Thursday, December 6, 2012

Taking Down Some Trees - Early November, 2012

I have mentioned that we are going to have a parking pad and carport built this winter. In preparation for this, and for several other projects, we hired Fox Tree service to take down a few trees for us.


The guys showed up with this wonderful boom truck and proceeded to safely remove the trees….from the top down. You know……Fred usually cuts down any trees that I want ‘moved’, but these trees were right next to the power line, and too close to the house.


I took this picture from the porch steps looking up the road. We were taking down the group of trees that were right in front of the house, to make room for us to back our cars out of the soon to be carport.


We needed a couple of trees taken down beside the barn, where Fred plans to build  parking platform and cover for the camper.


And, in back of the cabin, we took down a big pine tree that was just too close for comfort in a high wind.


It was much safer to take this big tree down in sections, rather than risk it falling the wrong way and hitting the roof.



Fred worked along with the tree guys, piling limbs and debris on the forks of his tractor…..


And hauling them down the hill. Fred piled the brush high and let it just sit and dry.


After the trees were down and cleaned up, the tree guys ground up the stumps, until you could not tell where they had been.


The guys even ground up a few extra stumps that we had been mowing around for the last year.


The result…..a lighter and brighter look to the front of our cabin, and much needed room to turn the car around.


Dec. 3rd….The brush pile had dried, and the weather was calm and damp with rain forecasted for the next day. Perfect burning weather!


Up it went, in a blaze of glory!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Fall 2012 at the Cabin -

I have been remiss at posting updates…….. Mostly because we have been busy enjoying just being at home. The Fall has been beautiful here in north Louisiana. October saw wonderful Fall color and even a bit of cool weather.


The lovely orange color on the left side of the cabin is a maple, and the red in the front right of the cabin is an oak.


The little dogwood in front of the cabin consistently colors nicely.


We get excited about our Fall leaves even though we do not have the ‘showy’ display that some areas of the country have.


They are a short lived blaze of color……



Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Around The Cabin This Week

Oct 15th-21st, 2012 – It has been a good week around the cabin. A few mornings of cooler (50 degree) mornings, and afternoons in the high 70’s to low 80’s.


It was a good week to get a few projects done and to do some porch sitting and to just appreciate the coming of Fall.


Fred has his wood rack mostly finished. For the roof, he used some of the old tin from the tool shed that we had torn down. I think that it looks nicely ‘aged’ and blends into the edge of the woods. Now, he just needs to fill it up!

While Fred was working on the wood rack, he noticed a buzzing coming from the cherry tree that is just in front and to the right of the rack in the above photo.

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Looking through the binoculars we were able to identify….honey bees! We won’t be able to harvest the honey from the tree, but they will be good for pollinating the garden this next Spring!

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Beauty all around…..the last few roses blooming. The red one is a climbing rose just in the corner of the garden. The small pink ‘Fairy Roses’ are growing on a bush that we planted  from a cutting from one of Fred’s mother’s rose bushes in Baytown, TX. It is pretty hardy and has thrived in the garden despite the drought this Summer.


Red berries on the dogwood tree. They birds will clean them out before Winter.


A few Fall blooms on the azaleas that I planted around the birdbath. These are Encore Azaleas, Autumn Coral, which will have blooms Spring, Summer and Fall.

Saturday evening we were anticipating watching the meteor shower……


So we decided to build a fire to enjoy while we were sitting out and watching the sky.


And a campfire means……a wiener roast!


We enjoyed the hot dogs, and waited until dark….and then some…..We saw a few shooting stars, but not the spectacular display that I had thought that we might see. We were not disappointed, however, it had been too much fun just hanging out.   Besides, we did manage to see a number of bats zooming around just at dusk. We like bats and are glad to know that we have a number in residence. They eat mosquitoes!    : )

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Photographs and Memories - Indian Creek Girl Scout Camp

A couple of weeks ago we took a drive out to Indian Creek Girl Scout Camp.  My sister Joann had left Danny’s old fishing boat out there years ago, and asked us if we could take our truck out to pick it up.  There was a rumor that the camp was going to be sold, and she thought that her son, Matt might like to have the boat. We, of course, said “Yes” and headed out to camp.
We found Danny’s boat right where it was supposed to be….by the lake, well taken care of.
It had been years since we had been out to Indian Creek. The lake and the camp looked good. Walking around the camp brought back so many memories……
Our association with Indian Creek goes back so many years…… Mom had been working with the Girl Scouts, helping to finish some work at Indian Creek.  Mom knew a good thing when she saw it…so she enlisted Fred and Danny to help us girls paint and finish the kitchen and dining hall, and some of the cabins. That was about 1975, the year that Fred and I married.
By 1976 -  Fred was teaching canoeing at the camp. This was way before we had any little Girl Scouts of our own.
All the young girls loved Fred…..Could you blame them?
Walking up from the lake…..seeing the cabins…..
Memories flooded back …..
1989 – Dropping Laura off for her first overnight camp at Indian Creek. Brian, not yet 4 years old, Sarah, 6 years old, Laura 8 years old. Everyone lined up for the picture, so proud of their sister. I remember helping Laura make up her bunk, then it was time to leave….Tough on us….leaving our baby behind…..but she was fine!
Looking out over the lake……Remembering all the Parent’s night programs  we had  watched.
1995 – Sarah on the right, with a favorite counselor - That was just before we moved up to Iowa in August.
1996 – Sarah (13 yr.)  and Laura (15 yr.)  came back to Louisiana for resident camp at Indian creek that first summer that we lived in Iowa. Sarah is standing, left .
1996 – Laura was one of the first groups to use the  ‘primitive camp’ on the far side of the lake. She is far right in this picture.
1996 – In the ‘friendship circle’ saying goodbye at camp. Laura is the one on the left with a cap and back pack.
And so many more times that I don’t have pictures of…..Years of drop offs and pick ups as Laura and Sarah attended resident camp most years. Overnights with our troop, core camp where both Fred and I would teach camp skills, helping Mom, who was the camp nurse check in girls……I could hear the echoes throughout the camp.
2000 – We dropped by to visit the camp while visiting Monroe. It was always a special place for our family. Our friend Carla DeRoos and her son Noah came over from Beaumont, TX to visit, and joined us at camp. In this picture, clockwise – Brian, Sarah, Noah, our nephew, Andy, and niece, Colin enjoy a picnic in the dining hall. Brian and Andy had attended more than their fair share of their sister’s camp activities over the years.  : )
On the steps of the Hillside lodge – Back row - Andy, Brian and Colin, Front row – nephew Spencer and Noah DeRoos.
2002 – Sarah came back to work as a counselor at camp the Summer after her high school graduation. We were living in Baton Rouge at the time.
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2002 – Laura and Brian came out for the final program that Summer.  Laura was visiting from Des Moines, where she was attending Drake University.  It was the last time that we had been out to the camp……
We have so many special memories around Girl Scouting and the camps. So many happy times! This year, Girl Scouting celebrates their 100th anniversary. “Thank You” to all those who have helped make memories……..

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Family and Community …… and New Discoveries

Sunday, Oct 14th- Along with reconnecting to our home, we have been spending time reconnecting with family and our community. We have made a resolution to get together with my mom and sisters on a regular basis. Six months is just too long to be gone! So…I try to have lunch in town with Mom once a week, and then off to whatever ‘excitement’ comes our way.  This past Friday, we went to listen to a speaker at the Sterlington Church of Christ. It doesn’t take much ‘excitement’ for us…...   ; )

We are also enjoying being back with our church community. It feels good to have been missed.  : )  Some of our friends in church have been keeping up with our blog. It is a nice feeling to have had them along with us on this journey.

We have also decided to make as much of an effort to ‘sightsee’ our local area as we do on our travels. Saturday we went in to downtown Monroe for the opening of the River Market. This will be an open air market held every Saturday from 9am-3pm. It is something new for Monroe and it was quite nice. They had several food vendors (we sampled the beignets) and a number of arts and craft vendors. It was not nearly as big as the one in Baton Rouge, or in Oakland, or even in Anchorage, for that matter. But, it is a beginning.

After walking around the River Market, we stopped by the visitors center for Monroe/West Monroe. When we travel, we always stop and pick up visitors information, then do a bit of reading and decide what things are a ‘must see’ in that area. We decided to do the same for our home town. There are so many things, old and new, that we have not seen.

One of the new things in the area is Landry’s Vineyards. They opened about 5 years ago and have been growing some specially developed varieties of grapes for the South. We stopped by on Saturday afternoon to check them out and do a bit of wine tasting. In visiting with the Landry family, we discovered that Jeff Landry was from Lulling, La (as is Fred) and his wife, Libby, is from Des Allemands (where the Perrers are from). It is a small world…..

We are planning to be more home this next year. (That means no long trips planned, at least right now). We will, of course, travel out to see the kids, but have decided to make this a year to sightsee Louisiana. There is much to learn and appreciate right here at home.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Home Things ….and Souvenirs

Oct 13th- One of my favorite things to do….nesting. I am home and enjoying every bit of it! It is wonderful to putter in our home….cleaning, cooking……I have been baking bread (OK, not such a big to-do with the bread machine) and cooking soups, making pizza, and fixing all of our favorite meals. It is fun to be back in my kitchen.   : )

I have also been putting away our travel things and incorporating our ‘souvenirs’ from our travels.

We hung this stained glass in the front window…..



We bought this piece in a shop in Homer, Alaska. It is an amazing 3 dimensional piece with the flower petals and leaves reaching out from the glass. The flower is ‘Fireweed’, a wildflower which we saw in full bloom all over Alaska. Looking at it reminds us of the stunning beauty of the ‘North country’.


And this piece, which we bought in Sitka, Alaska.



I though that it went perfectly in the sunroom.

The coffee mugs we bought and several other pieces of pottery have been put to use. But one of our best souvenirs is the fish that we had shipped home from Valdez. We have, and will, enjoy cooking and eating the wild Alaskan salmon and halibut and think of our ‘adventures’….