29 November 2006

You never know when you're going to get awful news. I've had it before, when my Mom had her stroke, when my Dad had his brain injury. You're never prepared. Last night I got the news that a person that's been my co-worker and friend for the last 15 years was let go. We've worked next to each other all these years. I've trusted her, confided in her, depended on her. I'm just sick about this. I trust my boss. I believe she would only do the right thing. I'm confused and sad. I don't want to go into any more detail, but I have to say I will miss her greatly.

28 November 2006

I really enjoyed my 6 days off of work. I never have that amount of time to spend at home and I got a lot accomplished. The yard was raked, outside lights put on, and the inside totally decked out for Christmas. This is the second year that I did that during Thanksgiving, and it really helps my stress level to do it early. I host 2 parties here, and I like the house to look nice. Plus, doing it early lets me enjoy it for a long time. Emily was a big help this year. She did the tree with me. I got a kick out of her commenting on the ornaments as she took them out of the containers. "I remember this one!" And, "I've always loved that one," etc. She tried to get me to agree not to buy more Christmas stuff. Right.

Today was my first day back to work. It was also my first day without any caffeine. I never drink it on work days because I fear it will give me the shakes. After having it for 6 days in a row, today was hard. I felt tired and sluggish all day. Tomorrow will be better. Then, the next day will be Thursday, I'm off, and can have my fix again.

I also made a decision today to be much better about what I eat. I was really bad around Halloween and bought and ate 5 bags of candy corn. Yes, I love that stuff. Pure sugar. It started my downfall, and I have to stop it now, or I'll be sorry. Today was my first day of eating right. It was hard, I had the munchies, but I didn't give in. I had fat free popcorn for dessert instead of my Caramel Moose Tracks ice cream, which I love. A lot. Two days ago I told Emily to stay away from it because it was mine. I just called down to her and told her I thought she should have some. As much as she wants.

25 November 2006

I started writing an e-mail about buying my digital camera, but decided to post it here instead. It was way too long-winded to put in a letter. Here goes: I love my camera. I take a million pictures. It's slim enough to slide in my pocket, and that matters. I made the research for the purchase way too complicated, but did wind up with a great camera at a great price. I poured over every magazine article, every review site the web had to offer, etc... I really had information overload. Every camera has pros and cons. I'd go to the stores to look at the cameras I researched, but still couldn't make up my mind. One day while at Wal-Mart, I decided to check out their camera department. One of the most helpful salesmen to date came over to assist me. I told him how confused I was, and why. He said, well, you know you can buy a camera here and return it with no questions asked. That started my buying and returning. That was when I got my real education. I tried 3 different Canon models. That's what I thought I wanted. I tried a few Kodak's. I thought I had my mind made up with a Canon when I was convinced to try one other model of Kodak. It's an Easyshare v550. It's really easy. It's very cool looking, especially with it's sky blue silicone skin. It's not going to be my forever camera, but it's great for now.

24 November 2006

Thought I'd post a picture of me with my younger sister and my brother. I took a lot of pictures on Thanksgiving, but there weren't any that represented the group. The other picture was taken last month. We only get together with the relatives a few times a year, but we always pick up right where we left off, and love our time together. It's really all about the family.

Today's foray to the craft fair was a disappointment. I bought a few things that I loved in one of the first booths I walked into. It was my only purchase. Emily and I were in and out of the fair in an hour. Since it was still so early, we went to the local mall. That was crazy, but not anywhere as bad as I feared. We mostly browsed. I dropped her off at her Dad's, and spent most of the rest of the day with my friend Kit. I've spent a bunch of time tonight working on the layout of this blog. I wish I knew how to change the layout at whim.

I have lots of plans for tomorrow. I should start resting up for that now!

23 November 2006

Ahh, what a day. In the morning Emily and I prepared our offering for the family gathering. I made Baked Pineapple, a sort of pineapple bread pudding. Emily wanted to make Fumi Salad. It's my GA sister's recipe and I made it a few times this summer to rave reviews. It's an Asian flavored salad with a cole slaw base. Emily just insisted upon making it when we started talking about what to bring. Is it a favorite dish of hers? No way. She won't eat it. She chose it because everyone raves about it, and it's very colorful. A smart girl I have. Everyone loved it. There were 32 of us at my cousin's for Thanksgiving. All aunts, uncles, siblings and cousins. That's 7 less than usual. We arrived at 2:00 and left at 8:00. It was just wonderful.
I'm so glad I didn't bring any leftovers home. I've been eating way too many calories.

Tomorrow we'll be going to the Frederick Craft Fair. It's an annual tradition that I anxiously await. I'll write more tomorrow and post new pictures.

Hope everyone had a good day, however it was spent.

22 November 2006

It's been the most miserable day weather-wise. Very cold, gray and windy with different degrees of rain throughout the day. Yuck. I hoped to finish raking the front garden and get the leaves off all the bushes so I could put the Christmas lights on. I thought it was supposed to start raining tomorrow and wanted to get a head start. I think it will be nice on Friday and the rest of the weekend, so I'll have plenty of time to get it done. I really like to do all the decorating over the Thanksgiving break. I was able to do a lot today. I started with sewing. I know. It's what I said I wouldn't talk about. I made 3 pillows and a table scarf. I put all the sewing equipment away for good. I got the whole downstairs cleaned in anticipation of decorating the house. Can I say I love those Magic Sponges? The thing that made the greatest visual difference was taking all the magnets and pictures off the refrigerator. Everything looks so white now.

I did an incredible job of putting my holiday decorations away last year. Yes, I'm patting my own back. If you know me, you know I have a Christmas house for the holidays. I move furniture, clear my mantle, stereo cabinet, display racks, end tables, etc. and display all the things in my huge my Christmas collection. After Christmas last year I got rid of all the things I no longer liked. I now have dedicated Rubbermaid bins for each area of the house. I.E.--everything that goes on the mantle is in one bin, with a picture showing how I had it decorated last year. Today was the start of the decorating and it was great. I brought up the stereo cabinet bin, emptied it and replaced it with all the stuff I cleared off. I arranged everything just like I had it in the picture. Carried the bin back to the basement and brought up the next. I got the mantle and dresser by the front door done, along with the top of the stereo cabinet. A good day's work. Emily wanted to do lights so she did the ones around the front door. It was under cover. Unfortunately, many of the lights from last year didn't light. I had bought a few new boxes, but I probably don't have enough. That's OK. I'll just buy more.

Emily and I had a big disagreement. I had a lot of hopes for the day. The first thing she said to me upon waking was could I turn on Christmas music. Good start. I wanted to decorate, make cinnamon ornaments, hang out, etc... It's the first day of my vacation, you know? I was in a great mood. I'll just say she has a problem with authority. She's a teenager. It was hard for me, but I'm the parent and I have my job to do.

I went to the local grocery store at about 4:00. I only needed a loaf of bread. It was pouring down rain, and I had to park far away. I headed right over to the bread aisle, and the white bread shelves were, gulp, empty. I needed the bread for the bread pudding I'll be taking to the relative's house tomorrow. There was a couple standing there, and the woman said, that must be where the bread was. I said, yes, spotted the only loaf that was pushed next to the multi-grain loaves, and gingerly places it in my basket. They had their opportunity--I was the one with the good eye. I was swift and successful. I think that was my shortest shopping trip ever.

I've spent the night catching up on my taped TV shows and doing some embroidery. Emily has finally ventured out of her room to eat, and I'm glad to see her. I'm looking forward to spending tomorrow with all my relatives. I hope to see some sun.

19 November 2006

I'm having a case of writer's block. I tried to write last night. Again today. I want to write. I want to be witty and compelling. I want you to be so impressed that you check this blog 5 times a day, and wonder what kind of woman writes with such style. Are you buying this?

I feel like I should tell stories about my workday. I'm a busy hairdresser. I talk almost non-stop all day--I have to. Well, I talk and I listen. I've said I have the perfect job for me. It's true. I love my days off, and would like to have more of them, but I never don't want to go to work on a work day. I'm never in a bad mood at work. I've been working at the same salon for almost 20 years. I know, hard to believe I'm that old. I don't feel old and that's all that counts.

I'm gonna change subjects. It's Sunday night now. I baked a Pumpkin Cake with creme cheese frosting and a Pineapple Bread Pudding this morning. My neighbor Kelly hosted Thanksgiving today because she'll be out of town on Thursday. The group consisted of friends Erin, Kasey, Barbara, Ralph, Mike -Kelly's boyfriend and our two kids with a friend each. We're the usual group and vastly enjoy each other's company. We had quite the feast. We'll all be together again for Christmas.

I did some more work today on the subject I'm not talking about anymore. I still have a thing or two to do on that front.

Last night was Saturday and we went to our usual hangout...Annapolis Mall. Emily had a friend staying over and the first place we went to was the food court for a Chick-fil-a dinner. The place was packed. I let the girls go thru the mall by themselves, a big step for me. We made up to meet at the Apple store. I took my time, called Emily every once in a while, and met up with them at Apple. We went to Nordstrom's and spent a lot of time at Lord and Taylor's where the girls tried on cocktail dresses and gowns. I took lots of pictures and the girls had so much fun. I'm sure it created a lot of memories. We left at about 8:20. This morning I get a call from my mother asking if I saw the shooting at Annapolis Mall on the news. Well, an off duty Secret Service officer tried to break up a fight in the FOOD COURT and was shot. He then shot one of the fighters who also fired into the crowd, hitting a fleeing patron. No one was killed, thank goodness. We had no idea any of this was going on. Emily told me today that when she got a drink at Nordstrom's Ebar someone said the other end of the mall had been closed off. She didn't know why and didn't mention it to me. It's in all the news. You know, I don't like to go to Arundel Mills Mall because I don't consider it to be real safe. It goes to show...bad things can happen anywhere. I'm so thankful we weren't in the food court when it happened.

On a brighter note, only two days of work for me this week. Yeah!!! I'll miss being off tomorrow, but I'll be off from Wednesday till` the next Tuesday. I have a lot of things planned for my time off.

16 November 2006

It's done and I'm so glad and I promise I won't be mentioning this subject again. I really don't enjoy sewing. On to bigger and better things (ho ho ho)!

13 November 2006

Thanks Jonathon for the html help. I wanted a picture in the blog header and couldn't figure out how to do it. The background design in my title is actually my curtain fabric. Very cool. Oh, I did mean to work on that today. So sad it still isn't done. I wonder what I've been doing instead? Working on my blog? Randomly pasting code here and there? Yup. I did get my oil changed, drove Emily to school, read the newspaper, grocery shopped and did laundry. And raked more leaves.

Em and I had a busy weekend. I drove to the Annapolis Mall Borders after work on Saturday so I could see the band that was playing. They were great and I wish it were a weekly feature. Kit met me at the cafe and then we strolled the mall. We picked up a shrimp and crabcake platter and headed for her 'weekend' home in Sherwood Forest, just a few miles away. Emily met us there after the U of MD football game. We had a very 'Kit' evening, a 'Sherwood Summit'. She'd created a list of 'interesting questions to generate conversation' including: What is your idea of a good adventure?, Are there any interesting countries or states that Cheryl wants to visit?, What would be a good career for Emily?, What would you do with a million dollars? and many more. We engaged in the conversations during dinner and throughout the night. Kit loves to make memories, and she had the get-together all planned out. We both happened to have our laptops and were thrilled to find that Sherwood has it's own wireless network. Yes! to no more dial-up. We showed each other our favorite web sites, blogs, picture albums, etc. We talked, read, ate, etc., and finally turned in. Em and I shared the room with the bunkbeds and I heard every twist and turn from above. I don't usually sleep very well away from home, but it wasn't too bad. In the morning we headed back to the mall (which was totally dressed up for Christmas), and Kit surprised Emily with a very generous gift card to her favorite store. We had a great lunch at Nordstrom's. In the late afternoon, we went our separate ways. Mundane? Not very. Ladeda
PS...new pictures and music in my onetruemedia montage.

10 November 2006

Sewing=not finished. I did get a lot accomplished and my intentions were really good. That counts for something. It was a gorgeous day and I wanted to spend some time outside. I did a whole lot of raking. I mowed the lawn. It was wonderful to have such a warm and sunny day in November and be off of work (grin).

09 November 2006

Thanks Alicia for the link to onetruemedia. So far this morning I've been on the computer, read the paper, worked on this photo montage, etc. My plan is to make the valences for my bay window. The sewing machine has been on the dining room table for a month...a little long, don't you think? I so don't want to sew, but it's gotta get done and it is my day off. I'm going to do it now. With any luck it will be done by the end of the day. I'll post a picture if I get it done.

06 November 2006

This is my mom's blog, but I thought that you guys would like to see meeeeee :]
OK...one more thing. You come across this stuff when you have a teenager. Click on the picture for a short video.

It's tomorrow and I said I'd write again. Yesterday seems like so long ago. I remember it was a good day (think hard). I woke really early and decided to try out a few bites of the popcorn I just got in the mail. Just to make sure it tasted OK, ya know? Did I say this was at 7 AM? It tasted like kettle corn drizzled with choclolate. It was heavenly. Dinner's in the oven but I just had to sample my other bag of Peanut Butter Drizzle. That's done. At least they were small bags, you know? Anyway, I got a bunch of things done around the house in the morning, Emily did her homework and weekly chores and then we were off to the mall. I told Emily I'd buy her a coat she liked at the Gap at Arundel Mills. I had a Starbucks espresso to power me up, and we shopped. Nothing for me, a few tops and the jacket for Emily. There was such a mood of Christmas at the mall that we decided to see The Santa Claus 3 at the theatre. It was pretty silly. It was weird seeing that the actress that portrays Mrs. Claus is the same one playing one of the 'others' on Lost. By the end of the movie we were starved and went to Golden Corral for dinner. It was the first time I had to pay full price for Emily. Can you believe how often I've been eating out? We had a pretty hilarious moment at the restaurant. I went to stab a big mushroom with my fork and it jumped from my plate onto the floor. We watched the waitress walk by it a few times, completely missing it. Then, a customer's shoe pushed it beside her diaper bag. We were hysterical with laughter. We tried to take a picture, but couldn't get a good shot. It was pretty funny. All in all, a good day and night.

I spent most of the day today with my mother. My parents live in Bowie, about 25 minutes from here. I took my mom to WalMart, her very favorite store. We shopped for clothes for her, White Stag being her favorite brand. I know, I'm not being very nice. We went to lunch at Tony Roma's. My third time in 9 days. She had a coupon for a free entree for her birthday. We love to eat out together. It's almost 7 PM now, and I still haven't fed my daughter. Time to finish it up. I, of course, won't be eating much. The popcorn, you know.

05 November 2006

I had a good post going. Then I got involved with trying to paste my pictures where I wanted them to be, and lost the text. Can I just say boo hoo? I'm trying again.

Last night was book club night. One of the members, Dolly, moved to PA, and the plan was to make a road trip to her house. I decided it was just too far to go for a short visit. If I didn't work on Saturday I would have gone. So, I got my friend Kit, also a book clubber, to play hooky and hang out. Em was supposed to spend the night with her Dad, but I gave him the wrong date and he dropped her off at the house. Good thing I was there. Let me just say I love being a part of my book club. My sister Lisa invited me to join her group, and I was welcomed by people that were actually excited to have me be a part. They are fun, real, and always happy to be together. Thought I'd put in a few pictures of some of us.

We started the night off at the new Nautilus Diner in Crofton. Great place. It was bright and shiny new. Kit had her laptop and entertained us with her new Power Point skills. From there we browsed Marshall's and Homegoods. It was fun seeing all the Christmas stuff. Yes, I know it's way early, but, you have to go with it. What are you gonna do, you know? Here's Emily and I checking out the very comfortable overstuffed chair in Homegoods. I'd like to take that one home.

Can you tell I'm having fun with the pictures? I'm getting better at inserting them, but I'm not quite sure what I'm doing. We finished the night at Caribou Coffee. I'm going to end for now. I'll write more tomorrow.