Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Mardi Gras

Today is Fat Tuesday. We all got up early to get Page up and out to the airport in Houston. She flew back to Seal Beach to help her Mom as she gets home from the hospital. My Mom picked her up at LAX. Her parents didnt know she was coming. Her Dad walked into the house and was so surprised.... and called her a poop (I think). They are glad she is there. She will be there for 2 weeks. Lacey drove her to the airport (2 hours away) and back by herself. Sean had to go to seminary and school, and I had to get Sean to school then off to work. Work is so busy. I am trying to put a new doctors office together in less than 30 days - order furniture, equipment, phone systems, notify patients, ads in the paper, hiring new staff for the office... (see my entry on stress previously..) and that is just one project. I have two others very similar to that and trying to juggle the demands of my boss and doctors, and staff. This project is really stressful because she has to be out of her current space before the end of March because another doctor leased the space. I had 4 weeks to order furniture that normally takes at least 6 weeks to make. Somehow, they say they can have it ready for me.

Anyway, back to Mardi Gras. This morning before work, I put some red beans, bell pepper, onion and celery with beef sausage into the crockpot. By the time I got home tonight, it was ready. I cooked up a pot of rice and we had red beans & rice, a Louisiana favorite in honor of Mardi Gras. I made "crescent" rolls, since New Orleans is also known as the Crescent City. I had the King Cake on display on my Mardi Gras tray. I used Lacey's purple spoons and knives. I had Mardi Gras cups, beads and mardi gras doll on the table. It was fun. But only Lacey and I enjoyed it. Page is in California and Sean had to go to tennis practice. (He did eat when he got home). I used my Wheat Montana Bowls for the beans and rice, for a nice touch of our home in the Rockies. The beans and rice were delicious. The King Cake was lousy! haha. Last week we got one from Julie Anne's Bakery of cream cheese and strawberry (yummy) this one was from Tubbs and was praline. It sounded good but did not compare to the cream cheese cake. Next year we will stick with Julie Anne's.

Well Mardi Gras isn't over for me yet. I'm on my way out the door. I am serving Mardi Gras dinner to the night shift employees at the hospital from 10 - 11 p.m. Then I can come home and crash before work tomorrow. Happy Mardi Gras everyone!

Mardi Gras Feast

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I have my Louisiana apron on to get in the spirit
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Lacey gets into the spirit of Mardi Gras too
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My feast.  Red Beans and Rice and King Cake

Sunday, February 26, 2006

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Lacey getting into the Mardi Gras fun
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Krewe of Gemini- Let the Good Times Roll
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The last float rolls by
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Looking across the Red River into Bossier City and the Horseshoe

Krewe of Gemini

Well Shreveport celebrated Mardi Gras again this weekend when the Krewe of Gemini took to the streets. The weather was a lot warmer this weekend compared to last weekend. Only Lacey and I went to the parade. Sean went to a party given by a couple girls from church. Page was frantically getting ready for New Beginnings and couldn't spare a minute, plus she got word Friday night her Mom was admitted to the hospital with dehydration and she was monitoring her condition.

Well, the parade was a good one. We caught alot of beads and a lot more toys (stuffed animals, balls, etc) compared to last week. I caught some really cool rope beads with a mardi gras doll head on it. Really cool. And Lacey caught a vodoo doll. We went and picked up some of Lacey's friends- Samantha, Layne, Shawn and Porter. After the parade we went over to the Louisiana Boardwalk and ate at the Buffalo Stop. Seeing all the buffalo artwork reminded me of Montana. We got another King Cake and we will have it on Tuesday (actual Mardi Gras).

We had a good time- but that two hour drive back home is not really that much fun. But gas in Shreveport is only $1.95 compared to $2.15 back home.

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Lacey and her high school friends after the parade
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Lacey kisses the cook.  We ate at Louisiana Boardwalk
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Me and the Mardi Gras tree at the Boardwalk
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One of the floats- throw me something mister!
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Here is the Krewe Captain kicking off the parade
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Just Lacey and I went to the parade in Shreveport

Friday, February 24, 2006

I slept through the night

I actually slept all night last night. I guess talking about the things that stressed me out, helped aleve it. Poor Page had to hear me ramble for awhile to get it all off my chest. I also went out on splits with the Elders last night, so maybe I got some blessings for that, and watched the Olympics. Too bad Sasha fell, but Silver is still something to be proud of.

Thursday, February 23, 2006


I have never been good at handling stress very well. I internalize everything and personalize it too. Look at my gray hair. Is that from stress? I've been graying since my 20's. My twin has no gray hair at all. Nobody grayed early in my family, but me. Look at my weight, I can't remember being thin since I was a teenager, except when I was on my mission in Spain and preparing to run in a 10k run in Long Beach when I was in my early 20's. The rest of the time, I stress eat myself into being overweight. I really don't take good care of myself. Last night I had a stress attack.... pounding headache and body tension, which lead to lack of sleep. Why do I get myself in a tizzy? I'm trying some relaxation techniques, where I close my eyes and think of a happy calm place, while taking deap breaths. I did that this morning, thinking about sitting on my old dock at the Colorado River on the CA-AZ border. It helped a little, I could feel my shoulders kind of relaxing. I let everything stress me out: work, church, money, family, house... that about covers everything in my life. I'm really afraid I will keel over from a heart attack one of these days, sooner rather than later. Life has never been really easy for me, and I'm sure it's not for most people, but I truly can't remember a time in my life, where everything just hummed along. Is that normal? I have to fight for everything it seems, and I usually don't win. Thank goodness for the love of my family, especially Page. If I didn't have that, I don't know where I would be. (see I told you I was stressed today).

Monday, February 20, 2006

Saturday in Shreveport for Mardi Gras

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Look at the beads we caught.  Here we are eating at Pepes.

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King Cake-  Lacey found the baby in her piece!

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30 degrees before the parade
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Krewe of Centaur parade
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We ran into Lynn & Deborah
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Sean in mask
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Lacey in mask
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Sean enjoying world's best eclair from Julie Anne's

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Lacey says Happy Mardi Gras

USC 71 UCLA 68

You know I have to post something like this, when USC beats UCLA at anything. USC beat UCLA last night in basketball at the Sports Center in downtown LA. They showed it on TV, so Sean and I were able to watch it. This is the only USC basketball game I have been able to see and it was a thriller. We beat them by 3 points, and without our #2 scorer in the game. We lost to UCLA about a month ago by a lot of points, so we were the underdogs, and still pulled it out. It also was the last time we will be playing UCLA in the sports center. USC is building a new on-campus facility. UCLA was #1 in the Pac-10 before the game. After we beat them, they are now tied for first with Cal. We are still down at #6 but happy to beat our rival.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Krewe of Centaur

After a two year haitus (living in Montana), I found myself on Clyde Fant Parkway on Saturday, waiting for the Krewe of Centaur's Mardi Gras Parade. This year, I brought the Montana weather with me. It was 30 degrees at parade time and we had to wear coats, gloves and hats. The parade was a lot of fun. Lacey and Sean came with me and Page stayed back in Texas taking advantage of a quiet house. We caught a kazillion beads, but only a couple of good ones.... you know the bigger beads! But Lacey and Sean caught some toys and stuffed animals too. Sean also got a moonpie and was nice enough to give it to his dad. My favorite float was the Star Wars float. It had Darth Vader on it throwing beads. Pretty cool! Sean was able to grab a cup from that float that has Star Wars written on it. In fact, we brought home about 20 cups from the various floats. We won't have any trouble having something to drink out of. The sponge bob square pants float was cute too. After the parade, we headed out to our old neighborhood in Haughton to eat at Pepes. I havent eaten there in 3 years. Pepes serves the best Mexican food outside of California. It was a great way to end our Mardi Gras day. On the way into town we stopped at another favorite place. Julie Annes Bakery in Shreveport, where they sell the world's best chocolate eclairs. Eating one is an experience. We all got one and were in heaven. We brought one home for Page. We also got a King Cake with Strawberry and Cream Cheese Filling. King Cakes are traditional for Mardi Gras. They are decorated with green, gold and purple sprinkles (the colors of Mardi Gras). Inside is hidden a small platic baby. Whoever gets the piece with the baby in it is supposed to host next year's Mardi Gras Party and buy the King Cake. That honor goes to Lacey this year.

Friday, February 17, 2006

I almost hit one of these Armadillos on the road. But don't worry, the little guy is safe now.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Valentines Day

I think I did good this year. Got Page 2 cards, peanut brittle, and tulips. She got me sugar free chocolates. We got the kids some candy too. Not as big as in years past, but still fun. Page and I did get off to see a movie after work. We went and saw Last Holiday with Queen Latifah. I loved it! It was just what I needed. I was tired from moving furniture at one of our new clinics all day. It was very entertaining and fun. In fact, in the middle of the movie I turned to Page and said, "ok, I like this movie!". I was thinking, if I only had 3 weeks to live, what would I want to do? I know I would not want to do that sky diving thing off a dam like Queen Latifah did. no way! But getting away to a beautiful spot would be nice. I was thinking about some things I want to do before I die:
1. Go back to Spain
2. go Whale watching
3. Denmark (ok- better make it a European tour!)
4. Pachu Pichu in Peru
5. Cancun
6. White House tour
7. another USC-Notre Dame football game
8. watch the Colorado River roll on by, sitting on a dock at Walter's Camp
9. see the Hill Commorah and Sacred Grove
10. Sing in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir

ok- i will leave it at 10. I'm sure there are a lot more things I want to do, and of course, without saying, I would want to do these things with my family, and be with them. Oh my gosh! I need a #11

#11- Meet Paula Deen and eat at her resturant in Savannah!!!! How could I leave that off the list!!!!!

Saturday, February 11, 2006


I finally got to see Elizabethtown on Thursday. We rented the video. As you may know, I really like Paula Deen, and she is in this movie as a crazy aunt. The movie was pretty good. I found myself wanting to be a part of a huge, loud, caotic family. I could relate how Orlando Bloom's character had to adjust from coming from an urban west coast environment out to the heartland and how different life is there. I could relate to how he put his heart and soul into his work, and how fast he fell from success and have to start over again. How he was expected to be the "stong" one when his dad died, and yet still try to make everyone happy too. I could reltate to how he really didn't know his dad, and how he made peace with him on that long road trip. I don't usually like Susan Ssarandon, but her final scene when she is on stage talking to the tough crowd (her husband's clan) she became human and she won me over (like she did the rest of the crowd in the ballroom). And one last thing, Orlando's character learns, (like I already know), that the love of a good woman can save you and get you through anything. It took him long enough to figure it out. When you have the love and support of the woman you love, anything is bearable, and life is wonderful! He finally found out what is most important in life and the secret of happiness. But hey, it's tough to remember that sometimes because life doesn't stop, adversity doesn't end, and the dragons have to be slain every single day. So it's nice to come home.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Leggett Post Office Kudos

I was in Livingston yesterday afternoon and bought my mother a Valentine's Day card. I was heading up Hwy. 59 and saw a post office in Leggett. It's a really small town of about 350 people, but they do have a small P.O.

I hurried and signed the card and addressed the envelope. I walked in about 4:45 and the door was closed to the counter (closes at 4:30). All of a sudden I hear this woman's voice from nowhere say, "I'll take your mail, they are about to pick it up" (I did notice a big USPS truck on the side of the building). I yelled back, "I don't have a stamp yet". She opened a small door in the lobby and said "give me 37 cents and I will put a stamp on it for you". I gave her 50 cents. She then came back with my change and told me she would make sure it gets on the truck. I thanked her and said "the cards for my mom!" She then said- "well we do anything for Mamas!"

I was impressed. Many people think poorly on government services and government workers, but I'm here to tell you that the workers at the Leggett Post Office are willing to go beyond the call of duty to assist their customers and make Mamas happy.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Love you, Page!


Galveston, oh Galveston
I still hear your sea winds blowing
I still see her dark eyes glowing
She was twenty-one
When I left Galveston

Galveston, oh Galveston
I still hear your sea waves crashing
While I watch the cannon flashing
And I clean my gun
And I dream of Galveston

I still see her standing by the water
Standing there, looking out to sea
And is she waiting there for me?
On the beach where we used to run

Galveston, oh Galveston
I am so afraid of dying
Before I dry the tears she's crying
Before I see your sea birds flying
In the sun, at Galveston

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Happy Groundhog Day

Did Phil see his shadow today? 6 more weeks of winter? or spring around the corner? I don't know, and I guess it doesn't really matter because in East Texas we didn't even have winter at all this year. Poor Phil would have been all confused. We did have a terrible thunderstorm last night. Molly was a little nervous so we let her sleep in our room. Liberty came along too.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Tornado Watch

There was a Tornado Watch for Jasper, Tyler and Polk counties today. First one of the year. And of course, I was in Jasper. Good times.

Tonight the youth had an etiquette dinner. Page and I were Mr and Mrs. Manners and did everything wrong...eating with our mouths open, using our fingers, eating out of each other's plates, Page putting on makeup, me picking at my ear. It was a lot of fun. I think they got the point.