Monday, February 28, 2011

Oscar night

John got the scourge this morning. So there was no way we were going to Knoxville for the ballgame. Fortunately, it was on TV. The Lady Vols had a good day, winning 80-60. John managed to stay awake for the whole game, with only a couple of bathroom breaks, but spent most of the day in bed. He’s still pretty miserable.

So the Academy Awards are over for another year. Since I’ve seen four of the nominated movies (for the first time in many years), I watched most of the program. I was disappointed that Geoffrey Rush didn’t win for Supporting Actor, but thrilled that Colin Firth won for Best Actor, and The King’s Speech won Best Picture and Best Director. I’ll be putting that on my Netflix queue, so we can watch it again.

Stay away from this intestinal bug/flu/whatever. It’s nasty!
Our first English encounter with standing stones at Avebury (we've seen them before in Brittany and the Orkneys).

Posted by Picasa

Saturday, February 26, 2011


I'm definitely feeling better today - woke up and had some breakfast, and felt strong enough to drive myself to the Verizon class to learn how to use the smart phone. I got myself back home after two hours, and was actually hungry for some lunch (no more rumbling, fortunately).

I know more about the phone now, and even better, have more of an idea of how to wander around and find things. I knew I could read my Kindle on the Droid, and now I find that I can download Nook books (haven't checked - don't know how that would work) and from the new Google books. And, to the pleasure of some, I finally signed up to get text messages.

Another gorgeous day here, a bit cooler, but now the forsythia is in bloom, and John says there are some "little purple things" up by the mailbox. Maybe spring is finally on the way.
A cricket match at Avebury.

Posted by Picasa

Friday, February 25, 2011

Gut rumbles

I’m still very weak, and trying to eat some solid food. Meat loaf and a baked potato sounded pretty good, so that’s what we had for supper. I do feel better, but boy have I had the “gut rumbles”. John’s really laughed at me tonight, almost drowning out the TV sometimes.

I’m supposed to go to a class tomorrow morning to learn about my new smart phone. I’m planning to do that, so I hope it works out okay.
The British countryside near Avebury.

Posted by Picasa

Thursday, February 24, 2011


I’m still totally washed out, but at least not nauseated any more. I’ve managed to eat some pasta, saltines, and Coke. I guess I’ll be spending tomorrow pretty much doing nothing.
I love the car parked in front of the sign that says "Strictly No Parking".

Posted by Picasa


Somewhere I picked up an intestinal bug. Yesterday about 5:30 p.m., I started with the vomiting and diarrhea. I finally had the last episode about 3 a.m. this morning. Needless to say, I haven't been able to move, and am just now (nearly noon) able to sit up for a little while. I've progressed as far as coffee, and may get to eating some toast in a couple of hours.

John's been very solicitous, knowing that it'll be his turn in a couple of days.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Quiet time

There’s not much to write about today - just a nice quiet day.

I got some of the paperwork for the trip organized. Coming up next is to get the tax stuff organized - but that’s for John to do.
Two more flower photos from Burford, the Cotswolds.


Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Good-bye Dan - we love you

We spent time this evening to remember Dan and tell him good-bye. He was a great guy, and tried so hard to be even better. It was an honor to have had him in our lives.
Ball scores: Lady Vols 77, Georgia 44
Lady Mocs 73, Elon 63
Mocs 75, Furman 59

It was a good basketball day for our teams.
Have you read the Top 10 Shocking Attacks from the GOP’s War on Women? This is from Check it out.
There was a terrible earthquake in ChristChurch, New Zealand Tuesday - 6.3 on the Richter scale. There was lots of damage and a number of deaths and injuries. I hope all our friends in NZ are safe in the aftermath.
Flowers in Burford, the Cotswolds.

Posted by Picasa

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Silent Sunday

Alleyways in Burford, the Cotswolds.




Posted by Picasa

Saturday, February 19, 2011

William Daniel Binkley (1965-2011)

Be at peace, Dan. We love you and will miss you.

Posted by Picasa

Friday, February 18, 2011

RIP Our dear, sweet Dan

My dear friend, Vicki's 46 year old son, Dan, was found dead this afternoon. He was found by his 15-year-old son when he came home from school. They think he died this morning of a stroke or heart attack. No foul play is suspected, but because it was an unattended death, there has to be an official autopsy before the body can be released and any arrangements can be made. Vicki’s grandson was killed in Iraq last summer. They are really devastated - as are we all.

What a good evening!

I went with “the girls” to the String Theory Concert at the Hunter Museum of American Art. This is a terrific series originated by Gloria Chien of Lee University in Cleveland, TN. Chien is an inspired pianist in her own right, and has, with this series, brought some of the country’s most talented musicians to play in this glorious, intimate setting. What could be better than listening to sublime music sitting in the foyer of the Hunter Museum overlooking the Tennessee River in the center of downtown Chattanooga.

And even more terrific tonight was the featured group, the St. Lawrence String Quartet. About all I can say about this foursome is “WOW!” Listen to them on their web site, or get some of their music through whatever system you prefer. Check out their schedule to see if they’re going to be in your neighborhood for a concert. They'll be performing at the Spoleto Festival in Charleston in June, for instance. You’ll love hearing them.

To cap off the night, we went out to eat at the Italian place across the street from the museum. And the Lady Vols won over South Carolina by 22 points.
The town of Burford, the Cotswolds, England.

Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The King's Speech

We went to see The King’s Speech this afternoon. This is absolutely one of the best movies I’ve seen in a long time. The performances are superb. I particularly loved the “look” of the movie - the focus on the characters, with close-ups on a wall-background - nothing distracting from the intensity of emotion. It’s nominated for twelve Academy Awards:

Actor in a Leading Role
Actor in a Supporting Role
Actress in a Supporting Role
Art Direction
Costume Design
Film Editing
Sound Mixing
Writing (Original Screenplay).

In my opinion, the movie deserves a win in every category.
The town of Burford, the Cotswolds.
Posted by Picasa

Service to our community

In the January 31, 2011, issue of Newsweek Magazine, General Stanley McChrystal wrote an article about the concept of national service. In Step Up For Your Country McChrystal argues that “All of us bear an obligation to serve - an obligation that goes beyond paying taxes, voting, or adhering to the law.”

Examples given in the article include Americorps, City Year, Habitat for Humanity, Peace Corps, and Teach for America. When we were in Iceland last year, it was lovely to see that school kids were expected to help in their communities during their school holidays. They were doing things like tending park flowerbeds, performing at museums and tourist attractions.

Give this article a read - and check around in your community to see if there is any way you can serve your area that suits your talents, time, and interests.
This is the market/tourist town of Burford, in the Cotswolds.

Posted by Picasa

Monday, February 14, 2011

Lady Mocs 56, Applachian State 57

The cards were terrible today. I finally got some decent cards the last round, but mostly they were awful. I did do some big shopping at Aldi and WalMart - since I hadn’t been to the store in two weeks. It got up to 65 here today - it was gorgeous!

Our last home ballgame was tonight, and we were really out-played. Appalachian State is #1 in the conference, and they have a very aggressive style of play. We were actually ahead from time to time, but lost by one point in the last few seconds. Our supper was a slice of Papa John’s pepperoni pizza at the arena. Tonight was pink-t-shirt day at the ballgame, so I have a new one to add to my collection.

I hope we get to sleep late in the morning.
One last photo from the cemetery at Saints Mary & Edburga, Stratton-Audley.

Posted by Picasa

Sunday, February 13, 2011

A day of rest?

Sunday never seems to be a day of much rest around here.

With the lovely weather, John worked at “rearranging” the last of the leaves. There are still some on a couple of the trees, but those are the ones that only fall when the new leaves push them off.

Sunday is usually laundry day for me. And even more so, since it hadn’t been done in over a week. That took most of the afternoon and evening.

The Lady Vols played a strange game against Vanderbilt this afternoon. The score at half-time was Vandy 28, Lady Vols 15! The final score was Lady Vols 65, Vanderbilt 57. Amazing!

But the exciting thing was finally seeing our neighborhood red-tailed hawks! And even getting a glimpse of the “hawk porn” - catching them “doing it” right out in our back yard. We haven’t seen the nest, but at least we know they’re still close by.
I loved this poor "orphan" marker in the cemetery at Saints Mary & Edburga, Stratton-Audley.

Posted by Picasa

Saturday, February 12, 2011


The Lady Mocs finally won a game like we’ve been hoping they would - beating Davidson 91-70. They played a very good game. I hope they can do the same on Monday when they play the league-leading Appalachian State.

That was about all the excitement we got today.
Saints Mary & Edburga, Stratton-Audley

Posted by Picasa

Friday, February 11, 2011

Dignity, always dignity!

By noon today, the parts of the puzzle came together. When we got home from coffee, John found the parking pass in the street in front of the house. About noon, we got a call from a lady about 5 houses up the hill who had found the glasses (my name and # were in the case). She had picked them up in the curve below our house. John walked down that way and found the tickets. Obviously I had put the stuff on the roof of the car and then we drove off. He says from now on, I have to take a purse and not just put things in my pockets.

The glasses case is a bit the worse for the experience (obviously hit or run over), although not unusable. The glasses are okay, except one lens is out of the frame - I'm sure the optometrist can fix that and tighten them back up. So no harm done, except to my dignity, and that we missed seeing the game in person. And one of my favorite lines from Singing in the Rain is “Dignity, always dignity!”

Our day had a special end. Carol’s husband is still in the hospital, so John and I suggested going out to dinner with her. This grew until we were a party of eight at a local restaurant. We had good food, good friendship, and hopefully sent some good vibes for Stephen’s recovery.
Saints Mary & Edburga, Stratton-Audley

Posted by Picasa

Thursday, February 10, 2011


This afternoon, we headed out the door to go to tonight’s ballgame in Knoxville (Lady Vols vs. Univ of FL). When we got to the corner, I did the usual “ticket check“ and realized I couldn't find them. We turned around and came home. Somewhere between the kitchen table and the car, I had managed to lose the tickets, the parking pass, and my Rx sunglasses/case. We looked for more than half an hour, and finally gave up. Neither one of us have any clue and to where else to look, at this point. *&^%%$$#%%^

At least the game was on TV - not a pretty one, but the Lady Vols won 61-39.
Churchyard and graveyard, Saints Mary & Edburga, Stratton-Audley. (I love cemeteries)

Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Catching up to normal.

We’ve gotten about an inch of snow on the grassy areas tonight. The streets are wet now, but that’ll freeze overnight as the temp goes down. It’ll be ever so dangerous before the sun comes up. Glad I won’t be up and around then.

I got all the important stuff done today. We went to the Y, to coffee, and got haircuts. I got to the rheumatologist for followup lab work, and made clam chowder for supper. Catching up on the computer and watching some recorded shows finished off the day. Wow! I’m exhausted. 8^) I’ve saved the newspapers for tomorrow.
These are two views of the interior of Saints Mary & Edburga, Stratton-Audley



Posted by Picasa

Kate posted this on Facebook. I guess we ALL feel this way.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Home again!

We got home about 7:15 -landed on time in Nashville - cold and light snow on the grassy areas around Nashville and Murfreesboro, but nowhere else. Everything okay at home. I fixed some eggs and toast for dinner (not that we needed any, after all the food this weekend), and we settled in the chairs to get through some of the newspapers (John) and get caught up on the computer (me).

It was great to spend some time with sweet Betsy. She’s such a dear. I always hate to leave, and just wish we could visit more often. We enjoy getting to know my cousins better, too - they’re really nice guys (and terrific cooks, too).

But, as always, it’s good to be home. I’m already having some leg cramps - usual for me after doing a lot of airport walking. I’ve stretched and taken some acetominophen, so maybe it won’t be too bad tonight.

The plan is to go to the Y tomorrow and to coffee. Then I have to go to the rheumatologist to get the lab work done again. I hope it’s back to normal. The forecast here is for snow beginning about going-home time tomorrow afternoon. We’ll be nicely inside by then.
Interior, Saints Mary & Edburga, Stratton-Audley

Posted by Picasa

Friday, February 04, 2011

Hang in there while I'm gone...

Today has been all about getting ready to go to South Texas, which is having sleet and frost warnings. This is not what we usually get.

In any case, there may be no blog postings for a few days. I will be back, though.
Today’s photo is a close-up of the Norman Door, Saints Mary & Edburga, Stratton-Audley.

Posted by Picasa

Thursday, February 03, 2011

An early birthday for myself

I did a couple of errands after sleeping in this morning. But the main thing I accomplished today was to spend some money and get myself an early birthday present. I upgraded my phone to a Droid-X. I'm still pretty tentative with it, and am a lousy "thumb-typist", so it'll take some time. But I'm excited, and now don't have to worry about flying and schlepping my laptop. Plus there's a Droid class being offered later in the month, which I'll probably take. I might even know enough by then to understand what they're talking about.

We’ve gotten the appropriate information about getting a visa for Vietnam, so we should be able to get that done tomorrow.

We capped off the day by going to the symphony a day early (we had switched our tickets). There was another guest conductor (not tops on my list, but then I don’t get a vote on the selection). The music was an interesting collection of a Beethoven overture, the Leonard Bernstein symphonic suite from the movie ‘On the Waterfront’; and one of our favorites, Dvorak’s 9th Symphony (From the New World). All in all, an excellent program.
A side view of Saints Mary & Edburga, Stratton-Audley, across the graveyard. The small arched doorway is a Norman door (this is a VERY old village).

Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Crazy times

Things are crazy all over - a blizzard across the midsection of the USA; a huge cyclone/hurricane bearing down on NE Australia; and now they’re shooting in Egypt. It seems that whatever Mother Nature isn’t doing to us, we’re doing to ourselves.

And now to more mundane things:
Our Lady Mocs didn’t play well tonight at all, and Samford played a good game - we lost 60-53. Yuck!

I had to figure out how to “attach” our photos onto their form, but finally did. They’re supposed to go over it, and send us an e-visa in about 3 business days. We received our e-visas for Cambodia this evening. It was basically a piece of cake - and we’re pretty puffed up and proud of ourselves. We’re working on the forms for the Vietnam visas. The travel company wanted over $500 to get the visas for us, and we’re getting this done for ourselves for about $150 total. The internet is a wonderful thing.

The painting group from Studio 2 got together for lunch today - a really nice bunch of gals. Next month, we’re going to go back to going to restaurants - at least for a couple of times.

Saints Mary & Edburga, the parish church in Stratton-Audley.

Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Tuesday Miscellany

We saw True Grit this afternoon and really liked it. In the last month, I've watched the John Wayne version, read the book, and now seen the new movie. Aand I must say, I enjoyed them all. As I’ve said before, the scenery in the first one was SO not Arkansas/Oklahoma. And this scenery is much more Ozarks. I preferred Jeff Bridges in the Rooster Cogburn role, and liked the way Matt Damon did LeBoeuf. We’d definitely recommend this movie. And we’ll hope to see The King’s Speech next week.

After the movie we went to a new little store-front Asian place - good food. We had soup, spring rolls, and shared a "fusion roll" - three different kinds of fish and avocado wrapped in rice and rice paper. Very tasty, beautifully presented on the plate, and a nice fairly light supper (for less than $20.00).

John had a physical exam this morning. With the new health care guidelines, Medicare is now paying for “physical exams”, a terrific thing. We just changed to this family doc last year, and it’s the first time John’s had a complete physical with her. With lots of listening and an EKG, she was concerned about a cardiac irregularity - some extra heartbeats. So this afternoon, he was fitted with a Holter monitor to wear for 24 hours. Hopefully, he’ll get some sleep tonight, and all will be okay when the test is read.
The entrance to Saints Mary & Edburga, Stratton-Audley

Posted by Picasa