COTE DE TEXAS: Gustav - The Bad

Gustav - The Bad



TC Activity


Here's the latest Hurricane map - we have Gustav of course and close behind is Hanna heading for Florida and probably the Eastern seaboard.   But notice there are two more major storms brewing, gaining strength.  Hurricanes in this part of the world form off the west coast of  Africa and line up in the Atlantic Ocean like planes waiting for takeoff at La Guardia Airport.   Some become big, like Category Three Katrina, others  are nothing more than a much needed rain storm like Eduardo, the Category 1 hurricane that hit Galveston last month.   And then there are storms like Dolly that never quite made it to hurricane category strength but still caused so much damage to the popular tourist destination of South Padre Island that the town was closed to vacationers this summer season.  In terms of dollars lost, it is probably immeasurable.  


Hurricane watching is a way of life for those of us who live on the Gulf of Mexico.  I've braved a few myself, starting with the massive hurricane Carla way back on September 11, 1961 (!) when she came onshore south of Houston.  Back then, hurricanes were fun.  You would fill up the bathtubs with water and light candles around the house and eat lots of canned tuna and salmon.  The best part was we got to miss a week of school!  Of course being just six years old, I had no knowledge of the death and destruction that the Category Five Carla caused - 43 deaths, 1/2 million evacuees, and $2 billion in damages  in today's dollars.  Forty-seven years later, hurricanes have ceased to be fun in any sense of the word.  Instead, they are dreaded occurrences that keep us glued to the television, praying it misses us, but knowing it's going to hit somewhere and it's not going to be pleasant.


As for Gustav, I think Houston is going to miss the brunt of the storm  -  we're on the west side of the hurricane, which is the best place to be.  We can expect less rain and wind than if we were east of  Gustav.   Unfortunately, New Orleans looks to be east of Gustav.  Everyone is praying the levees hold this time, and it certainly looks like NOLA has her act together.   There won't be a repeat of the Superdome fiasco that accompanied Katrina.  Who can forget these famous words "You're doing a heck of a job, Brownie?" that our President Bush lavished on Michael Brown, his crony-appointed head of FEMA.



Famous Bushism scrawled on abandoned New Orleans refrigerator following the disaster of Katrina.

I know that fellow blogger from New Orleans, Valorie Hart, published author, tango instructor, world famous dancer, interior designer, Bed and Breakfast owner, (I think that about covers it) left New Orleans for higher ground in Baton Rouge.  Be sure to check out her fabulous blog Visual Vamp here for her unique updates on Gustav.  Valorie and her husband were among the  lucky to be able to drive out while tens of thousands of other New Orleans left on buses.   At least provisions are being made this time to provide dogs and cats with shelter!!!   During Katrina's aftermath  thousands of animals had to be abandoned when pets were ripped from their owners arms as they boarded the buses taking them to safety.   It took an enormous amount of effort and manpower to reunite the homeless pets with either their owners or with new parents.





The Houston Astrodome, 2005, filled with Katrina evacuees from New Orleans.


This morning, 1-10 was bumper to bumper with New Orleans evacuees, many heading to the somewhat safer ground of Houston.  Houston and New Orleans have a unique history we share.  After Katrina, when New Orleans'  Superdome was finally emptied, Houston agreed to house as many of these unfortunate souls as we could.   Emergency makeshift shelters were set up throughout the city to house the 25,000 that came.  The majority stayed here - above - in our Astrodome.   One night, my daughter Elisabeth and I went to Old Navy and bought lots of pajamas and playclothes to donate.  We weren't alone.   In fact, so many donations poured into our Astrodome that they were eventually turned down!    A great many of the people who ended up in our shelters decided to make Houston their permanent home.   Houston was proud to have been able to help out our neighboring Louisiana and we know they would do the same for us.  But, there was yet another Bushism that rankled and embarrassed.   Barbara Bush, the President's mother and a Houston citizen, had this to say about the evacuees at the Astrodome: 

"What I'm hearing, which is a little scary, is that all of these people want to stay in Texas! Everyone is so overwhelmed by the hospitality. And most of the people in this arena are underprivileged anyway, so this is working very well for them."     Just lovely.

While we wait for landfall, everything is on hold, even the Republican Convention's schedule will change and be more somber in mood,  it was just announced.   Gustav is going to be horrific and will cause massive destruction wherever it lands.   We just don't know exactly where that is going to be yet.  And that is very scary.


  1. I grew up on the east coast of FL and we took pesonal responsibility when hurricanes were threatening our area. We didn't rely on government. Don't get me wrong, I feel really sorry for folks in nursing homes or disabled people with no family...there ARE people who need assistance in dire times and they were sorely let down. But if you have a home and children and you aren't disabled (and have a TV!), you don't sit inside your house when you're being told to LEAVE. You do everything in your power to find a way out.
    {and let's not get stuck on quotes from political figures in this country... I could go on and on about BOTH parties}

  2. Best of luck to everyone in Gustav's path!


  3. Kricketm, I applaud your comments. Having grown up in coastal N.C. and still living in the area, I feel the exact same way.

  4. I hear you Joni. Loudly. Clearly. Boy do I sing your song.

    Yes...They leave a wake behind them, and if you live in their vicinity you are a part of that...when they hit you and when they hit others.

    It's a rising of the shoulders, a tensing of the changes you when they have brushed by, let alone hit.

    We have been hit head on several times. I have worked at the special needs shelters in our small city...where the most vulnerable need to go. I have witnessed births and deaths. Have seen the shelter left with no power or oxygen. It changes you.However, they were so ill equipped at first. They have learned SO much. It will be different as it will in NOLA.

    I cringe, and then I hope, for NOLA and their not yet fixed infrastructure.... I silently pray for everyone that will be left in the wake. Many will.In many ways.

    But, I have seen strength, community,human solidarity and beauty amidst the fury. Many have.
    regrowth.regeneration. change.

    But now we silently pray.

  5. Our prayers are with everyone in the path of Gustav.

    I well remember Mrs. Bush Sr's comment and how very I ashamed I was of her, and of her son. I pray this will not be a repeat, and I don't think it will.

    Let us hear from you when you can.

  6. Joni,
    I applaud your honest and courageous assessment of the Bush administration's shameful, cavalier "response" to the Katrina disaster. An American city was allowed to drown while vital relief was unforgiveably delayed. It is an ongoing debacle, a national disgrace, that should not be. The usual excuse of ineptness is less than credible. And don't get me started on the documented atrocities inflicted upon terrified pets, abandoned animals, and desperate wildlife. Politics be damned....this is an issue of heart, judgment, and morality. Godspeed, America.

  7. Sharon: thanks. The governor was judged by Karl Rove to be the scapecoat and he organized a campaign against her. Today - they are still trying to blame her. When you look at what happened three years ago vs. today - you can see where help on the federal level is what it takes to move the amount of people out - it's really inexusable what happened that week at the Superdome. I'll never forget that as long as I live.

    Pam, Linda - thank you!

    Krickem - actually is wasn't Katrina that hurt N.Orleans it was the shoddy levee system that failed them. The history of the politics played with that system is long and hits both parties. BUT = when Bush FINALLY decided to send in the troops to get those people out of the hell hole that the Superdome had become - it was too late. He could have sent that word days before and he didn;t. ONce he gave the order - the place was CLEARED in less than 12 hours. He let those poor people suffer in the summer heat with NO water, toilets, food - for days and days. Once he said OK - they were gone. That lies firmly and squarely on his shoulders and I will never know how he sleeps at night. IMO he is the worst president we have ever seen.

    And just one other thing to consider is the people who sold those houses that were in harms way. If you notice, the French quarter and the Garden District made it out ok - not much damage - this is where the wealthy live. The poor folks who were stuck in their attics and on tops of their roofs - were living on land that should have been condemned in the first place. The government is here to see for our safety and welfare. That IS the job of government. They really have none other. Without that there would be anarchy.

  8. I can't imagine what it must be like to board up your home, drop your beloved pets at a shelter and leave your world behind. My heart aches for these people.

    I have no place commenting on American politics but I have my views and I'm not impressed. We got rid of our bad seed and voted in a new prime minister down under. So far so good but only time will tell.

    I pray for the people in the path of Gustav.


  9. Hey, Katrina WAS bad. It revealed how utterly unprepeared a CITY was for a major disaster and how miscommunication can end up in catastrophic results. It was *just as much* Blanco's fault as it was Nagin's AND Bush/Brownie. But everyone seems to forget about Rita, an equally devastating storm that completely DEMOLISHED a working coast. Entire towns were wiped away. Gone. Nothing. Bye. Lives were lost, jobs no more. Families dispersed and animals too. Mass material devistation and economic devastation ensued for the workers who made a life for themselves living off this rough coast that we call the Gulf of Mexico.

    The people of Rita did not complain, they did not blame the govt, they did not blame the sinners and gays as did Pat Roberson. They strapped on their boots and didn't wait for the gov't to do squat for them. End of story.

    Sorry to be the voice of dissent here, but I can't hear any more about NOLA ad nauseum , when places like Pass Christian and lower S. La experienced just as hard of blows yet nobody ever wants to talk about that.....

    P.S. Gustav looks like it's coming more over to my house than N.O. at the moment, so keep your fingers crossed, please.

    Andrea V.

  10. Now that my hubby works in disaster preparedness for the State of TX, he's right in the thick of things when these hurricanes head our way. Even when they head east of TX, he's busy, getting ready to shelter evacuees from other states. He's very busy, but it makes me so proud of him. :-)

  11. Nope. You're right......It's still headed into NOLA. The last image that I saw projected it into Terrebone/SW LA. We'll see.

  12. Andrea, my dear and lovely friend - Pass Christian is a small place and can not compare to a city the size of N.O. - now can it? And the towns that were hit in Rita- also were very tiny. NOW if there were pictures of the interstate during Rita with dead bodies littered on it and thousands of hungry, thirsty babies in the hot sun during Rita - it would HAVE been a story. My sweet friend! now go apologize.

  13. I drove from Tampa through the entire Gulf Coast last May. The devastation is still heart rending to see.

    The Fed's mishandling of Katrina and the aftermath will always be a sad historical fact, whether you want to talk about it or not. It is what it is and denying it doesn't change what wasn't done to help those poor, trapped people.

    I hope that this time everyone that needs to evacuate can get out of the way in time and they make it through the storm are safe and secure with their families, including their pets.

  14. I was living in the UK when Katrina hit and was attending a philanthropy conference during that time.

    All of the Europeans were just saying "oh, everyone in the US has insurance", or "they should have just left if they knew the storm was coming".

    All of the Americans were trying to make these people understand that these were some of the poorest people, some of the most marginalized people who just couldn't do it. It was so frustrating. All the while, we were horrified about the reaction of the President and our government.

    At one point, one of the European presenters was talking about Katrina and saying it wasn't a big deal, etc. I had to interrupt to set him straight on this. He said that no other country would come to our aid, but he was wrong in that.

    About a week later, I was taking the train back home from London and was sharing the seat with the head of the college where I worked. I'd gotten Newsweek, which had the most moving essay on New Orleans and I just started sobbing.

    I had spent a lot of time in NO, learning to cook, so knew the city well. I knew that it would never be the same.

    I can only hope that these people, who've worked so hard for the past three years, are spared the cruel irony of having another hurricane hit nearly to the day after Katrina.

  15. Dianne: do you realize what Bush did personally to all those people who were told to go to the Superdome for shelter? he withheld the means to get those people food and water and toilets for days and days in the hot summer sun = babies, older people. people were dead - littered on the freeway. Do you not remember? The minute he decided it was "time" and he could save face - he gave the word and it was cleared in less than 12 hours. I will never forget what he did and didn't do and I will never forgive him for that. seriously. he let it drag on and on for days so he and Karl Rove could blame the governor who had asked for federal help days before the storm hit. All while our wonderful vp was fly fishing. it was a response orchestrated by Rove and that much has been documented. IT was a travesty. It has taken 2 years of planning to come up with an evacuation procedure that has been very successful. think about that - 2 years they have been planning this. and Bush expected them to do it themselves overnight without any help and set about a campaign to destroy the governor's reputation because she couldn't pull it off by herself. claimed she had not properly asked for help. Brownie was ineffectual in the job and had little or no experience in emergency procedures. he only got the job for a political favor. did anyone not see the congressional hearings on this???? I don't get it. I never will.

  16. And these people still are as nasty as ever...looks like this backfired......

  17. Joni! you ROCK!! You should be ON THE TICKET!!!! PRAYERS are with everyone in Gustav's path!!!

  18. It was appalling what happened to American Citizens in Katrina.

    They were seen as nothing more than Litter in the streets while babies died and human beings were living in filth.

    I've said enough, couldn't agree more with you. It is difficult to let it go when those who SWORE an oath to serve and protect did nothing.

    I hope you are getting to a safe place. And no, these things aren't fun like they used to be!


  19. So very scary....I was in New Orleans less than 24 hrs before Katrina hit a few years ago, it was crazy trying to get out of there and so sad and unfortunate that some didn't make it out at all...I can't believe something just as terrible is happening AGAIN so soon! my thoughts and prayers are with them

  20. Thanks for making this a political statement. I am sure that is the reason people come to your blog. I was there.
    You have no idea.
    As for the displaced, my family's hometown took in a huge number of people and ended up with homes, apartments, and duplexes they owned being trashed and boys in the school district telling local girls they would be their 'b@tch' and that this was their chance to make the 6th street gangs look like #$@. Many of my friends went down to help. One family friend was in the first wave of assistance and stayed for months to help. They did more than those of us who sent clothes and water and had a Bush bash.
    Hurricane Katrina was horrible. I pray Gustav will not cause such hurt and devastation.
    What have we done as individuals to protect ourselves and others from this? Are we expecting the government to save us? Haven't we learned they can't - regardless of political party?

  21. Joni,
    In addition to being being obsessed with houses and their lovely contents, I am a dedicated political junkie. Speaking only for myself, these past 8 years have exacted a devastating toll on my spirit. I am too often awash with frustration, anger, alarm, and disbelief. Frankly, there are only so many mood-altering meds one can safely consume!
    And that is where you come in, my dear. Your lovely site is an oasis. Beauty, taste, fun, civility, intelligence, and encouragement go a long way in making my days brighter. And I thank you.
    In regard to this particular post, there are times when one has to take a stand, as you have chosen to do. Too many trusting Americans have blindly lumbered through these disasterous 8 years, too many have relied on less than stellar media sources (you know who they are, and one of them is anything but "fair and balanced"), too many have been fearfully reluctant to dissent. We are Americans, and it is still our privileged right to speak out when we see our government abuse power...Truth to Power is a tremendous tool.
    Stay strong, Joni.

  22. Joni,
    Thank you so much for your great blog. Every post is so thorough. They are an education. Just wonderful! I loved the one on Galveston. As a New Yorker who is trying to figure out where I might relocate to in the Houston are, I just loved it. I'm an Interior Designer and I haven't the foggiest idea if I could make a living there, but boy it looks great in pictures.
    I agree with you completely, that poor woman was a scapegoat. My father lives in Lake Charles and luckily his neighborhood and home did not flood during Rita. This time around he is in an asissted living facility that was great about evacuating them early and safely. It makes such a difference. I couldn't contact my father for about two weeks after Rita. I spent all my time trying to find he and my stepmother through different agencies, all of whom were overwhelmed. I never want to have to go through that nightmare again.
    I am planning to relocate to Houston or nearby, to be closer to him. He doesn't have that much time left and I want to be with hm.
    Best to you and I hope for a safe remainder of the summer for you and yours and the rest of the Gulf Coast.

  23. Good thoughts from B'ham too! It's cloudy here already with some gusty winds & I'm really hoping that we don't get pounded with rain today. My stepdaughter drove up from Baton Rouge last night to get away from some of the chaos in LA.

    Best wishes, Joni!

  24. ditto anonymous- I come here for your posts on decorating, not your liberal rants. Now of course it is your blog, write what you want-- but you've lost a long-time reader.

  25. You go, Girl! Right on!!!!!!!!!If ny last name was Bush I would get it legally changed.

  26. Keeping an eye on Gustav. My thoughts go out to everyone in the path of the storm!

    Thanks for this post, Joni!

  27. My thoughts are with you , never payed attention to politics of the US and being an outsider I think I have an unbiased view from here , Bush is poor excuse for your president, I love to hear your liberal views , speak your mind always , live and learn , not make excuses for obvious and horrific mistakes .

  28. Has the superb evacuation due to Gustav not been implemented under the BUSH ADMINISTRATION? A plan of this calliber should of been in place prior to Katrinia, but it was not ... was not in place during the Clinton administration either!

  29. Joni, I've been a HUGE fan of yours from the first time I found your blog. Your aesthetic is fabulous and your commentary is superb! ButI must tell you, your latest blog was awesome! You told us exaxctly how you felt, which just happens to echo my feelings to a tee. Bravo, Joni, and continue to send us your heart!

  30. Right on anon!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Clinton had 8 years to create a plan. We learned from our mistakes and the current BUSH plan was almost flawless.!!!!!!!
    We Republicans will never agree with you Democrats. Let's just all be glad the people of New Orleans are safe from this storm.

  31. My dear cousin Linda is one of the New Orleans evacuee's. She weathered Katrina and is hoping her home fares as well this go around.

  32. I'll stay out of the political fray, but one thing I learned recently was that the local governments have to ask for help from the state, and the state has to ask for help from the Feds. If the Feds could just come in on their own, we'd be living in a socialist or communist country.

    It also takes an enormous amount of communication and coordination to plan for and work a disaster, and those things were not in place during Rita and Katrina. It takes years and years to put all that together, and all governments -- local, state and federal -- were unprepared back in 2005.

  33. Thank you Sandra/tx!!!!!!!! I couldn't have said it better myself!

  34. Whoa! I go to work today and come back to this! nice!

    my point is this: what happened in Katrina's aftermath was a disaster because before Katrina, during hurricanes, people had a choice to either evacuate or people could go to shelters, weather the storm, go home, end of story. But with Katrina, the town flooded out completely. The people were stranded at the shelter and the hospitals and in their attics and on their rooftops and no one came to get them. the only people who could save them was the federal government. and they chose not to for days and days in the hot summer sun - with babies and children having no water or milk or food. Instead, they chose to put the blame on the democratic governor, who was blameless IMHO.

    After Katrina, when it was realized that the entire city could be lost again, a plan was devised to evacuate NOT shelter. Obviously this worked wonderfully with the help of the federal government. Seeing what it took to evacuate the city, the two years of planning, the manpower, the equipment, the buses, the trains - and remembering that BUSH and ROVE expected LA to do it all by themselves without a plan? And then blame the governor for not asking for help, when she actually did? Such foolishness.

    If the republicans want to take the credit for the new plan fine - let them - they deserve it, but then they must take the blame for the old plan - this was 3 years ago, it happpened on Bush watch after 5 years in office. How anyone can blame CLINTON for this is beyond me.

    For those who now can no longer read my blog because I am a democrat, I really am flabbergasted about that. I think in over a year, I've actually written twice total about politics. I allow all comments, even anonymous ones, for you to state your case. I don't erase negative comments, though I could. I've always encouraged honest debate. But if reading my opinion is just too much for anyone to handle, then I'm sorry. I think there was actually plenty of information from both sides that it was a pretty fair debate. And if that is offensive, I can't help you.

    And now to really p.o. everyone and lose even MORE readers: Michael Moore's new documentary out this fall is about Katrina. It looks wonderful! go to this web site to see the trailer: and that sound you now hear is all the doors slamming shut on my poor blog. Help!!!!!

  35. I'm with you, Joni. It is bad enough to be inept, but to PLAY POLITICS with people's lives? That is unforgivable. And the last time I checked, we are supposed to love ALL our neighbors, not just the ones who are willing and able to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps.

    So you go, girl. I'm right there with you!


  36. Hello Joni,i want to thank you for stoping by and leaving your kind thoughts.We did make it though the storm,with only miner damage.We had trees down and one of those landed on the edge of my brand new roof.Such is life.We still have ours. LOL...It was a hundred times better than Katrina.We were without power for 4 weeks during Ms. K.Only a few hours for this one.I raise peacocks and my birds came out fine,if not a little soaked.i loss 8 last time and several chicks.I don't know about my Koi fish yet ,because The water is still rageing though my Wier.That is a controlled waterway,we built.Now,i want to say,you also have a very nice blog.I will come back and visit when I can,We have alot of branches and limbs to clean up so
    ill be on the puter a little less for awhile.Hugs and God bless you, Marie Antionette

  37. Hi, my name is Jill (from Fort Worth), and I love your site. I look at blogs like personal graciously share your wonderful pictures/ideas with us, as well as your thoughts. I do think if many conservatives had their way, anyone who disagrees with their views would be censored completely. They absolutely cannot tolerate any differing views, and that's sad. (Note that I said "many" not "all".) And, after the last 8 horrible years of what Bush and Co. have done to this great nation, I think we all have the right to breath a sigh of relief that it's almost over! How anyone can defend that man is beyond me.
    Anyway, I'm sorry for those who have been affected by these storms and have said many prayers. God bless!
    Joni, thank you for all that you share with us here. I have gotten so much inspiration from your site!

  38. Joni, I can totally agree with your perspective - seems like the government fell short during Katrina, and if it had not been for the generosity and scrambling of many individuals and agencies, things would have been worse - who can imagine worse?
    We've been hearing a lot here in Canada about the storms and the preparations along the coast - I was impressed that the New Orleans evacuation was done so slickly - let's hope everyone remains safe.

    I can't imagine the fear of constantly living with these storms, especially for people in low lying areas and immediately coastal. But everyone really, as even small storms can do a lot of damage.

    Do take care! xo Terri

  39. Bravo, Joni! I have been a loyal reader of your blog and think I have a sense of what a wonderful person you are -- loyal to both family and friends, eager to champion causes you believe in, not fearful of expressing your opinion, creative and unselfish. Keep up the good work. Whether you are posting on passementerie or politics you have a loyal readership.

  40. S. Adler - thank you!!! I really appreciate your support. It means the world to me.

  41. I have also been a loyal reader, and I applaud that you took a stand about this. Even if I disagreed, (which I do not) I would still come back to your blog, because you have unselfishly taught us so much.

  42. Whoa! No need to get self-absorbed by the debate. How refreshing that Joni lays her heart and mind on the line! Let us all agree to disagree with politeness and class. I love a Texas woman with her own point of view creating a good debate. Thanks, Joni, for being so such a breath of fresh air!

  43. Stick to what you are good at, you have fabulous taste...but leave the politicking to the pundits. You just lost a reader.

  44. Kathy in MississippiSeptember 2, 2008 at 8:41 PM

    There is plenty of blame to go around for the horrible aftermath of Katrina. If the LA government had used federal money to make sure the levees would hold, instead of blowing it on other things, much of what happened would have been avoided.
    The city of NO should have known a hurricane would eventually hit them, why didn't they already have some sort of plan written up? Why did they refuse the buses Bush wanted to send to them b/4 Katrina actually hit?
    And who is to say that just b/c NO is a large city, what happened to the smaller cities on the Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi coasts is less of a tragedy! I doubt they think so.
    I agree that our government should have done more, but did you do anything to help? Did you go w/any church or other volunteer groups from across the country to the coast to help hand out food and water? Have you helped collect food, water and clothing for those who now have none? These are the real heros of this disaster, along w/those who are heading to the Mississippi and Louisiana coasts as I write this. It is time we quit waiting on the government to do everything, when there is much we can do ourselves!
    I appreciate your willingness to have opposing voices on your blog.
    You may very well have helped tremendously in the aftermath of Katrina. I did not mean to imply that you didn't.

  45. All hail Joni!
    You rocked this blog bigtime, sista!! And all this time, I assumed you were a Republican and then you go all yellow-dog on us.
    I doubt the haters will abandon you; you're too good at what you do.
    I'm totally with you on this. I will never forget seeing the misery played out on our TVs during that terrible time and the hopeless rage at my govt. I felt. And as for Kathy in MS, yes, my fellow Austinites (like Joni if you read closely) turned out in DROVES to contribute cots and clothing, so much that they were turned away. Our president failed us. End of story. And this is a perfect CTD blog entry, weaving a national design treasure that is NO and its ongoing plight into the mix.

  46. So thankful that we did not experience another Katrina--or Ivan, for that matter.

    I know that with all of your fabulous blogginess, you may not have time for "an award", but you've got one on my site.

    I just love Cote De Texas! Such style you have! Love it!

  47. We are sisters when it comes to politics!! My sales rep. lives in Kenner and I lived through Katrina vicariously. She WAS a hard core Republican is now is not. I commend you on your bravery. I mentioned that I was blown away by the Democratic convention on my blog and felt nervous doing it. You have inspired me to speak my mind. I am putting you on my links list and will have all my friends see your wonderful work. I also have an email to send you from M. Moore. Sincerely, Shelly Beson

  48. I knew you were a woman of style, and now I know that you have substance, too.
    I couldn't agree more with you.

  49. Joni, this is why I love you--you just tell it like it is. I'm a little puzzled by why this post became so controversial. I think we can all agree it was a tragedy and a travesty that we hope and pray will never be repeated. -Julia

  50. This post became controversial due to Joni's 'take'. I realize it is personal, but her coment absolving the governor of LA and mayor of NO of all blame? And placing it squarely on the back of the feds? Let's contrast the local government response to Katrina and Jindal's response. Landrieau waited for 4 days to rquest help. FEMA called a week AHEAD of Katrina to ask permission to move supplies in. That request was refused. Jindal activated the NG and got supplies in last week. Surprise, Nagin came BACK from Denver and stayed in NO...during Katrina he evacuated his family to Dallas and his daughter finihshed out the school year there. His family was safe, he did't care about the rest.

    I did enjoy the blog and your ideas. Sorry..I won't be sticking around to see how you plan to ream Palin.

  51. Probably should add that I am a Texas native, survivor of hurricanes, tropical storms and depressions. Relatives in yeah, I can talk.

  52. Passementerie and Politics~what a lovely subtitle for this lovely blog, and so clever of S.Adler to come up with that euphonious tag.
    Point being that anyone who decided to "drop" Cote de Texas after her remarks, which were scarcely inflammatory, but sincere and heartfelt (this is a good woman we're talking about)...well then, good riddance to them.

  53. I hope you are all safe and sound! It looks like there is just one after the other headed your way. My daughter Hannah is not pleased about this next one.

  54. I don't understand. Why would people dramatically say they're done with this site, just because the author/owner of it shared some personal thoughts? I thought that's what blogs were? Are people truly that insecure, that they can't handle reading other viewpoints? I'm totally middle-of-the-road with my beliefs, and don't agree with everything Joni has posted here.....but I'm not letting it stop me from enjoying all the wonderful ideas and pictures here! And I appreciate that I can look at them all for FREE! :-)

  55. Ugggh - just waiting until the dreaded season is over! I always worry about my animals during the storms.

  56. Well said, anon 3:14

    As you can read upthread, Joni and I disagree on a fundamental level about this. We exchanged a few emails and agreed to disagree, but you know what? I still love her as a *dear friend* and mentor even though she patronized the pants off of me in her response ;) But she knows I'll let it slide. THIS TIME. ;)

    Joni puts her heart and soul into this blog...all for US, and us only. Is it surprising or shocking to read that she would be equally passionate about her political views? Call it liberal, call it leftist or what have you, but to say " I'm not coming back to this blog b/c you wrote about something I disagree with?" Are you serious? That's a little extreme! Her views don't make her a bad person just as ours with dissenting views don't make us *bad* people. I doubt she would be so intolerant if the tables were turned and you wrote about it in your blog. In fact, I know she wouldn't.

    No matter what Joni's political views are it doesn't negate the fact that she is a FABULOUS writer, a WONDERFUL person, and gives us readers her everything, and asks nothing except for a KIND comment or two in return. Cut her some slack why don't ya!

    Andrea V.

  57. I don't think it is Joni that people are mad at. I think there are 2 sides to every story. I thought we could all agree to disagree. But....the comments have been so mean spirited and nasty. I , like many others, blog for fun. We don't need this stress added to our lives. Let's get back to decorating.

  58. I wanted to say something else but Mitt romney just came on and I have to exercise my eye rolls.

  59. That's it...I'm outta here!!

  60. Hi I nominated your blog for "I love your blog award" please go to my blog and get it. mishelle

  61. Wow! These comments are sheer entertainment... Love it! This is the first time I've actually enjoyed the comments better than the post. I love a woman (or man) that stands their ground - good for you! You've made me feel like a total wimp, however. I once posted a story about being liberated and what it means to me. I received such a nasty comment that I not only deleted the comment, but the entire post. I allowed this one person to cause me to second guess myself, and make me think that I was being offensive to some readers. She commented that she would never read my blog again because she was sick of my "woman hear me roar" stories. In hindsight, I should have roared right back like you did... I love a great debate - we're fortunate to have that right - it's quite liberating! You go, girl!

  62. Just a note to thank those who stood up for me!!! much appreciated. hard to believe how personal people take their belief in Bush, but whatever. thanks to y'all who will continue to read my blog regardless.

    Really - thanks.

  63. You said "hard to believe how personal people take their belief in Bush". Why is it hard to understand Joni? Your personal beliefs are deeply felt, are they not? When something or someone you believe in or support is criticized and insulted in a manner you deem unfair or incorrect, do you not take it personally, as if your beliefs are directly being questioned? You have chosen to blame Bush for the entire mess that was Katrina and that's your right. And this is your blog and you have a right to use it as you see fit. Some of your readers will completely agree with you and others won't. Of those who don't, some will keep reading because of your excellent posts on interiors and others will opt out, which is their right. But, you've put your political sentiments out into a public forum and you should expect to get push back from those who disagree with you. What surprises you about that?

  64. What I meant was - that just because I don't like Bush and someone likes Bush - it surprises me how personal they take it that I don't care for Bush. Why should they care whether I like him or not? I don't care whether they like him or not. I wouldn't use it as a litmus test whether I read someone's blog or not.

    I read tons of blogs where I KNOW the people are 100% different from me, politically, and every other way, but I read them because the blog is interesting. I don't really care what their politics are.

    It just surprises me that because someone likes Bush - that if they find out someone doesn't like Bush - they can't read that blog anymore.

    Seems rather superficial and hypocritical.

    They like me - they like my blog. But when they find out that i don't like Bush or how he handled Katrina - they suddenly don't like me. But actually they do, because they've been reading my blog for over a year probably. It's like they are afraid they will get cooties or maybe that God won't forgive them. I have no idea. It is just rather surprising to me. I couldn't imagine living in judgment of people like they are.

    My husband adores McCain is going to vote Republican - following their example, he should be moving out of the house!!!! he might get Obama cooties from moi.

    thanks for the great comment. mucho appreciated.

  65. Hi Joni, Sorry I haven't written sooner, I have been off the grid. Thank you so much for the shout out to me and my Alberto, and to New Orleans. I have tears in my eyes.
    We choose to live and love in New Orleans, so we take the good with the bad (bad ass hurricanes that is).
    All who live on the Gulf Coast know that horrible feeling in the deep pit of the stomach when you hear you are living in the days of the dreaded cone of uncertainty.
    I do not think most people understand what Katrina did to all of us, both in and out of New Orleans. And I think you have covered it brilliantly. And I thank you for it.
    The wetlands have been trashed, so this is how it's going to be until New Orleans (and everything in South Lousiana) slips away into the water. I want to live to be a very old lady, but I hope I don't lose my beloved New Orleans in my lifetime.

  66. Now how did I miss this Joni!?
    Whoa. I guess you are to be known only for decorating and to have absolutely NO opinions on anything else in life. Hmm...
    Me thinks that if YOUR opinion had been in complete agreement with these dissenters, they would have applauded you for posting something like this

    Katrina was a horrible fiasco, horribly handled by the govt.
    So many there are still living with homes that have yet to be completed or are in cheap govt. housing. Our nation can do better. MUCH better. This ebac was handled the correct way, and this comes from someone who lived on the Atlantic and Gulf Coast for years.

    I love how some dissenters feel it is up to each individual to protect themselves. Isn't that smug? If he/she CAN, then good for them. What of those who do not have the means or abilities? Should we just allow them to drown? To starve? To die from dehydration? We know a member of the National Guard that ws there and what he saw at the Superdome will stay with him forever. It has changed so many of his beliefs and ideals.

    And wasn't it just amazing that
    thise who criticized me (for being UNChristian and UNAmerican) for posting something humorous, let me know for whom they will vote in November. Guess which party?

    None of us stay *on topic* all the time. To those who disagree, move on to something else. Obviously there is a lot of very thin skinned people floating around these days. Wonder why?? *grin*

    I thought this post was wonderful. You write so well...


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