kayaking on Loch Leven near Glencoe, Scotland, 2018

kayaking on Loch Leven near Glencoe, Scotland, 2018

Friday, April 27, 2012

Flashback Friday -- Bike Riding

Here's a post from 2010, and it is perfect for today, because Bob and I did the very same thing this morning. He and I are riding our tandem bike in the Tour LaFitte this year, May 5th. He's a super captain. And I love riding stoker!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Nina and Pinta -- A Sailing Museum

Have you seen the large black sailing vessels along the Lake Charles waterfront? Replicas of Christopher Columbus' ships, the Nina and Pinta, have docked in front of the Civic Center and will be here through May 8th, just in time for our annual Pirate Festival (Contraband Days). These boats are called "caravels." On board, learn about Columbus' voyages and about the ships themselves. The crew members are knowledgeable and happy to answer questions. Worth a trip – if you enjoy American or nautical history. Learn more here.

Friday, April 20, 2012

FlashBack Friday -- Baby Turtle

My most popular post, in terms of page views, has been one I wrote in August 2010. Bob found a baby turtle at work and brought it home for me. I love turtles. They're so sweet. We kept it a short while, then released it back into the wild. My husband took some wonderful photos. I wrote about it in story form. You can read the post here.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Astronaut Story Musgrave

I attended a Banners lecture at McNeese State University given by former NASA astronaut Story Musgrave. This 77-year-old man has led one of the most fascinating lives I think I have ever encountered. Born in Stockbridge MA in 1935, he was raised on a farm and grew up loving nature. Too bored with school to get his high school diploma, he instead joined the marines and went to Korea as an aircraft mechanic. For someone who couldn't be bothered with high school, Story has earned graduate degrees in math, computers, chemistry, medicine, literature, and psychology. In addition to being an astronaut for over 30 years, he is also a trauma surgeon! From a maintenance standpoint, from its inception, the Hubble Telescope was Story's baby. He repaired Hubble on a spacewalk. He is the only astronaut to have flown on all five space shuttles. Musgrave is also a poet, artist, photographer, pilot, parachutist, speaker, husband, and father to seven children, including a five-year-old daughter named Story.

Mr. Musgrave is a humorous inspiring speaker. He encouraged those in the audience to be passionate about the things they do and focus and work hard on the things they are good at, rather than waste time trying to improve on the things they are not good at. Learn more about Story on his website here.

There's a biography about this man called Story -- The Way of Water, by Anne Lenehan. I'm eager to find a copy.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Flashback Friday -- My Egg Man

A few days ago I mentioned farm fresh eggs in my post about farmers' markets. Prior to moving to Louisiana, I doubt I had ever eaten an egg that hadn't made a detour through the supermarket on the way to my home. Here in southwest La., it's not uncommon for folks to have a little backyard chicken coop. My husband Bob has even expressed a desire to raise a few chickens. Not likely. But it's easy enough to buy fresh-from-the-nest eggs. And oh my, what a difference. Fresh eggs have so much more flavor! Instead of a pale dull yellow yolk, fresh eggs hold a bright orange center. You can both see and taste the difference. Besides that, you know these local cage-free chickens haven't been injected with and fed steroids and antibiotics and been confined to a tiny box.

I buy my eggs from a friend down the road named Gary. Read about him here.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Farm Fresh

Have I told you I love local farmers’ markets? No doubt I have. I discovered these markets in Pennsylvania (read post here) and upon moving to Louisiana, finding the farmers ranked high on my list of priorities. I love buying fresh-from-the-field fruit and just-picked-this-morning vegetables. I enjoy chatting with the vendors and hearing their stories. They are passionate about the things they do and the wares they sell.
There’s a nice outdoor market in town Saturday mornings behind Historic City Hall, 8-12. And one on Tuesdays at the (also historic) Cash and Carry on the corner of Broad St. and Enterprise Blvd from 4-6.

These markets can be rather quiet and unexciting through the winter months, but begin getting colorful around this time of year. Carrots, beets, green onions, and turnips seemed to take center stage today.

Strawberries are delightful this time of year.

Fresh eggs are sold at seemingly every other booth. Can’t beat this vendor for whimsy though.

This sweet lady sells jams, jellies, and salsas every week at both markets.

Mr. Nelson is also a regular at the markets and sells wonderful baked goods. I’m so sorry this photo is out of focus – I should have taken two. But he was so excited about me blogging about the farmers’ market, I had to include him.

Anyone who knows me knows I swear by local honey!

This is my favorite plant man.
You’ll also find hand-dyed yarn made from shorn-from-the-sheep wool and hand-knit items, homemade Greek yogurt, carbonated juices, homemade pastas, prepared foods such as hummus, chicken salad, and quiches.
For your listening pleasure while you shop, there’s, of course, live entertainment.

What do you buy at the farmers’ markets?

Friday, April 6, 2012

Flashback Friday -- Happy Easter!

For today's Flashback Friday, I skipped back to last year and discovered an intriguing tidbit in the Passion Story from the book of Matthew. Read about it here. Please tell me your thoughts in the comments section. I want to know your perspective!

I hope you all have a blessed and wonderful Easter. He is risen!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Pondering Propinquity

We live in a transient society. According to an on-line statistic from 2008, 37% of Americans live in or near the hometown where they grew up. Which means 63% of all Americans move away. In my research for that number, this vocabulary lover learned a new word -- propinquity. It means the property of being close together. Five years ago, I joined the ranks of that 63%. What does it mean to move away? What are the implications? For me, it meant leaving my family and friends, foregoing the familiar and embracing the fear of the unknown. Inherent in such a transition, an emptiness remains in the wake. How does one fill that void? Well, I've learned it's not something that happens overnight. It's an ongoing process. And it doesn't happen on it's own. It requires initiative and effort -- to meet people, to make friends, to fit in. And I do that. I introduce myself, join clubs, groups, and a church. I step out of my comfort zone and open myself to new possibilities. Yet throughout this process, I've discovered an essential truth. No one can replace your family.

Sixty-three percent (or so) of you readers have uprooted yourselves and left "home." Some of you have been through the process multiple times. How did you fill the void? How do you define propinquity?