Thursday, January 24, 2013

Touring Houmas House

On Jan. 5th Darryl and I visited the Houmas House on the old Burnside Plantation. It was a lovely house with many beautiful furnishings inside and a grand old history of the Mississippi River Sugar Plantation. By the 1850's this plantation home was called "The Sugar Palace" because of it's beauty and the 98,000 acres of sugar cane.

You take a very nice walk around the property .....

 And through some of the gardens.......

And then you come into view of the main house!

We spent quite a bit of time before and after the tours exploring the beautiful gardens.

Although most of the furniture was not original to the Houmas House Plantation, the current owner is quite the collector and the period furniture was beautiful. It was a lavish and graceful lifestyle to be sure. 

This beautiful scene in the entry hall was painted by the current gardener, who happens to be a professional artist, Mr. Craig Black. 

Above is a beautiful sculpture of a brown Pelican and below is quite the collector's piece. It is a very detailed statue of Abraham Lincoln on a bench cast in solid silver and it weighs 65 pounds. You can see the veins in his hands. This wonderful piece of art was sculpted by none other than Gutzon Borglund of Mt. Rushmore Fame.

In 1963 the movie Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte was filmed on the plantation and the actors and some of the crew stayed at the manse. The room where Bette Davis stayed and slept is on the tour and they have a little memorabilia there. They also have a Vampire slaying kit from the 1800's.

The kitchen is not located in the mansion house but it in the red stucco house that was the original house built in 1780 when the land was granted to it's original owners. This house can be seen behind Darryl in the picture below. There is a 5 star restaurant located at the Plantation with  Chef Jeremy Langlois (who is very famous) creating delicious original menus.

There were more gardens to tour after leaving the plantation house.

We spent almost an hour looking around their wonderful gift shop before leaving. It was such a pleasant way to spend our Saturday together. See y'all while ago!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

A Relaxing Saturday in January

Saturday January 12, 2013
I hear from friends and family out West that it has been pretty cold where you are. 

I am sorry to hear that. At 10:00 this morning it was only 77 degrees with a light wind. It was a nice break to have partly sunny skies today since it has been raining all week. In just 12 hours it is amazing how much the water has receded.  

So after breakfast and while waiting for Dome Technologies VP to meet us we decided to do a little souvenir shopping and spent time being tourists. 

We love this little Cajun Village with it's quaint shops, but it was having some issues today. 

Santa Gator was still doing well. 

The sign above us says Gatorville, but the nice gentleman who took the picture didn't get it in the shot. Maybe next time. 

In most stores in this modern era the days after Christmas will find them decorating the stores for the upcoming Valentine Holiday. But not in Louisiana. That's when you start to see everything 

Yes.... I bought the mask. Don't ask me why, I just wanted a cool, mysterious masked ball type mask. 

A nice selection of Mardi Gras Jewelry. (It's not just about the beads you know.)

I really feel bad about all the flooding, but it was a nice pleasant day. We went to a plantation and I will put those photos up later. In the mean time.......
Y'all keep warm. :-)

Friday, January 4, 2013

My Christmas Season!

The Christmas Season traditionally starts for our family the weekend after Thanksgiving, so that is where I will start this post. There are 65 pictures for you to enjoy.
 On the Sunday after Thanksgiving we gathered at Skye and Ryan's house (which is Shiloh and Jason's home) in West Columbia, SC for the blessing of Little 'MO' Guffey, a.k.a. Micah Osborne Guffey. Since everyone was looking so nice they decided to get a family picture after church.
The following Saturday I treated myself to an early birthday present and bought a new suit. ... Okay... I bought 2 new suits and one new dress/coat ensemble. Everyone sing... "I feel pretty...".

They were still cutting sugar cane here in early December. This is looking out of my office window. Another tradition they have here that we have missed for both Christmases is the lighting of the bonfires along the Mississippi River. They have huge bonfire building contests all along the levy and on Christmas Eve they fire them up to light Santa's way through the fog to their homes.

Cody and I left on Monday December 17th in his little pick-up truck to drive to Utah. We drove to my sister Sandy's house where she and David had a delicious dinner waiting and then went to watch Charlotte play in her last basketball game of the season. We spent Tuesday night with Cami, Jacob and the kids in Gallup, NM and on Wednesday drove through ice and snow to Springville, UT to spend the night with Hillary and Jake. We arrived in Idaho Falls on Thursday in time to go to Gideon's Pre-School Christmas program before heading to Menan. When we got home the house was a cool 43 degrees. They floor heat had been set on the Vacation setting so it took it a couple of days to warm up. We spent Thursday night with Cali and the kids because their house was warmer and then Friday Morning we went back up to the house to get it decorated and ready for company.

  Because it was obvious we had a mouse problem, I sent Cody to the animal shelter in Rexburg to get a house cat for us. He came home with the cutest little black kitten named Geo (I call him George) and a 4 month old bull terrier/pit bull puppy name Sugar. Yep... that's the last time I send him for a mouser.

Hillary, Jake and Toby arrived around 4:30 followed by Jesse, Kelly and Tyree. Cali and the kids had come up earlier to help us decorate.

Due to the bad weather in the mid-west Darryl's flights were delayed so he didn't get in until midnight. On Saturday we continued our frantic decorating and finally finished about 10 minutes before Cami and Jacob arrived with Lily, Ransom and Gage.

On Sunday Morning Darryl fixed Goldenrod and sausage for a late breakfast. Cali and Travis were the only ones who didn't come for breakfast, but they met us all at church and then we had a wonderful dinner of baked ham, potatoes and green bean casserole afterwards.

We are great holiday eaters, and since Christmas Eve was my birthday we celebrated with delicious soups, Salad, Birthday Cake and Caroling the neighbors.

 After Cake and ice cream, Birthday presents and caroling....
We hung the stockings on the fireplace mantle....(all 18 of them when you count the cat's stocking),

While Gideon and Lily oohed and awed over Grandma Cindy's display of 'activities' (nativities). We talked about baby Jesus, put the kids in their new pajamas and went to bed to await Christmas day.

Because I am so old (56) I had two delicious birthday cakes!

And wonderful Presents. (My new waffle iron is the bomb!!)

Santa was good to us this year, as he is every year.

Hillary!! What are you doing to your foot?

 Gage's toothbrush with the suction cup is just perfect!

A little Hungry, Hungry Hippo Madness!

A Red Ryder Repeating action BB Gun!!! (Watch it kid, you'll shoot yer eye out!)

Gage and Sugar snuggle uncle Jake.

A unicorn bike helmet.

New train books...

A triceratops bike helmet!

Look mom!! A new box! Oh.. and new shoes!

I didn't get any good pictures of Cody with his new bow, they were all dark and blurry, but I did get some action shots with his new bull whip! (Nice outfit)

Finally it was time for Christmas Dinner!

Yes, we did dress for dinner, but somehow I didn't get any pictures of us all dressed up. How sad is that, Cali?

Checking out the treasures in her stocking.

Christmas night, 8:45 p.m. 
Jesse, Kelly and Tyree, Hillary, Jake, Cali, Travis and Parker had all left for the evening around 7:30 and the rest of the kids were playing and having a blast with their new Christmas goodies. Around 8:30 I noticed it was very quiet and went to investigate. Here is what I found. One very tired Gideon crashed on the bare floor. He didn't even make it up to his bed like Lily and Ransom did.

On Thursday the 27th we had a baby shower for Hillary who is expecting her first child in February. A boy they will name Gabriel. Grandpa Darryl took care of Gage during the shower.

It was fun to visit with our friends Elinor and Barbara. 
And Cami made a wonderful table of treats and goodies for the shower.

The rest of the week we just enjoyed spending time together as a family. What a blessing in our lives to have a family so close as ours.

Teaching Tyree Wring around the Rosie. . .

... and how to properly 'Dog pile' on Gideon.

And how to wrestle Grandpa.

Gage thinks he's in Jail.

Ride Bolie Ride!
What a wonderful Christmas Holiday!!