Flashback Friday

I hate that we missed Zydeco Night at the WC Handy Blues Fest…again. While we didn’t always make it on the Thursday when the Cajuns perform, we always drove across the river to Henderson, KY for at least one of the nights to hear Super Musicians, tapping our feet under the trees in Audubon Mill Park on the riverfront — until Covid. It’s now been three years since we’ve attended and we’re ready to go. Yesterday was too damn hot (96 feels like 104) for these two old folks, but a storm has blown through and cooled us off for the weekend, so I’m excited to be crossing the bridge tonight or tomorrow.

Let’s step into the WayBack Machine and set the dial for 2013, June, when we had a great time at Zydeco Night…and so did Flat Ronna…

up all night…


I can’t sleep.  I tossed and turned, told my brain to STFU, finally got up and have exhausted every bookmark on this computer.   I have an appointment in the morning, so it’s too late to take a chill-pill…I’m doomed…

Here’s some pictures of last night’s Blues Festival headliners, Voice of the Wetlands Allstars.   The Allstars are a group of New Orleans musicians pulled together by Tab Benoit to raise awareness of the erosion of the Gulf Coast wetlands (beginning before Katrina, actually).

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The version visiting Henderson last night included Benoit on guitar; Cyril Neville belting some blues and playing percussion;  Johnny Sansone made the harmonica wail and played accordion for some zydeco;  legendary drummer Johnny Vidocovich; a remarkable bassist,  Corey Dupelchin;  Waylon Thibideaux playing an electric fiddle that was way cool;  and the cherry on the sundae:

 Big Chief Monk Beaudreaux brought it on home…

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Boy-child, his lovely bride, and their precocious daughter were with us.  The weather was Ohio River Valley Summertime, complete with sweat and chiggers…Olivia loved the waterpark and I sure wished I could have cooled off with her…

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Charley and Lana were with us, as well…

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casey and charley

But, as always, my Twin Cousin, Ronna Lynn Loppnow, was the Life of the Party…

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(Ronna lives down near Houston, TX and we don’t get to see her very often, so Lana and I try to take her with us when we’re having the Most Fun)

I guess I’d better try to get some rest…

Back here in 2022, I’m grabbing my lawn chair, bug spray, and Flat Ronna; we’re ready to Party!


Rerun: When the trees fell

10 years ago on the night before the last day of school (I was still working as a school nurse), May 25, 2011 to be exact, a straight-line wind blew in from the southwest and tore off the tops of the very old, very tall trees that were standing in its path.

We had just mowed and straightened the yard and porch that evening and I was taking my after-supper-nap – not to be confused with the rest-up-for-bed nap – when Casey woke me up to tell me that there was something coming our way. I’d slept through the first siren, but the second went off shortly after I woke. It looked bad outside, black skies, pouring rain that was coming down sideways as it was hurled by the wind, and I took shelter (with Wink) in our guest bathroom…even Casey came back and stood in the doorway with us as we listened to the rumbling and howling of the wind. I was seriously freaking out when I heard the sound of cracking trees and the whooshing of falling branches over the room where I’d just been laying…

When it passed, we surveyed the damage… Step into the WayBack Machine and let’s revisit 2011…


May 29, 2011

By Jo Mayne Casey 

it’s been a tough several days…i’ve gone from dazed and confused to feeling trampled underfoot (tee-hee).  anyway, now i know what i’ll be doing with my summer:

Before and After…Above 5/22/2011 Below 5/26/201111

i feel the loss of those 2 trees acutely, but it’s so stupid to complain about it…manymany people have it a lot worse…still…i’m bummed.  definitely keeping busy, though. 

good news…

May 30, 2011

By Jo Mayne Casey 

we found the rocking chair..!

we’re definitely making progress…here’s a view from 5/26:

here’s the way it looks today:

of course, i use the term “we” loosely–you can bet that casey will not stop until this is cleaned up.  i’m not safe with a chainsaw, but i can handle a lopper and a rake.   we’re hauling the branches down to the woods (where, surprise, there’s a whole bunch of trees down) and starting a new hedgerow.  it’s all okay…

not quite, but almost

June 2, 2011

By Jo Mayne Casey 

except for the fact that i forgot it was thursday and missed a vbs meeting, it’s been a very productive day.  you see, all the gardens are fine and happy…it was only the front (west) of the house that was affected by the storm.   much like facebook, where you can lurk all day, i know that a lot of people have been driving by the house…first looking at the damage, then marveling at how fast casey is clearing it away.  honestly, watching the man wears me out…i’ve had to take all his naps for him…

one week after The Trees Fell…

all that’s left is to actually drop the trees, and the tree guys that we called the day after the storm Promised they’d be out this week.  i’m in no hurry, though; in fact, i hope they wait and let us take a day off tomorrow.   and wink, the first one out of the room when we heard the trees falling, claims he never was afraid…

It’s clear I was bummed by this event, but I’m here to say it again: I was Terrifically Bummed. The only thing that made me feel better was the idea that I would screen in the porch, which we did in 2012. All’s well that ends well.

We’re headed into a week of scattered thunderstorms…May all of Our Trees stay upright…


Spirits of Christmases Past: 2016

Casey retired on December 16, 2016 and I was in NYC at the time, enjoying my last solo visit…

Grandie #4, Samantha, was born in February, 2015, but 2016 was the first Christmas she was fully interactive… As we began our New Way of Living, she was almost 2, already talking up a storm…

Step into the WayBack Machine, set the dial to 2016…


A last hurrah to Christmas 2016

Date: December 28, 2016 Author: Jo Mayne Casey

Our plans to drive to NYC on Christmas Day were unavoidably changed, but that’s okay.  We’re free, now, to come and go as we please.  Here at Sonnystone, we’re still walking around going, wow you really don’t have to go to work, as we do the same old things we’d always do…put away the decorations, bring in the firewood (though it’s been unseasonably warm), and eat up the leftovers.

The Leftovers are from our Christmas Eve get-together with the Jrs.  Olivia and Samantha spent the night with us on the 23rd, and we met up with their parents for breakfast the next morning at IHOP.  (good enough, but I wish Eville had more diners)   Returning to the Acres, we quickly got down to serious christmas business:

Opening presents…


Playing with new toys…

Not just New toys, but old games, too…


New toys are great, but Samantha currently loves the harmonica the best.  Since she figured out how to make music with it a couple of months ago, she comes in pointing and asking  for it every visit.  She insists that I play one with her, and we’re quite a duo, but with or without me, she doesn’t let go of her blues harp.

We’ve got it all put away now and we’re busy working on the laundry room remodel…wait, did I say We?  I’m still putting everything back where it was (where was it?) before the holidaze, planning some trips, and vowing to not make any resolutions this year…like I never do.  


Peace on Earth, Goodwill to All

Spirits of Christmases Past: 2012

By 2012, Eliza had joined the Grandies and #1 and #2 were officially the “big” girls. The Whole Entire Family visited NYC on Thanksgiving for the Macy’s Parade. We enjoyed three days in the City, having a blast, as well as exchanging gifts.

This was our “Christmas” that year; the Jrs spent the Big Day with Jessica’s family and Melissa was buried in church work. That’s okay, though, because the Rockettes will keep you Christmas-y for at least a month after your visit.

Step into the WayBack Machine, set the dials for 2012…


scenes from radio city music hall

Date: November 24, 2012 Author: Jo Mayne Casey

waiting in line for the bathroom was sooo fun


Don’t feel sorry for us, though. We went down to New Orleans for Christmas Day that year…

Peace on Earth, Good Will to All…

Spirits of Christmases Past: 2010, chap. 2

Ten years ago, I had only two grand-daughters. My #2 grandie, Olivia, and her Mom & Dad were still living up in Lafayette, Indiana that year. I was still doing the Church Musician gig, playing the beautiful pipe organ up at Trinity LCMS up in Darmstadt.

Again, let’s step into the Way-Back Machine…

Here’s another Chapter of Spirits of Christmases Past 2010…


christmas with olivia

Date: December 26, 2010 Author: Jo Mayne Casey

olivia and her parents were here when i got home from church on christmas day.  i had some chopping to do for the cheese soup, so we ate some sandwiches and visited before we got to the good part….opening presents!!!

the monkey-that-looks-like-a-hippo pillow pet
we had to stop and read 

so at the end of the day, the princess played with the “treasure chest”…..i think she got the idea from wink…..

Peace on Earth, Goodwill to All


Spirits of Christmases Past: 2010, chap. 1

Our Family Christmas Traditions are not traditional. We’ve become accustomed to adjusting our get-togethers, but we’ve always had some choice about when or how. This year, this Weird Year, we’ve no alternative to staying home, away from our precious NYC where we have spent the last 15 years enjoying the Rockettes, Bill’s Burgers, theatre, and Most of All, Grandies.

It could be worse, though, and Hope is rising slowly across the horizon so that I can confidently say that Next Christmas we’ll be back at Radio City Music Hall, Next Christmas we’ll be back at 333 #829 with Christmas tree lights reflecting in our eyes.

Let’s step inside the Way-Back Machine, set the dials for 2010, and view Precious Christmas Memories…


christmas with emma

Date: December 24, 2010 Author: Jo Mayne Casey

we arrived at 333 around noon sunday.  after some burgers at merrion square, we opened a few presents. 

grandpa helped with the sock puppets

on monday we saw the 5pm performance of the Rockettes Christmas Spectacular.  this is emma’s 3rd time to see the Show—not bad for a 4-yr-old.   

tuesday was her school christmas program (no, grandma, it’s a show) and it was no surprise that she was such a terrific performer.  what was a surprise is that she introduced the show, coming out with confidence to the microphone and saying clearly, smiling, “welcome to our christmas show”.   she’s somethin’, that gal. 

the other kid aren’t really zombies….

we opened more presents when we came home.  she had bought grandpa some nice things at her school’s christmas shop and was so excited to give them to him.  she tried so hard to keep it a secret…..

she loved all of her presents, of course……. 

daddy helped her with her new wii game

the next morning, she was off to school for a polar express pajama party, wearing her new pajamas, crocks and socks.  we left just as she and melissa were heading out for school….posing with her baby sister’s new swing…

 it was such a short time, but just enough to tide me over until february……


Peace on Earth, Good Will to All