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.

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

17 June 2011

No man-cave for me

I was sitting outside this morning, really enjoying being outside. Listening to the birds. Surrounded by nature. I was thinking how much being outside means to me. Then I thought of all the people that stay inside all the time, and prefer it. They don't feel like they're missing out on something when they're inside, like I do. Then I thought of how bright my house is. I have 24 windows plus two skylights plus a french door. Lots of light. I don't understand how people like dark houses, but I know that many do. I think maybe I'm not into cozy. If I were a man, I wouldn't have a man-cave.

In other news, I'm beat from working two 11-7 days in a row. It's hard being on your feet and busy for that many hours in a row. One more day to go, then I get to do my Saturday thing :)

I'll be spending Sunday with my parents; they're having a Father's Day luncheon at The Annapolitan. My sister Lisa will be there too. I can't believe how well the transition has been to their new abode. Still no regrets, only praise.

And that's a slice. Over and out for tired me.

16 June 2011

Bad Blogger

My name is Cheryl and I'm a bad blogger.

I think the problem is two-fold. First, if I don't write regularly, I get out of the habit. And if I don't write, I forget the things I've done that are blog-worthy. Second, I don't think I've had anything interesting to say. Work is good, as usual. Busy. It's quiet in the house. The kids have been away the last few days, and Rob didn't come down this week. I don't mind being alone (though I miss them), so it's been OK. This sounds depressing, but I'm not depressed. I'm sitting on my porch right now eating potato chips, of all things. Now, that is depressing.

Consider this to be a filler post. I'll be back another day when I've had some caffeine.

09 June 2011

Oh what a day!

I was reading over the last post. I was so happy on that day! I've had some stress thrown in...mainly the stress of my daughter being away at the beach. Grrr. Life can't always be a bowl of cherries, right?

Today's plan was to take my father for lab work and then in to see his doctor. I suspected he had a UTI. My plan was to be back home after that and await Rob's arrival at 2. On Tuesday, my mother said she hit her wrist in a doorway while traveling on her new scooter. She thought she needed X-rays. The nurse at The Annapolitan tried to get Kaiser authorization to have a portable X-ray done there. I tried too but it didn't happen. Today was the first day I could take care of it, unfortunately. I felt bad about that; bad that she had to wait that long. I won't go into all the details, but I had to balance my mom in a wheelchair and my father, and the lab, pharmacy, X-ray, and each being seen by the doctor. Then back to The Annapolitan to wait for an appointment for my mom with an orthopedic doctor in another facility. I got lost. She needed more X-rays. Long story short, her wrist isn't broken, but badly bruised and swollen. It looks broken. I picked them up at 8:30 this morning, and settled my mom back in at 4:30. I had to cancel my plans with Rob. Once I got over myself and realized I was doing the right and necessary thing, I was fine with it. My parents needed me, and I was glad to be there for them. I was 80% patient. I only hope that one day I'll be lucky enough to have someone there for me if I need them.

It was over 100 degrees today. Fortunately I wasn't out much until I got home. I got my bathing suit on and hit the pool at 5:30. I swam 10 laps! I read my magazine. I chilled, and the previous part of the day became a distant memory. I came home and watered the garden while listening to one of my favorite albums, Reasons Why by Nickel Creek. I was out till almost dark.

I'll end with the last of the albums, the graduation party from Sunday. It was so much fun. I think all my hard work paid off (if I must say so myself).

06 June 2011

Insouciant me

I had to look insouciant up in the dictionary. I've never used it before, but it characterized me, today...'having or showing freedom from worries or trouble.' I just wish this day had about 36 more hours, it's been so good.

My life has revolved around getting ready for the events of the past four days for at least the past month. I never once said, 'I can't wait till it's over.' When that thought crossed my mind, and it did, I made myself think, 'I can't wait till it's here.' I knew the days would come, and that I would be ready.

I think the best part about prom, graduation, and the graduation party itself was Emily's happiness. She glowed. She basked in the attention. She knew she was well-loved. It was all about her. I was so happy to do it all to make it wonderful for her.

The Infamous Graduation Album. Not really infamous.

I curled Emily's hair for graduation. It really looked fabulous. It was SO much work that it would have to be a very special occasion for me to do it again. My thumbs still feel burned! Because there were only 47 Seniors in Emily's graduating class, each family got 8 tickets. Phil had 9 family members; I was really happy they all were there. Rob and my sister Lisa came with me, and Emily's dad and step-mom were there. It was a happy day.

I'll post party pics in my next post.

Emily and Phil left for Ocean City, MD after the party. It's a rite of passage here in Maryland. Senior Week at the beach. Go figure...we hold our kids close all these years, then let them go unsupervised to the beach for a week. I spoke to the kids so many times about safety, responsibility, dangers, etc. I had to let them go. I hugged Emily tight and yes, the thought crossed my mind that I might never hold her again. I can't wait till this week is over and she's home again.

I woke up this morning and sat on my porch, listening to the rioting birds and taking in the beauty of nature. I drank my coffee that I love so much. I watered my gardens, something that gives me much pleasure. I took care of a whole lot of paperwork and phone calls for my parents. Then I went to my pool! It was a lovely day. I stayed for almost 4 hours, swimming and reading my book. Heavenly. I think I had a smile on my face the whole time. I ended my day by sitting on the porch again, writing most of this post. It's been such a good day. It would be selfish of me to wish for more.

03 June 2011

In the middle of busy

I'm in the middle of busy! The awards ceremony yesterday was sweet. It was also Prom Day, and it was wonderful. Today was sous chef day, if that's the right word. I chopped and assembled for hours and hours. My refrigerator is filled with labeled gallon storage bags. Almost everything is ready to go for Sunday's party. Tonight was the Senior Family Picnic. It was catered with ribs, bar-b-q chicken, potato salad, beans, etc. I ate like I'd never get to taste a rib again. SO full! Tomorrow is more cooking and cleaning and getting ready for the party on Sunday. It's also Graduation!!!

Here's a link to Emily's prom pictures. I think the pictures are larger when viewed as a slideshow. Enjoy! Personally, I think Emily looks stunning. I'm prejudiced, of course.

02 June 2011

A quick post

It's bright and early. Too early. I've been waking up before 5AM most mornings and I've never been one to fall back asleep. Darn. Luckily, I'm a morning person. I'm doing wash and figuring out what to do next. I think I'll clean my bedroom.

Today is Emily's prom. I may be more excited than she is. We'll be going to the awards ceremony at her school from 10:00-12:00. From there we'll head to my salon to have Emily's hair done. Make-up after, then home. Then getting ready, pictures, etc. The kids are going to the prom in a party limo. I think it holds 30 or 40 people. The prom is on a ship sailing out of Annapolis. How fun! There's a full sit-down dinner on board. I'll be driving to the dock to take pictures.

I better get running or my time won't be used wisely. Right now there's so much to do!

BTW, a few people have told me they can't post comments. Boo. I've checked my settings and don't know why. E-mail if you'd like till I get this figured out. I miss comments.

Happy Thursday. I hope it's a good one for you too, Jamie.