19 December 2011

Ho Ho Hello

It just seems like I dropped off the face of the earth. I'm still here. I'm just in that category of 'occasional' bloggers, now.

My holiday party was a little over a week ago, and as usual, it was a lot of fun. Emily and Rob were huge helps to me in the set up, and Rob, especially, as a host. The house is just now (with a little help from the occupants) reverting back to some clutter. The newspapers and TV guides can only stay in the laundry room so long! Still, it's pretty neat in here, and I do love seeing the house all dressed up for the holidays.

My shopping was finished up last week, so there's really no stress left. Actually, the shopping was fun. I'll be having Christmas Eve dinner with my parents and sister at The Annapolitan. Emily and I normally spend Christmas morning together, but I'm not sure what will be happening this year. I'm going to my neighbors for Christmas dinner. Kelly has always extended an invitation when I didn't have any other plans. Rob works every weekend, so he won't be around for Christmas or New Year's. It will all be low-key for me.

I had to bring my car into the shop today because of a very bad oil leak. It was streaming. I also had to rent a car, something I've never had to do before. I've always had my parents car as a loaner. Paying for this car repair, whatever it might be, in addition to the rental comes at a bad time of year, especially following paying for half of Emily's new rebuilt transmission. I reminded myself again that it's a car problem and not a car accident. You have to look at the sunny side.

I'm on a quest to scan old family photos. I can't wait to find more.






Ho Ho Ho!

05 December 2011

It's a party time of year

There's nothing like a party to clean up a house. At least that's always been the case with me. I'm down on the floor wiping around the edges when I notice the grate on the bottom of the refrigerator. So dirty! I take it off to wash when I notice the coils have 1/4" of dust on them. I probably haven't cleaned them since getting ready for last year's Christmas party. I go to put the grate back on when I notice the baseboards. And that all the doors need to wiped around the knobs. And the slats in the intake grills need to be dusted. And there's dust on the edges of the ceiling fans. And on and on and on. The house is now pretty clean. That's a good feeling. I grew up in a spotless home. I live in a neat one, but not necessarily an always clean one.

My salon party was on Saturday night at Pam and Mason's, my wonderful bosses. Great food, music and dancing with all my Mason and Friends co-workers. I'm still hoarse from trying to talk about the roar of the crowd. A great time was had by all.

Yesterday I hosted my book club for our annual holiday gathering. I count myself as being so fortunate to be part of such a wonderful group of friends. We typically spend about 4 hours talking, eating, drinking, socializing and oh, talking a little about the book (usually 20-30 minutes). We've considered putting together a cookbook, because our food is really so awesome. This was our repertoire yesterday:
sambossas (an Ethiopian appetizer) with a wonderful sauce, vegetable curry with Nam, vegetarian egg rolls in rice paper with peanut sauce, chicken salad on rolls, chicken chili, veggies and dip, steamed shrimp, and chipped beef dip. For dessert we had pumpkin cheesecake and carrot cake bites.

I got a call mid-party that my mom had fallen and although she said she was fine, the ambulance was on the way to get her. I was so upset when I saw my mom 6 days prior because she was walking unassisted and she's such a fall risk. She should never ever walk alone, yet there she was. Another fall waiting to happen. Last night I knew she would be OK, and if not, then I'd go to the hospital. As soon as the party was over I called the ER and spoke to my mom's nurse who said she was off getting X-rays. She also said they had been watching America's Funniest Home Videos before she was taken and my mom had her in stitches. The X-rays showed Mom has a fracture to her collarbone, which is something that will heal on it's own. She went home by private ambulance. I visited her this morning, and fortunately, she's not in any pain. At least not yet. And so it goes, until the next fall, because my mom will only ask for help with her walking for a little while. She was lucky this time. She's not always so lucky.

I had a successful Christmas shopping day today. Yay! I'm excited to be giving gifts that I think people will love. I'm excited that I've somehow come up with good ideas. I also think I'm getting in the mood for Christmas. Thank goodness.

I'm gearing up for my annual holiday party at my house next Saturday night. I love entertaining. It's going to be a busy week!

27 November 2011

Full, but quiet

I've been off of work for 4 days, and believe it or not, I'm ready to go back. I've kept busy, but I've been mostly alone. It's a little too quiet already! I've filled up all the time, though, with good stuff. We've had fabulous weather, which has been a gift. I've gone walking each day; something I haven't done for a while. It's felt so good to just move. Today I cleared a large swath in my basement. It's such a mess, but better than it was. I swept the cleared area. I filled an outdoor trash bag with Beanie Babies to donate. Yeah, I was one of those dumb collectors back when. I emptied out my outdoor clay pots and put them away. I planted 60 red tulip bulbs (I can't wait to see them in the spring!). I sat on my deck in shorts and read my book. I went to Sam's Club and a few other stores. It was so hard not to buy myself an impulse gift! I resisted the urge to get a pizza and came home and made a healthy meal.

My house is mostly decorated for the holidays, inside and out. I've done a little shopping. I'm still not feeling the holiday spirit,though. Rob will be here this week and he'll help me decorate the tree. I don't want to sound bah humbug, but the tree is my least favorite thing to do. It'll look great when it's done and hopefully get me closer to feeling festive. I'm hosting my book club holiday party next Sunday, and my big holiday party the following Saturday. I have to be ready. Ho ho ho.

Time to get back to the book I'm reading, Cutting For Stone, by Abraham Verghese. Has anyone read it? It's a very long book...667 pages. I feel like I'm living the story. I'll be sad when it ends.

25 November 2011

Happy (Black) Friday

I have so many random thoughts jumping around...

My mom's caregiver, Pat, just called to tell me my mom is showered and has her favorite body lotion on, and she's very happy and ready for bed. I am SO thankful that my parents are where they are and SO well-taken care of. I picked my parents up yesterday to bring them to my relatives for Thanksgiving. What a trip! It's 22 miles from my house to my parents, and 52 miles from their place to my Aunt and Uncle's. We met my daughter at a parking lot mid-way, and she followed us in her car. About 5 miles from our destination her car broke down. Long story short, we had the car pushed out of the road and onto the grassy median, then went to the house. Many phone calls later we found a tow truck willing to work on a holiday, and met the truck and dropped the car at a service station my cousin uses. Whew. Stress. I thought to myself, I'm thankful that it's a car problem and not an accident or the hospital. Back at the house, my mom was having such a hard time. Her walking days are almost over. She needed so much help while we were there and I was the only one to do it. I had to remind myself that I'm so thankful my mom is still alive and that I can be of help to her. We finally left for the long drive home that included a stop at my house so my daughter could gather some of her things to bring to her friend's, where she was spending the night. I dropped her off there, then proceeded to my parent's place. Pat, Mom's favorite caregiver (who I had called to give our ETA) was watching for my car from the entry. She came out and got Mom out of the car and into her scooter. I gave her a big hug and thank-you, then drove away, knowing that my parents would be taken care of. I was almost slap-happy with weariness when I got to my house. It was an almost 200-mile day! I think it's a last for my parents going to my Aunt and Uncle's for Thanksgiving. It's just too hard.

The news on my daughter's car is that it's the transmission. The shop ordered a rebuilt transmission and it will be ready in a few days. Then we'll need to make the long trip to get it. Ho ho ho.

I wonder if retailers will reconsider their Black Friday strategies after the fiascoes that occurred today. Shame on people for their behavior. I was looking at my previous post about the excitement I felt the year I got my mixer. I had forgotten about the fear I felt when a bunch of women behind me rushed the doors and plowed through the crowd to get to what they wanted. Black Friday is designed to create a lust for almost unattainable merchandise.

Tomorrow marks the last day of 12 days on Methylprednisolone for my pinched nerve. It's not all better, unfortunately. I really hated taking that medicine...I think it affected my mood, my sleep, etc. I just cancelled my doctor's appointment scheduled for Monday because I'm afraid to get a Cortisone injection because of the pain. Hope along with me that the pinched nerve will get better with time, OK?

And that's the end of my rambling for now. I'm so glad I found my muse, for a change.

24 November 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

If you're going to Thanksgiving dinner as a guest, it's such a different experience than if you're hosting. I'm so glad I didn't have to travel out-of-state, or clean my house for company. The cooking part I wouldn't have minded. I'll be traveling to my relatives in Gaithersburg with Emily and my parents. For the very first time, my brother and his family and my sister Lisa and her kids won't be there. Emily will be lonely without her favorite cousins. I'll be driving to my parents and doing my mom's hair and make-up and getting her dressed, then driving the long drive to the relatives. It's going to take some time for the whole process, but that's OK; it's what families do.

It's been a crazy-busy three days of work for me. I'm usually always busy, but everyone being busy at the same time really changes things up. The salon was a-buzz with activity and anticipation of the holiday. We worked so hard, but now we're off till Tuesday. We'll return to a salon filled with beautiful poinsettias, marking the beginning of the Christmas season.

Anyone doing any Black Friday shopping? I did it once, years ago, to buy my Kitchenaid mixer, and it was really pretty exciting. I contemplated going to Sam's Club in the morning to buy a Dyson vacuum cleaner, till I saw it was a close-out model. It's probably fine, but I decided to skip it. There's nothing I need or want, so I'll be staying in.

And talking of need or want, I've realized I'm a hard person to buy for because there's nothing that I need or want. Actually, I'd like a coupon for 'services'. For instance, caulking my shower, fixing the shelves in my closet, organizing my basement with me, etc. Just some help. I'd like an immersion blender, and I've asked Emily for that. Maybe I'll ask her for a coupon too.

Hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving. Amongst other things, I'm very thankful that I know you.

20 November 2011

A one day weekend

I've thought it was Monday all day long. I wondered where the lunch crowd was when I was at Fuddruckers with my mom. Wondered why I had no mail. Thought my neighbor must have the day off to be out raking in the afternoon. I also had the time wrong by an hour because I still haven't changed the clock in my car. I'm guessing I've had the day wrong because I knew I was working tomorrow, and the day after my weekend is always Tuesday, not Monday. So, kind of a strange day. I spent part of it with my mom, and the rest doing stuff around the house. Doesn't my mom look very modern in her new glasses?


The woman in the picture is one of my mother's very, very awesome caregivers, Pat. She loves my mom and takes such good care of her. My mother is spoiled rotten, and she deserves to be.

In other news, Rob did so much for me around the house while he was here this week. I'm not used to having help. He moved furniture and washed glasses and trimmed all my shrubs, and raked my whole front yard. I'm so thankful. Emily got out there and helped with the yard work too! Yesterday she got the Christmas spirit, and with her dad's help, put up lots of Christmas lights. Wow! We're the first ones around to have Christmas lights up. A bit early for me, but that's just fine. I'm just so happy that she did it.

Speaking of Christmas, I'm hoping to get in the mood soon. My first party is December 4th.

Time to read. And remember I have to work tomorrow.

14 November 2011

Nerves

I had so much to say, and pictures to post, but I'm too tired now. If only I had started this hours ago.

I saw the doctor this morning, and the diagnosis is a pinched nerve. "Neuritis of the right radial nerve." He thinks I must have banged or bumped my wrist at some point. It could have been, but it must have been inconsequential at the time because I don't remember having the pain until the one time I extended my wrist 'just so'. Tomorrow I'll start on a 2-week course of steroids. He's hopeful that the drugs will do the trick. Me too. I'm SO glad that's what the problem is and that he didn't mention surgery. He did mention a shot if the steroids don't work. I'll go back to see the doctor in two weeks, unless I'm healed in which case he told me to cancel. Here's hoping for healing!

13 November 2011

R's and other stuff

I think the secret to blogging on a regular basis is to blog on a regular basis. The longer I go without writing, the harder it is to do it. The more it gets out of my routine, the harder it is to make it routine. I don't want to give it up. I just need to try harder. I started blogging for me. From time-to-time I go back and read past posts, and I'm really glad I have this diary of my life. At least the part I make public. Really, most of my life is public. The only thing I don't write about is the strife between my daughter and me. It's funny...she scans my blog from time to time, only looking for her name. I try not to write it!

I spent a good part of September and October worrying about pretty constant abdominal discomfort. I had a couple of CT scans and a colonoscopy. I saw a gastroenterologist. The end result was that an over-the-counter solution has made me all better. Wish I had seen that doctor first. I have an appointment with a orthopedist tomorrow morning. Two weeks ago I reached for something with my right hand and something went very wrong in my wrist. I've had a couple of episodes of the worst pain I've experienced in my entire life since then, the most awful being when I reached for my purse on the passenger seat. Strange, huh? I've babied my wrist since then. Hopefully it just needs rest. My job depends on my hands.

Work has been good, and it's been busy. Yea! I need busy. I'm so glad I'm a high-energy person. Bring it on!

Did I ever mention that I really dislike my laptop that I bought in July? Shame on me for not returning it when I could. I finally got a wireless mouse, just so I can type without my cursor jumping all over the place. Apparently the mouse is so sensitive with so many applications built in, that it's hard not to touch it and initiate a command. I have no choice but to deal with it. Oh, and the 'R' on my keyboard doesn't work correctly. I went to Staples the other day (where I bought it) and they said they could order a replacement keyboard. Great. Then they told me it would be $54. Umm...I don't think I should have to pay for it. Maybe tomorrow I'll call Toshiba. I really want my R back. Hees what eally happens witing words with r's in them before I edit. Bumme.

And that's all she wote (wrote). I'll be back to report on my doctor appointment. Maybe that's the key to blogging. Writing about stuff to be continued...

31 October 2011

It's the absent blogger

Hi. I'm still here! Bad blogger.

I just turned off my porch lights, signaling, "don't come to my house, trick-or-treating is over." I love to see the kids in their costumes, but his year the majority of the trick-or-treater's were in street clothes with either backpacks or pillowcases to hold their loot. I made them say, 'trick-or-treat' and if they didn't say 'thank-you, I said, 'what do you say?' I couldn't help myself. I also told the many who had an extra bag for their 'absent' brother, sister, baby, etc. that I was only giving to people that were actually there. To one teen, who came alone with no costume, I said, Really?? She looked embarrassed. Lots of the kids that come to my neighborhood live in a nearby low-income housing area, and are dropped off at a street corner, then picked up and driven to the next. It used to bother me till I realized that Halloween is for kids, and all kids are deserving of going out for treats. I used to love taking Emily out. She always peeked into people's houses and found something/anything to comment on, to start a conversation. Talk about precocious. She dressed up as Dorothy for many years.

I've had the show "The Sing-Off" on in the background while I've been writing. I've never seen it before, and the talent is amazing! Did I mention I've been a little addicted to television since I inherited my parent's awesome very large TV? Watching hi-def on a 52" TV is a whole different experience for me. I really haven't been on my computer much. I'm sure that will change. Nothing stays the same, you know?

I had lunch with Karen, alias Happyone, today. It was great seeing her and catching up. It's been at least a year since I've had fish tacos at Ram's Head Tavern, and they were as great as ever. Yum! I came home and mowed the leaves and then cleaned up a lot of my garden. It felt so good to be outside; I'm really going to miss that soon. Oh, if only winter could last weeks instead of months.

Till the next time....be well, be happy.

20 October 2011

Home from Vacay

Today was spent settling back home after a week of vacation. I've visited my friend Bernie in Cape Cod the past two summers but mixed it up this year with a Fall excursion. I also flew instead of driving and that was so much better except I didn't get to visit my Aunt Carolee in RI. Bernie and I vacation very well together! The Cape weather was mostly rainy, but not horribly so. I walked to the beach my first day there through 'pea soup.' I think that means extremely misty. It was still wonderful.


Bernie and I drove to Jackson, NH on Saturday to take in the beauty of the Fall Foliage. We had wonderful weather while there. Each vista was more beautiful than the next, and we saw three rainbows on our first day. We stayed at nice resort for two nights.

On Golden Pond


Minutes later, with a rainbow!














Back to the Cape for one day of beautiful weather before the drenching rain.



Bernie and I were supposed to spend my last day in Boston, but the weather was just horrible. We hung out at Barnes and Noble and went out to lunch instead. I took the 2-hour shuttle back to the airport, then had a much-delayed but pleasant flight home. Rob was there to gather me up and bring me home.

Tomorrow it's back to work. I'm in town for the long haul, and that's just fine, for now. Summer and vacation time will be here before we know it. After Christmas, that is.

09 October 2011

Ladeda

I wonder what I had to talk about in the early years of blogging that I don't have now? My life isn't that less interesting.

Let's see... Things are good with Rob and me, though we don't get to see each other often. He works Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday from 10:30PM to 8:30AM. That's some schedule, huh? We usually see each other Wednesday night to Friday morning, but lately I've been working Thursdays or he's had plans for Thursdays. Despite our schedules, we're still going strong. Rob's been on a diet the last 7 weeks and lost 26 pounds. That's taken amazing willpower! He has 7 pounds to go to reach his goal, and he looks great.

Emily is busy with school and with her job as a hostess at a really nice restaurant. It's quite a change around here, getting used to her living at home, yet being an adult, of sorts. I can ask how school's going, but not if she has homework, tests, etc. Many is the time, in the beginning, that she reminded me that if she was living in a dorm I'd have no idea. It's hard for me to let go, and not worry about schoolwork, working too many hours, staying up too late, etc., but I'm trying. She's mentioned possibly wanting to transfer next year, and although I'll miss her terribly, I think living in a dorm is such a valuable experience, and one I want for her.

We've had awesome Indian Summer weather here in MD. I spent the day in Annapolis, though getting there was horrible because of traffic. A 20 minute drive turned into a 90 minute drive and I wasn't feeling very patient. A patio lunch at The Cheesecake Factory followed by a few hours outside with my friend Kit made it all better. I slathered myself with OFF! when I got home, mowed the lawn, and here I am in my favorite spot, the porch. Time for dinner, then a night of DVR'd shows. I'm so glad I still have a day of 'weekend' to go.

30 September 2011

No rain today

What a difference a little sunshine makes. I was so surprised to notice the sun. I went outside with the trash and gasped. Really. I looked up and saw the most beautiful sky. I've spent as much time outside as possible this morning. I'm on my deck now, with the sound of birdsong and and the tree-filtered sun warming my face. I'm going to remember this.

26 September 2011

An unfolding day

I'm posting from Panera's, just like in the old days. I forgot how much I like hanging out here. Today is kind of wide open for me, and I thought I'd get a coffee and blog after getting my mammogram. So glad that's over, although it really wasn't bad. I'll breathe a sigh of relief when I get the letter saying all is well, see you in a year. All women fear breast cancer. Next week I have my yearly GYN appointment, and that should end of a month of medical appointments.

Last week was really slow for me at work. That never happens. Hopefully it's just a blip, and maybe it's just the time of year. This week's schedule is back to normal. The good part about last week was that I got to spend more time with my visiting sister Ilene. After doing her hair at the salon on Friday we spent the day at Columbia Mall, which included finding a dress for her to wear to a wedding, and getting make-overs at Estee Lauder. She's back home now, but will be back in about 8 weeks for another visit.

I got a hot stone pedicure yesterday morning that I purchased with a Groupon. It was heavenly and I'm so glad I bought 2 Groupons, so I have one more to look forward to. I visited my parents afterward. I say parents, but I really mean my mom. My dad is quiet and self-sufficient. My mom is suffering a lot of pain from her latest fall a week ago. She badly hurt her knee, but didn't break anything. She's still in a lot of pain from the compression fracture she suffered in the fall before that. Poor Mom. Plus, she finally got the "Jazzy" power wheelchair (that I've been trying to get approved since the beginning of the year) on Wednesday and she hates it. It has a super-sensitive joystick and she can hardly steer it. I worked with her in the parking lot and she made some progress, but it's really hard.

What to do today? I might go to the movies. I might work on my bedroom closet and clean house. I'll just have to see what unfolds. Happy Monday!

20 September 2011

Update

I'm so glad that my colonoscopy is "behind" me! I got the all-clear and I don't have to have another one for 7-10 years. I wish it were 20. I was hungry all day yesterday, the prep solution was so hard to drink, and I didn't get any sleep at all last night. It was all worth it though, for the peace of mind that all is well.

I'm heading upstairs for an early night. Can't wait for a normal day tomorrow. My potty-talking days are over!

19 September 2011

Can't wait to eat

Today has been my fasting and liquid diet day before tomorrow's procedure and I've been hungry since I woke up this morning. It was do-able. I spent the day at Annapolis Towne Center with my sister from GA. We got mini-facials at Origins and bought some skincare products. We ooh'd and aah'd at Restoration Hardware. What a store! Everything was over-sized and unique and amazing. We spent about an hour in Table le sur, which is a paradise of a kitchen store. And another hour in Whole Foods where I was especially hungry. I hung out near one of the prepared foods bars just inhaling the wonderful aromas. I tried to look nonchalant. Starting at 8 PM tonight, I had an hour to drink my quart of Movi-Prep. That was disgusting! I have to wake up at 4 AM and drink another quart. Wah. Ilene and I will leave here at 7:30 AM. Yea. Can't wait till it's over. I had my first colonoscopy 6 years ago. Like everyone says, it's not the procedure that's bad, it's the prep. Burp.

I've had fresh flowers from my garden on my table at home, and on my station at work for at least the last month. I really enjoy seeing what's in bloom and what I can add to my vases. I always have rosemary and basil, which smell so good when touched, along with philodendron. I have a large patch of tall zinnias that I started from seed that have produced an abundant supply of flowers. Here's a picture of what's on the table now: the greens plus lantana, zinnias, and a Stella d'oro lily.


I'm ready for a few hours sleep. Can't wait till I write saying all went well!

15 September 2011

A little more than a peek

Let's see...where was I? I got the results back from the CT scan and was relieved to find out the pain I've been having is my old friend the fibroid. I can certainly live with the discomfort; I just needed to know what it was. Today I found out that a 40-something year-old client of mine has cancer in her liver that they think originated in her pancreas. I'm in shock about it. I'm not surprised that I jump to the conclusion that something must be very wrong with me when I have unexplained pain that lingers. So many people do get cancer. That is real. I know you can't live your life in fear, and I don't. Only when I'm in pain. That said, I'll breath a sigh of relief when the colonoscopy is over (Tuesday) and my yearly mammogram results (I need to make an appointment) come back clear.

I have a cold. Isn't this a strange time of year for that?

I drove over to IKEA today to look at their TV cabinets and found one I like. I'm not sure why I didn't buy it, but I'm pretty sure it's the one. I'm surprised there isn't more of a selection of cabinets in stores. I've seen a lot online, but I need to see furniture in person. I'm really enjoying watching TV on the big screen. It's very entertaining, and I've had a lot of time on my hands. Could I become a couch potato? Hmmm, probably not.

I just finished some Starbucks Caramel Macchiato ice cream that was SO good. I bought 2 pint containers of it and put a "C" on mine and an "E" on Emily's. I had just a tiny bowl of it and my plan is to make it last a long time. I think I can be successful at it. You know ice cream is my weakness.

I purchased my tickets for my upcoming trip to Cape Cod. Yes, I'm going on vacation again, this time in October. I'll be meeting my friend Bernie who lives in Hyannis and we'll be traveling to New Hampshire to take in the Fall foliage. I'm very excited except for the flying part of it, but glad to not be driving. I don't mind driving south, but I've driven to Cape Cod the last two years and don't enjoy that at all.

I was talking to Rob tonight and he was seeing an amazing sky and rainbow. Though we were about 3 hours apart in distance, the sky I saw was equally awesome.


And that's a peek into my mundane life on this Thursday. I hope your day has been good to you.

12 September 2011

The Incidental Blogger

I feel like I should call myself the incidental blogger. I'm not sure what it means, but I like the sound of it.

I'm sitting here with a belly that looks like it's pregnant. No chance of that! I had a CT scan of my abdomen today and had to drink two bottles of barium topped off with another cup of that lovely thick white stuff right before the scan. My body is trying to process it. Thus, the belly. I'm pretty sure what's going on are problems related to fibroids that have troubled me in the past. I have to get cleared for the colonoscopy scheduled for next Tuesday, and the scan was part of that process. Lovely stuff. TMI?

With the help of some neighbors yesterday, I got my armoire moved out of the family room and my parent's 52" TV moved in. It's a very large TV! Until I find a media cabinet that I like the TV will have to be on the coffee table. Not the best look, and I really need my coffee table back. I've shopped everywhere and the closest I've come to finding the right thing is at Pier 1. Close but not perfect. My bedroom TV came down to the empty armoire in the living room and the family room TV went up. All this for someone who hardly watches TV. That could change.

I've helped my sister Lisa these last few days as she's tried to settle into my parent's house. I mean, her new house. Saying that is going to take some getting used to. We still have to clear out a lot of my parent's stuff--everything from tools to kitchen containers. The porch is filled with stuff to be picked up for donation. I feel good knowing someone else will benefit from this bounty.

My Emily is now balancing a job with going to school. She's a hostess at a really nice restaurant in Annapolis. She can't believe how much her feet hurt. It can be hard standing up for a job when you're not used to it.


I had a fun time this past Saturday night getting together with about 50 people I graduated high school with. We're lucky to have a class that really likes to spend time together, and people willing to organize events. It was a feel-good night. I was surprised by the complimentary things people had to say to me. I was really touched. I'll have to get together with these people more often!

Hope all is well in your part of the world! I'll try not to let so much time go by before my next post





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05 September 2011

Weekend update

I talked to a friend I hadn't talked to in a while. When she asked how I was I said fine. Work is fine. Home is fine. Life has been mundane, which is fine. Nothing wrong with that.

I've had a quiet weekend. I watched more TV than I can remember and caught up on all my DVR'd programs. It was a 'long weekend' for some, but a normal one for me since I'm always off on Monday. My outing yesterday was to visit my mom. Today I met my friend Kit for some shopping and lunch. I'm sitting in front of the TV now listening to the pouring rain...I'm glad I didn't have any outdoor plans. Texas needs the rain so bad; the South and Eastern Seaboard need it to stop.

Rob and I went to the Inner Harbor on Thursday, not realizing it was the day before the big Grand Prix weekend. Downtown Baltimore was a ghost town. We still had a great time.


I'm already SO tired of the presidential campaign. I think I need to stick to DVR'd shows and turn off the news.

29 August 2011

A sunny day in the life of me

As is typical of aftermaths of hurricanes, the weather today was just delightful! I opened my windows to let the fresh air in. I was talking on my phone and walking in my front yard when I noticed a very fluffed-out little hummingbird on my feeder. I wondered why it was hanging out on the perch and not eating. I got off the phone and wandered closer and the bird didn't fly away. It looked like a juvenile--maybe it was afraid to fly? I wanted to see if I could get even closer. Long story short, my bird didn't move! I cupped my hand under him/her and took this picture. I'll remember this forever (I hope)!


I spent the day with my parents at The Annapolitan. They've been without power since around dinner time on Saturday, and relegated to the third floor. No fun! We hung out in the sitting area at the end of their wing, an area with casement windows on three sides. All the windows were open and the breeze was blowing and it was sunny. It was really nice there. I brought my laptop and entertained my mom with lots of pictures. My dad read a magazine. The caregivers served lunch to the residents in their rooms or wherever they were. The staff made the best of a gas-powered kitchen and lots of generators. Later in the afternoon I found out that the elevator was working, but they wanted to limit it's use. I got permission to take my mom downstairs and outside. It was her first time out in days. We sat on the glider with our books and enjoyed the outdoors. It was a wonderful 7 hours together. Much longer than I usually have patience for. I think I made up for the screaming I did yesterday. Yes, me. I was SO mad at my mom when I found out she had walked to the bathroom by herself the day before. Yes, screaming mad. She shouldn't be walking by herself and had promised me she wouldn't. I was relaxing, thinking she wouldn't fall anymore because she was always getting help. I spent last Thursday (with Rob) taking my mom to the doctor's and for X-rays for her terrible pain. It turns out she has 1 or 2 compression fractures from her fall 3 weeks ago. She was right; there was something very wrong and there was a reason she was in so much pain. To find out she was walking into the bathroom with no help? Not acceptable. Bad me...every time she moaned in pain today getting up or down, I reminded her to remember the pain whenever she thought of walking by herself. Every time. I hope I drove the point home. The thought of her falling now is too painful for me to think of. I think she gets it. Maybe. She told me I'm going to heaven.











28 August 2011

Hurricane Irene!



Live and late-breaking news of the storm from Odenton, MD
 

video

I thought we were going outside so I could video Emily being blown around. Her performance was spontaneous. And priceless. That's my girl!

26 August 2011

Earthquakes, hurricanes and ???

I'm sitting in my lounge chair watching 'complete coverage of Hurricane Irene' on the weather channel. I can't believe the NYC transit system is being shut down! So many cities are being evacuated. I'm glad to see that decisions are being made on the side of caution. I'm on hyper-alert just listening to the warnings, though part of me thinks it's just going to be a lot of rain with some wind. I think I'm as ready as ever for the worst. I've taken in all the deck and porch furniture, outdoor plants, chimes, etc. The only thing still out is my grill and I'll wheel that into the house tomorrow. My gas tank is full and so are my gas cans. I have batteries and water. I've scraped some dirt away from the house by my basement door so the water can drain away (some came in during Isabella). I sure do hope we don't lose power. And I hope no trees fall on my house.

I was in the back room at the salon on the phone with Rob when the earthquake struck. For some reason, I wasn't paying attention to what was going on. I was distracted by the phone. The salon has a flat metal roof covered with gravel and whenever workers are up there, their walking is really loud. I thought something was going on with the roof. It sounded like a truck. Then like an army of trucks. Then I realized the ground was moving. If I had been looking, I'm sure I would have seen everything moving. I wasn't paying attention. It felt surreal. I hung up with Rob and walked outside. Other people were coming outside saying it was felt in other states. Someone asked if it was an earthquake. That thought hadn't crossed my mind--that's how outside of normal reality it was. It's been 10 days since the earthquake, and 'where were you when it happened?' is still part of the conversation every day. If I could, I'd have a do-over. I'd like to experience it more 'in the moment.'

Tomorrow will be a regular Saturday workday for me. I'll still have time to go to Starbucks afterward. Then it's hunkering in time. Hope everyone has a safe weekend.



21 August 2011

too Tired for Titles

I'm having such a hard time with organizing and finding pictures on my computer! I really wanted to post pictures, but they're in Windows Live Photo Gallery and My Pictures, and not all of them are in both. I've spent too much time on it this morning, so I'm just going to post a few pictures and leave it alone.

My mom fell about 2 weeks ago and went to the ER. She had a CT scan plus X-rays of her hip, thigh, and ribs and they all came out negative. She's been in pretty extreme pain whenever she sits up or down or gets up out of bed, but her doctor said bruised ribs are very painful and take a long time to heal. Mom has insisted that something was 'just not right', and she called for an ambulance at 12:30 AM this morning! My sister called to tell me. The first thing I said was, 'Tell me she didn't fall???' Thank goodness she didn't. We both tried to dissuade her from going to the hospital, but it was too late when I called; she was on the stretcher. Long story short: 1. I knew she would be well taken care of at the hospital and I didn't want to go there and be up all night. 2. I slept for maybe 20 minutes twice during the night because I was worried and I wasn't there. I called the hospital at 5:15 to find out she'd been discharged. I called The Annapolitan to find out she'd been transported and was asleep. I finally gave up trying to sleep at 5:30. Mom's discharge papers simply say to keep taking meds for pain.

In other news, my vacations are over for now, and it's back to reality. I had a very, very busy week at work, and I love to be busy. I did Kathy's hair (Kathy's Peace). She's recovering from her big surgery. She had a setback that sent her to the hospital for almost a week, but she's on the mend, and her visit to me was her first outing other than to doctors. I thought I'd distract her from her medical issues by giving her a band of brown hair all along her hairline to contrast with the golden blonde of the rest. OK...not on purpose. I honestly don't know how it happened! I use a different formula around the hairline because of it's 'lack of pigment' but that color always blends seamlessly with the rest. Not this time. An inch of brown from ear to ear. Funny Kathy tried to assure me that it was fine, just fine. It would fade, she said. No worries. I tried to dissuade her, especially since she mostly wears her hair pulled back, but to no avail. She called yesterday morning to see if I could fix it. Duh. It's very hard to fix a 1" band of color right on the hairline. Well, it's 75% fixed. That was the best I could do, at least for now. She insists it's fine, just fine. My co-workers assure me it's fine too. I'd be fine if it was 100% fixed. It will fade.

Here's a few pics from Stone Harbor


Big sky storm clouds


Amazing!


My cousin's rental house. Nice!


Time to get moving on this day. I'm so tired and out-of-whack with my lack of sleep!
A jump in the pool might be just what the doctor ordered.







18 August 2011

A mini...

I wanted to write a nice post tonight, but the words just wouldn't flow, so I deleted what I wrote. Plus, I want to post pictures from my trip, but I'm having a hard time figuring out the picture folders on Vista. So... I'll just have to write about it another time. I had a wonderful mini-vacation this week. Two nights and three days were perfect. Wouldn't it be great to do that every week? In my dreams I could do it. I have a whole new appreciation for the Jersey Shore. Well, at least the Stone Harbor part of it. It was really heavenly.


I'll be back soon!




11 August 2011

Life's a Beach

It's a little cool outside this morning and I'm sitting on the porch in my nightgown. A breeze is blowing and it feels so good! The hummingbirds are really active; it's a great sight to look up and see.

Rob and I had a great time on our beach vacation. It was an easy 2.5 hour drive to get there, with about half of it through farmland. We went right to one of the Delaware Seashore State Park locations in Rehoboth. We stayed on the beach till about 6:00. I'm so glad Rob likes the beach as much as me. As usual, the later in the day it got, the less we wanted to leave. We finally checked into our hotel, then spent the night doing the typical boardwalk thing, ending with soft-serve ice cream. Yum! On Monday we went to Bethany Beach, where I vacationed for many years. Here's a picture of the house we rented for about 8 years. It used to be red.


Here's one that we rented for about 3 years. It's a duplex and we rented the downstairs. It was our little yellow house then.


I loved being back in Bethany; I have so many memories. I started vacationing there when Emily was one. My mom always vacationed with us, and of course that was years before she had the stroke. I vacationed with Tony when I was married, and then my neighbor and her daughter when I was divorced. It was a great place to vacation. Myrtle Beach is my favorite vacation spot now, but I'll definitely be back to Bethany again. It's so close! They've built dunes and planted lots of sea grasses since I was last at the DE beaches. It looks so much more natural now.


We packed up on Tuesday morning and headed to Cape Henlopen, where we spent part of the day at another of the Delaware State Parks. I've never done the beach parks before, but it's easy parking, and they have bathhouses. It really worked out great. We found a nice spot to set up our chairs and umbrellas right next to a very large Amish family. The young men in the water on their boogie boards were only distinguished by their bowl haircuts and beards. The women, on the other hand, wore very simple black or blue dresses, which they wore into the water. It was so interesting to watch them. I tried to be discreet.


We ended our vacation by dropping our things off at the house and heading to my pool. The water there was delightful! I'm so spoiled by Myrtle Beach and the calm, 80+ degree ocean. The waves in DE were enormous, fueled by tropical storm Emily. Rob loved it, but I was scared, and took a bad tumble the first day that really hurt my ankles. The water was freezing, to me. I tried to think of it as invigorating and luckily it was hot enough that you just got in. No one seemed to mind the temperature.

I'm home again till next Monday, when I'll join my cousins for a few days of their vacation in Stone Harbor, NJ. I can't wait!







07 August 2011

This and That

This and That

I'm so excited to be going to the beach with Rob. We'll leave in the morning as soon as he gets here. They're calling for thunderstorms and very hot weather. We'll have fun no matter what.

I can't believe I'm sitting here eating potato chips.

I visited my parents after work and stayed till my mom was in bed. I'm amazed at the level of care and love that my mother receives. She, in turn, really cares about the people who work in her 'home'. She knows everyone's name and treats the staff and especially the caregivers like they're her real friends. They are her friends. She's genuinely interested in knowing about their lives. We spent a lot of time tonight with Jackie, one of the med-techs. She's from Kenya and has lived in the states for a year. She works 3 jobs and is paying for her brother and sister to attend university in Kenya. As she was leaving my mother's room, my mother said, 'you forgot something'. Jackie asked what it was, and my mother replied, 'my kiss'. Jackie reminded her she always comes back before she gets off work to kiss her. How sweet is that? Jackie was in the hall when I was leaving. I thanked her for caring so much for my mother. I asked her if I could give her a hug. I hugged her and gave her a kiss.

Sometimes I do silly things like this when I have a client who has a lot of hair taken off:


One of my favorite clients, Ruth McHenry, died this week just a few months after being diagnosed with lung cancer. She was 83. I had been doing Ruth's hair for over 20 years, and for the last few years she came in every Friday to have it styled. It was always so inspiring to me to see an older person who was so 'with it' both physically and mentally. She regularly drove to Atlantic City. She went to the diner almost every day for breakfast or lunch. She lived alone and took care of her house. She drove everywhere she needed to go. In my salon she greeted so many of my co-workers by name. In turn, everyone knew she was Miss McHenry. She never let me give her a discount! She reminded me of things I forgot. She picked up our conversations where we left off from Friday to Friday, not forgetting a single detail. I shared freely with her about everything. Although she was my father's age, she was like a grandmother to me. Ruth was from Germany, and once told me she thought of me as the daughter she never had. She said, 'I always wanted a Heidi'. We were very close. Ruth's husband died about 6 years ago after a very lengthy illness, and I think I helped her through that time. In the end, she had two nephews (her husband's), and a niece in Germany. She had an old neighbor who helped her out with doctor's appointments after her diagnosis, and who visited her every day (and kept me from seeing her in the end). There were only about 8 of us at her funeral, and I was the only one who spoke. She made a difference in my life, and I won't forget her. I wanted to write about my relationship with Ruth, because she was important to me.

How's that for some This and That?

05 August 2011

I love ice cream but eating it causes me to gain weight more than any other food I eat. I bought a flavor last night that I don't love just so I wouldn't be tempted to eat too much. Turns out I love it. I also try to fool myself into thinking I'm taking a smaller portion by packing a lot into a little bowl. It works, sometimes.

I have some fun stuff coming up. Rob and I are going to Rehobeth Beach, DE Sunday through Tuesday. This will be only the second time we've gone away together. I can't wait! The following week I'm going to Stone Harbor, NJ for two nights to visit my cousins on their vacation. In the meantime, Emily was invited to be a guest, along with another friend, to vacation at Deep Creek Lake, MD for a week. I saw pictures of the rental house. It's humongous and right on the water and they have a boat. She's leaving tomorrow, and I'm so happy for her. When she gets back she'll spend a week with her dad at the beach. It will be quieter than usual around here for the next few weeks.

I just deleted a bunch of stuff I wrote, and I'm too tired to recreate it. This will have to be a 2-paragraph post, with a few extra lines.

Later!

02 August 2011

A good start to the day

I've been outside for about an hour and need another, but alas, work calls. Still, I'll fit in a few words and enjoy this breezy morning a little longer.

I've spoken to Kathyand she's doing really well after her successful surgery. She's walking as much as she can, and keeping the wonderful hospital staff laughing. It's not hard for her to find humor in most any situation.

I spent so many hours cleaning my house yesterday. There's nothing like looking at the results of your hard work; it's so satisfying. However, I disliked almost every minute of the job. Oh well, I keep a very neat house and I do the cleaning when I have to. There's just so many other things I want to do with my time. My salvation after cleaning was to go to the pool for an hour. The water was delightful, the sky blue with fluffy white clouds, and the surrounding trees vibrant green. I think I swam my laps with a smile on my face. It was so hot that I had my book on the edge of the pool and when I wasn't swimming, I was reading while in the water. How wonderful is that? And how wonderful to come home to a very clean house.

My siblings and I had had such a good experience at my parent's house last night. I was worried about some issues that I knew would come up and some possessions that I knew would be in contention. It went wonderfully. At one point I said, I feel so warm and fuzzy. Silly me. We had a great Chinese dinner delivered, and sat around the table eating, catching up on our families. Ah... And I did get the TV and the whole Bose surround system. And lots of things with sentimental meaning. More stuff for my very crowded basement. Oh well.

And that's that, for now. The 'party is over' (my time on my porch) and it's time to get ready for work.

Happy Tuesday!

01 August 2011

Sitting on my porch feels like vacation

I'm sitting outside on my porch. I'm really thankful to have this little covered porch. I spent hours and hours with my friend Patty on her large covered porch last night and it was amazing. The house I've stayed at on Edisto Island had many porches overlooking the Edisto Creek and that was an image I'll never forget. We never sat on the porch at the house I grew up in. I'll have to do that one day. My porch has a view of my garden, which I love, and of three homes on my cul-de-sac. It's a fine view. I wish I could sit out here every morning with regular coffee. I'm thankful I can sit out here at all (glass half-full).

A little catch up...My parents are doing well at The Annapolitan, their home of 3 months. My father has settled into his routine of spending most hours of the day downstairs in the 'library' reading or watching TV. He goes upstairs only for naps or to go to bed at night. He seems very content. My mother loves, loves, loves the caregivers and considers them her friends. Her favorite things to do are to sit outside on the glider and feed/watch the birds, and to sit in her bright comfortable room and listen to her favorite music on the TV. Oh, and they both love to eat and love the food there. Having my parents move into their new home has been the best decision ever. My mom has still had some falls, but only been bruised, thank goodness, and only one trip to the ER. They still don't get along, but that's nothing new. My siblings and I are in the process of clearing out their house. It's been slow, because no one wants to take the time to do it. My sister Ilene from GA is here this week, and she's gotten a lot of things done, as have Lisa and I. Tonight the four of us siblings will get together to decide who wants what. I'm nervous about that, but will hope for the best outcome. There's not much I want, and nothing is a deal-breaker for me. I just want peace. And the TV, if it works out that way.

Ilene and I made this Tomato and Corn Pie for dinner on Saturday night after Summer raved about it. This is the picture from the website, but ours looked exactly like it!


It was very labor-intensive to make, and thank goodness there was two of us working together. We also made the quinoa salad I love and eat every week. My sister Lisa was a big help with making that. Corn on the cob rounded out our meal, and the three of us sisters had a great night together.

There's a delightful breeze blowing, as I sit here. The hummingbirds are really active this morning. The only thing looming for me is housework, but I can put that off for as long as I want. My neat house is deceiving! I think I'm going to savor this time on my porch. It's a wonderful refuge.

28 July 2011

Like a Virgin

A virgin blogger, that is. It's been forever since I've written a real post. Everything is well here. Emily, Rob, my parents, my family, my job, my house, my garden, etc. I'm so thankful I can say that.

Today has been so long! You know me...fitting a million things into one day. I watered my garden this morning. I've been doing that almost every day lately, though usually at night. It takes at least 30 minutes, of time that I enjoy. I planted more zinnias and basil before heading in to get ready for my day off. I met my GA sister (who flew in yesterday) after breakfast and headed over to visit my parents for a few hours. Afterward, she and I went to Middleton Tavern in Historic Annapolis for lunch. I started out with broiled rockfish (Maryland's state fish!) topped with lump crabmeat and mushrooms. I was disappointed from the first bite. It had an off-taste and so many bones. I wasn't going to complain but my server asked how my lunch was, and I was honest. My new selection, Filet Mignon medallions with asparagus, lump crab and Bearnaise sauce, was outstanding. We used an Entertainment Book coupon for one free entree, which made an expensive restaurant affordable. Ilene and I spent the rest of the day at the mall, ending at Trader Joe's. My purchase of the day, besides lunch, was jelly beans. I just love them. I finally made it home at 6 PM. I'm so tired!

One of the reasons I hadn't been blogging was because of my crummy 7-year old laptop. It took forever to boot up. The power connecter had to be jiggled just right not be on battery power, and my old battery only held 50 minutes. I saved everything onto my external hard drive in anticipation of it 'running out of juice'. I drove myself crazy trying to decide what to do for computing. I've wanted a iPad for so long, but have never been able to justify buying one, especially since I own a iPhone. I finally made a decision, and without a lot of research but with enough knowledge of what specifications I needed, I bought a new laptop yesterday. I'm so excited. It's modern! It's light and thin and it's so fast. There's a lot I have to get used to, but I will. I still want a iPad, but I'll save that for some other time in the future.

I don't want to make this too long, but I do have more to say. I guess that means I'll have to post again soon. Hold me to that, OK?

15 July 2011

I'm still here!

I'm still here! Working, reading, visiting my parents, going to the pool, being a mom, girlfriend, etc. Spending every minute that I can outdoors. Enjoying the summer! For some reason, I haven't felt like writing. I'll be back, though. I have blogging in my blood.

04 July 2011

Myrtle Beach 2011

I'm trying to get used to being back home after vacation. Emily and Phil are away, and the house is very quiet. It's the 4th of July and I don't have any plans other than visiting my parents. Today is day one of no caffeine and I'm already feeling sluggish. I love vacation because I can drink coffee every day. No caffeine today is getting ready for the effects of no caffeine tomorrow. Today is also day two of diet/eating only healthy. I'm probably 7 lbs overweight but it feels like 100. It's time to feel better about that. I'm also ready for the busy-ness of work tomorrow. I love vacation but I also love my job. I miss it!

Here's a peek at my vacation. Click on the image, then view it as a slideshow for the best pictures. I sure wish I was sitting in one of those chairs right now! The good news is that I have lots of great memories.



Happy July 4th!!!

30 June 2011

The best day yet!

I'm sitting on the balcony, looking out over the ocean. The sun is shining bright at 7 AM; it's sure to be another hot day. We've had all hot days with breezy to windy winds. Our good umbrella has been an issue every day. I'm convinced that you either need a shade tent, which I don't want, or a wooden-pole umbrella like the ones you rent. They stand straight and don't hardly shiver under the strongest gusts. Twice I've asked the rental guy to use his hole-digging tool for us. Yesterday I borrowed someone's shovel to dig a deep hole for our umbrella pole. Even with that, we've had to prop our chair against the pole or hold on. It's been windy!

It's night now. It was the best day yet! Oh wait, I think I've thought that every day.

Here's my usual day:

Wake at 6:30. I can't help it. Sit out on the balcony in my pj's.
Put the chairs and umbrella on the beach at 8:00 and sit out for a while.
Come back to the condo and have breakfast and prep food for dinner or lunch, have breakfast, etc.
Go out to the beach at 10:30. Read. Listen to music. Go into the water. Watch people. Go up for a quick lunch then come back down. Stay till at least 6:00. Wonder how the day passed so quickly.
Come in and wait to shower. I'm always last.
Eat dinner and clean up.
Sit on the balcony.
Change back into pj's.
Read in bed.
Repeat.

The kids have gone somewhere most nights. We ate out twice. Went shopping once (I sat on a bench, actually). I don't like to shop but I do like to people-watch. I've been happy to hang out at the condo. I've gotten into bed early most nights with a book. For a person who rarely relaxes, I've done a pretty good job.

This little palm is just outside our condo. I was surprised how well the picture came out. I took it with my iPhone
.


Tomorrow is our last full day. Darn.

26 June 2011

Life's a beach

I'm having a lazy morning here at the beach. I put my chairs out a few hours ago, but for now I'm just sitting on a rocker inside the condo looking out at the beach and ocean. It's a great view!

We had an uneventful drive to our overnight destination of Smithfield, NC. Here's me, in the driver's seat. Notice the bag of jellybeans by my side?


Emily was a perfect front-seat passenger, and it was an easy 6-hour drive. We shopped at Dewaynes, then went to our nice, clean, inexpensive motel. We had dinner at Cracker Barrel, then went to a few stores at the outlets. My goal was to find new madras shorts at the GAP outlet, like I did last year. Success! Their men's shorts fit me really well. The best part of the night was the sky! Too bad it was setting over a huge outlet center instead of mountains or a meadow, but it was still amazing. I've never seen blue streaks radiating up! This photo is unedited.


We got to the beach about 2:00 yesterday afternoon. It's so nice to be back.

Time to enjoy my day. Hope you enjoy your's too.





I was SO happy that the inexpensive motel I picked from Priceline was so clean.

23 June 2011

I'll take coffee in that half-full glass

I should be busy doing something, but I don't have to. That's the good thing about waking up at the crack of dawn. The extra time you have is yours. It's a bonus.

I saw on the news, starting in November 2012, all cigarette manufacturers will be required to cover 50% of the front and back of every pack of cigarettes with one of 9 graphic pictures. Here's an example of three of them:




I think it's a great idea, and yes, I'm a former smoker. I've said it before: quitting smoking is one of the things I'm most proud of doing because it was one of the hardest things I've ever done.

In other big news, I am now the very happy owner of a weave-it afghan, made by my friend Happyone (Karen). Follow the link to see pictures! Karen wrote that she was making the afghan as a surprise for a friend. I really hoped that friend would be me. She came to the salon yesterday to have her hair done. With her, she had the afghan and a bag of home-made chocolate chip cookies for me and my co-workers. I'll treasure my afghan always. Thank you Karen!

I'm so disgusted with the ants in my house! I've put the liquid Terro on squares of shiny cardboard all over the house. The ants have swarmed in the foyer by my garage entrance, by the front door, and on my kitchen counter. The foyer was the worst, but now most of the ants have disappeared. The front door area is better. The kitchen counter ants have just arrived. It's so hard not to use Raid spray or crush the ants. Yuck.

Summer left a comment the other day about my trip and the 'familiar' things. Yes, Cafe Risque is one of them. You drive for miles and miles along I-95 seeing signs for it. When it finally comes into sight, it's little more than a building that looks like a nondescript house. There's the Shetland Pony ranch, Kings Dominion, the model Log Cabin Homes, the upside-down truck, the clock tower in Richmond, South of the Border, etc. I have my 20-oz bag of generic Jelly Belly jellybeans ready to go. I never go on a road trip without them. And my denim Big Dog dress? It's still officially retired. I do wear it around the house sometimes but I only wear it out for watering my garden. It really shouldn't be seen in public. I'll still be wearing a traveling dress. It makes those stops so much easier.

Time to get ready for my last day of work. I have two clients who want to change their haircolor, so it won't be an easy day, but it will be a short day and one that ends with vacation. And coffee! I'm a glass half-full person, if nothing else.

20 June 2011

Good blogger

I seem to be on a blogging roll. It may be that I have more time. Rob's been busy with his family, and Emily and Phil are busy being high school graduates. I spent most of today doing things around the house, preparing for my upcoming vacation. I'm a short-timer! We're leaving Friday morning, headed south. We'll spend the night at our usual stopping ground of Smithfield, NC. I love that place because it's only 5 hours from home, has a Prime Outlets Center, Cracker Barrel, and Dewayne's. There's no sense in stopping for the night if there's nothing to do. I love to eat at Cracker Barrel, but not while I'm driving because it takes so long. We're staying in a cheap motel ($44!) that I got through Priceline. I hope it's OK.

You might know I'm comforted by things that are familiar. I love recognizing sights along the road. I can even tell you where my favorite tree is in the middle of nowhere. I'm not crazy about I-95, but I like the things about it that are familiar.

This will be my familiar view on Saturday


We're staying in the same condo in N. Myrtle Beach, SC as last year, with the same group: my sister from GA, Ilene, and my nephew and his friend, and me and my two. I can't wait.

In other news, I have ants. The little ones. I don't have many in one place; I have one or two in many random places. I just sprayed the perimeter of my house with Cutter Bug Control. I bought Terro Liquid Ant Bait, and I'll put that around the interior of the house right before we leave for vacation. The war is on. Why, then, you might ask, do I have these decorative ants on my sidewalk? I don't know.

19 June 2011

this that and Father's Day

My laptop is almost 6 years old. Isn't that amazing? I have no clue what I'll replace it with when it finally kicks the bucket. It's so old that the letters have worn off 10 of the alphabet keys. I have such a hard time making electronic decisions. I annoy myself because I research everything to death. I'd like someone else to do the research and just tell me what to buy.

I still want a iPad. I knew I didn't want the first one. I was sure I'd get the second one. Now I'll wait till the third, or the fourth, or the fifth. I hate how fast technology changes and how disposable everything is. The newest is never new for long.

Happy Father's Day, dear old dad


My sister and I joined my parent's for a luncheon celebrating fathers at The Annapolitan. They served a choice of crabcakes or prime rib, salad, baked potato, and greenbeans. Dessert was a nice sheetcake. Here we are...


It's always interesting to observe visitors with their family. Some never have visitors. Others, like my parents, have them frequently. One resident, Fran, who I met when my parents moved in, is very intelligent and talkative. Her daughter came for the Mother's Day luncheon and they sat like stones, not saying a word to each other. The same thing happened today and I'm guessing they don't like each other much. I think a lot of the residents are happy to be where they are without being watched over and told what to do by their children. I think a lot of the children are glad to have someone else watching over their parents. I'm glad in so many ways that my parents are where they are and that I can be a visitor. Of course, I really wish they could be healthy and self-sufficient at home. And of course, I do so much more than just visit.

I'll end with a funny thing. Here's a screenshot of a text between Emily and me:


I called her as soon as I got it saying, "You're in Philadelphia??" She had no clue what I was talking about. I told her she texted it to me. Turns out her iPhone auto-corrected "Phils dad" to "Philadelphia". Cute