03.07.19 To the mom who keeps going, by Rachel at Finding Joy

While this is about moms who keep going in all phases in life, I hope that all of the young and older mothers at our church read this. You all just keep going and ya’ll amaze me by showing up every week at church with clean clothes on, kids dressed, probably everyone had a bath (!) and you didn’t kill or maim one of them on the way to church or in church.
There are several young children that sit in front of us at Trinity. A couple of Sundays ago when we were getting ready to pray I noticed that everyone of them bowed their heads to pray. That says a lot about you moms and dads bringing your children up to respect and know God.

I have two grown sons who were raised at Trinity so I know how hard it is getting it all together to come to church. Our lives back then weren’t nearly as complicated as young families lives are now. I won’t start naming the young ladies I’m thinking about because I’ll miss someone. You are wonderful Christian motherly examples and I hope others see that in you as well!

This is for you. Yeah, you.

You might think it’s no big deal. You might not even realize the power in your ability to keep going. But I see you. I know that strength. I know the nights of no sleep met with mornings of tired. I understand the give and the take. I know the heartbreak and the love.

And I know that sometimes it’s so easy to dismiss that we keep going.

You keep going.

That family of yours knows that you keep going. That is such a gift. A life gift. A hard thing.

It’s hard to keep going when the cards all crash in. But you keep going.

It’s challenging to keep going when relationships fail. But you keep going.

It’s scary to keep going when you don’t have answers. But you keep going.

It’s lonely to keep going when everyone else seems to have it together. But you keep going.

It’s frustrating to keep going when things keep messing up. But you keep going.

It’s tiring to keep going when you get no sleep. But you keep going.

It’s humbling to keep going when you feel overwhelmed. But you keep going.

It’s simple to dismiss it.

But you keep going.

On good days. You keep going.

On bad days. You keep going.

On great days. You keep going.

On irritating days. You keep going.

On normal days. You keep going.

On throw-in-the-towel days. You keep going.

On exhilarating days. You keep going.

On so-so days. You keep going.

On first time days. You keep going.

On last time days. You keep going.

On vacation days. You keep going.

On work days. You keep going.

On never-get-a-break days. You keep going.

On just-a-mom days. You keep going.

You keep going.

You may get to the end of this day and look at your day and wonder what on earth did I accomplish today? But you are only looking at today. You are missing all the days that got you to this day. All the days where you kept on going. All the days when you didn’t know if you would make it through. All those days. So maybe your to-do list has a hundred things checked off or maybe it has none – but it does have this – you keep going.

Sweet, sweet sister.

The weight of the world will try to tell you that you need to do more, be more, change more, love more, give more, show-up more, but sister, sometimes the world misses the most powerful part of you.

You keep going.

So hold your head high. Be proud of you. Love your days. All of them.

You know what is amazing? This story, this life, this adventure – you are such a beautiful part of it. For so many. For your friends, your children, your family.

Because you keep going.

~Rachel at http://findingjoy.net

Ya’ll have a Blessed weekend!

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03.02.19 Rosalyn and Harry’s Hometown

I only know Harry Connick Jr. through television. I love to hear him play the piano and sing.  His dad Harry Connick Sr. was very famous to us for his work as District Attorney in New Orleans for what seemed like decades.

Harry and I both grew up in Lakeview, a beautiful part of New Orleans so we  have the same hometown. I enjoyed the video below by Harry where he takes us around New Orleans to see some of what makes our hometown so special.

The video below includes his favorite food places

Cafe Du Monde,
Camellia Grill
Cava on Harrison Avenue
Plum Street Snowball

I love Cafe Du Monde where I always get beignets and chocolate milk. They now have 8 locations.

I love Camellia Grill. Roy makes something similar to their Chocolate Freeze which we call Slap Ya’ Mama.

I’ve never eaten at Cava but we should.

Plum Street Snowballs are outstanding. My favorite snowball stand in New Orleans is the one we always went to growing up, NOLA Snowballs at 908 Harrison Avenue in Lakeview. NOLA Snowballs had a different name when I was young.  I think it was Harrison Snowballs.  One thing I remember is that it was owned by my friend Worm’s dad.  I think it’s the name Worm that stuck in my mind!

Harry uses the media often to share his love for New Orleans.  I want to share this amazing city with ya’ll as I’ve done often in the past.  This isn’t the first New Orleans focused blog post I’ve done and it probably won’t be the last.

Contact info for his favorite food places:

Cafe Du Monde
800 Decatur Street
New Orleans 70116
504 525 4544

Camellia Grill
626 S Carrollton Avenue
New Orleans 70112
504 309 2679

Cava in Lakeview
789 Harrison Ave
New Orleans 70124
504 304 9034

Plum Street Snowballs – corner of Plum and Burdette St
1300 Burdette St
New Orleans 70118
504 866 7996

Hope you enjoyed Harry’s tour around New Orleans, our hometown!

Ya’ll have a Blessed weekend!

02.28.19 Chauvin Produce Company Update – Hey HONEY let’s stop at the junk yard!

Monday we had some errands to run around Amite and Hammond.  I told Roy I’d like to find a metal table to use outside to have a place for repotting plants, etc.  He said he previously saw a glass and metal table at the junk yard. It’s a big yard with junk in it! They sell whatever people give them! As we were driving down Highway 16 towards downtown Amite we passed by there and stopped.  I love stopping there to see what they have for sale.

20190228_134928.jpg

I looked at the round glass and metal table but it just didn’t ring my happy bells. We saw a rectangular glass outside table with metal trim and legs.  We both agreed not only could it be a gardening table but we can use it for when company comes to eat and visit! We need to get an umbrella to go through the hole in the middle of the table for shade. I’ll take a used one if anyone wants to give us one!!!  We settled on a great price with the young lady at the junk yard and Roy figured out how to strap it to the top of our truck bed cover to bring it home.  A nice policeman followed us home I guess to make sure the table didn’t fall off and cause an accident.

I cleaned the table this morning and the next phase of gardening began.  Most all of my little vegetable and fruit seeds have grown big enough plants to transfer them to bigger pots. That took a long time but I got to know them all really well.  I’ve always talked to my plants even before having dementia.  They respond well, so if you haven’t tried it start talking to yours!  It will be a while until these tiny plants are ready to go in the garden but we now have a kitchen floor full of pots. It was not sunny today but spending hours outside was such a blessing!

These pictures above were taken before the table got full and I finally realized that sitting down in a chair made the whole process easier…………… duh!

The brussells sprouts plants from last year have been replanted down by the pond. There are seven of them and when I took them out of the container they were in I saw tiny brussells sprouts growing!  We’ll see how that turns out!

Both fig trees are blooming!

All of the eight transplanted blueberry bushes are blooming and one even has a few blueberries on it already!!

I also planted 5 more peanut plants down there.  I planted 6 last week in the front of the garden along the fence.  I just planted the 5 peanuts and 7 brussells sprouts and after an active day I am pooped out.  I’ll plant more peanuts tomorrow.  The soil down there with what Roy added and tilled is beautiful and so easy to work with, it’s just the bending and digging that’s rough!  Thanks again honey for my second garden!

I have mirliton vines and potatoes ready to plant.  Next Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday we will have freezing temperatures at night.  Once that is past I’ll begin planting those in the garden. The watermelon, cantaloupe seeds have nice size plants now and will be planted down by the pond then.  The cucumbers will also be ready for the garden and will be planted on the same end that the mirliton vines will be on growing up the fence Roy constructed!

Not ours but a mirliton vine with mirlitons on it. That’s what I’m striving for!

This is what a mirliton vine and mirlitons look like.  Roy’s mama always had one and we enjoyed many of her stuffed mirlitons!

Roy created rows in the garden last week.  It’s beginning to take shape. It’s only growing a couple of weeds right now but soon it will be filled with lots of vegetables.

Ya’ll have a blessed weekend!

 

2.24.19 Decorating the walls at Casa de Chauvin

Sometimes I really miss all the adventures we’ve had while living on the road in Dora, our motor home.

Since moving into our sticks and bricks home (that’s what motor home folks call their house), the walls are kinda empty except for televisions and a couple of pieces of decoration.

Roy recently came up with a great idea to decorate the walls.  We’re going to take some of our favorite photos from our travels and have them printed on canvas!  The five years on the road were filled with many adventures and we always want to remember them.

I started going through all our travel photos to pick out some fo the ones we love the most from the first photos from 2012 up to the time we stopped traveling last year. What I’m finding, while going through all of these blog posts, is that they are bringing back so many special, heart happy memories. I noticed that our smiles in the photos are such genuinely happy smiles coming from the joy in our hearts seeing all of the amazing things our country has from coast to coast.  God gave us the gift of travel and adventure at a time He knew we most needed it.

I finished that process recently and have picked out 371 photos!  We’d have to add many rooms to our house to have enough walls to hang all those.  I can see this is going to be a huge endeavor to narrow it down to our 10 (at most) favorites.

We didn’t know how these canvas prints would come out.  We first had Easy Canvas Prints make a recent family photo into a canvas print for both of our son’s families for Christmas.  We loved how those came out and our son’s families loved them as well. Using a two for one discount they offered the price was very reasonable.

We looked at several different companies to price having a three part canvas print made from a photo I took while standing on the bridge across Niagara Falls that goes from America to Canada.  This is the original photo.Canvas Campus is who we ordered our three part photo of Niagara Falls wall art from. They offered a free 8″ x 8″ canvas print with any purchase of $99 or more.  Our order was exactly $99 so we sent them the photo below of Roy and I when we went to Colorado the first time and toured the Colorado Rockies stadium.  We got to sit in the dugout and another visitor took this photo where I’m calling down to the bull pen for a relief pitcher! The Niagara Falls split picture is made up of three 30″ high x 20″ wide canvases. It is now hung up on the wall over our sofa.

We love it there! We have such great memories of Niagara Falls and our time on the Maid of the Mist that this is perfect for our living room.  You can see the Maid of the Mist in the lower right hand corner of the photo. Here’s the Coors Field photo on canvas.

l am thankful that God allowed us to experience all of those memories and we are so happy to have been able to share a lot of them with you on Dora and the Explorers!

Next we’ll order three separate canvas prints of three different views of the Grand Canyon.  That will go in our bedroom over the bed.  I plan to have several canvases around the house that are not three part but we thought this was a good place to start so we could see if we like it, and we do!

If you are interested in having your photos put on canvas I’d recommend shopping around.  They all seem to have different specials at different times.  Some of the companies have way higher shipping prices than others.  We were pleased with the final work of both Easy Canvas Prints and Canvas Campus.  The Niagara Falls canvases came in laid out wrong the first time but the company came through sending us the correct prints the second time at no cost and in a very fast manner.

Ya’ll have a Blessed weekend!

Image result for niagara falls scripture quote

 

 

02.21.19 SALE PENDING!!! Coast to Coast Premier RV Resort Network Membership For Sale

UPDATE: WE HAVE A SALE PENDING ON OUR COAST TO COAST MEMBERSHIP

If you live in an RV or travel often throughout our beautiful country in an RV, you will be most happy to learn that we are selling our Coast to Coast Premier Membership for only $2,000. New memberships can go as high as $10,000 for the exact same benefits.

Our Coast to Coast membership was one of the absolute best purchases we made when starting out on our adventures.  It paid for itself in the first six months. We no longer have our motor home so we are offering our Coast to Coast membership for sale!

Included in this membership with Coast to Coast, you first become a member of a home park.

Our home park is TLC Wolf River in Pass Christian, Mississippi. If you purchase our Coast to Coast membership then TLC Wolf River will be your home park.  They have 140 full hook-up RV sites, waterfront RV campsites, a swimming pool, play area for children, a boat launch, laundry, Wi-Fi, and clubhouse with cable TV and showers.

One of the great benefits of a home park is that while most parks are closed to reservations during holiday weeks or weekends, reservations are open to home park members.

As a home park member, you can stay there for two weeks at a time, for just $5.00 per night. There is no limit on the amount of times you can visit during a year. After you’ve stayed a period of 8–14 days, you must leave the park for one week before you are allowed to return.

TLC WOLF RIVER MAP

You can even show up any time you want at your home park! You do not need to make a reservation. They don’t offer guaranteed sites but you give them your three favorite sites and they will try their best to give one of those to you when you stay there! If you want to make reservations you can ask for your favorite spot then!

If you don’t have your RV with you when you plan to stay there they have rental travel trailers and 5th Wheels available for $35.00 per night.

Your membership also allows for guest usage. If your guest is closely related to you, they are allowed to come stay at the park even without your company. If your guest is a friend, neighbor, or distant relative, we ask that you be here with them while they stay. Guests can stay at the park for $20.00 per night or in a rental for $35.00 per night, and with the exception of a small handful of holidays and special events, they can camp as often as you do.

TLC Wolf River Resort’s memberships can be left to your children which is an incredible benefit if your children get bit by the RV bug like you were. Memberships expire upon the death of their third owner.

TLC Wolf River is so close to many of the amazing attractions the Gulf Coast has to offer. TLC Wolf River is just three miles north of the 26 miles of sugar white sand beaches that run along the coast.  Some of the best seafood around can be found at the 13 resort style casinos along the coast.

We’ve found it to be a very peaceful, relaxing park where we’ve met many great RVers.  We love to park along the lazy Wolf River! If you want to learn more about TLC Wolf River Resort, visit their website at http://www.tlcwolfriverresort.com, or you can go to their Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/Tlcwolfriverresort.   They are located at 23098 Freddie Frank Rd, Pass Christian, Mississippi 39571 (228) 452-9100.

TLC Transfer Fee and Annual Dues:

TLC has a Home Park Transfer Fee of $250.00
TLC Current Annual Dues are $349.00

Once you’ve become a member of a home park like TLC Wolf River, you can become a member of Coast to Coast, the RV Resort network.

Purchasing our Coast to Coast Premier plan will allow you to stay at their network of over 200 private, member-only resorts across the United States and Canada.  At these private resorts you get to stay there FREE, YES FREE!!!

Coast to Coast members can stay FREE at around 200 high-quality RV resorts across North America for 2 weeks at a time during peak season, and 3 weeks at a time during non-peak season.  Some resorts have a sales tax or electricity fee. It was never more than $5 a night during our travels.

Many of these Coast to Coast parks have rental RVs as well.

Coast to Coast also gives you access to over 200 Good Neighbor parks. These parks are 4 and 5 star rated Woodall’s public campgrounds. You may stay at these parks for $15.00 per night.

Every year when you renew your Coast to Coast membership, you will receive a complimentary Good Sam membership card which you can use to get discounts at Camping World and discounted access to over 2,200 Good Sam parks.

Coast to Coast offers a variety of discounts on other products and services as well.

  • Affordable week-long getaways through Hopscotch Holidays to fabulous condominium resorts around the world starting at only $99 a week
  • Vacation packages for destinations in the U.S. and internationally
  • Ocean cruises and river cruises to explore new worlds
  • Airline tickets, hotel, and rental car reservations for leisure or business travel
  • Dining, shopping, entertainment, movie, recreation, and golf discounts you can use to save money every day

Coast to Coast is a really great program. One of the best investments we ever made. There is a lot to learn about Coast to Coast to get the most out of your membership.   Check out their website at https://www.coastresorts.com/ to learn more!  Our membership is an original Premier membership.  The new ones they promote on their site have a little different rules than ours does.  Like there is a $10 a night charge with the new premier memberships, but in our membership it is FREE!

We first visited TLC Wolf River when we first began RVing full time we attended a presentation about joining Coast to Coast and having TLCWR as our home park.  We went there thinking “we’re not going to buy anything they are selling!”  After hearing all about this amazing opportunity we signed up quickly!  We have NEVER regretted that decision!

Coast to Coast Premier Transfer Fee:

Coast to Coast Premier Transfer Fee: $250  This Transfer Fee include your first year’s annual dues of $199

Email us at rosalyn@selu.edu or call us at (985) 320-8640 to purchase our membership or for more information!

Roy and Rosalyn Chauvin

02.19.19 SALE PENDING!!!Coast to Coast Premier RV Resort Network Membership For Sale

UPDATE: WE HAVE A SALE PENDING ON OUR COAST TO COAST MEMBERSHIP

If you live in an RV or travel often throughout our beautiful country in an RV, you will be most happy to learn that we are selling our Coast to Coast Premier Membership for only $2,000. New memberships can go as high as $10,000 for the exact same benefits.

Our Coast to Coast membership was one of the absolute best purchases we made when starting out on our adventures.  It paid for itself in the first six months. We no longer have our motor home so we are offering our Coast to Coast membership for sale!

Included in this membership with Coast to Coast, you first become a member of a home park.

Our home park is TLC Wolf River in Pass Christian, Mississippi. If you purchase our Coast to Coast membership then TLC Wolf River will be your home park.  They have 140 full hook-up RV sites, waterfront RV campsites, a swimming pool, play area for children, a boat launch, laundry, Wi-Fi, and clubhouse with cable TV and showers.

One of the great benefits of a home park is that while most parks are closed to reservations during holiday weeks or weekends, reservations are open to home park members.

As a home park member, you can stay there for two weeks at a time, for just $5.00 per night. There is no limit on the amount of times you can visit during a year. After you’ve stayed a period of 8–14 days, you must leave the park for one week before you are allowed to return.

TLC WOLF RIVER MAP

You can even show up any time you want at your home park! You do not need to make a reservation. They don’t offer guaranteed sites but you give them your three favorite sites and they will try their best to give one of those to you when you stay there! If you want to make reservations you can ask for your favorite spot then!

If you don’t have your RV with you when you plan to stay there they have rental travel trailers and 5th Wheels available for $35.00 per night.

Your membership also allows for guest usage. If your guest is closely related to you, they are allowed to come stay at the park even without your company. If your guest is a friend, neighbor, or distant relative, we ask that you be here with them while they stay. Guests can stay at the park for $20.00 per night or in a rental for $35.00 per night, and with the exception of a small handful of holidays and special events, they can camp as often as you do.

TLC Wolf River Resort’s memberships can be left to your children which is an incredible benefit if your children get bit by the RV bug like you were. Memberships expire upon the death of their third owner.

TLC Wolf River is so close to many of the amazing attractions the Gulf Coast has to offer. TLC Wolf River is just three miles north of the 26 miles of sugar white sand beaches that run along the coast.  Some of the best seafood around can be found at the 13 resort style casinos along the coast.

We’ve found it to be a very peaceful, relaxing park where we’ve met many great RVers.  We love to park along the lazy Wolf River! If you want to learn more about TLC Wolf River Resort, visit their website at http://www.tlcwolfriverresort.com, or you can go to their Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/Tlcwolfriverresort.   They are located at 23098 Freddie Frank Rd, Pass Christian, Mississippi 39571 (228) 452-9100.

TLC Transfer Fee and Annual Dues:

TLC has a Home Park Transfer Fee of $250.00
TLC Current Annual Dues are $349.00

Once you’ve become a member of a home park like TLC Wolf River, you can become a member of Coast to Coast, the RV Resort network.

Purchasing our Coast to Coast Premier plan will allow you to stay at their network of over 200 private, member-only resorts across the United States and Canada.  At these private resorts you get to stay there FREE, YES FREE!!!

Coast to Coast members can stay FREE at around 200 high-quality RV resorts across North America for 2 weeks at a time during peak season, and 3 weeks at a time during non-peak season.  Some resorts have a sales tax or electricity fee. It was never more than $5 a night during our travels.

Many of these Coast to Coast parks have rental RVs as well.

Coast to Coast also gives you access to over 200 Good Neighbor parks. These parks are 4 and 5 star rated Woodall’s public campgrounds. You may stay at these parks for $15.00 per night.

Every year when you renew your Coast to Coast membership, you will receive a complimentary Good Sam membership card which you can use to get discounts at Camping World and discounted access to over 2,200 Good Sam parks.

Coast to Coast offers a variety of discounts on other products and services as well.

  • Affordable week-long getaways through Hopscotch Holidays to fabulous condominium resorts around the world starting at only $99 a week
  • Vacation packages for destinations in the U.S. and internationally
  • Ocean cruises and river cruises to explore new worlds
  • Airline tickets, hotel, and rental car reservations for leisure or business travel
  • Dining, shopping, entertainment, movie, recreation, and golf discounts you can use to save money every day

Coast to Coast is a really great program. One of the best investments we ever made. There is a lot to learn about Coast to Coast to get the most out of your membership.   Check out their website at https://www.coastresorts.com/ to learn more!  Our membership is an original Premier membership.  The new ones they promote on their site have a little different rules than ours does.  Like there is a $10 a night charge with the new premier memberships, but in our membership it is FREE!

We first visited TLC Wolf River when we first began RVing full time we attended a presentation about joining Coast to Coast and having TLCWR as our home park.  We went there thinking “we’re not going to buy anything they are selling!”  After hearing all about this amazing opportunity we signed up quickly!  We have NEVER regretted that decision!

Coast to Coast Premier Transfer Fee:

Coast to Coast Premier Transfer Fee: $250  This Transfer Fee include your first year’s annual dues of $199

Email us at rosalyn@selu.edu or call us at (985) 320-8640 to purchase our membership or for more information!

Roy and Rosalyn Chauvin

02.14.19 Wacky Wonderful Valentine’s Day

2016 10906537_1604347783120091_4539154180240295955_n valentines 1 corinthians 13 valentine_divider_09

LOVE IS A GIFT
valentines love is a gift

When you say I love you, know you are making and building an emotional contract that doesn’t have a witness.

When you say I love you, you must know you are willing to share with someone your inner part.

When you say I love you, be willing to change to someone else’s personality.

When you say I love you, know you are willing to live with two hearts.

When you say I love you, know you are willing to share dreams, happiness, sadness, jokes and your future.

Love is a way to graduate in life characterized by happiness, sadness, pain, dreams and tears.

Love is a gift.

Love is you.

Feelings are not love, because feelings are what grow and things that grow have an end.

The heart is not where love resides, because love comes from conscious being where God intervenes.

Love is not a decision you take alone because love is a decision that includes God.

Imagination is not love because it’s something that doesn’t exist.

Build love, build yourself, be love.

valentine_divider_0910-ways-to-lovevalentine_divider_09WATCH THIS ONE OF A KIND LOVE STORY!
We love because He first loved us 1 John 4:19

The scriptures in this beautiful video are somewhat paraphrased, but I can assure you that the overall message is truly God’s Love Letter to His Children – Christians. It’s called The Bible – God’s Holy Word. If you don’t know him as your Father and want to know more about His amazing love and grace I urge you to open your Bible or ask me for one. Your life will be forever changed!

valentine_divider_09VALENTINES hearts by door valentine_divider_09VALENTINES hug poemvalentine_divider_09THE FORK
Click on the photo below to watch the video!

the forkvalentine_divider_09valentines love never fails

valentine_divider_09valentines pigletvalentine_divider_09 VALENTINES withdrawal and depositARE YOU GIVING FIRST OR TAKING? By Ron Carpenter

The Bible teaches us a lot about the relationships in our home,
about how wives are to submit to husbands and husbands are to love your wives,
children obey your parents,
parents don’t exacerbate your children and provoke wrath.
It goes on to instruct us outside the home as well,
when it says employees and employers should honor each other as unto the Lord…
This entire section (Ephesians 5) is giving us insight and admonishing about what mutual submission, with the right perspective and the right heart, looks like.

It touches on all these relationships, but if you break it down, in essence it‘s talking about mutual submission throughout. In other words, God is not asking or calling for any relationships to be one-sided. God wants equity in your relationships, and a relationship starts breaking down when one person is making more withdrawals than deposits.

Here’s what happens when one person in a relationship starts making more withdrawals than deposits: What happens to your ATM machine if you deposit a thousand dollars in the beginning of the month, and you pull twelve hundred out? By the time you get to the two hundred its got to either kick your overdraft in gear (which you pay a price for), or it’s going to be negative two hundred or when you drained the one thousand. Either way, it’s saying, “this account is empty, you’ve taken too much and not put enough in.” A lot of marriages today are shocked when they find themselves coming up against ‘account empty’ as if it’s unfair to not be able to make a one-time deposit and then withdraw, withdraw, withdraw, take, take, take.

What’s happening? Simply put, you’re trying to withdraw way more than you’re willing to first put into the relationship. That’s not how God began His relationship with you. He loved us so much, He gave (His only begotten son). So God started the relationship with you by loading up your account so high, He put something in you that was so big and so valuable, you could never out give His giving. When I have a lot of good days in a row and a string of successes, I can weather the storm of a bad day, a bad decision, a bad experience, because the good, the successes, outweigh the failures and disappointments.

valentine_divider_09THIS WEEK’S THREE FAVORITE PHOTOS!

LOVING COUPLES – THEN AND NOW PHOTOS!

Then and Now 3THEN AND NOW 2 THEN AND NOW 4
valentine_divider_09thGOD’S BEAUTIFUL WORLD!

valentine lakevalentine white treesvalentines back roads livingVALENTINES leavesvalentines pink flowersvalentines rocksvalentine_divider_09VALENTINES 1 JOHN 4 19 KJV

Reach out to someone in need this week!

Let others see Jesus in you this week!

Be His light in the darkness this week!

Have a Blessed Week!

02.12.19 Chauvin Produce Company – Getting the Gardens Ready

It would be oh so nice for gardening to just be dumping some dirt out, making rows, planting some seeds and watching them grow!  But OH NO that is not how it is!

Our venture into gardening vegetables in the fall was a learning experience.  This year we are going the extra mile in every step along the way.

When I say “we” I mostly mean Roy.  I’m usually along for the ride helping make decisions, or doing some of the grunt work or supervising! For over a week we’ve been spending large chunks of most days on getting the garden ready to accept the plants when the seeds, the mirlitons, potatoes, garlic and sweet potatoes are ready to plant.

Again, our friends Chuck and Donna loaned us their tiller and our very gracious neighbor Daniel loaned us his trailer to pick up the tiller, dirt, and other items.  We used the tiller last year to prepare the blueberry beds and the small garden in the back yard.  This year Roy expanded the garden from 8′ x 16′ to 16′ x 16′.  We also prepared an area down by the pond where crawling fruit like watermelon and cantaloupe can grow.

I’ve tried to document with pictures all we’ve done and will try to identify what’s going on in each picture below.  I’m already thinking this may become a two part post because I’ve identified over 50 pics I want to share.  We’ll see.

The cool weather recently has allowed us to work for hours on end without being drained like the heat does.  We were worn slap out and our joints/muscles screamed at us after a few hours and overnight but we’re still standing and I have to think it was a healthy week of working out, at the very least.

Nothing is ever easy.  After Roy dug up all the grass where the garden expansion was he had to locate the electrical wire he laid down there last year to run electricity to our storage building. We couldn’t find pictures that showed exactly where it was so he dug until he found it.  The tiller would rip up the wire at the level it was, so after finding it he dug much deeper and relaid the line.  This was a full day’s project after the two days he spent digging up the grass.

We shopped for more frame lumber to go around the expansion portion of the garden and the rebar to make it all stable and stay in place. Here’s Roy working on putting it all together.

When we bought the boards and rebar we also bought five fence posts to create the fencing for my cucumbers and merlitons to grow all around.  Last years flimsy structure that cucumbers grew one was pitiful.  This one will withstand a hurricane!

The original gardens dirt/compost/peatmoss and the new gardens just dirt was tilled.  Over the course of this week I’d say Roy tilled both gardens entirely 10 different times.

One day last week Roy and I visited three different dirt pit locations to see, price and decide which dirt was best for us.  We chose a place called Zemurray Pit a few miles from here.  The guy running the place was very helpful and worked with us to get the best dirt before the rains came.

The next day Roy went to Lowe’s to buy the Peat Moss and Cow manure/compost, pick up the tiller and came home to till all that in. After the first tilling four huge bags of peat moss were added, I kicked it apart, raked it in several directions, Roy tilled it and I raked it one last time.

Here’s the bags of cow manure/compost that Roy added and I raked it out.  Roy tilled all of the peat moss and manure into the dirt. He tilled for a couple of hours before calling it a day.

He got up at 7:30 am the next morning (I know alot of ya’ll are at work then!) and went to get a huge load of dirt from Zemurray Pit.  He brought that home and tilled that into the stuff he tilled the day before. I got up when he came home and had worked for an hour and a day full of fun began for me.  What’s seen on the trailer below is what was left after he put half of the dirt in the garden with the nutrients and tilled it. 

Here’s the finished product.  One 16′ x 16′  vegetable garden that will withstand earthquakes, hurricanes and who knows whatelse!   Between doing research, shopping, and labor I estimate 30 hours went into this.  Certainly not the simple garden that the garden looks like! It’s amazing what all goes into it!

Here’s the view from the garden of what I call “down by the pond.”  The second garden that is down there isn’t as structured as this but many hours of work went into it also.

On our way down there looking back up the hill to the first garden.

Here’s where we tried out growing watermelons and cantaloupe last year.  There are some weeds that I knew would only get worse if I didn’t dig them up, so I did. Two hours later I was finished and Roy brought down the hill the remaining dirt.  At one point I crawled on top of the dirt to throw out onto the ground chunks of dirt.  It helped break them up to get ready to be tilled. Look at all my grey hair.  Can’t wait for the blonde stuff to go away so it will all be grey!

This is just the dirt raked out.  There are several inches of sand underneath the dirt. After church yesterday we went to Home Depot and picked up more Peat Moss for this garden area and several larger peat pots to move the seeded vegetables into when they get bigger, before they are ready to move outside. .

Here it is after Roy tilled the sand, dirt and peat moss together.

Roy handed me the shovel and sent me off to the front of the storage building to dig up sand that washed down the hill and settled there over time.  Roy rescued me and took over the digging going much deeper than I did.  He got several wheelbarrows of sand from that spot and dumped it behind the storage building for the garden. 

It was tilled before the dirt was added, after the dirt was added and after the peat moss was added.  I thought Roy was going to stop at that point but oh no, he kept on.

A lot of the dirt mixture behind the shed was shoveled into around 15 wheelbarrow loads and moved up the hill.  It is a steep hill and very difficult to get up with a wheelbarrow.  My honey did it though and about every couple of loads he’d rake the dirt over a large area next to the house we’ve been working on to get grass to grow for a while.  I have to admit I worried he’d pass out or die at this point.  I asked what I could do to help but he kept saying no.  He did rest often which is probably what saved my honey from something bad happening.

This is the area he dumped the dirt and spread it out before calling it a day and making a campfire near where Dora use to live so we could enjoy the beautiful weather outside after dark yesterday.  The soil mixture that he left behind the storage building is plenty for me to grow the second garden watermelon, cantaloupes, peanuts and maybe a couple of tomato plants there.

Some of the non seed plants we are helping sprout are our potatoes, garlic, mirlitons , sweet potatoes and Brussels sprout plants dug up from last years crop. Southerners know what mirlitons are and how absolutely wonderful the dishes they are cooked in are.  When our crop starts producing I’ll share some of the ways we cook it down here in the south!

We purchased three seed sweet potatoes.  They are cut up with either two eyes on them or the end for sprouting vines that are pretty.  Lots of people grow the vines in their garden just for the leaves, not the sweet potatoes! I’ve learned a lot about the difference between potatoes and sweet potatoes.  They are in no way related and grow in very different ways.  When the vines get to a certain point they are removed from the sweet potato since they don’t need it anymore.  They’ve grown roots by then and the vine with its roots are planted in the garden to grow more sweet potatoes.

The larger peat pots are in the picture below.  Our kitchen has turned into a plant sprouting place.  You can see the sprouts coming up really well in the other two pictures.  We’ve already decided that next years seeds will be planted in the little Jiffy pucks which are the little things in the smaller container in the second picture.

The only thing that isn’t planted for sprouting somewhere are the 100 yellow onion bulbs.  Those produce quickly and can wait a bit longer before being planted and can go directly into the ground.

Roy and I love the time we’ve spent on the road sitting around campfires visiting and enjoying the warmth of the fire.  We have some old wood we’ve wanted to burn for a while so Roy did that yesterday after it got dark.  Chip even came over to join us and got to have some dad/son bonding time when mama went to bed!

This garden project is wonderful for my brain because I am always doing research to find out something about growing some plant.  I don’t remember a lot for very long so I document it to go back to when the information is needed. That brings us current on the Chauvin Produce Company. Looks like I fit it into one post!

We are resting, catching up on things like this and a bit of being lazy today! Ya’ll have a Blessed week!

02.08.19 The Ten Commandments of Gumbo

Gumbo is one of the most beloved entrees here in the great state of Louisiana. People come from around the world to taste this amazing soupy concoction of rouxy goodness.

But don’t dare mess up any of the golden rules of a good gumbo. There are right and very wrong ways to make, serve and eat gumbo.

I, myself, break a couple of the commandments but I dare not say in public which ones…..

THE TEN COMMANDMENTS OF GUMBO

I Thou Shalt Never Use Tomatoes
If we’ve learned anything from the Disney folks, it’s this. Any cooyon with half a brain knows “Making Gumbo 101” contains this golden rule — it’s roux-based and not tomato-based! Tomatoes are for things like spaghetti sauce.

II Thou Shalt Not Use Un-Cajun Sausage
Sausage in your gumbo can only come from authorized vendors. Brands like Savoie’s, Richard’s or any name ending in “eaux” and you good, bebe!

III Thou Shalt Not Use Store-Bought Roux
Don’t even entertain this thought. Now don’t get me wrong, there are some that are just fine…if you paresseux comme ca! This a movement that needs to start immediately. Don’t be lazy, stand by the stove and stir that flour and oil patiently until it’s a perfect brown.

IV Thou Shalt Always Use a Bowl
There is always that one person who “just can’t stand all that juice” and will insist on making them a plate of rice covered with gumbo. That’s not gumbo bruh, that’s rice and gravy!

V Thou Shalt Only Use a Wooden Spoon
I guarantee you that gumbo knows what’s stirring it. It has feelings too you know! There’s only one kind of spoon that can enter a gumbo pot, and that’s a wooden one.

VI Thou Shalt Adhere to the ‘Gumbo-to-Rice’ Ratio
Two parts gumbo, one part rice. It’s simple math. You don’t want it runny and you don’t want it ricey. (Yeah, I don’t know what “ricey” is either, but you comprende, oui?!)

VII Thou Shalt Always Keep Filé In Ya Cabinet
Don’t make me fill my bowl with rice then add all that chicken and sausage goodness, plop some potato salad next to it and then find out you out of filé. Oh, we gonna fight, yeah!

VIII Thou Shalt Not Mix Chicken & Sausage with Seafood
Chicken and sausage gumbo = mais yeah cher! Seafood gumbo = pie-yow comme ca! Chicken and Sausage + Seafood = that don’t go together, no! Stop that. Leave that separate please.

IX Thou Shalt Never Tell People Where the Potato Salad Goes
It’s an age-old question: Should the potato salad go straight in the bowl or in a bowl of its own? That’s a personal choice. It’s like politics, leave that discussion out of the kitchen.

X Thou Shalt Always Stir Your Gumbo Counter-Clockwise to scare off de Hurricanes

Just a little Cajun gumbo humor to start your weekend off right!

Ya’ll have a Blessed weekend!