Sunday, August 31, 2008

New Orleans on my mind........


It's early Sunday morning and I've been glued to weather news for 24 hours now. Hurricane Gustav is heading straight for the Louisiana coast. You might ask why that should matter to me as I live in Dallas. 21 years ago next Friday, I married my wonderful husband in Dallas and then we headed to our new home two days later. Our new home was in New Orleans. A refurbished, two story, anti-bellum home on Canal street.....the second floor....only window units for airconditioning and just blocks away from Lake Ponchatrain. We spent the first five years of our married life in this charming town and did our best to immerse ourselves in the culture and the history of this most unique city.

In those five years we lived in four different houses. Our second house was unlike any other I've ever lived in. It was this castle in a small, fishing village just east of New Orleans called Irish Bayou. We moved into it just before Christmas in 1987 and spent our first Christmas together as a married couple here. The photo I'm using is not from that time. I haven't been able to hook up our new scanner yet so I've pulled one in from Google Images (noteworthyinnola.com).
The yard is very overgrown, but what's so amazing is that this photo was taken AFTER Katrina hit. The castle was the only thing left standing in Irish Bayou after the storm. Amazing! My husband and I lived here with our Old English Sheepdog, Maggie, for 6 months. Big Daddy traveled on business alot then and would usually leave out of town on Monday and return home on Friday. Maggie and I spent lots of time here, just the two of us, and my biggest fear was that she would become dinner for a 'gator. When I get my scanner working, I'll post again about this bizarre newlywed home and show you pictures of the inside and tell your more stories about living here.
There are many old, beautiful cemetaries in New Orleans. Angels abound everywhere you look. As the city is now under mandatory evacuation, I pray that this storm will NOT be a repeat of Katrina and that the angels wrap their protective wings of comfort and love around this historic and charming city. New Orleans has not had enough time or support to get itself back on its feet yet. The news reports that are coming out of the city currently seem to point to a new evacuation plan that is more organized and the chaos is not like what it was three years ago this past Friday. Please keep this city and its people in your thoughts and prayers.

Friday, August 29, 2008

No Wakey-Wakey for me today!

video

Went back to work (school) three weeks ago. However, the kids came back to school this week and I was the lucky winner of the first two weeks of morning duty. Whippee! Getting up this morning was TOUGH! I felt just like this puppy. I've stayed up too late watching the Democrat's Convention and then reading for another 30 minutes or so after that. Next week will probably be the same because I'll have to watch the Republican's Convention, too. Gotta look for my dad on t.v. with the Texas delegation. Somehow, when I decided to become a teacher, I forgot about how much I enjoy staying up late and do NOT enjoy getting up early in the morning.....and teachers have to be at school before the kids! Thank goodness for the three day weekend! Hope everyone has a restful Labor Day!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Cupcake Princess is HOME!

After puking on the plane from JFK, through Atlanta, an emergency stop in Jackson, Mississippi for someone suffering from an anxiety attack on their first flight, and finally arriving in Dallas an hour and a half late........I got to hug my Cupcake Princess. Dinner served on the flight from Edinburgh disagreed with her.........she'll never eat spinach pizza again! It is so good to have her home. The house is full of life again. Unfortunately, it's a week before school starts so teachers are back in school........this prep week is always stressful and too full.....but I'm leaving as fast as I can each day to spend the evenings with the CP. LIfe has just picked up speed again and I'm not ready for it...........I need a summer vacation to get over my summer vacation!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Scotland calling.....

The Cupcake Princess called this afternoon from Edinburgh. They are all settled in at the dormitories and have gone grocery shopping to save money on food......that's my girl! Lots of rain and cool weather.....unlike Dallas....but she says the people and the places are all beautiful. They've done some rehearsing and a tech run and everything's going well. The first show is in two nights. Only two people on the trip have tried haggis and those two are loving it...she's not one of them! It was SO good to hear her voice..........feeling a bit melancholy now.

Southfork visit....but no J.R. Ewing!



So it's back-to-school time for teachers already.....aargh! We had our yearly district Instructional Leadership meeting yesterday. Of course we had to be there at 7:45 am (I'm still on my summer sleep schedule!), but the district holds the meeting out at Southfork Ranch every year, so that's not so bad. You may be thinking, "Southfork? I've heard that somewhere before.", and you'd be right. Remember in the late 70's the big t.v. hit DALLAS? The Ewings lived on Southfork Ranch. The outside shots were taken here and all of the indoor footage was on a soundstage. Through the miracle of Hollywood, the ranch looked much grander than it really is. Today, the ranch is a tourist spot and a place to have large meetings, parties, and weddings.

I've been going to these leadership meetings for six years now and although it's alot of work and digging through student and test data and planning for teacher staff developments, it is fun to catch up with friends that I haven't seen for a few months....and of course, catch up on the latest gossip :) Southfork also puts on a great spread of "grub" for us, too. Our breakfast buffet was platters and platters of fresh fruit and warm, country biscuits with sausage and eggs inside. Of course there was salsa, too! mmmmm! For lunch, another buffet spread of Texas BarBQ. Every year they rotate from BBQ to Fajitas....have to admit I was crossing my fingers for fajitas! The BBQ buffet was awesome! Fresh cole slaw, new potatoe salad, spicey pinto beans with tomatoes and chilis, corn bread muffins with cheese, whole corn and jalepenos inside, and the best shaved briscuit that just melted in your mouth. Texas fare at it's best!

While the food was great, we still had lots of work to do yesterday. I took this picture of my principals yesterday afternoon........they look tired. But wait! There's MORE FOOD! Just when you think you're done for the day and your brain checks out........warm apple cobbler arrives with bowls and bowls of whipped cream!! If you gotta work.....this is the way to do it!!!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Some tired "puppies"......

Heard from the Cupcake Princess last night. It was great to hear her voice! They had just gotten back to their rooms after an evening at the theater and she and her friends were all wound up. They went to see the Queen musical "We Will Rock You". We only talked a few minutes as it was midnight in London and her theatre director was doing a curfew check and she had to get back to her room. They were going to get up at 4:30 this morning to put their bags on the truck, then go eat breakfast, and then hop on a train around 6:30 to head to Edinburgh. On their quick visit in London, they went to the Globe Theatre with a London actor as their tour guide and had a walk and ride tour of all of the London highlights, to include Buckingham Palace. Bet there were some tired "puppies" on that train this morning. My guess is that it was a quiet ride to Scotland. Looking forward to her next phone call!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Off to England & Scotland ~FINALLY!

Well, the day has come and gone........put the Cupcake Princess on a flight to London yesterday with her theatre group. She seems to be feeling fine and still has the go from the doctor.....mono is a weird virus....so off she went yesterday afternoon. That's her on the right with two of her good friends......such fresh faces! Those are some happy girls!!

We all met at the High School early yesterday morning to do last minute baggage checks and to pack up all of the props for their 4 performances. Seems like we did a lot of staring at suit cases.....couldn't pass up getting that on film......if we all look at "it" together, maybe we can make "it" work......hmmmmmm.....

Couldn't pass up the wigs.......they had to go, too!
The group will be performing at the Fringe Festival in Scotland. Their show is called The Stepping Off Place and was written by their theatre director. How excited everyone is to perform it on an international level. This was one of their ads/postcards from their last performance of the show here in the states. I know the Cupcake Princess and friends will have a FABULOUS time on their two week adventure. It will be a strange time here at home without her lively energy. No "mom duties".....strange. Big Daddy took me to Braum's for a special ice cream treat last night to "lighten my spirits". He's so good to me. Here's the last photo I took at the airport.......they like look happy travelers, don't they?!! :)




Sunday, August 3, 2008

Oma & Opa's Haus part 2 ~ The Garden

One of my favorite things to do while visiting Oma and Opa at the lake is to walk the garden and yard to see what's growing. You'd think that since it's central Texas, there's not much because it's so hot and dry. But not in their garden! It's like an oasis. In fact, you have to be careful about spitting watermelon seeds and tossing cantelope or honey dew seeds into the mulch......critters (including these little trouble makers) move those seeds and things GROW!


The flowers that bloom change with the seasons. The roses bloom all summer long.

The hibiscus grows all over the place and some of the blooms can get quite large. One summer, they were the size of dinner plates!
The peach tree was apparantly planted over the septic tank and it gets quite lush and green, but it just hasn't been producing much fruit each year. This year there are some peaches, quite big actually, but Opa is thinking of taking the tree down.
Oma decided to try something new this year. She bought some hanging planters and planted bell peppers in them. It's the strangest looking thing, but the bell peppers are growing! You can use the planters for tomatoes, too. And boy can Oma grow tomatoes!! No matter where we live, she's got the touch!
They have a lemon tree growing in a gigantic tub on one of the porches that is just loaded with lemons. I watched the bees buzz this tree all during the spring as it was loaded with blooms. The cool thing is that these lemons are PINK on the inside! Great for summer drinks! It's not a great picture of the tree but check out the blue sky in the background!! It's really that blue!
This plant was given to Oma by her neighbor who didn't want it any more. She calls it a Firecracker plant. It's the coolest looking thing in person and I think my favorite plant in her yard. I take pictures of it every time I visit but I can't seem to quite capture it's beauty. I just love the color and the wispy textures!

Oma and Opa spend lots of time in their garden and yard, spending countless hours planting, weeding, watering, enjoying and loving all that's living there. It's so beautiful there, wouldn't you, too? More soon................