Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Rite of passage

A Louisiana rite of passage is the making of a shoe box Mardi Gras float.  Every kid has to make one at some point.  Sometimes it was a project and sometimes it was for a contest.  I remember making several in elementary school, but it seems to be a fading tradition as it isn't done much any more.  Which is why I was surprised when Veronica brought home paperwork about a shoe box float contest for Student Council.  She made one many years ago - maybe first grade?  I don't remember Valerie ever making one.  The catch was it had to be Louisiana themed and not just randomly decorated.

I toyed with a few ideas to come up with something different and decided on a beignet float!  A Cafe Du Monde float! 

We decorated the shoe box in green and white stripes.  I even put a bow tie and a paper hat on a Dollar Tree barbie in a while dress to match the server uniform. 

Unfortunately, Veronica did not win.  She did not even place.  Hardly anyone else made a float, so I thought for sure she had a decent chance but nope!  Oh well, it was fun making it and she did get the usual participation prize (a dress down pass and some free snacks.) 

Better luck next time... if there is a next time!

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Throw me sumthin' mister!!

Last night I went to my first and hopefully only parade this Mardi Gras season. The only reason we went was because we were invited to someone's house right on the parade route.  It was SO nice having a yard all to ourselves and access to a bathroom!!   I never thought there would be a time when I didn't care if we skipped the parades.  I only missed Mardi Gras once when I was a kid when I had pneumonia and was in the hospital.  Then again right after Valerie was born because she was just a few months old.  Before that, we went to almost all of the parades we could.  The parades here in Houma are actually pretty nice and not as crazy as things get in New Orleans.  Of course there are always a few incidents, but overall it's safe and good fun for everyone. 

Parades are very slow moving.  We were just a few blocks from the beginning and it took half an hour to reach us.  They roll well into the night and if something happens like a flat tire - and it does happen - it can delay things hours.

The kids had a blast hanging out with friends and thankfully didn't bring home an excessive amount of junk.

So welcome to the Mardi Gras!

The parade is always led by policeman on motorcycles.  They crisscross back and forth in the street ahead of the parade, and they are LOUD.

The first float is always krewe's royalty.  The King or Queen usually just waves and the pages (little kids)  toss small things or plastic cups into the crowd.  The next float is usually the maids. 

Then the real parade starts.  Some floats throw a lot, some are rather stingy.  I guess I would be too because it costs a small fortune to buy all the throws, then you just toss it all away!  A lot of riders like to tease the crowd with fancy beads or big stuffed animals.  They just hold it over the side of the float but never throw it. All the floats have their own sound systems.  Some are really REALLY loud.

They throw beads of course.  Toys also, like light up junk and hula hoops!  Bags of chips and even Little Debbie cakes.  You have to pay attention or you'll get smacked in the head by flying bags of beads.  And yes they hurt!

There are lots of walking groups in between floats.  Being in marching band also means marching at Mardi Gras.  Valerie gets a taste of her first Mardi Gras parade next weekend.  Next year they are supposed to be marching the big one - Rex, King of Carnival - in New Orleans.  I'm glad she isn't doing that one this year. 

Like I said, parades are slow moving so all of this can go on for hours.  Last night from start to finish we were out there for about 3 -4 hours. 

Once it's over, the street is full of trash!  And you get to go home with a bunch of clutter that will never be touched again.  At least until you give it away to a rider to throw again next year.

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Rainbow Roses

The florist surprised me a day early on February 13th with a gigantic bouquet of a dozen rainbow roses from my loving husband!!!  Wow ... WOW.... wow.  They are definitely unique and gorgeous.  These are worth drying and I may attempt to press a few too. Pictures just do not do them justice.

Bella had to get in on the photo action and steal the show!

Seriously, look how BIG these blooms are!

Friday, February 14, 2020

Our Journey

I hear "our" song on the radio from time to time.  Honestly, I don't even remember how we picked this song.  I think it was probably the only one we could mostly agree on for our first dance.  Who doesn't like Journey?

It dawned on me sometime ago that this song about being on the road fits us, even now.  If you change 'music man' to 'oilfield man', well that'd be us. 

Highway run into the midnight sun
Wheels go 'round and 'round, you're on my mind
Restless hearts sleep alone tonight
Sendin' all my love along the wire

They say that the road ain't no place to start a family
Right down the line it's been you and me
And lovin' a music man  oilfield man ain't always what it's supposed to be
Oh, girl you stand by me, I'm forever yours, faithfully

Circus life under the big top world
We all need the clowns to make us smile
Through space and time, always another show
Wondering where I am lost without you

And bein' apart ain't easy on this love affair
Two strangers learn to fall in love again
I get the joy of rediscovering you
Oh girl, you stand by me, I'm forever yours, faithfully
Faithfully, I'm still yours....
I'm forever yours, ever yours....

In our seventeen years, we've spent much time apart and it hasn't been easy. I'm sure there has been thousands of phone calls, emails, and texts.  Whether it was commuting to his office almost 100 miles away, or spending a week in Houston, traveling to the equator, or to the other side of the world... Sometimes away for weeks into months.  Clint's work travels have sent him on all sorts of adventures, all the while we are here waiting patiently for him to return.  We had a nice few years break from all that.  Now with this new position based in Houston, we've come full circle and we're right back to being apart quite often again.  

Anyway, 17 years ago today we said "I do" and I still do!  

Happy Valentine's Day to all of you! 


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