cocktail hour on the patio: a stroll at meadowlark, computer dilemmas & a jazz fest

Sunday, September 6: Welcome back to my patio for our last official cocktail hour of the summer. I’m so happy to see you!  Tomorrow is Labor Day, which always marks the end of summer in the USA.  This year it’s the latest it can be because Labor Day is on the first Monday in September, which often falls before the 7th.

I don’t know about you, but I for one am happy to see summer come to an end.  Virginia summers are so humid and miserable, that I am anticipating having fall arrive with its cool and dry breezes and its glorious fall colors.

little pretties
little pretties

Would you care for a glass of chilled white wine, or would you prefer some red wine or a cold beer?  I still have some Bud Light Lime, which Mike, and many of you, think of as a sissy beer, but Mike has several types of craft beer: New Belgium Fat Tire and Starr Hill Brewery Jomo Vienna-Style Lager.  I’m not a fan of the heavier beers, but if you are, I have some to offer.  I hope you’ll make yourself comfortable and stay awhile.

Mike and his tropical leaves
Mike and his tropical leaves

Please, do tell me all about your week.  Have you been enjoying your holidays?  Have you done any interesting garden or house projects?  Have you seen any good movies or read any good books?  Have you been swimming or bicycling or hiking in the woods?  Are you teachers out there gearing up for a new school year?  Have you had any fun gatherings with friends?

As you can see from the pictures in this post, Mike and I took a long walk one late afternoon at Meadowlark Gardens.  I always like to go through the gardens at least once during every season.  You’ll see Mike in some of his silly poses, but you won’t see much of me because I rarely like pictures of myself these days.

little buds
little buds
Meadowlark
Meadowlark

I’ve been busy this week preparing for my CELTA course, which is now only two weeks away.  I’ve had a lot of work to do in preparation for that, so I’ll be happy when it’s all over on October 16, just in time for my birthday.  We’ve arranged to go to Chincoteague, Virginia on my birthday weekend, so I’m really looking forward to celebrating my big milestone and the end of that course.

the pond
the pond
rudbeckia
rudbeckia

I’ve been having a lot of problems with my MacBook Pro lately. It’s been running very slowly, most likely due to the over 75,000 pictures I have on it.  Mike knew of a friend of my son Adam’s who is good at cleaning up computers, so this friend, Zak, came on Monday.  He took my computer and when he brought it back on Wednesday, he had removed my 1TB hard drive, installed a Kingston 240GB Solid State Drive and transferred all my pictures to my Seagate external drive. I wanted him to show me how to access the photos on the external drive and when he opened it, he proudly showed me 7,500 pictures.  I said, in horror, “I shouldn’t have 7,500 pictures. I have 75 THOUSAND pictures!  I took over 6,000 pictures just in Myanmar alone!”  After much assurance that the pictures were not lost, he took the computer back to his house to find them, along with all the albums I’d created on my Photos Library.

That evening, he brought the computer back and all seemed to be restored properly.  However, while I was using the pictures, I was suddenly unable to edit them and then the whole Library reverted back to the 7,500 pictures.  It took me a while to get Zak to respond, but when he did, he was able to link the 75,000 pictures to my library remotely.

a glowing globe
a glowing globe

The next day, as I tried to post pictures to my blog, again my Photos Library didn’t have any of my albums, and it only had the 7,500 pictures!  This time, Zak was very unresponsive.  Heck, if you’re going to have a business where you’re working with customers transferring data and changing hard drives, etc. you need to be responsive!!! Immediately!!  This concerns a person’s beloved DATA, things they hold valuable for whatever reasons.

varieties of rudbeckia
varieties of Rudbeckia
glowing goodies
glowing goodies

Needless to say, I lost a lot of sleep over this whole process, thinking my photos were gone forever!!  Can you imagine how I felt?  It was horrible.

On Friday, I went to the Apple Store and looked into buying a new desktop.  It would be nicer to be able to work with my photos on a desktop rather than a laptop, and I wanted to have another place to have my photos. I guess I need to look into iCloud storage or Google storage or something as well.  I ended up buying a desktop at MicroCenter and having them do the data transfer from my old 1TB hard drive.  I will pick up the new computer on Wednesday or Thursday of this coming week.

butterfly heaven
butterfly heaven
pavilion on the pond
pavilion on the pond
the pavilion
the pavilion
peeking at the pavilion
peeking at the pavilion

Other than working on my course preparation and dealing with my computer, I didn’t do much of interest on this last week of summer.  I did go to see the movie Mistress America one afternoon; I felt the best parts of that movie were in the trailer.  I can’t say I enjoyed it that much.  I really look forward to seeing Learning to Drive, with Patricia Clarkson.

cypress knees
cypress knees
water garden
water garden
bees' bushes
bees’ bushes
delicate what-nots
delicate what-nots
love these!
love these!
water lilies
water lilies
lily pond
lily pond
bamboo ?
horsetail
flower power
flower power
Jeju Dolhareubang
Jeju Dolhareubang
the Korean Garden
the Korean Garden
pond in the Korean garden
pond in the Korean garden
Mike with the bell
Mike with the bell
Bell pavilion
Bell pavilion
pavilion on the hill
pavilion on the hill
Mike in the sculpure
Mike in the sculpure
Rambling Robbie
Rambling Robbie
another sculpture
another sculpture

Our walk at Meadowlark was quite a humid one, and we headed back drenched in sweat.

fuzzies
fuzzies
more rudbeckia
more Rudbeckia
starry flowers
starry flowers
more starry flowers
more starry flowers
more green buds
more green buds
coleus
coleus

The highlight of my week was going to The 9th Annual Lake Anne Jazz Festival with our friends Karen and Michael on Saturday evening. We got to listen to several good bands while having wine and dinner at Kalypso’s Sports Tavern.  It was so much fun, and we even got to dance, something I haven’t done in ages.

Karen & Michael
Karen & Michael
Mike and me
Mike and me

I’m so glad you joined me for cocktail hour this Sunday night.  Hugs to you all and I hope you’ll come back in a couple of weeks to enjoy some of the cooler breezes of fall. 🙂

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48 thoughts on “cocktail hour on the patio: a stroll at meadowlark, computer dilemmas & a jazz fest

  1. Hi Cathy – good to see you are enjoying your life despite computer issues. I had a computer crash myself, motherboard died, but luckily the computer guys were able to transfer everything to an external storage device. I was very happy that my pics from the last 6 months were saved (I had not backed them up out of sheer laziness). BTW, that “bamboo” is horsetail. It likes to grow in wet areas.

    1. Hi Annette, I finally have sorted out my computer issues – knock on wood – and I hope everything is safe now! I’m glad those computer guys were able to save your pictures despite your motherboard crash. Thanks for giving me the proper name of the “bamboo.” I’m too lazy to learn all the names of flowers, so it’s good I have someone who can set me straight! 🙂

  2. Gaaah Cathy, I felt stressed out just reading about your computer problems and the risk of losing your photos. I always back up by saving photos on two different hard drives. I hope you are able to retrieve them all.

    Here in Australia, we have two school weeks left before our two week spring vacation. The days are starting to warm up and we’ve had a little rain so the garden is looking very nice. My roses are covered in new growth and we are harvesting lettuce, cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, cabbage and silverbeet. Delicious!

      1. No, elderflower cordial is an English thing. Elderflower is a hedgerow plant (I think…perhaps Elaine can confirm that) and the cordial is made from the flowers. It’s not very sweet and has a dry aftertaste. Here, it’s imported and I buy it at the supermarket and add it to my soda water. Yum.

    1. Hi Carol, I finally have resolved my photo dilemma and everything seems to be intact. I have all 75,000+ pics on an external hard drive and then I bought a new desktop (iMac) and put them on there too. I will probably back them up on another external drive and maybe the Cloud as well! I never want to feel that panicked again! 🙂 I hope you’re enjoying your spring weather and I’m glad to know you’re harvesting so much from your garden. Nothing is better than fresh vegetables from the garden!

      1. Thank goodness for that! What a relief. Last weekend I picked rhubarb, silverbeet, a small cauliflower, strawberries, several mandarins and two oranges the size of bowling balls…well they were pretty huge!

      2. Oranges the size of bowling balls!? Oh, that sounds wonderful. I don’t know about silverbeet. Is it just a type of beet? I do love beets! Cauliflower and mandarins also sound wonderful. You’re enjoying quite a bounty at your table. 🙂

  3. I do enjoy your cocktail hours, so please can I join with a small class of chilled white wine, although it is before lunchtime here, so perhaps I should just have a coffee! I was very worried for you as I read about your problems with your photos – I hope it turns out all right in the end. What a worry. We are enjoying a couple of late summer, sunny days here, which is lovely. Last week I thought I would have to pack away my summer clothes, but I’m glad I didn’t because it is warm (not hot) and bright again. Schools here have just gone back, which is no doubt why the weather has cheered up. I enjoyed the tour of the gardens with you – it looks lovely and I even recognised some of the plants, as I have them in my garden here. Because the weather was lovely yesterday I was able to get my garden tidied up a bit, and the grass cut, so I am pleased about that.

    1. A glass of chilled white wine it is, Elaine. Thanks so much for joining. I know the feeling about drinking before lunchtime. Even if I have wine or beer in the afternoon, my whole day is kaput, as I will fall asleep promptly after an afternoon drink. After a morning drink, I’d hate to see what would happen!

      You’ll be happy to know all my pictures are safe and sound, for now. Thanks so much for your concern. Maybe it was everyone worrying with me that helped it all to be sorted out!

      I’m glad you’re enjoying your late summer days. It’s a good thing you didn’t put away your summer clothes; sometimes summer does linger a bit into September and even October here in Virginia. I bet your garden and yard look nice now that you had time to tidy up. I’m pleased for you too! xxx

      1. I’m relieved to hear that all is well with the photos. Our summer lingered for a few more days, but it’s back to normal September weather today, and I managed to get even more work done in the garden. It is looking neat at the moment, but give it a few days! I cleared a small area which I had just been leaving alone to see what would appear, but nothing except for grass and ground cover plants appeared, so I have now planted some wildflower seeds. Hopefully they will grow next year and attract lots of bees and butterflies.

  4. So sorry I missed chatting with you yesterday! Hopefully today at the same time you will be free! I will text you!

    First of all, DID YOU GET YOUR PHOTOS BACK??? I am shocked that this young man is treating your situation with such casualness!! It must have been a horrible few days for you and I sincerely hope the images have all been recovered. This is one reason I do not like iPads as you cannot transfer files easily yourself like you can with Microsoft and a USB cable. My iPad is strictly used for watching Netflix in the kitchen while I bake or clean.

    Oh, by the way, thank you for asking, I will have an ice-cold white wine please, with lots of ice! Today is one of those days I would even drink one of Mike’s “sissy” beers as long as it was also served on ice!!

    As always I love these informal posts!! You and Mike look wonderful in the photo of you at the Jazz festival!! How I wish I had someone to take long nature walks with even in the most humid weather!! We always have Labour Day today, and yes it is indeed late but I am so glad all the kids had a great extra week of nice weather for a change. I never made it to my parents’ cottage this summer but I did get to the beach twice on Lake Erie which was fun. Next Saturday I am finally going to make it to Toronto for the day with my friend from London, Ontario. We will meet there and have a day of hitting the markets and Greek Town. I am not a fan of Greek food but she is so we will go there for some cultural input for me and stuffed grape leaves for her. 😀

    I think next year you might benefit from a book on native wildflowers of Virginia!! Your photos are like Audubon images and the names of the flowers I for one would be very interested to know!

    I am thrilled that you have a big reward planned for after your CELTA course! Chincoteague lives in my childhood memory because of all the horse books (“Misty of Chincoteague” etc.) I loved which told of the islands full of wild horses off the coast of Virginia and the swim every year the horses make. Will you see that? Why did you choose this particular place for your big birthday? If there was ever anyone for whom age is just a number with no relation to you as a person, it is you!!!

    Not much else to report here, I spent yesterday finally baking bread again after months not doing that. I missed it and really enjoyed getting into the kneading and the bread responded accordingly, with enthusiasm and a marvelous, chewy texture. I made an unbleached flour bread with tons of sesame seeds in it for flavour and density. The ciabatta bread I made in those primitive stoves we had in Nizwa still was the best bread I ever made, with nothing but a single ring of fire to bake with, my first time using a gas stove in my life, but baking bread in a kitchen when it says 54.8 degrees Celsius on the thermometer next to the window was not the best idea. I loved my flat but it was very hard to keep the floors clean with all those cats, not your favourite animal.

    Our friend Warwick has still not found a teaching job overseas after more than 6 months of looking and applying, a sad outcome though he remains hopeful. I sincerely hope your CELTA pays off if and when you get back out there. It is still hard for me to accept that my working overseas days are over, but boy do I like being paid every Friday and I love my 9-5 job more than ever! Like you though, I will be glad to see the end of the heat and humidity so that I can walk home with a good audio book to listen to in the evenings and hopefully in the mornings, too as I think public buses are little more than mobile cold and flu petri dishes and I already caught something vile as my ears have completely blocked themselves after a very bad bout of laryngitis. I am just hoping they open up again but I see my doctor this week so he can check me out. I also will have two MRIs this week on my spine to ensure that the thing that paralyzed me in Oman and cost me my job has remained in remission. I have no paralysis now of any kind anymore but …. fingers crossed!

    Take care and hope to chat with you later on today!! x

    1. I was happy to chat with you last Sunday, Mona Lisa, and to catch up on everything. As you know, my pics are fine and I now have a new iMac desktop, which is much more fun to use when editing photos than my laptop. I don’t use my iPad much, although I do have one. Most of my pics were on my MacBook Pro and now they’re on an external hard drive and now also on my new iMac desktop!

      Ice it is in the wine or in the “sissy” Bud Light Lime! Ice is always good on a hot day!

      Did you have fun traveling to Toronto and hitting the Greek markets? Funny, I think you could have run into Mario there as I saw he was recently in Toronto. I love Greek food as well, especially grape leaves.

      I’m looking forward to my trip to Chincoteague and I really hope to see some of the wild ponies there. If I do, you’ll be able to see them in my pictures. You know, this is a big birthday for me, but I really don’t worry much about the age. Actually the only people who really seem to care about age are potential employers, who promptly discriminate because of it!

      I know I would benefit from a book of flowers, but I frankly don’t have time to look them all up. Maybe I’ll have time for that kind of thing once my upcoming course is over.

      I’m sorry to hear about Warwick, but I am glad to hear your health problems have vanished! I am sorry about your ear blockage, though. Alex seems to have recurring problems with that as well.

      Be sure and save me a loaf of your fresh-baked bread! 🙂

      1. Just saw this now! I think I save all the responses from you up so that I have something to read from you when you are not posting! One month of your CELTA course = one month of no cocktail hours! I had a blast in Toronto, but I wound up thank God in the hippie old San Fransisco type neighbourhood called Kensington Market. One thing I have never liked is Greek food! I don’t eat meat, I hate olives and I hate feta cheese so that about leaves me out! My poor friend who loves Greek food I brought to a vegan restaurant with line-ups out the door where I had a buckwheat crepe with vegan cheese, fresh mushrooms, tomato and basil, it was like a pizza on a crepe and it was AMAZING. My silly friend had the salad with “42 fresh ingredient!” (she never eats healthy except when she is with me for some reason) forgetting her allergy to lentils which of course was one of the 42 ingredients. She picked at it and took it home and for sure it wound up in the garbage despite it being the one time I could treat her to a meal out.

        Have you ever been with a friend you adored but realized at some point, the feeling was not mutual? Well, I had a great day but when I realized she did not (she never looked back to wave at me when she boarded her bus home while I was standing there waving like a fool and she knew I was there) it took a bit of the shine off what was for me a fabulous day.

        Oh well, I guess we do outgrow people sometimes, which means we have to accept when others outgrow us. 18 years is a long time to be friends though, and she is my only friend from my UN job in Geneva.

        So true re your comment about age. I am so lucky right now my boss is actually older than me (72!!) and his father is still alive so hopefully he will not retire at least for another five years. That is my goal so that I can pay off my mortgage before I am forced to retire (kicking and screaming!). Why don’t people realize 50-60+ does not mean “doddering” or out-to-lunch anymore?

        Still no luck for poor Warwick!

        Take care and good luck with the monster course!!!!!

      2. This was a great post! Thank you!! I just spent another day in Toronto, which is always a pleasure as it feels like I am actually somewhere else because it is a good city for getting around on foot and I have a few favourite stops which I prefer to visit alone. I like to walk everywhere and avoid the subway or taxis or buses, and not everyone is up to the task here. My mother always wants to come along but she cannot walk anywhere anymore and I plan my trips with military precision what I want to see and do. I was so glad to get my German passport renewed though what good that will be I have no idea. It is my fourth one (they are good for ten years) and I have never needed it except to travel around more easily at airports when I did travel a lot more on weekends to different countries out of Geneva. How I miss that life. There was no age discrimination then in the UN, but now that it is all online your date of birth pretty much is the first screen you have to bypass and we both know what that means nowadays.

        It is so disheartening, but I won’t give up totally on my dreams just because my reality is so limiting right now.
        Thank God my health is tons better, I seem to have gotten over my hearing loss thank God. I have never had that problem before but then again, I was never really ill until I went to Oman, where everything from pink eye to multiple sclerosis to gall bladder attacks seemed to be the norm, never mind the concrete dust in my lungs which took a year to over come once home. I just have a weight issue due to a dead thyroid for which I cannot seem to get an appointment with a specialist despite the fact that I have had the same dosage of hormone for 25 years which no longer work for me. There is a downside to free health care, the waiting periods, which are much worse now than they were when I was younger due to too many people and too few GPs putting pressure on the system, among other things. But FREE is still the operative word here, so we put up with it.

        I am getting really good at making bread, and I enjoy the process of making it. The bread can tell if you are in a bad mood when you make it though, that is not a myth. It just does not turn out if you are not in a good place while kneading and measuring, no matter how identical the process. Last week I bought a cake mix (Duncan Hines is vegan) and it turned out terrible because I was not in the mood when I mixed it up using applesauce instead of eggs and oil as is the vegan way. I had better luck using a can of soda with the cake mix, which is the camping way to bake cakes. Normally I would never in a million years use a cake mix, and once I get through the packages I bought on sale I won’t be using them again. Homemade is still better. xxx

      3. I’m glad you had so much fun in Toronto. I too love urban hiking, just walking all around a city exploring shops and restaurants and sites. I’m also glad you got your German passport renewed. I know you miss your UN life; that’s the life I wanted but was never able to break into it by the time I finally pursued it at age 52. You were really lucky to have had that experience.

        I’m so glad your health has improved. I’m also really glad you got over your hearing loss. I didn’t feel too sick while I was in Oman until the last 6 months after I returned from Nepal; I think I was just stressed out from the horrible situation at the university. Of course, as you know, I was much sicker in China; only my two weeks in Myanmar were free of stomach problems. I’m so glad I survived that year!

        I have had some health problems since I returned home too; sadly we don’t have free health care; it is very expensive here even though we have health insurance. I had a five minute surgery in December that cost $15,000! Luckily I only paid a small portion of that due to Mike having health insurance.

        I bet you’re enjoying both making and eating that homemade bread. It sounds wonderful and I can just imagine the smell of baking bread in your house! I’m glad you’ve found something you really love to do with your free time. I hope you’re finding much happiness, peace and serenity in your life, Mona Lisa. 🙂

      4. Hi there, you were made for UN life Cathy, and I wonder if you could not apply to UN Volunteers. We will talk on the phone about that, as it is kind of paid with a generous living allowance which I don’t want to share here, as I don’t want you to share our posts when I go so off topic. This is a much more immediate conversation and I am so glad you can see the posts before anyone else does and then decide if you want to share it or not.

        This is why I am taking French for certification and why I went through the motions with my German passport which was more of psychological need than an actively practical one. I am becoming terrified of being an aging woman trying to manage on one income, free health insurance or not. It is true we never ever think about having to pay for surgey as that is just not in our Canadian narrative. My aunt underwent a surgery last week that no one’s health insurance would have paid for considering her age and how bad it was, but she had it and today she woke up just fine though she is not permitted to breath on her own or move much as her heart attack was so bad and the surgery so serious and she needs to rest and be immobile as much as possible. But in the USA she would have died by now, and we do not take that for granted. Our biggest fear is getting sick while on vacation in the USA as the fine print often does not cover anything of note and many Snowbirds find themselves trapped there with a $30,000 or so hospital bill which goes up a grand every day stuff like that is the stuff of horror scenarios for us up here. Panama is offering a lot of health insurance to American and Canadians alike to get the snowbird crowd, and they have the US dollar there as currency as well apparently.

        Getting sick is horrible but getting old is worse when your options are so reduced. But UNVolunteers takes older folks as long as they have skills to offer and you can speak passable French as it is French Africa where those posts are primarily. I also did a Masters in Education to make me more bankable if I ever get the chance to leave and be a UNV. My cats would be another story, but the French is more important plus I cannot stand not having anything to study when I have nothing to do at work all day. Without financial motivation after having paid for some sort of certification I can’t get going. The real jobs are in Monitoring and Evaluation and I hope to do some work in that field after taking some courses, for now the free ones on the UN website I found with some free courses and links.

        We can talk about that on the phone if you like as I can give you better tips on how to find vacancies which outline qualifications. OK?

        As for bread, since my auntie had that heart attack, I am making small changes as she only survived that surgery because she was in such good health and not a fatty!!! One of them is to make housework into a workout, walk home every single day faster, and to not bake bread or drink so much wine during the week!!! I am down to a single bottle of white on Friday nights which lasts (barely) until Saturday and that is it, maybe one beer during the week but I have to go and buy it. Only this past month do we have wine in supermarkets and soon walmart will have wine and beer which is revolutionary here! But thank God not at the walmart next to my condo as it is too small.

        Thanks for the good wishes, as for happiness and peace and serentiy, those who say money cannot buy happiness as well as peace and serenity are people with money already. Like Irena I guess, so sad. She is a very good friend underneath her gruff exterior, I was very surprised about that when she made such efforts to befriend me and stay in touch. And you know what that means, when peoiple make an effort. It is never whom you expect when that happens. xxx of course I wish the same for you and I will do everything in my power to help you get that novel published and to help find you options to work and travel down the road. There are two great websites for dreaming which are motivating at the same time to get out there! You are not too old for a UN life, but the one I had, sadly, that is no longer in either of our reach. My ten years there do not count for anything anymore since they went online with their careers page, and my former boss, whom I am still in regular contact with, won’t even hire me and he is in HR very high up because I don’t speak French well enough and he was there when I had my breakdown in the DRCongo about a year after my horrible car accident. They cannot afford that but perhaps down the road as that was already 12 years ago. He want to go to Afghanistan next. I would totally go there or anywhere with the UN. I like war conditions when working as I know how to function that way. This normal world is what was so hard when I left. It is much safer behind the razor wire and way more fun and you meet the most amazing people in remote hardship duty stations. xxx WE will talk about it!!! xxx

  5. I’ll have one of Mike’s beers, please – whichever you have the most of will be fine. It has been a quiet week here – which suits me quite fine, although I sometimes think I should nudge myself out of my rut now and then. We have had a chilly week, but are warming now – back to the 90s, which I had hoped were gone for this year. I think today, before it gets hot, I will bake a cake and a quiche, which will do me just fine for dinner for a few nights.
    I have read a couple of books – “The Promise of Home” by Darcie Chan, the third in the Mill River series. I enjoyed it, but I’m thinking three might be enough. I just finished “The Summer of Good Intentions” by Wendy Francis, which I really enjoyed. I am into books about relationship these days – lessons learned, growth experienced, happy endings. Yesterday I went with a friend to see Meryl Streep in “Ricki and the Flash” – how could you not like anything with Meryl Streep in it? I had never heard of the movies you saw, but I just watched the trailers for them and think they’ll go on my Netflix DVD list.
    You bought a computer a MicroCenter – I used to visit the MicroCenter near me in Tustin, CA, every Friday night on my way home from work. I had a software addiction back then. Does that mean you bought a PC rather than a Mac? Oh my. I do hope you find Windows version 10 more compatible than I found version 8, which is what drove me to a Mac. It’s hard to find a good tech person for computers anymore – husband was that for me, so now I must simply hope that my Mac behaves for the rest of my life.
    I want to share with KvK, who commented above me, that you can transfer files from you iPad to apps like Dropbox which I find very useful and have on all my devices.
    And now I must go get into my kitchen if I want to get things done before it gets too warm out there. Thank you for the beer and the company.

    1. We have plenty of Mike’s beers, Carol, as he just bought a 12-pack, so you’re welcome to as many as you like. I think being quiet and laid back sounds good. I’ve kind of been the same, but now I have to start attending that CELTA course downtown, which means a long commute and lots of stress. Luckily it only lasts a month.

      I would definitely like to share some of your quiche and your baked bread. I love quiche, and I made one recently myself, but I’m not at all a baker (though I love to eat freshly-baked bread!) I don’t know anything about your Mill River series, but I did put the Wendy Francis book on my to-read list. I watched “Ricki and the Flash” too; usually I love everything with Meryl Streep too, but I didn’t find the story on this one particularly engaging. I’m going to see Patricia Clarkson in “Learning to Drive” this afternoon. I can’t wait as I loved her in “Cairo Time,” one of my favorite movies of all time!

      As for my computer, I bought an iMac, which is the desktop version of the Apple Mac. MicroCenter was selling it for $100 cheaper than the Apple Store. Also, whereas the Apple Store was only willing to transfer data that was directly on my MacBook Pro, MicroCenter was willing to transfer the data from my old hard drive that the computer-geek friend of Adam’s removed from my MacBook. I am pleased with the overall result!

      I hope KvK (aka Mona Lisa) reads your reply. Maybe I should post your comment to her comment directly!

      It’s now in the mid-80s in Virginia, but it drops to the high 50s at night, which makes for some very pleasant sleeping. I see that it’s going to drop to the 70s beginning this coming Monday. I hope you make lots of warm bread and soups for the upcoming chill! Thanks for dropping by, Carol, and hope to see you next time. 🙂

    1. Hi Toby, sorry it’s taken me so long to respond. When will you be in Virginia? Sadly, I will be starting a month-long course Mon-Fri for 4 weeks in D.C. I’ll be in the course every day all day during the weekdays from September 21-October 16. I would love to meet you on one of the weekends or after October 16. Mike and I are going to Chincoteague for my 60th birthday on October 24-26. Please, do let me know when you’ll be here so we can plan a date! 🙂

      1. I fly in on 10/16 and leave 10/21. I think I’m going to the National Gallery of Art that Tuesday. I hope to go there either Monday or Tuesday, could we meet there perhaps? or lunch somewhere near there? I found an old email with your phone number in it. I’m going to reply to it to see if that’s still your number. okay, hope to see you!!

      2. Hi Toby,
        I could meet you at the National Gallery of Art on Tuesday, October 20. There is a nice cafeteria in the museum, or there are lots of restaurants nearby. Do you have my number? Or my email?

  6. G’day Cathy, I was panicking with you about your photos. It would be a major DISASTER to loose all those memories of China. So what a relief to finally have them sorted out ok. Your flower photos are lovely and I enjoyed the Korean section, brought back memories for me. Jack’s youngest son took the CELTA course and that is were he met a lovely Korean lady who is now his wife. I have been house sitting for the past 17 days https://pommepal.wordpress.com/2015/09/17/welcome-to-my-new-house-sit-family/ looking after 2 Burmese cats and one lovely old dog that had twice daily walks. https://pommepal.wordpress.com/2015/09/18/time-for-walkies/ I’ve just arrived back home today so now I don’t have the animals to look after I have time to stroll around blogland and catch up with my blogging buddies. But only for 3 weeks then it is off to New Zealand…

    1. Hi Pauline. I can’t believe you wrote this post on October 1 and I never even saw it! I have some catching up to do, obviously! I was glad all my pictures were okay; I would have been devastated if I had lost them! I have to look in soon on your house-sitting post! I imagine you’re in New Zealand now. I’ll hop over soon! 🙂

      1. Hi Cathy yes I’m in NZ and not doing much computer as spending time with family and not a good connection. So I am in the local library to catch up today.

  7. Happy birthday and all healthy, happy and joyous days! Wishing you new adventures, new journeys and new and interesting encounters!

    Best thoughts from your silent reader in Romania, 🙂

    Raluca

    1. Thank you so much for remembering my birthday, Raluca! It’s so nice to hear from you again! I would sure love to come to Romania one day. I just took a CELTA course here in Washington and one of the tutors had taught in Romania for 8 years. She loved it. I hope all is well with you and I wish you many happy adventures as well. Hugs xxx

  8. Hi there! Really enjoyed reading your blog. I did the Authentic Happiness questionnaire, but all it told me was a load of numbers relating to how happy I am in comparison with other people. I was keen to hear about the 5 things that make me happy, (so I can be sure to do a bit more of them every day!) Love me a bit of over-analysis and all in the name of self-awareness! Any idea how I can get this info? I guess since you did the test in person, all the info was there for you, right? Oh well, I thought it was worth asking. You don’t ask, you never get… Nice to “meet” you. 🙂

    1. Thank you so much for dropping by and I’m glad you enjoyed my blog. Hmm, I’m not sure which quiz you took on Authentic Happiness. There are a lot of quizzes on the website; maybe you could check out some of the others. I think I mentioned the title of the one I took that told me my five strengths. I always do love some overanalysis and self-awareness! I did the test online, so look for the one mentioned in my blog. So nice of you to drop by!! Nice to meet you too! 🙂

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