Well another Mardi Gras has come and gone and I must say it was a totally different experience this year what with being pregnant and sober and all. This post is also coming to you almost a week after the fact because I got sick on Ash Wednesday and let me tell you, being pregnant and sick sucks! There is almost nothing you can take for relief. I’ve been using essential oils, the neti pot, and all of my other favorite homeopathic remedies and I’m just now starting to feel better so…yeah it’s been great.
Anyway, carnival time! Nate ended up going offshore and so he was only in for Krewe du Vieux and that’s the one picture we took that night that you see above. For the rest of the season, I decided not to march with my Bearded Oyster sisters this year as 5 miles was just too much for me and my aching back to think about. Instead I focused my creative energies into Barkus and my Mardi Gras day costume. It’s been three or four years since I last did Barkus, the dog parade, and it’s always a great time whenever we do participate. We came up with the idea for our float last year but couldn’t get out shit together in time to do it. We went off theme this year (it was Bark-wars) and did a dog spin on a local celebrity, Mr. Okra. Mr. Okra drives around in his truck selling produce so Mr. Bone-kra, his doggie counter part, drives around and sells the “freshest treats in the hood.” It was a BIG hit. The locals loved it and we gave out a crap load of treats.
Amanda, who owns Queork, was the mastermind behind the whole idea. It was a collaborative effort in the building of the float. The first day we put our two wagons together and built a wooden frame for the foam board to adhere to. I was off the next two days so Amanda did all of the foam board cutting and putting together of the structure. I then came in and paper mached the edges and did all of the painting. All in all, it took us about a week to put together. Amanda’s bulldog, Popeye, played the part of Mr. Bone-kra and Gypsy, Carlos, and my sister’s dog Hank were his veggie friends. In true Shannon procrastination fashion I was sewing the dog’s costumes together until about midnight the night before and then I had to actually put the veggies on the shirt the next day. Cutting it a little close but I got it done.
I watched most of the parades that came by the house this year. I LOVE a parade. It’s been about four years since I watched Muses, instead of marching in it. It’s easily one of the most crowded of the parades and what everyone wants is a shoe. I got two shoes, admittedly both from friends, but it’s so exciting when they hand them to you off of the float. How insanely gorgeous is the butterfly clog that my friend Jane made? The handmade throws are where it’s at. Don’t get be wrong, when you get a big ass string of beads it’s really exciting too, but the handmade throws are what I cherish.
Mardi Gras day was COLD again this year but fortunately it wasn’t raining like last year. I woke up with a tickle in my throat and thought about skipping Zulu but it’s not Mardi Gras day with out a Zulu coconut, am I right? Plus I had made my costume and who knows if I’ll be pregnant during Mardi Gras again? I’ve always loved the zombie baby popping out of the belly costume and so I did a King Cake spin on it. I made the king cake pillow out of felt and did the icing in paint and the sugar is glitter, obviously. I also made my headdress and between the King Cake and that I got glitter ALL OVER the house. I had the baby parts laying around and I made the little speech bubble out a paper clay. I had to bundle up so my belly wasn’t quite as prominent as I would have liked but it was still a hit all around.
I got my coconuts and called it a day. Until next year, Mardi Gras and holy crap, next year will be baby’s first carnival! He’s obviously going to love parades as much as his mama does.