The Gift of Fire Thursday, Nov 30 2017 

23843157_10214462001885229_8455827247281669640_nPatio dwelling is winterized!

Thanksgiving weekend, our kids from Texas blessed us with this early Christmas present of a butane-powered fire pit.

The pit’s circular ring of spry, blue/white flame prances  through a bed of red lava rocks, radiating warmth to counter winter’s  chill.

Now, when the frosty night falls cold and black or the blue north wind howls at the thermometer, we have a warming recourse: no need to forsake the patio so soon on cold November and December nights.




With an Eye on Re-Retirement. . . Tuesday, Nov 21 2017 

The easy morning “daze” of this Thanksgiving holiday provide rehearsal for an imminent withdrawal from the day-to-day, rise-and-shine, go-to-work force.  For the past two and a half years since I retired from LSU-E, I have forgone that option of staying home.  The first two years were happy.  Since the start of this school year, not so much: I have known since August that it’s time—-I’ve simply grown… not just sick, but disgusted …with  rising and shining when I really don’t have to if I don’t want to.


Marley is helping me keep an eye on the calendar: Four more weeks!

So the choice is easy: now it’s time to stay home on weekday mornings and keep Marley company, sipping coffee in front of the fire (or on the patio) and watching Sports Center or CNN, depending on which offers the more interesting “entertainment du jour”—- later in the morning a workout, followed by household chores and the resumption of doing what strikes me as interesting in the moment.

I can handle this.  It’s time.  Lord, hasten the day, and give me  grace to finish the next four weeks.



Patio Dwelling: Fall Sensory Alert Saturday, Nov 11 2017 

23435051_10214357066181902_3992884492920283764_nPatio dwelling on a perfect fall afternoon, sensory alert–the melodious fragrance of gumbo simmering on the stove drifts across the back yard through kitchen windows flung open to fresh November air: An aroma pleasing to heaven!

La belle Louisiane!

Come quickly, winter season, but leave even more quickly! Wednesday, Nov 8 2017 

Once upon a time, I loved winter.  All of it, from the first cool snap of fall until the balmy breezes of spring.

But that was once upon a time, once upon an earlier season of life.

I do enjoy the first two or three fronts of the season,  because the first-fronts contrast with the muggy, mosquito-ridden air of late summer/early fall.  But once the cold weather sets in to stay, usually between Thanksgiving and Christmas, I’m done.  I’ve had enough:  “Winter, winter, go away.  Come again some other season.”

This afternoon is one of those early-front November days: gray overcast, north wind, temps dropping through the sixties.  That’s not so extreme.  We can still hang out on the patio and relish the freshness of the air and the left-over summer backyard greenery that hasn’t been spoiled yet by the first frost.

By this weekend, I’ll be ready for spring.  But I guess it’s not goiong to happen that way.

Photo on 11-8-17 at 1.42 PM

The sky is gray, the air is chilly, but the yard’s still green from summer.  Marley the Dog digs  mid-fall’s temperate moderation.



Glory in the Country Church Cemetary Wednesday, Nov 1 2017 

My late father-in-law was a  World War II veteran—-US Navy, Pacific Theater on aircraft carrier service.  In his later years, he often wore a favorite cap whose gold lettering proclaimed, “World War II Veteran.”

One of the family highlights during his later years was bringing him to New Orleans to visit the World War II Museum.  He wore his cap that day, and I noticed several strangers approach him, shake his hand, and tell him “Thank you for your service.”  I know that  those compliments made him proud.IMG_1229

Last summer, Sarah and her brother got a flag to mount at the headstone of his grave.  Sarah and I went out to the Chataignier Baptist Church Cemetary in August with the flag, a shovel, and a couple of bags of Quik-crete to accomplish the work of putting the banner on display.  We were pleased with the effect as we drove off.

We hadn’t traveled that way since, so when I had a business trip in Ville Platte a few weeks ago on a breezy, crisp October morning, I slowed down at the cemetary to see how Old Glory looked on PaPaw Morris’s grave.  The flag was beautiful, flapping and snapping spritely in the stout north wind.  On the return trip home, I stopped and took the snapshot above.  I know he would be proud that his children had attended to that patriotic detail that meant so much to him in life.





Welcome Season of Open Windows Tuesday, Oct 24 2017 

Late October/November is a favored season along the Deep South Gulf Coast.  It’s the only time of year we can open our windows to the most seasonable conditions of the year with low humidity and moderate fall temperatures.  IMG_1227

Spring offers moderate temperatures, but we can’t tolerate the accompanying pollen that  coats every  surface (including the surfaces of our nasal passages!).

So for these several weeks every fall season, we fling our windows open wide to the advent of early fall’s crisp breezes, which supplant late summer’s oppressive heat and humidity.  The household air is fresh and fragrant, unlike any other season of the year. The season of open windows is nigh!

Patio Dwelling Saturday: Boudin Daze Saturday, Oct 21 2017 

Photo on 10-21-17 at 8.32 AMSaturdays in October: boudin, Game Day, patio dwelling.  It all goes (and tastes) better with family.  We treasure these “daze” in this empty nest phase of life.

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

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