Praline Lady word search puzzle and coloring sheet

Attached is a printable word puzzle with words from my book Praline Lady. The publisher also sent me a coloring sheet with illustrations by Kameko Madere. You can download both and share it with your children or classroom free of charge!

Country Roads Magazine – The Praline Ladies

My article “The Praline Ladies” was recently featured in the December issue of Country Roads Magazine. I really enjoyed writing it and sharing more of my research on these remarkable ladies.

Below is an excerpt. Please follow the link to read the article in its entirety.

As a child growing up in New Orleans, one of the memories I most return to is me, sitting in the kitchen, watching my grandmother make pralines. I can still picture her ladling the creamy mixture onto wax paper. I’d wait patiently as each dollop spread and magically cooled into an edible treat. As an adult, their magic never wavered. 

Continue reading here

Me with Ms. Loretta, of Loretta’s Authentic Pralines AKA the Queen of Pralines

Praline Lady

In the 19th and 20th centuries, many African American women sold goods on the streets of the French Quarter (and throughout the United States) to support themselves. Some were even able to self-purchase their freedom or that of their loved ones. The Praline Lady was a common figure in the Vieux Carre in her gingham dress, tignon and woven basket of goodies. So were the calas cake lady, the blackberry lady, the coffee lady and many more. These women of color were some of the first entrepreneurs in the city. They used their gifts and talents to make a way under difficult circumstances.

Even though the Praline Lady no longer strolls about the French Quarters her legacy lives on as individuals, shops and restaurants continue to make and sell the creamy candy.

Country Fun Natchitoches Part II

I visited Melrose Plantation and had high expectations but was a little disappointed. There were a LOT of additions and changes to the property that made me feel I was experiencing a less than authentic plantation experience. The grounds are beautiful and located across from Cane River but I wish we’d toured the grounds only versus the entire plantation tour that was actually very boring.

 

Clementine Hunter – sharecropper turned artist lived in this home.

 

 

 

Can you imagine having to pick hundreds of pounds of cotton daily?

 

A caterpillar is in my shirt! Ouch! Hold up, the country ain’t fun!

 

Love the greenery & country peacefulness.

 

Yucca House or “African House” built between 1800- 1830

Country fun in Natchitoches – Part I

I love the country and maybe it’s because I’m a down home southern girl. Anyway, as much as I love the country I’ve come to the conclusion that I can’t actually live in the country…I’m not ready for the 24/7 bored life. However, I did stumble upon some happiness in Natchitoches recently. 

I was drawn to this fence behind an old church…I mean it literally begged for me to touch & feel it…to know its story and ponder on the hands that built it.

 

St. Augustine church, founded in 1803 by people of color, is situated on an old country winding road across from Cane River.

 

Can you imagine the people in 19th-century attire gathering here to worship, celebrate weddings, baptismal’s and funerals?

 

The descendants of a freed slave woman, Marie Coincoin, and her French lover. Her descendants founded St. Augustine

 

Beautiful. Can you see the old cemetery behind the church? THIS is a country church! I will always have this picture to remind me of how full and happy my heart felt while wandering these grounds.

 

 

I’m drawn to OLD things including old cemeteries. It’s so peaceful as its residents Rest In Peace.

 

I drag him along on my “adventures” and he willingly puts up with the bugs, heat and my endless questions of gift shop attendants about the area.


Next up I’ll share pics from Melrose Plantation that was owned by a freed slave named Marie Therese Coincoin.  

Putting your time into something that will outlive you

I hope everyone is fine and enjoying their summer. It’s been hot and muggy here in the “dirty” and I’ve already burned my skin twice! Life has been extra busy with school ending until the fall (YAY!) and other obligations and responsibilities. I’m hoping to have a productive summer and just wanted to check in and say “hi.” 

One of my favorite things is to collect quotes and or sentences from books that really speak to me. I usually text myself the above and meditate on it as a reminder to inhabit that quote, thought or saying into my core being. 

Recently I came across this phrase and it really moved me.

Are you putting your time into something (or someone) that will outlive you? 

For me, that’s a direct reminder that my time, effort and energy is to focus on my children who will outlive me. Sometimes we lose track of what’s important in life and focus on the petty, unimportant things but this quote drives home the importance of living a life that will make a difference. 

If you aren’t a parent are you putting your time into something (your passion, talent, community etc.) that will outlive you? It’s an important question we should give serious thought to. 

Happy Summer!!! 

The Best Things In Life ARE Free

I’m always at the park but today was a really good park day. It was overcast with no sweltering sun rays to cook us. We enjoyed snoballs, fed ducks and relaxed on a bench swing. I closed my eyes enjoying the swaying back and forth, and thought of how something as simple as a visit to the park with your loved ones can be so much fun!
Have you had any free fun lately?

May 21, 2005 – Old Journal Entry

Awesome has slept so much today.

He must be growing. I think he’s over
the stomach flu because he hasn’t vomited anymore.

His toes look so cute.
I am going to kiss them. 🙂

Now he’s got big boy toes that do NOT get kissed, lol.


I stumbled across this entry and smiled from ear to ear. We often forget those special little moments but documenting them sparks one’s memory, which is a huge benefit to keeping a journal. My Awesome was five months old when I wrote this and he’s a big boy of seven now. I love reading back through my old journal entries and remembering such pleasant times. 

Do you journal?