Louisiana Winter

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I took a walk today and enjoyed Winter’s subtle beauty. This time of year the green hue of the pine, magnolia, holly, sweet leaf and palmetto is so soothing to the eyes. The brown ferns and dried grasses are interesting, and the hardwood trees give up their secrets with branches like lace against the sky. (Thank you, Miss Moura Maun!).
The dogs were so joyous they couldn’t resist bailing off into the creek, unmindful of the cold! I’ve always loved the way the brown leaves look, shining through the clear water of the little creek near the house.
Deer season is over, so I had the woods to myself. So quiet…the woods seem to be in peaceful slumber, awaiting the warmer days to come. I picked a leaf from a sweet leaf bush and chewed it, always amazed at the sweet “green apple” taste. Years ago, I had a mare that knew where every sweet leaf (also known as “horse sugar”) bush was on the trail, and would grab a mouthful on the way by.
Just an hour or so in God’s creation is so restoring to mind and body.
The smoke drifting from our chimney was a welcome sight when I returned home, and I’m thankful for our snug, warm house. My Dad said when he was young, the only warm place in the house was by the fireplace or the wood stove in the kitchen. I think about my forebears and others who settled this land….how hard it was in those days long gone. We owe so much to them…

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On the Banks of the Mississippi….

In an old cemetery on the bluffs of the Mississippi, under the swaying Spanish moss, I spotted this beautiful oak leaf and acorn cast iron fence around a small family plot. The vaults all had death dates in the 1850’s as I recall, and in it’s beauty I read a story. I pictured a hoop-skirted figure, draped in black. In her grief, I imagined she sought solace in beautifying her loved one’s resting place. I could see her ordering the elaborate fencework, perhaps from New Orleans, where the pieces would be carefully loaded onto a steamboat, shipped up river, carried by wagon to the lonely bluffs and put in place, plumb straight and true by skilled craftsmen. I wondered if it’s beauty lessened her suffering?
Over 150 years passed, war raged on these very grounds, epidemics took their toll, lichens grew on the iron, just as if it were a real oak tree.
Today the moss still sways, the river flows on, the jonquils bloom faithfully each spring, and the old iron fence stands in silent testimony of someone’s love and grief long, long ago….Port Gibson and Mammy's Cupboard 175

Makin’ Groceries

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Just got back from buying my peas, pork roast and cabbage for New Years day. I know many think grocery shopping is a chore, but I LOVE IT! I guess it’s because Hubby and I have finally reached a place in our lives where we can buy pretty much what we want (within reason), and I can’t forget the days when $50.00 was all I had to buy groceries for two weeks! I was only 17 when we married, and after paying our land, trailer, and truck note he brought home a whopping $200.00 every two weeks! The next year, I started college and got a student job where I earned the princely sum of $250.00 a month. We always had a garden, and I admit we ate with Mama and Daddy a lot too. I’m thankful for those times, through them I learned many things. How to grow a garden and can and preserve, how to cook game, how to make my own pie crusts and breads. I learned those things because I had no choice! But today I still do all those things because I love doing them, and because I feel that homemade food is usually better for you.
I also enjoyed seeing all the other shoppers buying ingredients for their New Year’s feasts. I saw buggies loaded down with beautiful greens and cabbage. Ladies picking through pork roasts and hams. Folks buying sweet potatoes and of course black eyed peas.
Everyone seemed so joyful~looking forward to spending time with family and eating good food! That’s MY LOUISIANA!

New Year~New BLOG!

020Hey y’all! I’ve been thinking about starting a blog for a while, and this seemed like a good time to start. Many of y’all know me from my Louisiana Heart and Home Facebook page. For my first post, I just wanted to thank all of y’all for your support this past year! Tomorrow, I’ll post something really profound or hopefully mildly entertaining. Today, I’m just trying to figure out how to navigate on this page!