Friday, September 29, 2017

Scattered Thoughts on a Friday

I ran out of my favorite herb this week, fresh garlic, and then I found out it's not technically an herb it's a veggie being a member of the onion family.  It's scientific name is Allium sativum.  I know I can use garlic salt, which I always have, but certain dishes just cry out for fresh garlic.  I was making Chicken Cacciatore and I had to use the saddest old garlic cloves you've ever seen.  It turned out alright, but not truly up to my standard.  We've tried growing them here, but no success.
I bought a couple of little pies, they were on sale 2 for 1, instead of a birthday cake.  We got a blueberry and a peach.  They were good, just long on crust and short on fruit.  I guess when it finally cools down here--it was 96º yesterday and will be 90º today-- I'm going to have to break down and make a fruit pie.  I've made pumpkin pie, but that's about it.
A book I pre-ordered came in just before my birthday, Sleeping Beauties by Stephan King and his son Owen.  It's 720 pages so I may be reading it for awhile.  He's the one author who actually scares me.
We ordered a couple of new desks, nothing very fancy, but even cheap ones aren't cheap.  Mac has started putting the first one together. Our old ones are so old and I can't even remember when we got them.  But I do know they came to Georgia with us and we've been here 14 years.
An actual, honest to God, cold front is supposed to come through here tonight and tomorrow's temperature should be in the low 80's and Sunday's in the low 70's, I'm excited.
Starting to get ready for a trip, I never post about leaving, why advertise.  But as always I know the word for snail, caracol, so that I don't accidentally order it on the menu.
Hope you have a great weekend.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Happy Birthday Indeed

It's my birthday, the 35th anniversary of one of my earlier birthdays, we won't say which one.  We went to Savannah to celebrate yesterday. it was  hot, 94º, but expected  to be even hotter today.  And it was indeed hot, even on the river, but our restaurant, The Cotton Exchange, was cool and dark.  We swore we'd have something different, but we lied!  Had calamari for a starter and it came with the greatest dip, some sort of pepper jelly.  Forgot to take a picture till they were almost gone.  Then Mac had a Low Country Boil and I had a Shrimp Salad.  The portions were so huge we brought about half home.

I'd opened my presents from our daughter on Monday when we Skyped with her, she gave me a beautiful wooden box stuffed with goodies including chocolate.
This morning started with flowers on my nightstand from Mac, a set of 4 ceramic pumpkins and a little birdhouse.

But every girl needs some bling in her life and I've been wanting a chandelier for my closet, so Mac spent Tuesday installing one for me.  It's so pretty, I just need to find a clear, tear-shaped lightbulb for it.
What a wonderful, thoughtful family I have.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Catching Up

Monday was a busy one.  Our favorite redneck came over and cut down,  and up,  trees for us.  Then he helped Mac carry a couch out of the house.  For a while I've been threatening to turn our dining room into a library.  We don't eat there, in 14 years we've never eaten there and we never will.  But we have books up the ying-yang.
Then again,  though we don't use that room, it's so pretty I hated to change it.  So then I got to thinking about the couch I hate, even though I've put a slipcover on it, the leather chairs upstairs where we never go and the bigger rug there.  So they hauled the couch I hate out---need to contact Salvation Army and see if they'll take it--moved the big living room couch into the family room,  covered it with a freshly cleaned slipcover and dragged 2 chairs, a Pembroke table and a rug downstairs.
So I have a new look living room.   Mac says the ugly chair in the corner has to go and we need a mantel, but for now I'm happy.

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.

                               GODZILLA KING OF THE MONSTERS Anyone who blogged with Janet knew she was a huge livelong fan of ...