Sunday, February 28, 2010


I worked another shift at the Library Book Sale this afternoon. It was quite busy. I hope the income from the sale reflects the traffic we had. It’s so great to see the parents bring their little ones up to buy their very own books. There’s absolutely nothing better than reading!

Should I feel guilty because I’m reading almost exclusively from my Kindle now? I don’t think so - reading is reading. It doesn’t matter what the medium that brings the written word into our lives. It’s just important to read.
Great blue herons are found just about everywhere!

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Saturday, February 27, 2010

Quiet Saturdays

Our Lady Mocs played a great game tonight, demolished Samford 92-62. That gives us the undisputed championship of the Southern Conference, and the #1 seed in the SoCon tournament next weekend.

That was about the extent of our activity today. But it was worth it!
It's hard to believe this peaceful scene is in the middle of New York State.

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Friday, February 26, 2010


I was late writing last night (or very early this morning). And now I'm early tonight. I'm already having trouble keeping my eyes open, so I guess it'll be an early bedtime for me tonight.

We changed into nice clothes after supper, and headed out at 7 tonight - going downtown to the Symphony. As we got close to the theater, we realized the lights weren’t on. What????

John pulled up in front, and I pulled out the tickets. Well, they were for the 26th, all right - but it was for MARCH 26. Well, shit! I can’t believe I did that. It was on the calendar, with the tickets clipped to the page - just the wrong page.

We have a reputation for always being early, but FOUR weeks early is a new record for us. And we wondered by the review of the Thursday-night concert wasn’t in the paper this morning. I guess we found out why. At least the round trip was only about 30 minutes. And we got into soft clothes earlier than expected.

One of the great things about the Erie Canal - there's a picture everywhere you look.

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A late night

It's way too late tonight to do any writing - after all the aerials and skiing and skating.
This photo is under the bridge in a quiet part of the Erie Canal.

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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

"Has it always been thus?"

The Bible said it best: "There is nothing new under the sun." Or at least there's nothing new in the pages of The New York Times, whose eerily relevant historical headlines bring to mind another aphorism: "This too shall pass."

This statement and the following exerpts are taken from Newsweek for March 1, 2010. The exerpts are from The New York Times. Be sure to check the dates after each one.
Sharp Cut in Burning of Fossil Fuels Is Urged to Battle Shift in Climate

“The earth has been warmer in the first five months of this year than in any comparable period since measurements began 130 years ago.” June 24, 1988

“The Iranian Government denied today that [it] intended to have nuclear weapons soon. A Government minister quoted the Shah as saying that Iran had no such intentions.” June 25, 1974

“Sources said delays in completing work on the bill has been caused by a major disagreement over whether the cost of the proposed program to employers would contribute to unemployment, which in turn would bring both economic troubles to the nation and a political liability to the White House.” April 7, 1971

“The pilot…landed the plane, then went to the hospital for treatment” Jan. 4, 1961
How Big a National Debt Can We Stand?

“The truth of the matter is that we do not know whether we have gone as far as we can go in debt…A lot of people are sure we are bankrupt already.” Jan. 27, 1952

“Charges of ‘taxation without representation,’ ‘confiscation’ and ‘unwarranted waste’ rang in the old South Meeting House this afternoon.” July 30, 1935

“Since last May the Federal Reserve Board has inquired into possibly excessive compensation paid to officers of the member banks.” Oct. 29, 1933

“The charges and countercharges of ‘partisanship’ that have been ‘hurled’ in the Senate this week have disengaged a good deal of heat, but have served a salutary purpose. By parties and partisans the country is governed; and even in a patriotic co-operation or coalition each party may properly be eager to show itself the more patriotic.” March 29, 1918
Tuition Charges in the Eastern Universities Higher Now Than Ever Before

“The cost of education for college students has risen. The recent announcement that, beginning with next Fall, the tuition fee at New York University would be $150 a year, instead of $125 as at present, was but an index of a general rise in educational prices that has continued for the last five years with acceleration in the last year or two.” Feb. 22, 1916

“No effective work yet done by the Afghans.” Aug. 19, 1880

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Books for a cold day

I realized when I headed out this morning that I didn’t have nearly enough clothes on. It got much colder overnight. Today was nearly 20 degrees colder than yesterday - and I’ve been cold all day. I’ve got to remember to quit complaining. After all, I do still prefer winter to hot summer - and it’s not snowing.

The Friends of the Library book sale started yesterday, and tonight was our first shift working at it. Five-to-nine is definitely not our best time to be working, but that’s when they needed people. It was pretty busy all night long. We did pretty well, too - bought only one book for us, and a bunch of audiotapes for Jean. Then we came home and crashed!
The trestle patterns are always intriguing to me.

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Games, etc.

I got involved watching and listening to basketball games and watching the ice dancing in the Olympics. The Lady Vols and the Mocs won, but the Lady Mocs lost in overtime. And it was exciting to see the Canadian pair win the gold medal in ice dancing. To say nothing of the emotion of hearing the whole audience singing along with the Canadian national anthem.

I went to bridge while John and Margaret went to the basketball game. But the most fun was after I got home and checked the e-mail.

The place where Sarah was hoping to stay in Houston during her summer internship was unavailable. I immediately contacted my cousin in Houston about the possibility of Sarah’s staying at her house. She wrote back that it would be great. And these two women, who currently do not know each other, will be a terrific match. Houston may never be the same!
This wonderful old trestle bridge crosses the Erie Canal.

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Sunday, February 21, 2010


Harbinger of spring???? Probably not, but the high temperature today was 68! We’re likely to get spoiled with all weekend sunny and in the 60s. But then they’re talking again about flurries next week. Oh, well - it’ll get to be spring for real soon enough.

We gotten a travel proposal from Ann & Al, for this fall. That’s always a treat and we almost never say “no”. I’ll write more when we get something definite.
We love it when the geat blue herons will pose for us.

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Saturday, February 20, 2010


I’ve mentioned before that I’m reading “The Help” by Kathryn Stockett.. I laughed out loud when I read this line…

All a grit is, a vehicle. For whatever it is you’d rather be eating.

For those of you who have no ties to the south, you might not be familiar with grits. Click here to read the Wikipedia entry on grits. Suffice it to say that grits are bland. It’s one of those foods about which you might say “How can anybody dislike grits? There’s nothing to dislike.
For the Olympics watchers: We’ve finally seen one of the non-sports things we liked. The piece about Mary Carillo spending time with some RCMP trainees was a hoot. Mostly we don’t like these things, and would prefer that NBC spend more time showing the various events. But this one was funny.
More reflections on the Erie Canal in Newark, NY.

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Friday, February 19, 2010

Curling revisited

Check out Airy Persiflage for 19 February. Bev has become a fan of curling, joining our exalted ranks.

Allan got back from NYC today, and we got to introduce him to curling. Now THAT was an experience. But at least the USA finally won a game - beating France.

I hate to keep talking about our weather - but I guess it's that time of year. After all the unusually cold weather we've been having, we finally got back to our normal winter weather. And we had a high of about 51 today, with beautiful sunshine. It was a lovely day. And, even more amazing, we're predicted to have a lovely weekend with highs about 60! WOW! We'll definitely enjoy!
Today's photo is of reflections in Newark, NY.

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I have been utterly worthless today - and it was good! I stayed in my sweats until I got dressed to go to the Photo Society program. I did get a lot of reading done - and even got a nap in.

We have finally gotten some lovely weather - temperature in the upper 40s and bright sunshine. Guaranteed to brighten the spirits. It's supposed to be great through the weekend, too, with highs getting almost up to 60. A friend already has some crocuses up in her yard.

The book I have been reading is The Help by Kathryn Stockett. Check it out. This is the review from Publishers Weekly on the Amazon web site.

“What perfect timing for this optimistic, uplifting debut novel (and maiden publication of Amy Einhorn's new imprint) set during the nascent civil rights movement in Jackson, Miss., where black women were trusted to raise white children but not to polish the household silver. Eugenia Skeeter Phelan is just home from college in 1962, and, anxious to become a writer, is advised to hone her chops by writing about what disturbs you. The budding social activist begins to collect the stories of the black women on whom the country club sets relies and mistrusts enlisting the help of Aibileen, a maid who's raised 17 children, and Aibileen's best friend Minny, who's found herself unemployed more than a few times after mouthing off to her white employers. The book Skeeter puts together based on their stories is scathing and shocking, bringing pride and hope to the black community, while giving Skeeter the courage to break down her personal boundaries and pursue her dreams. Assured and layered, full of heart and history, this one has bestseller written all over it. “(Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
This great blue heron really knows how to pose for the photographers.

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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Just this

Only a photo tonight - of this inviting place along the Erie Canal.

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Curling, etc.

Lots of snow flurries today, but, at least, here in the Valley, there was no accumulation. And we’re eternally grateful for that. This winter has been so cold.

(And now we’ll let John have the floor to give me a raspberry, since I’m always the one complaining about its being too hot. And this is true - I really DO hate being hot. But being this cold ain’t much fun, either.)

Has everybody been watching the Olympics? We’ve had fun today - Curling has been on. That’s got to be about the favorite in our house. Well, we did also watch the snowboard cross - that’s fun to watch, too. And the men’s figure skating short program was on. The skaters are really great to watch. It seems that this year they are doing much less commentary during the performances. What a relief that is!

Hey, y’all who don’t live in the US - are you watching the Olympics, too?
Another place to relax along the Erie Canal.

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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Thanks for the concern.

Thanks for the concern. I saw the PA, and he also checked with the doc. They both felt it was just some sort of anomaly - nothing to be too worried about, since the BP has come back to my normal range (which is still a bit high). They did order some lab work, which hadn't been done in a while. I'm to keep a better check on the BP readings at home, and, of course, report back if the dizziness recurs.

Now if it will just stay above freezing for a while, with some sunshine.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Stay tuned

We’ve had some gorgeous sunshine today - until latter part of the afternoon. And we’ve had some snow showers this evening, but no accumulation so far. We won’t see a forecast until the 11 pm news, but already our schools have been cancelled for tomorrow (they were closed today for President’s Day). We had gobs of accidents this morning, including one fatality, due to black ice.

Our Lady Mocs beat Davidson this evening 65-54 - good ballgame. And now we’re at home going between basketball and figure skating.

I had one good round at bridge, but the others were definitely “middles”. However, I did get a scare during the afternoon. I had a quite definite dizzy spell - long enough that I had to put my head between my knees. It did pass, but I felt a little washed out afterwards. When we got home a couple of hours later, I took my blood pressure, and it was sky high. I stayed quiet in the chair for about 15 minutes, and it dropped considerably - still high, but not alarming. We went on to the ballgame, but we did take it easy. And, I promise, I’m heading to the doctor’s office first thing in the morning. I’ll report back as soon as I get home after that.
This looks like a good place to spend a couple of hours alongside the Erie Canal.

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Sunday, February 14, 2010

Snow vs no snow

The snow hasn't even started yet, and already they're starting to announce closures on TV. Admittedly, they've been doing pretty well with the predictions lately. It does seem like there's not much else to talk about lately.

We've been watching some of the Olympics along with women's basketball games. Fortunately the Lady Vols won big over Florida. We saw some of the speed skating, some skiing, and some of the pairs figure skating. We're really looking forward to the curling events later in the week.
Old industry gives way to condos and office space along the Erie Canal in Pittsford, NY.

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Saturday, February 13, 2010

Family + Food = Fun

We had a great time at Margaret's - so much good food. I don't usually take anything, but others nearby do bring so many goodies. And it was a treat to see Jesse, Matt & Amanda, and Andy & Erica. Jesse is just home on leave. He's flying back to Norfolk on Monday.

Matt had surgery on his hand on Thursday. His hand is in a cast, and he slept most of the day - on pain meds and getting over the anesthesia.

Andy and fiancee Erica came, too. It's always good to see them. Erica is going to take a master class in flute in Scotland this summer. How great for her.

Kate and Jean and Kay and Brenda and John and Sylvia and Flo Jean and Don - and that was just on our side of the family. Lots of Bobby’s family, too.

The house was full of family and food especially Bobby‘s fried fish fillets. With the cold weather there was no sitting outside on the porch, so the house was packed. But such a great day! Thanks to all for making it special.

We’re all supposed to be getting some more snow tomorrow and Monday. This is my view of some snow patterns on our deck.

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Friday, February 12, 2010

Snow again

More snow today! Not a whole lot, fortunately. Most of it went south of us. They are predicting a bigger storm for Monday, though.

Matt had to have surgery for a torn tendon on a finger of his left hand. He hurt it playing flag football. We’re supposed to be seeing him tomorrow at the fish fry for Jesse. I do hope the forecasters are right - and that we have some sunny weather tomorrow between the two storms.

We’re recording the opening ceremonies of the Olympics - that way we can fast-forward through the commercials and parts that we don’t want to watch.

I’m a little bit slow reading the current Newsweek (that arrived on Tuesday). The opinion article by Jacob Weisberg, Down With the People: Who’s to blame for the political mess? You. Basically, he’s saying that we (the people) want less government, lower taxes, but want all the services that only government is able to provide for us. Weisberg says it much better. It’s not very long - check it out.
Beware of photographers with casts.

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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Congratulations to Alison and to me!

The big event of the day was what is now my annual visit to the oncology surgeon - or at least to see the nurse practitioner. I’m now five years out from my breast cancer diagnosis - almost five years to the day from the lumpectomy. And all is good - mammogram and exam. It’s always a relief to get the good news at the exams. And my next appointment is in February 2011!

This evening, we went to a chamber music concert at the Hunter Museum of American Art. It’s a lovely venue for that small ensemble music, and the music was delightful. Two of the scheduled musicians were from New York City and got stranded by the blizzard. Two talented young women from the Atlanta area substituted at the last minute, and they changed one number in the program. All in all, it was a great concert.

And the Lady Vols managed to pull out a last second win over Ol’ Miss tonight.

Kudos to Alison!!! She had her meeting with the review committee and is now a bona fide PhD Candidate! Congratulations, Miss A!
This is the logo of the company we traveled with on the Erie Canal.

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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Glad it's not us.

I am so sorry about those folks along the Eastern Seaboard, getting hammered again. Obviously none of these cities are able to handle this amount of snow. And, realistically, why should they have to have vast quantities of money tied up in equipment that might get used maybe once in a blue moon. That said, I do hope that area gets a break soon - with no more new snow, and some sunshine and warmer temperatures.

The next forecast for our area is talking about snow in a few days - mostly swinging south of us - and hitting Birmingham and Atlanta. Go figure!

We're just glad it's not us.
This photo was taking somewhere along the Erie Canal.

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Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Listen to the wind!

The weather guy here said that we've been having lots of wind and snow showers. I can hear the wind whistling - just haven't gotten up to look out to see if it's snowing around here.

There was a Friends of the Library council meeting this afternoon late and, of course, it ran over. It was at the branch library near our house, so it wasn't too bad. But I did stop and pick up burgers for supper, since I didn't get home until nearly 6:30.

Vanderbilt really “put a hurting” on Tennessee tonight. Somehow, UT failed to really show up for this game. And this weekend, they play Kentucky at Rupp Arena (not a good thing).
This is another lock "fountain".

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Monday, February 08, 2010

When the weather moves in

Mostly just usual Monday stuff - with middling cards at bridge. Our Lady Mocs played this afternoon at College of Charleston - and got beaten pretty badly.

We’ve got rainy weather moving in - with possibly some “wintery mix” involved. And my “parts” are certainly telling me about the weather changes. I guess that's why there are OTC analgesics and heating pads.
Isn't it nice to see what pride the lock-keepers take in their work-places.

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Sunday, February 07, 2010

Same song, second verse

Today was much like yesterday, except for the Super Bowl. The Saints surely did show their stuff tonight - Congratulations to them!

And, of course, we watched the commercials like everybody else. Some of them were really pretty good (Doritos, Bud Lite). Some other advertisers (Coke, E-trade) need to find new ad agencies.
Can you see the great blue heron perched on the rock? They just won't pose with good backgrounds.

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Saturday, February 06, 2010

Nothing worth writing about

I managed to do almost nothing today. Even lunch and supper were leftovers. It was good!!!
And here's a place on the Erie Canal to fish, or read, or sleep, or do nothing.

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Friday, February 05, 2010

Rain and music

Nasty weather all day today - cold, grey, and rainy. We’d have stayed in all evening, but had symphony tickets for tonight.

The symphony was a rousing one. This guest conductor was quite expressive and dramatic. But the music was good, with a program of Rimsky-Korsakov (Scheherezade), Hindemith, and Dvorak.

It seems like the rain has sort of stopped, but they were talking about “wintry mix” in the morning. We’ll see what the weather-guesser has to say during the late news - and then look for surprises in the morning. Not a problem, though - we don’t have anywhere we have to go.
On board, exiting an Erie Canal lock.
Mickle, the trip on the Erie Canal was great - a week long in September.

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Driving in the rain

For being my “day off”, today was really busy. I wanted to get my new everyday shoes (Mizuno Wave Runners), but they didn’t have my size in stock. They’ve been ordered and should be in on Monday. I had the permanent crown put in. The assistant had to use the tapping hammer to get the temporary off, but everything otherwise went smoothly. The new crown feels fine. John and I had another lunch out, then went for haircuts .

Margaret and John went up to Knoxville for the ballgame. John said it was one of the hardest drives he’d ever done - two hours each way in solid rain. Yuck!

I met with the Friends of the Library council chairman at Panera to talk about policy in general for the upcoming year, and to go over the agenda for the full council meeting next week.

This is due to be quite a rain event - maybe as much as 2“. At least we’re not getting the snow that is predicted for D.C.

All the Erie Canal equipment is painted blue and gold - UTC colors!

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Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Read Anna Quindlen

Anna Quindlen's article in this week's Newsweek (8 February 2010) is excellent. It's not too long...check it out. She does say something that I've been saying for years. Why do the Democrats cave in and retreat at the first hint that the Republicans are going to filibuster. Just let the obstructionists filibuster. That's the only way to prove to people that obstruction is all they want to accomplish. They're not trying to find a solution to the problem (whichever one it might be) - just to make the Democrats fail.

Let them go on with the filibuster!
The bridges are even neat when you're under them.

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