Summer-where, over the rainbow…there’s a land that I dream of … Tuesday, Aug 15 2017 

The school year began a week ago, and I’m still in shock at the loss of summer.  Yes, the weather is still hot and August is officially a month of the summer, but I have to get up each morning and go to work.


Vacation is the natural state of man, right?  Why can’t it last?

No fun.

In this retirement phase 1, I’ve found summer 2017 to be far too relaxing.

I’m spoiled.

I’m beginning to wonder why every month shouldn’t resemble June/July.

Gettin’ closer to the REAL end . . .







The Master of Ease Tuesday, Aug 8 2017 

IMG_1172Yep, that’s my new title for Marley the Dog: the “Master of Ease.”  Like most dogs, he’s  a marvel of laziness. In fact, out of the 24 hours in a day, he’s active for maybe three.

The rest of the hours, not to worry!

He does come alive at meal time.  He’s also a ferocious defender of the backyard turf, like when a four-wheeler or a cat passes through the alley, a neighbor walks a dog or strolls a baby on the street, or a squirrel invades the inner sanctum of the back yard.  He barks and fusses with fury in twenty or thirty second spurts.

But the problem with his watch dog service is that he’s hardly ever on duty.  He is terribly guilty, literally, of sleeping on the job.

Yes, the Master of Ease.  What a life!




Another School Year Dawns: 37 Down, ___ to Go Friday, Aug 4 2017 


Elements of the summer-time patio dwelling routine.

Alas! Today marks the last weekday morning patio party of summer 2017: Come Monday, I’ll return to the rhythm of the academic calendar with the start of my 38th school year working in colleges and schools.

I’ll miss my leisurely summer routine: coffee on the patio with the morning news, a morning jog, yard chores before the sun gets too hot, and afternoons hanging out with Sarah.  But the thought is more than pleasant  that I have options in this sunset phase of the career.  Thank God, I’m free of the administrative stresses of running the Continuing Education at LSUE, from which retirement relieved me two years ago; moreover, now that I’m 65, Medicare and Social Security-eligible, I can walk away into permanent retirement whenever the school work ceases to be fulfilling.

Meanwhile, no regrets.  Gotta love the calling!



Gotta love the calling!

In the Middle of Somewhere Monday, Jul 31 2017 

In the Middle of Somewhere

Composed on the Cruise Ship Carnival Dream on the Gulf of Mexico
,July 2017

How careless to declare, “I’m in the Middle of Nowhere!”
I’ve never been to nowhere.
Nowhere does not exist.

Nowhere names creation without form, and void,
Before the Beginning.
Before Logos became light.

Out of that formless and meaningless void of nowhere,
Creator God spoke somewhere into glorious existence.
And somewhere became everywhere.

So here I am in the middle of this portion of God’s great somewhere,
Cruising through a dreamy sea
Whose rippling tide dances and prances and skirts away to the horizon,
To the seeming ends of earth,
Beneath blue heaven’s canopied expanse.

To be wonderfully lost
In the middle
Of God’s vast somewhere:
Such an estate to covet,
For God inhabits
The remotest sea
The highest mountain
The longest trail
The hardest trial
The loneliest valley
The most distant plain
The darkest night
Of each day’s somewhere.

Praise, glory, and honor to the Author of Somewhere!

Happy Birthday Oysters 2017 Sunday, Jul 30 2017 

Sarah and I observed year six in the birthday oyster tradition last Saturday with both of our kids, their mates, and our granddaughter at the Acme Oyster House in the New Orleans French Quarter.  Yes, I know we used Acme at its Baton Rouge franchise in 2015, but the French Quarter Acme is the gold standard for all the rest.  Here’s the running summary of birthday oyster venues:

2012 Fezzo’s Restaurant in Scott, La.
2013 D.C.’s in Eunice, La.
2014 New Orleans Food and Spirits, Covington, La.
2015 Acme Oyster House, Baton Rouge, La.
2016 Frog City Travel Plaza, Rayne, La.
2017 Acme Oyster House (the original Acme) in New Orleans, La.

Where will we have oysters next year? We’ll see! The only rule is that it must be a different venue from year to year, so we won’t be at any of the restaurants above.  I have some possibilities in mind!


An oyster po’ boy  from Acme-NOLA: The best-known oyster joint in the City known for serving up Gulf oysters.






Holiday Americana: Iconic Key West Tuesday, Jul 25 2017 

IMG_1127May the record of this post show that we spent this day in Key West, one of the most originally exotic hangouts on earth.  The early-20th century architecture and sense of place reminds me strangely of Northshore towns like Mandeville and Covington where I grew up.  But that’s just a first impression.  After touring and walking the streets and waterfronts of this very walkable town and learning more about its fascinating history, it’s an American original.

Coffee: The Miracle Drug Friday, Jul 21 2017 

IMG_1098I have no longing for marijuana.  Cocaine interests me not.  Opioids have no charm.

Just give me caffeine.

Testimony: After fasting in preparation for an out-patient medical procedure earlier this week, I came home in the afternoon with a dull headache.  I blamed the groggy headache on the anesthesia’s after-effects.

Next morning when I awoke, the dull headache persisted.  Still, I attributed the ache to the anesthesia hangover.

After a  cup of coffee, though, I noticed the headache was relenting.  After a second cup, not only was the headache gone, but my body seemed to be soaring!

“Aha,” I realized.  The anesthesia hangover never was the headache culprit.  After the pre-procedure fasting, I  merely suffered from caffeine deprivation.

Now I have a fresh awareness of the importance of those two early morning cups of java.  Coffee’s not just good for the taste: It’s a boon to the soul!







Stylin’ for Cruisin’: The Women’s Game Monday, Jul 17 2017 

IMG_1083We’re having a good time planning our first-ever cruise vacation coming up next week.  For the ladies, an essential part of the prep involves shopping for  stylish “right things” to wear.

For the tropical sun, of course, hats are essential.  Sarah modeled several styles and texted the pix to Ann so they could make critical decisions.

Pretty cute.

The New Back Yard View Thursday, Jul 13 2017 

We recently became consumers of home security.   Owing to the marvels of technology, I can check out what’s going on in my backyard (or at the front door or in the gagage) any time, night or day, from anywhere in the world—-as long as I have Internet access, of course.Screen Shot 2017-07-13 at 2.30.36 PM

The photo here isn’t highly defined enough to show that a rain shower is going on.  Actually, I believe the rain has something to do with the graininess of the picture.  Anyway, the picture also shows some of the recent upgrades and  improvements we’ve made to the patio and the back yard in general.  The lush, peak-of-summer-green adds appeal to our back yard wonderland.  We love to hang out here.

You can take the Cajun girl out of Louisiana, but . . . ! Saturday, Jul 8 2017 

Yes, the rest is predictable: You can’t take the Cajun out of the girl!

I always remind my son and my son-in-law that one of the finest decisions they ever made was to marry a Cajun girl, just like I did.  These South Louisiana girls are grounded in South Louisiana prairie soil, they were raised with a strong sense of place: in short, they know where they’re from, who they’re from, and why that matters.

No matter where or how far they roam, they’ll always be Cajun girls.


Daughter Ann ventured to the Rocky Mountain wiles of Colorado for grad school.  See how her LSU purple and gold wears colorfully well with Rocky Mountain green and white.


Daughter-in-law Trisha lives in Texas, but there’s no doubt that this girl was raised (and ever remains) a Ragin’ Cajun!






















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