Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Goodbye - Hello

Goodbye 2014
Hello 2015
Funny how we mark this one special night, when it's basically just like any other mid-winter night.  In any case, I wish you a Happy, Healthy New Year.

New Year's Eve Eve

Alison, Joe, and
Margaret make for special
Times. Tomorrow, too.

Monday, December 29, 2014


CNN Living had an article about the atheists' list of 10 non-commandments.  They sounded like pretty good guidelines for living to me.  I offer them for your consideration:

Here are the "Ten Non-Commandments":
1. Be open-minded and be willing to alter your beliefs with new evidence.
2. Strive to understand what is most likely to be true, not to believe what you wish to be true.
3. The scientific method is the most reliable way of understanding the natural world.
4. Every person has the right to control of their body.
5. God is not necessary to be a good person or to live a full and meaningful life.
6. Be mindful of the consequences of all your actions and recognize that you must take responsibility for them.
7. Treat others as you would want them to treat you, and can reasonably expect them to want to be treated. Think about their perspective.
8. We have the responsibility to consider others, including future generations.
9. There is no one right way to live.
10. Leave the world a better place than you found it.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Rainy Sunday

The Lady Mocs beat SIUE this afternoon, 59-49, in a classic tournament in San Antonio. We play South Dakota State tomorrow. The Lady Vols won, too.

We'll almost be back to "normal" next week. At least tomorrow, it'll be swimming, coffee, and bridge - and maybe haircuts. Alison and Joe will be here Tuesday night, leaving Thursday morning, so we'll see what happens with them in the middle of the week.

It sounds like it's raining again. I hope I get to sleep tonight. I've had those "not sleep until 2-3 a.m." nights three out of the last four. Definitely not my usual. But I had no nap today, and no even half-caf coffee after about 2, so maybe that'll do the job.

Saturday, December 27, 2014


It’s amazing how much fun can be had with simple things.

For his birthday, Sue sent John three bunches of helium-filled balloons - some mylar and some traditional rubber. The rubber ones stopped floating within a couple of days. But now, a month later, most of the mylar ones are still flying high.

Two of the balloons have lost some or almost all of their buoyancy. John took the first one, and gradually shortened its tether, maintaining neutral buoyancy. We enjoyed watching it wander about the house, floating on the various air currents. And then it disappeared - totally vanished. Even the cleaning lady couldn’t find it. Oh, well - it’ll show up sometime.

And then the second one started to sink with the weight of its tether. John freed this one, and for several days, it has been happily wandering from room to room. And then, voila!, while searching for #2, he found the first one. It was on top of the shelves in the dining room. We love solving mysteries.

Even #1 still has a little lift, but rests comfortably on the floor in the living room. And while #2 floats happily, visiting different rooms, the other dozen balloons are straining at their leashes, awaiting their turns to be free.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Boxing Day

You may know about Boxing Day.  If you don't, click here.
Our celebration of Boxing Day consisted of doing almost nothing.  The big event of the day was "adjusting" the chili and getting half of it into the freezer.  We'll do the rest tomorrow.  We're taking it slowly this year - trying to avoid what happened a couple of years ago when we dropped a bag.  Of course, it popped open - what a mess!  So far, so good.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Another good day

I hope everyone has had a good Holiday Season. There’s still a little bit left to celebrate, and then start a New Year.

It was a very quiet day here. We took Tina with us to Margaret's - spent most of the afternoon. We had a delicious turkey dinner - just Margaret, Bobby, Tina, and us. Matt, Clair, and their three dogs showed up after we‘d eaten. It was good to see them for a little while. And we got home just after dark - still full of good food.

Happy (rest of the) Holidays to all!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas Eve chili

We slept later this morning (8 for me), then went to the Y. I got about 40 minutes in the pool, so I felt pretty virtuous. When we got home, I started making this year's batch of chili. This turned out to be one of those times when things got out of hand - way too much "fixings". So there are two big pots of chili simmering on the stove all day, instead of one. Oh well - just that much more to enjoy. We thought we’d get it into the freezer tonight, but not yet. It needs more beans and more chili powder. It'll have to wait until Friday, though, until we can get to the store. But I managed to get it into the refrigerator, so it's okay. Oh well, it's kept us busy today.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Rain on the roof

Last night was one of those “I can’t get to sleep” nights. It wasn’t all bad. I found the HDNet channel, and I got to watch the original Sabrina, one of my favorite movies. I DO love that dress (if you know the movie, you know the one I mean).

Even sleeping later than usual, I got to the grocery stores this morning, but it was early (9-10). The crowds weren't too bad, and I didn‘t have much to get.

Shortly after I got home, it started to rain. And we've had rain all day - even thunder - but nothing severe, so far. I’m really glad it’s fairly warm. This would be awful if it were cold and this were snow.

It is nice to go to sleep with the sound of rain on the roof.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Rainy Monday

We had our only class of the week this morning.  I'm going to try to get to the pool for some water-walking or some such a couple of times.  We went to bridge, and had some okay cards. 

We just got an e-mail that granddaughter, Alison, and husband Joe, and granddog Otto will be coming through for a couple of days at the beginning of next week.  Hooray!!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Winter Solstice

Days get longer, so
This is a favorite time.
More daylight is good!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Sunday Stealing

The Christmas Meme

From the archives!

1. Do you send Christmas cards?
Not any more.
2. How soon do you start shopping?:
I don’t shop - ever!
3. Who do you shop for?:
See above answer.
4. Do you put up a Christmas tree?:
No more. I think the last one was about 15 or so years ago
5. If so, is it fake or real?:
We had had an artificial tree for a number of years. The fire hazard was what made me decide to stop having a real tree.
6. Do you like tinsel?:
I loved tinsel on the tree - as least what I called tinsel. Other people called other things “tinsel”.
7. Do you use homemade or store bought ornaments?:
We used some of each, but mostly store bought.
8. Do you put Christmas lights outside your house?:
9. Do you put lights on the tree?:
We did when we had a tree.
10. How about popcorn and cranberries?:
11. Is there a wreath hanging on your door?:
13. Do you hang up your stocking?:
Not any more
14. Does your family read "Twas the night before Christmas?":
We never did do that.
15. Christmas Movie?:

Maybe Holiday Inn or White Christmas
16. Character from any Christmas Movie:

The Grinch
17. Christmas Song:
The Christmas Song, by Mel Torme
18. Christmas Memory:
The Christmas morning we woke up in Antarctica
19. Give or Receive?:
22. Ham or Turkey?:
24. White Lights or Colored Lights?
25. Blinking Lights or Still Lights:
Still (I hate blinking lights)
26. Were you Naughty or Nice this year?:
Probably naughty
27. What do you want for Christmas this year?:
World peace would be nice. Having people realize that “different” doesn’t mean “bad”.
28. When do you open your gifts?:
Christmas morning.
29. What's the best gift you've ever gotten?:
Our Christmas trip to Antarctica.
30. What's the worst gift you've ever gotten?:
I can’t think of one.
31. Who gives you the most gifts?:
We don’t much give gifts any more.
32. Have you ever had a secret Santa?:
33. Do you like wrapping gifts?:
I used to love doing it, and was very good. Not any more.
34. Do you put change in those red buckets?:
No. We give to our favorite local charities.
35. Do you burn a yule log?:
36. Can you name all the reindeer?:
Probably not
37. Do you bake cookies?:
Cookie baking got delegated to Kate and Jean.
38. Have you ever seen your mommy kissing Santa Clause?:
I AM the mommy, and I’ve kissed Santa Claus.
39. Have you ever gotten a kiss under the mistletoe?:
41. Do you drive around and look at the Christmas lights?:
42. Have you ever left Santa cookies?:
43. Have you ever sat on Santa's lap?:
44. Who do you celebrate Christmas with?:
John. Sometimes we go to Margaret’s for Christmas Dinner.
45. Where do you celebrate Christmas?:
At home, then see #44.
46. Have you ever had a white Christmas?:
Yes, but at our latitude, it wasn’t much.
47. What part of Christmas do you look most forward to?:
All the horrible commercial stuff being over.
48. Have you ever had your picture taken with Santa?:

Friday, December 19, 2014

Disappointing, then nice.

Today started out to be sort of busy, with the expectation that John’s cousin Marty and husband, John, would be staying here overnight. We’re about half-way between their home in the Tampa area and their youngest daughter in Cincinnati.

We didn’t find out until after swimming and coffee that they were having to cancel. They got delayed in leaving home and had to cancel. Phooey! We haven’t seen them in several years, and were really looking forward to their visit. Oh, well - maybe they’ll get through here sometime soon.

So we had pretty much an unplanned rest of the day. It was nice.

Three for Thursday

Three awesome things today:
1.  Massage - always awesome
2.  Jean and her friend Jamie came into town to meet us and Tina at Old Saigon for lunch.  Awesome lunch and visit.  Jean brought our box of cookies that she and Kate baked last week.  Yum!
3.  We went with Tina to the String Theory Concert at the Hunter Museum tonight.  How could Mendelssohn and Brahms and the Pacifica String Quartet be anything less than awesome.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

UTC Lady Mocs 54, #7 Stanford 46 !!!!

After swimming, we had our annual Christmas brunch. All our gals are such good cooks, and the covered dish food was excellent, as always.

But the best Christmas present of the season came later. The UTC Lady Mocs beat #7-ranked Stanford 54-46! It was a huge win - the gals really beat Stanford. And it was sweet! Unfortunately, Stanford will play the Lady Vols on Saturday, and I’m afraid we sent them off to Knoxville in a really bad mood. It was worth it, though.


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Happy Hanukkah - plus Christmas

Happy Hanukkah to all my Jewish friends!
Ten Things You Might Not Know About Christmas, by T. Steelman
 was a piece in in 2012.  I've just seen it for the first time, and felt it was interesting and worth repeating.
There are so many traditions associated with Christmas. Many of them we just take for granted, accepting the “prevailing wisdom” as to their origins. But sometimes things are not what they seem. Here are ten things that you may not have known…
1. Christmas was once against the law in America. When the Puritans came to this continent they brought their objection to Christmas with them. They believed it was a creation of man, not Christ, so it should not be considered a holy day. They weren’t too keen on the revelry that went along with the holiday, either. Christmas was celebrated in America by Anglicans but most Protestant groups forbade it. It wasn’t until June 26, 1870 that Christmas took its official place on the American holiday calendar.
2. Christmas trees were forbidden as a part of the celebrations until as late as 1640. Since the tradition of bringing evergreen boughs or trees into the home at the Winter Solstice was pagan in origin, the early Church forbade them. The first recorded instance of a Christmas tree dates to 1510 when the town of Riga in Latvia brought a tree into the town square, decorated it and then burned it. Thankfully, we have relegated the burning part to the Yule log. Approximately 30-35 million Christmas trees are sold each year in the U.S.
3. Speaking of “Yule,” that word is believed to originate from the Anglo-Saxon for “wheel” (though scholars are not completely certain). A mid-winter festival known by this name has been celebrated since well before 1000 CE, marking the Winter Solstice. The term “yuletide” as a reference to the Christmas season dates back to about 1475.
4. Christmas songs date back to the 4th century: St. Hilary of Poitiers composed Jesus refulsit omnium for a Christmas Mass. The Renaissance brought lighter songs and the earliest English carol came in 1410. It was composed by Ritson and is found in the Ritson Manuscript. One of the oldest carols that we still sing today is “O Tannenbaum” from Germany. The most popular Christian carol is “Silent Night,” while the most popular secular song is “White Christmas.”
5. The date on which we celebrate Christmas was chosen by Bishop Liberius of Rome in 354 CE. The actual date has been debated since the formation of Christianity. The biblical account says, “And there were shepherds living out in the fields near by, keeping watch over their flocks at night.” Shepherds in the Middle East would have only had their flocks in the fields from Spring into Fall. In December, the animals were brought in close to shelter to protect them from the cold and rain. The likeliest date for the birth of Jesus is March, 6 BC.
6. Santa Claus is an amalgamation of several figures: St. Nicholas, the Bishop of Myra (modern-day Turkey), the Norse god, Woden, and the Celtic Holly King primary among them. The beard, the cloak, the reindeer… these are associated with the aforementioned figures. Our modern Santa was created by cartoonist Thomas Nast in 1860 for Harper’s Weekly magazine. Every year he added more to Santa, including his home at the North Pole, the “naughty and nice” list, and coming down the chimney. When the Coca-Cola company started using Santa Claus in its advertisements, it built even more on the lore.
7. Gift giving at the Solstice did not originate with the Magi. During the Saturnalia, which had some influence on our own modern Christmas holiday, gifts were exchanged among friends. As for the Magi… the Bible doesn’t say that there were three of them. There were three kinds of gifts – gold, frankincense and myrrh – so it was just assumed that there were three men who brought them.
8. Mistletoe was a sacred plant to both the Druids and the Norse. According to Norse myth, when the god Baldur was killed by a mistletoe arrow, his mother Frigga wept white berries which brought him back to life. The mistletoe was then blessed by Frigga so that whoever stood beneath it received a kiss. The Druids collected mistletoe by cutting it with a gold sickle, catching it in a cloth before it could hit the ground. The sprigs were placed over doorways to protect the dwelling and bring blessings.
9. The first Christmas cards appeared in 1843, designed by John Horsley, and sold in London for one penny each. The image on the front was of a family raising a Christmas toast which caused the Puritans to denounce it. But cards became very popular anyway. A German lithographer named Louis Prang brought the tradition to America in 1860, printing the cards in his press in Boston. Nowadays, more than 3 billion Christmas cards are sent in America alone!
10. Santa’s reindeer are based upon the eight-legged Sleipnir, the Norse god Woden’s flying horse. The reindeer received their names from Clement Moore in his poem, “A Visit From St. Nick” in 1823. Rudolph didn’t join them until 1939 when Robert L. May wrote a verse for Montgomery Ward. Gene Autry recorded the song that Johnny Marks adapted from the poem, releasing it during Christmas week, 1949. It became the second best-selling song of all time until the 1980’s, selling over 25 million copies.
Though we know a lot more about Christmas traditions now, that shouldn’t stop us from celebrating them. Embrace all the origins and stories and archaic reasons we do what we do. Celebrate in your own way and enjoy the season!

Monday, December 15, 2014

An afternoon off

We had been told that bridge would have a delayed start this afternoon due to some function at the Civic Center where we play. We got there at the reset time to find that it would be at least another 45 minutes or more before we could have the space. So we came home. We left my car for routine servicing while we played, so we’ll just went back to get it when they finished it.

Oh, well. We got an afternoon off instead.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Quiet weekend

Last night, I watched My Fair Lady on TCM - uncut and without commercials. I don't know long it's been since I've seen the whole movie. It is so good (even without Julie Andrews) and such wonderful music and lyrics. A sheer pleasure!

Jesse and his lady friend (Caroline) were home last weekend for a Christmas visit. They came to Chattanooga to see us for about an hour. That was a treat. They brought a Xmas present - a painting Jesse had done for me at one of those "wine and painting" parties. It's an owl and very cute and colorful. I used to collect owls, so it's very special for me. Thanks, sweetie!

Today we did about as close to nothing as possible. I got the laundry done. John watched the Lady Vols beat Rutgers and took several naps.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Sunday Stealing

The Have You Ever Meme

Stolen from: From My Random Randomness

1) Have you ever gotten lost in a maze?
Nope - although I have been lost in familiar territory
2) Have you ever been attacked by a wild animal?
Do mosquitoes count?
3) Have you ever ridden a camel?
Thank heavens, no.
4) Have you ever pet a rat?
I don’t think so. The girls did have a couple of gerbils at one time.
5) Have you ever been a member of a gym?
I’m a member of the Y - mostly for my swimming class.
6) Have you ever been in a helicopter?
Yes, and it was incredible - flying over the Igauzu Falls on the Brazil/Uruguay border.
7) Have you ever cheated at a test?
8) Have you ever ridden a tractor?
I don’t think so - amazing since our son-in-law owns one working tractor and 2-3 antique tractors.
9) Have you ever passed wind/gas in an embarrassing situation?
Probably, but I’ve managed to blot it out.
10) Have you ever played the bongos?
No, and it’s something I can safely say I’ve never wanted to do.
11) Have you ever handled a snake?
Not really handled, but I have petted one.
12) Have you ever assembled furniture by yourself?
Not part of my job description.
13) Have you ever been scuba diving?
Yes. We were certified divers at one time, then changed over to snorkeling.
14) Have you ever had a disastrous interview?
No, I don’t think so.
15) Have you ever sold your services?
Anyone who has ever worked for a paycheck has sold their services - so yes, I have.
16) Have you ever raised money for charity?
Yes, I’ve worked on finance drives for a local chapter of the League of Women Voters.
17) Have you ever won a giant sized cuddly toy from a fair?
18) Have you ever milked a cow?
No, I’m a city girl.
19) Have you ever used the phrase "back in my time" to someone younger than you?
I’m 78 years old, so of course, I have.
20) Have you ever invented a fairly unique meal or drink?
I’m a “pinch of this, pinch of that” cook, so I probably have cooked things that have never been replicated.

A football day

We played duplicate this afternoon and started off very poorly - didn't seem to bid or play well. But it did get better. Much to my amazement, we came in in the middle and actually got a portion of a master point.

We went to Carol and Stephen’s for pizza and to watch our UTC Mocs football team play in a playoff game against the Univ. of New Hampshire. They lost 35-30 (I think) - it was a close game. I hope, with this experience behind them, they'll do even better next year. Plus our school got lots of exposure on national TV. It was 11:30 when we got home, and I still had some stuff to do.

Plus I can never go straight to bed after we've been out. John's already crashed, but I'll probably be up for a while longer, then read in bed for a while.

Thursday, December 11, 2014


Jennifer reminded us today that we should hug our kids. She’s right, you know.

So hugs go out to Tennessee, Kentucky, South Carolina, North Carolina, Maryland, Georgia, and Florida. You know who you are!
My alma mater and our local university, UTC (the University of Tennessee Chattanooga) football team will be playing in an FCS play-off game Friday night at 7 p.m.ET on ESPN-2. This is the first time in 30 years that UTC football has been in a play-off game. They’re playing New Hampshire in NH (in the cold). Needless to say, Chattanooga is very proud of our guys. Check them out.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Torture report

I haven’t read all that much about the report from the Senate Intelligence Committee (an oxymoron?) about torture. I’ve just read some of the newspaper articles, and seen some of the news programs on TV.

This is just something I’ve always believed we (the US) just didn’t do!! I was horrified when the news about Abu Ghraib came out, and thought “that can’t be right”. But, there it was…

I’m glad there was actually a bipartisan push to get this information documented and published - even if some didn’t want it released. The public needs to know that their government sanctioned these despicable things and some were even proud of it (does the name Cheney ring a bell?).

It will be interesting to watch the fall-out from these revelations. One possibility I absolutely love. The ACLU has suggested that the Congress acknowledge that crimes were committed and, to preclude any possibility of trials, issue pardons to those deemed to have committed the crimes, i.e., Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, the heads of the CIA, etc.

Who would think I’d ever quote John McCain, but..

When we fight to defend our security we fight also for an idea, not for a tribe or a twisted interpretation of an ancient religion or for a king, but for an idea that all men are endowed by the Creator with inalienable rights. How much safer the world would be if all nations believed the same. How much more dangerous it can become when we forget it ourselves even momentarily. Our enemies act without conscience. We must not.

Monday, December 08, 2014

Taking a break

I'm taking a short break from writing.  I'll be back in a few days.

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Another anniversary

December 7, 1943 - “A Day that will live in Infamy”. A date we remember, even if we don’t remember the event. As we do with 9-11.

But a nice event happened on December 7, 1974. It was the day Marjorie came from Venezuela to spend about eight months as part of our family. And, as extended family, for the next forty years.

We had been part of the Teenage Exchange Program with the Partners of the Americas. Two of our daughters had already been to Venezuela. Margaret had stayed with Marjorie’s family for six weeks, and Marjorie’s sister, Ana, had stayed with us. Then we arranged (outside the program) for Marjorie to stay with us and attend school in Hendersonville. She had already graduated from high school in Caracas, but it was still an experience for her to go to classes here in the US, and for our suburban Southern school to have her as part of the student body.

Marjorie went home the following summer, but returned later to the US. She eventually got her green card and has settled in the Boston area. She is a wine specialist in shop there. She’s also a licensed Boston area tour guide, specializing in trips with Spanish-speaking groups. Now social media keeps us in touch.

Happy Anniversary, Marjorie!

Saturday, December 06, 2014

Sunday Stealing

The Are You Meme

Stolen from: From My Random Randomness

1) Are you psychic in any way?
Not that I’ve noticed.
2) Are you a good dancer?
I wasn’t too bad, 100 years ago.
3) Are you a good singer?
Again, I used to be able to carry a tune, sing in the choir, and musicals in school.
4) Are you a good cook?
Unfortunately, yes - and we carry the weight to show it.
5) Are you a good artist?
I think so.
6) Are you a good listener?
7) Are you a good public speaker?
Again, I was in my day. I still don’t have any problem speaking in public.
8) Are you a good babysitter?
I obviously did a pretty good job with our girls, judging by the results. I’m not much for taking care of small ones any more.
9) Are you a good mechanic?
I can fix small things, but am not much with cars or major appliances.
10) Are you a good diplomat?
I think so.
11) Are you a good employee?
I think I was a much better employee than a manager.
12) Are you a good dresser?
This is funny! I do have some new sweats. I’m always clean and reasonably neat - never “stylish”.
13) Are you a good swimmer?
Again, I used to be. I’m still very comfortable in the water, and love my water exercise class.
14) Are you a good skier?
I never had the opportunity to snow ski, and never was able to get up on water skis. I got to be a pretty good ski boat driver, though.
15) Are you a good gift giver?

Only if the gift is money.
16) Are you a good musician?
I took piano lessons when I was little. My mother and sister both had perfect pitch. I didn’t. Now I can manage the car radio and a CD player (most of the time).
17) Are you a good comedian?
I’m a good laugher, but I don’t know that I’m a good comedian.
18) Are you a good cleaner?
Ye gods, NO! That’s why I have a cleaning lady.
19) Are you a good actor?
Not really
20) Are you a good writer?
I’m not too bad as a writer. I think I’m a better editor, though.

Friday, December 05, 2014

An exciting (?) week

I’ve not been writing much lately. Since the excitement of Thanksgiving, it’s been ever so quiet.

John and I came in first and second at bridge last week. And the cards weren’t too bad this week. It’s what keeps us coming back.

Tuesday was grocery stores, and Wednesday was just swimming and coffee. Good things happened Thursday when I had my massage appointment.

This evening, we went to an opening reception for the traveling show of the 2014 Tennessee Watercolor Society show. We took Tina, and then we went to La Altena for dinner.

John and Stephen are going to watch the UTC football game on the internet (hooked up to the TV) tomorrow. They were going to go to the game, but decided they were too old to sit out in the rain.

And that’s it for an exciting week in Z’s World.

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Ten for Tuesday

1. John was first in bridge yesterday.
2. I was second.
3. Good cards are nice!
4. After grocery stores, it was quiet today.
5. Rain.
6. We finished Season #1 of The Newsroom last night.
7. We’re third on the reserve list for Season #2.
8. Buddy did well with his surgery yesterday.  Hope that continues.
9. John got to row yesterday, and may again tomorrow.
10. I got the last of the turkey and dressing made into casseroles for the freezer.

Monday, December 01, 2014

Sunday Stealing (on Monday)

Stolen from: FYeah Surveys

What kind of job did your mom have when you were growing up?
She did only volunteer work until my father died when I was 13. Then she worked as a secretary at Baylor Medical School.

Have you ever known anyone that’s been on tv, including you?

I’ve been interviewed on TV for special events.
What was the most interesting animal you have seen in the wild?

Penguins in Antarctica
What holiday do you enjoy the most?

The Saturday after Thanksgiving when our family gets together and our family/friends week at the beach every summer.
What was the first video game you ever played?

I can’t remember the name right now - the one where the different geometric shapes fall down from the top and you have to fit them in at the bottom.
What is the one thing you own, that if it got lost, you would be bummed?

My car keys.
Do you have a favorite breakfast item?

I pretty much love all things breakfast - especially if somebody else cooks it.
What do you find yourself buying all the time?

I’m not a shopper. I buy groceries, prescriptions. Maybe just some sock yarn from time to time.
When was the last time you got a real letter in the mail?

I got thank-you notes from daughters for their birthday checks.
Do you have a most prized piece of jewelry?

I have several pairs of earrings that I wear more often than others, and I wear my wedding band all the time.
Do you own any board games?

Scrabble, Rum-I-Kub, Jenga (not all exactly board games)
What chore seems the most daunting right now?

No major chores ahead right now.
Were you born in the state you live in?

No. I’ve lived in three states, but visited all 50.
Have you ever lived in a house that has been broken into?

What is your favorite cheese?

I like almost all cheeses, but am particularly partial to what we call “stinky” cheese.

Who do you know that watches the most sports?

Everybody in our family except Jean and me.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

The day after

Many thanks to Margaret, Kate, Wayne, John B, Sylvia, Missy, John P, Carol, Tina, Vicki, and Roger for helping us celebrate Thanksgiving and John’s birthday yesterday. We know the rest of you joined us in spirit.

Everybody worked and helped, even taking lots of leftovers home, so things were pretty well cleaned up by the time we went to bed. Margaret left early this morning. John and I just recovered and enjoyed the leftover glow in the house.

Again, thanks for making the day so special.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Happy Birthday, John - #80!

We've had a great day today. John says it was the best birthday he can remember. He was born on Thanksgiving Day, but several years after, the holiday was changed from the last Thursday in November to the fourth Thursday in November. So his birthday couldn't fall on Thanksgiving after that. Since we celebrate (eat) on Saturday, this year OUR celebration fell on his birthday - making our day extra special!

We had a houseful of family and friends, and lots of cards and good wishes. Sue sent 18 (!) birthday balloons. Tina brought a birthday cake and a framed copy of a photograph of John rowing. John & Sylvia brought him a bottle of his favorite bourbon. Sue called and we skyped with Jean. (Margaret and Kate were here.) He got texts or cards from the grandkids. Just great!

We were 13 in all here. We had turkey, dressing, gravy, country ham, grits, scalloped oysters, green beans, corn, raw vegetables, various pickles/olives/etc., three cranberry condiments, rolls, wine, desserts too numerous to mention. Literally the groaning board. Folks took home lots of leftovers, and more will go into the freezer for meals later on. Fortunately, we love all the traditional Thanksgiving foods - whether the first time, or as leftovers in a month or so.

It's quiet now. Football games are wrapping up. We’ve made broth from the turkey carcass. The dishwasher has been run, and all the food put away. Margaret will head back home tomorrow. She's done yeoman work, and is so appreciated. A great day is winding down.

Friday, November 28, 2014

The day before


We had a nice dinner with friends yesterday - the usual Thanksgiving stuff, which we love. But the best part was being with friends and family. Sue and Randy came by for about an hour on their way home. Kate and Wayne are here now - through Saturday night. We’ll have our big Thanksgiving dinner on Saturday.

Our Walmart parking lot was full at 7 last night, as was the Target center across the highway. You won’t find me anywhere near a store until next week sometime. John and Wayne went out for a walk and picked up a couple of things at Aldi.

John, Kate, and Wayne went to a local tavern/micro-brewery to try out some prize-winning brews. Obviously, they found some good stuff - and even came home with a growler. They were told the beer would stay good for 5-7 days, but (needless to say) it was gone by bedtime.

We got all the day-before-Thanksgiving prep done, and we’re ready to get stuff in the oven tomorrow morning.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Family, friends, and food

Lovely day! Carol
And Stephen, Sue and Randy,
Tina, Kate and Wayne.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

I wish you good family, good friends, good food, good books, and laughter


Margaret came over last night, and we made a grocery list and plans for today. This morning, she went to the store to pick up things I had skipped or forgotten to get yesterday. She made cornbread for the dressing/stuffing. I think that was all we/she could do this far ahead of our dinner on Saturday.

This evening was the almost annual meeting of the UTC Lady Mocs and the #4 ranked UT Lady Vols. We’ve done a home-and-home series of games for a number of years, usually with the Lady Vols showing their might over the lesser Mocs. Then two years ago here in Chattanooga, after Pat Summit’s sudden retirement and in Holly Warlick’s debut as head coach, the Lady Mocs played a super game and beat Tennessee. Jubilation reigned! Last season, in Knoxville, the Lady Vols exacted payment for the previous year’s game.

But this is a different UTC team with a different coach. The Lady Mocs came out roaring, and never let up. They led 37-21 at the half, and were behind only once briefly toward the end of the game. The final score was 67-63! And this was no fluke. UTC was just played better in this game. And it was SO SWEET!

Next home game is in midDecember against #5 Stanford.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Monday and an editorial

Today was a long day - starting with the Y and coffee. The cleaning lady was finishing up when we got home. John and I each had some good cards today - not all the time, but mostly. It is what keeps us coming back.

Then we finished up with basketball - the Lady Mocs vs. the Austin Peay Lady Governors (Austin Peay was a governor of TN in the 1920s). Our gals played awful in the first half, but came roaring back and won 76-65. They play the Lady Vols on Wednesday.


We didn’t see until 10 pm that the grand jury had reported no indictment on the officer in Ferguson, MO. We had assumed this would be the outcome. We kind of thought the grand jury would indict and let a trial take place. We didn’t think there was enough evidence to convict, but that going through the process would alleviate some of the tension. Obviously this is not to be.

We’ve really tried to stay away from the 24-hour cable news coverage on this situation. The racial divide in that community is not going to be healed by this situation, one way or another. And we think the blanket coverage by cable news has exacerbated the situation - and continues to do so.

The problems with racial inequality and prejudice in this country need to be kept in the forefront, so that the situation can continue to change and improve. But I fear that this constant TV presence only foments violence and that doesn’t help anything.

Let’s hope for peaceful, nonviolent protests.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Good eats!

A couple of weeks ago, I read an article in the paper that our local Rotary Club was going to be smoking some Boston Butts and selling them to benefit the local food bank. I placed an order for one, and we picked it up about suppertime Saturday night.

It was, without doubt, some of the best smoked meat we’ve ever had. I don’t think we’ve ever had fork-tender, almost melt-in-your-mouth meat before. Definitely a WOW, and something we’ll put our list for next Thanksgiving.

We had some again tonight. John carved it off the bone, and that’s in the freezer for meals from time to time throughout the year.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Thanksgiving meme

1. Are you celebrating Thanksgiving at home or elsewhere this year? With whom will you spend Thanksgiving Day?

Most of our family dinner is done on the Saturday after Thanksgiving Day. We’ll be here at home, with our usual extended family and friends. We’re having dinner Thursday with friends. Our family comes into town on Thursday evening.
2. What do you have for breakfast on Thanksgiving?

Usually something like sweet rolls - nothing special.
3. Do you go to a Thanksgiving parade or watch one on TV?

Neither. There will be football or basketball watched most of the weekend.
4. Do you serve appetizers, lunch, or snacks during the day?

Food happens all weekend long.
5. What do you wear on Thanksgiving?

Whatever is comfortable and clean.
6. What's your Thanksgiving table like -- do you use special plates/silver/glasses, etc? Do you have a centerpiece? A color scheme? Candles?

I use a tablecloth, the “good dishes” (old family Russell Wright), my mother’s silverware, some sort of centerpiece, candles if I think of it and can find some. Definitely nothing “decorated”.
7. Do you serve buffet-style or family-style? What do you have to drink?

Buffet-style. We don’t have room for everybody to eat at one time, so we pretty much eat in shifts or as places at the table and football interest dictates. Drinks are to the taste of the individual - water, wine, coffee, soft drinks, whatever.
8. Once you're at the table, do you say grace or a toast or does everyone go around and say what they're thankful for?

Since we don’t sit at one time, there’s nothing that formal.
9. Do you have dessert right after the main meal or later on?

I like to have dessert later.
10. What do you do with your leftovers?

Eat them, freeze them, send them home with folks. We love all the traditional Thanksgiving dishes, so we’re happy to have them any time, and love leftovers.

Friday, November 21, 2014

A learning experience

Our young UTC Lady Mocs
Played against the “big girls” of Notre Dame today.
It wasn’t pretty.
They had quite a learning experience.
The final score was Notre Dame 88, the Lady Mocs 53.
We hope they learned well.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

That was my morning

You know what happens when you carefully plan out a series of errands to fill a certain time span? At least two things won’t work, and the whole thing turns to sh*t! That was my morning.

I was going to the bank, to the drug store, to the library, and end up with my scheduled massage. Well, the bank thing went as planned, and the massage was wonderful. The rest…not so much.

I got my prescription at the drug store, but they didn’t have a knee brace in the size I needed. So I headed to the library to pick up my reserved DVD and kill some time before my massage appointment. It’s now about 9:45. Turns out the library doesn’t open until 11 on Thursdays. !@##$##$

So I head to Panera to get some coffee and read until my 10:30 appointment. I finally got my latte, and then promptly spilled half of it. Sighhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

At least the massage was wonderful (as usual), and I did pick up the DVD (of the first season of “The Newsroom”). And then I scurried home to try to stay out of more trouble.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Warmer Wednesday

Lady Mocs 76, Butler 47 - obviously our ladies played very well. I hope they do well against their upcoming top-rated opponents (UT Lady Vols, Stanford, and Notre Dame). We have gotten the extra tickets for the Lady Vols game - John will pick them up tomorrow.


We had a successful (if expensive) trip to Costco this morning. We hadn’t been in a while, so there were a number of things we needed. And we got to check products and prices for some future purchases. Plus we got our usual gourmet lunch.


The husbands of three of our swimmers are dealing with health problems, and one of the swimmers is recovering from hip replacement surgery. And there are our other internet friends who are dealing with health issues. We’ll keep them all in our thoughts.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

This and that

John got a good report from the cardiologist this morning. He has some irregularities, but it's not typical of atrial fibrillation, so..... They drew some blood to rule out an anemia problem. He's trying him on some medication, too. And he's to have a return visit in three months.

I did the grocery stores this morning, and took my car to be inspected. They're very efficient, and if you get your request for license renewal in by 2 pm (which John did for me on the computer), you should get your new stickers in the next day's mail. So that's done for another year.

We've had some mix-up in ordering the extra tickets we wanted for the Lady Mocs vs Lady Vols game next week. I've got a couple of phone messages out, looking for answers. It's always something.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Monday miscellany

We’re going to be setting some record low temperatures tonight and tomorrow. At least the rain was over before the temps started to drop. We had 2.25” of rain over the two day period. This morning, while we were at the Y, the temperature dropped 10 degrees - and it never went back up over the day.

John and Margaret were headed up to Knoxville for a Lady Vols game (big easy win over Oral Roberts). I went to bridge, but was still having the same lousy cards I’ve been having. We had two extra players, so when I was going to sit out a round, I left and came home.

Margaret got a big sack of yarn on her latest trip, so now I have a bunch of stuff to play with. I’d best get busy with the knitting.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Sunday haiku

Rain, rain, basketball.
Lady Mocs lost close ballgame.
Rain, rain, but no snow!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Sunday Stealing

Taking Stock Meme

Stolen from: The Blake Collection

Making: hats and socks 

Cooking: made oyster chowder for supper
Drinking: water and coffee (as usual)
Reading: The third volume in Ken Follett’s 20th century trilogy
Wanting: John to get over his cold.
Looking: for yarn to reknit the toe on some socks
Wasting: time, as usual - I’m retired!
Wishing: The midterm elections had gone the way I voted. I wish the idiots in Congress would learn to cooperate and compromise.
Enjoying: the start of basketball season
Waiting: to start getting ready for Thanksgiving
Liking: the idea of leftover oyster chowder for lunch tomorrow.
Wondering: how the rest of the year will go
Loving: our family and friends and good times together
Listening: to BookTV
Needing: to be in better shape
Smelling: nothing, thankfully, but looking forward to the smell of turkey roasting
Wearing: warm, soft clothes
Following: women’s basketball
Noticing: the weather
Knowing: how to knit socks without reading a pattern
Thinking: about shopping lists
Feeling: creaky
Bookmarking: nothing new - e-mails, web cams, fb, senior learn, seniors&friends, blogs, games
Opening: jars can sometimes be difficult
Giggling: with the girls.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Enough said

From A Word A Day:

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:No drug, not even alcohol, causes the fundamental ills of society. If we're looking for the source of our troubles, we shouldn't test people for drugs, we should test them for stupidity, ignorance, greed, and love of power. -P.J. O'Rourke, writer (b. 1947)

p.s. UTC Lady Mocs 49, Villanova 45 in the season opener!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Medical stuff

All that was on my schedule today was the 6-month rheumatologist check. All seems to be going as usual. We talked again about any treatment for osteopenia, and decided it just wasn't bad enough to warrant anything - at least not yet. Keep taking calcium with D and doing as much walking as possible.

I've also been having trouble with my knee, so I asked about that. That's probably just bursitis. He recommended keeping it bent when sitting, heat, compression (like one of those knee "sleeves"), and (as y'all have mentioned) sleeping on my side with a pillow between my knees. We'll see how that goes.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Good stuff!

Busy day, but all good stuff.
             After swimming and coffee, some of the gals went to a jewelry show (I came home). Then ten of us met at a local tea room for lunch. As always, good friends, good food, good conversation, and laughter make for something special.
             Shortly after I got home, Rosemary and Daryl came over. Daryl has been painting and had asked if I would critique some of his work for him. It was fun getting to see his work, try to answer his questions, and make some suggestions for how to continue each piece. It’s an interesting challenge to me - looking at work that’s not at all like mine, and trying to see it in terms of the principles of art and composition. I think we all did a pretty good job.
               And then we topped it off by playing bridge for several hours.
How could it be bad?!?

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Not a regular Tuesday

      We worked at the library book sale this morning. We had customers, but were never swamped. It'll probably pick up some this afternoon. The sale runs through next Tuesday, but this is the only day we've scheduled to work.
      The excitement came after we got home. We had lunch and then I headed out to the grocery stores. Of course, since it was afternoon, there were more people, and everything went much slower. I had to wait in the check-out line in Walmart for ages. But I got stuff, and headed home. When I pulled in the driveway, I realized I had left my purse in the seat of the shopping cart (in the cart corral in the parking lot)!
      I unloaded the groceries onto the side of the driveway and flew back to Walmart (probably getting a ticket from the speed camera near our house). The cart was where I left it, but no purse. I found a parking place and headed into the store. When I walked in, panting and breathless, and asked the lady at Customer Service if anybody had turned in a purse, she asked me to describe it, and then said: "You look like your picture!" She confirmed my name, and then went and got my purse. They said a "regular shopper" had turned it in. Whew! what a relief!
     The whole thing took probably no more than 20 minutes. But the panic factor was major! Then I headed back home to put up my groceries. John had just found the stuff by the driveway and was bringing things into the house - wondering what had happened to me.
     Too much excitement for one afternoon. With any luck, I won't try THAT trick again anytime soon.

Veteran's Day addendum:  The wonderful Yorkshire Pudding has written a wonderful Armistice Day poem in his blog today.  Please click here and take a minute to read it.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Veteran's Day

On this day, as every day, we honor those who serve, who have served in the past, and who have given their all.

Especially thanks to our Jesse and Vicki's Taylor.

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Baby steps

We got out in the beautiful weather this afternoon.  John is feeling better, and needed to get out after being cooped up in the house for two days.  I just need to get moving.  He didn't plan to do much, and I'm not able to do much.  I know I need to get my activity level up  No promises, but I'll keep trying.

Saturday, November 08, 2014

Nothing much

John says he may be somewhat better today.  He did stay awake long enough this afternoon and evening to watch a few ballgames (although he went to bed at half-time of the LSU/AL game).
I managed to do absolutely nothing today - including cold cereal for breakfast and leftovers for dinner.

Friday, November 07, 2014


John has gotten fully into the cold.  He's spent most of the day in bed, asleep.  He didn't go out to dinner with us, and was back in bed shortly after we got home.  I hope he's feeling better tomorrow.  Usually he can sleep it off.  He's already taken many of the OTC meds, plus his prescription inhaler.
He skipped our planned dinner with Carol and Stephen.  Tina picked me up, and we joined them.  We got to hear some about their 3-month cross-country trip.  And I know we'll hear more when John is able to participate.  We always enjoy dinners at Noodles & Pho, and tonight was no exception. 

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Thursday Thirteen

1. First walk in the mall is pretty pitiful
2. Mani/pedi is always great!
3. Lovely fall day
4. The yard man came, mowed, and moved around the zillions of acorns and hickory nuts.
5. We both tried to get some trial prescriptions changed to mail delivery/90-day supply.
6. I think we were both successful.
7. Set dinner date for Friday with Carol and Stephen.
8. Sue, Margaret, and Sarah at Niagara Falls.
9. Sad news - next-door neighbors have to sell their house. They can no longer afford the payments and cannot refinance.
10. More sad news - Missy’s mother fell and broke her hip.
11. White Collar starts a new (and last) season tonight.
12. John thinks he may be coming down with a cold. Yuck!
13. Dinner tonight all out of the freezer and pantry. Good!

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Nothing doing today.

Massage got cancelled.
Too bad, but rescheduled for
Friday. Still good day.

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Election day

We cast only two winning votes in this election - one was a referendum to sell wine in grocery stores in Chattanooga (beginning in July 2016), and one minor constitutional amendment. 

I've always heard an old Chinese curse - May you live in interesting times.  Guess we'll be having that.

Monday, November 03, 2014


Please vote today (if you haven’t already voted early)!

True, there’s no presidential election this year. But remember ALL POLITICS IS LOCAL! The people you elect to your city, county, district, and state offices have much more direct influence over your life than the President.

Think about it…they decide your sales taxes, your property taxes, the schools for your children, zoning ordinances, libraries, garbage pickup, police and fire protection, and on and on.

In my location, with my political beliefs, I will probably see none of the candidates I’ve voted for win their elections. I do have some hope for a couple of ballot issues. Even with that being the case, I want everybody to vote.

It’s really terrible how low the turn-out is for elections in our country. Let’s see if we can’t do better.


Sunday, November 02, 2014

:Being Mortal"

I’ve just finished reading Being Mortal by Atul Gawande. It’s an amazing look at end of life issues, questions and discussions.

None of us wants to think about death, but - let’s face it - nobody gets out of this life alive. And whether or not we really think about it, we all have some thoughts about how we’d like to exit.

Gawande writes that the medical profession is focused on keeping the Grim Reaper at bay, and rarely gets into a discussion on how to deal with the inevitable.

He posits three questions that we, our doctors, and our families should consider as we‘re nearing that point. I think they’re worth repeating and thinking about.

1. What are your biggest fears and concerns?
2. What goals are most important to you?
3. What trade-offs are you willing to make and which ones are you not?

These are definitely things to think about - before our time comes.


We changed our clocks and smoke alarm batteries.  Did you?

Friday, October 31, 2014


Very cold, no snow.
In the middle at bridge. The
Hooch is tomorrow.


Thursday, October 30, 2014

Thursday Thirteen

  • The last balance physical therapy session was this morning. The therapist says I’m doing much better. We’ll see how it goes.
  • The weather has definitely changed.
  • They’re actually talking about snow tonight - lots in the mountains.
  • Today was the last day of early voting in TN.
  • It would be wonderful go have my votes turn out to be winners.
  • It would be wonderful to have ANY of my votes be winners.
  • The Head of the Hooch is this weekend - Saturday and Sunday
  • It’s supposed to be near freezing on Saturday night.
  • We’re talking with Home at First to schedule two weeks is two different locations in Ireland in April/May
  • They’ve already sent us a possible schedule.
  • I had lunch today with Vicki and Tina. How special is that!
  • Congratulations to the Giants for winning the World Series.
  • Don’t forget to set your clocks back before you go to bed Saturday night.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

A full Tuesday

The tech really worked me hard at PT this morning. She's managed to find one exercise that made me queasy in the stomach and dizzy - standing on a balance board that wobbled side-to-side, with my eyes closed. I had my hands touching (but not grabbing) a grab-bar, so I knew I wasn't going to fall, but it did make my stomach do flips. Well, better balance is the goal here, so they're pushing me. I have one more session on Thursday.

John's went on a walk this evening with some folks from the History Center - through one of the lovely old historic residential districts. It's right next to the university, so an area we know fairly well. But it'll be fun for him to see it at walking speed and hear the history about various homes, etc. The walk was great. Unexpectedly, some new homeowners were working on the restoration of their house, and invited the tour to come into the house to see it. Tina was there, too, and I met them for dinner afterwards.

Bob has been able to move back into his house. The suit his now-ex-wife filed has been settled. Once the sale of the house goes through, they'll have no more contact, even through lawyers. He has an apartment rented in upstate NY where he lived most of his life, and he’ll be heading there in a couple of weeks. We're just glad this is over. I'm glad we were here to help him out, but it's nice to have our house back to just ourselves again.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Bridge Day

I love playing bridge - even when my cards aren’t very good. Today was an exception.

I guess it was just one of those days. Except for the first round I played with John, when we had some pretty good cards, my cards were some of the worst I can remember.

Then there was the other aspect of the game - the players. Maybe 2/3 of the 20 people who played today are pretty good players. And almost all of them are really nice people. However, in four rounds, I wound up playing with and against the worst players in the bunch. I’m certainly not the best in the group, but today was just no fun.

Oh, well - we’ll be back again next week.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Beautiful Fall Sunday

The weather was so pretty today, John took Bob out for a drive along the Tellico and the Cherohala Skyway. Of course, lots of other folks decided to get out and enjoy the gorgeous weather and the trees. There was one waterfall where they couldn't even stop to look and take pictures because they couldn't find a parking place.

John goes in for an echo cardiogram tomorrow. He has A-fib, and has been noticing it more lately. He decided to go to the cardiologist to get it seen to. He wore a Holter monitor last week, and after this test tomorrow, will be going back to the cardiologist to see what's next.

Not too much coming up this week. It’s supposed to be up to 80(!) tomorrow, and then very chilly by the end of the week.


Friday, October 24, 2014

Duplicate bridge

Played poorly last time.
Didn’t think today would be
better. Tied for first.

Thursday, October 23, 2014


  • I had PT this morning.
  • The therapists are working strengthening my legs and core.
  • I feel like I've improved some.
  • I really need to get to doing some walking.
  • Haven't had time, so far.
  • I had a massage today.
  • It was wonderful!
  • John went to the urologist today for his quarterly injection.
  • His PSA was 0.4, which is great.
  • He's still having hot flashes, but is dealing with them.
  • He went to the cemetery with Allan’s daughters, to support them as they dedicated his stone, and to say his own goodbyes.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

"Being Mortal"

I heard part of a conversation with Atul Gawande on BookTV last weekend about his new book, Being Mortal. I've just bought the book, and John is in the process of devouring it. I'm glad I got it in hardback - we'll be loaning it to almost everybody we know. Definitely a must read!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Tuesday - Day 2

The physical therapy session was tough today.  PT is a solid hour of activity - doing things I'm not comfortable doing.  Oh, well - that's the point.

I'm not too fond of grocery shopping, but that got done as well.

We spent all afternoon with T again.  John spent the time getting a new light fixture ready to hang, and getting it at least temporarily up. The girls did lots of work and got most of their stuff packed.  We're not going back tomorrow, but maybe again on Thursday.

In any case, we're both pretty tired, and it's off to bed.

Monday, October 20, 2014


Today didn’t seem like we did anything, but we‘re still tired.

The only active thing was to go to the Y and to coffee T brought lunch over, and then we went to her house. Her stepdaughters were coming to her house to pick out some personal items that had belonged to their father (who died a year ago). T was afraid that it would be traumatic for all of them, as it was after A died. We volunteered to go to her house, just to be an outside presence and a buffer. We had known the girls when they were youngsters, so it wasn’t as if we were strangers.

We all arrived at the same time. After pleasantries were exchanged, T and the girls got down to business. Today was mostly for looking at what was there and deciding what they wanted to take. They left about 4 or so. We stayed and talked for another hour before going home. There were no problems, but it was stressful for all. And we’ll go back again tomorrow while they’re there to pack up things.

Sunday, October 19, 2014


Duplicate last night
Awful. Laundry and closet
Cleaning today. Fun.

Cleaning lady comes
Tomorrow, and we will help
Tina with fam’ly.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Sunday Stealing

Let's Talk Travel Meme

Ok let’s talk travel, do you like to travel?

Oh, my, YES!!!
Where have you been?

Six continents, 50 states Canada, etc. It’s been amazing.
Next place you want to go?

Almost anywhere. Right now, we’re working on a trip to the Canadian Rockies next fall. But we’ll be doing some traveling before then.
What is something you MUST take with you when you travel?

My meds, some knitting, and my iPad.
How do you like to travel? (mode of transportation)

It doesn’t matter - car, plane, train, boat - whatever.
With someone, or alone?

Prefer with John and possibly Ann & Al or one or more of the girls.
Do you dance in your car when there are other people with you?

It would be really tough to dance in a car, with or without other people, so I probably wouldn’t in any circumstances.
If you're quiet what does it mean?

Just that I don’t have anything to contribute to the conversation.
Favorite scent?

I don’t like scents except natural ones, like roses or bread cooking or cinnamon.
Favorite store?

I don’t like to shop. I go to Aldi and WalMart because I have to in order to get groceries. Or I shop at Amazon or Knitpicks on line.
Say you wanted coffee.. what kind is your favorite?

Regular coffee. I don’t like flavored coffee.
Favorite kind of pizza?

Regular or thin crust with pepperoni, mushrooms, onions, olives.
Do you get embarrassed easily?

Do you mind people asking you personal questions?

I don’t mind people asking, and I reserve the right to refuse to answer.
You have a tank of gas, $50, and the day off… what do you do?

If the weather is nice, we might go take a ride in the mountains.
Favorite tv show?

NCIS, Rachel Maddow
Song you turn the volume up all the way to listen to?

The sound track from Les Mis
Something you keep in your car?

A bottle of water
Highlight of your day?

Being in for the day and getting into soft clothes.
Something you do everyday that you wish you didn’t have to do?

I don’t much do things I don’t want to do.
Do you mind if people just show up at your house unannounced?

I’d prefer some notice, but I could probably handle it.
What do you do when you disagree with someone?

If it can be a discussion of opinions, I’ll nicely argue my position. I don’t get into heated arguments when positions are written in stone.
Do you enjoy rain?

Who’s your favorite person in the whole world?

John, of course.

Friday, October 17, 2014


I haven’t done that much today, but I’m SOOOO sleepy.

Mostly what I’ve accomplished has been in the pampering department. We got haircuts this morning. The “cutter” I like best was there this morning, and she gave me a great short cut. After lunch I went for my mani/pedi. The foot massage is my favorite opart of the process. The nails look pretty good, though.

We went to dinner with Tina at Noodles & Pho - a great chicken meal. Then back to the house for some wine and conversation. We got into a lot of hilarity over “F” words being turned into “Ph” words. Phun, phood, phriends, etc. Great silliness!

I’m recording a PBS performance of Porgy and Bess to watch later.

YYYAAAWWWNNN!!!    Good night.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Four for Thursday

I had my second PT session this morning, and I was really tired afterwards. I guess it's because I was standing or walking or getting up and down from a sitting position (without using my hands) the whole time. I was usually lying or sitting when my shoulder was being worked on. Some of this stuff is simple, but really hard for me.

I had lunch with Vicki today. She's having a second hip replacement next month. I do miss seeing her.

The chamber music series at the museum started its new season evening. This is such a great setting and great music, and is becoming very popular. This evening’s performance was a sellout - and this is an event that has open seating, and is really very informal.

It's definitely cooler now. It was in the low 60s and was cloudy all day I will enjoy this weather when my body makes the transition to these temperatures.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014


Rain mostly over.
Coffee, bagles, fruit and friends
Make a good morning.

Have you noticed the Viagra commercial that has only a sexy blonde in a slinky sundress, walking barefoot on a beach and beach resort-type area? No man at all in the commercial, and it doesn't mention the name of the drug until it shows up at the very end. Sheeeeshhh!!!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


Most of the storm came through here overnight. We got 3.4" of rain, and I heard none of it. It was still rainy this morning, with a couple of really hard showers. I waited in my car at WalMart for it to slack up some before I ventured out of my car. It seems to be lightening up some now, though. Last night’s rain plus this morning’s 0.5” gave us 4” from this system. This is added to the 1.5” we had gotten on Friday night. Should I be checking the specifications for an ark?

I went to my first PT session on balance training. I have the same gal who worked on me for my shoulder, so we're old friends. She had me do some interesting things and gave a couple of exercises to do at home. One of the movements did make me slightly dizzy, so something must be working. I'm set up for 5 more sessions, 2/week for 3 weeks. We shall see.....

In the piece they did about the meeting last night, the TV folks got all three of us in a long shot and I showed up in a brief close-up.  Ah, celebrity!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Weather; run-up to Election Day

We're supposed to get really bad weather tonight. There’s no rain or wind here yet, but flash flood warnings have already been posted (we're so hilly, that's always a problem). And the start of school has been postponed 2 hours in the morning. That's so that it will be daylight when the buses run.
This evening, we went to a forum put on by the Tennessee League of Women Voters to explain the four ballot issues to be voted on in November. They're proposed amendments to the Tennessee constitution. We were pretty sure we knew what we were going to do, but this just confirmed it. Afterwards, we went to our favorite Mexican restaurant for our usual yummy dinner. I brought half of mine home, so somebody will get a really good lunch tomorrow.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Soggy Sunday

Rain and thunder on and off all day today - even some periods of sunshine.  More like springtime.

John worked the Chattanooga Head Race yesterday.  That entailed his being on the river from daybreak until about 6 pm.  He was working the start line, as usual. It looked like it was going to be stormy, so they delayed the starting time, but it finally cleared off.  They had a few sprinkles, but it was mostly a clear day.

Today was a matter of fixing breakfast, reading the paper, watching CBS Sunday Morning, and doing the laundry.  At least until we ordered pizza.  Missy picked it up, and Tina came by, too.  So the day ended up with our favorites - friends, family, food, and laughter.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Sunday Stealing

From Survey's

[Random Questions]

Who were you with yesterday?
The usual suspects - John, Bob, the swimmers, plus bridge in the afternoon.
What woke you up this morning?
Knowing that I had to get up earlier than usual - even though the alarm was set.
Where are you?
At home, in my chair
Is tomorrow going to be a good day?
I hope so.
What’s on your mind RIGHT NOW?
Answering these questions
Do you listen to music every day?
I usually listen to music only when I’m driving, so it depends.
Are you a fast typer?
Very fast. I was a great secretary/transcriptionist when I was working.
Whats your favorite type of soda?
I’m not much of a soda drinker. If I have one, it’s likely to be something lemony and over ice (to both dilute it and lessen the carbonation)
Have you ever won an award?
I’ve been juried into art shows, but I don’t think I’ve ever won an award.
Are you listening to music right now?
How long ’till your birthday?
About five months.
Do you use ebay to buy or sell?
Who makes you mad?
The idiots in Congress who are determined to shut the government down by refusing to compromise on any subject.
What do you do when you’re mad?
I rarely get mad, but I usually yell at myself. In my younger days, I had been known to throw thing.
Do certain songs make you cry?
Of course
Are you usually a happy person?
What makes you the happiest?
Being in a beautiful place, with my favorite people
Do you believe in yourself?

Of course.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Five for Friday

1. Swimming and coffee are always a good way to start the day.

2. John spent the morning at the Rowing Center, helping get ready for the Chattanooga Head Race.

3. We played duplicate this afternoon and came in next-to-last. We were not at our best.

4. It’s always good to find something in the freezer that can be fixed quickly for supper.

5. The knitting is finished completely on the sweater, and it’s drying from the blocking.

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Good Thursday

Sleeping late is good.
Massage feels good all day long.
Finishing sweater.

Wednesday, October 08, 2014


This morning, I saw the ENT doc for the report on my tests. All the problems are "age related" He smiled and said "you won't want to hear this, but..." Anyhow, just a slight hearing loss in the upper registers - not enough to do anything about.

There are some age-related balance problems, though. They're setting me up with a few PT sessions for balance training and he suggests that I try to walk more. I know I should be doing that, but I really don't like doing it. Oh, well - guess I need to get off my you-know-what and do it.

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Medical week

I've been running from one to another doctor's appointment. I saw the eye doctor yesterday morning. The glaucoma drops were causing extreme eye pain on the trip, so I called and got permission to stop them - on the condition that I see them first thing Monday. All is okay, snf he gave me a sample of another eye drop medication to try. He thinks it might be the preservatives in the medication that is irritation my eye. I hope this one works.

Then I went for a 2-hour (!!!) appointment at the ENT office for audiology and ear-balance testing. It was an interesting set of tests - none painful. I'll be interesting in hearing the results when I see the doc for the evaluation tomorrow.

This morning, I saw my orthopedist for shoulder followup. He says the surgery I had is pretty much considered a "salvage" operation - when all else has failed. But that people seem happy with the results. And I am happy with the results, too. I asked him about the knee pain I've been having, and he is going to check that when I see him again in January. I would hope he could help that, at least temporarily, with cortisone injections rather than talk about more surgery.

Our weather is still cool and rainy, but supposed to be back up into the 80s by the end of the week.

Monday, October 06, 2014

The Queen of the Mississippi

A few words about the boat, etc.

The Queen of the Mississippi is only two years old, so she is still pretty new and shiny. There is capacity for 150 passengers and 50 crew members. There are passenger cabins on four decks, with the crew housing below. The fifth deck is partially covered, but open, and there are outdoor rocking chairs and/or lounges on each deck. The main meeting/socializing lounge was on Deck 2, and the dining room on Deck 1. Our original cabin was #322, before we were upgraded to #302, the starboard bow suite.

Our cabin was very nice. We had windows overlooking the bow and sliding glass doors to a private balcony on the side. There were two rocking chairs and a small table there. We had a king-sized bed, two upholstered chairs, two chests, a desk and chair, and a full bathroom. Quite luxurious.

There was open seating at meals, so we got to sit with and meet different passengers. They were from London and Sydney and all points in between. Nice folks! The food was excellent. Breakfast was light buffet or menu-ordered hot breakfast. Lunch and dinner each offered choices of two appetizers, two entrees, dessert, plus complimentary wine and beer.

Things pretty much worked and when they didn’t (the elevator was out of service one day), they were fixed quickly. The crew were all young, pleasant, and helpful.

That’s enough about the boat. I’ll talk about the trip and excursions later.

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Sunday stealing

From Survey's
Random 20

1. Have you had an argument with anyone recently? If so, do you still have issues with that person?

Nope - I try not to argue. You’re usually not going to change someone’s opinion.
2. Are you talking to anyone while filling this in? How about texting/chatting on Facebook?

None of the above
3. Have you done something recently that helped someone else, in any way?

I think we encouraged someone to think outside the box.
4. Who was the last person to pay you a compliment?

5. Is there anything that’s happened in the past month, that you wish you could go back in time and change?

Probably, but that’s mostly a waste of time - unless it keeps you from making the same mistake again.
6. What colour is your purse/wallet?

7. What’s the closest item to you that’s black?

The cover to my iPad is zebra-striped black and white.
8. Think about what you looked like 5 years ago. How did you look different, compared to the way you look now?

Probably not much, but that was several surgeries ago.
9. Before Facebook became popular, did you use any other social networking site, like Bebo or Myspace?

10. Has someone of the opposite sex ever sung to you? If so, how did you respond to it?

Not that I remember.
11. When did you last hug someone of the opposite sex?

12. Have you ever seen the film “Casablanca”? Did you like it?

I don’t think I’ve ever seen the whole movie - just the famous clips.
13. Do you have a relative whose name begins with ‘L’? Tell me about him/her.

Lydia was my wonderful mother.
14. Are you a secretive person?

I’m not a blabber, and I can keep a secret. But I don’t think I’m secretive.
15. When did you last eat?

Supper, a couple of hours ago.
16. If you were going to buy a present for a special person, what would you generally choose?

I’m not much of a present-buyer. We give money for most family gifts. The only time I buy things is if I happen on just the right thing for someone.
17. If I’m going to buy you a box of chocolates, which kind should I definitely NOT get?

Something with coconut or peanut butter.
18. Is there something you generally always ask for help with?

Something that requires physical strength.
19. If you had to give up your phone or your computer, which would it be?

My phone
20. Has anyone called you gorgeous/beautiful today?


Saturday, October 04, 2014

Off the Mississippi

Our trip on the Queen of the Mississippi from St. Louis to St. Paul was really good. I wasn’t able to get a consistent wifi signal, so didn’t try to post during the trip. We flew to St. Louis on departure day, and flew out of St. Paul on ending day, so we didn’t see anything of either city. We’ve spent time in St. Louis before, done the Arch, etc., so that was okay. We’ll just have to save Minneapolis/St. Paul for another trip.

In between, we stopped at Hannibal, MO (Mark Twain, of course), Davenport and Dubuque, IA, LaCrosse, WI, and Red Wing, MN. I guess our favorite stop was Dubuque. We met up with some internet friends for a couple of hours, and toured (with them) the great Mississippi River Museum in DBQ. The scenery along the river was lovely and fascinating. There wasn’t as much barge traffic as we’d expected, but we were told most of it would be grain coming south, and we were a little bit too early for that. We saw a little bit of color, but not as much as we’d hoped for. There were lots of bald eagles to watch for, and each one was exciting.

The lectures and entertainment on board were quite good, and the food was fabulous. Since we had been upgraded to a suite, our cabin was great - even though we didn’t spend a lot of time there. It was nice getting to meet the other passengers - from all over the country, Britain, and Australia. We ate dinner most evenings with two couples from Long Island and California.

We got home about 6:30. All the travel went on schedule, but we were cold the whole way home. It was chilly in St Paul when we left the boat. It was cold on the plane all the way to Atlanta, and then it was chilly and windy there. We sat in the cold wind for about 45 minutes waiting for the shuttle, and then huddled together all the way to Chattanooga. It surely felt good to get into the warm car that had green-housed in the sun. We stopped for burgers at 5 Guys on the way home. We got unpacked, and spent the rest of the evening in our chairs.

As always, it’s good to be home.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Another quiet day

Such a quiet day - getting ready to pack.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Wednesday Haiku

Swim, coffee, haircuts.
So much for morning. After
That, Noodles & Pho.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014


Click here to read a short list of books chosen by and with comments by Neil DeGrasse Tyson. I’m not much on book lists, but this one, with his comments, is interesting.
I had my six-month dentist visit this morning. All looks good and, naturally, this makes me happy.
More happiness this evening when we got a call from the cruise line about our upcoming trip on the Queen of the Mississippi. They were letting us know that they were upgrading our cabin to a bow suite. Well, now! I think we can certainly handle that.

Monday, September 22, 2014


It was a quieter than expected Monday. The cleaning lady came, which is always a good thing.

The installer who was scheduled to install the new kitchen faucet called to say he had had car trouble and would be late. So I didn’t get to bridge this afternoon. John went and said he had had lousy cards. “J” came and got the faucet put in, taking him about half-an-hour. And it’s ever so much better than the old one. It takes such small things to make me happy.

I’d about decided dinner was happening “out” somehow or somewhere, but I wound up getting out the last of the split pea soup. No more of that until after Thanksgiving (and a ham).

There are lots of appointments to fill out the rest of the week.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Family, Friends, Food

Sunday is for family, friends, and food.  Not as big an event as we had at Margaret and Bobby's a couple of weeks ago, but still good stuff.

Tina's sister, Kendall, is in town for a few days.  We invited them over for lasagna tonight.  And, since it was lasagna, Margaret came over (she always plans on taking the leftovers home) to join John, Bob, and me.   Plus she brought green beans that she had picked and cooked this morning.  Yum!

The beans were delicious; this is a particularly good batch of lasagna.  I had gotten some salad greens and cut-up fruit yesterday, plus some tomatoes and small cucumbers at the farmers' market.  So we were good to go.

All in all, a very nice evening for John, Bob, Margaret, Tina, Kendall, and me.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Sunday Stealing

Alphabetty 2

A) What does the last text you sent say? And to whom?

“Hugs”, sent to Tina
B) What does the last text you received say? And from whom?
“xoxo”, from Tina
C) What time do you wake up most mornings?

With the alarm on M/W/F at 6 am; otherwise about 7:30 am
D) Are you afraid of walking alone at night?

Not afraid, but I don’t much walk anywhere.
E) What do you do to relax at the end of a stressful day?

Change into soft clothes, get into my recliner, look at the computer.
F) Where did your last kiss take place and with whom?

Kissed John good night yesterday
G) Do/did you get into trouble a lot at school?

No, I was one of the goody-two-shoes.
H) Do you enjoy your job? If unemployed, are you content being so?

I’m retired, and loving it. I enjoyed my last job up until the last year or so.
I) Do you often pick up on double entendres and innuendos?

Mostly yes. Sometimes I’m incredibly dense.
J) Have you ever been offered drugs but declined?

Not offered, but would definitely decline.
K) Have you ever met someone who has completely altered your way of thinking?

No, but someone might make me think more about something.
L) Have you ever been offered drugs and accepted?

See #J.
M) Tell us something weird that turns you on.

Come on - I’m 78 years old.
N) When did someone last admit romantic or sexual feelings for you? Was the feeling mutual?

John tells me he loves me every day, and yes, the feeling is mutual.
O) What is something you have given a lot of thought to lately?

The problems of some friends and family.
P) When did you last swallow your beliefs to avoid an argument or confrontation?

I don’t argue or confront about my beliefs, but I never swallow them.
Q) Do you usually initiate hugs?

I don’t know about “usually”, but I do sometimes and always reciprocate.
R) Are you a very affectionate person?

S) Can you roll your own cigarettes?

Why on earth would I want to do that?!?
T) What are you looking forward to?

Our upcoming trip on the Mississippi River.
U) Do you have any tattoos. Do you want any/more?

Only the two dots from my radiation treatment for breast cancer. And I definitely don’t want any more.
V) Are you mentally strong?

I think so.
W) Are you physically strong?

Not any more.
X) Do you think you’re a good person?

Y) Name one thing you wish you could change about your life right now.

I would change my health/stamina/strength.
Z) What do you usually eat for breakfast?

Depends on the day of the week. M/W/F egg, toast, juice; T/T/S cold cereal; Sunday, breakfast meat, eggs, biscuits or toast, sometimes waffles.