Sunday, December 4, 2011

They grow up so fast.

Happy birthday to our sweetest little kittens!  Marley and Max were born sometime around Thanksgiving last year, or so the shelter told us when we got them.

They were the cutest kittens.

Being one year old, they are almost full grown now, but will probably continue to fill out.  They are in their late teens in human years, and they totally act like teenagers.

This fall, Max had taken to spending lots of time in the neighbor's overgrown back yard.  Isn't that so typical of a teenage boy?

Marley has a bit of a belly on her now and can't quite fit through places she used to.

We took them to Moab again recently.  It takes about 45 minutes for them to settle down and shut up, but once they do, they seem content to ride in the car.

They "help" me with everything, especially Marley. She has to be in on the action all the time.  Most of the pictures of our house projects on this blog that have a cat in them picture Marley.

But Max wants in on the action sometimes too.  Here he is helping us put Ikea furniture together.

He does spend more time resting in the top of the cat tower though.

 They strike cute cat poses all the time.

We're trying to teach them to use the cat door, but it is easier to stand at the back door and meow when they want in.

Yes, they own us

But even when they are controlling nap time, 

 we are getting the best end of the deal; warm kitty friends!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

New Orleans vacation day 8: Go Greenwaves!

On our last full day in New Orleans, we continued old home week by attending the Tulane Homecoming football game and tailgate party.  While the cadets and officers at the ROTC unit did most of the heavy lifting, Drew was instrumental in getting the food and beverages lined up. By "beverages" I mean kegs, plural, in garbage cans!  Even though every Homecoming game I ever attended at NSDU was accompanied by freezing temperatures and lots of layers of clothing, I felt at home here in the warm sunny temperatures and beer out of plastic cups.

 The turn out ended up being pretty good for the ROTC unit.  Here is a picture before the party was in full swing.

 After mingling with the current students (one of which was a geology major headed to Nevada for field camp who was fun to talk to), it was about time to cheer on the Greenwaves at the....

I've never been to the Superdome, and since we don't watch pro football, I had never even seen pictures of the inside except for after hurricane Katrina.  It did not look like those pictures on this day!  Nope, inside was a full blown big league football game complete with my favorite part, the marching band.
And cheerleaders

The Tulane mascot is the Greenwave.  What?  This guy is the official mascot.  Is he a green chicken? 

Roaming the stands was the old and unofficial Greenwave mascot, who was basically a big Gumby doll.  I really thought he was adorable.  He probably thought I was drunk.

After all that excitement (not really) of the football game, it was time to eat again.  We had reservations for 20 at Red Fish Grill in the French Quarter.

The food was really great, again.  I had the signature dish, red fish.  I don't know what kind of fish red fish really is, but it is tasty.

One last group shot of the whole gang before we all went our separate ways.

We had a great time in New Orleans.  I can see why Drew enjoyed going to college there. Great food, good party spots, tight fraternity of ROTC friends. 

As for me, my best memories of our week in Louisiana are from the air boat tour in the swamp with Junior telling all sorts of stories, the gorgeous evening light streaming through the 100-year old Live Oak trees at Oak Alley Plantation, the surreal drive through storm and flood damaged neighborhoods, and most of all, the food.  The food wasn't just good to taste, it was meals that encapsulated the whole smell, taste, and feel of the Cajun south.  Food that made you think about the traditions that built those recipes and the folks that shared them in small hot kitchens.  Everything tasted like there was some magic ingredient in it that magnified individual familiar flavors and combined them with unknown root vegetables and spices to make a combination that could only happen in a small local restaurant on a dark and not altogether safe street in the French Quarter. 

In comparison, Utah is a barren wasteland of food and food heritage.  In fact, after we returned to Utah, I was so lonesome for the succulent pork and the blue-cheese beef cutlet and the red beans and the cornbread and the garlic-y black beans and, most of all, the beignets, that I decided food in Utah meant nothing and quickly reverted to this a couple of days after our return.

New Orleans, I will be back, and I will be hungry.