Wednesday, March 31, 2010

"From and To Abstraction" // A painting sold!!

"To and From Abstraction" is the name of the exhibit Sandy Hubbs and I are having at our gallery during April 2010. Studio 2/Gallery 2 is located at 27 West Main St., Chattanooga, TN 37408. If you’re in the Chattanooga area, please join us for a reception on Saturday, 17 April 2010, 4-7 p.m. at the Gallery. As an added attraction, 17 April is the first day of the 4 Bridges Art Festival ad the AT&T Pavilion just down the road from the Gallery. If you’re in Chattanooga on that afternoon, please come visit.

Art on Main to benefit Chattanooga Cares will be held on Sunday, 18 April, in the parking lot next to our Gallery. We’ll be open Sunday afternoon, too.

We got up to the mid70s today - just about perfect. John picked Allan up at the airport, and stayed for dinner (meatloaf and baked potatoes) . The weather was so gorgeous, we ate on the porch.

I've had a great day - one of my paintings sold (“Twilight Falls“). The photo below is poor because of the reflection - sorry. It was bought by a well-known local woman, so that makes it even sweeter.

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Anna Quindlen in Newsweek

In the current issue of Newsweek magazine, there’s a great piece by Anna Quindlen.

She starts by says that she’s hearing people saying “The book is dead…” She’s referring to all the new e-readers (disclaimer: I have a Kindle and love it.) and that people are saying in X-number of years there will be no more traditional books. And that people are no longer reading. Then she says, “In 1952 a mere 18 percent of respondents said yes. The last time the survey was done, in 2005, that number was 47 percent. So much for the good old days.”
We have only to remember that the invention of cameras was going to eliminate painting; recordings were going to eliminate live music; movies were going to eliminate live theater; television was going to eliminate radio and the movies; etc., etc., etc.

Somehow, I don’t think e-readers are going to eliminate books, either.

Quindlen concludes: “Reading is not simply an intellectual pursuit but an emotional and spiritual one. It lights the candle in the hurricane lamp of self; that's why it survives. There are book clubs and book Web sites and books on tape and books online. There are still millions of people who like the paper version, at least for now. And if that changes—well, what is a book, really? Is it its body, or its soul? Would Dickens have recognized a paperback of A Christmas Carol, or, for that matter, a Braille version? Even on a cell-phone screen, Tiny Tim can God-bless us, every one.”

Monday, March 29, 2010

March Madness is almost over

Monday is usually pretty much the same every week. Swimming, Walmart, bridge. Today was no different. We do live such an exciting life.

March Madness is inexorably building to its climax. March is almost over, but the Madness will spill over into April.

Michigan, Duke, Butler, and West Virginia are in the Men’s Final Four. Who would’ve thought that would be the group! What happened to Kansas, Kentucky, Kansas State, etc?

So far Baylor and Stanford are in the Women’s Final Four. Stanford was expected to be there. One of the other #1 seeds, Tennessee, is out.

This is what keeps folks watching.

Not too much longer, though. And then Kate will be happy because college basketball will be over and baseball will get underway.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Just photos

Just photos again tonight - this is a huge sculpture at the major intersection in the City Center of Charlotte.



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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Music (and a little basketball, of course)

This has been a weird tournament year. Two more #1 teams are out - Kentucky for the men, and (sob) the Lady Vols for the women. That pretty much wipes out the teams that this family likes. But that’s what makes the tournaments interesting and keeps people watching.

I had read that a wind quintet from the Symphony orchestra was going to be playing at the nearby branch library, at 11 a.m. this morning. John went to help with the Boathouse clean-up, and I went to hear the music. What a delightful program this was!!

It was geared toward children, and about half of the 25--30 people were youngsters. But they came to listen and learn. The musicians introduced their instruments and talked about how they were made, with what materials, how they were played. They played pieces featuring each instrument (clarinet, flute, bassoon, oboe, and French horn) - pieces from The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Fantasia, etc. The French horn player even played a short selection using just a garden hose with a funnel attached to one end. The kids were fascinated.

About half the hour was devoted to questions, mostly from the kids, questions that showed they had studied music and were interested in learning more.

After the program, I asked one of the musicians how these programs were arranged and financed. He said they were part of the symphony’s community outreach program. They were funded by Unum Provident, and were charged with taking music programs to each school within a 50-mile radius of Chattanooga, and to the various branch libraries if asked. What a terrific service this provides - bringing music to the youngsters in the community. I was impressed!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Go Vols!

The Vols beat Ohio State in the Sweet Sixteen (76-73)!

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The Symphony

The symphony tonight was incredible! Three totally different selections, and two amazing soloists, and one terrific conductor.

Bob Bernhardt led the orchestra in a little-known work by Respighi, (“Ancient Airs and Dances, Suite II”), with a lovely and lively Baroque sound.

The first soloist was Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg who played “The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires” by Piazzolla. This unknown-to-us composer did works based on the tango and instruments common to Argentina. Salerno-Sonnenberg quite literally attacks music, instrument, orchestra, and audience - she is so energetic and enthusiastic. She really pulls you into the music.

Anne-Marie McDermott is another musical showman. She did a great job with Gershwin’s “Concerto in F”. I felt like she was channeling Oscar Levant with her feel for Gershwin’s jazz and blues.

And for an encore, when McDermott came back onstage to the piano, Salerno-Sonnenberg came out from the violin section of the orchestra to join her. She was in all black, so I don’t know if she was in the orchestra during the Concerto, or came out during the applause. They did two selections from “Porgy and Bess”, “Bess, You Is My Woman, Now,” and “It Ain’t Necessarily So”.

Just fantastic!


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Thursday, March 25, 2010


The City Center of Charlotte, NC, is a great place to walk. A couple of weeks ago, while we were there for the basketball tournament, we went out to walk on Saturday morning. As the fates would have it, the weather was gorgeous - a bit chilly, but sunny and clear. It made for an enjoyable walk and good picture-taking.

There were great reflections in the glass-clad buildings, and wonderful public sculpture. These are several shots of a neat piece promoting reading.



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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Special time for friends

The Senility Prayer: God grant me the senility,what was I saying?
Donnie sent this to me, when I sent out a message to remind all of us that we were meeting for dinner tonight. Needless to say, I love it!

We did get together with our buddies this evening for dinner at Old Saigon. They'd never been there before, so it was fun for us to introduce them to a new restaurant and a new cuisine. Vietnamese food (at least as prepared here) is wonderfully fresh, healthy, and delicious. It's different from other Asia cuisines we've had, with subtle flavors, and lots of fresh herbs. But you can still get it very hot, if that's your choice. If you've never tried Vietnamese food, give it a try sometime.

And make some special time for visiting with friends. They make our lives very special.
This is another new painting - "Gold and Pink", (image size about 20x24, plus mat and frame), mixed media on paper.

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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Google/Picasa glitch

I've had to suspend my daily photo e-mail. For some reason, Picasa has been refusing or unable to send photos as usual. I checked the Picasa forums, and it's obviously throughout the system. Supposedly Google is trying to find and fix the problem, but after about a week, there's been no fix.

And yet, photos posted to the blogger work just fine. I guess we're not supposed to understand.
This is one of my new paintings. It's acrylic on canvas, 20x16" (I think), and framed in a shadow-box frame. The name is "Miss Goldie".

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Monday, March 22, 2010

On to the Sweet Sixteen

We went to Knoxville this evening for the second round of the NCAA. Betty and Buddy went with us to use the extra ticket. We had no problem getting an extra ticket, and it was fun going with them. The Lady Vols pretty much “had their way” with the Univ. of Dayton, winning by 28 points. But both sides played good games, and the Lady Vols move on to the Sweet Sixteen.

We had snow showers this morning, and it was sleeting like crazy when we came out of the Y about 8:45 this morning. But the sun was out from time to time by suppertime. It’s supposed to be around 70 again on Wednesday, and then maybe some flurries again on Sunday. Welcome to Spring in TN.

I’ve just found another delightful blog from Scotland. Check out Dancing Beastie.
Which way would they have us go along the Canal?

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Sunday, March 21, 2010


I just saw on the news that the Health Care bill finally passed. Finally! It had gotten to the point that the only reason for wanting it to fail was to make Obama look bad. What a shame that our government has come to this!

But at least there is now something in place - something to start with.

Rain and upsets

Mostly rain and gloom today.

But there was lots of women's basketball on TV this afternoon, with several upsets. They're always fun (except when it's the Lady Vols, of course).
You're sailing along on the Erie Canal, and all of a sudden, a train overtakes you. It's a bit disconcerting at first, but not as much as when the bicyclers overtake you.


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Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Census form

Have you completed and mailed in your census form? It only takes a few minutes. Do it ASAP.

Today has been all-day basketball. We went to Knoxville with a friend to see two games. The Lady Vols beat Austin Peay in the first game. Then Dayton beat TCU in an exciting buzzer-beater game. We listened to the men Vols on the radio on the way home - they won over Ohio University. And then we saw the end of the #1 Kansas/Northern Iowa game - and saw Northern Iowa beat the #1. Exciting.

Our Lady Mocs played a terrific game against Oklahoma State for the first half. Unfortunately, OK State revved it up in the second half, and the Lady Mocs couldn't keep up their pace. They lost 70-63. And so their season is over.
This photo is looking north from the Erie Canal.

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Friday, March 19, 2010

Sad news today

There was sad news this morning. Bobby’s sister, Diane, died in her sleep overnight. She had been in poor health in the last few weeks, and had had many challenges in her life. But 56 is way too young to leave. Our hearts go out to all her family.
Queen Anne's lace at Lyons, NY.

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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Men's Tournament begins!

We took our tax stuff by the CPA’s office on our way home from haircuts today - so it was a good double play! John went walking on the riverwalk this morning with his rowing partner. They always have to get caught up on daughters (7 between the families) and grandkids, and hadn’t chatted in a while.

We went to the Photo Society tonight - a good program of the speaker’s trip down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon.

Today is the first day of the men’s NCAA Tournament, so the games have been on and off all day. Tennessee is playing in the late game, so it’ll be a late night here.
Goldenrod is lovely - if it doesn't make you sneeze.

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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

St. Patrick's Day

John’s stress test went fine. Between films, they even let him “out” for some coffee and breakfast. He has an appointment to see our family doc on Monday for results, followup, and whatever.

I was supposed to go to an organizational meeting about the Tennessee Watercolor Society biannual show and workshop being held in Chattanooga in May/June. I totally forgot - can’t believe it! Oh, well - apologies have been sent.

Would you believe two men dressed like leprechauns tried to rob a bank in Gallatin, TN? Unfortunately, they got interrupted by the police and both were killed in a shoot-out. That’s right up the road from where we lived near Nashville.
These are the roses that John brought me on Sunday. They're still just beautiful!

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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The best birthday present!

I got an interesting birthday present this morning. John woke me up a little after 6, telling me that he was having some chest pains. He had already taken four low-dose aspirins. I got him quickly to the ER. His pain was minimal, but constant, with none of the classic stuff (squeezing, crushing, sweating, nausea, etc.). They did an EKG, chest x-ray, blood work (cardiac enzymes), with followup blood work at 4 hours after the onset of the pain (or when it woke him up). All tests were negative, and a minor abnormality on his EKG had been present on an old EKG they got from our family doc’s office. So they let him go home (6:30-10 a.m. in the ER). He is scheduled for a stress test at 7:30 tomorrow morning, and is to be followed up in the doc’s office after that.

He was grumbling about having caused a “false alarm”. And as I promptly told him, I’d rather do 20 false alarms than one real one. The negative results made for the best birthday present as far as I’m concerned.

We went out to dinner with Allan and Tina (thanks SO much for the flowers and for dinner). Bonefish Grille has some terrific food. It’s probably good that it’s across town - we’d probably go more than 1-2 times a year if it were closer.

Thanks so much for all my loved ones for the birthday cards, calls, e-mails, and Facebook wishes. But the best present was John’s negative results at the ER this morning.
This is the courthouse in Lyons, NY.

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Monday, March 15, 2010

Birthday #3 - ME!

I had terrible cards today. In the last progression (45 minutes), our opponents had THREE 700-rubbers, including two slams, for a total of 4420 points in something like 8-10 hands. We played one hand and were set. I think we set them once. Grim!
We got our 2010 Census Form today. It is filled out and ready to be returned to the Census Bureau. We were surprised at the tiny amount of information that was asked for. The only things asked for were the number of people living at this address; whether we owned the dwelling (rented, or had a mortgage); the names, ages, birthdates, and races of people living at this address. We had expected many more questions.
It’s not really funny, but….
One of the stories on our local news tonight was about a guard dog from a local establishment that got loose and literally ATE the front bumper and tires off a police car. You may think this is far-fetched - even with film of the damaged car. HOWEVER, this has actually happened. Margaret’s dogs, Alice and Maypop, ate the tires and fenders of her van. She assumed that they had cornered a raccoon or some other critter up under the car, and tore it apart trying to get it. I told her that I just would’ve liked to hear the phone call with the insurance adjuster. Life really IS stranger than fiction.
And today is the third birthday.
Happy Birthday to Me!
This dome is in Lyons, NY.

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Sunday, March 14, 2010

Happy Birthday, Sarah!!!

Happy Birthday, Sarah! This is the second of our Birthday Triology.

This was the end of the recuperative weekend. I slept so late that by the time we had finished breakfast, CBS Sunday Morning was completely over. How sweet it was!

Today was the end of the regular college basketball season - and now it's truly into March Madness.

The special time of the day was when John brought me some roses for an early birthday present. He's SO sweet - and they are beautiful. Thanks, Love!
This steeple is in Lyons, NY.

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Saturday, March 13, 2010

Happy Birthday, Alison!!!

This is the beginning of our Birthday Trio!

We've had off and on rain today. But mostly today was for catching up from tournament week - sleeping late, taking naps, and watching a few more ballgames.

I hope you've all remembered to "spring forward" with your clocks, for the start of Daylight Saving Time 2010.
These dandelions were at the boat dock in Lyons, NY. Pink always loved dandelions - she said they were the first bright spot of color to herald the start of Spring.

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Fog, rain, thunder, sunshine - take your pick

There was thick fog when we first left this smorning, then rain, lightening and thunder...but by 5 p.m., the sun was out. Like they say about lots of other places, "if you don't like the weather, wait a few minutes - it'll change".

It felt good to be back to swimming on a regular basis. Our instructor gives us a really good work-out. At the studio, I had to check to be sure all my pieces for the show in April had prices and tags. Vicki had picked out a couple of older pieces for the April show and a whole-group show in May focused on flowers (“April Showers Bring May Flowers). She had them laid with the framing she and her son had recommended. They are really artists in the framing, too, and these pieces will look terrific. I’ll try to get some good photos of them.

We got together with Allan and Tina at Vicki and Roger’s house tonight. Vicki put out a great meal of a bunch of appetizers - lots of variety and all really tasty. And we sat and talked until after 11 - just a fun evening.

I’m hoping for a do-nothing day on Saturday.
This is the underside of another bridge on the Erie Canal.

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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Thursday rain

It rained this morning. At least it's a bit warmer. Sarah and Emily left in the rain about 11, but said that they were out of by the time they got to the state line. All got home safely. Sarah was coming down with a really bad cold. I'm sorry, but I hope she took it all with her, and didn't leave any of the germs here.

We went to a music program at the Hunter Museum tonight - two guitars. It was a great concert. Allan's Tina got into town again tis afternoon, and they came to the concert, too. Then we all came back here for some dinner. Tina has a couple of interviews set up during this visit. Hopefully something will work out soon, so she can get moved down.

We don't have any plans for the weekend - and that will be nice.

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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Back to "normal"?

So today, we’re sort of back to “normal” - whatever that is. We went to swimming and coffee, and then I went on to the studio. Vicki has rearranged stuff and, as always, it looks great. She’s gotten one of my new pieces framed, and it looks SO good. When the other one gets finished, I’ll try to get some decent photos to post.

I did get to the Walmart to get a minimal amount of groceries - it was more crowded than I expected, but I really did have to pick up a few things.

Sarah and Emily came in during the afternoon. Their main order of business was to go to the Aquarium, and they had a good visit there. Then we took them down to see the gallery, and to eat dinner at Blue Orleans. Yum! Both of the girls have come down with colds and are feeling pretty yucky. They went to bed early. They’re going to head back to SC tomorrow. It’s been fun getting together with them at the ballgames and back here at home.

Have a safe drive home, gals!
This is an early glimpse of spring in Charlotte a few days ago.

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Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Mert's Soul Food

We don’t often get excited about a restaurant, but while we were in Charlotte, we found Mert’s Soul Food in the center city on N. College St. We went there on Sunday for breakfast, and liked it so much, we went back that night for dinner (between ballgames). And, last night, we went back again. Check out their menu - we loved everything we had. And be sure to eat there if you’re ever in Charlotte.

One unusual item on the menu at Mert’s is an appetizer - Soul Rolls. The rolls are like egg rolls, but filled with rice, black-eyed peas, collards, and chicken. Excellent! Small loaves of cornbread are served before each meal - a bit more cake-y than I’d prefer, but not sweet - and with a good crust. Yum!

We got home about 2:30 this afternoon. We came home through the mountains - on the Cherohala Skyway. It took a little bit longer, but was ever so much more pleasant than driving through Atlanta. We had wanted to go that way, too, but were afraid there would be snow. And from the snow we saw that was still beside the road (at elevations up to 5300 feet), the road would’ve been impassable. It’s a beautiful drive, though, and I’d recommend it when you’re not in a hurry.
From Charlotte, NC, this is a photo of a statue of the namesake, Queen Charlotte.

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Monday, March 08, 2010

Championship games

The UTC Lady Mocs won a hard-fought game over Stamford to claim the Southern Conference berth in the NCAA tournament. Now we wait to find out the seedings, the opponent, and the location.

In the exciting men's game, Wofford won its first trip to the NCAA by beating Appalachian State University.

And we'll be homeward bound early in the morning.
Here's another spillway along the Canal.

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