Everyday life on the Bayou

          This blog is not only for book reviewing but for telling stories about the goings on in my life. This past week had a lot of activity. My daughter, Katie-Beth, was in from New York where she is a teacher. She was showing me the website she is setting up and I’ll be sharing it as soon as she finishes critiquing it.  While she was down, two alligators were caught off of our wharf on Bayou Lafourche; one was 5’2″ and the other was 7’8″. Other than the photo of she and my husband fishing one of them out of the water, I didn’t think to take any others. It is such a common site that I forget not everyone has this experience. I’ll be sure and take more pictures next time – yes, there is always a next time.

This alligator was 5’2″ – Katie’s height.

           We have not had rain for well over a month and yesterday, we had several downpours. It was Calypso’s first experience in the rain and I am certain she enjoyed herself. I could not get her to come on the porch. She and Ryka never stopped playing. They did at one point come to the front door with those sad little puppy faces that seemed to be saying they were ready to come in. At that point, I wasn’t sympathetic. 

Yep. Play in the rain. Stay in the rain.

            Jeffery caught some of the first crabs of the season. The crabs from the bayou have a much sweeter flavor (and in my opinion, a better flavor) than the crabs caught closer to the gulf. There have been as many as thirty in the cage at a time. Today, there was one.

Better luck next time.

            This is a common occurrence in my yard. Calypso antagonizes Ryka until there is wrestling. I took a series of shots the other day (but won’t bore you with them) of them just rolling around wrestling. Somewhere in this picture, there are two dogs.


Sumo wrestling.

"The Middle Place"

  Not long ago I posted that I was going to start reviewing the books I read on my blog. This is my first book review. The book, “The Middle Place” by Kelly Corrigan.

Cover of "The Middle Place"

Blurb:
             “At 36, Kelly Corrigan had a marriage that worked, two funny, active kids, and a weekly newspaper column. Even then, she still saw herself as the daughter of a garrulous Irish-American charmer, George Corrigan. She was living deep within what she calls the Middle Place – ‘that sliver of time when parenthood and children overlap’ – comfortable wedged between her adult duties and her parents’ care. But when Kelly finds a lump in her breast – and gets the diagnosis that no one wants to hear – and when her beloved father, too, learns that he has late-stage cancer, Kelly finally takes the leap and grows up. And through her bravely honest, funny, and inspirational memoir, she takes us with her.”

Review:          
            Once I began this book, I couldn’t put it down; the pages seem to turn themselves. Kelly’s relationship with her father and the closeness they share is unmatched by any story I have yet to read; it is how she describes her very existence. Kelly Corrigan seamlessly weaves the past and present as the story of her perfect life begins to unravel around her. She is diagnosed with cancer and the diagnosis of her father’s cancer soon follows.
            She writes of the difficulties that follow. She takes us through her chemotherapy and the family vacations. She writes of the first time she ventures out after chemo to take her daughters to school and a little boy confront her claiming she looks like a monster, and her subsequent freak-out. Then, leaving the girls for her friend to drop off at school, she hurries home to call her husband in tears, to which she relays the following conversation.
           “Kel?”
            “He called me a monster,” I say, crying and falling into the sofa.
            “Who did?”
            “Jack Lindgren.”
            “That little fucker!” (Her thoughts: I don’t know what to say about a man who calls a perfectly adorable three-year-old a fucker, but “my hero” comes to mind.)

            She takes us on vacation where her baby goes missing and only after a frantic search, is found sound asleep in a little make-shift tent.
            While trying to manage her father’s illness from across the country, she is busy battling her own war against cancer. She writes with soul, with compassion, and with humor.
            I finished this book with an understanding of the journey she calls life that both begins and ends where she is and always will be the daughter of her beloved father, George Corrigan.


For anyone who enjoys reading memoirs, this book should definitely make your short list. I would enjoy hearing from you if you have already read this book or if you read it after my review. What are your thoughts? 


If you would like to purchase the book through Amazon, you may do so by clicking on the Amazon box on the left side of my blog.


Until then – Happy Reading!

The (whispering here) vagina Monologues

Last night I attended a performance of the Vagina Monologues at the local university (at this point I am sure that anyone who knows me is sitting there with their mouth hanging open saying “She did what? Can’t be!”)

This play could be described as word stimulating. Oh! And, definitely sound stimulating! I am laughing as I write this. It will take me a while to process the whole experience. I was caught waaaaaaaaaaay off guard. I truly did not know what to expect (Hello, Lucy – anybody home?)

I went with a very good friend of mine, Jessica, and we laughed until we cried during some parts of the monologue. Others, we looked at each other with stunned faces thinking “did we really just hear that?” We were a little out of our comfort zone. Well, we were a lot out of our comfort zone; I will admit that sometimes that’s a good thing.

There were words spoken that most might consider vulgar, and sounds that put the scene in “Harry met Sally” to shame. There was serious dialogue and there was humorous dialogue. Each part seemed written for the young woman that performed it, so good were they during their monologues.

I admire the courage that each of these young woman displayed in getting up on stage to recite their words and act out their given scenes.

On the drive home, Jessica and I laughed at ourselves. We kept remembering different dialogue and we practiced our newfound vocabulary, words that will probably never leave our mouths again in this lifetime. For just a while, we were empowered women. We never knew that our “girl parts” had so many different names! The next time that Jessica’s young daughter asks her mother the name of her “girl parts”; she will have a list from which to choose.

My one constant dilemma was how I was going to explain this play to my husband. There is no explaining this play. You really just have to see it. It is definitely one of those “you have to be there” types of plays. So, after lighting a blessed candle, gathering a crucifix, and blessing myself with holy water, I sat down to try to explain the Vagina Monologues to my husband. It didn’t go so well (says me rolling on the floor laughing!)

If you have the opportunity to attend the Vagina Monologues, I highly recommend doing so. You may view your vagina (did I just say that?) in a completely new light – and just possibly with a mirror!

 

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 Reunion.com 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.