Wheres Ray/Wendy yr 2

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Working on the farm

Hi all,
Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and didn't over indulge to much. Ours was pretty good, Wendy did the bulk of the cooking with the rest of us pitching in where we could. We cooked our turkey a bit different this year, soaking it in a brine and seasoning for 17 hours before cooking. It turned out fantastic, so moist not needing to pour any gravy on it.
 We have been keeping pretty busy on the farm, Amanda has a few build projects and I enjoy building things. Wendy has helped out in the house with some deep cleaning which she might not enjoy as much. We have also been working on a long project painting the fences, this one will take some time as there is a lot of fence.
New hay feeder
Package box
LOTS of fence to paint

 We tease Amanda as being a slave driver but we don't mind helping out and earning our keep.
 She had an electrician come over from work and we roughed in a plan to get juice to the orchard area where we have the camper parked. We are now just running a long cord from the barn and watching our usage. We eat and shower at the house, it is working out okay. Amanda even set Wendy up a place for Wendy to do her baskets, how cool is that?
 Also we have been busy changing our domicile to here. We had been having issues with getting Wendy health insurance in South Dakota so we thought getting a physical address would help. The change has gone better than we thought as Live Oak is a small town so the DMV is easy to deal with.
 It hasn't been all work though, Wendy and I took a drive one day checking out the local springs. It has been very dry here only raining when the two hurricanes rolled through, so the springs were extremely low. We haven't hit the Suwannee River for a trip yet but it to looks very low.

 Monday welcomed another new member to Armadillo Acres as Daisey had a little boy. Boys are nice when they are little but Amanda quickly learned they needed separation and you don't need to many. This little guy she will keep til weaned then sell off. His mom is a fainter and the daddy is 1/2 fainter so they bring decent money when selling. If you never heard of fainting goats these goats actually do faint or freeze up when startled, this was part of the story line in the George Clooney movie Men Who Stare At Goats which I'm sure everyone saw.lol

 Oh, big news for us Amanda has planned a Jamaica trip and we leave this Saturday. Wendy and I thought we might do a cruise while here then Amanda came up with the idea of an all inclusive resort so we thought why not. We have not done the inclusive thing before and it has been 10 years since we did the cruise.
 So Saturday we fly out of Orlando with Amanda and Pat, his mom Gayle, and so cool we are meeting her son Alex in Jamaica. Alex and girlfriend Emily will be flying down from Wisconsin and only be able to spend til Tuesday( we will be there the week) needing to get back for school, but it will be great to spend time with them.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Home on the farm

Hi all,
We extended one more day at Betty's because of a nasty rain. We then drove to Fontainebleau State Park, just north of New Orleans. We had thought to stay a couple days here but ended up just hanging around for one night. It seems like a nice park and has a excellent bike trail going through the park. We will have to keep this in mind for a longer stay.
 Our next plan was a couple beach days, we are always able to get in at Rainbow Plantation in Summerdale. It is an Escapee park we have stayed at four different times now. Located about 40 minutes drive to Gulf Shores and during off season not a bad ride.
 We got one great day at the beach and the second day clouds seem to hang around. We got in a couple good walks so not all bad. We also made a stop at the famous Floribama Bar right on the border of Florida and Alabama. It is a unique place as it features several different bar areas in side, like they just kept adding on as they went along. We had one of their Bushwhacker drinks a frosty ice cream drink with a bunch of different rums in.
 So on Saturday we headed to our final destination for the winter, Live Oak Florida. Our oldest daughter Amanda had relocated here two years ago for work. We did come down the first year and volunteered at Suwannee River State Park about eight miles away. This time we are just going to set up in the back and work camp around here.
 Amanda has a cool little 30 acre farm and her menagerie of critters continues to grow. As we arrived her and hubby Pat were in the process of picking up the newest member an alpaca.

 So now the count is 17 goats, 2 donkey, 2 cows, 3 dogs,(and a partridge in a j.k.). So as I began writing this post and just got busy Amanda put a bid on two other alpaca and won so on Saturday we headed up to Douglas, Georgia to pick them up.
Our spot for the winter

Monday, November 7, 2016

The Great Omelet Fest

Hi all,
Well we were suppose to leave out today from Betty's but we just might stay one more day.  Extending time here is a normal ritual( getting caught in Betty's web) for rver's here many times requiring another ritual the Betty Shuffle( relocating campers  in the park to accommodate). Both of our previous stays here had us extending as we were just having to much fun, and a steady rain has changed our plans this time. We had been having great weather and so a little rain won't dampen our spirits to much.
 This past weekend was the famous or not so famous Omelet Fest in Abbeville. The history of the great omelet goes back to Napoleon traveling in south France, a innkeeper prepared a omelet for him that so impressed him he ordered them to gather all the eggs in the village and create an omelet for his army.
moving pan over the fire

paddles for stirring

onions and green peppers added

next the eggs

kids 500 egg omelette

 In 1984 three Abbeville dignitaries traveled to Bessieres, France where they attended the event . They were later knighted Chevaliers(chefs) allowing them to bring the tradition  home to begin to Abbeville. There are now seven cities annually holding the international event.
 So it began as 5000 eggs the first year and every year one egg is added, so this year was a 5032 egg omelet. In the creating of the omelet each city has its own special ingredient, although Abbeville has been allowed to add two. Tabasco which is produced just a few miles away and also local grown crawfish are added to the mix.
 They also have a smaller 500 egg omelet produced by junior Chevaliers.

serving the omelette (scrambled eggs)

 The event is now a two day affair with a craft sale, fun runs, music, and lots of great Cajun food.
 This year they had a show called Small Towns Big Deal that airs on the RFD channel taking part and filming the event. We do not know when it will be shown but they will announce it on a web page later.

 Saturday Wendy and I attended the craft fair and listened to some of the music then we headed out to attend another local tradition a Cajun jam session. Local musicians gather to carry on the French tradition of lively music and dance. It is held weekly alternating at a two different bars in the area.
 It is just great music and amazing as these talented people just show up to perform free, and heck you don't even have to understand it to enjoy as much of it is in French dialect.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Busy at Betty's

Hi all,
Time going by quickly here at Betty's RV. We had four campers pull out on Monday leaving the place looking pretty barren. It didn't last long as two pulled in later and four checked in on Tuesday. This is the time of year many rver's are migrating south so many pull in for short stays along the way.
 Monday Wendy and I took about a 40 mile drive to Cypremort State Park. We enjoyed the ride as much of it was on back roads we had not traveled before.
 Cypremort is right along the coast and looked to be a major launch for fishermen. The park is pretty small, much of the land is wetland and a refuge. The park has no camping but does have a couple large cabins to rent.

Cabin area

picnic area
 We got in a small walk along the beach which around here is hard to find. It looks like a nice place to picnic and spend a day. It also has a area set aside for sailing and looks like a good place to kayak.
 Tuesday we joined Toni and Doug and headed over to Breau Bridge for a Cajun swamp boat tour. We have done this twice before while here but at different times of the season. The  2 hour tour goes around Lake Martin at first wandering around the tall Cypress trees that continue to grow and thrive in the shallow waters. Our guide Captain Morgan( yes like the rum) gave us a good narration along the way explaining the difference between swamp and bayou. He also told of the wildlife and plant life about. Later we motored out to the lake area for some bird viewing.
 We had a great day and yes we finally saw a bunch of them gators.)

Doug and Toni from B.C.
 Being that we are only staying here for a little over a week we are staying pretty busy. Wednesday we took a short drive to Palmetto State Park. We have been here before but again at a different time of the year so things do seem different.
 This is a pretty nice park that offers camping, canoe rentals, and a splash pad that seems to be a popular option around these parts. We got in a few of our steps but it was a little hot and humid so we didn't do as much as we would have liked.
 Thursday we took a drive to Jeanerette to check out a museum. A portion of the museum was on the sugar cane grown in this area and something we wanted to learn more of.
 Well we picked the right place the little city of Jeanerette is also known as Sugar City. At one time it featured three sugar refineries.
sugar cane

A piece cut from a stalk. These are planted to grow new crops.

Sugar Cane ready for harvest

 A few other fun facts, Jesuit priests first introduced sugar cane in 1751. It is now a 2 billion dollar business for Louisiana grown on over 400,000 acres producing 13 million tons of raw sugar.
 Sugar cane is planted in the late fall and has a 7 month maturation to harvest. Most other regions where sugarcane is grown requires 11 to 12 months.
 They museum has a short 10 minute film on the processing of the cane to sugar.
Not quite done here yet, Jeanerette has an old bakery that has been producing bread since 1884. Today they only produce French bread, hot dog buns, and ginger cake. Well we were told if a red light is on the store front that warm bread from the oven is available. Good luck would have it the red light was on and we got a couple loaves of yummy stuff.)