Monday, May 31, 2010

Working Monday

This Monday got to be right busy. John rowed early, and I went to WalMart for the usual grocery run.

And then the fun started. John got into the annual screened porch/deck cleaning. Getting rid of the winter muck and the pollen is a major project. Furniture needs to be moved; rugs rolled up and aired; the leaf blower needs to be used to get rid of the big chunks;"stuff" needs to be dusted and washed (washing machine and dishwasher); surfaces need to be scrubbed. It's definitely an all-day event. But it finally got done. We even threw a bunch of stuff away (always a good thing).

I got more of the inside stuff tended to. And, as a special treat, Matt and Amanda came by on their way back to Atlanta. Amanda found some art to take with her, and Matt got to show off his new car - so we were all pleased.

John's headed off to bed early. And I'm wondering whether this stopped up nose and head and hoarseness is a spring cold or allergies.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Memorial Day

We’ve had gentle rain off and on all day today. I went to bed about 10 last night and didn’t even get up to go to the bathroom until 3:30 - but slept until 7:30. We got lots done today. Jean and I got the pictures in the bedroom and office/studio hung, and the planning done for what we were going to hang in the kitchen. There’s still lots more to do, but we made good progress.

Allan and Tina came over for dinner, and for Tina to meet Jean. Then Jean loaded up her car and they all headed for home. Makes for a nice, quiet finish to the day. We don’t have much planned for tomorrow - just keep plugging away at what needs doing.
On this Memorial Day, I want to recognize and thank all the men and women who have served and sacrificed in the military services of our Country. They don’t get nearly enough praise for their willingness to protect all of us.

Of course, we’re especially proud of our own Jesse.

And I want to share Clay Bennett’s editorial cartoon in today’s Chattanooga Times Free Press.

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Saturday, May 29, 2010

Actually working!

We’ve actually gotten some work done today We’ve sorted through bunches of paintings/photographs/etc. - put some aside, picked out some to hang, given some away, thrown some away, moved some around from place to place. We even got some hung on the walls. Lots more still to do, though. We’ll eventually get there.

We met Vicki at Blue Orleans for dinner. The food there is SO good, and plentiful. As usual, I brought home half of my crawfish pasta.

John’s going to pick Allan and Tina up at the airport in a little while. Jean is watching the new “Dr. Who” on BBC-America, and (obviously) I’m on the computer. John got a cable this afternoon, and we managed to get my laptop hooked up to the TV. That’s fun - especially to look at the photographs. He will have to get a longer cable, though.

I won’t be around long tonight. I got up at 4:30 this morning, with the eye hurting, stopped-up nose, and leg cramps. I did get my library book finished (the latest Jefferson Bass novel), though. Then, of course, I was the only one who didn’t get a nap this afternoon. I will be trying to make up for it tonight.

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Holiday visitors

Our swim group has so much fun - especially when we’re eating! We met for breakfast - they’d been exercising, John had been rowing, and I just met them there to visit and eat.

I went to see the eye doctor again this morning. She said there was improvement, even though I’m still having episodes of pain. I’m to go back next week, plus continuing with the medication. But at least they’re seeing some improvement.

Jean got here this afternoon, and then Marty got here about 6. Marty got delayed because of the frog-strangler rainstorm along I-75 between Knoxville and Chattanooga. But at least they both got here safely. We went out to eat at Old Saigon - one of our favorites. Marty will continue on early in the morning - Jean’ll be here through the weekend.

We’ll be getting to work going through paintings in the morning.
This is another lovely wildflower on Kent Island.

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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Slug Thursday

This Thursday was really a slug day. I did a bit more straightening up of old paintings and materials. But there’s still a whole dining room waiting. And then I have to find places to put the paintings. The big box the new sink came in will fit under one of the beds, so I’m going to use that to store some
of the works on paper.

We did some searching to get ready to go to Allan’s daughter’s wedding in up-state New York in early July - looking for a possible rental car and a place to stay.

Tomorrow the swim class is going to get together after class for breakfast. Then I have to go back to the eye doctor. I hope the new medicine is working. Each time this flares up, the cornea is deteriorating. It’s been a long time since the last episode (8 years), so I hope this new medication will keep it at bay. I’m still having some periods of pain, and, of course, it’s scary to think of the cornea being destroyed.

Also tomorrow, Jean is coming in for the weekend. And Marty is stopping by to spend the night on her way back home to Florida. It’ll be a fun weekend.
This is another lovely flower from an island at the mouth of the Bay of Fundy.

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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Two different photos

I finally got to coffee with the swimming group this morning. I surely have missed visiting with them. I've even missed the exercise part - and that's really amazing!

After I got home from the gallery, I some sorting of my art stuff. I've managed to accumulate a sinful amount of watercolor paper - and I really will have to get started on using some of that. I threw some really bad stuff away, and found more older pieces that are really pretty good. That made me smile. There's still lots more to do, though.
The first picture is from Kent Island, Grand Manan Island, New Brunswick.

The second is one of Anne's photos from the wedding: me, Margaret, and John.


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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Another Tuesday

Today was sort of a catch-up day. I picked up books I'd had on reserve at the library; took the weekend's clothes to the cleaners; and deposited a check that came while we were gone. It was good to get to the gallery and get caught up with Vicki and what was going on in that world.

I decided to go ahead with getting a moveable island for the kitchen - with the top made out of the drop-out from the new countertop. Vicki asked our gallery woodworker to make one for her mom's house, and it looked really great. The guy got by the house today to check on the size, stain color, and pick up the piece of formica. That'll be a great addition to the kitchen, too.

We got a bunch more stuff put up this afternoon. We're getting down to the point where everything that needs to be gone through is art stuff - and nobody can do that except me. Sighhhhhhhhhhhhh!!! But maybe Jean will help me some this weekend.
This photo is the observation platform at the research station on Kent Island, Grand Manan Island, New Brunswick.

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Monday, May 24, 2010

What a weekend!!!

I'm sorry - I forgot to mention that I'd be away from a computer over the weekend. We went to our friends' wedding in Delaware - and what a celebration it was!

It was nearly midnight before we got home Sunday night. The only glitch in the fantastic weekend was a flight delay for our connecting flight from Chicago to Nashville. And, although the sinkhole on I-24 east had been repaired, some nighttime road construction going up Monteagle Mountain had the road closed down to one lane. But they were minor problems.

The wedding, the guests, the bridal couple, the weather - everything was terrific. The bride was gorgeous, the groom was handsome. They even asked the “Fort Morgan Group” to stay for a formal post-wedding picture with the bride and groom.

After the 2 p.m. wedding, the guests went back to the hotel or somewhere to rest up for the reception - which didn’t start until 6 p.m. There were many more people at the sumptuous reception (open bar, heavy hor d’oeuvres, plus dinner). DJ and Lisa met when he took ballroom-dancing lessons, and Lisa was his teacher. So dancing was a major part of the reception. Dancing before dinner; between courses of the dinner; and, of course, after dinner. The dancers love what they do, and love to share. We didn’t partake, but certainly enjoyed watching.

Unfortunately, the chronic viral infection in my eye flared up over the weekend. By Sunday morning, I knew it was definitely active. I called the eye doc from Midway Airport in Chicago, and left a message on his emergency phone. But, as it turned out, he’s out of town for the week so, of course, he didn’t return my call.

I just went to the office this morning, and the tech who was there to answer the phone sent me to a large multi-discipline eye practice. The doc there confirmed my self-diagnosis and approved of my self-treatment. He did put me on a different medication, and I’m to go back on Friday.

I didn't take a camera, but I hope to get some photos from Margaret and/or Anne. I'll post some when I get some.

And now, we start getting rested up.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

After pictures

These are the "after" pictures. We will be putting pictures and paintings back on the walls, but we'll have to think about it for a while.




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Before pictures

These photos were taken after the painting had been done. Before the painting the paneling below the chair rail was the same dark wood. The first one was before the floor was put in; the others after the floor was put down, but before the countertops.



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Family visit

Sarah, Sue, and Alison, plus John and Mary. Isn't this a great bunch!



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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

All the work is done!

All the workmen are now finished, except for the final touch-ups that the painter needs to do (planned), and one little place I’ve found that the flooring guy needs to fix. We are SO pleased with the results. I’ll try to get the photos downloaded tomorrow, and get at least some posted tomorrow night. I’ve been working on getting stuff put back in order. “Putting back” is slow-going because I’m going through everything before I put it back…and throwing/shredding/recycling lots of stuff along the way. And there’s nothing on the walls yet, either. I’m putting some things in the rooms where they might wind up, but we’ll probably wait for Jean to help with it.

I also re-found a couple of boxes with old papers from Pink and some letters from John’s mother. The girls are going to enjoy going through those.

Allan’s lady, Tina, got into town this afternoon, and we went out to dinner with them. Went to Logan’s Steakhouse - hadn’t been there in a while, and I had a nice small filet with mushrooms. Since I had skipped lunch, I ate every bit! And now, resting up and getting caught up on some TV.
These are some of the trees on Kent Island, Grand Manan Island, New Brunswick.

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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

What should you REALLY be afraid of?

This is part of the “Back Story” in the Newsweek Magazine of 24 & 31 May 2010:


Using the most recent U.S. data available, (here is) a list of unsettling threats and their far riskier counterparts.

Murders (2008) - 14, 180
Suicides (2006) - 33, 289

Children abducted by strangers (1999) - 115
Children who drown in pools (2006) - 288

Burglaries (2007 - 2.2 million
Identity thefts (2005) - 8.3 million

Shark attacks (2009) - 28
Dog bites (annual average) - 4.5 million

Americans killed by terrorist attacks around the world (2008) - 33
Americans who die from the seasonal flu (annual average) - 36,171

Deaths by allergic reaction to peanuts (annual average) - 50-100
Deaths by unintentional poisoning (2006) - 27,531

Women who die from breast cancer (2009) - 40,170
Women who die from cardiovascular disease (2006) - 432,709

Fatal airline accidents (2005) - 321
Fatal car crashes (2008) - 34,017

Americans audited by the IRS (2009) - 1.4 million
U.S. Deaths (2007) - 2.4 million

Pot hole?

This sink hole appeared in the eastbound lanes on I-24 in Tennessee at about Mile Marker #126. It's currently about 25' in diameter and about 25' deep.


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Monday, May 17, 2010

Tennessee Watercolor Society

The Tennessee Watercolor Society is having its biennial show in Chattanooga this year. I didn’t enter a painting, and am not very active in the organization. But I did volunteer to help out at the week-long workshop this week. George James, juror of the show, is the instructor for the workshop. The had this article about the show and workshop. It’s a good show - and will be hanging until 25 June. If you live in the Chattanooga area, go see it sometime at Chattanooga State.

I spent most of the morning at the workshop - and learned some interesting techniques for using this plastic “paper” . I came home to eat lunch, take my car for routine stuff, then John picked me up to go play bridge. Midafternoon, I got called to come back to the workshop to help with some unexpected problems. Fortunately there was an extra player at bridge, so he took over my place. I helped out at the workshop/exhibit site, and then went back to get John. He took me to get my car, and we went home. Whew! No telling what tomorrow will bring.
When you can't see what the birdwatchers are looking at, you take pictures of what you CAN see.

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Sunday, May 16, 2010

A full Sunday

I went to the demonstration given by the instructor for the workshop put on by the Tennessee Watercolor Society. He is also also the juror for the show. He’s retired from teaching at Cal State Fullerton, and now does workshops and judges other show, as well as paint for a living. Nice guy. I may not have to be there after tomorrow - we’ll see how it goes. I am picking him up at his motel to get him to the venue for the 9 a.m. start time, but who knows how much I'll be doing after that. I’ll probably stay to watch the beginning of the class and hope to pick up some information about his techniques.

I went to Walmart after the demonstration, since I don’t know when I’ll get there during the week - and don’t need much. I did pick up brat-type sausages and deli baked beans for supper since Allan was coming over. I just needed something filling with no work involved. They were good. He had gone to the Chattanooga Market this morning - it was “strawberry festival” day (since this is the prime strawberry time in TN). He brought us most of a gallon of berries. They are absolutely delicious - juicy and sweet - and I have no idea what I’m going to do with all of them. We’ll make ourselves sick eating what we can before we leave. I guess I’ll just freeze the rest and figure out something to do with them later - maybe make some syrup or sauce out of them.

We had another hard shower this afternoon, total about 1.3” for the two days. But it’s nice and cool and pleasant now. We’ve had the back door open, enjoying listening to the evening frogs. And, all of a sudden, John heard an owl. Of course, we couldn’t see it, but it sounded very close to the deck, and his voice was quite deep and loud. I don’t know that that means it was a big one, but, in any case, we surely do hope he stays around.
It's always nice to find a clump of wildflowers to photograph.

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Saturday, May 15, 2010

Do things really change?

In our clean-up, I found a copy of Life Magazine (remember that?) from September 22, 1961. I had saved it because the cover story was about Hurricane Carla, which hit Galveston and Houston, Texas on September 11, 1961.

It was great fun to look through the magazine, reading the stories and looking at the ads and prices.

However, what really caught my eye was one of the two editorials in this issue. Since I can’t put a link on it, I’ll copy it all here. It brings up some old memories, and makes one wonder how many changes have been made.

Our Salute to the South

“Ronnie, keep your chin up, you’re among friends.” This was the greeting Principal W. T. Puryear gave 6-year-old Ronnie Daniels, one of the first Negroes integrated in a Dallas public school. And Principal Puryear was right. Ronnie was indeed among friends. And so were the 17 other Negro first-graders who were integrated in what had been the nation’s largest segregated school district. For Dallas, after six years of vain resistance to integration, including a long series of court fights, had had a change of mind - and heart.

It began when business leaders started to worry about the “public image” of Dallas and the damage that violence would do to business. It also involved a “no foolishness” police chief, Jesse Curry, who announced beforehand that violence would be severely dealt with. None occurred. A 19-year-old youth who was caught preparing to put a gasoline-soaked cross on a school lawn said later, “It was a silly thing to do, and I’m sorry I did it.” Reported Dallas School Superintendent W. T. White, “We just couldn’t have had a smoother beginning…Everybody was polite, Negro and white alike.” One white man watching colored children entering their first day of classes told police officials, “If there’s any trouble, you call on me and I’ll be around to help you.”

The same sort of thing that happened in Dallas also happened in Atlanta. A determined mayor, Willie Hartsfield, a good police chief, Herbert Jenkins, and an earnest school superintendent, Dr. John W. Letson, all had the support of enlightened community leaders - and particularly of a strong newspaper, the Atlanta Constitution and its editor, Ralph McGill.

What happened in both cities is typical of a new spirit that, though it still has far to go, is making itself felt in the South. It represents the triumph of good, moderate citizens over the rabid minority that gave the U.S. a bad name all over the world when riots flared at Little Rock and in New Orleans. This month 48 Negroes went to school with whites at Little Rock without incident (“We couldn’t care less,” said a white student). New Orleans - this time with overwhelming community support of peaceful compliance - had no trouble.

We are glad to salute the responsible leaders of the South who have made these notable contributions to better race relations. These leaders have not only begun peaceful desegregation of schools, they have also brought about orderly desegregation of lunchrooms in Nashville, Dallas and Savannah. They have proved that where responsible public officials and authorities take a firm stand on the side of the law and order, significant social changes can be accomplished without inciting violence and discord. They are worthy of a deeply religious people who are beginning more and more to tell one another that discrimination and brotherhood cannot be reconciled. And they are worthy heirs to the leaders of an older South who did so much to create the very institutions of American freedom, and especially of that Virginian who struck off the immortal lines about the inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Friday, May 14, 2010

To your good health!

Some of our swimmers decided we should have a health event this evening.

It seems that since we are exercising so hard, some of the minerals in our bodies are being depleted - and need replenishing. They thought that probably we needed some quinine to help prevent leg cramps. And, of course, we always need more Vitamin C in our systems.

These creative women studied and studied on this - and realized that a good source of quinine is tonic water. And, of course, limes provide Vitamin C.

Hmmmmm, let me think! How can we combine these? I know - let’s have an evening gin-and-tonic event. Of course, it’s all in the interests of good health!
Berries, Kent Island, Grand Manan Island, New Brunswick.

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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Books for the library book sale

Today was a work day. I got the bookcases in the office/studio weeded out. Some books got put back on shelves, some designated for specific people, and 7 boxes filled to go to the Library Book Sale. Not only that, the boxes are in the trunk for me to take to the library tomorrow morning. It feels good - even if it is just a teeny start.

Sarah and Margaret are on their way to Texas and Sarah’s summer internship in Houston. Have a safe trip, ladies!

John and I were part of the program at the Photo Society tonight. We did a short show of images from our trip last September, on the Erie Canal and to New Brunswick and Maryland. I’ve been posting some of the photos here. It was a nice set of photo-shows.
This is a small boathouse on Kent Island, Grand Manan Island, NB.

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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Nothing much!

The floor is almost finished. They’ll have to come back in the morning to put down the last of the edge trim. It looks really good!

I spent most of the day at the shop, then went to the Friends of the Library Council.

Kind of a non-exciting day. I hope yours was a good one.
This photo is after we reached the Kent Island Bird Sanctuary at Grand Manan Island, NB.

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Monday, May 10, 2010

Lena Horne - RIP

We lost one of the really great ones on 9 May 2010. Lena Horne has died.

We had the supreme pleasure to see her one-woman show in Nashville about 25 years ago. What a treat that was to be able to hear this terrific lady.

Click HERE and HERE and HERE to listen to recordings of this magnificent voice which is now stilled.


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Sunday, May 09, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there!

I have a wonderful family - daughters and grandkids - and John, of course, who made it all possible. They make my life wonderful every day - not just on Mother’s Day.

Pink (my mother) died in 1983. What a special lady she was! I hope we’re all like her in one way or another.
This is part of the coastline of Grand Manan Island, New Brunswick, in the Bay of Fundy.

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Saturday, May 08, 2010

Home again.

We got home about 3:15 - what a lovely day to drive through the mountains! We didn’t drive on a single interstate highway. It took about a hour longer, but we weren’t in a hurry. The slowest folks we got behind were motorcyclists - and that was unusual. We saw beautiful yards in the small towns, with lots of azaleas and rhododendrons in bloom - and even saw some mountain laurel along with highway near the SC/GA border. Those things don’t usual all bloom at the same time, but ????

We stayed at a Jameson Inn. I guess that’s a regional chain - one of the less expensive ones, but very clean and comfortable, with very pleasant and helpful staff. It was about $25/night less than a better-known chain. Who needs more than clean and quiet when all you’re going to do is sleep there - not us!

We did get some photos of everybody, but I’m going to wait to download them until the kitchen is finished - and do it all at once.
Some idiot wrote into our paper saying something to the effect that abortions should be outlawed because we need those babies to grow into the work force we need, so we’ll have enough money to pay Social Security to seniors. John suggested that maybe that’s why we should allow more illegal aliens into the country. He always has some creative ideas.
This was along the shore of Grand Manan Island, NB.

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Friday, May 07, 2010

A day to visit...

We had a fairly quiet day today, ending with dinner at a local Mexican restaurant (good). Sarah got in from Charleston about noon, so we got caught up with her. She brought her cat, who is going to stay with Sue & Randy (cat Grandma & Grnadpa) for the summer while Sarah is at her law-firm-internship in Houston. The resident cat, and the newbie were most entertaining - testing one another, play fighting, chasing, “talking”, etc. Plus there are two resident dogs, so there are always livestock tearing around the house. (Good pets, though.)

We’re back at the motel, and will head back to the house tomorrow morning for probably breakfast and a short visit. Then we’ll be on the road home before noon. There’s a small farmer’s market and strawberry place right down the road from their house, and we’re planning to stop by both of those in the morning - to see if we can find any goodies to take home with us.

It was back in the low 90s today, but is supposed to be much cooler tomorrow. Should be a good travel day - we’ll head back through the mountains again.
Grand Manan Island, NB.

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Thursday, May 06, 2010

Let's go to SC

We had a lovely drive through the mountains today. It might take just a bit longer than driving through Atlanta - but let’s face it…the scenery and the lack of traffic make it worth it. We’ll come back that way, too, even though there will be rafting on the Ocoee River, and some congestion along that stretch of road. It’s still worth it.

What a treat to get to spend time with Sue, Randy, and Alison. And Sarah will get here sometime tomorrow. We just hung out around the house talking, and then came to find our motel.

Alison is doing some interesting “extracurricular” activity. She’s working with high school juniors who are interested in college and are the first generations in their families to go to college. Navigating the system is very complicated, and the high school counselors usually have way too many kids to deal with. She usually has 8 or so kids per year to help. Way to go, girl!!!
This photo is from Grand Manan Island, New Brunswick.

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