Walking in a Wallie Wonderland Tuesday, Aug 27 2019 

Today’s workout: 46 minutes, 2.71 miles.

Where: The long aisles of  our local Walmart.


The workout place: Walmart Acres?

I have heard of mall walkers and Walmart walkers for years.  But I never believed in all my life that a Walmart workout could be fulfilling for me.  As a shopping venue, I detest Walmart!

But lately, Sarah convinced me to try out the walking workout as an escape from the brutal summer heat.  Last week, I tried it.  The walk was excellent!  And it was good today, especially considering the heat index outside was around 105.

And another plus, unlike jogging the city streets, there’s no vehicle traffic to worry about in the store.  We have to dodge an occasional shopping cart and an unsupervised toddler from time to time, but the environment overall is safe and clean.

I do have some regrets: I can’t jog in the store, and I can’t bring Marley the Dog.  So for those reasons, I’ll continue to run the city streets as often as I can.  But it’s comforting to know that, on inclement weather days, there is a place!


Humble Rewards of the Teaching Profession: 40 Years! Wednesday, Aug 21 2019 

The start of the Fall Semester 2019 marks the fortieth back-to-school in my career.  That gives me a proud feeling!  Even though the start of the semester means work in the sense of having  a job, it’s an exciting time.  For me, teaching just doesn’t seem like work, especially now that I teach motivated high school honors students in college courses taken for dual high school/college credit.  Furthermore, since the classes are online, I enjoy remarkable freedom from the restrictions of time and place that face-to-face instruction imposes.  Teaching online takes as much or more work as a face-to-face class, but the time flexibility is a winner.

Even though classes don’t officially start until next Monday, I feel like I kicked the semester off this afternoon when I gave an orientation session to these adorable St. Edmund members of my English 1001 class.  I taught these kids as high school freshman and sophomore honors students a few years ago, so we  have an proven relationship and track record of achievement, both for me as teacher and them as students.  I predict a good time will be had by all, the demanding work notwithstanding.

I confess, I am an incurable pedagogue!

Summer ’19: The Rear View Mirror Friday, Aug 16 2019 

IMG_0356 2

This early May photo from Six Flags in Texas, showing the backs of the family walking away, is  symbolic, even iconic, of the pleasing emotions that wash over the memory of a season passing away.  We took this picture  when the warm weather season was bright and fresh upon us.  It was an outing to celebrate the end of the school year, watching our granddaughter’s cheer team compete,  as we also kicked off the vacation season.

We didn’t take any extended vacations as we did the past several years, but June-July-August 2019 will still be recalled as a mellow season worthy of recall.  Here’s a review of how we spent our summer escape.

  • We maintained our traditional weekly Laffy Daze trips, only rarely missing our customary trips to Rouse’s Market.
  • Marley the Dog’s life evolved happily (for him!) after Sadie the Dog’s passing.  We discovered the dog park in Lafayette, we learned we can trust him to be obedient off the leash in the front yard while we do outdoor chores, and best of all, he is becoming a world traveler, as he’s grown to enjoy auto travel.
  • We visited family in early July with an enjoyable shopping spree in Denham Springs followed by an overnight stay at the Southern Hotel in Covington.  That evening in Covington was unseasonably mild and pleasing, so we were able to enjoy sitting out on the romantic courtyard patio well into the evening!
  • We got to see Zach’s and Trisha’s new home construction site in early August.  The last time we visited the property last spring, the land was still raw, overgrown with brush and thick forest, totally un-developed.  It was exciting to see the land partially cleared; the home taking shape; and to walk through the unfinished hallways and rooms, gaining a sense of how the home will look and feel once it’s complete.
  • Payton’s week-long visit last week was our “stay-cation.”  We spent the nights at home while she was here, but each day was an adventure filled with coming and going, those daze well-chronicled in the posts from earlier this month.
  • All summer long, we enjoyed the leisurely ways of retired folk.  No alarm clocks, no rush to go anywhere or do anything in the mornings.  It’s not that our lives lack structure that we find liberating; rather, it’s that we are able to adapt or modify the structure of each day according to the wants and needs of that particular day!

So, on such a note we declare summer 2019 to be one more season in the annals of our lives.  The memories are not glamorous—-no Caribbean or Western Mediterranean cruises like 2017 and 2018, for example—-but the memories are rich, as are we.

Granddaughter Chronicles: Daze of Memories! Saturday, Aug 10 2019 

We packed our little granddaughter up Saturday morning and sent her on her way back to Texas.  Sad!  After she drove off, I came inside and turned the TV from the noisy cartoon channel she had been watching to the staid LPB channel where we watch cooking and gardening shows on Saturday mornings.  That gesture symbolizes the return to the everyday life of retired folks.  Alas!  Till next summer: Zach believes the granddaughter visit should become a tradition.  We agree!


Papa, Honey, and Payton: Left with cool memories of the highlight week of our summer.


A special memory Payton will take home is this ring Honey gave her.  Honey got the ring when she was a little girl around Payton’s age.  That’s a keepsake Payton may perhaps hand down to her own little girl one day: Who knows?

Granddaughter Chronicles: Flipped Out! Saturday, Aug 10 2019 


The week’s busy pace of activity caught up with all of us Friday, including the young and the four-legged.  We stayed home most of the day, waiting for the sun to get low enough in the afternoon to take Payton’s gym mat out into the back yard where she entertained us with acrobatic displays of cartwheels, round-offs, and other exciting flips and flops.  She’s a talented little gymnast!  This photo captures the happy/tired feeling of all on that last evening, though.

Granddaughter Chronicles: Doggy Splash’n Dash Daze Thursday, Aug 8 2019 

Today was Payton and Marley day.  Those two have a rare and special relationship that


Marley and Payton both made friends at the dog park.

goes back 11 years: they’re the same age, so in a sense, they grew up together.  We have Marley/Payton photos all the way back to Payton’s earliest childhood—-this pair has a long history of spoiled rottenness!

We began today with a splash ‘n dash visit to the dog park in Lafayette where it was difficult to tell which was the more profuse: mud or mosquitoes.  It was hot, too!  Marley’s romping frolic with the doggy friends he met resulted in a muddy mess by the time we left, so we had to give a maintenance hose-down at the park exit to get him clean enough to drive home in the car.


Marley doesn’t believe that cleanliness is next to godliness: He prefers being ungodly in that respect, but he got his bath today anyway.

Honey and Payton finished the dog wash job after lunch with a full-fledged doggy bath, the first one Marley has had in probably five or so years.

The outdoor splash-and-dash theme persisted after the doggy bath as we set up the slip’n slide for Payton to play after the dog washing.  That poor old slip ‘n slide has lain unused on a shelf in the garage for almost 10 years.  I wanted to throw it away the last time we cleaned the garage, but Sarah talked me out of it.  Keeping it turned out to be a wise decision!

Granddaughter Chronicles: Crawfish Pie Day Wednesday, Aug 7 2019 

One of Payton’s advance requests in planning the week was to make crawfish pie with IMG_0460her Cajun Honey (i.e., grandmother).  So today’s crawfish pie day.

Everyone was a little burned out (physically) from the pace after yesterday, so we all slept late—-even Marley.

Following a quick round of shopping errands after a tasty sushi take-out lunch, the girls fired up the stove and got the pots churning.  Even as I type, rich culinary aromas are permeating the household.

Supper’s gonna be great!

Granddaughter Chronicles: SkyZone Day Tuesday, Aug 6 2019 

When I was eleven years old, exotic summer play was swimming in snake-infested spring-fed creeks.  Daddy would drop a water melon in the shallows to cool off while we swam.  The climax of the afternoon was the watermelon cutting after everyone was exhausted from the swim.

IMG_0454How much more sophisticated are the times!  Today we took Payton and her friend Sophie to Lafayette to frolic in the padded foam beds of Sky Zone, a contemporary youth trampoline park that would have been unimaginable to my generation.

At Sky Zone, the kids bounce from trampolines to zip lines to swings to obstacle courses to climbing walls.  Grandparents marvel at their grandkids’ interminable energy.

This morning, the calorie-intense Sky Zone workout promoted hungry appetites that were assuaged at Olive Garden—-another happy day in the granddaughter chronicles!

Granddaughter Chronicles: Picnic and Shopping Day Monday, Aug 5 2019 

Monday was a day for a picnic lunch of tuna sandwiches and  chips at City Lake.  Of course, Marley the 0Dog accompanied the  entourage.  We couldn’t tarry long on the shores of Eunice City Lake since the heat and the flies were both oppressive, but we had fun right along.

We rounded out the day with a trip to Laffy where I followed the girls around Acadiana Mall while they shop-hopped.  The afternoon capped off with  a grocery run to Rouses where we picked up the supper fixings for lasagna and Caesar salad (Payton’s request, of course).


My usual view of the girls when I go shopping with them—-I’ve learned to passively follow their lead.

Granddaughter Chronicles: Slime Day Sunday, Aug 4 2019 

We hauled Payton home from Texas yesterday (August 3) to spend the week with Papa, Honey, and Marley the Dog.  I don’t believe Payton ever stayed with us by herself for more than two nights, so having her for a week will be quite a grandparenting adventure.

IMG_0442One of today’s highlights was slime-making.  From scratch, no less.  Honey’s MaMere made cakes and cookies from scratch; Honey makes slime from scratch. (She can do the cakes and cookies from scratch, for the record.)

Why exactly make home-made slime?  Ask an 11 year old and she won’t have a good answer—-It’s just something to do with your grandmother?

Anyway, they sure looked like they were having fun.