30 June 2010

Time flies

It really does fly. Whether you're really busy, or if you're sitting on the beach for hours on end. How can it be late Wednesday night already? Didn't we just get here?

Tuesday turned out to be another long and satisfying day at the beach. We got a late start...maybe 10? I think I read one page of a magazine. I don't know how I occupied the hours, but time flew. We picked up subs from Jersey Mikes. They're the best. I floated on my raft. Listened to music. Same old great way to spend a day. I'm happy to say that no one has a sunburn. Yeah! We go through a lot of sunblock. And my sister and I use our umbrellas.

Last night I made steak and chicken quesadillas for dinner. Much better than the hotdog meal from the night before. Our entertainment for the evening was outlet shopping. Not my cup of tea. I spent my time sitting on the benches with the men. I'm not a shopper. The kids wanted to go, and the boys were the ones who got stuff.

When I come to the beach, I only like to spend my days on the beach. I went to Bethany Beach for about 8 years. I never took a day trip to any of the interesting places nearby. Like Cape May or Assateague Island. This is my 5th year at Mytrle Beach, and ditto. Day in and day out on the beach. Today I made a change. My sister and I drove about 30 miles south to Brookgreen Gardens. I'd passed it a few years ago when I came to Myrtle Beach from the south (Edisto Island). I'd heard wonderful things about it. It's a National Historic Landmark. I love flora and fauna and everything about the SC lowcountry. The place was amazing. Check out the link.

We spent hours there, then drove south to Pawley's Island and went to the hammock shop. I have a Pawley's Island hammock; I bought it there a few years ago. We headed back and stopped at the town of Murrells Inlet. We ate at a local's place on a salt marsh. We bought shrimp that were swimming yesterday to cook for dinner tonight.

All in all, a great day. We got back to our condo and were on the beach at 5:00. We stayed till 7:00. It was the perfect time of day to be on the beach. Heavenly. I laid down in my beach chair and listened to Nicklecreek on my iPhone. Sweet. We made shrimp, cheese grits and broccoli for dinner. Had brownies and ice cream for dessert. Took the kids to miniture golf. And here I am. Ready to go to sleep and wake at 8 again. I hope.

Lots of pictures to follow.

29 June 2010

Monday update

What a lazy beach day! After all the rain and storms of yesterday, today bloomed sunny. I woke up late again (yea!) and got right into my bathing suit. Cup of coffee in hand plus chair and umbrella, I was on the beach at 8 AM. I came up for a quick breakfast later on, then stayed on the beach till 4:30. How's that for a beach bum? I read about a page of my book. I didn't read a magazine. I sat in my chair under the umbrella. Talked to my sister. Laid on the raft in 6 inches of water and smiled. Laid on my back and my stomach that way. Yes, I was probably a curious sight. I laid on the raft on the beach with a towel underneath me and listened to my tunes. It was a completely relaxing day in every way.

We had an unappetizing dinner of hotdogs, frozen fries and canned baked beans. Cooked. It was perfect. On paper plates. We went to see a show, Le Grande Cirque 'Adrenaline' at the Palace Theatre. It was pretty amazing...male and female Chinese acrobats doing amazing things. It was way too expensive. Every year we see some kind of live performance here. I think I've seen enough.

Will tomorrow be another lazy day or will we 'do something'? We'll see. The kids are happy. As long as they're content, my sister and I are content. Let's hope it's another great weather day. The forecast for the week is for a chance of scattered thunderstorms every day. I'll hope for sunny skies.

27 June 2010

They say it's your birthday!

As most of you know who read my blog or see me on Facebook, today's my birthday. It's really such a non-event to me. When you get past a certain age, it's not so much fun. Then again, I have to think of my friend Kim. She passed away yesterday after a 13 month battle with cancer. She would not have minded having many, many more birthdays. Being alive would have outweighed growing older. I can't believe she's gone. I'm very fortunate to be mostly healthy and mostly happy and mostly optimistic and mostly energetic. As long as I'm mostly counting my blessings, I'm mostly very fortunate.

The trip from Smithfield, NC to North Myrtle Beach, SC was easy. We were on 1-95 for about 40 miles. The rest of the trip was on secondary roads, and scenic. I love scenic. Lots of old barns. Mobile homes. Lots of pine trees. I Googled NC pine trees and found that they're the state tree, generally. I especially like the Longleaf Pines, and tried to find a place to pull over so I could pull out a sapling. I'd love to have one growing in my back yard. No luck. The link has some really fascinating information, if you're into nature. I'm into nature. We went through Tar Heel, NC. It's a tiny little town with a famous name. The trip was about 3 hours, and we ended by hanging out at a Starbucks while waiting for check-in. The management was nice enough to let us into our condo hours early. My sister Ilene and her son and his friend arrived at the same time! We worked hard and unpacked and settled in. The kids settled in without unpacking. Go figure.

There was a full moon over the ocean last night. It was beautiful.

My sister and I went to a Walmart Supercenter and did all the grocery shopping this morning. I came home to find many birthday wishes on Facebook. Birthday notifications is a nice FB feature. Emily gave me my gift a few days ago: a beautiful necklace with a hummingbird charm. Rob sent me flowers. Ilene gave me a birthday mug and a box of Jelly Bellys. All great, thoughtful gifts. My parents gave me money. So far I've bought my iPhone case with it.

We spent a few hours on the beach today. Emily and Phil took a long, long walk and came back with a dead stingray. It was bleeding. Kind of like a cat bringing back a newly-killed bird. Yuck.

Jonathan and his friend walked to the fancy resort down the beach and enjoyed the lazy river and many fancy pools. I've done that before and might do it again while we're here. The weather was nice for a few hours today, then the thunder started grumbling. We decided to move to the balcony, and hours later, we're still here. It's been drizzling. People are still out. In the ocean. Outdoor pools. Playing Frisbee and soccer. I dropped the kids off at Barefoot Landing. I took my mom's advice and am 'celebrating' my birthday with a glass of Arbor Mist 'wine'.

It's pouring now. Thundering and lightning. I'm still on the balcony. I think I'll close for now and shower. I'm sticky and salty and my hair feels like straw.

26 June 2010

Not waiting for a latte after work

I've never started packing for a vacation so late or cleaned house so well. We were out at 8:45 in the morning. We swung by my parent's house to drop off the car Emily's been borrowing, then we were off. I stopped at a Best Buy to buy a case for my new phone. We stopped by Einstein Bagels for breakfast to go. I ran into Borders for a latte to go. We stopped a few times for gas and bathroom breaks. Burger King too. In other words, it took a while to get to our overnight destination: Smithfield, NC. Emily was super-hyper for half the trip, asking a million times how long till we got there. We got there.

On the road.

An abandoned house across from a gas station in the middle of nowhere. It made me wonder about the people who lived here and what their lives were like.

Yes, Emily's boyfriend is vacationing with us. And yes, Emily did put her seatbelt on.

At Burger King. No, my sandwich was not this big. And I hope I wasn't that shiny.

The hotel we're staying at is really nice and in the middle of a mega outlet center.

We did some shopping. We bought lots of clothes at the GAP outlet at bargain prices. Emily and I got matching sundresses. No, we won't be wearing them at the same time unless it's for the sake of pictures (you know how I am about pictures). We had dinner at Cracker Barrel. Dessert at Dairy Queen.
It was a great night.

Too bad I woke up at 3:30 this morning. The good thing was that it gave me time to post this. And at least I get to have coffee when it's the real morning. Kit's niece Lyssa messaged me last night to say she lives close by. She and her son will meet us at the hotel at 8:00 for breakfast. Nice! After that, it's back on the road again. Our trip so far has been about 300 miles. Only 150 more to go. Myrtle Beach, here we come.

22 June 2010

A note for Tuesday

Why oh why did my body wake me up at 4:40 this morning? At least I got 3 loads of laundry done. I'm going to Marshall's before work. It's nice to have the extra time, but not that much!

My doctor's appointment yesterday was a follow-up for the lab work I had last week. I called for the results on Thursday and was told there were some abnormalities and that the doctor wanted to see me. Funny how your anxiety level can go from 0-10 in a moment. I said, that's it? I'm going to have to worry till Monday? I was told that if it was something bad that the doctor would have called me right away. Needless to say, I was angst-ridden all weekend. Especially because my throat was acting up. I figured the labs were probably a matter of my thyroid meds needing adjusting and my throat was my reflux. So...I went to the doctor's yesterday. My thyroid levels are a little off and my throat is my reflux. My cholesterol is a little high. Everything else came back great. I should be able to follow my own words....worries are almost always wasted. The other good news is that I'm 16 pounds lighter than I was the last time I saw this doctor. Wow. On that note, I've kept to my vow of no ice cream till vacation.

It was so hot yesterday. I swam 20 laps again, but it was even hot in the pool. Not the water, but the sun on my body as I swam. I'm going to miss the pool when I'm on vacation. Well, maybe not :)

Time for a full day of work. Only two more after tomorrow, then I'm on vacation. Only two more days and I get my new iPhone. Woo hoo.

21 June 2010

a post before getting busy

Another weekend is almost over. Rob was here and we had a great time together. Pool time, hammock time, etc. We won't see each other for a few weeks because I'm going on vacation. That's going to be hard! Vacation. Yes! My mom won't be coming this year. Everyone agreed it was just too much. Maybe next year? It will be my sister Ilene and me, three teenage boys and one teenage girl. I'm hoping it will be wonderful. The kids range from newly 16 to almost 18. My nephew is bringing a friend and Emily is bringing her boyfriend. Can you imagine all the food they'll be eating? We'll be staying at the same place we've been going to for the last 4 or 5 years. Beachfront with an indoor and outdoor pool. We'll do our usual...drive to Smithfield, NC on Friday and stay the night at a hotel. The hotel is part of a huge outlet center with lots of restaurants and stores to look in. I'm not a shopper, but I like the liveliness of the area. The hotel has an outdoor pool. It will be a fun way to start our adventure and a reprieve from the driving. We sometimes drive straight through on the way home. We'll decide that later.

I have a doctor's appointment today. I'm not looking forward to that. I only work 3 days this week. I'm looking forward to that. I have to pack. Not looking forward to that. Have to clean the house so it's perfect before we leave. Not looking forward to that. Friday morning will arrive soon enough, though, and it will all be done. It happens every time.

Happy Monday!

17 June 2010

Life is so...precious

I have my bad days. I've cried buckets over my daughter in the past. Things on that front have been SO much better for a long time now. I've had lots of stress over my parents. There's a bit of a reprieve now, and though I know it won't last, it's OK today. Why am I saying all this? Because today was so awesome and I don't want you to think my life is a bowl of cherries. Whose life is?

Today was pretty glorious. I woke up early (not on purpose) and got to drink coffee because it was my day off. Word! (that's for you Seth) I hung out on my porch. The birds were so loud! I got ready for my dentist appointment and was 'out the house at 9:30'. The tooth under my temporary crown was reshaped and put back on. I thought I was getting a permanent one, but not yet. I came home and drove 20 miles to Emily's boyfriend's house (yes, it's that far). Something fell off the underside of her car while she was there yesterday, a heat shield, and she had to leave it. We found out it was fine without it. I came home and made tuna salad. I could have vacuumed. Dusted. Cleaned out my walk-in closet that kind of looks like a hoarder's closet. Could have gone to the bank. Could have/should have done many things. I put on my bathing suit and went to the pool. It was fabulous. A picture perfect day.

I'm going to guess that it was 80 degrees today without a drop of humidity. Well, that's not really possible in MD, so maybe it was 30%. It was breezy. The sky was a brilliant blue. I sat on my lounge chair at the pool. Read my magazines and listened to Alison Kraus on my iPod/Phone. I swam 20 laps. Did I sound nonchalant about that? I can't believe I swam 20 laps. I'm gonna be a swimmer again! I could have stayed at the pool all night. I left about 5:30.

I decided not to shower because I wanted to spend every minute till dark outside and knew I needed bug spray. Yuck. So, I ate outside, on the porch, then hung out on the deck. The wind chimes were ringing. I don't remember such a beautiful day!

As I was writing this my brother called. He was at my parents house. He said my mom was not acting right. Very, very agitated. She's been really depressed. He was worried. My niece came to tell him my mom was on the floor. I'm not sure if she slipped out of bed, or what. She's in bed sleeping now, but you see...you never know about life. It's not something to be taken for granted. It's a gift. We're supposed to make the most of it. I try. I'll talk to my mom tomorrow and hope she's OK. She just saw the doctor today!

Now it's time to shower. The combo of chlorine and OFF! has got to go. Then I'm sinking into bed. G'night.

16 June 2010


I have a few minutes before running off to work and then spending my day running. That's how busy I'll be at work. I'll hit the library and Walmart before I start.

So, the last title. I went to the doctor on Monday and was pleased to find I weigh about 4% less than the same time last year. Why put it in percentages? My nephew Ryan is on a quest to become 27% slimmer than his current weight and he's journaling it in his new blog: www.blog.dietsunmasked.com. Check it out and say hi. He's a great writer and pretty brave for writing out loud about something so personal.

I went to AT&T yesterday morning to pre-order the new iPhone 4. Which, btw, is 24% slimmer than the previous models. I'll get it the day before vacation. I'm SO excited.

14 June 2010

4% and tomorrow's the first big day

But I wrote so much about other stuff that I'm going to write about the title another time. Except to say that the 4% has to do with weight and the first big day with the new iPhone 4.

I've gotten way too much sun, and that's with using SPF 50 lotion. I'm brown. I tan too easily. With the sunblock, I don't burn. At the beach, I'm always under an umbrella. At the pool, I'm in the sun. Rob, Emily and I spent about 3 hours at the pool on Sunday. A little faux family :)

Life is Good

We had a wonderful day. We listened to our music. Spent lots of time in the water. It was HOT! I swam 15 laps. It felt just great. I went to the pool again today after running lots of errands. I swam 16 laps. Yea me! I swam 12 laps three other pool days. My goal is to work up to a mile like in the old days. I think that's 36 laps. I need to find new goggles. Mine suction on so tight that I have raccoon eyes for hours. I just love the pool. Love to listen to my iTunes and read my favorite magazines: Fast Company and Wired. And play Angry Birds and go on Facebook on my iPhone.

I had lab work done this morning. My doctor wanted me to get it done every 6 weeks. I thought that was too much. It's been around 8 months. Way too long. It's mostly for my thyroid levels. My throat has been bothering me so I called the doctor to fax a lab order. I was so pleased to find that LabCorp takes online reservations. They took me exactly on time. Then I went for my yearly GYN appt. Easy peasy. I always breath a sigh of relief after the breast exam. You women know what I mean. I went to the car dealership to have the oil changed and an inspection done to ready the car for my upcoming vacation. I grocery shopped, then went to the pool. Then I backed up all the important stuff on my computer to my external hard drive. Sat outside. Ladeda.

Yesterday was book club. My friend Kit hosted at her place in Sherwood Forest. After eating, I took the first group of 3 (plus me) on the golf car to give them a tour. It was just delightful outside. Breezy. Beautiful. I felt like an expert tour guide. I parked the golf car by the main pier and we walked down the dock. Nancy and Karla wanted to put their feet in the water. I gathered up my dress and sat daintily (that's for you Andrew) down. The water was great. We were gone for a while and I knew it was past time to go back. I got up, put my hands in my pockets and found there was no golf car key. What happened to it will remain a mystery. What made the day into a lasting memory was Nancy jumping into the Severn River fully clothed to try to find it. She went under! What a sight. As it turned out, the water was only about 4' deep there. She found oyster shells. The rest of the group came and Kit brought a rake to rake the bottom of the river for the key. It was pretty funny. Luckily I had my cell phone to call Kit and she had a spare key.

Most of the book club members

I'm exhausted. When I feel this way after lots of sun and swimming, I usually sleep poorly. Go figure!

09 June 2010

It's all about choices

That title could make you think I have something deep to talk about. Not.

It's amazing what a little coffee can do. Most of you know I don't do caffeine on work days. I'm a deprived individual. Yeah, right. Anyway, this morning one of my clients told his wife he was headed to Borders while she got her hair cut. I thought to myself, I want a latte. It's not fair I can't have a latte. I took a quick peek at the clients on my book, and decided that I could do it. My fear, and the reason I don't drink coffee on work days is that I'll feel panicky from the caffeine. I saw that I had all great clients today that I feel comfortable with, and there's no way I'd get nervous with any of them. So I asked if he would pick me up my drink of choice. I made it last most of the day, and it was a super day because of it. I'm home from work (on the porch) and it's great to not feel sleepy. It's the little things in life, and today that thing was coffee.

I came home from work and put dinner in the microwave: Trader Joe's Channa Masala. As I started eating it I looked at the nutritional information. I guess I didn't take a good enough look when I bought it because it contained 2 servings, not one. How can 10 ounces be 2 servings?? I decided that if I was going to eat something that had 360 calories and 18 grams of fat that I'd rather do it in the form of ice cream. I put the food down the garbage disposal and got out the ice cream. I'm never buying this ice cream again, btw. I hope. It's Turkey Hill Limited Edition Fried Ice Cream.

Here's the description: cinnamon ice cream swirled with cinnamon sopadilla and sweet tostada pieces. I told my daughter she wouldn't like it so she wouldn't eat any of it. Sorry daughter. I'll have the remainder of the carton for dessert later on. I won't allow myself to buy or eat ice cream again before vacation. If you write something down that makes it true, right? After, or during vacation, I will buy another favorite: Turkey Hill Limited Edition Southern Lemon Pie. I'll try to only buy one carton. I love ice cream. Most of the time I'm good and don't buy it. If the only snack in the house is 94% fat-free popcorn, it's the only thing I'll eat.

06 June 2010

The view

I've spent the last few hours on the porch. Here's the set-up. Fan, laptop, camera, iPhone, coffee. Yes, I'm wearing my pj's. It's private enough here and no one is around. I don't think. Plus I'm mostly sitting down. It's warm and breezy (the fan) and the view of my lush garden is so nice.

I'm heading out to meet my siblings in a bit. My sister from GA flew in yesterday. The four of us are going to sit down and talk about my parents. The blind will be leading the blind, but I feel optimistic that between the bunch of us, we will brainstorm and figure some stuff out. During the week we will visit some assisted living facilities just to get an idea of what they're like. On Thursday, the plan is to meet again, this time with my parents.

I'd rather be at the beach.

04 June 2010


Yesterday was such a fun day. It was all about Emily. She was so happy. I was so happy. It was her first prom, and it was a busy day.

I woke her before leaving for my salon meeting. She showered and dressed and went for a manicure and pedicure. I left my meeting and went to Nordstrom's to re-buy her shoes. Yes, re-buy. The "pair" she bought from a different Nordstrom's a few days before were actually two left shoes, in different sizes. They didn't check the box. I spent a little time at the mall, then met Emily at my salon with lunch. Next up was a brow wax, then getting her hair done by one of my co-workers. Not a good idea for me to do it, ya know?

We came home and took some practice pictures for lighting, etc.

Time to get ready! I did Emily's make-up and helped her put on her dress. She bought the dress with her dad--they're the shoppers. Most prom dresses are long, but I thought this one was just perfect for Emily. Emily's dad came over, then Phil, then it was picture time! It was such a fun photo shoot. And just in time! The thunderstorm started minutes after the couple got in her dad's car. It was a major storm. They used a huge umbrella to get in and out of the restaurant. By the time they got to the prom at the Baltimore Aquarium, the storm was over. How's that for luck? They took the school bus home from the prom. Perfect too.

I can't believe my daughter is so grown up. I think if you click on the photo below it will take you to Picasa Web Albums. Click on slide show to watch. I had a hard time narrowing down the number of pictures. You know how that goes!

Emily and Phil Prom

02 June 2010


Hello. Yes, I'm alive and kicking. Time has been elusive. Stress has been high. Parent stuff, ya know? Too many details for this brain of mine to keep organized and I often feel overwhelmed. I remember so well when my friend Bethanne was dealing with her aging mother. First an apartment. Then assisted living. Then a nursing home. She would say...you just wait. I didn't doubt her. Fortunately I have siblings, but we're like the blind leading the blind.

I'm so happy that summer weather is here. My garden is lush. I've done a lot of watering...it's a peaceful activity. The hummingbirds are active. One has a happy perch on a shepherd's hook. It also hangs out on the edge of a branch of my pear tree. In silhouette, it looks like a leaf. Too bad for me it doesn't have a nest there. 

I've spent a lot of time at the pool. On Sunday, I swam 12 laps. It was my first time swimming in ages. Remember when I swam all the time, even in winter? I swam 12 laps on Monday,  and then again tonight after work. I think I see a few muscles already :) I hope this is the start of regular exercise for me. I hope I don't get a shoulder injury again.

Rob spent the day with me on Sunday. We went on a quick outing to get him a bathing suit. We spent the entire day at the pool. I grilled dinner. We laid on the hammock for almost 2 hours. He napped on and off; I listened to and watched nature. When we came in he said, I got to experience a Cheryl kind of day. The only thing missing was time on the porch with the laptop.

Tomorrow is Emily's prom. Yes, on a Thursday. It's at the Baltimore Aquarium. School gets out early for prom and starts late on Friday. Not a bad idea. Tomorrow should be a lot of fun. One of the stylists at my salon will do her hair. I don't do updo's, but even if I did, it wouldn't be a good idea to do a daughter's. I can't wait to see her all dressed up. I'll post pictures, of course.

Well, it's getting dark on the porch. I think I'll go in and watch some TV. I don't remember the last time I had such a relaxing evening. I'm so glad I had the time to blog.