2010?   There will be pictures.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Bella makes us proud parents

A very important part of training a dog for duck hunting.. is obviously.. will it naturally swim or retrieve.    A lot of it has to do with loyalty.  Does the pup loves the owner enough to go into frigid water to retrieve a stick?    More in the dynamics of course.   But I see this hunter and dog relationship as any other relationship...  it is based on trust.

We took Bella and Roxy to Bickham Dickson Park to play.   And see how Bella would respond to the cold water, retreiving, etc,...
By the way..  our Roxy... is a pretty sure there is a squirrel in EVERY tree.
Bella's fist retrieve from in the water.  
Swimming to her Daddy.   SOOOOOO proud of her!!!!   

Time to go kiddos:

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I'm not the jealous type, or so I thought

I've always prided myself on not being the jealous type.    Now, don't misunderstand me... nor am I the "sharing" type either.     But, I've made the statement several times about how I'm NOT the green-eyed jealous chic.   I found out just how wrong I was.

A couple years ago, my husband was coming to my work to meet me for lunch.  I was busy and missed his call, twice.   So I called him back.

A woman answered.    I said I must have the wrong number and hung up.   Hmmmm...   I redialed it, watching the numbers closer.  And... a soft spoken woman answers.  "Hello, are you looking for Ron?" 

Now, what took place in my something,  I'd never  experienced.  I mean all out, I'm gonna kick someone's ***, who the **** is this chic answering MY husband's phone, pure jealous rage.   My heart is pounding and I'm ready to scratch some chic's eyes out.

"Umm, yeah I AM looking for Ron."    She responds, coyly,"I'm sorry, he's a little busy right now".       Me,"Oh, is he?"     Her,"Uh,huh".

Every nerve in my system was on fire.

And I hear in the background... laughter.    My husband takes the phone and says,"so, you're not jealous, huh?"

The next words out of my mouth would have made a sailor blush.

The "voice" was my "friend" Paula... and she did a great job of talking sexy and fooling me.   A GREAT job.

So... no more do I claim to not be "jealous".   Because, if you answer my husband's phone and you are NOT my friend Paula playing a joke...  This will not go your way.   At all.   I do after all.. have green eyes.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Sunny Side UP!!!

My husband is a great son-in-law, and I do mean a GREAT son-in-law.

Well... about 6 years ago... Mom when she was adjusting to the the nursing home,  some evenings I'd go pick her up to stay the night with us.   She prefers her own bed now and won't come for a night.   Now, Mom will straight up tell me when she wants to go "home".    At the time, she was adjusting to a different life and had just had her third stroke... and was also adjusting to medications, her diet, etc,.. being managed.   She went through a period that she preferred to wear diapers just to "be safe".   

On one of her overnight visits, Ron got to see a whole new side to Mom.
My version:   I was in a deep sleep and all of a sudden I feel my husband LEAP into the bed.   I'm a really good sleeper... like REALLY good sleeper.   So I returned to my deep REM sleep.

His version: (side note: my husband only sleeps with ALL lights off.   complete darkness)  He wakes to the hall light on and hears the TV in the living room.  As he walks through the house... every light is on in the hallway and living room, the TV is blaring loud.    He sees my Mom standing in the living room with her back to him.  He was about to say,"Audrey, are you OK?"   However, what happened stopped him.      It was at this point that Mom bent forward, tossed the tail end of her gown over her back and pulled up her diaper FROM AROUND HER ANKLES!!!  Sunny Side Up, BABY!!!!    My husband.... has never been the same.  Never.    He didn't say a word and DOVE into our bed... leaving all the houselights on.   I'm not sure he slept at all that night.
LOL.. and iffen ya know me, ya know I found this FREAKING HILARIOUS!!!

Just last night there was a scene in a show ("Raising Hope"... hilarious show, reminds me of "My Name is Earl"...classy, like that), and they referenced how grandma's always taking her shirt off in public.   I immediately start laughing... he tells me it's not funny, curled himself into the fetal position and begins rocking himself.   Me, being the loving wife that I am... laughed harder.

Poor feller... the image haunts him.  We finally told Mom about it a couple years ago... and she too had to laugh about it.

The man's a GREAT son-in-law.  I promise you.
Remind me to tell ya'll the story that goes with him reminding me, "Well, I blew out my left *** putting your Mom in the truck on the trip the Kansas City".   I fear I'll be hearing that one when we're 80yrs old rocking on the porch.   LOL

Saturday, November 13, 2010

"IF" my new favorite poem

My new most favorite poem.   I mentioned to someone I've known and respected for many years that I could never tell his mood, wether it be happy bored, sad or mad.   That his facial expression always appeared the same.  (which is peaceful)  He recited this poem to me in full and said he repeats it to himself daily.     

Rudyard Kipling's poem is about keeping things into percpective.  Not owning other's words, moods, disdian or actions.   About not letting them own yours.   It's about your internal environment not being effected by your external environment.    The more I've read the poem.  The more I desire to acheive this level of selfness.

Rudyard Kipling


If you can keep your head when all about you

Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,

But make allowance for their doubting too;

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,

Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,

Or being hated, don't give way to hating,

And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream -- and not make dreams your master;

If you can think -- and not make thoughts your aim;

If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster

And treat those two imposters just the same;

If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken

Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,

Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,

And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings

And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,

And lose, and start again at your beginnings

And never breathe a word about your loss;

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew

To serve your turn long after they are gone,

And so hold on when there is nothing in you

Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,

Or walk with kings -- nor lose the common touch,

If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,

If all men count with you, but none too much;

If you can fill the unforgiving minute

With sixty seconds' worth of distance run --

Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,

And -- which is more -- you'll be a Man, my son!

Monday, November 8, 2010

I'm in love with a married man.

It's true.  I am. 
The good news is... his wife (me) approves.
It took me a few years to learn to accept roses, small gestures, large gestures, all gestures graciously.  
He thinks of me.

But my husband... does all of those things for me that the love songs mention. 
He makes me a better person.

We are as much alike as we are different.
I'm the outgoing, bubbly one.  He's more quiet and dry humored.
We are a balance.  

He is my best friend.   We hunt, fish, talk and hang out. 
When things are wrong or right in my world, he is my first (& only) phone call.

He's a man.  An alpha male.   He lifts heavy things.  I find this hot.

But the man is a romantic. 
He's already planned out our anniversary weekend.
(It will include a beautiful treehouse in the woods, a heart shaped hot tub and next to a lake to fish and near a historic town to photograph)   He knows me.

Am I bragging?  Yep.  Darn Skippy.  
Because, I feel in life... you're lucky if you find this match.  This love.  This kind of connection with another person.   He's my best friend.  

                 So... truth be told.  I am in love with a married man.  Mine.

Mushy post, eh?   I know.  But I this is the only way to do it without shouting from a roof top.  (I'm clumsy, we all know I'd fall off the roof and then said romantic alpha male would have to take me to the ER to tend to my wounds)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

some me & mom time

Mom's back at the nursing home.  All better.  A bit weaker for the trip..  but breathing is good.  

 (Ya see... Sunday morning in the hospital,  she fell... on her face.  Broke nose, huge bruise on her head and a busted lip)   She was looking rough... and sick and now hurt.    So when she asked for some nail polish remover... I figured I'd go pamper her a bit.   I went and gave her a manicure.

(and yes... I did my "nail lady" voice... just a note.. the humor of this voice is lost if you're half deaf)

me: "you pick culla"  
me (much louder and without the accent): "Mom... pick a color".

So she picked one of the shades of pink... (I left all my hoochie red shades at home... I save those for special occassions, like cruises or weekends without kids)

I nipped her skin when clipping her nails... ugh!   (Did I mention I'm not a professional manicurist?)  
me:" I'm sorry...  I nicked you... just let me finish it"
mom:"finish?  finish cutting my finger off?"
(she was smiling when she said it

Mom and I have one subject, we do NOT discuss.   Politics.  Usually.   Its the ONLY time we disagree on things... or come close to being snippy with each other.  

Ofcourse as I'm doing her manicure, the election coverage was on.   She was bummed about not getting to vote.  (Cause she would have voted for Cedric Glover...  ummmm she lives in Bossier)  lol

 Mom (and most the family) are democrats.  I are not.  When I told her I'd registered as a republican (when I was 18yrs old), she said (in all seriousness),"Do not tell your grandma you are a republican, it'll kill her"
Anyway... while I painted her nails pink, my mom and I discussed politics.    (I'd have voted for Glover too... to her surprise... and She'd have swung to the Republican side on Senate & the house)  No disagreement.   Go figure.

For the record... grandma died of heart failure... and not because she found out I was a heathen conservative.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Role Reversal

Mom is sick again tonight.  
The nursing home calls, and I meet the ambulance at the ER and sit with her.   
We've done this a few times now.  
And everytime... she says, "Baby, you don't have to wait up here with me"
And we all know that... OFCOURSE I DO!   

This is my mom.

This is the woman that took care of me when I was sick as a child.

The woman that sat for hours in the LSU waiting room with my head in her lap and she stroked my hair as I cried with chronic ear infections.  (Those chairs were hard, cold multicolored plastic... ugh)  She'd tell me she loved me.

After every LSU visit, I'd get a vanilla milkshake.

This woman always got my medication delivered from Lewis drugs and I got a 6pack carton of 6oz bottled cokes, color book and crayons... each time.

These things seem small.. esp to kids that are use to McDonalds once a week and treats all the time.  But to me... they were a huge deal.

So when my mom calls me for some Diet Root Beers, crossword puzzles or some other request (there have been some odd  I hop to it.

And when she's laying on an emergency room stretcher trying to breath better...  I'm there.    Trying to make her feel better...  I stroke her hair... and tell her I love her.    

                                                Turn about is fair play.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

ROXY! He's not here. I promise.

I can't convince Roxy that Jake is NOT here.
She's in his room... in her spot... waiting.
REFUSES to budge. 
So... I find myself having a conversation.. with a dog,  "Roxy, your boy isn't here tonight... come on out of there" (this usually works) 

This is where she lays every night as he watches tv or does his homework, etc,..  Then she gets in bed with him....  
 But tonight.. she doesn't buy it.  She's sitting there.. alone in a dark room (door cracked in hopes she'll come to her senses and I don't have to haul her out)

You see.. she LOVES Jake.   The whines and cries when he comes home are quite impressive.    The longer he's been gone... the louder.    The summers are tougher on her, because Jake is gone to his dad's every other week.  In Doggy time... thats A LOT!

(side note... as I'm typing this... she just runs out here barks at me once, then marched back into her spot in his dark empty room)   She's lost it.

She was less than a year old here.
 PSSHSHHH!   Who can blame her really?  He is pretty cool to have around...

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

They say it's never too late...

As "open" as I may seem... there are things... I am private about.  One has always been my father.   My biological father.  I knew a name.  I knew the circumstances.   That he went on to marry another woman.. have a couple of kids.   (One daughter I was told by common family friends, that I favored).      I wasn't abandoned... know this.    He continued to visit me after I was born... then after a disagreement with my mother, she only allowed him pictures through a family friend.      Again... there was this name... I heard about my whole life.   My mom never had a negative thing to say about him.   Seemed so romantic to hear her talk of his charisma, etc,..  "those eyes"    The good news is, that I found my father.  The bad news, is that he passed away a month ago.    But out of all things, come something good.  I spoke to his kids... the ones I used to wonder about.  The little sister whom I heard had the same eyes as me.    And a son that is a genuine as they come.  .  And they are "open" to accepting me.   I denied myself the "search" for my father for years..... I think in fear of rejection.    This evening... I feel welcomed.    I'm happy to say the least... still a bit amazed at the whole thing.   

P.S.  The man... my father... looked like DeNiro.  

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

me? a material girl? seriously?

I drive a 2001 F150 with almost 200,000 miles on it.
I wear clothes for comfort, not namebrands.
I do wear New Balance shoes, but I work on concrete and they help my tootsies.
I own very little jewelry and rarely wear it.
If you want to see me in make up, you'll need to marry me, sue me or die.
I don't trade out purses with my outfits.  (and have never paid of $40 for a purse -         and that was a knock off Doony & Burke...ha)
I do however, buy namebrand soup.   I only like Cambells.   And only Kraft              macaroni & cheese.... important stuff there!
My computer is basic, my iphone is 4 versions behind.  
I even color my own hair, because I can cover the gray for a mere $9.
I don't even own a flat screen TV or a Wii.

My point?   I'm frugile... for a woman.   I hate shopping and I'm not into "things".

Yet recently... was labeled "materialistic" by someone who's opinion I care about.
And why?  Because I'm proud (very) of my camera... it's the nicest gift I've ever received.   But its also something, I'd have never broke down and bought for myself.     My husband though, knew how much I wanted the camera and got it for me for our anniversary.    and GOSH I DO love that camera!      I love it unnaturally.   It's like a  pet... I keep buying toys for it.

But... I'm pretty sure my camera is not cause to label me materialistic.
This is hard for me, because I was raised so modest...and as silly as it sounds, I really do feel twinges of guilt for owning such a nice camera.  My husband told me though when he gave it to me.. that he loves me, that I work hard and I deserve it.   

 That's enough for me I'm thinking.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Hey, Wanna hear a ghost story???

(thought so)

Today I went to the Red River Revel. And no.. I didn't see a ghost at the Revel. As a matter of fact, I've personally never seen a "ghost". But while walking along I came across some art. One peice of it was a drawing of a weeping angel monument. Next to this picture, was a drawing of a small child next to his grandfather at a military gravesite. With the child saluting soldier "ghosts". Next to the picture was a flyer... telling the story and how very small children are pure of heart and open minded and see things others do not. This was all very poignant for me.

Here is why:

About 10 years ago, I live in Marshall, Texas. My Jake's dad lives in Blanchard, so I traveled Blanchard-Latex Rd alot. Along that road is a cemetery. I could barely see a beautiful monument from the road of a "weeping angel". I'd pulled in a couple times to get a better look, but never left my truck. I was drawn to the monument... and wanted to photograph it. (obviously my facination with photographing cemeteries is not so new...)

So, one spring afternoon after work, I pick Jacob up from his fathers and headed home. The weather was nice and I had my camera with me, so I decided to go go photograph the monument.

I get Jake out of his car seat and set him on the ground. I get my little camera and began walking into the gate. Jake runs off ahead. I could see the entire cemetery from the entrance, there were no other vehicles, I had not told Jake where we were, so I was OK with him running ahead.

I turned left on the path to walk toward the monument. The weather was slightly overcast. Jake stayed straight but was skipping and happy... so I kept going. I took this picture as I walked forward (these are the actual pictures I took that day):

I check Jake and he's running back and forth on the path... giggling.
Odd, I thought.  But he seemed to be having fun.

I continue toward the angel. Things get a bit darker and the wind picks up. I take another picture. And start getting an uneasy feeling.

                        (notice it's a bit darker in this picture than the last... )

I see Jake is talking... to no one. He's laughing and playing and TALKING... to no one. I yell at him, "Jacob, come here!" He ignores me... and keeps talking and running in circles around some monuments. I yell, "Jacob, come to Mommy RIGHT NOW!"

Jake responds," But I want to play with the kids!"

I can't even begin to describe the feeling this gave me... I begin a fast walk toward him and demand he come to me NOW! He is still talking... I don't hear his heart was pounding in my own ears. He turns and comes trotting to me... but keeps looking behind him.
"Mommy, I wanted to play with the kids." Me,"What kids?" Jake said ,"Them kids!" and point to... nothing.

I swoop him up over my right shoulder and run... and I do mean RUN to my truck. As he waves and says,"Byyyyyye" over my shoulder.

My heart was racing as I fastened him in his seat with him trying to see past me to the cemetery. As I am pulling away.... He asks,"Can we come back and play one day?" I lied. "Yeah baby... one day."
I did NOT question Jacob on what he saw. I didn't want to know. I still don't.

BUT... I do plan on going back there and photographing that monument again. Only this time, I'm not taking a 3yr old. I'm taking my 24yr old son, He promises me he won't play with the ghost kids... even if they ask nicely.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Jo Knows

That God is good.
That life goes on with or with out you, so get on board.
That my husband is my soul mate (no matter how much he denies this..ha)
That I am loved by a romantic alpha male who "thinks" of the little things.
That some of God's biggest blessings really are unanswered prayers.
That self-centered people don't get me. or anyone else for that matter.  ha.
That motherhood is my purpose.
That my sons control my heartbeat.
That a step mom can love someone else's kids as though they are her own.
That laughter really IS the best medicine.
That smiles are contagious.
That teaching others safe patient care is fulfilling.
That I am like my Mom... I smile at the sight of a baby... so does my Jake.
That my children are a gift, not a burden.
That some people are never happy.   And I don't "own" that.  They do.
That the past is just that... the past.   It is why you are where you are, but does
          NOT dictate where you're headed.
That some people aren't genuine.  But most are.
That if you want something, work for it. 
That I am a hoot ( I know this because I've been told so many times.. ha!)
That when your child is very ill, you'll never feel more powerless.
That when your child gets better, you never feel more grateful.
That the Serenity Prayer should be every one's motto.  Every one.
That "rinse and repeat" are excellent instructions, not just for shampoo.
That I love waking up everyday.
That God is good.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

It's a dog's life

A face that only a mother (and father) could love.
Meet Relode.  He's one of those once in a life time dogs.  Loves his Daddy more than anything.   He's a sweet heart... a true loving dog that obeys and is just happy to be in the same room as his Dad.

I call him "Big Sexy"
He's getting older... has severe arthritis in his hips.   Has a lil hop in his walk now from stiff hips.   (I feel his pain)   He can't hear so well anymore... (I can relate to this as well..ha) at night we flash the porch light to get his attention.    We take good care of our dogs... I think our vet bills exceed our doctor    So, in good faith, I know we've done everything to assure his good health.   Age is his enemy now.  (TOTALLY relate to THAT)
This is his new thing.... stretching out his back!   

Kinda looks like it feels good...  I think it's a "two-fer".. He get's a back scratchin' and stretches his joints.    (Looks much like his dad when he  Roxie is a bit curious when he does this too...

He's a good boy and shakes off the dry grass before coming inside... 

He's been on my mind alot lately... watching him get old isn't easy.   He use to stand at attention when he saw you wearing camoflage.... panting hard... and running back and forth to the door.

This morning when Ron and Ryan got ready to leave... Relode went to the utility room and laid down for a rest.   A true sign of his age.   Ron already planned to not hunt him this year anyway... but I have to say... it made me sad.   We LOVE our dogs.   They are our babies.   I tease my husband that he loves Relode more than me... he always jokes back.. that when I'm willing to fetch his ducks in 20 degree weather... he'll love me more. 
The dog can have it!  

See why I call him Big Sexy?   He was so strong and regal in his day.  This was in 2008...  

SO... it is sad to not see him eager to hunt even, but a relief all the same...   when his Ron dared go hunt without him, he sat at the door and whined for hours. ( I can relate to this as only I don't sit at the door and whine till he comes home...usually just go with him)

There is nothing more peaceful than sitting in a blind with my husband watching the sun rise, enjoying nature.. (Bet Relode can relate to me on this one)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Public Potty Etiquette

                                                 Go to fullsize image

1. If you try the door and it’s locked, assume I’m in here… I should not to have to say “Someone’s in here” during my private moment. So please… accept that it really is locked and in use. No need to keep trying to open it.

2. In a public multi-stall restroom, take a step back and look for feet under the stall before trying the door.

Go to fullsize image                                                                                                                                           3. If there are 3 stalls and I am in the 1st stall.... please go to the 3rd stall.   Leave a space between us!!!

 4. Wash your hands after. I’ve seen your feet and recognize you eating bread sticks in the restaurant with your not-so-fresh hands.

5. Please don’t allow your toddler to peek under the stall, it’s not cute. And they could be scarred for life by what they see.

6. Please have a trash bin close to the door for easy discarding of the paper towel I’ve used to open the door with.

7. The blow dry thing? Is only cute to a 4yr old. I want a paper towel to dry my hands with. I know... not very “green” of me. But, otherwise, how am I going to turn off the water faucet or open the door to exit the restroom?

8. Oh yeah… and the touchless paper towel dispensers? I must have incredibly teeny hands because the thing never recognizes their presence and I have to repeat the motion....I look like an amateur magician. And then when it DOES finally dispense, it’s about 6 inches of rough nonabsorbent brown paper (the kind we used in elementary school in the 70s)

9. And the lil paper seat covers? Don’t forget to punch the hole out before you set it on your seat, I’m not saying how I know this, but ummmmmm this can lead to a bigger mess.

10. Please hurry… I’m waiting for you to leave so when you flush (creating some noise) I can do my work…. Otherwise it will never happen.   My only hope is that you're not as paranoid as me about this and are trying to wait ME out.   I will win.   I will.

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Over, not under... OVER... NOT UNDER!!!
 11. Flush when you’re done. If you don’t like to touch the handle, do what I do… flush with your foot. Can’t remember the last time I actually touched a public toilet handle…

12. If it’s a unisex toilet, FELLOWS….PUT THE LID DOWN WHEN DONE!!! Just because you have to touch the seat to widen your target doesn’t mean I should have to touch it.

13. A pet peeve… TP not on the roll… I have this visual when I see this… of someone’s (unwashed) hand in the center of the cardboard roll ..... leaving bacteria to grow. Ack!

14. Another pet peeve – 1 ply paper. I’m trying to maintain my hygiene, well.... you get the picture.
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15. Or the stiff big roll that let’s you only tear off one sheet at a time. How can I create my catcher’s mitt of protection with single sheets?

16. Port-a-potties? No. If I am that desperate, then it’s time to leave whatever public event I’m attending.

17. And who’s sanitizing those drop-down baby changers?

18. I've never once used a sharpie on a bathroom stall to proclaim my undying love for another.

19. I'm glad I'm not a man...and have to use public urinals... I'd sooner wear a diaper than pee shoulder to shoulder next to a stranger.

20. Can you believe I have all these issues with public toilets?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Gecko Invasion!!!

What's the deal?

I've seen more of these lil geckos this summer than ever!!!   A few in the house even.
I like the way the other one is poking his lil head out to see what the deal is...

The gecko really is tiny, I used the micro function on this one... you can tell how teeny just by comparing it to the ant next to it.

                                             They're creepy lil dudes. 

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

St Joseph's Cemetery

The St Joseph Cemetery was beautiful... very ornate monuments and well cared for.

 I visited St Joseph's when I visited the other historical cemeteries last month.
The Star Cemetery backs up to it. A stark difference in the level of care between the two cemeteries. But, Holy Trinity Church sees to the maintence of St Josephs... and it shows.

In about 1882 Holy Trinity Catholic Church bought ten-and-one-half acres for $210 to establish a Catholic

A large monument is dedicated to the five Catholic priests who died during the yellow fever epidemic of 1873

This cemetery is near the Main Post Office ... where greenwood Rd becomes Texas Avenue. At the time of it's original purchase it was "Texas Road"
Beautiful and historical grounds and monuments.

Monday, September 13, 2010

"I forgive you"

Mom & Me in 2000
My mom is ALL about Birthdays and holidays.   She called me three times this week telling me she was sending Jake his birthday card in the mail.   (a wee bit obsessive at times) Today, she called asking was Jake home or at his dad's house.

Me: He's home... I'm headed there now.
Mom: OK, his card should be in the mail today.   I hope it's in time.
Me: I'm sure it will be, It can't take 2 weeks for it to go 2 miles.
Mom: I want him to have it today for his birthday.
Me: Mom, Jake's birthday is on the 23rd.
Mom: I know.
Me: Today is the 13th.
Mom: Oh... I thought today was the 23rd!
Me: No Ma'am... (chuckling with her).
Mom: Ok...  well... I forgive you.
Me: You forgive me?
Mom: yes... I forgive you.
Me: For?
Mom: having him 10 days late...
Me: I love you.
Mom: I love you.  I gotta go (she was still chuckling at herself)

Mother's Day 2009

She makes me smile.   Much.    

I love it when she leaves a message for me to call her.     Then when I return her call, she asks ME what I want.    lol

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Mom of the Year!

When I came home from work this past Tuesday... I was dawg tired.  The night before we came in from South La around 11pm.     I was feeling it.    Jake had a dental appt at 3 and then we went home.   Did I mention how tired I was?   It was my birthday and I only wanted one thing .. a NAP!

So, I got just that.   I let Jake to go ahead and go play at his friend's house. (normally he'd have to get homework done first, but a tired Mommy makes for a poor 8th grade math helper)

I woke up at 6pm.  Ordered pizza for dinner and called Jake to come home.  After eating, came homework time.

But now... Jake was whining...  "I don't feel good"   "My stomach hurts"
Me: Jake... you felt well enough to go play.
Jake: But, I really DO feel sick.
Me: Jake, do your work.  I'm serious.
Jake (in a high pitched whine):  But, my stomach hurts and I feel sick.  You don't even believe me.
Me: I'm done.  I'll be back when you stop complaining and are ready to get your work done.
(I make a semi-dramatic exit and pull the door with a bit of force... not slam though)   As I'm walking away I hear fluid spill, splash and gurgling noises, followed by, "Moooooooom!" 

Yup... he puked.   All over his bed, the textbook, the floor and a few minutes later in the hallway.

Mom of the year, I tell ya.  
(reminds me of the time I made him push a wheelbarrow with a broken arm...  but that's another story)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Shrimp & Petroleum Festival

Every Labor Day weekend, we go down to Morgan City where my husband is from.   Why Labor Day weekend?  The Shrimp & Petroleum Festival.    (and fortunately, it's also about the same time the redfish are biting...)

This year was the 75th anniversary of the Festival.    It is the oldest chartered festival in the State of Louisiana.  

It began in as a celebration of the shrimp industry.   And in 1967, they began celebrating the oil industry as well.  The Morgan City/Berwick area relies heavily on these two commerces.

One of the traditions (that date back over 70 years) is the blessing of the fleets.    The Father blesses them, for safe passage on the waters and pays homage to those fallen.

Jake enjoyed the rides

They KNOW how to party.  Big time.   There is music, a carnival, crafts fair, a parade, a firework show...  It's all one huge, long party.  

     Ron's Mom and our grandson Hayden
On a personal note, my in-laws have a ceramic store in Berwick (Berwick & Morgan City are much like Shreveport & Bossier... only seperated by a river).   So every year my mother and father-in-law have a booth at the festival.   She paints faces and they sale many Louisiana themed ceramics.
Jake flying high!
Hayden Paul...  said "This is the BEST Shrimp Festival EVER!!"     I have to agree with him.  We had a lot of fun!
A great Firework display on Sunday night!

Did I mention them Coonazzes know how to throw a party?   :)  See ya next year!