31 March 2008

It's Monday, and why I need two cans of gas.

Yes, it's Monday and I'm exhausted. What do I do when I'm tired? I generally get busy. Some people take naps. Later, when it's time for bed, I'll get my second wind. *Sigh* it just works that way for me.

I got an early start and went to Panera's. I've decided I like their lattes better than Border's or Starbucks. Plus I like that they have a frequent buyers club and you only have to purchase 6 drinks to get one free. I redeemed mine for a large caramel latte with an extra shot of espresso. I stayed for a while, then drove the mile or two to see my mom. I cut her hair then we were off to do errands. First stop, B.J.'s for a chaise lounge and two sling chairs. Next was Walmart, and I ran in to get the things on her list. After that we ate at the buffet. It was wonderful. My mother said if it weren't for me, she'd never get out to lunch. I told her I enjoy it as much as she does. I brought her home right before her show started, and went on my way. A stop at the grocery store, then I was home, and feeling very tired and sluggish. That's when I decided to try out the power washer.

Nice, huh? It belongs to my neighbor Kelly. She gave me a tutorial yesterday on how to use it. It takes a lot of gas. I borrowed it mainly to try to clean all the mildow or algae or whatever is on the siding on the side of my house. And to clean up my sidewalk. I didn't realize how dirty it was. Here's what I've done so far:

It's actually fun to use, but slow going.

While I had my camera out, I took this picture of my neighbor's forsythia. I love seeing it in other people's yards. I think it's a messy shrub, but it sure is beautiful to look at.

Talking about things in bloom, are there a lot of pear trees in your part of the country? It seems like it's the favorite tree of builders here in MD, and now there's forests of them all around. The birds must spread the seeds. They're everywhere, in full bloom.

Last picture of the day. Brad, this one's for you.

30 March 2008

I should have posted much earlier when I wasn't so tired. I had the hardest time staying asleep last night and I'm ready for bed now. Except I just remembered I still need to make Emily's lunch for tomorrow. Her ham sandwich phase is over and it's back to PB&J. Fine with me!

I skipped the lodge this morning and hung around here. Watched TV till 10:00 AM, which made me feel quite lazy. I didn't do anything around the house. I went for gas on the way to pick Emily up from her friends, and brought along my two gas cans to fill. I'm not sure what I did wrong, but as I was filling the first one it totally back splashed on me. Gas got on my wool coat, jeans and shoes. I wasn't soaked, but totally smelly! Yuck. I read a bunch of my book this afternoon, another pleasure I rarely indulge in. Emily and I went to the movies at 5:00 to see Miss Pettigrew Lives For a Day. A client told me it was not to be missed. We went to an old stand-alone theater. One of the last few like that around here and it was filled with senior citizens. We were embarrassed to do it, but changed seats just before the movie started because someone a few rows up had a very large afro that cut into our view. I'm so used to stadium seating where every view is unobstructed. The movie was fun with great costumes and a happy ending but I wouldn't say it was a must-see.

I watched my first baseball game tonight. Ever. It was the opening game for the Nationals in their brand new stadium in DC. They won! I don't think I'll make a habit out of it, in fact I'm sure, but it was fun to watch and root for them.

Tomorrow is Mom day. She's badly in need of a haircut, so that will be our first order of business. Her hair is very thick and it takes a long time to cut. I earn my free lunch. She wants to go to Walmart to pick up some outdoor furniture and browse around. Afterwards we'll go to our favorite Chinese buffet. I'll make sure to have her back to the house by 2:00 so she doesn't miss Passions.

Well, I've blabbed long enough. Time to make that lunch. TTYS!
Hey Mo, this one's for you.







It's not as easy as you might think. Remember, one word answers:

1. Where is your mobile phone? near

2. Your significant other? friend's

3. Your hair? curly

4. Your mother? dear

5. Your father? compulsive

6. Your favorite thing? sunshine

7. Your dream last night? unknown

8. Your favorite drink? latte

9. Your dream/goal? happiness

10. The room you're in? family

11. Your ex? memory

12. Your fear? cancer

13. Where do you want to be in 6 years? here

14. Where were you last night? DC

15. What you're not? fit

16. Muffins? cranberry

17. One of your wish list items? SLR

18. Where you grew up? suburbia

19. The last thing you did? this

20. What are you wearing? pajamas

21. Your TV? on

22. Your pets? none

23. Your computer? companion

24. Your life? content

25. Your mood? apprehensive

26. Missing someone? no

27. Your car? Honda

28. Something you're not wearing? makeup

29. Favorite Store? Homegoods

30. Your summer? beach

31. Like someone? no :(

32. Your favorite color? limegreen

33. When is the last time you laughed? yesterday

34. Last time you cried? Christmas

35. Who will/would re-post this? Dunno

Now that you have had a peek into my world, let me know if you play along. I'd love to see your answers too.

29 March 2008

It's almost midnight so technically Sunday, but this is my Saturday post. Work was fine but Saturdays don't fly by. All easy clients but one. This was the third time I've done her color and cut, and I still don't feel comfortable with her. She's been coming every 4 weeks, which means we see a lot of each other. Maybe next time there'll be more of a connection? She's traveling at least 40 minutes to see me. That's a lot. Anyway, I planned to be home tonight, chauffeuring Emily and her friend to and from a school dance that ended up being canceled because of poor ticket sales. Emily's spending the night with the friend instead. I called Kit and she asked me to drive with her to VA so she could see and take pictures of her condo that's been renovated in anticipation of a new renter. I was the driver. The cherry trees are at the start of their peak, and I took these pictures from my car window. Traffic was stop and go, and I was mostly stopped for them.

Kit's rental condo is probably about 45 minutes from her house. She had brand new keys for her 'new' locks. Well, the locks weren't new, and the keys didn't fit, so we never got in. We had a good time getting there, though.

We made our way back through DC to go out to dinner. Kit works in town, near all the 'hip' restaurants and we went to her favorite Indian one. We stood by the bar while waiting for a table and Kit ordered two glassed of chardonnay after glancing at the bar menu. The bartender passed us the drinks and Kit gave him a $20. He looked at it, then told her it was $30. For 2 glasses of wine! Kit had glanced at prices per glass on the menu and it looked like most of them were $8. Why ours was so much is a mystery, but it was correct and she paid. Soon after, another woman came by the bar area and Kit told her about our wine. The woman decided she'd have a blood orange martini instead for the low price of $8. I would have had one of them too, had I known. Anyway, I had no clue what to order. It turns out that although it was Kit's favorite Indian restaurant, she always went there with someone who advised her on what to order. Great...two people who didn't know what to get. Fortunately, the woman sitting next to me talked loudly. She said that the Black Cod was absolutely to die for. I decided to give it a try. It was fabulous. I don't know where the 'black' came from. The fish was pure white thick medallions of deliciousness. I would have it again. Kit had lamb with spinach that was delicious but very spicy. We split some sort apple dumpling ring and spicy ice cream dessert served with an orchid. Very pretty. All in all, an exotic evening out. I'll have to make a point of going into DC more often. It's not too far from where I live, and there's so much to see and do there.

Well, this is long enough. I'm sure I'll be writing more 'tomorrow.'

27 March 2008

It was a hands-on kind of day. First stop...the gynecologist. I saw a male doctor for the first time in about 14 years. He was the only one that could fit me in, and he was fine. I've been having the same abdominal pain that I had in 2007. He didn't find anything, so it's time for tests again. Oh well. On the one hand, I feel like I'm a hypochondriac. On the other, I'm being pro-active. I think that's the better of the two. I left there to have what I thought was going to be a massage at my salon for the literal 'pain in my butt' that I've been having. Wendy did an all over treatment that had something to do with fascia and connective tissue but no massage. Just tweaking something, with long periods of time in-between. Very strange. It was relaxing to lay on her table for an hour. It wasn't the massage that I'd wanted. She said I should be feeling very relaxed in a day or two. Hmmm. I'll let you know. That was part 2 of the hands-on. I met Bonnie and Karen and I think we were the first patrons at Cheesecake Factory. Here's picture #1. I think I look fat. And, that's an eggplant sandwich in front of me and I didn't eat the french fries. I'm saving my calories for the jelly beans in my locker. You know I'm a jelly bean addict, right?

We walked around the mall after lunch. Karen bought a new Vera Bradley tote for her camera. We went to the Aveda store so I could buy their Caribbean Therapy body creme. I love that stuff! I put it on my hands every night before I turn my light off. The sole clerk seemed thrilled to have our company. She served us herbal tea. We looked at the different products in the CT line, then used the body scrub on our hands. Afterwards, she massaged the body creme onto one of our hands. Not both. It felt half-wonderful! That was part 3. Karen and Bonnie bought the scrub and I got the creme. We walked through the mall with matching bags. We didn't mind.

We have our next outing planned. We're going to a wonderful nursery that has a huge gift and collectibles shop. Then we're having lunch at a great restaurant. (I like great and wonderful.) Our pattern seems to be shopping (though not for clothes...that's not for us!) and eating. Karen and Bonnie do a lot of walking so they burn off the calories. I'm going to need to get a move on, you know?

I talked to my father about the mice. He got them mail-ordered. One bag has 100 mice, the other, 50. That's a lot of shrimp mice. The snakes eat one mouse a week, each. I guess I'd be hungry for a mouse too if I only ate once a week.

Tonight's LOST and I can't wait. Hope everyone had a great Thursday!

26 March 2008

I just finished watching Wife Swap. I don't watch much TV but I can see why people do. Wife Swap was great. The disparity between the families was outrageous, yet you can see that each wife has wisdom to impart to the other. I'd like someone to swap with me. Or a Super Nanny to move in. Yeah, I'll go with the nanny.

It was a beautiful day today. I went for a walk this morning, but totally wimped out because I was a little chilly. I might have been gone for 10 minutes, tops. Wimpy! I decided to try again after dinner. I had a great 30 minute walk through my neighborhood. I loved seeing the daffodils, budding trees, greening grass, etc... I'll let you know if it turns into a regular thing.

I made pizza again in the iron skillet. My half had onions and tomatoes. Emily's, pineapple. With the leftover dough I made a calzone. I think next time I'll stick with calzones. Or just give up and go back to Pizza Boli's. I love their pizza.

Remember my jimmy-rigged 'vintage' food processor? Here's a picture of it. See the matchbook that keeps it running?

Tomorrow I'll be meeting Karen and Bonnie at the Cheesecake Factory for lunch. I love that place, and can't wait to hang out with my friends. Look for pictures tomorrow!

24 March 2008

So, I'm at my parent's house, looking through the freezer in the garage for something to thaw out for my mom's dinner. There's lots of pizzas, hot dogs, broccoli, bagels, and large frozen meals. I see two gallon Ziploc bags in the door with what looks like frost covered frozen shrimp. Hmmm...I wonder if I could break some off to thaw? Then I realize what I'm looking at. Frozen white mice. Lots and lots of them. For my father's two snakes. Ewwww! Now, I haven't looked at his snakes in a long time, but I'm pretty sure they're still small and skinny. They're in small aquariums on top of his dresser. It looked like there were enough mice in those bags to last a very long time. Have I mentioned my dad's a collector of things? I just didn't know it included mice.

It was a good day. I'm ready for some reading. Later!

23 March 2008

I ate too much cheesecake. Last weekend. This week. Today. There's two more pieces in my refrigerator, and then there'll be no more for a long time. End of cheesecake story. Except for one thing. My sister made it to bring to Easter dinner and said it was fabulous and one of the best things she's ever eaten. Ever? That's awesome.

We had a relaxing time at my brother's house. There were nine of us. Very casual. Great food. It's always nice to be together and I'm glad most of my family is local. Ilene, I wish you were local too!

Well,I think it's time to relax and get back to my book. I hope everyone had a great weekend.
It's a quiet sunny morning here, but probably the calm before the storm. The teenager, you know, but that's all I'm saying.

Has anyone seen the Macbook Air? I was checking it out at the Apple store last night and it's amazing. I imagine one day all computers will catch up with the great designs Apple comes out with. I spent the evening strolling around Annapolis Mall with Kit. We had dinner at Nordstrom Cafe and I had the best tuna melt ever!The mall was packed. It's always interesting to see the diversity of the shoppers. One part of the mall is very high-end. Another has shops like American Eagle, Hollister, Abercrombie, etc. where you'll find lots of younger people. Then there's everything in-between. The play area is SO loud. We went into a jewelry store that faces it and I asked how they put up with the noise. They said they learn to tune it out. It was nerve-wracking. We wound up in Border's with our decaf drinks. A large table next to us was taken up by a group of very nerdy kids playing some kind or game. Two of them had headbands on their foreheads with some kind of metal logo. Next to them was a table of midshipmen from the Academy in their starched uniforms doing schoolwork. The mall is a great place to people-watch. I didn't buy anything.

I made another apple almond cheescake last night and a Jello chocolate pudding pie to bring to my brother's house today. I just finished making Jello Jiggler Eggs too. I have a basket of Emily's favorite candy in her Easter basket, heavy on all things Reese's.

I hope that whatever you day holds, that it's a happy one.

21 March 2008

Is it better to keep up with reading blogs or keep up with writing them? Right now I'll write. The weekend is a slow time and I'll catch up then. Some people read without commenting but I just can't seem to do that. So, it's Easter this Sunday. My family doesn't celebrate, except with food. That's how we do all the holidays. My brother and sister-in-law have invited the family over for Easter dinner. I made a practice cheesecake yesterday, and I'm glad I did. I'm really not much of a baker, and learned a few things. I used lemon curd instead of raspberry on top of the crust. I think I like the raspberry better. I should have made the sides of the crust thicker. The pie should have baked longer. I put my cast iron skillet with water in it on the shelf below the cake to catch drips. I wonder if that made it not cook through? It wasn't runny, just a little loose. Next time I'll use foil on the shelf below. Was it still delicious? Yes! And beautiful with all the apples and almonds on top. I'm giving most of it away, which was the idea. I'd weigh a ton if I had to eat it all. I'll know exactly what I'm doing when I make it again tomorrow.

I'm writing this at the coffee shop. It's a nice way to start my day. The place is just packed! One of the things I love about it is that although it's a chain, it really brings the community together. I'm sitting here drinking decaf. Aren't I good? I'd love nothing more than a cup of dark french roast, but my hands need to stay steady! I'm hyper enough without the added 'boost'.

Spring is popping out all over here in MD, though not to the point that people need to mow their lawns. The trees are starting to flower. The daffodils are up. The smell of mulch is in the air. The robins are everywhere. The moles in my lawn and garden are making tunnels. The weather, however, is getting colder. At least the sun is shining.

Well, I'm off to work. Have a great Friday, ya'll (Sarah S., I always think of you when I write that word!)

20 March 2008

Part II

I thought I'd be back to write. The day flew by and it was busy, as always. Now I want more time. Wah! I'm watching LOST, so I gotta run. Tomorrow, OK?
So far it's a stay-at-home lazy day. Well, lazy for me. I took care of paperwork. Made appointments. Watched an episode of Jericho. Read the message boards for LOST to clear up some confusion from last week (Jin rushing to the hospital was a flashback). I've been upstairs making cards. If I have your address, be sure to check your mailbox soon. It feels so good to have those creative juices going again. It's good for my mental health. Plus I have a fortune in supplies and I hate to be wasteful. I came down when my doorbell rang. My new Gevalia coffee maker arrived! It makes one or two cups of coffee directly into one or two travel cups. And it was free. Thank you Gevalia! I'll be back to post later today.

19 March 2008

Yesterday was an emotional day. It started with Emily oversleeping for school, which isn't a good start to the day for mother or daughter. That set the tone for me and it was hard to shake. I did my first new client, and that was great. Then I had my color done, and again, I did it too dark. I'm so careful when I do my client's hair, yet for my own I'll say, oh, let's just do this. Without much thought. So, my nice light highlights that fixed my formerly dark hair barely show through my dark reddish hair. It will get fixed and I won't let it happen again! Then I met my second new client. She had the worst hair! Thin, frizzy, wire-y, misshaped. I was amazed at how terrible it looked. I had to make myself not tell her too many times how much better it would look when I was finished. It looked 100% better! It transformed her. That made me (and her) very happy. Then I came home and had a bad night here with Emily. Whew.

This morning was good. I made a card for a friend. It was good to get those creative juices going early, and put me in the mood to make more. Emily and I had a fine morning. I'm ready for the day.

17 March 2008

Guess where? Panera's at 4:00 in the afternoon, sitting by a sunny window. It's a quiet time of day here, one that I'm not usually privy to. I brought Em to her friend's house after school and this shopping center is practically right next store. Why rush home? I'll tell you about my day in backwards order. I went to Sam's Club before coming here. Their gas is $3.15 a gallon; much less than anywhere else. I went into the store thinking I might buy a $20 GO phone to put my SIM card in while trying to find a new phone that I'm ready to make a 2-year commitment to. The salesguy highly recommended the Backberry Curve 8310. The price at Sam's was ridiculously low, like $40-something dollars. I came here and checked it out on cnet, but of course can't make a decision. So, it looks like I'll holding onto Em's old phone that I very much dislike. (I made myself not say hate, Andrew!) I think I research stuff too much. Most people that know me would agree. I think there's really no consumable that doesn't have a 'con.' Anyway, I came this way after going out to lunch with my mother at our favorite Chinese restaurant. I had shrimp and broccoli and she had shrimp and lobster sauce. Their shrimp is always extra-large, not what you usually find in these dishes. I finally stopped ordering spicy dishes 'medium' and go with the heat the dish demands. It's much better that way. As usual, I was finished way before my mom and had to act content just sitting there. She asked if she ate slow. I said yes, but I eat fast, so it's OK. I don't really think I eat fast--my mother is slow as molasses. That's OK. Before lunch I went to Macy's while my mom read in my car. I went to buy my Estee Lauder cream blush that they apparently don't make anymore. I went with the powder formula, and tried to use a $25 Visa all access gift card that I've had for a while. I called from the sales register when I realized I had to activate the card. I needed to read the last 3 digits off the back of the card, and each time I gave it, I was told the number was wrong. I left my glasses in the car by mistake (I was wearing sunglasses) and couldn't see too well. The cashier tried her best to help but no number we gave worked. Then the person on the phone told me that I had been charged a $4.95 fee each month after the first 6 for an inactive account and that I didn't have any money left on the card, but she would make an exception and take all the monthly fees off. Great, but...I had to give her the 3-digit code that we couldn't read. I said I'd call back later. Geez! When I got to my parent's in the morning, I thought I'd go through the old recipe box. Since her stoke, my mother doesn't cook, and the box is crammed full. I thought I'd find the old family recipes and enter them into Word documents. It was like taking a trip down memory lane. The bittersweet part was seeing my mother's beautiful handwriting. She was left-handed, and the stroke affected her left side, so her right-handed writing is like chicken-scratch. Anything I see in her old script is a gift. I got most of the recipe box cleaned out. Most of the recipes were ones she'd cut out or been given, but never made. I need to do the same with all my recipes. (Will you prod me on Mo?) I stopped by the lodge on my way to my parent's this morning. They offered free shots of espresso as part of their Welcome Spring week. I had a small skinny caramel latte. Three shots. In my book that's a great way to start your day. And here I am, in Panera's drinking a diet caffeine-free Pepsi. Wishing it was 8:00 AM again. If this was LOST, it might be.

16 March 2008

I'm so full! My neighbor had a going-away dinner for her sister and her partner this afternoon. There were seven of us, and we had, as always, a great time. On the menu was ham, mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, applesauce, green beans, lima beans, and rolls. All home made. I brought Banana Cream Pie and Kelly made an Almond Apple Cheesecake. (The cheesecake was one of the best I've ever had, and I just entered it into a Word document. E-mail me if you'd like the recipe.) I'm home now, but like I said, too full. I'm glad there's still a lot of hours till bedtime!

I made Emily and her friends a carb-heavy breakfast of French toast and cinnamon rolls. It was what they asked for. I brought them up fresh sliced strawberries with Redi-whip as a snack. As they were leaving for home, they said they'd be back. Next weekend. I'm sure they liked the way they were treated here. I think Emily would prefer to be at their house. I'm about taking turns.

I've had a lack-of-sleep headache all day. I just couldn't fall asleep. It was probably because the kids were still awake. I woke up at 7:30, late for me, and was out of the house before 8:00 to meet Kit at the lodge. She had lots of pictures to show me on her computer. I think I'm about up to 15 on mine. Here's one Emily took today of us in her mirror. I'm wearing my favorite denim jacket.

I think a warm bath and pajamas are in my immediate future. Some TV or time with my book. I'm making an early night of it. Happy Sunday, friends.

15 March 2008

Emily has two friends spending the night so I'll probably be up late. Very late. I thought for sure I'd be the one upstairs or in the dining room, but they've been in the computer room and I've had the run of my domain. I made them quesadillas for dinner. Banana cream pie for the first dessert. Ice cream later. They've been loud, and having fun. I'm good with that.

My good friend brought her daughter in for a haircut. I wish I'd taken a before picture. Long, long hair, all one length. No bangs. Very thick! Here's how much hair I took off:

Here's the after picture. As you can see, she still has a lot of hair left. She was all smiles, and so was I. She thought it made her look much older, and it does. She's about 5'7" and going on 12 years old. Yup, you heard me right. She's just beautiful. I'm so glad she was my last client because it took a long time to cut all that hair.

I've had a quiet night here, downstairs. I watched last week's enhanced version of LOST (again), plus this week's episode. It was pretty confusing and I might need to watch that one over. I viewed it on my TV monitor through my laptop. Emily thought that was weird. I don't know why. It's much better to watch it on a 32" screen than my little laptop monitor. I also made a banana cream pie that I'll bring to my neighbor's tomorrow. They're having an early Easter dinner, and always request my pie for dessert. I haven't had it since Christmas, and I can't wait for a bite.

Well, I'm ready to do some reading. Catch ya'll later.

14 March 2008

Can you tell I've been fooling around with my profile picture? This one might be a keeper. I like it cause you can't see the signs of aging. The fact that it's little helps too. You see the hair, and I think that really defines me. Emily doesn't like the pictures with a sliver of her in them, so this might be it for a while.

It was a good Friday. Quick. Tomorrow's the anticipated day of the week; the last work one. Emily is having some friends over for the night, so I'll be off in the sidelines somewhere. That's OK. I'm sure you'll hear from me then.

13 March 2008

It looks like I'm the first one to post the group photo. Bonnie and I met up at Karen's house today. She has a great house, 100 years old, filled with wonderful collections. I'd seen so many of them on her blog, but it was so great to see them in her home. She has so many stories! You'd never know to see the three of us together that we'd only met once before, as a group. We probably know more about each other than a lot of older friends do, just through our blogs. There wasn't one awkward moment. The three hours we spent together flew by. Here's a picture of us in my favorite stamping store, that's around the corner from Karen's house.

We went out to lunch. I had Bonnie's favorite dish: fish tacos. They were great! We went back to Karen's house, and I got a look at her red Corvette before heading home. Make sure you go to their blogs to read their version of our day. I feel so lucky to know them and have them live so close by. I met Bonnie as a client in my salon. Karen found me by pressing the 'next blog' button and took interest in my post about walking. She's the walker, and I'm not, but I'm glad she found a post that brought her to me.

I didn't do a whole lot more today. My neighbor Kelly did my taxes. I made a ham and pineapple pizza in the cast iron skillet. It was good, but the crust is still too thick for my liking.

I'm heading upstairs for some reading and then LOST. I'm finally caught up and can watch it in real time. Yes!

BTW, Someone is reading the same book as me, though they're probably finished. Who's reading Duma Key? I'd love to talk about it.

12 March 2008

I've been feeling kinda blah lately. I know the remedy, but instead of acting, I'm just feeling sorry for myself. I need to exercise and I need to stop eating junk. The spring-like weather we're getting is depressing because I feel slug-like. Unprepared for a change of wardrobe. Maybe writing about it will make me act. I was hoping to find advice from the fortune in one of those foil wrappers, but the answer was not there. I know what to do (I write as I eat a Thin Mint).

Talking about food, I thought I'd write about the salad dressing I make every week. In my opinion, it's fabulous. I have it every single day. Today I had it twice. I don't even think it has to be just for salad--it could easily go into any pasta dish. Here's how I found it: I was eating lunch at work one day and couldn't help but notice how wonderful my co-worker's salad smelled. She told me how she made the dressing and asked if I wanted a taste. I loved it! She gave me the recipe (I'm pretty sure it's a Rachel Ray recipe that was modified) and the rest is history. The dressing calls for a food processor, something I didn't own. I borrowed my neighbor's, a Sears Counter Kraft from the 70's or 80's. She hardly used it so I asked if I could hold onto it until she needed it back. She was happy to have me store it for her. Well, I broke the little lip on the lid that fits into the motor that allows the machine to power on. Bummer! I found that I could get it to work by wedging a matchbook between the broken piece and the motor. Fine for me but I couldn't return it like that. Should I buy her a brand new food processor? I explained what happened, and understood that she felt sentimental about her old machine. I decided to start looking for it on e-Bay. Finally, I found the exact model! I bought it, returned her machine with the perfect lid, and now I have a food processor with a matchbook fix.

My favorite salad dressing

1 12 oz. jar of roasted red peppers, drained and patted dry
1 small clove garlic, chopped
2 T Balsamic vinegar
swizzle of honey
salt and pepper
3 T extra virgin olive oil

Put everything but the oil in a food processor fitted with the steel blade and start it up. Drizzle in the olive oil. Pour this liquid gold back into the empty pepper jar. The end.
I tried a few lines last night, but the words wouldn't come. Just blah, blah, blah that I finally erased before settling down to watch American Idol. I love that show. The talent is amazing!

So, getting ready for another day at work. I'll see if I can't come up with anything exciting to write tonight. Today I just got nothing.

10 March 2008

How can a one hour time change make such a difference? I don't know but time has seemed wonky for days.

I fit in a visit to Caribou Coffee this morning. That's because I was up at 5 AM. I spent a pleasant 45 minutes there before going to the shop to have the car's oil and fluids changed. After that it was a trip to two banks with the folks. My name is now on their accounts, just in case. Mom and I went to a new Italian place for lunch. It was fabulous and I'll definitely be back. I had a half Greek salad and 1/2 Neapolitan pizza. Mom had the Eggplant Parmesan. A trip to the Dollar Store and Giant Food, and our time together was over. I stopped by Best Buy on the way home to see if they sell set top HD cable boxes. Not. I asked about the SVGA monitor cable I bought to connect my laptop to the TV, because I couldn't figure out how to get it to work. I'm not like Ginni Dee. The Tech guy explained what to do and I tried it when I got home. I pushed the function button and F9, then F2, then anything else I thought might work. No go. Then I tried to get on the Internet, only to find there were no wireless networks in range. Oh great! It was working this morning. So...I called my guy at Dell. The one I spent so much time with on Thursday. Turns out function+F2 disables the wireless connection. Whew! While I had him on the phone, he cleaned up my desktop, and got rid of bundled programs on the computer that I didn't need. Then he set up the monitor to TV cable. Thank you Dell guy! I watched last week's episode of Brothers and Sisters on my TV through my computer. Then I read posts and commented using the TV screen as the monitor. Pretty cool, huh?

So, my weekend is over. It was filled with good times. Time to get back to work.


09 March 2008

Today was supposed to be a short day, right? It sure did seem long to me.

I didn't change the time on my clock. Kit called at 6:00 AM and was surprised I was still in bed. I told her the clocks were changed and it was 5:00. Wrong, it was 7:00, so I got up. We met at the lodge. They had free shots of espresso to herald in the 'spring ahead' of the day. We hung out for a while, then went in search of more memory for her laptop. Staples was closed due to technical problems. Can you imagine? We went to Best Buy, but we had to wait for it to open. I had their weekly ad with me and saw they had Wii's advertised. Then we saw the line of people. It looked like they were letting groups of about 10 into the store at a time, and the crowd cheered each time a person exited with a Wii in their shopping bag. I asked an associate and was told they received 47 Wii's. There were 47 happy shoppers.

I got something BIG accomplished today, and took before and after pictures. I've wanted to do this for ages! Mo and Karen, I thought of you. You're both so organized.

I haven't transferred any of my 5000 or so pictures from the external hard drive back over to my computer. That's how many I would have lost if I didn't back them up. Right now I only have 1 folder containing 8 pictures on this computer. Do you have an external hard drive? Let my lesson be yours.

A bunch of us from the book club went to the movies last night to see The Other Boleyn Girl. There were nine of us. How fun! We (not me) read the book a couple of months ago. It was actually good to see it without having read it because I wasn't aware of how much of the story was omitted. Everyone liked the movie. We went back to Mary's house afterwards to eat, talk, laugh and drink. It was a great night out for someone like me who doesn't get out much.

Here's a few pictures I took last week when I was with my mom:

Mom asking, are you taking my picture?

The awesome TV.

Yes, it's a bathroom shot.

Mom at the mall with a pimped out ride.

My plans for tomorrow? Oil change at 8:00. Trip to the bank with my parents. Shopping and lunch with my mother. On my way home by 2:00. Who knows what else. The day is full of possibilities.

Hope your day was a great one!

07 March 2008

Today I got the kind of service I used to expect from Dell. Too bad it took 17 days to get it! The Banctec serviceman called at 2:30 to say he was on his way. He was there at 3:00, and in no time installed my new wireless card. It's fixed. I finally have what I wanted from the start: to double my original memory. That's how this whole thing got started: I installed a bigger memory card, but my computer remained slow as ever. I called Dell to diagnose the problem. Seventeen or so long phone calls later, and two service calls, it's fixed. It's actually like having a new computer-- the crashed operating system wiped out all the 'stuff', and the bigger memory card makes it all go fast. Was it worth all the stress? No way!

I came home and watched last night's episode of LOST and now I'm all caught up. I still need to watch Brothers and Sisters and Jericho. I love those shows. Now that my time is my own again, I can do that.

I have two new clients on the books tomorrow. New clients are always stressful for me (why does it have to be two at once?), but I know it will be fine. It always is and I wish I didn't have this anxiety. At the end of the day I'll be sitting in Borders, sipping my favorite drink. Relaxing.

My friend Kit is back in town, and we'll be meeting up at the lodge on Sunday. It's been weeks since we've done that. We have a lot to catch up on so we'll have to take turns.

Anyway, that's it for the night. Thanks for letting me vent about my technical issues. Your support really helped. Happy weekend!
Possible great news update!

I just got a call from Banktec, the company that does Dell's installation. Somehow, the service tech has my parts and asked if he could come to the salon today at 2:00 to install them. The parts were ordered yesterday! This is the same tech who's worked on my computer in the past and always did a great job, not the one who was a constant no show. I have my hopes up! I thought of leaving for work early today, but decided to watch my show (next post) and leave on time. If I hadn't been here, I wouldn't have gotten the call, and my laptop would have been at home. The only problem will be can he test the internet connection? I'm willing to take a chance. I"m feeling happy.
I just finished watching last week's episode of LOST on Emily's computer. I LOVE that show! I wish I had time to watch last night's episode, but work beckons.

Here's a random thought of the day: Why is it that the perfume you don't like is the one that smells the most? One of my favorite's is Allure by Chanel. I have it in eau de toilette, so I understand why on that one. It's a delicate concentration of perfume. I have Chance by Chanel in eau de parfum. I can't smell it on me. This morning I applied a sample of Chanel N*5 in the parfum and I hate it and can't get rid of the smell. I washed my wrists with soap. I used a wet towel to rub it off my neck. No luck. I'm surrounded by stink! The last time this happened was when I used Wrappings by Clinique. P.U. It must be something with my body chemistry, because the stinkers are well loved by others. I'm not going to be able to stand myself today!

And with that, I'm off to work. Have a great Friday!

06 March 2008

I don't know how to spell the word I want to use to describe what I really want to say. I don't know why spell check can't figure it out. It can't be that off the mark.

It's another beautiful day here. Bright sunshine and mild temperatures. I started The Pioneer Woman's pot roast early and it's chilling in the fridge. I had plans to mop the floor, vacuum, and scour the kitchen. I couldn't do that because I've had a phone in my hand for the past 219 minutes. Yes, you read that right. With my old nemesis Dell. The problem's still not fixed. Another part has been ordered. Another supervisor has promised that he'll follow my case. I won't write about it again till next week.

I'm going to do a quick clean up and take a walk. I need a mood adjustment.

05 March 2008

It's one of those off and running days. Emily came into my room this morning and asked if I could just listen to her before saying no. She couldn't fall asleep last night, and could she sleep in for a half hour? I said OK, and decided to get ready for work so I could drop her off and head out to the coffee shop. I'm so behind on keeping up with reading blogs and posting them. I tried last night, but could only get an internet signal if I held my laptop at a specific angle. It's just too frustrating! So here I am, but I'm drinking decaf instead of the strong stuff I love because it's a work day. I just can't take a chance on the caffeine.

I went for the fan last night even though it's so loud. I just can't sleep without all the white noise. I woke at 1:00 and turned on the news to check for a weather update. It just showed strong thunderstorms, so I easily fell back to sleep. Brad said he was surprised to hear we have tornadoes in this part of the country. It is unusual and doesn't happen often. The city of La Plata was wiped out a few years ago, and College Park was hit pretty bad too. I had a close encounter years ago. Emily was a baby and her dad and I had met my father for dinner at a neighborhood restaurant. While at the restaurant, a terrible storm hit. None of the diners were leaving because it was so wicked outside. Finally we decided to just go for it. My father got into his car and we got in ours, with me sitting in the back next to Emily. We had the radio on, and they announced tornadoes in our area. I was freaking scared. The announcer said if you were on the road and by a gully to leave your car and get into it. I told my ex we had to turn around and go to my parent's house. You could barely see a foot in front of the windshield. I was cowering in the back, my face burrowed into Emily's car seat, my ex not too happy with me. We got to the house and I took Emily into the bathtub with me while the men calmly watched the news on the TV. We left when the warning was over to find the road we had traveled was now strewn with humongous trees. Ever since then? Terrified of tornadoes. I'm so glad I live in a house with a basement. The storms of the night have cleared out and the sun is shining. It should reach 60 degrees again today. What a nice reprieve, especially with hearing how many of you still have snow. Our cold will come back, and there's every chance we'll see snow again, so I'm appreciating days like today.

Happy Wednesday!

04 March 2008

There's a mighty wind blowing as I write this. And a tornado warning till 3 AM. I hate tornado warnings!. I've been known to hang out in my basement. And make others hang out in theirs. I guess I'll have to go to bed without my fan on tonight so I can hear the wind if it starts to roar.

Not much going on here. Watching TV. Relaxing. No muse, so I'm gonna close for now. Till later, OK?

03 March 2008

Happy Monday!

I'm off to hang with my mom. First stop...Annapolis Mall. We haven't been there for a while, and I have things to return and makeup to buy. We'll go out to lunch afterwards, then be back in time for Mom to watch her favorite soap, Passions. Very steamy. I'll come home and get to my new, non-paying part-time job. It involves being on the telephone for long stretches of time. It always ends in frustration. It's not really a job, it's a chore.

The sun is shining and it should get up to 60 degrees! I hope it's a great day in your part of the world!

02 March 2008

I'm feeling more content than I have since...last weekend. That's not such a long time. The week was filled with grief over my technical issues but the time I've spent in Panera's has calmed me. I might have to stay for a few hours! I'm going to devote a few sentences to these issues, but no more. I did send a letter to Michael Dell. What good it will do? Who knows. I got home last night to find that my operating system was 'corrupted'. The Dell tech thinks it probably occured when the motherboard was replaced, and everything on my computer has been lost. The laptop is back to factory settings, a clean slate. If I hadn't bought an external hard drive two weeks ago and backed up all my data and files, I'd be weeping. I've only lost what I've added in the last two weeks. The Dell technical service also affected my wireless connection. I have very poor connectivity and spent a few hours on the phone with Verizon last night. I'll mention this again only when I have something positive to say.

It's very quiet at Panera's for a Sunday morning. Even if it's only 8:00 AM. I'm not a classical music fan, but I'm digging the music this morning. I'm sitting at a table near the window, and it's a bright and sunny day. Emily spent the night at a friend's house near this shopping center, and I'll pick her up when I'm done here. I haven't mentioned much about her lately. As you can imagine, her world is quite different than it was 5 weeks ago when she and her boyfriend split. She's home. She's spending time with friends. She's on the computer a lot more. She's staying after school and doing weight training. Tomorrow starts softball practice for school, three hours a day, five days a week. Emily really wants to make Varsity. Last year was her first time playing softball, and it was for a rec league. She really is a natural. She and her dad spent a few hours yesterday practicing, and he's taking her to the batting cages today. I am so looking forward to the softball season. I just wish it were in warmer weather. I'm sure I'll be wearing my long underwear to the games. I hate to be cold, but I'll be cold for my daughter.

Well, I don't want this to get too long. Happy Sunday friends!

01 March 2008

Hi...it seems like a long time since I've posted here. And a long time since I've shown any pictures. I have a pizza in the oven now, and if it looks good, I'll snap a shot. It's semi-homemade. Trader Joe's dough, Italian Tomato starter sauce, pineapple, and Kraft Pizza blend cheese. I'm making it in my iron skillet. My boss, a great cook, has been working on perfecting his pizza. I'm following his instructions.

OK...here it is. I realize it looks like an omelet pizza. The crust definitely needed more time in the oven. I burned my lip on the first bite and have a small blister. Still, not a bad pizza for a first try. I already have some ideas on how to make it better.

I bought all the ingredients to make Rigatoni Al Forno. I love the recipe from the box of San Georgio for their lasagna, so I thought I'd try the one I found on the box of Rigatoni. I'll make it for tomorrow's dinner. I've been on an Italian kick. You probably knew that.

I'm upstairs using Emily's computer while she's out. It's so nice to work on a speedy one! Actually, I'm writing this while on hold with the phone number I've been calling lately. And that's all I'm saying about that.

I'm so glad today was Saturday. Still is. I had a great day at work. I'll be posting from Panera's tomorrow.