Lessez Le Bon Temps Rouler (Let the Good Times Roll) Gator!!

Does this look like Food to you? Can you imagine gnawing on this stinky ol' guy's hide? Down here in Louisiana, the alligator is a symbol of survival, celebration, music, dance or...most anything Cajun. Anytime we 'road trip', even on a five-minute jaunt, we keep our eyes peeled to see if we can spot one. Cappy says they used to be a rarity, and that he had never, or hardly ever had seen one in his youth, even in the swamps, but since they had posted a no-hunting law, the gator has flourished. We were seeing alligators everywhere, it seems for the last few years. But....since the gators have gotten plentiful again, they lifted the ban on hunting them. So....now once again, they are becoming rare to see on our drives along 'da bayous'. Cappy spies big huge ones (15-20') way out in the swamps on his tugboat, but hunters are mindlessly killing them off because it is profitable to go 'gator huntin'. Once again, he is seeing less and less of them, even out there.
I'll tell you one place you can easily find alligators. New Orleans. Chunks of them are sold everywhere. One gator might be located in several places at the same time! His head might be sold in the French Market. His hide might be worn on tourists' feet anywhere in the city. His innards may be in some tasty sausage or deep-fried. I've even seen him at the Jazz Fests. Yep, the Gator is a real Party Animal.


OOOFF! Ya Big Cow!

I had nicknames for all the kids: "Poon-Steeker, Gruntsy, Tomah-seenah-Hoonie-Garbong-bong-bong-bongee-beans (no I didn't use drugs), Sookie, and Joey-Fraycus or Froggy or Josuff-rancis". Sookie still keeps her nickname. Now that they are grown and live in New York State, I only have the two dawgs here within these walls to pick on with weird names.
SparkyBear, the older, we call: "SparkyBearicus-emphasis on 'cus', 'ParkyBear, Bart Simpson, Bark Simpson, or Brat Simpson";whichevever of all of 'em that seems right at the time.
Poor MarkyBear,(a namesake of Cappy's cousin, Mark) "da Baby". He weighs a ton. He's weighs twice the weight of what any Bichon should weigh. Cappy says he's like a watermelon with toothpicks for legs. Of course we love the tank. The nicknames we have for him are: "ClownDawg, MarkBear, Cow-Boy or Jabba da Pup". He thinks he's still a baby. Whereever SparkyBear is taking a nap, Mark climbs up, crowds SparkyBear, drops his whole weight next to him and dozes off, leaving a very patient Sparky squished, but kinda/sorta happy for the company.
When they are playing and 'rassling', and Sparky wants to win, all he has to do is roll Mark over onto his back like a turtle, and pin him. I can't lift him. It's the kind of weight where you go to pick him up...sweep him up off his feet, but when you do....he stays on the ground. When I need him to be someplace else I roll him to whereever I need him to be.
One time when SparkyBear was a puppy, an eagle almost took off with him, but I was right there to keep it from happening. (We have a large population of eagles and owls in our neighborhood, but no outside cats or dogs.) Cappy and I joke that if an eagle got desperate and tried taking off with Mark, the eagle would end up with legs stretched like bungee cords, and Mark would be lugged, bumping along the landscape, until the eagle threw up his talons, in frustration, saying, "Forget THIS!".
Lately, because Mark has been kinda shy around people and other dogs, we've been thinking of taking him to 'doggie' school to get him 'socialized'; however, one of the neighborhood lady dogs, a tall black lab, has been coming over to visit 'the boys'. I was thrilled to see Mark running around and trying to keep up with her, and playing. I guess she got tired of Mark not keeping up, but still wanted to play, so she flipped him onto his back and started rolling him around the yard, like the watermelon he is, but he was happy,... I guess, he seemed to be, and he always welcomes her visits.
So...they are our 'Arkys', our "WonderDawgs".


Cajunstyle houseboats and watercraft

In my travels through the bayous, bays, and backwaters of South Loisianna I come across some rather interesting and unusual watercrafts. I feel these show the Cajuns love for the water. If they can't afford to buy a fancy houseboat or yacht they make a shanty camp out of anything they can find that floats. Here is a good example of the colorful characters you can find wandering the bayous. Click on the title to see more of the pictures I've taken of houseboats on my travels at work.

Salvadore Doggy

Our youngest Bichon Frise, Marky, often naps in a strange position. He looks like he is dripping off of the couch in a surreal manner.


Gone Finishing

I guess we've been kinda elusive lately. Lotsa phone messages left on our answering machine. Nobody can find us. We've been so busy with all kinds of projects around the house, that we finally gave up and said we need a break. We wanted to make things as easy as we could for ourselves, so we sneaked off and bought us a gun.
That's where we've been. Off finishing. Every project we've started around here has been almost completed. It's always been one or two little details that's been needed to complete the task. It's been driving us cwayzee. Cappy picked out the coolest finishing nail gun...cordless no less. And man, can he 'dance' with that new jigsaw! Yesterday he mitre-cut mouldings for uncompleted projects, whipped those babies in place, shot finishing nails into 'em, which 'tah dah!' look great, and I halped.
Now that we've got more time, once we get everything done, we look forward to actually taking the boat out. Hope they're biting.


Annual Family Jambalaya (click here to see more pics)

Well, another Family Jambalaya has come and gone. It was a nice day filled with good food, family, friends and joie di vie. We had a geat time cooking and visiting.
Here's a link to the recipe I used in my 20 gallon black-iron jambalaya pot. Round up 'bout 125 beer-drinking friends and try it out! Feel free to e-mail any questions you may have to us.



Pickin' and Grimacing

You'd think it'd be easy to pick something out, wouldn't you? Heck no, not when it comes to sewing. I'm sitting there with this little 'picker-thingy', (which has an actual name, but I prefer calling it a picker-thingy) trying to undo thousands of tiny stitches, which I can hardly discern from the threads of the fabric, because I took such great pains to purchase the thread that most closely matched the cloth. I'm an experienced sewer, but this particular project has been aggravation from the store to home.
Each year I make my husband a snazzy new shirt or two for our annual family Jambalaya. Time got away from me, so at the store, I picked out a pattern that calls itself a "Two Hour Shirt". I've already got about four hours into it, half, it seems, picking out seams I've put in wrong. That's just wrong. And after just pulling out three more whole seams just now, it feels as though I'm back to an hour and forty five minutes of time left on this 'simple' project.
Sitting here trying to be calm and not balling the whole mess up and adding it to my quilting cloth pile, I'm having time to reflect. I was so sure I was right when I zipped right along on the machine, making good time. Now here I am plodding, backtracking, taking forever. The Jambalaya is Saturday. This shirt is for a wedding on Friday. I still have an whole other snazzy shirt to make for the Jambalaya. Rats. Tha's just like life. It takes so little time to get into problems, but getting out of 'em can take forever. And it's not always my fault. But this time it wuzmyfault.
So what lesson do I take away from this? In the words of Scarlet O'Hara, "Fiddle-dee dee, I'll think about that tomorrow". Right now, I've gotta get back to that 'suckly-rotten' picker-thingy. You may see a picture of snazzy new shirts on Cappy from the family Jambalaya posted here. You may see a picture of Cappy with a faded snazzy shirt.