Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Super blue blood moon

I probably won't see the lunar eclipse in the morning (I should be in the pool at the Y at the time it's visible here).  But tonight, the "Super Blue Blood Moon" is shining brightly on me through my sliding glass doors.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Life is good!

It's been an unusual and busy week.  Tina arrived Tuesday evening.  It was so great to see her - it'd been two years since she moved from Chattanooga.  She stayed with me, and just left this morning. Before she left, she had put a lot of stuff in a storage unit, and other than visiting friends, emptying the unit was her primary goal.  There was a lot more than she had remembered, and things that she wanted to keep.  So then the problem was figuring out how to get it to her home.  After much investigation, she found that UPS has a deal where they will put stuff on a pallet to deliver to a destination - and for a reasonable price.  She got her boxes delivered to UPS for delivery to her home - so a successful solution to the problem.

In the meantime, we/she visited with friends, ate great meals at some favorite places, and even got her to the Sculpture Fields to see John's tree.  The icing on the cake was yesterday when Sue and Margaret came for the day.  I love any chance to see the girls, but it was great that they got to visit with Tina, too.  And we had some great carry-out barbecue for dinner.

All are safely back in their homes.  Life is good!

Monday, January 22, 2018

"First World Problem"

It's been a crazy day for me - unlike my usual do-nothing days.  I went to swimming and coffee.  Then to the doctor for my 6-month check.  I got the second pneumonia shot, concern about my blood pressure (may have to increase the strength of my Rx), and appointment for July.  Then about 45 minutes with my financial counselor.  I'm working on getting that last investment John had that we thought had been tended to.  We got it mostly done, and there are some papers and signatures I need to gather to send in with the filled-out forms.  Then the phone trails started.

First I called the company with the investment.  One of the documents says it has to be generated within 90 days prior to filing with them.  I have a copy of the document, but it is dated in 2015, so...  I played the "little old lady card", saying I was 82 (well, almost) and it would be extremely difficult for me to have to go to the courthouse to get a new document.  The nice gal who was helping me put me on hold and called the courthouse and got me a local number to call.  OK, did that.  But that didn't work either.  The file is closed, so they can't issue me a new document - call the lawyer who handled the probate.  So I called the lawyer's office and, of course, had to leave a message.  So I'm currently waiting for that return call.  Sighhhhhh!

And then I got another thing in the mail addressed to John that says "he" still owns one share of stock, and I need to send the original certificate in.  Well, of course, we haven't had anything like that for years.  And the fee to get the share transferred to my name is almost as much as the share itself is worth.  So I need to call them to see what to do about that.

I know this is all a "first world" problem, and I shouldn't complain.  But I do hate being wrapped up in all this red tape.  The moral to this story is put any and all financial things into joint accounts or "pay on death to" status.

Don't leave your heir(s) with all this stuff to deal with.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Sunday Stealing

1. Have you ever tried to learn (or re-learn) a foreign language as an adult? Which one? What worked for you? I took Latin and French in high school, French in college.  When we started with the Venezuelan teenage exchange program in the 1970s, I took a course in Spanish at the local community college.  I can mostly read a French or Spanish menu, and come up with some words, but certainly not carry on a conversation.
2. Do you donate blood? Do you know your blood type? I've never donated blood, but John did regularly.  I'm A+.
3. Have you ever been in a play or musical? I was in the revues some of the organizations did in college, and participated backstage in some community theater in the 1960s, but nothing since.
4. Do you use certain text or ring tones for specific people? Who gets their own? Or do you just use the default on your phone? I've never set special rings for different people.  I did set my own ring for the phone, though.  I just picked one from the choices given with the phone.
5. When did you get your first digital camera? Do you still shoot on actual film, or all digital now? Probably around 2000.  I don't remember exactly why I changed, but I haven't used film since.  Since I broke my arm in 2012, I have used only my phone, and picked my current phone because it had the best camera.
6. What do you think someone else would say the most daring thing you’ve done is? Probably travel to Antarctica.
7. Do you talk with your hands? Of course
8. Do you have a lucky number? What is it, and what is the story behind it? No.
9. What kind of milk did you drink, growing up? And now? When I was a child, during WW2, we were given reconstituted evaporated milk to drink.  I don't remember drinking milk after that, just putting it on cereal.  That's all I use milk for now, and I use 2% milk.
10. What is your favorite kind of pie? Mincemeat, lemon meringue, chess pie.
11. Are you a note taker? Not so much a "taker" as a "maker".
12. Do you have an eclectic mug collection, or is your stuff all matchy matchy? It's electic, but my favorites now are my thermal mug (from Randy) that keeps my coffee hot like a thermos, and my hand-made mug (from Jean) to drink it out of.
13. Do you have a junk drawer in your house/garage/at work/wherever? My whole house is a junk drawer.
14. What is the longest amount of time you’ve worked at one job – and what was/is it? I worked for the group of surgeons and orthopedic surgeons for about 10 years.
15. How old were you when you took your first commercial flight? To where did you fly? I was in my late 20s and flew from Nashville (where we were living at the time) to Lexington, KY, to visit my sister.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Friday Five

  • We spent most the last week below freezing, frequently below 20*F.  Not good in the Sunny South.
  • Today, the temperature finally got into the 40s, much warmer.
  • Except in the lap pool at the Y.  The usual temperature is 84* - it was 79*.  We had our class in the therapy pool.
  • I'm using my yarn stash to make baby and toddler things.  They're fun, and don't take long.  Thanks, Sue, for suggesting it.
  • Next week is going to be busy.  Lots of things on my calendar.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Sandhill Cranes

It was in the teens this morning when Margaret and Jesse picked me up to go on a trip on the Tennessee Aquarium boat, but we were either in the car or the boat, so it wasn't too bad.  It was a lovely sunny morning.  We found the dock and the boat easily.  Getting anywhere over rough ground is always a challenge for me, but it wasn't a long way.  Plus I had a cane and Margaret to hold onto.  Jesse let us out as close as possible, and then went to park the car.  I stayed inside the bost the whole trip, but Margaret and Jesse were able to get out on the observation deck for part of the time.  The sandhill cranes are magnificent animals, and there are hundreds of them stopping over on their migration at the Hiwassee Refuge area.  We also saw a few tundra swans, ospreys, hawks, bald eagles, plus our local great blue herons, gulls, and white pelicans.  Kate was supposed to go with us, but her long, uphill driveway (in NW Kentucky) was iced over and she couldn't get out.  That's why Jesse got to go with us.

This is the end of an era for the Aquarium boat.  It's been a fixture on the Chattanooga waterfront for the last ten years, but this was the last weekend.  The boat has been sold back to its builder and will be moving it to Washington State.  The trips on the Tennessee River will be sorely missed.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Sunday Stealing

Here are some conversation starters, stolen from Conversation Starters

1. What are some small things that make your day better? sunshine, family, knitting, coffee.
2. What shows are you into?
TV shows?  NCIS, This is Us, The Crown, Longmire, Victoria, others
3. What TV channel doesn’t exist but really should?
There are zillions of channels now that I don't watch.  I don't know what else there could be.
4. Who has impressed you most with what they’ve accomplished?
My grandchildren (and their parents, of course).
5. What age do you wish you could permanently be?
I don't know that I'd want to be stuck in one age, but maybe in my late 50s/early 60s.
6. What TV show or movie do you refuse to watch?
Any "reality" show.
7. What is something that is considered a luxury, but you don’t think you could live without?
I could make do without a lot of things, but I'd hate to be without a computer of some sort.
8. What’s your claim to fame?
My great daughters.
9. What’s something you like to do the old-fashioned way?
I'm usually up to try some new things, but sometimes I have to be convinced.
10. What’s your favorite genre of book or movie?
I like mysteries and nonfiction.
11. How often do you people watch?
Every time I get the chance.  Airports are the greatest place.
12. What have you only recently formed an opinion about?
Over the past couple of years, I have learned to love my smart phone.
13. What are you interested in that most people haven’t heard of?
I'm always surprised at how many people don't really know what knitting is.
14. What’s the farthest you’ve ever been from home?
I've been on 6 of the 7 continents (missing Africa) - so a long way.
15. What is the most heartwarming thing you’ve ever seen?
I never stop getting choked up when they show the films of coming-home military parents surprising their children.

16. What is the most annoying question that people ask you? How much do you weigh (in the doctor's office)?
17. What could you give a 40-minute presentation on with absolutely no preparation?
Knitting; playing bridge.
18. If you were dictator of a small island nation, what crazy dictator stuff would you do?
Institute free education for everybody, and leave the governing to someone else.
19. What is something you think everyone should do at least once in their lives?
Try new things, get out of your comfort zone, and be open to new ideas.

Friday, January 12, 2018

It's all about the weather!

As it is everywhere in the country, I guess, every conversation revolves around the weather.

Today, our temperature dropped from 60*F to 30*F in six hours!

Saturday, January 06, 2018

Sunday Stealing

End of Year Questions

1. What did you do last year that you had not done before?
Not much.
2. Did you keep your New Year's Resolutions/goals for the year and will you make/set more for next year?  What are they? What are your new ones?
I don't make New Year's resolutions.
3. Did anyone you know give birth? Or become pregnant?  Or adopt?
No.  But my granddaughter and grandson-in-law are fostering two young brothers.
4. Did anyone you know die? Or have a serious illness/injury?
Not well - several residents of The Terrace have died in the past few months.
5. What places have you visited?
Kentucky (twice), Alaska.
6. Any new pets? Lost a pet?
No.  Just the birds at the feeders.
7. What would you like to have next year that you lacked this year (doesn't have to be a physical thing i.e. love, job security, peace of mind...)?
  Better health, more activity.
8. What date from last year will remain etched in your memory and why?
21January - Inauguration Day.  For obvious reasons.
9. What was your biggest achievement last year?
10. Did you get sick or injured?
11. What was the best thing you bought?
Lodging for family at get-togethers.
12. Where did most of your disposable income go (money leftover after you pay for food, medical care, basic clothing, transportation and shelter)?
13. What song will always remind you of last year?  Doesn't have to be a song released last year.
Can't think of anything.
14. What do you wish you would have done more of?
Can't think of anything.
15. What do you wish you would have done less of?
Can't think of anything here, either.  Not a bad balance.
16. What was your favorite new TV program? Movie?Album/Songs? Or if you didn't pick up any new ones, what are you still watching/listening to? Any recommendations?
This is Us.
17. What was the best book you read this year?  How many did you read?
The only one I remember by title is Unbelievable by Katy Tur.  I have read more books this year than I have in previous year.
18. What did you do on your birthday and how old were you? Did you feel differently?
I was 81 on my birthday.  Family gathered here to put the last of John's ashes in the Tennessee River from the boathouse where he spent so much time.  And to dedicate the rowing shell the Lookout Rowing Club bought with donations and named in his honor.
19. What political or social issue stirred you the most?
The last election and the occupation of the White House by #45.
20. Who was the most interesting new person you met?
I don't know that I've met anyone new this year.
21. Describe how a relationship changed.
Nothing here, either.
22. Do you think you are still the same person that you were at the beginning of the year?  How so?
Probably so - not much change going on at this time of life.
23. Summarize the year in three words or less. Bonus points for doing it in one word. Explain.
24. How have people around you changed?
Kate has retired.
25. What have you learned throughout the year? (Other than crafts)
I installed a new "box" sent to me by Comcast.  I don't know that changing plugs constitutes learning something new.
26. Did you learn any new crafts or techniques? What was your favorite thing you made?
Just lots more knitting.
27. What changed about your physical appearance? (Hair? Wrinkles? New makeup style? Etc)
My nail tech has been putting more bling on my fingernails.
28. What are your hopes and dreams for the new year?  (Some suggestions-family, travel, work, lifestyle, hobbies, pets, appearance)
Good, stable health; time with family; travel; survival for another year.

Friday, January 05, 2018

Friday Five

1. It was 13*F on my deck this morning.
2. It got up above freezing (barely) for a high today.
3. It's supposed to be in the mid60s by the end of next week.
4. I had to order a new land-line phone.  It came this morning, and I got it hooked up (I think).
5. Maintenance installed a new door handle on my hall door and I got new keys.

My life is SO exciting!

Thursday, January 04, 2018

Nothing but cold!

The low on my deck was 19*F this morning, and the high was 28*F.  It's supposed to be more of the same tomorrow.  It's been good that we haven't had the precipitation.  So far.  Now they're talking about it being warmer Monday morning, but with mixed precipitation.  They're not willing to commit to anything yet.  I've skipped swimming all week - didn't want to get out in below-20*F temps.  So what will happen on Monday?

But at least we're not getting what the Northeast is getting.