Parker and Whitney’s engagement party in Oxford, Mississippi was on a beautiful starry night in the town where it all began. Parker and Whitney met their senior year at Ole Miss. Their love bloomed and Parker proposed with a beautiful family engagement ring given from a favorite aunt who had a long and happy marriage. This should be a good omen for this special couple.
“The engagement party” was held in the private home of a good friend that Whitney worked for in her boutique, “Elliot Lane,” while she attended college at Ole Miss. Parker and Whitney were thrilled that their friends and family came from far and wide to celebrate with them. They came coming California, Denver, Florida, Texas, Pennsylvania and Louisiana. An extra bonus the evening of the engagement party was that it was Whitney’s grandfather birthday! It was a beautiful evening, rich in sentiment! (pictures above)
“The couples party,” the next day, was a Hawaiian theme and great fun! The party went on and on with great stories and lots of quality time with family and friends. It was given by Empress Buras and Penny Benzeman, who are long time family friends.
This weekend celebrating, “Parker and Whitney,” will be remembered as special and fun as all things are in Parker’s life; as he loves to celebrate the precious things in life. Whitney is more calm and composed and celebrates in a cool, calm and collected way! They perfectly complement each other. We all wish Parker and Whitney the best. A happy marriage and a long & loving life together as husband and wife!
I love road trips! I love to get in my Prius, plug in a destination and hit the road. I am now eighty three years old and will be having my second knee replaced on June 3rd so I thought it was necessary to make a visit to all my friends on the way to my granddaughters’ graduation in Savannah, GA on May 28th. That meant stops in Atlanta and Chicamauga, Georgia, Knoxville, Tennessee and on the way home Montgomery, Alabama.
I packed my car and headed out on May 24th. My first stop was Atlanta, Georgia to see my best friend Starr and her husband Don. I also was able to see Starr’s sister Toni and her husband John, and another good friend Mary Ann aka “Dart.”
Starr and I met in college at LSU and have been best friend for sixty years! Starr’s parents were from Louisiana. Her mother also went to LSU and was the “Darling” of LSU one year. Starr’s father went to Tulane and played on the only team that played in the Rose Bowl. When they married they moved to Chattanooga, Tennessee where Starr, Toni and their brother Billie grew up. Toni was three years old when Starr and I were freshman at LSU and brother Billie was a sophmore in high school.
I lived in Atlanta for a couple of years with Starr and Don after Katrina destroyed New Orleans and met so many great friends. Mary Ann was one of them. Starr and Mary Ann and four other friends formed a vacation biking group and every year they took a bike trip in different parts of America and Europe! This group of people in Atlanta are go-getters. They fed the homeless, raised money for organizations, distributed food to school children, attended bible study, go to church every Sunday, entertained and celebrated life. They never stopped doing and giving.
It’s always a treat to visit Susan and Jimmy because you are sure to have a delicious meal. Susan is known for her culinary skills and fresh food from her garden. We always have a good time rediscovering pictures and stories from relatives in our past.
Traveling on to Knoxville I visited my friends Andy and Patti. I hadn’t seen Andy’s son Louis since he was a baby. Patti and I gave Andy a baby shower for Louis, her only child, way back when. Now Louis is an attorney in Washington DC, married with four beautiful little girls. He and his wife split their time between Knoxville and Washington. Louis’s wife runs her family’s realestate company in Washington. Patti has watched Louis grow up since she lives in Asheville and see’s Andy often.
I now had my longest day on the road from Knoxville to Savannah. I strapped in and put the peddle to the metal and drove 6 hours actually following the speed limit and really enjoyed the scenery and drive! I arrived in Knoxville in time for “Happy Hour” and a good night’s sleep.
Katy and Christian graduated in a splendor of color on a very sunny and hot summer day but nothing was going to stop two days of celebration. Christian graduated from the college of Equestrian studies and Katy graduated from the college of Architecture. I can’t wait to see where these two beauties end up!
Oh dear, I forgot to take a picture when I was visiting Patsy in Montgomery, on my way home. That is not unusual though because Patsy and I have a hard time taking a breath when talking, much less to think about stopping to take a picture. Also who would take the picture, oh yes it could have been a selfie. Well anyway we looked pretty good back when.
It is now time to jump back in my Prius for the drive back home and pack my bag again to go to the hospital for my robotic knee surgery. Oh dear, my 18 month old great grandson Shephard said, “Mimi’s car” when he saw this one. Well I do wish I could say a drove a Lamborghini home but I am very happy to have had a sweet ride home in my Prius for only $99 worth of gas!
What a fabulous road trip and I would encourage anyone who drives in there 80’s to keep enjoying the open road!
My best friend Starr, sitting with me in the front seat, Suzanne, her daughter in Law, and her three son’s Nate, Andrew, and Matt came for a two day visit with us in Poplarville, Mississippi. Poplarville has a population of 2,894 as of the 2010 census. It is known as the blueberry Capital of Mississippi and hosts an annual Blueberry Jubilee every year. Poplarville is one hour and 12 minutes from New Orleans, LA and 49 minutes from Hattiesburg, MS. Other than that it is just a wonderful place to live. It’s small, quiet, friendly with rolling hills, Creeks, and farm land. God sprinkled his love in Poplarville! I
Starr, Suzanna, Nate, Andrew, and Mat, were on their way back to Atlanta after taking the boys to learn about their family in Plaquemine, Louisiana. Plaquemine was settled by 1775 and it is located at the juncture of Bayou Plaquemine and the Mississippi River. It is named for the Native word Plakemine, which means persimmon. It lies within the Baton Rouge metropolitan area. Starr’s family like a great many families in the area raised Sugar Cane. As the years went by they diversified into other industries as well.
Starr, Suzanne, Renee, and I enjoyed coffee and cocktails on the porch and visits on the lawn while the boys got fishing tips from Craig.
The boys wanted to work with Craig and Kyle while they removed fallen trees from a recent storm. Even Matt said I can do it too! Kyle gave Nate a driving lesson and he was very good at driving. There is always so much to be done on a farm. The boys said they would come back next summer and be helpers.
Nate and Andrew went fishing while Suzanna took Matt canoeing! Later that night Craig took the boys frogging and then dumped the frogs on the floor in the living room. Starr, Suzanne, and I went running!
Reneé took the boys blueberry picking but it was at the end of the season so they get very many.
At night the boys played games and cut up left over vegetables from the garden for the ducks. We had a glass of wine, a good dinner, and lots of conversations. Everyone slept well because life on the farm can wear you out if you let it, or not!
I hate to say goodbye. Let’s just say “we passed a good time and I’ll see you soon!”
Parker made a decision on August 26, 2019 after completeing a five month hike on the Pacific Crest Trail to join the Navy and become a fighter pilot. (You can read his incredible journey hiking the Pacific Crest Trail in my blog “Made It.” It took him almost two years to apply, sign up, be accepted, then begin training to become a Commissioned Officer in the US Navy. The 13 weeks OCS training at the Naval Station in Newport Rhode Island is designed to prepare a young man to assume the responsibilities of a Naval Officer, and to begin developing him to his full potential.
Parker’s parents pulled out all the stops and threw a costume dinner party to celebrate his acceptance into the Officer Training Program in Rhode Island. America’s Navy employs the most highly qualified and talented men and women in the country. Each is a true professional in every sense of the word, holding to the highest standards in their everyday lives. That’s our “Parker.”
The naval Officer Candidate School is demanding and challenging. This challenge helps candidates develop their potential and qualities that best represent the Navy. The difficulty helps candidates learn to perform with discipline in adverse situations while under pressure. Parker graduated with flying colors and is stationed in Pensacola, Florida.
It was now time for a graduation party. After those grueling weeks of training there was no better way to celebrate Parker’s accomplishment than with a crawfish boil with friends and family at Parker and Whitney’s home in Pensacola.
This has been a whirlwind year for Parker and Whitney and now it is the perfect ending with a wedding in December. What a year of Special moments!
Savannah College of Art and Design is a private nonprofit art school with locations in Savannah, Atlanta, Georgia and LaCoste, France. SCAD Savannah is the largest of the university’s locations, with nearly 70 historic and beautifully renovated facilities interwoven throughout the city.
Katy attended school in LaCoste, France in 2019 and is graduating from SCAD in Savannah in Architecture May 28th, 2021.
Katy chose her wonderful pink shoes and matching pale pink nail and toe polish to blend with her lavender Academic Regalia Hood color for architecture. We spotted her shoes before we recognized her in the procession line during this steamy day in May. Spirits were flying high because we actually were able to also celebrate Christian’s graduation as well as Katy’s
Christian Maloney is Katy’s 1st cousin. She was also a student at SCAD and graduated last year in Esquestrain studies. Since SCAD did not have a graduation last year, they let Christian graduate this year. She also joined in on the celebration that Tommy and Jete’ planned for Katy. Thanks Tommy and Jete’.
Jete’ found the perfect party house, two joining apartments in the front with a big patio behind and a master suite behind the patio. The party went on and on. It was quite the celebration.
Graduation was a wonderful time for the family to be together. Ryan came in from Pittsburg where he is working as a medical Engineer, Kosta flew in from Chicago from his job as an Architect, Claire and Jake flew in from In Indianapolis where she has been working for AmeriCorps and Jake will finish medical school in another year. Claire will be starting medical school at LSU in Shreveport, Louisiana in July. WE are so proud of all they are accomplishing so we had so much to celebrate!
Savannah is known as a party town. Seeing Savannah at night from the top of one of the many roof top bars is really an experience and listening to live music and renowned concert bands is a must do! You have to experience this when in Savannah.
A family celebration with a knock out punch bids farewell to a graduation that will be long remembered for what it means to be fortunate to have grown up in a family like this one. Each child is uniquely loved for who they are. Each accomplishment big or small is acknowledged. Friends are welcomed and made to feel special and part of the family. The Crosby family lives to celebrate life and the children they love!
My last grand-daugher has graduated from The Louise S. McGehee School in New Orleans, Louisiana and will be attending Wake Forest University in the fall! Anita is so talented and such an achiever. She was the middle school Student Body President and also the senior class Student Body President this year. She was an honor graduate with a distinction in English. She was in the Choir and many times was the lead in the class plays.. She was on the Volley Ball team. She received special awards from the National Honors Society, the Beta Club, and Janet Wallace Yancey award for Scolastic Achievement.
Louise S. McGehee School is a private, all-girls school in the Garden District in New Orleans with 510 students in grades from pk to 12 grade. After graduation, 100% of the students from this school go on to attend a 4-year college. Three generation of the Pelias family attended McGehee. The love of McGehee school started with the matriarch of the family, “Anita Constantine Pelias” Georges, Then Pamela Georges Dongieux and Anita Pelias Dongieux followed in her footsteps!
A wonderful tradition at McGehee since the 1920s, May Day continues to the present day as a celebration of the senior class. It involves the seniors, their little sisters the sophomores who perform a skit, and the third graders who dance around the maypole. Skits written and practiced over months of time are performed for the entire school, parents and guests. Each May Day has its own unique invitation, theme and skit. Anita and friends pose for a May day picture in their gowns!
Anita loves to dance and has a talent for it. She won first place for two years straight in a national dance contest with her dance school in New Orleans. It will be interesting to see where this butterfly lands, it may be musical theatre!
Wake Forest University is a private research university in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Founded in 1834. Wake Forest University offers 45 majors and 60 minors. Anita is so excited to be attending college there!
A father proudly looks at his daughter and sees a new chapter in her life unfolding as he gazes into her eyes with love!
Where did my little girl go? She changed into a beautiful butterfly right before my eyes.
I’m sure he is thinking, “I’m so very proud of you Anita!”
A family business “Creekside Retrievers began in 2015 when Whiskey, Parker’s British lab became a mother and the family kept two offsprings River and Bear. These dogs were so smart, sweet, calm, and loving that Reneé and Craig decided to share them as family pets and hunting dogs.
People are always asking what is the difference between a British and American lab. So I will give you a little history about how this breed has become a firm family favorite across the world.
The original Labrador Retriever was neither British or American, nor was he from Labrador! The Labrador Retriever’s journey began in the 19th century in Newfoundland, Canada and was called the St. John’s dog. The St John’s dog was originally bred as a working pooch, primarily for working on water to collect ducks, fish and many other small water creatures. He is best known as being the fisherman’s friend with a natural affinity for water.
St John’s dog rose in general popularity when visiting English nobles sailed him back to Great Britain. It was in England that they standardized, refined and renamed the breed. It is still unknown to this day why he is called Labrador Retriever and not a Newfoundland Retriever.
The Canadian fisherman continued breeding him for his work abilities. While the English gentleman was impressed by his work ethic, they were particularly fond of his handsome looks. It is here that the two sub-species were created and why the perfect show Labradors are known as the British Labradors, and the traditional working Labradors are known as the American Labradors.
There is only one “labrador” breed, and both the Ameican “field Lab” a term for working Labradors & British “bench Lab” a term for show are bred across the world, but most commonly in the US and the UK.
The British Labrador is bred for show purposes. As such, they are bred to conform to Labrador standards as close as possible. They have a stockier frame compared to their American cousin, with deep barrel chests and shorter legs. Surprisingly they have thicker fur and a thicker otter tail than the working Americans.
River will have her puppies any day now. They will be ready for new homes at seven weeks old. In the meantime they will grow and play at their home in Poplarville, Mississippi by the creek.
River and Bear, were two sisters, from Whiskey’s only set of puppies! They are the the beginning of Creekside Retrievers. They are beautiful, magnificent, and dignified, and the best dogs a person could hope for. They are the stars of Creekside Retrievers!
Bear, a beautiful yellow British Lab, is also going to have puppies in about three weeks from now, approximately by March 17th. They may be St. Patrick’s Day puppies. This will be Bear’s second litter.
Both American and British lines produce very social dogs that are playful and intelligent and make excellent companions. British dogs may appear to be laid back when you are just observing them around the house or yard, but once in the field they will perform with the best.
Both the British and American labs enjoy a good cuddle, and they both make a great family pet and are affectionate with their family. Because of their easy going temperaments, they both love nothing more than to please their master.
Creekside retrievers are very proud to introduce River and Bear to the public in this blog! There is a waiting list for the puppies that you can get on by emailing Creeksideretrievers@gmail.com (or) calling Reneé at 985/807-5747.
I joke and say I’m going back to college while visiting Katy in Savannah. In truth I did do a great deal of online study about this fabulous city. I drove around and studied the architecture of some of the most wonderful homes I have ever seen. Savannah is a haven of architecture gems, they are everywhere, in ever direction and on every street. I will show you some of my favorites with a little history behind each:
The Owens-Thomas Home is one of the finest examples of Regency Architecture in America designed by William Jay who was an English Architect from Bath. Originally this home was known as the Richardson House after the first owner, a Cotton Merchant and Banker from New Orleans. Mrs. Richardson was closely tied to William Jay by marriage. William Jay, the architect, moved to Savannah around 1817 to design and build the Richardson home. He lived in Savannah for four years until the Georgia economy collapsed in 1822 then returned to England. William Jay designed many of homes and buildings Savannah and was highly thought of as an architect. It is said that the Owens-Thomas home has a long history of tragedies and might be one of the most restless homes in Savannah.
Master builder Isaiah Davenport, a native of New England, built and owned this American Federal-style home on Columbia Square. Sarah Clark Davenport converted the home into a boarding house in 1827. It is the oldest brick structure in the city and it remained in their family for 109 years. The home was saved from demolition in 1955 because of its architectural significance.
General Hugh Mercer began construction on this Italianate home in 1860 but the construction was interrupted by the civil war. The architect was John S. Norris. Hugh Mercer was the great-grandfather of the songwriter Johnny Mercer. The home was finally completed around 1868 by a new owner. No one in the Mercer family ever lived in the home. This home changed hands several times. Jim Williams restored it to an elegant mansion and it became world famous because of the book, “Midnight in the Garden of Good and evil,” with the shooting of Danny Hansford by Jim Williams. The home is currently owned by Dorothy Kingery, Jim Williams’ sister.
Mr. Charles Green, an Englishman who came to Savannah in 1833 and built one of the finest and most lavish Gothic Revival examples in the American South. John S. Norris was the architect. In 1864 Mr. Green invited General Sherman to use the home as his headquarters when the Federal army occupied Savannah during the war. It was at this time that General Sherman sent his famous telegram to President Lincoln offering him the city of Savannah as a Christmas present. St. John’s Church now owns the home to ensure its preservation.
This is the oldest public museum in the South and the first art museum to be founded by a woman, Mary Telfair. It was designed and built by Jay Williams in 1818 in the Regency style by the Telfair family. The museum opened in 1886 and became known as the Telfair Academy. It was declared a National History Landmark in 1976 and is one of a small number of Jay Williams surviving works.
Katy and I have had so much fun times exploring the city and enjoying all many the gastronomic delights we had time to pursue. These scenes below are some of the various restaurant and the coffee shop we loved.
Sean, Namoni, and Katy are all study partners and friends of Katys. We enjoyed a couple of nights together. Architecture school is very intense and time consuming. Katy has class for 5 hours Monday through Thursday then she and Namoni worked the rest of the night until 1, 2 and 3 am almost every night. I went to Mass most mornings, toured the city, searched the internet for the history of Savannah, read my book, worked on my blog, cooked meals and was amazed at how hard Katy worked. Time seemed to fly and tomorrow we leave. I will be so sad to say goodbye to this city but happy I got to live and experience it as more than a tourest.
The churches in Savannah are beautiful. The daily Mass schedule at Sacred Heart and the Cathedral took place at noon so for me it was the perfect time since I stayed up most nights with Katy while she worked on her projects. After Mass I started exploring the city. The Cathedral was my favorite place for Mass!
Katy and I took a Valentine picture at the Ole Pink House. The Ole Pink House was originally the home of James Habersham one of the richest men in Savannah. He owned a cotton plantation and built his home to entertain. He loved big parties and guests and was known as a gentleman who oozed charm. He covered the red bricks of his home with white plaster but the red seeped through no matter how much plaster he piled on making the home look pink. He was mocked in town for his pink house.
Katy and I both love valentine’s Day and are want to wish all of you who read this blog (and) all our friends and family a Happy Valentine Day! We hope your lives will be filled with lots of love and happiness this Valentine Day 2021. Until we meet again in my next Blog, farewell from Savannah!
December 22nd was “the Dongieux Christmas” which we celebrated at the ranch in Poplarville, Mississippi. Home of Renèe and Craig Maloney. The double gate is called Creekside where Craig, Renee, and I live. Several lakes and creeks run throughout this part of the property. It is also the home of the British Labs which Renèe and Craig breed. There will be Labs for sale in early Spring. If you are interested send us your contact information so we can put you on the waiting list.
The single gate where Renèe is Hanging the wreath is called Hillside. A great big lake and rolling hills greet you as you enter this piece of property. Bailey, Max, and Shep live in the house there since they sold their home in New Orleans and are finalizing their plans for the next chapter of their lives.
This was also Renee and Craig’s first Christmas living at the ranch. The weather was gorgeous the week before as Renèe and I decorated the two entrances to the property. We were so proud of ourselves and our decorations that we were talking, mostly in “jest,” about starting a decorating company to beautify peoples property. We also had a weekend party with family and friends to decorate the Christmas tree. We had so much fun we couldn’t wait for the Christmas celebration to begin.
Everyone begin arriving and they couldn’t believe the charcuterie platter Parker put together. We were thinking he would make a great chef. However that would be a little difficult since he is leaving at the end of January to go into training to become a Navy Pilot. Oh well it can be a delayed profession.
We tried to gather everyone together for a group picture but that was very difficult to do so in this picture we have from left to Right: Claire Crosby, Pam Dongieux, Bailey Rosenburg ( mother of the star of the day Shep), Renée Maloney (the hostess), her sister Jete’ Crosby, (way in the back) Ryan Crosby, Kosta Sevic and Katy Crosby (the sweethearts), and Gunner Dongieux.
Ryan is telling his grandfather Gene Dongieux about the work he is doing on robotic knee devices in Pittsburg. Bailey and her brother Parker enjoying a picture with Shep. And last but not least Shep and his lookalike dad Max!
Christian Maloney, Sebastian Solloa, Jete’ Crosby and Shep Hanging out on the porch. Mimi, Gunner, and Shep having a little talk. The day was so beautiful we just loved hanging out and catching up with each others lives and enjoyed the beauty that God and the Maloneys created everywhere you looked.
We hung out on the front porch, Gunner fed Shep his Christmas dinner, and Tommy Crosby showed everyone on the back deck how to shuck Oysters. After dinner, which took place around 6 pm, we had a small house decorating contest. Prizes were given for 1st and 2nd place and runner up! What a Christmas. So much fun!
Now you would think this was a full day but they had one more activity to end the day. At about midnight they ended our celebration with a big bond Fire in a field away from everything.
Gunner and Anita Dongieux speak for all of us, “this Christmas was a very special celebration. We had room for everyone to spend the night. The adults went to their room about midnight. The college kids and young adults, not sure what time they went to bed, all slept in a dormitory room upstairs that slept 10. Some of us spent the night at Bailey and Max’s home at Hillside.
We had a nice breakfast in the morning and we all agreed, it was one of the best and most unusual Christmases we have ever had. We spent almost 24 hours together, talked and played, ate and toasted all kinds of things, created and designed houses. opened presents, lit a bond fire and spent the night together.
Thanks Renee and Craig, we love the ranch in Poplarville, Mississippi and this very special time together celebrating the birth of Christ. May God bless the world in 2021!
Gunner is one of my talented artistic grandchildren. He is now 22 years old, hardly a child anymore, and he had an interesting life story. As a toddler Gunner always carried a pencil around and was always doodling. At an early age his teachers commented on his budding talent as an artist.
Gunner was a very easy child to be around. He had a fun nature and loved to entertain and carry on conversations with you. He loved to go the library and choose cartoons tapes to watch. We would spend weekends sitting around watching these cartoons which he seemed to never tire of watching.
He also loved comic books and spent hours making his own comic books. He and his cousin like to make short movies. Music was and still is one of his passions. He had a music club at Benjamin Franklin High School in New Orleans. He had to talk the school into having it and the school was amazed when the attendance grew to 400 hundred students. It ended up being the largest club the school ever had.
In New Orleans we are proud to have the “Center for Creative Arts, or NOCCA.” It is a pre-professional arts training center for high school students in Louisiana. NOCCA opened in 1973 as a professional arts training center for secondary school-age students. Gunner attended half a day of school at Benjamin Franklin High School and half a day at NOCCA during his sophomore, junior and senior years of school. He received the Daniel Price Memorial scholarship awarded given to the top Visual Art Student his senior year.
When he decided to attend Stanford it was easy to see that Art and Computer Science would be his courses of study and communication in all forms would carry him forward towards his dreams. Gunner seemed to just run into opportunities, however it’s his personality and openness that places him in all kinds of opportunities. His mind is always working, always sizing up possibilities to create and explore art, music, and life.
Stanford is closed during Covid so Gunner is spending a year in New York. He had an art show “Pop Gun Art,” which he put on. During this gallery showing he met many interesting people in the New York Art World who were interested in his work. On the last day of Gunner’s show a group of French citizens came in and asked Gunner to put his art in their gallery “IRL” located in Brooklyn.
Gunner excited to be living in New York! He has a couple of interesting jobs and loves painting in Central Park. Selling his art really helps with living expenses. He has a great group of friends from Stanford that live together and enjoy the New York scene, although it is very different these days.