31 January 2008

The old cold is in full bloom. Different than the last. That one affected my voice more than anything. This has me really stuffed up. I'm eating my ham and pineapple Boboli pizza, thinking it's the last thing I may be able to taste for a while. Although I don't believe that over the counter remedies work, I bought Airbourne and have taken 3 doses so far. I figure it won't hurt. I also bought a Neti Pot, or 'nose bidet' to 'gently cleanse my sinuses.' I saw it demonstrated on Oprah, and thought, why not?

Anyone out there a Lost fan? Me, me me, I am. If I'd been paying attention I would have watched the catch up show last night. I'll be glued to the TV starting at 8:00. It's been a long wait and I'm excited.

The rest of my day yesterday went well. I went to Sam's Club and the grocery store. I went the easy route and got a rotisserie chicken. It was good, but way too big for the two of us. I froze the leftovers, but it's really much better when it's fresh. Emily was happily surprised when I asked if she wanted to go to the movies when she got home from school. We saw 27 Dresses and loved it! Despite the person sitting in our row talking on his cell phone. There were only 5 of us in the whole theater so it was really obvious.

Well, it's time to clean up so I can get down to the business of resting and watching TV. Later!

30 January 2008

I've been waking up early to drive Emily to school in the morning. In the past, she's had JD to hang out with for the 9 minutes between arriving at school and the start of class. Now she doesn't want to wait alone, and I told her I'd drive for awhile. I'm off today, with no real plans, so I got properly dressed and headed straight to Panera's, arriving at 7:30. It's 9:00 now; time flies when you're having fun. The sun's come out and the sky is a cloudless blue. The wind is blowing up a storm, and the temp is in the 40's. If I were home, I don't think I'd be as happy.

Monday night, I noticed my throat was feeling scratchy as I was reading Eat Pray Love aloud to Emily. It got worse yesterday as I talked all day long to my clients. (I have a lot of stories and always thank them for listening.) Today? I only have a whisper. This is so weird. I never get sick, and I had that looooog cold in December. I'm thankful that I'm not working today so I can completely rest my voice. I have a new client tomorrow, and it's really important to be especially inquisitive and talkative so as to put new clients (and yourself) at ease. I want my voice back!

I'm off today because tomorrow is our quarterly salon meeting, and as long as I have to be there for that, I might as well work. I'm kind of unprepared for this day off. It would be a good day to cook, but I didn't plan and have no recipes in mind. I might just search the web and go shopping straight from here. I'll stop in at Sam's Club since it's across the street. There's nothing I feel like doing at home, but the day will unfold, and it will be fine.

Well, it's time for me to look for some recipes. I hope your Wednesday finds you, hmmm, what? Thankful, I think.

28 January 2008

I wish it were earlier in the day. I'm not ready to say good-bye to my weekend. Two more hours before bedtime, and I know that time's gonna fly. I shouldn't be complaining as it's been a 3 day weekend for me. I got an early start today and headed out to visit with my mom. We went to lunch at one of our favorite Chinese restaurants and were the first customers at 11:00. One good thing about eating so early is you're not too full for dinner at night. I had Crispy Shrimp, rice and broccoli with a starter of Hot and Sour soup. We ran a few errands, then watched some TV on that serious HDTV I've mentioned before. I want one soooooo bad. That will actually segue me to the next topic. Did I spell that right? Electronics. I've wanted more memory for my laptop. From what I understand, memory is like a highway. The bigger the road, the more room cars have to whiz by. I want my computer to go faster. My neighbor and I researched what I needed on the net, and I ordered 1G of RAM from TigerDirect. Guess we messed up because I got desktop memory. I packaged that up and paid shipping and insurance to send it back today. Then I bought what I thought was the right kind from Staples. No, it's slightly off and won't fit. Finally I called Dell, and got the right part number, but the lowest price is more than I want to pay. So, I'll forget about it. I do need to find some way to speed things up. It's fast enough when I'm online, but getting to My Pictures takes forever. I think finding and deleting the videos I've stored will help. I hope. And then there's the TV thing. What does a person actually need in a HDTV? Why are there so many prices for the same size? 1080p or 1080i or 720p or 720i? How many inputs, etc, etc, etc...How does a person make a decision? It's just too confusing. And that's my story on that.

Em asked why I haven't talked about the break up with her boyfriend. I don't know if it will last, and I didn't want to invade her privacy. She said I talk about everything, and it's my blog. Well, it is my blog but I don't talk about everything. I'm very sad for Emily. No parent wants to see their child in pain. Emily has reached out to me, and I have happily been at her beck and call. It was good to have such a busy Saturday and Sunday to help keep her distracted. We have spent serious time together in perfect harmony. Today we even took turns reading 'Eat Pray Love' aloud. (I finally finished the Pray part. I disliked it SO much.) She's upstairs now, on the phone with friends. That's good. The new semester started today. Pre-season training for softball will start soon. New beginnings.

I haven't been on the computer as much as usual. I apologize for not stopping by your blogs as often as I'd like. If I haven't said hi, it's only cause I'm busy, not because I don't care.

Have I mentioned the fabulous Inn I'm going to next Sunday? I'll save that for another day.

Time to get back to the book. Till the next time...

27 January 2008

We had such a great Saturday. We started off at Arundel Mills Mall for some shopping therapy. Emily had gift cards and wanted new clothes from American Eagle. Then it was back home for us and time to get prettied up. I did the hair and make-up, and after getting ready, we drove our neighbor and her date to the ceremony. Everything about the wedding was artfully done. Everyone gathered outside after the ceremony to watch white doves released. I've never witnessed that before. Amazing. I wonder how they come back. I'm gonna Google that. It was absolutely freezing and the women in the bridal party and the bride wore sleeveless gowns! Because we live close to the church, we were able to come home for about 90 minutes before leaving for the reception. There were heavy appetizers including mini Beef Wellington, coconut shrimp, Maryland blue crab dip and antipasto. There was a full bar. We were seated in the grand ballroom at 6:00 for dinner. We were able to choose from Salmon Wellington, Filet and chicken and shrimp. I had ordered the Filet and Emily the chicken, but we switched. After dinner there was a chocolate fountain with bananas, strawberries, pineapple, marshmallow and sponge cake. They brought bowl to our tables with whipped cream, cinnamon sticks and rock candy sticks for our coffee. Then there was that beautiful blue cake. The music was fantastic. We sat at a table with our neighbors and literally danced the night away. It was a wedding to remember!

26 January 2008

If this was a regular Saturday, I'd be at work, half-way through my second client. Instead, I'm at home, drinking a cup of regular coffee. It's a rare day that I take a Saturday off. Em and I are getting ready to go to the mall so she can use her American Eagle coupon. We'll come home and start getting ready for the wedding. The ceremony starts at 2:00 and the reception at 5:00. It will be a full day. I'll be back later. Enjoy your Saturday.

24 January 2008

Just a quickie tonight. A post quickie.

I got in touch with the corporate office of the movie theater. I told them I wrote a e-mail about my experience with one of their theaters on Sunday, and was waiting for a reply. They asked which one, had me hold, then the woman began reading my e-mail out loud. I said, that's it. She was surprised that no one had called yet. She said she'd make sure a manager saw it today and someone would contact me. No contact.

Work was good. It's great to have the company of my clients. When I'm the one having a problem or need someone to bounce ideas off, they're there, and glad to listen. My clients know more about my life than my family. Have I said it's the perfect job for me? Of course I have.

So, tomorrow's another 11-7 day. And my 4th day of eating healthy. I think I'm over the sugar cravings. I was strong and resisted buying Jelly Belly's at Bed Bath and Beyond. I was proud of myself! I'm definitely a sugar addict. Jelly beans and candy corn are favorites. But, I regress.

Off to other things...for now....
It was kind of nice writing a post yesterday morning instead of after work. I find it hard to comment and write my own post in the same sitting. Plus I'm trying to spend a little less time on the computer.

It's Thursday, but I'm heading into work. Emily and I are going to a wedding on Saturday, so I switched days off. A couple that live on my cul-de-sac are getting married, and a bunch of us neighbors are attending. It should be a lot of fun, especially with all of us being seated together. I'll be picking Emily's dress up from the dry cleaner's today with the hope that they were able to fix it enough to make it wearable. We all agree that dress looks nicer than the back-up. I never did get in touch with the dry cleaners that ruined it. I didn't have time, and I'm sure they have some sort of clause about not being responsible. BTW, still no word from the movie theater in response to my e-mail. I'll call them tomorrow.

Have a great day!

23 January 2008

I don't usually write in the morning, but last night's post really didn't count. Today makes day 2 of waking up too early. What made me wake up at 4:30? And why do I rarely fall back asleep? I've had a lot on my mind, and everything just intensifies when you're in bed and can't sleep. I got out of bed at 5:30 and feel much better. One good thing about being up early is you have more time at home before work to do stuff. So here I am.

It must be windy, because my chimes are singing a tune on my deck. My camera has a sound record mode, and one of these days I'll see if I can put an audio clip on this blog. I've figured out how to record sound, but not how to transfer it. Emily just got up for school. Today is her last day of mid-terms and I'll be driving her. She wakes up at 5:30 when she takes the bus and 6:10 when I drive. She says that half hour of sleep makes all the difference and she stays awake during 1st period. I'm so thankful that she gets up by herself. When she was in elementary school it was a battle every morning. I'm glad this isn't one of the battles now. Really thankful.

Emily borrowed the Paper Mario Wii game from Blockbuster, and she's been playing it non-stop. I watch, but it holds no appeal. I tried playing tennis on Monday, but I gave up, too easily, really. Same with baseball. I think I need to find a time to practice when no one's around. My hand/eye coordination has never been good, and I can't figure out when to swing the bat or racket. One of my clients has Nintendo stock, and said the price has gone through the roof. Corporations like Sunrise, that own assisted living facilities all over the country, are putting multiple Wii's in all their facilities, along with big screen TV's. It turns out that formerly sedentary residents are playing Wii games in droves. There's Wii bowling leagues, tennis leagues, etc... My feeling is if Seniors can master the games, I should at least be able to play. Of course, these Seniors might have been real athletes in their younger days. Unlike me.

OK...it's time to get a move on. Happy Wednesday to you!

22 January 2008

Funny...I just published something to my practice blog by mistake. It was pretty boring, so I won't repeat it. Not much to say tonight...it was a pretty uneventful day. I'm going to chill out and read for the rest of the night. Hope all is well in your part of the world. I'll be back tomorrow!

21 January 2008

I thought I'd do a mid-day post. Not much going on around here but laundry and cleaning. I took Em's dress to a local dry cleaner today. They confirmed my fears about her dress. The pleats can't be pressed in once they've been pressed out. They do think they can fix the band on the bodice. That's what Emily wants done. So, I'll head back there in a while. They have a special if you bring in 5 items, and I've been wanting my kitchen chair pads cleaned. Also, the cleaner is in the same shopping center as the grocery store and I need to figure out dinner.

Fiwa asked about The Bucket List. It was good, but in retrospect, I wish I had waited to see it on DVD. I did write an e-mail to the corporate office of Muvico last night. I'd hate for what happened to us to happen to someone else. I'll let you know what happens.

While cleaning my room today, I had to clear the magazines off my bed to change the sheets. I started going through them, and making piles to throw away. I cleared out the stacks in my nightstands and closet. Why, oh why, have I kept two years of Real Simple? The recycle bin is now full, and I'll be giving away the new issues as soon as I'm done. It felt good to clean that up.

Well, time to look at cookbooks!

20 January 2008

I'm back. I should have written a little something to say I was around, since I usually write every day. Sorry! Where did I leave off? Ah, sleeping on Friday night. It was good. Saturday was a weird work day. My first two clients, both color and cut, mother and daughter, had rescheduled their Saturday morning appointments, but they never got erased from the book. So, from 8-10 AM, I had nothing to do. Not a good start to the day, but, oh well. That happens sometimes. As it turned out, I didn't have any clients after 1:00, so it was a very short work day. I got to Border's really early, and read Fast Forward magazine. From front to back. It was a great issue, BTW. I went to the library, and took out a few DVD's that I probably won't watch. I do that. Emily and I went to our favorite Mexican restaurant with our neighbor Kelly. Then we watched a DVD I borrowed from my dad, Liberty Heights. It was OK. It takes place in MD, so it's fun to hear about, and see, places you know.

I did my usual Sunday morning thing. I went to Kit's house first so I could see the progress she's made in decorating her basement. She wants it to be ready for the book club meeting she's hosting in February. For the book that I still haven't cracked open.

Is this post sounding like blah, blah, blah? It kind of sounds that way to me.

Emily and I went shopping in the afternoon. I made the mistake of bringing the dress she was set to wear to this weekend's wedding to a dry cleaning factory store. Mistake. They ironed out the pleats! They ruined the band around the bodice by ironing it wrong. This was the beautiful dress she wore to Homecoming. I really didn't know not to bring the dress to a $1.99 store. I didn't see the damage till today, and no place is open. So, we bought a new dress. I'll contact a good dry cleaner's tomorrow, but I don't know if the dress can be fixed. If it can, she'll wear it. Next we went to DSL shoes. I found comfortable heels, and so did Emily. Then we stopped by Border's for drinks to go. Then home.

Next stop...we went to the movies. Well, I went to the movies. My movie was starting at 5:15 and Emily and JD were seeing a 5:50 movie. Guess what? Unbeknownst to me, they weren't allowed in because they bought kid's tickets at the kiosk instead of student's. Emily was not allowed to go to my theater and get me, although she asked to. So, while I watched The Bucket List, thinking my daughter was safe in a theater, she was in the mall. For 2 hours. And you know what the manager told me when I expressed my take on the situation? He said he was sorry for the inconvenience. I told him it wasn't an inconvenience, it was a safety issue. I wasn't happy, as you can imagine.

And now I'm home, and here I am. And I watched The Runaway Bride while writing this. Sweet, but silly. Three movies in a weekend is a record for me. And if I don't sign off, this will never get sent!

18 January 2008

It's about 8:30 PM and I can hardly keep my eyes open! I'm turning off the computer and heading to bed. Have a great night on this start of a long weekend!

17 January 2008

Just a quick note: my father is home. Yeah! He was finally released and got home around dinner time. There's no place like home.

We watched The Rocket Farmer on DVD tonight. I loved it! I should watch movies more often!
A mid-day post, for a change. What a great day today has been. It seems late, but it's only about 4:00. I'll start by saying that my father's been waiting all day to be sprung from the hospital. I just got off the phone with him and he's still waiting for a doctor to come by and release him. Geez. No wonder health insurance is so costly. Perhaps the hospital has no patients waiting for a bed and by keeping my father past a certain time they get paid for another full day?

I headed out this morning to meet Bonnie at Panera's. She brought her pen tablet to play with. The coolest thing to me was to be able to write, with handwriting, and transfer it to a document. It seems like there's all kinds of things to do with a pen tablet, and everyone would like it. You could use it for photography, graphics, etc. Bonnie and I talked, talked, talked. We saw the snow falling outside, but didn't pay much mind to it. We showed each other our favorite blogs. Ate and drank coffee, and finally, after a few hours, knew it was time to leave. We walked out to a white-out! Here's a few pics:

It was a slow trip home. The snow was so wet and the roads so slushy that traffic crawled. That was fine. I came home and walked around the yard, marveling at the beauty of the heavy snow on the trees. I'd say there's about 3" of snow. I hope they don't cancel school tomorrow.

Is there nothing more classic that the bright red of a Cardinal against a snowy white background? I sat in a chair by the window just waiting for this shot.

The precipitation keeps changing from snow to freezing rain to snow again. I can see my neighbor Kelly shoveling her driveway, but I just don't feel like shoveling mine. I'm sitting on my couch, wrapped in blanket, watching cooking shows on PBS. I'm going to prepare the ingredients for tonight's dinner, then watch a DVD with Emily. Like I said earlier, it's been a great day.

16 January 2008

I called my mother this morning to say hello, only to be informed that she had called 911 for my father, and the paramedics were there. The only thing I got out of her was that he was on the floor of the bathroom, and something about him fainting. My brother and nephew were going to the hospital, and I would meet them if it turned out to be serious. Later I found out that he hadn't been feeling well that morning. My brother called to tell me my father was lucid, talkative, and in the emergency room undergoing all kinds of tests. I called my mother throughout the day, but all she knew was tests showed his blood sugar to be high, which could have caused him to faint. I drove to the hospital after work, and spoke to my SIL on the phone. It turns out he fell because he slipped on the bathroom rug! He hit his head and hip, but a CT scan and x-rays showed no damage, thank goodness. They've run all kinds of tests, and have him overnight for observation. He should be home tomorrow. He's shook up, and a little nervous. I told him he should be able to walk as well tomorrow as he did yesterday. And this brings me to a story and I'll start out by saying there should be NO throw rugs in the home of older parents. None. Two years ago my father slipped on the rug in front of the kitchen sink and fell, hitting his head on the refrigerator. He said it was a pretty bad fall, and his head bled, but he didn't even have a headache and that was that. About three weeks later, he had some problems with numbness in one of his legs. As the day progressed, he couldn't walk. We got him to the hospital, where a CT scan revealed that his fall caused a brain injury, called a subdural hematoma. He had major brain surgery, a Craniotomy. He was in the hospital for weeks, then a rehab hospital for months. He was in really bad shape. He couldn't walk. He was incontinent. It was a terrible ordeal. All because of a fall. He developed a blood clot while in the hospital, that caused problems that still plague him, but otherwise he made a complete recovery. It really was amazing. Anyway, we didn't throw out the bath rugs. No, we bought double-sided tape made for rugs, and attached the rugs to the floors. When the rugs get washed, the tape has to be reapplied. It works well, but apparently they ran out of tape, and, my dad fell. Again. This time, luckily, no brain injury. The doctors told us that any time an older person falls and hits their head, a CT scan should be done. So, keep that in mind if you have older parents or relatives. And no throw rugs!

I feel really badly for my father, all alone in the hospital. He said he never thought he'd be in a hospital again. The hospital brought back so many memories for me. It was the same one my mother spent weeks in when she had her stroke. It was the first time I'd been back there. I remembered the parking lot so well. The emergency room. The sidewalk we wheeled her out to the first time Emily came to visit because we didn't want Emily to see her in the hospital bed. I remembered the chairs we got from other rooms that we put together to make a 'bed' so we could spend the night. All those memories came flooding back. When my mother left this hospital, she spent months in a rehab hospital. The same one that my father went to when he had his brain injury two years ago.

I told my parents they had both used up all their hospital stays. Apparently my father didn't listen. I hope tomorrow I'll be writing that he's home.

PS... For Crusty... I had Dove dark chocolates for dinner. About 15 of the little ones. I'd never bought them before, and never will again. Obviously I can't control myself. I won't tell you what I had for dessert!

14 January 2008

I spent a good part of today with my mom. Now that the holidays are over, we'll get back to our normal routine. I wanted to check out my parent's new 'home theater' system. My father just bought the top of the line Samsung 52" LCD HDTV, along with a Blu-Ray disc player and a HD-DVD player, and had The Geek Squad install it. They already had the Bose surround sound system. And probably hundreds of DVDs. So I asked my dad how he liked watching DVDs on the system, and guess what? He hadn't seen any because he didn't know how. I decided to try to figure it out for them. I can't believe how complicated it is. It's a wonder that anyone can play a DVD! You have to start with the Bose remote and switch it to AUX. Then use the Samsung remote to turn on the TV. Then the Toshiba remote to turn on the DVD player. Then the DirectTV remote and switch it to HDMI2. Then back to the Toshiba remote, and finally, your movie. I didn't even try the Blu-Ray player. I typed out the instructions for my parents, and think my father will probably 'get it.' I don't think my mom will, and she watches a lot of movies. She'll just go into another room and use another TV. I know they have universal remotes, but I don't know that it would be easier--they look like complicated little computers. You'd probably need The Geek Squad to set up the remote! With all TVs going digital next year, and then the digital DVD players to go with them, there's going to be a lot of confused people.

So my mom and I went to Old Country Buffet. She love it there, and actually, I do too. The problem is I always, every single time, overeat. I think the food is fresh and delicious. A person could have a really good, nutritious meal. Could. But not me. Why, oh why, did I have that piece of cheesecake after having a dinner-plate size dessert of bread pudding, peach cobbler, apple crisp and banana pudding with a generous mound of soft-serve ice cream in the center? After 2 plates of lunch? I don't kid when I say I can eat at those buffets. And why I should stay away.

I hung out with my mom at her house till her soap, Passions, began. That is one racy show! I left and drove over to HomeGoods and browsed the aisles. Then I came home. I caught up on my newspapers while watching Oprah and the news. Then it was on to dinner (my appetite returned, somehow), and time with Emily. I sat by her side while she read through all the archives of Becca's blog. She's the daughter of one of my co-workers, and I really enjoy her blog. I wanted Emily to listen to the music on it (ever heard of Landon Pigg?), and she was hooked and read every single post. Em's upstairs doing homework now, and here I am. Ready to put this day to rest!

13 January 2008

There are so many ways to waste time on your computer. I thought I'd write a mid-day post before finally settling down to read. The dashboard showed I was on post 501, which I didn't think was right. I went to edit, and saw a lot of drafts. Unless I'm missing something, you have to delete them one by one. You know, hit delete, on say, post 258, then view post 258 and hit, yes, I really want to do that, then the screen refreshes and brings you back to post 1 and you have to scroll to find post 259. Well, it's cleaned out. I did find 2 meme drafts. They're the only drafts I kept. Cause one day, you know,...

I met Kit at our lodge. See, it's changed from Caribou to 'the lodge' to 'our lodge'. I had a conversation with a woman sporting a Caribou duffel bag. She was just settling into a leather lounger with a book. I asked if she worked there, as I noticed her logo-ed bag. She showed me her Caribou shirt, and told me she just loves to hang out there. She lives nearby with her husband and teenage sons, but comes in about three times a day. Wow! My once a week is nothing!

I went to the grocery store to pick up ingredients for a couple of meals. When I was checking out I saw a man rush in, pick up a store circular, and page through it. As I was walking to my car, I saw him hurriedly get into the car next to mine. I worried that he was going to back out without looking. Glancing in his car as I opened my door, I saw him reading the circular. Strange..he had been in such a rush. Then I looked in the back and saw twin babies strapped in their car seats. He had left them alone in the car! In the middle of a busy, big shopping center. Shame on him. Whatever he was looking for was not worth the risk of leaving those babies alone.

I thought about doing something 'exciting' today, but Emily wanted to watch the football games on her friend's big screen TV, and there was really nothing I wanted to do. I read Summer's blog, and got to thinking about happiness. She was talking about memories of her grandmother's kitchen, and how happy the sounds and smell of the running water in that kitchen made her. It made me think of how lucky I am to be happy with my little life. How the sounds of my chimes bring me real pleasure. How I can sit on my porch in nice weather and just be content. How I like my routines. I'm content. Would I like a more exciting life? In some ways. I'd like more friends. I'd like to be asked to do stuff, to be invited, to be part of a group. But I'd still need my alone time. I'm never lonely. I wouldn't mind hanging out with a bunch of you. I'd name names, but I wouldn't want anyone to feel left out. (It's the middle child thing...middle sister, I should say) Some of you have exciting lives, and I'd like to experience that. I'd like to live in Palm Springs, and WA, and Florida and AL. And GA with my sister. But, I'm here, and I'm alright. Reading about the lives of my blogging friends lets me travel along with you. So ladeda.

I made the dough for Ree's Oatmeal Crispies earlier today. It's in logs in the refrigerator waiting to be baked. I bought pork chops and Shake and Bake and we'll have that and broccoli and couscous for dinner. I used Happyone's recipe for Eggplant Parmesan, and made two pans of it. I ate a slice for lunch and it was delicious. I'll bring one of the pans to my mother tomorrow. I thought of making bread and looked through a cookbook, then thought, why? I was busy enough. I did a few loads of laundry. Listened to Em's iTouch while browsing through the papers. And did this writing instead of reading my book. Ah well. There's always tomorrow. And with that, I'll sign off and start the dinner.

12 January 2008

I've been a couch potato. I've sat in the same spot since coming home from Border's, catching up on every blog. I did get up to make dinner. Well, heat homemade lasagna in the microwave. And eat ice cream. Just wait, tomorrow I'll have nothing to do and there'll be no new posts to read. That's OK. I really have other things to do. Like read Eat Pray Love for my book club. I read the first third of the book this past summer, loved it, then couldn't get through the 'Pray'. I fought it being the club selection, but lost. So, I have the book and will try my best to get through it. It's probably still on the bestseller's list. I know people love that book. I just don't wanna read it.

If you go to Bon's blog, you'll see a picture she made for me with her pen tablet. I don't know what a pen tablet is, but I want one. Thanks Bon, and here's a picture for you. My father bought a P. Buckley Moss print for all of his grandchildren. This is Moss's 'Emily'. I thought of it as soon as I saw your picture. Uncanny, huh? Different, but similar.

Here's another picture, and I've meant to put it up for a while. It's for Happyone. I took this picture at the Fredrick Craft Show just for you.

Bon and Happyone live near me. I met Bon when I did her hair, and made a blogging addict out of her. One day we'll meet Happyone in person.

Well, it's almost 9:00 PM. I think I'll get up and do something productive.

PS..Andrew...this update's for you!

11 January 2008

I have to figure out a way to balance reading posts and writing them. I intended to write tonight, but look at the time! Too late for me on a Friday night. Saturday's start too early.

See you after work!

10 January 2008

I didn't disappear, although I've been away longer than usual. Sometimes there's just not much to say or I get busy. I have to pretend I have a life away from here. Kidding. I'm only 71% addicted, unlike Bon. I think she's 86%.

Crustybeef wrote the most amazing comment on my last post and I can't wait till Emily reads it. I also want Em to read some of the posts where people have written letters to their 13 year-old selves. It could put her perspective of 'I know everything now' in a different light. I'll make a confession, and you probably won't be surprised. I was a really good kid. I got along with everyone. I didn't rebel. Yes, I did some things my parents didn't know about, but luckily, I smartened up before it was too late. One of my biggest regrets is that I starting smoking at 17. Stupid. My parents smoked and I swore I never would. I mostly hid it for the almost 20 years I smoked---from clients, boyfriends, etc.. I led a double life. I was a good girl and that went against my 'image.' So, now, I'm dealing with an opinionated, very strong-willed daughter, and it ain't easy. She really is mostly all good, really.

So two guesses where I'm at? Panera's. I had their creamy vegetarian tomato soup with cheese croutons and a wedge of sourdough bread. I'm at my favorite location, in Laurel. I knew I'd be shopping at Sam's and Target and brought my laptop along just in case I wanted to eat and blog from here. Right. Just in case! This is the first time I've blogged during the lunch hour, and it's one hopping place. I think it's bigger than most of the locations, so I don't feel like I'm taking up valuable space. The Panera's in Bowie is much smaller and my mother and I often have to wait for a table.

Well, I better go before I wear out my welcome. Later!

09 January 2008

Just a quick hello. There was teenage drama here last night, so I wasn't around. All is well; my daughter needed me and I was there for her. I'm just glad she let me in.

Have a great Wednesday. I'll be back tonight.

07 January 2008

I checked my blog a little while ago and was surprised to find an old post there. Then I remembered I just thought about posting.

I woke up a little before 7:00 and wondered what to do with my day, besides cook that roast. I made a list of the things I needed to return, and decided Annapolis was my best bet. Should I go downstairs and make coffee and start getting ready? Hmmmm, no. Getting ready right away and going to Panera's in Annapolis for coffee and breakfast was a better plan. So, I jumped out of bed, showered and got ready, and was at my first destination by about 8:00. I'd never been to that location, but it was as nice as they all are. I had a few cups of the robust blend coffee and a cinnamon crunch bagel with low-fat hazelnut cream cheese, my favorite. So much for watching my weight...grow. I spent a bunch of time on my laptop, a happy person. You know how I feel about Panera's. Then I went to Circuit City to exchange the tripod I got for Christmas for a very compact model. Exchanged an Under Armor shirt for Emily at Modell's. Returned something to the beauty supply store. Went to Lord and Taylor's to see if they still had the white feather tree. And they did. I spoke to the salesperson to see what the bottom line was. With coupons, a new account and the sale, it would be $80. I straightened every branch, and looked at it from every angle. I decided I didn't really like it. What a relief. I don't ever have to second-guess myself about that again. I went to Macy's to return something, and found more Martha Stewart faux-vintage ornaments all marked down to $1.99. Now that was 'a good thing.' I'll be so happy next winter when I find all the new ornaments I'll have forgotten I bought! That was my last stop, and I came home to cook. I set my laptop on the counter, went to The Pioneer Woman Cooks blog, and the page featuring her pot roast recipe. I followed it precisely, cause I'm like that. And...how fortunate for me: the only two fresh herbs called for were the only two I grow, and they're evergreen: rosemary and thyme. So, pot roast in the oven, I was off to: (I'm liking my colons today)

Yes, the hammock. It was wonderful outside today. I took lots of pictures while I lay there. Mostly deleted ones. The sky was the most glorious blue.

I took a lot of sky pictures. I borrowed Em's iTouch while she went out running, and listened to a John Mayer album while checking my e-mail and reading some blogs. Sounds like a slice of heaven to me. Finally, it got chilly and it was time to move inside. But not for long. Cause here I am again on my porch.

I cooked the pot roast for 3 hours, not peeking once. Here's what it looked like when I took the lid off:

I think it looks a lot like Ree's picture. It tastes delicious. I have some egg noodles boiling on the stove, and fresh green beans in the microwave. Pot roast, anyone? With just Em and I, it's gonna last a long time. Good thing there's a freezer.
The pot roast was beyond delicious. How could something so simple taste so good? JD said it was much, much better than his mother's and he couldn't believe I'd never made it before. Emily couldn't eat it fast enough, she loved it so much! I am a happy camper.

06 January 2008

I'm sitting in my old favorite spot, the front porch. The winter view is so much different than that of the other seasons. The main colors are green and brown. I have a lot of evergreen bushes, and the lawns are mostly green, along with the pines in the distance. Everything else is brown mulch and bare trees. I'm looking up at my big old pear tree. The branches are empty of those nasty berries, and the walkway is clear. The two months of dealing with the tree's mess is worth the good aspects of the other ten. Or so I say now. If I didn't have the tree I wouldn't have a place to hang my hummingbird feeder, and if I didn't have that, I'd have no reason to spend so much time on my porch.

Today was warm by MD standards. I think it was in the high 50's, and by mid-week should be in the 60's, before going down again. I spent the afternoon taking down all of the outdoor Christmas lights. It was nice to have an excuse to be outside. I hadn't realized that the deck lights weren't functioning. When I was taking them down I found many sites where the cord had been bitten clear through. Hello squirrel buddy of mine. I really wasn't surprised, although it was the first year that happened. It must be because of my Squirrel Buster feeder. Tit for tat.

I met Kit at the 'lodge'. We had a cozy couch to share and lots to talk about. Meeting her for coffee every Sunday is a LJ (I got that from Andrew..little joy). I came home and soon after Em and I left for Grace's Fortune. There were 10 of us for brunch, and we were in a separate room with a huge round table that probably could seat 15. The table had a huge lazy susan in the middle. The buffet items were unlike any that I've seen before. This was fine Chinese dining. The array of desserts was amazing. I won't even try to describe them. If you live anywhere near the restaurant, in Bowie, I'd highly recommend it. My brother and father picked up the tab, but I imagine it was at least $20 per person. My family was surprised by how much I ate. I told them I went to Golden Coral last night to prepare for today. Silly me. I ate small portions of many things. I was not overly full. On our way there, Emily grumbled about the buffet. She thought it was one that we don't go to anymore. When she saw the offerings, she said she was eating the brunch and not ordering off the menu like we planned. For most of her life she was such a picky eater, that I forget she actually likes food. She eats out a lot with her father, and I'm always surprised by the things she tells me she likes. The most recent was oysters in a tomato based sauce. Not for me!

The family outside of the restaurant. My brother had to be talked into this one.

I'm back in the house now. It got too cold outside for comfort. I really wanted to put out the hammock for a while, but the day just slipped away. There's always tomorrow.

I had two things I meant to write about before but forgot. Here's the first: Last week Emily wanted to wear her slippers to my parent's house for our visit and asked if we had to stop anywhere first. I told her I didn't know, but that her slippers look like suede clogs, and they'd be fine. We went to a huge and busy grocery store to pick up the lunch platter and what did we see? A man (not a kid or teenager) wearing a green flannel robe, with exposed bare legs, and slippers. And here Emily was worried about her slippers. Here's the second thing: When I was at the grocery store yesterday I checked out at the line by the cartons of cigarettes. There was a sign announcing that the MD tax on cigarettes went up $10 per carton and $1 per pack effective January 1. If ever there was a time to quit, this would be it. The average price of a carton was $51.50. I'm so glad I'm a former smoker. How do people afford it?

I finally bought the chuck roast to make my pot roast. The meat employee was putting out her wares and I told her I'd never made a pot roast and asked if she could show me a good package. She was surprised, as are most people when I tell them that, and was happy to educate me. She told me to look for good marbling, looked through the packages, and picked one out for me. I really meant to make it today, but got involved with outdoor chores. I'll make it tomorrow. It's not like we're going to be hungry for dinner after that buffet.

This post is way too long. I hope it held your interest. I'm tired out, and will be happy to hang out on the couch tonight without feeling lazy. I'm off tomorrow and have no plans other than cooking. Ladeda.

05 January 2008


What a day! Let's see...I have to think because the morning seems like it was a lifetime ago. My first new client of the day didn't show up. One of our receptionists called, and apparently she had canceled the appointment a while ago but it never got taken off the books. So that was a wasted hour. The next hour was reserved for the other new client. She'd been going to the same hairdresser for 20 years, but the hairdresser moved to Colorado. She had her hair done by another stylist in the same salon, but the haircut she got was nothing like the pictures she brought in. Today's cut was the start of fixing it. She was so nice! She was recommended by a client of mine who's about as nice as they come. She loved her hair and told me that I was as nice as she had been told. She gave me a hug! The receptionist told me how excited and happy the client was when she checked out. Now do you see why I love my job? But I have to put in a disclaimer here. I come off sounding like I'm wonderful, but I'm not wonderful. I'm very warm and welcoming to my clients. I treat them like friends. I really care about them, and they know that and appreciated it. I probably get much more out of our relationships than they do. I don't have much of a social life at home, but have a very active 'social life' at work. At home I live with a head-strong teenage daughter. Get it? She would tell you that I'm not wonderful; she knows how to pull my strings and sees it all--the good, the bad, the ugly. The normal person that I am. My job is the perfect one for me. It brings out my really good side.

Border's was wonderful. I had my usual. The family I talked about last week was there, drinking the cafe's tea. I read Consumer Reports and PC World. I went to the library and the grocery store on my way home. I called my neighbor when I got home and asked if she had dinner plans. We made up to go to Golden Corral. My mother's going to be so jealous when she finds out. There were 5 of us, we had a great time, and the food was delicious. Of course I ate too much. Emily was at JD's house and didn't want to join us, so she came home after I got back.

Emily used her own money to buy an iTouch today. OMG! It is one awesome piece of technology. It's an 8G iPod that also has wireless wi-fi, along with all kinds of features. I guess you'd call it a PDA? My blog looks so cute on it in miniature. I played around on it a little, but Emily's putting all her iTunes songs on it now.

Kit sent me a e-mail asking if I wanted to meet at the 'lodge' for coffee. I guess she read my description of Caribou! So, that will start my morning. I'll go back home and pick up Emily to meet my family for brunch at a wonderful Chinese restaurant to celebrate my nephew's 21st birthday. I've heard the brunch is elegant and the food is outstanding. Emily's not crazy about going, and hates buffets, but she'll be there. She'll order off the menu. I love Chinese food!

Well, I see it's after midnight. I wish I felt more tired, but will try to go to sleep. I wake up too early no matter what time I get to bed.

04 January 2008

I was just looking at the cover of my 2007 calendar, and it gave me an idea to add to the meme I'm going to post one day. It was #8 on my list, just so you know. I'd tell you more but it's going to be a surprise.

So it's Friday night and I'm home alone, as I always am on Fridays. It's the one night a week Emily spends with her dad and step-mother. They have a really nice house in an over-55 community about 20 minutes from here. Emily has a beautifully furnished bedroom with an attached sitting room and her own bathroom on the floor above the master bedroom. She has a dog, Elvis, that lives there. Their house is decorated so differently than mine. I never did like his style of furniture when I met him...it's very modern...so it is good to see that he's surrounded by the things he likes. I haven't talked much about him, but from what I have said, you can probably tell that he's a really good dad and a good ex-husband. We don't have any problems. He married the widow of his best friend, and I knew them both from his work functions. My ex and his wife took early retirement; I'm not sure what they do with their time. I hope they're happy. I'm happy. I have no clue why I decided to write about that subject.

Today's new client was the sweetest girl. She's a senior in college but looked like she was in 10th grade. She was interesting and talkative. It doesn't get much better than that. I had a very busy day with all good clients. Three of them brought me belated Christmas gifts. One of them, the nicest lady who I've done 3 times, gave me a hug and kiss after I finished her hair. She said, I'm so glad I met you. How nice is that? She's given me a big hug everytime I've done her hair. She has an almost 96 year old mother who lives on her own, and who she helps out, and a husband with some type of debilitating disease who needs an aide and is confined to a wheelchair. I'm so glad I can do something for her that makes her so happy.

I can't wait till work is over tomorrow and I'm sitting in my favorite place. I've got a new stack of Border's gift cards just waiting to be spent on caramel lattes.


02 January 2008

Tomorrow starts the reality of back to work as usual, although it's only a 3 day week. I won't have time off again till my summer vacation. Days off seem to fly by whether you have 2 in a row or 5. This day was a really good one. It had a balance of busy and still but not lazy. Let's see...paperwork and cleaning up a bit. Undecorating the tree, and lugging the three sections of the tree down to the basement. The middle and bottom sections weigh a ton, and I was very careful walking down the basement stairs. I vacuumed the whole downstairs, so it's back to normal. Well, better than that. After having the house in perfect shape for about a month, I'm going to try too maintain it. Keep piles from accumulating on the counters, dining room table, and coffee table. Etc. Clean up after myself and encourage Emily to do the same. There's nothing like a clean and neat house. I grew up in one like that.

I went to the grocery store to buy ingredients for The Pioneer Woman's pot roast, but the meat was too expensive so I bought chicken breasts instead. I'll make the pot roast this weekend. Tonight I made a recipe my ex gave me for 'unfried chicken strips.' This was the second time I made it. The first time I didn't care for it, but thought it was my fault. This time I followed the recipe exactly, and didn't like it again. I froze the leftovers and will cut the strips up to put in my salads, and it will be fine that way.

I made my red pepper salad dressing, and tomorrow will be the start of eating normally again. I have 3 bags of Fresh Express salad blends in the fridge, yogurt, chicken, fruit, etc... I ate the last of the banana pie for breakfast. No more cookies, candy, nuts, etc... It will be good to lose a few pounds, although I didn't do too bad this holiday season. Somehow.

I didn't get to do any blog reading today, and I'm going to make myself sign off now so I can finally start that book before I turn in.

Till the next time...

01 January 2008

How was my day you ask? OK, you didn't ask. But you might have been wondering. We left for my parent's house at 11:30. My mother had been seeing to every detail of this get-together, and I wanted to make sure we were there on time. I think I mentioned that we always went to the folk's house for a big ham dinner on New Year's Day. Since my mother's stroke, we've had some events at her house, but us kids did everything. This year she was determined to take care of it, and attendance was required. I picked up the platter my mother had ordered, along with the beer. My sister got to the house early and set out all the appetizers. There were 11 of us, and we ate a lot. Chips and dips and cheese and crackers along with a bread bowl with dip. Then we had a late lunch of all kinds of deli meats, cheeses, breads, potato salad and Fumi salad (a kind of Asian coleslaw). Somehow we squeezed in the banana pie. It was just a relaxing day at 'home' and my parents were very pleased to have us there. We made up that we'd do it again next year.

We got home around 4:30 and I've been sitting on the couch for the last 4 hours. I've done a few loads of laundry (fortunately the laundry room is only about 20 feet from the couch). I've caught up on all the newspapers since before Christmas. I couldn't tell you what I've learned and wonder if that wasn't a waste of time. I've had the TV on in the background and watched the news, ET, and a show on The Discovery Channel called Dirty Jobs. I really wanted to start a book but instead I've just been lazy, lazy, lazy. It's a good thing tomorrow's a new day. I do not like being lazy. Lazy is not my thing.