Monday, July 28, 2014

It's Done!

Bryce Canyon
My eyes may never be the same, I know my brain won't, but it's finally done.  The problem with working puzzles here is that the only place with enough space to work one is upstairs and we virtually shut the upstairs down (doesn't that sound strange) in the summer.  It's just too hot up there.  We have 2 central air units, but I'm too cheap to run both of them, so we just stay downstairs in the summer.
In order to work on the puzzle I'd have to brave the heat and it's hard to work with sweat in your eyes, but I got it done and I quite enjoyed the challenge.  May wait till it's cooler to start another one though.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Skype

Sometimes when we're doing a Skype call with our daughter her lips and voice get out of synch, rather like an early Godzilla movie.  It makes listening harder, but considering she's in Japan and the call is free I can't complain too much.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Catnap With Catnip

For years Miss Kitty would have nothing to do with catnip, ignoring it in any toy we gave her as well as loose catnip.  But recently she's taken a "liking" to it.  The other day she hopped up on the wine counter, found a plastic bag of catnap at the back, dragged it out,  pawed it open, spread it about her, and as you can see from the pictures she got comfortably numb.
We've hidden the catnip





No wine or vodka for this kitty, it's catnip all the way.

For Wanda

I'm posting this for Wanda, she saw it in the background of my earlier post and asked for a better view of it.
Mac painted it for me last year when I asked for a spring painting.  Love the colors of it.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Teddy Bear's Picnic

I went to bed Monday night and now it's Friday morning.  I have no idea what happened to my week.  The heat melts my brain and other parts too.
These are the bears who live in our bedroom, they sit at the Georgian table and have a nibble or two.
On the table is a small tea set, a mesh purse from the 1920's, a small pair of scissors in a leather case, a tiny ladies church flask to get you through the long sermons , a small glass jar with a lovely lady painted on its lid and a dance programme from The Primrose Dance 19th of April 1888.
It's a little scene that always makes me smile.



Monday, July 21, 2014

Monday Evening Roundup

I've been laying low, bit of a rummy tummy, not unlike the Empress of Blandings  (consult your Wodehouse),  but mine wasn't caused by a blanc mange.  Don't you just love to wake up in the middle of the night and decide that the cool stone floor in the bathroom is exactly where you want to be?  The cat found me laying there and tickled me with her whiskers, thought it was bugs crawling on me, the perfect way to spend the middle of the night.
Feeling quite a bit better today.  Yesterday I didn't even exercise, first time I've missed in forever, skipped coffee for breakfast too.  Today I managed to  get outside and mow the lawn, and did it ever need it.  We've had so much rain the grass was getting completely out of hand, not only did it look unmown (I'm not sure there's such a word, spell check is questioning it), but small trees were starting to get lost in it. While mowing the backyard I accidentally and I do mean accidentally,  ran over a small snake hidden in the long grass.  I'm no snake lover, but I wouldn't intentionally hurt one, particularly a small one like it was.  Another reason though to keep the grass shorter, so unwelcome critters won't take up residence.
I've been working on a watercolor painting, first one I've done in ages.  When I first started the painting  it'd been so long since  I'd done one that the paint brush felt funny in my hand, I kept trying to hold it like a pencil, but today it started coming together.  Will take a picture when I'm done.
Over the weekend a large blue heron went walking through our backyard looking for something.  Mac was worried that it might be after his frogs.  His frogs in the sense that everything that lives in our backyard is his.  But the bird soon left with nothing in his long bill so he was pleased, Mac, not the bird.
I hear a bowl of Jello calling me, Mac made me some yesterday and right now it sounds really good, it's  orange flavored
, so I'm off to have a bowl.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Hallelujah!!!

Fingers crossed, but it looks like they got our internet repaired.  It went down completely last night and was still off when we got up this morning.  Mac rebooted it and it took off.  I can even get to AMAZON!!! The world of American commerce is saved.
When we went out to walk this morning we saw one of Century Link's repair trucks leaving their little building and Mac talked to the driver who said they'd been working all night, a new piece of equipment had been put in and now they had to "plug" in about a 100 more subscribers.
That was about 3 1/2 hours ago and things are still whizzing along.
I had bought some music from Amazon before all the trouble started,  but had been unable to download it because of our problems with connecting.  This morning all 15 of the songs downloaded in record time.  That's a relief.
We pay quite a few of our bills online and it's a problem when you're not sure of the connection you have.  I hate writing checks.
It had reached the point where I was even looking into Comcast to replace Century Link even though Comcast is the most hated company in the country.  So, as I said, fingers crossed.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Cow and Calf

Cow On Left, Calf On Right
For months I've been carrying around the purse on the left, I thought I needed something that big to carry all my junk er,  valuables.  Every time we went somewhere Mac said it looked like I was hauling a cow around and would make mooing sounds.
Finally yesterday I found a smaller bag that  I thought would hold everything and it has been dubbed the calf.
Today I transferred everything and it all fit, except when I put my Kindle in the compartment won't snap closed.  But I don't carry the Kindle in my bag except when we travel and then I carry my backpack purse so I should be ok.
If the cow says MOO, I guess the calf says MOO.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Grumble, Grumble

I seem to do more than a bit of that in the summer time, oh autumn where are you?  We've been having trouble with our internet for awhile and called them on Friday, the lovely recorded message said they were aware of the problem, it was something to do with switching and they were working on it.  By yesterday we'd had enough, I couldn't get through to Amazon and if I can't shop at Amazon the whole American economy may crumble, so we called the local branch of Century Link and they said it sounded like our router was bad and to bring it in.
When we got there the lady at the front desk took one look at our router and said it was so old they weren't giving them out like that any more, she'd give us a new wireless airport/router  Mac wasn't too sure about this, but I said it's time.  At first she told us there were no problems with the local service, but under questioning she admitted that tech support was working on it.  We took the new airport/router and headed home.  Down the street from where we live is a small building that is some sort of routing doohicky (love my technical terms) building for Century Link and there just happened to be a man there working so Mac pulled in to talk to him.  The service man told Mac that there definitely was a problem with download speeds and in his opinion it was overcapacity and that Century Link needed to upgrade their servers--fat chance-- all we can hope for is that the kids will all go back to school soon and that will open up more bandwidth for everyone.
Anyway, Mac played with the new router and got us online, then decided to do something about the "dirty" (snap,crackle, pop) phone line that we've been dealing with since the storms we had last week.  He got it cleaned up and then the internet went down.  He called the local office and of course the line was busy, and stayed busy, I guess more than a few of us were having problems.  Finally he got through and they told him to call tech support, but before he could do that the net came back.  Still too slow, still have trouble with Amazon (UPS may go broke too if I don't get access), but it's better.
A very frustrating day.  We need to get out of the house and do something interesting, maybe tomorrow when the humidity is supposed to be less than 100%.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Humidity

According to Wikipedia humidity is the amount of water vapor in the air and water vapor is water in gaseous form, it's invisible.  When we got up this morning to do our walk it was only 72º, wonderful, down right balmy.  So we quickly dressed and hurried out the door, we always walk before breakfast, it's generally cooler.  And cooler it was, but oh was it humid.  We had heard someone describe the air as grey and leaden and that's exactly what it was, not a breath of air.  You could feel it sitting on your eyebrows, my sinus's hurt so much my teeth ached.
By the time we finished our walk I was drenched in sweat.  Hurrying through the house I didn't even look for my swimsuit I just peeled my clothes off as I went and wearing only my underwear I jumped in the pool which was really quite cool, no it was cold and it felt wonderful.
I should say that we have no near neighbors and our yard is screened by trees all around so our backyard is very private.
When I got out of the pool and dressed I looked the humidity level up on the 'net and it was 100%, any more and it would have been raining.
It stayed that way all day and finally it started raining about a half an hour ago.  That will cool things off for a little while, but then it will just get steamy.  Summer time in the south.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Learning Something New

Kay over at Georgia Girl With An English Heart  wrote a blog yesterday about learning something new every day, and gave the example that she'd learned (from a dj on the radio) that the little fuel pump symbol on her dashboard will have a diamond or a triangle to the left or right to show where your fuel tank is.  Mac said he didn't believe it and immediately went outside and checked both our cars and sure enough they each had the symbol indicating where the tank was.  Handy to know when you're using a rental car and haven't a clue where the tank is.
She then asked us to tell something we'd learned, aside from the fuel tank.  So I wrote that I'd just learned that Belgium had become a nation only in 1830 and was meant to be a neutral nation.
I learned that in an incredible book I'm reading, The Guns of August by Barbara Tuchman.  This is not a new book, it was written in 1962 and won the Pulitzer Prize.
What it tells is the lead up to WWI and the first month, August, of the war.  WWI is not a subject I know a lot about and with it being the 100th anniversary of the start of that war I decided to find out more about it.
I'm, according to my Kindle, about 50% of the way through the book and I'm blown away by the naivety, the thick-headedness, down right stupidity of many of the people who were in charge, the politicians, the generals, the diplomats, it's just mindboggling.
It became very clear that Germany and France both wanted the war, Germany to end what they considered their encirclement by the rest of Europe and France to make up for their defeat and humiliation in the 1870 Franco/Prussian War---not only did Germany defeat them, they had to allow the German army to march through Paris (which they had not taken in the war), they lost Alsace-Lorraine and they had to have German troops on their soil until they had paid war reparations that the Germans thought would take them years to pay (but they managed to pay off in a little over a year by nearly bankrupting the nation).
Though there were treaties, alliances and detentes that brought others into the fight it was France and Germany who set the tone and time table.
England didn't really want to become involved in what they saw as another French/German war, but feared that if they didn't join France in the war that Germany would win easily and go on to dominate Europe, something England was not willing to have happen.  They knew the people in England would need a good reason to support the war and Germany gave it to them by invading neutral Belgium.
The French were just so pig-headed, they (Joffre who was in charge) decided that only with"elan" could they win, they must be on the offensive, meet the Germans head on with calvary charges, bayonets at the ready.  The Germans called up all their reserves, the other nations disdained them, had built huge artillery, made good use of machine guns and airplanes-----can you see where this is going?
We have visited Verdun in France and seen the rows of trenches, the ossuary where the bones of unidentified soldiers lay, the whole area is a museum and were horrified.

Fascinating book, I want to read more about WWI.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Wednesday Afternoon/Thursday 2 AM

Rebecca
Still getting use to the 13 hour time difference between the east coast of the USA and Fukuoka, Japan where our daughter lives.  It's been hard to get updates on Typhoon Neoguri, but it looks like it's (hopefully) going to be downgraded to a Tropical Storm as it comes ashore on Kyushu Island where she lives.  Before she went to bed she said that there were scattered showers and that was all, no wind thankfully.
I've been out in the pool twice, it's hot here!!! Took a picture of one of my favorite spots in the backyard.  The statue is called Rebecca (we didn't name her, she came that way) and we brought her from California.  Our John boat is laying on one side of her, worry about what might be living under there and our small dock is on the other side.
While I was taking pictures 2 of Mac's turtles came chasing me across the yard.  They're so use to him coming out to feed them, and the hordes of other turtles that live in the lagoon, that they assume that anyone out there must have food for them.
Yesterday Mac said the local alligator was so close to shore he had his head laying on the grass.  Mac brought Miss Kitty back inside.
We're Hungry!!!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Typhoon Neoguri

Our daughter is living in Japan now on the southern island of Kyushu and that's where Typhoon Neoguri is headed next.  I'm feeling very nervous.
We've told her to stay as closely in touch as she can.  She says that the weather forecasters there don't seem to be as concerned about it as American sources are.
But she lives on the harbor with large glass windows facing the water.
Hoping for the best.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

New Header

It was time for a new header on my Blog, so I chose the one you see above, this is one of Mac's paintings and one of my favorites.  It hangs on the wall in our bedroom above a small fireplace.  It's part of what I call my garden wall, 3 paintings that always bring a cool touch to the room.  Mac was looking at them this morning and said it was time was a change, but I assured him it was not.  He can change the painting that sits on the easel, but not those 3.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

A Good Time Was Had By All

Dogs were roasted, hamburgers coated with mustard, the night sky lit up.  As you can see Godzilla had a great time.  When it was over we had to take a swim, at nearly 10 pm it  was around 89º.  Then we watched Independence Day and saw loads of lovely explosions.  Great day.


Thursday, July 3, 2014

Getting Ready For the Fourth of July

It's going to be a hot one, hoped we'd get some rain from Tropical Storm Arthur as he went by, but no such luck,  all the rain is going to North and South Carolina.  Small 4th celebration, hot dogs and hamburgers with potato salad and watermelon.  Some of the potatoes are from
our garden, they've been doing well this year.  We've promised Godzilla he can blow a few things up and he's ready.  One year we found tanks for him to destroy and he thought that was great, haven't been able to find any since then.
There'll be a fireworks show at the marina down the road from us and we'll be able to see that and the Civil War Fort will be shooting off cannons, that ought to make the cats' day.
Speaking of the cats, they've  melted into puddles on the family room, I turned the ceiling fan on for them, but they said they wanted the air conditioner, not yet I said, they melted further.
As much house work as I could stand to do has been done, I don't know how much good it does to clean when simultaneously I'm sweating onto everything, but one has to try.
Some flowers that someone sweet left for me on my nightstand.
Have a happy 4th and to my English friends, sorry about the war and all that.
Godzilla Enjoying Another 4th of July

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Summer Time

When you wake up in the morning and the cicadas are already singing you know you're in trouble.  Because cicadas start singing at 82.4ª (28ª C)  so you know it's only going to get hotter, and it has.
Been in the pool twice this morning and as I was using the net to pick up leaves I was thinking about a scary experience I had in the pool one summer.
Cardinals are very territorial and when they're building nests they'll often have small tussles with other cardinals.  So one day I was in the pool and I heard some birds "arguing" in the plants that surround our  pool, so I shook the vines a little bit and told them to be quiet.  Well instead of a bird chirping at me a snake stuck its head out of the vines and hissed at me.
Talk about walking on water, my toes weren't even wet.  Mac had to get rid of the snake(s), turned out there were more than one around the pool.
I know we live in a swamp and I try to have a pretty much live and let attitude towards the critters that live here, but they're not allowed by the pool, on my porch (found one on the welcome mat one time) or in my garden (there was one that liked to sun bathe on the fence), and if Mac throwing them into the empty field next door doesn't work more extreme measures are taken---no more Mr. Nice Guy.
That's summer in the south.

What's Cooking?

The kitchen smells heavenly.  I made vegetable beef soup, think it's the first time I've done that.  It's for lunch tomorrow and...