Homemade Guacamole with Black Beans: Yummy! Wednesday, Oct 31 2012 

A first for this blog–a recipe!  (Not from me–Sarah is the architect of fine foods.  I just eat the stuff.  🙂

Los frijoles con guacamole son muy buenos!

Homemade Guacamole with Black Beans

2 ripe avacados

1 can mild rotel tomatoes

garlic powder, onion powder

lime juice

black beans, drained

Mash avacado well and add rotels, garlic powder, onion powder, lime juice and black beans. Serve with chips or on lettuce. This is a recipe you can play with to suit your own tastes.   You can add less tomato.  I just taste the ingredients to suit myself.

Sandy, Frankenstorm? A View from the Gulf Coast Sunday, Oct 28 2012 

Sandy’s on the way. Happily bound elsewhere, but we wish our neighbors the best.

From Morgan City, La. to Atlantic City, N.J.

From Cow Island, La. to Long Island, N.Y.

From Delaware Bay, Delaware, to Barataria Bay, La.

The Gulf Coast feels the Atlantic Seaboard’s pain.  At the same time, we look at a Category 1 storm being labeled “Frankenstorm” and wonder.


Audrey.  Betsy.  Camille.  Andrew.  Katrina. Rita.

Begging your pardon, but those were Frankenstorms!

Pardon us, our neighbors from the Northeast, but we have to wonder about hype.  Population density doth public relations wonders work!

Population density notwithstanding, we wish the best for all in the path of the storm.  We’ve been there, more than once.  We know the understated truth: Storms are no fun!

Seasoned With Salt: Graceful Words Wednesday, Oct 24 2012 

From the 2005 Journal . . .

This verse from St. Paul, Colossians 4:

6Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.


Good conversation = salt of the earth

A good topic of conversation:  What does it mean for one’s conversation to “be always full of grace,” much less “seasoned with salt?”  If “grace” means “unmerited favor,”  Paul means  conversation should have as its end edification, encouragement, admonition, recognizing that each one another deals with human limitations, and as fellow humans we acknowledge one another’s limitations (and imperfections).   We all have them!

Since salt is a basic seasoning for food, which makes food appealing, perhaps Paul suggests further that  conversation also should be appealing as opposed to unappealing.   The more I think about this, I’m impressed that Christians are called to be attractive rather than unattractive.  This idea may be a little contrary to  traditional leanings, some of which suggest Christians should be ugly as homemade soap (i.e. offensive), and so should everybody else.   I don’t think that’s the idea.  Especially if Christians should know “how to answer everyone” with graceful words seasoned with the salt of edification, encouragement, and admonition.

Everlasting Arms Tuesday, Oct 16 2012 

The scene of the poem: The lawn in front of Beau Chene High School.

This piece I journaled seven years ago to the date after taking part in a writing exercise with a friend’s English IV AP class at rural Beau Chene High School in St. Landry Parish, LA.  The school is aptly named because of three majestic Live Oaks that grace the front lawn.  I prewrote for this poem under the sturdy branches of one of those elegant trees with my friend’s students.  This piece also memorializes those first months after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005 as we struggled to remember normal.

Everlasting Arms

Composed on Prairie Basse between Grand Coteau and Arnaudville, St. Landry Parish, Louisiana, at Beau Chene High School.

October 2005


I came here to work . . .

The state paid the way!

And what am I doing on taxpayers’ time?
Writing poems!  (Tell not the governor.)

Yes, writing poems—

Under this grand Beau Chene.

The Poem …

How many storms has she weathered?

Timeless, ageless,

Her massive trunk–

Gnarled, sturdy girth–

Swells from sprawling roots

To spread everlasting arms

Arching up, over, and down

To kiss nurturing earth.

How many storms has she weathered?

And scattered neath her dappled shade

Etching innocence onto lined leafs of paper,

Her children, our children . . .

They write their poems.
How many storms must they weather,

Like this ancient matron?

Can they grow old, strong, and wise,

Weathering storms to come?

Days lately grow uncertain,

Normal a pained recollection

Of time

Before storms

Numbed our souls.
Yet this sturdy Oak

Stands fast,

Monument to time and weathered storms past.

A branching, leafy canopy




And everlasting arms

To embrace God’s children.

Friday, Oct 12 2012 

5 years ago today …


I’m fortunate to live close enough to work to commute by bicycle when the weather permits, which is most of the time in South Louisiana. So today I’m riding home for lunch, passing in front of St. Thomas More Church just as the bell tower strikes out the start of the noon-time medley: Jesus loves me, this I know . . .

Wow, the sound of those chimes practically arrested me. Right before, my numb brain had been stewing in the morass of some project I should have left at office a few moments earlier–But in the instant that second or third chime struck, it’s like my thoughts were unchained, loosened to breathe in this melody. That was the simplest yet most awesome sensation.

I can’t remember my exact thoughts, but the reaction was something to the effect, “Awesome!!!! Sooooooo gorgeus!” It was the most inspiring thing I’ve heard recently…

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Whatever … Tuesday, Oct 9 2012 

Good advice from the first century:

Whatever is true,

whatever is noble,

whatever is right,

whatever is pure,

whatever is lovely,

whatever is admirable—

if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Geaux, St. Paul!


Country Roads, Acadiana: Prairie Ronde Monday, Oct 8 2012 

4 years ago today … Here’s where I was.


Prairie Ronde, Louisiana, is not a town.  It’s a rural Cajun “place” centered around the confluence of three or four winding roads and secondary state highways in the general proximity of the middle of nowhere, or at least it must seem so to outsiders, especially city folks.  The community sprawls along those roadsides for several miles in at least three different directions.  I passed through Prairie Ronde today and decided this view was too rich to ignore.

Consider these remarkable icons of life in Acadiana that come together in this photo:

  • the water tower, a source of sustenance, presiding over the landscape, proclaiming “Prairie Ronde.”
  • the solitary Oak rising from the prairie, spreading branches perhaps symbolic of the branches of families interred in the cemetery below, perhaps also evoking images of the Live Oak Walt Whitman “saw in Louisiana growing, uttering joyous leaves of friendship” during the days of the…

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You Are My Sunshine Friday, Oct 5 2012 

What Louisianian doesn’t love this song?