Friday, November 17, 2017


There are lots you hear of Private/Catholic school.
Some positive, some negative.
Private school is not a necessity and not right for everyone.
My two of the three grand girls go to
St. John Catholic School.
Bean in first grade,
JOJO in preK 3.
This is the school where KD, their Mom
and most of her family have graduated from as
well as all the cousins who go there now.
Yesterday was book fair day.
I love me a good Scholastic book fair.
I drive up to the school and as I
am walking to the front office, I hear,
"Hi, Ms. Lilly"
Its one of KD's little cousins, now in high school.
Then I head to the office to sign in.
"Morning Mumsie, you don't have to sign in..."
How do they know I am Mumsie?
While heading to the library to wait for Bean's class
it is what I am thinking.
In the library is JOJO's paraprofessional.
"Hey Mumsie, JOJo invited me to come sleep at
your house last week. She told me all about your cat,
your bunk beds that has 'free' (three) beds"
I am beaming as so many know who I am.
The librarian and her helper starts also
telling stories that the grand girls have
shared with those who teach at St. John.
"Oh, we know about the craft you share with he girls,
we know you have a library, a red piano
and a cat name Oliver."
"You don't live in a house, you live in a cottage
just like the three bears and Goldilocks!"
I am feeling very special by now.
Bean and her class enter the library and she and
a few of her classmates come to give 'Mumsie" a hug.
Her teacher, Ms. Jaimie says,
"Hey Mumsie, I know so much about you,
Everything we do, Jilly makes it about Oliver, the cat"
I smile big, my heart overflowing for this little
Bean, her baby sister who sleeps a few doors down
in her PreK class and a school that not only knows
me and all the other family members of the Riera/Guilbeau
clan but everything about us.
I am so proud of Kd and BB for making the
sacrifice to send their little girls to this school.
It is not a cheap sacrifice but I know they work
hard so those girls can have this type of education.
 I realize that this day is one of
many I will be able to share with the grand girls
at this wonderful school  of St. John.
Where everyone knows my name,

Monday, October 23, 2017


Approximately 12 years ago, I sat in a meeting
as a school nurse where I was assigned at the time.
The child in question was a three and a half year old
little girl who had been pretty sick since birth
and now was adjusting to medical issues that would
be part of her life following a Small Bowel, Pancreatic,
liver transplant as a baby. 
Her condition was nothing simple,
she would need a nurse numerous times of the day
to help with those things she could not do.
As her Mother and Grandmother argued their point
as to the reasons this child should be in school
and the school was leary as to at 3 1/2 year old,
with so many medical issues was ready for Pre K.
There was lots of fear on the side of the teachers.
I sat quietly and listened. Her Mom at one point
made a statement to the fact,
"I know the records and her medical needs seem
scary to you all but you have not met Bailey yet,
she is just a little girl who wants and needs school."
Since that day this Mother has always
been admired by me.
.Being the voice and advocate for this
child since she was born ill with a twin brother
who was more than healthy, I have believed
it is due to this Mother and the "village" she has
allowed to help her that Bailey has done so well.
After talk had gone around the table a few times
I was asked my opinion.
My point was,  I feel like all Bailey needs medically
can be met here and on a personal note,
Having also been a child who grew up with
chronic illness known as cancer,
Had my parents not fought for me to be in school,
I would not right now be sitting at this table as
a nurse arguing this point. I say let her in."
A few wet eyes and the decision was made.
Since that day, and the 5 years that I was her
"Nurse Lilly"
She has been my hero.
She is now a smart, funny, beautiful 15 year old.
A child who is now a teenager who has
learned to care for her medical needs all on her own.
Who has far exceeded all of our expectations,
Whose Mother remains her biggest fan,
her advocate, making sure her little girl always
gets what is her right to have.
It is years now that I have retired,
yet the bond between Bailey and I have remained strong.
I have to be honest in saying she is actually
much better than I on keeping in touch,
Facetiming and texting me a few times each week.
So that is the background of this blog.
Saturday is homecoming, Saturday is Bailey's birthday.
Saturday is even a bigger deal because My sweet Bailey
has been nominated for HOMECOMING COURT!
The only Freshman to be nominated!
She is so very excited, it would be a big deal for 
any child yet, for this child, something that perhaps
she never believed would be part of her high school years.
While I speak of her excitement, I want to take
a little time to say how very excited I am for her 
Momma. An accomplishment that maybe she never thought
her dear child would experience while she argued 
for just equality for her.
Her excitement to do the whole homecoming thing,
Hair, nails, dress, date....
and now, the court.
Yes, this child so deserves this feat, probably more than most.
Her Mother deserves this coming Friday as they prepare
for the big day.
I want to say to my Bailey:
"My sweet girl, since the very first day I met you,
I felt a bond to you. We did not have the same
medical issues, but we were chronically ill children
who beat the odds and won Life.
Not only am I so very happy that you are getting
to enjoy all these normal things of the teen years,
but I remain one of your biggest fans.
You have seen so much in your 15 short years of life
and now you are getting to experience those things
that many people take for granted, the
'normal' teen years.
So on Saturday evening, as you stand, on your birthday,
with your peers as they announce the winner of the court,
know that you are already a winner.
 You have been since the day
you were born. Whether you come home with the crown 
or not, you, my dear child, are and will always be
the Queen in my heart.
I love you my sweet B, enjoy all this night has to offer!"
Oh, and happy birthday!

Saturday, October 21, 2017


Most know I do repurposing scrap art,
some may not know I also teach the art to
tweens. Lots happens at these classes and
it is not just art.
This Thursday, was one of those days.
My sweet student, 11 is talking to me about
her grades.
"I've done really bad in Math, but Ms. Lilly,
I don't need that stuff they want us to learn,
like when will I ever go to Walmart and use
I use an analogy on her that I use in many 
instances. The "Lilly Theory of building a foundation."
After she blows off her steam I tell her,
"You are so very right, you will never go to 
Wally World and use fractions but how often
do you think of the cement, the foundation 
under your house?"
"What??" she asks me, wondering what this
has to do with Math."
"Right we don't think of foundations much but
if the foundation of a home, a relationship.
even the Math that seems so useless,
is not built strong, they will fall."
She is quiet while absorbing this in.
"If the things you are learning now are not 
learned then you cannot build on it to get to 
the part of Math that you will use daily as you get
deeper in to the important stuff."
I think I may have gotten through to her a tad.
We then go on, making our art, eating popcorn
(this gal loves some popcorn)
We have a great afternooon.
After she leaves I wonder if she will keep
what we said in her little mind,
did it make a difference.
I go into the bathroom after class is over.
There on my bathroom chalkboard is a message
from none other than my little student:

Of course I've heard this saying before but never
directed solely to me.
More than art, happens at the studio 
of Mummies' Cottage!

Thursday, October 5, 2017


You know those days?
When you have a few decisions to make
and you want to make the right one
but you are not sure which is the best one?
Yesterday was one of those days.
Tuesday was Randy's Mom's birthday and her
sisters were visiting from Texas.
It was my first time to meet them so I wanted
to be there for the birthday celebration.
It is an hour drive so I spent the night.
Yesterday was Blessing of the pets at
the grand girls school, St. John.
Their Mom knew I probably would not make it
so she had me print pictures of Oliver for
the girls to bring to school.
I hunted my computer so they would have
each a special picture of them with Oliver.
I knew they had those pictures as I laid in bed
in Paulina, La. and I knew they would be okay
with that for the blessing but I was not 
going to be okay.
I could not sleep knowing driving the hour and 
bringing the real thing, Oliver to school
would just make their day.
So its what I did.
I awakened and was on the road for 6:15 am.
As I am driving towards home,
I am thinking,
"They would be fine with the pictures"
"It's so early, will it really make a difference that
I and Oli are there?"
Still, I get home, put Oli in the pet carrier
and go to school.
I beat them to school. Bean's teacher is so
excited, telling me that cat is all she talks about
and every lesson left to their own accord,
for her, it's about Oliver.
Then the children start to come out for the blessing
and first it is Bean,
The picture goes on the wayside as I
place Oliver in her lap. He is content there,
 one of his favorite places.
 None of the other animals
bother him in the arms of his Bean.
Then JOJO comes out and I get another,
She places her butt in my lap and her
hand in Oli's fur.
Her picture goes on the top of her sisters.
They no longer need the photographs, they 
have the real thing.
Each child that even glances our way,
Bean points to Oliver and says,
"Look, its our cat, Oliver!"
They are so well behaved as Oliver and the other
pets get blessed. As we get ready to leave, 
Bean's whole class lines up to pet "the cat"
as they march back to class.
Bean is in that line, her face is beaming.
When it comes to her turn to give her cat that last
rub, instead, she gets out of line and gives me
the biggest hug ever.
That hug says so much,
"Thank YOU, I love you"
My heart is full.
As I help JOJO back to her little classmates
my heart is full.
JoJo wants to cry but I remind her,
"It's Mumsie day, I will see you this afternoon!"
She wipes her little eyes and gets in line like a 
little soldier, with her other three year old friends.
I walk to my car, with a content heart.
Yes, Mumsie, you made the right call, 
the right decision. The early morning drive,
the ride to St. John, I made the right decision;
Because those two little girls, 
Well they will always remember the 
They, and their baby sister, they will 
always, always be the right choice,
the right decision.

Monday, October 2, 2017


Seems like most days, we wake to some new tragedy.
This morning, it is the shooting at the Jason Aldean concert,
an open area in Las Vegas.
At least 50 dead, 200 injured and the shooter, dead.
We will not know his thoughts before this tragedy
he caused but does it really matter?
Yes, I think it does.
At a time when so many are taking a kneel or 
a sit during the National Anthem,
especially NFL players, and the commissioner and
coaches not taking a stand to stop this,
instead they will no longer televise the Anthem 
prior to games, something that has always began
every sporting event is our Country, reminding
us that we are all one, having the freedom to 
attend these events.                                          
A time when people are boycotting sporting events to
show how sickened they are,
a bigger problem hits Vegas. 
The loss of human lives,  it did not matter the 
color of your skin, where you were from,
how old you were, what country you call home.
It did not matter that you live in a country where 
you are free, free to attend an outdoor concert
no matter who you are.
For me,  I am angry.
 It makes the whole disregard for the 
US Flag and the freedom it stands for so significant.
 We need to wake up as a country and realize
that if we do not become a United Nation,
the same thing our ancestors, our own parents,
family fought for, freedom, then we deny 
the fact that this freedom is not being
taken away from us by other countries,
but by our own people. If we don't stop
giving so much attention to those 
NFL athletes that are millionaires due to
the money we pour into the the sport, then we may miss
the signs of those people such as this shooter,
who are a threat to our lives. 
We need to pay more attention to the people who surround
our lives, the evil that lives in some of these Americans.
We are not paying attention to our surroundings,
the important ones, not who is sitting or standing
during the anthem but
the signs that men and women such as this may have given
to those around him.
As I sit here listening to our President Trump,
speaking eloquently about how we must
come together as one,  the realization hits me
that our freedom is being taken 
from our very own, not foreign countries.
Lets wake up,citizens and realize that
until we all become one, standing for a flag 
that represents unity and freedom that very
same freedom will be taken from a senseless act of
some crazy American who did not care your color,
race, age or gender.
May our God Bless all those affected by this 
ridiculous act and may those who think they are making
a point by kneeling or sitting during OUR NATIONAL ANTHEM
realize they are doing nothing to stop evil from our very
own citizens.
I apologize if this blog is randomly all over the place 
and may not be written very eloquently,
My heart is just broken by this tragedy.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Moments worth dragging out.

Yesterday was a "MUMSIE NEEDED" day.
BB at work and Kd, after a day's work had to take 
the big grand girls to dance so I was asked to help.
"Here I come to save the day...." NOT lol
Anyway, it's hectic on Thursdays at the other Riera home.
Was at the house when the big girls got off bus and
Kd brought me Jemma while she brought the girls to dance.
Jemma and I have come a long way.
She now acknowledges me, "MUAZIE"
and will stay with me without too much fanfare.
Yesterday though she was wanting her Mommy as
she has not been up to par.
To calm her I pushed her on her bike while I got in some
walking. She sang while I hummed.                                             
As the afternoon wore into evening, she started to be cranky
so into the bath where all the Riera grand girls can be 
brought from unhappy to happy with the run of a bath 
of water. She played for a bit then wanted out.
Then came for the best part.
After eating her fave, a big bowl of grits  
she wanted my lap..... my lap!! 
As we rocked and watched TV she nodded off.
I could tell her temp was becoming elevated but
not going to bother her sleep until her Mommy got home.
I rocked, what I love to do, and I stared into the 
beautiful face of this child.
Many memories of other children past rocking
in this very lap, my own babies, many nieces, nephews,
great nieces and nephews.
Just a few weeks ago, I rocked Gypsy's love as she was
having a hard day. 
Oh what a lap and a rock can do to ones soul.
I stared into sweet Jemma's face and thought.
I will rock at two, I will rock at three, I will rock at 6 
and I will rock until their feet drag the floor.
I will rock because I know that sooner than later,
these moments will become far and few between.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
Never will I ever say no when a grand girl or an adult ask
"Can you rock me" or just look like it is what they need.
For selfish reasons as well, I get as much out of rocking
as the Rockee. 
I challenge you to do the same, whenever you get the chance.
It will never disappoint you.
.....Oh and if you give the rock a nice push with your foot,
its a good calf exerciser, you can tell a "rocker"
by the size of their calves.
Happy Weekend to all!

Thursday, September 28, 2017


I have told Randy I can't seem to get back to 
my blogging but there is only one way to do it 
and that is to...... DO IT!
So here I am "doing it"

This past weekend Randy boo                                                                                                                   
and I went boat riding.
It was his first since his knee surgery a year ago.
It was my first in his waterways, in his boat.
Most small towns in Louisiana have their
own set of waterways and I was amazed that
we are still in Louisiana as each waterway has its
own unique look, all beautiful in its own way.
We rode in the waterway of BLIND RIVER
where we docked and walked in.....
Swamp, yep swamp... almost like quicksand as we
sank to our ankles in some places.
All to find the TRAPPERS CABIN
that Boo was so excited to show me, a memory of his past.
Once he finally found where it should be,
we looked around and found it!

Sadly it had been carried off by current a bit and was no
longer a standing cabin. The wood, the wood was beautiful!
So many different colors.
It may not have been together but the wood looked
like it would last a lifetime and then some.
I fell in love with the broken down cabin.

Our next stop was a church,
It reminded me of the smallest church of
Fourchon, my home area.
That church was lost in one of the storms and
I will always be thankful for the photographs I took
of our little church just weeks before it "no longer was".
That photo hangs in the home of Baby boy and Kd.
 This little church of Blind River, although had damage to
the wharf, the building was strong, sturdy and gorgeous!
We didn't visit the inside this trip.
It will be one for the future.

Again, I was taking it all in, sitting next to my boo
with many deep thought going through my mind,
keeping most of them to myself.
How I love the waterways of Louisiana,
How although probably most are connected,
each parish seems to have its own look.
How each fancy camp we looked at could not
ever have my love more than my own little cottage.
How so many memories of my past ran through my mind.
Then, the magic happened.
Boo took me to his favorite spot, BAYOU SECRET

...And there it was! HOME!
The small "water trails" of Golden Meadow.
My minds' thoughts of earlier were now
"heart speaks"
I was home!
I stood up near my boo, my arm folded across
his back and I said the words,
"It smells like home!"
Here in Bayou Secret, all my own secrets of childhood
came flooding back.
I right away, missed my Daddy.
The day he could not figure out why he could
not raise the top to give his three little girls shade
only to find out later my sisters neck was caught
between the cross bars of the frame.
The mornings when he whispered in my ear,
"You not feeling good, huh"
Which meant no school for me as he was
on his way to Dufrene's bakery for my favorite cookies
and as soon as that bus passed, we were
getting in that boat for fishing.
As I stood I felt the coolness of a few tears
on my cheek, it was not the hot sweat,
tears from my childhood.
"Happy tears" as the grand girls say.
Yes, for that half hour I was home.
A little girl who was loved beyond measure
by a man who used very few words but showed
me in actions how special I was to him.
It hit me then, it is kind of the way the boo
shows his love to me.
That day was definitely a day I felt the love.
It will forever be another of my very special days
I will never forget with the boo.


There are lots you hear of Private/Catholic school. Some positive, some negative. Private school is not a necessity and not right for e...