This Mardi Gras Birdhouse* is the closest I'll get to celebrating Fat Tuesday today. The weather is rotten (70 degrees and thunderstorms, which meant that all of the local schools closed two hours early), I've had the stomach flu, so the gumbo cookoff** we'd planned to attend is off limits because I can't limit myself to french bread and white rice when there are a dozen different gumbos to try! If you're somewhere enjoying it- laissez les bons temps rouler!
*I made this birdhouse for a Mardi Gras-themed silent auction. It didn't sell, so I gave it to my neighbor Olivia, a native New Orleaner. It's been hanging in her front yard ever since, so well guarded by her cat Lao Tse, that no birds dare nest in it.
**We ended up having a basement party with our neighbors instead, hiding out from the tornadoes that hit the mid-south pretty badly. It tore through one of Memphis's malls in a neighborhood that faces more challenges than it can readily meet. North Mississippi and Northwest Tennessee, including Jackson, TN, were also badly hit. We were very blessed to only have high winds and no damage, not even a power outage. So I'm starting lent today observing the same discipline my friend Beth has taken on: gratitude.