Saturday, September 30, 2017

PUERTO RICO

I couldn't think of a thing to blog about today. I'm still reeling from all the disasters hitting us lately. The damaging hurricanes hitting Texas and Florida. The deadly earthquake in Mexico.

But Puerto Rico's problems stand out.

The president has been busy campaigning in Alabama and arguing with the NFL and chastising his Health and Human Services guy Price for spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on flights for business as well as personal travel. Obviously, the president has little time for Puerto Rico. Maybe because Puerto Rico speaks Spanish? Or maybe because a Trump golf course in Puerto Rico went bankrupt? Or maybe because he thinks Puerto Rico's a foreign country?

While he dithered, Puerto Rico suffered. I won't show a lot of pix on the misery people there are enduring, but I did steal this photo and caption from the AP (couldn't resist the cat):




In this Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2017 photo, Maribel Valentin Espino sits in her hurricane-destroyed home in Montebello, Puerto Rico. Espino and her husband say they have not seen anyone from the Puerto Rican government, much less the Federal Emergency Management Agency, since the storm tore up the island. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Things aren't much better today but I believe a nudge from Hillary Clinton steered the president in the right direction. He finally sent the hospital ship Comfort there and put in a three star general to oversee operations and waived temporarily the Jones Act that kept any but US ships from transporting goods to the little island. (A lot of US shippers stood to lose money; the fact that the devastated Puerto Rico would pay twice as much to get supplies didn't bother the shippers. Or the president either, evidently.)

If you want to donate to relief efforts, here is a page from the NY Times that lists charities and rates them. The first four seem to be the best buy for your buck.

Also, the Salvation Army is an old dependable, with a large percentage of its donations going to the intended recipients. Not only are they helping Puerto Rico, they are also there for the other islands hard hit by Maria.

And there is always the Red CrossIt's not one of my favorite charities, but it's been around a long time. Be sure to choose "Hurricane Maria" to direct your donation.

Let's all be thankful for what we have.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

BARNES AND NOBLE

We had a Books a Million store on the mainland when we lived on our barrier island. Here, we have a Barnes and Noble. We went in this week for the first time. People were browsing around and drinking coffee and reading.  With my eye problems, I don't visit book stores much; I'd forgotten how much I loved them. A few pix:

Cafe at the back, looking through the books:


Entrance, looking through the books:


And a lot of lures for kids:






I spent too much time in this last section!






Saturday, September 16, 2017

HURRICANE IRMA

Thanks to everyone who asked about us during the latest hurricane.

Irma came visitng up here last week, but by that time, she was a tropical storm. The power went out in lots of places, but we were fortunate. Trees fell on houses in lots of places, but we were fortunate. Rains caused flooding in a few places, but we were fortunate.

In fact, the only sign we've had a storm near us is this tree in the lake. (Or what's optimistically termed a lake. I'd say it's more of a pond!) That line of bushes at the back of the water is actually a tree that was on the right side but fell into the water. That's our closest damage and I'll certainly take it and be happy!


Last year about this time, we fled our little island before Matthew hit and came home to find, though lots of houses suffered, we had only a small tree on the house that left the roof intact. So our move this spring was especially fortuitous because this year, Irma inflicted a lot more damage on the beautiful islands off Georgia's coast. They say it'll take months to fully recover. And this just as the results of Matthew were nearly obliterated.

But we are safe and sound in our new north Georgia home. Oh, we lead a charmed life and are duly thankful!

Saturday, September 9, 2017

CONTINUING EDUCATION

We have a continuing education program in our new town and they held a fair showing many of their offerings for members and prospective members to browse through. It was at the Mall in front of Sears where there is a nice court to set up tables. Nice crowd, I thought:


Anyway, there are all kinds of activities and groups for any interest.

Such as a photographers group for my guy. And I found a travel group where people can participate in trips--local, out of state, and out of country. There was also a bridge group, a poker group, and a pinochle group. I didn't take a picture of them but two or three ladies were sitting at a table playing Scrabble so I'd guess there is a scrabble group. And I saw a mahjong table, too, for those interested in playing. The music school offers teachers in different instruments; I have a friend who started back on the piano after years of not playing.

And here's a photo of the hiking table. The sponsor had a pair of hiking boots and other hiking paraphernalia on display but I failed to get shots of them. She encouraged me to join but I reluctantly(?!) turned her down, pleading house renovations.


Then here's a photo featuring men in Highlander costume, promoting the Robert Burns group. Naturally, they focus on Burns. They even have a dinner every year featuring Scottish songs, food, and Scottish dress. This day, one of the sponsors had his bagpipes and serenaded us a few times.


I confess I'm interested in the group that meets to eat in different restaurants each month. And there is an opera group I wouldn't mind checking out. And a lady who puts out a magazine looking for local articles...

But not now. We're still trying to get ourselves settled. Nice to know that we'll have things to do whenever we have time though! I'm just glad we took time to attend th fair!




Saturday, September 2, 2017

EXHIBIT AT BOTANICAL GARDENS

We are still disorganized from our remodeling, but found time to go to an exhibit done by two of the photographers in my guy's new photography group. Chuck Murphy focuses on wildlife, including turtles, frogs, birds, and even snakes. Jena Johnson is an entomologist and focuses on--

You guessed it. Bugs.

This was the audience when we first got there.


And here is a corner of the display:


A closeup of an angry(??) bird:


Chuck did the presentation, to an audience that had grown so much chairs had to be added several times. (He joked that he made out-of-town family visit for support.) As he went into details about how he photographs his subjects, I was glad to learn they are all living creatures that were unharmed. If he catches them, he later releases them. Even the field mouse and snakes, all of which he relocated since they were in his yard!


And who could resist the cookies? They were an art in themselves! Yum!