And then there was the time…….Part 2

I was mowing the yard with the tractor. While the task may not sound like all that daunting, add the mower attachment to the back of the tractor, and, well, you begin to get the picture; especially if you are me, Donna, better known as “Lucy.”

In case you have never ridden a tractor, much less cut grass using a tractor with a mowing attachment let me explain a few crucial points of interest. First, ALWAYS begin your turn a long way from the point where you think you need to turn. The mower attachment swings wide, VERY WIDE; imagine a tractor-trailer truck. Secondly, ALWAYS begin your turn early. Thirdly, ALWAYS begin your turn early.

It seems I never did get the hang of those pointers. I tried, really I did. One of the last times my husband allowed me to cut grass I snagged the chain-linked fence. After my initial panic attack, I managed to free the mower from the jaws of the fence to continue mowing the yard. As I finished mowing the yard, my mind was trying to figure out just how I was going to repair the fence so my husband would be none the wiser. Being the creative seamstress I am, I quickly decided it would be a cinch to sew up the fence. It would as good as new and he would be none the wiser. That was probably my second mistake.

The first mistake was thinking I could “sew” the fence. I found some extra wire in the barn and knelt down to begin my magic (wishing at this point that I had Samantha’s wiggling nose in Bewitched.) Mending the fence turned out to be a harder task than I originally thought but I managed to wire the fence back in place better than I originally anticipated. I thought my husband would be none the wiser. I was actually confident (BIG MISTAKE!) It took a few weeks; but, the first time he got on the tractor and made one round of the yard, he found it.

I wasn’t feeling quite so confident at this point, but I was still proud of the job I did.

Then there was the time…

I was mowing and hit the side of the barn. Once again, I thought I did a good job hammering out the dent and hiding it with a barrel (hedging my bets) and thought it my husband would never notice the slight dent (and missing paint.) Yeah, I was wrong again. Shortly after that discovery, I had my tractor license permanently revoked and I was presented with a riding mower. And, just so you know, there are some stories that involve a riding mower as well.


Lucy’s Back…

The reason I decided to write this particular story, or maybe a series of tales would more aptly describe them, is because one of my sisters brought to mind another of my “tales” as she was incorrectly guessing the origin of one of my blog stories.

I used to say that I was a klutz or that I was not very graceful. I decided that those particular descriptions did not adequately describe me at all. I am not really a klutz (I am REALLY not-bull in a china store comes to mind) and I DO TRY to be graceful, most of the time falling far short of the mark, but I do try. I finally came to conclusion of claiming it and naming it for what it is – things just happen to me, I am Lucille Ball personified.

Just in case you are having doubts, there was the time……………..

My husband, Jeffery built a wagon to haul things around our huge yard. Unbeknownst to me, he completed it. He hooked it to the tractor and came to the door to show me his new “prized” possession. Imagine my surprise when he showed me the chair he had thoughfully place in it. My husband then drove me around the yard and I pretended that I was a princess and waving to all of my subjects.

In my world, no one was watching so it was all fun and games, UNTIL I saw the old man next door who was observing the goings on in our yard, and by the look on his face had decided his new neighbors were nuts.

Why this surprises me, I don’t have a clue. Every time I rode the tractor I could be heard for miles around (I am quite sure) singing, “Green Acres is the place to be. Farm living is the life for me…) Isn’t that what normal people do?

Then, there was the time……………..

I skipped a step going down into the garage and careened into a four x four post, ending up in a heap on the floor. In between, I messed up my rotor cup, bruised the side of my rib cage, and knocked the breath out of myself. I finally got my husband’s attention by banging on the dryer door. He told me he heard a noise but because I had not yelled, he thought everything was fine. His comment, “You shouldn’t prance down the steps.” (Uh! Hello? That is not what I do.) He then asked me if I wanted to sit in a chair. At that point, I could breathe again and just retorted that I could not fall any further than the floor and I thought I would just stay there for a while.

I often tell my husband (usually after I’ve “done” something,) “Ya gotta love me. What else ya gonna do with me?” My wonderful husband has learned from experience that I can be a handful and should be watched at all times! If he is working on a project, especially if it is one for me, I am stuck right there in the middle of it with him – usually in the way. My Guardian Angel has her hands full with me; just keeping me safe is a full-time job.

There was also the time…

Jeffery was building a set of bookcases for me. He was hammering the shelves in, and, of course, I was there watching every nail being nailed in. I love designing furniture and my carpenter husband brings it to fruition, so I get excited and usually get in the way. As I normally do, I got a little too close and when he swung the hammer back, it connected with my knee. Fortunately, I did not sustain any major injury. The accident was his fault. I even told him so. I told him that he had been married to me long enough to know that he should always be watching for me to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. You would think that he would remember.

Then, there was the time……and you will have to come back to read all about it.

Have you ever been Googled?

I decided to Google “me” today just to see what would turn up. It turned out to be a very interesting journey.

It turns out that there are quite a few of me. The search yielded several Donna McBroom-Theriots, just as many Donna McBrooms and Donna Theriots. If I were not so confident in my uniqueness and so proud of being a one of a kind, God threw away the mold kind of girl, I might just develop a complex with there being so many  of “me”. There are 20 people with the name Donna Theriot in the United States, and the name Donna M. Theriot seems to link every book review I have ever written on Amazon with the world.

Seems I can be found in a number of Lafourche Parish Council meeting minutes and agendas. I had not realized I appeared in front of them so many times. Just shows how adamant I can be when I believe in a cause and the rights of the little people. Right there on Google was a posting by the Lafourche Parish Council that they recognized my attending an ethics seminar as part of my training for being a member of The Lafourche Parish Planning Commission; which by the way is also on there.

My comments on a website called “Fathers and Families” were copied and pasted on a strange blog that I now refer to as “the Pig.” Seems there is a big friendly looking pig on the site, hence the nickname. One can only imagine what that site was about and in the event you cannot, I’ll gladly give you a hint – nothing good. At any rate, I have to feel flattered that they even gave my comments enough credence to turn around and re-post them on their site (with a link back to the original site listed above,) even if it was to say they did not agree. At least, I think that is what they were attempting to depict. It actually said I didn’t get it. I think they “didn’t get it”.

Turns out there are several Donna Theriots out west in New Mexico. I wonder if it is as hot there as it is here in South Louisiana.

I was found on Disney Family Community page. There was an article on ‘Get Hatched, A Chick’s Guide to Life’ titled – How to actually love playing with makeup. I commented: “I used to tell my husband when I put on red lipstick (I normally wear a dark pink) it meant business. It gave me confidence. So, when I had a meeting or needed extra courage, red was the color of choice.” This interesting article was about playing with make-up to match your mood.

I found my name along with a listing of my friends on Face Book. My guess would be that you will also find my name on your listings should you decide to Google yourself.

My blog came up. Maybe I’ll get more followers. You never know. A relative was on and Google tattled on them (now I know who was looking for me.) Some of the public sites I subscribe to are also listed. I attended an Ethics training and surprise! That was also listed.

Remember posting on Face Book that you liked “I’m from Louisiana; we say ya’ll, Stop correcting my grammar? Oh Yeah! There’s your name (remember “Here’s your sign? Well, here’s your name.)

In fact, as soon as I hit “Post” on my blog, I can Google this story. Go ahead, live dangerously, Google yourself, and if you are brave enough, open your eyes and see the trail you have left in the world! I can follow you too. I would love to hear what you found so please come back and post. Meanwhile, I’ll see you on Google!

** The reason I “Googled” myself and eventually wrote this story is because a close friend of mine is going through a divorce and our friendship came into question. In court, the “other” side “Googled”  my name and it came up on the aforementioned “Pig” site. It is a questionable site and the intent was to discredit me and make her look like a bad mother. It was an unconscionable stunt to pull, but none-the-less, it happens. It is a shame that a person that you once called friend, would attempt to discredit your good name with a lie. He knew the information to be inadmissible in court as well as his attorney, yet it stopped neither one.

I originally posted my comment on a Parental Alienation site and stand by my comment. Unfortunately, my comments (and any comment you might make) are up for grabs by anyone who wishes to copy and paste. In this respect, please remember that your words are out there forever, be careful where and what you post.

It takes two baby…..

I am going to venture out there and say that only in a southern Louisiana parish are you going to find two deputies directing traffic. That doesn’t sound like anything out of the ordinary to you. Well, it might, if you witnessed what I witnessed while driving the children to school this bright, sunny, average school morning.

There is an inordinate amount of traffic in a small area these days due to construction. There is an old bridge (which has closed down a major artery for the bayou region), that practically fell apart and is now in the process of being repaired. This bridge just happens to be located across the bayou from my house. Every morning, seven days a week, the pounding of pilings can be heard along with the birds singing in the trees and on the utility wires (which, by the way, why doesn’t the wire electrocute them?)

Then, south of the Intracoastal Waterway, traffic is hampered by the construction on a new bridge (it hopes to alleviate the chaos being created by the construction). The re-routing of the traffic (tractor-trailers heading to Port Fourchon, people who work in Port Fourchon and up and down the Bayou Lafourche, and normal school traffic) that normally flows on two highways is being routed to one very small two-lane highway, otherwise known as Louisiana 1.

And, if that hasn’t created enough headaches, you have to deal with boat traffic closing the bridges on the one highway. It is common for me to sit in my driveway in the morning waiting for a Good Samaritan to let me pull out and join the three miles of traffic to the bridge.

As I headed down Louisiana 1 toward the Intracoastal Waterway Bridge, I approached one of the bridges crossing the bayou. At this bridge was a deputy in the middle of the highway directing traffic. It’s not as if this were unexpected, because without someone directing traffic, no one would make it through the traffic light. What was unexpected was the deputy on the side of the highway (to the back of the deputy) also directing traffic. To further explain he was directing traffic behind the other deputy’s back.

Had this not been a serious catastrophe waiting to happen, it would have made a great “Funniest Video.” You really had to be there to appreciate the comedy. It truly was beyond funny. The cartoon phrase “which way did they go?” with a slight change to “which way do we go?” comes to mind.


The Jail Break March 12, 2011

It all began sometime around dusk yesterday afternoon. As we left for church, my instincts were telling me to kennel the dogs in the garage; the other conscience (my husband) was telling me to leave them in the outside play yard. That is where they were, their outside pen. That was not where they were when we got back.

I have a little Garden House out back with a little white picket fence yard. The yard also serves as a play yard (pen) for our dogs. No dog has ever attempted a jailbreak – until now.

In order to acclimate Ryka (my three year old German Shepherd) to our yard and her new surroundings, I would put her in the play yard so she could spend longer and longer amounts of time outside alone and semi-supervised until I felt I could trust her.

Ryka on the stoop

Once I thought Calypso was big enough in size (she is 8 weeks old) to put in the play yard to have outside time, we divided the yard in half. Calypso is growing and getting very active so she has been enjoying being outside all day long the last few days.

The two dogs love playing through the fence slats and have been happy and content with the limited interaction, or so we thought (that is what we get for thinking like humans!)

Lately, Ryka has been sitting on the stoop to the Garden House and playing with Calypso even when her gate is open and she is free to explore the big yard. She has developed quite a mothering instinct towards Calypso. She hopped over the little makeshift wall once (Calypso was not in her side), so we raised it a little higher (obviously not high enough.)

My husband (who was an Accident Re-constructionist for the LSP) came up with the following scenario of what transpired last night. Last night was the first time we left them outside when we left the house and this was Calypso’s first time outside at dusk. He thinks that Calypso was probably calling to Ryka (in doggy talk – my husband’s words – yeah, I am still processing that one) and Ryka, wanting to mother her, chewed through two of the barriers (after first attempting to dig under) to jump over into Calypso’s side.

The Re-constructionist

Then, he thinks there was some sort of activity next door that got Ryka excited, and she hopped up on the back gate (paws up like dogs do) and was surprised when the action caused two slats to break loose (I learned that treated wood rusts nails – the entire fence is getting an overhaul today.) Jeffery thinks that Calypso saw the opportunity (freedom at last, freedom at last) and made the initial escape with Ryka following to protect and watch over her (which was what was going on when we found them.)

We arrived home from church (thank goodness they were not waiting at the front gate) and drove down the driveway. I still do not know exactly where they were and the angels must have kept them from crossing in front of the car.

As I got out of the car and was walking towards the little yard, I started talking to Calypso (before the break out was discovered.) I walked around to her gate and looking in to the darkened pen did not detect any sign of movement. Then, I heard a jingle (thank goodness for the rabies tags on dog collars) and looked up to see Ryka and Calypso walking across the driveway! I screamed (come on – you should know me by now!) Then, when I looked around, trying to process what was playing out in front of my eyes, I noticed that two slats were missing from the back gate and on the ground. That was the exact moment I learned about treated wood rusting out nails.

I do not know which was racing faster – my heart or my mind! Ryka and Calypso had been in the big yard together; and Ryka was taking care of the munchkin, and she was still alive (Ryka plays a little too rough yet to be unsupervised with Calypso.) Calypso was alive! And, perfectly fine! That phrase kept playing loudly in my mind for about sixty seconds while I desperately tried to process what was going on.

The Crime Scene

Ryka’s behavior was indicative of someone who knew something was not quite right, and she had done something a little wrong. She actually went into her kennel when we raised the garage door. She would not look at me for a while. She kept her head down and I had not even fussed her. I had to coax her out of her kennel to eat, and then I spent a little time with her so she would relax.

On the other hand, Calypso was perfectly fine to be free and could not understand why she had to go into her kennel.

I sat down to dinner a short time later and did not know if I should be laughing or crying. The scene kept playing in mind like a cartoon. Two dogs breaking out of the pen and yelping, “Free at last! Free at last!”

The moral of this story is I do not know what to do. I am still freaking out. One thing is certain, and that is, every fence board is getting re-nailed today. We’ll start with that and see what happens (hopefully nothing!) Oh! I will be listening to my own instincts from now on.

Hopefully, this will work

And, so ends the story of the jailbreak. I think I will go and check on the jailbirds. They are outside, and today is the day they will start having supervised play dates with each other.


Has Something Scarred You for Life?

I think we all have those moments in which we claim our parents scarred us for life; I know I have a few. I was having a conversation with a friend on Face Book and the conversation worked its way around to food (don’t all our conversations do this?)

Friends were making comments after reading my blog on eating oysters for breakfast and chasing them down with hot cocoa. This led to discussions on the general eating habits of our younger years where I admitted to being a finicky eater and feasting on mayonnaise sandwiches. I also remember spending hours at the dinner table hoping to outlast the admonitions of my mother and finally have her excuse me from the table for not liking what she had cooked that night.

To this day, I cannot look at or smell a can of Trappey’s Red Beans. My mother had a dish she liked to cook called Western Beans. As far as I was concerned, those beans should have stayed in the west where I am certain the cowboys were missing them. It consisted of ground beef, stewed tomatoes, and the red beans. As detested, as those stewed tomatoes were, one of those little chunks was inevitably going to end up on MY plate. At that point, I knew dinner was going to last an eternity. There would be no television that night. My nose would not be buried in a good book that night. My time would be spent sitting at the table, hoping and praying that meal would somehow vanish into thin air (just so you know, it never did.)

I spent an afternoon organizing my youngest sister’s pantry, and when I came across a huge can of those same red beans, I could not even touch them. I made her take them out and later put them back into the pantry!

What would eventually scar me for life was the day I got off the school bus only to find the air permeated with a horrid smell. All sorts of ghastly thoughts were going through my young mind, all of which seemed tame once I figured out the smell was coming from my house.

The closer my steps brought me to the kitchen door, the more frightened I became. It was worse than any horror show I might ever see in the future. I still remember the dread emanating through my little body as I reached for the doorknob and entered my house. My mother had decided to cook turnips and cabbage! I had never seen these two vegetable close up, much less smelled them; and now I had to eat them. If I could have run to church at that moment and confessed every sin my little heart thought it committed in the hope of returning home and having it all be a bad dream, my little legs could not have carried me fast enough.

My mom was standing at the stove and I could tell that she was anticipating dinnertime and the wonderful meal she thought she was cooking. How my little innocent soul longed for a mayonnaise sandwich. Dinnertime lasted a long time that night. There was not enough ice tea in all of China to wash down those turnips and cabbage.

It is funny how some memories stick with you.