Thoughts from Madame Gumbeaux

Thoughts from Madame Gumbeaux

Monday, January 12, 2015

The final call for Honduras Gumbo

If you haven't heard yet, I am blogging at This is the final call for gumbo here. After today, the kitchen is closed.

Here's a sample of today's post at the new site:

A few days ago, I got a fabulous hair cut. I went into a new hair place, declared a state of emergency over the state of my locks, and submitted to an emergency cut and color.  Thirty minutes later, I emerged like a butterfly emerges from a cocoon after starting out as a worm. I loved myself!

If you're hungry for more or wondering why I pasted a picture of Rita Hayworth on this site, then head to the new site

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Final Friday Fragments

It's cold in Gumbolandia. For south Louisiana residents, temperatures below freezing are a sign of doom. According to local meteorologist Bob Breck, Life As We Know It would cease to exist last night. My mother and my sister called with grim forebodings. My niece reminded me that mild earthquakes were recorded this week near Dallas, Texas.

Surely, I must recognize the end of times was upon us. The well would freeze, and the pipes would burst. My car would die, never to run again.

I awoke to the thermometer measuring 19 degrees. Nothing bad happened. It's just cold with a chance of gumbo on the menu.

In other news, the Honduras Gumbo will cease as my writing spot. I moved to WordPress at A Gumbo Pot. Indeed, the first entry is published, Stirring the Pot.  Moving from Honduras to the US caused a change in the way I want to write.

Half-Past Kissin' TimeFriday Fragments as hosted by Mrs4444 has been a great community. I hope this is not goodbye, but merely a change of venue. However, I don't plan on continuing with the fragmented, linked posts. It's time for something new.

I moved to A Gumbo Pot at WordPress

The Honduras Gumbo has moved, changed names and themes. Please follow the link to A Gumbo Pot where I promise to 
stir the pot with new ideas in 2015. 

It's cold with a chance of gumbo over at the new site. 

Bon Appetit! 

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Water and Light

Fountainebleau State Park,  Louisiana

There's little clear water in Louisiana, but I live in a small community renowned for good water. My house has a well that taps in to the reservoir of that miracle stuff. Just few odd miles away, Lake Pontchartrain fills a deep basin of water between New Orleans and the piney communities to the north of the city. One could say water defines our way of life in Louisiana. It's excessive, overabundant.

The weather has been rainy and dark for weeks. Here and there, sunshine teases our senses. My dog and I cover the wooden floors of my small house with muddy footprints most days. I sweep, I mop, and the rains come again.
 I finished reading Revelation last night as I concluded a one-year reading of the New Testament. John writes of a vision of the future, and in his conclusion to his apocalyptic writings, he describes a new earth and new heaven, where the two are joined. God's throne is at the center, with water, clear as crystal, flowing outwards. When I read those words, I wanted crystal clear water right then. Not later in the sweet bye-and-bye. Poor old Ponce de Leon wasted his life looking for the Fountain of Youth, walking across the uncharted, wild, unexplored continent of North America. Fool! He had access if he had sought the Giver of Water and Light.

These gray days make me glad for light, too. The light that shined on great darkness has not died, yet. Sometimes, when it's gray and damp, as it is today, one thinks the light is gone. No, but it hides somedays. 

I hope, but I can't swear by it, to write in 2015. I want to write stories about my  my ancestors who lived on the bayous of South Louisiana. I hope to write about the One Sheep, too. Not the ninety-one who stayed with the shepherd, who live healthy, wealthy prosperous lives. I want to seek out stories about those in the margins, the people we want to forget and ignore. Now, enough with the somber thoughts of a gray morning. Off to find my black-eyed peas and cabbage with friends to start the New Year. What's your New Year meal?  What are you feasting on spiritually in these new hours of a new day of a new year?

Sunday, December 21, 2014

The Red-Nosed Christmas Shepherd (Sundays In My City)

From our house to yours. . .  wishing you a 
blessed and happy Christmas season. 

Unknown MamiThis week I plan on writing up a short account of the 2014 adventures of Bubu. He is living with me in Louisiana now. However, he travelled over land through Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico, Texas, Mississippi before reaching my home in Louisiana. For awhile, he lost his ladrar (bark), but now, he's recovered his mighty voice, although he's a much calmer dog in these United States than the Bubu I knew in Honduras. 

This post is linked to Sundays in My City, hosted by Unknown Mami

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Saturday Morning Post: A Reflection on Taste, Enjoyment and Truth

“Your problem is how you are going to spend this one and precious life you have been issued. Whether you’re going to spend it trying to look good and creating the illusion that you have power over circumstances, or whether you are going to taste it, enjoy it and find out the truth about who you are.”
~Anne Lamott

Did you take the time to reflect on that last line? Taste. Enjoy. Truth. That's really sounding good to me. Taking time to savor life rather than just rushing to the next thing. 

The Westminster Catechism states that the chief aim of man is to glorify God and enjoy him forever. For 2015, I am going to strive to enjoy him, enjoy his creation, and enjoy doing life with others. Music and writing are two passions that I plan on developing during the next year. 

I made a conscious choice this year to avoid people who value position over people and crave power over people.  I don't have time for leaders who are in the church game jockeying for influence and dominance. Why be a Christian if we are going to play church by the world's rules? I refuse to endure another long-winded rendition of personal achievement and success from anyone who calls himself or herself a pastor.

In Spanish, success is translated exito. That's where you'll end up if you need to hang on to your boasts and successes in the past. You will be headed for the exit when it comes to being used by God for his kingdom. 

Do you know what kind of people I want in my life?  Give me the broken. The marginalized. The single mom working 2 jobs trying to make ends meet. The immigrant working dangerous jobs because he has no recourse in the US justice system. 

I think the church in the US, by and large, has forgotten that Jesus often ended stories with the words, the first shall be last, and the last shall be first. Jesus entered the world born to poor parents who were homeless for his birth, and he ended his life by dying between two criminals. Let's forget about the newest and shiniest and recall the simple words of Jesus to living a new kind of life. If not you may be heading for exito in this life, but an utter failure in God's upside kingdom. 

Friday, December 19, 2014

Falling Rain (Friday Fragments)

It's definitely gumbo weather in Louisiana today. It rained all night, forming puddles and filling ditches on my country lane. When awakened at 6 am by flashes of lightning, I imagined strobe lights from the 80s were whirling outside. It wasn't Christmas lights, either, just stormy weather rolling in for the day.

Christmas memories are flooding the mind as the rain continues outside. Here's a special favorite of mine from the late 60s. I was actually glad to get blocks for Christmas, as I loved to build things.

Since moving to a new place near Lake Pontchartrain, about 30 miles from New Orleans, I have settled into life among the pines, although creeping affluence threatens the somewhat rural way of life here. The city across the lake, New Orleans, seemingly jumped the 20 odd miles of lake, and set up roots here. Iconic places once only found in the famed French Quarter are firmly in place here, now. The institutions of New Orleans just followed her people, who came before Hurricane Katrina and even more so, afterwards. 

I joined a new church, an offshoot of my church from New Orleans. It's a small congregation, mainly hip young millennials wearing boots and scarves. (I think boots and scarves might be mandatory). Jazz is often part of the worship service. I love the new church body, but sometimes, I think we are trying too hard. Pictures of black people playing music adorn the walls, but only white people are in attendance. I suppose the black people around here worship at humble houses of worship, with  of a white Jesus framing the windows. 

I am going to seek employment. Being unemployed and drifting since moving to the US from Honduras has been wonderful. However, it's also a perfect way to get fatter than ever. Whatever I do, I want to make sure I find time to write, work towards justice, and love God and neighbor better. 

My dog, the once-fearless German shepherd, entered early retirement since moving to the US. In Honduras, he barked, chased, and threatened every man, woman, or beast that dared to trespass along the sidewalk, street, or God forbid, the actual premises. Since arriving, he has become docile, compliant and most of the times, fast asleep. He is about 10 years old, so I suppose he deserves rest, as well as a pension consisting of a lifetime supply of kibble in his bowl. 

Need some human kibble, perhaps in bits and pieces of writing?

 Try Friday Fragment posts at Half Past Kissin' Time. 

Half-Past Kissin' Time

Soon, my friends, I will jump to WordPress with a new format and focus for the Gumbo blog. I have declared this before, right?

 This time, I tease not.