kayaking on Loch Leven near Glencoe, Scotland, 2018

kayaking on Loch Leven near Glencoe, Scotland, 2018

Friday, January 31, 2014

Thoughts on the Ice Storm

We had a few ice events here in Southwest Louisiana recently. Last Friday, school was cancelled due to the forecast of severe cold and sleet/freezing rain. Everything outside was encased in ice. If the videos posted on Facebook were an indication, people who park their cars outside got the biggest kick out of rolling down their car windows, only to have a sheet of ice remaining in the space. Fortunately, it was Bob's Friday off, so we hunkered down and had a relaxing pajama day; we watched movies, Bob baked bread. It doesn't affect us anymore, but the school district cancelled school. And wisely so. With the freezing rain and icy roads, driving was treacherous.

Unlike two years ago, when they cancelled school simply because it was cold. I thought it was a bit silly then. You can read about that day here.

We had a short reprieve from the cold and precipitation over the weekend, but Tuesday and Wednesday was more of the same crazy weather. Again, school was cancelled both days. Bob had to go to work. But I went no farther than the mailbox at the end of the driveway.

It's interesting that, just prior to the storms, the grocery stores here were shopping madhouses, just like in Pennsylvania before a storm. Bread, milk, and toilet paper . . . gotta stock up. Having lived through these types of things all my life, I stayed home, avoided the crowds, and read about it on Facebook.

This was once a bread aisle.

So, now that the ice has melted, how are they going to get all that sand off the bridges?

The weatherman speaks of both freezing rain and sleet. What exactly is the difference between those two?

Today, we're back to high 60s. Tomorrow in the 70s.

You know what they say about weather in Louisiana . . . if you don't like it, wait five minutes.

Photos compliments of KPLC-tv. (Because I sure wasn't outside taking any.)

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Fur and Wildlife Festival, Cameron, LA

Last weekend, Cameron  Louisiana hosted its annual Fur and Wildlife Festival. This is one I’ve been meaning to attend, but have not yet made it. In addition to the usual fair fare of tantalizing food, amusement park rides and games, craft vendors, gumbo-cookoff, live music and a parade, at the Fur and Wildlife Festival, they also have duck and goose calling, nutria-skinning , trap shooting, and oyster shucking competitions.

Last Saturday was a beautiful day for a festival, and my kayaking friend Ian Wright took his daughter Clairelynn. She agreed to write a guest post for me. So, Clairelynn, take it away!

The Fur and Wildlife Festival in Cameron was really fun. They had plenty of fun games, good food, awesome rides, and music. There were a bunch of people there at least a thousand, we even saw people we knew while meeting others we didn't. 

There was skeet shooting and duck and goose calling. We played a bunch of the midway games and they were really fun.

The food was amazing. They were serving things like alligator sausage, jambalaya, boudin, gumbo, smoked sausage, and crawfish. 

Most of the rides were loud, but really fun.

The music was amazing . Over all it was really great!

Clairelynn Wright
10 years old
5th grade at Our Lady Queen of Heaven School, Lake Charles, LA

Hobbies include Art, 4H, Dancing, Volleyball, and Kayaking

Photos courtesy of Claire and Ian.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Twelfth Night Extravaganza!

As of last night – Twelfth Night or Epiphany – the 2014 Mardi Gras season officially began. Every January 6, Lake Charles hosts a “Twelfth Night Extravaganza” at the Civic Center arena. At this event, basically an indoor parade, the royal courts from the local krewes parade and make their exit for the year, paving the way for the new kings and queens. A krewe (for my non-Louisiana readers) is a club of sorts: a group of people who celebrate Mardi Gras together. They have fun krewe names like Krewe of Illusions, Krewe of Mystique, Krewe of Contraband, and Kewe of Mischief. Many have French names that I can't pronounce or translate. Lake Charles has over 60 krewes and is second in the state only to New Orleans with the number of krewes participating in Mardi Gras activities. I had heard of this event since moving to Lake Charles, but last night was the first time my family and I attended. I knew some of the paraders and wanted to witness the pomp and pageantry first hand. The costumes are colorful, feathery, elaborate, and truly something to behold.
My camera does not take good photos in dimly lit settings, so I’m borrowing this clip from the local TV station, KPLC. Please click here to watch.
Here are some of my thoughts and observations from the event:
·         The Washington-Marion High School Marching Band was super. For a small band, they can really make some noise. And they dance well, too.

But I think we could do without the policemen on motorcycles with sirens. That was a bit TOO much noise, especially for an indoor parade.
·         Each person attending the event is given a (very small) piece of King Cake. Twelve lucky winners found the “baby” in their piece. They won some fantastic prizes (computers, cameras, and other electronic gadgets). No one in my family won.
·         I don’t know if it’s a new trend in Mardi Gras royalty attire, but I really loved the peacock feathers in several of the headpieces. They are actually supported on the shoulders and some are so huge, I don’t know how the people walk with them on. See what I mean! Does anyone know what these are officially called?
What is your favorite Mardi Gras activity? 
 Laissez les bon ton roulette!