Joie d’Eve

A Summer Recipe

  I tend to be the type of person who works things out in my heart and mind mostly by writing about them. Sometimes I share it publicly and other times I write it down just to get it out…

To Mask or Not to Mask?

  I guess I’m in the minority here, but I’ve never really minded the masks. I never found them hard to breathe in or uncomfortable. Sometimes I’d wear one into the store and forget to take it off even once…

Sparking Anything But Joy

  I am a champion procrastinator, but even I couldn’t put it off any longer. It’s been two months since my mom died, and I finally had to reckon with cleaning out her place. Walking in was the hardest part…

Teen Angst

  Due to some high school orientation activities, as well as her oral surgery, Ruby’s annual summer trip to St. Louis was later than usual this year. She normally spends all of June and July with her father and his…

Surgical Scars

  Everything is admittedly bittersweet lately, less than two months after the sudden death of my mom, but my older daughter’s oral surgery, scheduled for this Thursday at Children’s Hospital, is especially so. Ruby, who inherited many of my good…

Camped Out

  I’ve had such mixed luck with summer camp for my kids over the years. Ruby did a variety of camps with a variety of enjoyment levels, and although she adored Camp Point Clear, she opted not to go this…

Driving Me Crazy

  Getting annoyed with this city is part of living here, I know. The boil orders. The crime. The messed-up streets. The confusing and not-great school system. The termite swarms and the flying cockroaches and the predatory camera tickets. And…

Where I Am

  It’s been four weeks now. I’m in that weird stage where it hasn’t been nearly long enough to be “over it” (I will never be fully over it), but yet it’s not recent enough that I get a pass…

A Ray of Hope

  In the middle of deep grief, there was good news: My older daughter, 14, was now eligible to get the COVID vaccine. Having given up the past year-plus of her life (no eighth grade graduation, no roller derby tournaments…

Grief Ramblings

  I hope you like your blogs grief-flavored because that’s all I’m going to have on offer for the next … who even knows? All I know is that exactly two weeks ago, I was writing something here about LEAP…

My Mother's Unexpected Obituary

  Pamela Ann Marquis, fierce and loving mother, adventurous and playful Gigi, hilarious and devoted friend, and versatile Jill of all trades, died suddenly May 4, 2021, in New Orleans. She was 68. She was born on Sept. 3, 1952,…

Looking Before We LEAP

  I’m bad at a lot of things: navigating (even with Google Maps, I sometimes kind of … forget which way is right and which way is left), singing, parallel parking, doing my own makeup (or anyone else’s). I’m also…

Now It Can Be Told

  I wrote this during the Kavanaugh hearings. That was a rough stretch for me – and way too many other women – and well, now I guess you know why, huh? I think my best friend still has a…

A Much-Needed Getaway

  I don’t camp. That’s something you do not have to know me well to know about me. I don’t like, in no particular order: bugs, being hot, being cold, not having a bath tub, pooping in the woods, cooking…

Meal Kit Basics

  My husband and I don’t exactly agree on the importance of different household aesthetics. He hates scented candles, Febreze-type sprays, and any other kind of “room fragrance”; I hate the overwhelming smell of dog that, left unchecked, pervades our…

Shoot Me Up

  The whole past year has been an exercise in risk assessment: At first, when I really had no idea how to stay safe, everything was fraught and terrifying. Did I really need my prescription medications? Did I really need…

A Feeling of Hope

  On a day like yesterday, an absolutely picture-perfect day right on the cusp on spring, with both of my children back in school, my husband receiving his second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and mine slated for Wednesday, the…

Teen Voices of the Pandemic: Re-Entry

  Welcome back to our Teen Voices of the Pandemic Series, which is a series I just made up in which I make my teenage daughter write my blog for me. But the truth is, it’s not just my own…

Looking Back

  A year ago today, we had the first reported case of COVID-19 in our city. I assumed a few more cases might follow, but I never ever saw any of the rest of this coming. In fact, this day…

A Full Year

  Turning the calendar page to March is actually hitting me harder than I expected. I’m not really sure why. As I wrote last week, some things are starting to get back to a new kind of normal. (I hate…

A Return to Sort of Normal

  Between my work hours and my general low-key antisocial tendencies, I was sort of living like a hermit even before the pandemic. I mean, I’m not a sociopath or anything – I like most people, and I have a…

Vaccine Ethics

  Back in late December, when I learned that anyone over 70 was soon going to be eligible for COVID-19 vaccines, it was via a text that came from NOLA Ready to my cell phone. I immediately began trying to…

Back to School, For Real This Time

  Yesterday, as many of you no doubt already know, New Orleans K-8 public schools reopened. My older daughter is an eighth grader at Lusher, but she hasn’t been in a school building since March 13 and has no desire…

A Modern COVID Carnival

  One of the last happy memories I have of The Before Times was hitting all the parades with my older daughter, Ruby, a true Carnival die-hard. This kid attended her first parade at 9 weeks old (that may have…

Hope for the Future

  Jan. 6 was a good day for me personally. The violence at the Capitol sort of took the shine off of everything, but before that happened, I was just thrilled with the way the world was unfolding, and overall,…

Facts vs. Opinions

  Georgia, my third grader, is studying facts and opinions right now. “Pizza is the best food”: Opinion “Pizza has many different kinds of toppings”: Fact “Dogs are better than cats”: Opinion “There are almost 200 different breeds of dogs”:…

My Solemn Duty

  Every person in a family has their own role: the fixer, the clown, the rebel, the overachiever, the risk-taker, the bully. For the three kids in our blended family, for example, my stepson is the chill, cautious one; my…

A Traditional New Year’s Meal

  I am an extremely superstitious person – I avoid sidewalk cracks and black cats, hate the number 13, pick up heads-up coins, and never open umbrellas indoors – so of course I always eat my black-eyed peas and cabbage…

Circle of Life

  It’s always light and dark around here, life and death sort of flirting with each other. My favorite aunt – probably my favorite non-parental blood relative from my family of origin – died when I was pregnant with Georgia.…