Friday, October 22, 2010


This seems like an uncanny coincidence after my last post.

Here is the background: I wear pearls.  A LOT.  I pretty much always have my pearl necklace on.  I don't just wear it when I get dressed up.  I wear pearls with jeans and to work with my 6 year olds.  I wear pearls with outfits in which pearls seemingly have no place.  That's just me.  I like to think of my pearls as my signature look.  Others might say it's a psychosis.  ;)

Today the music teacher at school said, "You know who you remind me of with your pearls?"

"Who?" I say, thinking, 'Oh, jeese, even HE is commenting on my pearls now.'

"Barbara Billingsley," he said.

Wow.  Refer back to last post to understand the "wow" factor of this.  WOW!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Goodbye June!

A significant cultural icon is no longer with us.  Barbara Billingsley, better known to the world as June Cleaver, mother of Beaver, died yesterday at the ripe old age of 94.  She will best be remembered for vacuuming while wearing pearls and high heels.  Some people give her a bad rap for this.  They say it isn't realistic.  I say there are far worse things for which to be remembered.  And everybody needs a little glamour in this ho-hum, humdrum life of dusty living rooms and dirty dishes.  Hurray for June, pearls and all!

Before I encountered her as Beaver's mom thanks to reruns, I knew her best as Nanny on "Muppet Babies."  From what I can recall of the animated program, we never saw her character's face.  Just those striped stocking legs.

And as for those pearls and high heels---the pearls were used to cover up a hollow at her throat and the high heels to disguise the growth of Wally and the Beave as the sitcom progressed.  It's always interesting to discover the origin of trademark looks.  Personally, I always envied her outfits.  I love fifties clothes.  A lot of my skirts and dresses have a "classic" vintage look.  Too bad I can't pull off those big poofy skirts.  At a little over five feet, the look would be less than flattering; my mother always insists that those outfits were made for tall women!  Not to mention the fact that I might get some strange looks.

Want to be a whiz in the kitchen like Mrs. Cleaver?  Check out this blog with lots of fifties style, June Cleaver Cooking Club.

For a mom on a mission inspired by June, check out A Year in the Life of June Cleaver.

Go here for more on June---I mean Barbara Billingsley.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Life as a Garden

I took these pictures at the Montreal Botanical Garden during my visit this summer.  It was an amazing place!  And it made me think of this poem. . .

After a while, you learn the subtle difference
Between holding a hand and chaining a soul,
And you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning
And company doesn’t mean security.

And you begin to learn that kisses aren’t contracts,
And presents aren’t promises,
And you begin to accept your defeats
With the grace of God, not the grief of a child,

And you learn to build all your roads on today
Because tomorrow’s ground is too uncertain for plans,
And futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight.

And after a while you learn
That even sunshine burns if you get too much.
So you plant your own garden and decorate your own soul,
Instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.

And you learn that you really can endure …
That you really are strong
And you really do have worth
And you learn and learn …

And with every goodbye, you learn.

Veronica Shoffstall

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


This actually happened to me today.  I'm not making this up.  One of my little guys had a rough start.  He had both behavioral and academic issues.  But he's turned it all around!  He is an amazing student and sweet as can be.  Some people attribute this to my influence.  I say it couldn't have happened without him making a conscious choice.  (Just to give you background).  So here's what happened:

Little Guy signals me from across the room and motions for me to come over.

Little Guy: I have a song for you.  I made it just for you.  It's from me for you.

Me: Okay.  You can sing it.

Little Guy sings (very seriously and sincerely): You are so beautiful---to me!  You are so beautiful---to me!

It was the cutest thing ever.  I felt the urge to both laugh and cry.  But instead I mustered all the control I have, hugged him, and praised him.  It's moments like those that I feel like a million bucks (makes up for the teacher's salary, right?).  I am so blessed to be surrounded by this joy.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Patient Trust

When I read Kelly's blog the other day, she referred me to Amy's blog, where she had written a wonderful passage concerning waiting and how difficult the unknown can be.  She encouraged people to share their stories about when God felt far away or when His plan seemed unclear.  I have personally struggled with this a great deal.  As a single woman, I hope and pray that marriage and a family is in my future, but I also have to accept that this may not be God's plan for me.  I am SO STUBBORN sometimes and just cannot wrap my head around the idea that God might not want this for me!  It's hard to balance between cynicism and idealism.  I want to remain hopeful, but I also want to be realistic.  My relationship with God helps me find that balance.  When I am filled with anxiety over the future, when I am impatient and want instant gratification, when I begin to doubt God's plan for me, this prayer helps tremendously.

Trust in the slow work of God.
We are quite naturally impatient
in everything to reach the end without delay.
We should like to skip 
all intermediate stages.
We are impatient of being on the way to something
unknown, something new.
Yet it is the law of all
that progress is made 
by passing through
some stages of instability.

And so I think it is with you,
your ideas mature gradually
let them grow
let them shape themselves 
without undue haste.

Do not try to force them,
as though you could be today what time
(that is to say, grace and circumstances
acting on your own good will)
will make of you tomorrow.

Only God could say what this new spirit
gradually forming within you will be.
Give Our Lord the benefit of believing
That his hand is leading you,
and accept the anxiety of feeling yourself
In suspense and incomplete.

---Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

If you get a chance, check out Amy's blog.  There were some amazing stories shared and some great examples of strength even in the midst of suffering.

Words of Wisdom from 6 Year Olds

Little Girl: "Leaves are just like people.  They die."

Little Boy:  "But leaves grow back."

What is "La Vie Creole"?

It literally means "The Creole life."  I am a Creole girl living in New Orleans, so what better way to describe my life here in the Crescent City?  What does Creole mean?  Whew, you'll get all kinds of answers and a whole lot of confusion!  It seems everyone has his/her own personal definition.  For me, to be Creole is to be a descendent of the first French, Spanish, and African American settlers who came to Louisiana in the 1700's.  One of my ancestors stepped off the boat in 1718, the year New Orleans was founded, a fact of which I am very proud.  However, as more and more young professionals arrive in New Orleans, I think it's okay to be an adopted Creole.  I love the influx of people who appreciate our city and are adding new energy and excitement!

What does it mean to live "la vie Creole"?  To eat, drink, and be merry, to be sure!  Of course, life in post-Katrina New Orleans offers a decent amount of struggles.  But it just brings us closer together.

Why is it "La Vie Creole" and not just "The Creole Life"?  Well, one of the most significant aspects of being Creole was speaking French.  My grandmother spoke French until she started first grade.  I love all things French!
The New Orleans flag with the fleur de lis, a symbol of the French Bourbon aristocrats.