Wednesday, May 25, 2016


when you get up in the morning you have a decision, 
to have a good day or a bad day

this thought comes from a news story this morning about a local school principal who greets the car drop off line every morning with his karaoke, singing and dancing as he opens the car doors, the kids' faces light up at this sight

you can avoid the lake for fear of snakes
 or watch the beauty of a bird in flight

you can look out and see the cloudy sky
 or look closer and see the sunrise peeking through

you can look out and see weeds growing up through your junk yard, 
or look a little closer and see roses and lilies

 I choose to have a good day!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016


cattails at the little creek (this is where I see the 2 snakes sunning sometimes) eek!

the old dance barn is just so darn photogenic

and the back lot looks a lot like ours at home, 
stuff saved forever in case you might need it someday

My morning stroll around the campground, lots to see. It is nice and quiet here Mondays through Thursdays, then there is the weekend... these Cajun folks really like to party! They have a great attitude on life and what is important. 

Even though we are full-timers here at the campground, we have had to move a couple of times. The weekenders have priority, a lot of return business and they like to reserve certain sites for their big families. And their golf carts... 

It is fun to just sit out and watch the campground fill up starting on Thursday afternoon. Last week there was this huge motorhome pulling a jeep pulling a trailer. A lot of times there will be a truck pulling a camper pulling a trailer (for the golf cart). These folks cannot live without their golf carts, used to cruise around the campground, used to drive up to the beach for swimming. This is the only place we have ever experienced this phenomenon. You never see anyone walking, just riding, too funny :)

Monday, May 16, 2016


Some folks binge watch whole seasons of television shows on Netflix.

I am binge reading all of the books of Nevada Barr, starting at the beginning, about Anna Pigeon - National Park Ranger. Over the years I have read a few of her books here and there, not in any order, but reading them in order one after the other adds a lot to the story, it is easier to remember the back stories and people she meets along the way and how they all intertwine throughout her series.

These books combine my love of the national parks and mystery and reading. Of course my favorite part is the very detailed descriptions of the parks themselves, it is like you are there with her. 

We recently saw Ms. Barr, former park ranger, interviewed on the PBS special, The National Parks: America's Best Idea.

1. Track of the Cat (1993) - Guadaloupe Mountains National Park.
2. A Superior Death (1994) - Isle Royale National Park
3. Ill Wind (1995) - Mesa Verde National Park
4. Firestorm (1996) - Lassen Volcanic National Park            
5. Endangered Species (1997) - Cumberland Island
6. Blind Descent (1998) - Carlsbad Cavern
7. Liberty Falling (1999) - Gateways Park - Ellis Island/Statue of Liberty
8. Deep South (2000) - Natchez Trace Parkway
9. Blood Lure (2001) - Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park
10. Hunting Season (2002) - Natchez Trace National Park
11. Flashback (2003) - Dry Tortugas National Park  
12. High Country (2004) - Yosemite National Park
13. Hard Truth (2005) - Rocky Mountain National Park
14. Winter Study (2008) - Isle Royale National Park
15. Borderline (2009) - Big Bend National Park
16. Burn (2010) - Jazz National Heritage Park                      
17. The Rope (2012) - Glen Canyon National Recreational Area
18. Destroyer Angel (2014) - Minnesota’s Iron Mountains
19. Boar Island (2016) - Acadia National Park

Friday, May 13, 2016

road warriors

W.H. Bass General Contractors has 40 superintendents all over the country. You too could travel, see the country, enjoy local food and customs. Join the team today!  

Our subs always show up on time with a current set of  blueprints in hand and a full crew ready to do whatever it takes.

We only build on sites with perfect solid dirt, no rocks or mud or buried treasures left over from the last owner.

On our jobs the weather is always perfect and does not factor into the schedule.

Thursday, May 12, 2016


I know we have been here 5 months now and still haven't tried crawfish, well until this week.

A co-worker brought some to Buddy at work on Monday morning, leftovers from the weekend, cold boiled crawfish. Buddy was shown the proper way to push and pull and pinch to get the goods outta the shell. And he tried them and liked them!

So yesterday he went to the recommended crawfish shack down the road from the job to get 5# of boiled crawfish with accompanying taters and corn. But they took care of him and he came home with 8# pounds of regular size and 3# of large.

I had to get over the fact that they really did look like giant bugs, all those legs and antennae, but I too tried and liked them… okay.

That is what we had for supper last night. Very messy - a lot of work for a little meat. Actually too much work for what you get. The taste was good, kinda like shrimp.

 So we have been there, done that, check it off the list. Now we just need a golf cart to cruise around the campground and we will be almost local.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

a letter to mom

Mothers Day 2016 - I should've been nicer...

So if your mother has passed away, can she still see you and hear your thoughts? Or maybe she haunts you? I think mine does.

Dear Mom,

Growing up, I did not appreciate you, or even like you at times. But now you pop into my head often, mostly while typing medical reports when one of your diagnoses comes up. (No, doc, I don't need to quit smoking because I don't inhale.) I think of you when seeing vintage shows with things like TV dinners, Elvis, or old movies where everyone was smoking. I think of you often, wishing I had been a better daughter. After having two boys you wanted a little girl more than anything and finally got me - ungrateful kid.

You were tough, strong willed (Sergeant Mom). You had to overcome hardships in your early life. You didn’t get to graduate high school because your father made you go to work. You worked at countless sewing factories. You enlisted into the Army and made parachutes at Fort Benning during WWII. You lived in Japan during The Occupation. You were a rock, hard but supportive, and the foundation of our family. Dad was very laid back and calm, you were opposites. I always said I take after dad, but I hope there is some of you in there, too.

I remember you drinking and smoking and cussing, real warm and fuzzy memories :). You were a larger than life character, loved to laugh and dance and have a good time. Everyone always loved you and I often wondered why, my perspective was selfish and clouded. Just because you were not the ideal of mom in my head (June Cleaver), I shouldn't have held that against you.

Some of the things I learned from you I took into my own adulthood, like not to smoke or drink or cuss... like not caring what other people think, like being yourself, and like making the most of life wherever you end up, making every stop along the way into a home (army life - you always said you moved 21 times in 20 years).

I think of how you turned that 4 room shack into a home for us when we moved to the mountains. Living on Army retirement of $250 a month, you used skills learned long ago like planting a garden and canning vegetables and raising chickens. We sold strawberries and eggs for money to live on. You made all of my clothes, including prom dresses, and taught me to do the same. And I never wanted for anything. You took us to Sunday School and church wherever we were living, often knocking heads with the church ladies who tried to run everything :)

I think of you when I am sewing or crocheting or knitting, how you taught me those skills, and now I am passing those down to my family. I wonder if you know that, are you watching?

When my own kids and grandkids are so nice to me and love me, I think how devastating it would be if they thought of me or treated me like I did you - hurrying to move away, hardly ever visiting, never calling.

I was selfish to think that I had to put up with you as a mother, (it was all about me) but it was the other way around, you had to put up with me, the ungrateful daughter. But you loved me anyway unconditionally, a lesson I need to learn.

Over the years I had a hard time finding greeting cards that were not mushy, now I know that you would have loved one of those traditional Mother's Day cards.

I didn't show you love when you were alive, and now I regret it, you just wanted a little girl, someone to teach all the girl stuff to, and now that I am using your skills to teach my grandkids, I just wanted to thank you. 

Maybe I am writing this now because I have finally matured enough? (Or maybe I don't want you to haunt me)... either way it is overdue - I love you mom, thanks for everything. Happy Mother's Day !

Friday, May 6, 2016

summer crafting

"I have taken my last final of freshman year..."

Madison posted this on Facebook yesterday, so that means school is out, now it is play time. 

But wait, I had some lessons to do also, did I make the deadline for summer?

Yes, all crochet tutorials are done and uploaded to YouTube just in time for bored granddaughters to learn a craft this summer. 

Check out my new blog page listed above - Cursive Crochet - and you too can learn to crochet!

Monday, May 2, 2016


the granny square

this is a vintage granny square afghan/blanket made by my granny! I don't know exactly when she made it, but I would say about 45 years ago. 

This is my granny - Mother Hanie. This is how she looked my whole life, always the same. She liked to garden and cook and crochet. 

The granny square blanket above is made in the traditional way of using a different color yarn for each row/round of the square, then the last round is black. Individual squares were crocheted and then sewn together to make a blanket. This one was made of wool yarn (before acrylics were popular) and the thing about wool is that you cannot wash it or it will shrink. But I washed it. So if you look closely it is all fuzzed up and sort of all melded together... which is actually a thing now, to make something out of wool and wash it, it is called 'felting'.

The granny square pattern was/is a good way to use up bits of yarn left over from other projects, it reminds me of the way folks used to make quilts - using up bits of fabric left over from making clothes or other projects, piecing the little leftover fabrics together to make something whole and new. Yes, quilters and grannies started the original recycling movement!