04.04.21 Resurrection Sunday! Hallelujah! He is Risen!!! He is Risen Indeed! Originally posted April 2018

To a Christian, Easter Sunday is everything.  It is the day we celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Unlike most other “holidays” it’s one that Christians observe every day of the year. It is the anchoring message in the Christian faith.  All Christians, regardless of their denomination, believe that Christ rose from the dead and lives in Heaven with his and our father, God.   I don’t think that believe is even a strong enough words – WE KNOW IT to be true!

Today is Resurrection Sunday, the day that changed everything for us. This is the day we celebrate as the day our Savior rose from the dead, defeating and swallowing death in victory!

Without Resurrection Sunday, there would be no hope. If Jesus had not risen from the dead, everything we cling to as Christians would have crumbled.

But He didn’t stay dead, He rose again!

My favorite hymn is the original version of Because He Lives. It  explains my feelings about the resurrection perfectly.  Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried in a tomb, yet he arose from the grave and lives today. The words of the chorus read:

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!

The verses say as much to my heart as the chorus does. The words to each verse are:

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!empty grave

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 days because He Lives!

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 lives!

Some of ya’ll who have read my blog for a while have read these words before, and know this to be the song that touches my heart the deepest.  Lots of ya’ll who are Christians know this song well and probably have related its words to something in your life of great meaning. I absolutely want it sung at my funeral because on that day I will have crossed the river and be in the glorious presence of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  As I get older, that thought becomes more and more inviting.

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 5:8

My dear friend Pat Turner shared the video below on Facebook on Saturday.  After watching it and hearing the beautiful message I thought it should be included here.

Ya’ll have a blessed Easter.  Remember,  HE IS RISEN, HE IS RISEN INDEED!


christ is risenNOTE: About the Video:  Claire Ryann Crosby   Happy Good Friday and Easter weekend to all!! We’re so grateful that Christ could overcome death, sin, and afflictions of every kind, so that we can find peace in this life even with the challenges we face!

By Claire and Dave Crosby, video shot by Modo Studios, song written by Nik Day.  Download the track here: https://davecrosby.bandcamp.com/track/peace-in-christ

05.10.20 Treasured Photos from Trinity’s 2018 Mother’s Day Presentation

Before the wonderful Trinity Mother’s photos, I want to wish a very Happy Mother’s Day to my mama, Jo (Josie Mae) Blum Traylor who is Heaven with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! I miss you every day sweet mama! Josie Mae taught Harriett and I how to be mothers through the life she lived. I am so thankful for that.


Harriett, Mama and Me in Mama’s younger days
Mama, her daughters, son in-laws and her four grandchildren in the early 1980s
Mama’s wedding day to Mr. Vivian

We may not be together in our church this Mother’s Day 2020 but I hope you feel the closeness between our Trinity Baptist Church family members and their mothers in the photos below. Young mothers, old mothers, and all in between!

These pictures below were originally published Wednesday, May 16, 2018 and were shared during Sunday morning’s Worship Service on May 13, 2018.  So many church members participated and sent in their treasured photos of their Mom or their children/grandchildren with their Mom/Grandmother.

Thanks to everyone that participated! We have a wonderful church family and I love seeing our extended family through these photos!

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

Mother's Day - Proverbs 31:26



03.05.19 Mardi Gras in New Orleans 2016 reposted and updated

I love sharing some of what makes New Orleans’s Mardi Gras so unique.  Below you will see how New Orleanians mark their spots on the parade routes; a group of folks parading in Lazy Boy recliners; Endymion (one of the largest parades) ends its parade by going into the Superdome (2 videos of this); a documentary about Mardi Gras and New Orleans.  Last but certainly not least are the actual floats built by Blaine Kern’s Mardi Gras World where most of the major floats are made.  This is New Orleans Mardi Gras. Because of the horrific NO ALL by the blind referees in the Saints vs. Rams playoff game I’ve included a video of a float and paraders keeping that event alive.


How New Orleanians mark their spots on St. Charles Avenue for parades!


Lazy Boy parading!


Endymion Parade ending in the Superdome


Police motorcycle units entering the Superdome for ‪Endymion‬ parade.


Mardi Gras & New Orleans – A Documentary


Blain Kern’s Mardi Gras World where most of the floats are created.


We wouldn’t be true loyal Saints fans without showing you the additions to this year’s Mardi Gras because of the horrific NO CALL by the blind referees in the Saint vs. Rams game this year that kept them out of the Super Bowl.


Happy Mardi Gras Everyone, from our little home in Amite where the Chauvins are watching Mardi Gras on television like we’ve done for the last couple of decades.

Ya’ll come back now ya’ hear!!

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10.15.18 Update on the Chauvin Produce Company

Monday, October 15, 2018 – I am really pleased at how well our fall vegetable garden is doing.  Some of what I planted are not fall vegetable/fruits, like the watermelons and cantaloupes, but it was seeds from giant watermelons and delicious cantaloupe so why not, they didn’t cost us anything!  The cantaloupe vines have several flowers.  The watermelons have dozens of flowers on long 10 foot plus vines with four little bitty watermelons forming!  The biggest watermelon was like a marble yesterday and today it is the shape it will eventually be like a pecan.  I planted a couple of peanuts down by those plants just to see what would happen.  They have sprouted and have several leaves already!

The marble size watermelon

The regular garden has grown and grown.  I’ve already harvested a dozen nice size radishes and several green onions.  Where I pulled those vegetables out, I planted new seeds and in the case of the green onions new onion sets.  One vegetable that did absolutely very very little was green onion seeds.  I cleared those out and planted additional bell peppers.

The cucumber vines, okra plants and tomato plants are doing fabulous!

These were taken about three weeks ago.

These were from yesterday. The cucumber vines are at the bottom of the picture.  They are growing up multi colored ribbons leading to a wire thing where the cucumbers can grab on to as they grow. The three Big Boy tomatoes are on the right and the okra are to the left near the other end.

The okra are well over a foot high and needed some support so we located what we had around the house (tall sticks) to put next to each plant.  A couple of our medal hangers for the hummingbird feeders are holding two of the plants up.  It’s an odd collection but it works!

I am also growing bell peppers, lettuce, green onions, carrots, turnips, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and broccoli. The only plant that wasn’t started from seeds are the tomato plants. 

I know that it might have been too late to start some of these vegetables from seed but it’s been a wonderful learning experience so far.  My brain has had to work really hard researching all of what’s involved in growing each of these plants and that’s a really good thing! I am happy to be able to still do that, for now!  If the lessons I am learning now make me better prepared to plant them next year at the right time, that’s a good thing.  If they do grow and produce this year before our first frost that’s a great thing!  I read a lot about tips for growing the different vegetables.

One thing I thought was cool but I ended up doing wrong was with the bell peppers.  I read that they need additional sulphur in the soil and that you can put a match stick upside down with the sulfur end in the group near the plant.  My plants were tiny and I put the match stick too close to the tiny plant and the little bell pepper plants withered, from I guess too much sulfur too close.

I have been surprised at how much effort it takes to keep this little garden going well.  Just pulling weeds is a daily job.  The compost and manure in the soil make the weeds go wild with growing!  I have everything growing on hills and am not sure they all should be.  That’s another matter to be researched.

Anyone with tips to help our little produce do as best they can, please share! Next year I am planning on planting peanuts, potatoes, egg plants and some of the ones we are growing now.  Any recommendations on what to plant in the spring in the south, let us know!!!

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!



10.14.18 Trinity Baptist Church’s 65th Anniversary Old Fashioned Sing Along

Sunday, October 14, 2018 – Last evening we were blessed to attend Trinity Baptist Church’s 65th Anniversary Old Fashioned Sing Along. I don’t have pictures of everyone who sang but I have a bunch.  I got so caught up in the music that I forgot to click that “take the picture” button on some of the singers.  The congregation sang several old hymns throughout the evening.  I love the old hymns and they made my heart smile to sing them again!

After the singing, young Gracyn Willoughby shared with me that she found my blog while searching the internet.  Seems I wrote about her cousin, Caroline doing something at our church and my blog popped up in the search. She thought that was neat so I told her I’d write about the singing event and she liked that!.

Here’s the photos of most of those who shared their love for our Lord through song.

Our choir sang two beautiful songs, led by Teddy Forrest!

Juanita Watts, such a pure clear voice singing Praises to our Lord

Wilson Watts sang two beautiful songs, while photos of Trinity members over the decades, were shown on the big screens

Mia Dixon accompanied by her dad Pastor Avery Dixon and brother Aiden Dixon

George Martin singing one of my favorites “I Can Only Imagine”  George sang that at my mama’s funeral.

Gracyn Willoughby, beautiful young voice

Raylea Willoughby – Our Ole Miss soon to be graduate and future Supreme Court Justice!!

Ms. Louise Traylor, one of our two remaining original charter members from 1953 when Trinity was formed.

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

08.21.18 Post-op visit with Dr. Blessey

Monday, August 21, 2018 – Roy and I went to see Dr. Blessey in Covington for my post surgery visit last Friday and for Roy.

Roy has been experiencing some pain in the knee he had replaced almost three years ago and wanted to have Dr. Blessey check it out. They took an x-ray of Roy’s knees.  The one he had surgery one looks fine and you can see the surgical implants in the xrays below.  It’s not hurting Roy all the time, mostly in the morning or when he stands around for a while.  Dr. Blessey said it all looks okay right now.  Said something could be getting loose, or infected, or just nothing.  He said to come back if it consistently continues.

I got the last of the loose stitches from my knee surgery taken out by a young lady working in the office who allowed me to take pictures! I didn’t get her name but she was very  nice!

I was told by Dr. Blessey that I’m doing really well, better than others at this stage. The home health staff have told me that, but it was especially nice to hear it from my doctor.  He puts his patients on coumadin for three weeks starting the day before surgery.  Tuesday is my last day taking it.  I got checked on Monday by my nurse (Jana in the picture to the right) to make sure my coumadin level is not too high. I go back to see Dr. Blessey in four weeks.  I am so happy to be at this post surgery stage.

I have really liked having Jana and the Omni staff come to the house to work with me.  Jana and Brennan have been here the most.  If you ever get to choose what home health company to use, Omni is great!!

It will take months for me to be fully healed but my waddling and limping walk are pretty much history which helps my hip and everything feel better! Right now the only lingering thing is that my knee feels tired near the end of the day.  That’s great compared to the pain I had before the surgery.

The two photos below are a side view and a front view what was put in my knee for a partial knee replacement.

I just found these two graphics which I feel really show the difference between a full knee replacement which Roy had in early 2016 and a partial which I just had.


What will my total knee replacement look like



What will my partial knee replacement look like

Dr. Blessey does the same type of advanced technology full knee replacement surgery as Dr. Schraeder in Tennessee does.  We are thankful some friends told us about Dr. Schraeder and for how well he took care of Roy in 2016.  Since we know that Dr. Blessey does the same thing I would highly recommend him as he is a local doctor in the Ochsner system.  Here’s his contact information:

Ochsner Medical Center, 1000 Ochsner Blvd, Covington, LA 70433. Phone: (985) 875-2828

Roy had to park pretty far away from the building after he dropped me off at the door.  He saw this amazing’s cool Ochsner mini football field next to the building.  You can see it first through the physical therapy windows and then when we got outside.  The Fleur de Lis was beautiful and we learned it is a 60-yard training field for sports medicine.

After the doctor’s appointment we had a very nice visit with my sister Harriett and brother in law George at their house.  It’s always great to spend time with them!

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

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08.23.18 If You Pray, by Anna Bachinsky

Today, you may not get the answer but if you PRAY you will have faith to keep trusting God for it.

Today, you may not win the battle but if you PRAY you will have strength to keep fighting one more day.

Today, you may not get out of the storm but if you PRAY you will have peace in the storm.

When you feel stressed, anxious, hopeless, defeated, and confused PRAY. God is right there with you and even if your situation doesn’t change right away, your attitude, your emotions, and your heart will change as you trust God to take care of you every step of the way.

-Anna Bachinsky 💙 on Women In the Secret Place

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

08.20.18 The 7 Step Guide to Leaving Your Job (to live in an RV), by Chris Conant

Monday, August 20, 2018 – I’ve recently become kinda sorta friends with this young couple and was blown away when I read some of their blog. We will get to meet them in person in a couple of months.  I think ya’ll will like their blog since most people who read ours read it because they like the adventure and travel that was our life from late 2012 to late 2017.  This couple is doing it at a much much younger age and fairly differently than we did. On their blog’s website you can read “Our Story” to learn how they came about living and traveling in a teardrop trailer.  Yes, that’s it on the left. There are several link within their article to more great information.  Be sure to check those out! Because I know some of our followers would love to do what they are doing I asked if I could share this post of theirs.  Chris said “yes” so here goes!

The 7 Step Guide to Leaving Your Job

Posted on

The most common response to our story so far is “Wow, you are so lucky!” quickly followed by an excuse as to why that person could never do what we are doing. For both of us, that meant leaving a good job. We’ve heard everything under the sun from friends and strangers alike. “My current position pays too well” or “I could never get rid of my big, comfy couch.” And of course, “I could never afford that.” In this guide, we hope to address these concerns and provide a road map to help you make your own dreams come true!

Before we dive into our seven step guide, let’s first address the glaringly obvious issue: Leaving any job is challenging. You might think I can’t sympathize considering I’ve had three different jobs in the five years since I graduated law school. None of them seemed to be the right fit.

So trust me when I say that I completely understand the struggle. Bills to pay, self worth tangled up in a professional title, all the time you invested in learning your trade. Those nagging hopes and dreams aren’t just going away though. So when you reach the point I reached last summer (and maybe this post is your catalyst), here is how to give those pests a voice.

Step One – Prepare yourself financially

I hate to lead things off with the financial aspect, but that’s really where you have to begin if you’re considering leaving your job. Anytime you want to make a big change in life, you need to have your ducks in a row. Emotionally, physically, logistically, financially, insert whatever adverb you want.

I wanted to quit my first job out of law school approximately two hours into the first day. Unfortunately, I had signed a year long lease on an apartment within walking distance of the office. I bought a car that required my fancy new job’s fancy salary to afford. I stuck it out for approximately ten months before applying to different jobs in other cities.  Moving to a new state and switching specialties would surely lead me to find a type of lawyering I actually enjoyed, right?

Wrong. Things did go pretty well for a while, but the tables eventually turned. The kool-aid wore off after about two and a half years. A few key mentors left the firm and what was once fun competition turned into a high stress, stupidly competitive and at times, abusive work environment.  I narrowly escaped a similar move when my dad got sick, a move fueled by desperation to leave that toxic place and my fear of not having a steady paycheck. After my father passed away, I decided it was time to finally do something different.

This time I got my financial situation in order first. I took a low-stress, but high paying job at a small start up to bide my time and rake in as much cash as possible. I created a budget, figured out how much we would need for the summer, and started smiling, instead of cringing, every time I looked at my bank account balances. After eight months of diligent saving and frugality, we were prepared to hit the road for the summer.

Until you are financially stable and have at least a few months of financial runway, you will never be able to mentally commit to leaving your job. Sure, you might have to sacrifice nights out on the town. Cut off your monthly clothes/workout/makeup subscriptions. But trust us, it will be worth it! If you want to step out and make a change, start by aligning your financial situation with your new goal. Get yourself prepared for whatever comes next.

Step Two – Do some soul searching

Preparing your finances for the change will certainly ease some of the perceived burden. You still have a ways to go though. Take a weekend and let your mind wander to the places you’re afraid to go. Spend some time by yourself to really think about where you should be channeling your energy. Take those silly internet quizzes to determine your driving values or your love language or your spirit animal. Whatever it is, don’t be afraid to wander down the paths you otherwise try to keep your mind from going. Don’t be afraid to let your dreams grow into reality.

For me, that meant accepting that lawyering was not my bag. Accepting that I incurred hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt for nothing. It wouldn’t matter how big the paycheck grew because I am not motivated by money. I would never find satisfaction in handling other people’s problems, even if it meant a six figure salary.

While I was good at my job, and according to Becca, “jaw-droppingly handsome” in a suit and tie, the whole scene just did not jive with my personality. Job titles and material things provide very little satisfaction for me. It seemed that’s all I was working toward as an attorney.

I enjoyed meeting with clients and explaining legal concepts. But I loathed the entire purpose of the conversation – my employer’s scheme to overcharge mom and pops in order to help them save a few dollars from the tax man. Intentionally ignoring the fact that frequently, they were paying us more money than they were saving. I had to remove myself from frustrating daily interactions with con artists and bright eyed yuppies. Nature was calling.

Step Three – Identify what you want to do next

This step is crucial. It’s all talk until you can put together a game plan.

When I worked 70 hour weeks in a miserable environment, all I wanted was to find a way out. But I didn’t have a plan for what I would do if I left my job. Unfortunately, hating your job isn’t enough to get off the hamster wheel.

You need to identify what you REALLY want to do with your life. If you don’t go through the personal assessment exercise and take an honest inventory of your wants and needs, you’re going to continue treading water. While at times you have to tread water to stay afloat, that’s not the long term goal. You need a shoreline to reach or a mountain to climb.

This is the hardest step because only you can answer this question of what you want to do next. If you are looking for a helpful starting point, try Pivot by Jenny Blake or The One Thing by Gary Keller. Both books are practical guides to help you figure out what’s really calling you.

All of the signs from my soul searching mission were pointing to something I had given up years before. Something engaging that allowed me to teach, inspire and most importantly, wear flip flops every day. Those signs were leading me back to fly fishing.

Having reached this conclusion on my own, I now had another difficult hurdle – telling Becca. While “telling family and friends” technically comes two steps later, making sure your counterpart (if you have one) is on board falls into this step. You can’t rightly concoct a new life plan without consulting the person you’ve been talking about sharing a life with.

I assumed she would have to go on her own soul searching mission when I disclosed the results of mine. The days leading up to that conversation were difficult. I certainly did not want to lose her and I wasn’t sure she would accept this enlightenment. What if she wanted the suburban life? Corporate hours, benefits and salaries, even if they came with a commute and two week vacation limit.

Unbeknownst to me, she had been suppressing doubts about the path set before her. Although you never need permission to question your circumstances, my enlightenment served as exactly that. If I could question the status quo, that meant she could too. That meant I would encourage Becca to truly evaluate her strengths and weaknesses. Likes and dislikes,  drives and ambitions. That reaction became a significant factor leading to the creation of this blog. If I could inspire Becca to make such a huge admission and lifestyle change, maybe we could inspire others to do the same.

While Becca’s introspection did not lead her to fly fishing, it did lead her to embracing her desire to travel.  And admitting she was in a rut. She wasn’t happy with her physique but had no motivation to do anything about it. While she enjoyed the time spent with her coworkers and how easy going the work environment was, she was uninspired by her repetitive corporate role in a concrete jungle. None of these factors were all that convincing in directing her to quit though. To make sure Becca would come along on this adventure, I asked her to marry me.

Step Four – Find a support network

After you put a financial plan in place and identify what you are going to do next, you need to find a support network. Not just a choir to preach to, but a legitimate support network. Your significant other should certainly be your first ally, but you also need people that can provide constructive feedback and positive encouragement from an outside perspective.

For me, this was a Catholic men’s group and friends that, in various ways, had figured out how to step away from the nine to five til sixty-five routine. Some of your support network might even take the form of folks you have never met in person. We found a lot of support from various Facebook and Instagram pages which helped prove what we wanted to do was actually possible and not just a pipe dream. Whatever network you find, make sure your network holds you accountable and keeps pushing you toward your goals.

Step Five – Talk things over with family and friends

Each of the four proceeding steps are absolutely essential to complete before moving on to Step 5. Once you start telling your family and friends that you’re going to do something different, you’re going to get a lot of push back. A lot of funny looks. Maybe even some snide remarks about how crazy you are. Or our personal favorite, that you are throwing your life away.

Knowing yourself and having your own support network becomes really important. The ability to show them you have the financial and logistical resources set aside and an actual plan to pursue helps immensely. People who don’t understand, who just want to poke holes in your conclusion, can and will pull all the wind out of your sails. Don’t let them. Be prepared for the barrage of negativity.  Brush it off by knowing you’ve already considered all of their doomsday scenarios.

Step Six – Keep your bridges intact

After talking things over with your family and friends, your next step is to talk to your employer. Do this with as much grace as possible. Even if you never intend to return to your old line of work. Believe it or not, I’ve experienced a decent amount of crossover between the fly fishing world and the tax consulting world.

Plus, you don’t want that blood on your hands of leaving a work situation in dire straights. So do your best to put your employer in a good position to fill your role and try to maintain civility with your soon-to-be-former coworkers. You never know what the future holds and it’s best to leave friendly faces in the rearview mirror in the event that your paths cross again.

Step Seven – Do it!

Stop talking the talk and go out and do the damn thing! Once you’ve gone through all of these steps, you need to dive in headfirst. Nothing feels better than fully committing to something that truly matters to you. It could be a side project, a new job, a new city, a new anything. Don’t be scared. Sure things will change, but we guarantee it’s a lot less frightening once you get where you’re going. Before you know it, you’ll be starting new traditions – like Friday night dinner in the valley at the Knotty Pine.

Side bar from Becca

The look on Chris’s face that first night in Victor, Idaho as we settled in at the Knotty Pine was priceless. Here I was sitting across from a fully grown man, the only fitting description: childishly giddy. He was positively beaming. He made me trade him seats “so he could make sure to say hello to anyone he knew that came in.” You could just see in his demeanor that this is where he was meant to be. Thank goodness for that hippie soul searching mumbo jumbo that helped both of us finally acknowledge where we belonged…  together, pursuing a better tomorrow (and incredible sunsets).

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

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08.19.18 Six Reminders From All Six Chapters of Galatians

  1. Don’t live for the approval of others – Galatians 1:10 “You can see that I am not trying to please you by sweet talk and flattery; no, I am trying to please God. If I were still trying to please men I could not be Christ’s servant.
  2. You are not defined by your past – Galatians 2:20I have been crucified with Christ: and I myself no longer live, but Christ lives in me. And the real life I now have within this body is a result of my trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
  3. Your worth is in Christ,not your job or education – Galatians 3:26-27For now we are all children of God through faith in Jesus Christ, and we who have been baptized into union with Christ are enveloped by him.
  4. You are no longer a slave, you are now a child of God – Galatians 4:7Now we are no longer slaves but God’s own sons. And since we are his sons, everything he has belongs to us, for that is the way God planned.
  5. Don’t be led by feelings and emotions, be led by the spirit – Galatians 5:25 “If we are living now by the Holy Spirit’s power, let us follow the Holy Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.
  6. Don’t grow weary while doing good.  When the time is right, you will reap what you’ve sown – Galatians 6:9  “And let us not get tired of doing what is right, for after a while we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t get discouraged and give up.”

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