Monday, March 31, 2014

Goodbye March!

Monday. Spring Monday.
Busy day tomorrow, but
Good cards today. Yea!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Sunday Stealing

The 20Q Meme

1. When you buy a greetings card are the words or the picture more important to you?
        It depends on the card and the person to whom it’s for. Sometimes one, sometimes the other, sometimes both.
2. What's your favorite kind of cake?

       Cakes are not my favorite - I’d prefer ice cream or pie. But I do love a good pound cake.
3. Do you ever make gifts for people, if so what, or do you buy them?

       I don’t give many gifts nowadays, but I frequently make them.
4. You are chosen to have lunch with the President. The condition is you only get to ask one question. What do you ask?

       Before the end of your term, are you going to try to get more of the things you promised in the first campaign?
5. Which do you dislike most: pop-up ads or spam email?

      Pop-up ads. Our e-mail server is pretty good about blocking spam before we see it.
6. What was the best party you've ever been to?

      The best one I remember was my 75th birthday party that the swimming group had for me. I loved the 75” long birthday cake.
7. Which is worse, being in a place that is too loud, or too quiet?

      Definitely too loud is worse.
8. You are offered an envelope that you know contains $50. You are then told that you may either keep it or exchange it for another envelope that may contain $500 or may be empty. Do you keep the first envelope, or do you take your chances with the second?

       Since I didn’t have anything before, I’d probably take the chance on the $500.
9. Do you wish cellphone etiquette was a required class upon purchasing one?

       Absolutely! Although it probably wouldn’t do any good.
10. What's the most messed up food combination that you've had that was actually good?

       I can’t think of one right now.
11. What's one of your most random pet peeves (something that annoys you)?

       Bad grammar, especially by professionals who should know better.
12. When is the last time you had home cooking?

      Tonight for supper - crab cakes. Yum!
13. If you could be a fictional character from a book who would you choose?

       Other than getting beaten up, I’d like to be Anna Pigeon in the Nevada Barr books set in all the National Parks.
14. If you could be in a television sit-com, which would you choose?

        Maybe Cheers or Frazier. I don’t watch any of the current sitcoms.
15. If you could be any animal or creature for one day, what would it be?

       I do sloth pretty well, but I might like to be a dolphin, intelligent and water-loving.
16. What's your favorite girl's name?

       We gave my favorite names to our daughters (Lydia, Susan, Margaret, Elizabeth, Katherine, Ann, Jean, Marie)
17. What's your favorite boy's name?

18. What's your supermarket of choice?

      WalMart, Aldi.
19. If you were to attend a costume party tonight, what or whom would you go as?

       A 78-yearold woman - I don’t like costume parties.
20. What is your concession stand must-have at the movies
       I don’t ever buy anything at the concession stand, but it must obviously have popcorn.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Another good day

It was chilly and rainy most of the day - the kind of day most conducive to doing absolutely nothing. That was John’s goal for the day, and he accomplished that (mostly).

I had a goal, too, which actually involved doing something that might even be construed as (gasp) cleaning. I had found a pattern for a shawl to be knitted from left-over sock yarn. Heaven knows I have lots and lots of that, but…..

Of course, the little balls of stuff are scattered all throughout my knitting stuff, which has filled up the cabinets near my chair, and filled up boxes in the corner behind my chair. So gathering up all those little balls involved actually cleaning out that area.

It was amazing what all I found. Several stashes of yarn that are enough to make some things (don’t know what, but I’ll figure it out). Lots of odds and ends - enough to fill almost three garbage bags to take to the Northside Neighborhood House. A huge wad of dust and dead bugs underneath all the boxes, necessitating a visit from the hand-held vac. And not only the little balls of left-over sock yarn, but yarn for about six new pairs of socks.

So I guess I’ll be starting on the new shawl. And there is now some empty space in the corner beside my chair.

To finish off the day, we had dinner at Noodle & Pho with Carol and Stephen.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Happy Friday

After swimming, coffee, and mailing the tax forms, we finished off the day with dinner here with some great gals (John’s harem).

Tina, her friend Carolyn, Missy, Renna, John, and I had lasagna, salad and cake to celebrate Tina’s birthday. Just a fun, laugh-filled evening.

Happy Birthday, Friend!

Thursday, March 27, 2014


Slug days are good now
And then. It’s beginning to
Look like spring may come.

Is it Spring Fever?
Maybe Spring really will come
This year after all.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014


I’m feeling somewhat virtuous today. I got lots of stuff done today, instead of doing my usual nothing.

After swim class at the Y and going to coffee, I went to Michael’s and got ribbon to go on the five long-sleeved t-shirts that I want to have made into shirt-jackets. And I actually got the shirts and ribbon taken to the alteration lady. It’s a good thing I did - she won’t get them done until right before we head for Hawaii.

This afternoon, I went for my 6-month teeth cleaning. All was clear again - and that is always a good thing. John’s feeling okay after his tooth extraction yesterday.

This evening, we got our tax forms ready to go to the post-office - all signed, checks added where necessary, addressed, and certified mail cards filled out. So that’s done for this year.

Now we’re ready to sleep late in the morning.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Medical reports

John had his tooth extracted this afternoon. He seems to be doing okay so far. They’re going to just leave the space open for a while and see how he does with it. He might eventually wind up with a bridge or an implant.
Jean got a call from her doctor this afternoon. The thyroid biopsies were benign. Yea! That’s a relief. She’s just to be checked again in a year.
My news is that I finally got to the orthopedist today. The partial shoulder replacement is going to have to be revised. He will do a reverse shoulder arthroplasty, where they put the ball on the top part, rather than on the part that goes into the arm. It's usually done after a failed regular replacement or a really bad rotator cuff tear. Jean's friend, Kay, had rotator cuff surgery a couple of years ago, with a not-too-good result, and she had this procedure done right after Christmas. She's doing pretty well with it - still in the physical therapy stage. The doc says I should have "significantly" less pain and more range of motion with this procedure. I can only hope. It's to be scheduled about the second week in May, after we get back from Hawaii.

Monday, March 24, 2014

I know it's not Sunday, but from Sunday Stealing...

The 17 Meme

1. Do you know triplets?

      I took art lessons a number of years ago with a triplet.
2. Do you prefer Titanic or The Notebook?

      I assume you mean the movies. I’ve not seen either one.
3. Have you ever eaten Indian food?

      Yes, and liked it. It’s been a long time, though.
4. What’s the name of your favorite restaurant?

      No one favorite, but there’s Formosa, Old Saigon, Noodles & Pho, La Altena.
5. Who’s your favorite person in the world?

      Outside of my family, I couldn’t begin to answer this one.
6. Would you rather live in a rural area or in the suburbs?

      Suburbs. I don’t want to live in a large city, but I do like access to city amenities like museums, music, medical services, etc.
7. Can you whistle?

      Yes, but not the really loud kind.
8. Do you sleep with a nightlight?

      Not in the bedroom. There are nightlights throughout the house, halls and bathrooms, for safety reasons.
9. Do you eat breakfast every morning?

      Definitely. It’s the most important meal of the day.
10. Do you take any pills or medication daily?

      Lots, both at breakfast and evening meal - prescription and OTC/supplements.
11. How many times have you been to the hospital as a patient?

      I could probably count them all, but it would take too long.
12. Have you ever seen Finding Nemo?

      Yes. Loved it!
13. Where do you buy your jeans?

       WalMart - where I get most of my clothes.
14. What’s the last compliment you got?

       At bridge this afternoon. An opponent telling me that I had played a hand well.
15. Do you usually remember your dreams in the morning?

      No, but I do usually remember that I was dreaming.
16. What flavor tea do you enjoy?

      Iced and unsweetened.
17. What social media sites do you use?

      SeniorLearn, Seniors and Friends, Facebook.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Jekyll Island, etc.

Jekyll Island is a lovely place. It’s a barrier island, separating the mainland from the Atlantic Ocean. Georgia has several Sea Islands, Jekyll, St. Simon’s, Cumberland (as to South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, etc.). Each has its own ambiance and character.

The hotel and cottages that comprise the Jekyll Island Club Hotel were built by some of the nation’s wealthiest men in the late 19th Century as a place where they could go in the winter to hunt and relax. They came by yacht and train. One claim to fame is that the Federal Reserve system was set up by five of these titans of industry in a room at the hotel.

As the world changed, the buildings fell into disrepair. The island was eventually bought by the state of Georgia and is now a Georgia State Park. There are private homes and businesses on the island. People can own the buildings, but they have 99-year leases on the land. Only 30% of the island can be developed, so the only new construction can happen on a previously used site. It’s a very laid-back place to visit and a fairly pricey place to stay.

But it is gorgeous! The azaleas were just about to bloom when we were there. There is nothing to compare with the age-old live oak trees with their swooping branches, festooned with Spanish moss. It’s definitely worth at least a day trip.  (Again, sorry, this program is not letting me post pictures.)


John bit down on something at breakfast Thursday morning and cracked a tooth? We called his home dentist (endodontist) and he has an appointment Monday morning. But we also asked the coordinator to find him a dentist to see in Brunswick, just to be on the safe side. That dentist didn't want to actually DO anything, but did say it should be okay until Monday, just to be careful with it. He says he's not hurting too much, so he'll be seeing his doc tomorrow morning.

When I skyped with Jean today, she showed me a boo-boo on her neck. She had had a thyroid punch biopsy Friday. She saw an endocrinologist who felt some nodules on her thyroid and did the biopsy. She probably won't hear anything for a day or so.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Road Scholar program

Our Road Scholar program last week on Jekyll Island was called “Advancing Bridge”. We went with the idea of learning more about playing duplicate bridge and seeing if that was something we wanted to pursue.

Most of the 20 people enrolled in the program were duplicate players, but the program was for improving your game in any setting.

The instructor, Craig Hemphill, was terrific. He’s obviously an excellent player with a great knowledge of the game. But he’s also a terrific teacher, truly interested in seeing that folks learned what he had to offer. He was very well organized, stayed on topic, answered questions, started and finished on time. In short, he was the best.

The program was set up with instruction in the mornings, followed by supervised play in the afternoons and free play in the evening. He had set up boards with hands that illustrated the lessons, so we got to practice the new things we’d hopefully learned. To our amazement, John and I were first both days he kept track of the scores.

For the bridge players out there, we had lessons on Stayman, Jacoby transfers, signaling, defense, and slam bidding. I hope John and I will be able to use the things we learned. We are going to try some of the duplicate groups in town and see how we like them.

More later.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Home again!

We got home about 4:30 this afternoon. It was about a 7-hour drive, with slow-downs south of Atlanta, Atlanta in general, and a short one just coming in to Chattanooga. But it was all interstate, and really uneventful. We just made one stop for gasoline and two rest area stops for the usual. We’ve unpacked and sorted things out. John went and got burgers from Five Guys for our first meal since breakfast at Jekyll Island.

The program and the location of the Road Scholar program were great. We think we learned a lot - and things that we’ll actually use in our bridge playing - whether rubber bridge or duplicate. This was not technically about learning to play duplicate, but learning to play better bridge in general. It was a good group of students, and the teacher was excellent. He was exceptionally knowledgeable, funny, a good teacher, and wanted to be sure that we actually learned something.

Now we’ll rest up, John will go to more basketball games, and I’ll do laundry. But it’s good to be home.

Friday, March 14, 2014

A good laugh is a wonderful thing, and some random thoughts

This evening, we watched the rerun (13 March 2014) episode of Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show. When he did the bit about Mitch McConnell’s TV commercial, I thought I would fall out of the chair. I can’t remember the last time I laughed so hard. A good laugh is great! You can watch it HERE.
Who started the thing with the dark gray uniforms in basketball and football - instead of the team colors? It’s a yucky color, with no character at all. I think some uniform company made bundles of money getting the teams to have new uniforms with this non-color. I hope the fad doesn’t last long.
We’ll be out of town for a few days, so postings might be intermittent.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

All in all...

We went to a String Theory Concert this evening. It was an unusual group of instruments for chamber music. The first selection was by a violin/piano duet by Mendelssohn. Second was by Poulenc - a clarinet/piano duet. And the third was a piano/violin/clarinet by Schoenfield. We loved the Mendelssohn, and enjoyed the other two pieces - even though they’re ones we wouldn’t want to hear frequently.

But listening to the music got me to comparing orchestral music to chamber music. Many composers wrote for both genres. I’ve gotten to where I prefer the chamber ensemble to an orchestra. John and I have talked about this, too, and wondering why.

When listening to an orchestra, we’re hearing all the instruments coalesce into one voice. There are occasional solos, of course, but generally it’s one chorus.

Chamber music, with its usually 2-5 instruments, is more like these different instruments having a conversation. The listener can hear these individual voices and how they “talk” to one another, “listen” from time to time, and then all “sing” together.

All in all, a lovely evening!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

It was just one of those days....

Jesse and his buddy didn't get here until after midnight last night/this morning. Then we sat up and talked, plus they took showers, so we got to bed about 2 a.m. John and I were up about 8, and the guys not too long after that (when I started cooking bacon).

It seems that last night, somewhere near Benton, TN, Jesse's bike had some major problems. He tried to fix it, but finally called a friend from here with a truck who picked up them and the bikes and brought them to Chattanooga. After talking things over this morning, Bobby (Jesse’s dad) drove here from their place about an hour west of here, bringing Jesse’s old truck and a trailer. Then Jesse and his buddy could drive back to Norfolk towing the trailer with the bikes. And John would take Bobby back home.

In the event, this did happen. But Bobby got lost twice getting to our house. He did finally get here, the boys got the truck and trailer, John took Bobby home, and John got back home. Of course, with 20:20 hindsight, he then thought of several things they could’ve done differently that would’ve made things easier, but it did get done. The boys are on their way back to Norfolk and I hope will let us know when they get there.

In the midst of this, I left to go have lunch with Vicki. She took me to a birthday lunch at a local tea room - great soup and tea sandwiches, and even dessert. She gave me a lovely new flamingo, and I gave her the traditional spring package of Peeps.

Then I went for my follow-up appointment with the orthopedist. It’s been six months since my last x-ray, and he had intimated that I might need a revision of the shoulder replacement. So I’ve been sort of antsy about it. What a disappointment. Turns out all his appointments for the week had been cancelled - he was out of town - except I hadn't been called. Phooey! Since I won't be here next week, my appointment is now for two weeks hence. Drat!

Other than the bright spots of visiting with Jesse and his friend, and having lunch with Vicki, it was a pretty crappy day.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Spring on the way?

It’s been a gorgeous day today. Maybe spring will get here before too much longer - although we do have more cold weather predicted this week.  I took pictures this morning of jonquils and hellebores in the yard, but this program has changed again, and I can't figure out how to get photos to upload.  Oh, well....
Jesse and a friend have been on a motorcycle trip. They were due to get here in time for supper, but…. We went out for dinner anyway. He’s has trouble with his bike, but has found someone to get him and bring him here. They might get here before midnight, but who knows. It’s okay - we’re glad to see him anytime - and we’ll see what works out tomorrow.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Monday Miscellany

Congratulations to the Chattanooga Lady Mocs for winning their 15th Southern Conference Tournament. On to the NCAA tournament! We’ll be watching next Monday to see what their seeding will be and where they will play.

The Tennessee Lady Vols won the SEC Tournament on Sunday. Their first two games will be in Knoxville on 22 and 24 March. Margaret and John have tickets to those games and to the Women’s Final Four in Nashville.
On a more local scale, the cards were awful today. We’re looking forward to our Road Scholar program next week on “Advancing Bridge”, and learning more about playing duplicate. We’ll see how that goes.
Jesse and a friend are due in tomorrow sometime, on their way back from Motorcycle Week in Daytona. As always, it’ll be good to see him.

Sunday, March 09, 2014

So funny!

I don't normally post links to videos, and I don't know how to embed one, so Click Here to see one of the funniest things I've seen in ages.  Amazing how they can do this!

Saturday, March 08, 2014

Basketball and followup

This has been mostly a basketball weekend. Guess that’ll be the case until early April, after the Final Four games.

Our two teams - the UTC Lady Mocs and the UT Lady Vols - both won their first games in their respective conference tournaments. Both will play tomorrow.
A few weeks ago, I mentioned about a friend’s grandson who was scheduled to donate one of his kidneys to his sister-in-law. This is an e-mail I got from her yesterday.

The surgeries were very long, but were successful. The kidney started working automatically for [the recipient]. Our hope is that this continues and she does not reject it. [My grandson] is doing well, but a little grumpy. Since he spent yesterday cleaning out his system, I just bet he is going to be grumpy until he gets something to eat!!!!!
What a great thing to do. All our good wishes are with them for continued good results.

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Three for Thursday

1. I got my bi-weekly massage this morning. My therapist is SO good.

2. We made a long overdue trip to Costco. Carol went with us. I got some of the things we needed, plus our wonderful lunch. There was also a special seafood counter and I got

3. Dungeness crabs for our supper tonight. They were SOOOOO good. We left enough to have some crab cakes, and I made seafood broth out of the shells for the next time I make seafood chowder. Triple YUM!

Wednesday, March 05, 2014


On the book discussion web site, SeniorLearn, there is a specific discussion on Blue Highways, by William Least Heat-Moon. I’m not reading the book, but am following the discussion and chiming in from time to time about our back-road travels. 

When the subject came up about finding places to eat in tiny little towns, I contributed our criteria for meals in small towns. We look for a local eatery on the town square or within a block or so of the square. We also look for a place called “City Café” or “[name of the town] Café”. We tend to order the special of the day or whatever the waitress recommends. Then we enjoy our food and eavesdrop on the conversations between the regulars. That’s frequently even better than the food.

One of the other readers contributed a link to Least Heat-Moon’s comments about a café in Gainesboro, TN. He uses a ranking based on the number of wall calendars displayed. It reads thus:

No calendar: Same as an interstate pit stop.
One calendar: Preprocessed food assembled in New Jersey.
Two calendars: Only if fish trophies present.
Three calendars: Can’t miss on the farm-boy breakfasts.
Four calendars: Try the ho-made pie too.
Five calendars: Keep it under you hat, or they’ll franchise.

And now we have a new marker to look for.

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Let's do it again!

We had such a special evening tonight. Yesterday, Missy texted to see if we were available to get together for dinner tonight. Well, sure!

What and where should we eat? We decided on carry-out Chinese. Missy said she’d pick it up on the way over. And she said she’d call Tina and Carol & Stephen.

Well, hey! The cleaning lady came yesterday, so the house is clean. Somebody else is going to bring the food. I can surely set the table.

And it was terrific! What a great time to have good friends and good food.

When can we do it again!?!

Monday, March 03, 2014

First March Monday

Cold, gray. Crappy cards.
Lynn came to clean house. Hooray!
Chili for supper.

Sunday, March 02, 2014

No more home games this season

Today marked the end of our regular season home games - I mean the home games of the women’s basketball teams that we support. The University of Tennessee Lady Vols and the University of Tennessee Chattanooga Lady Mocs.

John and Margaret went to Knoxville this afternoon to see the Lady Vols play their last regular season home game against South Carolina. The Lady Vols won 73-59.

I went to the ball game here to see the last home game of the season for the Lady Mocs. They played UNC Greensboro and won 77-56. It was great to be able to honor the five seniors who were playing their last home game.

The conference tournaments will start next weekend, and then the NCAA tournament starts on 22 March. Then women’s college basketball will be over until November.

Note: We didn’t watch any of the Academy Awards. We don’t particularly like awards show in general, and haven’t seen any of the movies in any case. I’ll read about it in the paper tomorrow.

Sunday Stealing

February Wrap-Up

1) Candle scents this month:        
         Never. I hate scented things.
2) What I read this month:

        Spider Woman’s Daughter by Anne Hillerman
3) Top three songs I was drawn to:

4) Movies I saw:

         The Monuments Men
5) Favorite tv moments of the month:

         The Olympics
6) Something yummy I made:

          Greek chicken
7) Restaurants where I ate:

          Panera Bread, Noodles & Pho, the Boathouse
8) Five things I am loving this month:

          It’s short; it takes us closer to spring; basketball (only 3)
9) A goal I had for this month:

          Getting over the cold I had
10) This month I looked forward to:

          Getting closer to spring
11) Something I want to remember about this month:

          The Lady Mocs going undefeated.
12) A photo I took this month:

         Snow out the front door  (Sorry, the program isn't letting me put this photo up.)