It’s summer time… time for rebirth and renewal! Saturday, Jun 26 2010 

It’s been a full year since I’ve been here. Facebook and Twitter and foursquare have completely taken my attention span. I decided that I would attempt to revive the blog back in the manner that I gave life to it… as a blog about the three key things in my life…

The Kids:

  • Eldest Child is heading off to HIGH SCHOOL. Yes, it totally merited those caps. It is scaring the bazookas outta me. Does she care? I don’t think so. Me, terrified.
  • Only Son is finishing his last year of elementary school. Still the tiny little guy, same size as his baby sister, but willing to take her in a duel. This Middle Child perplexes me in how much he loves school but doesn’t want to show that he thinks school is “cool”. He is refusing to let me purchase the 5th grade class shirt. Sigh.
  • Mini Me has exploded onto the scene. She’s going into 1st grade and is ready for high school. She’ll be taking her formal talented drama screening this fall. If she doesn’t make it, there is something seriously wrong here.

The Cats

  • Hugo is the daddykins at 7. He doesn’t leave my bed unless I’ve come home and am sitting on the couch… then he comes to the front room to stare at me to inquire as to why I haven’t made it to bed yet.
  • Mouse is still white and still deaf and is now 3. He has the run of the house since Hugo isn’t going anywhere that doesn’t involve me. But, he mainly sticks to windowsills or sofa cushions above Eldest Child’s head (preferably ON her head).
  • Charlie, our Katrina wild child, has declared himself a wild child yet again. He’s five this year… a reminder of the storm and how much time and how much and how little has changed. He decided the outside life was no longer for him. He now protects the yard from the random cardinal or squirrel and if another cat should think of coming within a yard of ours… they’d better think again.

The Books:

  • Well, let’s just say they keep on coming and they get better and better. I hope to review more often. I am now working as an elementary librarian at the school where Only Son and Mini Me attend. Luckily, it’s an advanced school so we have a wide variety of books to read.

NOLA:

  • Lots to talk about, lots going on, lots still to do.

I hope you missed me. I hope you’ll be back.

NOLADawn

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So, I went to my 20th reunion and lived to tell about it! Tuesday, Jul 7 2009 

What do you get when you put 50 women from a now defunct all-girls’ Catholic high school in a ballroom together? A PAWTY! (look up N’Awlins speak to decipher)

Interestingly, not much has changed. We had a girls’ night dinner on Friday night and the big shebang at a fancy French Quarter hotel on Saturday, with spouses invited (about half took up that offer.) Most of us hadn’t seen each other since we promised to K.I.T. when we left school in May 1989. Some had gone to the 5, 10, or 15 year reunions. However, with the popularity of facebook, we found almost 70% of our class online. Not everyone could attend because, unlike the NOLA tradition of staying near family, many classmates had moved away. Some were for jobs, some for spouses, some for Katrina. But, we were able to get about 50-60 girls in for the two-night affair.

Funny thing. When I looked around at the tables… we were all sitting in our cafeteria spots. Habits are hard to break, even after twenty years. We eventually mingled and realized what we’d been missing all this time. We all went out afterward to a (you can picture it in your head) Bourbon St. bar and danced and sang until 4 a.m. In the time since the reunion there have been sporadic gatherings and promises of monthly ones to come.

We’ll see but, I know I hope the spirit of our school continues on.

Summertime… and the living ain’t so easy Tuesday, Jun 30 2009 

It’s been one hellacious summer; already.

My library had to be packed up to move to the new school site and I had to prepare my library for the new school.  (oodles of fun, I HIGHLY recommend it)

It’s hot as Hades out there, can’t even stand to walk outside, much less partake in any family events.  I only have one kiddo left in summer camp.  And, she’s raring to go to Kindergarten so she’s not really digging the whole summer camp scene. The eighth grader and fourth grader are itching to get at my last nerve, but I have locked it away and they can’t have it.

GNOWP has gone on without me, sadly.  I couldn’t participate this year, much to my dismay.  At least I still got to keep in touch with them via Twitter and facebook.

I’m gearing up for the new school opening this August.  I’ll likely be back to work on July 20th to get the ball rolling.  Luckily, my two youngest, have tested into the academic magnet school where I am, so they’ll be with me and get a great enriching education.  BUT, it means all new uniforms, new friends, new everything.  I have a feeling they’ll be OK.

As for me… I’ve been doing what else.. reading and watching TV.  I rewarded myself with a Kindle2 for lots of overtime work and I’m thoroughly addicted.  Keeping up with my favorite authors on Twitter has become a new fave pastime.  Check some of them out at my twitter page http://twitter.com/noladawn

I promise (ok, I’ll make an attempt) to keep my blog updated more often.  Life tends to get away with you when you work too many hours and have three active kids.

Missed y’all!

NOLADawn

Surviving Gustav (with kids, cats, and books) Friday, Sep 5 2008 

We decided to watch and wait.  Watch and wait.  Watch and leave.  We originally booked rooms “just in case” in Lafayette, LA.  Turns out that was right in the path of Gustav.  Scratch that plan.  We got rooms in Birmingham, AL.  Saturday I was still on the fence.  I really didn’t want to leave when G was still not even in the Gulf.  Ivan taught us about that.  I come from a family of “stayers.”  Ivan and Katrina are the only times I’ve ever left in my life.  Ivan… well that was a waste of 34 hours in a car with a 9 week old.  Katrina… well we all know how that turned out.  22 days in 2 states and 2 hotel rooms with 5 people, including a cat and a just-turned 1 year old.  So, call me stubborn, but unless I KNEW I had to leave I was a bit reticent to do so.

We woke up Sunday morning and decided we should go.  I convinced my sister-in-law, whom I love dearly, to call my brother-in-law, who…not so much, to see if we could just go to his house since he lives just outside of Baton Rouge.  It’s closer in case of an Ivan fiasco and cheaper in case of a Katrina ordeal.  He agreed and we cancelled the B’Ham reservations.  We left at noon on Sunday.  With contraflow in full effect we made great time (considering the 34 hours for Ivan and 28 for Katrina) of 2 1/2 hours!  We got to the house and immediately brought our five cats, in their kennels, into the house.  Our two choc. labs we brought into the fenced back yard.  SIL’s two dogs went to the back yard.  Our niece’s two lap dogs came inside in their kennel and her cat did likewise.  We were greeted with, “What’s that stench?”  Ummm, that would be a kitten that got sick on the car ride???  We’re going to clean the cage as soon as we get a chance to breathe.  Mind if we pee first?  Well, we brought the cats outside to clean out the cage and they were never allowed back in the house!  Nor any of the dogs, or my niece’s cat.  We were told where we could eat and drink and were told we were using too many of our OWN towels.

When power went out on day two… the generator was hooked up.  The tv and fridge were hooked to it, along with a couple of fans for the den and garage (for our poor indoor pets!)  Little did we know that they had a window unit cranked up in their bedroom!!

My kids were ridiculed for how much they ate (too much for the youngest, not enough for the boy, and just comments on how skinny my oldest was.)

I brought a book along for when the power went out.  Of course, that choice was questioned too, as it was a Katrina memoir.

I was even criticized (without even talking about it myself… I guess it was the bumper sticker on my car) for voting for a n*#%&!!!!  Well, let’s just say, I started drinking to keep my sanity then.  And of course, my Edge network went out about the same time, so my link to people with common sense, my Twitter folks, was gone.

The first they mentioned about coming home- we were on a mission.  Hubs and SIL went out at the crack of dawn and bought supplies for the trip home and we were off.  Home to find a house cold with a/c and my Direct TV working just fine.  Twittering non-stop now.  Boy, I missed NOLA.

People, remind me next time to head for Birmingham, please!

3 years later Thursday, Aug 28 2008 

3 years later.

Time heals all wounds?  Not when they keep getting ripped open.  3 years to the day and another one one the way.

Afraid to LEAVE ~ Afraid to STAY

Can’t we get a fucking break, really?

Oh. My. Gawd. Sunday, Jul 13 2008 

Big Brother has a N’Awlinian Y’At (as in, Where’y’at dawlin’) as a contestant…. Ok, so we don’t ALL talk like that.  Trust. Me.

Phew.  I feel better now.  Back to your day.

Summer Fun Thursday, Jun 26 2008 

So, summer is off and running… I’m still working, sort of.  I’m helping out with the Greater New Orleans Writing Project, voluntarily 😀  It ends on July 9th, then I’ll have two weeks off before the Advanced GNOWP Institue starts, which I’m taking as a student…  Yay!  That lasts two weeks, then school starts back for me on August 6th.  So much for summer, huh?!  I have had some fun though.  Tuesday night I took my eldest daughter (going on 12 -going on 30-) to see Carrie Underwood.  By some sheer luck I snagged floor seats right next to the ramp where she walks out on the day of the concert!  Fantastic show!  It was her last date of the tour.  Then, last night hubby and I took the entire brood, plus our son’s best friend, to see the Ringling Bros. Circus.  They had a blast (as did I!)  We’re planning on taking them to the brand new Audubon Institute Insectarium that opened a few weeks ago.  It’s in the U.S. Customs House, which was sitting empty on Canal Street.  Since I last blogged we have also gained a new family member, a kitten we rescued from a lunatic teenager that was trying to drown him in a bucket of water.  Hubby came to the rescue and Gus now rules the house, even though he weighs not 2 pounds soaking wet!  Charlie has again taken on the “Baby Daddy” role.  Such a great Dad!

I’ll check back in as my super summer progresses…

Gus Gus

Gus-Gus

Carrie Underwood

Carrie Underwood

Big Kitties

Big Kitties at the Circus

Obama in NOLA, 2/7/08 Friday, Feb 8 2008 

Barack Obama in New Orleans, LA

Obama: Rebuilding New Orleans, Two Years Later

Yes, we CAN. Monday, Feb 4 2008 

Because of Mardi Gras NOLA isn’t in on the Super Tuesday action. Of course that isn’t going to stop me from chiming in…. By the time I get to vote on Saturday a decision may already be made (which really sucks) but stop by and see this awesome video and hear these awesome words.

www.yeswecansong.com

Manic Monday- Earth Monday, Nov 5 2007 

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Manic Monday: Earth

 

I don’t know if it’s because I’m a child of the 70s or because I grew up in a city where nature is so vitally important to us but I have always been so tied to the Earth. I can remember as a kid being mad seeing people throw trash on the ground. Now, I want to take out my cell phone and call in the plate number of the people I see doing it.

 

We all know the effects that Katrina had on New Orleans, but what many did not take the time (or didn’t care) to learn was that Katrina was not just a natural event that came upon NOLA. Had Katrina happened twenty years ago, the damage would not been as harsh, levee faults or not. The reason being that our marsh land, which serves as a buffer between the Gulf of Mexico and Louisiana loses the amount of 20 football fields a day to erosion. After the 2005 hurricane season, Louisiana lost 217 square miles of wetlands. Without these wetlands, hurricanes do not have anything to slow them down and break the blow of the storm. They then hit with full force. If you have a chance to see the IMAX film, Hurricane on the Bayou, I highly recommend it. It began filming before Katrina and was halted when the storm hit. When you see it you will get a clear picture on how much we Louisianians depend on Mother Earth and how fragile our relationship with her is.

Love your mother!

 

Visit Mo for more Manic Monday info!

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2 years Wednesday, Aug 29 2007 

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Book Review/Southern Reading Challenge: No Place, Louisiana Tuesday, Jul 24 2007 

This is the first book that I’ve read for the Southern Reading Challenge that Maggie concocted over at Maggie Reads. No Place, Louisiana is a first novel for author Martin Pousson. It gives a look at life in Louisiana’s Cajun country as seen through the eyes of Nita, who is looking for any way to escape her poor life. Unfortunately, Louis is it. Great voice, immaculate timing, and classic Southern drama set in the slow 60s and 70s of the lazy bayous of Louisiana.  You feel Nita’s yearning and want something more for her but know what the limitations that are placed on her are.  A new Southern classic for me.

The Publishers Weekly critique states:

From Publishers Weekly
Louisiana-born Pousson debuts with a tightly wound novel about a claustrophobic Cajun marriage. Life in Jennings, La., is no bowl of jambalaya for 16-year-old part-time waitress Nita Morrow when she meets Louis Toussaint on a blind date. Looking to escape her groping stepfather and dead-end existence, Nita marries crude, cheap, car-crazy Louis only to find that her ticket out of town leads to another small town. Nita and Louis make a life together, but not one where he can be the domestic king he imagines or she can even be satisfied. Over the years, Nita succumbs neither to her disapproving mother-in-law nor to her husband’s outbursts of machismo. Yearning for something more, she moves her family to successively bigger homes in better neighborhoods. Both husband and wife learn to focus their hopes for the future on their two children, while anger and disappointment with their own lives fester until the inevitable tragedy occurs. Southern family dysfunction is certainly not a new theme, nor is the failure of material wealth to make up for psychological deprivation. Pousson updates these situations with crisp technical adeptness by recounting his story both from Nita’s perspective and from Louis’s: the date, the wedding, the wedding night, the years that follow. Both husband and wife miss opportunities to deal effectively with feelings or the problems that undermine their happiness, and each injures the other intentionally and unintentionally. Pousson’s portrait of discontent is made up of piercing vignettes and Louisiana-inflected dialogue. Setting out to capture the modern South, the first-time novelist confidently eschews the style of a Faulkner or the charm of a McCullers to evoke the prejudices and limitations of Cajun culture in its unique, enriching and destructive complexity. (Mar. 18)Forecast: Fans of Richard Ford and Larry Brown will respond to Pousson’s dark perspective and adept prose.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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