Fontainebleau, 2019

Kat the lady mayor, the cat Brunswick, and Jackson (me, myself, and I), just wound up our annual two week visit to Fontainebleau SP in Mandeville, LA.  Six years back this was our first experience living in 200 square feet, unless you count college dorms, where we did not live together, or even in the same city.   The park sits on the site of one of Louisiana’s first sugar cane plantations and its soil is still dark and rich not to mention well-watered.   Across the big lake from New Orleans it offers convenient access to The Big Easy and daughter Stephanie, who likes having us camp here as we are close yet sufficiently far away to preclude any spur of the moment visits.  We have one last week left in the other fine Northshore SP, Fairview-Riverside in Madisonville.

Seafood is good here, especially the shrimp.  Rouse’s (a south Louisiana grocery chain) runs a weekly sale on fresh, heads-on shrimp.  Sizes vary, but the price is either $6 or $7 per pound.  Last week they offered 9 – 12 count shrimps (per pound) and those big boys are perfect for grilling.  They’re so good I cooked them twice using Jessica Gavin’s recipe shown here:   Don’t cheat and try to grill these over gas – use applewood charcoal.


A relatively slow year is coming up for us.  A knee replacement lies ahead for me in April followed by several months’ physical therapy.   You don’t knowingly trust your life or mobility to just anybody, so Duke Hospital is going to handle that.  Kat thinks the procedure will make me 35 again, but 60 is more like it, and I fully expect to remain forgetful.  We will spend spring and early summer in the Durham – Chapel Hill area.  We lived there for several years early in the 21st century, and Duke helped me beat cancer in ’07.   After I am once again more or less active we may roll up to New England for the rest of summer.  It’s hard to believe how big this country is, but after covering the entire lower 48 we are here to tell you: Texas fits in the USA’s pocket.


In other news, Sopsher the defensive lineman (“Call me Ishmael.”) did not sign with LSU.  He could have enlisted with the Marines, but instead chose Alabama.  I hope he revels in verbal abuse ‘cause he’s gonna get it from Dr. Saban.  Nick is so deep into football that long ago, before he got serious about it, while still an assistant coach, he had a drink with another coach in a bar.  They were drawing up offenses on napkins and discussing how to set up a defense to stop ‘em.   Hours later the police showed up and interrogated the two about the armed robbery that had just occurred.  “Huh?  What robbery?”  Hey, it’s a true story.


In extremely late political news, Doonesbury character Melissa Wheeler won her race for the U. S. House of Representatives.  And you should check out her first mention in that fine comic strip since November 6, 2018.  Here is your link.       If you wait too long, find the Sunday strip of Feb. 24, 2019.


And other than that, let me lean on Robert Frost.


The woods are lovely, dark and deep,

But I have promises to keep,

And miles to go before I sleep,

And miles to go before I sleep.

6 thoughts on “Fontainebleau, 2019

  1. Best of luck with the surgery and do say hello to Chapel Hill for me! I am a UNC graduate and spent many years of my adult life within a stone’s throw of the area, though mostly in Durham, Hillsborough, and Efland, and only a short stint actually in CH. Love the area, though the traffic has gotten very bad. Still, it’s “home” to me, as much as any place now that we’re living a more nomadic existence, and I’ve gotten most of my medical treatment over the past few decades there. Duke is definitely a good choice for surgery — though not for basketball (go Heels!) 😉 Lot of good docs in the area, so I know you’ll be in good hands. Take care, Jackson!


    1. Em, Em, I know you are a UNC grad. I could tell that from your previous posts, and no, it’s not like what Aggies say about Longhorns: “You can always tell a T-sip, but you cannot tell her much.”

      In my mind our readers are articulate, inquisitive, and thoughtful people. You’re smiling proof of that!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello :-),

    Happy to see your new posts here. Sorry to learn about the knee surgery coming up. On the bright side, as you said, you will be more mobile, agile, and more such good things.

    Wishing you all an easy, swift, painless procedure and recovery.

    If you need any free book info for when you are recovering, I have some. Jewels has many, too, as I’m guessing you must know about by now. 🙂



    1. The time is right for a replacement. I feel the difference between now and a year ago … and don’t ask me about 5 years ago. Gotta do it.


      1. NOLA offers a vast array of food genre and price ranges. The necessaries to try are: a po-boy (shrimp and roast beef are favorites); a gumbo, either seafood or chicken & andouille; red beans and rice with sausage; and if time and budget permits, go to a splurge location. Obama had one at Parkway Tavern on a visit. Many other places are the favorites of others. Liuzza’s Uptown or By the Track are typically excellent neighborhood Italian joints that also serve good gumbo and red beans. Mother’s downtown on Poydras is your place for a fast and noisy lunch; their beans, gumbo, and Ferdi Special (a po-boy featuring ham, roast beef, debris and veggies) are as good as anyone’s. Donald Link is NOLA’s hot chef with outposts called Cochon Butcher, Peche, and Herbsaint (check the menus ahead to avoid sticker shock). The Bon Ton Cafe on downtown Magazine Street offers classic old style New Orleans cuisine at reasonable prices (but note their hours); I love their crawfish etouffee and redfish entrees, and don’t forget to have after dinner coffee and bread pudding with whisky sauce. I have not been especially impressed with the soul food joints, but am yet to sample Dooky Chase and hope to one day. Emeril has a couple or three places but they’re out of my pay grade. The Rib Room in the Royal Orleans is The Place to Go for a great slice of prime rib and a superb martini, and you might get a window table overlooking Royal Street for people watching. If you have never had a great bahn mi, go totEas


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