Sunday, September 30, 2012

A Captive Audience

About two weeks ago I visited the Baton Rouge Zoo, though it was still too hot to be enjoyable. I think I've mentioned before that I don't care for zoos because animals in captivity can't possibly be happy--especially the birds. But they do serve an educational purpose, I suppose.

I connected on a deep level with a pair of parrots. I began with "HELLO" and they said something back and it went from there. We really hit if off. As I looked into their eyes I felt they were begging me to release them. See, this is how I torture myself at the zoo. I spent a good 10 minutes with them and finally waved and said, "GOODBYE!" As I walked away, their ear-splitting screeches broke my heart. I have never heard such mournful, distressing screams in my life. I am not exaggerating. It haunts me—even now.
The odd couple coming to check me out
The sign said American Alligator, but his snout looks way too flat and long
In all my bayou exploits I never saw an alligator that looked like this!
Andean Condor with fencing in front
Crested Screamer (thank God they didn't scream)
So darn cute! 
Lappet-faced Vulture
Viewing face
I came home and noticed this face on my neighbor's tree
Double D is out of town this week and the weather is supposed to be gorgeous. I plan to take full advantage of my freedom and the weather by hunting down every flower, dragonfly, butterfly, and bird that will let me shoot it! Ha! 

Thanks again for the uplifting comments and emails. My heart can sing once again. Y'all are truly awesome! God bless. :)

Saturday, September 29, 2012


In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out.
It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being.
We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.
~Albert Schweitzer

From time to time I go through periods of melancholy, which I experienced this past week. Then last night Double D went to the mailbox and handed me a small box. "What's this all about?" he asked.

"Oh, my sweet bloggy friend! I wonder what it is?!"

I knew the package was coming, but wasn't expecting it for a few more days. Delighted, I tore open the package and inside found the most beautiful, sterling silver hummingbird earrings. My sweet friend (who asked to remain anonymous), knows me well. What's strange is I received notice that it was coming before I published The Impossible post. How did she know ahead of time that I could use a lift?

I tried my best to photograph the earrings; unfortunately, indoor photography is not my strong suit. It has been raining most of the day, so I could not take them outside for my favorite natural light shots. Here they are anyway--aren't they beautiful?

Playing with the Solarize feature in Lightroom
My purple LSU shirt kept reflecting onto the silver, so I just left it. 
I adore these earrings, but I also appreciate the thought and care and time that went into this gesture. "Appreciate" isn't really the right termmaybe "deep gratitude" is the closest phrase to what I'm feeling. So, thank you, thank you for your generosity and friendship. I am humbly blessed knowing that God is still working through His people on earth.

Now, I've got to lighten this up with a silly joke. You've probably seen it, but here it is anyway:

Big Ed seemed to always fall asleep during the Sunday sermon. His wife was fed up and decided to deal with the embarrassing situation.

The next Sunday when he fell asleep, she quietly removed some pungent Limburger cheese from a ziplock bag in her purse and passed it under his nose.

Groggily startled, Big Ed blurted out, "No, Helen, no—don't kiss me now!"

Snort! Have a great weekend everybody!

Sharing with Nancy at 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Impossible

"Oh God, Oh God! that it were possible
To undo things done; to call back yesterday!
That time could turn up her swift and sandy glass,
To untell days, and to redeem these hours." ~ Thomas Heywood

Lately, I have felt my mom's absence in a huge way. When she passed away in February there was plenty to keep me distracted, what with packing, moving, etc. But now things have settled down, the daily calls from friends and relatives have slowed, and this allows more time for pesky thoughts to come barging in, intrusively demanding my attention. I keep pushing them away, but if I don't deal with them, I am awakened at 2 or 3 in the morning with their annoying persistence.

I guess specifically, I want a do-over for that whole period in the hospital with my mom. When the doctor said she wouldn't last more than a few hours off the breathing machine, then went on to live SEVEN MORE DAYS, I wish I had gone back to the doctors after DAY ONE and demanded, "Put her back on the machine. Now." But I didn't do that and it plagues me every single day. When you're exhausted and emotional and scared, it's not the best time to make a life-or-death decision. It really shows what you're made of, and I feel like I failed my mom, that I gave up too easily. Even though I had a team of doctors telling me that her quality of life would be severely diminished, that she would be in a nursing home unable to do for herself, I am still left to wonder... And she haunts some of my dreams.

Those are some of the things I have been dealing with lately. Sorry, didn't mean to get all Debbie Downer on you, so enough of that! All of us have our problems, right? Photography to the rescue! Last week I found another arboretum and got these photos. I have never seen coleus in such abundance. And finally, a clouded sulphur that sat still enough for me to get some shots!

"If tears could build a stairway, and memories a lane,
I'd walk right up to heaven and bring you home again."

 Linking up with Rural Thursday

Comments now closed. I deeply appreciate all of the wonderful advice and personal emails! I'm much better now!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

St. Gabriel

I can't believe I'm posting three days in a row, but here I am! Today I went out to the cemetery to put autumn flowers on my mother's and sister's graves. It was a glorious day, with temps in the upper 70s, blue skies, and a slight breeze. Along the way I stopped and photographed some things I've wanted to shoot for some time.

This is the road where my grandparents' old house now resides. I love the funky lettering on the sign. Looks like they lost an O, two U's and a P and did the best they could. No pretense out here in the country!
This is my grandparents' home, relocated to its new position on Bayou Paul Rd. Although never in pristine shape it looked a lot better than this. It makes me sad to see it here, away from its original birthplace. There used to be a glass louvered door where that ugly white one is now. I got locked out once when I was home alone and broke one of the glass panes trying to get back in. Boy, did my paw paw fuss at me! The house also originally had a tin roof, but in later years they put on a more traditional roof. Looks like it's never been replaced.
This is how I like to remember the old house, with my grandmother beside it, and the levee out in front.
These are my two oldest kids with my grandmother, Celina, in 1985. Autumn looks upset and Greg looks like the cat that ate the canary. I can only guess what mischief that boy was up to. He looks mighty proud of himself.
St. Gabriel Catholic Church
This historic church is where my mother was christened, had her first communion, and was confirmed.
I think she married my dad here, but he doesn't really remember. :/
Built between 1774 and 1776, it is the oldest church in the Louisiana Purchase Territory.
This old store dating back to 1880 sits on the corner of Bayou Paul Rd. and Hwy. 75 (River Rd.)
The levee, across the street from Barthel's store.
Hope you enjoyed meandering along the River Rd. with me today. Sharing with Nancy's Rural Thursday.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


Ho-hum, another set of hummingbird shots. It's the only exciting thing happening in my yard right now. We still have our devoted family of three: Pierre, Sr., Pierre, Jr., and Mrs. Pierre. Apparently, they have managed to keep our yard a closely guarded secret from the rest of the hummingbird population, as others not too far away have larger numbers. I guess it's the quality and not the quantity, right? I was so happy to get closer to them this time. They are becoming more comfortable with me and my camera's annoying clicks. When will DSLR makers invent a mute button for the shutter? Wildlife photographers are waiting...

Participating with the wonderful Stewart at 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Geaux Tigers!

So here are the photos from our long, wild day. Be sure and read the final paragraphs below and let me know your thoughts. :)

Great Dane painted like Mike The Tiger. Wish I could've gotten a better shot, but I saw him pass by too late.

Another quickie resulting in a blurry shot, but you get the idea.

After the tailgate party, my friends talked me into going to a college bar with them. Really, I had no choice since they were my ride. :/ Our group included two girls in their 20s and three of us in our 50s. I almost wish I had been drinking to lessen the impact of the antics I witnessed. College boys have become much bolder since the 70s & 80s. Tattooed butt cheeks and ripped shorts exposing underwear were highlights of the evening, as were vulgar language and mimicking certain "activities"--a demonstration to us Cougars what we're missing. Not! 

Listen to me, I sound like the old person I've apparently become! Being inebriated would've lessened the impact assaulting my senses, but I chose not to go there, and although I probably appeared like an uptight granny, I didn't do anything that went against my principles. Well, I might have let go a chuckle here and there. My friends are quite fun and funny.

I did pray for the boys and myself the next morning like a good Catholic. Don't get me wrong, the tailgate party was a lot of fun and I'm glad we were included, but I'm SO over the whole bar scene. Have you ever been placed in an uncomfortable situation like that? Inquiring minds want to know. Hee.