31 August 2009

Weekend update

It's so nice to have my weekend consist of Sunday and Monday. Yes, Saturday comes around and I wish I was off like most of the population, but I only work till 2:30, so I really can't complain. I can't complain about my job at all, and I don't, as you know.

I had a great time at Sherwood, again. This time Kit and I met up with our old friend Lisa who lives in VA. It's been at least a year since I've seen her and the last time was at Sherwood for another sleep over. The three of us met and went to Whole Foods for dinner. Lisa and I explored Anthropologie. That place is a visual feast. We went back to Sherwood and I drove us along the path that runs along the Severn, in the golf car, of course. We spent the evening drinking wine and talking the hours away on the screened-in porch. We had scones for breakfast on the porch, then it was back on the golf car for more time by the water. Lisa had two pairs of binoculars and her bird book. A pair of Great Blue Herons were on the dock, probably 50 feet from us. Through the binoculars we were able to see the female (?) regurgitate two whole fish. What an awesome sight. Then, one by one she picked them up and dropped them in the water. She was beautiful and so majestic. It was a picture perfect day. We had lunch at the General Store, then Lisa followed me home. We spent time talking about my garden. Lisa works in a big garden center and knows her stuff. I hope to have her help me in the spring with new plants. We drove Emily to her job at Rita's. Lisa had never been to Rita's before and fell in love with the Cotton Candy Ice. I won't tell you how many she had because she reads this blog! She went with me to pick out a new printer for Emily. Then we went to Borders and then to my salon where we looked through the windows. She had never seen it before. It was great spending time together. I wish she lived closer.

Today was spent doing laundry, shopping, and other house-stuff. I drove Emily to practice at 3:00, then ran errands and spent time on my laptop at Panera's. At 6 I went back to the school for a team/parent meeting and dinner. At least half the kids forgot to tell their parents to bring a dish, including mine. There was pasta salad, salad, chips and salsa and a lot of desserts. The coach is great and it's going to be a fantastic team. Tomorrow is the first day of school (yeah!) and the first game. I'll be there. I jokingly asked Emily what she'd be wearing for her first day of school. The choices are green polo or blue! How great is that? I hope she has a fantastic day.

I became a great aunt again on Saturday. My sister's second oldest son had a boy in June. This time it was her oldest son Adam and his wife Millie. They welcomed little Bea on Saturday morning!

The new parents with Bea.

My sister with her first grandaughter.

Time to put this day to bed.


27 August 2009

It's mundane

This is the last picture I took before my camera died. Great Blue Heron. I turned the camera off after I took it and darn, the lens wouldn't retract. The same thing happened with my last Canon, but it was during the extended warranty period, and the store sent me a gift card to replace it. The card was for even more than I originally paid, which was nice. This time the camera is still under Canon's warranty, so I need to send it away to be fixed. I'm gonna be lost without it, you know. It's packed and ready to ship out tomorrow. I hope they send me a brand new one.

I was out at Sherwood Forest last night with Kit and two high school friends, Jane and Julie. We had sandwiches at the general store, then we rode along the river in the golf car. I'm always the driver. I LOVE driving golf cars! We sat out on the screened-in porch for quite a while after it got dark.

I'll be going to Sherwood again on Saturday after work and spending the night. This time it's going to be with Kit and our old high school friend Lisa. I haven't seen Lisa in a long time, but we take up exactly where we left off, no matter how long the absence. With all the driving around I've been doing with and for Emily, it's nice to have some time for me.

Today 'we' went to the orthodontist. Then 'we' went to the orientation for new students. Parents met in the library, although there was just my ex and his wife and two other women who had freshmen sons. Someone was there from the PTO and I signed up to volunteer. My ex wanted to give his wife a tour, and a student offered to take us. I asked the other two women if they wanted to go, and they said yes. They seemed very glad to have someone talk to them. We hung out together, and I told them this and that about school stuff I knew about. I thought of the reception I went to alone a few nights ago and wished other people had been welcoming to me. Just a thought. I left and went to the mall. Emily stayed for two hours and got to spend time with all her teachers. Then she went to practice.

I went to the AT&T store and showed them the last iPhone case I bought and how it wore out. They replaced it and I got to pick a new color! Then I went to Nordstrom's with a necklace I gave Emily for Christmas that was missing a rhinestone. They replaced that! I used a gift card at William-Sonoma that I've had forever. I bought two serving spoons, two mini-spatulas and a stainless steel bottle opener. One gift card down, a zillion to go. I had a kid's meal at Chik fil a. That was my exciting afternoon. By the time I got home I didn't do much more than clean and refill the hummingbird feeders and make an unexciting dinner. I was glad Emily got a ride home from practice. We had a coupon for Cold Stone Creamery and we went there for dessert. And here I am.

Tomorrow I'm booked at work. Yeah!!!

And that's all she wrote.

25 August 2009

Witty titles wanted

I was up at 4:30 this morning with worries. Would Emily's uniform skirts be altered on time? Could I change the orthodontist appointment? And what to wear for the introduction to the new head of the upper school taking place at night. Etc. At least I slept well until I got up. Better to save the worries for the morning. I think? Everything worked out just fine.

I got to work to find that I was there an hour early. And that I had two big appointments cancel. And that I had a large break till my last client of the day. I rescheduled her and left after doing my first and only client. That rarely ever happens. Usually I'm SO busy that I don't have time to go to the bathroom. This week looks to be a slow one. I went to my parent's house. I've been neglectful of my mother since field hockey practice started. Unfortunately she wasn't feeling well, and it was scary. She was nauseous, and very cold. She laid in bed for a while, then it passed. We watched Dr. Phil together. I tried to work on my dad's computer. It was nice to just hang around.

So tonight was the reception at the school. There were about 150 people in attendence. I went alone, thinking it would be just fine. I can be pretty social. I felt so out of place! Everyone seemed to know someone. It was a wonderful affair. Someone was playing the piano. There were exquisite pastries and fancy fruit platters here and there. Drinks. Tall tables with roses in square vases. I stood alone for a while, then made my way to the beverage table and picked up a fruit tart. I really wanted one of everything! Then I stood at a table by myself. It was so awkward. Finally a man, who was also alone, came over to talk. His wife was at home. I was so glad not to be alone. The new head, Mr. Connelly, spoke for a while. Then I spoke to the dean of admissions who was the person who gave us a tour of the school in the spring. She introduced me to some staff. As soon as I could, I made my exit. I'm not sorry I went, and I hope to be involved in the school and get to know other parents. Soon, I hope. I will say that every person I spoke to talked about how wonderful the school is. It all begins on Sept. 1.

I'm not busy at work tomorrow, but I'll bring a book or my laptop cause I can't stand to be bored. I'll be meeting friends at Sherwood Forest for dinner afterward. One of my favorite places. The golf car is charged and I plan to be the driver. Thursday, my day off, I'll be running all day...orthodontist, new student orientation, field hockey practice. And coffee. Yeah for days off and coffee.

I see I'm rambling. I'll stop. G'night.


24 August 2009


I'm sitting in the shade on my porch with the fan blowing on me (to hopefully keep the mosquitoes away without having to use OFF). I'll write a short post, then start catching up on all my friend's blog posts (you). It's a beautiful night. There's a hummingbird at my feeder as I write this. And two more in the trees. Butterflies are hanging from my butterfly bushes. Ahh, the simple things in life.

I've finished my book and it was a good friend while it lasted.

I mentioned that I took Saturday off to do something with Emily. The weather turned out to be pretty bad, and so were our moods. We both read a lot. I spent a few hours reading on the porch Sunday morning too, which was great. Emily and I went to my cousin's for crabs for dinner. It was my first time as a passenger with Emily driving the beltway. I was pretty nervous, but she did well. It's hard to be in the passenger seat when your child is driving in heavy traffic, with lots of curves in the road, brake lights on and off, and a speed limit of 65. The crabs and the company made up for the drive! I drove home. Here's a picture of the crabs. They're still alive...that's why they're blue (Maryland blue crabs).

Today was Emily's first scrimmage. I used the porta-john when I first got there and slipped on the soaking wet field when I got out. Luckily I landed mostly on my knees. The game was exciting, and I am so happy to be part of the Creek cheering squad. They lost the game, but they're a very new team with a lot of girls who have never played field hockey. They had no subs so the girls were on the field the whole time. I got to talk to a few moms, which was nice. Here's a group shot I took. I think at least 3 girls were missing today.

I went to the pool for a while in the afternoon. It felt great to swim. Labor Day is soon approaching and then it will be closed and I'll miss it. As long as the pool is open, it still feels like summer. As long as school hasn't started, it feels like summer too. Public school started today. Emily starts on the 1st.

Tomorrow night is a coffee and dessert reception to welcome the new head of the school. It will be the first time I meet and mingle with the parents of the students. I'll be going alone. Emily's father doesn't think he's going. I'll be outgoing for the night. It's not hard for me to.

Long enough? Till the next time...

PS...I had to use bug spray. Bummer.

23 August 2009

And how's your weekend?

My nose has been in a book all weekend. I'm in total immersion. My eyes are blurry. I'm reading South of Broad by Pat Conroy. I'll be back when it's finished.

20 August 2009


Just a quickie, cause I really want to read my book, South of Broad by Pat Conroy. The Lexington Herald-Leader wrote - "Few novelists write as well, and none as beautifully...Conroy's narrative is so fluid and poetic that it's apt to seduce you into reading just one more page, just one more chapter." I am loving this book! The day is almost done and I haven't read enough.

Why they call it a butterfly bush.

The beautiful Bermuda grass field Emily will be playing on.

Emily's new school.

And guess what? Emily's teammates voted her to be the Field Hockey team captain. I'm thrilled! Can you imagine starting at a private school as a Junior (scary), and being voted team captain? What a great honor. This school is going to be so great for her. And I hope, she for them.

I did my usual driving to and from practice. I hung out at Borders in-between. We got some lunch after practice then I headed to the pool. So hot and humid today. It was the kind of day that left you soaked with sweat after just a few minutes outside. I met Karen (Happyone) for dinner, then dessert at Rita's where Emily works. It was great spending time with her. I hung out with the neighbors when I got home, then spent lots of time on the computer trying to figure out something fun for Emily and I to do this weekend. I took Saturday off and I still don't know what to do. It looks like rain. A day trip to the beach might be bad because of the riptides from the approaching hurricane. I don't know what to do if we went to NY. I'm stumped. And I wish I had spent the last few hours reading. With that thought, I'm outta here.

(If you think of anything fun for us, let me know)

18 August 2009

A little update

My weekend's over and it's time to relax. Well, not relax exactly.My job is measured in minutes and I strive to stay on time, so every minute counts. That's the great thing about vacation; time doesn't matter much. What I mean to say is that at work I only have to work. There's no running around doing a million different things.

I went to my Cousin Jill's on Saturday for dinner. She loves to cook and I love to spend time with her and her family. We're second cousins and we've been friends since we were little kids. She and her daughter came over on Sunday and went through a huge (really huge) pile of clothes Emily is done with. Most everything was American Eagle with some Hollister and Abercrombie thrown in. It was a bonanza for Leah and I was so happy to be rid of the pile. I'm so glad Emily will be wearing a uniform this year. Emily spent Sunday with her new foreign-exchange friends and host family and former exchange student and his parents. The 10 of them went in a limo to DC. They went to the Holocaust Museum, lunch, The Spy Museum, dinner, then home. How much fun was that? In a limo!

Yesterday was Emily's first day of practice. I did the drop-off and pick-up for the morning practice and the drop-off in the afternoon. It takes 20 minutes to get to the school. I did stuff around the house in-between. I spent a long time outside watering the garden after dinner, listening to music on my iPhone. It was so nice. I decided that I'd like to be John Mayer's girlfriend, if only for one day.

I drove Emily to practice this morning. I need to finish getting ready for work now.

That's what I've been up to. That and grinding my teeth, for some reason.

14 August 2009

This and that, again, again (old title)

I've spent the morning as a data processor. At least that's what I'm calling it. Adding all of Emily's practices, games, and school events to my iPhone. Not exactly what I call fun. Now I have to correlate the dates with my work schedule. Soon I have to get together with the family I hope to carpool with to make driving arrangements. Life is about to change. Lots more car time.

I got a lot accomplished yesterday, but I'm not done. I can't believe I waited so many months to caulk Emily's bathtub. I did the big job of removing the old stuff and cleaning it spotless way back when. I dusted and caulked in about 15 minutes. Then I caulked around my bathroom vanity and the powder room vanity. A silly little job that I put off forever.

I spent a lot of time in the computer/stamping room. I decided to keep all my craft supply carts in the room, but moved them around. I took lots of stuff out of the room. I was going to show a before and after picture today, but decided to wait since I'm not done.

Emily and I spent many hours reading in the afternoon. What a novel (pun!) idea. I don't think we've ever read together. Actually, I hardly ever read books. I listen to them all in my car. Emily had one more book to read from her required reading list, and I'm frantically reading The Pirate's Daughter by Margaret Cezair-Thompson for my book club meeting on Sunday. I'm loving the book! Reading together was a nice way to pass an afternoon.

We went to Emily's new school for a meeting of athletes and their parents. The athletic director spoke to everyone first. I didn't realize that every student in the school is required to participate in at least one interscholastic sport. "...all students will benefit greatly from taking an active role in an interscholastic sport. Sports have been known to help kids live a healthier lifestyle, learn to respect authority, associate with positive role models and most importantly, value hard work". I like that philosophy. Emily knew two people there, plus the coach. I can't imagine how she feels, starting as a Junior in a very small private school. I really have to give her credit for having the courage to do this.

We came home and had a great shrimp dinner. It was actually the second night in a row I ate shrimp, but it would take me a while to get tired of it. I wanted to spend the rest of the night reading, but got caught up in the school website. I read in bed and stayed up an extra hour doing it. I could have read for hours.

P.S. I have no idea how to get rid of those annoying ads under the blog posts
P.P.S. My boss just called and I had a cancellation so I go in 2 hours later today. Will I read or work on the room?

13 August 2009

I have a plan

It's Thursday. I could do what I've done all summer. Avoid projects around the house. For instance...I removed all the caulk from Emily's bathtub a long time ago. So long ago that I don't remember when. May? The shower curtain has been wound around the pole this whole time. My supplies have been on the tub ledge. Emily likes my shower so it's been one of those out of sight/out of mind things. I'm caulking today! I'm also cleaning out the stamping part of the craft/computer room. The last time I stamped in earnest was Christmas. Emily needs a place to do her schoolwork other than the computer desk. I'm bringing all my craft carts down to the basement. I swear I am. Can you tell I'm trying to convince myself?

Update will follow. I'm gonna take some before pictures now. That will inspire me!

10 August 2009

Hot Monday

It was hot, hot, hot today. 97 degrees of hotness. At least it wasn't humid. I decided it was a perfect day for the movies. Mom and I saw Julia and Julie and I loved it. I read some reviews that said it should have been more Julia and less Julie, but I loved Julie. I loved everything about the movie, especially that Julie had a blog! Meryl Steep was outstanding as always. They showed a preview of her upcoming movie with Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin and I can't wait to see that. My mom wanted to go out to eat afterward. She said she knew where she wanted to go. I said, no Red Lobster, Popeyes, Old Country or Boston Market. She wanted Red Lobster. I wanted quick. Then she wanted Applebees. An appetizer and two entrees for $20. She watches a lot of TV and sees the advertisements for everything. I gave in and said yes to Applebees. The food was good, but too much. I was able to skip dinner.

I stopped by Marshall's on my way home to look for an Orioles shirt for Emily to wear to the game tonight.They had a selection of shirts and I picked up 2 Nike shirts for $5.99 each. She wanted Modells. She did agree to look in Walmart but didn't like their shirts. We went to Modells and their shirts were $15 and up. She chose one of my shirts. She sent me this picture from her seat:

I don't know much about sports, but this makes it look like she has a great seat. She's become good friends with two Scandinavian foreign-exchange boys and went to the game with them and the host brother. She went tubing on Saturday with a large group of exchange students, family and friends. She's having fun. The boys will go to her old school. Culture shock awaits them. The host mother has been taking in exchange students for 20 years. I find that very admirable.

I've stayed in tonight. Thought of bringing the laptop out to the porch for about 2 seconds. Way too hot. Plus the neighbor has his car up on blocks and is working outside and, well... I did talk to another neighbor for a while. I do have great neighbors. Then I did a lazy wash. That's when you wash black pants and black tops with white pants and white tops and hope for the best. It worked.

Time for bed. It always feels so good to lay down that I wonder why I never nap, or spend more time reading in bed. I wonder about this every night, so I don't expect it to change. G'night.

09 August 2009

I need a hammock between two palms

A crazy event happened last night. I was home alone and bored. What to do? I packed up my laptop and headed to the nice shopping center across the street from Arundel Mills Mall. I bought a grilled veggie burrito from Baja Fresh and sat at an outdoor table next to Panera's, right next to a nail salon. There was one empty table next to me, closest to the nail place. I couldn't get Internet access from Panera's (for some reason), so I was editing my pictures while I ate. I sure do love that burrito, especially with mango salsa on the side. Two employees came out of the nail place and sat at the table next to me. They left the salon door propped open which I wasn't crazy about because the air was laden (nice word Cheryl) with the smell of acrylic nail chemicals. Soon I saw a white car pull out of the first parking space and park along the curb of the parking lot. I heard my table-neighbors say something about the car in English, but they were mostly speaking in an Asian language. I was looking down at my laptop when all of a sudden I heard a chair fall over and people screaming. I looked up to see a violent fight starting at the table next door. Employees streamed out of the nail salon as I ran away, leaving my purse and laptop behind. I ran to the doorway of Panera's as customers from there crowded into the doorway trying to ascertain where the violent sounds were coming from. I saw some kind of martial arts sticks flying. Someone was throwing a chair at someone else. Glass was breaking. It looked like there were at least 10 people involved in this. It sounds like I was watching all this, but I really wasn't. Just taking glimpses. I didn't want to see anyone being hurt. I didn't want to see blood. It was over very quickly. The person/persons that were attacked must have been dragged back into the nail salon. Shaking, I asked a man if he could go over and get my purse for me. He brought it along with my laptop. I heard someone say "gang-related". Another person saying they got the license plate number of the white car. Deciding I had nothing to contribute to the story that would be told to the police, I got in my car. Eventually the police arrived and I left. I know there's crime at that mall, and I never go there. The shopping center across the street that I do go to has Coldstone, Baja Fresh, Panera's, Starbucks, Safeway, etc... Lots of outdoor tables. Lots of people inside and out. Will I ever feel safe there again?

To change the subject, I just had a confrontation with my next-door neighbor. I'm still shaken. I came home last night to see that the little 'greenway' (is that the word?) between the sidewalk and the street looked like this after he mowed:

This 'greenway' is about 6-7' long. My property is the un-mowed section on the left. I was shocked! In all the years he's been my neighbor I've mowed this and his part of the side yard we share, though most of my yard is garden. I'm not a person for confrontations, but this is my neighbor and I felt this needed to be addressed. Heart pounding, I just went over there. I explained that I don't like confrontations, but that I was shocked to come home last night and find the greenway mowed as it was. He said, really? Then he went on to tell me how un-neighborly I am. How critical I am of him and his house. He made it sound like I attacked him about his garage doors when I nicely told him I thought they were an eyesore when he asked if they bothered me. I know that sounds bad, but I really did say it in a nice way. He brought up the shrubs I suggested he trim differently last year because he was cutting away all the greenery and leaving exposed deadwood all along the side. Being non-confrontational, and knowing that this is an otherwise nice person, I told him that I would never say anything critical again. He didn't seem satisfied. I said, I'm apologizing. Will you accept my apology? Finally he said yes. I'll continue to mow his part of the lawn when I mow. I'll continue to say hello whenever I see him. It won't ever be the same. Oh, and I did mow the lawn this morning before this conversation.

On a brighter note, here's some things that make me happy:

Little garden gnomes from Cape Cod.

Vincas in May.

Vincas in August. See the 12" rabbit peeking out?

I hope today is a good day. I did get out at 7:30 this morning. I watered the whole garden. I mowed. I dead-headed flowers and weeded. I swept the garage. I was done by 9:45. Today will probably reach 100 degrees and I'm so glad I got this done. It was a stress-reliever too. Emily and I are ready to head to Annapolis Mall. We need to return stuff to Land's End. And eat. She works at Rita's later on, so I'll be getting her to and from and seeing my friend Kit in-between. Sounds good to me.

Happy Sunday!

08 August 2009

A little about not much

Things have been pretty status quo around here. Work. Driving. Being outdoors. Not much to write about. I'll write a real post soon. Promise.

05 August 2009

Rhode Island

I've been meaning to post some pictures from the last part of my New England vacation. I left Cape Cod on a Saturday morning and drove about 100 miles to visit my aunt in Rhode Island. We hadn't seen each other in decades. I lived with my aunt, uncle and cousins in their house in NY for months after leaving college. I have so many memories of the time spent there. It was a formative time in my life...trying to decide what I wanted to do with my future. My aunt and uncle were so supportive of me and gave me the time I needed to make some decisions. We've always had a special bond.

Here's my Aunt Carolee with her husband Gil in front of their beautiful home in Rhode Island.

They board two horses. I'm afraid of horses but tried not to show it.

This would be my spot if I lived there.

My aunt had me pick out something of hers to bring home. It was a very hard decision. I finally settled on this hand-blown vase she bought in Venice. She watched the glass-blower making vases and loved this one. I love it too.

I mentioned that I liked this piggy vase and she sent him home with me.

I'll always think of her when I see these pieces. Thank you Aunt Carolee!

03 August 2009

Catching up

I haven't been at Panera's in a while, but here I am. Just dropped Emily at driving school for her second and last week. I'm sure we'll all be glad when it's over. It's just a lot of driving to and fro, either 9-3 or 6-9 for school, then 3 days a week at her job working either 10:30-4:30 or 4:30-10:30. Don't ask where dinner fits in cause it's almost impossible.

The reunion started on Friday night. I met up with some classmates at a restaurant before heading to the class cocktail party.

Saturday I got all dolled up for the big reunion. My plans were to polish my nails at the last minute, but that proved to be impossible when you have to wear 'slimming undergarments.' No way can you pull them up and down with fresh polish. Oh well, my black and blue nail kept me real. I asked my new neighbor if she could come over and take some pictures of me since I was home alone. I forgot that she's an accomplished photographer and she came with her professional equipment. We did a photo shoot! I'll post some pictures when she sends them to me. Here's one she took with my camera.

If you've been reading my blog for a while you know I'm not a fancy person. This outfit was way outside 'the box' for me, but I had a blast wearing it! It was fun to be a little sexy. The party was one big high. We sported name tags with our Senior pictures:

I spent the night going from person to person, looking at their name tags, then giving a hug and starting a conversation. Thank goodness for the tags. It was often the only way to recognize the person! The years have a way of changing how we look. Most people were recognizable. Many people were very kind and told me I hadn't changed a bit. Right. I wore overalls and construction boots in my senior year. Anyway, I think I only sat down for about 20 minutes, and that was to eat dinner. Kit was my designated driver, and I found that I like the drink Sex on the Beach very much! By the end of the evening we had the dance floor filled. Everyone agreed we don't want to wait another 5 years to get together. Maybe we won't. Our class is fortunate to have a very active reunion committee (thank you!) and there's been a reunion every 5 years; this was our 35 year reunion. That's almost impossible for me to fathom. Kit and I left the party well after 1 AM and I spent the night at her house. She slept for about an hour before taking off for her flight to CA. I don't know how she did it. So, the party is over. I wonder when I'll wear that dress again?

In other news, we had a guest 'hairdresser' at our house yesterday, our friend Sarah. Emily has wanted the underside of her hair tinted red, and she asked Sarah to do it for her. Less conflict that way. Emily loves it, and so do I.

Half and half during the haircut. The real hairdresser (me) did this part.

After, with flat-ironed hair. Cute, huh?

One last picture to round out this post that I snagged from my oldest nephew Adam's FB page. He and his wife Millie are expecting their first baby next month. Here's them 'practicing'. Can't wait to see a baby in that carrier although that bear is awfully cute.

01 August 2009

Weekend plans

It's Saturday! This is my high school reunion weekend. Last night I made it to the casual cocktail party when I got off of work. I just stayed a little so I could get home and to bed on time. I missed the last reunion so it's been 10 years since I've seen a lot of my former classmates. It's surreal seeing everyone so much older! Tonight is the big party...buffet, open bar, DJ, etc... My only worry is about being overdressed, but I'll probably be fine. I'll try to find someone to take my picture. In high school I wore overalls, construction boots and a bandanna in my very long curly hair. Tonight I'm wearing a sexy blue satin form-fitting dress. Surprise. Out of my comfort zone, yes, but it does look good. Tomorrow is a picnic. Not sure if I'll make it to that; we'll see.

Happy Saturday!