Thursday, May 24, 2012

Our bags are packed...

The bags are packed.
We’re ready to go…..

Gee, that sounds good - maybe we could turn it into song lyrics.

Anyhow, we’re off, complete with cameras, sketch book, and journal. Our great neighbors are alerted that we’re going to be gone, so they’re watching out for the house.

I think I’ll be able to get a minimum amount of computer time on the ship, so I’ll try to check in once or twice. In the meantime, y’all save my place, and I’ll be back in a couple of weeks.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

T minus 2

Nothing exciting going on around here. Swimming, coffee, and haircuts. The guy came to pick up the chairs and fabric, so that's underway. The scheduled massage was great.

I got a rotisserie chicken yesterday at WalMart and that was dinner for last night. It was again tonight, and then probably quesadillas with the chicken for tomorrow night. Then no more cooking for two weeks!

Serious packing will be tomorrow.
Photogenic sculpture at Kentuck Knob.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


I haven't started the actual packing yet - probably won't do that until Thursday. But the mind is churning, and I'm making mental (and actual) lists. We'll head for the shuttle to Atlanta about 8:30 Friday morning. We're having our la-z-boy chairs reupholstered while we're gone. The guy is going to come pick them up tomorrow. I got a pedicure this morning, and have a massage scheduled for tomorrow. We'll be getting haircuts either tomorrow or Thursday - a lot packed into a few days. And I am SO ready to get out of town!
Kentuck Knob, PA

Monday, May 21, 2012

The Great Santini

We watched The Great Santini (1979) tonight. Do you remember that book/movie? The book was written by Pat Conroy - the first of his autobiographical novels to become a bestseller. Great book and great movie - with fabulous performances by Robert Duvall and Blythe Danner. It’s definitely one to put on your watch list.
We got run out of the pool this morning with thunder and lightning - just meant we got to coffee earlier.

And then we went to bridge. I’ve had some bad cards lately, but today was a new low. It didn’t make for a terrific afternoon. Oh, well - the cards always change. Sometimes it just takes a while.
Pennsylvania countryside.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Rain on Sunday

We actually got some rain this afternoon. What a treat! And it dropped the temperature about 10 degrees in minutes.

I did one of those necessary things that I really hate doing - trying on clothes. It’s time to make some decisions as to what to take. John’ll bring up the bags tomorrow, and I’ll start weeding things down to what will fit. Packing is definitely the hardest part.
SW Pennsylvania countryside

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Wortless on Saturday

I’ve been just about worthless today. I woke up before 7 (which I try to avoid on a non-swimming day), and woke up “creaky”. Well, that’s my excuse anyway.

About all I accomplished was to rework last night’s leftovers for supper tonight. We do enjoy leftovers - especially when the “first-overs” were good. And last night’s dinner was a new recipe, and definitely a winner. It was a recipe out of the paper - a super easy shrimp scampi, cooked in the oven, and even Weight Watcher approved. Yum!
A restful garden at Kentuck Knob.

Time to go to bed

It's late - I'm drawing a blank tonight.

So I'm just going to go to bed. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Two for Thursday

Today was a treadmill day. I finally got up to 25 minutes and one mile. Now to see if I can continue that for a while.

I got the wedding present I'd been looking for - purchased and mailed.

Two things accomplished today - not bad.
Definitely a Frank Lloyd Wright house. Kentuck Knob

A Wednesday Haiku

Missy needed help
With the final packing of
Mom’s household items.

Missy is one of our swimmers. I said her “Mom”, but it was actually her mother-in-law, but that didn’t fit the syllable requirement - a little poetic license. 8^)

Missy’s MIL had moved into a retirement facility, and there were just the last odds and ends of stuff left in her house. Several of us were able to spend some time with her this morning, getting them sorted into the “keep, give away, and throw away” piles. With the extra hands and Missy to direct traffic, we got a huge amount done.

I’m glad we got to help a friend. But it also surely made us think about all this junk in the house and what we’re eventually going to do with it. John says we ought to just leave it for the girls to deal with (sorry, gals!). I still think we need to start whittling down on the “things”.

Well, maybe I’ll think about that tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Changing habits

For a number of years, I’ve done my weekly torture of grocery shopping on Monday morning. It made Monday a really busy day, but it was just the only time that something else wasn’t regularly scheduled.

It just didn’t work to go to the store yesterday, so I put it off until this morning after treadmill time.

And, surprise, it was much easier. There aren’t nearly as many people in the stores as on Monday. And there’s not nearly as much going on on Tuesdays anymore.

Okay - now we have a new plan. Let’s see if this old dog can change her spots and go grocery shopping on Tuesday.

And now that we’ve come up with something earthshaking, we can go on to solve those other nit-picking problems, like the economy and war in the Middle East.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Just the usual

The cards weren't too bad today. Last week, with 7 tables, John came in first, and I was third. It was nice to have some good cards for a change.

It poured rain again while we were playing bridge. Fortunately it had stopped by the time we left, but we got another inch this afternoon. That's a total of nearly 3" for the two days. We surely did need it.

Supper was easy - leftovers from Margaret's dinner last night.
Fall leaves (and, yes, I know it's May).

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

Margaret had us and Bobby’s family over for Mother’s Day dinner. Today was a day of all-day rain - not the most fun driving. We had no problems on the drive, but hard for John - since he did all the driving. The only hard rain we had was after we got into Chattanooga coming home, but it was off-and-on drizzle with wet roads the whole way.

Great food at Margaret and Bobby's - as usual. They cook such good stuff and everybody but us seems to bring a dish. And we get to bring some goodies home, too. We didn't stay long - definitely wanted to get home before dark. We've had a little more than an inch of rain so far, and it’s still raining.
Ohiopyle State Park, PA.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Mid May

It was busy today - not all productive, but pretty good.

The usual early stuff, plus a shift at the Library Book Store. The take today was $1.00 + tax. It was fun to sell a dollar book to a little girl who picked it out herself. Love starting those readers early.

Since I was downtown, I went to a local gallery to look for a wedding present. Unfortunately, it was closed for a couple of days. I’ll try back next week.

Being out all day seemed as good an excuse as any to go out to eat. John picked a local Asian place for a good shared meal.

Shrimp, salmon sushi
Scallops, fried rice hibachi
An excellent meal.
Mother Nature’s sculpture.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Out of my system

John rowed. Me treadmill.
To Costco for gourmet lunch.
Enough for one day.

(I'll get this out of my system eventually.)

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Seventeen (5 - 7 - 5)

Thanks to Indigo on her That’s My Answer, I’m getting hooked on haiku. In case you’re not familiar with haiku, it’s a three-line Japanese verse form, with five syllables in the first and third lines, seven syllables in the second line. I decided to try one and…..

I’ve never tried to
Write haiku, but I love them.
Nice that others do.

You’ve got me started.
These things can be addicting.
Maybe more coming.

My God! I’m starting
To think in syllables and
Lines by the number.

Rain and massage in
The same day. What could make this
Even better? Sunshine.

Evening ends. TV,
e-mails, August plans confirmed.
Cool sleeping weather.
Youghiogheny River, Ohiopyle State Park, PA

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Medical stuff

Taking Responsibility for Death from the New York Times should be mandatory reading for every adult.

Granted, young people are sure they are invincible and will live forever (or at least for a long, long time), but those of us of “a certain age” should certain be addressing these issues.

Take a few minutes and read this insightful article.

Sue, Margaret, Kate, and Jean - please take note.
Another medical note:

John had his annual physical last week. He’s disgustingly healthy, but the doc did refer him to a surgeon for a consultation for possible removal of a mostly nonsymptomatic hemorrhoidal tag. His appointment was for 4 p.m. this afternoon. By 6 p.m., he had finished his book, other patients had come and gone to the treatment area, and no one had said anything to him. He decided to leave. He was going to call our family doc tomorrow and let her know what had happened.

About 7:30, the phone rang and it was the surgeon. He apologized briefly, saying it was just one of those frantic days, with several patients needing to be admitted to the hospital, etc. But mostly he wanted to talk to John about why he had been there; wanting to find out his history, symptoms, and whether or not it was worthwhile for John to make another appointment. They both agreed that since the tag wasn’t causing any problems (pain, bleeding, etc.), John should just be sure it didn’t get worse - and come in if it did.

Wow, did that doctor make lots of points in this household!
Youghiogheny River, Ohiopyle State Park, PA.

Monday, May 07, 2012

Sunday, May 06, 2012

It's a puzzlement...

John and I have been watching a Learning Company program on “Great Presidents”. We’ve just finished watching the lectures on Theodore Roosevelt (president 1901-08). The lecturer commented several times that TR wasn’t a racist or segregationist, in the terms of the day, but that he definitely believed in the superiority of the white, Protestant, Northern European “race”. And when he ran in 1904, he carried every state except the “Solid South”, which voted Democratic, and enforced a lot of “Jim Crow” laws.

With this on our minds, I wondered why neither of us has a prejudiced bone in our bodies. The quick and easy answer is that, as it says in the song in South Pacific, “you have to be taught, before it’s too late. Before you are six, or seven, or eight…”. And our parents weren’t prejudiced, so we didn’t get that attitude taught in our homes.

This is understandable in John’s family. They immigrated to central Illinois in the 1840s and were too busy surviving and dealing with their own problems of being “newcomers”.

The mystery is with my family. As far back as I know for sure, my family lived in Virginia, Alabama, Kentucky, and Texas - definitely all in the Old South. Why did I not get any of the stereotypic racial attitudes of the time?

My family tended to be what I’ve always called “small town gentry” - merchants, lawyers, judges - not the wealthiest, but not the bottom of the social rung, either. And they were all educated people.

Certainly not all of the southern wealthy or poor people were racist, and surely some of our family were. But I still wondered why that was totally left out of me. I’m forever grateful to my family for that legacy. But it’s still a puzzlement…..

Any ideas?

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Sunday Stealing

Sunday Stealing

1. When you're home alone, do you still close the door when you use the restroom?
Usually, but not always.
2. If you have to go grocery shopping, would you rather go alone or with someone ?
Definitely alone! I hate doing it, so really have to concentrate. And I can’t do that with somebody else around.
3. It's your best friend’s birthday, would you buy them a gift even though they didn't buy you one for yours ?
I don’t necessarily give presents on a given day. But I’m always on the lookout for things I know special folks will like. Whether or not they’ve given me something isn’t an issue.
4. You win the lottery. Lump sum or small payments over a period of time? Why?
Lump sum, definitely! In the first place, I’m 76. Other than that, it allows me to decide what I want to do with gifts and/or endowments, and invest it the way I want to.
5. Do you like your music loud or at a reasonable level?
There are a few things I like to listen to “loud” if I‘m alone, but mostly at a reasonable level.
6. Are you a beach person or a snowy mountain person?
Love them both, but if I have to pick one, I’ll be at the ocean - not necessarily out on the beach, but definitely where I can see and listen to the water.
7. When do you brush your teeth?
After breakfast, unless we’re traveling.
8. Can you watch scary movies alone?
I don’t really like scary movies, but I don’t think I’d have a problem watching one alone.
9. Soft bed or firm? And in fantasy land, who's in it with you?
I like a firm mattress. I’ll still take John in bed with me.
10. Would you rather stay home all day, or be out and about?
I’m usually out and about, but I love my at-home days.
11. What's one of your worst memories (that you are comfortable sharing)?
Falling on the stairs and breaking my ankle (or other falls I’ve taken).
12. Do you like to keep the peace or be confrontational?
I’m generally a peace-keeper, but I’m not afraid of confrontations.
13. Are you more likely to be with a large group of people or a few close friends?
A few close friends. I’m not a fan of crowds.
14. What are your plans for October?
The first part of October, we’ll be on the St. Lawrence River with family and friends. No plans for the rest of the month (that I know of yet).
15. If money were not a problem, where would you like to live?
On the ocean somewhere.
16. What is your ideal profession?
17. Are you (or were you) close to your Mom and Dad?
I was closer to my mother; my father died when I was 13.
18. What is one fear that you can't seem to overcome?
I don’t guess I have any fears like that.
19. Are you good at math?
Yes. I’m that strange combination of creativity and analytic thinking.
20. Editor's note. There is no question 20. It is sort of like getting a "Get out of Jail Free" card.
Rose Window, All Saint's Chapel, University of the South, Sewanee, TN.

Symphony night

It was an interesting symphony concert tonight.

The program was to be a piece by Bartok and one by Liszt in the first half , followed by a new piece composed by Bela Fleck (a sonata for banjo). We loved Bela Fleck, so we were excited about the program.

First they announced that the program would be 20 minutes late starting - several of the musicians had been delayed in traffic on I-24 - caught behind a wreck. To keep the audience entertained, somehow they found a young bluegrass trio (guitar, mandolin, fiddle) who played a set. They were excellent.

When the program started, the maestra announced that the principal trombone player had still not arrived and he had an important solo in the Bartok, so they reversed the order of the pieces.

As a personal review, the Liszt was very nice; and we’re still not great fans of Bartok. As to the new Bela Fleck piece, we’re not sure the banjo really goes with a symphony orchestra - maybe with a string quartet. Having said that, though, Fleck is an incredible musician. He did two sets of encores, which were fabulous. We definitely need to get some of his CDs.
All Saint's Chapel at the University of the South, Sewanee, TN - in the fog.

Thursday, May 03, 2012


The vistas go on forever - with the blackberries in bloom in the foreground.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012


We enjoyed visiting with Jean and Jamie last night. I went to swimming this morning, and Jean and Jamie met us at coffee. Then they headed off to look at more land. Jamie is going to retire and wants to move to TN, getting a place where she can have a couple of horses. We don‘t know anything about horses, but we’re happy to help her with suggestions about locations.

John went in for his annual physical this morning. The doc said all his numbers looked good, and that he was really in great shape for a 77-year-old man. She agreed with him that he should continue with his self-treatment for his occasional depression by increasing his exercise (and getting a lot of sunshine). He also asked her about the interaction between cholesterol medicine and grapefruit. She told him that it would be okay to eat grapefruit for breakfast and then take the med at suppertime - so that made him happy, too.

We had a June-high of 91 today. It might be back down into the low 80s tomorrow, and we even have a chance of rain. That’d be nice.
From an Indian Boundary overlook

Quiet day

I decided to stay home and baby my back today. It is better - back to just the usual. I got some things picked up and that was about it.

Jean and her friend, Jamie, were looking at some property between here and Nashville for Jamie to buy. They got here about suppertime, so that was the first order of business. The local barbecue place was the choice - always a good one. We spent the evening talking, just generally visiting and getting to know Jamie. She’s a lovely young woman, and I know we’ll enjoy having her in Tennessee.
Another view from Indian Boundary, TN.