Monthly Archives: February 2012

Attack of the Black Widows

The exterminator was here last week because of a suspicious roach located near the garage. Since then, there haven’t been any roaches, but FOUR black widow spiders have emerged on our doorstep.

It almost looks fake.

I didn’t think in my lifetime I would ever see a spider like this outside of a zoo exhibit.

I put in a call to the exterminator after reading this on the National Geographic website:

This spider’s bite is much feared because its venom is reported to be 15 times stronger than a rattlesnake’s. In humans, bites produce muscle aches, nausea, and a paralysis of the diaphragm that can make breathing difficult; however, contrary to popular belief, most people who are bitten suffer no serious damage—let alone death.

This is definitely worse than the tarantula from last July. I’ve had a creepy crawler feeling all afternoon.

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Filed under Southern Living, Swamps and such

Weekend visit to Dallas

Dallas, Texas is quickly becoming one of my favorite cities. This is partly due to its relative proximity (3 hours) to Shreveport, but mainly because it’s a fun, chic city that is still very rich with Texas and southern flavor.

We took advantage of the long weekend and escaped for a few nights of city life. The swanky restaurants, rooftop bars, endless shopping, tapas, and a trip to Whole Foods made this the perfect post-Valentine’s weekend.

View of Dallas from Ghostbar atop the W Hotel. Next time, I'll turn off the flash.. whoops.

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Filed under Southern Living, Texas Roadtrips

Homeowner’s Initiation: When something big breaks

Remember when you were little and you had the Fisher-Price kitchen and played ‘house’? That’s kind of what it has been like the past three weeks.

Just as I imagined then, I have imagined now, that everything is in perfect condition and nothing can ever go wrong.

And then a pipe backed up and sewer water overflowed in through every crevice in the house, flooding the floors and I was abruptly brought back to reality.

This happened.

After a tsunami hits, everyone always says in retrospect there were warning signs. This was kind of like that, too. Wednesday there was a weird gurgle in the sink. Thursday morning the shower was slow to drain. Then Thursday night the tidal wave of disaster struck as water bubbled up in both bathrooms, soaking through the floor boards to saturate carpets in adjoining rooms and closets.

Apparently, there was a blockage between the clean out (didn’t know what this was until today) and the main line in the street, causing drainage problems. It was gross. It is still gross because the house is in shambles as the carpets air out.

I realize no one wants to read about a bathroom flooding, but I’m sharing it because  a) I didn’t have a nuclear-level meltdown when  my closet flooded and damaged a shoe (got close, but stopped) and b) I have found it absolutely hilarious. This literally happened just days after I finally had unpacked everything and was finally feeling settled.

And now some of the carpets have been ripped up and my home looks like this:

unidentified soot and dirt overflowed in through the shower drain.

1 out of 3 fans drying out the carpets.

airing out another corner of the bedroom

I’m also sharing this because the plumbers, builder, Shreveport Water & Sewer, and everyone else who has helped us with this has been amazing and I am forever grateful. Really, I am very very thankful. We are lucky to be surrounded by such kind people.

Now let’s just keep fingers crossed that the roof doesn’t cave in.

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Happy Valentine’s Day

Back in June, I discovered this stationery on Etsy.com from Presse Dufour and blogged about it. I’m so happy Valentine’s Day has arrived so that they can be put to good use.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

With love from the South

 

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The Krewe of Centaur Mardi Gras Parade

“Attending a Mardi Gras parade in Louisiana” can now be checked off the bucket list.

“Attending a Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans” is the next big item on the list of things-to-do-while-living-in-Louisiana.

On Saturday, Shreveport had one of its big Mardi Gras parades hosted by the Krewe of Centaur. My parents were in town so we stopped by to see some of the floats. We happened to be near the start of the parade so the crowd was pretty tame, but that didn’t mean there wasn’t competition for beads. I even found myself getting a little feisty to catch some of the throws.

Here are some photos:

Parking signs along the parade route.

This float was so full of energy!

Look at their overflowing surplus of beads!

So many more beads!

A group of belly dancers.

my loot!

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Filed under Mardi Gras, Southern Living

An introduction to Mardi Gras beads

I have received my first batch of Mardi Gras beads. No, I didn’t do anything to earn them. A friend gave me a stash of extras she had lying around the house, assuming (rightly so) that we didn’t have any.

This is the colorful batch:

And, this is what I have learned about the tradition of Mardi Gras beads:

  • The longer the necklace, the more valuable it is considered.
  • You don’t have to flash anyone to earn beads – that is only in the French Quarter.
  • The colors have meaning: according to the official Mardi Gras Day website, “Purple, represents justice; the Green symbolizes faith; and the Gold exemplifies power.”
  • People will fight with each other at Parades over a strand of beads.

Shreveport’s first big Mardi Gras parade of the season is this Saturday, put on by the Krewe of Centaur (“Krewes” are like fraternities for grown-ups). If we make it to the parade, I’ll keep you posted on the validity of that last bullet point in addition to posting pictures of any swag I happen to pick up as it’s tossed from the floats.

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Filed under Mardi Gras, Southern Living