Fall is Fallen Tuesday, Oct 17 2017 

Mid-October finally cooperated with the calendar.  Autumn has arrived on the Gulf Coast!

Last night’s upper forties low was a climatological first since last March/April.  Tonight is predicted as close to a repeat.

We are beyond ready for the seasonal change.  The season’s hurricanes were bad enough.  On to fall


The descent of darkness worries us little.  Our patio is lit!


Rewards of grandparenting: The simple joy of adults acting like children! Tuesday, Oct 10 2017 

Payton’s Honey (grandmother) turned 60 a few weeks ago.  You’d never guess it by this video.  How she carried on like a six year old with her nine-year old granddaughter  last weekend!

I believe that playing with grandkids absolutely contributes to longevity.   Laughter really is good medicine for the maturing soul.

Fall, fully fallen in the great back yard outdoors Wednesday, Oct 4 2017 

IMG_1207This is the second post in a row devoted to patio dwelling.  It seems fall is as perfect a season for outdoor living as spring (uh, maybe except for mosquitoes, whose number and voracity in fall surpasses their number and voracity in other seasons).

Anyway, we also look for going-out-of-season bargains in the fall, like this shiny new grill that came home to stay this past weekend.  Its sale price is about $50 cheaper now than it was in the spring sales when the marketers do their best to exploit the consumers’ burgeoning spring fever.  I’m grateful I wasn’t tempted to buy a new grill back in the spring when the thought did cross my mind.  This bargain was worth the wait.

We christened the grill last night with steaks and veggies.  I think it’s found a fine home

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.








Harvey Chronicles: Post 4–Anticlimax Welcome Wednesday, Aug 30 2017 

Harvey came ashore early this morning west of here and has been ambling his way up the western side of the state.  This morning, the sun shone brightly inbetween spotty showers, and the weatherman seems to be leaning toward giving us a “coast is clear” declaration.  The skies this afternoon have turned to breezy tropical mist—-it looks nasty

Photo on 8-30-17 at 2.16 PM

This photo shows the air filled with a grainy tropical mist this afternoon.  Yukky but harmless.

(because it is nasty!), but it’s not dangerous.

Southeast Texas, from Houston to the Golden Triangle and the mid-to-upper coast, is still reeling, though fortunately the rain even is finished.  We are blessed to be spared their fate.  Seeing their catastrophic plight dampens the joy that we feel about coming out so well just 90+ miles away.

Harvey Chronicles: Post 3–Look who’s coming to our house. Tuesday, Aug 29 2017 

We have no right to complain when we look at the plight of southeast Texas.  That’s one reason we’re not going to bemoan the fact that Harvey’s second landfall plot will bring the storm into South Louisiana and northeastward to its eventual death up in the mid-Mississippi Valley.  The center should pass just west of our house as a weak tropical storm sometime tomorrow.


We’re back in the cone again!  We’ll shake our fist at Harvey as he passes through the neighborhood.

Oddly, that’s exactly the scenario we were fretting about the end of last week when some of the NHC’s models were sending the landfafllen storm back into the Gulf and then northeast into Louisiana.  The NHC didn’t buy that solution for the first several days after landfall, but we’ve seen the trend returning to the weathermen’s concensus for a couple of days now.  Today, the prognosticators are on board with a Louisiana landfall, so here we go.

The dry air the storm’s circulation ingested yesterday is still working its weakening magic, so the rain bands have been fewer and farther between.  The sun shone off and on for most of the morning, so much that I mowed the grass after going for a jog, which was almost refreshing, given the brisk northeasterly breeze feeding into the storm’s center down in the Gulf.  It felt more like jogging in October than August.

Tomorrow’s D-Day, but it will hopefully pass  anticlimactically, given the disaster to our neighbors in Texas.  We’ll see what happens.








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