Welcome reader to my blog - a mixture of this and that. Now that we are living in a retirement community in downtown Columbia, MD my personal gardening activities are somewhat curtailed. I still enjoy visiting gardens, reading, watching wildlife on my walks, traveling, and occasional food commentary. Please leave a comment if you feel inspired to do so. I read every one of them.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Rainbow

Saturday we had a front go through changing the weather from warm to cold again.

When the storm was over this lovely large rainbow appeared in the northern sky.


I couldn't capture the whole thing with my camera.




Notice the red in the tree below.  Maple trees are budding here.  An early spring has started.



Monday, February 27, 2017

Take Trump Survey

Here's your chance to tell Trump how you really feel about his presidency.

I got the email from the White House because I was on the Obama White House mailing list for news.  The Trump staff have no way of knowing what your affiliation is but you'd think they'd realize that the inherited email list would not be supporters of Trump.

Having written surveys in government in the 80s I know that you need to try to keep bias out of it.  Trump White House did not as you will see.

I gave him my advice in the third question about how to make America great again.  I didn't answer the first two questions.

So here's your chance to tell the White House how you feel.



Saturday, February 25, 2017

New Orleans Cathedral


St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans in the oldest cathedral in the US.  The parish was founded in 1720.


The inside is not as spectacular as European cathedrals but then again it's much younger.  Maybe by the time it reaches the age of those it too will be covered in gold.



It was a quiet refuge from the hub hub of the French Quarter.




But here's a strange juxtaposition - right outside the doors of the cathedral are palm and tarot card readers.




Friday, February 24, 2017

Louisiana to Alabama

Here is a continuation of our trip through the south in January.

We left Louisiana with our next destination to be a beach in Alabama.  A waitress in Memphis had said that Orange Beach was the best place to go so we thought we'd explore that.

Our route took us along the Gulf shoreline in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.  

In Alabama the road was right along the beach.


Jefferson Davis's home was here and we stopped briefly but didn't tour it.







We selected Orange Beach after stopping in the Welcome Center to use their free wifi and PriceLine to find a great rate at the Hampton Inn on the beach.

Our view from our room.




The beaches are white now but not in 2010 when oil was gushing out from the Deepwater Horizon spill. 



Water was too cold to swim so we made use of the heated pool and soaked up warm sun while we were there.



Next stop was Tallahassee, Florida.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Reading Rate

I just finished my 8th book for 2017.  See my list on the left side.  At this rate of 4 a month I'll only read 48 books this year which is less than last year's total of 69.  

What do I attribute this too?  Many more activities here at Vantage House to occupy my time.  

For example: once a week I go to a group called Mixed Media.  A woman who used to teach art in school has an art project for us each week.  I spend time between classes finishing the assignment.

Also once a month is a Zentangle class.  I am on two Resident Association committees: marketing and social/cultural activities.  Those meet once a month.  There's also a book discussion group that meets once a month.

There are speakers, music programs, and movies.  Then there are trips both with Vantage House and on our own with friends.

Five days a week I attend an exercise class.  Today was Boot Camp at 8 am for 45 minutes.

I also volunteer as a driver 3 times a month with Neighbor Ride.  And once a month go with Vantage House to the County Food Bank.

I am very busy so reading gets 2nd priority now.

So much for retirement.  I'm busier now more than ever, but life is good.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

New Orleans Cemetery

Tuesday morning January 10th we headed out of New Orleans with our next stop to be a beach in Alabama.  We would decide once we were there.  Before leaving town we parked outside Lafayette Cemetery #1 in the Garden District.


The wall around cemetery.


Had to find an open gate.



When we entered the cemetery we were met by an old gent, Terry Anderson, mostly toothless, rather bedraggled looking with a Vietnam Vets ball cap on his head.  He said he worked at the cemetery and proceeded to give us a tour.


The burial vaults looked rather worn.  Hurricane Katrina didn't help.  There was several feet of water here with that hurricane.







He was very knowledgeable, engaging, and we really enjoyed the tour.










At the end of our rounds Terry asked for a donation to the cemetery which we assumed was a tip to him.

There are lots of beggars on the streets of New Orleans.  We had our doubts if Terry was really employed by the cemetery but at least he is off the streets doing this which is better than begging.  As we left we recommended to people arriving to take the tour with Terry.



Monday, February 20, 2017

New Orleans

Here are some scenes from New Orleans French Quarter.  We arrived here on a Monday and departed the next day for points east.  New Orleans was not to my liking.














































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