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!

 

 

02.10.20 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!

02.04.20 My child wouldn’t do that!!!???

These priceless photos of kiddos getting into mischief or just plain having fun exploring made me laugh.

My own two sons were perfectly behaved and never got into such mischief. A Pinocchio like nose grows longer as I write.

I hope these make you smile, giggle, laugh, shake your head in amazement, whatever!

    

I hope ya’ll enjoyed these little funnies!

Have a Blessed Week!

01.26.20 Roy’s back door project

Roy started this “back door project” sometime in October of last year because the bottom of both sides of our back door had rotted and the baseboard next to it was rotted as well. There is no covering over the back door so rain hits the door and was somehow getting in. This blog post about the “back door project” has been a work in progress since October also. After the project got started Roy’s back started hurting and everything stopped.

He dug out the rot on both sides of the door and replaced it with epoxy that was thick like vaseline and would not rot. He replaced the entire door frame with a non-rot PVC composition frame. Replacing the door itself would have cost around the same but the wooden part of the door would have rot again so this helps us have a non-rot back door.  Roy is so smart and so diligent. He purchased a router to create a mortise for the hinges and door latch faceplate and then fit them into the new frame. 

The interior and exterior wood frames are all new. Roy added an aluminum drip cap on the exterior bottom of the door to help keep the rain away from the bottom of the door.

Finalizing this blog post this evening has taken every bit of brain that Roy and I both have to write this. Neither of us could remember what things are called. At one point just now it came down to either me killing Roy or me laughing till I cried because it’s so frustrating and something that should be so simple has become a horribly hard thing to do. I put my computer down and started working on it again Sunday afternoon.

Here are pictures taken during the process.

Day one – the door was removed!

The door side bottom before Roy dug out the rotten wood

The door side bottoms after Roy dug out the rotten wood 

Roy filled up the hole where the rot was with the special epoxy.

The epoxy before sanding

The epoxy after sanding, before painting

After painting, looks just like brand new! 

Roy using his router to dig out PVC to create one of the mortises for the faceplate.

It’s been so long since I put these pictures in this blog post that I don’t really know why they are here but Roy’s working on the door in the pictures so here they are!

The original door frame was removed and replaced with a new  PVC composite door frame that won’t rot!

After a “slight pause” in work before getting done on the back door, Roy completed the “back door project” this week.

This is the only help I provided, other than staying out of Roy’s way and asking him to please get it finished! I touched up the paint around where the old door frame was.

The top of the door frame is nailed down here in this photo. The refrigerator was moved out of its little home for this part. 

The new baseboard and interior door trim are complete! Halleluja! 

And alas the project is complete. Roy got a couple of new tools to use in this project and we have a very solid weather proofed back door that will last for many years to come! Thank the Lord! A happy Chauvin home has a finished reconstructed back door in it!

Now on to the next thing on my “honey do” list!

 

01.21.20 Peep is expecting!

Our sweet girl duck, Peep, started laying baby duck eggs, one a day for the last four days!  Yay baby ducks!! Here is egg number 1!

I guess she’s actually not expecting like we think of it but she’ll have babies sometime in February! I contacted the wonderful couple that gave us Bo and Peep to learn more about this baby duck process.

Peep is the smaller of the two in the photo below. Bo is the daddy with the grey head.

We don’t know how many eggs she will lay but I just found out that Mama Peep’s mom laid over 20!  Mama Peep will start sitting on the nest of eggs full time when the last egg is laid except for taking eating breaks.

We will start counting the number of days from when the last egg is laid so we will know when 28 days from the last egg being laid is. 28 days is approximately when they will start hatching.

28 days after the last egg is laid we need to separate Bo, the daddy, from Peep and the babies. He may get aggressive and hurt or kill them. That’s kinda weird but I guess ducks aren’t like human daddies who love and protect their young.

I’ll let ya’ll know as things progress with this new adventure!

01.19.20 Chauvin Produce Company 2020

Chauvin Produce Company’s start to its 2020 season is small but it has started!

Roy can be seen below filling up his little seed cups with dirt and planting one Creole Tomato seed in each pot. His young assistants, Bo and Peep stand ready to assist if needed!

The seeds have sprouted proudly under their grow light in the rock room.

This is the artichoke plant that started as a seed last year. It grew some last year and survived the short freezes we’ve had here in Louisiana. I left it in the ground and it’s continued to grow, oh so slightly but it is growing!

You can see that there is nothing else is in the garden. When Roy’s tomato plants get big enough to plant in the ground the garden will get tilled. We’ll see what happens to the artichoke plant then!

In early February I will be planting cucumber, eggplant, bell pepper and okra seeds I saved from last year’s crop. I think that is very cool! Potatoes will definitely be grown but not sure what else I’ll plant but these are for sure crops!

Well, that was short, but I think it was kinda sweet!

Ya’ll have a Blessed Sunday!

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01.14.20 LSU NATIONAL CHAMPIONS 2019 – GEAUX TIGERS!

Last night OUR Louisiana State University TIGERS won the National College Football Championship!

The final score was 42 to 25.

The team they beat was the Clemson Tigers.

Clemson’s record this year was 14-0 and LSU’s record this year was 14-0. They both deserved to be in this game.

LSU won last night and their record for the 2019 is now 15-0!

Congratulations LSU Tigers!

You unquestionably earned this trophy. Enjoy being better than the best

Nothing bad to say about Clemson. They played hard, gave it their all and should walk away with their heads held high.

My Facebook Wall this morning blew up with nothing but LSU winning pictures. I am sharing a few here for those few people who did not spend all yesterday evening cheering, yelling, panicking, and cheering even more.

The LSU Band is known as ” The Golden Band from Tigerland.” Here they are creating the outline of Louisiana and our Fleur de Lis!

LSU Cheerleaders and Mascot singing our national anthem on the sidelines.  

A young man we know, the handsome blonde in the front row, was at the game with his dad and got on ESPN in this picture!  

This may be my favorite with all the confetti on the ground after the game and our Tiger mascot creating a snow angel in it! Our President, Donald J. Trump and his amazing wife Melania Trump were on the field before the game and enjoyed it in one of the box suites! The applause they received showed how Americans truly love our President and his wife!

The National Championship game was held this year in New Orleans in the Mercedez Benz Superdome.

Our dear friend Henry at the game. Oh, how I would have loved to be there. It was however, perfect getting to watch it from the comfort of our living room couch!

The beautiful purple and gold confetti let loose after LSU won the game.

LSU’s coach Ed Orgeron is fabulous and perfect for a Louisiana team.

He was born and raised in Larose, Louisiana and always wanted to be the LSU football team coach.  His talking is so thick with cajun accent that there is no doubt where that man came from. We all couldn’t have been happier for him last night. He was an unlikely choice as LSU’s coach and man did he prove those who hired him right! Congratulations Coach O!

And certainly deserving of major credit is our Heisman winning Quarterback, Joe Burrow! He earned that title again last night with his determination and accuracy throughout the whole game.

Thank you LSU for the wonderful education you provided our oldest son that he uses to very well support his family. His wife is also an LSU graduate so we have a lot to be thankful for from LSU. Yes, it is an excellent educational institution, they don’t just play football!

Last night winning the National Championship put the cherry on top of a year that made LSU fans happy! Families all around Louisiana and beyond gathered together to watch the game and eat some gumbo or crawfish or just plain eat. We do that every week when the Tigers are playing! Louisiana is so unique in our culture, language and more but we are loyal and proud people. I’m proud today to be from this wonderful state where our flagship university brings home the National Championship trophy!

I am very thankful that my brain came out of its downward spiral and I was able to really enjoy this win! For those who have been concerned, I have been doing much better and really enjoyed the sunshiny day outside here in Louisiana today!

Ya’ll have a Blessed week!