Don’t Sweat It

View of New Orleans from the Steamboat City of New Orleans, sister of the Natchez

During the two weeks my husband was here, I got to play tourist in the city. We had po’boys, jambalaya, chicken and sausage gumbo, red beans and rice, fried catfish, bread pudding, Popeye’s chicken, doberge cake, Abita Amber, and many more delicious things. Yes, eating is a major part of enjoying Louisiana. We also ate Mexican food and went to a Brazilian grill to mix it up. They don’t have food like that in London. Food aside, we did enjoy New Orleans. We walked through the New Orleans Museum of Art, where they were showcasing an exhibit on Queen Nefertari, then had café au lait and beignets at Café du Monde. Another day we took the Steamboat Natchez down the Mighty Mississippi. We learned a lot, took some great photos, and had a delicious lunch of local cuisine. French Quarter day was beautiful but SO HOT. We poked around Decatur Street, went into a few shops and bars, and saw St. Louis Cathedral. They had a Hand Grenade and a massive Hurricane. The Hurricane was great. Tasted like red Kool Aid. We saw a couple groups filling plastic water bottles with holy water and giggling. Didn’t seem very respectful to us. New Orleans must have done something to eradicate the pigeons – at least in Jackson Square – because they were GONE, replaced by the sweetest little sparrows. They were adorable and splashed themselves 4-5 at a time in the fountain. My husband and father-in-law also spent a day at the National World War II Museum and rode the St. Charles Streetcar down to the end, where I collected them. There was more, but these were the highlights. I also married my partner, but I mentioned that already.

Jackson Square in front of St. Louis Cathedral

July begins Bad Summer for me, which lasts through August. Too humid. Too hot to be alive. The heat index marched well over 100 degrees F some time ago, so I’ve completely recoiled from the outside. The drought we were in most of June has finally stared to break, which creates a nice albeit temporary reprieve from the sunshine. There were some power outages and flooding in the area recently, but we’ve really needed the rain. Louisiana weather is all or nothing when it comes to rain or shine. Hopefully it balances out a bit. Welcome, Bad Summer. I didn’t miss you. Haha!

Birbs cooling off in the fountain

My dearest friend of 20+ years arrived in London today and is staying with my husband for a couple days before heading to Oxford for her residency because she is friggin’ brilliant. Add that accomplishment to her literature MA, PhD, and creative writing MFA. Oh yeah, and her SECOND book just came out. Check it out here*. Her two published books are on depression* and anxiety in teens. She is also an amazing fiction writer. Reading her stories make me feel like I’m on drugs in the best possible way. Good stuff. Have an amazing time, lady! Pics or it didn’t happen

A beautiful shot in City Park

Here are July’s suggestions for little ways to enrich your life:

  • Reading for Fun: Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones. You can find it free online or on Amazon*, and here is a free reading on YouTube.
  • For a Challenge: Oedipus Rex by Sophocles. You can find it free online or on Amazon*, and here is a free reading on YouTube.
  • Artist: Jean-Antoine-Théodore Giroust (1753-1817). See an example of his work below.
  • Composer: Richard Wagner. Here is a sampling of his work.
  • Movement: Swim. Here is an instructional video on how to swim. Please, always have an experienced swimmer and flotation devices with you when first learning. Safety first!
  • Game: King’s Quest VII: The Princeless Bride, a point-and-click adventure game by Sierra. You can find it on GOG. It comes with part 8 of the series, but we don’t talk about that one.
  • Snacks: Watermelon. Here are some nutritional facts about watermelon. Try it cut into bite-sized cubes, or munch it right off the rind.
  • Scent: Chamomile. I love the smell of these flowers. You can buy dried chamomile for cooking or using in your bath or as a tea at your local grocery store or on Amazon (loose flowers or in a pretty tin)*.
  • Meditation: Headspace. Here is a video that guides you through a short meditation.
  • Journaling Theme: Keep a journal, and doodle beehive. Hexagons (the comb) and fat little yellow and black circles (bees) are easy doodles. Drawing can liven up a journal for people (like me) who find it tough to maintain.

Try to incorporate as many of these into your day as possible over the course of July. Keep what you like. Nix what you don’t. By experimenting with these little samples, you just might discover something you love!

*These are Amazon Affiliate links.

Oedipus at Colonus by Giroust

Have you done anything exciting with your summer so far? How hot does it get where you live?

I also chopped off 18 inches of hair to donate

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