But You're Gonna Come Back to See Us, Right??

After two cancelled flights back to Rochester, NY (Thursday and Friday), due to bad weather, today the dawgs and I saw Dan and his daughter, Destiny off at the airport. Dan, his new wife, Jennifer, and Destiny came down for the family Jambalaya last weekend. It was Wonderful having them here! Jennifer had to leave Sunday early to get back to her job for Monday. So, that left time time for Cappy and I to take Dan and Destiny around for a couple boat rides out in the bayou before he had to go back out to work on the tugboat, which I will post more about later, and time for "Daddy and Desi Lu" to have time together seeing the sights.

It was pretty hot out, and I had to keep hollaring up at them, telling them to get their 'mosey' on, but, just like I used to, when I first moved down here, they just couldn't shake their New York 'hustle'.
One of the things they did was visit some of the local plantations in the area. This particular plantation has been in several movies. It's really a sight when all the movie camera trucks are parked all over the place. Dan and Destiny soaked up a lot of history around the area, too, with their visits. Desi was prepared...she kept slathered with a lot of sunblock so she didn't soak up a lot of suntan. I think she went back as pale as she was when she first came down. I've always been fair-skinned myself; it took me a couple of years before I got any tan on me at all. Sighh...the "ArkyShow" (it's what she and Dan call SparkyBear and MarkyBear) have been moping around all day since they left, and I have, kinda, too. Well, at least one dog is very happy. That's her dog in Rochester, who's soooooo glad to see her come home, not to mention her family of course. And she's got souvenirs for everybody too!


Our annual family weekend

Well, our annual Jambalaya weekend was a roaring sucess. We had a small turnout, due to my schedule at work changing. This caused us to change the weekend date, and the new date interfered with some schedules. The food was good, if I say so myself, and it was wonderful having stepson, Dan and his family join us. It made this ole Cappy's heart swell with pride to have family to bring to the family reunion. Cousin Larry is busily loading pictures of the weekend onto the family website, but it takes time. For now though, click the title of this post to be brought to a steadily growing photo page on the family website. Click "View slideshow" when ya get there; be patient it takes a while to load, and enjoy the show. As always, please leave us a comment or question and we will gladly respond. It's nice to know yall are looking.


Let the good times commence

Greetings friends. Its only Thursday and the annual festivities have already begun. Stepson Dan, his new wife Jennifer, and daughter Destiny arrived today for our annual Family Jambalaya. Peg and I are thrilled that they were able to come this year. We throw this shindig every year for the family clan; from my grandfather's family on down, 'bout 5 generations of fun-loving Cajuns. This year, for the first time, one of my step kids (Dan) brought his family from New York State and I can't be more proud. With this in mind, I did what any self-respecting Cajun would do............. I cooked! Fired up the ole bbq and Peg and I introduced these New Yorkers to Cajun-style bbq. We had a great time, drank a lil, played a lil and jammed to some good Blues. If the next 3 days are any thing to compare, its gonna be a great weekend. Tomorow brings the Seafood Courtboullion and more family arriving. If time allows, I'll keep yall posted on the happenings.


Small Steps for Big Fetes; it's What I Live By.

I'm going to get to all the stuff about the NYS trip, Dan and Jennifer's wedding, honestly I am. It was a lot of fun. As with all things, not everything went precisely smoothly, but Jennifer(above, the bride-to-be), no matter what was thrown at her, had it allll under control. Not sure if her confidence came from the spiked orange juice the morning of the wedding, or the gun on the table. (It's fake, I'm sure...it was there before I got there that day.) This is a picture of my daughter, Jennifer "Sookie", below, blonde, having just had her hair done. The hair-dresser is one of Jennifer's (the bride-to-be...not Sookie) sisters, and the bride-to-be's daughter Melinda.

This is another of the bride-to-be's sisters, Laura. Actually, one of the reasons I hadn't written much about the wedding, was that my darned camera ran out of batteries during the wedding ceremony, so I've been waiting for pictures to come from NYS. Actually, as I'm writing, I'm getting ready for Cappy to come home tomorrow, then the next day Dan, Jennifer, and Destiny "Desi" are coming back down for another visit. I'm hoping pictures will be riding with them on the plane.
And yep! When I flew to Rochester last month, I actually did fit everything into the carry-on bag. I amazed myself. It was still a little heavy for me to lift, so whenever I had to lift it to the overhead...I had to ride four different airplanes(two going North and two coming back South)...I'd kinda look at some strong man near me and ask if he'd put my carry-on bag up in the bin, or take it down. As they were lifting it, I'd say, as if in awe..."Wow! You made that look like it was only a stick of butter!" (TERRIBLE, I know...but it was the truth.) And they always seemed pleased. Now. While I was in NYS, I accumulated a few things; shoes, hat, souvenirs,etc, so now I had too much stuff to fit into my carry-on. Cappy suggested I mail them home, rather than take a chance on losing it by letting handlers mess with my package in the plane. (I've seen way too many stories, and heard way too many stories.) So...hmmm, baggage handlers or Brown "Oops" mail delivery guys...if you've read us for long, you know our history with those "Oops" people. Nontheless, I mailed the package and prayed that Fed-X or the yellow truck would bring it to our door. (Actually, it ended up arriving at our post office...even better!)
But still my carry-on bag had taken on new dimensions and gained a li'l weight while I was there in Rochester. Coming home,I couldn't even lift it onto the converyer belt thingy. Again, I summoned a strong-looking fella to help me out. He swaggered up to the 'plate', smiling, took ahold of it, lifting it, but suddenly his legs kinda wobbled and his smile turned into a grimace as he let it plop onto the counter. As before, I breezed, "Oh...you made that look like it was only a stick of butter". He only looked at me as if to say, "Whadda ya tryna pull, lady?!" I took so long taking off my shoes and socks, as intructed at that airport checkpoint, that the guy and his family quickly got away before I could ask him again to take it down off the counter for me. I I got one of the big security guys to do it for me. He didn't say anything, but raised one eyebrow as he lifted it to the ground. I didn't offer my 'butter' comment. As I was getting on the plane, some big tall guy was arguing with one of the flight attendants, as they were hauling his huge duffle bag off the plane. They wouldn't let it go on the plane. I got on, found an empty compartment, but couldn't lift it for sure, I turned around and asked somebody if they'd lift it on for me. The guy tall guy growled, "Oh surrrrre", deftly picked it up and forced it hard into the overhead bin. I started to say, "Wow! You made that look like it was only a stick of...", but only then did I realize that it was the guy who's duffle bag was tossed off. He would not have been amused. And he still wasn't at the end of the trip when he got it back down for me. On the next(last) leg of the trip I had one more plane to get on, but I don't think I buttered up anybody else. The guy at the security check said it was too heavy and I might want to check it. Maybe I should have, but I had been trying to avoid that at all costs. I managed to get somebody strong to get it in the bin, and at the end of the trip,I dragged it out of the bin, but it really whalloped the backrest of the seat under it. The attendants were looking at me suspiciously, so I profusely apologized for 'dropping' my luggage like that. Gosh, it really WAS heavy! I won't let that kind of thing happen again, in the future. When I got to the airport long-term parking lot, the lady who drove the shuttlebus delivered me to my SUV, and carried my carry-on suitcase off the bus and stood there the whole time holding it in her right hand, while I fumbled with keys, trying to get it quickly opened. I dropped the keys, of course, and fumbled some more trying to get the darned tailgate opened. After all that I expected her to have set it down, but she hadn't. She just patiently stood there, then finally lifted it lightly into the back of my vehicle. I was amazed. "How could you hold that thing for so long?? It's heavy", I said as I handed her a good tip. She said, "Awww, it's not bad...it's what I do for a living". As we walked away, I told her, "Well, WOW! You made that look like it was only a stick of butter!"


Quotes From the Wheelhouse

As night begins to fall, out over the water, the darkness pushes itself up against the windows and flows into the wheelhouse, covering Cappy, leaving only a scattering of lights hither and yon for him to see by, as he sits there alone in the dark . He can't turn on any lights in the wheelhouse, because it would be like when we try to drive a car at night with a lot of bright interior lights. He needs to be able to look out into the darkness to see who may be headed his way, and of course to see clearly where he is going. The oil barge, which he is pushing, is as large as a football field, and only has a couple of colored lights on the front of it, to let him know where in the dark he is, and to let other navigators know also. It's usually a quieter atmosphere in the wheelhouse at night. For the most part, activity out on the water also slows to a more calm pace. Even tho that's not always the case, there in the darkness, as he's traveling along, while much of the animal kingdom is sound asleep, Cappy has more time to reflect on life and the meaning of life. Things that matter. A lot of the time I'm 'there' with him, via our cell phones. We can talk...or not. Just kinda 'being together'. He'll wax philosophical sometimes, talking fluently with wonderful insight on many topics, which never ceases to amaze me. His interests range anywhere in the scientific field, such as archeology or the Nasa projects. He likes reading science-fiction as well. He says, "A lot of today's science-fiction is tomorrow's reality". Among his many interests, he considers himself a naturalist. He believes in appreciating nature and being responsible for the environment around us, but also believes in hunting responsibly. Many people can't seem to grasp how these two beliefs could go hand-in-hand, but "Moderation in all things", is one of the things Cappy always admonishes. It's what he tries to live. He says, "I'm a creature of habit, sometimes". The other night we were both, from different vantage points, looking at an HUGE orange-colored full moon, freshly risen out of the horizon. His wheelhouse, of course, was completely dark. We were both in hushed silence, amazed that, through the science of technology, we were there heart-to-heart, sharing this quiet time of exploring the large surface of the moon together. I was anticipating his usual murmurings as he mused about the greatness of the universe and how such a sight puts one in awe such as we were at that moment. So very relaxing it was. Finally he broke the silence..."OWW! A horsefly just bit me! Any self-respecting horsefly shouldn't be up biting me at this time of night. Probably the same arrogant fool that bit my leg earlier tonight!" He then turned on the lights and began to hunt him down.


Celebration Vacation in Western NY

(I should let you know that this is going to sound confusing to you, talking about two Jennifers. My daughter's name is Jennifer, and my son, who was getting married, was marrying a girl named Jennifer as well. To keep things from getting too confusing, we call my daughter her knick-name, which is "Sookie".This first picture is Russ and Sookie.)From the minute I stepped off the plane in Rochester, there was one party after another. I stayed with my daughter, Jennifer "Sookie" and her husband, Russ. It was Russ' sister, Brenda's birthday, and what with all the rushing around for my son,Dans' wedding, Sookie was running around like the perverbial chicken with her head cut off, trying to get ready for her brother's wedding. Because of that, we came up with the idea of pretty cupcakes instead of trying to fuss with a cake and leftovers. We found these goofy long-legged candles, ordered pizza and sodas.

Brenda seemed to enjoy the whole thing as being fun and original. After she opened her gifts, she hugged us all.

My granddaughter, Cierra "CeCe" and her mother, Diana were there, too. After she got washed up from all the cake, she was ready to snuggle in for the night. So was I. I slept on Sookie's very comfy couch, with two 'purr-factories' sitting on top of me...gosh, it made me feel at home, like when I'm crowded by white curlie-haired Bichon, bed-pigs.
For some reason I'm having problems with this blog posting; it 'ate' a couple of pictures I had on here of CeCe with her messy cupcake, and of my grandson Robbie John; it refuses to let me put them back on. Guess ol' Blogger has gotten beligerant cuz I've neglected it lately.

Well, anyway, the next night was Dan and his fiance`, Jennifer's wedding rehearsal and dinner. Ladies from Scottsville's Full Gospel Church went all out preparing a feast. During the wedding rehearsal I asked Jennifer how many bridesmaids she had. She said "six". Dan was a happy, nervous wreck, so I asked him how many pall-bearers he had. The whole evening was a lot of fun, then Dan and Jen got up and addressed everyone, making a lovely speach of thanks and gratitude. I was so very proud of him. The next day promised to be very exciting for all of us. (And it was...stay tuned...if the Blogger will co-operate.)


Had My Head in the Clouds

Hi again, All. I dunno, my trip to NYS (photo is from the plane headed North) was wonderful and since then I've been rushing from one thing to another, not taking the time to let everyone know how things have been. Cappy's done a great job of blogging, I think. He's a funny, intelligent guy alright. But everythings fine; we have had alot of fun with family and friends, which I will try to update soon. I was in Rochester for 1 week, came home and found our yard overgrown and fried. It's been over a month now since I got back home and I still haven't caught up. I feel bad for our neighbors cuz now they have to look at all the weeds waving at them from our yard. I'm not great at getting out early in the morning while the heat is still tolerable, to do yardwork. During the day it's horrid heat, so for sure I don't wanna go out then. I'm still formulating an excuse for not going out later in the day to pull the dang things either. I'm tired by that time? It's still hot out? Mosquitoes licking their chops, following me around, sharpening their knives and forks on their...what stingers? beaks? noses? Whadda ya call what they bite you with? I did mow the lawn yesterday at the fastest gear speed I could put it in, to get it done and get back in the house. Sunday...it's beautiful outside today. Right now it's 87 degrees (not too bad), the sky is gorgeous and puffy white clouds are building sturdy-looking mounds way up into the wild blue yonder. I think I'll lie down, gaze up out of the window at them, daydream at them and take a nap. So much for pulling my head out of anywhere and getting anything done now. In the words of Scarlet O'Hara, "Fiddle-dee dee, I'll think about that tomorrow". Ahem....sounds like a 'plan' to me.


house boats bayou style

As I travel at work I see many yachts and house boats, whose prices range from the multi-million dollar yachts that visit New Orleans, the big steam paddle wheel boats, to the homemade contraptions of rural Louisiana. I'm not nearly as impressed by the rich store-bought jobs as I am by the homemade Cajun weekend getaway crafts that come in all shapes, sizes and are powered by anything from out-board engines to volkswagon engines turning paddlewheels. I have a rather large collection of pictures of these "boats" that I have taken over the years, but rather than bore ya with them all, I have linked a few of my favorite ones to the title. Hope ya enjoy them. Please feel free to comment one way or another and let me know if ya like em and whats ya favorite. This is one of my favorites. I hope to be those old boys some day.

Sea Horse Bay

When driving the tugboats through the bayous, bays and backwaters of South Louisiana, we always run our radar. The radar 'sweeps' the surrounding area with radar waves and watches them return. It then displays the solid targets it finds in green and the water stays black.
This gives us a kind of moving map. It's very useful even in broad daylight to show us our surroundings and is sorta our rear-view mirror. With a lil practice ya can tell where ya are by the image on the radar. It picks up bouys and shows ya a channel across a bay. Ya see boats moving about and can even see flocks of ducks when they fly bunched together. It takes a lil practice to use and tune the radar, so boat captains are trained by the Coast Guard to do so. Not only did I receive an indepth week-long training course ( only after using the radar for several yrs. as an apprentice) but we are also re-tested by the Coast Guard every 5 yrs. to prove familiarity and competence. In the bays and unmarked routes we travel, we navigate by radar alot. Radar images become familiar and many navigation "land marks" have been given names based on their radar image. I've included one of the more obvious examples of these land marks. Its kinda like looking for images in clouds, but I'm sure ya will see why this area is called Sea Horse Bay.


Sunrise Sunset

I just love watching the sun rise and set as I travel along the Louisiana coast. I'm sure yall get tired hearing it , but it is one of the main reasons I do what I do. Sitting in the wheel house driving the boat, music in the background the vibration of the engines the rush of the water, all blend with the view to create a magical moment. I hope yall enjoy the view as well