Wednesday, December 1, 2010

the grumpy old lady is dying

The faithful Lord is showing me some things about my family and myself.  I am so thankful to be shown for I can't work to change what is still in darkness.  That's why secret sins remain just that--secret sins.  They never get put to death.  What is also particularly funny (but in a weird way and not in a "ha ha" way) is that I probably would not have been aware of this issue if I had not dealt with anxiety.  My anxiety has me seeking good and positive in all the things I do, see, and hear.  I am especially sensitive to negativity now.  I also find that I am surrounded by friends and in-laws who are quite gracious and positive which makes it easier.  However, sometimes I find myself with someone (we all know folks like this--in fact, I might be that person that you know) who does nothing but complain.  Or who has nothing good or positive to report.  Or who seem to even take joy in the struggles that others find themselves in.  I never ever noticed it before but I surely notice it now.  People I have known my whole life strike me now as very negative.  It is quite burdensome.  I have to tell myself--things are probably not as bad as they are stating.  Speaking as a recovering pessimist (i used to call myself a realist--what a laugh!)  it is very easy to focus on all the bad things or hassles that happen in a day.  Oh, and what food for my negativity when there really was bad news.  That kind of news just fit into my worldview that said "Life stinks--just deal!"  However, it is very difficult to be negative or to complain when there is a thankful heart.  And that is my weapon.  I hold to the Spirit who has promised to complete the good work in me and bear the fruit of joy in my heart.  I take hold of the promise that there is life and hope in Christ, even in a world where coexists pain, struggle and death.  These words of my Lord are life.   Complaining and thankfulness rarely happen together.  And a gentle reminder to those who find themselves being "realists" --just as there is always something to complain about, there is always something to be thankful for.  Which would you rather focus on?

Another reason I am convicted about this is because I see that as you get older the reasons to complain get longer.  Afterall, you body will eventually die out.  It betrays you sooner or later, slowly or fast.  If I don't work on the habit of thankfulness now, then when I am old, no one will want to be around me.  I don't want to be that grumpy old lady that people avoid.  I want to be cheerful, gracious and godly.  I look to my mother-in-law as a great example of this.  She is gracious and never complains.  Mrs. Hogue is the anti-thesis of the grumpy old lady I mentioned earlier.  I'm thankful for such an example.

Fortunately, pessimism is learned.  Therefore, I plan to unlearn it.  In its place, I hope to learn thankfulness.  Not a superficial thankfulness--y'know, not just lipservice.  But a true outspringing contentment and joy from my heart.  Habits can be broken and new habits can replace them.  Isn't that reason enough for joy and thankfulness?  We aren't stuck!  We aren't doomed!  We can resolve (with the Lord's transforming grace) to change!  Yes!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

latest project

A few saturdays ago was the annual La Leche League picnic.  I was placed in charge of food and fliers.  In the past, an event like this with me in charge of something would be stressful.  I would feel nervous about what everyone would think about the event and whether people thought I did a good job.  And really--I didn't want people to think I did a good job.  I wanted people to think I did the best job EVER!  Well, I probably don't need to say, that with those kinds of hopes, the pressure is turned up.  A few years ago, I realized that when we had anyone over, or a party or anything I would feel stress and pressure which would lead to irritability.  I  didn't think this was the way it was supposed to be.  So, some soul-searching unveiled that this pattern of emotions involved with entertaining was actually learned.  So, how am I un-learning it?  I've begun to draw the line between entertaining and hospitality.  My sweet friend and one-time mentor, Mrs. Jeannette Olps, explained that entertaining centers around making things look hard and hospitality doesn't need that.  Hospitality was serving others and not on making a beautifully themed dinner party.  Not that I ever succeeded in that.  What would usually happen is amongst all the ideas that overwhelmed me I ended up going for manageable.  Originally, I wanted people to marvel at my work on the food and how clean and beautiful my house was, etc.  Now, I just want a good time with friends.  I've had lots of great examples to look to in hospitality over the years.  The Frey family that "adopted" me while away at college would have me over all the time after Sunday church.  They fixed a delicious but simple meal but it was so easy.  No red carpet was rolled out, and no one seemed to stress over there being enough food for us.  So relaxed and so nice.  I've been to friends' houses where kids toys were everywhere--and kids for that matter.  Food was presented casually but the conversation was rich!  So, as I have had people over, I would remind myself often that the point is not to impress but to be hospitable.  The point is enjoying time together and not "making it look hard".  I love it when people make it look easy.  A simple soup.  A chili.  Sandwiches.  It is enough to make me feel welcome.

Friday, October 22, 2010

the danger of TLC's 'Sister Wives'

The Learning Channel (a.k.a. TLC) is known for doing some great shows that educate the general public about life for a certain sector, group, or family dealing with unusual circumstances.  Long ago (or so it feels like) I watched a (what I thought) normal family handle sextuplets and twins.  I watch the Duggars with their 19 children and have watched lots of little people.  Lately, TLC decided to do a small series on a polygamist family.  From the beginning I had mixed feelings about this.   I find myself curious and knew that I would see what this show was about.  At the same time, I had an icky feeling about their being a show that could draw an empathetic, normalizing light to this very wrong way of life.  I mean, these are not the FLDS (or is it FDLS?) that have the long dresses, long hair and secretive & dark lives under the dictatorship of Jeff Warrens.  This is a likeable group.  They dress normal.  They blend in.  Watching this, I know that people will start to look at their situation of one man with his three wives (while marrying a fourth) as freaky but normal.  I found even myself feeling more accepting (thankfully, I was guarding my heart but I see the tendency--that is how powerful t.v. is).  Don't get me wrong.  I'm not about getting pitchforks and running them out of town.  I want to love them like I would hope to love any neighbor.  But that doesn't change the fact that polygamy is unnatural (despite what polygamists might say) and unfair to the wives of this one man.  The wives of the show are quite frank about jealousy issues (which is refreshing) but they are also quite adamant about the advantages of plural marriage:  more time to themselves, more help with the children, refining of their character, etc.  One of the women liked it because it meant that she could work outside the home with a full-time job because one of the other "sister wives" was taking care of the children (their are 13 or so total, I think).  That was new to hear.  It was this modern take on polygamy that I had not seen.  Women's rights to work but not to have one man's heart, soul, and body in totality?  Very strange.  And icky.

there is some guilt

I have read enough pregnancy literature to know that these feelings are normal.  Still, I can't shake some sense of guilt that I'm replacing my firstborn or that he is going to get lost in the shuffle.  Some of my fear and guilt about this might spring from the fact that I never experienced that kind of upheaval.  I'm an only child, y'know.  I don't have the experience of the adjustment and having a sibling.  I am in brand new territory.  My parents are even in brand new territory.  They know what it is like to be in a large family but they do not know what its like to raise two kids under two.  So, I'm just trusting that though there may be an adjustment period for David Jr. (and for us, for goodness sake) but that the dust will settle and David will no longer remember life before his little brother or sister existed.  But for David and I this past year and a half have been (albeit tough) a humungous blessing.  We will cherish forever the memories of "just the three of us".  It does not escape me that it is a sweet time that we won't have back.  So, I guess it is natural that I feel a little sad to see it go.  I keep in mind that the joy I have had (unimaginable!) with my son, I will get to experience again with another blessing from the Lord.  And that is a reason to celebrate!!!  Break out the Saltines!!!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

forgot the eggs

Pregnancy brain is back.  I made pancakes this morning and completely forgot to add the eggs.  I cooked them and they didn't seem that different from egg-ful pancakes.  I ate half of my plate before I realized it.  Maybe I'll start making it without eggs from now on since it will save me money.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

what I never want to see in a house (esp. mine)

1.  Brass fixtures.  Yes, these abhorent things from the 80's and 90's are in my house but only because I could not yet prioritize purchasing their replacement.  The shiny brassy knobs, door knobs, and lighting fixtures glare at me saying "I'm ugly and outdated."

2.  Any sort of lamp/table furniture.  You know the kind I mean?  It looks like someone decided why bother with two pieces of furniture like a table with a separate lamp on it when you can have two of them together.  Ick.  I can not look at one without thinking of...well, I digress.  :)

3.  Lots of tiny knick knacks on display.  Those never look good.  It is the big statement pieces that can pull a room together.  It is never the $5 angel or the $9 fake plant.

4.  A flat screen above the fireplace.  I can't fathom making the t.v. the center or focus of my living room.  And to me, above the fireplace is almost like a throne or place of honor.  T.V.'s don't go there, in my opinion.  But now, new houses are even being built and wired for that very feature of t.v.'s above the fireplace.

5.  Too much furniture in a small space.  Which, by the way, we have happening in our living room.  Our furniture is not on a small enough scale and we are space-challenged.  Yet, somehow we ended up with two bedrooms that are hardly used.  But that is a conversation for another time.

6.  Fat chefs or country ducks. 

7.  Fuzzy toilet seat covers.  or any toilet seat cover.

8.  Too much symmetry will drive me bonkers.  It is safe.  It isn't interesting and sometimes doesn't offer the feeling of ease and comfort that one might want. 

Just sayin'....  Have a great week everyone!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

the old is new again

I have these silver earrings that were given to me by my longtime friend, Rachael, back when we were in jr. high.  I have kept them and realize that these earrings are very suitable to the contemporary style now.  Isn't that fun?!  I am old enough to see old things become the "it" trend the 80's and 90's.  I would give you a picture of these earrings but I am currently typing on our new laptop  (great deal at best buy) and haven't gotten the equipment needed to save my old harddrive in my faulty motherboard of my old Dell. 

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

coupon crazy

I've been learning wonderful ways to stretch our dollars in the hogue home.  I've enjoyed the brain exercise.  It is like solving a puzzle to figure out what products to buy that will last the longest and are the most economical.  I also enjoy figuring out what I can make with a can of stewed tomatoes, flour, sliced ham, and an orange (I made this list up so I don't have any recipes or anything).  It is my joy to see an empty pantry and fridge and then take a big trip to the store.  It means we used our resources well.  Delight!  I'm also actively learning how to make the most of couponing.  I requested at the library the book "The Coupon Mom's Guide to Cutting Your  Bills In Half"(am I supposed to underline a book title--I can never remember) (more economical than buying--I have reignited my love of the library) and began pouring over it and making notes.  I found blogs and websites (including to help gather all manner of coupons and am taking baby steps in how to take advantage of double/triple couponing, BOGO (buy one get one...), and other smart tips.  I started this venture and saw more and more people jumping on the couponing/bargain hunting bandwagon (or discovered people already on it).  I think it is a movement among frugal mothers.

Anyhoo, this is just background information for why I was on the website  I found that Home Depot was selling 4ft. by 4ft. raised garden beds for $9!  It was originally $29!  That is a huge deal!  I bought 3 (they are back ordered but so what?!).  I basically bought 3 for the price of 1.  Excellent!  And this was not a purchase that was needless.  I had been in the market for just such a product.  We wanted to start a garden but protect the garden from our dog and also make it look a little dressed up.  Perfect!  I see this as an investment (a small one at that!  yeah!) in furthering our dollar bills because gardening will bring us some organic vegetables without the high cost.  There is such a high from a good deal.  And unlike other highs, this one has proven to be quite affordable.  ;)

Sunday, July 11, 2010

I never thought I would say this...

but moving away from Jackson sounds like a harmless and fun adventure.  I suppose now that I am no longer a single girl attached to a friend group or community like I once was (which was for dear life) I can entertain the idea of moving away.  I do love jackson and all our friends and the familiarity of it all.  We do have strong roots there.  However, for the past year, which I guess means since David was born, I can take or leave Jackson.  I don't need the familiarity and connections of Jackson because I have the connections of my own nuclear family.  I have both Davids.  Of course, I know that we need community AND to be utterly philosophical the community needs us (we are a part in the body of Christ, after all).  But when you are at home most of the time and your interactions with friends (going out for coffee or what-have-you) is so limited than I started seeing that I could really move anywhere and still maintain that level of connection.  I'm a lot more mobile than I used to be.  I can still keep up with friends (who are all moving away one by one, anyhow) through email/facebook/blogs, make new ones, and be content. 

Jackson is my home.  I didn't grow up here but I have learned to love it.  As time goes by, however, I get frustrated with the....what's the word?...stiffness?  stodginess?  stuffiness? of the culture.  I would never say I was a flibbertigibbet that partied or anything.  However, being from South Louisiana, we were just a lot more laid back than our Mississippi friends further north.  Not bad.  Just not me.  David Sr. agrees.  So, here we are in Florida, enjoying being in a college town with so many cool places to hang out and eat.  We like the vibe.  Laid back.  You see it in the clothing, and cars, and the attitude.  It is breathing fresh air.  Money isn't as important here as it is in Jackson.  Also, everyone rides their bike and walks in this part of town.  I love that!  I can walk to get a yogurt, a smoothie, a sandwich, a burrito, a doughnut.  It is great!  We just came back from a PCA church where we felt comfortable and welcomed.  We got to chat with the pastor and he was very open and friendly.  I can seriously see myself living here.  Funny that I never really considered Florida as a place to live but why not?  I think I would like it.  Plus, people could visit us on the way to the beach. 

We will be in Jackson, Lord willing, for another few years.  I'm still in love with our house and look forward to fixing it up bit by bit.   But I can see myself gearing up for a move.  It won't be as scary as I once thought it was.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Havin' fun with hats


He took to swimming like a ...a fish to water.  Both Davids were blinding with their translucent skin!  I thought Jr. would be scared but he was ready to hop right on out of our arms and swim on his own.  We couldn't let him, of course.  He starts making happy sounds as soon as he even sees the pool.  This was the second time he swam in a pool.  The week before we left for Gainesville we took him to our gym, The Club, and let him swim with us there.  He LOVED it!  We had a hard time getting him out.  Note to self:  don't make plans to leave a pool with a child that will be hungry or sleepy around that time.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

just a thought

I would really really like to learn how to make slipcovers and reupholster furniture.  That way I could just redesign any junk yard find.  That's all.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

David is one! (ok, he's been one for almost a month but blame my laptop)

I enjoyed planning this little event.  An  intimate birthday party to celebrate our surviving a year of parenthood...uh...I mean David's year of life.  Of course, we are delighted to have him in our lives and he is worth celebrating.  I decided that because the only thing he seems to love with reckless abandonment is our chocolate lab, Cora, that we would make this the theme of his birthday party. 
I made a pawprint chocolate cake with Nana's (David Sr.'s maternal grandmother)  famous icing.  Those are bones by the toes that were made from that cake.  It was going to be a simple double layer cake but one of the layers crumbled too much so I decided a pawprint was more than appropriate. 

I decorated with streamers and a few helium balloons in blue (b/c David is a boy) and brown (b/c Cora is brown).  Makes sense, doesn't it?  Here we are about to sing "happy birthday" if we can only get the video camera working.   The grandmothers are posing for a picture.
Singing "happy birthday".  He wasn't sure what to think, but he didn't seem to dislike it. 
Posing with the little guy who has changed our lives for the better.  We love him so much!  He is eating an apple muffin (because there was NO WAY I would give him chocolate).  I found a good recipe for one year olds and it was made with no sugar just applesauce.  It didn't have any eggs either.  I got a lot of grief for it but I stand by that decision especially when I saw him enjoy it!  There will be plenty of time, Lord willing, for him to get addicted to sugar like the rest of us.  :)
Sweetly feeding momma.  He gets a big kick about putting anything in our mouths or Cora's mouth.  Cora doesn't mind it either if it's food.

This is a boy with a full and happy belly.
David and Grandmere enjoying catching up since David's trip to Italy and Greece.
We got David several bouncy balls and dinosaurs and a truck.  He loves them.  He also got some great books and a superduper stuffed animal that we can hook up to the computer to personalize.  Thank you everyone!  We had a great time and were thankful for all of you to share our joy.  This little party was more for David and I to celebrate a year of good fortune and blessings from the Lord.  We only wish we had champagne there, too.   I think we will try that next year. 

One year down and Lord willing many more to go....

my first king cake (yes, i know it's april)

Happy Mardi Gras, everyone!  I'm a little late putting these online but back in February I attempted a king cake.  I didn't buy anything special for it such as purple, gold, and green sprinkles but who cares, right?!  I found the recipe online and hoped for the soft bread with sprinkles from my childhood.  I think I messed up with the butter and the texture of this cake ended up a lot like a scone.  Tasty but not king cake.  I still thought it looked pretty.  I decided since all I had were red and colored sprinkles that it was a Valentine's/King Cake.  No rules in the kitchen, right?!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

computer issues

Our laptop is having some issues that I believe are "fatal".  So, I have been unable to connect on facebook or on the blogosphere.  All is well on our side of the world/street/city.  We are just marooned on the "without service" island.  The computer does work occasionally.  Never when we want it to.  So, my checks on the internet are sporadic and infrequent.  Just letting you know. 

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

mamma mia, here i go again....

Last year France took my husband for a week.  Fortunately he was back in time to see his firstborn son arrive 6 weeks early.  This year, Italy is the culprit and this beautiful country (so I read) is taking him for 10 days.  I'm not pregnant this time but I do have a crawling young 'un to care for.  I kept going back and forth as to what to do with myself while my better half was gone.  I debated staying at home and eating cereal every night while watching very girlie movies while my son napped.  I have a tendency to hole up every now and then.  I figured that I would hibernate and consequently feel lonely.  It takes a lot of mental and physical energy to get me out to see friends or the grocery store.  I debated going to visit friends in different parts of the South.  However, the idea of driving longer than typical with an 11 mos. old without the help of my husband seemed too daunting.  Plus, I would have to find and pay a dog/house sitter. So, naturally, I am heading to my parent's house.  I'm bringing a few projects with me to have fun with and plan to make a trip or two to Blockbusters.  I'll sew, I'll plan David Jr.'s 1st birthday party, I'll watch too much t.v. (good thing), and I'll visit sweet friends and probably family.  I do have a challenge in getting there.  I am somehow to take my dog and child in one car to LA.  This wouldn't be a big deal if I could make it to my destination without any stops but not a chance.  We've had to stop at least once anytime we've made a trip to my parent's house.   Usually David Sr. would walk the dog while I nursed the baby. in the world is this going to happen now?  I'll figure it out.  It may be messy.  I may get flustered.  But I will make it.  I figure I will put Jr. in a sling while walking Cora.  I hope to find a nice large grassy area in order to let her run free.  Pray for David's trip (safety, peace while traveling--he is a nervous flyer, kids' safety, etc) and for me (stamina and energy, Jr. being happy and healthy, safe smooth trip there and back). 

PS.  Our home computer is not working right now because it will not charge.  *shrug*  So, if you are trying to reach me via facebook or hotmail just know that I'm not ignoring you.  I have to wait until I am at work (where I am right now) or at my parent's house to use the internet.

Monday, February 22, 2010

brain down the drain

I can no longer trust what used to be so dependable--my mind.  It has betrayed me time and again.  I was rehabbing it for awhile by "transforming it by the renewing of my mind" kind-of-way.  I made great strides in that regard but several steps backward in another.  But then I got pregnant and had a baby.  Since then I have seen a serious memory deficit.  Here is the recent mishap.  Last week, one of my classes was scheduled to take an exam.  When my babysitter arrived, I was ready to print out said exam.  My computer decided it had enough of my dictatorship over its keys and such and died.  It must have conspired with our charger cord because it decided that it wasn't going to work in any outlet.  I was seriously late by the time I realized that these two "enemies" were sticking to their guns.  I left for the class with the decision to take my computer and work on it at the school.  Twenty minutes into the drive, I realize that I left what DID get printed on the printer.  By that time, I was ready to raise my white flag.  It worked out fine that day.  Like most students, they were glad to have an extra week to study.  We started the next unit instead. 

Today, I was prepared to be prepared.  I had the test already printed out and set it where I was not going to miss it as I headed out the door.  I got to school and realized that in all the energy it took my brain to remember the test, I forgot the textbook.  I usually keep both textbooks I use in the car.   Sigh.  Not a big deal for my students but it was not part of the plan.  I see that I cannot rely on my brain as I once had.  Its capabilities are limited until my child (and whatever future children) are grown...or at least sleeping through the night.  I know you other moms can relate.  I can only laugh at myself and move on. 

Saturday, February 20, 2010

if you like it than you better put a sling on it

I went to a la leche meeting this past week and several of the girls were talking about a youtube video inspired by Beyonce's song "Put a ring on it".  I played it a few minutes ago and realized that the maker of this video was Leigh Pennebaker, a girl I went to college with.  I always liked her.  She always seemed above the fray and was extremely talented yet kind.  Well, I learned a while back that she moved to New York City and has her sculptures all over the city in high end stores like Saks.  Good for her.  I am proud to have known and am happy to hear of her success.  Also, love that she is an attachment parent.  :)  Here is her video.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

sweet friends, sweet treats, sweet SAINTS WINNING the SUPERBOWL!!

Here are some pictures of our Superbowl night.  We all were thrilled to see the Saints "finish strong".  I am not a football girl at all but the Saints have really turned me onto the game.  It was such a good thing for our state. 
Anyway, here is a cutie makin' love to the camera while my little one admires her sparkle!  Iris entertained David all night.  She was incredibly gentle with him.  And oh yeah--she is a LSU tigers fan, don't ya know?!

I want to show David Jr. when he is older that he was alive when the Saints went to the Superbowl and kicked tail. 
Here is a close up of his shirt.  It was an appropriate shirt given to us by cousin Robbie and soon-to-be-bride, Natalie.  We told them that he would wear it when the Saints went to the superbowl.  As soon as he put it on, the game started swing our way. 
Roy and David becoming more acquainted.  I believe they are ready for a chunky boy of their own.  Theirs probably won't contrast as much (wink, wink ;)
Two handsome fellas holding their cutie patootie babies.  I love it!!!
So so handsome.  Makes me gush.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

newly realized pet peeve

On Saturday (as part of our bi-monthly date), David and I went to Hobby Lobby so that I could get some mats for 3 pictures I have that I want to put in the guest room.  I was greeted (and that is an overstatement) by a short man who was quite gruff.  He continually told us how busy he was.  There were lots of people in the store but they weren't lining up to talk to him, but hey, I give him the benefit of the doubt.  This man obviously wants me to understand that he is not able to give me his full time or attention.  I tell him what I want and ask a few questions about cost.  Again, gruff.  I reassure him (since he seems too stressed out over such a simple order) that I don't need the mats that day and that I am more than happy to come by and pick it up later in the week.  I tell him that the frames, albeit very similar in size, are in fact of different measurement.  A small difference but enough to account for when cutting mats.  Afterall, folks, you should know that I worked a year in a frame shop in high school.  I am not a numbskull when it comes to the business of cutting mats and framing.  However, he doesn't know that and I'm willing to play the trusting, unknowing customer.  So, he busily measures my frames and pictures and writes those numbers furiously down.  I am purposely giving out an air that is relaxed and calm and hoping that this aura of mine catches (therapist trick).  He then stops and looks at me and with the increasingly gruff (and increasingly annoying to me) manner tells me that two of the frames are the same.  I reply calmly that they are actually different.  Does he re-measure?  No.  He just states over and over to my protests that they are the same size.  Fine.  At this point, I just metaphorically throw my hands up in the air and say, "ok, great." 

Fast forward to three days later...

I pick up the mats and today put them in their frames at home.  Sure enough, those two "same" frames are not so "same".  One of the mats is too small for the frame.   GRRRRR!   I was right.  Not only was I right but I was right AND I spoke up but was ignored.  GRRRRR!  

Maybe I just hate the in-efficiency of having to deal with this man's (arrogant) mistake.  Maybe I hate to be questioned (definitely true about me in general).  But I fumed a good while when I figured out that I was right.  But I feel a heck of a lot better now that I've shared my frustration with you guys. 

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

I heart brandon but...

I love living in brandon but I would also love to see it grow and thrive.  I get super excited to see new businesses open up and hope that residents will support those businesses so that they don't die, well, mostly.  I am thinking of the new restaurant that opened not far from our home.  It was called Bonkers and it was just not grabbing customers.  They were a burger place that we tried once.  Not impressive.  And to no one's surprise the place closed down in less than a year.  I felt sorry for those owners' who were hoping to survive and thrive.  Perhaps that was their drea--to own their own business.  I understand that desire.  Maybe it is the lack of productivity that there appears to be when I am at home with David Jr. or maybe it is just a strong part of how the Lord created me (probably both), but I find myself daydreaming about creating and starting a business.  Anyway, I'm getting off track.  Back to Brandon.  I have seen other businesses come up (like Two Ugly Mugs, a coffee and creamery shop) and really hope people go there.  I want it to survive.  If it survives, then that means other people will bring their businesses to Brandon.  That would be great.  We could use more restaurants and retailers.  Not too many, but more.  Which has me thinking...what would I want to open in Brandon?  Hmmmm.  I think a Backyard Burger and/or ChickFilA would be nice.  Oh, and I would love to have an IHOP.  Well, this dream is a stretch but Coffee Rani (a restaurant only in south louisiana) would be a dream come true.  I have wondered many many times if I could hack it as a restauranteur, specifically for a Coffee Rani franchise here in MS.  Probably not.  But I'll keep hoping that it will come here and that the owners will allow me to be a silent partner (while we are dreaming...).

P.S.  No, I'm not pregnant (for the several people who thought I was). 

Sunday, January 24, 2010

fan of dirt

I'm not a fan of dirt actually.  I tolerate it to an extent.  However, when something is immensely disgusting it is hard not to look away.  In fact, there are producers that make lots of money from t.v. shows that show such nasty ventures.  Think about it:  Survivor is only one of them.  Well, there is a fantastic show that I discovered on the...ahem...discovery channel called Dirty Jobs.  A very blue-collar-friendly guy, Mike Rowe, who takes us to different jobs that others do.  What they have in common is that most people would never want to touch their job with a 10 ft. pole.  For example, he has worked with those who farm meal worms for other sportsmen.  Or those who go through abandoned buildings to rid them of rodents.  Or cleaning out animals and sterilizing their bones for educational or display purposes.  He sees gross things and smells gross things.  Normally, this show would only attract me for so long.  What brings me back again and again is the host.  Mike Rowe is witty, clever, quick, and ultra-likeable.  Apparently, I am not the only one who thinks so.  He has now become the spokesperson for the Ford truck company (and frankly, all of the blue collar/hard working man).  He does not demean these folks that he brings us to meet on his show but rather commends them for doing something no one else wants to do.  All the while making his audience laugh.  I'd be lying too if I didn't admit that he is easy on the eyes.  So, there's my plug:  educational while giving a salute to those people that make living comfortably a possibility AND entertaining.  Can you ask for more?

Monday, January 18, 2010

my boy is 9 and 1/2 months old

Yes.  And that is 2 and 1/2 months from ONE YEARS OLD!  I must use all caps in order to emphasize how CRAZY that actually is.  I remember thinking that my son would never grow out of napping on me in the rocking chair.  I remember thinking that it would be a long time before he could entertain himself while I did something...anything that wasn't baby related.  We are there.  He sits in the living room and plays.  He naps in our bed without me for at least 45 minutes at a time (but will go down longer if I nurse down again).  He eats our food, he babbles (dadadada, gaga), he is trying oh-so-hard at crawling.  He is SO MUCH FUN! 

I am enjoying this stage so much.  It makes me want more and I feel excited about being pregnant again.  David Sr. --not so much.  He is less excited and I am surprised that it has worked out that way.  I mean, afterall, he is the one that came from the large family.  He does remind me and I am sobered to remember that I was not in the throes of momma-euphoria in the first few months of jr.'s life.  Breastfeeding hurt and not just because I never had THAT much action in that area.  It was thrush.  I never got anything done back then.  It was a huge accomplishment if I got to eat lunch. 

Friday, January 8, 2010

making baklava (pronounced: bet-leh-wah)

I made this a couple of times this season.  I'm actually not a great of fan of this dessert.  I liken eating or buying baklava to a tourist in New York buying a statuette of the Statue of Liberty.  It is there for tourists only because that ends up being how a culture defines itself.  Frankly, I don't like it.  However, when I made my own it tasted scrumptious as it came out of the oven.  So, perhaps I am just a fan of fresh baklava.  I took some pictures to remember the event.  If you want the recipe let me know and I'll get it to you.  It is one of those desserts that looks terribly complicated but is thoroughly easy. 

Spreading chopped walnuts and sugar on layers of buttered philo dough


Christmas in Newellton

I hate this picture of me, but I couldn't resist posting since my two Davids look great!

David Jr. was nearing nap time so the joys of new experiences like crinkly wrapping paper in pretty colors was getting old.  If this picture had sound you would hear whining. 

Happy David!

He is on his new bear rug from Grandmere.  So soft and cuddly (the bear, I mean--although David Jr. is definitely soft and cuddly).

David is wearing a hat and bib from his Taita (lebanese for Grandmother).  He didn't mind wearing the hat.

Getting some lovin' from his Aunt Esther.  He loves his Aunt!

A great shot with the pretty tree in the background.  I love those pjs.  I think we left them at the Hogue house?

Full of comfort and joy!