Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Well, as you can see, the river rose. Once again ...!

The predictions were for quite a lot of rain, but initially for not more than around 16-17' of 'rise' of the river.
Being in a higher spot this time, we thought we were good, although we'd probably have 'some' flooding. Ha!

This is the 'other' site of the campground, where we'd been previously, that quickly flooded during the rain ... and than the water started to creep slowly towards our side.
We'd calculated we could 'do' about 18'4" safely, and when the rain stopped in the evening and the predictions were not exceeding 18', we took the calculated 'risk' to stay where we were and not evacuate. 

The next morning we woke up to this:

Cripes! 17.9'!

We'd had the good foresight to turn of the electricity (at the main breaker panel) and to disconnect the sewer for the night, because all the hook-ups were under water.
We immediately checked the website again for the river stage of our Tangipahoe River (as we had done all the time during the previous day and evening) and it looked like it was almost cresting and/or at least wouldn't rise much more than this. 
So, although it certainly looked impressive, we were going to be OK! Phew!

Since it didn't make sense for James to stay at home, and for the both of us just sitting and watching the water all day, we decided he'd try to go to work.

Which wasn't as easy since although he had parked the truck on the gravel path that runs alongside our site and although the water was fortunately still below the cab and toolboxes, he could not drive it out to got to work, since the path  towards the front and exit of the park lays lower than where we are at.

He called and arranged for Hunter, his colleague, to pick him up, and waded through the freezing water to the entrance of the park.

Here alligator ... here snaky, snake ... 

Merlin and I were left behind ...

He was so NOT amused!

I spend some anxious hours watching the water come up another 0.03" before it finally crested and started to go down.

When it did, it actually went down fairly fast, and by the time James came home I had already hooked the sewer back up and we could turn the electricity back on.
(Oh, blessed electricity! You really have no idea how much you'll miss it, and how much you use it, until you don't have it!)


The birds made the best of the big puddles left behind, and took the opportunity to take their baths ... 


I thought this Robin was going to drown himself, he just kept on going, it was hilarious! 

James Birthday came and went, without much fanfare this time. The chocolate-cake cart on our facebook site that I put up looked fabulous, but I didn't really make one. Sorry hon ... hey, it's the thought that counts!

I DID bake some pine-nut and white chocolate anise-cookies though. They came out a little soft, but pretty good!


For some reason my cookies never 'spread', what's up with that?

And look what finally arrived on the 19th of January ... my sister mailed this from Holland on the 7th of December!

It has to be the best Christmas Card ever! You have to 'build' it yourself, which is half the fun, and than (with the help of some batteries) the light shining through the tiny little windows changes into about 4 different colors !

Totally awesome! I'm gonna save it so next year I have my own little Christmas Village. So cute!
Thanks Sis, I love it!

Sunday, January 15, 2017

With 2 days left of the year 2016, we decided to drive to Mississippi, to take advantage, for one last time, of our Crescent City golf discount card, before it would expire on January 1st.
We'd played quite a few courses in Louisiana over the last year but had saved the ones in Mississippi for when we would (so we thought) move there for the winter, and when that didn't happen to visit them on our way back from Starkville, in the Fall.
But than the truck broke down, and after that James went for his hernia surgery, and after his 6 weeks of recuperating he got a nasty cold for 2 weeks, followed by me catching it from him.

So it came down to this last day (as it turned out we couldn't have played the next day, the 31st, because they would close early!).
We'd made a Tee-time at Diamondhead's Country Club (in Diamondhead, MS, about an hour's drive), to play one of their two courses, the Cardinal Course.  

The weather was windy and cool, but fairly sunny, and once at the course there was no wind at all. Perfect!
According to the website, The Cardinal 'offers up wooded, gently rolling terrain with no parallel fairways and extra long sand bunkers. The Cardinal plays to 6,730 yards and is rated 72.6.'

We thought it was a very 'fair' course, especially in the front, the back had much more water which of course caused some unfortunate splashing, and a 'not so fair' amount of lost balls ...


Halfway through James remembered that we now had the choice of several (free) range-finder Apps on his phone. 
No more need for the 'old' ones you had to buy and pay yearly fees for. Sweet!

This golf club has made an afford to 'naturalize' it's course and has re-done many areas and planted a lot of natural plant materials.


Some of the dead trees have been carved into fun sculptures like these very appropriate Cardinals on the right ...


The fairway at the 5th hole was lined with these pretty mushrooms. I found out later they are Fly Amanita and poisonous!
(Fun fact: that same evening when I was reading my book before going to sleep, in it someone mentioned this very Amanita, and it's use (and dangers) in herbal medicine! It's close cousin, the Amanita Virosa or 'Destroying Angel' is even 'deadly poisonous'!)

Talking about funny, how about this golf ball James picked up?


I also really liked this yellow sign below that I found at one of the bathrooms, and I wholeheartedly agree!


This funny construction above (almost looks like a robot to me) is actually a whole bunch of air-horns attached to a pole with a solar-panel to power it. It will sound 3 short blasts if there's lightening in the area and you're supposed to seek shelter immediately, until you hear one long blast that tells it's safe to proceed.

After a very enjoyable round we drove over to Bay St. Louis, which is only a short 5 miles away from Diamondhead.

Like several other upper Gulf Coast cities, Bay Saint Louis was devastated by Hurricane Katrina in August 2005. 
Katrina made its final landfall near Bay St. Louis, at the mouth of the Pearl River, with a 28-foot (8.5 m) storm surge. The storm came ashore during the high tide of 9:15AM, +2.3 feet more, causing a storm tide over 30 feet (9.1 m) deep!

The Bay St. Louis Bridge on US Highway 90 was severely damaged, with many bridge sections down-dropped at the west edges. 

The destroyed bridge was replaced by a new Bay St. Louis Bridge, which was awarded America's Transportation Award.

Nationally known chainsaw artist Dayle Lewis created four different Angel Trees in town from trees that didn't survive Katrina.
This is the largest one at the beach:


The town has finally recovered some businesses and population and is slowly coming back to being the quaint Bay-side town it was before.

Old town's tree lined streets are made up of colorful houses and many have been converted in little antique shops, specialty shops, art galleries and restaurants.

After we strolled around town for a while we were lucky to find a window table at the Blind Tiger, a bay-side restaurant that overlooks the bridge and Marina.

This funky hangout boasts that the food is never frozen and the only (limited) menu is what's written down on a large chalkboard on the wall. 
It has a fun bar-atmosphere and beach decor and the windows on the beach side open like garage doors.  We treated ourselves to BBQ-ed Oysters (delicious) and 'loaded fries' and washed it all down with some Lazy Magnolia, Mississippi's oldest brewed beer.

The food was great and the view couldn't be better as we watched the lights come on around the Marina and the bridge, while the sun was slowly setting.

What a perfect end to a beautiful day!

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

This picture is not sharp for some reason. Oh well ... we're starting to fade ...

A very Happy New Year to all and may 2017 be the best so far!
My sister wishes for us to finally win the lottery this year and that sounds like a good plan to me!
But after 'suffering' through 2 weeks of a cold (for both of us) and a terrible migraine a couple of days ago, I'll settle for 'good health', for we are truly nothing without it!

New Years Eve was a quiet one this year. It rained cats and dogs, so we didn't feel the urge to go and look at the bonfire at midnight this year ...
We actually were already asleep around that time although the fireworks woke me up briefly. I was happy to think 'Happy New Year', and turn over to my other side in my warm bed!

The next morning I prepared the dough for the Oliebollen and after an hour of rising, James did an outstanding job, as usual, to bake some especially fine specimen this year!

Normally, we'd watch the Rose-Parade on TV, but since New Year fell on a Sunday this year, it was moved to Monday!
Apparently this custom began in 1893, to avoid riling the horses hitched outside churches and possibly disrupting the services inside.
Very interesting, we never knew about that one!

We had other things to think about though, since due to the excessive rainfall of the last 2 days, the river was rising once again!

There it is creeping up!
After Halloween we had moved to this 'lower' side of the lake since all spaces were booked for the Holidays on the 'high' side.

We actually thought of staying here because we liked having the nicer view of the lake, but when the water started to creep towards the shore we started to rethink this ...

We kept a close eye on the river-stages on the web and when it became obvious we were going to flood, we decided to move our whole shebang to the 'other side' again!

We waited until there was a dry 'window' and managed to pack everything up and set it all up again in about 1 1/2 hours, just before it started to pour again.
We're getting good at this, although it helped of course that we only had to move a short distance and not over the road, so we just threw everything on the back of the truck and didn't have to strap anything down. We even left the awnings out (but down)!

The next day it was dry and I immediately went for a walk to see what 13.7 feet looked like at our 'old' spot ...

Well, ... we would have been floating ....!

The water was still rising and in the end it crested at 15.9 feet!
And since even the high side starts to flood at around 16.5, we were happy to see it finally starting to go down!

Phew, another bullet dodged!
No better time to bake something than after something like this! Well, there's that, and we also ate the last of our Oliebollen ...

I decide to make some Biscotti, one of my favorite coffee-cookies. They are made without butter (good for that New Year's-diet) and are 'twice baked' (as the name says). First you bake the log of dough, than you cut it and bake the slices again.
These were cranberry-white chocolate. M-m good!


I'll end with a few pics of the new spot. We've been close to this site before, just a few over, but this one looks to stay the driest when it rains.
There's a path on one side of us, so no one can park there, although at the moment there's nobody here (and probably not for the next few months) and the whole park is very quiet again.

From where I sit behind my computer I overlook several empty spaces, the play-field behind it and the events pavilion in the distance.

As soon as we put down the mat and 'Merl's personal lawn chair', he was in it, and life was good. He's such a trooper!