Monday, May 30, 2016

Memorial Day

Because we didn't have bridge today (the Civic Center was closed for the holiday), I finally got to go on one of the Mystery Rides.  The Terrace bus takes these tours every other Monday.  The driver has a plan for an hour's outing and the passengers have no idea where he's going to take us.  I had a pretty good idea today, and I was right.  He drove us to the National Cemetery.  The ceremonies had been held in the morning, so he was able to drive all around the large cemetery.  It was a beautiful day and the lines of white stones, each with a small American flag were so moving.  He even managed to find the section where the husband of one our passengers was buried.  It made for a special time on a special day.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Canoe Branch

In about 1972, John and I bought a piece of land at Canoe Branch Landing in Castalian Springs, TN.  It was on a creek that ran into the Cumberland River at an area called Seven Mile Bluff.  We designed and built a small cabin (about 12 x 20').  When I say built, I mean that literally.  We had professionals pour the footings for the concrete block piers and we had the septic tank professionally installed.  Other than that, we did it all.  I don't remember how long it took - probably a year or more.  We used raw oak boards.  Did you know fresh-cut oak lumber smells like sour milk?  Or that when it dries, it gets so hard that you have to drill holes in it to get nails in it?  We didn't know these things, but we certainly learned.

The first floor was one big room, with a kitchen and bathroom at one end.  We found hanging globe light fixtures that had come out of an old school in Sumner County.  The upstairs was reached by pull-down attic stairs.  We had two rooms upstairs - just for sleeping.  The ceiling was sloped - 8' on the creek side, 4' on the road side - so no beds, just mattresses. 

John was a supervisor at duPont at the time and was not happy with his job.  He got a lot of therapy from all the hammering and manual labor.  He said every nail had somebody's name on it.  But the work got done, with our working only on weekends. 

We just used the cabin on weekends, but even planted a large garden a couple of years.  The girls learned to drive John's old straight-shift 1959 Chevrolet around the circle at the end of the road. In 1979, the rehearsal dinner for Margaret and Bobby's wedding was there. 

In about 1982 or so, Pink had moved to Hendersonville, the girls were gone, and we had started traveling some.  And our weekends at the cabin all but stopped.  It was a traumatic decision, but we decided to sell.  As I remember, a young Metro Nashville policeman bought it.  We never went back, and subsequently moved to Chattanooga in 1986. 

I recent read an article about Indian Mounds in Castalian Springs, and it brought back memories about the cabin.  I skyped with Jean today and she told me that she had gone to find the cabin a few days ago.  She found it without difficulty and talked to another property owner -a man who is the son of the man we bought the property from. He told her that it's owned by a retired policeman, so it must be the same family.  She says it's obviously well loved and well taken care of. She'll take me up there the next time I go to Hendersonville. 

And I've had a lovely evening wallowing in nostalgia.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Sunday Stealing

Sit Right Down And Write Myself A Letter Meme

  • When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone on paper? Last week, I wrote a thank-you letter to a friend.
  • Can you change the oil on a car? Definitely not.
  • Ever gotten a speeding ticket? Yes
  • Run out of gas? Yes, but it was because of a broken gas gauge.
  • Favorite kind of sandwich? I like most kinds of sandwiches.
  • Best thing to eat for breakfast? Two eggs, over medium, with rye toast.
  • What is your usual bedtime? 11:30ish.
  • Are you lazy? Yes
  • When you were a kid, what did you dress up as for Halloween? I don't remember doing that, although I'm sure I did.
  • Do you have any magazine subscriptions? Not as many as I used to.  I now have two, I think.
  • Which are better, legos or lincoln logs? I never played with either one, but I think I'd like Legos.
  • Are you stubborn? Not about everything, but I can be
  • Who is better…Leno or Letterman? Never watched either one.
  • Ever watch soap operas? I did, but it was probably about 40-45 years ago.
  • Afraid of heights? Not to the point of acrophobia.
  • Sing in the car? Sometimes.
  • Dance in the shower? Absolutely not.
  • Dance in the car? Not this, either.
  • Ever used a gun? I've shot a BB gun.
  • Do you think musicals are cheesy? I love the old MGM musicals.
  • Is Christmas stressful? I don't "do" Christmas any more.
  • Ever eat a pierogi? Once
  • Major annoyance right now? Just being old and clumsy.
  • Occupations you wanted to be when you were a kid? I don't remember any "what I want to be when I grow up"
  • Do you believe in ghosts? Not specifically (only what FJ tells me).

Friday, May 27, 2016

Unusual Friday

This was an unusual Friday - much busier than usual - with highs and lows. 

I went to swimming as usual - and coffee. The son of one of our swimmer buddies lost his long battle with cancer yesterday.  His mother, family and friends wil miss him terribly.  RIP Curtis.
On the brighter side, I went back to duplicate this afternoon. A gal I've played with on Mondays asked me to go with her.  I don't know that I'll keep playing with her - she's not a great player.  But maybe we'll both get better.  And I'm glad to be back doing that. 

After supper, I played here again.  This time it was in one gal's apartment.  She's in her 90s, too, and pretty crippled and in pain.  But she's a hell of a bridge player,  and I'm glad to get a chance to play with her. I know this is hard to believe, but I was the most able-bodied person in the room, but the two hours and two rubbers of bridge were hard fought.  And lots of fun.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Will the TV work today????

Saturday, Margaret brought me a TV to put in my bedroom.  Now to get it hooked up.  Plugged into the wall.  Check.

Monday, bought a coax cable at BestBuy.  Got Maintenance to plug that into the wall.  Check.Nothing yet.

Tuesday. Called Comcast to get things set up for a second TV.  They're to send me a box to hook up so I can get cable and HD.  Did I want a tech to come to install it?  No, I'll try it myself.  Did I want it sent overnight?  No.

Wednesday.  Cable box arrived.  Maybe I can do this.  Simple directions.  I can reach everything.  Various cords and plugs attached.  Nothing.  Asked Maintenance to come Thursday to try.

Thursday.  Maintenance came about noon.  He couldn't make it work.  Called Comcast.  The tech gal spent about an hour with me on the phone talking me through various steps, plugging and unplugging, periods where she did things at her end.  No luck.  She finally gave up and said she'd have a tech come out.  It turned out someone could come today, maybe as late as 8 p.m.  The tech showed up before 3.  He did a bunch of things, then went to the truck to get another box.  Before 4 p.m., he had it working!!!  He said he had to remove some sort of filter from the TV (at least I think that's what he said), so it's something someone else would never have known to do. 

But tonight, I get to do something I've never done in my own home before.  If I choose, I can watch the 11 p.m. news from my bed.

It's these little things that make our lives so exciting!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Wednesday 10

  1. Just as we went into Panera Bread this morning, the lights went partially out. Oops.  We guessed somebody ran into a power pole or that a transformer blew out.  Anyhow there was a minimum of emergency lighting, but they couldn't use anything that heated, or the computer/cash registers, etc.  Those of us who had ordered, got what they'd already put on trays, but we couldn't pay for it.  Those in the space before they locked the doors got coffee or hot water from the urns (as long as it lasted) for free.
  2. We settled in to have our coffee and to talk.
  3. Soon, staff brought around the timed-out souffles to give away.  A nice early lunch.
  4. We'll offer to pay for our coffee and bagels when we go in on Friday.  I wonder when they got power back.
  5. Vicki had one of her watercolor classes.  There were two of us there. I put paint on paper, but it was mostly mess.  Better luck next time.
  6. The cable box from Comcast/Xfinity came today. 
  7. I think I got it hooked up correctly, but I couldn't make it work.
  8. I can't get the Comcast remote to work.  The TV remote will turn it on, but nothing happens with the other one.
  9. I asked someone from Maintenance to come to try to get it done tomorrow.
  10. Carol and Stephen called and asked me to have dinner with them at Formosa.  Good company and good food!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Three on Tuesday

1. Maintenance hooked the TV up to the wall with the coax cable.
2. Talked to Comcast and they're mailing me a cable box for it.
3.  Early to bed.  Early to rise.......

Monday, May 23, 2016

Monday discovery

I did my usual Monday stuff - swimming, coffee, haircut.  Next to BestBuy to get a coax cable for the TV Margaret brought me, and killing time at the library.

But then I went to Panera Bread for lunch.  I had seen that one of their new salads was a Green Goddess salad, and wanted to try that.  Wow! is it ever good!  Lots of different greens, marinated red onions, chicken, avocado, hardboiled egg.  I got a half-salad, and ate every bit.  It was delicious.  Give it a try sometime.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Sunday Stealing

Ask Questions Meme

1. What type of criminal would you be? I'm much too honest to be a successful criminal, so I'd be in jail.

2. What are you listening to right now? Local news.

3. If you had to choose a stripper name, what would it be? HAHAHAHAHA

4. If your phone started ringing, who would you hope is calling? I'm not particular.

5. Do you drink alcohol? Not any more.

6. Do you smoke? Not any more.

7. What is the first thing you notice in someone? Usually their eyes.

8. Do you get attached easily? No, not really.

9. Do you like your eye color? What's not to like.

10. Have any stupid human tricks? Nope

11. Humor me. What physical ideal do you imagine in a boyfriend/girlfriend/partner? Tall.

12. Any other essential quirks/interests/other you look for in a boyfriend/girlfriend/partner? A sense of humor, kindness, tolerance.

13. Have you ever stolen anything? Probably some gum or something when I was a kid.

14. Any romantic gestures you really like? A ready smile.

15. What’s your favorite color and why? I look best in the aqua/blue/purple/pink range.

16. What were you like when you were a kid? Smart, awkward, shy.

17. What would your dream house be like? Where I live now, with someone to do all the work, but it would be on water somewhere.

18. What last made you laugh? The puns I put on the blog the other day; episodes of Night Court I saw when we were at Jesse's house.

19. Do you have a place you like to go to collect your thoughts? Just within myself.

20. What is your favorite word? Love

21. What is your least favorite word? Hate

22. Would you go bungee jumping/sky diving if given the chance? Under no circumstances.

23. Do you have any siblings? I had one sister. She died 20 years ago.

24. Do you like to dance? Not any more

25. What is your definition of cheating? Trying to get by with something you know is wrong.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Saturday Special

Margaret picked me up this morning, and we headed to Woodstock, GA, for a wedding shower for Matt and Claire.  It was a nice afternoon.  Matt was there, too, and did very well for a groom in a room with his fiancée's friends.  I got back home just before the dining room closed and was able to get some soup and a sandwich.  The wedding is in three weeks.  Nothing special planned for tomorrow.

Friday, May 20, 2016


Rain! Glorious rain!
Almost all day long. And then,
Great steak for dinner.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Old, but good - I couldn't resist

1. The fattest knight at King Arthur's round table was Sir Cumference. He acquired his size from too much pi.
2. I thought I saw an eye-doctor on an Alaskan island, but it turned out to be an optical Aleutian.
3. She was only a whisky-maker, but he loved her still.
4. A rubber-band pistol was confiscated from an algebra class, because it was a weapon of math disruption.
5. No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.
6. A dog gave birth to puppies near the road and was cited for littering.
7. A grenade thrown into a kitchen in France would result in Linoleum Blownapart.
8. Two silk worms had a race. They ended up in a tie.
9. A hole has been found in the nudist-camp wall. The police are looking into it.
10. Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.
11. Atheism is a non-prophet organization.
12. Two hats were hanging on a hat rack in the hallway. One hat said to the other: 'You stay here; I'll go on a head.'
13. I wondered why the baseball kept getting bigger. Then it hit me.
14. A sign on the lawn at a drug rehab center said: 'Keep off the Grass.'
15. The midget fortune-teller who escaped from prison was a small medium at large.
16. The soldier who survived mustard gas and pepper spray is now a seasoned veteran.
17. A backward poet writes inverse.
18. In a democracy it's your vote that counts. In feudalism it's your count that votes.
19. When cannibals ate a missionary, they got a taste of religion.
20. If you jumped off the bridge in Paris, you'd be in Seine.
21. A vulture carrying two dead raccoons boards an airplane. The stewardess looks at him and says, 'I'm sorry, sir, only one carrion allowed per passenger.'
22. Two fish swim into a concrete wall. One turns to the other and says, 'Dam!'
23. Two Eskimos sitting in a kayak were chilly, so they lit a fire in the craft. Unsurprisingly it sank, proving once again that you can't have your kayak and heat it too., 'Yes, I'm positive.'
25. Did you hear about the Buddhist who refused Novocain during a root-canal? His goal: transcend dental medication...
24. Two hydrogen atoms meet. One says, 'I've lost my electron.' The other says, 'Are you sure?' The first replies, 
'Yes, I'm positive.'
25.  Did you hear about the Buddhist who refused Novocain  during a root-canal? His goal: transcend dental medication.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Short shots

I had a background sinus headache this morning and early afternoon.  After lunch, I decided I'd just stay in not go up to supper.  So I changed into my soft clothes and slippers.  I had some homemade soup from the freezer (from last fall) for my dinner.  And the headache was mostly gone by then.

There's a bridal shower for Clare (Matt's fiancée) on Saturday.  Margaret's picking me up and we'll make a day trip to the Atlanta area.  I think this will be mostly friends her age, so I'll definitely be "background".
I saw the first hummingbird on my feeder about 7 this evening!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Quiet Tuesday

Today was nice and
Quiet. Silver Sneakers and
Watering plants. Sweet!

Monday, May 16, 2016

Monday takes an off ramp

Today was mostly a usual Monday.  I went to swimming and coffee, had an eye appointment, and played bridge.  I even got some reasonably good cards this afternoon.  And then I went up to supper.

I always go later than most (I'm just not going to go to dinner at 5 pm).  Tonight, there didn't seem to be any places at tables where I usually sit.  I finally saw a place at a table where my first floor neighbors were just finishing, and I joined them.  Beverly and Richard sat with me and talked while I finished. There have been a lot of changes at the Terrace recently, and there's some "unrest" among the residents. Beverly had spoken to the Executive Director, and had agreed to start working on a Residents' Council.  She asked if I'd help her and (fool that I am), I agreed to do so.

So Beverly send me copies of e-mails she'd exchanged, and I started answering them, and I guess I'm going to wind up in deeper than I'd planned.  DAMN!  We shall see what happens next.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Sunday Stealing

Doodley-Do Meme 

Stolen from: i take surveys 

Do you keep notes, drawings or letters that people give you? Sometimes.
How many true best friends are present in your life? My best friend of all is gone, but I have one or two others.
Do you currently have a significant other? Not any more - we were married for almost 60 years.
Would you be able to stand being in the same room as someone you hate?  At least for a little while, and hopefully I wouldn't have to talk to the person.  I don't really "hate" - it's not worth the effort.
Do you depend on people at all, in any way? Of course - in many ways.
Have you ever lost a close friend?  My closest friend.
Has anybody ever held a grudge against you for a dumb reason? Yes. I never really did understand it.

Have you ever stayed up late talking to someone you like on the phone or online? Yes
Have you ever felt backstabbed by a close friend? If so, I was oblivious to it.
Have you ever regretted ignoring anybody? Haven't we all been guilty of that?
Has a friend of yours ever confessed their love to you? Only John.

Have you written or drawn anything for somebody else? Yes, I'm a painter.
Do you tend to hide your emotions from certain people? How do you hide them? I can hide behind Southern Manners at times.
Do your friends know how to make you smile in tough times? My friends make me smile just by being here for me.
Could you picture yourself on a reality TV show? No way!
Are you better at drawing or coloring? For a painter, there's no difference.
Do you prefer meat or seafood? Mostly seafood, but I like them both.
Have you ever read the Bill of Rights / Declaration of Independence? Of course, but it's been a while.
Would you rather become a police officer or a firefighter? I'm very happy to let others take those responsibilities and honor them for their service.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Trip Miscellany #3

  1. Forgot to mention that on the way out of Tennessee, we stopped to see Missy at her new (old) house in Norris. It was good to get a chance to visit with her.
  2. We had hoped to get a chance to see my nephew on our way to Dennis and Lisa's in Delaware, but it just didn't work out.
  3. We had a great visit with DJ and Lisa, getting to meet some of their many cats, and enjoying Dennis's cooking (believe it or not).
  4. When we left there, we headed down the Delmarva Peninsula.  We drove mostly along the Atlantic coast, checking out the many beach communities. We ended up crossing back onto the mainland across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge/Tunnel.
  5. Getting through the Norfolk area wasn't too bad (of course, I wasn't driving) as we got there before the worst of rush hour.
  6. We got to Jesse's.  He fixed our dinner - grilled tuna that he had caught the weekend before at Matt's bachelor party (deep sea fishing).  Yum.
  7. The next day we spent doing things in Elizabeth City, including the art center where Caroline works, then out to dinner.
  8. We left Wednesday morning at 6 a.m., heading for home.  Margaret drove the whole way, and got me home at 5 p.m.  She certainly did yeoman service with all the driving and planning.  Many thanks to her for such a wonderful week. 
  9. And then it was back to what we laughingly call normal.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Trip Miscellany #2

  1. Sue flew in on Friday, and we continued with a good family visit. We drove to pick up Alison where she works at Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) - a fascinating facility.  And we drove around the part of Maryland, stopping at a couple of antique places (and buying some stuff), then having a good dinner at an on-the-water seafood eatery. 

  1. Saturday noon, we met with MaryPage, a friend I had met only online on Seniors & Friends.  She invited all of us to visit in her apartment in Annapolis and then go to a nearby restaurant for lunch. It was a great lunch with some lovely people and lots of laughter and good conversation.
  2. Saturday night, Richard (my sister's widower) took us out to dinner along with my two nieces and their significant others.  I hadn't seen any of them in quite a while, so it was a real treat for me - along with the good food.
  3. Sunday morning, we went into Annapolis for breakfast.  The intended destination had too long a wait, so we went to a nearby place, Chick and Ruth's Delly.  We had wonderful breakfasts - with mine and Margaret's including eggs and crab.  (Are you getting the idea that this trip was mostly about food?  You're not too far wrong.)

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Trip Miscellany, part I

  1. Deciding to stop at Tamarack, the West Virginia Artisanal Retail Center was a good idea.  There are so many lovely things there - and just a good place to visit.
  2. Fog the next morning didn't help with trying to see the New River Gorge bridge.  Maybe next time.
  3. When your GPS tries to take you on a side route to save a few minutes, do you ever think the gal is sitting up there in the cloud, laughing hysterically over what she's gotten you to do.  That's the way I felt when she took us off in the williwags of West Virginia to save a mile or two.  Margaret swore she could hear the banjos from Deliverance.
  4. Alison & Joe's house is a late 1940s house - just delightful.  It's been added on to, probably more than once.  And the latest owner was a terrific gardener, so the yard is full of plantings and a koi pond.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016


We had a great visit with DJ and Lisa on Sunday/Monday, an uneventful interesting trip down the Delmarva Peninsula, and are now and Jesse's.  Heading for home tomorrow.  I'll fill in the details when I get home.

Saturday, May 07, 2016

Great day

Good family, good friends, good food - doesn't get much better.
Lunch with new (in person) friend, MaryPage, and her daughter in Annapolis.
Dinner with Richard, Lucy and Doug, Orissa and Andrew, in Ellicott City.
Don't need food for another week.

Friday, May 06, 2016

Day 3

This morning, we went to Target to get me some warmer clothes (a long-sleeved shirt, a sweatshirt, and a rain jacket - all on sale), to get Sue at the airport, and to an Amish market for shopping and lunch.  After that, we went to where Alison works (SERC - Smithsonian Environmental Research Center), did some driving sightseeing, and some antique shopping.  We ended up with dinner at an on-the-water place for various seafoods - including but not limited to, crab cakes, rockfish, oysters, yum.  Now we're back home for the night.

Thursday, May 05, 2016

In Annapolis

We started out in the fog in Beckley, WV, this morning, heading for the New River Gorge Bridge.  It's a spectacular bridge over a very deep gorge.  We planned to go to the visitors' center and take a quick look.  Well, the look was quick, but we thought the center opened at 8, and it didn't open until 9.  So we took our look - which was a bit less than spectacular because of the fog.  It's still work a trip anytime you're in the neighborhood.  Then we headed out to follow the directions of our GPS gal to Annapolis.

Her route looked pretty straightforward on our map, so off we went.  But then......    As GPS is prone to do, she took us on a shortcut.  This went on a so-called "turnpike", which was a barely 2-lane road - although with a yellow line down the middle.  But then we missed a turn, and she had to correct us and bring us back to her chosen route.  Well, as the road turned into a single-lane road through by-God-West Virginia, Margaret started to hear the banjos from Deliverance.  And I decided that the GPS gal was sitting up there in the cloud laughing her ass off and what she was able to do with the pitiful women.  It was only about 10-15 minutes, but felt lots longer, and we were surely glad when we got back to the "turnpike", and then to the US highway.

Next it was onto I-64 and I-81, and the rain started.  I-81 is an awful road through some beautiful scenery.  It's full of 18-wheelers and lots of regular traffic  And lots of rain doesn't help.  Then we got into the D.C. suburbs and the Beltway, and lots more traffic.  It was early afternoon, though, so not as bad as it is at other times, and we got to Alison and Joe's about 3:30.    Needless to say, I didn't help with the driving today.

We've had fun checking out the new house, meeting the dog and cats again, and visiting with A&J.  Dinner was yummy at a nearby restaurant for tapas, followed by a quiet evening.  Sue gets in tomorrow and we'll see what that brings.

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

On the road again....

Margaret picked me up this morning and we headed out.  We stopped in Norris, TN, (near Knoxville) to have coffee with our friend Missy, who has moved there.  Then we got back on the road.  Tonight we're at a motel in Beckley, WVa.  We came here to go to the Tamarack Arts and Crafts Center.  It's a great facility on I-77/64, that showcases only juried work from WVa craftsmen.  We didn't buy a whole lot, but did contribute a little bit.  And we had supper there - food supplied by cooks from the famous Greenbrier Hotel.  Yum.  Tomorrow, we're off to see the bridge over the New River Gorge, and then on to Alison and Joe's in Annapolis.

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Leaving soon

We had about an inch of rain yesterday and overnight from our scattered showers.  The flowers are very happy - and we didn't have enough to cause any problems.

I had my semi-annual teeth cleaning this morning - something that always feels good to me.  No problems found - so that's good, too.  On the other side of the ledger, my knee has started hurting again.  I guess the cortisone shot only lasted a week.  8^(  .  Now to get to the packing.  Margaret will be coming in early tomorrow morning and we'll head out.

Monday, May 02, 2016

Another week starts

The weekend was really quiet - didn't leave home.  I watched about four episodes of Longmire, and am almost through Season 2.

Today was a usual Monday, with the addition of a haircut.  And I have some really good cards.  I even played and made one bid slam - and that always makes a player happy.

Margaret and I are heading out on Wednesday, so I'm getting into travel mode.  What to take, what to wear, what else needs to be done?  And I love it.