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.



Just Say No to GMO

No, I’m not on a rant but I can get very outspoken on this matter.

I won’t bash you if you wish to eat GMO foods.   I do not.  I’ve had cancer.  It came from somewhere.  No one in my family history ever had kidney cancer.  But it came from somewhere or something.

There is a bill that is frighteningly close to being passed into law.  It’s called the “DARK” act.  Denying Americans the Right to Know.  On the surface, it might appear to be harmless but what is hidden there is that if passed, we will never have the right to know if our foods are from GMO crops or not.  Never. States that have already passed truth in labeling laws will not be allowed to enforce those laws.  States that in the future decide that they want to pass such laws will be prevented legally from doing so.  Big Money aka Monsanto is standing firmly behind this law.  Passage means more money in their pockets.

I don’t know about you but that scares the hell out of me.  Do we seriously think Big Money will stop there?  I’m not that naive.   Why can’t we be allowed to have access to the truth about what is in our food?  Why can’t we have the right to make our own decisions about what to eat and what to avoid?  It just doesn’t make sense.  Are we rats blindly following the Pied Piper?

The bill has already passed the House and is headed to the Senate for a vote SOON.  I signed a petition against the DARK act and my e-mail address along with objections to GMO in our food supply went to David Vitter…a Senator from Louisiana.

I received what I believe to be a canned reply from him.  Since the e-mail does not have the word “confidential” anywhere in it, I am enclosing the body here for you to read.

Dear Mrs. Till,

 Thank you for contacting me in opposition to genetically engineered crops.  I appreciate hearing from you on this important issue.

 As you know, many of the crops grown around the world are genetically engineered.  Geneticists have developed strains of crops that possess a variety of special traits, such as the ability to produce higher yields, to better withstand agricultural pests, or to exhibit other traits that may benefit production or reduce harmful effects of pesticides. 

 Many have questioned the safety of genetically engineered crops.  However, with the world’s population growing, specialized crops are being explored as a way to meet the world’s increasing food needs.  Rest assured I will keep your thoughts in mind as the Senate considers these issues and as I continue working to support a safe and stable food supply.

 Again, thank you for sharing your thoughts on this important issue.  Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future about any other issue important to you. 


Senator David Vitter
United States Senator”

So……I responded with:

You miss the point.  The point is that the public has the right to know what is in the foods that we are eating.   If you want to eat foods from GMO crops, that is fine with me.  I do not want to do that.  Labels should be factual in listing where and how these foodstuffs are grown.   An informed public is an advantage to everyone.  Do not vote to take away our right to know.”

I doubt that I get a response from him.  Public officials should look out for the rights of the people who elect them…..not the lobbyists who only care about bottom line dollars for Big Money.

If this is important to you, please consider visiting this site and showing your Senators that you oppose this law.  Time is running out quickly for us to make our voices be heard.


Outside My Back Door

I love our pond.  I even love the Cypress Trees that I’m so allergic to.  Don planted two not long after we moved into our home and they’ve slowly but surely circled the pond.  There’s hardly a space that doesn’t have a Cypress Tree in sight.

Isn't this pretty?

Isn’t this pretty?


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.


New to Me

A friend is moving and needed to clear out her gardening things and plants.  So, we went over to help.  She gave me a load of clay pots in all sorts of sizes.  I got several greenhouse growing tables that you support with cinder blocks.

These will be wonderful for the roses I propagate.

These will be wonderful for the roses and other plants that I propagate.  That lovely sedum in the hanging basket on my chicken coop porch came from her greenhouse.

She has the most incredible green thumb I have ever seen.  She can just stick a leaf in the ground and it will grow.  I came home with several nice plants.  This gorgeous Tree Fern has found a new home on my front patio.

Tree Fern600x400

It seems to like it on the patio where it is in partial shade most of the day. There’s a Beefstake Begonia (I think) and Nepthytis growing in the pot also.Don says he’ll get a greenhouse built before cold weather so we can keep it nice and warm.

I’m so glad we could help with moving some things out of her way and I’m more than happy to give them a new home.


Another Day Trip

to the beach.  Sister Vivian, her 2 daughters and all her grands are spending the week at the beach.  We haven’t seen the kids in a while and we’ve never seen the youngest one so we decided to do a day trip.

We left here about 6am and got to Gulf Shores around 10:30.  There’s a new Rouse’s grocery store there and we made a stop to get supplies for lunch.

We enjoyed visiting with the family and seeing all the young-uns…even the ones that screamed bloody murder non-stop for 2 hours.

This is as close as we got to the sand this time.

DonBalcony600x400 GulfShoresJuly2015_600x400Who wants to be sweating to death on the sand when you can be nice and cool inside the condo?


Wanda’s Visit Highlights

Good friend, Wanda came for a visit in May and I’m just now getting around to posting some pics.  She was here for Mother’s Day so we all drove up to spend the day with Chris.  We had a wonderful lunch at Cajun Landing in Alexandria and then drove around to enjoy local nature spots.


I think this is at Valentine Lake.  Several people were fishing but the fish weren't cooperating.

I think this is at Valentine Lake. Several people were fishing but the fish weren’t cooperating.


Chris trying to hide his face from the camera

It was a nice day spent with a dear friend and my sweet family.


Another Step in the Process

We’ve been to Pinecrest twice in a week.  We spent the weekend of the 4th of July with him and then had to go back this past Thursday for a meeting.  When you start the process for services, you have to choose a “supports coordinator”.  Chris chose Easter Seals and so far I’m pleased.  Easter Seals is an old name when it comes to serving disabled people.

A member of their staff came to Pinecrest to do what’s called a “SIS” (Supports Intensity Scale) assessment.  It’s basically a long questionnaire about medical and behaviorial needs.  You have to determine where on the scale the client is for each question.  If you try to sugar coat the situation….well, let’s just say it isn’t the best way to do it.  It’s one of those things where you should absolutely tell the truth and with that you need to be totally honest about how much assistance/support/ is required for each of those questions.

Just because Chris is capable of doing his laundry doesn’t mean he can do it alone.  He has to be told to do it.  He has to be assisted in sorting, adding the right amount of detergent, using the right settings, taking the laundry out of the washer and either hanging it or putting it in the dryer, folding, putting away, etc.  He would never have anything clean to wear if left to his own devices.

It’s not an easy thing for a parent to get that specific about how much help your child needs but it has to be done.

I think the assessment went well.  The lady from Easter Seals was very helpful in explaining the parts of the questions and working with us as we chose the appropriate responses.  Now we have to wait for the state to review the assessment and make their determination.

HIs Dad and I made it very clear that we will never agree to Chris being alone without support staff in close proximity.  There are too many variables.

If the state doesn’t come back with what we think Chris needs, we have to appeal their decision.

The wheels move slowly.


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.


Ain’t Life Grand !!!!

Yes, it is.  We’ve been sort of tied up working on some things for Chris and just got back from the Alexandria area after a visit with him.  We attended his annual IEP at Pinecrest yesterday.  There will be some changes coming and I’ll let you know more about them later.

We got home today and since I’ve been itching to do some fishing (Yes I LOVE to fish) Don bailed the water out of the yellow pond boat and we piddled around the pond for an hour or so.

It just doesn’t get much better than being able to walk out the back door, hop into the boat and fish in your own pond.


Most of the time he was rowing me around because the trolling motor wouldn't cooperate.  He's such a good hubby don't you think?

Most of the time he was rowing me around because the trolling motor wouldn’t cooperate. He’s such a good hubby don’t you think?

The very most fun of the little adventure was when I caught this!

It's my first fish of the year:  a Crappie aka White Perch

It’s my first fish of the year: a Crappie aka White Perch


  • More Than Four Walls

  • Follow Me on Pinterest

  • Free Motion Quilting Project

  • Thread Talk

  • Dream, Design, Create with EQ7