Monthly Archives: April 2014

I can’t…

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You must,

Says Father to Our God.

I take that.  It is mine.  Those are my words now. 

I use them all the time.

I can’t

Pretend anymore.

With you,

I don’t know the answers.

I can’t

Want it for you –

A life, YOUR life, YOUR salvation,

I can’t.

I can’t stand here, sit here,

Weak, crying,

Weak from crying,

Wanting your life to be better.

This is YOUR story.

You must ask,

You must pray,

You must say YOU CAN’T

And HE MUST.

There is no other way.

I WON’T

Take your empty promises,

Listen to your half-hearted plans,

Watch you careen down the road

OF LIFE

Like we owe you something.

We don’t. 

I WON’T

Listen to your phone go to voicemail;

See my texts go unanswered,

Feel my heart beat faster,

Bargain with my Lord God,

Pay your dues,

Clean your mess,

Convince you of your salvation. 

I won’t

Look at orange spray painted lines

On roads anymore

That outline a person’s last breath

AND

Think of you

Anymore.

Not anymore.

Seriously?

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My housekeeper seems to have abandoned ship today. Warning: This will probably sound really bad. I don’t mean for it to, but I think anytime someone complains about the work of a housekeeper, etc., it just inherently sounds bad. With that being said, here we go:

I had a GREAT HOUSEKEEPER for 10 years. She quickly became my friend. I loved her. I will come to her aid if she calls me at midnight and we are 80. She is just an amazingly good person. She left. Sigh. Bigger sigh. She had to help her family in Florida. I totally got that. What I didn’t get was how.difficult.it.would.be.to.find.someonetohelpme. She left like 2 weeks after I began homeschooling my now-7th grader. That was 2 weeks into 6th grade.

Here is a list of some of the things I have encountered while trying to find someone who could fit in and help us run our household smoothly:

One person liked to go “out” on Sunday nights. OUT – like, drinking to obblivion out. On Sunday, y’all? Go to church. The reason this affected me? She could not get here on Mondays to save her life. My car, my stomach, my blahblahblah. How about my bottle of vodka & I stayed up all night?

One person stole my watch and necklace within a week of coming into our home. I shoulda known something was up by the way she dressed for work – really nice jewelry. My wonderful hubs told her the gig was up and if she gave me back my stuff, we wouldn’t call the police. Done deal.

One person came as a team with her husband. They were great. They were expensive. Still, I paid. Over $50.00 per hour. They were like a hurricane. Got in, got it done, bam. BAM. Then one day, they brought their daughter in. She looked sketchy. Sorry, but she did. The next day, my daughter freaked out because her much-cherished hundred dollar bill was GONE from her nightstand. We confronted the cleaning couple. Nothing. Crickets. Okay. Sorry. Gone.

One person came in with obvious problems, but seemed so excited to have a job. She talked WAY too much. She gave her opinion way too much. She brought her newly-expelled kindergartner to my house and plunked him in my homeschool WAY TOO MUCH. We tried to counsel her. Go to church, we said. It will be good for you and your family, we said. Her mother tried to commit suicide while the sister was trying to get out of prison. Bye.

One person came who promised that everything would “be done right the first time.” Girlfriend NEVER got here on time. She was constantly late. She came from about 15 miles away. To compensate her, I gave her $10 every day for gas. I asked for 4 hours. She gave me 3. Consistently. She had lots to do that didn’t involve cleaning my house.

Today. I came home. That last housekeeper was here when I left to go to Avery Island with my college son and two daughters. When I came home, there was a sinkful of dishes. There was a dishwasher full of dishes. None of the sheets had been changed. Nothing really had been done.

I.am.tired.of.paying $20 per hour, PLUS $10 gas to get lame excuses, absenteeism for whatever reason, shoddy work.

I figure if God can send me two deaf angels who can now hear and communicate beautifully, I can keep my own house clean. And keep the money. For us to have fun with.

Well, I gotta run. I gotta change some sheets. 🙂

Peace.

Sometimes…

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You gotta
Make your own sunshine;
Fill your own cup
Of happiness;
Have a wine and cheese party
For one;
Dance with the lightning;
Sway with the thunder;
Turn your face toward the rain;
Order books to listen to;
Tell your family you love them;
Make sure they know…
Hold their faces in your hands
While you tell them so;
Take a risk;
Think of the time
God has allotted you…
And don’t waste a moment…
Do it.
Gracefully,
Graciously.
Leave love
Everywhere you go…
Sometimes you just gotta.

Mrs. Connick’s daughter…

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Yesterday, out of the blue, a kind-eyed, blue-eyed stranger asked me, “Are you Mrs. Connick’s daughter?” RARE. It has been years since some asked me that. I immediately felt my angel’s wings squeeze me a little tighter…”YES??!!!” I walked right up to this guy-with-the-Greek-last-name-that-for-the-life-of-me-I-can’t-remember…He had dark skin and a salt & pepper handle-bar moustache. “I LOVED your mom. I took care of her when she came to Lourdes.” Hospital. My mom suffered from congestive heart failure, and various forms of cancer that stemmed from breast cancer. But this visit, I believe was her heart. The kind guy went on to tell me that there were no beds available and my mom was very patient (typical) and pleasant (typical). He told me that once she got her bed, he still checked on her and always enjoyed chatting with her. The thing that got me the most was that she died about 15 years ago, THIS month. I’ve already been thinking about her this month. I was always astounded how the month could be so full of new life, cool morning air, my son joining his first t-ball team…and my mom lay there, so sick and unable to do anything at all. We were with her constantly back then, and then her very best friend was kind enough to let our mom move into her home and also let me and my sisters stay there as much as possible. We would go into our mom’s room, which was always dim and cool, and there my mom would be, so tiny in that big bed, always anxious to hold hands & listen to me gab to her or among my two sisters. I know she is in Heaven. I saw her reach up to either her angel, Jesus Himself, or, knowing my mom, St. Joseph came down to pick her up himself because he was HER saint. She went to him with EVERYthing. I used to wonder why and then I realized…my dad died when I was 8 and with St. Joseph being the head of the Holy Family, my mom asked him to be the head of ours, too. Anyway. I was dating my now-husband back then. It was Festival time (Festival International, my very, very favorite festival we have here), and I hardly realized it because of the round-the-clock-watch with my mom. I wasn’t even running back then. One of my sisters and I were with our mom. We were talking quietly in the corner while our mom slept that Saturday morning. We noticed our sweet mom’s breath change & we turned to look at her. She reached straight up toward the ceiling as if she was taking someone’s hand. She was. Typical Catholic girls, we started praying the “Hail Mary”. A minute or two later, with each of us holding a hand & her eyes locked onto mine, her beautiful brown eyes that were so full of life for so long, dimmed. I knew she was gone. Just like that. It was amazing. It was beautiful. I was so grateful to be with her as she left us.

Later that night…this is kind of funny. Okay, it IS funny. I am sure I blogged about this before, but that’s okay. While my other sister and I sat on the floor, looking at some pictures of our mom and waiting for the third sister to pick us up for dinner, a bottle of Victoria’s Secret lotion began rocking back and forth on the shelf about 5 feet from us – we just stared, holding our breath. After about 15 seconds, the bottle stopped rocking; my sister and I looked at each other & said in unison, “Momma!” We laughed. Leave it to Libby to let us know she made it to Heaven by way of a Victoria’s Secret lotion bottle…which just happened to be her favorite. I used to massage her hands and hit her pressure points with that same kind of lotion 🙂

I know she just changed neighborhoods; she’s not really gone. Her best friend – one of them – died on Friday, I just found out…I knew immediately that Momma must have been waiting at the gate for Miss Margaret to come through!

Peace. And love somebody.

Friday. Yet Sunday.

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p>I LOVE FRIDAYS.  Just the idea of having a break with my family or setting my alarm clock because I want to go RUN is an EXHILARATING thought!  I just soak up Friday.  Oh, and I rarely cook on Fridays.  We love Vietnamese food and of course, in South Louisiana, during Lent, Fridays mean crawfish.  I still remember my parents having conversations that circled around penance during Lent, yet crawfish was completely acceptable during Lent.  </p><p>This week has been extra-good for me, physically speaking…I feel 90 percent recovered from the Zydeco Marathon.  I say 90 percent because until I really let it rip with a little speed work, well, that’s when I’ll be back at 100 percent.  My goal this week was, to quote the fitness master Sean T, to “push play” 3 times this week AND also keep some running in the mix.  I did Insanity Day 1, T25 on 2 days, and today I did my first Body Rock class in our neighborhood.  A workout class IN PUBLIC is a huge step for me.  I’ve always been self-conscious, felt uncoordinated, etc.  But you know what?  So what.  I joked with the instructor that I was going to hang out in the back of the class in case I needed to run out &amp; couldn’t hang.  I hung.  Very well.  The hardest part was planking &amp; pulsing a leg at the same time.  EVERYthing started sweating at that moment.  My neck, my abs.  Dude.  Seriously.  My elbows, even!!!!  Lucia, the amazing, ex-Marine, instructor, uses a Tabata timer &amp; there were 3 sets of each group of workouts.  I’ll definitely be back.  The stretching &amp; weights, and everything was just what I needed to help round my week.</p><p>6 more sleeps till my sweet son comes home for Spring Break!!!!  I can’t wait to see him!  I just took a quick nap in his room.  I just miss spending time with him…hearing his voice &amp; seeing that precious face.  I can’t wait to see what Neville Longbottom does when he sees that his boy has come home!!!!  My son told me recently that he plans to take Neville with him everywhere that he can while he is in town.  🙂  I love that.</p><p>Lent – the start of Holy Week this weekend!  I took my daughters to the Way of the Cross on Monday evening.  I may have mentioned that in the last post.  May also be a brain-cramp.  Regardless, going to a Way of the Cross can be a very moving experience.  One of our local Roman Catholic high schools, St. Thomas More, used to, and I’m sure still does, a very emotional one where the students are the actors.  Remembering all the years that I went to that brings tears to my eyes even now.  It is such a moving experience.  I love that the students have the opportunity to portray Jesus and the people He encountered during that time – just a very insightful experience.</p><p>Getting ready to go pick up my sweet 8th grader at the bus stop.  She loves her some weekends, too!  She was trying to work ahead on her homework so that she would have a “freer” weekend…can’t blame her &amp; love that responsible way she thinks!</p><p>Whatchall cooking at Easter?  We need to talk about it in this house REALLY soon.  I’ve been swirling ideas around my head.  But our neighborhood does a very good Easter Lunch – we did that last year.  But, since we aren’t going out of town, cooking may work – leftovers will be much-appreciated by my son, I know, who misses my cooking!  I definitely need to make a homemade mac &amp; cheese at some point.  Ham?  Or my mother-in-law’s crawfish enchiladas?  Her private recipe.  Talk.about.GOOD.  You can tell I’m from the South.  We love talking about cooking &amp; recipes &amp; down here, we usually talk about the next meal while we are eating 🙂  Now that seems to be more on special occasions with all the metabolisms slowing down &amp; food allergies going up!  sigh.  That’s okay.  That’s what special occasions are for &amp; after all, Easter is HUGE!!!  </p><p>Peace, y’all…</p>

April 1, 2014

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Tuesday.  Two days post Zydeco Marathon.  The race.  26.2 miles.  I’m very glad I did it.  I think if I do that one again, given the warm time of year, I will change my expectations.  I was hoping to finish in around 4 hours.  I finished in like 4:17, I think.  Certainly not stellar for me, especially since there was virtually no elevation gain.  Baton Rouge has over 1,400 feet of elevation and I finish marathons there in a lot less time.  Pity party over.  I started.  I finished.  I won, as far as I’m concerned.  I’m soooooorrrrrre.  Like, really sore.  I went from walking like a slow robot on Monday to a transformer today.  I’m not sure what is next.  I’m out of the New York Marathon.  My husband has a trial/trial prep that is happening at exactly the same time, so there goes my chance for that race this year.  As he said, if that’s the worse thing that happens to me, I’m doing alright.  The only problem is, I was/am disappointed because I have thrown my hat into that ring for 3 solid years, with a ‘no’ each time and this year is the last year that I would be able to be granted entry with the sort of “3 strikes & you’re IN” rule.  That rule is over after this year.  I could still raise money for it next year and run it.  I’ll see. 

I feel like I’m at the beginning of something.  I’m not sure what.  I want to do something physically – change up my workouts, challenge myself in different ways…I also want to clean out this house & get rid of all that is no longer useful and give it to someone who can use it!

I’m taking this week off to let my muscles recuperate.  I enjoyed some time on my porch this evening, planting a few things and trying to re-vitalize what’s happening out there since the big freezey!!!!

Lent – and the Padre Pio Novena are in full swing.  Home school is going quite well.  My sweet son will be in during Easter break.  I can’t wait to see him and spend some time with him!  He is doing a beautiful job transitioning from kid-to-man.  That is not an easy transition under the best of circumstances.  He is wonderful and inspiring.  He can make me laugh when I least expect it!  I told him tonight, he needs to write some of what he says down.  He’s a riot and doesn’t even realize it 🙂

Okay, so peace out, I’m gonna go look at my plants! 🙂