Saturday, March 31, 2012

Mild-mannered, but.....

This morning, kwizgiver posted a “Saturday 9” meme on her blog. I opted not to use it, but when she described herself saying,

" I’m mild-mannered with a side of snark"

I had to sit up and pay attention. That describes ME!!! (Well, John did say it should be amended to a “jumbo side of snark”. Too good!
Have you seen Les Miserables? I’ve been lucky enough to see it twice and it is fabulous. A concert version was performed to celebrate its 25th year, and it’s out on DVD. I got it from Netflix, and finished watching it today. What incredible music! I’ll be singing for days.
Congratulations to UK and KU - heading to the NCAA Championship game.

Friday, March 30, 2012


I worked at the Library Book Store this morning. I made a couple of sales and, to my amazement, I didn't screw up the cash register. And I came out with the right amount of money. I probably shouldn't pat myself on the back too much - I'm working again next Friday.
Chattanooga Public Library (downtown branch)

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Under construction

This is one of the two pieces I started last week at painting. No telling what it will look like when it's finished. I'll show stages from time to time as it changes.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


www.Wednesday from Kwizgiver

• What are you currently reading?
Drift (Rachel Maddow)

• What did you recently finish reading?
Game Change (John Heillmann and Mark Halperin); Destiny of the Republic (Candice Millard); A Cold Dish (a Walt Longmire mystery by Craig Johnson)

• What do you think you’ll read next?
Hell is Empty (a Walt Longmire mystery by Craig Johnson)
Be careful which shirts you put on in the morning.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Last Tuesday in March

Nothing going on around here - except basketball. Congratulations to the teams who will play in the Women’s Final Four: Baylor, Connecticut, Notre Dame, and Stanford - and best of luck to all. The seeding committee obviously did a good job this year - the Elite Eight games were all #1s versus #2s. All the #1 teams won in lopsided games.

I walked 15+ minutes on the treadmill this morning, and then went for a pedicure. Tried a new place this time, and the guy was really good. And the massage chair was one of the best I've ever sat in. They ought to just rent out those chairs. :2funny:

John was a happy camper this morning - he got on the river for the first time this season. That always means a good day for him. I hope he gets to go again in the morning.
Typical traffic in Saigon.

Monday, March 26, 2012

End of a season

It’s a sad day in Big Orange Country - the Lady Vols lost to Baylor in the Elite Eight round of the basketball tournament. With the legendary Pat Summitt suffering from early onset dementia, it’s entirely possible that this was her last game. Time will tell on that one. But, for sure, this is the end of the season for the 2011-12 Lady Vols. Good luck to the other teams that will be in the Final Four next weekend.

Sunday, March 25, 2012


Click here for a must-read op-ed piece (By turning our soldiers into heroes, we mask their true sacrifice ) by psychologist Dr. Gordon Livingston in the Baltimore Sun. Check it out.
A foggy March morning.

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Saturday, March 24, 2012

Springtime at the Smiths'

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Friday Fill-Ins

1. Spring is early this year.

2. I hate strong fragrances.

3. I forgot the name of our favorite character in The West Wing (played by Alison Janney).

4. The ceviche at our local Mexican restaurant is delicious!

5. Heads, shoulders, knees and back all hurt at one time or another.

6. Knitting is my favorite form of exercise when it's warm enough out not to wear a coat!

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to basketball, tomorrow my plans include basketball and Sunday, I want to watch more basketball!

From Friday Fill-ins via Kwizgiver,

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Comments from a physician

I’m appalled by the onslaught on women and women’s health issues by the Republicans in this election season.
My friend, Essie, is a physician who retired because she contacted systemic lupus. She is now an incredible knitter (designing and selling) and writes EssieWB: Knitting my way through . Her comments today and her letter to one of Tennessee’s senators are well worth reading.


Another power pole snarl in Saigon.

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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The laptop came home today.

Fairly busy for me today, with swimming, painting, and massage. The painting was good. This is my 4th or 5th session with Sandy. It’s a challenge for her to continue to come up with new ideas for those of us who take her class multiple times. But she loves teaching, and it really shows. There’s one total newby in the class, so she’s going to have a good time, too (I hope). And the massage is always good.

I got my laptop back a little while ago, and I‘m a happy camper. Staples did the free tune-up, and I signed up for the Carbonite back-service. It’s downloading now, and will do a continuous back-up per my instructions. At least I won’t lose any photographs if (when?) this laptop crashes.
Typical power pole at a residential intersection in Saigon.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Laptop checkup

I got lots done this morning. I walked 15 minutes on the treadmill at the Y; took clothes to the Community Kitchen; got my service tweaked at Verizon; and took the laptop to Staples to get the microphone turned on (which I couldn't figure out by myself). They're having a free tune-up service now, so I left it overnight (withdrawal!!). I'm on John's desktop this evening - trying to find where I've hidden things.

We had signed up for a downtown history tour with the History Center tonight. It was fun - and it was hot (mid80s), but there was a nice breeze. We ate dinner afterwards at a Genghis Grill - a first time for us. You get a bowl and pick what meats, veggies, and sauce you want, then they cook it for you on a huge grill. It's brought to your table in another bowl, served on the rice or noodles you've chosen. It's really quite good and a nice amount.

The next 6-week session of painting starts tomorrow, and then I have a massage. I do hope I get my laptop back tomorrow, and can pick it up on the way home.

Did you see the list of 10 worst allergy cities in the US? Knoxville, TN, was first, followed by McAllen, TX in #2. Chattanooga was 6th or 7th. The nasty yellow stuff is starting to coat our cars.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Tough Mondays

Mondays are just long. I keep thinking I should spread this stuff out to other days, but I really hate to give up the time elsewhere. I’ve got a pretty busy day tomorrow morning, too - at least in the morning.

At least the cards were somewhat better today.

Dare I complain about the weather, too? In the 80s again today, and they’re already predicting a record-breaking 87(!) for tomorrow. C’mon folks, it’s just March!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Mostly Silent Sunday

Mostly I neither watch nor listen to TV commercials. I happened to see this one - muted - and really laughed. Click here to watch it.
Ultramodern buildings in Saigon.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

It's March!

The first day of a March weekend. That means basketball!

We went to a string quintet program at our branch library this morning. It's an outreach program from the Symphony, and directly mainly at children. The players do a great job, and the grown-ups have almost as much fun as the children.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Happy Birthday to me!

In response to the old white males who are making unconscionable, unwarranted, unbelievable decisions about women’s health, some female legislators are using irony, ridicule, and a sense of humor to fight back.Click here.
I’ve always been a process person. And I’ve always loved politics and elections and reading election results. So I’m in hog heaven reading Game Change, the book by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin. It’s about the party primaries and campaign leading up to the 2008 election. I’m loving this! There’s an HBO program based on the book. We don’t get HBO, but I already have it reserved on Netflix. And there was a panel discussion on BookTV.
John found a birthday present to top his Valentine present.


We had one of those weird weather days today. The high was 86 - not only a record for the day, but the highest temperature recorded this early in the season. I surely am glad there’s nothing to this climate change thing.

Then during the afternoon and late evening, two lines of thunder showers blew through - not a lot of rain, but some wind, lightening, thunder, and cooler temps.

Spring is always exciting.
I guess I have to mention one more birthday - mine.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Happy Birthday, Sarah

(She's really 23 today)

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3-2-1 Cake

1 (16 ounce) box angel food cake mix
1 (18 ounce) box cake mix (any flavor)

To make an individual cake:
3 tablespoons of the cake mix
2 tablespoons water


1. Mix Angel Food cake mix and your choice flavor cake mix (I used devils' food).

2. Put both in zip lock bag and mix well.

3. When ready for your quick cake snack attack, take 3 tablespoons cake mix.

4. Put in microwavable small ramekin or bowl.

5. Mix in 2 tablespoons water; mix well.

6. Microwave on high, 1 minute.

7. Cool and top with whipped cream or icing of your choice or just eat it plain.

8. Just enough for that quick fix, snack attack!

9. Prep time includes opening and mixing the cake mixes in zip lock bag and measuring out mix and water and mixing together.

10. ENJOY!

This is the old post office building in Saigon.
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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Happy Birthday, Alison!

Happy Birthday, Alison!
(on the left)

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Blog Break

I'm going to take a break for a couple of days. Y'all hold the fort, and I'll see you later.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Sounds like anybody you know?

Poem of the Year (I don’t know the author)

The computer swallowed grandma.
Yes, honestly it's true!
She pressed 'control and 'enter'
And disappeared from view.

It devoured her completely,
The thought just makes me squirm.
She must have caught a virus or been eaten by a worm.

I've searched through the recycle bin
And files of every kind;
I've even used the Internet,
But nothing did I find.

In desperation, I asked Jeeves
My searches to refine.
The reply from him was negative,
Not a thing was found 'online.'

So, if inside your 'Inbox,'
My Grandma you should see,
Please 'Copy, Scan' and 'Paste' her
And send her back to me.
Independence Palace, Saigon

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Saturday, March 10, 2012

Spring Forward

Today was a lovely spring day. If you forgot to "spring forward" tonight, you'll be an hour late.  It does take a while to for our bodies to adjust, but I really do like having the light later in the afternoon.

In the interior of the erstwhile American Embassy in Saigon.

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Friday, March 09, 2012

Friday Fotos (History Department)

The first photo is a new photo of the last people leaving the US Embassy in Saigon in 1975. 

This photo is our picture of the same building taken in 2011.
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Thursday, March 08, 2012


This is today's version of a "start" that I did a few months ago.  No telling where it will wind up.  Just thought I'd take some photos along the way to let you see the process.

Also, the "Picasa: Blog This!" which I've been using to post photos has suddenly started doing something different.  So I'm trying to see how it work.

Experimental stuff all around.
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Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Massage Day

Nothing too exciting today - but I did get my delayed massage. She really worked over the area of my back that has been bothering me. And I think it really helped this time - at least for a while.

This surely has been a quiet week. Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 06, 2012


Today was a totally veggie day! I've been hurting, and just had a chair day. I slept late, and then took a long nap. Better this evening.

We didn't vote today (Super Tuesday) because we voted early.
Saigon public park (unknown woman)

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Monday, March 05, 2012

'Nuf said

Click here if you can’t read this picture.

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Sunday Stealing

Sunday Stealing: The Eve Was Framed Meme provided another meme for the weekend.

Cheers to all of us thieves!
1. Why is your favorite color your favorite?
Usually it’s blue or green, for no particular reason.

2. Do you prefer dogs or cats or do you just hate animals, and want to kill baby seals?
I like both cats and dogs, but don’t have pets any more.

3. How much time do you spend on the computer?
A lot.

4. Not including porn, what do you do on the computer?
E-mail, read discussion boards, play games, write a blog, manage photographs.

5. Are you a clock watcher?
Nope - haven’t worn a watch in years.

6. What do you/did you look for in a partner?
Similarity of interests, sense of humor

7. What type of clothing do you prefer?
Soft clothes - definitely casual.

8. What is your favorite type of music?
Orchestral, symphonic, classical and baroque, soft jazz, blues

9. Do you believe in the paranormal, Ghosts, ESP, levitation, spoon bending?
I believe there are things we don’t know or understand - that just haven‘t discovered yet. I don’t trust folks who do stuff like that for money.

10. The most important question: Do you have a inie or outie belly button?
Mighty personal question, but it’s an “inny”.

11. What kind of car do you drive?
An old lady car - Nissan Altima

12. Girls Just Wanna Have Fun or The Boys Are Back in Town?

13. Camping or the Ritz?
The Ritz (assuming that’s a luxury hotel)

14. What food are you craving RIGHT NOW . . . did you eat it?
No cravings at the moment. I’m always up for ice cream, but don’t keep it around any more.

15. The most thrilling place you've ever visited. Why?
At least the most unusual was Antarctica - just because it’s a place very few people get to see.

16. If you could slip into the skin of one public figure--celebrity, artist,--who would it be?
I think I’d like to be inside Georgia O’Keeffe to see what she saw. Or maybe Jimmy Buffett, just for the fun of it.

17. Look up from your computer. What do you see first?
The TV.

18. Sum up your philosophy of life in one sentence. You can borrow it from someone else, if you'd like.
“I just want to live happily ever after, every now and then.” Jimmy Buffett (Jimmy Buffett may just be my favorite philosopher)

19. Name the one thing you just don't understand about kids today.
They don’t seem to spend time in face-to-face communication with others - just on their phones.

20. If you could steal one work of art from a museum or gallery, which would it be?
Only ONE?????

It's March

It’s March, and time for the madness!
The Lady Vols beat South Carolina, and will play LSU tomorrow.
The Lady Mocs beat Furman, and will play App State tomorrow
The storms took the headlines yesterday, but there was other news.

Jesse signed his reenlistment papers. His next duty will be on shore in Norfolk. We’ve very proud of our Navy guy!
Jesse with his proud parents and enlistment officers.

Friday, March 02, 2012


We are still having some rain and isolated thunder, but there are no more warnings in Tennessee at this time (11:30 p.m.). There are still some in the counties in north Georgia (along the TN and NC state lines) where warnings are in effect. There are no reported fatalities in our area, but a number of injuries and lots of property damage. It'll take tomorrow's daylight to get a more accurate assessment. Thanks for your concern.

A day of storms

I'm posting early tonight. Today has been nothing but storm and tornado warnings. There have been three lines of very strong storms marching through our area today. As I write this, we're between #2 and #3 - and the third one is predicted to be the worst. The first line came very near our house, but didn't spawn tornadoes until it had passed us. I was ready to head to the basement, but then it was gone. There was a lot of damage east of us. Then the sun came out and it was clear for a while.

Then the second line came through. It was wider, with more cells. Again, we were fortunate and they went either north or south of us.

And now, we watching the SEC women's basketball tournament (the Lady Vols beat Vanderbilt this afternoon), and waiting for the third line. As I write this, it's nearly 8:30 p.m. ET, and the storms should be over by midnight. We haven't lost power yet, but I thought I wouldn't push my luck and am posting this now.

We can only hope this line fizzles out as the temperatures cool down, but......
Hold those good thoughts that all in its path come through with minimal damage.
This is a common sight at any traffic light in Saigon.

Thursday, March 01, 2012


I simply cannot comprehend how the current elected Republicans and Republican candidates can spend all their time, effort, and money trying to destroy all the progress that women have made over the last 50 year in controlling their own bodies and health issues. It’s even harder to fathom why any woman would stand still for this stuff.

Did you happen to hear what R*** L*mb**gh said on his program on Thursday? This is an article about it.

Absolutely outrageous! Women of all political persuasions should be protesting.

One more time

I seem to be having trouble getting this photo up the way I want it. Sighhhhhh.