Posts Tagged With: celebration


IMG_2779 (Copy)If you are going to have a birthday party as an adult, you expect to enjoy it. The band, dedicated their music to Carole Gordon, whose birthday was being celebrated.

IMG_2780 (Copy)I don’t know who they are, which didn’t affect my enjoyment of their music. I heard guest, Alan Test, say, “Oh, that’s Lightening Boy.”  Lightening Boy moved quickly and I never did get his picture.

IMG_2781 (Copy)Carole got up and danced-and the night was hers.

IMG_2789 (Copy)These two singers and players are personal friends of Carole’s.

IMG_2791 (Copy)They each wrote a song about their experiences in Viet Nam and sang them. The man on the left wrote and dedicated a poem to her.

IMG_2777 (Copy)The fellow doing sound and lighting reminded me of Rumbledore from Harry Potter.

IMG_2790 (Copy) Carole was a teacher at Michelson Elementary School when we moved to Murphys 37 years ago. As our kids grew up,  we were both involved in AFS (American Field Service.)  My exchange student, Linda, from Indonesia and her exchange student, Phillip, from South Africa, were good friends during their year together in Murphys.  AFS is a bonding experience, much like a family. Jim and Alisha Riggs were at the party, too. Jim had a student from Ethiopia before my family got involved in AFS.

IMG_2774 (Copy)Of course, the party wasn’t only about the band. Selections of wine, beer and water.  The hors d’oeuvres were fabulous, followed by a full dinner of ribs, chicken, roast beef, mashed potatoes and green beans.

IMG_2778 (Copy)I missed taking a picture of this birthday cake before it got cut.

IMG_2792 (Copy)But, I did get a picture of one of the chocolate cakes. All came from our local bakery in Murphys. Needless to say, I went home stuffed and smiling with pleasure.

IMG_2788 (Copy)Where is that Lightening Boy?








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When a girl turns sixteen, it is a “sweet sixteen” party. What do you call a boy as he turns 16? It is a milestone to turn 16. For one, you can get a job, you can drive and in a way, it is a crossover to manhood. So, maybe goodbye childhood. But, there is no handy moniker for the event. Parents, Jim and Wendy organized a barbecue. His girlfriend, Stephanie (seated left) made him his own personal bowl of home-made macaroni and cheese. Neat!

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It was a nice relaxing afternoon to enjoy the kids, our last time together and some welcome beautiful weather.

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Eric talked his mother and youngest sister, Jaime into a tag football game. Eric explains the rules to them.

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Wendy throws to Jaime. Jim got in the game to hike the ball and mark the down lines.

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Eric and Stephanie huddle and strategize. It is Wendy and Jaime against Eric and Stephanie.

I don’t know who won because everyone was having fun and laughing a lot and it really didn’t matter.

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Then it was time for cake and ice cream. The cake was decorated by sister Jocelyn.

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It was a happy day for a young man with amazing potential to become a pro ball player, which is his dream.  And, a beautiful day to enjoy a family gathering full of food, fun and laughter. Ciao!

We leave Ivoryton this a.m. and head North West.

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Abbeville is a small, old town with a couple of jewels. One is  Magdalen Square. The square has precious ancient oaks impossible to fit in your camera, so you must go and look for yourself. As you can see one tree can easily cover  a city block.

rattan grows on these trees

These old oaks are often covered with rattan, commonly called resurrection fern, because it turns brown when it is dry and green when it rains. It is a plant we see often on old oaks. These trees have earned their whiskers.l

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Metal arms help  hold up  long heavy branches

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There are four of these giants, if memory serves. So huge, their branches mingle until you cannot actually take a picture of a single tree without getting parts of another. In a word, magnificent.DSC03729 (Copy)

Across from the square sits the St. Mary Magdalen Church with a tree branch looking like a giant hand reaching for the building.

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I look for something unusual wherever I go and I’m rarely disappointed. This tombstone sits in front of the church.

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In the cultural center/museum/gallery, as usual, I found something I’d never seen before. This item is a change counter used by the church before they started handing out envelopes and urging people to put bills in the collection basket.

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In the cultural center, I discovered the second jewel of Abbeville. Well,  great pictures of their Giant Omelette Celebration. If you decide to come, it is held the first full weekend of November every year. You are looking at the cooking of a 5,000 egg omelette.

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One chevalier (chef) puts the butter on the 19 foot skillet. I’m going to give you the recipe in case you need it. 5029 eggs. (The confreres add an egg for each year of the celebration). 50 lbs.  onions, 75 bell peppers, 4 gallons onion tops, 2 gallons parsley, 11 1/2 gallons cooking oil, 6 1/2 gallons of milk. 52 lbs butter, 3 boxes salt, 2 boxes blk pepper, and tabasco sauce to taste.

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To the original recipe, the chefs now add crawfish tails. After all, this is Cajun country. Ya gotta have crawfish in your omelette.

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And hot french bread to eat with it.

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Can you tell these people are having fun? The festivities include a Procession of Chefs, and an antique car show, etc. and etc. Everybody who wants a taste of the omelette lines up. It is free. But the tradition began with Napoleon. His army was traveling in Southern France and they stopped in the town of Bessieres to rest. A local innkeeper cooked him an omelette which was such a culinary delight, he ordered the townspeople to gather eggs in the village and prepare omelette for his army.  It then became a tradition to cook a giant omelette to feed the poor of the village at Easter. Of course, the tradition spread to other villages in France and eventually to the little town of Abbeville.

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The cultural center has some great old pictures and history. This from the premiere of The Louisiana Story, a movie that was filmed on Weeks Island but the movie crew stayed in Abbeville

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I was surprised to see JAX beer in the 1930’s. There is a JAX brewery in New Orleans and I thought it was a new beer.

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A series of photos about the ravages of Rita. Much of the town was under water. Pretty horrific.

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The center hosted a children’s art exhibit while we were there. This one was my favorite from their permanent collection, by Robert Baxter.

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We took a pass through an old cemetery next to the church. Everything we saw was within walking distance of our parked car. Easy and neat.

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My oldest son was the first of my children to have a child. I was so surprised how much I enjoyed seeing my son be a father and watching his children grow.  Celebrating Father’s Day this year with he and his family was a special treat for me since we live a state apart.  His oldest will be headed off to college in a couple of months and we all feel the shift in our lives as we remember early childhood and now the prospect of the first one leaving home.

We spent time  in the pool and played cards. Ken barbecued flank steak that had been marinated for 24 hours. Laurie made a fresh corn salad and Ken’s favorite cake. His boys bought him a video he had been wanting to watch.

We looked at a family photo album, did some reminiscing. In this hot climate, staying inside or near the pool is everyone’s favorite option.

After dessert we watched The Presidents Speech, an excellent movie on video. What is the normal way to celebrate Father’s Day?  Not sure what that might be. It’s all about family. Father’s are always special and we honor the work and guidance and loyalty that a father represents.  We remember our fathers past and are glad to celebrate those that are still with us.  Beautiful.



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Do I even recognize the 14 year old I took with me to Thailand? After 16 days of a venerable, ancient, culture we were both changed. Mason, above, is my grandson and traveling partner. We squeezed in a lot of life during our 16 days. He is holding Flat Stanley against a waterfall in the Tawana Hotel, Bangkok on our first day. (I’ll explain Flat Stanley later.)

From our hotel, we set out for the flower and produce markets. We viewed the miasma of traffic, strange vehicles slipping past our bus window. Life swirls through the streets, shopping stalls crowd man and beast and machine for space. Its vibrant, exciting and such a contrast to suburban and big city USA.

We found Thai people, happy, friendly, clean, and a fascinating mix of old culture and new democracy. Third world, no doubt, but life is lived in the streets. Families run their shopping stalls, kids play around the street markets when not in school. Vendors eat on the street, socialize and nap in their stalls.

The snarl of wiring above this street reminds me a bit of India, yet you could plug in your computer, or phone chargers in any of our hotels.

Thai people love their flowers and you see them gracing their motorcycles, boats, buses, houses, temples-everything.

Fruits and vegetables and flowers are part of every celebration in Thailand. It was love at first sight.
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