Sunday, February 27, 2011

We're NOT in the City...

We moved yesterday to Pascagoula Mississippi.  Now in my mind when we were talking about it, I thought 'small town, antique stores and friendly people'.


Not so much:



That is the view outside our front door.  This place is WAY smaller than I thought it was!  lol...


Yes, I want to live in the country.  Yes, I want to have critters.  My idea when doing this is I would rather do it in a house with a washer and dryer.  I don't see a laundry mat.  No ice within 20 miles, and certainly no grocery store nearby. 

I know, we will have the same problems when we move into the country; but you must realize, at that time, I will have a freezer for extra meat, veggies and ice.  I will have a fridge bigger than Barbie uses.  I will have a washer and dryer.  I will have a place to clean, and gardens to work in.  And last but not least, I will have a scrap/sewing/craft room.  Things to occupy my time.

What in the world am I going to do to occupy my time for 3-4 weeks while he works 12-15 hour days?

I will do Bible study, talk with God's creatures and knit a scarf big enough to fly me back to Singapore so I can quilt with my sewing friends.

And take out a loan (for fuel) so I can drive to the grocery store daily to buy a tiny bit of food for my Barbie fridge so I can cook supper on my Barbie stove in my Barbie house.

And that's all I have to say about that... 

Friday, February 25, 2011

Carillon Bell Towers - Morgan City, La


In case you are wondering where I have been, I have been sick.  I am allergic to south Louisiana.  We have known that for years, but this just reminded us how sick I get when I am here.  It started with hayfever (or allergies), not sure which.  Then it fell into my chest which caused my asthma to kick.  I don't feel nearly as bad as I sound, but when I exert any effort whatsoever, I cough like a fool.  Coughing is supposed to be good for you - you know, getting the junk out of your chest?  But I don't think it means you are supposed to turn blue, so I have been resting, taking the meds the Dr has given me and sleeping because I took them.  Sinus meds and decongestants knock me unconscious and I hate it.  Sorry if you missed me, but I think I am back!


I got a chance to take a friend to the Carillon Bell Tower  (pronounced 'carol-on' we were instructed - and when you look at the spelling, they may very well be right though the lady that told us this was not convinced!).





Listen to the bells ringing:

video

Isn't it relaxing?  If you listen carefully, you can hear the birds in the background too.


The bell tower is a place we love to go to just as a quiet getaway.  You can walk through a swampy area and listen to nature - and watch for snakes....


We have seen snakes, but they just slither off when they hear you coming and don't bother you.  Since I am one that would rather snakes than rats/mice, they are a-ok with me as long as they DO slither away.


There is a path to the tower of bells...



And lots of natural stuff to look at:




The closer you get to the end of the path, you get to see more Cypress Knees swamp and finally the Lake Palourde





As you are walking out, you notice a statue of Dr Brownell, whose descendants donated this park in his honor:


Hmm, with that link, I think I might have found another site like geocaching!  I am going to have to check into that further!  Oh well, I cannot seem to find out a better linky for you.  Sorry...


As a bird watcher I have had some trying times... I have forgotten what kind of birds are what!  Can you believe it?  I surely can't.  We saw this one on our drive:


At first I thought it was a young eagle... DUH!  It had a white body, so I was questioning that.  Thankfully we saw some bird watchers and they immediately told me it was an osprey.  I really felt silly then, cause I should have known that.  However, I was glad to have had the opportunity to see one at all.


We have seen lots of bald eagles here.  There is a family living near our campground and we see them nearly every day.  I got a picture, albeit not a great one, but here ya go:



I saw this one while the eagles were flying... I know what it is, but I am going to let my grandkids figure it out and tell us.  Kids?



And finally, what is Louisiana without a gator?  They are starting to come out, but it is the yearlings we are seeing - not the big ones yet.  I guess the big ones know when it is safe.  Anyway, we say a few, and I got a picture to show you:
 

See him sunning on the log in the water?  


We are heading out of Louisiana tomorrow to go to Mississippi.  I am on the healing road and should be able to start posting again regularly.  Can't wait to see what is in store for us.  This job we have waited on for months is finally starting.  Steve's installation will be the final steps in tying up his job with Singapore.  Once he finishes it (3-4 weeks) we will come back here for a week or two so he can redirect all the pieces, parts and paperwork to where they need to go - then we are off to Oklahoma.  


We both wonder if we are doing the right thing - leaving the girls will be so hard.  Leaving friends will be difficult, too.  Food, sights and sounds?  Sure, we are going to miss them all, but in our hearts, we know we want to try it back in Oklahoma where we were raised, and we also want to be near Steve's mom.  So while we are excited about our transfer, we are also apprehensive.  You know, though, we will get through it - God has given His blessing so it will be ok.

Stay tuned!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Desk Jockeyed

A lesson that should be taught in all schools . . And  colleges.... 

Back in September of 2005, on the first day of school, Martha Cothren, a social studies school teacher at Robinson High School in Little Rock, did something not to be forgotten. On the first day of school, with the permission of the school superintendent, the principal and the building supervisor, she removed all of the desks out of her classroom. 

When the first period kids entered the room they discovered  that there were no desks.

'Ms. Cothren, where're our desks?'

She replied, 'You can't have a desk until you tell me how you earn the right to sit at a desk.'

They thought, 'Well, maybe it's our grades.'

'No,'  she said.

'Maybe it's our behavior.'  

She told them, 'No, it's not even your behavior.' 
 
And so, they came and went, the first period, second period,   third period. Still no desks in the classroom. 

By early afternoon television news crews had started gathering in Ms. Cothren's classroom to report about this crazy teacher who had taken all the desks out of her room. 

The final period of the day came and as the puzzled students found seats on the floor of the deskless classroom, Martha Cothren said, 'Throughout the day no one has been able to tell me just what he/she has done to earn the right to sit at the desks that are ordinarily found in this classroom. Now I am going to tell  you.' 

At this point, Martha Cothren went over to the door of her classroom and opened it.   

Twenty-seven (27) U.S. Veterans, all in uniforms, walked into that classroom, each one carrying a school desk. The Vets began placing the school desks in rows, and then they would  walk over and stand alongside the wall. By the time the last soldier had set the final desk in place those kids started to understand, perhaps for  the first time in their lives, just how the right to sit at those desks had been  earned. 

Martha said, 'You didn't earn the right to sit at these desks. These heroes did it for you. They placed the desks here for you. Now, it's up to you to sit in them.  It is your responsibility to learn, to be good students, to be good citizens. They paid the price so that you could have the freedom to get an education.  Don't ever forget it.' 

By the way, this is a true story. Here is my confirmation .  And this teacher was awarded Teacher of the Year in  2006. 

Please consider passing this along so others won't forget that the freedoms we have in this great country were earned by U.S. Veterans. 

Thanks to all you Vets, those serving today, those who have given the ultimate gift and their families.  

And thanks Ann for sharing this with me!  :-)

God Bless America! 

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Explaining Geocaching

I have had several e-mails asking for more explanations on Geocaching, so I am going to try to explain the different aspects of Geocaching.  Let me start at the beginning...

Someone who loves Geocaching (and has read the rules) gets a waterproof container.  They put a sign in log and a pencil or pen in a Ziploc bag to protect them - (some even add a disposable camera here), then in the waterproof box, they toss in the Ziploc bag, put a few trinkets like Mardi Gras beads, post cards, McDonald's toys (though not a favorite of Geocachers), Hot Wheels cars, coins,key chains, local souvenir magnets... just any little trinket to trade with whoever finds your loot. The person that hides the caches is supposed to mark it in view as a Geocache - an emblem you attain from the Geocaching team - though they don't always do that.

After they gather everything, they find a place of interest to put their 'cache'.  It is usually near something fun like a historical point, a local place they love, a neat little restaurant they want to share with us, even a little pretty spot that would normally be unknown to anyone but a local.

Once they find the location they would like to place the box (under a nearby bridge, log, rock, behind a hedge, in some plants - read hidden), then they use their GPS to get the exact coordinates of the cache.  A GPS gives you the latitude and longitude address.  Every place on earth has a different GPS address, and it will look something like this:  N 29° 40.745 W 091° 17.531

At that point, they must get permission from the Geocache staff to place their cache.  Once it is approved (a fairly simple process) they are then allowed to post it on this site giving its GPS latitude/longitude location and its basic information.  Sometimes they even give coded hints that you actually have to press a button (so it is not readily displayed) to see the hint.

At this time, it becomes fun for US!  We find a new Geocache in our area has been registered and off we go.  We usually have a back pack with all the things we could possibly need; like wet wipes, mosquito repellent, sun block, garbage bags (in case I want to cache in and trash out - pick up trash around the area) and Ziploc bags to replace ripped ones, an extra log book for cache maintenance, an extra micro log sheet, some add a pair of socks and extra shoes in case they find mud (I just toss them in the trunk), a small first aid kit, orange safety vest, rain poncho, 1 sharpened pencil and/or a pen... you name it, I have it... lol... but MINE IS IN SINGAPORE thankyouverymuch to husband's company who may have finally started shipping our things... though we are not sure yet.

Now I come into the picture.  I grab my GPS, my iPhone (with my nifty Geocache ap for that - iPhone does have a Geocache Ap) and my camera (duh!) and off we go in search of a treasure - we call it going on an adventure.  Every Geocache is an adventure - lots of fun things in our world to see!

We use a GPS coordinates to track in very close the the hide.  We look high and low for it - they have been UP in trees, DOWN in leaves, UNDER logs, and INSIDE parking lot light bases (did you know they lift?).  They have been UNDER bridges, OVER tree branches, IN fake electric boxes and little 35mm film containers.  EVERYTHING you see can be a cache!!  Some are big containers with loot, some are tiny and you just sign a log - those are called micro-caches.  All you have to know the general area it is in then the fun begins.  Sometimes you have to be very sneaky in looking - or you will give it away to muggles!  And sadly there are some muggles that find caches and destroy them.

Once you find the cache, you sign the log, add the date and trade what ever you want to trade, rehide the cache and go on to the next one.

Finally, you come back to the Geocaching site to log your find(s) - or your lack of find(s).  You just sign in to Geocaching and go to the specific Geocache and let them know whether you found it or not.  Be sure to read all about it on that sight before you start your searches - that way you know the rules and more of what to expect.  I am sure I forgot something - but now you get the idea.  

My favorite caches so far have been Oklahoma's First Travel Bug Hostel , I've Fallen and Can't Get Up!  Panfish Special  and  Pirates Abode  If you read the logs at these, they seem to be other people's favorites too. 

There is a whole lot more to this - none of it is difficult - but this blog gives you the basic idea.  I hope it answered your questions - if not, just shoot me another e-mail.  I will gladly try to help out.
Geocaches are everywhere, on every continent, in the most unexpected places.  Why don't you grab a GPS and have fun on a new adventure?  If you are bored, this is a great way to get out and about and see things you would normally have never found.  Love the hunt.  You should try it!  I want to hear if I started a new hobby for you, ok??

Now off to hunt!  I hope we cross paths some day.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Geocaching

Have you ever been Geocaching?  It has to be the best hobby ever - next to photography!  It takes you to fun places, interesting historic places, beautiful areas AND you can take your camera.  When we were here in the states, we used to go quite a bit.  I didn't have any way to find geocaches in Singapore (or overseas for that matter) as I didn't have a hand held GPS, so I didn't get to find any - though I know there were thousands - and I also know someone who has found some there.

Sunday was an absolutely GORGEOUS day; we decided to put it to good use - we went geocaching!  We searched for four, but only found two.  Here are our pictures:



See the green box at punkin's feet?  That was the geocache.  It has little trinkets and treasures in them.  You sign a log then swap a small token and leave one of your own.
 

We were careful not to give away the location of these, but we had a blast finding them.  I hope you consider looking for one yourself.  If you look at the link above, you will see a little video showing what Geocaching is.  On the right of the video, there is a place to enter your postal code - yes, even in Singapore!  Enter it and watch your jaw drop at how many treasures are sitting outside your window.


Then grab your GPS, log the co-ordinates and head out - goodness knows what you will find.  Don't get discouraged if you don't find one right away - you WILL get the hang of it, and when you do, you will get the fever.  Bridges, waterways, trees, fences, forests... you will never look at them the same again.  You will just try to count the ones you are passing as you are living life in the fast lane.  



Hints for things to take:  your GPS, a few little swapping treasures (I use postcards - but sometimes they are too big), a pen or pencil, a wet wash cloth (some get wet or dirty and you really want to wash your hands), mosquito repellant, flash light, and ... well read up on it.  We all have our favorite things.  It is not about what you trade for - it is about the actual hunt.  What an adventure - I feel like Sherlock Holmes every time we go out   :-)

Try to find a travel bug to take so you can move it on.  Read about that too... you can watch them travel from one place to another - all around the world even!

Sure wish I could have found some overseas - but it is ok.   I knew they were there, and there was not much we didn't do or see while in Singapore and nearby areas.  

I hope you get interested in this hobby - I would love to cross paths with you on the great hunt!  Let me know what you think - k?

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Duck, Duck...

... and MANY more ducks!

Remember this little guy?  The one in the middle?



If you recall, his name is number 4.  He was found in a dirty road next to a muddy water puddle, upside down and left for "dead"... lol...  For 4 days I kept passing this little rascal, bottoms up, and driving right on by worrying about him.  Finally, when Steve and I were coming back from the store, I had him stop so I could pick him up.  He had identification on him - the number 4; and so that became his name.


Number 4 sat on my sink in the kitchen and pR would play with him.  One day she came in bearing friends for him - he finally had friends to hang out with while I washed dishes, which made punkin' very happy.



Do you remember the garage sale punkin had to raise money for a no kill animal shelter?  In the garage sale she had stuffed a bag full of all her little duckies from when she was little bagged to all sell for a buck.  No one bought it and guess where they ended up? 


Now number 4 has an entire family!



In case you don't recognize him, he is the third one from the left - actually in number 3's spot because she missed number 2 when she counted.  On the bottom of each one, she has numbered them and a few have nicknames.  So now we have 11 ducks - all numbered from 1-12; minus number 2.  NO!  Lol... we don't need a number 2, but it did annoy her last night that there was no number 2.  


As she was getting them all dried off (they went for a swim in her bath water) she told me that even though there were so many, I had to get them all together every day so he could be with his family.  

*sigh*  

Now you can see me doing that, right?  Gathering 11 little duckies from all over the camper so they could have a pow wow.  Haha, no pR, it is very unlikely that I will get them together every day for a duckie chat - which led us to having to find a place of honor in the camper so he could be with his family all of the time instead of just when she came over.  I am such a sap.  Yes, I fell for it.

So I guess now I collect ducks.  And to think it all started because of number 4.

I am a quack.  

Don't say it Steve.  You KNOW you love me!


Thursday, February 10, 2011

New Orleans Sights

Going to New Orleans is a huge sensory overload; the sights, the sounds, the smells, the tastes - and I cannot imagine it not being enjoyable to anyone - though I know some are turned off by it.  I am once again amazed by the differences in its cultures and its people, their lives in the city and the deep passion of the people in New Orleans. 

As I walked around in the Quarters, I let myself be embraced in the colors, the music, the people and the talents.   I am not going to chat about much - instead, I would rather you enjoy it through my eyes.










Check out the pink lady:


Yes, even she was embarrassed!


See the truck?


He transformed!



Yes, he is alive - is it old man winter?


USA did not even answer that question Today.



This dude was getting ready for his mime:



And our little gal was sure she was donating to a statue:



Then it MOVED and grabbed her hand!



All the sights of New Orleans makes my heart warm.  The city was once broken, but the people found the pieces and put her back together again - and our New Orleans is once again VERY alive!


And we had fun!



Tuesday, February 8, 2011

New Orleans Achitecture

What do I love about New Orleans?  Just about everything there is to love... today I love the architecture, so I am going to share just a tad of it that we saw on our little adventure Sunday.


I love all the views of Jackson Square:





The curvy balconies that lack parts of men and women showing than I ever cared to see:




The vivid colors of the Creole people:
 


 The intricate wrought iron work everywhere you look:





The old and the new:
 




And the street cars with the old and new:



The sheer amazement that some buildings are even standing - much less being used:




The gorgeous... stuff:



Looking up is still even fun:
 


The uniqueness of the random designs and unusual things you see:
 


And the means of transportation to look at it all:





Yes, I surely love New Orleans!

You know, I think I can find something amazing about every thing I see.  I hope you can too!

Singapore Memory Project