Thursday, April 24, 2008

A few thoughts on moving . . .

These past few months have been full of big decisions. It was only the first part of March when we started thinking about moving to St. Louis. It is hard to believe what all has happened in that amount of time. We've found a new house, our house in Red Stick is under contract, James has started a new job, and today was my last day at work. I start my new job on Monday, we close on our new house in just a few days, and the movers are coming to pack our things in next week.

God has opened so many doors for us, and our families have been so supportive. We're both excited and thankful, but there will be some things that I will miss about South Louisiana - like crawfish boils and fresh gulf shrimp and the hundred year old oak trees and Spanish moss. I think I will miss living in an SEC town. But baseball season just might make up for it.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Mike the tiger

A couple of Saturdays ago we went to LSU to see the new tiger. James had seen him a number of times, but I hadn't gotten the chance to visit him. He's about 3 years old I think, and he's pretty active. He was pacing back and forth the whole time we were there.
We had some difficulty getting the dogs to pose by the tiger statue. Daisy, who is usually rather brave, was scared of it. She barked at it, and she didn't want to walk up to it or sit next to it.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Houmas House

These are some pictures from our second stop last Friday. It was about 4 pm when we got there. I had gotten so hot at Oak Alley that I was quickly reminded why I do not like the summer here. It's early April, and it feels like late June. It was 85 degrees and HUMID. You don't know humid until you have experienced it in South Louisiana or Miami. It was sunny and raining at the same time. I'm glad we're moving before summertime and hurricane season. It can be hard to sell house during hurricane season because you cannot buy home owner's insurance if there is a named storm in the Gulf.

This house was built in 1857, and had been left to ruin after the Great Depression. It had been restored with period reproduction materials.

The house also had a grand alley of oaks in front of it at one point, but the Corp of Engineers claimed them so they could improve the levee. The Mississippi river is visible from the upstairs gallery.

There was a pair of swans in the garden. They seemed pretty tame - I was able to get really close to them.

This mural decorated the entryway. The plants you see are sugarcane, and there is a a dog pictured who still lives on the premises. The ceiling was painted too. The piece that is framed is a map of Louisiana from the 1830's.
The next two pictures are period items from the nursery. Both surprised me. I thought walker were a rather modern invention. The chair converts into a stroller.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Local Attractions

Since we will be moving soon, we finally decided to do some of things that we've been meaning to do since we moved here three years ago. Yesterday, me took short drive south and visited two plantation homes. Our first stop was Oak Alley Plantation. The home is about 1/4 mile from the Mississippi River levee. The land was settled in the early 1700's, and had been a booming sugar cane plantation. There is still an active sugar cane plantation on the premises. The oak trees you see are about 300+ years old. They have a life expectancy of about 600 years. It amazes me that they have stood up to who knows how many hurricanes - these trees predate the weather records. The photo below is the view from the house facing the river.
This tree had been struck by lightening years ago, and had been repaired with tar and bricks to stabilize it.

This tree had resurrection fern growing on it. The fern is usually dried up and brown, but after a rain it looks lush and green.

This is the view from the side of the house opposite the oak trees. This entryway was installed in the last century by the previous owner. It is in the shape of a teardrop. It was done that way because the owner felt that slavery was a terrible time in our nation's history, and she wanted a kind of memorial for the slaves that had once lived on that land.

More to come later of our other stop.