"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime"-MARK TWAIN

Sunday, November 27, 2011

What a Thanksgiving!


Wow! It is Sunday evening, after Thanksgiving weekend.  It has been quite a Holiday.  No pictures were taken to record all the events that took place, but the images will remain in our memories forever.

Our friends from Memphis which we balloon with arrived Wednesday pulling their 38’ Sundowner horse trailer.  Now you have to understand that this trailer has never see a horse, and has fantastic living quarters in the front two thirds.  The horse area is home to all the stuff which makes traveling with two balloons and associated equipment possible.

They attempted to get a reservation at a nearby state park but weren’t successful.  As there was no way they could maneuver such a trailer and tow down our driveway, we made arrangements with our good neighbor for them to park near his barn.  Even getting it parked there was somewhat of a challenge, but it was accomplished.  The balance of Wednesday was spent visiting and enjoying a supper of homemade lasagna.

Thursday found all of us traveling up to my old family stomping grounds, and having Thanksgiving dinner with between twenty or thirty other family and friends. Turkey, dressing, dumplings, ham, etc.  You get the picture. Arrived back home around dusk and everyone collapsed into recliners until bedtime, which came real early.

Friday morning we had a small community breakfast at our home.  Biscuits, bacon, jams and jellies, butter, molasses, drinks, etc..  That carried us over till the big game, LSU/ARK, kicked off.  Then it was snacks during the game, which came out as hoped. GEAUX TIGERS!!!!  Friday night found us driving to a nearby town to feast on some great seafood.

Saturday found us taking them to New Orleans for the day.  Someone had told them about a small restaurant, Mothers, which was to have the best poboy in Nawlins.  Don’t know about that, but they were pretty good.  My recommendation is the “debris” poboy with a side of crawfish etouffee. We did a little of the tourist thing with them around Jackson Square and the French Quarter.  Arrived back home in time for the EGG BOWL, Ole Miss/Miss State.  Another game that came out to our liking.

Today, Sunday, found us all attending church, having a farewell lunch, and getting them on their way home.  It had rained all night and there was some concern about getting the trailer out of its spot.  Turned out it was easier getting out than in.  They were on the road by 1PM.

Wanda and I spent the balance of the afternoon just sitting and napping through a couple of football games.  It was a great four days with the best friends anyone could wish for.  Now it’s time to try and work off all those calories we have consumed.  Will be doing a little carpentry work the next few days, so that should help as long as I ignore those leftovers in the refrigerator. 

Hope everyone reading this had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I know we did.  Until next time………jc

Friday, November 18, 2011

Fall Fishing Trip

001 (Large)

My brother received a call last weekend from a cousin that lives on the Trinity river in East Texas.  He said the catfish were still biting, which is rare this time of year.  It is usually cold and rainy by the time November gets here.  We called up another friend and  left Tuesday morning for Liberty, TX.  After a quick stop at Walmart to renew our out of state licenses, we hit the river.  The Fall colors along the Trinity were fantastic.

014 (Large)013 (Large)

We got the lines baited up and headed back to town for the evening.  Wednesday morning found us on the river early to see what kind of luck we had.  It was still quite cool, but I finally got a smile from the crew.

010 (Large)005 (Large)

Yours truly at the helm.

009 (Large)

First one of the day.

011 (Large)

Just what we came for.

017 (Large)

Some were wanting to get caught so bad, they went to extreme measures to get in the boat.  Struck at the bait, missed, and hooked itself in the tail.

022 (Large)

First basket on the hill for cleaning.

024 (Large)028 (Large)

After about three hours of hard work, this is what the results were.

032 (Large)

A chest full of filets to take home for a family and friends fish fry, and

034 (Large)

around four pounds of catfish tenderloins which are about to be cooked up right there on the riverbank.  First came the fries, followed by the fish that was swimming in the river a few hours earlier.

041 (Large)044 (Large)

First batch out of the pot.

048 (Large)

You just can’t wait for it all to get done before fixing a plate. Don’t want it to get cold is always a great excuse.

049 (Large)

Then it was back on the river to bait the lines for another nights fishing.  As you can see, it was hard to stay awake after consuming enough fresh catfish to feed three normal people.

050 (Large)

As a cold front had moved through Wednesday, the catch dropped off dramatically Wednesday night.  That wasn’t a bad thing.  We had plenty of fish to take back home, so we picked up the lines and then headed East.  Good Lord willing, we’ll be back on the Trinity next Spring when the fishing is GOOD! 

Overall, a great week, though the Casita is still under the shed and the tires are probably getting flat spots.  That’s what I tell Wanda, anyway.

Wishing everyone a great Thanksgiving week.  Hope all get to spend time with family and friends at this special time of the year…..jc

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Sun sets on another week


DSCN0553 (Large)

Pretty routine week around the home place.  Can’t even remember what we did Monday.  Tuesday was election day for all out local and state offices, as well as 3 initiatives.  Glad it’s all over.  The ads on TV and radio, as well as the newspapers, were getting old.

  There were a couple of examples of how every vote counts.  Our incumbent sheriff only won by a couple hundred votes and a Justice Court Judge seat in a county nearby was won by only 1 vote. I would hate to know that I had intended to vote for the loser, but didn’t make it to the polls for whatever reason.

Received a call from a friend Tuesday night telling me he had found a Casita for sale.  He wanted to know if we could go and look at it with him and his wife on Wednesday. We agreed and had a fun day, which ended with him bringing it home. I think he made a pretty good deal. Look out Alaska!

Thursday found me up country helping my brother install storm doors on the houses we built the last two years.  Nothing too technical, just lots of parts to assemble in the correct order.  We didn’t have to take the first one apart but twice, before reading all the directions and getting it right.

Friday we met friends for coffee and then returned home.  It was a bright, sunny day so I thought I would  pressure wash the two concrete porch’s and the carport before Winter arrived.  Now for the RANT.

I wish whoever invented ethanol had never come up with a use for it.  And I wish the politicians that passed the laws which made it a part of our gasoline were all defeated, and that law repealed tomorrow.  For those of us that try and maintain homes, and still use mowers, trimmers, blowers, chain saws, etc; the stuff’s a disaster.  It destroys small engines.  I spent over three hours trying to start my pressure washer. Had to take apart the carburetor three times before getting it started.  All kinds of crud in it. Only one and a half years old. Last used 6 months ago.  I always use a fuel stabilizer, but it doesn’t help much with the ethanol blends. Needless to say, I didn’t get all the job done.

As far as today, not much happening.  Went to a birthday party for some grand nephews this morning and watching football the balance of the day.  We’ll see if next week brings more excitement…….jc

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Homework, and Fall down South.


One of the first things I had to do after returning home was to cut down some large pines.  They were struck by lightning during a July 4th. thunderstorm.  The bolt jumped from one to another, actually leaving a streak on 3 different trees.  Since that time those three, along with one more which didn’t have any outward signs of the strike, died. They were about twenty feet from our bedroom, so there was no way I could let them fall naturally.

008 (Large)

Though we live in the Piney Woods, there are just enough hardwoods scattered around to give us a feeling of Fall.  The colors are there, just a vivid as in North Carolina or Tennessee.  You just have to look for them.

2011-11-06 (Large)

A walk down our lane in the middle of the day is delightful this time of year.

2011-11-061 (Large)

We’re fortunate to live on a small country road which has very little traffic.  Matter of fact, a strange vehicle driving by is going to be the subject of conversation as to who it might be and where they are going.

 2011-11-062 (Large)

This is my favorite time of the year.  Cool temperatures, blue skies, color in the trees, flowers trying to put on one last show before Jack Frost nips them.

2011-11-063 (Large)

Even the pines attempt to put on a change, but never seem able to pull it off.

038 (Large)

Sally also enjoys this time of year.  There’s nothing that equals lying in the sun, surveying your kingdom.

046 (Large)

Life is Good, and we should be thankful…………………….jc

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Home Again!

We arrived back home late Sunday afternoon after approximately 5 of the last six weeks on the road.  It was good to see the old homeplace again.  Found everything as we left it, which is a concern these days.

Though we have been fortunate to attend the balloon festival in Albuquerque, with over 600 balloons launching and flying within minutes of each other.

And all the special shapes which make you ask: How does it fly, and how many crew does it take?

There's nothing better than getting together with good friends, good weather, a couple of balloons; and just having a good time.  From releasing the piball, which tells us the direction and approximate speed of the wind;

To seeing a good friend who has never experienced the feeling of free flight in a wicker basket, going wherever the wind has a mind to take her, hoping her crew will be there in time to help on her return to mother Earth; 

It doesn't get any better!

  We are thankful to dear friends who allow us to be a part of the fun year after year.  By allowing us to share the joy with other friends is beyond measure.  To hear someone say that they wrote five pages in their journal, more than they had ever written before, on the experience is just awesome. Hopefully we can help in sharing the fun with others in the future.