Monday, March 31, 2008

Which book should I read?

I am going out of town for a few days by myself (grandma's memorial service) and have lots of airplane/airport time and thought I might tackle one of these books I have laying around that I never have time to read. But can't decide which to read. None of them are grabbing me but I am sure they would be good. Anyone want to recommend one?

Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Long Way Down by Nick Hornby
Broken Music by Sting
Homesick by Sela Ward
Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole

Shower by the hour

My good friend is getting married and her sister is hosting a "shower by the hour" for her. Basically, each guest is given an hour of the day on their invite and is to bring a gift that can by used during the hour given.

My hour is 4am.

I thought of linens for the bed, pillows, an alarm clock . . . but I wanted to summon some more creative suggestions!

The crazier, funnier, etc --- THE BETTER!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Where in the world is My Bayou Vieux?

Did you think I fell off the face of the earth or acquired GBS again?

Nah, I am healthly and still living on earth. In fact, I am visiting the in-laws in Dallas for the week. Which much to my dismay, my dog-sitting friend Kelly tells me the weather has been beautiful back in New Orleans. Not the case here. A little chilly and lots of wind!

My kids are enjoying their visit with Gigi and Poppy as well as "Uncle Double", Tia (aunt) Crystal and cousin Mimi.

The kids especially love that rules are drastically reduced at Gigi's house. Popsicles are allowed ALL DAY and in unlimited quantities. Lucky for me she only buys sugerfree! Toys are of abundance and they are strewn all over the house in unbelievable amounts.

You would think I would have had time to blog while here. Me too. But, I have been taking this time to work on my taxes in addition to my usual work schedule. I tell you this year's taxes may be the death of me. I just hope I don't owe anything. As of right now I do - but, I haven't entered everything. The joy of being a contractor and having to do all those expenses, deductions, etc.

So here I sit at the brother/sister in-laws watching the Bee Movie, listening to my hubby and his brother cook mexican food and chit-chat. Thankfully, they have wireless!

Well, off to work on those taxes some more!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Preying on our children

Kiss My Gumbowrote a post today about child predators and some local happenings with school employees taking advantage of children in the school.

It burned me up so much I had to post about it.

Back in the early 80s I was in grade school. The thing to do was going roller skating at the town rink on Friday and Saturday nights. Our parents would drop us off and pick us up after. So basically, it was a bunch of kids there (grades 2-8th?) all the time and the owners and workers were the only adults.

Well, there was this guy who had to be in his 50s that used to hang out there all the time. He would come by himself. No kids in tow. Not sure he was even married. We called him Grandpa. He had curly red hair and we thought he looked like a clown. When my mom found out about him she warned me about him. Told me to stay away. Looking back I know he befriended many of the kids. In fact, I remember a few less fortunate female friends of mine, the kind with broken homes and not so great parents really took to him. He brought them gifts and sometimes gave them rides home. I remember heeding my mother's warning and wanting them to as well. But being naive I don't think I mentally had the ability to grasp what was really going on. Today, it makes me sick to think about it. Shame on the roller rink owners (a family-owned joint and they were always there) for allowing him to hang out there!

Then, in 10th grade my friend confided in me during history class that she was "dating" the athletic director! I will never forget that moment. I was so shocked I didn't know what to say. Did I mention how naive I was? Anyway, I don't know if she ever told anyone else. But I do know she never told an adult. And when he broke it off, it messed her up so much. She was emotionally a mess and had not recovered by the time we graduated. It really did a number on her emotional stability! To add salt to the wound, he married another athlete in our school 1 month after that girl graduated. If the school didn't figure something out then . . . well, let's just say he continued to work there.

And finally, yesterday I got a call from a friend. She said there was a attemped kidnapping in the Woodlands Subdivision yesterday. The story I heard was that a white van was driving along side a 10 year old boy. He slowed down, the van slowed down. He rode faster the van sped up to keep up with him. He finally rode his bike to the house of someone he knew and ran up to the door or the person. (Not sure how it ended). The kid was fine. I don't know that they were able to catch the potential perpetrator. And whether this story is true in its entirety - not sure. Doesn't matter. The point is something scared this kid and the word got out quickly!

It is a reminder to us all to watch out for suspicious behavior, vehicles, people in our neighborhoods. KMG is right. These people who prey on our children have always been here and will, unfortunately, always be around.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Mom's Night Out

I am the unofficial home room mom of the moms from my daughter's preschool class. That means I am responsible for getting the mom's from my daughter's class together once in awhile to socialize, have coffee, etc. Kelly says I am their rock. I laugh at that. Laura gave me the title "home room mom of the moms". I laugh at that too. Here is what I do. I talk to some moms. Say, "Hey we should get together for a mom's night out or something." They all go, "Yeah! Good Idea. Sounds Great!"
So I schedule it. Big whoop.

But, apparently there is a lot of appreciation for such scheduling by the other moms. In the last two years we have become a tight knit group of moms. Very supportive. We get along quite well. No bad apples in the group. We will be sad when our kids hit kindergarten because we will all go to different elementary schools. Hopefully, we can continue to hang out together and have coffee once in awhile. We already have a date to have morning margaritas on the first day of kindergarten because it will be the first time for some of us, the last child off to school for others and well, the other moms they just will be there to support our morning drinking!

Tonight was a Mom's Night Out night. We went for mexican - er - should I say margaritas? There were only 4 of us tonight. And that was fine. We chatted, laughed, almost spit margaritas across the table and had some downright great conversations! These moms are awesome. We shared post-partum depression stories, hubby stories, 5 year old kid stories, MIL stories - whatever! The conversation didn't stop - only to read the menu to order. Which was tuff and the waiter had to keep coming back!

No matter how often we get together we always seem to learn more and more about each other. I have said this in posts previously. I am so curious about people and love to get to know them. I ask a lot of questions sometimes.

The great thing is everytime I walk away from these people I have a good feeling. I enjoy my time with them. I feel welcomed. I feel refreshed and happy.

It is good to know nice people. It is also good for this momma to get out and enjoy herself for 3.5 hours once in awhile. Thanks hubby for handling the kids while I enjoyed myself. And thanks ladies for joining me!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Signs, signs, everywhere signs

I was out for my now every other day 1 mile slow jog and to make the time pass I started blogging in my head again. I can't get the recent post about Coincidence out of my head. Thanks to NolaNotes for getting me started on that one. I told her I had been giving that subject a lot of consideration for posting but it seems a hard one to tackle. I gave it a try and in a minimal amount of space. I could say so much about the subject. So here is more.

Today, I thought of another story about signs. If you are a regular reader you know that my grandmother passed away recently. I was thinking about that when I was jogging. And while I was thinking, I suddenly remembered something that happened the night before. I had to really think about the timing of the incident to make sure I was correct. After much thought I know that this happened the night before she died because my mom was in town and my husband was packing to leave for a business trip the next morning. He was gone already when we got the call about my grandma at 5:30am because his flight was at 6am.

The night before my grandma passed I was in our bathroom bathing the kids. I was at my sink filling a cup with water to rinse my daughter's hair when I noticed my shells that sit on the ledge just below my mirror were missing. I knew instantly what happened! Hubby cleaned the bathroom and threw them away! He hated those shells for some reason. I yelled for him to come to the bathroom. I asked what happened to my shells. Sure enough he casually said he threw them away. Why? I asked. Because I was trying to straighten up the sink area and they are just stupid shell pieces, he said. I became enraged but had to keep it under control because we had company and the kids were in earshot. I clenched my teeth and told him I did not appreciate him throwing out my shells without asking me. In fact, I told him he is never to throw out anything that is mine without first asking. That is just common courtesy! He seemed stunned that I was so mad and profusely apologized. He admitted he was wrong, but why so angry?

I told him those shells were collected at Virginia Beach by My Girl and I the last time we visited my Grandma. They were not only beautiful (even though they were small and some just pieces) but they were a momento of our trip to see Grandma and the time My Girl and I spent on the beach together collecting them. He felt really bad then. I actually cried about those shells and was REALLY upset.

Now, let me say, I don't get all that sentimental about things. I have lost many a thing that I at one time considered valuable but once it was gone I got over it. I was even a little confused myself why I was crying over these shells.

But, here is the odd thing. Why did I suddenly notice the shells missing that very night. The night before she died. When in fact, he had cleaned the bathroom and threw them out 5 days before? I used that sink everyday, several times a day. Why did I just notice in that instance?


Then, after my mom and I were up early in the morning after the phone call, we sat at my kitchen island sharing a pot of coffee and taking in the news we just received when she told me this . . .

"Ya know, I didn't sleep well last night. I have been here 4 nights and have slept just fine. But last night, I couldn't sleep. I suddenly woke up at 1:30 in the morning and just laid there in bed thinking."

"What were you thinking about?", I asked

"I was thinking about how your dad and I should go to Virginia to see Grandma over Easter. That we shouldn't wait for our annual trip in September."

Welcome UBP 08 gals!

Regular readers note that is having an Ultimate Blog Party '08! You are invited. To find out how to participate click here! Lots of prizes will be given away!

Those visiting from the UBP '08 - well - Welcome to My Bayou Vieux! I have been blogging almost 1 year. I am a 33 year old SAHM who moved down here to good ole' New Orleans in April 2004. I love the south and I love New Orleans. I am originally from Ohio and let me tell you I don't miss all that snow you northerners are getting right now! (Although my daughter would love to play in it right now!)

I enjoy the outdoors, writing, reading, traveling and just doing fun stuff with my family. When I am not handling the children (he he!) I work part-time from home as a web designer. (Read my work at home post!). I am also trying to get back into a workout routine. (My youngest is 20 months). Due to that I am offering up some excercise advice and a quick healthly recipe for my new visitors.

For those who have never jogged and wish to start I have passed the following tips that worked for me along to a few friends and they said it worked for them too!
1. Stretch well and walk briskly to warm up.
2. Jog (don't run!) as slowly as you can. Just a bit faster than you walk.
3. Focus on your breathing. If it gets fast, slow down.
4. Pick a target out in front of you and only jog to that point. A mailbox, driveway, tree, etc.
5. If you feel you can get past that selected point, look ahead to a new target and jog to that point.
6. Eventually, use your car to measure out 1 mile in your neighborhood and then try to run that distance.
6. If you must stop only try to stop and walk enough to catch your breathe a bit and then start again. If I need to stop, I try to stop about 10 strides before a mailbox or stop sign. Then, I know when I reach that point I have to resume running.
7. At the end of each run, sprint the last 100 yards as fast as you can!

If you try these running tips and they work for you, let me know!

Whole Wheat Pitas
Pesto Sauce
Tomatoes sliced
Fresh Basil
Mozzarella Cheese Shredded

Spread the Pesto sauce on the pitas. Pile on tomatoes, basil and cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for about 12 minutes. A friend introduced me to this recently at a playdate and it was yummy!

If you try this recipe and love it too, let me know!

My blog is giving away a one month supply of RetainerFresh Retainer Cleaner. Since the UBP site can't host anymore prizes (wordpress limit they tell me) I am giving away my prize myself. Leave a comment with why you would like the prize and who it would be for (you, your child, your friend, etc) and I will pick a winner March 15th! If you don't have a blog, leave an email addresss so I can notify you if you win!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Gimme your best posts!

Ok fellow bloggers. Here is my request from you. Go back to your blogs and find your best posts. Leave a comment here and leave links to your top 3 posts you have ever written - in your opinion of course!

To create direct links in your comment here is the html code. Use the entire line of code for each link and change these two things:
1. everthing between the quotes
2. where is says Name of Post

Friday, March 7, 2008

Coincidence? Fate? Signs? Who knows?

NolaNotes asked her readers to write about whether or not they believe in coincidence. I promised her a post and here it is.

My hubby and I have had this type of conversation in great detail many times. Especially, in the last two years when our lives have taken some crazy twists and turns. God and fate are often analyzed and compared in these conversations as well. I am not religious (There ya go. Now you all know I am going to hell!) and my beliefs are such that a force guides us throughout life and offers us crossroads/opportunities and we must decide which way to go. I often wonder if coincidence isn't just affirmation for the choices we make.

That said, here is one story from my life that is full of coincidence.

I am in college. Looking for a job. Giving up hope. Very tiny ad in our school newspaper,which usually has junk job ads, says they are looking for someone who knows Photoshop and QuarkXPress - two design programs. (Coincidence #1 - a real ad for a real job in our school newspaper!) Ad simply has an email to send resume. I send mine. No clue where it is. I was trying to move to the mountains in the New England area. At this point I don't care where it is. I get a response back to interview the very next day! I find out it is in the middle of the mountains in WV. (Coincidence #2 - it is in the mountains!) I skip class and drive 3 hours to the interview. I get the job on the spot. It is for web designing. I have no clue how to do that (this is 1996) and they don't care. (Coincidence #3 - web designing job in a small town in West Virginia? Certainly not where you would think you would find a cutting edge job?)

I am hired to replace someone who is moving. Two weeks in I am ready to quit. Hate the people I work for. On the replacee's last day (Willis is his name) we are driving back to the office from lunch and I express my situation to him. He encourages me to stay and even goes as far to say I will probably end up marrying someone from there. I laugh out loud. Willis is dead serious. I ask why he thinks that. He says it is just that type of place. (Huh?) Anyway, he invites me out the next night to meet some of his friends so I will know some people and maybe have someone to hang out with. He thinks that will make it easier.

So I arrive at the designated meeting place at the designated time. No Willis. Never showed up that night at all. (Coincidence #4- I find out later he got a flat tire an hour outside of town. Had he been there. What happened next may never have happened.)I hit the bathroom first and found a set of keys laying on the sink. I pick them up and take them to the bartender. He tells me to put them back. I tell him I won't as someone will come looking for them later. He tells me it is a small town they will know exactly where to look and will be back for them. I throw the keys across the bar at him and say not so nicely, "Just take the damn keys!". He buys me a beer and tells me to sit down. I marry him 3 yrs and 3 mos later.

It is hard for me not to ask how did I find my way to this town. Why did the series of events take place as they did so my husband and I would meet. I wasn't looking for a job in West Virginia or for Web Design. How did Willis know I would marry someone I met in that town? (Hubby is not FROM there, just lived there.) Why did Willis get that flat tire that night and never show up?

Thinking about it more now, coincidence might not be the right word for what happened. Was it fate? God? Who knows.

Hubby and I often talk about this sorta stuff happening. Like ending up down here in New Orleans. Him always wanting to run his own business. The job he found suddenly down here. Then the person he met through that job. Then losing his job at a particular time when the said person above approached him about doing his own thing. Now, he does his own thing. His dream.

Why do we meet certain people in our lives that catapult us to a decision or instance where our lives change? Or maybe not change but take us to that path we are looking for?

Am I just getting old and looking for answers and reasons for the things that happen in my life when as a younger person I just didn't give a shit why?

So do I believe in coincidence? Maybe.
So do I believe in signs? I think so.
So do I believe in fate? I think so.

Do I even have any clue what I am talking about? Not really.
Do I think my readers think I am nuts after reading this post? Most definitely!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Help build "The Big Easy Cafe" in Iraq

Greta from sent me the following:

Friday March 7th 4:00-8:00 at The Louisiana (LA) Grill in Mandeville. We will be collecting donations to help create "The Big Easy Cafe'" in Iraq. Monetary donations are welcome and can be made out to Soldiers' Angels - we are a 501 (c)(3). We will be collecting items to help create a coffee house that is starting from scratch and will cater to 1,000 men and women in uniform!

I'd love to see you there! Feel free to forward this flier or print and distribute! Thank you for supporting the troops beyond a car magnet!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Houston, we have an insurance problem!

When we moved into this house we paid $1800 a year in homeowner's insurance. I thought that hefty compared to my $300 a yr for our house in Pittsburgh. Two years after Katrina, Farmer's did us a favor and doubled our insurance to $3600 a year. Today I opened a renewal notice from ole' friendly Farmer's Insurance and now we are being charged $4500! We had $50,000 worth of damage to our house from Katrina and I guess they intend to collect that all back within 10 years.

And just to make our life even more fun, Coventry notified us last week that our health insurance is going up 38% this year. We have only been on board about a year! Thanks. Appreciate your friendliness too! A friend tells me she only pays $400 a year for a family of four with Coventry. Joined in January. We will now be paying $850 for two of us. Well, at least until I find another insurance provider. What fun!

Guess it is time to use all my precious free time that I don't really have to shop around for new health and home insurance. I hate this shit.

Any suggestions on who to shop? I am all ears.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Things of interest


1. Junior League is having a Soiree to raise money for the new Children's Museum that is going to be built near Koop Drive Playground. YEAH! We so need something like that over here. Now, can someone lend me the money and land to build a Family Activity Center with batting cages, driving range, awesome minature golf, cafe/coffee house, arcade and more!

2. The Covington Fire Distric is having a bike-a-thon and safety day on May 17, 2008 from 10-3pm. 19375 Highway 36. Lots of fun, food and prizes! Call 985-892-5161 for more info.

3. I met an author at the Junior League spring market on Sunday. Not my style of book, but thought I would give him a free promo since he was out promoting his books himself. Novels of southern fiction by Darden North - A doctor whose writing you can read.

4. At the spring market we were also introduced to Juice Plus Gummies which are fruit and veggie servings squeezed into a gummie for kids to eat. My kids taste tested and love them. So if you can't get those good foods into your kids with real fruits and veggies you might want to check these out!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

I'm one proud momma!

Yesterday morning My Girl and I participated in the Junior League's "Stomp Out Obesity" one-mile fun run.

This was the first race My Girl has ever participated in. I was excited to introduce her to running races as I used to do them pre-kids and enjoyed the challenge myself. I wasn't expecting much from a 5 year old. We practiced a few times running down our street to the stop sign and back. It was .2 miles roundtrip and she would be exhausted by the time we got back and often stopped several times on the way. I was doing this with her more for the experience than anything. I figure introducing her to this early in life might spark a love of something that she can continue with the rest of her life if she chooses.

We decided to join two friends from school and their moms. We figured if we did it together they would have more fun and be more likely to keep going! We expected to walk most of it. Boy did we underestimate our kids!

We got our race numbers, stretched, lined up at the starting line and off we went. Of course the kids ran like crazy at first. We kept encouraging them to slow down and pace themselves. Eventually, they seemed to get the hang of pacing. They actually ran most of the way. Occasional stops to walk, but not for very long. I know My Girl would stop to walk and say, "Carry me!" and then 15 seconds later she would take off after her friends and often times blow by them determined to keep up or take the lead. I think the crowd of runners kept her motivated and a little competitive spirit came out of her!

I made a big deal about the half-way point and kept encouraging her that she was almost done and to keep going. She smiled a lot, worked hard at running and loved slapping the hands of volunteers stationed along the race route. Near the end we could see the finish line. We just had to make a loop around and we would be done. I pointed that out. She picked up her pace. I actually had to work to keep up with her. My pace is pretty slow. I yelled from a few strides behind her encouragement to keep going and not to get too fast. About 250 yards out from the finish she stopped running and walked. I told her it was ok we could walk but when we got close and I said, "Go!" we had to sprint across the line. No sooner did I finish saying that and she yelled, "Go!" and off we went and sprinted the rest of the way! She finished at 12:01 minutes. I couldn't believe it! I was so impressed. She ran 99% of the way and actually had a decent time for a first timer! The best part of it all was one of the first things she said after the race. "I'm never doing THAT again.!"

I was so proud of her I beamed the rest of the day and told everyone I ran into who would listen. I called all relatives and shared the news! She got so tired of me talking about it she told me I wasn't allowed to tell anyone else.

Sorry honey, but I am one proud momma!

The new running shoes that made it all happen!