Thursday, March 31, 2011

And They're Off

Mary and John are on the way. They have started the flying portion and will be in transit for two days. They flew out from Nashville this afternoon and will end up in Ho Chi Minh City after stopping in LA and Hong Kong.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Final Four // Leaving town

The Women’s Final Four is now set. UConn played a terrific game for an easy win over Duke; and Texas A&M never trailed in their win over Baylor. So in the semis, it will be UConn vs. Notre Dame, and A&M vs. Stanford. We’ll just have to hope we can find out the scores of these last three games.

We leave Wednesday afternoon for Cambodia and Vietnam. There are two very long flight legs and two shorter ones. We’ll just have to walk around on the plane, and do some of the seat exercises. We also got an Rx from the doc to help us sleep on the transPacific flight.

We got our haircuts this afternoon, and one last loat of laundry done. I couldn’t believe everything went in the suitcases the first time, without any stuffing. We must be forgetting something really important.

I’m leaving the blog in the hands of our youngest, Jean. She’s going to post what we should be doing each day. I’ll chime in if I have a chance to get to a computer. No telling what else Jean will find to talk about - the blog is hers for the next couple of weeks. Have fun!
Old Sarum

Monday, March 28, 2011

Basketball passion is over for the season

We watched the Lady Vols play a very flat game to lose in the Elite Eight to Notre Dame. So our teams are now out of the tournaments. We’ll watch the remainder of the gmes with interest, but without much involvement. And so ends our basketball season.

We’re getting packed - at least my stuff is out and on the bed. I’ll get John to get his stuff out tomorrow- after I wash again. We went to the Y this morning, and will probably go on Wednesday morning. I’ll have the bags packed by then, and we don’t take the shuttle to Nashville until 2 p.m. We’ll have to be getting our ball scores somewhere, I hope.

Sue and Margaret are in San Diego visiting Alison. They weren’t going to be near a computer this morning, so John called before we went to bridge to get their boarding information for Southwest. He’ll have to do that for us tomorrow.

We went to bridge this afternoon. I had some pretty good cards, and a couple of great rounds. There’s one woman who is really an awful player (John says he think’s she really “dumb”). Poor John had to play with her twice and against her once - and didn’t have any cards while he was doing it. He had a splitting headache by the time we left. I’m going to ask when we come back about maybe playing another day when she doesn’t play. I hate to be that way, but we go to have a good time, and she really just ruins it for us.
This is a rubble wall in Old Sarum.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sunday - much like Saturday

Well, maybe not quite such a lazy day. I've rearranged my closet (summer stuff on the lower shelves, winter on the top), and got the stuff for the suitcases laid out on the bed. Now we can start to tweak and edit what we're going to take.

We got a special treat today. Matt had been visiting home this weekend. He stopped on his way back to Atlanta and we took him out to lunch. It's lagniappe - getting to spend some unplanned time with family.

The Men's Final Four is set. I hope YOUR team is one of the four. I know several very disappointed fans. The Women's Elite Eight will be played Monday and Tuesday.
This is inside the compound of Old Sarum.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Rain and basketball

It has literally rained all day long - sometimes heavy and sometimes not to heavy. There's been thunder and lightening off and on all day and last night, too.

Well, what do you do on a day like this? Watch basketball! After all, it's time for March Madness. There were both men's and women's games today. The Lady Vols won over Ohio State to move on to the Elite Eight. They'll play Notre Dame on Monday. On the men's side, the Cinderella team, Butler, won a really exciting game over Florida.

More of the same tomorrow - rain and basketball.
This is part of the inner rampart and moat at Old Sarum.

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Friday, March 25, 2011

Friday stuff

After swimming and Panera, I got all my painting stuff from Missy’s studio. She’s been so good to let me share her space, but she’s closing it down. I got it all in the car, then transferred to the house. I’ll get it organized when we get back.

Tonight was symphony night. We’ve been picking up a friend to go to the concerts. She doesn’t want to drive at night, and it’s not a problem for us. Anyway, she took us out to dinner tonight as a thank-you. The concert was one of our least favorites of the season - just not taken with the selections - even though the musicians were excellent.

And then we hurried home to watch the last two games of the Sweet Sixteen.
This is the approach to Old Sarum, near Salisbury, England.

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Thursday, March 24, 2011

After the storm

I finally downloaded the pictures I took after the storm on 28 February 2011. The first one is of a power pole knocked over across the street. The second is a tree that fell on a house a couple of doors up from us. The third and fourth are in our back yard. Most of the damage has been cleaned up by now.




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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The last great.....

And now arguably the last great, glamorous movie STAR is gone. Elizabeth Taylor did almost everything with dignity, even leaving this life. What class!

Of course, at my age, I remember the sultry gorgeous star with those incredible amethyst eyes.

But the first time I saw her was in perhaps my favorite of her roles - National Velvet.

We mourn her passing, but how great that she was here.

One more Stonehenge picture

This might be my favorite of our zillions of Stonehenge pictures.

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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Birthday Party Pictures

I can't believe I let Margaret take pictures of me with that hat and lei (with flashing lights) on. I couldn't break the pinata, and finally had to tear it open. There were real hot peppers in it. The chocolate cake was 75" long. What great friends and family to do all this for me!





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Lady Vols 79, Marquette 70

There were only 8 of us at swimming this morning (and all had been at the party yesterday). We got a good workout, though. And then, of course, went to Panera. I got a free pastry today, so the exercise was all for naught, I guess. PT session after that, and no WalMart today. We have so much food left over from the party, I probably won’t have to go until after we get back from our trip.

Margaret brought a disc with her pictures from the birthday party, but I haven’t had a chance to look at them. I’ll do that tomorrow.

It’s late, and I’m tired. We had to work hard at the basketball game tonight. Marquette played a terrific game against the Lady Vols. We were ahead the whole game, but Marquette never quit - they‘re a good team. The final score was 79-70. (Sorry, Jennifer) And now on to the Sweet Sixteen in Dayton, playing against OhioState.
A lady meditating - not an uncommon sight at Stonehenge.

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Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Birthday Party

The party was SUCH fun this afternoon. Margaret will send some photos, and as silly as I looked (with my funny hat and flashing-light-flowered necklace), I'll probably post a couple of them on the blog. These folks (gals and spouses) are so great, and so special to me.

The food included make-your-own fajitas catered from our favorite Mexican eatery. The chocolate birthday cake was made out of sheet cakes put together into a long narrow strip - 75 inches long, decorated with a measuring tape 75” long laid out on top of it. On little sticks along the time-line were copies of photos they had gotten from Margaret from one of John and me at the reception after we got married to a fairly recent one of me with Betsy. So I had to tell the stories of each one before we cut the cake.

There were lots of cards - mostly really funny ones, and a few small gifts (which I was hoping they wouldn’t do) that were just great. Aren’t we blessed with our friends - both internet and face-to-face ones?

Then we got to bring most of the left-overs home. I gave the left-over pieces of cake to our next-door neighbors and have put most of the rest of it in the freezer to enjoy later.
We were among the first people in the site after it opened. That's why we were able to get pictures with very few people in them.

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Saturday, March 19, 2011

Women's First Round

I slept very poorly last night - only sound sleep was a couple of hours from 4-6 a.m - until the alarm went off. We left about 8 to go to Knoxville. Our game started at 11 (Lady Vols 99, Stetson 37); followed by Marquette (64) vs. Texas (56). We got home about 4:30. I was able to check, and the College of Charleston beat Cleveland 64-56 in the NIT. A good day!

We got a pizza to split (about 8” diameter) between the three of us at the game. That was about right for lunch. I had gotten some pulled pork barbecue yesterday to have for supper tonight, so that was easy.

More basketball the rest of the evening. I’m really tired, so I’m outta here.
A magic place!

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Friday, March 18, 2011

The start of a busy weekend

Margaret is here this evening. We went out to eat at the newly relocated and reopened Vietnameses restaurant. Same wonderful food and nice people - we‘ve missed them.

We’ll be going to Knoxville tomorrow for the women’s first round games in the NCAA tournament. The Lady Vols play Stetson at 11; followed by Texas vs. Marquette. The winners play on Monday evening.

The swimming group is giving me a birthday party on Sunday afternoon. I think they really just wanted an excuse for a party, and asked if it was okay to use my 75th as an excuse. Of course, I said it was okay. Margaret will stay over for that. Should be fun - and a busy weekend.
The first of several pictures of Stonehenge.

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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Almost Spring.

There were some wild ballgames today - as the men‘s NCAA tournament started. Some of the upsets really played havoc with office pools, I‘ll bet.

We went out for my birthday dinner tonight. Showing no originality, we went to the same place we’ve gone on my birthday the last couple of years. If you have a Bonefish Grill in your area, give it a try sometime. We’ve had really good seafood there, even if it seems we go only on my birthday. I love fresh tuna, and it’s one of the few places that has it and does it right. Yum! John had shrimp and scallops, instead of his usual appetizer bowl of mussels.

I hope everybody’s enjoyed St. Patrick’s Day. It should be officially spring soon. John’s thrilled because the predicted high for tomorrow is 80.
This is a typical view from a hilltop in rural England.

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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Happy Birthday to me!

Mostly the same routine today. I went to swimming, coffee, and physical therapy. The PT is helping that painful muscle in my back, and mostly it feels really good - especially the minutes of heat and electrical stimulation at the end. We had scheduled lunch with the old painting group at an “Asian Fusion” restaurant for today. We were 7 at lunch - I think 5 of us liked the food - the other two not so much.

John brought me a dozen red roses for my birthday. They’re beautiful and I do love having flowers in the house. We usually go out to dinner on my birthday, but we had such good leftovers right now, we put it off for another day.

I’ve gotten so many great messages (in various forms) with happy birthday wishes. It’s a great feeling to have such terrific friends and family and feel all the love. Thanks and love to you all. It was a special day - even if John did remind me that I was entering my “fourth quarter-century”.
I put up photos of Alison and Sarah, so I guess I’d better put one of myself. This is from the Erie Canal trip 18 months ago.

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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Happy Birthday, Sarah!

Happy Birthday, Sarah. You got a great birthday present tonight, with C of C beating Dayton in the first round of the NIT, in a barn-burner of a game. Let’s hope the rest of our teams do as well, and that the Cougars keep on winning.

The "supper fairy" brought me a pre-birthday present in the form of supper for us this evening. It was a wonderfully tasty chicken/rice/cheese casserole, a salad of tender greens with orange slices, cranberries, and nuts, crescent rolls, and chocolate cake for dessert. She even brought a huge bouquet of lenten roses. How special is that!

John’s feeling much better, but he still has wracking bouts of coughing. Sounds like he might be bringing up a lung. We both hope that will pass soon.
This is one of our favorite pictures of Sarah.

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Monday, March 14, 2011

Happy Birthday, Alison

Happy Birthday, Alison! Her birthday is today, 14 March, even though you may be reading this on 15 March. Hope you’re having a great day!
John’s had a terrible chest cold for the last few days., with wracking, deep coughing. He went to the doctor this morning, and got a steroid dose pack, antibiotics, and some OTC congestion break-up medicine. He’s feeling better this evening, but is still not completely over the coughing. I hope he’ll be feeling even better tomorrow.

The Monday schedule was back to “normal” today for the first time in several weeks - swimming, coffee, Aldo, WalMart, and bridge. I even had some pretty good cards today.
Alison and Joe

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Sunday, March 13, 2011


Definitely a nothing-exciting type of day. Unless you get turned on by laundry and kitchen mopping. It doesn’t really do it for me, but …..
Typical town-homes in Devizes, England.

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Saturday, March 12, 2011

Spring Forward!

John’s really had a bad chest cold - coughing so hard he hurts all over. He will go to the doctor if he’s not any better by Monday. His resistance obviously was down after the intestinal bug he had. Poor baby, he’s really miserable.
Don’t forget that Daylight Savings Time starts tonight. Missing the hour of sleep, in my opinion, is a minor inconvenience. I love DST and wish we stayed on it all year. I like that extra hour of daylight in the evening. So remember to “Spring Forward”!
This is in Devizes, England.

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Friday, March 11, 2011

No words tonight

The magnitude of the horror in Japan pretty much overwhelms all words.

I'll put up a photograph of a quiet place in Britain as a rest from the film we've been looking at all day.

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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Fixing things

John went to see a cardiologist today. He had a physical in January, and the doc was concerned about some extra heartbeats on his EKG. The cardiologist is pretty sure it's nothing, but says sometimes this can be caused by a thyroid problem. So they drew blood to check that. That silly little gland can certainly cause a variety of problems. Also, he's to have an echo cardiogram next week, then return to see the doc in April.

My PT appointments are going well. I think that stressed muscle is finally starting to respond. I’m set up for three more treatments next week.

Today has been just plain cold and raw. Yuck! At least we don't have snow. I got my new phone today, and took it in to Verizon. They kept telling me I could do this myself, and when I insisted I wanted them to transfer the data, they reluctantly agreed to get it set up again. I still had to do some of the things myself. I'm not real happy with the service at the Verizon store right now. But at least I have a working phone again.
Masonry work, Parish church, Avebury. The fill between the dressed stones is knapped flint.

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Wednesday, March 09, 2011

The Droid killer

My new phone just stopped working this morning. I took it in to the Verizon store after my PT session. The tech thought he had it fixed, but no. They're sending me a new one. I should get it tomorrow. He said I could transfer all the information to the new phone. I said "No, I didn't think so - that's WAY beyond my competence level." He laughed and said I could bring it back to the store and they'd do it for me. Good thing!

The insurance adjuster came this afternoon. He did a thorough look-around the property, even got up on the roof (and found two shingles missing, that we hadn't known about). Then he sat at the kitchen table with his laptop, came up with all the information and numbers. He explained all the papers, and handed us a check. This is not necessarily a final settlement. If something else should show up or wind up costing more, there's a possibility they could cut us another check. We're pleased with the inspection and the settlement.
This is the Norman Door in the Avebury parish church.

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Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Resting up

A day of resting up. John did some work - took recycling, went to the library, and walked on the Riverwalk. I stripped the bed, washed the sheets, and remade the beds. And I got the checkbook up to date and reconciled. Definitely a take-it-easy kind of day.

We got the final packet for our trip today - tickets, name tags, luggage tags, etc. Starting to work on what to take is on the docket for the rest of the week. The rain has really been coming down this evening, and more is predicted for tomorrow.
This is the parish church in Avebury.

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