30 September 2009

A silly thought

Today's Spirit Week theme at Emily's school is clash day.

Imagine one day with every single person dressed crazily. Not normal crazy, like some people do regularly. Mismatched crazy. I think it might bring the world together. CEO's in plaid slacks with three layers of patterned shirts, a scarf, mismatched shoes and a ski hat? Think of the possibilities! I think it could be a day of laughter and fun.

29 September 2009

Just a quick one

Yesterday was a great day off. It was nice doing this and that around the yard while listening to my music. I even washed some of my siding. If someone had been watching they would have been amused. Picture me on a rickety step stool on a steep hill using a long-handled dust mop wet with Windex window washer hooked up to my hose. I did what I could.

I went to my Aunt and Uncle's for Yom Kipper. There were 17 of us and everyone was happy to be together. Emily had stuff to do for school and she spent the time with a few girls getting ready for Spirit Week. They bought matching yellow dresses and yellow socks to wear to school today. We blew up a zillion yellow balloons last night. Should be a fun week. This will culminate with 'Creekfest' on Saturday, an all-day event that's open to the public. All the teams from the middle and upper school will have games. There will be all sorts of craft booths, food, rides, etc. I took the day off and will volunteer. Saturday night is Homecoming. It'll be a fun day and night.

Here's a pic of Emily demonstrating my new 'palm peeler'. Her young hands make a much better picture than mine. This thing works great! I'll never use a regular vegetable peeler again.

Time to get ready for my short work day. Emily has a home game today, so I'll be working a few hours. Time to go!

28 September 2009

Monday, my Sunday (a recycled title)

I feel so lazy when I sit on the couch. I get that from my mother -- she hardly ever sat down. She worked, mowed the lawn, shoveled the snow, did the bills, cooked all the meals, and kept a spotless house. My house isn't spotless, but it is always neat. My mother was compelled to be busy. She felt that way right up till the time she had her massive stroke. That's one of the things that made it so bad. She went from being busy and totally self-sufficient to someone who needed others to do all the things she used to do. For years after the stroke it was especially hard on the family. As soon as anyone walked in the door she'd say something like, 'I have 4 things I want you to do'. We got to hating that. No hello, how are you, just, can you do this and that? I see this post is taking on a life of it's own. The things she wanted done weren't big; they were the things she would have done but couldn't anymore. Like sweep the garage. Or sweep the porch or patio. I don't sweep my own garage (hardly), porch or patio. I don't have every towel in the linen closet folded and stacked just so. We understood my mother, but...nobody wanted to do it. It got much better once my parents hired Jess to be her aide. Jess does all the little things that my mother wants done, plus she's great company for her. Jess is engaged to my nephew, and she's like a daughter to my mother. A daughter who gets paid.

Anyway, it's a gorgeous day and I'll be going out to mow the lawn and clean up the garden a little more. I've been staying ahead with that, so I don't have too much to do. I just want to spend time outside. The sky is completely clear and a beautiful blue.

Emily and I spent a while in Annapolis yesterday, sitting on the dock in sight of our car with an unpaid meter, watching people and the sky. We felt so lucky to find a great parking space only to see it was a 30 minute one. So we hung out there. She sat while I walked across the street to Starbucks. I sat while she got ice cream.

We finally put money in the meter and walked to the far side of the pier. I was so proud to see my daughter following in my 'footsteps' with feet pictures.

It was an amazing sky day. If you know me you know how amazed I am with blue skies and big clouds. It looked like a huge storm was coming, but just from one direction.

This was the view from the other direction.

It only sprinkled, much to our amazement. Then the sky filled with amazing white clouds set against a brilliant blue sky. And it got cool.

I'm getting up. I have a lot more I could say (especially fueled by coffee), but I've been on the couch too long and I feel like the day is passing me by.

Happy Monday!

24 September 2009

Thursday stuff

I'm up and feeling a little groggy this morning but I hear the last gurgling noises coming from my coffee pot. It's saying, come here Cheryl, time to rev you up. Wouldn't that be novel...to have your appliances talk to you? I sure do wish I could drink regular coffee every day like most people. I just can't handle the caffeine with my kind of job. That's why drinking it on my days off is such a little pleasure for me. OK...big pleasure.

I'll be heading out to my parent's house later this morning. My mom really wants to go to Kohl's. I don't, not at all, but I'll do it for her, and try not to do it grudgingly. Who knows, I might find lots of stuff I love. Having her scooter will make it better for both of us. She can be independent. Afterward we'll head out towards Annapolis and I'll drive her by Emily's campus. She'll like seeing the school. Then I think I'll drive her through Sherwood Forest. Again, she's only heard me talk about it. She doesn't know it yet, but I'll take her to Old Country Buffet for lunch. We haven't been there in ages, and she'll be happy, happy, happy. I'll try not to act like it's my last meal and just eat a normal-size portion. Finally, I'll go to Sears because my new glasses are ready! I hope I love them. What if I don't?? Last stop will be to bring my mom home. I hope.

Emily is on a class trip with her 42 fellow Juniors. They left on a big chartered bus early yesterday morning. They went to James Madison University for a tour, info session and lunch. Emily texted me and said that's where she's going to college. Next they went to Bridgewater University. She said she hated that. They checked into their hotel at 6, had dinner and spent the night hanging out. It was supposed to be lights out at 11. That didn't happen. I bet they're tired after a 6:30 wake-up call. This morning they'll visit Thomas Jefferson's Monticello. From there they'll go to the University of VA. I can't wait till I get her impression of that amazing school. They'll have dinner out and get back to the hotel at 8 PM. Tomorrow they'll get to the University of Richmond in the late morning. They'll arrive back at their school late in the afternoon. How cool is that? Here's what the Director of Student Activities writes in the parent's information newsletter: "Welcome to an important part of your student's school experience! The beginning of each school year brings with it class trips. This is an opportunity to work and play cooperatively with fellow students and staff members. The key themes of each trip are respect, responsibility, and risk. Respect and responsibility for self, peers, others, and the environment are the hallmarks of these class trips. Combining these two themes with an element of safe and healthy intellectual and physical risk, students are expected to challenge themselves to try something new and different with the support of their classmates in an effort to create a better, stronger community at ICS" I love this school. The cost of the trip is included in the tuition. The Freshman class is camping. The Sophomore class is in NYC. The Senior class doesn't have a formal trip, although one is offered if the kids want to go.

I made plans to meet Karen at Panera's after work. She found a knitting group that meets there every Wednesday night from 7-9, although some get there as early as 3. I was really impressed by the whole concept. I'm estimating there were at least 50 friendly women and 1 man knitting, talking, laughing, eating, etc. Everyone was so happy. It was a community. I wanted to walk around and see what everyone was knitting. It made me want to pick up some knitting needles!

I better go or I'll never leave the house. Happy Thursday!

21 September 2009

What a day!

It was a great day today. As you can see from the color of the sky, it was just gorgeous outside. Low 70's, no humidity, with a delightful breeze.

The Metro ride in was easy as could be. I should be going downtown on a regular basis. We spent hours at the Holocaust Museum. One more hour would have made it complete, but we just couldn't do it. Not this time. There's just too much to absorb. If you ever have the opportunity to come to DC, you need to spend at least half a day at this museum. It was so good to come out into the bright sunlight after the hours of dark and cold and death.

We ate hotdogs on the Mall and watched all the birds watching us, waiting for the crumbs we didn't feed them. Then we went to our next stop.

We went to the Museum of American History and saw the First Ladies' gowns, The Star Spangled Banner, Abe Lincoln's hat, etc. The highlight was the Julia Child exhibit. We spent a long time there. It's a fantastic exhibit and perfectly timely with the release of 'Julie and Julia'.

Julia Child's kitchen

We had an easy trip home, and said our good-bye's. I'm so glad I had the opportunity to spend this much time with my niece. I'll miss you Sarah!

I'm still here

How can it be Monday again? I didn't realize how many days had gone by since I last posted till a good friend pointed it out. Time flies. It's a fact.

Saturday found some of us relatives together at my Cousin Danny and Michele's house for Rosh Hashannah. Seventeen if I'm counting right. A lot of family were missing, but being with the ones that were there was wonderful. We're a close family, but only see each other three times a year, for the Jewish holidays and Thanksgiving. This year my niece Sarah drove up from GA for the long weekend and got to spend time with her MD relatives that she rarely sees.

Yesterday Sarah and I drove Emily to work, then went to Annapolis. I drove her through Sherwood Forest so she could see it in person and not just on my blog. I think she'd agree it was an enchanting place. She loved the Robin Hood theme of the road names, and the quaintness of the General Store, to say nothing of the beauty of the river.

We went to Sears and she helped me pick out new progressive lens glasses and sunglasses. What a big decision! Together they were more than $500. It was fun doing the picking out, and the optometrist was so helpful. She loved me. I don't know, maybe I was more animated about the whole process than most people. Getting new glasses is a very big deal to me and they have to be just right. It makes such an impression on your looks.

It was another picture-perfect day yesterday and we ate outside at Gordon Biersch. I had a Kobe beef burger with caramelized onions and swiss on a pretzel bun with garlic fries. It was worth every single calorie! Sarah had Mahi Mahi fish tacos and said I should have them next time I go there and I will. We walked around Annapolis Town Center. Spent a lot of time at Anthropologie. Sur la Table. Whole Foods. Etc. We went to Trader Joe's. We came back to my house and I gave Sarah an 'Aunt Cheryl' haircut. It was a very full day.

I should be getting ready right now for today, and I will in a minute. I'll be driving Emily and Kendall to school, then driving over to my parent's. I'll pick up Sarah and we'll drive to the closet Metro station, then take the train to the Smithsonian station. We'll be going to the National Holocaust Museum. I've never been, and it's been a long time since she's been there. We'll spend as much time as we want there. I'll bring tissues.

Promise I won't be away so long next time. I'll leave you with a picture of two curly-hair cousins.

16 September 2009


I just came from Emily's game and I'm sitting outside the general store at Sherwood Forest. I'm meeting Kit and two other high school friends. Our team lost badly. The girls are playing better with every game, but so far they haven't scored. I give them credit for keeping up their spirit.

So, I'm pretty wired here. Borders had a buy one get one drink free coupon. That means I had two of my favorite drinks. I couldn't help myself. I won't be sleeping well tonight, but it sure feels good right now (smile). Speaking of tomorrow, I'm going to an iPhone workshop at the Apple store. I just found out they have free classes. It will be interesting to see what I don't know. So far that's my only plan for the day. As always, it'll get filled up one way or another.

Over and out for now.

13 September 2009

Sunday, Sunday

Today was a picture-perfect day. The bluest blue sky. The most magnificent white clouds. Delightful breeze. Perfect temperature. I spent almost every moment outside. I started on my porch with my eyes on my laptop and on the hummingbirds. Then I put on long pants and a long-sleeved top and cleaned up my perennials. It was a messy but rewarding job. Then I changed into shorts and mowed the lawn. It felt so good to do that work. I got cleaned up and went with my friend Sarah and her boys to the Airplane Park. It probably has a different name, but that's what we call it. It's about 15 minutes from home. It has a great playground and a trail that goes around the airport for bike riders, skaters and walkers. I don't know why I don't go there more often. It's a great place to grab a blanket and picnic and watch the sky. Or walk or ride, of course. It's very popular.

I picked Emily up from her job when I got back. Then I schmoozed with the neighbors in the cul de sac. Then it was back to the porch and the birds and the laptop. And the mosquitoes. I'll need another shower before bed to wash off the OFF.

I made Emily's favorite main dish for dinner tonight. For the second time in less than a week. French's Crunchy Onion Chicken. The recipe is on the can of French's french fried onions. It really is quite delicious. Who would have thought those things could be even better on chicken than in the famous French's Green Bean Casserole?

I'm watching the MTV Video Awards as I'm writing this. Lots of great performances. Shame on Kanye West. I like his music but he's such a egomaniac and a jerk. You'll know what I mean if you saw it.

Tomorrow starts the Monday routine. Drive to school. Take Mom to the doctor's. Go out to lunch. The rest is a mystery. I like a day that unfolds.

Emily's team pic.

11 September 2009

A day to remember

September 11. A day of remembrance for all the innocent people who died at the hands of fanatical and crazed terrorists. I pray that a day like that will never be repeated.

10 September 2009

Synched, late

It was an out-of-sync kind of day. I drove the kids (Em and Kendall) to school, waited a few minutes, then signed in at the front desk to attend the PTO (parent teacher organization) meeting. When I looked at the sign-in sheet and saw no other signatures, I asked if I had the right day. That's when I found out the meeting was at the lower school campus, about 4 miles away. I got there a little late. A lot of parents were in attendance, but not a lot was said or done. It was mostly lower and middle school stuff. I did meet a few parents from the upper school, which was great. I had previously filled out a PTO interest form and was told that I would be contacted. It was all over by 10:00 and I was left wondering how I'd fill my time till Em's 4:00 game. I went to Sam's Club to return the camera. I realized I had a memory card full of pics and that it was a perfect opportunity to order prints. It takes a lot of time to do all the editing, etc, but I did it and almost had the order finished when the tech came over and announced the processing machines were down and that it would take longer than an hour. I knew I'd be in the area, so it was OK. I walked all the isles. I decided to have an eye exam. I checked out glasses afterward but couldn't find ones I liked better than the ones I have. Everyone in that department agreed and I decided to look elsewhere some other time. I checked to see if my pictures were ready; they weren't. I returned Karen's call (Happyone) about getting together but we decided on a raincheck. I had a hotdog. I paid for my items. I checked on the pics again. They were almost ready but the 5X7's wouldn't be ready today. I gave up and left. Then I went to the mall, which is across the street from Sam's. I met up with my 'friends' from Land's End at Sears and tried to figure out the right size for Emily's long-sleeve polos. After many calls to Land's End, we gave up for now and I found a few tops for myself. About that time I noticed that the tiny orange dot on the iPhone that shows it's on silence when switched to the left also showed orange when it was switched to the right. I went to the AT&T store and was told I had to go to the Apple store. I went there and the tech agreed it needed looking at and that there was an opening at the 'Genius Bar' in 40 minutes. Well, I couldn't do that. Emily's game was starting at 4 and I didn't want to be late. I drove to the school and was dismayed when I saw no parents' cars lined up for the game and no field hockey team on the field. No game. I looked at my calendar to find that it was an away game. At least an hour away. Wah. I went online and found another opening at the Genius Bar and made an appointment. I had my laptop in the car so I was able to back-up my iPhone. I went to Apple to find that I needed a new phone. How cool is that? Very. New phone in hand, I went to Panera's for dinner. Then to the school to pick up Emily who just got back from the game. That was my crazy out-of-sync day.

We went to the grocery store when we got home. I saw my new favorite ice cream on sale. Last time I made my pint last for at least 5 servings. I told Emily I wouldn't share.

09 September 2009


I sat out on the porch earlier, trying to hoard as many hummingbird sightings as possible since I know their days here in MD are numbered. One came to a feeder as soon as I walked outside, then it perched on a branch of the butterfly bush for at least 5 minutes. That was pretty amazing to me. I couldn't stay out long because the mosquitoes were mistaking me for their meal. It's getting dark so early. Fall is definitely on it's way. I guess I'm ready. Just not for what comes after. I questioned whether I should/could wear white capris today. The rule used to be no white after Labor Day. I remember the same rule about white shoes. I don't remember the last time I wore white shoes. Here I'll segue to another subject. I'm so not into shoes. I have three pairs of work sandals, Merrells, that I wear all the time. Two are the same but one black and the other khaki. The other pair is black. In the winter I only wear black clogs. I've been wearing the same clogs for years. Born brand. I think there's two dots over the 'o' in Born. When you stand on your feet all day you have to wear comfortable shoes. I used to wonder if my co-workers noticed I wore the same shoes all the time. Then I decided to call them my uniform shoes. I'm not much of a shopper. In the winter I wear long sleeve cotton knit tops in black. I wear polyester black slacks. I buy them at Marshall's. I wear my black smock and black clogs. My uniform. I'll buy new clothes at the beginning of the season, then never go into a store again. I have a little more variety in the summer. I wear black short sleeved tops with khaki capris and black or khaki sandals. I also wear black capris with colored tops. If I should happen to wear a patterned top, it's usually for a reason and co-workers ask. That's pretty bad, huh? I've never said I'm not predictable. I'm just not much of a dresser.

Did I mention I got my Canon back? It happened amazingly fast. I mailed my camera out on a Tuesday and got it back the following Tuesday. I 'tried out' a new camera while it was gone, a really nice Lumix with 10X optical zoom. I couldn't let back-to-school day pass without pics. If my Canon couldn't be fixed under the manufacturers warranty, I would have considered keeping it. OK, it was fun trying another camera out. Before I got my first digital camera I bought and returned about 5 different cameras till I found the one I loved. I was an educated consumer.

Here's my exciting schedule for tomorrow. Coffee in the morning. Yeah for days-off and coffee. Then I drive Emily and Kendall to school. Emily has to be there at 8:15 for team breakfast. At 8:30 I'll attend the PTO meeting. My plan is to be involved in the school and get to know other parents. I have a feeling the meeting could last for hours. How could that be? Emily has a home game at 4:00. It's supposed to be 65 degrees tomorrow with a 60% chance of rain. If the fields are wet there'll be no game. The athletic director won't let anything mess up the beautiful Bermuda grass field. So, the only thing that's for sure is the drive and the PTO. Tomorrow will unfold and something will happen. That works for me.

So, I've said a lot about not much. I've had the laptop on my lap for a while and it's hot. I watched Obama speak. I thought it was a fantastic speech and I'm very proud to have him as our president. Now I'm watching Glee. That's the exciting life of a single mom in suburbia. Ladeda.

07 September 2009

For Karen

Karen had a mystery tree and a fellow blogger identified it as a Mulberry. I know what this is but it's probably a mystery to most. Anyone want to guess?

Here's something bothering. A client sent me a e-mail yesterday thanking me for the Facebook friend invite I sent but told me she doesn't do Facebook. I wrote back, apologizing, but told her that I never sent an invite. Then I wondered if I was losing it, perhaps forgetting that I really did invite her. I was just on the phone with my sister Ilene and she told me she got my Facebook friend invite. The invite I didn't send. I'm not sure if I did something with my FB settings, but I know I didn't do anything with my address book. I don't like this invasion of privacy at all. Did anyone else get an invite? I guess I'll find out.

Emily's cell phone met an untimely (timely) demise last night when it fell into a soda. On the same day she was eligible for an upgrade. We immediately covered all parts with rice to see if that would absorb the extra moisture. I'm choosing to view it as a true accident because Emily seems sincere. If she's not and it's a guilty secret for her, she'll have to live with that. Our plan (her dad and I) was to wait till her Oct. 5 birthday and buy her the iPhone she's been coveting. Things changed so today had to be the day. I got to our local AT&T store early with a birthday card, ribbons and the money to buy the phone and accessories in the form of gift cards. Emily arrived with her father and we gave her the card. She went in and told our guy Tavin the story of her Blackjack II and that she was there to get the new 16 GB iPhone 3Gs. He told her he was sorry but they were out of stock and only had the 32 GB. I knew he was pulling her leg. Until I found out he wasn't. What the heck? We know this guy. What was he pulling? Trying to get us to spend $100 more for the bigger phone? We had to wait while a manager refunded the gift cards, then take two cars to the Apple store in the mall where we were able to purchase the right phone. Then to the AT&T store in the mall for the case and non-glare screen protector. What should have been simple took a few hours. That said, Emily is SO happy, and I'm happy for her. Tonight she took her old phone out of the rice it's been sitting in and it powered on, much to her surprise. The screen is messed up, but if we ever need a back-up, we'll have it.

That was our adventure for the day. Hope it was a good weekend for ya'll.

06 September 2009

So far

Great weekend so far. Details to follow. I'm off to meet a friend for breakfast, but thought I'd put up this collage from yesterday's Renaissance Festival. Click to biggify. In my window, I had to scroll to see the whole thing. It was so easy to create with Picassa.

Happy Monday morn. Happy Labor Day!

04 September 2009

Hi friends

The only kind of fast food I eat is Chick-fil-a. I'm not crazy about it, but it hits the spot when I'm really hungry. I usually don't eat dinner when I work late. I don't like to eat late. I bring a lot of food to work with me and on those nights I'll eat whatever I have left. Pretzels, cantaloupe, yogurt...stuff like that. I'll have ice cream at home if I have it. Tonight I wanted McDonald's. I drove out of my way to get there. I had a Big and Juicy burger, and I don't regret it. McDonald's hit the spot. So did the ice cream I just had.

Anybody doing anything special for the Labor Day weekend? Not me. Not that I know of. I'm hoping something magically turns up. It's just a regular weekend for me. Work on Saturday. Off on Sunday and Monday. I'll probably go to the pool party at my old community pool. It's a tradition and I know a lot of people there. It's the say good-bye to summer party.

Hopefully I'll be back soon with a more meaningful post. Some days you have it, some days you don't.

01 September 2009

Another mostly Emily day

This morning I took my usual first day of school pictures. I've been taking them in this same spot since Emily was in 3-year old pre-school. One day I'll post them all. I can't believe that she's a Junior this year. This morning as she was getting ready for school she remarked how much easier it is to get ready for school when you don't have to decide what to wear. White shirts on Wednesday and green or blue on the others. Khaki skirts every day. Doesn't she look cute? You can't even tell she's sick. I went out at 7AM to pick up Sudafed. I picked up Tylenol PM after the game for tonight.

This is Kendall, the friend that brought us to the school. We're carpooling with his family. He was a sport and let me take his picture when we picked him up.

I had a short work day today because I went to the field hockey game. It was so hot in the direct sun. Our team lost :(. They looked good, though. They all got new uniforms today. SO much better than the uniforms at her old school. I took pictures. I should download them. Here's one:

Well, I'm tempted to start reading blogs. I really want to and I miss when I'm behind, but I'm tired and really want to get to my book. Tomorrow I'll be working 9 hours so you won't see me then. Be back on Thursday.

Happy....night, day, life?