Saturday, January 7, 2012

Back From Exile

It feels so good to be back and reading what you all have been up to! There has been so much to do getting ready for my move, celebrating Christmas and birthdays, savoring every minute of my daughter's visit from Portland, and ending my job of 23 years. Something had to give and unfortunately it was Google Reader.

After getting through all that, a tragedy greeted us the first day of 2012.

The phone rang at 4:30AM New Year's Day. Paralyzed with fear, my stomach flip-flopped and my mind raced. It was my stepdaughter's husband asking to speak to my husband in a grave voice. I handed the phone over and braced myself.

To make a very long story short, my youngest stepdaughter was involved in a fireworks explosion and lost her left eye. We are all devastated. It was a stupid, stupid thing that should never have happened. She is now recuperating at her mother's home and faces more surgeries and a prosthetic eye at some point. I'm so grateful that she is still here and that she didn't lose both eyes. There's so much more I want to say, but I'm still in shock over it and feeling a little overwhelmed with my own situation.

With six kids there is never a dull moment.

I am finally in Baton Rouge--my new home. We spent the first few days setting up the internet, visiting relatives, and running errands for my mother. Trying to carve out a little space for myself in a 700 sq ft apartment has been quite a challenge. My mother seems happy to have me here, so that's all that matters at this point.

Here are a few shots I took with my iphone over the last couple days:
Coffee Call - famous for beignets and cafe au lait! YUM 
Bread pudding at Cafe Americain
Topped with pecans, Bailey's Irish Cream, and chocolate rum sauce 
Boudin Balls at The Chimes Restaurant
Pronounced "Boo-dan" but silent on the 'n'
a Cajun specialty consisting of rice, sausage and various spices;
kind of like rice stuffing
My pants are already getting a little snug. :( 
A wallhanging at The Chimes
Double D & me at The Chimes
I've GOT to have one of these! (the tail, not the car)
Baton Rouge is known as Tiger Town, after all.
These were taken today with my 400mm lens at LSU Lakes:
White Pelican
Snowy Egret devouring a perch or brim
Close up
I'll be back with more photos and updates soon. Until then, laissez le bon temp rouler!!


TexWisGirl said...

oh gail, i am SO sorry about your step-daughter's accident! on top of everything you were already handling, that must be devastating! so glad she will be okay, even with the loss of some sight! truly sorry!

it is good to see you posting again. your photos are marvelous! the snowy with the fish is amazing! and the food just makes me hungry! i'm suddenly craving pappadeaux! :)

God bless you! i hope things settle down soon!

Evelyn S. said...

Welcome back, Gail!!! So glad to see your blog post appear in my sidebar! It's terrible news about your stepdaughter; I'm so sorry. Hopefully, she will heal well. As for your photos, those bird images are soooooooooo good. The detail is amazing; that has to be a pretty good 400mm lens and/or you have a steady hand. (How about dem Saints???)

Hilary said...

Oh how awful for your stepdaughter. I'm so sorry your family has to endure this tragic event. As horrible as it is, I'm glad it was not worse.

I'm glad you're getting settled in and I see you didn't lose track of your camera in the move. Beautiful photos as yours always are.

I hope everything will be back on track for you soon. Hugs to you.

Jan said...

Oh Gail! I'm so sorry for your step-daughter's accident! horrible :(

But, as you say, it could have been much worse. So hold that in your heart.

I'm glad you're getting settled in. I hope this means we'll see more of you! I'm selfish like that :)

Pieces of Sunshine said...

In the midst of change and tragedy, you have managed to capture some wonderful photos. Love your bird shot heaps. One day at a time.

Nancy @ A Rural Journal said...

So, so sad about your stepdaughter, Gail. So sorry about this. I'm glad she's still here too!

Happy that you are settling in and able to be with your mom. Wishing you a very happy 2012, my dear.

Shug said...

Girl....I am so glad to have you back in my life! I have missed you....
So sorry about your step-daughter. I know this has been a difficult time for all...Praying for a very speedy recovery for her and praying that her adjustment to only having the vision of one eye, will be an easy one.
Still keeping your entire family on my prayer list.
Glad the move is over for you and that your mom is feeling better about having you near. One thing for sure, Louisiana sure has a lot of great food and I know you are welcoming this part of the move.
As always, loving the pictures. Have a Blessed day and Trust God in ALL things..

Butterbean Row said...

Oh Gail,
I am so sorry about your stepdaughter. There is never a dull moment in your life, is there?
Yikes, 700 square feet? At least there is not much to clean. ha!
Yummy treats you have there in LA. I think my jeans would be getting tight really fast.

Good to read your post today!

♥charlotte BTW, I love your bird pics

Gail Dixon (Louisiana Belle) said...

Thank you all so much for your uplifting comments!!! I heart each and every one of you. :)

Starla said...

Gail, I was tickled pink to have you visit my blog today! That was a sign you had returned!

I'm so sorry to hear about your stepdaughter ( little stomach bug seems soooo insignificant now!). I'm glad she survived. I will keep her recovery in my thoughts and prayers.

Glad to hear you are settling in too! I think I just gained another 5lbs just looking at all those goodies!!

Barbara said...

My stomach flip-flopped just hearing you got a call at 4:30am! I'm relieved it was only an eye - but oh my gosh, how traumatic that must be, all the same. Happy New Year and Happy New Home to you! Gorgeous pics as always and I think I gained a few pounds just looking at all that yummy food!!

Linda R. said...

Hi Gail,
So good to see you back here in blogland. I love seeing your photos and the photo here with the fish in the birds mouth is awesome..

I am so sorry to hear about what happen to you stepdaughter. It is always so hard to hear the phone ring at that time in the morning. It usually isn't good news.. I will keep you all in my prayers..

Hugs, Linda

hootnonny said...

Am so glad you are in your new home so you can get on with your new normal.

I pray that your stepdaughter will have successful surgeries and acceptance of this, which I know will be hard. My grandmother, who lived to be 93, was blind in one eye. We think she lost her sight as a child in a fire, which also burned her badly on one side.

Love your pics. Welcome back my friend!

Anonymous said...

Oh gosh, I'm so very very sorry to hear about your step-daughter. Sending you strength and good wishes.

septembermom said...

I love all your pictures Gail! You are a gifted photographer :)

I'm so sorry for your stepdaughter's accident. I'll pray for her recovery.

Thanks so much for your friendship and support. It means so much to me!

lisa said...

I am so sorry to hear about your stepdaughter Gail, and I am so glad that it was not worse. So many people are injured with fireworks.

Glad to hear that you are getting settled in. You have had such a busy few months.

Be sure to take care of you!


Kathy said...

I missed this post somehow. So sorry about the fireworks accident. I can't believe there are still states that legalize fireworks. I was injured as a five-year-old (although the injuries were minor) from fireworks. There are too many people killed and maimed each year and I believe they should be left in the hands of professionals. Be that as it may, your pictures are beautiful, especially the pelican and the egret! Looking forward to seeing more of you in bloggerland.

P.S. Sounds like you sold your house in Dallas very quickly!

Tricia said...

So glad you're back, Gail. I was wondering how things were going for you. It must be nice to finally be getting settled in somewhere, even if it is a little on the cozy side.

Oh no, that's awful news about your stepdaughter! Poor thing. Hopefully, she recovers okay. Luckily, it wasn't both of her eyes.

Your photos look soooo gorgeous! :)

Rosie said...

Oh, Gail, I'm so sorry about those sad news! All my best wishes to your step-daughter!
Otherwise I'm so glad you're back - I really missed you! Your photos are as wonderful as ever! Have a wonderful year, despite that tragic start into 2012!

Michelle Renee said...

So sorry to hear about your stepdaughters accident. :( I'm glad you're back. I understand comes first!

The photos of the pelican and the egret are FABULOUS (love the last one the best).

Anonymous said...

1st of all, it's great to have you back in loop!
2nd, I'm terribly sorry about your step daughter's eye... I can't imagine, but we'll all be praying for her & your whole family!

The Egret shots are amazing, I can't believe you caught dinner! =)

God bless, Gail =)