Raising Gleason – NOLA Family Magazine

Saints player Steve Gleason talks fatherhood, ALS, New Orleans, and parenting with Nola Family
— Read on www.nolafamily.com/raising-gleason/

I can remember when my cousin, John Delong and his girlfriend Patty Frisk began dating. John worked at Frisky’s a restaurant in Northwest Arkansas. I am sure I did not know this at the time because I was younger. I remember them showing up to our house on his motorcycle. They were cute and sweet together. Patty reminds me of my great grandma Stowe and great grandma Virginia Stowe. Always sweet, always kind and always find he goodness in people.

My great grandma and my great uncle, would leave an event or talk about people and then say “they are good people, no really they are”. It was as if maybe I didn’t hear them or I didn’t believe them.

Well Patty and John are good people! No really they are!!

I can’t recall when I first learned about ALS, also known in the past as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, ALS.

I have some other words that I like to use when referring to this disease. But I will spare you my aware words.

We were so happy when Patty and John decided to marry and begin a family. Distance caused our relationship to be here there and everywhere. Sometimes keeping up with each other’s families through our mother’s. Though Patty was always good about sending Christmas letters and pictures. Something I too have once loved doing. Life so often seems to get in my way of snail mail. For two years, I have printed some cards sometime throughout the year. Addressed some, written personal memos even addressed but then never mailed. Damn me. And chris would be really pissed if he knew I spend money that he may seem as wasted. But I see it similar to the bait he buys and looses. These are similar issues that I had when I was younger. After our wedding, my mother would ask have you written all your thank you notes. At one point I told my cousin, Alex, who was dutifully trained to write thank you notes, that I may have thanked some people twice and some not at all. I really thought I was joking a bit. but Alex let me know they got two!!! Sorry to any I didn’t thank along the way.

I often say “consider me thanked!”

Over the years one motto is “do what you can when you can”. With Chris and I”s large family and friends there were times that we couldn’t afford to give to all we love And he stress it created for me at times became too stressful. When I realized that he joy had gone, I stopped giving any gifts. I committed to give our children the best we could. Don’t we all want more for our children?!

I think of so many of my mottos that have to do with leaving a place better then you found it.

Well our girls have lots of passion pertaining to there condition of he planet.

They carry disposable straws. They recognize the waste and consumption that seems so prevalent in our world. Some is important and at times I must have a straw.

I am so happy that Patty and her family have technology and resources to assist each other to care for one another. They get to meet their first grand child this fall and see their baby girl get married.

Though I am still I bit in denial that Chris and I beat them to grandparent world. I am so happy for their family. Our girls adore Megan. She was so helpful with our girls when she was in college. I can remember playing with both Angela and Megan over the years. Climbing trees, rolling around on the grass and playing with John. Like when my brothers and cousins were playing war in the back ground and I asked to play. They said that I could be the nurse. Well thank God someone else stepped in when an accident happen. I know john, Megan and Angela are the perfect people to love Patty. And to be her arms and legs just like Steve Gleason is able to describe in the above article.

Patty and Steve are both #faroutstars to me.

As June celebrates Father’s Day, I reflect on all the men who have modeled wonderful fathering. And I am excited for the new father’s. That get to experience the journey.

Happy Father’s Day!

Happy Memorial Day weekend.

I often reflect on those whom have served and for those who currently serve. In theses moments, I am filled with gratitude for what they have fought and served to protect.


Ben Harrison and Sarah Stafford Farnet.

Bert Stafford and Sarah Stafford Farnet.


(Michelle Cosgrove, Monica Ferrari, Chris Farnet)

Here is a sweet story of a WWII veteran reviving his metas:

World War II veteran receives metals

As we travel south to New Orleans and Bay Saint Louis, we will do as much as we can to run around the city connecting with family & friends. Over the years, the wants and needs lists of what we should do when we travel doesn’t always align.

There is always so much to do and so many places to be. We are blessed in that we have had the resources to do so much. Of course, we want to do everything! Do what you can, when you can!

We have had the chance to go to the World War II museum in New Orleans. It was fascinating. Learning and seeing the boats that delivered soldiers to the beaches of Europe was amazing and overwhelming!


I can’t even imagine!!!

Reading or watching movies: “Saving Private Ryan”, “Pearl Harbor”, “Unbroken”, “Boys in the boat”, “Dunkirk”

My father rarely spoke of his time at war. I recall that he was stationed in Mineral Wells when he first enlisted. In my twenties, I became familiar with Mineral Wells when I worked at Camp Grady Spruce.

While I was in Mineral Wells, I turned 21. On our days off we would visit the local hootenanny’s. My dad would have been about sixteen when he was training to go to war. I imagine he spent some time in the same hootenannies that I did.

Chris says “he fell in love with me” when he visited me on Possum Kingdom Lake. When I helped him climb up and down my challenge course wall, was when he knew he loved me! I remember looking into his eyes when he was struggling to repel off the 100 feet wall. I helped many up and down the wall that summer! I said “look into my eyes, keep your legs straight and walk down the wall, keeping your legs straight in front of you”.

So as we celebrate Memorial Day weekend, I am remind what satirist, John Oliver or Trevor Noah said “it seems like America forgets that they are at war”?!

See Trevor Noah at The AMP! https://waltonartscenter.org/AMP/upcoming-concerts/trevor-noah/

Mother’s Day•AP Testing•Snapchat Fun!

IMG_6629 Gigi working hard on Mother’s Day to prepare for AP tests.  AP tests were not in my world as a child.  My girls impress me that they have challenged themselves with these AP classes.  They have worked hard in these classes and maintained themselves.  Renee and Gigi are hopefully that they score three or above.  Whatever they score, I am proud of them for the dedication and determination to push themselves.  They impress me on a daily basis!

IMG_6624Renee worked on tie-dying t-shirts for her friends.  She is giving them t-shirts in honor of her birthday. Renee said “I guess that I just like giving gifts”.  What a wonderful lesson she has learned so early.  Giving can be rewarding and give to yourself as you give to others.

Now for some laughs watch the videos below:


Analog-dial up-fiber lines

My great-grandmother and my grandmother lived for 103 Years.   I often thought of all the inventions, changes that occurred throughout their lives.

My great-grandmother was supposed to go the movies the day the theater in Chicago caught fire. The fire that changed the way our doors open forever!

My grandmother spoke of remembering the day the Artemis was signed.   The streets were alive.  They could ride the street cars for FREE.    Everyone was happy!

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Recently, I was visiting with a group of leaders in our community.

Technology advancements were being discussed.

I asked the group if any of them had read 1984.

None of them recalled reading them.  I explained how so many of the things we all found hard to believe and a bit scary have come to fruition.

When Steve spoke of his love of Diet DR. Pepper and the technology advancements that help him find the local sales on his favorite drink of choice seemed infectious.

I recall reading 1984 and discussing some of the science fiction that it described of the future.   On so many levels being tracked seemed creepy and alarming.  Discussing governments involvement in the abilities to watch people seemed concerning.

I am sure reading 1984 again would be fascinating.

Knowing that so many of the things that seemed so hard to believe have been developed.  The trick is to look at the positivity of the advancements and not be overwhelmed by some of the creepy sides of it.   I often say “I have a mixed relationship with technology”  “I love and hate my smart phone”.    Sometimes I daydream of a life where I am not so dialed in and on always.   Actually turning off the devices and enjoying sometime without the devices.   I am glad to not be a smoker anymore, though the phone addiction at times seems worse.   Luckily my lungs may be not affected in the same way as the cigarettes affected them.   The phone may be creating other stressors and strains.   The anxiety of “where’s my phone” is almost as stressful as “Dude, where’s my car? or Dude, where are my keys?”   The anxiety I see in our children about their phones is frightening on many levels.   The addiction they already experience is alarming.  Boundary setting is tough.   Especially as parents who struggle to set their own boundaries.

So on one hand, I want to unplug, disconnect and reconnect with the life before devices.  And on the other I want to plug-in, sign up and explore all that is developing around me.

Recently I was working from home, someone came to the door.  I was on the phone. Never heard the doorbell.  I thought that they were probably Mormons ignoring the No solicitation sign.  Eventually I went to the door, to find that they were door to door sales people.   Fiber lines were what made me glad that I had gone to the door.    By opening the door and inviting them inside, I found my way to many things that we had chosen to not have in our lives for so long.     By signing up with Vivint for a new security system, I can get Fiber lines as soon as they go live in our area.    Our home is currently getting 8-mps.  We are paying for 100 mps!  Since we are now working from home more and more. The 8-mps is very problematic.

So now we will have new security, dish TV and FIBER lines.

The company paid out my previous security contract!  Which was a lot of money.    I can’t get the FIBER lines fast enough.   A little bummed to add back another utility bill.   Embrace what it brings not what we lose.  So we loose more money each month.  Though we will have Saints games again!  Our children have actually come out of their rooms to watch TV.  Therefore, I must not give them username and password for the Direct TV.  If they have usernames and passwords, we loose them to their screens.  So yes we are lost to the TV screen.  But sometimes checking out in front of a screen is just what I need to decompress, reconnect and relax.

Security Systems Fiber Lines

Princess Sarah

My name means princess. My father remind me of this throughout my life. I believe every daughter is their fathers princess.

The crowns come in a variety of forms. The flower crowns from the weeds in the elementary school playgrounds. The metaphorical crown can be heavy at times. Attempting to live up to the hopes, dreams, and expectations of being a princess or/and daughters.

My father has three daughters in his first marriage. Unfortunately his daughter Kathy died as a toddler. I know more about her death than her life. I think that she died of spinal meningitis. She spent the last weeks of her life in the hospital. Her hands and feet curled up. While she was dying, her mother was at the end of another pregnancy.

As an adult, I figure out that one sister died at the end of August and the other sister was born. I believe that it was over the same weekend.

When I made this realization, it allowed me to consider that this may be the reason my father was so difficult in August. Unfortunate August was the month of my birth, my adopted mother’s birth and my parent’s wedding anniversary. His bad attitude, drinking and unpleasantly was a consistent part of our August. I don’t think he could ever face so many of his dark spots and demons. Therefore I think they manifested themselves to us in a variety of ways over the years.

I imagine that the loss of a child would bring darkness and demons to most. I have sadness for some of the struggles that my father experienced. His ups and downs worked their way into my world. They seem to keep showing up too. It’s been over 18 years and our relationship has surprised me again and again. Who knew that life could be so surprising.