Thursday, November 24, 2011

Guaranteed gratitude or receive a refund!

I wasn't going to post anything today but this evening I was catching up on my blog reading and became inspired by all the "Gratitude" posts. Realizing that even though my family is scattered and our future is so uncertain, my heart is filled with joy despite the whirlwind around us.

I was fortunate enough to stumble on this youtube video by Louie Schwartzberg of TEDxSF which was posted on cottage 960's blog. It's almost 10 minutes long, but so captivating and inspiring, I just had to borrow it. And if you don't have time to look at it now, bookmark it for later. I promise you will be uplifted. Guaranteed or your money back! :)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

God Bless Double D

It's 4AM and I can't sleep.

Isn't that a song lyric?

I had started a post a couple of days ago but that has been scrapped. What a difference a day makes.

My mom's doctor advised that she needs more assistance than Independent Living will provide. The next level of care is too costly for her comfort zone, eating up all of her monthly income.

Double D graciously suggested I move to Baton Rouge to be with her. He will stay behind until we can sell the house. My mom is thrilled. And relieved.

I resigned from the tennis association as web site director and tendered my resignation to my company today. My bosses were super supportive, caring, and understanding. The best part is that I can still do some work remotely for my main boss, and for that I feel incredibly blessed and grateful.

Hopefully I'll get some awesome bayou photos to add to my portfolio along with a variety of birds native to the area. Another positive is visiting more often with my crazy dad, his lovely wife, and the rest of my immediate family. Daddy and I have talked about going fishing once I get settled. Doesn't that sound nice?

Yes, I think this is exactly what was supposed to happen, at the exact time that it was supposed to happen. I feel such an immense sense of relief.

Double D is an amazing man. I adore him with all my heart. He has taught me so much about patience and kindness and unconditional love. Christ's love truly emanates from the center of his being. Love is patient, love is is not self-seeking....(1 Cor 13).

May God bless Double D for this enormous sacrifice!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

A Taste of Louisiana

Below are a few photos I captured while zipping around Baton Rouge and surrounding areas the week of 11/1/11. Sadly, some of the previous years' hurricanes have wreaked havoc on many of the trees in my beautiful state. Many were uprooted or beat to a pulp. Boo to Katrina and Gustav and Ike. You were not welcome and we curse thee.

Magnolia Mound Plantation
Baton Rouge, LA
Found floating inside a rusty basin at Magnolia Mound Plantation.
The caretakers assured me it was not real.
My first spotting of a Belted Kingfisher. Had to crop this down significantly which results in a less than stellar photo; wish I could have gotten closer.
Watson, Louisiana
An old kettle in my godfather's back yard. We had many a crawfish boil in this kettle when I was a girl.
My godfather's property is on a hill that backs up to a lake which is why there is a slope. This ferocious little dog is his neighbor. Each time I took a step toward him he retreated backwards, barking all the while.
"Don't come any closer! I MEAN IT!"
"Oh, I guess she doesn't mean any harm."
This was the above attacker's sidekick.
I named him Barney Fife.
St. Gabriel Cemetery ~ St. Gabriel, LA
My Uncle Bobby tells me this cross has been black since he was an altar boy in the 1950s, probably to represent death. All the priests in those days wore black vestments at funeral masses.
There's something about these crypts from the 1700s and 1800s that I'm drawn to. 

No visit to Baton Rouge is complete without photographing this unusual tree wart.
I think I pronounced his name Boudreaux last time I saw him.
The rest of these birds I found right outside my mother's apartment:

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Goodbye, Normandy Village

My mother will be leaving her home of over 30 years to start a new chapter of her life. Rather than go into all the minutiae, let me just tell you that she is out of the hospital and has no lasting effects from the stroke.

Two doctors confirmed that she is in the advanced stages of Parkinson's Disease and that she should not be living alone. She had fallen a few days before her mini-stroke and admitted to me that she had fallen several other times in the past, as well as hallucinating some days, and recently waking up from a daze to find her cache of pills strewn all over the living room floor with no knowledge of what took place.


With two referrals in hand for a nearby senior community off I went early Monday morning. A sweet, energetic tour guide named Karen, excitedly showed off all the amenities. It felt like I was sending my mother to kindergarten. I was thinking how I'd go back and say "Oh, mama, you'll absolutely love the LSU room. Wait til you see all the beautiful LSU wreaths the residents made for their doors!"

This current role of caregiver to my independent mother (think Mary Tyler Moore) is new and strange and jarring. It is one of the drawbacks of being an only child. I'm on deck for every little decision, responsible for it all. With three of her brothers and a sister looking on, I cannot fail. There's no one else to point to if something goes wrong.

Mama was super stoked to go visit the facility so back out to the home we went. Karen was gracious enough to do the tour all over again even though I had just left her 30 minutes prior. As we walked toward the unit that my mom might soon call home, we ran into a group of very well dressed, manicured ladies who stopped to chat. One lady decked out in purple and gold said, "How 'bout those players Saturday night? I wanted to give each one of those boys a great big kiss!" (#1 LSU had played #2 Alabama, with LSU the victor.)

As we walked away Karen whispered, "That was Les Miles' mom."

Les Miles is the head coach of the LSU Tigers.

You should have seen my mom's face! Her eyes were huge and she was literally beaming.

I said, "Well, if this place is good enough for Les Miles' mom, it's good enough for my mom!"

So there we are. Once the paperwork is in place I will go back and help her pack for her exciting new adventure.

At this moment I want to give all my special blogging friends a great big hug! I was so busy and so distraught that I hardly noticed being without a computer for seven days. But as I was waiting on my flight I thought of all the blog reading that I normally enjoy each day and I was suddenly missing you all terribly, wondering what you had been up to. Obviously I can't go back and catch up on every single post, but I will do my best as time allows to get caught up with all of you. I truly MISSED YOU!

These flowers are for you. My uncle, whom I refer to as "The Godfather", picked them himself. :)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Cajun country update

A quick update from my iPhone. My mom had a mini-stroke during my visit so I am detained in Baton Rouge for at least a couple extra days. Fortunately the episode did not leave any lasting effects. Please keep us in your prayers.