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Showing posts from 2012

A Love Story and Sweetness: Abeeya's Bakery

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Donna and Ivy met at a club one night where she was helping to wait tables and he was the DJ.   She  grew up and lived in Seattle, Washington and was visiting relatives in Louisiana as she did each summer.  She was supposed to return to Seattle the next day.

 Ivy, a Baton Rouge native, was dazzled by Donna's beauty.   He sent a flower to her during the evening.  He was smitten.  Ivy asked her out for a lunch the next day before her return flight to Seattle.  At the end of the meal, she tore up her plane ticket and the rest is history.  They were married six months later.  Fast forward twenty something years....

Abeeya's Bakery is the place for Sweetness in Zachary, Louisiana.  Donna and Ivy bought a failing business and have turned it into a successful and thriving enterprise  that  showcases  delicious cupcakes, beignets, custom order cakes, biscuits, and many other dessert items including pies and upside-down cakes.

Their entrepenurial spirit was born from adversity.  Ivy su…

A Bridge to Friendship

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Card games can be traced back to around 1120 in China.  The Chinese, it seems, invented paper.  The Puritans felt that cards were the devil's work and frowned on trying to win at cards.  English Queen Elizabeth the First recognized that her countrymen loved card games and began to tax decks of cards.  The King of Spades is the fanciest of all the cards and the design of that card indicated the "stamp" of the paid tax.  The French began placing the pictures of actual rulers, or past rulers, on the kings, queens and jacks.

The game of Bridge was derived from the game of Whist, supposedly first played in Russia.  The English civil servants who were living in India began to play bridge as a way to pass time while in their "exile" from their mother country. The Italians got into the habit of playing cards as well and their playing cards were works of art.   Lots of history lies in between, but modern Bridge was introduced to New York City around the 1890's.  I…

A Bite of the Big Apple

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Ten women boarded a 6 a.m. flight in New Orleans.  A few hours later they found themselves in Times Square smack dab in the middle of all the excitement of the Big Apple!  The excitement and the fast pulse of the place guaranteed smiles all around.  Half of the group had never been to New York and the other half were making a return trip.  Adventure awaited each!  My roommates were my sister-in-law and my daughter.  Their company was a guarantee of the fun we would have!

After checking in the Marriott Marquis we boarded the Q train on the Subway for Little Italy and China Town.  We had to have some authentic Italian food and some were pining for some great "knockoff" merchandise we were sure to find.  We decided to try Pepolino which was on the fringe of Little Italy.  The Ravioli of the day and the paninis were divine as was the Prosecco we ordered to toast our trip!  Our waiter spoke broken English mixed with some Italian words.  He said he hadn't been in the states …

Talent and Brains-A New Breed of Young Women

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I was a teacher and been "in the classroom" for ten years.  With the birth of our first child, I took the maternity leave, found day care and went back to work.  Then the second child arrived and we followed the same routine.  Then it all went foul.  The children were seemingly always sick.  We tried to make it work until one day my husband said:  "You need to stay at home with these kids.  This is not working."  I had never occurred to me to give up my career for which I had carefully planned and studied for.  I even completed a master's degree to earn top pay at my position.  


He was correct, though, so stay at home I did.  For five years I was a stay at home mom.  I took pride at homemaking and rearing the kids.  I had an immaculate home, brilliant children, supper on the table every night and a skinny body (probably from the pace I kept!).  But something was lacking.  


Considering myself an expert seamstress I decided that I could augment our one salary incom…

A Favorite Magazine Spurs the Imagination

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Mr. Weekday Rambler planted tomatoes this spring.  He planted about a dozen plants in his carefully tended raised beds in the backyard.  The early year activity consisted of enriching the soil and turning it over and over in preparation of the summer fruits it would yield.  Each morning he lovingly watched the progress of his farming attempt.  He tied the plants and "suckered" the shoots.  He used gallons (it seemed) of fertilizer.

Finally the tomatoes appeared.  It so happened that the birds and worms liked them too.  In an effort to win a battle with those creatures, he picked the tomatoes when they were large but green.  They were set on our kitchen counter to ripen.  Finally we were able to try them and share them.  We have enough for a small army.  The first ripe tomatoes had to be used in a really special recipe, so I consulted a favorite  source of inspiration:  Louisiana Cookin' magazine.  It's published bi-monthly and a subscription for one year is $25. It…

Time Fails To Dim The Legend That Is ISTROUMA

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Istrouma High School is a public school in Baton Rouge, LA  built on pride and quest for excellence in the classroom and on the athletic field.  According to Wikipedia the school was built to educate the children of the blue collar plant workers.  Some might find that offensive, but we students were oblivious to that characterization as we all came from similar backgrounds.  Our parents were hard workers and we inherited that work ethic to reach our own goals.  The school was founded in 1917 and moved to its present location in the late 50's.  The building is still there, but the composition of the student body evolved such that the State of Louisiana has taken over its management.

Legend has it that Istrouma was a native American word meaning: Red Stick.  The term was later translated to "Baton Rouge" by the French who took over the land.  Nawaganti was the leader of the Istrouma tribe and he led with dignity, bravery, pride and grace.  He fell to the white intruders…