Thursday, July 31, 2014

July Comes to an End!

I'm in the yellowish blouse...
The last couple of weeks have been busy in a fun kind of way.  There has been a lot of things to do and I've tried to do as many as possible, beginning with a music evening at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation.  It featured the "talents of Argentinian musician Daniel Bellone and German performer Angelika. Together they blend traditional Sanskrit chants and mantras with instantly accessible melodies and modern instrumentation."  It was very relaxing - the kind of music you could just close your eyes and go with....very soothing.

The following Friday, my neighbor Ana and I went out to lunch at the Sea Grass Grille.  I"d not been there before and the food turned out to be very tasty.  I had a Greek salad and asked the the dressing could be on the side.  The waitress explained that the vegetables (variety of tomatoes, cucumber, peppers, onions, etc.) were marinated in a dressing and put on top of the lettuce, and capped with feta.  Well, it was scrumptious.....I may have to go back again to try to figure out what is in the marinade.

That same evening I went to a fundraiser for Bakari Sellers, a tall, handsome young man of 30 who is running for Lt. Governor of SC. For such a young man, he was certainly impressive.  The Lt. Governor deals with the care and well-being of the elderly in the state, so I bent the ear of his aide Isaac for quite a while. The event was held at Ruby Lee's, which I'd heard about for both its Lowcountry food and its good music.  So, I was happy to be able to check it out at the first time.  It was a small place with a warm atmosphere, very welcoming.  As I came in, I was given a Seller's bumper sticker.  Then I spotted the president of our democratic club and asked about a sticker for Vincent Sheheen, who is running for governor.  He had some in his car, along with mirror covers (which I really wasn't to crazy about.....but he offered them to me for free AND he put everything on my car).  So, once he pimped my ride, I felt like a moving advertisement!!  Anyway, it was a full day and I enjoyed it all.

On Saturday I had lunch with my mother and then drove to Beaufort for the Dragon Boat races.  Jan and I saw them when we went to Victoria, BC and it was fun to watch.  I'd been thinking about it for a while and really didn't make up my mind until after lunch on the day.  I got there around 2PM, had no problem with traffic and arrived in time for the last four races.  About 3PM it clouded over a bit and was very pleasant on the waterfront.  I didn't stay for awards, but the timing was perfect for me to stop for a little shopping that TJ Maxx.....another pleasant afternoon!

Tuesday of this week, Cheryl came for an overnight visit.  We have been very lucky to meet up for lunch whenever she visits her sister, but it was especially nice to be able to sit down and really catch up.  After resting a bit from the long drive, we went on a short tour of downtown Bluffton, which didn't take long at all.  We wound up at the Church of the Cross watching the May River flow by.  Cheryl's mother was spending time with her sister Bonnie in Camden. They were meeting up around lunchtime on Wednesday for Cheryl to pick up her mother.  Before the scheduled time, we rode out to Palmetto Bluff for a quick look around.  It was a very pleasant morning, not too hot, and that certainly added to the enjoyment.  We then all met up at Cracker Barrel for lunch.  It was a pleasure to see Cheryl's Mom again and to meet Bonnie.....and it's always great to see longtime friends!  We didn't have a lot of time, but we made the most of it.

Everything else is just incidental...
  • I got another Groupon deal that I couldn't refuse and treated myself to a massage and facial, the first one I've had in a long. long time.  It was very relaxing and theraputic. 
  • I've also treated myself to housecleaning services every other week.  That was one of those things that just hung over my head....I never felt the whole house was clean at the same time and it always worried me.......not enough to get it under control, just enough to be a constant irritant.  I've let that go and am enjoying a clean house.....and the guilt-free ability to enjoy other things!
Local Wildlife Update:
Two feral cats have broken from the larger colony and now reside at the corner where I turn to visit my mother.  There is a black cat and a yellow one.  Frequently they are joined by a friend.

We first noticed the raccoon showing up for dinner.  Then it was lunch and now we think it is both!  The funniest sight was seeing the two cats, presumably full, lying on the pine straw and between the two was the raccoon, helping himself to the leftovers.  We call him the cleanup crew!!  Animals are so great.

We have a large group of turkeys in our development, but I frequently see this one hen roaming around on her own.  Since I've been trying to get photos of the raccoon, I had my camera with me this week when I ran into her.

Finally, on a more somber topic, it's hard to believe that Allan passed away a year yesterday.  I am reminded of him so often by things that I see or is still just hard to believe - that it happened at all and that a year has passed since.  I'm thinking of his family and hoping they are doing well.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Quiet Times

This is a short update as not a lot has been happening....certainly nothing as fun and exciting as friends visiting!  So, I've been enjoying a break; but, even so, found myself dithered - overwhelmed with minutiae that I had imposed on myself.  So, I sat myself down, thought about it, and just let a lot of stuff go.  Things have really improved since doing that.  Rather than starting the day with a long list of things to do, I have a short general list of the major things I want to accomplish.  If I do get everything done, it's great.  If I don't, that's okay, too - none of it is life or death!

Speaking of death (how's that for a segue!), I've contacted funeral homes here and in NC to have as much prearranged as possible when anything happens to my mother.  They are in touch with one another and should be able to coordinate as needed.  For myself, this week I'll finalize my will, advance directive, etc.  Once that is done I'll arrange for my cremation, and I'll be taken care of, too!  Isn't this uplifting!!

Other than that, my hermit side has enjoyed lots of time at home, but I've also been out with friends.  Chris and I just went to a new Lebanese (yes! Lebanese in South Carolina) restaurant, which was very good.  We had falafel, hummus and baba ganoush sampler platter.  It was very tasty and I took enough home for dinner.  They also had shawarmas and it was really the first time I've been tempted to have meat in 6 years.  It brought back memories of the vendors in Khobar.....and lots more.  It was good.  We followed lunch with an art exhibit, where we chatted with several young people whom we really enjoyed.  It was a good afternoon!

We (Chris and I) have also joined Liberal Ladies of the Lowcountry, which is a group that meets monthly at Indigo Run.  It is a whole new group of politically informed ladies.  They have some interesting speakers at the luncheon and the table discussion is always informative.  So now I'm involved in three political groups that meet monthly....that gives me my political fix.

I'm almost back into my walking routine...when the weather cooperates.  Summer storms in the South are typical, but over the years they have changed.  Years ago, they were predictable and welcomed - to break the heat and give a respite.  Now, they are torrential, with sheets of rain, swirling, heavy wind, crashing thunder and lightening!! The photo below shows what has become typical.  It's only recently that I realized that everything flows down into  my yard, so I'm hoping the storms don't become more virulent.  This is about the third or fourth time my yards has looked like this. There have been times that it has rained so heavily that I couldn't see the trees on the other side of the golf course.....scary!

About the only other thing happening was Caribbean Day at Mama's place.  Several of the CNAs there are from the Caribbean and they enjoyed sharing their food and music.  Unfortunately, I had to leave before the food arrived, but it did smell great...and there was lots of Bob Marley that day.  You can tell from the photos that my mother is nearly, if not completely, blind.  All things considered, she is doing well, though lately she has been somewhat distressed.  I don't think she's in pain and she can't articulate what the problem is.  I'm hoping this is a short phase that will soon pass.


My apologies for the difficulties with the notification note AND the site.  It was up last night when I wrote the bulk of it, but it was down this morning and half of it was missing.  So, I'm getting worse instead of better!!  I'm going to stitch with it though, and I hope you will, too!  Thanks to those who let me know of the problem.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Summer is in Full Swing!

Summer is in full swing and I'm asking my usual question....where has the time gone and what have I done with it???  The Fourth of July has completely slipped up on me and I'm unprepared to celebrate. I did go over to have lunch with my mother, which proved to be a very festive affair.  There was live music and everyone was in good spirits.  I could hear the music when I entered the building, and my first thought was, "Oh, my Lord, Mama is having a fit, wanting to get out of that loud music!."  Little did I know that she had been up dancing!
But, before that, there was my friend David's birthday.  Last year on his 60th  birthday, he suffered a major stroke. His brother came down from Connecticut and spent weeks while David was in hospital in Charleston.  When he had to go home, his local friends took over.  He lives neat me so I took him grocery shopping, to appointments, etc......nothing major, but it was when Allan was dying and there would be days when both David and I would be in tears.  Even so, if you are single and friends step forward to help you, it means a lot.  So, on his 61st birthday he gave a very nice party and invited those who helped in his time of need.  It was a nice event...and a nice thing for David to do.

On my way to David's party I picked up Cheryl, who has been fostering Moonbeam, a baby kitten.  She has been posting videos almost daily of this cutie and all of her friends are wondering how/why she will relinquish him.   He is such a cutie....and totally spoiled by three adults.  He will be in shock when he gets to a normal household that doesn't record his every move!  In any case, I had to see him before he went to his adoptive family in Charleston. 

Two days after David's party was my mother's 93rd birthday.  As you can tell from earlier photos, she is in a pretty good place at the moment.  They seem to have sufficiently adjusted her pain meds and she has a routine that helps her get through the day in reasonably good spirits.  So, we both have a lot for which to be thankful.  

 In addition to these events, I've kept in touch with friends and Living Liberally.  I also attended "Moms Demand Action" against gun violence.  While I'm only a kitty-mom, it is an issue that
concerns me and I was interested in what they had to say.  Those of you in liberal and reasonable states might be surprised that this was not highly publicized.  They didn't' want a lot of gun nuts showing up!!  What a sad and pathetic situation.  The squeaky wheels in our society seem to be totally nuts.....and those who lead them have no scruples, only their own well-being in mind.
In that vein, my next task today is to email Speaker Boehner and tell him exactly what I think of his suing President Obama (we don't know why....he's still trying to manufacture the reasons!).  I began the note last night and consider it my patriotic duty to do this on the fourth of July.  I hope he appreciates the he will pay no attention to the content!

Well, in writing this entry, I know why the time has flown and why I get nothing of consequence done.....although there is lots of time left to do more than I do.  It is just that my "To Do" list is so long I don't know where or how to start.  There are also so many things I'd like to do for my own interest that it's difficult to do those things that "need" to be done.  Oh, well, I guess it will all come out in the wash!!

Happy Fourth

To those on this side of the Pond!

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