Today’s view of the pond

Rain moved in today and took the heat with it.  I’m good with that.  I wasn’t ready for 80 degree days just yet.

I finally got out to look at the asparagus yesterday.  Geez Louise!  Not only did the spears spring up out of the ground while we were gone, but a lot of them are about 2 feet high.  Too late to cut and eat.  That’s okay.  Most of the advice on growing asparagus recommends waiting until the third year to start harvesting it.  This is year two.

I’ll be back soon with more from New Orleans.

Smooth trip home

(Yesterday’s sunset.  All photos © 2009 by Robin)

M and I are back in the Bogs where all seems well.  The kitties survived and are currently giving me the evil eye for leaving them with the petsitter for 8 days.  I imagine they’ll find ways to repay me over the next 24 hours.  That’s the way of it with cats.  I feel lucky if they get it out of their systems within 24 hours.

The trees are getting ready to burst out in leaves.  Some of the flowering trees are doing just that — flowering.  The daffodils are almost finished for the season and the tulips seem to be at their peak.  Dandelions have sprung up all over, leaving a carpet of yellow across the fields.  The temperature when we landed in Cleveland was 88°F.  That’s hotter than it got in New Orleans the entire time we were down there.  It’s a drier heat here, for now.

Interesting coincidence:  The weather here on Sunday when we arrived home was the same in terms of temperature and winds as it was in New Orleans the Saturday we arrived there.

(Today’s view of the pond.)

I finally got my first look at Madison Grace yesterday via photos emailed to me.  She is, as expected, gorgeous!  I can’t wait to meet her.  M and I are going down there this weekend to do just that.  We’ll also get a chance to watch Miss Emma as she plays soccer and takes swim lessons.  I’m really looking forward to it.

I’ve been sorting through all the photos I took in New Orleans (the grand total, for inquiring minds that want to know, was 692) in between unpacking and doing laundry.  It’s so nice outside that I hope to get out to the garden soon.  I’m waiting for the UPS guy to show up with a package and then I’m outta here for a while.

In the meantime, and while I’m waiting, I might as well get started writing about our New Orleans adventures.

(Bourbon Street during the day.)

We arrived in New Orleans on Saturday, April 18, around 10:30 in the morning.  M had called the day before to see if we could check in at our hotel early.  He was told that if a room was ready, we could.  Unfortunately, a room wasn’t ready.  However, Mr. Stanley (who I think might be the manager) did suggest we leave our luggage with him so we could go out and explore a little.  He also offered to phone us when the room was ready.  So we dumped our bags and set out for the French Quarter which was only a few blocks from where we were staying.

(Still on Bourbon Street.)

It was a hot and humid day.  As you can see from the photos, it was also overcast.  Even so, I managed to get sunburnt.  It didn’t occur to me when I was getting ready to leave home to put on sunscreen.  It was cold and cloudy here in the Bogs.  Sunscreen just doesn’t come to mind under those conditions.   It was also dark.  I was up at 3:30am to get ready to go to the airport in Cleveland.  My mind isn’t at its sharpest at 3:30am.

(More of Bourbon Street and the strip clubs.)

Bourbon Street and the French Quarter were a bit of a shock to my system.   The French Quarter Festival was just getting revved up for the day, and people were beginning to pour into the French Quarter.  I was on sensory overload by the end of the day, most of that due to being tired from the very early morning wake-up and the traveling.  There were so many sights, sounds, smells, and people.  It was hard to take it all in at first.

The streets look relatively empty in the photos I’ve posted so far.  They seemed more crowded to me at the time.  Later in the day I was to learn that the traffic was very light during the beginning of our walk through the French Quarter.

Our first order of business was to find lunch.  We decided on The Old Coffee Pot.  The food listed on the menu sounded good and the place was packed with people.  I wish I’d taken some photos while we were there as it’s an interesting place.  I especially liked the courtyard area.  We were seated inside, looking out at the street.  I had a peek at the courtyard while searching for the loo.

The food was good.  M had a crawfish po’boy and I had red beans and rice with some of the best andouille I’ve ever tasted.  The red beans and rice needed some spicing up, but that’s what the big bottle of hot sauce on the table is for.  The wait staff aren’t assigned tables at the Old Coffee Pot which makes it seem chaotic at first, but somehow it all works out.  We learned that the wait staff are also known for their attitude.  It was a fun place and if I hadn’t been feeling so tired and crabby at the time, I probably would have enjoyed it more.  There was a big party of already fairly drunk people sitting behind us, being pretty rowdy.  The waitress seemed to be enjoying herself when she gave them a hard time about not tipping enough.  I suspect it’s a game they play often as after some bantering back and forth, they gave her another $10 and one of the guys in the group commented, “This is why I love coming to this place.”

(St. Peter Street)

By the time we finished lunch, the streets were really beginning to fill up with people and the sounds of music were drifting through the air.  The French Quarter Fest was getting into full swing.  M had a schedule with him so we set out to see and hear some of the bands playing at the various stages.

(Rouses Market at St. Peter and Royal.)

If you look closely at the bottom left of the above photo, you’ll see a woman standing outside selling muffulettas and a small variety of fruit and veggies.  I almost bought a muffuletta from her the next day, but decided to wait and have one later in the week.

(Rouses Stage on Royal Street.)

The French Quarter Festival is a free musical event.  They have about a dozen or so stages set up throughout the French Quarter on Bourbon Street, Royal Street, Jackson Square, Preservation Hall, and along the riverfront.  There are over 90 food and drink booths set up in Jackson Square and along the riverfront where you can sample some of New Orleans diverse and delicious cuisine.

The kids pictured above were pretty good.  We stopped to listen to them on our way to another stage.

(Back on Bourbon Street.)

Well, the UPS guy finally arrived bearing the expected package.  I’m going to head outside for a while, have a look around at all that’s been going on while we were away.  There may even be some asparagus spears ready for picking.

I’ll be back with more sometime soon.

Jazz Fest — Day 2

M and I had a great time at Jazz Fest yesterday.  I have lists of all the good food and fantastic music we indulged in, but a thorough write-up will have to wait until we return home.

We’re heading out for day 2 of Jazz Fest in a little while.    We’re split between which closing acts to see:  Wilco or Erykah Badu.  The other two choices we considered, for those inquiring minds that want to know, are James Taylor or Johnny Winter.  I think we’re going to split up.  I’ll go listen to Erykah Badu and M will go for Wilco.

The weather has been sunny, hot and humid.  Fortunately, it’s also been windy.  The breeze helps.  A lot.  So do the misting tents.  As someone who wasn’t born for hot weather, I’m a big fan of the misting tents.  Whoever came up with that idea was one smart cookie.  Not only do they cool you off when you’re hot, apparently they do double duty in that they fan the flames of passion.  Saw more than one couple making out in the misting tent as if they were in the shower.

Good for them.

We’ll be heading home tomorrow.  I’m going to need a week’s vacation.  We’ve managed to pack a lot into each and every day we’ve been here and I’m on the verge of complete and utter exhaustion.  I’m pretty sure I’ve put back on some weight, too.  There’s a lot of delicious food here in New Orleans.  Oh well.  I’ll just have to rev up the exercise routine when we get home.

Big Announcement

M and I are happy to announce the birth of our new granddaughter, Madison Grace.  She was born today around 3:00pm (3:03, I think, but I was so excited about the news that I promptly forgot all the details).

I’m sorry we’re so far away and won’t be able to meet and greet the newest addition to our clan, but very happy that all went well, Madison and her mom are doing well.  Madison wasn’t due to make her entrance into the world until May 1st.  Looks like she decided sooner would be better.

Happy Birthday, Madison Grace!

In other news…

M and I are still having a grand time in New Orleans.  I’ve been taking notes and will write all about it when we return home and get settled in again.

Tomorrow we’re going to Jazz Fest.


Having fun

After a brief bout of tummy troubles, I seem to be back to normal.  I’m not sure what hit me.  Probably too much food.  I’ve been on the Healthy Living Path for so long that all this rich food might be wreaking some havoc on my body.

I’m really enjoying New Orleans.  I went on a walk about the French Quarter for a few hours today just to take a bunch of photos.  I also checked out the riverfront area to see the Mississippi and to walk along the Moonwalk.  M and I were out there on Saturday evening during the French Quarter Fest, but it was so jammed with people that I couldn’t really get a good idea of what it looked like.  Plus I was busy people watching and listening to music.

The weather is warming up again.  It’s sunny and in the 80’s with the humidity making a comeback after yesterday’s cool down.  I think late afternoons are going to be rest periods for me from here on out.  I’m not used to this kind of heat.  A good example:  Saturday evening when we were walking along the riverfront area, I heard a mother say to her children, “Come on.  Let’s go.  It’s gettin cold out here.”  I was sweating something fierce from both the heat and the humidity.  The children didn’t want to leave and she shooed them on a little further by saying, “I didn’t bring jackets for ya’all and I don’t want you gettin sick.  Let’s go.”

It was near 80 degrees.  Windy and cloudy, but still.  Close to 80  At least mid to upper 70’s.  I know it’s crazy, but anything over 70 seems like a major heatwave to me.

Hopefully M and I will get to go out and have some fun and dinner this evening.  Because I was experiencing those tummy troubles, I didn’t feel like eating dinner.  Poor M didn’t get much of a dinner either.  A slice of pizza we picked up on our way back to the hotel when I decided I couldn’t eat and needed to get back, and some stuff from the vending machine when that proved to be not enough.

Greetings from New Orleans

M and I are in New Orleans, having a great time.  The weather has been fine, we’ve been busy, and I’ll have lots to write about when we return home.  Plenty of photos to display, too.

I’m really liking New Orleans.  We went to the French Quarter Festival over this past weekend and will be attending the Jazz Fest next weekend.

Laissez les bons temps rouler.

Tired eyes

(Bales of hay at sunset.  Photo © 2006-2009 by Robin)


My computer is alive.

But not necessarily well.  The main problem, the one which caused the computer to forget I have a c: drive (the main hard drive), turned out to be a loose wire.  Or something of that nature.  M tried a variety of things before he physically removed the main hard drive and the back-up hard drive, and then replaced them one by one.  The problem that turned out the lights so to speak has been resolved.

There are other problems that are yet to be resolved.  Problems that have been going on for about a month now.  Problems that require time and attention.  So, okay.  You got my attention, computer.  I’m working on it.  But seriously, dude, I need a break.

My poor, hard-working computer is in need of a thorough rehaul and that means I have to make sure I have everything I want to keep backed up.  I regularly do that sort of thing with my photos.  I don’t regularly do that sort of thing with other stuff.  With two back-up hard drives filled to capacity, I have to weed things out.  Or find another means of backing up my schtuff.

That has led to me spending the day going through the ridiculous number of photos I’ve taken since the gift of the digital camera.  It’s hard.  I find myself having some attachment to even the really bad photos.  That’s especially true when it comes to photos of my granddaughter, the Exquisite E.  Just imagine what’s going to happen when my new granddaughter arrives in May.  (She will be known as the Magnificent M, in case you want to know.)

It’s kind of cool, going through all those photos.  Seeing time, seeing change.  If I wasn’t so tired I would tell you about all the things I’ve observed over the course of the past 3-4 years.  Well, maybe not.  That might require a novel-sized blog post and who wants to read a novel-sized blog-post?  Most people want to wiz on by as fast as they can because these days we have lots to do and no time to do it all.

Computers.  The time-saving devices of the future have failed all expectations of the past.  My computer isn’t one bit time-saving.  I don’t know about your computer but mine has become the time-stealing device of my life.  That’s one of the reasons I resist the invitations to other time-thieves.  I’ve had numerous invitations to FaceBook and LinkedIn.  I am not going to link to them.  Find them on your own if you’re not already aware of them and their place in cyberspace.  They don’t need me to advertise for them.

For now, I refuse to be drawn further into the time-stealing of the internet.  It’s enough to keep up with two blogs that I often want to merge into one but haven’t found a way to do so and maintain the integrity and purpose of both.  It’s enough to try to keep up with email.  (Those of you who know me, know that I’m horrible about email no matter how many resolutions I make to improve.)

I’m trying to find ways to scale back, to spend less time with this thief of time.  Thank you to those of you who have issued the invitations to FaceBook and LinkedIn and other social networking sites, but I will have to respectfully decline for now.  Unless, you know, you want to hire someone to take care of some of my other responsibilities in life, thereby freeing me up…

Never mind.  Those other responsibilities in life ARE life.  I may not always appreciate them as such, but it’s true.  As the Zen saying goes:

Before enlightenment: Chop wood, haul water.
After enlightenment: Chop wood, haul water.