Posts Tagged ‘Coronation Street’

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

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  Tuesday was quite the windy and rainy day.  The day started out ok, without any warning of what was to come.  I was actually thinking about going outside to tackle the remaining compost containers. 

But, things to do, places to go.  Bustled around, got ready to take little Youbou to the vet’s for his acupuncture treatment.  Yesterday’s session was short and sweet.  He only needed a few needle placements.  His right leg, which was once just lifeless, he dragged it around .. had progressed to the point where he was kicking like a bucking horse, it was so strong .. he did this when the vet attempted to place a needle at a specific point in his foot.  These needles are so very fine, he doesn’t feel them at all.

So now our next appointment isn’t for 6 weeks.  When he does have a relapse .. due to his feeling so good that he tends to run around quite a bit and he is limping a bit .. then I just massage his little back and leg and he’s much better.

We set off in the early morning .. sun was shining on our return home.

I was deciding where to start with the outside work.  But, during my second cup of Yorkshire Tea .. the rains commenced. 

The skies were grey .. the pounding rains kept up all day.  I heard that there was snow and hail .. but couldn’t see any here, by Swan Lake.

I actually like rainy days and love the feeling of being  in our nice warm home.  Pots of tea.  Kitty kats curled up, sleeping in their beds.

So, I started the arduous task of deciphering my hastily scribbled notes from the recent, intensive … Master Gardening Course (Gaia College, through Royal Roads).  What a life changer those classes were.

As I busily typed away, I was once again back there in the classroom, totally focused on the wealth of information that was being given to us.  I remembered the dark and rainy evenings, driving out to Langford.  I’m not a good night driver and the roads were very dark, it was a challenge to drive slowly on those nights.  But I wasn’t going to let a pouring rain stop me from attending those classes.

Names kept popping up, as references given throughout the course.  Names like  Forester & Environmentalist Ralph Zingaor –  who used a potassium-phosphite fertilizer (which has been around for decades)  to stall or reverse the symptoms of Sudden Oak Death (Phytophthora ramorum ) on trees in California.  And he was not allowed to use this fertilizer and had to have it labelled as a pesticide in order to use it!!  Does that make sense?  no.

Here’s another one: Phil Callahan – who was the first person ever to connect the insect’s antennae frequency to plant infrared spectrum… amongst many other important discoveries:   http://www.whale.to/b/callahan.htmlSo

So very much information to discover, it’s quite breathtaking.

I didn’t take pictures yesterday, there just wasn’t the opportunity, so I decided to post some pics taken a year ago.  When I wandered around Beacon Hill Park .. and some eagle pics from Swan Lake.

Went shopping .. picked up some ready-made spinach/ricotta cheese lasagna roll-ups .. quite tasty and I plan to make a large batch of these.   They look to be quite easy .. so I can then freeze them in meal size portions.

I got over my disappointment of not “meeting and greeting” the actor who plays “Ken” on Coronation Street.  That’s life and this is a new day.   But, having sat in the front row during the whole show and listening to his amusing anecdotes, DH & I enjoyed a few chuckles while watching yesterday’s show.

We viewed the little guy who plays “Simon” in a new light .. he truly is a little chatterbox and quite a smart little person in real life.  “Ken” noted that he is a brilliant little actor and we totally agree with that.  His facial mannerisms are spot on and he always has that mischievous glint in his eye.  A sweetie, for sure.

Well… the weather today looks promising, but I can see those little grey clouds here and there!

Time to get on with this most lovely new day, I say, I say, I say!  – to quote “Fred Elliott” .. a former character on CS.  He’d often repeat his words and that was fun.



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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

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  Yesterday .. I made a firm resolution to declutter, but all I succeeded in doing was spending hours looking for certain Coronation Street memorabilia ..

in-between times I managed to get laundry done, sort the recycling, play with the cats.

Finally, enough of the indoor stuff and outside I went .. to work on the compost containers.

Gathered the goat manure/hay mix, composted leaves, seaweed, pieces of cardboard and my precious EM mixture.

Emptied compost container #1 .. eeyouw .. and filled empty containers.  Next I started the layering process.  Veggie scraps, cardboard, leaves, manure, seaweed .. in layers till the container was full.  then I watered it with the EM/water mixture.

This feels so much better .. there is no foul odour and this layering technique allows the compost to breathe, soon there will be a lovely mix of bacteria munching away.  There were already a healthy supply of plump earthworms in the mixture already and I believe the population will increase.  Looking forward to lovely earthy compost in a few months or so.

This is the time of the year to watch for the emerging bumblebee queens . .I saw another one today .. was just reaching my hand to open the gate latch when I noticed a dark speck on the gate frame .. whew, that was close .. I had almost brushed against her.

I’d noticed a yellowjacket a few days ago, wonder if that was a queen also.

The time arrived for us to prepare to go to the Royal Theatre to see William Roache ..an event we’d been waiting for since last fall.

He plays “Ken” in the Coronation Street show and has been acting in this show for 51 years!

80 years old and he certainly appeared in excellent health.  A good role model.  He is a vegetarian and shared with us that meditation has provided him with a sense of peace and relaxation.

His life has been an interesting one and he shared with us many of the most interesting periods.   He is certainly an excellent speaker and had all of us spellbound for the entire show.

There, I haven’t gone to Granada, but I’ve met 5 of the characters.  Organized a bus trip to Vancouver  years ago to see & meet “Des”.  “Audrey” and her hubby attended a Bay signing event a number of years ago .. that was lovely.  And “Derek” and “Mavis” were in Victoria years ago and we met them also.

So .. I think that’s most likely the extent of my meeting CS actors.  One person I would love to meet is the character that plays “Becky” .. she is an amazing chameleon of an actress and also acts in Shakespearian plays.  Now, that’s an interesting combo.

Well, short and sweet and on with this day … sunny and rainy . .and  I plan to play with my plants today.


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       Monday, March 19, 2012

The weekend was a mixed bag of weather.   Some sun, some rain .. wonder if the plants were going crazy ..bloom?  grow?

On the overcast/sunny Saturday morning, I continued to learn more about plant identification.

Learned some more about invasive weeds and recognizing more wild plants.  The Alaskan Onion is now a familiar to me – grass-like type plant.  I hadn’t taken any photos (but I plan to do that!)

Here are some excellent sites for further information (oh, wow, I am in the learning mode now!)


And ..finally, some photos:


Onion grass looks like .. well, grass!  Right now, what I’ve noticed is that the blades seem a bit wider and “boxier” like and to find out if the grass is onion grass. … you just carefully move the grass away at the bottom of the plant and feel around for the little bulbs at the ground level, where they are protruding from the soil.  Once I can touch and look closely at a plant .. a wild plant anyway, I know it and can locate others.   So far, anyway, touch wood.  (ok, now where did that phrase originate!)

I learned how to identify licorice fern and tasted the inner portion of the root, which was bright green.   Just a tiny taste and the licorice flavour developed  more and more as time passed.  Quite dainty and delicious.  Oh, mother nature, you are good!

S and I worked away, lifting invasive ivy  … .loosening the soil.  She carefully removed the invasives from the struggling tiny leaf wild rose plants, tough plants, growing through the tight covering of the vines.   She also found some wild honeysuckle and these now will grow quite strong, now they are free to do so.

We worked away for a few hours, soon had a good size area clear, the rich forest soil loosened up.   Once hidden plants now able to breathe freely and grow as they should.

I brought away with me a tiny deer fern, surrounded by a little blanket of moss.  It’s potted up and I’ll be planting this treasure in the shaded woodland part of the yard.

S also gave me some pussywillow, rooted, and some in water to root.  I look forward to these growing in the yard and will bend them over as they grow, to form a little umbrella shape.

Another thing about us gardeners .. we share and share and share our plants.  Such a fun thing to do.  And I do intend to name them somehow .. must think of an easy way to do this.  Maybe carry around some cut-up plastic or aluminum sections of window blinds & a black marker, so I can easily write down the names and place the section in the plant.  I’ll work on that.

Anyway, I am getting very spoiled now.  Twice I’ve had the most amazing little cups of espresso.  Made from home-roasted beans and ground up especially fine.  Saturday, I just had to take a photo, to share .. see, how beautiful this is!  What a treat.

So, Saturday was a busy day.  A friend of mine is going travelling, so I will be “mother” to her plants while she is away.  And today .. I’m going to water them with EM.  As a matter of fact .. today .. is the day for me to add EM to all the outside plants.

I’ll put some of my precious EM in water, and spray the leaves and water the base of the plants.

Plus, time to move some raspberry plants.

Yesterday I noticed a yellow jacket (I think it was that, some kind of wasp) and didn’t have a chance to take a photo.  I think it must be the Queen. So now I’ll be very careful and looking for potential nests.  And now is the time to do all the digging in the side gardens, last year I waited too long and just had to leave them alone.  There was so much wasp activity, and I can’t bear to be stung again.

Looking forward to spending this whole day outside in the yard!!

And tonight .. finally .. we go to see William Roache (aka long-suffering Ken) from Coronation Street.  He’s acted in this show since the very beginning.  We are so looking forward to seeing him in person.  We have the first row seats and will have the opportunity to meet & talk with him after the show.  Oh, what shall I ask him?  Dare I comment about “Deidre’s” neck .. how the veins stand out when she’s yelling .. “oh, Ken!”    🙂

I was going to take a lot of CS memorabilia with me, but, will try to be mature and just take a few things.  But which few?  Decisions, decisions, decisions.

Well .. on with this day!!!


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Saturday, March 3, 2012

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 Ah, Friday .. that was a rainy day, for sure!  I love rainy days!  Perfect for being lazy or busy or whatever.

What on earth did I do yesterday, anyway?  Well, I spent some time reading up on organic gardening, composting and that sort of thing.

Did some dreaded housework .. .the necessities, especially so when the cats outnumber the humans in the house!

Went outside for awhile … there was a light rain falling .. such a perfect time to wander around for awhile.  Enjoying the look of the rain spattered leaves of all the outdoor plants.  It would be great to have a tent set up outside … to use as a little refuge against the weather.  Pretend camping.

On days like Friday, during such a gentle rain, how fun it would be to set up a little tent with a  table (overturned Rubbermaid container) and a chair (one of the triangular shaped gardening stools).  Just relax, sip Yorkshire Tea, leaf through some gardening books.  Solve some Soduku puzzles.   Pretend to be on a safari or a campground or even Texada, by the airport!

Back inside the house, I found yet another pile of gardening books!  Plan to enter these on my excel spreadsheet … that thing is so very handy for references.  Good to know which books I have, so can avoid purchasing more duplicates .. something that I found out when I created this document! Discovered I had some duplicates .. not a big deal though, can leave one in the car and one on the shelves!

Anyway, Friday was the last day of the work week … a slide into the weekend.     And the end of the Monday to Friday Coronation Street shows.  Thank Goodness.

And … hallelujiah .. John is finally deceased .. end of that story line!   Now there are afew more to be got rid of .. .Kevin; Cheryl; Loyd; ad nauseum.

Anyway, Friday was a day!

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Friday, March 2, 2012

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  Thursday, such a beautiful day.  There was a mix of grey skies but eventually the sun burst through and I could see lovely blue sky and interesting looking cloud formations.  Ethereal, misty, robust and strong .. quite a mix.

Caught a brief glance of one of the eagles high overhead.  Some low flying Canada Geese, heading for Swan Lake.

Thus far there hasn’t been a whole lot of interest in the new roofed suet holder.  I’ve seen a Chickadee or two stop by for a visit.  The Sparrows  try, but they aren’t able to cling upside down as the chickadees, bush-tits and nuthatches do!   Guess it takes a few days for my feathered friends to try something new.

Yesterday was such a day of accomplishment.  I’d spent a few hours at the kitchen table, studying more about organic gardening.  Oh my.   One of these days I’ll continue with listing some gardening information, as I used to do.  This helps me open my books and look up more information.  And I’d really like to share what I learn.

There were so many choices to make yesterday..what kind of activities could I get myself involved with .. walking, gardening, housework .. screech to a halt.  Not housework .. not when it is sunny outside.

So, as I usually do when I’m seeking inspiration .. I simply went outside.  And walked around the yard.  Noticed some daffodils are getting ready to bloom.  And the bluebells… those lovely little flowers that I’m just not able to eradicate.  They proliferate here, and having spent a lot of time over the years digging them up by the bucketful – I’ve given up on eradicating them. 

They even grow through the leaf mulch mountain, up through the gravel, and thrive just being tossed to the side.  If only the strength and sheer tenacity of the compounds of this bulb could be harvested and used for something else, like garlic or wheat …someone would make a fortune.

Anyway, I enjoyed being outside, observing any changes in the plants, loving the antics of the birds.  The Anna’s might be going through their mating rituals I think .. I should read up on this so I’ll be more informed.   All I know is that I saw the backyard Anna’s zipping around and then settle comfortably in the same tree, although on different branches.

Finally, I decided to tackle the front driveway.  We still have materials from our house renovations there.. and so I took a deep breath, and started sorting and sorting.  And sweeping.  And raking up leaves.  There were the occasional Yorkshire Tea breaks and I did settle down on the front steps .. the beautiful stairway that DH constructed last fall.  Perfect for a relaxing tea sipping, suduko solving period of time.  And, since time doesn’t exist in either gardening or outside cleanup .. I just relaxed.

Tea break over, I continued onwards and upwards.   Finally I reached the stage where I could unravel the hose and wash away the superfluous minute debris that remained. 

DH was impressed and I was satisfied with a job well done!   As I toted my tools and now-empty Rubbermaid containers from the front to the back I felt a little twinge in my back .. uh oh .. who didn’t do their stretches, then!  

I remember a Master Gardener speaking at the Garth Homer Centre many years ago … the Horticulture Society used to hold meetings there.  He was very emphatic on the importance of exercise when gardening!   Having injured his back, he spoke from experience.  Lifting properly was also discussed.  And I did listen.  Although sometimes I kind of forget.    As in yesterday!  So I stretched and crouched and soon I was back to my limber self.

That reminds me!  The Coronation Street “Rosie” lookalike who works at Dakota Cafe told me that she saw that there is a class “Exercise for Gardeners” at a local rec centre!   That is a very good idea!  Although we had a laugh as we pretended to “lift that shovel” “dig and dig” ..

Anyway .. all in all .. Thursday was a great day in every way!!  Although the same cannot be said of CBC and Coronation Street!  Argh .. I was nicely settled in and set to watch the double show of yesterday .. only to discover that a hockey game had recorded.  CBC had switched the time of the show and I had missed it. 

Although, really, what did I miss!  More badly written scripts.  The storylines have been going from worse to “I can’t believe I’m actually watching this drivel” .. this from me, who had started the first ever Coronation Street fan club in Victoria, many years ago.  I .. along with the 50 or so club members .. were all so thrilled to be watching this show. 

CS has had its ups and downs over the years, but the downs normally lasted for a short time.  Now, they just are nowhere near close to the integrity of the show as it once started out.  And the plots are laughable.  (don’t get me started!).

There is still a core group of 8 of us former CS fan club who meet monthly for dinner.  And we are all in agreement about the lack of interest in the show. We are months behind, so no point in sending Granada Studios our feedback. 

Anyway .. here are some extremely positive videos regarding our food and our planet, eloquently spoken by some young kiddies!  Enjoy:



and here’s a link to show how beautiful and easy it is to grow sweet potato vines: http://www.houseplantsforyou.com/how-to-grow-an-old-fashioned-sweet-potato-vine/



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Thursday, February 2, 2011

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  The past few days have been busy … on Tuesday, my day started off in a pattern similar to Monday’s!  I’d planned to study for hours, but first, a little walk to Swan Lake.   Outside, stopped to talk with neighbours again … this was getting to ba a pattern!

Then made my way over to the Sanctuary … not many people about.  Saw my first ever Cedar Waxing!  I’d known they were there but, in all my visits, have never had the good luck to see one.

I literally stopped in my tracks,.. to just enjoy their peaceful, gentle beauty.  Such graceful markings.  They moved so quickly.   One of them even flew close to me, landed on a nearby branch as if to pose for a photo.  By the time I’d lifted the camera up though, the bird had flown away.  They were so very beautiful.  I did manage to take a few quick photos.

Continued my walk, went to the little side marsh and there I saw my first ever Northern Shovellers.  Very distinctive and very noble looking, I thought.  there were three of them, and again, I felt so privileged to have seen these ducks.  In my all daily walks of the past year … I’d not seen these two types of winged creatures .. .so I felt quite happy on my little walk.

Yesterday .. I started out my day in a different fashion, starting out with a drive to Country Grocer.  Organic quinoa was on sale .. so this gave me an excuse to take the little car out for a spin and later I could drive to Swan Lake.  How very decadent.

Ok .. once there, I began the trek around the lake.   Reached the short observatory and not much going on.  The local eagles were resting in the flat-topped tree, wings occasionally  flapping and then just resting.  Always keeping a watch out in the skies around them.  I’d first noticed this couple about 5 years ago .. they favoured this tree and continue to do so.

Only a few people about .. which was kind of odd, since the parking lot had been full to capacity.  Only met a few birders.

Walking on, saw a few cheerful looking Robins, some Spotted Towhees, Wrens.  Enjoying the lovely greenery surrounding me, especially  the luxuriant moss and lichens on the trees.  And as I’ve recently learned in my course, lichens look like plants but are symbiotic organisms made up of fungi & algae, which can produce its own carbohydrates & nitrogen and obtain nutrients from water insoluble compounds .. they are important nitrogen fixers in ecosystems.  Now, this information I had to look up on my book.  The very book that I am going to copy to my brain, word by word (at least I hope to do that!)

Anyway, yesterday .. continued my lovely walk on the trail .. finally reaching the long walkway over the lake.  The Naturalist was leading a little group of children along the way .. teaching them the ways of the birds and they were quite interested.  I asked about the one female Mallard that was banded and if Swan Lake had done that .. and learned that the duck had been banded elsewhere and had arrived just a few days beforehand.  Interesting.

Farther along, I met a couple of birders on their first visit to the Sanctuary.  They had respectable cameras .. one sporting a 500 mm lens!    They were in search of the Barred Owl, which, they decided, was not liking the bright sunshine so was not easily found.

Time to head home and hit the books,   Which I did for a while and then it was time to Skype my sister.  The detective one .. who is able to find out the history of our family. Ok, all set to Skype, then I realize, argh…. new computer, I had to set up the system again.  Except, it had been so long that I’d done that, I had to figure out how to do that  again.

In hindsight, it’s a piece of cake .. but not yesterday.  Spent a lot of time to find the cd with the software for the camera and then to download Skype.  How embarrassing!

Finally reached my sister and we had a great chat.  I’m just amazed at what she finds out!  Distant relatives in the States were contacted.  She’d even had a visit years ago from the great-granddaughter of one of our father’s 16  half-siblings.  Can you just imagine that!  I had no idea.  And she shared photos from bygone eras .. this Skype is just great ..  I had a good look at carefully preserved postcards, photos .. what a treat.

By the time we’d ended our chat, it was high time to cook supper and then (yawn) watch Coronation Street.  I’d missed yesterday’s show .. and the plots are so boring that I just fast forwarded through Kiley (sp?) and David’s storyline.  Boring.

I find that I’m really losing my interest quickly in this show that I’d watched for many many years.   There are a variety of writers involved in the shows and some of them are quite talented and in their storylines I can see the quick wit and everyday verbal interchanges that first attracted me to the show.  Sadly, though, those shows are far and few now.

Well, today, Thursday … I have decided to devote to studying.  No shopping.  No walks.  No outside visits …. hmmm .. well .. I will go outside to the yard to see what’s happening.

Today .. I am going to devote to my reading, studying and try again to wrap my head around these new organic gardening concepts.  My sister asked me what I was learning and I found myself at a loss for words.  At this point, I don’t know enough to easily describe what I’m learning.  It’s much more than organic gardening.  It’s about the living beings that are in the soil.  Their names and their functions.  The interaction between bacteria, plants etc.  It’s all new to me and once I can firmly establish this information in my mind .. then I can begin to sort it out .. and be able to verbalize this information in a clear manner.

And I will!


I’ve been studying, reading, writing information that I’m gleaning from my organic gardening course.  And I just want to share a podcast from the CBC … Anna Maria Tremonti is interviewing Diana Beresford-Kroeger – who talks about the magic of trees, the value they give us in every way and it is simply amazing.    Intercommunication between living things, trees, animals …all the biochemistry that is in an elephant .. is in the cambrium layer of the tree (the brain of the tree).  O   M    G

MP3 audio (Beresford Kroeger – CBC Podcast)

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Tuesday, January 31, 2011

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  Ah, Monday .. Monday .. where did you go?  I was up early enough .. wanted to go for a quick walk and then buckle down with my garden studies.

But … did I follow through with that?

Heck no!

I dillied and dallied and played with our new computer.   Took care of the feeding, playing and cleaning up of the feline part of our family.

Went outside, filling up bird feeders & suet holders.

Finally .. outside and started my walk.   Or at least, that is what I intended to do.  Then I met a neighbour and so we began a conversation about the neighbourhood . .and the ugly big box building that is going on in the neighbourhood.   And things along that vein.    Another neighbour joined our group.   And the discussion continued.

Finally, shivering .. it was chilly!  I bade goodby and began my trek to Swan Lake Nature Sanctuary.

Promised myself that I would only walk to the short observatory and then return home .. lots of studying to be done.

Well .. once I got there .. I just relaxed and continued walking on the pathways –  looking out for birds.  Then I met up with one of the guardians of this wonderful treasure of nature and we had a chat about the goings-on.    Sad to hear that the eagles had captured a Heron.   At first I was shocked, and then, later on, during my walk,  I remembered hearing that Beacon Hill Park had experienced the same problem .. years ago.  That was a time when I wasn’t tuned in to the majestic beauty of these birds.  Now, this saddens me.  I know .. it’s nature.

So I enjoyed seeing the cheerful appearance of the Robins .. the wrens .. the Mallards.   Didn’t see any eagles during my time there.  Not much happening at the short observatory.   Looked at the marsh grasses .. wondering when these grasses would grow tall enough for the Marsh Wren to build her nest.

The lake was empty of birds ..only a few Coots swimming around.  No Herons.  No Geese.  They must be dining elsewhere.  Funny, last year I used to walk around the Sanctuary nearly every day and I always saw so much activity.  This year I’ve settled into a different pattern of more activity, less walking .. and I don’t see very many birds. (except for today and I’ll write about that tomorrow!!   whoo .. eee .. this was a great day!)

Finally, time to go back home and start my “learnin”!

In the kitchen, I turned on the laptop .. this thing is a workhorse.  It’s a second-hand Toshiba that I purchased last year for $85.  It’s not the fastest laptop in the world, but .. it’s paid for.  And it plods ahead.

I opted to using this instead of our brand spanking new computer because:

a) the new computer is in the side room or “study”

b) the laptop is portable .. and I set it up on the kitchen table.  This way, I can look out the kitchen window and see the birds.

We’ve set up one of those translucent bird feeders that attach to the window with suction cups.  The birds love it.  And the aluminum blinds, well, I’ve angled them so that the birds can’t see us .. and so they can relax and feed at will.  So sweet to see them standing on the top of the sundeck fencing area and on a board beneath the window .. nibbling away at birdseed.

They are so very sweet .. tiny little sparkling eyes, fluffy plumage.  And yesterday morning, after I’d opened up the blinds and flung aside the kitchen curtains .. there was a little Red-Breasted Nuthatch.   I love his little nasal chirps.  No mistaking him.

There is so very much information to learn … I just worked away, reading from the course textbook, typing notes .. willing all this information to stick to my consciousness.

Then, later, supper prepared for DH and then it was time for me to go out for a monthly Coronation Street supper … a few hours of talking about the show .. and other things.  Quite a fun evening.  Listening to some friends discussing their travels… and catching up on what’s been going on.  Lots of fun.  There’s nothing quite as enjoyable as a good meal and lively conversation and that’s what we enjoyed last night!

Then, we dissect the life out of the show’s scripts .. sometimes they are so good and other times .. not worth the air time.  There is always a variety of writers so the scripts are sometimes much better than others.

Oh oh .. a reminder that DH & I will see William Roach in just over a month!  yippeee.  I still need to make up a list of questions. A once in a lifetime opportunity to do so.  So the questions need to be good .. and unusual!

Well .. the day is done and so time to end this lengthy rambling.

Tomorrow … I’ll focus on more studying.  I sure love this Organic Master Gardening Course .. a program like no other!!

And .. I just have to visit Swan Lake again .. I’m hooked!


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