Friday, May 13, 2011

Life's A Beach!


Mother's Day was a nice, relaxing day and came with it's usual share of gifts.......my sweet Ellen picked flowers for me.


 My girls picked this book out for me - I haven't heard about it but will let you know if it is good or not when I have a chance to read it!


And it didn't take long for me to put these on...great gift! And last but not least ~ I got what every mother gets ..... I am sure you got one too.........


A BEACH!!!! 


Yes....that is right ~ two loads of beautiful, Destin like clean, white sand!  It is mighty fun to climb up and stand on, but the idea is to spread it out in front of the dock so we can feel like we are on the sandy shores of the ocean while playing on the muddy banks of our river!

And since it is "Mother's Day",  I am actually in a picture....that is me on top of my soon to be beach.


Here is the "CHIEF BEACH MAKER"


Before this becomes a "beach", there is a lot of playing to be done on it.  The dogs are having about as much fun on it as Ellen.  She has to fight hard to get her turn!


Ellen won "this time"....but those dogs are busy figuring out how to be "King of the Mountain".


They better hurry cause here comes the "Beach Maker".....anyone who has small male children.....gather them around as they are about to to see some action that makes anyone of the male gender extremely happy!


It is affectionately known as Gary's "boy toy" and here it is....scooping up HUGE loads of sand, bringing it down the hill and dumping it on the river banks.  Sit tight....more exciting action to come!


          Even though I have all girls, I know what makes those boys tick! This is how you "smooth" a beach.


One load of sand down (literally) and one to go!


Ever the supportive wife, here I am, working myself to the bone, 
on Mother's Day no less!


And, mothers of small male children,  true to my promise ~ here is yet another awesome shot of Gary ~ dumping more sand onto the beach!


Really, should I have to work this hard on my own day of celebration?  Isn't it supposed to be my day of rest?  Don't they know I work myself to death 364 days of the year to make everyone's life perfect and just one, teensy, weensy day of the year should be my day to do NOTHING!



No disappointments here in the "ACTION JACKSON" world of male fascination and obsession with all things that are mechanical and have hydraulic moving parts!





Yep, I am pretty much over this.....I love my pile-of-sand-soon-to-be-beach but all work and no play makes for a cranky Mama!  Wait, what is that in the distance....a bird....a seaplane...wow, it is someone have more FUN than me on Mother's Day.  It is hard to tell from this distance, but I think it is a group of kids, on tubes, all linked together....drinking something....drinking what???????


Wine out of a gallon sized plastic Lipton Tea Jug????
I am pretty sure you will find that "Only in Louisiana"!


O.K ~ small, male children - fun is over.  Gary is off his "boy toy" and decided to join the real work force up here on the dock......there are tubers to watch!  Stay tuned to the blog as there will be more action shots of backhoeing and tractoring to come! But, for now ~ the tubers are stealing the show and giving Gran-E and I some much need relief from our hard work up here on the dock.


And ~ there they go....we didn't have the heart to tell them that they have seven more hours of tubing to go before they reach their destination (and it was four o'clock when they passed by us)!  How do you "rain on a parade" of tubers drinking wine
 out of Lipton Ice Tea gallon jugs?
Hey....Hey there ~ hang on - wait for me ~ I want to come too....
just let me go get my wine glass!


Ha! YOU CAN"T HANDLE IT can you Gar.....real men can't hang with the gals on the dock...run back to your pansy, piece of equipment and move some more sand.  We will be right here just working ourselves to our motherly bones....that is until the next set of tubers come by!


Just in the nick of time......hydration for the weary mothers! After looking at that wine in Lipton's Ice Tea jugs, I need to get my whistle wet.
Good thing we have Ellen around to look out for us. 



Drum Roll Please - Ta Da......To The Beach!


It really is awesome!!!!


Not sure who likes it more ~ the dogs or us!


The black dog closet to you is Mattie - the Rottweiller that thinks she is a retriever....she is smart because she lets the Golden and Black retrievers leap out first to find the stick and bring it back.  Right about the time they are ten feet from shore, she wrestles the stick away and proudly returns with it.   Who ever heard of a Rottweiler that retrieves?


Maisy can't wait to get back to our new  beach and work on her 
"Golden" tan to keep her title as Ms. Golden Retriever of LA! You can see, she was very careful while taking a dip in clear, blue water river.  She only got her body wet and not a drop on those beautifully, styled ears of hers! I keep meaning to find out what brand of hairspray (remember the old commercial - "it holds up even when you don't");  she used to keep those ears stay in place all day! Hey, if you can tell me what brand of hairspray that the slogan advertised, I would be most impressed....and I would know your true age!

I hope all the mothers that are reading this had an awesome day....and just to clarify things so you can quit feeling sorry for me.....I really didn't work my fingers to the bone ~ in fact, I didn't work at all.  I liked it so much that I may never work again.....and become a permanent beach bum ~ at my own home, on my very own beach!

Happy Mother's Day!!!!

Friday, May 6, 2011

The City Cousins come to visit!



At last, my sister and her boys (unfortunately "Uncle Bryan" was in Brazil so couldn't join us) came to visit for a week!  We had fun introducing her boys to all that the country has to offer....we were like the paparazzi taking pictures so bear with me.  There were so many could shots that I am having a hard time leaving any of them out!  The visit began with a visit to "Old Hard hide" the town mascot...an alligator!  You will find that
 "Only in Louisiana".


A favorite of any child that comes to visit is our tree swing!  
It never fails to provide hours of fun!


Meet Seamus - a precious, energetic, all BOY, five year old!


And Booker ~ a polite, inquisitive, smart, always up for an adventure, seven year old.


Booker was a pro at pinching the tail of the crawfish to get the meat out.  These were a spicy batch but that did not deter him.  He followed Aunt Layne's directions perfectly and would "pop" the whole peeled crawfish in his mouth without letting the meat touch his lips and we had no "burning lips" for the night.  


They were introduced to Ellen's horse "NELLE" ~ can you guess where the name came from? Hint ~ it was Ellen's idea and Ellen's horse....
and Ellen's name BACKWARDS!


Bug hunting was a favorite pastime....these city boys were not squeamish..not one little bit!  We caught lubbers (black crickets that grow to the size of your hand) and...


I am not sure of the correct scientific name but we 
 call these "Fuzzy Wuzzys". 


And this was one of the many friendly "lizards" that are ALL over the country!  When Elizabeth was five, she would let them bite her ear lobes and wear live, lizard earrings as long as they would hang on.  I have a picture of that somewhere that I need to dig up.
This photo looks a bit "E. T. ish" to me!


We painted rocks for the "rock fairy".  The rock fairy comes to visit at night and if you put a basket of painted rocks out on the steps, she will take them and "hide" them on the gravel road.  Then you wake up in the morning and get to find them all! 
 Good practice for an easter egg hunt!


We hiked all through the woods. The boys were introduced to "deer flies" 
and a lot of swatting was done! They like to "buzz" around your head and 
do not usually bite you but you always think they are going to!


Our dog can "walk on water"....can you top that one? Seriously ~ Scout was a little braver then we were...when the river is not high, you can cross to the "island" on these logs.  The girls and their friends have spent many a day on this island building forts and houses, cooking their own meals over a fire and playing in the river. 


Love this photo!  Brotherly love.


Ellen had a litter of rabbits to sell so the boys got to go with us to the local feed and seed store.  Walmart has not managed to put this one out of business and it is an old fashion, family owned store that offers everything from A to Z...including Ellen's bunnies!


Good Bye little bunnies!
Hello spending money!


Booker loved "Tannenbaum" ~ one of Ellen's favorite bunnies that escaped being sold around Christmas time.  Every now and then a bunny exhibits exceptional personality and she can't bear to sell it.  She is really good about selling most of her bunnies and rarely keeps one but this one was special and just stood out from the rest....he was born around Christmas time ~ hence the name which means Christmas tree in German!


Forts were built!


Balls were thrown for the dogs


Cajun was the "chief ball stealer"! She would be so proud to get the ball away from the big dogs and would prance around with her head high 
and tail wagging ninety to nothing.


Emails to Dad in Brazil were sent and received.


We visited our 94 year old grandmother ~ she is teaching herself Spanish by reading the Spanish dictionary.  She is 100 % sharp as a tack and an amazing person.


The boys made her a clover chain and she wore it!  If you look carefully you will see it on top of her head....I love that women.  So much spunk left in her!


The pool was another favorite!  


Water gun wars galore!


Eggs were gathered in the mornings ~ can you say "BED HEAD"?


The green eggs were a novelty and Booker could juggle them without breaking any ~ OK maybe I embellished that a little bit...but it does look like that from the picture! 


Cajun helped gather the firewood for the bonfire...Isn't my sister cute?  Just love her!


After a long adventurous day, it is so nice to relax by a fire.


We are having unusually cool weather here in LA ~ so we can actually have a bonfire at night.  Loving this weather...it has been an awesome Spring.  



 S'mores and sparklers added to the fun!


The rocks were put out on the doorstep for the Rock Fairy.


The next morning ~ we scoured the road for painted rocks!




The Rock Fairy did her job well, they were everywhere....
but none escaped the rock hunting professionals!


I call that a successful rock hunt.


Fishing time!


This is my favorite photo from the entire weekend...it won over all 5000 photos taken! (OK ~ embellishment.....500 would be truthful!) 


Booker with his painted "walking stick" and fishing bucket.  We always name our walking sticks...what you don't? Booker's was named "Scratch" and mine was "Super Duper".  Super Duper quickly bit the dust when I set it down and the
dogs found a new play-toy.


Well, I would not call them "dinner" but we caught a minnow fish!  Really, they are not minnows but baby perch.  The great thing about this pond is that you always catch a fish...never a big one but a fish none the less.  And for boys that have never been fishing, size doesn't matter! Fishing is infectious - adults quickly take over from children when the fish start biting....I am especially guilty of that and apparently Mary is too! When she wasn't yanking the pole with fish on it out of her poor, defenseless children's hands, she was "Chief Worm Cutter Upper".  OK ~ I embellished the part about yanking the pole, but NOT the worst job of fishing....baiting hooks!



It is really a great catch when you could get the fish in and STILL had the worm on the hook.  Aunt Mary and myself were especially glad when that happened.


Everyone caught a fish and no one caught an arm or leg.
With all the hooks we had in the water, that is an amazing feat.


More horseback riding.....


In true "Hunter" fashion, it is in our genetics to photograph our food!  Here is the banana pudding (made the old fashion way!)


Crawfish and Shrimp Fettucine


 Topped off with a home grown salad and home-made butter.  It was a meal to remember!


The "Grandmothers" who look like "Spring Chickens"!! If you look closely
you will see the two little chickens on a bookshelf between them.  I painstakingly brought back from Brazil when we visited Mary and Brian in Rio De Janerio.  


Dinner is served!

And, that my friends was a week full of laughter, relaxation and just 
plain FUN with FAMILY and FRIENDS!