Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Doctors' appointments

Two doctor appointments and several errands made for a busy morning - and a lazy afternoon.

The six-month dental cleaning was the first thing this morning. No problems there - and I do love the feeling of my freshly cleaned teeth.

Next was my delayed six-month visit to the optometrist. He said everything looked good - albeit with some progression of the scarring on my cornea due to the recent flare-up of the keratitis. It’s at least under control for the time being. Everything else looks good - no glaucoma, no macular degeneration, and not enough vision change to warrant a new prescription. Then, unfortunately, after having my eyes dilated, I had to go out into the bright sunshine. Doubling up on the sunglasses works pretty well.

I got some other stuff done. I took some miscellaneous art supplies that I’ve gathered over the years and no longer use to the art teacher at the elementary school across from the gallery. I took two lasagnas to the gallery refrigerator for Vicki to pick up later.

Then I got to return home while my eyes slowly returned to normal.
Click here for the story from WRCB-tv about Taylor. The Marines have told the family that it’ll be another 3-5 days before his remains will be released. So arrangements have not been made yet.
The boats are waiting patiently for their owners.

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Monday, June 28, 2010

William Taylor Richards. USMC

This is the first mention on the local news tonight.

Local Marine dies in Afghanistan

WASHINGTON D.C.--The Department of Defense announced today the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

Lance Cpl. William T. Richards, 20, of Trenton, GA, died June 26 while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.

He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.

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Sunday, June 27, 2010

The world weeps

Taylor Richards

US Marine killed in action in Afghanistan today.

Beloved by wife, daughter, parents, grandparents, and all who knew him.

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Saturday, June 26, 2010

Dalton Roberts, Guest Blogger

By Dalton Roberts
My Sunday Journal
IPS Features

James Baldwin said, “I’m optimistic about the future but not about the future if this civilization. I’m optimistic about the civilization which will replace this one.”

This long range optimism is about the only comfort I find and that means we are in for more suffering. You would think we have suffered enough to learn our lessons but I doubt that is true.

I am not optimistic that nuclear bombs will not be used. Too many idiots have them or are close to having them. Timothy McVeigh merely considered the death of children “collateral damage”and those who are insane will consider the death of anything, including themselves, as nothing but collateral damage.

If a lifetime of observation has taught me anything it is to never underestimate the damage that can be done by an idiot with a wrong idea.

Looking at our last quarter century of leadership in America, I am not optimistic that we will learn to skillfully pursue peace and become the moral leaders of the world, as we did for a brief period after WWII. But I am optimistic that we will eventually come to see that raining down bombs on iwomen and children is a sure path to more terrorism. We will suffer great losses but pain will eventually teach us that our actions are self-destructive.

It will take more Vietnams, Iraqs, and Afghanistans but at some point we will see that we have no right to impose our will on other nations and cultures. There is no way to bomb away world diversity. At some point, we will have to start looking for areas of common interest with all nations and cultures rather than flaunting our “values” as if they are superior. No culture is superior. We are all just different. The values adopted by the whole need to be those that provide the most good for the whole.

I am not optimistic that Christianity is headed in the right direction. It is not seeking to live by and disseminate the higher teachings of Jesus but to force its forms and rituals on the world. I am optimistic that Christians will ultimately realize the true power of Christianity is in the Sermon on the Mount and hat it will become he driving force of the church. There is no real power in Christianity outside of the Sermon on the Mount and related teachings.

When we are finally so weary of war and killing and realize it will never work, we will throw ourselves into peace-making and human progress with enough commitment to make the world work for all nations.

Will this new civilization have to arise out of nuclear ashes or will it spread like leaven from hearts all over the world and finally permeate the whole? Only time will tell but one thing is certain: each of us has the chance now to start the leaven of hope and peace in our own hearts. Each one can really read the Sermon on the Mount and live by it in our daily lives. Each of us can find at least one beautiful truth in each of the word’s religions and philosophies to have points of communication with everyone we meet.

I can hear it now: “You are just a dreamer.” Everything good was first dreamed.

For a starter, we can realize that the world is chiefly populated by other people.
Boats on the beach on Grand Manan Island, NB.

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Friday, June 25, 2010

A fun evening!

We had a lovely evening. We met Allan and Tina at the Hunter Museum for a members’ preview of a new exhibit of glass pieces by Stephen Rolfe Powell . There were refreshments, but we only stayed long enough to get a quick look at the work. It’s incredible stuff, and we want to go back and look when there aren’t so many people. Here a link to
photos of some of Powell’s work . It’s awesome!

When we left the museum, we met Vicki and Roger at our favorite Mexican place, and spent a couple of hours over some great food, completely with margaritas and lots of laughs. I have a feeling the six of us will be getting together fairly often - and that’s a fun thing to look forward to.
This is a fishing shack on a spit around the lagoon at Grand Manan Island, NB.

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Thursday, June 24, 2010


We keep coming up with new ideas of what to do with my stuff - no decisions yet. John found out the men's group for bridge doesn't start until next week - and, of course, we won't be here next Thursday. Maybe when we get back later in the summer.

A swimming buddy had hoped to get a new knitting group started this evening, but in the event, she and I were the only ones there. So we decided we'd be more comfortable at home. Maybe another time.

Today was one of those at-home days - spent most of the time thinking about moving things. We just have TOO MUCH STUFF!!!!!
A closer view of the wiers at Grand Manan Island.

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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Decisions, decisions!

HOORAY! Our pool was back open, and we were able to go for our regular class this morning. It surely did feel good to get back into the pool and get moving. Everybody was so glad to be back.

Then I went to the gallery. The next month is going to be very tough. Vicki is definitely shutting down the operation - maybe even her framing business. She's been doing this for 35 years, so it's quite a change for her. But her life has changed a lot - and mostly for the better - over the last 5 years. And it's time she moved along with it. This means I have to bring all my stuff and paintings back to the house, and find someplace to put it. And find something else to do with my time and painting, and somewhere in which to do it. I guess the only permanent thing in life is change, isn't it.

John and I talked tonight about what we’re going to do with my “stuff”. I did set up a space for me to paint, but now that I have to move all the paintings that have been at the gallery for ages, I have to bring them home. And find someplace to put them. I can’t put them in the garage - it’s not a finished space (part is just crawl space), and there’s too much dirt, mildew, bugs, etc. So this is mainly a storage problem. We talked about some shelves in the back of one closet (mostly unusable space) for storage. Another possibility would be taking down one of the twin beds in a bedroom, or maybe even taking both of them down and using the whole room for my studio. That would leave us with just one queen-sized guest bed, but I guess that’s not too bad. And another possibility would be to take down one of the twin beds, and move the desk and desktop computer into that bedroom, leaving the corner room for my studio and painting storage. Decisions, decisions!
This photo is looking over a protected harbor on the west side of Grand Manan Island, NB, and the fishing wiers in the harbor.

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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Home all day!

If yesterday was quiet, today was even more so. I only left the house twice - to get the newspaper and to get the mail.

John was busy early and late. He went rowing about 6:30 a.m., and then helped with the rowing class at 5:30 p.m.

I did spend a couple of hours working on the boxes of photographs. I’m finally putting some of them in albums. I’m not doing them in any strict order, although I’ve tried to get some groupings together. I’m going to try to get it done before we get to the lake - they’ll be fun to look at.

But at least the pump in the lap pool at the Y has been fixed - and we’ll be having our regular class in the morning. YEA!!!
We never did figure out why this boat was along the road on Grand Manan Island, NB.

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Monday, June 21, 2010

Heat wave!

Nothing much else going on around here but the heat. That's all anybody is talking about right now. And we're all tired of it. So I'll shut up, too.
This is the last whale of the day, heading for the depths.

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Sunday, June 20, 2010

Ribs and chicken

It was still pretty miserable at today 92. And, we’re also supposed to be in the mid- to upper 90s for the next week - 97 tomorrow.

We had a great time tonight. After all the work yesterday, we mostly took it easy today. Most of the dinner cooked itself - except for poor John having to be outside doing the cooking. He did a terrific job, and the ribs and chicken were yummy! Margaret decided to come over, and she brought some fresh green beans - already washed and snapped. We had the ribs and chicken, green beans, corn (from the freezer from last year), and baked beans (from the WM deli). Vicki made potato salad and macaroni salad, and Carol brought some chips, pretzels, and dip. And we had fresh fruit and cookies for dessert. I wish I could’ve had all y’all with us to share.

The pool will still be closed tomorrow. They’re hoping to get the pump fixed tomorrow, but who knows. I am starting to miss the exercise.

One of our swimmers just came back from a week at the beach in the Florida Panhandle. She said by the end of the week, they could smell the dispersant, and saw dead crabs covered in oil. The oil itself was expected to be there in about a week.
Look how close the huge whales are to our boat - there are maybe 4-5 whales in this photo.

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Saturday, June 19, 2010

Nothing but hard work!

We worked our butts off this morning - getting down and hopefully less dirty, getting things put back, and cleaning while we're doing it. We try not to do this very often, but sometimes it just has to be. But the house is now free of boxes and stuff, and most things are put away. Lots of stuff is even dusted - and that's something that doesn't complain, because that was usually the case.

And, of course, that's the case today. We decided to ask some folks to come over tomorrow night for ribs. It's supposed to be in the upper 90s, so too hot to sit outside. This meant getting the inside in shape. John's going to suffer and do the cooking outside, but at least we'll eat in the cool.

I hate that the upper midwest is getting all our tornadoes, but that seems to be the case. I know all of us east of the Rockies will be glad when this heat wave breaks.
This was an amazing photo opportunity - not often anybody gets to see whales like this.

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Friday, June 18, 2010

Is it August yet?

This has turned into a major heat wave in this part of the country. Our highs for the next 7 days are predicted to be in the mid-to-upper 90s, with heat indices over 100. And this is not nearly as bad as what they’re getting in Memphis. This is the kind of weather we might get in August - not June.

We did make one decision today - we’ve decided to cook ribs on Sunday, and have some friends over to join us. Of course, this means that John will be doing the cooking - outside in this heat. But he does such a good job! We’ll just plan to eat inside. And this will get us to finally finish cleaning up the last few pockets of stuff. I’ll get to WalMart in the morning to pick up a few things. Should be fun!
Here’s another bunch of whales in the Bay of Fundy.

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Thursday, June 17, 2010


The other night I mentioned things that we wished President Obama had mentioned during his speech. Last night,
Rachel Maddow did a segment on how SHE would have rewritten the speech. The piece is about 5 minutes long, but well worth listening to.

We had another line of thunderstorms come through this afternoon. There was lots of thunder and wind, and we got an inch of rain in about 20 minutes or so. It was fierce. And then it cleared off.

We went to the Photo Society tonight. The speaker was a photojournalist named Dave LaBelle. He describes himself as a storyteller - which is indeed true. But he tells his stories with fantastic photographs.
There were maybe a dozen right whales in this group we were watching. The small boat gives you an idea of the size of these animals. Also, the slanting horizon is pretty much a given when you're taking pictures on a boat.

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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

This crisis is over...

I went to the eye doctor this afternoon for the final visit for this flare-up of the keratitis in my right eye. The pain is gone - fortunately - and the activity has simmered down. The doc lessened the new medication I’ve been taking to once a day - with the proviso that I can increase the dosage up to three a day if I feel like it might be getting active again. He told me that the scarring has, so far, not encroached onto the visual field of the eye, so obviously, it is not affecting my vision. But, he said, it is very close, and if there is another flare, it would probably start limiting my vision. Needless to say, I’m going to be very vigilant with the medication.

The pump in the lap pool at the Y has not been fixed yet, so I skipped this morning. I really didn’t want to just stretch in 92 degree water. I do hope they have it fixed by class time on Friday.
Check the size of these right whales. And the size of the boat. And how close they are to each other. Only researchers would do this sort of thing.

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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The President spoke tonight

Did you listen to the President tonight?

It was good that he took BP to task, and started laying down the enormity of their responsibility.

We were disappointed that he didn’t point out that none of the oil companies have changed their emergency response techniques in years - and that none of them have a clue as to what to do.

It was good that he said, as he and others have said before, that the American people are going to have to do something to reduce their dependence on fossil fuels.

We were disappointed that, although he mentioned solar, wind, and hydro power, he didn’t mention nuclear power or public mass transportation..

One thing I wonder about - why do they keep calling it a "leak"? A leak, well, leaks. This thing is gushing, erupting, coming out in torrents…but leaking?!?
It’s nice to look up and see these beautiful clouds over the Bay of Fundy.

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Monday, June 14, 2010

It'll get worse!

This is what the beach looks like from our beach house.


This is what it looks like in the water and sand in front of our beach house.


What else is there to say?
It’ll get worse.
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Sunday, June 13, 2010


There’s no point in continuing to talk about the weather - it ain’t gonna change it. And the forecast for the next seven days is the same. Mid 90s for the high, mid 70s for the low, hot, hazy, and humid.
I have a question from this evening’s national news. Why would the average person care which movie was the biggest moneymaker over the weekend? That just doesn’t seem like wasting news time to me. That fascinating piece of information is also given space in the newspaper on Monday mornings. Guess that’s just one of many things that I don’t understand.
This is the ferry from the New Brunswick mainland to Grand Manan Island.

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Saturday, June 12, 2010

Hot and happy Saturday

Talk about miserable weather. It’s 8:45 pm, and the outside temperature is 85!

But we spent the day mostly inside, visiting with family and friends and eating wonderful home-grown and home-cooked food. LOTS of eating. It wasn’t that the corn and fried fish weren’t enough, we even had home-made ice cream to go on the peach cobbler and blackberry pie. We were all stuffed.

This is the finished wall in the new kitchen; part of the terrific food that Margret and Bobby fixed for us (before the fish got put out); and a few of the folks sitting around after dinner talking and telling lies.



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Friday, June 11, 2010

Welcome to summer!

It must be summertime.

Bonnaroo started today.

Riverbend started today.

There was a hard afternoon thundershower while the sun was shining.

The weather forecast for the next week calls for highs around 90, lows in the 70s; hot, hazy, and humid, with a chance of afternoon thundershowers.
There's always something to photograph on a boat dock.

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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Easier Thursday

Today had a nice slow start - slept in, and got the paper read and the computer stuff done. I picked up lunch and headed down to the gallery. I hate it when I have to go such a long time without checking in with Vicki. I say this, knowing that I’m usually the one who is out of town for weeks at a time.

Our featured artist this month is having her reception tomorrow night. So there were things to be done to get ready for that. There seemed to be lots of folks in the gallery this afternoon. One can only hope that business is finally picking up.

The rowing class John is helping with got rained out, so he was hope early. Allan and Tina came by for a while after they took Tina’s friend to dinner at Lily Mae’s. We had a nice chatty evening out on the deck. After the afternoon showers, it turned out to be a lovely evening.

Haircuts were also a welcome part of our afternoon.
Harbor reflections.

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Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Way too busy today!

I’m not used to being busy all day any more. I usually have lots of down time during any given day, but today was busy until after supper.

One of the best parts was finalizing the reservation for our “beach” week - now moved to Douglas Lake in Tennessee. Our get-together week is important to all of us, and although we hate that the BP disaster has kept us from our usual location, it won’t stop our fellowship, food, and fun!

There were scattered thundershowers this afternoon all over town. Then after supper, a soft steady rain has settled in. The temperatures went down enough that we could open the back door. It’s such a treat to listen to the rain and the frogs singing.
There are always things to photograph around a boatyard.

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Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Tuesday Trivia

I went to the eye doctor again today. My eye has improved greatly. I’m to go back one more time next week for follow-up, and then return to my regular optometrist. Fro the tests run, and from the comments by the doctor today, I’ll probably need a new prescription when I go in next week. I know I have had this prescription for some time.

We’re still picking away at getting things taken out of the house or put away. I took the last of the books to the library for the book sale.

E-mails are flying concerning arrangements for the lake-house vacation next month. I do hope everything works out well.
This is one last sunset photo from Whistle Light, Grand Manan Island, NB.

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Monday, June 07, 2010

Update and Literary Complaint

Well, the deed is done! We have very sadly cancelled our reservation in Gulf Shores. But not before finding a big-enough house to rent on Douglas Lake east of Knoxville for the same time period. And I think all our group is going to be able to come - even the folks from Texas. I'm just relieved the decisions are made and carried out.
I've been wanting to read Robert Caro's Master of the Senate, about LBJ's years in the US Senate. I've always heard that it was also a great history of the institution of the Senate and the way it works. It finally became available on Kindle, and I got it last week. I've only gotten through the Introduction and am into Chapter One. The history is fascinating! But I'm not sure I'm going to be able to read this book.

Does this man not have an editor???!!!?!?! I've just come across this ONE sentence!!!! Don't feel obligated to read the whole thing.

This sentence isn't even the only one in the paragraph! If this whole book is filled with these, there's no way I'll be able to wade through the convoluted prose. @#$%#%@

From Master of the Senate

With the dawn of the new century, the public’s demand for an end to trusts and to the high protective tariff that was “the mother of trusts,” the tariff that robbed farmers and gouged consumers, and that had now been in place for almost fifty years - the demand, for legislation to ameliorate the injustices of the Industrial Revolution, that had begun to rise during the Gilded Age, only to be thwarted in part by the Senate - began to rise faster, fed by the books of Jacob Riis and Lincoln Steffens and Theodore Dreiser and a hundred other authors; by the new mass-circulation magazines, which, in the very first years of the twentieth century, educated America about the manipulations of Standard Oil and stirred its conscience to the horrors of sweatshops and child labor (in 1900, almost two million boys and girls were working, often alongside their mothers, all the daylight hours seven days a week in rooms in which there might not be a single window); and by the Populist and Grange movements, which gave farmers insight into the power that railroads and banks had over their lives, and into their helplessness against them.
Changing sunset, Whistle Light, Grand Manan Island, NB

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Sunday, June 06, 2010


We're going to call the realtor in the morning to get a status check. If they'll give another two weeks before payment, we'll wait for a while longer. But John and I are both sure that the situation is only going to get worse, and I imagine we'll probably wind up cancelling. We will go on and make our reservations for 2011 at the same time and place, though. John and Margaret have found some nice sounding places on Norris Lake near Knoxville, that have vacancies for the week we need.

We got some paintings hung in the kitchen today, and they look SO good! I'm so pleased to start getting stuff on the walls. The empty walls were starting to drive me nuts. I'll get some pictures eventually. Margaret and Bobby are having a fish fry on Saturday - mainly to welcome Allan's Tina to Tennessee - and I'll take more photos then. Maybe we’ll even get more stuff hung.
Sunset, Whistle Light, Grand Manan Island, NB.
The dark strip of land on the horizon is the state of Maine.

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