We have to apologize to some of our friends, who usually receive our Christmas cards. This year with the computer being down, I resorted to the old 4" by 6" cards, with everyone's names written on them. I left them on top of the computer desk where I had been working on addressing the envelopes, and I guess, went out shopping, leaving the dawgs in charge of the house. Well, somebody, who loves to make mischief, hopped up into the chair, got ahold of some of the cards and shredded them to tiny bits. AND I HAVE MY SUSPICIONS JUST WHO THAT SOMEBODY IS. The same brat who would take off joy-riding in his 'Dad's' Jeep if he could.
One of the people, whose card we lost, is our friend, Carol, in NYC. (Thanks Carol, for sending us a most beautiful Christmas card, so now we, at least have your address back again). And Robin, and others. If we didn't send one, please let us know for next year. Until then, here's a copy for you, and also for our readers...a little late. We hope you had the most wonderful Christmas ever. I was spoiled rotten this year...rotten I tell ya, and I loved every minute of it.

Happy New Year and May God Bless you richly in the coming year with good health, prosperity and more love than you can handle :-)


The new DELL computer came in today; earlier than expected. Since Cappy is out on the boat, we had Brett, the 'kid' from down the street come install it. BTW, Brett is the young man we had mowing our lawn for the last few years, 'til he graduated high school and is now a student at LSU!! taking chemical engineering. We are so proud of him. And... you can see why Cappy had him come set up this new state-of-the-art (indimidating) machine. So tonight, here we sit...this..this...computer and me; both of us feeling somewhat vulnerable...and it should feel vulnerable if it doesn't. It looks vulnerable. The poor fool doesn't know what it's in for. Since I'm the one who 'brought down' the last computer with super viruses, and not the dreaded hammer I was always threatening to beat it senseless (with), still I am the one who caused all the harm. And let me just warn yall about how I 'murdered' the last victim...I went 'googling' Bible scriptures...can you believe that?? All HAYO broke loose and the computer went berserk and started bringing here into our home some of the filthiest stuff that I couldn't, in a million years, imagine that people...human beings (I guess they are humans...but now I'm not so sure) have come up with. AwfulAwfulAwful stuff. I think it broke the motherboard's heart. Cappy sez he's going to 'bury her at sea'. And so, now begins a new era, a new year with us; the "harmer" and the DELL...pray for us.


Merry Christmas Yall!

I hope you are all having a wonderful Christmas; I know I sure am!! Presently I am sitting at Sam and Louise's brand new computer table...gorgeous; it was a gift from their children. We tried scanning in our annual Christmas card for you...because, as of yet, our new computer hasn't come in. For some reason...and you know my luck, and my way of messing things all up...their scanner isn't working. But...whenever, next year the alleged DELL shows up at our door, I'll attempt to do it then. Until THEN...just know that we are all fine here, we love you and miss yall. We are having the best Christmas ever...I'm spoilt rotten this year, I tell ya. And I WILL tell ya...later. God Bless you today and until whenever, have a Happy New Year. Pegody and Cappy out on da boat


We Are in Limbo Temporarily

Sorry it's taken us so long to let you know why we haven't been around. Presently, I, Pegody, am typing on Cappy's laptop, which he uses out on his boat, elsewise I'd still not be writing at all. If you are our regular reader, you know how I loathe techNical thingys. I'm even having difficulty adjusting to this laptop. Well, somehow I "FRIED" OUR OTHER COMPUTER...(SUCKLY ROTTEN!...NOW I CAN'T GET THIS THING TO STOP PRINTING IN CAPS....BAW!!!!!) WE HAVE ANOTHER DELL 'IN THE MAIL',WHICH SHOULD ARRIVE JUST AFTER cAPPY GOES BACK OUT ON THE BOAT...SO GUESS WHAT LUNATIC GETS TO 'INSTALL' THE NEW ONE???


Our Fall Garden

Our Fall garden got off to a late start this year and we didn't get to plant until the last day of September, which was my last day home last hitch.

Sparky and I started with our little 4'by4' herb garden and once I explained to him what we were doing, we put in some parsley, green onions, and dill to go with the peppers, oregano, and horseradish that was already growing there.

We picked out the seeds for our 4' by 12' garden box then stood back and planned our planting scheme.

We laid out our pattern with lines drawn in the garden with a stick. We decided to rough it and not use our string grid as usual.

Peg and I both planted our choices for the garden; I had a little more enthusiastic help than I needed.

I sprinkled on a lil Miricle Grow plant food.

Gave the garden a good soaking.

Then took a "ta-da" moment and went to work the next morning, worrying my poor wife to death by demanding garden update reports every day. Well, here it is November 7th and I am happy to report, though late, our little garden is again off and running.

The Herb garden has little green onions, and parsley coming along and a wonderful surprise for me; DILL! Very strong aromatic smelling stuff that I had forgotten we planted. I guess Sparky did it while I wasn't looking.

In our "big" garden, the pole beans are vining up the trellis and that's carrots in the foreground.

The big leafy section here is daikon radish.

They get really big, but I also like them when they are small like this. In this stage they are very strong flavored.

This section we refer to as our salad bar. On the left is romaine lettuce, and on the right is a leafy salad mix called muscalin. We cut what we want with scissors kinda like trimming the grass and it produces all the salad we can eat all winter long.

Our only setback this year was the cabbage. Having never planted it before, we planted seeds instead of little plants and they didn't work. Naturally, we looked everywhere and finally found some little plants that were being thrown out by our local seed store. Well, even though all the neighbors' cabbage is big, leafed out and beginning to make heads, we stuck these scrawny lil seedlings into the garden and said a lil prayer. We will, as always, keep yall posted on our lil Fall garden and when I get back to work next week I'm sure Ill be back to bugging poor Peg again for cabbagy garden updates.


Spoiled Fishing Trip

While at work last hitch, the phone rang and when I answered it, it was the dispatcher with our next location to go to. I whooped with excitement at the news so loud he complained that I had scared him into dropping the phone. The orders were for us to proceed to my favorite catfishing spot, to load oil the next day. By my quick calculations I figured that we should arrive there around 2 P.M., leaving plenty fishing time that afternoon. When my relief captain took my place, I ran downstairs excitedly preparing my fishing tackle for the event. Last year I had caught this catfish, along with several other frying-pan sized ones in a couple of hours and had a wonderful time. Imagine my disappointment when we got there, we rammed into a plug of lilies that made it very difficult to get to the dock.
The second picture, here, is of the very same place. The angle is a little different because the picture was taken from up in the wheelhouse, whereas the fish picture was taken from the back deck, but I assure ya, it's the same place. It's pretty obvious I didn't even get a line in the water this time :-(


Sea Horse Bay

The first picture is a radar image of what we call Sea Horse Bay. That's not the official name, but the nickname we use for it. The picture was taken in 2003. Can you spot the seahorse?
The second picture is of the same area as seen by radar today. The erosion in this area is so bad the ole sea horse can barely be recognized. It saddens me to see this old natural landmark slowly disappear.


While at work, I came across this Eagle busily eating something he had caught. He looked up, watched us pass and went right back to eating without a care in the world.

Water hyacinths

Well it's that time of the year again, the lillies are again filling the waterways of South Louisiana. Here is a little slide show I made telling about them hope ya enjoy it.


Fall Tug Boating

I was shooting the bull this morning with some guys at "Da Camp" when the conversation turned to how the Flotons and water lilies come out to fill the waterways of South Louisiana in the Fall. It seems the summer growing season slowly fills the slack water with lillies and the north winds of Fall push the lillies out into the bayous and canals of the swamp land. This coupled with an unusually wet October made the floating lilies especially bad this year and made a lot of favorite fishing spots unreachable to the fishing boats. I know well the guys' complaints. It is hard enough pushing a barge down some of the narrow, shallow channels we travel; the addition of a thick mass of matted lilies and grass sure doesn't help. At times, the wheels of the tug get so choked with lilies, we have to reverse the clutches and try to get the boat to 'spit' out all the 'salad' it has collected with it's rudders. All this vegetation makes the boat vibrate and shake and 'complain' as the blades of the propellers slice through the 'salad'. All this vegetation makes navigating the bayous impossible for the weekend fishing boats, and a real pain for us tugboat cappys. The good things about Fall at work far outweigh the problems though. The cooler temperature is a blessed relief and the low humidity makes for some great sunsets.
So despite all the lillies and flotons clogging up the waterways Fall is not a bad time to work on the Bayou after all.


In a Nutshell

Well, this last month has been unusual, to say the least. When Cappy went back out on the boat, I packed up the dogs and went to visit Aunt Gussie for a few days and to videotape her "for posterity", as my Dad would say. She is such a joy and delight to Cappy and me. Just talking with her on the phone makes our day. I'm sad to say that the visit was not at all pleasant, but we look forward to going back next month with better results. I came away armed with motivation to let everyone I know to please take pains to closely examine the caregivers who are taking care of our loved ones. CLOSELY. The wonderful Mrs. Linda who is now taking care of our dear Aunt Gussie is a blessed hero. God Bless her richly for her observations and true affectionate nurturing.
Maybe next time when I go to visit, I'll leave the dogs with their own 'caregivers'. They didn't help the matter much, since, despite Aunt Gussie specifically demanding the "boys" come visit, and that they were her houseguests, the nutty criminal who was initially looking after our dear lady, constantly lectured me that dogs belonged outside.
The many piles of fireants lurking out in the yard made the visit more difficult as well. (This has been a bad year for fireants...we haven't completely irradicated them in our own yard.)
So, we came home, the dogs and I, where upon I found that the ants had invaded our house!! I had just cleaned the stove, but there was a line from under the front door, all along the edge of the wallboard, up the pantry wall, along the back of the sink and to the stove. They were in, under, around and through the stove...ant if wasn't funny, either. I waged a battle royal for about three days until they finally gave up. One night I woke up around 4:30 a.m. and found myself down on my hands and knees with a damp paper towel swooping up the tiny invaders. They wouldn't touch the ant poison, but walked right over it. I think I have the residents of one whole ant pile trapped and bottled up in my vacuum cleaner with the poison.
Having cleared up those two problems, I accidentally 'poisoned' myself. See, it's this time of year when I do my Christmas shopping, and my traditional 'fast food' has always been sweet and sour soup. Don't ask why, cuz I don't know. All's I know is that whilst I'm out shopping, I like to stop at LIN's Chinese restaurant and get a take-out bowl of soup and slurp it down in the SUV, then go and finish my shopping. Well, while grocery shopping, I picked up a package of the usual sweet and sour soup mix that I sometimes get instead. At home I got it ready and while it cooled down, I put away the rest of the groceries. Ahhhhh, it was soooo good and sooo soothing. About an half an hour later, I felt as though I had gotten sucker punched in the gut. Uh oh. I fished the package out of the garbage and read. They changed the recipe, as some companies do, to save money and it clearly read, "contains Wheat". Too late to 'froe it up'; it was already too far down and causing destruction. So, I was about a week trying to get over it. When something like that happens, despite feeling as though I should be lying in an emergency room, there's nothing one can do, unless extremely dehydrated, but to 'wait it out'. I'm still not completely up to par, but working on it with lots of fresh fruits and veggies, and very little spice.
The next week found me taking the dawgs to Petsmart in Baton Rouge for a badly needed grooming. I took Louise with me so I could treat her to a birthday lunch at PJ Chang's where they are meticulously careful about celiac foods. They have a gluten free menu, which is always fantastic. I brought enough food home for a couple of days worth of meals, but we both luxuriated in the chocolate dessert on the spot. They even brought her a special little extra tiramesu dessert with a candle, which caused her eyes to roll back in her head. Lucky girl.
On our way home I noticed a black lab sitting back off the road in a farm field alone, looking lost or injured. After I took Louise and the dogs back to my house, I went back to see if he was still there. It was almost dark by then, but I found him on his side curled around a woman's black shoe, trying to go to sleep on the big lumpy rocks where I had seen him. The poor boy. He was happy to see me...or anybody and was so sweet and willing to come home with me, but I had a hard time getting him into the SUV. When I'd get his lanky front part into the side of the vehicle, his back leg would buckle and he almost sat down in a big fireant pile. That would not have been good at all. Somehow I managed to get him in and take him home. I fell in love with the big goof because he reminded me so much of Casey the black lab we had in Rochester years ago. I called him "Casey", just so I had something to call him. I called shelters and vets offices and put signs up everywhere to find his owners, to no avail. SparkyBear liked playing with him some, but "Casey" didn't get to run freely, being on a leash attached to my arm. MarkyBear had other thoughts, and they were not lovely. He told "Casey" on several occasions who was boss in his yard. I had "Casey" tied up on the patio and the change in his diet apparently changed his 'potty habits'; however, being a sweet polite guest, he refused to have any 'accidents' on the patio, but needed to go 'potty' several times during the day AND night. Still weakened from the bout of wheat poisoning now loss of sleep, we'd get up at midnite, 2 a.m, 4 a.m., 6 a.m., 8 a..m. to go walk around the cold wet yard in 'our' Croc's and pj's, then it's always difficult, once I'm awake, to get back to sleep. I was staggering around punch-drunk, and thus knew that somebody else had to take over the responsibility of finding the poor guy his owners or a good home. I decided to do what we had done with Raleigh, our other dog rescue story which turned out with such a wonderful ending. I decided to take "Casey" to the animal shelter in Sorrento, with the provision that they would NOT put him to sleep, but to rather, call us if it came to that, then we'd go back, get him, and keep him til we found him a good home. I opened the back hatch on the SUV and "Casey" just so gracefully lighted up into the back, all excited, looking out the windows...("oh boy, where we gonna go?? Home??") On the way, while sitting at the corner waiting for the light to change, I thought I'd drop off another flyer at the River Store, so stopped. Inside, the owner waited on me, so I asked him if he would post my sign. He read it and asked, looking out the window, "Where is he"? Sign still in hand, he went right outside, saw what a beautiful, SWEET dog "Casey" is and said, "I'll take him! Don't take him to that shelter; if his owners don't show up, I'm keepin' 'im!" His son, who looked to be in his late twenties, said, "But you already have that other dog". The store owner told "Casey", "sit", whereup he did and quietly sat there obediently. (Also, he "heeled" perfectly) The store owner said again, "I'm keepin' 'im", then rolling up the sign tightly, repeated quietly, "if the owners don't show up". But it's been over a week and no one has called. So, that's another dog story with an happy ending because I'm told by people who know, that this store owner LOVES animals and will treat him better than if the dog was a person. Tah dah! :-)
This final week 'til Cappy gets home will find me pickin' more hot peppers, and tending the garden, which Cappy and I planted the day before he went back out on the boat. I'd have more pictures, but my handy camera broke...baw!
Tonight I'm taking a pot of my smoked chicken, andouille gumbo to a Forum dinner, where there will be other pots of other kinds of gumbo. (Oh, it was fun trying to keep my 'smoke' going the other day with the wind and rain blowing out on the patio, lol.) For those Yankees, who aren't aware of what gumbo is, it's a combination of many wonderful ingrediens that make up a comforting, delicious, "soup" served over rice or baked sweet potato, or potato salad. YUM!!! I made enough to have some in the freezer waiting for Cappy, and will can some more to send to my son, Joe in Rochester. Next time I make gumbo, I want to use our friend, Smokin' Sam's smoked sausage and smoked andouille and a big fat smoked hen...I'll bet that is going to be some goooooood stuff!!!! For some kind of 'political' reasons, only understood fully by other Cajuns, Cappy insisted I do it all myself this time.
Oh...and the citrus is ripening...the lemons, the grapefruit, the oranges, and the SATSUMA oranges!!! I pulled down a big frond of about a dozen ripening bananas, and will make them into loaves of banana nut bread. The pecans have been dropping for about a week now, too....all good news from the yard.
So, that's what's been going on around here, in a BIG FAT NUTSHELL...from soup to nuts.


Our Cajun Joby

I watched the news from New Orleans today. No mention of it. A tower is missing over there today. To us, Joby was New Orleans. A great big tower of a man with a voice that sounded like a deep foghorn.
I think I 'met' Joby even before I 'met' Cappy in the Cooking Room on Yahoo. Since I was such a newbie online I was always having technical problems, so Joby, as he did with others, patiently talked me through all the mazes. And it was amazing; so much so that I began calling him "Jobyson" as though he were my sensei, and I was the 'grasshopper' who had much to learn. I never was able to be good enough to 'snatch the pebble from his hand', but because of him, I learned to at least be able to navigate online and know where to go for help. Whenever I'd thank him and say, "Thanks again, good-bye", he'd say, "Nooooo, Boo, (he called lots of us, "Boo", as it's a Cajun term of endearment)....Nooooo, Boo, don't say 'goodbye', that sounds too permanent, like you'll never see me again...say 'Cya' ". He also introduced me to real Cajun music. He sent me ("pirated" Cappy would say) CD's that he'd burn of his favorite music. WONDERFUL stuff! One of his screen names in the Cooking Room was "They Call Me the Breeze". I asked him where he got that name and he said it was the title to one of Lynyrd Skynyrd's songs. Believe it or not, 'til then I'd never heard of ol' Lynyard's band. (I'd led a very sheltered life). He also requested that I learn a song called "Lola Lola Lola Don't Go Out to Bingo" to play on my accordian. Which I did, and played for him at one of our family jambalayas when I moved down to South Louisiana. That made him happy. I'm glad I did it.
Now there was a reason Joby was in the Cooking Room; the man could cook! I have printed out so many of his recipes and tried them and they are fantastic. Most every year he would come to our family jambalaya and bring a dish to pass and a special surprise for me that was celiac friendly...no wheat or gluten carefully prepared so as not to have any cross contamination, which is a hard thing to accomplish. Every year the family would wait in anticipation to see what he would bring. LOL...I think it almost hurt Cappy's feelings sometimes because Cappy was working so hard on the main dish, either the seafood courtboullion or the jamalaya, but everybody kept talking about Joby's dishes. No matter how hard Joby tried keeping my food separate, 'the buzzards', not content with what he brought for the crowd, always swept down on the aluminum covered container clearly labeled, "Peggy's Special Food" and began grabbing with both hands. It was so funny to watch. I actually got some of it...deLISH.
We just loved the big guy. We hadn't heard from him in awhile, tho...at least I hadn't; I guess Cappy had. He had undergone a lot of upheaval in his life of late; had intestinal bipass, and when we were all wondering where he was for the family jambalaya this year, we learned that he had gone off and gotten remarried to a beautiful woman, so was honeymooning . aha, that explains it. Today was his birthday, so yesterday as I do every year, I went to BlueMountain ecards and sent him a card with a note saying how very happy he looked in the photos we saw of him on Facebook, and that we HAD to get together SOON with him to meet his lovely new wife.
Then last night Cappy called and said that he had heard that Joby had died last Friday. No way. We would have known...somebody would have called us. We didn't believe it and thought it was a mean practical joke. Cappy called Joby's cell phone and told me to look and ask around online. Since Joby is one of my friends on Facebook, I went there and saw...
Sighhhh...then I went to the link that took me to the funeral home on Canal Street in New Orleans. We just can't believe it.
This morning my plans were to go to New Orleans to see the ship USS New York depart with much fanfare to leave, going down the River before heading north toward New York City. This is the ship to which Cappy spoke about in an earlier post, which has been made of steel and materials from the Twin Towers in NYC. Today's departure commorates the birth of the United States Navy. October 13, 1775. The ship was to pass two big Navy vessels that prominantly sit in the River in New Orleans. Joby was responsible for those two ships. Joby worked for the Navy making sure these two supply vessels were well-equipped and well maintained. He would have been there today. Cappy and Joby had a running joke whenever they'd talk on the phone. Joby would always address Cappy in his deep booming voice, "HEYYYYY Coo-zan!" and Cappy would say something like, "Hey ya ol' pirate, how ya doin'? I just passed by your two old rusty buckets sittin' over there in the River the other day". And they'd joke back and forth, laughing raucously. sailors.
So today, Joby's birthday, Oct 13, also the birth of his Navy, and sadly, was also the day of his funeral. When I went out to my SUV to head over to New Orleans, I found my back passenger side tire flat. Well, that's about right. Too late. I wasn't about to unearth Cappy's Jeep, Tinker Bayl and head over...oh yeah, she'd like that for sure; it was thundering and lightening and pouring rain again today.
I wanted to go over and tell our Joby good-bye. It's strange, but all day it just felt like Joby was around. The only way I thought I could stop 'puddling' up tonight was to come back to the computer where I found him,... or he rescued me, and tell him "Cappy and I will dearly miss you old friend"...so..."Cya Jobyson".


Saints Game BBQ

Our good friends Sam and Louise came over today for an afternoon of BBQ and football. We had a wonderful time watching tv and running to the pit during the commercials. In this picture Louise is helping me get the drunk chickens to the pit. Sam snacking some chips & dip, and SparkyBear, atop his favorite perch where he figures he gets a better view of his world, and watchin' Sam, wonders where are his appetizers...oh yeah...there they are; Sam has them, but hold the salsa.
We loaded the pit with the 2 chickens, some sausage, and a couple redfish fillets that Sam brought over. The fish fillets were cleaned with the scales left on them, which makes it possible to put them on the grill. They smoke, scales down, and the skin helps keep them from falling apart.
The fish came off the pit with a wonderful smokey flavor. If you ever get the chance, you really need to try this. It's truly wonderful. We just lightly season the fish and baste it with butter, lemon and seasonings. As usual, a pan of our smokey bbq beans always seems to show up whenever we light the pit.It was a wonderful afternoon filled with good food, and good friends, and of course, the football. Our son, Dan called from western NY because that's where the Saints are today, playing the Buffalo BILLS up there in Buffalo, and Dan is the BILL's favorite fan. We're sorry we 'spanked' ya, Dan. The whole time I've been off work, it's been raining, so my time off has been pretty miserable, but to make up for it the the Saints won!! and their defense stepped up in a very big way, making me think for the first time ever, well.... maybe.....jussst maybe...but uhm, I don't wanna say it out loud.


Down the Drain

We had all these wonderful plans for as soon as Cappy got off the boat. Fishin', bbqin', taking Tinker Bayl off ridin' down along the coast...FunFunFun!!! Meanwhile, here at home I didn't want to say anything, because I didn't want Cappy out there on the boat worrying. The toilet wouldn't flush properly without a major fight. I knew I could handle the situation til he got home. I've called plummers...plumbers(??) before, but they never wanna show up, or even return my phone calls. This was something to do with the outside sewer system
...do plumbers even do that sort of work? So I waited til poor, excited, unsuspecting Cappy got home. His wide smile turned south the minute he heard, and who could blame him.
"surPRISE..."(<:- /)
So, anyhow,that's what he's been working on for the last few days. Yesterday he called one of our neighborhood good guys, Mr. Dennis. He's always right here when we need him. Unfortunately because our little town doesn't have public sewage systems, Mr. Dennis has to be here more than we'd like him to be...even as much as we like him. Cappy called him late in the day and, even tho he had plans to be busy all day, he was here bright and early with his big ol' truck and hose, which we call the 'honey wagon' and got the toilet flushing perfectly again.

I wish he could suck up all the other problems life has been handing us of late, as well. ChangeChangeChange...we've got change alright, along with a lot of Americans. A lot of change has been going down the toilet as well as all the other stuff. One of our friends who suggested that I have a tendency to write more pessimistically when Cappy is on the boat, will take note that Cappy is home and I'm still writing in low-tones. Ahhh...it's like this...I say if God closes one door and opens a window, I aint gonna throw the baby with the bathwater out that window. (Oh Lord...she's flipped ;-)I'll just find something else to be happy about. Like YAY...looks like I'll be getting a new camera cuz the one I have just broke!!!grrrr >:-(

Presently Cappy is sound asleep, happily sawing logs, peaceful knowing that he fixed the toilet problem and all's well in the world, for the most part kinda/sorta...til he wakes up in the morning and coffee cup in hand reads this..."surPRISE". And now, despite the fact that it's supposed to rain most every day that he's home, and our neighbor, Old Man Kelsie's pond and lake turn once again into Old Man Kelsie's Ocean, draining slowly, I hope Cappy finds some kind of way to have FunFunFun, til it's time for him to go back out on the boat. Poor guy, if things don't stop going downhill soon, he'll probably feel like RUNNING back out to his boat. An' this time I'll wanna go with 'im.


Spam Sammage

Recently our town's forum friends held their monthly gathering as they do, and decided to pick Spam as the menu choice. Now understand, this is a sleepy lil town deep in the heart of Cajun country, and you may be shocked that outa all the wonderful things to eat down here they picked Spam. It started kinda as a joke, gathered momentum, and in the spirit of "a Cajun can make anything taste good", they held their gathering with plenty to eat and drink, and, as we say in cajun country, "Dey passed a good time". I wasn't able to attend on accounta I was on da boat. When I told my first mate the story he said, "Shoots Cappy, Spam sammages sounds good to me for a night-time snack", so we went to makin' up us each a couple fried Spam sammages and kinda vicariously joined my forum friends, long distance. I had my sammages, on toast with 'sammage spread' and a couple spears of Peggy's dill pickles I had on board.
The first mate Darby, had his Spam on white bread with onion and tomato. We may not have been there at the party but we did pretty good for ourselves that night in the marsh, tied up a few miles north of Grand Isle. For those of you wondering, NO the fridge ain't dirty; it is rusty 'cause all da paint has been wiped off'n it from over-zealous deckhands scrubbing it. We have fresh paint ordered and will repaint it again (yes again) in a few days.



Oh bummer. One of our friends, a Mr. Bebe` says he can tell just from my writing, when Cappy is on the boat and when he's home. I guess I tend to be less peppy and upbeat. I hadn't really noticed. Mebbe so. I know I kinda hibernate more. I've got plenty-plenty to do...and a whole month to do it, but for some reason I let things drag on. Dang. At least the dogs don't mind. They are good company. We sympathize with one another. SparkyBear jumped off the back of Cappy's chair and hurt his back again and has been rather solemn about having to take meds and not being able to jump up on the couch to sit with me, as happened last time. His brother, MarkyBear's been good about 'hanging with me' wherever I go...outside or just in the house. He never went to doggy school like SparkyBear did, but still, he knows how to heel. I like his moral support (like Cappy likes SparkyBear's) because I've been 'gimping' around for more than two months now. I don't know what I did this time, but my right heel is so very painful. Two sets of ex-rays says it's not bone spurs. Soft, gel "boingy" heel thingys in my shoe isn't working either. The darned pain has forced me to be more sedentary than I was and boy, I feel the weight piling on by the hour. That aint helping my foot neither. Trying to keep busy and watching the television really, really can bring a person down, too. The whole woild is a mess.GAH!!! Cappy said when he gets home he'll drag out my beloved exercize equipment outa the shed for me. It's in there stacked behind huge gumbo pots and burners, yard contraptions, and what not. BAW!!! I just wanna have my heel all well like it was before. Poor MarkyBear, tho, he still limps all the time and has for years because of his squirrel versus MarkyBear war injury to his hip, but he's the sweetest guy. He actually smiles at me. I wonder what he's really thinking sometimes, when SparkyBear is sniffing around sadly and I'm down in the dumps.

Yeah, buddy, I know; it's a dawg's life.


Smothering Dreams

September already? Yow, where did the time go? We just planted our okra 'last week' . Up north in western NY when Fall hits, the first thing we used to think of in terms of warm comfort food was a nice hot bowl of chili. Down here in South Louisiana, we think of a nice big bowl of gumbo. Cajuns never think of cooking it during the summer months. Horrors, no! Not until the first cold snap hits does anyone's fancy turn to thoughts of gumbo. With that in mind, we plant okra.
Cappy thinned out our okra garden, but it's tall and very productive.
The flowers for each okra stalk start out as a gorgeous flower. The flower only lasts for a day, then falls off, then to replace the flower, comes the okra.

I just hauled in this colandar load today. A lot of people use the regular short dark green okra, but Cappy and I grow what is called "Long-horned" okra, which has been the tradition in his family. The bigger ones have a more mild flavor. Personally, my choice is.....either:-)
What I usually do after I pick them, is to wash them, slice them and put them in bags in the freezer. Slicing them takes a little bit of time, but I spend that time dreaming of the dark, rich gumbo it will be making. When we've got a TON of sliced okra accumulated in the freezer, we take them out and 'smother them down', using Cajun sausage, the usual chopped vegetables, like onions, garlic, etc. and our own blend of Cajun seasoning spices. Cappy spent time smothering our okra, savoring the experience when he was home last time. His Aunt Gussie, after she found out, kinda/sorta scolded Cappy for using a black iron pot, because it turns the smothered okra a dark color, having leeched iron from the pot. Last year we used a big aluminum pot. Either way, once the smothered okra becomes a main ingredient in the dark brown gumbo, it tastes Wonderful! Smothered okra, on it's own tastes pretty darned good as a side dish as well. When people are going through all the stages of making the smothered okra, I think their thoughts are far in the future months, to the 'cold' weather when they will be savoring their gumbo made with the okra they are "smothering" in the present. (Just thinking about it right now is making my mouth water.) The pot starts out with crisp veggies, then after tending to it for quite awhile, it becomes a pot of moosh. Smothered Okra. Yum-eeeee!

This year we have to give credit to Mr. Ed, our good friend from Rochester, NY, whom the ol' guys from our town Forum call "Winchester". Mr. Ed taught us a technique for canning that is so amazingly easy. So, with that in mind, we took our freshly made, hot and steamy smothered okra and canned it. Now, whenever we open our pantry, besides all the jelly we've made, we see future pots of smoked chicken/andouille gumbo sitting there in rows looking for all the world like so many jars of mysterious greenish brown mush. It might not look all that appetizing, but I can tell you, it's the stuff dreams are made of.