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’….

Monday, October 15, 2012

Settling In–Projects At The Cabin

I can’t believe that we have been home 3 weeks! It seems like both forever and no time at all! Time is different ‘on the road’ where every few days you are discovering a new place. Over the course of a week, we might have traveled 500 miles or so and seen so many new places and things. It makes a week seems so significant. Here at home, we move to a different pace.

Our days have a rhythm that shapes the week. We are early risers and often sit on the porch swing and sip our coffee while watching the day begin.


It is a ‘magic’ time where you might see any number of creatures……


It is also the time that, inevitably, our minds wander over each of the kids…..How they are, what they are doing, how blessed we are to have each of them (and now our sons and daughter-in-law) enriching our lives. Our ‘coffee time’ is a ritual that we try never to skip!

7 AM sees us heading to the gym Mon – Fri. Home about 9 AM, breakfast, then on to the days activities.

Fred’s first job had been to cut up the oak tree which had fallen over. This is in the area just past the fire ring.


So much good firewood!


Which brings us to Fred’s next project….a wood rack. Stacking the wood on the ground leads to rot and waste of the bottom row. This wood rack, built down the hill at the edge of the woods, will keep the logs off the ground and will have a roof over it to keep the rain out. It is great to have a 4 wheel drive truck which will make it up and down the hill. Fred just loaded the lumber and drove it down, then loaded up his tools (generator and all) and used the truck for a work station. Nifty!


I stayed busy with planting projects…..Pansies in pots…..


Azaleas in the front flower bed to replace those that had not survived the Summer, And ‘Cast Iron’ plants along the back of the cabin. These are shade tolerant and draught resistant…….tough as cast iron. I’ll see if they can survive me….


Fred took it on himself to weed out the garden - it needed it! He planted several rows of cool weather greens – lettuce, spinach, etc. Here, we can grow cool whether crops almost all winter. We REALLY missed having a garden…..

We also decided to move forward on a project that we had been thinking about for several years…..adding a carport along the west side of the cabin. We measured and laid out the ‘outline’, then moved the cars into position to better visualize this addition.


This project would first start with putting in a retaining wall and bringing in quite a bit of fill dirt to create a parking pad. This is the part of the project where we would both get ‘stuck’, but we found someone to come out and work up an estimate for us. We’ll see how it goes….

And, not to forget the Airstream…..


We finished unloading everything, and cleaned out the ENTIRE inside. I wiped out cabinets and drawers and wiped down the walls. Dust had gotten EVERYWHERE from driving on those gravel roads. Fred washed the whole outside….roof and all…..now it sparkles. We have a few repairs to tend to, and new tires to get before we take it back out on the road. For now, though, it is content to just sit and settle in…..

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Too Short a Visit…….

Sept 28th – 30th – Brian and Rebekah came for a visit! They are living in Tampa, Florida, and are now settled into an apartment which will allow dogs. So….they drove up as soon as they could to pick up Jade. They had really missed her….and boy, did she miss them!


Tampa is a 14 hour drive to Farmerville, so I was surprised to see them at 5pm on Friday. They had left at 3 am so that they could get in early.   : ) 

Saturday, we drove into Monroe to visit my mother and sisters and other family. We had a wonderful lunch and visit at Gram’s.  My sister, Missy, was there as well as our niece, Colin, who is in college at Louisiana Tech. Brian and Bekah, who both graduated from LA Tech, enjoyed comparing notes with Colin over teachers and classes.

After lunch, we stopped by another sister, Sally’s, house to visit. Always good to catch up with Sally and Tracy, and good for Brian and Bekah to get to visit with their cousins, Spencer and Claire.

Sally and Tracy showed us all around their new ‘shop’ which they are building a in their back yard. It will take a while to get all caught up on family happenings!

Saturday evening….. quiet visiting back at the cabin.

Sunday morning – the kids were leaving at 6 am. They had a long drive ahead, but were planning to break up the trip with a stop in Mobile to visit with Rebekah’s family. It was pouring down rain like we had not seen for 6 months!  The forecast called for rain for the next 2 days, so there was no point in the kids delaying.

Brian and Bekah  loaded up ….and Jade, too! We watched as they  drove off, the rain coming down in curtains. It had been too short a visit…..and the house seemed strangely quiet. It is always hard to say goodbye, knowing that the kids are so far away. And, after months of such close quarters with Jade, we would miss her, too. Brian promised that they would try to be back for Christmas.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


Sunday, Sept 23rd – After a nice breakfast with Clark and Jackie, and with a heartfelt “See you again!”,  we loaded up for the final stretch of road…..about 498 miles. We were not sure if we were going to spend the night part way, but the closer we got to home, the more eager we became. So, we drove straight through, arriving home just after dark.

Coming home……what a wonderful feeling! We had left things clean, so there was not much to do. A quick sweep up and the basics unloaded, and we were ready to crawl into a familiar bed. I am never ‘disoriented’ at the cabin, even after being gone for so long. How could I be? This is a place that we had designed and built ourselves. It is as familiar  and comfortable to me as my childhood bedroom.

Sept 24rd- 27th – A week spent settling in and catching up on chores.

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It was good to see our truck and camper parked at home.


We decided to not stress out over the unpacking, but to take it slowly, unpacking a bit each day. We had Matthew and Chris, friends from our church, mowing our place while we were gone. They did a great job (Thanks guys!) so there was not too much yard work to do.


One section of ground that we did not have them mow was grown up in weeds 8 foot high! Fred’s tractor made quick work of them…..


Clearing the weeds revealed an oak tree that had blown down when what was left of hurricane Isaac passed through. Fred spent the week cutting the oak tree up for firewood. We will have plenty of wood for the wood stove this winter!


This is the same area after the weeds were mown…..All my small crape myrtles made it through the Summer drought, and even had a few red blooms left.


Jade was settling in, too. She enjoyed having a bit of freedom…and a nice stick to chew on.   : )

After 6 1/2 months, and 20,000 miles on the road…..traveling from Louisiana to as far north as the Arctic Circle…..It was good to be home!  I think that we will stay put for a while…..