Archive for April, 2024

Pink moon

Sunday, April 28th, 2024
View from our balcony

We were treated to a beautiful view of the “pink moon” this week – the photo doesn’t capture how big it looked!

After a week of adjusting to not being on vacation any more, John treated me to a great lunch at Mero yesterday. The week was rainy many days (which I love), and the temps are cooler as we begin to move into winter in the southern hemisphere. I had book club with Lea, Rachel, Katherine, and Bhavna at a jazz club on Thursday – a bit difficult to hear but fun to hear a jazz trio. I started things off by knocking over a glass of water on Rachel, but in the end it didn’t matter anyway because the roof started leaking on her (a lot) by the end of the night!

Another week in paradise

Sunday, April 21st, 2024

John and I enjoyed our last week of vacation in Arkansas. We drove to Fayetteville Monday to see his family and spent the night at Phillip and Michele’s where we were happy to meet Phoebe the dog and enjoy their screened in porch among the trees. We got in some good visiting time with Pete and Ginger, too!

John and Pete

Mary drove down from Little Rock to visit us on Wednesday afternoon. Thursday after yoga I went to Chuck’s house to have a coffee and catch up with him; afterward I drove to Arkadelphia to see my half-brother Danny and his wife Georgia and daughter Christi. I hadn’t seen them in years and it was good to visit.

With Danny
…and Christi
And Georgia!

The rest of the week we just goofed off and enjoyed ourselves. We had some good quality time with David and Alison, as always – I enjoy my afternoon coffees with them. John and I enjoyed watching “War and Peace,” “Middlemarch,” and “Les Miserables” (can you tell John is on a classics kick?). We also enjoyed “Dune 2.”

Saturday we met Kelly H at the airport as she was returning to North Carolina and we were heading back to Argentina. Then – just like that – it was time to board our flights and come back to the real world. I was happy to see Flavia well taken care of by Pilar while we were gone.

Until next time, Hot Springs!



Sunday, April 14th, 2024

We were lucky that Hot Springs was in the path of totality for the solar eclipse – it was really neat! Alison took us out in the boat to watch it. It’s hard to describe the eeriness that fell over the earth; I’m just so glad I could see it! Afterwards we went back to David and Alison’s for a yummy BBQ lunch outside. Later that evening, we had a lovely rain that lasted a couple of days – one of my favorite things!

Rick took off early on Tuesday. Later that day, we had lunch at Santorini’s with Carl Paschall and his wife Jane Ellen who were in town visiting relatives. Carl is also a foreign service officer (and ambassador); we met him back in 2009 or so. It was fun to catch up with him and meet Jane Ellen. Very nice folks!

I was happy to get back to yoga at Karen’s downtown studio on Wednesday while Russ came to visit John for the day. I repeated yoga on Thursday and Friday, adding stops at my favorite places on the way home. Yesterday John and I tried to drive around to look at parts of town we aren’t familiar with, like Mount Riante and Diamondhead, but were thwarted by gates – but we enjoyed the drive and catfish at The Filling Station. Everything is so green and beautiful! We drove through Lake Catherine State Park and stopped to see Carpenter Dam. In the early evening, we went downtown to see some close-up magic at Maxwell Blade’s theater – I was tickled that he’s put in this cool bar with an homage to the old Malco Theater where he’s located:

We finished watching the 2016 “War and Peace” and really enjoyed it – so much that we’re now watching the same director’s version of “Middlemarch.” I finished “The Covenant of Water” (wow) and started “Bel Canto.”

I’ll leave you with a few more eclipse photos!

Rick and John
Marybeth and James
Early part of eclipse (it’s dark due to the filter on my phone)
Almost there!

My happy place

Monday, April 8th, 2024

John and I left Buenos Aires Friday night and got to Hot Springs around noon the next day – it’s great to be back on the lake! Mike and Wayne are also in town and stopped by for a visit Saturday afternoon – we hadn’t seen them in years, so it was wonderful to catch up.

Mike and Wayne

Then our friend Rick M., who we served with in Islamabad, drove in from Colorado on Sunday to spend a couple of days with us. And James and Marybeth are staying with David and Alison, so I spent some time with them yesterday – lots going on! We also had a POA meeting for our condo association yesterday afternoon.

John was happy to have a game buddy
Um, there might have been a grease fire under the grill!

Last Sunday, John and I pulled out the bikes for a nice ride – Buenos Aires is moving into fall, so the weather is just perfect. Monday and Tuesday were Argentine holidays (yep, a five-day weekend!). I spent Monday working on employee evaluations and doing some admin work, then Tuesday Lea and I went out for brunch at Marti, one of my favorites.

One day at work, my boss and I met with two staffers from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee – it’s always good to be able to talk to Congress about the good work we’re doing overseas, as well as our challenges.

John and I finished this season of “The 3 Body Problem” (it’s fun!) and started “The Gentlemen.” I finished reading Patti Smith’s “Just Kids” for book club and started on “The Covenant of Water” – Verghese is such a good writer.

For months now, Flavia would only eat homecooked or rotisserie chicken from the grocery store, but lately she had been throwing up a lot. At John’s suggestion, I offered her some sensitive stomach canned cat food — she had previously turned her nose up at it, but this week, she devoured it! Her stomach seems a bit better and we’re thrilled!