31 January 2007

I'm sitting here listening to the new CD by Norah Jones. She is a favorite of mine and I've been so pleased to read the rave reviews this CD's been getting. I'm also eating a bag of Dale and Thomas Peanut Butter White Chocolate Drizzlecorn popcorn. I have to--it expires this month! It's as delicious as it sounds and I won't ever buy it again. Emily's not home yet so I can really enjoy it. She'll read about it but it will be too late. I wonder how many calories can be packed into a 5 oz bag? I'm not going to check!

It was a good day at work. I had some breaks in my schedule, which was kind of nice for a change. I wouldn't want to have them often, trust me. I was able to sit down with one of my clients who was in for hair color, highlights and a haircut. We always have a million things to talk about and it was great to have the opportunity to hang out with her. Nice part of the job.

I got a great e-mail from a client whom I gave my blog address to. Thank you, Donna. It's wonderful to get affirmation about this thing I do. Thanks to all of you who stop by and comment, in case I don't say that often enough. It's great to come home and see a hello. One of the things that I love about blogging is the connections I've made with other people. It's made my life fuller. It seems to be that way for the people I have met here.

Well, I have to go read now. My next book club meeting is on the 11th and I am going to get the book read this time.
Last night I didn't feel inspired to write. It's funny how sometimes you just babble, and other times you have to really think about it. I thought I'd wait till morning, but I'm out of time. I hope everyone has a good day. I'll be back later, as usual.

29 January 2007

While at Border's the other night, I gazed longingly at their collection of Moleskine notebooks. I told my sister that I feel an almost physical need to buy them. I restrained myself as I have an unused one at home. Let me explain. I love journals. This was the subject of my very first blog post. I collect them, but find them very hard to use. It's as if I don't have anything important enough to say to deface the first page. One day the Washington Post ran a story on the reemergence of Moleskine notebooks. They have been used for the past two centuries by everyone from Van Gogh to Picasso to the most international avant-garde. In 1986 the manufacturer closed it's shutters forever, but the business was bought by a Milanese publisher in 1998, who brought the books back. (I'm paraphrasing from the literature that came with the book.) This story delighted me, and when I found these notebooks in my bookstore last year I was hooked. I bought two for my friend Kit, who used them right away, and one for myself. It has been in my night table, untouched, for almost a year. Is there a reason for this story? (besides not wanting to talk about my basement?) Yes. I took out the Moleskine today. I wrote on the first page. I stuck Avery write on tabs on the pages with the different rooms in my house written on them. I'm writing down everything that I need to do to each room to get it in shape in case I sell my house. Then, I told Emily about the plans for the notebook. I told her it was her notebook too. This got her very excited. I told her she can write whatever she wants in it. It would be ours. Her first entry? 'Take It or Trash It'. Mine? 'This, but Mostly That'. The mother/daughter journal has begun. So, La de da.

I spent the day in the basement. It was not a pretty sight. Emily spent the day photographing many of the things we'd like to sell and then posting them on Craigslist. She got feedback right away on a few things and two people came to the house and bought an ice tea maker and an under-the-cabinet light. She is so happy. We could make a fortune selling all the stuff we have! If only...

28 January 2007

OK...I'm ready to write. I will be sure to copy this draft elsewhere to make sure I don't lose it. Last night was enough of a lesson.

Where to start. I'll begin with today. Well, no. Yesterday. I had a crazy busy day at work. I'm booked on the half hour and it takes me that long to do a haircut and blow dry. I pride myself on staying on time. First client: a 10 year old boy with the hair of a bushy-headed man. Next client: his equally endowed 8 year old sister. I really enjoy doing their hair. The mom is a widow and she's raising very polite children. The girl did not stop talking for a minute. I loved it. Next was a color client. I applied her color, then the color of my next client. Then I cut the first one's hair, then the second. Then I had another color, and squeezed in another one in the 5 minutes I had left. They started talking about the books they were reading, the cruise one of them took, etc. I left them to have a enjoyable conversation while I started on my next haircut. Etc., etc. I am busy every minute I'm at work except for the half hour I take to eat my lunch, unless I'm running late and have less than that. I have a salad with chicken every single day for lunch (routine, Andrew?) I never get tired of standing. I genuinely enjoy the time I spend with my clients. I'm often amazed at the work I do, because it just comes naturally. I often think, I did that? I'm not the world's best hairdresser by any stretch of the imagination. I'm just a conscientious one who loves spending time with my clients. When we're together, it's really like spending time with a friend. I consider myself very fortunate. But I digress... So it was Saturday and my eyes were on the prize: 2:30. Quitting time. I had to go to Border's (yes, it's a have to), to the library, to the store to pick up a carrot cake with raisins, no nuts for my sister Lisa's birthday, then to On The Border for the family birthday dinner. I was thinking I wouldn't have time for it all so I called my nephew to ask if he could get the cake for his mother. The next thing I know, I'm halfway to the library, having completely forgotten about my Coffee! It was too late to turn around. I went to the library, and took a few minutes to check my mail. I was just pleased beyond words to find so many wonderful comments. It made me very happy. I went on my way, remembering there is a Border's right by the restaurant. I ordered my usual, a large caramel latte, extra shot, extra hot.
It has 4, yes, 4 shots of espresso. I live a little on the wild side when I can. I sat down with the latest issue of Wired magazine. I would totally recommend this month's issue to anyone. I have never read the magazine before but was impressed enough to want a subscription. I learned some amazing things, including how a company developed a robot to cut underwater forests. There are billions and billions of dollars worth of hardwood trees that are currently in lakes that have been created by dams. The wood is perfectly preserved. You have to read about it. But again, I digress. And no, I've had no caffeine tonight. I met the family for dinner. It was my folks, my sister Lisa the birthday girl, and her two sons, my nephews. Another nephew was our waiter, and a niece stopped by. Everyone had a good time, and my sister was very happy with her birthday dinner. When we were leaving, she asked me if I wanted to hang out. I suggested, where else? Border's. Why, oh why, did I need to have another coffee? It was a small one, but still. I guess I was thinking I could stay up late, but I knew I was making a mistake. We got our books and magazines and sat down to talk and read. After a while, my sister thought she saw a guy she recognized but couldn't place. I urged her to go talk to him. After a while, she overheard some of his conversation. He was talking to another patron about gastric bypass surgery. My sister had the surgery last year, so she was pretty amazed. She went over to them, and sat with them for about an hour. Turns out all three of them had the surgery. I was so pleased that my sister found these lively, friendly people to share stories with. I was just happy to be there. I continued on with my Wired magazine. We wound up staying till 10:00 at night. When we were at our cars, my sister said she had a wonderful birthday. I was really glad for her. So (ramble, ramble), I get home, see that my neighbor Kelly is still up, and visit there for a while. Finally home, I get in bed with my laptop to write about my day. I save it all to draft, and go visit some of my favorite blogs, only to come back to my ERROR message. Boo hoo. And then the caffeine. It wouldn't let me sleep. But I did, finally, to wake up to a caffeine/lack of sleep headache. I had one little cup of coffee in the morning, then spent the day in my basement. I'm writing too much, right? I've been saving up. Have I ever written about my basement? Cleaning it up has been the #1 thing on my New Year's Resolution list every single year. The house I grew up in did not have a basement. We had a two car garage that was used for cars. We didn't have a lot of 'stuff'. I live in a house with a very large unfinished basement that is all filled up with 'stuff'. There's only my daughter and me. There shouldn't be that much. I've straightened up here and there over the years, but it's time to get my house in order. I'll stop here with the details, but I got a lot done. I have many bags of trash, many boxes of recycling stuff, and many piles of things that I will either try to sell on Craigslist or donate. I emptied out at least 2 dozen partly opened bottles of booze. Where did it all come from? I have a long way to go, but I will spend tomorrow doing the same thing. If Abbagirl can clean out an apartment, I can clean out that basement! I stopped working at about 5:00, and Emily and I have been hanging out since then. We looked over all her composition books from school that I've saved since kindergarten (they are goners), her science fair display boards (good-bye), etc... We did run to the grocery store, and made pizza for dinner. She made brownies for dessert and didn't scold me when I had some. We watched 60 Minutes and 7th Heaven. I came upstairs to write, and she's watching Beauty and the Geek. I wish she wouldn't. And now, I'm written out. Thank you for being patient with me. My day is almost complete. I think I'll just check out my online friends...
I have a caffeine/lack of sleep headache that I totally deserve. I'm going to have one cup to get me going, and then do my best to have a productive day. My reward will be to recreate last night's entry when I take a break.
Waaaah. I lost my post. I had it done, and saved it to draft, but when I came back to it I found this error code: bX-ewveo1, and no post. I'm grateful that it's never happened before, but I am not a happy camper. Fueled by caffeine, I had a lot of words ready to go. Too tired now; I'll catch up tomorrow.

26 January 2007

When I was about 20, I lived in NY with my aunt and uncle for about 3 months. I had just quit college. I was depressed, didn't know what I wanted to do with my life, and felt like I had the weight of the world on my shoulders. My aunt and her family gave me refuge. There were so many good things about living with them. They really made me feel special, and loved. They wanted me to take as much time as I needed to figure out what to do with my life. They treated me like I was one of their own. My aunt and I were especially close and cooked together, shopped together, etc. They had a wonderful second home in Mt. Snow, Vermont. We went skiing every weekend. We ate out all the time. It was so different from my life at home. They told me I could stay with them for as long as I liked. Eventually I started thinking about doing hair. I had been an art major, and I thought that doing hair could be kind of like doing sculpture, which I loved. I started looking into schools in their area. To make a long story shorter, I went home to formally withdraw from school, get clothes, etc... and met a guy. I moved back home. I think it's been almost 30 years since I've seen my aunt. We've recently been e-mailing, and I sent her the link to this blog. This has all been a prelude to the point of this post: to share the wonderful e-mail she sent me tonight. It was a gift. Thank you Aunt Carolee.

Cheryl, I just have to tell you how much I love reading your blog. It is beautifully done, and I enjoyed your photos as well, particularly the ones of your daughter, the recent snow and the sunset.

It is such a down-to-earth, honest depiction of your life and the things that you do on a daily basis -- it's never boring, even though you think the tasks you describe are not exciting. I love when you talk about your clients and taking your Mom to lunch or dinner and what you both like to have -- and I look forward to reading about your book club and your visits with friends. I'm not sure about how to post a reply to your entries, so I'm writing to you and giving you permission to cut and paste this note if you'd like to do that (do I need to register?).

I also love reading about Emily's little dog -- and your "miracle" fish. Too bad so many years have gone by and we haven't been closer. You've never even met your "new" Uncle. Please send regards to everyone,

Auntie Carolee

25 January 2007

My teeth have a headache. I was fine until I had popcorn for a snack. I guess there was too much chewing involved. I had the Zoom! whitening treatment done. It was kind of uncomfortable but not painful. A device was put in my mouth to keep my lips away from my teeth. Lots of gauze too. I was quite a sight. My gums were painted with a material that hardened to protect them from the whitener. Then a bleaching gel was painted on my teeth and cured with a special light for 20 minutes. The gel was wiped off, reapplied, and cured again, two more times. I brought my daughter's iPod; it was a lifesaver. I even like her taste in music. My teeth look to be at least a few shades whiter. It was worth the time and any discomfort I'm having. I have to eat 'white' food and stay away from coffee and tea for 24 hours. That won't be hard. I had a salad with chicken for lunch and I'll have chicken and rice and maybe a banana for dinner.

It snowed really hard here for about a half hour. That was pretty, but a tease. I'd like it to snow again, but not when I have to work the next day. I've spent a lazy afternoon reading and watching TV. Tonight's my TV night---Ugly Betty and Gray's Anatomy, my favorites. Yeah! Later!

24 January 2007

I'm still thinking about that dream... Isn't it strange how you can remember a dream when you wake up, and then just forget it? Something about this one keeps lingering.

I decided to leave comments on a few of the blogs that I read regularly that I don't regularly comment on. How's that for a repetitive sentence? I was a reader of blogs long before I ever wrote my first comment. I always felt that other people's comments already said what I wanted to say, and that the blog writer was so good that whatever I wrote would come out sounding kind of dumb. I don't know if I'm expressing myself exactly right, but I was afraid to comment. Quite a while ago I read this entry from my friend Andrew's blog: The 4th Avenue Blues: Writing into a Black Hole… I felt like he was encouraging me to take the leap and comment. I got up the nerve and have been commenting on his blog ever since. After the first time, it was easy. I greatly appreciate those of you who comment on my humble blog. Tonight I decided to stop by a few of my favorites and say hello to them.

Tomorrow is the day I get my teeth whitened. I've been using my special toothpaste twice a day for a week now. It's supposed to make my teeth less sensitive to the whitening process. I'm a little nervous, because I had my teeth whitened once before and experienced what they call 'zingers'. How's that for a medical term? Imagine the feel of aluminum foil touching a filling and you get the idea. It lasted for a day or two. It was very unpleasant and I hope to avoid that experience this time. Next time I write, my teeth should be bright!
I thought I'd write a quick post before work. I had the hardest time waking up today. I was involved in a complicated dream that I didn't want to end. Now I can only remember bits and pieces of it. It involved a pool in my parent's den, a celebrity and an old boyfriend. Hmmm. Wonder what it all means?

I hope today is easier than yesterday. I was just slammed at work. One of those days that I didn't even have time to finish my lunch or use the bathroom. I'm not really complaining because I'm very grateful to be so busy. It's just nice to grab a minute here and there to sit down. I'll write more later.

22 January 2007

Emily had to write a magazine article of her choice for a school assignment. She chose Global Warming. I asked what we could do to help. She showed me this video and asked if I'd post it here.

School started 2 hours late today because of the icy road and sidewalk conditions. I picked Emily up from school 2 hours early because of a scheduled doctor's appointment. (Schools had been scheduled to close 2 hours early all week because of high school testing. That got cancelled because of the morning change.) Emily was happy with her 3 hour day. She wasn't so happy when she found out she was due for 3 vaccinations. She got a chicken pox booster, meningitis and tetanus shots. Ouch! Here's a picture of Emily with her doctor. He's just the best doctor and has been Emily's pediatrician since she was born. This is her happy before the shots. I've always brought my camera to her doctor's appointments and Emily was happy to find 7 pictures of herself and her doctor through the years on posters in his office. I'll be sad when she outgrows seeing a pediatrician.
I thought I'd write a short post about my goldfish. It's a slow morning. I swear my fish has magic powers. He has been on the brink of death so many times yet so far always comes back to his huge robust self. I once read that fish have a 3 second memory. He must have forgotten he was dying. He spent most all of his time floating on his back last week. Emily or I would walk past his tank and frantically tap on the glass and say, 'don't die fish'. I know, not very personal. He doesn't have a name. I'm not much of a pet person. I've had a net and a heavy opaque plastic bag next to the tank at the ready for his disposal. I'm thinking he may be too big to flush. I did the honors of flushing my neighbor's big goldfish who died while she was out of town. She said she'd do the same for me although Emily thinks she wants ours buried. Well guess what? Fishy is back and seemingly extremely healthy. No more floating around for him. I'm relieved. I hope he remembers to behave like a fish should for a while more.

21 January 2007

Snow, snow, finally, snow!

They said it would snow, and it did. Not much in the scheme of things, but it's the first time this year. And it happened just like the weather report said it would.

I went to my third movie in 3 weeks. Very unusual for me. I guess I'll have to change my profile to say I do go to the movies. A bunch of people from work were going, and I joined in. We saw Dreamgirls. Everyone liked it. It was really good to do something with people I only see at work. Emily called a friend and they saw another movie at the same theater. Fun for them too.

When the movie was over, we saw the snow for the first time. Everyone was oohing and aahing. Traffic was so slow going home. You'd think we were in Malibu and people had never driven in the snow before. Did I mention there's only about an inch and a half on the ground? It might as well be a blizzard. I'm waiting for them to cancel school, which they'll probably do.

20 January 2007

So if you read this regularly, you know my Saturday routine. Start work at 8, work hard, get off early and head to my local hangout. Drink my favorite hot beverage. I was pleased when the barista called me by name. When I got my drink and said I'd see her next Saturday, she said she was moving to Texas. That's too bad. I told her I had just seen something on Google about Starbucks buying Seattle's Best. She said that happened in 1999 and that Seattle's Best is the red Starbucks. Hmmm..She's worked in both places and said SB is much better. I agree.

We went to our friend's for dinner. A great time was had by all.
The kids were very rowdy, meaning, they were having a good time. Cathi and I shared a few beers and lots of conversation. Geoff always grills and he made bacon-wrapped shrimp. Delicious. We had that, salad, rice, bread, grapes, and grilled goose breast. There weren't many takers for the latter. Emily called me at work to ask if she could make a cake for dessert instead of buying one. Now why didn't I think of that? Mallory made something delicious that she called Chocolate Crack Up. Here's a picture of the kids ready to have their cake and eat it too.

I love this picture of their cat taking a drink from his favorite bowl. The fish bowl, that is. He never bothers the fish. I think that's hilarious. I wonder if they'll come home one day to a fancy water bowl sans fish??

19 January 2007

I went to an out of the way grocery store in search of a fancy chocolate cake to bring to a friend's house tomorrow night. I was there on Monday and was so impressed by the selection. Tonight the showcase looked sad and neglected. The cakes that were left were imperfect. It just wouldn't do. It will be my quest after work tomorrow to find the perfect dessert. Cathi is a wonderful cook, and Emily and I love when we're invited for dinner. Her husband and kids are wonderful company. I wish we saw each other more often.

I highlighted a male client's hair today. It's really difficult to do that on short hair. It wouldn't have been my choice of what to do, but he was really into it. I told him I'll be calling him Ryan Seacrest from now on. It turned out pretty good and he was really happy with the way he looked. I only have one other man who's color I do. It actually looks pretty good on him. I think he does it because he's getting older in a business that values youth. I have one male client who does his own color. It's very black and looks terrible. I wish I had the nerve to suggest he use a brown color, but have never figured out how to say it. I always think about it while I'm cutting his hair. I'm hoping he'll ask for my advice.

It's very quiet here tonight. The time I've been on the computer has just flown by. Think I'll finish reading the paper before calling it a night.

18 January 2007

For a while...

For a while I was thinking I should take down the 'mostly mundane' part of my title. I was thinking that maybe what I was writing was kinda interesting. I don't know if it's just the after-holiday blahs or what, but things seem truly mundane around here. The highlight of my week is Border's on a Saturday afternoon. Is that pitiful?

My big adventure today was going to the dentist for my 6 month cleaning. I'll go back again next Thursday to have my teeth whitened. My cousin's husband, David, is my dentist. It's a ong drive on the beltway for me, which I really don't like, but it's beneficial to have a dentist in the family. The good part of the drive is that I was in the car long enough to get thru more than one CD of the book I'm listening to. Because my ride to work is only 20 minutes, it takes me a while to get through a book. Did I ever mention that I love listening to books on CD?

It's colder here than it's been in quite a while. They were calling for a wintry mix, but I think that's changed. I wouldn't mind a good snow storm.

I bought some colossal shrimp at the market and found a recipe for shrimp scampi with angel hair pasta. It was a great and easy dinner. I try to prepare home cooked meals on my days off. I'm happy when I succeed.


17 January 2007

I just made a big leap and ordered airline tickets. I'm not a good flyer. I'm going to try not to worry about it till March when I'll be taking my trip. I'll fly into Charlotte, NC for the weekend. I'll meet my sister who will drive there from her home in GA. Neither of us has been there before, so we'll be looking for things to do. This will be the first time we've ever spent any time together without our kids, and I'm very excited about it.

I drove to my parent's house after work. My Dad's in Atlantic City for the night, so I invited my Mom to spend the night with me. We went to dinner at Outback Steakhouse. That was really good. I've only been there a few times. We had my mother's favorite meal, Alice Springs Chicken with salad, broccoli, and sweet potato. Yum. We split the dinner with salads for each and it was just enough. Afterwards we went to Coldstone Creamery and had fancy ice cream concoctions. Yum. We got home and watched American Idol. I couldn't ignore it since it was what my Mom was watching. How can all these people audition for the show when they clearly can't sing? They all really seem to think they can. My Mom was laughing at them, and I was just shaking my head. I think it's pretty sad.

16 January 2007

I'm trying not to watch American Idol. Am I one of the few? I started watching it last year, but only after all the auditions were over. This part of the show is painful to watch, yet oddly entertaining.

It was a good day at work. Pretty uneventful. I had a new client who came in with frizzy hair and a terrible haircut. She said her last haircut was really bad and that she had to cut her own bangs and have her husband cut the back. She'd been to a few salons but was always disappointed. Her hair looked great when I was done, and she was very happy. I love that part of my job. This client was in her 50's, and didn't know how to style her hair. I can't understand why a hairstylist had never shown her how. I also can't understand why she had such bad haircuts. There's really no excuse for that.

Well, La De Da
I've been staying pretty true to my word about not being on the computer when I'm home with Emily. I'm amazed that she's been staying off it too. That was what I was hoping for. It was a good weekend. Since I'm off work on Mondays, I consider that day half of the weekend. The first part of Sunday was spent cleaning out cabinets and re-caulking the tub. Emily and I went out shopping afterwards and out to Cheeburger Cheeburger for dinner. It's one of her favorite places. Did I say I went off my diet big time this weekend? Let me go back and say I had a banana split for dessert on Saturday followed by a bag of Dave and Thomas chocolate drizzle popcorn. At Cheeburger Cheeburger I had a juicy cheeburger and fries followed by ice cream at home with Milky Way topping and whipped cream. I think I was pretty good yesterday, except for the popcorn I had at the movies. Today starts another week of my usual...lots of salads and veggies. Hopefully it will balance out. Maybe. Anyway, yesterday I tackled the closet in my guest room. I can't describe all the stuff I had crammed in there on the floor and shelf on top. You could hardly close the door. It's mostly empty now. I'm one of those people whose house looks totally neat until you open a closet or look in the basement. You'd think two different people lived there. I'm determined to clean it all up. All these things haven't been hard to do, yet I've procrastinated doing them forever. So I'm proud of myself for finally getting some things done that I've meant to do for a long, long time.

We went to see Freedom Writers at the movies. We absolutely loved it. I think it only got so-so reviews, and there have been many films like this one, but I'd recommend it to anyone. The theatre, Muvico, was absolutely packed. I guess a lot of people go to the movies on holidays.

I don't mean for my posts to be all about the things I do around my house. Getting things accomplished here clears my mind. I wonder if I'll ever get to the point that everything's done. What a concept. I could just laze around cause there'd be nothing to do but basic cleaning. I'd like to find out!

Well, it's off to work for me on this very windy day. Hope it's a good one for everyone else.

14 January 2007

It came to my attention that the video I thought was working was not. So much for my claim of conquering this technological challenge. Is it working now?

My daughter had a friend sleep over last night and I spent a good deal of time checking out links to blogs that are new to me. It's just amazing what's out there.

I'm hoping that today will be a productive one. I'm almost ready to get started....

13 January 2007

I had to change my photo software to be able to download videos. That was the problem. I was using Jasc Paint Shop photo software and switched to Kodak. I was so excited when I was easily able to do what had eluded me for so long. I had about given up--the frustration was killing me. I had some problems uploading the video to YouTube. I tried again early this morning and both videos loaded in minutes. So, with no further ado, here's a video of my daughter and her dog Elvis taken last weekend.

12 January 2007

Not much to write about tonight. I thought I'd post a picture of my huge pet goldfish. I think we've had him for about 5 or 6 years. He's a familiar part of the scenery and I will miss him when he's gone, which I think will be soon. He's been having a hard time with his balance, and I don't think goldfish live much longer than this.

11 January 2007

It's been a very satisfying day today because I got so much accomplished. I'll be able to go to sleep tonight without a list of things I should have done scrolling through my brain. It's been that way the last few nights. The only thing I didn't do is, (are you ready?) put away the Christmas tree. If it were in a place that I saw everyday, it would have been taken care of a long time ago. It's in the living room, I never use that room, and I never use the front door. I forget it's there. I swear I'd keep it set up if I could carry it into the basement that way. Emily said she'd help me undecorate the tree and bring it down to the basement this weekend.

The house is really clean and neat. The laundry's done. All the holiday stuff is put away except for the tree. I did some research, banking, and shopping online. I made dentist appointments. Clipped coupons. Grocery-shopped. Made a cornish hen for dinner. Made my lunch for tomorrow. I even had time to read the newspaper. Woo hoo.

10 January 2007

It's been a busy few days of work. Today was payday, and it wasn't pretty. My work is strictly commission, and I was off for a few days after Christmas followed by a slow week after New Year's. That's just the nature of the business. Things have picked up again, and I don't have any time off planned till March. I'll try to put aside my fear of flying to attend the big Chicago Midwest Beauty Show. I'll need to fly to Chicago again in May for my nephew's wedding. I'll just have to do it. I understand it's only about an hour flight; that's good. My sister just sent me a e-mail telling me flights are on sale to Charlotte for $39 each way. I might have to do that too. The last time I flew was 2 years ago and I got a prescription to help me out. I'll need to do that again. I decided I wasn't not going to do things because of fear that something bad could happen. People fly all the time. I'm not deathly afraid, just kind of.

I'd like to spiff up the look of this blog, but I'm not very savvy with code. Really, I'm clueless but would like to learn. I'll be playing around with a picture, let's say, trying to center it, when my daughter will look over and say, wouldn't you like that centered? Well yes, I just don't know how to do it. So I bought a book, Creating a Web Page with HTML for beginners, and I'm going to see what I can learn. Just one of the many projects that I don't have time for but have an intense interest in. I'll also take my friend Kit up on her offer to lend me her photo scanner while she's away for 2 weeks. That will keep me busy.

For those of you who haven't known me for long, I love making my own cards with rubber stamps. I have a craft room, with just about every related supply to support that habit.I used to be obsessed with it, but it's definitely been on the back burner. My new hobby seems to be computer-related. I haven't given up on my craft hobby, I just make the cards when I need them instead of spending my spare time brainstorming new designs.

I noticed this beautiful sunset as I was leaving work. It was a welcome sight.

08 January 2007

I had a very good day off today. It was pretty lazy, which is unusual for me. It felt good to be mostly home. I did go to 3 stores and stocked up on lots of fresh fruit, vegetables and lots of chicken. I'm trying to shed some of the weight I gained during the holidays. Every time I put something in my mouth that I shouldn't, my daughter catches me. I told her when I'm on a diet I'm unstoppable. I'm not quite there yet. I'm ready for the week with lots of healthy food. Work days are always easier for me, food-wise.

Emily wanted me to post pictures of her dog Elvis. He spent Saturday and Sunday here while her dad was out of town. Emily loves that dog. He's pretty cute, huh? He looks gigantic in this picture but it's just the angle it was taken from.

This is what happens when I download video. I get stills. One of these days I'll figure it out. It does make a nice picture collage.

07 January 2007

I spent part of today visiting with friends in Annapolis. This picture is the view down Main Street. You can see the Chesapeake Bay in the background.

After running a few errands, I drove over to Sherwood Forest, a private gated community on one of the rivers. It's the best place. Kit's family owns a very small cottage there and we occasionally get to spend the day. Our friend Lisa, who lives in VA, met us for lunch. We've all been friends since Junior High. Kit and I see each other pretty regularly, but haven't seen Lisa since June. There's just something special about friends you have a long history with. We talked non-stop, jumping from topic to topic. We know each others' families, stories, etc... We agreed that we have to see each other more often. These pictures are of the drive into Sherwood, the cottage, a peek at the river from the porch, and us.

I had time to run to the coffee shop and Trader Joe's before coming home and catching up on laundry, homework, and a few hands of Phase 10. A good and busy day. Two of the shows I watch on Sunday nights were back on after what seemed like a long break, and I enjoyed the rest of the eve. Time to put it all to rest.

I thought I'd post some pictures of the salon I work at. I can't for the life of me figure out how to download videos yet--very frustrating! My salon used to be in a strip mall and was your normal store size. We'd been there for about 10 years and it was time to renew the lease. There were things about the shop that really bothered my boss. Every time it rained hard, the roof leaked. Parking was very limited. The floors were pretty bad and needed replacing. So, he decided to look around. He found a warehouse in an office park around the corner and fell in love with the space. At the time we were small--maybe 7 stylists. He was so excited to show it to us. We went over and saw a warehouse. It had gray concrete floors and gray cinder block walls. The ceiling was gray and many stories high. We were flabbergasted! How could this enormous space ever be the warm and inviting salon that we and our clients loved? My boss had a vision, and the place was a go. Besides being a very talented hairdresser, he is a general contractor. He can do anything. He totally designed the new salon by himself. He designed our work stations and had a cabinetmaker build them. He worked on the framing, drywall, plumbing, etc. He transformed a big, ugly space into something bright (lots of sky lights) and beautiful. We have 16 hairstylists, 4 nail techs, 3 skincare/massage therapists, and a large support staff. As you'll see, purple is our color. It really did take a while to get used to the new salon, but we got there. It's great to work in such a big, open and unique space. We just celebrated our 10th anniversary here.

This photo shows the reception and the retail area.

This photo was taken from the reception area. The front desk is on the left.
Here's a picture of my station at the start of the day. It doesn't stay this neat for long.

This one shows the two halves of the station floor.

This is the shampoo area and one of the chemical bar areas. We don't do our chemicals on the nice wood floors.

This is part of our employee area. We all signed our names on the floor along with the date we started.

Here's where we eat our meals. A little cafe-like space. On the walls are photos of us through the years.

The best part about the salon is the people. Although we're in this huge space, it's all about being one-on-one with our clients, so in reality, it doesn't seem that big at all.

05 January 2007

It's Friday night. Tomorrow afternoon I'll be in my favorite place sipping my favorite beverage. Woo hoo. I can't wait.
"Surgery to Stunt Girl's Growth Sparks Debate" Here's a story that's getting a lot of media attention. This links to the parents' blog where they explain their side of the story. Just a little food for thought for the day.

04 January 2007

Well, I meant to write today. Besides what I wrote this morning, that is. I thought I'd have time to do it when I got home from my parents' house. I only had to stop at the grocery store for one thing on my way home. The customer ahead of me had a problem with her order and it took forever. I was late getting home--I always like to get home before Emily. Of course, I didn't want to get on the computer then. Later, Emily suggested I write my post while she wrote her thank-you notes for her Christmas gifts. Great, except I had to go online to look for my Mary Engelbreit desk calendar that I use every year. I just had to wait to get one after Christmas so I could get it half-price. Could I find it anywhere? No. So, I spent my time looking online for the best deal, and for the Food For Thought calendar that Emily had wanted. I will not be such a bargain shopper next year! I was done just in time to watch Ugly Betty on TV. It was the first new episode in a while. Sooo, here I am, at my bedtime, writing. Reading over this post, it seems like a big complaint. Like, blah, blah, blah. It wasn't meant to be. It's just not the relaxing, thoughtful, creative experience I was hoping for. Ya know?
I haven't been on the computer much. Resolution, ya know? I'm off to my folks for the day. I have a box of the old family photos and I want to hear my parents talk about them so I can label them. I'm going to be checking into that photo scanner. I'll be writing a real post later. Have a great day!

02 January 2007

I just have time for a quick post. My daughter and I had a great weekend. We went to the movies and saw The Pursuit of Happyness. A great and moving and very sad story. I reminded myself how fortunate I am to have so much when others have so little. We went to our favorite mall restaurant afterwards, then home. We played Phase 10 for the longest time, then rang in the New Year with Dick Clark and sparkling cider. New Year's Day found me working in the kitchen all day. I made this meatloaf. It was good, but totally not worth the time and effort it took to make it. All the dishes and dessert were labor intensive. I had my parents and sister over for dinner. What was wonderful was finally sitting down to eat. Everyone enjoyed the meal and just being together. Emily took over the cleaning-up, which was amazing. When everyone went home, Emily and I got back to our card game. The same one we were working on from the night before and morning. We finally finished with my beating her by only 10 points. We had a great heart-to-heart talk as we sat around the table. It was all so good.