Thursday, September 30, 2010

A busy day

John et al have had rain all day today. He said that Sue and Margaret did some antiquing at one stop during the day and found some prizes.

The mother of one of my swim buddies has Alzheimers and fell over the weekend, breaking shoulder and pelvis. I went by to visit yesterday (mom is in an assisted living facility), and then went today and took my friend to lunch - just to get her out for a little bit. Unfortunately, Mom has not done well through the day. They’ll probably be taking her to the hospital tomorrow.

I saw an ad in the paper for a place in the old part of town near where the gallery was that was selling things like sweat pants for $3.00, t-shirts 10/$5.00, etc. I decided to go see what it was like. It was the site of a wholesales clothes distributor, getting ready to go out of business with their building up for sale, and only open 3 days a week. I got a lovely set of embroidered 1200/count Egyptian cotton sheets for $18.00, and a wind suit, 3 soft light-weight sweat shirts, sweat pants/shirt set, a Wrangler shirt jacket, and two other shirts to wear as jackets for $40.00. It was terrific - this is all new stuff, but just piled up on tables, etc., etc. I’ll be going back, probably with John when he gets home, and then sometime with Margaret. Then I told Vicki and Tina about it, and going back to take them to shop.

So it wound up being a busy day.
This is a lava dome on the Snaefellsness Peninsula, Iceland.

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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

New places to see and go

I went for the first time to a small local farmers' market this afternoon - mainly looking for greens. (John doesn't like them, and the cooking smell is strong). It was a successful trip, and I got to have collards and kale; fried green tomatoes; and a piece of locally made kielbasa sausage. Yum!

The boaters didn’t quite get to Lockport today, and then turned back east. The stopped in Albion, NY, tonight - no great food here - the only place they could find was a take-out pizza place. I’ll bet it was good, though.

And now Kate has found a new river-cruising company with small boats. Their trips look really good.
This is one last picture of this photogenic church in Iceland.

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Tuesday, September 28, 2010


John called this evening - the boaters were having an "adult beverage" before heading out to find dinner. They've stopped for the night at Medina, NY. They're still going to head west in the morning - maybe as far as Lockport - and then turn back east. They're having a great time, and are already talking about doing it again next year - maybe with some of the kids. I told them that if that happened, we'd have to get more boats, so I can go, too.

I went to the movie this afternoon - Ben Affleck's The Town. It was an okay movie, but quite violent, and an extreme use, IMO, of the "f" word.

Lecture #3 on the history of Chattanooga was tonight. The director of the History Center talked about Chattanooga during the Civil War. The three battles in and around Chattanooga - Chickamauga, Missionary Ridge, and Lookout Mountain - basically were the beginning of the end of the Confederacy. Next week, he’ll go on to Reconstruction and into the early 20th Century.
This is the interior of the 1874 church in Iceland. Most of these small churches are Lutheran.


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Banned Book Week

To call our attention to Banned Book Week this week, Anu Garg (The Wordsmith) is using words in "A Word A Day" that relate to censorship. This is an excerpt from his column on Monday.

In Saudi Arabia a woman in public has to be covered head to toe or risk arrest. In India it's socially acceptable if a woman's torso and legs are clad. In the US it's tolerable as long as her top and bottom are not exposed. And in Europe anything (or nothing) is fair game.
Which one of these configurations is correct? Who decides? Well, here is an idea: Why not let a woman decide for herself? The same goes for books. Instead of banning certain books, why not let a reader decide what books he wants to read, and what books to buy or borrow?

Unfortunately even in these modern times there are Comstocks and Bowdlers around us. To highlight the issue, librarians, booksellers, and readers celebrate the freedom to read by observing Banned Books Week during the last week of September every year (Sep 25 - Oct 2 this year).


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Monday, September 27, 2010

Rain on Monday

Today was a usual Monday - which means Aldi and WalMart. Unfortunately, it also means the usual incredibly bad cards at bridge. We got a frog-drowner rain while at bridge, which had completely stopped by the time we were ready to leave. And the temperature was only in the mid60s. We got an inch of rain at our house in the couple of hours of rain we had. And we surely did need it.

The canal boaters are in Spencerport, NY, tonight. They had the best dinner, so far, at a mom--and-pop Italian place, and are planning to stop there again after their turnaround.
A window in an 1874 church on the Snaefellsness Peninsula, Iceland.

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Sunday, September 26, 2010

Cooler at last

It was actually cooler outside than inside this morning - and I had the back door open most of the day. I think the high was only about 73. We've had cloudy skies and some sprinkles, but no real "rain" - at least not at this house.

John called. It’s cool and cloudy, but they’re motoring slowly west on the Canal. Sue e-mailed that they'd stopped for the night at Fairport, NY.

I needed to get off my whatever and get out of the house today, so I went downtown to the Chattanooga Market - held each Sunday in the Pavilion (open-air, but covered) - sort of a glorified farmers’ market, with entertainment and craft booths, some prepared foods, as well as the local produce, local cheeses, etc. I really wanted some greens (didn’t care what kind), but it’s too early for local ones. I’ll get some at WalMart tomorrow, I guess. But I did get some lovely pole beans (my favorite!) and some crowder peas - and right away got them cooking for my supper. And I got one gorgeous heirloom tomato and one green tomato to fry. And all just for me!!!! It was all delicious!

On the work side, I did do the kitchen floor yesterday, ran the dishwasher this morning, and did my laundry. Actually just getting the Sunday paper read takes a lot of time - a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it - right?
I love the mysterious look of this grave on the Snaefellsness Peninsula in Iceland.

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Saturday, September 25, 2010

More TV reviews, etc.

More TV reviews:

The Defenders - I recorded that, and just watched it. We’ll probably watch another time or two, but it’s nothing spectacular. It would depend on what else is on at that time.

Outlaw - second episode was on Friday night. It was another good program.

Blue Bloods - How can one not like anything with Tom Selleck in it! I think it’s regularly going to be on on Friday night opposite Outlaw. So I guess one will get recorded.
From the Erie Canal: The boaters are in Newark, NY, tonight - getting accustomed to the boat and being in such close quarters with each other. And, of course, they’re finding the good restaurants within walking distance of the canal.
On the Snaefellsness Peninsula, Iceland.

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An interesting Friday

John picked Margaret up in Buffalo, and they did all the requisite things at Niagara Falls, including riding on the Maid of the Mist and going into the Cave of the Winds. Their feet finally gave out, and they went to Canada for dinner, seeing the falls at night, and their motel.

My exciting day included swimming, coffee, and haircut.
Did you hear about Stephen Colbert (The Colbert Report) testifying before a Congressional Committee re migrant labor. He, in real life, worked a day as a farm laborer - to see what was involved in a job that Americans won’t do, and where illegal aliens wind up. He delivered his testimony in character - as the guy from The Colbert Report. Click here for an article and video clip of his “performance”.

What made it even funnier to me was pure happenstance. While I was knitting this afternoon, I turned on the USA Network and had on an old (2004) episode of Law & Order: Criminal Intent. Imagine my surprise when the villain of the piece was played by……Stephen Colbert. I had to check it out on IMDb to verify it. Things change.
I love taking photos in cemeteries.

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Thursday, September 23, 2010

John heads out

John got off about 6:15, and got to just south of Cleveland. He said the day was just long - not too difficult.

An article in the paper this morning says that 2010 was Chattanooga’s hottest summer on record. These are their numbers:
83 - average temperature in Chattanooga in June, July, & August, or 5.2 degrees above normal.
7.91 - inches of rain during J,J&A, or 4.4 inches below normal.
111 - peak heat index in degrees in Nashville on 4 August, when actual temp averaged 100 degrees across the TN Valley.
34 - number of days this summer when the heat index in Memphis was at least 105 degrees.

I went to the movies this afternoon - went to see one that John's sister recommended - Winter's Bone. I would not particularly recommend it. The acting is terrific - the young woman lead was in almost every scene and is really good. But the whole movie is dark and depressing - that's why John didn't want to see it. Enough said.

Then I was going to get a haircut. There must be something out there that wants to keep me from getting haircuts on time. I came from the movie through town, and was going to get off at the proper exit, but traffic was backed way up onto the highway. I decided to just skip it - and that was definitely the right decision. About a half-mile from the end of the exit ramp was a large building fire (a local BBQ & tavern), and the whole road (3 lanes in each direction) was blocked off with fire truck and police cars and a glut of cars. Oh, well..... I called and told our gal that it seemed to be fate, but that I'd try again tomorrow.

Then I stopped by Papa Murphy's and got one of the chicken/garlic pizzas for tonight. It was pretty good - could stand more garlic, though.
This is the cemetery at the 1874 church in Snaefellsnes.

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Places in our area with 2-4” of rain in 12 hours yesterday - not a drop at our house. Some areas got up to near an inch today - not a drop at our house.
New TV program reviews: We watched the recorded pilot of Hawaii 5-0. It’s okay, and we’ll probably watch it occasionally. But probably not a must-see.

We watched The Whole Truth (Rob Morrow and Maura Tierney). It’s pretty good - with a slightly different take on the criminal defense lawyer/prosecutor/trial format. We’ll be watching that - at least for a while. However, Morrow should REALLY get rid of the anemic, blotchy facial hair. I recorded The Defenders to watch later.
I went to Vicki’s for lunch today. She made a yummy, very Southern soup/stew with tomatoes, onions, okra, pinto beans, and cornbread. I brought some potato salad. Delicious!
John will be leaving early in the morning, heading for NY State and his second trip on the Erie Canal - this one with Sue, Randy, and Margaret. He’s really excited about going.
This is an 1874 church on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula.

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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Getting things moving

I think I may have found a small studio space. My friend, Missy, has a weaving/sewing studio and she offered me a table, some shelves, and some space to do some watercolor work. She’s wonderful to offer to take me off the streets. Thanks, Missy, for the opportunity. And now I have to do some painting.
I went to the Theatre Centre to check out the space for the Friends of the Library Annual Meeting. The lady I talked with was very nice and helpful. Now I need to talk to the caterers and then I should be able to have a list of the things we have left to do.
This is a very typical lava field and lava dome in Iceland.

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Monday, September 20, 2010

The new network TV season begins...

Remember how excited we all used to get about the start of the new TV season in September?

Times have changed, and even though the networks and cable stations try to whip up enthusiasm, it just doesn’t seem to be there any more.

Having said that, I am glad to see new episodes of some my favorites. And we’ll be watching some of the new ones to see if we find anything that catches our interest.

John faded early tonight, so I started out. I watched about 15 minutes of Lone Star and turned that one off - what a pitiful excuse for a “hero”. I’ll manage to miss that one. John wanted to watch at least one episode of the new Hawaii 5-0, and since he went to bed, I recorded it. So I watched Chase. That one shows some promise. I thought it was a little too violent, but I was at least interested in the characters. We’ll see how it goes.

Tomorrow is for new episodes of NCIS and NCIS-LA.
The beach at Snaefellsnes Peninsula.

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Sunday, September 19, 2010

Nothing going on

This has been an extra quiet weekend. I’ve done just the routine stuff that needed to be done, and John’s watched a lot of football.

We did try a new pizza place yesterday - Papa Murphy. It’s a franchise that has just come into this area. They prepare the pizza, but don’t cook it. You pick it up there, then take it home and cook it. We just a pepperoni pizza, added a few of the ingredients we like after we got it home, then cooked it. It was pretty good - the sauce has just enough of a kick to it. We’ll get it again sometime.
This is our group heading off to go down a bluff and to walk on the beach. (John is in the white hat.)


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Saturday, September 18, 2010

A night off

I'm taking a night off. Thanks for checking in.

Friday, September 17, 2010


I can't believe it's past the middle of September. The predicted highs for the next week are in the mid90s - way too hot!

Tina and I went down to the Ringgold quilt/yarn shop this morning. She got some fabric to line the bag she is going to make for Kate out of some of Kate’s woven fabric. I got a book for Jean about making art and functional pieces out of clothesline covered with fabric scraps. Looks like fun.

Allan and Tina have gotten season tickets to the symphony (seats next to ours). We picked them up and went to dinner at a branch of our favorite Mexican restaurant, and then on to the concert. This is the last season for our long-time maestro, so last year and this, many concerts are showcasing guest conductors. That was the case tonight. He was good, but sort of flamboyant. The program was the 5th Symphonies of Schubert and Shostakovich. Both were good, but I preferred the Schubert.
These sweeping empty vistas are, to us, reminiscent of Scotland.

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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Must read

Today, I received in the mail my very own hard-cover copy of 84 Charing Cross Road - which I promptly sat down and read. This is an edition that has an introduction by Anne Bancroft. She relates the story of how she happened to play the part.

She was sitting on the beach at Fire Island, and a total stranger stopped and told he'd just read something that would be a perfect part for her. She was at the same place the next day, and the same person handed her the book. Of course, she was enchanted with it. Later, her husband (Mel Brooks) with some of his Hollywood friends acquired the movie rights and gave it to her as a surprise Christmas present.

Isn't that a great story!

Now I need to drag out the DVD and watch the movie again.
This is just one of a zillion unnamed waterfalls in Iceland.

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Just some photos tonight

Snaefellsnes Peninsula, Iceland


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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Chattanooga history

The Chattanooga History Center had a great program tonight. It’s the first of a 5-part series of lectures on the history of Chattanooga (isn’t that surprising). The lecturer covered a lot of territory/time. He started with why there has been settlement in this area since the earliest peoples. This is because of the river and its providing the easiest means of transport for early man.

He took us through the coming of the Europeans and the American Revolution and through the tragedy that was the Trail of Tears - the removal of the Cherokee peoples from their lands in the TN/GA/NC/SC area. Click here for the official web site of the Cherokee Nation.

The Cherokees were the only native people who had a written language. This was devised by their great leader, Sequoyah.

The lecturer says he will take us through the Civil War next week.

Monday, September 13, 2010


It’s back around again to Monday. Swimming, coffee, Walmart, and bridge. Middling cards again at bridge. Bridge is a great card came, but it ain’t a whole lot of fun if you don’t get any cards at all. At least I did get a few good ones during the afternoon.

It was exciting in the early evening in this area - we got to see the International Space Station as it passed overhead. It really is thrilling to be able to look up and see the light from the ISS glide smoothly across the sky. WOW! And we’ll get to see it again tomorrow night.
Back to Iceland - this is on the high road across the Snaefellsnes Peninsula.

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Sunday, September 12, 2010

Sleepy Sunday

It was another lovely day - not quite so hot, with lower humidity.

I finished the second quarter of the red shawl I’m knitting, and it is on the blocking board. This project is moving fairly quickly - probably because I’m enjoying working on it.

Not much else going on today. I did come up with a terrific dinner - one of those things that just happened - with chicken, rice, garlic, white wine, and blue cheese. Doesn’t get much better than that.

We finished editing the photos from England. Don’t get antsy, I’ll get the discs made in a day or two.
Another picture of a reefed sail in Deal Island, MD. I'll get to the photos from Iceland and England soon.

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Saturday, September 11, 2010

Happy Birthday, Matt!

I did something this morning I haven’t done in years - I slept until nearly 9 a.m. It surely did feel good!

The city-wide Gallery Hop was this afternoon and evening. I haven’t been on one of these in quite a while - I was always working at the Studio 2 Gallery. So this year I did go to a few of the galleries - not just to see what was available and what folks were painting. But to see if I wanted to pursue getting into one of them, and to see what studio/gallery space was available in town. Well, nobody chased after me to try to get me to show in a gallery - and I didn’t find one that I wanted to ask about. The most affordable studio space I found is in a terrific old mill building, but way on the other side of town, and in a neighborhood that would make me very uncomfortable. So I did get a lot of good information - even if there was nothing I could use personally.

It looked like Oregon beat Tennessee pretty soundly in football this evening - even after a lightning delay. We got a little bit of rain here, too - every little bit helps.

Sunday is a special day, too - Happy Birthday, Matt!
This is a skipjack being restored in Deal Island, MD.

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Friday, September 10, 2010

A day to remember

September 11 became a day to remember because a few people acted out of hate.

Let’s make it a day of love.

Do something nice for someone else.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Happy Birthday, Jesse!!!

Today was a stay-at-home day. I did exciting things like bring the checkbook up to date (wow - be still my heart!)

We had a nice chat with Jesse and his girlfriend, Susan. Tomorrow is his birthday, and he called to thank us for the birthday check. He probably won’t get leave until Christmas, but it’s always nice to talk to him.
Furled sails on a skipjack, Deal Island, MD.

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Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Triple play...

1. The Friends of the Library has a speaker for the Annual Meeting. Kerry Madden has graciously (and wonderfully) accepted our offer to be the speaker at our luncheon/annual meeting in November. Thanks so much to Catherine Landis checking with Ms Madden about her availability, and letting us know about her. We’ll get the specific arrangements made over the next few days. But the panic time is over (for the moment).

2. We watched The Blind Side tonight. We just didn’t get to see it when it was in the theaters, so this was the first one I picked when I signed up for Netflix again. What a nice movie!!! Lots of chuckles and “feel-good”. Sandra Bullock definitely deserved the Oscar. And we loved all the football coaches playing themselves. I don’t think I remembered that it was based on a true story. But the main thing was that in the scene where she first gets Michael into the car with her family, I realized that this woman could very easily be Sue. I can definitely see her doing this. Sue - how do you like this - Sandra Bullock playing you!

3. The biggest excitement of the day was having a red-shouldered hawk perch right outside our living room window - no more than about 30 feet away from us. This magnificent animal (@ 16 inches long, with 40 inch wingspan) sat there posing for us for about an hour. The other birds and even the chipmunks didn’t seem to mind his being there. We kept hoping he’d so something, but other than stretch and poop occasionally, he just sat. And then, of course, we blinked. John saw him hit the ground, and then fly away with something in his talons. We guess that one of our chipmunks went to provide dinner for our new friend. What a treat - he can come back to “shop” in our back yard any day!


(The line across the picture is the wire the bird feeders are hung from.)
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Tuesday, September 07, 2010

No scurvy here!

Tropical storm Hermine seemed to come out of nowhere - but really dropped a lot of rain going through Texas. They always seem to need it, though.

We've had a return to temps in the low 90s with high humidity - but no rain yet - maybe tomorrow.

Carol & Steve noticed that there was a marked deficiency in Vitamin C and salt consumption amongst the swimmers, and were afraid there might be an outbreak of scurvy. They graciously offered to forestall this potential epidemic of scurvy by providing the swimmers with margaritas and snacks. How great is that!!! Pretty great!
These are some of the stained glass windows in the Methodist Church in Crisfield, MD.


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