Hurricane Ike – The Gifts

Now that looks like a really strange blog post title, doesn’t it?

It seems I’ve been in a bit of a blogging slump, not having internet readily available at my tips. I was speaking with an old friend whom I haven’t seen in 20 years last night, and I asked her to imagine her life without internet, and said she just couldn’t do it!

Today’s mail prompted me to be thankful for yet one more new friend and thoughtful person this blogging adventure has put me in touch with.

And I’ve been thinking about how much I’d like to do a post inspired by my readers. Well, that time is here.

I’d like to share with you the gifts I’ve received during the recovery process from very generous people around the nation.

First, there is this very thoughtful gift from BigSis, which she boughtdutchoven

at a small town near where we had evacuated for Hurricane Gustav.  I haven’t been able to “season” it yet, because the high water from Hurricane Ike ruined the oven element on my gas range.  We tried to repair it without success.  Guess I’ll be buying a new range for Camp Dularge soon.


When LilSis was down in October, she won this basket full of Louisiana Fish Fry products at the LOWA Banquet and generously left it lying on my pillow the morning she departed for home.  I haven’t been able to bring myself to break into the basket shaped like our great state!  But I promise I will soon!

And in the mail came this gift, for which I shamelessly and publicly begged . . .


Dark Chocolate Covered Dried Cranberries from Blufloyd, whom I met through Choupiquer, whom I met while working on a swamp tour project in 2006 and have fished with on occasion since then.  This stash remains hidden, and I do not share.  Nope.  Don’t even ask!  Thanks so much, Blu!


Speaking of fish.  I met this great lady on La. Lady Anglers at the end of 2007 – fondly known as Reelwoman2.  Earlier this year, I had the pleasure of meeting her in person during Captain’s Weekend at Cabela’s.  On this blog, she is known as Steffi.  This lovely art form is called “filet crochet” and I don’t know how she did it (I am all thumbs when it comes to needles) but it is beautiful.  She made one for Rach and MuzicMan as a wedding gift also.  She’s going to tell us soon how she frames them with recycled materials.  Can’t wait!


And through my book I met a woman named Lillian who was one of the first women to work in the Gulf of Mexico oil field  in the 1970’s (even before me).  Her aunt, lovingly called Alligator Annie, began the first swamp tour business in the 70’s when she was in her sixties!  Lillian gave me this beautiful Richard Thomas, signed and numbered poster called “Daughters of the Wetlands”.  I dearly love it.  Every time I look at it, I see something I missed last time.


And Lillian also generously gave me this poster from the Paddle Bayou Lafourche which I first participated in November, 2004, where I met Kim, who posts here from Kim’s Adventures.  She was one of the first to see a pre-publication copy of my book about wetland loss and invited me to present it to her second-grade class she was teaching in 2005.  Through her, I gained great confidence as a wetland educator.  Thanks Kim, for letting me use your kids as guinea pigs!

And in Kim’s recent travels to Alaska, she met a woman named Linda Kay Thompson, who was selling her books and her son’s artwork at an outdoor craft fair.  Kim was attracted to the booth because of the bright colors of the artwork and soon learned just how special this artist was . . .


She sent me these two books written by Linda, telling about her journey of finding her son’s unique talent and helping him prosper doing what he loved–drawing.  This might not seem like such an extraordinary thing for a mother to do, except that her son Eric, has Down Syndrome.  Kim sent me the books hoping to inspire me as I rear my son with DS.  I hope I can help Miah find his passion like Linda did for her son.

At this juncture, I am prompted to mention a very special friend who has recently joined us here.  Her name is Vance.  Off on furlough from the mission field, she and her husband were at the hospital when Miah was born.  And I still have very fond memories of him sleeping in his baby seat on the living room floor while our friends sang Christmas Carols outside the front door for us.  Remember, Vance? The gift Vance has given me is unconditional and unswerving love over the years and across the miles.


And that brings me to one of my newest blogging friends, Heidi.  These fantastic-smelling homemade soaps arrived today.  When I opened the mailbox, the aroma drifted straight up my nostrils and I could not WAIT to rip the package open to see these cute little soaps.  They are made by Grandma Vicki and when I grow tired of looking at the attractive, earthy wrappings, I will open them and try them out.  The bottom one is Honey Oatmeal Almond and the top one is Ginger Lime.  They really do smell wonderful in my room right now.  Thanks so much, Heidi!!!

And then there’s the gift that arrived, special delivery, on a day when I was (as Anne of Green Gables would say) in the depths of despair . . .


offering warm licks and unconditional love.  Her name is Ti-Du, which means Petite Sweet literally, or sweet little one as a nickname.  She is a bayou puppy and was born just before Hurricane Gustav.  She evacuated for both hurricanes, and now makes her home with us here at Camp Dularge.  Isnt’ she precious?

That, dear friends, are the gifts of the hurricanes.  If I have forgotten any, please forgive me by reminding me promptly so I can post them up in a flash because now I have the most recent gift of the day . . .


THE INTERNET AT CAMP DULARGE.  This post is my gift to you from our brand new Charter Cable Internet Service for which we’ve waited two months!

Thanks to each and everyone of you for your kindness.  The gifts really do make me realize how giving people are and how much we need each other in times of distress.  Each of you has made my burden lighter by your caring, giving spirits.

I am your ever-blessed and ever-thankful

Bayou Woman

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  1. Before all the hurricane debris gets picked up, look for some old wooden fence planks if you want a rustic “look”. That’s the “recycled material”. More later. I was going to shut down for the night, but decided to check to see if your Internet was actually reinstalled when they said you would have it.

  2. All these special and loving people are drawn by your warm and loving heart. And the bright light in your eyes. Once again I had a lump in my throat, tears in my eyes and a big smile on my face. Ti-Du is too cute. I’m glad she found you.

    I’ll fight ya for the chocolate cranberries!

    I believe I’ve been on one of Alligator Annie’s tours!

  3. Katy Bug – You are too kind. You must be related to me or something!!! And I knew you would like Ti-Du. She is such a sweetie, too. She came at just the right time to make me realize I was alive and needed to lift my head above all the negative circumstances piled on top of me at the time. Come see me and I’ll share my candy with you!!!

    You might have. She was the only one doing tours for a long time. Now her son has carried it on and he’s getting ready to give it up I hear.

  4. My Cuz Katy Bug’s comment reminds me also that there were some who shared their finances with us. They prefer to remain anonymous, so I will thank them here and tell them that the money will go into our personal home, and I know it takes a big heart to share hard-earned dollars. Again, thank you.

  5. Omigosh I’m so homesick for the bayous and I’ve never lived there. We have traveled in the area and I love it. So mysterious and filled with wildlife. I love reading your blog. Keep it up. The dog is as cute as a bug.

    – Suzanne, the Farmer’s Wife

  6. Hey Suzanne! Mind if I call you FW? LOL! I hopped over to your place last night from The Milkman’s Wife, Heidi’s blog. Now that I have the net again, I’ll be able to read more and leave comments!!! So, see ya soon! And thanks for stopping by! I hope to keep this up as often as life will permit!

  7. Get eating those DCCDC’s I’ll be bringing more down Thursday if Choup’s house don’t swipe them. Snow flurries here.

    Nice doggie. He like boat rides?

  8. Hi Lynn – Is that my Eat Like a Native Lynn? I’m sorry I haven’t been visiting the forum, but with no net it’s been a little difficult! Things are coming together from many different directions. I’m not sure when we’ll be settled at “home”, but I’m sure there will be a post about it! I have to get a new oven and season that dutch oven first, right?

  9. BTW BW,just slap some fat on and in and around the iron casserole and heat stove top or charcoal. Or fry some onions in bacon fat. I did my Jam pot stovetop.

  10. Pull out the outside burner to season your pot. Coat outside of pot w/grease, fry a bag of el cheapo frozen french fries then throw them away (if your pot has a “wax” coating, they’ll not be the tastiest).
    Too bad (for both of us) you don’t need an electric glass top Range. We’ll be selling a brand new Range and a dishwasher. I was wanting a new fridge, and we came across a deal for all 3 appliances for less than the (regular ) price of just the fridge.
    Any of your friends Shrimping? My usual source is making one more trip out and they aren’t taking anymore orders. I NEED 40 lbs. of SHRIMP!

  11. Steffi – Thanks for the outside burner and fry idea. Hey, I might want to put electric range in here. Does an electric range require a 220 plug in? And where did you come across such a good deal? I need to know! The shrimp are very small, but there are quite a few people here “skimming”.

  12. So happy to hear that ML and Bill gave you “my hugs!” Loved this post with all the gifts to see – isn’t it amazing how our lives touch so many others? Why, I think I am going to go pop in “It’s a Wonderful life!” 🙂

    Love to you, and have a great week with your internet!!!

  13. Wow! I am so happy for you! Gifts and gifts, of all kinds. The gift for me is knowing you’ll be sharing your life with us again, and knowing that things are slowing righting themselves in your world.

  14. Wook at dat tute little dooogggg! 😉 Finally, a dog I actually like! Maybe we’ll get lucky and she’ll keep her nice baby fur… And I was wondering what DCCDC’s were. Are they sour? BTW, google “cranberry bogs”. It’s quite interesting. I am on a quest to become a fount of random knowledge. Someone ask me what that white fibrous stuff on oranges is! *lol*

  15. BTW, WordPress hates me. They assigned me about the girliest quilting square avatar in the lot! Thank God it’s not pink too. I want Steffi’s! Maybe one day I’ll get a blog so I can actually have my picture up here… We can compete for ratings. 😉

  16. Nope not sour. Google beats reading encyclopedias and dictionaries.
    I have did both. Come from a long line of smarty butts but we have learned to play it down. I hope there is Satsuma’s on the roadside. Friday or Saturday.

  17. I read where some of your readers may have had some storm damage with Ike of Gustav and have not gotten satisfaction from their insurance companies. I know how they may be able to recover additional monies from their insurance companies. Please give me a call to discuss.
    318 207 0010


  18. Wow, Donald, what an interesting comment on a thread that has nothing to do with insurance. I wonder what blog reader alerted you to a blog post about hurricane damage insurance claims? Hmmmm? I’ll leave your offer up for a bit to see if any of the readers here would like to give you a call. Welcome to the bayou and thanks for your offer to help.


  19. Interesting. Where do these people come from?? I’m not interested so ya can nix the offer as far as I’m concerned. BW, you are the epitome of gracious Southern ladies.

  20. Well, Katy, I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and maybe he can help someone!!!

    Welcome, Linda, to the bayou, and I hope you come back often! I’ll go visit you now!


  21. You really are blessed Wendy! The puppy looks so cute……I’m hoping we’ll see you. We’ll be back in town before Christmas and through January. We’ve got to go dancing!!!!