Friday, May 27, 2016


    The array of presents beloved Tamara gave me for my birthday is just flat astonishing, but I'm not sure she wants me to talk about it. However, the most amazing ones must be mentioned. A tape player with a USB connection for turning songs on tape to MP3s and a turntable that does the same for my old singles and LPs. I'm just in awe, overwhelmed, and crazy grateful. It will take a long, long time for me to work my way through all of them, and I'm going to enjoy every minute! What a sweetheart she is! She also gave me a lot of other neat stuff and three books, always the best way to stay high in my esteem. She is a mind reader, as well as a wonderful person and a sweet darling. What a birthday! Yay!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

It's my party and I'll fail to blog if I want to!

    There's been a lot of these lately, haven't there? I was amused to dream last night about going to North Carolina and taking walks on golf courses which looked nothing like golf courses and everything like hiking trails. Sawgrass was mentioned, which I'm reasonably certain is not in North Carolina. A reminder of the Mark Twain quote about a good walk spoiled. There was also some business about a CD I have by Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Rollins and Sonny Stitt with only four cuts on it. In the dream, there was another cut I always left off that was 20 minutes long. Completely fictitious, but now I want to hear that imaginary cut. Have to go to Sawgrass I guess!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016


    We were wondering why an hour of gardening kicked our butts so thoroughly yesterday. It turns out that today is an orange alert for ground level ozone locally. This suggests that levels yesterday were also high. Anyway it's likely. So no gardening will be happening today. I'll take my walk somewhere there's a lot of trees. I have a few such plays to choose from, and I can also seek out butterflies.
    At the moment, though, I'm imprisoned, because there's a plumber working under the house. I don't know why I have to be here since I have no kind of key to that crawlspace, but apparently it's part of the deal. Getting a request to flush from beneath my floor is a new experience for me. Hopefully it means we're coming close to the end of the problem. And I can get on with pre-birthday stuff. Or walking.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Real Estate

    Today we took Tamara's car to the dealership for much recall work. It's still there as of 5:30, but we're told we can pick it up at closing time at 7. So we wandered town and I showed her some of our cool neighborhoods (we have some, really!) and looked at hip houses. I don't think I'll be buying any time soon or ever, but it was fun to dream. It was fun even for me, a near lifelong resident, to see some neighborhoods I'm not so familiar with. And Zillow lets you see inside the houses which was also a bit of a revelation.
    We also finished up weeding her yard, or anyway made massive progress. Still have to pick up car. I'm on the porch enjoying the crazy beautiful weather with Amelia, who seems to be getting over her Great Explorer tendencies. At least for today.

Chihuahua joy

    This is yesterday's entry. Time got away from me and I never got a chance to make one. Tamara and I had another of those days that sound like little on paper but was pure joy in execution. We took her chihuahuas to the far end of (unpaved) Old State Road again, this time bringing both instead of just one. Man did they have fun! You would not believe how fast old, arthritic little dogs can run. We had pretty big fun, too. Also we saw good butterflies, like a very large yellow-form tiger swallowtail. So I was much relieved on that score.
    We brought along her stroller (bought on Craig's List for pet use), which didn't get a lot of use with the athletes we were with. However, we then took them to Grill Marks. It's a restaurant that welcomes dogs on the patio, but the chihuahuas had to be zipped away in the stroller or they would have run out into Gervais Street. But we gave them a selection of what we were eating. We think it made them pretty happy. It was a banner day for chihuahuas.
    We also went to Lowe's. She had already bought a push blade mower; this proved inadequate for the weeds in her yard when we put it together. So we got a cordless weed whacker, and this did the job nicely. So on the whole, a lively, fun, productive day. Aren't we good?

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Worked out

    Well, the plan was to go to Charlotte for VegFest. On the way, we were going to look at the spider lilies at Landsford Canal State Park. That was more or less how it turned out. However, we had trouble finding parking for the festival. Went around some blocks and found-- ANOTHER Ethiopian-Eritrean restaurant! And it was great!
    So in short, the trip came out a little upside down. We dug the spider lilies. We dug the Ethiopian food. We were fairly bored with VegFest, although everyone was very nice. However, if we'd gone all the way to Charlotte just for that, we would have been sorely disappointed. But a great day we had, and know a new Ethiopian restaurant now. Yay!

Saturday, May 21, 2016


    Today we're headed to VegFest in Charlotte, where we're hopeful of finding gluten- and soy-free treats but certain of dairy-free since it's actually a vegan festival. On the way, we're stopping at Landsford Canal State Park to see the Rocky Shoals Spider Lilies. I'm ridiculously pumped and best pleased to have the new phone/camera. The previous one had a 4X zoom, but by that it meant it cropped the picture to 4 times smaller. This one has an 8X zoom and the smaller picture has much more detail than one cropped to the same size. (I tried it out yesterday.) In other words, the old camera didn't really have a zoom, just an automatic cropping feature. This one has an actual zoom. Thanks Anne and Malcolm!
    Last night, for the first time in ages my feet weren't cold. Tamara had been feeding me arepas and tamales. We were joking about the vitamin C in Corn. But maybe there is something in there that I've been missing. "Ferulic acid, beta-carotene, vanillic acid, coumaric acid, caffeic acid, and syringic acid are other key phytonutrients provided by corn. Corn is a good source of pantothenic acid, phosphorus, niacin, dietary fiber, manganese, and vitamin B6." Who knew? Google suggests it may have been the mussels from the other day. Cool! We love mussels!