Wednesday, November 30, 2011


I guess many of us are getting some exercise. The chiropractor says I'm really amazingly flexible (!) for my age and condition. But she also says that if the treatments were working, I should be seeing much improvement by now. Obviously, that doesn't seem to be happening. I'm going to keep my appointment on Friday, and if there's still no change, I'll probably stop for a while - at least to see if things get worse.

At last the sun came out about midday, but it's still cold. It should warm up into the 60s by the end of the week. John says - OK, now he's had enough winter, and he's ready for summer again.
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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Happy Birthday, John!

Happy Birthday to John today! As usual, his birthday is right after Thanksgiving. He was born on Thanksgiving Day, and the family joke was that his mother never forgave him for keeping her from her turkey dinner. And his birthday has never been on Thanksgiving Day since then.

Thanksgiving was originally set for the last Thursday in November. At that time, there was almost no Christmas shopping done before Thanksgiving. In the depths of the Great Depression, in order to allow more time for shopping, it was decided to have Thanksgiving earlier, and it was changed to the fourth Thursday in November. So the closest he can get now is the day after Thanksgiving - no turkey with candles for John.
No snow at our house. The rain finally stopped, though, but it stayed grey and gloomy all day. Sleeping late, an hour-long deep massage, and a 2-hour afternoon nap helped pass the day. Wonderful!
Lovely youngsters from a school for traditional Cambodian dances.

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Monday, November 28, 2011

Didn't it rain!

Since it started raining Sunday morning, we’ve had over 6” of rain. It getting much colder, and they’re talking about snow flurries for tomorrow. It won’t be cold enough for anything to stick, but still….

I did the usual Monday stuff today. It felt great to get into the pool after the busy weekend. I may do another class in the morning (unless I manage to sleep late). It's a routine I should probably get in to.

I had a short trip to WalMart, then to the chiropractor and bridge. I came in third at bridge last week, but will probably be somewhere in the middle today. I can’t tell if the chiropractor is really helping or not. I have a massage scheduled for tomorrow from the massage therapist in her office, and then regular appointments on Wednesday and Friday. I'll reevaluate after that and see if I think I'm getting enough benefit to warrant continuing.
Cambodian musicians.



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Sunday, November 27, 2011

The day after

We’re still recovering from the great weekend. Jean come over on Wednesday, and we’ve had a nice visit with her. She rode over and back on the new-to-Chattanooga MegaBus. It was a very satisfactory, inexpensive mode of transportation.

Our Thanksgiving dinner was a big success. We all love turkey and dressing, so that was a hit - as always. The country ham was arguably the best we’ve ever done (definitely a collaborative effort for John & me). Margaret brought a smoked dturkey from her brother-in-law. And most everybody brought food, desserts, and/or wine. Delicious! The only thing better was having such a great group of family and friends to share it with.

A special treat was the addition of the parents and sister of our granddaughter-in-law. We had met them only once before - at the wedding. Margaret invited them to share this weekend with various parts of the family. They are really nice folks, and it was super to get to know them better.

Today has been a really yucky, grey, rainy day. It has rained all day, about 3” so far, and will be continuing overnight. Margaret and John drove to and from Knoxville this afternoon in the nasty weather, plus the holiday traffic. Unfortunately, the Lady Vols lost to Baylor.
Typical parking lot, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

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Wonderful day

it was a great day with incredible food, friends, and family. Everything has been cleaned up and put away. I'll deal with the leftovers tomorrow and the next day. It's midnight, and I'm about ready to head for the bed.
In SE Asia, everybody rides motorbikes.

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Saturday, November 26, 2011


Black Friday today, but no shopping done by this bunch. We went to the Y, and then the group did go to coffee at Panera (which is on the mall property). We were surprised that it wasn’t more crowded, but we got to enjoy our coffee without problems.

We started with the day-before preparations about midafternoon. By now (after midnight Friday/Saturday as I write), the dressing is made, the turkey is stuffed and ready to go in the oven in the morning. The corn is thawing; pies are made; lemon squares are made.

Tomorrow, it’ll just be a matter of pulling things together and feeding the multitudes. I hope your Thanksgiving was a good one.
At the Central Market in Phnom Penh. How can you choose?

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Thursday, November 24, 2011

Not Thanksgiving Day yet

Very quiet day here. Sue, Randy, and Paul stopped by for a few minutes on their way home from dinner at Randy's folks’ house. Sue has to work Friday, so they had to go back home tonight. John had grilled a 1" thick ham steak last night, so I cut up some of the leftovers from that to make a fritatta for supper. Then we played some Rummi-Kub, before going back to the ballgames.

Jean made some arrangements for the table with holly, nandina berries, and evergreens. I made a sweet potato casserole and we cut up the celery and onions for the dressing. We'll finish all that up tomorrow night, so we'll be ready to go on Saturday.

But I will go to swimming in the morning. The chiropractic treatment didn't seem to help quite as much this time, and the water stuff does seem to keep me more flexible.
Folded lotus buds, Central Market, Phnom Penh.

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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thankful Thursday Thirteen

This is the first time I’ve posted a “Thursday Thirteen”, but I wanted to list thirteen things I’m thankful for - in no specific order

1. John
2. Our family
3. Those who are no longer with us
4. Reasonably good health
5. Good medical care
6. Art to look at and music to listen to
7. Getting back to painting
8. Living in Chattanooga
9. Friends
10. Books
11. Double Crostics
12. Knitting
13. My laptop and the internet

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Happy Thanksgiving

Jean was going to drive over today from Nashville. Her car was acting up. I suggested she try the Groome Transportation (which we use when we fly out of Nashville) or the new Megabus (a "luxury" bus). She rode the Megabus this evening, and said it was a very satisfactory mode of transport. It saved her the worry of driving a car she's not confident about, and was about half the cost of Groome. It's not a new company - looks like it's all over the middle West, but it's just started service to Nashville/Chattanooga/Knoxville/Atlanta/. .

I had another visit to the chiropractor today. I think my back may getting some better - at least it feels good enough that I'm willing to go for at least a few more visits. And I have a massage scheduled for next week.

I did some Thanksgiving cooking this afternoon. I've made the cornbread for the dressing/stuffing; the fresh cranberry/orange relish; and the dill crackers for snacks. All stuff that needs to be done ahead of time. The turkey is in the fridge, thawing, getting ready to be cooked on Saturday for our big meal.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!
Flower ladies at the Central Market, Phnom Penh, Cambodia.


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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A clean house!

I really enjoyed having the house cleaned today. Lynn works for one of my swimming buddies, so I had a good recommendation. She got here about 8:15 this morning, and didn’t slow down until she left at 1:30! She did the living room, dining room, kitchen, and bathrooms. And she did a fantastic job! I have her scheduled for one day in December, too. Then we’ll see about setting up a regular schedule for next year.
Central Market, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

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Monday, November 21, 2011

Monday Miscellany

We’re having unseasonably warm temperatures this week. So much for my auxiliary “walk-in refrigerator” (i.e., the screened porch). John plugged in the old fridge in the basement, so we do have some extra space.

This morning was the usual routine - got the last of the Thanksgiving shopping done (except for what I probably forgot).

I’ve got a new cleaning lady coming in the morning. This time, I just want her to do the living room, dining room, kitchen, and the bathrooms. She’s got us on her schedule again in mid December, then we’ll re-evaluate.

I had my second visit with the chiropractor today. Her deep massage on my back is just short of pain, but really feels good. At least this evening, I think my back is really feeling better. I don’t want to jump to any conclusions, though. I go back on Wednesday.
I’m sure you’ve read about the mass pepper-spraying by the campus police at UCDavis. I only know what they’ve been showing on TV. But my blogging friend, Bev, lives in Davis. Click here to read her take on the weekend events.

Also, my niece, Robin Hill, is a professor of art at UCDavis. On her FB page, she posted that she had taken her beginning sculpture class to the site, and using materials found in the area, constructed a sculpture there. Here’s a photo of their piece.

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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sunday Struggle

Well, it was a struggle, but I pretty managed to stick to my plan today.

I did mostly nothing. Well, maybe a little bit more than that. We got the ham cooked. And, I must say, from the taste testing, this is one of the best ones we’ve ever done. John does all the hard work on this - I mostly just taste test.

The squash casserole is done and in the freezer. The desk is actually cleared off, so the cleaning lady can get to it on Tuesday.

Thanksgiving is really under way.
How can you resist this face?

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Saturday, November 19, 2011

RIP, Roger Russell (1944-2011)

RIP, Roger Russell (1944-2011)

We spent most of the day at Renna’s house. Roger died last Sunday; the memorial service was today; and we swimmers took the responsibility for feeding the folks who wanted to come back to the house. (It's a southern thing - our version of a wake.) Doris and I stayed at the house to do the last minute heating and organizing while the others went to the service. Everybody said the memorial was a great tribute to a very special guy.

The food was fabulous, of course, seasoned with tears. As usual, there was a great plenty of food to be had, and there are lots of leftovers for the family for the next few days. I brought a plate home for John.

Tomorrow, I'll probably do a bit of Thanksgiving readiness, but mostly I plan to be a total slug - chair, book/Kindle, computer, knitting, TV.
A lovely lady, wearing a typical Cambodian scarf.


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Friday, November 18, 2011

A new experience

We did have temps in the upper 20s this morning - and a heavy frost. It was a beautiful day, though.

I had my first-ever visit to a chiropractor this morning - actually morning/afternoon. I got there at 11, and left about 1:20. Not too much waiting, mostly exam, talking, explaining x-rays, and treatment. What she had to say about my back makes a lot of sense, and I will go back for a few more visits. We'll see how it goes - I think the phrase is "cautiously optimistic". The deep massage felt good, although I'd've loved to have had more of it. The adjustment part wasn't too painful - she said she didn't want to do too much the first time. She also suggested possible dietary problems, and suggested I try going gluten-free for a while to see if that helps. I don't know about that - "gluten-free" is pretty much the "in" thing right now, so I'm a bit skeptical. I'll do some reading, though, and may give it a test. I know diet can play a big part in a lot of health issues. She did says that I was really very flexible and functional for my age and the amount of arthritis I have. And that the 10+ years of swimming exercises have definitely helped with that.
Apprentice weaver, Cambodia


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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Getting ready for Thanksgiving

After John went to another spin class this morning, we headed out for some Georgia shopping. First we went to the Aldi store in GA. We had heard that they sell wine and beer, and John wanted to try it to see if he liked any of it. The prices were sure to be better. A critique of the wine will come later. The GA Aldi had some different products and different prices from the store where I shop.. They had some holiday cookies/snacks that weren’t here on Monday (might be by now), and eggs (one of the main things I get at Aldi) were $0.30/dozen cheaper. And the price here is another $0.30 cheaper than WalMart.

Next, we went to Costco, for some specific items. One big thing we do there is have our favorite gourmet lunch - Polish hotdog (with kraut for me) and drink - grand total for both of us was $3.21.

It’s supposed to get into the 20s tonight, so we brought in some of the cans and jars from the porch - it probably won’t get that cold, but no point in chancing it. We started the process for cooking the country ham tonight, too. I just want to get that out of the way. John plugged in the old refrigerator in the garage, so we have a place to put it until next week. It takes a while to get ready for Thanksgiving.
Geese heading south over the Erie Canal.

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Wednesday, November 16, 2011


We got about 1.5" of rain today, and a good bit of wind. I was at painting when the tornado warning was posted. Everybody there was concerned about where to go and right out a storm. Fortunately, we just had the rain/wind, and nothing more severe. I got another painting finished today. I'll try to get some photos taken.

Tomorrow is a catch-up day. We're going for haircuts, then to Costo and Aldi in Georgia, where they sell wine. We're heard the Aldi wine is pretty good, so John's willing to give it a try.
Weaving lady, Cambodia.


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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Missing Monday

Sorry I didn’t post yesterday. For some reason, blogspot wouldn’t let me “publish”. I hope it lets me in tonight.

After swimming yesterday morning, instead of going to Panera, we went to one of the swimmer's homes. Her husband died yesterday, and we all wanted to get together with her for some consoling and crying. He had MS, and had been in the hospital for several weeks, with various systems shutting down, and being taken care of. I think finally it was all just to much for his body to cope with. She has been such an incredible mate for him all these years, and it's going to be terrible for her to have to cope without him. Of course, we'll all be hovering over her and pampering her.

We came home and I interviewed a woman about cleaning the house. She's going to come next week, and then one week in December. After the first of the year, we'll see about setting up a regular schedule - probably on an every-other-week basis.

Today was busy. After watercolor painting with Vicki, I picked up a couple of books I had reserved at the library (the Susan Gregg Gilmore books); went to Aldi; went to WalMart. I hadn't been to the store in two weeks - plus I was trying to get most of the Thanksgiving shopping done. I didn't get home until 3. I just missed John and Margaret (who were going to Knoxville for the Lady Vols/Miami game), so I had to carry all the groceries in by myself. I had gotten the turkey and the country ham, so there were lots of trips. It took about 45 minutes to get everything in and put away. Then I got into soft clothes, heated some coffee, and crashed into the chair! I've got to check my lists and see what I missed or forgot, so I’ll know what to get on the next trip.

We've had drizzle to moderate rain all day today, but the temperature got up to nearly 70. Strange for November.
Making friends in Cambodia.

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Sunday, November 13, 2011

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Sunday Stealing

This meme is taken from Sunday Stealing: The Madness Meme, Part 2

1. Do you ever walk around the house naked?
Maybe from the bathroom to the bedroom, but in general, no. A scary thought.
2. If you were an animal what would you be? Why?
Probably one of our daughter’s dogs - they live pretty good lives.
3. Hair color you like on someone you’re dating?
I haven’t “dated” in 56 years, but now I’d have to say dark/grey/bald
4. If suffering an injury, would you rather be left blind or deaf?
I’d miss music, but I’d have to say deaf. I’d hate to not be able to read.
5. Do you have any special talents?
Painting, knitting, word puzzles
6. What do you do as soon as you walk in the house?
If I know I’m not going out again, I change into “soft clothes” (get rid of shoes, etc.)
7. Do you like horror or comedy?
Definitely comedy (although I guess I'd find horror movies pretty funny, too)
8. Are you missing anyone?
Right now, I miss knowing that Betsy is there for me to write to and visit.
9. Where do you want to live when you are old?
I AM old, and Chattanooga is a great place to live. Eventually, I’d go for a really nice retirement
community that I could stay in for the rest of my life.
10. Who is the person you can count on the most?
11. If you could date any celebrity past or present, who would it be?
I don’t know about dating, but there are so many people I’d like to just sit and talk with.
Thomas Jefferson, Steve Allen, Rachel Maddow - what an odd assortment!
12. What did you dream last night?
I frequently dream in a “movie format”, but I never remember them.
13. What is your favorite sport to watch?
Women’s basketball
14. Are you named after anyone?
15. What is your favorite alcoholic drink?
I don’t drink alcoholic drinks, but once upon a time, I loved gin and tonic.
16. Non alcoholic drink?
Water or coffee
17. Have you ever been in love?
Yes, and I still am.
18. Do you sing in the shower?
19. Have you ever been arrested?
I’ve gotten stopped for a traffic ticket, but never really arrested.
20. What is your favorite Holiday?
We don’t pay much attention to holidays. I guess I’d choose Thanksgiving and/or our beech week.
Those are times when most of our family and friends get together.
21. Would you ever get plastic surgery?
Probably not. If I did, it would probably be around my eyes.
22. Have you ever caught a fish?
I don’t know that I’ve ever even been fishing.
The top of a stupa (a crypt for burying ashes) at the temple on an island in the Mekong River.

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Friday, November 11, 2011

Let's play basketball!

Our Lady Mocs beat UAB in the opening game of the WNIT 65-59! Hooray! This gives us the questionable pleasure of being sacrificed to Baylor in the second round on Sunday in Waco, It will probably be a humbling experience (but hopefully a learning one).
Chattanooga is fortunate to have some great photographers. I was fortunately to have one of them, John Coniglio, for my class in photography at UTC in 1988. John’s still here in town and still doing great work. I wanted to share the photo he posted on his Facebook page today.

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Thursday, November 10, 2011


Today is the day set aside to honor our Veterans and active duty military. We should honor them every minute of every day. They honor us every day by their service and sacrifice. Thanks to you all.

This is OUR special serviceman.

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Rainy Wednesday

Anne & Nick left about 9 this morning. It’s such a treat to get to spend some extra time with them. These are the folks I stayed with in Houston last month. Their visit here had already been planned when that situation arose, so I got to spend some extra time with them. We went to the Aquarium, went out to eat, and got in some good talking.

It's been raining pretty much all day. It was a good day to go to painting class today. I now have two finished pieces that I plan to enter in the Tennessee Watercolor show next year. It’s a tough show to get in, so we’ll see how it goes.

It surely does feel good to be in my sweats, in my chair, with my laptop, have leftovers for dinner, and nothing that HAS to be done tomorrow.
Trying to make art out of man's inhumanity to man. This photo was taken at a school building that had been taken over by the Pol Pot regime in Cambodia in the 1970s. It was used to torture political prisoners before they were taken to be killed.

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