The Little Girl in the Children’s Choir Sunday, Aug 26 2007 

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The children’s choir sang at church this morning. I nostalgically recalled when our grown-up kids were little–Their little faces were about the only faces we noticed, because parents are so focused on and captivated by their own.

Anyway, I was scanning the faces of the kids, smiling to myself, kind of sorry because I didn’t have any little kids of my own to adore, when I remembered: “Hey, my little grand-niece (who just moved here a few months ago) should be in this picture.” So I looked and right away, and sure enough, right in the middle of the action, there was eight-year old Ashley. (She’s in the middle of the picture, right behind the girl with blue jeans and sleeveless top.) For the rest of the performance, Ashley became “my little girl” in the choir. I adored and admired her precious and innocent little expressions as she sang along, just like I did for Zach and Ann years ago.

This was sooooooo cute.

Is this a preview of grandparenthood? Sobering, sobering, to think that I’m old enough for all that!

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Hummingbird Bait Saturday, Aug 25 2007 

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Twelve hour days the past week took their toll on blogging. I realized this afternoon that I hadn’t logged on since last Saturday. So just to keep the site from getting stale, I took my state-issued Blackjack machine into the front yard to see if I could find an interesting subject. Voila, the fruit of my creative endeavor.

What’s for supper? Saturday, Aug 18 2007 

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Hopefully, Dean is honoring our desires by heading for the sparsely-inhabited mountains of northern Mexico, so we can write about something else. I took the photo here with my new camera phone, just seeing how well it works.

Suffice it that the tomatoes and cucumbers and egg plants in the garden burned up weeks ago, but the okra patch is thriving, even through the recent heat wave when we endured that week-long stretch of 100 + degree days. These are the Texas Longhorn species that Cajuns favor. The plants grow eight to ten feet high. I have to bend the taller ones gently over to cut the pods. The daily harvest is a couple of handfuls, so the plants are producing faster than we can consume it.

Hmmmm . . . Now what’s that aroma drifting in here from the kitchen on a Saturday afternoon in August?

Smells like fried okra. Life is good down South!

Even more tropical gossip . . . Thursday, Aug 16 2007 

atl_al04.pngThe novelist from Covington, Louisiana, Dr. Walker Percy, wrote a lot about the peculiar human condition that causes people to get excited when a hurricane is coming, even to the extreme of having “hurricane parties.” (I think folks woke up to that foolishness after Hurricane Camille back in ’69 when some hearty party animals got washed into oblivion).

Most of us Gulf Coast residents in my middle-aged generation, with old memories as well as fresh memories of storms, would probably state it’s become more about anxiety than excitement. In a younger, more innocent time, it was exciting. For instance, I’ll never forget the exhiliaration walking down the stairs at Covington Junior High in 1965 after we had just been dismissed early because Hurricane Betsy was on the way. I giddily exclaimed to my prepubescent classmates, “Betsy is my girlfriend!” We were going on a holiday! Later that night, after the lights went out and the house literally shuddered in the roaring wind, I didn’t feel so giddy. It was probably the first time in my life that I remember being seriously scared.

And I’ve felt that way again in recent years for Hurricanes Lili and Rita.

Anyway, so here we are, about seven days out from whatever is going to happen with Hurricane Dean, dealing with the uncertainty inspired by waiting and watching for hurricanes. The models right now look worse for our neighbors in Texas. That should be good news for Louisiana, but that’s how the models looked a week out for Rita a few years ago. (And anyway, how can we be happy for us for missing it when that means our Texas relatives and neighbors are getting it?)

Those old feelings start to come back.

If all goes well, in a week or so, I’ll look back on this blog and chuckle. Hopefully, Dean will smash into the sparsely populated mountains of northern Mexico and fluster and bluster harmlessly. That is the best script.

But then the next time a hurricane shows up potentially six or seven days out, we’ll do it all over again. As long as we live on the Gulf Coast, this is one of the reminders that we live in a fallen world. God be merciful to us!

More tropical gossip Wednesday, Aug 15 2007 

katc_tropical_floater_one1thumbnail.jpgMy favorite meteorologist Rob (KATC-TV, Lafayette, LA) posted the following on his blog today about the feature his model forecast a few days ago (now known officially as TS Dean) when I started this “tropical gossip” thread:

The longer range models are now pushing Dean closer to the Yucatan and eventually Mexico and/or south Texas by Wednesday/Thursday of next week. But as we say…a lot can happen between now and then. dean2.jpgThe upper low will be the wildcard over the next few days and we’ll watch its path closely. This upper low is expected to drift westward from the Bahamas through the Gulf over the weekend perhaps allowing for better rain chances here early next week. The upper low itself may not have much of a direct steering influence on Dean but could pave the way for the eventual path of least resistance for the storm to follow. Hopefully the sub-tropical ridge will be strong enough to keep the upper low and Dean south of the region. But when we are talking about any system skirting around the periphery of a ridge there is always a strong possibility for the system to curve more northward. Current intensity forecasts bring Dean to Category 4 status with 135mph winds in the NW Caribbean by Monday, and if the storm stays over open water there is no reason to believe that Dean storm can’t be a little stronger 5 days down the road. This weekend would be a very good time to get your hurricane plan and supplies in place, just in case…if we don’t need them next week, there’s at least eight more weeks of peak hurricane season to follow.

I’ll let Rob’s words speak for themselves. For the time being, enough said! We’ll check up on the status from day to day now.

Tropical Gossip, Chapter 2 Monday, Aug 13 2007 

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Here’s the feature Rob blogged about at KATC last weekend–Tropical Depression # 4.  This shows Accuweather‘s prediction.   Let’s see what happens!

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Tropical gossip Saturday, Aug 11 2007 

perillo.jpgKATC-TV (Lafayette, LA) meteorolgist Rob Perillo posted the following on his Weather Blog yesterday:

Meanwhile, another tropical wave accompanied by an area of disturbed weather is moving off the African Coast.  The GFS Computer Model (check out the 12z and 18z runs) has been locked on this feature over the last few days and wants to develop it into a hurricane that may head for the Gulf by August 20-22.

Rob showed this feature on the animated model during last night’s 10:00 weather.  He didn’t suggest we take it all that seriously, since it’s such long range, but he did offer the possibility as food for thought!  Tis the season.  Better to be wary than unwary, I’d say, especially after lessons learned a few years ago.

Rejoindes moi la! Tuesday, Aug 7 2007 

Fanny Crosby is as good in French as she is in English!  I found this  piece  in its original English at http://www.cyberhymnal.org/htm/m/e/meetmeth.htm.   Sarah sang this song (the French version) at her Tante Doris’s funeral years ago.  (Tante Doris spoke no English.)

I’m telling you–Fanny Crosby and I are kindred spirits!   How about this line from “Meet Me There”:

” Where our faith is lost in sight, meet me there” 

Ah, ouai, chere, rejoindres moi la!

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Tax Exempt Weekend, Day 2: The Cruisers Sunday, Aug 5 2007 

Today we updated the bicycle fleet.  cruiser.jpgSarah had scoped out the LaJolla Cruisers at WalMart since a couple of weeks ago, so she took the plunge.  Ann was so impressed with Mom’s old-fashioned bike that she wanted one of her own, so before the day was over, she took the leap, too.   Now we have a garage full of bicycles, including the recently-purchased and the old ones.

Tax Exempt Weekend in La.: Power to buy, power to wash Saturday, Aug 4 2007 

troy-biltlg.jpgWe took advantage of the state’s tax free shopping weekend to bring home a shiny red power pressure washer from Lowe’s, just like the one to the right. I think we saved twelve bucks on tax. As a result, I spent my Saturday afternoon playing with my new toy.

No more ugly mildew growing on the brick veneer;

no more sludge caking on the patio bricks;

no more green slime festering on the white vinyl wisteria-covered archway leading into the wood yard.

We salute the marvelous cleaning machine!