31 August 2008

I was just checking my blog to see if I wrote about going to the gym on Friday. I didn't realize Thursday was the last time I wrote. Where did the time go? It went Away. You know the place I'm talking about. I drove Emily and her BFF Leah to school on Friday with the plan to walk as soon as I got home, but then the rain came. I decided it was finally time for me to park my car at the community center next to the pool and check out the exercise room. It's included in our homeowner's fee. We have two community centers and two pools. The guy working the desk offered to show me the equipment, and I decided to try the elliptical machine. Can I say I hated every moment of the 20 minutes I was on it? I didn't know how to slow down. I think I did 3.2 miles in 20 minutes. There were no games I could play like I do with swimming. Wah. I didn't like it, but I'm going to go back. I'll try the buttons and figure out how to manually program it. I also tried the different pieces of equipment, but again didn't really know how to adjust the seats or other movable parts. I did know enough to set the weights of each piece to the lightest setting. I went to work after coming home and getting ready, and I was tired out all day. Sore but not too sore. Saturday kicked my butt at work. Most days are easy and just flow. Saturday I ran late and almost every haircut was a complicated one. I was running on empty, but the day finally ended and I got to go to Borders. Thank goodness for Borders. When I got home I went to the pool to swim. I know I'm in rambling mode now. I brought Em to a friend's house this morning. She was invited to go to the National Zoo with the family. I ran errands...Sam's Club, Staples, Target, then Border's for my favorite drink. I went to the community pool where I grew up for the annual Labor Day party, and hung out with my sister, sister-in-law, mom, Kit, and a bunch of women from my book club. I swam laps, even though I was still so sore from last night's mile. I'm crazy sore now. Despite the fact that tomorrow is the last day the pool is open, I'm staying away from the lap lanes. I might go to the pool just to lay around. No parties, no plans. Anyone doing anything fun?

28 August 2008

I've been bored, bored, and more bored since arriving home this afternoon. I've sat on the couch. Yup, that's about all I've done for hours. Watched Oprah with Emily. Watched the news. Caught up on blogs. Read a bunch of blogs I'd put into my 'favorites' that I don't keep up with. I made a quesadilla and had an Oreo Klondike. Watched ET. Boring. I'm full and tired. Can I go to bed so I can start over again tomorrow?

The day started out good. I made waffles for Emily. First time I ever made waffles. I borrowed Kelly's waffle maker...it was a good thing I put foil underneath because half the batter streamed out the sides. It got better with each batch. I left the house the same time Emily leaves for school, 6:40, and was at Panera's by my folks by 7 AM. I got to the folk's house at 9:30 and Mom and I left for IKEA. The couch she was so anxious to see was a great starter couch, but certainly not fine furniture. I'm glad I took her so she could see it for herself. We browsed the store with me pushing my mom in a wheelchair. She was my captive! My brother is a manager at IKEA and he joined us for a lunch of Swedish meatballs and mashed potatoes. I was happy to finally leave and hope I don't have to go back for a long time. It's just too big.

I was thrilled to find cushions to fit my kitchen chairs. They cost less to buy then to have my old ones cleaned!

On an entirely different note, since I had my camera out, I took pictures of food in Debbie Meyer's stay fresh longer As Seen On TV, re-usable bags. I'm not entirely convinced that they work as advertised. I just bought the ones for bread, so I'll let you know.

That's it for me. Over and Out!

27 August 2008

A few 'first days' starting with 6th

The next to the last picture was taken on the last day of 8th grade. I can't find the first day of 9th grade. It must be in the wrong folder. Lots of changes, huh?

Off to IKEA with Mom for the day. Fun???
I almost hate posting when I'm so far behind in reading. Know what I mean?

So...the Botox. I'm really happy with it! I had a headache for a few days but I think that was unusual. It wasn't anything I couldn't handle. The horizontal lines on my forehead are gone. My brows are definitely lifted, which in turn lifted my eyelids. My crack is much smoothed out, but not erased. Linda, the PA doing the work, agreed with her first prediction: I'd need a little filler there. The rep from the company that supplies one of her fillers, Restylane, will be back on the 18th, and I have an appointment to have my "nasolabial folds" filled. Sounds kinky, huh? They're the creases that run from the sides of your nostrils to your mouth. Mine aren't bad, but it's the only time in my life that I'm going to have the opportunity to have it done at no cost, so, I'm game. I'm going to be brave. I've seen the results on four of my co-workers, and they've looked instantly better and said it didn't hurt. The attitude of my co-workers on having cosmetic work done is mixed. Some would never have anything done, others say bring it on. I want to promote the services to my clients that are interested, so I have to know what I'm talking about, right? Everyone in my salon thinks my face look more open, more bright. It's subtle, but noticeable to me. Will I do it again? It depends on the price. I can see how it could be addicting. I'm usually told that I look much younger than my years, but who doesn't want to look even younger? Or, shall I say, refreshed?

25 August 2008

I meant to write many times today. I kept thinking of things to write about, Now I'm so tired I can hardly type, and I don't know if I'll have time to write in the morning. I'll just write a little this and that.

I had an unproductive morning. I like to get moving early, but I didn't. Emily spent yesterday and last night at her dad's and got the summer reading assignment done. She came home around noon, and I drove her to practice about 2:15. I went to my pool after that. Not the pool, my pool. Lately I've had the pool almost to myself. There was one man there on his chaise, and me and the lifeguards, who were reading. Did you know that 32 laps are a mile? It took me all kinds of time yesterday to do the math. I walked the length of the pool, counting my steps. I measured my feet, did the multiplication to figure out how many meters a lap is, etc. When I told Kit, she was surprised. She knew 32 laps equaled a mile. She thought it was common knowledge. How many of you knew that? I've been swimming over a mile! Now I stop at 32 laps. I called a gym around the corner from my salon that has an indoor pool. I'm going on a tour tomorrow. A little blessing today, Elizabeth? Smelling the scent of pine trees while I swam. Yesterday on my walk I noticed that the pine cones have opened. Not too long ago they were green and closed tight. If I wasn't outdoors so much I would have never noticed. I never did before.

Remember that wooden spoon? It's the one that got ruined when I made pesto. Now I keep it in this pot on my deck railing that's filled with dirt. The other spoon is around there somewhere. I fill the clay saucer with water. The birds and squirrels like to play in it.

So, another good day. A pleasant eve with Emily. It's before 9:30, and I'm going to bed. Pleasant dreams!

23 August 2008

I'll take a quick break from reading and commenting on blogs to write a little post.

I'm such a creature of habit. It's Saturday night and I'm at my Saturday night place: sitting at an outside table at a local Starbucks. I ate the vegetable burrito from Baja Fresh that I love. I bought an oatmeal cherry cookie from Starbucks. I'm at the table I usually sit at. I went into Starbucks before eating my burrito to buy my cookie. I feel I should buy something since I'm sitting at one of their tables. I told the barrista that the table was really dirty and she asked if I wanted a rag. Ah, youth. It turns out it was a field hockey player from Em's team. I said yes to the rag, and while outside I cleaned the other open table because I'm a mom.

Thanks to all of you with your kind words of support and wisdom for what I'm going through with my teen. Jamie said something that really made me think. I'm really fortunate, so far, that I can 'shake off the sad'. Sometimes it takes longer than other times. If you had asked me 6 hours ago if I'd be sitting here at an outdoor table doing something I love to do, I'd say no way. I was distraught then. I'm fine now. I'm fortunate.

22 August 2008

Thought it was time for a new profile picture. See those curly q's? The older I get, the curlier I am. It's really kind of fun.

Here's my Tuesday flowers. I just love them. So colorful and tall.

These flowers will be 4 weeks old on Tuesday. Is that crazy or what? I think they might be petrified.

Bedtime for me. Over and out!
I decided with all the swimming I did yesterday that I didn't have to walk this morning and would catch up on blogs. There were too many to catch up on, but I made a dent. I've been outside on the porch and it's been a nice cool morning, but I wish I'd walked. I can't do it all on a work day.

Yesterday was great and busy. Panera's in the morning. It's been ages since I've done that. I went to my parent's from there and spent about an hour getting my father back online. Then Mom and I went to our favorite Chinese restaurant. It was great! I only ate half and asked for a to-go box right away so I wouldn't over eat. I'll have it for lunch today instead of my usual salad. We went to Bed Bath and Beyond, then back to my folks. My mom was ready for a nap, which worked out great. I went to Homegoods next and took my time browsing. I bought a new set of sheets. Then it was on to the grocery store. Ladeda. Home again and into my bathing suit. I find that I play little games to count my laps, and yesterday I did something different. I found a very small plastic bead that I'd move from one grout line (at the end of the lap lane) to another after every 5 laps to help me keep count. I count in fives. It's so easy to lose count of the 5's even. Sometimes I'm coming back after swimming my first length and can't remember if it's the first lap or second. Anyway, the first is first, of course. Then I say 2,2,2 on the second. Next is middle. Next is the one before the end, and the 5th is the homestretch. Then I move my bead and take a drink of water from the bottle I put next to the ladder. Doing it in 5's makes it easier. Yesterday I swam a record 40 laps. Having my little ritual made it easy. I imagined in my mind I was swimming the English Channel, and 40 laps was a pittance. I walked the length of the lap lane, and it's exactly 100 of my feet. I have to do the math. Anyway, I picked up Emily after field hockey practice and had dinner. Then mowed the lawn. I slept like a baby.

Time to get ready for work. Happy Friday!

21 August 2008

I imagine most of us wonder, from time to time, why we have a public blog. Don't you ever want to complain about your mother/father/sister/brother/daughter/neighbor/husband/son/best-friend, etc. from time to time? I'm not saying I have complaints with anyone on that list, but if I did, I couldn't. I can only be cryptic. The point? Things at home have gone from fine, almost good, to bad, for no reason that I can think of. And it's just not fair, and that's all I can say.

Bonnie and me

I took this picture before toning her hair. The lightning process went flawlessly this time. Looking at this picture, I'm sorry that I cut off the top of my bouquet. This week I bought a multi-colored bunch of alstroemeria. They remind me of a bunch of brightly-colored balloons or lollipops with their bright colors and long stems. BTW, my last bunch is now 23 days old and still going strong on my neighbor's station. How long do those flowers last?

Here's our Bonnie:

Doesn't she look so sassy? I love the color! It's more platinum, less warm than the last time. Last time I was going for more platinum, but then we had that mossy green thing happen, and with the fix we got warm = golden. This time I was ready. It came out just how I planned. Bonnie was surprised at the outcome, which surprised me. Not disappointed or unhappy, she was expecting more golden, as it turned out. Lesson to Cheryl: always consult, just to be sure. The color can always be adjusted, but I think that Bonnie is going to love it. Everyone in the shop did. Anyone else want to go blonde? I'm ready to do it again on someone else!

I wish I could write more, but I'm at Panera's, and my folks are waiting for me to come over.

Happy Thursday!

19 August 2008

I meant to write yesterday. Yesterday I was energized. I shopped at Super Walmart. I made a Tomato Pie. I swam 35 laps. I visited an indoor pool to see if it had winter potential. I had all kinds of things to say. That's what I remember about yesterday. It's the short version.

Today I worked. I had one interesting client. That's not true; everyone's interesting. I'd done this client once, 4 weeks ago, and she made me uncomfortable then. Very intense. I imagine she felt out of her comfort zone. I knew she wasn't happy with the way I dried her hair. Still, she came back. It wasn't any easier. Conversation was...halting. I like a client like Bonnie. I turned her hair green and she was cool with it. Didn't ask me how someone could be a hairdresser as long as I've been and mess up a little. I'm doing Bonnie's hair this week. I wonder how she'd look in fuschia?

I'm tired out. TTYL!

17 August 2008

We shopped till we dropped and it was great! Not just bearable, but great. Annapolis Mall has an Aerie and an American Eagle store side by side. For those without teens, they're the same company, but Aerie has bras, undies, sweats, and lounge wear. We went to Aerie first where they were giving out scratch-off's for trying on bras. It's the only reason I tried one on and my scratch-off was for a free bra. I would never have thought of shopping there for myself, but I found one that I loved. Em's was for a free lip gloss. We had a coupon for $10 off one bra, but they let us use it on each of Em's two bras. Nice, huh? Em also got 3 capri sweats, running shorts and tee-shirt that were already marked down. We were able to use our 30% off coupon for the total order, including the bras. Then we were off to AE. Their sale was buy one pair of jeans and get the second one for 50% off. Same deal for their tee-shirts. Em got two pairs of jeans, 4 tops, a sweater and two pairs of shorts. All on sale plus we used the 30% off coupon again. Total for the day? Under $175! We took our time, and there were no arguments. Shopping is over for a while! Happy me. Happy daughter.

I just finished eating a great quesadilla that I made. I'm going to do some cleaning, then I'm off to the pool for my laps. I'm sad that it's almost 5:00. The day is going by much too quickly.

16 August 2008

I started this post at 7:00 AM at Panera's after dropping Emily off for field hockey practice. It's 7:00 PM and I'm sitting outside Starbucks, on a beautiful evening. I just finished a veggie burrito from Baja Fresh while sipping on my chilled Starbucks caramel latte. What could be better? Nothing, in my world. What does that say about my world? I'm not even going to contemplate that one. Time for pictures.

This is me, pre-injections. I'm holding an ice pack over my forehead to numb the area, although it looks like I'm hiding. I did feel pretty silly. I had Botox done two years ago and knew that it was just an uncomfortable procedure--not too painful.

We have a new staff member, Linda, joining us. She and her husband are owners of 'Between the Lines'. She's a PA and she'll be doing injectables...Botox and fillers. My boss asked me to be one of the 'models' on the first night since I'd done it before and wouldn't be squeamish. I have an "11" between my brows. That's what they call those lines people get. When I look in the mirror, it's the first thing I see. Other people don't agree with me, but that's the way it is. The Botox really didn't work well two years ago, and the doctor at the time thought I might need a filler instead. Linda, who did my procedure, said we'd start with Botox and revisit it in two weeks. If I need a filler, she'll do it then. So, she did my 11's, and then some above my brows to give them a little lift, then on some forehead lines and crows feet, although I didn't realize I had them. LOL. She tells clients that Botox lasts about 3-4 months, but really, it usually lasts longer. She gave her presentation in front of at least 30 of us, which must have been so hard. I would have had an anxiety attack for sure. She did a great job. Everyone on staff will get one free service, and we're all abuzz about it. It typically takes 3-7 days for the effects of Botox to materialize, and I'm on day two. I'll keep you abreast of the disappearance of my lines.

Emily is one sore girlie tonight. Day one went well, and she said she was the 4th fastest runner. Practice will be every day next week, twice a day from 7-10 am and 3-5 pm. Whew. Not enough players showed up, so they'll be roaming the halls on Freshman orientation day trying to recruit players. The same thing happened last year and that's how she came to play the game. She was looking pretty spiffy at practice. She went shopping with her Dad last night and informed me she racked up a big bill for me. She bought 2 Nike outfits and at least 3 Nike shorts, plus Under Armour shorts, a sports bra and socks. She'll be running and practicing in style. I would have taken her to Kohl's, but I do have to admit she looks great in the stylish stuff, and it made her really happy. When she's happy, I'm happy. We were supposed to go to American Eagle tonight, but she said she's too sore to walk the mall. Maybe tomorrow? She's at a friend's house now. As a btw, I haven't mentioned this before but she and her boyfriend split up a few weeks ago. Field hockey and back to school will be really good for her.

I went to dinner with my friend Kathy on Wednesday and we went to her daughter's townhouse afterwards. I took these pictures of her bathroom shower. She designed it herself. Tile and river rock. The shower head was enormous. She said it was the biggest one she could find.

Pretty artsy, huh?

Well, my battery is almost out. That means I have to close for now. Hmmm...there's a Panera's next door. It's the location that only has one outlet. I might just have to see if it's available.

Update...I'm inside Panera's, plugged-in. I'm sitting next to a family with 3 rowdy children, but they're about to leave. It's chilly inside, and I wish I was sitting outside, but if I want to stay online, this is my only option. *sigh* Beggars can't be choosers.

15 August 2008

Today kicked my butt. I breezed through Tuesday and Wednesday. Today wore me out! When it got to what I thought should be the end of the day and I saw I still had two more clients I could have cried. And I was starving. I never rush, though, and eventually the day ended. I'll have to write a real post tomorrow, and read your blogs then too. I'm signing off on this day.

PS...wish Emily luck with field hockey try-outs tomorrow. She's really nervous. Last year they were looking for JV players and she didn't need to try out, so it's her first time trying out for anything. I'm sure she'll do fine.
I wanted to write a post this morning but ran out of time. Too busy! I'll write about the Botox treatment I got last night. Pictures too.

Happy Friday!

14 August 2008


The day took a brighter turn. Emily decided to sleep in and clothes shop some other time. I went to the pool, read the newspaper and swam 20 laps. There's really nothing like being immersed in water. Nice cool water. I came home, showered, woke up Emily (2:00) and made pizza. We ate, then went to Kohl's for shoes. I brought out all the Nike runners in her size and the ones she picked were on sale for $40 and I had a 15% off coupon! No drama and really cute shoes. Then we drove to a park and she ran while I hung out. When we got home we worked together cleaning the kitchen floor. She and her friend had some kind of soap fight yesterday. Still a kid, huh? Her dad will be here soon to take her for her physical for field hockey, and I'm leaving to shop for a tea kettle before my meeting. I just knew my mood would change.

And Karen, Rip's is on 301, right near my family's home. Have you ever been there?
Does anyone read "the latest from Blogger buzz"? I don't, but there's probably some good stuff in there. Just a thought.

I wonder why I woke up in a bad mood? I know it has to do with family stuff, but there's nothing new going on. Maybe the thought of school shopping? Just expectations in general? Disappointments? Combinations of all, probably. Instead of getting right out of bed this morning I turned on the Today show. Before I knew it, all thoughts of a walk were gone, like if I don't do it right away it's too late. Thankfully I changed my mind at 8:45, realizing it's a beautiful morning and there's no time limit. I didn't love the walk, but loved the music and being outside. I'm still feeling dumpy, though, but I'll snap out of it. I always do. If Emily continues to sleep and I stay out here on my porch, I might just go to the pool when it opens in an hour and swim. That will get me going since it's been in the 60's at night and the water will be cold.

Yesterday was another easy day at work. I did the hair of my childhood friend Stella, who's regular client. We only see each other at the salon. We talked about old times. I had completely forgotten that we used to work at the Sears Catalog store together when we were high school seniors. We also worked as waitresses at a restaurant called Rip's. We worked the breakfast shift. We met some Marines from Quantico that were staying at the adjoining motel for a shooting event and wound up dating them for a while. She and her guy were a real couple; Bob and I were just kind of thrown together because of them, but I really liked him. He and Stella still stay in touch. It was nice to take a trip down memory lane with her. Later in the afternoon I did color and cuts on my neighbor Kelly and her daughter. Again, social time. I love my job.

So, the plan for today is to take Emily shopping for running shoes and then American Eagle for jeans and tops. I was going to say there will be arguments, but there won't. I'm not going to argue, but I can't say I'm optimistic about our time together. My new mantra is 'thick skin Cheryl. I have to be at my salon at 6:00 tonight for a meeting. We have a new staff member, a Physician's Assistant, who will be doing injectable cosmetic procedures in the salon. Tonight is a meet and greet, and a demo and, by the way, I'm going to be a 'model'. I'll let you know about how that goes. If there's anytime between shopping and the meeting, I'm going to see Bonnie. Busy.

I stopped by Happyone's house after having dinner with a friend last night. Called her from her sidewalk to say, hi, I came by to see your sunflowers. They really are enormous, not only in height, but in the size of the flowers. I've never seen anything like that. I also got to meet Kenny. He's as wonderful as I imagined. They are a very happy couple.

Sitting out here on the porch I've seen many butterflies, songbirds and hummingbirds. I just got a whiff of a fragrant flower. I wonder which one? Not a lot are in bloom right now...butterfly bushes, false sunflower, zinnias, daisies, tall phlox, vincas, wax begonias, impatience, tickweed, sedum, gerbera dasies and stella d'oro lilies. I guess that sounds like a lot. I cut down all my yarrow and columbine, so there's some huge gaps. I might buy some annuals to fill in. A gardening friend pointed out that there's still a lot of time till the first frost. With school starting, I tend to think that summer's over.

How did this post get so long, especially when it's about not much?

12 August 2008

It was a great first day back to work. A good combination of clients and services. Easy. I bought a bunch of yellow gerbera daisies for my work station. When I got to work I found that my 2 week old bouquet of alstroemeria looked brand new. (I copied this picture from the web) I knew they were long-lasting, but not this long! I brought the daisies home.

I've been sitting on the couch since getting home from work, reading today's newspaper and watching the Olympics. Now I'm pooped! That's what happens when I sit still. I'm off to bed.
Just time for a quickie. I had a great night's sleep. Such a treat for the first day back to work. I woke up early and got ready for work. It was my first time putting make-up on in 11 days. I almost forgot how much better I like that look! I grocery shopped at Super Walmart and Sam's, watered the garden, made lunch, and am almost ready to leave the house. I'll stop by Trader Joe's to get my Tuesday bouquet of fresh flowers on my way to work. Nothing like jumping back in. How will I feel when I get off work at 7:00? That remains to be seen.

Happy Tuesday friends!

11 August 2008

Random this and that

I've spent most of the day sitting on my deck or my porch. Me! Can you believe that? It's a brilliantly beautiful day. It's 74 degrees with the humidity at 41%. That's unheard of in these parts in August. I'm enjoying every minute of it.

has posted a contest on her Crusty Beef blog. Go check it out, OK? If you're smarter than me you'll enter. Ha!

The hummingbirds have been out in force today. I watched a set of black capped chickadees try to use the hummingbird feeders. It didn't work.

I love these birds: tufted titmouse. I don't know the plural. They hang around my feeders.

While driving near Tabor City, SC, I saw a type of pine tree that I've never seen before. The needles were so long and grew in big fluffy clumps. It reminded me of a book I read a few years ago. The book really focused on a certain kind of pine that is native to GA and southern regions and is almost extinct. I loved the book and couldn't remember the title. I called my library to see if they could help me find it. I talked about what I remembered: a family that owned a small home in the middle of a junkyard in GA, with a childhood spent playing in and around the junk. And about these pine trees. Low and behold, the librarian found it. Ecology of a Cracker Childhood by Janisse Ray. I was going to include a link to a review of this book, but there's so many, and if you love books about the south and memoirs, I think you might love this one. I did some research and the author has a second book in which she continues her story. I put a hold on it.

I went for a short walk this morning, since I'd been away from it for a week. I swam half my laps last night for the same reason. If only I hadn't bought that second bag of jelly beans on Saturday. They're 20 oz each! I have a bunch on my lap right now, as I type. When these are gone, I'm done. At least with the big bags.

The butterflies have been out in abundance today too. I don't remember seeing so many before I left for my vacation. It might also have to do with how much time I've been out today.

Those green bags I mentioned in the last post? Here's the link to the official website. I bought mine at Bed Bath and Beyond. I also bought the Melita coffee brewer there for $2.99.

I told you this post was going to be random!

I think I'm going to get on some long pants and a long-sleeved top and do some work in my garden. It's the perfect day for that.


10 August 2008

There's no place like home, except when you're on vacation

So, the vacay is over. The long trip home was hellish, but hey, it was worth it. I'm settled back in. Everything's put away, clothes cleaned, laps swam. It was a beautiful day for a drive. The sky was so blue and the clouds so brilliantly white and fluffy. I kept remarking on them, but none of my companions were interested. *sigh* It only took 3 hours to drive home, and that was with stops. I'm glad we stayed over in Colonial Heights/Petersburg, VA. An interesting place. I mentioned we were on the bad side of town. We drove through the historic part, which was amazing. I'd love to spend a day or two there with a guide. Apparently it's an important Civil War location, and maybe where Pocohantas is from? I did some reading, but not enough. We drove to the 'developed' part of town. Every big box store you can imagine, plus the mall. We didn't go into any of it. We had dinner at 5 Guys, and brought back a hotdog and fries for my mom. Then we all watched the Olympics. I called the desk to complain about the very loud people in the room above us. There were kids running in the room. I don't expect silence, but it was bad. The creepy manager got them quiet after the second call, and we all slept fine.

My new coffee maker

Thanks to Bon, my Gevalia coffee machine is in the basement, replaced by this tiny Melita single-cup coffee brewer sitting atop my favorite coffee mug. Bon brought one of these to the beach with us, and it brewed the perfect cup of coffee. I was hooked. If only I'd known they came in red... Now I'll need a tea kettle to boil my water. Back to Bed Bath and Beyond. Oh, btw, I followed Mo's advice and bought the Green Bags for fruit and veggies from BB&B. They work perfectly! I'll be buying the ones for bread and cold cuts next.

So, one more day off, then it's catch-up time at work. I'm gonna be working my butt off to make up for my time off. That's OK...I'm good at working hard.

Well, it's about time for the US gymnastic team to do their thing, so I'm signing off for now. Till the next time...

09 August 2008

Wah, wah, wah. Traffic on 95 S was horrible. Sometimes it moved at 80 mph, but for the most part it hovered at 30, or 5 or 20 or a standstill. Wah, wah, wah. We're only about 3 hours from my parent's house, but who knows how long that would really take. 5 hours? 6? So, we're in Colonial Heights, VA in a Knights Inn bordering on the bad part of town. I got two rooms...one with a king for the girls, and two doubles for Mom and me. Remember I said I'd never sleep with her again? The manager told us where to stay away from and that he'd keep an eye on the girl's room. I told Emily not to leave at all without me there. We'll be fine. They want to go to the mall and the movies. I'm too tired. I want to drive to the historic part of town with lots of neat shops in converted warehouses. They think that will be utterly boring. We're going to drive over just to see. Mom's snoring in bed as I type at 7:00. I'd be happy watching TV. Stay tuned.

08 August 2008

I'm so glad I watched the opening ceremony of the Olympics. I wouldn't have realized the date otherwise. I would have been bummed.


07 August 2008

It's a quiet night at the condo. I'm here, alone. Well, my mom is sleeping. Kelly and Natalie are out shopping. Emily and Leah are sitting out by the elevator with boys. I'm just out of the shower...at 9 at night. I stayed out on the beach till 6:30. It was heavenly. I've been listening to Nickel Creek and Keane on my mp3. Great music. I fell asleep with my chair reclined all the way, under the umbrella at the water's edge. So peaceful! Here's what I was doing just before I had to shut my eyes:

I finally finished a magazine. Woopee! So much for all my reading material.

There's some kind of bird that picks in the wet surf for little clams and sand crabs. It looks like an ugly black bird, not your usual tern or other beach bird. I tried my best to get some good shots, but didn't do very well. Everytime I got a little close they flew away.
Walking the surf line

Found it!

Got it!

I can't believe tomorrow is our last full day here. The week went by too quickly. There were so many things I wanted to do, but doing nothing at all prevailed. Tomorrow I want to walk the beach to the left of our condo and check out some of the other condos. I want to go back to the big condo complex a few buildings to the right of ours to hear a singer that performs at their outdoor bar. I want to go to the local fish store and buy fresh shrimp for dinner. And I want to do nothing at all. I'm going to need an early start.
I couldn't stop staring at her boobs

We went to Legends in Concert in Surfside Beach last night. Summer, you can skip this one. Yes, it was entertaining. The impersonators: Buddy Holly, The Blues Brothers, George Strait, Dolly Parton and, of course, Elvis. The music was suited for a much older crowd. My mother loved it! It was a good night out, but not as good as the other live entertainment we've seen the other years we've been here. Dolly was very enhanced, and, I thought, an almost clone of the real thing. It was fascinating to watch her. All the entertainers nailed their performances. When the show was over Mom and I walked by the stage to meet the performers. When we got to Elvis, he was posed with a tourist for a picture. My mother grabbed his other arm. I tried to pry it off, saying, MOM! they're trying to take a picture. Get your hand off. She just wouldn't! So, they took a picture with her hand on his arm. Then I took this picture:

Does she look happy or what? As we were walking away she told me that when we first got to Elvis she lost her balance and was holding on to him to hold her up. OH! That explained the death grip. Too funny! The guy had a great voice but does not look like The King.

I've been sleeping like a log here; till almost 8:00 every morning. That's been wonderful. I wake up and put on my bathing suit, then set up the two umbrellas and chairs on the beach. I come up and make my mom breakfast, have my coffee, etc., then go down. I stay in my bathing suit till it's time to come in for the day. I have no clue how I can spend so many hours on the beach, but can't wait to do it again. I just went out on the balcony to take a picture of the beach. Our umbrellas are the ones closest to the water in the center of the picture.

This is low tide. As the day goes on we'll move our umbrellas and chairs further and further out. My shoulders actually hurt from screwing in the anchor that holds the umbrellas.

I haven't done any walking or exercising of any kind, and I don't feel guilty. So there.

Well, it's time to get to work. Yeah, right...I'm on vacation! I do have to get my mom in her bathing suit and down to the pool. Then I'm out of here.

06 August 2008

Are you tired of my vacation yet?

Have jelly beans, will travel. My addiction. That and coffee. And yellow rafts.

The beach was covered in shells today for the first time

Very pretty but hard to walk on

I didn't see any, but apparently there were jelly fish in the ocean today and a lot of people got stung. I'm glad I got a lot of ocean time in, unaware and unscathed. I stayed out after finding out. We spent a lot of time in the pool. It really was hot! We walked down the beach to a big resort and tried out their pool and lazy river. It was nice, but our pool is just fine. We came in earlier than usual. Kelly is out with my mom right now. Mom really wanted a pedicure with the blue polish. When they get back we'll go to Sticky Fingers for dinner, then to see the live show, Legends in Concert. Should be a fun night out.

05 August 2008

There was such a nice breeze that the temp really wasn't an issue. At least not down at the beach. We drove over to check out the fancy pool. I dipped my finger in the water and it was salty. Strange, but much better than chlorine. The pool was big, but there wasn't much else special about it and there were only a few umbrellas for shade so we decided to skip it. So, another day at the beach. Time is flying and I want it to stop! Another lazy day of riding the waves, laying in the shallow surf, and sitting on my beach chair. I don't think I even read one page of my magazine! Too busy doing nothing.

The lifeguard was just OK

One more picture of my feet, but check out that ocean

My 'portable' beach set-up

I'm getting way too dark. I use #30 sunblock, and stay under an umbrella every moment I'm not in the water. The problem is that I'm in the water so much.

I came in at 5:00 to make dinner. Didn't want to, but it was time for me to be responsible. Made the girls chicken strips, mozzarella sticks and corn. Not very colorful, but tasty. Kelly took the girls out shopping while I made the adult's meal: Salsa chicken with rice. I covered everything in foil and went back down to the beach till 7:30. It was so wonderful! Such a peaceful time to be out on the beach. We had a late dinner, and I've been enjoying my first stay home night.

And now, I'm ready for bed. I need to rest up for tomorrow!
It's after 10 AM and I'm not down at the beach. I feel so lazy. Not! I did plant the umbrellas in the sand. The beach chairs weren't in the car, where we've been storing the stuff, so I didn't put them out. It's supposed to be hot, hot, hot here for the next two days. Triple digit hot. The condo has indoor and outdoor pools, so we can refresh there. Our friend is staying in a golf resort community about 5 miles away and it has the largest fresh/saltwater pool in SC. I have no clue what that means but it's a gigantic pool and looks amazing in the pictures. We want to go there today.

So, it's just been lazy here. Out on the beach in the morning. Two umbrellas and a bunch of beach chairs. Our rafts. Spending so much time in the water on the rafts. I don't think I've read more than a few magazine pages. Listening to my mp3 player with a sly smile on my face. The girls have been doing their own things. Walking, tanning (try as I might to get them to stop that), flirting big time. I've set my mom up at the outdoor pool which has an overhanging roof area of shade. She gets a kick out of asking strong young men to help her get into her chair when she needs help. Kelly and I have gotten her down to the beach the last two days. We didn't know that would be possible. Yesterday we had her in a low beach chair with the tide rolling over her legs and my chair umbrella shading her face. She was so happy! She kept saying how great it would be to have a strong man help us. I keep telling her all she needs is the strong women she's got! Right? I left my camera upstairs so no pics from the day. It was a great day on the beach.

Twice my mother has put on my glasses instead of hers and worried that something bad was happening with her vision. She wanted me to write that.

I took my two girls out shopping last night. I'm so done with that. Soul, you can relate, right?

This morning I made Val's Texas Caviar and a big batch of my tuna salad. I'll be making the dinner tonight, I think it's called Chicken Salsa. I'm running to the store for chicken nuggets for the girls.

That's my story for now. I'm sorry I'm so far behind on reading and posting. I hope all is well in your worlds.

04 August 2008

Blue has become very popular

Try this in 83 degree water. Heavenly.

Kelly walking my mom down to the water

My umbrella set up, first thing in the morning

Our condo taken from the beach

Having a great time. That said, it's time for the beach.

03 August 2008

love em&leah (:

02 August 2008

I got the apple and whipped cream topped pancakes. Yum! I don't think I walked enough to burn off those calories. At least I got the kid-sized portion.

We went to DeWayne's after breakfast and Em, Leah and I bought new Vera Bradley purses. Mine just holds a few things...camera, cell, and credit cards. Great for traveling. We drove in earnest from there, and arrived at the beach about 10 minutes after Kelly and her daughter Natalie pulled in. The girls rushed to the beach while we adults put all the stuff away.

The view from our balcony

Kelly and the girls went out for errands, Mom took a nap, and I headed out to the beach. It was really humid and windy, but I managed to read a whole People magazine. It's a tough life. We're all in now, it's storming outside, and the adults are getting ready for bed. Oh, and I have 4 bars of Internet service! Great news for an addict like me.
I will never sleep with my mother again. It was bad enough that I had all that coffee. The girls stayed up late with my laptop. I tried to get them to go to sleep, and finally they powered down. I had my earplugs in, with the AC unit blasting out plenty of white noise. Then my mother's restless leg syndrome kicked in. I swear she jerked every 5-10 seconds. I coulda cried. I was banging on my head I was so utterly frustrated. Waaah! Finally, somehow and sometime in the wee hours I fell asleep. I got up at 7:00, put on my walking clothes and left the motel for a 40 minute frustration fixer. When I got back I told my mom about the night and how it wasn't her fault. I also told her I'd never ever sleep with her again.

It's almost time to wake the sleepy-headed girls. We'll go for breakfast at Cracker Barrel, a real treat. I hate stopping at them on the road because it takes so long to get seated and then eat, but we have lots of time before check in at Myrtle, so time won't be an object. I'm going to have the peach and whipped cream topped pancakes. Hey, I'm on vacation. We'll go to some outlets, then be back on the road. I'm pretty sure it's a little over 3 hours till our destination. Not counting stops. I'm ready for a latte now.

01 August 2008

Surprise! Our economy motel has wireless. Woohoo. I can't believe I'm gonna have to share a full size bed with my mother. Waaah :(/ I have a hard enough time sleeping alone. The room has 2 full size beds and is roomy but dirty. I pulled the bed away from the wall to find a plug and it doesn't look like it's been vacuumed in about 50 years. I am so glad I brought my own pillow. Oh wait...I have my camera. Let me take a few pics.

And the girls...

They're painting their toes Teal blue while texting/IM'ing and doing whatever. You know my bare legs are not touching that carpet!

The drive down was fine. Lots of stopping. Coffee at home, Border's and Starbucks. Will I sleep tonight? The hotel is right by a huge outlet center. Mom and I ate at Outback while the girls ate at Dairy Queen. Then we browsed the outlets. I'm really not a shopper and the car is packed to the gills. No one bought anything. Yet. I think I'm going to drive to the outlets when I wake up and do my walking. That's all the plans I have for now. We could have driven to Myrtle Beach tomorrow, our check-in day, but it's hard for my mom to be in the car for so long, and it's nice to not have the first day be a driving day.

I'm gonna see if I can go to sleep. I'm a little skeptical. TT Y'all later!