kayaking on Loch Leven near Glencoe, Scotland, 2018

kayaking on Loch Leven near Glencoe, Scotland, 2018

Monday, November 30, 2009

Lost Without My Laptop

As anyone who might be accustomed to working on a laptop might know, you get used to it. I didn't even realize what an appendage mine had become until it fizzled out a few weeks ago. Completely fried. And I miss it. Terribly. As if I'd lost an arm or something. Now I'm limited to the family desktop. I'm not happy. The keyboard is slightly different, so I'm making tons of typos. The desk chair is uncomfortable and squeaks like a chorus of mice. Speaking of mice, the mouse moves erratically and is difficult to control. I can't walk around the house or outside with the desktop. And I've got deadlines to meet, emails to send, blogs to post, newsletters to read . . . the Dell confirmation letter states my new LT should arrive December 4th. It's amazing the many different ways God tries to teach me patience.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

I hope you all had a pleasant and peaceful Thanksgiving. We celebrated here at our house, with my sister-in-law Sue and our good friends the Duttons. I've been feeling quite emotional this Thanksgiving season, realizing, after this year, I don't think I'll ever feel quite the same about Thanksgiving. Certainly, there has been loss, such as Sue's tragic car accident. And Eric's ordeal. That was so difficult. But he continues to recover and he's doing so well. As a family, we have so incredibly much to be thankful for; an amazing family, terrific friends, good jobs, wonderful weather (no hurricanes this year). I'm overwhelmed by the blessings. Thank you, God.

To my family in Pennsylvania, I miss you all so much. Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

DeAngelo's Restaurant

Not long after we moved here in 2007, Bob and I, on the recommendation of, well, everyone, tried a popular Italian restaurant here in Lake Charles, DeAngelo's. We loved it. DeAngelo's was our new "favorite restaurant." Then about a week or so later, it burned to the ground. Bummer! Believe me , there aren't too many good Italian restaurants in Lake Charles. There aren't many Italian places, period. Anyway, we heard rumors that they would rebuild. Seemed like it took a long time, a year or more, maybe two. But they finally reopened a couple weeks ago. The fam and I went there tonight. It was crowded, noisy, and the food was excellent. I had Tuscan minestrone and chicken artichoke ravioli. Mmm Mmm. We've got our favorite restaurant back.

What's your favorite restaurant?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Bayou Writers' Conference

The Bayou Writers' annual conference, A Bridge to Publication, this past Saturday was a success. We had a respectable turnout, about the same as last year, wonderful, interesting and informative speakers, good food, and great conferees. Everyone seemed to have a good time. Having been on the planning committee, I can breathe a sigh of relief that it's over. Here's a photo of me and one of our speakers, my friend Melanie Rigney.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Avenue of the Flags-Veterans' Day

I awoke before first light this morning and met the scouts, 6:00 AM, at Orange Grove-Graceland Cemetery for the bi-annual (Memorial Day and Veterans' Day) Avenue of the Flags event for a Boys' Life story I'm writing. Sponsored by the Sons of the American Revolution, scouts have been hoisting these veterans' casket flags for 25 years. The flags are donated by families.

Orange Grove-Graceland Cemetery would be impressive even without the flags. Crumbling tombstones date back to the 1800s. Moss and vines cover elaborate crypts. Ancient live oaks create canopies over the acres of peaceful plots. But today, with 760 flags lining the winding gravel roadways, the cemetery presents a poignant patriotic picture. I'm told this is the largest display of veterans' casket flags in the country.

Today we honor all those who have served our country. Thank you.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Who doesn't love donuts, right? Donuts are different here in Lake Charles than Pittsburgh. Or at least buying them is. In Pittsburgh, if you want a donut, or a dozen, you drive to the local Krispy Kreme, Dunkin Donut, or hope that Giant Eagle's aren't leftover from yesterday. The grocery store bakeries here do sell donuts, but there are no chains. Instead, we have these amazing mom & pop donut shops that often sell them hot, just like Krispy Kreme. The photos below are only a sample. These corner confectionaries are everywhere here. As far as I know, most all the shops have drive through windows (so you can buy donuts in your pajamas and no one knows) and walk up windows. Some you can actually walk into and sit down at a table to eat your donuts.

One thing bothers me. I am seriously in the mood for what I call a bear claw. Now, they sell what they call bear claws here, but they're really apple frittery-type things. A bear claw, as I know it, is donut-ish, large, with cinnamon and walnuts, and topped with maple icing. Does anyone know where I can find one? Another bothersome thing is that they close so early in the day, usually when they run out of donuts, often by 11:00, but definitely by 2:00. What if I want a donut in the afternoon? Walmart, I guess.

Behind the glass cases lined up along the donuts are kolaches. I had never heard of kolaches before moving here, and it took me awhile to figure out what they are. Essentially, they are pigs in a blanket. But the pigs are hardly ordinary hot dogs. Cajuns take their sausage seriously. There are often several different types of kolache to choose from. Mild or spicy, at the very least. Boudin (boo dan) is a blog post all to itself. Some other day.

These first two shops are in Moss Bluff. This one is Dixie Donuts. I love Dixie Donuts. There used to be a sign, but I don't know what happened to it. Seriously, how could Dunkin compete with Dixie Donuts? Well, maybe the coffee is better at Dunkin, but who cares. I can make coffee at home.

I've been told that Donut Palace is actually a chain, but I'm not convinced it's nationwide. I could be wrong.

Dino's is in Westlake. I love Dino's, too. We rarely head west on I-10 without stopping at Dino's for a bag of road trip donuts. I actually met Mr. Dino when I stopped to take the photos. He seems like a great guy.

My guess, and it's only a guess, is that part of the sign fell during a hurricane and never got put back up.

Who could resist Happy Donuts?

I used to have a ring in the 70's that looked just like that yellow O. Actually, I still have it, but I wore it everyday for so many years the cheap metal finally wore through and cracked.

Do I have a favorite? I don't patronize any of these establishments often enough to claim a favorite. But do tell me, what's your favorite donut hole-in-the-wall?