Exploring Louisiana—More From Natchitoches

A few more pictures from our trip to Natchitoches.  The plaque says that St. Denis  explored and traded with the Natchitoches Indians.

Louis Jucheneau De St.Denis

Louis Jucheneau De St.Denis

The buildings in Natchitoches are much like the buildings in the French Quarter in New Orleans.

Downtown500xHere’s an old bank building.  I think it’s beautiful.

Exchange Bank500xWe enjoyed looking around in this old hardware store.  There were so many things to see.


The sign says it’s Louisiana’s oldest hardware store

The ceiling featured two of these large, oval openings— “sky lights”.  The store was built when there was no electricity so the only lighting was when these were opened to the sky.

There is an adorable gift shop on the second floor of the store.  They covered the opening with colorful umbrellas.

There is an adorable gift shop on the second floor of the store. They covered the opening with colorful umbrellas.

A nice pic of Don and Chris on the stairs up to the gift shop.

A nice pic of Don and Chris on the stairs up to the gift shop.  Don’t you just love all those little cubby holes behind the staircase?

A double washtub. Don says his grandmother had one of these.  I WANT ONE!!!

A double washtub.
Don says his grandmother had one of these. I WANT ONE!!!

Toys in the store windows

                Toys in the store windows

Lastly for this post is a gorgeous hanging planter of begonia's in full bloom.

Last pic for this post is a gorgeous hanging planter of begonia’s in full bloom.

There will be one more group of photo’s from Natchitoches.  Hope you enjoyed these.



More Kent House Pics

I promised a few more pics from our visit to Kent House Plantation in Alexandria, LA.  I don’t have a lot of good ones and unfortunately, I didn’t take pictures of the outside of the house.

This bathtub even has a separate foot tub.

This bathtub even has a separate foot tub.

Open hearth and oven in the detached kitchen.

Open hearth and oven in the detached kitchen.

Combination fireplace/open hearth for cooking in servant's home.

Combination fireplace/open hearth for cooking in servant’s home.  The round, iron stand would have held a pot of food.  A fire would have been built underneath the pot.

Pie Safe for keeping baked goods safe from flying insects.

Pie Safe for keeping baked goods safe from flying insects.

This is a close-up of the design punched into the tin plates covering the openings of the pie safe.  Notice the intricacy of the design.

PieSafeCloseUp600xA different way of life for sure than what we live today.


Kent House Plantation

This is a smallish Plantation home by some standards but it’s still quite large.  It’s in Alexandria, LA.  A friend I met through the Baton Rouge Rose Society gave us some passes to the home.  As you know, I love history and especially these old homes.

There are quite a few outbuildings on the property that came from other plantations.  They were quite interesting as was the house itself.

I don’t remember if I took any pics of the outside of the house or not.  I need to check Don’s phone for more pics.

I’m fascinated by old barns…ok….everything old.  🙂  This barn is a beautiful example of old-timey craftmanship.



This bed has a feather mattress. Check out the headboard. The rolling pin at the top detaches so the mattress can be smoothed out every morning after a nights sleep.


Sister Vanessa and her daughter Faith sitting in the separate kitchen.

That’s all for today.  I’ll try to get more pics posted so you can enjoy them.


A Day Back in Time

After we had lunch at The Cabin last month, we made the drive to Vacherie, LA to tour St. Joseph Plantation.  I almost have misgivings about even writing about this given the present tensions in our country regarding the Confederate flag.

In no way do I condone slavery.  No one should ever be a slave to another person.  But, it is an unavoidable part of history and hiding it does not make it go away.  We should all take lessons from the past and seek to never allow things like this to occur again.  Is is only by educating ourselves that we can be sure of it.  I am going to close comments on this post because I don’t wish to get into a big discussion about the Civil War.

Now….since I’ve said that, I must admit that I am fascinated by the stories of our past, by the homes and lifestyles people had.  Don’t get me wrong.  I do not long for days of insufferable, stifling heat without air conditioning or having to ride in a bumpy carriage into town to walk in the mud in order to get to the mercantile.  But it’s interesting to me.

I love the architecture.  I love the furnishings. I love how brilliant people were when it came to using the resources they had.

Teresa and I had visited Oak Alley Plantation and The Myrtles a long time ago.  Beth and I went to Destrehan Plantation during that time also.  When Groupon offered discount tickets to St. Joseph Plantation, I bought them.  Hopefully Don and I will be able to visit more plantation this fall when the temperatures are a little more conducive to walking around outside.  We had passes to see Kent House Plantation in Alexandria, LA and we visited there this past Friday.  More about that later.

SJP is still owned by descendents of the owner of the plantation and the tour guides are direct descendents.  They are very proud of the home and it’s history.  It was a sugar cane plantation as were many of the homes in south Louisiana.

The home was constructed in a way that made the most use of cross ventilation to help keep the home cool in our oppressive heat.  All of these homes made use of cross ventilation.

I’ll just post some pictures so you can enjoy what we saw.


The back view of the house

This is a shot taken at the end of the back porch. Can't you just imagine rocking chairs up there.

This is a shot taken at the end of the back porch. Can’t you just imagine rocking chairs up there. All of these windows are actually doors that open onto the porch.

This is the view on the front porch.  It faces the levee.

This is the view on the front porch. It faces the levee which you can see across the road.

There was no indoor plumbing so calls of nature mandated the use of toilettes.

There was no indoor plumbing so calls of nature mandated the use of toilettes.

Aren't you glad you don't have to take a bath in one of these?  This is actually a tub for a child but there were larger tubs for the adults.

Aren’t you glad you don’t have to take a bath in one of these? This is actually a tub for a child but there were larger tubs for the adults.

A nice example of a Dresden Plate quilt.  I don't think this is from the home as it appears these are feedsack patches which would have come later.

A nice example of a Dresden Plate quilt. I don’t think this is from the home as I’m pretty sure these are feedsack prints from the thirties. I couldn’t get close enough to it to tell if they’re original or reproduction.   I didn’t think to ask.

An outbuilding

The Overseers cottage.  A family member lives in the home now.

The school house

The school house

An ironing board

An ironing board inside the separate kitchen

I love old ironing boards.  There was a different one in another outbuilding.  Both were just shaped boards that would have been supported on something.  I have 2 old wooden ironing boards that are the newer style with adjustable legs.

I hope you’ve enjoyed our little trip through history.  I’ll show you pics of Kent House plantation next time.


Long Leaf Pines

Last year Tootie started teaching me how to make pine needle baskets.  It’s fun and relaxing.  It’s something you can do with a small group and just enjoy the day together.  The short needle pine needles aren’t good to try to work with.  Long Leaf pines are wonderful!  But the problem is that years ago, the forest industry started replacing them with faster growing and producing trees that have short needles.  What that means is that there are not nearly as many long leaf trees to be found as there used to be.

We found some places last year near where Chris lives that we were able to get needles off the ground and I have those saved to use in baskets.  They are 16″-24″ long.  We also found quite a few in the 12″ range which will work up nicely also.

The last time we visited Chris we took a ride out to a restaurant on a lake near Alexandria and had a delicious lunch.  After lunch we decided to do some riding around to find potential camp spots and in the process we found ourselves in the middle of the Kisatchie National Forest.  It’s the only National Forest in our state and is quite lovely.

On our way out, I noticed a large planting of long leaf pines.  Don says it’s between 3 and 5 acres and it looks like they may relocate pines from elsewhere to this plot as the trees are all different sizes.  Talk about a long-leaf craving crafter’s idea of heaven!!!  No, I didn’t swipe any needles from the ground or trees, but it sure was tempting.  All it took to persuade me not to do that was Don’s reminder that I would go to federal prison.  Oops.  Not my idea of fun.

Long Leaf Forest 2

Isn’t it interesting how they grow?  They look like bottle brushes for the first several years of their life and then finally branch out.  I wish I knew the ages of these trees Don is standing between.Long Leaf ForestSherylSigRedFinal2

Electricity is a Wonderful Thing

Even though we have a generator, it’s so nice when the power is restored.  We lost power Wednesday for about 3 hours.  The outage was timed just right for me to be able to prepare lunch and dinner.  Then about 10:30pm the power went off again and didn’t come back on until about 11:30pm last night.

Thank you all for praying for us here in Louisiana.  We’re fine.  We have lots of pine needles and branches in the yard but no major damage.  Don’s little boat he uses to putter around in the pond sunk except for the motor end.  He’ll pump the water out and be ready just like new.  Vanessa sent me a text saying she needed to use his yellow boat so I sent her one back saying “ok” and included this picture.

She changed her mind.

This broken branch is about the worst tree damage I have found so far on our place.  There are lots of trees down in other places and water across roads still in our parish.

Please continue to keep the people of our state and others affected by this storm in your prayers and close to your hearts.  Especially say prayers for the community of Braithwaite, LA where the whole town is flooded to the rooftops and at least 2 people have lost their lives.

Not Much Happening

It’s pretty calm around here.  We’ve got some gusty breezes but no rain so far.    I haven’t been able to watch much about it on TV due to the guys taking over both of them.    Chris always gets anxious during hurricanes/tropical storms so I’ve been telling him to calm down.   Every time he see’s our parish name (Tangipahoa), he thinks it means mandatory evacuation even if that isn’t what it means.

We’re expecting lots of wind and rain tonight.  Don had me park my truck close to the barn and away from any trees that might fall on it.  Lol.  The car and his truck are over there also.  He’s got the tractor parked in front of the chicken house and has the tractor bucket holding down some sheets of tin to keep them from going air-borne.


Buttons and Jet aren’t concerned about the weather.

Molly Mae has better things to do than worry.

The chickens couldn’t care less.  They’re busy scratching for bugs in their yard.

Big Bird

Don named her Big Bird when she was a wee chick.   She’s a Barred Rock.  Her feathers are so soft.  She likes to be held and comes running when she hears my voice.  She will hop up into the window in the coop for me to pick her up when I open it.  Here’s a picture of her roaming in the yard in front of the chicken house today.  We let her come out front when we’re there to watch over her.  She loves to scratch for bugs and worms.  Sometimes, I don’t even have to pick her up to take her back into the chicken yard.  She’ll just wander in with me and go through the door when I open it.  Spoiled, rotten chicken!

So, that’s what’s happening in our part of the world today.


Where Are We?

I want to say thanks to everyone who has responded.  Prayers are always welcome.   Just so you can see where we are in relation to New Orleans and the coast line, I found this map and put a purple star to show our location.  The map came from louisiana-map.org.

The purple star shows where we live.  Click on the map for a larger view.

Part of our parish is under mandatory evacuation but our area rarely reaches that point due to us not being in a flood zone.  I’m headed out to help Chris get the plants put up.

Consequences of Living in South Louisiana

One of those consequences is being on storm alert every year summer & fall.  I wasn’t paying a lot of attention to Isaac because I didn’t think it was headed this way.  Wrong.  I haven’t checked on it today but last night it looked like it was coming head-on for us.

What that means is doing some things to get ready for power outages we know are going to happen.  With Katrina, we were without power for about 5 days.  After the 3rd night of stifling heat, DH got up early  (as if you could sleep in that heat) and stood in line at Lowe’s with a number in his hand to buy a generator.  After that, life was bearable because we had a window air conditioning unit in the kitchen and our bedroom and we could stay somewhat cool, watch TV and cook.  We still have the window unit in the kitchen to supplement the central system so we can hunker down in the kitchen/den.

We can plug up the fridge and freezers alternately to keep them charged so for that part, we’re pretty much covered.  Don still has to get more gas for the generator but he’ll do that this afternoon.  We have a 2 burner hot plate, an outside grill and a propane cooker so we can prepare meals.

Now…what kind of things do you think we do to get ready for storms?  Here’s a list of some of the things I do.

Make sure all the laundry is washed & dried.

Put all the potted plants, outside chairs, etc. under the back porch.

All vehicle gas tanks must be full and ready to evacuate if we’re told to.  We don’t evacuate unless the parish government instructs us to do so.  We just board up the windows and get ready.

Have plenty of flashlights, batteries, candles, and matches on hand.

Portable, battery operated radio.

Non-perishable food items stocked—crackers, nuts, canned soups & fruits, Vienna sausages (yep…a neccessity),  snack stuff, bottled water….etc.

This is just part of what I do to get ready.  Options has already activated the evacuation/shelter plan so I’ll go pick Chris up and we’ll probably stop by Lowe’s to pick up another couple of flashlights and maybe stop by the dollar store to get a new portable radio.  We’ll put together our hurricane box and start doing the outside things that need to be taken care of.

Some people have a generator installed to run their house and we may do that in the future.  It always helps to have someone on stand by in case you have to evacuate.  Judy has already called to check on me and we can go there if we need to.  We have family that we could go to…problem is with this storm….it’s projected to head straight up into their part of Mississippi.    I’m not expecting to have to run though.

I’m not blowing this thing off by any means, but we’ve been through this a few times in the almost 30 years we’ve lived here.  We do what we need to do to get ready and we start watching the local coverage so we can stay in the know.  We’re far enough inland that we don’t usually get the impact that those on the direct coastline do.

So, please keep those of us who live in these storm areas in your thoughts & prayers.

Louie & The Red Head Lady

Do you watch Food Network?  I don’t but my niece Faith could watch it 24/7 and be just as happy as a clam. You may think I’m rambling on as usual but this really does wind up making sense in the end.

A while back my good friend Rhoda and I had a friendly wager on the SEC Championship game.  The winner was to be treated to lunch by the loser.  Since I’m an Auburn fan you might have guessed that I won the wager.  🙂

Hammond has some great places to eat but I was doing a little research on fun places we could go to in the Mandeville area and came across this place called “Louie and the Red Head Lady”.  Sounds kind of funky, huh?

Vanessa asked me last week if I had ever heard of it and I said yes and that their menu looked interesting.  It turns out that Faith had been watching an episode of Diners, Drive-In’s, and Dives on Food Network and this restaurant was featured.

We took a drive this past Saturday for lunch and it was wonderful!  Mother and I each had the Seafood Salad.  Chris had the Fried Shrimp/Catfish combo.  Vanessa had soup and crabcake with a house salad.  Faith had a Club sandwich.  We had the Fried Green Tomato appetizer…..oh my!  Each slice of fried tomato was topped with a large boiled shrimp and served with homemade Remoulade sauce.  Yummy is not the word!

We saw Po-Boys piled high with fried catfish and fried shrimp.  They looked so fine.

We’re definitely going back.  While we were there we had the pleasure of meeting Louie’s wife Ginger (the red head lady) and had our picture taken with her.  This picture isn’t great by any means but it’s all I have to share.  I really need a hair cut and color.  I don’t know why Chris insists on clenching his teeth when pics are taken. And even though it looks like I poured my Diet Coke on my shirt….I didn’t.  Lol.  Just a weird, unexplainable shadow.

Unfortunately, we don’t have pictures of our food.  We were too busy eating it.

Ginger aka "The Red Head Lady"

Hey Judy…..maybe we can sneak away one day to Louie’s for lunch when you come down in April.  🙂

They serve breakfast until 12 noon so if you don’t want breakfast, you need to wait until noon to go.

Oh….Rhoda and I wound up at Jacmel Inn for our lunch and it was delish!  Thanks Rhoda!

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