Saturday, March 19, 2016

The Softer Side and Doing Good Deeds

Your Speed: 27 mph
One of the reasons I backed off of political blogging is because I found myself angry and agitated all of the time.  As hard as I worked trying to tell people that in my opinion, Barack Obama would be a terrible president and would spread socialism, would weaken our national security, and would do irreparable damage, it seems no one listened. As loudly as I screamed that Obamacare would be a disaster and would result in thousands of people losing their private insurance coverage or paying higher rates, nobody listened.  I was either preaching to the choir or arguing with brick walls.

I burned out.

I got tired of being mad all of the time.

In place of politics I've diverted my attention to writing on other things and to research for my book.  We've been working on the house and the yard, and spending time with friends and neighbors. Instead of anger and frustration, I'm finding joy in the simpler things that warm your heart.

Last night for example, we sat outside under the magnolia tree, pulled up chairs for my neighbors, built a fire in the fire pit, and the four of us talked and laughed long into the evening. The tabby cat sat in the swing between me and Gena in utter contentment.  Three teenage boys walked by, their voices and laughter carrying across the cool air, on their way to one of the fast food joints on Kings Highway. One of them noticed the flashing speed sign mounted to the light pole so they took turns running past it to see how fast they were going.  The 13 mph champion raised his hands in a Rocky-esque victory celebration before they continued on their way.

It was all so much nicer than thrashing out the latest tax increase advocated by John Bel Edwards or digging through the qualifications of Obama's Supreme Court pick.

For the most part, I'm leaving all that to others these days, with the occasional exception.

My focus right now is on my book.  I want to thank donor Steve for hitting my tip jar yesterday, very generously.  That will help fund my trip to Natchitoches over spring break to get some final research that I need to finish revisions on the book.  I'm feeling some new motivation and inspiration to finish strong!  If anyone else feels so inspired, you can hit the tip jar over there in the right sidebar for the good of research!

In other matters: I've been greatly remiss in not watching the Shape of Shreveport series.  I happened to discover, through a Facebook conversation on the tragedy of Fairgrounds Field, that Episode 4 of the SoS series is online at Real Shreveport. This episode covers two crashes that devastated Shreveport: the plane crash that killed six prominent Shreveport businessmen, and the oil crash that killed the banking and real estate industry in Shreveport.  If you haven't seen it, go over to Real Shreveport and watch it.  It's just over sixteen minutes and worth every second.

You may remember my lamentations over the shape of Shreveport last summer.  It continues to make me sad at the wasted potential of this town.

Another thing I wanted to point out before I get back to work today is the good work Nova's Heart is doing. They always step up to help the less fortunate in our city care for their pets most basic needs and the flooding situation of recent days has taxed their resources to the bone. If you can make a donation of cash or supplies to them, that would be greatly appreciated.  If you aren't familiar with Nova's Heart, this is what they do:

Our mission is to help the pets of those in crisis. We are not a rescue and cannot foster or take in any animals. Our services include minor vetting, food, collars, harnesses, and leashes. We are not funded nor do we have the means to take on critical care for pets ( Parvo, Heartworm positive, or any extensive health problems ) We can set up a Vet appointment for a diagnosis but can't at this time provide treatment. We help the pets of those experiencing homelessness, rescues in need, and individuals that are going through crisis.

Their Facebook page is here. Their Amazon wish list is here. There are many items on that list that don't cost very much. For $20 you can send a flat of dog food. For less than that you can send them leashes and harnesses.  Help them out if you can.  If you don't want to donate online or from Amazon, I'll happily accept leashes, harnesses and bags of cat or dog food and take them to the Levy Street office of Nova's Heart for you.

Time to get back to work.  Take time to do something nice today.  The rewards are tenfold.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Loose Thoughts

Time to build an ark.
It looks like we're going to need an ark.  I was going to fertilize my lawn this weekend but I think I'll hold off on that as it appears it would all just wash away.  I love the rain but I'm feeling the need to batten down the hatches and hunker down.

The Cammie Book: As I noted yesterday, blogging has been light here lately.  I'm five months away from deadline on the Cammie book and that's consuming all of my mental and physical energy right now.  I'm heading back to Natchitoches over Spring Break to nail down a few details my publisher has asked for and I'm looking forward to that, actually.  I have loved the research aspect of this project -- it's truly been a labor of love.  However, we are not quite done yet, so ...wish me luck, please.  And if you feel so inclined, don't be shy about hitting the tip jar over in the sidebar.  Research takes money: gas, photocopies, lunch, postage, a girl out if you can.

The Louisiana Primary: Well, Cruz almost pulled off Louisiana, didn't he.  I expected Trump to win it and I maintain my position strongly OUT of the Trump camp.  I've been told that people like him because he is bombastic and will say things nobody else will say; they like him because he has his own money and nobody can buy him.  My personal opinion is that he is a buffoon, a clown, and a reality TV candidate who has offered no real substantive solutions to anything other than "build a wall."  Obviously we have no perfect candidate. But Trump is farther from perfect than most.

On a side note, I'm wondering how far in advance the ballots are printed?  Mike Huckabee dropped out the first week of February, but he received 645 votes. Jeb Bush received over 2000 votes.  Outside of early voting when your candidate may actually still be in the race, why would a person vote for someone who isn't even running?

Glenn Beck is predicting a brokered convention:

They are working on a brokered convention. Any sane leader of the party sees this is a two person race and asks the others to get out to bring us together. They are looking at a war on the floor! It could spill out further.. As I was listening to them and saw the loyalty oaths the party is along people take and the loyalty oath Trump made people take I couldn't stand it.

We are in real trouble, I'm afraid.

Political Clown Parade predicts Marco Rubio's presidential dream is over and I'm inclined to agree.

Stitch Fix:  I'm still getting Stitch Fix boxes - three so far.  I didn't blog the last one because I had to
Photo from Stitch Fix.
get two things altered: I got some flared jeans I requested and some white jeans, both too long.  It was okay because I had requested them no matter the length and they do fit perfectly otherwise.  All three of my boxes have been 5/5's - I've kept all five items in each box.  I'm requesting this green and white jacket in my next Fix -- I love this!

I have almost ten people who have signed up for Stitch Fix through my referral number, none of whom have ordered a box yet.  If they all ordered a box then I'd have a $200 credit!  Order a box for crying out loud!  It only costs you $20 and that applies to the total shipped to you if you decide to keep anything in the box.  If you hate it all, returning it could not be easier -- they include a prepaid mailer bag; just dump the clothes into the bag and drop in a mailbox.

Spring Projects:  We have ripped up the carpet in the living and dining rooms and have a guy coming to give an estimate on refinishing our hardwood floors. I'm also going to get estimates on good quality laminate.  I will always have dogs and dogs and carpet do not go together.  In fact, after pulling up this carpet, I can tell you that I will never have carpet again!  Can't wait to get the rest of it out of here.  If you know someone good who either does refinishing or installs laminate, let me know.  If you have experience with either or recommendations of one over the other, let me know.

In other projects we have trimmed five crepe myrtle trees, refreshed the mulch under the magnolia tree, pulled the pine straw out of the azalea beds and put down new mulch, and started weeding the back beds.  There is still a lot to do outside but I don't have Spring Break for three more weeks (and it'll probably rain and be cold that entire week, as is my luck.)

I'm going to head out and get some work done outside before the coming deluge and then spend the afternoon with Cammie.  My procrastinating must come to an end.

Saturday, March 5, 2016


The blog has been sort of quiet for a couple of weeks.  Spring has sprung around here and we've been busy with projects like sprucing up flowerbeds, laying down new mulch, trimming crepe myrtles, and even on the inside we've been ripping up carpet in preparation for refinishing hardwood floors.  Let me just add, I will never have carpet again!

It's voting day here in Louisiana, so that's on my list of things to do today.

And, adding to the chaos, baseball season has started so we've already attended a few Centenary baseball games in the past couple of weeks!

On top of that, I'm still blogging for DaTechGuy every Monday, and I have five months left until my deadline with LSU Press on my Cammie Henry book.  All that big talk I did about being finished "well before" the deadline?  Utter BS.  I'm scrambling right now.  I want it to be the best I could do and to be perfect.

If that all wasn't enough, I'm taking on some administrative and posting duties on a friend's Facebook page, but I don't want to say a lot about that just yet.

All of that and the weather is so gorgeous I just want to sit outside in the swing all day and read.

Anyway, I'm here.  I've been blogging about the Louisiana debt catastrophe at DaTechGuy so check over there now and then.  Meanwhile, go outside and enjoy the weather this weekend.  I'll be back.