Saturday, January 24, 2009

Little Precious is Here!!!

Congratulations to my BFF & Family, whom I shall call the Jovial family. In addition to Mr. & Mrs. Jovial, they have two beautiful daughters, Lilac and Lyric, and a sweet dog, Milo. Last week, the Jovial Family picked up a sister for Milo, and the Jovial Family will never be the same.

Meet Precious!

Milo checks out his new sister

Lilac holding Precious, while Milo looks on:

Mrs. Jovial and Lyric with Milo and Precious at sleepytime.

Being so very young, she's still adjusting, but everybody loves her, and Milo lets her have and do whatever she wants. I can't wait to meet her!

Quote of the Day (Actually, it's a Poem)

Then indecision brings its own delays,
And days are lost lamenting o'er lost days.
Are you in earnest? Seize this very minute;
What you can do, or dream you can, begin it;
Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.

- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, poet 1749-1832

Friday, January 23, 2009

Wine Tasting for Beginners

I know very little about wine, except that I like what I like. So, some friends (who know as much as I do) and I have decided to educate ourselves. Our first wine tasting is set for next month. I'm looking forward to learning about this.
Here's what I've learned thus far:
There are three types of wine tastings:

General Tasting - There are no limitations on the wines that you involve. You may choose to limit the wines to a particular part of the world, or grape variety, or price range, or whatever criteria you select.

Horizontal Tasting - A Horizontal Tasting involves wines from the same vintage. You decide the vintage and any other limitations on the wines involved, such as grape variety, but, the wines will all be from a single vintage. A horizontal tasting is a good way to see which winery was most successful within a given year.

Vertical Tasting - A vertical tasting involves wines from different vintages but all the wines will come from the same winery. If the winery produces more than one type of wine, you would select a single wine from that winery and taste multiple vintages of that wine.
Information courtesy of

Bobbie Thomas

I love this chick. She's smart, her fashion sense is right on the mark with me, and she's adorable to boot. What do you think? Do you like the fashion sense of Bobbie Thomas?

It's Friday!!!

Saturday I'm working in the house - (surprise), waiting for a furniture delivery - I'm a little excited about that, and possibly having lunch with my aunt and cousins in Mississippi. For Sunday, I think I'll be staying home and cooking some Indian dishes, but who knows?
What's up for your weekend?

Quote for the Day

"It isn't what you have, or who you are, or where you are, or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about."

- Dale Carnegie, American lecturer, author (1888 - 1955)

We have many things we must think of, and not all these thoughts are pleasant. Do take a moment today to think of something that makes you happy.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Dungeness Crab

I absolutely love steamed dungeness crab. That sweet, tender meat dipped in melted butter is just sinfully good. Yes, I know all that butter's not good for you, but I'm happy with it a few times a year. Tell me, do you like dungeness crab?

Political Families


Is it okay for the media to run pieces that reflect negatively on the children of political figures? What, or who should be off-limits?

For My Cousin in Texas

Girl, don't act like you don't want a piece of this! Just Help Yourself!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Everybody Loves Raymond

I watch this show twice every night. Do you watch tv before you go to bed? What do you watch?

Nick Gilder - Hot Child in the City - 'cause I FELT like it!

Robin Givhan, Fashion Editor, Washington Post

How did I not know who this woman is? I saw her yesterday for the first time. She's sharp, funny, and blunt - couldn't care less if you like or don't like what she's saying. I think I dig this chick!

It's Cold!

Okay, since New Orleans only has about 5 cold days every winter, I really shouldn't complain. That being said, I hate enclosed shoes!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

President Barack Obama

You know I have lots to say. To be continued...

Just So You Know...

I still miss Tim Russert. I know I'm not the only one. That's all.

What Do You Think?

Think he'd be smiling like this today?


Mr. Vest Goes to Washington

Mr. Sylvester Williams and his son.

I came home a little early yesterday. As always, I let Cinzia and Sasha out of their crates to bring them to the backyard. While I am away, I leave the television on NBC, so the Nightly News was on. As expected, the broadcast was all about the inauguration, and Washington, D.C.’s preparation for the day’s events. I heard many stories that touched me, including the enormous generosity of Earl Stafford who, through his non-profit foundation made it possible for hundreds of Americans to attend the inauguration when it would otherwise be impossible. One of Mr. Stafford’s guests was Sylvester Williams, a one-hundred year old New Orleanian and Katrina survivor. This caught my undivided attention, as I know a Sylvester Williams who would be about that age and was a close friend and neighbor of my grandparents. Sure enough, I saw ‘Mr. Vest’ as we called him, being helped out of a car by two people and gently positioned in a wheelchair.

"Look at Mr. Vest!" I said to the dogs. (Yes, I talk to my dogs.) In response, they jumped around, twirled, then with tails a-wagging went right back to the door, waiting for me to let them out. Oh, well. What do they know?

NBC news anchor Brian Williams (love him, by the way), mentioned how Mr. Vest lived long enough to include cotton picking in his history. I never knew that. I did know that he, along with my grandfather and Mr. Raymond Johnson (another friend who lived in the neighborhood) built the house Mr. Vest would live in with his wife and family for over 50 years. Every day, after putting in a full day of hard labor, these three men continued to work until that house was built. After that, they started on my grandparents’ house around the corner. When that was completed, they built Mr. Johnson’s house a few blocks over. As Mr. Vest explained, things were different back then. People helped one another because it was the thing to do, and a man’s word was his bond. It is the way he has lived his life. He continued to help people well into his nineties, especially the elderly, many times assisting people younger than he. It didn’t really matter. If you needed help and he could give, it was done.

People and times have changed, and some of it is for the better. I go to any restaurant I want, sit wherever I want, and expect the best service. If I have a medical emergency, I go to the nearest hospital. I attend Mass at a church of my selection, go to the movies of my choosing, and sit where I want. I haven’t ridden the bus or a streetcar in years, but if I needed to I’d sit where I pleased, preferably up front. When I shop for clothes or shoes I do so freely and in any store. When I vote, I walk in, sign and cast my ballot. I can’t imagine not being able to do these simple things, but so many of the choices I have now were made possible only through the great suffering of people who came before me. Human beings who knowingly risked humiliation, attacks, imprisonment, and countless other atrocities that included death, all at the hands of other human beings, just to be treated fairly. Why? Because despite what they were told, they knew they were second to none, and deserved to be treated as such. Who am I to take this for granted? Unfortunately, it’s human nature to have less appreciation for those things which we do not earn ourselves. These easy elements in my life were acquired by the blood, sweat and tears of those who considered it just that important. Most of it took place before I was born, but the fruits of this labor will remain long after I'm gone. I could never adequately show gratitude for the price paid by so many, but I hold these privileges dear, and will do my best to make sure those who come after me understand just how precious these gifts are.

Mr. Vest had a huge celebration of his ninetieth birthday at a Baptist church on Paris Avenue. There, I heard countless instances of his service in some way, shape or form. I remember thinking how sharp he was for a nonagenarian. Ten years later, while I can certainly see a physical change, his mind seems as sharp as ever. He has outlived Miss Gladys, his wife, my grandparents, and Mr. Johnson. He has even outlived my parents. It is my hope that they all are watching today’s events from the best vantage point, along with all whose spirits would find joy in this most victorious of times.

I pictured Mr. Vest as a young man, picking cotton side-by-side with others like him, a generation of men and women who played the hand they were dealt, who witnessed just how unfair life could be, but praised God through it all. How, I wonder, would he have responded at that time, upon being told that he would live to see a Black president? There would be doubt, at the very least. At some point he may have even laughed. On this day, however, he cried. Through his tears, he looked up to Heaven and said:
"Thank you, Lord. The Lord has been good to me. I get to see the President, the
first Black President in the White House!"

Yes, Lord. Thank you indeed. Thank you for letting me come home early. Thank you for this glorious day and every last person behind it. Thank you for the generosity of Earl Stafford, and thank you for letting Mr. Sylvester Charles Williams be here to see it.

Copyright © Keri L. Rachal

Monday, January 19, 2009


My friend CCP sent this to me. I thought it was pretty funny. What do you think?

A Little Music

Stevie Wonder and U2 wrote songs honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Listen if you like:

Stevie Wonder - Happy Birthday to You

U2 - Pride in the Name of Love

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

If Dr. King were alive today he'd be 80 years old. I wonder what he'd say about these times, and about what is happening tomorrow. How would he have reacted on November 4, 2008?

What do you think? How much of his dream has become real?

Just So You Know...

I enjoyed a few forks of my orange amaretto cheesecake, and I do believe I make THE best cheesecake there is. That's all.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Sunday stuff

Today started out with lots of rain, but it was all done by 9 am and was sunny and cool the rest of the day. I woke up at 8:30, later than I expected, maybe because I took a decongestant and an antihistamine last night. I have been in a funk all day.

Someone was supposed to come today at 1 to look at my oven. He didn't show up, didn't call. I hate that!
I cooked two dishes - arroz con pollo and navy beans. I'll have lunch for most of next week. Bully for me.
My house seems huge, cold and drafty. There's an echo of every sound. The new floorboards creek when I walk on them. I wanted to get used to being in the house before I completely moved in, guess the only solution to feeling weird is to completely move in. It's not that I'm scared, just uncomfortable.

I wish people would visit me here more. I'm kinda disappointed, but I'll keep doing what I do. They'll show up eventually.

My hair needs a new style or something.

I found two blankets from my grandmother I had packed away for years. One she crocheted, and a gold blanket she had since before I was born. It stayed on her or my aunt's beds for as long as I can remember. I just washed both of them. The gold blanket will be put to use in my den as I lounge on my sectional, where there's storage in the ottoman when I'm not using it.

I love the smell of Downy fabric softener.

I feel better when I look better. May explain why I'm in such a mood. I look turrbul!

This week I'm going to set up my bedroom and bathroom.

I'm watching Ghost for the first time in years. Everyone does such a great job in this movie. Whoopi Goldberg is the bomb. Demi Moore does really good crying. Patrick Swayze does right by a pair of jeans.

I have to set up my bedroom, including the closet, and bathroom. Everything else is I need is already done.

Tonight I'm going to do my hair, lay out what I'm wearing tomorrow, pack up a lunch, and pray for a brighter outlook tomorrow.

What about you?
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