Monday, January 30, 2012

     The post office is out on the main road, right next to the Dollar General store. This little town has a long history. The house we bought, in April it will be two years ago, was built as a railroad section house in 1887 or so. The roundabout for the trains used to be just over the bridge from the house, so there were railroad employees who lived in town. The train tracks still go across the main road, but these days they're just passing through.

     The levee on the Red River is just down the street, at the end of our road. On the holidays, families go up on the levee and shoot fireworks across the Red River. The town is in the middle of the state of Louisiana, right in the heart of CENLA (central Louisiana) and it's .5 miles square, not counting the .1 miles of water. 

     So, the pace is a lot slower here than I was used to in Houston, Saint Louis or Kansas City. Traffic, people and events move at an even pace. There's not that feeling of rushing, meeting deadlines or "gotta get it done NOW" that I knew before.

     What have I been doing creatively, in this slow-paced, small town location? If I can get motivated to take some photos (see what I mean about the pace?) I have some new pewter elements, and some finished jewelry to show off.

     Maybe in the next couple of days I will get that done. Right after sitting on the porch, watching the sunset and drinking lemonade-sweet-tea. Ahhhh .... loving it.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Small Town Thoughts

My house is about 12 minutes drive outside the town where I work everyday. Maybe you didn't know that I'm back working a 9-to-5 in an office. Cuts into the creating time. Sometimes, while I'm driving, I daydream about things I'd like to make. Do you think random thoughts while the landscape and sky are whizzing past your car windows?

Lately, I've been thinking about the difference between living in a big city, like Houston or St. Louis, and living in a small town as I am now.

I went to the town hall to pay the utilities.

Yes, in a small town, all the utilities are together and you pay one person in one building. The thing that made me realize the big difference, is that they know me. They know my name, and what house I live in. When I drive down the road in town, they wave at me.
That's so unique, so different from living in the big, anonymous city.

I was trying to catch a photo while driving of the fog along the side of the road. It's not easy to catch a picture of fog at 75 miles per hour. Here in Louisiana, the weather changes drastically from day to day. It might be 29 degrees F in the morning, and 75 degrees F by afternoon. I keep a sweater in the car, in case of rapid temperature changes.

At Christmas, the town had a parade with floats, and there was a contest for the best float. There were only 3 floats, and there was a 1st, 2nd and 3rd prize. You see how this works out in a small town.

Everybody gets to have some fun.

I was nominated to be one of the 3 judges of the floats. So there I sat, at a decorated Judge's table, on the sidewalk in a prime position, watching the floats, and the dancers, and the 4-wheelers go by in the Christmas parade.

And I thought to myself, would this have EVER happened to me in Houston or St. Louis? Not in a million years.

Another example that I am thinking about. Again at Christmas, the town had an open house for the churches and some of the beautiful older homes in town. The 3 houses were wonderful, decorated with multiple Christmas trees, and apple cider to drink. There was lots of purple and gold, the LSU colors, used instead of red and green. And the homeowners are my neighbors. They are walking distance from my house, and they know me. When they see me in my yard, or at the studio, they wave at me.

Finally, at the small one-room library, where I go most Saturday mornings to get new books and turn in my old ones, the librarians know me. They have figured out the kind of books I like, the authors I read most. And they order books for me, inter-library, from parishes all over.

They call and let me know I have a book waiting. That's never happened to me before. It's so great, they see something and go ahead and get it for me, based on what I've been reading.
They know my name, and I don't even have to have my library card. When my books are due, they renew them for me.

I took all of them bags of cookies and Christmas candies, to say thanks for the nice things they do. One librarian was in charge of making the library float, the one that we "Judges" selected for the 1st place trophy. They knew me, I know them.

It's been a long time since I've lived in a small town.

I forgot how everyone gets to know you.  You become one of the citizens. You wave, they wave back. They bring you canned pickled okra and home grown grapefruit. Heads of home grown broccoli and cauliflower. Great big bowls of banana pudding, with toasted meringue on top.  Bright red Christmas poinsettias.

They leave them on your back steps. With a note.
If you've never had it, maybe you appreciate it even more, once you get it.
I know I do.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Mother Beauty

Family Album - Love Them

I keep telling my daughter she should be a photographer.
She takes these wonderful pictures.
I'm sure other people with small children would love to have the same type of pictures for their family "ReMemberie" Albums.

In this photo, the baby was a couple of months old.
It's the profile of his mother that catches my eye in this.
So serene, composed. Quietly happy.

Truth be told, I don't know how many hours sleep she had actually had on that day. 

But it's a lovely shot, and I'm so proud and pleased with her ability to take it.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Playing On The Floor

Wonder what I've been up (or down) to this fall?

Yes, that's me, sitting cross-legged on the floor, playing with the grandson.

I remember my grandmother, back in North Texas, playing with my daughter when she was this age, as a baby.

My grandmother's name was Florence, and she loved that little great-grandbaby of hers. My daughter was the first great-grandbaby to come along.
Florence wrote poems about my little girl-child.
Unfortunately, Florence didn't get to see her get much older, she left us, and my  daughter didn't get to know her as she grew up.

Maybe that's why I dote on these grandbabies, moving all the way to Louisiana to be closer to them.

You have no idea how hard it is for me to get down on the floor like that, but it's worth it!
My sneaky daughter snapped this photo, obviously while I wasn't looking!
And honestly, I'm glad to have the picture.

Thursday, January 12, 2012


After yesterday's post, I thought you might like to see those bright blue eyes and beautiful red hair.

Her momma took this picture.
She's being a Princess, wearing the dress and white lace pinafore I sewed for her for Christmas.

She likes to twirl in it.

I remember my daughter's grandmother, sewing dresses and pinafores for her when she was this age.
When she started school, I had her wear those dresses for her annual picture.

So she would always remember them, even after she'd grown out of them.

I hope my granddaughter will remember me sewing for her, too.
Good ReMemberies.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


To everyone I missed this holiday season, I hope your celebrations were fun, the food delicious, and the family gathered together.

This is my lovely granddaughter, isn't she growing up a lot? She turned 3 years old last August.

She was headed on Christmas Eve to a family gathering, so I convinced her to let me roll her hair in curlers, so she would be extra pretty for the party.

I was amazed that she let me put the curlers in at all, and that she let them stay in through her nap. 
Very surprising!

I'm also very proud of her little outfit, I sewed it for her. It has balloons and butterflies on it, a pinafore and ruffled capri pants.

Looks like her curls lasted a while!
When I took down the curlers, she stood in front of the full-length mirror shaking her head, admiring her curly hair.

I remember when I was younger, those pink foam curlers with the rod in the middle.
You'd have to sleep on them overnight, just to get a little wave.

And later, as a teenager, trying to get the natural curls out by putting orange juice cans in my hair.

Oh the things we do for beauty, huh?
In her case, she doesn't need much help.
But just the same, she's so cute with her curly top.