Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Early errands

It got up to 95 here today, but with unusually low humidity. Not too bad, actually. I had a bunch of stuff to get done before going to the Gallery, and amazingly, everything went smoothly. First I went to the rheumatologist's office for the 2-week lab work to be sure all was okay with the new anti-inflammatory. Guess it was - they called in the 90-day supply prescription.

Then I went by a local quilt shop. I've been saving "special" t-shirts - either from travel or just better "fun" ones to have a quilt made from them. After weeding out my clothes and shirts, I finally got the discards accumulated. I wanted to get them out of the house, so today was the day! I'm really looking forward to having the quilts. The travel one will be full-sized, the fun one will be some smaller. I'll post photos when I get them near the end of July.

Next I stopped by the Community Kitchen to leave off another batch of clothes. And still got to the gallery before opening time. It was a quiet afternoon and evening, though.

Monday, June 29, 2009

A good Monday!

We've had a high of 90 today, but much lower humidity. And John loves it. The temperature now (about 11:30 p.m.) is in the upper 60s. That is pretty special!

Bridge today was great! Last week, John was high and I was second. But for the average scores over the last 13 weeks, out of 17 players, John was second and I was high!!!!! HOORAY!!!! Our leader gives the winner a gift certificate to the restaurant of the winner's choice. We've asked for one to our favorite local Chinese restaurant.

Finishing that shawl unleashed something or other. All of a sudden, I have four works in progress, and a plan to make a baby surprise sweater for one of the swimmer's first grandbaby-to-be. I probably ought to make 2-3 of those, just to have some on hand.

Sunday, June 28, 2009


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The Shawl!

Here are some of the photos of the shawl.

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Saturday, June 27, 2009

Triple Play

The eczema has really been itchy the last couple of days. Some of my Bosom Buddies made some recommendations about treatment. I made an early trip to the drug store to get some soaps and lotions. Hope springs eternal that I'll find something that will help.

I'd planned to spend the whole day at home (predicted and actual high was 97 today). But then Essie called to tell me that she had finished the shawl. So, of course, I went zipping downtown to meet her and pick up the shawl. It is spectacular! Everything I'd hoped it would be! Sorry, but this is a teaser. We didn't get photos taken today. I promise to do that tomorrow.

The day ended up with a Hitchcock movie - never a bad choice. And Notorious (1946) is not only Hitchcock, but with Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman. Plus the great supporting cast of Claude Rains and Louis Calhern. This is one of the grand old movies. Be sure to watch it if you get a chance.

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Friday, June 26, 2009

Eczema vs Psoriasis

On the medical front, does anybody have eczema or psoriasis? How do they tell the difference? I've looked at a number of sites on line, without really getting an answer. I've been told by the family doc and her PA that what I have is eczema. Nothing really seems to work for it, and the itching is really starting to drive me crazy (not that I'm not most of the way there). I'm taking benedryl to try to help with the itching, and applying cortisone cream and various other lotions, but nothing really seems to help much. Isn't it nuts how something as ordinary as itching can make you so miserable and be so constant. I know there is a form of arthritis that can be associated with psoriasis. I have to go in to the rheumatologist's office next week for lab work. I'm going to ask his staff if they have any recommendations.

The gallery was open until 7 tonight with an Art Night on Main Street. It was hot, but there were still folks out walking and checking out galleries. We had a number of people stopping by. It was nice to get home, though, and get into "soft clothes" and get my shoes off.

I finally turned off the TV news and the radio. Way too much stuff about Michael Jackson. I read that somebody said that probably the only people who has caused such a commotion by death was Princess Diana and Elvis. Seems like that to me, too.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Lunch & Glass

We went for our Thursday lunch today, to a new location. The food and the service at the last one we tried was pretty mediocre, but I think we've found a place we can stay for a while. Good food, good selection, and reasonable prices.

We went to a talk at the Hunter Museum of American Art this evening. The Hunter and the TN Aquarium have a joint exhibit called Living Jellies, exhibiting various kinds of jellyfish and glass from various glass artists. It's a terrific exhibit, and well worth a stop here to see it. One of the glass artists, Stephen Rolfe Powell, gave a talk and slide show at the museum. He was a good speaker, and his work is fantastic. A definite WOW!

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Definitely visible

Not even the Iran election and riots could knock Governor Mark Sanford of South Carolina from the top news spot today. He really does defy description.

What arrogance!

What stupidity!

Why is it that people with "high visibility" (celebrities, politicians, etc.) cannot seem to realize that they are truly VISIBLE!!!!

How could he possibly think he would not be found out? Even as an SC reporter met him at the airport in Atlanta on his way back from Buenos Aires, his office staff was announcing that he had been hiking the Appalachian Trail. And in response to the reporter's questions, he said that he wanted to go somewhere more exciting, that he was alone in BA, that he spent his time driving up and down the waterfront.


He's resigned as Chairman of the Republican Governors Conference. When is he going to resign as Governor?

Well, in local news, I don't have my shawl yet, but I do have photos that Essie took while it was being blocked. Thanks, Essie!

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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Case of the Missing Governor

Have you heard the story about the Governor of South Carolina, Mark Sanford? He's not been heard from since last Thursday. He has not contacted anybody - his wife, children, lieutenant governor, staff - not anybody!

How bizarre is this!?!

There are lots of stories about this story on Google News.

There are all sorts of stories about the whys and wherefores. But if anybody really knows, he's not talking. I guess we'll find out eventually.

Monday, June 22, 2009

RIP: Kodachrome

Mondays are always busy, and today was no exception. Bridge was fun, though, and we both had some good cards for a change. I gather that I'm in the running for the top average for the last quarter. Our "fearless leader" gives the winner a gift certificate to the restaurant of his/her choice. It's always good for bragging rights, though.

We're still in this heat wave. Our high today was 97, but that dropped quickly to about 80 when a small line of showers came through. We had only a few drops of rain at our house, but the drop in temperature was refreshing. It'll quickly go back up into the 90s - unfortunately.

RIP: Kodachrome film.
Those of us who are semi-serious photographers have always known Kodachrome film (even before the Simon & Garfunkle song) as the epitome of quality. Due to the race to digital photography, Kodak has decided to stop making Kodachrome.

This photo from National Geographic of the Afghan girl is perhaps the most famous image filmed on Kodachrome film. The photographer who took this image has been chosen to use the last roll of Kodachrome film. It'll be great to see the photos he decides to take.

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Sunday, June 21, 2009

Summer doldrums

I guess the summer doldrums hit early around here. I just couldn't get a blog written last night. I could blame it on the heat - but that probably wouldn't fly.

I wasn't a complete slug this weekend, but didn't miss it by much. I went out for a bit yesterday morning and (gasp!) did some shopping for clothes. I got several things - a new smaller robe for swimming, some white capris, and a couple of tops. It's good to have to do this, I guess, but I still hate doing it. The high on Saturday was 97.

Today was the usual laundry day. The usual three loads of laundry per week had shrunk to two. We just don't wear as many clothes in the summertime, and they're not nearly as bulky. Guess that's supposed to balance out the constantly-running air conditioner. Allan came over for dinner (dirty rice, with chicken livers). He went to the Chattanooga Market today, and brought us some green tomatoes and a few peaches. I'll get the tomatoes done in a day or two, and the peaches will have to ripen for another couple of days. Yum! The high today was 98!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Hot, but not for penguins!

At 11 p.m., it's still in the upper 70s. It was 96 today, and predicted to be 97 tomorrow. Really bad for several more days.

Several pairs of our penguins (at the TN Aquarium) have laid eggs. The first one hatched yesterday, and they've had film of the baby on the news today - just a little ball of grey fluff! Exciting stuff! Click here to see the Aquarium page about the baby. This photo came from google images.

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Thursday, June 18, 2009


It's been a scorcher today, and predicted to be even hotter tomorrow. Yuck! Plus we had a session of lightning and thunder about 4 a.m. this morning. We didn't get any rain. I was aware of it, but fortunately, went right back to sleep. And so we get the standard summertime weather forecast: Hot, Hazy, and Humid

This was the Third Thursday, so we kept the Gallery open until 8. It was so hot this evening that we didn't have any pedestrians or folks dropping in. We went to Blue Orleans for dinner, and even there it was only about 1/3 full. I had one of my weird meals of salad and appetizer - but YUM! Their Vieux Carre salad is mixed greens topped with crumbled blue cheese and bacon, with a bacon vinaigrette dressing. And the dressing was warm! made with real bacon grease! Oh, a REAL wilted lettuce salad - how divine! I even mopped up the plate with a piece of bread. And my second course was their fried green tomatoes appetizer. Well, nobody said it ALL had to be healthy. And, as John and Allan kept telling me - all I had was some tomatoes and a salad. Right!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Is it summer yet?

Summer doesn't officially start for four more days (21 June), but you couldn't prove it around here. We had a high of 95 today, with predicted highs on the next few days of 96, 98, and 95. Of course, around here, that means there's humidity to match. I think that means we can say, without fear of contradiction, that it's actually summer!

We are SO ready to go to the beach!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Dentists, doctors, and speakers

I had two doctors' appointments this morning. Got my teeth cleaned at 7:30, followed by a visit to the rheumatologist at 8:30. Everything is okay with both. Of course, all the aches that had been bothering me for the last couple of weeks were gone by today, but Dr. B did change my anti-inflammatory Rx. I'd been on Sulindac for a number of years, and it was time for a change. He started me on Diclofenac sodium this time, and we'll see how that one does. As usual, he prescribed a drug available in generic form.

Not too much going on at the gallery this morning. I gave a program to a small art group tonight. This is not something I usually like to do, but I don't have a problem with "public speaking", so it was okay. They asked me to talk for about 15-20 minutes about my work. I can do that. I thought my problem would be keeping it down to 15-20 minutes. I took some paints, brushes, and a canvas I wanted to rework. I talked about my work and showed some pieces. Then I made a mess and put some paint on that canvas. One lady was perceptive enough to comment, "Obviously, you're all about 'process'." And, of course, that's quite true. I've said that frequently. Anyway, it was a nice group, and they were attentive. I even pretty much stayed in the time allotted.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Yucky cards

Somedays, we wonder why we play bridge. It's supposed to be fun, and to be a challenge. It was definitely a challenge today - more so for John and for me. Both of us had lousy cards. It's really not much fun when you never get cards good enough to even gt in trouble. Oh, well - we keep coming back.

We're going to have almost a full house at the beach this year. We've got some "new blood" coming. It's always exciting to add new people to the mix. It gives folks somebody different to tell all the old lies and stories to. It does keep us going.

Sunday, June 14, 2009


We spent most of the day in "soft clothes". I did get the laundry done - and we even got out of the house for a while.

John had read that a local group of amateur musicians who got together to play baroque string music was giving a free concert this afternoon. The group played concertos by Bach and Vivaldi, plus Handel's Water Music. Afterwards, all I could think of was the old joke about the musicians who played Beethoven, and Beethoven lost. The ensemble played with dedication and obvious love of the music and their craft. But, in all honesty, Bach, Handel, and Vivaldi lost.

One of my Bosom Buddies called tonight. She lives in south Alabama. The line of severe thunderstorms that went through the area had a lot of lightening associated with it. Her computer got fried, and she just wanted to tell me so I could pass the word. I'm glad that storm missed us today.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Sleepy Saturday

I guess I should just skip writing on Saturdays. Most of them I do what I did today - read, knit, and watch the NCIS Marathon on the USA Network.

I do have a new M.C.Beaton to read: Death of a Witch, A Hamish Macbeth Mystery. We do love the Hamish books.

Friday, June 12, 2009


I had in mind to take a nap this afternoon, but the cleaning crew didn't come until about 1:45 and were here until nearly 4. John got in a killer nap after that, but I didn't. I surely would like to sleep late in the morning.

I got a call Wednesday from a local artist inviting me to be the speaker at the monthly meeting next week of their small art organization. She said they would like me to talk about my work and show some pieces. That's not usually my forte, but I can always talk about my work. So I'll be thinking about that all weekend, and making some notes. At least it only needs to be about 15 minutes long.

John noticed in the weekly entertainment section that there was going to be a free afternoon concert on Sunday by the Chattanooga Baroque Strings ensemble. That should be a good concert - and we'll be there.

It's definitely turning into summer, with the standard summer forecast - hot, hazy, humid, with a chance of afternoon thunderstorms. The "phone-in-forecast". Stay cool!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Poor prose

I'm current reading Rogues' Gallery: The Secret History of the Moguls and Money that Made the Metropolitan Museum by Michael Gross. It's really an interesting book, and I'm learning a lot about the Met and its beginnings. However, it's not the best-written book I've ever come across. And, it's definitely emphasizing the lack of any kind of editing in publishing today.

This convoluted sentence is one of the worst pieces of prose I've read in a long time. In this quote, the pronoun "His" refers to Henry [Harry] Osborne Havemeyer.

"His tastes evolved, moving from volume to quality and from objects to paintings after he married Louisine, who'd led a privileged childhood in Philadelphia and Europe, before her first $100 purchase from the unknown and financially strapped Degas, who, legend has it, was about to quit painting when she came along."

A county just north of us is under a tornado warning, and there's a wicked weather front moving our way. We're having our Riverbend festival in downtown Chattanooga this week, but it should be just now ending for tonight. The Bonnaroo music festival started tonight - just west of us about half-way between here and Nashville. It's all outside, and they're probably getting hammered with this storm. Oh, dear!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Chapter 2

Of course, I had to tell my story at swimming this morning. Oh, my, they are SO helpful! After nearly drowning from laughter, they were all busy setting up a schedule to visit us in the federal prison in Atlanta and bring casseroles and desserts and bake files in cakes. And these are my FRIENDS!!!! The internet Bosom Buddies weren't much better - they're going to visit and bring me knitting to do.

When I left coffee, I picked up some "counter checks" now from the bank. It turns out the bank had changed the routing numbers somewhere along the way, and that was the problem. I've talked with our accountant, and she says there's nothing to be done about the IRS to stop their logging in the unchashable check. She e-mailed us another payment coupon, and I'll just send the payment in again. There's still plenty of time for me to get the payment in on time. The IRS will just send me a note saying the check was no good and to send them another one, but I will have already done that. They might charge me a fee, but she wasn't sure about that. If I get a letter and phone number from a "real" person, I'm going to call, and maybe they'll waive the fee.

I'm not quite as panicky about it any more. The accountant said that account numbers and routing numbers sometimes get changed with bank mergers. That wasn't my problem, though - we bank at a credit union, and it hasn't changed in the 23 years we've been here (except the routing number, obviously).

So I'll mail the second check tomorrow, and then all there is to do is wait.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Shot in the foot

Unaccustomed as I am to putting in an 8-hour day, these second-Tuesdays are long. Gallery and Friends of the Library meeting. I picked up Chinese carry-out on the way home.

The first thing I did this morning was go to the post office to mail the quarterly payment to the IRS. I went to the studio as usual on Tuesdays. Then came the bad news. Vicki opened her mail, and there was a returned check - the one I had given her last week. WHAT????? It certainly wasn't from insufficient funds.

Oh, damn! Old cheap Mary had run out of checks, rummaged in the back of the cabinet, and found an old box of checks. OK, I said - "I'll just use these up - don't need to order more. I pay most things online, so I don't write many checks anymore." They're so old the date line still says "19___". Well, guess what?!? The checks - the paper itself, not the money - are no longer good. I don't know why - I'm guessing a coding number or maybe some magnetic ink in the routing numbers now or who knows what. Oh, DAMN!!! And I've just mailed one of these invalid checks to the IRS.

I'd written four checks on these things - one a donation to the ambulance service (got that one back in the mail when I got home), one to pay a friend for a painting I'd bought, one to the Gallery for my dues, and today's check to the IRS. My first call was to the friend - she was understanding, not a problem. Next to the accountant to find out how to get in touch with the IRS to let them know, and what to do next. (I haven't heard back from her yet.) Then I called the bank and placed an order for checks through them, to be delivered in about a week. The guy told me that I can come by the bank tomorrow and they can print me some temporary checks to use until then. What a mess!

It's really hell when you shoot yourself in the foot!

Monday, June 08, 2009

A day off

No blog tonight - I'm taking the day off.

Keep smiling (it keeps people wondering what you're up to)!

A time to remember

We've done almost nothing today - but we did it very well! I did fix bacon, eggs & chorizo, and biscuits for breakfast this morning. The other six days of the week are always the same - alternating between an egg & toast and cereal, so I splurge on Sunday mornings. And I do the laundry on Sunday, so that happened today, too.

But last night was one of my rare non-sleeping nights, so I got in a solid 2-hour nap this afternoon. However, while I was up at 2 a.m., I got to see a lot of the D-Day ceremonies from the US Cemetery in Normandy. We were in France 10 years ago with Paul, who was 14 at the time. The cemeteries in Normandy are incredibly emotional places - the heroes still surround and protect us there.

The U.S. Cemetery above Omaha Beach is huge (upper photo from Google). We also found a much smaller Canadian cemetery farther east and away from the beach. It was full of flowers, and we were especially moved to notice that the area was planted with maple trees - the symbol of Canada.(lower photo from Google)
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Sunday, June 07, 2009

Finishing and starting

I kept the Gallery today. Nothing much in the way of traffic, but I did finish a J.A.Jance book (Joanna Brady) and finished the washcloth I was knitting of 100% bamboo yarn.

As a start, I got started on a new lace kimono-type garment. I got the yarn from Missy - a Jaggerspun wool/silk blend of cranberry fingering yarn. We'll see how this works out.

Friday, June 05, 2009

I love a lazy day!

Our Swim Team brunch was delicious - as always. It's fun to get together from time to time, on dry land

I went hurrying from there to the optometrist for my biannual exam. John took the first appointment, and then he went to the breakfast while I was getting my eyes checked.

After that great breakfast, we pretty much skipped lunch. John got in a good nap, but I had a followup appointment with our family doctor. She'd changed my blood pressure medication, and wanted to check it. All is well, so I got a new prescription for the med, and another bottle of samples. And the nagging cough is gone now.

I'm going to head to the bed early again tonight, and hope to sleep later in the morning.

A Rainy Thursday

We've had a lot of gentle rain today, but nothing to keep us from our appointed rounds.

We got Allan to the airport. He's gone back to NYC for a week - to see his sweetie, to do some work, and to take a few more music lessons.

After our usual Thursday lunch, John finally got a haircut.

The Swim Team is having a post-class covered-dish breakfast tomorrow. I'm going to take a fresh-fruit medley, so I spent a good while cutting up fruit this afternoon. Everything is pretty good - pineapple, canteloupe, honeydew melon, and oranges. I'm going to put in some blueberries and blackberries out of the freezer. Yum!!!

Did anybody else watch the premier of the new show, Royal Pains, on the USA network tonight? It was pretty good - with some potential. We'll be watching that one for a while. Check it out if you missed it tonight. The USA network is turning out to be our network-of-choice this summer.

Update: Both houses of the Tennessee Legislature voted to override the Governor's veto of the bill allowing people who are licenses to carry a concealed weapon to carry a weapon into an establishment that serves alcohol (bars, taverns, restaurants). A person who is "carrying" will not be allowed to drink. There are absolutely no words to describe how utterly stupid this is!

Wednesday, June 03, 2009


The internet is such fun! You never know what will happen when you post something.

I know that you have to use common sense with posting factual information about yourself. And you certainly have to be careful about dealing with people you might meet online. Having said this, I'll tell you about some out-of-the-blue contacts I've gotten as a result of a posting I made on a large public site.
One of my favorite sites is A Word A Day. I've always loved words and languages, and this is a fun look at various words. I check it daily.

About a week or so ago, I posted a comment about one of the words - nothing special or unusual or controversial. About two days later, I got an e-mail from a gentleman in Gulfport, MS, relating to MY comment. Over the course of several days, we exchanged about 10 e-mails, culminating with his sending me several photo calendars that his company had compiled with photos of that area of the Gulf Coast. So we've made a nice new friend.

Today brought me another e-mail as a result of my comment on A Word A Day. This one came from a young man who wondered if I was the mother of one of his high school classmates. Of course, that was the case - he had been in Jean's high school graduating class. He didn't remember, though, that we had been acquaintances of his parents and very good friends of their next-door neighbors. He is now a successful professional in Texas, but is planning to attend the high school reunion.

I have to share Clay Bennett's "on target" (pun intended) editorial cartoon from the 3 June 2009 edition of the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

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Tuesday, June 02, 2009


The Tennessee Legislature, in its infinite iodiocy, passed a bill allowing licensed gun owners to carry loaded concealed weapons into places where alcohol is served (i.e. bars, taverns, and restaurants). I have to say that this is one of those instances where I can find absolutely NO logic in this bill. This is absolutely nuts!

Obviously, our Governor felt the same way. He vetoed the bill as soon as it hit his desk. That was last week.

Well, you've never heard such screams as those that came from the legislature. How DARE he do that! He didn't even tell us he was going to veto the bill! Etc., etc., etc.

Today, both houses introduced bills to override the Governor's veto. Unfortunately, in Tennessee, it takes only a simple majority vote of each house to override a veto. The Governor is expecting the bills to pass. It does boggle the mind! The only good things I've found in this situation is pride in our Governor and that both our senator and representative voted against the bill and will vote against the override.

As William Bendix as Riley in The Life of Riley would say: "What a revolting development this is!"

Monday, June 01, 2009

Starting on a newone

Missy had some lovely silk/wool commercial yarns, and I'm going to buy some of a rich cranberry color for my second shawl. Obviously, I'm just a glutton for punishment. This yarn is going to sell by the pound, which we don't know how to measure from the pattern. We'll weigh the shawl when it's finished to figure out how much yarn I used. Always something new and different.

Well, Monday shopping isn't new and different - except I've added a stop at Aldi's to the mix. The prices there are much cheaper than WalMart. I have to see how well I hold up - shopping at two stores.

The cards at bridge were definitely mixed. I'm sure I'll be solidly in the middle when the scores are added up for today.

With any luck, we'll both sleep a bit later in the morning. Yawn!