Saturday, August 30, 2008

And we're off... change of direction.

Gulf Shores, AL bound.....

Friday, August 29, 2008


We're still here. Still debating on what to do. Clint is boarding up the windows as I type. By 3pm tomorrow we'll be under a mandantory evacuation. I'm still holding out for hope of some sort of shift to the west, so we won't have to leave. It does look like we'll be taking a little vacation. Clint is all for leaving and the sooner the better. I only want go to if we HAVE to, ya know? I still say Sunday is going to be decision day. Hopefully we'll have a better idea of where Gustav is heading by then. And hopefully NOT here.

Oh and did I mention tomorrow is my birthday??

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Houston bound

Clint made reservations for us in Houston. A little farther than I'd like to go... but at least we have an out if we need to leave. Still hoping we won't. My Dad doesn't sound too thrilled about going anywhere, so it might take some convincing.
Well crap.

Our rooms in Lafayette fell through. The woman who handles the reservations sent an email to her contact at the hotel. This person didn't check her email until today, and of course they are booked. Clint is NOT HAPPY. Why didn't she CALL to make the reservation? I could have booked rooms for us on my own yesterday. There were many available when I looked in the morning. There's nothing with in hours and hours and HOURS of here now.

So, I guess we are staying no matter what. The forecasted path now is straight at us. Hopefully it will shift....

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Lovely Gustav may be paying us a visit next week. The forcast tracks show a possible Morgan City landfall Tuesday. That would put us on the "bad" side of the storm, and a direct hit for my Dad. Bad weather does not scare me and I'd have no problem riding it out at home. Category 3 is nothing! But you never know if it will end up a 4 or a 5. But I'd still stay -- IF it were just us - no kids. The days afterwards are worse for me - no electricty! GAH! Gotta take care of the girls though. My dad could always come here if need be. We have reservations at the Hilton in Lafayette - just in case. Not too far, but at least it's higher ground! Who knows which way it will go though. Still could go towards Mississippi or Alabama. But, better to be safe than sorry. We at least have an option if we need to leave. Keep watching the weather news!!

And of course, this would be the weekend of the Shrimp and Petroleum Festival. (and my birthday.)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

My mom would have been SO happy that Valerie's first day of school went so well. She would have been SO proud of her little granddaughter. My mom was looking forward to it. She had told me she planned to be at our house waiting for Val to get home on first day of school so she could hear all about it. *sad*

But yes.. Valerie did awesome. She had a great day, at least from what I've gathered through the bits and pieces she's told me.

School Days

My little girl started school today!! That's right... Valerie started 3 year old preschool today. It seems like I just decided to sign her up. I was anxious about how she would react. Their system is you pull up in front the school, and a teacher takes the child out of the car. If you're late, then a parent has to get out and sign the child in. I was worried about how Valerie would react to a strange person taking her from the car into a strange place. I've been preparing her for the last few weeks by telling preschool stories and how a nice teacher would hold her hand and take her to class. Apparently it worked because she did awesome! I drove up and out came a teacher to get her. To my surprise, Val says "bye momma" and that was it! Yay! Now I'm on pins and needles waiting to pick her up and hear all about her day.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Pennies from Heaven

Anybody believe in Pennies from Heaven? Dear Abby used to print Pennies from Heaven stories in her column. Some of them were quite interesting. Touching. If you search the net you can find stories galore.

Here's the poem that goes with it:

I found a penny today
Just laying on the ground.
But it's not just a penny,
this little coin I've found.
Found pennies come from heaven,
That's what my Grandpa told me.
He said Angels toss them down.
Oh, how I loved that story.
He said when an Angel misses you,
They toss a penny down.
Sometimes just to cheer you up,
To make a smile out of your frown.
So, don't pass by that penny,
When you're feeling blue.
It may be a penny from heaven,
that an Angel's tossed to you.
So now pass this on to the people who you care about
and who you feel are Angels to you,
I just did.An Angel is now watching over you.

As I stepped out my car at the store parking lot today, there at my feet was a bright, shiny penny sitting face up.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Call me crazy.....

Call me crazy, but I started Christmas shopping today.

One of the catalog sites I visit sent me a 15% coupon and $2 shipping. I checked out the toys and Gah! All kinds of "vintage" toys... view masters... red riding hood flip dolls... and even a Snoopy Snow cone maker. Every kid needs that stuff, right?!? LOL!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Having a bad day

Sometimes I think that everything will be okay. We are going to be okay. Then other times I just don't know. There are times when I seem to be on the verge of tears all day. There are days when I'm completely numb. I've never felt so alone. I know it will be a long while before life feels normal again, or as normal as can be. Everyone is saying it takes a year. I guess that is because you go through the whole cycle of holidays and milestones for the first time. My first instinct for a split second when something crosses my mind is to tell or ask my Mom. I'm so lost with out her. I depended on her for so much. I feel cheated that she was taken from me well before her time. She had always been a well woman, so it's hard to comprehend how fast the cancer took over. I think of all the things she will miss out on for years to come. We always thought she'd be around to see Valerie and Veronica through high school, as my grandparents were. My Dad and I keep going over the odd things that started this year wondering if there was a connection. If only we would have realized something was wrong sooner. I can picture my mom walking with a limp with out any complaint. Since when does a limp mean a person is dying? Hard to fathom... Even my dad says it was a dirty trick fate played.... she wanted grandchildren more than anything and finally got them, and now she isn't around to enjoy them. It's just been over two weeks although it feels like an eternity and I keep hearing things will get easier in time. I know life must go on. I can't just fall to pieces. I know it will take time to adjust. Even so, it doesn't feel like anything will ever be the same again. I'm just a roller coaster of emotions and thoughts right now.

Valerie has asked about MeMe a few times. She asked me if she could call her the other day. And she wanted to know if MeMe could take her to ride the escalator at the mall again. *sigh* I'm working on ordering a bound photo book with nothing but pictures of my mom. Valerie loves looking at the ones I had made of her and Veronica. So this way we will have a special MeMe book to "read" and remember her.

I know some people don't know what to say, so they don't say anything at all. And that's fine. It is awkward and no one who hasn't lost a parent understands how I feel. You really find out who your friends are though. It's very odd and how suddenly a few "friends" distanced themselves. So much that one emailed CLINT condolence messages to forward to me. Or they email him to ask how I am as if to tiptoe around it? Why not just email me directly? Yeah... odd, huh? Thanks to all who have checked on me. The calls, the emails, the food, the cards.... all much appreciated.

*ETA* If you think I'm talking about you, then I guess maybe I am or I have reason to. *rolls eyes* Really... I know know who came to the wake/funeral and who didn't. I know who I have heard from and who I have not. If you still think you're one of "them", so be it.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Introducing our newest (but old) family member: Skooter. I was twenty-something when he adopted us. I had skipped school one October afternoon to go meet friends to stand in the ridiculous line at the mall for Pearl Jam tickets. This was before internet and online ticket sales, so the line was the best shot. After we finally got our tickets (which is a whole different story), it was STORMING. And there was a cold front coming through, so the temp was dropping. I got home and was so excited telling my mom about the ordeal getting the tickets. She tells me she had a surprise!! My mom opened the back door to the garage, and there was a teeny tiny snow white puff ball. Literally it was a fluffy ball of fur! My dad had gotten home from work and parked across the street, and as he was walking to the house in the pouring rain to come inside, a soaking wet kitten ran up to him mewing. Even my dad who HATES cat couldn't leave it out there, so he reluctlantly brought him inside. We were supposed to find a good home for him, and I guess we sure did!! He's a bit skittish and has been under the bed since we brought him home yesterday. I'm sure he'll come around once he gets used to being here.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

I miss my mom.

Saturday, August 09, 2008


Today marks one week.

I miss my mom.

I miss her so much.

Numb is how I feel.

I thought I was ready. I knew it was coming. I said goodbye. But I would give almost anything to have her back. Even for a little while. It still feels unreal that she is gone. Like this is all a vivid dream. I suppose in a way it was a blessing that she withdrew slowly over the past few months. I had adjusted to her not chatting on Yahoo with me all day long. Then I adjusted to her not wanting to talk on the phone anymore. Then I got used to her just staring at me when I visited. It wasn't really her anymore.

I just feel so lost with out my momma. I depended on her so much. She was so involved in everything we did. Before she got sick, we talked every day. Visited several times a week.

Valerie keeps asking, "where's MeMe?" I simply tell her MeMe was very sick and has died and gone to heaven. She is too young to understand, so I know we will have to tell her again and again.

We started the daunting task of sorting through her things. She has so much STUFF. I purged the bathroom today. It's heartbreaking to just throw away her belongings. I threw out 2 big black garbage bags of stuff. Obviously these things meant something to my mom, so I feel guilty just tossing it. She has boxes and boxes of trinkets and keepsakes that go decades back. It's so very sad looking through her things and having to decide what is worthy to keep and what is not. Looking at all these things from when she was younger makes me almost feel like there is so much I don't know about my own mom.

Why did this happen?

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Goodbye, Momma

One month ago... July 6... Dr. Allen told my mom she had bone cancer. One month ago... we learned of the growth on her lungs.

August 6... one month to the day... we buried my mom. Today we buried my momma.

I can't believe my beautiful momma is gone forever. It doesn't seem real. I keep waiting to hear from her or see her sitting at the kitchen counter as usual. All her things are as she left them... her tooth brush. her hair rollers. nail polish. her perfume. Clothes. All just waiting to be used again. And she'll never be back for them.

So many people told me it was a blessing that it happened so fast. Cancer does horrible things. Bone cancer is especially painful. She could have suffered much longer. She could have lingered in horrible pain. She could have wasted away to nothing.

So many people didn't even know she was sick.

So many people were in shock... disbelief that Joyce had passed. They had all "just" seen her and she was ok.

So many people told me that they were shocked to learn my mom was 74 years old. They really had no idea she was that age. She never looked or acted it. They all said how nice my mom always looked. How she always seemed so put together with nice clothes, pretty hair and make-up. I don't know if my mom ever knew people thought those things. She always thought she looked so old.

She looked beautiful. Like her old self... not sick. Not hurting. Not struggling. I chose the dress she wore for my wedding. The funeral home even dyed her hair. Her nails were painted a soft pink. I touched her hands. Cold as ice. Not my momma's hands.

I don't know if I'll ever be rid of this well of sadness. The hurt inside is overwhelming. The emptiness. My momma was my best friend. We talked every day. We went places, shopped together. She was always picking up stuff for the girls. I could always depend on her. She was always there. And now she's gone. How she wanted grandkids and adored Valerie and Veronica. She was so happy. So excited about every little thing they did. And now she won't be here to watch them grow up.

I don't know if the reality has fully "hit" me yet. She is really gone.

How can this be??

Oh momma, why did this happen to you?????

I miss her so much.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Sunday, August 03, 2008


Rest in peace, momma.

Joyce Marie Breaux Russell

July 19, 1934 - August 2, 2008. 4:54 p.m.

I can't believe she's gone.