Hippy Halloween

Cappy likes to call himself an old hippy. I, myself, was always disdainful of the hippy lifestyle when it first began. To me, it represented the tearing down of moral values which were built on modesty and self-control. I thought it was just an excuse to flat-out flaunt disrespect for Mom, the flag, apple pie and the American way. To Cappy it represented openly showing people that you care about them and helping others, and he hadn't gotten into the drop out and 'dope' scene. What reminded me of all that was, yesterday when I was cleaning out the attic...or attempting to anyhow, I ran across a lava lamp. It's still in the box because it was a gift we've never opened. I've threatened to give it away several times, but he's always said, "No, I fully intend to have it running in the den one of these days; it's relaxing to watch them". I suppose they are, I wouldn't know. When I talked to him last night, he said to go ahead and give it to Goodwill or something. Yesssss. I've adopted his 'to da road' theme when it comes to 'dunging' out closets or sheds or attics or whatever anymore. It's just so...well, exhilarating...so freeing. It's less junk I have to worry about.
And the climbing up and down the attic ladder laden with stuff is pretty good excercise, too. Lord knows I need it. I still have excercise equipment in boxes, too. I was telling our friend, Trishy, that Cappy and I like watching that commercial for the AB Lounger, especially right near the end of it, where they ask, "Now...would you rather have an AB Lounger or this hamburger". Have you seen that huge hamburger? They put it on a plate and pat the bun. That bun looks so soft and the melted cheese and/or mayo sauce, or whatever it is, comes seductively oozing out the sides...oh migosh, we always yell, "The hamburger!!" and wonder where in the world they found such a gloriously decadent object of desire. Nontheless, I bought the AB Lounger with hopes of finding room in our tiny house to set it up and actually begin to use it. I never did lose all the weight I had gained (which I couldn't afford to gain in the first place) while getting off those miserable lexapro pills.
So that's pretty much what I've been doing lately. Putting the Summer clothes in the 'tupperware' bins and exchanging them for the Winter clothes, tossing stuff to da road, trying to clear out the house of 'stuff' in anticipation of all the company we'll be expecting for our Thanksgiving. Dan has the plane tickets in hand for the whole crew, and they can hardly wait to come down. Seven of them...two adults, four kids and one baby. I am just tooo excited thinking about it. I think we will be putting them up in our 'mobil bed and breakfast'. It can handle eight people, 'easily'.
Thanksgiving isn't even here and I already have all the Christmas gifts wrapped and ready to ship to NYS...emma good or what. Not really; I just know that if I wait til after Thanksgiving to rush around, buying and wrapping and figgering and sweating and packing it all in separate sturdy boxes to send to all the kids, it wouldn't probably make it there in time for Christmas. Uhhh...been there...done that. <:"> So, now I can spend time finishing up some of my Christmas sewing projects and baking. I have banana nut bread frozen, from our bananas and pecans, waiting for Thanksgiving dinner, which is going to be some kinda Cajun/Yankee production. The menu is still being worked on, going to be posted so fambly and friends can sign up for what they will make. It's goina be goooood, I do know that!
But, until then...I still have today to get through. So far, I have two big bags of Kit Kats waiting by the door for trick or treaters tonight. The only reason they are still sitting there, unmolested, is that I deliberately bought candy made with wheat in it, so I couldn't touch it. I'm still wearing Halloween candy around my hips from last year, which I hadn't had the foresight or restraint to stay out of, before the kiddies had a chance to hit our door-step. Shame shame shame, Pegody! No self-control...guess I am of the HIPPY ilk afterall...darn it! Alright, where is that AB Lounger box...and the lava lamp? (I might as well have something to look at while I'm 'Lounging').


I Got Nuttin' To Say

...But that's never stopped me.
Cappy just called. He's pushing his oil barge way over in Texas today. That's the farthest he's been from home with that thing, as long as I've been here, anyway. Because it's a new location, fraught with twists and turns and a lot of boat traffic, he and the crew have been losing sleep. He drove all night, with his "co-cappy" reading the maps to help him navigate in the dark. He said as soon as they get there and get tied up, he's gwinder take a nap.

That's what SparkyBear has been doing a lot of lately...sleeping. I took 'the boys' with me yesterday while I ran several errands. It was chilly, so I left the windows down a bit so they could get fresh air and snoop everybody who walked by. 'Course Mark barked at anyone who came near his vehicle. I got them their usual treat meal at Sonic, but Sparky didn't eat. When we got home he threw up, had 'rhea' and has just been lying around. I hope he didn't get anything at the vet's last week when Cappy and I took Mark for his shots and to check on his poor leg, (which has never gotten any better since his 'war injury' with the squirrel a few years ago). We take both the dogs whenever we go, so they won't think everytime they go to the vet's they are getting a shot or whatever, and more moral support to the other one, who is getting a shot, or perhaps worse, their temperature taken. So, I'll be keeping an eye on SparkyBear and babying him.

An update: It's been about a whole month and a half now, since I have finally gotten off those lexapro pills!!! I can actually say, I think I finally did it! It took, what...five months? During the last month, I was beginning to worry that I might not be able to really do it...that stuff fought me 'tooth and nail'. One other problem reared his ugly head tho, which began to occur once I was off them; that being, my true emotions surfacing for the first time in three years. I'd find myself crying for no apparent reason, or angry for no apparent reason, or...any kind of emotional response seemed to be overblown. My feelings had to relearn where the 'guardrails' were again, and not overreact. I think I've got an handle on it all now. It does seem nice to be able to cry over a good movie, instead of stoically sitting there wondering what's wrong with everyone else, who were watching the same movie I was, but they were bawling their eyes out over nothing. After I got off those pills, for awhile there, I was even crying over commercials; heck, if they are poinient enough, I still do.

We have a friend in Utah, who recently started writing their blog and have included pictures and funny stories. I really like it, and think you will too. Here's a link to it: http://ggizzmo.blogspot.com/

Welllll, I s'pose I'd better get a move on now, that banana nut bread aint makin' itself....and from our own yard even!! I can't tell you how excited I am about having bananas and pecans and lemons, which are also getting ripe, grapefruit (mouth drooling over these sweet ones which are huge and ripening) and oranges and little tangerine-like Satsuma oranges. I just don't have the words, but that's never stopped me before.


Breath of Fresh Air Blowin' Through

I was wondering if we'd ever see cooler weather around these parts, but yesterday afternoons's heavy rainstorms brought us the weather that permits me to sit here and write, "It's 56 degrees out!" Finally, a temperature that no longer gives me an excuse to stay inside, letting the yardwork run amok with it's poor neglected self. When Cappy was home, we managed to go out in ten minute increments and clear out a little debris from around the paw-paw trees, pull up the garden weeds, and he cut down tall woody 'weeds' from around the house, but that was it.
Presently, he's on the boat, teaching Asa, one of his young crewmen how to navigate the winding, narrow bayous in the wind. It's not easy...the wind wants to take control of the huge oil barge they are pushing. If you've seen the pictures in past blogs of how narrow some of those bridges are, and know this: slowing down while passing through them, lessens the control. Can you imagine how unnerving it must be for a novice to try keeping his speed up while passing his huge 'camel through the eye of the needle' in heavy winds? To make matters worse, the people who run the bridges are very particular, and who could blame them? If a bridge gets damaged, for whatever reason, not only might the bridge have to shut down for repairs, causing traffic chaos, but it has to be reported to the United States Coast Guard, and ...do you have any idea about all the paperwork and redtape involved with that? Over the phone I can hear Cappy encouraging the young man, telling him what a great job he is doing, and even calling him, proudly, "Captain Asa", even tho, of course, as of yet, he doesn't have his captain's license. No wonder whenever there's an opening, Cappy's phone is ringing off the wall with 'guys' wanting to come be part of his crew. What can I say...Cappy's a nice man.
Good men are hard to find. Cappy and I went to the polls and voted for someone we think is a good man. We are thrilled that he was elected outright as our new governor. I say 'outright', because in Louisiana, if the individual running for office doesn't get at least 51% of the votes, there has to be a 'run-off', and it's my humble opinion that, perhaps, that's where dirty politics gets to put it's sticky paws in and foul up the final results. Again, I'm just (still) a Yankee, and new to all of this, don't know all the intricate workings of how Louisiana politics works, but something has 'stunk in Denmark' around here, politically speaking, for some time, so that's one of my simplistic opinions of that matter. And so to that, I lift my coffee cup and toast our new governor-elect, Bobby Jindal, and say, "Here, here!...Go sic 'em boy! You have our prayers and God knows, you'll need 'em."


An AWFULLY Wonderful Two Weeks

We're alive and well, in case you were wondering about us, and, I guess, survived. Right now, I'm sitting amongst the 'ruins' and still surveying things. Before we left for Houston, we managed to somehow crash our computer and erase all the pictures and files. (Presently, am trying not to start bawling about that one.)
Cappy and I did have a fun drive over, tho, listening to CD's...especially one that our friend Linda sent us.
I'd never been to the Houston area, so when we arrived during rush hour in a rain storm, we didn't know which toll line to pull into. We shuffled back and forth til we found what we thought was the correct one, and immediately traffic pulled in behind us. Too late. The machine wanted correct change, preferably, quarters. Oh oh. Cappy was only carrying bills, so I feverishly began rifling through my purse, and glancing in the rear-view mirror at the traffic pileup behind us. One or two quarters and some tic tacs. I told Cappy I had just cleaned out my purse and put about three or four dollars worth of quarters someplace in there, then continued rummaging. Nothing. Nothing. I think horns started sounding; I dunno, maybe it was the blood rushing through my ears. I wanted the people behind us to know we were trying, so I grabbed two handfuls of my hair and pulled them up in the air like that cartoon guy Dagwood used to wear his hair. Cappy grabbed my purse, in desperation, and stuck his big paws in there trying to locate the missing quarters. He came up with a couple of pennies and a nickle. I looked out the side window for perhaps a human from one of the other toll booths to come to our aid, but there was nobody walking around in the froth of traffic swirling around the other toll booths. From here and there, under the mat, down beside the seat he came up with a hand full of change and said, "Here...just toss it all into the basket and see how close we come!" I fed the beast the fistful of coins. It needed one more quarter to make the $1.50 before it would release us so that the rest of the herd behind us could start moving, too. I could almost hear time ticking, ticking, ticking. I dove back into my purse and came up empty. Beside my seat...Thank God A Mighty... I found the quarter that would save us and tossed it in,...!?... then we were off. I wanted to get as far away ahead of what I feared would be a posse behind us. (Later, during a pit stop, looking for hand wipes, I located the neat little nest of quarters, demurely and innocently smiling up at me. I told Cappy, "Ohhh, here are my quarters". I only got a look from him.) Ah well...typical "Us".

We finally did make it to our hotel without too many other side-tracks, then to cousin Mark's house for his 50th surprise birthday party. Cousin Mark feigning surprise, and his wife, Susan. He'll also be feigning 50...cuz he said he'll take the gifts and everything, but he won't take the bein' 50. Yeah, I guess "the BIG 29th Birthday" aint the easy one. Since he is an avid golfer, we got him this sign. In our past blogs we wrote about the deep respect we have for this guy. Not to settle for having been given medals and honors, then made a Major in the Air Force, having served time leading troops in Iraq, he was recently promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel!! No wonder whenever we mention we named our dog after him, we just get a blank stare and no comment.
It was a fun evening, spending time with family and friends. Mark and Susan's daughter, Emily, is about to have her baby girl any minute now. We know she's going to be a beautiful baby...look who her new mommy is. And what a sweetie! It was great seeing our good-humored friend, Cathy and our sweet cousin Cindy.

We met a few other new (to us) faces, and enjoyed seeing Mary and cousin Kim, who not only lost about ten pounds, but what appears to be ten years in the process. (grrrr...that shoulda been me.)

I mentioned we had lost pictures on our computer...I also lost all the pictures I took. I swiped these pictures from Cousin Larry on our sister website. I had so many pictures I wanted to show 'Yall'. I think these are pretty nice, tho.

Somebody had made a washtub full of Jello shots. I had never tried any of those things before, so I ate/drank...swallowed one. Gah! Blech! Well, they must be pretty good or they wouldn't have stayed so popular all this long. Here's Aunt Marguerite downing one; she looks pretty happy about it.

The next morning we got up and rode the shuttle bus to the Texas Renaissance Festival with the rest of the family, who met us at the hotel. Mark and Susan were in period dress. They looked so coool. At some point Cappy and I would like to have costumes to wear...Cappy a pirate, and Pegody, some kind of wench...but a wench with an high neckline.
We met our friends, David and Ginger & the boys, Owen and Patrick at the front gate, and hung around with them most of the time. (Cappy and I kept wandering around like two kids, not paying attention to where we were going, and kept losing them...dang! Even with the map Cappy is studying, we still got lost.) Practically the first thing, Ginger and I got flower head wreaths, which was fun.
I'm still bemoaning the pictures I took, and SAW before they were erased. David is Cappy's childhood friend. The picture I had taken of them together made them look as though they were still 8 years old. It was the best.
The park setting was breathtakingly beautiful and so was the architecture of the buildings. The shows were hilarious. Pirate shanties, a skeleton puppet,naughty singing bar wenches, a mud pit skit, a Shakespeare parody, for instance. I tried to be inconspicuous while taking a picture of a Conquistador knight in shiny gold armor, but he saw me and came running over, knelt on one knee, took my hand and sang an absolutely bee-oootiful love song into my eyes, while Cappy laughed and snapped pictures. We rode in these swings which were festooned with long blue ribbons and hung down from about an hundred feet up in the tall trees. It was a refreshing ride because the temperature was hot that day. What I had looked forward to, because I had heard so much about him, was a Shakespearean recital by one of the regulars to the festival, who had performed there for years. I guess he wasn't on his game that day. The guy who showed up was (referring to my list of character from past blog postings), Dr./Prof. Onofrio Unctuousaur. He had no mic, quickly assembled a few picnic tables near to where he was sitting in the shade, and began a political rant, down-talking our government. Then he went into character. Ginger and I were both confused as to which character he was supposed to be at any one point...the Bard himself, or one of the characters Shakespeare had written about, such as Romeo. He spotted the confusion on my face and said, "Would you just look at the look on that woman's face...she thinks perhaps I am lying". He asked me a couple other questions during his pretend English accented diatribe, but perceiving I was a blonde dunderhead, not correctly responding, gave up on me. I still don't 'have a clue'. But I love Shakespeare, and I'll go back to reading it. The authentic him I understand.
I thoroughly enjoyed the beautiful dresses that were worn throughout the park that day. As I said, the weather was hot, and as it was, in my thin, but black shirt, I was roasting. I can't even imagine how hot these costumes, many made with tapestry material and velvets...not to mention the armor and leather many of the men wore...must have been. Next time I go, it will be light-weight, light colored cotton for me. We watched a parade which wound it's way around the huge park. I'd show more photos of the parade, but suffice it to say, there was a lot of flashy flesh showing in these, Cousin Larry's, pictures. He does take nice pictures, but his interests don't, so much, lie in the architecture of the buildings or the landscape.

This is more typical of Cousin Larry's photo opps. I had to search for quite awhile to find the ones above this one. There are tons and tons of pictures like this available. Hey, it's what he likes. It's what makes him happy. I didn't notice Cappy complaining either. Personally, I didn't see all that many of the ladies dressed like this. I was was actually quite surprised Cousin Larry had found so many.

The next day we left early and wandered our way back home, listening to an audio book on CD. Once home Cappy spent hours and hours trying to get the computer up and running again. I won't even bother going into detail here. Suffice it to say, I think his beard had gotten a few more gray hairs. It was a very frustrating time for him. He did manage to cook out on 'da pit' one night. Our friend, Pam, came over and had supper with us. Cappy smoked four ducks for future gumbos, barbequed some spareribs, and of course the obligatory sausage. This pic is Cappy cutting up one of the smoked ducks. I made an andouille, chicken and smoked duck gumbo from one of the ducks. I can't believe I lived most of my life not knowing what real gumbo is. It makes me feel good when he says he taught me well. I plan on making some more of it when 'the Yankees' come down next month. We are thrilled that our bananas have gotten ripe and that we are picking pecans now. A very good year for them. He finally coaxed Raleigh into accepting his igloo dawg house, where he curls up on lots of comfy rags, especially when it's stormy and rainy. Yesterday we awoke a few hours before daylight, filled the SUV with his seabag, plus sundry other bags, ditty, and other wise, and headed for Houma, putting him back on da boat again, for another 28 days. Soooo, that's where we've been, and that's what we've been doing for the last two weeks. OH! And he said he LOVES his new Jeep! He drove it around some and can't wait til he gets off the boat the next time, so's we can take it 'over da levy' as he calls it, to go fishin'. Now. The next time he gets off the boat, Dan and his family, plus, Cappy's sister Maria and her family, friends and family, are planning on coming here for an early Thanksgiving! Anticipating that should make the days go faster for me. And now...as for me....I still have a lot of finishing up work to do on dis 'gingerbread house'.

We hope all is well with you and yours. We missed you! Hugs, Cappy and Peggy...and dese dawgs.


Countdown to Cappy

The Cappy sounds Happy over the phone today. He and the his crew are doing all the usual last minute spiffying, before he gets off the boat tomorrow... And, it's a gorgeous day for all that, as well. He just called and said they are headed for another spot way, way back in God's beautiful bayou country, and that they will be crew changing tomorrow (gets off the boat), maybe as late as noon. But no matter...our Cappy aint the only one goina be happy. His wife, three dawgs, and Ya'll...right? I hope he'll be bringing us some more of his breathtaking photos, as usual.
As for me, I'm running around like a head with it's chicken cut off. It goes like this: I know all "I gotta do"; it's alllll in my head. Now...getting it all done...hmmmm, not so sure. It's the " the mind is willin', but..." game I play with the clock. So, that's where I'll be all day. "Ya'll" be hearing from us, soon, I hope. If not, know we are 'passing a good time' thinkin' bout yall. Til then, please be careful...be safe...and as my Mom used to admonish, "Behave yerself!" (and we'll try to do the same.) :-)


The Foundations Are Askew

Now that the criminal element doesn't have Harry Lee to fear, I hope the thugs in town aren't more emboldened; of course I don't know if that's possible. I've never heard of such brazen arrogance when it comes to the crimes we've heard of lately. With the elections for sheriff coming up, I hope someone emerges who will take on the legacy left for them, and 'wipe' the town up with these gangsters. So much for the 'blue-collar' crime.

I don't know who can tackle the deeply ingrained political corruption. All the gubernatorial candidates promise to do just that. My impression is that whomever gets elected and tries taking on the 'well-oiled' machinery will be chewed up and swallowed, as in the past. What with all the millions and billions of dollars which has been sent to the area in the last two years, having 'vanished' seemingly, I was almost bemused to see the same state treasurer's ad on television patting himself on the back for his job 'well done', and asking to be re-elected. Although, I'm still a dreaded Yankee, in honorary Cajun's clothing,....am I missing something? Is there something I don't understand here? Being raised in western New York, and forced-fed the miserable politics of that State gives me not a whole lot of room to talk, I guess.

I dunno. For me, the glass always has to be half full; it just has to be half full or I think I'd get too depressed, with not much hope at all.

Humor always helps me, somehow. Things might be awful, but if I scrounge around I might be able to find a crumb of humor in a situation to make the whole thing a little more palatable. 'Awful funny'. For example, our good friend, Chuck from Utah sent us this cartoon, with a pretty good solution for the rebuilding of New Orleans. (He said it's the first thing he's seen that makes sense to him, and that the building supply list and directions for construction can be found in be found in Genesis, chapter 5:14-16) I guess faith is something to build on.


New Orleans Gets More Sad News Today


Cappy and I are very sad just now. We learned last night that New Orlean's 'cowboy' for justice, Jefferson Parish Sheriff, Harry Lee, was hospitalized in serious condition, and now during the noon news, it was reported that he passed.
I only heard about him when I first moved to South Louisiana 6 years ago, and Cappy would always mention that his boat was passing Harry Lee's home, as he drove up the Barataria Waterway.
The longer I lived here, the more I learned about the crooked politics of the area. Once, I off-handedly remarked to Cappy that a sheriff couldn't afford a home that like on a sheriff's salary. Cappy quickly came to Harry's defence, letting me know, in no uncertain terms, that Harry had made his own money before he decided to get involved with public servitude, and that it just so happened that "Ol' Harry" was one of his heroes. After that, I started paying more attention, to learn for myself, about this 'larger than life', sometimes controversial character.
The news is presently abuzz with his past, the wonderful charitable things he had done behind the scenes, for which he wanted no accolades, the controversies, things he has been quoted of saying, etc. Well, I'm not familiar with all that. All I know is what I saw on television or read, which is not that much, actually. I know he was fed up with the rise in crime after Katrina, not to mention his toughness in his stand against trouble uprising in the fresh wake of the storm, which caused controversy, and for his thanks, got labled as a racist. After the storm and crime began to explode everywhere in the New Orleans area, Harry traveled with an entourage to New York City (and I think Washington, DC) to try to find a definitive plan to squash lawlessness in his parish. It was a fact-finding tour, for which he hoped to find a solution that would be a stabilizing factor in the rebuilding of New Orleans. If memory serves me correctly...my impression was, that on his return, practically, he was met at the doorstep of New Orleans by the ilk of 'Al and Jesse', protesting that anything he'd do to stop crime would be racial, and fought against 'tooth and nail'. He tried dealing with them, meeting with them, reasoning with them, being blunt about his concern that most of the killing was resulting in young black men dying. After months, he must have been so frustrated and, in my mind, broken-hearted, after expending so much of his time and energy, out of his love and loyalty to New Orleans; traveling north to learn what in the world he could do to alleviate the problems,etc. only to learn it was all to no avail. Finally, in one meeting, he asked, "Ok, let me hear your plan". They said they had no plan. He told them, (paraphrasing, of course) "Alright, then Shut Up! and let me do what I gotta do to get this crime under control!" I think about then I gave him a big 'Cajun yell'! How refreshing. On the news just now, one of the people being interviewed, (who was stifling tears) said that Harry said things that other people couldn't get away with, and still garner respect. I think that rings true.
In the last year or so, his health began to fail; he had weight loss surgery, hip and knee replacement, and now, the leukemia, which was the fatal straw. Still, tho he fought on, planning to run for his seventh term in office. He's quoted as saying, "Even if I'm on a stretcher, I'll still be running". Returning from the hospital earlier this week, he dined out and went fishing. What a full, colorful life he had. I hope whereever he is now, that they listen to what he has to say, cuz it's gonna be good.