Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Heaux, Heaux, Heaux!
Yes, it's Christmastime again. Even here in the New Orleans area, Katrina can't stop the holidays from coming. Actually, I'm glad Christmas is on its way. It's a nice diversion from everything that's been going on. Our tree is up. It's smaller than we've had in the past, but I swear it's even more beautiful than any tree we've ever had. (Sorry I don't have a picture of it yet!) We were able to recover all of our Christmas decorations from our attic. Putting those ornaments on the tree yesterday was wonderful. Mom and I reminisced as we hung them. There's the wreath I made in kindergarten. We have a labrador retriever ornament for our late dog Ginger. I have several ornaments that were given to me by students. I haven't had this much fun decorating the tree in years.

If you're wondering just what the heck is in that picture, let me explain. This is part of a Christmas village display at a local mall. The blue tarps represent the ones put on homes by the Army Corps of Engineers. They protect homes that had roof damage during the hurricane. The mall apparently wanted to accurately display Christmas in New Orleans in 2005!

Yes, this will be a different kind of Christmas. The important things, however, will remain the same. Family and friends will come together for the holiday. The Christmas spirit will surround us. Most importantly, we will celebrate the birth of Christ. And isn't that really the reason for the season?
Bad Luck, Giving Thanks, and Football It's been a crazy couple of weeks here. It all started two and a half weeks ago. Mom was playing with Ollie, my youngest cat, when his tooth accidentally caught her hand. He didn't bite her on purpose. By that evening her hand was red and swollen. She went to the doctor the next morning, and he put her on antibiotics. He told her that if the hand wasn't any better within 48 hours he wanted her to go to the ER. Well, the hand only got worse, so Mom went to the ER. She wound up spending four days in the hospital! The hand abcessed, so she had to have it lanced and debrieded. Yuck! Fortunately she is now OK. She went to the doctor today and had the stitches removed. Then on Saturday I had my own little accident. It had been raining all morning, and our front steps were wet and slick. I had the bright idea to go out in flip flops so I wouldn't mess up my good shoes. I only got as far as the first step. I slipped and bounced down the steps on my rear end. It hurt! I have large, lovely bruises on my butt and back. My left side has been very sore for the last two days. Guess that'll teach me to wear the proper shoes when it rains! Thank goodness neither of us had serious injuries. That reminds me, Thanksgiving was last Thursday. Despite everything that's happened over the last couple of months, we still have a lot to be thankful for. Any illnesses or injuries have been minor. We lost our home, but we have each other. We are living in a strange place, but we are surrounded by friends. Every night when I go to bed I thank God for the day. Something else to be thankful for, however trivial, is that the Saints finally won again last night! After six straight losses it was nice to have something to celebrate. I miss seeing my Saints in person. Hopefully next year they will be playing closer to N.O. and we will be in a position to go and see them again. Maybe next year things will be closer to normal. But then again, when you're talking about my family, nothing's ever quite normal!

Sunday, November 13, 2005

The Princess Is Back!
Yes, I am finally back online! I have missed blogging sooooo much. My parents and I have settled into a mobile home in Pearl River, LA. This is our home away from home until we can rebuild in St. Bernard. I don't mind living here since I am pretty familiar with the area. Dad is settling in nicely, but Mom isn't happy here. I know she misses our home terribly. Our home was her life. She loved cooking, cleaning, working in the yard, and taking care of her family. She still cooks (very well, I might add!) and takes care of Dad and me, but she just doesn't feel at home here. We are buying furniture and trying to make this place feel as homey as possible. I hope that she soon feels at peace here. We will be living here for at least a year I imagine. BTW, the picture at the left is of Mom and me on Halloween.

I know one thing that upsets Mom is that my sister Debbie is not here. Deb is living in Birmingham with her boyfriend. She has a job and a cool apartment there. I know that it's important for family to stick together in times of crisis, but Deb also needs to spread her wings and see what's out there for her. She isn't gone forever. We talk and text message a lot. She loves and misses us, but this is something that she has to do. One day she will come home, and things will be even better than they were before.

We are very blessed to be surrounded by friends. Our dear friends live in the two trailers next to us. It is so nice to have close friends and familiar faces nearby. Everywhere I go in the area I see someone I know. It's funny. My friend and co-worker Tara lives close to me, so we have begun a weekly ritual. We meet once a week for coffee and conversation. The conversation lasts longer than the coffee! I always have a wonderful time. It is so nice to just have a friend to talk to about anything and everything. I am blessed to have her so close.

Today Tara and I drove into New Orleans for a faculty reunion. Our school was destroyed by Katrina, and I have only been in touch with a few of my co-workers. I was so happy to see everyone. We had a nice turnout. Sadly, most of us are in the same boat: unemployed and unsure of our futures. I know that something good will happen, something will turn around for us. I just hate waiting so long for it to happen.

I am also blessed to have my online scrapbooking family. I missed them so much in the weeks I was offline. These ladies are so wonderful and generous. I love them so much, and they are such an important part of my life. They gave me so much strength during this whole ordeal. They surrounded me with their love and prayers, and I will always be grateful to them for that.

I know there's a lot more I can say, but right now I have such random thoughts running through my head that I can't think of what to say next. I am back, though, and I will be blogging regularly!