Sunday, August 31, 2008

Quietly waiting

Today was one of those totally quiet days. I'm sure there were lots of things that needed to be done. But nothing but the laundry was accomplished.

Evacuees from Gustav started arriving in Chattanooga today. I know there are other folks all over the south. We're glad we're able to help, and just hope they are able to return safely and find their homes undamaged.

Enjoy your Labor Day Holiday tomorrow.

This is a great satellite photo of Gustav.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Football & fashion

It must be almost fall. Never mind that it was 91 today. College football started today.

Basically the only sport I enjoy watching is basketball, and that in person. But back in the dark ages, I went to highschool and college football games. In Houston, Texas. You may not be old enough to remember, but that meant sweaters and skirts and heels and stockings. And it was HOT. And HUMID! But, what the hell - we were young. And it was just the way things were done.

Today, I loved a suggestion in the AARP newsletter in an article about saving money. Madeline Albright said we should not wear pantyhose - they cost too much money. I can go with that.

John and I made an agreement years ago about "getting dressed up". If he had to wear a coat and tie (weddings, funerals, etc.), I had to wear pantyhose. Well, I reneged on my part of the deal - no more pantyhose for me - ever!

It's amazing the things that college football will bring to mind.

Remember the poodle skirt?

Friday, August 29, 2008

Friday miscellany

We're leaving in less than a week, so I guess I really have to start thinking about what I'm going to take. I've actually lost enough weight that I'm having to discard some clothes. So I'll have to try things on before I decide what to take. And I really, really, REALLY hate to do that. Oh, well - it'll happen. Then we have to decide what bags to take. Guess if that's all I have to complain about, things can't be too bad.
We're about to get all the stuff out of the old Studio2 location. Vicki and I took another load this morning, and will probably do more over the long weekend. I just hate that I'm not going to be here for the Gallery Hop on 13 September.
We'll all be watching Gustav over the weekend. How ironic that this storm should be bearing down on Louisiana on the 3rd anniversary of Katrina. We'll be hoping for the best for all those in the storm's path. Today's picture is a map of Gustav's projected path.

John McCain has certainly caught the news cycle by choosing as his running mate, a woman and an unknown entity, Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska. I have a couple of observations so far:

1. His choice is definitely a reaction to the events of the Democratic primaries, Barack Obama's candidacy and Hillary Clinton's strong showing. If the Democrats had nominated two white males, there is no way in hell that McCain would've picked a woman.

2. Did anybody hear her introduction statement? This woman cannot pronounce "NUCLEAR"! She sounds just like "W" - nook-yoo-lur . Oh, my God!!!!!


What a remarkable night! Historic in so many ways. Barack Obama's acceptance speech was a barnburner. He definitely energized the Democrats and, I hope, the rest of the voters. I particularly liked his comments to the effect that we should be able to disagree without questioning each other's sincerity and patriotism.

I am definitely not impartial in this race, but I will try to watch some of the Republican convention in a couple of weeks (although we will be out of town during that time).

Whatever you do, on 4 November, be sure to VOTE!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Last wishes

(I'm writing this before Obama's acceptance speech tonight).

We just watched a Modern Marvels program (on the History Channel) called Corpse Watch. They covered various options of what can be done with a body after the original owner dies. It started with the Body Farm (Anthropology Research Facility) at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. This is the facility made famous by Patricia Cornwell's novel, but had been in operation (since 1981) before she started writing about it. Donated bodies are left to decompose in various conditions. The processes are studied and documented so investigators can use the data to determine information about another body by using its physical condition.

Portions of bodies can be donated for organ and tissue transplants. There are over 200 portions of a body that can now be used for transplant purposes. Organs (heart, kidneys, liver, corneas, etc.) must be transplanted immediately, of course. But "parts" like bones, ligaments, tendons, veins, valves, skin, nerves, etc., can be frozen for later use.

We are probably most familiar with western traditional burials involve sophisticated embalming techniques, caskets, vaults, cemeteries, etc. Cremation is becoming more common, for a variety of reasons. Crematoria in the US use extremely high heat to reduce the body and coffin to ash. Ashes have been buried, scattered, kept on mantels - use your imagination. There's now a company that will place ashes in a cement framework on the ocean floor, part of an artificial reef. Ashes have even been shot into space. In India, bodies are burned on pyres of wood along the Ganges River, with the ashes scattered into the river. According to the program, this uses an incredible number of trees each year.

Bodies can be donated to medical schools for anatomy classes for medical students. This is an invaluable gift to allow students to learn the human topography first hand.

There's a cemetery near San Francisco that offers "green" burials. Bodies are not chemically embalmed, and may be buried in biodegradable caskets or in shrouds. They are allowed to return to the earth (the old "ashes to ashes, dust to dust" thing).

There are an incredible number of options for what to do with your body. Have you decided what you'd want done? Have you told your spouse, significant other, your children, and/or your doctor? Have you written it down? Better do that - if you don't, nobody will know what you want. Of course, nothing is legally binding, and your survivors certainly have the last word. But you'd probably like to have some input into the decision.

Personally, my living will states that I'd like any and all usable parts to be harvested for transplantation and/or tissue banks, with the remainder to be cremated and the ashes disposed of as my survivors choose (although I may come up with further instructions later on). What are your plans?

Convention and Gallery2

"People the world over have always been more impressed by the power of our example than by the example of our power." Bill Clinton (speech, 8-28-08)

This is the sentence from Bill Clinton's speech at the Democratic Convention that jumped out at me. It is SO damned true! He really made a great speech, and gave himself completely to Obama and the campaign. That plus Hillary Clinton's closing the nominating speeches and calling for Obama's selection by acclamation. A dramatic night!

Four of us got lots more work done at Studio2/Gallery2 today. I did mostly "handing" and "holding", but that helps those who are doing the hard work. (That's my story, and I'm sticking to it!) Here are some photos from the shop this morning. (not great photos - I was using the little point-and-shoot, and have trouble holding it steady - sorry) As you can see, Sandy and Vicki got the red & yellow stripe painted black. That'll be an anchor for the hanging system for the displays.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Rain, Gallery2, and Suffrage

We've had over 6" of rain so far in this "rain event" - and are loving every minute of it. We've just had gentle constant rain. No wind or tornado warnings. It does look like Gustav is going to more than just a rain event, though. We did have a 20-minute power outage this evening, but nothing too bad.

We are finally in our new Studio2/Gallery2 space. The movers got the big stuff moved yesterday, and we spent today getting some of the stuff put up - books, etc. We emptied a lot of milk cartons and USPS boxes. (Did you know that you can "borrow" those plastic-coated corrugated boxes from the post office? You don't have to ask, just pick them up from under the drop boxes, and return them when you're through. Great for moving - sturdy, but not so big that you can't pick them up when they're full.) The electrician was there putting some more light fixtures up. The phone won't be moved until next week, and the bathroom is still a couple of days away from being operational, but we have definitely moved!

And Hillary capped off the evening with a barn-burner of a speech. She did the job she had to do, urging her supporters to vote for the Obama/Biden ticket, and she did it superbly. This was also the anniversary of the passage of the Amendment giving women the vote. You may not know that Tennessee's vote was the one that ratified the Amendment. Today's photos are pictures from that time.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Finally, it's raining!

We've been having a wonderful rain - just about all day long. And it's supposed to rain more tomorrow. No wind or storms, just lots of rain - John just checked the gauge and we've had about 1.75" - so far.

I was high at bridge last week. Not quite as good today, but that would've been difficult. I had much more average cards today, but I think I'm in the running for top score for the quarter. We'll see how that goes.

I'll be watching some of the convention - usually just for the prime speech of the day.

I've talked to Betsy tonight. She says that Ken is doing well, but eating mostly liquids. He's having trouble swallowing as a result of the radiation, and his sense of taste is about gone. He's read that it might take as much as a year for that to return. In the meantime, he's lost about 50 pounds, and Betsy says he looks good. He goes back to MDAnderson in a couple of weeks for three days of followup testing, examinations, conferences, and planning.

These two photos are from the fiber dyeing workshop last weekend.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Closing Ceremonies

Today's picture is fireworks over the Bird's Nest Stadium at the closing ceremony of the Olympics.

I sort of skimmed the closing ceremonies, mostly reading, while John watched the men's final basketball game on the computer. I know NBC showed the ballgame live - but that was at 2 a.m.ET this morning. Why on earth couldn't they have shown that game in the hour before the closing ceremonies, instead of the men's final volleyball game. Seems like a weird choice to me - but then, as usual, nobody asked me.

And now we'll have to get back to our normal reruns on TV, and hope for at least one or two decent new programs in the new season. Most of these will start while we're gone, I guess. We will get to see the new Stephen Bochco program Raising the Bar. I do hope that one is worth watching - at least, Bochco has a history of good shows.

Kate and her friends got home okay. They said the workshop was very good, and they got some good roving (fiber strands ready for spinning), and got some good colors on the pieces they dyed. It was fun having them here. She's supposed to be sending me some photos.

Yesterday and today

Women's basketball - yesterday and today.

The USA Women's Basketball team won the gold medal in the Olympics this morning - defeating the Australian team. And tomorrow the Summer Olympics will be over for another four years. I guess we can handle it. The games have, IMHO, turned into more of a spectacle than a sporting event. But, taken as entertainment, it certainly has filled that bill. As usual, my complaint would be that NBC spent WAY too much time talking about the participants' personal lives, and not nearly enough time covering the contests.

John's main complaint - and I don't entirely disagree - is that no event should be allowed as a "sport" unless the winner is determined by time elapsed or distance covered or weight lifted - something measurable. The winners of juried events are chosen subjectively, and may be lovely to watch and awesome to imagine, but are questionable as "sports". I'm open for comments, of course.

Kate and her friends had a great time at their workshop. They were tired and excited - as is usually the case with workshops. One of their friends who had moved to Dalton drove up to visit and have dinner with it. They took us out to dinner and we had a wonderful time. It's really been a treat having them here. They'll head home tomorrow directly from the workshop site.

Friday, August 22, 2008

A knitting group

FYI: Check out this article by Bill Moyer's Journal's senior writer, Michael Winship, Cash Register Conventions.

I didn't stay at the shop this morning - there was really nothing more to do until the movers come on Monday. The work is moving along in getting the bathroom and work sink area ready. I had plenty to do at home in any case. I stopped at a downtown produce stand to get a couple of tomatoes and, oops, wound up with pole beans, October beans, cantaloupe, and peaches. Just can't pass up that good fresh stuff.

Kate and her friends got here about 7. We had a good dinner (including the pole beans and tomatoes) with lasagna and all that goes with that. And then spent the evening talking and knitting. They're going to have a great time at their workshop tomorrow.

I don't know these people (got the image from google), but this is a typical knitting group.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

From photos to Olympics to grammar

We met John and Sylvia for dinner (great Mexican) before going to the Photographic Society meeting. The program was exceptional. Old friends and great photographers, Tom and Pat Cory gave the program. Tom and Pat are not only great photographers, they are great teachers. We did a workshop with them years ago in the Upper Peninsula - a great experience. They now lead trips all over the world. If you're ever thinking about a photographic workshop, I can promise you that you'll never go wrong going with the Corys.

Photo by Tom and Pat Cory

Those of you who know us, know that we tend to be "grammar cops". And, of course, we have our pet peeves. One of mine is "verbing" - you know what I mean - making a verb out of a noun, when there is one (or more) perfectly good verb available. It's a small thing, but that's always what makes us nuts.

In any case, sports broadcasters are about the worst offenders, grammar-wise, but they have gotten really bad about verbing. Of course, since we've been watching the Olympics almost 24/7, my teeth have really been on edge.

Tonight, I heard a new one, a particularly flagrant one. At the beginning of a BMX (BMX??? - sorry, showing my age) Supercross race, the commentator said that the competitor was "looking to podium". Was looking to do WHAT???? That'll surely drive one to drink (if one could drink).

Well, having vented about that, I certainly feel better.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Astronomy photos

John, Vicki, and I took carloads of stuff over to the new shop space this morning. Movers are scheduled for Monday morning, but we'll be toting the small stuff along the way.

Mainly today, I wanted to put several pictures I wanted to share from the Astronomy Picture of the Day. They are spectacular!

Solar eclipse

Lunar eclipse

Io, one of Jupiter's moons

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Happy Birthday, Sue

We went to a great program at the Jewish Community Center at noon, which included a hamburger lunch and a speaker. We went because of the speaker - the relatively new editorial cartoonist for our newspaper. We had hated to lose Bruce Plante, our cartoonist for many years.

Clay Bennett started here in January 2008. He has been nominated for a Pulitzer Prize several times, and won once - while he was cartoonist for the Christian Science Monitor. He has a pretty liberal slant on his stuff (which we like), and has a wicked sense of humor. He is really able to pinpoint the absurdities of government and life in general. It was quite a treat to get to hear him talk about his work.

From the Clay Bennett Archives

Today is Sue's birthday. Happy Birthday, Sweetie.

Sarah and Sue

Monday, August 18, 2008

More gymnastics

I had some fabulous cards at bridge this afternoon. I had a total score for the afternoon of over 7000 points, and the best round was then one that John and I played together (always love it when that happens).

They were showing more of the track snd field events tonight in the Olympic coverage. We really enjoy the races and other field events, but it seems they just don't show as many of those. We also enjoy the women's uneven parallel bars - although I don't begin to understand how they work out a tie. I wonder why they don't have them do the routines again and re-score them. Oh, well - not for us mere mortals to understand.

In any case, the highlight of the night tonight was the men's competition on the still rings. The strength, balance, and muscle control required for this event is phenomenal. Since he's still recovering from his rotator cuff surgery, John says that just watching the event makes his shoulders hurt. But it's always a must see for us. The photo tonight is of the still rings.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Old Ladies

Have you noticed that there are a lot of old ladies in this Olympics?

Well, there are always "people of age" in the Olympics, but usually in things like sailing and equestrian events and shooting. But this year, there are "old ladies" in some of the events usually dominated by the youngsters.

Yesterday, they showed swimming events in which 43-year-old Dara Torres won not one, but two silver medals in sprint events. Lisa Leslie, about 35, has been a leader in women's basketball in this Olympics, as well as in at least two previous games. And tonight, when there are questions as to whether or not some of the Chinese gymnasts are younger than the required 16 years of age, one of the medals in the vault was won by a 33-year-old woman on the German team.

We've always known that the old ladies were crafty, cunning, and smart. But we (at least some of us) are showing that we've still got some physical stuff left.

Don't mess with us!

Lisa Leslie

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Gold medals

I'm just going to check in tonight. John did row this morning, but other than that, we've done nothing today but watch the Olympics. Congratulations to all the winners and competitors - especially, of course, to the Romanian winner of the Women's Marathon and to Michael Phelps and his incredible performances.

R.I.P. Leroy

Leroy Sievers passed away last night. Deepest condolences to his family and loved ones. All of us who gained so much strength from him will miss him.

Leroy's blog, My Cancer

Online obituary

Friday, August 15, 2008

A visit from the newlyweds

The shoulder is doing better today - still a little discomfort, but nothing like before.

It's Friday night. The Olypmics may be on, but we watched Bill Moyers Journal. The whole hour was devoted to an interview with Andrew Bacevich. What a remarkable insight this man has! His latest book is called The Limits of Power. Bacevich's thesis is, to paraphrase Walt Kelly's Pogo, "We have met the problem, and he is us". We have allowed ourselves to become consumers rather than producers, and we are unwilling to do anything to change that. Click here to listen to the interview or to read more about Bacevich.

The newlyweds came by for a little bit today, on their way back to school. This will be their last semester before graduation. They'll finish in December, take their honeymoon in January, and then hopefully be starting their new jobs and new chapter in their life together in February. They're hoping to find jobs in the Atlanta area. They are both very focussed and confident, so I'm sure they'll do well. We probably won't see them again until Christmas, so this was really a treat to get in a visit. I had assured Amanda that it was okay to browse through the paintings and photographs and ask for ones she might want. I reserved the right to refuse, but it's always okay to ask. Guess what - they left with two paintings.

The photo today is of the newlyweds.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Followup and Glass

Followup: My shoulder was much better this morning. And the doc's office didn't call me back. I figured I'd just be careful and it would be OK, assuming that it was a recurrence of the bursitis I've had before. All was fine until later in the afternoon, when the pain started up again. I called the doc again and, of course, I wasn't going to be able to see him for an injection until well into next week. They did call in a prednisone dose-pack, and I have started that. Relief should come very quickly now.

In the midst of this, we did our usual Thursday lunch. On the way over, there was something making an odd noise in my car. John checked, and the plastic mud-flap than hangs down in the front of the car was hanging loose. I took him home, then went back to the Nissan dealership to get it checked. That's indeed what it was, and they had the part in stock. Wouldn't you know they also noticed that I had a tire going flat. They checked that, too, and there was a screw in it. So all that got repaired. And it only took about an hour and $125.00.

This evening, we went to the Hunter Museum of American Art for a presentation about the big summer exhibit of pieces by glass artist William Morris. It was a panel discussion with the museum director, a local glass artist, and the museum staffer who helped with the installation of the pieces. It was quite interesting. The pieces are definitely not the usual blown glass vases, etc.

Today's photos are two pieces of glass by William Morris.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Pain is NOT fun!

We had a good swim class this morning, and a good crowd at coffee. Marian brought us a nice bunch of figs again. She gets them from a neighbor's tree - I guess nobody over there eats them. They're very tasty, though.

Things seem to be moving well at the Studio/Gallery. Vicki's definitely going to be moving some stuff in over the weekend. I do hope it really happens this time.

Oddly and suddenly, I started getting some sharp, stabbing pains in my right shoulder. I took some pain med when I got home, and started with an ice pack. That helped, but it hasn't gone away. I called the doc's office, hoping to get in tomorrow for a cortisone shot. The nurse was to call me back, but didn't this evening. I'll call again in the morning. In any case, I'm moving very carefully tonight. (And posting earlier than usual.)

Today's photo is of the recent eclipse from the Astronomy Picture of the Day.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

All day

I was gone ALL day today - most unusual. I went to the studio, as usual. One of the other gallery "founders' came in for lunch and an impromptu meeting. Vicki took us over to look at the new space. It wasn't unlocked, and she doesn't have a key yet, but we could peek in the windows. I think it's going to work out very well. Once it's all cleaned out and the bathroom reworked, all it will need is to have the carpet cleaned and a little bit of paint. She's vowed to be open for the Gallery Hop on 13 September - one way or another! I just hate it that we won't be here - feel like I'm being a deserter - but nothing I can do about that. We're going to "bring" the wine and, of course, some paintings.

We didn't finish until nearly 3. I had a Friends of the Library meeting at 4:30 at the downtown library, so I didn't bother to go home. I took my book into the library and, appropriately, read until time for the meeting. I got home about 6. Fortunately, we had planned for John to grill a steak, so dinner was easy. It was my intention to stay in my chair (except for potty breaks, of course) and watch the Olympics and do computer stuff until bedtime! It was tough, but I managed to do just that.

Congratulations to Michael Phelps on his 10 medals. He is awesome!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Knitting & Olympics

Olympics comment: Where did "synchronized diving" come from? The women were on last night, the men tonight. I've never even heard of this event before. How long has it been in the Olympics? I know that things appear from time to time that I never notice, but I do usually watch swimming and diving.

I was doing just fine with the knitting project, but the first row I started with tonight seems to have an error in it. The company (Plymouth Yarn) hasn't responded to my e-mail of last week, so I'm going to call them tomorrow and see what they can tell me.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Olympics, knitting, and politics

We haven't done much else today except watch the Olympics. John watched a reply of a USA Women's basketball game on the computer.

I think I might (just MIGHT) have finally gotten a handle on this knitted shawl pattern. I was about to give up and try a crocheted pattern, but I'm really not very adept at crocheting anything except afghans. Anyhow, I decided to "TINK" (unknit one stitch at a time) a couple of rows, and then, VOILA!, the light came on. I'm hoping this will look nice. So far, I haven't found any more errors, but the instructions are very poorly written. OK - enough about that!

I'm just now getting around to reading the August issue of the Smithsonian Magazine. In this time just before the 2008 political party conventions, there's a very interesting article about four history-making conventions (1912, [Rep]; 1948 [Dem]; 1964 [Rep]; and 1968 [Dem]. It's an excellent article. Click here to read the article online.

The photo is from the 1880 Republican convention.


I was just about ready to shut down the computer, and realized I had forgotten to write. I've never done THAT before. And here I was feeling smug about having learned a new knitting trick. Oh, well - we do get brought back to reality, don't we.

I've been sitting here watching the swimming and gymnastics, and playing Mexican Train on the computer.

We really did get out of the house this morning. It was a GORGEOUS morning - temperatures in the 60s and 70s. John went to walk on the River Walk, and I actually went with him. I walked about a mile (0.5 out and 0.5 back). While John finished his walk, at his pace, I sat at a picnic table right on the river and read my book. It was lovely! I really do need to walk more, but I'm not going to kid myself about doing it very regularly.

Tomorrow's supposed to be almost as nice as today. John'll go rowing in the morning.

Friday, August 08, 2008

The Olympics and more

If you want to follow the Olympics - live - and check up on some of the sports that they don't bother to show on TV, put the NBC Olympics web site in your "favorites" list.

I tried to knit on the shawl the other day. And I still thought there was a mistake in the pattern, but hadn't gotten a response from the company. Today, I went to my local yarn store where I had bought the pattern, and threw myself on their mercy.

Sherri was wonderful patient with my frustration. I explained where I was and what I had done. I had taken the two problematic rows and hand-written them out stitch by stitch, and had John check them to be sure I had done it correctly.

She took the work and went over it, checking what I had done. What she eventually found was that there were TWO errors, one in the row setting up the design pattern, and another in the following pattern row. The second one was obvious - I had noticed it right away, but I had missed the first one. I've been working on it some this evening, and it seems to be working.

As well, she managed to teach this old dog a new trick! And I'm thrilled to death with that. When you suspect a pattern, and have written it out like I did, be sure to check for symmetry - looking to be sure it's the same backwards as it is forwards. That was something I had never thought to do, and I'm eternally grateful for that bit of wisdom!

The Thought for the Day from A Word A Day follows:
Tomatoes and oregano make it Italian; wine and tarragon make it French. Sour cream makes it Russian; lemon and cinnamon make it Greek. Soy sauce makes it Chinese; garlic makes it good. -Alice May Brock, author (b. 1941)

I sent this out to some of our e-mail folks, and got some additions. Anne said: How could she have left out that cilantro, cumin and chilies make it Mexican!
And Dalton added: grease makes it southern! I certainly have to agree with the additions.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

August elections

The Democratic and Republican party primaries in Tennessee were held today, as well as the county general elections. The most highly contested election here was for Sheriff of Hamilton County. The previous sheriff was caught last spring in a federal sting operation, and has pleaded guilty to a variety of charges. This, of course, left the office vacant. The Republican candidate for sheriff won the election, but there were otherwise no surprises.

We always vote during the early voting period, so today was sort of an anticlimax. The highlight of the day was at our always-laugh-filled lunch. This group is pretty liberal, very Democratic, and quite outspoken. These are creative people, including artists, musicians, songwriters, and some retired elected city and county officials. While we were eating, we realized the small local restaurant had gradually become the site of what seemed to be a lunchtime strategy summit for the local Republicans, current and previous officeholders. They included our U.S. Congressman, the soon-to-be-elected candidate for sheriff, an ex-State legislator, an ex-county commissioner, and several others.

Although they circulated throughout the room (maybe 20 tables), pressing the flesh and chatting up the voters, they somehow didn't come to our table. Hmmmm - think they recognized any of our group and decided to ignore us? Sounds like a prudent decision to me.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Serendipity or Lagniappe?

Another sweltering day today. It was 81 at 6 a.m. Yuck!

A college classmate of mine lives in El Paso, and we were hoping to see them, at least for dinner, when we were passing through El Paso next month. We've exchanged e-mails, but she called and talked to John this morning. They have a cabin near the ranch, and we may get to introduce them to John's cousins, too. They're all very interested in the history of that area, so it'll be a treat for all of us. I wonder if this is serendipity (getting one thing then you were actually looking for something else), lagniappe (getting a little something extra). I guess it could be both.

Again this year, someone has planted sunflowers around the dumpster enclosure behind Studio2. They have such cheery faces.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

A voice from the past

I got a neat surprise in the snail mail today. A couple of months ago, a letter I wrote was published in the National Geographic magazine. This letter was from a "boy friend" I had in junior high school! He had seen my name in the magazine, and had googled my name. He found our photo site and our street address. I recognized his name as soon as I saw it on the envelope, but couldn't really believe it. Now I'm working on a reply to his letter. What fun to get a voice from the WAY-BACK past!

I think things are going to work up quickly with the new Gallery space. Work should have begun by this time tomorrow on the new bathroom and painting. This space is literally just around the corner from where we are located now. It still looks pretty rough from the outside, but the local foundation that is promoting the renaissance of the South Side is going to be redoing the facade with new windows and awnings. The vertical spaces immediately above the awnings are painted-over
windows, and will be uncovered - so there will be abundant light inside. The red-brick building in the back left is where Studio2/Gallery2 is located now. There will be streetscaping with trees and streetlamps. Mostly all that needs to be done inside is some cosmetic work.

We should definitely be in by 1 September, and ready (one way or another) for the city-wide Gallery Hop on 13 September. Unfortunately, we'll be out of town on that date, but I'll have work there, and will be there in spirit.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Good news on Monday

Mondays don't change much. Wal-Mart wasn't too bad today, though. That always makes things more pleasant.

I started off with great cards at bridge (1740 points in the first round). The second round was just a little less. And then the bottom fell out - with the last round being a whopping 50 points. Oh, well. It's only a's a #$%&*@! game!

But the afternoon had a great finish. Vicki called and a deal has been struck to rent space for the new shop/studio/gallery. I think she was beginning to think it would never happen. But, hopefully, things will work out this time, and we'll get moved in by the first of September. It's just around the corner - literally, on another side of the same block. A new bathroom has to be put in and some minor cosmetic changes, but we should be ready to go for the Gallery Hop on 13 September. What a huge relief for all of us. I'll be posting photos of the new space when I get some, and of the move.

The photo is of one of my paintings that will be on display. It's framed now, and really looks good! It's 36x24", named "Dancin' in the Streets".

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Happy Birthday, Jean

Today is our baby's 47th birthday. So I chatted on line with her for a while.
It's been very hot and humid here. The only time I've gone outside is to get the paper this morning. John snuck out early to row, and I slept until 7:40 - amazing!!

So far, it's taken all day to get the paper read and my computer stuff done. Now I think I'll just fiddle the day away.
I finished my first pair of socks from the beach-dyed yarn. There's enough left for one more sock, but not for two. I assume I'll have about the same amount left from the second batch, so maybe I'll combine them for a hybrid pair. We shall see. I probably won't be wearing them until the weather moderates some, but they surely feel nice.

I've started a non-sock project - a shawl. I'll be using the off-white baby alpaca yarn that Ann brought me from Peru. It's not really lace weight, but wonderfully soft. I have to confess to already having ripped out the first 30 or so rows after I found a dropped stitch. I hope that's the only time I have to do that.

Saturday, August 02, 2008


It's been sweltering today - high of 94 - and we're happily inside in the a/c.

John and I spent the morning applying tattoos. The Library's Summer Reading Program wrap-up was this morning, and we had volunteered to help. The bad part was that it was in the open-air pavilion - the good part was that it's covered and there was a pretty nice breeze almost all the time. I wore a loose-fitting dress - the coolest clothes I could think of. The kids were SO cute, and it just takes a few minutes to apply one of the temporary tattoos. And we were home by noon.

Thought for the day:
Some people walk in the rain, others just get wet. ~Roger Miller

Friday, August 01, 2008


I was reminded of some other favorite Dr. Seuss stories in the comments from yesterday. Then I remembered Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories.

Today is one of those days when I have gone absolutely blank on something write. Surely tomorrow will be better.