A Three Cup Morning in the great back yard outdoors! Thursday, Mar 31 2016 

Fragrant rain-washed morning air, effusive spray of lavender Wisteria, and a rocking chair on the patio: today was a 3 cup morning.  Vive spring break!

David Pulling's photo.

We’re enjoying the spring improvements and additions to our outdoor living spaces as those spaces evolve from year to year.

This year: we add red and brown color patio decor motifs to blend with the natural green and Wisteria lavender.  This photo shows the in-between patio and happy place space—-We’re not sure what to call it.  Maybe the In-between Place?

 

For Sale: Everything But the Squeal Monday, Mar 28 2016 

I’ve heard old Cajuns joke about their ancestors’ frugal determination to waste nothing.  For the boucherie de cochon, they chuckled at how MaMere and PaPere cooked or preserved every part of the hog “but the squeal.”

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What a delicacy!

That lesson isn’t lost till this day.  I wonder how many meat markets in the USA sell pig tails, for example?  And not just pig tails, but smoked pig tails?  And note the price per pound–These are precious pig tails!

The site of this sale is the brand-spanking new Eunice Superette retail outlet in Eunice, Cajun Capitol of the world, Louisiana.  And I guarantee this: If the Superette staff of Cajun butchers figures out some way to package the squeal, it’ll be  on sale in the meat case next to those smoked pig tails.

The Curriculum of the Cross: The Real Common Core Wednesday, Mar 23 2016 

I worked in public education for 28 years, always having to be careful about discussions of faith, even though my classes were always open forums where students were free to exercise their Constitutionally-granted freedom of speech.  For example, I’ll never forget Rev. Tony in an online English 1002 class at LSUE many years ago—

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The Stations of the Cross: Today’s Curriculum at School

-Tony was a rural Baptist pastor working on a degree, and all he knew to write about and interact in the course forums  was his preaching and ministry.  As the teacher and representative of the impersonal State, I didn’t have the freedom to make statements showing preference to his religious views, but my students did.   Tony’s classmates began addressing him as “Brother Tony,” so I declared him the pastor of the class.  We had a fun semester, growing as writers and spiritual pilgrims, but I was often nervous that some freedom-from-religion zealot would tattle-tale on the class’s openly Christian dialogues.  Fortunately, no issue ever was raised.

But now, what a difference retirement makes!  I’m working in  a private school where the profession of faith is the core of the curriculum.  And the core is the Cross!  So today I witnessed for the first time “The Stations of the Cross” in a moving, dramatic enactment of the Savior’s Passion  At school!  Curricular!

Awesome, indeed!

I thank God for establishing me in a private educational workplace where the Cross provides the  “common core.”

Top of the Food Chain in a Back Yard Darwinian Jungle? Friday, Mar 18 2016 

Sadie and Marley the dogs are unrivaled hunters, defenders, and bloodthirsty savage beasts.  At least in their back yard, where they rule with iron-pawed dominiIMG_6054.JPGon over every manner of lizard, garter snake, tree frog, or bird that invades their turf.  They even killed a possum once, many years ago.

Observe their coordinated stealth in this photograph as they  stalk a lizard with crafty determination.  The lizard is barely visible, high above the top of the patio column.

Later in the day, Sarah discovered a bloodied lizard carcass lying lifeless in the grass nearby—-Mission accomplished, and lizards beware!  These vigilant canine monsters preside over all  wildlife at the top of the back yard food chain.

The Bridal Wreath of Spring: Instrument of Discipline Sunday, Mar 13 2016 

Last spring we planted a Bridal Wreath shrub in hopes of blossoms for the next spring.

Next spring is here, and the Bridal Wreath has bloomed.

Why a Bridal Wreath?  I have a sentimental attachment to this shrub going back to early childhood.  In the front yard at the New Zion parsonage where my first memories  hatched, a flourishing Bridal Wreath grew.  Yes, it was a blooming shrub in spring, but I also recall it’s long, wispy branches made ideal switches: fitting instruments of discipline for disobedient or recalcitrant children. Mama knew that use better than I!bridalwreath

Not that I was ever recalcitrant . . .

But yes, I fear, I do recall the switch of Bridal Wreath discipline applied to my  childhood  posterior: Not brutally or abusedly, but deservedly, for I was a normal, wanton child.

So with all that childhood water washed under the bridge, here’s to the blossoms of spring!

Crossing the walk: Danger!! Monday, Mar 7 2016 

Has something changed in the law that gives traffic right of way to pedestrians in a cross walk?

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Why paint the lines if the pedestrian has no right of way?

I wonder.  As a jogger who runs across intersections several times a week, I note that more and more vehicle drivers could  care less about pedestrians.  Last week, two incidents:

As I approached an intersection where the driver had a stop sign, I noticed the driver wasn’t watching out for me.  In fact, the driver was talking on her telephone!  Even though I reached the intersection before the car and clearly had the right of way, the fact that the driver didn’t make eye contact worried me.  And well it did!  I stopped at the curb and watched the car ease into the intersection, the driver chatting in distraction on her phone.  If I’d have kept on my course, even with the right of way legally mine, I’d have been run over!

About five minutes and several blocks later, I approached another intersection–a four-way stop.  Like the incident before, the driver was talking on the telephone.  I noticed he wasn’t watching me, so I paused at the intersection–even though I had the right of way in the cross walk.  Good thing I stopped.  He continued through the intersection, chatting ever-so-the-while, as he gave me a courteous wave as acknowledging gratefully my  yielding of the right of way for his passage.  And wouldn’t you know?  This “friendly” motorist was a City of Eunice policemen on duty in a patrol car!

I give up.  When even the police don’t acknowledge the law, first for yielding the right of way to pedestrians and second for not phone talking while driving, what relief can the public expect?