Tuesday, January 25, 2011

What did you say?

Lydia wanted to help prepare dinner last week, and as a four year old, there's not a whole lot that is safe for her to do. I opened a can of cream style corn and handed it to her to empty into the pot. She poured it in, looked at me, and said, "Is that throw up?" Sure, honey, we can that so we can have it any time we want.  She's a trusting, soul, though because she ate it later and told me I was the best cook.

One night Lydia was being particularly exasperating as we tried to get ready for bed.  At one point she must've even had enough of herself because she said, "My gosh, Lydia!"

Lydia got a Razorback cap for Christmas, and she was wearing it in the house. "Mommy! I really like my hat. It even has a mirror in it!"

Lydia's twisted lyrics: Some times we all have to relive our glory days, and Lydia is no exception. She still likes to sing the song from the Christmas play. "Behold that star, behold that star up yonder, behold that star. This is the star of Bethlehem. There was no room found in the EAR (inn)." Probably not. It was probably filled with your mother's & father's laughter. 

Sing it, Lydia, sing it!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Where have I been?

Sheesh. You'd think I'd been on vacation or something since my last post. Oh, I DID go on vacation, and I really did intend to blog about it. I even jotted down notes so I wouldn't forget to tell you all about it. And then? Well, it just didn't happen, did it? Guess what: it's going to happen right here, right now.

We left for New Orleans, a city I had no real desire to visit, right after church a few Sundays ago. As is so often the case about so many things (remember camping?), I was WRONG about New Orleans. Maybe not about ALL of New Orleans ALL the time, but certainly about the French Quarter when it is largely populated by Razorback fans for the Sugar Bowl.

On the way down, however, we spent the night in Jackson, Mississippi, where our vehicle was broken into. The brain trust took our house payment check, a bag with crayons, stickers, a point and shoot camera which had gone to China with us and my computer charger. Also missing in action was Lydia's pink, child-sized backpack containing her candy, a pair of gloves, and really, not much else. This pillar of the community and clearly all around great guy left our on the dash GPS so we could find our way out of Jackson.

Now, contrary to what you might think of New Orleans, we were largely unaccosted while there. Gene did get stopped by a man wearing a dark jacket with yellow letters and a cap looking a bit like an FBI agent. He claimed that Gene wasn't having enough fun, and that he'd have to give him a ticket from the Party Patrol. Not sure which Party, but Gene declined to join by refusing to purchase a ball cap.

High points from the trip: For ME? The very best part of our trip was the Audubon Aquarium. There are no words to do it justice so I will just encourage you to go for yourself and allow PLENTY of time. Maybe leave your small child at home if they aren't the sort to allow you to stare in awe or read what's written next to the exhibits. Oh, and be sure to stick your hand into the tank with the stingrays. They feel unlike anything you'll ever touch that's not a stingray. Don't worry, though, their stingers have been removed.
For the whole family: Ride in a mule drawn carriage. I hope you get the same gentleman we had as a cab driver. Oh, my goodness! He was so entertaining. Our mule was named Sugar Daddy. It makes me wish I was still naming dogs because I think the next one would have that name. Did you know that the "r" is silent in Burgundy if you're in the French Quarter? It's Buh GUN dee Street.

Not for the whole family: St. Louis Cathedral. Lydia could NOT stop wiggling, and the thief may have gotten away with her quiet, indoor/church voice, too. It was an all too brief visit to what should have been a very beautiful and peaceful house of God. Maybe she was too hyped up after dancing to the music in the street?

We walked all over the place, and it was cool enough without being too cold so that all the walking was great. Lydia wanted to ride a streetcar, and I was more than willing to give it a try. So, we climbed on to an almost empty one, and off we went. Then it stopped a few yards later. And we were off again. Then it stopped. Repeat, repeat, repeat. People got on, people got off. More got on than off, and before long it was very crowded. Lydia got increasingly wiggly, and while we hadn't gone far, we were getting into a crummy looking part of town. The first stop where there was a trolley going the other way, we hopped off of ours and onto the one heading back the direction from which we'd come. Not sure I feel the need to repeat that experience. Walking was more comfortable and faster.

Food: We ate it. I'm picky, and I have weird allergies so I had very tame dining experiences. Beignets were as adventurous as I got. Still, at the Superdome, you could, if you were so inclined, get crayfish pie. Or, for the low price of $9, you could have a baked potato. Oh,yes. You could. I took a picture of mine because I want to remember it:
I didn't even get to eat it all. Lydia ate THREE slices of a personal pan pizza, and then she started in on my spud. What can you say? She walked all over, had no snacks, and I'm sure she was quite hungry. The game could have gone better for Hog fans, but who knows, we may be in New Orleans again next year with a better outcome. I won't have any reservations about going back, though, and I may get there even earlier.

Finally, the Superdome seats 72968. More than half of those were Razorback fans. But out of all those seats & people, what do you think are the chances that the man sitting in front of me would be a doctor I worked with a 3 years ago? Crazy, I tell you, just crazy. It's sort of like when I went to see George W. speak and sat next to a girl from China whose name was Lydia.

Ni Hao Yall