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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

New Orleans 3

This was my surprise highlight. Most people that I have shared about the World War II museum with all say "I had no idea it was even there". My hubby and I are not shoppers so I look hard to find things that might interest us and that is how I found the museum but I had no idea how magnificent it would be.

Here is a little background.......My Dad served under General Patton in the European theatre during World War 2 but like most....he did not talk about it. I was lousy at History and still have a hard time if it is just dates and facts but give me pictures, things, and maps and it all comes alive for me. I have a metal lunch box full of memorabilia from my Dad while he was in the war including pictures, dog tags, letters to my Mom, maps and etc. and think I may now be able to piece together a history to leave to the grandkids. I also have his uniform.

Everything about the museum was wonderful but I will just tell you a few of the things that griped me, you probably already grasped these things and may be bored:)
First off we knew that Germany was doing exactly what they had done that caused us to have World War 1 (over taking other countries and people to empower themselves) but we decided we did not want to get involved because of the high cost of the war and we also knew that Japan was building up this huge army yet, we were totally unprepared to go to war. Our country was in a depression and a very weak condition when we were bombed at Pearl Harbor and all hell broke loose. When you see the figures and statistics and the fact that we fought two wars at the same time............ it is a true miracle that we won and are a free country today!

I guess the things that stood out to me are things that I wonder if we would be able to do today....mainly, pull together. The coordination among our ally leaders that fought beside us and the support on the home front were truly amazing.
These things took place all over the U.S.

Gathering scrap metal. Some people even saved gum wrappers until they had a ball large enough to donate.
Grease was saved and recycled to make ammunition.
Women gave up their silk stockings so that they could be made into parachutes. It took 36 pairs to make one chute.
Even the movie stars advocated buying war bonds.

Everyone was unified and there were no protests while our service men fought in some of the worse conditions known to man and persevered over four long years.

and the women left behind became not only sole supporters for their families but the workforce of our country

many who had never held a job out of the home

and all hoped and prayed for their loved ones to come home.

A Picture of a flag displayed in the museum

This is the inscription if you are having a hard time reading it.

During the war small flags bearing stars were a common sight in home windows.
A blue star indicated a family member was in the service. A silver star originally denoted that a family was in service overseas but later meant someone was missing in action. A gold star signified that someone in the household had been killed while in service. Everyone knew the meaning of the term "Gold Star Mother".

If the museum was not enough right next door was the Solomon Victor Theater, yes another fee but oh so worth it to have the opportunity to see the movie "Beyond all boundaries" produced and narrated by Tom Hanks. The screen was 120 feet wide, 27 surround speakers, special effects theater seats, and several items that rise before the audience from a deep pit below like a 25 foot guard tower and a anti-aircraft gun to name a few. Go to the web site and click on the film clip to get a little glimpse of this very moving movie.

Now I know that New Orleans is famous for Bourbon street and Mardi Gras but for will be the World War II museum. God Bless American.

P.S. there is also a Civil War museum that is very good as well.

Monday, April 26, 2010

New Orleans 2

trFor our first day we decided to take a city tour and get our bearings and also see some sites we wouldn't see on our own.

We drove through the French Quarter, Jackson Square and the beautiful Garden District. You can take the trolley through that area but the bus driver went some different routes and we saw a popular football player's home (sorry I don't remember the name).

It also included a trip to the ninth ward that was so badly damaged from hurricane Katrina. Most of the homes have been abandoned or torn down with only the foundations left but there is new homes being built thanks to actor Brad Pitt. These homes however are on built on pillars and the bottom serves as covered parking and would provide more protection from another flooding. They explained how the writing on the different homes told if they had been searched and if they found anyone dead. Not only did people die from the flood water but also from the extreme heat and humidity afterwards.

One of the things I found interesting that a different tour guide said was that the dam was breached because of a barge that broke loose and hit it. We saw one of those barges and they are huge...this makes more sense to me than the dam just giving way.

Lastly we visited one of those famous above ground graveyards....

I have seen many of these from a distance and always wondered why the tombs were so big.....
These are all the people buried in this family tomb!
I learned a lot here ........the guide told us, that if a family member died one year and one day before the last family member who was buried in the tomb, they would have to be put in a holding grave because it takes one year and one day for a body to decompose here. You see a person is put in the tomb in a coffin and when it is time to bury another family member the coffin is opened and the remains are swept to the bottom of the tomb...that is how so many people can be buried in one tomb.

Below is one such holding area and it was in very bad shape. This is also the area where people are buried if they do not have a family tomb.

There were many tombs that were deteriorating....
and the guide explained that if there is no family left to care for them, they eventually tear them down.
I will tell you about the surprise highlight of my trip next time............

Saturday, April 24, 2010

New Orleans

Spent nearly one week in the jazz center of the world "New Orleans". This was my second trip here and my hubby's first. We had one week from our time share left to use and chose to come here and stay at Wydndham La Belle Maison n
It is located in the warehouse district of the city and just blocks from the French Quarter and all the other attractions. The facility was very nice and the people were helpful and friendly.......Had no problems with the exception of breakfast. Our first morning we asked the concierge where to go for breakfast and she said to "Mother's"

just a short distance away, so map in hand we head out. Now you need to remember we have never been here before so have no idea how things work....we get to the door and a man says "this is the exit, you have go to the other side" we walk around and there is sort of a ramp that leads up to the door with a little awning, my hubby opens the door for me and suddenly this man steps in the doorway and says "you will have to wait there until the line thins out" so hubby says okay...the man says "close the door"! By this time several other men have joined our line outside and are asking why we are standing out here? Meanwhile, people start coming out (the going in door) and act like we are the ones in the wrong place......we waited for quite a while, when finally, a different man (more friendly) opens the door and says "take a menu and get in line" here is the deal, it is like a fast food place with one single line and after you place your order and find a seat, a waiter comes and gets your ticket and brings your order to you when it is ready. This is a very small place and clearly very popular. We soon found out why.....the biscuits and ham were to die for:) but the ambiance?? It was one of those hurry and eat and get out of places. Oh...I forgot to tell you that they have chickory coffee.This is something that you can't really discribe and at this particuar place it was VERY strong, in fact it was served with milk unless you asked for it me there is a reason why. Sadly, the other little local restaurant we found was set up the same way and no others to be found but I must say at this restaurant the server was the friendless, happiest person I have ever encountered.....I smile just thinking of her. My hubby would tell her it was too cheap and give her a big tip, on the last day she said " I sur hopes you just keep on a comin!
There was a Mexican restaurant right across the street that had really good food and advertised breakfast but didn't start serving until 11:00 A.M. Go figure.......Well, we didn't go hungry for sure but did miss our nice sit down quiet start of the day. I did also discover that I like grits with sugar sprinkle over them....tastes like cream of wheat. There were several more things I learned while I was there but will share them later.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


I am off in New Orleans for a week but thought I would remind myself of the beauty I left at climbing vine in all it's glory on the side of the house.

it only blooms once a year but it is dazzling!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Eighteen years ago my life was overrun with wedding plans for our daughter..... I even began to joke "is there life after the wedding"? You want everything to be just right and you quickly find out that in the wedding world everything is different, It's a pay before you go deal and those little things you decided to make for the quests to take home.....take forever to make!!!
This month is their 17th wedding anniversary and we wanted to surprise them with dinner where their reception was held...... Arrowhead country club
It is indeed a beautiful facility with a view to die for.....

and the intricate ceiling is very beautiful.

but the best part?

They are still together. It is not easy to maintain a marriage, it takes a lot of work and sacrifice, but it is so worth it.

Happy Anniversary kids

Sunday, April 11, 2010


A sundial is a simple, yet accurate, instrument, which tell time by the movement of the shadow a pointer casts upon a dial, which marks the hours of the day. The shadow moves as the sun changes position in the sky throughout the day, and the dial tracks this movement.

For a sundial to be accurate, the pointer must be slanted at an angle equal to the latitude of its location.

Arizona is the proud owner of the World's largest sundial located in Carefree, Arizona .
It stretches 62 feet.

Monday, April 5, 2010


When my computer crashed one of the things that I thought I had backed up and ended up not having, was my Family Tree program data. I had not worked on it in a long time but fortunately for program is connected with and most of my data was still there so I have been able to restore the majority of it. If you don't know about it is that commercial that talks about getting a "leaf".....well, to my shock I had nearly 8 leaf's on my Paternal Grandfather's side and now am up to my 9th Great Grandfather!!! Obviously someone had gone to Germany where they immigrated from and done a huge amount of research and generously shared it. It is a strange thing to realize that you are spanning over 400 years in just reading these names and this site is amazing and can give you tons of information and records if that is something that you are interested in but I have to tell you that more times than not I refer to this little calendar my Mom kept......

she got this free from a little drug store the year I was born and she jotted done everything from birthdays to deaths and funerals....
and allowed some of my scribbles as well. Even the passing of our favorite pets were penciled in and wedding anniversaries too.
I'll bet Sprouse-Reitz never would have guessed what an important part it would play in my life all these years.....I have added some of my important dates to remember and keep it in a safe place.
So, how do you keep your records?