So. The power was finally restored at Elder Daughter's house at about 7:00 Saturday evening (December 29th) just as I was packing to join Pepper, ED, and grandson, Jack, in a toasty warm hotel room. It was so nice to sleep in the bedroom in only one layer of clothing!
The last of the snow finally melted as puppy Mysti and I set out for home on January 2nd. Pepper and Bouie had preceded us on New Year's Day. This was Mysti's MO for the first 1 1/2 hours of the 7 hour trip home:
It's a good thing she's cute.
On January 3rd, I leapt with both feet into the next project -- the "something else kinda exciting" I alluded to in my December 14th post. So, prepare to be dazzled.
Regular blog buddies know that I rarely post pictures of Moogie. I'm not skittish about posting embarrassing pictures of the family and the pets, but since I'm more often than not the one taking the pics, I just usually stay in the background.
Not in this post.
Moogie belongs to several Carnival organizations, commonly know as "Krewes," such as Muses, Eggs, and CAMAN. The Krewe of CAMAN is attached to the Military Officers Wives Club of Greater New Orleans (MOWC), and it entertains members and their guests with an annual Ball during Carnival season -- but it's a fun ball, and not stuffy like the balls put on by some other stuffy Krewes who shall remain nameless, but you know who you are. Even so, most "fun" balls still adhere to a few Carnival traditions, such as a Second Line at midnight with King Cake, and royalty.
Every November, the MOWC holds its "Royal Dinner," the highlight of which is selection of the CAMAN royalty for the upcoming Ball. Members who have put their names in the hat when registering at the first event of the year (actually, they've put their names in a velvet drawstring bag) watch as one name is drawn from each bag assigned to the Coast Guard, Army, Marines, Air Force, and Navy (see where CAMAN comes from now!). Those five lucky ladies are crowned and will serve for the next year as the Maids representing their service. Then, one name and one alternate are drawn from the King's and Queen's bags, but those names are kept secret until the night of the ball. The Queen unmasks as her name is announced when she makes her grand entrance to the ballroom for her promenade before dinner is served.
Getting excited yet?
You may now bow or curtsy as you find yourself in the presence of Royalty, her royal highness Moogie, Queen CAMAN XL!
(That's XL as in fortieth, not as in "extra large." Just sayin'.)
You may have guessed that the 2013 ball's theme was "Hats Off to Paris."
Here's the rest of the court and some fun stuff:
The King makes his entrance (minus his tunic and tights because his wife had left them at home).
Q-XL and her King bestow favors on Distinguished Guests.
Unmasking the King (who ultimately had to break his mask because his wife had tied it to his crown and I couldn't get it unknotted).
Pepper makes a pretty handsome Consort, doesn't he?
Elder Daughter was even able to fly down and attend the Ball! It was such a treat to show her off. Can you believe she had a baby just five months ago? (And, no, your eyes aren't deceiving you. The Queen arrives at the Ball in a different dress than she wears for her coronation. We must throw the rabble off the scent, don't you know. My tailor had failed to hem the dress I planned to wear as the deception, but, fortunately I had this ancient dress -- and could still get into it!)
This is a color version of the shot published in the Times-Picayune, together with an article about the Ball:
The excitement continued as the Court and Ball Committee celebrated with an after party during which everyone exchanged gifts and let their hair down. I think I finally closed my eyes at about 0300.
And there was more excitement to come. We all planned to meet at about 9:30 Sunday morning to share the Hyatt's brunch. At 9:25, two friends, Pepper, five twenty-somethings toting backpacks, and Queen Moogie, wearing her crown of course, boarded Elevator E on Floor 21 and headed for the lobby. Until we got to about the seventh floor. That's where the elevator decided to stop and display XX as its location.
Fortunately, the elevator had one glass wall that overlooked outdoors, so claustrophobia didn't get a good toehold, but nine folks in an elevator car generate an unexpected amount of heat. It's not a good thing for royalty to let her subjects see her perspire, so let's just refer to it as "the royal aura."
Following some 45 minutes, and several conversations with a member of the Hyatt's management staff who introduced himself from the other side of the tightly-closed elevator door as "Ben," maintenance finally loosened the door and we were helped out of the car that had stopped about 2 feet below the floor, and escorted by several members of management to the restaurant where our breakfast was comped.
What a memory for our last Carnival season living in New Orleans! (Hopefully).
I'm still recovering four days later.
I'll probably be working this in an obnoxious manner for quite some time. Be forewarned.
You may now arise.