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Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy New Year!

As we wind down our holiday season, I would like to reflect a little.  Steve, the girls and I spent our first Christmas in New Orleans since 2004.  Almost all of our family lives there, so it's quite different from the cozy foursome that we've had in recent years.  Although we had a great time, enjoyed visiting family and had a chance to eat some wonderful food there are some things we don't miss:  traffic, crowds, and the overconsumption of just about everything.

I was sad to learn that the New Orleans area does not have curbside recycling as it did before Hurricane Katrina.  So those noble folks who would like to recycle have a tough time doing so.  Steve's great aunts actually give their recyclables to his mother on Wednesdays so she can recycle them in her bin on the Northshore of Lake Ponchartrain.

I did notice in the grocery store that there was a fair amount of local produce available such as Louisiana grown sweet potatoes, cabbages and citrus fruit.  I liked the fact that it was labeled as such and right out in the center for customers to choose.

The French Market in the French Quarter has been all redone.  It was very nice with lots of permanent stalls for local artists and produce salesman.  My girls enjoyed perusing the tables of crafts and goodies, this being a new experience for them as they were really too young to remember the last time they were there.

The cost of living is much higher that it is here in rural NC.  Property taxes, homeowners insurance and food costs are significantly higher and makes it refreshing to come home to our 7 acres.  A bit of land to have some chickens and grow some food is all we had ever wanted when we lived there, but in order to have that much land you would have to be a millionaire.  Here we were able to afford such for about the same that you pay for an empty lot down there.

Home sweet home.

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