Hot Reads 11/23/14

Happy Sunday, all! I’ve been reading blogs quite a bit in the last couple of weeks (as usual!). Blogs, especially personal ones, can be really interesting and enlightening. Bloggers can make you see things from a different point of view and make you think in ways you may not have considered before. I like reading writers who live in other states, countries, and in alternative ways. Some of today’s offerings are nice representations of all that. I hope you enjoy.


shedFrom The Dark Mountain Project: Why I Live in a Shed: A Sideways Response to the Housing Crisis
Favorite Quote: “I could tell her about all the things I wanted to do with my wild and precious life. How I wanted to go exploring. To see with my own eyes all the wonders of the world. To ride camels and climb mountains, test myself against the elements, find my own limitations, make my own mistakes. And then, when I had finished wandering, I wanted to come home and write love songs and death poems and books about fear, because I’d felt love and I’d touched death and I’d faced oceans of fear and found oceans of courage, and, frankly, after all that life I didn’t want to go inside and sit in an office working to prop up someone else’s failing economy.”


From Ludica: A Brief History of the Crêpe
Favorite Quote: “I discriminate a lot when it comes to food and drink, but when it comes to the crepe I’m all about love and acceptance, wide hearted, wide armed, wide eyed, and wide mouthed.”




From Ally Malinenko’s blog: The Beat Goes On….Unless You’re in Hollywood
Favorite quote: “And since then many of the women of the Beat Movement have been re-fashioned as Muses, there to inspire the brilliant men they found themselves around. Their role was to be passive, attractive, to keep their mouth shut and their eyes open and maybe, just maybe they might learn something. And this role was not specific to the Beats.”



From The Guardian: Why Must the “best new writers” Be Under 40?
Favorite Quote: “Sometimes the literary bitcoin is just life: some people have more to say aged 50, than at 30; for others it’s the opposite. But what about the writers who are slowed down because they have to do a day job? What about the authors (mainly women) whose writing time is interrupted for long periods by care for children, or relatives? “



From HuffPo: 10 Ways Introverts Interact Differently With the World
Favorite Quote because it is so me!: “Most introverts screen their phone calls — even from their friends — for several reasons. The intrusive ringing forces them to abandon focus on a current project or thought and reassign it to something unexpected. Plus, most phone conversations require a certain level of small talk that introverts avoid. Instead, introverts may let calls go to voicemail so they can return them when they have the proper energy and attention to dedicate to the conversation.”




Our featured book list is from Epic Reads: 25 Adult Books for Fans of YA. I’m not much of a YA fan but, honestly, I haven’t read much of the genre at all. Several of the books on this list look interesting so this may be my bridge into wading into more YA waters.


Featured poem is by Marilyn Cavicchia, a poet I’ve been following online for a long time. She posted this the other day and I just loved it! I think you will too.


Keep This To Yourself
By Marilyn Cavicchia

Anyway, I don’t believe in
whiskers on kittens, gratitude
journals, fluffy slippers, or
any of those Martha Stewart

Good Things or whatever
it is that Oprah knows
for sure. I’m a crank,
and I’m meaner than I look.

But I know and you know
that there are still
lowercase, non-italic
(Roman, let’s say)

good things in this world,
and it is still worth
being here, if for no
other reason than to see

what happens next–even if
that thing is terrible
and you can’t stop it, so
it keeps you up at night

or it wakes you up just
before your alarm goes off.
Look, I’m not an optimist.
The power of my positive

thinking? It could maybe,
on a good day, light up
Duluth. Not even. Bemidji,
let’s say. Maybe just

a bar in Bemidji, some dark
little place with whiskey,
beer, and Paul Bunyan. Here
I am, struggling over this

on my couch in Chicago,
and there you are, wherever
it is that you are. If I
could, I’d meet you at that

Paul Bunyan bar in Bemidji,
our good things like tiny
suns, bouncing off ice cubes,
making indoor Northern Lights.

Have a great reading week and remember to follow us on Pinterest!

Art in Ruin; a K plus nine personal photo project

Art in Ruin is a new personal photography project by Laura Bergerol. It is timed to be ready by 8/29/14 (the ninth anniversary of Katrina making land in New Orleans.) My inspiration for this project began with a house that I noticed several weeks ago on Earhart Expressway, that was colorful and cheerful. When I went back to investigate, I realized that though the house was decaying, someone had painted wonderful things on it; and it looked as if it was ready to dance on Mardi Gras day. After I noticed the first house, I did more research and realized that there are many houses and buildings in New Orleans, that have also been “made beautiful” both by human hands, and by nature. When I went to photograph them, I realized that there was a “strong chance” that many of these houses will disappear into dust (some sooner than others) as their structures are less than stable, so the need to document them became more urgent. I suspect that this project may eventually expand to other cities, other than New Orleans, but for now, New Orleans gets my attention. I plan to offer a book of the photos, and all profits after cost will go to Animal Rescue New Orleans ( who have been rescuing and finding homes for the dogs and cats of New Orleans since Katrina. Eventually, there will be a website ( but for now the photos live on my photography site; Art in Ruin and on the Art in Ruin Facebook page; Facebook page.

I have shared photos, but as this is a work in progress, be sure to check back. art in ruin art in ruin art in ruin art in ruin art in ruin art in ruin art in ruin art in ruin art in ruin art in ruin art in ruin art in ruin

Fulani Girls

I just had to share this gorgeous, colorful photo. JuJu Films has some of the most intriguing photography on the internet. You should follow him. (Don’t you wish your posture was this perfect?)
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Juju Films

Street Hawking | Bwari FCT Nigeria | #JujuFilms #Fulani #Nigeria #StreetHawking

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Her James

Nearly four years ago, a young boy by the name of Jeremy Galmon was shot and killed after a second line had passed by, a casualty of people using bullets to settle arguments.

The fundraising for Jeremy’s family was held only a few blocks from my home, sponsored by members of the community and by Young Men of Olympia Social & Pleasure Club, who had sponsored the parade on the day that the boy was caught in the crossfire. The city was in an uproar over this latest victim of gun violence here, and the finger-pointing at the parade as a cause of the violence was happening in too much earnest. Casting blame on the second-line was far too easy to do at the time, but the bands were out in force, and people were driving by the Goodwork Network to give funding to the Galmon family and to deliver the message that second-lining was not a cause, but strove to be a solution in a number of ways. It was there that I met Deborah Cotton for the first time, working right alongside the organizers, enjoying the Baby Boyz Brass Band, the Roots of Music in one of its earliest incarnations, and assisting with style and grace.

I knew the name from her book Notes From New Orleans, which was one of the first post-8/29/2005 chronicles I’d read – I feel to this day that it is still unjustly overlooked as a smart, occasionally sassy, and heartfelt window into that time. I then found that she was contributing to under the name Big Red Cotton via a blog there entitled Notes On New Orleans (I wonder where that title came from?), where her amazing voice and perspective jumped off the web browser and stood out among all that hot mess. She’d made it a point to immerse herself in the second line culture and invited me out to do so sometime.

I’ll tell everyone a secret: for quite a while, I wanted to write like Deb. Her frankness about how many people were on some sort of antidepressant to deal with the aftermath of the levee breaches helped make me bolder about admitting that I was on them and will most likely be on them for the rest of my life. There’s one post of mine that’s directly inspired by her examples: a multimedia account of a visit to another fundraiser, the Dinerral Shavers Educational Fund, filled with brass bands, love, laughter, and even some “Halftime,” anticipating the Saints’ Super Bowl win later that same month. I was happy to see her posting at the Gambit’s Blog of New Orleans, and touted her extensive online archive of second line YouTubes when I could.

Life gets crazy, and 2010 flew by, then 2011, 2012. I saw Deb again at a Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities program, then at Rising Tide 6, but I wasn’t able to take advantage of that opportunity to dance with her as she took in another of the second lines she so loved. Once I heard she was among the 19 shot by someone lying in wait for the procession to come by this past Sunday, my heart was in my throat. She’d worked so hard for so many years to show that this was a welcoming part of New Orleans culture, and one kid with a gun had struck that down, taking her with it…

She and a few others are still recovering from their injuries. The suspect(s) in the shooting is(are) still at large. And, for whatever reason, I find myself thinking about James.

James is no one specific. In Notes From New Orleans, Deb wrote about wanting a James to come along, and referred to him in one of her most recent tweets. James isn’t someone who can come and take her away from it all completely, but he can certainly make it all bearable for quite a while. James will know just what makes Deb tick, and will respond to her in all the right ways when she’s low, bringing her out of whatever doldrums she’s in. James is a supportive, seductive dream of a black man who hasn’t arrived in her life…but I wonder…

New Orleans may not have been perfect, and it may have lashed out at her, but it has sustained her all these years. She’s believed in it for so long, worked so hard for it, that I couldn’t help but think that one of the greatest tributes to her toils was Ronal Serpas making the point that the second line was not to blame for the shootings – and most everyone agreeing with that assessment. Jeffrey the yaller blogger is correct in saying “no one has done more to cover and celebrate this generation of NOLA street culture.” Deb treated it so well that if it were a person, I’m sure it would be a James.

It’s now time for us all to do what a James would do – support Deb and those others hurt in the shootings.

The Gambit is working with the Tipitina’s Foundation on a fundraiser for them all. Go here and stay alert for further details.

Deb kick-started New Orleans Good Good shortly before Sunday’s parade. Sign up for updates on her condition and details on fundraising. It would also be great, if you are in a position to do so, to sponsor some advertising on the site and keep her work going.

A blood drive effort for shooting victims is being scheduled for May 22, from 2-7 PM. At least 25 donors are needed for the blood drive. Contact for further details and to volunteer.


Cross-posted at Humid City

Happy Mother’s Day

I would like to take the opportunity to wish NOLAFEMMES’ founder Charlotte Hamrick a Happy Mother’s Day.

I think of you as a “mother” to all of us who post on this blog: you remind us to use tags, encourage us to post, you raise us up and you celebrate when we achieve “Freshly Pressed”.

Thank you for inviting me to post here and for your advice and support over the past 2 years. I would also like to wish all of NOLAFEMMES’ other bloggers a wonderful Mother’s Day.

Southeast Louisiana Winters

I’m from Massachusetts, so I’m familiar with the long, wet, cold winters. The driving during this time of year used to be horrific. We lived on a hill and not a winter would pass where we were out on the street during a snowstorm trying to help push cars up the hill in the stormy and icy conditions.

Driving in icy conditions looks like this:

Southeast Louisiana winters are gentle, but they are not without their hazards. I spent 30 years driving to and from work in New Orleans East in near zero visibility due to the fog. This time of year is the worst for the fog.

Since I retired in October I haven’t even ventured out of bed before 7. But Saturday I got up early and noticed how thick the fog was around our house. So I grabbed the camera and went outside to play.


My dog thought he was hiding.

Taken in Slidell, La on January 26, 2013

Taken in Slidell, La on January 26, 2013




You Know You’re a New Orleanian When….

Have you read The Gumbo Pages? If you haven’t, you should. I shamelessly stole this from there because I was reading it this morning and it made me laugh. I want you to laugh too. Happy Carnival!

Carnival Time

You don’t learn until high school that Mardi Gras is not a national holiday.
John Silbernagel

You don’t learn until graduate school that Mardi Gras is not a national holiday.
Chuck Taggart

You push little old ladies out of the way to catch Mardi Gras throws.
Howard Pink

Little old ladies push you out of the way to catch Mardi Gras throws.
Chuck Taggart

You leave a parade with footprints on your hands.
Sandra Gainey

You bring empty grocery bags to a parade.
Lori Mansuy

Every time you hear sirens you think it’s a Mardi Gras parade.
Monica Giles

On Christmas Eve, your daughter looks up in the sky, sees Santa Claus and yells, “T’row me somethin’, mister!”
Kelley Williams

You fill your Nativity creche with king cake babies dressed like Jesus, Mary, Joseph, the wise men and the angels.
Ann Case

You go buy a new winter coat and throw your arms up in the air to make sure it allows enough room to catch Mardi Gras beads.
Rebecca C. Este

You have a parade ladder in your shed.
Bev Chapoton

Your finest china has Endymion written on it.
Lori Mansuy

Your first sentence was, “Throw me something, mistah,” and your first drink was from a go-cup.
Linda McNamara

You wonder what Anne Rice has against a building that looks like a Mardi Gras float.
Howard Wetsman

You can’t stand people that say “THE Mardi Gras” or “THE Jazzfest”.
Alan Davis


You proudly claim that Monkey Hill is the highest point in Louisiana.
John Dunn

You know the Irish Channel is not Gaelic-language programming on cable.
Al Bostick

You drive your car up onto the neutral ground if it rains steadily and heavily for more than two hours.
Avis Sherman

You have flood insurance.
H. McDoskey

Someone asks for an address by compass directions and you say it’s Uptown, downtown, backatown, riverside or lakeside.
Jackie Bettencourt

Your idea of a cruise ship is the Canal Street ferry, and your idea of a foreign cruise ship is the Chalmette ferry.
A.C. Tynes

Your burial plot is six feet over rather than six feet under.
Lori Mansuy

You can pronounce “Chop-a-tool-is” but can’t spell it.
Larry Barattini

You can pronounce and spell Tchoupitoulas.
Dana Harrison

You don’t worry when you see ships riding higher in the river than your house.
C. Gonzalez

You know the West Bank has nothing to do with Israel or the Middle East.
Mark Whitley

If someone says “Magazine,” you think street instead of periodical.
Larry Simoneaux


You still call the the bus “Public Service”.
Sylvia Meyers

You get on a bus marked “cemeteries” without a second thought.
Lori Mansuy

You have no idea what a turn signal is or how to properly use it.
M. Matthews

You know that the two speeds dey got in dis city are “slow” and “stop”.
Bunny Matthews, recounted from from actual dialogue heard in New Orleans

You can cross two lanes of heavy traffic and U-turn through a neutral ground while avoiding two joggers and a streetcar, then fit into the oncoming traffic flow while never touching the brake.
Michael Bailey

You can consistently be the second or third person to run a red stop light.
Howard Pink

You know how long you have to run to a store, get what you need and get back to your car before you get a parking ticket.
Sue Ward

You got rear-ended 10 times by people with no insurance.
Debbie Rusk

You take a “right-hand turn” instead of a right turn.
Ernie Simoneaux

You get off the stoop, walk down the banquette and cross the neutral ground to go get a sno-ball.
S. Weaver


The major topics of conversation when you go out to eat are restaurant meals that you have had in the past and restaurant meals that you plan to have in the future.
Katherine Young

The major topics of conversation most of the rest of the time are restaurant meals that you have had in the past and restaurant meals that you plan to have in the future.
Chuck Taggart

You judge a restaurant by its bread.
Barbara Causey

You consider having a good meal as your birthright.
Lori Mansuy

You have gained 10 or 15 pounds permanently, but you don’t care anymore.

You not only think the colors purple, green and gold look good together, but you would also consider eating something that was those colors.

You know the definition of “dressed.”
Shirley T. Fayard

You think `drinking water’ when you look at the Mississippi 
River. C. Gonzalez

The white stuff on your face is powdered sugar.
J. Hopkins

You know better than to drink hurricanes or eat Lucky Dogs.
Murray Tate

You visit another city and they “claim” to have Cajun food — but you know better.
Tony Paladino

You have the opening date of any sno-ball stand in your Daytimer.
Kate Butler

You know that a po-boy is not a guy who has no money, but a great-tasting French bread sandwich.
Charlotte Popovich

You judge a po-boy by the number of napkins used.
Barbara Causey

The four seasons of your year are crawfish, shrimp, crab and erster.
Brian Lyons

You love Maspero’s, like the prices, hate the line, so you know to sit at the wonderfully old bar to place your order and enjoy.
Terry Durel

Your stomach can handle a dozen Manuel’s tamales at 3 a.m. after having a few at Markey or Saturn Bar.
Kevin Ibos

The waitress at your local sandwich shop tells you a fried oyster po-boy dressed is healthier than a Caesar salad.
Gina Mikelonis

Your 3-year-old child comes home singing his latest nursery rhyme:
“Alligator pie, alligator pie,
If I don’t get some, I think I’m gonna cry.
Give away the green grass, give away the sky,
But don’t give away my alligator pie.”
Amy Smith

You can eat Popeyes original chicken, Haydel’s kingcake and Zapp’s while waiting for Zulu. Then you go to Jackson Square for a Central Grocery muffaletta with a Barq’s while sucking hot crawdads and cold Acme oysters, hurricanes and several Abitas. Then you can ride the St. Charles Avenue streetcar home past Camellia Grill for a chili-cheese omelette … without losing it all on your front stoop.
Dan C. Frisard

Ya stood yaselfs in da line by Galatoire’s.
Zide B. Jahncke

A friend gets in trouble for roaches in his car and you wonder if it was palmettos or those little ones that go after the French fries that fell under the seat.
Pam Butler

You refer to any strawberry soda as “Red Drink.” As in, “Get me a Red Drink to go wit’ my po’ boy.”
Larry Simoneaux

You cried when McKenzie’s went out of business, and … you had tears of joy when you found out that Tastee’s made McKenzie’s King Cakes.
Kevin Hoffman

Suck da head, squeeze da tip…

Someone at a crawfish boil says, “Don’t eat the dead ones,” and you know what they mean.
Robert Kemp

You don’t really teach people the right way to eat crawfish, so there’s more for you.
Jodie Brady

Your idea of cutting back on calories is to suck the heads and not eat the tails.
LaJuana Chenier

The smell of a crawfish boil turns you on more than Chanel No. 5.
Don LeMonier

You enjoy sucking heads more than sucking face.
Debbie Montreuil

Your idea of foreplay is pinching dem tails and sucking dem heads and chasing it down with a cold Abita beer.
Deborah Goldman

You eat the poo veins.
Mike Tebbe


You berl crawfish and fry them in erl. Don’t forget to pack the uneaten tails in ferl.
Debra Winbush

There is a St. Joseph lucky bean in ya mama’s coin purse.
Bev Chapoton

You have eaten fig cookies from the St. Joseph altar while still hung over from St. Patrick’s Day.
Mike Luquet

The first thing you do every morning is pick up The Times-Picayune obit section to see “who died inna papuh?”
Mimi Tremoulet

When you were growing up you loved to go on the “chute da chute” at the playground and never heard of a slide.
David Paternostro

Ya making groceries at Schwegmann’s with ya mama to buy Dixie beer and crawfish so you can eat and suck heads in the French Quarter before a Mardi Gras parade.
Charlotte Blanchek

You use the term “Schwegmann’s bag” as a unit of measurement: “Did ya catch a lot at da parade? Yeah you rite! A whole Schwegmann bag full!”
C. Christenson

You know your homonyms, synonyms and your “mom-n-ems.”
Bridget Robinson

When you speak with a tourist, he asks, “Are you from Brooklyn?”
Harold Gallagher

You make groceries at Schwegmann’s to get da Zatarains for da crawfish. Den, ya suck da heads of those crawfish for da juice. Don’t forget da beer and da white Russian daiquiris. Afterwards, you go down to Randazzo’s for some king cake. While in da parish, you stop at Rocky’s for some baked macaroni to take home. On Mondays, you get da begneits, coffee and da Gambit. (Dat Gambit has everything.) For lunch, you go down to Mother’s for some red beans and rice. Tomorrow, you get da muffaletta at da Central Grocery. And dat’s what we do in New Awlins, dawlin’.
Kerry Reuber

You’re not afraid when someone wants to “ax” you.
Lori Mansuy

You were born at Baptist, raised in Metry and hang with Vic and Nat’ly.
Chip Perry

You go by ya mom-n-ems on Good Friday to eat crawfish, drink beers and play touch football on the neutral ground.
Joy Scott

You have no idea what a dragonfly is, but enjoy watching mosquito hawks fly near the lagoons in City Park.
David Paternostro

Crescent City Classics

You still write “NOPSI” on your utility bill.
Alan Huard

You still hope Angela and Garland get back together.
Kate Butler

You know where you got your shoes.
David Nusloch

You ask someone where they went to school and they tell you which high school they attended.
Shannon Prince

You were in high school before you learned that the two major religions aren’t “Catholic” and “public”.
Melanie Seals

You haven’t been to Bourbon Street in years.
Jolie Clark

You know better than to try to rent a room at Hotel Dieu.
Mike Luquet

You can remove the cap from a Tabasco bottle with one hand.
Susie Kehoe

You know the color purple is a drugstore and not a movie.
Al Bostick

You refer to objects of a certain color as being “K&B purple.”
Chuck Taggart

Your favorite color is “K&B purple.”
Kevin Hoffman

You know the lyrics to the jingles for Seafood City, Pontchartrain Beach and Rosenberg’s.
Alan Huard

If you’re an expatriate New Orleanian, living in another city, and you meet another expatriate New Orleanian, within 15 minutes you will be singing the jingles for Seafood City, Pontchartrain Beach and Rosenberg’s.
Chuck Taggart

You have seen men in tuxedos boiling crawfish on a TV commercial.
Rhonda Luquet

You have a special set of well-broken-in shoes you refer to as your “French Quarter” shoes.
Kate Butler

You still call the convenience store “Time Saver.”
Jamie Lobell

You move somewhere else and you feel like you are from Oz and you moved to Kansas.
Lisa Gourgues

Everywhere else just seems like Cleveland.
Mike O’Connell

Every so often, you have waterfront property.
Lori Mansuy

Your last name isn’t pronounced the way it’s spelled.
Bettina Benoit

You believe Al and Anne are the Uptown version of Vic & Nat’ly.
E. Lindsey

You know what a nutria is but you still pick it to represent your baseball team.
Liz Ducote

You have spent a summer afternoon on the Lake Pontchartrain seawall catching blue crabs.
Vernon Coy

You play hopscotch on “da bankit.”
Robert Fuxan

You remember waiting up and staying awake for complete TV coverage of the meeting of the Comus and Rex courts.
John Guignard

You watch a movie filmed in New Orleans and say things like, “Dere ain’t no way they can run out of a cemetery right on to Bourbon Street … and don’t call me ‘Cher.'”
Mary K. Maunoir

That brown bag you take to the Saints game ain’t your lunch.
Barbara Polikoff

But …

You really were in Tulane Stadium during the Saints first game when John Gilliam ran the opening kickoff back for a touchdown.
Vernon Coy

And you really were in Tulane Stadium when Tom Dempsey kicked the NFL record field goal to win the game against the Lions with 2 seconds remaining in the game. (The record still stands, 27 years later.)
Chuck Taggart

You know that “Tipitina” is not a gratuity for a waitress named Tina.
Lawrence Fletcher

You have to buy a new house because you ran out of wall space for Jazz Fest posters.
Bruce Michel

You like your rice and politics dirty and dislike clean living.
Amos Fogleman

People tell you that they have known you since you were knee high to a duck.
Dorothy Luquet

You still wear your high school band jacket.
Dereyck Moore

You worry about deceased family members returning in spring floods.
C. Gonzalez

You can ask for lagniappe and not feel guilty.
Merlin L. Taylor

You reply to anything and everything about life here with, “Only in New Orleans.
Toni Tournillon

You know that Morgus the Magnificent was a horror movie host, a Mac Rebennack song and a sno-ball flavor.
Robert LaCour Greenberg

Party on, Earl

You’re out of town and you stop and ask someone where there’s a drive-thru daiquiri place (then they look at you like you have three heads).
Kate Butler

You go to sleep Friday evening before you go out Friday night.
H.L. Tubre

Someone mentions the Democratic party and you ask, “Where, what time and is it B.Y.O.L.?”
Ralph Grimaldi

You consider a Bloody Mary a light breakfast.
Kate Butler

Neither rain, nor sleet, nor hail will keep you from the Jazz Fest.
Charlotte Popovich

You have a monogrammed go-cup.
Marlow McGraw

You use your Gambit as your social calendar.
Mary LeBlanc

You like your crawfish so hot, you can’t distinguish between sweat, snot and crawfish juice.
Michael Turre

Your ‘do is high enough to catch stray crawfish juice and able to stand 100 percent humidity and temperatures above 90 degrees.
Vanessa Breaux

Your butt burns when you go to the bathroom.
Kenny Marino

Do you have something to add? Chuck says email him.

NOLAFemmes and How She Grows

I recently received my yearly report from WordPress on the progress NOLAFemmes made in 2012 and thought I’d share some of it with y’all. It was all good and some of the stats included in the report were:

  • NOLAFemmes was viewed about 190,000 times in 2012. (!)
  • The busiest day of the year was February 24th with 85,727 views.
  • The most popular post that day was Lit Up Like a Parade.
  • The top referring sites were Facebook, Twitter, WWL TV and

NOLAFemmes was just a baby of an idea I began tossing around in my head about four years ago because I realized there was no local group blog made up entirely of women writers at the time which I saw as a serious flaw in the NOLA blogosphere.  As far as I know, we are still the only local blog staffed entirely by women. Some people say blogs are dying but our stats and our readers call BS on that. 🙂 Our first post was published on July 12. 2009 and it’s been full steam ahead ever since.

It was a very busy 2012 for this blog and it started off with a Very. Big. Bang. in February with A.L. Mueller’s heartfelt post “Lit Up Like A Parade” which went viral nationally very, very quickly. (Examples here, here and here.) Emily Gras grew out of that post and was one of WWL TV’s most viewed stories for 2012 and WDSU’s Top Stories.

In March Lunanola was the first New Orleanian to tweet about the sidewalk defacement in the French Quarter by representatives of CoCa Cola looking to advertise during the NCAA Men’s Final Four event. She quickly blogged her outrage in her post “Historic French Quarter and Faubourg Tremé defaced with graffiti advertising Coca-Cola products” and was joined in her outrage by many New Orleanians. Due to her activism, Coca-Cola subsequently apologized and had reps scrubbing the sidewalks.

Liprap’s poignant and personal post “Help. Now.”, including helpful information for victims of Hurricane Sandy, earned the blog a prominent spot on WordPress’s Freshly Pressed page. This is a big deal in the WordPress community and gives a blog great exposure. (This made our third time on FP!) It was a well deserved honor and we thank Word Press for the nod.

These are only three of the many well-written, informative and entertaining pieces written by the women of this blog who were all hand-picked for her individual talents. We strive to be a well-rounded site incorporating local issues of interest to New Orleanians as well as cultural and personal pieces of interest to all. We don’t want to be only a “political” blog, a “mommy” blog or a “pop-culture” blog; we want to be all of that and more. We want to inspire, inform and entertain. Our readers are why we are here at all and we always want to give them a perspective they won’t read anywhere else. Our perspective.

So I want to thank all of our readers for choosing to read this blog in a world where an internet surfer’s interest is increasingly being vied for, especially in the social media world. We couldn’t exist, much less thrive as we have, without you.

I also want to thank my writers:
Nola Notes
Laura Bergerol
A.L. Mueller
and also welcome once again our newest
T. Kaupp
Bayou Creole

Thank you all, my writing companions, for all you do for this blog. You’re the best!

We look forward to another great year here on NOLAFemmes. May you all have a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!


We made the trek to Foley, Alabama for the second year in a row to attend the Gulf Coast Hot Air Balloon Festival. Now in it’s 8th year, the festival attracts balloon teams from Ohio, Texas, Georgia, Mississippi, Florida, Tennessee, Missouri, Louisiana and Alabama.

While the real action takes place at 6 A.M. both days of the Festival and at sunset, the grounds offer vendors from photography, jewelers, artists, clothing and home made soap the Disc Connected K9’s and carny food.

To pass the time during the day when there wasn’t much going on we paid a visit to the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo (the little zoo that could). It was fantastic and will be the subject of another post.

The following pictures were taken on the second day of the festival. This year there were 45 balloons competing. Right around sunset, the crews inflate their balloons and take off. Well, only half took off; the second half inflated their balloons and participated in the “glow and twinkle” part of the festival. Glowing is where the pilots light up the balloons using the same propane that helps them ascend into the sky. It is absolutely awesome to watch. Twinkling is short glows.

There is nothing more awe-inspiring than watching the balloons inflate.

Notice the size of these balloons!

First balloon to fly is “Hope Floats” from Alabama

One balloon rises above the others

The Constitution balloon, “Freedom Flyer” from Florida.

The “Smiley” from Ohio balloon was a big hit.

I kicked myself for not bringing my wide-angle lens!

The black balloon is “Wind Spirit” from Alabama.

Here’s “Wisdom Racer” from Baton Rouge rising into the sky

There’s “Cheaper than a Wife” from Missouri.

Flying over the tree line…..

Left to right “Touchstone Energy” from Texas, “Smiley” from Ohio, “Let’s Get High” from Alabama and “Big Red” from North Carolina.

Here’s “Dean’s Dream” from Mississippi

I liked the way the setting sun was reflected on these balloons.

One of our favorites: “Synchronicity” from Nevada.

Floating away…..

“Smokey the Bear” from New Mexico.

The “Budweiser” balloon’s from Mississippi.

After the first half of the balloons took off, the “Glow & Twinkle” started.

It’s fun to watch and try to get the pictures as they glow.

“Sunrise Fellowship” from Arkansas is dwarfed by “Oggy the Friendly Dragon” from Indiana.

Here’s another shot of the glow.

It was a great weekend and we learned to eat before we went to the festival because carny food is not so good. So if you’re ever looking for something unique to do for Fathers’ Day weekend, keep this festival in mind. It’s worth the trip. Plus Foley and the Orange Beach area have quite a few attractions.