Saturday, February 28, 2009

Not tonight...

Sorry, folks. This cold has put me out of commission. I hope tomorrow will be better.

Friday, February 27, 2009


1. Allan arrived about noon. He'll be here for a week, beating the bushes for clients. He's out this evening with some possibilities, and his week is pretty much booked up. We're supposed to be going out to dinner with him two nights. The more the better!

2. My Kindle arrived in the mail this afternoon. I had just checked the shipping progress site on Amazon, and it said it was still in Atlanta. Oh, well. I don't care - it's finally HERE! It measures 5 x 8 x 1/3" and is very light. I've ordered a case to keep it protected when I'm toting it around. Mostly, I've been reading the manual, and enjoying the possibilities. Unfortunately, Amazon doesn't have 84 Charing Cross Road, which was going to be my first purchase. I did order a sample of Jon Meacham's new book about Andrew Jackson, and I'm coming up with several other possibilities.

3. John's cold arrived in my throat and nose. DAMN! I was really hoping I'd manage to miss this one, but it was not to be. I've started on Zi-Cam and coricidin to try to keep it as light as possible. Hope springs eternal.

Definitely an eventful day.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Catch-up Thursday

Thursday is my catch-up (or do-nothing) day. I got the newspaper read and some computer stuff done. Then it was off to the regular Thursday lunch. John's still miserable, so he skipped today (he really IS sick). But he was saving himself for Jesse.

Jesse was heading back to his posting in Norfolk. He reports back in on Tuesday. But he's going to go to Charleston for a couple of days. And he's spending tonight with Matt & Amanda tonight. We met him at a Waffle House for breakfast (Jesse), lunch (John), and second lunch(me) - but mainly just to get in some extra hugs. I just had a small bowl of soup for supper to atone for the extra meal.

My Kindle still hasn't come. Amazon said 2 March, and I guess they're going to keep to that. Even though they sent an e-mail last weekend that it had been mailed, and it's been in Atlanta since Tuesday. John's new computer is scheduled for delivery on 6 March. We're both pretty impatient to get our new toys.

The Lady Vols lost to LSU tonight. They were really awful in the first half, but managed to come back to a tie near the end of the game. LSU held on to win by a couple of points.

Area high temperatures today were near 70 - and snow is predicted for Sunday. I keep reminding myself that the Great Blizzard of 1993 was on 13 March. I don't consider it spring until after that. We won't be going to Charleston for the SoCon Tournament this year (it's here in Chattanooga), but this is what we saw last year at this time.

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Wednesday, February 25, 2009


The Sears people (including a complaint/possible-damage assessor) came this afternoon, and finally got the machine properly installed - at least I think so. I've done one load, and it seemed to fine. If it continues to work right, I'm okay with it.

The complaint guy had called this morning and talked to John. He said that the installer said that he had told me that the faucet was leaking. What a bunch of shit! Like I would've done three loads of wash knowing that a faucet was leaking. That really did tick me off. I must admit I was ready to have them take it back to the store. But I calmed down, and it does seem to be working okay now. We'll see. And that'll probably be the last thing I buy from Sears.

Later I got the automated satisfaction survey call. If anybody checks those things, they'll get a really bad review. One of the questions was if I would recommend Sears to a friend. That got the strongest possible NO, of course.

Poor John has come with with one of those fast-arriving spring colds. He's alternately stopped up and runny-nosed, and feels miserable. I still had some of the roast chicken that I got at Walmart on Monday, so I made some chicken noodle soup for supper. Thaqt's always good comfort food. He went to bed about 8 tonight. I'm going to sleep in the other room and keep my fingers crossed that I won't get it.

This is the closeup of the forsythia.

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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Harbingers of Spring

John took our tax material to the CPA this morning - so that's one chore out of the way.

Allan is coming back on Friday. He's making some really good contacts, and I won't be surprised if he gets to move back here this year. He's been invited to dinner two nights already (and we're invited, too), and people are definitely getting referrals for him.

Sears has called (an automated call) to let us know the time they will be coming (12:45 - 2:45) tomorrow. We shall see.

We worked at the library book sale again this afternoon. Today is the last day, and it is "bag day". Folks can pay $3.50 for a big paper grocery bag, and then can get as many books as will fit in the bag. Lots of book-sale regulars come on the last day, just to pick up lots of things. And, lots of folks told us that they read the books, and then donate them back to the book sale for the next time. Love that recycling! The books that don't find homes during the sale get taken to the regular paper recycling. I hate that, but the library doesn't have room to store all of those books. Poor homeless babes!

Forsythia is always so pretty when it blooms in the early spring.

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Monday, February 23, 2009

Do NOT buy from Sears!

Our power went out this morning while we were getting dressed to go to the Y, so we left early. At least it was on when we got back home. John went to bridge this afternoon, and I stayed home to wait for the washer delivery. That was scheduled between 2:15 and 4:15.

The installers got here early - at 2. And things seemed to go downhill from there. The service guy who came last week had put several towels into the non-draining front-loader to soak up the water, and just left them there. The service guy didn't mention it to me, and the installer found them when he opened the machine. There was also standing water inside.

The installers took the old machine out, and I swept the vinyl that would be under the machine. They brought the new machine in, hooked it up, ran some water, I signed the paper, and they left. I was happily washing when John got home. The third load had just finished, when John discovered there was water on the floor in the utility room. Damn! It turns out it was leaking around the filling hose. He turned the water off, as I was calling trying to get hold of somebody to come fix the problem.

It was nearly 5 p.m. I called the store, and couldn't seem to get past the menu to a person. I finally called the number on the card of the saleswoman I had dealt with on Saturday. She said she'd have somebody call me. Another woman called, and I explained all this to her. She said to turn off the water (which we had done), and that they'd have somebody come on Friday. FRIDAY?!?!? I told her that was absolutely NOT acceptable, and that the latest I would accept would be tomorrow (Tuesday) morning at 8 a.m., and expressed concern about possible damage to the floor. We went round and round for a while, and then she transferred me to Christopher in the service and claim department. (Unfortunately, no real service seems to be available at Sears.) We went through the story again, and I expressed our concern that there was water on the floor in the utility room, getting under the vinyl that was laid on that section. After going round and round, I finally agreed on his compromise that someone would come on Wednesday to re-install the washer and that somebody would be coming to check for any damage.

About 6:30 p.m., John got on the phone, trying to get somebody high enough up the food chain to register our complaints. He was on the phone for another hour, getting shunted from place to place (including India), and even getting hung up on once. He finally got somebody go agree to send him paperwork for registering a complaint. Then he checked the washer again, and found out it was not level - although that's something else that the installer is supposed to check for.

Needless to say, we are NOT happy customers. Jimmie Mac, you were right - we should've bought from HHGregg. And believe me, wherever we buy the next time, it won't be from Sears. Sears seemed to understand that there was a problem, but didn't really seem to care.

What started out seemingly pretty good, really turned to shit as the day went on.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Lazy Sunday

The young people left at midmorning to head to the Aquarium. John and Margaret left at noon to go to the ballgame (Lady Vols 86, Mississippi State 62).

I didn't even have the laundry to do today. (Poor me!) But I did get to finish the paper, do some reading and some knitting, and watch some of the NCIS marathon. (My guilty secret!)

Sears called (or their recording) and gave me a 2-hour window for the delivery and installation of the new washer. I'll be here. And will, no doubt, inaugurate it right away.

I'm not sure what this little ground-hugging flower is called (strawflower?), but it's always one of the first things to bloom, saying that spring is not too far away.

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Saturday, February 21, 2009

Too early for spring

Today pretty much went as planned - except for the Lady Mocs losing to Western Carolina. They had no pzazz at all in the first half, and were down by 12 at the half. They played like they meant it in the second half, and got to within 2 points, but were never ahead, and lost by 4. Just one of those days.

The rest of the day went pretty much as expected. I went over to Sears and bought the machine we had looked at yesterday. Sorry, Jimmy Mac, I appreciate your comments. I just didn't want to do any more shopping. And I've almost always had Kenmore appliances, and have always been satisfied with them. In any case, it's to be delivered on Monday, and I'll get it "christened".

Jesse and his current ladyfriend got here first, shortly followed by Margaret, and then Matt & Amanda. We went to eat at Longhorn ("cow" is always a winner with those two men), and had good meals.

They finished out the evening playing Rook.

We're supposed to get some snow overnight, but sunshine tomorrow and much colder temperatures. But spring is trying to happen here. Here's the first of several bright spots in our yard this afternoon
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Friday, February 20, 2009

The first phase

This afternoon, we looked at Sears, Lowe's, and HHGregg. The best deal, we think, is to get a Kenmore 600 from Sears. It looks just like one of the Whirlpool machines at HHGregg (guess the Kenmores are made by Whirlpool). With the coupon we have from the service call and a rebate on the delivery/installation/removal of old machine, the price is better at Sears. I'll call the saleslady in the morning - she helped us and gets a commission, so I'll give her the sale.

John's gotten our income tax stuff ready for the CPA. It took him only about an hour and very little grumbling (thank heavens). He's got a call in to find out when to get it to her.

The best part of our shopping trip was that we ended up at the big mall across town, with the plan that we'd have an early dinner in an area we don't usually frequent. So we ate at the Bonefish Grill. John had what he always gets there - the steamed mussels appetizer. It's a HUGE bowl of mussels, and he smiles the whole time he's eating. I got the special of crusty grilled cod. It was superbly cooked and quite good. If you have a Bonefish Grill in your area, check it out.

It's still winter, with snow flurries predicted for tomorrow night. But it won't be long before we'll be having spring with all these wonderful flowering trees (and allergies).
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Thursday, February 19, 2009


DAMN, DAMN, DAMN!!!! I can't believe the 8-year-old washing machine has died. The repairman was here about 9, and performed the last rites. I certainly intended that machine to be my last washer. But, alas, we had to start shopping for another one this afternoon. And we all know how much I detest shopping for anything. In a perfect world, a new one would be installed in the utility room in less than week without my having to do anything but pay for it. Sighhhhhhhhhh

At lunch, we were reminded that there is a new scratched-and-dented appliance store here, so we'll be checking there, as well as Sears and Lowe's.

John and I both worked at the Library book sale. The work wasn't too bad - got to be with some nice folks, and see lots of people we knew. It's great to see so many people reading so many different kinds of books. Before we went home, we checked out the damaged appliance store - a good place to start and at least get an idea of what's available.

We finished off the evening at a concert by the UTC Symphony Band. Different music from what we'd expect at the Chattanooga Symphony, but still good musicians and enjoyable music. Also free!

The Lady Vols had another disastrous night, loving to Kentucky. Sarah got me to answer the "25 things..." on Facebook. And the evening was capped off by watching My Fair Lady.

I really, REALLY hate having to get a new washing machine!

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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A slow day

We got bits and pieces of a storm. Lots of wind for a while, then the sun would come out, and it would rain with the bright sunshine. On the news, they said there was hail in some parts of town. We didn't have any here, though. And our high today was 72!!! That's definitely going to change tomorrow and on subsequent days.

These are a couple of photographs that I couldn't get posted yesterday. No photographer can resist railroad tracks - so I didn't.

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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The morning drive

My drive to the Gallery this morning turned into one big photo op. I had taken my camera in the hope that I could catch a quick photo of the Delta Queen. We're in the early voting period for our mayoral and city council election, so that was my first stop.

As I was leaving the Election Commission office, I could see the storage units at the industrial park across the way. I've been wanting to get some photographs of them for a long time - and here was my chance. As I drove in that direction, I saw a bunch of Canada geese on the grassy roadsides, so I had to stop and "catch" them.

Then I pulled off the road and got out of the car to take the photos of the storage tanks that I wanted.

Fortunately there was nobody behind me as I drove on Riverfront Parkway, so I could just stop on the road and get a photo of the Delta Queen through the lowered window.

With our warming spell, the ornamental flowering plum trees along the Parkway have started to bloom. They were beautifully lined up, back-lit, with the dark background of Cameron Hill. I couldn't have gotten a better angle than that.

And then when I finally got to the Gallery, it was to find the outside sign finally up on the side of the building.

What a great drive this morning!

Monday, February 16, 2009


Think Pink!

This is Pink Week in college basketball - to raise awareness of Breast Cancer and to raise money for research for a cure. This cause is especially moving to the women's basketball community because of the recent death from breast cancer of legendary coach, Kay Yow. All the teams - women AND men - are, in some way, incorporating pink into their games. Special pink uniforms, pink shoes, pink shirts, pink ties, pink shoelaces, pink t-shirts for the fans - even pink whistles for the referees. It's wonderful to see this acknowledgement of a problem and the cooperation in working toward a common goal.

Today's scores: UTC Lady Mocs 71, Appalachian State 47
UT Lady Vols 54, Duke 62

Think Pink!

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Sunday, February 15, 2009

Just a blank

Sorry, folks - nothing to contribute to the blog world today.

The photo is one of John's - under the bridge at the port of Long Beach, CA.

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Saturday, February 14, 2009

Creative Puns


1. The roundest knight at King Arthur's round table was Sir Cumference. He acquired his size from too much pi.

2. I thought I saw an eye doctor on an Alaskan island, but it turned out to be an optical Aleutian.

3. She was only a whisky maker, but he loved her still.

4. A rubber band pistol was confiscated from algebra class because it was a weapon of math disruption.

5. The butcher backed into the meat grinder and got a little behind in his work.

6. No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.

7. A dog gave birth to puppies near the road and was cited for littering.

8. A grenade thrown into a kitchen in France would result in Linoleum Blownapart.

9. Two silk worms had a race. They ended up in a tie.

10. Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.

11. A hole has been found in the nudist camp wall. The police are looking into it.

12. Atheism is a non-prophet organization.

13. Two hats were hanging on a hat rack in the hallway. One hat said to the other: 'You stay here; I'll go on a head.'

14. I wondered why the baseball kept getting bigger. Then it hit me.

15. A sign on the lawn at a drug rehab center said: ' Keep off the Grass.'

16. A small boy swallowed some coins and was taken to a hospital. When his grandmother telephoned to ask how he was, a nurse said, 'No change yet.'

17. A chicken crossing the road is poultry in motion.

18. It's not that the man did not know how to juggle, he just didn't have the balls to do it.

19. The short fortune-teller who escaped from prison was a small medium at large.

20. The man who survived mustard gas and pepper spray is now a seasoned veteran.

21. A backward poet writes inverse.

22. In democracy it's your vote that counts. In feudalism it's your count that votes.

23. When cannibals ate a missionary, they got a taste of religion.

24. Don't join dangerous cults: Practice safe sects!

(Thanks [or blame] for these to Margaret R.)

Today's photo of the Delta Queen docked at Coolidge Park in Chattanooga is by Troy Moore.

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Friday, February 13, 2009

Friday the 13th

What happened to YOU on Friday the 13th?

After swimming, getting the house cleaned, and much needed haircuts, the best thing today happened to us between 9:30 and 10:00 p.m. Bill Moyers introduced us to poet Nikki Giovanni. What a delightful woman this is! Moyers asked her to read a poem called Choices, and I want to share it with you.


If i can't do
what i want to do
then my job is to not
do what i don't want
to do

It's not the same thing
but it's the best i can

If i can't have
what i want . . . then
my job is to want
what i've got
and be satisfied
that at least there
is something more to want

Since i can't go
where i need
to go . . . then i must . . . go
where the signs point
through always understanding
parallel movement
isn't lateral

When i can't express
what i really feel
i practice feeling
what i can express
and none of it is equal

I know
but that's why mankind
alone among the animals
learns to cry

Written by Nikki Giovanni

This is the last photo from the great sunset last weekend.

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Thursday, February 12, 2009

Lazy Thursday

Are you believing that the woman who had the octuplets now has a website that asks people for donations to raise her 14 children?!? No THAT's chutzpah!

I saw the PA in my oncology surgeon's office today for my annual check. Everything looks good, and I don't have to go back for another year. HOORAY!

Have y'all read The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society? I'm almost through with it, and it's a delightful read. Be sure to get hold of it. Thanks, Anne, for the push to get it.

Margaret and John went to Knoxville to see the Lady Vols win over Alabama. That plus our regular lunch was about it for the day. I'm still doing the "couch potato" as ordered by the rheumatologist. The good part of that is that the knee is feeling pretty good.

This is another of the sunset photos from last weekend.

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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Storms and the Queen

I got an injection in my knee today. It already feels better - but that's probably the novocaine they use in the mix. I'm supposed to be a "couch potato" for two days. I guess I can manage that. The doc said I could go to swimming on Friday

We were under a wind advisory and tornado watch today. I was "chatting" with Jean as it went through Nashville, with lots of wind and rain. But it was VERY fast, and by the time we signed off, she said the sun was shining. It was very windy here, too. About midafternoon it got very dark, then wind blew even harder, and the rain was incredible. The weather guy said that in places there was 0.5" in 10 minutes. That's about what we had here. And about 20 minutes after the rain started, there were blue skies, and the sun was shining. Ah, springime!

The Delta Queen was due to dock downtown today about 1 p.m. I'm sure it wasn't easy with all the wind. If you haven't read, the Delta Queen has been removed from passenger/overnight travel. It's to be docked temporarily at a downtown park in Chattanooga to be used as a floating hotel. This is a google photo of the Delta Queen.


A Long Day

Today was a long day, and I've made it even longer by dilly-dallying about writing tonight.

I was at the Studio all day today. Vicki and I both did some painting - always fun, and I think we were both pleased with the starts we made.

Jesse came with his truck and picked up Kate's loom. He was going to get it at least to his house - that's 3/4 of the way to Kate's house. Obviously, it's going to get there in stages.

The downtown day ended with the board meeting of the Friends of the Library. Needless to say, libraries are hurting just like everybody and everything else nowadays - maybe even more. Although, this is a time when the libraries are needed even more!

Another sunset photo tonight - actually of the rising moon that night.

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Monday, February 09, 2009

Monday, Monday

Monday is always busy. I guess I like doing all this stuff on one day - then it's downhill for the rest of the week. It would've been ever so much nicer, though, to have gotten some good cards at bridge this afternoon.

Jean and I have figured out we can chat on facebook. Actually, we didn't figure it out - Amanda explained it to us (in little bitty words). Thanks, Amanda. We didn't have much time to chat today, but we'll try again later in the week.

Our Lady Mocs beat College of Charleston tonight, 72-61. The referees in the women's games are generally awful, but the ones tonight were incredibly bad. Even I could tell, and they have to be really bad about that.

I'm going to call my doc tomorrow and see if I can get in sometime this week for an injection in my knee. Phooey! We also have to get haircuts this week. It does go on.....

The moon was full tonight. No photos of that, but another one of the sunset last Saturday.

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Sunday, February 08, 2009

Visitors and sunsets

Marty & John stopped over last night. It's always a treat to have them come through.

Matt and Amanda stopped by on their way home, too. They hadn't seen the Gallery or my exhibit. I met them at the Gallery, and it was fun to show them around. That's one of the things we like about Chattanooga. It's on the way to lots of places, so we get to visit with lots of folks.

One of the few things we don't like about our house is that, due to the terrain, we never get to see a sunset. As we were leaving Margaret's on Saturday, we noticed the sunset. I asked John to stop several times between Margaret's and the interstate so I could take photographs. I'll be posting these over the next few days.

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Saturday, February 07, 2009

The Trifecta

Kate came in Friday afternoon sbout 5, and immediately started on the laundry. We had supper, and John and I went to the Symphony. She was just finishing up the last load when we got home about 10:30. I asked how many loads she did, and she said she didn't even count them. But this morning, she gave herself a great treat. She's been in the market for a loom. A friend here, who is a fabric artist, had a loom she wanted to sell. They got together this morning, and Kate is now the proud owner of a Macomber floor loom. She is one happy camper. She couldn't take it home with her, it's going to take a truck. So she'll have to make another trip if Wayne can get their truck running, or maybe get Jesse to come get it for her and take it to her house. It'll happen somehow.

About noon, we headed out to Margaret's. It was great to see Jesse and his new toy. The weather today was GREAT! He had been out learnng his new bike and enjoying the gorgeous day. Kate and Jean, Matt & Amanda were there when we arrived. Friends of ours from Chattanooga and Hendersonville, as well as lots of Bobby's family came in to help with the celebration. There was certainly a lot of food. Barbecued chicken breasts, fried catfish, cornbread, corn, pinto beans, broccoli casserole, potato casserole, sweet potato casserole, fruit salad, bar slaw, relishes and condiments. And then there were the desserts. There's nothing like a special occasion to bring out the good food - not that it really takes anything special. Good family, good friends, and good food - Nothing can beat it!

Photos from the day.



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Laundry and Symphony

Kate came in this evening to do her "two metric shitloads" of laundry. I don't know exactly how many loads that was - but she did finish by about 11 p.m.

We had symphony tickets, so didn't hang around to help with the laundry. It was a good program (Heroic Portrait) - to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Lincoln's birth. The orchestra played works by Aaron Copland, Jan Ungar, and Beethoven. Definitely a good concert

The google photographs are of a Beethoven score, baritone Donnie Ray Albert, and pianist Ning An. Great performances tonight.



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