Monday, May 29, 2017

Days at Home

Well, I have some enforced at-home time, and I feel it was just want I needed.  Yesterday I joined some friends from Beaufort to attend the Gullah Festival.  It was a very nice afternoon, sitting by the waterfront enjoying the music and people watching.  I headed home in time to give Rosie a walk, when my car died on me halfway through the trip.  AAA towed it to my repair shop, but they aren't open today, so I figure Wednesday is the earliest I'll see my car.  This morning I've spent a little time cancelling all plans through Wednesday, and I feel an immediate I'm thinking so at-home time was just what I needed.

As I waited for the tow truck, I did have a nice experience.  I waited outside by my car and saw lots of people come and go (was in a service station parking area), when this one, nice, Black man came over and asked if I was okay.  I told him my story, we chatted a bit, and he went on his way.  I thanked him again and told him I really appreciated his asking....that one moment renewed my faith in mankind! 

After about 4 trips to the computer doctor, I seem to have a working computer again.  The repairman was very patient - the last episode involved losing the functioning of my keyboard!!  He was determined to solve the problem and didn't charge me for the various things that sprung up.  He predicted that I should now be able to get another year our of the computer.

While it seems that everything mechanical in my life is breaking, I do have some good news!

  • My mother's house has finally sold!  In early April, the realtor called to say there was an offer on the price, cash, and to close ASAP!!  After a month, it closed and it is now a done deal.  It seems that the purchaser's house had burned down and I guess she had insurance money and wanted to get it done as quickly as possible.  While selling it was sad, it was also a relief - and I know my mother would be happy that it is being used and maintained, rather than sitting and going to ruin. 
  • While I was visiting Jan, we planned a trip to Africa - Kenya and Tanzania.  It is through Overseas Adventure Travel and you can see details HERE.  It is truly a trip of a lifetime and something I've wanted to do for a long time.  We are also going a day early so we can see the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, where they rescue baby elephants. Anyway, it is something to look forward to, and while it seems a long time away - February 2018 - it will be here before we know it.  It's so exciting!
  • I could not have gone to Seattle and considered other trips without knowing that my fur-babies were well situated.  I am so fortunate to have found a wonderful lady to stay in my house with them and maintain our routine.  Even though she works, she is able to come home at noontime and let Rosie outside, as well as maintaining her morning and evening walks (and sleeping with her at night!). She also sent daily updates, with photos and accounts of whom (Smokey, Paulie, Max, etc) Rosie encountered on their walks.  Needless to say, that made me feel better.  Rosie was ecstatic to see me when I got home, all wiggly and squealy, but none less from the wear!  What a great relief!  She is already booked for my next two trips.
  • And last, but certainly not least, I just bought my ticket to the UK for Katie Wingrove's wedding in August.  I will be visiting Eileen first, which will be fun. I hope to see her quilting group, the boat on which she volunteers, and so on. Then she and I will drive to Bath for the wedding.  From there, I'll have time with the Wingrove family.  Since I'm staying a bit longer than I had originally planned, we're thinking of doing a girls' road/train trip to catch up with other longtime, longtime friends, be forewarded!!!  it should be a festive and happy occasion and I'm looking forward to it all (except the grief I'm likely to get over our man-child president!!).....just joking about that last part.  I'd be disappointed if I didn't get grief over it!
So, that's my good news and I'm looking forward to it all.  As I was writing, my phone rang and I had another uplifting experience.  Upon hearing that I needed coverage to feed feral cats due to my cars problems, a member of the group called and offered me a car to use while I am without.  They have just bought a new car and still have their old one, so they offered me the use of the old one, for which I'm very appreciative. I need to go grocery shopping for a few things and had planned to walk to Kroger tomorrow in the morning before it gets too hot, but now I can use the car.  I doubt that I use it for anything else, but it is good to know I have wheels if anything unexpected beckons.

That about catches you up with me.  
  • Jan will be pleased to know that I had two friends contact me specifically to compliment all of the photos of Seattle!  
  • I continue my Resistance work, though I do have to take breaks from time to time.  My assignment for this afternoon is to compose a fax to all representatives, to be faxed tomorrow.....regarding the heartless budget and healthcare bills, both of which show total contempt for women, the elderly, children, and generally anyone in need.
  • I have one chapter left to finish Dark Money.  If you want to be totally depressed and scared s@#tless, read Dark Money.  The Russians have nothing on the fake news front compared to the infiltration and propaganda, law drafting, network of conservative billionaires.  They probably look at Russian as a handy diversion to allow them to advance their evil deeds.  Anyway, read it!
I hope this finds everyone doing well, and those stateside enjoying a nice Memorial Day weekend.

Gratuitous Rosie clip.  You're welcome!

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Time Away

Yes, earlier this month I returned from a week in Seattle visiting Jan, a longtime friend from Saudi days.  It was great to see Jan again and Seattle is such a beautiful city to visit.  The day after I arrived,  we went on at tour of Dunn Gardens, where Jan volunteers.  So, she took Mary Ellen, Katie and me on a private tour.  I had no idea so many things would be in bloom and I'm sorry I can't do justice to the names of all I saw.  All I can say is that the grounds were beautiful.  It is the 7.5 acre estate of Arthur G. Dunn, Sr., who made his fortune in the fish cannery business.  The topography and flora as so different from the east coast and I love experiencing the contrast.  The garden was absolutely beautiful and we finished with a nice lunch.

 The second day we went to Roozengaarde Tulip Fields, which were spectacular.  While the day was a bit overcast, we were lucky the whole week in that it never rained when we were out and about.  The tulip fields were about an hours drive outside the city and well worth the drive.  The colors were almost overwhelming, more than the eye could take in. 

 From there we went to La Conner, a very scenic, little town, for lunch overlooking the river.  We strolled around a bit before heading to Edison, "the center of the world" in the middle of nowhere.  Edward R. Murrow grew up there and it is now a funky little town with an art museum, a great bakery, and several other shops.  It seems it is the town all the techies flock to on weekends for food and fun.
I was surprised to find this quote, which seems to sum up our current political situation, emblazoned on a wall in Edison. Needless to say, Edison is in liberal territory!
Oops! A little snafu!  I get this far in updating the blog and my computer flipped off, goes completely black.  I turn it on again to resume, and it flipped off two more times.  So, I took it to a computer guy, who kept it overnight, did some magic, and it appears to be working better and faster.  He saved all of my documents, photos etc. but he basically wiped it clean and started over, giving me the most current operating system, Microsoft Office program, etc.  So, while it is working much faster and not cutting off, I am having to learn how to retrieve what I want and include it in the new OS. 
Anyway, back to vacation....we also had a day at the Space Needle and surround areas.  As many times as I've visited Jan, I'd never been to the Needle.  We had planned to go last year, but it was under renovation.  This year, we finally made it.  The interesting thing is that the Chihully Garden and Glass Exhibit and the Gates Foundation are all right there, so we went to the Chihully exhibit before lunch and the Gates Foundation.  For some reason, I took no photos at the Gates Foundation, but, needless to say, it was very informative and interactive. The day was also clear, sunny day, which provide a splendid view of Seattle and the restaurant rotated.  A very nice day!

You can tell that we covered a lot of territory in the time I was there, including checking our some of the nicer neighborhoods, browsing two Asian markets, a day of wine tasting in Woodinville, and having dinner with several of Jan's friends. I'm sure I'm forgetting something, but it really was a nice break from my overly-political life. Now that I'm back, I hope I can maintain a little more balance!!  Thanks, Jan, for a wonderful, relaxing visit.

I came back to a much busier week than I had anticipated.  It was the following weekend before I could even get my laundry done!  One of my concerns about being away was what to do with Rosie and Mama Mia.  I was lucky to find a wonderful lady who stayed in my house and looked after them.  While she did work, she was able to come home at lunchtime and let Rosie outside for a bit.  She also maintained her morning and evening walks, as well as sending daily updates.  Rosie was very happy to see me, wiggling around and yelping when she saw me, and she seemed to have done well. I'm pleased to have found Janice, as it will free me up a bit to travel.  

Other than that, I've caught up with the Drinking Liberally and canasta groups, had a delightful evening out with friends, and read The Underground Railroad.  

I'm going to have to stop here as my computer has flipped off twice in the process of finishing my update.  So, obviously, it is not repaired.  So, I'll deal with that tomorrow.  In the meantime, I hope this finds you doing well and enjoying each day.......and Happy Mother's day to all you moms out there.