Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Have you ever been Googled?

       I decided to Google “me” today just to see what would turn up. It turned out to be a very interesting journey.**
       It turns out that there are quite a few of me. The search yielded several Donna McBroom-Theriots, just as many Donna McBrooms and Donna Theriots. If I were not so confident in my uniqueness and so proud of being a one of a kind, God threw away the mold kind of girl, I might just develop a complex with there being so many of “me”. There are 20 people with the name Donna Theriot in the United States, and the name Donna M. Theriot seems to link every book review I have ever written on Amazon with the world.
       Seems I can be found in a number of Lafourche Parish Council meeting minutes and agendas. I had not realized I appeared in front of them so many times. Just shows how adamant I can be when I believe in a cause and the rights of the little people. Right there on Google was a posting by the Lafourche Parish Council giving me recognition for attending an ethics seminar as part of my training for being a member of The Lafourche Parish Planning Commission; which by the way is also on there.
       My comments on a website called “Fathers and Families” were copied and pasted on a strange blog that I now refer to as “the Pink Pig.” Seems there is a big friendly looking pig on the site, hence the nickname. One can only imagine what that site was about and in the event you cannot, I’ll gladly give you a hint – nothing good. At any rate, I have to feel flattered that they even gave my comments enough credence to turn around and re-post them on their site (with a link back to the original site listed above,) even if it was to say they did not agree. At least, I think that is what they were attempting to depict. It actually said I didn’t get it. I think they “didn’t get it”.
       Turns out there are several Donna Theriots out west in New Mexico. I wonder if it is as hot there as it is here in South Louisiana.
       I was found on Disney Family Community page. There was an article on ‘Get Hatched, A Chick’s Guide to Life’ titled - How to actually love playing with makeup. I commented: “I used to tell my husband when I put on red lipstick (I normally wear a dark pink) it meant business. It gave me confidence. So, when I had a meeting or needed extra courage, red was the color of choice.” This interesting article was about using make-up that matched your mood.
       I found my name along with a listing of my friends on Face Book. My guess would be that you will also find my name among your listings should you decide to Google yourself.
       My blog came up. Maybe I’ll get more followers. As Andy Rooney would say, "You never know." A relative was on Reunion.com and Google tattled on them (now I know who was looking for me.) Some of the public sites I subscribe to are also listed. I attended an Ethics training and surprise! That was also listed.
       Remember posting on Face Book that you liked “I’m from Louisiana; we say ya’ll, Stop correcting my grammar? Oh Yeah! There’s your name (remember “Here’s your sign? Well, here’s your name.)
       In fact, as soon as I hit “Post” on my blog, I can Google this story. Go ahead, live dangerously, Google yourself, and if you are brave enough, open your eyes and see the trail you have forged in the world of the internet! I can follow you too. I would love to hear what you found so please come back and post. Meanwhile, I’ll see you on Google!
      Note to self: next time you get the bright idea to Google yourself, make sure you have lots of time; because that's what it takes to follow every link with your name in it.

**The reason I “Googled” myself and eventually wrote this story is because a close friend of mine is going through a divorce and our friendship came into question. In court, the "other" side “Googled”  my name and it came up on the aforementioned "Pig" site. It is a questionable site and the intent was to discredit me and make her look like a bad mother. It was an unconscionable stunt to pull, but none-the-less, it happens. It is a shame that a person that you once called friend, would attempt to discredit your good name with a lie. He knew the information to be inadmissible in court as well as his attorney, yet it stopped neither one.

 I originally posted my comment on a Parental Alienation site and stand by my comment. Unfortunately, my comments (and any comment you might make) are up for grabs by anyone who wishes to copy and paste. In this respect, please remember that your words are out there forever, be careful where and what you post.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Bonjour Amis - Katie's class sings


Saute' Crappo, Jump Little Froggy Jump


Show and Tell (And not I’ll show you mine if you show me yours!) (10/15/2010)

     One of Jeffery’s many reasons for making the trek to New York City was to be “Show and Tell” for Katie’s music classes. Jeffery absolutely loves kids and loves playing music and singing, so the idea of bringing Cajun French songs into a New York school had him quite pumped.
     Jeffery and Katie-Beth left early on Friday morning heading for school only after extracting a promise from me that I would be along later (and escorted by Jude, Katie’s husband.) Anyone who knows me knows that my philosophy is, “If it ain’t light outside, I ain’t getting’ up.” However, that wasn’t the reason I was heading out later than them on that day. When there is only one bathroom, unless you want to get up before you go to bed, not everyone can be ready to head out the door at 6:30 am (even if it is light.)
     Jeffery headed off to his big day at school, his excitement hardly contained. Not much later, I strolled down Riverside Drive in the crisp cool weather to the subway. I grabbed my newspaper on the way in, barreled my way onto the train, and scored a seat (I told you I was fastly becoming a New Yorker) for the ride to Times Square where I disembarked and meandered the streets of Manhattan to Katie’s school, all by myself I must add.
     Arriving at school and having made it past the security guard in one piece (a Southern smile will do it every time,) I found myself at the bottom of five long flights of stairs (yep, that’s what I was thinking too.) I began my plight. Sucking in a deep breath, I made it to the third floor before stopping to rest (and to catch my missing breath.) I arrived at the fourth floor to a similar fate and finally to the fifth. I was thanking my lucky stars that no bells had rung that would have had me scrambling for cover in the corner where I would then have to pretend to breathe normally so I would not have frightened the children.
     Safely on the fifth floor and back to breathing normal, I located Katie and Jeffery in the Library, which doubles as the music room. Katie was scurrying around straightening chairs and readying herself for her first class while Jeffery tuned the guitar that he would use for his performance.
      Before we left Louisiana, Jeffery had chosen a little French song (Saute' Crapaud) that he wanted to teach the children. It was about a little jumping frog. He also translated it into English so the children would be able to sing along. Needless to say, the children fell in love with him and loved acting like little jumping frogs. A few of them even caught on to some of the French words and sang along.
Jeffery and Katie-Beth "Ms. Traxlerl"
     Each class filed in at their appointed hour and Show and Tell commenced. They received an introduction to their Cajun visitor who was all too happy to play music and sing for them. Katie taught the children a simple Cajun dance and Jeffery sang and played a song and we danced. (I had to figure out what my talent was very quickly when asked, “What do you do?”) Katie saved the day by creating an easy dance that everyone could follow (so even I had a talent to showcase.)
     Katie is quite fortunate to teach at a wonderful little school. The children are so sweet and multi-cultured. The principal of the school, Ms. Nancy, reminded me of Ms. Linda from Romper Room (a show I watched as a child.) She was constantly popping up throughout the day, always dragging another unsuspecting person in to the room to listen and participate in “Cajun Day.” It was evident Ms. Nancy is a principal who believes in her school, her teachers, and her students and wants the very best for them.

     All of the children won over our hearts, but there were one or two who managed to stick out a little more than the rest. One child was a boy in Kindergarten. The little boy is Spanish and had not spoken a word of English the entire year. I watched him watch Jeffery singing and he began singing along (French and Spanish are quiet similar,) singing a few more syllables and words each time until he could sing nearly the entire French part of the song. Katie asked the class what the Froggy does and he gleefully yelled out “jump.” It was his first English word! The class was cheering because the Froggy jumps and the adults were cheering because he said his first English word. There was a lot of cheering going on!

     It was exciting to be a part of the children’ day and a day that Jeffery and I will not soon forget. Turns out, Katie won’t either. By the time the following Tuesday had rolled around, she had been asked, “where is Mr. Jeffery,” and could they sing the “froggy” song about 4, 322 times!
     The biggest highlight of my trip to school was being able to watch my “little” girl teach. I witnessed how grown up she has become. I saw her laugh, smile, encourage, and discipline her “little friends” as she refers to the children. I watched their reaction to her as the teacher. Katie-Beth is a gifted individual who has taken her God-given talents and used them for a greater good. Teaching is her vocation and she is a blessing to all of us who are lucky enough to be a part of her life.

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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

And yes, there is “Eye Candy” (10/13-14/2010)

     I have been going on and on about my recent trip to New York but there is one more story that bears telling. The story is about our trip to the Empire State Building (among others, which yes, I will also mention here.)

Empire State Building

     To the left is a picture as we approached the Empire State Building. Pictures taken by an amateur (me) just do not do it justice. It is a magnificent building.
     After making our way through security, which was an adventure all its own; Jeffery forgot to leave his pocket knife at the apartment (men!) Personally, I do not think there is much damage he could do with a two-inch blade but the minute he pulled out his badge (to put in the tray that takes your possessions through the scanner,) we were carted off to more security! The security guards decided that since he is a police officer, he could keep it with him. It certainly would have taken less time for him to put the mini butcher knife in a security locker until we returned from the top of the building and we would have not drawn attention to ourselves but the security guards were just trying to be nice.
     If you have not traveled lately, get ready to shed your belts and keys and watches as well as a host of other things in order to get through security. I had my turn at a security check at Battery Park before boarding the ferry to Ellis Island. I actually had to take my shoes off because my buckles set off the alarm (how embarrassing.) It took me 15 minutes to replace the Band-Aids that were covering my blisters (taking my shoes off messed up the carefully placed bandages!)
     Back to the Empire State Building story where we finally made it through security and were sent on our way. After negotiating the maze of lines, we got to the first set of elevators where we were lucky enough to board an elevator with a woman who was claustrophobic (meaning there were only six of us on the elevator as opposed to 20.) Bless her heart! (Yeah!) Boarding the second set of elevators to complete the trip to the observation deck, we were not so lucky.
     The views of New York City are spectacular from the observation tower atop the Empire State Building. I highly (no pun intended) recommend the trip.
     While the view of NYC was breathtaking, it was not the “Eye Candy” of which I wrote earlier. Let me describe what the real “Eye Candy” was before I tell you that we were unable to take pictures to prove we were there (meaning I have no photos to post.) The northwest corner of the observation deck was cordoned off at one point and all visitors shuffled to other parts of the deck. (Drum roll please) Cosmo was taking pictures of their “Most Eligible Bachelors.” (Another drum roll please.) They ARE good looking. The pictures ARE NOT touched up! (More drum roll.) And, did I mention THEY ARE GOOD LOOKING! Let me say it again. They ARE definitely “Eye Candy.” There were many husbands dragging their drooling wives back on to the elevators after that photo shoot!

     Almost as interesting as the Empire State Building, the Lady herself was majestic. Here’s Jeffery at the Statue of Liberty and me, Donna, at the Statue of Liberty! (Take note that I didn’t make him look the same size as Lady Liberty!)

    If we are talking about candy, then I cannot leave out the pictures of the M&M Store in Times Square. We also visited the Hershey Store and Dylan’s Candy Shop.

The M&M Store

     We visited Rockefeller Center, The American Girl Store, Grand Central Station, Union Square Park, Battery Park,

Rockefeller Center

The Intrepid

The Intrepid Aircraft Carrier, Wall Street (did not see any money), SoHo, NoHo, Chinatown, Little Italy, various churches, just so many places. If you ever have the opportunity to visit this wonderful city, please do. We had a wonderful time.



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Friday, November 5, 2010

Lucy tours Manhattan (10/12/2010)

     I hope that no one is tiring of the stories of our trip to New York (you would not still be reading if you were!) Jeffery and I spent three days touring “Uptown”, “Downtown”, Ellis Island, and Liberty Island, Brooklyn and more!

Subway Stop

     After today, I can truly say with confidence that Jeffery and I (make that me-he is still too polite) have become true New Yorkers. We were waiting for the train today and just as the train came to a halt, I quickly stepped up to the door (pretending to patiently wait for the door to open, yet all the while scoping out the quickly emptying seats of the departing passengers.) I wanted to be ready for the mad dash for seats once the doors opened.
     Without being too pushy (oh-let’s face it OR polite) or elbowing more than a few people, I made a bee-line to my chosen seats and parked my butt down and looked around for TCBITWBD (the cutest boy in the world, Bayou Division-better known as Jeffery.) I thought for a minute that I would have to reach through the throng of bodies (believe me when I say this is NOT something you want to do) to pull him through the still open doors. Nevertheless, he finally made it onto the train and into the seat I had personally saved for him (with glaring eyes no one dared cross.)

     As you sit there on the train, traveling at un-told speeds, you learn not to look at people. People on the New York subway DO NOT want conversation or friendly smiles or eye contact. They want to be left alone. You mind your business and keep your gaze downward and everyone stays happy. Now, anyone who knows how much I love to study people can only imagine how difficult this task would be, and no, I never did get the hang of it. It takes more than a glance to count the number of earrings in someone’s ear, much more to read their tattoos. If people do not want me to stare, they should not be marking up their bodies, or working out. Ladies, there are some buff bodies in New York that require a little extra perusing.
     This trip marked our first venture out alone (I did have a map tucked away for just in case.) We were about to embark on a three day tour of Manhattan. Our little adventure home after church services on Sunday was merely a trial.
     Arriving at Lincoln Center, we purchased our tour tickets, boarded a double-decker bus, and began our “Downtown” tour of Manhattan (so we thought.) Strangely enough, as we were bouncing along the streets and avenues, sites began to look familiar. Since Katie had taken us on her own personal walking tour the previous Saturday, we recognized Central Park and The Dakota and Strawberry Fields, among others. Turns out, we were on the “Uptown” tour.

Washington Square Park

     As we rode past Washington Square, I wondered briefly if the “Bird Man” was still there with his birds.

The Bird Man


     Nothing can compare with riding a double-decker bus thru the streets of Manhattan with the wind blowing through your hair, the sun shining above…. that is, if you were smart enough to grab a seat on the left side of the bus; trees ambushed those poor folks on the right side. Needless to say, they spent most of their tour dodging trees (and traffic signals.) (Photo Left: Central Park West)

     This particular tour had a sassy tour guide. We were waiting in line as the bus stopped and he yelled for us to come on up. About halfway up the steps, he yells that we will have to sit separately. My face must have showed my displeasure because he then told me that if the nice lady I was going to sit next to was willing to put up with me, then I should be glad to sit there. I was so stunned (and a little frightened) I just sat down in the seat he pointed to and told the “nice” lady thank you. Jeffery took the seat directly in front of my seat next to a “nice” man and off the bus went. This tour guide was a scary fellow. As tours go, as you approach the upcoming stop, the guide will ask if anyone is getting off. (Photo Right: Dakota where John Lennon lived.) No one ever got off of the bus (personally I think everyone was as frightened of the little man as we were) so he would just yell at the people waiting that he didn’t have any seats, they would just have to wait for the next bus and then he would mutter to himself. This tour reminded me of a horror movie where you get inside of the car and the door locks and there are no handles with which to open the doors.

Central Park West

When we stopped in So-Ho, the “nice” lady and “nice” man decided to disembark. In the course of the tour, Jeffery and I figured out that they were married and at the time of climbing aboard the bus had probably been told to sit (by the “sassy” man) and there they stayed, afraid to move until they left the bus. As soon as they left and the feisty tour guide turned his back, I hopped over and Jeffery jumped back to sit next to me. There was a lot of praying going on that our actions would go unnoticed (they did.)

The Dakota where
John Lennon lived until he
was shot outside of the bldg.

     We completed our tour, heads intact, bid farewell to our guide, and headed off in search of another adventure (this time on the real “Downtown” tour.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Was it truly Serendipity? (10-11-2010)

     Serendipity; I am sure that we have all seen the movie but are you aware of the sweet little namesake shop located in Manhattan? It has a wonderful little history behind its quaint beginnings and if you Google it, you can read all about it.
That's Katie-Beth with the purple

     I have all three of their dessert books, but truly never thought I would one day sit at their charming little tables beneath the famous Tiffany lamps sipping their infamous frozen hot chocolate, but there we were! (Katie-Beth had the chocolate mousse!)

Frozen Hot Chocolate

I know I have been going on and on about this picturesque little ice cream shop but, in all of New York, this was my ah-ha moment. Jeffery and I have traveled cross-country, north and south, east and west. We have been in many cities. While each city has its own uniqueness to offer, I never thought I would ever be in New York City sitting at a table where (let’s face it – movie stars, and the rich and famous) have sat and gossiped and enjoyed time with friends and family (just insert your own ah-ha moment, this was mine.) As I sat there and gazed about this narrow little Shoppe (about 15 feet wide) at the Tiffany lamps and the knickknacks, I realized that I was in New York City in Serendipity! With my husband and daughter and son-in-law! What fun! What GREAT fun! And certainly serendipitous!

Double Chocolate Mousse
for the Princess
Tiffany Lamps

The Cupcake Tour of Manhattan (10/9/2010)

Purchasing my Crumbs cupcake
      The Saturday after our arrival in New York, my daughter took us on a personally orchestrated tour that we lovingly refer to as the “Cupcake Tour.” This tour only required a love of sugar (and chocolate.) I would have been first in line had I been able to actually lead the tour. I reluctantly stepped back to second place and readied myself for the tour of a lifetime.
Jeffery & Katie look like they've
been sampling the goodies!

     We visited the Magnolia Bakery and succumbed to the temptation of a giant sized chocolate cupcake. We visited the Crumbs Bakery and purchased cupcakes iced with chocolate butter cream icing. We headed to the Buttercup Bakery for muffins that would delight even the most finicky of palettes.

The Magnolia Bakery

     After many blocks of walking (needed to compensate for the calories we would soon be consuming) and several train stops later, we stopped by the Taco Grill (run by a cute Chinese couple) for Mexican carry –out.
     One more stop was on the list before we headed to Central Park for a picnic, the Levan Bakery, where the most wonderful smell was emitting from the door, a smell easily recognizable as deep, dark chocolate. The minute little bakery was about the size of a bathroom and located in the basement of a brownstone. Inside this diminutive unassuming little room were the biggest, most luscious chocolate cookies I have ever had the joy of feasting my eyes on. The mounds of cookie dough scattered on the enormous cookie sheets awaiting their turn in the oven were beggaring description. If there are chocolate cookies in Heaven, this is where they come from.
The cookie is as big as she is.

     This little bakery sells only four types of cookies: pecan-chocolate chip, walnut-chocolate chip, oatmeal-raisin, and the infamous chocolate-chocolate chip cookie. Once I sank my teeth into the scrumptious, melt in your mouth chocolate cookie, I knew I would never taste anything that would satisfy my chocolate craving taste buds to this extent ever again. (This precious little girl seemed to know that she had found something extraordinary as well.)
Jeffery & I on the famous
Central Park Bridge

Central Park

Jude, Katie-Beth, Donna, Jeffery

     After our little tour guide (my daughter) managed to drag me practically kicking and screaming from the bakery, we headed off to our picnic in Central Park. We found a bench along the pond walkway and sat down to enjoy our Chinese Mexican take-out (which was very Mexican and quite delicious.) We had a fabulous view of people out on the water in the rowboats enjoying the wonderful sunshine and cool breezes. The skyline of New York was in view just above the tree line and the beautiful old architecture lent itself to the picture perfect day.

Jude playing for money

     My son-in-law, Jude, decided to join the park bench entertainment next to us. He pulled out his own guitar (having just returned from playing at a children’s birthday party) and joined the old man playing music. It was so cute that we could not resist throwing a few bucks his way!

The Bird Man
     After our leisurely lunch and of course, pictures on the famous Central Park bridge, recognizable from many movies, we toured the West Village and the East Village, Washington Square Park (where we saw the “Bird Man”,) Union Square Park, and Grand Central Station.

Central Park

      Our day would not have been complete without stopping by still another cupcake shop. We visited Sweet Revenge and topped that off with a trip to The Strand, a three-story bookstore. Jeffery had to drag us all out of there kicking and screaming, books being my second favorite thing in whole world!
     I have to add here that I am not receiving compensation for mentioning all of the above bakeries. I do have to admit that compensation in cupcakes and cookies in lieu of monetary gain sounds like a great idea. I only wish I had thought of it while I was in New York; maybe next trip.
     With a short train ride, our first Saturday in New York ended with a stroll down Riverside Drive at dusk. Lights were out early and sweet dreams had by all.