Thursday, August 27, 2015

Katrina, 10 years later

Where do I start?  When Katrina blew through New Orleans we were in Lake Charles,  Louisiana.  We took our teeny, tiny rig and headed out of town late after watching the 10 o'clock news.  The Mayor said he couldn't order folks to leave but we took the hint.  We drove across Lake Ponchartrain and drove west on Highway 190 avoiding I-10.  We did stop briefly for some sleep in a bank parking lot.  First and only time we've done that!

We found a small campground and stayed about a week.   You see, we couldn't go home until the authorities said we could.   After seeing all the damage we realized we'd be living in our rig for awhile and traded up to a bigger 5th wheel.  For several days we watched the destruction of New Orleans and the surrounding area on television. But it was only 'make believe'.  I say that because when you see it on TV it's happening to someone else.  The reality is once you see it in person it becomes real.  For me it was all about the trees.....Live Oaks were bare, all the leaves were gone.  

Once we returned we continued to live in our rig.  Jim's office on the river was gone, but his job awaited him in Baton Rouge.  We we offered a spot next to the office so we took it and lived there for another year before Jim retired and we hit the road.  We traded up once again to the rig we have now.

We still had the house but all repairs had been done, most of the contents were gone and it was mostly clean enough to sell.  But we didn't care any more.  We were tired of dealing with it and listed it and gave the realtor power of attorney.  We were in Texas when the house sold.

As this anniversary of the most devastating storm to hit America roles around there will no doubt be more television coverage.  We watched Robin Roberts on ABC Sunday night.   We cried a lot, but not much can be said or shown in a one hour program.  The city is stronger but so much more has to be done!

The Ten Year Flood is a long read but very interesting if you care to read about New Orleans.  Wright Thompson does a good job of telling it like it is.  If you want to read more, just Google Katrina....stories abound, just be prepared to relive it and cry for what was endured and lost.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Pretty Sunset

Sunday night

Sunday, August 23, 2015

What do you hear

When you're waking up, in that space of time before you fully wake, what do you hear?  You listen as the weather outside informs you of the day.  Perhaps your air conditioning is running and you can't hear much of anything.  If the wind is blowing you may hear the tree branches protesting.  A lot of folks hear birds, roosters, even parrots (I know these are birds), but owls?

Yesterday when I was trying to go back to sleep I could hear owls.  Two of them, calling back and forth.  One was quite close and I'm sure it's the one who got me out of bed so I could locate him.  And I did!  Up near the top of the pine tree above our bed there he sat.  Imperiously he looked down at me then in a flash he was gone, soundlessly flying off.  Magnificent!

What's really wonderful about this is just the night before I sat watching an owl in a tree out front and I got to watch as he flew right over me.  How many times has this happened to me?  Twice! All in the space of less than 24 hours

Speaking of owls, Jim parks the truck in the garage out back.  It doesn't have doors so it's open to some weather and of course birds.  He decided he was tired of the large splats of droppings he was always washing off.  So he bought a tarp and attached it to the rafters.  And this is working except it doesn't cover the whole truck.  Last night he put an old sheet over the cover of the truck bed.  Today it's messy.  Apparently an owl has been tossing his dinner in there.  A pellet about 1 inch by 2 was on the sheet along with some white, sloppy bird splat.  We may have to get another tarp!

I woke up on the wrong side of the bed today.  After Jim got up I went back to bed and slept for about three hours.  Not sure what got into me but I'm doing better now.  My stomach bothered me during the night keeping me awake and I've just had some soup today.  Jim lucked out and had BBQ chicken, mashed potatoes and baked beans courtesy of Chris and Sonsearae.  

We've spent most of the afternoon reading.  Can you read when the TV is on?  I can no longer do this.  So I'm writing the blog while Jim watches TV and reads.

We'll watch Sherlock on Masterpiece tonight.  Love my PBS!

All is right in our world!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

do you exercise?

Do any of my readers exercise?  

I have a Fitbit and I've worn it for about two years.  We were in Welaka when I got it  and truthfully I got it because it's a lovely green zip.   I did think it might help me be less sedentary...but that hasn't happened.  For the most part I average 2000 - 3000 steps a day and I'm being generous!

I walk with Jim at the mall because it's good for me and I want to encourage him.  But it's to hot to walk outside and I hate getting all sweaty.  Walking to the mailbox and back is about 300 steps.  I do that several times a week.  If you have a Fitbit and want to add me, send a request!  I am almost always at the bottom of the standings.

Jim has been pressure washing the rig.  A couple days ago we had a humdinger of a storm barrel through and water came in above my window.  This has happened before and the culprit is the scare light.  It needed to be resealed.  Because the gutters had so many pine needles water was dammed and running down the rig right past the light and onto the window.  Jim removed the blind, and window frame and we both caught water with a cloth.  I'm sure the insulation has gotten wet but there isn't much we can do about that.

Yesterday he resealed the light and started washing the  rig.  It's gets a bit moldy in the damp weather.  He wants to get up on the roof too...maybe tomorrow.

Where were you a year ago?  We were in Vermont with our good friends Anne and Scotty.  Farmer's Markets, Burdock Parades and shopping occupied our time.  Concerts in the Fair Haven park and seeing the sites!  Loved our time there.

Could have done without Jim's bypasses but at least he's doing better and he should be able to stick around for awhile longer.

We've decided to stay here for the winter season.  Chris and Sonsearae are wonderful hosts and said we could stay as long as we want.  

The saga of the refrigerator is still a question.  We've ordered a residential fridge and it will be delivered the 10th of September, God willing and the creek don't rise!  We'll keep it in the house until we can get carpenters out to fit it in the designated spot.  I'll be losing the pan drawer and I'm thinking maybe we'll remove the fireplace and use that space for storage.  Of course that will only happen if we can have the carpenter help with doors and shelves.

All is right in our world

Friday, August 7, 2015

Do it Yourself

What does that title say to you?  DIY, you've all seen the words and the acronym.  Today it's about making soup.  I'm doing it myself!

Early Friday morning....well a quarter of eight actually I started making a pot of potato corn chowder.  I'm not much on breakfast foods but I can eat soup.  So what better way to control fats, sugar and salt but by making my own soup?

I used a recipe from the New McDougall Cookbook.  I've made this soup before from scratch  and from my head.  It's a basic soup.  Onions, celery, potatoes, corn plus your seasonings.  Well this soup is boring!  It called for water (6 cups) when I usually use broth (homemade preferably). I added the herbs (marjoram, basil, thyme, rosemary, oregano) and added more after everything had cooked for awhile.  I'll add more when I reheat for my meals.  Probably Cajun.  I make my own Cajun seasoning without salt.  

I split the pot with Sonsearae and warned her about the blandness.  She tasted it and added some Bragg organic sprinkle, which is 24 herbs and spices.  Hope that works for her.

We did our chores this morning which includes dishes, bed making, laundry, washing windows and doing our thing with the ice chests.  Still no refrigerator.  An electrician is supposed to come by Monday and see if he can figure out the wiring.

Big salad along with sauteed onions and mushrooms for our midday meal.  Shortly thereafter Jim is napping....or perhaps I should say Siesta time!  It's much to hot to do anything outside.  Heat index is 109.  We should go to the mall and walk....

I read for a bit then decided to check my eyelids for light leaks and don't you know Jim got up!  So we both spent time on our computers.  He has gotten the Windows 10 update...meanwhile I'm still waiting.  Boo has been fed and Jim had some coffee.  I've pretty much given up an afternoon coffee....oh, did I tell you I've stopped putting sugar in my  coffee?  Goes along with my SOS plans.  That stands for salt, oil, and sugar as in no salt, oil or sugar....or in my case a lot less than I was consuming.

And there you have it, a day in the life of of a couple who are retired....All is right in our world

What are you Reading?

I've finished reading Dr Neal Barnard's Program for Reversing Diabetes.  Why?  Because I'm pre-diabetic and have been for quite a few years.  I'm on a quest to stay off medication and so's working.

One of the points he makes is the correlation between 'fats' and several diseases. Oils are full of fat!  Animal products contain bad fats that contribute to cholesterol and blood pressure problems and diabetes.  It's also is a contributing factor to heart disease.  So it makes sense to me to avoid animal products.  So why do I continue to eat foods that are bad for me?

Old habits are hard to break.  This past week I've seen my blood pressure rise and prior to that it was really normal for me for almost a month.  I have to say my diet wasn't all that great...potato chips here, popcorn there...a Philly cheese sandwich, fried foods etc etc etc.

We've also not been walking as much as we should.  The weather is hot so I avoid for that reason.  I could walk in the mornings before coffee but that disrupts my usual, habitual, lazy mornings.  I have walked a little after 1800 because it isn't so hot then...I guess I should make more of an effort.  The number on the scale has gone up too.

What have you been reading?  Check out my Library page to check out what I've been reading

Sunday, August 2, 2015


Saturday I  awoke to the sound of rain! I love to hear it when it's gently falling. I tried to go back to sleep but song titles kept popping in my head...raindrops keep falling on my head, singing in the rain, rain makes corn and the childhood favorite, rain rain go away.  I did lay there for awhile just listening.  Eventually I got up with a smile, not a bad way to start the day. Do you like to hear the rain?

I made a pot of marinara sauce so we could have spaghetti for dinner. To go with that I also made a Caesar salad. I had the last glass of wine while Jim downed a beer and that was dinner!  Shortly after that Jim took a nap and after reading for a bit I checked my eyelids for leaks on the lounger.

It was gloomy and overcast all day but no more rain until late afternoon.

We don't usually have a big meal late in the day and chose this evening to have chips and bean dip.  Later, while watching The Ghost and Mrs Muir we had some yummy popcorn.