a few pictures from rhode island

We are packing up and getting ready to head west in a few days.  Oh, the joy of it all!

Harley Chick brought me a present (she made it herself–I am so impressed with someone who can sew zippers).

This will be in my carry-on bag, of course.  I love it.  So pretty!

Finish #12, as of this morning.  The binding is on, as is the label.   The hand-stitching will have to wait until the fall, when I am on the couch watching Nebraska football.  I thought it was pretty fifteen years ago, but now I don’t.

Almost finished #13.  I’m not sure this will be completed in the next four days, but sitting at the machine keeps me from pacing, which is always a good thing.  I call it “Piano Keys”.

And finally…

Banjo Man is putting in long days in the office.  There are evenings when he can’t stay awake long enough to watch tv with me.

We have emptied our upright freezer (it’s on its deathbed) and have nothing left to eat but scallops, brussels sprouts, bacon and French fries.

I’m not sure how this is going to work, but we are definitely going out to dinner tomorrow night.


Posted in family, rhode island | 3 Comments

friday night lights

Friday night in Texas = football.  And I was there for the Funny Grandson’s flag football game.

I flew to Texas on April 1st to see the kids, all four of them.  Will picked me up Thursday evening after two easy flights on Southwest.

Note:  How do you order drinks on Southwest?  Holding up one finger = Coke, two fingers means Diet Coke, three is Seven Up and four is water.  This is so you don’t have to take off your mask to order and therefore we all looked like we were using sign language.


Friday afternoon we ate tacos and watched the new King Kong and Godzilla movie.  I may have dozed off.  And soon it was time to head to the game.

The FG predicted he would score a touchdown because his grandma was there watching.  And on the third play of the game he did!

We screamed and cheered a lot.  Like it was a Super Bowl.

It was cold and windy at the sports park. I borrowed my grandson’s favorite hat.

On Saturday Amber and I hit the grocery store for Easter supplies, then I made meatballs.  The FG and I took a walk around the neighborhood.  Uncle Will started a Nerf gun war.  And we watched basketball (Go Zags!).

Amber bought one of these gorgeous appetizer “boxes” for us.

Easter?  Here’s the party at Amber’s friend’s home.

These kids have been friends since they were born!  And now they’re growing up way too fast.  But they are so much fun to watch.  I even ate dinner at the “kids table” so I could visit with them.

Then it was time to head back to Austin and the condo, where Will and I had to make some decisions about repairing the water damage caused by the upstairs condo.  This happened long before the Big Freeze caused similar damage all over central Texas, but there were some glitches with the insurance company and the plumbers and now here we are trying to get a contractor to give us a bid for the job.

So far we’re not making much progress.

Will and I picked out new flooring, though.  And we’re afraid the cabinets are damaged, which means a bigger remodel than we first thought.

So now we wait for the insurance people to come up with the money.  But, I wonder, if they won’t come to the condo to assess the damage (Covid policy) then how do they know how extensive it is?  And if I can’t even get a contractor to return my phone calls, how do I know how extensive it is?

Things get complicated in the Time of Covid, don’t they?

I will leave you with a photo of a Texas sunset.  What a joy it was to be there!



Posted in austin, family, grandmother stuff, texas, travel | 6 Comments

easter vacation starts thursday

I have decided to go on vacation.  Just a little one.  Six days, in fact.  Banjo Man declared he was too busy with work to make the trip with me, so once again I will head to Texas by myself.

Have cake will travel:

The infamous blueberry cake, the Funny Grandson’s favorite.

I’m not sure how this turned out, due to a different oven and different pans than what I use at the lake.  This thing weighs about 20 pounds.  It may or may not be edible.

I need to remind my Texans not to get too excited when they see it.  But the Funny Grandson is very happy that it’s going to be in Grandma’s suitcase and probably won’t be too critical.

A couple of weeks ago, after Face-Timing, I decided that I need some hugs from a 10-year old with big brown eyes.

Speaking of traveling, Southwest once again changed our flights to the lake in April.   This time they totally cancelled our flight from Providence to Denver.  That was a bit of a shock.  After a stressful hour on the phone with Southwest I booked a flight from Boston to Denver.  We will connect with our previously-booked Denver to Spokane flight.

Getting to Boston by train is not easy on a Saturday.  There would be six hours between arriving in Boston and then flying out of it, plus we would have five months of luggage with us.  So, believe it or not, Banjo Man and I have hired a car to take us from our home to the Southwest terminal at Logan airport.

I’ve decided to call it our 50th wedding anniversary gift to each other.

Tomorrow marks 2 weeks since we have received our vaccines, so we are relieved and happy about that.

Over this morning’s coffee, we discussed burning driftwood on the beach while looking for arrowheads while the lake level is still low.  In 26 days or so, we’ll be drinking coffee and looking at the mountains while we clean up our little corner of the lake.

And maybe even nibbling on blueberry cake.


Posted in austin, family, food, texas, travel | 2 Comments

thou shalt not kill

We’re really enjoying this series.  It’s on Amazon with a Masterpiece Theatre subscription.

We have a lot of subscriptions.

Season 1 might also be available on Amazon Prime, but I am not positive about that.

This police drama is set in Turin, Italy and stars a detective who not only solves murders but is dealing with the mystery surrounding her mother’s imprisonment for murdering her father.  It’s a compelling story arc and that, along with some interesting crimes, makes for a great night on the couch.

I was going to dismiss it due to having to read English subtitles, but Banjo Man and I adjusted within minutes and are now on Season 3.

Goditi lo spettacolo!


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beds, fog, spring and a meme

First the meme:

Yesterday morning we had the infamous Weather Watch.  Why, you ask?  Fog.  Yep, we were fogged in and you know what that means?  Spring!

It was all very exciting to look out the window.

Speaking of spring, yesterday afternoon I went out without wearing a coat or a vest or a sweater.  I have been looking for daffodils but no sign of them yet.  But I know they’re coming.

Today I’m going mattress shopping with my daughter.  I did this a few years ago with my mother, who was 90 at the time.  It was an interesting process.  The salesman had Mom try three different mattresses and then pick the one she liked.  The process continued, three at a time, until Mom was happy.  It was something like getting an eye exam–“This one or this one?” as the lenses are changed–and surprisingly painless.

And although my mother was rarely happy with her purchases–returning things to stores was her much-enjoyed hobby–the mattress stayed in her apartment.  Unlike the new recliner, whose return to the furniture store was a crisis and ended in tears (mine and the saleswoman’s).

Note:  I do not intend to cry at the furniture store this afternoon.

If time and energy permit, I’ll pick up my new cell phone, buy blueberries, birthday cards and butter.  And maybe Nancy and I will take a ride to Narragansett to see if the ocean is still there.

The joys of spring continue.

Lifeguard stands at Matunuck Beach await Memorial Day.

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the new phone

Wednesday afternoon was historic in two ways.  One, I received my second Covid vaccine and two, scurried to the Verizon store to buy Banjo Man’s new I-phone from Kyle, a shy young man who might have been new at his job.

I thought about joking around a bit, but Kyle was very, very busy setting up the phone with our account.  Having had experience on the Verizon website I knew what a spiderweb of frustration that can be, so I sat quietly on my side of the desk and left him to it.

There was a moment, while setting up passwords and such, that I told Kyle that he didn’t know how lucky he was that my husband wasn’t here because this would take an extra hour and would require Kyle to answer, oh, two or three hundred questions.

He smiled politely, but he moved on to transferring info and files from the old Samsung to the new phone.  And then he stopped.  His eyes bugged out and he turned to me.

“I transferred all of his email over,” he gulped.   And showed me.

“See what I mean about him not being here?”

“Yes, ma’am,” he said and allowed himself to grin.  “I’ve never seen that before.”

I wanted to say if you’re nasty to me I’ll send my husband in to ask you how to delete 72,000 emails.

But Kyle was a serious kid and I didn’t want to tease him.  I waited to laugh until I was back in the car.

So I probably looked insane, a white-haired “elderly loved one” laughing by herself alone in her car.

It’s not the first time and it won’t be the last.





Posted in family, just for fun, rhode island, shopping | 4 Comments

pulling a plug

No, we’re not moving off the grid, though if Banjo Man has his way his cabin will be successfully off the grid by the end of September, 2021.

We’re not cutting the cord, either.  I did the math on removing cable tv and we wouldn’t save all that much money, though if it was up to me I would happily exist with streaming content only.

It has taken two years, but I have finally convinced my husband to agree to eliminate one of our land lines.  In other words, the home phone is soon to be no more.

6609,  you know who you are and your days are numbered.

90% of the calls are spam and there are at least a dozen a day.  Only four people call us on that line.  We love those four people a lot, but I’m sure they can (a) dial one of our cell phones or (b) dial Banjo Man’s landline office number.

It ends in “1237”, in case you are confused about how to call him.  Feel free to dial that line at any time.  We are here.  We are always here.  We are rarely anywhere else but here.

Speaking of phones, I have also convinced my husband to switch to an I-phone.  I’m arranging it for him today, immediately after I get my second vaccine shot.  “Kyle” at Verizon Wireless is standing by.

I don’t know what is happening this week, but Banjo Man is uncharacteristically compliant.

I tested this by arranging a large display of Easter candy on the kitchen island yesterday afternoon.  We have not had Easter candy in the house in fifteen years.  He thought it was great.

He thought it was great?????

I think he has his eye on a marshmallow rabbit.

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what’s in the box

When Ebay began, I jumped on the bandwagon and fell in love with bidding on things.  I’d take a break from writing to scroll through whalebone and vintage fabrics, Nantucket antiques and whaling ephemera.

I enjoyed Amazon, too.  Ordering books was never so easy and I didn’t even have to leave my desk to shop.  For many, many years I’ve ordered online from fabric stores and computer supply stores.  I’ve bought fig jam.  And musical instruments.  French soap.  Vacuum cleaners.  Protein bars.

The list goes on and on.  You know exactly what I mean, because you’re doing it, too.  Today I’m expecting the delivery of a new computer mouse, having drowned my former one in hot coffee yesterday.

Banjo Man retrieves the boxes and bags deposited by the back door and carries them upstairs to the kitchen island.  And then he hovers, waiting for me to show him what I’ve bought.

Sometimes I don’t remember.

Many, many times Banjo Man lifts a bag or box and cheerfully accuses me of buying “air”.  Are  you sure there’s something in there, he’ll joke.  And I’ll rip open the box to reveal sewing machine needles or pins or a cd.

It’s a thing we old folks do to amuse ourselves.

But last Sunday?

Inside the package there really was “air”.  It was empty.  No little $3.84 computer cord for my Garmin, no packing receipt, nada.

I couldn’t wait to show Banjo Man.  His “air” prediction had finally come true!

It was a little tricky trying to “return” something that didn’t exist.  Amazon didn’t have a box to check for that.  So I ordered a replacement and was told I didn’t have to return the “damaged” original.  Which was good, because mailing air back and forth is hitting a new low, even during these strange and awful times.




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feeling all the feels

I love this phrase:  “all the feels”.

It makes me laugh.

So, when I tell you that looking at my new rug and towels in my freshly-painted bathroom gives me all the feels, you know I am happy.

This is not the best photo, but at least you can see the rug.  And yes, I need to cut the tags off of the towels before I get on with my life.

I’m feelin’ all the feels about this scrap project, too.

The squares are 4 1/2″.  Some day it will be a quilt.  Some day soon.

Speaking of phrases, this morning I head off to meet with a nurse practitioner in a new-to-me medical practice (our longtime doctor retired last month).  There have been two major miscommunications and mangled appointments, so today it’s “three time’s the charm” or “three strikes and you’re out”.

What’s your favorite phrase, as of March 2021?



Posted in quilting, rhode island, shopping | 6 Comments

we think it’s spring, oh yes we do

Posing by the ocean in my Saturday afternoon going-to-the-dump outfit.

Here in Rhode Island if the temperature is above 55, it’s not snowing, the sun is shining and it’s March (or April), we call it Spring.

Sometimes I get all dressed up and ride along with Banjo Man when he goes to the dump.  I know that he will head over to Narragansett and drive along the ocean if I am with him.

We call that a “date” now.

And we are very happy about it.  Can you tell?

He looks a little grumpy but he is actually filled with joy.


Thursday morning we drove up to Providence so Banjo Man could have some bloodwork done at the VA.  Our doctor retired, so Banjo Man is trying something new.  So far so good.  Bonus:  we were five minutes away from Federal Hill and all that lovely Italian food.

And our favorite restaurant, Andino’s, which–thank goodness–is still standing.

Alas, it was barely 10:30 AM.  We sat in the car in the hospital parking lot and debated whether or not to head over to “the Hill”, kill some time and show up at Andino’s for a major pasta lunch at 11:30.

My poor husband struggled, but in the end decided to go home and get back to work.

We ate a couple of bananas and were home in less than an hour.

Fact:  bananas do not taste like homemade pasta.


Posted in family, rhode island | 2 Comments