Southeast Louisiana Winters

I’m from Massachusetts, so I’m familiar with the long, wet, cold winters. The driving during this time of year used to be horrific. We lived on a hill and not a winter would pass where we were out on the street during a snowstorm trying to help push cars up the hill in the stormy and icy conditions.

Driving in icy conditions looks like this:

Southeast Louisiana winters are gentle, but they are not without their hazards. I spent 30 years driving to and from work in New Orleans East in near zero visibility due to the fog. This time of year is the worst for the fog.

Since I retired in October I haven’t even ventured out of bed before 7. But Saturday I got up early and noticed how thick the fog was around our house. So I grabbed the camera and went outside to play.

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My dog thought he was hiding.

Taken in Slidell, La on January 26, 2013

Taken in Slidell, La on January 26, 2013

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Another Year, Another Hurricane

Part of living in Southeast Louisiana is accepting that you will, on a fairly regular basis, have to make the choice of whether to evacuate for an impending hurricane or ride it out at home. Every storm is unique with its own very unique qualities and it’s really a game of semi-education and gut calculating that goes into the deciding. Sometimes the evacuation is worse than the storm as it was for me for Hurricane Gustav. Sometimes the evacuation is a piece of cake but the storm is devastating as it was for me for Hurricane Katrina. It’s really a roll of the dice, kismet, karma or just plain bad or good luck.  There’s no making sense of it so don’t even try.

We are still in the midst of the aftermath of Hurricane Isaac, a storm that has defied all of the expert’s accumulated knowledge about how a hurricane should act. The word used over and over about it was/is “confusing”. Personally, I’ve made it through the storm with little material damage – just a whole lot of debris to clean up and it’s looking like several days without power. I’ll take it. I’ve seen much, much worse. Despite the group angst of this hurricane falling on the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, it appears New Orleans has made it through just fine from what I’m reading on Twitter and FaceBook and hearing on my little battery operated radio. (I’m able to write this thanks to hooking up briefly to our generator.)

Other parishes around New Orleans have not been so lucky. Two of our bloggers, Amy and Judy B, live in Slidell where there has been massive flooding and I’m very worried for them. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

Crawfish!

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted here. We moved into our “final house” at the beginning of this month. I never realized how much stuff we had crammed into our old house!! Since the new home is less than a mile from the old, we moved everything ourselves. It took over a month to pack, move and unpack.

During that time there was no “play time” for us. We finally are settled in enough just in time for the festival season! Last weekend we attended French Quarter Fest and had a fantastic time. This weekend we had to decide what to do, as there were many events taking place in Slidell. But we chose our favorite event: the 9th annual Hospice Foundation of the South’s Crawfish Cookoff, where 60 teams compete for the title of best in show. Despite forecasts it never rained and was a cool, breezy day and the crawfish were fantastic. Needless to say, we got our fill of crawfish.

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Today we hope to visit the tall ships in NOLA before they leave.

Rebirth on the Bayou

Almost seven years after it was swamped by Katrina, St. Genevieve Catholic Church on Bayou Liberty has been rebuilt. I pass the church on my daily commute, so I watched in January 2007 as they demolished the old church , built in 1958. I have followed and chronicled her rebirth for the past five years .

On January 15, 2012 St. Genevieve opened to her parishoners. It was a beautiful thing to witness.

This is what she looked like before Katrina

During the groundbreaking in October of 2010, parishioners were asked to place a small amount of dirt from their home into the groundbreaking hole in celebration of their unity.

The doors to the church were donated by Dr. John Breaux and were produced in Honduras. They depict the history of the parish from the time it was a mission until the present new church.

In 1852, a brick chapel was built by Mrs. Anatole Cousin on land she donated.

In 1914, Father Francis Balay renovated the old church and rededicated it

In 1950s another Bayou Liberty Church – St. Linus – was merged with St. Genevieve

In 1958, a new church building was built and dedicated Dec. 28 by Reverend Joseph Rummel.

In 2005, Hurricane Katrina destroyed the church. Immediately following the storm, Mass was celebrated under an oak tree for several weeks and then in the parish hall.


It was such a good feeling to see the old steeple rising toward the heavens again

The original stained glass windows are used in the new church (photo by Slidell Sentry News)

The altar looks out over Bayou Liberty

The old Chapel is shown here after the church was razed

And now the Chapel is once again united with the church

After Katrina, St. Genevieve’s pastor is quoted as saying: “The church is not the building, but the people, we are the church.”
~ Reverend Roel Lungay

I salute the strength and faith parishioners of St. Genevieve and congratulate them on this long-time coming occasion.

Pelicans and such

Southeast Louisiana’s winter weather is so fickle. One day it’s cold, damp and gray and the next is sunny with blue skies and mild temperatures. During Christmas break from work hubby and I decided to go looking for pelicans in their winter habitats around Slidell during a warm, sunny day. We didn’t have to go far to find our first group. There are about 5-10 pelicans staying about a mile from our home in Bayou Liberty.

These majestic birds gave us all the time in the world to photograph them, much to our delight. Here are a few shots.

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Saturday outing

This weekend was the perfect time for outdoor activities.   The sun was shining, the skies were blue and there was a steady breeze.  With so much going on around us, we decided to stay close to home.  We had breakfast at Sunrise on Second Street and then wandered over to Slidell’s Antique District to check out their biannual street fair.

We like this fair for people watching, finding unique Christmas gifts and eating good food.  There are many one-of-a-kind items for sale and you can’t beat the prices. Here are some of the things that caught my eye.

I didn’t buy anything above, but I DID manage to grab some neat stuff. Next weekend we’re off to the Picayune Street Fair

Butterflies and Bayous

We were pleasantly surprised today when we finally decided on what to do on Saturday…

we went to Camp Salmen Nature Park to see what updates have been done since our last visit in February. Originally a Boy Scout camp from the 40’s to the 70’s, Camp Salmen has an interesting history in the Bayou Liberty area.

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When we visited in February we were unaware that the Park would be undergoing a metamorphosis of huge proportions. We truely enjoyed one of the first upgrades of the Park: the butterfly garden. The entire park will be changing under the direction of Edward Blake, director of The Crosby Arboretum in Picayune, Mississippi. If you like interpretive journeys trail system to observe a park’s biological diversity you’ll like both Camp Salmen and Crosby Arboretum. But I digress.

The butteryfly garden at the Park contains all native wildflowers. The blanket of purples, golds and reds attract scores of butterflies. During our visit we enjoyed the sights of butterflies and bees enjoying a cool, sunny Saturday morning. Check it out:

There were several butterflies with these markings.


Can you see the tiny butterfly in this picture?

There are boardwalks that bring you closer to the Bayou and trails that roam throughout the deep woods. It’s difficult to take a bad picture there.

I must say that early autumn in Southeast Louisiana – while not as beautiful as the northern states – is one of the prettiest around.

After leaving the park we headed for the Slidell Trailhead of the Tammany Trace and hubby caught two butterflies attempting to mate.

According to him, the female butterfly must’ve had a headache, because she didn’t want anything to do with him.
Guess humans aren’t the only ones who have problems “connecting”. Good to know.

Have a good week, y’all.

A Change in Plans

This week’s post was supposed to cover the Crescent City Blues and BBQ festival which we were excited about attending.

Unfortunately, the little criminal below decided to derail my husband from descending the stairs on Friday night, forcing us to spend Saturday morning in the ER instead of heading to Lafayette Square in New Orleans.

Lucky for Beignet, the use of those blue eyes and cat charm has kept her from being evicted from our home.

So instead of wonderful pictures of Tab Benoit or Kenny Wayne Shepherd all I have are pix of our beloved Deuce (McAllister) still trying to figure out what ‘retrieve’ means.

I apologize ahead of time for the fact that I recently did a post on Deuce a few weeks ago. But I spent the day in a dang E.R. and didn’t have anything else to post about at this late date. Besides, the pictures are great and he’s a pretty dog. (just kidding in case you didn’t know).

We’re proud of Deuce and can’t get enough of him and he can’t get enough of our stuff. Heck, this morning he stole the medicated pain patches and aspercream I pulled out of the cabinet to help hubby and spread them all over the back yard after chewing them up.

So here are a few of the 500 pix I took of Deuce in his first class of retrieving yesterday (Oct 14th) in the Bogue Falaya River in Covington, Louisiana.


I love his concentration in this pic


Check out the water droplets at the end of his tail in this picture

Hopefully I will put together something for next week’s post that doesn’t involve our pets…..or not! Have a good week, y’all