Friday, February 19, 2016

Well, it almost looked like I wasn't going to post this week because there really wasn't much to post about, but I've managed to scrape a few things together so there we go ...

The main reason I don't have much to show is because James was so nice to bring home a fine cold for me, which off course I happened to attract also. Times two!
Yikes, it really got me bad ... I've been inside most of the week, doing absolutely nothing but lay on the couch, do a little puzzling and watch back to back 'little-house-on-the-prairy' re-runs all day long.
Oh well ...

Fortunately, I'm doing much better now, the weather is beautiful and it's almost weekend, so hey, life's good!
After cleaning up the house, and a long hot shower, I even went for a little walk again. Guess what ... spring is coming!

I'd tucked in some bulbs among the groceries last week, and finally got them planted in a little pot. I guess you 'can take the girl out of Holland, but you can't take Holland out of the girl' ...


While exploring the woods around the campground and following a hunting trail, I came upon another little lake.
No birds or any other animals in sight, but I'll definitely go back in the coming weeks to see if any will start to show up. Water always attracts animals.

While being confined to the couch, I still managed to get a pretty sharp bird shot through the window.
This pretty Eastern Bluebird visits almost every day and sits for a while in the Crepe Myrtle right in front of my window. I think he's scoping out his territory for the coming spring-season.

Yes, I see you too!
While I was doing absolutely nothing (sort of), James has been working very hard (despite his cold, but hey ... he's a tough guy).
He's not making too many pictures (too busy, as usual) but here are a few of new floor lines and a floor sink being installed:

OK, there you have it. A 'nothing-much-happened' post. Not so bad after all, I guess.
Here's a few more shots of one of the pretty sunsets we get over here. It's been a while since we've been in a spot where we can actually see one. For some reason we've been either surrounded by trees or mountains or facing the wrong way, but here we have a little bit of a 'view' towards the west. Nice!

Merlin likes to 'photo-bomb' my shots ...

Friday, February 12, 2016

(My first) Tufted Titmouse
Our first week in Northern Louisiana was a frisky one! Temperatures have been near and just below freezing in the morning hours, and a hard wind added that dreaded 'chill-factor' to some of the, already moderate, daytime temperatures.
The skies are a brilliant blue though and the sun was out almost every day, so at least it looked good!

James has started his job and likes it so far. He's managing a small crew of plumbers, drywallers and electricians who are getting an empty store-front ready for a pet store (Pet-sense) to move into.

Over the weekend we also took care of that most important business of finding a new 'home' golf-course!
We found it at the LA Tech University in Grambling, a small town, very conveniently situated right between Simsboro and Ruston, only about 10 minutes away.
Other than the one in Hammond, this is a 9-hole,  full size course, and a monthly membership for non-students is only $40. 
Works for us!

We played on Saturday afternoon, when the weather had warmed up a little. It's a pretty little course with beautiful big old trees and lots of water (yikes!).
The first tee features this very narrow and long bridge over the pond ...

The greens are dormant, and they have some weeds/mosses growing on them which makes it a little difficult to put at the moment, but they'll probably get better when it gets a little warmer next month.

All in all, just a perfect course for the time we'll be around here!

On Sunday we drove to Arcadia, about 10 miles to the West of us, to take a look at the town, which was nothing to write home about, and to check out their golf course, the Trail's End.It's a little further away and a lot more expensive, so I don't think we'll go their very often but since it's a full 18 holes James wanted to have a go at it. Just for something different ....

We lost more balls on the first 9 holes than we had in months! All fairways sloped down to a pond, it was brutal!


Although the sun was shining, the wind was a cold one, and after 9 holes of struggling and being cold, I gave up and relaxed in the truck with a nice book! 
James soldiered on and claims he enjoyed himself ...


Despite the cold mornings, I'm trying to hold on to my morning-walks and I've been out every day to explore the area in and around the park.
There's a double 'loop' I can walk in the park itself, and a bigger one on what looks like a hunting trail, all around it. 

We're right at the 'A'
I've already spotted some deer tracks and was happy to hear and see one of my favorite 'LBB'-'s here too, a little Carolina Wren:

Carolina Wren

In the late afternoon the wind usually dies down and we actually could sit outside for happy hour over the weekend ...

The pond in front of us came with 2 hungry ducks, who we've named Frick & Frack.
It probably wasn't a smart idea to start feeding them bread, but we did, and now we're stuck with them.
As soon as we open the door and appear on the deck, they come hurrying over... 

Initially Merlin was a little scared of them, and vice-versa, but they've established a 'proper' distance now.
He does have to make sure every time we feed them though, that it isn't something he could be eating instead ...

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Simsboro is the red mark at the top
Surprise! We moved!
We knew for a while that there might be a change that James would have a job for 4-6 weeks up in Ruston, in the north of Louisiana, and last Friday we suddenly got the go ahead for that project. 
Since commuting would be a 6 hour drive and staying in a hotel and coming back for the weekend didn't make much sense either, we decided to move the rig to a campground in Simsboro, about 10 miles from Ruston.
Hey, we got wheels, don't we?!
So, after an uneventful 275 mile road trip, here we are, at our new spot! isn't it a beauty once again?!
We're staying at the Antique Village RV Park:

Rent is cheap here, only $400/month, although it's not much of a concern to us this time, because James gets 'comped' for the rent and for the gas back and forth to Hammond! Sweet!

As you can see, we're right on the pond/lake, which by the way is stocked with Bass and Perch, so we might actually will try to catch one, one of these days!

We love the little deck that comes with the site! It's facing south and with the days being so cool at the moment it's a great place to catch some rays and warm up a little.

Sunday morning coffee on the deck, it was a little cloudy but 74F (22C)!

Merlin has claimed his chair already and has been sleeping off his travel-'stress' for the last couple of days!

But lets backtrack a little here, because before we left, we did a couple of other things last week.
First, we went to "White's Seafood restaurant for their famous buffet!
We'd tried to get in here for James birthday on the 17th, but when we arrived the waiting time was an estimated 1 1/2 hours, so we'd left.

This time we went early, as in 4.30, and were lucky enough to score a table! This restaurant is famous for their buffet which features all you can eat crab, shrimp and crawfish and loads of other 'southern' goodies as okra, collards, gumbo and dirty rice.

We thought we 'loaded up' here, but it was nothing in comparison to the 'locals' who piled their serving trays (who needs a plate?) high with crawfish only!
Apparently the 'mudbugs' are very early this year and on top of that they're very large too! Not that there is much left after you take the head and the tail off!

James is demonstrating here how to properly suck the spicy broth out of the head of a crawfish, you have to suck and squeeze at the same time, otherwise you'll be wearing it! 

I'm holding up a frog leg there! Our first .... and definitely our last too!
They taste fine, just like chicken, and I must say they were 'meatier' than I thought they would be, like I say, quite good. But ... since then I've learned (from my friend Irene) that they cut off these legs while the frog is still alive!!!
I can't believe I didn't know that! How incredible cruel is that!!! I feel so bad! 
(I'm so sorry 'Kermie', I'll never do it again ...)

OK, enough of that, I feel nauseous just thinking about it again!
Let's talk some more Mardi Gras! Yeah!

On Friday evening we went to see Hammond's Krewe of Omega parade. We were lucky to be able to park the car a block away from the parade rout at one of James' clients houses for whom he'd tiled a bathroom.
Since we were an hour early, they invited us in for a pre-parade glass of wine, to kill the time and I got a tour of the house and the, much appreciated, new bathroom! (Great job Hon')

This parade was a very family friendly, small-town-USA type of a parade and the whole neighborhood was out and about beforehand to chat and mingle and eat snacks and appetizers in each others yards and driveways ...
The weather was gorgeous, no wind and downright 'balmy' temperatures.

The kids were ready! Everybody holding his or her own big tote-bag, to be filled with beads!
Finally the first floats started to roll at around 6.30:

The King and Queen looked beautiful, the school-bands played almost in tune, and although the floats were a little smaller than the ones of Slidell, there were a lot of them ...

As the ones in Slidell, this parade also had it's share of interesting characters:

And a lot of 'decked-out' cars, mostly Jeeps, for some reason ... (I think there's a Jeep-club in town).


And of course there were beads! Lots and lots of them! And we couldn't help ourselves asking for and catching them ....

As if we needed any more!
Anyhoo ... we had a lot of fun again. Afterwards we were invited to come over for po'boys and King Cake, at the house of another one of James clients, a little farther down the road. Yum!


There really are a lot of very nice people here in Louisiana!

Showing off our new loot! This time we had a lot of 'signature (special) beads!

Well, that was it for this week. James is most likely off for the weekend so we'll be exploring our new neighborhood. We got to check out the local golf course of course!