What Cappy Sees Outside His 'Office' Window.

Click on the pictures to make them even more breathtaking.
One of the crew, in yellow rain slicker, holding of for dear life, doing his job, out in the middle of a huge bay during rough weather.
These are 'Spooned-Billed Rosettes'. They, as do Flamingos, get their color from eating shrimp. Their bills are narrow, but at the end, they flange out like the shape of a spoon. They whisk their heads sideways, back and forth in the water, scooping for whatever is on the menu that they like that day.

The city of New Olreans as seen from Cappy's tugboat in the Mississippi River, pre-Katrina.


This is what he sees when he has to drive the huge barge through one of the lift bridges along a busy bayou. Like trying to drive a camel through the eye of a needle in a haystack, especially on a windy day. (I like that one.)

And what if he meets another barge coming toward him? Think there's room? It's very shallow along those banks.
What a beautiful yard along the bayou. Those are buzzards sitting there watching 'us' go by.


What Does That Mean???

Sometimes things just don't make sense to me. I don't know whether it's that I'm not focused, or maybe I am focused; but on something else. Maybe it's not just me. I came home the other day to find once AGAIN the typical "OOPS" delivery. A few weeks ago I came home and found two properly placed boxes, delivered by FedEx, but in the flowerbed next to the door, while those useless 'watch owls' observed, lay a grape pie I had ordered for Cappy from NYS for his birthday. Oh, the pie was in the box alright, but it was sitting on end, while it's box, also told the "OOPS" delivery guy "THIS SIDE UP"...not on it's side. People either don't care, or they're just not focused.
I'm guilty too, at times. While I talk with Cappy on the phone, I get busy trying to do other things around the house. He pilots the boat with 'me' in his ear. We may or may not carry on a conversation per say...just kinda keep each other company. He was talking with his deckhand yesterday while I was cleaning out a cupboard and listening to the news on television. What had I heard him say just then?? "...what good is a wench? Just weld a dead man to the deck..." HUH?? I asked him what that meant, but as he was explaining about a 'deadman' being some kind of box or something that's permantely affixed to the barge, I guess I drifted off in thought again. I heard him telling another captain, on another boat, who was not familiar with the area, how to address the other boats in the area, and how to give his location there on the Intercoastal Waterway. By then I was online looking for his requested weather report. I heard him say to his deckhand that 'you have pick your victims carefully'. From past discussions I learned that not everyone takes 'corrections' from other captains. I wanted him to know that I was still on the phone, so I commented, in agreement with what he was telling the deckhand, "Uh huh....that's true." Cappy came to attention in my ear and said, "What??" Still kind of engrossed with a weather map, I said, "Yes, I agree with what you told the deckhand about picking your 'victims' carefully." He said, "....And what do you know about Mooning? Just how many people have you mooned??" I jerked to attention, "Huh?? What does that mean?" He laughed and said the conversation had changed course. I had to admit I had been on auto-pilot there for a few minutes.


We Were Just Floored!!

It's very comforting to know that there are still craftsmen in the world, who take pride in their work.
As MarkyBear complained in an earlier blog post, the flooring supplies got here the night before the actual work was to take place. At precisely 7 a.m. Mr. Tim Knight arrived to begin installing the new tile. Gosh, we had thought he was going to have other workers help him, but he got here and began immediately to do the job completely by himself. He had a lot to do...the 'den', the kitchen, the hall and the computer/guest room. He did it all in two days!! By himself! That included putting down some kind of stuff to seal and patch things, letting it dry, moving furniture around,
...enduring interruptions by dawgs, who wanted to 'help', and at one point, got back into the house when I had them outside, but heard the phone ringing and ran in to answer it. Sure enough, SparkyBear aka The Brat, ran in, got into the fresh 'mud' or floor spackle, whatever it's called, ran wild in here and tracked it around before he could be scolded and shooed back outside, by me. But all the while Mr. Tim, somehow kept smiling and working along steadily. I would have felt like tearing my hair out, grabbing da dawg, chunking him into the pail of mud, and throwing it at the dogs' Mom. See...that's why I didn't opt to do the flooring myself while Cappy was on the boat. We needed Professional help.
As I said, he was finished the next day, while I was out, having taken the dawgs for a ride to get them away from any more potential crimes against the efforts of our patient floor installer. When we came back, he was gone, but before he left, he had cleaned up, swept the floor, put furniture back in the house. What an amazing surprise! It looked gorgeous! The man is an artist. Even despite the fact that he was working quickly right along, he took pains to create pattern 'flow' from one tile to the next which makes for an overall cohesive eye-appeal. I told him he should sign his work. We'd sure recommend him to anyone in our local area, if they needed any flooring done. If so:
Phone: 1 (225) 265-9351
Cell Phone: 1 (985) 413-1500
Wood Floors-Vinyl Tile-Carpet


Where In The DELL Have I Been Lately??

Oh Migosh, there's no place like HOMEpage, there's no place like HOMEpage. I thought I'd never make it back online before Cappy got home next month for sure. No matter how many times I clicked my heels together, or clicked away at anything on the computer, which was frozen, or clucked at the stupidity of the situation, or threatened to chuck the whole computer out a real Window, I didn't get anywhere with it. I've heard Cappy talking on the phone with the technicians...'geeks', all the while laughing and having a merry time while they spent hours tracking down the problem that had been plaguing the computer at that particular time. Well, I didn't wanna do it. I have so many other things I need/want to get accomplished before the hot weather gets here. We did get the flooring done, which looks great, by the way, which I will discuss tomorrow.
But for me, the last week was frustrating. Until the computer acted this badly when I was by myself, and I tried ignoring the beast, I never realized how much of an appliance...a 'utility' it is. Cappy and I really use it a lot. I've been his 'weather-girl' for the last few years. Yesterday, because I didn't have immediate online access, he ventured out into the middle of a huge bay which turned rather violent. He's ok now, but because of all that, I steeled myself and called DELL. The guy, whom I am sure has plenty of prematurely white hair after yesterday and today, was quite pleasant and plenty patient. He is located in India, but surprisingly enough, I could understand him, for the most part, quite well. He had me ducking down into tunnels and mazes, clicking the F8 button dozens of times, banging around in there, clunking around, messing up, having to come all the way back out, turning off the computer and going back in again to try again. My hands and knees were dirty and ragged, I had cobwebs in my hair, (gosh, figuratively speaking, of course). I felt like the rat, which the mad scientist was trying to get to succeed, for the benefit of all. I kept turning around and fumbling around in the dark, in those hallways, trying to keep up with what he was telling me to do...all I wanted was that 'Cheese' located somewhere in that maze. I knew it had to be there somewhere. It seemed we would get to the point where I was sure I was about to touch it, but then, ...dang...the computer screen and mouse was still FROZEN! And out I'd come again. Grrrr.
Well, we let it go for the night, then today, despite his many misgivings, I'm sure, the same technician called back. Just as I was sitting down, I wanted to get comfortable, cuz I knew this was going to take some time...I wanted to bounce way back into the computer chair, but when I launched myself up and forward to accomplish this, I jammed the top of my head Hard into the sharp edge of the storage cupboard, which is above the monitor. I had been waiting for his phone call, but wailed, "HOLD ON!!!" and ran to the kitchen and got a bag of frozen peas out of the freezer and held them on top of my head to keep the big bruise from swelling. Our house phone's headset isn't working, so I had to hold it to my ear. I needed my other hand to move the mouse around and use the keyboard, so I had to sit in such a way as to keep the balanced, opened bag of frozen peas from falling off my head. If the webcam hadda been working, I woulda got the picture for Ya'll. So now...back to the story...this time he had me go in, but, as he said, by now, that I was getting to know my way around in there...getting kinda familiar with where I had been all those many times. I think the trails were still wet from blood, sweat and tears.....his mostly, despite the fact that he laughed a lot and tried to hide it from me. After perhaps another hour and a half...maybe two, I could hardly believe that things were loosening up! Then, suddenly it was working! Completely fixed. If I hadn't have been balancing a bag of soggy defrosted peas on my head, I would have jumped up and down in the chair. Yee-Haw! It's back online again! My mouse is loose,... thawed also, not frozen anymore. The computer 'tech' is my hero of the day. He helped me get the prized 'Cheese', because the danged computer had created a 'Muenster'. (sorry 'bout dat :-p )


OH MAN! I'm Tellin' Ya!

I don't like what's goin' on around here! My Dad just left yesterday to go away on dat big boat, and today there's three strange men walking around in our house! They put lots of stinky boxes on the floor and said they'd be back tomorrow. Our Mom said SparkyBear and I couldn't even sniff these guys' you-know-where or jump up on 'em to check em out. And we're supposed to stand for that? What kind of ADT (A Dog Team) dawg home protection system does she think Sparky and I are running here? It's our job and pleasure to intimidate or harass whoever we think are suspicious characters. An' lemme tell ya, things are looking pretty suspicious, too. We weren't even finished following dere truck outa the driveway, when our Mom starting pawing through one of the boxes, took some square flat things out of it, and put them down on the floor and said, "Yes! That's going to look sooooo nice when those flooring guys are finished with it tomorrow!" You wait til my Dad calls; I'm gonna get that phone! ...an' I'm gonna TELL him too!


Cappy Has LEFT Da Building

He has put down his hammer, he has put down his saw,(he left his drill 'draggin', as he calls things that are not put put away, so I stowed that away this morning)...the saw-horses are in their stable, and he is off again to seek his fortune on the high seas. (More likely the high or low tides of the bayous , lakes, rivers and back waters, but it is still the wild blue... green, and a million other colors... yonder.)
Ever since he first stepped off the boat, hugged me, hugged his dawgs, the first thing he did was grab his tools and start building things. Dan and Jennifer had bought him an outdoor fireplace when they were here, so he put that together right away. He did so much building this past two weeks. We literally made 6 trips to home improvement stores. Back and forth. Yesterday we planted stuff in the flowerpots and called the grape arbor a completed project.

I think he did a wonderful job. I can just imagine when the elephant ears and grape vines take over,sitting in there reading a nice book, or just chillin'. The chairs are very comfy and they rock. He picked up the nice piece of driftwood standing up near the entry-way, when we rode down the levee along the Mississippi River on one of our forays, looking for a good place to catfish. Unfortunately, the water is too low, right now. He said we need to wait for the snowmelt up north. Oh, it's still plenty deep; the ships have no trouble goin' up or down her, but along the 'shore', the sand has washed away leaving no place to really get settled in with all the stuff Cappy likes to bring along to make for a really fun day of it.
We've been dieting, and thus, Cappy had been building up his appetite for a cold beer, so Tuesday night, his last night to relax, he really let it go. (an, that's ALL I'm gonna say :- )
So, he's 'done finished' with all the building he's going to be doing at home here for another month, and is safely ensconced back on da boat. He's left the building now for me to do. We have a bunch of patio plant stands coming in by 'OOPS' (UPS) that need to be assembled. Well, see, up north, I used to find 'junque' along the road, fix it up and use it for plant stands, or whatever. Cappy told me that doesn't work down here in South Louisiana with all the humidity. He's absolutely right. I picked up a couple of nice desks, put them on the patio with plants on them. They looked good for about two month. Now they are literally falling into little hunks of moldy wood. I'll try to put the new metal ones together, but something tells me when he steps back off da boat, Cappy will be back in the building mode again.


A Letter From Our Friend, Pam Folse, Who Has Been the Pillar and Joy of Our Life Here in South Louisiana

Hey there all you who frequent this blog to find out what’s happening in the lives of Cappy and Pegody.
I am the person who is blessed to be their neighbor. They truly are an amazing twosome.
I was over there on Saturday night feasting on Cappy’s hickory smoked chicken, some fancy New York state hotdogs, macaroni salad, potatoes and Fats Domino on the sound box. Hey, ya’ll. Cappy can cook. And that’s about all I can say about that. I know there’s no way that all of you can taste his cooking. You just have to have faith and trust my tastebuds. The man can cook!

I am a native of the area. I have lived in Vacherie all my life. So it is very interesting watching a central Louisiana Cajun grow in relationship with a New Yorker. I have enjoyed getting to know them both—separately and together. Ray is a great storyteller and so am I. So most times we are together we vie for talk time. Although Ray grew up in another part of this fine state of ours, his boyhood life was a lot like mine. We enjoy the same things—good food, good friends, good music and good times. Peggy is alien to our area. So she is expanding our horizons with her stories and remembrances, her way of cooking, the things that she cooks, etc. Ray is helping Peggy get acclimated to south Louisiana. But ya’ll need to know that it ain’t taking long, no! She can put down the hog cracklin’ with the natives. There’s just something about those things! Now I have turned her on to Mahler’s Meat Market—the home to the best hog cracklin’ on the planet and I really do mean that. They make and sell ‘em on Tuesday. I can’t wait to show her how to buy and use the tiny slivers of meat left in the pot during the process of making the cracklin’. Mahler’s sells those, too. You can take those and put them in a batch of biscuits. You can’t imagine the aroma when the cracklin’ fortified biscuits are cooking! When they are finally done you can slit them open, add a pat of butter and slather some good Steen’s Cane Syrup on top. (Sorry, maple syrup just won’t work!)

I am also blessed to get to meet all of Peg’s family and friends who come from ‘da nawth to visit. I have had some really good times with their guests. I am happy that Peg and Ray have such an open door policy.

Peg and Ray have taught me a lot about joie de vivre. They work hard and they play hard. They know of the good things of life and they are helping me to discover their favorites.

And don’t tell Peg, but I think I miss Ray as much as she does when he’s back on ‘da boat.

So, if you are ever blessed to come and visit Cappy and Pegody, well, you know that you will visit with me, too. And you will be blessed, just I have been many times over thanks to the blessed couple who are my neighbors.

The Little Things

One of the things i really love about the way Peggy "decorates" our back yard is the little cute things she has placed here and there amoung the plants, pots, and things. Here in our ST.Christopher garden(temporary home for wayward plants) is 2 frogs playing checkers with baby lady bugs while their mom watches on. The little sighn post reads lady bug lane. The yard and patio are full of little surprises like that. Many of them can be seen in some of the pictures we have posted in the past. It's fun to see them peering out from amoung the plants and stuff.


Limes & Tiger Lilies and Berries, Oh My!!

Those of you who are familiar with the saga of 'MarkyBear Snickets'; the series of unfortunate events, which are buried somewhere back in our archives, dealing with the squirrels, may remember these two worthless 'scare owls'. (Those of you who are not familiar, please feel free to snoop around in our archive drawers and try on anything that may suit your fancy) Well, instead of throwing them out, as threatened, these two boys have been, as you can see, relegated to watching over one of the front door flower gardens, amongst the Johnny Jump-Ups, Mums, Tradescantias, and Gladiolas. In October, they had a scarecrow as a fellow sentinel, but his 'tour of duty' being up until next Fall, was sent to the shed to peer out of one of the windows, surrounded by camping equipment, gardening 'stuff', tools, and Cajun cooking accoutrement, all waiting their turn in the sun.
But, with the help of no-one watching over them, this little 4' x 12' square foot garden, which we planted a scant week ago already has green beans and cucumbers bursting up out of the soil. The apparent green bushes are tomato and pepper plants. Click on the picture to see a better close-up of the beans. Not to be outdone, another unguarded few little garden aka flower plots have more sweet peas hopping right up out of the soil, as well. Not wanting to terrify the owls, we never mentioned the soaker-hose snaking it's way around in the square foot garden.
The soaker hose. Ahhh, the soaker hose. We bought this soaker hose and another sprinkler that sways long arches of water back and forth over the lawn and garden. And I make fun of doze owls. Welllll. We got the hose going in the garden, which, no matter how hard we turned on the water, it only emitted tiny little drops, maddeningly slow, like small dripping beads of sweat. I went to band practice later, and the hose was still kinda/sorta threatening to get some of the soil wet. Well, for Pete's Sake! We decided, what da heck...since it hadn't rained in forever, if seemed, we'd leave it on all night; it for sure couldn't hurt anything.
We woke up late the next morning. Cappy got up and 'clicked the button on da coffee pot', then noticed to his horror, that the whole patio and drive-way was flooded! It was almost about to run out into the road. He raced outside to turn off the hose, then came back in shame-faced, having discovered one of our early, rising-at-the-crack-of-dawn neighbors had seen all the water, came over and turned it off. But thank God. Now we use it sparingly...when we are fully aware of our surroundings; fully awake having had our coffee, having our wits about us. Unlike what happened to the new sprinkler. I was backing into the driveway with a 'haul' from Home Depot. There was some kind of dispute about how far back I need to go. I was also worried about the dogs, who had run out of their doggie-door to greet us and who have no fear of the tires of any vehicle. So I was backing, and backing, then heard and felt "Crunch!" I shouted, "Oh no! What was THAT?? One of the dawgs??? Was that crunch his bones??" Cappy was not ruffled, and said, "no", but got out and found where I had backed over the sprinkler which I had just brought 'in' from way out in the yard before we had left for the store.
We two "yard geniusus" (ya like how I spelt that?)...are planning still more adventures. Cappy pulled up the kumquat tree for not behaving itself properly as a kumquat tree, so we are in the market for a lime tree to replace it. A key lime would be nice, but we aren't so sure they would do well in our environment. (Take that either way you want.) Cappy has always wanted Tiger Lilies. He said they are hard to come by, but we think we know now where we can obtain the critters. A couple of years ago, the birdies gaveth us blackberries, then just as we got our mouths all watered and ready to picketh them, the birdies taketh away the blackberries, and left little splotches hither and yon of same blackberries. Cappy wants to try again, but this time, buying the plants, putting them where WE want them, and covering them with netting so we get them this year. We've tried just about everything to keep lawn predators away from our garden goodies, exept a gun. And can't you just imagine that. You'd probably be reading our blog in the newspaper under the police report section.

Give a kid a box.

I guess the old adage holds true for dawgs too. We brought home some new patio furniture for or grape arbor project and as soon as we got it unpacked the dogs jumped in the box. They have been playing with it on and off all weekend.


We've Got Spring Fervor

Yep, and didn't you hear it here first? In Spring a young man's fancy turns to thoughts of Luh....lumber. The minute Cappy got off "da boat", we headed for Home Despot and loaded "da truck". This project is actually a winding-down project, having gotten most of the main jobs taken care of, like planting the garden, fertilizing our citrus, pecan trees and other sundry bushes we had planted around our yard, not to mention the other rush jobs around the house we had to get accomplished in the short two weeks he has off.
Cappy and his buddy put up this little picket fence on the front of the grape arbor in short order, then off, once again to you-know-where to buy some chairs and a little table to put in it. (We can only fit so many tons in our 'truck' on each trip.)

He finished this project with visions of getting off the boat next month and being able to sit under the arbor, being shaded by grape leaves and banana palms, sipping on a cold one.
I'm still planning on what plants to put in pots to go in front of this, and hanging plants, as well. It's already got a working hummingbird feeder hanging from it that I managed to dump all over while trying to help da captain, then decided to 'man dis camera' instead.


Pictures from Work

I took these pictures at work; hope you enjoy them. This little bayou is very beautiful, but tricky to navigate. Imagine meeting another boat this size or bigger. That's what makes this job challenging. It has it's rewards though, and for me one of the best is the chance to see things like this eagle in that mossy ol' tree or enjoying a full moon rising over the swamps.


In Spring Dis Young Man's Fancy Turns to Thoughts of Lumber

I only wish I had a picture of boards hanging out the back of our SUV. We use it like a truck. Only a scant couple of years ago, this man, who said he couldn't even drive a nail with a hammer, now has a shed full of assorted power tools, drafts ideas on how to build projects without even using drawings, and yesterday bought some fancy screws I'd never heard of before that make their own pilot holes. He put up a trellis on the carport with these new screws with such little effort, that he had the whole thing done in less than fifteen minutes, tops. He built this little grape arbor last year, and now is plotting how to put railing on the front where we can place drinks while we are basking in the shade. I'm plotting the plants that will go around the front of it to make it cozier.
Since he got off the boat last Thursday, we have aleady gone through so many projects, I'd have to think about all we've gotten done. I know it was two trips to Lowe's, so far, and more are planned. It's either there, or Home Despot, as he calls it. He's told them, there at the store, that they have our house and we are taking it home board by board.
Day before yesterday, I was helping him cut this long pole into sections that the 'trash guys' would put in the truck this time. For some reason, they didnt' take it when it was twenty feet long. (It was an old antenna) I was holding the pipe while he sawed. I was wearing safety glasses. Still, I always turn away when he's sawing or whatever...kinda like I do when I'm getting a shot or blood drawn. I kept feeling these tiny hot little prickles on my arm, so I turned to see a blaze of sparks flying everywhere. One hot little spark got inside my clothes and burnt a little. Suddenly I thought of my hair, which has been as dry as a haystack, and probably looks like it, too. My imagination, as usual, got away from me...I thought I felt prickles on my head. I started yelling wildly at Cappy, "Is my hair on fire?? Is my hair on fire??" He stopped what he was doing, looked at me and said, "What??! No." Looked at me like I wuz crazy, and went back to cutting. Well, I dunno...it coulda been. Guess he knows what he's doing. Day after tomorrow we are off for more lumber...oh my aching lumbar. Not really...not yet anyhow :-)