Diary: Running Around Through The Woods Of Stonehenge.
December 2017

Diary: Running Around Through The Woods Of Stonehenge.

It would have been a wonderful night for there to be NPAS rehearsal tonight, but we’re in the off-season. Singing always calms me down. However, I do get an invitation to dinner from Mary Leigh, who is on her way home and has a hankering for a wedge salad with blue cheese dressing at the Acme in Covington. We split a dozen grilled oysters in our unique way: I get all the oysters and she gets all the butter, garlic, parmesan, and peppers to dip the toasted French bread. For…

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Diary: Electrify My Kitchen, Please, And Soon!

Monday, December 18, 2017. The Kitchen Power Is Removed And Restored. The electrician says that he is ready to go with our big rewiring project. He will be there at ten in the morning. I ask how long the job will take. “Hour, hour and a half,” he tells me. I know just enough about this project–after all, it’s been on our home improvement docket for at least two decades–to understanding the real meaning of his estimate. “If everything goes well,” he adds. Uh-oh. I have heard that expression before….

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Diary: Making The Holiday Partying List.
December 2017

Diary: Making The Holiday Partying List.

Saturday, December 16, 2017. The three days starting yesterday get a tremendous amount of rain, around three inches at the Cool Water Ranch. It was probably enough to flood the road to the ranch, but by the time the rain slacked off, it had also drained away. The western part of St. Tammany Parish has terrific drainage. We haven’t had any serious drainage in years. The rain is, however, severe enough to keep our electrician from rewiring the breaker boxes. You can’t fool with electricity in the rain. I spend…

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Diary: Domenica’s Pizza Is Back. The Messiah Comes.

Friday, December 15, 2017. I have two choices for entertainments tonight. The first is to partake in an NPAS performance on the Tammany Trace in Covington. The second is to squire Mary Ann to the annual Messiah performance by the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra. We attended it last year and loved it. We pretty well loved this one, too. But the theme this year is to perform all the many variations in the Handel-authored pieces that can conceivably be performed. That makes for a very long performance, and here it was….

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Diary 12|14|2017: The Stove Goes On Strike.
December 2017

Diary 12|14|2017: The Stove Goes On Strike.

Thursday, December 14, 2017. The Stove Goes On Strike. Earlier in the day when the Eat Club Gala took place came something new for me to worry about. “Take a look at this,” I was greeted by Mary Ann, who was cleaning off the kitchen’s central counter. What concerned her was that there was very little heat coming out of any of the burners. The first thing that came to my mind was that perhaps a circuit breaker had tripped. I went outside and indeed found one of the breakers…

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Diary: Kitchen Breakdown. Free-Flowing Ink.
December 2017

Diary: Kitchen Breakdown. Free-Flowing Ink.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017. I am a lifelong user of fountain pens. The principal at St. Rita’s School insisted that everyone above the fourth grade would henceforth (in 1961) do all school work (except math, where pencils were substituted) with fountain pens. Or, as they were also known, “cartridge pens.” The drugstore did a big business selling Schaeffer pens to us. These sold for ninety-eight cents, with two extra cartridges included. When they ran out of ink, the kids would have to get their parents to buy a new six-pack…

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Diary: Lagers, Burgers, Baseball, & A Swordfish Sandwich.
December 2017

Diary: Lagers, Burgers, Baseball, & A Swordfish Sandwich.

Monday, December 11, 2017. My radio show was pushed off the schedule by football games every day since last week. It was a long holiday for me, and felt as if I had a few more free days coming. I am further disappointed that I will miss the NPAS concert scheduled at five. Indeed, we have no rehearsals for several weeks. I miss singing when we don’t do it. I do get lunch. MA and I go to Lola in Covington, across from the courthouse. That location brings in a…

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Diary: Christmas Singing @ Two Sleigh Landings.
December 2017

Diary: Christmas Singing @ Two Sleigh Landings.

Sunday, December 10, 2017. I have a busy day of singing. First at St. Jane’s, then with NPAS at Our Lady Of Lourdes In Slidell. In the latter, we are not part of the liturgy. We’re borrowing the impressive building and inviting the parishioners and anyone else who wants to hear a concert of Christmas hymns and pop songs for a voluntary admission tuppence. I missed the first concert on Friday, when it began at a time and place conflicting with my radio show. Today’s program sounds terrific, although no…

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Diary: Oysters And Snow Woven Among Five Stars.
December 2017

Diary: Oysters And Snow Woven Among Five Stars.

Friday, December 8, 2018. Around three in the morning with a steady drizzle outside, I get out of bed, don a thick jacket I use so seldom that I’d forgotten I owned it. I walk through the rain at the southwest corner of the house and fight the binding that gets in the way of opening the faucet. The temperature is in the mid twenties tonight, and I need to start a drip to keep pipes from freezing. I also hope that at least one of our three cats will…

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Diary: Maple Syrup, No Pizza At Domenica, 610 Stompers. Food Critic Gets Called Out.
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Diary: Maple Syrup, No Pizza At Domenica, 610 Stompers. Food Critic Gets Called Out.

Saturday, December 9, 2017. Snow still covers a large part of the ground and the roof of the Cool Water Ranch house. So much of it is melting up there so quickly that I thought there might be a broken pipe around back. MA and I have breakfast at Mattina Bella. I am in the mood for something straightforward, eschewing the poached eggs with crabmeat and mushrooms, or with fried eggplant, Italian sausage and marinara sauce. Instead, it’s just soft-scrambled eggs for me, with brabant potatoes (their version of French…

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