Wednesday, October 25, 2017

It's already the end of October and it looks like finally the weather has 'turned the corner'. 
Temperatures are very pleasant during the day, about 70-75 F, and down-right cold during the night at around 50!
I love it! I'm finally able to put my jeans on, (and socks!) and go for wonderful crisp morning walks!
I could do without those monster-spiders everywhere, but oh well, you can't have it all, I guess ...

I've started a fall-table (herfsttafel), bringing back anything 'fall' I can find and displaying it on the table outside.

It's something we used to do when we were young, and it's a fun way to pay attention to the changes in nature during this time. 
(I left the mushroom where it was though, I don't want to disturb or destroy anything just to let it die on the table.)

After quite some weeks of 'staying put', we spent last Saturday at the Washington County Fair, .. sorry, Parish Fair. Here in the south, counties are parishes...

The Fairgrounds in Franklinton are just 19 miles 'down the road' from us, so it took us only about 30 minutes to get there, but than a little longer to find a (free) parking spot within 5 blocks!
It being the last day of the fair, and the weather absolutely gorgeous, we were not the only ones who had this brilliant idea ...

Holy smokes, was it busy!

We strolled the grounds and the exhibits, petted some cows,  drooled over the farm-equipment and listened to some country music ...


Off course we had to have some unhealthy, greasy, high calorie fair-food, of which there fortunately was no shortage of:

James fell for an 'Onion Blossom', we sampled some pork rinds (or was that skin?) and bought some 'boiled peanuts'.

Here in the south they boil their peanuts and I must say, they're not bad. A little soggy for my taste, something I never like in anything, but the taste was good!

Besides all these usual fair ingredients, a truck from Gator Country was set up on the grounds to educate the public about 'gators'.

Featured on the Natural Geographic TV-show 'America the wild', Gator Country is a 15-acre alligator and reptile rescue educational preserve in Beaumont, TX. 

With the rivers around here 'teaming' with these critters it's probably a good thing to be informed about the 'do' and 'don't-s when around them. 
Attacks apparently aren't uncommon, and mainly because people are feeding them, but fatalities are very rare. 
Right. Sure ... good to know ... thanks!

Drawn in by he blasting music and the screaming and yelling of terrified people, we even walked into the 'rides and games' area of the fair, or the 'midway' as such is called. 
Not that we would ever be crazy enough to actually go into/onto one, but just to look at the crazies who do.

I don't think so!

Also located on the fairgrounds, and normally only open to the public on certain days of the week, is the historical Mile Branch Settlement, a pioneer village reconstructed from old cabins that were moved here from locations all over the parish, as a tribute to the pioneering spirit of the Washington Parish residents.

Mainly of Scotch-Irish and German descend, they build their cabins in what became the distinct Appalachian Upland Folk Architecture.
19th Century attired volunteers are re-enacting life in this small settlement as it must have been in those days gone by ..

                                                                                                      The corn mill
This mule is walking his 'rounds' grinding sugar canes

As these villages go, this was quite a nice one, and we spent some time walking through the cabins, sampling 'sassafras' and watching corn being milled and sugar canes being ground and cooked into syrup.
Well, I think that was about all the excitement we had here this week.
Inspired by the pioneering mindset of 'handmade' and 'do-it-yourself', I did some baking of my own, and did away with some over-ripe bananas for a banana-walnut bread.

James continues to work hard ... ahem ... right ... if you say so honey!

Men and their toys. It's a guy thing!

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Sunrise is at the backside of the RV, unfortunately there's a row of pines in the way, but it's still nice ...

I'm very happy at the moment because the temperatures finally dropped a couple of days ago! 
We went from 72F (when getting up) to 58, and the last two mornings even a blessed 52F, to only about 72-75F, instead of 87-88, during the day. 
Even better, the humidity is waaaay down!
It's not going to last very long of course, temps are supposed to be going up later this week, but only around the low 80's. 
So much better!

Now I'm up to date with this blog, I realize I have a lot less to talk about this time. Things are slowly getting into a nice routine once again. 
James goes to work:

They're building a sort of 'Gone-with-the-wind' staircase in the front  ...
It's a lot of work, and in the full sun, so he's happy too with these cooler temps!

For a guy who says he's working hard, I think he has way too much fun though!

Now the blog's done and the RV scrubbed clean inside and out, and the temperatures are finally cool enough, I'm slowly getting back to my daily morning-walks routine to check out the neighborhood.
Although the area immediately around us is woodsy and undisturbed, the land beyond that mainly consists of farmlands.
Oddly enough, besides one dead armadillo, a fast jumping deer, and a handful of squirrels, we have not seen much wildlife. Yet.
All I can find are butterflies, although most of them are gone now it's getting cooler, and dragonflies, like this pretty pink one:

Roseate Skimmer

Now we're in October, I've found some of the trees and plants have gone to 'seed', or nuts, in this case:

And off course I've decorated for Fall!

Decorations, pumpkin cookies and a fall jigsaw-puzzle. 
Yup, it's fall y'all!

Since deer hunting season (archery only) has started again, people are emptying their freezers from last year's catch, and both James' boss and another colleague of him, gave us some ground venison and venison sausage!
Ha! I've never cooked it before! So what does a girl do ... you go on-line and google for recipes!

So far I made: a one-dish skillet of onion, bacon, sausage, Brussels sprouts and sweet potato; a pasta casserole with spicy chili's, tomatoes and lots of mozzarella; spaghetti with venison meatballs and biscuits with venison gravy.
Not bad for a beginner and/but still a pound left!

I think that will do it for this week. Since I started with a sunrise, I'll end with a sunset. Which happens at the front-side of the RV. 
(surprise, surprise, duhh ...)

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Work where you live. Not a bad concept ...

As expected, we ended up in Amite, right next to the B&B that James is working on.
We're halfway behind the barn, in a grassy field, with a good view of the project from my office window.

We have full hook-ups, while plugged into the temporary power of the house, water from the barn and a sewer connection to one of the unfinished RV sites that are located behind the barn.

Here you can see us, just peeping out from behind the barn on the right.

We're looking at a pine forest in the back from where a small path leads to the house. Not too bad of a commute!

James has been working full steam since we arrived. The project is a couple of months behind and they're working 5 to 6 days of 10 hours a week, trying to catch up!

Among other things he has been working on this small roof above the garage doors, and some 'fake' shutters, 4 of them, at the face of the house.

Although it's already October it is still very warm and very humid out there, when he comes in for lunch he is  soaked in sweat and has to change his shirt.
I don't envy him!
That being said, I too have a little job. I clean up behind these guys, mainly sweeping the floors, driveway and porches a couple of times a week to get rid of nails, sawdust and any other debris.
I get paid too. Yahoo, finally earning my keep around here!

As you can see in the picture above, the B&B, and us, are surrounded by, very wild, meadows. And up until recently, butterflies were everywhere!
I braved the heat one day to snap some photos:

Gulf Fritllary

A Checkered Skipper and below it a Pearl Crescent, a Long-tailed Skipper in the middle, a Northern Cloudywing and a Common Buckeye.

And this yellow beauty is a Southern Dogface.

With butterflies come caterpillars of course.I don't know the one the left but the right one is from the Common Buckeye.

And the temperatures might still be of the charts and the humidity high, but I found the first signs of fall!
Look at these cute 'shrooms'. Yeah! It's going to happen!
Soon ... if only that humidity would come down ...

Oh, and than there was Nate! As in Hurricane Nate!
New Orleans was supposed to be hit, although it's path looked to favor the east side.

We had the TV on all day and when it was clear it wouldn't be much of a hurricane any more when it would arrive in our area, we felt confident that we were going to be OK if we stayed put.
We made some preparations, as in getting our groceries a day early and fueling up the truck. We also filled a couple of cans for the generator, and moved the truck in position so we could hook it up quickly if needed.

After all that, it missed us completely! Nate came in even more east than expected and made landfall in Biloxi, Mississippi, the next state over.
Not too far from us, but we didn't have any wind whatsoever and only half an hour of light rain.
That was all. Which was totally fine of course!

After all that, it missed us completely! Nate came in even more east than expected and made landfall in Biloxi, Mississippi, the next state over.
Not too far from us, but we didn't have any wind whatsoever and only half an hour of light rain.
That was all. Which was totally fine of course!

To be continued ... hopefully soon ...