04.15.14 Flowering Desert Cactus!!

10170985_774873542525748_6351603609984478836_nRoy discovered how to have our blog appear on his Facebook page, as well as mine.  Some of you readers may be new to our blog because of this.  If you’d like to “follow” the blog by having an email sent to you each time a new post is available, go to the right hand side of our main page and scroll down until you see “Follow Our Blog”.  Type in your email address, you’ll shortly receive an email, please confirm it and you’ll be a “follower” of Dora and the Explorers.

On to what’s been happening at our little temporary home in Southern Texas and other things I want to share.

This coming Friday is Good Friday. The day we  honor the fact that Jesus Christ died on the cross to save us from our sins.  If that isn’t one of the deepest displays of love, I don’t know what is.  He’s not going to stay in that grave, however! We celebrate His resurrection on Sunday, Easter Sunday! We will miss being in our home church that day.  It is our tradition to welcome someone with “He is Risen” and they answer “He Is Risen Indeed!”

The wonderful choir there is singing a cantata called  “Save in the Cross” this Friday night and Saturday night at 7:00 pm at Trinity Baptist Church, 42062 Pumpkin Center Road in Hammond.   I sang with the choir when we originally sang this probably 10 years ago and the message is still strong and accurate.  They would love to have you attend one of those nights and hear the true message of Easter.  Better yet, join them for Worship on Sunday at 10:45 and receive God’s message through the sermon and music.  I was told by someone recently, “God doesn’t want someone like me in church.”  What???????  God wants someone exactly like that in church.  What would he do with a whole bunch of perfect people.  Each and everyone of us are sinners.  Christians are only saved by the Grace of God.  You’re never too bad, too old, too whatever to turn to God!

Galatians 6:14: “God forbid that I should glory [boast], save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world was crucified unto me and I unto the world.”

Roy came back from his evening ride around the ranch yesterday and said “Come with me, the cactus are flowering!”  I quickly bundled up (its’ now cold here) and we rode out to where he saw the flowers.  I previously thought that what turns out to be a bloom, was a new cactus growing on the old one.  Shows I’m not very desert flower savvy! After a rain like that we would have seen puddles everywhere in Hammond but didn’t see any standing water as we rode around last night.

Here’s some pictures of the blooms.  This is so amazing that these cactus grow rose looking flowers! The heavy downpour we got yesterday probably helped these beautiful blooms come to life.  The heavy winds (around 40-45 mph) however, probably blew away a lot of the water away.  God has a way of making this beauty out of what should be dead dry land!

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I wrote last time about the Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival.  In case I didn’t emphasize how big this event has grown to, they estimate that over 300,000 people attended.  Here’s some aerial shots of the area.  The festival  now spreads throughout Ponchatoula and isn’t limited to just the Festival grounds.

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Hope you have a beautiful Tuesday and enjoy this possible last bit of cool weather for a while!

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

04.13.14 Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival, West Main Baptist Church and EGGGGSSS!

1422429_10152309338555851_864448269580519493_n 1966811_10152300858010851_4223900959512613505_nIn Southern Louisiana, particularly the Hammond/Ponchatoula area the biggest event around is the Louisiana Strawberry Festival.  It was held this weekend and we weren’t there.  There is nothing like the delicious sweet taste of a Louisiana strawberry with the juice dripping down  your arm while you savor its special sweetness!  They serve everything that can possible be made with a strawberry.  Lots of churches, schools and organizations have booths selling food and drinks all day.  The famous Strawberry Festival parade rolls down the main street in Ponchatoula throwing a lot of things including an ample supply of strawberry candies.

This is the beginning of many many weeks of festivals in Louisiana from the Crab Festival, Seafood Festival, Italian Festival, Shrimp Festival, Tomato Festival, Catfish Festival, Gumbo Festival, French Quarter Festival, Jazz Festival and many more!   It is absolutely the truest thing I know that Louisianans LOVE THEIR FOOD!!!  These festivals aren’t just a small event, they are weekend long music, food, games, dancing, and visiting times for family and friends.  Every weekend all spring and summer long!

Hope all our Hammond/Ponchatoula friends who attended had a great and safe time.  Our son Chip and his girlfriend Kim worked at their church’s food booth most of the day yesterday and had a great time serving Our Lord at the fair!!  Roy and I are more and more impressed every day with Kim, the young lady our son has given his heart to.  She’s an amazing mother of two  precious little boys, holds down a full time job, is a wonderful female Christian role model for Madisyn and an blessing from God for Chip.

Texas is losing some of its charm with the day after day high temperatures and hurricane force winds! They forecast the temperatures to be lower this week starting tomorrow afternoon!  I think God’s been listening to my prayers!

I’ve felt better since I’ve been staying inside more and I did buy nose/mouth masks to wear when I’m outside.  I can still feel my asthma when I breathe though it’s not as bad. I use to have serious asthma problems but allergy shots and other changes in my lifestyle had gotten that totally under control.  At least I do know how to handle it, but I don’t like it!  Good thing I love living in this tiny house we call home!  I will be starting my plant and yard watering responsibilities tomorrow so I’ll know all I need to when Bill and Ann leave on Friday.

1510447_10151916775920806_1100571717_nToday is Palm Sunday.  We went to West Main Baptist Church in Alice (about 35 minutes away) this morning for the first time.   Very friendly church about the size of our home church.   The children of the church (called the Almost Music Group) presented The Easter Story.   It was a wonderful depiction of the true Easter story ending in Jesus rising from the grave and the children all rejoicing.  These children really understand that Easter is truly all about Jesus. What a special day we picked to visit that church.

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Roy has taken on a project that is oh so Roy like!  Bill (the ranch’s owner) gave Roy a hand sketched map of the ranch.  After trying to follow it on a recent outing around the ranch we realized there were way more roads on the ranch than the map shows.  Roy threw himself into creating for Mr. Bill an accurate map of the map plotting where all the deer blinds and feeders are located (with their names).  Starting with a Google Map Satellite View of the ranch he’s divided the ranch into quadrants and will work on getting one quadrant accurate before moving on.  Since I’m having such bad allergy problems I can’t go out with him too much as he rides around to verify spots on the map.  I’ll go with him on his final round in each quadrant after he thinks he has it all right so I’ll get to see it all but not be too exposed to all the allergens.

That’s all there is for what’s going on around here!  We asked for on Facebook and received several great recipes for cooking with eggs.  Since we’ll have an abundance of them while we’re here if any of ya’ll know of some good recipes please send them to us at rosalyn@selu.edu!

Thanks, and ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!





04.07.14 Texas groceries! RVillage has 4524 members! Happy Birthday!

2014-04-01_14-20-33_707Roy and I ventured into San Diego to do some shopping and found the local grocery store/hardware store all in one building.  We of course had to try on cowboy hats! What ya’ll think??

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We found several things here that we probably wouldn’t see in a Louisiana grocery store (unless it was specifically a Mexican or Spanish store). There were several odd things but I only took pictures of a couple of them. Don’t want to arrive in a new town and immediately become known as the crazy woman who takes random pictures in groceries stores! At Wal-Mart I was looking for a bag of chopped onions. What I found was about 10 different bags of seasonings I’ve never heard of and one bag of onions!!

Bags of corn shucks
This is the actual bar of creamy coconut!



These have become my favorite frozen treat! Big bars of frozen coconut cream! Perfect in this hot Texas weather!

Here’s an RVillage update on number of members! It’s growing tremendously and people are enjoying connecting through this!

Our oldest son’s 35th birthday is today!  I don’t think he reads our blog but in case he does, Happy Birthday!!!


Nine years ago when our oldest son turned 26 he was serving in Iraq. We sent him a birthday cake baked in a mason’s jar, this sign and some other birthday stuff!

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!  Okay – big question time – Do ya’ll spell ya’ll like I do or like the dictionary says it should be spelled y’all???

033.31.14 San Diego, TX we’ve arrived!

I’m in the  middle of reading “Behind the Mask” by Elizabeth Michaels.

behind the mask

It’s very long, intriguing, well written and was FREE on BookBub.  They only offer a book Free for a few days so it probably isn’t free any longer.  I’d highly recommend it if you’re a reader like me who loves being able to pick up a good book in your free time.  It’s also book one in a series and they are all out already so yeah!!

I’m also reading “The Beloved Disciple” by Beth Moore about the life of John and his relationship to Jesus.  Beautifully written, crammed with Biblical knowledge, and holds your attention throughout.

beloved disciple

I’ve also just about finished reading (for at least the fifth time) “The Purpose Drive Life”, by Pastor Rick Warren.  TPDL is a great one to read annually as it’s messages  speak to the stage in your life you’re in differently each time.  It’s currently on sale on Amazon for only $2.99 so check it out while the price is so low.


God has blessed me with the desire to read and the time now to enjoy reading like never before.  Today’s blog post isn’t totally about books but knowing that so many of ya’ll love it I thought I’d let you know what I’m currently reading and invite you to read these as well!

We’re very close to our final destination for the next 6-7 weeks, San Diego, TX.  We’re in Alice, TX (largest city near San Diego) filling up on Diesel (again!). $300 yesterday in diesel and $125 today.  I’m sure glad we’re staying in one place for many weeks!

I’m quite delighted to see they have a Dollar Tree, Chili’s, Subway, Burger King,  and a Walmart.  Haven’t seen a church yet, though.  When we were in Kabetogama, MN for the summer the nearest town was over 30 miles away and didn’t have any of the stores they have in Alice.  We just pulled into the city of San Diego and it is about 14 square blocks large. They even have a Subway, Dollar General and a Church’s chicken.

Where we’re going to stay is out in the country from San Diego.  We should be  pulling into the ranch shortly.  I’ll write about it and share pictures with ya’ll as soon as we get settled.

Just saw a picture of Southeastern’s new Student Union and wanted to share it with ya’ll before I close!

southeastern studen tunion

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!