Man Eating Alligator @ a Cajun Restaurant

We had a wonderful time this week. (Mardis Gras colors are purple green and gold.) I think we were about 'paraded' out by the time they left on Sunday. We yelled and waved our arms for beads and 'stuff' for six whole parades. I personally got three Walmart bags full of beads and cups and even a teddy bear. Dan, his fiance`, Jennifer, and the kids got about two bags full for each parade. You should have seen them trying to pack the car to head back to NYS. They have a lot of friends who are waiting to get their hands on the 'loot'.
I'm still tired. I'd have to think hard about what all we did in one short week. It sure was an adventure tho. Desi had been studying about slavery in school before she came down, so the visit to Laura Plantation illuminated what she had been learning about in school. Melinda had been learning about hurricanes in school, so the visit through New Olreans neighborhoods, and the damage, plus the trip to Grand Isle, Lousiana gave her an upclose perspective on what a hurricane can do. Presently, there are lots of political debates and fingerpointing on television for everyone of them, and us to realize how complicated and frustrating hurricane recovery has become in this state.
Not to worry, the kids didn't get too overwhelmed with just the sad part of their visit to our area. After day-tripping through the devasation, they were taken to have some fun, Louisiana-style. They enjoyed powdered sugar covered bignets, pronounced 'bin-yays', which are wonderful square doughnuts at the famous Cafe Dumond at the edge of the French Quarter. We all wandered around the French Market, but it wasn't up and running; however the flea market part was open, so the kids got masks and feather boas. 7 yr. old Manny had to get an alligator head to take back with him. (boys, lol)
Besides the doughnuts, I took them to a restuarant in Houma, where they tried deep fried 'critters', and some boiled crawfish. The deep-fried shrimp were a hit, the deep-fried oysters got a mixed review, the deep-fried onion rings, of course were a hit, the crawfish also got mixed reviews, but what surprised me the most, was that Dan ate the alligator. And not only that, but so did Jennifer and the kids...they loved it! I'm not fond of it at all. I just sat there horrified watching them eat the chunks of deep-fried alligator, while I pinched off the heads of reddened crawfish, who all had shiny black-beady eyes, ripped off their scales, discarded all of their protective armor and ate the succulent flesh of the tiny 'crabs' (crawfish, I know, Cappy, I KNOW), all the while sitting there, grimacing, and trying not to gag while watching them eat that disgusting golden-crusted deep-fried alligator.


Start Spreading The News; They're Leaving Today...New York, New York!

Very excited here. They are on their way! Cappy couldn't wait any longer and called early this morning to see if Dan, his fiance` (Jennifer), and three kids had left yet. When Dan said, "No, not yet" his Pop said, "Ya'll take after your mother!" My Mom always told me, "You'll be 'late' for your own funeral!" I didn't 'get' it til years later.
Anywaze...they are On da way! I haven't heard from them as yet. I don't want to bother them while they are traveling. Migosh, Rochester, where they are leaving to come here, had winds gusting to 77 miles per hour today. Hurricane force winds have to be at least 75 mph to qualify for hurricane status. When the winds are approx. 35 mph down here, they close the causeway over Lake Pontchartrain. I sure have been praying for them to have 'traveling mercies' on the way down; not only for them, but others who have to be out in it. Dan told 'Pop' this morning that they wanted to try to beat the snow that was expected. Hah! I see where it's going to be snowing for them most of the way down, til they get here. Then it's going to be in the bitter 50's for a couple of days before it gets back up into the upper 60's.
It's Mardis Gras season here, but people are a little reticent about celebrating with the usual gusto. The controversy is all over the national media, so I'm sure I don't have to delve into it. I plan on taking the family to NOLA (New Orleans, LA) during the day to see what family oriented things are going on. I read in the paper, that the first parade that was scheduled to "roll" was cancelled. It doesn't matter, there are TONS of things always going on down here. I only wish Cappy could be off the boat to be with us. Cappy's family always gathers in Lafayette, where they celebrate Mardis Gras. The city is alive with revellers at a much tamer pace than New Olreans. At least until last year it did. I plan on taking our little clan there to meet their new Cajun family, chow down on Cajun cuisine, catch beads from the floats in the childrens' parade, and just generally learn how to "pass a good time, Cher". They need to make Cappy proud of his own little flock, by also learning how to yell, "Laissez le bon ton roulez, cher!" and "AAAAAAAiEEEEEEEE!!!" (the Cajun yell of Joy).


But You Didn't Hear It From Me :-|

Psst...and now that I've got you to myself ....(looking this way and that to make sure all is clear)...Remember the picture of the sinkful of dishes? Cappy filled that up himself. I was set up, I tell ya!

Yep...Father, Time Waits For No-one

This is a picture of my Dad (scroll down...dang computer again). I'm not sure how old he was when it was taken. He was 'old' when I was born; 45. There were a whole lot of reasons why I wasn't too close to him later on, before he passed in 1987. When Cappy and I visited the house in the picture last Fall, it was a kind of catharsis for me. This is the first house my Dad bought for his little family, my Mom, myself and my 'baby' bruvver. It's where we lived when I was burned at my grandparents' house in Port Allegany, PA. (I had been visiting my grandparents when I was 4 years old,where they had one of these little black water heaters with a door which swung open,exposing flames, whereby my dress caught fire. I was burned 45% of my body with 3rd and 4th degree burns.) After only 5 months, I had recovered enough to be released from the hospital. I remember my Dad having to take me everyday to the hospital to be debreded. We would sit in the waiting room, knowing that at any minute they would call our name and we'd be taken down to the basement; the farthest away from anyone's earshot, to tear the bandages off my stomach. Just thinking about it now gets my heart racing. To help us both try to keep calm in the waiting room, my Dad would read to me, mostly from current event magazines, like Time, Saturday Evening Post or a publication called LOOK. It was during those times that I felt most close to my father. It was then that I began to learn how to read, take an interest in politics, current events, science, and a curiousity about the world in general.
I remember him showing me pictures of Mt. Rushmore and explaining details about each president represented. While perusing one of the magazines we came across and article about a Crazy Horse Memorial they had started sculpting in 1948. Over the years, he and I kept up on the progress of this memorial. I just read where only a couple of years ago, they had a special ceremony, because after all these years; well over 50, only the face has been completed. It's supposed to be the Native American warrior chief sitting atop his stallion when it's finished.(easily 'googled')

Going back to visit our old home was a good thing. The owners, took Cappy and I for a tour inside. Very nice of them to do that. They are the Carr Family. As you can see, even the house is 'taking new steps' to improve itself. Inside the living room I told Mrs. Carr's mother, how I used to stand behind my Dad while he was watching television, and play with his hair. He was so engrossed in political talk shows that he was hardly aware of what I was doing. I used to make tiny braids all over his head. All that ended the night he quickly got up and answered the front door to find our insurance agent, who had come to pay a visit. I remember Dad saying, "Huh? Oh migosh!" grabbing his head, and saying, "Oh...Peggy was messing around with my hair while I was watching tv; she does that." She didn't anymore after that. I don't know who was more embarrassed; my Dad or me.
Now that I'm older I really miss him. He had a cornball 'punny' sense of humor that I didn't appreciate til now. He also had a saying which he liked to say with a pretend German accent, "Too soon vee grow oldt; too late Vee grow shmart".


What's Not To Love?

Happy Valentine's Day. The "Day of Hearts". Two of my Sweeties in the picture.
I've just been "gagging Lolly" lately. Cappy is out on the boat. It seems as though he's been there three weeks already, and it's barely been one week. I've spent a lot of time practicing my music, cuz both the choirs I'm in have been busy lately.
I've had my head buried in seed catalogs and have ordered more victims...er..plants for the yard. Today we ordered a couple of Paw paw trees. We remember singing about them when we were kids in school. The fruit sounds delicious. A banana custard with vanilla. At least that's what the catalogs say. Down here the kids call their grandmothers Maw Maw, so Cappy said I should make some jelly or jam out of the fruit and call them, "Maw maw's Paw paws".
I should be up in the attic straightening things up and tossing out stuff. If it's one thing I learned from Cappy, it's that no matter how much I protested, when he ordered me to march things "to the side of the road!" I always felt relieved, actually, to have these things off my hands. Gosh, I hadn't realized it, but it really takes a lot of energy to save stuff. Mentally. Keeping things, cuz I just KNEW I'd need them one day for one project or another, but then trying to remember where I kept them, or what I actually had on hand, no matter how well I had organized them was draining, and I didn't even know it. Kind of like all the stuff running in the background of the computer here, that you don't see, but it takes a lot of ram or rom or dos or whatever that stuff is in there, to run it. (Poor Mother-board outa her mind.) Now when I give stuff away or take it 'to the SIDE of the ROAD!' it's a liberating feeling.
As I said...I 'should' be up in the attic during these 'cold' days of winter. 50 degrees is perfect weather for getting that done. What I've really been doing is playing Scrabble with the computer. My son Dan got me the game for Christmas.
Ohhhh, and speaking of Dan, he is supposed to be coming down again this month with his fiance` and kiddoes, so will be here for Mardis Gras. Poor Cappy won't be able to get off the boat and come along with us. Not gwinder to celebrate in New Olreans. I never have. I've always gone, when I have gone, (?) to Lafayette with Cappy's family. That's where I plan on taking Dan. It's more Family oriented there and they have a children's parade I think the kids will enjoy. It'll be their first time down here and they should be able to catch a lot of beads, etc.
Well, I'm off to bed. I hope Cappy finds the Valentine thingys I hid in his seabag.
I hope your heart is Happy and Blest today and always.


Taking My Mind Out for a Walk

As Mark Twain once said, and most likely paraphrasing here, 'When some people have nothing to say, they open their mouths and say it anyway'. That's usually me.
Cappy is back out on the boat, and I'm still in the wake of his departure, letting out a deep sigh, and sort of wondering, "Ok now what to do". I'd really like to go for a long walk along this road. It's a picture we took near Port Allegany, PA when we visited the area last September. I remember 'the big girls' taking me for walks here when I was very, very little, possibly as young as three years old. It was such a delicious setting, and amazingly hasn't changed a bit. When we stopped to take the picture, I just wanted to sit in the car and take a nap because it's just so serene here. But alas, we were in a rush.
I could be in a rush today if I wanted to. I have plenty to do. I don't wanna. I have to be in a rush tomorrow. Some people in town are having a 50th Wedding anniversary, so I am going to that. I may have to leave early because our Gospel Choir 'has' the 4 P.M. Mass, and I plan on singing with them.
Gosh, I told ya I've got nothing much to say. The last 'exciting' thing that happened was in the driveway at 5 A.M. yesterday. Cappy and I were all piled in the SUV with his seabags, cell phones, etc., etc., ett-sett-ala, all ready to pull outa the driveway. The neighbor's bright security light came on blasting Cappy in the eyes. He thought it was a car rushing toward us, turned to see, and knocked his quart-size 'to go' coffee cup upside down all over his ....uh...self. "Rahggghhhhh!!! Yow!" It seems I had left a small box of raisins in the little cup holder, so his 'to go' cup wasn't secure. He hadda rush into the house and change. When he came back out he told me that boxes of raisins do NOT belong in the cup holders. That's a good rule to live by. I'd better go write that down somewhere. That ol' Mark Twain knew what he was talking about.