Some folks may know I wrote and essay on vision care a while back and won a trip to New Orleans with Ma, the subject of the essay. I got this VSP Production (click the link above) in my mailbox Wednesday morning, wow! I knew they had guys with cameras roaming about but thought it was all over by now. By the way, I made the clothes Ma and I are wearing.
On another note, I made a big mistake…I looked at the special offer from Midwest Brew Supplies. They have fully set-up tandem Cornelius kegs with independent dispensing! I bottle all mine, I do not need this, repeat, I DO NOT NEED THIS! If they were Pony kegs instead of Cornies I would not be able to resist as I have an 80’s vintage cabinet-style small keg cooler. We used it for Bass Ale and Felonfoel (sp) Welsh Ale. Would not having my own ales in it be snazzy!
Christmas decorations! Oops, this is a Black Phase Rabid Wolf Spider in my Kitchen sink. These are great guys, good pest predators. This was a big fella, and he stayed a few days before disappearing to who knows where. I love the black tarantula look. They jump fast, too. We always wear shoes in the house.
Now, where the Dickens did the Christmas decorations go? Here we are! That multicolored thing draped across is a scarf Ma crocheted for me decades ago. I have worn it every
Christmas, but the last couple years it has done double duty as décor.
One reason I was so jazzed about going to New Orleans was the prospect of seeing ALLIGATORS! I’d already done a Swamp Tour there and an Everglades kayak tour a couple years ago, so my focus this time was the gators in town.
Here’s one at the Tourist Information place in the French Quarter. He’s the Master of Brochures.
One might think this is a terrible thing to do to a living creature, however I got over that by reasoning that there are a zillion gators and if the locals couldn’t make money off of them, they would exterminate them as dangerous reptilian menaces. Hence Swamp Tours, purses, boots, barbecues and storefront greeters. The fame of gators helps conserve them and their habitat, and the habitat is continually at risk.
This Praline Guardian is certainly an eye catcher.
Check this out:
I’ve had a gator-fixation for quite a while. It started with a really hectic day at work; I felt I had gators on my butt all day. One thing led to another. I painted this 6 ft wide floor cloth. In this one, the gators get revenge by luring tourists with beach umbrellas. There’s a row of cars parked to the left, but where did the people go? I assure you it looks better in person.
And as a constant reminder of the perils I face here at work, this poster hangs directly in front of me, forever in mid-slurp.
Ma and I got back from New Orleans Saturday, nigh onto midnight. It was a quick trip, but lots of fun. Wednesday night, we were treated to a fancy dinner in the French Quarter, at Muriel’s. The Grilled Puppy Drum (fish, not canine) with toasted pecan and cracked caper dressing in a gruyere sauce was delectable. And ooh-la-la, Crème Brulee afterwards.
The next day we worked the vision clinic all day. I helped folks fill out the complicated forms most if the time, then switched to helping them pick out their frames. In the end, we gave 353 people free eye exams and on-the-spot glasses courtesy of the VSP lab in the van out back. Tiring but wonderful!
Friday, the only full day we had on our own, started at Café du Monde for beignets followed by a Natchez steamboat trip down the Mississippi and back, with a jazz band serenade. Shop, shop, souvenir, French Market, walk, walk, look, look, pralines, t-shirts, gator hats.
I had intended to end the evening at a Cajun club for dinner and zydeco but on the way, we stumbled upon a stage sitting right smack in the middle of Decatur Street. Turns out we’d happened on the Frank’s Italian Ristorante 50th anniversary celebration; soon the quirky Rock ‘n Roll oldies and funnies band captured Mama’s heart. I backed her roller against the curb and soon Frank himself brought us two plates of free food – muffeletas. Ma said yick to that, so I went in and bought a mess of fried oysters for her. You’d though I’d been starving her! I had to treat her right since the story I won the trip with was about her getting glasses…not that I wouldn’t have anyway.
Alas, Saturday’s flight home came far too quickly. Still, we had a blast and loved every minute of it. Now if I could only find some more of that Abita Springs Turbodog ale, hmmm.
Hey, I won a trip to New Orleans! Where I work, we have VSP vision insurance. I deal they do is go to different cities with a mobile clinic and provide free eye exams and glasses. They posted an essay contest on how access to vision care has affected me or someone I love. I wrote about Ma because Medicare doesn’t pay for glasses, just diseases. I wrote about the comical way she went about choosing her glasses and apparently the VSP judges thought was entertaining, too. Cash, a posh hotel, airfare, wow!
One whole day I get to be part of the vision care outreach, right at the scene. That is going to be so cool and I will absolutely take pictures to share. Since I haven’t been there yet, here are some miscellaneous cabin shots…why not? Especially needed is the shot of Ma, with her glasses on!
One more thing, my newest sci-fi book is officially out! Yippee! It’s only $2.99 for the eBook, and if you have an Amazon deal it could be free. Give it a try – and leave a review if you can. Thanks!