30 November 2007

Not much to say tonight. How's that for a change? No stories about the house, the holiday, the yard, etc.. That's getting a little old anyway. I don't want to sound like a broken record and bore you. I'm tired and I have a headache. Work seemed endless today. I'm happy to be in my quiet home, and I'm getting into bed early. I'll catch up with you all tomorrow.

29 November 2007

I'm usually really tired at the end of a day off. Today was no different. I spent the long trip to the dentist talking to my sister in GA. I always use the speaker phone. My dentist, David, diagnosed my problem right away. I don't remember the name of it, but he's sure it's from clenching my teeth, either when I sleep or during the day. He took impressions for a TNI device. All I know is that it's tiny, clear, and it fits between your front teeth, keeping them from touching. I'll wear it at night. I stopped at Sam's Club on the way home to pick up a prescription and get gas. $2.88 gallon. A bargain around here. I came home and with Emily's help, raked all the leaves out of the garden and what little grass I have. Nine bags. It was beautiful today--mid-50's. A perfect day to rake and be outside. I haven't touched the leaves in my backyard and that's where all the trees are. Out of sight, out of mind. And that's OK with me.

When we were done, I put the Christmas lights on the shrubs. The same ones I trimmed a few weeks ago. Last year I did the most engineer-y thing. I diagrammed the wiring. I was the Happyone setting it all up. Yes, nerdy me took a picture to show you. The round things are the shrubs. Hey, it took all the guesswork out of a hard job and made it simple.

The rest of the day was spent cleaning up and decorating. There's just some stuff to clean up on the dining room table. That's it. I'm officially done. Time for TV.
I've gotten a lot of decorating done this morning but not enough. I hate that I have to leave for the dentist when I'm having so much fun. Abbagirl...I thought of you as I listened to John Mayer while putting up garland. I wish I had him seranading me in my living room right now. A girl can dream, right? I'll leave you with a few pics.

Why I like to decorate.

Why it's good to be organized

Why I need to rake.

Why I don't like my pear tree.

28 November 2007

The best part of my workday was doing a new haircut on one of my clients (hi Nancy). It's something I've wanted to do for a long time, and she let me convince her. I was sure that what I had in mind was right for her, so I had no hesitation. I loved it. Other stylists loved it. I think she really liked it, but needs some time to get used to it. She was sure her husband would hate it. What is it about men and long hair? Anyway, Nancy told me she was caught up on my blog. I forgot she read it. She kept teasing me about being happy.

I drank some real coffee at work in the afternoon. Woo hoo! I'll pay for it tonight, but it sure did make me happy after I drank it. I wish I could drink coffee every day, but it makes me hyper, and there's a thin line between hyper and anxious for me, and I know my triggers.

I picked up a frozen pizza from Trader Joe's tonight..Pizza 4 Formaggi. It was fabulous. (I also bought a Pizza Marghereta but we didn't like it) I put some frozen pineapple chunks on it before baking because that's our favorite kind of pizza. TJ has lots of different pizzas. I predict I'll be buying more.

Emily asked me to bake a cake tonight. I pulled out my new cookbook and looked up cake recipes. Having my new mixer makes me want to bake. Alas, I didn't have the required cake flour so tonight's cake is Betty Crocker. Still, it was fun to set the timer for 2 minutes and have the machine mix all by itself. Yes, I stood there and watched it. Emily couldn't wait for the cake to cool, so she cut a slice and left the rest for me to frost. Did I want to eat the slice I just finished? No, and it wasn't wonderful. Where was my willpower?

Tomorrow I'll go to the dentist to see what's going on with my teeth/jaw. The rest of the day I'll spend at home. Or so I say now. I wonder what else the day will bring?

26 November 2007

I think the silver tree to the right of the fireplace looks lonely. Don't tell Emily I said that. I know where I can find brothers and sisters.

It's 5:00, I'm finally home and settled in, but am I in my sweats reading my book like I told myself I would? No. Here I am. I guess this is home sweet home to me.

I got my usual early morning start. Went to the bank, post office and grocery store. Went to my parent's and my mom and I went to Annapolis Mall. The longer I was there, the more I wanted to leave. I parked in front of Macy's instead of Lord and Taylor's. That meant that I had to leave my mother in the shoe department of Macy's while I walked through the mall to customer service to pick up an electric scooter. Then I drove it through the mall and through Macy's to my waiting mother. It was fun, actually, but eye-opening. So many people stare at you when you're 'disabled.' I returned something at Macy's, couldn't find anyone to help me at Hollister's, and couldn't find American Eagle. The mall just added 70 new stores and everything's rearranged. When it was time to leave, I had to do the whole scooter thing again in reverse. Bring Mom to the door by Macy's, drive the scooter to customer service, walk through the mall and through Lord and Taylor's, then drive to Macy's to pick her up. I'll never again forget the right mall entrance to use. We always go to Annapolis Mall because they have the electric scooters. I really dislike pushing a wheelchair, and the scooter gives my mother independence. Sometimes too much. She disappears, then I have to go through the stores calling her name like I'm a lost kid. But that's OK...she should be able to go where she wants.

We had lunch at a favorite Italian place. I did not watch my calories--I'm so weak! I had eggplant parmesan, which I just love. It was my first time having it there, and I might just have it every time in the future. I picked up Fettuccine Alfredo for Emily's dinner. Then I brought my mom home and headed to the library. For more cookbooks to read. I like to read them in bed before going to sleep.

Now I'm home, at the end of this post, and I really am getting into my sweats and reading my novel. I don't know if I should even read over this. I have a feeling it's a big yawn.

25 November 2007

Here's another peek. I didn't get a whole lot of decorating done today. I did put the lights up around my garage, front door and deck. I can't put any on my bushes till the tree drops it's leaves. My living room is a big wreck, with lots of containers partially emptied and the tree undecorated. Stuff is everywhere. It's too big of a task for now.

I slept for 10 1/2 hours on Friday night, and for some reason I just couldn't fall asleep last night. I finally turned my light on at 2:30 and read for a while. When I turned the light off, I fell asleep instantly. I wish I had done that sooner. I met Kit for coffee in the morning, then came home to bake. I decided to make American Sandwich Bread from Baking Illustrated.

You should have seen me! I'm kind of a 'detail' person anyway, and this cookbook was right up my alley. Following it's directions, I used an instant read thermometer to make sure the milk and water were 110 degrees before adding the yeast. I marked the dough's initial height in the bowl with a rubber band before letting it rise so I could tell when it had doubled. I used my thermometer after the bread had baked the suggested time to make sure it was 195 degrees. Now I have to let it cool so I can try it. Bread and butter sounds like a plan to me. Too bad today's the start of the diet.

So, another day of being tired, tired. I still have more stories to tell, but I'll save them for another time.

Thanks for reading! Seeing comments, and knowing I have friends here, really makes me happy. Just thought I'd share that with you.

Dangly ornaments I sewed onto the edges of my window treatments. Just because.
PS...Yeah, right, like I was going to be able to resist! It's delicious.

24 November 2007

The end of another busy day. I'll write a proper post tomorrow. I didn't want to let a day slip by without anything new here. I bought this Santa a few years ago. It's one of my prized possessions. This is just a peek.

23 November 2007

What a day. It feels like the earlier part happened in a dream. The ride up to the craft fair was very nice. For the first time ever, the only thing I purchased was kettle corn. There was nothing I wanted to buy. I was hoping for a feather tree, or tinsel tree, or something with glitter. Perhaps a miniature felted tree skirt for one of my tiny trees. Nothing. So, I saved some money. It wasn't like I didn't buy a pre-lit silver tinsel tree today at Kohl's. We stopped by Border's on the way home. I got a regular coffee and sat with a magazine. After a few sips, I made the smart decision not to drink it. I knew it would only keep me up, and I don't want anything to interfere with my good nights' sleep. We got a lot of decorating done today. Emily and her boyfriend brought the tree up from the basement and they completely set it up. It looks beautiful. Oh, if only I could leave it undecorated. It's my least favorite job although it looks wonderful when it's done. I'll post a picture of my family room soon. Emily thinks it's too much. I'll let you decide.

My mixer is sitting on my counter. It looks so sturdy. I put today's date on the underside with a red Sharpie marker. One day we'll look back and remark on how long we've had it and how much we've used it. I'll always remember the story of it's purchase. What do you think the mixer's first task should be?

I'm ready for some reading in bed. I hope I sleep all night long...
Call me crazy

I am. Seriously. I know I mentioned that I've always wanted a KitchenAid mixer, but could never justify buying one because I just don't bake that much. If you ask anyone who owns one, they swear by them. They're built to last a lifetime. Well, I recently read a review by America's Test Kitchen, and they said that the KitchenAid Classic Plus is the ideal mixer for anyone, and that they can be bought at places like target.com for about $199. That planted the seed that's been growing. Well, guess what I found in Kohl's Black Friday ad? The mixer on sale for $159 with a $30 mail-in rebate. Plus, they were giving $10 coupons for every $50 you spent. Plus, I had a 15% off coupon. Can you see why I couldn't resist? Then there was the GPS system I wanted. I didn't know what kind, but when I came home last night and started looking through all the sale papers and all the GPS's on sale, I got flummoxed. Then I went to cnet.com and started researching. Then I just got confused. I didn't want to buy an expensive one, but I wanted a good one. I decided to just go to Kohl's for the mixer and be done with it. I got into bed at midnight, but couldn't sleep with the anticipation. I imagined myself with my arms wrapped around that mixer box walking through Kohl's. Would people run through the store when it opened. Oh, did I mention it opened at 4 AM? Then there was the GPS issue. Should I go to Best Buy, Wal-Mart, RadioShack? Should I just forget it? I laid in bed for an hour. I got up at 1:15. I looked through all the sale papers again. I researched again. I left the house at 3:15. There were a lot of cars at Kohl's. I decided to wait outside, but when I got to the doors I saw that the outer ones were open and people were waiting in the anteroom. I went in and spent a pleasant half hour with the people standing near me. The doors were finally opened and, to my horror, the people to the side of us rushed the doors, pushing us aside. My pocketbook got caught in the door. I was frightened of a stampede. Luckily, those very greedy cheaters got in, and the rest of us could enter. It seems everyone was after the $49 portable DVD players. I didn't want to take the time for a cart, and hurriedly made my way back to the appliances. There was my prize! Of course, I didn't realize the box would weigh a ton. I think the mixer is made of cast iron with a stainless steel bowl. So that picture I had of me carrying my mixer with my arms wrapped around it? Correct. I was the first person in line, and after putting it in my car, I went back inside to browse. I was up, after all. I bought a silver pre-lit tinsel tree. Don't tell Emily. And some other stuff. Enough to earn another $10 coupon. Done with Kohl's, I decided I might as well go to Sam's Club, right around the corner. Their ad did mention a free continental breakfast, after all. Well guess what? I picked up their sale GPS. Then I saw a lot of people around the cameras. Turns out they had a Sony digital camera for $89, but someone had just taken the last one. Darn. I thought that could be a great gift for someone. I stood around looking at the Samsung camcorder that I didn't need. I talked to someone about the GPS. Then I saw someone walking towards the display with the camera in his hand. Could he be putting it back? You should have seen me pluck that baby off the shelf. Merchandise paid for, I sat down to my breakfast. And convinced myself I didn't need the Sharp 42" LCD TV on for a ridiculously low price.

I came home to my very, very messy family room. A two inch pile of sale circulars strewn across the floor. I turned on my laptop, and gathered the papers. My eye caught the RadioShack ad. Hmmm, were their GPS's better than the one I just bought? Back to cnet.com. Yes, their's was better. It had blue tooth. A bigger screen. Only $20 more. Did I get back in the car? Yes I did. I was up, after all. Luckily there's a RadioShack around the corner. The shelf was empty, but the salesman had one last unit in the back. With my name on it. I guess it was just meant to be.

Check out this cloud I saw on my way home. I've never seen anything like it. It looked like a torpedo, at least to this sleep deprived mind.

And now, guess what? I have a whole 30 minutes before Emily and I leave to drive up to Frederick for our traditional day after Thanksgiving craft fair. It's, oh, at least an hour away. Time for Motrin and coffee.

Have a great day!

22 November 2007

I'm still full. I ate a wonderful dinner. A sensible dessert. Then I grazed as the evening progressed, and now, I'm still full.

I took a zillion pictures, and put some of them on this slideshow. Thanksgiving was held at the wonderful home of my cousins Kate and David. They just moved into this house last month. You'll see from the pictures that's it's a great place to host a big gathering. My family is so down to earth and funny and we love being together. Having a crowd this size is a group effort--everyone brings something. I'm the family carver, and carved 3 turkeys. They always order them from Omaha Steaks. They come to the door on dry ice, cleaned and ready to go in a cooking bag. They're the best turkeys I've ever had, and being the carver, I know them well! A great time was had by all, as I hope was the case with all of you.

This is a long slide show. Sorry...There's a white arrow on the right side. If you click it, you can go faster.

I can't believe I'm saying this, but I plan to be at Kohl's when they open in the morning. At 4 AM. I'll tell you more tomorrow. Call me crazy, OK?

21 November 2007

I'm so glad that some of you are making my baked pineapple recipe. I hope you absolutely love it. I mean, anything with that much butter has to be great, right? Let me know how it goes, OK? I'll be making a double and a single recipe in the morning. We won't be leaving for the relatives till around 2:00.

Today was long. You know that short-timer syndrome. I came home and took Emily and her boyfriend to Pachanga Grill, a great Mexican restaurant that's nearby. We all had Chimichangas. Yum. When we got home, Emily wanted to start decorating. I was happy to have the help, so we started bringing the Christmas bins up from the basement. We got the mantle and stereo cabinet done, and then she pooped out. So, the house is now messy with containers and tissue paper and trees on the floor. I'll be cleaning that up in the morning. So far my mantle is my favorite. It's very, very glittery. Last year I fell in love with German glass glitter, and it's everywhere. So, the house is partially done. It's a start.

Something strange is going on with my teeth. I started having some pain in my jaw a few days ago. Then yesterday, it seemed that my teeth didn't fit together at all. When I try to bite down, the bottom teeth that are to the left of middle hit the back of the teeth above them, keeping all my molars from touching. When I try to shift my jaw so the back teeth meet, I have a lot of pain. Weird. Here's my theory: I have these granola bars that I love. I have one a day and eat them slowly with my front teeth. What can I say? I've been doing this for quite a while. I see that I've been bringing my lower jaw forward so my front teeth meet. Could that have done it? If I promise to eat the granola bars like a normal person, do you think my teeth will go back? I'm not going to be a hypochondriac about this. It's just weird.

I know that most of you will be busy tomorrow, but I'll be around in the morning catching up with you. Till then...
I'm inserting this in the morning, out of order, but you know how Blogger works. The first thing I did when I woke up was to try out my bite. The jaw hurts a little, but the teeth are meeting in the right way. As I said before, weird. But much better.
I tell you what, working two 11-7 days in a row wears me out. Literally. Last night I came home and sat on the couch till 9:30 reading an illustrated book of the 50 most notorious crimes. Like I had nothing better to do? I came upstairs and got ready for bed then read my 'bed book', Baking Illustrated, by the editors of Cook's Illustrated Magazine. I love all the cookbooks they publish. They make me very 'book smart.' I don't do much cooking, but I know a lot of trivia.

Finally, it's Wednesday, my last day of work. Hurrah! I don't have many plans for my time off. We'll be going to my cousin's for Thanksgiving. There'll be 39 of us there. Yup, we're big. On Friday, Emily and I will go to the Frederick Craft Show. It's our tradition and it kicks off the Christmas season. When we get home, I'll start decorating the house. Saturday night we'll be going to a big surprise 50th anniversary party for my aunt and uncle. I guess that does sound like a lot of plans, but with home time in-between.

How many of you are having company for Thanksgiving or having it at home?

20 November 2007

Second day of a tiny post. Sorry! I followed Abbagirl's advice and went to the grocery store early this morn. Came home and wrote out my holiday party invitations. Since I have a little time, I'm going to Target. Then I can relax at work. Hah!

Happy Tuesday.

19 November 2007

Today is not my Sunday.

Yup, I'm working like the rest of the world. The stylists in my salon made the decision to work today, in exchange for being off on Saturday. So, it's Monday-Wednesday this week, then I don't go back to work till next Tuesday. Woo hoo!

18 November 2007

It's Sunday, a slow day in Blogland, but a busy one for me. Would you expect less? I left the house early to get to my parent's so I could do my mother's hair. I tried telling myself that it didn't look that bad, but I knew she really wanted it done before seeing all the relatives on Thursday. I wouldn't be a very good daughter or hairdresser if I let her show up with bad hair. I got to their house around 8:30 and did her color and cut. She was very appreciative. From there, I drove to Annapolis to see Bonnie, my client and blog friend and glass artist, who was participating in an art show. Her many glass objects were beautiful, and I hope she had a successful day.

From there I went to Macy's to buy my sister a holiday gift. I won't tell you what I got cause then she'd know (hi Lisa!). There's a Sam's Club across the street from Macy's, and I sat in my car and tried to think if there was anything I needed. Then I remembered this weekend is their food sampling extravaganza to toast in the holidays. Shamelessly, I drove right over and spent the next 20 minutes or so eating. Uh huh, I just ate, no purchases. What can I say? There were a few things that I sampled that were really good and I will buy them some other time. I shopped at two grocery stores on the way home with minutes to spare before turning around and driving Emily to work. Yes, work. She has a job and I'll write about that sometime soon. I went to the Panera's across the street, to find that the only electrical outlet they have was not functioning. I was thinking I'd have a drink and write from there, but decided to just come home. That's where I'm at. Whew. On the one hand, I should get upstairs and work on my cards. On the other, I just want to sit and read the newspaper and all the magazines that have piled up. I think that's what I'm going to do. I need to just stop.

I found an Internet site that carries my birdbath, for anyone that might be interested. I bought mine from The Wild Bird Center. Here's a few pics. You can mount it on a deck, or to a pole in the ground. The great thing is that it tilts out, so all the old water and junk spills over the side. The grass is very green in that spot below my deck! You'll see in the second picture how the cord is stored underneath, for when you don't need it. It's about time.

I think I'm going to relax now. Ahhhh...

17 November 2007

When I looked out on my deck this crisp Fall morning, I saw a squirrel drinking from the birdbath. Then I saw he was just kind of picking at the water. After he left, I went outside to find it completely frozen. I guess it's time to unravel the hidden cord and plug in the heater. The birds and the squirrels use the birdbath year round. It was an expensive purchase, but I've gotten years worth of pleasure out of watching the creatures use it.

I'm ready for work on this Saturday morning. Lots of energy, 'cause I'm a morning person. Only two of us stylists start at 8:00. One or two start at 8:30. We start out with soft jazz music. By 9:15 the salon is busy and loud and the radio station's tuned to rock. I love the early quietness before the day starts rolling. By 11:00, I can't believe I still have 2 1/2 hours to go. As I start my last client at 2:00, I can feel the anticipation of my latte at Border's. Coffee is my drug. Then, the time comes and I'm off for 'my' weekend. Ah, I wish that time was now. But, alas (I love that word), it's time to go. Happy Saturday.

16 November 2007

Room With A View

It's been so visually beautiful outside. We've had some flashy weather lately and these days of fall color will be gone before we know it. I'm not going to be as thrilled taking pictures of bare branches. I know it. BTW, if you haven't checked out Picasa 2, I'd recommend it. Their photo editing options are awesome.

I really did work for 6 hours straight yesterday. My house smells like Softscrub and Murphy's Oil Soap. I had Christmas music blaring to keep me motivated. I've made lists of the jobs I've tackled, and what needs to be done. All this is in preparation for holiday decorating and the parties to follow. I need a clean base. Nothing like a party to get your house in order. The more I get done early, the less stress I feel.

Emily was amazed that people think we look so much alike. She said, maybe people think one of the pictures in the past post was of her, and one of me. I told her my picture is all over the place and everyone knows I have short hair. Right? We just look a lot alike.

Time to finish getting ready for work. Happy Fridayy.

15 November 2007

Recipe, anyone? Someone asked me what my favorite Thanksgiving food is, and I realized it's what I'm bringing. I love all the Thanksgiving food, but it wouldn't be complete without Baked Pineapple as a side dish. I got this recipe from a client at least 15 years ago, and have been making it ever since.

Baked Pineapple
1-20 oz. can pineapple chunks in heavy syrup
2 T. flour
½ cup sugar
½ t cinnamon
3 eggs
6 slices white bread, cubed
1 stick butter, melted

Drain pineapple, reserving syrup. Put pineapple in buttered casserole. With electric mixer blend next four ingredients (including syrup). Pour over pineapple. Toss bread cubes in melted butter. Put bread cubes on top of pineapple mixture. (I pat the bread cubes down into the liquid a little bit.) Bake at 350* for about 30 minutes. Double recipe bakes for about 45 minutes. Cook till golden brown and bubbly.
9" casserole for single recipe
9X13 casserole for double recipe

This dish can be served hot or at room temperature. I usually serve it just warm. I always double the recipe. Leftovers are dangerous...you'll be sneaking into your refrigerator and eating it right out of the container. If you hide it, it will still be found. It's just as good cold. Yum.

I woke to the sound of the pouring rain and my neighbor's chimes. I'm sure I get more pleasure out of them than she does just because of their location. I was amazed that she'd pay a few hundred dollars for them, but I'm so glad she did! I thank her every time it's windy. From my bedroom I also hear the chimes that are on my deck. I'm serenaded.

I'll be spending the next 6 or so hours at home, then picking my mom up from the airport. I plan to get a lot done around here, and I'm ready to start now. I'll leave you with an ornament I made last year. I'm the middle sister.

14 November 2007

Emily got her braces off and her teeth look perfect! They look a little plain to me; I was used to the look of her braces. She had a wire attached behind her bottom teeth to keep them in place, and an Invisilign retainer. It fits over her top teeth and is invisible. It also looks very losable. Emily is understandably excited about her smooth teeth.

I'll be back tonight with a proper post. Till then, Happy Wednesday.

13 November 2007

Just a quick post. It's my Monday, and I'm getting ready for work. I slept 9 hours last night. Yes! Now if I could only stop yawning...

It's another rainy day, but that's OK. I'm leaving a little early and stopping by HomeGoods. I love browsing that store.

Emily is supposed to get her braces off today. Every time she's excitedly exclaimed that she's getting them off, I've said, supposed to get them off. Yeah, I'm the party pooper. It's just that the orthodontist has gotten her hopes up the last few times, then told her she needed longer. I really hope today is the day.

Have a good Tuesday, ya'll.

12 November 2007

...and the rest of the day

Dropped my car off and headed out to IKEA. We didn't realize it opened at 10:00, but the cafeteria opened at 9:30 for breakfast and free coffee. We had their wonderful 99 cent breakfast--eggs, bacon and hash browns. Wow! My one and only brother works at this IKEA as a manager, and here's something interesting that you might not otherwise ever know about this place...the food operation is not allowed to make a profit. It's just company policy. If they find they're making money on the food, they lower the prices. In addition, they have a separate employee's cafeteria. All meals, no matter what, are $2. The employees are given a stipend for clothing, too. My brother says it's a great place to work. I've been to the store a number of times. My guest room trundle bed and nightstand are from there. Same with the sheets, duvet, etc... I have lots of their kitchen stuff. It's just a great place for stuff, and I'm so glad it's close by. If you're not familiar with the store, it can be daunting. Kit and I were there for what seemed like forever. She had to look at everything. I don't blame her, but after a while I was really hungry and a bit impatient to get out of there. Three hours was more than enough. Kit's plan is to put up a large bookcase grouping in her house, and she wanted to see it in person. It was a successful day of shopping. I got odds and ends: measuring cups and spoons, tongs, glass bowls, string. Stuff.

We went out to lunch afterwards. French onion soup and a half club. Yum again.

I picked up my car, and headed home. Read some blogs, and set myself up to do more stamping. After about 20 minutes, I was pooped. Exhausted. I only slept about 4 hours last night, and the tiredness hit me all at once. I put my card stuff away, and laid in bed watching TV. That didn't last too long, and I was up and making dinner. Unfortunately, I've gotten a second wind. I hope it doesn't last...I need a good night's sleep.
Plans for the day...
Drop my car off for routine service at 8:00.
Get picked up by Kit and go to IKEA.
That's it. So far. I wonder what else the day will bring?

11 November 2007

It's been a 'high test' kind of day. Two cups of strong coffee at Caribou this morning, and a small extra-shot-latte in the afternoon at Starbucks. It's my idea of 'partying.' You'd think I'd get a lot done with all that caffeine. Nope. Instead, I'm just scattered, and frustrated. I'm still trying to figure out the cards. Last year I gave up.

I have a few obsessions. One of them is with Starbucks Christmas ornaments. I think I've found all the new ones for this year, and I'm only buying about one of each. I went a little overboard last year. The 'Starbucks tree' I made last year is pretty full. I need to finish glittering the coffee-stirrer star that Sarah made for me. Don't tell Emily, but I'm thinking of getting a bigger tree.

I'm gluing myself to this chair for the next few hours. I'll have an ear out for the chime that tells me someone dropped by to say hello. That always puts a smile on my face!

Happy me! I've made huge progress on my cards. The hard part was the design process, and that's mostly done. It's time for production!

10 November 2007

I'm sitting on my bed with my laptop. I don't usually blog from here, and it's soon going to get very uncomfortable sitting cross-legged.

Yeah for Saturdays! It was a good and busy day, but the workday of the week you can't wait to be over. It's my Friday. I went to Border's when I got off. The cafe was packed and I was lucky to find a table to sit at. People shared it with me, which I wasn't crazy about, but totally understood. I read a magazine about consumer electronics, specifically HDTVs. I learned a lot about what you should look for and what all the specs mean. I kind of got it, and was glad. I'm not in the market for a new TV right now, but probably will get one before everything goes digital in 2009. Then I read about the receivers, DVD players, and cables, and sound systems, and it seems like you need this stuff to go along with the TVs, and then I was confused all over again.

I went to Arundel Mills tonight and walked around Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World while I was there. If you've never been in one of these stores, you'd be amazed to see what's inside. It's a humongous place, an 'outdoorman's paradise', and people travel from all around to visit it. Here's a peek inside:

The camouflage chair was actually quite comfy. If I was dressed like some of the shoppers, I would have blended right in.

09 November 2007

Besides starting early and working late, it turned out to be a great day. My first client was so talkative, and interesting, and the time flew by. She loved her new highlights, and so did I. My new client had been referred to me by a client I like a lot. She came in with very long, wavy hair that I thought looked pretty good to start with. I envisioned putting an angle in the front and long layers in the back and just giving the length a little trim. What she wanted was chin length hair, shorter in the back then the front. Whoa. We talked about it, and I told her that when I saw her hair wet and started working with it, that it would kind of speak to me. Do you know what I mean? It was hard to envision anything with it so long and dry. She got it shampooed, took off her glasses, and I went to work. It took about an hour to cut her hair. She couldn't see a thing without her glasses, so she had no idea what it looked like. Have I ever mentioned that I like doing new clients that wear glasses? They can't 'see' me work! Finally, I was done, and she put her glasses on. She was so HAPPY! She said it looked better than she could have ever imagined. She almost started to cry. She got up and gave me a hug. Lots of stylists had been watching the haircut when they saw how much was coming off, and everyone loved it. When she left I whipped out my camera so I could take a pic and show you how much hair was on the floor.

Amazing, huh? It really made my day.

It was great seeing my old friend later in the day. As I thought, there was no way I could stay on time with her and wound up getting out an hour late. It was good to catch up. She wanted to go out afterwards, but I was too tired.

So...I'm pooped. I'm heading upstairs to rest up for my busy day tomorrow.
It's post #400. How'd I do that?

I'm all ready for work, but left a little time to be on my computer. Not much, but a little. I want to stop at CVS on the way, so need some time for that.

I did get a lot done last night. I had Em's iTunes going on her computer and had a happy night at my stamping desk. I'll show you a picture, just because I happened to take on. It only shows one view of the room. If I showed you another you'd see all the craft stuff I really have and I might be embarrassed.

I had my laptop in the room with me, and everytime I got a comment on my blog a little chime would alert me. I'd stop and read it and be a little happier :)

I'm a little anxious about work today, but know at the end of the day it will all be fine. I'm coming in a little early to fit in a client, so that changes my morning. Then I have a new client in the afternoon, and that makes me a little anxious. You'd think after all the years I've been doing this that it would be nothing to do someone new. Well, the client is probably nervous, and they can see my every move in the mirror, so it's like I'm on stage. I used to have bad anxiety attacks, which I don't have any more, but I still feel uneasy. What I remind myself is that all my clients are nice, and they ask for me, so it's OK. Still...Then later in the day I'll be doing an old friend I haven't seen in a few years. It will be hard to visit and stay on time, because we'll have so much catching up to do, but I have to. So, it's not my usual, routine, comfortable day ahead. But, like I said, 7:00 will come, and it all will have worked out.

Because I'm me and take pictures of everything, I thought I'd share the food I packed for the day. Weird, huh? I bring my lunch every day. The assistants are nice and always come around when they're taking a carry-out order, even though they know I always pass. Every once in a blue moon I do surprise them. So, here's my food for the day. It's lunch and dinner. I always eat my salad during my one break, and eat the rest in a big hurry, between clients. Gulp it down would be more like it. I need to eat many times during the day. I don't always eat all that I bring in, but wouldn't want to not have the option. Today I cooked up shrimp to put in my salad. Yum. If I wasn't addicted to candy and ice cream, and other snack foods, I'd be in good shape cause the rest of my meals are very healthy.

With that, I'll bid you farewell.

08 November 2007

You know what they say about the best laid plans? Much to my disappointment, I didn't get my massage today. My masseuse incorrectly booked my appointment, and scheduled it during the time my class was taking place. She was left with an hour gap in her schedule, and I think she was more disappointed than me. She knew how excited I had been. I felt worse for her than I did for myself!

I went to my favorite stamping store and bought a new stamp and some embossing powder. I went to Sam's Club, and the grocery store. I've been doing paperwork, and am finally ready to work on my cards. The day is kind of late, though, and I have most of my energy earlier in the day. I'm not anticipating getting a lot done, but that's OK.

The class today was one of the best of the year. I asked the instructor if he ever let anyone shadow him in his salon and he said yes. I hope to do that on a Saturday. I'm excited!

I hoped to take pictures today. I went to Savage Mills, and the whole town is so picturesque. For the very first time, I ran out of battery. I wish there'd been some kind of warning or meter so I'd have a reminder to recharge it. Andrew asked what kind of camera I have. It's a Canon PowerShot SD750. A good little point and shoot.

Gray's Anatomy is on tonight. I hope the writer's strike doesn't last too long. There's certain shows that I love to watch; reruns are for the summer.

My creative juices are finally starting to flow. I'm finding my muse. Too bad I have to leave for work.

07 November 2007

I've been a slacker. Yeah, right. I just didn't have much to say yesterday. I'm usually pretty tired out on the nights I work till 7:00, and the early darkness doesn't help. It's a luxury when I can get into bed at 9:00 with a book, and that's what I did.

I woke up early this morning to make Emily a cheese omelet. I don't think she's tried to make another one since she posted about it. I don't mind; I consider myself to be a pretty accomplished omelet maker. Plus, she likes me to cook for her. I got an early start this morning and went looking for a Christmas gift I have in mind for Emily. Didn't find it. Of course, I can't mention what it is. It was a usual busy day at work. I planned to make a pizza for dinner when I got home, but was too hungry so I got one from Pizza Boli's. It's very close to my house, and it's really inexpensive when you pick it up. We usually have a pineapple pizza every Wednesday. Yum.

Tomorrow is my day off, but I'll be at work for hours. We have a Redken color class that starts at 9:00. On my day off. It's the last of all the classes scheduled for this year. I'm sure it will be good, and as a bonus, they'll feed us. After the class I'm getting an hour-long full body massage. I'm so excited about that. A full hour of laying on a comfortable bed with soft music playing, wonderfully aromatic candles burning, and the lights dimmed. Oh, and an expert who's only task is to spend a full hour laying hands on me. Did I say I can't wait? I have no idea why I don't get massages more often. We have two massage therapists in my salon and I get an excellent discount. It's just something I never take the time for.

Well, that's it for me for tonight. I'm going to see if I can't make an early night of it. I'll be around to check your blogs soon.

05 November 2007

Where to begin? Short, or drawn-out? A snippet or in depth? OK, probably a ramble.

My morning project was to tackle the stuff spread out all over the dining room table. Remember when those potatoes rotted on my pantry floor? Some of the goo got onto the accordion file that held all my bills, receipts, banking, medical papers, etc., and I emptied them into a bag. I needed to find something in that bag, and emptied it onto the table, where's it's been for a week or two. Or so I thought. I found an accordion file, and went about sorting and filing. Till it was time to leave for my doctor's appointment. Here's where I'll start rambling.

My neighbor Kelly and I have had gynecologist 'dates' for three years now. We used to go to the same GYN, but she moved and we needed to find a new one. We decided to get back-to-back appointments when the time came, and go out to lunch afterwards. It's a good excuse to spend the day together. I schedule them on my day off and she takes off from work. I forgot to be worried about the breast exam till I got there, which was nice. You always worry that they're going to find something. Another clean bill of health today, and a sigh of relief. I'm going to make back-to-back mammogram appointments for us next. That'll be a lot of fun. Not. We went out to lunch at the new Hooligan's in Columbia, then went grocery shopping at the new Trader Joe's.

It was a beautiful day, and I completed the rest of the yard work. It was a good excuse to just be outside. Then I organized the garage. Not a total overhaul, but it's amazing what you can accomplish in an hour.

I came in, and got back to work on the table. Little by little, everything found it's place. Just as I was finishing up, I noticed a cloth bag on one of the dining room chairs. I opened it and found, much to my surprise, the real contents of the old accordion file. What I'd been organizing was just the most recent stuff that had accumulated since the potato disaster. I'd hardly made a dent in all that paperwork. And you know what? I'm going to put that bag up in my closet and not worry about it till I need to, probably around tax time.

The rest of the night was spent on odds and ends. Clearing off the stuff that accumulated on top of the microwave. Clearing a counter. Making dinner, and tomorrow's lunch, taking care of some bills. Reading the newspaper. It's about 8:45 and I think I'll get into bed with a cookbook. I can't wait to go to work tomorrow so I can rest. Not really. You know I thrive on this, the ordinary, daily things that make up a life.

04 November 2007

I'm settling in for a night on the couch after a very busy day. Ah, it feels good to be sitting down.

Nice to have the extra hour. I didn't sleep in though. I never, ever do. I drove over to Kit's house after a quick stop at Starbucks. She wanted me to see her new couch and the progress she's making in organizing her basement. It's a daunting task, one that I don't envy, but she's making good progress. I went to Homegoods afterwards. Love that store! I just window shopped, mainly looking at the Christmas merchandise. The place was packed with women.

I came home and really, just wasted time. I thought of my blogging friends that accomplish so much with their time, and got a little depressed because I wasn't doing anything. That's why I need to stay busy. I plan to start making lists because there's a lot that needs to be done around here. The house needs to be spit-polish clean before I start decorating later this month. I pulled myself up by my bootstraps (how's that for an old-fashioned saying?) and got busy. I borrowed a neighbor's electric hedge trimmer, and spent a few hours trimming my hedges. Not one of my favorite jobs, but one I have to do twice a year. I have seven shrubs that are each about 4' around and 2' high. It's a messy job, but I have a system. I use two sheets to shroud the base of a bush, to catch the falling greenery. I spread a tarp on my driveway. I very carefully trim one bush at a time, gathering the sheets and emptying the contents onto the tarp before repeating the process on the next. When I finished that I used the trimmer to saw down the dried remnents of this year's perennials. Then I went about pulling up the impatience and wax begonias. That was sad because they're still in bloom, but the first frost would turn them into slime, and that day is fast approaching. It was a preemptive move. Three stuffed lawn bags later, and worn out, I entered the house, task accomplished. The Christmas lights now have a nice, flat surface to rest upon.

Last night I watched the first episode of this season's Desperate Housewives. I hadn't planned to watch the show, but it was great. So, I'm going to watch another episode now, and later I'll watch Brothers and Sisters. What are you doing tonight?

03 November 2007

I thought I'd write a short post in case anyone's bored and looking around the blogsphere for something to read. How was my day, you ask? Good. I woke up in the middle of an intensive dream that I wish I'd written down before I forgot what it was about, but I didn't. I got to work a little early to do something with my hair. I had it colored yesterday, and we were out of my usual and I was in a rush so I just made a 'concoction' and it turned out very dark. That's because I used a dark color, duh. At least it was me and not a client. It's a demi-permanent color, so it fades out and will be lighter in a few weeks. Emily saw it for the first time today and said, 'Mom, your hair's too dark! You can't wear black tops till it's lighter. Your dark hair, dark eyebrows and dark tops are too much.' Oh well, I'm wearing black anyway. During the winter, and I guess fall, I wear black tops, black slacks, black clogs and a black apron. Yes, I could have just said all black, but I liked the effect of listing it all. It's my 'uniform' and I love not having to think about what to wear. Anyway, back to the hair. My curls look like they're on steroids. I'm curlier than I've ever been since I've been using the DevaCurl products. We're talking Orphan Annie, but not red. Can you tell I had caffeine? Yup, caramel latte, extra shot, extra hot. That's why I'm so chatty.

I went to the library after work. I got two audio books, and at least 5 cookbooks. I don't do much cooking, but love to read cookbooks. I came home only to turn around and bring Emily and her friends to the corn maze. Nice mom, huh? I went to the dollar store to waste some time, then waited for them in my car. It was dark, and I was a little worried. There were only 2 other cars there, and I was worried about them finding their way out. I shouldn't have been. We stopped by the Chinese carry-out on the way home and I dropped them off at Em's boyfriend's house, with the food. And here I am. I'm headed up to my 'craft' room to see if I can come up with ideas for my Christmas cards. Whew. How was that for a quick note?

02 November 2007

Friday night and I'm pooped. Nothing like coming home and getting into PJ's and just hanging out. That's what every Friday night is like for me. Quiet house. Popcorn for dinner. I want to see if today's Oprah show is available online. I don't usually watch it, but the show was about 100 women getting haircuts. I tried to program my VCR this morning, but it ate my tape. Twice. I won't be trying that again. If Oprah's not on, I'm going to look for the show Pushing Daisies. I've heard it's great. So, that's it for now.

No Oprah. I watched Pushing Daisies. Silly show.

01 November 2007

The doctor's appointment went well. My throat is looking better; the medicine I've been taking is working. I've been trying to reach the gastro doctor since Monday to find the results of my endoscopy, but so far they haven't returned my calls. I'm sure the results will be fine, but I'd like to hear it. They were sure in a rush to return my call when I tried to schedule the procedure. It's like a repeat from when I had a procedure done with them in the spring. It took forever for them to return my calls for results but that time I was really worried and then angry. Oh well...

I had my parent's house to myself and did my mom's packing. I've done it so many times and know her wardrobe well. My sister-in-law treated my mother to a facial for her birthday, and I met them at The Olive Garden for lunch. I had Eggplant Parmesan. It was delicious. I brought my mom home and did a few things around the house before heading home.

After doing some cooking, I decided to take it easy. For a change. I laid on my chaise lounge on the deck and read the paper. Then I took these pictures:

What would I do without my camera? I walked around looking at things to capture. The huge pear tree in front of my house is still in full leaf because of our crazy weather. Usually by Halloween the branches are bare and I decorate them with 'ghosts.' I couldn't do it this year. I thought I'd post some before and after pics.

April pear tree

November pear tree

What falls on the ground in April

What falls on the ground in November...messy berries that rot

June garden

November garden

I've spent way too much time working on this and have work to do before my TV shows start. Later!

PS...I just heard from my primary care doctor. I love her. She's going to call my gastro doctor and call me tomorrow with my results.

PPS...I miss you too Bonnie.