Happy Valentines Day! Thursday, Feb 14 2019 

51775677_10219512918232190_159114931860406272_nWe enjoyed a splendid Valentines Day repast.  This is Chef Sarah’s menu: Surf and Turf rib eye with Cajun shrimp sauce, orzo salad, air fried okra and creme brûlée for dessert. ❤️❤️  (and some bubbly Rose’!)

I feel a little guilty because I had little to do with the preparation–the Valentine’s gift was a little one-sided, I’m afraid.

I helped load the dishwasher when it was over, if that counts.

Anyway, my Valentine is the best.

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Country Roads, Acadiana: Horns of Happiness Saturday, Feb 9 2019 

IMG_0276Helping Sarah’s Nonc Roger and Tante Nettie movie from country to town last week, we came across this this relic in their possession from bygone days on the Cajun prairie: cow horns hollowed out for use as boudin funnels.  The pointed end would be inserted into the prepared sausage casing (made from the hog’s intestines), and the boudin dressing was spooned and pushed through the wide end of the horn to stuff the casing.

The horns now serve as kitchen ornaments, culinary curios.  But they’re also reminders of the resourcefulness of those hardy subsistence farmers of past generations who had to, of necessity, raise, farm, create, or construct just about everything they consumed.  These horns were not horns of plenty: they were, in fact, horns of little.

But the testimony I’ve heard from the surviving members who grew up as children in this generation, now in their 80s and 90s, is summed up in a testimony like this: “We were poor, but we didn’t know it.  All of our neighbors were poor!  We had plenty to eat, we had family, we worked hard, but we were happy.”

Daddy’s 80th: Message to the Family Tuesday, Feb 5 2019 

Maybe I should have waited to post this piece until Daddy’s birthday in July, but why wait?  My niece had saved this treasure and shared it with family.  Here are Daddy’s words, on the eve of his 80th birthday.

Daddy’s Email to Family on the Eve of His 80th Birthday

July 2002

IMG_1323By Nathan H. Pulling, Sr.

It was that July 2nd, 1922 when my mother began to experience the first inkling of my desire to get out of the crampted quarters that had been my dwelling place for the last nine months, and I was ready to get out of the crampted quarters, I wanted to stretch my legs and my arms, etc. About three that afternoon we made our way to the hospital, and by midnight I was out to receive the first slap on that tender place of the body. Here it is now, almost eighty years later.

Books could be written about the ups and downs of these last eighty years. The single most important event took place in Franklin Ave Baptist Church when the Spirit of God moved upon me and lifted me from my place in the congregation, to the aisle and the front of the church where the pastor put his arms around me

and asked, “Nathan, why do you come tonight?” I said, “Because I am lost and bound for hell, and I want Jesus to save me.” After talking with Bro. Hoyle Hair, the Pastor, the church received me as a candidate for Baptism. The church then extended the “Hand Of Fellowship”.

As the congregation came to shake my hand and offer words of encouragement, it was my Daddy’s time in line, and I remember that moment as though it was yesterday. Dad put his arms around me and said, “Son, tonight you have become God’s boy.”

The next big event was that Sunday night when I attended Grace Baptist Church and got up enough courage to ask that good-looking girl to let me drive her home. She accepted my invitation on the condition that her big brother ride with us. That was the first night and she still wants someone else to go with us on those night time rides.

Well there were bad times along the way, which I weill not weigh you down with, because there has been many good times.

These days I cherish my five children. They make the bad times look good. Everyone of you is precious jewel to me, and I love you.

I guess there is more that could be said, but there is no sense in taking up your time now. Over the years I have shared some things with you, and I understand David has made a collection of some of my stories. So there is no sense in my writing it again at this time.

I don’t know how Mama and I will celebrate my birthday tomorrow. You will just have to wait till tomorrow.

Geaux, LSU Ladies’ Gymnastics! Saturday, Feb 2 2019 

gymnasticsHad someone have asked me 20 (or 30 or 40 or 50) years ago if I’d be interested in going to a collegiate gymnastics meet, I’d have said, “No, thank you.”  And then only to be polite, because my innate reaction would have been, sarcastically, “I don’t think so!” (which is a polite manner of saying, “Hell, no!”).

Anyway, we went last night to the PMac (LSU Maravich Assembly Center) in Baton Rouge with our kids and our granddaughter and our son’s in-laws.  The LSU gymnasts are highly ranked, and their acclaim showed in their performance as they rocked NC State in a one-sided contest.

Truly, I wasn’t bored for a minute.  The LSU ladies’ athletic display was brash, aggressive–I was impressed that they won not just by their athletic superiority, but as much by their audacity and in-the-competiton’s-face daring-do.  Those girls showed some high-powered  kick-ass!

And the brilliant athletic display was punctuated by the LSU  band and cheerleaders, whose spirited performances highlighted the evening in the best spirit of the proud LSU athletic tradition.  The feeling was as good as Tiger Stadium on a Saturday night.

I was proud to wear purple and gold.

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.

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.

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