Wednesday, February 10, 2016

after party bling

What do to with all those beads? A nice decoration for a few days, then they get shuffled into a closet or drawer. BUT the local folks here have a great idea for all those Mardi Gras beads.

Operation Bead Collection is a community partnership between Goodwill and LARC, is project that creates jobs for individuals with developmental disabilities. The beads are sorted by length, size and color, and then packaged for resale. The beads are then sold at LARC's Mardi GrasBeads-N-More Store for next year's parades.

Recycled beads, good job Louisiana.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Happy Mardi Gras

Church Point, Louisiana Mardi Gras parade, Sunday February 7, 2016.

Most of the parades are on Fat Tuesday, which is a state holiday. The parade in Church Point is a popular small town celebration held on Sunday afternoon, a good thing for us who have employers in Georgia and do not have a holiday on Tuesday. 

We got there for the downtown parade which was scheduled for 1 p.m. But the day started out early for the 'revelers' who were participating in the Traditional Cajun Courir de Mardi Gras Run, going out on horseback through the countryside and farms to gather ingredients for the community gumbo pot. Well that is the tradition anyway, I did not see a pot of gumbo, and I am inclined to think it is just for fun. They sing and play the traditional Mardi Gras song - La Chanson de Mardi Gras
which you can listen to HERE.

The big cities have their celebrations with Kings and Queens and galas and balls, keeping the traditions of the royalty and upper class Mardi Gras celebrations. But the rural areas keep the traditions alive of the French peasants, who made their costumes of feed sack cloth. The capuchon (tall hats) were made to mock the nobility.

I loved seeing the horses, the colorful costumes, the decorated floats which were pulled by farm tractors or trucks. Everyone was having a great time, lots of alcohol going down, but it was overall a nice family-friendly atmosphere.

more pictures HERE

Friday, February 5, 2016

5 day holiday weekend

Well it is finally here, the much-anticipated Mardi Gras. It is officially on Fat Tuesday (February 9th this year), but the festivities start today and go for 5 days. This morning the TV weatherman gave the forecast for the Holiday Weekend. 

Schools are our for 5 days, Friday - Wednesday, calling it Mardi Gras/Spring Break on the calendar, with another 8 days off at Easter.

Also Mardi Gras is officially a Louisiana State Holiday, so no work will be done on Tuesday, but in reality it will be a 5 day party.

Here at our home away from home, Lakeview Park, reservations have been made for months:

February 5-9 / Mardi Gras - 8th Annual Boucherie (5 night minimum)

The weekend schedule here at the campground (pictured above) includes live music by real Cajun bands, 6 bands in all over the 5 day period, Cajun dance lessons, and of course the Boucherie - an old fashioned hog slaughtering. 

The ladies at the office: "It's going to be wild!" 

Me: "Wilder than last weekend?"

"Oh yes, and longer - it lasts for 5 days!"

Thursday, February 4, 2016

all about that bass

Driving to work every day Buddy passes through the town of Opelousas, LA. The musical heritage of the area shines in their art exhibit in front of the courthouse. Its all about that bass - bass fiddle, that is. 

In April of 2010, Opelousas Main Street, Inc., with assistance from the City of Opelousas, launched Fiddle Mania, a one-of-a-kind public art exhibit. Twenty-one oversized, three-dimensional fiddles designed, painted and adorned by local artists became part of an outdoor exhibit around the historic St. Landry Parish Courthouse Square. ~TownSquare

Monday, February 1, 2016

Cajun Camping

The beautiful campground we picked to live in, here in Eunice, LA - tall pine trees cover the 42 acres which includes a lake and swimming hole. Since we have been here, there were maybe a dozen or so other campers scattered out over the park, very quiet.

But that all changed starting Friday noon. We had been warned ahead of time by the office, the park was already booked to capacity for the weekend and more, and the usual 'quiet time' of 10 p.m. would not be enforced during the extended Mardi Gras season.

The 95 campsites were indeed all full to overflowing, most with camper, a truck, a car, LOTS of people, and a trailer which held the golf cart. Yes, everyone has a golf cart here which this weekend was used partially for the kids parade float, but apparently is a necessity for camping, used to 'cruise' the campground with tunes blaring from the oversized speakers on said vehicle.

Everyone started arriving Friday and the sense of excitement rose as the day progressed. Kids were riding bikes and playing on the playground, shooting hoops, it was fun to walk around and watch the excitement - yes we were the only ones on foot, dodging carts :). We were surrounded by huge family/friend gatherings with giant grills full of food and giant coolers full of beer, all in a background booming base beat. After we turned in on Friday night we could hear all the words and sing along with a collection of Alabama tunes, all was good, at least we liked the music, and it got quiet before 10.

An interesting observation - I saw no phones, let me repeat NO phones being held or looked at by kids or adults, these folks were really here for the experience of "camping", very refreshing. 

The kids Mardi Gras parade was great, all kids dressed up in costumes and throwing beads to the crowd of parents and observers along the parade route. They were on golf carts, hay-filled wagons, little red wagons, bikes, and scooters. Then there was the chicken run, an old time Mardi Gras tradition, very fun to watch.

By Saturday night the partying really got wound up, folks were very drunk and vocal, kids were running wild, and the music was cranked up. We had to be the bad guys and run off some screaming kids who were playing hide and seek around our camper - our camper was rockin' but not by us - they were bumping into it and piling up beer cans on the picnic table.

All-in-all it was an exciting weekend, just gearing up for the 'real' Mardi Gras 4-day weekend coming up. A whole new experience for us, discovering a new meaning for "camping" out. 

Camping is an elective outdoor recreational activity… participants leave developed areas to spend time outdoors in more natural ones in pursuit of activities providing them enjoyment. Wikipedia

So I guess it is all in interpretation. Sorry, these old folks don't party and our definition of camping is a national park or state park where the sounds are only of a nearby creek or river, or a crackling campfire. 

What do you look for in a campground?

Thursday, January 28, 2016

making the cut

37,100 total students

10,626 Dean's List students

1 Ellijay, GA student - go Madison! Roll Tide J

Enrollment at The University of Alabama reached a record high of 37,100 for fall 2015. The entering freshman class, at 7,211 students, is the largest and best qualified in UA history. More than one-third (36 percent) of the freshman class scored 30 or higher on the ACT, placing them in the top 5 percent of students taking the ACT. ~QuickFacts UA

The first semester in college is tough. It often serves as a weeding out process, or survival of the fittest. Not necessarily smartest, but those most determined, prepared, and organized. Add to that the fact that you just left your home of 18 years and all your friends, the food is not great, the classes are hard, and you miss your dog. So kudos to all of the over 10,000 students at this school who made the cut, but especially to our local rep!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016


My version of KSU's mascot, Scrappy the Owl, for all my KSU girls. Little projects are fun and quick to make, especially here in the camper with limited space. I even kept one for a pincushion :) 

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

rest in peace

The cemeteries here in Louisiana are eye-catching, with the grave sites all above ground, each one different in design. 

Folks here are not six feet under, due to water issues. So walking through the cemetery is interesting, the graves seem to be much closer together, possibly because they are so visible. But just think of the poor groundskeepers.