My King Cake Story

January 26, 2009 at 11:26 pm | Posted in Holidays, New Orleans | Leave a comment

Since leaving New Orleans, we’ve been forced to get our King Cakes by mail.  It’s expensive, but worth it.  I favor Manny Randazzo’s, plain cinnamon.  This year, my loving spouse ordered one as a birthday cake for me.  Saturday, he told me, “I have good news and I have bad news.”


“The good news is, the King Cake was delivered.”  Mmmm.  That’ll soften the blow for whatever his bad news is.  I was still thinking about yummy sweet icing and crunchy sugar when he gave me the bad news.  “They left it by the front door, and the critters got at it.”

Wha?  No, not MY birthday king cake.  But there it was, a cardboard UPS box decorated with Mardi Gras colors, with a huge hole in it through which I could see bite marks taken out of the cake!

And no, I didn’t cut that part off and eat the rest!

But I thought about it…


School Daze

January 24, 2009 at 1:53 am | Posted in Miscellaneous | Leave a comment

 Dear President Obama

In case you can’t read it, this is a letter my son wrote to the president. First of all, he is very proud: It is the first time he signed his name in cursive script. That is a very big kid thing to do.

The assignment was to help the president by telling him how to help kids.  Oliver wrote “by making school every day of the week.”  Yep, that’s our kid.  Loves school so much he doesn’t want to take off on weekends.  We at least that’s how he felt the other night…

How PJ Got Her Name

January 19, 2009 at 9:32 pm | Posted in Animals | 1 Comment


PJ Close Up , originally uploaded by MAKNJ.

This is our cat PJ, taken with my brand new Nikon D60. I could never get a decent photo of her with my point and shoot. Imagine what I can do when I learn to use the camera!


PJ was born in Jefferson, Louisiana in the fall of 1992.  We celebrate her birthday at Halloween, but I always forget it.  She is a grand damme of 16 years.  her eyes are hazy now, and she’s lost most of her teeth, but she never complains about that.  Well, at least, I think she doesn’t.  She only complains when we lock her out of the bedroom, or when her bowls are empty.  Kevin grooms her often, and she revels in it.  As a toddler, Oliver was gentle with her, so he is one of the few people she trusts (the others being me, sometimes, Kevin, and my dad, who feeds her when we go out of town).

  PJ With Oliver

When PJ was a kitten, I could not find a name that fit her.  She was a nameless one for quite some time.  Rather than just call her “Fluffy” or some other basic cat name, I wanted to give her a moniker that fit her personality.  So I waited for her to show it to me.  I was in law school at the time, living in an apartment overlooking La Freniere Park in Metairie.  it had one bedroom, one bathroom, and two closets.  What I am getting at is that it was small.  Apparently not too small for a petite kitten like this one to get lost in.  I was on my way out, and went to say goodbye to my new kitten, but she was nowhere to be found.  I looked in the bathroom, the closet, the other closet (even though I hadn’t opened the door on that one all day), the kitchen, the oven (the story behind THAT one later), the bathtub, under the bed, behind the books in the bookcase…to no avail.  I rattled a box of cat food – nothing.  I would have called her name but, well, she didn’t have one.


So I did what every normal cat lover would do in the situation:  I called my sister.  In New Jersey.  Because when you have lost a cat, talking to someone thousands of miles away who couldn’t possibly help you look for the cat, or have seen her at all, is who you need to talk to.  Well, my sister asked me “Did you look in the dresser drawers?”  Well, don’t be silly, of course of though of that.  The thing is, the drawers are not left open, so there was no way she could have crawled into a drawer and I closed it on her.  (I am OCD about things like keeping drawers closed, so I knew what I was talking about here.)  However, I had bothered my sister and wanted her to feel as if she was helping, since she did try, so I had to let here hear me open and close the dresser drawers.  I opened the top drawer…and there slept my tiny kitten, nestled in my PJs.

That’s how she got the name PJ, and see, it WAS a good idea to call my sister, because she did know what to do!

All The Days of My Life

January 8, 2009 at 5:15 pm | Posted in Miscellaneous | Leave a comment
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My friend who blogs as NOLA Notes recently wrote how we tend not to photograph the times when our kids are cranky, crying, hurt, etc.  This leads us to look back on our year as if it was ALL smiles and sunshine.  I commented that I had pictures of Oliver crying and grumpy that I would post.

It seems I remember taking pictures of many more tantrums than I actually did.  Here’s what I’ve got:

Click on the thumbnails below to see the full sized photo on Flickr.

Cry Baby

Loud Lunch

"I'm Not Tired"


Now that I’ve noticed that I really do not capture all of the moments, I am going to try harder to tell the whole story.  Not just the happy days or special events, but ALL the days of our lives.

Different Strokes For Different Folks

September 15, 2008 at 12:25 am | Posted in East Coast, Miscellaneous | 4 Comments
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It always amazes me how different people can be.  How many ways there are to be a family.  How many ways to take a trip, go on vacation, spend your spare time. 

This was especially apparent today when we took a trip to the beach.  I compared and contrasted how we did things today to the way they were when I was a kid.  In other words, how I do thing differently from my parents.  For example:

Then:  We would never get to the beach early enough to get a spot on Ocean Ave., so we would have to walk three or four blocks in the hot sun before hitting the beach.

Now:  We either get to the beach real early, or we don’t go until after 4, when the people who got the good parking spot are ready to leave.  Almost always park less then one block from beach, and temp is still below the hottest of the day.

Then:  All three kids and both parents were loaded down like pack mules for the multi-block walk:  Cooler, lunch bag, chairs, blanket, towels, change of clothes, castle building toys and water toys.

Now:  One towel apiece, enough cash for snacks, point-and-shoot camera.  We still bring the castle building toys and bucket; we’re not philistines.

Then:  Play in the sun all day, eat a sandy peanut butter sandwich and a warm Shasta cola.

Now:  Go inside for lunch, re-apply waterproof sunscreen.

Then:  Completely shower off, change into clean dry clothes for the ride home.  Apply Solarcaine when you get home and realize you have turned the color of a cooked lobster.

Now:  Rinse off your feet, play on the swings or sit at a cafe until you are dry enough to get in the car, vacuum up later.  No sunburn. 

The beach, which was a major event, taking planning and a whole day to recover when I was a kid, is a no fuss, “do it at the drop of a hat” thing for us now.  That’s better, to me – but I’ll bet the wet sandy butts in the car would be no good as far as my parents are concerned!

A Day At The Beach

Hurricane Harbor

August 15, 2008 at 10:47 pm | Posted in Amusement Parks, East Coast, Music | Leave a comment
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Our nine year old niece is visiting this weekend, so this morning we set out to Hurricane Harbor, the Six Flags water park nearby.  The greatest thing about living 15 minutes from a theme park is that you get to go even when the day is overcast, you slept late, and you know you may not have more than a few hours anyway.  All the pressure is off.  We’ve had season passes to this park ever since we moved here 5 years ago.  They make it impossible not to – if you go to the park twice all year, it’s cheaper to buy the season pass.  The way I think of it, every visit after the first two is free.  So, you actually go more, because who cares if its raining, or a little chilly, it’s not like you are losing any money on it.

Unless, of course, you become hungry or thirsty during your visit.  In that case, lose hope for your pocketbooks all ye who enter.  I got a kid’s size Sprite and a medium Diet Coke, and it set me back almost eight bucks.

I am also going out on a limb to say this is not the ideal destination for a traveler with disabilities.  Seriously, I do not know how they are not breaking the law by having not one of their waterslides accessible to people who can’t climb stairs.  Just because you use a wheelchair doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be able to strap on a life vest and careen down a waterslide.

The park is clean, and the music has been carefully chosen to make you feel like you are on a beach vacation.  They’ve got some calypso tunes, lots of Jimmy Buffet and Beach Boys.  If your favorite artist ever recorded a song with “beach,” “surf,” or “island” in it, odds are it’s on the playlist.

They have phtographers through ought the park, and they will give you a wrist band if they take your picture, so you can look at it on the way out.  It’s all digital now, so you look on the computer monitor, rather than at a printed copy, like some other places (cough..disney boat..cough) do.  It makes so much more sense this way.  Today, the photographer pictures were no better than ones I’ve taken myslef at the park, so we passed.  I rarely buy these pictures anyway, but have once or twice at other places.  I’ll post them when I write about those trips.  One in particular was taken with a – gasp – Polaroid.  And not the good kind.  And we PAID for it.   But hey, we were young and in love, and how many times do you get a change to get your picture taken inside a shark?

What’s you favorite photo taken by one of these resort photographers?


July 16, 2008 at 12:01 am | Posted in Miscellaneous | Leave a comment

We like to travel and we’ve been bringing our son along with us since he was three months old.  Visit us to see where we are going, where we’ve been, and how much Oliver has grown along the way.

Contributers include: me (the Mom), with my interests in photography and scrapbooking; Kevin (the Dad), who plays darts and is learning his second type of Karate; and Oliver, our son, who enjoys the typical favorite pursuits of a six year old, such as riding his bike, not eating his vegetables, learing karate, and battleing his Pokemon.

This Year’s First Trip to Great Adventure

April 8, 2007 at 12:00 am | Posted in Amusement Parks, Animals, Holidays | Leave a comment
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As dictated by Oliver, age 5:
I went with Mommy and Daddy to Great Adventure on Saturday. It was cold but there were no lines. We got our season pass cards and then I went on some rides. I went with Daddy on the flying elephants, and then with Mommy. After that I went on the monkey swings and the rickshaw. Then it was time for Tiger Show! I watched big white tigers who had an act. A funny man said things with sound effects. The tigers chased balloons and popped them! They went in the water too. Then it was time to go on the teacups. I went with Mommy and Daddy. I was soooooo dizzy! Daddy and Mommy were dizzy too. After that we went into a store where it was nice and warm. They had cool things there. Lots of candy, and shirts with Justice League!
Today I woke up and I played Candyland. I beat Mommy and Daddy like all the games of it. Then I found where the Easter Bunny put my basket. It was behind my bed! I ate some chocolate candy and it was delicious. But what is that funny stuff that they put in the chocolate egg?

Oliver’s Travel Plans

March 24, 2007 at 8:49 pm | Posted in Miscellaneous | Leave a comment

by Oliver

I have a lot of fun trips coming up. I am going with daddy and mommy to Baltimore next month. I want to go to the aquarium and the children’s museum. The next month I am going to Connecticut where they have that cool dinosaur park. Awesome!

The Great Wolf Lodge

March 12, 2007 at 8:55 pm | Posted in Amusement Parks, East Coast, Snow, Travels | Leave a comment
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We don’t care if its snowing out-

We don’t care if it’s raining out-

I met up with my Carolina Cousins and we had a costume party for my 5th birthday. They had Magic Quest and water slides and Pizza Hut and I swam. I had a bunk bed in the Wolf Den and my own TV.

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