31 December 2010


It's the eve of 2011. I'm going to miss typing 2010, although it will be easier to enter the digits for 2011. Gee, what will I do with the millisecond saved by not having to stretch my finger from 1 to 0? I'll have to write a new post in the morning just to type 1-1-11.

I was trying to remember what I did last New Year's Eve. I was sure it was the usual...an early movie and dinner. I did a search on my blog and came up with this nice post. How could I have forgotten? Being able to pull this up from my 'online diary' reminds me of why I love having a blog.

So it's a year later. Rob is sitting on the couch, on facebook, on my laptop. I'm using Emily's MacBook on the recliner. We're in pajamas at 6PM. We're still a happy couple more than a year later. Who would have thought it? We're still taking it one day at a time...enjoying the here and now.

It's been a year of ups and downs. That's life, right? It's been a hard year for my parent's, health-wise. That's been the hard part of life for me and my siblings. I've had two friends lose their sons to suicide. I have two friends who have kids that can't kick addictions. I feel very blessed that I have my health. My relationship with my daughter is so much better this year. I'm in a relationship with a guy who adores me and treats me like I'm the best person he's ever met. I have great friends. I love my job. I'm happy.

I'm ready to cook dinner. I have crab cakes chilling in the fridge, ready to be pan-fried. I've never made crab cakes before but they have to be great, right? A pound of backfin crabmeat, a tablespoon of mayo and one of mustard, an egg and a package of Old Bay crab cake mix. Some fresh broccoli and red potatoes, and there's our holiday dinner. Yummo. We'll watch TV and maybe a movie. Sounds like a great way to ring in the new year to me.

I hope whatever you're doing, that you do it with a smile on your face. I wish you a happy 2011 (which, btw, was very easy to type).

30 December 2010

This and that, again

This is going to be a quick this and that post. The reason? I really want to read my book. Actually, listen to it. I'm a huge fan of audio books. I'm never, ever without one in my car. It's all I listen to while I'm on the road. This particular book is so good that I downloaded it from the library website to my laptop so I could listen to it in my house. The book is Gods in Alabama. The narrator is superb! If you've never listened to an audio book, this would be a great one to start with. This book 'got' me from the first sentence.

I spent most of today in a shopping center. I shopped, I ate, I browsed. I browsed Pier 1. Didn't buy anything, but I hadn't been in that store for years. They have great stuff. I browsed Radio Shack. Just because. I love electronics, and though I wasn't in the market for anything, I loved seeing all the stuff. I browsed the Hallmark store. Again, really nice. It was more of a gift store than a card store. I returned something to Marshall's and bought my Christmas cards for next year. This was the first year I didn't send out cards and I didn't like that at all. I browsed HomeGoods. I grocery shopped. I went to my friend Kit's. I came home and browsed blogs while eating brownies for dinner. And here I am.

This is a short work week for me. I would normally work today, my day off, because I'm off on Saturday. I forgot to schedule myself. We're closing early tomorrow and I should have scheduled myself to start work at 9 since I finish at 2:00. Instead? I'm working 11-2. A big 'ole 3 hour day. How fun. Really. I might just drink coffee at work. Live dangerously!

Rob is coming tonight and will stay for a few days, yea! He's started a new job and weekends are not in our future. We'll have a quiet New Year's. I'll cook. Maybe go to the movies? The eve is such a non-event for me. It's funny...my clients all say, the salon must be so busy for New Year's Eve. It is SO not. People don't have their hair done for NY's Eve anymore. That was in the olden days.

Speaking of hair...there was someone sitting in the reception area on Wednesday that had an inch of dark roots with pumpkin orange hair. She must have been waiting for someone getting their hair done. It was awful! Then there was the young client with long black hair who had the last 5" colored primary red. It was not a pretty sight. Thankfully, all my clients have 'normal' hair, and that's the way I like it.

26 December 2010

Fa la la la la and Ladeda

I always feel that Christmas is forced on us. It's all about commerce, not so much religion. Retailers need Christmas to make the money they need to stay in business. They start out advertising earlier and earlier each year. Without them, would we get in the Christmas mood? It takes months to get us there. Then it's a flurry of buying and wrapping and stressing and cooking and eating and presents. Then returns and bargains and clean up and it's over for another year. This is not to say I don't like Christmas. I'd just like it every other year.

I'm sitting in my cozy family room gazing at this...

I love Christmas decorations. My house looks much better decorated for Christmas and I actually would love to keep this scene up all year long. Of course, I won't. I'm never in the mood to decorate until I actually do it. The thought of doing it is always harder than the actual 'doing'. Having my book club get-together the first Sunday of December makes me "get 'er done" and gives me lots of time to enjoy my holiday-themed house. Having a Christmas party every year helps too. I'm pretty organized in how I store everything and I have pictures of each decorated area, so it's easy to set up. Having a very early Hanukkah was helpful this year. So was having only a few people to shop for. So see, I'm not complaining. I'm just saying. The living room, where the tree is set up and all the presents unwrapped, is a disaster area. I'm pretending it's not there which is easy because I don't have to pass it to go to the rooms I use.

Rob came down on Thursday night and stayed through yesterday noon. Emily, Rob and I had a nice Christmas Eve together. It was a first for us. I'm usually all alone but this year I had my favorites with me. Rob had shopping to do on Friday, and we had fun doing it together. Emily told Rob NO gift cards for gifts. We put together gift bags of goodies from Trader Joe's for his family to supplement what he'd already bought. We went to my salon and I cut his hair. We went to Borders where I sipped and read and he shopped. We went to Sam's Club and had an easy check-out at the pharmacy counter. We had lunch at our favorite restaurant, Pei Wei (and our leftovers for dinner). It was a fun day and a fun night. I opened gifts from my clients till a bored Emily and Rob left me. Then we all went to bed.

Christmas morning was comfortable and relaxed. Everyone was happy with their gifts. Emily loved all the clothes I bought her except one top. I was SO happy. Clothes are very hard to buy for someone else and she knows she has my OK to return anything. I did good this year! Rob only had to return his slippers. Not bad. Emily left for her dad's at about 11:00, Rob for his family at 1:00 and me for my brother and SIL at 1:30. And here's the pics! Slide-show them for the best view.

Christmas 2010

I went out prior to our 'big snowstorm' this morning for toilet paper and ingredients to make turkey soup. I was down to one roll in a 3-bathroom house. Our big storm brought us a dusting, thank goodness. I hope it stays that way. It's in the 20's and the wind is gusting. I'm wearing my Cuddleduds under my pj's under my fluffy robe. My house smells just heavenly from the soup. It's the same one I made after Thanksgiving, and the recipe is a keeper. So it's been a quiet, alone day that's somehow flown by.

I only had a few things I wanted to accomplish today, and this was one of them. I'm happy now.

I hope you're happy too.

24 December 2010

Twas the night before Christmas

I'm so glad I wrapped all my gifts early. I think this is the first year that I've accomplished that. Rob has been wrapping for a long time and I can tell the glow has worn off. Emily just came home, but only has a few gifts left that need wrapping. As soon as they're done we're going to watch Christmas with the Kranks. I love that movie!

I've been battling a horrible cold for over a week. Right...I faked being well for my party. Didn't fake my body. Those of you that see me on Facebook know I've complained about this cold every day. It was a hard work-week. I stayed home from work on Tuesday. I was fully booked, but had no choice. I call out about once every 5 years. I think it was the first time I've had a fever as an adult. It was an awful day and night, but now just a memory. I think it was a one day flu in the middle of a cold. My voice is almost back and the headache almost gone.

Happy Christmas Eve my friends. Enjoy the eve!

19 December 2010

I willed it, and it happened

I faked it. I pretended I wasn't sick. I didn't want my guests to think they were in a sick house. My voice was totally croaky, but I said I felt fine. Actually, I didn't feel too bad. And I didn't look sick. The party was really nice. It was a small group this year...21 of us. Two couples canceled because of the stomach bug, and a few didn't show. I've never had the stomach bug or the flu, thank goodness. One of the nice things about having a smaller crowd was that I had the opportunity to talk to everyone. I still missed the friends who weren't here. The food was delicious. A few friends brought appetizers to supplement what I'd made. Many people brought desserts. It was an epicurean delight! Everyone who brought beer brought 2 6-packs. I had two cases of beer that weren't touched. Only one bottle of my wine was drunk. So...it looks like another party needs to be planned and I'll have to insist everyone drinks. Kidding. My brother likes beer. He's about to get a present. Here's some pictures from the party. I think if you click on slide show and full screen you'll get the best view. Warning...lots of pics of Rob and me.

Holiday Party 2010

Rob helped me clean up after all my friends left. When I went to wash up, I was shocked to see how red and glassy my eyes were. With the make-up off, I looked as sick as I was finally feeling. I slept horribly, and went downstairs early this morning with my pillow and blanket and hung out on the couch. Rob did lots of the cleaning up. Lucky me! I've spent the day napping and resting and drinking lots of tea. And eating! I didn't lose my appetite and I can still taste. Yeah! I don't remember ever feeling this bad. My only worry is about how I'll feel tomorrow. I have an early, unrelated doctor's appointment. The salon is open because of the holiday and I'm scheduled for a full day. I really need another day like today to rest up, but I don't think I'll have it. It's so hard to call out sick in my line of work. We joke, but my clients agree that they'd rather have me sick than not have me. We have Germ-X and Lysol. I'll just have to wait and see and probably fake it. I could count on less than 2 hands how many times I've called out sick in the almost 24 years I've worked in my salon. I hardly ever get sick, and when I do, I work. It's ingrained.

Anyway, I can relax now. I'm ready for Christmas. No stresses left. Ho ho ho!

17 December 2010


I woke up yesterday with a cold. Boo hiss. I never get sick. Well, hardly ever. My party is tomorrow and I'm determined to be as non-sick as I can be. I never miss work because of sickness...I work through it. So, I'm using what I have on hand...my neti pot, Airborne, orange juice, vitamins and Motrin. I'm going to be fine tomorrow, or I'm going to fake it. At least I'm not sneezing and my nose isn't clogged.

So, big party tomorrow. I can't believe I scheduled myself to work all week. I got a lot done yesterday morning and a little last night. I'll go to the Trader Joe's this morning before work for the bread I need. I'll go to Borders after work and have a latte. Well, two. They're having a buy one get one, and I'll just have to drink both :) Then I'll have plenty of energy to do what needs to be done.

I couldn't find my other clog this morning. I looked everywhere for it. Then I looked at another shoe that I wear a lot. There was only the one. Turns out I wore different shoes to work yesterday and never realized it. All day long. How could I have not noticed the feel? That only one foot got wet in the snow? It's a mystery.

Time to get going. Hope everyone has a good Friday. Stay warm.

15 December 2010

Hello Wednesday

I'm sitting on my couch with the warmth from my new space heater making me feel all cozy. I shouldn't feel cozy before leaving for an 11-7 day at work. I need to feel energized. I will be as soon as I get there.

I hope no one brings holiday baked goods to work today. I've lost my food filter. My clothes are tight and uncomfortable. Darn. I'm an all or nothing kind of girl and I've been eating all. I bring healthy food to work everyday, then fill up on sweets. Ho ho ho. Not. My clothes should fit for at least a few more weeks. Then I'll be on the bandwagon along with a lot of other people. I'm looking forward to feeling comfortable again.

Time to brave the cold and head out to make people beautiful. Happy Wednesday!

11 December 2010

Muse anyone?

I said I'd write when I had some caffeine in me, so here's the writing. I'm going to see if my muse arrives as I write. I'm hoping.

I'm just home from Border's. I had my latte but something was missing. It was probably just that I was hungry. I felt a little restless. I read Consumer Reports and that was interesting. I downloaded a few free apps that were recommended in a iPhone magazine. That's how I usually find my apps. I went through the new Big Lots! store afterward. I'll go back on Tuesday before work and pick up some stocking-stuffers.

It's 5:30 and I just realized I never ate lunch. No wonder I feel so out-of-sorts. BRB. Will yogurt do the trick? I don't think my house has ever been emptier of food. I threw out an ashamedly-large amount of food when I went in search of non-perisibles for Emily's school food drive. Then I donated a lot. Then we collected non-perishables at my book club meeting, so I donated more. And lately I haven't felt like going grocery shopping. It's been cold out! So...not much food here. That doesn't mean the freezer isn't full. We're not starving. And actually, it will be good to have an empty refrigerator because....

My big holiday party is next Saturday night. I need to start planning the menu. I need to make shopping lists. I need to start cooking. The house is decorated and ready to go. It's clean, but I'm sure I'll have it pretty spotless. I love hosting this party every year. I sent out e-vites and most everyone has responded.

Work has been busy! Fortunately, there's been no more color mishaps or stresses like a few weeks ago. Just normal very busy. The shop is decorated for the season with poinsettias everywhere. Pam, owner extraordinaire, keeps these plants looking perfect. They still look brand new when they're thrown away after New Year's Day.

I've gotten most of my holiday shopping done. Fortunately I don't have many people to buy for. Emily wants clothes, and I've shunned the gift card route this year. She knows she can return anything and my feelings won't be hurt. I hope she wants to keep more than she wants to return, but we'll see. I hope I know her tastes at least a little.

Tonight is the salon party at Pam and Mason's house. As soon as I'm done writing I'll start getting ready. Rob came with me last year, and it was the first time my co-workers met him. It was the first time anyone saw me with a date. Tonight he's visiting his son and parents in PA, so I'll be going solo. He should be at my party next week. After that, he'll be working every weekend. Boo. More about that later.

I wish I had something really exciting to write about, but the muse has escaped me. Still, I did manage to get a lot of words onto this page. Woohoo for me. And as an aside, the yogurt didn't work.

09 December 2010

It's only a filler

It's been a long time! I just checked to see when I'd last written. Time flies, right? I've been eating. I mean working and shopping and watching TV and stuff like that. Nothing too exciting. I had my book club over on Sunday and a great time was had by all. The house is decorated and waiting for the next party. The gifts are almost bought. Mundane. I'm cold. We're all cold, right? I'd much rather be warm.

And that's my 'filler' post. I'll have to make sure I write again on Saturday after I've had my fix. My feel-good-energy-boosting-creativity-coffee-fix.

29 November 2010

The party's over

My big accomplishment on Friday was decorating the Christmas tree. It's a 'job' I have to be in the mood for, and luckily I got there. It's the decorating I least look forward to. It looks great! I didn't do any Black Friday shopping. I spent some time at a coffee shop. Walked in and out of Homegoods and Marshall's. There was nothing I needed that couldn't wait. Rob arrived at my house late in the day. We left Saturday morning for Wyomissing, PA. Yeah, I'd never heard of it either. It's outside of Reading. Rob was being inducted into the Reading Buccaneers Hall of Fame. What might that be? A world I never knew existed before meeting him: drum and bugle corps. This link brings you to the Buccaneers and a bio of Rob. The banquet was endless. My feet hurt in my heels and I was squeezed in my Spanx shaper. The things we women do to look good! I was proud of Rob and happy to be there for him, despite my discomfort. I'll admit to playing Angry Birds during some of the speeches. I did say endless, right?

Rob and the inductees.

We stayed at a nice hotel. I checked for bedbugs.

We visited The Pagoda in Reading. Yes, a Japanese pagoda on the side of a hill/mountain.

We got a tourist to take our picture.

We could see The Reading Railroad in the distance. You know, like in Monopoly?

All in all...a nice get away. We arrived home last night without running into any holiday traffic. We listened to Pandora radio the whole way home. That was awesome.

I cleaned house and finished decorating today. In the afternoon I met 4 of my co-workers to see 'Love and Other Drugs'. I have to say, Jake Gyllenhaal is hot. HOT. Anne Hathaway was great. I loved the movie.

And that's the rundown. My five days off are over. Time flies. The party's over.

26 November 2010

Are you shopping?

I didn't want to be up early. Must have been that late-night coffee and now I have a lack-of-sleep hangover. I'm a sucker for coffee. My waking-thought was Black Friday, even though I wasn't going shopping. It was in my brain because of all the media hype. I started playing Angry Birds (mistake) and before I knew it, an hour disappeared. I got up and turned on the tv and computer. I'm delaying decorating my house. I'm going to start very soon because I have to. Because I'll be so happy when it's over. I don't love the process but I love the results. My first party is December 5th, so it's now or never. I cleaned the surfaces yesterday and the tree is up. If only I could clone myself...

My house has the bad smell of burnt butter that spilled onto my oven floor yesterday. It overflowed from my pineapple bread pudding. Not sure how that happened, but it caused a lot of smoke and the smell is reminiscent of when i seasoned my iron skillet. It's a bad smell. Wish I could have the windows open.

Thanksgiving with the relatives was wonderful, as always. There were 33 of us. I did my usual carving job. I ate too much. I got to talk to cousins that I don't get to see often enough. Emily and I got to spend time alone during the drive. It was a great day.

I hope everyone enjoys this day. I hope I do too.

21 November 2010

Lurking and stress, with a little optimism for good luck

I've been meaning to write a new post all day. It's 9:00 at night and I'm finally getting to it.

I'm not sure what brought me to Blogger. I think it was when my old friend Sheree started a blog to chronicle bringing her daughter home from China. I saw the little tab on top that said, 'next blog'. With that little click, I entered into a part of the web I had no idea existed. I clicked, next, next, next until I found The 4th Avenue Blues. And I read. I spent hours reading. I read Andrew's blog back to the beginning. Andrew inspired me to start my own blog. I'm so grateful to him for that. I read his blog, but I never commented. His writing was so good. I didn't think I could write anything nearly as good in response. The comments that people left on his blog were so good too. I started reading their blogs. I was a lurker. I didn't even know the term existed until Andrew wrote a post about it. I came out. Not only did I comment on Andrew's blog, but I commented on the blogs of the people who consistently left comments on his. They wrote wonderful blogs. You know who you are, friends. My life has really been enriched by the people I've met here. It started with Andrew, and he's always held a special place in my heart. I've seen his life evolve. He listed my blog on his sidebar years ago, and my readership quadrupled. I was honored to be his special friend. He helped me figure out the HTML and get my former template up and running. He put this one up too. I trusted him with my password. I've sent him cards over the years. He's been a buddy, a friend. I'm profoundly sad that he's gone without a trace. So many people feel the same way. If you're reading this Andrew, know that I miss you. You won't be forgotten. I await the day that I hear from you.

I had a horrendous hair color experience on Saturday with a long-time client. Lesson of the day? Trust your instinct. I was very careful with mixing my client's color. I was showing someone new to the salon how we use scales to measure color. I told myself, Cheryl, pay attention to what you're doing because you're talking and measuring and reading your formula all at the same time. So when *the color in the bowl didn't look quite right, I ignored my instinct that something was wrong. Because I knew I measured the right colors exactly. I had a break while she processed and I spent it hanging out in the back room. I never have time to hang out. I should have checked her color since my instinct had told me that *the color in the bowl didn't look quite right. When I saw her color (I had applied it to her inch of gray roots only), I was speechless. She had an inch of pinkish-red hair. We don't have mirrors in the color area. Oh shit, oh no. Red is very hard to fix. Pink-red especially. I broke it to her, and told her I'd be getting my friend Sheri to help me out. Sweat. Fear. Loathing. Well, stress, yeah. My client was great about it. So easy-going. She said she didn't have anything to do so she was fine. Sheri was only going to Bed Bath and Beyond. I was supposed to get off early and go to Borders. I really, really wanted to go to Borders. Thank goodness she was my last client. Long story short? Can't do it. I told Sheri how sure I was that I did the right thing. We looked in the trash to find the empty color tubes. 6G (gold). Check. 7G. Check. 7N (natural)? No. 9R? Yes. RED! How could this be? So it was my fault. Sheri came up with the formula to correct it. I apply it. I leave it on a full 30 minutes. Sheri stays. What an angel. We rinse it out and it's...darker and red. I had to tell my client again. She said, maybe I should look at it? I said, I don't think that would be a good idea. And she didn't! Can you believe that? The fix should have worked. The fix was 6G and yellow. While I was working on the next step, which was putting in foil highlights, Sheri investigated. She checked all the chemical records of the day. One person used 9R and threw away the empty tube. The one in the trash. So it wasn't me! I didn't use red on her hair. The fault was with whatever was in the tube of 6G. And not just one tube. The one that caused the initial problem. The one that didn't fix it. So, I foiled. Another stylist, Debbie, helped. We tested a new color to apply to the roots of the un-foiled red hair. It worked. We applied it in-between each foil. The 'fix' took 90 minutes. When my client finally saw herself, she said she could still see a little red. We told her what she was seeing was nothing compared to what it had been. It was barely noticeable. And the good/bad thing about reds? They fade. Can I tell you how happy I was to leave for the day? SO happy. I went to Starbucks and had two lattes. It was BOGO day and I needed both.

Tomorrow's a work day. I'm having a one-day weekend. Tomorrow I have 3 (count 'em) 3 new clients. Three new clients in one day is really stressful. I'm not one to wish away time, but I can't wait till tomorrow is over. Even though I know in the end the day will turn out to be fine, just fine. Forever an optimist. That's me.

Is it Thanksgiving yet?

17 November 2010

The Band Perry

Time for a 10 minute post again.

I've been watching The CMA's on my DVR and saw and heard what I thought was an amazing song sung by the sweetest voice. It was "If I Die Young" by The Band Perry. Check it out on YouTube if you're inclined. I listened to it a few times.

So windy here. Crazy windy. The sun is shining so bright. The clouds are amazing. I'm about to leave for work but will build in a few minutes to just gaze at the sky. A little sustenance before work.

Talking about work (since this has to be a ramble I have to move on), I was so busy yesterday but it was a perfect day, especially time-wise. I was on time for every client. I was booked on the half-hour, as usual. Every client came in a little early. I worked my butt off, but it was like a well-choreographed dance. I was starved when it was over, but happy.

I came home to the trash and recycle bins left at the curb (grrr), refrigerator door open, and the house stinking from 2 bags of burned popcorn. Didn't put me in the best mood.

Fortunately, there's always a new day. I have some breaks at work and will read my book. I'm off tomorrow. Did I mention that my crown is just not right? After so many appointments? I have an appointment tomorrow. I'll spend time with my parent's after that. They need me.

Issues with the folks. Doctor's appt's that are hard to schedule. Hygiene issues. Etc... I'm afraid to get old. Wah. I love hearing stories of people in their 90's that are independent. I always wish for health. Please Lord, let me stay healthy.

And with that, I wish you a great Wednesday!

15 November 2010

A lot about a little

My wake-up call came at 6:45. "Hello, this is BGE Home and we'll be at your house between 9 and 11 am to install your hot water heater." Not quite sure why they call so early. I was thankful that it wasn't a 'bad' call. You know the kind. We used the shower and I did a load of laundry before they came at 9:00. It didn't take long to do the job. New AC and furnace last Monday, new hot water heater today. I'm set, I hope, for the long run. I also had a 'smart switch' put on my outside AC unit, part of BGE PeakRewards. They cycle your AC off for short periods during the summer months and you get $10-$15 off your summer bills. The only thing left to do is fully understand my thermostat.

Emily's school is having their annual food drive for the county Food Bank. I always contribute and it's a great way for me to clear my pantry and help those in need. Well, was I in for a surprise. I had an unbelievable amount of expired food. I spent hours expunging. I started with my pantry. Then my cabinets. Then my basement. Then the refrigerator. Then my medicines and cosmetics. I emptied and rinsed and put my garbage disposal to work. I had to break out the second recycle bin, and fill a second trash bag. And that was without looking in the freezer. Enough for one day! It made me realize I have to shop smarter. Brownies anyone? I have two boxes about to expire.

I set up automatic payments with my new mortgage company today. I'll be putting the savings from my new interest rate towards paying my principle. First though, I'll be paying back the money I borrowed for my new appliances. I'm so glad I'm able to make extra principle payments. It will help pay off my loan that much sooner. If I ever get it paid off. Who knows how long I'll live here? I love my home but one day I'll be an empty-nester and I might want something smaller.

Rob came over this weekend. Yea! We ate at Pei Wei Friday night. It's the Asian Bistro owned by P.F. Chang's, and a favorite of ours. I worked on Saturday and Rob worked with his friend Tim in Tim's recording studio. I went to Borders for my much loved latte, then met Rob and we went to Jalepeno's for their Happy Hour appetizers. Yes, that makes two Saturdays in a row for me. We went to Cafe Pronto for coffee afterward.

Yesterday started with church. We came back and Rob volunteered to help me bring my Christmas tree up from the basement. It's up! Not decorated but up and ready. Yes, it's early, but my first party is December 5th. That's right around the corner. Will I spend less time decorating my home this year? What do you think?

Have I mentioned how much I dislike decorating my tree? It's just too big. It takes a gazillion ornaments. I looked at smaller trees but none looked as good as mine. When it's decorated I'll be happy. I'd love to have some elves visit while I'm sleeping. Any elves out there?

We worked together and raked my whole backyard! I also used my leaf blower for the first time. It was SO great to have a partner. The backyard looks great. There's still more leaves to fall, but not nearly as much as we cleared.

Check out the color!

OK. This is getting way too long! I'll end by embedding this video of Em and me that I made using JibJab. I won't tell you how many I made or how much fun I had.

Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!

10 November 2010

Ready, set, go

I set my timer for 10 minutes. Let's see what I can do.

I took today off so I could be in the salon tomorrow for a night of mini-make-overs. It's a first and I thought it might be something my clients would try. We carry Jane Iredale make-up. Good stuff, only carried in salons.

I spent the day at the folk's. I made 2 lasagna's...one that I baked for them and one that I took home to freeze. It was nice to know that I was hanging out for the day and not there with a time schedule. I spent most of the day cooking. I ate potato chips for lunch. And mini-Dove bars for dessert. Decadent.

Have you surmised that Emily's boyfriend spends most of his time over here? I've come to like it. It used to be Emily upstairs on her computer and me downstairs on the couch. Now it's like I have a little family. I'm cooking more. They're downstairs. It's definitely a change.

I just checked the timer. Five minutes to go. Sometimes I don't blog because I don't think I have the time. I'm seeing that I don't have to write a novel.

I started reading The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks for my December book club. Very interesting from the start. Anyone know about her story? I even have time for a link! Check it out if you can. The story is current and poses many ethical questions. And if you like knowledge, well, check it out. I'm about to get into bed, very early, and do some reading.

Timer went off and I'm in overtime, so, adios friends.

08 November 2010


I'm having a lazy day at home and it's getting depressing. Some might think it's nice to sit around and watch TV on your day off. I'm stuck at home because my new AC and furnace are being installed. It's the perfect day to get things done around here. It's about time to start. I'll write just a little first.

It was another weekend of not seeing Rob. He's too busy! He was up at his parent's house this weekend. His son is living with his parents for the time being. Rob is also super busy with school work. He has a major paper he's writing on stem cell research. We've both learned a lot about that subject. I think you could spend years researching the pros and cons of embryonic stem cell research and never come to the right conclusion. The reason? It's all about beliefs and who's to say that one person's belief is right and another person's belief is wrong? Anyway...he's been busy. He has two papers and an oral presentation due this week. I miss our every-weekend togetherness.

I met my friend Kit on Saturday after Borders. We had dinner at a fantastic restaurant in Annapolis, Jalapenos. Check out their tapas/appetizer menu. It's gourmet Mexican/Spanish and not at all what I expected. I can't wait to go back. We went to HH Gregg afterward for Kit to do some shopping. She bought a camera and a GPS. I was just along for the ride but bought the same GPS and a DVD player. I can't believe I bought a Sony DVD player for $29. Old technology is cheap. We ended the night cruising the mall and I saw a sight that literally stopped me in my tracks. I saw a woman walking by me wearing black opaque pantyhose with a top and heels. They were not leggings...they were pantyhose! I didn't see the front of her, but I literally stared till she was out of sight. When I turned around a family was also stopped, staring. We had a fun time talking about it. Crazy!

Kit and I met up on Sunday too. We ordered our GPS's the night before and they were shipped overnight. I'm so directionally-challenged and my old cheap GPS died a few months ago. I was lost without it! This one is big and much smarter and I hope I can figure it out. Kit and I had lunch and coffee afterward and I used my first Groupon coupon. I paid $5 for a $10 voucher at a private coffee shop. I love seeing the daily Groupon deals.

Anyway, I wound up spending the day at home, doing nothing after all. I watched many DVR'd episodes of Brothers and Sisters. Occasionally I'd peek at the progress of my HVAC installation. It took about 7 hours, 4 trucks and 4 men. And a lot of money. Not what I would choose to spend my money on, but it's what you have to do when you own a home.

So, mundane day. Almost over. Tomorrow starts my Monday.

04 November 2010

Room with a view

It's been a long day with an abundance of hours. Of course, every day has 24 hours, so that's an exaggeration. Still, it was one of those days that was long enough. Most aren't.

It was cool and rainy and it was my day off and I didn't have to go anywhere or do anything. How often does that happen? I had a day at home that was filled with so much yet somehow didn't include down time. I did a lot of laundry. Changed my sheets (a job I very much dislike, second only to mopping floors). I cleaned my counters and wrote checks. I called Sears about a new hot water heater. Called BGE Home about the same. I called my doctor about results (all fine). Called my dentist about my crown that isn't right. Cleaned 2 bathrooms. Did online banking. Put away things. You get the drift. I was busy. I only looked at the computer from time to time. I didn't play any games on my phone. I didn't snuggle up with a blanket and read a book. I would have liked that too.

I guess BGE (Baltimore Gas and Electric) Home (a subsidiary of the parent company) has different contractors. I called this morning because I couldn't find the prices that Dave from BGE Home gave me when we signed the contract for my HVAC system that's being installed on Monday. I spoke to someone else, and asked if they were having any specials. I told him that from time to time I receive a postcard with a 20% discount. He was surprised at that (it was true), but said he could give me a 15% discount on the heater, not the labor. Yea! I am my mother's daughter...always looking for the best price. He quoted me prices on two different models with different length warranties. He gave me his phone number and I told him I'd get back to him. I left a message for Dave to call me. I wanted to have all the work done on Monday. Dave calls and tells me he can't find the paper with his quotes either. I told him about my call earlier in the day and he asked me what prices I was given. I said no, you tell me yours first. His prices were much higher. I told him about the discount. He was surprised. He couldn't match it and said I should go with the other guy. And so I will.

My sister Ilene left yesterday after visiting for a week. We took my mom to the neurosurgeon on Friday (her birthday) for a consult. She was diagnosed with a small brain aneurysm when she was in the hospital 6 weeks ago. After viewing the MRA scan, he advised an angiogram of her brain to get a 3-D image. They go through the groin all the way to the brain. Wow! It's too risky not to have it done, although any procedure has risk factors. The doctor said if it were his mother he would definitely have it done. So, we're going to schedule that. We had all the local family over that night to celebrate my mom's birthday. Clicking on the picture will bring you to the Picasa Web Album. I'd view it as a slide-show. I have other albums uploaded if you'd like to see them. There were 16 of us for the celebration. My mom said it was one of her best birthdays ever.

Mom's 78th Birthday

The next day 8 of us went out for lunch. Another fun day. I want to do that again soon. Love being with family. Love eating.

I drove up towards where Rob lives after work on Saturday. He's house-sitting for a friend, and we stayed there. It was interesting to be in someone else's house. It was old, and I like new. There were 'nooks and crannies' everywhere. I thought of ghosts but tried not to.

We went to Panera's for dinner and had a lively conversation about Rob's next essay on stem cell research. Having my iPhone/computer with me made it easy to look up all kinds of information. His classes and essays have been thought-provoking for both of us, and that's been fun, but I'm still glad I'm not the student. We went to McDonald's for lunch on Sunday before I headed home, but not before playing air hockey in the kids room.

It's been busy at work. Yea for that! I did the client I wrote about that made me so uncomfortable the first time. I was 45 minutes late for her. Not a good thing and she wasn't happy. It all worked out, though. We found things to talk about this time, and in the end she was thrilled that I didn't charge her. That kind of lateness is just wrong. The day started with two late clients and just got worse but as always, ended well.

I just finished helping Emily with her essay for Mythology. In my next life, I might like to be an editor.

I sure do wish Andrew would post on his blog. I worry about him every day.

02 November 2010

Just a note to say hello

How can I write so much, and then so little? I like it much better when I'm all caught up. All is well around here, and I'll be back asap to fill you in on life in my part of the world. At least I'll leave you with a picture...

Emily and her coach on her last day of field hockey

Happy day to all of you!

25 October 2010

Another day in the life...

I'm watching TV with the kids. Right now Hoarders is on. I've never seen the show and the one that's on is disgusting. Everything is covered in cat feces. Big, big yuck! Before this we watched Intervention. I've never seen that one either. This episode featured an 18-year old heroin addict. It was just heartbreaking for the family. She agreed to rehab and did well for 5 months. She left against the center's advice, came home, and started using again. The family had to kick her out. I made Emily and Phil promise never to become addicts and they agreed.

I had a good day. Doctor's appointment in the morning, then lunch with Karen. We haven't had an outing in a long time. It was great to spend time with her. I love her house. It's so interesting. Neat stuff in every nook and cranny. I left there and headed to my salon. It's open on Mondays with just a receptionist and my bosses. They take care of business and clean the entire salon. Today they were having a new phone system put in and security cameras installed. My bosses spend a lot of time taking care of the salon! I really needed to polish my toes and couldn't find any colors at home I liked so I asked Pam if I could polish them there. Odd, I know. It was nice to hang out with her for a while. We never have the time to do that during working hours. I'll have to take a picture of my new color Jules. It's a very dark ruby. Emily asked if I had on black polish. I think I like it. It's not my usual blue or purple or teal. I went to the library and voted. This is the first time in MD that we have early voting. The number of campaign signs was astounding. Elections are great for sign-makers. I went to the grocery store from there. I don't feel so bad about how much the broccoli cost yesterday because today's grocery store adventure made up for it. Pork tenderloin was BOGO and I was charged for both. The store's policy is to refund the cost of their mistake so I got S7.50 back. So there. Karma?

I just glanced up at Hoarders. They found another dead cat. I'm totally grossed out.

24 October 2010

Keeping up

And how was your Sunday?

I watched an episode of Outlaw. How decadent to watch a DVR'd show first thing in the morning? I watched a bit of 'Sunday Morning' on CBS. Did you see the segment on earthquakes? I'm glad I don't live in San Francisco and hope none of you do. I spent the first part of my 'work' day in the garden. I shoveled up pounds of berries from my pear tree. What a 'pain in the neck' tree. It's only nice when it's smelly but beautiful in full bloom, and then during the summer. It's awful when it's dropping berries, dropping all it's leaves, and dropping flower petals. I pulled all the annuals and did other clean-up jobs. It was SO nice outside. Then I detailed my car. I spent hours and hours working on my car. I even used wheel cleaner and tire shine. It was a satisfying day. I can look at my garden and see the results. I can look at my car and see the results. Emily and Phil went shopping for me. I'm trying to get over the fact that Emily keyed in the code for 2 broccoli bunches at $2.98 each instead of 2 broccoli crowns for $1.29/pound. Ouch. She'll do better next time. Anyway, they spent hours on their pumpkins. They downloaded their patterns. I had no clue what they were working on till dark.

Super Mario and Johnny Depp as The Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland. Seeing the pumpkins lit up at night made a day that turned into drudgery worthwhile in the end.

I cooked one of our very favorite dishes for dinner. I've talked about it before...baked chicken breasts encrusted with French's french fried onion rings. The recipe is on the container. It's heavenly.

Rob's been away this weekend. He's been working the last few Saturdays judging marching bands. He spent today at his parent's in PA. I spent a bunch of time after work yesterday chatting with my neighbors. I had take-out from TGIF with my neighbor Kelly for dinner. It wasn't very good, but it was good to spend time with her. We watched Anchorman. It wasn't very good. It was a quiet weekend, but good. And I still have tomorrow! It feels like a 3-day weekend.

20 October 2010

Yes, it really is me again

I attended the funeral service for David, son of my friend Patty. It was an uplifting, beautiful service that was attended by hundreds. He would have been amazed at the number of people who cared for him and for his family. He suffered from the diagnosed mental illness of depression. His suffering is over. I pray that this is the last death I hear about for a long time.

I went to visit my parents' afterward before going over to Patty's house. While there, my father got a phone call and after hearing him say he was sitting at the table and didn't see a bill anywhere, I asked him to give me the phone. It was their insurance agent, and I found that the policy for their auto and home hadn't been paid and had been canceled. My sister has been paying bills, but my father has 'lost' some of them without her knowledge. Two weeks ago my mother's charge card was denied. It turned out the bill hadn't been paid. We have to come up with a better system. My father's dementia, while still in the early stages, is becoming more evident. In some ways he's still very sharp. In others, not. It's very interesting to see. He spends much of his time reading now, sitting at the kitchen table. He has a big stack of books. For the longest time he had stopped reading. This is a very good hobby to have and I'm glad he has it back. He reads and watches DVDs and TV in the kitchen, and he naps. He sits on the back patio. He seems happier. I wonder how you can read so much while forgetting so many other things?

By the time I straightened up the insurance mess at the office, I thought it was too late to go to Patty's house. I found out later that people stayed a very long time and now I regret that I didn't go.

I went to Caribou Coffee instead, with my laptop. I wound up spending about 2 hours writing a e-mail to my ex about my daughter and college. After writing, writing, writing and editing, editing, editing, I thought that I probably shouldn't send it. I wasn't happy with that idea since I had just spent so much time writing. I didn't think I could articulate my feelings as well face-to-face with him as I could in a 'letter'. Then again, many has been the time that I've written to him and gotten what I've considered a lecture back in return. I didn't want that. So I texted him, telling him that I wrote a tome that I hadn't yet sent, about college. I told him that AOL wasn't letting me send it (true), but if he wanted to talk after reading it that I'd like to do it in person. He texted back suggesting we meet in the morning. I got home with every intention of sending the e-mail, but in an instant decided it was a bad idea. It's so easy to misconstrue a e-mail, however well-intentioned. I texted him to say I wouldn't be sending it; that talking is much better. We're meeting in the morning. I'm SO glad I didn't push 'send'. I would have gotten a lecture. I'm going to print it out, just so I can look at it for reference. It's good to have a cheat-cheat for back-up.

I'll end this randomly. I live across the street from an Army base. It took years for me to realize we could hear the bugle calls: reveille, retreat and taps, each and every day. I'm not sure of the time of the first two, but the last is at 9:00 PM. I like that I can hear it.

19 October 2010


Doesn't this tomato hornworm look so at-home on this plant? They can defoliate a plant in a few days. Since it's almost the end of October, this one can eat away. It was huge, btw. Almost as big around as my thumb.

Today I signed a contract to have a new furnace and air conditioner installed. It's my second big ticket purchase since buying my house. The first was new floors, in 2006. I've replaced my dishwasher, disposal, washing machine and garage doors. That's not much. I had three people out to give me estimates. I learned more than I ever wanted to know about the world of HVAC. I wanted to go with the first guy because my neighbor used him and was very pleased. I wasn't sure if I trusted the information I got from the second guy after talking to my neighbor. I really wanted to go with the third guy because he backed up what my neighbor said about the second and because he gave me such an education. The first two used Carrier products. The third used Trane. The Trane contractor talked to me twice on the phone after his initial visit. He spent a lot of time with me. I asked a million questions. I asked if anyone had ever asked as many questions as me. He said only once, and it was an engineer. I was a little proud of myself :) He told me his feelings wouldn't be hurt if I didn't choose him. I fretted over my decision. I compared Carrier and Trane. I read a ton of customer reviews. I called the county about permits. The second guy was the only one who was correct. I did need a permit. The HVAC system he proposed was the better one. The warranty was good. I called him back to ask a few more questions. I chose #2. He jokingly asked if I'd like a job. No thanks!! I'll be sending #3 a thank-you note for all his help. BTW, with the available tax credit and the rebates it's a great time to buy a new HVAC system. I'm going to get a new hot water heater too. I've been told it's just a matter of time till it will go. I don't plan to research this one. I have a price from guy #2 and will get one more price. End of that story. Next year I'll get a new roof. That's gonna hurt!

Tomorrow will start with the funeral of my good friend Patty's son. Another young life lost to suicide. Another devastated family. I'm so, so sad for them. Their lives are forever changed and I don't know how you live with this kind of loss.

17 October 2010

Rambling along

I cut Rob's hair tonight. As I was vacuuming the 'trimmings' I remembered why I wasn't so upset when I spilled half my bag of kettle corn on the floor last week. The upstairs was suddenly infused with the smell of kettle corn. It smelled wonderful. I might just keep that vacuum bag around for a while. I cut Rob's hair short and he said it was the best cut ever. One of the perks of having a girlfriend who's good with scissors.

Talking about haircuts, I had two new-client cancellations on Friday. Two hour-long appointments in a row. I had met the first client on Wednesday, introduced to me by one of our estheticians. I was told she was annoyed that I was off on Thursday because she really wanted it done right away (not a good start). She didn't show up on Friday. When called, she said, oh, I meant to cancel. That's it. The next appointment canceled because she had a medical procedure done that morning and was in pain. Makes sense. I don't think I'd make an appointment for a haircut on the same day. I went to Borders with my laptop to pass the time while waiting for my next client, even though I couldn't have caffeine. I had another client cancel on Saturday. I'd cut her hair the week before and she thought she wanted more taken off the back. She called before her appointment to say she was maybe going to grow it out some or maybe make an appointment in a few days...she'd have to think about it. I really don't get many cancellations or no-shows. I'm just whining. It's a commission job, you know?

Rob was playing (music) at church this morning and I dropped him off for rehearsal. I saw the sign announcing a pot luck lunch after the service so I went to a nearby shopping center and picked up two dessert loafs (that no one ate because there was so much food). I stopped in the local Starbucks with my laptop to kill some time. I thought I'd get a little something to eat to tide me over till the lunch. I don't know if it's a new practice, but Starbucks lists the calorie count next to the food. Most everything was between 400-500 calories. Even scones! The yogurt parfait had 12 grams of fat! Who knew? So I get up to the register and who do I see to the left of the cashier? Creepy (she really is, whether it's her fault or not) barista from Borders. Ack!! I didn't look at her so she wouldn't look at me! The cashier asked me if I wanted something to eat with my drink. I told him I did but that everything had too many calories. He said maybe next time. I said not if I wanted to maintain my figure. I wonder why they have no low-calorie, low-fat options? I asked if he could call my name when my drink was ready. Why? It's embarrassing to have everyone know how complicated your drink is. The cashier had to explain my drink to the barista I was pretending wasn't there. My new favorite is a toffee mocha latte, extra shot, extra hot, skim, no foam. See why I prefer them to call my name? The Borders/Starbucks barista put my finished drink on the counter and called my name. She walked away before I got it. On purpose was just fine with me. I didn't mind pretending and I don't think she did either. And I'm pretending my drink is low-cal, low-fat too.

Rob did a great job playing at church. It's really a wonderful church. They maintain a half-acre farm and they donate the harvest to shelters, food pantry's, etc. This year they donated 1,700 pounds of produce. Today's service was a Harvest service. We had a bountiful potluck lunch outdoors afterward.

Rob settled in for some sports when we got back home. I don't do sports. I took the newspaper out to the hammock and relaxed. The weather was delightful! When I finished reading, I took some pictures.
Look, no feet!

I'm so glad I don't really look like this.

My hair really is this curly.

I really am going to write about my newly found HVAC knowledge. Maybe tomorrow.

I got a bluetooth headset! I'm excited because I love new tech toys. Maryland just passed a hands-free law and tucking my phone in my seatbelt on speakerphone just wasn't cutting it. My plan is to use it in the car and at home. Rob got a matching one. Thank you Amazon for your great price. We saw the same one at Sam's Club today for double the price.

That's it. Over and out!

14 October 2010

Making up for lost time

What's up with me and TV? It seems like my go-to thing every day. I've always had favorite shows, but hardly kept up with them. Now it's like, what's on the DVR tonight?

Where to start? My client Betty told me she was disappointed about one thing. I was worried that she was going to say something about the way I was doing her hair. She told me it had been over a week. I immediately knew what she was talking about. My 'week of blogs' that I last wrote about that's been way more than a week. Sorry.

So, what's been happening here? Well, my daughter turned 17 on the 5th. That's so grown up! Here's a few pics...

Dinner at the Cheesecake Factory a few days before.

Wearing the crown for the 17th time. It's getting harder and harder to make her wear it. Next year she'll be away at college and thinks she won't have to wear it. Not!

Here she is wearing the crown for the first time.

On a much sadder note, I've had two friends lose their sons to suicide this month. I'm just heartbroken for their families. My hope for these troubled kids is that they're finally at peace. I'm dismayed that they felt it was the only way out of their pain. I've spent a lot of time thinking of what my friends are going through right now. I've spoken to Emily and her boyfriend at length about the subject. It's a tragic epidemic. My Aunt Sandra also died this month, from lung cancer. Her husband died from the same disease. I hadn't seen my aunt since I was very young, but feel so badly for her children. If you smoke, you really should stop. Smoking is a killer.

I did a lot of traveling last weekend. Emily and I drove to Georgetown, DE to attend my neighbor's wedding. She and her new husband were junior high and high school sweethearts. They said good-bye at graduation and Kelly went to college and Mike to the Army. They married other people, but those marriages ended in divorce. They reconnected through classmates.com.

1978 Junior-Senior Prom

2010 Wedding

My sister Lisa and I went to the Color Fest in Thurmont, MD the following day. It was a gorgeous weekend. The leaves were just beginning to turn. I've never seen so many crafts in one place. It was nice to just look and not have to buy. I have enough stuff. The food was great. All I came home with was Kettle Corn!

Work has been good as always. Lots of great clients. Lots of new clients. Lots of hair, hair everywhere. I love my job.

I was finally able to make it to one of Emily's field hockey games on Monday. They're having a winning season. Emily scored 3 goals on this game. We parents are very, very vocal. Last year they didn't score till the next to the last game. This year is a very big deal for us.

Can you spot my daughter's big smile?

Today was a busy day. I drove to Baltimore for some fun (not) tests. I had a pelvic sonogram...nothing worrisome, just to check on an existing fibroid. It was not easy drinking coffee then 32 oz of water then having to wait an hour for the sonogram. Next up was the mammogram. Easy. I'm just glad I don't have tiny boobs. From there I drove to Bethesda to have my permanent crown put on. Finally. It feels strange in my mouth, but I'm sure I'll get used to it. Emily called when I was finishing up to ask if I could bring her practice clothes to school since the game was canceled. Did I mention I did all this driving in the pouring rain? I drove home, then to her school near Annapolis. I did some shopping afterward, then settled in for....TV!

Now it's time for bed. See all that you missed? Are you saying ho hum? Stay tuned for my next post when I tell you how I've become an HVAC expert.

27 September 2010

Consider this a week's worth of posts, OK?

I was home all day, and spent most of it in a pissy mood. I'm feeling better. It was a long, long, at-home day. Not the kind of day I like.

Ready for a rambling 'this and that' kind of post?

I saw a hummingbird at my feeder this morning. It was such a surprise! I thought for sure they had moved on, and resigned myself to the fact that I'd have to wait another 8 months to see them again.

Why does Verizon offer better Fios Internet and TV plans for their new clients than they do for their existing ones? I asked that question. Didn't get a satisfactory answer. My Verizon Flex plan ended and my rates went UP. The best they could offer me after a very long conversation was a savings of about $7 per month on my new more expensive bill. Big 'ole deal. I couldn't make a decision and told the agent I'd have to think about it and also call the other providers. He didn't try to change my mind. I won't really switch because I love Fios. I just couldn't agree to their terms. Yet, anyway. Yes, it will mean another call, but I'll do it.

I called to cancel my newspaper subscription today. They tried to change my mind.

Why does Holly Farms hide the fat on the underside of their chicken breasts? It was like, what?? So not nice. It's one thing if you can see the fat when you buy it. You make an informed decision. Don't tuck it under and think we'll be happy.

OK. Maybe I'm still in a pissy mood.

I called to find the balance on nine Starbucks gift cards. Two had no value. The others totaled $78.57. I'm out of Borders gift cards. I like Starbucks but I like Borders gift cards too. I called Trader Joe's. I have enough gift cards to keep my work station pretty with my favorite astromeria flowers till the middle of December. I have lots of other gift cards, but no multiples like Starbucks. I really need to use the other ones. I did buy expensive make-up from Macy's last week. I still have a balance of about $50 there. I have to remember that the cards are gifts and meant to be used.

A few people told me they'd like to hear new client stories from time to time. Last week I had the sort of client that I kind of dread. She was unapproachable from hello. I tried my very best to engage her in conversation. It was very hard. Probably the experience of going to a new hairdresser had her totally stressed out? I tried to make her comfortable. Maybe she just couldn't reciprocate. I acted calm and collected but I was really uncomfortable. Truth be told? She scared me. I couldn't act scared. I did a good job on her hair but thought maybe she'd be happier with another stylist. Kidding. I hoped she'd be happier with someone else. I told her that if for some reason she wasn't pleased with her haircut to come back and try one of the other talented stylists at my salon. That impressed her. Nice of me, huh? I never say that kind of thing...the idea is to keep your new clients. On Saturday I had two new clients back-to-back. Stress! All I could think of was how uncomfortable I had been with that last new client. It caused much anxiety. Racing heart and all that. I was very happy to see that the first one was a former curly-haired client who had moved away a decade ago. Whew. The anxiety still had me in it's grip, until I saw the last new client. She also had curly hair and met me with a big smile. Yes! I was able to relax for the first time in hours.

A stink bug landed on my shoulder while I wrote that. We're having an invasion here in MD.

I always have a 33% coupon that I get via e-mail for Borders. I use it for my lattes. I used to print the coupon but now just pull it up on my iPhone and the barista enters the code. Easy peasy. Till now. Now I always get the barista that can't get it to work. Every time. I go there on Saturdays and hope she's not going to be on the register, but she usually is. She probably hopes I'm not coming in too. She struggles, I'm patient, and a line forms behind me. Then she gets help, and presto, coupon code accepted. Every time. I couldn't help myself but I said something two weeks ago. I said, you're the only one who seems to have a problem with the coupon code. I said it nicely (I swear), and though I didn't think she took offense, I was sorry I said it. She explained why it didn't seem to work for her, then she got help. I went for my latte this past Saturday and she was on the register. Darn! I said, sorry...I have my usual coupon. She blurted out, I have a learning disability and that's why it's so hard for me. Can I even tell you how bad I felt? I told her I was so sorry for what I had said. I had to stop myself from apologizing all over the place, knowing that would just make it worse. She rung up my coupon, no problem. I went to my table and read a magazine.

And there you go.

I'm going to write a letter to my mom's doctor for her aide (who is an angel) to print and give to the doctor tomorrow. My mother's behavior has me concerned. It's like her mind is a spinning dervish, consumed by tasks that she wants done right this minute. She has everyone around her running. I was there for a while yesterday and could hardly stand it. I couldn't sit with her for more than a minute before she asked me to do something, then three more things while I was trying to do the first. She knew she was being unreasonable, and would make a little crying sound and say she was sorry, but that she couldn't help it. She was the same way when my sister came over, and then again when my brother and niece came over. Her aide told me she was very mean to my father today. And to the visiting nurse. And when the visiting OT asked to see my mother try out her scooter in the house (maybe it could help avoid falls?), she nearly ran him over. He turned the speed knob to slow and she reached over and turned it to fast. What the heck is going on? I just called my father and thanked him for being so patient with her today; that I'd heard it was a hard day. He said, you mean I wasn't my usual mean self. I just said thank you.

Time to sign off. Did I write or what? One more assignment to go. Maybe I'll just copy and paste the last paragraph. I'm ready to put this day to bed.

23 September 2010

Writing is always better with a latte

Back in the day, I'd jump out of bed and head to Paneras and blog away. Back further in the day I'd think about cross stitch and spend every spare moment on it. Then it was rubber stamping. Obsessed. Then blogging. Now? I have no clue. Time is elusive. I really don't spend much time on FB. Or e-mail. Or keeping up with blogs. Some days I don't turn on my computer. I've watched a bunch of shows on NatGeo (does the new name attract more viewers? The shows were already great). The History Channel has some fascinating programs. I watched The Event, Glee and Parenthood. I'm never caught up on TV, but it appears it's a new favorite thing to do with my time.

I'm at Panera's. Emily left at 7AM with her boyfriend and father to visit two colleges in PA. Yesterday they went to two private in-state colleges. Tomorrow it's another PA college. Same on Saturday. I know that she'll be visiting public in-state colleges too. This is field trip time at her private high school, and all the classes have field trips. The seniors are encouraged to use this time to visit colleges. Pretty great, huh? I wish I could be with them, but Emily's dad is retired and has the time and disposition to be good at this. Emily bought a dress for the occasion. She couldn't believe she saw kids with cut-offs and t-shirts on tours. She thinks it's a time to make an impression. She surprises me often. I'm excited for her, for this experience. The reality of what's available financially will have everything to do with what colleges they're able to attend. Their plan is to go to college together. Time will tell.

If you've seen my posts on FB you'll know my mother just got out of the hospital. She was walking without benefit of her best friend (her cane) which should be glued to her hand (if only there were a way) and fell when her non-skid slipper caught on the carpet. She didn't want to wake anyone to carry coffee to her favorite chair and TV. So, cup instead of cane. She almost made it. The cup made it to the table. Amazingly, she fell to the floor without hitting any furniture, but she fell onto her paralyzed arm. Again. She's had a bunch of falls lately. Each explained, which is great, but falls nonetheless, and all on the arm. Long story short, the arm is horribly swollen but amazingly not broken. For some reason she blacked out while getting X-rays at Kaiser, thus the trip to the ER. It took 2 days to complete all the tests. All negative. She came home yesterday and home PT starts today. I woke up from a dream in which my sister called to say that my mom had fallen again. You could say we're all living in fear. The only upside to the unfortunate event was that my out-of-town sister was visiting and we and we were able to spend a lot of time together, along with my brother.

I've had my cinnamon crunch bagel and caramel latte. It's time to hit Walmart, then go to the closing on my home refinance. I'll visit my parents afterward. Those are the definitive parts of my day. I hope for only good stuff for the rest of it.

The sky before last night's awesome lightning storm

Happy Day!

16 September 2010

A slice of life

I'm up bright and early this morning...mainly because my alarm went off at 5:45. That's Saturday morning time, and it's Thursday. I only set my alarm on Friday night, and I swear I didn't set it last night. It will remain a mystery. I woke up with a lot on my mind and couldn't go back to sleep. My daughter and her boyfriend were on her laptop checking out colleges last night and I sat on the couch with them. They're looking at small private colleges. Wonderful colleges. Expensive colleges. Their plan is to go to college together and be together 24/7. I'm filled with angst on so many levels. Financial, social, etc. I'm so glad that she's looking at going to college. She had talked about taking a year off. Now she's talking about starting in the spring instead of the fall. There's more unknown than known, but at least she's/they're looking. I watched and listened last night without giving any opinions because to have done otherwise would have resulted in a fight. I'm left with deep unease over the whole college issue because I'm sure I'll be at odds with both my daughter and her father over most every issue. Financial, social, moral, etc. This is just how I'm feeling at the moment, however. I'm a firm believer that most worries are wasted and that things turn out better than I imagine they can.

I have a dentist appointment this morning to finally have my permanent crown put on. I've had a temporary crown for months and no crown for 2 weeks. Hopefully today will be the end of the crown saga. I'll go to my parent's afterward because my sister Ilene is here from GA for a visit. Oh, I wish she lived closer. We'll all spend the day together. I'll be going to Back to School night tonight. While there, I'll have a chance to spend time with the college counselor. That will be good.

So there you go. A slice of life. Finally.

14 September 2010

Still standing

The longer I go without writing, the harder it is to write. It seems like I have to have something fun witty and new to say. I'm (yikes) watching TV instead of blogging. What's happening? I don't plan on stopping or being away for much longer. You've been warned. I'll be back!

03 September 2010

New clients

Thought I'd share a few things from my day at work yesterday. I had two new clients on the books. You never know what that new person will be like. I wonder how many new clients think about what it's like for us? They're probably nervous. We can be too, but we have to act utterly cool and in charge. We have to be great conversationalists and have the ability to put our clients at ease. It's a skill that comes pretty easy to me, though I'm often uneasy before I actually set eyes on the new client. I like nothing better than to see that my new client has curly hair because there's an instant bond; and instant ease. Most of my new clients are curly, but by no means all of them. So yesterday...my first new client has smooth hair. Probably in her late 50's. Skin so white it's practically translucent...you can see the underlying blue of her blood. She was quiet and soft spoken. And she passed me a printed list with her full name at the top and at least 15 bullet-points outlining how she wanted her hair cut. Yes, you heard me right. Fortunately, she came to the right person, because I'm very good at following directions. But, can you imagine??? (BTW, I have another client with a printed list that she hands me every time she comes in.) She had 3 pictures too. I found the whole thing to be kinda humorous, but others might have been irritated. I colored her hair first, including adding some highlights--a first for her. The color came out perfect, considering it had been 18 weeks since she'd last had it done. That's a lot of roots! It turned out that her hair was very curly. I asked if I could dry it curly first, so she could see what it looked like, then wet it down again and dry it straight, since we had the time. She declined. She's a curly girl in denial. She loved her new color and new hairstyle and booked her next appointment before she left. Yeah! My other new client was curly-haired. She was in her 20's and met me with a very strong handshake. She had just gotten engaged last weekend and we spent the entire time talking all things wedding. She booked her next appointment too.

And that's a little slice of life from my day at work.

01 September 2010

A little ado about this and that

I belong in the land of bad bloggers. There's more and more of us.

Tuesday was Emily's first day of her last year of high school. Senior year has arrived. I'm sad and excited at the same time. I'd say pre-school through the end of elementary school went fairly slow. Middle school and on has just flown! The first picture is last year's first day. The next is from yesterday. The biggest difference seems to be the lack of make-up this year. I love that she's confident enough not to wear it, though she looks great with it on. She's pretty cute, don't you think? Of course, I'm her mom, so I can say that!

All is well here. I've been roasting at field hockey games. Monday was the first scrimmage. I brought a sun umbrella but left it in the car and baked in the mid-ninety degree full sun. Today I brought two umbrellas and roasted under the shade of one. The other I lent out. I can't imagine playing in that kind of brutal heat. I changed days off so I could go to the game. There were about 10 of us Indian Creek parents cheering on the team which was great, considering The Calverton School was over an hour away. We were so happy that we won!! Last year our team didn't even score once till the next to the last game. Tonight we won the first game of the season. What a great way to kick off the season! Emily is in the middle in green in this picture.

I'm not going to over-think this little post. It's gonna stay little. If I'm lucky I'll have something not so mundane to talk about soon, K? It's time to try to read my book club book. The Jungle by Upton Sinclair. It's starting to get better...not much but a little. Finally.

23 August 2010

Oh, what a day

What a day. There's a price to pay for ignoring your house and just having fun on your days off. My house is always neat (don't look in my closets, OK?). But clean? My kitchen floor finally bothered me enough that I knew it was cleaning day, like it or not. I didn't like it. The day started with Rob and me sitting on the porch. Breezy and nice. We cleared some stuff out from under my deck that I hope trash pick-up will take tomorrow. Rob stacked the extra bags of mulch that have been on the side of my driveway since Spring under the deck. He left and I got to work. I worked non-stop for hours. You know how one thing leads to another? You mop the floor and notice the grill thingie on the bottom of your refrigerator and can't believe how dirty it is? Then when you're down there cleaning you see how dirty the outside of your refrigerator is? And you open the door and see all the crumbs and stuff on the shelves? And how dirty it is around the handle of the pantry door? You vacuum and see all the spots on your carpet and get out the Woolite spray rug cleaner and start on each spot? Then you lift up the couch cushion while you're down on the ground and see all the crumbs? You move the big over-grown plant while you're vacuuming and see all the dead leaves that have to come off? It was that kind of day. And I was so hungry, but every time I thought of eating, something else caught my eye. I got a lot done, but there's so much more. I'm going to write a list, and do some every day. Or so. And shoes off!! And no spilling! It was such a beautiful day. My plan was to clean for about 2-3 hours, then mow the lawn, then go to the pool. I was going to bring my bookclub book that I don't want to read. By the time I finished cleaning it was at least 4:30. The sky was looking iffy. I put my shoes on to mow. Then I thought, NO. I'm going swimming. If it's going to rain, I want to spend my outside time swimming laps. So I threw on my suit and went to the pool. The sky was magnificent! Layers of every kind of cloud. The whitest-white blossoms of clouds, alongside dark ominous ones. I wanted to take pictures. I thought how cool it would be looking up while doing the backstroke. The pool was almost deserted. The two lifeguards were throwing around a football. There was only one other person there. Perfect! Except I couldn't find my goggles. That's never happened. I keep them in my bag. Always. I had to go home. I couldn't find them. I couldn't find my other pairs. I decided it just wasn't meant to be, and resigned myself to mowing. In my cover-up. I sat on my porch afterward, sweating. I saw a hummingbird moth and decided to take pictures. I couldn't get a good image, then decided to take pictures of my inanimate garden creatures. Without bug spray. In a sleeveless cover-up. Not a good idea. I thought the shower would relieve the crazy itch of a million mosquito bites. Nope. Willpower did that.
Garden buddies

I made dinner. In order of what tasted the best? Shrimp, tea, squash, cantaloupe. The first two were great. The last two not so much. It left me wanting candy.

I made my lunches for the next two days. And here I am. After I post this I'm going to read in bed. Yeah, that book. And listen to the rain.

It really wasn't a terrible day. It was a necessary one.