Saturday, February 27, 2010

Priming the Pump

Oh, friends, I hope y'all are having a most wonderful day. And if it isn't wonderful, I hope it's causing you to seek the King. That's one way we can count it all joy, you know. If what is hard causes us to seek His presence and enjoy the delights of His love we can, over time, "reckon" the most despairing circumstances to have been friends dressed as foes.
I type these words to you from my back porch, my winter weary soul having been enticed out here by the beautiful day. Already my fingers are beginning to stiffen in the chill but I'm determined to ignore them and wait it out. Maybe my body temp will get adjusted. I so need the fresh air and it is indeed lovely out here, even if the brown grass has yet to catch the spring vision, even if one has to look past the badly weathered house plants and the back porch sorely in need of a good spring cleaning.
I feel up to the challenge seeing as, mind you, I came out here to write on Sue Ellen's Girl Ain't Fat, She Just Weighs Heavy. If I'm lucky, I generally get a few hours on Saturday to work on this manuscript that must be turned in by June 1st. Whew. If you're listening, oh dear editor, I'm gonna make it. Tomboy honor.
I can't just start on the book, of course. That's not how it's done. As I mentioned on my and River Jordan's Great Southern Wing and a Prayer Tour blogspot, writer type people often Procrastinate with a captial P when they're supposed to be writing. This can mean checking email, playing on facebook and twitter, which I'm doing RAT now (love you folks commenting on The Builder and Cruel Gravity comments) instead of writing. While this is indeed a form of procrastination it is also a way to prime the word pump, and by that I mean working your way thru the first words that bubble up in order to settle your mind down enough to write. As I also noted on that other blog post, (can you tell I'd really really really really really really appreciate your following us and leaving us comments so that we know we're not hollering into a cyber space echo), sometimes I seem to have to go thru more than my share of miscellaneous words to get to any that count. And now, I shall go see if I'm there yet. Later gators.

Wait--- one more thing. speaking of gators. Did you know my All Things Southern 2010 Southern Pearl t-shirts were delivered to Simmons Sporting Goods in Bastrop, LA yesterday? Here's a pic of me showing some Gator Love to a big fella there.

And here's Stormy holding up DNA-- Duly Noted Abnormalities that tie a Belle to her tribe. (That is soooooooooooo me and my big messy family. How about yours?)

Yippy Skippy! It was tons of work to get 'em to retail, but I'm so excited about it. Plans are to get them in the All Things Southern online store next week for those of you who aren't from around here. :) And now, I'm outta here. Sue Ellen is calling...

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Attention one and all--

My grandson, Grant Thomas, has something to say:

Monday, February 8, 2010

“Pigs Have Flown"

Note from Shellie: When we first learned that we were going to the big game, I asked my favorite South Louisiana boy to write a column for All Things Southern about what this season has meant to Saints' fans everywhere. He graciously agreed and sent me these poignant words bright and early Monday morning after the Saints were crowned Super Bowl Champs. It warmed my heart. I hope you'll enjoy today's Southern Quote, penned by my son-in-law, Patrick Maher.

"Pigs have flown. Hell has frozen over. The New Orleans Saints are on their way to the Super Bowl!!”

Those were the words of Saints radio man Jim Henderson 3 weeks ago as the field goal of 23 year old Garrett Hartley went through the up rights. Throughout the Who Dat Nation grown men cried and strangers embraced. The city of New Orleans was in a euphoric state of disbelief, shock, and utter joy.

This was the moment many Saints fans thought they may never see. The Saints were in the Super Bowl after 43 years of futility and heartbreak. This is a team and a city parched for success, always seeming to come up short. However, this team is not the “Aints” and these ain’t your daddy’s Saints! This is a team that deserves to be in the Super Bowl and a city that deserves to be a positive spotlight.

After Katrina, it appeared that the Saints were gone, as the future of the city, its scattered people, and Superdome all were uncertain. However, the Saints stayed and became part of rebuilding and healing process, woven into the fabric of the people.

I can’t help but remember sitting in the Superdome in 2006 for the first game back in New Orleans in over a year. The Saints blocked a punt for a touchdown 3 minutes’ into the game and a year’s worth of emotion boiled over from the crowd. I thought the building was shaking from its foundation. On Monday Night Football, for 37 seconds, an eternity on live television, the announcers said nothing, just the noise of the crowd could be heard.

A connection that spans generations and transcends race, class, and creed, New Orleans sees itself in the Saints in a way that cannot be compared to any other sports team in America. The Saints and New Orleans are one in the same. This is a tale of rebirth, rebuilding, and redemption. A team made up of castoffs, undrafted free agents, and underrated late round picks. If there ever was an underdog story of a franchise and a city this is it. This year was more than just a great football season for the Saints; it was a reflection of a city on the rise. The New Orleans Saints are not a symbol of rebuilding, but a symbol of what has been rebuilt, and that the best is yet to come.

Throughout this season, NOPD reported a dramatic drop in crime during games. After away games, thousands of fans lined the streets outside of the airport, waiting to cheer on the team in a scene that looked like an impromptu Mardi Gras parade. The Monday after the Super Bowl, New Orleans schools and courts were scheduled to close. The Tuesday following the Super Bowl, the city planned a parade for the Saints…win OR lose!

On Super Bowl Sunday, it was all lagniappe as the Saints seemed to be playing with house money. In an epic battle against the greatest quarterback of all time and favorite son of New Orleans, Peyton Manning, the Saints took chances and made big plays all over the field. These Saints were not settling for just a seat at the table of football greatest, they wanted to seize it.

After the game, as black and gold confetti painted the turf, Drew Brees held his 1 year old boy with tears in his eyes and soaked in the moment. Said Brees earlier, "God puts you in a position for a reason, and me coming to New Orleans was a perfect example. It was a calling to come to a city like that. We were not only rebuilding a team, we were rebuilding a city, a region, a mentality. We've been through so much, but we're going to comeback stronger.”

This season will never be forgotten, rich in storylines, parallels, and divine intervention. In words of Jim Henderson, “To believe in the New Orleans Saints is to believe in miracles that seemingly never come. But this season - this incredible, unlikely season - they have."

~Patrick Maher

Friday, February 5, 2010

The Rest of the Story

Since many of you were in on my early morning drama, I figured it was only fair to fill y'all in on the rest of the story, but first I'll set things up for anyone reading who wasn't with us.

I arrived at the FOX studios to host All Things Southern LIVE at my regular time. Being the first one in the parking lot didn't bother me as I am the first live show of the day and it's generally only me and my boardman there in the morning's earliest hours. As the clock neared "kickoff" however, I began to be concerned. Where was Boardman anyway? I couldn't get him on the phone, but I was sure he'd be driving up any minute. Wrong.

When showtime came and went with no sight of missing buddy it occured to me that I needed to open the old laptop, log in and begin facebooking and twittering the status of All Things Southern LIVE, thinking that, worse case scenario, we'd be a few minutes later going on and I should tell the loyal listeners. Wrong again. It would soon become apparent that we were going to be more than a few minutes late. We weren't going to go on at all.

While visiting via email and social media with everyone and their mama wanting to know where I was and why I had been "Becked", (Glen Beck was playing on the automated system), I contacted my guests, Ad Hudler author of "Man of the House", Jackie K. Cooper, Entertainment Man Of Middle Georgia, and Tonya Pesek from Jim Taylor Chevrolet to make my apologies. By this time I don't mind telling you that I was getting more than a little worried as Boardman is a most dependable, responsible young man. I was also more than a little irritated with myself for never seeing the need to get a key to the stinking studio!

But enough already, I'm gonna wrap up this half of the story with a very simple explanation. Boardman wasn't hurt. He had overslept. That is correct. Overslept. He was very sincerely apologetic and I very sincerely forgave him. That, however, is just FYI, here's the rest of the story...

For some time now I've known that I needed to learn to run my board myself, for reasons that are too wordy to go into here. It's just something I know I need to be able to do but I was putting it off. Was. Past tense. I recognize this spot, folks. I've learned that when I'm wanting to do something, thinking about it, and avoiding it while praying about it, and if it's something I need to do, Father God will just kindly push me out of the nest. Fly little birdie.

So, starting next week, yours truly will run the board and host the show. (Once Boardman arrived today, I had him give me an initial lesson.) It looks difficult. It looks doable.

I will learn a lot.

I will mess up a lot.

I will pray a lot.

It should be very interesting. The big question is, will y'all hang with me?