February 2009

Mardi Gras 2009… Saturday Update

– We are surviving Mardi Gras week(s). Current favorite throws: big Kohl’s cares teddy bear, Muses Watch, Muses Portable Radio, Light up gooey skulls, Deck of cards, New Orleans ball cap, Roller Girl-given glass beads. Current favorite bands: Panorama and Pink Slip. Scary moment: seeing a rider fall from a horse and stepped on in the staging area of D’Etat. New hotness: Will in his rockin’ hat. Fun thing: Parades in our backyard each night.
– Three parades are rolling past our house tomorrow. If you’re reading this, you’re invited to our annual kid posse parade party! Email me for more information.
– Paul has 1-2 days work a week for a month or two. It’s enough for us to be fine and actually allows him to work more on the start-up. No worries.
– The animal previously known as the beloved pet Scout missed the liter-box by two rooms by relieving himself on that newly laid floor. No smell left after serious cleaning… we think. Smell would indicate that we would have to replace the entire floor, due to the way it’s installed. Anyone interested in a small fur rug?

A few highlights:

Art & Photography
Family Life in NOLA

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Photohunt: Warm

Paul and Will, Fort Walton Beach, Florida.

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Art & Photography

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Tonight, briefly.

The kids parade in Audubon Park in the morning… so just a few little favorites from tonight.

(As for anyone who was there and maybe on a more informed part of the route, WTF happened?!)

Even with the huge breakdowns (or whatever) we had a blast!!

Art & Photography
Family Life in NOLA
Mi Familia

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Post-Parade Dreams…

… happen by the light of a glow stick throw.

The sounds of the bands gearing up for the parade a block away were too tempting, so even though I was in a board meeting, Paul put the kids on the ladder and rolled them to the corner. By the time I got home, the parade had been thoroughly enjoyed, kids were bathed, and Paul had taken this photograph of Will and his prized light stick.

Family Life in NOLA
Family Photos

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Room for at least a dozen air mattresses.

No visible drywall.  No nails underfoot.  It’s overwhelming.  We both go back there and just stand, looking around.

“Remember when it was…?!”

“I know.”

“Remember when we…?!”


“Can you believe this is…?!”

Yes, still some sawdust.  Still some tools.   But Paul put the locking door on the outbuilding and is moving things back out to their new secure location.  We’re getting closer to the day when our house has no dangerous power tools laying around for the kids to experiment on when they get tired of playing with matches.

The outbuilding is still very unfinished, even if we are able to lock one side.  See it through the windows?

But inside…

Below is the view from the family room to the laundry room, which is the official “pass through” point.  It’s a shotgun home.  These sorts of things are normal here.

Please ignore the pile of bedclothes which Will’s pull-up didn’t protect last night.  Isn’t the laundry room floor where everyone’s clothes go?   We want visitors to feel right at home.

Yes, the step is high.  We had to hire someone else to do the foundation for the approvals, and he poured it a little lower than we had thought it would be, relative to the house.  Oh well, we can live with it.  The current plan is to do some sort of swinging shutters for the doorway.  Or maybe make hang strings of all these Mardi Gras beads we’ve got layin’ around?

It’s not like we go step by step by the seat of our pants or anything.

The trim around the doors is in!  But unpainted and awaiting the full three coats.  The floor trim was prepainted, but it still needs to be caulked and finally painted.  Paul is also replacing the outlets, which were a little too recessed in the walls and got gummed up by the insulation.

Doesn’t that floor look hugely expensive and super fancy?!  It’s no-glue laminite flooring.  It snapped in.  Whole floor for both rooms with the padding was less than $300.  Perfect solution!  No worries if it gets destroyed and very easy upkeep.

Also, there is a door to the closet!  It isn’t painted and doesn’t have a knob, but it’s a door!  And it is actually level.

More detail of the study.  Those are the basic shelving pieces we’re putting in the study closet.  Almost time to start emptying out the closet in Will’s future bedroom!

Home and Renovation

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How we roll.

How does a New Orleans family do it?  All the parades, all the loot, all the accessories… we must tote the costumed kids, the ladders, the stools, the coolers and the snacks…?

This is how we do it.

(By the way, yesterday, Kate was a cowgirl and Will was Peter Pan.)

I’m sure others have done the kid-riding-on-the-ladder thing, but we still get stares.  Mostly, it’s parents looking at us going, ‘why didn’t we think of that?!’

Paul admits that this would be hard to do if he’d been drinking all afternoon.

(Side note: The costumes today were Mardi Gras Butterfly and Superman.)

Oh, and Will’s new thing?  To correct the way we say “Mardi Gras” to the French pronunciation.  Basically, it’s just like how we say it now, but with the added inflection you’d give it if you were trying to dislodge something stuck in the back of your throat.  It’s what makes all things in French sound so pretty.

Aren’t I allowed just one beefcake picture? Gotta get it all out of my system before Lent, you know!

While Paul does the heavy lifting, I follow with cooler, accessories, and loot bags.  Randomly stopping to photograph festivities along the walk…

It’s Mardi Gras time!

Art & Photography
Family Life in NOLA

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Photohunt: Nautical

Amazon River, near Iquitos, Peru.

Can you image your 10(?) year old daughter navigating a little pica-pica boat, with Peruvian Naval ships and huge cargo shipping vessels (not to mention water taxis that U.S. based public health folk could be riding in) on the vast sea that is the Amazon River?

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Art & Photography

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Let the frenzy begin!

We kicked off Mardi Gras this afternoon with our first parade of the season: Krewe of Pontchartrain!

The kids costume-d up a bit.

I’m sorry.  I should have warned you of the cuteness.  It’s almost too much.

Consider yourself warned.

Had enough yet?

Just one more.  ’cause it’s all about the boots.

Kate refuses to sit in the ladder.  I vaguely remember Will pulling a similar stunt when he was her age… a certain incident involving him freaking out and jumping head first into the crowd below deciding to climb off of the ladder in the middle of a night parade and aging me 10 years in 2 short seconds.  Thankfully, we thought ahead this year, and invested in a step stool.  It rocks.

Here’s the King, poor guy.  He completely won my heart.  Who cares if I lose the ‘stache in the first two blocks of the 2 mile parade?  I AM WAVING, Dammit!

One of the first marching bands was here from Anapolis — the boat school kids — representing the U.S. Naval Academy.  (My Dad is also a boat school alum.)

They ALL had these looks of disappointment on their faces.  Look at the kid with the camera.  I think he was expecting a lot more boobies.  Sorry, Charlie.

Uh, well, maybe not Charlie.

You know what I mean.

Eventually, the riding floats came along, each with a “name that love song” theme.

Lots of red beads today.  With it being Valentine’s and all.

Hey, that’s Ben!  Whoo-hoo for Panorama Jazz Band!

The song for the float below is “I Just Called to Say I Love You.”  I totally rocked the Song-Naming Game.

It wouldn’t be a Mardi Gras parade without kids playing ball.  Whoa, Dad.  That’s a little long, doncha think?  No more Turbo Dog for you.

Kate is practicing her “Hey Mister” line.

If you’re new to this whole Mardi Gras thing, you may be asking: how does this throw thing work, anyway?  Well, first, a rider see you.

Like this.

You give him a look, or thumbs up, to show that you are ready.  Even if you’re holding a camera.

Uh-ho!  Here it comes!  Get ready to catch…


For the record, I caught it.  The only one I missed this afternoon, Paul caught over my hand.  Let’s hope that keeps up a bit more this season.  (Knock on wood.)

Just in case this whole Mardi Gras thing doesn’t look fun enough yet, I give you PINK SLIP.  I particularly like how they are singing for us in front of the prayer sign.  This is a pre-lenten festival, after all.

Happy Mardi Gras, y’all!

Art & Photography
Family Life in NOLA

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Making Lemonade

We knew it would come.  We just figured we had until the contract ended in a month.  Turns out, things went a bit faster than planned.  Thank goodness Paul obsesses over Quicken we’re thrifty.   So we’re on Day Two of no billable hours for Paul, and predicting this will reach into a third day… or more.

No demonstrable household income* = Lemons

Having some time to work on the house = Lemonade!

Like getting back to the front yard, which we hadn’t seen in a long while.  Weeding, top soil, mulch… and it’s a different place all together.  Remember us bricking in the plant beds? Time to finally get those last bags of concrete and mortar off the porch!  A few more days and the middle bed will be done.

We used our child labor to help on weed control.

We haven’t forgotten about that 4+ year and going renovation in the back!  More on that soon.  It’s just too overwhelming to get into tonight.

*No demonstrable income, meaning, nothing that we really can speak for or give strong evidence towards… as opposed to the little spurts of cash I bring in.  Some good news, though: I was recently offered a summer adjunct position to teach in the School of Social Work.  And a grant project I was written into as a consultant was funded.  So it’s not like I’m a total loss?

Family Life in NOLA
Home and Renovation

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January Just Posts

Welcome to Just Posts!

Just Posts monthly round table began two years ago by Jen at One Plus Two and Mad at Under the Mad Hat.  This month marks the first (the inaugural, perhaps?) round table hosted here and at Collecting Tokens, by my co-conspirator, Alejna.  She and I share the belief that reading, thinking, and writing are partners which lead to positive action.  I find inspiration, ideas, motivation, and reason within the Just Posts and give great thanks to the readers, writers, and contributors.

Please take a moment to read some of this month’s posts.  The topics include poverty in Bangladesh, U.S. politics, conflict in the Middle East, discussions and ideas for giving, racial stereotyping, gender roles in parenting, environmental change…  and more.  If you visit a post, please take a moment to comment; a small way of letting others know what you are reading, thinking, writing, and even doing?  We want to hear all about it…

The January Just Posts Roundup:

Some of the January Just Post readers:

Please send some love to Alejna, too!


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