Saturday, January 31, 2009

Only basketball today.

We have done absolutely nothing today, except watch basketball games. All of our teams who played today won - the Lady Mocs beat UNCGreensboro, the UTC Mocs beat GASouthern, and the Vols beat Florida. We never even put "real" clothes on - just wore sweats all day long.

Kate and Wayne are still without power. She said they tried to do some clearing in the yard, but kept getting hit by falling chunks of ice. They have gotten out of the house, and said they couldn't believe the number of power poles that were just broken off. It'll be a while before power is fully restored in the Ohio Valley. She is going back to work tonight - trying to get things working again.

It is great to know that all of our chicks are where they're supposed to be, even if some are without electricity.

Today's photos are from google about the ice storm.

He's really home!

We picked up Margaret and drove to Nashville. Jesse's finally home! What great hugs! All he wanted was a sack of Krystals, a hot shower, and lots of sleep. We'll just enjoy him!


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Friday, January 30, 2009


JESSE IS IN BALTIMORE, trying to get to Nashville tonight. If he gets on the plane, we'll be heading that way!!!

Happy Birthday, Kate!

Happy Birthday, Kate! (even if you can't read it today). Their area got hit really hard by the ice storm that ran along the Ohio River. They finally got a phone call out today. They've been without power since Tuesday, and were running out of propane and dog food. They drove as far as Nashville looking for propane, without success. They're back at home, and now have located some propane. No telling when they'll get power back. She said there were huge amounts of really big limbs down in their yards - with an inch of ice on them, plus 2" of snow. Not a fun event.

One of my paintings has sold! One of my Bosom Buddies fell in love with one of them after looking at the web album. I'll be sending it to her tomorrow. As I told her, I'm always thrilled when one of my paintings finds a loving home.

Allan flew back to NYC today - both flights were uneventful and on time. It almost makes travel a pleasure.

We think Jesse is between Kuwait and Baltimore, and we're hoping to hug him on Friday. The yellow ribbons are still out.


Click here to read the 29 January 2009 entry on The Sandbox. I wanted to leave a comment, but the comment box wouldn't open. So I will leave it here: Zachary, I could never judge you. My heart breaks and I cry because of the pain you bear, and I can only send you love.
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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Photos of Paintings

This was one of those weird days, when the high for the day (61) was at midnight last night. The temperature has been going down ever since - and it's now 35. We still haven't heard anything from the Kentucky contingent as to how they weathered yesterday's snow and ice.

Nothing specific still about Jesse's arrival time, but his mom is expecting tomorrow night or Friday.

We ate out again tonight at a local eatery with some of Allan's friends, who are also folks we have lunch with on Thursday. It surely was a good meal - county-cooking stuff. I couldn't resist the turnip greens and fried green tomatoes. Yum!

I took photos of the pieces in the Eccentric & Eclectic exhibit. They're not great photos - problems with the angles and reflections, but you can CLICK HERE to browse through them.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Busy Tuesday

It got really warm today - up around 60 - ahead of the front that is now hammering the Ohio Valley, and west into MO, OK, and TX. We'll be getting that over the next few days. Fortunately, we won't be getting the ice and snow.

Allan was doing some legal work for Vicki this morning, so he went into the Gallery with me this morning. Matt called to tell us that the movers were at their apartment in Knoxville, and that he and Amanda would be heading to Atlanta. They wanted to stop and have lunch with us when they drove through. So we had a great late lunch at Logan's. It was great to hear about their move, jobs, plans, etc.

John and I each got great naps this afternoon. They were greatly needed and overdue. It was sweet!

We still don't know exactly when Jesse will be coming in, but we'll be there!

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Monday, January 26, 2009

Maybe on Friday

I had my mammogram today. The tech told me that they'd be sending the results to the doctor, and a card to me. I didn't get a call this afternoon for additional films, so I'm going to take that to mean that everything was okay. We shall see.

Jesse is in Kuwait for "decompression". He told his mom he'd probably be home sometime Friday. She's still not sure how certain that is. She's going to let us know as soon as she knows something for sure. He'll probably fly into Nashville, and if we have enough lead time, we'll be there for sure (we're about 2+ hours from the Nashville airport).

We went to the Lady Mocs game tonight - Lady Mocs 68, Furman 52. During half-time, an 8th-grade percussion group from a local middle school played a number on garbage cans - some metal and some plastic. It was FANTASTIC!!!!

It's looking better for Allan to be able to move back to Chattanooga. He's been doing a lot of real legal work on this trip, and making a bunch of solid contacts. He'll be leaving on Thursday, and then probably be back again in about a month. This is more good news.

Thanks so much to all of you folks out there who have celebrated with us about Jesse's homecoming. Of course, I'll be posting photos. Today's photo was taken when he was here before he shipped out last spring.

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On the way!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Yellow Ribbon

This is the yellow ribbon at our house. Jesse made this huge "Z" for us.

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The weekend!

We had a fun time at Margaret's yesterday, Kate got all the usual "Old Lady" presents - denture cleanser, Preparation H, prunes, a red hat, etc. A lot of this stuff has just been saved and passed on to the next one to turn 50.

Then we had a extra-special party activity. We all made huge yellow bows, and tied them to the trees lining Margaret's driveway. Jesse called and was hoping to leave Iraq today!!!!! I made an extra one to put at our house.

The first photo is of the Gallery from the street at night. The others are photos of the birthday presents, the birthday girl in her red hat, and our yellow ribbon display.




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Saturday, January 24, 2009

Two great days

These have been two very special days. I'm having to digest it all to write much, but I'll start with two photos of the main part of the display of my paintings at the gallery.


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Friday, January 23, 2009

Post Reception

The reception was great! We had such a good party, and had a good crowd. Folks were coming in for the whole time - mostly friends who had been invited, but some people who only read about it in the Sunday paper. I loved all the compliments, and we got good additions to our mailing list. Nothing sold except for some cards, but the hope is always that someone will come back to look again and then purchase.

And afterwards, the family and close friends adjourned to a nearby restaurant to cap off the evening.

It was an evening I'll always treasure, and many thanks to all who made it so special - you know who you are!

Photos will come tomorrow (or maybe Sunday). Tomorrow we go to Margaret's for Kate's big birthday party.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Reception Eve

We did our lunch thing, and got our much-needed haircuts. Then we went to the Gallery to work more, and work we did! Even John spent time with the heating pad this afternoon. Vicki, Allen, and the workmen had done much more.

We got the paintings moved to the Gallery side of the space - so it's totally different from the pictures I posted the other day. But it just looks great! Vicki is also a decorator, so now, she's working her magic with the small stuff.

I'll go over about noon tomorrow to get more finishing done - dusting and wiping the glass on the paintings, getting the food set out, etc., etc. I'll take my "nice" clothes to change into just before the starting time. I guess we're almost as ready as we're likely to be.

Today's photo was taken in Prague in 2007.

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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Nothing but hard work!

We worked really hard at the Gallery today. Made more decisions about hanging spaces and furniture arrangements, etc.

Then, even worse, when I got home, I tried on clothes - to see what fit and which I wanted to wear. John did agree to help by offering some opinions, and we've narrowed it down to three possibilities. You'll have to wait for photos to see the decision (and I don't know what it is yet).

This photo obviously wasn't taken in our area (it's in SE Colorado), but there's been a lot of snow in the Carolinas.

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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

"With Hope and Virtue" (G. Washington); With Pride and Hope (me)


Renee called to share the moments of the inauguration with us. She made me realize that I needed to think about the day and think about what I was going to write tonight. Fortunately, thanks to CSpan, I got a chance to listen to the inaugural address again. So these are random notes I made this afternoon.

Memories that I took away from today's Inauguration and history-making events:

As I said in my last entry, how wonderful to participate, however vicariously, in this wonderful peaceful transition.

It was cold, as expected in January, but there was brilliant sunshine on the proceedings. And how great it is to have the literal sunshine AND the figurative sunshine in the hope for more openness in our government.

I loved that the new president pledged to protect the country from terrorism and outside dangers, without tramping on the rights and liberties promised us in the Constitution. "We reject the notion that it is a choice between our safetly and our ideals. We will not give them up for expedience's sake."

President Obama was eloquent in his placing the problems we face today in the context of historical events.

The phrase that I remembered specifically was directed to the rest of the world - that we would "extend a hand if you will unclench your fist".

Both of the Obamas actually sang the Star Spangled Banner along with the Navy choir (as did Gen. Colin Powell).

Bill Dahn asked in his blog what his readers were feeling today. My answer was Pride and Hope!

Another quote: "Our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness."

You've never heard me say anything nice about "W", but I have to say that his and his staff's handling of the transition has been most gracious.

How lucky we are to live in this wonderful country!

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Chancellor Roger Brown reminded us in the piece in Sunday's Chattanooga Times Free Press that the peaceful transfer of power that will take place in the United States on Tuesday is truly remarkable. This is unique throughout the world and throughout history. We should rejoice and celebrate.

And this inauguration of the exceptional man who is to become our 44th President is an event for the ages.

Be thrilled for him, for his family, and for all Americans.

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Sunday paper

Today's Chattanooga Times Free Press had some exceptional articles - not the least of which was the feature article about me and my solo show on the Art Page. Sorry about that, but it is a good article. Click here to read the article.

With the drama and excitement of the upcoming inauguration of Barack Obama as our 44th President, there were a couple of other articles that I'd like to recommend.

Inauguration 2009 was written by Dr. Roger G. Brown, Chancellor of the University of Tennessee Chattanooga. It's an excellent article about the meaning of this event, and it is quite well written.

From the Miami Herald, Leonard Pitts's pre-inaugural commentary, Another Perspective on Abraham Lincoln is an unusual perspective from an African-American.

I hope these links will stay viable for a while. If they don't work, e-mail me directly with your e-mail address, and I'll copy and paste it to you.
Today's photo is one of John's - an abstract from Catalina Island.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Finally above freezing

I've been very good about basketbll scores lately. But it was a busy day today. The Lady Mocs won over Davidson; the Men Mocs beat Appalachian State; and the Men Vols beat Mississippi State. And a good day! John and Margaret will be going to the Lady Vols' game tomorrow. It's that time of year.

Here we are at 11:45 p.m., and the temperature has been rising all day. It's now soared to 34F! Actually above freezing! But it's not supposed to get out of the 30s tomorrow, and show showers are predicted for the next couple of days. At least with getting this couple of days of temps below freezing, it should kill off lots of those bad bugs - mosquitoes, Southern pine bark beetle, etc..

Flowering fruit trees, as in today's photo, are only a few months away.

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Saturday, January 17, 2009

A cold Friday

It's been below freezing here all day. The low last night was 9*. Schools were closed today so the kids wouldn't have to be standing out at busstops in 10* weather. I skipped swimming this morning. The Y policy is to cancel classes anytime the schools are closed in the wintertime. I remembered this, and since the school announcement was made last night, I slept until 8 this morning. Later in the day, though, we got an e-mail from the instructor saying that she would always try to get there if the roads weren't bad, so they did have class. Oh, well....... I did enjoy the extra sleep time, though.

I spent a little time at the gallery. The frames for the windows on the main space have been put in, and the job manager says that they'll get it finished Monday. We can't wait to see how much light there's going to be. Vicki and Allen will have the gallery side painted and ready to go early in the week.

I must mention the incredible news of the plane crash into the Hudson River yesterday. What a remarkable story of what is possible when well trained, competent people do what they are trained to do, and do it deliberately with cool heads and speed. Somebody wondered about how often birds and airplanes collided. It happens with enough frequency that airplane developers and manufacturers test airplane parts by actually bombarding them with (dead) chickens propelled from high-speed air-powered cannons. Click here to read about it. That said, it's still wonderful that this sort of accident happened, and there were no fatalities or life-threatening injuries.

Today's photo is of jellyfish at the Tennessee Aquarium.

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Thursday, January 15, 2009


It's supposed to be 10 degrees F or lower tonight, and it's already 16. Brrrrrrrr.

Gallery update: They have finished the front of the gallery side and have walled off the main space side and torn out the front windows and wall. Vicki repainted the long wall of the main space side, and I got pieces hung there today. They'll probably be moved sometime during the length of the show, but it looks SO good now, and I'm really pleased with it. I took some photos. Unfortunately, I used my small camera, and I really can't hold it steady enough to get unfuzzy shots. These are a few of the sharper ones. The paintings are not all straightened yet.




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Wednesday, January 14, 2009


To quote Molly Ivins: "I couldn't make this stuff up." This was in our paper this morning, headlined "Donor uses kidney in custody flight".

Melville, NY - The Long Island surgeon who wants his estranged wife to return the kidney he donated to her or pay him $1.5 million in a dirce settlement has asked a Nassau judge to throw her in jail for not allowing him to visit his three children, the doctor's attorney said Tuesday.
Dr. Richard Batista's attorney, Dominic Barbra, wants his estranged wife, Dawnell Batista of Massapequa, held in contempt."

We opened the barrier between the gallery and the main space today. They've finished the window wall and door. Also, they've removed the old dropped ceiling, so there are the huge high ceilings with the exposed rafters of the floor above. It's exciting, and the light is incredible! They were supposed to put up the barrier/weather wall to block off the main space, so we'll be coming in through the new door until they finish the main space. Then they're going to put the new awning over both sides. I haven't painted anything new for this show, but I have dragged out some older stuff and had it reframed and cleaned up. It may wind up being stacked around against the walls for a while, but I can deal with that. It's always an adventure! I only hope there is mostly some open space for folks to come for the reception on the 23rd.

I guess all this cold weather makes me want to post flower pictures - a hibiscus.

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Tuesday, January 13, 2009


Gallery and Exhibit status: The glass was up in the side gallery this morning, but it was still not quite closed in (and it's to get VERY cold over the next few days). The workmen had a kerosene heater in their space, but we realized it was pumping carbon monoxide into our space, and had to tell them to turn it off. Oh, well.... The front should be closed in soon. Of course, then they'll start on the main side of the gallery. We cleared the walls in the front of the gallery today, and decided which of my pieces to hang. The show is supposed to open on the 15th, but it'll probably be only partially up by then. The reception is on 23 January. I'll probably wind up starting the exhibit in one space, and then moving it to the other. Oh, well - being flexible is a good thing.

Does anybody out there ever get Raynaud's phenomenon? I've had little bits of it before, on the pads of 1-2 fingertips, when my hands got very cold, but nothing like this morning. This wasn't from the cold gallery, but from the drive over. I had the heater on in the car, of course, and gloves on, but all my fingers were white, all around, from the second knuckle to the fingertips. The circulation finally returned and they warmed back up, but it took a while. I'll call the rheumatologist tomorrow and ask for suggestions, plus doing some online checking tonight.

There was a Friends of the Library Board meeting this afternoon, and then John and I met at a little Italian place for dinner. They have a very limited menu, but the food is excellent.

We went to hear historian Doris Kearns Goodwin (Team of Rivals) speak tonight. The talk was due to start at 7, and the publicity said that it would be first-come/first-served seating. Well, okay - we'll get there early, so no problem. The place won't be full. Right! We got there at 6:20, and people were lined up in the lobby of the UTC Fine Arts Center. It turned out that the theater where she was speaking was already full, and they were getting ready to open seating in the other theater in the Center, with a live TV feed. And when that theater filled up, they opened up another room with TV. Goodwin is a great speaker, with delightful anecdotes about the presidents she's been close to (beginning with LBJ). And the part of her talk about Lincoln and his Team was excellent. Hearing her personal stories about how she got interested in history was good, too. She certainly made Team sounds like a good book to read.

If we go to any of the other talks in this series (3 more), we'll go even earlier - and take a book to read while we wait.

So, after being gone from 9:30 until after 8 p.m., I was glad to get home, in my jammies and robe, and in my recliner.

Let's think summertime with the photo.

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Monday, January 12, 2009


Monday - going to swimming.

Monday - going to Panera.

Monday - going to Walmart.

Monday - going home for lunch.

Monday - going to bridge.

Monday - going to the chair.

And a fire in Margaret's fireplace. It feels good on a cold winter's evening.

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Sunday, January 11, 2009

A slug day

What a "slug" day! I cannot believe that I actually slept until 9! I don't know that I've ever done that before. But it surely did feel good. All I did today was the laundry, read in the David Baldacci book, and knit. John watched lots of ballgames (the Lady Vols lost to Vanderbilt), and caught up on some missed series episodes using "On Demand".

It was supposed to be partly cloudy today, but that never happened. The high for the day was 47, but that was just after midnight. During the day, the highest we saw was 37, and it's been going down ever since. The low predicted for tonight is 28. But, it IS January.

Today's picture is one from the web site, taken in Central Park, NYC.

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