I Love Treme but…

I’ve just finished watching the third episode of the series, Treme.  I don’t have HBO but, thanks to my brother, The Oracle, I receive a link to watch it…and I look for my link faithfully every Monday.

As much as I love the series, it is proving itself to be a little difficult for me to watch at times.  I’m sure a lot of New Orleanians feel the same way.   A lot of the scenes being played out in front of us, I had only just begun to put away…like walking into my flood damaged home for the very first time.  That was a hard scene to watch for a lot of people I know.

I’m grateful to David Simon and David Mills because, they are telling our story…the one CNN didn’t bring to you.

How those of us who decided to stay or come back right after the storm, survived those days.

They were not easy days but, it was our choice and one that I would do again.

I love my city… I’m IN love with her…faults in all.

So, I’m in this for the long haul even if I have to carry a shrink with me every step of the way.

The last episode brought me to tears.  When Big Chief went to the lower 9 and found his friend under the boat.  It just hit too close to my heart.

When we first arrived home in Oct ’05, the word was already out among the few of us who had returned…brace yourself before you go into the lower 9.  It was a warning done out of love between natives…those of us who REALLY knew the lower 9.

Like Treme, that area of the city is a deep part of black culture and we all knew to expect the worst because of what we had seen on tv.

TV didn’t even hit the tip of the iceberg about what had happened there.

I had gone all through this city, witnessed miles of devastation from Mississippi all the way in to it.  Had walked the halls of my own destroyed home and while my heart was aching beyond belief…had not shed a tear.

The day I rode into the lower nine…I cried.

I have yet to find the word for what I saw so, I don’t even try to anymore because what happened to that area is beyond words.  I’ll just say that,

Treme is giving folks all over the world a small glimpse of a very large picture and for that…we are grateful.

Our culture is ringing true…for the very first time…on this series.

What I really love is that, it takes people deep into the culture.   Beyond  the Mardi Gras madness in the French Quarters, beyond the local cuisine and the wonderful music.

Treme takes you to the streets…where the second lines and the Mardi Gras Indians roam.

Big Chief Lambreaux, played brilliantly by Clarke Peters is the heart beat of the series to me.  It’s the heartbeat because, the Mardi Gras Indians are at  the very core of New Orleans culture.  When you are at the level of even knowing about our beloved Indians, one of two things are going on.  You are a native (or transplant), or… you have a love for this city so deep that, it has taken you off of the tourist road…beyond the food, the parades, the French Quarters and stuff and has put you in the trenches.

Where the Indians reside.

Some cities have a certain “je ne sais quoi”…that IT factor that makes it stand out just a little bit more than other cities.  New York, Chicago, Philly and some others that I didn’t name have IT.

We have IT.

Our culture is rich and it’s deep and it’s unique…we don’t apologize for it.

We won’t apologize for it.

And we won’t change it.

Because, there are a lot of folks like me…who are in love with her…faults and all.

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Blogging On The Bayou.

Let’s see what’s happening with me?  Well, my blog friends LadyLee and Serenity are reading this really cool book called…The Power To Prosper, a 21-day financial fast by Michelle Singletary.  How do I know it’s cool?  I purchased it this weekend.  I even bought the journal that’s needed for the fast…see the pretty butterfly? I thought it was appropriate since butterflies are associated with change.

*holding book up, waving it in the air at LadyLee and Serenity*  SEEEEEE!

After perusing the book, I decided that I needed this in my life.  Even if I don’t do the fast right now, there are principles in the book that I can start incorporating into my life.  I’ve already begun to think differently about how (and why) I make certain purchases so, that was worth the price of the book right there.

Thought creates change…note to self.

Since, I’ve been dealing with that post traumatic stuff lately, my counselor suggested that I do something that represents life to me.  So, with that in mind I started a herb garden of basil, thyme, oregano, rosemary, sage and parsley.  These are the herbs I use a lot when I cook so, I may as well grow them my darn self.  I love the aroma  my little garden gives…and it’s cute too.

My counselor was right, I do feel relaxed when I’m around it…yep, that and a glass of wine does the trick!

About three years ago, I purchased a  bird of  paradise plant.  The thing just sat there and sat there with nothing more than very pretty foliage.  I thought that the  plant would never “shoot me the bird”…lol. It seems everywhere I turned people had beautiful bird of paradise plants and mine was sitting there with stunted growth.

Well, one morning, I woke up and….WAL-LA!

How beautiful is THAT!?    Now, it’s beginning to bloom like crazy!  I found out that, it takes about 3-5 years for a bird of paradise plant to mature…oh, okay…I live in a world of instant gratification…3years for it to bloom? Ya gotta be kidding me.  It’s so pretty though, it was worth the wait.

My baby girl, Sassy, has been holding her own.  She has her good days and bad days…she’s still barking at people when she goes outside to do her business so, if she still has the strength to do that…that’s a good sign.

We’ve told the kids and I think that was the best decision because they’ve been spending a lot of time with her.  She’s really been under my daughter a lot lately.

My son has his band concert today and he is not happy about having to wear a tux with tails.  Ok, but why does he have to stand there looking like Lurch?  I keep waiting to hear him say, ” You raaanng?”

No, he’s not a happy camper at all.  He’s gonna kill me for this post… oh wait, kids today don’t know who Lurch is…I’m safe.

Well, that’s all I got for you folks right now…I gotta go get ready for this band concert which, I’m sure will be great.

French Quarter Fest Friday.

I needed a break…big time.  Ever have one of those weeks where it’s just like, Calgon…take me away!  That’s where I was this week.  I worked 80 hours in ONE WEEK,my baby Sassy is terminally ill  and my allergies have kicked in because of the pollen. I was spent but good.

Thankfully, the city had a quick remedy for my “blues” and I was able to go out and enjoy myself at the French Quarter Festival that’s going on this weekend.

Did I say “enjoy”….I had a ball!!!

I ate until I was bloated!

My first dish was crawfish etouffee and it was dee-lish-ous!

Navy Seal had gotten a BBQ shrimp po-boy but, he ate it so fast…I couldn’t get a pic.

When my hubby had gotten his po-boy, I speared one of the shrimp with my fork so, they guy over the counter said
“give me your bowl” and he put some BBQ shrimp on top of my etouffee…good lawd that was a great combo!

Even the doggies were taking it all in…chillin’

After I got one of these, I was STRAIGHT!!  I’m such a punk…it’s a pina colada daiquiri.  The big dogs would have had me on the ground.

The crowds were having a great time. There was a Dixieland Band playing at Jackson Square and these two couples were getting down.  They looked so cute I just had to take their pic.

This couple was doing the Lindy Hop!!  Where did they dig THAT dance up from?  They were working it though.

This couple was doing the Charleston!!  Do they have some dance hall for really old dances that, I don’t know about here?  They really could do the dance though.  If I would have had one more daiquiri…I would have been doing the darned Charleston!

That’s my boy, Actor Wendell Pierce up there introducing one of the bands getting ready to perform (and talking about the series, Treme that’s soon to be on HBO)  I just love Wendell.  I’ve known him for a “lotta-lotta” years…we grew up together in the same neighborhood a block away from one another and went to the same school elementary school together.  His parents are still a block away from me so, we talk often. Trust me when I say….he’s a good man with a good heart.  He’s done tremendous work for the city and our neighborhood  so, I am a really, really proud of my old friend.

The weather is fabulous and the festival is off the chain.

Anyone that’s in the city who hasn’t gone to the fest yet….go!

Our Sassy Is Dying.

I just found out that my beloved cocker spaniel (Sassy) has cancer of the lungs and esophagus.  My husband noticed a lump in her throat last week and I noticed that she has been breathing rather heavy lately.  After they ran a few tests, we were hit with the results and I gotta tell ya…I’m feeling a funny kind of way about it.  Having to handle an impending death in the family is never easy and my Sassy is not “just a pet”…she’s a member of the family.

We haven’t told the kids yet…I’m trying to find the heart.  Sassy is 11 years old and when we got her the kids were 5 and 7 years old…they grew up with her.  My son wanted a dog and so I went to the pet store and picked her out of a litter of spaniel pups.  She won my heart because, while the other pups were scurrying away from me…she came right up to me and bit me on the finger.  My response, “I’ll take her.”  I love a chick with balls…lol.

She’s my little Katrina Survivor, having stayed in the house for a month alone (they refused to let my dad take her when they rescued him)  did a month in a rescue shelter before we located her and drove cross-country to pick her up.

Right now, it’s not too bad…she has moments of difficult breathing but, we’ve found that she breathes better when she’s not on the floor so, she’s in the bed with hubby and me.

I just want her to be as comfortable as possible until she isn’t anymore so, she’s having her way.

Living her final days the way SHE wants to…where ever she needs to be to feel better…until she doesn’t anymore.

Watching a family member deteriorate before your eyes is hard…and she’s a big part of our pack.

I just want to be there for her the way she’s been there for us.

I know I could never measure up to the unconditional love and protection that she’s given but…I’m damned sure gonna try.

Warm Weather =Worries

The weather is beautiful, it’s going to be 80 degrees today…and humid of course.  But, I feel it creeping up on me already…that damned post traumatic stress thing.  It’s in my every thought lately…I’m looking around trying to figure out what to take, what to leave, where to go if a storm hits east of us, where to go if it hits west of us….where to live if it hits us.  I don’t think you can ever be cured from post traumatic stress…if I moved, it wouldn’t go away.  I’d just be worried about what I’d do if I was stuck in a blizzard, tornado, or earthquake.

Moving away wouldn’t help…and move to  where?  I used to live in San Diego…read the papers today?  Earthquake in Mexico…felt in San Diego.

At least with the hurricanes, I get a warning to get out of dodge.

I know it’s going to get worse once August gets here…August and September are our worst months.

Camille was in August…Betsy was in September….Katrina’s raggedy ass hit in August.

The five years seem to have flown by…just wish the effects of it all would do the same.

Just fly away.

Seems like yesterday….feels like yesterday.  No matter how beautiful the new layout is…I still miss HER.

Damn it…will I ever stop crying?

Ring Ceremony

My son, Purple Knight with his dad showing off their high school rings….the only thing that’s changed on the ring is..THE COST!

The time has finally arrived when I say, my first born will graduate next month….and it’s no APRIL FOOL JOKE either…I gotta remember that today’s April1st…note to self.

The school that my son attends has a ring ceremony…I think all of the catholic schools here have that event.  It’s a very beautiful ceremony.  The young men walk in the church together…all of the rings are blessed at the altar by the Principal(father so and so) and after a “special mass” each young man’s name is called and he is presented with his ring.

I gotta tell y’all, in an age where all you hear is bad news about young black males…how they are dropping out of school at an alarming rate, and all of the other stuff the media puts out there…to see 75 young black males stand there and receive their class rings just made my heart melt.  I am so proud of these young men.

My husband was such a proud daddy in that place…I don’t think I’ve ever heard him sing his Alma Mater THAT loud…lol

I haven’t cried yet…I think the tears are waiting for graduation…which is  next month…*sniff, sniff*

da ring!

Yeah, I know it’s facing towards him…it seems they have another tradition.  The ring is worn facing you and when you graduate, you turn it the other way.  Jeez.