She Did it Again!

The other day I took da 'boys' back to Kami to get all purdied up again. When we arrived, we found her patiently making bows for pets that would be groomed. At the time she was making them from the two LSU colors, (a BIG hit in our neck of the woods) purple and gold.
I dreaded taking them in, and was actually embarrassed because they were such a mess. Capital M. I know I should groom them more myself, but I just let them run around like the rowdy little boys they are. As it was, I trimmed MarkyBear some, but, the poor guy still looked pretty scraggly and he had gotten his leg hair knotted....'clumped', I call it. She did a great job. They've only been there a couple of times, so I think she may have gotten them confused. The reason I think that is because she said, "Guess which one was the Brat this week?!" What? Mark acted up??? But then she pointed to SparkyBear the Brat. Oh yeah, no news there.


Excerpts From a 10 Year Old Journal

Just out of curiosity, I pulled out an old journal to see what I had written about Princess Diana's funeral. Rereading it, I guess it might be rather boring to some, but seeing as today is the 10th anniversary of her death, I'll include it. (I still lived in Rochester, NY.)

Saturday Sept. 6, 1997

"Goodbye Sweet Princess. Cinderella has DIED. No wonder everyone is so sad. I kept the television on all night so I could watch the funeral when it began at 4 a.m. I dozed on and off, listening to the continual broadcast about Princess Diana. I finally woke up with a bad headache at 4:08, to the persistant gong of a forlorn bell ringing once every minute. The procession had started at precisely 4:00 a.m. our time. 9 a.m. London time, I believe. It was sun-shiny and beautful there.

Diana's casket was atop a cannon wagon and draped with a maroon and dark yellow cloth which had designs of a rose, a partridge, a lion and one other design, which I can't remember. Three groups of white flowers sat atop it. The smallest flower arrangement of white roses, sitting at the foward part of the casket had a card inserted in them,had a child's handwriting that clearly read, "MUMMY". We are told that Harry, her youngest had scripted this.

Once every minute the lone bell sounded.

Four British soldiers, dressed in their bright red jackets and topped off with the tall black furry hats, solemnly walked along on each side of the casket; 8 altogether, and other soldiers were on horseback in front and behind. There was complete silence except for the clatter of horse hoofs and an occasional cry of a baby. The only other thing heard along the route was, with dread certainty, the one lonely note of the bell punctuating the crisp quietness once every minute, reminding us that, despite the beauty of the day, Diana is gone. Lest we forget, seeing the crowds of faces, which seem to go on forever, the bell breaks through our reverie and reminds us, "She is gone", once a minute on schedule.

Some of the horses were being naughty. One of the horses pulling the casket caisson was being so naughty, he kept rearing his head and walked sideways, practically the whole three miles. Another horse at the front of the procession was halting, pulling his head back and threatening to run off with his rider. But, they all kept moving onward, in the quiet of the morning, toward the church. After an hour or more of watching the hushed march along the winding streets,which were lined with metal barriers that looked like bicycle stands, two rows of men, who were wearing black, stood, waiting, each row standing on either side of the street, just inside the barriers, facing the tremendous crowds, and keeping their backs solidly toward Lady Diana's procession, as it passed.
How solemn. Presently they began showing coverage of people moving inside the beautiful gothic church, where the funeral would take place. Invited guests. They were arriving in limosines and dressed in black. Dignitaries, celebrities, friends, discreetly smiling and furtively greeting those whom they appeared to know. Inside the cathedral, the views were breathtaking. Westminster Abby; the same church where Charles and Diana had been married.
The broadcast took us back to the parade route which took in Buckingham Palace, whereby the Queen, also dressed in black, and her entire royal family went and took their place amongst the throngs of commoners who were waiting for Lady Diana's ceremonial progression. The lone bell continued loudly proclaiming, once a minute, above the hushed crowd in the bright sunlight. It seemed to be quite a long wait for the queen to be standing there, at the age of 71, as the slow, steady funeral procession wended it way along. And this way only half way to the church!
Finally, as the horse drawn casket approached Buckingham Palace, a line of 5 men could be seen, stiffly standing side by side along the sidewalk near the Royals. At once I realized that this line consisted of Diana's sons, flanked on either side, and an individual in the center. The man nearest the castle was the boys' father, the man in the center was Prince Phillip, and I'm not sure who the other gentleman was. They fell in behind the casket, as the bell continued it's drone, minute by minute...."
I wrote much more, but at this point, I think I gave over to tears for the sad demeanor of her children. We all saw how their heads hanged low during that march, approximately another mile or so to the church, and through the whole funeral. Such a sad day.
Today we see how they have grown and seem to be doing what young men normally do. Some get into trouble, yes, but one hopes along with that, that they gain some knowlege and sensibility. I guess my interest that day was predominately about them and of course my sadness for our loss of this woman, whom we had watched grow up and had learned many things about her. I think we loved her from afar because she was fraught with foibles like the rest of us, even tho she was our Cinderella. And from that we realize that marrying the prince doesn't neccesarily mean "Happily Ever After".
(But, I'm thinking in my case, it just might :-)


The Day Before Yesterday

One of our canna lilies bloomed the other day. I was surprised that it was this color, rather than being yellow, as per the photo on the bulb package. It's not fully bloomed, but I wanted to get it's picture before a storm or something took it down, the way recent storms have decimated our poor banana palms with their glorious promise of bright yellow fruit. One never knows; one just never knows.

Tomorrow is the 2nd anniversary of Katrina's rampage through our region. I'll have more to say about that, perhaps tomorrow. Maybe it's not just our area, but it just seems life in general, of late, just seems so precarious. We hear of death and killings over in New Orleans; some guy who served time in Iraq, came back to New Orleans and now lives in fear, saying it's just so much worse at home than it was in the war zone. There have been several funerals at our church lately. One of them being 'our' friend, Melissa's 23 year old son, David. How the woman stays strong, I don't know. Melissa is amazing. She is the head of the gospel group at our church. I have had a lot of fun singing with them (and am waiting til the 'head zapping' stops so I can go back to singing with them, and playing my accordian with a couple of the other choirs). She always makes me giggle when she tells the group, "Here's Peggy; she's the 'cuh-luh' (color) of the group". (I always think, 'or the lack thereof'.) When I first joined a couple of years ago, one of the first ladies to really greet me, was Ms. Florence. She took time with me, smiling, listening to what I was saying and gave me a big hug. What a sweet and gentle nature she is...sweet, sweet, sweet. Some people are just like that. Every time I see her, she has a big smile and a hug waiting for me. Now...the problem in this town; for me, anyhow, is that everyone seems to be 'kin' to one another. When I first moved here, I constantly embarrassed myself by confusing individuals with their cousin or sister. I did, and alas, still do sometimes, with, both, the white community and the African American community,as well. I spread my ignorance equally. In the gospel choir, when I first met Ms. Florence, I thought it would be easy to not confuse her because she had the most beautiful braids wrapped around her head. The next time I saw her, she was wearing her hair like everyone else, and the only way I recognized her, right off, was because of her glowing smile. There are a couple of ladies in the church, whom I accidentally called Ms. Florence. They were not amused; I did not get my smile or my hug, and I think all I got was an "hurrumph". Ms. Florence worked at one of the town grocery stores, my hubby and I knick-named "Shecky's". She worked in the deli, and what a joy it was to be meandering around the store and come across this shining gem, smiling lovingly from behind the counter. It always brightened my day, and Cappy's too. One of the other ladies, whom I adore is Ms. Willy Mae. There's no way I could confuse her with anybody else. What a ball of energy and fun she is!! She's a school teacher, and I envy the kids in her class. I saw a sign the other day which said something like, "Class is something more than just what you attend" I immediately thought of her.

Now...a little background detail here: a couple of weeks ago, I went shopping at Walmart, and it had gotten almost dark. This car with speakers booming LOUDLY turned the corner and started up the lane where I was crossing. No problem; I was way up away from the store with plenty of time. Suddenly the driver started burning the tires, til they were screaming and raced toward me. I got to the back of my truck, but then they turned their lights on and swerved right AT me. I gasped and jumped outa the way. At the last second, they screeched to a stop, their tires smoking, then pulled in and parked behind me. They got out, pointing and laughing at me, then did a 'high-five', and walked toward the store still having a loud chuckle about it. After I got my heart back in my chest, (I was shaking scared and furious). Well, I wasn't going to report it, because down here in South Louisiana, just now, it's like "Oh welllllll". People are arrested for murder and put right back out on the streets, even after killing as many as five people. No one DARES to report anything much; it seems these guys almost salivate to face their accusers. So, I'm gonna report this??? I don't think so.

The day before yesterday, I was back at Walmart and didn't notice it was getting dark out again. Oh No! I almost wanted to ask someone to walk me to the SUV, but instead I put up a silent prayer. "Please don't let there be mean people out there tonight". For some darned reason, I always park way away from the store...I don't like 'fighting' for a place to park. I was warily walking toward my SUV, clutching the handrail on the shopping cart, peering all around, when I spotted the people parked right behind me, getting ready to get into their car. Lo! and behold it was Ms. Willy Mae AND Ms. Florence! Talk about answered prayer. Talk about the opposite of mean people. Oh gosh, it was so good to see them and hug them. I hadn't seen Ms. Florence in awhile, but knew it was her, immediately by her glorious smile. Just the day before yesterday. I'll cherish that smile and hug til I see her again. Melissa called early this morning and told me Ms. Florence just had a major heart attack and died. One never knows; one just never knows. I don't have all the details yet. I do plan on singing with the Gospel choir for her 'going away' mass, whenever that will be.

One thing's for sure. It won't be hard to tell Ms. Florence from anyone else in Heaven; I'll do just as I've learned to do here in our town; I'll find her by one of the most beautiful smiles I've ever seen, and I'll be expecting my hug. Goodnight, Ms. Florence, we will be seeing you soon, Dear Heart.



I want to thank whomever posted the info. for relieving the symptoms of head clanging and zapping I'm experiencing while trying to get off Lexapro. I can say it's truly helped some. I gotta tell ya, though, I'm SO tired of this whole mess. I can see now, why so many people just give up and go on taking them. It's probably much easier. I reduced the dosage again, and during the long night, I couldn't sleep, tossed and turned, had headaches and body aches, the danged head zaps were back, but I didn't want to get up and eat tuna or turkey. I'll do that today. I'm foggy-brained too, and could hardly hold a conversation just now with the nice young kid, Brett, who does our lawn. How embarrassing.
I can only remember one other time, years ago in Rochester, NY, when I was exhausted, and trying hard to focus on life around me. I had a bad case of kidney infection, with ecoli, and was running a temperature of 105. The bout lasted for about two weeks. My physician had given me very expensive antibiotics to clear it up. I was almost delirious, I guess. During the nights, I'd sweat like crazy, then the fever would break and I'd huddle under tons of blankets shivering and having 'goose-chills'. It was a tiring cycle until it finally subsided. I remember one night, in the 'heat of the battle', someone, barely audible, yelling at me; I turned and saw the person in question, as though I were seeing them from far, far away and fuzzy. What was it they said? "You're nothing but a #%!*@ hypochondriac!" oh well.
During those two weeks,one of the things I was concerned about was the fact that I was supposed to show up for jury duty in the coming week. In my delerium I fretted about it. Sure enough, one day the phone rang, so I crawled over to answer it. A woman on the other end said, "This is the Jury Department....". I cut her off with,"Oh migosh, I'm so glad you called! I can't make it next week; I'm sick! I'm not trying to get out of it, I swear! Ever since I was a little kid, I have looked forward to jury duty, because my father said it was an honor and a civilian's duty...he served on jury duty and taught us kids it was our responsibility, too, so you see...I'm not trying to get out of it, ....honestly!"
There was a long pause on the other end of the phone.
Finally, the woman said, "...Uh...lady, I don't know what you thought I said, but I just wanted to let you know that the JEWELRY Department at Penney's is having a sale tomorrow". oh.


Everybody's Got a Dawg in this Race.

Even with everything else going on in this world lately, I've tried to keep one eye on politics and the debates. I see they've put a lot more humor in them, which is refreshing, ...well, kinda. Still, they go back and forth, back and forth...as if they couldn't get it all said in the formal debates, we are then assaulted by their commercials, whereby they attack each other's ads. It's like watching a dawg fight, slow-motion. They bad-mouth the 'air of the dog what bit them'. The whole thing stinks, I tell ya. (but you already knew that.)


Trapped Again.

I just like this cartoon, on so many levels. Ever feel as though you've been their dinner guest? LOL.
I got up early yesterday, which is not a typical thing for me, got in the shower, dressed, "coffee'd", and was out the door to get to church for a special Mass. The ignition wouldn't turn over...not a click...nothing. No lights, even, in the whole vehicle. Sighhhh, here we go again. An AAA guy came out and jumped the battery, but said it wouldn't hold a charge, so I called Trapp Chevrolet again, and drove it right down. The A/C hasn't been working all that well either, lately, which is not a good thing in this record breaking high heat. It would have been nice if I could have stuck my head out the window like a dog as I drove there...an hour away, it woulda been nice. I had all the windows open blowing blast-furnace heat from the road through the SUV, which was better than the blast-furnace heat from the engine vent...I dunno, it was a toss up, but I got it there.
They'll try to get a look at the problem tomorrow. Meanwhile I've got a little dark gold rental car; a KIA Rio. The lady at the rental desk was typing away and talking to a fellow worker when she said, "Can you do a Kee-ya-ree-oh, Ms. Row-ban?" Huh? Did she want me to do some kind of cartwheel, too, besides having my credit card? Oh...ok, I got it.
Lots of stuff pending around here; whassup with the SUV, the bill, thereof, the carpenters are coming back and their last bill was double our expectation...what they had told us, I got a CRAPPY hateful letter from a loved-one, there's an hurricane perhaps headed this way. If "anticipation is half the fun", I should be enjoying all this a whole lot more than I am, and let me be truly grateful for what I am about to receive.


Drill Bits

One of Cappy's 'catch phrases' is, "Well,...you know da drill...". For instance, even tho we know for the last month that folks have been patiently waiting to see the pictures from Rochester, NY, the reason they haven't been forthcoming a whole lot sooner, is the same ol' excuses...I won't bother you with the same old premise...suffice it to say, "You know da drill".

Sooo, on with the story. We got to Rochester on July 17, the day before Dan's birthday and got our hands on our gorgeous, newest grandbaby, Chase Steven.

What a precious little 'chunk' he is. He's an identical speciman of his Dad. I've seen this baby before, 40 years ago. I named him Dan. Chase doesn't lack for attention, either. He's got two older sisters to dote on him, and two older brothers to pester, just as soon as he can get his footing.

After we arrived at the airport, picked up our snazzy rental car...a cream colored PT Cruiser...too cool, we got our luggage stowed at what Cappy referred to as the Red Roach Inn. When I lived in Rochester, I never had occasion to stay there, so didn't know how primitive the 'digs' were. It was a place to stay, and we slept well, and that's all I'll say.

But anyhow, we hauled on up to Dan and Jennifer's house and sat outside watching the kids play, squabble, tattle, and just have all around kid fun while we waited with Dan until Jennifer got home from work. Presently, her two sisters and brother, with girlfriend, showed up. What a nice bunch of folks. (If my photo editor wasn't giving me major fits, I'd be able to post a lot more, much better pictures for Ya'll.)

When Jennifer got home, we all went out to dinner at the Dinosaur BBQ in the heart of downtown Rochester. Well, this was right up Cappy's alley. They had a big pit outside smoking away, also,picnic tables outside, inside was rustic and full of character and characters. (Especially when we all filled da joint.) They had a Tuesday night blues band tuning up that were pretty darned good. Cappy had a discussion with one of the waiters about their Yankee definition of Cajun spices. I dunno, we might end up sending them a sample of ours, to make his point. We all loved the food; authentic Cajun-flavored, as adverstised, or not; it was good. Lots of fun was had by all, and it was especially nice, since Dan had taken great pains to get us seated next to the window overlooking the Genessee River near the falls. We ate, we laughed, we had a wonderful time!

The next day after we had dosed ourselves awake with coffee, we went to visit Mr. Ed and Jean, who only lived about ten minutes away. They are busy people, and just because they retired, doesn't mean they slowed down any, at all. If I didn't know better, I'd think they were busier than ever. And from previous posts, you may well know how much fun they are and how dearly we love them. (They 'fussed' at us cuz we hadn't stayed with them rather than at an hotel...it was just that we hadn't really decided to go until practically the last minute. We just didn't want to make anybody have to rush around getting beds, etc. ready for us.)

We went back to Dan's house and watched the kids again, as they 'entertained' us on that water slide, then got ready and went out for Dan's birthday dinner.

Pictures follow and are pretty self explanatory. Hmmm, thinking about it all again...Jen's siblings didn't show up until THAT day and not the day before. It was just Dan's family and us,...still, there were 8 of us at that Dinosaur BBQ. NOW...the day I'm referring to, where his sisters and brother with girlfriend showed up, was on Wed...Dan's actual birthday. Whew. I hope I got it straight.

There were three carloads of us who showed up at the Arigato restaurant.

The 'chef' amused himself by throwing wads of rice into each of our mouths, or attempting anyhow, while he waited for his wok to heat, before he put on his 'show'. He also dished out humor with a Japanese flair, but later we learned that he was really from Kentucky and his native accent was really "hillbilly". (At the time so much rice was landing anywhere but in our mouths...on the floor...on the walls, on the seat behind us, I was thinking, gosh, the place looked so clean if that was their usual practice. And it did look clean at the time. Now looking at the walls in the pictures...hmmm.) It was fun, tho'.

We had to get up and back on the plane for five a.m., so we left for the hotel around ten that night. We took our grandson, Robbie John aka "RJ" home on our way. He's involved with the young volunteer firefighters in his school, so he was so proud to put on his uniform and show it off for us.

Oh...and speaking of Robbie John, he was half-embarrassed, half tickled at the 'sign' on the men's bathroom door at the Japanese restaurant, so I told him I'd take a picture of it for him and post it here.

I guess this is as good a place as any to close out our story of our jaunt to NY, by showing the picture of that sign, and say, "The End".


The Fantastic Four

This is the crew who came to do carpentry work on our house yesterday. From left to right, is Mr. Dale Reulet, Mike, Clint and Chris. Below is the ad I cut out of the newspaper. I'm so glad I did and that Cappy called Mr. Reulet.From the second they got here, they worked like dogs all day, and their work was really sharp. I can really appreciate their craftsmanship, too, and being an artist, I noticed that even tho they deal with hammers and tools, etc. they are no less artists at heart themselves. When they first started installing my beloved tin ceiling tiles, right away they spotted a problem with the house not being square and brought me in to appraise the situation with them. We thought there was going to be a real problem with crookedness by the time they got to the edge of the room. I don't know how they did it, but it's gorgeous, perfectly fit and square.
One of the projects will have to wait to be posted because I want to paint it and finish the room first. There was a lot of give and take of ideas, my not having thought the whole thing completely through. Cappy was in my ear on the phone and reminded me that compromise was very important, too, and for me not to be unwilling to accept another way to accomplish the same effect. He was right, because just when things got pretty confusing, Clint, came up with the perfect solution. See? Another 'artist's' opinion saved the day, and Cappy's advice tuned me into the idea to 'listen' just when I needed to, or I might have insisted on doing it my way and taken a lot more time and messing around instead of settling for an easier, better way. And Mr. Dale came up with some great problem-solvers that made our home look pretty darned classy for a small 'gingerbread house'.
Chris, although working right along, up and down on ladders all day, had a cheery attitude and took the time to let me know how things were progressing or actually asking my input about matters. Not only are these burly hardworking men, but I very much appreciated being treated with respect as to my opinion, and not 'walked over'. HOW...very refreshing and how very professional. Chris is Clint's Dad. Mike is Chris' father-in-law. You should see this team work! Some families might not get along, working with one another so well, but migosh, this family works like a well-oiled machine. A talented hard working machine! And of course, so is Mr. Dale. The man is everywhere, all at the same time, it seems. He was in the attic, at Lowe's store, on the roof, measuring, investigating the problem with our septic system, up on ladders...I mean everywhere. While he was in the attic and on the roof, he remedied a situation that has irritated Cappy and me for years. We had water leaking through the ceiling in the bathroom causing a permanent ugly gash that was not pleasant to look at, for sure, and who knows what kinds of mold lurks in the attic because of it, not to mention any number of other problems it was causing. In a flash he fixed a flashing on the roof, and a rubber gasket which was all dried out and allowed rain water to pass on down into our house, then into the attic he went....it was roaring hot outside, so the attic had to be hot as 'hayo'...he replaced a PVC joint which wasn't sealed well, so now...NOW...yeehaw, we can have a decent ceiling in our bathroom, after all these years. (We could never get it done before, having so little time for Cappy to be able to take care of it.) The roof dilemma tho, that being solved, clinched the deal.

Mr. Mike, poor soul, had to be outside most of the time in that terrible heat, running the saw and equipment they had set up in the driveway. Whenever I passed by the window or stood there washing dishes, I saw him busily measuring, sawing, just busy, busy, busy back and forth working hard out there. You should see the precise, sharp crisp corners he made on the crown moulding for the bedroom. Everything the guys inside needed to install, Mike had it ready at hand for them to grab and put up just when they needed it, and done so well. I'm telling you, this was amazing to watch. And tiring. I was exhausted at the end of the day...whooped, from just watching these guys work. Craftsmen, everyone of them. When they were finished, they just as quickly packed things neatly into their trucks, tidied up....can you believe that?? Tidied up after themselves, picked up after themselves, and as neatly as they worked, they all left our driveway at the same time, the same as they had arrived. What a fantastic bunch of good guys!!!

Still Clanging in There

Hi again, (finally) I think the last I had written was about trying to get off those miserable lexapro pills. I was doing pretty well, having literally cut them way down to miniscule bits, and waiting til the withdrawl symtoms stabilized enough to go visit our son Dan in NY. I promise I will post pictures. After the big wedding we then attended in Grenada MS, and all the dust had kinda settled, I cut the suckly rotten pills back some more...I'm determined to get off them. The feeling of being shocked with an electric current aka 'brain zapping' came back, along with being mentally out of focus and having a loud clanging in my ears constantly. It's disconcerting to be walking across the room, suddenly feel almost dizzy and having the sensation of electrodes zapping the neurons in the core of the brain. Good thing I had Googled about these being withdrawl symptoms, or I'd prolly want to get right back on them, the way others have and still do, just to alleviate the symptoms, planning on dealing with it all at some later point. That way I'd be falling right back into the same trap the pharmecutical companies want want all their customers to be in, but I'll be danged if I'll be slave to some large pharmecutical giant corporation.
Meanwhile, life goes on and in some cases not. Our best buddy Melissa's son, David, was killed in an head-on car crash. Now she and I are in a 'club' that no mother ever wants to join. It has bonded us even closer, but what a terrible thing to have happened. As it happens, tho, both of our youngest son's are named Joseph.
...So, at any rate, I'm off to the drugstore for another refill of this insidious prescription because all I know to do for now, is to keep a stiff upper lip, breaking them into smaller and smaller pieces, and keep clanging on.
(Meanwhile, as soon as I get back from said drugstore, I will be posting another blog today about the carpenters who worked on the house yesterday...I didn't forget.)