Monday, December 31, 2012

A great visit!

We’ve had a great couple of days. Some of the SC/CA folks (Randy, Sarah, Alison, and Joe) came in on Saturday afternoon. We had a great time to visit - not too hectic.

We managed to give California Joe another rite of passage into the South - Randy took him to get some Krystals. (If you don’t know about Krystals, click here  .)  Joe said he appreciated the experience, but said it was probably going to be a once-in-a-lifetime thing for him.

Alison is going to be teaching an upper level course in invertebrate biology at the University of San Diego in the spring semester. This is the first post-doc job for the new PhD in Oceanography.

We had a nice quiet dinner and watched a lot of football. This morning, the folks headed back to the Atlanta airport and to SC.

Here are the photos of Alison, Joe, and Sarah.

Update: Carol was due to have her back surgery New Year’s morning. Unfortunately, there was some huge screw-up with the insurance company and, because of the holidays, the surgery been postponed for possibly two weeks. That’s two more weeks of pain and flat-on-the-back-in-the-bed. We’re hoping it won’t take that long.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Saturday snowflake

Another relatively quiet day today. It's still cold and dreary and I saw a few snowflakes just before supper. We'll be getting a group of South Carolina and California family folks tomorrow. Randy, Sarah, Alison and her husband Joe. They should get here about noon, and leave about noon on Monday. Alison and Joe will head back to CA, Randy and Sarah heading back to SC.

I'm going to fix a pork loin for dinner tomorrow, and have some breakfast goodies for Monday morning. So not too much trouble. It's always good to see them.

I'm not a football watcher, but our alma mater, Rice, beat Air Force decisively in the Armed Forces Bowl this afternoon. Back in the Dark Ages, when we were there, Rice had a pretty good football team, but haven't in years and years. It'll be wild on campus in Houston tonight.


Friday, December 28, 2012

Almost the end of 2012

It’s been a gray day with off-and-on rain and sleet.

I did some grocery shopping at Publix this morning after swimming, coffee, and a massage. That's a really nice store, with great staff - lots of good store brands. I would like to try to go there maybe 1-2 times a month. This time, particularly, I was going for some meat. They were having a sale on a standing rib roast for $6.49/pound (a little less than half the usual price), and they'll cut it up into steaks of any thickness you want. So they can be individually wrapped and frozen - and you get the bones for soup, too. It's quite a bargain. I also got a pork loin to fix for dinner Sunday night when the folks are here.

Our friend, Carol, who fell and fractured her L1 vertebra, has had things moved up a bit, due to the amount of pain she's having. She had an MRI tonight, and is scheduled to have surgery on New Year's Day morning. The plan is to inject cement/epoxy/whatever into the cracks to stabilize the vertebra and get the pressure off the spinal column. She manages well as long as she gets her pain meds on time, but she‘s surely ready for surgery and some relief. A tough time for them.

What a contrast between the old and the new - Taormino, Sicily


Thursday, December 27, 2012

Only a photo

Taormina, Sicily

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Charles Durning, RIP ( February 28, 1923 – December 24, 2012)

Charles Durning has died. What a marvelous character actor! And what a marvelous man! He could make us laugh and he could make us cry.

Did you know he was in the first wave that landed on Omaha Beach on D-Day, 6 June 1944? And was the only survivor from his group?

Did you know he was awarded the Purple Heart and the Silver Star?

Did you know he was awarded the French Legion of Honor?
Click here to go to the Wikipedia biography of Durning.
He was great as the Governor in The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.  But my very favorite role of his was in the 2004 episode of NCIS, "Code of Silence".   Click here to go to the IMDb page for this episode and a link to watch the episode.  This is an amazing story on its own, but even more so when you know Durning's history.

One of his co-stars in this episode, Pauley Perette (Abby), posted this on Twitter on Christmas Day:
R.I.P. Our Beloved Charles Durning.  Forever "Corporal Yost" on #NCIS.  We love him so much!  Actor, War Veteran, Legend.  

(This is not to slight Jack Klugman, the other great actor we lost this week.) 


Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas to all! and Thanks, Bev!

I hope everybody’s had a wonderful Christmas Day and Holiday Season (whatever your holiday of choice might be).

It was exceptionally quiet around here. We did talk with all of our loved ones. The weather was grey and misty all day, and finished off with some real rain. At least we’re not getting the snow that’s happening north of here.

We have started a new Christmas dinner tradition tonight. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU, Bev, for mentioning Dungeness crabs. We found them at our local Whole Foods store. They were cooked and flash frozen. All I had to do was steam them to thaw and heat, make some lemon-butter sauce, get out a roll of paper towels, and enjoy. I didn’t think to take pictures, so this will have to do.


Monday, December 24, 2012

How did you spend YOUR Christmas Eve?

We went to the Y this morning. John slogged away on the elliptical machine and I did about 40 minutes of workout in the pool. No class this morning - I was just on my own.

Next we went to Whole Foods and got a couple of Dungeness crabs for our special Christmas meal. I've never been to a Whole Foods before - and probably won't go again. I thought I'd get a few other things, but WOW! they think highly of what they sell. The crabs are special and not easily found around here. But I'm not about to pay those prices for lettuce or oranges. We stopped at another store on the way home and got some "regular stuff".

Later in the afternoon, we went to visit for a while with Carol and Stephen. Carol’s our friend who hurt her back a few days ago. She’s doing well so far with her bed rest - pain can be a very definite taskmaster. We’re just trying to help her get through the few more days until she can get the MRI and find out what treatment will be recommended.

It’s going to be a rainy Christmas around here. Santa is going to have a tough time tonight, getting through the heavy local fog, but I imagine he’ll get his rounds made.


Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Quiet Sunday

Very quiet day today. Margaret spent the night last night, but left right after breakfast.

Work for the day consisted of our changing the sheets on the beds, after turning the mattresses, and doing the laundry. Naps were taken, exercise sessions were done, and football games happened.

And that pretty much takes care of the day. 
Old wall in Taormina, Sicily - amazing how much they look like the ancient Anazasi and pueblo walls in the desert Southwest of the US.


Saturday, December 22, 2012

Good thoughts, please

Margaret and John went to Knoxville to the Lady Vols/Stanford game. It wasn’t pretty - Stanford won, 73-60. Glad they had nice weather for driving, and didn‘t have any trouble with traffic.

A good friend here fell on some steps in her house a couple of days ago, sustaining a 1/2 to 2/3 compression fracture of the L1 vertebra. We went over to see her for a few minutes this morning. X-rays have been taken, but because of the holidays and waiting for things to settle down around the area, it'll be ten days before they do an MRI. Then they'll decide what treatment needs to be done. In the meantime, she's mostly bed-bound, pretty much flat on her back, and taking pain meds. I'm sure the swim group will be taking food over the next days and weeks. She says right now, she needs company - just lying there is pretty boring. I don't know what their holiday plans were - they have no children. But they do have a new puppy, so her husband is going to having lots to do for a while. Good thoughts are definitely appreciated.

Taormino, Sicily


Friday, December 21, 2012

It's only fair - two "modest proposals"

L’empress, who lives in Connecticut, writes eloquently today in her blog A Place of My Own, about last week's tragedy in Newtown, CT.  After reading it this morning, I heard the remarks of the head of the NRA concerning the murders.

In response to his recommendation to put an armed guard in every school in the country, John and I each have a “modest proposal”.

I think that if the NRA thinks there should be an armed guard in every school, the NRA should pay for it. Pay for all the salaries AND benefits for these full-time employees, plus their uniforms, training, guns, and ammunition. It’s only fair.

From another perspective, John suggests that the costs of these guards should be paid for by taxes on the sale of guns and ammunition. This could be something on the order of $500 on each weapon sold, plus $2 per round of ammunition - both new and resale, whether in stores, gun shows, or between private parties. Again, this would be used to pay all the expenses for the guard force. It’s only fair.

Think of all the money that is now spent on the resource officers in about 2/3 of the schools. Either of the plans would save the communities and school systems this money - money that could then be put into school facilities and maintenance, teachers, materials, etc.  It's only fair.


Mt. Etna on a lovely clear day in Taormina, Sicily.


Thursday, December 20, 2012

Basketball and travel

Just didn’t get in yesterday. I wasn’t where I could get internet access for a while - but we were having a great time.

We left about noon yesterday to go to Auburn, AL, to visit a friend (Hi, Sue) and to see our Lady Mocs play the Auburn Lady Tigers. Sue is a fan of women’s basketball too, and she invited us to come down, spend the night with her, and go to the ballgame. Unfortunately, our Ladies lost 53-40 in a brutal defensive game (SEC teams - watch out for Auburn!). But we had a good visit and got to know an internet friend better in person.

Today, it took us about four hours to get home, driving through the rain all the way. We went straight through Atlanta this time, so we could get in the HOV lane. It made driving in the rain much easier - no worrying about trucks and having to change lanes, etc. We got delayed by back-ups from a couple of accidents, but nothing too bad - and at least we weren’t involved.

We had 1.5” of rain in our gauge from last night and today. The rain had stopped by the time we got home. And since the front roared through, the winds have been fierce. But I could our blessings - we’re not getting the 8-12” of snow the states in the Middle West are getting.

Tomorrow we plan to do next to nothing.


Our ship (350 passengers) is the little one on the right.


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Good Tuesday

Groceries. Car wash.
Sunshine. Good lunch with Sandy.
Visit with Vicki.
Our tour went to the old town up in the saddle between the two peaks.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Humdrum day!

Just another hudrum Monday. 

I'm so glad to be getting back into the swimming class.  I can really move the arm a lot in the water, and I know it's a good thing. 

A bunch of the swimmers went  out to lunch with one of the gals who has moved.  She was back in town for a visit, and this was a chance to get together and catch up. 

Things change so quickly in bridge.  Two weeks ago, John came in with the high score and I was second.  Last week, he was high again, and I came in third.  Well, it was fun while it lasted.  I can't remember when I've had cards as bad as those I had today.  Oh, well - the pendulum does swing.

So much for Monday. 

Taormino, Sicily. 
Check out the elevated highway.  No question that Sicily is mountainous.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Friday, December 14, 2012

We weep

We weep for children.

We weep for parents and town.

We weep for the world.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

PT and music

The therapy supervisor measured my range of motion today (which is pretty good), and gave me several new exercises to increase the active range - stuff with resistance bands. She asked me to gauge where I thought I was in relation to when I started - with 0% being where I started and 100% being where I was before the accident (or where I wanted to be). Hard to judge, but I said I thought I was about 70-75%. With only myself to go by, I think that’s pretty good for not quite two months after the replacement. These new exercises are tough, but I know I need to do them, increase them, and to add weights to the ones I’ve been doing if I want to get that additional 25%.

We went to String Theory tonight at the museum. There were only two pieces, and by composers unfamiliar to us. The first one by Kirchner was not one we liked - just too unmelodic and atonal. The second selection was by Korngold, and although contemporary and unusual, it was one we liked. All in all, this is such a great series and such an asset to our city.
This is probably my favorite back street picture from Codrfu, Greece.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Restaurant Review

You may or may not know that Chattanooga has always been a rail hub. That’s what made it a strategic factor in the Civil War, and it’s still true. What does this have to do with restaurants I hear you ask?

One of the railroad companies has just built a small motel-like facility for the use of rail employees who have to stay in the area overnight or long enough that a motel room would be of benefit. It’s not a public facility, only for the employees. They also built a small eatery, open 24/7. Track’s End is open to the public.

Track’s End is on our way as we headed in to the basketball game (Lady Mocs 72, Jacksonville State 59) this evening, so we decided to give it a try. It’s very small (four 4-seat tables, a counter with stools, and maybe eight booths.

I didn’t read the whole menu carefully - they had country fried steak, and that’s always my choice in places like this. I also got a house salad, greens (kale, I think), and cornbread. John also ordered the country fried steak, with soup, French fries, and cornbread.

The steak was very good - could’ve used more gravy, but that was minor. My salad with blue cheese dressing and greens were excellent. I didn’t like the corn bread - too much like cake. John liked the steak, too. He said his soup was good, but not hot enough, the fries were just adequate, and he agreed about the cornbread.

All in all, though for diner food, it was pretty good, and we’ll probably stop there again as we go to ballgames. Next time, I might order just a salad or soup and have some dessert. They had five different kinds of home-made pie. It looked like one of those places where occasionally you might get your dessert first.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Busy, busy!

A busy day, and a good one.

I went for my next-to-last (so far) scheduled physical therapy treatment. The therapist says I have 100% passive range of motion, and am doing well working on the active part. She’s added 1-2 pound weights to various exercises. And I’ll keep working in the pool, too.

Vicki had a holiday drop-in around noon-time. She’s a wonderful cook, so the food was terrific. It’s always great to see her, and we got to see some of the old crowd from Vicki’s Studio II painting classes. It was very special.

Tuesday has been my usual grocery day, so I decided to go do that when I got home from the party. Not my smartest move! Both Aldi andWalMart were really crowded, with long lines at the check-outs. Oh, well - I’ll take that as an object lesson.

I hope you NCIS fans saw tonight’s program (“Devil‘s Trifecta“). It was SO funny! As much as we love this program, I can’t remember the last time we laughed out loud so many times. If you missed it, watch for the reruns, or pick it up On Demand. And even NCIS-LA was funny. I don’t know what got into them tonight.


To us, the best part of this travel is walking around the back lanes of these towns (Corfu).


Monday, December 10, 2012

"We're No Angels"

We watched one of our favorite old movies last night on TCM. "We're No Angels"  
(1955) stars Humphrey Bogart, Peter Ustinov, and Aldo Ray. Netflix summarizes it:

Humphrey Bogart, Aldo Ray and Peter Ustinov play three escaped inmates who hatch a plan to steal from a shopkeeper on Christmas. But their plans change when they find themselves actually growing to like their target and his family. Besides, the luckless merchant is apparently about to lose his shirt, as his business is unraveling. So, instead of robbing him, the convicts decide to help him, a mission that proves wildly complicated.

If you’ve not seen this delightful movie, give it a try sometime.


Sunday, December 09, 2012

Silent Sunday

Back lane in Corfu, Greece

Saturday, December 08, 2012


What an exciting day today!

  • Slept until 7:30.
  • Ate breakfast, read the paper, did computer stuff, did exercises, took a nap.
  • Ate lunch.
  • Took a nap.
  • Listened to the Lady Mocs totally dominate Alabama, 72-58!
  • Ate supper.
  • Watched a fascinating documentary.
The Rape of Europa is a 2007 documentary based on a book of the same name by Lynn H. Nichols. The envelope from Netflix says “Joan Allen narrates this documentary that chronicles 12 years of the Nazis’ pillaging works of art throughout Europe and the international effort to locate, protect and return millions of valuable treasures. The film traces the story of art lovers and everyday heroes who tried to thwart the looting Nazis and reveals how experts from Europe and the United States are working to recover priceless works of art missing or hidden for decades.”  Definitely worth watching.

Friday, December 07, 2012

A busy Friday

Margaret, Jesse, his lady friend Ashley, her daughter Maddy, and their friends Marcus and Danielle came for dinner and to visit. They came over in the afternoon, came by the house to leave some food Margaret was bringing, and then they headed out to the zoo. I got out a lasagna and bread, Margaret brought corn, salad, stuff, and made banana pudding. Yum!

We’d done some minimal child-proofing of the house. It’s been a long time since there’s been a 2-year-old around here. The really breakable stuff went out of sight. Other stuff just got left out. Maddy was really very good. She wanted to touch some of the things, and we let her (with supervision) - that’s why we left them out.

It was a nice visit. They left about 8:30, but we were exhausted. It was mostly a chance for us to meet Ashley and Maddy, and for them to get together with their friends from VA. It was great that the two couples enjoyed visiting so much. And Maddy, is so cute, and really well behaved.


We’ve made our first travel reservations for 2013. We’ve been looking at Blount Small Ship Advenures catalogs for several years, and the right conditions finally arrived. They were having a 2-for-the-price-of-1 sale (ending today) for several trips, one of which was from New Orleans, through the intracoastal waterway to Mobile, up the Tennessee-Tombigbee waterway to the Tennessee River. The trip then goes down the Tennessee, almost to the Ohio River, then back up the Cumberland River to Nashville. We’ve been on part of this trip on other ships, but it’s a lovely area. Click here  to see the web page for this trip.


This is the old and the older, Corfu, Greece.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Thursday miscellany

After the PT session this morning, I got in some walking. Well, it was walking the aisles in Costco. But that can be a lot. Of course, we did also get our gourmet lunch of the Polish hot dogs and a drink.


We’ll be hosting Margaret, Jesse, his lady friend Ashley, her daughter Maddy, and some of their friends for dinner Friday night. We haven’t had a 2-year-old in the house for quite some time, so we’ll have to do some putting-up-stuff tomorrow. Margaret’s going to bring part of the dinner, and I’ll get getting a lasagna out of the freezer. That does make a good easy meal.


The freezer is emptying out. Probably after the first of the year, with more mobility in this shoulder, I’m going to have to be doing some cooking. We’re out of everything I usually stock in the freezer - no more meat loaf, no lasagna, no chili, and only a couple of bags of split pea soup. Time to get busy. 


The lower fort from the upper fort, Corfu, Greece.


Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Quiet week

It’s been so quiet around here, I haven’t had anything to write about.

About all that’s on the schedule this week is swimming classes on MWF, and PT sessions on Tues/Thurs. We may go to CostCo tomorrow for our monthly trip.

Friday will be special when we get to see Margaret, Jesse, and his friends. More about that when we get some details.
Lighthouse, upper fort, Corfu


Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Just another Tuesday

From an exciting Monday, we backed off to the routine.  I went to PT, Aldi, and WalMart.  Wow - the excitement of it all.

Not routine, was that John got to row again today.  That's very unusual - for him to get in some lovely rowing days in December.  That made it even more special.
Another photo from our trip last spring - the harbor at Corfu, Greece.

Monday, December 03, 2012

What a day!

What an amazing Monday!

We knew today was the day that Alison was to defend her PhD thesis, but it went on from there. Unfortunately we weren’t able to be there in person, but we were part of the invisible crowd in the room supporting her.

The day started with my going to swimming. I got back in the deep end with the class for the first time since the replacement. It surely did feel good!

This strange warm December weather gave John another great row today. It might be the last one of the season, but he said it was fantastic.

He was going to contact somebody today to see about getting the leaves blown off the roof and the gutters. A yard guy was doing our neighbor’s yard. John asked him what he’d charge to do our roof. John gave him the $30 he asked for, and the job was done immediately. They even cleaned off the leaves that fell on the sidewalk. And that was just this morning.

We went to bridge and had terrific cards. We started off playing together, and had two 700 rubbers in the first round. John probably had over 7000 points for the afternoon, and will surely come in first.

What a day!

May I present

Dr. Alison Cawood

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Nothing going on

The Lady Vols had an easy time with UNC this afternoon.  And that was about the extent of the excitement today.

Hope y'all had a great first weekend in December!

Saturday, December 01, 2012

Basketball and leaves

Basketball and leaves - it must be late fall.

The Lady Mocs pretty much demolished the Furman Lady Paladins tonight, 83-40. I do hope the little boy who was sitting behind me was indeed suffering from allergies, as his grandfather said several times. He certainly did have a nasty-sounding cough. And I was not happy to be in the “line of fire”.

This was John’s third game in four days, and he and Margaret will be going to see the Lady Vols tomorrow.
Our wonderful oak trees are in that time of year when we hate them. It’s amazing how many leaves and nuts they produce. John’s been working at them pretty steadily the last few days. He’s been running the lawnmower which bags the mulch. Once he gets through with the front yard, we’ll call the city to schedule a pickup. He’s going to find someone to clean the roof and gutters. Yea!

I can never resist greenery and flowers on an old wall.  In Corfu, Greece.


Thursday, November 29, 2012

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Wednesday haiku

Swimming in morning,
Coffee with the greatest group,
Followed by haircuts.

Sometimes when you're cruising, you get to see the ship and the water.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A bit of independence

The therapist today said that I’m doing very well with the range of motion, and now it’s time to start working more on strengthening the arm and shoulder. It’ll be interesting to see what tortures they come up with on Thursday.

This was my first solo outing today, and everything worked out well. I didn’t do much, but did get to PT, Aldi, and WalMart. It is nice to be accomplish these little things. I know I’ll soon be back to hating the grocery store runs, but in the meantime, I’ll just enjoy the independence.
I love the abstract patterns found in geology.


Monday, November 26, 2012

Comfortable routines

It was another lovely fall day here today. It surely did feel good to get in the pool, even if not to do the regular class stuff. It'll be a while before I'm ready for that, but any exercise helps.

The afternoon at bridge made for a long day, but at least I did get some good cards. I doubt that I was near the high scorer, but I did get some good cards.

I have two PT sessions scheduled this week (tomorrow and Thursday), so we'll see how the therapist thinks I'm doing. And I’m going to do a regular grocery run after PT. That ought to probably wipe me out for the day.==============================
Mountains along the Gulf of Kotor


Sunday, November 25, 2012

The day after

Margaret left early this morning, and Jean left about noon. As far as we know, the only thing that got left was Jean’s iPad. I’ll be sending that to her tomorrow.

What a great weekend we had - capped off by the dinner get-together Saturday afternoon with family and friends. I know I said this yesterday, but we are so thankful to have this warm, wonderful circle surrounding us.

The rest of today was for laundry and resting up.

Things are going to get sort of back to the routine tomorrow. I’m going to start back to the pool - still not the class, but walking in the water and stretching my arm. We’re going to get back to our Monday afternoon bridge playing, too.

Thanks to Margaret for taking some photos of our feast.


Saturday, November 24, 2012

A wonderful day!

We've had a wonderful day with our great daughters and friends. Just good all around. Everybody's gone except Margaret, Jean, John and me. The food was exceptionally good. The leftovers are put away and most of the dishes washed. Football's on the TV and John got a nap in his chair.

I guess all's right with the world at our house.

Gulf of Kotor


Friday, November 23, 2012

Friday Photo

Along the Gulf of Kotor

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Preparation Day

Jean's been helping me do cooking stuff today. She did the cranberry relish while I assembled the squash casserole . Only sweet potatoes, cut up fruit and veggies, and dressing left to do. We'll do that tomorrow.

Jean went to K-Mart this morning, but just to get a couple of planned things - no “shopping” involved. John rowed, and the two of them took Leroy to the dog park for a walk.

I must’ve done my exercises well today, ‘cause I surely am achy tonight. I’ll be more careful tomorrow. And that was pretty much it for the day.

I hope everybody’s had a good Thanksgiving Day. And happy shopping to those of you who are into that sort of thing.
Second man-made island in the Gulf of Kotor.


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Medical reports

I saw the doc this morning. The x-rays are looking okay, and he says I’m doing well. I have clearance to drive and three more weeks of PT prescribed. At the PT appointment this afternoon, she increased the weights I’m to use and other strengthening exercises, and not as much of the stretching stuff.

Jean texted that she was leaving about 1, so we expected her about 4-4:30. Later she texted that traffic was awful and she’d be much later. On the 5 p.m. news it was reported that there had been a 10-car pile-up just west of Chattanooga on I-24. She finally got here about 6 or so - a normally 2 ½ hour trip took her 5 hours. She was whipped. So instead of going out somewhere to eat, John went out for Chinese.

It’s nice to have her here, and to meet Leroy - our new granddog. Plus we’ll be doing some stuff around here, including doing some of the Thanksgiving preparation. Thanksgiving dinner around here isn’t until Saturday, so we still have a couple of days to cook.

Island chapel, Gulf of Kotor

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Getting ready

Margaret called last night to tell me about all that she had already done for our dinner on Saturday and what all she was bringing. Jean will be here to help, too. We love all the stuff that goes with a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, so I like to have it. But I think we'll be only 8 people, and that's really a lot of food for such a small number. Oh, well. If nothing else, the family, food, and friendship will be fabulous.

John took me to WalMart and Aldi this morning. None of the riding carts were fully charged, so I walked. That certainly got in my walking exercise for the day. And I've done my two sessions of PT here at home. I see the surgeon tomorrow morning, and then have another formal PT session in the afternoon. I think I have one or two more treatments prescribed, and we'll see what, if any, the doc adds to that. I hope I get more treatments. They've told me my range of motion has gotten pretty good, and now I need to work on gaining more strength.

Flo Jean’s at home now and working on her physical therapy, too.


Chapels on man-made islands in the Gulf of Kotor.


Monday, November 19, 2012

Sunday, November 18, 2012


The shoulder was pretty achy all day today. No weather changes in the offing, so I don’t know what was going on. I only did one set of exercises, though, plus the usual stuff involved with Sunday breakfast and laundry. Another PT session tomorrow, though, so I’ll get back on track.

John did fix one of his gourmet meals tonight. One of the promotions at the Lady Mocs games is from Sonic. If the Lady Mocs scores at least 65 points, everybody in a designated section gets a coupon from Sonic. Last night, they had 81 points, and our section was the winner. So John went to Sonic and got us our BOGO foot-long coney dogs. Not the best of his special meals, but certainly good enough.
Be sure to watch the Ken Burns documentary on the Dust Bowl tonight and tomorrow.  He collaborated with Timothy Egan on this one.  He's the author of The Worst Hard Times.
Flo Jean went home from the hospital last night. They sent her home with one of the passive exercise machines and visits from home health care, so she’ll still be working hard.


Cruising in the Gulf of Kotor.


Saturday, November 17, 2012

It's basketball time

UTC 81, ETSU 48. The Lady Mocs looked pretty good tonight. 
John’s going to push me to do some walking - trying to help me build up some stamina. We walked out to the mailbox and up the hill to the next driveway. And we walked one loop around the concourse at the arena tonight. Guess that’ll be increasing over the next few weeks. 

Cruising in the Gulf of Kotor.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Ordinary Friday

Nothing unusual around here. I went to PT, and did a session at home. That about did it for the day. We had picked a rotisserie chicken at WM on Tuesday, and ate some of it that night. I put it in some bottled alfredo sauce with mushrooms for chicken alfredo tonight. John says I'm improving enough that I can start getting back to spoiling HIM - "like it's supposed to be".  

This year is the earliest Thanksgiving can be - the fourth Thursday in November is the 22nd. If it still was like it was originally, it'd be the following (5th or last) Thursday, which just happens to be John's birthday. He was born on a Thannksgiving Day, but it was changed a year or so after that. The reason was to lengthen the Christmas shopping season, which (in those olden days) didn't start until after Thanksgiving. So his birthday has never been on Thanksgiving since. (little known and totally useless information).

Basketball note: The Lady Mocs play tomorrow night, so that'll be my big outing for the weekend. And in a holiday tournament in Hawaii, Stanford knocked off last year’s national champion, Baylor.

I haven't posted a photograph in a while.  Here's a fortress at the entrance to the Gulf of Kotor, on the border between Croatia and Montenegro.


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Physical therapy update

I went to my 6th PT treatment this morning. They do push (literally as well as figuratively). Necessary, though.

Of interest, I mentioned that friend was having a total knee replacement this morning, and I wasn't envying her the therapy. The therapist said "oh, that's not nearly as hard as the shoulder therapy you're having". I never would've thought that. Go figure.

The therapist keeps adding more things to do. The tasks are really hard at first, but do tend to get easier. And, she says that my range of motion is increasing satisfactorily - that was good to hear.

Flo Jean did very well with her surgery.  I talked with her tonight.  She'll be running the hospital before she leaves - possibly on Saturday.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Easing back into the routine

Tough morning today, getting back into the routine. Poor John had to do chauffeur duty until 11. I had my regular rheumatologist appointment - just a check and lab work visit.

Then my first post-surgery grocery run. He took me to Aldi, and then to WalMart. Not too long at either one, but combined, I was really whipped when he got me home. And I used one of the electric carts at WM. John got all the groceries in the house and helped me put them up, then he went to the Y to exercise and relax. We both had killer naps this afternoon.

After yesterday's cold rain, today has been glorious - cool and breezy, but gorgeous bright sunshine. I hope, wherever you are, you’ve had a lovely fall day, too.

Hold good thoughts tomorrow for our Flo Jean, who is having knee replacement surgery.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Cold and rainy

It was cold and rainy all day today.  The big excitement was the cleaning lady coming, and two sessions of exercises.

Maybe tomorrow will be a little bit more first postop trip to WalMart.  Wow!

Sunday, November 11, 2012


One of the good things about writing a blog is getting comments. I love the comments from long-time readers, who become friends. And I love getting them from new people - learning about people who read what I write.

This happened the other day when there was a comment from Yorkshire Pudding.   
How could I pass up a name like that? So I went directly to his blog. The post for that day was a poem he had written on Gluttony.  That was certainly enough to catch and hold my attention. He has a whole series of poems on the Seven Deadly Sins, and I’d suggest you check them out. He’s also a terrific photographer and documentarian of Yorkshire, England.
On the blog listing on Yorkshire Pudding’s page, I saw a link to Rhymes with Plague with an address in Georgia. I couldn’t pass that up - a link on a blog in Yorkshire, England, to a blog in our neighbor state. So now I’ve started reading a blog from a fellow who’s about half-way between here and Atlanta. What fun!

Check them out.

Saturday, November 10, 2012


We honor our servicemen and women, past and present, - not just on this special day, but every day.


And our very own, Jesse!

Friday, November 09, 2012

OH! MY!! GOD!!!



OH!  MY!  GOD!!!

Thursday, November 08, 2012


It’s been all about choice.

Tuesday, the American voters made their choice to give Barack Obama another four years to try to bring us out of the Bush-era recession, to convince members of Congress that “compromise” is not a dirty word, and to get the disparate views in this country to work toward a common good.

A lot of the issues focused on choice: whom you can love; whom you can marry; who controls your health care; how much do you want your government to do for you; the list goes on.

And last, but not least, the Republicans have to figure out whether they went too far to the reactionary right or not far enough. And depending on that answer, they have to choose whether to move back toward the central position of most US citizens, or to move even farther to the rigid, reactionary right.

Thomas Friedman said it well in his column today
Hope and Change, Part 2This is the closing paragraph:

The votes have been counted. President Obama now needs to get to work to justify the second chance the country has given him, and the Republicans need to get to work understanding why that happened.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

And now we can take a deep breath!

At last this interminable election season is over.  And we can take a few deep breaths of relief that Barack Obama will be President for a second term!

And have you seen the great news about the Senate races - Claire McCaskill in Missouri and Elizabeth Warren in Massachusetts were elected!

Election day - but we voted two weeks ago.

Not a good night - or morning. I was due for a pain pill about 1-2 a.m., with the next one to be at 7 (just before PT). I woke up about 3, unable to get comfortable, and wondering why I hurt so much. I moved to the chair, but was afraid to take another pain pill. I did sleep until about 6, and then took the med at 7. The overnight cold and rain probably didn’t help, either.

I told the therapist and said maybe I just thought I took it, but didn’t. She suggested that maybe I had dreamed it. In any case, I now know I need to be more careful with meds in the middle of the night. Guess I’ll have to be sure I’m awake and write down the time I take it, or else lay out the medicine so I‘ll know. The therapy session was no picnic, either. She made me cry once, but it was better after that. A couple of the stretches I did very well with (I think).

A haircut and shampoo after the session made life a little better. To say nothing of a nice nap and some quality chair time.

We might even watch a few election returns. There will be no local surprises, unfortunately, but I do have hopes nationally.

Monday, November 05, 2012

Ken's visit

It’s been a busy several days. My cousin (Betsy‘s son), Ken, came up from Texas for a visit this past weekend. It’s been great, getting to spend the chaotic family time and one-on-one time with him.

We went to Margaret's on Saturday. There were hordes of family and friends for Ken to meet, with lots of food and football. Tennessee ( awful game) and Texas (Ken's team) won. We spent the night at a local motel. I finally pooped out, but it was worth it.

We had Sunday breakfast at Margaret's, and then took the scenic route home (only had to make two U-turns to stay on track), but it was a lovely drive, with some great fall color. We stopped at home to let me off and John took Ken on a tour of some of the Civil War sites around town and to some of the scenic view areas.

We got more talking in this morning before we took him to the airport at noon. Now we’re all primed for him to join us at the beach next summer.

Physical therapy starts up again in the morning. I think all the niceness is going to be over by now. Oh, dear…..

Friday, November 02, 2012

First peek

Ken's flights got delayed, so he was later getting here than we had hoped (way too long in the DFW airport). But he's here, and we're enjoying getting caught up. We'll be off to Margaret's tomorrow.

I had my first return visit to the surgeon this morning. The staples were taken out, so that feels better. It's looking good, too. The doctor did get me back the hardware that was taken out at this surgery. I'm going to do something with it, just haven't figured out what.

Check it out - this is what my partial shoulder replacement looks like.


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Day 1

The first PT session went well, I guess.  The therapist was very gentle, didn't hurt me, and got lots more movement than I thought was possible at this point.  #2 is at 8 a.m. tomorrow.
Sandy's devastation came to light this morning.  What a terrible thing.  Our friends in Delaware were okay.  Harriet had water in her lower level again, but seems to have had power.  She didn't lose as much as she did with Irene (didn't have as much left to lose), but her daughter and friends did.  I'm just glad she's okay.
These photos have been all over the news, but I love the comment that was put on one of them that I saw on FB.  The caption read:

"Speaker Boehner and Senator McConnell, take note!"  Amen!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

And it starts....

Think good thoughts - the first physical therapy treatment is at 8 a.m. tomorrow.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Getting back on track

Thanks so much for all the good wishes. It really does help to know there are folks out there who care. The swimmers have been keeping us well fed and laughing. And some lovely flower arrangements brighten the living room.

A card from one of the swimmers shows three white-haired broads in bathing suits at the beach. One says “Okay, it’s my turn to make the HOT lifeguard drag me out of the water and give ME mouth-to-mouth.” Inside it says “Friends like us always make WAVES!” And don’t we just love it that way.

I’ve set up my first postop appointment with the surgeon on Friday morning, and the first physical therapy session is early Wednesday morning.

Mostly I don’t know what I’d’ve done without John. He’s been great. A Word A Day posted this Thought for the Day right before the surgery. This about says it all:

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY: You know what getting married is? It's agreeing to taking this person who right now is at the top of his form, full of hopes and ideas, feeling good, looking good, wildly interested in you because you're the same way, and sticking by him while he slowly disintegrates. And he does the same for you. You're his responsibility now and he's yours. If no one else will take care of him, you will. If everyone else rejects you, he won't. What do you think love is? Going to bed all the time? -Jane Smiley, novelist (b.1949)


I especially want to send good thoughts and hopes for safety through this storm to all in harm’s way - especially Harriet and Dennis & Lisa.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Home,sweet home!

Today has gone pretty well.  I slept good last night, plus off and on today.  John helped me do some exercises, without much pain.  The hardest thing for me to do seems to be relaxing my shoulder, so the arm can move easily.  That'll come, I guess.

The swimmers have been bringing wonderful food.  Don't know what we'd do without them.  And the great good vibes from you all out in cyberspace.  

Love to you all!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Home for R, R, and R.

Yesterday's surgery went well.  The doctor came in this afternoon, and let me come home  to rest and recover.  Which I'm sure I'll do more comfortably.  I'll call Monday to set up my physical therapy schedule for rehabilitation.  

And so it goes....

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

S minus One

I went to swimming, coffee, painting class, and to get a haircut today. I've done a couple of loads of laundry so that's caught up for John. I got the checkbook stuff done, too, and my bag’s packed. Just the last minute stuff.

The hospital called this evening and asked if I could be there at 5:45, in case the doctor wanted to start a bit early. So it'll be even an earlier start. I’m taking my cell phone and my iPad with me, but I don't know how much I'll be able to do. I know there is wifi at the hospital, so we‘ll see. Right now, I'm just ready to get it over with!


This picture was taken at painting class today. I’m second from the left, and Sandra Washburn (teacher) is fourth from the right.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

S-Day minus 2

Good day today. I got to the grocery stores early, and then went for a last massage before the surgery. 

It's almost time for basketball to start.  John and I have given some extra money each year to support the team - to help with a few of the extras.  This group of supporters was invited to watch a practice this afternoon. It was really fun to see how the coaches work with the girls, and how they're learning. We also got a tour of their newly remodeled locker room. 

After the practice, we went to our favorite Mexican place for dinner.  We don't even need the menu any more - we always order the same thing.  The restaurant is next door to a carneceria, so we walked through the store after dinner. We got some butcher-made chorizo, so John can have chorizo and eggs (one of his favorites).

Not quite as busy tomorrow - just swimming, painting, and packing.

The Boldt Castle on its island.