Saturday, August 12, 2017

NEW GRILL!

We're so excited! Our new grill, lost in the ether somewhere, finally showed up!

Lowe's didn't have in stock the one my guy wanted, and so they ordered it. The grill department guy said they had four in Norcross and one would be shipped to our store within a week. Then they would put it together and call us so we could take it home.

Didn't quite work out as planned. After checking the day it was supposed to show up, we found Lowe's couldn't find it had been shipped. But no worries, the cheery woman in customer service said. She'd put in a note and when it showed up, they'd call.

A few days later, no phone call. We checked in again. A young man looked at the computer and shook his head. We needed to talk to the man in charge of that department. So we waited around for twenty or thirty minutes till we got to talk to him. He looked at the computer screen, thumped some keys, and shook his head. He didn't understand what was taking so long. It was ordered though. Definitely. When it came, they'd call.

We waited a few more days and checked in again. The young man in customer service we'd talked to previously, remembered us. (By this time, we'd dealt with him several more times, returning wrong sized blinds and also a ceiling fan with a clacking noise in the factory assembled part. That's besides us going in and asking where our rug was Lowe's had ordered. Of course, he remembered us!) He checked his computer again re the grill. Then he called an older gentleman over. This guy looked at the computer and shook his head. But...

"It looks like the order was put in wrong," the older guy said. He fiddled around on the keyboard, said the order was fixed and the grill should be in and get assembled shortly. They would call us.

Uh huh.

A few days later, we returned. A pleasant woman checked on the computer and frowned. Then she got someone else to check. This gentleman said the grill was supposed to be in the store but he couldn't find a inventory record of it. He went to the back to physically check and see if it was actually in the store. Some time later he came back with another man who explained: "The data saying the grill was in the store, really meant the grill has been ASSIGNED to the store." It was on its way, he said optimistically. And they'd call.

Sure enough, the next afternoon, we got a call from Brian. The grill was in and ready for pick-up! Brian had personally attended to assembling it.

I get the impression they never want to see us again.

But never mind. Soon my guy will be cooking!


Saturday, August 5, 2017

CANOPY SHOW

We've been in the house for two days now, but still have lots of work to do. We're camping in the guest bedroom since renovation is due to start in two weeks for the main bedroom and bath. Somehow we found time to go to another aerial exhibition because a young relative was one of the performers. Her ambition is to join the Cirque du Soleil, but if that doesn't work out, she thinks her education should prepare her to be a physical therapist. Sounds like a sensible plan to me!

The entire show was based on a children's book, Juniper Gets Wet, by local author and artist. A little girl dams up a gully on a rainy day and makes a big ocean that she sails away on.

The man who did the illustrations read a scene, and then the aerialists performed to songs chosen for their references to water. Not sure, but I think this was the first scene: "It Had Been Raining For Weeks." The music was "Into the Unknown."


If I remember correctly, this picture represents Juniper's brothers and sisters who are tired of the rain. The scene is titled "The Books Had All Been Read" and it's performed to "I Can't Stand the Rain."


I think--and I'm not sure about this--this scene was when Juniper is washed away in the flood: "When Water Was All She Could See" and music was "Orinoco Flow"



Juniper comes to a stop in the scene "She Trekked Through a Lush Jungle" as we listen to "Welcome to the Jungle" and the aerialist performs with the ring.


After different scenes where Juniper meets a Princess (with a fun rendition of "Dancing Queen") and goes through a Room of Wonders, she keeps having adventures. This pole reached all the way to the ceiling and this shot was taken when the performer was about halfway up. The scene is "Sailed Through the Night" and music was "Chasing the Beat of My Heart."


This was one of my favorites: "Prepare the Submarine" with, naturally, "Yellow Submarine" along with "Deep Blue Sea" for the music. The two metal structures moved back and forth, depending on the performers' powering them.


So we did manage a fun outing despite being in the midst of our move. We needed a break. Very enjoyable!

Saturday, July 29, 2017

MORE HOUSE WORK

We've been running like crazy from dawn till dusk. No time to keep up with my FaceBook friends or even enjoy TV at night. So this week, I'm putting in a picture of the truck we rented from Lowe's to transport our shelves we had cut that were too long for our little SUV. My guy really misses having a pickup, and he was excited to be driving one again.


And while we were there---I found a rug for our third bedroom that has wooden floors!


We were afraid we'd have to pick it up and take it home ourselves, but it'll be delivered to our door in a couple of weeks! Good old UPS!

We are hoping to be in the house next week. Still a lot of remodeling to do but at least we've got the basics done.



Saturday, July 22, 2017

WORKING ON HOUSE

Since our new house is an older 'new' house, we have been working on it. Some pix below:

Here's the man at Lowe's cutting new wire shelving for the closets:


And here are relatives using a saw to cut oversized shelves from kitchen cabinets in half so I can see what's on the bottom shelf below. Notice the lovely new rail on our lovely new deck. Thank you, Charles!


And here is Hector, painting the ceiling in the kitchen. Notice the gorgeous crown molding:


I think we're gonna like it here!




Saturday, July 15, 2017

FARMERS MARKET

We've been so engrossed in getting our house ready, I almost forgot to blog. Luckily, we went by a farmers market this morning while picking up my guy's photograph from the art gallery in a neighboring town. We parked and got out, but a sign was the first thing we saw:



Amid the booths, a couple were playing guitars and singing as buyers browsed. You might can make them out in the middle of this picture, where they had a little stage beyond the blue tent:


Then these baskets of homegrown, ripe tomatoes caught my eye. The smell wafted up to me and I was a goner I got in line to buy some.


And back home for lunch. Guess what we had? That's right! Good old mater sandwiches!


Yum! How I love summer tomatoes!




Saturday, July 8, 2017

JULY 4TH CELEBRATIONS

All across America, people celebrated the Fourth of July last Tuesday. I was a little disappointed at the lack of hoopla here in our new home. I'm accustomed to a lot of activities on the Fouruth, but here, the fireworks display was on Saturday before the Fourth.

The county we lived in ten years ago, went all out -- hosting a festival, dance and other activities at the fairgrounds.along with a splendid steam engine parade. The island we just left enjoyed a golf cart parade with veterans showcased, as well as the Sunshine Craft Festival before fireworks that evening.

But this time, we had to settle for a simple reading of the Declaration of Independence. My Indivisible chapter hosted it. Maybe a hundred people showed up, with a local author giving a quick review of Georgia's three representatives. George Walton was only twenty-seven when he signed while Lyman Hall was fifty-three. Both men later served as governors of the state and had counties named for them. (During Hall's term, the legislation creating the University of Georgia was passed: it is the first university in the country chartered by a state government.) Button Gwinnett, alas, had failed at business and farming before getting into politics. He might have done well politicking except that he died about a year after signing the Declaration. Seems he got into an argument with another notable Georgian that led to a duel, and they shot each other. McIntosh survived his wound; Gwinnett did not.

After the brief history lesson, several members (along with their children and grandchildren) each read a sentence or two of the document. When it began describing King George's terrible actions, I couldn't help but think they sounded awfully familiar. A lot like what this President has been doing, as a matter of fact! I later heard that NPR's tweeting of the entire declaration outraged this President's supporters who thought NPR was maligning him.

Finally, three naturalized Americans gave short summaries on what being an American meant to them. I was reminded again that all of us, unless we are pure native Americans, were immigrants or are descended from immigrants.

The gathering lasted less than an hour and was held in the lovely yard of a local restaurant. As far as I know, it was the only acknowledgement of how America came to be.

Here are some photos, courtesy of my guy.

This is the crowd gathering:


Some people had to sit on the ledge:


Others had to sit on the pavers:


This is the beginning of the line of readers:


If I remember correctly, this was the last reader:


And I believe this is one of the naturalized Americans:


Saturday, July 1, 2017

RALLY FOR HEALTHCARE

As many of you know, the last election was upsetting to me. I had so many friends and relatives who were vehemently for Trump, I halfway expected the conman/charlatan to win but I still hoped. Afterward I was proud to be one of the millions who marched for women's rights, making an uncomfortable but unforgettable trip to DC with other like-minded women and men. Back home, I joined some resistance groups.

When we moved, I was fortunate to find an INDIVISIBLE chapter in our new town. This past week, we joined with two other groups to protest against the unconscionable healthcare bill -- WEALTHcare bill, as some of our number call it in reference to the big tax cut it gives the wealthiest one percent and insurance/medical corporations -- that McConnell is pushing in the Senate.

We met in front of the University Arches and for an hour held our signs and listened to some firsthand accounts of people who will be hurt by the bill. Several of them were there for their children. It's heartbreaking to realize these kids, through no fault of their own, will be the real people to suffer.

So here are a few pix from the rally, courtesy of my guy: And yes, it was quite peaceful because liberals generally abhor violence. Heck, I don't even like to get into arguments.

This one was in the beginning when we were gathering (I'm hiding behind my sign, as usual):


This was taken after our INDIVISIBLE banner got there:


And here is a wider view:


And one last shot as we aimed our signs at downtown traffic. This one was taken just before a nice policeman instructed us to leave a pathway for pedestrians walking on the sidewalk and through the arches. Being law-abiding citizens, we of course obliged.


Many people don't realize it, but nearly half the babies born are paid for with Medicaid. (We had pro-life people protesting with us, because a baby legally declared a person at conception means our responsibility to it is just beginning.) Besides childbirth, about sixty per cent of people in nursing homes are covered by Medicaid, many of them who've exhausted their savings.

No matter what Republicans say (they are blatantly lying in order to sell their healthcare plan), people are going to be hurt if it passes.

By the way, I'm not a Democrat. I'm a proud Independent who has voted for Republicans in the past. I used to believe a man's character was more important than his party but now I'm having to rethink my views.


Saturday, June 24, 2017

PHOTO FUN

We're about to close on our house. Next week, as a matter of fact. Since the termite bond covered re-treating and repairing termite damage, all is fixed and we are good to go. So since we can't start on the work we want to do (replacing patio and bedroom French doors, remodelilng the bathroom, taking down wallpaper, et cetera), we've been kind of hanging around.

My guy got a new camera this past week so we went to the Georgia Botanical Gardens to try it out. He got some great pix, as usual.

There were several beautiful blue dragonflies and here's one on a pitcher plant:



Then he found some bees:


And when he leaned over to shoot a water lily, I couldn't resist taking a picture of my own. "Don't let me fall in," he said. Like I could stop him if he started to fall! And naturally my phone photo isn't nearly as sharp as the ones made with his new camera. But I thought it pretty entertaining!


I expect that once we close on this house, we won't have too much time for fun excursions for a while.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

HOUSE INSPECTION

So after moving to a new town and learning our way around, we think we've found a place to live. After being in a tiny apartment for three months, we are ready to get into a house! Not only do we need to stop stumbling over each other, but it's summer and my guy needs a place to grill.

After discovering houses in our price range were selling so fast we didn't have time to make an offer, a new one came on the market that we offered on right away. When our offer was accepted we had the house inspected.

My guy wanted the crawl space looked at and specified a thin inspector because the opening was only twelve inches high! And the main inspector was a small woman who certainly knew her job. Here she is, outfitted to go under the house. See the narrow white rrectangle at the bottom? That's where she had to enter!



And here is a photo of her entering.



Evidently, the space itself, once she got in, was about a foot and a half high. But she stayed under nearly an hour, going over every inch. I don't think I could have done her job if my life depended on it. I kept thinking of snakes and spiders and all that dark, claustrophobic area.

Anyway, she found leaks and termites but nothing structurally wrong. So we're waiting to hear what the termite bond covers and then we'll go from there.

I still shiver, thinking about her job!






Saturday, June 10, 2017

ART GALLERY

The county next to us has an art association my guy recently joined. They were having an exhibit of members' works so he was able to get a photo in. The building is a schoolhouse built in 1902, recycled as an art gallery. Here's the outside:



Members displayed all kinds of art, from paintings to photography to jewelry to pottery to books. Some were quite amazing.

These are a couple pix of the inside. First, a small gallery:



Next, the large gallery:


And here is my guy's photograph:


Great place but they definitely need a better hanging system. They have to drive nails to hang every show!

Saturday, June 3, 2017

BEAR HOLLOW ZOO

Exploring our new home, we found a great park almost in town. The Bear Hollow Zoo is comprised of 225 acres in woods and wetlands, and it offers a home to over twenty-five animals unable to go back into the wild. Many are injured in some way, but there were a few orphans saved and raised by humans (leaving them unable to survive on their own), and a couple of instances where the animal refused to go back into the wild. Following are some pix my guy took:

Here's a hawk:


Notice this owl has only one eye:


The noble-looking bald eagle has a wing injury and can't fly:


The bobcat is named Katie:


Here is the male of the orphaned black bears. Two others are sisters and are several years younger.


This turkey was fascinating! He strutted around like he owned the place, spreading his tail feathers and ambling toward us from behind his fence as if calling for attention. Handsomest bird in the zoo!


This placid deer kept the arrogant turkey company in their large enclosure:


And just to make us feel at home after leaving the island for the hills, the alligator had its own pond:


The zoo is free and the walking is easy! I think we're going to like it here!


Saturday, May 27, 2017

CANOPY

Once again we went to an exhibition of young aerialists from the Canopy studio here. As I sat watching, I thought how much like a gym it is. Though mostly for women/girls, more boys seem to be getting interested in the acrobatics part.

Anyway, it was fun to see the students perform.

The first act was a troop of older boys who did calisthenics and trapeze exercises to music. They were quite good, but I failed to get a picture of them. Too bad, because there was a floor-pounding sequence that was quite exciting. Afterward, the older girls demonstrated their abilities. This particular act featured six girls on what looked like a metal gate-like structure. They hung and swayed and climbed in perfect harmony while we watched from below:



This act garnered the most applause though it was not nearly as high off the floor. I believe the acrobat is from Canopy's Outreach program, and she did an amazing job. The other students seemed so proud of her, clapping and hugging her afterward. Notice she has her teacher on the side coaching and encouraging.



There were other acts, but the less experienced acrobats had to wait till the next day to have their moment in the spotlight. These younger students (I'd guess anywhere from four to twelve) were just as entertaining as their older colleagues.



Hard not to marvel as the strength and grace of all these students!


PS - If anyone wants to help Canopy's Outreach program that enables kids (who normally couldn't) to participate, donations are always welcome.

Canopy Studio
160-6 Tracy Street
Athens   GA   30601

Saturday, May 20, 2017

THE BOTTLEWORKS

Met a friend for lunch this past week at the Bottleworks, a mixed use community of several buildings in Athens. Here's a map:



Dating from about 1900, the site once included a bakery and livery stable. In 1928, the Athens Coca Cola Bottling Company was built. That was sold in 1985 and the buildings were abandoned. Rehabilitation began and sputtered in 2008 when the economy collapsed, but in 2012 the project was sold and brought back to life Now the compound includes condos, offices, shops, and restaurants.

We ate in one featuring Argentine food:


I meant to take a picture of my spinach and mushroom empanada but when it came, I, unfortunately, out of habit, began to eat. So you'll have to take my word that it looked good. And tasted better!

We ate inside because it was hot and the pollen has been bothering my head, but diners outside didn't seem to mind:



Can't wait to go back!

Saturday, May 13, 2017

ARTS IN OUR NEW HOME



This is Lyndon House Art Center that we visited a few weeks back. Photography, painting, pottery, and other arts are taught and practiced here. My guy signed up for the photography group as he's anxious to find some friends to go out shooting with.

This is the view as we approached from the sidewalk on the street where it sits.



And this garden photo is taken from the side as we walk around to the left:



And going on around, here's the entrance to the actual art part:



The original house has a history but I won't go into it here. Suffice it to say that a lot of artifacts from the owners and some period furniture make it well worth touring. The artists' addition was thoughtfully planned and the entire structure is very impressive.

PS - My guy joined the association and we've already been to our first photography group meeting. I think he's going to like it here!