Monday, June 30, 2008

Back to routine

Getting back to what we laughingly call normal is always hard after being gone for a week or more.

It was the regular Monday routine today. But the lack of a nap really took its toll. John headed to bed soon after 8. I'm determined to tough it out for a while longer, but the yawns have really got me.

Wal-Mart is almost finished with its renovation. At least they have most of the signs up, so we can find some things. It is funny - everybody you see in the store is grumbling and muttering about not being able to find anything. I do hope they'll be finished soon.

We each had a few set of good cards, with more of lousy cards. That hope for the next good hand, though, is what keeps us coming back for more.

There's another hitch in moving to the new space for Studio 2. It's looking now like it'll be another 2-3 weeks before we can get moved. I'll find out more tomorrow.

Today's photos are by guest photographer, Anne, taken at the beach - first looking east at sunset, and then looking west.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Guest Blogger - Dalton Roberts

By Dalton Roberts
Chattanooga Times Free Press

Instead of amassing a footlocker of opinions, we would all be served better to just practice a few truths we have found to work in our lives. Nothing can take away the joy of a day like someone coming at you with a wheelbarrow load of opinions or just one pet straining at the leash to bite you.

I believe most of us live our lives more by opinions than by truths despite the fact that an opinion is merely something we think. They are often placed in our heads at a formative stage of our lives by someone we trusted. Some are emotional reactions to people, issues and situations we have faced. But unless they can stand up to a strong review by our rational mind they need to be released. The more we spout them and afflict other people with them, the more attached to them we will become.

Honesty compels us to admit we have many more opinions than truths. An opinion is an air bubble. A truth is a rock you can stand on. It is something that has carried you through a fiery trial of life or brought you out of a briar patch of confusion. An opinion is something we pop off about with emotion. We do not try so hard to force our truths on other because we have learned that truths are discovered in the living of our lives, not in the thumping of our heads.

Strangely, opinions are among our most cherished possessions. We hug them to our bosom. We lay their little heads on our shoulders and burp them. It is accurate to say that the truth will set us free and probably just as accurate to say that some of our opinions imprison us.

I have been amazed at the number of people I know who cannot peacefully be in my presence for an hour or two without repeatedly trying to cram their opinions down my throat. I am also amazed at how many people read my columns to weigh how much they agree or disagree with me. They will say, "I enjoy your columns and agree with you most of the time." I would feel much better if they said, "Your columns make me think and give me different ways of looking at things." Opinions lock you into one way of looking at things.

What greater gift can someone gift us than to make us think? Our brains are so choked by the spaghetti of opinions that there is no real room for the mind to play with ideas, to roam free and unfettered in the wonderful world of possibilities.

We need to look at our beliefs and opinions (and isn't it hard to tell the difference?). Opinions dress up like beliefs and manage us instead of us managing them. An opinion is something you haven't proven to yourself and loud repetition of it does not make it true. Set it aside and you may create a vacuum where a truth can enter.

One reason there is so much conflict and lack of peace in the world is the emotional, reactive way we cling to our opinions. It is impossible for a highly opinionated person to be peaceful, centered, calm and reasonable. The stronger our opinions, the more certain we are to clash with other indoctrinated people.

One way to question an opinion's value to us is to ask, "Is this leading me to a successful, peaceful, joyous way of life." Are we supposed to hold onto opinions that make us unsuccessful, unpeaceful, and unjoyous?

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Home from the beach!

We got home about 7 ET - a longer trip than usual. And just as we pulled into the driveway, the skies opened up. We dashed for the house and just left everything in the car. We got about 0.5" of rain in just a short time. When it quit, John got the car unloaded.

It wasn't as bad as the SC contingent, though. They got stuck in traffic on I-85 near Noonan, GA, in the backup of a 10-car pile-up. When she called, they had been there for about 3 hours, and were hoping to get through in another hour. The others we've heard from got home uneventfully.

The biggest news at the end of the week was about midnight last night. JB of our Chattanooga friends developed an irregular heartbeat, and his wife took him to the ER at the nearest hospital (about 30 miles). She did finally pick up a police escort. The ER doc said it was good that she got him there when she did. He had not had a full-blown heart attack, but had definitely had an "event". She came back to the house about 5 a.m., and we got her car loaded up with their stuff. Of course, they had no clue as to how long he'd be kept in the hospital.

Margaret and I stopped by to see them on our way out of town. He was doing great - looked much better. The docs said he was stable, and would be able to go home after they got the last test results in. We all advised them to drive about half-way and stop for the night. But, of course they didn't. They left the hospital in Foley about 1 CT, and got home about 9:30 ET. I know they'll sleep well in their own bed tonight, and then see JB's regular doc on Monday. What a great ending to a potentially dangerous story.

John's gone to bed already - and I'm headed that way right now.

Today's photo is an approaching rainstorm at the beach.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Hail & Farewell

A Kite Salute to David and a gathering of the clan.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Celebrating with food

We had quite a series of thunderstorms this morning, and there was even a waterspout. Unfortunately, I was in the shower and missed it, but John took pictures for me.

Have you ever noticed that people use food and eating to socialize, communicate, commiserate - celebrate every event and transition in life? That is surely a truth, and, I guess, has been since the beginning of human interaction. It seems like when we're not eating, we're talking about the next meal, or the last meal, or a memorable meal from years ago. Maybe I'll get some pictures of the dinner table tonight, and/or breakfast tomorrow.

The blue crabs we get are the kind that you get in restaurants whole, and you have to crack and peel the whole shell to get at the delicious meat.

When I was a kid, and we caught our own crabs and brought them home to eat, we partially cleaned them before cooking them. We'd pull off the claws to cook; cut off and discard the 'walking legs"; pry off and discard the carapace; clean out and discard the "innards". We then steam the claws and denuded bodies and chill them until dinnertime. We pick out the meat at the table - time-consuming, messy, and delicious - with a little lime or lime-butter sauce. To me, it's the best shellfish of all!

Two pictures today - one of the waterspout and one of food. I forgot to take photos before we cleaned them, but this is what they look like on the plate, ready to be attacked. Of course, there's lots of other stuff on the plate, too.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Tuesday at the beach

We have had beautiful weather. It was comfortable enough to sit out on the deck yesterday from midafternoon on through the evening. Humidity was down and there was a lovely breeze. But it's back inside today.

The dolphins were heading on their eastward trek early this morning. We saw lots of them, complete with jumping and playing. That's always such a treat. Unfortunately, I don't have a big enough lens to take any photos.

Later, when we went out to swim, we saw multiple jellyfish, so we decided to swim another time. They were gone by afternoon, though, and a bunch are out swimming now. Some went antiquing this morning, and another group has gone to Souvenir City this afternoon.

Kate, Jean, and I dyed some yarn to make socks - messy and fun! It'll be a surprise to see what we get when we unwrap them. Photos sometime, I hope.

They got some blue crabs today. John and I did our chores and got them ready and cooked. So we'll enjoy those for dinner tonight. Our most favorite!

This is the typical view from our deck in the late afternoon.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Monday noon at the beach

Jean took me to task for not posting yesterday. All this hard work (yeah, right!) is exhausting. It's the keeping the tides going in and out, holding the deck down, being sure the dolphins go back and forth doing their daily chores. Stuff like that. To say nothing of the heated game of Mexican Train last night.

So far today, the tomato pie is made, the shrimp is cooked. Now it's about time for a bit of lunch, and then perhaps a nap.

We are 14 now, with two more to arrive this afternoon, and possibly one more on Wednesday. With two more, the noise level will undoubtedly ramp up, so we need to get naps in before they get here. I'll try to get some photos taken to post, too.

Saturday, June 21, 2008


We've gotten to Fort Morgan, AL - and have had our first night's shrimp, crawfish, and mahi mahi. No blue crabs tonight, but we have hopes for later in the week.

I-65 at Montgomery is awful! Major, long-term construction. At least, we picked up the construction bulletin at the Welcome Center, so we were expecting it. Southbound, it wasn't too bad. Northbound, however, was backed up for probably 15 miles. We'll definitely go around on US31 on the way home. If we didn't have to take our friends back to Birmingham, we'd probably take surface roads on the eastern side of the state most of the way home.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Fort Morgan

It's almost time! Margaret got here in time for supper, and then she and John loaded the cars. It's always good to get that done the night before.

She also brought some "real" tomatoes and some just-picked green beans. While they were loading the cars, I snapped the beans to get them ready for dinner tomorrow night. Oh, so good! No blueberries, though. Their bushes are overloaded with berries, but they're just not ripe yet. We've got some frozen blueberries, though.

Kate, Jean, and Andy left today to take the scenic route. They went through Decatur, AL, to see the Frank Lloyd Wright house there. They had a great tour - and I can't wait to see their photographs.

Today's photo is of the REAL Fort Morgan. The fort guards the eastern side of the mouth of Mobile Bay. It's a really neat place to explore. We haven't done it lately, though - just too hot, sweaty, and mosquito-full in the summertime.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Vintage movies

It was another vintage movie night. Tonight, it was The Maltese Falcon (1941), with Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, Peter Lorre, Sidney Greenstreet. This was a break-out movie in so many different ways - the hard-boiled detective, the dark movie (what came to be called "film noir"), the star-turn of Bogart, and the introduction of Sam Spade. It's hard to believe that Sam Spade hasn't been around forever, but then I guess he has been a long time.

It's really a quite good movie, and has held up well over the years - given the technology available at the time. If you've never seen it, or haven't seen it in a long time, give it a viewing.

We're having some beautiful weather this week - mild, with low humidity. That's supposed to change gradually over the next few days. But, of course, by then, we'll be at the beach!!!!


Bruce Plante's cartoon from today's Tulsa World.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Who benefits?

Off-shore drilling? Where do they get this stuff? The Bush Administration is starting to tout expanding areas of off-shore drilling for oil. Supposedly this will lessen our dependency on foreign oil and lower prices on gasoline. All this will give us time to develop alternative sources to fossil fuels.

Since it would be years before any oil could be recovered from any new off-shore wells, how could anybody possibly believe that this would alleviate the current high price of gasoline? Add to this the fact that the oil companies already have vast quantities of land here in the US where they could drill.

It boggles my mind to think that anybody with a lick of common sense, and less than a quart of whiskey in him, could possibly believe that this would benefit anybody but the oil companies. Do they really need more windfall profits?!?

This is what an off-shore rig looks like.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Cyd Charisse died this morning - she was 86. What a great dancer she was and what gorgeous legs she had! This photo is from Singin' in the Rain.
Anna Quindlen starts off her column in this week's Newsweek (June 23, 2008) as follows:

Senator? Senator! I have gray hair and crow's feet and a lifetime of being underestimated. I'm nobody's sweetie. And I vote.

She says that the idea that women who supported Hillary Clinton (as Quindlen did) would seriously consider voting for John McCain in protest is insane. These people have done everything they could prevent any legislation furthering women's rights. But, as she says, the Democrats and Barack Obama cannot ignore women or take them for granted. This column should be required reading by everybody in Obama's campaign - especially Obama!

Click here to read the entire column.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Unexpected Mondays

Nothing went quite as expected today. We headed out to the Y as usual for Monday morning. And they had just posted a notice that the lap pool was closed. Well, phooey! So we went back home. John went back to bed, and I headed out for an early (and blessedly brief) trip to Wal-Mart.

Bridge was a "mixed bag" this afternoon. John had terrible cards, and had to play with all the worst players besides. And even I made a couple of terrible bids while I was playing with him (one hand was down 5!). Don't know what went wrong there. I had some great cards (rounds of 1700, 1650, 950) and some really bad ones (rounds of 260, 50). But last week, John came in 4th (out of 20). I guess that's what keeps us coming back.

Another wedding picture - the groom and his proud grandparents

Sunday, June 15, 2008


Yesterday was WWKIP - World Wide Knit In Public Day. Did you see anybody knitting while you were out yesterday? There's a big community of knitters out there. Thanks to Essie, we had at least one semi-organized group here in Chattanooga. We knitted in the morning at Niedlov's Bakery, then some moved to Greenlife Grocery for an afternoon session. There's a group that gets together to knit at Niedlov's most Saturday mornings. If you're not a knitter, maybe you should give it a try sometime.

As usual at this time of year, we're already moving into "beach mode". John's brought the Beach Boxes up from the garage (the stuff that goes every year, but doesn't need to be used the rest of the year). Margaret's accumulating some of the non-perishable stuff that's cheaper to get here. We try to keep from taking "stuff", but it does happen.

We do a book exchange, too. Everybody brings books to pass along. It's a great way to get "new" reads without spending any money. Usually, we wind up bringing any leftovers home with us - but I'm going to try to see that doesn't happen this year. We'll see how THAT goes.

Today's photo is from the WWKIP.

Saturday, June 14, 2008


Ripped from the headlines (as they say) in this morning's paper: Even as city leaders are touting greener practices for residents and city services, one woman's fight to grow a water-friendly, no-mow meadow rather than a lawn is landing her in court in violation of the city's "overgrowth" code. It seems the city code says that grass and ground cover growth cannot exceed 10". Except for kudzu.

(Note: Just in case you don't know about kudzu, it was introduced to the US in 1876 at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia at the Japanese garden. It was used for ornamental plants. In the 1920s, it was discovered that animals would eat the plant, so it was promoted for forage. During the Depression, it was promoted for erosion control. Now, of course, we know that it grows at a rate of one foot/day, covers anything in its path, and is all but indestructible. The trees covered in today's photo will die because of lack of sunlight.)

A neighbor complained about the woman's "overgrown and unsightly" yard. The woman's yard is a hillside, so she has reseeded half of it with native grasses and wildflowers. The other half is kudzu, coming from a neighboring yard and a city easement. She was cited by the city, and was told that she had to raze the meadow, seed it with lawn grass, and keep it mowed. But to try to get rid of the kudzu would cause an erosion problem. So, she cannot have a wildflower garden or a forest - only kudzu or grass. Sometimes the laws of unintended consequences run rampant. To say nothing about bureaucratic idiocy!

What sad news about Tim Russert! Such a young man. I don't watch the news interview programs, but I do know that he was one of the few who actually cared about the story, and not about pushing his own agenda. He wanted to hear what the person with him had to say, and didn't just shout and froth at the mouth. Russert was something that is more and more rare these days - a journalist - a news reporter. He'll be missed.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Friday, the 13th

Oops, hadn't even thought about its being Friday, the 13th. Well, I don't mess with that stuff anyway.

Today was a good Friday. After swimming, I went to Vicki's, and she got two pieces framed for me. One is a 36x24 acrylic on canvas and the other is an acrylic on paper that Sarah picked out for her apartment. The framing, of course, is spectacular. Photos sometime soon, I promise.

One of the new PBS begathon programs this season is another in their series about Blenko Glass. This glass "factory" is the only place still left in the country making blown glass. Our station had a reception tonight prior to the broadcast to welcome Richard Blenko (3rd generation?) and have a display of pieces that will be offered as premiums on the show tonight, plus some that won't be available. He was to sign any that were "bought" by donations. We have visited the Blenko workshop several times, and own several pieces of their glass. We wanted to see what was being offered. We didn't intend to buy anything, but we were surely open to finding something that we couldn't live without. Sorry, girls - we didn't come home with a new piece - but it certainly was some gorgeous stuff. And, BTW, we taped the show so we can watch it later.

Another movie review: We saw another "classic" tonight - Chinatown (Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, 1974). This one is set in the 1930s in Los Angeles, and is about the water wars. It's an excellent movie, and well worth watching. Glad we gave this one a try.

Today's photo is from the rehearsal. To quote one of my favorite lines from "Singin' in the Rain", "Dignity! Always dignity!"

Thursday, June 12, 2008


Our municipal electric company wants to provide fiberoptic to each home in the area, with the capacity for higih speed internet, telephone, TV, etc. Of course, the cable companies are adamantly opposed to the plan. The cable companies have filed suit to prevent this from happening. I'm not 100% sure where things are right now, but the power company is continuing installing the fiberoptic line. The local municipalities are talking about it.

Today, the cable company got out the big guns. I've seen three different commercials on TV full of scare tactics against the electric company's plan. They sound just like those Republican commercials back in the 1990s, against the Clinton health care plan, with the fictitious couple, Harry and Louise. It's always interesting. Needless to say, John will be first in line to sign up for the fiberoptic service, when and if it is available.

Our usual Thursday lunch place was closed today, so we had to find another place. The lunch isn't the important part - it's the get-together with this wild bunch of crazies. We do laugh a lot.

I've finally downloaded Margaret's photos from the wedding events into the computer, so I'll be posting them from time to time. Today is one of the newlyweds.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Classic Movies

Today was just swimming and time at Studio 2. Vicki is going to close the shop for a few days. They're going to get away from the city for a well-deserved break, and then move the shop to the new location. She'll reopen in the new "digs" on 7 July.

The meme yesterday was fun, and with the referrals from other sites, there have been a lot more visitors today. I'm delighted to have you visit, and hope you come back often. I love to hear from readers, too.

Classic Movie Review: We watched 2001: A Space Odyssey tonight. Comments: The music was spectacular. The special effects and "art" are marvellous. It's amazing that it was filmed in 1968, before man landed on the moon. I can understand why it quickly became a cult film. I guess I'm glad we watched it, because it is considered a "classic". Having said that, I found it all but incomprehensible. I'm not sure I understood any of it. But now that I've seen it, I never have to watch it again.

I've been taken to task for not putting any pictures from the wedding weekend on the blog. I know, I know - shame on me! OK - here's Anne's photo of the bride and groom at the rehearsal dinner.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Blog tag

A friend sent me this game, so I thought I would play Blog Tag.


1. The rules of the game get posted at the beginning

2. Each player answers the questions about themselves.

3. At the end of the post, the player tags 5 people and posts their name, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they've been tagged and asking them to read your blog.

What was I doing 10 years ago? We were getting ready to leave on our 3.5 month, 16,000+ mile trip, pulling our travel trailer, from Chattanooga to California (via Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Big Sur) to drive the Alaska Highway to Alaska to Vancouver Island (on the Alaska Ferry) to home (via Yellowstone, Mount Rushmore, Little Big Horn)

Five snacks I enjoy in a perfect, non weight-gaining world: (in no particular order): ice cream, pretzels, sharp cheddar cheese, licorice, cookies.

Five snacks I enjoy in the real world: None right now. I'm trying to eliminate eating between meals.

Five things I would do if I were a billionaire:
1. Fund our local library system, Food Bank, and Women Shelters
2. Fund college scholarships for needy students.
3. Fund various medical research institutions.
4. Continue to travel and fly first class.
5. Have a household staff to clean, cook, and do yard work.

Five jobs that I have had:
1. Typing old autopsies (that regular secretaries never had time to transcribe)
2. Medical transcription in a pathology lab
3. Medical transcription in a hospital record room
4. Medical transcription/insurance clerk for a group of surgeons.
5. Office manager/secretary for a group of orthopedic surgeons. (Do you see a pattern here?)

Five of my habits: General computer stuff; knitting; reading; word puzzles; painting

Five places I have lived: St. Louis, MO; Houston, TX; Hendersonville, TN; Chattanooga, TN (that's all there is)

Five people we should all get to know better: (A nice way of saying TAG!)

Airy Persiflage

Essiewb's Weblog / Knitting My Way Through

Life on a Small Island

The Sandbox
I didn't put a "You're it!" comment on this blog - it's selected blogs by military personnel and family, in theater, at home, or retired. Just wanted to suggest that folks read it.

Somehow, this process reminded me of a spiral, so today's photo is one of John's photos of a pictograph from SW Colorado.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Monday, all day long

I have the feeling that I'm going to fade early tonight. We just had the usual early start. After swmming, though, we headed for IHOP. The gorup was having a going-away breakfast for Jan. She got her house - and will be permanently moving to live with her daugher and new granddaughter. It's always hard to leave deep roots, though.

The rheumatologist says I'm "good to go" for another six months. And I managed to survive another tirp to Wal-Mart.

I had some really odd hands at bridge today. No point, but weird stuff. I had a real pre-empt - and even in spades. One hand that was 10-high; the next was Jack-high; the one after that had 6-6-1-0 distribution. One 6-card suit was 9-high; the other was K, 9; and, of course, my partner was bidding my void. Apologies to the non-bridge players. We had one of those strong pop-up thunderstorms at the Civic Center while we were playing. And the sun was shining brightly again when we left.

That pretty much did it for the day.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

PBS programs

We don't usually watch the programs that PBS shows during their begathons (although I do supposed our stations financially). But I've just caught a part of a new one that I want to record sometime and watch when I can fast forward through the begging.

It's called Celtic Thunder, and is similar to their program of Celtic Women, except these are five young men. And they are awesome! Such beautiful clear voices. Click here to hear them on YouTube.

We talked more about what we're going to take to the Antiques Roadshow taping in July. John's found all the parts to his Edison gramophone, including the box of cylinders. Sue, Randy, and Margaret liked the idea of taking the ornate pitcher plus the set of fruit knives and forks (a full set of 8 each gold plated with purple bakelite[?] handles in a leather padded case). I like the idea of taking the pre-Civil War Complete History of America. We'll see how long that line-up lasts.

Stay cool!

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Half and half

It was a half-and-half kind of day. Busy morning, and very slothful afternoon and evening.

Sue, Randy, and Sarah got up, got breakfast, got ready, and headed off to their western Kentucky wedding. I hope everything went well. I don't know if they'll stop on their way back home, but we'll see them in a couple of weeks in any case.

Margaret brought lots of tomato juice and other canned stuff, and we had to find a place to put it. She cleaned out the floor in the pantry, and we threw away lots of junk. The tomatoes fit nicely on the floor, and they're very accessible. What a treat! I hate for the girls to come over and work. However, I DO love the results, and truly appreciate the help. Thanks!

John did his exercises and, other than that, we were pretty much worthless the rest of the day.

Next Saturday, 14 June, is World Wide Knit In Public (WWKIP) Day. Nothing had been organized for Chattanooga, until Essie started talking about it. Knitters will be knitting in two places - 10:30 - 12:30 at Niedlov's Bakery on E. Main Street in Chattanooga; moving to the Green Life Grocery Food Court at 12:30. Come knit a few rows if you're in the area. Thanks, Essie!

And today's picture is, of course, my hands knitting on Kate's sweater.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Good company, good eats

Sue, Randy, Sarah, and Margaret are here tonight. Sue said she wanted to eat at Blue Orleans. Since that's one of our favorites, we were heartily in favor.

We had an interesting variety of dinners: Crab cakes and artichoke/lobster dip for appetizers; entrees were crawfish pasta (2), crawfish etouffe (2), shrimp and grits, and pork loin in Southern Comfort sauce. All were very good.

Only problem was that as we were coming home, Sarah realized that she was having an allergic reaction to the shellfish. Once we got home, Sue turned right around and took her to the doc-in-the-box. They gave her the appropriate benadryl, prednisone, and epinephrine - so she's okay now. But the doc did tell her that the "next time" her reaction would be happen much quicker. And we're going to the beach in 2 weeks. She's going to have to be really careful (and she does really love shrimp). She usually carries an epi-pen, but didn't have it with her for some reason.

We've had fun looking at the wedding pictures. At one time, four of the six of us were sitting here with our laptops going. Plus Sarah was "multi-tasking" with her phone.

We're getting into beach mode - today's photo is from Folly Beach, SC.

Two grandsons today!

A comment on another blog asked "How can Hillary supporters become McCain supporters?...Do they lack brains?" I've wondered the same thing. Does anyone who would say that have a CLUE as to what either (or any) of the candidates are saying / have said / stand for??????? It is mind-boggling!

Why didn't I think of that? Using kudzu to make ethanol. What a wonderful idea!!!!!!! It would be a great incentive to control the vile weed. And heaven knows, it grows fast enough and isn't good for anything else (except erosion control).

We got prizes from two grandsons today. Paul sent us this link. Watch the video on the blog posting Get Your Tickets Here... on the Post and Courier's Spoleto blog.

And Jesse sent us some photos from Iraq. I can't post one on the internet, though - sorry.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Tour to China

This was a really quiet day today. The big news was that the temperature was 93 - and this will continue for a week or so.

Jan asked me to pick her up at the airport this afternoon. No problem, of course - we're only 15 minutes away. Then she called, and she had missed her connection in Atlanta. It is great to be able to check flight times on the internet. I was able to continue to track her flight. That flight wound up being an hour late, but I got the airport only minutes before the plane did. It was a long travel day for her, and she was glad to get into her house.

Gin & Jim called the other day. They're still recuperating from their trip to China. They arrived in China just the earthquake struck (cause and effect???). It was a very strenuous trip - as expected. One of their main impessions was of the incredible air pollution. They were very glad to see blue skies when they got home. There were mountains they never saw because of it. The Chinese don't consider a city a "city" unless it has over a million people. That's really huge - certainly behind by comprehension. Many of our states don't have even one city over a million. I asked if they thought China was going to be able to keep their promise of clearing the air before the Olympics. The reply that there was no way - even if they closed all the factories and took all the cars off the streets today. The few ordinary people they had contact with (non tour related) were very nice and courteous. Conclusion? It's a trip they were very glad to have made, but wouldn't want to do it again.

Today's photo is a satellite picture from February 2008 of the air pollution over China.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Now it's time to work

Welcome to summer! 91 today - the highest so far this year. And temperatures over 90 forecast for the next five days. I am EVER so glad that we have air conditioning. It'll probably be a long hot summer - in weather and politics.

And it seems as if the campaign for the Democratic candidacy for the Presidency is finally decided. I have the "electile dysfunction" from which we are all suffering. But it has been a precedent-breaking situation. It would've been incredible to have had a viable black candidate OR a viable woman candidate. And to have both has been amazing. I wish we could say that these events have done away with all those prejudices, but of course, that isn't going to be. At the very least, though, it's a HUGE step forward, and we can only hope we don't get the proverbial "two steps backward". Congratulations to both Obama and Clinton!

Now let's all get together and elect a Democrat to the Presidency and take back control of the House and the Senate!

Monday, June 02, 2008


Swimming was good this morning, as always. And then I went to Wal-Mart. And I got into a MAJOR case of Wal-Mart Rage. Why on earth do I let it get to me like this! What sent me over the edge really isn't important - it was insignificant in the big scheme of things.

Mostly I manage to control my grocery store antipathy. I've always been grateful to Beth for her insight about grocery-store-rage. I hate going to the store so much, I'm angry before I even get there. In the long run, this had helped a lot.

I really don't have that much of a temper. I'll get pissed off about something, and then quickly get over it. But today, it just wouldn't go away. And that made me even madder. You know the feeling - you're mad because something else is controlling you. And I wasted SO much time today just fuming and fussing. And Margaret's "GET OVER IT!" just didn't seem to work today.

What really, REALLY makes you irrationally mad?

Oh, well - things will be better tomorrow. And I know I won't have to go to the store for a while.

Usually the ocean calms me down - so today's photo is the ocean at Folly Beach.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Rain, rain, rain

The thunder and rain started here about 3-4 a.m., and it rained until midafternoon. We had some thunderclaps that were really scary, but no wind or stuff around our house. There were reports of trees down other places in the area, though. We got nearly 1.5" of rain, and that was great!
It was a cool day, but the forecast shows highs in the 90s during the upcoming week. Oh, well, Riverbend (our 10-day music festival) starts on Friday, and it's always miserably hot during that time.

I hadn't washed clothes since before the trip to the wedding, so there was LOTS of laundry. I did 5 loads, including the towels and table linens from our guests. At least that's done for the next week, though - and there won't be nearly as much next time.

Ken has checked in. He's gotten all the prep work done for his radiation, and that will be starting a week from Monday. He'll have 7 weeks, plus some more chemo. He's going to rent a place from an extended stay hotel and drive his own car - probably staying most of the time. He sounds upbeat, and just ready to get it over with.

Today's photo is another view of Bald River Falls.

Different Saturday

I had forgotten that we had agreed to go to a local grocery store this morning to "solicit" for funds for our local branch library summer reading program. John finally noticed it on the calendar last night. So we spent all morning asking for small donations from folks going to the store on a Saturday morning. I didn't get a count for our efforts, but it seemed at the time that people were being very generous. It does make us feel that our efforts were helpful.

That pretty much did it for "work" for the day.

John had ordered a couple more classes from The Learning Company, and they were delivered today. One is a very elementary class about understanding music. He started with that one. The lecturer is very good - entertaining, erudite, specific. He started by saying that the class was comparable to a conversational Spanish class - getting a rudimentary grasp of the language, without being able to write the language. He defines music as a mixture of sound and time - very basic. I think I'll probably be watching this with him.

Today's photo is another close-up of Bald River Falls.