Let’s Go Fly A Kite

Submitted by Christi

This beautiful spring day with its gorgeous blue sky and soft Southern breeze was screaming for us to get out and enjoy, so . . . we did. We grabbed our kite and string and headed out to the Mississippi river levee area in New Orleans called “The Fly” which is located at the river end of Audubon Park and enjoyed a lovely afternoon.

Getting the kite ready to fly.

Getting the kite ready to fly.

Up, up and away . . .

kite above the trees

High into the sky!

kite flying

Higher and higher . . .

kite flying

With my fist holding tight, to the string of my kite 🙂

kite flying

A day that just made me smile . . . so, I wanted to share it with you!

Outdoor Wedenesday

Outdoor Wednesday with A Southern Daydreamer

Spring on the Porch

Submitted by Christi

The weather in New Orleans tends to be mild, year-round. However, this past winter brought many cool/cold days (though no frost or freezing – it’s all relative). Now that Spring is officially here, it is wonderful to get outside and enjoy the front porch.

We spend so much time on the porch that I am constantly changing up the look for the newest season. You may remember how it looked during the Carnival season:

mardi gras porch
A purple cloth and Mardi Gras beads adorned the table and the columns were adorned with purple, green and gold bows and ribbons.

Here is the Spring look:

Gardenia on the porch

A new look on the swing and table: Read more…

City of the Dead

Submitted by Cindy

As Easter approaches our thoughts turn to loved ones who are no longer with us.  I made a trip recently to Metairie Cemetery, where my family is buried, to place flowers on the tombs.  While newer than a number of the city’s cemeteries, it is one of the largest and most historic.

View - Metairie Cemetery

It was previously the site of a horse racing track, Metairie Race Course, founded in 1838.  During the Civil War it was used as Confederate Camp Moore.  The track went bankrupt during reconstruction, and the site was chartered as a cemetery in 1872, with its design influenced by the oval layout.  In 1991 it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The cemetery is the resting place of over 9,000 people, including 9 Louisiana governors, 7 New Orleans mayors, 49 kings of Carnival, and 3 Confederate generals.  With the largest collection of elaborate marble tombs and funeral statuary in the city, the artistry alone is well worth a trip.

Confederate monument

Read more…

Fish on Friday

Submitted by Cindy

New Orleans is a very Catholic city.  I’m not Catholic, but I heartily endorse one of the faith’s tenets – the “sacrifice” of eating seafood as opposed to meat.  On a recent Friday during Lent, I decided to honor the occasion by featuring Louisiana specialties from the sea.

For starters, we had Crawfish Bisque.  I have to confess that it wasn’t my creation – it was stashed in the infamous freezer after a catered party I hosted.  The main course was Trout Pecan accompanied by a rice pilaf.  My husband caught the trout while on a male bonding office outing, and it arrived home cleaned and filleted.  (Any time, dear!)  The dessert was a praline parfait.


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Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon

Submitted by Cindy

On a recent Sunday morning 16,000 runners from all 50 states and 23 foreign countries took to the New Orleans streets.  My running days are over, but I can’t resist going to cheer them on, and sympathize with their pain.  It was a perfect, cool winter day, with the sun peeking over the oak trees as the runners filled both sides of St. Charles Avenue.

In New Orleans we can turn any event into a party!    A jazz band from Tulane University started up at 7 AM.  Cheerleaders from a local high school sang their encouragement, waving big records as part of their routine.  Neighbors lined the route just as for a parade, though most were drinking coffee rather than the typical beer.  We brought our coonhound to cheer them on, and she provided a welcome distraction to the monotony of 26 miles. Read more…

Cream Soup a la John Besh

Submitted by Cindy

I attended a program last week featuring the noted chef John Besh as speaker.   A native son, he is “dedicated to promoting the foodways of Southern Louisiana”.  Chef Besh owns nine restaurants and hosts a syndicated TV show, but he gets equal satisfaction from cooking for his wife and four sons.   He prepared cream cauliflower soup for us, a simple dish in line with his latest book – My Family Table: A Passionate Plea for Home Cooking. 

This is my kind of cooking – no firm recipe, just throw in a bit of this or that.  Use ingredients that you have on hand, and feel free to make substitutions.  (I doubt if my creations would turn out nearly as tasty as his!)   Of course, a couple of non-staple items can add a special pizzazz.  While the soup was cooking, Chef Besh gave lots of cooking tips, and entertained us with stories from his cooking career. Read more…

Second Line Brunch

Submitted by Christi

This past Sunday, my husband and I attended a lovely brunch at New Orleans’ Second Line Stages, which is a movie production studio owned by Susan Brennan. The luncheon was a fundraiser for Young Life, which is wonderful Christian organization for young people.

The theme for the brunch was a second line. (See this past post for a description (and video) of a second line.) It was held in a sound stage at the studio.

You can see that this is a very large area and it was certainly a fun place for the brunch. Read more…

Container Veggies

Submitted by Cindy

March 2 is the last spring frost date in New Orleans, and I usually try to get my first vegetables planted around then to beat the summer heat.  That was my project for a recent cold weekend, with lows in the mid-30’s but no frost.  Since yards in the old part of town tend to be small, I’ve been container gardening for over 20 years.

In went the tomatoes and peppers.  Also for good measure bibb lettuce (a little late), green beans, and a basil plant.  I passed on the eggplant for now even though they were available because cold weather supposedly stunts their growth.  I usually plant them in the beginning of April.  The okra will get their turn sometime in early summer.


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Supper in the Kitchen

Submitted by Christi

I love my formal dining table and setting it for dinners is always fun, however, sometimes, when we are just entertaining another couple, that table is really just too big. I always think about the old movies where there was long, formal dining table and a couple was sitting at opposite sides, being waited on by formal servants who are summoned by a bell. Remember that? I hope so, otherwise, I’m just sounding crazy . . .

Anyway, in cases of a small group, I like to set a less formal table in the kitchen, like this:

Add some flowers . . .

Some food, wine and most importantly, people and . . .

let the fun begin! (Note: I have cropped the identity of my friends – I need to start letting people know that they could show up online when they dine here).

We had a lovely evening sitting around the table, eating, sipping wine and visiting.

Tablescape Thursday with Between Naps on the Porch

with Between Naps on the Porch

Meeting Matters

Submitted by Christi

People who know me, know I’m not fond of meetings. In light of that, it is funny how often I find myself attending meetings. However, if you must you must and, when you must, you may as well make it as pleasant as possible, right? On a recent evening, a meeting was held in my home. We extended out the dining table to make a long “conference” table and then added some food and flowers in order to create a friendly, relaxed environment. Here is how it turned out.

spring meeting

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A Random Day In New Orleans

Submitted by Christi

Sometimes, there are just things about New Orleans that make me smile. Running errands in New Orleans is unlike running errands in many places. For instance, on the way to the grocery store, this is just one of the sites you might see:

mardi gras tree

Beads hang from tree like this giving them beautiful purple, green, gold and pink colors. They also adorn the live oaks along the parade routes all year round. The evidence of beads that were caught by the trees instead of the people lining the streets.  Read more…

A Time of Rest

Submitted by Christi

Whew, we made it through Christmas, Carnival, Mardi Gras and Valentine’s Day. Now, I feel like “resting” my eyes (and body) for a few weeks before Easter and the festival season. The Carnival/Mardi Gras decorations are all down (although, I did find a bit of tinsel that I missed this morning).

You may remember how the mantel looked for Mardi Gras:

Mardi Gras mantel

All tinsel, glitter, lights and sparkle. I loved seeing this every day. However, now it is a bit more serene:

Spring mantle

Green plants, the doves that have appeared in so many places in my home (and on my table and porch . . .) and a couple of colored candles. I did opt to leave the “JOY” letters in place that were added at Christmas. I just really like them there. Read more…

Rex Paraphernalia

Submitted by Cindy

Rex (or the School of Design as it is officially named) is the big parade on Mardi Gras day.  Its monarch serves as the King of Carnival.  The organization is quite civic in nature, with its Pro Bono Publico foundation donating over two million dollars to local public school initiatives since its inception.  Over the years we have collected a variety of Rex memorabilia.

Each year the organization issues a ducal badge to its members.  There is a corresponding ladies’ pin, which members may purchase for wives and female friends or relatives.  Here are the ones for 2013, reflecting the theme “All Creatures Great and Small”.  It is inspired by the gauntlets worn by the 1886 Rex.

Read more…

What is Mardi Gras in New Orleans All About?

Submitted by Christi

If you’ve never been to New Orleans for Mardi Gras, you might find things a bit confusing. Since moving to New Orleans, I know, I have found myself explaining to friends all over the country about Mardi Gras and Carnival and Krewes and parades and well, the whole mystical, magical, crazy, fun season.

The Carnival season begins on January 6th which is known as Twelfth Night or The Epiphany. You can read more about Twelfth Night here and here. This is traditionally when the Christmas season ends. Carnival is celebrated by many with parties and balls. In New Orleans, it is often “Krewes” that lead the celebrations. While the celebrations are ongoing throughout the Carnival season, they all culminate on Mardi Gras day Read more…

Superbowl Serendipity

Submitted by Christi

Getting around in New Orleans during all of the Superbowl and Mardi Gras festivities can be challenging. My husband and I headed down to the French Quarter yesterday and opted to ride the very busy streetcar. This was a great way to avoid the traffic and parking challenges in the city.

Heading back home, we got back on the streetcar and enjoyed a surprise performance on board. This was the drivers brother-in-law. Ha – what a fun ride. Only in New Orleans. Enjoy!