Monday, August 31, 2009

Day 1

We were on the road for about 9 hours today - nearly 450 miles. But it was not hard driving - just long. We stop about every two hours for a pot stop and to change drivers. It was almost all interstate, and the weather was clear and not too hot. It certainly made our longest driving day much easier. Of course, we were "fresh", too.

Tomorrow will be a day to "do" something, not just drive.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Getting ready on Sunday

Click here to see an article about our library's book sale. The reporter and photographer were there during our shift yesterday. It's great to get such nice publicity, but I wish they had come closer to the beginning of the sale.

We got all the packing done, and there is plenty of room in the trunk for Ann & Al's bags. We must be getting some better and not taking way too much stuff. John is very good about not looking horrified at the amount of knitting I take with me. But, hey - I couldn't stand the thought of running out!! No more than either of us could bear the thought of running out of something to read.

The long range forecast is looking good, though - with highs in the 70s and lows in the 50s. We had a nice day today, high around 80, with somewhat lower humidity. I even used the oven to cook lasagna, and Allan, John & Sylvia, and we ate out on the deck. They took the leftovers and anything else we wanted to get out of the fridge. After all, what are friends for???

Postings may be sporadic while we're gone. We should be able to get wifi most of the time, so I'll check in when I can.

Saturday, August 29, 2009


We're getting enough rain now that things are starting to show mildew around the house. And the dehumidifier is working overtime. I hate it when that happens. We had to put all the luggage out on the deck to air out.

We worked at the library book sale again this afternoon. It didn't seem as busy as the other day. But they had had a huge sale in the morning. A used book dealer from Nashville had happened to find the sale and bought over $700 worth of books. Sweet!

The rest of the day was spent working on getting the stuff ready for packing. I'll get the laundry done first thing in the morning, so we'll have the stuff from that. Then it's into serious packing.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Last Friday

We had our "Last Friday on Main" late evening at the Gallery tonight (that's the last Friday of the month). We had a few folks come through, but I don't think the organizing group got out much publicity this time. Oh, well - it was nice to see the few folks that did come in. We always hope that lookers will turn into buyers someday.

I saw the dermatology PA this morning for a followup exam. She agreed that the rash was lots better. The itch is pretty much gone, and the awful red places are fading. I'm to stay with the high-powered cream twice a day through Monday, then go to maintenance applications twice a week. But she's left it to me to go back to more frequent use if it should flare up again. She also indicated that a biopsy might be called for if there was another flare. I asked about a specific diagnosis - and she, very honestly, said she really didn't have one - just sort of an unspecified dermatitis. I can live with the status quo for now.

It surely has been a long day today - and I'll bet that I don't make it until my usual midnight tonight.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

It's all my fault!

I heard on the news that Chattanooga has had its first H1N1 flu death - a child, but one who was brought in from another area (not a local). Plus there are a number of confirmed cases at the University. So I guess iy'd vomr hrtr, yoo.

It's in the low 70s now - cooler outside than in the house. Makes me a happy camper. However...we had a real frog-strangler rain at midday. We had left our lunch place in one corner of town, and were headed cross-town to where we get our hair cut (me driving, of course), when the bottom fell out. We were on the interstate right at downtown, and nobody could see anything. With the wipers going full speed, I kept going, but very, VERY slowly - as did everybody else, fortunately. Most of us had put our flashers on. Usually, once something like this happens, the rain will be on only one side of the river or the other. But today, it was over all the area. WOW, it was really awful! We got definitely damp getting into the salon, but it had let up considerably when we came out. And at home, we had had only 0.7". The worst thing is knowing that it was ALL my fault. I had the car washed this morning - not just a drive through, but inside and out. Oh, well.....

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

RIP - Edward Moore Kennedy

Sad news today of the death of Senator Edward Kennedy. Who would have ever thought that this would be the Kennedy who would be the one who made the greatest difference in this country? As much as some loved to take him to task as being too liberal, he was able to affect legislation, possibly as much as any other single legislator. And was, perhaps and unfortunately, he will be known as the last bridge-builder and compromise-maker in government today. Legislators are more interested in being "right" and uncompromising, than in getting things done. His death does seem to mark the end of an era.

It was a long busy day for us. We volunteered at the Friends of the Library semiannual book sale this afternoon. It's not hard - just long. It's great to see folks still buying books and reading. And bringing kids in to buy sacks full of books. We'll work again on Saturday afternoon. We finished up the day with dinner at our favorite neighborhood Vietnamese restaurant.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Last photos of shawl

One more way to wear it, plus some close-ups.



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Here's the Red Shawl

The first one is of it pinned to the blocking board. The shawl weighs only 3 ounces! I'm going to look for some satin cording or ribbon to use to lace up the sides for more of a kimono look.




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Monday, August 24, 2009

Busy all day long - sort of

I never thought I'd like to have more than one knitting project going at a time. I guess I figured I'd have a box full of UFOs (unfinished objects) under the bed. But these are all things I'm excited about getting finished. Which one I work on depends on what else is going on. I'm loving doing all of them, and can't wait to get them all finished.

I really accomplished a lot this morning - swimming, coffee, Staples, Aldi's, and Walmart. Whew! and then it was only about 11. But nothing else on the docket for the rest of the day. Bridge was cancelled this week. I guess that's okay - we'll play the whole week we're with Ann & Al.

Accumulating and specifics are getting serious preparatory to leaving. We've made reservations for the tours at Kentuck Knob and Fallingwater - the Frank Lloyd Wright houses in PA. We've seen them both before, but are looking forward to getting to do it again.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

A lovely Sunday

It was another glorious day here - with a high of only 81 - lows in the 60s. The kind of weather I love!

We went to Cartersville, GA, to the Booth Western Art Museum this afternoon, to see an exhibit of paintings and photographs of the Grand Canyon. It's a terrific exhibit, and I'm glad we went. This is a new museum, put up by (according to a friend) "the richest man in Cartersville". And it is a gorgeous building. I don't know that we'll go again to see their permanent collection (it's about an hour and 45 minutes away), but might for a special show.

In the Travel Section of the Nashville paper, The Tennessean today, there's an article about the Arts in Chattanooga. There's a brief mention of our gallery and a nice brief overview of the Chattanooga art scene. Click here to read it (I hope). There might be just a short survey to get in, but it's not really "registering".

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Saturday, Saturday

We're having gorgous weather tonight. This cool front blew all the hot, humid weather away. It's in the low 70s, with very low humidity, and a bit of a breeze. We've been sitting on the porch, listening to classical guitar music and the cicadas and birds. We even ate our dinner out there tonight. Delightful!

Thanks to Nick for another bunch of chuckles:

The Washington Post's Style Invitational also asked readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and supply a new definition.

Here are this year's winners:

1. Bozone (n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.

2. Foreploy (v): Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of getting laid.

3. Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period.

4. Giraffiti (n): Vandalism spray-painted very, very high.

5. Sarchasm (n): The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.

6. Inoculatte (v): To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.

7. Hipatitis (n): Terminal coolness.

8. Osteopornosis (n): A degenerate disease. (This one got extra credit.) 9. Karmageddon (n): its like, when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it's like, a serious bummer.

10. Decafalon (n.): The grueling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you.

11. Glibido (v): All talk and no action.

12. Dopeler effect (n): The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.

13. Arachnoleptic fit (n.): The frantic dance performed just after you've accidentally walked through a spider web 14. Beelzebug (n.): Satan in the form of a mosquito that gets into you bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.

15. Caterpallor (n.): The color you turn after finding half a grub in the fruit you're eating.

And the pick of the literature:

16. Ignoranus (n): A person who's both stupid and an asshole.

Fun and laughs

We went to a show opening at the Hunter Museum tonight - a nice members' reception with wine and hors d'oeuvres. We didnt't eat too much and we went to our favorite Mexican place for dinner after that. Fun.

When we got home, we watched the Rachel Maddow Show. She had a neat section on something I'll bet you've never heard of - we certainly hadn't - Artistic Cycling!!! She called it "synchronized swimming on bicycles". Click Here to watch that section of the show. There's an ad and some lead-in, but stick with it. I'll bet you've never seen anything like this before.

And for your evening's laugh, I'll share with you the winning submissions to The Washington Post's yearly neologism contest, in which readers are asked to supply alternative meanings for common words. Some are exceptionally good and applicable to people we know;

The winners are:

1. Coffee (n.), the person upon whom one coughs.

2. Flabbergasted (adj.), appalled over how much weight you have gained.

3. Abdicate (v.), to give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.

4. Esplanade (v.), to attempt an explanation while drunk.

5. Willy-nilly (adj.), impotent.

6. Negligent (adj.), describes a condition in which you absentmindedly answer the door in your nightgown.

7. Lymph (v.), to walk with a lisp.

8. Gargoyle (n), olive-flavored mouthwash.

9. Flatulence (n.) emergency vehicle that picks you up after you are run over by a steamroller.

10. Balderdash (n.), a rapidly receding hairline.

11. Testicle (n.), a humorous question on an exam.

12. Rectitude (n.), the formal, dignified bearing adopted by proctologists.

13. Pokemon (n), a Rastafarian proctologist.

14. Oyster (n.), a person who sprinkles his conversation with Yiddishisms.

15. Frisbeetarianism (n.), (back by popular demand): The belief that, when you die, your soul flies up onto the roof and gets stuck there.

16. Circumvent (n.), an opening in the front of boxer shorts worn by Jewish men

And as a postscript giggle, I turned on the 1982 movie, "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas" near the end. Charles Durning is incredible as the Texas Governor with his wonderful number - "I Love to Dance a Little Sidestep."

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Think before you throw it away!

A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned the SEAPLEX voyage on the New Horizon to investigate the plastic debris in the Pacific Gyre. The voyage is almost over, and this blog was posted this morning. I wanted to share these observations from one of the scientists involved.

The writer wonders "why people care so much about plastic in the North Pacific Gyre.

Most ocean scientists I’ve talked to don’t understand why marine debris compels the public attention. With so much bad news all around – coral reefs bleaching, sharks careening towards extinction – why care about some trash in an isolated part of the ocean that few have even seen? On the practical side, (unlike, say, global climate change), plastic trash doesn’t require any specialized knowledge to understand. Everyone generates trash, and everyone’s seen litter at the beach or in a park. And plastic is also never found in nature, so any plastic floating in the ocean must have been put there by humans.

But I think there’s something more emotional and deeper going on here to generate such strong public interest. Plastic is symbolic of our times. From its advent in the 1950s, plastic has been an integral part of our shiny industrialized lives. Plastic has brought wonderful things like disposable contact lenses and waterproof paper, but plastic has also brought disposable items made from a permanent material. In the United States, people are deluged with cheap plastic consumer goods that aren’t meant to last, but to be thrown out and bought again.

Plastic litter in the middle of the oceanic wilderness is shocking because it makes human impacts on the earth explicit, and violates our idea of what is natural. The ocean is a very alien and unhuman environment, hostile to human life and populated by strange and exotic beasts. So seeing the undeniable action of humans in the midst of the vast unpopulated sea is far more appalling than seeing it in a forest or a field. People want to know that there are wildernesses out there somewhere, and if even the open sea is no longer a wilderness, what is?

Most scientists would probably say that there are no truly wild places left. Humans are mighty – we can trawl every seamount, climb every mountain, and perturb the atmosphere itself. Everything on earth, from the deepest oceanic abyss to the highest mountain, is touched by human influence. But seeing that influence just floating out here in the middle of nowhere makes our power painfully obvious, and the consequences of the industrial age plain. It’s not a pretty sight."

Something to think about.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


The visit with the dermatologist's PA went well. She did a good exam, asked good questions. She made no exceptional diagnosis yet - just an Rx for a "high-powered steroid cream" to stop the itching. Then I'm to go back in 2 weeks (which will be 10 days since we'll be leaving before 2 weeks) to see how it's going.

Then, idiots at Walgreen's couldn't fill the Rx because they didn't understand the directions she wrote, had called the office to check, but hadn't gotten a reply when I went back to pick it up. I came home, called the office, and asked them to just call in the RX, since the pharmacy obviously couldn't understand the written instructions. I understood, and the directions were quite legible. Sheeessshhh! John says I over-reacted. Maybe so, but I was still ticked.

Anyway, I did get some samples, and I'll use those and try again tomorrow to pick up the cream.

We got some really good rain tonight - 1.5" in about two hours. It did rain hard for a while.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Happy Birthday, Sue!!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SUE!! Hope you have a great day!

We just had about 30 minutes of very hard rain - and now I can hear thunder in the distance. Any rain is much slower now.

Things are really piling up to get done during these two weeks before we leave. There's a photo society meeting; an opening at the museum; our "Last Friday" to be open at the gallery; working two afternoon shifts at the library book sale; haircuts. We've been getting great recommendations about the Booth Museum of Western Art in Cartersville, GA. Their current exhibit is art featuring the Grand Canyon, and we'd like to see that.

And, I'm finally getting to see the dermatologist tomorrow. Hooray! And, of course, the itchy places are somewhat better than they've been since we were at the beach. Sighhhhhhhhh.

Monday, August 17, 2009

No photos

I had pretty good cards today - at least until the last round. It certainly did keep my interest through the afternoon. I'm sure we'll be playing lots of bridge when we're with Ann & Al. Fun, as always.

I've temporarily stopped sending my photos of the day. Frankly, I just ran out of new photos to send. We'll surely try to make up for that while we're gone - build up some new "stock". Then I can start the photos again.

Too young or too old

This morning one of the pieces on CBS Sunday Morning was the umpteenth show about the 40th anniversary of Woodstock. I am so tired of hearing about this. I guess this is because of my age - Woodstock was a non-event in our lives. Woodstock was in 1969. Our children were born from 1956 to 1961 - we were up to our eyeballs with stuff like school and carpools and work and general life. Also, we were living in a very pleasant area - a suburban backwater in Middle Tennessee - definitely out of the fast-living corridor. As John says, we were too young for Lawrence Welk, and too old for The Beatles. Oh, well.....
A friend sent this link to a great site from the Newseum, the journalism museum in Washington, D.C. Hold your cursor over any city's dot on the map, and you'll get that day's front page of the local paper. What a neat site to keep in your bookmarks.

Saturday, August 15, 2009


Nothing going on today - reading, knitting. I watched Frost/Nixon while John was taking a nap. Frank Langella does an incredible acting job in this one.

And we watched Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. We're working our way through the Harry Potter movies - getting them from the library.

Tomorrow might be just this exciting, too.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Wise words

These words of wisdom came from the site, A Word A Day.
America has been called a melting pot, but it seems better to call it a mosaic, for in it each nation, people or race which has come to its shores has been privileged to keep its individuality, contributing at the same time its share to the unified pattern of a new nation. -King Baudouin of Belgium (1930-1993)
I had rather take my chance that some traitors will escape detection than spread abroad a spirit of general suspicion and distrust, which accepts rumor and gossip in place of undismayed and unintimidated inquiry. -Learned Hand, jurist (1872-1961)
In other countries poverty is a misfortune -- with us it is a crime. -Edward Bulwer-Lytton, writer (1803-1873)
I am an uncompromising opponent of violent methods even to serve the noblest of causes. -Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (1869-1948)
And from the sublime to the ridiculous, check out the 14 August 2009 episode of the comic strip, Non Sequitur by Wiley Miller - just to bring us back to earth.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Odds and ends

Why can't clothing manufacturers get together on some consistent sizing. One thing I haven't gotten is a pair of blue jeans. I tried on two pairs today - two different brands - a size #18 and a size #16. Both pairs fit, but the smaller size was cut lower than I like. And there's no way to tell without trying them on first. Oh, well - I did finally get one pair, and that'll have to do for now.

I got lots of computer work done this afternoon. I copied a lot of my photos onto discs and deleted them from the computer. Then, since while traveling I won't have our home router protection on my laptop, I installed some adware and spyware (thanks, Kate).

We're gradually getting things together for the trip. John got out the maps and checked routes and possible stops. I know, I know - we should get a GPS. We have the DeLorme atlas in the laptop. But we DO love maps, enjoy looking at them, and are totally comfortable using them to find our way.

We've gotten the second Harry Potter movie from the library to watch this week. And we also got the latest Nevada Barr book, Borderline, that I've had on reserve. Lots of stuff to watch and read.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Pretty regular Wednesday

I had rather take my chance that some traitors will escape detection than spread abroad a spirit of general suspicion and distrust, which accepts rumor and gossip in place of undismayed and unintimidated inquiry. -Learned Hand, jurist (1872-1961)

Don't you LOVE this quote from Learned Hand?!?
Today was a pretty normal Wednesday. But I did finish the main part of my red lace shawl-thing. Now I just have to block it, and make some I-cords for possibly lacing up the sides. Then we'll get some photos to post. It's really going to be pretty when it gets blocked. I'm going to do it myself this time. We'll see how it goes.

Sleep well!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Meme about me

I don't usually do meme's, but I read this one in Airy Persiflage, and it looked like fun. So here are my answers....



What is your salad dressing of choice?
Blue Cheese or balsamic vinaigrette

What is your favorite sit-down restaurant?
Probably La Altena or Blue Orleans Seafood

What food could you eat every day for two weeks and not get sick of?
Fresh seafood - especially crabs and/or shrimp

What are your pizza toppings of choice?
mushrooms, olives, onions

What do you like to put on your toast?
Margaret's preserves


How many televisions are in your house?

What color is your cell phone?

Do you have an iPod?


Are you right-handed or left-handed?

Have you ever had anything removed from your body?
Several things

What is the last heavy item you lifted?
the groceries yesterday

Have you ever been knocked unconscious?
No - just unconscious from anesthesia


If it were possible, would you want to know the day you were going to die?
I don’t think so.

If you could change your name, what would you change it to?
I'm happy with my name - can't think of anything I'd change it to.

Would you drink an entire bottle of hot sauce for $1000?



Thanksgiving - just for food and family - no gifts.

Day of the week?
I'm retired - they're pretty much alike.

Guess I'd have to pick March - my birthday, plus March Madness.

Missing someone?

Always good

What are you listening to?
Rachel Maddow

Current worry?
I don't worry - wasted effort


First place you went this morning?
To Verizon to renew my contract and get a new cell phone.

What's the last movie you saw?
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone on DVD. In the theater? I can't remember.


How many pairs of flip flops do you own?

Last time you had a run-in with the cops?
Last traffic ticket I got was 25+ years ago.

Last person you talked to on the phone?

Last person you hugged?

Do you always answer your phone?

It's four in the morning and you get a text message, who is it?
I've had texting blocked on my cell phone - wouldn't happen.

If you could change your eye color what would it be?
I'm happy with brown.

Do you own a digital camera?
Between us we have four, 2 SLRs, one point-and-shoot, and one cell phone camera.

Have you ever had a pet fish?
The girls had one many years ago - Cinderella.

Favorite Christmas song?
None of them

What's on your wish list for your birthday?
Just love to hear from family and friends

Can you do push ups?
You've got to be kidding!

Can you do the splits?
See previous answer.

Does the future make you more nervous or excited?
I don't worry about the future, but I'm excited about our young people and their enthusiasm

Do you have any saved texts?
Have texting blocked from my phone.

Have you ever been in a car accident?
Yes. Fortunately, not serious.

Do you have an accent?
Only if you consider southern mushmouth an accent.

Plans tonight?
Filling this Meme out for my blog, then to bed.

Have you ever felt like you hit rock bottom?

Name 3 things you bought yesterday?
It was a Walmart/Aldi day. Eggs, orange juice, recycle bags

Have you ever been given roses?

Met someone who changed your life?

How will you bring in the New Years?
No different from most other nights.

What song represents you?
I have no idea.

Would you go back in time if you were given the chance?
No, I don't believe in the "good old days" - I like today and the future better (except for the aches and pains, of course)

Have you ever dated someone longer than a year?
Yes (but after 3-4 months, we got married - and that was 53+ years ago)

Do you have any tattoos/piercings?
One piercing in each ear.

Does anyone love you?
Yes - and it's wonderful!

Would you be a pirate?
What for?

What songs do you sing in the shower?
I don't sing in the shower

Ever had someone sing to you?

When did you last cry?
I don't remember. Years ago, I remember crying the first time I saw a "real" Rembrandt painting.

Who was the last person you took a picture of?
The Fort Morgan Old Farts and BS Society.

Are most of the friends in your life new or old?
Some of each.

Do you like pulpy orange juice?

What is something your friends make fun of you for?
Having knitted so many pairs of socks.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Monday's rant

I did the usual Monday stuff. Bridge was either feast or famine. I had three rounds with totals over 1000 points, and three with them down around 200. In two of those "bad" rounds, the opponents had over 2500 points. No fun at all.

And now my rant...

The invective and hatred that is growing against any kind of health care reform is really getting pretty scary. It's hard to believe that these people are not only telling these insane lies about death squads and euthanasia, etc., but that people seem to be believing this stuff. It would be almost idiotic and comical if it weren't so scary. How can somebody actually say that the "government is going to ration health care"? It has been obvious to anyone who has had to deal with it that it is the insurance companies which are rationing health care. They're the ones who deny treatment based on decisions made by insurance company workers. They're the ones who drop people from coverage when catastrophic illness occurs. They're the ones who refuse to insure people for pre-existing conditions. And they've been doing it for years. And we've let them do it.

Guess I need to stop watching TV and reading the newspaper. Right - like that's going to happen.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Slow, very slow

Today was another one of our lovely Sundays. High of 94 - a good time for staying inside in the air conditioning. And that's just what we did. Activities consisted of eating, sleeping, reading, knitting, laundry, TV, and computer time. It's a tough job, but somebody's got to do it.

This is one of our very special guys!

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Dalton, Donnie, and Martha Ann

I did next-to-nothing today until after supper.

And then we went out and had such a good time! Our friends, Dalton Roberts (you've seen his column here from time to time) and Donnie Jenkins were playing a gig at a local coffee house this evening. What a great treat this was! These two are so talented and so funny. And they had a young woman performing with them, Martha Ann Baker. She has a marvelous, rich voice. All three are talented songwriters, and, for the most part, they were playing their own songs.

Here are links to two videos of his songs: An Ex-Wife Goes On Forever and A Tribute to Bessie Smith. Check it out.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

A different Friday

We had two fun events today. John went with me to the pool this morning, and after swimming, the group went to a member's house for a covered-dish breakfast. We're such good cooks, and we try to do this 3-4 times a year. Yum!

This afternoon, I went to the gallery. One of the artists had an opening reception for her solo show this month. Things went very well, and she even sold a few small pieces. John came down about suppertime, and we went to eat at a sushi place across the street (yum!). He didn't stay until the bitter end, but I stayed until about 8:15. A long, but good evening.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Lots of laughs

We did our usual Thursday lunch - lots of laughs as always. Then we went for haircuts, came home, and both took killer naps. Another exciting day in Tennessee.

We have what I call a "grabber". A long thing with rubber-suction-tipped pinchers on one end, and a pistol-grip handle on the other. Great for getting things that fall behind the washer or under the bed or just off the floor when you don't want to get up to pick up something that's just a little bit out of reach. Anyhow, John picked up a second one that he saw on sale today. There was a moveable button on the handle that didn't seem to do anything, so John got the direction sheet out of the box. On the small description sheet he saw this

Note: The switch on the handle has no function.

How hysterical is that!!!!!!!!!!!! Love those direction sheets.

Portuguese knitting

Gee, a second entry today.

In a comment on the previous entry, "m" asked about Portuguese knitting. No, it's isn't knitting backward across the row, without turning. I don't think I'm interested in that yet.

In the Portuguese style, I route the yarn from the ball on my right (I'm right-handed - don't know what a leftie would do), threaded through my right-hand fingers, through a pin or hook pinned to my left shoulder area. This provides the necessary tension (trial and error, and I haven't gotten it consistently right yet). The yarn is thrown for each new stitch with the left thumb, and my right hand rarely has to leave the needle.

Click here for a good UTube video - scroll down just a bit to the top response. She shows knitting and purling, and it's where I got my best look at how it's done.

I experimented with some scrap yarn and about #7 or 8 needles. Give it a try.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Trip preparations

We've settled in on an itinerary for our September trip. And we've made reservations in those places where they're needed. It's good to have that done, so we don't have to worry about having a place to sleep on those potentially busy days and in potentially busy places. But we still have nights that are "open", where we decide where we'll stop when the opportunity arises. That's the way we mostly like to travel.
I'm still working on using the Portuguese style of knitting. It's all Kate's fault - she started it! It is a faster, more comfortable style of knitting, and I'm getting more comfortable with it. Now, if I could only figure out how to "ssk". (knitters will understand).

Tuesday, August 04, 2009


Some of you may have read about the SEAPLEX voyage to study the "Great Pacific Garbage Patch" off our West Coast. This is the blog of folks on the mission. Alison who is posting/writing/editing some of the entries is our granddaughter. Just thought you might want to check it out.
Wonderful news about the personal diplomacy that secured the release of the two Americans from North Korea.
Can you believe the rain in Louisville today?!? 6.5" of rain in one hour. Amazing! What did you get, Kate?
It's not really funny, I guess, but a woman in north Georgia was charged with murdering her husband. The cause of death was a blow to the back of the head, but they're not saying what the instrument was. Any bets? I say cast-iron skillet: John says rolling pin. Or there's always the possibility of a baseball bat. Whatever - I'm sure the bastard needed killing (as they used to say in Texas) - still a sad situation. I'll bring you up to date when it's finally announced.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Breaking a Barrier!

Today, I broke a personal barrier. For the first time in almost 20 years, I weigh less than 200 pounds. I don't know that I ever thought I'd see the day. I've always known that any body change means a life-style change. And, over the last year, I've managed to do that. I have to admit that I really do feel better; I have more energy; I can move easier; and my knees and hips don't hurt as much.

A side benefit is that I have totally cleaned out my closet. Literally, all the clothes I had last year are gone - even the underwear. I'm trying to get new stuff a little at a time - not only because of the expense, but because I'd love to lose some more. And the first time in ages, I'm no longer buying clothes in women's sizes. Which means I can buy cheaper, on sale clothes.

It's a new world - or at least one I haven't seen in a long, long time. And I'm enjoying it!
Happy Birthday, Jean! Hope you've had a great day. Did you know that you are one day older than Barack Obama? It's the first time you've been older than the President. (Sorry, I just couldn't let that pass.)
This photo of Sunkenkirk was posted by "maxakropolis" on the The Modern Antiquarian blog. It was SO gorgeous, I just had to share.
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Sunday, August 02, 2009

Out of the Ordinary

We did something we don't usually do tonight. We watched one of the PBS begathon programs. This was was quite good - a special for Pete Seeger's 90th birthday. If it shows up on your PBS station, give it a watch. Such good music! And incredible guests.
Have you ever used one of the rice bags that you can heat for a warm pad on your neck? They're easy to make - use a tube sock, and fill it about 1/2 to 2/3 full of plain rice (uncooked, please). Then tie a knot in the open end. You'll have to figure out how much rice works. That's all there is to it. I heat mine about a minute in the microwave. But you can use it cold, too.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Active weather

The weather was the most active thing around here today. In midmorning, there was a 3.2 magnitude about centered 50 miles east of us. We didn't feel it, but lots of folks in that area did.

After supper tonight, it started to rain. We had thunder, but mainly just hard steady rain. We had 1.5" of rain in a relatively short time.

Before all this, I did go out to shop for some end-of-season bathing suits, and found two.

John rowed this morning, so that was his exercise. But, the above was all the exercise I got all day - except for knitting. The shawl is coming along beautifully.

A long Friday

I was at the gallery this morning, came home, changed clothes, and then headed back downtown. Our gallery was open late tonight (until 7), with all the other galleries and shops in our neighborhood. It's a good way to get new people to drop in and see what's offered. We had a guy playing the hammered dulcimer (a local who sells his CDs), and we had wine and a few snacky food things. I guess we had maybe 25-30 people come in during the evening. We think it went well. John and I went to our favorite hole-in-the-wall Mexican restaurant right down the street. It was so good (chile relleno for me and carnitas with salsa verde for John).

And then we came home and hopped into our "soft clothes" and watched the first Harry Potter movie. We've not seen all of them, but can't remember how many we have seen. So we're just starting over from the beginning. I'm getting them from the library. They are really good movies!

We got about .7" rain yesterday, and 1.3" this morning, plus the 2" we had on Wednesday. Both days, though, it cleared off by noon, and we had lovely weather the rest of the day.