Category Archives: Family

Watch Out World

I feel kind of lost without my fantasy men on Fridays…I feel very lost. That doesn’t mean I’ve stopped ogling them. Oh hells no. I’m trying to be legit, but I’m not stupid. I plan to sigh and drool over the man who’s going to appear on my Facebook page on Sunday.

In the meantime, I figured I’d give y’all a bit of an update on the family.  You know, those people who constantly provide me with inspirational material? Yeah, them. I don’t think I’ve mentioned it here, but my oldest nephew and his girlfriend found out they’re expecting. Yup, you guessed it. I’m going to be a great-aunt. And not just because of how awesome I am. I mention this because we find out tonight if they’re having a boy or a girl. I’m kind of hoping for a boy, but I’ll just be happy for whatever they give us.

It makes me feel old, to be completely honest. It seems like only yesterday I was changing this boy’s diaper and now he’s going to be a daddy. O.M.G. Seriously, y’all. Oh my God.

That poor baby.

This is the same boy who, at seven years old, went to school and told his class that his dad had been struck by lightning and was in the hospital. As usually happens when tragedy strikes (no pun intended) a member of the class, they made a huge “get well soon” card for him to take home. He hid it behind the sofa. His mom, my sister who should be sainted because of those boys, didn’t even know he’d done this until the teacher asked her “how’s your husband doing?” Yeah, this didn’t end well for my nephew.

He’s the same child who, even now at the ripe age of 23, uses his puppy dog eyes and big pouting lips to get his way. Especially after he’s scared the holy hell out of my mom. He’ll sneak up behind her (nearly every time he visits) and leap out at her. Let’s just say Mom doesn’t need a stress test. She has Patrick who enjoys running around our house, his house, anyone’s house shrieking in this high-pitched tone that grates on your ears. I’m sure he doesn’t do that kind of stuff at his girlfriend’s house but you never know.

To imagine him with a baby…when I still see him as a baby, albeit a big one, just blows my mind. I have no doubt he’ll be a good dad, but that baby is going to end up just as twisted and weird as the rest of the family. Seriously, it’s a family trait to be slightly off-kilter. I don’t know a single member of my family who could be termed “normal”. Well, maybe my godson, but even he has his quirks. No, we’re all weird and it seems we’re multiplying.

Watch out world.

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A Real Cajun

I know I’ve mentioned before, but it bears repeating. Not everyone who lives in south Louisiana is a Cajun. The definition of Cajun is a descendent of Acadian exiles. That’s not every family here. A lot of family lines came directly from France, Germany, Spain, Ireland, and the Caribbean, not Acadia.

My mom’s a genealogist. She loves to dig up information on families. She concentrated on her family for a long time which is how we know one of our ancestors came from England on the Mayflower and “spread the good word” by impregnating as many Native American women as he could. No lie. Her father’s family came from Germany and she was able to trace them all the way back to 1109. Amazing, huh? She tracked my dad’s paternal line back to France in the mid 1600s in a town near Paris. They came to Louisiana in the 1700s.

I never considered myself Cajun because our families came from Germany and France. But she recently checked out my paternal grandmother’s family and discovered that they came from Acadia. What? Seriously? I mean, sure my half-brother is definitely Cajun as his dad’s family was easy to find. They came from Acadia and pretty much stayed in one place. My grandmother’s family, not so much, but it’s official. Danica is a real, live Cajun. Well, like a sliver of me is Cajun, but it’s there!

Do you have a genealogist in your family? Have you found out some interesting things about your family?

 

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Family Hospitality

Okay, so hospitality. In my family, hospitality is a touch and go thing. The American members of my family are kind of like “my house is your house”. If you want something to drink, just fix it rather than ask for it. We’ll ask you if you want something to eat and tell you where to find it.

But my Korean aunt has a completely different idea of hospitality. I spent Saturday at her and my uncle’s house with my brother and cousin’s husband. We were helping them move heavy items into the store she’s about to open. I was feeling tired and grouchy and was ready to go home at 11 a.m., but everyone wanted to eat.

Okay, I could do that. I was kind of hungry after all. So we all headed to a restaurant called Fat Cow. I know, I know, not the best name for a restaurant, but I really did feel like a fat cow when I left. I don’t really like people paying things for me so I was surprised and a little pouty when my aunt insisted on buying us all lunch as thanks for helping them. I caved because I think of her as a second mom and you don’t argue with moms. Much at least.

We were sitting outside with our lunch, arguing about just about anything and everything we could think of when I realized I needed to refill my drink. I went to stand up to go to the drink station. My aunt, who was sitting next to me, pushed me back in my chair and took my cup away from me. I didn’t realize how strong she was, but again, she insisted on getting my drink for me.

Several hours later, when we were back at their house and chatting about anything and everything and my cousin’s husband fixed their water heater and a sink, my aunt appears with two plates of taegigogi (a Korean pork dish) and leaves of lettuce for us to snack on. I wasn’t going to touch it. I really wasn’t, but when you go as long as I have without having Korean food, you gorge yourself.

In other words, my aunt showered us with attention while we were there. It’s been a long time since I felt so pampered by family and I’d be tempted to tell my other relatives they could learn a lesson from her, except then they’d expect the same from me.

Do you have a relative who spoils you rotten every time you see them?

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It’s Always an Adventure

If you noticed, I didn’t blog yesterday. I think I was still recovering from the weekend, but I’m back up to speed now and ready to tell y’all what happened on the road trip to see my darling nephew.

It started out well. We left at a decent time, laughed and talked a good bit during the six hour trip. It started raining the closer we got to Ruston, but we were expecting that. We checked into our hotel and picked up the kids to bring them out to dinner. That was a bit messy since my brother-in-law is adamant about not parking next to other cars. We had a nice meal despite the rain and called it a night.

Around one o’clock in the morning, I woke up because something seemed wrong. When I opened my eyes, I noticed there was no power in the room. A quick look out the window showed the entire hotel and areas around it without electricity. I peeked through the peephole in the door and saw the emergency lights were on in the hall. No biggie. I went back to sleep, but woke up every hour on the hour, expecting the lights to be back on.

At about six thirty, I finally stopped fighting to try to sleep and got up. Still no electricity and the emergency lights were out. Luckily my brother-in-law was an Eagle Scout and came prepared. He checked on us and left us a flashlight to sort of get ready by. I used my cell phone to shower and try to put make-up on. I’d just finished dressing when the lights came back on. Go figure.

So we made it through the little black out without major problems. Everything seemed fine. But then we went to check out some property my brother-in-law wants to buy up there. We had a carload of people: brother-in-law, sister, me, my nephew, his girlfriend, and my mom. The drive out to the property was nice, giving us a chance to check out the town and the surrounding area.

Then we came to the road to the property. It started off fine. Gravel and all that, but it quickly became dirt. Dirt which had just seen several hours of rain the night before. Yup, you guessed it. We almost got stuck. Everyone in the car sort of froze as we waited for my brother-in-law to reverse all the way down the road again. I swear none of us breathed because we just knew we were going to get stuck in the mud and have to push.

Luckily we got out, but it sort of put a pall over the car. It took us about an hour to find our humor in the situation and we praised my brother-in-law for his mad driving skillz. Which then brought out the comment someone made that when we go anywhere, we’re sure to have an adventure.

Now do you see why I needed a day to relax?

When you go on trips, do you expect things to go wrong? Or is that just my family?

By the way, with the upcoming release of Immortal Love on the 30th, I’ve invited the hero, Mason Landry, to stop by tomorrow for What’s Playing Wednesday. He assures me he has the perfect song to describe Roxana Love, his heroine. We’ll have to see.

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The Natural Flirt

If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you know I went to the French Quarter Fest yesterday. I went with my brother, his wife, her friend, and my baby nephew who looked absolutely adorable in his little summer outfit. And yes, I know it’s supposed to be Spring, but it was hot out there.

We started out at Jackson Square listening to a jazz band that normally plays on the Steamboat Natchez. It was good stuff. We found a spot in the grass (without the shade) and sat down to listen for about an hour and a half. Once they broke, we decided to explore the Quarter.

If you’ve been to New Orleans, you’ll already know the area is filled with…unique people. They were out in full force yesterday. We saw a guy wearing a 19th century style wig and long coat with shorts, and so many more interesting people I can’t even describe them all. We meandered through the Quarter to Dutch Alley which is parallel to the French Market.

There were bands all over the place, by the way. They were on the Riverwalk, Jackson Square, several spots in the French Market, Dutch Alley, and of course the individual musicians who hang out on the corners. We actually found a little trio who call themselves the G String Orchestra and they were amazing. The band had a violinist, an accordion player, and a bass player. Their music sounded a little gypsy-like with a touch of French. We must’ve listened to them for forty-five minutes (until they went on break). Great stuff.

But that isn’t what this post is about. The nephew was being an angel despite his dislike of sunlight. Honestly, I think this child belongs to Edward and Bella with the way he wants to avoid sunlight. We decided we should grab a bite to eat and headed over to Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville. It was okay, but the best part of the entire meal was when I was holding Bennett.

I have this thing about making him stand up. So I put him on the table in front of me, his little bare feet holding himself up…sort of. He was happy and smiling and then he looked to my right and saw a table of young women. I’m guessing they were in their late teens, early twenties. He stared at them and stared until one of them looked over and waved.

And that’s when the flirting began. He smiled. He drooled. When the other girls looked over to see what their friend was waving at, he did this little shimmy with his shoulders. Kind of like a puppy quivering in excitement. Of course they all went “Aww, he’s so cute!” One of them said all four girls work at a day care which made complete sense. He knew they were his people.

And he did not stop smiling. Oh no, not Bennett the flirt. He batted his long eyelashes at them, let his little dimple peek out, and drooled some more. I was hysterical. He’s a ladies man!

The festival was fun and I think I might need to go back next year. I don’t know if we should bring the flirt with us though. Out of the five of us (baby included), he was the only one who didn’t go home hurting in some way or another. I have a sunburn, my sister-in-law hurt her ankle, her friend got spit up on, crapped on by a bird…yeah, no lie.

But it was a great time. If you ever get the chance to check it out, please do so. There’s music, food, and people, people, people.

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The Tattoo Debate

I don’t know how we got on the subject on Easter Sunday, but at some point during the day, we had a tattoo debate. My sister, sister-in-law, nephew’s girlfriend, mother, my brother’s mother-in-law, and I got into a heated discussion about tattoos and unfortunately for the older ladies, they were severely outnumbered.

The debate raged for at least half an hour with everyone offering up their opinions on what they’d like to get done while the mothers shook their heads and looked disapproving. They don’t understand and I can see where they’re coming from. It’s a generation gap. People who had tattoos in their time were considered outsiders, freaks, criminals even. These days, tattoos are more accepted, though there are still those who consider them disgusting and morally wrong, or inappropriate. I’m not one of those people. Obviously.

I’ve always had a fascination with tattoos which is why I got three. It has nothing to do with rebelling against society. I do that on a daily basis by not conforming to what’s popular and mainstream. It has nothing to do with rebelling against my parents. They know I’m “not normal” as they like to call it.

Tattoos are a personal choice, a permanent personal choice yes, a way to show who you are, or as a tribute to someone you love. I don’t always agree with the latter since some bonds don’t always last, but again it comes down to personal choice. That’s what makes tattoos the most personal thing a person can do to themselves. It’s a way of identifying who you are that has nothing to do with a criminal record or how bad ass you are.

The debate ended with my sister saying she wants one and she blames me for it. Yes, you heard me. She says I’m a bad influence on her because she’s colored her hair differently (y’all know about my 3-toned hair colors), has started reading sexy books (she started with mine), and now she wants a tattoo. And she blames me.

What are your thoughts on tattoos?

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Post Easter Shock

I love nothing better than getting together with family, but is it horrible for me to say when everyone left I wanted to throw my arms in the air and scream “Thank God!”? It makes me feel a little disloyal, but oy vey, was I glad to have the house to myself again.

It was a great weekend, don’t get me wrong. Sure, I spent my entire Friday cleaning house, but I really didn’t mind. Especially since the plans I had to write on Saturday were foiled because of a screaming child in Starbucks and my muse deciding she doesn’t work weekends. Yeah, it was bad. I wrote 300 words and hated every single one of them. Naturally by the time I packed everything up, did some grocery shopping, and went home, my muse tossed me a bone for my story. She’s a contrary witch.

But, I did get to see my youngest nephew eat baby food for the first time. I’ll admit I probably spent more time laughing at that poor child than I did anything else this weekend. First it was the baby food which he took like a duck to water. The minute his mama produced the spoon, his mouth was open and ready for loading. Then he tried to take the spoon from her because apparently she wasn’t feeding him fast enough.

But the best part came on Easter Sunday. We were sitting outside, enjoying the somewhat mild day, the smell of food on the grill, and talking. My Korean aunt was holding Bennett who was wearing the most darling little outfit complete with a pair of sunglasses (like me, he doesn’t like the sun in his eyes). Because of those sunglasses, it took us a while to figure out he was falling asleep. Sitting up. Only when he started doing the buchon did we realize the poor baby was sleeping. We were hysterical. I think I might’ve even pulled a muscle in my stomach from laughing at the child.

We ate, we laughed, we talked, we drank a little, and we had a good day. But when the last car pulled away and the house was clean once again, I ran to my room to change into my lounge clothes and did a swan dive on the sofa to read. Ahhh…peace and quiet.

I love them all, but I’m glad there are no more holidays for a few months. It’ll take me a while to work up the need to surround myself with so many people again.

Did y’all have a good Easter?

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