Saturday, June 9, 2012

Summer Squash, Memories & LSU Baseball.....

This weekend is going to be a relaxing weekend.   The first one in a long time.   Tomorrow we gather at church to see some old friends & then enjoy a 2nd Sunday lunch at my mommas filled with great home cooking & too many sweet little barefoot cousins running around the yard to count.  This is the good stuff people!

Today my goal is to not leave home!   I was on the road so much this week.  One day this week I actually crossed over the Mississippi river 8 different times on 3 different bridges in one day!!   (In all honesty though, I was busy talking on the phone one time & accidentally found myself in the wrong lane; so, one of those crossings was unnecessary- lol).       At any rate, I'm ready for some chill time.   I plan to read a new book, cook a great lunch & enjoy watching the LSU Tigers play baseball with the hubby.  

To that end, one of my oldest/dearest friends, Susan Cox, generously provided me with some great vegetables out of their garden yesterday. I threw together a lunch of fresh veggies.   Sauteed yellow squash, stuffed fresh bell peppers & sliced cucumbers w/tomatoes.   YUMMY!  

Fresh cucumbers & tomatoes.

Sauteed yellow squash
Stuffed fresh bell pepper.

Lunch!  Yummy.

I LOVE, LOVE fresh summer vegetables.   I don't currently have a summer garden but I wish I did.   I love being able to walk out & pick lunch or dinner fresh out of the ground.  Hopefully we will plant a late summer garden.

The other thing we're enjoying on this Louisiana summer day is watching LSU baseball.   It NEVER gets boring!  What exciting games as the Tigers fight to get to Omaha.   We are so blessed to have such great LSU baseball & football traditions.  GEAUX TIGERS!

"Uncle Red" - Red Arnold RIP
These 2 things, fresh vegetables & baseball, have been making me think so much today about my sweet Uncle Red.    We lost him this year.   It's strange how sometimes a memory will sneak up on you.   I remembered a few days ago how he sat with my sisters & I at the "big house" while my parents attended my PawPaw Nettles' funeral.   He sat with me on the front porch swing trying to comfort me.  He was a big man & could be gruff, but I always felt he had a soft spot for me.  When I visited him at the hospital a few days before he passed away,  he never lost that sweet smile & hearty laugh.   He loved, loved working out in his garden.   He also loved baseball.  He spent many hours of his life coaching or watching the game.   Some of my favorite memories growing up was spending Friday nights watching Dixie Youth baseball games at "Old College".   Uncle Red would fill his car to overflowing with kids  & head up to the games.  Around Jackson, in that day, this was where the entire town was every Friday night during the summer.  Uncle Red LOVED coaching his boys.   He taught me everything I know about baseball & football.   He even tried to coach me in softball.  He was so patient.   He coached fast-pitch softball for years & I can see him now shaking his head & yelling "Cindy Gail pay attention!".    He wanted, so badly, for me to be the player that my older sister, Cecilia, was.  But that just wasn't me.   Cecilia is a natural athlete and she loved to play.   I'd much rather be reading a book!!  haha   He knew it, but he tried anyway.   He yelled his head off at everyone, except me.  He just shook his head & smiled.     Later in life he spent his time following his grandsons' many baseball games.  His oldest grandson, Michael, said at his funeral that he never missed a game.   I sure miss you Uncle Red & I know you'd be right there by Bob sitting at Alex Box if you were here.  But I also know that now you have the best seat in the house!!

Well, enough rambling for me today.   I hope you all enjoy your weekend as much as we are down here in south Louisiana.

Take good care,

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Noche Caliente

Noche Caliente normally describes a June Saturday night in south Louisiana.    This week, if you were lucky enough, you could have spent it at Alex Box Stadium watching LSU's baseball team win a great game.  Or, like us, you could spend the evening hosting a couple's wedding shower with great friends, old & new.   We used a Mexican theme & served frozen margaritas, Mexican beer, along with a table full of awesome Mexican food!    I don't have a lot of the pictures yet, but below are some of the decorations I prepared using empty cans & a few inexpensive flowers.


One of my besties, Pam, drove in from Dallas and she & I (along with my tireless husband) worked from 6 AM Saturday until the last guests left around 10:30 PM.  Of course, the younger hosts & hostesses also worked hard as well but Pam & I are getting too old for this stuff.   We vowed that next time we'll rent a venue & write a check!    But over the years, after hosting many, many showers, I've learned that it's sort of like childbirth.  After time passes you seem to forget the pain & just remember the good stuff!    And last night the good stuff was flowing aplenty! 

The bride is a close childhood friend of both Pam's daughter, Brittany, & my son, Garrett.  They have been dear friends since preschool & the mother of the bride, Marcia,  is one of our besties as well.  (Not to mention that her siblings are like my own yungins.)    So whatcha gonna do?        

To our great surprise, we had a beautiful evening without too much heat.   It's been topping 100 degrees around these parts, but a small cool front blew in Thursday keeping the temperature in the 80's!  It made for a very comfortable outdoor patio party.     The groom's family drove in from New Orleans & we met lots of new friends!   They are good people & we enjoyed some great beverages, spicy food & lots of laughter.   The guys watched LSU's victory on the outside television.  The bride & groom were roasted with "The Almost Newlywed Game" and the guests enjoyed watching them squirm.    They received some great couple's gifts and, all in all, it was a huge success.

That being said.... I'm NEVER doing it again (or at least not until Pam's daughter, Jordan, gets married.  She's the baby of the bunch so maybe then I can hang up my hostess apron?).  Oh who am I kidding?  I'm sure it's just a matter of time.    Giving wedding showers, Louisiana style, is a great Southern tradition of allowing the bride&groom's families to meet before the wedding and helping provide the couple with what they need to begin their new life together.   I wouldn't give it up for anything! 

Until then, I'm heading in for a hot soak in the tub, a cold Corona & hopefully I can stay awake long enough to watch LSU knock off Oregon State.  GEAUX TIGERS!!

Take good care,