29 October 2009


Hi, it's me. Long time...

I got involved in one of those Facebook applications. Time sucker. Don't ask why; I don't even enjoy it. Anyone watch LOST? Remember when they had to continually punch a code into the computer? That's what this is like. No purpose, no reward. Silly and mindless.

My couch and coffee table are covered with paperwork. I'm SO not good at this stuff. I have forms to fill out for financial aid for the 2009-2010 school year for Emily. I'm not good at it, I'm overwhelmed by it, and I need help. And I feel stupid. I'm probably making too big of a deal out of it. I have to estimate things for 2009 and for 2010. I have to go over this stuff with my ex to see if I've done it right. I really don't want to do that, but I need his help. It's not that my income has to be a secret...I don't care if he knows. I just don't like him to know that I don't understand stuff. Oh well.

My brother, sister-in-law, and I went to Longhorn Steakhouse with my mother for her 77th birthday. It was really nice. My mom ordered soup and salad for an appetizer. I know she likes to eat, but my mouth dropped open when she said yes, she understood it wasn't an appetizer but it's what she wanted. She also ordered an entree. My brother told her that was fine, she could take the leftovers home. He was right. And it was her birthday and why not? We do love to eat in our family. Since my mom's stroke, it's one of her only pleasures. I was good and had grilled chicken with grilled veggies. It was delicious. Her shrimp and lobster bisque soup was much better. I went to her house afterward and cut her hair. That job was long over-due!

Speaking of hair, remember the before and after pictures from my last post? I liked the silver in my client's hair. She wanted it tinted because she was about to start looking for a new job, and tinted hair does make you look younger and more job-marketable. I'm always very, very happy to have new clients. I'm even happier to have new clients that come on a regular basis for hair color. It's how I make my living.

Speaking of hair, again...Last week as I was behind the desk at work, my boss commented, "that haircut is just terrible", or something to that effect. I turned around to see who she was talking about, and it was the client I had just finished doing. She said it looked like she had a flying saucer on her head. I'm laughing as I'm writing this. It was a classic bowl cut. It's exactly what she wants, and not many people can do it perfectly. It was perfect, but she was right. My boss asked me if I ever suggested a different haircut to her, and I said no. My client loves the way I do it. I'm definitely going to rethink it, though. And suggest a change. It reminded me of that balloon boy aircraft. I guess some classics need to retire.

Speaking of hair, again...there's a haircut that so many clients get. A bob, shorter in the back and longer in the front. I think too many people have it. For me, it's so hard to cut and I don't enjoy it. I get a lot of satisfaction when it's done, but I suffer over it. The haircut looks fabulous on some, but just too trendy on others. That's all.

Emily's last game was postponed till tonight at 6:30. It looks like rain outside so I just turned on the Weather Channel. Look at all the snow! And rain! And tornadoes. I'm glad I'm on the east coast. It's 56 degrees and cloudy.

I have less than an hour before I leave. I'm gonna cook up some dinner, and clean up these papers. I'll worry about them later.

Hope your Thursday was a good one.

26 October 2009

Filler stuff

Where does the time go? That's a song, right?

I guess I just haven't been in the mood to write lately. It's temporary, I promise.

I've spent a lot of time with Kit and her family since her dad passed away on Friday. I've cleaned my house! I made some pitiful deviled eggs for my book club yesterday. I'm about to tackle some paperwork. Later I'll go to Em's field hockey game. Just routine stuff. I need a little excitement or motivation around here. Watch what you ask for, right?

I just watched The Pioneer Woman on the Bonnie Hunt show. That was exciting!

Till I write a real post, here's a before and after from work. The real before is when she came in with waist-length hair to donate to Locks For Love. I forgot to take a picture of that. Bummer.

22 October 2009

A chunky kind of day

I had a complete physical this morning just because it was time. I had my labs done on Monday. My total cholesterol numbers are too high and my bad cholesterol is bad. My vitamin D levels are bad too. I'll be taking meds for that and making diet and exercise changes for the cholesterol. Everything else was fine. I'll see a cardiologist for a nuclear stress test just because of family history. I'll have a venous doppler done on my legs because both knees/thighs/backs of knees have been bothering me and it feels vascular to me. My doctor doesn't think so, but OK'd the test. I want it for peace of mind. She said I should do the physical therapy that was ordered in the summer. I should.

I went to Karen's house afterward for a visit. We had her homemade chili. Yum. We sat out on her deck and enjoyed the beautiful afternoon and the view of the brightest most colorful tree around.

From there I went to St. Agnes hospital. I got a call from my friend Kit that her father had taken a sudden turn for the worse, and was in the hospital on oxygen and morphine. He has pneumonia, and they think he had a silent heart attack. They're just keeping him comfortable as his body shuts down. Most of Kit's family was at the hospital. It was sad seeing Mr. M like that, but I was glad to be there to see him and to share this time with the family. He was transported from the hospital to the nursing home he's been living in, and we all trekked over there. I was glad to see the wonderful home Kit had made out of his room. Every wall was decorated with family pictures and Catholic items. He was a deeply religious man and attended Mass every day. I've never been in the presence of someone about to die. It was peaceful, and I wasn't scared. I was also glad that he didn't pass in front of me! I don't imagine it will take long. This will be a very big loss for Kit's family as their father, at 92, was such a presence in all of their lives. I don't think I've ever seen a person as devoted to her father as Kit has been to hers. Not only did she visit him a few times a week, she shopped for him, took him out to eat all the time, transcribed his stories, decorated his room to his specifications, etc. All the while, she loved his company. She thought he was 'a riot'. And he was. I've been friends with Kit since we were in middle school, so I've known Mr. M for a long, long time. He's still with us, but he's already missed.

Emily went to a college fair at her old high school tonight with a friend. When she walked into the house afterward, the first thing she said was, I can't wait to move out of this place. I just looked at her. She said, you must have felt that way about going to college. I might have, but I would have worded it differently. Just saying.

Time to put this long day to rest and get ready for the next one.

20 October 2009

Today was flu shot day. I was lucky to get one. Emily was too. Neither one of us has ever had the flu; I think I'm immune. Yeah, I know. I'm playing with fire saying something like that. Maybe it's because despite how many people I come into contact with in my line of work, I've never had it? Who knows. I hope I keep on being lucky. Lots of kids at Emily's school are out sick. I don't know if it's the flu but they're being very vigilant. We just put up Purell dispensers at my salon. I hope we don't get the flu or pass it along.

On a brighter note, it's been a gorgeous day. It hit 70 sunny degrees. Tomorrow is supposed to be even better. It was a short work day for me. I was off early for a field hockey game that was canceled. I picked up Emily from school...no practice because so many kids are sick. I came home and sat on my porch in the sun. I'm appreciating every nice day that we have left. Do we really need winter?

18 October 2009

Rainy days and....

Rainy days and Sundays, but I'm not down. I've been out and about since 7 AM. Emily spent the night at a friend's, and rather than bring her the things she needs for today last night, I opted to do it this morning. Driving with wet leaves and rain and deer in the dark is scary to me. Emily and her field hockey team are working the soda taps at the Renaissance Fair today for their school fundraiser. They have to work the full shift, which I think is 10-7. It's cold and raining. I don't imagine the public will be flocking to this event. I brought her many layers and I hope she stays warm.

I've been at Panera's for the last few hours. I've seen it go from just a few people to a full house. I'm ready to hang out with my mom for a few hours.

Is it sunny and temperate anywhere today?

Happy Sunday!

...More on a busy day and I'm all wet

Not wet from the weather. Wet from the caramel latte that's soaked into my bra and underwear. From the latte that had a lid that I apparently didn't fasten quite right. That spilled down the front of my seated form before I realized what was happening. It was hot but didn't burn me. Nobody noticed. I had to decide, do I get up to get napkins and get noticed? Luckily my top is black. I held my black fleece in front of me. I blotted up some of the stuff. I'm sticky. I'll dry. Yuck.

I've been on the go. Two hours at Panera's. Many hours with my mom. My brother stopped by for a while to visit. It's his birthday today...45. The baby of the family. Mom and I decided to go out for a very late lunch at our favorite Chinese restaurant. They moved to the space next door and the decor is amazing. I had Singapore Noodles that were SO spicy. And delicious. I brought my mom home, then had to decide what to do next. Go home for 2 1/2 hours, then drive back in that direction to pick Emily up from the Ren Festival? Hmmmm...I decided that I could easily fill up the time at the Borders at Annapolis Mall. And here I am.

It's a hopping place. It's great being around people. I like that. The guy with the hat keeps leaning across the table to kiss his girlfriend. Slowly I've watched the veil of clouds start to separate and I can actually see blue sky. There's an older couple to the right of me working on crosswords and drinking tea. Midshipmen are standing by the CD racks. It's as good a place as any to spend a few hours on a Sunday. I've texted with Emily a few times today. She's been outdoors selling sodas for 7 hours so far and she's been cold the whole time. At least she's cold with friends. Two hours more to go. I'd rather be sticky wet than cold any day.

15 October 2009


That's been my day. I decided early on that I was going to stay home between dropping Emily at school and going back for her game at 4:00. I ran my fingers over the staircase to check for dust. Not sure what I was expecting since it's been ages since I dusted. Thought about the mess that is my basement and knew that once I got down there I could whip it into shape. What did I do? I sat on the couch with my laptop. I read the food section of yesterday's paper. I partially cleared a counter. Paid a bill. Made a doctor's appointment. Before I knew it, it was almost noon. I got a e-mail that Emily's school was canceled because of a power outage. She called to say she was going to the mall. I think half the school went to the mall. How fun for them. It was about that time I decided to give up on my ambitions for the day. Did I mention today's weather? Nasty! Temps in the low 40's, gray & windy with a steady rain. If I was at work I would wish I was home. Today I wished I was at work. Go figure. I watched 2 episodes of The Good Wife (I love this show), and 1 episode of Grey's Anatomy. I watched at least an hour of the runaway balloon on CNN. I've wasted the day away. A lazy day is not my idea of fun. Boring! I'm about to have a boring dinner. I made our favorite baked chicken yesterday morning, thinking Emily would be home alone for dinner and I wanted her to have something she could just heat up. I baked a potato for her too. Turns out the field hockey team was going out to dinner. I brought a half breast, half potato and steamed veggies to work for lunch. I had the other half breast and 1/4 potato for dinner last night. I had chicken in my salad for lunch. Emily is eating at a friend's. Guess what I'm having for dinner? You guessed it. I wonder what I'll eat tomorrow? There's still one chicken breast left.

Has anyone tried the Starbucks VIA Ready Brew? I had a sample and made a cup this morning and I give it a 2 thumbs up.

Have you ever bought a picture frame and left the stock photo in, waiting for just the right picture? I bought this frame about 2 years ago. Maybe 3. It's been hanging on the wall that long with stock photos. I finally filled it with pictures from my Cape Cod trip. I wonder when Emily will notice? It hangs in the powder room. My pictures look much better in it. Duh.

Dinner's over. It really was good. Time for more TV. DVR'd Glee.

A day off at home can be a good thing. I'll try it again another day.

13 October 2009

I can't say This and That, again

Emily was supposed to have a game today so I was scheduled to get off early from work. The game was canceled a while ago but I forgot to change my schedule. I'll be working late tomorrow night. I called Kathy and we met for lunch. It was delicious but I overate and have felt pretty miserable since. I'm finally, hours later, feeling better. I had to take a nap, and I never, ever, ever nap! Part of what made me feel so bad is that I ran out of meds for my reflux. I have no good excuse for that. I made the calls today and the pills should arrive in the mail in a few days. I took some over-the-counter stuff when I came home.

I fell asleep while reading my book club book, Tender at the Bone, by Ruth Reichl. She was the restaurant critic for the New York Times when she wrote the book. She was the restaurant critic and food editor for the L.A. Times before that. She went on to become the editor of Gourmet. Her books are great. She's very funny. I read her 3 memoirs years ago and loved them. Her 4th came out last week. The book contains lots of recipes and we'll be cooking them for our book club meeting on the 25th. I'm up and ready to read again.

Here's a few random pictures

Karen at me at...


Kit and I at her brother's party.

Her 92 year-old father and me.

And just to be a little more random, my grandmother and me. Not happy.

I remember all the ornate iron fences in Brooklyn. I wonder if many of them are left?

Book time!

12 October 2009

This and that

Another day on the go. What's new? I brought Emily and Kendall to school, then hung out at Starbucks with my laptop till it was time to watch my co-worker get the Brazilian Keratin Treatment done to her hair. It's supposed to make your hair straighter and frizz-free. It wears out in about 4 months if you don't wash your hair often. Julie was the stylist, Pattie the 'client', and me: the peanut gallery. It took 2 1/2 hours to do it. Pattie can't wash her hair for 4 days, so we have to wait to see the results. It's a really expensive service ($300-$400 plus take-home products), but people call the salon asking for it, and I wanted to know how to do it, just in case.

We went out to lunch afterward to a new and fancy Mexican restaurant and martini bar. An interesting place, but I won't go back. Our bill came to $50, and we didn't get much food. Tiny portions. The decor was beautiful, though. I wonder if they'll stay in business. Our waitress comped us half shots of tequila in beautiful glasses that we got to keep. One of the glasses had a spicy drink to sip after drinking the tequila. Very different.

Emily's team had a home game today. Emily sat out, injured. She took a ball to her shin right between her shoe and shin guard at Friday's game. It's been swollen, and it hurts, but it's getting better. It was a crisp fall day to be sitting out watching a game. They didn't win, but it was a good game anyway.

Dinner tonight was a frozen Trader Joe's meal and kettle corn. I'm stuffed. Uncomfortably so.

I'm rambling, right? I'll stop.

Hope your Monday was a good one.

11 October 2009


Emily and I on her 1st birthday.

Emily and I on her 16th birthday.

The crown looked so much bigger in 1993!

I hope Emily remembers our traditions and continues them when she has children of her own. A few of ours have lasted. The birthday crown is one of them. Another is the first day of school pictures. That started with pre-school when she was three. Santa wrote long letters to Emily up till 2007. He (I) left them on the special table that held the the cookies and water. They ended the same way every year: "...laugh as much as you can. Life is meant to be enjoyed. Love, Santa." Emily knew there was a Santa because he finished every letter the same way. And he used the same wrapping paper year after year. She and I wore matching pajamas and pearls every Christmas morning. That ended in 2007 too. She was done with it. No more dirt by the fireplace. No more partially eaten carrots on the front walk, discarded by the reindeer. I miss those days. I still break out the old camcorder and record our Christmas mornings. Another tradition we had was my decorating Emily's bedroom the night before her birthday. That started when she was three. She was a heavy sleeper. I covered her bedroom in streamers, ribbons and balloons so when she woke up it was the first thing she saw. I was ready to stop that tradition before she was. The last year I did it was only because she really wanted me to. She kept her eyes closed so she couldn't see me. I turned off the light when I was done, and she went to sleep. That probably ended in 2007 too. (I'm seeing a pattern here.) Now she wakes up to flowers, balloons, her Winnie-the Pooh bear wearing an Emily shirt and holding a gift, a real gift, and the birthday flag hanging from our porch. Creating memories has been important to me.

I had no idea I'd start this post with two pictures and go on and on about these traditions. We've made a lot of memories. I like to think that they're good ones. The last few years have been hard ones for us and along with that, a fair share of bad memories. Things have been gotten much better in the past 6 months, and my hope is that one day we can be friends. Maybe when she's out of her teens? Like I said, I hope. In the meantime, I'll keep trying.

08 October 2009

On the go, again

Happy Thursday!

Did anyone watch Stephanie on Oprah? It was pretty amazing to see her story, though you really need to read NieNie Dialogues from the beginning to realize what an amazing person she is and to know the love that she and her husband share. Her's is certainly a 'count your blessings' story.

It's been a busy week at work. I had a new client at work yesterday with hair down to her waist. She was donating her hair to Locks of Love. We get about 3 clients a week who grow their hair to donate to this organization. My client, Peggy, had super thick hair. You can't just put it in a ponytail and cut it...it drags the hair too much. Usually we can divide hair into 3 ponytails before cutting it. I had to make about 15 rubber-banded bunches of hair because it was so thick. The ponytails have to be a minimum of 10" to donate. It took about 80 minutes from start to finish. She loved her new haircut. Cutting it was probably more traumatic for me than her! It was the second time she's donated her hair to Locks of Love. Most clients who donate once do it again. It's a great organization and a great cause. It was quite a way to end my workday. I had a latte afterward.

I'll be leaving soon to pick up my new glasses. I'm hoping against hope that this new prescription works for me. I'm skeptical, but trying to keep an open mind. One more trip to Annapolis. Between my glasses and Emily's school, I'm driving there almost every day. I'll be going to my parent's house afterward to visit. Another day on the go. Speaking of that, it's time to run!

06 October 2009

NieNie and Oprah


I've been following the blog NieNie Dialogues ever since Seth recommended it. In her bio, Stephanie tells the story of surviving a nearly fatal airplane crash. I started reading her blog in backwards order, from her earliest posts to her most recent. It took hours. Her's is truly an amazing story. As it turns out, Stephanie will be on Oprah tomorrow, and my DVR is set. You just might want to watch it yourself.

Happy Wednesday!

05 October 2009

Sweet 16

It's Monday and I'm at Borders and they finally got Wi-Fi!!! Finally. I won't use it on Saturdays; that's for magazines. It's an on-the go day, and there's a Borders near Emily's school, and I have some blog writing to do. So there you go... I'm at my favorite place with my large, caramel latte, extra shot, extra hot. Ladeda! I'll be meeting Bon and Karen for lunch at Ram's Head for lunch. It's been a long time since we've been together. It was kind of last minute, and I'm hoping Kathy can join us too. Great company and fish tacos!

I'll do a quick recap of what's been going on around here. For one thing, I've been filling up my gas tank a lot! Thank goodness gas prices are down and Em's school is near a Sam's Club with a gas station. Gas there is around $2.20/gallon. I've been filling up around twice a week! I didn't figure that in the price of private school. Emily has made friends, which I'm really happy about, so though it sounds like it, I'm not complaining about the time and expense of all the driving. Not yet, anyway! Tay's house is a 48 mile round trip from our house. Phil's is 40 miles. School is a 25 mile round trip. I'm getting a lot of audio book time in on my solo rides home.

This past Saturday was the school's big event: Creekfest. I was there at 7:45 AM to set up. I ran the 'fish for a winning fish' booth at 11. I watched Emily's field hockey game at noon. All the teams from the middle school and upper school played. We hung out till around 3:00. I'm posting collages today. You can click on them to 'biggify' the pictures.


Saturday night was the Homecoming dance. I brought Emily to a friend's house and a group of friends got ready together. I lent Emily my camera so I could see the pictures of them ready to go. Wish I could have seen it in person, but this was a good substitute. Emily said they had a great time. She spent the night with the girls at her friend's house.


I went to a 50th birthday party on Saturday night for my friend Kit's brother Charlie. I've known him since he was a little boy. It was a great time and the food was fabulous! I hung out with Kit and one of her co-worker's, Helaine. My middle name is Helayne, and I've never met anyone with the same name. She's only known one other. What a coincidence! It was a gorgeous night with a full moon and a perfectly clear sky. Charlie's house is in the 'country' and the view of the moon from his deck was amazing.

I spent time sitting around yesterday morning. I'm not a sitting around kind of person, as you know. I went outside around 1:00 and did a little this and that in my garden. Then I pulled the car into the drive and spent hours doing a professional detail job. It looks so good. During the course of cleaning I found Emily's license and keychain. As it turned out, she spent the day cleaning her room, looking for said items that she didn't tell me were missing. I got the car cleaned and she got her room cleaned. Then I decorated the driveway, as you'll see soon. And I had a neighbor take some pictures of the two of us.

We went to dinner last night to celebrate her 16th birthday, which is today. I made mostly mini cupcakes, and some regular size ones with the remaining batter. I watched a video on how to use a pastry bag to pipe on frosting. I'll never frost cupcakes any other way ever! I had the kitchen table set up with birthday stuff and a breakfast of waffles when she came down this morning.


Notice the birthday crown? It's a tradition. Tonight I'll take a portrait picture of Emily wearing her crown. I've taken this same picture since her first birthday. She humors me!

I dropped the cupcakes off at the school office after Emily went in. One of the girls will bring them down to the field after practice to surprise her. Then Emily and her friends will go out to dinner at a Japanese restaurant. My little girl is 16. To me, that's such a milestone. I'm happy, but a little sad to say good-bye to childhood.

01 October 2009


I've been busy, busy, busy at work and today will be another day of constant motion. I'm good with it as long as I stay on time, and I usually do. I'm really grateful to be a busy stylist. I'm taking Saturday off from work to attend Creekfest so I'm working my day off. I'm missing my Thursday coffee.

Last night I went to Back-to-School night. It was so well done. Such a contrast from Emily's last school, mainly because of the small classes. Her first class is American Sign Language. The teacher is mute and deaf. He had an interpreter standing behind us, 'speaking' for him. He was constantly signing and SO animated the entire session we were in his classroom. It was pretty amazing, and kind of surreal. Emily loves the class and she's one of 6 kids. They don't use an interpreter. Most of Emily's classes have less than 10 kids; her biggest class has 18. This fosters a real connection between the teachers and the kids. The teachers immediately recognized me as Emily's mom. It was the curly hair.

Today is Super Hero day at school.

Time for me to get up and running. Happy Thursday!