25 February 2010

Two in a row!

I forgot how much I love Panera Bread. Remember when I used to come here all the time? I remember thinking I'd like a little one-person hair salon right inside, curtained off for privacy. I'm at the Panera I met Karen at. The one I lost my cell phone at. The one I hung out at with Bonnie. I love the decor. The colors. The music. The people. Sitting near me right now are two tables of Seniors, talking to each other. One gentleman has a Purple Heart hat and a cane. The other asked where he served. They both thanked each other for serving. One wife has set and teased hair. She and her husband have over-sized glasses. The other wife has beautiful long silver hair. Right now they're talking about all the business that have closed and the way the highways are now compared to how they used to be. It makes me wish my parents were here socializing with another couple. I just love the sense of community at Panera Bread.

I drove the kids to school this morning, then stopped by the body shop I used when I had my accident. The owner's a local guy who's had his business for about 30 years and sometimes buys used cars at auction, fixes what's broke, and sells them for a small profit. Today we talked about a used car for Emily. I have my fingers crossed that he comes up with a perfect car at a great price.

I was almost at my parent's house when I got a call from my father. I was on my way to drive him to his doctor's appointment. Grrrr. The office scheduled him to see a nurse. This morning they looked at his charts and upon seeing how long it had been since he'd been in, they realized he needed to see the doctor. Wish they'd looked sooner. No appointment today. The good thing was that I was able to help him with some stuff while I was at the house. His 'office' is the kitchen table. I'd be embarrassed to show you a picture of what that looks like. Let's just say there's no room to eat. We started going through his piles. We put things to be shredded in a bag, and envelopes, etc in the recycle bin. It was a start. I'll be taking him to doctor's appointments for the next couple of Thursdays, and I plan to chip away at his stuff each time. My mother was very happy with what we did today. She said I was the only one of the kids that my father would let do that, and she's right. We all have our roles.

I went to my dentist today. I knew I had a cavity. One of my molars has been sensitive for weeks. It turns out I had a big crack in the tooth. My great dentist (and cousin-in-law) took out the old huge filling, put some sticky stuff in to hold the tooth together, and replaced the filling. I never mind going to David, my dentist. He's great at giving Novocaine, and he never does anything unnecessarily.

And here I am. Panera's. Sure wish I had a latte in front of me.

24 February 2010

Mostly about naught

This is the post I meant to write on Monday. So, consider it that, OK?

I've had a lot of fun watching the progress of my ice melting 'snake'. I don't know if it served the purpose of melting the ice, but it sure kept me entertained.

I drove Rob to Havre de Grace on Monday. It was my first time seeing the town. It's on the Chesapeake Bay and the 'downtown' is really old with lots of Victorian houses, Bed and Breakfasts, and small shops. The 'main street' looks like it's suffered over the years, but like a lot of towns, they're working on revitalizing it. I can't wait till nicer weather to explore. We went to a diner for lunch and guess what was first on the list of specials and what I talked about wanting in my last post? Reubens. I didn't even have to look at the menu. It was the best Reuben sandwich I've ever had, served open face with perfect fries. The waitress, Kitty, younger than me, called me sweetheart and honey. It was great. I took out my camera to take a picture and Rob was surprised. He learned something new: I take pictures of my food.

I could write more, but I keep on getting side-tracked, so I'm just going to quit here. Tomorrow I'll write more. I'm sure that maybe I'll probably do that.

21 February 2010

Take a guess

I crack myself up!

I've been concerned about the snow on my roof at the corner of the porch and garage. The sun doesn't hit that spot and it's not melting. I widened the sidewalk by shoveling more snow. I set up my rickety ladder, propping one leg up with a gardening pad. I tried using the shovel to get some of the snow off, but the shovel was too heavy. I did dislodge some chunks and tried to dodge them as they fell down, but more than one went right down the collar of my coat and into my shirt. I laughed at that. I gave up on the shovel and found a long handle from a broom and used that to push channels up through the snow till I saw sunlight. When I exposed the corner of the gutter it was frozen solid. I remembered reading about how to melt ice dams. Finding an old pair of pantyhose, I cut off a leg and filled it with snow melt stuff. It made what looked like a long snake. I read that you should get it up on your roof with the end hanging over the gutter. So, if you wondered what you were looking at in my picture, it's the end of the pantyhose snow melt stuff snake. I can't tell you how many times I tried throwing it up on the roof only to have it fall down on the ground. I'd laugh at myself, get down from the rickety ladder, only to have the same thing happen again. And again, and again. I felt like I Love Lucy. Finally I wrapped the end around my broom handle and was able to lay it over the roof with the end hanging over the gutter. I patted snow around it with the handle to hold it in place. And there you go. I'm laughing as I write this. I'll let you know how that works out.

Work was a bear this week. It kicked my butt. I'm so glad it's the weekend. I met my friend Kim at Borders after work. A latte never tasted so good.

Rob is in town this weekend. I was away last weekend...it was our first time not seeing each other for a weekend. We went out for Chinese last night. This morning we went to a church he sometimes attends where he was asked to play in the band. We (he) had to be there at 7 AM for rehearsal. Ow. I had my laptop with me and hung out on a couch in the back with Facebook. I stayed for the 9:00 service. Rob played drums for two songs and guitar and backup vocals for two others. The service was good. It's a non-denominational church, very laid-back and friendly. Rob sat with me when he wasn't on stage. I can't remember the last time I was in a church. I like this one. And, of course, I had my laptop put away and was in a seat when the service started.

I'm hungry and watching a show on The Food Network about diners and local places. How smart is that? I think I'll get up and get dinner prepped, though I'd rather have a homemade Reuben.

16 February 2010

The Overall Post

Here I am holding Bea in her surprise! It's a lot big, but with the bottoms rolled up and the straps as shortened as they can get, she'll be able to wear them for a while

Here's the first pair of overalls I ever embroidered and they were for Emily, of course. Her initials are ERG.

I think I've embroidered 6 pairs of overalls and one jean jacket for babies/toddlers. I loved home-ec. I don't think they teach that subject anymore. It was good to learn how to use a sewing machine and how to embroider. Plus cook...I loved the cooking classes. The first thing I ever embroidered (besides the apron we had to do in school) was a curly-haired girl on the back pocket of a pair of my jeans when I was in high school. I still have the pocket somewhere. I embroidered the seams of very soft button-down shirt that I wore out. Now I only do girls designs...lots of french knots and flowers. I love the hippie look of the overalls. If I had more time with Bea's, I would have done more. Snow and procrastination got in my way.

15 February 2010

Goodbye Raleigh, hello home

Here I am working on my surprise for Bea. Can you tell what it is?

I stayed in yesterday morning while the others went to church so I could continue with my project. It was nice, sitting at the table in the sun, listening to music. When they came back, Adam, Millie and I went to the Duke campus. Adam is a third year law student there and I wanted to see the campus. It's very impressive. I was fascinated browsing the books in the law library. I couldn't believe the amount of antique books, some dating from the early 1800's! I could have browsed the aisles for hours. Adam tells me that most research is done online, but there's still a need for the books. He's on the Duke Law Review and I was very proud to see his name in print in the journals.

The undergraduate part of the campus is Gothic in architecture. I think Adam said they copied Harvard. We walked through the cathedral. They must have been practicing for an event because we were able to hear the magnificent organ being played.

I thought this was pretty cool. Click on it to see it better. What a great way to conserve water! All bathrooms should have this feature.

I had an easy trip home today. It took less than 5 hours including stops. No traffic. No weather. I have a lot more to say, plus pics, but I'll save that for tomorrow. It was so nice to come home to a clean and neat house. The laundry is almost done. I'm just chillaxin, gearing up for a busy work week. And as I finished writing that sentence, I used my pinky to lift a slat of my mini-blind and what do I see? Snowflakes. Please, oh please, let it come to naught!

13 February 2010

Update from Raleigh

I had a great sleep last night. I always worry about sleeping when I'm away from home. I always bring my own pillow. I always bring a fan. I didn't have a fan but I set the thermostat's fan to on. I brought my earplugs. I slept on a mattress in the open den and even slept late. The snow wasn't bad here. Probably about 3" but it only stuck to the car. I cut Millie's hair and then we went to a place called Southern Season. It's a huge gourmet-type of market made up of individual vendors. We took two cars so the 'kids' could leave early to feed Bea and put her to sleep. Ilene and I stayed a long time browsing and eating the samples. Yum. Then we went to a fantastic mall. It had every store possible. In addition it had an outdoor town center shopping area with Barnes and Noble, Restoration Hardware, Pottery Barn, Anthropologie, Cheesecake Factory, Apple, etc. We bought jewelery at Macy's. Ilene had a make-over at Clinique. We had hair consultations and back rubs at Aveda. We both bought a lot of clothes at Talbott's. I bought all tops. We shopped till we dropped, then picked up carry-out for dinner. I got to feed Bea her oatmeal after dinner. Ilene and I gave her her bath. She's so cute! Adam and Millie just went out for a Valentine's date. I gave them money to bring home Blizzards for dessert. My skinniness is slowly going away.

12 February 2010

More white

I left home early this morning to visit my oldest nephew Adam and his wife Millie and their 6 month old daughter Bea. I left snowy Maryland and Virginia behind. By the time I entered North Carolina, there was no snow to be seen. It took forever to leave the Washington area. I traveled 25 miles in the first hour, mainly because of traffic and the way the roads were plowed. I stopped for Starbucks twice. Got gas once. Listened to my audio book and Robin Thicke on my iPhone. Chatted with Rob. The five hours flew by. I met my sister Ilene who drove five hours from Augusta, GA, at the Starbucks in Raleigh. Millie and Bea met us at Pei Wei for lunch and that's how the visit began. Guess what it's doing now? Guess! It's S.N.O.W.I.N.G. Oh yes it is. It followed me. At least this time I don't have to shovel. I did bring it with me and I'll be happy for my nephew to use it. Of course, we're not talking blizzard, but still....

11 February 2010

Mostly about the S word

I started the morning by donning my snow gear and taking a walk around the block. I wanted to see if I could leave my neighborhood if I had to go to work. While I was out I got the call that the salon was closed. It was so beautiful outside. Bright blue sky and untouched snow. I was determined not to shovel because of my aching muscles, but I did it anyway. I hung out with the neighbors. I was not part of the snow brigade with the guys. I learned my lesson with that. I did open my bedroom window and office window to shovel the snow off the roof over the eat-in kitchen. Don't worry, I sat on the window frame and didn't go any further. I tried to knock snow off the roof over my front door but it's too high. I realized it was noon and I hadn't eaten. My hands were shaking. I wanted McDonald's really, really bad. So did my neighbor Kelly. Off we went. I got the Big and Juicy with fries and all. That's a big deal for me. Food never tasted better!

I came back to find heavy equipment at the end of my court. Yeah! I've always wanted to ride in one of these. I was tempted to ask the driver, but thought he'd probably have to say no.

Here's a view of my house. Yes, the snow mounds really are that tall.

I've missed so much work! We were closed last Saturday after closing early on Friday. We closed early on Tuesday and were closed yesterday and today. I'm off tomorrow and Saturday because I'm going away. That means no income when you work entirely on commission. Fortunately, I'm a saver and I'll be OK.

I leave first thing in the morning for a 5-6 hour drive to Raleigh, NC. I'm meeting my GA sister and we're visiting her oldest son Adam and his wife Millie and their daughter Bea. I've never met Bea and she's 6 months old. I have a surprise for her, but I can't say what it is yet, just in case she's reading this :)She does have a Facebook page, so she might have a Google account too.

I didn't realize it was a holiday weekend when I made my plans. I'm worried about traffic tomorrow morning even though I plan to leave 6'ish. Do I take 95 or 301? What will traffic be like on President's Day when I'm returning home? What does a 50% chance of light snow on Monday really mean? I'll find out about all of it. I have a good Dean Koontz audio book. My iPhone is loaded with good music. The sun will be shining. I love to drive. It's all good.

What should I do now? Work on the surprise for Bea? I'm not done with it yet. Pack? Do laundry? Shovel the deck again? I need to shovel that deck. Do I take a bath for my aching bones? Start the laundry, then deck, bath, surprise, pack. I think so.


10 February 2010

Edisto Island

One of my favorite places in the whole wide world is Edisto Island, SC. Of course, I haven't traveled the whole wide world, nor do I have a desire to. I'm a creature of habit. I love going to Myrtle Beach every year. I'd love to go to Cape Cod every year. If I could only go to one place, it would be Edisto Island. If you read Pat Conroy novels, they take place in the South Carolina low country. The land of Live Oaks and Spanish Moss and creeks and marshes and beaches. That's Edisto. It's about an hour from Charleston. The island, accessible from a land bridge, has one gas station and a little Piggly Wiggly grocery store. People who rent at the beach probably can't imagine why anyone would rent a creek-front house. Well, check out my pics and you'll see why. Click on the Tabblo to biggify. I've been there twice with my GA sister and her family. The house belongs to a friend of theirs, but they don't rent it out. My brother-in-law has to ask and he's reluctant to do so. I would drop everything to go there again. The property has been in the family for 6 generations. The plantation house is just down the creek. It's magical.

Why am I thinking about Edisto? You've heard enough about the snow, that's why. You don't want to hear about how plow operations have been suspended because of white-out conditions. Right? Right.

08 February 2010

Let it snow, and snow

If you live in my part of the country, you've got snow on your mind. So, more snow pictures. These were taken today, two days after the big snow.

One of the main streets in my neighborhood

The main intersection!

The main road outside my neighborhood. A snow emergency route, if you can believe it.

My house is the one on the left.

The only shoveled paths on my deck were to the birdfeeder and the bird bath.

I'm SO sore today. I shoveled for hours on Saturday. And Sunday. I live on the best cul-de-sac! My neighbor Lisa has the king of snow blowers. My neighbor George used it on Saturday and Sunday. He did the sidewalks. And the driveways of people who didn't already shovel (Rob and I shoveled mine). He used the snow blower to 'plow' our court to the cross road. Then he 'plowed' that street to one that was plowed by a truck. I was out there with the guys shoveling behind him. It was great fun to be part of the crew.

One of my friends called to ask if I wanted to sled and I was all about that. There's a hill to the side and back of my house. I made the mistake of going out my basement door to walk to the hill. The snow was so deep that I was laughing and exhausted and had to stop and sit every 20 or so feet. I should have walked around the block to get there. Last time I sledded this hill I took a running start. I did it this time and belly-flopped on my sled. The snow wasn't packed enough and my sled didn't budge. Ow. I did one run and called it a day.

Rob had car problems again and we ventured out to the repair shop this morning. We dropped the car off, and they replaced a belt. He got on the road for his hour trip home, but his car broke down on the exit ramp to work. It had to get towed. What a bummer!

The big news around here, BTW? 12"-18" of snow starting tomorrow afternoon. Good times!

06 February 2010

More pics from the day

Woops. This one has to wait for spring!

Blizzardy day

Actually, it's been fun. Fortunately we only lost power for 4 hours, from 5AM through 9AM. We've spent hours shoveling. Well, mostly Rob, and only because he wants to. We've probably gotten about about 24-30 inches with another 5"-10" coming during the day. Good times. Don't hate :))