Sunday, August 30, 2009

Ups and Downs - all week

More computer problems earlier this week kept us both on edge and totally frustrated. My email service would allow incoming messages, but not allow anything to be sent out. Hubby very graciously shared his computer, which was working well for some strange reason.

After a day and a half of using his computer and email to get to mine, we called for help. The Expert technician came from our local Computer Store to get us both up and running again.

Folling instructions, we had gone to to the Cable service office to swap out our OLD modem, thinking that might have been the cause of all our frequent problems.
The woman behind the counter said, "Take it home, plug it in and you're good to
go." NOT! She was TOTALLY wrong.

Hubby plugged the new modem into the router and then to the CPUs.. his and mine. Neither worked. Another call to the service company got him straightened out, but only if I were disconnected. No combination worked for me.

The technician spent an hour with our machines,and even he said it was not easy or simple.

The rest of this past week was a lot better, with a FUN day for me at the Book Store on Thursday. The whole three-hour shift was busy, with lots of people coming in to browse and buy their 'finds'.

An interesting meeting and luncheon on Saturday with our Colonial Dames of the 17th Century, and then a delightful cocktail buffet supper honoring an engaged couple filled that busy day.

In between all of the week's 'ups and downs', I have been snatching blocks of time whenever possible to follow the action in Heather Graham's "The Island". A book store 'find', this novel is as complicated as I could imagine. It's one that cannot be put down without the characters and their twists and turns staying with you. I want to skip ahead to see how Graham resolves the mysteries (and there are several working at the same time), but -at the same time- don't want this book to end.

Thanks to the wonders of technology, we have enjoyed a multitude of pictures from our granddaughter's wedding and reception. The photographer did a marvelous job of capturing the joy and happiness of the occasions with her excellent 'eye' and equipments!

IF the TV forecasters are right, we can look forward to a touch of Fall in the coming days, with lower humidity and cool temps. September is right around the corner and the cool air is welcome!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

NEW experiences

August in West Tennessee is normally HOT, Humid and Uncomfortable. Residents here have enjoyed a total departure from the norm this weekend, with temps under 85 and Low humidity, with cool Canadian breezes delighting the whole population!

In addition to being able to have our house wide open - doors on three sides - to catch and savor the cool breezes, we were treated to a most unusual experience yesterday.

Our grandson-in-law is fulfilling a long-time dream by enrolling in a new local Culinary School. Working part-time and going to classes four evenings a week is a demanding schedule, but he seems to be revelling in the work and the opportunity.

Yesterday he and two of his fellow classmates brought all the ingredients and equipment to our house, and prepared an excellent 'late lunch' for us: Chicken and vegetable soup with basil, Classic bread pudding and an extra treat - real banana pudding. They had a good time chopping, dicing, slicing and prepping all the fresh veggies to add to the chicken broth and white wine. The bread pudding with croissants and 18 eggs and other ingredients couldn't help but be delicious and it was! Our kitchen was a beehive of activity during this time, with our daughter and granddaughter watching the proceedings along with us.

When the chefs-in-training declared lunch to be ready, seven of us gathered at the table for a mid-afternoon feast. Plain and simple fare with lively conversation the whole time was a complete change from our normally quiet noontime sandwich and iced tea lunch! Thanks guys, if you happen to read this, for a really nice experience!

When suppertime rolled around, No one wanted anything to eat! Lunch, then, was declared scrumptious success.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Thought on "Bedlam South"

This new book by Mark Grisham and David Donaldson has overwhelmed me in a way that no other novel has for a long time. 'Willing suspension of disbelief' does not help in this case, since the reader realizes how much of the action is based on what really happened during those war years.

The flyleaf says: "Set in the heart of the Confederacy, Bedlam South is the story of ordinary people who fought and suffered, and loved and lost during the Civil War...." The authors combined Grisham's love for the Civil War and Donaldson's fascination with psychology and mental health to weave a compelling story.

Recommended by a friend, I was fortunate to find a signed copy in our Book Store, and brought it home immediately to start reading. The 324-page novel, fiction based on historical fact, grabbed me from the first and would not let go. In truth, I had to lay it aside from time to time because the intensity was too much. Coming back, I was readily enveloped again in the human struggles and the battle scenes of the worst time in our country's history.

This is not light reading. In fact, I will look for something in the vein of Evanovich for my next adventure in the printed word. But, that said, I am glad that I read "Bedlam South" and will add the volume to my 'keep' bookshelf. I wish the characters had not invaded my dreams last night, however. 'Bedlam South' is that powerful !

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

New Beginnings

Granddaughter Emily and Scott are now Mr. and Mrs. Scott H. Campbell, with the good wishes and blessings of hundreds of guests at the wedding and reception. A more beautiful wedding would be hard to imagine. Christy's artistry with the flowers in a historically beautiful church and the reception area enhanced the joy and happiness of the beautiful young bride and groom, along with their several attendants.

The rehearsal dinner on Saturday evening was a lot of fun, with a room full of family and friends honoring the bridal couple with toasts and more good wishes. A delicious selection from the restaurant's menu added to the total pleasure of the event.

The whole week was a whirlwind of activity for us, with our daughter and her family here from Maryland for 10 days. We had several meals at area restaurants - sampling the fares of Thai, Chinese, Fried Chicken and a Steakhouse, in addition to a little home-cooking (on the side). Our barbeque supper for the Family August Birthday celebration dinner the previous Sunday was good, and well-received, too.

Now the grandsons are or will be headed off to their respective colleges, to begin those new adventures. One heads west and the other goes east... and we wish them both the very best that life has to offer as they spread their wings.

The Maryland family flew back yesterday, and our house got unreasonably quiet - immediately. Life goes on, though, with appointments and responsibilities on the calendar just like always.

I have truly enjoyed reliving the wedding activities through technology and albums posted by family members and friends on Facebook. Such FUN!

As an aside, both the lawnmowers are repaired now, and are back at home waiting for the next session wish tall grass.

Friday, August 7, 2009

One more day

One more day until The Big day - for Emily and Scott to begin their life together.
This week has been filled with activity, for the bridal pair and for our family here at home. Almost every minute has been full with our Maryland branch's comings and goings, meals at home and out at restaurants with various combinations of family...

Now the count-down until the Rehearsal Dinner tonight and The Wedding and Reception tomorrow. I can't begin to count the hours of preparation that the bride's family and the groom's family have put into these Events! I'm sure all the prep work will result in beautifully executed dinners, ceremonies and celebrations! Just coordinating the many people involved requires great attention to details...and minutiae.

We're looking forward to cooperative, though hot, weather - which is a big help.

On the home front, the down-to-earth mundane: the riding mower repair has been delayed, one day at the time, all week, by the young service man who 'promised' .... and we're still waiting. Son-in-law Bill tackled the whole yard with the small mower the other evening when it was relatively cool - only to have that mower 'die' before he finished the project. So now we wait for the 'promised' repair and return of Both mowers! Aghhhh.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Celebration week

With the arrival of our Maryland family at midnight Saturday, the week-long time of Celebration began. This fun and happy time will culminate with the wedding and reception for our youngest granddaughter and the love-of-her-life. Of our seven granddaughters, she is the fourth to exchange vows with her dream man. Our four grandsons, all in their teen years, have a few more years, I hope, before choosing a life partner.

Sunday dawned bright and clear with a nice breeze, so while our travelers slept in, Charlotte and I went to Sunday school and heard one of the finest lessons yet by our retired-minister classmate. One of the themes - from Moses and the Israelites - was that while you can please some people some of the time, you can't please everybody all the time; sometimes you cannot please anybody - any time. So deal with it.

The Family gathered here Sunday evening for a fun time for celebrating five family members' August birthdays. The total accumulated years add to over 240, so we didn't attempt to put candles on the cake. The barbeque was excellent and the company was unsurpassed. Lots of conversations back and forth with lots of laughter all the time. Such wonderful fun with a wonderful family.

Monday night the girls enjoyed going to a bridal shower honoring Emily, while the guys swam at Paul's pool and then went to the Chinese restaurant for those delecacies - mainly sushi, that they enjoy so much. The shower was fun, and our hostesses were delightful.

There was a lull for me today, while our 'visitors' went to a movie. They enjoyed the film, but coming back out onto the parking lot in the extreme heat, to the closed up van, was a shock to all the senses. Such heat is hard to take after being so nice and cool for the previous several hours.

That storm last Thursday ushered in an entirely different kind of weather for us - Heat. July had been the coolest on record for our area, June was the wettest, and now August is proving to be a 'regular' one with heat and humidity as usual. It would have been much nicer for the 'cool' weather to stay with us a while longer.

The Wedding is coming closer and closer. We're looking forward to the Rehearsal Dinner excitement and fun on Friday evening, and then it will be The Day!