Make me babysit my granddaughter, will ya?? What punishment! Saturday, Apr 30 2011 

Honey luvs Payton Elizabuff!

Friday afternoon, the phone rings.  Payton Elizabuff needs a place to land because Mom and Dad got tickets to the baseball  “big house” in Baton Rouge.

Do we say “no?”

Not hardly.  Whatever we had planned for the evening can wait!  The little squirt rulz!

Yes, the joys of grand parenting!

C. S. Lewis and the Resurrection Saturday, Apr 23 2011 

One of Daddy's favorite songs: "I place my hand in the nail-scarred hand." On this first Easter without him, I remember him and his solid faith.

Sometimes I’m at a loss for words–like at Easter when my mind overloads trying to digest the significance of it all.

That’s when I’m glad for thinkers whose minds have gone on before me.  C. S. Lewis is one of those thinkers.

I leave my readers with a link to help them think.

Patio Life: South Louisiana Culture and Cuisine Wednesday, Apr 20 2011 

Etoufee basking on a bed of baked sweet potato with spinach and strawberries on the side.

Some of my Facebook friends remark how frequently I post from the patio these days.

“Why not?” demand I.  The spring weather is perfect and the dogs enjoy our company, especially the morsels of people-food that befall them when their masters dine outside.

This evening after work, we enjoyed crawfish etouffee served over baked sweet potato with fresh spinach and strawberry salad on the side.  (Sarah gets the chef’s credit–I wouldn’t know where to begin.).

In six weeks or a couple of months, the patio will become uninhabitable with the arrival of unbearable summer along the Gulf Coast, but for spring, we’ll enjoy the Louisiana great outdoors and our cozy back yard while we can.  This is our favorite season of the year.

Swamp People: Alligator Hunters R Us on the History Channel? Thursday, Apr 14 2011 

Colorful Cajun gator hunters like the Landrys

The new season of Swamp People started tonight on the History Channel.  We watched, naturally, because Louisiana swamps and swampsmanship is part of our heritage.  My grandfather made a living for a season of his life as a hunter/trapper in the marshes of St. Bernard Parish, and my wife’s Cajun grandfather and relatives were adept hunters and fishermen from the inland bayous to the Gulf coast along Holly Beach.  We connect culturally with these colorful alligator hunters, even though we do not hunt alligators ourselves.

Sarah and I got a laugh tonight at the captioned transcriptions of dialogue provided for viewers.  Our laugh was that, “Hey, we don’t need  captions to understand those people.  They sound like folks down the street!”  But we imagined how strange the alligator hunters must sound to someone from, say, Rhode Island or Wisconsin.  We see how captions serve a purpose.

One danger of the Swamp People we mused over is that folks from other parts of the country will perceive our culture and stereotype our people solely on the basis of the swamp people.  “Ouch.”  I hope folks from the outside realize that not everyone in Louisiana hunts alligators or drives boats through the swamps.  Nor do we all talk like the colorful characters chosen for the reality TV show.

But we do claim these exotic characters.  As bizarre and at the same time oddly Romantic as the caricatures they strike, they are among us and we are among them, Louisianians all.

That time of the semester: A Weary Land Tuesday, Apr 12 2011 

dry and weary land . . .August 2005

A dry and weary land . . .

A weary land is where I am

Mostly.

Ridden with

Nervous anxiety

Stressed in (not out) with

Busy-ness and

Much ado about foolish matters

That matter little

In eternity,

Hoping for

The end of a day,

The end of a week,

The end of a semester,

The end of something

That never ends,

Just piles on and up and over.

 

Backyard Spring Scenes: Bird Bath Gumbo Friday, Apr 8 2011 

Bubble bubble, toil and trouble: Payton's backyard brew.

When Payton “Elizabuff” began mingling dust with bird bath water Thursday afternoon, she wasn’t making mud pies, like typical American kids.

As she added scoopful of dirt to scoopful of dirt in the bath and stirred the roux-colored concoction, she declared her endeavor: “Look, Papa, I’m making gumbo.”

Yep, this kid’s a Cajun girl, pas d’erreur (no doubt about it).

It obviously wasn’t edible gumbo, judging by Marley the Dog’s disinterest in the background.  Were Payton stirring sure-nuff gumbo seething with chicken and sausage, Marley would have been in the foreground, showing considerably greater interest in the culinary operation than in the elusive lizard that undoubtedly has his attention riveted along the side of the house.

In case ye readers wonder, we didn’t eat Payton’s bird bath gumbo.  We went to Subway for supper instead.  And, in consideration of the birds who use the bird bath, after the child’s play, we replaced Payton’s gumbo with regular water.

Yay, the joys of grandparenting!

A Real “Roll” Model: The Ageless, Low-Tech, Toilet Paper Roll Sunday, Apr 3 2011 

Because of technology, product packaging has changed dramatically in my lifetime.

For example, I remember when soft drink cans were tin, and we opened them by puncturing the top with a triangular-shaped, sharp-pointed can opener that my kids cannot conceive.    Potato chip bags were made of porous wax paper that bled greasy stains on the outer skin after a few days.  Milk, as well as bottled soft drinks, came in recyclable glass containers.  Myriads of other products have gone from paper or cardboard packaging to slick applications of plastic or cellophane.

And because of our abject consumerism and its bent for the convenience of non-biodegradable polymers, we cry out for the environment.

How simple and biodegrabable? Unaltered in all my days!

So, as a role model for  environmental virute, I submit to you the toilet paper roll, unaltered in form or substance throughout the course  of my lifetime.  What better model of simplicity, functionality, and practicality?  And its cardboard is utterly biodegradable!

To digress some (and pleasantly so),the paper that’s rolled on the cardboard cylinder hasn’t changed much, either.  I remember family philosopher Uncle Jack’s commentary on toilet paper from back in the day.  Loosely paraphrased, it went like this: “So they print  it in pastel colors with pretty little flowered patterns, and even infuse it with sweet scents: Even so, what are you going to do with it?”

No need to answer the rhetorical question.  Uncle Jack’s point was obviously,  “What’s the point?”

But anyway, I won’t go any further.

In sum, the cardboard toilet paper roll is a “roll” model!