Saturday, April 30, 2011

My Library

I am doing a little something different today. It is one of those days when you are on a time schedule and you can't help but waste a little of that time? Yeah. Today is one of those times. I should be in the shower right now, and instead, I am snapping photos of my library. Fair warning - the photos you are about to view in no way represent my entire book collection. The Library is home to most of them. (View at your own discretion.) 


Children's sections are the bottom two shelves on either side.
Bookcase #2


All of my books are categorized just like the Public Library. I have a financial section, self-help, cooking, baking, sewing, picture, novels, fiction, non-fiction, children's sections. A neighborhood child remarked one day that if I set up a table like the library, people could check out books. (I was thinking - not in this lifetime.)


As you can see, I love my books. My Godchild, Jessica, once counted my cookbooks and then announced to my husband how many there were (always wanted to thank her for that! Thanks Jessica!) I guess I could mention that I have approximately 100 chocolate cookbooks in my collection. Did you not read my bio? I am addicted to chocolate.


Couldn't help the glare. This is one of a set of bookcases.

I would love to see pictures of your libraries. Do something you aren't supposed to be doing (like me) and post your pictures. Then, come back and leave a link so I can visit. 

Friday, April 29, 2011

It's Follow Friday!



Hi everyone! I'm new to Follow Friday but looks like a lot of fun. I am having a blast finding and following new blogs. Leave a comment so I can find you too. Thanks.


I also have the question...If you were stocking your bomb shelter, what books would you HAVE to include if you only had space for ten?


Mine would at least include: (My Kindle with lots of books), all of Jen Lancaster's books (need something to laugh about), Jane Austen, The Help, (thinking.....)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

Cover of "The Help"Cover of The Help

About the Book:

         "Twenty-two-year-old Skeeter has just returned home after graduating from Ole Miss. She may have a degree, but it is 1962, Mississippi, and her mother will not be happy till Skeeter has a ring on her finger. Skeeter would normally find solace with her beloved maid Constantine, the woman who raised her, but Constantine has disappeared and no one will tell Skeeter where she has gone.

         .......Seemingly as different from one another as can be, three women will nonetheless come together for a clandestine project that will put them all at risk. and why? because they are suffocating within the lines that define their town and their times. And sometimes lines are made to be crossed.

          In pitch-perfect voices, Kathryn Stockett creates three extraordinary women whose determination to start a movement of their own forever changes a town, and the way women-mothers, daughters, caregivers, friends-view one another. A deeply moving novel filled with poignancy, humor, and hope. The Help is a timeless and universal story about the lines we abide by, and the ones we don't."


My Review:

            The book depicts how cruel and unaccepting society was; and if you look around, still is. White folks hired the black people to help to raise their children, to love and rock them, to bandage their scrapes, to bathe them and feed them. Society hired the black nannies to nurture their children without a second thought; but, when it came to allowing the black help to use their bathrooms, they became paranoid of “catching germs”.

            I loved the courage of the young woman when she decided to tell the stories of the black help. You cannot help but feel admiration for the black women as they struggled through adversity to come forth and share their stories. This book is fiction, but it is non-fiction at the same time.

            The characters in the novel come from the real world. For anyone wishing to know what life was like (and still is to an extent) in the 1960s in the Southern states of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama, this is a wonderful read. It immerses you in the culture of the time and allows you to feel what each woman was experiencing.

            The characters are wonderful. There is Constantine, who raised the “author” from the time she was born. There is Aibileen, a “wise, regal woman raising her seventeenth white child.” You meet Minny, Aibileen’s best friend, who is full of sass and can cook like nobody’s mama, as we say in the South. Her biggest downfall is not being able to keep her sassy mouth shut.

            You are introduced to the white society women who employed black help. We have all met these woman, heck; we might even be one of them. And, then there is the poor white trash that marries well and desperately tries to fit in to a tight handpicked society. Pick up this book and live through history; you will not be able to put it down. You will laugh, and you will cry, and you will laugh until you cry. Join the ladies on a journey where they break the rules of society and cross line that were never meant to be crossed. My teaser on this one: watch out for the chocolate cake!

            I was able to identify with this book on many levels and even recognized a few of the “society” women as some from my own life. I have witnessed many prejudices in today’s society that helps this book transcend time. “The Help” is debuting as a movie; and, I for one cannot wait. I hope the movie does the book justice. I definitely recommend this book.

            You can purchase this book using the Amazon link below. I would love to hear if you have already read it or plan to. Happy Reading!

            A friend just recommend two similar books that I am definitely going to check out. They are "The Kitchen House" by Kathleen Grissom, and "Saving CeeCee Honeycutt".

      

My Weekly Musings

            This blog is not only for book reviewing but for telling stories about the goings on in my life. This past week had a lot of activity. My daughter, Katie-Beth, was in from New York where she is a teacher. She was showing me the website she is setting up and I'll be sharing it as soon as she finishes critiquing it.  While she was down, two alligators were caught off of our wharf on Bayou Lafourche; one was 5'2" and the other was 7'8". Other than the photo of she and my husband fishing one of them out of the water, I didn't think to take any others. It is such a common site that I forget not everyone has this experience. I'll be sure and take more pictures next time - yes, there is always a next time.


This alligator was 5'2" - Katie's height.
           We have not had rain for well over a month and yesterday, we had several downpours. It was Calypso's first experience in the rain and I am certain she enjoyed herself. I could not get her to come on the porch. She and Ryka never stopped playing. They did, at one point, come to the front door with those sad little puppy faces that seemed to be saying they were ready to come in. At that point, I wasn't sympathetic. 


Yep. Play in the rain. Stay in the rain.
            Jeffery caught some of the first crabs of the season. The crabs from the bayou have a much sweeter flavor (and in my opinion, a better flavor) than the crabs caught closer to the gulf. There have been as many as thirty in the cage at a time. Today, there was one.


Better luck next time.
          This is a common occurrence in my yard. Calypso antagonizes Ryka until there is wrestling. I took a series of shots the other day (but won't bore you with them) of them just rolling around wrestling. Somewhere in this picture, there are two dogs.


Sumo wrestling.

Monday, April 25, 2011

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender


The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake: A Novel

Blurb:

            “On the Eve of her ninth birthday, unassuming Rose Edelstein, a girl at the periphery of schoolyard games and her distracted parents’ attention, bites into her mother’s homemade lemon-chocolate cake and discovers she has a magical gift; she can taste her mother’s emotions in the slice.
            She discovers this gift to her horror, for her mother-her cheerful, good-with-crafts, can-do mother-tastes of despair and desperation. Suddenly, and for the rest of her life, food becomes a peril and a threat to Rose. Anything may be revealed at any meal. She cannot eat her brother Joseph’s toast; a cookie at the local bakery is laced with rage; grape jelly is packed with acidic resentment.
            Rose’s gift forces her to confront the secret knowledge all families keep hidden-truths about her mother’s life outside the home, her father’s strange detachment, Joseph’s clash with the world.
            Yet, as Rose grows up, she realizes there are some secrets that even her taste buds cannot discern.”

My Review:

            Can you imagine biting into a piece of food and being able not only to taste and feel the person’s emotions who made the food, but being able to trace the origins of the ingredients back to “the happy cows from California” so to speak.
            To go through life as Rose does, censoring each morsel before she allows it to pass her lips is non-comprehendible. Yet, that is what Rose does; she must make the decision to eat or not eat, to be afraid of what the food will reveal to her and can she live with the consequences of that knowledge? Secrets of the makers of the food foisted upon her that she must guard because no one knows of her “gift” or “curse.”
            She learns eventually that she and her brother have both inherited strange gifts from their father. He has kept his own gift a secret; and, in doing so, Rose and her brother were never able to have a close relationship with him. Rose’s mother has her own secret life that Rose discerns through her mother’s cooking. Rose is sworn to secrecy when her mother realizes that she knows her secret.
            It is a book with strange twists and turns that leaves you guessing and to say anymore about the book would be giving the mystery away.It is funny at times, and sad at other times. It is about the heartbreak that you experience when you love someone and then must keep their secrets. It is a book about the strangeness of our everyday lives.
            I will give you a teaser: watch out for the brother and remember the chair. You will just have to read the book and come back and leave a comment about your thoughts.
            It is definitely a book worth reading and I recommend you add it to your short list. You may purchase the book from Amazon.com by clicking on the icon below. The author's website is intriguing as well. She can be found at www.aimeebender.com


Summer is here and there are books to read

            I have not posted in a week on my blog, which is unusual for me. The days have been so busy that I have not been able to sit at the computer for very long; but, I did want everyone to know I haven't disappeared from the face of the earth.
            Between the dogs digging holes in the flowerbeds and me trying desperately to keep them filled in (why is that dogs take the ‘bed’ part literally), and having a huge yard to mow now that it’s spring (or should I say summer already) in the South, there is little time for writing. Add to that, Holy Week in the church, and the excitement of catching two alligators off the wharf, and you have a busy, busy, week. I did manage to sneak in a little reading and finished my first requested review, and I am looking forward to posting the review on my blog. I will tease you by letting you know that the name of the book is “Mistakes” and it is the first in a series, which I was not aware of when I began the book. THAT was the most disappointing part of the book. I now have to sit on pins and needles until the sequel in 2012!
            I will be posting again soon with a review of Jen Lancaster’s books. She is one of my favorite authors and her books leave you snorting with laughter!
            I certainly hope that everyone had a joyful Easter and is looking forward to more book reviews and "Lucy" adventures!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Little Quack Loves Colors

Little Quack Loves Colors (Super Chubbies)
Blurb:

"Join Little Quack and his sister Piddle as they explore the colorful world around them! Children will love learning their colors as Little Quack encounters bright red ladybugs, oozy brown mud, sweet, yellow buttercups, and much more! The padded board book is a perfect format for young readers!"

My Review:

This is a wonderful little book for those young children in your life. I was looking for a book with a little duck to go with a Christmas ornament I bought for my grandson and came across this series. I fell in love with the vibrant colors and the cute stories and ended up purchasing several of the books for gifts and my own bookshelf (I have lots of children who come to visit and they love "the children's section" of my library.)


This book is part of a series and would make a wonderful addition to any child's library as it is an easy to read book and teaches the children colors.


If you would like to purchase this book, you may do so by clicking on the image located on "My Book Shelf" on the left side of my blog. Happy Reading. If you purchased “Little Quack” after reading my review, please come back a leave a few words.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Sweeteas – “It’s a Southern Tradition!

Sweeteas (It's a Southern Tradition!)
Blurb:

            “I give to you the little girls who frequented my dreams. ‘Terms of Endearment’ appeared to be their theme. There was Honey, Darling, Sunshine, and Sweet Pea, a bunch of little southern girls about as adorable as could be. They were charming, captivating, and lovable just the same, and so southernly sweet. Sweeteas was their perfect name.”


My Review:

            The Sweeteas Books and little girls are the wonderful creation of Rochelle Frazier. I had the extreme pleasure to meet this extraordinary young woman at a recent Writer’s Conference that I attended. She is every bit as sweet as the Sweeteas themselves. As well as being the creator and the author, she also illustrated each book. Be sure and visit the Sweeteas website and sign up to be a Sweetea! www.thesweeteas.com
            “It’s a Southern Tradition” is about being a Southern lady with those famous Southern mannerisms we all pride ourselves on. It is a beautifully illustrated book that you will enjoy reading with your daughters or granddaughters for many years. So treat yourself to this book or another book of Sweeteas adventures, sit down with a glass of cold ice tea, and enjoy the afternoon.

            You can purchase this book on the Sweeteas website or from Amazon.com by clicking on the book in "My Recommendations" to the left on my blog.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Is it me? or, Is it me? That is my question.

            I was at the market again (aren’t we always at the market?) and I am ranting.
           I have an organized way of loading my buggy as I make my way up and down the isles picking up the items on my list. I have never been a person who just tosses into the buggy. I place items carefully so none of them are smashed, smushed, or damaged; this is the way I do things. I can assure you that there is method to my madness (at least in my mind.)
Typical brands of Potato Chips at a superstore.Image via Wikipedia
            Once I arrive at the checkout counter, I have a carefully fine tuned system of unloading and placing the items from my buggy on the conveyor belt. I do not like it when the clerk (especially one who hasn’t even said hello) takes it upon herself to interrupt my perfectly orchestrated arrangements and bag my delicate or otherwise cookies with the onions, my fresh, soft bread with frozen hash browns (my new obsession), and the potato chips with the heavy fruit.
            Is it that difficult to bag the items as the merchandize flows past you down the conveyor belt (especially it they are in little piles?) Does the clerk think I carefully picked out bananas and tomatoes, just to have her carelessly toss them into a bag, and then throw the bag into the buggy?
            I do not think it is me. Do you have any horror stories from the market? 
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The Princess and the Roach

            Today started off like any other day. I woke up, fixed my cup of cocoa, and headed out to pick up Andrew and Cara.   
            Andrew and I visit in the mornings and eventually Princess Cara will bee Bopp down the stairs, socks in hand, and climb into my lap. I then put Cara’s socks on and send her to make her shoe selection of the day (how much bling, bling can one girl wear?)
            This morning was no different…until Cara made a face and told me that she thought there was something in her shoe. I was a good Nana, I told her, “Yes, there is. There’s a foot in your shoe,” but she was not buying it. She shook off her shoe, and Andrew yelled that a grasshopper flew out of the shoe. At the same time, Cara and I bolted from the chair. Andrew then yelled, “It’s on your back!” This bit of information freaked out both Cara and I and we responded by yelling, “Whose back?” at which point, Andrew yells, “Cara’s back!”

A high-heeled ladies shoe.Image via Wikipedia
And if you think I had heels on at 6:30a, well...
            I then had a horrible moment that I am deeply mortified to admit to. There was just a small moment when I thought, “thank goodness.” I quickly came to my senses and spun Cara around. At that point, I saw it was NOT a grasshopper but a ROACH (more guilty feelings)! I knocked the roach to the ground and stomped on it, keeping my foot (in a shoe) tightly pressed to the floor.
            Andrew, Cara, and I were standing there looking at each other, hearts pounding, and goose bumps rising, and trying to calm our breath. About that time, Jessica came downstairs and wanted to know why all the commotion. She was looking from one of us to the other, and then we all started talking at once.
            The excitement ended with Andrew learning the difference between a ROACH and a grasshopper; and me telling Jessica that the roach was under my foot, and since it was her house, thus making it her roach, and she had to get rid of it. I told her I was NOT moving my foot until she was ready to pick it up (which she did) just in case it was still alive (it was) and Jessica had to take care of it (remember, her house, her roach.)
            All of this excitement, and it was barely 6:30 in the morning.
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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Middle Place Book Review


            Not long ago I posted that I was going to start reviewing the books I read on my blog. This is my first book review. The book, “The Middle Place” by Kelly Corrigan.

Blurb:

             “At 36, Kelly Corrigan had a marriage that worked, two funny, active kids, and a weekly newspaper column. Even then, she still saw herself as the daughter of a garrulous Irish-American charmer, George Corrigan. She was living deep within what she calls the Middle Place – ‘that sliver of time when parenthood and children overlap’ – comfortable wedged between her adult duties and her parents’ care. But when Kelly finds a lump in her breast – and gets the diagnosis that no one wants to hear – and when her beloved father, too, learns that he has late-stage cancer, Kelly finally takes the leap and grows up. And through her bravely honest, funny, and inspirational memoir, she takes us with her.”

My Review:          
            Once I began this book, I couldn’t put it down; the pages seem to turn themselves. Kelly’s relationship with her father and the closeness they share is unmatched by any story I have yet to read; it is how she describes her very existence. Kelly Corrigan seamlessly weaves the past and present as the story of her perfect life begins to unravel around her. She is diagnosed with cancer and the diagnosis of her father’s cancer soon follows.
            She writes of the difficulties that follow. She takes us through her chemotherapy and the family vacations. She writes of the first time she ventures out after chemo to take her daughters to school and a little boy confront her claiming she looks like a monster, and her subsequent freak-out. Then, leaving the girls for her friend to drop off at school, she hurries home to call her husband in tears, to which she relays the following conversation.

           “Kel?”
            “He called me a monster,” I say, crying and falling into the sofa.
            “Who did?”
            “Jack Lindgren.”
            “That little fucker!” (Her thoughts: I don’t know what to say about a man who calls a perfectly adorable three-year-old a fucker, but “my hero” comes to mind.)

            She takes us on vacation where her baby goes missing and only after a frantic search, is found sound asleep in a little make-shift tent.
            While trying to manage her father’s illness from across the country, she is busy battling her own war against cancer. She writes with soul, with compassion, and with humor.
            I finished this book with an understanding of the journey she calls life that both begins and ends where she is and always will be the daughter of her beloved father, George Corrigan.


For anyone who enjoys reading memoirs, this book should definitely make your short list. I would enjoy hearing from you if you have already read this book or if you read it after my review. What are your thoughts? 


If you would like to purchase the book through Amazon, you may do so by clicking on the Amazon box on the left side of my blog.


Until then - Happy Reading!
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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Day I got Glamorized and More

               I had a friend who is a Mary Kay Consultant. I have nothing against Mary Kay cosmetics, just getting suckered into a “Glamorization.” I had a little party at my house one morning to help a friend out and she asked me if I wanted to attend their meeting that night to receive a glamour makeover. (For background music while reading this post, click to the second song on my I Pod to the left and enjoy.)
               Na├»ve me! I said yes. Little did I know that I would be pressured to become a Mary Kay Consultant (the word ‘cult’ is in consultant.) When I say pressured, it was just that. I felt lucky to get out of there with my life, although the glamour makeover was interesting and fun. What girl doesn’t enjoy a makeover and playing with makeup?
               The makeover participants sat around tables with makeup, and then listedned to makeup techniques. Then, we each had the opportunity to make ourselves up and to purchase any items we wanted. Once our makeover was complete and the consultant meetings being held in other rooms were over (probably plotting our captivity), the group reconvened in the auditorium for song and dance. It was a real cheerleading experience. They praised each other and encouraged each other to keep doing well and that was good. It was nice the way they supported each other.
Film poster for Pretty Woman - Copyright 1990,...Image via Wikipedia
               After the cheerleading and praising, our sponsors then led us around the room strutting to Pretty Woman! Oh yeah! - I was gettin' into it. Me - intense introvert – strutting to Pretty Woman. Then, a song played as we all drove around the room pretending to be driving pink Cadillacs; there was a lot of singing and waving during that song. I start laughing just thinking about it.
               The makeup part was so much fun; but guess what came along after the fun? Oh Yeah!! A hard core "nice" sales pitch and if you wanted out of the locked door, you had to join up. (Just kidding - but I did find it intense.) And, to answer your question - I resisted - I am not a Mary Kay rep and I did make it out alive!

               And, of course, there’s the latest debacle. My computer email was hacked. Thankfully, a wonderful friend let me know what was going on, because I surely could not figure out the problem. A priest friend from Ireland (also living in Ireland) emailed me to let me know that when he opened the link and saw it was for Viagra, he figured something was up (and it wasn't that!) Only me! Lucy! My email is hacked and I have the wonderfully embarrassing time of having a priest email me telling me I sent him a link to Viagra! I still cannot speak of the mortification.
               I can hear God saying now, “LUCY...you got some 'splaining to do!!!!!” and then the camera pans to the reconciliation room and a trembling voice saying "bless me Father, for I have sinned. I sent a Priest an ad for Viagra".


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Monday, April 11, 2011

The Book Review

Kindle

          I've been thinking (I know, it's a chore when you're me) of new things to write about on my blog. I've decided that I am going to do book reviews! Aren't you excited?! Well, I am. 
          I have a growing library, in fact, so much, so that I had to purchase a Kindle. I literally have no more places for books. I've tried talking my husband into building library shelves in my office (I am talking about all four walls) but, the look I usually receive at that suggestion makes me think I had better wait a while before bringing that subject up again. 
          Getting back to doing book reviews, I am always reading and I love to tell everyone about what I am reading - so, what better way than on my blog (this way I do not see you roll your eyes!) and I can continue blissfully thinking that you are enjoying listening to me rant about the book as much as I am enjoying ranting.
          I'm not posting a review today. This brilliant idea just came to me. I have to find the perfect book to review, so come back soon!


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Sunday, April 10, 2011

The (whispering here) vagina Monologues


            Last night I attended a performance of the Vagina Monologues at the local university (at this point I am sure that anyone who knows me is sitting there with their mouth hanging open saying “She did what? Can’t be!”)
            This play could be described as word stimulating. Oh! And, definitely sound stimulating! I am laughing as I write this. It will take me a while to process the whole experience. I was caught waaaaaaaaaaay off guard. I truly did not know what to expect (Hello, Lucy – anybody home?)
The Vagina MonologuesImage via Wikipedia
            I went with a very good friend of mine, Jessica, and we laughed until we cried during some parts of the monologue. Others, we looked at each other with stunned faces thinking “did we really just hear that?” We were a little out of our comfort zone. Well, we were a lot out of our comfort zone; I will admit that sometimes that’s a good thing.
            There were words spoken that most might consider vulgar, and sounds that put the scene in “Harry met Sally” to shame. There was serious dialogue and there was humorous dialogue. Each part seemed written for the young woman that performed it, so good were they during their monologues.
            I admire the courage that each of these young woman displayed in getting up on stage to recite their words and act out their given scenes.
            On the drive home, Jessica and I laughed at ourselves. We kept remembering different dialogue and we practiced our newfound vocabulary, words that will probably never leave our mouths again in this lifetime. For just a while, we were empowered women. We never knew that our “girl parts” had so many different names! The next time that Jessica’s young daughter asks her mother the name of her “girl parts”; she will have a list from which to choose.
            My one constant dilemma was how I was going to explain this play to my husband. There is no explaining this play. You really just have to see it. It is definitely one of those “you have to be there” types of plays. So, after lighting a blessed candle, gathering a crucifix, and blessing myself with holy water, I sat down to try to explain the Vagina Monologues to my husband. It didn’t go so well (says me rolling on the floor laughing!)
            If you have the opportunity to attend the Vagina Monologues, I highly recommend doing so. You may view your vagina (did I just say that?) in a completely new light – and just possibly with a mirror! 


*I am including a link to Jessica's blog for additional entertainment on The Vagina Monologues: A Story Unraveled: Experience #10: The Vagina Monologues (A last minute addition)
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Where have all the Manners Gone?

            During the past few months, and actually much longer than that, I have had the opportunity to interact with some extremely rude people. When did it become improper to hold the door open for the person behind you, or am I just out of touch with reality? I always thought it was common courtesy when stepping through a door to glance over one’s shoulder to see if there was someone behind you before letting the door close. I think that I have been misled somewhere along the way; or maybe no one is practicing simple manners anymore. What happened to Yes, M’am and Yes, Sir?
Smykowski Bros. Grocery, 1922, located 31st an...Image via Wikipedia
            You might think that in a large city, this would be the normal behavior, but I am speaking about small town America, a place in my mind that means home-cooked meals and good manners. Yes, M’am and No, Sir are uttered by those just learning to talk as well those too old to mumble; and, holding the door open for the person behind you is second nature.
            When you went into a grocery store, the clerk was happy to see you and expressed it. She didn’t stand behind the register and complain about her work schedule to the next employee. The bag boy jumped to bag your groceries with the utmost care and then offered to push the buggy to your car and load your groceries before tipping his hat and telling you to have a nice day. Now, you have to tell the clerk that if she piles one more thing in the bag on top of the loaf of bread, you just might strangle her; and, just because the bag can hold more, doesn’t mean it should.
            I was in a local market and the two clerks were complaining loudly about their work schedules. The clerk checking my groceries out did not even say hello. Maybe I am wrong but what happened to “the customer is always right?” I even went so far as to mention that I knew the owner of the store, and maybe he would like to listen to their complaints. Unbelievably, they continued with their tirade.
            Before checking out, I had been strolling leisurely up and down the aisles looking at the new products and had to listen to two employees (one male, one female) threatening that a fight was going to break out if a third employee did not stay away from the employee whose conversation I was overhearing. I did my best to ignore them, but when they changed aisles when I did and kept up the litany of threats, I may have mentioned something about showing a little patience. The piercing eye looks I received has subsequently led to a slight memory loss.
            By the time I made my way to the opposite end of the store where the doors to the storeroom were located, I could hear loud voices and then bodies came flying through the doors. All I wanted was a gallon of 2% milk. I was more furious than upset when I left the store, and when I got home, I went to the store’s website and sent them a not so nice letter. I simply stated what had transpired and told them I would not be patronizing their store again and that I would be spreading the word why. When I go the store, I expect the employees to be civil if not friendly and helpful. I do not expect them to be condescending and threatening. I also do not expect to have to fight my way through a tangle of arms and legs to retrieve a gallon of 2% milk from the dairy case.
            When I check out, I expect a friendly smile and hello. After all, it is because of my patronage that the clerk receives a paycheck.
            What has happened to civilized society? I taught my children manners from the time they were babies. There is such a lack of courtesy in the world today, a lack of respect for our fellow man. Is it a trickle down from the world of technology in which we operate? There seems to be less and less time spent interacting with our fellow human beings. Where is the respect that was once so prevalent in our country?
            Every now and then, I do come across a Southern gentleman who holds the door open for me. When that happens, you can be sure that I flash him a huge Southern smile and an energetic thank you. 
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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Sweeteas by Rochelle Frazier

The Sweeteas by Rochelle Frazier

I had the privilege to meet this wonderful, young mother at a writer's conference. She has developed the most enchanting books with lovable little girls. Whether you are a mother or a grandmother, you will absolutely love the books, her site, and her message. Please take the time to follow the link and leave a message that I sent you. 

Monday, April 4, 2011

When you least expect it, bad turns into good

            Know how you sometimes have those days when the last few have been rotten and you just expect today to be the same; and then it all gets shot to hell, because it turns out to be a good day? I had one of those days today.
            I had an appointment with my “lady” doctor to have my “lady” exam today and had it not been Monday and too late to cancel…well, let’s just say I had to go. Face it, on the best of days, who wants to get naked, climb up on a table, and spread their legs, much less on a day when you expect to have a bad day. Turns out, it wasn’t so bad today. As odd as that sounded the doctor just made my day and in fact, turned my entire day around.
            She is so cute and I am still not sure if she remembers all of her patients or she is just that great at faking it, but, she came in with a cheerful hello and complimented me on my hair, and went on to ask me how I was doing. A person who sees you (all of you) once a year and cheerfully sits down to converse with you as if you are two old friends is truly a gift to the profession. After a pleasant conversation and then the not so pleasant part, she gave me a huge smile and big hug and told me if I needed anything just to give her a call.
            Next stop on the agenda was the mammogram office. Normally I am one of maybe three women in the little waiting room. Today, there were seven of us; and the conversations were hysterical.
            First of all, every woman in the room was talking about how naked they felt without their deodorant (I'm thinking this is a woman thing, because I haven't met a male yet that this mattered to.) It is quite interesting how all women feel about that particular issue. You can be fully clothed but feel like you are walking around exposed to the world because you lack deodorant. On that topic, I also came away with a new spin on deodorizing yourself; Milk of Magnesia. A woman there said her mother had learned from a friend that instead of using deodorants with harsh chemicals, milk of magnesia worked wonders.
            If you have ever taken the time to read the ingredients in deodorant, milk of magnesia sounds very pure. In addition, when you sweat, you don’t have to smell like the flavor of the month club (which we all know does not smell good!) Sweaty Peaches and Cream? Sweaty Lilacs? Sweaty Beach Breeze? Need I say more?
            Then, there was the woman sitting next to me who had a “bag” (purse) as large as mine and she complimented a woman who had just walked in on her purse. I looked at the cute retro purse and then at her bag and then at her. She laughed and told me she was trying to figure out just what she might fit into it. I told her I was thinking it would fit inside of my bag too and I wasn’t quite sure what items in my bag would fit inside the cute retro purse. She also complimented me on my very large Coach bag and mentioned what she thought it cost along with the comment it was out of her league (and then mentioned she had lost her Louis Vuitton collection in the hurricane – I did not laugh.) I did eventually let her in on a little secret about why pay full price when you could buy luxury items at tremendous discounts (I did not want to mislead her.)
            Then, one of the women had never had a mammogram so women being women we all had to tell her she was in for a real treat! (You would have too!) Someone made a comment about a pancake and I chimed in with “Yes, if I thought I could suck in my breath and it would flatten anymore, then I would certainly do just that.” The conversation, of course, proceeded to get just a little bit raunchier and there was not a dry eye in the place after that; especially as a man had the nerve to open the door and announce he’d be back later. Well, that just set everyone off again.
            So, that’s how the rotten day that I had been expecting, turned into a day of laughter.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Meandering thoughts on my week ending April 1, 2011

            A funny episode happened this week with Ryka. I guess it was entertaining depending on which side of the fence you were on. You do not want to not be in Ryka’s world. By this, I mean you want her to “like” you. I was reading on the front porch and looked up to see her fiercely racing across the front yard from one side to the other. One would have thought that a magical morsel was being dangled in front of her (imagine chocolate being dangled in front of me.) Then, I saw the morsel; it was not magical, it was a teenie, weenie dog the size of a large rat, and it was running away from the fence as fast as its legs could carry it. Ryka was seeing dessert and it was just out of reach. The conclusion I came to; you do not want to not be on Ryka’s good side.
            I have been spending countless hours sitting on the swing on our front porch since Ryka and Calypso joined our family; this week was no exception. Just like children, they must be supervised at all times; at least until Calypso grows another 40 pounds. When the rare occasion happens that they are each satisfied with their own piece of ground or their own bone or their own oyster shell (they have a fascination with oyster shells) and they realize that the other one is quiet, they just cannot help themselves. The action starts all over again. One or the other will stalk and advance on the other until their opponent decides to take action and charges back. It resembles a football game of tackle and run.
            Calypso and Ryka are West German Shepherds and they are extremely smart. Ryka watches me when I am working with Calypso and has begun to imitate what I do. In the past, I have used Calypso’s harness to restrain her and Ryka began grabbing onto her harness to restrain her. I changed the harness to a collar for a little more control and I noticed that Ryka is now grabbing the collar the same way she has observed me doing. Not only has Ryka learned from me, but Calypso has also learned from Ryka. I thought Calypso was hanging onto Ryka neck and when I went to separate them, I found she had grabbed onto Ryka’s collar, which has left me wondering, who is training who.
            Today, Ryka was lying in the front yard in the shade of the red maple tree. Calypso was playing on the porch until she looked up and spotted Ryka. She grabbed an old red rag that they play with and off down the steps she headed. She settled about ten feet from Ryka and lay down. In Calpyso’s world, this is throwing down the gauntlet. Ryka made no move towards her. She got up and moved a couple of feet closer and settled back down; still, no move from Ryka. Calypso, at this point, could not stand it and went in for the tackle.
            Calypso has perfected the flip and roll method of gaining the upper hand. When Ryka is upon her, she throws her little body into a roll and rolls away. If she is the one making the move, she comes at Ryka from behind and launches herself over Ryka’s head like a little Sumo wrestler.
            On Wednesday, Cara and I went to school for an activity afternoon. We read nursery rhymes and did activities with each rhyme. Her solution for “The old woman in the shoe who had so many kids, she didn’t know what to do” was she should get a babysitter. Ummm.
             After her mom returned home from school, she wanted me to come and watch her ride her two-wheel bike. She learned to ride without training wheels this week and she is so proud of herself. She did very well. Cara loves to color and each morning before school is spent drawing and coloring with her Papa or reading a book with Papa. When she eats breakfast with us, Papa has to cut her food up into ten pieces and they make up songs counting down to an empty plate. Their latest was a song about there being ten pieces of toast sitting in line, Cara ate one and then there were nine. The sayings tend to get pretty funny sometimes, especially when Andrew starts chiming in.
            Andrew is nine and we make chocolate chip pancakes every morning. I am allowing him to flip the pancakes and he loves to help cook. I have to keep an eye on him. He loves to load the pancakes with chocolate chips.
            Thursday night I had a Lafourche Parish Planning Commission meeting. And, the rest of the week was just plain boring. I had a migraine on Friday and an upset stomach (probably from the migraine) on Saturday.