Friday, May 30, 2008

Moving stuff

Preparatory to the upcoming move for Studio2 & Gallery2, I've moved all my stuff back home. And a lot of "stuff" it is! All the painting tools are in the garage - so basically unusable for the duration. Vicki's hoping to be able to reopen by 17 June. It took a little more time than expected to get the city inspections done.

All the paintings are leaning against walls in the dining room. I didn't want to have them in the damp, moldy garage. John has an idea for naming the non-objective paintings. He's going to get photos made of everything (which should be done in any case), and show them to a musical friend. He hopes that between them, they can come up with musical titles for them. 'Twill be interesting!

Today's photo is near Bald River Falls - Renee as a 2008 version of September Morn.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Bad and the Beautiful

We got some unpleasant news today. We needed our prescriptions rewritten, and our family doc (for 20 years) said we needed to come in. We did, and he told us that he is leaving private practice as of 30 June. He's still a young man, and we were sure we'd be able to keep him for the rest of our lives. But he says with the overhead of the office and the declining insurance payments, he just can't manage anymore. He's going to be working full time for the city and the power board (electricity provider). He's been working for them part-time. It's pretty bad when a doc has to work two jobs to make ends meet. He's been so good to us, and we've enjoyed seeing him "grow up". He literally has just started in practice when we started going to him. We do wish him well, but really hate to lose him.

Sunday, when we drove home from the wedding, we took the "scenic route". We mostly stayed off the interstate, heading for the lovely areas along the Tellico River and the Cherohala Skyway. We wanted to show off some of our lovely scenery, so John headed to Bald River Falls. This large, road-side waterfall is almost impossible to photograph because of its orientation - especially on sunny days. Sunday was no exception, but I did get a couple of nice close-ups.

The overlook on the Cherohala Skyway gives a good example of why they're called the "Great Smoky Mountains". East Tennessee really does have some gorgeous scenery. Come visit sometime.

Two photos today - Bald River Falls, and the view from the Overlook.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


We're almost back to what we laughingly call normal around here. Sue and her bunch will be here overnight in about 10 days, but that's all until we head to the beach.

It was such a treat to have Allan and Renee here. It'd be great if they decide to move here in a couple of years.

I did get to Studio2 today. I didn't paint any, but it was good to see everybody again. I guess she'll be moving to the new shop in the next week or so. That'll keep us busy.

We're still basking in the glow of the wedding weekend. I forgot to mention that Jesse called the afternoon of the wedding. He was trying to find Matt to talk to him, but Matt had his phone turned off. Instead, we ALL got to talk to Jesse for a few minutes. It was definitely a special extra!
Today's photo is one of Jesse during his state-side training.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Almost back in the groove (rut??)

The wedding was perfect! Gorgeous weather, everything went off without a hitch. I think there were 27 counting as the groom's "family". The bride's family could not have been more cordial, welcoming, making us feel comfortable. They really made us feel as if we were now part of their extended family. John and I even were the the ones married the longest in the "married couples dance", with two long-time-friend couples coming in 2nd and 3rd.

I can't believe I didn't take a single picture - except for a few of Margaret with her camera. I'll be getting a disc of her photos soon, I hope. Now I can't wait to see Margaret's pictures, and the formal pictures.

We took the scenic route home on Sunday, and got home about 7. Allan and Renee came home with us - they'll be going back home on Wednesday. Allan really wants to move back here, and we've been showing Renee around, hoping that she'll love Chattanooga as much as we do.

We had 7 folks over last night for dinner - making 11 in all. And, nope, I don't have room for 11 anywhere. We put 6 in the dining room and 5 at the table out on the deck. I marinated several pieces of pork loin (olive oil, white wine, garlic, parsley, rosemary, fresh ginger) all day. John cooked it on the grill, and I cut it into medallions to serve. Vegetables: Margaret's canned green beans and frozen corn from their garden. Salad: crudites (cut up fresh veggies) from Wal-Mart. Bread: yeast and sourdough rolls from W-M. Dessert: Pound cake and fresh fruit from W-M. Drinks: iced tea, coffee, beer, wine, soft drinks. It was a great party, good folks, lots of talking. The pork loin was probably the best we've ever done. And the four of us finished up the leftovers tonight.

All in all, this weekend made for one of the great memories of a lifetime.

Today's photo is a repeat of the engagement picture of the now-married couple.

Memorial Day's True Meaning, by Leroy Sievers

Memorial Day's True Meaning

The faces all have one thing in common. They all look normal. They look just like us.

I'm talking about the montage of photos of those killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. A number of newspapers ran the picture galleries yesterday for Memorial Day.

The soldiers pictured were mostly young. There were few women in this group. There were a few in their 40s, and even 50s. You wonder, what the heck were they doing over there?

Each picture represents a life cut short. It represents a family with an empty chair at the dining room table.

Memorial Day has been changed forever for these families. It's no longer a day off from work and an occasion for a picnic.

Now it truly is a day for remembering, and for sadness.

I wonder how many people stopped to look at those pictures in the papers.

Do we hear what they are saying? Do we learn the lessons bought so dearly?

I hope so.

At the same time, it troubles me that these photos usually only show up on Memorial Day, tucked in between the ads for the weekend's sales.

I think we need to be reminded every day that this country has sent thousands of its best into harm's way. They were there yesterday while the rest of us enjoyed the holiday.

They are there today. They will be there tomorrow.

We cannot forget.
-- Leroy Sievers


Sorry, dear Readers - no real entry tonight. We had a houseful of crazy people for dinner tonight. Lots of fun, but I'm really tired. I'll bring you up to date next time.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day

Please read this Memorial Day tribute from RN Clara Hart, and hold Jesse in your heart.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Home from the Wedding

We got home about 7 tonight, after taking the scenic road home from Johnson City. Allan & Renee came home with us for a few days, and will be leaving on Wednesday.

The wedding could not have been more beautiful. Everything went so well - the bride and her mother did a super job, making everyone comfortable, welcome, and well taken care of. The groom's "friends and family" had a great time visiting between events.

I can't believe I didn't take a single picture - except for a few of Margaret with her camera. I'll be getting a disc of her photos soon, I hope. John and I even won during the "married couples dance" for being the ones married the longest, with our two best-friend couples coming in 2nd and 3rd.

Anyhow, we're home, now. We're tired and are crashing.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Friends ARE Family!

We got to Johnson City about noon today. Some of the folks had come in last night, and the rest arrived over the course of the afternoon. We appropriated a section of the hotel lobby and talked and talked.

The rehearsal dinner was in a gorgeous old home owned by the bride's uncle. It has beautiful flowers, rhododendrons, peonies, snowball bushes, etc., and a great wrap-around veranda/porch. The rooms are full of his collection of "stuff" - some wonderful antiques, and some wonderful kitchy pieces. Just fun! The barbecue was very good, as was the open bar.

Best was our wonderful family of friends who came from all over to celebrate with us. What would we do without them?!?!?

Thursday, May 22, 2008

How Long? A philosophy

Leroy Sievers was a cameraman for ABC news and worked with Ted Koppel of Nightline on a program about cancer a couple of years ago. Leroy write a 5-day-a-week blog on about his living with cancer. I have recommended it to many folks who are dealing with cancer, but frequently his musings are appropriate for everyone - no matter your age or physical condition. I'm taking the liberty of quoting his entry of 22 May 2008.

How Long?

There was really only one question that people were asking yesterday when the news about Ted Kennedy broke: How long?

There were plenty of doctors willing to go on TV to talk about his case, even though they weren't treating him.

Predictions were made. Prognoses given.

For anyone who's diagnosed, the first question they ask is "how long?" I know that was my first question to the doctor who had just rocked my world. And, that's the first question your loved ones want to ask too. How long will I have this person in my life?

You learn eventually that there is no answer to "how long?" Those predictions and prognoses don't mean anything. If I was diagnosed today, would I ask that same question?

Would "how long" be my first concern? As much as I've learned about cancer, as much as I've learned about myself, the answer is probably yes.
When a limit has been put on your life, when all of a sudden life seems more urgent, you want to know.

"How long?"

When I asked that the first time, the answer was about three months. Here I am, almost 30 months later. What's the lesson here?

I guess it's, what's most important is the living, not the preparing to die. I try to remind myself of that every day. No matter how much time I have left.

-- Leroy Sievers

Today's photo is one of John's - after a dawn rain above Pueblo, CO.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


We got more chores marked off the lists today. We've gotten haircuts and the car washed. John's been to the liquor store to stock up (both to take with us for the weekend, and for the folks who are coming home with us after the wedding). Tomorrow is laundry, some cleaning, changing the beds, and packing. Boy, I'm glad I don't have any responsibilities as far as the actual wedding is concerned. Margaret tells me that we don't have to go to the rehearsal (just the rehearsal dinner). Works for me!

There was an excellent program on PBS tonight,Depression - Out of the Shadows . There is a lot of the various kinds of depression in our family, and this program is definitely worth watching. It's a 90 minute documentary, followed by a 30-minute panel discussion with several psychiatrists. If you missed it, and can't find a rerun on your local station, I'm sure it's available to watch on line.

At this stage in the primary process, trying to settle on a Democratic candidate for president, we have such an incredible choice. I didn't really make a choice between these two candidates, and will enthusiastically support whichever one is the Democratic candidate. At this point, I think it's time for Hillary Clinton to withdraw, and to continue being the excellent U.S. Senator that she has been to this point. Who would have thought that Teddy Kennedy would survive and prosper to become one of the grand old men of the Senate? I think it's possible for HClinton to assume her role as a mover and shaker and influential member of the Senate. And to complete her exceptional career in public service in that job.

Today's photo is a little one watching the penguins at the Tennessee Aquarium.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Getting my head examined?

We've gotten an e-mail from Jesse, and he is "in theater". Other than that, we don't have much information - it's stuff that can't be sent in an e-mail or posted on the net. His folks have talked with him. We'll take any little tidbits we can get.

We got our National Geographic today. My letter was in reference to an article about a Japanese haiku master, with many haiku printed. The article was printed sideways, so in order to read it, you had to hold the book sideways. I found it quite annoying, and did not read the article because of it. My letter was a complaint about the format. Assuming the letters about the sideways article were representative of all the ones they received, those opposed were outvoted 2 to 1. Guess I'm always out of step.

I got my head examined today - more than once. No, not THAT way! I had my teeth cleaned, and went back to the optometrist for a visual field test. Both were fine. Fortunately, my dentist would starve if he depended on me for his income. John has a little loss of his peripheral vision, so that's something he needs to be aware of. That's one of those tests in which they need to dilate the eyes. Yuck!

There were a lot of severe thunderstorms with hail skipping through our area this evening. Fortunately, none of it hit in our neighborhood. I helped sell tickets at the old movie showing at the downtown library at suppertime, so when I finished, we went out to eat. We went to the Olive Garden this time. Had a good dinner - not spectacular, but always consistently good.

Today's photo is a cuttlefish at the Tennessee Aquarium - such an improbable creature!

Busy Monday

This week has gotten totally out of hand - and we're only the grandparents of the groom. No telling what all is going on in Johnson City. On top of doing regular things, we had regular eye appointments scheduled this morning, and we'll have to go back tomorrow afternoon for visual field exams. Regular teeth cleaning for me is in the morning. We've got to get haircuts, and get the car washed, etc., etc. Oh, well - it's certainly no worse than I tell it.

We had some good cards and some really lousy cards today. That's the thing about bridge that keeps you coming back - no two days are ever the same.

The eye doc said my eyes were doing fine, and he was pleased with one thing in particular. I have herpes simplex keratitis in one eye. It's the same virus that causes cold sores, etc. Each episode thins the affected area of the cornea, with the ultimate treatment being a corneal transplant. Fortunately, there are now medications that hold it at bay, and I haven't had a recurrence since going on the Rx. The doc told me today that he had been quite concerned about the possibility of a transplant, because the affected area is off to the side of the eye, and would be a very complicated surgery. Needless to say, I'm VERY glad that there is something that prevents further occurrences, even if it doesn't cure the disease.

Be sure to check the new issue of National Geographic Magazine - there's a major article on Stonehenge, which is enough reason to read it, of course. I've been told that a letter I wrote to the magazine is in this month's issue. We haven't gotten ours yet, so I'll be waiting impatiently to see it.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Some people walk in the rain, others just get wet. -Roger Miller, musician (1936-1992)

Two photos from Google Image to illustrate Roger Miller's quote - I loved them both.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Tidbits - mostly without comment

Today's photo is the editorial cartoon by Clay Bennett in the Sunday Chattanooga Times Free Press. This will surely bring some interesting letters to the editors.
The Vatican, in a Papal Encyclical, announced that it is okay to believe in alien beings.
The ruling military junta in Myanmar refused foreign aid for Burmese refugees from Cyclone Nardis.
GWBush is reported to have told the King of Saudi Arabia that if the Kingdom didn't release more oil it would cause "countries like mine to accelerate our move toward alternative energy". (You'd think we might be doing that in any case.)
All this stuff was in the paper this morning. It's amazing.

There was one filler article about unusual things that people have requested done with their ashes (after cremation, of course). Our girls told me once that they were going to hire the small plane that tows the advertising banner along the beach in Gulf Shores. Towing a banner saying "Happy Trails, Mary", the plane would fly along the shoreline while they scattered my ashes in the ocean. What do you want done with YOUR ashes?

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Book and movie reviews

I spent the morning trying on clothes - one of my VERY least favorite things to do. But I have, with John's approval, picked out what I'm going to wear to the wedding. The rehearsal dinner (BBQ) won't be that much of a problem because it's casual. It did get me to weed out a bunch of clothes that I know I'll never wear, so there was a side benefit.

Today was a lovely day, and we sat out on the porch for a while this afternoon. I got some of our objets d'art cleaned off, some even run through the dishwasher, and put them back on the shelves on the porch. We even had our supper on the deck - and it reminded us why we had it built. It's really perfect this time of year.

Old movies from Netflix: We watched The Graduate (1967; Dustin Hoffman, Anne Bancroft) tonight. I don't think we'd ever seen it when it was out originally. I can certainly understand why it was iconic at the time, to the point of being a cult film. The performances were wonderful (was Dustin Hoffman EVER that young?), and the music (Simon & Garfunkel) was magnificent. But we didn't think the movie, as such, was all that great.

I've just finished Water for Elephants, by Sara Gruen. What a lovely book that is! I recommend it highly.

Today's photo is from the Butterfly Garden at the Tennessee Aquarium.

Friday, May 16, 2008


Dalton's column in the Chattanooga Times Free Press this morning is about teaching children to laugh. What a great goal. How wonderful it would be if we could not only laugh, but laugh at ourselves. I can't seem to get a link to his entire column, but I'll copy some exerpts here. It's just too good!

(T)he best way to diagnose a healthy person is to see if they can laugh good-naturedly at themselves.

Never put a man in a position of power if he takes himself too seriously. He will do you great harm.

Dalton quotes a fellow musician, Al Harvey, about his philosophy and humor: "There's a time for glee and a time for woe, a time to peacock and a time to lay low, and it's up to you to know what time it is".
Just to prove the point, I will quote a story from the Associated Press as printed in our paper this morning.

Out of the Frying Pan, into the fire
Crossville, TN - A Cumberland County couple was arrested and chargd with whacking each other with a frying pan.

Heather and Samuel Newcome are both charged with domestic assault. They told Sheriff's Deputy Timothy Tutor las week that they got into an argument and hit each other with the cookware.

"Both parties had injuries consistent with both of their stories," Tutor says in his report.

Other family members got involved in the fray as well and apparently came to blows, but none decided to file charges.

This is the article in its entirety. No mention was made as to whether or not anybody was actually cooking with the frying pan in question at the time. As Molly Ivins used to say: "I couldn't make this stuff up."

Today's photo is a cartoon from Google Images.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Rainy Thursday

Thursdays are usually pretty quiet - and today was no exception. It has rained almost all day - a lovely slow rain. I haven't checked the gauge, but we had 0.25" this morning.

Betsy called to tell me about Ken's latest trip to MDA. He was supposed to get the set-up for his radiation treatments, but that didn't happen. He had a sinus infection and elevated blood pressure. So instead of going 'to' MDA, he wound up 'in' MDA. He should be back home today, and will have to return next week. It is comforting to know that they are SO on top of everything that's going on with the patients.

We had a good program at the Photo Society tonight. The speaker was Kendall Chiles from Knoxville. He's an instructur at UTK, and also teaches photography at various photo workshops around the country. He a bit different in that he is still using slide film. His photos show that wonderful color and sharpness of print film. When asked where he was able to find film, he said that a lot of students who had switched to digital sold or gave him their left-over film. He knows he'll have to make the change sometime, but doesn't want to have the expense of getting all new digital equipment. I can surely understand that.

Our photos are all digital now - and those are the only ones I post here. Today's picture was taken in the Butterfly Garden of the Tennessee Aquarium.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


We have gotten some off-and-on rain all day today. That's really the good "female" rain. We still have a rainfall deficit going, but it's not continuing to grow every day. I guess that's something. It does give us the creakies, though.
Painting class/group was fun today. I helped the troops try some new techniques. MR was there, and helped with the teaching. Vicki was gone, and I guess that was the chance for the "mice to play".

We had a delicious dinner at Sticky Fingers with our friend. Sharing food is always a good thing.

I also had a great conversation with RL. She called while on her commute from NYC to Queens, and wanted to talk about the "dress code" for the wedding events. We talked about a number of possibilities - always hard for this "fashion plate" (yeah, right!). After all, I'm the one who was told by a friend this morning that I should not wear blue jeans, and under NO circumstances should I wear a t-shirt with writing on it. Well, I guess I can live with that. RL will do fine, and will look lovely, as always.

The photo of the day is a flower from the butterfly enclosure at the Tennessee Aquarium.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Evil Elf, etc.

Do you have an Evil Elf living in your house? There's definitely one here, and I wish he'd go back home. I went through everything in my knitting-stash cabinet yesterday looking for a particular baby sweater pattern. I e-mailed some knitters asking for help to get another copy. This afternoon, I was looking in the cabinet for needles, and there, right on top, was that DAMNED pattern! I just HATE it when that happens. One of these days I'm gonna catch that obnoxious Elf (and hope it doesn't take until Xmas).

Kids are so DAMNED creative! Go to the Google home page. Under the search window, there may a line that says "Over 16,000 children drew doodles for Google's homepage. Vote for the one that will appear here." There are 10 finalists from each of four different grade groups, and you can vote for one in each group. They are incredible! Be sure to vote, if you can find the link.

John turned on the NBA playoff tonight, and there was a promo ad for the WNBA. The spokesperson was Candace Parker! This young woman is SO hot! She had not yet played a regular WNBA game, and is already filming ads. We wish her all the best.

Bonus (from A Word A Day): This is my living faith, an active faith, a faith of verbs: to question, explore, experiment, experience, walk, run, dance, play, eat, love, learn, dare, taste, touch, smell, listen, argue, speak, write, read, draw, provoke, emote, scream, sin, repent, cry, kneel, pray, bow, rise, stand, look, laugh, cajole, create, confront, confound, walk back, walk forward, circle, hide, and seek. To seek: to embrace the questions, be wary of answers. -Terry Tempest Williams, naturalist and author (b. 1955)

Today's photo is from an "evil elf" image search on Google.

Monday, May 12, 2008

No power, no computer, no blog - sorry

Our day yesterday wasn't too great. With all the strong winds, something blew on our neighborhood transformer, and the power went out. We were "dark" from about 3 p.m. yesterday afternoon until about 5:30 a.m. this morning. There was laundry half-done in the washer and dryer - so I'm having to finish that up today. John was cleaning all the nasty pollen and oak flowers off the deck, and couldn't use the electric blower. He wound up using the hose, and that probably did a better job.

It was good to talk to all of the girls on Mothers' Day.

My complaints about the lack of power sound pretty pitiful, in the face of the cyclone in Burma, the earthquake in China, and the terrible swath of tornadoes and wildfires here at home. Our hearts go out to these people in their distress. I guess, especially the folks in Burma, whose rulers seem to want them to suffer even more, rather than get them some international assistance.

Margaret wrote to tell us "how kind everyone was at the airport Tuesday when we sent Jesse back to NJ. Granted, there weren't many folks at the airport, but the ladies working the counter OFFERED to give us escort passes to go through security and sit with Jesse while he waited for his flight. The lady behind him at the food court had a fit making sure Jesse got served in his turn. A (very young) TSA agent thanked him for his service. When Jesse asked me for a quarter to round out his payment for a soda at the magazine stand, the lady waived it off as a discount. When they lined up to board, they called for active duty military to line up with the "A" group (Jesse was obviously the only one of those on his flight). Pretty cool, huh? Even more cool if you remember the 60s & 70s."

Look at this guy and his mom!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Watches and watching

The severe weather alerts are out again tonight. The weather guessers are certainly getting their extra air-time this spring. We're under a tornado watch until 5 a.m.

We watched one of those quirky British comedies tonight - Death at a Funeral (2007). I had heard about it on SeniorNet - some liked it and some didn't. It's definitely different, but we enjoyed it, and got a bunch of out-loud laughs.

We're trying to work out a travel schedule for this fall. We're looking at the rail trip through the Copper Canyon in Mexico, and would like to work it in with visits to family in New Mexico and California. With any luck, we can make this work.

Today's photo is the happy couple opening The Afghan. The big day is only two weeks off.

Friday, May 09, 2008


Our local PBS station announced back the winter that the Antiques Road Show was going to tape a show here in Chattanooga. Tickets would be apportioned by lottery, and we could put our names in the pot. I did so and WOW!!!!! I actually got two tickets! ;D ;D The e-mail came on Friday. The taping will be 19 July. I don't remember when the show is to be broadcast, but it'll be in 2009 sometime. Each of us can take two items for them to look at.

I'm not sure what we'll be taking yet, but we'll be down in the garage looking through boxes. Possibilities include the gramophone and cylinders; the folding rocking chair; Jean's favorite, the ugly pitcher; my great-grandmother's portrait. I'm excited!

We've gotten an e-mail from Jesse, and he was to leave Friday evening sometime for Kuwait. He said they were flying in a civilian aircraft. It surely is nice to know that, at least so far, he's as close as e-mail.

Today's photo is one of my acrylic paintings.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Head to toe

Our Thursday lunch was with the usual bunch of kooks - we do have fun and a lot of laughs. Guess that's what it should all be about!

Today was also a personal grooming day for me - toes to head. Started with a pedicure, and ended with haircuts. We love those "ends", and try to ignore the parts in the middle.

Jesse is scheduled to arrive in Kuwait sometime today or tomorrow. He's to be there for two weeks, then go to his posting in Iraq. Of course, we're all holding him extra close now.

Today's photo is of Jesse and his proud Mom.

Short today

The Post-American World by Fareed Zakaria is the thought-provoking cover story from this week's Newsweek. It's a little long, but, agree or disagree, I think it's well worth the read.

What do the pundits mean when they talk about "the metric"? I assume they mean some marker of counting results, but I haven't been able to figure it out. Guess I haven't been paying enough attention.
Today was a lovely warm day. We haven't had to turn on our air conditioner yet - but it's only a few days away

We've got some beautiful roses in bloom around here. Today's photo is from Prague, but a rose is a rose is a rose. (sorry)

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

"Electile Dysfunction"

And the campaign for the nomination continues. Dear Dalton - thank you for giving us the diagnosis - ELECTILE DYSFUNCTION. This process has really gotten out of hand - it's WAY too long.

We had another gorgeous spring day today. But the rain deficit for the year keeps growing, and, of course, that has to be added on to that of the previous couple of years. I have to say, though, that we've gotten enough along the way that our grass is growing. I surely am glad that we have somebody doing the yard for us now.

Have I showed you any of the greeting cards that I've been painting to sell? Each is different - this is an example.

BONUS QUOTE: The louder he talks of honour, the faster we count our spoons. -Ralph Waldo Emerson, writer and philosopher (1803-1882)

Monday, May 05, 2008

Dealing with wetness

Monday was pretty much routine. Wal-Mart was full of grumbling mumblers this morning. They're in the process of moving things around - something all stores seem to do with some regularity. Obviously, this is just a ploy to make the customers "see" different things. All it seemed to be doing today was pissing people off. I never did find a couple of things on my list. And the cards at bridge today were REALLY bad!

On the way to W-M, I had to stop at the Verizon store. Yesterday, while doing the laundry, I noticed something thumping in the dryer. I didn't think too much about least until I started to fold John's cargo shorts. They were way too heavy. Oops - he'd left his cell phone in the Velcro-closed phone pocket. Sighhhhhhhhh The folks at the Verizon store said we could leave it out in the sun to try to dry it out, but they didn't sound too optimistic. I went ahead and bought a new phone. John still wants to try to get the old one working again. If he does, we'll take the new one back. Fingers are crossed.

If we're going to have to deal with water, I'd rather it be salt water. Only a little more than six weeks before we go to the beach. The photo is from the Atlantic, rather than the Gulf.

Bonus: There is a wonderful mythical law of nature that the three things we crave most in life -- happiness, freedom, and peace of mind -- are always attained by giving them to someone else. -Gen. Peyton C. March (1864-1955)

Sunday, May 04, 2008

A Sleep Sunday

I don't know what hit me this morning. But right after Sunday Morning, I cranked back in the chair to rest my eyes for a minute...and woke up about 12:45! Was THAT ever a nap and a half! I guess that doesn't happen unless you really need some extra sleep.

The real treat today was a long talk with my niece. She said she was making a long boring drive, and that was when she usually got caught up with the telephone. Anyhow, we hadn't visited in a while, so we talked for about half an hour. They live in Northern California, so we don't get see each other too often. If we get to the LA area this fall, she might get to come down, though. It was good to hear all the family news.

John also talked to his sister in the LA area, and the timing might work out for us to do the Copper Canyon trip in September. We've got to check on the availability for that trip.

Today's picture is of the centerpiece that Wanda brought for the fish fry yesterday. The snowballs came from the bush in her yard. She said she "stole" the hydrangea bloom from a broken branch on a dying potted plant in the Wal-Mart back lot. I DO love Wanda!

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Fish fry

We didn't get much rain out of the storm line, but with no wind or lightening, our power was out for 3 hours this morning. Go figure!

We went to a fish fry at Margaret's this afternoon, in honor of Jesse's last visit home before he heads to Iraq. He'll be leaving next week. Jean and Kate & her family were there, as well as lots of folks from Bobby's family. Matt and Amanda (the bride and groom to be) were there, too. It was fun to see everybody, and get one more good hug from Jesse. He had lots of photos from the training at Fort Dix. Bobby has a big deep fryer, and his fried filets (catfish and crappie) are fantastic! It was a treat all the way around.

Margaret had goldfinches, an indigo bunting, and some rose-breasted grosbeaks at her feeders this afternoon. Very colorful!

The photos today are from this afternoon - my plate (half-way through) plus brothers and cousins acting up for the camera.

It's the music!

What terrible spring weather we're having! Our weather guy says there have been 50 tornadoes in the last two days. Terrible destruction and loss of life.

We went to the Symphony tonight. The music is always wonderful - and hearing it live just enhances the experience enormously. To end the season, there were several special things going on. The first half of the program consisted of several short pieces each played only by a different section of the orchestra. The first was only the strings; the second, percussion; third, brass; and fourth, woodwinds. The Maestro does a great job of explaining the pieces, and really brings the works to the audience AND brings the audience to the work.

The other "special thing" was an experiment with a large video screen suspended from the ceiling just over center stage. Several cameramen prowled the stage during the concert, filming individuals, the Maestro, various sections, and the overhead shot of the entire orchestra. John and I hated it! and found it distracting and annoying in the extreme. I found I could pretty much ignore it in the second half - John had a harder time doing that. John went out at intermission, and saw the CSO director in the lobby. He proceeded to tell her exactly what he thought of the camera. And, as he walked away, he heard somebody else complaining. At least they know how some of the audience felt about it.

When we got home, we read the review that was in the paper this morning. I don't like to read reviews before I see something - I like to form my own opinions. But I do like to read them afterward, to see if I agree with the reviewer. Well, not this time. The reviewer liked the video feed, and would like to see it continue. We pretty much decided that if they do it again next season, we'll wear ball caps and the bills would block out the screen. Tacky, but effective.

Today's photo is a stock photo of a 2003 tornado from Google Images.

Thursday, May 01, 2008


We had another gallery meeting this afternoon. And it looks like the studio move and gallery opening are both going to happen - and soon! The studio will be moving in about three weeks - it's just 1 1/2 blocks away. The gallery will now begin on 1 June, with the Grand Opening Event to be held in midJuly. We have ten artists on our roster - each different in age, background, experience, technique, and style. I can't wait to see the exhibit when it finally gets up. You can bet I'll be posting photos.

This is another example of my current work - an acrylic on canvas.