Juicy – April Moon 14, Day 2

I am participating in Kat McNally’s April Moon, a two week reflective writing challenge. Each day, Kat sends an email with a single word prompt to spark some time during the powerful time between the total lunar eclipse and the full moon. Participate with us!

The second prompt is

Juicy

What feelings does this word evoke? What sorts of memories does it recall? Which of your senses start to tingle? How would you represent what this word means to you?

Here in the Deep South and in Cajun country, at this time of year, the first thing that comes to mind when I think of the word “juicy” is crawfish. We are entering the prime time of year for crawfish, with the prices coming down and mudbugs getting bigger. We spend July – February waiting for the crawfish to come back in season and then we complain from February through May about how expensive the little buggers are.

But when you have them, they are a little bit of heaven. To properly eat a crawfish, you’re supposed to suck the heads. It’s not my favorite thing in the world to do because I generally feel that it’s a lot of work for little return. Not all crawfish are juicy, but when they are – the head is filled with spicy, hot juice. If you’re not careful, it will run down your arms and make eating crawfish more of a mess than it already is.

Last of the season Crawfish
Last of the season Crawfish – 2013

To go along with that “juicy” thought – crawfish is often a communal experience, so it means being with friends and family, gathered close around a table, often elbow to elbow. There’s not much talking unless there’s a break to pour more crawfish onto the table. But there’s this sense of community. Sweet Husband and his father can put away a ton of crawfish and I’ve learned that if I want any substantial amount, I have to gather my pile before they get going good. But every once in awhile, Sweet Husband will stop and peel a crawfish for me if he sees one that he things is perfect. He knows I don’t really like to get my fingers dirty (we all have our quirks; one of mine is that I hate have fingers be dirty. I can’t help it. As much as I love digging in the dirt and planting things, it’s a constant battle between doing the work and needing desperately to wash or wipe my hands) so he will peel crawfish…or shrimp…or crab for me every now and again.

Beyond crawfish, which is a relatively recent introduction in my life (2005?), “juicy” reminds me of my childhood – summers spent wandering and a strawberry or blackberry patch somewhere near. Or jars of the GrandSner’s pickles lining the ledge in the basement – packed tightly in that spicy, sour juice, just waiting for me (or more accurately some one stronger than me) to open them up and bite into one, the juice exploding across my taste buds. Perhaps the sweet burst of the milk of a kernel of yellow corn.Or maybe a tomato fresh from the garden, releasing its precious juice thanks to a liberal sprinkling of salt. Maybe a slice of watermelon or cantaloupe given the same treatment. So much beautiful juice, leaving me a sticky wonderful mess.

Those were easier, freer days. Perhaps my grandparents or parents worried about washing the fruits and vegetables before we gobbled them down. But I think maybe they didn’t. Not really. Because they grew them. Or a neighbor did. We roamed throughout the day and into the early evening before dragging ourselves home, and no one seemed to be too terribly concerned about us. Different times, different places, different universes almost.

Those pure moments, though, I think remain. Utter joy. Pleasure…which means something entirely different as an adult. But to remain purely innocent for just a little while longer – just happiness.

What do you think about when you think about “juicy”? Let me know in the comments.

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Tuesday Thanksgiving

Because there are documented benefits to a regular practice of gratitude, I take Tuesdays to pause and give thanks for all of the many blessings in my life. There are so very many of them, and I am so incredibly fortunate that it is difficult to narrow it down. I do make the attempt, though.

This week, I’m thankful for the following:

  • Opportunity. My career has been occupying a large amount of my brain cells lately. I need to be home. With my Sweet Husband. But that’s a difficult proposition. On Wednesday at 4:00, I have a phone interview. It could be the answer to Sweet Husband’s prayers and a relief of my great worry.
  • Safety. Storms are raging across the South, and this far, me and mine have remained safe.
  • Emergency Vets. Our boys tied up yesterday, and while it was a frightening moment, everyone is going to be ok.
  • Time with Friends. Friday night we had dinner with friends. Saturday afternoon we were at Sweet Husband’s godson’s 3rd birthday party. Saturday night we enjoyed some Mississippi Gulf Coast Pirates football and hung out at the EndZone afterwards. Sweet Husband got to spend some good time with his best friend on Monday. I enjoy building and sustaining those relationships together.
  • Vacation. It’s all that’s getting me through right now.
  • Sweet Husband. As our 2nd anniversary draws ever nearer, I’m excited to see where we head next. Five years ago I would have never guessed this is where I’d be…but here is pretty perfect because of him.
  • Cadbury mini eggs, classic jelly beans, chocolate-covered marshmallow eggs. The stuff of the heavens.
  • Back-button focusing on my camera. Yes! This makes things much, much, much better. & I figured it out! Yay me!

Those are my blessings this week. What are yours? Let me know in the comments!

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Courage: April Moon 14, Day 1

I am participating in Kat McNally’s April Moon, a two week reflective writing challenge. Each day, Kat sends an email with a single word prompt to spark some time during the powerful time between the total lunar eclipse and the full moon. Participate with us!

The first prompt is

Courage

What feelings does this word evoke? What sorts of memories does it recall? Which of your senses start to tingle? How would you represent what this word means to you?

It is perhaps paradoxical, but the first thing that the word “courage” evokes is fear. I’m not sure what’s going on right this minute, but it’s like heart-pounding, gut-churning fear.

I’ve talked quite a bit about how I believe myself to essentially be a fearful person. In fact, I think I’ve typed these exact words before: Sometimes I’m amazed that I manage to get out of bed in the morning instead of dissolving into a quivering puddle of fear.

I think I know exactly where the fear comes for, but there are things that are scarred over enough to not need to slice them open again. This whole life of mine, though, feels like I’m learning to put that behind me, to overcome, to move forward. Putting it all behind me.

I suppose that courage is really about actually getting up and hauling yourself out of bed rather than hiding under the cover. Courage is about much more than the big, grand showy gestures that people say are courageous – moving across the country by yourself, traveling alone.

Maybe it all boils down to trust – courage is a matter of trust. That if you do get out of bed, if you do put yourself out there, it’s generally going to be OK. There might be a bump here or one there, but in the end, it’s all going to be OK.

April Moon 2014 – Kat McNally

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Link Round-Up

Each week I read a ton of blogs and articles, and when I find something I like, I enjoy passing it along to all of you here. The following are the gems from this week:

  • Tips to Achieve Sharp Focus – Jaymi McClusky for Click It Up a Notch. I think this may be exactly what I was looking for. This is one of the things I’ve been wanting to work on with my photography, so to have this article pop up today was awesome.
  • It’s Not About the Photo – Vivienne McMaster. Another post that beautifully explains why self-portraiture. Not that I really think it needs to be defended. Just because.
  • Capturing the Beauty of the Moment – Helena La Petite. Lots of food for thought here. I know that I don’t take my camera to concerts anymore because I spent so much time trying to get my shot right that I missed enjoying the concert. I’m also not taking as many pictures of gatherings of friends and families. For me it’s coming down to wanting to be a participant in those events instead of an observer/recorder of them. It’s a hard balance to strike, though.

I’m going to shift a bit away from photography and move on to writing for these next few:

  • The Best Time to Write and Get Ideas – Kevan Lee. This was shared by Susannah Conway on her Something for the Weekend post, and it reinforces that I’ve got to get up and do my writing in the mornings. *sigh* I suppose I can only be hit in the head with it so many times before I believe it to be true, huh?
  • April Moon Reflective Writing Challenge – Kat McNally at I Saw You Dancing. I love just about everything that Kat McNally does. And of course, I’m going to be participating in her April Moon challenge, albeit with a break next weekend for our anniversary trip.
  • 10 Ways a Writer Can Find More Energy – First Draft Cafe. Goodness, I needed these. I’m dying with fatigue and usually the first things that go are the things that make it easier for me to deal with a difficult life. The biggest one on here that is a surprise for me #2:

Adopt the rule of three. List only three things you have to do today. If your list is any longer, you’ll feel overwhelmed, tired and it’ll have a negative effect on your writing. If you complete your tasks easily, then you can add more. Don’t let a long list hinder you, remember, less is definitely more, as you’ll become more productive with a shorter list.

To be honest, I don’t know exactly how to do this. There are so many things on my to-do list that I have no idea how I can just get by with three. Is this a thing where I can put three things on the list and when they are done, add three more? But then I’m thinking about all the things that have to be done anyway, so whether I write the list down, I’m keeping it in my head. Sooooooo…I’m going to need some help with that.

And now for some general links:

  • The (Almost) Lost Art of Polite – Quinn Creative. When I shared this link on my Facebook page earlier this week, there was almost a universal “Amen” among my friends. Several of them shared it as well. I try to teach this with my students each day, but I don’t know how successful I’m being.

Being polite means saying that an ugly baby is adorable, sending thank-you cards, and attending funerals of people you don’t know well. It’s saying “thank you” to a cashier who isn’t polite.  Not walking three abreast down a sidewalk and forcing other people to step into the street. If you are a bicyclist, it’s stopping at signs and lights instead of blowing through them or yelling “on your left” when someone is using the sidewalk for walking, then passing them at top speed, just nipping their elbow.

I don’t always succeed in being polite. I try. I remember the lessons of my youth, though, and I try to pass them on. I get frustrated by rudeness but I try not to respond with rudeness. In a fast paced world, it is harder to remember the niceties, but it’s ever more important to do so.

  • Stop! Don’t Start Where You Are – Jamie Ridler Studios. Much like with politeness, in the hectic pace of today, I forget to dream big. I’m focused on making it through today and getting to tomorrow. It leaves no time for dreaming and possibility.

What if you gave yourself space and time for some serious daydreaming, imagining that anything was possible? In a world where you could do anything, what would you dream up for your project, your business, your life? Would you travel farther, reach higher, risk more, take more time, touch more people? Would you pursue the same thing at all or try something entirely different? What do you want to do?

What did you find this weekend that you loved? Let me know in the comments! I’m always looking for something else to read ;)

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Photographic Evidence – Mardi Gras Bands

This is the third round of photos from Mardi Gras. I took a little over 300 pictures during our Saturday of merry-making as the parades rolled by at the corner of St. Charles and Commons in the CBD in New Orleans. I’ve winnowed those down to less than 100 that I think are worthy of being shared, and there are probably more like about 70 that I’ve been sharing or will be sharing with y’all. The first set was two weeks ago and then there was last week’s. Next week will be my last set of Mardi Gras photos.

This week is all about the bands. Mardi Gras is a great time for the spectators and I suspect that is is a wonderful time for all the folks who are riding in floats as well. Particularly for those who are indulging in some alcoholic beverages to help themselves along. But from what I gather, Mardi Gras can be a grueling experience for the bands. Most bands who come to parade at Mardi Gras will be in several parades over the course of a weekend. The parade routes are long. And it’s made longer by the fact that there are all kinds of unexplained and what often seem random stops and starts. A pause in the action can last anywhere from 2 minutes to 30.

Parents march along side the bands and the flag girls, carrying water. They are rushing in front of them, sweeping errant beads out of the way as quickly as they can so that no one rolls a foot on a string of cheap plastic and falls. Support trucks roll behind them, carrying more water and the fallen, who generally look dazed and confused, slightly out of it.

It’s serious business. And deserves a set of photos all its own. Enjoy!

The smile is starting to falter - and it's too early in the day for that
The smile is starting to falter – and it’s too early in the day for that
I'll bet after a couple of hours of standing and marching in those boots, their poor feet hurt
I’ll bet after a couple of hours of standing and marching in those boots, their poor feet hurt
Those tubas get heavy when you've been holding them for hours
Those tubas get heavy when you’ve been holding them for hours
Concentrating on keeping that energy level up
Concentrating on keeping that energy level up
At the ready
At the ready
....and it's go time!
….and it’s go time!
Those boots weren't made for walking. Poor girls
Those boots weren’t made for walking. Poor girls
The range of facial expressions says it all. I think the one in front must be delirious.
The range of facial expressions says it all. I think the one in front must be delirious.
She's taking this Mardi Gras thing very seriously
She’s taking this Mardi Gras thing very seriously
Flag girls who aren't yet too tired
Flag girls who aren’t yet too tired
There is nothing like the Marine Corps dress uniform and there's nothing like the Marine Corps band...
There is nothing like the Marine Corps dress uniform and there’s nothing like the Marine Corps band…
She's still got it, hours and hours into the night
She’s still got it, hours and hours into the night
Not quite 76 trombones but maybe getting close if you add them all up
Not quite 76 trombones but maybe getting close if you add them all up
Still Going Strong, all the way from Selma, AL
Still Going Strong, all the way from Selma, AL

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Thoughtful Thursday – The Marriage Edition

Because Sweet Husband and I will be celebrating our second anniversary this month and because I feel like I talk about our relationship quite a bit, I’ve decided that at least for the next little while, my posts on Thursdays will be about marriage – some of the issues we face, the things that work for us, articles, perspectives, posts that I find useful in helping us create a stronger bond. Feel free to share what is working for you in your relationship as we spend some time focused on marriage. 

Sweet Husband and I rarely have arguments. We rarely get in fights. We rarely have disagreements. I think it’s our personalities. We’re both people pleasers, so we can’t stand to disappoint others and then when you add in that we love each other and really want to make each other happen, we occasionally put ourselves through contortions to avoid arguments.

Sometimes, though, it’s unavoidable. I hold on to things. I let them simmer for a bit, and you’d think that by now I’d know that’s not the best recipe for success – in anything. But it is what it is. I’m much better than I used to be, but I still have a really long way to go.

On our drive to New Orleans Saturday morning, Sweet Husband made an off-handed comment that wasn’t really off-handed about something that’s been bothering him, and I replied  with my reason, which happened to be a not-so-thinly-veiled reference to one of those things that I’ve let simmer for a bit. And before we knew it, things were escalating, mainly due to me. At one point, he actually said to me, “Why are you getting angry? We’re just having a conversation.” Well. Yes. And No. Because yes, we were having a conversation but it was about a lot more than just that stuff. It was about that stuff that we both have hung on to without letting it see the light of day.

It’s never easy when folks point out our flaws. I forget that some times. And as a closet perfectionist, I really hate it when my flaws are pointed out because I occasionally like to delude myself into believing that I’m mastering and minimizing the issues that I do have. It’s good – if uncomfortable – to be reminded that gentleness needs to be used when approaching others about an issue that is a problem. It’s also a good reminder that if Sweet Husband and I were communicating more, talking about these issues as they come up, perhaps nobodies’ feelings would have gotten hurt Saturday morning.

All of that leads me to the Pope. Neither Sweet Husband nor I are Catholic, but we like Pope Francis. A couple of months ago, we discussed the Pope’s Valentine’s message, which was essentially that the six most important words that a married couple can say to each other are, “May I? Thank you. I’m sorry.”  I think that both Sweet Husband and I are really good at saying “Thank You.” I don’t know how often we ask permission, and I don’t know how often we apologize. I’m not sure that I apologized on Saturday. I’d like to think I did, but I can’t remember because I was busy being hurt as I was busy hurting. I’m pretty sure, though, that I did apologize on our drive home Sunday. For lots of things. I suppose it’s better late than never.

Do you agree with the Pope? Are those six words the most important ones for a married couple to remember? If you think there are others, what would they be?

Sweet Husband and I at the Ruple-Bice wedding on Saturday 3/22
Sweet Husband and I at the Ruple-Bice wedding on Saturday 3/22

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The Week in Wellness

I don’t know who exactly posted it on twitter this morning, but when I clicked through to this link about the connection between the mind and the body, I knew that it and a further exploration of the mind-body connection was the perfect topic for the Week in Wellness post for this week.

I think I’ve long known that there is a connection between what is going on in our heads and what is going on in our bodies, but the time I spent working with massage therapists really brought that home to me. In looking at the graphic that accompanies the Elephant Journal post, I can clearly see where I have some issues popping up with regard to my major arthritis flares. I think it’s probably no coincidence that the times that my flares have been the worst have have been when I’ve been experiencing acute stress with regard to things like financial strain or burdens.

I was searching for further information about the mind-body connection and stumbled across this article. While I can’t fully support the notion that we can think away disease through the power of our mind (if that were true, does that mean that some folks aren’t thinking about it enough? Or aren’t praying about it enough? Do I not get pregnant because I’m not visualizing it enough? Not meditating on it enough? Doesn’t work for me to think about it that way), I can get behind the idea that our thoughts about our sickness or our health can make us better or worse.

Of the five self-healing practices listed in the Live Bold and Bloom article, I regularly practice meditation, deep breathing, and visualization/positive thinking (mainly through the use of affirmation). I have tried yoga a few times at different stages of my life and it does not strike me as something that I particularly need to incorporate into my regular practice to create a more fulfilling and healthful life for myself. It wasn’t something I enjoyed. I suppose I could give it another shot if it’s something that gives a good return on the investment.

I do know that meditation makes a huge difference in my life (I’m a proponent). I don’t know if I do meditation “right”. I find myself wandering during the course of a meditation, and I’ve created a little visualization that is a fishing pole that casts out and reels my mind back in when I find that it has wandered off and is getting lost in whatever it is caught up in. I meditate at night to rid myself of the day and prepare myself for sleep. It, along with with some sleepytime tea and the right combination of medication, has made falling asleep much easier for me. I’d like to get to a point where I can meditate for a few minutes to begin my day – center myself, clear myself, prepare myself for whatever is coming. I’m in search of a good guided meditation app. I’ve been using Simply Being, which is good, but I’d like something else. I liked HeadSpace, but I don’t want to pay a monthly subscription fee for it. If you have suggestions, let me know in the comments.

Deep breathing is a practice that is held over from years of vocal training and getting into vocal training has reinforced it. I’ve read enough about the calming effect of breath to know that slowing down your breathing slows down your heart rate and has a calming effect. I’ve tried it at doctor’s offices before having my blood pressure taken to no effect, but in almost every other situation in my life, it works.

With positive thinking and visualization, I’ve had to re-train myself to actually thinking positively because I believe that I tend to a more pessimistic personality. For the most part, I do that by working with affirmations. I first start by writing them repeatedly in my affirmations journal. Once I have the affirmation committed to memory, I find myself working with it throughout the day. It pops up whenever I have a moment of quiet or a little bit of downtime. And then as the affirmation is more and more embedded into my psyche, I start picturing it – how it plays out from beginning to end. Things don’t always happen the exact way that I want them to. I don’t always get the exact job I want. But I find that when I focus my energies on those affirmations and those visualizations, I come closer to the results that I’m searching for than I do if I leave things up to chance.

What are your experiences with the mind-body connection? What practices do you employ to enhance the quality of your life and build upon the way our mind influences our physical health?

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Tuesday Thanksgiving

Because there are documented benefits to a regular practice of gratitude, I take Tuesdays to pause and give thanks for all of the many blessings in my life. There are so very many of them, and I am so incredibly fortunate that it is difficult to narrow it down. I do make the attempt, though.

This week, I’m thankful for the following:

  • Sweet Husband. Who puts up with my crazy friends and crazy me and doesn’t complain about it too often, even when I’m being spectacularly bitchy about it. He really does have the patience of a saint, and I’m about the luckiest girl on the planet.
  • Friends. We had a great time with my (now our) friends in New Orleans this weekend. Even the off-the-wallness. It’s wonderful to have people who will drive 10 hours to spend time with you.
  • New Orleans. How lucky am I that it’s Right. There. I mean, seriously. I cannot wait to be  back there in two weeks to leisurely explore it and take in the pieces of it that we don’t normally get a chance to see because we’re focused on the party on Bourbon Street. I know there’s much more to the city than that, and I’m excited that Sweet Husband and I will have a chance to do our thing together.
  • My camera. I shot in manual all weekend, and while it was frustrating, and there’s still so much to learn, it felt rewarding to be shooting “like a professional”.
  • My to-do list. Or rather crossing things off of it.
  • Rain. While a little less of it would have been appreciated, it’s washed away some of the pollen, and that is a very, very good thing.
  • Good dogs. While we were away this weekend, they were extremely sweet and well-behaved. Proud of them and their sweet selves.
  • Good hair. When you had hair like I had as a kid, you appreciate when it does what its supposed to do and makes you look half-way decent.
  • Good make-up. I think most days I’m getting out the door looking decent, and I’m loving that I’m doing it in about 7 minutes.

For what are you thankful this week? What blessings are you counting?

French Quarter Home
French Quarter Home

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Mindful Monday – The Stop Doing List

Two weeks ago I said I was going to create a Mindful Monday post centered around Danielle LaPorte’s idea of a Stop Doing List. I meant to do it immediately, but that didn’t quite happen. I suppose that there is no time like the present, though, huh?

A “stop doing” list is all about not giving your energy to things that you don’t want to do, and instead giving your energy to the things that give you joy and pleasure. It is not lost on me that when I follow this edict, when I quit giving my energy to the things I do not want or that do not serve me, and instead concentrate on the things that I wish to bring into my life, I get those things that I want. When I focus on all of the negativity, I am rewarded with negativity. It is difficult, though, when you are in the trenches to remember that you are desirous of those positive, bountiful things. It is much easier to be mired in the muck, than it is to reach for the beauty of a new horizon.

With a goal of eliminating the things that no longer serve me, the following things are on my Stop Doing List:

  • Biting my tongue when I want to speak up. It doesn’t serve me, and it doesn’t serve the person that I want to speak to. It doesn’t mean that I get to be rude. It just means that I don’t hold things back for the fear of hurting someone else’s feelings. If something needs to be said, then it needs to be said.
  • Collecting random junk. While I don’t want live a minimalist life, I do want to live a life less cluttered. That means saying no to other people’s things. I realize that it is usually well-meaning, but our home can’t be a repository for the things that other people don’t want. Now, there are exceptions. There are things that Sweet Husband and I need to complete our home, but we really are at the point in our lives that we don’t have to take things simply because we must have them. If they don’t fit what we are trying to do, then we don’t need them. Period.
  • Procrastinating. I almost feel like this might be something that is so deeply ingrained in my psyche that I might be unable to stop doing it, but I want to try. I want to live a life that is more efficient and not so last minute. If it’s last minute, I want it to be so because it is something fabulous – not because I decided to waste my time playing Candy Crush.
  • Speaking of which…wasting time on the internet. It sucks up way too much of my time. I could conquer the world with all the time I waste on stuff that ultimately doesn’t matter one little bit.
  • Doubting myself. I’m really not all that confident in my abilities to do anything, which is strange because I’ve accomplished a whole lot. We’ve been working through something called Efficacy with our students lately and one of the things we tell students is not to ask if they can do something but how they can do something. Well alrighty then. It’s not if I can do something. It’s how can I do something. Who do I need to seek out to support me? What resources do I need to be successful?
  • Waiting. It seems that I’ve spent a great deal of my life waiting on something – graduation, a career, a relationship, the weekend. Waiting for your life is a terrible way to live.
  • Being continually plugged in. I’m one of those hyper-connected people. My phone is almost always in my hand. If I’m not checking it, I’m thinking about checking it. It’s nice to not be worried about what’s going on in the world some times.

If I stop doing the things that are my Stop Doing List, then I create space for the things that I want – like creating (writing, photography, maybe painting, sewing, crocheting), taking care of myself, spending time with friends and family, resting, cooking, making my home more inviting. Those are the things that are most important to me. Those are the things that I want to allow more space for and to welcome into my life.

What things are are on your Stop Doing List? And what does that allow you to create space for instead?

 

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Weekend Unwind

This weekend is one of those that I need an extra day to recover from. Whew. So wiped out and so tired. It was a good weekend, though. How about you?

I missed out on some fun with friends Friday night because the week was just too much for me. I made it home and really just went to bed. I intended to take a short nap and while I did sleep, it was fitful. I woke up around 7:30. While I was asleep, Sweet Husband had gone to visit some friends of ours who have just moved back to Mississippi from Texas. I really hate that I missed going to see them, their super cute baby, and their new home. But sleeping was what I needed to do.

Saturday Sweet Husband and I joined my friend Kristi and her boyfriend in New Orleans. Kristi was one of my closest friends when I lived in Louisville. She and Keenan came down and spent about a week with us last summer, so it was really good to get to see them again this weekend. We’ve made plans to go up and see them this summer since SH has Fridays off. We can leave when he gets off work on Thursdays and have Friday and Saturday before heading back on on Sunday.

Anyway, Kristi and Keenan were in New Orleans to celebrate Keenan’s 40th birthday. They had been there a few days before we arrived, and apparently New Orleans had worked her voodoo on them. They made a few foolish mistakes, which is easy to do when you’re in New Orleans and drinking. That’s why I usually don’t do a lot of drinking when I’m in New Orleans ;)

On our agenda for our visit with Kristi and Keenan was a cemetery tour and then some partying and a good time on Bourbon Street. We had some lunch at Le Bayou on Bourbon and then proceeded to do the damage with 3 for 1 drinks up and down the street. Kristi and I sang at the Cat’s Meow and we enjoyed people watching at several different bars.

Optimus Prime on Royal Street in the French Quater

Marie Laveau's tomb in the Saint Louis's Cemetery No. 1
Marie Laveau’s tomb in the Saint Louis’s Cemetery No. 1
Marie Leveau's tomb - defaced with remnants of the pink paint attack
Marie Leveau’s tomb – defaced with remnants of the pink paint attack

Before the rain started and we lost the light, I was shooting in manual with the BGC. I’ve been playing around with it a bit, and it’s getting easier to figure out. Now the next step for me is going to be choosing my focal point. I don’t know how to get my focus where I want it. I suppose I need to read my instruction manual or hit up some tutorials online. I have more photos, but they will have to wait until later in the week. Of course, I didn’t get any pictures of Sweet Husband and me together.

By about midnight, though, it was time to go back to the room. When you’re the mostly sober one in a group of intoxicated folks, the fun wears off quick. I always think it’s interesting to watch how some people handle their alcohol. Sweet Husband has one of two reactions – he gets totally happy or he gets incredibly belligerent. For the most part, last night he was a happy boy. Some times folks get a little confrontational and angry. That happened with our friends. Fortunately, I think that if that’s going to happen around anyone, it’s good that it happens with Sweet Husband and me. He’s an excellent listener and he’s very good at diffusing situations, easing tensions. Me, on the other hand, I’m not one to like drama or confrontation, so I just feel uncomfortable.

We were going to head to the Court of Two Sisters for brunch this morning before they had to head back to Kentucky, but because of the threat of bad weather and the long drive ahead of them, we all decided it would probably be best for us to head on out. We came home to our puppies and promptly took a nap. Sweet Husband and I slept in a queen size bed last night, and it’s not what we’re used to. Sweet Husband likes to stretch out, and I spent most of the night putting his arm back over on his side of the bed rather than over my face.

Now I’m ready to get the week taken care of. I’ve written my lesson plans, and I’ve gotten my laundry done. I think I’m about ready to pack for the next couple of days.

For this week, I’ve got to get a few things accomplished:

  • enter grades
  • continue to apply for jobs
  • take photos
  • write each day
  • get the furniture finished

How was your weekend? And what are you needing to get done this week?

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