Florida Governor Signs Welfare Measure

So, I might be a little bit behind in the news, but I sure was glad to read this article!

Reposted from CNN:

Saying it is “unfair for Florida taxpayers to subsidize drug addiction,” Gov. Rick Scott on Tuesday signed legislation requiring adults applying for welfare assistance to undergo drug screening.

“It’s the right thing for taxpayers,” Scott said after signing the measure. “It’s the right thing for citizens of this state that need public assistance. We don’t want to waste tax dollars. And also, we want to give people an incentive to not use drugs.”

Wow…this is great news!  Any adults applying for welfare will have to undergo drug screening.  Florida Governor, Rick Scott, defends the measure by saying first of all he does not want to waste tax payers’ dollars and secondly “…we want to give people an incentive to not use drugs.”   Well done Florida!  Well done.  Hopefully other states will follow.  If we could pass a law that required persons applying for housing and Section 8 to undergo drug testing too…well then…we might live in a perfect world then. 😉

I particularly liked how he phrased his defense, that it would give drug users an “incentive to not use drugs”.  That is smooth….


Projects – 2008 in Review

I was sitting around trying to think about what we did all year.  It seems like 2008 was a slow year for us as far as the DIY scene was concerned.  In the early part of the year, around March, we spent a lot of time getting construction bids and filling out mountains of paperwork for our construction loan, only for the subprime mortgage crisis to hit and, in the end, we ended up scratching the whole deal.  I had to go back through my pictures to see what exactly we DID accomplish this year.  I was glad to find proof that our year was not wasted.  Here is a pictorial review of our year:


Finished the rent house (Hallelujah!) and took our three year old employee to Chuck-E-Cheese.  Hey, we had to pay her somehow for all that painting she did!

chuck e cheese

employee viv


We celebrated our five year anniversary

anniversary flowers


My birthday!  Ahem….anyway.  In 8 hours, I cleaned, primed and put two coats of paint on the living room walls.  It wouldn’t have taken me 8 hours normally except that I: 1) painted alone; 2) pushed a very heavy 10 foot ladder around the room 8 times while I painted the middle and top of the room …twice! I have 13 feet ceilings.  [is it 13 foot, or 13 feet?]

living room bay

fireplace living room

lr bay

lr fireplace


In April, I redid an ugly 80’s dresser for Vivian’s room and, for storage, we revamped an old shelf my brother made many years ago by adding crown moulding to it and painting it.

Vivian's dresser

old shelf

shelf finished


We took down the ugly drop ceiling in the attic.   We also painted the Master Bedroom.

drop ceiling

master bedroom before

master bedroom in progress


I sanded, repainted and recovered an old chair I bought for $5.00 at a junk store.  I also managed to tick off the entire Ratcliff family and get called a potstirrer.   Hahaha….that’s definitely a new one for me!

old chair

chair finished


I started this blog. Yay!  I pulled a metal tray on wheels out of the garbage and remade it into a plant stand for my porch.  Click here for the details and pictures.  Even my husband could not believe I wanted something this ugly.  But it turned out well.

My new plant stand

My new plant stand


We went to the Philippines.  What a life changing experience!  Click here to see more photos of the trip.  In case you cannot figure out who I am, I am the very white girl in the middle!




Vivian’s Birthday.   Hurricane Gustav hit Cenla.  That was very interesting.  It took us about a month to recover and get all of the debris cleared and everything back to normal.  I can’t complain though, we did not endure anything like New Orleans did.  Click the link above to see pictures of that fun.


Was definitely not a project month.  I was caught up watching the media and reading the news regarding  local and national politics.  I did get a call from the Louisiana Historic Preservation Office in Baton Rouge telling me that they want to put my street on the National Register.  Which reminds me…..I need to give her a call.  That nomination is supposed to be sent to Washington in April.  I am definitely going to help make sure that happens!




I repainted and reappointed the guest room and stripped a fireplace mantel.

Spare room before

Spare room - almost done


We worked on the attic/loft area so we can add another bathroom upstairs.  Steven put up two porch lights in the back.  Steven stripped a door and a transom down to the bare wood.  We also stripped some paint in the hall that was caked on to the wainscoting.  Click here for December’s project pictures.

I guess all in all it was not a bad year.  We did not get as much as we wanted accomplished.  We didn’t nearly come close to the amount of work we did in 2007.  Oh well, put it on the list!  It will get done eventually!


The trade: Marshall for Lavardain — is anything different?

Sigh….  I was optimistically hoping that Alexandria was going to see a new day in politics following our recent council elections. I even congratulated Mr. Lavardain for a race well run.  However, after reading council minutes and watching that ridiculous display by Bridgett Brown in the recent council meeting, all I can say is that a race well run is a big difference from being a Councilman.  I applaud Mayor Roy for repeating himself and being very patient while being interrupted several times during his report.  It seems like we are still stuck on making race an issue during council meetings.  It seems that Goins and Lavardain were bent on making a point about African American businesses not getting a larger chunk of business from the city of Alexandria.  I don’t understand why they are so concerned with that one ethnic group.  I live in Mr. Lavardain’s district and I am caucasian.  He should be fairly representing me also.  Why not be concerned with all ethnicities and all issues.  Yet, here we are again, making race an issue.  And, not just any race, but the African American race.  I am sooooooooo sick of it!  Its a new day.  Its a new year.  It is a new CENTURY!  The cotton picking days are over.

If I was a council member, I would ask: 1) How many minorities own businesses in Alexandria; 2) Do they qualify for city business, or have a service that the city needs; 3) Do they even want to qualify for city contracts; 4) Are they doing what they need to do in order to submit a bid and qualify for a city contract.  If you are interested in getting city business, research what you need to do and do it.  I don’t feel that the city is handing out contracts to all of the non-minority business just be racist.  They are probably accepting bids to those who offer great services at low prices, or because their business might be the only one in the market for that particular job.  To make it a race thing is just pathetic.  I would really be upset if the city started picking contracts based on race or gender instead of quality of work or product to be offered.  It is not fair to pass over a bid from a business because it is minority owned, but it is equally unfair to pass over a bid because it is caucasian owned. 

This whole saga about putting Von Jennings on administrative leave is making my head hurt.  I think the real reason she was put on leave was put very nicely in the last paragraph of the Town Talk’s story today:

Jennings said her attempts to compile data on minority-owned businesses were frequently met by a lack of support and funding from the administration. And when she was questioned by council members and expressed her problems, Jennings claims, she was placed on leave for “external conversations.”

Roy denied both of these accusations. Instead, he claimed that Jennings did not report to work and did not advance the AFEAT program.

Well, duh.  If I didn’t report to work or do what I was supposed to, I would get fired to.  Its as simple as that.  It really galls me when I read this sentence:

Jennings said her attempts to compile data on minority-owned businesses were frequently met by a lack of support and funding from the administration. And when she was questioned by council members and expressed her problems, Jennings claims, she was placed on leave for “external conversations.”

It just sounds to me like she was just not doing her job and making excuses for herself.  I have see many people in the city who have been given little funding, but they sure are whipping out progress.  The HPC (Historic Preservation Commission) for example is operating on a very small budget (from what I understand) and that office has done some very good work with the little they have.  In fact, I think I will write a post about that in a minute.

I want to throw my hands up in the air.  Lets talk logic here.  Lets not make it about race, creed, color, religion, etc. etc., but let us use a little common sense and speak logically.  That is a new word for the council, LOGIC.  It appears that we are sadly lacking in that department.  It makes me wonder if Alexandria will ever emerge from the dark ages and get up to speed. Sadly, if our council and administration stay divided, this is not going to happen.  I have to further applaud the mayor for being a gentleman and trying his best to spur the city forward.  I just wish the council could get on the same page and stop beating this dead horse they call “racism within the city administration”.  It is a card that is sadly played out.  Move on!  Move the city forward.


City of Alexandria, District 1 Council Race

I would like to congratulate Ed Lavardain for winning the District 1 council race.  Sir, you have your work cut out for you!  I appreciate Mr. Lavardain’s education, positive attitude and beautiful manners.  When given the opportunity on camera, he never bashed his opponent or said a derogatory word.  That is commendable. 

I have to say, I was very nervous about the council race and not sure who would be the better candidate.  I did not know either man personally.  Michael Bordelon, even though he is probably a nice man, came across as being snobby and a “I am tired of those people, we need to put them on notice and kick out drugs” Dolores Brewer wannabe.  Sure, our area has its own set of unique problems, but by putting everyone in a box and not looking at ALL of the complex issues will not improve our neighborhood.  I don’t think Mr. Bordelon made any friends on this side of the neighborhood.  Mr. Bordelon did not even show his face or campaign in this area either. 

Mr. Lavardain beat the streets and ran a very clean, grass roots campaign.  I received several printed informational fliers from Mr. Lavardain’s camp and saw many of his campaigners walking the streets.  Kudos to anyone who works hard for their seat.  I look forward to working with Mr. Lavardain and hope that he has some progressive plans for rebuilding and restoring our once proud neighborhood.



Can we say SNOOZE! ZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzz

I think if you took the last 12 years of debates, photoshopped the new candidates heads onto the previous candidate’s head…you would pretty much have the same thing we saw last night.  When asked a specific question which requires a specific answer, or maybe even a “yes/no” question, it seemed that either candidate could not simply deliver just that — the simple facts or the specific answer.  They open their mouths and out comes blah blah blah…and the things THEY want to talk about.  Boring…  A few of the questions were answered well, but for the most part, after the candidate opened their mouth and started talking, the normal American person was lost and completely forgot what the question was because everything coming out of the candidate’s mouth did not seem to be relevant or connect to the issue that was brought up for discussion.

Maybe that’s it.  Maybe McCain and Obama are suffering from campaign fatigue and stress and they forget the questions too.  Hahaha….  I saw McCain writing the questions down and he seemed to stay more on point than Obama.  I didn’t see Obama write anything down.  That’s neither here nor there.

I also thought it was hilarious when the political analysts and advisors got on the tube after the debate saying:  “Political analysts will pick up on the subleties of the issues and the connotations each candidate made during the debate”.  One also said that you would have to have a thorough knowledge of each camp’s policy in order to pick up on some of slight references each parties made regarding the issues that were briefly discussed.  HELLO!  I think if the candidates would answer the questions, we would not have to read between the lines or guess at what they were inferring.  My favorite part of the debate was when McCain jokingly gave a, “Maybe” to a “yes/no” question.  Sigh…..

Oh well.  I know who I am voting for:  JOHN MCCAIN/SARAH PALIN.


Election and Runoff

I was hoping that this past Saturday would decide all of the city council races and that we would not have to suffer through a runoff.  However, I guess you don’t always get what you wish.  I am pleased to see that in the District 1 race that Louis Marshall has not made the runoff.  I have to say I was surprised.  I have not outwardly campaigned for any candidate due to the fact that Mr. Marshall might win and since our relationship is tenuous at best, I thought I would wait to see what happened.  Out of all the letters and emails I have written him, the only one he ever answered was my most recent one this past summer right before re-election time.  The second reason I have not openly pulled for one candidate over another is, I simply do not have enough information about either man.

I was hoping to get more information on the other two candidates, Michael Bordelon and Edward Lavardain, however, except from a postcard from Mr. Bordelon, I have heard nothing from either camp.  I have also been puzzled at the lack of coverage by the Town Talk regarding these races.  I may have missed it (please correct me if I am wrong), but I have not seen an interview or any type of article regarding any of the persons running for any of the council seats.  The only coverage I saw was the issue regarding whether or not Jonathan Goins (Go Mr. Goins!  I am glad to see you won your race) could run based on his domiciliary address and the shot someone took at Louis Marshall regarding him being a convicted felon (Uh, I didn’t know what my cousin was going to use those guns for…).  Otherwise, the information has just not trickled down to me.

I was appalled at the number of votes cast for the District 1 council seat.  around 900, less than a thousand votes were cast to choose a new councilman to represent this district.  Shocking!  Interestingly enough, this area’s population seemingly has the most to say about government assistance or the lack thereof, yet it seems that no one can get their “tush” out the door to go vote.  Most of the people in this area are renters and are most likely not even registered to vote, nor have exercised their right to vote in many years, if they have ever voted at all.

I am not trying to make potshots here.  I am just stating facts and my personal observances.  I am also not limiting my remarks to any ethnicity.  I live in District 1 and we are a very diverse group of people.  I just find it very sad out of all the people who live in District 1 (I am not sure how many there are, maybe Lamar can help us with the numbers) that only 900 people cast a vote in the District 1 city council race.  Appalling… 

In contrast to our very low key local politics, the presidential race has escalated to an all time high and I cannot wait for it to be over!  I am soooooo glad that it will be over in November.  I am so ill of all the politics, potshots, negativity, debates, and on and on and on….  Someone needs to make a law that you cannot start running for president or even talk about it until one year before the election.  Is two plus years really necessary?  Sheesh!  On a funny note….check out this link.  I decided to run for president at the last minute. 

Andrea Warren for President


I mean, hey, why not?