Friday, June 23, 2017

Sweating Cobs

I wonder where that expression came from.  I know it's hotter out west--temps in the 100's-- but it's so humid here they said it was going to feel like 102º and it does.  Or more.  I have hung our a load of laundry and cleaned the kitchen, Mac did the dishes bless his heart. and I'm literally dripping in sweat.  I refuse to turn the air conditioner on this early, it's just 10:34, so all I can do is sit under a fan.  I'll be going in the pool as soon as the man who's cleaning our gutters is done.  We found someone to do it, he showed up on time and he's almost done.    Maybe I can get a swim in before today's storms start.  I missed swimming yesterday because we went grocery shopping and it was late when we got back.
We finished wrapping our daughter's birthday gifts, weighing them, filling in the custom's forms and screaming when we saw how expensive it was going to be.  Good thing she's worth it.
The rest of the day is mine, but in this kind of weather I won't be doing much.  Steak sandwiches with asparagus for lunch.
Have a good weekend.
Looked up that expression "sweating cobs" and most sources think it's English in origin, Lancashire region, and has to do with round bread (cobs) rising and sweating.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Hello Cindy

Tropical Storm Cindy isn't coming very near us, she's headed to Beaumont, Texas, but we're getting rain from her anyway.  Yesterday I wanted to mow the law, when the weeds are knee high it's not only time it's past time.  But before I could get out there it started raining, more than a bit.  So I cleaned bathrooms instead.  Trust me when I say I'd much rather have mowed the lawn.  Then it cleared up a bit so I thought I'd go swimming, got my suit, started to change and then it poured--no swimming.
Today I mowed and it rained on me, not heavy, but enough to get my clothes wet.  There was no thunder or lightning so I just kept going.  Got it done and by then the rain had stopped so I got in the pool to cool off and to clean it a bit.  Nothing like a bit of rain to cool the pool down, the water had been getting pretty warm, but this feels better.
Rereading a book series I really like, it's the Chadwick Family Chronicles by Marcia Willett a British author.  It begins with Looking Forward when Flish, Mole and Susan come to live with their Grandmother after their parents and older brother have been killed by Mau-Maus in Kenya.  It's a 4 book series and if you like family sagas, as I do, this is a good one.
I finished Broadchurch and I was right about the murderer, but I was a bit surprised with why.  I understand there was a second series and a third,  hope there's a second and third book, right now there's just some short stories to go with the second series.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Monday in the Swamp

And  it definitely feels like a swamp today, it's 90º and with the humidity it feels worse.  Which means not much is going to get done today.  Mac sold another painting we wrapped it up and it's on it's way to Houston, Texas and he's started a new buffalo painting.
We Skyped with April this morning, always a good way to start the day, then  I cleaned the kitchen, hung out a load of laundry and that's about it.
Some gentle piano playing this morning, Beethoven was giving me fits, but he finally settled down.
I've been wearing my black Gloria Vanderbilt knee pants, but if this weather keeps up I'll have to dig out some actual shorts.
Mac opened his gifts that our daughter sent him for Father's Day, he saved it till we Skyped.  Lots of neat things, she always sends him loads of foodie gifts because like her he's a very adventurous eater. Among the many gifts was a wonderful card--the Japanese make incredible cards-- it lights up, there's the sound running water, a wind chime, a bell, a cricket and a cicada.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to my Mac, for all the special things you do and the wonderful Father and Husband you are.  I hope you know how special you are to me and to April, we love you.  Enjoy your day.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Life's Little Pings

We needed to have a bunch of junk hauled off including our old pool.  Our friend who usually does this has just had surgery, so I hit the internet and it was hard to find anyone, but I finally did and they came out quickly, quoted a high price, we sighed and said ok.  It's gone, but ouch.  They even said why didn't we try Craig's List.  Well there have been a few serious, including murders, involving Craig's List so we don't use it.  We want someone reputable even if they're expensive.
Now we need the gutters on the front of the house cleaned, there are things, trees?, growing there.  Ours is a 2 story house so I didn't want Mac even thinking about doing it---he said he could lean out a second story window and get most to it---NO, NO, No.  So back to the internet, asked  all our neighbors--who all said if we find someone to tell them--, and one of our neighbors who's having their house painted said the painter does stuff like that.  In the meantime I found a company who would do it for a reasonable price, but couldn't come for nearly 2 weeks.  So Mac asked the painter, who dropped by today and quote $250, no way!  So we've left a message with the other company and hope they call us back.
So this morning  I'm cleaning house---boring--- and plotting tomorrow's Father Day dinner, Mac has requested Paella.
I've been reading Broadchurch, a book written from the British tv series.  I would have enjoyed watching that, but it's not Mac's kind of show, so I was pleased to find the book.  I'm about 3/4's of the way through it and I'm really enjoying it.  I have an idea of who did it, but I'm not sure.  Good book.

Friday, June 16, 2017


I finally made it upstairs, a place I don't much go in the summer time, to finish off a puzzle that's been dragging on forever.  It's one of those that if you touch it part of it comes undone.  I've spent as much time putting it back together as I have putting it together.  It's also one of those where a piece might fit in any number of places.  So when I got down to the end I had  7 empty spaces left and 5 pieces to fit in, so I knew I'd made some mistakes, so I looked really closely, felt for uneven spots and finally got it put together right.  Right that is except I'm missing a piece-GRRRRRR!

Thursday, June 15, 2017


I went in the pool for the first time today, Mac has already been in it twice.  It was wonderful, the water was warm, but not too warm. I think this is the latest I've ever been in getting in.   I dipped wasps out, mostly dead, one alive.  I've ordered a new swim suit, but in the mean time I have a new swimsuit bottom and a blouse that looks like a swimsuit.  Mac asked where the suit was coming from and I said probably China, isn't that where everything comes from now.
Got a new outdoor rug to go under our table and a new umbrella.  I wouldn't have picked a blue one, but it was the cheapest  and I'm surprised how much I like it.
Mac has all the trellis up, quite a few plants put around the pool, now we need rock.  Ready for summer.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Dealing With Loss

I lost a friend this weekend.  Patty lost her battle with Lupus and died from complications from liver transplant surgery.  I am saddened by her loss and know how hard this must be for her family.
Patty and I met in our last year of college and though I was 20 years older, mature student, and she was a born again Christian while I was a bit  of a heathen, something clicked and we became friends.
When we left Georgia to move to California Patty was supposed to drive our extra car out for us, but instead she met the love of her life, Steve, and they became engaged and then married.
Through the years we stayed in touch, then lost each other and then when we moved back to Georgia she found me again through Facebook and came to visit.
Her husband was a minister and they lived in South Carolina.  Seeing her was great, it was like there had been no missing years between us and through blogging and Facebook we stayed in touch.
Patty's kids were older, the youngest in his last years of high school when they decided to adopt an older child.  It was a lengthy process and part of it involved having a physical. The results of some of her blood work were puzzling and after many more tests it was discovered that she had Lupus, an autoimmune disorder that can attack the body in a variety of ways.
Patty fought it for years, never giving in, but eventually she needed a liver transplant and was put on the list to get one.  Earlier this year her son made the decision that he wanted to be the donor and after much soul searching Patty and Steve agreed and the surgery was performed 3 weeks ago.  There were problems right from the beginning, but it looked like she was winning the battle, her strength and spirit were so strong.  But as her husband wrote on Saturday, prayers are always answered, but not always they way we want them to be.  She died Saturday afternoon with her family at her side.  She will be missed by all who knew and loved her.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Up and Running

All the plumbing was done yesterday, extra vinyl pipes had to be purchased and convinced to go together and today Mac started the pump for the first time since it was hit by a tree during hurricane Matthew last fall----it WORKED---no complaints, just the lovely sound of water going through the system.
He then put up a couple more pieces of lattice work and poles.  Tomorrow I'm going to help him move some plants over to go around the pool, my Confederate Rose, an orange tree and maybe the lemon one too.  We're going to put decorative rock around the base and keep the plants in pots.  The plants we had before put all kinds of roots under the pool and made the bottom very lumpy.
I pulled more weeds and fried my brains as it's quite a bit warmer today.  I'll post photos tomorrow when we get everything set up.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

What Happens When You Put in a New Pool

Why it rains of course!  Temperature down in the 70's, overnight lows in the 60's, all lovely except if you want to get in and try out the new pool.  So today I weeded and Mac worked around the pool, moving debris and covering up what can't be move yet--his helper just had carpel tunnel surgery and is out of commission for awhile.  My haulage days are long over, so we'll have to live with it for awhile.
Another hairball this morning, but at least we didn't hear it.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Quit Licking

We've been awake since about 6:30 this morning because Miss Kitty kept trying to get rid of a hairball.  First hacking in the bedroom, then the bathroom, then back in the bedroom before finally depositing on in the hall.  If she'd just stop licking herself she'd be fine.  She's short-haired and she's gotten rid of her winter coat.  She has no fleas, we treat for that.  She gets like this every spring and it drives us bonkers.  Doesn't seem to bother her at all.  As soon as she's done it's off to the food bowl for a bit to eat and then a good licking clean up.  But I give her fair warning if she wakes us up at dawn again she's going to get a bath and I don't think she'll like that at all.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Tuesday in the Swamp

Busy week so far.  Yesterday they showed up to finish the pool and it's all done except for hooking up the pump and Mac will do that.  Today as we had water going in the pool he's been busy putting back up the lattice work panels that go around the pool for privacy.  Have to grow some new vines.
Yesterday afternoon we both had doctor's appointments to have moles removed.  I go twice a year to my dermatologist so I only had one to be cut off, Mac had many and he's a mass of  bandaids and sore spots.
Today it was do laundry, make bread, clean bathrooms and listen to the piano tuner who was doing my annual tune-up.  It sounds much better.
Not really hot, but incredibly humid, Mac is changing to his third shirt of the day and after I cleaned bathrooms I had to put a cold rag on my face and neck.
Yesterday morning, and I do mean most of the morning, was spent getting i-tunes to recognize my password, took 2 calls to Apple support to get it straight.  I had to authorize this new computer to have access to my i-tune library.
I think that's the last thing I have to set up.  So far I've been very happy with my new machine.  Our daughter doesn't like Macs, she says the Mouse doesn't have enough buttons.  I said it doesn't have any and she said, "Exactly".  She's much more tech savvy than we are and really knows hew way around a computer, but I just want a computer that's easy to use.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

New Computer

The new computer arrived late Friday afternoon and we set her up yesterday after I mowed the lawn. Easy to set up, plug in, push power button and you're done.  That's what I like about Macs.  I then spent a couple of hours reestablishing Bookmarks, finding where they'd hidden the sound icon, having a fight with Siri who I felt was giving me snitty answers.  The only site I had trouble  with was our mail server, used their online chat feature and they recommended that I call the company.  It didn't recognize my User Name, so I told it I'd forgotten it, I hadn't, they sent what they thought was my user name--Mac got that on his computer--it still wouldn't work so I told it I'd forgotten my password, I hadn't, and it asked for the city I was born in and when I gave the correct answer it said that was wrong, so I called them.  Had a 10 minute wait to talk to a human and while they were trying to straighten things out I tried my original User Name and Password and lo and behold it worked.  The help on the phone said there may have been a glitch on their end that caused the problem, I thanked him.
So most things are straightened out, found the sound icon and put it on the desktop for easy use, found out why it kept asking for my password and reset that, so I think I'm good to go.
Mac had worked on the broken computer and gotten it to run some diagnostics, but it still won't start up.  He's hoping he can at least get my photos off there,  otherwise I'm going to have to work my way through Blogger and Facebook and get them.
Our pool is still not done.  The heavens opened Wednesday and the workers left, returned Thursday and said it was too wet to work, said they'd be back Sunday, but yesterday they said they decided they didn't want to work on the weekend.  We've had little to no rain since Wednesday so it's pretty dry, if they get here early tomorrow they could get it done before the next round of showers start.  So fingers crossed.
I'm off to start a painting.

                                                          My poor backyard

Thursday, June 1, 2017

That Kind of Week

Tuesday my computer was weird, Wednesday it died.  Mac tried a number of things on it to no avail.  I ordered a new one yesterday.  We've always had Macs and the new one will be too, but I have to say that if the last one had been my first Mac it would have been my last one.  It was always doing weird things and too, too often I would get what I call the spinning ball of death, a brightly colored ball that would just spin instead of what I wanted it to do and I would end up having to force quit whatever program I was running.  Hopefully the new one will be less haunted.  In the meantime I'm using and old computer of Mac's, my Mac, not the company, and all the programs are really old so wherever I go on it, it complains and tells me to download a newer version--that's not going to happen.  The new computer should be here tomorrow.
Yesterday they showed up to put our new pool in, became concerned because it had decking and trellises around it even though we had told the pool company, they were also concerned that they couldn't get their equipment into the backyard--they could.  They said it would cost more, well of course it would, it's been that kind of week.  They got most of the preliminary work done and then the heavens opened and they left.  When they came back this morning they said it was too wet to work.  Guess what the weather forecast is for the next week, afternoon thunderstorms.  Who knows when it will get done.  In the meantime all the trellises and plants that use to surround our pool are laying in the yard looking forlorn.
With nothing else to do today we're painting the back hallway that I've been threatening to do forever.  I did the big parts and Mac is doing all the trim.  Considering what kind of week it's been it will all need a second coat.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Memorial Day Weekend

But it feels more like Labor Day.  Mac has most of the old pool down and I've been polishing floors, making bread and cleaning out my painting/crafting area.  Wound up a bunch of yarn balls and carried stuff upstairs to my messy craft room---its next.
Going to be hot today, around 94º so trying to get everything done early so we don't melt.
Have quite a bit more energy since I got my B-12 shot, they help a lot.  Been taking them for a couple of years and they make a difference.  When I first started taking them I took them in my upper arm alternating between left and right.  The right one was fine, but the left one was always sore and miserable for a week or more, not the injection site, but the whole muscle.
After about a year I talked to the doctor about taking it in the upper hip instead.  I've had no problems since then.  I've read that the shot needs to be at body temperature and injected slowly.  I'm working with new nurses, but so far they've been great.
The first tomatoes of the season, cherry tomatoes.  We never have much luck with tomatoes, this plant will probably croak now that it's given us a few, but I'll enjoy what I have.
Some more Gladiolas too!

Friday, May 26, 2017

Not a Five on Friday

Not enough time, not enough to post, not enough energy as I always like to visit the other Friday bloggers, but 2 doctor visits ate into my time this week.

But a bit has been going on, my Rose of Sharon came into bloom while we were gone and isn't it gorgeous.

The old pool is coming down, poor Mac, his helper, our friend Mike is on vacation, and I'm not strong enough even after taking my B-12 sho to help.  The new one goes in next week weather permitting and it won't be Mac putting it in.  It'll be trickier to put in than the first one as we've added the deck, the lattice work and all the plants, but that's the pool company's problem and probably our financial one if they charge us more.

I got a new backpack while we were in Yellowstone, not for my Grandkids, we don't have any, just for the little girl who still lives in me.

Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Wednesday in the Swamp

Just back from the doctors, had to have my B-12 shot I was about a week late and I've been doing supplements.  Also have an ear ache.  They took all kinds of wax out of my ears, like Shrek cleaning his.  But they couldn't get it all out of the sore ear and so they put in softener and I have to go back tomorrow to have them finish up.
We were under a tornado warning yesterday afternoon, but we were lucky, one touched down in Ludowici, about 20 miles west of here and another on Wilmington Island, about 36 miles northeast of here.  We just got thunder, lightning and more than an inch of rain.  More is forecast for this afternoon.  Hopefully the electricity won't go out as it is incredibly humid.  I think I'm missing the Montana snow.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

In Recovery

Quaking Aspens
We use to say, back before we retired, that we had to go   back to work so we could get some rest after one of our trips.  Now being retired feels like being on vacation and traveling feels like work.  We had a wonderful time, but it's still tiring, so for a couple of days we're in recovery mode.
Getting to Yellowstone and back is not a straight shot from here.
We left at 5:30 am and flew from Savannah to Atlanta, then Atlanta to Minneapolis/St. Paul then to Billings---Bozeman is closer to the park, but has fewer flights.  Then we had a drive of over a 100 miles to the cabin, it rained for 90 miles and snowed for 30. Coming back we flew  Billings to Salt Lake City to Atlanta to Savannah.  It was a rough, but easy flight except for being delayed in Atlanta where we waited on the  plane for an hour for someone's dog to show up.  So we didn't get home until 2 am.
Glad we upgraded to a SUV, we had a Dodge Durango and it was great, will rent one like it next time we go regardless of the weather.
Please excuse the window screen, too cold to go out for the shot
The speed limit in the park is never more than 45 mph and usually 35 as you never know who or what might be crossing the road.  Hitting a deer will significantly damage your car, ask our daughter she hit one once, can't even imagine what hitting a  buffalo would do.  They're so big, about the size of a Volkswagen.
Badger enjoyed the trip too, though he wondered why the buffaloes kept crossing the road.
We saw a young buffalo, probably a year or so, rolling in the dirt to remove his winter fur and then he jumped up in the air and all but clicked his heels, talk about your rights of spring.
Mac made a small snowman on the back porch, using my vitamins for his eyes and nose, badger liked him.
And we admired the mule deer at the bottom of the yard.

Our cabin was so comfy, 2 large bedrooms, a loft up above if you had a load of kids.  Downstairs was a large tv room.  There was a small electric stovelike fireplace that heated the whole place as well as having regular heat.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity Jig

We've been to Montana to visit the northern end of Yellowstone National Park.  It was wonderful.  Though we'd visited Wyoming and the southern end of the park before we'd never made it to the northern end of the park, the park is huge.
Before I deluge you with photos a few facts about the park

•  Yellowstone was the first National Park, dedicated in 1872

•  It's huge measuring 63 miles north to south and 54 miles east to west.

•  It covers nearly 3500 sq. miles

•  It's larger than the states of Rhode Island and Delaware combined

•  It's highest elevation is 11,358 feet and it's lowest is 5282 feet and you really feel that elevation
   when you're out hiking around.

•  The basin is a huge caldera ( that's when a volcano collapses into itself) measuring  45 miles by
    30 miles

•  It has 1,000 to 3,000 earthquakes a year

•  It has more than 500 active geysers

•  It has 290 waterfalls

ª  It has bears, bison, elk, deer, antelope, lynx, wolves, coyote and so much more

•  It has snow, even in May!

The view from our cabin on May 17

Our cabin

The Norris Basin, some of the walkways were still covered in ice

Buffalo crossing the road with its calf, they're called Red Dogs and are one of the first signs of spring in Yellowstone.

  • We saw White Pelicans, Canadian Geese, Blue Herons, a  Bald Eagle, Magpie, Osprey and its nest, Sand Hill Cranes---they make the strangest sounds and I totally messed up my picture of them---and beautiful Mountain Blue Birds


We just missed a group of 4 grey wolves, but Mac had seen one the day before.

And best of all there were black bears.  We watched a Mother bear with her two cubs, we saw another bear ambling down a valley and then right next to the car we saw a bear eating.

We had a wonderful trip and have already decided that we'll have to go back again.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Tuesday in the Swamp

Muggy day, temperatures rising, heading towards ninety.  Can't believe we'll be flying off to where the highs will be in the 30's and 40's.  Had to dig out winter clothes to pack.  Ordered myself a rain poncho as I don't really have any rain/snow gear.  Extra shoes, extra jeans.
And then we got to thinking about driving in bad weather and we upgraded our rental car to a SUV.  We usually rent the smallest car we can get away with, but decided something heftier might be in order.
We have a beautiful cabin rented, we're bringing things to do while it snows and hopefully we'll have some decent weather too.  I'm bringing a teeny, tiny cross-stitch and yarn to crochet some veggies that I saw on Gillian's blog Tales From a Happy House .
This is the book the veggies are in, I ordered a copy for my Kindle.
You don't usually expect snow in mid-May no matter where you're going, but we'll have a good time regardless of the weather.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all the Mothers, the Nuturers and all those who care for others.
My Mom has been gone for many years, but I carry her memory with me always.  The skinny little girl from a poor Okie family who grew up to be my Mom, Lorraine Strader.

To my Mother-in-law Pazquela Hernandez Gutierrez known to everyone as Patty.  I was blessed with the best Mother-in-law in the world.  Wherever we lived she came to visit us, be it Texas, Colorado, Georgia or Germany.  We became very close, closer than I was with my own Mom.  

Here she is with our daughter.  She came to see us in Germany and we took her to Spain where her family was from.

To my Sister-in-law Laura, who though hurting herself (bad shoulder) takes such good care of Mac's brother George.

To Isabel Mac's 86 year old cousin who still travels the world, she is an inspiration to us all.

Happy Mother's Day one and all

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Rainy Saturday

It's raining, started late last night and has been an on again off again event.  Right now there's even a bit of thunder.  We need it, we've had a really dry spring.
I've nicked another recipe from The Low Carb Diabetic, they post such wonderful recipes.  This one was for Leek and Chorizo Frittata.  I changed it a bit, used Linguica instead of Chorizo, we like Chorizo, after all Mac's Spanish.  But we love Linguica, a Portuguese sausage.  I also added potatoes to it, we hadn't had any all week and my Irish soul (the only country where I was served potatoes with potatoes with potatoes) was crying out for some.
It turned out delicious, it makes it into the summertime meal rotation.

You will need these ingredients:
Serves 4 - 6
1 tbsp. of oil
2 leeks, washed and thinly sliced
50g chorizo, thinly sliced
6 medium eggs
a large handful of basil, roughly chopped
1/4 tsp chilli flakes
salt and pepper
a handful of rocket* leaves to garnish

Here is what you do:
1. Pre-heat the grill to high.
2. Heat a medium sized non-stick ovenproof frying pan over a medium heat. Add the oil followed by the leeks and chorizo. Sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, basil, chilli flakes and seasoning. Add the egg mix to the sautéed leeks and chorizo in the pan; cook for 1 minute without stirring.
4. Place the pan under the grill and cook the frittata for 3 minutes or until golden brown.
5. Remove the frittata from the frying pan onto a serving plate using a spatula. Slice into wedges and garnish with a handful of rocket

From an original Sainsbury's recipe here

Friday, May 12, 2017

Five on Friday

It's here too soon, I'll have to scramble to find five this week.  But do join the other bloggers at FastBlog for this week's posts.

First and Foremost.  I finished my cross-stitch.  I started it last August, it was supposed to be a Christmas present, it will be a birthday present, but I can't show it for a while.  It was really an ambitious project for a first project and I learned a lot.  It was really slow going in the beginning, but by the end it really moved along.

My second is my table ready for the rest of spring, no more bunnies just flowers

Had to change the picture, my lemons and limes came in so it's flowers and citrus.

My third one is my new cutting board made of glass.

My fourth is the third bird puzzle I've finished and the next one I started.

My fifth is my new suitcase, it has 4 wheels so you can wheel it any way.  Won't  say where we're going, but they're  predicting snow for one of the days we/re going to be there and we're not going to Alaska.

  Well that's my five, please excuse the brevity but my cat objects to me typing and was attacking my hands the whole time I was typing.  Hope you have a good weekend.