Becoming a Candle Maker

Sometimes I have this overwhelming need to do something with my hands, to create something or fix something. When I finished off a tin of Harvey & Sons hot cinnamon sunset tea, the need kicked in and I wanted to try my hand at turning the empty tin into a candle that smelled like the tea.

This was my first time making candles. (edited to add I’m a forgetful idiot as my sister reminded me of a childhood trip to Williamsburg that involved carding wool and making dip candles – vacation or child labor?) What did I learn? Candle making has you take a candle without a wick (a.k.a. a block of wax), melt it, and insert a wick before it cools. If it weren’t for scenting and/or coloring it, you could probably drill a hole through the wax block for a wick and be done with it. Continue reading

New Orleans: More Sights

Finishing out the New Orleans highlights finds us in the swamps of the Jean Lafitte National Historic Park and Preserve. You can cruise the swamps in an airboat or swamp boat. We opted for the swamp boat and had the Jean Lafitte driver pick us up near our hotel. The swamp was a good 30 minutes from the French Quarter so unless you’ve rented a car, opt for the transportation.

Shortly after this photo, the gator ate several passengers. Continue reading

New Orleans: Some Sights

Wrapping up my New Orleans trip in another long overdue post, I wanted to bring you some highlights in a couple of posts.

You’ll notice the absence of stories about great music because we erred on the lame side and always found ourselves too tired from the day to hit Frenchman Street. Hey, that gives us a great excuse to go back and do nothing but focus on music, right?

Our unofficial mascot for the trip was Mister Apple. Somehow we passed this shop every time we went somewhere. We never went inside Mister Apple, but his smiling visage seemed to bless our travels every time we passed under him. I love you, Mister Apple.

He looks so happy Continue reading

New Orleans: The Eats

When you come back from New Orleans, the first question you tend to get isn’t about what you did but where you ate. I truly believe it’s impossible to get a bad meal in New Orleans. Okay, it may be possible, but you have to work at it. On our recent trip, even the hot dog I grabbed on a paddleboat tour was decent.

me-beignetWith so many options for good food, really good food, and stellar food, I researched the heck out of restaurants in the weeks leading up to our trip. I crowd sourced recommendations; I pored over restaurant menus; I became intimate with Yelp, OpenTable, and TripAdvisor ratings.

I had to come up with dinners for 4 nights. My first pass – before I started looking at menus – had 96 restaurants. Criteria for restaurants was relatively simple: it had to offer something decent besides seafood/fish since my travelling companion doesn’t eat seafood or fish (sigh); it couldn’t be crazy expensive; it needed to be within 2 miles of our hotel on Royal. By the third pass, the list was down to 22 restaurants.

What made the cut? Continue reading

No Daily Poems This Year


After three years of bringing you a poem every day in April to celebrate National Poetry Month, I’m bowing out of the tradition this year. The blog’s been stagnant lately and I’ve run out of my favorite poems to share.

That doesn’t mean there aren’t more poems I like, but sharing 90 poems is a lot! Thinking about doing it again this year felt like more of a chore than a joy.

So, go back and read the archives or hit up your local library and grab a couple poetry books off the shelf at random. Try an anthology and a collection by an poet you’ve never read.

As for the stagnation, I’m hoping to correct that. Stay tuned for posts about the trip to New Orleans and crock pot chili!