30 March 2007

I came home from work to find a banner with a picture on my blog. It was a great surprise. Well, not a surprise. I knew it was coming. Andrew did it for me. I've been trying to learn how make a banner. I've read all about it in my books and on websites, but couldn't figure it out. Andrew offered to help, and I gladly accepted. Thank you!

I'm just pooped tonight. It was a very busy day at work with nary a break. I'm feeling kinda crampy and grouchy. I'll save my writing for another day....

29 March 2007

I just had to post this picture . These daffodils are only about 3" tall. I think I got them as a get-well gift last year and planted them after they had bloomed. I've seem paper whites this small, but they have long stems. This is the most miniature clump of daffodils I've ever seen!

I'm sitting outside on my deck. It's warmer on this side of the house with the full sun beaming down. That's one of the reasons I'm out here. The other is to keep the starlings and squirrels out of the feeders. I'm a big deterrent. It's not as warm as it's been and my toes have been cold all day in my sandals. I started my day getting my car serviced, and that was chilly. I went to my parent's house and my mom and I went out for an early lunch at Old Country Buffet. It's been a long time since we ate there, and the couple that always sits across from us were at their usual table. I have to think that a lot of people have a daily meal there. The senior citizen price for lunch is $7.09. It opens for business at 11:00 AM. The food is really fresh,the salad bar is well stocked and there's always a wide array of food-baked, fried and sauteed. It's probably the main meal of the day for a lot of the patrons. My mother didn't know I was coming over today and was so happy when I told her where we were eating. It made her day. I've mentioned before that my mother's greatest pleasure is eating out. My younger sister's diet choices are different than mine because she's very strict with what she eats. (I should be a lot better, believe me. The pounds have been creeping back up.) My sister wanted to go out with my mother recently, but my mother said no to every place she suggested, and every place my mother suggested, my sister said no to. My sister told me this. So, a few days ago I called my mom to talk to her about it. I told her that she could find something to eat wherever she went, and that she should just go wherever my sister wanted. My mom said OK. I was IM'ing with my sister yesterday, and she said, I thought you talked to mom about eating out with me. She said no to every place I suggested. So I called my mom and said, you're missing out on a night out of the house by not agreeing with said daughter. We talked about this! So, she agreed, and they went out. I asked her today how dinner was. She said just OK. Oh well. I tried.

28 March 2007

The windows are open, the birds are busy singing; I just love this time of year. It seems like the pear and cherry trees bloomed overnight. It must have been that 80 degree day yesterday. Soon the pollen will follow and I'll need to keep the windows closed. It wasn't till I got hardwood floors that I saw how much pollen comes in through the windows.

Emily registered to play softball yesterday. She's never played a sport and this is late to get a start on it. I'm glad that she wants to do it, and hope she fits in. She played softball in PE this year and loved it and said she's really good at it. I came home from work yesterday and she had a new ball and glove. She and her Dad spent about an hour throwing and catching. This morning I saw a diagram he made for her with all the positions, names of plays, etc... She's getting a crash course. I don't have an athletic bone in my body, and Emily's never been interested before. I've always wanted her to be involved in sports, so I think this is great and a precursor to sports in high school next year.

I don't want to, but its time to get going to work. Have a great day....

NOTE: I stand corrected by my daughter on a few things. She was on inter-mural teams in her middle school, and she did play soccer and t-ball when she was much younger. She loves U of MD games and football in general. Sorry Emily!

26 March 2007

I sat on my porch for at least an hour today. It was so nice. Nothing like a spring day and all the sounds and sights that go along with it. I felt like a voyeur, observing the birds. It's how I first saw my hummingbird last year. I had been disappointed that I didn't have any. It wasn't till I spent time sitting still on my porch that I saw my lone hummer. This year I hope to get more. My feeder is out before the migration date, which should be coming up. Emily came home from school while I was outside and commented on how the sounds of the birds wake her up every morning. I told her I was writing about how much I enjoy those same birds!

I had to go for a CT scan this morning for some abdominal pain I've been having. The procedure didn't take long. I plan on the results coming back negative. I'll try not to worry too much. I went to Panerra's afterwards with my laptop for breakfast and their free wireless. I had a bagel and coffee while doing some work. Well, not 'work' work. That was a first for me, and I really enjoyed it. I went to the mall afterwards and bought new sandals and got a pedicure. It was indulgent and fun. A day off without too much running around.

25 March 2007

Instead of a lot of words, I thought I'd post a photo blog. They say a picture says a thousand words, right?

Emily taking inventory to be a Craigslist.com seller for a client of mine.

Me and Bill.

The King and I.

Emily with the birdhouse up. Waiting for the morning doves that come every year.

Many bags of topsoil are spread over the bare ground. Now I just need to seed, fertilize, and put down the straw.

I bought this hummingbird feeder today. I hope the birds can find it.

My new gardening clogs.

I love this rusty garden sculpture.

An ant's view of some moss.

I'm just starting on this side of the garden.

Flowering weeds. They're everywhere.

I'm worn out!

I thought I'd post some pictures from my garden. The nice weather we had this week has brought the sleeping perennials and spring flowers to life. The irises are tiny...only a few inches high. The phlox should bloom any time now. The daffodils are tiny, yet beautiful. The day should be dry tomorrow and I'll get back to spreading more dirt and compost. My car has been loaded down with the weight of it all since yesterday. I'm glad I have these outdoor projects. The indoor stuff will be neglected, but that's OK.

Work was so busy today. It went by in a blur. All of my clients were a little early, and I was ahead of schedule all day. That's almost unheard of. My last client cancelled, which was perfect. I got an early start at Border's. I changed my drink and had a caramel mocha. A medium one. With an extra shot. I read Consumer Reports and PC World. Seats were at a premium, and I held onto mine for a while. After a quick stop at the library, I made my way home. I took a walk around my yard to see if the topsoil I put down on the hill that is my side yard held up through the rain. It did. Then I took the pictures.

My neighbors and I went to a favorite local spot for dinner...Pachanga Grill. It has the best Mexican food around. It's rare to find Mexican food that's not from a chain restaurant. I had steak quesidillas. Yum. It's not one of her favorite places to eat, so Emily stayed home. My neighbors came over afterwards to help me set up an eBay seller account. I figured I'd try to sell some of the stuff from my basement. I placed an ad for a Pampered Chef ice shaver. It was something I'd hardly used, and a lot of people like Pampered Chef stuff. I went on eBay to see if anyone else was selling the same thing. I was shocked to see that there were 31 ads for it. Funny. I didn't like mine and hardly ever used it. I guess no one liked theirs either. I don't have high hopes that it will sell, but you never know.

24 March 2007

It's the start of Saturday. I'm so tired. Hard to imagine that soon I'll be all peppy and talkative. The day starts out so much different from how it ends. Thought I'd post these few words before I get moving. I thought of Proxima as soon as I woke up because her last post was about dreams. Mine had to do with Ozzie Osborne's son and some sort of weird light contraption he sent me. Also my Aunt Barbara and Passover and a jewelery party. I hardly ever remember my dreams and when I do it's just snippets.

It's a rainy morning here. I can hear the peeping frogs outside my yard making their melodies. It's spring and just knowing that makes me smile. Time to get ready. Hope it's a good day for those who are reading this. I'll write more tonight.

22 March 2007

I have 15 minutes before my shows begin. I just finished making my lunch for tomorrow, the dishes are done, and it's time to relax.

It turned out that I needed to make an appointment for my car, so that got scratched off my list. I was happy that during my running around, I was able to pick up 12 bags of compost and top soil. I have a big area on the side of my house that I need to fill in and seed. Mom and I went to Three Brothers for lunch and had the exact thing we ate the last time we were there. Creatures of habit we are. I dropped my mother off and went to my friend Kit's house. We sat outside and talked and looked at stuff on her laptop. I skipped out of there in time to take Emily to the orthodontist. It was too nice outside to go to the mall, so I spent the next few hours working outside. I fertilized the lawn. I emptied all the bags of 'dirt'. I need to get at least 12 more bags. I'll be feeling some pain tomorrow. Those bags weighed almost 500 pounds. Wow. It was a great day.

Time for TV! Later...

PS...It's later now and I'm already sore!
Good Morning. I should be getting ready for the day. I will just as soon as I post this.

Lone Grey Squirrel has a great post on his blog about his salon experiences. An interesting read along with the comments. I guess some people don't like getting their hair cut. I see all the people who do. Most really love getting their hair shampooed. I do. For a lot of the clients I see, they love the opportunity to just sit. For the most part, they can't multi-task. (I do have one client who works on her laptop every time she comes in.) They have someone that they like, me, giving them undivided attention. And, because we see each other on a regular basis, we have a history. We have a relationship. They sit, we talk, we listen to each other. It's good. As I've said many times, I'm really grateful for all the great clients I have. They've seen me through all the events in my life.

Today's going to be crazy busy. First I'll go to the car place because my vehicle needs some kind of fluid that needed to be ordered. Then I'll go to my Mom's. I'll take her with me while I run some errands. Then we'll go to Kit's and all go to lunch. My Mother's favorite thing to do. Emily has an orthodontist appointment right after school, then we're going to the mall so she can look at a dress she saw. We'll get something to eat there. By the time we get home it will be time for Ugly Betty and Gray's Anatomy. Now what kind of a day off is that? See why I like going to work? I only have to do one thing on those days. La de da.

21 March 2007

And here it is, Wednesday evening. I did two clients today who wanted big changes in their hair. I'll tell you about Sarah. Emily used to be her 'mother's helper'. I hadn't seen Sarah since Christmas. She made an appointment with me using her maiden name so it would be a surprise. I was surprised. I've cut her hair at home before, but it was Sarah's first time at my salon. She has enough hair on her head for 3 or 4 people. It was halfway down her back and all one length. She said that she'd worn it in a ponytail for 10 months and was ready for a change. Then she showed me a picture of Michelle Williams, the actress. She's sporting a pixie cut. I had a big job ahead of me. I colored her hair, then cut it all off. It was much more traumatic for me than it was for her. She looked adorable when it was done. She literally had a weight lifted from her shoulders. This is the time of year that people like change. There's been a lot of hair on my floor lately.

I found out yesterday that I messed up on one of my credit cards. I guess I had signed up for paperless statements with one of my accounts. I didn't know that the statements had been going into my spam folder. I always get spoof mail from banking companies that I don't know, and I delete them. I must have thought the real statement was spam. I got a call at work telling me my account was 3 months overdue and that I had to make a payment over the phone. I spoke to customer service today and explained what happened. They credited the late fees, but couldn't do anything about what might have been reported to the credit bureau. I'll send away for a report so I can see. Needless to say, I opted out of paperless statements. I've always had perfect credit, and I'm really mad that this happened and that it was my fault.

I'm looking forward to tomorrow. It's supposed to feel like spring, and it's my day off.

20 March 2007

I'm always glad when it's Tuesday and it's the start of my work week. Then I'm glad when it's Wednesday because I'm off on Thursday. It's good to work, and it's good to be off work. A co-worker asked me last week if I ever just don't feel like being there. I could honestly say no, never. I think that makes me lucky. One co-worker asked how I could always be so even-tempered at work. I don't know, I always just am. I'm not that way with other things, but I never have a problem with being at work.

I have to run an errand at Walmart before work, so I'm off. I hope everyone has a great day.

19 March 2007

I think I might be too full to even write. Is that possible? I called Emily from Kit's to see if she wanted me to pick up steaks for dinner. You'd think it was the biggest treat by her enthusiastic reaction. YES! she said. When I saw the price at Safeway, I started thinking maybe we'd have hamburgers. So, I was just looking at all the meat and poultry. Sightseeing. All of a sudden I saw a small section of steaks that were marked down because today was the 'sell by' date. I picked up a NY Strip for Emily, her favorite, and a Rib eye for me. Emily has no idea they were marked down. Full price means nothing to her, you know. I grilled the steaks and they came out perfect. I made fresh green beans with garlic and they were perfect too. If I must say so myself. We had rice with dinner. Grilled potato wedges would have been Emily's choice but that would have made the dinner too labor intensive. Anyway, I am feeling kind of yucky. I don't remember the last time I ate meat, and it's just a little heavy. Plus I ate so much. It was, however, delicious. I'm paying for it now.

I went to my Mom's this morning. I finally got to meet Nicki, the aide that comes to the house 3X a week. She was very nice. Mom and I went out for a while. She sat in my car while I ran her errands. She's still working on the same People magazine that she reads while she waits for me. I picked up a few dresses for Emily while I was out. This one might be it. Kind of fun, modest, and it fits. I went to Kit's after that. It was strange to see a hospital bed in the middle of her living room. It faces her bay window, and she's surrounded by everything she could need. There are flowers everywhere. I tried my best to be helpful and straighten up. Her nephew John came over to help her with some computer issues. It took a long time to get her wireless working so we didn't really get to spend time 'picking his brains' (what an expression). He did put an icon for Foxfire on my task bar, and put the document where I keep my passwords into a safe place. There were so many things I wanted to ask. I wish I knew someone to teach me stuff. Anyway, Kit's sister-in-law and niece came to visit while I was there. Kit was so happy to have the company. We got to talking about blogs. Celie couldn't believe people would want to read about my basement. I told her I don't only write about my basement, though I did for a while. I tried to describe the feeling of community there is amongst bloggers. I think you need to be one to understand. Finally I left Kit's to spend some time in my own home. And, here I am.

18 March 2007

And another Sunday comes and goes. I'm glad I still have Monday.

I did get some stuff done around the house this weekend. Cleaned my room and bathroom. Vacuumed the house. Did all the laundry. That's not bad. I've been meaning to work on my bathroom floor but only remember when I'm actually in it. My plan was to do a section at a time. I've become quite used to seeing the part of the white ceramic floor and grout that I've scrubbed with Soft Scrub with bleach look like it's glowing white compared to the rest of the floor that looks like it has gray grout. The clean part just gleams. If only I did a little each day...

Emily and I got out to the stores today. I was looking for a birthday gift for Kit, and she wanted to shop at American Eagle. Their clothes are obscenely priced, if you ask me. If she didn't have a 40% off coupon, I wouldn't buy anything there. She got a top, capris and shoes. I got a caramel latte from Barnes and Noble. That was a treat on a Sunday.

From there we went to Kit's brother's house where a lot of her family was gathered to celebrate her birthday. She got out of the hospital on Friday, and was happy to have her friends and family, including her 90 year of father, around. She was like a queen holding court. There was an amazing array of food there. Everything from shrimp cocktail to deli platters with corned beef, roast beef, turkey and liverwurst, which I was amazed to see people eat. I didn't think it appealed to the masses. I like it with coleslaw and mustard on rye, btw. Anyway, it was a great get-together. I used Kit's camera to take loads of pictures. She's making a blog for her Dad. He's a prolific writer, and she's putting together his letters along with family pictures. What a great way to use a blog.

Emily and I did a little more shopping at Marshall's, one of my favorite stores, on the way home. It's hard to find dresses in her size, and she needs one for the wedding we'll be attending. She did find a pair of capri's and a top for the price of one piece of clothing at American Eagle. So, it was a good shopping day for her.

I made some Perdue buffalo strips for dinner tonight. I didn't know buffalo meant hot. Our mouths were on fire as we ate them. I even shared Emily's milk with her, much to her delight. She doesn't like milk. Now I see why people have blue cheese dressing with wings. The creaminess must cool the fire.

I'll be visiting my parents tomorrow morning, then going to Kit's in the afternoon. She's having someone come to her house to work on her laptop. I'm always looking to learn, and hoping to pick up a thing or two.

And that's what I have to say, for now. La de da.

17 March 2007

I thought I'd take some pictures of the sleet and the emerging garden. It does make a pretty sight. Hopefully the daffodils will weather this storm. The snow stayed away, and the streets were totally cleared by morning. Work went on as usual. It was kind of a boring day. I had a few cancellations and had to sit around. When I go to work, I like to work. Fortunately, I stay busy most all the time.

I'm taking a break from cleaning to write. I guess you'd say procrastinating. I'll probably be back here later.

16 March 2007

Andrew was just asking about the weather. It's terrible! It started raining last night, and had kept up a steady heavy rain till early afternoon. I work in a converted warehouse with a flat metal roof that really conducts sound. We started hearing the pinging of sleet in the early afternoon, and as of right now, 8:30, it has not stopped. If you look outside, it appears that we have about an inch of snow. It's all sleet. It's 32 degrees now, so all of this will be freezing. The sleet should be ending then turning to snow. I think they're calling for up to 3 inches of that. This is a mess. I'm just praying that we don't lose our power. I called my first 2 clients for tomorrow and gave them my phone number. That way they can call me if they need to cancel. I brought their numbers home in case I'm the one to cancel. We'll see. It was foolish to think that bad weather was over. March is notorious for this. I don't want to miss work. I want to do my normal thing and go to Borders in the afternoon. I like my routines.

It's so quiet here. The only sound is the sleet. It's nice. I'm going to watch the last few episodes of Jericho on my laptop, if I can stay up that long.

PS. I never did get around to watching TV. Andrew and I e-mailed back and forth and with his help I got my posting problem all fixed. La de la!

15 March 2007

Proxima wrote that she misses seeing my face. How sweet. This is for you, Proxima.
I hate it when I don't know how to fix a problem. It's frustrating. I just sent a message to Blogger Help Group to see if they can help me with my posting issues.

I started writing this post sitting on my front porch. Thought I'd enjoy the warm weather. It got so chilly that I had to move inside. I'd say its dropped 20 degrees in the last few hours. We're expecting rain and ice tonight and rain and snow tomorrow. That's just cruel.

I went with my parents to see a lawyer today. Ever since my father fell and suffered a head injury 2 years ago, us kids (my brother and 2 sisters) have been meaning to get them in touch with an estate planner. We were so unprepared when he had his injury. My parents didn't have a living will, a medical directive, etc. No one had the power to write checks. My father made a complete recovery, thank goodness. Finally, today, we got the ball rolling to get their affairs in order. The lawyer I found limits her practice to areas of Elder Law, including wills, powers of attorney, trusts, Medicaid, asset preservation, etc. She was wonderful. She'll draft new wills and take care of documents like power of attorney and executors of the estate. We'll have someone to tell us kids what to do if/when one or both of them needs nursing care. How to protect some of their assets. What to do when a parent dies. I'm feeling very relieved. I also plan to get my own act in gear and will see her to draft a will for me. I've put that off long enough.

My parents and I ate at our favorite Chinese buffet for lunch. Mom and I eat out all the time but it's unusual for my father to be with us. He can control what he eats at home, but has no willpower in restaurants, especially buffets. As an eyewitness, I can tell you he can eat an embarrassing amount of food. My mother, a good eater herself, is very slow. Last time we were at the buffet, I told her no more 'small' food. Because of her stroke, she can only use one hand. You don't realize how much you need both hands to eat. Think of trying to get rice on your fork. She chases food around her plate, trying to get every bit on her fork. It takes forever. So, between my slow but intent mother and my hearty-eating father, lunch took forever. I thought of leaving them for a while to shop at the grocery next door. I really wouldn't have done that but it did take a lot of patience to just sit there. That was a few hours ago and I'm still full. I bought some huge shrimp for dinner. Emily will enjoy it. I think it will be salad for me.

14 March 2007

Is anyone else having a problem with Blogger? The post I wrote tonight vanished in a flash. I usually write in 'edit html' mode, then check it with 'preview'. The preview feature isn't working. When I clicked on 'compose', I lost everything I wrote. Thank goodness I wasn't long-winded with what I had to say. I was writing about the great pre-spring day we had out here. It's just such a relief. I sat outside for almost 2 hours after work, talking with my neighbor and watching our girls kick around a soccer ball. It got into the 70's today. One more warm day then it's back to the 40's. So this is just a tease. That's OK, we needed it.

I'm off tomorrow and have a busy day planned. I'm meeting my Dad at the service center I bring my car to. I'll leave my car there. I'm going with my parents to an estate planner. She's a lawyer who also writes a weekly column, Senior Moments. I've heard she's great, and my parents really need to get their affairs in order. We all should. After that, my Mom and I will go out to lunch. We missed out on doing that last week, and it's my mother's favorite thing to do. From there, I'll visit my friend in the hospital. I'll be home by 3:30 when Emily gets home from school. It will be a whirlwind of a day.

Well, it's almost time for Lost. I finally caught up with all the episodes I'd missed, so I can watch it 'live'. I'll catch ya later.

A miracle happened last night. I got 9 hours of uninterruped sleep. That makes me feel like yodeling! I think it's going to be a great day. Hope it's the same for everyone.

13 March 2007

I thought I'd start with these pictures of what my garden looks like right now. Dirt. This is the 'before' version. The unexpected nice weather we've had for the last few days got me motiviated and I'm ahead of the game. I'll put the compost down, then mulch, then wait. I'll post pictures of the garden as soon as things start blooming.

Amanda asked me what I've been reading. I usually have more than one book going at the same time. I'm listening to 'Nature Girl' by Carl Hiaasen. I love listening to audio books in my car. When I was a new mother I had no time to read. Audio books were my salvation and I'm totally hooked. I've listened to books that I'd probably never pick up. I even have favorite narrators. I'd highly recommend this medium. Some people buy their books but I get all my books from the library. At home, I'm reading cookbooks. I don't do much cooking, but I love reading cookbooks. I'm reading 'Best American Side Dishes' from the editor's of Cook's Illustrated magazine. They're the same ones that do the America's Test Kitchen show on public television. I've got a Rachael Ray cookbook waiting for me. I do love to cook, but don't have much opportunity because there's only Emily and me, and she's a picky eater. Last on my reading list is 'A Cup of Comfort for Mothers and Daughters'. It's a compilation of very, very short stories. I read them when I can't fall asleep or when I wake up in the middle of the night. I make myself turn on the light and read for at least a few minutes. It usually works.

Today was crazy busy at work. I love those kinds of days. I had a new client who was really nice. Very talkative and friendly. Interested. That kind of client puts me at ease. Usually it's the hairdressers working hard to do that for our clients. The day flew by. It was so nice to get off of work and have it still be light outside.

Blogger's been acting up on me tonight. I can't get the links, spellcheck or preview features to work. I better publish this before it does something like disappear. That would be a bad ending to an otherwise good day.

12 March 2007

I wrote a long post, read the preview of it, and decided it was about as boring as they come. I couldn't publish it that way, and the thought of fixing it up just seemed daunting. That happens sometimes. I'll just say it was a good day, and I was able to spend a lot of time with my friend in the hospital, a lot of time outside in the garden, and a few hours with my daughter. I'm ready to settle in with my book now. Till the next time... Thanks for stopping by.

11 March 2007

Today turned out to be a good long day. There were enough hours for once. It took me a while to get going--I was waiting for it to warm up outside. I was afraid I'd waste the day away and feel guilty later. Once the sun was shining in the garden, I made my way outdoors. I spent a few hours getting some hard labor in. It felt wonderful. It's good to be able to look back and see that you've accomplished something. (I still go down to the basement and look in wonder at how clean it is.) I'm now excited about the garden, which is what I was hoping would happen. It would be a shame to put the effort that's going to be needed into something I didn't have my heart in. At least I hope my heart is going to be in it. Does this sound like blah, blah, blah to you?

Emily's 'boyfriend' came over this afternoon for the first time. He was very nervous, which I thought was a good emotion. He does seem like a nice kid. I'm sure it was uncomfortable for him. Emily was very interested in what I thought of him, which led to a good conversation. My girl is growing up--something I have to accept. Fortunately, she has a level head on her shoulders. I pray that continues.

The day ended with dinner at the mall. It was a long day. A good night's sleep will be the perfect finish.
I slipped a little and had an extra shot of espresso yesterday. I always pay for that in the form of a bad night's sleep. I woke up, thinking it was close to morning. I didn't open my eyes. Tried to fall back asleep. Finally looked at the bedside clock in horror as it read 2:58 A.M. This was after going to sleep at 1:00. I got up and read for a while. I think I got about 4 hours sleep total.

I'm a little confused about what time it really is. Actually, I just called the number for time. I had changed the clock on my computer last night, but I guess it changed itself (like it has a mind of it's own) because it's an hour ahead of what it should be. Could my cell phone have automatically changed too? Like I said, confused.

So here it is, Sunday. The sun is shining, and the weather is nice. I plan to get outside and do some cleaning up in my garden. The year we moved into the house (it was new) I removed the grass in my front yard and planted a perennial garden. I'm on a cul-de-sac and the lots are triangular. My friend, an avid gardener, helped me plan the garden according to color, height, and bloom times. I bought most of the plants from a nursery to get the exact color and variety. Over the years, I've divided my favorite plants and integrated them into the garden. I've bought new ones wherever I could find them and planted them here and there. I've let the plants spread so I could have a full garden. What I have now, after 13 years, is a garden that needs a major overhaul. The two trees in the middle of it grew tall and blocked the full sun exposure. Last year I had my dogwood taken out because it was too close to the house. That tore things up. One of my favorite plants, yarrow, is everywhere. So is coreopsis and false sunflower. They're all yellow. I have a mostly yellow garden. Boring. Another favorite, perennial phlox, spread like crazy, but no longer has the vibrancy of the original plant. I really neglected the garden last summer. I never watered and it was dry. When summer was over, I pulled anything that would give. Now spring is around the corner, and I have work to do. Gardening is no longer the hobby it once was, but since I can't have a yard with just dirt, I have to get going. I think I'll see if my old friend can come by and help me get this garden back in shape.

Funny how some posts just take on a life of their own.

09 March 2007

I thought it was time to write about my lost pet, Zeus. He's not really lost. He flew away and must have died. I was never a pet person. I never wanted a cat or dog. I've always thought I must not have the gene responsible for pet love. Then I got a bird. My parents have cockatiels, and I took care of one of them for a winter. I found, much to my surprise, that I liked having a pet around. It was nice coming home or waking up to find a pet that was happy to be with you. My cockatiel, Zeus, came to us when someone placed an ad in the Pennysaver. He belonged to a family that no longer had the time to give him the attention he needed. I started out being really afraid of him. Of being bitten or pooped on. He became my buddy. When he wasn't sitting on top of his cage, he was on my shoulder. He'd stay on my shoulder for hours at a time. I'd vacuum, eat, watch TV, whatever. His favorite food was popcorn, and it was a riot watching him eat. I was thoroughly entertained by him. He loved water. He had a perch with suction cups that was made for the shower. He'd put his face right up to the pounding water and get completely soaked. He'd get in the funniest positions trying to get the undersides of his wings wet. It was pretty comical. I think we had Zeus for about 2 years. One day, I was really mad at Emily. I don't even remember why. I was washing dishes and feeling really sorry for myself. I looked out onto the deck, and thought I'd go out and fill the birdbath. I looked at the cage to make sure Zeus wasn't on top. The cage was not far from the door and I was always careful. I walked out, and as I was pouring the water, I felt something alighting from my shoulder. It was Zeus. I didn't realize he was on me. He flapped his wings and kept on flying. I just went crazy. Emily and I ran from the house in the direction he flew. It was over by the 'beaver pond'. We called and whistled for him. We could hear him. To make a long story short, we searched for hours. Our friend Sarah helped. We made and put up posters. Finally, I had to go to work. A few hours later Emily called from Sarah's. Zeus was in a tree at the edge of the woods by her house. They could see him. I told her to just keep whistling and calling his name, and that Zeus would fly to her. I hung up and continued with the highlights I was doing, but I wanted to be there. She called me back about 10 minutes later to say he wouldn't come down. I told her I'd be right there. I found someone to finish my client, and rushed to Sarah's. It took 20 long minutes. Finally I was there, along with Emily, Sarah, her husband and young son. I called for Zeus. He was so freaked out he was squawking up a storm. I guess that was what attracted the hawk that we watched, as in slow motion, fly to Zeus and grab him. Feathers flew, but Zeus was able to fly away. He must have been mortally wounded, though, and that was the last we ever saw of him. I searched for days, put ads in all the papers, etc...He was gone.

It took me a long time to get over what happened, and the fact that it was my fault. Zeus was a good bird, really funny, and I'm glad to know I have it in me to love a pet. If I thought that I could get another bird that would be as loving as he was, I'd get one in a minute. I always thought I'd get another bird, and maybe one day I will.


08 March 2007

It's early Thursday morning, and I'm going to write a fast one here. Because this is not on the schedule of morning things to do and I don't have permission to be here. (Bad Cheryl). I just got a Gevalia coffee maker and had a large cup of their Espresso Roast coffee. Whoa. I totally feel like I'm on speed. Back to my point of writing. Emily just asked me, 'When you're alone in the house, do you talk out loud?' I told her that if I do something like trip, or forget something, or hurt myself,etc. that I cuss out loud. She was floored by that information as she's never heard me say a swear word in her life. I told her there's lots she doesn't know about me. Her first reaction? 'Oh my God!! When I'm not with you do you not use coupons???' I don't think I could have heard anything funnier. I had to write that down. Then she pestered me to tell her what she doesn't know about me. Funny how kids think they know you. She tried in vain to get information out of me. Finally she said, you still haven't told me about the coupons! Oh, that. Of course I use coupons. Doesn't she know me?

07 March 2007

"I'll write after this one"
That's what I think to myself as I read yet another blog. That is, instead of writing in my own. I'll say this: I love bloggers. I love reading what ordinary people have to say. You find they're really unique. You read, and you write, and you feel a part of a community. A connection. We all need those connections. We write abut things that matter to us, and people let us know they appreciate what we have to say. I'm constantly amazed by what people have to say.

I spent part of tonight at the hospital. My good friend had emergency surgery for an intestinal problem. She'll be in the hospital for about a week but her prognosis is good. She called me this morning and told me she'd been vomiting for days with what she thought was food poisoning. I urged her to call her doctor. How strange to go to your doctor and find out you'll be having surgery in 4 hours that will change your life for a while. Apparently she was given some good meds and called all her friends to chat and fill them in before the time of her surgery. My daughter mentioned the call she got (while I was at work) while we were eating dinner. I jumped up and got on the phone right away. I'll visit her tomorrow, and then during the week. Fortunately the hospital is 15 minutes from here. She was a great visitor after my surgery. She gave me $100 to buy a surgery gift for myself. She's like that. I've only used half, and keep the rest in an envelope till I find just the right thing. I wonder what I can get for her? I'll bring my camera to the hospital and take pictures. She'll want to have them. Memories are very important to her. I'm anxious to see what she's like on morphine

Today was yet another snow day here. We got a grand total of about a half inch. The weather folks called it wrong at 3-5". Was there school? Nope. Need I say more?

I'll be spending the day with my Mom tomorrow. We were planning on a leisurly stroll through Walmart and then 3 Brothers for lunch. We'll have to change things around to include the hospital. Hmmm. The hospital is by Old Country Buffet, one of my mother's favorite places. I see a buffet in our future.

06 March 2007

I've always been one of those people who got their photos developed right away. Never an old roll lying around here. I have my digital pictures printed and put in albums. I will not tell you how long I worked on my photos tonight. How long it took to upload them to tabblo. How I deleted what I thought was a duplicate draft. That was 'the' draft. So, I'm giving up for now and I'll do the pictures when I'm over this.

Before this news get to be too old, I'll write about the trip to Charlotte. The shuttle to the plane was so efficient. The plane ride was smooth. No luggage to pick up meant I had only to walk out the airport doors and into my sister's car. We went directly to South Park Mall and spent the next 8 hours there. My sister and I have never shopped together and we made a great team. She bought about 6 'maybe' dresses for her son's wedding in May. I told my sales associate that I needed a dress for the wedding, that I'd like it to be on sale, and told her my size. She brought all kinds of outfits to the dressing room. That was fun. I think I wrote in a post that I bought 2 dresses for $14 each. We had our make-up done, ate dinner at The Cheesecake Factory. Shopped till we dropped. We didn't check into our hotel room till after 8:00. We spent the next morning exploring the city on foot. If we hadn't stayed in the city, we would have missed so much. The city is small enough to explore. We had breakfast at a great soul food place. I don't think we could have made a better choice. We eventually made our way back to the hotel, then to another mall. This one was Concord Mills, an outlet mall. I live near Arundel Mills, so it was pretty much the same. We went back to a restaurant in the city for dinner. We relaxed at the hotel for the rest of the night. I don't think we used the TV except for one morning. Monday found us back at South Park mall and The Cheesecake Factory for lunch. All too soon, it was time for the plane ride home. That smooth journey completed the trip.

My sister and I loved our time together. I wish we didn't live 600 miles apart. The memories we made are ones I'll cherish.

I decided to go ahead and make a slideshow of pictures. Like I could go to bed leaving this post unfinished. Right!

It was a great trip and I can't wait to do something like that again. I'll be working on my pictures tonight and write a real post then. I have a lot of blog reading to catch up on too. It'll be a busy night. Till then...

05 March 2007

I didn't promise this...

It's Monday morning. I'll be flying out of this wonderful city later in the afternoon. I'm taking a moment to write a short post. Just because.

My sister and I have had a wonderful time together. We will so this again next year. The hotel is great, but... I opened the TV cabinet and was happy to see a keyboard. Yes! It was true. Until I started going through the menu. Then I found it was $9.95 to use the Internet. I'm not sure for how many hours, but I decided this was a vacation and could be from the Internet too. That was fine. I did check my mail at the Apple store in one of the malls. Last night I asked the front desk if it would be possible for them to print my boarding pass for today's flight. They said I could do it myself in the business center room down the hall. Wish I had known that. I'm here now, with two computers, a printer, large windows, bookshelves, every kind of office supply. Nice. So, last night I go to print my boarding pass. Remember the problems I had before leaving when I tried to get them at United instead of US Air? That was not going to happen this time. Well, I tried, and tried and tried. I got an error message every time. I was beyond frustrated. It took forever. Finally I read that there was a problem with the airline and to try later. This morning I see that the system was shut down due to US Air and another airline that are joining forces. That was the problem. So, I now have my boarding pass in hand and will have an easy entry to the airplane.

I have been a picture-taking fool. You'd think I was making a documentary. I'll post them later.

Two malls down, one to go. I did buy a dress for my nephew's wedding rehearsal and a dress for the wedding. They were on deep clearance and I got them for $14 each. That alone would have made the trip a success.

Hope all has been well with you, my friends. More later!

02 March 2007

It's taken me all night to do nothing. I spent a frustrating amount of time trying to print my boarding pass. Had I been trying with the correct airline, it would have only taken a moment. It was a learning experience. I packed. That part was easy. My luggage is mostly empty--I'm not taking much. All my make-up and other personal stuff is in baggies to make it easier going through security. I think I'm ready. All I have to do is sleep. That would be easy if it weren't for the coffee I had at work. I couldn't resist.

I might post from the hotel. Still thinking of that 'remote controlled internet enabled television.' I'm anxious to see what that is. I'll be back, sooner or later!

01 March 2007

I wasn't going to write tonight. I have things I need to do and time is short. Here I am.

I'm getting excited about my trip on Saturday to Charlotte, NC. It'll be an adventure. Here I'm not a flier, but I'm rendezvousing with my sister for a weekend get-away. Woo-hoo! She and I see each other a few times a year, but it's usually when she's here to be with my parents. She stayed with me last year for a week after my surgery; that was a treat. Anyway, we tried to research what there is to do in Charlotte, but it felt like homework. We're not really museum-goers, and not into NASCAR (there's a track there). A movie would be good. So far our only plans are to shop and eat! It looks like there's 5 malls within 5 miles of each other. I'm not much of a clothes shopper, but I do like to shop. I'm sure there's a Border's there, along with the big box stores you see everywhere. I just might need to take more than carry-on luggage. We bid on the hotel we're staying at on priceline.com. From the website, it looks luxurious. The hotel rooms have remote controlled Internet enabled television. I'm thinking that's a computer, right? I wasn't planning on Internet access, but it looks like that's a definite possibility. Here's a description of the beds:

Getting rest and relaxation when traveling can be a challenge. That's why the Sweet Dreams® sleep experience is in all of our 175 hotels across North America. This sleep standard includes:

A custom designed, plush top-mattress
An inviting abundance of jumbo down pillows
A luxurious linen package of baffle-box down blankets, high-thread count linens with triple sheeting, elegant contemporary bedcovers and matching bedskirts

I'll add sleeping to the shopping and eating!