Weight and Sea, Buttercup

So far all's well...so far. Drove my Chevy to the Levee (last week), but the levee was dry. And yesterday some people musta been drinkin' whiskey and rye sayin' "This'll be the day that I die". May 21, 2011, when there was no "end of the world" earthquake or "The Rapture". I'm sure it will happen sometime, but not yesterday. So. What a week, izzall I can say. I guess we should all just keep on keepin' on...what other choice do we have? Live EACH day like it's the last. Yesterday, I thought to myself, if this was indeed my last day, what should I be doing? And I sez to myself; "nothing different than any other day". I love the Lord and try to live and enjoy every single day he's given me, and continue the running conversation I have with Him most all day long, as usual. One thing I need to change, tho', is how I take care of the 'temple' he's given me to 'ride around in' in this world. Leastwise that's how I look at it. Ever since I was burned and temporarily died when I was four years old, I'm more keenly aware that my spirit is not my body. My spirit recognized Jesus, when I died, and was swept up into His presence. My body was left lying in the hospital bed. At some point, I'll relate the whole experience, but not just now. It was....well, more than amazing, but then He said I had to come back. A tale I can hardly ever tell without puddling up.-----And now, as I look at the 'vessel'...the container for my soul til That Day that I get to go back to be with Him, ...as I look at how badly I've taken care of it, I get very disgusted with myself. I know I'm not the only one with this problem. Indulgence; neglect. The bane of our society. I've tried and tried and given up and given up. I dunno, I think I'll try again. It's a lot of weight to try to shed in my sedentary life over here. Yesterday Louise came over and I got on my Wii. We had a nice visit, and I'm hoping she'll come over again, so we can play on the silly thing. I do great when Cappy's on the boat, but when he comes home....and I don't why, but all bets are off. We just have way too much fun doing other things, and that usually includes ...like...the BEST food ever. We both love to cook for each other. We are in the midst of a duck showdown. I went first. (It was so-so) He 'goes' next time he's off the boat. We're usually 'on the road' too, where food is included. We went to Breaux Bridge with Sam and Louise to the Crawfish Festival...again FOOD! But we sure love those people.

Cappy and I can't even drive down the road without something distracting us...he hollars something about butter. Huh? "STOP da truck." Out in the middle of nowhere I stop to see what butter we're onto now. "Look! The buttercups are in bloom". I forgot; we go through this most every year. There along the bayou is a patch of pink flowers. I always mention that buttercups are YELLOWWWWWwwwww, to which he always says, while hopping out of the SUV, "...down here they are pink...or white sometimes". He parades through the middle of the patch, picks one, sticks his nose down into it, and smiles, "See?? I like butter, and dat's why dey call 'em buttercups down here in South Louisiana". I always love that adventure, and can't wait to see what else he'll have in store for us when he's back home. Right now he's wayyy down at the bottom of the Mississippi and has to go out into the open water. It's been so very windy down this way of late, which has caused a lot of navigational problems. Now the high water inside the levees, farther up the Mississippi River have caused problems with barges breaking loose, but the flood water hasn't troubled Cappy's boat. It's the wind that's been his problem. When the wind picks up like it has this past week, going out away from land into the open water with a towboat and barge can be a dangerous proposition. ...But I know Cappy knows what he's doing. He looks out for his crew. Oh...and by the way, Cappy's tankerman, Dana's mother just passed away yesterday. Cappy quickly got to a location where Dana could get off the boat, to get back to California to make arrangements. These sailors...and Dana is an ex-Marine...but still, these guys might be burley and tough, but when it comes to losing a mother, ...well, ...please keep Dana in your prayers. ----------So, I guess that's all the news that's fit to print, so they say. (I'm not so sure about this post, tho'...) We'll also take your prayers about the River's situation. My sister asks why I haven't left yet. Well, for now it's all just a matter of ...re-read the Title,... but in other words :-)


I'm Still Not Out of the WOULD's

Every morning I wake and wonder if that point in the levee is going to hold. I wonder what's going on under the water. The River is rushing so fast; is the bank eroding in the depths below? Cappy and I have discussed this at length, much to his exasperation. Despite all his best efforts, unfortunately, he can't make me believe all is well. I still feel 'in harm's way'. If all is going according to the Corps of Engineers' plans, I asked Cappy why am I still thinking that the "V" is vulnerable to erosion. He sez I'm always having "ditzy thoughts". He must know me after all these years. I keep thinking, in my 'ditzy' pondering, about that very sharp point which the high flood water has to make, and right at the sharpest point it's got to be at it's fastest and most powerful. Not sure what the science of this is, but it's something I think I inately understand. So, again, I wonder what's going on that can't be seen from the surface. And how long can it hold? It's expected to be rushing like that for a couple more weeks.--- And thus, I'm still unsure about what I want to do, if anything. I was thinking it would be nice to take advantage of the situation and go visit Sookie, high and dry in Kentucky. We've had a lot of family members and friends who have graduated this year and Cappy has always been very generous, which is the right thing to do. We still have a ton of medical bills for MarkyBear. All this makes it financially impractical for me to take the dawgs and go 'tra-la-lahing' off across the country dropping money all along the way at gas stations and hotels or campgrounds.--- I thought well, maybe I would like to, instead, find a campground on high ground close by.--- To get a better perspective of what the Mississippi River is actually doing over there in our back yard, so to speak, yesterday I thought I would take the dogs and go take a few pictures of the situation. The news 'talking heads' on television have been saying for everyone not to drive on the levees, and to stay off them. Where we live, as I drove along on River Road, I saw so many people hither and yon up there, I thought, "Well, maybe the authorities wouldn't mind if I did a quick peek with the video camera. So up I went,(walked) then today I made a (SHORT, shakey) video and put it on youtube. (I'm having FITS with our video makers since we got the new computer...it put my voice on, that I took off, it put words in the wrong places after I meticulously edited it and it all looked good, so I sent it to youtube, where it's a MESS. I'm not sure, yet, how to delete my own videos on there...sighhh) I would take the time right now to try to redo it, but I'm not gonna. So here that mess is anyhow: http://www.youtube.com/user/cappyandpegody then, once at youtube, click on "Swollen Mississippi" video (the awful one...sorry). ----I was on the phone with Cappy at the time telling him about the view, from up the River. He's way down at the bottom of the River just now. On the news, too, they warned everybody that there were a lot of snakes and alligators around because of the high water, and to really watch out for them. When I got on top of the levee, I was stunned to see a gathering of people playing in the water! I didn't notice one of the big red dogs dragging something out of the River, until I was home looking at the videos. What in the heck did that dog carry out of the water? The people aren't even paying attention! And there were kids in the water! I shook my head and went back down to the SUV, where the dogs were sticking their heads out the windows watching. As I got in to leave, I noticed a man standing in back of us, apparently writing down our license plate number. I wasn't on the levee, but at the bottom of one of the access roads. I got out and asked him about it. He said that he was supposed to report license plate numbers to the authorites. (oh oh.) He asked me my name and where I was from. This is such a close knit community, that everyone is related somehow, and there are only a handful of names in our town. When I told him my last name, he asked, suspiciously, (I have a Yankee 'accent' remember) "You're from here, ehhhhh?" See, our name is not from around here. I told him that we live across the street from Jude and Sonia, and immediately, he knew I was ok. Like everyone in our town, everybody knows and deeply respects them. I apologized for being on the levee, and told him that I was taking pictures for our blog, where we write about 'everything South Louisisana'. He was a very nice gentleman, doing a good civic duty for our community. I wonder how many times he had to come out of his house on that Sunday...day of rest, trudge across the road and tell people not to stop there or go up on the levee. I did tell him about the people up there swimming. He was astonished. "Swimming??!" I shook his hand, got in the SUV, Cappy still in my earphone, and pulled out, with Mr. Jasper heading up the levee to take care of the situation. As I only just got down the road, I looked in my rear view mirror and saw a sheriff's car coming around the bend and pulled into the spot I had vacated only moments before. Cappy said, "Tuck in your tail and just keep on going, Peg". Well, I like that they are all on the ball over there by the levee. It's a little more reassuring. Here I'm worried and I don't live right across the road from the River like Mr. Jasper does. Bless his heart for volunteering like that. I'll bet by the time he and that sheriff were finished with those people, they got out of there for sure. ---So. As my Mom would say, "Here we sit in silent bliss....", 'butsept', I'm not so silent. When I looked at the River, it didn't seem to be as high as in 2008, but then I couldn't actually get to the same site, without fear of getting in trouble for real this time. If that "V" broke right at the point, people I care about would be in danger before I would. If that happened, the river would empty itself right here...why would it be compelled to complete the bend, if it could escape the levee right there? That 'V' is farther away than I had first said. Another thing Mom used to say when frustrated was, "coulda, woulda, shoulda".--- I watered the garden tonight, will pick beans tomorrow, I've got important papers "up" and ready to go. I guess Cappy's right, I do think "ditzy thoughts" more than I care to admit. I just want to be ready to do the right thing whatever happens, or if nothing happens. I feel so badly for those people over in the Achafalaya River Basin, who aren't uncertain about what's about to happen. They need our prayers.

But I still dont' know what to do. Don't you just hate indecision? As for our area, I hope all will be well. Knock would.


Mississippi Rising; Can We Dodge This Bullet?

I don't know; I just don't know.
This picture was taken in 2008. Notice that if the water had gone all the way on top of the levee, how far above the houses and road (and cars) it would be? What looks like the River, is actually not the River...the River is about a quarter or half a mile off to the left. Where you see water now, is usually a nice grassy little valley. What is considered "flood stage" is when the water goes past it's banks and then sits next to the levee, like in this picture. Then all it has to do is rise and rise, foot by foot, creeping up and threatening to overflow if something isn't done.
That year, they opened the Bonnet Carre' Spillway, which helped. Today, the water is sitting just as high (much higher today); they've opened the same spillway, but it hasn't helped, because the real flood is still some ways north of Baton Rouge. The flood waters aren't even here yet, and are expected to be a whole lot worse than this. This levee just might overflow, and most likely will, if they don't open the Morganza Spillway, just north of Baton Rouge.
I see on television, places like the Weather Channel, that they are saying that many thousands of acres will be flooded if they open that spillway. The Achafalaya River Basin with it's levee system was built for just that purpose. Way back in the day, they built the levees all the way to the Gulf of Mexico and made the people who lived there move. They didn't want anyone living there because whenever they opened the Morganza Spillway, that's where the water was supposed to go on it's way to the Gulf. It's never been used for that purpose, tho'. It's only been opened once, and that was to help balance some water level at some other place. (I've heard conflicting stories about this; however.)If they opened this spillway now, it would be the first time for any flood to go down it.
Since there has never been a very bad flood, people have gotten complacent and have built or planted inside the levees. Camps and 'squatter' homes. Yep, they'd get inundated for sure, most likely. But this year, the water volume is so extremely high, that the water would not only fill the 23 mile wide and (I don't know how long...from north of Baton Rouge, all the way to the Gulf of Mexico) Achafalaya flood plain, but the water would also overflow even those levees, and take on towns and villages, not to mention farm land.
What to do, what to do? As I said, the real flood water is not even here and already the levee system below the Baton Rouge to New Orleans is being stressed and is 'leaking'. Here in South Louisiana, we've been suffering a drought. Rain has gone to the north of us. The soil is dry deep down.
I remember one time in Rochester, NY when there was a drought situation. No-one thought much about it, til the Spring rains came and the Genensee River rose. The high water hit the dry river banks and a big section collapsed, taking part of Scottsville Road with it.
Where this picture, above, was taken, the 'point' is not only "pointing" to those houses sitting in the shadow of the levee, but also toward our town, an half a mile away. Whenever the Huge mass of flood water comes roaring down the river, and hits this dried out, and thus weakened levee "arrow", it just might give way. It's Cappy's opinion that all will be well, and I sure hope he's right. Me, I'm not so sure. Do I bite the bullet, wait and see, or "get the heck outa Dodge"?


Country Livin'

Half the town thinks I'm crazy when I do this, but every once in awhile I feel like sawing wood. Sure, I could fire up a chain saw, but I like doing it manually and breaking a good honest sweat. This morning I cranked up my outdoor speakers and went to sawing. My friend, Smokin' Sam, had dropped off a truckload of old wood and fencing that he didn't need. Well, instead of him carryin' it to the dump, I told him to drop it here and I'd turn it into firewood. While sawing to some good Cajun music, one of my neighbors, "Turkey Neck", rolled up on his 4-wheeler and made the same ole statement, "Meh, Cap, you workin' way too hard!" He sat on his 4-wheeler drinkin' a beer while I dripped sweat off'n ma nose and we visited awhile.

He offered me a beer, but I said it was too early for me. When he looked at me kinda funny, I explained that I had a lot to do and when I'm hot I drink 'em too fast. We chatted a bit, talkin' "country boy" stuff, I gave him a strawberry fresh from the vine, and we compared green bean stories. He is pickin' his beans now; we gonna start pickin' tomorrow. Before he left, he handed me a some homemade alligator sausage, deer sausage, and 2 big Cajun smoked andouille sausages. I am truly blessed to live in a small town. Neighbors see ya workin and come over, offer to help (by offering a chain saw) and bring over a basket full of homemade sausage. Das what Country livin' is all about :-)


Cappy's 5-Gallon Bucket Tip

Dang near every country boy I know has a bunch of 5 gallon buckets around. These versatile pails have much too many uses to list here, and anyone could come up with 20 or so without even thinking hard. They always wind up stacked up one inside the other in a big pile in a shed or barn somewhere and stick together so tightly that it takes all your strength, determination and profanity to pry them apart again. Well, here's a great little tip that solves that problem while still allowing ya to stack them up for storage. Take a piece of nylon twine and tie the end to one side of the bucket handle. I use some tar-dipped nylon catfishin' string I always have around the house, but any good strong twine will do.Let the string hang down in the bucket. Place another bucket in the bucket on top of the string. Adjust the length of the string so that the top bucket fits in just to where it's handle is touching the second ring of the bucket, and tie it off.Once the string is tied, you can push the handle of the top bucket under the ring on the bottom bucket and that locks the buckets together.Once hooked together they stay together well and never get stuck. All ya have to do is lift the handle of the top bucket and they slide right apart. The string keeps them from getting stuck together.
You can easily stack and carry many buckets as ya want that way. They hook together by their handles.
If you need more than one bucket just lift the handle of the bottom bucket ya want and they will lift easily from the top of the stack.
This bucket tip will solve ya lots of stuck buckets and save ya space in storing them. When using the bucket alls ya gotta do is flop the string to the out side of the bucket. This sure makes this country boy's life easier.


Your Tax Dollars

I know I said this before, but for the life of me I don't understand why it ain't being addressed. Every time I push into the bank waiting for the Industrial locks in New Orleans, I see the pretty pastel, new houses being built in the Lower Ninth Ward. It's a pretty site, sitting behind their new improved multi-hundred million dollar protection wall along the levee, built by the Corps of Engineers. They are so proud of this new, better, taller, sturdier wall, that they keep it clean and graffiti free. Or, maybe the reason the graffiti is quickly painted over is because most of it points out their glaring mistake. So I ask ya how much safer should the citizens feel, knowing that the mighty Corps of Engineers tied this very expensive project into the ole shabby short wall that failed them in the past? This is where the seawall failed during Hurricane Katrina that let all that water in and flooded the Lower Ninth Ward, and all those people were killed. Notice how the new wall angles sharply down to the old, much shorter, structure. I ask ya how much safer should they feel now??

Easter Sunday

This year I was on the boat for Easter, but still, Peggy managed to bring me and my crew each an Easter bunny and a couple candies. I arranged it with Peggy to get them aboard and hidden without the crew knowing. Come Easter morning, like little kids, they were thrilled to find their Easter candy all neatly decked out on the galley table. They were also surprised to see that mine, sitting up there in the wheelhouse, was already missing its ears. If ya gotta be away from home for the holidays, I feel ya should make the best of it wherever you are. Thank God for my sweet wife who always manages to help me make the crew's day a little bit better.


Plum Cobbler

Remember the plums we canned a few posts ago? Last night Peggy whipped up a cobbler with them.With a couple scoops of vanilla ice cream it made a wonderful dessert. The fact that we had canned the plums ourself only made it more satisfying. It was so good, in fact, Peggy had a bowl of it for breakfast. Why not? It was probably healthier than most of the breakfast cereals they have out now. (I opted for a link of Smokin' Sam's deer sausage. Savin' my dessert for dessert!)


"Aunt Mary" @ Country Inn Kennels

Feb. 26, 2011
Dear "Aunt Mary"

We thought we should let you know that MarkyBear is in intensive care again at Laplace. His pancreas and liver have been acting up again. He's been in the hospital since Wed., but he went to the dr. on Tuesday, when they admitted him immediately. Tests show a 'suspicious lesion' on his pancreas and adrenal gland, but the mass in his liver hasn't changed or grown. This morning the dr called and said that he finally ate someting and we are hoping he doesn't throw it up. If he keeps it down, he can start taking his meds by mouth and hopefully come home to recuperate until such time when they can 'go in', find out what's going on inside and FIX it.

Since we know that you love him, too, we thought you should know so you could help us pray him well.


Cappy and Peggy

(& SparkyBear the Brat as EVERYBODY calls him :-)

Feb.26, 2011

Aww Marky. Please know you are in my prayers. I know you will be back on your feet soon Big Guy. You are such a precious soul..Tell Mom & Dad to keep me updated.....

Your Loving Friend

Aunt Mary

March 3, 2011

Dear Aunt Mary,

I am home now, but still not feeling all the way 'good'. My Mom said I have to go back and see the dr. tomorrow for a 'check-up' but you and I both know that means somebody is going to stick that 'thing' in my butt again...I HATE when they do that. My Mom said if you wanted to , you could go read about me here: http://cappyandpegody.blogspot.com/2011/03/before-rest-of-story.htm.

She won't read it to me cuz she said she doesn't want me to worry. What does it say??? izzit something bad? She already cut my food way back to practically NOTHING, I think. I don't know of anything that could be worse than that...except that "thermometer" in my butt.

I love you Aunt Mary, and SparkyBear peed in Mommie's house again right by our Dad's chair, so don't love him, ok?

Your GOOD dog friend,


March 3, 2011

Awwww my poor Marky. You are in my prayers and I know you will be fine. You are such a great fella and you have the kindest heart I know. I read your update on Mom's blog. It doesn't sound too too bad, but don't be sneaking anything into your stomach. Mom knows best. Tell that brother of yours he needs to be the man in the house for awhile til you can take over again. And that means NO MORE peeing on the floor.

Love you Big Guy...

Aunt Mary

April 1, 2011

Dear Aunt Mary,

Boy, I've had a rough time since I came to see you the last time. I had to go back to the vet two times, but the last time they made me go to sleep and when I woke up, my belly hurt so BAD. And they made me stay for too many days there. My Daddy was out on the big boat, but my Mommy came to see me every day and rubbed my back and told me I was a good boy about a hundred times. I was kind of scared. Well, I'm home now and my Daddy was home, too. Then they made me go to back to the vet...oh NO! But my Daddy stayed with me while the vet took some "staples" off my tummy. My Daddy said he counted 34 of them. They hurt. I hollared one time for my Mommy, but she said she had to go out to the other room for that happening to me.. When the vet was done taking out those bad things, Mommy came back in and the vet told her I was all well now. Mommy cried when the vet said I got no cancer or nothing bad now. It was all because some 'bee-nine' thing was in my tummy a long time.

Now I can RUN and play and I'm so happy!!! I'm sorry I bited SparkyBear's ear at the vet when he was bozzering me. He had to get his ear stitched. It was when I was still sick tho'. The only thing wrong now is, Mommy and Daddy aren't feeding me a lot. And I like a lot. But I sure like running now.

Well, I miss you and I thought you musta worried about me. Now YOU stay well, so when SparkyBear and I come to stay with you, I can show you how good I can run, ok?
I love you Aunt Mary,

Your GOOD dog


And SparkyBear took my Mom's pen.

April 1, 2011

Dear My Darling Marky,

I'm so glad you got the bee-nine out. I can't wait to see you run and jump about. Ask Mom to send me a pic of your new slim self when she gets time. Don't worry too much about biting brother. I know you didn't mean it. There's times I'd like to bite him myself, but he does try hard not to be a brat. Some of us are just born that way. I've been busy with projects here to make you more comfortable when you come and visit. Show these pics to Mom.. I hate bugs and am in the process of screening in the whole patio. What what a job.

Stay safe and much love you to.

Aunt Mary

May 2, 2011

Dear Aunt Mary,
I am feeling so good now! Peoples prayers works don't they? Know what happened now? Two bad things by my yard. My friend, Shadow, who used to come see me every day 'til she got a collar like SparkyBear and I got so we can't go out of our yard...well, her other dog, Cocoa...who was BIG and HUGE and brown got sick and died. He barked at me everyday. Aunt Mary, do you think he's in heaven? And the other bad thing is squirrels again in my yard eating my Dad's and Mom's plums out of the tree. I tried, I tried, I tried running as fast as I could to stop them, but they always run up the phone pole and go back across't the street. They make me so mad. I'm sorry the news is so terrible from here today, but I thought you should know. My Mom said to tell you two things, too. Well, she said to tell you to look at this: http://cappyandpegody.blogspot.com/
(Oh and SparkyBear can't hardly keep up with me, cuz I wear him out.) And the other thing...well, she only said it to me, "NOW WHERE AM I SUPPOSED TO SLEEP WITH YOU DOGS HOGGING THE BED???" I think Brats are supposed to sleep out in the kitchen on the floor so Mommie and I can have more room and for Daddy, too. Right?
For when we come to visit, give me the best room, ok? Because I love you. And it looks nice
Your GOOD dog, MarkyBear Robin

A Sunny Sunday Afternoon

Peggy and I were gettin' ready to go berry pickin' when the phone rang. It was our good friends Sam and Louise asking us if we wanted to go over and eat crawfish with them. Well, needless to say the berry picking got postponed. We grabbed an ice chest with a few beers and a lil watermelon we had cooling it's heels in there, and set sail for Smokin' Sam's playhouse. The crawfish were spicy and delicious. I ate 2 pans like this full and Peggy finished her panful too. Not bad for a Yankee-turned-Cajun. :-) We don't call him "Smokin' Sam" for nothing. Note the thick black coating on the inside of his smoke house? Well it aint paint; it's thousands of hours of smoke that cured that box. I keep telling him when he finally wears it out we need to grind the box up and sell it for potpourri. We could call it "Ode de Smokehouse" and make a fortune. Their son Stan, was down from Alaska, and we had a wonderful evening visiting, and enjoying the beautiful Spring weather. Stan's friends from town stopped by to visit. The little melon we brought was a welcome treat after the spicy crawfish. It was sweet and got a roaring approval from Sam. Thank God that Peggy and I are blessed with friends like these. The fact that they boil a mean pot of crawfish don't hurt either.