I’m going to be a “Great” Grandmother

Bailey Rosenberg my oldest granddaughter is now going to be a mother. I remember when Bailey was little, she had a favorite baby doll named “Lanie”. This was her favorite toy and that baby doll went everywhere with her. So I knew that one day Bailey would be a fabulous mother! Bailey met her husband Max during Semester at Sea in the Spring of 2012. On November 4, 2017 Bailey and Max were married in St. Louis Cathedral in the French Quarter of New Orleans, Louisiana. Now around November 23rd , 2019 they will have a baby! What will it be, a boy or will it be a girl? No one knows. It is very important to Max and Bailey that they have it be a surprise.

Christian, Bailey’s sister will be getting home from “Semester at Sea” when baby Rosenberg arrives and she plans to take exclusive possession of this baby. Guess what; she will have a rather rude awakening because everyone is planning the same thing. I wonder if Bailey and Max are worried that they might have to make an appointment to have time with their baby? Katy, Bailey’s cousin decorated the Crosby home for the baby shower. It was absolutely beautiful and Trey was the “stand up comedian.” However Max and Bailey stole the show as they usually do!

This is a little look at some to the goodies we enjoyed and the very clever diaper roll cake that Katy made for Bailey. Appetizers were made by “Plant Based Lifestyle-Holistic Passion” in Covington, LA. Cookies were designed and baked by “Sweet Batches” in New Orleans. Other desserts (not featured in photos) were made by “Bella Linda” in Mandeville, LA. Of course Tommy Crosby unfortunately doesn’t have a catering company however he treated everyone to Sushi and hot Fish Beignets which flew off the table as fast as he replenished the empty platters. Champagne and Wine were furnished by Max’s parents wine company Brix Wine and Liquor in Malta, New York which flowed endlessly and “all” had a grand time!

Of course there were presents and presents and presents! Lots of special notes and well- wishes from friends and family and those who gave the shower (Empress Buras, Jete’ Crosby, Colleen Rosenberg, Karleen Bouza, and Amanda Cardwell).

These are some of Max’s family who arrived from the New York and Florida to attend the baby shower. First row from left to right: Alex, Max’s 1st cousin and her husband Rocky and baby Rocky Jr. who also stole the show with his blonde curls and his adorable baby ways. Max’s mother Colleen, Dawn and her husband Jimmy who is Max’s Uncle. In back row from left to right is Max’s father David, Max’s sister Carleigh, and his cousin James.

Bailey’s parents Reneé and Craig Maloney live in Folsom, LA. Unfortunately Bailey’s brother Parker was finishing his six month hike along the Pacific Coast Trail and was unable to attend, (see blog post Titled “Made It”).

I was able to sit back and thoroughly enjoy this day. I had no duties, no food to prepare, no decorations to put up. I was to just show up and enjoy the day and enjoy I certainly did! Oh the joy of being a grandmother! I think it was the perfect day with so many blessings for Bailey and Max!

An Incredible Life!

My aunt Anita Guidry was 100 years old on October 11, 2019. We were all invited to celebrate her wonderful life and accomplishments Saturday October 12th in Lafayette, Louisiana.

Anita had five sisters and two brothers all pictured in this picture except for my mother and father who are not among the group. Anita has outlived everyone in this photo including my parents.

Anita has: Five Children Twelve Grand-children

Sixteen Great Grand-children Eight Great-Great Grand-children

Anita’s five children from left to right Paula Gamble, Susan Fontenot, Rebecca Daigle, Peter Guidry, Michael Guidry

My son Duke and I attended Anita’s 100th birthday celebration at her daughter Paula and her husband James’s home. These are some “moments in pictures” of the love everyone was feeling!

Anita had her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and great great grandchildren wanting to celebrate with her! One of her sister-in-laws and my son and I were lucky enough to be included! Thanks cousins! Actual my cousins and I grew up more like brothers and sisters and I am so grateful for all of them!

They came from Lafayette, New Orleans, Mandeville, Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Tennessee, Texas, and Georgia! There were a few who couldn’t be with us this day but celebrated with her the day before, October 11th which was her actual birthday!

In 1973 Anita wrote “La Pointe de L’Eglise” the history of Church Point, Louisiana to celebrate the “1873 to 1973” Centennial.

Anita also published a cook book in 1977, “From Mama to Me” receipts handed down from her mother Ernestine Daigle Guidry and other family members and friends. You can find a copy of her cookbook in some Libraries in Louisiana.

Anita was married to Owen Guidry on November 9, 1941 and they were happily married for 49 years! These are the family of their five children, (a few of the grandchildren were not able to attend so unfortunately are not pictured). But what a family they all are!

We all love you Anita and celebrate your life!

“Nous célébrons votre vie”

Provence

I’m not sure if it was like “going back in time” to a place where life is beautiful, easy and simple or it was being together with three generations of family living together, Laughing together, and spending uncomplicated time together. But our time together in Provence was magical!

Our home away from home was in Bonnieux. Our only regret was that we did not have time to just hang around and enjoying the beautiful home and property. The weather was heavenly so we kept the windows open and we were bathed in the essence of lavender as we slept, ate, and walked around.

The purpose of the trip was to bring Katy, my grand daughter to school at Savannah School of Design “SCAD” at their campus in Lacoste for her Fall semester.

The SCAD campus is in this charming village with narrow streets, paved in “calade” stone. About three hundred people live in the village but the SCAD campus makes up most of the property in Lacoste.

There is also a famous château which used to belong to the Marquis de Sade at Lacoste.

In 1771 the Marquis fled from Paris to escape the scandals created by his erotic writing and outlandish behaviour (too liberal for the era). It is now owned by Pierre Cardin, the famous stylist designer.

Not a bad place to live and study for a few months!

My two beautiful daughters are the mothers of Katy and Bailey! We spent a glorious day in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence shopping and having lunch. The streets were lined by stone houses, winding cobbled lanes and on average it has 300 days of sunshine a year. This was just one of the charming villages we visited during our stay. St. Rémy is home to significant Roman ruins and the monastery where Van Gogh once recovered from a bout of psychosis, “just a bit of history!”

We were driving back to Bonnieux one day and saw this mountain top village and decided to explore. We discovered this winery and decided to do a little wine tasting! Needless to say we brought back a few bottles to try. Delicious!

We also visited Roussillon, Gordes, L’Isle our la Sorgue, and wished we could have had more time to experience them. We just could not get enough of the sights and did not have enough time to explore and savor the food and wine! We also noticed how much the French love their pets and brought them everywhere.

One of our favorite places was the market in Lourmarin. We arrived when it opened at 9 am thank goodness. We were able to enjoy it before it got so crowded we could hardly move through the crowd by 11am.

We loved it here so much we went back another day and shopped and had lunch at one of favorite cafe’s, L’Ormeau. It was the last day for lunch in Provence so of course I had to have Duck Pâté one last time and it was served with Pear poached in Rosé Wine. I’m still dreaming about it!

It was now time to tell Katy goodby! We left her in good hands because Pierre and Stephanie who own the charming Cesar hotel and restaurant in Bonnieux said if Katy needed anything she must come to them!

Jete and I flew to England to visit Becky and Lloyd Dannatt and their children Neve, Frey, Sophie, and Edward in West Sussex. Becky was Jete’s au pair for two years when the twins “Katy and Claire” were born. Katy, Claire and Ryan were all in Becky and Lloyd’s wedding in July of 2004. The families have stayed close all these years and visit back and forth often.

It was so much fun seeing the children growing up and enjoying family life with them. They all go to this incredible and beautiful school Hurstpierpoint college, an independent school in Hurstpier, England. Lloyd is Deputy Head Academic for the school and Becky being a nurse substitute as the school nurse when they need her.

This visit was the icing on the cake for the most incredible trip I think I have ever taken.

Christian says goodbye see you in December!

Christian embarks from Amsterdam, Netherlands today September 9th to complete her Fall term on “Semester at Sea.” She will be gone 106 days and travel to 12 countries, 13 cities, and over 4 continents! The students will explore countries in Europe, Africa, South and Central America, cross the Kiel and Panama Canals. Semester at Seas will make the world Christian’s campus as she sets sail on her floating University.

Christian met her roommate Chelsea when she arrived in Amsterdam September 3rd. The girls will have a whole week to talk about all the places they will be traveling. Poland will be their first stop, then they will cross the Kiel Canal. From there they will go to Portugal, Spain, Croatia, Morocco, Ghana, Brazil, Trinidad and Tobago. They will then cross the panama Canal, and Ecuador and Costa Rica will be their last stop.

Reneé and Bailey planned a weeks vacation in Amsterdam to show Christian around and have a special girl’s vacation. They rented a wonderful home in the heart of the city and loved all the sites and sounds of this fabulous city.

Their home was cosy and comfortable and the perfect place to relax and spend time together.

They loved the canals, architecture, outdoor cafes, and of course the flowers!

The food and wine were wonderful! Stroopwafel is Amsterdam sweetest bites and actually you can find them now in every Starbucks! They did pass on the Herring another famous food. They loved the Oorlog french fries! They come in a crispy cone filled and the fries are topped with mayonnaise, peanut sauce and raw onions. And of course Dutch cheese was “the best” paired with a nice glass of wine. Holland is actually the largest cheese exporter in the world.

They loved this fern shop! It is no wonder that they were fascinated with this shop since the Netherlands is among the best places in the world to pick up colourful bouquets and beautiful plants of all kinds.

Today, September 9th, 2019 Christian is boarding the “MV World Odyssey!” This ship has been meticulously maintained since constructed in Germany in 1998. It is the sixth ship in the Semester at Sea’s history.

Have a wonderful time Christian! We are all so very excited for you and this incredible opportunity to study and travel around the world.

Made it!

August 25th was a very special day! Parker completed his five month, 2,650 mile long hike along the Pacific Crest Trail. The trail passed through 25 national forests, 6 national parks and countless other federal wilderness lands. It crests scenic and pristine mountainous terrain along the west coast. This is how the trail claims its name!

August 15th the hikers were on top of ol’ Snowy, the highest point that the PCT crosses in Washington. Parker said, “Goat rocks national forest (where ol’ Snowy resides) was the highlight of Washington thus far!” Parker met up and hiked with different sets of people along his five month hike; he explained that these groups are referred to as trail families or “trams” for short. Parker said he loved hiking this last section with such a cool and diverse group of people as these.

The pictures shown above are of Parker and his friends making it to Washington and crossing the “Bridge of the Gods!” Before crossing, he and his friends spent two days relaxing and learning how to kite board in a town called Hood River. They were recovering by staying in the town and not hiking any miles along the trail. This is something that hikers call a “0 day.” After their recovery, they completed the final section of the trail, roughly 550 miles in 18 days before reaching Canada and the end of the hike!

Parker explained that he found joy in competing with himself as the trail stretched on. He also told me that pushing for bigger days was made easier by having things to look forward to. One of these things is an annual Elk hunt with his father, Craig and brother-in-law Max!

“In a civilized and cultivated country, wild animals only continue to exist at all when preserved by sportsmen.” -Theodore Roosevelt
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Here is quote from Max, “Feeling grateful for the opportunity to spend the past week bow hunting in the Southern CO wilderness with some great company. There’s no feeling like hearing a 1,200lb bull elk bugle 50 yards away from you at sunrise. Close bear encounters are also scary.”😂
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Parker has one more adventure planned for this year! He will be joining Max to compete in and Iron Man on October 13th in Louisville, Kentucky!

The swim will be centered around the historic Ohio River. The bike route will take the athletes over plenty of rolling hills outside of Louisville. And lastly the run will pass through four Parks and along the Ohio river.

It will be quite interesting to see where life takes this adventuresome grandson of mine! Parker graduated in Business Management and Entrepreneurship from Ole Miss so I’m sure he will own his own business one day. I cannot see him working for someone; he’s too much his own man and likes to make his own decisions. With all his talent, determination, and tenacity I am sure his life will always be wildly interesting and will be lived to the fullest! And because he is a very smart young man his life will surely include this beautiful young woman Whitney Marr who also graduated from Ole Miss in Business Marketing and make a stunning couple!

An Art Show

Gunner (my grandson) came home from Stanford this week of October 25th with a load of fabulous art he created over the summer in San Francisco. Gunner’s friend, Computer Science major Sean O’Bannon received a grant from Stanford to program a computer to create art. (“GAN” a Generative Adversarial Network is a form of Artificial Intelliegence that discriminates between “real” and “fake” images. By training off of a dataset of “real” paintings, then feeding itself images made of random pixels, the “GAN” is able to essentially “paint” never before seen works of art.) 

Gunner received a research grant from Stanford University to produce paintings using “GAN”, with the help of his friend Sean’s programming. Out of this collaboration Ashbury Blues came into being. Gunner used the “GAN” images in a mode of abstraction, synthesizing graphic and pulp imagery. 

Gunner sold other pieces of art he also created that were not part of the “GAN” inspired art project. In these pictures Gunner is signing “Snowball,” one of the new pieces of art he also sold at the show. The image came from an old Betty Boop cartoon, where Betty was rolling down the mountain in a huge snowball! Gee Golly!

Gunner’s art is so exciting! I love the characters he paints. they are so interesting and their expressions are so real! I love his use of color and movement in his art. I feel his art has great diversity of form, color, and a sense of play in each painting.

Gunner newest series, Ashbury Blues, explores the insanity of San Francisco city life, and the Bay Area tech/art divide
Cowboys from pulp fiction magazines, cartoons from looney tunes, and computer generated abstractions, made with Artificial Intelligence, all find their way into crowded compositions. 

The art show was a tremendous success and we are all so proud of Gunner and what he is accomplishing at Stanford!

Happy Birthday Duke

My son Glen Lewis Dongieux better known as Duke is a son every parent wishes to have. He’s always there for his father and me and his children. We are his first priority. He’s clear, steady, dependable, and funny. Duke loves music! Loves to read a good book and he loves travel. He also loves his motorcycles! However as much as he loves all these things it doesn’t compare to his love for his children Gunner, Anita, and Dennis. He “lives” to spend time and have fun with his children taking them to games, movies, attending performances and games, etc. This son of mine is skillful, intelligent, capable, and interesting!

Duke as a child was interested in everything. He was a thinker and a dreamer and he was into everything. By the end of the day you were exhausted with all his ideas and activities. At night when you looked at him sleeping in his bed he looked like an angel with his blonde hair and sweet face and you forgot how much mischief he created.

He is my devoted son who calls me almost everyday just to say hi! Having been divorced most of my life my son is definitely my rock! I feel, every woman needs a strong man to help her see a different prospective in life. I can count on my son to provide another angle or view point. When I make a mistake of judgement and get myself in trouble he says, “mom check with me first when you are not sure of something.”

I will have to say he was a handful in high school. My understanding is that he settled down when he went to the University of Texas. I am not sure if that is actually true! However that is when he found himself and graduated in Journalism. He is a great writer and I hope and believe that one day he will write a great novel.

He is a builder and a renovator. He focuses on special details and interesting wall designs which make his homes stand out. He loves to bring a project in under budget. Duke has a great mind for business and he loves flipping properties with the goal being profitability which occurs, yet the process of creating a unique design may be just as rewarding. He believes realestate is the best way and safest way to make money.

It feels like I just closed my eye for a moment Duke, and then here you are fifty three years old today. Time flies by so quickly, and I just want time to slow down a bit. I love you son! I’m so proud of the man you have become! You are my rock, my buddy, and my devoted son, actually the best son I ever had!” Duke would say, “Yeh mom, I’m the only son you ever had”!

An Adventure of a Lifetime

My grandson Parker left the first March to hike the Pacific Crest Trail from California to Canada. He and his friends are now in Truckee, California and have now hiked 1,154 miles.

The hardest part was crossing the Sierras Nevada mountains and through Yosemite National Park because of all the winter storms. Pepe and Parker summited Mount Whitney, the highest point in the lower 48 states, a few weeks ago when others said it was impossible. Actually Parker and Pepe were the first five people to summit Mt. Whitney this year. The two things he said he would take away after that 11 hour climb are these two Viking quotes:
“Ill is the result of letting fear rule thine actions” -The saga of Olaf Haraldsson
“Ill rede bring ill luck” – Njal’s saga

Parker said he has worn-out two pairs of hiking shoes and had to buy a pair of boots to hike through the snow and to avoid frost bite. It has taken the guys a month to cross Northern California and they expect it will also take them a month to cross Oregon and Washington together.

Parker said, “Muir Pass” in the afternoon was breathtaking and awe-inspiring. That it’s no wonder the pass was named after such an influential man in the outdoor community. Though not pictured here, the stars that hung outside of “Muir Hut” the night they spent the night there were the most beautiful he had ever seen. He also said that the Sierras are unforgiving and unforgettably rewarding. He would recommend the 250 mile John Muir Trail to anyone interested in getting their feet wet in the hiking community!

“This is the most spacious and delightful high pleasure-ground I have yet seen… and though lying high in the sky, the surrounding mountains are so much higher, one feels protected as if a grand hall.” – John Muir

Parker and friends are now out of the mountains. They encountered rain storms and flooding creeks but at least they were not freezing. They said coming through the mountains by far was the hardest part of the hike.

Parker came out of the mountains lean and strong of mind. He’s a trim and muscular 180 pounds after bulking up to about 215 pounds before he began this adventure. He said he can do without so much gear now! He has even sent his tent home so he can make faster progress to the finish line. He said his goal is to finish the hike by mid August! Then he is going to do the” Iron Man” in Kentucky in October! My grandson Parker is an incredible young man! What a story he will have to tell. What an adventure!

Happy Birthday Jete’

Jete’ Ann is my first born! She was a happy, independent, and delightful child. As she grew into her teenage years she was optimistic, spunky, and confident. The last three years of high school she attended a private, boarding, Catholic school “Sacret Heart” in Grand Coteau, Louisiana. She attended The University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg her freshman and sophomore years where she pledged Chi Omega sorority. She transferred to SMU in Dallas in her junior year where she majored in “boys.”

Jete’ had so many boyfriends it was hard to keep up! One was more handsome and charming than the next. Just as you started to like one she would disappear him and she’s find someone she liked better. Then about two years after college she was working as a medical technician in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and she met her “Prince Charming”, Tommy Crosby. This year they celebrated their 25 wedding anniversary! I think he’s her keeper.

Jete’ married Tommy Crosby on May 7, 1994 in Seaside, Florida. It was such a beautiful and romantic wedding. The celebration lasted for three days. The rehearsal dinner was a seated meal on the beach at sunset with dancing afterwards. The next evening again at sunset the wedding service was in the gazebo on the beach then the reception in a white tent in the village of Seaside followed by dancing until midnight. The celebration ended with a Mother’s day brunch at one of the charming Seaside cottages. We hated to say goodbye to this “Fairy Tale Wedding!”

Jete’ and Tommy never have a dull moment with their three children, Ryan, Katy and Claire! Life is full and exciting and often hectic when these three sibling are home. Jete’ and Tommy have fabulous dinners and parties and one never turns down an invitation to dine with them or attend a party at their home! It is always quite fabulous!

Florida has always been a major attraction for the Crosby’s with the sugar white beaches and turquoise water of the Gulf of Mexico. Jete is a fabulous decorator and has just finished putting her signature on their new beach home in Grayton Beach.

So join Tommy in a birthday toast to Jete’ today, June 18th!

Happy Birthday Jete’! I’m so proud of you and all that you have accomplished!

I love you to the moon and back!

Mother

Katy is Eighty – Father’s Day

Nick Baquet

My father, Leon Baquet, Jr., was born in Scott, Louisiana on January 16, 1911. His father was Leon Baquet, Sr. and his mother Emmalina Castille.

My father’s parents were merchants and artists! They owned a General store in Scott, Louisiana where they sold a variety of things from groceries to feed, bakery goods to caskets, and even hats that were designed by Emmalina.

My father loved his children as did all the men in our family. We were so blessed to grow up in this family because we were so cared for and unconditionally loved. We were always with our parents, included in everything and all events. We were a team!

I’m sure that through the generations of our family “children” were a blessing to be cherished. Research over the past decade highlights the link between affection in childhood and health and happiness in the future.

I’ve been through tough times in my life but I have always landed back on my feet. I have never gone into a deep depression, or felt unlucky to be alive. In fact I feel so fortunate for all I’ve gone through because it has taught me valuable lessons.

Research also has proven that affection in childhood leads to higher self esteem, improved academic performance, better parent-child communication, and fewer psychological and behavior problems. Studies also highlight the relationship between parental affection and children’s happiness and success.

So here’s to all the men in my family on Father’s Day 2019! Thanks for loving all your children, especially “Nicky” you were the best!