Well, I never thought it’d happen to lil’ ole me but my new book, Your Own Personal New Orleans Tour, has been on Amazon for almost a year now and it’s still a bestseller, in the top 5 in its category!
Your Own Personal New Orleans Tour Remains Bestseller on Amazon!
You really don’t wanna be without this book when you come to New Orleans.
My new favorite program is about Louisiana agriculture, TWILA TV on Cox 4 at 9AM Saturday mornings. Some time last year I was aimlessly cruising the TV dial and happened upon this show. I was immediately taken in by the young attractive guy and gal hosting the show that’s all about Louisiana agriculture.
Louisiana Agriculture: TWILA – My New Favorite TV Show
A.J. Sabine, Avery Davidson, and Kristen Oaks-White host TWILA TV.
TWILA stands for This Week in Louisiana Agriculture, produced by the Louisiana Farm Bureau with Kristen Oaks-White and Avery Davidson sharing hosting duties.
Not only did I find it interesting, entertaining and informative but was also impressed by the quality of the program, which is comprised of reports from the field. (Although I gotta say the quality of the actual broadcast on the Cox local access channel has a lot to be desired. C’mon, Cox, fix the quality so we can get the full HD broadcast of this.) The show’s focus is about bringing the Louisiana ag community and the consumer together.
They manage to chunk a lot of content into a half-hour show taking us around the state for stories about farmers and ranchers, their successes and challenges and all the innovative things they are doing. At least one segment of the show focuses on a Louisiana restaurant. They also cover national associations of the ag community as well. I didn’t know there was such a thing as the American Farm Bureau much less a Louisiana Farm Bureau.
Watch a clip from TWILA TV
So after watching for several months I realized that I could become a member of the Louisiana Farm Bureau. So I went online, signed up and plunked down a measly 40 bucks to be a member. All kinds of discounts and such comes with it which I will probably never use, but for me it’s just knowing that I am supporting the local ag community and being part of something that makes a difference.
What I like about this show is that it keeps me abreast of what’s happening out there with the people who supply us with our food and materials that helps us to not only survive but thrive in our day-to-day lives. It really is eye-opening to get a glimpse of the people who are so important, who are the real lifeline to not only our state’s health and well-being but to our own individually as well. Check them out, watch the show, become a member.
So every Saturday morning now I make sure I get up early enough to finish my morning duties, make myself a nice cup of coffee and sit in front of the TV just in time to see my new favorite show – TWILA. It’s a fun program. Check it out.
Adopting Boxing Day in America, the British holiday the day after Christmas, is something I think we should seriously consider. I’ve provided some excellent reasons below.
Adopting Boxing Day in America: 10 Fantastic Reasons
Boxing Day in England was apparently not very relaxing.
10 excellent reasons we should adopt Boxing Day here in America.
1. It’s the day after Christmas and so we are already dealing with a lot of boxes left over from opening gifts so why not just make a holiday out of it anyway
2. We all have servants or someone working for us in some way shape or form. I know it was adopted Downton Abbey style where the employers would give boxes of goods to their servants. I think that is a nice custom, you know. So anyone who works for you gets a box of something. It doesn’t have to be a big box, it can just be a little box with maybe some jam or some oranges or something in it.
3. Here in New Orleans any excuse to have some kind of celebration is welcome. But really who wants to “celebrate” after the biggest celebration day of the year? I think most of us just wanna lay around on the floor by the Christmas tree… in silence. But we could have Boxing Day lunch at Antoine’s or Commander’s Palace.
4. And you know, heck, it’s the day after Christmas and who doesn’t need a break from all the festivities. I know I did. I had so much to do to get ready for our Christmas dinner and Christmas Eve party that we have every year, not only preparing for that but just putting gifts together. I make jams that I give as gifts and although that is not hard in anyway, it is time consuming.
Like this year I made turtle soup for our Eve party, not a big deal but what with everything else I had to do it still took time. I made it several days before, like 2 gallons of it, and stuck it in the fridge to be taken out the afternoon of the 24th and heated up.
Then I had to make mirliton casserole and mashed potatoes for Christmas dinner. And besides that there were the other preparations for the party. You know, if you’ve ever given a party you know what it takes to put it all together. It helps to make a list of all there is to do and just follow that to make sure you know forget anything.
5. I think since we are a British colony (yep, although we are independent and all we are still an extension of Great Britain, I mean why are we so fascinated with the queen and her family?) we should adopt their holidays that make sense. (Which does not mean they should adopt any of ours, I mean I know the Brits ain’t particularly thrilled with the 4th of July.)
6. It would help businesses because it would just be more reasons to have more sales during the holidays.
7. You don’t have to wrap the boxes with gift paper which would make the process of gift giving a lot easier.
8. I think it would be a great way to thank and acknowledge those who work for you, let them know they are appreciated. Even if you have given them bonuses a nice box of something is just a nice gesture.
9. Boxing Day is also the feast of St. Stephen, the first martyr of Christianity stoned while Saul of Tarsus, later to become Paul, looked on.
Well, I can only think of 9 reasons. And I was just thinking that you know Boxing Day is another holiday we have to prepare for and take into consideration. Isn’t Christmas a type of Boxing Day anyway since we gotta deal with all those boxes? Just thinking out loud here.
Or maybe we could just adopt a different meaning for Boxing Day. I’m just thinking of ways that we could still make this a holiday without having to go to too much trouble especially right after the biggest day of the year. I mean who wants to think about going to the trouble of giving more gifts right after Christmas. Maybe that is overkill you know.
Maybe to make it easy we could just give out Boxing Day cards, like gift cards or something that say “Happy Boxing Day” day on it. That would make it easy without having to box anything up. Maybe put the gift card in a little box and give it to your servants, er, employees.
But as I said in number 4 above, everyone just needs a break really, to not have to work or do anything. All the department stores should stay closed for that day to let their employees take a break too. I think that would be healthy for our country for folks to just take a deep breath, and relax without having to think about sales or gift returns. But… that ain’t gonna happen.
We need to a way to regain our sanity after the hectic and insane week before Christmas. I think adopting Boxing Day with a more relaxing, taking-a-break meaning is the best way to do that for everyone.
New Orleans gingerbread buildings – are you kidding? You mean buildings made outta gingerbread?
You know there ain’t nothing like a good gingerbread cookie. Me, I like to get that big ole tin of ’em at World Market for the holidays, I like the spicy sweetness, but really, they ain’t too sweet as most cookies go, they just right.
New Orleans Gingerbread Buildings – Sweet Versions of Your Favorite NOLA Places
Well, how ’bout some buildings made outta gingerbread. And we got some here in New Orleans, some real elaborate ones too, just take a gander at the photos below.
The Roosevelt Hotel has always been famous for it’s little gingerbread village. Nice, cute quaint.
Detail of the Cajun Night Before Christmas village at the Roosevelt Hotel.
Now we got some other places looking to one up them. How bout an entire Jackson Square done up in gingerbread? Oh yeah. That’s gotta be a lot of woik, cher. Whadyathink?
A gingerbread building display of Jackson Square New Orleans
150 pounds of gingerbread, about 200 pounds of sugar and 250 pounds of candy went into making this spectacle. Oh my gawd, think of the kinda woik dat goes into this. The hours and hours and sugar and sugar and flour and time baking it I mean, what a production. And then whadaya do after Christmas with alla this?
Now how bout this – a life-size gingerbread mansion at the Ritz-Carlton. Whaaaaaat? Ya gotta be kiddin’ me.
The gingerbread house at the Ritz Carlton New Orleans
This one is on the modeled on the “wedding cake” house at 5807 St. Charles Avenue. And yes, you can actually walk through it. Chef de partie Eliza Abeleda spends weeks on this project. It’s nice that someone has the passion and expertise to put all this together and delight us with these woiks of awt during the Holidays.
Find out more about this gingerbread house at nola.com
New Orleans gingerbread buildings – who knew awchitectyah could be so danged yummy. But ya know as always, just look, babe, and keep ya hands to yourself.
New Orleans neighborhoods got dealt a disappointing blow yesterday with approval of the new “compromise”short-term rentals legislation. This allows anyone with a homestead exemption to rent out year round.
New Orleans Neighborhoods and Short Term Rentals – Mayor Landrieu and the City Council Deal a Disappointing Blow
What a lot of people in New Orleans neighborhoods feel about short term rentals.
Those who own apartments and condos will be able to do the same. And whole home rentals, probably the worst offenders and the biggest threat to the fabric of our neighborhoods, will be able to rent for a maximum of 90 days per year. This in essence means that someone could rent out their entire home for every weekend of the year and then some.
Prices for homes have sky-rocketed in New Orleans over the past few years making it more and more difficult for those born and raised in the city to remain in their neighborhoods. And of course with higher home prices come higher taxes.
The city council and the mayor have basically betrayed the city residents and have threatened the very essence of New Orleans neighborhoods, one of the main things that makes our city unique. These STRs have cut down on the number of units for long-term residents, accelerated price increases for homes and apartments and gutted neighborhoods of permanent residents.
All with the supposed benefit of collecting more and more taxes. And with the promise of close enforcement and regulation. I love my city but enforcement of existing laws in the city is not one of its strong suits. What makes anyone think that it’s going to be any different with STRs?
I also don’t get why the city feels it needs to negotiate or please in any way AirBnB and other such services. They are an out-of-state company that is in the business to make money plain and simple. The city doesn’t need to do anything to try to please them. Yet, that is what the politicians seem to want to do.
I have no problem with a home owner renting out a room in their home or even the vacant unit of the duplex or double they live in. It’s the whole home rentals and multiple units in apartment buildings that are a threat to neighborhood stability.
Even the mayor’s sister spoke out against the concept saying it will causes more parking problems in the Garden District.
“This is not a good thing for our neighborhood, and we don’t think it’s a good thing for the whole city,” said Shelley Landrieu, who serves as executive director of the Garden District Association.”
The winners in this scheme are the landlords of these properties, and the city coffers – if they will follow through with proper enforcement, which is questionable – the losers are our unique New Orleans neighborhoods and its long-term residents.
New Orleans is one scary city where 90 percent of the people believe in ghosts according to a recent article on the WWL radio website. I don’t know where they get the 90% number from but not only are ghost stories part of our heritage I would bet most people here have a ghost story or two of their own.
New Orleans is One Scary City Where Most Believe in Ghosts
Spooky goings on outside a house on St. Charles Ave. in uptown New Orleans for Halloween.
Growing up, my parents, especially my dad, would promote the idea that we had a family ghost whose name was Gus that lived in the attic. Gus, of course, was a friendly ghost. And we still tell our young nieces and nephews about him, and some are afraid to sleep here in our house because of the stories about Gus. When they ask if Gus is for real, we just kind of hem and haw without admitting it one way or the other.
Now, I don’t really know if Gus is for real. I just know there have been some strange things happen in this old house, you know, like noises and sounds. I’ve had dreams of someone or something hovering over me which could just be a creation of my own mind from some morsel of food, something more of gravy than grave, as Dickens’ Scrooge would describe it.
My nephew tells of a time he was visiting when he was awakened by something in the middle of the night. Upon sitting up in bed saw the bedroom door slowly close a few feet. I think I’ve heard footsteps and sounds like someone coming up the stairs in the dead of night. It’s these experiences that make me hesitate when a wary child asks if Gus is real. Frankly, I just don’t know and if it is real its name is probably not Gus… or maybe it is.
Cosmopolitan magazine lists New Orleans as being the second most haunted city in the United States with Salem, Massachusetts, the site of the infamous witch trails, as number one. Estes Park, CO is on that list too. Go figure.
Perhaps the reason most people believe in ghosts in New Orleans is because we live in old houses which tend to be the structures most frequented by ghosts. And also, despite what you might get from the news media about all the supposed debauchery that goes on here, New Orleans is probably the most religious city in the country. So, spirituality is an integral part of our lifestyle and customs – even if you have no religious affiliation or you’re an atheist!
The article asserts that there is something about being near large bodies of water where ghostly sitings prevail:
“It seems to have something to do with the age of the city and the fact that it’s by so much water,” says the article’s author, Kelly McClure.
She’s not sure what water has to do with it, but that’s what her research shows.
“I’m coming to find that haunted locations are usually by large bodies of water.”
“New Orleans, being as old as it is…so many souls have come and gone…and the fact that it’s by water, seems to make it a hotbed for all of this activity.”
And New Orleans is between two huge bodies of water – the Mississippi River to the south and Lake Pontchartrain to the North. So there ya go.
Lafayette Cemetery is in the heart of New Orleans Garden District.
Another thing. Whereas most cities put their cemeteries on the outskirts of the city away from populated areas, New Orleans is dotted with numerous old cemeteries right in the middle of neighborhoods. One of the most famous is the Lafayette Cemetery right in the heart of the Garden District across the street from the iconic restaurant Commander’s Palace. So the cities of the dead live right among the city of the living.
And I’ve always said, and most would agree, local and visitor alike, that there is a mysterious something about New Orleans, that is difficult to put into words, a spiritual something to the place that grabs you and won’t let go. Could it have something to do with those who have come and gone before us and the lasting impression they’ve left on the city?
So New Orleans is one scary city. Hm. Perhaps “scary” is not the right word. Maybe “spooky” is better. And most likely it’s occupied by a lot of ghosts – I would say most of them friendly. It’s possible one of them named Gus “lives” in our house. Who knows?
“It is better to live here in sackcloth and ashes than own the entire state of Ohio.” — Lafcadio Hearn…. New Orleans is one of the most magical cities in the world. There is something about this city that has a tendency to take hold of you and won’t let go. If you are born […]more →