“Sayings of Mom and Dad!”


My thoughts for ‘Sayings of Mom and Dad’ began after my Mom’s death 28 November 2000 at which time I commenced spending one day a week in my home of origin in Lake Arthur, LA, a weekly sojourn I treasure to this day!  


As I began to order contents and paper, fifty-nine years of life in one place, clean while grieving up a storm, and ‘not put something down but put it away!’, I found myself remembering such words and exhortations which led to remembrances thus this compilation of ‘Sayings’.  Over time I smiled again especially in my heart which slowly began to transform and heal in gratefulness for their joy and love of life encapsulated in their deep abiding faith in The Light they faithfully followed.


There is no particular order; I write when I remember or due to a familial encounter; just about anything in life can trigger ‘Sayings!’ It is very comforting to me in remembering but wonderful indeed to be able to share them in one place with you!


My memories are bright and fulfilling for I loved and respected my parents on earth as I do in heaven and will miss them all the days of my life from this side!  


Lead, Kindly Light!

Anna ‘Bernadette’ Monlezun-Pontón, fourth child, eldest daughter of ten children!



~ Dad and Mom/Lee Joseph and Anna ‘Gertrude’ Hensgens-Monlezun, my parents! ~

~ BaBette/Bette is my nickname!

~ These ‘Sayings’ were uttered up to and among twelve people under one roof! Also among both sets of grandparents, numerous aunts, uncle, cousins, employees, customers, religious and friends in and out of the house all the years long…a veritable city of many souls! So, if you want to own any of these nuggets of gold personally ‘you go right on ahead’ for ‘if the shoe fits wear it!!!!’ Or you can remain barefooted while reading and just Enjoy!!!!



Decided to ‘wrap’ ‘Saying of Mom and Dad’ in strips of paper attached to a Christmas candy cane!  2015:  Saying #1 - #50, 2016:  #51 – 100, 2017 # 101 – 150!!



  1. If you don’t straighten up, you’ll go to your room!
  2. Take your watch off when you get to work!  Don’t watch the clock!
  3. Save more than you spend!
  4. You make your bed, you lie in it!
  5. Silence is gold!
  6. Ya’ll have fun!
  7. What goes around comes around!
  8. Never make fun of religion!
  9. All aboard!  In the car-r!
  10. Kitchen’s closed! Lights out at nine!
  11. Say your prayers on your knees every night!
  12. Call home, collect, if need be!
  13. Hold the line and keep the faith!
  14. You lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas!
  15. Take those flowers off the table, you can’t eat that!
  16. You don’t have a camisole under that do you?!
  17. I don’t know when it starts, but we’ll be the last ones to leave!
  18. I’d rather dance than eat!

19. If more people worked 5 days a week and danced on the 6th, this would be a happier world!

20. Do what you can! Come when you can!

21. When someone dies, get dressed and go!

22. When you’re worried, pull weeds in your yard!

23. Come and visit, but when the sun goes down, you go home! (Daddy!)

24. Don’t wake a sleeping child!

25. Don’t throw a mop up against the baseboards!

26. Hang your clothes pretty on the line, towels with towels and shirts with shirts!

27. If you get everything in the beginning, you have nothing to work toward together!

28. Don’t blame it on someone else, did you do it?!

29. You won’t leave this table until you finish that plate! You dished it, you eat it!

30. Get on your knees in the pantry!

31. I’ll wait till the cows come home!

32. You paid how much for that?!

33. Show me who you run with and I’ll tell you what you are!

34. Do the right thing!

35. Your job is to study!

36. My children are my flowers!

37. I found a man with little hair, a broken back, a crooked knee and I married him anyway!

38. It’s not fair, my mother-in-law all my life lived 4 blocks away, spoke English and lived to be 105! You married at 30, your mother-in-law lives 3,000 miles away and speaks only Spanish! 

39. I hate cameras and microphones…they never work when you need them to!

40. Where’s your coat?!

41. You want to pend the night with your MawMaw?!

42. We have these homes and all the stuff and we go to restaurants where you can’t visit!

43. I’ve been singing in a church choir since I’m seven!

44. God doesn’t whip with a stick!

45. Hon, you want a shot of coffee?!

46. He swallowed three raw eggs every morning; I never had to fix his breakfast!

47. Sing to lighten the load!

48. You can always clean the house!

49. We’ll eat whatever is on the stove; I’m cleaning out the box!

50. Just close one eye!

51. Where are my keys? We never lock the house or the trucks!

52. You get $20 dollars every Sunday night and that’s to last you for the week!

53. Turn the fires off and let’s go!

54. Watch!  Watch!  Over the next hill is a pork ‘n bean patch!!!

55. Bite the bullet!

56. Save that!

57. I’m at my wits end!

58. You’ll just have to make do!

59. That’s the way the cow ate the cabbage!

60. It’s such a rigga-mor-row!­ (I just read the spelling is ‘rigamarole!’ I like Mom’s better!!)

61. I love to see all white cows grazing in the field!

62. I could eat a horse!

63. Whoa mule!

64. You get more with honey!

65. I know, we didn’t get to that!

66. As long as you have a wet rag in your hand, you might as well keep going!

67. Those who need to know, know!

68. Let others toot your horn! It sounds better coming from someone else!

69. Don’t clean a pot in the sink without a cushion, it marks the granite!

70. Keep the fires low!

71. I taught 10 children to tie their shoe laces, then they invent velcro!

72. Iron those clothes and hang them pretty, pretty all in a row!

73. You might be poor but you can be clean!

74. Sunday night was Gloria’s and my time to catch up on phone; sometimes we’d talk an hour and a half!

75. We stripped 7 beds every Saturday morning, did 7 loads of clothes and hung them on the line and that night when Daddy and I would put the children to bed, it was such a good feeling. We were all dressed and in the pew for 9 a.m. Sunday Mass having put the fryers in the oven on low for dinner!

76. Do me a favor, memorize your social security number!

77. How did you do it, Gertrude, with 10 children?  Well, she said, they came one at a time and the oldest helped with the youngest. My children were never a burden!

78. I hate to take medicine!

79. Best lookin Daddy you’ll ever have!

80. Mom says, “Who do you love?!”  MawMaw says, “No! No! No!”

81. Leave well enough alone!

82. It’s that tih-tih-tit stuff!

83. What’s a few years of college compared to the rest of your life doing what you want to do!

84. Cut just the fluff!


86. Who’s turn is it for the window (seat)?!

87. Daddy bought for me one good maternity outfit per child. He would order it from the Spiegel catalog!

88. Don’t ask questions, just do it!

89. You came by that honestly!

90. I can’t believe you don’t eat leftovers!

91. That’s your little red wagon!

92. Bud, I’ll take 20 hamburgers & 10 French fries, we have water in the car!

93. Dominique started his first day of school and after walking in the house and hearing the clock ticking, I walked right out and went to Daddy’s office!

94. Kill ‘um with kindness!

95. Too much sugar for a dime!

96. Don’t be too sure about that!

97. Write it down or you’ll forget!

98. It’s a little piece of heaven here on earth!

99. Another day, another dollar!

100. Use your noggin!                  …printed for candy canes Christmas 2016!

101. They are pennies from heaven!

102. Mercy sakes alive!

103. That’s why there’s chocolate and vanilla!

104. That gate swings both ways!

105. Caring goes both ways!

106. When it rains it pours!

107. Let the hair go with the hide!

108. Money spent on food is never wasted!

109. Six of one and a half dozen of another!

110. Taste steel!!!

111. He’s a pistol alright!

112. There’s a sucker born every minute!

113. Close that door! Don’t stand in the box!

114. That’s enough milk, don’t make your Mama go to the store! (Mom to the grandchildren!)

115. Turn that light off, we don’t work for Gulf States!

116. You can do a lot when you want to, you can do a lot more when you have to!

117. You let Daddy worry about that!

118. Those were Papa’s sisters and not one of them was under 200 lbs!!

119. Let’s go home and clean out the box!

120. Why worry when you can pray!

121. Easy come, easy go!

122. All you have is your name and reputation so keep your nose clean!

123. I cannot b-e-l-i-e-v-e!!

124. This thing? It’s as old as the hills!

125. Sa-ca-meh!!

126. Give ‘um an inch and they’ll take a mile!

127. You know which side of your bread is buttered! 

128. It’s that east wind, I’m chilled to the bone! I’m always cold around my neck!

129. I hate the smell of fish! Hon, give me your handkerchief!

130. Let’s go drive and get an ice cream cone!

131. We’re riding to Crowley to see the Christmas lights!!

132. Daddy would wear over-alls to work having worn khaki pants and shirts for years. He would say people wouldn’t pay their bills if he looked too prosperous!

133. Hon, turn off the television and let’s go to bed!

134. Clean as you go!

135. Lord-y mer-cy!

136. When I first wake up, I’m not worth a plug nickel!

137. You have to be able to cut the mustard!

138. Right is right and wrong is wrong no matter how you cut it!

139. Use your common sense, you know, the sense the Lord gave you!

140. Straighten up and fly right!

141. Poor old soul!

142. Another day, another dollar!

143. Put that in your pipe and smoke it!

144. Don’t stew in your problems, get to work! 

145. It’s that tone of voice!

146. What one doesn’t think of the other one will!

147. Don’t try and harmonize, you either can or can’t. Sing the melody. There is nothing worse than almost hitting the note!! (From Mom to me…today, I stick to the melody except when I think I hear a harmony)!!!

148. Don’t come home without your spouse and talk about your troubles, Daddy would say. If you’re having troubles, talk things out and then both of you come home for a visit!

149. How much do you love me Daddy would ask and we were to spread our whiddle arms wide and wider each time he asks and when they could go no wider, we would say, “We love you this much!”  He would be thrilled!

150. Daddy would beckon you over, open his palm and there, lay coins. He would spread them out with his other hand and offer us any one of our choosing. Now, which coin was usually chosen?!! …printed for candy canes Christmas 2017!

151. Nothing pulls electricity like an iron! When you iron, iron it all!

152. Daddy once queried Mom as to her thoughts on the lengthy lives of his parents as they were getting up and up in years.  Mom replied, “it must fit into The Master’s plan and besides it gives us a chance to take care of them!” (Robert Joseph).

153. Daddy would walk into a store with us and say, “The skies the limit!” Mom was with us at the check-out counter with the reality-check!!

154. If you never lie, you don’t need a memory!

155. Someone once commented to my husband ‘…your father-in-law was the Lake Arthur philosopher; you could talk to him about anything and you always learned something new!’

156. Don’t just make do, fix it right…aach!…where are your safety pins, we don’t have time! Let’s go!!

157. How many pennies do you find on the ground at the most serendipitous times?! Finding one would just make Mom’s day!!

158. You lie down on that pillow for a nap and I don’t want to hear a peep out of you!

159. You pay till it bleeds for your children to have a Catholic education!

160. I remember Mom saying,” The way you can tell a true farmer is that they love having their hands in the dirt at which time they are completely happy. That’s Makenzie!” (Robert Joseph Jr.)

161. What am I going to do, go home and look at the four walls?!

162. Don’t stand in the box!

163. Well, I’…ll be!

164. As bad as it is, is as good as it is!

165. Do you think I was born yesterday?!!

(My cousin, Alberta, quips “I might have been born at night but not last night!!!”)

166. Keep your eye on the ball!  Steady as she goes!

167. You’d better straighten up and fly right!

168. If you loose your name you loose everything. It takes a lifetime to get it back!

169. You can’t figure it out, don’t even try!

170. You’ve got a backbone, use it!

171. You can do anything you put your mind to!

172. Back to the salt mines!

173. Daddy would say, “It’s OK Bette, just leave everything to me. You just study!”

174. You know when the parent is over 100 years of age, the children are old too!
175. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger!

176. And that’s it in a nutshell!

177. Don’t put it down, put it away!

178. Don’t bite off more than you can chew!

179. Get out there and learn something!

180. Let’s pacque some Easter eggs! (Constance learned while in France that ‘Pacque’ means ‘Happy Easter!’)

181. It’s that tone of voice, don’t use that with me!!

182. Keep a stiff upper lip!          

183. Always do the right thing and keep your nose clean!

184. Talk fast, it’s long distance! (We had 3 minutes!!!)

185. “Lee has the patience of Job but when he’s had enough, he’s had enough!” (Mom)

186. “Hon, you need some money? Here’s two hundred…put one bill in your purse and the other somewhere in the car in case you need extra cash!” Before Daddy died, Mom had never written a check in her life! On 8th street she would put cash in back of the freezer and after her diagnosis would send us there to get what was needed, as she called it, ‘cold cash!!’

187. You’re fraching around, get to work!

188. God-a-love-ya-and-God-a-bless-ya!

189. Do you have any idea what I am talking about?!!

190. Put it back!

191. If you don’t die young, life is long!

192. Give them enough rope and they’ll hang themselves!

193. Mon Dieu!

194. I got so lost I didn’t know if I was coming or going!

195. I couldn’t make heads or tails of the thing!

196. Hum softly in an ear or, when there is fear ~“Tah-ah Tah-Tah-Ta-Tah Tah-tah!!”

197. Rise and shine all you chillins! Time to hit the floor!!

198. Come on Hon, let’s sing ‘Red River Valley!’ Hon, you sing ‘The Little Red Ford!’

199. That’s it, that’s using your noggin!

200. Make wide turns on those curves, that way you save the rubber on your tires!!

201. Keep checking those gauges as you’re driving… kick one eye way ahead of your front hood and one in the rear view mirror!! Keep a steady foot on the pedal!

202. You can’t always get it right, just try your darndest and let the hair go with the hide!

203. Daddy would say, “Bette, sing ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ and let her rip!!’

204. When you write, move the entire arm not just your wrist and practice, practice, practice!

205. Many-a-night, Mom and I eat cornbread and milk with a little Steen’s syrup mixed in! Then a big big bowl of ice cream with chocolate syrup and pecans on top!!  

206. Keep your wits about you and finish the job!

207. That kid would argue with a fence post!

208. Talk is cheap!

209. Unless you’re willing to roll up your sleeves, don’t criticize.

210. That’s the way it is, there’s no two ways about it!

211. During the TV commercials, close and rest your eyes! (This was prior to the mute button!)

212. Pay attention to what you are doing!

213. The spirit is willing but the body is weak!

214. You can lead a horse to the trough but you can’t make him drink!

215. Do not compare what you do with anyone else. Do what you can to the best of your ability.

216. When you’re finish with it, give it back to the Indians!

217. I’d go to bat for you tooth and nail!

218.You’d better grab that bull by the horns!

219. Don’t be dead weight, pull your load!

220. Whatever you do, I’ll find out! A mother knows!! She has eyes behind her head!

221. When those monthly bills come in, pay your house note first to keep a roof over your head, then, buy food. If anything is left over after putting in savings, you can go to the show! For every five bucks earned save one!

222. Don’t wear your feelings on your sleeve!      

223. Now, that sounds more like it!

224. Whatdoyaknow about that! Life is something isn’t it?!

225. Don’t count your chickens before they hatch!

226. You can be anything you think you’re big enough to be!

227. Aren’t you the pot calling the kettle black!

228. Don’t wait for tomorrow what you can do today!

229. It takes all kinds to make this world go round!

230. Well, you certainly swallowed that one hook, line and sinker!

231. Don’t cross that bridge until you get to it!

232. I’m going to give you a taste of your own medicine!

233. If there is a smoker in the room, the smoke will find me!

234. Don’t you get too big for your britches!

235. Everything in moderation! Don’t go overboard!

236. Don't be so impressed, he puts his pants on one leg at a time just like you!

237. Aren't you the cat's meow!

238. If you can't behave, I'm going to separate you two!

239. Hon, let me read you Dagwood!

240. You're older, set a good example!

241. Always pay your way and never owe anyone!

242. If you must borrow, return it before the sun sets in the same condition that you borrowed it or better!

243. Never let the sun set on an argument; don't go to bed angry!

244. Tank up when the needle is on half. That way you don't get into trouble!

245. You're going to drive that car until the wheels fall off of it! I'll pay the note and insurance, you pay for the gas! I have five of you children on my fleet insurance policy so please, drive carefully!

246. If he jumps off of a bridge are you going to do the same?! Be careful who you follow!

247. I didn't let my sons play football. I broke my back when I was nineteen and have suffered with it all my life. Why would I want my sons to possibly hurt themselves for life throwing a ball around? Track is okay. And when the boys finish practice they come to the office and work! Work is first, then hit the books! All that other stuff, is it really necessary?!

248. For the life of me, I don't get P.E. You go to school to learn, you get exercise while working, not kicking a ball around!!!

249. “The mark of a good propane salesman is not how much you sell in the winter but it's how much you can sell in the summer! Daddy said... from Dominique Joseph ...and

250. You can go after all the fuel and propane business but if you had it all, you wouldn't want it all!”

251. ‘Kids’ are baby goats; they are your children, say children not kids!

252. Do you need me to come over there and light a fire under you to get you moving?!

253. If we go, I don’t want to have to watch the clock. There’s nothing worse than going to visit someone and having to be some place at a certain time!

254. Stand up straight and stop biting your nails!

255. You can be anything you think you’re big enough to be!

256. That better not be going in one ear and out the other!

257. You’re right on the money!

258. I’m too pooped to pop!

259. When the going gets tough, the tough get going!

260. Grab a dictionary and look it up!

261. If you don’t know, guess-timate!

262. She would look good even in sack cloth and ashes!

263. Say what you mean and mean what you say!

264. I’m happy to eat whatever is put in front of me; how could I complain as long as it’s cooked and served. I’m happy! I’m grateful!

265. You can talk till you’re blue in the face; just do what I told you to do!

266. Black is black and white is white. But, if it’s a gray area, you might want to take another look at the situation!

267. You never know what will tickle your funny bone!

268. Time will tell!

269. During the television commercials, rest your eyes, study the inside of your eye balls!

270. Goodnight Irene!

271. They get you coming and going!

272. If it doesn’t kill you it will make you stronger!

273. We all have our crosses to bear…you get out of bed each morning and put one foot in front of the other!

274. That poor old soul!

275. You’d better watch those hips girl and lay off those potato chips!!

276. I gave up watermelon for Lent!

277. As bad as it is, is as good as it gets!

278. Go ahead and throw an ice cube on the floor before you start to fill your glass; one’s going there anyway!

289. Call a spade a spade!

290. There’s no rest for the weary!

291. You hit it right on the money!

292. He was fit to be tied!

293. You can do anything you put your mind to!

294. There’s more than one way to skin a cat!

295. Strike while the iron is hot!

296. If you keep your nose clean you don’t have to worry about anything!

297. Make hay while the sun shines!

298. Just think all you’ll have to tell your grandchildren!

299. We’re cut from the same cloth!

300. Um-m-m you learn something new every day!

301. I betcha he’s guilty sure as shootin!

302. I’ll meet you at the Holiday Inn! We’ll stay gone the whole day so don’t be looking at your watch! There’s nothing worse than having to be somewhere else!!

303. You’re burning daylight! Get to work!

304. There’s just no figuring it out!

305. Now let me tell you something young lady; you are no more going to go by yourself to that party than a man in the moon! And that’s that! And take off most of that make-up!!

306. Now that gets my goat!

307. When Lorraine left for the convent, Frances would cry in a dishtowel all day long. She couldn’t peel potatoes for weeks because that was Lorraine’s job. She would sit on the porch looking down the road and cry and cry. (Mom)

Sr. Lawrence Habetz, O. Carm. is Aunt Frances’ eldest daughter who on June 5, 2005 celebrated her 50th year of vowed and consecrated life with the inspiring Carmelites, New Orleans, LA!  and elected ‘President’ 27 April 2013!

308. You kids better listen up, I have something to say and I’m going to say it only once!

309. Go to your room until you can come out and behave!

310. Come on Bette, pick up your end…put your back into it!

311. I’m going to whip you where the shine doesn’t shine if you don’t straighten up and fly right!

312. It’s only money!

313. He’s a chip off the old block alright!

314. It’s never work when you’re in someone else’s kitchen!

315. Those children have been dragged from pillar to post!

316. Whatcha know ‘bout dat!!

317. Don’t go looking for trouble…most of the time it will find you all on its own!

318. I’m not going to tell you again; put that book down and get to work! You can read when you go to bed!

319. You do not cut bait and run! You hold the line and keep the Faith. Never, never despair!!! Tomorrow is another day to begin again!

320. Never grocery shop when you are hungry!

321. There is nothing funnier than people!

322. The driver pays the fine!

323. After Lee died, the evenings were so long…those short winter days are hard!

324. What a w-o-r-l-d!

325. I’d give my eye-teeth if the grass would grow and cover that!

326. That’s the last straw!

327.  I do not like nicknames. People have beautiful names and then they go and call them by a nickname! And, you can’t find them in the phone book with a nickname!

328. Khot-dern it anyway!

329. You don’t see that everyday!

330. Give me those glasses of yours Bette. I don’t know how you can see out of them (as he pulled out his handkerchief and cleaned them!)

331. Come on! Let’s hang the clothes on the line then you can go to Adam’s Store! But, just Cracker Jack’s; nothing else! And, tell Adam to please bring cold watermelon this afternoon after he closes, one on each shoulder!

332. Daddy loved to sing ‘The Little Red Ford!’

When you drove a Buick, a big yellow Buick and I drove a little red Ford.

You just seem to guide me as you passed by me. I was insulted so I’ll ignore.

When you got stuck in a mud hole, a big slippery mud hole your engine raced and roared.

I pulled out your Buick, your big yellow Buick at the tail of my little red Ford!!!...and,

MawMaw’s was the ‘Missouri Waltz’ to ‘Tah Tah-Tah-Tah-Tah Tah Tah Tah-Tah-h’…

333. “Lee was so generous and as far as giving advances or just plain giving away money … many times it was never paid back; I’ll never know how much walked out the back door of that office especially on Fridays!” Mom

334. If you say you’re going to do something, do it! No excuses! Or, just don’t say it!

335. You do not tell anyone to shut-up in this house! That’s not nice! We don’t say that to each other!

336. I tell you, when she found that out, she was fit to be tied!

337. Don’t compare yourself with anyone else. Do the best you can. That’s all you can do!

338. Put it at the back door on the floor and that way when you leave you will have to trip over it, but you won’t forget it!

339. You children go to sleep now and I don’t want to hear pea-ock out of you!

340. Don’t you be the one to say a word. Let them hear it from someone else!

341. Get with Tonki! He knows where all the keys are!

342. You just drink a little water… all that drinking just fills you up too fast and there’s no room for your food! And, you’ll be hungry in no time and then you’ll want a snack before you eat. So eat and fill up the first time!!!

343. There’s always something good in everyone!

344. When you pick your china, always picture a fried egg in the middle of the plate!!!

345. That is not a subject for mixed company!

346. Let’s go to ‘Filpot’s’ or …‘Marceaux’s’ or …‘Bill’s’ or …‘S & M Bargain Store’… and look on the sale racks! I’m not paying full price for that! You’re not the only one I clothe! I have 6 children to dress!! (When very young, I had one small pair of black patent leather shoes just for Sundays!! I would keep them in there ‘new’ box and would love to just look at them! We went bare-footed during the week!!)

347. Never mind what that other fellow is doing, you just take care of your own back yard!

348. Stay out of that, it is none of your business; don’t go poking your nose where it doesn’t belong! You might get it cut off!

349. Why do we have to do that? Because I said so!!

350. All’s well that ends well!

351. Never in a million years will I eat an oyster! (MawMaw in New Orleans!)

352. Every dog has his day!

353. Upon approaching the hall in Roberts Cove for Germanfest Singers’ rehearsal, Mom said, “In there are all my people. I know them all and where they come from!”

354. …from Anthony Hensgens (first cousin), ‘Bernadette, you were riding Dolly as if there were barrels and you were cutting around them all over the grass on the empty lot while Grandma Hensgens and I were watching! I said, “Boy, Bernadette can really ride that pony!” Grandma Hensgens replied, “You think she can ride…you should have seen her mother handle a horse!!” MawMaw (guitar, banjo, the spoons, triangle and harmonica) and Uncle Cony (fiddle and accordion) would play their instruments and she would sing at barn dances in The Cove. They would sometimes ride their horses and race to the barn jumping fences et al!!! MawMaw would recall those days with the brightest of smiles on her face! “I can almost hear the music and smell the hay!!” she would say!

355. You can bet your bottom dollar he won’t do that again!

356. The world is your oyster!

357. Doesn’t anyone stay home and cook anymore?!

358. Its got a million dollar front and a two cent behind!!

359. They just don’t make them like that anymore!

360. PawPaw would be sitting at the table everyday at high noon and lunch was hot, ready and served! Many times he would have to take his shoes off outside at the back door because of the fuel that may have splattered on them that morning while filling tanks. Afterwards he went into the back room, sat in his chair and napped! At 1:00 p.m. he would stand up and say, “Well, back to the salt mines!” and leave for the office! Those worn and precious shoes now live in the Front Porch Room with his Collection! Mom’s pink lady shoes are in her closet!

361. WALK don’t run!

362. You have to be able to walk away. Don’t get caught in that situation again!

363. Offer it up!

364. I’m going to plah-cay myself right here in this chair and not move an inch!

365. Well, his goose is cooked!

366. They’re sittin in high cotton!

367. Live and learn!

368. Money doesn’t grow on trees!

369. Back up that truck Bette, slow, slowly… there; now you’re right on the money! Put

it in neutral and jump on down!

370. It’s easier raising ten children in the country than one in the city!

371. When the baby goes to sleep, you do too!

372. Just go and put it in the back of the office! (Anything from the storeroom at clean-up


373. “You must pray your beads! (Grandma Monlezun!), and

374. You come on your wheel? and

375. When baking cookies and just before taking them out of the oven, Grandma would say, “Ah-h-h, we’re fast coming up on our end!” and

376. You’re here to stay the night? Well, put your grip down and eat!!!”

377. Don’t be a knucklehead!

378. Put the children in the car, we’re going collect the candle money at church!! (This was MawMaw’s church duty for years and was a special time spent with many of her grandchildren.)

379. I’ve plumb run out of steam, I’m going to bed! I don’t know why I’m so tired!

380. Fruit basket upset! (When things were all discombabulated!)

381. You can only make it work if you hold your mouth ju-ust right!

382. Have you looked in the mirror lately? Take off most of that make-up!

383. Well, look what the wind blew in!

384. It’s time for everyone to stay home!

385. Keep movin; don’t want any grass growing under your feet!

386. What is this world coming to!

387. “You know sha, your mama would sit with me at the funeral home sometimes and talk about missing your daddy after he died. She said “ ‘You know when the children died that was hard enough, but Lee and I had each other. Now that Lee is gone, that is even harder; at least we had each other to console one another.’ ” (Mrs. Chester Monceaux at the funeral of her dear husband.)

388. All’s well that ends well!

389. Well, you took your own sweet time getting here!

390. Cut that to a drip!

391. I don’t know which end is up!

392. You’ve got to be kidding!!

393. Don’t you play dumb with me!

394. What’s so hard about doing the right thing?!

395. You can get a lot done when you stay home!

396. Daddy would be considering the purchase of a ‘used’ truck and while contemplating the financing could be heard saying to Mom, “don’t worry, the bank has plenty of money!” And, he was never late on any payment, ever! And, he had a lot of payments!!

397. What are you up to anyway?!

398. Everybody’s got to be somewhere!

399. Mom always said to go to your parish priest not to someone else!

400. That deal smells to high heaven!

410. If I hear that word again I’m going to wash your mouth out with soap!

411. You’re right on the money!

412. Who are you going to believe, every Tom, Dick and Harry?!!

413. Keys? What keys? We haven’t locked the doors in thirty years! But I guess they’re around here somewhere!

414. Heaven will be never having to answer one more question!…Mom would say while in the heat of battle like ‘why this or why that, how come or why do I have to do it’ …!!’

415. What in the world were you thinking when you pulled that one out of the hat?!

416. Make do with what you have. Please, don’t go and buy something new. Use up what you have first!!

417. Squeeze that toothpaste to the very end! Use that bar of soap up! Wash out your delicates by hand and they’ll last longer! Load that washing machine evenly but not too full…it will last longer; wash whites with whites and dark clothes with dark clothes! Always wash rags and rugs separately! Hang your sheets and towels on the line, it won’t overwork the dryer that way!  Do not buy anything that says Dry Clean Only! Polish your shoes on Saturday and keep them up, they’ll last longer that way!  Wash your own car, what’s so hard about hooking up a hose?! That’s why God gave you two hands!! Spending that kind of money to wash a car – I’ve never heard of such a thing! If it hurts, stop doing what you’re doing!!! Don’t buy so much that you can’t keep it up!

418. Are you dying or bleeding?! Then you’re going to school!!

419. I tell you it’s stuff like that that can take your breath away!!

420. Win some you lose some!

421. Don’t get too far ahead of yourself. Things always work out for the best!

422. Let the chips fall where they may!

423. Not everyone who is crazy is locked up!!

424. There’s nothing funnier than people!

425. If the shoe fits wear it!

426. I’ll tell you what I’ll do…I’ll make you a deal…!!!

427. I just don’t see what’s pretty about that!

428. Go ahead, don’t listen to me; do it the hard way…knock your head against that brick wall!!

429. It builds character! (Any challenge in life, PawPaw would say…)

430. C’est tout! (Grandma Monlezun would exclaim when finished with anything!)

431. In all my born days I’ve never seen anything like it!

432. No-sir-ree-bob! I said no and no it is!

433. There’s no time like the present…so get started!

434. Too bad, so sad, your Dad!

435. It’s only for a little while!

436. You came out of that one smelling like a rose!

437. Just keep pluggin away!

438. Why did you do that? You know better than that! You weren’t raised that way! I’m stopping you right here in your tracks!!!

439. You scared me half to death. Don’t pull that stunt again!

440. Nothing pulls electricity like an iron. When you iron, iron it all!

441. Nicholas ‘Anthony’ Hensgens, Jr. my first cousin whose family lived with Grandpa and Grandma Hensgens down the alley from our house, remembers ‘sayings’ from various elders in his early life –“Use every minute of the day! If you’re not using them you’re wasting time! You knew where the line was! Children are to be seen and not heard! They all worked so hard so young, boys and girls…a 40 man threshing crew for 2 months at least; no running water, no hot water!  And, ‘If you can’t eat it don’t grow it!!’ ‘Anna’ Gertrude Reiners-Hensgens is our maternal grandmother who Anthony and I remember walked tall and straight…hats, gloves and shoes to match and walked to church every Sunday which was up the street from her home. She was German on both sides and once during WW ll was walking down Main Street in Lake Arthur, LA our home town. A man was walking down the same sidewalk but crossed over to the other side when he saw Grandma approaching. She crossed over to him, approached him and said, “If you have something to say to me, say it to my face!”  I say, “God bless them all! What times! What times!”

Anthony also recounts the words he heard exchanged between my father and I on the swing porch… “Daddy, when I marry will you barbeque a cow for my reception like you did for your other daughter?” He said, “Bette, when you marry, I’ll barbeque the whole darn herd!!!” Daddy murmured to Anthony, “It’s cheaper than her tuition!” I was thirty when Hector accepted my proposal (not!), and in that I really, really like barbeque…Daddy kept his word!!!

442. Do it again and do it right this time!

443. Why do you spend money on that? That’s money down the drain!

444. How much can a body stand?!!

445. Don’t get your feathers ruffled!

446. Leave well enough alone. Don’t stir-up that pot!!

447. PawPaw, melody and MawMaw, harmony would sing,

“A tiny tuned-up nose, cheeks just like a rose,

so sweet from head to toe; that little girl of mine.

Two eyes that shine so bright, two lips that kiss goodnight,

Two arms that hold me tight; that little boy of mine.


No one will ever know just what your coming has meant.

Because I love you so, you’re something heaven has sent.

You’re all the world to me, you climb upon my knee.

To me you’ll always be, that little girl of mine!”


448. You can never get too big for your britches around here!

449. Yes, they seem OK today but they’re not 50 yet!

550. You may have to eat those words one day!

551. Two can play this game!

552. Don’t talk about anyone else’s children. Wait until you have some of your own then you’ll see!

553. The grandchildren would show MawMaw their reports cards at the end of the school year. She would give each one a dollar and say, “Good work! MawMaw is proud of you!’ 554. Now, don’t spend it all in one place!!

555. You’re not pulling the wool over my eyes!

556. Bonsoi, bug!! (Daddy would say this while departing! Lee J. and I said it at the same time just the other day while taking our leave!!)

557. If there’s a will, there’s a way!

558. For the rest of your born days…you…!

559. Yall help me remember my keys!

600. When you put the pen to the pad it just doesn’t add up!

601.  I heard the dardnest thing the other day and I just can’t believe that happened!

602. If you’ve got a problem don’t sit around and do nothing. That’s the worse thing you can do! Go and pull weeds!

603. Money can’t buy happiness!!!

604. When you get your own home some day then you can do what you want!

605. What are you doing; you’re going to be the death of me yet!!

606. It’s just his lot in life!

607. Cats belong to everyone!

608. The almighty dollar is not so almighty!!!

609. Mom was visiting us on Spring Street and while I was cleaning the glass sliding doors she said, “One day Antoine’s hand prints won’t be there to clean so enjoy some of it while you have him! You have the rest of your life to clean!!’

610. I have ten children to feed! What am I suppose to do with a head of lettuce!

611. I don’t know when THAT will see the light of day!

612. Talk is cheap! Show me and let the chips fall where they may!

613. Change your smoke alarm on New Year’s Day. That way you’ll always remember!

614. Nip that in the bud before it gets started

615. Keep your voices down! It’s too loud in here!

616. We have it made in the shade!

617. Lead by example!

618. Take care of the pennies and the dollars will take care of themselves!!

619. Where have you been? Did you fall off the face of the earth?!

620. Look what the cat drug in!

621. If you’re going upstairs pick it up and take it with you!

622. If you can’t wear it or eat it, I don’t want it!!!

623. They’re spread to the four winds!

624. I have just what you need!


625. I have a few collected axioms of others gathered along the way that I share during my Silent Retreats:

      “A shroud has no pockets!”

      “Nothing so impedes perfection in a vocation as wishing for another!”

      “Of course there is a grace and influence belonging to (attending daily Mass), but it is not of that I am speaking but of the pleasing sensation of order and accomplishment which attaches to a day one has opened by Mass…For half-an-hour just at the opening of the day you are silent and recollected, and have to put off cares, interests, and passions in the repetition of a familiar action. …the surroundings of Mass incline you to good and reasonable thought, and for the moment, deaden the rasp and jar of that busy wickedness which both working in one’s self and received from others is the true source of all human miseries. It is not for nothing that we call the Mass a perfect sacrifice. To attend a Mass, as many a saint would vouch, is nothing short of mingling with the angels!!”

      “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes!”

      “…unremitting prayer, the daily fulfilling of our duties, constant self-denial and carrying of our cross is to understand the value of suffering. Then a gentle and joyful aura radiates from our whole person, because it gives expression to that peace which the world does not have, does not want and does not know!”

      “If the spark be so bright, what must be the flame!”

      “Conversion is a new way of being. I knew well that my heart had been accepted and returned to me with a small lamp in it. I was the only one who could put out the flame!”

      “Our times need spiritual adults, self-contained, self-controlled, self-directed persons who can stand the vagaries of life and not crumble, who can withstand the pressures of life and not succumb…we have something to offer and offer it we will!”

      “If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the workers to gather wood, divide the work and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea!” (To do both is sublime!!!)

      “How does this that I do today effect me for all eternity. By your good works and loving memory He will belong to generations and generations to come!”

      “Each of us has been warmed by fires we did not build. Each of us has been nourished by wells we did not dig!”

      “Give me grace in proportion to the work!”

      My husband spoke of ‘sofroxnes’ the other day and upon looking it up…well, I just love it ~ Greek!…keep it under control, measure, do all within tolerance level!

      “My son from your youth choose instruction, and till your hair is white you will keep finding wisdom!”

      “A man is rich in proportion to the numbers of things which he can afford to let alone!”

      “When you drink from the spring, do not forget the source!”

      “Whenever you are pressed with a desire to be freed from some evil or to obtain some good, before all else be careful both to settle your mind in repose and tranquility and to compose your judgment and will!”

      “Some day after mastering the wind, the waves, and gravity, we shall harness for God the energy of Love, and then for the second time in history we will have discovered Fire.”

       “It must always remain true that what the eye sees depends upon what the heart feels.”

      “Buy nothing, own the peace!”

      “So many new saints to pray for us!  My grandmother used to say:"If you need something, pray to a new saint - they're not too busy yet!”  A Friend

      “We are homesick for the simplicity of the original plan.”


Rev. Msgr. Irving A. DeBlanc ( R.I.P. ~ 16 July 2006)) was my mentor and Spiritual Director on this side. He continues to instruct through a few of his numerous dictums. Don’t you agree?!

  1. Don’t just survive-thrive!
  2. Religion is for real not for show!
  3. Aging is a launching pad not a rocker, a resource not a burden!
  4. We live in deeds not years!
  5. There are many nice people-too few good ones!
  6. The body may weaken; the head and heart grow stronger!
  7. Music is tonic of the soul!
  8. Life is a mission not an intermission!
  9. The very best antiques to collect are old friends!
  10. To be educated read many books – to be wise live a long time.
  11. Happiness is not what I have but who I am.
  12. Be the first to say “hello” – to smile – to remember names.
  13. Our elders are glue between generations not ashes!
  14. Try never to offend in work, humor, action.
  15. Humility is the door to all virtue. To test someone give them power.
  16. Be a little kinder than you have to be.
  17. Kindness influences more people than eloquence.
  18. Be easy to ask favors of – volunteer.
  19. Go for excellence! Mediocrity is a disaster. It is the devil’s master key to our life.
  20. Keep on reading. The best teachers continue to be students. Learning never ends.
  21. Have meaning in life not just means!
  22. Form community. Pray, play, work, suffer, love, grow old together.
  23. Live gratitude! Ingratitude is our most common crime!
  24. Plan never to retire – re-fire! We all have unopened gifts.
  25. Taking a chance is one of the safest things in life – who risks nothing has nothing!
  26. Love truly and have a sense of humor, not a sense of rumor. Humor amuses not abuses.
  27. Be emotionally wealthy! Tell others you admire, love, trust them. Don’t just be an anonymous friend.
  28. Hot heads and cold hearts never solved a problem.
  29. Show cheerfulness even when you don’t feel it.
  30. You don’t find friends – you make them.
  31. Beware of envy – never rain on another’s parade!
  32. Associate with quality people. “Tell me who you go with, I’ll tell you who you are.”
  33. Never be a quitter! Discouragement comes straight from hell. Judas was a quitter!
  34. Success is a conquest not a bequest!
  35. Learn from suffering. From scars makes stars – when a door closes open a window.
  36. Learn to forgive – that is a greater quality than being right.
  37. Be a do-er! How we start our life depends on others. How we finish it depends on us!
  38. Faith is our greatest strength against fear. Christ mentioned that thirty times.
  39. The best proof of sincerity is longevity! A real friendship lasts!
  40. We can’t hang around Jesus and not get excited! The Bible is most helpful when it is open.
  41. Real joy is an infallible sign of the presence of God. Enjoy life!
  42. Be a good conversationalist. Silence is too often an expression of scorn. Communicate do not clatter!
  43. Be courageous. Be strong, persevere, do not whine. God gives us a cross not a rainbow. Trust Him!
  44. Be more than just nice. Be good. Be great. How you act toward a child, a lady, the elderly, a flat tire, speaks volumes.
  45. Character is our most valuable ingredient. Character is doing the right thing at the right time whether you feel like it or not. It is what one does when no one is looking!
  46. Learn to say “yes” or “no” decisively. Be right! Having a chisel does not make one a sculptor!
  47. Live this: The ten most powerful two letter words: “If it is to be, it is up to me!”
  48. Know yourself. Control yourself. Give yourself. An absolute must!
  49. Be wise – not just smart or intelligent.
  50. Holiness is doing the will of God according to your state of life.
  51. Give good example – a good mark lasts forever. Bad example is a stain forever!


626. Even a dog shouldn’t be out on a day like this!

627. There is nothing colder than the wind in a cemetery!

628. She just doesn’t have any get-up and go!

629. They’ll eat those words one day! Just wait and see!

631. I don’t like to hear ‘that’s my money’ from a married woman. It’s both of you; it takes two!

632. Did you bonk your head?! Come over hear and let me biss it!

633. Go ahead and faniggle it! Hold your mouth just right and the engine will start!

634. Patrick Conrad Habetz (RIP 16 November 2008) is my first cousin and remembers Grandma Hensgens saying in German ~ “If you save it when you got it, you got it when you need it” Also, once Grandma called him inside to fix something in her sink. Pat can fix anything and I mean anything! Grandma said as he was finishing the job, “You’re going to make some girl very happy!” (And, he has!)

635. Credit is a privilege, it’s something you earn! (Daddy)

636. Respect and credit work hand in hand! (Dominique Joseph, 24 September 2007 remembers Daddy saying…). Also,

637. You always want your children to have more than you did growing up! Just make sure they know where it comes from and will appreciate what went into earning it! And,

638. While attending propane conventions around the country, I always remember what Dad said to me, “The best thing to do in a crowd of people in the same industry is to listen more than talk. You’ll learn more that way!”

639. That one hit me up side the head! I just didn’t see it comin!

640. Stop it all the way! Stop it in its tracks!

641. As a man is so he sees! There is none so blind as those who will not see!

642. Now you see how the other half lives!

643. Now, that is a good person; good to the bone!

644. You’re right on the money!

645. Don’t burn your toast! (Nique loved this saying from his MawMaw!!)

646. Ca c’est bon!

647. Don’t be a numbskull!

648. Where did you go…Timbuctu?!

649. It’s a sure-fire-thing!

650. I was born ready!

651. Yep! There are just some things you cannot fix!

652. You might as well do the right thing the first time!

653.  It will be better in the long run!

654. It will all come out in the wash!!

655. The Man Upstairs is watching! (...I prayed to the Man Upstairs and He must have been watching over you!...Thank the Man Upstairs!!! Daddy!)

656. It’s more of a mess than its worth!

657. You don’t have your thinking cap on!

658. That truck konked out on me and I had to walk all the way back to the office!     (Obviously this was before cell phones!!)

659.  You can’t weasel your way out of this!

660.  All that glitters isn’t gold!

661.  She sure can sling pots! She can handle a kitchen…when she walks in I can walk out!

662.  Pick that lip up off the floor and get to work!

663.  You’ve got to keep some weight on those bones or you’ll catch every cold that comes along!!

664.  I can’t wait till you outgrow that!!

665.  I hope she doesn’t start harping on that again!

666. Put that in your pipe and smoke it!

667. Daddy ran the office and I ran the house. Daddy never had to worry about me running the roads. He knew where I was and I knew where he was. He could do his work. Now, that’s a good feeling!!

668. My sister, Ione Marie, remembers Mom saying “A mother is only as happy as her saddest child.”

669. My sister, Constance Victoria, remembers Mom saying “Why moms get gray!”…in that she had 7 of her 8 children in the air traveling at the same time!! Lordy, mercy!

700. Constance < > Mom…”When you go shopping wear good undergarments!” I say,” if it looks good then, it looks good!”



Could-it-be…commence jotting down those of your family members down through the years! Tis a hoot!