Friday, July 22, 2016

Hot! Hot! Hot!

This has been a summer like no other.  We have had days at a time where the heat index is between 110 and 115F.  Rosie and I try to get out early (for us!), but there have been morning when we've come in panting (Rosie) and soaked (me).  We try to get a long walk in the morning because we never know when it will cool enough in the evening.  It's really the hottest it's been since I've lived here.

My trip to NC was enjoyable, though fairly spur-of-the-moment.  I received an invitation from a cousin on my father's side, to a combined birthday celebration for him and his wife.  A couple of days later, I got an email from a cousin on the other side to let me know he was going to have a heart catherization the following day.  With all of that coming at once, I felt it was time to go up and touch bases with everyone.  So, I drove up on Saturday, had a little time with Laney and Julious before going to the party for Bill and Betty.  It was held at a "fish camp" between Wadesboro and Charlotte and they had invited loads of people, including cousins and childhood friends whom I only get to see occasionally.  It was lots of fun.  Betty had suffered a difficult year health-wise and it was good to see that she was feeling better. They were very good to visit Mama, which meant a lot to me, and I was honored they included me.



The following day, Laney, Julious and I went to Aberdeen, NC to visit cousin Wayne.  His test turned out well and eliminated heart issues, but did not determine the cause of the problem.  Laney took lots of good food and we enjoyed that and had a leisurely afternoon of catching up.  Wayne is such a sweet man and I'm thinking part of his problem is stress.  Both of his brothers died within a year of one another and he goes out of his way to do all he can for all families.  Add to that, the pressure of work would be enough to stress anyone. He was going to have further tests to see if they can get to the root of the problem.  I hope things will be okay.

We crashed and burn on Monday, July 4, by having a quiet day at home before cousins Betty and Peggy joined us for dinner. During my stay, Laney provided food for everyone and then sent me home with a car load, all of which was delicious AND I didn't have to cook for two days.  It was a good visit and I'm glad I went......though I wasn't looking forward to the drive.

Otherwise, life continues as usual - lunching, zentangle, reading, politics (!), Rosie.....and a lot of nothing..  My neighbor came over to let me know that she and her husband had to have Grady, Rosie's boyfriend, put to sleep..He had gotten to the point he could not move very much, nor was he eating.  I know how difficult that is and I hated to hear it.  He was an "older man" and just loved Rosie.  As soon as he saw her, he would throw his head back and howl until they got together.  It was a riot.  Gail said they both agreed to be Rosie's god-parents if ever I needed them!  Rosie definitely has her fan club......and I'm just her attendant!!




Our social committee has started having live music at the club house pavilion once a month through the summer, which is very nice.  I was surprised at how many people were in the pool, which makes total sense, but there were others just chatting, eating, etc.  For a place this size, we have lots of music venues, but it's especially nice to have it right down the street.


Well, never a dull moment!  Last Sunday I went into town (HHI) for a little shopping, which I rarely do.  The whole time I was there, the sky was dark out our way and there was continuous thunder.  I tried to complete things as quickly as I could and finally got home around 2:30.  As I drive into the driveway, there was half of the Wax Myrtle lying across the parking area of the driveway.  With all the thundering and darkness, I never ran into rain or wind, so I was very surprised to see this!  Needless to say, that changed my plans for Monday!  Luckily, the house was not damaged, nor was the shrubbery. 

Last night I joined friends in Sun City to hear Dr.Michael Greger speak about plant-based diets.  Sun City has a group called "Eat Healthy, Live Longer" with several hundred members.  Dr. Greger (How Not to Die) was here speaking with Dr. Joel Fehrman at a health seminar/weekend to the tune of $1200-$1500/person.  The Sun City group was able to have him speak to their members for free...and I was lucky enough to know some of them!!  Camille had Liz and myself over for a vegan dinner, which was delicious.  She was ushering for the event, so we got there early and got great seats.  Dr. Greger obviously enjoys people and he  presented a lot of scientific info in a very user-friendly way.  The room held 550 people and they had to close the doors 10 minutes before the program began!  Many in attendance were like the three of us - steady vegetarians or vegans.....but it's always good to get positive reinforcement.





Next weekend I'm off to Virginia for an I DO BBQ!  My cousin Cissy's (who died of cancer about 10 years ago of cancer)  son got married early in the year. He and his wife are having a gathering for friends and family to celebrate the event and renew their vows. It will be at Gunston Hall at/near George Mason University.  It will all be new to me and I'll look forward to seeing Justin, Tara, Jim and others, as well as enjoying the grounds. It will be a wonderful opportunity to touch bases with family, as well as seeing a younger generation beginning a new adventure.   It's so tempting to offer lots of advice and "wisdom", but I know we each have to travel our own path and learn from our own experience.  If they are happy together, I'm happy for them!

Other than that, I'm just trying to stay cool and do something constructive, from time to time!!  Basically, I feel that time is flying by and I'm accomplishing nothing.  I spend far too much time following politics, which should depress anyone!  I'll be glad when November is behind us!

Friday, July 1, 2016

From One Holiday to Another

It's July 4th weekend and another month has gone.  I'l leaving tomorrow for NC and this is just a last minute effort to touch bases before more time passes.  It's 7PM so, needless to say, this will be brief and without proof-reading, so if it doesn't make sense I'll try to touch it up when I get back (already know that the video needs more work!).

Shortly after Labor Day I joined a Mom's Demand Action Against Gum Violence walk here in Bluffton.  We started at the Church of the Crossed and walked through the Farmer's Market, across HWY 46, ending at Captain Woody's for lunch and wine.  You never know how that might go around here but, by and large it was well received.  I think there was one obnoxious person, but I missed him all together.  Quite a few people even cheered us on, so it turned out better than expected. Can you spot my feet and legs??



There have been the usual lunch with friends, Liberal Ladies, Progressive Ladies, Drinking Liberally, and a few games of Canasta, which I'm enjoying more.  Rosie finally finished Puppy 2 class so we can take that off our schedule for a while.  She did fine in the class, it just took us a while to make up missed classes.

Tidewater Hospice, who cared for my mother, invited all of our "Lunch Bunch" from Bloom for lunch at Truffles.  It was so good to see everyone, especially since Blake and Helen had passed away after Mama.  It was really a tight, caring group and it was thoughtful of Tidewater to get us all together again.  Little did we know that they also picked up the tab!!  None of us expected that!


Then on June 19th, I went to the Juneteenth Celebration at Fish Hall Creek (Mitchelville Beach).  The days leading up to it were sweltering, with the heat index being well over 100. The heat broke and the sky was overcast with a pleasant temperature, so it was just nice to be outside enjoying the scenery, displays, entertainment, etc.  I was a totally enjoyable day, and then I had dinner with four ladies from my Synagogue days.....lots of fun.




Well, I'm going to have to wrap it up here.  I hope everyone is having a wonderful summer, with great plans for this weekend.


Happy 4th of July animation

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Memorial Day Weekend 2016

This weekend marks the beginning of summer and the end of another fast-moving month.  May has been very busy, like everyone came out of the doldrums of winter all at once!  This weekend, though, doesn't reflect that. Yesterday and today have been dark and rainy as a storm passes through.  So far, it has been steady, moderate rain, unlike what happened a week or so ago. Over the last two or three years we have had occasional rain storms like that shown in the photo.  Inches of water filled the yard, and it was still pouring, fast and furious. Thankfully, it stopped before coming into the sun room.  

Since Eileen's visit, I have been keeping an "activity calendar" for myself as I did for her visit.  It's quite surprising how much is going on in the area once it's compiled!  I would often read of coming events and, before I knew it, they had already happened.  Now, I just make a note of them and, when time and interest permits, I can take advantage of them.  There always seems to be something happening.  Most recently, Rhonda and I went to Fiesta de Mayo in Shelter Cove.....lots of good food, great Latin music, and fun people watching.  When we arrived, the crowd was sparse; but, by the time we left at 4PM, it was packed.  It went on until 10PM and I can imagine that the music and dancing got better as the evening progressed!




Elaine and I went to Port Royal to see "Daddy's Dyin' - Whose Got the Will?  It was by the same group that did "The Great American Trailer Park Musical", which was hilarious!  We figured this would be as well since the advertising stated:

  • Adult language
  • Extremely colorful swearing and language occurs frequently and throughout show
  • Drugs/alcohol referenced. Beer is consumed
  • Sexual references used
It was set in the 80's in Texas, so you can imagine the dysfunctional-family hilarity that ensued.

Most recently, Chris and I went to a fair put on by the Chamber of Commerce entitled Re-imagining Life after 50.  It was informative and enjoyable, ending with tasty munchies and wine.  It also gave is time to catch up a bit, which I really enjoyed.

May has also been a good month for local Democrats.Our Drinking/Living Liberally group joined with two other Democrat groups to have a Purple Rain night (at our usual DL location). Prince music was played and the political connection was that to go from a red state to a blue state, you have to go through purple!!  Maybe a far stretch (especially for SC!), but it was lots of fun.  We had a large crowd and it was great to see people that I usually see in other settings.  

Liberal Ladies of the Lowcountry had their usual monthly meeting, as well as a 5 year anniversary cocktail party.  It was at the beach house in Port Royal Plantation ( where we used to live), overlooking the water on a beautiful afternoon.  My take-away from that was that I discovered that a neighbor is a democrat!  We see each other frequently when we walk our dogs in the morning.  As we spotted each other at the party, I said, "Bogie's mom!" and she said, "Rosie's mom"!  We then introduced ourselves - we knew our dogs' names, but we hadn't introduced ourselves!  Now our morning chats are much more lively!, They have also attended Drinking Liberally!  Anyway, the anniversary party was great and the entertainment were these young ladies shown below.  I saw them several years ago when they performed at Bloom and was impressed by their demeanor and talent.  Even at that time (the younger was only 7!), they were very composed and professional.  After their program, they circulated around the room and spoke to everyone, which the residents loved.  They do those performances as practice and as community service.  They are just delightful and, needless to say, their mother is also quite impressive also.



You can see them as they appeared on the afternoon of the cocktail party (and doing a Michael Jackson tune) HERE.  This is the video I wanted to include but couldn't get it to work, though I was happy to find the one above on YouTube.  I love that they are in their frilly, formal dress and , what appears to be, flip-flops!  My kind of girls!



With all the socializing, I have managed to get a little done around the house, the primary thing being closet cleaning!  I couldn't face doing it all at once so I broke it down into about 5 steps.  What you see here is Step 1 - Everything on the floor of ONE closet!!  From this you can see that I could never have tackled the whole thing at once.....just too much crap.  After two car loads to the thrift shop, it looks much better.  All coat hangers are hanging backward, so next time I go through, I can get rid of even more. I'm really getting into the swing of "lightening up" and I hope to continue the process.

I continue to experiment with my magic/Instant Pot.  Today I have yogurt on the make and it's very experimental.....first time trying it, making it with vanilla almond milk instead of  dairy, etc. So, it will be very interesting to see how/if it turns out. I've also found a slicer/dicer that actually works the way they are all advertised to work....but don't!  It's German made and it works because the blades are SHARP.  Knowing that and following all precautions, yesterday I lopped off the side of my right ring finger (and part of the nail). It happened so fast that it didn't hurt, but it took forever to stop bleeding.  It is now well bandaged and makes typing a challenge.



I'm going to leave you with some love from sassy, sweet  Rosie, as she is lying on my back cushion, overseeing this whole operation.  She is such a character and adds laughter and love to each day. 




This is just.......

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Eileen's Visit

It's taken me a while, but here I am again.  I wanted to do a slideshow of Eileen's visit and have only now gotten around to it.  I knew if I did a post first I'd never do the slideshow.  Anyway, we had a great visit and it was wonderful to see her. Rosie fell in love with her right away and totally deserted me!  She followed Eileen like her shadow.  By the time Eileen arrived, I had a list of options to fill our time.  Many of the things we did were new to me, as well as Eileen; so, it was like a vacation for me also.  The great part was that we did everything at a comfortable pace, which I found totally enjoyable.

Eileen arrived on Thursday around noontime.  We had time to relax and catch up a bit before going to the local Farmer's Market. It's supposed to be one of the best in the state.  We took the new bus service, which was nice and breezy. We had a nice walk-around, stopping for a glass of wine and a listen to the resident singer.

  • Friday - a day of shopping and lunch at Chipotle, which was my first time there.
  • Saturday - wine bottling.  I had hoped to have it ready, but things were delayed due to Brent's illness.  Eileen jumped right in and it was fun sharing the experience.
    • We did a quick walk through of The Taste of Bluffton fair.  It was crowded and windy, so we opted for lunch at Fat Patties.  From there we went to Palmetto Bluff, where they were preparing for a huge, elaborate wedding.  I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall of the event.
  • Sunday - a nice, long walk on Pinckney Island, where we saw lots of birds.  Unfortunately, they do not show up well on the photos, but they were fun to see in real time.  
    • In the afternoon we went to a free concert by the Stardust Orchestra at Lowcountry Presbyterian Church.  It was big band kind of music, but very well done.  
    • More shopping at Stein Mart before calling it a day.
  • Monday - a good day for the beach, so we explored Mitchelville Beach, something I had not previously done. Mitchelville was the first self-governed freedmen's town in America. There are interesting informational signs about the settlement, as well as a cabin like those of the day.  The wonderful part was that the beach was practically deserted.  It is not a good beach for swimming, but it was perfect for what we were doing - sunbathing, looking for shark's teeth (no luck!), walking and reading.  It was a wonderful afternoon.
  • Tuesday - another day of shopping/browsing.
  • Wednesday - a day of talking politics and eating out.  Eileen went with me to lunch with my Progressive Ladies' group AND Drinking Liberally in the evening.  I don't think anyone was surprised when she told us how crazy the rest of the world thinks we are.  No contest!!
  • Thursday - a day in Beaufort, again doing something I had never done.  We went to Port Royal and walked the Cypress Wetlands trail.  It's a well designed, short walk through the natural wetlands.  The birds were a little easier to see here, and there were lots of turtles, but we only saw one small gator.  From there we walked into Port Royal township, stopping at Moondoggies for lunch. From there we continue to the Sands, which is a long boardwalk with a 3-level viewing tower.  All in all, a lot of walking, but good.
  • Friday - a late lunch at the Boathouse for Eileen to have some shrimp before leaving the Lowcountry.
  • Saturday - it all came to and end.  We were at the airport by 10am and EIleen was off on the second let of her 3-part journey.

Needless to say, in the midst of everything we did, there was lots of catching up and reminiscing.  I hope Eileen enjoyed it as much as I did, and I'm eager to hear about the other parts of her trip.  

In the meantime, I've been trying to get back to some type of constructive routine.......I became too accustomed to vacationing!!  Rosie has adjusted to only having me around and misses the excitement of having a captive audience. Our weather has been beautiful and I'm partially successful at developing a walking routine.  Eileen introduced me to several good mystery writers and I've been reading more.....And there's always the political circus!!

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Preparing for Eileen's Visit

This is a short update before I pick up Eileen tomorrow morning around 11AM.  I'm so excited that she's coming and her visit has set in motion a hive of activity.  At this very moment, I have soup simmering on the stove, laundry going and I'm doing this!  Her visit motivated me to clean out my mother's closet and dresser.  All was donated to a local thrift show and a clean closet awaits Eileen.  In an effort to make my garage APPEAR tidy, I took about an hour to load my car with anything that could be discarded without thought.  The car was totally full!!  The only problem was that when I took it to the dump, I came back with this chair!  It's a funky color, but it's a very sturdy chair and in very good condition.....and I love the back!  I'm not sure why someone would take it to the dump and not donate it to a thrift shop.  Oh, well!

I did promise Eileen that we would not be attending any Trump rallies, but I do hope to take her to Drinking Liberally and our Progressive Ladies' Group.  She may be totally overdosed with politics but I think my friends will be interested in knowing how foreigners see us and our politics.

I fully intended to have wine prepared for Eileen's visit, but we were late getting it started due to the owner having Swine Flu.  He was really touch-and-go for a long time.  He has just last week been released home with nurse and therapist, and his wife thinks that is really too optimistic, that rehab would be better.  Anyway, I won't be bottling until this Saturday and I'll recruit Eileen to help.  I think she'll enjoy seeing their setup and will enjoy the bottling, which is the fun part.  It is a far cry from Saudi days, but it always reminds me of making wine there.

An of course, I've been scouring newspapers, magazines and web sites for things to keep us busy while Eileen's here.  There are at least two items on the list of things I've been wanting to do but haven't gotten around to doing, and we can always repeat anything that was a favorite from previous visits.


In the midst of all the preparation for Eileen's visit, I was also able to meet Cheryl, her Mom, and Nancy are our favorite Subway at the corner of I-95 and Hwy 278.  It never dawned on me to take photos, but it was Ann's 94th birthday and Cheryl posted this photo once they reached their destination.  I was happy to  be able to wish her a Happy Birthday in person and to share a little time with all of them.

One thing that will not be listed here are all of the things I did NOT get done before Eileen's arrival.....like removing pollen from everything outside; but, that's the great thing about friends coming.......they won't mind!  We have too much catching up to do!   Will keep you posted as time permits.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Stream of Consciousness...

A whole month has passed and I don't know where the time goes - and how I manage to accomplish so little!   My biggest time waster is MSNBC, to which I have an addiction.  This political season is downright frightening.  As soon as you think it has gotten as bad as it will, the Repugnants reach yet another new low!  The frightening thing is the number of people cheering and supporting this behavior.  I actually didn't watch their debate before this last one, but there was so much s*^t flying that I was suckered in again.  It would be nice to think that all voters watch all debates, both Dem and Rep, as the difference is striking - but I doubt that's the case.  The Repugs are making us (Dems) look extremely sane, informed, and well mannered. I'll be glad when it's all over - I think (I'm hoping)!


To reinforce my values and do my civic duty, I went to see Bill when he was here campaigning for Hillary.  They are both amazing people when it comes to how much they know and how they can articulate it ('Splainer-in-Chief!).  He spoke for about an hour.  About 30 minutes in, a Benghazi protester interrupted him.  The President asked to answer his question, but obviously he didn't want that - he just kept going until he was removed by the police.  As soon as he was out, his female friend started up.  Once they were both removed, Bill addressed the Benghazi event and the numerous committees that have investigated it.  Does anyone really think that if there was anything to prosecute that the Repugs would not already have done it!  Anyway, when it was over and I was walking back to my car, a "lady" driving down the street rolled down her window and shouted, "You're supporting a rapist!"  Welcome to Repugland - South Carolina!

This weekend, as a diversion, I'm binge watching House of Cards in preparation for the beginning of the next season.  It seems like light entertainment compared to current politics!  I am only able to do this because I finally broke down and bought a Smart-TV.  I can now stream Netflix and others.  The picture is also crystal clear.  I had an involved story to tell you about it all, but the short version is that I spent twice as much as I intended, it took three days to install it and get it functioning correctly, none of my old equipment works with the new stuff.....but I can stream Netflix!!!


------------------------------
"Don't declare war of Congress, Mr. President".
"I'm not, I'm declaring war on atrophy"....(aside: "But these days, who can tell the difference?)

---Netflix, House of Cards

Couldn't resist that one!
-------------------------------

My other activities include:
  • Liberal Ladies of the Lowcountry
  • Primary Watch at Fat Patties
  • Drinking Liberally
  • Progressive Luncheon at Mellow Mushroom
  • Reconnecting via Facebook with a high school friend, who was also my college roommate.  Turns out she's a liberal, too!  So good to be in touch again and many years to catch up on.
  • Enjoying some  nice weather - all this week should be in the 70's
  • Clearing the road out our back gate of beer cans and bottles.  I kept seeing all this stuff by the roadside when Rosie and I were out for our walk, si I took a few minutes and collected all the cans and bottles.
  • Feeding Georgie, the feral cat, who misses Zorro
  • Puppy Class 2 with Rosie
  • Tax info to CPA way earlier than usual!
  • Reading (Living the Secular Life (Zuckerman) and Between the World and Me (Coates)
  • Making wine with Chris for Eileen's visit - can't wait!


I did have a funny thing happen on Valentine's Day.  Rosie was looking out the front window and barking, which I ignored as she barks at anything moving.  Later when I walked by, I notice this pretty gift bag by the front door.  I immediately thought, "Oh, one of my neighbors has remembered me on Valentine's Day!  How nice!"  You can imagine my surprise when I opened it to find that it was for Rosie!!  It was this cute little stuffed bear from Grady, one of her boyfriends in the neighborhood.  The note said:
       To Rosie
       Be My Valentine
       Love, Grady
       Phone number
       Call Me!

That was so cute and I got a good laugh out of it.  Unfortunately the little bear lasted about 20 minutes - ear chewed off, stuffing pulled out and squeaky box destroyed!


On a sad note, one of my friends at Drinking Liberally lost her husband to cancer a few weeks ago.  He was a gentle, charming man.  They had not been to DL in a while and when I was Christmas shopping, I stopped in her place of work to say hello.  That's when I learned how bad it was.  I've kept in touch with her and had her over for dinner on Monday.  Life is so difficult and it takes so little to help someone else.  I hope I've been a support to her - at least gotten her out of the house.  Then, when Chris and I were ready to make wine, I emailed Jane at The Vintner's Club, as I usually do, only to be told that Brent, her husband, had been in hospital for 10 days with Swine Flu!!  It is really touch-and-go!  He's been in the hospital for two weeks, totally sedated (is that an induced coma?), on a ventalator, etc. and has opened his eyes only once!  He is a gentle, big bear of a man and it is so hard to imagine this.  Needless to say, I've offered to help in any way I can, but that seems so little at a time like this.

On a less sad note, I will leave you with this short clip, titled Rosie Singing, Accompanied with Squeaky Toy.  Enjoy!





Wednesday, February 3, 2016

My Birthday Break

I'm home and pretty well caught up after a fun visit with Jan.  It didn't go without some excitement.  You may recall that I was flying out of Charleston as it was a direct flight at a very good price.  It didn't leave until 6PM, which gave me plenty of time to get to Charleston.  I was there well advance of the flight and was so relaxed that I texted Jan, telling her that the day had come together so well that I feared I'd forgotten something!   We were all assembled waiting to board the plane when they announced that the flight was cancelled!  We were all shocked as there were no indications that anything was wrong.  It was brought about by an extreme family emergency of a crew member, which everyone assumed to be the Captain or Co-captain.  At the same time, they announced that they would put us up for the night, provide food vouchers, provide transportation, put us on an 8AM flight the next day, and give us a $400 voucher for a future flight!!  It took them a little while to organize it, but they were so forthcoming that the passengers remained calm and cooperative, which was good.  We stayed at a Hilton Garden Inn near the airport that had its own restaurant, so once we were situated we could have dinner and hit the sack.  I didn't rest well that night but was up early to get the 8AM flight, which went off without a hitch.  


Jan met me at the airport around 11AM Seattle time and we spent the rest of the day catching up and settling in. The next day we had lunch at Stateside, which was the best food I've had in a long time.  It was Vietnamese cuisine but a caliber above most restaurants.  The flavors were so subtle, but distinct....delicious.  Seattle is a great city for food, especially vegetarian. So, through the week we enjoyed some very tasty food at restaurants like the Golden Beetle, Luc's, Bai Pai, and Poppy's.  We got a kick out of ordering pizza one night.  Jan ordered on-line.  We were notified when the pizza was ready and on-line we could track the pizza traveling from the Flying Squirrel to Jan's door.  There was a photo of the delivery person (Laura)....what a hoot!  I came home wanting to try Stir-frtied Eggplant, Muhamara, and several others, but knowing my skills could in no way reproduce the Vietnamese food of Stateside.

While it rained a lot, it never rained heavily. We did have three very mild, sunny afternoons, one of which we spent in Woodenville for wine tasting.  We had lunch on Sunday with Jan's friend, Mary Ellen, who was delightful. We then went to a Pulitzer Prize winning play titled Disgraced, which was powerful.  On one dark day we even managed a quiet, restful afternoon at home and, needless to say, there was lots of political venting all along the way.  

There were two "people moments" that I really enjoyed.  One occurred at the Airfield tasting room.  When we entered, the small bar was pretty well occupied by four younger women.  As we were putting our coats and bags on a table, one of the girls called to us to come on to the bar, they would make room.  It turned out be a very congenial group.  Two girls were friends who met in the military.  One was from Seattle but now working in Philadelphia (I think), but next year she would be stationed at Ft. Bragg, NC.  The other couple was a gay (married) couple.  It was an unusual combination of nice people, which is always enjoyable.

The second one was on my flight home. I had an aisle seat with empty seats beside me.  Across the aisle were two young men. The man by the window fell asleep right away and slept through most of the flight.  The young man on the aisle talked to  me almost the whole flight.  They were on their way to Charleston after visiting their father in Alaska.  He was in Special Operations in the military, which may or may not be true but he certainly looked like he could be!  He owns a landscape business in Charleston and also consults with the army, which takes him back to Iraq and Afghanistan. He told me about his parents unusual relationship and how close they were as a family and of his faltering relationship with his wife.  We talked everything from travel to pets - he even showed me pictures of his dog before I showed pictures of Rosie!!  It was totally enjoyable and made the flight seem much shorter.  In both instances, it was nice to be treated like a (still) viable person as opposed to an old (invisible) woman.  Everyone we met was welcoming and nice, but it was a pleasant surprise to be treated so well by younger people.

I'm sure I'm forgetting things (such as movies we saw, etc) but it was all enjoyable and Jan was a very gracious hostess.  It's always fun to spend time with friends from Aramco days.  I came home feeling relaxed and invigorated.  It was also a relief to see that Rosie seemed to do better staying at home than boarding someplace.  When I greeted her, she had her ears back and tail down, but with 15 minutes she was playing with her squeaky toys, chasing balls, and being her energetic self..  When David came by the next day to return my keys and garage door opener, she started jumping and yapping when she saw him, making me feel that he had treated her well.  

Our weather has been fantastic with several days being sunny and in the mid-70s.  Azaleas and roses are trying to bloom, which means nature is as confused as we are. My neighbor was out the other day power washing his driveway in shorts with no shoes or shirt!  I haven't quite gone that far but it has been warm for this time of year.  

Now I'm looking forward to spending time with another Aramco friend.  Eileen is planning to visit in early April, which gives me plenty of time to look for things to do and put down some wine. I'm excited to see her and I'm sure we won't run out of things to do.

And finally.......





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