October 30, 2010

Happy Jacks and Sad Jacks

The "Season of the Pumpkin" is upon us!

Today I am proud to share photos of one of my most treasured possessions with you. This beautiful "Happy Jacks and Sad Jacks" quilt was crafted by our dear aunt, Beth Perdue.

Aunt Beth was a very talented quilter and seamstress; not to mention one of the finest ladies one could have ever had the pleasure to know. We treasure her memory and her handiwork as we welcome fall and the "Season of the Pumpkin".

October 27, 2010

Cathedral-Basilica of St Louis King of France New Orleans

Sitting in a pew in the St Louis Cathedral, surrounded by beautiful stained glass, ornate murals and angelic music filling the air I am always overtaken by a feeling of peace and the presence of the Holy Spirit.

St Louis Cathedral has the distinction of being the oldest operating cathedral in the United States. The people of New Orleans have worshiped in churches on this site since 1727. The depth of nearly three hundred years of worship; the marriages and the mourning, the celebration of baptism and the horrors of war. The joys and the heartbreaks all linger in the air of this beautiful space and do not escape me. I say a prayer for those who came before us, those who are with us now and those who will come after we are gone.

To learn more about St Louis Cathedral go to http://www.stlouiscathedral.org/


New Orleans, Louisiana...

The Crescent City, The Big Easy, The City That Care Forgot, N'awlins - whatever you prefer to call her she has a charm and uniqueness all her own.

To quote the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau...
"Here, in this little corner of the American South, where European traditions blend with Caribbean influences, the history is as colorful as the local architecture; the food is the stuff of legend. Haitian and African Creoles developed an exotic,spicy cuisine and were instrumental in creating jazz and Zydeco.

A cultural gumbo, we celebrate our differences. In fact, we celebrate almost anything in the Big Easy. We have a saying: LAISSEZ LE BONS TEMPS ROULER -- LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL. A reminder of our french heritage, a way of life that began three centuries ago."

To step in to the French Quarter is to be surrounded by almost 300 years of history. The Quarter has been a continual residential neighborhood since 1718 and has withstood hurricanes, floods, fires, yellow fever epidemics, war, neglect, industry and commercialization.

For me, walking through the uneven streets, strolling through the shops and galleries, stopping to listen to the amazing street musicians share their talent and admiring the centuries old architecture is my idea of the perfect day. In fact, one of my biggest regrets is that I never took a break from the real world back in my younger days, packed my bags and experienced life in the French Quarter for a few months.

New Orleans proudly proclaims, "We Live To Eat" and why wouldn't they? I can honestly think of no more decedent food than that offered in New Orleans. My five day food orgy just last week included (oh my, I should be so ashamed!) Shrimp Po' Boys, Oysters, Shrimp and Grits, Red Beans and Rice, Smoked Salmon Beignets, French Toast, a Soft Shell Crab Po' Boy and Cafe Au Lait and Beignets. It was "Foodie" heaven! We visited Felix, NOLA, Bayona, Deanies, Mr. B's, K Pauls, R & O, Cafe Du Monde and Pat O's. We were gluttons and we loved every minute of it!

New Orleans is home to Mardi Gras, Jazz Fest, St Louis Cathedral, "cities of the dead", Jackson Square and historical plantations. With each of them comes more history than one can imagine.

I snapped a few images while roaming the quarter. Of course, they could never do it justice, so my suggestion to you is that you pack a bag, head on over, and Le Bons Temps Rouler...