31 July 2008

I think I'm almost ready. I've been methodically packing and gathering. We're going to be a crowded house at the beach. First Em was going, then not, then maybe, then not, and now, today, it was decided that she'd be coming and bringing a friend. Now Kelly's daughter is seeing if her friend can come. So, we went from being 4 to being a definite 6 and maybe 7. Can everyone say a little prayer for us? For everyone getting along? Getting everything in my car will be interesting. My mom has her motorized scooter. It takes up a lot of room. That means everyone has to pack extremely light. We have 4 beach chairs and an umbrella. And stuff. It will all fit, one way or another. Em was able to borrow 2 pairs of noise canceling headphones from her father so she and Leah can watch DVD's on my laptop in the car and Mom and I can listen to our audio books. I plan to buy a big bag of jelly beans from Walmart on my way. I'm an addict, I'll admit, and love eating them, especially on car trips. (Walmart sells a brand that must be made by Jelly Bellies, and it comes in a bag that's over a pound. It might last me the week.) I also drink lots of coffee. I like to drive, and it will feel like vacation the moment we get in the car. We'll go about 300 miles to Smithfield, NC where we'll spend the night. I'll be wearing my famous sun dress. Well, famous with my family and friends. It's my driving dress. Everyone expects to see me in it on long car trips. It's comfortable and easy. Not too attractive, but who cares when you're on the road? I got it from a Big Dog store many, many years ago. It's called the Big Dog Dress and here it is:

The emblem says 'I love my big dog'. Have I ever mentioned I don't like dogs? Don't hate. I'm not much of an animal lover, but I love my Big Dog dress.

Well, it's time to put this day to rest. I wish I could say I'd be sleeping till 8:00, but I'll probably be up at the crack of dawn tomorrow.

I don't think we'll have Internet access in our condo. That's going to be hard! I have the addresses of all the Starbucks and Panera's in town cause I'm probably going to visit them. I might not be able to read your blogs, but I'll try to post when I can. Till then...
Boy have I been busy. Surprise, huh? No?

I couldn't get anything done last night. Just sat around, and you know I'm not happy doing that. I'm a morning person anyway. And, true to form, I woke up early and decided it was a great time to clean. I love coming home from vacation to a very clean house. Well, now I will. It's done. Anyone remember what I came home to last year? A very clean house that stunk like an unflushed toilet that had been brewing for 2 weeks? Due to the bag of potatoes I left on my hardwood pantry floor? Well, that won't happen again. This year I want no surprises.

Today is my last day of work! Finally. It's hard being a short-timer, but that's just how it is before vacation. I hope I have an easy day, and maybe even get to have a real cup of coffee.

I'll write again before I leave.

Happy Thursday!

30 July 2008

Feeling Blue

But in a good way. I've gotten a lot of comments. It is a pretty noticable color. A few have asked me if Emily picked the color out for me. Am I that old and predictable? NO! These are my favorite Crocs, btw.

Happy Wednesday!

29 July 2008

Somehow I have a few minutes before work. Must be because I didn't turn on my computer till now. I spent most of my time working on my toes. Last week I gave myself a pedicure that looked really great. I don't like doing my own, but I don't like paying for them either and I do a perfect job. Yesterday I was at the beauty supply store and saw a new OPI color, "Teal the Cows Come Home". I had to get it. Teal for vacation. In the meantime, I've had those toe separator things on for so long that my toes hurt, but I'm not taking them out quite yet. One base coat, three of color and two top coats is a lot to dry and I don't want to mess them up. I'm going to Lowes and Bed Bath and Beyond before work this morning, and I'll take them off at the last minute.

I work today, tomorrow and Thursday. It will be another crazy busy week, but then it will be vacay time. I'll leave on Friday morn.

Have a great Tuesday!

28 July 2008

Caramel latte, extra shot, extra hot. With lid on. Thank you Mo.

So, how many of us were up at 4 AM? I'm not sure why I was, but I didn't stress since I'm off today and can drink real coffee. I realized I needed an oil change before my trip and checked online to see that the Honda dealership opened at 7. I did some online banking, finished deleting unwanted songs from my mp3, got the light timers out, and did other things to get ready for my trip. I was at the dealer at 6:50, only to find the sign on the door saying it opened at 7:30. Grrr. I was one of the first checked in, and was told the mechanics come in at 8:00. Grrr. Fortunately I was able to program their TV to the Today Show, and I had my newspaper. My car was done at 8:20, and I headed up here to Panera's. It's been a while since I've been at my favorite place. Favorite except it's the one I lost my phone at. I loved that phone. I lost $400 at another Panera and spilled coffee into my laptop at yet another. But I still love the place.

Yesterday was a rare day at home day. I spent most of it writing lists for the trip and working on my mp3. Lots to do on the computer too: stopping mail, newspaper, making motel reservations (we'll split up the trip and stay in Smithfield, NC overnight), etc.. I made cookies too. At about 6:30 Emily asked if we could go to the pool to swim laps. Of course! It had been a weird weather day. Earlier it stormed violently, including hail. Then the sun came out for the rest of the day. We were the only ones at the pool. Emily knew the lifeguard and spent most of our time there talking to her. That was good.

I'm going online to see if Myrtle Beach has any of those wheelchairs that can go on the beach. It's the only way my mom will be able to get out there. (I checked a few years ago and they didn't have them.) Her walking has really deteriorated, and the beach is so wide. She'll be able to go to the pool, though, and the balcony of the condo overlooking the beach. She'll just be happy to be there. My neighbor Kelly is going to be such a help to me. Last night she said we should alternate days being my mother's helper. She's insisting on it. How's that for a friend?

Happy Monday to you! I hope I can stop by all your blogs today. I hate being behind.

26 July 2008

It's been a while since I wrote a real post. Will this be real? We'll see.

I'm sitting outside Starbucks...the same one I was at last week. Bought dinner from Baja Fresh again, this time fish tacos. I ate them but didn't like them much. I had a big cookie from Starbucks for dessert. That was great! I mentioned last week that almost every business in this strip has outside seating. I think I wrote my alone but not lonely post from this same table. I hope a sudden thunderstorm doesn't pop up like last time.

I'm so glad my work week is over. I wasn't busier than usual, it was the way my appointments were scheduled that wore me out. Here's an example. Color application is booked for a half hour but can only take 20-25 minutes to apply. That means you can have a 5 minute break before your next client. Haircut appointments are 30 minutes too. If you have back to back HC appointments, there's not a minute in-between. If you're running late, well, you're working in a deficit. I worked three days in a row in deficit mode. No time to eat or pee. 'On' every moment. I'm actually very good at it. I just collapse at the end of the day. I was so glad to get to Borders this afternoon. Ahhh, my reward. I stayed for about 90 minutes reading INC. magazine. It's one of my favorites (I subscribe to Fast Forward, Wired, Cook's Country, Real Simple and Fine Dining). I stopped by the library on my way home. I got three audio books for my trip to Myrtle Beach. One of them is the new book by Leif Enger, So Brave, Young and Handsome. ( He also wrote Peace Like a River. If you never read that one, put it on your list of must-reads.) I also got Beach Road by James Patterson and The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein. The 'book' book I got is Certain Girls by Jennifer Weiner. I've heard it's great. (Is this a run-on paragraph or what?) I finally came home, put on my bathing suit and went to the pool. I swam 25 laps. Somehow. You know me...lots of energy. I play games with myself to keep on swimming. First I was going to do 10 laps, then kept adding 5. I was tired of swimming at the end, but not tired. I showered at the pool, came home and changed, and left for here. And here I am. I am tired and sore, but in a good way.

I think this was a real post. And I'm going home to lay down.

25 July 2008

I'm having a hard time catching up on blogs. If I haven't commented on yours lately, I'm sorry. Going away for a few days really put me behind. Plus I've been slammed by work, and I come home so tired. Right now I feel like a zombie...kind of dazed. I'm going up to bed to read for a while, then it's lights out early. I'm excited that tomorrow's coffee day.

Next week I only work 3 days, then I'm off for my real vacation. I'm getting excited! More about that later.

24 July 2008

I'm at work on a beautiful day. It's only going to be in the 80's with low humidity; the sky is a gorgeous blue sky with fluffy white clouds. Ahhh. I'm at work. I can't complain, right? I've been on vacation. I can't complain. I'm just going to stay far, far away from the windows.

Have a great Thurdsay!

23 July 2008

Ocean City didn't always have beaches as wide as they are. The Army Corps of Engineers did a major beach replenishment project twice, included building grass covered sand dunes to protect the beach. It really adds a lot of beauty to the beach.

Here's where we're staying, top right. See Bon's cute red mini? I feel like a celebrity driving around in it.

The market across the street had the most awesome bakery. We couldn't decide what to buy. We (having great minds) picked the same things. Apple fritters and toasted coconut donuts. I know I moaned with each bite. I'm telling you, I couldn't help it. It opens and 9:00 this morning and I'm going back for the coconut donut. Bonnie too. The market also had a deli. We bought 2 rolls, roast beef and turkey, coleslaw and pickles, and Pringles. I brought tomatoes and basil from my 'garden'. We had a great lunch.

See the crumbs on the plates? Every one of them was gone when we were done

The bathing beauties. Yup, that's us!

We left the beach to join Bonnie's old neighbor for cocktails at her house on the Little Assawoman Bay. Much to my surprise, I found that she was the long-time client of my former co-worker, the person I shared a station with for almost 16 years and that I miss dearly. I knew Linda, the client, from all the years of working with Cathy. Her house was outstandingly beautiful and I was thrilled to be there. Our plan was to stay for drinks, then go to The Crab Cake Factory (which we'd heard have the best crab cakes around) for dinner. The three of us shared a few bottles of wine, and were having such a great time that we asked Linda if she was up for dinner. Bonnie and I drove to the restaurant for carry-out, and went back to Linda's with a feast. She had set the teakwood table on the deck, graced it with candle light, and we were ready for a few more hours of time spent together. I felt like I'd known Linda for years. It was a fabulous night.

It's Wednesday morning and our party is almost over. It's been a most excellent adventure. Think how much fun it would be if a bunch of us could get together for vacation. I 'joke' that if The Pioneer Woman opens her Lodge as a retreat, that I'm signing up to go. I really do intend to do that. Any takers?

22 July 2008

20 July 2008

It's a good thing I find ways to entertain myself. I'm alone a lot. At work I'm surrounded by people; the rest of the time is pretty solitary. When I was married I used to say I'd rather be lonely alone than lonely with somebody else. I'm alone, but rarely am I lonely. I count myself lucky.

I wrote my last post from Caribou Coffee. Alone but not lonely. I headed home, calling my neighbor Kelly on my way to see if she wanted to go to the pool. We made up to meet there. I changed and lotioned up and headed up the street. Just as I was walking into the clubhouse door, I hear someone saying, ma'am? Who me? It was the head lifeguard saying someone had just pooped in the pool and they were closing it down till 7:30. Man! Luckily my community has 2 pools. I've never been to the newer smaller one, but I made my way over there in a hurry. I was glad everyone else didn't follow. I called Kelly and she and her daughter met me there. I must have spent two hours in the pool without getting out. I swam laps during the two 20 minute adult swims. It was actually more fun swimming laps in a smaller pool. It was 13 strokes across the pool instead of 23. Somehow that made it more fun? Kelly and Natalie left, and when I was done swimming laps I went to talk to the lifeguard. He was in his chair and I was in the pool. I was asking if he was listening to an iPhone or iTouch. All of a sudden, two policemen approached him from opposite sides of the lifeguard's chair and told him they has taser stun guns (held in plain sight), and to get down from the chair and lay on the ground. He complied and they handcuffed him behind his back. It was surreal. They peaceably walked away with him. His girlfriend was there, and she must have said something to someone there about an outstanding warrant. The whole thing was pretty disturbing. Everyone knew the lifeguard, and all the kids at the pool saw it happen. I don't know why they didn't just tell him they had tasers and to come quietly with them and put on the handcuffs out of sight. Oh well.

Kelly called me to say we didn't have electricity at home. This is the third time this week, for no reason we know of. Maybe the extreme heat? I came home, changed, grabbed my laptop and headed to the shopping center by Arundel Mills. I got a vegetable burrito from Baja Fresh, and sat outside Starbucks using their wi-fi for the first time while eating and reading blogs. I was surrounded by other people sitting at tables outside Starbucks, Panera's, Coldstone, Baja Fresh and a Subway. A lively place to be. Alone but not lonely. I stayed until the sky opened and the rain came pouring down.

It's almost time for Bonnie to pick me up. Did I remember to pack everything? I hope so! The adventure begins!
It's a hottie today. I walked at 6:30 this morning and sweated up a storm. I'm actually starting to enjoy the walking more. Listening to music has made a big difference. I've kept up with my swimming too. I went 4 times last week. I swam 35 laps one day! Even I can't believe that. The other days I swam 20-something laps. My arms are a little less jiggly as are my thighs. I can't wait to go to the pool later and get wet! The thing is, though, that every time in my life that I've gotten into an exercise routine I've quit just when I was feeling great. For no reason. Every time. I don't have high expectations this time, but there's a chance it could last.

I drove out to visit with my mom this morning. I thought we might go to the movies to see Momma Mia. My mom told me that my sister Lisa was coming over and they were going to the movies to see Momma Mia. Great minds think alike. We met Lisa at the theater. A client had told me she loved it. That's all I knew about the movie except it was a Broadway musical. So, the movie starts and right away the bride-to-be starts singing. I leaned into my sister and asked, 'why am I at a musical?'Well, I LOVED every minute of the movie. Meryl Streep should win an Oscar. I had a smile on my face the whole time, except for one crying jag when I was reminded how bad things are at home. I would really recommend this movie because it's just plain entertaining. We went to Friday's afterwards. I had fish tacos, something Bonnie loves.

Speaking of Bonnie, we're going on a Road Trip tomorrow! We're cruising to Ocean City, MD in her bright red Mini Cooper for a 2 night get-away. This was supposed to be a trip for my daughter and I, but that didn't work out. Bonnie came to my rescue. We're going to sunbathe, swim in the ocean, drink wine, eat crab cakes, pig out on Thrasher's french fries, Fisher's caramel popcorn and funnel cakes on the boardwalk, meet at her friend's place for drinks, and just have FUN. I can't wait! I'll make sure to take lots of pictures of our big adventure.

It's brutally hot here. In the 90's with not a cloud in the sky. On the one hand I hate being inside, on the other, it's too hot to be outside. That's why I thought it would be a good day for the movies.

Kit and I had a nice time together last night. We went to Annapolis Mall. I had stuff to return at Macy's. We shopped the Nordstrom's Anniversary Sale, then had dinner at the Cafe. I love their albacore tuna melt. Yum. We went to Sherwood after that. Sat out on the porch talking for a few hours. The breeze was wonderful, and time spent was relaxing as always. Did I mention my time there will be over in October? The house will be torn down and rebuilt as a full time residence for her brother. You know how much I'm going to miss it. That's one of the reasons I'm spending so much time there now. I wish I could have my own little structure. All I'd need would be a porch and a bathroom. Simple. And a golf car because they sure are fun to drive.

I'm really loving the book I'm listening to: The Good House by Tananarive Due. I probably wouldn't have picked it out on my own, but my sister has read most of her books and recommended all of them to me. There's nothing like a good book, as far as I'm concerned, and nothing better than an audio book narrated by a talented storyteller.

Well, enough of my rambles. I'm going to run to the grocery store next door then head home and to the pool.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

19 July 2008

Another in my 'there's a lot to be said for...' series. Well, maybe it's not a series, but it could become one. There's a lot to be said for waking up early when you're a morning person. If you're not one of us, then maybe not so much. I watered the gardens this morning. Well, I did start last night, but I needed a long time to get it finished. It's been in the upper 90's for days with no rain and the garden was wilting. I had time for that, plus I caught up on blogs, washed the dishes, and got ready for work. And it's 7:00 AM. If it had been a walking day, I could have gotten that done too. Just saying. I like an early start. My body clock has been getting me up at around 5:00 every morning, and I can't ever fall back asleep.

It will be a busy day at work, as usual. That means non-stop with a wet-headed client waiting for me while I'm finishing up the one in my chair. I'll be done by 2:30 and heading to Borders. Then it will be off for an evening at Sherwood. My kind of day!

Hope your's is an enjoyable one too. Stay cool!

17 July 2008

Two FYI's, cause I like to share.

National Ice Cream Day is July 20th and Baskin-Robbins® is giving out free scoops of ice cream. Yum!

Free Starbucks? Go to www.starbucks.com and register a Starbucks gift card. You'll get a coupon in the mail for a free beverage. No strings attached, except giving out a little of your personal information. It's all out there anyway. I had a light venti caramel frappuccino with my coupon. It was delicious.

I spent the morning catching up on blogs. I'm done! Now it's time to head to work.

Happy Friday Peeps!
Morning! My computer time yesterday was spent composing a very long e-mail. It took away my walking time. Oh well. I went to my dentist to get my broken tooth fixed. That happened on Sunday, but fortunately I had no pain. My dentist (my cousin's husband) made what I think is called an overlay. Not quite a crown. He has an amazing computerized machine that makes the 'product' in less than 20 minutes. He shapes the tooth, sprays on a photographic powder, uses a wand to take a picture that shows up on a computer in 3-D (4-D?). He can rotate the image, and draw the margins that need to be filled or covered, or whatever. The information gets sent to a machine in the office that mills a piece of porcelain to the precise shape. Then it gets bonded onto the tooth, a perfect fit. All in one sitting. He uses it for crowns, inlays, onlays, overlays, etc... Not my forte, you know, but pretty amazing.

I finally had my lab work done yesterday for my thyroid. I have a standing order to have it done every 4 weeks, and it's been about 8. I stopped by my sister's lab and she did it for me. She also did the labs for my Vitamin D's. My number is 57. That's almost impossible to achieve without prescription D, and the sun. I'm getting both. Before the summer and the prescription, my number was 26. The doctor thought that was OK, but through my sister I knew the ideal number was in the 50's and I asked for the prescription. Are you getting enough Vitamin D?

I won't tell you how many laps I swam yesterday. I can't even believe it. I finally got into the zone.

I have to stop cause I've run out of time. We're having a salon meeting this morning at 9:30. I switched my day off so I could just stay and work.

Happy Thursday.

15 July 2008

Yesterday had a few highlights. You'll laugh at this one. I was driving my neighbor to the airport. She asked if I'd stop by Kohl's because they left a security device on a dress she was taking. I asked how we'd get to the airport from Kohl's, and she said we'd be going to the one on 174. A Kohl's on 174? What Kohl's? So, we drive there. It's 5.8 miles from my house. Not only does it have Kohl's, a Lowes, Sam's Club, etc., but it has a Super Walmart. We have no Super Walmarts. I love Super Walmarts. With real grocery stores. I've only been to maybe 2 or 3 of them, and that's been out-of-state. I dropped Kelly at the airport and went back to shop. The store is new, and nice, and, well, when you don't have a Super Walmart it's special. I didn't do much after coming home. I thrive on doing a lot. I get depressed when I'm not doing anything. TV doesn't appeal then, neither does reading. I didn't feel like cleaning. I gathered myself up and went to the pool.

And I did something I've never done: I swam 17 laps. And I listened to my audio book. I had a total change in attitude.

Kit asked if I wanted to go to Sherwood after dinner to walk. I wanted to ride the golf car. Emily and JD came with me and the 4 of us spent a few hours outside. It was wonderful.

I really need to get my act together and get ready for work. I've been sitting out on the deck writing this. I'm going to repost my original post with the banana cream pie since the link didn't work the last time. Have a great day!

OK...here it is. Warning: if you're on a diet, make sure you give away the leftovers, or you'll be sneaking into your refrigerator every chance you get with a fork in your hand. You'll chip away at it till it's gone. Then you'll cry. Then you'll make it again to bring to Aunt Betty's house just so you can eat more.

Banana Pecan Cream Pie
1 cup flour
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup finely chopped pecans
1 8-oz pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 cup confectioner's sugar
1 8-oz tub Cool Whip, thawed, divided
3 large firm bananas, sliced
1 package (3.4 oz) instant vanilla pudding mix
1-1/3 cups cold milk
additional chopped pecans, optional

Combine flour, butter, and pecans. Press onto the bottom and up the sides of a greased 9-inch pie plate. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Cool completely.
In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar. Fold in 1 cup Cool Whip. Spread over the crust. Arrange bananas on top. In a bowl, whisk pudding mix and milk. Immediately pour over bananas. Top with remaining Cool Whip. Garnish with pecans if desired. Refrigerate until serving.

14 July 2008

I meant to write today. I guess this is another one of those 'not really a post' posts. I'll be back in the morning. Till then...g'night.

13 July 2008

Life is Good

Do you ever think, thank goodness for tomorrows? I just took this picture. I'm on my deck, the chimes are playing a melody, the birds are chirping, there's a nice little breeze, I'm in the shade, and I have my cup of coffee. I walked for an hour, listening to my audio book for part of the time, talking to my GA sister for the rest. Life is good. Life wasn't so good a few days ago. It was horrible. But, then there was a tomorrow. A new start. You really do need to take life one day at a time. It's the only way to stay optimistic. For whatever reason, I was blessed with being an optimistic person, and I'm so thankful for that. And that's about as deep as I get. LOL!

I've been waiting for weeks for my lilies to bloom. I knew I had Stargazers, but didn't know what these were:

The plant is neck high on me. The buds are at least 5" long. What would they look like when they opened? I thought they were some kind of Asian lily, but wasn't sure. On Thursday the first one opened. By Friday, two more. Here's what I got:

At first I was disappointed. White? All that anticipation and all I got were pure white lilies? But then, the smell. Captivating. It permeates at least a 10 foot radius. And the pureness of the color really is beautiful. Anyone know what kind of lily this is?

Here's the first Stargazer to open. How pretty is that?

I'm going to a party this afternoon for one of my book club friends. Time spent with them is guaranteed to be fun! I was asked to bring my 'famous' Banana Pecan Cream Pie. I wrote about it a while ago, and I know some of you have made it. If you haven't, and want to serve a dessert that everyone will rave about, this is it. Try it, you'll love it. I think I got the recipe from Gourmet magazine many years ago. I've made it a zillion times since then.

I suppose I should get up and do something. Or not.

So the something I did was upload this little video. It took forever! Have a great day!

12 July 2008

Please come, take a little break

This is one of my favorite statues in the garden. I got it last year for my birthday. I've never seen a bird in it, but I keep it filled with water, and I just like looking at it.

So, here it is, Saturday. The end of my work week. I've had a super busy week, which is of course great. I thought it was going to be much slower. On Tuesday I saw that I had many openings on Wednesday. When I got to work on Wednesday, all the appointments had been filled in. Same thing happened with yesterday's book. It's unusual for me to have any openings, and the clients that got in were very surprised and very happy. Here's a little story... One of my regular clients always complains that she gets a 'dent' in her hair. Every time. I just wait for her to say, 'I got that dent again in my hair. I don't know what you did that one time when it was perfect without a dent, but I got it again.' When I see her name on my book, I think 'dent.' Yesterday she sat down and said she had good news. I thought maybe the nerve problem she'd been having with her neck had gone away. Nope. She said no dent with the last haircut. Woohoo. When I finished cutting her hair she asked if I was able to see what I did differently last time that made no dent. No, I said. I wish I could have said yes. Will this be a dentless haircut? I'll find out next time.

I got home from work last night at my usual time. Emily and JD came over and we watched a movie. There Will Be Blood. Well, part of it because it started late and I had to bring JD home so I could go to bed. We'll finish the movie tonight. I'll be making one of my regular meals for dinner: flat iron steak and grilled potato wedges with some kind of vegetable. I'll also be making my banana cream pie to bring to a party tomorrow. I'm thinking it will be a good night.

Hope this weekend's a good one for you. It's time for me to stop writing and start this day.

10 July 2008

Part II

It was a great idea to go for my walk today. I brought Em's iPod and listened to her tunes. I brought along a cloth bag and walked to the grocery store to buy the ingredients for the Texas Caviar. I finally enjoyed a walk. I used Google Pedometer to track my distance and it's actually 2.57 miles, not 3. I'm fine with that. I came home and put together the recipe. Here's a pic. Thanks Val, it really was great.

I had a good session with the counselor. I recounted the goings on around here, and she was impressed with how I handled the situation. According to her, I did everything right. I saw Em's longtime pediatrician in the building. I love him. I have to admit I cried when I talked with him. He was helpful. I told the counselor I wasn't going to make another appointment, that I'd do it on an as needed basis. I'm learning the tools I need to handle things on my own. She thought that was fine. It doesn't mean I won't call her next week.

I came home and hung out on the porch for a few hours, then made the decision to go to Sherwood. I got there, and saw no cars. Maybe they canceled? I called Kit and she said they were running late. She was so happy I was there and early and gave me a list of things to do, which I was happy to perform. Good food, good company.

I didn't stay too long. Just long enough for it to be a reprieve. I'm sitting out on the deck, happy to be here, but the mosquitoes are bringing this good time to an end.
I feel remiss. I said I'd be back to write, and I wasn't. Let's see how cryptic I can be here...maybe just say the best made plans don't always work out. Or, good intentions only work with cooperation. Or something like that and do you get my drift? I'm soldiering on. I will be steadfast. I'm in it for the long haul. I love my daughter.

I'm off today, but not carefree. I'll be staying close to home till my lunchtime counseling appointment. I'm not sure how long I'll keep that up. I've been listening to the Total Transformation system CD's, and they're truly so helpful. I feel that I've learned tools to deal with the behaviors I'm encountering, and I'm learning more than I could with a counselor. I really don't need someone to listen to me talk about my feelings. Remember I talk for a living. I need parenting help, and that's what the CD's are providing. Anyhow, besides running to the grocery store this morning, I'll be home. I am invited to Sherwood Forest for a crab feast with Kit's family. I hope things are OK here so I can go. I'll be bringing Val's recipe for Texas Caviar. It sounds delicious. And no blender or wooden spoons involved.

I'm taking a break from walking today, and do feel a little guilty. Actually, there's no reason why I should take a break. It's only 7:30 AM. I'm going to close now, and get dressed and out the door. Have a great day, what ever you do.

09 July 2008

This isn't really a post. It's a hi...too busy to write, be back soon.

Happy Wednesday!

07 July 2008

Another nice summer day. Busy, as usual. My friend Deb and I spent a few hours at Panera's catching up. It was wonderful. I ran a bunch of errands afterwards, including buying more food, then came home and got a lot of stuff done around here. I changed Emily's sheets. Put up a Welcome Home banner. I bought a bunch of long-stemmed white daisies and added a lot of cut flowers from the garden. She'll like that. She called me from the airport in Costa Rica. She's supposed to spend the night at her dad's, but she wants to come home. I think they'll be getting in too late. She's ready to be here.

One of the things I did today was make pesto. My first time. I followed my friend Lisa's instructions, but it didn't come out like hers. She makes it in a blender. I thought to make it in my food processor, but I wanted it to be just like hers. Too bad the instructions said things like 1/3 to 1/2 cup olive oil and 2-3 cloves of garlic. Everything was approximated.

Pretty, huh?

Too bad it tasted like wood

That's what happens when you need to prod the blender along. First it ate a chunk of my new Pampered Chef bamboo spoon. Then the cheapie one. At least I didn't let it get the rubber spatula. I went over the pesto very carefully and picked out the chunks of wood, but it just doesn't taste good. It tastes like old wood. I'll need to let the basil grow again and try another recipe. Lunch was great, though. The tomato and basil were from my garden. The roll was from my Chick-fil-A sandwich. I cut up the chicken to put in my salads for work.

I looked down at the floor of my woods this afternoon and noticed it was littered with clumps of branches. (You know I love to document stuff)

Then I looked up to see squirrel nests in two neighboring trees. Possibly the biggest nests I've ever seen. The picture doesn't do it justice. Just what I need...more squirrels. Maybe they're trying to make an army to attack my tomato plants. Like that's going to happen!

I went to the pool from 4-5:30. A man was swimming laps the whole time I was there. I thought of Happyone and her very long walks. I guess you just get into a 'zone'? I thought I was doing great swimming for 15 minutes. It's all relative, right?

I'm writing this out on my deck. The sultry hot weather we had during the day has been replaced by lower temperatures, lower humidity and a wonderful breeze. I'd be so happy if I could make this time last for a few more hours...

Oh, one last thing. I just heard a loud rustle in the trees. I looked up to see one of the nests fall apart. Half of it is hanging from a lower branch. Two very shocked-looking squirrels scurried away from the upper part. All that work for naught. Kind of like me and the pesto. I sure hope they recycle those branches or I'll have denuded trees.

06 July 2008

Another fun-filled, busy day is about done. I met Kit at her house this morning and we went for a 3.25 mile walk. I enjoyed talking to Kit, but didn't enjoy the walk. It took us exactly 59 minutes. Why don't I like to walk? Don't know, but I was glad that I did it and so was Kit. We went to Caribou Coffee afterwards and sat outside. Kit worked on her bills and I read blogs. We decided to go out to lunch in the same shopping center. The restaurant was beautiful, and the food fantastic. We split a crab cake sandwich, a grilled chicken sandwich with pesto, smoked cheese, tomatoes, etc.., a salad, and the best french fries I think I've ever had. Ever! I'd never been to the restaurant, thinking it was too expensive, but the lunch menu was very reasonable. Kit and I went to Marshall's afterwards, then onto Homegoods. Next we drove to another shopping center and went to Michael's Crafts. Then she brought me back to my car and we parted ways. I don't remember the last time we spent so much time together, unless you count our overnight at Sherwood. I'm not used to spending so much time with a friend, and it was great. I did some long-overdue grocery shopping before heading home. Emily had been complaining before she left that we didn't have any food. Of course we did, but were lacking in a lot of categories. She'll come home to frozen dinners (good in a pinch), fresh fruit, yogurt, quesadilla fixings (pre-cooked southwestern chicken and steak), veggies, hot dogs (Hebrew National), bagels, etc... She shouldn't be able to complain!

Tonight marks a week that Emily's been gone. The house has been very quiet. It's been nice having some freedom, but I'm ready to have her home. She'll probably get here after I leave for work on Tuesday, so I'll see her Tuesday night. I hope she missed me!

I'm meeting a friend for coffee in the morning that I haven't seen in at least 6 years. She moved to Greenville, SC and is here visiting her family. We talked on the phone tonight for about an hour. I can't wait to see her.

Hope you all had a great weekend. I still have one day left!

05 July 2008

I meant to write earlier. I don't know where the time went. Well, I guess I do. I went to Border's after work. Then to DSW to find new walking shoes. I really don't like to shop for shoes. I'm a shoe-returner. I buy them thinking they fit, leave them sitting in the box for a few weeks, try them on, then return them. I made myself stay until I found the right ones that I won't return. I got steak quesadillas for dinner from Taco Bell on the way home. I've never been to Taco Bell before, and the food was delicious! I didn't do much of anything when I got home...read blogs, went outside and pulled weeds. Took a walk with my neighbor. Then came in and made 2, yes 2, calls to Dell about my faulty CD/DVD drive. They're sending me a new drive in the mail. Thank goodness for extended warranties. I just extended mine again. It's worth the aggravation, like all the time I spent on the phone tonight. In the last 12 months they've fixed my DVD driver, replaced the keyboard, motherboard, wireless card, and now the CD drive. I'm surprised they let me extend the warranty again. I'm not the kind of customer they want.

I took lots of pictures yesterday at the pool I grew up at. I plan to write about it and post the pics.

Speaking of pictures, here's Emily on the zip line. She said they did 3 miles of zip lines! Can you imagine?

04 July 2008

It's Friday morning, and I'm sitting in my breakfast nook while my mom is outside watching the birds. We've had a great time together. I went to her house as planned yesterday and did her cut and color. Then we went to Old Country Buffet. I got a laugh out of something she said: 'there's a lot of heavy people here.' Yes indeed, Old Country has a lot of heavy people, a lot of seniors and a lot of working class people. I actually like it a lot. Unfortunately I can't help but eat a lot and that's why I try to stay away. I'll probably be a heavy senior eating at Old Country one day. I do love to eat! We came to my house after lunch. I got Mom settled on the couch and I left for the pool. I swam laps for 15 minutes, then read my Wired magazine with my reader sunglasses. Heavenly time. After showering and dressing, Mom and I left for Arundel Mills Mall. We rented a wheelchair, and made our way to the Muvico theater. It's a long walk...hopefully I burned off some calories from lunch! We saw Sex in the City. I'd never seen the TV show, but loved the movie. Mom thought it was just so so. We went to Panera's afterwards for dinner, then to McDonald's for ice cream in the car. It was great. We were just settling in at home to see pictures from Costa Rica when we lost power, for no reason that I can think of. It was just an ordinary night, no weather issues. Bummer. I hadn't been on the computer all day, and was looking forward to spending some time on it. The house got hot very quickly. I got my mother settled in bed, then went to mine to read. It was too hot! It took forever to fall asleep. Here's what I'm used to: my ceiling fan directly over me. My very powerful floor fan blowing on me.

Here's what I had instead...a very loud, tiny, battery-operated fan. It looks bigger in this picture than it actually is. It's probably about 5" tall. I had to wear ear plugs!

This is the lantern I use whenever we lose power. It's got a florescent bulb and takes 8 'D' batteries. The batteries fit in a removable base that I keep seperate from the lantern when I store it so it doesn't drain the 'juice.' It's as bright as a lamp.

Some pictures from Wednesday at Sherwood Forest. First is approaching the community. I love wind-y roads in the woods. Next is a view from the porch. Finally, the porch where I spent over an hour laying on the couch, reading a magazine while waiting for Kit.

My neighbor Kelly and her daughter Natalie just came over with donuts from Dunkin Donuts. I called her earlier to ask if she was planning on going there and if she could get my mom an apple fritter. She wasn't planning on it, but offered to go. It's just up the street from where we live. Mom was happily surprised. They're sitting out on the deck now, so I should join them. Soon we'll leave to go to my parent's community pool. Have a great 4th!

03 July 2008

It's a day off so that means a busy day. I love busy days. I've walked. I'm up to 3 miles a day! I find that I don't mind walking a particular route every day that I know takes me the distance I want to go. Anyway, I'm all ready to leave the house. I'm going to my parent's to color and cut my mom's hair, then take my mom with me. We'll go to Old Country Buffet, her favorite. It's been months since we've been there. I'm not sure what we'll do after that, but Mom will spend the night with me tonight. If the weather permits, we'll go to her community pool tomorrow for the day. It's the same one I grew up at, and most of my book club friends are members.

Kit and I spent a few pleasurable hours hanging out on the porch at Sherwood last night. I got there long before her, and laid on the outdoor couch reading a magazine. It was great therapy.

Time to head off, but here's a few new pictures from Emily: