Saturday, September 26, 2009
* Okay, okay. More "Anonymous" commenters are coming out of the woodwork to crucify me because of my opinion of Yarn Harlot and I guess I'm going to have to explain things for those who are wondering what in the heck is going on... At issue is a long-dead argument between me and Yarn Harlot. I had given the argument up a couple months ago but every time one of my blog posts irritates one of her groupies, they feel the need to send an "Anonymous" comment filled with inane, cruel, and vitriolic insults. But I really don't care---because, as most of you know, I don't care if someone disagrees with me. I am the type of person who is secure in my opinions without "hating" somebody who disagrees. I am sensible enough to know that not everybody believes the same way I do. And so I believe that it is fine to "agree to disagree", in a pacifist universe. But....lately, the aggressiveness of the mean Anonymous comments is startling. Now, don't get me wrong---I don't dislike "Anonymous" commenters. Many of my readers comment on my blog using the "Anonymous" choice because it's easier. It's easier because it gets around the need to log in a URL or a Google address. And so, a lot of people comment on the "Anonymous" choice because they can get their comment in without annoying red tape or other aggravations. All commenters are beloved to me and I welcome their opinions. Even when they don't put their names, I love them equally as if they had put their name, address, or email address. I value all input to my blog, positive or negative. And if a commenter goes so far as to be nice to me, I am so thrilled to get that comment that I consider that person as a good friend--- one that I value as much as my "in-the-flesh" friends. And I keep as loyal to them as I would those I know in person. But the rude commenters!!!...... Geez, I don't mind negative comments (I appreciate constructive criticism) but there is a particular cadre of people out there who are Yarn Harlot's buddies---and never a more rude, insulting, vindictive bunch of assholes could you meet! Lord, these people!!! The reason I know they are Yarn Harlot's buddies is that I never got their sewage-filled comments until one particular incident. And that incident was when I took Yarn Harlot to task for what, in my opinion, was her repeated anti-American comments. Now, don't be fooled by Yarn Harlot's lovey-dovey rhetoric. Yarn Harlot is crafty. She hides her anti-American comments (in my opinion) in jokes and other comic prose. My main example is her Canada Day posts. I wouldn't mind if she wrote her Canada Day posts using only Canadian pride and enthusiasm. Of course she's pro-Canadian--she's a Canadian! But no.....in the past, she has written her pro-Canada comments with thinly disguised anti-American pot-shots which are so subtle that they mock and ridicule America without many Americans ever realizing they've been insulted. And, in fact, Yarn Harlot has been publicly criticized for this behavior of hers many times BEFORE ME. Yes, you read it right---she's been criticized for this behavior LONG BEFORE I EVER CAME ON THE SCENE (or took up the flag, if you will). In fact, on one of her Canada Day posts she even criticized those who called her an "anti-American" during the blog post!! Yeah, people, it's true. Yarn Harlot knows her Canada Day posts (and other random posts) have been taken as anti-American---but she doesn't care. Which brings me to present day. Fast forward. This past Canada Day I protested against what I considered anti-American comments in her "Canada Day" post. And I did rant. Yes I did. And GODDANG, but did I get a lot of hate mail!!!! Geez-oh-man but the hatemail I received would have made my grandmother blush! Lord, have mercy, but Yarn Harlot's fans came out in force against me! They made an onslaught of hate mail posts on my blog that practically caused my ISP server to lock up! They sent hundreds of emails every day, calling me every vile name in the existence of the English language! But I don't care. Because I believe in the American Way---and it's called Freedom of Speech. By being an American, I have the God-given right to express my opinion whether or not my neighbor likes it. And let me tell you, it wouldn't have mattered who the Yarn Harlot was or anybody else---I would have criticized what I considered those anti-American words of hers no matter WHO wrote them!! And I won't back down from this. Believe it or not, once upon a time I liked Yarn Harlot for her cutesy little yarn blog. But I grew tired of her annual Canada Day anti-American remarks. And when I finally exploded and wrote of my discontent, hundreds of Americans wrote me that they were on my side---that they, too, disliked her anti-American rhetoric and had stopped reading her blog because of it. Yes--they wrote me that they NO LONGER READ HER BLOG or BUY HER BOOKS or TAKE HER CLASSES. When I mentioned this on the blog, many of Yarn Harlot's rabid-dog buddies asked me to betray the names of those people who had sided with me---which I refused to do. Private email is just that---PRIVATE. Some of Yarn Harlot's buddies even stated proudly that I had "less" people on my side than they had on their side. But I replied that I didn't care. Numbers don't matter to me. But my patriotic beliefs DEFINITELY DO matter to me. And I wanted to get out my opinion on my blog.... Get it, Anonymous? I said it's MY BLOG. MY BLOG. Let me say it again: MY blog. (Understand the word "MY"? It means that it's MY blog and I'll write on it what I please.) Fast forward again. These days, I've been blogging along about whatever strikes my fancy. And what still happens? I'm still (STILL!) getting rude, mean, vile, and insulting "Anonymous" comments from Yarn Harlot's clique. They criticize me on every little thing, including my mental status (they know I see a therapist), my mother, my sister, my politics---ANYTHING they can---no matter how much I ridicule them right back. In fact, they're so stupid they don't even realize that my comments back to them are ridiculing and mocking. I know this because they keep on answering me, reading my blog obsessively, and insulting me obsessively. Ho hum and whatever. And you know what it all means? It means the following: Yarn Harlot, as usual, is too chicken and cowardly to insult me, publicly, herself. And so she does what she's always done---she sends her "thugs" to do her dirty work. And Yarn Harlot is not above baiting me on her Twitter page. Whenever she sees one of my blog posts which annoys her (and let me tell you, she's on my blog every day at least once or twice, reading it obsessively--and according to my sitemeter she's on it as we speak!!!)---or she is given information about something on my blog from one of her minions--- she will then make an alcohol remark about whatever type of booze she's going to relish drinking that day (even though she never used to do that) because she knows that I'm a recovering alcoholic. And then she might make a subtle anti-Bo remark. For example, one day recently she said this: "I think my issue is that if it's attention that they're seeking, doesn't publicizing the hate mail increase hate mail? I couldn't take it"---talking about how I have been publishing my hate-mail comments and then replying to them. And heh! She is so correct! She COULDN'T take it! She is too cowardly! She's a weak, lily-livered pantiwaist and a chicken-hearted coward, terrified of becoming "unpopular" like I am. That's why her blog is so ultra-cautiously "politically correct"!! Good call, Yarn Harlot, sweetie, saying "you couldn't take it" --- because that's the best call you've made in a long, looooong time. Oh....um, speaking of calls...dinner calls. Blaine just yelled: "Get off the computer and help me drain the pasta!" And so I go eat dinner.... (But if any of you "Anonymous" people wish to comment, please do so. I will read you after dinner." * *
Friday, September 25, 2009
* Dear Lord: Blaine's mother is driving me crazy. Surely You, in Your infinite mercy, don't want me to go any more crazier than I already am, right? (I mean, my therapist is just ITCHING to raise the dosages on some of my meds--- so we don't want to give him any more reasons, do we?) So could you make that harpy stop criticizing everything I do or say? Her behavior tonight was a perfect example. First she criticized the gray sweater I'm knitting. Then she complained about the fan being on, when she specifically saw me turn it on while complaining about the heat. Then she took my spot on the couch after hearing me tell her husband that it is my favorite knitting spot. And then.... I know that You heard her ask me why I am on a weight-reduction diet. And then you heard her warn me (in front of everybody) that "if I lost too much weight I might get jowls". And then you heard me retort sassily: "I don't care". And then you heard her yell incredulously, "You mean you don't care about YOUR FACE??" And you know, Lord, at that particular moment I wanted to say something about her own face. And I also wanted to tell her just how much I want her to get out of MY face..... But I was a good girl and didn't say either of those things. So... doesn't that get me some Brownie Points or some other sort of "extra Heavenly credit"? If so, could you please make her discover some reason why she suddenly has to return to New York early? Tomorrow morning would be good for me. Sincerely, Your humble servant, Bo * P.S. Oh, and I also think that I deserve some Brownie Points for not uttering a single cuss-word since she arrived. (And that DOES take some self-control....) * * *
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Mother and I have returned from Dallas and we had a rip-roaring day of shopping and lunch today!!! I had the funnest day with my mother! Above is some of the loot she bought me---a red, embroidered cowgirl shirt, three pairs of cowgirl boots, a cowgirl Western-style purse, and a cowgirl hat!!! (And there's also pictured a couple of necklaces I made in her art studio!)
Okay, the first thing we did was buy matching cowgirl hats! I got the hat above, a rodeo style hat with a tie-strings which wrap around the hat band. (The tie-strings are so that if your hat falls off your head while you're racing the barrels or something, the hat will still remain secure around your neck instead of falling into the rodeo ring where it could be stomped by somebody else's horse or an errant rodeo clown.)
(But notice that I immediately beaded up the tie strings on my hat with all kinds of glass, crystal, cloisonne, and ceramic beads from the overwhelmingly huge bead collection in Mother's studio.) (Guess I don't need to actually "tie" the tie strings since I'm not riding rodeo these days, heh!)
And GOOD GOD but my Mother has bazillions of beads in her art studio!!! I'm not saying "lots" of beads---I'm saying she has more fricking beads in her art studio than you could find in three Hobby Lobbies or Michael's! I went completely cuckoo with the beads, as you'll see in a minute....
(I love those two-tone boots above). Anyhoo, when we came home, I went so crazy with the beads that I made the above two long necklaces. Mom and I had so much fun beading!!! And she gave me two exquisite pendants for the necklaces. The pendant on the necklace to the left is a large, solid silver Bolivian "monolito" pendant my mother gave my father when he was alive. (She purchased it in Boliva when they were stationed there.)
The pendant on the necklace to the right is a giant Tiger's Eye gem my mother got in India. I adore that pendant! And I just went crazy with the beads!!! Why didn't anybody tell me how fun beading is??? I'm going to wear both necklaces with my red cowgirl shirt she bought me. And maybe a third one I plan on making tomorrow with a bunch of red glass beads, some abalone beads, and some more cloisonne ones. (All three necklaces together at the same time!)
(Yessirree, Bob, I'm going to get up early in the morning so I can have some more fun with Mom making more beaded necklaces!..... hell, I might change my train reservation to stay an extra day to do more beading!....)
(And I'm going to come back at Christmas to see her and bead some more.....)
(I'm serious about staying here an extra day---but what in the dang heck will I tell Blaine?) (Don't worry---he doesn't read my blog.)
And I adore the leather Western style purse with the silver conchas and belt-buckles! As we shopped, Mother said it was "High time I dressed appropriately in 'proper' Texan attire", and I was only too thrilled to oblige. My mother is such a generous sweetheart.
I'm really excited---Mom's seen to it that I'm going home dressed "Texan" and I can't wait to see the look on Blaine's face, heh! (He's so used to me wearing the "varsity look"---football jerseys and sweat-shirts stamped with various universities' logos....) And God knows what the other Amtrak train riders going to the Midwest (or the North) will think---but I don't care.
(And I really needed this fabulous day with my beautiful Mother to cheer me up because Blaine's parents are going to be there visiting when I get home to Kansas--- and I don't get along with his fiendishly critical and RUDE mother!) (And she's more critical and rude to me than she is to anybody else because she thinks I'm a bonafide lunatic who should be locked up and kept away from her son. HEY, that's what many of you idiot "Anoymous" assholes think! Like minds think alike, ya know?) (Also, I noticed on my sitemeter that a lot of people looking for my blog are Googling using the "search" terms "Bo, Yarn-Harlot's Anti-American Comments" ---how hilarious!!!!) (But I digress--- more on the dismal news of Blaine's horrible mother's visit later......and oh, how I intend to tell you all the.... uh.... news....) *
Sunday, September 20, 2009
* Ahhh....the mythical Dallas! * Love me some Dallas.... It was raining when we drove in so the pictures are blurred by raindrops---but good ole Dallas is beautiful all the same!
Although my sister is more understated and traditional in her decor preferences than my mother, my niece, and myself, she still loves my mother's art. The above is one of my mother's mosaiced "towers" on her front lawn. Many times, local traffic stops to a crawl when people want to take a closer look at it.
What Texan garden would be complete without a Texan Star somewhere?.....
The above is a piece of my niece's artwork on an easel painted by my mother, a watercolor of a lady conjuring up another lady.....
And above is another piece of my niece's artwork. Anyhoo, slowly but surely tonight's birthday bash is coming together. In multiple locations, food is being prepared, appetizers are being loaded onto trays, a spectacular cake is to be picked up from the pastry chef, the house is being decorated--- and a "Scavenger Hunt" of 21 gifts is being arranged for my darling niece--- since it's her 21st birthday. She will have to hunt for 21 gifts (not including a myriad of other gifts from various members of the family!) while wearing a Birthday Queen Crown! Fun! Fun! Fun!
Hey, I might get a present or two, myself!! (Although I've gotten plenty already and am happy as a clam!)
Friday, September 18, 2009
* Ok, I'm off to Dallas with my Mother in a little while. (Amateurish jam tarts and all....) Thought I'd throw you some last minute pictures---this time of my own bedroom at Mother's house, which I love so much that I hate to leave it. The above is a picture of my rarely-made bed....
The above is my stash closet, behind the curtains---but the shelves are empty because my stash is currently in Kansas. My sister gave me some money for my birthday via the Fed Ex man yesterday. (I sang "Happy Birthday to Me" as he walked the whole way up the walkway to deliver the envelope.) And I plan on spending the money at the Woolie Ewe in Dallas while I'm there this weekend, yee-hah!!
I collect clocks--- and above are several. My favorite is the elegant little Ellora clock to the right of the ruby slipper. (You can click on the picture to enlarge, to see the little clock.) (I also collect ruby slippers---and the mosaiced one above was made by...you guessed it! My Mother!!)
The above is part of the Paint Pony collection. (Okay, with a camel and a cow to keep them company.....)
And the above cabinet used to have a huge TV on top, which I took to Kansas. So instead I placed an old washbasin & pitcher there which my Mother mosaiced for me.
Anyway, I've got to finish packing. I finished the new Pat Conroy book, "South of Broad", and it was so good that I hated to put it down, dang it. But I'm taking his "Beach Music" with me to Dallas, where I doubt I'll get any reading done in the exciting household of my jet-setter sister!
I'll keep in touch---
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
* Friday my mother and I are leaving for Dallas, to my sister's home. The whole family (plus boyfriends) is gathering there to celebrate my niece's 21st birthday, my birthday, my nephew's birthday...WHEW! My sister, the perennial "organizer" has planned a full-fledged birthday party where we will all wear party hats, open party favors, blow kazoos, blow out candles, and dine like kings and queens. I really don't look good in a party hat, but oh well... Thought I'd put some more pics up of my mother's home and artworks. The above pic is one of the walls in her studio on which she keeps jars of mosaic tiles, beads, and glass baubles. She even mosaiced the walls in her studio...
The above is a mosaiced table she made for my niece's new apartment (as a birthday gift). We all think my niece will go WILD over it as she adores my mother's art style. My niece is also very artistically inclined herself. She was selected for an art scholarship in France, she designed the logo for a Dallas trucking company, and she sketches and draws lovely pieces which are always framed as they are spectacular.
My mom even painted the floors of her studio!....
The above is a cool thing my Mother made---she's made several of these masks. You can also "light" up the faces' eyes.
Here's a comfortable nook I find myself near a lot....
The above is a beautiful mosaiced "bust" of a lady she sculpted then mosaiced. This is in the breakfast room.
The above is another interesting corner---and the garden bench below it was a Christmas gift from me to my Mother. It has a tile on one of the corners which my mother created and baked herself after I had signed it, to her with love (with the date of the Christmas).
The above is another corner of the breakfast room.
Mosaiced marguerita anyone? (But not for me, heh...)
My mother painted the above oil paintings, and a couple of the actual objects she painted are located below on the chest.
Above is my bathroom. I know it's tacky to show a picture of a bathroom but I just love my bathroom!! Much of the house's floors are covered in authentic, lush Persian carpets like the one above. They are "tribal" carpets--- and so the particular Persian villages they were made in is noted on their undersides. All "real" Persian carpets have a deliberate flaw in the colorful design's patterning--- and this is because the Middle Eastern rug makers say that the only "Perfect" thing is God, and so they refuse to make "perfect" carpets. (Which I think is cool!)
Okay...another bathroom, heh! The above is another bathroom's sink area, the mosaiced bathroom.
Above is a nook with more objects my mother made, and also some bought items from foreign countries we've lived in .
The above is the religious icon nook. Some of the items were made by my Mother, the prayer beads are from the Middle East, and some parts of the nook are bought items (antique icon boxes or such).
The above pic is of one of the fountains in my Mother's gardens, and it's the whimsical mosaiced one. Mom and I sit out there in the afternoons and listen to the water trickling. But there's a new fountain near my bedroom window that she's making, but this fountain is different--- and spectacular!--- as it is modeled after old California's Mexican Missions, complete with a bell tower (a la San Juan Capistrano).
Anyway, I've got to make jam tarts tomorrow to take to Dallas as my contribution to the occasion. They will have shortbread crusts. And my niece has asked for my Mother's Beef Stroganoff and Vegetable Casserole for her birthday dinner on Sunday--YUMMY! (And she won't allow my sister to make the dishes---nooooo, it has to be my Mother!) Mom is also taking some scrumptious-looking loaves of a couple of flavors of fruited swirl-breads--YUMMY again!
Should be a TOTALLY fun trip! And I'll keep in touch via my sister's handy computer... * *
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
A person calling herself "Jaquiebean" wrote a completely INSULTING comment to me about my mother's portrait, of which I showed a photograph on my last blog posting called "In My Mother's House". It was a disgusting, insulting comment about my mother and so I deleted it. I know that a lot of people don't like me--- and that's okay. You can hate me all you want. I can take your insults or hatemail. But my mother is innocent and doesn't deserve insults. What kind of low-class idiot would insult someone's mother simply because she doesn't like her daughter? Mothers are SACRED!!! Jaquiebean, you're an asshole and a stupid little snot. Please don't ever comment on my blog again because it won't be printed, dumbass. * *
Monday, September 14, 2009
* One of the things I love about my mother's house is that there are a hundred nooks and corners to get lost in--- each area completely different from any other spot. (I particularly like this nook because of the oil painting of my beautiful mother---and two of her "mannequin" works of art below it. I think my mother's mannequin pieces are fantastic.)
Everywhere you look in my mother's house, and on every possible surface, there are objects of fantastic beauty and art. Much of the art pieces are my mother's works, whether oil paintings, mosaiced items, upholstery/fabric art, wooden things, or wire underlayed cemented pieces. There are some works in her house that are of other artists. And most of the furniture (and other decorations) are antiques, another of my mother's loves. In the shot above, I really like the mosaic of the woman's face. I love my mother's mosaics. She cuts each and every tiny mosaic piece herself with various saws-- out of ceramic, mirror, china, tiles, or whatever catches her fancy.
My mother is frequently requested to give tours of her home. Usually the tourists are totally in awe and admiration of her home and art. But sometimes.... things happen. For instance, the... uh... naked cherub in the upper righthand corner of the doorway above once caused an extremely pious and modest lady visitor from the local Baptist church to faint nearly dead away--- necessitating her "resuscitation" by vigorous fanning with paper church bulletins by the other ladies in the group.
Um....for what it's worth, it's a valuable antique. There's another one just like it on the other side of the doorway....
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Blaine and Bo are in the SUV, driving through town while Bo, as usual, chatters her fool head off, even though she is completely convinced that Blaine, being a typical male, neven listens to a dadblame word she says...
Suddenly, Blaine pulls over to the curb and stops the vehicle--- then turns to face Bo:
Blaine: "Get out."
Bo, shocked: "What the hell?"
Blaine: "Go ahead, get out."
Bo, still shocked--and also puzzled, wondering what in the hell she had said to Blaine which caused him to become so angry that he actually ordered her OUT of the vehicle: "Are you out of your mind? What in the hell did I say to you that was so bad that you are actually ordering me, a defenseless woman, out of the car in the middle of Olathe, Kansas--- seven miles from our home?"
Blaine: "What is your problem?"
Bo: "No, what is YOUR stupid problem? Why are you so angry with me?"
Blaine: "Dammit, Bo, I'll never understand you! I'm not angry with you at all. But don't you remember last week when you nagged me to death about how I 'never have the gentlemanly courtesy' to let you out at Walmart's door so that you don't have to walk in the heat all the way from wherever I park the car? Well, here we are at Walmart's front door--- and here I am trying to be courteous by letting you out--- but yet here you are STILL nagging me! So what is YOUR damn problem?"
Bo, turning her head to the right and realizing, to her mortification, that the vehicle is, indeed, located directly in front of the huge, entrance doors to Walmart: (silence)
Bo: (more silence)
Bo, humbly and shamefully, while climbing out of the vehicle: "Oh."
* * * * * * * *
Blaine and Bo are in Walmart, shopping up and down the maze of product aisles. And Blaine is sporting a smug, smart-aleck expression on his face which is driving Bo mad. Bo ruefully suspects that Blaine is feeling very satisfied with himself because he was able to bring Bo down a peg or two--- and that the whole "get out" thing was done deliberately to startle the hell out of Bo for Blaine's amusement. And Bo (being Bo) is disturbed by these suspicions--- and she just can't let the issue lie....nooooo....Bo wants to turn the tables on Blaine...
So... when the two round the corner onto the frozen foods aisle, Bo did the only thing she could think of which she thought would put Blaine back "in his place".
She decided to pull one of Blaine's favorite Walmart pranks--- on HIM.
Bo: (FARTS LOUDLY)
Bo, feigning innocence while happily noticing the shocked expressions of nearby shoppers: "BLAINE! HOW DISGUSTING!"
Blaine, angry as heck and blushing furiously while dragging a now giggling Bo off to another aisle in order to escape the disgust of the fart-witnessing shoppers: "You little brat! I'll get you for this!" Bo, still giggling wildly: "And my little dog, too?"
"Get out", indeed.......* *
Tuesday, September 08, 2009
I was always told that the Angels of Heaven hear us---and transport our messages to God. That is what I was always told. I was told that the Angels Of the Lord listen to our prayers and then carry those pitiful messages to God in order to petition God for whatever it is that we have prayed. Do you think it's really true? It's what I was always told in Catholic school---and believe me, I went to plenty of Catholic schools during my time in school-dom. (Even a Catholic nursing school, if you'll notice, if you read my series of haphazard posts called "Who Ya Gonna Call?" ) But....the thing is.... I'm not a Catholic. I have nothing against Catholics---but I'm a Southern Baptist. Or, if you will, a Baptist. And Baptists believe that you pray spot-on directly to God. You pray to the Almighty One Himself. You bypass Catholic saints, you bypass angels, and you bypass any other sort of junction. The Baptists believe that, when you pray, you're talking to (if you're "southern") (excuse the southern slang) to the Big Dog Himself. Do you think that's it's really true?--- that God is hearing you when you pray?....and when you mourn?.....and when you are in great distress?... or when you feel grief so great that you can't imagine surviving the morrow? Because what I'm praying for today is a petition for my mother, her brother, and her sister. The children of Mamo..... because...... Mamo took her last breath at 3:15 pm today, with only her son and my mother there to comfort her. Their mother, my grandmother, my Mamo, died and left this earth.... And I pray wholeheartedly, on my knees, for God to have mercy on Mamo's soul---and also for the peace of mind for her children--- and.. also... this I know for sure..... If it was MY mother who died...... God help me, I would die, inside, myself. A beloved grandmother dying is sad and tragic enough----but I am obsessed with the thoughts of the point of view of my wonderful, beautiful mother. Her mother died!!! And I can't help thinking how hideously devastating it is for her---in fact, in my opinion, "hideously devastating" isn't a descriptive enough phrase for the feeling I would believe would be engendered by one's mother dying. I am so full of sympathy and empathy for my mother that I don't know what to do. The only thing I know is to write you guys. In fact, here are the things I told Blaine that I would do if my own mother died: I would die. I would die. I would be inconsolable forever. FOREVER. I would go to the nearest fucking bar and drink my stupid self into a stupor. (Which drinking alcohol is not something I am permitted to do since I am a recovering alcoholic....) I would die. I would die. * Mamo has died. Yes, I am going to Texas again. * * Mamo......... * *
Saturday, September 05, 2009
"La 'tite blonde 'a fais prend sous le hack, cher, elle s'a plante un echarde dedans la fesse...
(Translation): The little blonde got caught under the hack, dear, she was stuck with a splinter in the buttock... ("Hack of Morrow", Traditional French Song)* *
I've searched in every bar and club
and honkey-tonk in town.
And I don't know if I can go on
without breaking down.
I've looked all over hell
but Heaven can't be found....
("Heaven Can't Be Found", Hank Williams, Jr.)* * As you know, I recently went to the swamps of Louisiana where, along with many other family members, I gathered at my uncle's place due to the fact that our 90 year-old family matriarch, "Mamo", lay in a nearby hospital, dying of kidney failure. At a crucial moment, when she was near death, my uncle panicked and asked the doctor to institute kidney dialysis, which he believed would "save her life". Many family members did not agree with this decision as dialysis would, the doctors told my uncle, only prolonge the inevitable for a few weeks or months. And Mamo had also signed a Living Will which stated she did not want such aggressive end-of-life measures. But my uncle remained steadfast in his choice---and he convinced Mamo of his belief--- and so Mamo revoked her Living Will and was subsequently transferred to a hospital in a larger town in order to begin a regimen of dialysis. Thus, she is still alive....if only barely. She is lingering in a heartbreaking state of limbo, desperately ill--- and not expected to live out the year. I had not been to these parts of Louisiana, the heart of my mother's side of the family, in many years. But when summoned, I jumped on an Amtrak train and began my voyage. It would prove to be a sad, tragic, and yet interesting trip--- and a strong reminder of my Southern, French and Indian "roots". So I waved goodbye to Kansas City through the window of the Amtrak train..... ... and began my voyage along the majestic Missouri River, and then further south down to Arkansas and then into Texas--- and then to my ultimate destination of Louisiana... The scenery was breathtaking, and I could tell the difference when I approached the swamplands of Louisiana---the air is thicker there. And the heady aroma of swamp animals, the mysterious brown rivers, and the almost impenetrable bayou greenery heavily laden with Spanish Moss and cobwebs overwhelms your senses....along with a resurrected watchfulness for alligators, swamp snakes, and other local dangers... When my mother delivered me to the small town in which my Mamo lay dying in a tiny hospital, we passed a small French Catholic chapel fronted by a beautiful statue which I couldn't resist photographing... Later, after visiting Mamo's bedside, we retired to my uncle's place to unpack. My uncle, among other things, runs a large operation in which he raises specialty roosters (and hens). At the foot of a 20-foot staircase to his home's front porch, there stands a large mosaiced statue of a colorful rooster atop a mosaiced pedestal, appearing as if to be the symbol of whichever ethereal fowl-guardian my uncle's roosters worship.... The statue and pedestal were gifts from my mother (who crafted the cunning statue and pedestal after cutting each and every one of the mosaic tiles herself using her plethora of saws). My uncle's place, like many homes in the swamps, is "raised up" on 20-foot steel pylons--- stilts--- in case the water of the nearby river rises. His house and chicken pens lie only about 50 feet from the water's edge of a branch of the large, nearby river. The river frequently floods the entire area, completely covering my uncle's property with ominous, murky swamp water, at which times he is only able to leave his home and reach town via the use of one of his several speed boats. Fortunately for us, the river stayed obligingly within its normal boundaries during this sad time in which my family was gathering... The entire place is devoted to the raising of the specialty roosters (and hens). His yard dogs patrol the property line and provide for the safety of the numerous un-penned roosters. (You can see the river in the distance.) Running crazily about are some colorful guinea birds--- but alas, the photo I took of them came out blurred. While there, I was even lucky enough to see some "biddies" hatching in one of my uncle's humidity and temperature-controlled incubators... Driving to and from the hospital on Louisiana's unruly dirt roads was an adventure in itself, but my mother's huge Jeep Commander was more than equipped for such rough riding. (Have I ever told you that my wildly rebellious, beautiful, independent, artistic, and fascinating mother.... is my hero?) As I said, my uncle's house stands steadfast against any occasion of rising waters, as the pylons are firmly, and deeply, concreted into the ground. A crop-duster plane flies low, dusting some nearby cotton fields with a certain chemical designed to make the cotton bolls "bloom" correctly... To be Continued.... * *
Friday, September 04, 2009
* Here's my lovely sister with Donald Trump! She has been hanging out with him (and his daughter Ivanka) in the last couple of days. Er....he's kind of holding her a little too tightly, don't you think?....... (Below is a group shot including Donald Trump's lovely daughter, Ivanka.) *