Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The season winds down

UConn, Oklahoma, Stanford, Louisville - the line-up for the women's basketball Final Four. It's all set for next weekend. Should be some good games. I'm not sure when the men's Final Four is. But college basketball is almost over for the year.

We finally took the car today to the dealer to see if they could find and fix that rattle we've been hearing for months. Turns out it was some tension rods that had come loose near the rear speakers. Fixed, and no charge. You can't beat that - a simple problem, and no cost.

Today turned out to be gloomy, rainy, long, and mostly uneventful. I didn't go in to the Gallery because of having to take the car. The logistics just didn't work.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Motley Monday

Today was the usual run-all-day Monday. Nothing spectacular.

Sometimes, I think I ought to take a hiatus from writing the blog. I hate these days when I think I don't have anything interesting to report.

I think I've sold another painting to an on-line friend. That's so exciting. I love knowing that other people enjoy the things I create. This got me thinking about the possibility of an on-line presence to market my pieces. I had a couple of friends who have "shops" on etsy.com. I've looked at the site and their procedures for opening a store. It looks interesting. I know it would be a lot of work though. And I'll have to give it a lot of thought before such an undertaking.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Nothing to say

Things really cooled off today. It was still overcast, though.

About the only things we accomplished today were doing the laundry and watching more basketball.

Somedays, there's just nothing to write about. Sorry about that.

I will post a photo of another of my paintings, a watercolor called Precipitation. The true colors are a bit more muted than show up in the picture.
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Saturday, March 28, 2009

Lazy Saturday

This was another slow Saturday. Of the two bathing suits I got at TJMaxx yesterday, I kept one and took the other back. I did have to sew up some of the cleavage in the one I kept, but it'll work. That was basically "it" for the day.

I finished the latest Dana Stabenow book borrowed from Kate - Whisper to the Blood. We like her Kate Shugak series. I've started another book on the Kindle. Bold Spirit is a true story of Helga Estby's journey on foot across the United States (Spokane to NYC) in 1896. I read the sample and wanted more, so I bought it. More of a review will come later.

I've been feeling a lot better, but still getting the late evening laryngitis.

These are two watercolors, Irish Rooftop and The Widow of Sneem, based on photographs from my trip to Ireland in 1990.

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Friday, March 27, 2009

A busy Friday

This turned out to be a pretty busy Friday. I did finally get back into the pool this morning - albeit the warm pool. I decided not to push my luck by going to the regular class, so I walked in the warm pool for most of the class time. Then I spent a few minutes in the steam room - trying to work some of this stuff out. After coffee, I took the clothes back to TJMaxx, and got a couple more bathing suits to try. One of those will work.

After the studio for a while, we spent most of the afternoon doing some chair time - probably dozing a bit.

The opening reception for Roslynne's solo show took us back to the gallery this evening. Everything looked great, and she had a pretty good crowd. After a bit, we went to Mom's Italian place with John & Sylvia for dinner. We checked back just to catch some clean-up time for the reception, then headed for home and basketball.

For some reason, I'm really tired tonight. I probably won't last too much longer.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Light at the end of the tunnel?

At last, I'm finally starting to feel better. I got some quality chair time this afternoon, without being interrupted by coughing. So after being up for about an hour at 3 a.m. this morning, maybe I'll get in a full night's sleep tonight. Incidentally, I discovered that Bravo network shows episodes of West Wing at 3-4 a.m.ET - so it wasn't a totally wasted hour. I don't think I'll be setting an alarm for it, though.

PBS Program note: The three new episodes of the Antiques Road Show that were filmed in Chattanooga last summer will premiere next Monday, 30 March. Episodes #2 and 3 will be on the following two Monday nights. Check your local listing. Nothing we took warranted filming, but we might show up in one of the crowd shots or backgrounds.

Today's photo is of one of my paintings, a watercolor on paper, Silver Swirl.

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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Congratulations to Senator Sarah!!!

All day rain today. So far we've had 1.5" of rain, and it's supposed to rain tonight and for the rest of the week.

I had hoped to go to the pool this morning, but after another bad night, I went to the doctor this morning. As expected, my nose, ears, and chest were clear. But obviously I have a problem. He gave me prescriptions for a steroid dose pack and some cough syrup with codeine. At least with that I should be able to get some solid sleep. And that should help everything else.

The best news of the day was that Sarah was elected to the Junior Senate at CofC. She's really been antsy waiting for the results. But all turned out well. This could be just the first step.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Almost a regular Tuesday

Things have changed at the Gallery during the week I've been done. Roslynne's show has opened, and looks really good. Of course, everything else has been rearranged because of that. And we have another new artist in with us. Everything looks great!

That plus yesterday pretty much did me in for the day. I'm going to see the doctor tomorrow. This may be allergy on top of the cold, and the allergy season is just getting started. There's no way I want to feel like this for the next month of various allergy seasons. Everybody will appreciate what fun it is for me to have completely lost my voice by the middle of the evening. Stop now! I can hear the laughter all the way over here.

Major women's basketball upset: #9 Michigan State beat #1 Duke.

Here's another one of my paintings - acrylic on canvas - Cape Breton Island coast.

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Monday, March 23, 2009

The end of our season

We are now officially through with in-person basketball for this season. Unless, of course, somebody should step up and give us tickets to the Women's Final Four in St. Louis on 5 & 7 April. I think we could probably handle that. But, failing that, we'll wash and fold our Mocs and Vols t-shirts and put them on the shelf until next season.

The game tonight was a good one. Purdue outplayed UNC 85-70, and moves on to the Sweet Sixteen. And there they get to play Rutgers - never an easy game. Unfortunately, all four of our favorite teams lost in their first tournament games.

I did almost a full Monday schedule today. I decided to skip swimming, although I didn't miss coffee. I'll try to get back in the pool on Wednesday. We went to bridge, then straight to meet Margaret for dinner and the ballgame. It definitely made for a long day.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

A glorious Sunday!

I'm tired of feeling sorry for myself, and I'm sure everybody else is, too. Jean says I've been a whiner. Sorry about that. I'll try to do better.

It was another glorious day today. The temperature got up to 72.

We went to a free Chattanooga Symphony Chamber music concert at UTC this afternoon, and met John & Sylvia there. The concert was delightful! It was brief - they played only two selections. A Mozart quintet for piano, clarinet, oboe, bassoon, and horn was first. The second was a Schumann quintet for piano, two violins, viola, and cello. The pianist is an artist in residence at UTC; the others are all first chair musicians with the symphony. What a wonderful hour it was! We hadn't seen J&S for a while, so it was fun to visit with them, too.

The rest of the day was basketball on TV. Such is March! The Lady Vols play tonight, but I'm going to bed early.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Early night tonight

I'll bet you're almost as tired of hearing about this cold as I am of having it. But, wait! I don't think that's possible. Thought things were getting better, but then....

Just a couple of hours sleep last night, due to coughing. We did the two basketball games today - Women's First Round, NCAA Tournament. UNC just barely beat Univ of Central Florida, and Purdue won over Charlotte. UCF probably played the most intense active game - but to no avail.

We enjoyed seeing Margaret, and went to dinner at La Altena after the games. Then she headed home. And I feel like warmed over you-know-what.

I'll close and post early with two of my paintings from the show - Blue Faces #1 and #2 (apologizing for the photo quality).

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Friday, March 20, 2009

Out of the house

Basketball report: So far, our teams are 0 for 3 - the Vols lost to Oklahoma State this morning. The Lady Vols play Ball State Sunday night. The only good news was that Western Kentucky won their game (that's where Andy goes to school).

We went to the symphony tonight - a great concert. The orchestra played Brahms' Symphony No.4. The second selection was Dvorak's Concerto for cello and orchestra. Zuill Bailey was the soloist. He was a definite WOW! And, he's matinee-idol gorgeous! Quite a combination. I did some coughing, but think I kept it muffled pretty well. I just didn't want to disturb other listeners or the musicians. This was my first time out of the house since Monday. I did pretty good.

Here's one of the publicity photos of Zuill Bailey.
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Thursday, March 19, 2009

Everybody loses (almost)

This thing just isn't getting any better. I didn't sleep much last night. I'm about to wear this chair out.

All the support from Jimmie Fallon couldn't help the Mocs. UConn was just too powerful to overcome. UConn 103, UTC 47. That's what the expect from a #1 seed against a #16 seed.

In the Women's NIT, the Lady Mocs played the University of Kentucky in Lexington. The final score, in overtime, was UTC 76, UK 81. We listened on the computer. The commentator all but had a coronary complaining about the officiating. He's "our" announcer, so that wasn't too unexpected. But in the post-game interview, the coach said that the scheduled official didn't show up, and the referee in question was a last-minute substitute. Coach had the option of doing the game with only two officials, but he chose to accept this fill-in. He said that he guessed he made the wrong decision. We'd have to agree.

So now our personal interest in this season is over, except for the Lady Vols who play this weekend.

And, DAMN, I wish I'd get over this cold!

Special edition

As you might have noticed, the official March Madness (NCAA Basketball Tournament) starts tonight.

By virtue of winning the Southern Conference Tournament, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC) Mocs are in the NCAA. They are a #16 seed, and play this afternoon against a #1 seed, the University of Connecticut.

Jimmie Fallon (Late Night with Jimmie Fallon on NBC) decided to feature one of the underdogs in the tournament, and he picked UTC. Here are links to the pieces on his shows this week.

Tuesday, and
Wednesday nights' clips.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

"Call of Silence"

Are there any others (besides Sue and Jean) who are NCIS junkies? Currently, the USA network is showing multiple episodes of NCIS daily. We were lucky enough tonight to catch one of the very best. It's titled "Call of Silence", and it is a tour-de-force for Charles Durning, playing a Marine who was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor on Iwo Jima. If you ever get the chance, put this one on your must-see list.

Other than that, today was pretty much another day of convalescence. I hope I feel well enough to go to the Thursday lunch. We'll see how things go tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Did you remember to wear green today? I must confess that I didn't. Shame on me!

I wonder if this is the flu. In any case, I managed to do absolutely nothing today. It was a shame to waste the gorgeous weather we had - bright sunshine and 70*. I plan to do more of the same tomorrow, to see if I can get this licked.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Happy Birthday to me!

Happy Birthday to me! For my present, I have given myself a horrible cold. I started feeling bad this morning, and it's gotten worse all day. I'm calling it a day and going to bed early.

Sunday, March 15, 2009


Basketball has reached the end of the regular season, and is ready to start the NCAA tournaments. Chattanooga is so excited to have their Mocs in the game, even as a #16 seed. They're to play the #1 seed, University of Connecticut. Tennessee is a #9 seed and will play a #8 seed.

The women's brackets will be announced tomorrow. The Lady Vols will probably have their lowest seed ever, and the Lady Mocs will be playing in the WNIT.

That was about the extent of the excitement today. We did get a total of 2" of rain since Friday, which was great. And then the sun finally game out this afternoon.

These are two of my pencil drawings that were in my show.


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Saturday, March 14, 2009


The rain that started last night continued literally all day long - and it's still raining. I haven't checked the gauge yet - I'm waiting until the whole system has moved out. But I'm sure it's well over one inch.

I braved the rain this morning to do something very unusual for me. Are you sitting down??? I went shopping. I went to four stores, including a new (to me) yarn/fabric shop. I only bought two things - a turtle neck and a light-weight flowered blazer. Amazing - on so many fronts. I didn't buy yarn and I did buy clothes. It'll probably be years before that happens again.

Family news: Happy Birthday, Alison!!!! Congratulations, Amanda, on the new job!

I received a great surprise in the mail. It was an early birthday present from a childhood friend in Houston. I had sent her an invitation to my show, and she had it framed for me for my birthday. It's just wonderful - on so many different levels!

This is a photo of a pair of paintings from the show.

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Finally Friday and an Anniversary

For retired folks, this has been a busy week. We still feel like we're catching up from the tournament weekend. And we don't even care that it's Friday the 13th. The cleaning crew came this morning, so we have a nice fresh house.

John says he has gotten the new computer working almost to his satisfaction. He got a printer and got that hooked up. And he's been able to open all the files he transferred from the old one. He says he's almost as pleased with his Mary's-birthday present as I am with mine.

And I am pleased with my Kindle. I blew my first purchase, and got a book that I'd already read. I got over-confident, and bought it without checking out the sample first. My bad! I won't do that again. Now I'm reading a book about three young women of different faiths (Christian, Jewish, Muslim) who get together to write a book for their children. I'll write more about it when I finish it. One old book that I'd love to have is 84 Charing Cross Road, but it's not available for the Kindle.

We're getting some much-needed slow, solid rain. It started about suppertime, and is predicted to rain all night and all day tomorrow. It makes for a gloomy day, but we do need the rain. We've not overcome our drought of the last few years, so we still need every drop.

Today is the 16th anniversary of The Blizzard of '93 - the biggest snowfall ever recorded in Chattanooga. We remember it all too well. Click here for the Wikipedia article about it. I never consider our winter over until we get past this date. This is a typical photo from Google.

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Thursday, March 12, 2009

March Miscellany

Sleeping late - what a treat! John snuck out to go to the Y, and I slept until after 8 a.m. And we got haircuts today, and that always makes us feel better.

The flowering trees are so gorgeous after those days in the 80s. Bradford pears, other fruit trees; the redbuds and pink magnolias are just starting; forsythia, etc. But the high today was only 49, and it was a gloomy day.

Except for our usual crazy lunch, John spent most of the day working on the new computer. I think he's gotten almost everything working to his satisfaction. Even the new slide scanner is working. He's still learning about how Vista works, and needs to figure out how to open a few of the transferred programs...but it's coming along. I'll go give it a try when he says it's okay.

We went to the local Ornithological Society meeting tonight. One of our friends was giving the program, and we went to support him and see his photos. Before that, we ate at Blue Orleans - John's favorite. Always great food, even if John never finds out. He loves their crawfish etouffe, and never orders anything else. He does get to try other things, though. Since the portions are so big, I only ate about half of my shrimp pasta, and he gets to have that for lunch tomorrow.

Today's photo is of one of my watercolors that was in the recent exhibit.

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Wednesday, March 11, 2009


After swimming and painting this morning, I got a little bit of a nap today, and that was nice.

I forgot to mention yesterday that John has been working trying to get his new computer set up. It's been a long slow process for him, and frustrating at times. Now he's trying to back up stuff on the old one. He got off the things we want to save and transfer, but wants to save everything else before we get it wiped clean - just in case he missed something we really didn't want to lose. Oh, well - it will get done eventually. And he is making progress.

We talked to Ann & Al tonight. They got back from their trip to India last week, and are finally getting their body clocks reset. They said that everything you've ever heard or read about India, good or bad, is true. It's an amazing country, and they had a wonderful, but exhausting, trip. And are glad to be home. We're glad, too.

I've done pretty well today with my plan of spending most of the day in the La-Z-Boy. The followup to that is to sleep late in the morning.

Another book recommendation: China Road, by Rob Gifford (NPR correspondent) is a story of his personal journey across China, from Shanghai to the Kazahkstan border. He's lived there for years, and wanted to take one last trip. He was able to go at his own pace, basically where he wanted, and talk to regular people. It's a very readable book, with lots of history and current status. Check it out.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

No basketball today (for us)

It was nice to get up this morning and not wear gold and blue (the UTC colors, of course) and to start to think about doing things other than basketball. At least for a couple of weeks, until we have one set of the women's first and second rounds of the NCAA.

Sarah and her friends slept hard for a while and left about 8 this morning to go back to Charleston. Only the young can do that kind of thing. But they did get home safely. If they're lucky, their profs won't penalize them too much for cutting classes on Monday. It was for a good cause.

I didn't get time to get on the computer today until nearly 9 this evening. Most unusual for me. I had hoped to get to bed early tonight, but am just now wriing the blog and watching Nightline. What a terrible tragedy that was today in Alabama - I'm just hearing that news.

Our 81* today tied a record. What a lovely day it was! But it'll be back to more normal temps tomorrow.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Day 5

We're home and the main basketball season is finally over. And our Mocs won the conference championship. So they'll be going to the NCAA tournament. It was a very exciting game.

Sarah and her two friends got here about noon. They were excited to get the chance go the ballgames. Unfortunately, Charleston lost both their games, and the girls were in tears at the end of the men's game. But they were so glad they were here to support their friends, and both gals and guys (players)knew they were there during the games.

The Charleston ladies lost to Western Carolina Univ. in three overtimes. Wow! Just a heartbreaker for C of C.

The Mocs had a 20-point run at the beginning of the second half that pretty much put CofC away.

Charleston played terrific games yesterday, and I think they just played their best games a day early. And they gave everything they had today. But that's the way it goes.

The girls are going to sleep for a while, then leave about 5a.m. to head back to Charleston - so they don't miss too many classes.

And we get to rest for the remainder of the week - and find out what's been going on in the rest of the world while we've been submerged. It was 82!! here today, and is predicted to be about that again tomorrow (which would set a record).

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Day 4

We saw four full games today!

Our Lady Mocs lost today in the women's semifinal game. It did make our Sarah happy, though, since they lost to the College of Charleston. In the other game, Western Carolina beat Samford for the other spot in the finals tomorrow.

The men's semis were interesting. The men Mocs won their semifinal game against Samford, so they'll be in the finals. The College of Charleston won their men's game, too, and they beat Davidson with the fabled Stephen Curry. It was exciting, and they really deserved to win. So C of C will be playing in both final games tomorrow.

As we were driving home, Sarah called and they're all going to be coming over in the morning to go to the games. We weren't surprised - we were sure they'd decide to come.

We're about shot after these four days. I've probably gone up and down more steps in the last four days than I have in as many years. My knees are really talking back to me. The good part is that I'm getting some exercise AND that I've been doing it without huffing and puffing as I go up every time. I guess that's the real benefit of having shed 60 pounds.

Two more games to go!

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Day 3

We wound up watching 5 full games today. There were two women's games in the morning; the rest were men's games. The Chattanoga Mocs (men) had a tough time beating Elon in the last game we watched tonight. They were up by more than 15 points twice, but wound up winning by only one point. Much too exciting! Tomorrow the women's semis will be in the afternoon, starting at noon, with the men's games starting at 6. So just four games for us tomorrow. But at least we can sleep a bit later.

It was fun during the men's game. We were sitting right behind the Lady Mocs gals, in their street clothes, cheering the guys on. They're really nice folks and very friendly. Also a team graduate brought her about-six-month old precious baby with her, and sat with the assistant coaches. It was great to see her, too.

Don't forget to reset your clocks tonight - Spring forward one hour!

Friday, March 06, 2009

Day 2

We only saw four basketball games today. Our butts gave out before games #5 & 6. So we came home and are watching another game on TV. It is definitely March Madness around here.

Our Lady Mocs won handily this morning. The only other game today we really cared about was the College of Charleston men (Sarah helps tutor a couple of the guys). We had to call her with a report as soon as the game was over. Fortunately, they won. We did get home in time to see the Lady Vols win in the SEC quarterfinals over Florida.

There are six games again tomorrow. And we need to stay through #5 - that's when our men Mocs play. The day is divided up into three sessions (2 games each) and the arena is cleared between sessions. We don't want to have to find another parking place, so we just stay. Tomorrow, I'm going to pack a cooler with sandwiches and some fruit. Also probably take a pillow for maybe a short nap during game #4, and John can take a walk through the campus. There are women's games in #1 & 2. The Davidson men play in game #3. Those are the ones we particularly want to see. Fortunately, that's the last long day in the tournament. The semifinals (men & women) are on Sunday, with the finals on Monday.

My apologies to those of you who don't care about basketball, but that's all that's going on around here this weekend.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Day 1

The Southern Conference Tournament started today with the first three women's games (here in Chattanooga this year). We were there for all three. Tomorrow and Saturday will be VERY long - 6 games each day, starting at 9 a.m. with the last one starting at 9:30 p.m. One game today was pretty lopsided, but the other two were close. The men's and women's tournaments are being played here on the same weekend - that's why there are so many games.

John's computer was delivered shortly before we left for the ballgames today. He's thrilled that it's come, but he won't be able to start setting it up until Sunday or Monday.

I finally finished the library books I was reading, so I could start learning my Kindle. I started reading one of the samples I had downloaded. I took it with me to the ball games (as well as some socks to knit), and got some reading before and between games. I'm really liking it.

Allan will be heading back to NYC in the morning. He's gotten lots of contacts on this trip, and he's feeling really good about moving back.

Does anybody else's life revolve totally around college basketball during March?

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Tournament Time

FedEx tried to deliver John's new computer this morning while he was out running errands. He was so disappointed. Now he won't leave the house tomorrow until it's delivered - except to go to the basketball games, but then Allan will be here.

We start our basketball marathon tomorrow. The Southern Conference Basketball Tournament starts tomorrow afternoon - with men's and women's games being played over the same five days. The early women's games are tomorrow. Then on Friday and Saturday, the first game is at 9 a.m., and the last game is scheduled to start at 9:30 p.m. Makes for two LONG days! The semifinals start at noon on Sunday; the finals at 3 p.m. on Monday. We're not going to try to see all of them, but probably many of them. The biggest crowds, of course, will be for the men's and women's UTC games. Other than those, the biggest draw is a game where Davidson is playing, because of their star, Stephen Curry. He is amazing, and the Davidson men will probably win the tournament with his play.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Election day in Chattanooga

Today got off to a good start with a pedicure. That always makes a gal feel good - at least her feet.

They're nearly finished with the awnings on the front of the gallery. I'll try to remember to take my camera tomorrow to get some photos.

We had a fun evening tonight. M.K. invited us to one of her 8-person dinners. Great company, great food, and great music. Just a lovely night out.

It was election day in Chattanooga - for mayor and members of the city council. We voted early, so just checked out the results when we got home this evening. The incumbent mayor was reelected. There will be some new councilmembers, some returned incumbents, and some run-offs. Unfortunately, only 20% of those elegible voted. Why on earth don't people get the message that their vote in local elections are the ones that affect them the most. As the King said, "It's a puzzlement!"

I'll repeat a photo tonight - another closeup from the stained glass in our hotel in Chihuahua.

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Monday, March 02, 2009

Unusual Monday

Not the usual Monday. No swimming and a short trip to Walmart. We decided that it would be better for all concerned if we didn't go to bridge today. So it was another day of recuperation (we hope).

All winter I've been wanting to make some beef/barley/mushroom soup, but I couldn't find any barley. How odd! I finally found some last week at Greenlife Grocery. They had it in bulk. I finally got that made yesterday, and we had it for supper tonight. It was SO good - especially when we have colds, and with this very cold weather.

It was very simple: cut up chunks of beef, onions, garlic, barley, mushrooms, and lots of beef broth. I used some dried mushrooms (don't remember what kind) and some fresh sliced baby portabellas. Yum!

Some of you have already seen this photo - I sent it out today to my daily photo list. But it's one I really like.

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Sunday, March 01, 2009

From the pestilential palace...

Considering that I pretty much accomplished my plan of staying in the chair all day, we did a lot today, too. We didn't get any snow out of this storm - but it surely has been windy all day.

I started supper cooking (more about that later). Then John and Allan went to the Gallery with me to help take down my show. The end of Eccentric & Eclectic. I'm still pretty proud of my first solo show. I left a few things there to hang in my regular space. And we even found places to put all the stuff I brought home.

I started some beef/barley/mushroom soup. I've been hungry for that for a while, and I just found some barley. Since we all have colds, it'll be even better tomorrow.

I did the laundry, and we helped the Lady Vols to a win over Vanderbilt. And Allan got some new clients. Busy, busy, busy!

As to our dinner tonight, a couple of months ago, Kate sent a recipe for pernil. It's a Puerto Rican style of cooking pork shoulder. I've had a pork shoulder in the freezer, but just couldn't find a good time to fix it. The meat is coated with a puree of adobo (mixture of onion, garlic, oregano, Ancho chili power, cumin, etc., and cooked all day in a very slow oven. The coating cooks into an incredible savory crust, and the pork is so moist and flavorful. Google "pernil" to find several recipes - and give it a try.

John's definitely on the mend. I'm still fighting the symptoms, so I'm going to skip swimming in the morning.