“I don’t understand how a woman can leave the house without fixing herself up a little - if only out of politeness. And then, you never know, maybe that’s the day she has a date with destiny. And it’s best to be as pretty as possible for destiny.” - Coco Chanel


Tyler. My son.


It's his birthday weekend. Which means I'm in Houston. Christmas Day he knelt down in front of me, his siblings, her Mother and siblings and proposed to Jennifer Ann Cobbs, pretty as you please. My perfectly coiffed living room was the perfect setting. No dry eyes in the room. Tears of immense joy.

Tyler. MY eldest son.

This weekend we are celebrating two fold. His birthday and visiting the venues for upcoming nuptials.

We left his downtown, 17th floor loft (another whole post!) early this morning and I spotted a homeless man. The weather is a cool 33 degrees and I cringed and commented. I learned that the bench he occupied "belonged" to him. Tyler then nonchalantly mentioned that he called the paramedics last time he talked with him. His legs were extremely swollen. The man refused medical care. A couple days later Tyler called the paramedics yet again. He later learned they drained some 30-40 pounds of fluid from his legs alone. Tyler and his dear friend Alex purchased him a small butane operated heater. A lady recently brought this gentleman and his friend on the opposite side of the street (who occupies another bench) Eddie Bauer sleeping bags. I am heartened to know he's not cold. We discussed both homeless men as we drove to Tyler's office. He told me of recently having an epiphany while walking thru the church. He smelled hairspray, and somehow his chain of thought went to hairspray/homeless. He referred to how we need the smell of homeless as much as hairspray in our churches.

Tyler. My son.

Breakfast out is my big thing and we have plans. I'm penning this as he finishes his duties. Today we'll hang out, we have much on our agenda. After Jen gets off work, we have a list. I'm meeting aunts, perusing the wedding menu, visiting the venues, and sketching away! Then we'll have dinner at Cousin Rhonda's. FULL day.

But I'll be with Tyler...all day. I absorb him. I watch and listen. I hold his arm when we walk. I stare at him across the dining table. I try and memorize as much of him as I can as it will be another few weeks before I see him again.

Gotta go. We're going to breakfast. So I can stare at...

Tyler. My son.


The Flying Fish

I had fish tacos once in my life. On Big Beach in Maui. LOVED them. So imagine my surprise at finding fish tacos I liked even MORE in Little Rock, Arkansas. Maybe my memory has dimmed (I assure you this has NOTHING to do with the wisdom of my years). I only know that I'm definite in the fact that the absolute best fish tacos anywhere are at the Flying Fish, downtown lil' ole Little Rock. There are hundreds of "billy bass" hanging on the adoption wall. You take in your singing fish and your name is written under it with the date of adoption. It's priceless. This is not to even mention the "Liars Wall" where you can post pictures of your fish. I'm rambling along and I'm really here to tell you about the tacos!

A slab of grilled tilapia is placed in a crunchy taco shell, topped with a delish coleslaw, then some sort of sauce. Ye Gads. There are three to an order. And though I was stuffed at two, I simply couldn't stop. Then my dear cousin Nathan asked if I got a "shrimp cocktail"? He promptly ordered me one. A fat margarita glass was set in front of me with a tomato looking soup in it. Wow. It had shrimp, pico de gallo, and avacados floating around. I absolutely could have slugged it down like raspberry lemonade!

Yep, I'm going back to Little Rock. The Clinton library just begged to be perused. I loved the river winding thru. It's all quaint and stuff. And I met a new cousin Amanda (Nathan's wife) who was infinitely precious.

My reason for being there made me raw. My cousins Tonisa, Ken and Tana along with their spouses and dear children lost "Mimi". Aunt Margie was here a very short month after being told she had cancer. God was merciful.

There were smiles along with the tears. Somehow God always places things that soothe us in our paths, especially when the path is rough. Flying Fish made me smile.

Losing Aunt Margie cut my soul.

1,000,000 Lines

Tyler got engaged. On his knee smack in the middle of my living room. Oh my heart.
Aunt Pipete passed.
Precious Aunt Margie passed.
Tayler is going to Ireland. AND doing international studies this summer in France.
Tyren got a sweet little convertible.
I have desperate wanderlust (and am jealous of my Tay for her European jaunts this year.:)
I've come to the conclusion I do not have the Yankee gene that helps a human acclimate the cold.
My yard is desolate. Never before have things been this dead. Hopefully perennials will be perennials.
Tay and Tyren were home for almost a month during the holidays so I had to endure empty nest withdrawals all over.
Tyler's beloved, Jen, brought her mother and two sisters with her for Christmas. It was a delight.
I have a new housemate, Tallulah, a kitten that rolls onto her back for a belly scratching every single time I come home.
Charleigh is officially a choir member at Woodlawn.
Chandler is so grown up looking it's scary.
Last Christmas was the most laid back and enjoyable in many years.
My children and I missed going to the nursing home to see Pipete on Christmas Day.
I sincerely want to blog more. (Compliments warm my heart and I recently received 3 sincere nudges to write more often.)
Tyren and Tay uploaded a video to YouTube. Search "Swanner". More. Please.
Fell in love with downtown Little Rock. WILL return.
Watched a Saints game with Uncle Shelby and Aunt Edie. Memories.
Tayler is really getting skinny.:)
SO connected with my cousins, Nathan and Amanda.
My friend Forrest Dantin passed suddenly. Made me more aware to enjoy my days.
Tayler got a lead in her school musical.
Wanted to somehow rock Tonisa, Ken and Tana...like a Mother would do, in a rocking chair.
Tyler got published in Relevant magazine.
My kindred spirit Fran spent Christmas in France.
Tyren is getting all creative in music with his friend. Find it on Facebook.
Saw Aunt Naomi and Regina and found out we are having a family reunion again in July.
My fountain kept 2 inches of ice in it for a week during our frozen tundra span.

I honestly think I could share 1,000,000 lines of happenings and not be done. So I just typed as they came to mind. I could pick any single afore line and write an entire blog on it. And one day I just may pick from this very list. But for now, allow me to post these random lines. My mind is willy nilly. Emotional and mental stress (nothing to worry over me for:) have my creative flow choked. Well, actually not my flow, but whatever force that makes me put fingers to keyboard is stifled. I have a list in "notes" on my iphone that are blog subjects. It's not like I don't have subject matter. I just don't have the wherewithall to type it. Am I possibly breaking the ties that bind? I guess we will see. I am not going to promise anything. I've broken them in the past.

Just know as I type this I plan to meet you here. Again. Soon.