Sunday, July 31, 2011

Laughing Sunday

This is a frequent sight at our after-swim-class coffee at Panera.
Thanks for the photo, Missy.

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Saturday, July 30, 2011

Maybe there's hope.

Today we did one of those volunteer jobs that we sort of agree to with some trepidation, but that always turn out fanastic.

Doing anything outside in July, when the temperatures have been in the mid90s is chancy at best. And you never know what happens when what you’re doing involves children. However….

Helping at the wrap-up party for the library’s Children’s Summer Reading Program always is such a treat! It was hot and sticky occasionally, but mostly there was a good breeze through the pavilion where the event is held. John and I were stationed at the registration tables this year, so we did get to sit down from time to time.

It is great to see these kids of all ages, from toddlers to pre-teens, in all shapes, sizes, and colors trooping through with the lists of the books they had read over the summer. We gave them their certificates, coupons for free books and popsicles, chances on door prizes, and local merchant coupons. Then off they went, with parents in tow, to the various activity tables, games, etc. There was a juggler, a group of therapy dogs, music, inflatables, etc., etc. And a good time was had by all.

What always thrills me about this event is the number of kids (and their parents) who come, and the variety! Of ones that I could identify, there were whites, blacks, Japanese, Chinese, Christians, Muslims, Indonesians, Indians, and who knows what-all combinations. They were of all economic levels. And they were all there together because they were READING!!!! Maybe there’s hope out there somewhere.
As we left, it started to rain, and we drove through showers all the way home. We wound up getting almost 1.5” of rain, and the temperature dropped to around 80. Naps and pizza finished out the day.
Angkor Wat.

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Friday, July 29, 2011

All day Friday

It turned to be a busy day today. I got a good start with swimming and Panera. John went to the Y, too, because there was too much wind for his row.

The Book Store at the Library was reasonably busy today - something unusual for me. There were nearly $80 in sales, which is terrific!

We got together with Carol and Stephen for dinner at a new Japanese restaurant. The company was terrific, and the food was pretty good. We went to their house for coffee, wine, and conversation afterwards. A nice evening.
Angkor Wat

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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Get Low

John and I re-watched the movie, Get Low, tonight. This is the blurb on the Netflix disc sleeve:

Oscar winners Robert Duvall and Sissy Spacek team up to tell the true story of irascible Felix Bush, a backwoods Tennessee loner who planned his funeral in 1938 while he was still around to attend - and enjoy - the proceedings. Director Aaron Schneider’s deft blend of dark humor and poignancy also stars Bill Murray as Frank Quinn, the huckster owner of a failing funeral home, and Lucas Black as his dubious assistant. 2009

This one’s definitely worth watching.
Shrine, Angkor Wat.


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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Untitled, so far

The last painting class of this session was today. I didn't stay for the whole time. My back was bothering me, and I couldn't focus on the painting. But I did a little "tweaking" on this piece, and I'm pretty sure it's finished. Now I just need to come up with a title. It's 22 x 30", acrylic on paper.

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Tuesday, July 26, 2011


I had my appointment with the rheumatologist this morning. He agreed that it was time to do some tests and they did some blood work and x-rays in the office; ordered an MRI for Thursday. They want to see what’s going on, hoping to rule out spinal stenosis, and/or other problems. Depending on that, he might refer me to a back specialist. He also renewed my meds - two I get locally (for pain and a muscle relaxant) - I’ll pick those up in the morning.

Then on to more errands. Aldi - didn’t get there yesterday, I had only $15.00 in cash and no quarter to get a buggy. Marshall’s - would love to find another skirt or dress - no luck. Vegetable stand for tomatoes, peaches, squash. Bank to make deposit. Got a small nap this afternoon, and will be going to bed early tonight.
The iconic towers of Angkor Wat.

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Monday, July 25, 2011

We love to plan

We talked with Ann & Al tonight. We especially wanted to wish Ann a belated Happy Birthday.

They had mentioned going to the Canadian Rockies during the latter part of September. As busy as October is going to be, this just didn’t seem like it would work for us - at much as we want to get back to that part of the world. Maybe next spring.

We talked some about visiting with them after Alison & Joe’s wedding. That’s probably going to be workable. The best idea they gave us was when we asked how we could get from San Diego to Los Angeles - that they said we could take the train. Wow! What a fabulous idea! - and one that had never occurred to us.

We need a few more pieces of information before doing anything specific, but we’re getting close.
The outer ring of buildings around the one-mile square complex of Angkor Wat, Cambodia.

We need a few more pieces of information before doing anything specific, but we’re getting close.
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Sunday, July 24, 2011

John's photos

Clouds and off-shore rain at Fort Morgan.



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Saturday, July 23, 2011

Silent Saturday

Terrace of the Elephants, Angkor Wat complex, Cambodia

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Friday, July 22, 2011

Friday melange

I got to show the group at Panera the photo of my collage. And, I’m having a “class” tomorrow morning for one of them. She’s very creative (needlework, scrap booking) and wants another skill to add to her repertoire. Should be a fun morning.
While we were at swimming and coffee this morning, Allan & Tina’s apartment was burgled. All that was taken was their computers, but there was no vandalism, and the cats weren’t harmed. What a scary violation of their space. I’m so sorry for them.
Movie comments: We watched La Cage Aux Folles (1979) tonight. We hadn’t seen it for a long time. Actually, we hadn’t seen it since the remake, The Birdcage (1996), came out. They’re both SO funny. The Birdcage is really quite faithful to the original. As much as we liked La Cage, we both agreed that we preferred The Birdcage.
How terrible about the bombings in Norway! Our hearts go out to all the people in this lovely, peaceful country.
The Terrace of the Elephants, Angkor Wat complex, Cambodia (look closely, you can see the parade of elephants in the stones)

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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Finally some rain

I worked a shift at the library book store this morning - only two sales, one to me. But I got a lot of reading done. And I had a nice conversation with a young man about the irony of my sitting in the library used book store, selling books, and reading from my Kindle. It is kind of funy.

We got an inch of rain out of a line of storms that roared through this afternoon. The cooler temperature was wonderful (it dropped about 15* in about 30 minutes), even if it'll be back in the 90s tomorrow.

In the book I was reading, one of the characters made some from-scratch macaroni and cheese with onions and garlic. That sounded really good, so I decided to make something up. I’ve rarely fixed macaroni and cheese from a box, so it’s not really a staple around here. I found some bow-tie macaroni and had some “getting old” grated cheddar cheese, sautéed an onion and a whole bulb of garlic, added some milk, butter, salt & pepper, and Worcestershire sauce, and stuck it in the oven. Wow, was that ever good! Definitely not healthy, but……
This is a photo of the collage exercise (@ 8x10") I did in painting class yesterday.

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Wednesday, July 20, 2011


We did a great exercise in painting class today. We painted various combinations of colors, white, and black on some lightweight paper. Next we cut and tore the papers into pieces and created a small collage on a piece of scrap mat board. The challenge was to use one of the standard compositional formats, and make the values balance in a contemporary nonobjective piece. It’s a wonderful learning tool - regardless of the students level of proficiency - and one I’ve enjoyed doing in the past. Glad to be reminded of it again.
I finally got the car into the car wash today - not the drive-through, but the kind where you have to get out of your car and wait for the guys to get it all polished. It's nice to be able to see through the windshield without the salt scum.
Remains of a "guest house" near Angkor Thom, Cambodia.

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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

My painting

I did get to stay home all day today. And I got some work done on my painting. I have four pieces in progress - one further along than the others.

It’s not easy, with the kind of work I do, to decide when a piece is “finished”. By definition, non-objective art doesn’t is not based on anything specific, so it isn’t necessarily recognizable as an object or a person or a landscape, etc. It’s a combination of the various principles of art - value, contrast, balance, etc., all presented as composition. It definitely takes some thinking.

But on the other hand, I’m all about the process, not so much about the product. And I LOVE “playing in the paint”. It’s happened on one of these pieces - I got so into applying the paint, that I was using my hands. It gets pretty thick then. I’m still not anywhere near a “finish” with this piece, but I’m loving the feel that the paper has taken on. It now has a sensuous, leathery feel. That’ll just get better, as additional paint increases the thickness.

This is probably WAY more than you wanted to know about my painting, but I just wanted you to get an idea of the sort of work that I do. If I get anything out of this class that I’m really pleased with, I’ll post some photos.
A shy local resident, Angkor Thom.

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Monday, July 18, 2011

Ordinary Monday

Just the usual Monday stuff today. With any luck, I'll be home all day tomorrow. Hope to get some painting done.
Sentinel, Angkor Thom, Cambodia.

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Sunday, July 17, 2011

Sunday Miscellany

We watched the animated movie, Ratatouille, last night. We've loved some of the recent animated films lately (Up, Despicable Me), but we thought this one definitely didn't measure up. Have any of you seen it? What did you think?

Not much going on next week - painting, and one morning working at the library book store.

About the painting class: We have to move all our "stuff" in and out for each class. I do try to do some stuff here at home - don't really have a good place. What I do is messy, and the only place I can work with some space is on the screened porch. We have a ceiling fan out there, but if it's too hot, I won't be there. The idea with this class is to learn some new techniques and ways to pull ideas together - not necessarily to come out with finished paintings - so I don't know what I'll wind up with. But I am learning a lot, and am at least working.
Too bad about the US Ladies losing in the finals of the World Cup. They fought a good fight. And, if we couldn’t win, I’m glad that the Japanese did - to give their homeland something to cheer about.
A reclining Buddha, Angkor Thom, Cambodia.

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Saturday, July 16, 2011

A different day

Something new and different today.

John and I spent this afternoon playing bridge with a couple of ladies from our usual Monday bridge session. The cards were fairly well spread around, although one of them had the high score. Mostly, it was just fun getting to get in some sustained bridge-playing with some good players. I hope it’s something we get to do again.

Tomorrow looks to be a usual quiet Sunday.
Impromptu shrine, Angkor Thom, Cambodia

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Friday, July 15, 2011

Fight like a Girl!

We got about 1.3” of rain yesterday evening, and then another 0.5” overnight. Guess John’ll have to mow our weeds in another day or so. But that and today’s overcast has kept our temperatures in the 80s today.

Our swim group went to lunch today to say goodbye to one of us who is moving to Rochester, NY, next week. Lunch was good, but we hate to lose a friend.

Two ladies I know from the Y are newly diagnosed with breast cancer - one is the great employee who greets us (literally) with a song every morning, and one of our sometime swimmers. The swimmer had her surgery today, so we won’t know about that until later. The other had her tattoo/drawing session a couple of days ago, and will start her radiation about the first of August. And she’s going on an Alaska cruise/Seattle visit with some girlfriends for two weeks beginning Sunday. Good girl! I’ll of course give them any help I can.

Both of these ladies are being treated because of irregularities found on routine mammograms, and confirmed with biopsies. Remember, ladies (and guys, encourage your ladies) to “Fight Like a Girl” and get your annual mammogram!
Angkor Thom, Cambodia.

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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Big day?

Big events today (yeah, right!).

We got our haircuts (always a special day).

John called off the Thursday evening rowing class as a line of thunderstorms rolled through. The best part of that was that we actually got some rain this time - about 1.3” - more than we’ve had in weeks. And, of course, that did drop the temperature.
Angkor Thom, Cambodia.

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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

It's the middle of the week.

We were well on our way to another near 100* day today, but then we got a thunderstorm. It was around 90 or below for the rest of the day.

The painting class was good. I got some great ideas and some “starts” on pieces. The instructor and some of the students went out for lunch to a nearby restaurant - good eats! John’s been helping with rowing classes on Wednesday and Thursday evenings from 6-8, so that means no regular dinner gets fixed.
Click here for a recent article about the Angkor Wat Comples.
Angkor Thom, Cambodia

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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

It really is the heat!

I hate to talk about the heat - it’s certainly bad all over the eastern half of the nation. But it’s been amazing. It was in the low 80s at 6 a.m. this morning - and that’s unheard of. John headed out to row about then. He said it was like rowing in a sauna.

At least I didn’t have to leave the house today. I got some painting done on the paper I need to have prepared for class tomorrow. And I got the Beach Boxes mostly repacked to go into the garage until next year.

We almost had some rain this afternoon. It didn't happen at our house, but it surely did cool things off - all the way down to the upper 80s. And it’s down to 81 now approaching midnight.
Angkor Thom, Cambodia.

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Monday, July 11, 2011


We sort of got back into our routine today. It felt good. We even had some decent cards at bridge.

TV update: The new seasons of "The Closer" and 'Rizzoli and Isles" started tonight. Those are always a treat.

And did y'all see the commercials for the new "Dallas", to begin in 2012? It'll even be starring Larry Hagman, Patrick Duffy, and Linda Grey. Will wonders never cease!
Corridors, columns, and faces, Angkor Thom.

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Sunday, July 10, 2011

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Coast to Coast

We got home about 7 ET - a long day's drive. But we're glad to be home - after a wonderful week. We've gotten most of the stuff put up or in the dirty clothes basket - still some to be reorganized and put up for nextd summer. Most of the group (from CA, DE, GA, KY, SC, TN, & TX) has gotten home without difficulty.

And now we’ll be thinking about getting back to what we laughingly call normal.
Angkor Thom, Cambodia

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Friday, July 08, 2011

Homeward bound

Headed for home in the morning - a long drive.

Leftovers tonight - made up into crawfish etouffe and crabcakes. John says the secret to good leftovers is to have good "first overs". It works.
Angkor Thom, Cambodia.

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