Friday, February 29, 2008

Spring means March Madness

This week's Sports Illustrated has a great article about how out-of-control college basketball fans have become. Fans and students are not only threatening players with e-mails, phone messages and at the games, they're terrorizing the players' families when they come to watch their kids play. The author comments that it'll only get worse until the NCAA, college presidents, and coaches start working to stop this fan abuse. Click here for the on-line article.

It has been really nasty and raw here today - temperatures in the 40s with drizzle and damp. It's supposed to be near 70 on Monday. Next, though, they're calling for snow showers on Tuesday. Sounds kind of like spring, doesn't it.

We went to the symphony tonight, and the first half was really good. There was a guest violinist, and he is only 28! And playing a 1667 Stradavarius. Exceptional. Unfortunately, sitting that still really cramped John's shoulder, and he was just miserable by intermission. So we left and missed the Rachmaninoff Symphonic Dances. He thought since he can manage basketball games, the concert would be okay. He said he thought it was because he couldn't move it around very much. He's having to learn how far he can push.

Today's photo was taking in our front yard this afternoon. It's a little early spring flower, possibly an early columbine.

Thursday, February 28, 2008


Today was a slow, catch-up day. We only went out for lunch and the basketball game. John's feeling better today. He paced himself better on his home exercises.

I've seen this contest before, but these are new results from the Washington Post contest where the Post asked readers to supply new definitions of words beginning from A to H. Bill Dahn posted these selections on his blog this morning. I've laughed about them all day.

Airstrip - pretending to take your clothes off.

Algebra - Lingerie worn by mermaids.

Bandicoots - The Rolling Stones.

Bumbling - Butt cheeks piercings.

Eggs Benedict - The Pope's edict on fertility treatments.

Farenheit - Moderately tall.

My personal favorite is Eggs Benedict - or maybe Bumbling....

Our UTC Lady Mocs won tonight, beating Western Carolina 72-66, to win the Southern Conference, get the #1 seed in the tournament starting next week in Charleston, and continue having the longest winning streak in NCAA women's basketball. Are we bragging??? You bet!

Followup: I called NetFlix this morning about the bad DVD of La Vie en Rose. They were very nice, a replacement copy has already been mailed, and should arrive tomorrow. Maybe we'll get it watched over the weekend.

Followup: Vicki's mom has been admitted to a skilled care facility. She'll be there for at least the 20 days that Medicare will pay for. And that gives the family some breathing room to decide what comes next.

Today's photograph is of a late spring snow above Creede, CO. I hope to have some of our spring blooming tomorrow night.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Winter or spring?

Our high today was 35 and that was even with some periods of sunshine between the snow showers. There was no accumulation here in the river valley. The little bit, with ice, that they they got in some of the higher elevations caused for a lot of school closings and fender-benders. And yet our flowering trees are bursting with color. I'll try to get a photo by the end of the week.

My friend, Vicki, is having to put her 87 year old mother into a nursing home, for at least the time that Medicare will allow. The Senior Evaluation Center has told her that her mother should definitely have someone with her 24/7. They'll have to make the decision as to what comes after the nursing home - full-time care at home, or an assisted living facility. Always such tough decisions to be made.

John had his first PT session this morning. I don't think they hurt him as much as he feared, but they are definitely going to put him through the routines. He has exercises to do at home, too, with 3 more treatments before we leave for Charleston next Wednesday for the basketball tournament. John was really hurting tonight, and he had reached his limit on acetaminophen for the day. He realizes that he worked too hard and overdid his home exercises.

We were going to watch La Vie en Rose tonight, but the Netflix DVD wouldn't play. We're going to send it back with a note, and e-mail them, too. It wasn't our machine. I tried to watch Notes from a Scandal, with Judi Dench and Cate Blanchett, but gave up about a third of the way through - I really didn't care what happened to the characters.

Today's photo is some apple blossoms from Colorado.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Crabtree Gallery

We three organizers of the Crabtree Gallery met with the first group of possible co-op members tonight. Two of the four artists who were there were very enthusiastic and definite. One of the others is a possible yes, and the other a probable no. Two artists who were unable to be with us tonight are probably yes. So that makes five, possibly 7 or 8. That just might be a workable situation. We're setting another meeting up for 3 weeks hence, giving everybody time to think and come up with more ideas and more questions.

The weather has gone nuts again. Our temps dropped from 55 this morning (with rain, lightning, and thunder), to 36 this evening. And it's spitting snow. The higher elevations around us are predicted to get 1-4" of snow overnight. It's never dull weather-wise.

Tonight's photo is not exactly what our snow will look like.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Support your local library

Today was, again, pretty much the standard Monday. John went with me to the Y -and spent his time walking in the warmer therapy pool. I'm glad we found some exercise he could do that was both beneficial and not too stressful. It does take some time to get "back".

Lots of wash got done, and then we were off to bridge. John should've worn his sling to prevent excessive motion, but he did pretty well. The cards were mediocre, but it's always fun. That's one of the things about bridge - there's always hope that the cards will be better the next time.

Our library is starting to be getting some write-ups and letters-to-the-editors in the paper. It surely does need the criticism. The branches are now open only four days a week, and the buying of news books has all but stopped. Our library is a city/county facility, and receives support from both entities - at least that's the plan. The city commission has authorized a sum of money to help with the library's deficit, but it's to be paid only when the county commission matches it. And, although the County Mayor says he supports the matching money, he can't do anything unless at least one of the county commissioners champions the cause. And that hasn't happened. In fact, I've heard that none of the county commissioners even has a library card. I do folks keep talking it up, and talking to their commissioners - trying to get some additional funds for this municipal necessity.

The Lady Mocs beat Georgia Southern to put them solidly in first place in the Southern Conference. They're ahead by two games, with only one more to play. That'll be Thursday night, against Western Carolina, here at home.

Today's photo is of spring snow at Wolf Creek Pass, CO. It's still winter here, too. A front is coming through and I'm really creaky today. They're even talking about some snow on Tuesday or Wednesday. I'll believe that when I see it.

Sunday, February 24, 2008


Today was one of those vegetating days. John and Margaret went to see the Lady Vols play Mississippi State. The Lady Vols won easily, 72-46.

I made a pot of vegetable soup, took a nap, and watched a couple of movies. I didn't watch the Academy Awards - I'll just have to read about it in the paper in the morning.

Today's photo is another watercolor of mine. (Sorry about the flash reflection.)

Saturday, February 23, 2008

A good basketball day!

Wow, what a ballgame - #1 (Memphis) vs #2 (Univ. of TN) - and all from Tennessee! And the Tennessee Vols win in the last minute 66-62. Just the way games should be.

And the rest of the day was pretty good, too. The UTChattanooga Mocs beat Wofford 82-76. Our personal favorites, the Lady Mocs won handily over the College of Charleston 62-36.

John went to the Y and walked in the warm pool again today. That allows him to get some low impact walking, without worrying about falling. Also, he can let his arm float, so it can get some upward motion without his lifting it. He's been managing the pain with acetominophen rather than the prescription pain Rx. Best of all, he stayed up until the ballgame was over.

Today was a raw, gray day - one of those days when you're glad to stay in and watch ballgames.

Today's picture is one of my older watercolors - just to remind us of spring.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Good news, for a change

I heard a wonderful story this morning. A lady I know told us that she had had twin sons when she was young and unmarried. She gave them up for adoption. When the adoption secrecy rules were relaxed, she and one of her three daughters started looking for these (now) men.
She found them last year, and has been happily reunited with them. In one fell swoop, she has gained two sons, two daughters-in-law, and five grandchildren - one family in Florida, one in California. She says it's amazing how well they all get along and fit together.

We hear so much bad news these days, about so many things - especially about dysfunctional families. This is the kind of story that is really heart-warming. It was so great of her to share this story with us.

Today's picture is of the lunar eclipse of 20 February 2008, from the Astronomy Picture of the Day web site - by Jerry Black, of Voorhees, NJ.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Bodies and Hair

We went downtown this evening to Rock Point Books for an author's talk and book-signing. The author was Jefferson Bass, which is the nom de plume of John Jefferson and William Bass. Dr. Bass is a forensic anthropologist, and is the founder of the University of Tennessee's Anthropology Research Facility -- the Body Farm. Surely you've heard of it, a place where donated bodies are left to decay naturally so that forensic scientists can study the processes and use that knowledge to aid law enforcement agencies. Patricia Cornwell wrote a book called The Body Farm. There is also a TV series called Bones (based on books by Kathy Reichs) where the protagonist is a forensic anthropologist.

These are two fascinating men, who have written a series of books - fiction and nonfiction. We haven't read any of them, but after listening to their talk, we're surely going to change that. Click here ( )to get to the Jefferson Bass web site.

After our regular Thursday lunch, we went to get haircuts. John had decided that he wanted a new, easier to care for, look. And that's today's photo. First the glasses went, then the mustache, and now the hair. I like the look. What do you think?
p.s. I just heard on the news that Candace Parker (UT Lady Vols) has decided to forego her last year of eligibility and go into the WNBA.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

It's all about the water!

Did you hear about the attempted land grab on NBC news tonight? That's right here in our back yard. I tried to find a link on the NBC web site, but couldn't find one. It seems that about 200 years ago, the GA/TN border was supposed to be set at the 35th parallel. The surveyor, using the best tools and knowledge available at the time, plotted the line. Now they find out, with all today's sophisticated GPS and mapping technology, the line is about a mile south of the parallel.

If the line were on the 35th parallel, GA would have access to the water in the Tennessee River (which GA does not now have). And now, the GA Legislature has passed a resolution saying that the line should be moved. Needless to say, TN isn't going to let this happen without a big fight. Such a move would puts lots of Tennesseans in GA, including part of the city of Chattanooga. This border line is also between GA and North Carolina, but GA doesn't seem to care whether that part of it gets changed or not. Stay tuned.....
We didn't get to see any of the eclipse tonight - just too much cloud cover. Phooey!

Tonight's photo is the lovely table that our hostess set for the High Tea our Swim Group had yesterday.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

High tea

Our swimming group had a lovely tea this afternoon for one of our group who is leaving. She is Turkish, and her husband has been transferred to Indonesia. She's a very nice lady, and is very unhappy about having to leave. Their children are in college here on student visas, and will be staying. We had tea, and lots of of goodies to eat - plates of savories and plates of sweets. Yum! The mini-cheesecakes were a hit, too. And John's glad that there were leftovers.

John hasn't had a good day today. We did an awful lot over the weekend, and it took its toll. He went to bed really early tonight. If the weather's nice tomorrow afternoon, he might go for a walk - just to get some endorphins moving.

We're due to get rain on Thursday, but we're hoping the clouds don't come in too early. Remember, there's a lunar eclipse tomorrow night. Check your local listings for times, and hope that your skies are clear.

Today's photo from Glen Afric Preserve, Scotland. The flower looks like what we'd call fireweed here - some variety of phlox.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Monday again

This Monday has been, if anything, busier than usual. I did get to swimming and coffee, then came home to start the wash. We took Allan to catch the van shuttle to the Nashville airport about noon. He has called and is back home - even though the plane was two hours late leaving Nashville.

We went to play bridge, and found it had been called off because the facility was being painted. This was decided by the director at the Civic Center where we play. We were a bit miffed that nobody had called us, and even the lady at the front desk didn't know it has been cancelled. But we survived, came home, and got in some much-needed naptime.

We had an early snack-dinner and went to the ballgame. The Lady Mocs easily handled Wofford - 85-63. We also picked up our tickets for the Southern Conference Tournament in Charleston 6-11 February.

I still had stuff to make for a farewell tea that we're having tomorrow for one of our swimmers who is moving at the end of the month. I'm making some exceptionally easy mini-cheesecakes. (Recipe on request) YUM! At least I don't have to get up early in the morning.

Bev touted me on a new blog, Life on a Small Island . It's written by a woman who is renovating an old house on a tiny island in the Orkneys in Scotland. It's a gorgeous area. We loved our time there. Today's photo is of the Isle of Hoy, in the Orkneys.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Nut magnets

We just got lots of rain (1.1") today - and we'll take every drop.

Our "dinner party" last night was really fun. Margaret was here - she says that John and I are "nut magnets". I guess that's a pretty good description, and we wear it as a badge of honor. We're lucky to have some pretty fantastic friends.

I got a couple of lasagnas and some of corn from the Smiths out of the freezer for dinner. What a great meal that makes, with minimal work. To me, it's as easy to make a bunch of lasagnas as it is to make one. Then I have a "casserole" to take to friends for an illness or a death, or for company when I don't feel like cooking. We had the leftovers tonight for supper. Just some short naps, but the guys have gone to bed, and I won't be long.

At least the Lady Vols won tonight - at Vanderbilt, 81-68! We have our next-to-last Lady Mocs home game tomorrow night.

We just hung out around the house today, talking. John went all day with his arm out of the sling. Of course, he didn't leave the house. His goal is to be able to row by July, and I know he's going to work hard. Tomorrow will be another busy Monday.

Tonight's photo is John and Allan sitting around talking after dinner.

Another late night

It was another late night tonight. I'm just going to check in and then hit the bed. We had a great dinner party tonight - there were eight of us, and we laughed and told lies until 1 a.m. Haven't done that in years.

So just a few words and no photo tonight. Keep well until tomorrow.

Saturday, February 16, 2008


Just a quickie tonight. It's very late, and I'm just getting my computer stuff done. Those of us who are trying to get a co-operative gallery started had a meeting with John's and my lawyer this afternoon. He was very helpful - giving us advice and suggestions, and answering questions for us. I think we had a productive meeting. He'll continue to advise us via e-mail, now that we've had some personal contact.

He's an old and dear friend, and we were thrilled to fly him down here from NYC for a meeting, because that meant we got to visit with him for the weekend. He's not heading home until Monday. We've talked all afternoon and evening, and only took a short break to eat at Blue Orleans (our Cajun restaurant). Yum!

Today's picture is one of a new bridge over the River Clyde in Glasgow, Scotland.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

A busy Thursday

This was a long, busy day - as this has been a long, busy week. Thursday is my day to do "not much", except go to lunch. But today wound up being "do everything else" day.

I started out with a pedicure. I know, I know - Poor me! But, trust me, it's a necessity, not a luxury. Well, maybe it is luxurious, but foot care is still something that I can't do myself. (That's my story, and I'm sticking with it!) Next for the weekly Wal-Mart trip. Because we're having company this weekend, with some folks over for dinner on Saturday, I decided to postpone the weekly chore until today.

About the time, we got the groceries taken care of, it was time to head out to lunch. We had fun with Dalton and Don, as usual, and told lots of lies and jokes. We had a couple of stops to make on the way home, and then got to take a short break.

Margaret got here about 2, then she and John left to go to Knoxville for the Lady Vols/LSU game. What a disaster that turned out to be! The Lady Vols had a terrible night, and LSU pretty much whomped up on them Final score 78/62. It was really bad.

The Chattanooga New Free Press had an article about our swimming class in the local Community News section on Wednesday. Unfortunately, for some unknown reason, there isn't a link to it on their web site. The author used one of my photos of folks in the pool with the article. Today's photo is that one.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The surgeon and the plan

We went to the doctor this afternoon. He's very pleased with his handiwork, and says everything looks good. There were only a couple of stitches over the arthroscopy site, and the rest is Steri-Strips - they'll fall off soon. He's given John a couple more self exercises to do at home (still not lifting against gravity), and he is to start formal PT in two weeks. He can be without the sling in the house and relatively quiet, but will wear it when sleeping or for comfort.

He can drive short distances, but nothing long. I told the doc that we would be going to Charleston in early March for the basketball tournament, and he said that I would be doing the driving. That's fine - I've done it before by myself, and we'll be taking an overnight break in Aiken, SC, on the way over. He got some milder pain Rx and is to return in 5 1/2 weeks.
He's to have PT scheduled twice a week for about 10 weeks. I asked about travel, and he said that short trips would be okay - that it'd probably be good to take a break from the PT once or twice. So now we'll talk about that. Just wanted to bring everybody up to date.
Kate's been without power for two days now, because of an ice storm. Fortunately they've been in a motel. The stuff in their fridge and freezer should be okay for another day or two. They've got the two dogs with them; the cats are staying to guard the house.

Today's photo is of an unusual cloud hovering around the crest of Sleeping Ute Mountain, CO.

Your Library

John sees the doctor tomorrow afternoon, and I'm assuming they'll get him started on PT then. I think he really pushed himself to the limit yesterday, with the drive to Knoxville (even though Margaret did all the driving), walking on campus, and the ballgame. But he's planning to do it again on Thursday for the LSU game. (Gee, what a surprise!)

I had a Friends of the Library Board meeting this afternoon. Part of that included a tour of the mail library for the new Board members. I've been a library user and advocate my entire life. I can't remember my first trip to the library or my first library card - it's something I've always done. I was amazed at all the things that are happening in this facility. Our library has the largest collection of local documents anywhere in this region - newspaper clippings, magazines, city index books, private papers of public figures. This area played a major role in the Civil War, and there are pension records and burial records of thousands of soldiers - Union and Confederate. There is a archivist section to work on conservation of these documents. There are business histories; automobile manuals; how-to books. DVDs, CDs of any type you can imagine. Children's books, programs. Boxes of books taken to daycare centers, and changed out every month. And much, much more. And all of this is available for free. At least free to the patron, the child, the student, the senior citizen.

But these services AREN'T free. They have to be paid for. And, it's incredible that the library is one of the first places where local governments cut funding. Check out your local library, and ask your librarian to take you on a tour to show you what's available. I guarantee you that you'll be surprised! Then get in touch with your local representatives and convince them to be advocates for library support! A city without a first-class library will always be a second class city.

It's been raining hard tonight, so today's photo is rain-wet stones at Clava Cairns, Scotland.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Think Pink!

The Women's Basketball Coaches Association is sponsoring THINK PINK! this week - to raise awareness about Breast Cancer and to raise money for research for treatment. The color pink is everywhere in games everywhere this week. Usually, the home team is wearing white, sometimes trimmed in pink; the visiting team wears pink uniforms, no matter what their usual color is. And all the coaches have on pink somehow - even the men are wearing pink ties. The referees are using pink whistles. I understand even the players in a hockey game wore pink.

Margaret and John wore pink to the Lady Vols game tonight (Lady Vols 59, Rutgers 58). At Thompson-Boling, they put pink t-shirts on every seat in the lower tier of seats, so everybody in the stands had on pink. Even the men's coach, Bruce Pearl, was there with a pink shirt, pink ballcap, and pink-and-white sneakers.

This was John's first major outing, and it pretty much wore him out. I'm pretty sure, though, that he'll be ready to head back to Knoxville on Thursday to the UT/LSU game.

We may all overdose on Pepto-Bismol pink before the week is out, but it surely is making people more aware of the problem of breast cancer. And, with any luck, will bring more money and progress in new diagnostic procedures and treatment options.

Today's photo is, of course, John and Margaret in pink.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Dalton Roberts, Guest Journalist

We received Dalton's Sunday Journal yesterday, and it was too good not to share with you. So, with Dalton's permission, I'll reprint it here.

Eric Butterworth reminded me of Norman Vincent Peale (one of my heroes) when I first came across his writings. Over the years I bought some of his books and each one gifted me with at least one idea that lodged in my mind and would not go away. In The Universe is Calling the idea that got me was, "Don't try to make a decision. Your need is to discover a decision."

So many of the business management books talk about being "a decisive manager" and the dangers of procrastination until one gets the feeling their success lies in being a decision-making machine. My experience is almost the opposite. I find that the worst decisions are made when we feel like we must make a decision.

Why is this true? I think it is because a feeling of franticness is no basis for a sound decision. When we feel we must make a decision, we probably shouldn't.

The first question to ask ourselves in a moment of panic when we feel we must act, is what brought on this feeling of franticness? The place to look for the answer is within the feeling itself.

Ask yourself, How much fear is in this feeling? Where does this fear come from? What triggered it? Once we remove fear from a decision-making process, the chances of making a sound decision multiply.

Another thing Eric's words point up is that in discovering a decision, intuition is activated. To sense this for yourself, get quiet and say to yourself, "I must make a decision" and notice how your brain only responds. Now say, "I must discover a decision" and notice how your whole being settles into that thought.

What's going on here? You are activating your intuition. The two "kivker words" in these two statements are "make" and "discover." "Make" denotes effort and stress and "discover" stirs up excitement, energy and fun.

Speaking of fun, we need to work a little fun into our decision-making times. It may seem that seriousness is called for but seriousness constipates the mind, body and soul. When someone tells you, "Get serious!" always smile and keep smiling until the serious feeling fades.
I took a self-development course one time and they had what they called "the seriousness exercise." It convinced me to avoid seriousness except where lightheartedness would be considered rude, unpatriotic or inconsiderate.

You may say, "Oh, but how can you not be serious about sickness, divorce, death and some of the grim realities of life?" My response is that no reality is grim. It may be necessary and bring some unhappy feelings but look at it as necessary, not grim. Death is necessary or we would over-populate Earth. We'd have to give up sex and, my friends, that would be grim.

The worst decisions we will ever make will be when we feel grim about the situation we are trying to decide upon. If we feel we must make" (manufacture) a decision we will tend toward grimness. If we see that good decisions are discovered, we touch the situation with creativity and even a little playfulness.

I once taught a college course in creativity and reviewed the research to discover the most effective way to activate our creativity is playfulness. It sounds silly but it's only silly if we are too serious.

When we are discovering a decision, we feel ourselves reaching out with our whole being, rather than just our minds. We feel the tentacles of our creativity pulling in ideas from all directions. We tap into joyous energy.
While I hope some of these ideas will help you discover the decisions you wish to make, you will find that discovering a decision is easier to do than to describe. There are no automatic formulae for creativity. The fun lies in discovering what works for you.

Today's photo is the discovery of the beautiful light of a sun-dog over the Tennessee River.

Saturday, February 09, 2008


I found a whole new world today. Sometimes, we find there's a parallel universe out there, and we're just not in it. Anyhow, I volunteered to help out at the Library this morning with something called Anime. I had NO idea what this was, except that it involved sewing and kids in some way. I guess I was expecting a bunch of "tweeny", giggling girls doing something. Well, that wasn't it, for sure.

In the Library's auditorium, laid out on tables, were t-shirts, fabric paints, transfers, books on costumes, irons, sewing machines, and lots of fabric remnants. When I asked just what Anime was, I was told that it was about Japanese animation films. The organizer ran a film called "Millineum Actress" as the kids were coming in. It was Japanese with English subtitles, something about a teenage unknown actress.

Imagine my surprise when the first one to show up was a teenage boy, then three more boys came in. There were ultimately about 14 kids, mid to late teens (I guess), and 9 of them were boys. They were there to make costumes for what is obviously a role-playing-type thing. This was another new word for me - "cosplay" - short for "costume play". Several of the kids had carefully done drawings of the outfit they wanted to make. These were serious, creative youngsters.

My role consisted mainly of getting the sewing machines ready for them, and showing them how to work the machines. Then, they were good to do. It was fun to see when working so hard and with such intensity.

We watched a neat romantic comedy tonight - A Good Year (2006), with Russell Crowe and Marion Cotillard (La Vie en Rose). It's a nice little movie, and well worth an evening's watching. I've put La Vie en Rose next on our Netflix list - Cotillard is gorgeous, and it'll be interesting to see how she does in that Oscar-nominated performance.

Today's photo is a reflection in the River Clyde in Glasgow.

News of the day

If you're interested in World War I, you might be interested in this. On the NBC news tonight, Williams reported on a man who had found his (I think) grandfather's letters from WW I. The grandson decided to share them, and they are being published in a blog. Each letter is being published on the anniversary date of its original writing. Click here to get to the blog.

There have been multiple big news stories here this week. The Presidential Primaries, of course, and the tornadoes. In North Georgia, a deputy in a sheriff's department was charged with the murder of his wife, who vanished last Spring.

Some Georgia legislators want to move the GA/TN border one mile north. This would give Georgia access to the water in the Tennessee River. The Tennessee River does not now flow through GA, so GA has no claim on that water. And GA has coveted that water for a long time. Their claim now is that the surveyor who marked the line nearly 200 years ago had poor equipment, and miscalculated where the line was supposed to be.

But maybe the biggest story is about the Hamilton County Sheriff (Chattanooga's county). The FBI has been building a case against him since March. He was charged with extortion, money laundering, possession of cocaine with intent to sell, making it possible for a convicted felon to purchase a firearm. The FBI's informant was a felon known to the sheriff. If only half of this is true, it was SO dumb!

Our friend, Dalton Roberts (one-time County Executive), wrote in his column this morning: (Politicians) need to behave as if the eyes of little school children are on them at all times. These are very sacred things. They control the destiny of our nation. We are strong enough to stand almost anything except greed, corruption and prostituted power in high places.

Today's photo is a petroglyph from the Four Corners area of the Southwest US. Perhaps the spiral is to remind us that everything comes back to its beginning.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Mother Nature

There were so many deaths from the tornadoes Tuesday and Wednesday. I looked at the Nashville paper on line, and looked at news and pictures of damage in Sumner County. One twister leveled a small town of Castalian Springs in Sumner County. A young mother was killed, and, miraculously, her small boy was found alive where he had been thrown into a field.

One of the great historic sites in Castalian Springs is Wynnewood. This huge inn was built in the late 18th Century, two stories, with two dog trots. It's an amazingly elegant inn for the time and location. It suffered a huge hit from this tornado. Click here for an aerial picture of what's left of Wynnewood. If you continue through the slide show, there are other photos of the damage.

There are connections here. We had a small plot of land and built a cabin on the river about 10 miles south of here - we turned off the highway just past the post office (that was totally destroyed). And Shelley Mays, the photographer, is the daughter of friends of ours here in Chattanooga.
Mother Nature can be very cruel sometimes, and yet She can give back - like with that young boy in Castalian Springs.

Today's picture is of some lovely Scottish flowers to remind us of the beauty that's out there.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

This is winter?

Do you check A Word A Day? If you love language, go to Wordsmith to check out today's word. It changes every weekday. At the end of each day's entry, the Wordsmiths offer a Bonus quote. Here are two recent ones that I think bear repeating:

The door of a bigoted mind opens outwards so that the only result of the pressure of facts upon it is to close it more snugly. -Ogden Nash, author (1902-1971)

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed -- and hence clamorous to be led to safety -- by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary. -H.L. Mencken, writer, editor, and critic (1880-1956)

That incredibly dangerous line of thunderstorms blew through here as I was getting ready to leave for the Y this morning. Fortunately I turned on the TV to check on how long it was going to rain, and all they were talking about was the tornado warning that was posted for Chattanooga and surrounding areas. Needless to say, I didn't go to the Y, and the classes weren't held. It was pretty scary here, but no damage in the city. There was a lot of damage just south of us in Alabama. And the damage and loss of life in West Tennessee, AR, MS, and AL is just terrible. This is weather for Spring - not February. Our hearts go out to those suffering. And this afternoon, the wind blew, the temperature fell, and the sun was shining brightly!

Today's photo is Lizard Pass, along the San Juan Skyway in CO - just to remind ourselves that it's still winter.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Super Tuesday

We had a record high of 74 today - the previous record was 72. The weather guy said that it would've gone to 80 if the sun had been out more of the day. Definitely not like February. Plus all those tornadoes in AR and near Memphis.

John's followup appointment got pushed back to Wednesday of next week. He's having more discomfort, but overall is still doing well.

Basketball news: UT 104, Florida 82! Women: Rutgers 73, UConn 71 - HOORAY!!! And now our UTC Lady Mocs have the longest winning streak in women's basketball. But the Lady Vols have to play Rutgers next Monday. I would like to think that Bobby Knight is now out of college basketball forever. Personally, I'd like to see him drop off the edge of the world! I couldn't believe it when Texas Tech hired him after he'd been forced to resign from Indiana in disgrace.

Super Tuesday is almost over - we're three hours ahead of California, so votes probably aren't counted there. It looks like Clinton won the Democratic Primary in Tennessee; Obama won in Georgia and Alabama. Huckabee won the Republican primary in Tennessee, with McCain second; Georgia Republicans did the same. We love to read election returns in the paper - to see how different local precincts voted. I'd like to think we might get a break from all the political blathering - at least briefly. It's gonna be a long year.

Today's picture was taken in an industrial area along the River Clyde, in Glasgow, Scotland - just because I like the picture.

Monday, February 04, 2008


John's doing well today. I took the dressing off, and he took a shower. After redressing the incision (stitches plus steri-strips), and getting himself dressed, he was really worn out. He managed to rally enough to go to the ballgame tonight, though.

Our Lady Mocs struggled to win over Davidson tonight 73-62. It was ugly, but our star, Alex Anderson, had a career high of 39!!! points. She's amazing.

Mondays are always full and busy. After swimming today, we met with a reporter from the newspaper's community news section. She's doing a piece on our swimming class. It's to be in the paper a week from Wednesday. I'll put up a link when it goes on-line. I got in a trip to Wal-Mart, and started the laundry. John didn't go to bridge - he was saving himself for basketball. I had medium cards, but I was second high last week.

We've had relatively warm temperatures today, with rain most of the day. By the time we headed to the ballgame, the fog was settling in, and it was really thick on the way home. I'm glad I don't have to be up and out early in the morning.

Today's photo is fog along the Cumberland River last November.

Sunday, February 03, 2008


The only time either of us left the house today was to go get the paper. I think John's really starting to get cabin fever. There was some sunshine today, but some rain, also. The novocaine pump was empty, so I got to remove that this morning. There was only about 2" of the hair-thin tubing to remove - and it slid out easily. The hard part was getting to that point - about a foot or so was coiled up and taped to his arm with some thin film. Once I got that loose, the rest was easy. And he even took a semi-shower. He says he hasn't had much pain today.

The Lady Vols had a pretty easy time with Kentucky this afternoon. John actually watched most of the Super Bowl. There was a marathon of The Closer, and I mostly watched that.

Kate send photos of The Sweater now that it's finished. The sleeves are way too long, and she'll havfe to cut them off and add new cuffs, but that's not too hard. It is gorgeous, and she's very pleased with it.

Of course, today's photos are of Kate and The Sweater.


John felt good enough to go to the ballgame this afternoon - Lady Mocs 71, Appy State 55 - after a really bad (on our part) first half. One of my swimming friends brought us some yummy soup this afternoon - potato/cheese. So nice!
John commented tonight that when I started going to the YMCA, just to get some exercise, I got an incredible extra benefit. I found a whole new family of friends. This group of folks has become a great support group - encouraging exercise, of course. But also there to celebrate birthdays and weddings and other joyous events. To say nothing of the love and support given during illness and surgery and death. We've turned into a family. It's what the Cajuns call Lagniappe, getting something unexpected and good.

Tonight's photo is our swim group.

Saturday, February 02, 2008


I'm late writing tonight. Our PBS station showed what might've been a rerun - an American Masters about Carol Burnett. And who could stop watching her! Heavens, what a talent! And as John said when it was over, weren't we lucky to have been in that time when she was doing her show.
I have a scattered bunch of thoughts to talk about tonight. On Bill Moyers Journal tonight, he quoted a question that Katie Couric asked presidential candidates: " which book, other than the Bible, would you take with you to the White House?". Then Moyers asked which book his viewers would want the next president to read, and to post that answer on his blog. Think about it and go to his blog at to post it. If you do that, come here and let me know what you choose. I'm still working on it, but I'll post it here when I come up with one.
There was an article in the paper the other day about the huge number of people who were falling for on-line scams. I was amazed that, according to this, people have lost $100 million to the Nigerian scam. It's incredible that people are still falling for that one. I guess there really IS a sucker born every minute.
In today's paper, Dalton Roberts tells a story about an 81 year old woman in France who goes to a park every day in good weather, and holds up a sign that says "Available to talk." What a great gift she is giving to the world - a reminder that good still exists. She could've just stayed home, but here she is, offering to listen to and talk with people. What a great idea. Take some time to just offer to listen.

John's doing well. The nerve block has worn off, and he's starting to have some pain, but that's to be expected. He has done some of the "elephant swing" exercises, and that certainly got his attention. Thanks for all the good wishes.
Today's picture is to let you know that spring will come - apple blossoms in CO.