01.29.19 Introducing our new blog theme “BECAUSE HE LIVES”

We started writing this blog years ago under a different name, Dora and the Explorers.  There will be no more posts about Roy and I traveling with Dora since Dora moved to California.  That move lead to a change in the site’s name and the look.

Please click the “FOLLOW” link on the right if you’d like to receive an email whenever a new blog is posted!

In this new blog we will focus on our life in Louisiana, about living a Christian life, updates as my dementia progresses, along with some Wild and Wacky posts from time to time.

Because this new blog is about our future life, I thought a good bit about how that should be expressed in the blog’s new name.

The new theme is BECAUSE HE LIVES….. I can face tomorrow!

Some of you will know what that means and some will not. If you do Praise God!  If you do not I hope you will read and learn!

As I was thinking about the new name, the thought that stood out in my mind is that I don’t know what my future holds.  Whatever it holds, I know my future is in God’s hands because I am a Christian.

After Christ died on the cross, He was buried and rose from the dead so, HE LIVES.  Because of this I have the reassurance of Christ walking by me through every storm and joy that comes our way.  Therefore I can face anything that the future brings.

BECAUSE HE LIVES I can face tomorrow is the first two lines of the chorus in the amazing song written by Bill and Gloria Gather in 1993. I will share an audio version of the song and the lyrics below.

Back in the mid 1990s I was in a particularly dark place in my life.  One Sunday during that time in our Worship Service we sang a new song called Because He Lives.  My attention was immediately grabbed by the first verse.

God sent his son, they called him Jesus
He came to love, heal and forgive
He lived and died to buy my pardon
An empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives

When we got to the chorus I felt something come over me that couldn’t be ignored.

Because He Lives
I can face tomorrow
Because He Lives
All fear is gone
Because I know He holds the future
And life is worth the living
Just Because He Lives

When we sang the second verse it hit me hard because it talked about the calm assurance that this child can face uncertain days Because He Lives.  During this dark time my main concern was  the well being of my children. I felt like God was talking straight to my heart giving me the assurance I needed.

How sweet to hold a newborn baby
And feel the pride and joy he gives
But greater still the calm assurance
This child can face uncertain day Because He Lives

I had to sit down I was so overcome with that amazing assurance from God.

And then one day I’ll cross the river
I’ll fight life’s final war with pain
And then, as death gives way to victory
I’ll see the lights of glory and I’ll know he reigns

Oh how I needed to be reminded of this guarantee for true Christians who get to live with God in Heaven for all of eternity!

This song reminded me that Christ came to earth for the purpose of giving Christians the assurance that we are able to face tomorrow, with all of the uncertainty that it brings. God holds the future right in his hands and makes life worth living for all who trust in him.

I shared with my mother why that song grabbed my heart so much.  After that time whenever we sang Because He Lives we’d look at each other and hold hands while we sang.  It became our favorite song. Since she passed away, whenever we sing it I think of Mama and how Great our God is!

Here is a You Tube video of the song with the lyrics included.  I hope it will speak to you as it did and always will to me.

Songwriters: Gloria Gaither / William J. Gaither

Because He Lives lyrics © Capitol Christian Music Group

There is a much newer version of Because He Lives.  It’s a beautiful song but the original speaks to my heart with such comfort.

I look forward to sharing fun, meaningful and even silly moments with ya’ll.  When I am having a great brain day my favorite thing to do is to write.  When I’m not, well I just don’t write.  It takes me much longer to put together a post now but I push through it since I know it’s good for me.
Ya’ll have a Blessed week!

02.27.20 Mardi Gras at the flying field!

This was a very unusual Mardi Gras for Roy and I. When we were younger we went to every parade we could. In recent years we’ve chosen to watch some parades on television and attend none in person. We did go to one a couple of years ago. This year we did none of that!

Several of Roy’s remote control flying buddies went to the flying field for Mardi Gras. We really enjoyed the day watching the guys flying their planes, drones, and a paraglider They all have really cool flying machines and the guys know how to fly them very well.

Our son Chip stopped by on his lunch hour from work to watch his dad fly. Being the awesome son he is, Chip took our truck to be washed and brought it back spotless!!! Thanks, Chip! Your hugs were great and we both appreciate the visit and the clean vehicle!

Roy took this picture with his drone. This is several of the attendees at the Mardi Gras flying!

Another picture Roy took from his drone of one of the guys flying his plane.

One of the flyers, Andre’, brought his paraglider and flew all around the place. I really enjoyed seeing him do that!

Rick, Andre’ and Richard standing behind Andre’s paraglider 

One of the guys, Richard has a wonderful wife Linda whom I was blessed to get to know on Tuesday. I enjoyed our one on one conversation that lasted the whole time we were there. I came away from there feeling I had made a new very special friend. She plays Sudoku which is (according to Wikipedia) a logic-based, combinatorial number-placement puzzle. The objective is to fill a 9×9 grid with digits so that each column, each row, and each of the nine 3×3 subgrids that compose the grid contain all of the digits from 1 to 9.

I have seen these puzzles before and could never figure out what it was about. She taught me how to play and I was very excited to really catch on to this brain challenging game! Linda even gave me her big book of sudoku puzzles. Wow, how nice! I’ve been working the puzzles, slowly but surely since we got home! I look forward to visiting with her again out at the flying field soon! The picture below is of Richard, Linda, and Ron at the flying field just on a different day.

That’s it for our fun day at the flying field. It took Roy and me all evening and night to mostly recover from that much fun!

No matter how tired we were we still went to work out Wednesday at the fitness center! We are nearing the end of our third week of working out three days a week and we’re still loving it.

That’s Roy in the red shirt on one of the bikes.

I will be cooking a big pot of gumbo on the very cold day that Thursday is supposed to be. The last large bags of our homegrown okra and one of our bell pepper containers from last year’s garden will go into that gumbo! Love using our homegrown vegetables in our cooking!

Ya’ll have a Blessed weekend!

02.26.20 We now have the Grand Canyon in our Master Bedroom

We loved, loved, loved seeing the Grand Canyon in person. We saw both the North Rim and the South Rim. We loved it so much we went there twice, in 2015 and 2017. It’s some of the most amazing sights in our beautiful country.

When we moved into our home in 2018 we had almost nothing to decorate the walls with. We made the decision to decorate the walls with canvas prints of our favorite places we visited in our travels.  We decided at the beginning that the Grand Canyon canvas prints would go on the wall behind our bed.

The time has finally arrived for that to happen!  It was very difficult going through all of the hundreds of photos we took of the Grand Canyon and having to narrow it down to three prints showing different places at the Grand Canyon.  Finally, we narrowed it down to these three photos

We went online to CanvasChamps where we ordered three 18 x 24 canvas prints and they arrived last week.

Since they are on the wall behind our bed Roy had to stand on the bed to position and hang them.

Here’s the finished look of the Grand Canyon in our bedroom. We love it!     

In case you’d like to see other pictures from the Grand Canyon here are links to those blog posts:

2015 Grand Canyon North Rim Part One

2015 Grand Canyon North Rim Part Two

2015 Grand Canyon South Rim Part One

2015 Grand Canyon South Rim Part Two

2017 Grand Canyon South Rim

In case you missed or avoided my previous blog post about HELL here is a link to it!  THE UNBEARABLE REALITY OF HELL.

Ya’ll have a great week!

 

 

 

 

02.23.20 The Unbearable Reality of HELL, by Rev. Avery Dixon

Two weeks ago our pastor Rev. Avery Dixon preached on Hell. A lot of church congregations do not ever hear a sermon about Hell. I respect our pastor for this blunt, clear sermon he titled “THE UNBEARABLE REALITY OF HELL.’

We all would like for all our loved ones to live in Heaven when they die. However, so many are now in Hell because they did not listen when someone tried to tell them that Hell is really real. Or no one shared with them about God’s saving grace and also about the reality of Hell. Or they think they are going to heaven because they are nice to others and do good works. I want to do all I can to reach all that I can with the truth, planting the seed that will lead you to genuine salvation and eternal life in Heaven.

I’m pretty passionate about anything I write here on my blog. I am more passionate about sharing this topic and Bro. Avery’s sermon than almost anything else. I truly hope that all of our followers and anyone you can share this with will be Blessed by listening to this sermon.

God wants us to warn other people. Our pastor asked us to warn other people about the unbearable reality of Hell.

If you would like to hear other sermons that our outstanding young preacher has preached this is the link to our church’s website: https://trinitybaptistla.com/  Click on Sermons

Hell exists, it is real and I don’t want you going there. I want to see each of you in Heaven. Pass this on, please.

02.21.20 A look at what makes New Orleans’ cemeteries unique

When we went to visit Roy’s parents grave at St. Vincent dePaul Cemetery #1 this week I spent some time walking through the cemetery. I’ve always loved cemeteries with old graves in them. Of course, I took pictures throughout to share here since a lot of our followers are not from this area and have different burial places than we do. The St. Vincent de Paul Cemeteries were established in 1859 and many of the graves had death dates in the latter part of that century. This cemetery is pretty representative of most of the styles of graves/tombs in New Orleans.

One reason that our cemeteries are different is that burial plots are shallow in New Orleans because the water table is very high. Dig a few feet down, and the grave becomes soggy, filling with water. The casket will literally float.

I did some reading up on these old New Orleans cemeteries and found that the cemeteries of New Orleans are often called “cities of the dead.” Not only do the tombs look like buildings, but the cemeteries are organized with streets (and street signs) much like the cities of the living. I know that my dad’s grave is on Pecan Street in his cemetery!

Here’s an interesting tidbit. You might wonder how we can bury more than one family member in a vault, like Roy’s parents which is in the picture below? How can a tomb hold all of those coffins? According to a local ordinance, as long as the previously deceased family member has been dead for at least two years, the remains of that person can be moved to a specially made burial bag and placed at the side or back of the vault. The coffin is then destroyed, and the vault is now ready for a newly deceased family member. What happens if a family member dies within that two-year period? Generally, local cemeteries are equipped with temporary holding vaults, and the newly deceased family member is moved into his or her final resting place when two years have elapsed.

Because of the age of this cemetery and most cemeteries in New Orleans you will see both beautifully maintained burial plots/tombs/vaults and those in disrepair. There are cemeteries in New Orleans much older than this one and those are really interesting! This portion of the cemetery is dedicated to housing the bodies of Catholic Nuns. It is very nicely maintained.

The nun’s graves looking forward from the back of that area. These are less expensive burial “wall vaults.”The same rules apply about putting a newly dead body in after the one before has been dead at least two years.

These raised rectangular graves are what most graves are like in the old New Orleans cemeteries. They are called copings.  .Oddly the section of this cemetery where the priests are buried is not nearly as pristine as the nun’s burial section.

The rest of these photos I took while roaming through the cemetery.

Everyone knows Boudreaux is a famous cajun last name. I had to take a picture of this nameplate!

I don’t know if this is unusual but we have indoor burial vaults like the ones below.

We live on the Northshore of Lake Ponchatrain. Our water levels are different here so our coffins are buried in the ground. I like our cemeteries over here but have always loved the uniqueness of the old New Orleans cemeteries!

Ya’ll have a Blessed week!

02.19.20 Our day in New Orleans

Tuesday Roy and I drove the 90-minute ride to visit his parent’s graves at St. Vincent dePaul Cemetery #1 in Uptown New Orleans, Louisiana. New Orleans is where we grew up and lived the first 10 years of our married life.

It’s been a long time since we visited their graves. We set out from home at 9 am and stopped along the way to see the house and neighborhood that Roy grew up in on White Street in Metairie (the city next to New Orleans.) The street looks pretty much the same and the houses too. Other than some updates to houses and yards it could have been back when Roy and I were dating. Although it was totally renovated when it was sold after his parent’s death, we saw today that it wasn’t in the best of shape and needs a lot of maintenance.

Roy’s best friend growing up, Mike Brauninger, lived next door at this house.Looking down White Street from in front of the church next door.   Roy and I both lived in the same home all our lives.  His on White Street in Metairie and mine on Milne Street in New Orleans. When we left White Street in Metairie we went to uptown New Orleans near Soniat and Loyola. That is where Roy’s mom and dad’s graves are at St. Vincent dePaul Cemetery #1 in Uptown New Orleans, Louisiana.

Roy’s parents are the last two names on the marble stone.

His father, Theodore Chauvin 1915 – 1987

His mother, Vivian F. Chauvin 1914 – 2003  

We didn’t know if anyone brought flowers recently so we brought some pretty silk flowers for the grave. They look like something Roy’s parents would like. They are both really missed.Our morning in New Orleans included going by the home I was raised in on Milne Street. This is the I-10 exit to our home.

This is the tiny, 700 square foot home I was raised in! The empty lot to the left of our tiny home was where the house my grandmother, Mimi, lived. After Hurricane Katrina her house was torn down and our house was gutted and remodeled after being under water for two weeks.

My best friend growing up, Brenda Ellis lived in this house a block away.

Roy and I both noticed that the streets were still in deplorable condition, just like they have always been.

We ended the day shopping and enjoying some time at our favorite place, Sam’s Wholesale Club.

I took several photos while walking around the cemetery today and will share them in a separate post. New Orleans cemeteries are interesting, to say the least, so I hope you’ll check it out next!

Ya’ll have a Blessed week!

 

02.16.20 Chauvin Produce Company – The Seeds are Planted!

Saturday was a beautiful sunny 60-degree day at our home in Amite, Louisiana!  It was spent outside planting this year’s vegetable garden seeds in small pots.

Roy planted his creole tomato seeds a few weeks ago and they are doing very well. He planted those seeds differently than we did last year.

In past seasons I planted several seeds per pot and transplanted the healthiest plant into the garden. This year Roy planted only one seed per pot. All but two of his 18 potted seeds started growing well. He planted a fresh seed in each of those two pots and they are both doing well now.

This year he packed each pot also soaked each pot in water after packing down the potting soil. He then poked a hole about half an inch down and placed one seed in the pot covering it with dirt.

Since this seemed to work so well for his 18 tomato plants I did the same today for my 100+ plant seeds. From last year’s crop, I dried seeds for bell peppers, okra, eggplant, and cucumbers.    I might plant some of the watermelon seeds later on.

I purchased seeds for cherry tomatoes, carrots, spinach, and green beans. I did not grow spinach and green beans last year. I’ve never grown either of them so this is really new for me.  The carrots were grown last year in the garden near the pond. That location is not going to be a garden this year as it is the home of our precious Bo and Peep Ducks. The carrots are going to grow in the main garden this year.

I wrote the name of each plant on a popsicle stick.  I’m working on new rocks to identify the plant for each row in the garden. It takes the plant a few weeks of growth before I can tell them apart so the rocks serve a very important purpose.

We have four large white potatoes sprouting inside. Roy’s brother Paul brought us two mirliton plants that have nice vines already growing on them.

So the vegetable garden season has begun. At least inside it has.  The shelves and plant grow lights we purchased last year will be their home for a while now. Roy will till the soil before they begin their hardening process so they can survive outside.

So they are all lined up on the shelves and the germination process has begun!

Ya’ll have a Blessed week!

 

 

02.13.20 Our exercise class!

This was our exercise class today at the fitness center.

Ha ha! That really wasn’t our exercise class but it was too cute not to share!

Roy and I survived day two at the fitness center!  We tried out different equipment and worked out for about an hour! Afterward, we even walked all around Walmart. We’ll count shopping as part of our exercise time!

Ya’ll have a Blessed week!

02.10.20 When you realize Summer is coming and your winter body has gotten out of control!

I wrote somewhere recently that we are the proud new members of Anytime Fitness in Amite, our home town now. It wasn’t like we got this awesome benefit from our insurance company and we rushed right out to use it. We got the benefit effective January 2019 and thought it was nice but didn’t do anything about it. We are two old folks who have grown quite lazy and fat so it took us a year to take the big step to join! Roy says it’s 9 miles from our house and possibly best of all it is right next to LaCaretta Mexican Restaurant.

After we joined, it took us over a week to make our way into the fitness center for our first workout.

Look at me in the picture below, I am ashamed and shouldn’t show this to anyone but instead, I am showing it to all ya’ll! I am hopeful that you’ll be able to see me thinning down in the weeks to come. Why I can’t get skinny after the first workout I don’t know!Roy has been having Physical Therapy for the last couple of months for his back. He’s been doing exercises like this so he’s got a leg up on me – get it, leg up on me, see his legs!

Yesterday morning before we left to go work out, things weren’t looking good for us. No need to share the gory details but let’s say once we got there it went really well and we were very pleased. We worked out for about an hour and a half which really surprised me. We rode the bicycles, the elliptical, used machines for arms, legs, abdomen (you can tell that neither of us need the abdomen machine!).  We did a couple of machines for each body part. I started off today at the very minimum weights, Roy could handle more than I could.

Before we left the fitness center we both weighed which reinforced why we are working out! Then I got on a machine that shakes your whole body for 50 or 60 second. On high it shook my brain so I jumped off and turned it to low which was not really low but it was really cool! It is a great way to end a workout!

We are planning to go back this Wednesday and Friday and will share our progress here from time to time! When we went yesterday we left home at 1 pm and that will probably be our time to leave for future workouts. There were a few older folks there which made us feel much more comfortable about being there.

When I got up this morning, Tuesday some body parts ached a bit but not really bad. That is encouraging! I actually would like to go back again today instead of waiting for tomorrow but I think a day in between for our bodies to recover is wise at least at the beginning!

Ya’ll have a Blessed week!

10.08.13 Field of Dreams, Dyersville, Iowa – 02.07.20 New Field of Dreams

MLB announcedlast week that the White Sox will host the Yankees in a “Field of Dreams” game in August of 2020. The game will take place in the new stadium built next to the iconic field from the movie. There will be 8,000 seats and fans will get to the new park through the cornfields around the original field where the movie was filmed. It seems like this is going to be one game only between the Yankees and the White Sox. I can’t wait to hear more information on this.

Roy and I were there in October of 2013 and LOVED IT!!  We recently ordered two canvas arts showing two great moments we had there. They are now on our living room wall next to our TV. I love that we are decorating the walls of our home with reminders of the precious memories we have from our six years living on the road. We just ordered three canvas arts with pictures we took at the Grand Canyon for our bedroom wall! I’m really looking forward to receiving those!

Back in October of 2013 when we visited Iowa I wrote the blog post below.

The original blog post from 10.08.13 Field of Dreams, Dyersville, Iowa – Both of our sons played baseball and softball growing up,  We had a baseball field in our side yard on Hinson Road, and we loved the movie Field of Dreams.

Betcha can’t guess where we went today!!!! That’s right, to the site of the Field of Dreams movie in Dyersville, Iowa. Roy played some ball with others including an older man dressed in an old-timey baseball uniform like they wore in the movie.

We went into the cornfields and out and in and out. I’m sure we looked like silly children and maybe we were today! It’s all still exactly like it was in the movie with the exception of a souvenir stand they added.

The family who has owned the property for years just sold it and we understand the new owners plan to add more ball fields so I’m glad we got to see it in its original form. The weather was perfect and there was a nice breeze.

Anyone who loves baseball or the movie should try to make it here to see it. The admission is free!

This was a very cool moment for us walking out of the corn!

fod7 (2)Roy absolutely loved having the opportunity to play ball on that field!

fod2fod 11fod 112 fod 13  fod 15 Some of the photos from when the movie was filmed therefod sign 2 fod sign

Dora was able to pull right up to the field. I loved this part!fod1  fod3 fod5 fod6

Looking out from inside the rows of corn!fod8 fod9 fod10 fod11We’re on our way to Chicago now. We really loved the beauty and farmland of Iowa. The Mississippi River is the dividing line between Iowa and Illinois. After as much flat land as we saw on the Iowa side, it immediately became hilly and even mountainous on the Illinois side of the river. The Mississippi River here was way bigger than it was at the headwaters up in Itasca, MN but not nearly like it is in New Orleans. There was a pretty beach with a boat launch on the Illinois side of the river. At first, we saw no cornfields but now that we’re further into the state they are everywhere here too. We hope to pull into Chicago before dark. We couldn’t find an RV park that we could afford within 2 hours of Chicago so we’re heading to our old tried but true Wal-Mart. We’ve pulled off the road at a rest stop for Roy to take a little nap since we’re going pretty far today and he did play baseball earlier!  We have some tentative plans for what we’ll do in Chicago so stay tuned for the next installment of our travels!

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

Currently, it was one of those times when we were both as happy as two little kids can be. Of all the places I’d love to go back to this is at the top of the list.  I’d want both of our sons’ families to join us. I can just imagine how much fun that would be seeing both boys hitting home runs out into the cornfield! Oh, how much fun our youth baseball time was! If you have a love for baseball this Field of Dreams is a definite on any bucket list!