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This blog is written by a handful of great ladies. To see a complete list (or to read one author's posts) visit our Authors Page and select the author you are interested in. You will then be given a list of their posts. Enjoy!

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jodycakesRT @UnderbellyHOU: It's a whole, beautiful new day. For you to eat lunch in! See you here for a Goat Dumpling/Fireman's #4 combo benefiting HFD?
15 months ago
culturalbaggage@jodycakes Lots of people have listened to Led Zeppelin IV while baking.
15 months ago
jodycakesToday's baking soundtrack - Led Zeppelin IV - it's time to rock and roll this week...
15 months ago
jodycakesRT @FelipeRiccio: Restaurants, groups look to honor city’s firefighters http://t.co/W5ie052wzF
15 months ago
CathyWMDADear Mouse in my kitchen.. This kitchen is not big enough for the 2 of us and well I am not going anywhere.. #getoutwhileucan
15 months ago
CathyWMDAThis just keeps getting better...argh BREAKING: IRS Caught on Tape Telling Nonprofit: "Keep Your Faith to Yourself" http://t.co/jL7bfTqZNs”
15 months ago
CathyWMDAAfter 4 glorious days of #winetasting in the #WillametteValley a #detox is definitely in order ;)
15 months ago

investment

What a trip …

We’re back to reality this week. We had a very quick trip that took us through three states in 2 days. We were set up to go check out some real estate investment deals on the gulf coast last week. We decided it’d be fun to spend a day in New Orleans while we where there too. Maybe even a day of golf.

We ended up changing the golf idea into an extra lil road trip instead when we found out that Grandma Freda wasn’t doing so well. Grandma Freda is such an awesome person. She’s an adopted grandma to me really. You see she was my ex’s grandma first. I fell in love with her the first time I heard her voice though. She’s really an amazing lady. She lives in Paragould, AR. Even when my ex and I split, she still kept in touch with Zac and me. Every month she sent cards and called. She has never forgotten a birthday, anniversary, special day – ever. Even when she found out that I was getting remarried – she asked if she could adopt him too. Anyhow .. I called her to leave a message before our trip to see if there was any way we could meet somewhere in the middle between Biloxi and Paragould. You never know right? Her son called me back (my ex-father-in-law) and he told me that she had been in the hospital. Ron and I talked about it and decided that we needed to cram in a quick trip for Zac to see her since we’d ONLY be 8 hours away – haha. So we did.

We flew into New Orleans last Monday evening. I knew we were in for an interesting week as we took the shuttle for the rental car company.  The driver, a woman who was missing most of her teeth, took a turn and ran over the curb.  The shuttle jumped and so did my ass … up in the air, out of my seat and BAM! on the floor of the van.  Zac just looked at me and when he saw me laughing … he busted our in laughter too.  He said, “I didn’t want to laugh until I knew you were ok.”  Welcome to New Orleans ma’m ;-)

We hopped into our rental car and turned on our nav system to be greeted by a wonderful computer generated English accent. This seemed funny to us as we were were already in a land of new accents and yet an English one was helping us get from point A to B. We hopped on the freeway and headed to our first stop … Memphis. ONLY 6 hours away – haha. We got into Memphis a little after midnight. Ron and I played a game trying to shave off minutes from our arrival time to keep us awake – haha. Slept for a few hours and headed back up the freeway to see Grandma Freda. I have tons of photos. Maybe I’ll post some from the trip a little later.

We spent a couple of hours with Grandma Freda at the hospital and there was one moment that totally confirmed to Ron and I that we did the right thing. She had tears in her eyes and said, “I never thought I’d see Zac again before I died.” I was nervous about going there. I haven’t seen my ex’s family since we split and really, never thought I would again. His Dad was so good though. He told Ron and I that he was proud of both of us and told Ron that he was very lucky to have us (I feel that Zac and I are the lucky ones). I think it was a bit of closure for for all of us.

After our short visit, we said our goodbye’s and hit the road to make it into Biloxi. We decide to stop into Memphis for some BBQ at the Neely’s along the way. Zac and I had seen their show on Food Network and when I realized that was where their restaurant was, well, we decided to stop in for a quick visit. The food there was SO flipping good. I had bbq beef sandwich, Zac had the ribs, Ron had a bbq sausage sandwhich and then we shared an order of wings – finger lickin’ good I tell ya. Well worth the little detour.

So we get into Biloxi around 9 pm or so. We stayed at the IP Casino – nice hotel. If you want to hang out with a bunch of old smokers … I’ve got the hook up for ya ;-) I swear they must market to the Florida retirees. I’ve never seen so many walkers with bike bells – hahah.

We spent Wednesday and Thursday meeting with developers, realtors and property management folks to tour the gulf coast. We learned SO much about the rebuilding and investment opportunities there. It’s been two and a half years since Katrina hit. There is a lot of hope and renewal there as well as a lot of work and possibilities. Ron and I definitely want to be involved in some way. Now that we are armed with all this information, we just need to determine how we want to proceed.

Thursday night we headed into New Orleans. Most of those who will be reading this part don’t know me but I am very intuitive with energy and feelings. When we pulled into the New Orleans area, I got tears in my eyes. Even though you don’t physically see it, I could FEEL the saddness that is still there. New Orleans is stuck right now. It is such a contrast to the rest of the gulf coast really. It’s amazing how much growth and hope there is only 45 minutes south, yet New Orleans feels like it’s really stalled to me.

We checked into our hotel and decided to go walk around. It was around 4 pm so we decided to take Zac down Bourbon Street before dark. There was still PLENTY for him to pop his eyes out at but it was pretty tame in comparison to the dark hours. Ron and I grabbed Hurricanes and walked the streets sipping them. We walked all over the place and ended up down by the River and then came back to our hotel to get cleaned up. Zac stayed in the room watching movies and playing games while we met up with a couple of my actress friends who have been staying in New Orleans since New Years. They went to a party there and just haven’t come back to LA yet – haha. That’s SOME party. We were hanging out in Loa (a cute lil bar) and in walked Tommy Lee and his posse. Kinda funny. We all laughed because it was a matter of moments before the lil groupee’s started filing in too. It was Jazz fest so there were a TON of people in town for it.

Friday morning we got up really early and took Zac on one of those high speed boat tours of the swamp land. Our guide was awesome. He knew so much of the history and his generations of family have owned parts of the swamp for eons. We saw plenty of aligators, learned about critters, went super fast and got some awesome photos. I got an amazing one of a dragonfly that we saw out there. I LOVE dragonflys. After that, we literally ran to grab a burger at Port of Call, back to the River to pick up a tshirt I saw earlier the day that helps raise money to rebuild New Orleans (through Make it Right and New Orleans Musician’s Relief Fund) before and then high tailed it to the airport. 24 hours is definitely NOT enough time in New Orleans.

We got in LATE on Friday night. Sat night we had friends and Ron’s brother over for an impromtu bbq to celebrate Ron’s 40th bday (tomorrow is the actual day). Yesterday we were SO tired. What a whirlwind tour it’s been.