Watch[not] Dogs Wednesday, Jan 30 2019 

watchdog

Watch dog?  Not much.

Sarah had the car after a meeting at church this evening, so I came back after dark alone.  I didn’t have the garage door opener, so I had to enter by the back door patio key pad.

I keyed in the code and opened the door noisily, for I supposed angry dogs whom we had left inside to stay warm while we were away would come running to defend the household.

Nothing.

After 10 or 15 seconds, I called out.  Marley came running from the master bedroom, tail wagging.

So much for watch dogs.

Advertisements

Patio Dwelling: Alliterative Verse! Monday, Jan 28 2019 

Teaching a British lit survey course for the first time and reading ancient poems and tales from the Middle Ages, I came across the poetic style known as alliterative verse.  I’m sure I read such verse in college 45+ years ago, but last week it was a fresh discovery.  I tried my hand at writing it with my students and, as usual found it amusing.  I decided to compose one fit to celebrate patio dwelling this past weekend when winter’s chill relented for just a few hours.  The bob is the first line with the alliteration; the wheel is the quatrain that follows.  The rhyme scheme is ababa.50946164_10218057793857781_4159147089932058624_n

The woes of winter on windy days do work to wear one’s soul.

Alas, ho! This a middling day
To fire the pit, blaze some coal
As winter’s chill backs away.
To yon outdoors our goal
For sev’ral hours to play!

 

The Dead of Winter: Cold is Old Wednesday, Jan 23 2019 

We have attained the dead of winter.  Brrrrr.  The climatological average lows are upon us.

I confess I had enough cold way back in late

winter

Cold is OK on vacation with kids.  Not so much back home this time of year.

October when we went to Colorado and it snowed 7 inches.

And again in Colorado at the end of the year when we frolicked with the kids in snowy sub-zero temps.

But this time of year, Louisiana cold grows old.  It grows older than colder, then colder than older, and back and forth.

Enough of winter!  How many more weeks must we endure?

Country Roads, Acadiana: The Campus Thursday, Jan 17 2019 

img_0270Since I worked full-time on this campus for over 18 years, I may have taken for granted the pastoral appeal of its sprawling lawns, the solid brick buildings arranged in the quadrangle, and interesting landscape appointments, such as the park benches around the chiming clock tower and the showy modern art pieces at the entrance to the Community Education Building.

For all the years of my full-time administrative service, the noise and stress of the job probably kept me from slowing down as I should have to notice these pleasant spaces.  Returning last year to part-time service at a much slower pace, I have come to appreciate the campus much like a park, an expansive, well-designed and manicured outdoor space with a pleasing ambience.  It’s an idyllic setting for walking a dog; sitting on a bench and contemplating matters, heavy or light; and either strolling or jogging  the extensive network of sidewalks.

The citizens of our small town should fully appreciate this gem in their midst.  No other landmark or landscape in all of Eunice compares to the beauty of the LSUE campus.

Marley Makes Sense of Investing Sunday, Jan 13 2019 

faIf Marley were human, maybe he would be an Edward Jones financial advisor like his Uncle Zach.

His advice for making sense of investing:

  •   Invest in stocks for dog bones treats and luxury kennels with doggy doors and climate control;
  •   All-you-can-eat dog food buffets;
  •   Long-distance dog walking services;
  •   Cat and squirrel-free zones;
  •   And back yard crotte pick-up services.

Those are investments that make sense to Marley.

Patio Dwelling: The Office Wednesday, Jan 9 2019 

Earlier this week, the Internet connection for my on-campus office at LSUE blew up because of some kind of technical difficulty.  I filed the usual HelpDesk complaint to

img_0264 2

Marley the Dog is an experienced patio-dweller: He loves when his Papa spends time outdoors.

effect a remedy, but meanwhile, I was preparing today’s first day of classes for five courses!  I couldn’t wait for the HelpDesk’s bureaucratic process.   (In truth, they didn’t get to the problem until today, three days later, proving the point that I was in a bind).

Big deal?  Not really.  The weather was mild for a winter’s day, so I simply set up the office outside on the patio.  Who needs a stodgy office indoors when Mother Nature provides a superior alternative?

Patio dwelling for the work place: A concept whose time has come.

Papa’s Girls Sunday, Jan 6 2019 

I know “looks” don’t matter as much as character, but when I look at my family pictures from the recent Colorado trip and other family adventures, I’m proud that our family’s girls really look striking.

image000000 2

Three generations of beauty, inward and outward

They are as pleasing to the eye as they are pleasing to the heart!  And what’s best, these girls have character!

What can I say?  I’m a proud papa.

A Rocky Mountain New Year Thursday, Jan 3 2019 

Neither sub-freezing temps (as in SERIOUSLY sub-freezing, like minus zero and single digits!) nor a couple of inches of snow could chill or dampen our family celebration of New Years this past week in a log cabin on the Big Thompson River in Estes Park.

cabininthewoods

The log cabin in the woods, setting for our Rocky Mountain New Year family celebration.

Highlights?   I know I’ll leave some out, but here’s a short list:

  • Cajun gumbo, the roux made from scratch with mom and all the kids throwing in to the culinary effort, tasted better than ever in the Rocky Mountain air.
  • snowpuff

    Snowpuff—- Magical!

    The girls bought bright-colored holidady onesie PJ’s in a shop on Elkhorn Avenue and videoed some really snazzy, cleverly-choreographed “dance” routines.

  • The guys scavenged in the snow-covered lot around the cabin for what must have amounted to a rick of fallen branches so we could enjoy the fireplace.
  • One of the kids bought a deck of Old Maids; raucous rounds of card-playing late into the evening ensued.
  • Football galore in the holiday bowl season.
  • Trodding a little over a mile (round trip) through the snow on a
    snow

    Family matters!

    grocery store errand.  (We could have driven, but walking in the snow was more adventurous, especially since being outside in snow with single digit temps is so alien to our Deep South experiences).

  • A patio hot tub: I never believed I would be going outside in a swim suit and tee-shirt when the temp was in the teens, but we felt totally comfortable in the steaming, churning waters of the outdoor bath.
  • We were captivated by the acclaimed Greely (Colorado) Griswald house Christmas lights–the most dazzling Christmas lights I’ve ever seen on a house.

I may think of more later and come back to edit the post, but these were experiences everyone in the family will remember and talk about forever.

We can certainly maintain we started this new year on a high note!