Saturday, April 30, 2011

Getting caught up.

I got back to Chattanooga about 6:30 last night. We saw some of the storm damage along I-24 at the Tennessee River on the drive back from Nashville. A swimming friend had fixed supper for us, and that was a great goodness. Then home to unpack and unwind.

During the storm, a tree fell over across the turnaround in the back of the house, and landed on the screened porch roof. It poked a hole through the porch ceiling, but seemingly nothing in the house itself. There is some shingle and gutter damage that’ll have to be repaired. The power line to our house is connected, but swinging too low. A tree company came and cut up the tree yesterday morning, and all traces of it are gone now (except the damaged stuff). We can now get the cars out of the carport, but the line will have to be fixed. John’s talked to the power company, but with all the outages in the service area, it’ll be a while before they get to this (as it should be).

In another month or so, we’re going to have a couple more trees taken out. We’ve been avoiding doing it, but it looks like somebody’s telling us that it’s time to do that. The devastation near here and across GA/AL/MS is just incredible. The towns in north Georgia that were flattened are really part of metro Chattanooga, so not far from us at all. They found one family of four all killed in their destroyed house. Just terrible!

My aunt is tired and ready to “go”, but just keeps plugging along. She’s very frail and weak, but so far able to stay in the assisted living section of her complex. The staff is close to recommending that she go into the nursing care area, but she doesn’t want to do that. I think she was really down when she called, and decided she wanted to see me one more time. I’m glad I got to spend those days with her. I don’t know how much longer she has. She’s still the wonderful lady she’s always been.

And, on a lighter note…. A smaller disaster! All my fault! I left my Kindle on the first of my two flights yesterday. I've reported it to Southwest, and have notified Amazon so they can "deactivate" the device until it's returned to me. Oh, dear, what will I do if it's gone forever. I know I won't lose my books, but I'll have to get something new. Trauma!!!!




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Friday, April 29, 2011

back home

I got home late this afternoon. A good friend had supper for us, and then we got home. I'll write more tomorrow.

Saturday, April 23, 2011


I'm making a quick trip to Texas this week. My posts will be intermittent, at best. Or maybe Jean will take over again. Thanks for reading.

More photos from Siem Reap hotel




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Friday, April 22, 2011

Arriving in Cambodia

This is the first report from our arrival in Cambodia.

30 March/1 April - flights (Nashville to LAX [met by Gohagan representative at Internat’l terminal to be sure we got on correct flight] to Hong Kong to Ho Chi Minh City to Siem Reap)

About 38 hours total travel time. All legs without incident - just long. Excellent meals on Cathay Pacific flights.

1 April: Arrive in Siem Reap about 1 p.m. local time and transferred to Sofitel Angkor Phokeethra Golf & Spa Resort. Our room was lovely. We showered and took a short nap. Ann & Al arrived from their four days in Bangkok. There was a trip-group reception pool-side, with wine and heavy hors d’oeuvres. John, A&A ate enough of those so they weren’t interested in dinner. While we were talking in the room later on, I ordered a sandwich from room service. To bed before 9. There’s a 12-hour time difference, I think.

This is a view of our balcony, and a couple of shots of the hotel grounds.



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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Lots of good stuff today.

We both slept pretty good last night, but I’m having trouble staying awake and it’s early yet. Surely this will be over soon.

It surely did feel good to get into the pool this morning - the first time this week. John and I went to swim laps. I hope we get to have our class in the morning.

The second goodness of the day was going to get haircuts. That always makes for a special day.

Plus it was a gorgeous day - high temperature around 70, light breeze, lovely sunshine.
Salisbury Cathedral reflections.
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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Storms again

Another line of thunderstorms came through this morning - lots of lightening and thunder, and ¾” of rain. Also, no swimming. I surely do hope we get to have our class on Friday. I’d hate to think I’d have to start going to the Y and swimming laps.

The Studio 2 painting alumnae went to Urban Stack for lunch. It was good food, but I didn’t realize that whatever you ordered came on TOP of a burger patty. I brought half of my sandwich home for John to have tomorrow.
Salisbury Cathedral.
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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Finally caught up?

About all I accomplished today was to take a 2 1/2 hour nap this afternoon. I surely hope this was the final blow to the jet lag.

We're due to have a storm front come through sometime in the early morning hours. I hope this doesn't keep us from swimming again tomorrow morning.
Salisbury Cathedral.

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Monday, April 18, 2011

Not your usual Monday

It was a strange start to the morning…

We did the usual Monday thing - up at 6 and off to the Y. Only to be greeted at the door with the news that the lap pool was closed because of some problem with the heating system. Well, phooey - getting up at 6 for no good reason. We told folks in the fitness center that we’d meet them at coffee about 9. And we went back home to read the paper.

As we pulled in the driveway, we heard a lot of sirens in the area, but didn’t know why. Then the phone rang. Seems the fire trucks were headed for the Y. The folks in the fitness center called to say that the Y was closed and they were heading for Panera. It was now about 7:30. At the Y, they had smelled that “something electrical burning” smell, called the Fire Department, and evacuated the building. (I don’t know what they found, but the building is now open…and the pool is due to be open by Wednesday morning).

So the usual Monday coffee group gathered - only about 1.5 hours earlier than usual, with more people than usual. John and I got to show-and-tell the stuff we brought back from our trip. And we talked and talked and drank more coffee. Amazing to be through with WalMart and Aldi, and home by 9:30.

I finished up the day with the annual visit to the oncology surgeon’s NP. I’m now six years out from my diagnosis and treatment for breast cancer. Mammogram and exam are clear, and I’ve been dismissed from their care. I’ll just get my followups with my regular doctor.

Remember, be sure to get your mammogram regularly!
Salisbury Cathedral
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Sunday, April 17, 2011

Lovely Sunny Sunday

I went out late this morning to the 4 Bridges Art Festival, Chattanooga's nationally recognized art fair. I didn't get anything, but there surely did have some great stuff.

We downloaded the photos from Cambodia and Vietnam, and now the hard work of editing begins.
Salisbury Cathedral (the scaffolding is for repair work)


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Saturday, April 16, 2011

Still recovering

John went to help get the boathouse ready for getting the boats back on the water. I just hung around the house, trying to get back on schedule. Not over the jet lag yet.
This is a from-the-car shot while we were trying to get to Salisbury Cathedral.

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Friday, April 15, 2011

More normality

It certainly did feel good to get back in the pool today. I didn’t work hard enough to get my heart rate up very much, but it was a start - and the stretching and moving was terrific. And, of course, a long session followed at coffee.

I keep thinking I’m pretty much over the jet lag, and then I find that I’m sitting in my chair, at the laptop, nodding off to sleep. John was up at 2 this morning, and couldn’t go back to sleep. He just got up and read until the alarm went off. He took a very short nap this afternoon (as did I), but he was up until 11. Hopefully, he’ll get to sleep most of the night.

We've been having lots of rain, with intermittent lightening and thunder - nothing severe yet, and no watches like they‘ve had in other parts of the country. I haven’t checked the gauge, but we’ve probably had 2+ inches of rain.
This is an outline of the cathedral at Old Sarum. Blocks from this building were used in the construction of the nearby Salisbury Cathedral.

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Back in the rut + Good News

We obviously got some of the storms while we were gone - there were 2” of rain in our gauge and some small limbs down in the back yard. But none of the clocks had stopped, so no power interruption. We’ve got storms predicted for tomorrow night.

We’re back on the time schedule (I think), but still not much energy. The laundry is all done. We’ll be trying to stay up until the usual time. John took a nap this afternoon, but I didn’t.

We’ll try to get our photographs downloaded and start editing over the weekend.
Exciting things happened while we were gone. Alison and Joe became officially engaged and are planning an October wedding.

And Jesse and Susan have started planning their wedding, probably in October. A busy month.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Home again! And my Happy Birthday to Pink, too.

First and foremost - thanks to Jean for posting on the blog for me while we were gone. She did a terrific job! And she found such great photos on line of where we were and what we saw. I love the photos of the flowers in her neighborhood. I knew she was an artist, but I've never seen her do photos before. Keep it up, Babe! I love the last tulip picture. Many, many thanks!
We got home about 6:30 this evening. We left LAX at 7:30ish this morning PDT. The flight to Nashville and van shuttle went well - as did the two flights yesterday. We were thrilled to find a Burger King across the street from our hotel at LAX last night - we were both hungry for a burger and fries. Sometimes you just need some comfort food (which is usually this in the USA). But, of course, very little sleep last night. We did manage to stay awake all day today, and John's just gone to bed (9:30pm EDT), and I'll be up a while longer. So maybe we'll get a good start on getting over the jet lag. Our own bed looks pretty good tonight. I'll get the photos downloaded in a day or two, and posting some - although Jean's done a great job with finding pictures on the net (I had NO idea that's what the Hong Kong airport looked like.)
And, no mystery intended, 'Pink' was my mother's nickname, and what we all called her - and today is the 104th anniversary of her birth.

Happy Birthday Pinkie!

I got a text from Mary. They are in LA and will be home tomorrow.


Obviously the tulips have been beautiful this year.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

They Are Wrapping it Up

This was the last day before travel. Home soon.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Ho Chi Minh City

John and Mary are in Saigon. It sounds like they are going to be very busy.


I was busy too, but that was work and no fun at all.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Almost over

John and Mary are spending the last night on board the ship today.


We had a beautiful warm spring day in Nashville. Ain't it grand?

Saturday, April 09, 2011


From Mary

We cruised all day yesterday (it's now about 5:30 p.m. on Friday), and we anchored off a small city in Vietnam. This morning, we had a smaller boat tour around some of the islands in the area, and through a small community on the mainland. We stopped at a small rattan mat-making "factory", and a silk (artificial) weaving operation. Small scale, interesting stuff. Then we took a rickshaw ride through town back to quay to go to our ship. The rickshaws are not the most comfortable method of transportation - but it beats walking. One passenger perched on a cart attached to the back of a bicycle, pedaled by a guy with really strong legs. And NO, there were no photos taken.

On first impression, Vietnam seems to be much more prosperous than Cambodia, and is certainly cleaner, i.e., less litter along paths and roads. Absolutely gorgeous children - lots of photos of them.

We have two more nights on the boat. We're getting in a lot of bridge with Ann & Al - always a treat.

Friday, April 08, 2011

Travel day

John and Mary are on the move today. Here is their ship the M.S. La Marguerite


At home, I've been thinking about how much I love living in Nashville. I never lived urban before and it really came a quite a surprise that I like it so much. But then again, I took these pictures today in my neighborhood.


Thursday, April 07, 2011

Travel news

From Mary

Just one morning group excursion - to a small island village where the women do weaving. Not the highest quality (we were told), but very nice. Each of us was basically captured by one or more children and/or mothers who wanted you to buy from them at the end of our walk. We did buy before reboarding the boat - some nice pieces and lovely colors, but overwhelmed with the kids. Back to Phnom Penh for a free afternoon and evening. We went with Ann & Al on a tuk-tuk (a small cart with seats pulled by a motorbike) to the Central Market for an hour. Huge - selling everything you could think of. I wanted to get a t-shirt, and got two - John got one (total of $7.00). Back to the ship for some bridge. After dinner we had a delightful program with some local children students at a dance school, doing traditional dances. Those kids really can bend their fingers back like you've seen in pictures. Can't wait to see all the pictures.

Today is a sailing day - down the Mekong and crossing the border into Vietnam. We're told it will take 3 or more hours at the border crossing. Just red tape, I think.

The Central market in Phnom Penh

On the home front, I'm still enjoying spring. After some really horrible storms the weather has changed to perfection.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Check in

Mary checked in today.

We're docked in Phnom Phen for 3 nights. Still very hot. We went to the Royal Palace complex this morning. Amazing buildings. This city is over 3 million people, and is literally teeming - mostly bicycles and motorbikes whizzing everywhere. This afternoon was more somber - we went to one of the Killing Fields and to "S-21"" (one of the prisons where people were tortured before being killed) - all under the Pol Pot regime (1975-1979) - a terrible time in this country. About one/third of the population was murdered or starved to death. Tough to deal with - but part of the history - so not to be forgotten.

So it sounds like they are busy.


I'm having more spring.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Spring Green

Today's itinerary says that the travelers are up for a visit to a bird sanctuary and floating village with an afternoon ox-cart ride, then a Buddhist blessing ceremony. Sounds like a normal day to me.


Do you remember that unbelievable crayon color? Spring green… nothing could be that color. That is until it’s really spring. And then the trees get their new leaves. There it is. That funky color.