Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Grapes but no wine

IMG_1031-1 We have one grape vine.  It is loaded with grapes this year, even in the heat.  We keep it watered and it seems happy to be alive.  Typically, we did not write down the variety of grapevine but we do know the white juice is sweet and delicious.

After I picked these grapes, I felt maybe they all weren’t all as ripe as they could be.  The grapes in the picture are only about a third of the total I picked and there are still quite a few out there.  I’m letting the rest ripen a little more. 

I think we’ll just drink the juice.  Winemaking is an art that I’ll leave to those who know what they are doing.

Monday, August 06, 2012

iPhone for 99 cents

Last week I read Apple is selling bunches of iPhones—nothing new there, except they are older models.

I thought, “Really, is an iPhone  necessary for Dan and I?  All we use the phone for is call and text.  Still it would be handy for travel.”

So, I checked out AT&T web site.  I couldn’t believe it, a new iPhone 3G S for 99 cents.  In order to get that price, it either has to be a new line or an upgrade.  We had an upgrade available.  So….


It’s no wonder people walk around looking at their phones.  This is a little computer right in my hand.  Never known for being hesitant, I immediately plugged it in to my Windows computer running iTunes and synced.  Before I realize what happened,  all the songs in iTunes downloaded into it.  This phone doesn’t have a huge amount of memory and all the songs about filled it up. I then had to get all the songs back out.  Accomplished.

I did not accomplish downloading the contacts from my old Samsung phone, though.  Finally, it became apparent a trip to the AT&T store would be necessary. 

They saw me coming.  Oh, “no problem” they said.  And, it wasn’t.  According to them the real problem was that I didn’t have any protection around the phone and over the face.

I let them talk me into a cover for this 99 cent phone that they assured me would cost over $300 to replace.  That’s when I spent another $50 just for covers.  Had I checked around there are probably covers for these slightly outdated phones just laying around. Right now it appears AT&T came out the winner on this one.  Still, I’m excited about my new phone.

A roadtrip with a lot of harmony

Dan and I made a last minute decision to experience a real honest to goodness southern gospel sing.  So, it was off to south central Missouri again—Lebanon, this time. 


Here is an example of the music,  “Less of Me” by the Oak Ridge Boys.

This song is not written by Albert  Brumley.  It is in the southern gospel style—close harmony and string instruments.  I also like the lyrics.  So many southern gospel songs are about dying.

Here could be the most recognizable A.E. Brumley song, made famous by the movie, Oh Brother, Where Art Thou.

Isn’t the harmony beautiful with Gillian Welch and Alison Krauss.  I think Willie Nelson also sang it. 

The “Sing” started on Thursday and ended on Saturday night. We only stayed for the one evening, but according to the program, there were no duplicate singing groups at any of  evening performances. We arrived just in time for the Friday evening sing, starting at 7:00 pm with a rowdy bluegrass group that had everyone up and clapping right away.  Then five more groups plus a comedian in the middle.  When everyone was finished, all but the first group and comedian came back for a two song encore.  At midnight, it wrapped up, but I had the feeling it wouldn’t have taken much encouragement to get some of the groups to continue.  Singing this music is obviously a labor of love.  It was a fun evening. 

The groups seemed to all have fancy buses


We stayed in the parking lot with a few other somewhat less fancy buses (we’re on the left).  We think the middle is a tractor pull arena.


Southern music, boon docking in the parking lot and then wake up in the morning to a woodchuck not far away!  It all fit.


From Lebanon we moved west through Missouri to Chanute, Kansas to meet up with long time friends yesterday and this morning.