Friday, February 25, 2011


I get the shakes just thinking about it. When my DD drove to CA from FL to go to grad school at USC she stayed with a friend from Tampa with whom she had worked and who had migrated west. He was sharing an apartment with a gay couple whom he knew (he too was gay). The first night there she woke up to a loud rumble and rattling glass. She was thinking "why is Chris running the vacuum cleaner in the middle of the night?" when she realized that her bed was shaking. She ran to the bedroom door and opened it to see three naked men standing in doorways shouting "stand in the doorway, stand in the doorway!!!" to her. That was her introduction to Los Angeles. A number of years later the North Ridge quake hit and her apartment then suffered some scary cracks in the wall and pictures shattered on the floor. The after shocks really got to her and she said everyone in the city was a wreck.

My ex son in law, a geologist, tells me that here in the southern Appalachian chain we are sitting on a very significant fault that is bound to erupt some time or other. I think the islands in the Carribean are part of the Appalachian chain so we already know how bad it can be.

On the subject of writers I'd like to recommend a local writer of this area. He teaches writing here at Western Carolina University and has won two O. Henry prizes for short stories and was a 2009 PEN/Faulkner finalist for the novel Serena which was a NY Times best seller. I downloaded Serena onto my IPod and listened to it. It was a gripping tale of good and evil taking place right here in this area in the days leading up to the founding of the Great Smoky Mtn. Nat'l Park and the vicious conflict between those who would strip the whole area of the hard wood forests and those who would save what was left at that time. He is also a poet. His work is always, as far as I know, set in the southern Appalachians which I have come to love so much. Right now I'm reading his newest collection of short stories, Burning Bright.

Got to get the dogs out. Rocky has taken up living part time with neighbors down the hill. They swear to me they are not feeding him but twice this week he's been gone overnight. Betty says he's made himself a nest in their back yard. He sure is not losing any weight and showed no interest in eating when he showed up here this morning. He just loves their dogs. If I drop dead tomorrow I don't think he'll miss me very much. He is much beloved by all the neighbors. Maybe they'd like to pay for his food and vet bills. Oh well, I love him too and he's been very good for Kit. She actually plays with him.


Marion in NZ - The film footage covering the NZ earthquate, on our news here, is so sad and frightening. I am glad you are safe and able to check in with us. One bit on the TV showed the earth swirling in that 'soup' stuff you described after the first quake a few months ago. I think this one was right in the middle of an asphalt road, perhaps, and all had turned to liquid. Very scary.

Books - - - I'm halfway through Louise Penny's "Still Life" and can't put it down. What a nice writing style she has! A copy of "A Fatal Grace" is sitting on the table, next up to be read.
No spoilers please . . . but I keep wondering if the young agent Yolette Nichol will survive her training, and this investigation, and be on the job in 'AFG.' :-)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Louise Penny books

Hi Rosey--just wanted you to know I finished the Still Life and A Fatal Grace books.
I really like the little town of Three Pines! I wouldn't want to be there in the -30 weather, though. I'm going to take a break from them before I get to the 3rd, The --something season. The one set in springtime.
We are just starting spring here, the pollen is starting. I spent about 3 hrs. on the wallpaper striping today, and my fingers are screaming at me.
Need to take a few hours tomorrow to get back to quilting.
DGS #4 turned 10 yesterday. I just talked to them all. I sent him a Ron-Jon surf shop T shirt with sharks with surfboards on it. He loved it! He will be the only kid in 3rd grade in N. D. with a surf T shirt in the dead of winter. He thinks I'm cool. Oh bliss. Hopefully I can stay cool for a few more years.
We are watching American Idol, rooting for our favorites to get through.
Sara in Fla.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Back on line...

Thank you all for your care and concern. Conditions in Christchurch are unimaginable. The loss of life and total destruction of so many "heritage" buildings is hard to comprehend. We live only half and hour from the city center but, from where I am sitting, nothing has changed. I ventured to my small country town yesterday for basic supplies and saw no evidence of damage to buildings anywhere. There was panic buying at the super-market and long queues at the fuel stations. In ChCh there are thousands of homes uninhabitable, We have three friends staying here and our church building is housing over three hundred. We are leaving shortly, to help clear our friends home of debris. The after-shocks are strong and people are very frightened. The shake on Tuesday was far worse than the one in Sept. I could hardly believe my eyes as I saw our home shaking, like a rag in the wind. How come not a single thing was damaged or even moved ? I don't understand it.

Russell and I were both at home. We were changing to go to a funeral in Christchurch. An hour later we would have been in the middle of it all. Tuesday is DH's golf day and I often meet his golfing partners' wife in Christchurch for a day of doing some thing interesting in the city. Knowing this ,our DD in Auckland was very concerned until we were able to make contact with her and tell her that we were both at home and together.. DD in Scotland is grieving for the city that she left She was planning to bring her children back this year, to show them where she went to school and where her grand-parents lived etc... All gone now...

Above all this, we are all humbled by the response, from all countries around the world, who are sending in teams to search for the still missing people. One of our Pastors at church has a son still missing, presumed dead. The pain is unimaginable.

On a personal level, many thanks to Rosey P. whose phone call came as such a surprise. It was so nice to be reminded that people care.. We have something special on this board ladies. Lets value it.

Thanks again.

quake news

Thanks for letting us know our friends are safe. What a horrible situation for everyone. I'll continue praying for those who have lost their loved ones, homes, and businesses.
Things here are incredibly busy, but otherwise going OK. I will post more later.
Laura in Alabama


So pleased Marion and Richard are OK I couldn't get them on email and was very worried. Not too many being rescued now it is going into recovery mode soon . There are a lot of people still unaccounted for and it doesn't look good for them .Hugs Bee

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Marion in New Zealand

Marion & her husband, Russell are fine but shell-shocked at the moment. The reports and pictures of the devastation are horrible, as most will have seen by now. They have no internet service at the moment but have power and they draw their water from their own well so they are able to operate without disturbance to their physical lives. They are having three friends come to stay from Christchurch whose homes are damaged. Marion said that many had become adjusted to the aftershocks . It is now 11 a.m. Wednesday morning in New Zealand. This earthquake, Marion said, is far worse in regard to the damage and loss of life than the major one a short while ago. She asked to share this with the board. They are fine but terribly, terribly upset and distraught for those who were involved directly in the quake.

Rosey (at 6:04 pmTues.)


I just watched the noon news here. Terrible pictures of Christ Church, NZ. The steeple of a stone church fell off, lots of buildings down.
Marion, so glad you are out in the country and are safe.
I did spend about 2 hrs. in the yard yesterday. My eyeballs are paying for it today. Lots of dust and pollen. The pine tree pollen is light green and is on all the cars. All that stuff lying on the ground for the past few months is full of dust. Today I'm staying inside and striping wallpaper off of bathroom walls. Not fun, but the new paper came in today, and it will look much more modern, and "fresh".
I've been looking in garden mags. over the past few weeks. Most of those beautiful things won't grown in our heat and humidity. But I did find some Angels' trumpets in other colors than the white I have. Would love some New Dawn roses to climb on a trellis. I may have to make a field trip to the extension service and have the soil tested.
Back to striping.
Sara in Fla.

Christchurch, New Zealnd earthquake Feb. 22nd noon

Christchurch residents were going about their daily business when a violent 6.3 earthquake shook their city on Tuesday 22nd February. The earthquake happened at lunchtime and by 10pm that night the death toll was confirmed at 65. Mayor Bob Parker has warned people that this figure will undoubtedly rise. Approximately 120 people have been pulled from the rubble and it is estimated that another 100 are still trappedRead more at Suite101: Update on Christchurch Earthquake February 22nd 2011

Just heard on the radio, as others may have, another earthquake nearby Marion, in New Zealand. Today, in Ontario Canada, it is mid-morning; with the time difference, Marion is more than half a day ahead of us here. Odd how the world is, I have not even experienced noon here and yet, in New Zealand, it has already happened.

Hoping to hear from Marion. She and her husband live outside Christchurch in the countryside.


Monday, February 21, 2011

earthquake at 12 51 this afternoon

it is on live on CNN ..... Bee

Earthquake map

Stay safe


I was out shopping and have just arrived home. There been multiple deaths, I saw a building about 6 stories just flattened and heard of 2 buses crushed by buildings falling on them . we have been asked not to use the phones unless really needed but will tell more later.hugs bee. Please think of our friends there.

Thinking of NZ!

I too heard there was a bad quake in Christchurch, NZ. The Kiwi's will certainly be in my thoughts.
Take good care!
Hugz to all
Mary in Oregon


I just heard on the news that Christ Church area has just been clobbered by a full fledged 6.3 quake just north of the city with buildings down and great fear of loss of life. I think you are going to have an island with the entire population suffering from post traumatic stress disorder. My heart goes out to Marion and all her countrymen. My petty complaints shrink in comparison.


Interesting post, Jane

As Marion has pointed out, you've had your share of health issues in recent years, in addition to becoming a widow & adjusting to living alone. And as Bee points out, this is where we can come to share the ups & downs that we experience in our, be okay with sharing...we're hear to listen & for those who'd rather scroll on...we can do that too. You don't have anyone to talk to about it but the dogs, who do their best to support us in a loving way, some of them. A friend, last week, attended a clinic for bladder retention ...and one of the tips she was told about was that when she drove home & found herself urgently not being able to wait to get the key in the doorlock to get to the loo, to start counting backwards from 100. She said, it works. The idea is to refocus the mind.

Marion, don't you just wonder about these aftershocks and when and where they might hit. How unnerving. I'd be on pins & needles, myself. When time elapses with no shimmying & shaking, I'd relax & be lulled into thinking it is all over, only to have the earth start rumbling must be frightening for you.

And speaking of rumbles, Friday night here in the country reminded me of how people describe the sound of tornadoes..the wind sounded like a train coming down the laneway all night. with the wind blowing through the evergreen trees. Saturday, we were fine here, still very windy, but 15 min. to the north, highways were closed all over because of snowy white-outs.... meaning, a curtain of white enveloping your car, house, roads, highways...the police close highways off when that happens. The snow is blinding.

But, the crows are back in southern Ontario. Of course, they may have been in hiding without me being aware of them...but with the warm weather last week, they were cawing up a storm. Spring is coming. Another month and a half of winter to go. Those out in western Canada kindly refrain from sending us here in the east, pictures of their tulips, snowdrops & daffodills.


Sunday, February 20, 2011

Growing older...

Jane, I hope you'll feel better about growing older when you have your op. and got your other health problems sorted. You've had a tough few years and have coped amazingly well with all of your problems. There's a lot of living left for those of us in our seventies, even if we are living in "sniper alley", as somebody told me yesterday !!

This last w/end we have had three, sharp, after-shocks, all centred just down the road from damage (except to the nerves ..!), but we are all wondering what this might be indicating... It's been relatively quiet for the last few weeks and we were hoping that the land had settled .

Lovely weather here at the moment. It's been a strange summer, some very hot days (waaaayyy above our comfort level) and some days of very heavy rain which managed to keep the garden and lawns alive. A touch of autumn in the air in the early mornings now, but generally followed by cloudless, sunny days. A good time of year.

ON one of the wet days I decided to sort and tidy my fabric stash... What a big job (!) Fun though and inspiring too . Can't handle all that fabric without being inspired to put a few of them together !! I haven't done any serious quilting for over two years so it's really good to be back into it and to find myself enjoying it so much . DH and a friend went away for a four day fishing trip which presented me with the perfect opportunity to make a good start on a new quilt top. Perfect.

The DD's are well. DD in H.K. is in Scotland packing up their home there. They are having extensive alterations done this year, which requires the house to be emptied . A big job. DD in Auckland is back into the new school year, two of her children are at new schools this year so there's been a "settling in " period to deal with. (children are such drama queens these days...!!!) DH and I are going up for a few days at the beginning of March. It will be good to see them all again.

Greetings to all readers, new and old. It's nice to have this blog available to us even if we don't use it often.

Marion ...who is off to inspect the house for cracks...


you whine any time you want, I think this site helps so many of us. I always feel I can say anything I want on here and know my friends will understand. Keep warm , can I suggest sheep's wool for aches and pains. I gave a friend , a really macho guy, some angora fabric for his sore elbow, I had the expected comment but later he told me he was amazed just how it worked, anything which needs continuous warmth, wool makes its own heat. You should see me in winter, I have bits wrapped here and bits wrapped there not a pretty sight but it works!!!! Hugs Bee in NZ


I promise not to whine anymore. A good night's sleep followed by a post breakfast snooze in the unmade bed with two warm, soft pals fixes all.