Country Roads, Acadiana: The Campus Thursday, Jan 17 2019 

img_0270Since I worked full-time on this campus for over 18 years, I may have taken for granted the pastoral appeal of its sprawling lawns, the solid brick buildings arranged in the quadrangle, and interesting landscape appointments, such as the park benches around the chiming clock tower and the showy modern art pieces at the entrance to the Community Education Building.

For all the years of my full-time administrative service, the noise and stress of the job probably kept me from slowing down as I should have to notice these pleasant spaces.  Returning last year to part-time service at a much slower pace, I have come to appreciate the campus much like a park, an expansive, well-designed and manicured outdoor space with a pleasing ambience.  It’s an idyllic setting for walking a dog; sitting on a bench and contemplating matters, heavy or light; and either strolling or jogging  the extensive network of sidewalks.

The citizens of our small town should fully appreciate this gem in their midst.  No other landmark or landscape in all of Eunice compares to the beauty of the LSUE campus.

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Marley Makes Sense of Investing Sunday, Jan 13 2019 

faIf Marley were human, maybe he would be an Edward Jones financial advisor like his Uncle Zach.

His advice for making sense of investing:

  •   Invest in stocks for dog bones treats and luxury kennels with doggy doors and climate control;
  •   All-you-can-eat dog food buffets;
  •   Long-distance dog walking services;
  •   Cat and squirrel-free zones;
  •   And back yard crotte pick-up services.

Those are investments that make sense to Marley.

Patio Dwelling: The Office Wednesday, Jan 9 2019 

Earlier this week, the Internet connection for my on-campus office at LSUE blew up because of some kind of technical difficulty.  I filed the usual HelpDesk complaint to

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Marley the Dog is an experienced patio-dweller: He loves when his Papa spends time outdoors.

effect a remedy, but meanwhile, I was preparing today’s first day of classes for five courses!  I couldn’t wait for the HelpDesk’s bureaucratic process.   (In truth, they didn’t get to the problem until today, three days later, proving the point that I was in a bind).

Big deal?  Not really.  The weather was mild for a winter’s day, so I simply set up the office outside on the patio.  Who needs a stodgy office indoors when Mother Nature provides a superior alternative?

Patio dwelling for the work place: A concept whose time has come.

Papa’s Girls Sunday, Jan 6 2019 

I know “looks” don’t matter as much as character, but when I look at my family pictures from the recent Colorado trip and other family adventures, I’m proud that our family’s girls really look striking.

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Three generations of beauty, inward and outward

They are as pleasing to the eye as they are pleasing to the heart!  And what’s best, these girls have character!

What can I say?  I’m a proud papa.

A Rocky Mountain New Year Thursday, Jan 3 2019 

Neither sub-freezing temps (as in SERIOUSLY sub-freezing, like minus zero and single digits!) nor a couple of inches of snow could chill or dampen our family celebration of New Years this past week in a log cabin on the Big Thompson River in Estes Park.

cabininthewoods

The log cabin in the woods, setting for our Rocky Mountain New Year family celebration.

Highlights?   I know I’ll leave some out, but here’s a short list:

  • Cajun gumbo, the roux made from scratch with mom and all the kids throwing in to the culinary effort, tasted better than ever in the Rocky Mountain air.
  • snowpuff

    Snowpuff—- Magical!

    The girls bought bright-colored holidady onesie PJ’s in a shop on Elkhorn Avenue and videoed some really snazzy, cleverly-choreographed “dance” routines.

  • The guys scavenged in the snow-covered lot around the cabin for what must have amounted to a rick of fallen branches so we could enjoy the fireplace.
  • One of the kids bought a deck of Old Maids; raucous rounds of card-playing late into the evening ensued.
  • Football galore in the holiday bowl season.
  • Trodding a little over a mile (round trip) through the snow on a
    snow

    Family matters!

    grocery store errand.  (We could have driven, but walking in the snow was more adventurous, especially since being outside in snow with single digit temps is so alien to our Deep South experiences).

  • A patio hot tub: I never believed I would be going outside in a swim suit and tee-shirt when the temp was in the teens, but we felt totally comfortable in the steaming, churning waters of the outdoor bath.
  • We were captivated by the acclaimed Greely (Colorado) Griswald house Christmas lights–the most dazzling Christmas lights I’ve ever seen on a house.

I may think of more later and come back to edit the post, but these were experiences everyone in the family will remember and talk about forever.

We can certainly maintain we started this new year on a high note!

 

Cabin Envy Monday, Dec 31 2018 

Outside in the Rocky Mountains on New Years Eve,  it’s snowing. The temperature is sinking into the frosty teens, abetted by a bone-numbing wind chill.  It’s miserable?

No!  For vacationing South Louisianians, this day provides a rare episode of cabin envy (Not cabin fever with its pejorative connotation).

Soon gumbo will simmer on the stove, we’ll toss a few logs on the fire, and we’ll go outside to frolic in the powderpuff stuff.  An envious state, truly!

So ends a memorable New Years Eve in snowy Colorado!6A7B4CC1-4817-4DB7-91B8-350CCF51F294.jpeg

Signs and Wonders? Friday, Dec 28 2018 

IMG_0213Interesting sign.  It’s a little short on clarity, although I believe what the author meant is obvious; nonetheless, it’s entertaining to wonder about how the message could be taken if I decide to be altogether literal.  I see three reasonable (and amusing) wonders raised with this sign:

  1. What is the employment rate among apple pies these days?
  2. Or, is the restaurant owner looking for apple pie cooks?
  3. As for the student discount, who’s the sole LSUE student lucky enough to get 10% off?

Sign-makers should never forget: Words have meaning!

T’is the Night Before Christmas . . . Really? Monday, Dec 24 2018 

IMG_0212This is the first Christmas Eve in 36 years that Sarah and I find ourselves alone on Christmas Eve, save for the company of Marley the Dog (and the  anti-social Sadie the Dog who’s slinking about off-camera).

The emptiness and quiet of the evening is nigh deafening.

Over the years, our Christmas Eves were attended noisily with enthusiasm by parents and kids/grandkids, noncs and tantes, nephews and nieces, coo-zans and friends.  Christmas Eve feasts  and gift-exchange parties flourished into the late hours.

But the crowds diminished gradually over the years, owing some to aging, some to maturing, and some unfortunately to death;  sadly, tonight is the first time that no one is here to share the season with us except for two silly dogs.

Sigh.  Alas.

Thank God for two silly dogs?

Why not.  T’is the season to be jolly!  Thank God for the eternal hope of the Messiah and the eternal joy of doggies.

The Dog Daze of Winter? Friday, Dec 21 2018 

47689100_10217680928996395_4301864519556136960_nToday is the winter solstice, shortest day of the year.  Shadows in this season begin to lengthen by mid-afternoon.

Dogs care not that days are short.  In fact, they seem to thrive (if sleeping is an indication of thriving).

Sadie and Marley come in shortly after dark each night and doze for hours on end. In their view, the shorter the daze, the longer the sleep.

We speak so familiarly of the dog days of summer.  Perhaps the true dog daze occur in winter?

 

 

Nostalgia for a Tired Genre: Those Corny Westerns Friday, Dec 14 2018 

When I was growing up, westerns were in vogue.  I loved watching shows like Gunsmoke, Bonanza, Roy Rogers, Wagon Train, Rawhide . . . and on and on.  Those shows were

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Gun violence is nothing new!  Gun fights provide the climax for every episode.

everywhere and every time–from Saturday morning to weeknights prime time.

I watch the weary re-runs today and I wonder, “Why did we ever look at such garbage?”  The acting is stilted, the plots are bathetic, the endings are predictable, and the violence is gratuitous!

And furthermore, who would have heard a cowboy in the wild west in the late nineteenth century talking with a Brooklyn accent?  Totally unrealistic, totally Hollywood!

When our kids see those shows, I wonder what they think of our generation for falling for such tawdry entertainment?

But then I stop and remember some of the tawdry entertainment their generation fancied.  I don’t feel so badly about our corny westerns.  It seems that each generation finds its own new and different ways to waste time in the pursuit of meaninglessness.  Ours were the westerns!

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