Monday, April 30, 2007

Ruthie Monday XLIV

We went out to Alabama to visit a friend last weekend and took Ruthie swimming. She is REALLY good at it. Miranda Lake took these photos for us.

we walked out a fair bit -for a wee pooch to swim
the launch


Monday, April 23, 2007

Ruthie Monday XLIII

Well, I cannot find which box I packed my camera in, so here's a fun but blurry stock picture!

Friday, April 13, 2007

Down in New Orleans

My husband's book is up on the UC Press website!

Yay, Billy!!!!!

From the website:

"Billy Sothern's Down in New Orleans illustrates, in very human and heartbreaking ways, how the horrors that emerged during and following Hurricane Katrina existed long before the storm. These beautifully composed stories not only reveal the dignity-and amazing grit and grace-of the hurricane's survivors; they also illuminate larger truths about the urgent issues of our day. Sothern magnifies the urgency of creating a government that really serves the common good-and a society that protects its poor and vulnerable."--Katrina vanden Heuvel, Editor & Publisher, The Nation

"Billy Sothern is the only writer in the world who can simultaneously convince you that the forsaking of New Orleans is so much worse than you thought it was, and also that you should move there immediately. The smartest, most in-love-with-the-world book yet written about New Orleans and Hurricane Katrina."--Rachel Maddow, host of "Air America Radio"

"As much as Down in New Orleans is a damning account of everything that went wrong after Katrina struck, it's also a deeply soulful and eloquent tribute-part paean and part eulogy-to a place [Sothern] loves almost despite himself. It's essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the past, present and future of this indispensable city."--Dave Eggers


"Post-Katrina New Orleans hasn't been an easy place to live, it hasn't been an easy place to be in love, it hasn't been an easy place to take care of yourself or see the bright side of things." So reflects Billy Sothern in this unforgettable insider's chronicle of the 2005 disaster and the year that followed. Sothern, a death penalty lawyer who with his wife, photographer Nikki Page, arrived in the city four years ahead of Katrina, delivers a haunting, personal, and quintessentially American story. Writing with an idealist's passion, a journalist's eye for detail, and a lawyer's attention to injustice, Sothern guides the reader on a journey through post-Katrina New Orleans.



I. Heading Straight for Us: The Days before and after Hurricane Katrina
II. This Could Be Anywhere: Katrina's Immediate Aftermath, Late Summer 2006
III. Personals: Departures and Homecomings
IV. Against the Ropes: New Orleans's Unlikely Recovery


Billy Sothern is a staff attorney at the Capital Appeals Project and codirector of Reprieve (US), which is based in New Orleans. He is a graduate of New York University School of Law and has written for The Nation, the New York Times, and Salon, among other publications. Nikki Page is a photographer, painter, and art teacher living in New Orleans.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Moving House

Now that we finally finished our very first renovation project (which took four years), we went and bought what we hope to be our first "last house". We figured that since we are a double public-service-worker family, (i.e. no-retirement-package-state/fed-program-jobs), renovation is pretty much the only way we were going to get one of those grand New Orleans-historic houses we love.

So we worked our way through the massive renovation at Carondelet -which, by the way, had only the support walls and the floors for the second level left (yeah, no electricity, plumbing or anything like that) by the time we got to it- oh- and a staircase. We moved in on our first wedding anniversary, before the sheet rock was finished or electricity was hooked up. We took showers at the gym and ate meals at every fair priced eatery in town (over and over and over) until we were hooked up with gas and electricity. We lost track of the true color of our dogs due to the constant film of sheet rock dust that covered all things living or not. Not recommended living for good health, but sometimes you just have to work with it.

I am very fond (proud) of our lovely Carondelet home, but it is a little small (four live-able rooms) for us now. I teach at our dining room table and Billy works from home from a desk at the top our stairs.

So, we found the Jackson house, fell in love and went to work finagling our way to buying it. It looks great on the outside and in the first two rooms, but as with every old house...the trouble lies within the walls. The ceilings were caved in, the windows and roof leaked, causing many icky problems and a few sills were snapped, causing a lovely six inch dip in the dining room and back building that would allow a marble to roll through these rooms at a disturbing velocity.

In all though, these problems are very few compared with the job we did at Carondelet and especially those that people from flooded areas have had to deal with over the past two years, so we very lucky to be able to manage this project.

We are moving into what will eventually be the rental apartment this week, which I will hopefully finish up in the next few days (ha!). At least the plaster/sheet rock dust will be contained in the main house!

Some pictures of our dream house:

A small glimpse of the work:
Water Damage (but a beautiful stairway!)

Sill Damage
Which causes sinking and a need to jack 'er up:

Someone stuck CARDBOARD under plaster!
BUT, why we love the pain:

The double parlor with huge, WORKING pocket doors. (The owners snagged the mantles)

FOUR basically in tact medallions!

We are so lucky and super-excited!

Monday, April 09, 2007

Ruthie Monday XLII

This was not a set up. She sleeps with her favorite stuffed cheerleader, which she has had since she was even wee-er and drags with her everywhere.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Freezing Rain

Wha? Why's it so durn cold?

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

So I'm Watching T.V....

So I was watching the television in my studio -in fact, I was watching Funniest Pets and People (no where near as good as AFV) and....THWUMP. Did I mention that my studio is ON THE SECOND FLOOR??!!

er, I think he just fell.

AAAHHHHHHHH! Invasion of Stinging Caterpillars!!!!!

The is convention for all kinds of stinging caterpillars at my doorstep. We have counted four different kinds. They hang by threads from the trees and I have to duck and swerve to get to my door...Then,. I have to unlock it. The door sticks, so I have to kick it....
And I also have to take out the trash....excuse the picture quality, the caterpillars were chewing so loudly and dropping so quickly from the trees that I could not concentrate.
I generally like bugs, but not right now. They are crawling into my bedroom and looming over my bed. I feel creepy crawly!!!!!!!

Monday, April 02, 2007

Ruthie Monday XLI

Someone's getting might looooooong....