Last week, I blogged about where to find boiled crawfish outside of South Louisiana. If you happen to be the friend or relative of a Cajun, you just might find yourself at a crawfish boil and feel a bit out of place. This post is meant to prepare you for what to expect, how to dress and how best to wash your hands after peeling boiled crawfish.
Ready, set…here we go! Continue reading
As I outlined in a previous post, I’m writing a series of blog posts about what being Cajun means to me – the traits typically found people who identify with the Cajun culture. In previous posts, I blogged about resourcefulness , our joie de vivre and the incredible value we place on our family. In this week’s post, I’d like to talk about how being resilient is one of our most valuable qualities.
I looked up the definition of Reslience in the dictionary and here’s how it’s defined:
the ability to become strong, healthy, or successful again after something bad happens
The Mayo Clinic describes resilience as:
the ability to roll with the punches. When stress, adversity or trauma strikes, you still experience anger, grief and pain, but you’re able to keep functioning — both physically and psychologically
I think this quote is resilience in a nutshell
I’ve seen this trait demonstrated consistently in our culture. When the state was hit with 2 large hurricanes within weeks of one another in August and September of 2005, it certainly tested our resilience. Residents housed those who had lost homes and they helped one another rebuild. When the Cajuns were exiled from Nova Scotia, they settled in the swamps of Louisiana – a place no one else wanted to live – and they made it work.
During times of economic instability in the main industry in the region – oil & gas – they’ve adapted and survived.
I’ve already discussed the resourcefulness trait and when combined with resilience, the outcome is an incredibly strong individual who refuses to give up or run out of options. They can adapt and overcome when others would have simply given up. Continue reading
Describing my father as a unique individual would be an understatement. He had varied, interesting hobbies and an outrageous sense of fashion. One of his more prevalent hobbies was collecting and restoring antique automobiles. My mom remembers that she and my father originally had a beautiful navy blue 1932 Chevrolet as their first antique automobile. She described it as car that looked like it belonged in the mob – it was beautiful and they both loved it.
However, my father had a friend in the area’s Antique Car club (yes, these clubs do exist) that had a 1918 Chevrolet that my father loved, so my he sold the ‘32 and bought a the 1922 Chevrolet in 1971. My mom described the car’s original condition as very poor and she was very disappointed that they gave up such a beautiful car to trade it in for another that needed an immense amount of work.
My father driving yellow bird in the early-mid 1970’s, just after completing the restoration
Over the next 3 years, my father and his friends disassembled the car – saving the pieces in fried chicken boxes in his shop to keep things organized. Each piece was rebuilt and restored – from the chassis up.
This car has been in my family since my oldest sister was a baby – it’s almost like a sibling to us and we refer to it as the “yellow bird” – a reference to its canary yellow color. Continue reading
Pardon me while I’m brutally honest with you for a few minutes. I wasn’t planning to write this post today. I wanted to keep these blog posts happy, fun and entertaining. The truth is that my life lately has been tumultuous at best. While I won’t go into detail about all of the chaos going on in my life in the past few months, I will share with you that my father in law recently passed away after a 2 ½ year battle with cancer.
My husband, Joel and his father, Peter – October 2014
It’s also no secret that my father passed just prior to my last semester at LSU. Each father’s day since my father’s passing has been bittersweet, but it’s slowly become easier over the years. This year, it feels a bit raw again as the wound has been re-opened after losing my father in law a few weeks ago.
I don’t share this with you so that you’ll feel sorry for me or as a plea for your condolences or support. Instead of mourning the loss of these two incredibly unique and gifted men, I choose to be grateful for my experiences and memories with each of them. If I could share anything with you today – I’d urge you to go and spend time with your loved ones. Continue reading
As mentioned in previous posts, I recently attended a soaper’s conference in Kansas City. The bonus for me was that my sister lives in Kansas City and generously offered me a place to crash + the use of her car during the weekend to get to and from the conference. I gladly took her up on her offer, registered for the conference and booked my flight. Little did I know what fun we had in store during that week.
Oh, the thrift stores!
She picked me up at the airport and immediately handed me her phone and said “I found a thrift store. Navigate me there” and within 15 minutes we were perusing treasures in a thrift shop right off I-29. We found a few treasures – too bad I couldn’t fit this recliner in the overhead bin or I’d have purchased it!
Testing out the leather recliner at the thrift store.