Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween and The Saints

This morning a chill was in the air; I postponed my bike ride until the sun made it's appearance. That was my plan anyway.  While waiting on the sun, I surfed to Craigslist and decided to do a little shopping.

Someone had advertised a Trek bike, a lady's so I answered with an email and after a few emails back and forth, addresses were exchanged and I was on my way in the truck to look at it.

The first thing I noted as I pulled into her driveway was the car parked beneath the carport. I forgot all about the bike. A bright red Pontiac Solstice was beckoning. I could almost hear it whispering. That whisper turned into a shout when the lady told me it was for sale too. 8000 miles on it, a 5 speed, two seater and I was in lust.
She tucked the top into the trunk in a matter of seconds and I slipped beneath the steering wheel. Have I mentioned that red is my favorite color?  Or maybe it was yellow? I'll go with red now since that was the color of this Solstice. 

I didn't drive it. I left it sitting there in all it's shiny red glory, loaded up the Trek bike and even collected a bike that belonged to her husband that was a freebie.
The freebie has an all aluminum lightweight frame; a racing bike that needs some attention. Tomorrow Ted and I will remove the gear cables and replace them, do some touch up painting and some shine replacement and this will be his bike. 
As soon as I got home, I unloaded both bikes and aired the tires up. When Ted got here and saw the freebie bike he was impressed. This freebie, was a  500.00 bike, well constructed and with a little work, will be perfect for Ted.
I'm done bike shopping. I wish I were done with the refurbishing.
Ted had promised to help me take some stuff to Goodwill so we loaded up printers, TV's and a two door cupboard and off we went.

Finally back to the house at 1500 hrs, Ted wanted to know if we were going to ride for a while. The sun was definitely doing it's thing. I could hear the neighbors a/c unit kicking on and I wanted to beg off because of the heat.
Instead, we mounted our bikes and were on our way. I managed 3 miles. Ted cut out after one mile and slipped home for some cool house air.
It's been another day of too much activity. Carrie and her mom appeared for some dress up in her costume while I was finishing up on Ted's makeup. They left and it was time to pass out candy to the little ones making their way through the neighborhood. That done, the Saints were scheduled to play at 1900 hrs and that's where I can be found right now.

Hopefully, I'll be back out for a few miles of riding after the game. I would rather craw into bed but I always feel that way until I'm on my bike and moving.
I'm done.. 

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Chasing Myself Today

Yesterday seems so far away right now. I had to check the date for today. It could be because I have been running in 4 different directions  and it all feels as though it was at the same time.

Yesterday I was determined to get Ted's bike fixed. That brand new bike has went the way of junk already? A pedal broke off so we went yesterday to replace them and of course they didn't fit, the Bluetooth for the cell purchased yesterday I don't like and the odometer for the bike is faulty.
Back to Walmart this morning and I would rather be beat then go to Walmart on a Saturday morning. I exchanged everything, went to Ted's house, picked up the truck, back to my house and loaded up the bike and returned it to Academy (big sports store here) and then off to Capital Cyclery to get a odometer and to look at bikes. Ted was all big eyed looking at the nice bikes and nothing there less then 400.00. We weren't looking for a bike to buy, just getting an idea of what may be in the future.
Some information gleaned. I've always wondered why a man's bike had that bar across the center. Today I was educated. Studies have shown that females have a shorter torso and longer legs while males have longer torsos and shorter legs. The bikes are built according to these statistics. Handle bars on a females bikes are closer from the seat; the seats on a males bike, guessed it, it's farther away for those monkey like arms. The bar in the middle adds strength to the elongated frame for the males. 

Back to the house almost when I drifted by Pat's house and stopped and all the time I'm trying to ignore the fact that beds are unmade, dishes not done and I should be at home on this beautiful day doing a few chores. As my sister would say "heck with will be there tomorrow".

Ted appears a while later and I've made it home but just in time for his arrival. He said "Let's ride".
Did you really think I would tell him "no". You know what my sister would say about those unmade beds? 

She was right. They were still here when we got back. I threw some sheets on my bed, powdered them and tossed on the comforter and called it "good enough". While doing all this I flipped on the TV to see how Ole Miss and Auburn were in doing their tango. Let's say, at halftime, Ole Miss was bleeding. 34 to 17. As a friend said one time "hey..this isn't basketball"  while watching a game that was well over 50 points per team that was playing that day.

I'm heading out again to do another couple of miles. I bought a pair of bike shorts today and the jury is still out on whether there is a big benefit to the padding in them. I got to ride a Specialized today. It made me want to kick that Schwinn Beach Cruiser. Ah, but I remind myself, this is better to get my legs stronger. If I had 18 gears, I would have the opportunity to cut the resistance pedaling and that resistance is what is building leg strength. I'm not in a hurry to buy a better bike yet.

Auburn just scored again, 44 to 17. I feel pain for Ole Miss fans. I'm gone. The night is calling!

Back from my ride:
Ole Miss bled 20 points to Auburn. Finals 51/31.

I sailed around the neighborhood for a ride of 7 miles this evening. I'm in awe. Who woulda thunk it? My friend in Wyoming is so impressed with me. She used to try to coax me into exercising with her. Not my cup of tea I'm afraid, I would tell her. 

If it's a sport, I'm good with it.  Skiing was it for me. No mountains here so that has to change and biking is as independent as the skiing was. I can go anytime and without consulting anyone.  Spontaneity is a death call to routine and I've mentioned before what I think of routine.
Tomorrow the Saints get their butts kicked again. I'll watch and grimace and cheer and frown  and hope I stay through the whole game.
I'm outta here. It's late and I'm done. 

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Buffalo Has Roamed

And he has roamed right off the web. Apparently Kat and Buffalo will be taking a break from the world wide web.
A part needs to be ordered and since this Buffalo resides in Canada, and the part has to be ordered from the good ole USA, turn around time is almost 4 weeks?
I am aware that the small town where Kat and Buffalo reside is a bit out of the way and secluded but really...that Pony Express delivery is way outdated.

Driving down to the states and hand delivering the faulty part and picking up the new modem would have been faster though more expensive then the cost of postage compared to gasoline. I would have had to thumb my way there and back to avoid being unconnected for 4 weeks. 
This is being posted close to the time when they should be reconnecting having received the part needed to get back to the web.
Welcome back; hopefully if not now, you will be soon back in touch. 

A Buffalo Update. 
I have been reading a few posts from Buffalo of late. I thought this meant he and Kat were back online but that hope was dashed when he emailed and said this was not so. Apparently he has found internet connection somewhere that allowed him to post his blog. 
If you haven't read anything he writes, take yourself to the side column on this blog and treat yourself to some very descriptive writing. He can describe a concrete road with references and comparisons that are a treat to the eye. Check out "Buffalo's Ruminations" link. You will be entertained..really you GO!
Hurry home Buffalo. You are missed on the wide plains of the world wide web.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

I Never Sang For You and You Should Be Grateful

Carrie is in the tub and there are some strange sounds filtering into the living room from that bathroom. I can hear her singing as she plays with her bath toys. What is it about water, tubs and showers that inspire one to break out in song?
Carrie has a voice much like mine as far as bellowing out a tune. It's something you should try to avoid at all costs. I don't know why neither of us was in the right line when musical talent was being distributed. The daughter and older granddaughter, my departed mother, my sister and niece all have lovely voices. I'm told my cousins in Italy are opera singers and there is even ballerinas from across the Atlantic.

I'm learning to ride a bike. Ok, so that talent is shared by many and isn't considered special by anyone.  And on that segue, let me say this. The bike is finally beginning to feel as though it is a part of me. I don't muscle it into doing turns but lean and move with it into those turns and it feels as though the bike and I are dancing together. I fought the idea that it was similar to the motorcycles I rode years ago because it didn't have a motor attached to it but as soon as I let that idea go and let the bike move with me, it become a pleasant experience to cut figure eights and circles and just have fun with it.

I like to start my night rides around 2200hrs. Tonight I was late starting. Carrie was here and I had to get her to sleep before I took off. Usually we mess around with TV, movies and chattering in bed and that's when we get IN bed at 2200 hrs. Tonight I hustled her into her tub, sat tub side and used the hand puppets, ole Ducky and Hippy (a duck and a hippo as if you couldn't guess!) and we did our usual play stuff. As quickly as I could get her out of the tub, dressed and into pajamas, hair combed and tied back, I headed for the guest bedroom where we sleep.

A few more games, lights out, she falls asleep  and then I started looking for my shoes. I'm usually so neat and organized, at least that's what I tell the husband, and I couldn't find those shoes I had worn today so off to the closet to grab another pair. It's usually at this time that the husband points out my abilities on being neat and organized. Thankfully he was in bed and I didn't have to slink around displaying my lack of organization while looking for those shoes.

I headed for the patio, flipped on the light by the french doors and hit the concrete walking quickly to the bike. Wheeling it around, I unlatched the privacy fence gate and wheeled through and was on my way. Freedom. When I wheel out onto the street, into the night, the chill in the air and the 1/2 moon above me causes a small rush of excitement and a huge grin slides across my face. This feels great and I want to stretch out and run.
Tonight I rode for pleasure. I didn't do the set mile which I usually ride 4 or 5 times so I can clock my distance. Tonight I just rode. I breezed through stop signs and never touched my brakes to slow down and felt wickedly illegal which is always wickedly fun. I chose streets indiscriminately. Random choices, new areas I covered and sometimes back tracking or choosing a different return route. Tonight was all about abandon. I pitched my routine ride aside and that changed the feeling of this ride. Routine was never my strong point and tomorrow I will go buy some gadget that bike riders have that measures the distance they ride. Freedom to get away from that set mile that I have been riding for the past week. It's all about freedom and denying routine with me.

I did clock myself last night so I have a rough idea of how many miles I rode tonight. It takes me 9 minutes to ride a mile so I calculate I rode 4 miles tonight and I'm OK with that. It was a much more fun 4 miles off the usual path.
A knee report is in order. When I had this knee replacement, I did a weekly progress report on this blog. It was a clinical description much like notes a nurse would make on a patient. Being just that, it was easy to clinically describe the progress so I could look back one day and know where I was in the healing of that knee. So here goes. You might want to stop your reading here. Clinical anything causes me to yawn. You were warned.

Clinically speaking, the knee has about 130 degrees flexion, small amount of stiffness noted upon initial standing, no swelling noted to knee though size difference noted from R. to L. knee related to prosthetic device. Initial start of pedaling bike causes moderate pain scaled at 3 but soon diminishes as the knee gains a degree or two of more flexion. Leg strength measured by the ability to now stand unaided from a sitting position and by the amount of time that  can be spent walking .
I have to say..clinical charting is rather boring. Strictly observational without personal feelings about what you are seeing. Impersonal and concise is what we were taught in nursing college. Chart what you see, not what you think is going on.

I do know, it's late. I do know I'm heading for a warm shower and the air is chilled outside which makes me happy. I live in the south but I'm not really a southern. The north is where my heart lies.

Silly Me

Where did my story go? It seems to have disappeared. I lay my hands on the keyboard and the tips of my fingers hover over the a s d f g h k l , the home keys that usually they can touch and cause words to appear on the screen in front of me.

They poise above those keys and as if frozen in place, not a word appears.

Strange that be for me! I know it's really my brain that causes the fingers to seek letters and form them into words and stretch into sentences and close with punctuation but it never seems that way when I'm story telling.

I imagine my fingers as little elf's scurrying around on the keyboard, each with their own agenda and some how the index fingers and the forefingers agree with the thumbs for correct spacing and soon a story appears.

Maybe it's my fingers that are broken?.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wordless and Clueless

What a strange day for me. I think I can blame it on the weather? It's almost November so can someone tell me why it is too hot and humid to be outside? I'm hiding out in the house and I'm not happy about it.
Even putting together some words to blog seem so vanilla. Vanilla, as in ice cream, is a wonderful thing; to describe a day in my life leaves a lot to be desired. I've had a vanilla day.  Maybe I needed a vanilla day to slow down a bit but I feel as though I came to a screeching halt.
Tomorrow I will have a plan. Even if it's doing housework, I'll have a day plan and not flounder around lost as I did today.
Ok, well I have to tell you. I feel better. I just finished 5.0 miles on the BC (Beach Cruiser) and that's a record for me. 3.5  miles this morning and that's ..well...I know you can I won't insult your intelligence. I'm trying to increase by at least .5 miles per ride.

Just a week ago I was counting by the blocks I could ride.  It takes a block or two for the knee to loosen up and allow some pedal strength on that side.

The weather is miserable. (I know I mentioned that already. Humor me.)  I got back into the house and my T-shirt was sweat soaked. I'm going to get a shower and get some sleep. I'm boring myself to tears here and I know it can't be much better for you. If you've lasted this long, I'm saying a good night and rest well..
I'm done.

Morning Ride Sticky

I dressed and peeked out the door, stuck my hand out and waved it around. Oh hell, I might as well step outside and check the "sticky" factor.
It's not as bad as yesterday but by no means the nice crisp morning that I had enjoyed last week. I'm looking forward to the cool weather again. I'll trade my shorts for a pair of sweats and a sweatshirt if the weather takes a nose dive to more friendly temperatures.

The husband rolled in yesterday and the front of his truck has lost it's smile. The grill is gone. As he was driving through Houston, a truck pulling a trailor lost a tire. The vehicle in front of the husband had it's windshield taken out and the remains of the tire flew over and into the grill of the truck. This was on the way to Columbus, Tx.
His printer to the laptop, a compact one he carries to bill the client, decided to crater and that had to be replaced. He had a few bumps in the road on this trip but at least he returned safely.
He will be leaving again on Friday and to a parrish here in N. Louisiana. I won't go on this one either. I'm waiting for a long road trip. Maybe north east? He shies away from the words "north" in any travel assignment in the winter. No snow for the desert rat. They don't enjoy slippin and slidin and head on collisions, being stuck in the snow, chaining up and..who does? Now I remember why I live on the Gulf Coast. 
3 1/2 miles this morning and rising. I'm pushing for 4 miles on my late night ride. The knee is flexing a little more and the strength in the legs is increasing and this after only a little over a week of riding. I'm pumped!
I have a dream. It involves a high mountain, a 22 inch base of snow and a nice lovely long run with a few scary areas to traverse, a chute to manage, and a hot drink waiting at the end. Costs nothin to dream!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Riding in The Moonlight

The full moon is on the wane. Last week I got to enjoy the bike riding by the light of that full moon. My attention would be drawn to it and I would find myself mesmerized by that orange orb. Speeding along on my little bike is not the best time to be moon and star gazing. 
Besides the full moon last week, the evening chill was perfect for riding. I don't know what happened to our fall like weather but it's gone. Hot and humid, the season has reverted back to the temperatures from August. I'm not a happy cruiser. 

Dripping sweat, I returned from my ride tonight and headed straight for a cool shower. The temperatures had dropped a little from the highs of today so the ride was better then what I expected and I have doubled my distance now from when I first started riding. More flexion and more strength keeps me motivated. 

The husband just got back from his last trip and came along tonight. He zipped along riding circles around me and made two laps then sat the last two laps out on the patio watching a football game.
It's past my bedtime and I owe myself some extra sleep for the lost hours of last night.
I'm done.

Where Did the @ Go?

We had plans, Pat and I. You remember "Pat At The Corner". For years I never knew her last name. I've since learned what it is but after getting to know her better I just refer to her as "Crazy Pat" and that's meant in the nicest way in the event that she reads this post.

Carrie spent the night and so did Ted. He left for school this morning and Carrie appeared in the hallway at 0700 hrs which is early for her. I tucked her in on the sofa with chocolate milk and a cartoon while I spent a little time on the phone. It was time to call Pat and get the computers packed up to take for repairs so I hustled Carrie into the car and off we go.

We took the Lake road through the swamp. Large yellow flowers, algae green water and a few birds were subjects for Carrie's camera. She borrowed mine and from the back seat of the car, she was hunting for 'gators.

We weren't in a hurry so we explored some side roads and eventually found Jeff's house and dropped off the computers, picked up a laptop that had been left there and headed home. Pat pleaded a headache so we left her at her house and Carrie and I made it back to my house.
Pat had been talking about buying a new computer for her son and planned on going today to do it and I offered to set it up for her should she need any help.

A few hours later I responded to her call for help. Coaxing Carrie to leave the house, we headed for Pat's son's apartment. I thought this would be a 45 minute job tops. Three hours later, I'm still at Jeff's apartment and still haven't finished. Setting it up took but a few minutes. The monitor had an integrated speaker system, the CPU was a classic plug and play and the D Link drivers had to be loaded to get it to wireless connection. All went well until I tried to register it online. I had to enter an email address and that's when the problem appeared. Apparently I was "@" less. Seriously, who looses their "@". See? I have one here that I can use the "Shift" key and press the letter "2" and an "@" appears every time.

When I tried this on the keyboard to that new computer, all I got was an ". See those two little marks? The ones usually noted as quotation marks? Testing this keyboard further, I found that the "#" registered as the symbol for the English pound which looks like a large lazy script type "L".
Have I lost you completely on this? Hang in there. It gets better.
I removed that keyboard and hooked up a keyboard from the old computer Jeff had and it wouldn't even register. No drivers for this keyboard so now I'm back to square one without an "@".
We disconnected the keyboard and returned to Office Depot to discuss the problem with the sales staff. Their suggestion? Call tech support with Compaq. "Oh, thanks," I said sweetly as we left the store. "I'll do that."

That's what I did. From Pat's cell, I called the number and was directed to the nicest East Indian tech support guy. 45 minutes of talking with him, he finally reset the keyboard to "United States International" and VOILA! I had an "@".  Oh, happy days. I was ecstatic over an "@". Now for sound. Connecting the cables for sound should have been a matter of plugging into the monitor and then  to the CPU but of course it wasn't to be that easy. Another 20 minutes later and a ping was heard. I was a babbling fool over the sound of a ping! The tech wanted to play a You Tube video to check the sound and by this time I was beyond giddy and goofy and asked if I could select the song. He was laughing as he said "sure, select your pleasure."
By this time, I had spent almost an hour with this tech and since he already had my phone number, I invited him to call and stop by any time he should find himself in town. Laughing, he passed me along to his supervisor for an appraisal on his services. 
All the time that I'm on the phone with this tech, I was using Pat's cell while mine was in my purse at my feet and I could hear it buzzing occasionally. I couldn't answer it because I was busy trying to hold Pat's cell to my ear using my shoulder while my hands were typing on that keyboard all the instructions from the tech.
I did reach down and quickly answer the call from the daughter. I recognized her ring tone and since I had her daughter, it was a call that couldn't go unanswered. I grabbed my cell, said "Hello", I can't talk to you now, I'm on tech support call to India, goodbye".
I knew this wasn't what she expected to hear but I had no choice. I'll deal with her later. I had fish to fry or an "@" to find.

All went well until I tried setting Jeff up with a hotmail address. Oh sure. I had an "@" but it was to the UK, England. That's when I discovered that it wasn't just the keyboard that has a problem with England but the whole CPU needed reset. Exasperated and by this time teetering on the brink of exhaustion, I entered the setup and looked for a way to change the whole unit to United States settings without having to call my Indian friend for some more talk time. I'm pretty positive he was a bit tired of our time together.

I got it reset to United States International, got Jeff a Hotmail address then sailed away with Carrie to meet up with her mother and the attitude awaiting.

The daughter was understanding after I quickly explained what was going on. They were on their way to dinner and all I wanted to do was get back home and relax. Carrie begged me to go to dinner with them and though it wasn't high on my list of wishes, I did go.

I returned home to emails from friends that had tried to call and they know I don't ignore calls from them, that I always have my cell and that I will return their calls in minutes after missing a call and for me to be "out of touch" were worried that something was seriously amiss.
I tried to contact all the missed calls and the ones that I didn't, were soon calling again to check on me.

I'm brain tired and I'm showered and ready to finally drop into bed. Tomorrow morning I will return to Jeff's apartment and download Avast and a few other protections for his computer and hopefully, I'll be finished with what should have been done in a matter of minutes.
One last thing. I missed my bike ride this morning. I couldn't leave Carrie alone. At 2200 hrs. I wheeled the bike to the carport from the patio and climbed aboard. I had to make up for missing my laps this morning so I doubled up on them tonight.
I'm done and I'm gone and if I missed your call, I'll get back to you after I get some sleep.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

My Tomorrow

It's 2100 hrs. and if I sit down, I'll just stay where I drop. Carrie is in the tub, Ted is in his bed and I'm sitting here foolishly typing this when I need to crawl into the shower and see if some of the grease and sweat will slide off of me.

As Ted was leaving this afternoon, he looked at my bike and casually commented that he wished he had a bike. I told him we may go bike shopping later and I would give him a call if I didn't change my mind. His face lit up and he said "Nana, we can ride together sometime." "Ok, great", I said, but no fair scaring me by riding around or too close to me."
We stopped by his house and picked up his truck; the truck that he is allowed to only know that one day will be his. I mistakenly gave his sister a car at 16 and her education took a backseat to her having her own wheels to roll around in. I am not making that mistake with Ted. He won't drive this truck until he is a senior and he understands that. His driving will still be limited until he graduates from high school. I hold the keys to that truck so I get to make the rules.
The truck was built the same year he was. A 1993 Sierra that is in excellent condition, a mere 68000 miles on it and perfectly maintained, I like driving it.

We made it to Academy and within minutes he selected his bike and we returned to his house where I left the truck and picked up my car. He rolled on his new wheels to my house where I picked up my bike and we did "the mile" that I have made my goal.
True to his promise, he was very protective and courteous. He would sing out when he came zipping by from behind me to ride ahead and then turn and come back to where I was making my way through my  1 mile ride.
We were laughing and calling out to each other as he would ride the sidewalk and when it ended into a drop off of dirt and grass he never slowed down but would become airborne before coming down on the other side of the dropoff. My sedate ride must have looked boring to him. He did tell me I was getting a lot better at this. "I didn't see you wobble one time Nana!".
The perfume of some flowering plant was strong as we rode by the darkened houses and we both commented on it. Occasionally he would see a friend of his and stop to talk. It wasn't a problem for him to catch up to me later.
I'm amazed at the progress I've made this week. The notable improvement in the muscles of the right leg, my endurance,  and the improvement in lung capacity is incredible.

I enjoyed my ride with my new bike partner and I think he enjoyed himself too. We talked about doing it again tomorrow. Maybe.

Tomorrow may be as busy as today. Pat at The Corner and I have a date to deliver computers to the Computer Guy in Breaux Bridge, the Toyota needs an inspection sticker and the paper work needs to be signed off to Elise and I have Carrie with me. I've promised Ted his usual treat of a Burger King Breakfast before he goes to school so he will have to stay here with Carrie while I zip over to BK and back before his bus arrives.
How did I get my tomorrow so booked? I don't like a fully booked day.
I do know it's way past time for that hot shower and that is my immediate plan.
Carrie is tucked into my bed watching a cartoon and that wet sound you hear is me in the shower.
I'm done!

The Toy Leaves Tomorrow

MY 1990 Toyota Corolla!
I might just dissolve into a puddle of tears and sweat when I give up my little car. It's been with me through nursing school, and states west and east, north and south.
I got up this morning and aired up all the tires, emptied out the glove box and trunk, used jumper cables to juice it up for a trip to Auto Zone where she got a brand new shiny battery.
I also picked up an alternator belt and removed the
old ragged falling apart dry rotted one and put the shiny new one on. I'm almost there with the work I want to do on it before passing it along to my granddaughter tomorrow.
I have a signal light to fix and a brake light bulb to replace and I'll check all her fluids before she leaves. One more bath for her and I'm done.

I have taken very good care of this little car, doing all the oil changes, and tune ups myself and rarely trusting anyone else to do any work on it though it has seldom needed much attention. Last year I had the a/c redone.

I have grease embedded beneath my nails and ground into the skin of my hands. Yesterday they were stained from the black mulch I was using for my flower beds.
I'm looking forward to the day when I can have "girl hands' again.
I'm off to check lights and fluids. Busy day here for me but the weather is awesome and I don't mind working on that little car in this weather!
Have an awesome day. I am!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Following The Leader

This day started out as planned but got a little strange as the day progressed. I made another trip to Home Depot, more plants, more money or maybe, less money I have now, but the planting is finished. I even found snap dragons to plant in the mailbox garden. I'll never get the black stain from beneath my nails. It's such an attractive look, especially when noted while serving up food with these hands. I never remember to use gloves and the black stained mulch wreaks havoc.
I wanted to hurry up and finish this job so I could catch part of the WVU/Syracuse game. I caught the last quarter and settled in to watch LSU play Auburn.

Still, everything was humming along smoothly. Soon the game started and as the score headed in the wrong direction, I would get to my feet and pace to another room, peak at the game and head back to the sofa. Around the third quarter, I thought I would go dust fire ants in a bush outside, thinking  LSU might be doing poorly because I was watching. I know this makes absolutely no sense at all, but we do strange things when attempting to help change the course of the game.
I wasn't gone more then a few minutes. I walked back into the house and found the TV was off. The code in the cable box was flashing and this told me something might have went awry with the cable box. I bolted!

I walked across the lawn to my neighbors who are avid LSU fans and always have a crowd at their house for every game. I rang the door bell and waited. Kathy came to the door and the look on her face was one of horror. Eyes wide, she sputtered in answer to my question about her television, saying hers was off too.

She asked me in and introduced me to family and friends and we all stood and stared at the black blank screen of her television.

After a minute or so, she moved to the dining room where she flipped on the radio and scanned the channels until she found the game being broadcast. Everyone now moves to the dining room to listen.

Her husband remembers that they owned a black box that connects with rabbit ears so he is in a bedroom hooking it up to the TV in there.

Soon we hear his excited cry, "I've got it!" and away we all go to the bedroom draggin a chair with us. We are almost through the third quarter of this game.

About 20 minutes later, we are notified that the cable is back so we all head back to the living room and get seated in front of the big screen only to find the sound is gone.
Away we go to the kitchen to watch it on the TV there. Laughing and carrying our drinks we have moved from living room to dining room to bedroom, back to living room and then to kitchen and finally again back to the living room. The cable goes off again and we head for the bedroom. In a few minutes it's back on in the living room and we move again.
 I've never enjoyed a game so much in my life. Much laughter, much fun and great neighbors!
We lost the game but we had a good time!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Purple and Gold

The purple and gold pansies are settling in to their new home and just in time I might add. I had to make another trip to the garden center at Home Depot for more flowers. I was looking for deep purple pansies. The lavender ones were just not going to be good enough since I started this planting using the darker ones. I've visited two different Home Depots and finally this morning, there they were. I got them home and to the gardener (the husband) just in time. He got them planted and then the call came for him to leave town. Plans have changed. I'll be entertaining myself this weekend. I'm not making this trip with him. It's only supposed to be for two or three days and it's back to Columbus, Texas where we were a week ago. I'll sit this one out and get some things done around the house.
I'm sitting here listening to the A/C unit kick on. Is it fall yet?
I know it's nap time. I'm instead going for a bike ride and a walk later. 
Oh..which reminds me. My mom's sister, Aunt Evelyn used Facebook to contact some of her mother's relatives (my grandmother's) in Italy. Through those contacts she sent to me, I'm now conversing with a third cousin that lives in Italy, her brother and another relative in Switzerland! When I told my daughter to look up the cousin on Facebook, she came back to me with "OH my! She looks just like us!" and I have to agree, she does.
I wasn't a big fan of this Facebook thing and signed up but seldom used it. Lately I've made all kinds of contacts with lost friends and relatives and now I'm hooked! I do not play the games associated with it. I find I don't want to spend that much time on it but I like knowing that out there are people I had some connection to at one time and some times that's enough to know!
I'm done and I'm on that bike ride now!

A Cane View, and Getting Rocks Off

Yesterday afternoon we headed for the casino for a few hours via the back roads. We stayed off of Highway 90, better known as "bloody 90" because of all the accidents.
Cane fields on both sides of the road for as far as you could see were being worked. It's cutting season here and the gin is open for a certain length of time; the cane has to be cut and hauled before it closes for the season and everyone that works in the cane fields are working 7 days a week.
The wagons lumber along hauling cane that is stacked to the lip of the wagon enclosure and as it makes it's wobbly way down the road pulled by a tractor, cane stalks caught by the wind sail through the air and pile up beside the highways. Semi trucks are pulling trailors loaded with it and tractors are lined up beside the rows with an occasional worker beside them who throws up his arm in greeting as we slowly drive these backroads.
Some of the fields have already been cut and burned and others already have the winter crop standing a foot tall. It's a never ending cycle here for the cane farmers and it's the biggest cash crop here in south west Louisiana. Bigger then the oil industry, which I find amazing since this is the hub for the Gulf Coast for oil.
Those wagons I mentioned before? Be very careful should you encounter one on the highway. Each year a fatality is attributed to them so I give them all the room they need to maneuver.
It is now almost 0600 hrs and it's time for me to lace up and mount up.
Reading that last sentence, I might want to expand on that. I'm lacing up my shoes and mounting my bike for my morning laps around the neighborhood.
A little story here. I have a sister living in Ohio barely. I say "Ohio barely" because she lives just across the river from WV and actually does all her shopping in WV along with doctors visits, etc.
She has started a walking program. She lives in the country on 35 acres so she decided to demarcate an area that she would walk and she knows how many laps she must do to get in the miles that are her goal.
To keep track of the laps, she lays 4 rocks on the hood of her car and each time she passes she removes a rock.
In conversation the other night, while she was doing her walk, she said "Well, I guess I'll talk to ya  later. I have to get my rocks off so I can go to bed"......a few seconds later, we got it. Ending our phone conversation on laughter, she finished her walk and got her rocks off and I started my walk rockless.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Hot Chicks

WhadaYaGonnaDo? Carrie leaves me speechless at times. I mentioned in an earlier post about her pole dancing?
Well, just the other day she was in the front yard with her Poppy. They were spending some quality time together.
Carrie looked toward the street and there on the sidewalk ambling along was a lovely young blonde haired chick around 19 or 20 yrs. old, her pony tail bouncing as she walked. Her long legs sprouted out of a pair of short shorts as only a really young thing can sport this look. Tanned and beautiful, she turned her head toward Carrie with a big smile and a mouthful of perfect teeth, she said in her perky way "HI!"

Of course Carrie, ever the social butterfly, smiled back and loudly announced her  "Hi"  to  Ms. Lovely.

Turning she said to her Poppy,  "Poppy, look! She's HOT." Poppy, you should go for her!"

To this her Poppy says "But what about Nana?" What will I do with Nana?"
"Dump her Poppy!" " Dump her!" "Dump Nana", she says.
It was at this, I realized Carrie maintains no appreciation for all I've done for her. I mentioned this conversation to her after it was repeated to me from her delighted Poppy.
Her answer "Nana, you know I was just kiddin." She actually said this with a straight face. Not only does she not appreciate me, but she lies really well.
Did I mention that Carrie is a lovely little girl that just reached her 5th birthday? If this keeps up, she may find reaching her 6th birthday a struggle. I'm not threatening here,   I'm just sayin.....

A Walk and a Ride

It's 0500 when I slip out from beneath the sheets and slide my feet into the thick soled slippers by the bedside and creep quietly in the dark to the door. No, I'm not in a motel room but the same rules apply here that I follow in a motel room. Quiet..very quiet early in the morning. I did get to have coffee brewing in my kitchen instead of dressing to go to the lobby. Of course I did the usual morning routine; email a must, then to FB to see if there were any messages that demanded my attention and of course that's a fool's mission. What would ever be critical posted on FB? I have a cell phone and that's where "critical" makes it's appearance.
After a cup of brew, I slipped into bike shorts, always a flattering choice on anyone over 19yrs old, don't ya think? That's why I do my walk in pitch black darkness. No sense in ruining someones day that may be up early and outside watching the stars.
Anyway, I did my long walk minus that gold cat that accompanied me the night night  before last, and got back to the house where I wheeled the bike to the front and hopped on. I rode like the wind. Not exactly but it is getting better. My hands no longer have a death grip, knuckle whitening grip on those handlebars. I don't get awash in fear when I notice the drop off of the uneven sidewalks nor do I come to a nose diving brake at intersections. I'm improving huh?

The knee loosens up after the first trip around the neighborhood and now I'm up to three times around instead of my woosy one lap. The wind brushes against my face and legs and it's not a humid air but a cool refreshing push of air against the forward motion of my bike. There is no breeze but this one manufactured by the ride.

I get home and am totally invigorated. I've forgotten what 'fun' exercising was. I've never enjoyed the caged in feeling from a gym but riding the boards down a steep slope in Colorado and Wyoming was more my idea of exercise. I have to say, I miss my winters in snow country. Bring on the powder!
I'm outta here to buy more flowers to finish the beds here.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Owning a House Could be Hazardous to Your Health

It never gets totally done does it? From keeping the inside clean and keeping the yard presentable so the neighbors will continue to speak to you, it's always something to do.
The summer scraggly flowers are pulled up and trashed and bright yellow and deep purple pansies now are enjoying their new home. Mardi Gras colors or LSU colors are purple and gold so I'm ready should there be a game or a drunken party in March. I think Mardi Gras this year is March 8th. Don't book your airline tickets based on that information. You might want to verify via the web before you reserve a room in NOLA.
I'm hot, tired and need yet another shower. 
My walk this morning was traded in for a bike ride instead. It really doesn't matter which one I use for the leg exercises. Both will do the job.
Last night as I was doing my night walk, a gold cat decided to join me. It came racing across a yard and bumped into my legs. I saw it coming and thought "Surely, I'm not going to be attacked by a tabby cat?"

I wouldn't call it an attack. It wound itself around my leg so I had to stop and step over it and move on. It followed. Now, how many cats follow anyone? Dogs do that but usually a cat is much too independent to lower itself to following. I walked a few blocks and it was still with me. It would bound across a lawn and race around a tree then come back my way to walk beside me for a few feet and then repeat. I thought before a block had passed, it would sheer off and return to wherever it had come. I was wrong. The darn thing followed me all the way home and when it made one of those investigations of the yard ahead of me, I made a sharp left turn onto my patio and slipped into the house. I'm a slick one aren't I? I ditched that cat. I can just imagine the look on her face when she couldn't find me. (am hallucinating now).

Stepping outside this morning, I wondered if I would find it sitting in the chair by the front door waiting on me.
It wasn't and I may have to change my walk route to avoid the crazy cat
Carrie spent part of the morning with me then decided to bail out and go home when I mentioned taking a nap. In her words "Well! You can just take me home before you take a nap!" and to that I said "Load up!"
A nap was just what I needed. Who's cooking tonight?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Walk

I debated about taking my walk this morning. The time had slipped to 0530 and I hadn't even laced up my shoes yet. I know that if I disturb my routine of morning and evening walks, I may just cancel them altogether. I walked.
I stepped out onto the porch and stood for a few seconds before pushing off toward the street. A few deep breaths inhaled and the 60 degree temperatures were welcomed. A chilled air that was the perfect way to start a walk, I stepped forward.
The sky was a black inverted cloudless bowl of sparkling rhinestone stars. The sound of a helicopter, probably a PHI chopper heading offshore with passengers whose destination is a rig, leaves a trail of sound and quickly moves out of sight.  A small plane buzzes as though a large insect was finding it's way through the darkness. I live close to the airport so air traffic isn't uncommon.
I've only been walking this path for 2 days and debated on whether to change course but didn't. I'm not bored with this walk yet and since it was a little later then my usual time, the scenery has changed. More lights are on in the houses now. The neighborhood is waking up and preparing for work or school. It was still too early for anyone to be on the street and only one other walker was met.
I'm grateful that I live in an area that is safe and allows me the freedom to walk either early in the morning or late at night, and lately I've been doing both. 
Strange that I never hear a dog bark. I would have thought that my passing would cause a disturbance. Maybe it's too early for them to be awake? 

The things you notice when walking, huh?  Most of this subdivision has sidewalks. When I first decided to start my walks, it was based on fall weather arriving. I had promised or maybe a better word would be "threatened" myself with walks and bike rides.
I thought the sidewalks would be perfect for my walks. I prefer the street now. Much of the sidewalks are tilted. The oaks growing in the yards have extended roots that have caused the sidewalks to buckle and turn. I would never have noticed had I been driving by. These morning walks present with the obstacles of trying to not stub a toe and end up in a nose dive.
I don't want to be real alert to the dangers of breaking a leg, so I move to the unoccupied street and continue walking. The whole point of this exercise is to get healthy and strong. This may take a while.

This afternoon we fired up the bikes. I wish. Since there isn't a motor to be fired up, the legs did the motivating. Carrie and I headed up the street after the day temperatures had started to drop. I'm getting better with each ride. The flexion in my knee is improving and I'm excited about that. In small increments it is flexing a little more and I'll take it! Any improvement is welcomed. Might I be back to skiing some day? Not likely but it's a pleasant dream.

I'm ready to shut this down and head out for my evening promenade. A morning walk, an afternoon bike ride and an evening walk and I'm pretty much ready to pass out by 2100 hrs.
I'm gone. It's time to walk.

An Early Start

Carrie spent the night which means I have to sleep with her in the guest room. It always starts out that way and the start began at midnight last night. I'm afraid I'm a very lax "Nana". She is only 5 yrs old and I realize her bedtime should have been around 2100 hrs but the time just seemed to get away from me. Bike riding, walking the neighborhood, watching Family Guy, Disney Channel and before you know it, I was dead on my feet and Carrie was still ploughing along.

Maybe I should retitle this blog to "Dead on My Feet"?

Speaking of, and we weren't, the walking is helping. I notice a big difference. The gluts aren't screaming "surrender" and the maximus part of the gluts, which in plain English, my butt, no longer begs me to find the sofa and sit down. I never knew you could get so out of shape that your butt could hurt while walking.
Two years of rehabing something or other and I found this out. I'm on the upswing of this learning curve.

I wanted to get out and do my stride around the neighborhood this morning but hesitate with Carrie here. The morning has slipped away. It's already 0546hrs and I should have been back from my "dark thirty" jaunt.

I'm eyeing the clock on the stove that can be seen over the edge of this laptop. Oh! What the heck. I'm going to grab my walking shoes and  make a block or two. I'll pin a note on Carrie's pillow telling her to find her Poppy in the bedroom if she wakes. I sure wish she could read.
I'm done and gone!

Monday, October 18, 2010

It's Monday, I'm Home

I'm on a roll here. It appears that I will be home for a few days! I'm so excited about this. The floors and laundry are begging for attention. I've been ignoring them for months now. The bathrooms might start looking like the ones in the little Bourbon Street bars if I don't start scrubbing.
Carrie was picked up this morning as soon as the dental hygientist finished using her fancy picks that burrowed beneath my gums as she hummed some tune playing on some music channel above my head. She is humming and I'm grimacing. I got home and the only thing I could wrap those teeth around was some tomato soup.  A couple of Margaritas later and I was feeling some what better. Margaritas......they're not just for breakfast anymore.

I'm not really much of a fan of alcohol though for medicinal purposes, I'll force a few disguised as Margaritas. Pain sucks.

Bikes. We all have one now. I have a beach cruiser..a Schwinn; the kind that you back pedal to stop it. Carrie now has her own brand new bright orange and black with training wheels. I might have to borrow it. I'm not the best on an unmotorized bike; and the husband just bought himself a  12 speed with Shimano gears. Isn't that the same people that make fishing reels?

Carrie's and mine are strictly the kind for the neighborhoods' flat roads. I'll use my beach cruiser until I can built some muscles up in my legs. Even the flat streets here pose a challenge right now. It will get better and when it does, I'll graduate myself to a bike with gears. The husband and I have talked about taking bikes with us the next time we visit New Orleans. It would be a great city to bike in.

I have a friend that has a bike that folds in half....on demand.  These are a bit expensive but how neat would that be? I could almost pack it in a suitcase. Well, maybe not but I could fold it and pack it into the back of the truck for those trips when I don't drive my car to locations. As long as the jobs are in the south, that might be feasible.

I've had two showers today and it's time for another one. Up and showered and dressed this morning, then lawn work and showered before going to Home Depot to pick up some flowers to replant the urns across the front and now another shower after the bike ride. I like fresh.
Carrie did great on her first ride. She took it to the pavement once but didn't cry. We went riding in the neighborhood after dark. There is a "almost" full moon and the street lights provided enough light for our ride. We laughed and rode through the night. Carrie loved being out in the almost darkness. I would circle around her and ease her to the side when a car would approach. Not once did she ignore the oncoming lights. She is a careful little soul. 
I may leave her with her Poppy while I take my walk around the neighborhood. I need to get to it. It's almost 2100 hrs here and I will surely need to crawl into bed soon.
I'm done!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Goodbye NOLA. We Will Return!

An experiment to see if the pictures uploaded to my Facebook page can be linked here...
The day started with coffee au lait and beignets at Cafe DuMonde. Finally, we made it and it was crowded. We waited in line and listened to the tuba player and the trumpet player that were parked out on the sidewalk playing for tips. The coffee au lait was perfect as usual. 
The French Market has been remodeled. I knew this was in progress but had not been back to see the finished product and it looks great. Much easier to get through it now. Then to the little Daiquiri bar to watch the Saints for two quarters. The crowd was pumped and it was just the place to be with the crowd screaming and chanting for their team.
 We wanted to get to Mother's for a late lunch before it closed so we left the game and ended up watching more of it at Mothers'. The Fendi Special is what we ordered and is their specialty sandwich. Ham, roast beef and "debris' on a hoagie bun with rough cut coleslaw and mustard to  dress it. The "debris' is the part of the roast left in the juice that is shredded and moist and placed on top of the other meats. Just delicious. This is a little FYI. Take a friend and only order one sandwich.There is much to much sandwich for one person.

I was ready to close down this trip after the late lunch and head home. We got home about 1730hrs and I'm suddenly very tired. The bed looks inviting. I'll be asleep as soon as my head hits that pillow. 
Nite ya'all... 

All Day In The Crescent City

We didn't make it to the French Market nor to "Mother's" for lunch and even missed Cafe Du Monde for beignets. Cafe du Monde we will try to visit tomorrow and the French Market we will skip this trip.

From 1100 hrs to 2300 hrs was spent at Park Lafayette here in New Orleans for the Crescent City BBQ and Blues Festival. The music was great, the food was delicious and the weather was perfect. Many of the well known restaurants had food booths offering their specialties. BBQ'd Shrimp, pulled cochon poboys and nachos with white cheese and BBQ'd pork was our lunch. 

The first group to appear was Little Red and Big Bad. This group won the award for the best blues band and will be playing in the Memphis Blues Festival in March 2011.
The crowd watching was a treat. The lady rocking out to the music wearing a black vest and a purple tutu with high top Converse sneakers and black lace trimmed  socks that overlapped the sneaker tops was a hit. I thought she might have escaped from a bad fashion show and ended up hiding at the festival. Her keeper friend stayed with her and didn't seem embarrased by her appearance. His mustache and eyebrows were green. They made quite the couple.
A variety of age groups were there but the baby boomers outnumbered the X generation. Grayed and aged, they continue to follow concerts and festivals. Some things you never outgrow.

 We ended the festival by listening to Taj Mahal and the place was rockin out. The crowd was appreciative, dancing and cheering for him.
We ended the night by going to Harrah's Casino and while the husband played blackjack, I watched LSU and McNeese's football game.
Tomorrow we may try to find a sport's bar to watch the Saints game while here in New Orleans. What better place to watch them play? It's an "away" game but the Who Dat nation will be a boisterous crowd here in their home town.
I'm too tired to think right now. My feet hurt and my eyelids want to seal themselves shut. Before I fall into the keyboard, I'm going to shut this down.
I'm done.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

NOLA on Saturday

0600 and I roll out of bed, stumble around in the darkened room and finally find my sandals. I had to again use the light from my cell. You would think after as many times as I do this hotel thing, I would be better prepared! In my defense, I have to say, I was tired last night when I went to bed. Preparing for the morning was not even a thought.

 As I picked up the laptop, unplugged it and looked for my purse, I realized I should put some clothes on before heading for the lobby. I know there are some crazy sights here in New Orleans but I don't wish to be one of them.
Setting the laptop down and dropping my purse, kicking off my sandals, I pull on a pair of capris from the day before, slip into a t-shirt and recapture laptop, purse and sandals and slip quietly out of the room.
I've mentioned before that I'm usually the "one who doesn't sleep in"?
Another lobby, another city, another hotel coffee shop and coffee, I sit with the laptop and CNN in view.

My cell phone will chime when the husband wakes up to alert me that it's safe to return to the room. Waking the grouch is something I avoid. If he awakes on his own, he is much more pleasant to be around so I let him have his sleep time. I'm more the hyper person in this relationship while he is the compose and laid back one. Ya do what you gotta to do to maintain harmony.
Today, it's undetermined if we will have breakfast, but I'm sure lunch will be at "Mother's" and then to Royale (pronounced "Roy..Al) where I like to browse the shops and stare at all the furnishings that were part of the old mansions here in the south. A collection of crystal chandeliers sparkle from their display spots hanging from the ceilings of these shops and they are huge. I imagine the house where they originally were hung.
 The furniture is a lesson in hand carved, inlaid wood and the lamps are unique. Old jewelry fills the glass counters, and the ambiance of the brick walls aged,  only adds to the look and feel of these shops. I like me some Roy Al browsing!
Some time today, the French Market will be included. Most of the stuff there I ignore. I'll find the book seller that usually sets up his booth beneath his own umbrellaed shelter  on the fringe of the market place and browse his collection of books. Sometimes there is another seller that offers unique un-tourist like stuff. I once found a huge cast iron skillet and much to my husband's chagrin, I bought it which caused us to walk all the way back to the lot where the truck was parked to rid our selves of carrying a 12lb black cast iron skillet around all day. you know how hard it is to find the really old cast iron? The new stuff just isn't the same. Have I used it?
Well, I'm not exactly the handiest person in the kitchen and a 12lb skillet filled with oil and chicken and I would need a crew to move it around. If you're in the market for a 12lb skillet, hit me up. I jest. I like that skillet and I promise, some day I'll use it or at least that's what I tell the husband.

It's time to shut this down. It's getting to be "novel" length and we all know I just do "hit and run" posts; a logbook to replace my fading brain cells.
I'm gone.  

Landed in NOLA

Just in case you don't know what "NOLA" represents, it's  New Orleans, La. We got into town and checked in to the Landmark Hotel in Metairie. Another bit of information, Metairie is 5 miles from New Orleans but noticing the break from one city to another won't be possible. Where one ends, the other begins. This hotel has a tower on one side with a 360 degree view restaurant on the top. That tower has been closed down since Katrina passed through. This is one of the older hotels. I noted the perfume of this place as soon as I entered the room. It's not a bad odor, but an odor of age. I don't know any other way to describe it; it reminds me of the days spent in Daytona Beach, Florida where the smell of moisture in the air filled the motel rooms.

The elevator is glass and ascends through an atrium in the lobby. Standing at the glass wall watching the lobby fall away, we were delivered to the 6th floor. The view from here is awesome.

We dumped out luggage and headed to Crazy Johnny's Steakhouse. We wanted to eat on the patio but the serving there had stopped at 4PM; we had drinks while waiting to be called for our table.

 I ordered the  Filet Tips Meschi in creme garlic sauce and the husband ordered the Giant BBQ Shrimp in sauce. Everything is ala carte.  The food was great and I  can highly recommend this place.  

Off to the 'Quarters and the first stop was to The Cigar Shop for a Hurricane and a bathroom break.
This is the stairwell to the bathroom. As I climbed the three sets of stairs, I couldn't help but wonder if I might be hatcheted to death some where on this hike.

And this would be the lock on the door. Yep, folks, that's my foot and note the unscrubbed door? If you are queasy about using the facilities that are less then modern and spotless, you might want to not make New Orleans your destination. This is the "usual" on what you will find and don't expect to use any facilities unless you are a customer. We grabbed our drinks and head for Bourbon to "do the walk".

There is usually the bride and groom doing the walk. Glassy eyed young men, scantily clad young women and both male and female with  hair dyed a rainbow of colors, male couples, female couples, and straight couples all doing the walk. It's easier to walk the middle of the street then the maze of the sidewalks. I walk and watch. 
When the husband asked "Well, do you think it's back to pre Katrina?"
My response? "It's different. The music is not as plentiful. The sounds of sax and trumpets are scarce." The sounds are weak and that's the best way I can describe the difference in this post Katrina New Orleans. The crowds aren't as dense, but it's the sounds of the city, I miss the most. The old sounds of the old musicians. It's not the same.
Tomorrow we will hang around the city until the afternoon, when we will head to Camp Street for the BBQ and Blues Festival. 
Right now, it's time to elevate the feet and give em a break. I've walked enough for one day.  

Friday, October 15, 2010

WVU Football

First of all, let me say this....."Way to Go WVU!!" The college game was watched here last night and I wore my WVU T-shirt. I usually bury it deep in a drawer beneath my LSU T-shirts. I certainly don't walk around town wearing it. Once I wore a Bama T-shirt while shopping and the comments I got were "nuttin nice".  I made the mistake of wearing a "Sooner" long sleeved shirt on the same weekend LSU was playing that team and it was "nuttin pretty" either. I even had mean remarks from the person checking me out at the store and the people standing behind me were making "not nice" comments. These people here take their LSU seriously. Many of the residents have children attending LSU and the town goes purple and gold every time they have a game up.

 Though I was born in WV, as an alumni of LSU, I know where my loyalties lie. I'll scream for WVU as long as they aren't playing my Tigers!

Carrie spent the night and what a night it was. We laughed and giggled most of the evening. She broke out the hair bows, hers, and did a hair make over on me. I think she had ever hair bow snapped onto my head and I was quite "runway' ready. We shot a few pics which hopefully will never see the light of day.

I was up at 5AM this morning and shortly after that, I heard her shuffling down the hall to appear in front of me at the sofa with a big scowl on her face. I'm supposed to be intimidated and feel guilty because I sneaked out of bed and left her alone. I don't. I just directed her to climb up  and cover her and she goes immediately into a deep sleep which gives me time to
pick up the mess she made from the night before. 
I try to get most of the light housework done before she wakes up for the second and last time of the day and a shower, which is where I'm going right now.
(waving as she exits the laptop!)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

New Orleans, It's Time

I have mixed feelings about this city. The city that propels one into a European type setting. The streets are narrow in the 'quarters and pedestrians crowd the sidewalks. Hanging baskets of ferns and flowers decorate the iron balconies overhead, street dancers, con artists and pan handlers mix and mingle up and down Bourbon. In the background, jazz music and blues and always the music. It's the heart of the city, this music and the variety of people that ebb and flow to the beat.
The French Quarter with it's brightly painted apartments above the stores beneath them tuck into a modern city of glass and concrete. Canal Street runs the length of the old city and is lined with stores that cater to the tourist industry. Taxi's and buses careen up and down while the street cars loaded with both the working people of the city and the tourists that are a daily influx moving to jobs or site seeing and contributing to the city's bustling crowds.
I catch the street car and ride to the Camellia Grill, alight and have lunch and then catch the return ride back into the city. The Camellia Grill is one of my very favorite places in New Orleans. Another place to have a meal away from the tourist traffic is Tony Medina's on Canal. This trip, we will visit Mother's. Usually we skip the Quarters for meals. Much too touristy for my taste when other places offer a better flavor of the where the locals hang out.
Acme Oysters is too well known and for this one, it doesn't matter. I'll go anyway. My love of oysters makes this a mandatory visit.

Cafe Dumonde for early coffee and beignets and we will linger to watch the crowd, the mimes and the artists and then to Jackson Square to wander the different stands of  fortune tellers and look at the art work offered for sale. I've never taken a horse and buggy ride through New Orleans; the clip clop of the hoofs I hear as I walk the streets while the driver spins a  history lesson for his clients.
I like the feeling I get as I walk these old streets and quietly watch the city that constantly supplies a free show from the early morning crowd to the late night revelers, drunk and stupid. Viva La New Orleans!
Did I mention..this is my destination this weekend unless something goes awry.

My first visit to this city was when I was in my early 20's. I've made many visits at different times of the year. Mardi Gras, New Year's Eve, Super Bowls at the Dome and just a weekend trip that didn't surround a major holiday. I wander the streets, sip a drink and listen to the music and just "be" in New Orleans. I could tell you some stories about those visits should I feel inclined. I might have to issue a warning on content though. 
I have to be in the right mood to visit this city. It has been almost a year since my last visit and I think I'm ready again.
I'll take a notebook and record the sites in case I want to do a blog after this trip. I'll have my cameras along and though I have stacks of pictures of my previous visits, I'll still find things to photograph.
I want to visit the 9th Ward again to see how much progress has happened since our last visit.
Four months after Katrina struck, we visited this  city. It was something I shall never forget. The parking lots were full of cars that looked as though they had been dipped in milk chocolate. No operating street lights or stop lights and only a gas station or two was in service. The police department was crippled and it was an unsafe place to be. We cautiously made our way around the city and made sure we were out of town before night fall. A very dangerous time in the city and still it remains a place to tread with safety foremost in mind. The tourists that travel there are not aware of the dangers but those of us that live close to this city know to be careful and to stay alert. The police department is still unable to provide the protection once offered and the criminals are edging closer and closer into the Quarters.

I'm outta here. I have to pack.