30 April 2007

I'm not going to sound like a broken record. Suffice it to say that you can probably guess where I'm sitting, what kind of day it is, etc. I wish it could stay 4:00 today for the next 72 hours or so. With sleeping and eating in-between.

My hard work on this day off was to mulch my garden. It's not done. One of my neighbors had 2 1/2 pallets of Scott's 'Nature Scapes Classic Black' mulch delivered last year. Even at that quantity, it was over $5 per bag. She had at least a pallet left over, and gave bags of it to anyone that would take them. I was pleasantly surprised to find 8 bags stacked on my driveway one day when I got home. I dragged them under my deck for the winter, and today was the day to drag them back. Did I mention I don't have a working wheelbarrow? It was hard work. Unfortunately, I'm at least 8 bags short, and I've be been eying the bags in another neighbor's back yard. He is not any kind of gardener. He spends his time digging rocks and making piles of them. I'll have to take a picture sometime. All the neighbors talk about his rocks. My plan is to ask him if I can have his mulch so it will match what I've put down, and that I will buy him new mulch. I don't think he'll mind. It's what I'm counting on. Anyway, it's amazing how good this very dark mulch looks. I could sit here for 72 hours, just looking at it.

I went for a 'small bowel scan' this morning. I had a kind of crampy pain in my abdomen for about 5 weeks, and this is the latest test to see if something is wrong. I've felt fine for at least the last 3 weeks. I had a CT scan done and that was fine. I had an exam by my gynecologist who found nothing wrong. I saw a gastrointestinal doctor last week who started me on some medicines, and today I had the scan. I had to drink 2 bottles of disgusting Barium. Yuck. Think of 2 16-oz glasses of white Milk of Magnesia doctored up to taste cloyingly sweet. The radiologist took a picture before I drank it, right after I drank it, then every 20 minutes for an hour. She was tracking the progress of the Barium moving through my system. (She told me it could take from 1 to 4 hours) I asked if I could see the image on the screen. It was amazing. You could clearly see my stomach, large and small intestines, pelvis, etc. The doctor came in at the end and took more 'spot' x-rays. Then I went home. I've been drinking water like a fish to try and flush that stuff out of me. I'll call the doctor on Friday for results. I hope everything is normal.

Well, it's time for me to clean up. My tools and trash are just lying where I left them. There's no 'maid service' around here.

29 April 2007

I wish I had a big front porch, but am thankful that I have one at all. I consider myself very lucky to live in a big, beautiful house. It's one of the fortunate things that came out of my marriage. My porch is big enough for two chairs and the front door. It has an electrical outlet, which comes in very handy at times. Like right now. I'm hoping that I'll see a hummingbird come to the feeder from this vantage point of mine. I can type and watch it it at the same time. The weather right now is much like what I remember Seattle being on a good day. The sky is bright blue, it's very breezy, and the temperature is in the mid-70's. What differentiates today from a summer day is the lack of humidity. We have it bad here. So, I'm enjoying spring while we have it.

Emily and I got an early start on the day. We left the house at 9:00 to visit our friend Sheree and her daughters in VA, a 45 minute drive from our house. The plan was to go to the National Zoo. As we should have suspected, the zoo was absolutely packed. The entrances were blocked off to traffic. We drove around, but in the end decided to go to plan B. We went to the harbor area in Georgetown, and ate outside at a wonderful restaurant, Sequoia's. We spent a great afternoon together, then headed back to MD. We went to a huge nursery, Behnke's, on the way home, and I spent much tip money on perennials. When I planned my garden, many years ago, I researched each plant ever so carefully. I arranged them by size, color, bloom time, etc. This time I looked at the descriptions, and chose by what sounded good. Random. I'm sure it will look wonderful. My impulse when I got home at 5:00 was to change my clothes and get busy planting. Then I thought, you never stand still. Why not just sit on the porch and relax. So, here I am.

Me and what I'll be doing tomorrow.

Work was fine, for a Saturday. Early in, hard work in the middle, then...off! On to Border's and my favorite, usual drink. I read an interesting magazine.
Chilled. Stopped by the library and took out a few audiobooks. The one I'm listening to is not thrilling me. Went on home and made plans with Kit. She picked up her nephew John and met Emily and I at the go-kart track; a first for Kit and me. It was a thrilling sensation to go as fast as I could. It cost $2.50 for a spin around the track and it took no time to spend $20. We went to Rita's for Gelati's afterwards, then Emily and I went to Marshall's to do some shopping. We left empty-handed, which was fine. Em and her boyfriend have been watching TV while I've been sitting in the kitchen, creating my avitar. What do you think?

27 April 2007

It feels like Fall again. Cloudy, breezy, rainy and in the 50's. It's supposed to storm the entire day, but the forecast for the weekend is beautiful.

Yesterday my mom and I went out for breakfast at the Nautilus Diner. It's such an impressive-looking place. It's 3 stories tall, but that's just the facade since there's only one story inside. It's huge. It seems as if no detail was spared in the construction, design and decoration. The bathroom has granite floors! The food is good. The waitstaff is older and experienced. It's a hugely popular place. We both ordered omelets, hash browns and toast. I wasn't hungry again till after the game, which is later than I like to eat, so I had a half bagel and went to sleep hungry. That's OK; my body didn't miss the calories.

Next stop was Walmart for a long and leisurely shopping trip. My mother has been in need of new clothes, and this store carries her favorite brand, White Stag. It's very inexpensive, but not made to last. She got 5 bottoms and 3 tops. I have the reputation of being the clothes police. I get rid of stuff, usually to her protests. Her closet is packed with clothes, many of them ready to toss. I retire them for her. She's very happy with her new clothes.

When I left her house, I went to Home Depot to look at their plants. They didn't have any of the market packs of small plants, so I just decided to get the 'instant impact' size. The expensive stuff. That's not ever the way I shop, but you know, it will look good right away, and really fill in the spaces. It actually felt good to just pick out what I wanted, and buy it. It's still a little early to put things in the ground here, so the plants are in a semi-sheltered area where they'll stay till the time is right.

I ran into my childhood best friend at Home Depot. She bought her father's house when he passed away, and it's where she's always lived. Right down the street from my parents. We run into each other every few years, but yesterday was the first time we spent any amount of time talking. We were best friends and inseparable from the age of 6 till 14, the year we were going into high school (10th grade back then). She started becoming friends with a different crowd, a bad crowd, and she dropped me. It really broke my heart. Our lives went in different directions, and as I said, I only see her once in a while when I'm driving down 'our' street, and it's to wave. So, yesterday was good. We talked about old times and had a few good laughs. I have a million memories of our times together. Maybe I'll stop by one day, like she urged. I'm not sure.

So here's what I like about Emily playing softball: It's her first 'real' team sport. I love seeing her be a part of a team. That's totally new. I love the camraderie between the girls. The joking around. The cheering on and encouraging banter. I love the exercise she's getting. I love seeing the respect she has for 'Coach.' It's all good. Her father, who's been out of town on a golfing vacation, showed up at the game, but hung back so she couldn't see him. Aparently the weather was awful in AL so he came back a day early. I'm sure it was so he could watch the game. He's so into this, which is touching to see. Anyway, I heard some of the parents say Emily is the fastest runner on the team. That made me proud. I also heard them complain when she was on 3rd base and kept failing at her attempts to steal the base and run home. She kept running back and forth. I wondered if they knew I was the mother. Emily is learning. The coach told her he'll work with her on her running, and told her she was the fastest one on the team. She was very happy to hear the praise and be recognized for something she's good at. I'm encouraging her to go out for track next year. The game ended something like 14-4, our second loss in a row. Apparently, the team didn't win one game last year. As long as the girls have fun, that's OK.

It is time for me to get ready for work. I'll feel sorry for all the clients that have to go out in this weather after getting their hair done. It will be a good day for me to be inside. La de da....

26 April 2007

It was a full day. I just got home from Emily's softball game. My throat hurts from yelling. I'm surprised that I'm actually enjoying the games. Go Cleveland Indians! That's her team. I'll write more about the day tomorrow. For now I have to get ready to watch Grey's Anatomy. Priorities, you know?

25 April 2007

I just checked on the weather for Thursday. Cloudy and 64. I'll take it. As long as we don't slide back to cold weather, the clouds will be fine. It could actually be a good day for planting if I can find the time. As I was thinking that thought, I imagined what my garden looks like, then remembered seeing all the ant hills that have planted themselves throughout. Why do ants make their homes where they do? Anyone know? I'll admit to pouring insecticide on those hills as I inspected the garden after work. They piss me off. That and the moles that burrow tunnels everywhere. And the groundhog. But, I digress. I'll look for some plants while I'm out tomorrow.

There's really not much to say about this day. I was very busy at work, which is always good. I stayed on time throughout, my clients were on time, and everything ran smoothly. I spent a quiet evening reading blogs and watching American Idol. I'm off tomorrow, which means I get to have my real coffee. I'll do lunch and errands with my mom, spend some time working outdoors, then head to Emily's softball game in the late afternoon. It should be a good day.
It looks like the start of another beautiful day. I just love spring, as most people do. A time of renewal. I'm so aware of the color of the grass, the trees, the sky. It's so welcoming after a long winter. I wish I didn't have to go to work. *Whine* I'll be working an hour and a half later than normal and won't get home till 7:00. Oh well, I am off tomorrow. That's a good thing.

24 April 2007

I think this is about the longest I've gone without writing a real post. The pictures I posted were just a 'spacesaver'. I'm behind on writing and reading all the blogs I love to follow. I promise to do my catching up.

One of my clients came up to me today and said she was just amazed at my blog. I forgot that I gave her my 'address'. She was very impressed, and I was very flattered. I do consider my blog to be pretty mundane. There are some amazing ones out there, and I'm often humbled by what I read. I acted very modest with her, but secretly I was very pleased. Thank you Sheila.

Tonight was Emily's first softball game, and mine too. I had to cancel my last color client to get there on time, but it was worth it. The team they played against was very good, and our team lost. The opponent's pitcher was amazingly good, and our girls didn't stand a chance against her. Even I was afraid of her. Emily got up to bat 3 times, and played infield and outfield positions. I think she did well for a beginner. Her next game is on Thursday and I think they'll do better next time. I'm just calling tonight's game the practice one.

For those of you who've been reading for a while, you might remember the frog that hung out on my gas grill last summer. Well, I'm excited to say that I have a new frog buddy. I spread Scott's Patchmaster on my side yard on Saturday to try to grow some grass. It's the green pulpy stuff that has grass seed in it. Very labor intensive to put down, especially if you follow the directions, like I did. I went out yesterday morning to water, and walked around the large patched area, observing. There was a spot about the size of a quarter that was exposed dirt. I bent down to look at it, and realized that it was moving. I have a problem with moles, and thought one was burrowing underground. Then the bare spot moved, and I saw it was a frog's head. What a shock! It looked like dirt. I watered the area, and the frog came out of his hole. I looked into it, and it goes deep and off to the side. I never knew frogs (or is it a toad?) burrowed. I've gone to check on him a number of times, and so far he's still hanging out in the same spot. Strange but true.

Well, this has been a bit disjointed, but it's something, right? I do think that good intentions count, and I intend to to write again soon. Till then...
Yesterday was one of those extremely busy days off. I cleaned, gardened, detailed my car, etc... No time to write. I have a doctor's appointment before work, so I'll just take this time to put up the pictures I took in Baltimore and Annapolis on Sunday. I'll try to write tonight.

22 April 2007

First stop:Convention Center
What a day! I got an early start and headed to Baltimore at 8:30 this morning. I haven't been to the Inner Harbor area in years. I was surprised that it only took about 25 minutes to get there; I forgot how close it is. It was such an easy drive that I wondered why I stopped going. I parked in the $10 parking garage, and walked across the street to the hair show at the convention center. I put the pictures into a Tabblo so you could get an idea of what a show is about. I'd say this was a medium-large one. I've been to the International Hair Show in N.Y.C. and that is huge. I sat in on two haircutting classes. There were many classes to choose from, for nail techs, estheticians, salon owners, and stylists. The exhibition floor had stages set up with platform artists demonstrating their techniques and products. There were probably about 60 vendors selling their products. I was glad I went, and that I didn't stay too long.

I took lots of pictures of Baltimore, and I'll post them later. That was city #1. When I got home, Emily was rearing to go to Annapolis. A short drive later, and there we were. I'll post those pictures too. I was quite the tourist today, taking pictures everywhere I went.

21 April 2007

Let the sunshine
We've had some pretty bad weather around here, but I think the worst is finally behind us. The last 17 days in a row has seen below average temperatures. Last weekend we had 2.5" of rain. This past September was the last time we had a weekend with full sun and above average temperature for both days. They're calling for full sun, not a cloud in sight, and weather in the high 70's or 80's for the next 4 days. There's going to be a lot of people sporting smiles, and Lowe's and Home Depot will be packed! I'll be inside most of the weekend. Work today, but then softball practice afterwards. Tomorrow I'll be at the convention center for a huge hair show. Still, I'll be outside whenever I can, and there's always Monday.

Time for work. Hope everyone enjoys this beautiful day.

20 April 2007

It was a good and busy day off. I think I'll post pictures of the day here. We started off by going to Home Expo, a division of Home Depot. It's an amazing, high-end big box store that's the place to go if you're remodeling your kitchen or bathroom. Kit and I spent a long time just browsing. She was interested in seeing the place and looking for more than the 4 models of faucets available at Home Depot.

We went to lunch from there to a place called Noodle Corner. I had Pad Thai with shrimp. Yum. If you click on the picture of Kit you'll see the writing on the cup. It's what they give you when you just want water. Kit said that when she went to fill her cup, everyone with water cups was filling them up with soda. So I guess the concept doesn't quite work.

I ran to the library while Emily was at the orthodontist. This guy hitched a ride.

Emily's softball practice was great! The weather held up. It was the first time I was able to really watch the girls bat, throw and catch. Emily did well. The other girls looked just like her, teenagers, and the camaraderie was great. I got to spend time talking to one of the other parents that I know and really like. I think this link will bring you to a short video clip of my daughter up at bat. I was the only one with a camera, of course. I tried to be nonchalant.

The evening ended with a great episode of Gray's Anatomy. It was a good day.

19 April 2007

Ladeda. It's a coffee day! That's the best thing about the start of a day off. For a change, I won't be spending my Thursday with my mother. She's on her way to N.Y. I'll still be eating out for lunch. Kit is coming over this morning, and we'll be running around in Columbia. She's been wanting to go to Home Expo, and this is her last week of part time work. We'll have to get back in time for Emily's orthodontist appointment, then onto softball practice. I hope it doesn't rain again, and that there's a mother to talk to this time. I'm bringing a book along just in case.

This has been the month for education. We had an in-house 4-hour Schwarzkopf color class yesterday. We learned new foiling and coloring techniques that were actually practical and do-able. It was also a basic refresher course of the company's many color lines: semi-permanent thru permanent. The time went by way too fast with everyone hurrying to get their mannequins finished. The mannequin my partner and I used was from an old cutting class I attended. Notice the bangs? Most classes teach you 'trends' as opposed to practical techniques. My theory on continued education is that it's more of a motivator than anything. If I come away with just one new thing, it's worth it. In my state, there are no requirements for continuing education. Some people always do it, others don't. This Sunday is a big convention in Baltimore. I'm looking forward to attending that one. I'm also on the lookout for some new tools.

I'm going to look for new glasses while I'm out. I planned to buy new ones with my bonus money. It must've been meant to be because on Tuesday my frames broke, and I'm wearing my old ones. Choosing glasses is really hard. They're so expensive, and a major part of your appearance. Just think if you could buy them according to how young they made you look. I'd pay way extra for the 30 year-old version of me! Actually, I'm sitting here thinking how great it would be for jeans that made you look 10 pounds slimmer. I think I'll stop with that thought and get ready for the day.
I meant to write today. It's almost midnight, and it's time to put this day to bed. I'll have lots of things to write about tomorrow, and new pictures to post. Come on back later, OK?

17 April 2007

I thought I'd better write something lest someone think this space has been taken over by a certain 13-year old. You should have seen the pure joy when she saw the comments. We all like to get them, but most of us try to act a little low key, you know?

Not much going on today/tonight. I posted a few ads for the collectable magazines on eBay. I checked out what others were asking for the same things. I was surprised by how little, unless bidders wait till the last minute to bid. If nothing sells, that will be OK. At least I will have tried. I wouldn't mind keeping some of the stuff for myself as I'm a collector at heart. I can't imagine that it won't be valuable one day. Then again, I did work hard at cleaning out my basement...
Wow you guys!
I never thought anyone was going to comment me... yay :]! I'm about to go to practice and Quiznos but I'll write something quick.

Yesterdays dinner was really good, it was angel hair pasta with shrimp cooked in garlic and some other stuff. You've probably seen a picture of it before because my mom likes to post pictures of her food...


16 April 2007

Hi, It's EMILY!!!
My mom thought I should write before dinner so here we go...

Yesterday my neighbor Kelly hosted her annual Easter dinner. It was a week late because her daughter Natalie, (who is in the picture with me) was with her dad last weekend. It was fun and we had a lot of really good food.

Right now I'm sitting at my kitchen table waiting for dinner to be served... It is really depressing outside, the sky is light gray and its windy and cold. Ewh.
That's what I want the sky to look like -->

More later; after dinner.
One step forward, two steps back
We've had some amazingly stormy weather here in the northeast. I'm sitting at the library with a second story view of the wind-whipped trees. You can hear the wind howl and the metal roof rattle. I do love the library, but that's not why I'm here. The cable is down at my house, both for the Internet and TV. I won't be surprised if we lose all power. The forecast for the weather is that it will get worse as the day progresses. It would be a good day to be at work, although not for the clients because they'd be sporting some frenzied hair as soon as they walked out the door. But I digress. I didn't have any plans for the day and decided I'd spend time putting up some ads on eBay. Since I couldn't get on the computer at home, I called the library to make sure theirs was working, and made my plans to hang out here. I took pictures of my sale items, downloaded them to folders (so organized!) and drove the short distance to the library . I found the very nice tech person who spent hours with me working on my MP3 player to let her know how I finally got it to work. Then I asked if there was an area where people worked using their laptops. She directed me to this many-windowed area and I set my stuff up. Any clue where's this is heading? Their wireless is down. So, no eBay. I'm reading mail and writing this.

Anyway, I'll tell you about this eBay stuff. I really don't want to be a seller. I have enough stuff to keep me busy. I told a client about how Emily took over posting ads on Craigslist when I was cleaning out the basement. My client was about to have his basement remodeled and had the good idea that Emily might like to sell his stuff. I told her about it and his offer for her to keep 25-30% of whatever price she got. She agreed and we went to his house to see what was there. Some of the things will be give-aways, but then he had what I think are valuable items. Original newspapers in good shape from both Kennedy assassinations. Life and Look magazines from the assassinations. Newspapers from July-August 1969 of the first voyage to the moon. All kinds of Beatles stuff. Baseball cards. Well, Emily has decided she doesn't have time to sell. She did list his bike on Craigslist. And, I feel obligated to at least try to sell some of his things. I'm not doing it for the money. I feel an obligation since an agreement was made. I thought today would be the day I'd get a start. That will have to wait.

15 April 2007

Last night
All right...it's almost the end of the night and I'm just starting to write. It's been a very long day. The bad weather held off till dinner time, and it's here to stay for a while. That's OK. It's not going to snow. I plan to pick my mother up and bring her here tomorrow and I hope I don't have to drive through a storm to get her.

My friend Rebecca and her husband and baby came over tonight. Ed volunteered to look into my mp3 player for me. It was a last resort. He was very patient and did find the problem. It's the mp3 player and the accompanying software. It's now back in it's packaging, and will be returned tomorrow. It was nice having them here for a visit. It's been a long time since a baby's been in the house. It brought back a lot of memories. My family room used to be full of toys and kid stuff. It seems like so long ago now.

I didn't finish this post last night. It needed more 'bones' to it. I was going to say 'meat', but bones means the same and doesn't sound quite so 'raw.' I'm at Panera, waiting for Kit to meet me. It's pouring outside and I didn't know if the restaurants would be busy. They are. I think some people like to get out of their house when the weather's bad. A lot probably like to stay cozy in bed. I'm a mover and never have been comfortable lounging around.

I'll put this up now, but write more later.

12 April 2007

I thought I'd show what the falling petals from the pear tree have done to my garden and driveway. It looks like snow. I always wait till all the petals have fallen before I mulch because they make such a mess. Talking about snow, they're calling for it again on Sunday night. That is just crazy!

It was quite a day. I went to my Mom's and did her hair color. I always let it grow out way too much. There's really no excuse. While I was waiting for it to process I checked out my Dad's computer. He asked me if I could fix the screen. He touched something by mistake, and everything was sideways. He'd been turning his head totally to the left so he could see the screen. And, he spends a lot of time on it playing pinochle. Whew. It was strange to hold that pose for just the few minutes it took me to figure out the fix.

I ran to the library and picked out some books for my Mom while she read in my car. Then we were off to do our Thursday thing: eat out. We went to Applebee's. I'd never been. My GA sister told me she loves the Santa Fe Chicken Salad, so that's what I got. It was delicious, but was swimming in dressing. My mother got a half salad and half sandwich. The plate that the salad was on was so tiny that I had to lay out my napkin under it to stir it up for her. The salad spilled over, as I knew it would. I asked for a bigger plate, but they only had small ones because they keep the larger ones hot for the entrees. Long story. I spoke to the waitress about my salad and my Mom's and she thought I should talk to the manager. I was very nice, told him it was my first time, the food was great, but... He offered us a dessert on the house, which was very nice of him. We shared a hot apple strudel with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce. See, I was out collecting stories to write about!

I stopped at the grocery store on my way home to buy Emily's Asiago cheese bagels. She eats one every day for breakfast and only likes the ones they make at Safeway. The cashier was so surly. She kept rolling her eyes at the customer she was checking out because she was taking too much time at the keypad. She was leaning against the side of her station, yawning and acting so bothered. When she was done with me I went to the manager. I pointed her out, and said, I might be old school, but is that the image that you want to be portraying around here? I told him of her treatment of the customer, and the lack of a hello, eye contact or thank-you to me.

I was out to make the world a better place today.

I had a portable dinner ready for Emily when she got home from school and she ate it in the car on the way to softball practice. The storm clouds were gathering and the wind was whipping up. I was the only female parent there. The other two men were helping with the batting. I sat my myself in my chair, freezing. You could tell it was going to storm any minute. I went to my car for my raincoat. Just as I got back, it started pouring and hailing. The girls were screaming and everyone ran to their cars. We were there for maybe 20 minutes. My first softball practice.

The good thing about being home early was I got an earlier start on my taxes. My wonderful neighbor does them on Turbo Tax for me every year. They are done.

I see Blogger is going to be out at 10:00 and I'm just beating the clock.

Good night to all.

11 April 2007

I'm writing this with the rain making a steady beat on the roof. It's a soothing sound, especially at night. I hope it's done by tomorrow. Maybe, just maybe, we'll wake up to a day that feels like spring.

I tried a technique from the haircutting class on a client today. Not the same haircut; I won't do that. Mine was symmetrical. I took my time, and really liked what it did for the layers. Turns out the co-worker who went to the class was watching, and came over. She said, 'you're doing what we learned at the class.' I really didn't want my client knowing I was trying something new, but it was out. She was OK with it. She's one of those clients who always lets me do whatever I want. It turned out really good. When I was done, my co-worker asked me to cut her hair. This is the one that went to the class with me. I didn't want to and said no many times. She pressured me, and I gave in, against my better judgement. She said 'it's only hair and whatever you do will be fine.' I should have known better. I didn't start from scratch, just texturized the cut she had. She watched me. We talked about what I was doing. At the end she said, "I think the top should have been cut differently. I think we took out the fullness. I should have looked at my paper where I had it written down." Later on I looked over at her and she was cutting her own hair. When I finished my client and went to her she said, oh, I can't even blow dry it and make it look good. Oh, great. I told her she couldn't blame me. She asked for the cut, she saw what I was doing, she knew I didn't want to do it, and she should have looked at the directions. Now I'm the one who gave the bad haircut. I should have known! She should have known too.
I just checked the weather. It's actually going to get back into the 60's and 50's this week with a little rain. A little more like spring. It's the middle of April and I still have to wear long sleeves every day. That just doesn't seem right. I wish I lived in Palm Springs, CA. Just for a while.

09 April 2007

Attention clients or future ones: I learned a new haircut today. If I tell you it'll look great on you, RUN, don't walk. Today's class was held at a distributor's facility. Tickets for the $75 hands-on class were limited to 15 students. The instructor, Lonn, was blowdrying his mannequin when we walked in. It looked like there were 4 different haircuts on the same head. Lonn began by giving a step-by-step explanation of the 'theory in motion' technique he'd be teaching. If I could have left then, I would have. He might as well have said, hey, let's do this totally disconnected haircut and call it art. We wet down our mannequins, and went to watch Lonn section the area he was starting with, and make the first cut on his mannequin. We went to our mannequins and did the same. Then we went back to watch, and back to cut. That's how we did the entire haircut. It took 4 hours to complete, but the time did fly. I think I did my haircut better than some of the other stylists. I was pretty nervous going into it because I don't perform well under pressure. The instructor and his assistant were very unassuming, and everyone was pretty much confused. Emily was surprised when she saw the haircut my mannequin was sporting. She liked the bangs. Woo hoo! I think the only thing left to do on the mannequin in the picture was to cut the bangs. They still covered her eyes. Yes, one side is much longer than the other. It's supposed to be that way. Hey, we got a bracelet and a certificate! It was an interesting way to spend the day. Next week we'll be having a color class in our salon. I'll learn something that I can actually put into practice.

08 April 2007

I'm in ladeda land right now. I finally have a banner that I love. Thanks to Andrew, and the site, bennyandroo, where I bought the banner from. The site belongs to my good friend's daughter, and she makes banners, jewelry and other artsy stuff. Check it out. So, no more constantly changing the look of the blog. Andrew inserted the banner code and designed the other elements around it. What do you think?
I've felt a little 'out of it' all day. I think it's just from lack of sleep. The first few hours of this Sunday were spent lazing around. My mother advised it, and I obeyed. Finally I got started by 'erasing' more of my ceramic tile floor. Little by little, I'm scrubbing it with Soft Scrub. The part that's done looks erased compared to the rest. Yeah, I know. What fun! Finally I told Emily we had to get out of the house. Since all she'd eaten was Easter candy, it was time for a real meal. We went to the mall, thinking we'd eat at Golden Corral, and noticed that the mall parking lot was empty. I didn't realize almost everything would be closed for Easter. The restaurant was packed-no surprise. We went to Damon's and got right in. While waiting for the meal I thought of Andrew and how he goes out to the shopping center for writing ideas. I can say I go to restaurants for mine. That way I have an excuse to eat out more. Emily and I had steak dinners. We both used A-1 sauce for the first time. Don't ask why I never tried it before (I couldn't answer). We decided to try the movie theatre at the mall. We saw 'Are We Done Yet?' (The sequel to 'Are We There Yet?) It was silly, funny, and heart-warming. We loved it.

I spent some time adding new links to my blog. I'm still working on it. If you're reading this and I didn't ask you, I hope you don't mind.

Tomorrow I'm spending the day at a hands-on haircutting class. Trust me that it's out of my comfort zone. Hopefully, there'll be a good story in it.
My daughter asked why I write so much. I don't think it's so much. It's something I enjoy; a hobby. OK, an addiction. I'll be truthful. It's my journal, my diary. Some of it's good, some just rambles. Sometimes I wonder what keeps people coming back.

I'm bleary-eyed this morning. It was a late night and an early morning. If we hadn't gone to bed so late I'd wake Emily up and go to the diner. Before the Easter crowds.

I went to a 50th birthday party last night. It was great just being out and amongst a crowd of people. I knew a little more than a handful, and everyone was happy to be socializing. I spent time talking to an old high school acquaintance that I hadn't seen since one of the reunions from years ago. It was nice talking to someone who had something to say and asked questions. He was very interested in the whole blog thing. I told him I'd problably write about the party, and here I am. It took place in the birthday girl's beautiful home. She's lucky to have a family that she's close to and a lot of friends. The place was full of people. The array and quantity of food was pretty amazing. I think everyone had a really a great time.

I'm going to get a start on the day; I have a lot of cleaning up that I'd like to do. It's way too cold to do anything outside, which is too bad. At least the sun is shining.

07 April 2007

There's a dusting of snow outside. We were spared anything worse, thank goodness. And another Saturday starts...

06 April 2007

Today just kind of slid by. Is there such a thing? It wasn't boring, and I was busy at work. It was just a ho hum kind of day. The Dove's milk chocolate eggs on the front desk that I kept returning to kept my energy up. I had a good mix of clients. I did get to do my cousin Jill's hair, and it's always nice to visit with her. The ride to and from work was good because I'm listening to a new book, The Road by Cormac McCarthy. It's the new Oprah's Bookclub selection. I read one of McCarthy's books last month--the western that I didn't like. I'm giving him another try. So far I'm on the third out of 6 Cd's, and it's riveting. Plus, it's performed by one of my favorite narrators.

I spoke to Emily for a long time tonight. She was alone at her father's, her choice, and she wanted me on the phone till he got home. Her bravery was short-lived. Trust me that engaging her in conversation on the phone is a rarity. It was nice to have a captive audience!

There's an 80% chance of snow tonight, starting after midnight. Hello winter, we're so over you. The only white stuff I want to see is in the form of flowers. If it does snow, it ought to make for some beautiful pictures. Let's hope my camera sits idle in the morning.

05 April 2007

Sorry it took so long to write a 'real' post. Also, I'm behind on reading my blogs. That's what I'll be doing in the morning...catching up. I'll look forward to that.

I'm at my parent's house. I think I've said it's where I grew up. My Mom and I and my sister from GA are in the den, and they're watching Oprah. Today's show is about families living with autism. The statistics are shocking. It's actually hard to be in the same room and not watch it. As frustrated as I can be with my daughter's behavior, I am counting my lucky stars that she is healthy. That is truly a blessing.

Much of my family will be gathered together tonight for our 'faux' Passover meal. A few days late, a little unorthodox, but we'll be together, and that's what counts. We'll have chicken soup with matzo balls and farfel, gefilte fish, brisket, potato casserole, broccoli, and matzo. We made a dessert like the one I had made with the crackers, but we used matzo. There should be 13 to 15 of us.

I feel so guilty when I don't post regularly. I was so busy with Emily this morning, and on the go in the afternoon, then at the family home till 8:30 tonight. I'm just now settled in, and will be turning off the lights very soon.

I took Emily to a mall this afternoon on our search for a dress for my nephew's wedding. Still looking for just the right one, although my first choice is the one she had on in the picture I posted. What we did find today were two cute 'shrugs'-- little half-sweaters, very light-weight, that can be worn over a thin-strapped dress instead of a shawl. Now we can look at dresses with straps. That's all you see these days. You know what I mean, right? Too much information? I hate being one of those Moms hanging outside of the dressing room. We're always bored looking, and usually arguing with our daughters. We always want them to try on the next bigger size. We look at each other and know we're in the same boat.

My GA sister's husband and two boys met us outside the Muvico theaters and I left Emily with them to see The Robinson's in 3-D. I went to (guess where??) Staples to try to get help, again, with my audiobook problem. They tried, but guess what? They couldn't figure out the problem. I bought another brand, and will try it out. If it doesn't work, I'll return them and you won't hear another word out of me on that subject. That's a promise. Don't hold me to it if I can't keep it, though. OK?

There were 15 of us for dinner. I brought my big folding table so we were all in the living room and dining room. I forgot to take pictures of the group. It isn't often we're all together. My brother's son, my GA sister's three older kids and the wife of one were the only ones missing. (Hey guys, you were missed!) A great time was had by all. The dessert did not turn out. Think of marshmallows cooked over a campfire than catch on fire and you blow them out...That was the exact taste. We won't be using that recipe again. My Dad recently bought a slot machine, so there was a group in the den playing that. It's full of quarters, but winners go home empty-handed. A group was in the 'new' room watching The Illusionist. The rest of us hung out talking. I cut my brother-in-law's hair. Everyone likes a 'Cheryl' haircut when they can get it. (I cut my sister's hair on Wednesday)

So, now it's almost 10:00. I want to be off tomorrow too. I want it to be the weekend. Alas, that will not be. Two more workdays to go, and then it will be Saturday afternoon, and you know where I'll be.

Talk to you soon.
Aren't they beautiful? These flowers are from my bosses for my 20th Anniversary. I also got a generous bonus. It was a very nice recognition.

I'll write a real post tomorrow.

03 April 2007

Today was a biggie. The 20th anniversary at my job. Twenty Years. A milestone. I remember the beginning so well. My fear of change had kept me at a chain salon for too long. My clients were urging me to move on. Finally, I got the courage. I started collecting my client's contact information, and started researching salons. I wanted to do my homework and pick the best place for me. I knew my work ethic and that I'd be an asset at any place I worked. I planned to interview every salon in the city till I found the right one. I made my first interview appointment, assuring myself I wouldn't die from fright. I met the owners at a local restaurant, felt an instant rapport, and talked on and on about hopes, goals, life, etc... They offered me the position on the spot. I told them I had other interviews scheduled, and that I'd have to get back to them. It sounded like the perfect place for me, but what about my plans for all those interviews? I didn't want to settle for the first offer. Would this be settling? What to do? I made the decision that this place was the right one. Twenty years proves it was, and is, the perfect job for me.

02 April 2007

Early afternoon
I'm at my local library, the largest in my county. I'm here for help, and thought I'd get on the Internet while I'm waiting for some files to load onto my laptop. I've had the most frustrating time with downloading an audio book onto my computer and then onto my mp3 player. I'm really kind of depressed about it. I spent at least 3 hours working on it yesterday. I went to my 23-year old nephew's house today for help, and he couldn't figure it out. I've been at the library working with their tech person for probably an hour and a half. It's a gorgeous day outside and here I am. I could have read the book for all the time I've spent on it. I'm not usually a moaner and complainer. I try very hard to understand things I don't know about. It's days like this that I just feel like giving up.

I think I've written about my love of audio books before. I started listening to them at least 15 years ago when the selection was so minimal you could only find abridged versions on cassette tape. From where I'm sitting at this library that has 60 computer stations, there are 3 double-sided racks of audio books, and a huge selection of free downloadable books online (they load into a temporary file for three weeks, but can be renewed). I'm never without a book to listen to in my car. The collection of CD's, as opposed to cassettes, is slowly taking over. I made sure when I bought my car 3 years ago that it had a CD player and cassette player. I wouldn't have bought it if it didn't. If you haven't tried listening to the book that I am sadly coming to the end of: The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls, I would highly recommend it. I think anyone would be hooked.

Late afternoon
The person who helped me at the library was so nice. And interesting. We had a lot of time to talk in the 2 hours I was there. She works part-time for a marketing firm, part time at the library teaching tech-related classes, and her free time entering sweepstakes on the Internet. She told me she wins things all the time. A trip to Napa, cash, trips to the beach, etc. She listens to audio books while she does that. Her husband plays Texas Hold Em online. He started with $10 free money, and is up about $300 so she doesn't mind. So, having this conversation with someone I would never have met kind of make the time spent waiting for the book to download worthwhile. It took at least 45 minutes. And guess what? I can't find it on my mp3.

I came home and tried to go online. You guessed it. No Internet connection. I called the cable company and was told there's a problem either inside or out, and though it's working temporarily, it will go out again. They'll be here on Thursday morn.

This is rambling, but, it might be all I write for days, so bear with me.

I went out for a walk. It's probably in the 80's today, very breezy, bright blue sky with beautiful clouds. I took my camera to try to capture some of the beauty. I walked over to the Beaver Pond, and thought I saw the beaver. Turned out to be a muskrat. It looked like a big, swimming rat. I watched it on dry land for a while, till it swam away.

I saw a woodpecker in my neighbor's garden. I thought it was a morning dove at first till I saw the red head. I love woodpeckers, but have never seen one walking around on the ground. I followed it for quite a while, snapping away.


I spent the next few hours on my front porch. The day really turned around. I'm listening to Corinne Rae Bailey on my mp3 player now. Not an audiobook. Still, life is fine.

01 April 2007

A lot to write. Where should I start? No time like the present. I'm sitting at Panera having an asiago bagel with veggie spread (hear that Teronni and Rich?) This is a different Panera than the one I was at on Monday. I came in and noticed no laptops. Hmm... I did a quick walk-around looking for an outlet. No outlets. I found an employee to ask if they have free wireless (yes) and asked where the outlets were. There is 1 in the entire place, under a booth. And here I sit. I came here to meet a buyer for my IKEA bedding. I scanned the Sunday advertisements before I left the house and saw that Staples had a Sony 1G MP3 player on sale for $39 with rebate. I've been wanting an MP3 player to download free audio books to from my library. There was 1 in the store and I have it in my bag. New toy!

Here's a view from my bathroom window. Flowering pear tree hogs the view.

Now I can skip around. Keep in mind I'm on my second cup of strong coffee. I did the haircut of a friend, Esmerelda on Friday. One of the first things she said was, I can't wait to take a picture to put on my blog. Yes, my ears perked up. She's a former co-worker of my ex and I see her very infrequently because she hardly ever gets her hair cut. I thought she was cool from the first time I met her 9 years ago. She's just so funny. Her blog is soontobejustme. Visit her and find out why.

I love going out to eat. It was something I did a lot of when I was married, and the places we went to were really nice. Now, especially since Emily is pretty selective in what she likes, we go to mostly chain restaurants. I was meeting Kit last night for dinner, and she suggested we go to a place she liked, her treat. When we got there, she told me not to pay attention to the prices and to get whatever I wanted. Yum. A glass of wine, a wonderful salad, seared rock fish with a sauce of shrimp, pea salsa and candied walnuts and a dessert of bing cherry and dark chocolate bread pudding with pistachio brittle ice cream, and I left a happy, if heavier, person. Thanks Kit! We hung out at her house for a while afterwards, and then it was home to daughter. She was at the neighbors and I came in just in time to play a game of Phase 10. Anyone ever heard of it? It's a card game, easy for any age player, and fun. There were 4 of us playing, with Emily being the only 'kid'. She turned out to be the winner. A good time was had by all. I did a little entertaining by relaying a story about a very 'interesting' client I had on Friday. They were all in stitches by the end.

Well, time to run to Walmart for some finch food, then rescue said daughter from a boring day at home, alone.