Wednesday, October 27, 2010


special thanks to Debbie Duplantis for sharing this article with me.
There is a difference!

If you are a native of south Louisiana, you are most likely Acadian or "cajun" to some degree. Even though often regarded as "creoles", there is a difference in the hertiage between the two people.

Acadians are descendants of those French immigrants who settled in what are today the Maritime Provinces of Canada (Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island. In 1632, three-hundred French settlers arrived in Acadia to carve out frontier homes near the community of Port Royal. The Acadian pioneers were characterized by individualism, adaptability, pragmatism, industriousness, egalitarian principles, and an ability to pull together when threatened. They also possessed extended families and distinctive language and speech patterns. The Acadians were typically non-materialistic, seeking only economic independence and a decent standard of living through an agrarian way of life. Some ethnic diversity did exist among the Acadians as time went by to include English, Scottish, Irish, Spanish, Basque, and even American Indians. Those of French origin, however, dominated the cultural landscape, and as intermarriage occurred the Acadian population quickly became homogenized.

In 1710, Acadia was passed from France to England as a prize of war and for the next forty-five years the Acadians lived in relative peace under British administration. But in 1755 came the expulsion known as Le Grand Derangement (the Great Disturbance). These people were scattered to nearby territories , New England, England and France. Contrary to popular belief, they were not "sent" to Louisiana; Louisiana was a French colony to where many Acadians turned to for resettlement due to it's less hostile environment. Today, it is estimated that there are between 700,000 and 1,500,000 Acadians worldwide. In the 1990 US census about 520,000 people in Louisiana claimed either Acadian or French-Canadia heritage.

Dictionaries generally define Cajuns as "a Louisianian who descends from French-speaking Acadians". However, that is not totally accurate. Because of circumstances, an Acadian is not a Cajun; however, cajuns are in-part descendants of Acadians! The word "cajun" is itself a dialectal derivation of Acadia. But Louisiana Cajuns are more homogenous than that due to the early mixture of several ethnic groups such as Spanish, German, French Creole, Anglo-American as well as the native Indians. Thus this cross-cultural pollination of several ethnic groups resulted into a single new ethnic group---the Cajuns. And of course, today we have what is considered a "cultural cajun" which is someone of non-cajun origin who becomes a Cajun through immersion in Cajun culture and an accompanying, gradual process of ethnic assimilation. Therefore, being Cajun is being part of a culture, developed by living and working in close proximity, shut off from the rest of the world for many years. So if you "walk like a Cajun, talk like a Cajun, think like a Cajun and look like a Cajun, then - Mon Cher" you're a Cajun!

Creoles were originally descendants of early French and Spanish settlers in the New World. The term "creole" became very popular in the colony. It was used to apply to people and things native to the colony. The word comes from the Spanish "criollo...a child born in the colony". The term first applied to natives of the West Indies, Central and South America, and the Gulf States region, but eventually became synonymous with the race of people found in Louisiana.

Folks interested in more information on "creole" subject, Northwestern State University at Natchitoches, La. through The Louisiana Creole Hertiage Center maintains a website at

In many places, Cajuns are referred to as "CoonAsses", even by Cajuns themselves! In fact, bumper stickers adorn many a pickup truck or automobile bumpers in south Louisiana with slogans such as Coonass and Proud! There are countless explanations of how and where the word came from. Reference was given to the word in an article written by Jim Bradshaw in the Lafayette Daily Advertiser to which he suggested that it came from the Caribbee Indian word cunaso which means someone who lives simply, on and with the land. Some even suggest it came about because of the coonskin caps worn by Andrew Jackson's soldiers in the Battle of New Orleans. These explanations are probably unlikely. And rest assured, despite what some folks might think, the term has nothing to do with a raccoon's anatomy either!

The most logical explanation goes back to the time of the Acadian Expulsion in 1755. After the expulsion, more than 3000 Acadians sought refuge in France. French administrators had promised the displaced Acadians that they would be compensated and resettled on farms comparable to what they were forced to relinquish in Acadia. Several blundering attemps were made to resettle the Acadians on barren lands; however, all failed. The Acadians having been farmers most of their lives, were unwilling to abandon the independence they were accustomed to and adapt to France's feudal system. Unable to compete in the skilled urban job market, they were compelled to live in the French seaports on a meager Royal dole. The native Frenchmen, already over-burdened with taxes, resented the exiles they were forced to support. Soon the Acadians were labeled "conasse", a derogatory French slang word used to humiliate, embarrass or degrade another. The word has been defined as several different meanings such as "a prostitute who has not had her regular health inspection; a stupid man or woman; a man who does stupid things". The French now use the word for more broadly meaning "a grossly stupid person".

As Louisiana's Cajun soldiers went to war in the first and second World War to help liberate France, the Frenchmen renewed the name calling. These Cajun soldiers were used as interpreters for the French, but since most of these men spoke a French that was not of the same quality of the French, Belgian, and Canadian interpreters, they labeled these people conasses. Soon the Louisiana Cajun in the heat of an arguement or to make a point would say something like How should I know, I'm nothing but a dumb conass! The word and label stuck and was brought back to the states by the Americans as a harmless nickname.

Despite efforts by Cajun activists like James Domengeaux and Warren Perrin to stamp out the term's use, the name continues to circulate in South Louisiana and beyond. A large portion of the Cajun population does not know why they were given that name and generally tend to accept it; however, acceptability varies according to circumstances depending on who says it and with what intention it was said! To the informed Cajun, the term is considered a demeaning, racial slur like other racist words used against other people and some have been known to correct well-meaning outsiders who use the epithet and "enlighten" those who use it with less than well-meaning intentions!

More information on this and other topics may be found at

Market Analysis~September 2010

Brief Summary:

January to September 2010 in comparison to January to September 2009

The average days on the market are 102 (5 day increase)

The average sales price is $166,097 (a 5% decrease)

List to Sold Price Ratio is 97.11% (a .10 decrease)

**stats were taken from sold listings reported to MLS in all areas of Acadiana**

Brought to you by the Real Estate GoGetters~Radim & Kisha Kana
For a full report, please email

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Cleaning ceramic tile grout (floors)

I recently became obssessed with the grout in my light colored tile floors. It was dark and was supposed to be white which told me that it needed serious cleaning. I turned to google to find out how to clean it. I found the following (below) and tested each on a small portion. The most effective was the bleach, with the baking soda running a close second. I also mixed the peroxide and baking soda and it didn't have better results than the two I just listed. But scrubbing tiles on my hands/knees (especially with bleach) wasn't the best option for my pregnant state. My husband rented a buffer from home depot and cleaned the tile with bleach, baking soda and some cleaning solution. the results are awesome! Only thing is after the floor is dry, the baking soda needed to be swept out of the grout. The whole process took him 4 hours (kitchen, dining and 2 bathrooms).

Cleaning Grout (from google)
My husband is a ceramic tile setter. He says the best thing to clean your grout with is vinegar. Just put it on, scrub than rinse with water. It will clean better than any household cleaner. It's very cheap. As a added bonus; it isn't toxic.

I have a large home with 5 bathrooms, all have ceramic tiles, most with white grout. A 12 year old boy gave me the tip I needed to keep the grout in great shape and EASILY as well as CHEAPLY. Hydrogen Peroxide. Spray it on, mop it on, sponge it on. It works. If there is a build up it must be cleaned first, then use the peroxide. Do not wax, as this will cause grout in floor tiles to look dirty. I apply the peroXide, leave it 10 minutes or so, then wipe off excess. disinfects too. DO NOT use with bleach. if you have stubborn stains, make a paste of peroxide and baking soda and rub. WORD OF CAUTION - peroxide wll discolor fabrics, be careful.

Fill an empty spray bottle with bleach and water (1 part bleach and 1 part water). Just before retiring in the evening, after everyone is through using the room, quickly spray the grout with this misture. The mold will disappear within 1 - 2 weeks. To keep the mold from returning, spray the grout with this solution 1 - 2 times per week. Also, make sure that your bathroom has adequate ventillation. Install an exhaust fan if you do not have one. Also, check the exhaust fan ducts to make sure that they are not clogged.

I just discovered this one myself, so I'm happy to pass on a frugal, relatively simple way to clean the grout between ceramic tiles. Baking soda! I dampen the area Gust wipe it with a damp c1oth--nothing too tricky) and sprinkle baking soda over the grout. I let it set a few minutes and then use an old toothbrush to scrub it. It really takes minimal elbow grease and absolutely amazed me the first time I tried it. I keep baking soda in an old spice shaker and use it to clean my sinks as well.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Seven Reasons Why You Shouldn't Buy a Home - DailyFinance

A friend recently sent this article to me to see my opinion about it. Upon reading it, I realized that it must have been written by an investor who owns rental property. That could be the only explanation of the absurd arguments in the article.

First of all, in reference to the "American Dream" mentioned in #6: I always thought the “American Dream” was that you have the opportunity to do anything you want in pursuit of happiness. You can be dirt poor and turn yourself into a self-made millionaire, for example. But I believe the American Dream varies from person to person. I guess for some, homeownership is a part of that. What am I saying…I KNOW it’s a part of it. I experience people crying in closings because their dream has come true.

Here’s my take on the article:

1) No diversification. Most people put the bulk of their net worth in their house and then they borrow money to pay for the rest of it.<--fact of the matter is that if people don’t put their $$ somewhere, it’ll be spent, not invested. So if people’s only investment is in real estate, I think that’s good because it’s a solid investment that has use.

2) It's illiquid. When times are tough and you need cash, you can't sell it.<--sure you can. Not only that, you can take out a home equity loan for hard times which is much cheaper (on interest rate) than a credit card or personal loan, plus it’s tax deductible.

3) It costs a lot more than renting. Most people think you are "throwing money away" when renting. Quite the reverse. There are many hidden costs when buying a house: Transaction costs (legal, real estate agent, title check, inspections, etc.) often come to 7% to 10% of the cost of a house. So you are 7% to 10% down immediately.Home improvement (adding a bathroom, upgrading the kitchen, installing double-pane windows, landscaping, etc.)Ongoing maintenance and repairs (periodic roofing, plumbing repairs, yard upkeep, fixing things, etc.)Your real estate taxes (which will ultimately be more than the tax savings you get on your mortgage interest) First of all, buyers don’t pay the realtors..sellers do. Second, you’re not “throwing $$ away” when renting…you’re helping the homeowner pay his mortgage while he builds equity in the home over time not to mention the rental amount includes his property taxes, insurance plus an income on top. So if you’re renting a home for let’s say $1200/month, you can BUY the same home for like $900/month. Closing costs can run up to 6% of the mortgage but you can also ask the sellers to pay for it. Plus it’s tax deductible. And the argument that your property taxes cancels out your income tax savings generated by homeownership can be true but also laughable. When renting, you ARE paying the property taxes and have no tax breaks on your income tax. The costs of upkeep on a home doesn’t costs less than renting. Like I mentioned before, all of that is figured into your rental note per month. If rental property owners were losing out, we wouldn’t have investors…no one would mess with it..what would be the point? Also, there are home warranties you can purchase for unexpected break downs. And generally speaking people will care for their own property better than they do a rental property so problems don’t arise as often. If you need a lot of work done to the home when you buy it, most likely you bought a distressed property in need of repairs that had a sales price to reflect that. So you are still coming out ahead. You chose work over payment. If you don’t want to do repairs, choose a home that doesn’t require it and pay top dollar for it. It’s that simple.

4) It's not fun. I'd much rather have my landlord shovel the snow than me shovel the snow. And, by the way, heart failure goes way up during a snow storm. A sedentary lifestyle doesn't lend itself to the arduous task of shoveling our driveways. Well we don’t deal with snow down here in Louisiana but we do deal with rapid growing grass. Most renters are responsible for their own grass cutting, which can be up to twice per week. The ones that aren’t responsible for it, a lawn company is usually hired by the landlord and that expense is rolled into your monthly rental payment. If you’re a homeowner that doesn’t want to do yard upkeep, hire a professional just like you did when you were a renter.

5) Your down payment is not a down payment. It's the sound of a flushing toilet. Think about it: You never get that money back. Even when you sell the house, you just put it into the next down payment for tax reasons. You can say goodbye to that money once you put it into a house. This is a flat out lie. As stated, you get your down payment back when you sell. If you choose to reinvest in another home, that's a choice. It's still not wasted, it enabled you to have a down payment for another home. Bringing back home equity loans, you can always do that to utilize your funds if needed. If you've lived in your home for at least two years, there is no need to reinvest to avoid taxes on the sale because you won't owe any.

6) No job flexibility. Why did owning a house become "the American dream"? Not to sound socialist (since I'm the opposite), but Corporate America was happy to propagate that myth so it would be harder for you, the homeowner, to leave your job if there were few jobs in your area. You'd have to both move and quit your job if you wanted to leave your job. Moving is harder when you own. Really? Moving is hard, period. Whether you are buying or renting. If you’re renting and you’re stuck in a lease, you have to pay to be released from it. When you have to sell your home, you actually come out with profit to start in your new location.

7) I think in the long run, housing prices go up. But if you really believe in housing as an investment, then own a good REIT or two and diversify by buying REITS that own residential homes throughout the country so you aren't tied to any one area. If you really want to borrow 300% and put 50% of your net worth plus debt into one investment, then that's what you should do. But I wouldn't really recommend that either. I really don’t have a comment on this because I have no experience with REIT but plan to research it.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Residential Market Analysis-July 2010

In July 2010, there were 518 new listings, which is a 1.37% increase from July 2009.

For sold properties from January to July 2010,

The average sales price is $164,410, a 6.28% decrease from 2009.

The average days on the market are 101, a one day increase from 2009.

The list to sold price ratio is 96.97%, a .09% decrease from 2009.

All information used was reported to MLS and provided by Van Eaton & Romero, in all GEO areas.

For a full report, email me @

Monday, June 21, 2010

Market Analysis~May 2010

This report is provided by Van Eaton & Romero, Inc.

If you would like a full copy, please email me @

In summary: the report is based upon reported sold homes to MLS in all areas.
The # of closed homes from January to May 2010 compared to January to May 2009 increased +18.66%

The average days on the market are 103, which is a decrease by 11 days compared to last year.

The average sales price is 165k (rounded), which is a 5.99% decrease compared to Jan-May 2009.

The list to sold price ratio is currently (Jan-May 2010) 97.53%, which is a .86% increase.

Latest info brought to you by The Real Estate GoGetters.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Interesting Story from St. Martinville

This article was published in the Teche News (St. Martin Parish weekly paper) Wednesday, May 26, 2010. It was written by Jim Bradshaw and titled "Durand wedding one of fanciest ever".

One hundred forty years ago this month, on May 21, 1870, Gerome Charles Durand staged a wedding that has become the stuff of legend in Acadiana-so much so that it is sometimes difficult to tell how much of the story is true and how much of it is embellishment that has grown with each telling.

Durand was supposedly one of the wealthiest of the wealthy in St. Martin Parish in the days when aristocrats fleeing the French Revolution supposedly transformed St. Martinville into Petis Paris. According to the stories told about him, he traveled in gold-ornamented carriages drawn by horses bedecked in the fanciest harnesses he could find. His home was at the end of a three-mile oak and pine alley between St. Martinville and Catahoula and was filled with the finest furnishings Europe could offer.

It is said that he gave standing orders that he and his family were to be awakened each morning with delicate sprays of perfume. He wore the fanciest clothes he could find.

It was only to be expected that he would throw the finest wedding ever when two of his daughters decided to get married on the same day. Marie Louise Heloise Durand announced her engagement to James E Mouton at the same time as her sister, Corine Marie Philomene Durand, became betrothed to Zachary Fournet.

The proud poppa promised that they would have the most beautiful, elegant, and unusual wedding ever seen in Louisiana.

To fulfill that promise, as the romantic legend is told, he ordered a million spiders imported from Chinaand sent couriers to California to fetch hundreds of pounds of silver and gold dust. (A less romantic version of the story says the spiders came from nearby Catahoula Lake, but I like the China version better.)

Shortly before the wedding day, the spiders were set loose to spin millions of yards of delicate webs amoung the limbs of the oak and pine alley. On the morning of the wedding, servants armed with bellows filled with the silver and gold dust sprayed the cobweb canopy to set it glittering in the sunlight like something from a fairy tale.

Other servants placed fancy carpets beneath the trees, creating a colorful pathway to the open-air altar where the ceremonies were to be performed. Tables set beneath the trees were filled with food and drink. Musicians played from hidden spots up and down the avenue.

Two thousand guests attended the marriage ceremony. Toasts, dancing, laughter and song lasted until dusk, when a steamboat chugged up Bayou Teche to take the newlyweds to New Orleans honeymoons. Fireworks filled the air as the boats departed.

The wedding proved to be Durand's last grand gesture. He died Nov. 26, 1820, just months after the remarkable festivities.

Over the years his grand manor fell into disrepair and eventually tumbled down. The 1927 flood washed away its last remnants. The only reminder today of his opulent life is a stretch of oak and pine trees brandhing away from Highway 96 northest of St. Martinville.

A plaque near the highway tells the story of the famous wedding. There is little else there but cane fields.

But, once in a while, in the early morning when the dew is still bright on the trees and golden sunlight strikes them just right, there is a fleeting glimpse of just what it might have been like on that festive day nearly a century and a half ago whend Charles Durand created a legend that has become symbolic of the glories of Petit Paris, real or imagined.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

House Cleaning Tip~Removing Wax

To Remove Hair Removal Wax from countertops/floors and the wax pot itself:

***i recommend testing a small area to be sure it doesn't ruin the surface of the item***

While wearing gloves (and changing them if they get wax on them not to wax up your hair dryer) blow dry the wax to melt it, wipe with a dry towel (one that you can throw away afterward). Then finish off by cleaning the surface with a multi-purpose cleaner.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Seafood Harvest & Oil/Gas Industry

25% of the continental U.S. seafood harvest comes from Louisiana.

27,000 jobs are generated by Louisiana's fishing industry.

207 million pounds of oysters were caught in Louisiana waters in 2008.

90.4 million pounds of shrimp and 52 million pounds of crab were caught in Louisiana in 2008.

70% of oysters harvested in the U.S. are from the Gulf coast.

72% of seafood caught in the Gulf comes from Louisiana.

80% of the oysters in the Gulf are harvested west of the Mississippi River.

45,000 people in Louisiana are employed in oil and gas exploration/production, and four additional jobs are created in Louisiana for every job in exploration/production.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Louisiana Bayou Quiz

**this quiz has been taken from LOUISIANA LIFE magazine and is just for fun. To check your answers, email

1. This bayou originates as a tributary of the Mississippi river at Donaldsville. As it heads south, the bayou will become much wider and lined with shrimp boats. What is the bayou?
A. Teche B. Grosse Tete C. Lafourche D. Contraband

2. Voodoo rituals were once practiced, and occasionally still are, along this bayou in New Orleans:
A. Sauvage B. Metarie C. Laveau D. St. John

3. Your friend has a plan for his escape from the Houma city jail. After breaking out, he will head to the bayou and float downstream on a raft made of reeds. Which bayou goes through Houma?
A. Des Glaises B. Vermillion C. Teche D. Terrebonne

4. This town, known for its emerging arts scene, is located at the junction of Bayou Teche and Bayou Fuselier. St. Martin and St. Parishes also split it. What is the town?
A. Arnaudville B. Homer C. Eunice D. Bordelonville

5. Don't tell the police, but once your friend's escape from the Houma jail is complete, he plans to hide out along the same bayou once occupied by the pirate Jean Lafitte and his men. What bayou is that?
A. Bienvenue B. Barataria C. Bartholomew D. Blue

6. Although bayous are thought of as being uniquely Louisiana, which Texas city was founded along Buffalo Bayou?
A. Dallas B. Beaumont C. Houston D. Orange

7. With a navigable length of 125 miles, which bayou is the Louisiana's longest?
A. Lafourche B. Terrebonne C. Macon D. Teche

8. Two Louisiana bayous have the same name. That name is:
A. Bayou des Glaises B. Bayou Petit Amite C. La Rose Bayou D. Bayou Plaquemine

9. A wildlife refuge named after this bayou includes parts of Ouachita and Union parishes. What is the bayou?
A. D'Arbonne B. St. Denis C. Maringouin D. Natchitcohes

10. Your friend's escape is foiled when he stops in Napoleonville, thinking that under the Napoleonic code, he cannot be arrested again for the same crime. As he gazes wistfully out from the Napoleonville jail, what is the nearest bayou?
A. Teche B. Grosse Tete C. Lafourche D. Contraband

Sunday, April 18, 2010

March 2010 Residential Market Stats

Information provided by the CEO of Van Eaton & Romero extracted from recorded MLS sales only.

The number of sales in March 2010 was 310, which is a 16.1% increase compared to March 2009.

The Average Days on the Market from January to March 2010 is 108, which is a decrease of 4% from Jan-Mar 2009.

The Average Sales Price for Jan-Mar 2010 is $163,350, which is a 5.64% decrease compared to Jan-Mar 2009.

The list to sold price ratio is 97.31%, a .52% increase compared to 2009.

For a complete market analysis, please email me at

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Febraury Market Analysis

February 2010 Market Analysis created by CEO of Van Eaton & Romero, Bill Bacque.

In short, home sales reported to MLS in all areas of Acadiana Jan-Feb.2010 have decreased in comparison to 2009 by 3.63%

The average days on the market has increased by one day.

The average sales price has decreased by .77%.

The average list to sold price ratio has increased by .13%.

Any additional questions or for a copy of the full report, please email