On Target: Ruts of Retirement Friday, Jun 29 2018 

IMG_1554In younger years, rut, the root from which we derive routine, carried a pejorative meaning.  To be in a rut suggested boredom, a lack of adventure, or a reluctance to grow and develop.

Now older, I find ruts and other predictable patterns of lifestyle comforting.  I’m not bored, any sense of adventure has been long-since fulfilled, and I’ve just about grown and developed as much as I want, much less need.

So any weekday Tuesday or Wednesday around half past 10:00 a.m., we’re making shopping rounds for meds and household supplies at Target in Lafayette.  By 11:00, we’re at Rouse’s Market making the grocery rounds.  We vary that routine as needed to stop off at Bed,Bath and Beyond or Old Navy or perhaps World Market as we commute from Target to Rouses—-those occasional variations provide as much unpredictability as we need in this phase of life.





Summerdusk Tuesday, Jun 26 2018 

Composed on the patio, June 2018IMG_1551

Hot, swampy days fade about half past eight:
Days stretched, baked by vernal equinox,
Night’s deepening descent retarded
This sultry time of year.

Must wait late,
So too late,
For steamy darkfall
On Junetime evenings . . .

Cooled hardly by shrill mosquitoes flapping tiny wings,
Enloudened by the scritching cicada chorus,
Salted by summer’s sweaty fragrance.

Longest daze
Swelter, ooze into lusty night
At dusk . . .
This vernal time of year.

Siri-ously? Saturday, Jun 23 2018 

Chataignier, of course, is the name of a quaint Cajun village in these parts.  The French word is also the common noun for chestnut.
In French, it’s pronounced shot-an-yay.  In English, it usually sounds like shuh-tann-ya.
How in the world did Siri hear the sh__ word?
Perhaps that’s why the computer technology behind Siri is called artificial intelligence.  In this case, anyway, it’s good for a laugh.

Back-Yard Potty Tales Sunday, Jun 17 2018 

This is the most hilarious product package label I’ve seen in a long time. 

35543377_10216266362313112_5941035322035929088_nThe French “sac a crottes de chien” on the package is translated like this: “Dog turd bag.”

We came across this item while looking for doggie treats in the pet food section at Dollar Tree.  I regularly get a kick out of reading product labels in the store because their labeling is almost always bilingual, French and English.  I often bolster  my French vocabulary in the store, in fact, as I read the shelf labels to learn  names of products and commodities that my French 1101/1102 textbooks didn’t cover when I studied French in college over 45 years ago.

But back to the subject: these doggy bags’ bilingual label is unusual in that, ordinarily, the product labels in Dollar Tree are translated in directly equivalent wording.  But “doggy waste bags” translates nowhere close to “sacs a crotte de chien.”

This topic is much more fun in Cajun country where I live because most of my Cajun friends, even those who can’t speak French, learned what the French word crotte means and how it’s used from their parents or grandparents.  It’s an innocent potty word we and our kids have fun with—- in fact, we have always made great family sport of making jokes about our dogs’ crottes lying in the back yard.   Like the English word turd, crotte is not a vulgar word, per se; of course, we acknowledge as well that it is a word  for which we’d exercise discretion before using in polite or unfamiliar company.

All I can suppose from this product label is that the turd word is  not quite as pejorative in French as it is in English.  Even if the French are not so sensitive about its use, though, when I visit France on our vacation later this summer, I will certainly avoid bringing up crottes as a discussion topic.  Mes maniérés sont trop Américain, je pense, pour demander d’un francais, “Ou peut-je acheter des sac a crottes de chien?”

True Confession of a News Junkey Thursday, Jun 14 2018 

One of retirement’s glorious liberations is the freedom to follow news, as much or as little, as I want.


The President’s press secretary is quite the news boob: As much as I dislike her persona—-because she shamelessly defends the persona of our sleazy president —-I confess I enjoy watching her rhetorically-artless slithering and sliding around truth. 

For me, I choose “as much,” for I’ve become a confirmed news junkey.  Rarely does my first-thing-in-the-morning coffee session end without eventually turning the TV channel to CNN.  Through the marvels of DirecTV and wifi, I can even carry the news shows around in my pocket so I can stay connected while I’m doing yard work, shaving or taking a bath, or even jogging.  For me, it’s a case of news-as-entertainment.

Some might argue that it’s TV news addiction—-But I don’t believe my daily watching is  that serious).  But I do confess that starting a morning without a dose of CNN News Day is kind of like starting the morning without that essential third cup of coffee.





Country Roads, Acadiana: The Six O’Clock News Friday, Jun 8 2018 

IMG_1532You can tell that you live outside the beaten path of urban Americana by the headlines on your local TV station’s evening news.

One of tonight’s headlines on our local news from Lafayette, Louisiana, for example, was the announcement of a ground-breaking for a new sewer treatment lift station in the Cajun small-town of Rayne.

Would such an announcement  in metropoli like Houston or Chicago or Los Angeles qualify as evening “news?”

Of course, not.

That’s what makes us special.

Lâchez-les, country roads Acadiana!




When rainy days don’t matter . . . Tuesday, Jun 5 2018 

All the years I worked, watching a rainy day go by outside my workplace window stressed me out.  What is there about thunder and lightening and torrential rain that makes a body long to be home?


Rain, rain, DON’t go away. / You can come back any day!

Too much to worry about: Is the house OK? Is the patio furniture OK? Are the dogs OK? Will the weather be OK when I have to drive home a little later?

We had such a day today, but I didn’t feel a second’s worth of stress.  Right before lunch, we saw the rain was coming within a few hours.  We made a plan: finish up the “do do” list’s outside chores, dash to the grocery to get what we needed for the supper menu,  get back home in time to eat lunch, and then sit out on the patio as the storm approached to relish the refreshing pre-storm downdraft that drove away the muggy, dewpoint-laden atmosphere that began the day.

When the tempest arrived with its blowing rain and freaky lightening, we along with the dogs retreated inside—-Mom and Pop to the recliners and the doggies stretched out on the comfy carpet—-for mini-naps.

That took us to mid-afternoon.  Now the worst weather has passed, Mom finished up the supper-cooking chores, and we’re back on the storm-cooled patio listening to the gentle rain that continues to fall as the atmosphere wrings itself out.

Back in work days, I would still be at the office at this late-afternoon hour, fretting away about what was going on at home and aggravated that I faced 3 or 4 hours of boredome because the yard would be too wet to do the outside things that I typically enjoyed doing after work on long June evenings.

Gosh, it’s nice not having to worry about rainy days.