Saturday, June 29, 2013


Greetings from the beach.  The sand and water are lovely as usual (pictures later).  All the folks are talking at once, and the noise level is very high - just like always on the first day - as we get caught up with a year's news.  We have come from California, Texas, Tennessee, Delaware, Kentucky, South Carolina, Florida, North Carolina, and Mississippi.

To answer Sato's question, we are near Fort Morgan.  The house we rent for the week is right on the beach, and we've been coming to this particular house for about 10-12 years. 

Things will settle down tomorrow and we'll get serious about our routine of swimming and sleeping and eating and talking.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Some of our favorite things

Family and friends, shrimp and crabs, sand and salt water. Doesn’t get much better than that.


Fort Morgan Beach

Only two more days

I traded my phone in yesterday for a new one - not fancier, just new. Supposedly all my contacts were transferred, but none of the apps. I guess I’ll slowly learn to use this one.

I was way overdue for a massage, so the one today surely did feel good!

Our friends bought their first motor home - used, but new to them - a couple of weeks ago. They’re “test-camping” for a couple of days in a local county park. We went to visit them today and took them lunch. They did a good job of setting up and I think are going to enjoy their new plaything. Good luck, Carol & Stephen.

It seems like most of the commercials on TV now are to advertise upcoming movies. There are actually two coming out this summer that we’ll probably go to see. We saw the first RED and enjoyed it thoroughly. RED 2 is being released in July. I hope it’s as fun as the first one. This isn’t a deep or significant movie - just fun.

One we just saw mentioned for the first time is called 2 Guns. IMDb says it’s a crime/comedy movie with Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg. That at least has the potential for being worth a couple of hours in a movie theater.

Only two more days to the beach!


It costs a lot of money to repaint the Waverly Plantation, Columbus, MS.


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

It's a Rainbow Day!

"You can't make this stuff up."

Running errands is tough. Even if trivial.

Meanwhile in the world, major things are happening.

Snowden is on the loose.
We’re sending arms to Syria.
Paula Deen cries because she used a pejorative and it cost her big.
The Supreme Court guts the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Texas Legislature essentially abolishes access to abortion in Texas.

Molly Ivins had it right - “You can’t make this stuff up!”
April dogwood in Mississippi


Monday, June 24, 2013

It's summer!

It has definitely turned into summer. We’re getting the standard “phone-in” weather forecast:

High temperatures near 90.
High humidity.
Chance of late afternoon thundershowers.

Guess it must be time to go to the beach. YEA!!!


Azaleas, Waverly Plantation, Columbus, MS


Sunday, June 23, 2013

Sunday night

Waverly Plantation, Columbus, MS.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Saturday haiku

John worked in the yard.
I balanced the account books.
Quiet Saturday.
More important is
That we go to the beach in
Only seven days!
Staircase and balconies, Waverly Plantation, Columbus, MS

Friday, June 21, 2013

Happy Solstice!

I finally got my car back. I can't tell any difference, but then the only thing I knew that was wrong was that the “check engine” light was on. At least that light is off. And, at $212, I guess it wasn't too expensive.

Jean texted me this evening. She fell today and sprained or cracked her ankle. She’d just been to the ER, and will have to see the doc next week. Needless to say, right before the beach, she’s pretty upset. Unfortunately, she is her mother’s daughter. We’ll take good care of her, though.


Screen brace, Waverly Plantation, Columbus, MS

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Still no car - and other possibilities

Still no car. I gather they didn’t even start to look at it until late this afternoon. Please let me get it back tomorrow morning. I really do have some things I’d like to do.

On the other hand, we got our pre-beach trip to Costco done. I found most of the things that were on the list. I lso got a ready-made chicken enchilada dinner. We had it tonight, and it was pretty good.

We looked at some small cameras, too. I’ve just started thinking about replacing my camera. I’ve used a Canon SLR with a zoom lens for such a long time. I still like it, but I’m just not able to use it the way I used to. My left arm won’t raise high enough to get it up to my face, and it’s too heavy for me to hold it one-handed. John reminded me that I really need to find something with a view finder. I’m not steady enough anymore to hold a camera out and try to look through a display window. Jean just got a new one, so I’m going to try out her old Canon Power Shot at the beach. It does have a view finder, so maybe I can work that. We shall see....

Shutter, Waverly Plantation, Columbus, MS

Wednesday events

I took my car to the auto-electric place this morning for diagnosis and cure. Unfortunately, they couldn’t get to it today, so it’s another sleep-over for the car. Now I just hope they can get it done tomorrow. I have no clue what the problem is or how much it’ll cost. We shall see.

I left swimming early this morning so I could take the car . After getting dressed, as I was leaving, the gals were all upset. Our dear 84-year-old buddy had fallen as she was getting out of the pool and hit her head on the pool deck. Of course, there was lots of blood involved (as with any head wound), but no idea of the severity. They were calling for an ambulance as I left the Y.

John picked me up and when we got to coffee, the news was that she had been taken to the big downtown hospital with its Level I trauma designation and a head trauma unit. One of our bunch followed the ambulance and was going to stay with her until some family got there. She was examined and treated with sutures and a head bandage. Other than some bruises (and undoubtedly some residual soreness), that was the extend of her injury. Nancy, we hope you recover quickly and fully, and that there are no sequellae.

Tomorrow will be a Costco day - shopping for the beach this time.
Waverly Plantation, Columbus, MS.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Tuesday haiku

Groceries and rain.
Manicures are wonderful.
Wednesday? Car repairs.
Purportedly the largest magnolia tree in Mississippi, Waverly Plantation, Columbus, MS.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Standard stuff

Standard Monday stuff: swimming, coffee, scattered thundershowers, and bridge.

At least, the card gods are not frowning on me quite as severely. I did finally get a few good hands and won’t come in last this week. That honor may go to John this time - he seems to have gotten my bad cards…poor Baby.


Waverly Plantation, Columbus, MS.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Sunday Haiku

Margaret visits.
Starting to feel like summer.
Happy Father’s Day!
Waverly Plantation, Columbus, MS

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Sunday Stealing

Today's meme...

What is your ring size?
I have no idea.

How often do you wear jewelry?
I wear my wedding ring all the time, and wear earrings most days. That’s about all.

When was the last time you consumed alcohol?
I don’t remember - it’s been many years.

Any big plans for the summer?
Going to the beach in a couple of weeks, and to California right before Labor Day.

What is your favorite comfort food?
Just about anything, but I do love ice cream.

Do you prefer broccoli or asparagus?
I like them both, but would probably choose fresh asparagus.

What color are your bedroom walls?
Soft white.

With whom do you live?

Which Star Wars movie is your favorite?
Gee, it’s been such a long time since I’ve seen any of them. The first, I guess.

How about Harry Potter?
I liked them all.

What was the last movie you saw in theaters?
I can’t remember - and it was just a few months ago.

Did you get the popcorn or candy?
Nope. We never get food at the movies. It’s way too expensive.

What is the most romantic text in your inbox?
Seriously?! Probably the one about the temperature of the water in the lap pool at the Y

Have you ever played miniature golf on a date?
I’ve never played miniature golf anytime. Did you know miniature golf was invented here in Chattanooga?

What’s a phrase you overuse?

Do you always use good grammar?
Almost always. I’m pretty much known as a grammar snob.

Do you have an accent or a speech impediment?
I speak Southern…does that count?

What did you eat today?
Cereal for breakfast, fried green tomatoes and cheese & crackers for lunch; carry-out Chinese for dinner.

What do you do at work?
I don’t “work” - that’s a 4-letter word!

Do you know the rules to any sports?
A smattering of the rules of a number of sports, but none really well.

Do you prefer to watch or play sports?
Watch - and only women’s basketball.

What is your favorite kind of hat to wear?
Something to keep my head and ears warm in the wintertime; a wide-brimmed straw hat at the beach in the summertime.

Do you pray?

To whom do you pray?
See above.

What is the closest mountain to your house?
Signal Mountain and Lookout Mountain

What size engine is in your vehicle?
I have no idea.

What do you need to do tomorrow?
Sunrise on the Tombigbee River


Friday, June 14, 2013


We were very distressed to hear that the US is talking about intervening in Syria. Nobody ever wants to use the word “quagmire”, but that’s obviously what we have in the Middle East. And we really need to keep from getting in any deeper.

A very astute, 84-year-old, internet friend posted this today. It’s right on the mark and, with her permission, I’m posting it here. I would only add that the situation in Syria seems to be almost entirely a religious conflict.

I feel dreadful about all that is going on in Central Asia and the Middle East. My studies of History tell me though that we are better off hands off. Cruel as it sounds, interfering does not solve the basic problems between the antagonists.

The only real and permanent solution is to allow them to slug it out unimpeded until either one side emerges triumphant and takes leadership of the country's future, or all sides become so vitiated and exhausted that they negotiate for peace and form a coalition government.

Any country that invades just becomes a much hated conqueror and will be ambushed and hounded until they give up their role of colonial power and retreat to their homeland. Then, the old protagonists just take up where they left off until their dispute is finally settled in one of the ways mentioned above.

I am not trying to be political here. Far from it. I am just telling it the way I see History telling it. It is sort of like some sibling children fighting ferociously over some petty quarrel, but hey, don't let any neighborhood kids try to get into it! The siblings will turn on them and, after sending them scurrying back to their own homes, will resume their own internecine battle!

Well said!


Sunset on the Tombigbee River.


Thursday, June 13, 2013

Too sleepy.......

Too sleepy to write tonight.

Antebellum Episcopal Church, Demopolis, AL.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Hope springs...

The mechanic called about the car in midafternoon. It seems to be some problem with the electrical system and the computers and Firestone can’t fix it. The folks there referred me to a car electrical specialist shop and I have an appointment to take my car there next Wednesday. It won’t hurt anything for me to keep driving until then. And, the guy at the shop said if it is the suspected problem, it should cost under $100 to fix. I certainly hope that’s the case - we’ll see.

Antebellum Episcopal Church, Demopolis, AL


Tuesday, June 11, 2013


There’s always payback. Now I’m paying for all those days of doing nothing.

1. To the post office to mail the quarterly payment to the IRS, then to return a book to the library. Next came Aldi, pumping gas at WalMart, then WalMart itself. Back home to put up groceries and finish reading the paper.

2. Went over to the Southside to meet Vicki for lunch. It’s been much too long since we’ve gotten together. She’s going to have a hip replacement. I went over to her house after lunch and got to meet her new puppy, Luci, a funny little Chihuahua/Havanese mix. On the way home, I noticed the “Service Engine Soon” light in my car had come on. Crap!

3. Came home until time to go to the optometrist to get my new glasses adjusted. I went back home and then John took me to Firestone to get the car checked out.

4. It was time for regular maintenance for the car. The portable computer said there was something wrong in one of the tires and the ABS. So the car is having a sleep-over.

And that got us to about 4. Last night’s leftover shrimp and some mushrooms contributed to a great frittata for supper. I bet I sleep soundly tonight.
The Grande Caribe docked at Demopolis, AL.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Happy Monday!

Happy Monday! And the start of a new week.

A new week, but the same lousy cards. I know this tide will turn in time, but it’s painfully slow.

Going out to dinner this evening was a treat. We had good dinners at Ruby Tuesday (had a coupon). John got an enormous hamburger, with cheese, bacon, and onion rings. I had Louiiana fried shrimp - very spicy, but not too much. I hd had fried shrimp in ages, and these were good. John’ll enjoy the leftovers for his lunch tomorrow.

It’s nice to see some new TV series to watch and new episodes of older ones (Glades and Longmire), with even a couple to record (Major Crimes and King and Maxwell). There are more starting up this week and next. We may not be out running around, but at least there’s something to watch on the tube.


Spillway a lock on the Tombigbee River.

Sunday, June 09, 2013

Saturday, June 08, 2013

The Weird Question Meme, Part One

Do you wear slippers?
Usually only when I first get up.

How many pictures are in your living room?
Way too many things on the walls to count - and not all pictures. I’m a painter and we collect art.

Do you ever watch Brady Bunch reruns?
I didn’t watch it when it was on originally - and wouldn’t watch reruns.

Are you allergic to anything?
Most pollens - perennial allergic rhinitis - year-round hay fever. Yuck!

When was the last time you called in sick?
I’m retired, so that doesn’t apply. The last time I couldn’t go to my water exercise class was about a month ago when I tore a toenail.

Have you ever been in a car accident?
Unfortunately, yes - hit from behind by a truck whose brakes failed. No major injuries to me or the girls - just a few cuts and bruises and whiplash. Totaled the car, though.

What is your favorite snack food?
Salties, ice cream, fruit.

Have you ever seen a tornado?
I haven‘t seen one, but I’ve had them go close by.

If you won a million dollars, what would you buy first?
Buy into a nice retirement facility, invest the rest.

What time is it right now?
11:45 pm EDT

Do you think it's cool for men to wear flip-flops?
Only at the beach, pool, or around the house.

How many pairs of shoes do you own?
6-8, but I mostly just wear one or two pairs.

Do you think you are a hypochondriac?
No, but I do fall down a lot.

Do you own a dictionary?
Definitely - an unabridged Random House dictionary with its own stand. Mostly now, though I use the internet.

Where was the last place you went on vacation?
River cruise from New Orleans to Nashville.

Do you talk about your friends behind their back?
If I do, I don’t say anything that I wouldn’t say to their face.

Are you actually fat but in complete denial about it?
Yes, and no.

What color is your mouse pad?
I don’t use a mouse pad.

Does your kitchen have a theme?
Is chaos a theme?

Inside the lock on the Tombigbee River.

Friday, June 07, 2013


Thanks for the blog reader suggestions. I’ve got one set up on my iPad and two on the laptop. Now to see which one I like best.


Our feet are really getting itchy. We’ve got the beach coming up the end of this month, and the Columbia River trip in October.

Look out California! We’re now talking about going to visit Ann & Al in LA and Alison & Joe in San Diego toward the end of August.

And, we need to start working on a trip to Miami sometime next winter, while Sarah is still there.

My brother-in-law once said that if he wanted to avoid us, he’d just come to Chattanooga. And I guess that’s about right.


Looking over the stern out of the lock on the Tombigbee River.

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Some days

Some days it's really hard to come up with something to write about.

My trivial problem of the week is finding a new blog reader.  I've been using the  Google Blog Reader.  Google has been telling us that they are discontinuing the reader in midJuly.  Any suggestions for a replacement? 

The lock is filling up as we go upstream on the Tombigbee River.

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Weather and health

The weather got really strange today. The thunder started in the early afternoon, shortly followed by the heavy rain. Do you like thunderstorms? Sometimes I really enjoy them, and today was one of those days. The temperature dropped quickly, and we got almost an inch of rain in the first hour. We sat out on the porch and just watched and listened. All in all, we got almost two inches of rain. There are some areas around here that had some street flooding, but that’s when we’re glad we live on a hill. Now, I’m listening to the frog choir in the back yard.


As to the health issue: John has had a recurrence of prostate cancer. He had prostate cancer in about six years ago, treated with radiation therapy.

He went in for a physical in April, and his PSA was at 42 (normal is usually 0-5). The urologist said the only thing that would cause such a high number would be cancer. John had a couple of scans last month, and saw the urologist again Tuesday. Fortunately, the cancer is confined to the prostate, with no spread.

He was treated with a couple of injections that are designed to starve the cancer cells. He'll go back for another PSA in about a month - after our week at the beach. If that seems to be working and he is tolerating the side effects, they'll continue with more medication. If not, I guess they'll be reevaluating.


Entering a lock on the Tombigbee River

Tuesday, June 04, 2013


Beautiful weather!
Health issues going on, but
We will talk later.
John's wonderful reflection photo.

Monday, June 03, 2013

Frustrating Monday - at least parts of it.

Parts of today were pretty good (3), and parts really stunk (2).

Swimming and coffee were great, as usual.  John had a $2-off coupon at Panera for a salad, so we went there to eat.  I had their chicken cobb salad with avocado.  It was excellent, and huge. 

I had absolutely terrible cards at bridge - the worst I've had in a long, LONG time.  It's good to know that they will eventually get better, but it was a real downer - to keep getting hands with 3 and 4 points. 

And, although I think I'm getting closer, I'm still not able to get a particular photo uploaded to the blog.  Sighhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.  This, too, will pass.

Hope springs eternal.

Sunday, June 02, 2013


I was going to post a really neat picture tonight, but  now I can't figure out how to do it.  Maybe tomorrow.....


Saturday, June 01, 2013

Saturday haiku

Thunder, scattered rain.
Vietnamese meal with Tina.
Good food and good friend.
Working on the Tombigbee, unloading scrap iron from barge.

Vaccine information

My cousin has been being treated at MDAnderson Hospital in Houston for salivary gland cancer. His original and coordinating doctor at MDA gave him some interesting information this week. She said that they now think perhaps 80% of neck cancers correlate with early exposure to the HPV virus and she would recommend all kids (boys & girls) get the vaccine. Might be some good information to pass along for your children, grands, and/or great-grands.

Click here for a link to a government information page about cancer. Information about this is in paragraph #3.
This is the Jackson III hard at work on the Tombigbee River.