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Mardi Gras and after [Mar. 16th, 2011|06:16 pm]
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It’s an overcast and somewhat blustery day in Wylie, TX. We’re camped at East Fork Park, a beautiful Corps of Engineers park on the south shore of Lavon Lake. We left Livingston, LA earlier than planned, headed for Texas for J’s work. Unfortunately Lakeside RV doesn’t give refunds, so we were shorted four days we’d prepaid. Not a big deal, but something to keep in mind when making our Mardi Gras plans going forward.

We spent a pleasant weekend with folks in Baton Rouge over the Mardi Gras holiday, catching up with old friends. It was a smaller group than last year, so we spent a lot of time just hanging out and talking. We did get up very early in the morning on Fat Tuesday to go into New Orleans for the parades. It was fun; we got to see Zulu and Rex parade, two krewes I haven’t seen before. Both were great to watch. The dukes and commanders of the floats were decked out in satins and sequins; Zulu’s bosses had backpieces similar to the mummer’s backpieces, if a bit smaller.

Last time we went into New Orleans proper (the Sunday before Mardi Gras), everyone had lawn chairs set up in the neutral zone and ladders with sitting platforms for the kids along the street but there was an atmosphere of “we’re all in this together” and people pretty much made room for other folks. This year, every inch of turf was cordoned off and fiercely defended by people who’d camped overnight to hold it. The ladders made a solid wall down the street side and tables and tents closed off the other side of the area. There was no space for folks who merely showed up at 6 am to get close to the parade. We wound up spending most of our time setting on the porch of the neighborhood bar; we could see the parade pretty well, but beads were out of the question. From talking to people, it seems this is pretty normal for Fat Tuesday, despite the city’s assurances that ordinances to limit space grabs were going to be strictly enforced.

Next year we plan to go in to New Orleans again, but on Sunday when things are much friendlier. Bacchus and Toth parade on Sunday and they are both fun to watch, and being able to set up closer to the parades will make things more enjoyable for everyone.

After the excesses of Mardi Gras we were glad to start settling into a more normal routine. We had the rig washed and waxed by a guy who hand-waxes for a reasonable fee; we like to have that done every six months or so. J caught the laundry up and I got the general cleaning done. Mister Guy went in to a local vet and had his teeth cleaned and his urine checked after a brief scare with a urinary tract infection a couple of weeks ago. Everything was good, and the pH is back in the normal range so we don’t have to worry so much about crystal formation. It’s a real problem for male cats. They can easily get blocked, so I took him right to the vet when I noticed him straining in the litter box. Fortunately the problem wasn’t a blockage but a slight infection and that has cleared up nicely. He’s back to his old self.

I bought a fancy pet water fountain for him, because one of the suggestions with this sort of problem is to try to increase the amount of water the cats drink. I thought he would love it; he always used to drink from the dripping faucet in the bathtub at the old house. We can’t let a faucet drip in the rig without overflowing our holding tanks, so I thought this would be the next best thing. Naturally, Mister Guy is the only cat who won’t use the fountain. The other two love it; Mercedes drinks from the stream of water which falls into the bowl, and Lilibelle drinks and plays ditto, for which I am glad I also purchased the plastic tray that goes under the fountain to catch splashes. We have it set up under the table, and we put it in the shower when we travel so any water splashing out (most of it does while we’re driving) goes right down the drain. As for Mister Guy’s drinking water: I just sighed at the vagaries of cats and set up a dedicated water bowl for him in the kitchen sink, which he much prefers.