Patio Dwelling’s Latest Dimension: Under the Lights Thursday, Sep 28 2017 

IMG_1202Our kids gave their mother a set of decorative patio lights for her birthday earlier this month, so we strung them out, and Voila!  We hang out until after dusk these early fall evenings, enjoying the ambience of the soft lights’ glow.

Just another improvement in the quality of outdoor living, where  simplicity hardly excludes elegance.  From the French doors opening from the living room to the great outdoors of the soft-lit patio: Fall falls softly on these South Louisiana evenings.



Backyard Wonders Saturday, Sep 23 2017 

21761437_10214556415962731_1118533316009223495_nWhy should I stay inside my house this time of year when the weather is temperate?

I would miss . . .

  • Copious displays of  Morning Glory and Hummingbird vine blossoms.
  • Fighter-jet acrobatics of  Hummingbirds.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Cardinal splashing in the bird bath.
  • Sparrows darting in and out of the bird feedeer.
  • Sadie and Marley sniffing out “terrorists.”

For these reasons and others, we are confirmed patio dwellers.  Outdoors is better than indoors, any day this time of year.

Everlasting Arms: Poetry of the Open Air Classroom Thursday, Sep 14 2017 

As a teacher, I believe firmly in writing with students.  I do it often.  Like the classical Roman rhetorician and teacher Quintilian, I believe students respond to “the voice” of their teacher, who should be a role model as well as a mentor.  This week, classes visited the grounds in front of St. Anthony’s Church to invent subjects and ideas for writing haiku poems, powerful three-line verses that exercise students’ skills of word choice and exact expression, skills that are transferrable to essay writing.  Their teacher wrote with them.  I post here some highlights that I will share with the students tomorrow as examples and, IMG_1196hopefully, inspiration.

“The Master of the Sea”

Master of the Sea,
lend your everlasting arms:
Calm the storm in me!

“Live Oak”

Heavy Oak branches,
Arching, leafy canopy,
Sprawling overhead.

And one for fun: “Big Dude on a Kid’s Bike”

Twenty-year old dude
Riding a twenty-inch bike?
Gotta be druggie!







Hurricanes’ Silver Lining: The Fall of Fall Friday, Sep 8 2017 


Home, sweet home, when fall has fallen.

We lucked out this year on more counts than one (so far!).  After Hurricane Harvey passed on to the north week-before-last, the backside of his circulation aided and abetted the passage of a cold front.

As we bask in the mild northerlies in the aftermath, we’re watching the sinister Hurricane Irma roll out of the Carribean toward Florida.  Scary for Florida!  But once Irma moves into the heart of the Mid-South, she’ll reinforce that backside northerly flow.

We’ll continue to enjoy perfect weather for mid-September, when in many seasons without hurricanes, late summer holds forth in all its misery.

What a thin line between blessings and curses in hurricane season!




The Soft-shell Crab Po’Boy Quest: Eureka, in Opelousas! Sunday, Sep 3 2017 

Sarah’s birthday is a few days away, so I asked her what she wanted for her birthday dining treat.

“Soft-shelled crab po’boy!”  That was an easy decision.  So I began searching online among the menus of Lafayette’s finest seafood restaurants.  I was shocked—-Not a soft-shelled crab po’boy anywhere in Acadiana!  I’m sure we searched a dozen menus of the most renowned restaurants in the region.

Oh, well.  We gave up.  Birthday lunch options will have to move on to a second chsoileau-logooice.

A little later in the evening, on an idle whim, I decided to check one more menu: Soileau’s Dinner Club in Opelousas.  Soileau’s has been around for ages, but no one really talks about the place any more because so many newer, flashier, more exotic culinary venues have come on the scene in the last 20 or 30 years.

Anyway, I pulled up the menu, found the po’boy section, and Voila!  No kidding—-Soft-shelled crab po’boys, $13.95.  (That’s a really decent price, too.)

So the old-school restaurant in the declining north side nighborhood of humble Opelousas put all those big-name Lafayette restaurants to shame.


We enjoyed our lunch!  Happy birthday, Sarah, and may many soft-shelled crab  po’boy birthdays  befall your birthday for years to come.