Thursday, June 30, 2011


About 36 hours to departure. We're so ready for blue crabs, shrimp, and "our" beach!



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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

"The Founding Fathers, Unzipped"

The July 4 & 11, 2001, issue of Newsweek Magazine has a terrific essay by Simon Schama. The headline on the website reads:

The Founding Fathers, Unzipped
The Constitution’s framers were flawed like today’s politicians, so it’s high time we stop embalming them in infallibility.

A featured line in the print article reads “John Adams would be horrified by how politicians like Palin and Bachmann mangle American History.”

Give this article a read. It’s not too long, and well worth your time.
Figures are everywhere at Angkor Thom.

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Tuesday, June 28, 2011


I took the car in this morning to get its precious bodily fluids checked and replenished, and also for a “trip check”. Naturally something else was wrong. One of the tires had two pieces of metal stuck in it, and needed to be replaced. We were very careful about picking up the nails that the roofer/repair guy dropped, but I guess there’s no way we could have gotten them all - plus it had rained a lot and probably washed more nails off the roof. We had gotten road hazard insurance for the tires, so it only cost an arm, not an arm-and-a-leg. At least we should be able to get to and from the beach uneventfully.
Angkor Thom, Cambodia

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Monday, June 27, 2011


Don’t we all get cranky when our sleep patterns get out of whack?

John has trouble staying awake in the evenings (unless there’s something he really wants to see on TV). And then he wakes up really early and can’t go back to sleep. And then he needs a nap in the afternoon. Not uncommon.

My sleep disruption is fairly recent. I’ve always going to sleep almost as soon as my head hits the pillow. But not in the last couple of weeks. It’s taking longer and longer for me to get to sleep - sometimes until 2 or 3 a.m. This is not fun, and I want it to STOP!!!

How well do you sleep?
Angkor Thom, Cambodia

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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Near nothing

I had in mind to do nothing today, and I came pretty close to that.

The melons and peaches looked good at the farmers’ market, so that was a worthwhile trip.

I did some of my painting “homework”, and made a nice mess.

Our next-door neighbor called and asked us to join them and some other neighbors and friends for burgers and hot dogs - so I didn’t even have to think about supper.

It was a good day.
Angkor Thom, Cambodia (look for faces)

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Friday, June 24, 2011


There was great hilarity and abuse at Panera this morning - much of it directed at me when I volunteered an opinion about something pertaining to gardening. I must admit that I was pretty much hooted out of the conversation. And then something was said about ironing. Holy cow! This is another topic that I should avoid absolutely (since I avoid ironing itself absolutely).

And the joke-of-the-day from John’s cousin:

5 pearls of Scottish Wisdom

1. Money cannot buy happiness but...somehow, it’s more comfortable to cry in a Mercedes Benz than it is on a bicycle.

2. Forgive your enemy, but remember the bastard’s name.

3. Help a man when he is in trouble, and he will remember you when he is in trouble again.

4. Many people are alive only because it’s illegal to shoot them.

5. Alcohol does not solve any problem, but then neither does milk.
Passageway, Angkor Thom, Cambodia #2

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Addendum: Kudos to the New York State Assembly for legalizing same-sex marriage tonight.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Busy, busy week

This been a busy week - not my usual sloth-like existence. Something has been going on every day this week:
Monday - the usual WalMart and bridge
Tuesday - two doctors’ appointments
Wednesday - painting class and lunch with Vicki
Thursday - work at the library book store, haircuts
Friday - well, just the usual swimming and coffee.

I’m looking forward to nothing this weekend except getting stuff out to get ready for the beach.
Passageway, Angkor Thom, Cambodia

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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Patch, patch, patch....

Yesterday was doctor appointment day. And now, appointments are done. No problems with the FP - even the blood pressure was good. Now that Medicare is paying for physicals, she's got me scheduled for that in December. The oncology surgeon has dismissed me, so she'll be doing the breast exams and ordering the mammograms from now on, too.

Not quite as good at the eye doctor. He said it looked like some cataract formation in the right eye. I said "again???" He was assuming that I'd not had that eye done - but I did have cataract surgery on both eyes. So who knows what that means - wait for a while. He was more concerned (as am I) about an increase in the markers for glaucoma in the left eye. He wants another exam in three months this time to see who that's going. Oh, well - as we know - it's patch, patch patch.
Class #2 of the acrylic workshop was today. Sandra Paynter Washburn is a very good teacher, a nice lady, and I love her paintings. It's good to be back to painting again.

Angkor Thom

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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Just a photo

Crossing the bridge to Angkor Thom, Siem Reap, Cambodia - riding in tuk tuks.

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Monday, June 20, 2011

Monday stuff

Today was the usual Monday - except for really yucky cards at bridge. I surely hope I get off this card-slump before too much longer. Two doctor's appointments tomorrow - eye exam (I hate getting my eyes dilated) in the morning, and 6-month family doc appointment in the afternoon.

From Wordsmith on 16 June 2011.
A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:We grow tyrannical fighting tyranny. The most alarming spectacle today is not the spectacle of the atomic bomb in an unfederated world, it is the spectacle of the Americans beginning to accept the device of loyalty oaths and witchhunts, beginning to call anybody they don't like a Communist. -E.B. White, writer (1899-1985)

Scary, isn’t it!? Change just a few words, and it could be said of 2011.


Crossing the bridge to Angkor Thom, Siem Reap, Cambodia

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Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day

John had calls and/or cards from the girls, so he had a good Father's Day.

His special treat was getting to cut up the large tree branch that fell in the yard yesterday. As usual, we give thanks for our wonderful neighbor for his help and his chainsaw.

Other than that, it was just an ordinary Sunday.
Crossing the bridge to Angkor Thom, Siem Reap, Cambodia

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Saturday, June 18, 2011

Another day, another squall line

Another day, another squall line. This one was fairly fast, about 4 p.m. It got really dark, then windy, then rainy (0.5“). The lights went on and off multiple times, but the longest stretch was about 15 minutes.

After it sort of calmed down, I heard what I thought was a branch fall on the roof, right over my head. John was on the deck and heard the “crack”. The top of the 20-year-old maple tree split off, and fell across the fence, clipping the corner of the house.

John got up on the roof, and there doesn’t seem to be any damage there. He and our neighbors will get it cut up and dragged up to the street tomorrow.

Another tree next to it is leaning now toward the neighbor’s house. We’re now up to four trees that need to be cut down this summer, plus a couple of big limbs off another tree. Oh, well……
Siem Reap, Cambodia


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Friday, June 17, 2011


My brother-in-law called yesterday to talk about Aunt Betsy. He described her as “the nicest and most gentle person he had ever known…that she had no sharp edges”. What a fabulous description of this wonderful lady.

And then he went on to say that I was also a good and gentle person, but that I had a few “sharp edges”. I loved it!! And could certainly not disagree with him. He added that his late wife (my sister, Carol) had lots more “sharp edges”. He knows us well.
Bougainvillea, Sofitel Hotel, Siem Reap, Cambodia.

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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Siem Reap Reflections

Siem Reap, Cambodia: Obviously, we love reflections.



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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Cooler and rain!

We've had two days now where the temperatures didn't go over 90. It's been wonderful. And today, we've even had some good rain - maybe as much as an inch at our house. It's always a mixed blessing, though - that means the grass will grow and has to be mowed (but not by me).

I started a 6-week class in acrylic techniques. The instructor is one of my favorite local painters, so I know I'll learn something and enjoy it. It's good to be back painting.
Water lilies at the Sofitel Hotel, Siem Reap, Cambodia.

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Monday, June 13, 2011

Betsy Quin (1920-2011)


I started this blog a number of years ago, primarily as a way to keep in contact with my family while we were out of town. As sometimes happen, it grew into a mix of diary, opinions, rants, musings, whatever. And a large part of it was to keep in touch with my dear Aunt Betsy. She lived about 20 driving hours away, so we only saw her about once a year. She was getting progressively deaf., and phone conversation was difficult. She wouldn’t use a computer (does anyone wonder where we got our stubbornness?), but her son found a device that could receive e-mail over her phone line and print it out (like a fax). Sending her photos and a copy of my blog became a daily ritual. If I missed a few days without being out of town, I’d get a phone call from her to be sure we were all right.

Our Betsy died this morning. She was 91, and was the light in all our lives. The light is temporarily dimmed, but she’ll always shine for those of us who love her.
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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Good tech support

Amazon is my friend - at least Richard in their tech service is my friend.

I called to get help with getting my new Kindle to hook up to our home wifi. I’d tried and tried, but just couldn’t make it happen. That was problem #1.

As I said, the girls got John his own Kindle for Father’s Day. I helped him set it up, and that was fine. He had no trouble connecting to the wifi. Then I wanted to get him listed as part of the account that Kate and I share. I not only couldn’t get him on the list, I managed to get Kate unlisted from the account. Now we have problem #2.

I called and quickly got the tech, Richard. I told him the first problem, and he had me connected to the wifi in about 3 minutes. Then I explained the second problem. He asked for the serial number for John’s Kindle, and with a few instructions, he had all three of us with access to the account. Richard is now my new best friend. And I’m very pleased with the Amazon tech service.
Statue of King Alfred and town square, Wantage, England. These are the last pictures from England.


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Saturday, June 11, 2011

World-wide Knit in Public Day

After going to the farmers' market this morning (yummy canteloupe and tomatoes), I went to Panera for a latte and to participate in "World-Wide Knit in Public Day". I wasn't part of a group, but thought there might be some others there. I was the only knitter, and nobody even questioned me about knitting. Oh, well. At least it gave me a chance to get my Kindle hooked up and transfer some books from the archives (it doesn't seem to want to work with our router). The girls got John his own Kindle for Father's Day. We haven't gotten him merged into the "family account". I'm going to have to spend some time with Amazon tomorrow and get that set up. But he's learned how to get a book sample, and has ordered a Zane Grey freebie.

Correction to yesterday's meme: John reminded me that I'd had another ambulance trip - after I broke my ankle in 1983.
Wantage, England.


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An old meme

I don’t usually do memes, but I saw this one in a blog from a year ago, and decided to do it. What’s a “meme” (rhymes with theme)? I found this definition: In the context of web logs / ‘blogs / blogging and other kinds of personal web sites it’s some kind of list of questions that you saw somewhere else and you decided to answer the questions. Then someone else sees them and does them and so on and so on. I generally consider these to be actual questions and not some multiple choice quizzes that determine some result at the end (what color you are most like, what cartoon character are you, what 80s movie are you). Here goes…

What do you like about Summer?
Our Family & Friends week at the beach. Otherwise, not much. I don’t like to be hot.
How many states have you lived in? Missouri (birth to 7); Texas (7-26); Tennessee (26-present [75])
What cities/towns have you lived in? St. Louis, Houston, Nashville, Chattanooga
Do you prefer shoes, socks, or bare feet? I prefer bare feet, but have to wear shoes on everything but carpet. And other than with thick-sole flip-flops and some canvas shoes, I have to wear socks.
Are you a social person? I love being with people, but have no problem with being alone.
What was the last thing you ate? Supper (fresh tuna, rice, corn) followed by a small piece of dark chocolate (blood pressure medication)
What is your favorite restaurant? La Altena Mexican Restaurant, Old Saigon Vietnamese Restaurant
What is your favorite ice cream? Almost anything, but especially Turtle Tracks (caramel chocolate candies in vanilla), vanilla, Mayfield peppermint
What is your favorite dessert? I don’t usually fix dessert, but always like ice cream, fresh fruit
What is your favorite kind of soup?. I love all soups, but my chili or split-pea soup or home-made vegetable are favorites.
What kind of jelly do you like on your PB & J sandwich? I’ve disliked peanut butter all my life; it’s one of the few foods I won’t eat under any circumstances. Coconut is another.
Do you like Chinese food? Yes! Chinese food; any kind of Asian food, actually.
Do you like coffee? I love coffee, strong and unflavored.
How many glasses of water, a day, do you drink on average? I have no idea, but I have a glass of water at hand all the time - sip, sip, sip all day long. I have to have some water first thing when I wake up.
What do you drink in the morning? At least a little water for the dry mouth; some tomato juice if available to take my pills; then black coffee. When we go to Panera Bread after swimming, I get a latte with one sugar.
What non-banking related card in your wallet is the most valuable to you?
My voter registration card; my library card; my YMCA membership card; my Panera card
Do you know how to play poker? No. I know how to play hearts and gin rummy, but I only play bridge.
Have you ever been to Canada? Many times. I’ve been to most of the provinces, and enjoyed every visit. It’s a lovely country with friendly people.
Do you have an addictive personality?
To a certain degree. I quit smoking with not much problem, but I have a life-long problem with my weight.
Do you eat out or at home more often? Mostly at home.
What do you miss about high school, if anything? Not a thing. The best thing I still have from high school is my friend, Anne.
Do you know anyone with the same birthday as you? No. Famous folks (via internet) include some I never heard of plus Erik Estrada, Jerry Lewis, Mercedes McCambridge, Pat Nixon, Henny Youngman, and James Madison. I’ve always heard if you were in a group of 20 or so people, there would be at least two with the same birthday. We were with a group and there were two others with John’s birthday, one on the exact same day.
Do you speak any other languages? Not really. After 3 years of French and one of Spanish, I can order off a menu and read road signs (given enough time).
Have you ever gotten stitches? Yes. from surgery and from injuries. I’m such a klutz.
Have you ever ridden in an ambulance? Yes. But not from any of the injuries. John did drive me to the ER with a police escort after an injury.
Do you prefer an ocean or a pool? Ocean, I guess. But I’ll take any water I can get into. I would love to live on salt water, but unless the oceans rise a whole lot, it’s not likely to happen.
Do you prefer a window seat or an aisle seat?
Definitely an aisle seat. I hate to have to climb over somebody when I need to go to the bathroom.
Do you know how to drive stick? That’s all we had when I was learning and for the first several cars. I haven’t done it for quite some time, and my knees would certainly complain if I tried now. The transmission would probably complain, too.
What is your favorite thing to spend money on? That’s a no-brainer - travel.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Painting again, I hope

I’ve signed up for a 6-session acrylic class. It starts next Wednesday, and meets once a week. I started gathering up the materials on the list today. Of course, I have most of them, and could probably do with the few things I don’t have. Except for the paper the instructor wants us to have. With all the watercolor paper I have stashed away, I have only one slightly-damaged sheet of Aquarius II paper - it’s made of fiberglass, so won’t curl or wrinkle. I like using it. So I need to go to the art supply store here in town and get some. I’ve known the instructor for a number of years and like her work a lot. I haven’t painted since Studio 2 closed, and I hope this will give me a “jump start” to get back into it.

Later today, I finished consolidating (meshing) John’s and my photos from Cambodia and Vietnam. Now we can finish up the editing. I’ll start posting pictures from Cambodia probably next week. Thanks for your patience.
Views from the upper deck of the bus in Bath, England.



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Repairs done

The repair work on the roof and porch has been completed and the contractor paid. Now all we have to do is the spring clean-up. That’s been put off waiting for the repairs. And now it’ll wait a few more days until this heat wave has broken. It’s just too hot to do much outside.

It is getting to beach-prep time. John’ll bring the beach boxes up from the garage tomorrow, and I can check the stuff that’s gets held over from year to year. I can remember if I said this or not - this will be our 30th anniversary of the first time we went to Gulf Shores. In that time, we’ve missed only about 6 years there. We have rented to larger and larger houses, but we’ve been in the current one since it was built 7-8 years ago. It’s a special time!
Roman baths, Bath, England.


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