Saturday, March 17, 2007

Spring in Louisiana

We know it's spring when the crawfish come in season. Thecamillias were blooming for Valentine's Day. The daffodils came out a few days later. I love their bright yellow color, telling me that it won't be long until spring is finally here.

But, when they start harvesting the crawfish. We know it is spring and we get out the boiling pots.

Yesterday, we had our second boil of the season. The first boil was of crawfish that were won by our two year old granddaughter in a drawing held by her brother's baseball team.

But yesterday was special. These were 'our' crawfish. Grown in our own ponds, they are generally 'select' size. Meaning that every now and then the tail meat is as big as your thumb.

So, two and a half sacks of crawfish, a bag of small red potatoes, a small bag of tiny onions, a bag of corn on the cob, whole mushrooms, two dozen boiled eggs and the special sauce, add up to a boil.

Paper plates to hold the sauce, corn, potatoes and eggs and you're ready to go.

Add a dozen adults, fifteen kids and mini-corn dogs for the kids that don't like crawfish (they haven't tasted them yet!) and you have a fine evening in the breezy mosquito-free outdoors.

Jumping on the trampoline, baseball, football, playing tag and conversations are the activities of the night. That and eating.

It's when you enjoy your family the most. Tall tales are told, gentle sparring between the men and the women, it's all in fun.

When it's over, and the cleanup has finished, each family leaves for their homes feeling full, refreshed and loved.

Isn't that what it's all about?

Saturday, March 03, 2007

My Keeper Shelf

I seldom reread a book.

The one that I have read four times is "The Lady's Companion" by Carla Kelly, which came out in 1996. Amazon sellers value this book at ten bucks a pop. Since this is on my keeper's shelf, I won't have to buy one. But it's also a book I refuse to lend out. It breaks a lot of rules, the hero doesn't come until after page seventy, and within pages, I adored the man.

Carla has a new release, her first since 2002, so I was delighted to see it came out this month. I will be searching my local WallyWorld to get my copy. I've even purchased her book "Here's to the Ladies: Stories of the Frontier Army." So, put me down as dedicated fan.

I've read "Anne Frank: Diary of a Young Girl" twice. Once when I was eleven, then again when I was sixteen. The book's meaning changed a lot between readings. She was talented.

When I was a kid, I haunted the small one room library, I read every book in my age level. The soft pink fuzzy "Pollyanna," "The Adventures of Toby Tyler," everything by Lois Lenski, who I adored.

I do have all the Harry Potter books. I believe J. K. Rowling is brilliant in developing plots that when you're reading, you're absorbing, and then at the end, everything folds into place. I won't loan these copies out either. I haven't reread them, but most likely will.

"A Man to Die For" by Eileen Dreyer, written many years ago, is a case book on 'hooks' and was one of the first books whose ending surprised me.

Susan Sizemore's "The Price of Innocence" is also a case book on how 'flashbacks' can improve your story.

These books stay on my 'keeper' shelf.

This week's eye candy.

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