Sunday, September 24, 2017

Reading Round-Up

As usual I've been reading away and felt it was time for some quick reviews.  It took me a while to get through Skippy Dies   by Paul Murray, but I'm glad I stuck with it, what a weirdly, wonderful book.  It takes place in an Irish boy's school and opens with the death of Skippy, one of those boys.  It then tells the what happened before and after the death.  It's full of science, horny boys, diet obsessed girls, teachers of all kinds and several mysteries.  Loved it.  I'm sure it will end up on my Top Ten Reads of 2017.

I also read Children of God by Mary Doria Russell, the sequel to The Sparrow.  The Sparrow told the story of a Jesuit mission to a far galaxy and what happened there, I gave it 5 stars, a very rare score for me.  The follow-up is about the return to the planet and what was going on since Father Emilio Sanchez left.  Not quite as good as the first book, but full of surprises, it almost made me cry in parts.  I gave it 4 stars.

Finished Brideshead Revisted by Evelyn Waugh and liked it very much.  The arrogance of youth and the tight hold of the Catholic Church.  Poor Sebastian, and such a messed up family. A 4 star read.

Another sequel I read was Me After You by Jo Jo Moyes.  It was the sequel to Me Before You which I loved.  Well I hated the sequel.  Hated everyone in it and didn't care what happened to them.  Had to force myself to finish it.

Worked my way through two more Bill Slider mysteries by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles.  Just love her writing.  These two were Shallow Grave and Blood Sinister.  The mysteries are just ok, I usually figure out who the murderer is long before the end, but the dialogue is so good I could just keep reading forever.

Now I'm reading A Christmas Party by Georgette Heyer and as always with her books I'm enjoying it.  Not great literature, just a good read.  Remind never to go to stay with people who don't like each other, it might be dangerous to my health.

Also Under the Harrow by Flynn Barry, I'm not far enough along in it to know if I'm going to really like it.  A woman is on her way to her sister's house for the weekend and finds both her sister and her dog dead.  She then begins to find things out about her sister that she never knew.

And my last book is The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin.  It is the third book in the Broken Earth trilogy.  The first two in the series ( The Fifth Season and The Obelisk Gate) each won a Hugo as the best science fiction book of the year.  This is a post apocalyptic world that sounds like our planet, but it's inhabited by some very strange people.  My daughter, who is friends with the author, predicts that this one will win a Hugo too.  A triple win is almost unheard of.  I'm certainly enjoying it.

So that's what I've been reading lately.

Friday, September 22, 2017

How Did It Get To Be Friday Already

Oh where has my week gone.  Let's see, Wednesday, can I remember Wednesday, (this transferring information from short term to long term memory is getting harder), sort of.  I remember cleaning out the refrigerator (we were going commissary shopping on Thursday), cleaning toilets (I forgot to do them on Toilet Tuesdays---mnemonics help), weeding and cleaning the pool.  Why is it that negative memories stick around longer than pleasant ones?
Then yesterday was grocery shopping, we hadn't been in a while so there was a lot that Mac had to carry upstairs.  But it's done!
Today the morning was spent dusting blinds.  Of all the dusting I do this is the one I hate the most.  Even using a Swiffer duster that captures the dust I end up with dust in my eyes.  I did all of the blinds downstairs except for the master bath and the 3 behind the couch in the family room---I didn't feel like shifting furniture or putting a ladder in the tub, they're high windows in the bathroom.
Still, I dusted 10 windows and way too much chair rail and baseboards.  Now I feel itchy.
Earlier this week Mac did something rather special for me.  Our grandfather clock hasn't been running in years, in fact I'd almost bet it's been 30 years since it ran.  Well it's running now, I won't tell you how, but it involves duck tape and a couple pencils.   He polished up the brass and set it to rights, except for the chime.  The clock stands against a wall that backs onto our bedroom, ao no chimes.  But I love to walk by and hear it ticking.
Earlier this morning we gave Miss Kitty her flea treatment, a few drops of medication on the back of her neck.  Does anyone else's cat act as though you're trying to murder them when you do this?  She is such a drama queen.
Beautiful day here except it's too hot, oh fall where are you.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Better Day

No phone fights today, but received a nice email.  With all the hullabaloo around Hurricane Irma we forgot to cancel a room reservation we'd made in Atlanta to celebrate our anniversary.  So after the storm a charge showed up on our charge card for almost $200, they were charging us for one of the nights, RATS.  So Saturday Mac called the hotel, it's the Renaissance Concourse Hotel at the airport---we like to watch planes, and talked to Lakeisha.  She said we weren't the only people this  had happened to, but the bookkeeper wasn't  there on Saturdays.  She took our number and said they'd be in touch.  Monday Mac called them back, again talked to Lakeisha who asked for our email address.  Later that day we received an email showing they had refunded our money, how nice, so a big thank you to everyone at the Marriott Renaissance Concourse Hotel.
Today it was back out to the garden to uncover civilizations covered by weeds.  It was hot, we're supposed to be almost 90º today so I was only able to uncover the Victoria garden, perhaps tomorrow I'll uncover the Georgian garden.
Watched a rather quirky little movie the other night, The Trip with Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon.   I think it was actually a tv show in England, but Netflix presented it as a film.  Quite funny in a low key sort of way.  They play themselves, Coogan has been asked to tour 6 restaurants in Northern England and review the food.  He'd planned on going with his girlfriend, but they'd split up, so he asks his friend Rob to go in her place.
There are 2 more series of it where they go to Italy and Spain, I will be looking for them too.
We've watched the episodes of Midsomer Murders so often we've memorized the dialogue so we decided it was time for something new, so we're trying Hamish McBeth, which we like, Pie in the Sky, and Doc Martin.  The last we're just not sure about yet.  Too much drama and not enough comedy, but we'll see.

Changed my header today, it's time for pumpkins, love this painting by Mac, feels so autumnal.

Monday, September 18, 2017

It's Monday in the Swamp

I promised myself I'd get outside and do some weeding, but that didn't happen.  I did phone chat and online chat with my internet provider who kept sending me in circles.  At one point a lady with a strong, non southern accent, asked if she could help me with anything else and I replied that since she hadn't helped me with anything that would be hard for her to do. Frustrating phone calls amp up my sarcasm level and it's never very low to begin with.
I filled out a survey from Apple today about their support and it was a real mixed review I gave.  At the end when I was asked how the support could be improved I told them that their tech people need to listen more, break their advice down to a nontech person's level and really go step by step.  When I was working with them yesterday we were using my computer and my phone and they would tell me to do something but not tell me which device to use.  It was quite frustrating.

Now for something completely different.  I use to wonder how whole civilizations disappear.  But looking out my window at the weeds in our garden it's easy to picture it disappearing.  I got out there twice last week and Mac was there today, but it's still a mess.  Maybe tomorrow.

Warm day in the swamp 88º,  too warm, but walking this morning wasn't too bad.  But now it's time to go exercise so we'll see how that goes and which body part squeals the loudest.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Oh The Trials and Tribulations of New Technologies

I got a new iPhone 7 this week and opened it up yesterday to get it all set up.  We generally buy Apple products because they're so easy to set up.  Well not this time.  All I had was a plastic instruction page written in silver that was impossible to read without strong light and a magnifying glass.  Ok, found the on/off switch, turned it on, attempted to make a call.  Of course not.  So I then attempted to go online, it refused to recognize my password.
At this point I called Apple.  The 12 year old who answered attempted a few things to reboot it and then decided maybe, even though it was a brand new phone it need some updates so he had me go to iTunes on my computer, hook my phone to the computer  and look for updates.  There were some, but did the 12 year old tell me how long this would take?  Of course not.  So through the 40 minutes it was downloading he tried some other stuff and then suggested I call my carrier, ATT to make sure my SIM card was activated.  He set up a case for me, assured me that someone would call me back and I hung up.
I called my local ATT store, but they told me to call the main ATT, which I did.  The man there, the first adult I'd talked to at this point, wanted me to take the SIM card out----WHAT?  Checking with the internet and getting Mac, we got the little bugger out, but the man at ATT said the system didn't recognize the number on the card.  He said I'd have to take it into my local ATT store.  I thanked him and hung up.
Apple actually called me back and there was a slightly older than 12 young lady on the phone who tried to help me.  She showed me how to allow her to see my computer screen.  Even with her looking at it she couldn't help.  At this point I did some yelling and screaming for which, when I calmed down, I apologized for.
She set me up with an appointment for today at noon, a tech would call me, sort the problem or have me mail the phone back.  I agreed.
I fixed lunch, mumbling to Mac the whole time and then last night I fiddled with it some more and low and behold it agreed to make and receive calls.  But still no internet.
This morning I figured out the internet problem and was able to go online.  YEAH  for the old folks.
Still wouldn't get my mail though.
So first I called ATT and talked to a youngster  there to make sure my old phone was deactivated and the other activated, after reading from his manual he assured me it was ok.  And then because we have an overseas trip coming up I priced minutes for that, he had that info in his manual too.
Then I called my local internet provider to find out why I couldn't access my email from my phone.  I spent 10 minutes going round and round with another young lady who finally said, " You mean you don't want to set up an email account?"  I about crawled through the phone, I just wanted to access my existing account from my new phone.  Oh, well she couldn't help with that, the email, though provided by them, was a 3rd party company, and so not their problem.  I hung up.
I have a plan, but it will have to wait until tomorrow, I'm all through dealing with children this weekend.
But by the way, Apple did call me back today, they had all the notes on my case, and were able to help me access iTunes.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Friday Wrap-Up

It seemed like a long week.  Still cleaning up in the yard, the county will start picking up storm debris on Monday if it is curbside.  So Mac is out there shifting it around and making sure no branch is too long.
I've been in the pool twice, we're talking cold here, in order to get stuff up out of the bottom.  I'm hoping we can vacuum the rest of it up.
Today I had to get my B-12 shot and I needed it.  Definitely low energy.
Stopped by the Dollar store to stock up on paper plates, cups and plastic silverware so we won't have to worry about doing dishes the next time we don't have water.
I ordered a new I-Phone yesterday, not the 8 that just came out---my God, $1,000 for a phone, but last year's model at a greatly reduced price.  It's supposed to be here today.
Also dealing with the Equifax hack.  By checking with them I found that yes, our info may have been compromised.  So I had our credit frozen.  What  a pain.  Really like the way the directors of the company dumped their stock before announcing the breach.
Now that Irma is gone we're watching Typhoon Talim that will be moving through our daughter's area of Japan.  To say nothing of the idiot in North Korea firing missiles over Japan.
Then this morning the IED on the London Underground.  It's a scary word we live in.
I guess all we can do is hope for the best and keep on keeping on.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Back to Normal

The water didn't stay long, started receding about an hour after it came in.  Once the tide went out on the Ogeechee River it took our water with it.
Our electricity was out for about 10 hours, from 6:15 am until 4pm, not bad at all.  We have an electric coop and they're great at  getting us up and running again.  While it was out we used the new generator to run the refrigerator, a fan and the tv.
Once our water came back on, our community is on a well, we had to boil the water to use it, just as a precaution.  Today they said our water was ok.
We needed to go to the store yesterday and a tree was leaning over the driveway so Mac had to cut it down.  Then he spent yesterday afternoon cleaning the yard.
Our satellite tv wasn't working exactly right so I called DIRECTV up yesterday and they straightened things out quickly.
So we're doing well.  Hope life returns to normal for the folks down in Florida.

It didn't break the panel, just knocked it out.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

A Couple of Pictures

The first picture is our front yard and the street in front of it.  The water is from the Ogeechee River which is down the street and across the road.

The next picture is our backyard, the water, which is a lagoon, should be back behind the statue.  It eventually came all the way up to the steps of our deck.  There was even a turtle swimming in out backyard.

We live in an area, because of the threat of flooding, where houses are required to be build 14 feet about the ground.   So I didn't worry too much about the water getting in the house, though I worried about it getting into the garage, it's at ground level.  and damaging the car.  It didn't get in.

After The Storm

We came through fine, lots of debris, one tree down, some storm surge, a few hours without electricity.  But all in all it wasn't too bad.  Hoping everyone else did ok too.  Will post some pictures later.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Happy Anniversary

It's our 52nd wedding anniversary.  If you had told me back then that I'd be spending my 52nd anniversary sitting in Georgia waiting for a hurricane/tropical storm to blow through I'd have thought you were crazy.
We were supposed to be in Atlanta this weekend celebrating.  Mac says we'll go another time.  But as I told him, as long as we're together all is well.
Have a beautiful Sunday, we're doing fine.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

No More Dithering

We've decided to stay in our house during the storm.  It's been down-graded to a tropical storm as it passes through here and we think we can deal with that.  Mac tried out the new generator today to make sure he knows how to operate it.  I've been cooking some extra meals.  We'll have a stove, it's propane, even if we lose electricity, which we probably will, but we'll no doubt lose water if the electricity goes out.  So cleaning pots and pans would be a problem.   I've cooked enough food to last for several days.
We cancelled our hotel reservation and I want to give a big thank you to the Westin Peachtree Plaza in Atlanta for offering us a pet friendly stay.  But sadly it looks as though Atlanta is going to be hit by the tropical storm on Tuesday and that's the day we were to check-out.
We've talked to a number of our neighbors, exchanged numbers and we know we're not in this alone. So say a prayer that all goes well.

Friday, September 8, 2017


Still don't know if we're going to leave or not.  Currently they're saying Irma will be a Tropical Storm when she gets here.  Finally found a hotel in Atlanta that had a room, don't even ask what it cost!  But they take pets at no extra charge.  So I made a reservation.  Then we read the small print and discovered they only take dogs.  So I called the hotel and whoever answered said that was true, but she'd check.  She came back and said sadly dogs only.  Then she said to wait a minute, her supervisor had just said they'd take us and our cat.  What a relief.
We have until 4 pm Saturday to cancel this reservation if we don't need it, so we're still watching all the reports.
We've talked to several of our neighbors and they're going, so we have some decisions to make.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Dear Irma

Dear Irma, Sad to say it looks like you're coming our way.  We thought about leaving, searched for a pet friendly hotel and found out there are no hotel rooms left in Georgia or South Carolina, except one hotel in Columbia, South Carolina that wanted $800 for 3 days. All the folks fleeing Florida have already gotten the rooms.
Our favorite redneck has an empty rental house that he just remodeled and it's empty right now so he said we were welcome to stay there with Miss Kitty.  So if it looks like it's going to be really bad here that's what we'll do.  The house is about 40 miles inland and hopefully that will be far enough from the heart of the storm to keep us safe.  We should know by Sunday morning what we need to do.
Our new licenses came in the mail today.  Mac's picture looks great, mines ok.  When we first moved here and got licenses the DMV contacted me and said I'd have to have my picture retaken it was so bad.  I thought they were kidding because driver's license pictures are always bad.  But they were not kidding I had to have it retaken.  So I'm glad this one is ok.
Mac is busy studying the manual for the new generator we got and trying to find a place to put it,  it gives off carbon monoxide so you have to be careful about its placement.
Time to fix lunch, hope you're having a good day, it's beautiful here.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Busy Tuesday

Still no idea of where Irma is going, but the general consensus is that no matter which route she takes we're going to get a load of rain.  So in anticipation of that we went to the store today to stock up on water.  Seems like everyone else had that idea yesterday and most of their water was gone though they're expecting more this afternoon.  We bought 3 cases, that's 72 bottles.
Also started looking for a generator and of course locally they're all gone.  We did find one on Amazon, not cheap, but we've been meaning to buy one for quite a while and we might as well get a good one.  It will be here Friday.

The tropical force winds are due to arrive in southern Florida about Friday so we should be ok.  Hoping everyone in the path does ok.
Yesterday was a beautiful Labor Day.  We swam, dipped hundreds of Love Bugs out of the pool, hope we've seen the worst of them.
Fixed a Low Country Boil, a good end to summer.  We're actually going to see temperatures in the low 80's and high 70's by weekend, I'm gleeful.
Took down most of my summer decorations, got out the fall foliage and fall dishes.
We were supposed to go to Atlanta this coming weekend for our anniversary, right now we're in a holding pattern and may have to move everything to next weekend.  Fingers crossed.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Another Day, Another Hurricane

It's hurricane season and they're starting to speed up.  We have our eye on Irma, they say it will be mid-week before they really know where she's going.  It's been 11 months since Matthew hit us and we escaped with mostly minor damage, though lots of tree damage.  Fingers crossed on this one.
After the holiday we need to head to the store, stock up on bottled water and batteries.
Learned our lesson last year and I now have a car charger for my cell phone.
Also learned that I should have a packet of important papers too, passports, insurance papers, birth certificates--anything that it's a pain to replace.
I hope this storm goes nowhere near Texas or Louisiana, but it's certainly beginning to look like it's going to hit the States somewhere.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

It's That Time of Year

And I don't mean back to school time.  It's Love-Bug time.  They come twice a year and for the last few years they haven't been much of a problem.  This time it's awful, they're everywhere.  I cleaned hundreds out of the pool yesterday and the pool skimmer  had them in the thousands.  Mac was painting the screen door and painted them too.  He killed dozens, swept the porch and immediately it was covered again.  They don't bite, but they're body chemistry is acidic (hardly anything will eat them) and if they lay on something painted long enough (think your car) the paint can become pitted.  They tickle if they land on you and it's not a good tickle.  They're a pain in the ptooy.

The lovebug (Plecia nearctica) is a species of march fly found in parts of Central America and the southeastern United States, especially along the Gulf Coast. It is also known as the honeymoon fly or double-headed bug. During and after mating, adult pairs remain coupled, even in flight, for up to several days.  (Wikipedia)

The first picture is from the net and the second from our deck, enlarge to see the dozens.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Thursday Thoughts

Bet you thought I was still stuck in the DMV waiting to renew my driver's license.  Well when we walked in there Tuesday morning, saw that every seat in the place, and there were a lot of seats, were filled and that people were lining up along the wall I figured we were there for the long haul.
Imagine my surprise that we were out of there in about 30 minutes.  They had a great system.  You start at a bank of computers and fill in all your information, get in a short line, I was second, give your name and go sit down.  In a few minutes you're called, asked what you're there for and given a number.  You sit back down and less than 5 minutes later you're called to a window, turn in your old license, get your picture taken, take the vision test and pay your money ($32.00---ouch).  You are then handed a temporary license, your new one comes in the mail and is good for 8 years.  About the vision test, I've told you about my weird eyes before, well you had to read a line of numbers.  My always strange eyes could only read them backwards, right to left.  The clerk said that was ok, weird, but ok.
So we're set for 8 years.  I figure I'll be through with driving by then.
After that it was grocery shopping and home.
Yesterday was spent mowing the lawn and cleaning the pool.
Today we had to run into town and then go to breakfast.
Going to be 90º today, a last hurrah for summer I hope.  Yesterday the pool was freezing, I guess all the rain we've had cooled it off.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Monday Grumble

Seems like I'm doing a bit of that lately.  Very windy, you'd think that would cool things off a bit---HA!  HUMID!  And if there was a word to describe beyond humid I'd use is. The Thesaurus says it's soggy, dank, mucky, sticky and clammy.  That would pretty much describe our morning.
Careful walk this morning, lots of branches down, another tree down, fell from the neighbor's yard into ours, not a very big one thank goodness.  The ground is just so saturated, it has rained every day this last week.  I really feel for the folks in Texas, we're not getting a lot of rain, just frequent rain, can't even imagine the amounts they're getting.
Tomorrow we're going to renew our driver's licenses, have to go in person because we have to have a vision test.  Also have to bring proof of name (passport, birth certificate etc), proof of your social security number (the ss. card, W-2 etc) and 2 bills showing your current address.  This is getting ridiculous.  Our county doesn't have a DMV so it's either go out to Hinesville, about 35 miles from here or Savannah, about 20 miles from here.  Savannah is closer, but far more people.  That's where we're going though so we're hoping it won't be too bad.
Afterwards we'll be near Hunter Army Airfield and we can go to the commissary.
Cleaned and shined the bedroom floor, it always looks so much better and it's easy to do, I shouldn't be so lazy about doing it.
Hope your week has started well.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Got Up On the Wrong Side Of The Bed

Indeed I did yesterday, got up earlier than I wanted to because I had to go and have my B-12 shot in addition to going to try on my new contact lens for the Optometrist.  So I was grumpy, didn't want to do either of those things.  I was going to the Minute Clinic for the shot because the waiting at my doctors office to get it done had become an additional pain.  So we made an appointment online and headed into town.  One person already in with the nurse, but it wasn't long before I went in and got it done.  I've seen this nurse a number of times and she has a soft touch.
Then it was off to the Optometrist about a half hour early, but I got right in, put the contact in, the assistant commented that I'd done that quickly---HELLO--I've only done this about 20l000 times.  Waited to see the Optometrist, she was satisfied so I ordered the contacts and they agreed to mail them out to me, for a nominal charge (I didn't even ask what it was) and I was through!
Mac picked me up, having bought me the world's biggest dark chocolate bar to cheer me up.
I'd finally quit snarling and we went out to breakfast which is always a nice treat.
Then this morning, I stripped the bed, threw in a bunch of towels, washrags and socks and started the washer.  Should have known better, too big a load.  It took forever because the machine keep trying to spin dry the huge load.  It finally gave up and we had to wring the load out by hand.  Mac got the washer to reset, I hung out the really wet clothes and I'm hoping they'll dry.
So hot after that I had to jump back in the pool.
By the way, I looked up the origin of getting out of the bed on the wrong side and found out it dates back to Roman times.  They didn't want to get out on the left side or step first with the left foot, felt they'd have bad luck.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Thor Spoke

Yes, Thor spoke and instead of an eclipse we had a thunder storm.  We were up in town and poor kids were standing around with their special glasses looking in vain for an eclipse.  What they got was thick cloud cover.  I hadn't planned on watching it except on tv, but if I'd been a child with all the hype about it I'd have been bitterly disappointed.  Oh well,  they only have to wait till 2045 for the next total eclipse here in the States.  If you can't wait that long I read that there's a total eclipse every 18 months somewhere in the world and the next one will be on July 2, 2019 and will be visible across Chile and Argentina.  Here's a map I "borrowed" from somewhere on the Net (  That's pretty interesting.
I've seen some partials that were pretty cool, but I was too lazy to even look into getting glasses for this one.  I guess the thrill is gone and considering how the weather turned out here it's just as well.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

On Sunday

It was 87º at 9 when we headed out for our morning walk.  It was not our usual long walk, too hot, just enough to get some of the stiffness out.  It was only supposed to be 90º today, but we passed that a while back so the air conditioner has been on since about 10:30.
Just came in from the pool, it was lukewarm.  I did something I almost never do, I swam underwater. I hate getting my head wet, but it was just too hot to do otherwise. So now I'll have to drip-dry.
Cleaned the outside of kitchen cupboards today, two have glass fronts and they were definitely looking grubby.
During the week I wear my contact lens which is for distance (have to wear readers with it to see up close) so I often don't see as much as I should (or shouldn't depending on your point of view).  But on Sundays I wear my regular glasses and I see everything, so I've been cleaning things that don't get it on a regular basis.
Fixing fried chicken  today, though not so much fried as simmered.  I brown it and then cook it with fat-free chicken stock which keeps it moist and doesn't add fat.  I don't cook much with fat, a tablespoon of olive oil occasionally, but that's about it.  And yet judging by the cupboards I cleaned today you'd swear I'm using a deep fryer on a daily basis.
Lots of baseball and golf this afternoon while I work on my cross-stitch.
Hope you have a great Sunday.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

It's Rolled Around to Saturday Again

Where does the time go!  So hot here, 97º yesterday and Lord only knows what it is today.  My thermometer reads Too D••n Hot.º
Cleaned bathrooms and made potato salad this morning, whoops, reverse that, I made potato salad and then cleaned the 3 downstairs bathrooms, the upstairs bathrooms are on their own until it cools down.  We don't use them and they're probably just dusty.
Visit with a good friend yesterday, our favorite Redneck, he's in a bit of dilemma .  He's selling a big piece of property for a LOT of money, but the deal will take months to go through because of needing county and state permission for what the buyer's want to do with the land.  In the meantime 2 of his renters have moved out of some other pieces of property, it took all his ready cash to restore one of the houses and he's in a cash bind.  Not asking for money, he's not that kind of person, just advice.  So we gave advice and as always he did something for us,  he cut up the tree that fell down last week and left us his power washer so Mac can clean the house, providing the temperature drops below "the sun is going to kill you line".
Meals have been rather light around here, tuna and deviled egg sandwiches yesterday.  So today it's barbecued pork ribs.  Too hot to turn the stove on, that's why the potato salad was made first thing this morning.

Have to show you something Mac gave me.  A while back I bought a lot of Silverplate serving forks on Ebay.  Had no idea what I was going to do with them, but they were so pretty and so reasonable that I had to have them.  Since then they have languished in a kitchen drawer getting tarnished.  Well we celebrate the 17th of each month (because we met on the 17th of March when we were just teenagers) and give each other gifts we wouldn't buy for ourselves.  He cleaned my forks, painted a cabinet and gave me such a pretty gift.  There are 2 other forks, but there was only room for 4 in the cabinet.  He sprayed them so they won't tarnish again.  Just love it.  Please excuse my reflection, it was the only way to take the picture without taking the cabinet off the wall.
Started a rather interesting book The Year of Reading Dangerously: How Fifty Great Books (and Two Not-So-Great Ones) Saved My Life  .  His plan is to read at least 10 "great" books that he's never read, though he has frequently claimed he had.  He starts with Middlemarch and almost gave us on the whole project until his wife advised him to try just reading 50 pages a day.  That worked and he eventually became totally engrossed in the story, ended up loving it.  Middlemarch has been sitting on my Kindle for more than a year, maybe I'll try this method too.

 I also finished one I'm glad I only paid $1.95 for.  It was:  When I'm Gone  by Emily Bleeker.  I finished it last night, couldn't sleep and I was hoping it would put me to sleep, it wasn't even good enough for that.

Time to go and sweat my way through the Classics (on the piano) and then work my body through music on my Mp3.

Hope you're having a cooler weekend than I am.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Just Some Random Thoughts On Thursday

I didn't post anything yesterday, my only excuse is that it was 98º here yesterday with a heat index, what it actually felt like, of 110º.  The brain melts at those kinds of temperatures.
More about why my optometrist annoyed me.  I see my retina specialist 4 times a year and that's 50 miles round trip each time, and it's 16 miles round trip to my optometrist.  When the "trial" contact comes in I have to go in, try it on and then if we're all pleased, and I have been pleased with these contacts for 14 years, then they'll order me 2 boxes and I can then make another 16 mile round trip to pick them up when they come in.  They aren't charging me for the extra visit, but I'd pay them not to have to go because between the Retina Specialist and the optometrist that's nearly 250 miles in visits for my eyes.  I have to see the Specialist, this other just feels like harassment, I wouldn't even go for the initial visit if state law didn't requirement it.  But enough of me complaining.
People often ask how I can read 3 or more books at a time, they say they would get confused.  Generally I read books that are so different that it would be impossible to confuse them. Right now I'm very slowly working my way through Skippy Dies (reading only a few pages a day) , it's about boys in an Irish boys school.  The main book I'm reading is Chasing Shadows an Inspector Ian Rutledge mystery.  He's a Scotland Yard detective who is haunted by the man he had executed during WWI.  I'm also reading Brideshead Revisited.   No way to confuse those 3 stories. I'm also slowly working my way through the 3rd volume of the Winston Churchill biography--this volume isn't as good as the first 2 and it's taking much longer.
We've been rewatching a bunch of Midsomer Murders and we got to an old favorite, The Black Book.  It's about the forgery of some paintings.  When we first watched it Mac was inspired to paint a picture that sort of went with it.  Barnaby was able to detect it was a forgery because the line cast was wrong.

Today it's fish and coleslaw for lunch.  Salmon for Mac and some kind of fish baked in the oven for me.  My main requirement for fish is that it doesn't particularly taste much like fish.

Wherever you are stay cool or dry or warm.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

My Big Blue Eyes

Ok, I understand that I have strange eyes.  One eye is so much stronger than the other one that my brain only processes the information from the strong eye.  I'm not blind in that eye, the brain just doesn't use it for vision, unless the strong eye is covered up, and even then it's not as strong.
My eyes have always been this way, it's an inherited condition.  My Father had it, my older sister has it, my daughter has it.  It just is.
I've worn a contact lens on my good eye for about 20 years.  It beats wearing my REALLY thick glasses out in public.
Georgia has a law that says you have to have an eye exam each year in order to get a prescription for contact lens.  I see a Retina Specialist four times a year for other problems, but this doesn't count.  So today I went in for an eye exam at the same place I've been going to since we moved here 14 years ago.
Saw a different doctor, don't know if she's new or not, but she insists that when the contacts come in, instead of me just taking them home with me I have to try it on for her to see.
These are the same contacts I've been wearing for years.  She says I have such a strong prescription and such "interesting" eyes it would be better for her to see me wearing them.
I hope she gets a good look, cause next time I'll get them from someone else.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Just Another Monday

As opposed to a Manic one.  Mondays are rather peaceful around here.  Most of our neighbors have gone back to work, those still here are holed up in their houses with the air conditioner running full blast.
We walked a shortened walk this morning and jumped in the pool.   It was time to Skype with our daughter.  Eight-thirty am in the morning here , nine-thirty pm for her, so weird.  She'd spent the last 4 days in Tokyo, hanging out with friends and going to concerts.
Last time I blogged I said we'd had 2 days with no rain, I spoke too soon.  By late Saturday afternoon the thunder boomers fired up and we got nearly a half inch of rain.  Just a sprinkling yesterday and nothing yet, notice I said yet.
Sportswise this is my favorite time of year.  Baseball and football and throw in a really good golf tournament.
We watched a really nice movie this weekend and I appreciate nice.  It was Sing Street, an Irish movie directed by John Carney.  He also directed Once, one of our all time favorite movies.  Sing Street is about a young (15) boy whose family is deteriorating and he has to move to another school, a much rougher school.  Across the street from the school he meets a girl and to impress her he says he's in a band and could use her in their video shoot.  So he has to form a band.  Very funny, a bit sad and so good.
A bit of cross-stitching today, I'm really not liking the printed design or the heavy canvas like material, but I shall persevere.
Some good music on my MP3 player today, particularly Mambo Number 5 by Lou Bega.  If that doesn't get you up on your feet nothing will.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Saturday's Child Must Work For a Living

Not quite this bad, but almost
Well this poor Saturday child began her day with cleaning the oven.  Mac helped, he took the racks outside and worked on them.  I'm not going to say the over is clean, but it is cleaner.
Two days of sunshine, no rain, how nice is that!    I didn't have to jump in the pool until after I cleaned the oven.
Today is Middle Child Day and I'm a middle child, never the first, nor the baby, looking for my own place in the sun.  I was the family comedian.  Gotta stand out some way.  Mac is a middle child too.
I always told our daughter that she got to be what I always wanted to be, an only child.
Ninety-two today and tomorrow, so it was beer and shrimp yesterday and steak sandwiches today.  Cannot deal with heavy meals this time of year.

What day of the week were you born on?

Monday's child is fair of face,
Tuesday's child is full of grace,
Wednesday's child is full of woe,
Thursday's child has far to go,
Friday's child is loving and giving,
Saturday's child works hard for a living,
But the child who is born on the Sabbath day
Is bonnie and blithe and good and gay.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

When It Rains It Pours

And we're not talking salt here.  It has rained nearly every day this summer, sometimes a little, sometimes a LOT.  Yesterday was "a LOT" day.  It rained more than 2 1/4 inches in under an hour.  Our swamp is turning into a bog.  A small tree that was damaged by Matthew last fall finally gave up the ghost and fell into the lagoon.  The ground was just too soaked to support it any more.
It was a loud booming storm, at one point had the strangest sounding thunder I've ever heard.  Our tv went out, naturally, it's on satellite and any kind of bad weather knocks it out.  Then the phone and internet went out.  The internet was intermittent until evening, the phone, when it came back on, was so full of static it would have been impossible to use.  It's much better today.
I have a cell phone, but reception here is poor because of all the trees so we more or less rely on the landline.
Yesterday was a heavy lunch, I fixed Sweet and Sour Pork with Fried Rice.  Today it's BLT sandwiches.
The air was drier this morning so I did a load of laundry and hung it outside.  With no warning it started raining a little while ago and Mac rushed out to bring the clothes in (that's the deal, I hang the clothes out, he brings them in).  They hadn't dried at all and they'd been out there for hours.  So another load in the dryer.

Read a horrible headline today, something to really give you nightmares.  A majority of Republicans would back Pres. Trump if he postponed the 2020 elections.  How scary is that?

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Another Day, Another Dollar

 Up late, Mac let me sleep in, he got up at 7:30.  Have I mentioned how HUMID it is here?  About a 1,000 times probably.  Morning walk was a struggle so we turned the air conditioning on at 9:30, that's almost unheard of for us.  Turned it off for awhile now that the house is bearable.  Got the electric bill, bad, but bearable, Miss Kitty agreed to pay her share of it.
Today's jobs were laundry and mopping.  I don't understand why we have so much laundry, we wear the bare minimum of clothing, yet the hamper over flows.  In the past I've accused the cat of cross-dressing and adding to the load---she swears it's not true.  Well someone's wearing them.  The clothes are going in the dryer, something I hate to do, I actually enjoy hanging out clothes, but the air is so full of moisture that they'd never dry.  So dryer it is.
Then after breakfast it was floor mopping time.  I have an electric mop that steam cleans the floor and boy they needed it.  So for a brief moment the tile floors are clean.
Following on with my today is posts, today is National Book Lover's Day and I'm definitely a book lover.  Always read at least 3 books at a time.  Right now I'm reading:
The Jakarta Pandemic by Stephen Konkoly.   It's a bit of a train wreck and I won't be recommending it to anyone, just want to get through it.  I have The Chilbury Ladies' Choir by Jennifer Ryan  waiting for me, it's a library e-book and I need to get started on it.
I'm also reading Blue Monday by Nicci French.  I usually like her/their books (they're a husband/wife writing team), but I'm having trouble with this one.  I'm tired of "damaged" psychologists/psychiatrists.  This is the first of their Frieda Klein books and unless it picks up I won't be going on with them.
I'm still working my way through Skippy Dies by Paul Murray, teenage boys are beyond my ken, but I'm enjoying the story anyway.  Can't say I'm finding some of the male teachers in the book much more grown up than the boys.
Well, wherever you are find a good book to lose yourself in today.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Doing Very Little

The air conditioner came on early today, 95º yesterday and only around 90º today, but as always, HUMID.  Little gets done in this kind of weather.  My only projects are Swiffering the floors (done) and balancing the checkbooks- that's next.
I prefer the checkbooks to the floors, so dollars are better than dust.
Had an email from my sister-in-law, only have one left, she keeps us up-to-date on Mac's family in California.  She says our nephew is looking at land and considering building a house.  Would you believe that construction costs where they live (the San Francisco Bay Area ) are around $450 a sq.ft. and about 300,000 to 400,000 for a lot.  A bit rich for my money.  One of the reasons we decided not to retire in California, though that's where we're from, too expensive and too many people.  We like living in the boonies.  Our house, if we moved it to California,  would probably sell for way over a million, maybe close to two million.  Obviously that's not what we paid.
Miss Kitty wanted me to tell you that today is World Cat Day and in honor of that she's doing even less today than she did yesterday.  She coughed once today and we gave her the new cough syrup, she didn't say much, but she hasn't coughed since.
Mac has sold 3 paintings this week.  Nice living with an artist.

Monday, August 7, 2017

A Little of This, A Little of That

Miss Kitty after her travails, nothing more
soothing than a good Amazon box.
It's Monday, to all my teacher friends who've returned to work I wish you the best and though I loved teaching, I'm such a ham, I'm so glad I'm retired. I asked one of my cousins (3x removed) who is a teacher, if she'd had the class from h••l dream yet.  I usually had one just before the school year started.  It would involve a class I couldn't get control of, one that kept disappearing or one that I was teaching about smoking and drinking, so I'd pass out cigarettes and beer.
Thank you for the complements on the new header, it is of course one of Macs.
Last night Mac went to bed with a rummy tummy and this morning I woke up with it, guess it migrated.  Both of us are feeling fine now.
Got to Skype with our daughter who was just back from running around Japan, has to work 3 days and then she's off again.  She always dreamed of living in Japan and the reality is even better, except for occasionally wanting to defenster someone at work, usually someone in their China office.
Miss Kitty has had a difficult hairball season and it's left her with a dry cough so it was time to have her checked out by the Vet.  She had this a couple of years ago, but you always want to be sure it's nothing more serious.  The Vet looked her over, listened to her heart and lungs, suggested a bit of cough syrup and for us to continue to give her PetroMalt to pick up any spare hair in her tummy.  She also said she has a bit of psychogenic alopecia, over grooming on her tummy.  Says this is common for indoor cats, they get bored, and that we might give her more to watch out the window (set up a bird feeder) so she'll quit licking.  Then it was rabies shot time and toenail clipping.  There was a minimum of yelling and no one was bit, so a successful trip.
Back home Miss Kitty demanded food, we'd fed her lightly before the car trip and she was insisting on the rest of her breakfast.
Exercise time for me, hope your Monday is a good one.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Sunday in the Swamp

Another muggy day in the swamp, Pogo would feel right at home.  We walked and swam before breakfast and Mac has been back in again.
Nothing too heavy for lunch today, tuna sandwiches I think.  And I baked a small cake so we can have strawberry short cake later.  Doesn't get much summery than that.  I just discovered that today is  Root Beer Float Day---we had one on Friday and Strawberry Short Cake Day was on June 14th, I always think of that as Flag Day.
I started a new cross-stitch.  It has the pattern printed onto the fabric.  Thought I'd like that, but I don't, it appears that I prefer the counted cross-stitch instead.  We'll see how this one goes, it's a gift too.
Saw a headline on the Net today asking if your air conditioner is making you sick, well no, it's keeping me alive.  We clean our filters regularly.  We lived here in Georgia many years ago without air conditioning and for awhile without even a fan.  We were a lot younger then.  I could do it now, but I'd sure hate to, I have a lot of sympathy for folks without air-conditioning.
My Grandmother who lived in Oklahoma didn't have any air conditioning and my Mom bought her one, but she wouldn't use it, said she thought it was an instrument of the devil.  That's what I thought heat was.
Well, wherever you are, have a good Sunday.

Saturday, August 5, 2017


I haven't blogged all week, not for lack of things to say, I always have things to say, just too bored and lazy. But our daughter got worried, thought maybe something was wrong.  We live far apart, Georgia for us, Japan for her, and our mutual postings are how we know all is well.  So I figure it's time to get off my duff and put fingers to keys.
There were no appointments this week, I started no new projects, did no major household tasks and yet the week was filled.
I read a couple of books:

Old Man's War by John Scalzi.  Science fiction as opposed to the science fantasy I usually read.  I quite enjoyed it.  Imagine that at 75 instead of sliding on down into terminal old age you join the Galactic army and become young again and fight the alien forces of the universe.  How many seniors would go for that.

Winterkill by C.J. Box.  The third in the Joe Pickett series set in Wyoming.  Joe is a game warden and lives with his wife and 3 daughters in a small town.  He is an honest, hardworking man who often has to deal with others who are not.  Well written.

Black Pearl by Cynthia Harrod Eagles.  The continuation of the Morland family saga.  We're now up to the restoration period in English history and much of the story takes place at Charles II's court.

Skippy Dies by Paul Murray.  I wasn't sure about this one at first, but I stuck with it and I'm really enjoying it now.  When reading books set in schools I always have to decide if I relate more to the teachers or the students having been each at one time.  I often think teachers are poorly done in books, but then I remember how many bad teachers I've known, both as a student and as a teacher

Not much television watching except for baseball, oh Braves, you stink mightily.  I have seen so much poor baseball this year.  Not just from the Braves but across the leagues.  Too many strike-outs, poor fielding, little discipline.

My MP3 player music list continues to entertain me as I work out.  Boy is Enter Sandman by Metallic a creepy song.

Still not very hot here, just sweat dripping humid.  So meals have been on the light side, it's just too hot in the kitchen.  Today it's barbecued ribs, rice and a kidney bean salad.

That's my week, as I said, pretty boring.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Grumpy Old Lady Time

Woke up this morning  more tired than I went to bed, 3 cups of coffee and a coke and at least my eyes are open.  We decided it's the allergy pills I've been taking.  I try to avoid any extra medication, I take so many regularly, but my allergies had reached the point where my eyes were threatening to leave home and take my sinuses with them.  So I've been taking an antihistamine for about 10 days now.  My eyes and sinuses are happy, but the rest of me is wrung out.  I'll have to try an every other day regime.

Called my mail order pharmacy because instead of sending my lovely capsules for blood pressure they sent me big white horse pills. I asked why and after listening to an interlude or really bad elevator music the pharmacist said my doctor had ordered it because they were extended release and that if I wanted the capsules back I'd have to talk to him.  So before I talk to my doctor I'm going to try and swallow one tonight.

Next whinge,  why oh why do they put metal handles on pots and lids!  My hands are tired of me forgetting to grab a pot holder and ending up burning my hand.

Enough whining, it's a beautiful day and I've had a swim and I'm almost feeling human, hope you are too.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

10 Random Things on a Saturday

Yesterday Amy at Love Made My Home posted a 10 Random Things on Friday and said we could join in.  Well I'm feeling pretty random so I'll join in.

First of all is the weather.  As summers go in the south this hasn't been a particularly hot one.  More days in the 80's than the 90's.  But oh it's been humid, some days sitting at 99% humidity according to our barometer and today is one of those days.

Second, We were supposed to paint Miss Kitty's bathroom today, but after breakfast when we were supposed to get started we looked at each other and collectively said, "NO", neither of us was in the mood for painting.

Third Fat Bottomed Girls (by Queen)  to Long Cool Woman  in a Black Dress ( by The Hollies) was the gamut on my MP3 player yesterday when I worked out.  And I'm much closer to being a fat bottomed girl than a long cool woman.

Fourth, we saw Queen years ago when Freddie Mercury was still alive, quite a show.

Fifth, Cleaning old meat out of the freezer and making a pork stew, added a ham hock for Mac, I don't particularly like them, but he's not crazy about zucchini and I put some of that in so it all balances out.

Sixth, Got a card from my husband's cousin Isabel, she's the only person who ever writes to us.  She's 85 and still traveling the world.  She's getting ready to fly from San Francisco to Toronto, Canada and on to Venice, Italy where she with join her cruise ship to cruise the Adriatic and  at the end of the cruise she's going to spend some time in Athens, Greece.  She is amazing.  Mac wondered how much luggage she takes with her because she is the most elegant lady we know.

Seventh I picked up a new shade of blonde to color my hair, will be doing it tomorrow.  Hope it's not too light, but I need to color that gray some way.  I can live with wrinkles, my eye sight is so bad I hardly see them, but gray hair is another story.

Eighth I've stopped doing German on Duolingo, I'm tired of sorting out the Der, Die, Das.  Instead I'm working on my Spanish as a trip to Spain seems to be in our future.  I appreciate that if you have to have gender articles you should give me a clue to which to use.  I appreciate that Spanish says, with some exceptions, if it ends in o it's masculine, if it ends in a it's feminine.  If I were in charge of languages I'd have one word for the, whether it was masculine, feminine, neuter or plural.

Ninth I'm reading a book, Skippy Dies, by Paul Murray, set in an expensive Irish boy's school.  It keep alternating between being quite funny and quite depressing.  I don't know which will win out in the end.

Tenth We're almost through July, most of the way through summer, except that summer lasts through October here.  Oh well, it was nice swimming this morning and I realized that they are only 149 days till Christmas.

If you're feeling random join in.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Pronouncing English Names

We were rewatching a favorite Midsomer Murders last night, Blood Wedding.  It deals with murder among the upper class and DS Jones mispronounces a name, Colquhoun, saying something like Cokiehound and of course they had to correct his pronunciation while looking down their nose at him, so he continued to mispronounce it.  We roared.
It reminded us of a Wodehouse Theater episode, Strychnine in the Soup, where there is a character named Lester Mapledurham, pronounced Mum.
A year or so ago when when we were in London doing a Jack the Ripper tour the tour guide asked what part of London we were staying in and we said Southwark, pronouncing all parts of the word, he corrected our pronunciation saying that's not how we pronounce it, in a rather smug way.  Later on he was checking off names to make sure everyone was there and his mispronounced our last name, and Mac said that's not how we pronounce it and told him how to.  The tour guide said Touche'.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Some of This, Some of That

It's Monday, it's hot, it's July, what can I say.  Should start cooling off here some time around the end of October.  Mac keeps checking the Almanac on line to see if the sun is going down sooner and of course minute by minute it is.  He could tell you what time the sun is setting each day.
Morning walk was
done and a quick dip in the pool before breakfast. Load of white laundry done, 21 washrags and 23 socks, had to be missing at least one or it wouldn't be official laundry.
Loved the British Open yesterday, got really worried for a while and turned it off, Swiffered the floors, turned it back on and watched the last 4 holes.  WOW!  What a finish.
We had a shrimp salad for lunch yesterday with homemade Thousand Island Dressing.  The shrimp were heavenly and as always I asked why we didn't have shrimp more often.
Today it's going to be chicken kabobs.  Nothing too heavy, too hot for that.
Today is National Cousin Day.  I've lost touch with all my first cousins, we're scattered around the country and one's too weird to be in contact with.  I do have a 2nd and a 3rd cousin, or is that a cousin twice removed and a cousin 3xs removed, that I stay in touch with.  We reconnected through   It's funny that all 3 of us are or were teachers, no one else in our families were or are.
It's also National Tequilla Day, a drink for the strong of heart, though a nice Margarita on a hot day wouldn't be remiss.
Mac's outside talking to his weed whacker.  He says he needs one that doesn't break the string every 5 minutes.
I'm going upstairs to talk to a puzzle I've been neglecting, I'll probably melt.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Saturday in the Swamp

Not quite so slothy today, I managed to clean the kitchen and finish my afghan.  No more big projects of any kind for a while.  I have a book of one skein projects and I think I'll do something from it instead.
I enjoyed my slow day yesterday.  That's the best part of being retired, no commitments and nothing you really have to do,  just check yourself into Chez Couch and relax, it's so nice.
Just finished another Joe Slider mystery Dead End by Cynthia Harrods Eagles.  She writes the Morland family saga I'm reading---starting in the 1400's no less--and one set during the First World War.  Both of those are very serious and I enjoy them tremendously.  The Bill Slider mysteries, while still being quite serious, have added dashes of humor that I'm really enjoying.
Off to exercise.

Friday, July 21, 2017

A Sloth Day

I've had such  a lazy day.  Had I  moved any slower sloths would have left me in t h e dust.  Not tired, just unmotivated.   Mac, bless his heart, cleaned the kitchen for me, even swept the floor.
I sat on the couch, crocheted and watched the British Open, go Speith.
Now I'm ready for a nap.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Christmas Present/Birthday Present

It took about 9 months to complete.  It missed its first deadline, it was supposed to be a Christmas present.  But it made it for the second one and turned out to be a good gift.  Our daughter loved it.  I picked it because it looked like an Arthur Rackham illustration and she loves Arthur Rackham.
Now if I can only finish the afghan I've been working on forever I can start my next cross-stitch--if it doesn't blind me.