The thing I love most about my job is watching the swamps and marshes change with the seasons. Peg talks about how when the leaves start changing in New York, like they were when we were there, she gets "that Fall feeling". Well, for me that Fall feeling comes over me when I see the arrival of the white pelicans. Louisiana's State Bird the brown pelican, is a year around resident of the marshes. His cousin, the white pelican, summers elsewhere and with our summer heat and humidity, I don't blame him sometimes. When these stately white birds are landed, paddling about on the water they appear solid white. It's only in flight that you can see the sharply contrasting black wing tips. My first sighting of the white pelicans is what fills me with anticipation of the approaching Fall. A time of cooler weather, longer nights, camp fires, gumbo pots...... sigh, Who says our seasons dont change down here in bayou country.
I am always amazed when I stroll through our yard after a long hitch on da boat. It's been an extra-long time since I've had the chance. I was on the boat for 7 weeks and when I got home we left immediately for our New York vacation, and then got home just in time to go back to work. Well, after another 4 weeks on the boat, I finally got to take that leisurely walk through our yard. Stuff is starting to slow down as Fall approaches, but Peg's mums look wonderful along the front of the house. Yall can't imagine how thrilled I was too see our banana palms were adorned with 2 nice bunches of bananas. Peg and I planted those palms 3 yrs ago and were beginning to think we had the non-fruiting kind. Lord, please forgive me for some of the "sailor terms" I've called the nursery that sold them to us. Peg told me she was picking pecans, but it was nice to see big, heavy nuts hanging from our trees, ready to fall. Being a crusty ole bachelor, living most of my life on a boat, it was impossible to have things like flowers, bananas, fruit trees etc., in the yard cause I wasn't around enough to care for them. That is just one of the many ways my sweet wife has helped me to have a full happy life.
and try yet again,
I just couldn't manage to take a picture of this beautiful full October moon for yall.
I did manage to catch this very nice marsh sunrise for yall, though. The saying goes, "red sky at morning, sailor take warning" and it did rain that stormy day; however, the breath-taking beauty of this sunrise was well worth having to break out the slickers. Hope yall enjoy.
I can't remember how long we've been visiting with Foy online, but it's been some years. Being the fun-loving, chubby 'foodies' we are, we all met in a 'Cooking Room' where people who like to cook, share cooking ideas, or just talk with folks who have the same interests. After awhile, real friends emerged and as in 'real' life, others drifted away. Foy has emerged as a real, honest-to-goodness friend. He is one of those folks who always has a ready laugh and what Cappy calls, "Joie de vivre"..Joy of Life. We can't talk with Foy more than a minute without 'catching' his good mood, and start feeling light-hearted ourselves.
It was so wonderful finally meeting him in person, and his wife, Brenda was every bit as terrific as he said she was. He calls her his "Angel", even after 25 years. Cappy and Foy got to visit outside while Brenda and I chatted inside their very nice home. I really enjoyed getting to know her. Too bad we live so far away, as I'd like to spend more time with her. Alas, all too soon it was time for us to part company with them, and get back on the road.
This week-end Foy and Brenda are going to be busy with the annual church BBQ. They make massive amounts of Carolina-style BBQ Pork and Brunswick stew to sell to the public and it's always a huge success.
The day before we left to come home we had the family Jambalaya. Cappy ("Pops") and son, Thom got started early cutting onions and sausage, etc., then Dan and Thom had other responsiblities to take care of for the get-together. Joe stayed and helped actually cook the Jambalaya, and Cappy said he couldn't have asked for a better helper. He remembers when he was a young boy watching his great-grandfather, grandfather and Dad making Jambalaya and now it makes him feel proud to pass on some of the traditions that were taught to him, on down to his own family.
One of the things needed to be chopped was the dreaded parsley, but Joe's wife, Jessica deftly snipped them up with scissors. Once again, this blog won't let me put all the pictures on, but AHA! I'm going to add a link for ya'll to click onto, which can then give you a nice slide-show of the goings ons and folks who showed up. I particulary like the picture of Jessica chopping the parsley; what a sweetie-pie she is. Since she did the miserable parsley this year, earning her wings, she can relegate that job to somebody else next year.
Family and friends sat around visiting, catching up on things, playing badmitton with the kids, munching on snacks, then came the main event of smoked duck, andouille and okra gumbo on rice, sundry tasty salads, and the prized Jambalaya. After everyone was stuffed and resting, Mr. Ed played his guitar and kazoo stunning the younger folks about how 'cool' he is with his repertoire of funny and entertaining songs. He had everybody clapping and singing along, as he always does. It was warm and cozy inside the mosquito netting with the bonfire going in the background, and loved ones being together. This was the first Family Jambalaya in Rochester, and I hope we can make it a regular thing, as it's done in Louisiana every year. Our boys watched in great detail, especially Joe, as to how our Pork Jambalaya was cooked, so I'll bet it shows up on their tables before we make it back there for another visit.
Here's the promised link to our 'sister website' (more like the mother website) where you can see a slide-show of the Jambalya get-together, and other pics you may have not seen of our trip. (Oh gosh...I hope we aren't becoming like 'those pushy folks' who bore people to death with all their pictures and slide-shows. Oh oh, maybe we are...Uh, maybe ya don't wanna go clicking here then. ;-) http://cajuncousins.photosite.com/rpny/
Cappy hadn't been to an honest-to-goodness drive-in theatre since he was a little kid. For some reason, down in South Louisiana, they have taken them all down. I believe that the nearest to where we live is somewhere over in Texas. If someone got ahold of the ideas behind the drive-in at Perry, NY and put them in our area, I think they would have a gold-mine. Silver Lake Twin Drive-in has a lot more than just two movie screens. Monday nights they have Country Line Dancing ("watch, participate, or learn") Tuesday nights the have free concerts featuring live bands, Wednesday nights they have the dreaded Karaoke machine going to entertain everyone, Thursday nights they have 'Cruise Night', where people drive in and show off their classic cars, trucks or motorcycles, complete with oldies music piped in, Friday Evenings, when there's no snow, they begin a new week of 4 top-rated movies, then Saturday nights they do a chicken bbq with all the "fixins".
They also have a miniature golf course, charcoal corral restaurant, a pizzeria, an ice-cream parlor, (I indulged myself here, dang these folks!) they have an huge game room, and weather permitting, they have the giant inflatables for the kids. Of course they also have the obligatory park swings, slides, etc. in front of the screens for the kids while waiting for when the movie begins. AND the snack shack, where ya almost gotta getcha some popcorn and soda during the intermission. I'm thinking that if they can pull it off and still have to close off a lot of it for winter, gosh, why couldn't we have one of dese things running all season in the deep South. But...I-I-I-I'mmmm not gonna do it.
We had loaded up on junk food and waited for things on the screen to light up. We had taken two cars, ours and Sookie, with her family. We had Desi with us, and Jen and Russ brought Tim. Cappy barely had one beer open when we heard over the loud speaker, "Attention, Silver Lake Drive-in would like to welcome Ray and Peggy Robin this evening, who are visiting us from South Louisiana". What da hey?? They even pronounced our name correctly. That Sookie. She was sitting in her car giggling and hiding her face so I couldn't get her picture. Silly girl. We only watched one movie, Gridiron Gang...I think that was the name of it, then drove our crowded, paper, popcorn and assorted candy strewn, SUV back to Rochester. What a fun time that was. Just like the old days, except the only one I had to wash up and drag to bed was me.
Cappy couldn't overcome the temptation to visit the table where the ladies were all wearing red hats. He went over and had a fun time conversing with them. He said they were all as bubbly and as colorful as their hats.
From the Olean/Portville NY area, we traveled back to Rochester to visit with son, Joe and his family. His gorgeous wife is Jessica, and their two children are Ashley and Zachery. Just look at them; are we proud or what! Jessica could be a home decorator. That's why I included the picture of Zachery's bedroom. She's a wonderful mother who works hard with her kids, getting down on the floor at their level, playing with them and teaching them at the same time. I was impressed that Ashley could point out so many things on a map of the USA. When I asked her to point out Louisiana, she did right away with no coaching.
This is one of their cats, Oreo. I think Joe said he weighs about 30 lbs. He likes to tell about the time both of his cats got badly spooked about something, and took off in a mad dash trying to get out of the kitchen. The first cat made it out ok, but Oreo, whose belly heavily sways this way and that whenever he runs, didn't quite make the turn. His intention was to make a sharp right, behind his 'brother', but at the wobbley warp-speed he was by then traveling, and his big tummy swaying to the left on the corner, the whole weight of his body kept going straight, while his feet, claws wildly scraffing the floor, still trying to somehow carry him into the next room, came out from under him and he slid fast on his furry side, crashing so hard into the refrigerator that part of it's hardware came off, clattering loudly, which only scared him all the more and made him more frantic to get some kind of hold on the slippery floor. I can picture him just leaving his belly on the floor and using his legs and tail, rotating like fans somehow getting traction to get him outa there.
This doggie wandered into our neighborhood with no collar and made himself at home with everyone. I was worried that he might get run over, or perhaps worse, so I took him in, fed him, put posters all over town looking for his folks, all to no awail. He appears to be a Rhodesian Ridgeback. I called him Raleigh, (which sounds like ROLLY) so while he's here, he'll know who I am talking to. He's neutered, house-broken and has such a sweet docile nature. He does not like his picture taken, so I haven't been able to show what a silly boy he is. One ear stands straight up and the other folds down. Despite what the picture looks like, he's not blind in one eye. (I couldn't get my adobe picture thingy to correct it.)
While it may not be all that interesting, it's one of the main events going on in Cappy and Pegody's world this last week and a half. So far we have no "takers" on this poor boy, and Cappy says we aren't keeping him, so if no-one will take him in and give him a GOOOOOD, loving home he'll be headed to a doggie-shelter this Friday, taking his aquired toys with him. I bought him a couple of colored tennis balls and a 'tug of war' pull toy. One of our white curlie pampered brats got ahold of it, and Raleigh knew it was his, but wouldn't fight about it...he just put his paw on the floor a couple of times and kind of mewed at the thieving Bichon who was gnawing on it.
Unfortunately, people leave animals off in this neighborhood all too often. One cat was left off a few years ago and loudly Meowed, her voice echoing off the houses for weeks. She would come and visit SparkyBear daily. She'd rub against him, lie down on the driveway beside him to keep him company, cuff at him when he walked by, and roll around and play with him. I called her "Chatterly". It was a fun name I could go all kinds of ways with, such as 'Chat' meaning 'Cat' in French (Cajun French being a local thing in South Louisiana), she was 'chatty' for sure, and she was a flirt akin to Lady Chatterly, methought. Just about the time we decided she could stay with us, she disappeared. Her memory is still with us, as mockingbirds still call, sounding just like her, as they fly from tree to tree. Can you imagine; one day I thought I heard her up in a large tree and thought, "Oh gosh, no wonder she hasn't been around; she's stuck way up in some tree and scared to come down...now what do I do? Call the fire-dept?" Just then I heard her voice, still meowing, but moving...from that tree, to waaay over in another tree, then moving still again to another location. I might be blonde, but it didn't take me a but a confused milli-second to figure this cat was decidedly not flying. About that time I noticed a mockingbird flying around in the vicinity "meowing". I always think of her whenever I hear 'her' loud distinctive call coming out of a bird's mouth and wonder what happened to her.
So, we've had wonder cats and wonder dogs, Raleigh being the lastest. I wonder for sure, where he will be come Friday.
We finished the day by having dinner on a floating barge converted into a fabulous restaurant, called Capt.'s Landing. How appropriate, eh?