Wednesday, November 29, 2017

I really had nothing to talk about last week so I skipped the blog (..gasp..!), and there wouldn't have been much more this time around either, if it didn't happen to be Thanksgiving last Thursday.
Phew, thank goodness ... saved by the turkey!

So, here you have it. A typical Hess Thanksgiving ...

We started the food-fest .. eh, I mean thanksgiving day ... with (Californian) Eggs Benedict and Martinelli's, followed by coffee with Pumpkin Cheesecake, while watching the Macy's Parade and working on a jig-saw puzzle.
There's no Thanksgiving (in James' book) without Deviled Eggs, so I made a bunch to munch on for lunch, together with some crackers and the classic 'cheese-ball', :


After which it was time to stretch our legs and walk off some calories ...

I'm still on the look-out for those fall colors, but due to the dry summer and warm fall, leaves are 'just' falling and not turning. Ba-humbug!

Well, yes, I found a few!


While the turkey (parts) was cooking (30 minutes in my instant Pot) we watched the Purina dog show we recorded earlier.
I love watching this show and picking my own favorite and I never would have guessed this year's winner ... Newton, the Brussels Griffon, won best in show!

 Yup, definitely a 'Chewbacca look-a-like':

And than it was time for the Turkey! I made a couple of drumsticks and a turkey-breast roast and they came out very good. Only 30 minutes in the instant pot and next year I think I'll go even shorter (20-25 minutes), they were almost too well done. 
Of course we had James mom's overnight salad, as well as stuffing, (sweet) mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and gravy!

Cheers! To another great year!

Needless to say, I over-ate, and so did somebody else ... turkey, as you might know, is his cryptonite!

Thanksgiving also marks our RV-ing anniversary, since we started our adventure a couple of days before this day, in 2010!
Wow, seven years, can you believe it? 

OK. What else? Work, yes. A LOT of work!
Everything is  sort-of 'coming together' right now and we have soooo many people working here at the moment. It's like Grand Central Station!
There's James, of course, and his crew ...

James staining the columns

And there's painters, tilers, electricians, plumbers, floor people, elevator people, granite people, kitchen people, people installing shelves, etc etc etc ....

I'm still cleaning windows, on the outside this time, and this afternoon I'll do a big sweep, when the floor covers will come off after the painters leave. 
So, yeah, no wonder we're not doing much else, it's really 'crunch-time' at the moment and all hands on deck!

We try to take time to relax though, like happy hour outside, especially now the weather has turned from very cool (almost freezing at night!) to rather balmy again, around 77 during the day.

This picture above is from 2 weeks ago when it was still light at 5pm, but now it's practically dark around that time!

Well, it's time to end this episode, so 'hasta la vista', and until next week!

Thursday, November 16, 2017

An 'old' bird picture of somewhere earlier this summer. 
Isn't he cute and fluffy one?

I've been waiting for something interesting to happen this week to blog about, but even though I'm now a day late with my 'weekly' update, I'm afraid I've got nothing to write about.
Just a lot of the same ol'-same ol' ...

We ARE working hard of course.
James asked me if I could help washing a few windows, please? Sure, no problem ... how bad could it be?


Ha, that bad!

And those are only the front ones on the second floor. I also did the ones in the back and than there were just as many on the first floor!
(OK, I'll have to admit I didn't do all of them, James did the ones at the top, since I'm not too good with heights).

James keeps having fun with his toys:

(Doesn't that exhaust-pipe 'thingy' on the front of this machine look like some sort of animal? It scared the bejezus out of me one evening when I looked at it one evening after dark!)

We did finish the 'dog-kennel into cat-cage' conversion.

His royal highness was not amused, but it will keep him safe during the day when we leave, or entertained at night when he likes to look out into the darkness ...

Last Thursday was the 11th of November, the day St. Martin died.
St. Martin of Tours, a revered European saint was known for his kindness to strangers (and children) and was said to once share half of his (red) robe with a half naked beggar as depicted in this old dutch painting by Antoon van Dijck:

Not much of a 'thing' here in the US but in Holland this day is celebrated in the evening when children up to the age of 11 or 12 (primary school age) go door to door as soon as it gets dark,with hand-crafted lanterns made of hollowed-out sugar beet or, more recently, paper, singing songs, hoping to receive candy in return, similar to Halloween.

Look, I found this cute picture of my little sister and me on St Martin's eve in 1965!

Our only 'outing' this week, was to the grocery store in Amite and before that we had dinner at La Carreta, a downtown Mexican restaurant.  

Wherever we are, we like to eat the 'local' food, which down here is Cajun or creole, but we just had a craving for Mexican, which we used to eat a lot in California en Texas.
Besides the quaint Mexican atmosphere, the food was also really good. 
We'd ordered shrimp and Mahi ceviche, which is a fish dish where the fish is 'cooked' in lime and lemon juice and which is served cold, as a salad:

(The acid from the limes and lemons change the structure of the proteins in the fish, essentially “cooking” the fish without using heat.)
We also had an order of Chili Relleno with rice and refried beans :

I think this was the best Chili Relleno I ever had! A huge roasted poblano chile in a nice egg batter and just oozing lots and lots of cheese! Yummm!

Well, I think these were the 'highlights' of this week. As I said, not much going on, but that's not always a bad thing ...

See y'a next week!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

We've had some beautiful foggy mornings lately. 
It makes for nice pictures, if you're up early, which I am because of the hour we 'fell back' last weekend....

Unfortunately, it always 'burns off' and has left us with some nasty, muggy, warm days. 
The temps are way too high for November and the nights are also not cooling down much, so we're rather uncomfortable, and have the ACs still going all the time. 
No need for our flannel sheets yet either!

Last Saturday we checked out part of the 15-Mile Yard Sale in the Husser/Wilmer area, which happens to be in our neck-of-the-woods. 
Held every year on the first Saturday in November, this Community day event draws hundreds of people all hunting for 'other man's trash'. 

The guys at the fire station made some excellent gumbo and jambalaya!

We scored a dog kennel. Not that we have a dog, but we're going to take it apart to create a cat-fence ...

Somewhat like this:

When we're somewhere where we feel it is safe enough we have no problems leaving Merlin outside (with access to the bay) when we leave for a couple of hours,  but when we're traveling and don't know the area, we don't take that risk and lock him in.
This way he might have somewhat of a whiff of the outside and still be safe. 

Our other hope is that he won't wake us up so early in the morning because he wants to go outside, when he can sit in the bay and look out this way ... yeah, wishful thinking ...

There's been a lot of activity around the B&B this week. James is working on handrails:

And the excavators are moving dirt from one end of the property, where the pond is going to be, to the other end, behind the B&B, to raise the backyard.
They're also creating another excess road, which makes for a lot of coming and going of heavy traffic behind the RV ...

As I've said before, Merlin loves trucks and has no problem with them driving very close by his chair. 
Being deaf has his advantages, although it also means that I have to keep a close eye on him, since he's so curious he'll see no harm in sitting in their pathway!

We bought him a new toy, by the way. Not that he's at all appreciative off course!

Since, like most cats, he loves to drink from the faucet, and wants us to turn it on whenever he feels like it, we thought to give him his own. This (electric) water fountain, on a continuous loop, splashes a small waterfall in a bowl. 
Do you think he has drank from it yet? Nooo, of course not, why would ya! One time, when James turned it off, he drank from the bowl. Right, big deal. Oh well ...

OK, there you have it folks. Another week gone and done. 
Only 2 weeks until Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday of the year!

Here's a shot of Saturday's full moon. It was a bit of a spooky one with the fog starting to come in!

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

On my morning walk

Another week gone and we're in November already!
We had a cold spell for most of the week, temperatures in the 30s and 40s at night and barely 60 during the day! 
The roof of the B&B looked frosty in the morning and we've wrapped our water hose in foam so it won't freeze on us.

I love my morning walks in this cool, crisp air. It's beautifully sunny and the skies are so blue:

Still no fall colors to speak of though, even the Liquid-Amber are still green, but more and more mushrooms are popping up ...

And some bright red berries ...

And I think this is a Red Tailed Hawk. 
He wasn't too sure about me ...

Other than that, this was a very quiet week, I don't have much to tell at all.
We've scouted out Amite City, the nearest town, for restaurants and, most import, donut shops. It turns out they have three! 
This is inside Coopers Bakery:

Not a bad selection!

We try to limit ourselves to only one donut a week (200-400 calories, yikes!), but for the rest of the week I made some scones with chocolate chips (Great value ready-mix and only 90 cal): 

I'm totally going to make these again, they were sooo good!
I've also been working on this:

What the heck? Well, this is a Charkha. It is used to spin cotton and comes from India. 
I've wanted one like forever but they're around $120! I finally 'scored' this one on E-bay for $50!
They come in 2 sizes, a smaller book-size and a larger box- or briefcase-size, this is the latter:

It was Mahatma Gandhi who brought the charkha into wider use with his teachings. He hoped the charkha would assist the people of India achieve self-sufficiency and independence, and therefore used the charkha as a symbol of the Indian independence movement and included it on earlier versions of the Flag of India.

Made out of whatever (cheap) materials that are on hand in India, most of them are rather on the 'rough' side so I took some time to spiff mine up a little with some sanding, staining and oiling ...

It's almost done and I can't wait to try to spin on it! I've heard it is not the easiest wheel to master but I'll give it my best!

The B&B is coming along, but is still not anywhere near being finished. This week a lot of different crews are working on it at the same time; painters, tilers, electricians, cabinet installers, carpenters and James' crew who is working on the decks.

Makes for a lot of 'traffic' as you can see.

I love this! A lot of stuff going on, people to watch, things to see and than in the evening everybody leaves and it's so nice and quiet and peaceful here ...!

OK, that's about it, I think. 
Come to think of it, one disadvantage of not being at a campground is that we miss out on all activities and events, like last year's Halloween at Hidden Oaks.
Oh well, you can't have it all ... 

Anyway, Happy Halloween from Southern Louisiana, where trick-and-treating can be 'tricky'!