June Hodge-Podge and Giveaway


I know it’s not yet the official first day of summer, but tell that to the near 90-degree temperatures we’re enduring today.  This past week, I’ve worked with a lady carpenter replacing all the sills under the front porch of Camp Dularge. Man oh man, did we do some manly work, including the use of jacks to raise the porch so that we could push out the old lumber before replacing it with new. All we have left to do is paint the columns and the porch boards.  We were on a roll and would have finished Friday, but we got rained out.


The beautiful Mimosa blooms featured in the header image have now faded, but the Lantana are hanging on a bit longer.  I so enjoy their multi-colored flowers. Plus, Lantana is old-fashioned flowering shrub of the verbena family, and I love heirloom plants.


I’m watching the green figs grow bigger on the tree at the camp and hoping this year that the birds and squirrels don’t consume the figs before they’ve had a chance to ripen, as they have done the past two years.  We are in dire need of preserves!

alligator.return2010 011

This week, the alligator farmers returned truckloads of young gators to the marshes from where the eggs came.  It’s all part of Louisiana’s American Alligator conservation program.  Next month, they will come back to gather eggs from all the nests they can find, which will later hatch at the alligator farms. Once those hatchlings are about 2-3 feet long, 12% of them will be returned back to their homes, as I said above.  They have a better chance of surviving this way than if they hatch in the wild.

June marks the beginning of Hurricane Season, and Tropical Storm Collin kept everyone alert this past week.  Experts are predicting a serious hurricane season with 14 named storms, but it doesn’t pay to fret.  We prepare, we pray for the best, and then live with the consequences.

Front-Cover-Regret-The-Egret-800June is also the busiest month of the year for rentals at Camp Dularge. However, tours have slowed to a snail’s pace, no doubt due to the heat.  The heat also encourages rapid reproduction of the non-native, invasive water hyacinth, which will soon block little bayous and canals, thereby restricting where I can take my customers.  It’s okay, though, because invitations to read my book at various places are arriving.  I’m looking forward to getting back in the swing of that, as it has been quite a few years since I’ve done so. Wish me luck!  Meanwhile, I continue to write twice a month for the Houma Times and also for Country Roads.

And lastly, in community news, it has finally happened–an alligator attack–and it was too close to home for comfort.  In a little bayou very near Lake Decade, where my sons sometimes do water sports, a 16 year old girl jumped into the water for a swim in front of the family dock. She swam to her father’s boat to climb out and glimpsed the gator’s jaw out of the corner of her eye.  Seems she kept her wits about her, scurried up the ladder, and the gator only succeeded in taking a chunk out of her forehead. You can read the entire report here.

So, now, won’t you fill me in on your summer plans and news?

Many thanks to this month’s sponsor–Bonita Banderies.  As an author of A Promise Kept, she was inspired by the beauty of the Cross Lake near Shreveport, LA to  photograph several of her favorite scenes and create her Inspiration Cards. The notecards 4 3/8 x 5 3/4 are blank on the inside, printed on quality card stock, and assembled by hand. Her most recent book, A Promise Kept Inspirational Guide For Family Caregivers, encourages caregivers and their loved ones to spend time outside, enjoying the therapeutic beauty and tranquility of nature.  Please leave a comment to be entered for a chance to win a boxed set of her Inspiration photo cards, plus a bonus card suitable for framing. For more information, please visit her website to see more of her work.

Beating the heat,




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  1. Trying to stay cool and dry. We just plan to spend some time with our kids and grandkids. If all goes well, we will take one last, long vacation. Depends on my mom’s health and our daughters who suffered a mild stroke at work a week ago. If she regains full use of her arm and leg and mom quits sneaking out of the nursing home, then we will take a week for ourselves to rest. I checked her fig trees and they are loaded. I wish I could find a recipe I used in 2003 for a fig conserve. It had walnuts in it.

    1. Sounds like you may need a nice, long and cool rest, Cammy. I’m so sorry to hear about your daughter. That can be so frightening, and I pray for her smooth recovery and use of her arm and leg. There’s just no stopping your mom, though, bless her hard-working soul. I don’t think you shared that “comfiture” recipe with us, and if I knew it, I’d certainly share it back with you. Have a blessed summer, Cammy.

  2. Rain here today, 6.5″ in 2 hours. But all is very green and fresh.
    BW, sounds like you are as busy as ever. Wishing you a wonderful summer. Bill

  3. You’re still working like a stevedore on Camp Dularge I see. It looks great. Rain almost every day and 50% today. Susan, Ellen and Lucy are on their way here. They’re staying in the Quarter as tourists for a few days. We’ll spend time with them in New Orleans today and tomorrow then back to work for me. Hope your reading tours go well, educate a lot of people and you sell lots of books! I know you love reading to them.

    Wishing you days of cool breezes, calm waters and a lot of fish and figs.

    1. Lots of fish and figs? I’ll take that!!! I know you’re excited to see Susan and family! Please tell her I said hello and send my love to all of you.

    2. May the rain not be too much and allow you to finish the project! G is umpiring and glad summer has arrived. K is working and preparing to return to classes. Nursing mom back to health. Had a very rainy spring, everything, full, green and blooming.

      about time for blackberries and peaches. Sun is getting hottier and rainy days further apart.

      Hugs to all

      1. Great to hear some Arkansas news. Please give your mom a big hug for me, and don’t forget the kiddos. I’m so proud of G for umping. What a great kid! Best of luck to K as she goes back to college. You take care too, ok?

  4. Up in the Northwest we’ve had a couple of days of near 100 degrees, but now we’re in the 60s. It’s up and down for sure. This week we are at the coast in Florence, doing a little golfing. The grands get out of school on Thursday, so we’ll be figuring out how to keep them busy. We have a big 4th of July get-together, with our 1 year anniversary this year so that will be fun. Hopefully we don’t set the yard on fire like we did last year at the wedding when I decided sparklers for the kids would be fun as we finished the ceremony!!

    I do miss figs, but I remember my mama’s trees, it was a constant battle with the critters.

    1. Well, so, you got married with a BANG!! (and a fire?) LOL! Have a great summer with those grands, just watch out for those sparklers! Happy Anniversary a little early, Jeri!

  5. After 2 months we were finally able to take the new camper to Grand Isle for a few days. Between storms and the high winds, I was able to catch one flounder in 3 days at my cousins camp! The gulf was only suitable for surfing NOT surf fishing.
    Last weekend it was back to the camp in Ms to cut grass. I basically had to cut it twice because it was so thick and high. Grass cutting every week is taking time I wish We had to finish some other exterior projects. Work, work, work.

    1. Don’t you know that work, work, work makes Steffi a dull girl? LOL!! Let the grass go and take the camper back down to the island on a few calm days! Isn’t catching one flounder more fun that mowing grass twice? I mean, come on, it’s a no brainer!! Glad you were able to get down to the Island, in spite of the winds. Have a great summer, friend.

  6. Catching up with you again! It’s been too hot too early here too, a foreboding of what summer will bring, I fear. I hate to read about the alligator attack–esp after this week’s news from Disney. But I guess it’s their habitat and they’re doing what gators do. Our goal should be to stay out of their way. Keep well, BW! Love seeing all you’re up to!

    1. You are so right about staying out of their way! The local attack happened about a month ago and got very little news coverage, even locally. It’s so great to hear from you again! Thanks for stopping by.

  7. All the work on the camp coming out good i hope . i know it wasn’t easy with this heat

    1. It IS coming out great. We worked in the heat all day again today! Knocking out those jobs one by one!

  8. Okay, it’s time for the random drawing! Stand by . . . . drum roll . . . . And the winner is Commenter No. 3, and that would be Kaye Hoffman!!! Congratulations, Kaye. Please email me with your address and Bonita will mail your box of beautiful photo cards next week! Thanks so much, everyone, for leaving comments and for continuing to support this blog. And thank you, Bonita, for your generous giveaway prize and support! Blessings, y’all!
    True Random Number Generator

  9. I love the picture of the mimosa’s! I miss their beauty. I know you’re glad to have that porch fixed. I can see you’ve been really busy! Same here trying to keep up with all the jewelry I need to make for the gallery I am now in and for all the custom orders I’ve gotten. I’m no longer at the local Saturday art market so I now have people calling me and asking where I am. Sam and I are headed up through western CO and on to Yellowstone and northern MN in a few weeks. I can’t wait to get to cooler places. We’ve had a hotter than normal June like everyone else. I hope the rest of your summer is productive and a little laid back.

    1. It’s so great to hear from you and about your summer plans. Headed to MN sounds divine! Congratulations on your being accepted to a gallery (or invited!) and good luck with those sales. I know the Saturday market crowd will miss you! My new carpenter lady, Nancy, and I are tackling a new job each week! Long overdue things that I just did not have the expertise to approach alone. I really enjoy working with her, and she does fantastic work, with an eye for detail!